Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mantel Makeover – Fireplace Complete!

Yesterday I shared one of our larger projects that Hubby and I completed.  I figured I should share the finished post as well.

When we open the cottage this month, we will take on a pretty big project, however, the fireplace will always be our favorite!

As you know, we selected one big project to complete at the cottage – the fireplace!
We worked in several stages:
When I left off we had to finish the base in stone and figure out what to do with the mantel.
Hubby tackled the base.
 Cottage 019
Cottage 021
After this stage, we were done with the stones.  It really completed this focal point in our room.
Cottage 010
Next, I took on the mantel.  It is a solid piece of wood, so out came the paint.
Cottage Treasures 006
It has a nice detail on the front.
Cottage Treasures 007
Cottage Treasures 008
Crazy blue!  It is a sample oops pot I got a while back.  I used it on my French Chair.
Cottage Treasures 009
I covered the blue with an oops gray.
Cottage Treasures 010
Once dry, I took 100 grit sandpaper and rubbed over the detail on the front.
Cottage Treasures 012
Cottage Treasures 013
Cottage Treasures 016
I am so thrilled with the end result!
So, here is a quick before and after.
Cottage Fireplace 001
cottage thrift 002
I am so glad that this project is complete!
Enjoy the day!

Shoppe is open today until 4:00
Thursday 12-6
Friday 11-4
Saturday 10-3

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Details on the Fireplace

Hubby and I just made plans to open up the cottage for 2014.  We have a small cottage on a lake in Northern Indiana.  We have owned the place for 6 years and have tackled many projects.

Since I am excited to get up there, I thought I would share one of our bigger projects that we did.  It was kind of a pain in the booty but well worth the effort!

This was completed in 2011.

Wait til I share the project for 2014!  Until then, have a look:

Thanks for all the comments, calls and texts!  I am still in shock by this transformation.  I am even more amazed that we stepped outside our comfort zone and attempted this.  If you missed the transformation, click here.
Now for the nitty-gritty and a how-to.
We started with painted cement block.  The directions specifically say, do not apply to painted surfaces.  And so the challenges began.
We had two options (perhaps more but we only considered these).

Remove the paint -or- Build a new surface
We opted for the second.

lake 068
Painted cement block.
Cottage Fireplace 002
When Hubby was up here last month, he tackled this baby.  
So glad I was not a part of this, I would have walked off the job!
  1. Attach metal lathe using tapcon screws.  He pre-drilled the holes with a drill hammer.
  2. He attached a screw every 6” horizontally and 12” vertically.
  3. Then he applied a skim coat of mortar over the lathe.
Now, if you do not have a painted surface, the job just got sooo much easier.  
You skip all of the above and start here.
  1. I purchased boxes of cultured flat stone at Menards.  There are also corner pieces that match the stone selection.  Four boxes of flat stones and 3 boxes of corners.  Menards stocks two color selections.  Others are available by special order.  I did not find these at any other home center.
  2. Starting with the corner, we laid out the stones. 
  3. We mixed a bag of mortar with water in a large mortar tub.  Mixing it with a hoe. 
Cottage Fireplace 005
As you can see, we covered everything nearby with plastic.  It gets messy.
Hubby put the mortar on the fireplace, while I “buttered” the stone with the mortar.
Cottage Fireplace 008 Cottage Fireplace 011
Then you place the stone in the desired place, hold it for a 5-10 count.  
Step away and hope it stays in place.
It is best to work in small sections, so the mortar doesn’t dry.
Cottage Fireplace 019
Cottage Fireplace 021
  • It’s like putting a puzzle together.
  • Each box comes with a variety of sizes and colors.  Choose the number of boxes based on your square footage.
  • We used 3 bags of mortar.
  • This part took 5 hours.  We rocked it out and truly got in a groove.
Learn from us:
  • Wetter is better for the mortar.
  • Open and lay out all the stones, so you see all your options and have a good selection.
  • Wear gloves.  These are chemicals and did some major damage to Hubby’s hands.
  • It is a pretty easy process and very rewarding.
  • You will be sore the next day.
Next up:
As I mentioned, this baby isn’t finished.  We have some stones to place on the sides of the fireplace.  We just got a wet saw, so this should be fun!
And the final step is to grout using the biggest pastry bag I ever did see.  Hubby bought two, so he will start at the ceiling and I will work from the bottom.  This may be quite entertaining.
Some of you expressed interest in doing this project.  
Please email me if I can provide additional info.
Hope to have it done this week!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Workshops this Week

What an amazing weekend!  The weather was perfect and I am so thankful both girls had soccer games - it forced me to put down the paint brush and sit and enjoy the beautiful sunshine, catch up with my soccer moms and watch my girls do what they love.

And now it's Monday and they are calling for snow tomorrow!  
Mother Nature must have ADD like me.

On to the week ahead.

PAINT Wednesday, April 16, 6:00 - 9:00
This Wednesday evening I am teaching an Intro to Maison Blanche Paint & Waxes.  You will learn how to use this no-prep paint and the different waxes to restyle your home furniture projects.  
Come see what Maison Blanche can do for you!  
April 16, 6:00 - 9:00.  Cost $75  2 spots available. Call (614) 402-4103.

PINTEREST PARTY Thursday, April 17, 6:00-8:00 
This Thursday, we kick off our latest Pinterest Party!  We are loving the chalkboard trays and cannot wait for you to make one!  Remaining dates: 4/25 6:00 - 8:00 (SOLD OUT), 
5/8 6:00 - 8:00 and 5/9 10:00 - 12:00. Call (614) 402-4103.

Cheers to the start of a great week!


Spring hours:
Wed 11:00 - 4:00
Thurs 12:00 - 6:00
Fri 11:00 - 4:00
Sat 10:00 - 3:00


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Before & After

I just placed a coffee table in the shoppe.

I'm sure you can guess that the table did not start out looking like this.

In fact, it was nothing to look at.

I layered two colors and finished it off with Maison Blanche Light Brown Wax.

Much better.

We teach this technique in the Intro to Maison Blanche Paint Workshop.

April 16 6-9
April 30 6-9

Sign up in the shoppe or at

Open today 12:00 - 6:00.



Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Restyled Shoppe

I have so much goodness to share with you today!  I restyled the shoppe all day yesterday!  I think I moved just about everything, brought in more fabulous finds and brought in some new goodies.

We are open today 11:00 - 4:00 and I hope you'll pop in to check it all out.

 A great shabby coffee table.
 Items for spring and entertaining.
 Lots of silver in a farm-find crate.
 The daybed/crib has new pillows - some indoor/outdoor.
 A pair of shabby chairs would be perfect on a porch.
An amazing industrial cart is now for sale.  It held lots of Maison Blanche Paint & Products, but that room has also received a makeover.
The cart is ah-mazing and would make a perfect bar, inside or out.

 You all love our nest pillows and we have 1 left.
 Industrial elements have made their debut.  

Lots of spring items, more furniture & Maison Blanche Paint arrives today!

The shoppe is overflowing with goodness.

Wednesday 11:00 - 4:00
Thursday 12:00 - 6:00
Friday 11:00 - 4:00
Saturday 10:00 - 3:00



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

New Pinterest Party

Our readers and customers have shown us they love to craft!  
You love learning, creating and relaxing in a fun atmosphere.
We held so many wreath making Pinterest Parties - last 2 are this week
that we are ready for a new project!

And we have a great one!

Check out this fabulous chalkboard tray!

How cool are these?

Perfect for graduation parties, Mother's Day gifts, spring & summer entertaining.

Kathy whipped this up and will be instructing the Pinterest Party again!


Thursday, April 17  6-8
Friday, April 25 6-8
Thursday, May 8 6-8
Friday, May 9 10-12

Cost: $40 

Sign up in the shop,
Facebook or

Can't make it to a class but must have one?  
We will have them for sale in the shop later this month.  
You can reserve yours now.



Monday, April 7, 2014

Restyled Leather Chairs

Hello All,
We meet again on a Monday morning.  Thanks for being here.  We had a great weekend - our tournament was cancelled, so we found ourselves with some time.

Time to clean.  Time to paint.  Time to create.  Time to hang out.

It was quite nice, I must say.

This week I plan to share a few home projects, a mantel, a custom job and a store update.

Yes, I used my time well!

But first, let me show you just how amazing Maison Blanche Paint is.
You've seen numerous restyled furniture projects - wood, laminate, metal.  
Now look at some restyled chairs!

I scored a pair of these a while ago.  They were in great shape, just dark.

Now they are bright and fun.  Franciscan Gray & Maison White did the trick.

I painted right over the green leather.  Easy.

Maison Blanche no-prep paint keeps impressing me with every application.  

These babies will make their way to the shoppe.

Spring Hours:
Wednesday 11-4
Thursday 12-6
Friday 11-4
Saturday 10-3

Advanced Painting Workshop:
This Wednesday 6-8:30
Learn 3 advanced techniques! $75