Late June, 2015

Updates

It always makes me sad when I revisit friends’ blogs and they’ve been abandoned, left for cyber space to claim. Much like this blog. However, I can tell you that since I last posted in January life has taken a turn for the best. I was offered a position with a boutique advertising agency in March (Friday the 13th to be exact) and haven’t looked back since. I am thrilled to be in a creative environment again and haven’t had a second thought about my decision to leave the higher education industry. It might also have something to do with the amazing people I work with each day, my ability to sports jeans at work or even the fact I can bring my dog, Mosby.

Speaking of Mosby, we celebrated his 2nd birthday on June 17th. Those amazing work people I just told you about even made him a celebratory hat. I’d venture to say we enjoyed it more than him!

In between park festivals and birthdays, I visited my best friend and met her and her husband’s new baby. I lovingly call him my nephew. He’s adorable, right?

Jason and I have also been fortunate to celebrate our engagement recently. Four of our friends hosted an engagement party for the wedding party, close friends and family. It was an amazing low country boil! Jason and I were so nervous driving over to the party, but once we arrived and were immediately surrounded by people we loved, the feeling was indescribable.

My “new family” made trips from all over the East Coast to celebrate our engagement with us. It was truly amazing. I’m almost a Panda!

One of the things I learned through the blog, and Art E. Bartee Designs, is that my passion for re-creating and refurbishing furniture is now defined as a hobby. This will always be my side hustle, but never a full time gig. Don’t think I won’t post projects from time to time, but now it will be when I am truly inspired. But for the time being, we’re too busy being happy.

Jewelry Organization DIY

Annie sloan, DIY

I struggle, as most women do, with the issue of too much jewelry. I tend to wear the same items over and over again, because I know where they are and I don’t have to fight the dreaded chain knots. There really is nothing worse than trying to tackle a tiny knot in the chain of your favorite necklace.

Today’s DIY is necessity based. They entire project cost about $35 for 5 necklace racks. I must add in a disclaimer as I already own the paint and paint brushes.

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You will need three items (5 if you don’t have extra paint on hand and a paintbrush). Make your way to the back of Lowe’s and pick out a piece of trim. I asked Lowe’s to cut the 8 foot trim into 18 inch pieces. This does waste part of the trim, but I needed something bigger than 1 foot. Your needs may vary. On aisle one you can find hooks. Size 5/8 was what I went with and on aisle 2 you can find command strips. I opted to go with something less permanent than nailing the jewelry racks to the wall.

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I chose to complete my project inside, much to the dismay of my fiancé. I layer down a plastic garbage bag in the kitchen and promised to it would be an easy clean up. I used Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint to paint each of the five 18 inch pieces. The paint dries quick, so I let it sit for about 45 minutes before heading to the next step.

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I used gold accent paint to smear on the racks to create a more upscale appearance. 2015/01/img_0144.jpg

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For the next step, you need a power drill. I used the pattern on the wood to guide my drill holes. I drilled 7 holes in each unit. Then I screwed in the hooks by hand.

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To finish the racks, I placed two command strips on the back of each rack and simpler pushed into place on the wall where I wanted them.

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This pictures the first two racks. Notice that the hooks are alternating positions on the top and bottom rack so the necklaces don’t overlap. This was planned to create more useable space.

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The final project worked out great! Just be sure you press those command strips into the wall securely. I did have one of the racks fall because I was a little over zealous about getting the necklaces on the rack before I had firmly secured the tape strips.

If you plan on selling your jewelry racks, suggested retail is $18 each. The individual cost to make is approximately $7, plus time.

Enjoy your newly organized necklace collection! Now I need one for my bracelets. . .

Cheers!

I’m Mostly Happy

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I’m mostly angry. Angry with myself for working so hard for a company I knew somewhere, in the depths of my mind, would fail. I think back to my capstone class at the University of Alabama and remember Dr. Strickland saying, go down with the ship. I thought he was crazy at that point, but now I understand. I went down with the ship. I gave all I had for 18 months. I put my life outside of work on hold to devote my energy, my health to this company that in the end would fail. And then, a funny thing happens. I become reflective. It’s not in me to abandon ship. The strength of my character is reflected in what I gave that college. I didn’t find another job, or use it as an opportunity to move. I worked. When I was told my termination date, I didn’t fight it or insist I stay on. I didn’t complain. I took what I was given and stepped away. The ship had sunk. Staying on board further would have driven me crazy, knowing there was nothing in my power I could do to revive it.

This week marks the end of 2014. It also marks the beginning of my 20th week of unemployment. Twentieth week. Wow. Once you get over the multiple rejections, perhaps hundreds of rejections from applying for jobs you think are cool or aren’t qualified for; you start to reflect on your new life. What have I done with the past 20 weeks?

Well, I kept busy. I took advantage of the time.

I’m in my 3rd MBA Finance class. Why? I don’t know why. I love to learn. Do I need another Master’s degree? Probably not, but idle time is the perfect time to continue your education. I find myself seeking continuing education whenever I’m lost.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2df/71078184/files/2014/12/img_6973.jpg(Rushed back from Christmas break to get my new textbook.)

I planned my sister’s engagement party and bachelorette party. This might not seem like a big deal to you, unless, of course you’ve planned one. Then you know what a huge undertaking it is. I was grateful for the time.

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I established weight loss goals. I’m down 26 pounds. I plan to be down 40 by my sister’s wedding in February. I plan to be down 60 by 12/31/2015. Slowing it down, because employment is inevitable (right??). I joined a gym. I tried FlyWheel (spinning), FlyBarre (barre class) yoga and hot yoga (105 degrees!). I want to try Blast, but I’m terrified. I might need a friend for that one.

IMG_6984(I blame it all on love weight.)

I made my hobby, a business. I launched the Art E. Bartee Designs website and store. I invested in Annie Sloan wax and chalk paint and took off running. I breathed new life into something old and forgotten. I made trash desirable and artistic.

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I became a better cook. Thank you Pinterest and you’re welcome Jason.

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I traveled. Suches, Georgia. Savannah, Georgia. Tybee Island, Georgia. Los Angeles, California. Charlotte, North Carolina. Panama City Beach, Florida. Mobile, Alabama

IMG_0314(Hiking in Suches, Georgia in August.)

While I continue to optimistically search for a job, I am embracing the experiences unemployment has given me. After all, when will the next time in my life be that I can attend a noon yoga class on a Tuesday by my own whim? So, yeah, I’m actually. . . I’m actually, mostly happy.

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Cheers to a healthy and happy 2015!

Ladder back chairs

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Twin ladder back chairs epitomize low country living. The chairs are sold as a pair for $75. The rush is stained with red mahogany. The wood is painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Old White and finished with Annie Sloan Wax. These chairs are the perfect southern complement to a big city home. A fusion of porch talk with the hustle and bustle of Atlanta. Relax, sip on a sweet tea and let your mind wander to a simpler time.

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The ladder back chairs are circa 1970’s. They originally were painted olive green and decoupaged with flowers.

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The first part of the transformation was to stain the rush seating.

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The decoupage was then sanded to create a smooth surface for the chalk paint.

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Above you can view the contrast from the original faded rush to the new stain.

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Tapping off the rush seating with painter’s tape is important to decrease paint splatter on the new stain.

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First peek at the finished product!

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Low Country Ladder Back Chairs are available for purchase on Atlanta Craigslist. If you mention this blog post, there is free delivery in the Atlanta area.

Happy Sweet Tea sippin’! Cheers!

Thanksgiving Gem

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Each time I journey home to Savannah, I find a different treasure to return with. Often the items are old and need a little rehabilitation to breathe life back into them. Sometimes I {re} imagine the items to sell and often I keep the items to cherish in my own home. This trip was no different. I came home with an antique trunk. This is one such item I chose not to sell. I am even considering not refinishing. I love the antique look.

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What do you think? Should I clean up the iron and line the trunk? Should I stain the wood?

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I’m digging the antelope hide on top of the chest. I think it makes it rustic, but brings in modern appointments as a display piece in the home.

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The creepy artistic rendering in the top of the trunk may be my favorite part of this vintage trunk.

 

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Cheers to making what was once old new again!

A Christmas Miracle, Er, Project!

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If you want a super quick and easy Christmas decor project, check out this link for a DIY Glitter Head Deer on Pinterest. I’ve included the bloggers instructions from heylaurenrene.com below. Her tutorial includes pictures, so I encourage you to take a look or pin for later. Here’s how mine turned out!

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SUPPLIES:

– First go ahead and print out THIS deer head template onto cardstock (scroll down two photos)

– Canvas (mine was 12″x 16″)

– Gold glitter

– Small bottle of black gloss acrylic paint

– Large and small paint brush

– Pencil

– Yardstick

– Liquid gold marker/pen **I’m convinced this made all the difference

– Blue painters tape

– Elmer’s glue

– Clear enamel spray or hair spray

Step 1:  I printed out the deer head then enlarged it by 20% on my printer/copier onto two sheets of cardstock.  Taped them together and cut out the silhouette (you can leave it an on an 8×10 if you want I just wanted mine a little larger)

Step 2: I marked off 2″ wide stripes on the canvas with a pencil and the yardstick (just divide evenly based on the size of your canvas)

Step 3:  Use blue painter’s tape to mask off the stripes you don’t want paint on.  Wrap the tape around the sides to the back so you can paint the edges too.  Once the blue tape is on, paint the black gloss paint on the alternating stripes.  Allow to dry.  Then remove the painter’s tape.

Step 4: Place the deer head cutout on top of the canvas and trace with a pencil.

Step 5: Once you have traced the whole template, remove and go over the pencil with the liquid gold marker.  This is a huge step a lot of the tutorials skipped, but I think it’s so important.  It’s hard to get clean edges with the glue so the gold marker will give you a perfect outline.

Step 6:  Use a combination of your large and small paint brush to fill in the outline generously with white glue.  The thicker you put the glue the more dimensional it looks.  Try to stay slightly within the gold outline so the edges stay crisp.

Step 7:  Dump on the glitter and let it set for about a minute.  When done shake off into a paper grocery bag (so you can pour the excess back into the container).  If there are any spotty areas you can touch them up with glue and glitter.  I also used a dry paintbrush and brushed away any glitter that fell outside the lines.  When done give a light coat of enamel spray or hairspray to keep the glitter in place.

Salvaged Chairs Part II: Pink Giraffe

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The second salvaged chair was finished just before the weekend. This one was a much larger and unexpected challenge from the first chair I completed. This one was in far worse shape prior to being cleaned and stripped of the black leather cover.

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Here you can see the before picture. There is a crack in the leather, which means the foam cushion was subject to damage.

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The chair was painted with Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint. I used two layers on this particular chair to give it a little less of the rustic farm house look.

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Modern appointment meets farmhouse chic with this hot pink giraffe print.

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I imagine a little girl sitting on this chair at her desk coloring. Or a 20 something using it as an accent chair in their home as I currently have it staged.

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The chair is listed on Atlanta Craig’s List for $98. Mention this blog post and I will offer 20% off the listed price. Coming to the Art E. Bartee Design Shop soon!

Salvaged Chairs

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I much prefer {re} imagining furniture that is 100% free than purchasing it from thrift. It presents more of a challenge. The furniture found me, rather than me handle selecting an item from a store. It just so happened that two wooden chairs presented themselves on my very street.

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The chairs were in terrible condition. The leather seat cover was ripped and stained, the wood was covered in filth. IMG_0051.JPG

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The first thing I checked was whether I could unscrew the chair’s seat. Luckily, there were only 4 nails affixing it to the frame. I removed the seat cushion and stripped the leather from the seat. Next, for the frame itself. It took some time to clean the chair and remove all signs of dirt and dust.

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I went to Jo-Ann’s fabrics to search for fabric. I found a table of $5/yard fabric and pulled two pieces of fabric. While I was waiting in line, I pulled up my Retail Me Not iPhone app and searched Jo-Ann’s fabric. The app awarded me another 15% off my fabric purchase. With tax, the 2 yards of fabric were under $10.

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Covering seats is a pretty easy procedure. I just popped the leather off the seat frame and used a staple remover to get rid of the old staples that had held the leather in place. The foam underneath had been preserved (surprisingly) in perfect condition, so I did not need to replace that. I wrapped the seat much like wrapping a present, careful of the corners and making sure the fabric was snug. I secured the fabric with a staple gun.

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Outside, I gathered the rest of my French Linen Annie Sloan paint that was left from my gold chevron side table project. There was just enough paint to cover the frame of the chair.

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After letting the paint dry, I waxed the chair as a finishing coat. You can see in the details where some of the wood peeks through the paint to give it a rustic finish.

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After the wax set, I attached the seat cushion. The wax doesn’t fully dry for 30 days. This makes the surface susceptible to scratches, so I placed the seat on very gingerly, careful not to apply to much pressure to the painted frame.

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Oops! Puppy tail in the picture! My dachshund, Mosby likes to make cameos in much of my documentation processes.

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Here is a great side by side before and after comparison. I even had one women comment she didn’t think she could purchase the chair knowing how bad it had looked previously!

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The final project is listed for $129 in the Art E. Bartee shop, or you may search Art E. Bartee Designs on Atlanta Craigslist. The chair features Annie Sloan French Linen paint with wax coat and a silk seat cushion.

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Gold Chevron Bamboo Table

Annie sloan, Uncategorized

For the gold chevron table project I found a bamboo side table at the Goodwill of Roswell. The table cost $9.95. I was drawn to the table for 3 reasons. 1. It was cheap. 2. I could lift it on my own and 3.visions of gold bamboo danced in my head. The table was in pretty rough condition. The joints had began to separate, it was covered in spider webs and pretty scratched up.

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I started this project by caulking the joints.Just used a cheap ($5) spackle from Lowe’s. I let it dry overnight, because I didn’t want to take any chances once I started painting it.

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Before painting, I marked the top off with painter’s tape. My vision for the top of the table was to cover it in a gold wallpaper or even gold leaf. I found some really cool wallpaper with golden honey bees on it, but in the end, went with a different pattern to the texture of the paper.

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The table is painted with Annie Sloan French Linen paint. The gold accents are completed with gold guilder’s paint. I cheated on my first Annie Sloan paint supplier in Norcross to check out the store in Smyrna, GA called The Bird and the Bee. Two totally different stores and experiences. Since they’re both about the same distance from Atlanta, there is no real preference. I liked the Norcross store because they were focused on the concept of {re} imagined furniture. The Smyrna store focuses on a boutique atmosphere. Clothing, accessories, candles. I could get myself in real trouble by going there too often!

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After completing the sides, I used Mod Podge to secure and protect the top of the table. I used one layer of Mod Podge on the surface before applying the chevron paper. The art paper was found at Blick. Its a bit heavier than tissue paper, but not as heavy as wallpaper. The paper was cut prior to applying to the table top. This was a challenge for me, since left handers are notorious for their inability to cut in a straight line.

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The Mod Podge goes on white, which is a bit alarming at first. Luckily, it dries clear as promised.
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I love the gold detail on the ribbing. I think it makes the table look elegant and gives it a bit of flair.
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Above is a context shot for scale. Really a great height for a side table in the living room or bedside table.

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The asking price for the Gold Chevron Bamboo table is $129. It can be found on Craigslist Atlanta or in the Art E. Bartee Shop.

First Time with Annie Sloan

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After constantly reading about the famous Annie Sloan paint, I decide to give it a try. I found myself journeying outside the city to Norcross. A small store called “Chalk It Up” was the closest retailer of Annie Sloan paint I could find (if you know of a place ITP, please let me know!). The women in the store were extremely helpful. I ended up spending about $71 in the store. For $71 I purchased gliders paint, 2 small jars of Annie Sloan paint, 1 tub of finishing wax, and a bundle of lint-free towels.

I needed to purchase two jars of paint in order to mix my intended color, a beautiful shade of mint.

I went a little backwards about some things. For example I purchase the paint before I knew what I was going to paint. After Chalk It Up, I went to Goodwill off of Northside. I found the perfect project in an old entertainment stand. For $9.95 it was a bargain.

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The first thing I did was remove all the shelves, doors and hardware from the structure.

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The hardware desperately needed to be cleaned. Luckily, I had brass cleaner from the last time we moved. Below you can see the before and after of Brasso.

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Then the work began. I was able to lay down a few garage bags and work under the porch. The forecast was calling for rain, and I did not want my project to ruin.

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I love the pulls I found at Anthropologie. They are gold and silver with bees as details. Their official name is dangling honeycomb.

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I detailed the inside of the doors with white paint to break up the green a bit.

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The top of the console was tricky. There are a few bubbles present. I think it adds to the rustic farmhouse charm though.

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The side of the entertainment system has these nice little hidden shelves. Super great for stashing something like a flashlight for quick access.

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Ta-da! Here is the final product! I think it turned out great. I love the gold glider’s paint accents on the front and how well it plays off the knobs.

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The finished unit sold for $149. This price was another Craig’s List special, a $100 discount from the list price in the Art E. Bartee Designs shop. I pumped about $100 into supplies, so the final profit is $49. Several of the initial purchase of the supplies can be spread forward towards other projects — such as the glider’s paint, wax and lint free towels. This means future projects will yield a higher profit margin.

Regardless, this was a fun project for me! I know I’ll be seeing Annie Sloan again. Congrats to the new owners! I hope they enjoy their new piece! They might even be able to find my newly developed signature if they look hard enough at the piece. A gold thumb print will now signify the Art E. Bartee Designs brand.