creating beauty and warmth where you live

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Louis Blue Chalk Paint Buffet

You may remember that a couple of months back I purchased two pieces of furniture that I was so excited about.  I found them on eBay classifieds.  These listings are usually just for local sales.  More like Craig's List.  Here is the post when I shared about my finds.

The buffet was going to be used in the foyer.  I knew I wanted to try out the chalk paint that everyone has been using but I couldn't decide which color.  After some deliberation I decided to use Louis Blue.  I remember the day the paint arrived I was so excited I couldn't open the package fast enough.  Unfortunately, this is what greeted me. 

Yup, the paint can had popped opened during shipping.  Good for me, kind Virginia, at Southern Institute of Faux Finishing in Mississippi, the placed I had ordered from, immediately made it right.  Two days later I received another can and this one was in tip top shape.

Here is the buffet before in all of it's 1920's glory.

And the reveal!!

Last Saturday, my husband and I finished up this project and I couldn't be happier with the results.  Like many others, (namely Miss Mustard Seed) I chose to leave the top as is.  I just polished it with some Old English.


We removed the decorative piece that was centered on top as we felt it competed some with the mirror.

With having the piece finished I decided to change some things around for a fresh summer look.  I brought my two white lamps from another room.  On one side I added a silver tray with a small frame, wooden box and sea shells.  

On the other side I added a pretty etched glass bottle from Portugal and continued using my silver wine cooler as a planter.  

From another view
And a final view with the lamps on.

I'll be back with more details on how we achieved the finished effect.  It seems everyone uses a little different process. Again, I couldn't be happier.  I just smile every time I pass it now! 

Thanks for stopping by!!  I love to read your comments!  Libby! 

**pointed out by Annie Sloan herself - it is Louis Blue not Louie Blue - Thanks Annie! correction is made**   

Linking to the following parties:

Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

Tabletop Tuesday at a Stroll Through Life

Home Decor and Organizing Link Party at Organize and Decorate Everything

Piece of Work Wednesday Furniture Link Party at Primitive & Proper

Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed

UPDATE:  To see how we refinished the buffet, click here.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Score!! An Old Wooden Framed Picture For a Project

For some time I have been on the lookout for a large picture and frame that I could turn into a blackboard for our great room.  

I had seen this look here and here.

The frame needed to be chunky and of course wooden.  The older, the better.  The picture needed to have a smooth finish so that it could be spray painted with chalkboard paint and then easily write upon.  And of course the price needed to be as close to zero as I could get it. :-)

Last week I was in a thrift store close to my home and spied something that I thought could work.  

Wooden chunky old frame?  Check
Large enough to fit the space needed?  Check
Smooth finish picture?  Check
No smoke or bad odors to contend with?  Check
Lowest price possible?   Check, check and  check

This is the before:

What's that?  How much did I pay for this?  Thought you would never ask!

Less than $10!!  That is pretty close to zero and that is my kind of deal!

It has a rather nice scenic picture in it really.  A  charming English cottage on the water.  Sorta hated to spray paint over it.  But I don't want another picture in this room and besides, the chalkboard spray paint will give it it's second life.    

Some close-ups of the frame. 

I was happy to see that the picture also had a nice hanging wire already installed.  

So I removed the picture from the frame, took it to my back covered deck and spray painted it.  It took two coats of Krylon Chalkboard paint in black.  Reassembled the frame and added a patriotic message for Memorial Day.  Here is the final reveal:

I did add some Rub n' Buff in Antique Gold in a few places on the frame just to brighten it a bit. 

To celebrate Memorial Day, I also added a couple of flags to a plant on the front porch.  We enjoy proudly displaying our beautiful Red, White and Blue!

Happy Memorial Day!! 
We honor those who have and are serving in all the armed forces for our nation.  God Bless You!!

Thanks for stopping by!  Libby~

Linking up to:

Debbiedoos Blogging and Blabbing Newbie party
Between Naps On The Porch for Metamorphis Monday
Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays
Southern Hospitality for Thrifty Treasures

Win a $25.00 Gift Certificate to Vintage Townsquare

Don't miss out!!  Right now, go visit Perfectly Imperfect for a chance to win  a $25.00 gift certificate to Vintage Townsquare, the place to find fun and unique items for your home and wardrobe.  

While you are there, be sure to check out all the giveaways from this week.  Enter each one and you just  might also win a free copy of Shaunna's e-book Creating a Masterpiece.  

Don't delay because this is the last day!!   


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Paula Deens Caramel Cake

It has become a tradition to bake my husband a caramel cake on his birthday. This happened because one year I asked him what kind of cake did he want for that year.  He said a caramel cake.  ?????  I'm not sure I had ever eaten a caramel cake and knew I had never seen a recipe for one.  What exactly is caramel?  Where does it come from?  Do you buy caramel flavoring, caramel spice???

I began by searching the Food Network site.  Relieved, I found a recipe by Paula Deen.  Just let me say, I have never cooked a Paula Deen recipe that my family simply didn't love and wanted more of.  So, I knew I could trust Paula and have a sure-fire winner with her caramel cake recipe.  This is a 3-layer cake with a caramel filling and caramel frosting. 

And to answer the earlier question.....caramel is just butter and brown sugar.  No wonder my husband is crazy about it!  In fact he has always said that french cooking and southern cooking is very similar.  Both use butter and more butter!  And this recipe has a LOT of brown sugar and butter.  In fact, it uses 4 different kinds of sugars and 2 cups of butter. 

Here is my cake from last year. 

Yes, it is somewhat uneven!  Hey, don't judge, I only make it once a year!

And from another view.

You may also add pecans to the top for decoration. Below is the recipe.  And the link is here if you want to go straight to the Food Network site and see the recipe there. 

Caramel Cake by Paula Deen



  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups self-rising flour, sifted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream, or more if needed
  • 1 (16-ounce) box confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped nuts, optional



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans.
Using an electric mixer cream butter until fluffy. Add granulated sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed.
Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Level batter in each pan by holding pan 4 inches above counter dropping it flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure you of a more level cake. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.


While cake is baking, in a saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, and milk. Cook and stir over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Remove cake layers from oven and allow cake to remain in pans as you prepare to stack and fill. Remove first layer and invert onto cake plate. Pierce cake layer with a toothpick over entire surface. Spread 1/3 of filling mixture on cake layer. Top with second layer, repeat process. Top with last layer and repeat process again.
*Cook's Note: As you stack layers together, stick them with toothpicks to prevent cake from shifting.


Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat and stir in brown sugar and cream. Bring to a boil, and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Beat with a handheld electric mixer until it reaches a spreading consistency. At this time it may be necessary to add a tablespoon of heavy cream, or more, if frosting gets too thick. Be sure to add cream in small amounts because you can always "add to", but you can't take away. Frost cake and sprinkle top with chopped nuts, if desired.

Thanks for stopping by.  Enjoy your cake!  Libby~


Sunday, May 22, 2011

An Exciting Week Over at Perfectly Imperfect

You need to know about what is happening over at Perfectly Imperfect!

Talented blogger, Shaunna is having an entire week of giveaways!  From Sunday, May 22 - May 29.  One every day, and maybe even two a day!!  PLUS, everyday, she will also draw one winner from the giveaway post for a copy of her  ebook, Creating Your Masterpiece.  

I have followed Shaunna at Perfectly Imperfect for some time.  She is definitely multi-talented.  But I am most impressed with the kind of person Shaunna is.  She and her husband just returned from taking a mission team to Honduras!  
Shaunna describes herself as a wife, mother, writer, blogger, teacher, learner, furniture painter, wannabe designer, dreamer, typography fanatic, vintage book collector, passionate about all things family, home, Faith.  

So waste no time, my friend, get on over there every day and take advantage of this  opportunity!    Perfectly Imperfect.  Winners will be announced next Monday.    

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great week!  Libby~

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Hallway Feature

This is the end of a long hallway in our home.  Different things have hung here over the years.  Pictures, a mirror, nothing, etc.  Never quite happy with how it was looking.  I wanted to add some interest, but no color or pattern.  

I prefer to keep hallways mostly neutral.  This hallway has 5 doorways and that is busy enough.   Plus, I sorta like the eye to rest before it enters new rooms.  Recently, I was shopping at a thrift store and came across these beautiful white plates.  They were priced at $1.58 each and were 50% off that day.  There were 4 available.  My total was a whopping $3.16!  

Even though I had no idea where I would use them, I liked them, so I bought them.  I like the scalloped edge and wheat pattern along the top of the plate.

And there is a faint darkening around the rim.

They are marked on the back, the cellar, Made in Portugal, expressly for Macy's.  I am sure if I had bought them directly from Macy's they would have cost a little more than .79 cents a piece!

After looking at the plates for a while and my hallway wall, I decided to hang 3 of the plates there.  Better to keep an odd amount.   

But I didn't want to use the metal springy plate holders.  Although I have used them many times before.  I had heard of this new product and wanted to give it a try.  They are called DISC, Adhesive Plate Hangers and they are made in England.  I figure if anyone knows how to hang plates on a wall, it would be our friends in England!

It took me a while to find them.  Finally located some at A Classy Flea in Marietta for $3.75 a piece.  Have you used these before?  The DISC come in 5 different sizes and can also be used for adhesion to wood, hardboard and blockboard.  These are to be used for hanging, porcelain, china, eartherware, glass plates and plaques.   

I followed the directions on the back exactly.  You add a little water into the glue on the DISC, wait 5-10 minutes then apply DISC to the plate.  Press firmly and rub well to expel any air.  Leave overnight to dry.

Because my plate had a definite top to it, I marked the backside of the plate at the very center with a black Sharpie.  That way I could line up the hanger on the DISC in the right spot.

I used a Pampered Chef scraper to expel any air bubbles.

Next day they were ready to hang.  Really easy peasy.

I like how flush the plates hang against the wall with the DISC and you don't see the hanger at all.  

This is the end result. 

And a longer view.

Total spent:  $15.00

I am totally loving all things white right now and happy that I could find a way to add some more white to my home.

Now to show you what I received for Mother's Day!

My husband and children blessed me with two new ferns, two Knock-out Roses, (these are my first) and dinner at Bahama Breeze.  It was a wonderful day!! 

These are Boston Ferns and will need to be repotted very soon.   

I am trying the Knock-out Roses in different spots around the yard till I decide where the perfect place is. 

How was your Mother's Day?  

Have you tried the DISC hangers before?  Please don't tell me your plates fell off the DISC and crashed to the floor!  

Have you grown Knock-out Roses?  Any tips to give me?  My Mom grows them and loves them.   

I love to read your comments.  Thanks for stopping by!  Libby~

Linking up to the following parties:

Newbie Party at Debbiedoos Blogging and Blabbing

Today's Thrifty Treasures at Southern Hospitality

Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays at Coastal Charm

White Wednesday at Faded Charm



Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Meet Toby!

The talented blogger Debbie is having a Pet Partay today.  I am sure that our Toby is happy to attend. 

Toby is a Pomeranian and is 15 years old!  He is quite an old man now.  His favorite part of the day is having breakfast and dinner.  Other than that he is usually sleeping.   

The following picture is shortly after he got a summer cut last year.  Pomeranian's have long and thick coats.  But poor Toby doesn't like all that weight on him.  After he gets clipped, he comes home running around like he is a teenager again.  

His favorite spot for sleeping is at the end of this hallway.  From there he can see everyone coming and going.  He always likes to know who is in the house.

I was hoping to sneak up on him but he is looking at me like what in the world are you doing?

Although Toby is an old man now, he still lights up our life.  I think he is the sweetest dog I have ever owned.

Linking up to Debbiedoos Pet Partay

Also don't miss out on the awesome giveaway Debbie is having.  Chalk Paint, oh yes!!  For all the details go here!

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a fabulous day!  Libby~

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

New Frame For A Favorite Horse Print

Don't know why, but I have always liked art of English hunt scenes.  Am I from England? No.  Do I ride horses? No. Am I a fan of English and European decor?  Yes.  Do I like all things related to horses?  Yes and yes.

This is a hunt scene print we have had for some time.  It hangs over our fireplace.  The artist is George Wright, it is called Crossing The Ford and it was printed in Italy.

I really like the colors in this print.  The muted and various shades of green, blue and golden yellow.  Black and brown with a pop of red.   Very pleasing to me.  

Although I liked the print, I did not care for the frame it was in.  Blah. Boring.  And please, not a gold-colored band thing-y around it.  See the close-up?

This is how the mantel looked awhile back.  I always felt the picture called for a frame with more oomph.  Ya know?

I guess you know where this is leading.  Right, we found a more suitable frame!  We purchased it at a consignment store at 50% off.  We paid less than $15.00 for it.  It had this print in it with a green mat in a wooden black frame.  I actually like this print so I am holding on to it.  

Here is a close-up of the frame. 

We used the green mat and my husband removed some of the black from the wooden frame to reveal more of the wood-grain.  

And here is the after.  You get the idea although this is not a great picture.  For some reason the green mat is looking dark blue on my computer.  It is not blue, more of a hunter green.   
Probably should have turned off the spot-light we have on.  Anyway....

I did a little updating of the mantel.  I kept the tall candle sticks.  I like these for the height they bring to the mantel.  They previously were a putty color and I sprayed painted them brown.  I brought in some old Readers Digest books.  Kept the succulents I bought at Michael's Craft Stores that I had taken a sponge brush and white paint to.  I brought my small brown and white transfer ware ironstone pitcher from another place in the home.  I added a white oval platter on the other side.  

Overall I am much happier with the new frame.  I think it is a big improvement but I have a feeling we aren't fully done with this project. 

On a completely different note and totally unrelated....I had the pleasure of attending a local Atlanta bloggers luncheon last Saturday.  It was put together by Rhoda of Southern Hospitality who has recently relocated to the area.  Here we are all together.  Some bloggers and some readers.  It was a lot of fun and I think the beginning of something special!

I am linking up to Kim at Savvy Southern Style, who was at the luncheon too, for Wow Us Wednesdays and Linda at Coastal Charm for Thrifty Nifty Tuesdays! 


Thanks for stopping by!  Libby~