French Linen China Cabinet {Asheville Furniture Painter}

Just finished this 1930’s vintage mahogany china cabinet in French Linen with clear and dark wax.
I love to paint dark pieces of furniture, especially mahogany, because when you sand the chalk paint back there is such a contrast with the wood and paint.
The detailing of the furniture really shows through.

Vintage Stock furniture French linen chalk paint (1)

I have also learned to shellac these pieces because if you don’t the red tannins will bleed through.




Vintage Stock furniture French linen chalk paint (3)

French Linen has  become a favorite of mine lately.
It does help that gray is a hot seller right not.
After sanding china cabinet for over an hour to get the surface really smooth I waxed with a mix of dark and clear wax.
Even though I love working with Annie Sloan waxes and paint I am not a purist.  I have been using Johnson’s Past Wax and mixing it with ASCP Dark Wax lately and I kinda like the results. The bonus is that it is not nearly as expensive.

Vintage Stock furniture French linen chalk paint (5)

Fortunately this piece had all the original hardware and the scroll work on the glass doors was in excellent condition. This is a good thing, because honestly,  the scroll work is a PAIN in the rear to paint.

Vintage Stock furniture French linen chalk paint (9)

To add more character to the finish I used a small paint brush to paint dark wax into all the corners and crevices.
Vintage Stock furniture French linen chalk paint (11)Vintage Stock furniture French linen chalk paint (7)Vintage Stock furniture French linen chalk paint (6)

Hope you enjoy it.

Family visits Asheville

My sister in saw Susan and her family came to visit Labor Day weekend so of course we had to go downtown to experience the Asheville vibe. Friday night was spent going to the drum circle and walking around to people watch. The “statue” above was pretty cool, she remained completely still and when someone made a donation she played the snare drum.

My boys had not been to the circle yet, not quite sure what they thought about it.


Giggling Susan…finding that she had to be a little creative when sitting down on the rocks in a skirt.

Susan and her husband Mike. She has just passed the half way point of her chemo therapy for breast cancer and really seems to be doing amazingly well. Her positive approach is impressive. I watch and listen to her and wonder if I could have the same approach.

On so many of the streets of Asheville there will be groups of people playing instruments, singing, juggling etc. The little girl above was belting out the music and was so cute.

Asheville is known as Beer City. We decided to go to Pack Place and have a barley pop. The kids played a game that I cannot remember the name to save my soul. Driving me crazy trying to think of it. Anyhoo.. Susan and the kids had Root Beer Floats and the rest indulged in fare of the local breweries.

Carter and I have a game we play by saying I love you….wonder if he remembers my reading this book to him when he was little?

And the Biltmore. Asheville is not a visit without a visit to Americas largest private owned home.  We are watching Downton Abby and the similarities are kind of cool. Can you imagine growing up in this home? There would be some seriouse hide-n-seek going on.

Chad and Sam have the same smile going on, must be the braces.

Susan sporting the blond today.

The grounds of the Biltmore are so beautiful but it is a lot of walking. we really should have gone early in the day so it would not have been so warm.

We then went over to Antler Hill Village and Winery.  Carter was enjoying Cedric who was George Vanderbilts St. Bernard.

There was music on the lawn at Antler Hill

Really enjoyed having them at our home for the weekend. It was fun hanging out, talking and eating. Lots of eating.

Asheville Drum Circle with Friends

My childhood friend Shawn and his wife Georgine came to visit two weekends ago. They were in Charlotte for the weekend and made the drive to Asheville to see me. (at least that is what I am telling myself)
Shawn and I grew up as next door neighbors from the age of 6 until we graduated from high school.
Well he graduated a year ahead of me. He’s OLDER than me. Much older than I am.
We grew up in a community of about 300 people, if that many. It was the rockin town of Knife River, MN.
We did Luther League together and went on retreats to Camp Vermillion in the Nisswandt’s decrepit VW bug. Confirmation together with Pastor Reppe. Had bonfires on the beach of Lake Superior. Played spin the bottle behind the church. Played kickball at the Rec Center. Played cartoon tag in my cousins back yard. Swam in the river at the Chup pond. Basically ran amok and had a blast doing it.
But we had not seen each other in 26 years.
When you don’t see someone for a long time like that you wonder “How is this going to go?”
It was so wonderful to see him again and to finally meet his wife and hear about his FIVE kids, four of which are girls!
For them to make the effort to come to Asheville meant a lot to me.

While they were here we went to see the Asheville Drum Circle. Every Friday during the warmer months they meet in a park in the downtown. Anyone is welcome to join in.
It’s eclectic.
It’s a little bazaar.
It’s wonderful for people watching.
Very relaxed and a great way to get a feel for the Asheville vibe.

If you make it to Asheville for a visit it is worth doing.

An Afternoon in Chimney Rock

A couple weekend ago Bob, Carter and I went to Chimney Rock on the bikes. It was such a beautiful day so of course this tiny little town was hopping. Bikes everywhere. The road from our house to Chimney rock is a twisty thing so it attracts a lot of bikes. We had a nice  lunch at Medina’s and then went across the street to get ice cream. Unfortunately they did not accept CC and we had no cash. No Cash = No ice cream.

So instead of ice cream we went down to the river and hopped rocks for a little while.

Carter is trying to decide if he can make the jump.

The body language is so similar between these two.

Hand in pockets.

Like father, like son. He also does the same thing with his mouth that his dad does when he is thinking.

Carter didn’t do too bad taking the picture. Can you see the fear in my face worrying that he would drop it in the river.

This is a sign that was on one of the stores. Someone REALLY need to explain to them just how wrong this is. Or maybe that was their plan. 

The Pink House and Annie Sloane Paint

Today was such a beautiful day, the last day of March. What is the saying? in like a lion out like a lamb? Well our March was absolutely incredibly beautiful and I cannot imagine what April will be like.
The order of business today was that I needed to pick up the desk from Goodwill that I bought yesterday. I needed my husbands brawn and his truck to pick it up. While we were there wouldn’t you know it I found another piece of furniture. A very old oak buffet that needs lots of love.  I will go further into that on my next post.
More importantly it is what I did AFTER the Goodwill. I visited The Pink House again. The Pink house carries a brand of paint I have been wanting to try, Annie Sloane Chalk paint. It has rumored to be a painters dream.
I hope it is ’cause it ain’t cheap!
I have been to the Pink House twice now and both times have been a wonderful experience. I really wish I could remember her name (the owners sister) has been incredibly nice and helpful both times I have been there... the shop is very small, packed with stuff and loaded with ideas. If you are not handy with the paint brush or just don’t have the eye they will do it for you. Such a deal!
You can reach their Facebook page here. 

The Pink House Blog is here! 

I would love to hear what you think and if you have been there!
Have you used Annie Sloane Paint?

Fired Up!

Sam and I went to Fired Up! in Asheville this past weekend. He had been bugging me to go for a few weeks and finally we were able to get there. We had gone last month and I thought I had done a blog but apparently I never got it done.    
The last time were were there we painted pottery but this time we wanted to work with glass. You start with a plain piece of glass, I chose a clear square piece. You then glue different colors and shapes to the top of the large square. There are many colors and shapes to select or you can use the glass cutter to make you own.
After you have your design laid out and glued they stick it in the kiln and melt the glass and it all fuses together…and voila! Sun catcher!

The only hard part was coming up with a design, we must have started over a dozen times. But finally, three hours later we were finally done.

We really had a great time. It was nice just the two of us hanging out. Sam is a funny kid, cracks me up. And he is growing up fast. I think he a grown a foot in the last month, voice is changing and shaving.

He is a good kid. I am lucky, I just wish I could keep him young forever.

Asheville Symphony

Well this week I have sat down every day to write a post and ended up scrapping every one of them.
It just was not happening. 
I really needed to get something down for the simple fact I was tired of looking at the face of me screaming. 
Pretty scary I know.
I have actually had a lot to blog about, just no pictures. And I have to have pictures.
One of the things I did do this weekend was go to the Asheville Symphony and listen to them practice on Saturday morning. Carter has been wanting to start taking violin lessons and my brother-in-law, Ted Smith plays the viola with the Asheville Symphony so he invited us to come and  listen to their practice session. It was a very relaxing way to enjoy some time with my youngest son, see my BIL for a few brief minutes and have my morning coffee.
I will not even attempt to give a review or even pretend that I am up on the lingo to describe the performance. 
This is what I do know…..
Jeanette Aufiero can play the flippin piano. Oh. My. Goodness. It was mesmerizing to watch her perform Liszt  Piano Concerto No. 1


I was not able to take my camera into the practice session and it about drove me crazy. There was so much I wanted to shoot. (That explains the pics of the cat and dog at the beginning of the post.)

 Thank you Ted for inviting us to listen. It was a great way to expose Carter to the symphony with a much more relaxed atmosphere than a formal concert. He really wanted to see you play but I told him he could not move around in the seats. I am looking forward to hearing you play again soon. Hopefully we will have our unplanned home reconstruction completed before your next visit to Asheville and you will have a place to stay if you choose.

When we left the auditorium it was snowing its butt off and blowing sideways. And cold. Very cold. We have become spoiled with this mild winter we have had so far but dang, I have been freezing for 6 days. I know, pity party right?

Well tomorrow we go to the Orthopedic and the Allergist…Sam has a busy day.

I am getting ready to post this and Glen Campbell is singing on the Grammy Awards. I found this very moving. I watched a spot about Glen on CBS Sunday Morning and his Alzheimer. Rhinestone Cowboy brings back memories of playing 45’s on my crappy little record player. My step-father would bring home records from the Jukebox. Rhinestone Cowboy and Tie A Yellow Ribbon Around the Old Oak Tree I remember very clearly.

Tupelo Honey Cafe in Asheville, North Carolina

 Bob and I have been trying to take full advantage of all the different restaurants Asheville has to offer. For the last few weekends we have been heading into downtown Asheville and today we went to Tupelo Honey Cafe. My first thought of Tupelo before I had even seen the restaurant was that it was a local chain. That it was going to be “corporate” and decorated like your local fern bar.  Not my favorite type of restaurant by a long shot.  It was cold and gray outside, looking like snow and I wanted a restaurant with some atmosphere.
Tupelo Honey is small, very comfortable, cozy.
A great place to hang out. Have a late breakfast/early lunch with a few Bloody Mary’s and the newspaper. 
We were there for an early dinner and had the boys with us so there wouldn’t be much alcohol consumption going on. Although I did have a pretty damn good Bloody with a Pickled Okra and kickin horseradish! Good stuff.
They started us off with fresh biscuits…..

 This is what I had and it was amazing. So good. My salad had pickled beets and onions, bacon, carrots, spiced pecans, tomatoes, goat cheese, with pecan vinaigrette. I LOVE goats cheese.  This with the tomato soup was perfect.

 Bob had the Appalachian Egg Rolls (yes I spelled it wrong on the photo, too late to correct it). Pulled pork with jalapeno BBQ sauce with braised greens, pickled onions & shredded Carrots.

 Sam and Carter joined us today and they seemed to enjoy it. Sam had the Cheeseburger…cannot remember if it was organic or grass fed. Carter chose the full starch fest…Mac and Cheese, Grilled corn on the cob and home fries.

 They really focus on buying local and being organic without being in your face about it. They also offer Vegan, Gluten Free and Soy Free.

 Don’t know if you can read the card on the table but it says:

Asheville is the epicenter of the Foodtoplan Society, a community of folks who believe fantastic, authentic, fresh, local food equals more than simple nourishment. It’s our way of life.
We are proud to work with 14 different farms and purveyors in Western North Carolina to bring goodness to your table.

This is not a paid review, just us going out for dinner.  We really enjoyed everything about it.
Check out their menu at:

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will come back again!

Hiking the Parkway

The weather here in Asheville has been beautiful and since I have been rather sedentary the last week I convinced the men in my life to go hiking on the Mountain to Sea trail on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

PHEW, long sentence.

We had originally wanted to hike the Rattle Snake Lodge trail but the parkway was closed at the higher elevations, I am guessing because of snow. We changed plans and made the hike from the information center to the craft center, 5.4 mile round trip.

Martha had her first ride in the back of the pick up truck….don’t think she really knew exactly what to think of it but she was happy to be going with us.

Spirits are up,look at the smiles.
When I was growing up we lived close to the tracks. We would walk them all the time to see how far we could go without falling.

Looking so sweet and innocent…

I have so many pictures of this child peering over a bridge.

Bob trying to determine just how much farther we need to go. It always seems to take forever when you are going some where you have never been before.

We made it to the craft center, now to hike back.

Carter thinking he is so cool. This is part of the path that goes under the parkway.

We gave Carter the GPS so he could track just how far we had gone. As you can see his is really excited about this. To try and keep the spirits “up” we bribed them with ice cream when we got home.

Someones clothes left in a make shift camp along the way. We are assuming someone homeless made their home there.

Another make shift camp. At this camp we found a camera aimed at it. Carter found a empty bag of corn chips.

This is the part of the camera.

And the little pen lens…

We thought it was funny to find this in the trail. We came up with all kinds of answers. Watching the trail for vandalism, homeless people, geocaching, someones personal website…We were all wrong. I asked the park ranger when we got to the information center. It was to keep track of bears. Guess that is a good thing to know if you have bears on the trail and people walking it.