Thursday, January 17, 2013

Fresh and Airy Art Studio

 I just recently got around to giving my art room a fresh coat of paint and a carpet removal. For 2 years, I tolerated the electric lime and raspberry splashed on the walls of this room, for lack of energy and lack of time. I just couldn't bare to paint another room or rip more strips of carpet. 


But now its done and I can paint and create without getting a headache!  


First up was removing the beige carpet, already spotted with multiple uh-ohs from paint splatters and spills. After tossing it all out, I gave the subfloor a sweeping, caulked and wood-filled the gaps, and then sanded it all lightly to make smooth. I used SW Porch and Floor Paint in Glidden's Olivewood (2 coats), coated with Pro Finisher Water Based Polyurethane (2 coats) then installed quarter round to the base board. Phew!! The floor process was a little tiresome, but not difficult to complete. 

Finally, the walls were painted in SW Fragile Beauty.

It's fresh and clean. An airy, blank slate for injecting color into works of art. 


I still use my Meemaw's butcher block that I painted white and stocked with art supplies. 
(On the shelf; my abstract straw art from first grade :)

On one open wall, I hung my open back frames that had been dispersed among closets and shoved in corners. Now they're visible, accessible, and look pretty cool while waiting for the canvas to fill them.

On the opposite wall I hung random pieces of art, paintings that don't have a place in our house, and some paintings just waiting to be painted over.

I love the color and sheen of the floors and they wipe up easily. 
I keep the bulk of the art supplies and crafty things tucked away in the closet to maintain a clean and open space.

I keep it quiet in here. 
Billie Holiday sings. I paint. 
Winning combination.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Arkansas Will Never Yield, No 2

 My friend Fredisha has been saying for years that when she finished dental school and had her own place, she wanted a big razorback painting like one I auctioned off for the boys club a few years ago. She kept her word and now has this 24x30 painting to make a statement in her own dentist's townhouse.

It was nice to paint during the holidays with Christmas music playing in my newly redecorated art room that I can share soon.

Keep in Touch!

The Grays

Friday, January 4, 2013

Industrial, Aged Coffee Table ReDo

 I first diy'd this flea market coffee table while living in our college rental house. It was given a nice little facelift with a simple stain and paint treatment and fit well with our standard contemporary style at the time.


But in our current living room, it was too bland and needed a little more attention to make a statement. I loved the look of the industrial cart coffee tables, with hinges, bolts, and various other hardware pieces. I really wanted to find an old cart or door to use, but decided to give that look to the table we already had. I tried to find large casters that could be attached to the underside after cutting the legs off, but couldn't find any I liked, so I put that on the back burner.

I sanded her down.


 Rounded the edges with extra sanding (for a worn effect and future little ones)

 Then abused it with a hammer and nails for an aged look. I beat it in spots and drug the claw in streaks until I had what I wanted.

 I painted  a coat of light gray paint over the surface. Then added a little white paint and watered it down, and quickly gave it a streaky coat over that. Since it was lightly painted and watered down, it dried quick and I repeated that step, adding more white to lighten it again, and more water to thin it out. 

As a last touch up coat, I added streaks of gray and light gray until I liked it. I used a board as a straight edge and drug a nail along the table to scrape the gray paint off. I spaced it every 3 inches or so to create a faux plank top.

I thickened the line at the ends with a little brownish/black paint to round it off. And for the last step, I applied Minwax Paste Finishing Wax to get a protected, hard, smooth finish.

I picked up two hinges at the hardware store and spray painted them in layers of dark brown, metallic, and hammered spray paints and attached them with mismatched screws. Then screwed in some copper bolts at the ends of the planks. The legs stayed black, at least until I find some casters that I like to replace them with.

Here's the After:

I love how the gray-washing turned out, giving it dimension and aged character.

Distressing close-up:


It reminds me of a castle door.

And it fits in so much better now. There's a level of comfort to having distressed furniture in your home. The more use, abuse, and "uh-oh"s, the better!

Thanks for stopping by!
The Grays

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Sean's Sumo Career

 A local church held an event designed to draw youth in the community into the youth group. Several faculty members from the school, including Sean, were asked to Sumo wrestle against each other. Word spread of who all would be taking part, and the turnout was huge. Hundreds of kids filled that gym to see their favorite teachers, coaches, and administrators act a fool.

 Of the 9 fights featured on the lineup, Sean's was next to last. He would be up against Coach Clay, the head basketball coach he works with. 



I can't tell you how much I laughed before he ever even made a move. It was hilarious in person!

The slippery socks were a must. All for entertainment value. 

Sean ran and jumped to bounce off of him. 

 Coach Clay threw him... the ground into the crowd of kids.


 In the end, Sean won by count of 3-1, although I'm not sure it matters.
But I am sure he would say it does.
Either way, it was so much fun and all the participants were such great sports for putting on the show for the kids.

Til Next Time!
~The Grays

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013. Let's do this.

I'm a planner. 
So is he. 
We like to research, analyze, and make the best possible plan for any situation. The right move, the right decision, the right timing.
It's a good characteristic, most of the time. But this New Year's Eve, I was reminded that only so much can be controlled. Some things; some nights, have to just happen as they may.
I'm working on trusting that there is a reason that every moment unfolds the way it does. Even if I don't play all my cards just right. 

Life is what happens to you
While you're busy making other plans
-John Lennon

I bought my sparkly New Year's Eve shorts months ago. I checked with all our friends and scoped out plans  a month in advance. We were ready.

Plan a fell through.
Plan b fell through.
Nothing went as planned. 

The day before, Sean's practice was scheduled for 8 am New Year's Day, so too long of a night was out of the question.
We were so bummed. And felt lame.
We watched a lifetime movie at home in the dark, and when it ended, started discussing plan e...Ordering a pizza and staying home. Sean drifted off to sleep. A new low.

Then Meghan called and said their plans fell through too. The rejects decided to join forces and turn the night around. They called Blue Fin to see if there were any (very) last minute open reservations and we got a spot for 4 a couple hours later. 
Me: "But what's the plan after dinner?"
Meghan: "We're not making any more plans. Plans haven't been working. Let's just go."

Ok, this is new to me.
 Let's do this.

{How delicious is that picture!?}

We went to dinner in the pouring rain, but it slacked off just in time for us to walk onto Main St. 

We donned party hats and had sushi and drinks.


We walked to Flying Saucer and met up with Adam and Courtney, but we couldn't tolerate it long.
This makes us sound so, so old, but the band's volume was too unbearably loud. Like a knife stabbing in my ears with every high pitched blare of the horns. It's not good when the music sounds better outside, a room away, or in the bathroom stall. Old, we may be, but none of us could stand it longer than an hour. 

We made the move to Mulligans and Erin joined us for the night. 



We danced to the band playing an enjoyably volume.

 Taylor drummed.

And we rang in 2013 with champagne and kisses. 


Everyone kept saying how glad they were that we all ended up coming out. We had so much fun.


 More than I could have "planned" for. 

“And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been”
Rainer Maria Rilke

Here's to 2013. May it be;
 Unplanned. Unafraid. Unforgettable!

Happy New Year!
The Grays