Posts Tagged ‘VA’


make me pretty – milk paint

August 14, 2014

Since I taught a class all about milk and chalk paint this past weekend at the Visual Arts Center this past weekend I thought I should do a post about milk paint. If you have never used it you might want to give it a try. It has some similarities to chalk paint (no sanding or priming – wax finish) but it is sort of opposite in it’s consistency. It’s watery to milk paints creamy. And it doesn’t really cover completely (unless you add a special solution to your first coat.)

I used Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Boxwood on this table and stained the top. I finished with a coat of Annie Sloan clear wax.








Milk paint usually comes in a powder that you mix yourself with equal part water. It only lasts for about a week once it is mixed – make sure you store it in the fridge.

If you would like to make this table your own go to Orange!


the wonderful world of chalk and milk paint

August 7, 2014

If you get into painting furniture you will eventually try chalk paint and you will most likely fall in love. Chalk paint has so many benefits (no sanding, no priming) but probably the best part is in the act of painting. Chalk paint goes on so smooth and covers so well. I could go on and on, and I will in my next class at the Visual Art Center.













Join me Saturday and Sunday, August 16 – August 17 (Sat: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Sun: 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM) and bring a piece of furniture. We will go over everything you need to know about re-doing furniture, from where to find it, to what to look for in a piece, types of paint, an upholstery tutorial and finishing steps. We will also paint and finish each piece that you bring in.

Visit Vis Arts to sign up.



darling octopus and r•home magazine – pug pillows

June 28, 2013

This last R•Home  article was maybe my favorite one so far. Ollie, my pug, got his 15 minute of fame! And I love how his pillow likeness turned out. The pillow are freakishly realistic and surprised me more than once as I walked by and caught the pug pillow in the corner of my eye.




I hope that some of you will make pillow likenesses of your pet and I would love to see pictures of them!

I also wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about some of my favorite pug things.

1. Pug Rescue. We got Ollie from pug rescue and it was a match made in heaven. Everyone we worked with at Pug Rescue was so nice and they really try to match up the right dog with the right family.

2. Richmond Pug MeetUp. Once a month the pugs of RVA descend on Barker Field for a playdate. If you have never witnessed thirty or so pugs frolicking together I can’t recommend it enough. It is impossible to be in a bad mood at a pug meet up!

3. Not Now, Ollie. I did not know about this book until a reader wrote in but not only is there another Ollie the pug but there is a kids book about him. I can’t wait to read it!


My Ollie the pug pillows will be for sale at Orange in Carytown. Go get an Ollie of your own!


Ollie thinks all this attention is exhausting.


orange in carytown – super cute furniture and housewares by local artists

June 6, 2013

There is a new store in Carytown that you should check out if you are in RVA. It is super cute. The kind of store I love to shop in so I knew it would be a great place to sell my furniture and switch plate covers. It’s Orange and its right next door to World of Mirth.




That’s my ottoman in the window!











make me pretty – geometric chair

March 1, 2013

I taught my “paint finishes and techniques for furniture” class again last weekend at the Visual Arts Center. It is such a fun class to teach. We went over seven different paint techniques for furniture and practiced them on wooden test tiles. I also brought in a chair and we re-did it from start to finish, as a class.

The students had three fabric choices and the class voted on which to use. Then we picked the paint color and the glaze. Everyone took turns sanding and painting and using the electric staple gun to reupholster the seat. I love watching people use power tools for the first time!

I am always surprised how well these chairs turn out, with 8 people deciding the fate of the furniture.

I am teaching the class again in July, if anyone is interested. Go to and search under “three dimensions”.

The chair before:


And after:






an exciting new furniture consignment store

September 28, 2012

I have an exciting new shopping spot for you: Social Consignment. It’s located at 11 W. Broad street, right next door to the Books, Bikes and Beyond thrift store. And bonus, Tarrant’s is a couple of doors down, so when you are done shopping you can pick up a fish taco or a slice of pizza from their take out window! This is starting to sound like a fun Saturday afternoon to me!

Anyway, Social Consignment is full of all kinds of furniture finds. There are pieces that are in great shape and ready to go, but you can also find lots of good deals on fixer-upers too! Another thing that caught my eye was their book and dvd section. They had a bunch of cook books I had to resist taking home and a really great kids book section.



Like  a traditional consignment store, you can take in furniture to consign to make some money. But if there are pieces you wish to donate you can take them to Social Consignment and when your furniture sells 80% of the profits will be donated to the charity of your choice. This is a pretty awesome alternative to just dropping your stuff off at the thrift store. Now you can direct the money to the charities that you believe in.


You will find a Darling Octopus section at Social Consignments. I hope to keep a good selection of my furniture there and I will be marking stuff down regularly, so check back often!

With it’s prime location on Broad Street, right in the heart of the arts district, you can expect Social Consignments to jump into the First Friday’s hoopla with some fun events!


make me pretty – the chair my class made

September 19, 2012

Last weekend I taught my paint techniques workshop at the Visual Arts Center. Not only do we go over seven different paint techniques for furniture but we also re-do one piece of furniture as a class. I bring in a chair, fabric choices, and we choose a paint color, wether or not to distress, and what type of glaze or antiquing to do. This is a lot of decisions to make by group vote and there were ten people in the class this time. There is so much potential for this experiment to go terribly wrong but somehow it always works out.

So here is the chair I brought in for my class, it was $4 at a yard sale in my neighborhood.

And the chair after. I think my class did an excellent job. I hope they had a good time – I know I did!