March 13, 2013

French Linen Gilded Mirror

Painting is one of my favorite ways to relax and unwind...which means I am often looking for the next piece to re-do!  I bought this wooden frame in Oxford before I moved to DC and had a mirror cut and added to the back.  I painted it a creamy white to match some other furniture in my bedroom.  Well, a lot has changed since 2008.

It was finally the mirror's turn for a makeover.


I used French Linen with Old Ochre as an alternating color--like my dresser.  I taped the sections off using Frog Tape and got to work.

This was the perfect quick project.  I did two coats of paint and one layer of dark wax.


Then...my favorite part: gilding!  I rubbed the decorative edge down with some gold gilding wax for a subtle but fun finish.


I'm very happy with the overall look!  Now that I have rearranged my room I was able to take some items off my desk and free up some space.


I just can't seem to get away from French Linen!  It's my favorite.

March 11, 2013

Mary Ellis and Sean are engaged!

On Friday night, Sean asked Mary Ellis to marry him--she said yes!

He had planned for both families to fly in to DC and all of our friends to show up after the proposal for a party.  It was a special and memorable evening for everyone!

The future Mrs. Finnerty and me!


We all signed a photo of the happy couple wishing them well!


Sean told us the proposal story--including how he told Mary Ellis he was going to watch football with her brother's friends on New Year's Day, but actually went to buy a ring!


The view from the top of the Willard office building was perfect!


Congratulations, Mary Ellis and Sean!  I am so excited for you both!

March 08, 2013

In the Hopper....

Just when I think I have all my furniture set...life throws me a curve ball and suddenly--I have two new pieces!

Kern and I recently drove to Richmond to pick up two dressers from Josh and Lee that belonged to my Granny.  I remember seeing them in her home (the house my Dad grew up in) as a child and I feel honored to have them in my home now.

So where can I put these pieces in my already full apartment?  Cue a day and a night of fast and fun rearranging and reorganizing--two of my favorite past times.

The taller chest found a home in my bedroom--I moved my French Linen dresser to the side of my bed.

I'm on the look out for a small lamp to add some light to that side of the room.


My lovely dry bar has found a new owner, and in her place is now the other dresser.


So the million dollar question: will I paint these?

I believe the answer is yes.  It's hard to tell from the photos, but the tops of both have several bad watermarks and rings.  The taller dresser is missing hardware and has several loose handles.  With my father's blessing, I am definitely leaning towards painting.  Without question, they need refinishing.

They are good quality--dove tailed wood drawers and the frames are still sturdy.  And of course, the sentimental value makes them true treasures.

Some quick thoughts:
-I'm considering trying out Miss Mustard Seed's milk paint
-I usually leave the original hardware on pieces I finish, but since some of the handles are already broken, I'm going to keep an eye out for some fresh hardware.
-I definitely want to paint the insides a fun color

Are there any Annie Sloan Chalk Paint or Miss Mustard Seed colors you've been curious to see on a piece of furniture?

March 07, 2013

Perfection in Chocolate

For Valentine's Day (which was last month, I know...) I wanted to make a special dessert.

It had to be chocolate.

After searching around online, I came across a recipe for Pots de Creme (pronounced poh-du-krem) - a French pudding that looked so irresistible I immediately began making a list of ingredients, but of course tweaked it to fit my preferences.


Here's what I used:

Pudding
1 cup heavy cream
6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg (room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Whipped Cream
Whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a food processor (or Vita Mix) combine the chocolate and sugar and pulse until the chocolate is finely ground.  Then add the egg, vanilla and salt.

In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil.  With the food processor on low, slowly pour the boiling cream in and mix until everything is combined and silky smooth.  I poured the chocolate into mason jars and refrigerated them overnight. 

I did the whipped cream right before so it was fresh--it was the perfect addition.

Then you have it--pudding!  But definitely more sumptuous and rich than those little cups we used to take in our lunch boxes as kids...

Kern said (this is a bold statement) that it was the best dessert I have ever made.  If he reads this, I guess he will realize how easy it was too!

March 06, 2013

Wishing for Spring

It may be March, but it's still just as cold as it was in January.

No matter, I'm thinking spring!

St. Paddy's day inspired door basket:


I bought this lovely elevated plate with a wire cloche and I've had so much fun filling it with different items.


Mostly green themed for this month!


Of course, I do think that this plate would be a perfect cookie or brownie holder as well...I'll have to work on that.

Even if it's cold outside, I enjoy transitioning the inside to reflect how I feel.

Happy (almost) spring!

March 05, 2013

Southern Charm in Charleston

With a three day weekend in February to honor President's Day, a group of us decided to head south for a relaxing trip Charleston, South Carolina.

Our time was perfectly divided between sightseeing and lounging and I loved being able to see some places outside the city.  We were also treated to several special homemade meals, had to time to sit in front of the roaring fire and enjoyed watching the season finale of Downton Abbey together--all important bonding opportunities!

One of our first stops was Drayton Hall, a true southern home that has been beautifully preserved.  It doesn't have electricity or running water--very authentic!




The architecture is one of the best examples of Georgian-Palladian architecture in the United States.

This color paint reminded me of chalk paint!



Walking through the house was like being transported back to an earlier time--no artificial lights, no running water--I kept imagining what it would be like to live there.


The grounds were beautiful too!


The whole gang: Kern, Jordan, me, Charles, Carolyn and Matthew


Another special aspect of the weekend was that we got to live our own plantation all weekend: Wampee.

The view from the front door of our house...


Matthew still does a lot of client work in Charleston and was able to arrange for us to use this lovely home all weekend.


The live oaks were perfect climbing obstacle courses.



R-e-l-a-x-i-n-g


We also celebrated Kern's birthday over the weekend!



With a coconut cake, of course!





We balanced our relaxing country time with some walking around the city, taking in the sites, sampling the fare.


Not my typical afternoon snack...