The Studio on the Lake in Tennessee

The Studio on the Lake in Tennessee
The Studio on the Lake in Tennessee


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Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season.
May we find peace, comfort, and hope in the New Year.
Be Blessed!
A special thank you to Graphics Fairy for the lovely French postcard!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Milk Paint Over Oil Based Paints
If you were wondering what would happen if you used milk paint over an oil based paint, please check out the latest post at Miss Mustard Seed.
There are many close ups of such an application.  I have not done this yet, but I am getting ready this coming week to put some milk paint over a varnish finish and I will share all the steps with you, my followers and readers.
In the meantime, check this out......
It's not too late to finish a new project for your home or gift giving this year!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

New Merchandise just in at the Blue Heron!

We have just added to our online inventory in our Santa Corner and Home for the Holidays sections, some really interesting and collectible items.  Many are one of a kind from Bethany Lowe Designs.
Let me know if you are interested in any of these so I can set them aside.
Check out the paper rosettes which would be great used for other embellishments or bows on packages.  These added to natural twine with some pine cones would be good looking! 
I want to try using them to make a paper garland to drape over a cupboard.  Half the work is done with the rosettes being made!
We have also added some new Santa collectibles as well.  Check out the German Santa for a one of a kind addition to your Santa Collections.....
Have a great week until we get to visit again!

Monday, October 29, 2012

It's Enough.......

Thank you Oprah for allowing us to recognize the "AHA" moments in our lives.
As I worked frantically over the weekend to pack for a return trip to Tennessee, reclaim the home so the Realtors could show it when I wasn’t in Georgia, feed pets and husband, and work on final items for the Nashville Christmas Show, I truly felt like I was spinning my wheels.  The past year I have been diagnosed with cancer, two surgeries, and radiation treatment plus meds I am on every day.  We also purchased and redid the home in Georgia that we are now looking to sell due to job changes for my husband.  I have the opportunity to be in Tennessee for less than a week, during which time, I need to schedule a trip to Knoxville to have the current car serviced, two hours each way, and then a trip to Cookeville to pick up the new vehicle.  I also have several people we have invited for Thanksgiving in a few weeks.  There may be overnight lodging involved in this event.  Did I mention, we redid the home in Tennessee also this year, and it’s not completely company ready?  At 9 a.m. it occurred to me that perhaps this was all just an exercise in insanity, and I needed to stop the bus or just get off the bus.  When I talked to the lady doing the show and she had such a short window for me to drop off items for the show and it would be a Nashville drop off when I would be in Georgia, I just realized that this is totally impossible and just completely nuts!  The world is not going to stop because I don’t have twenty items at the Nashville Christmas Show this year.  We, thank God, are not going to go hungry if I don't sell one thing.  Hopefully, there will be plenty of other holidays in my future and my loved ones.  Why should I make another weekend, day or hour such a forced march?  I looked around and there was nobody with a gun to my head.  Everything I was feeling was another way for the perfectionist in me, the performer, the creator, to beat me up with.  I feel that I have been on a journey to work minimalism into my life, and where was I failing?  You have to get it straight in your head first.
People don’t really need more things, even my lovely (LOL) items, and if they do, why can’t I sell this on my website, etsy, or in one of the several daily retail locations I have access to?  I was still able to provide forty handmade ornaments for Catherine, along with my studio information for inclusion in her boutique bags. I also worked on an ornament for the Tennessee Governor's Holiday Christmas Tree for our county.   Maybe for this year, this will be enough.  This reality has given me such a feeling of peace, I can’t explain it.  I know I will still finish my items and market them thru different channels.  I know we will still open our home and our hearts on Thanksgiving to our friends and family.  I know that this time next week I will be driving a new car back to Georgia, and you know what?  I know that tomorrow if it is God's plan, I will wake up healthy and full of optimism and hope.  And you know what?  It’s enough..

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Shabby Chic Flower Seller's Hand Painted Table

French Flower Seller's Table
This table is show on it's side.  It is a little higher than a coffee table.  It could have been a bench at one time.  You can't see the brass tips on the legs until the finished project photo, but it seemed like a sturdy piece of furniture, that could do with a little love and creativity.  Did I mention a little work, also?  I took it outside and gave it a really good cleaning and then I taped the inside of it with painters blue tape as I did not think it needed the storage part painted.  I gave it one dry brushed to fairly thick coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Versailles.  Love that color!  Once again my friends at Jennie Leigh Design were my go to for my paint that I used.  You can find them here to order your colors:www.jennieleighdesign.com

After distressing the outside by lightly sanding wear marks into the chalk painted finish, I went to Karen's website at The Graphics Fairy.  Her link is www.thegraphicsfairy.com.  I found exactly what I was looking for in typography.  I used the image below and enlarged it to fit the dimensions of the

I used an acrylic paint in a pewter color.  It is the Lumiere Acrylic Paint by Jacquard. It was neither too dark or too shiny metallic for what I wanted. I hand painted the lettering with two coats of this paint.  I was pleased that this gave the typography the look of an old sign!

That done, I needed to decide how to finish the inside. I had purchased several years ago a roll of contact paper that had a rich mahogany colored suede fabric as the lining, and that was what I decided to use. I purchased it at the Container Store and had kept it back for that exactly right project. This gave a nice finished look to the inside, and you can see for yourself how great this little piece is for storage!

Here is a final closeup of the finished table top.  I was pleased with the end results, and even more pleased that it has already found a new home. 


I am thinking the next time I use this graphic, I will maybe do a sign.  How cute would that look on a garden building outside?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Milk Paint Tutorial

This week finds me busy in Georgia working on our new space in Tallulah Falls at the Depot.  If your travels involve this part of the state this is a wonderful area and North for about 20 miles of shops, restaurants, antique stores and malls and flea markets!  I am including a direct link for a tutorial on the bonding agent you might be interested in with the milk paints.  You can find it at


I will have a new project to share with you next week that I am working on using chalk paint and a Graphic Fairy image.  I am also finishing an ornament for the official Christmas Tree in Nashville representing my home county, Jackson, IN Tennessee!  I will share all of this and more in another post.  Have a great and blessed week!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Paris Bench

First, Let me apologize for the extremely poor "before" shot of the bench.  Still learning how to use all the settings on the camera!  This little bench was left by my daughter in law and son on a past visit.  So...the cost was perfect ......  However, this little guy languished in the garage for several years before I finally had the opportunity to work with it.  As you can see, I basecoated this with Annie Sloan Soft White Chalk Paint.  I then chose a great French graphic from the Graphics Fairy www.graphicsfairy.blogspot.com.  I transferred the design using a graphite paper and then handpainted everything in a very soft blue grey with taupe accents to darken the leaves etc.  Below is a close up of the original motif from the Graphics Fairy.
 I found the pretty striped canvas fabric at our local Walmart fabric department for under $7.00 a yard.  The tricky part was deciding how to upholster the bench as there was an area that needed filling to bring the cushion up to the top of the seat.  We took a large welt cording, covered it and applied it to the wooden edges both front and back.  Then cleaned up inside with a gimp and the cushion is actually removable and finished with a knife edge.  The photo does not show the work, but the back of the bench is upholstered with the stripe fabric so this could be used away from a wall as a free standing little bench.  This is now done and waiting for a new home at Carol's Corner in Gainesboro, Tennessee.  Email me if you need measurements or more information.

Last week was our first give a way and the lucky winners are:

Joy Logan Biggs
Michelle Meyer Studio
Lisa Simpson
Kathy at A Delightsome Life.

Ladies, I will be emailing you soon for an address to send the magazines!  Fix a cup of tea and sit back and enjoy all the great articles for the holidays.  If you did not win, you can still order a magazine on my website at www.theblueheronstudio.com


Monday, October 1, 2012

Shabby Chic's Shabby Lane Magazine Give A Way!

My First Give A Way!
All You Have to Do to Enter to Win One of Five Holiday Issues of Shabby Lane Shops Magazine is to Friend the Blue Heron Studio on its Facebook Page! http://www.facebook.com/#!/blueheronpainting
and also Sign up as Follower for the Shabby Chic Blog and Leave a Comment
This is the 2012 4th quarter holiday issue. This is a lovely newsstand publication and probably the best issue yet!  You can find this in select Barnes & Noble, Bookworld "select" Target stores & every Hancock Fabric Store. This issue hits the newsstands 10-2-12.

      In this 56 page issue you will find wonderful holiday recipes, fun holiday craft DIY projects, great articles, and brand new with this issue "Holiday & Tea Poetry"
Start your Holidays Early with this Great Give A Way valued at $7.45 Each with Shipping Free!
in the meantime.... I will be.....
I 'll be working on more projects to share with you the rest of October....
Adding More Items to my Stores and website,www.theblueheronstudio.com
using some of the cool graphics from the Graphic Fairy's Blogspot!





Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Shabby Chic Vanity & Mirror Tutorial

Shabby Chic Dresser with Mirror

Here you see one of my "treasures" that I purchased in Georgia. This little guy had all the castors, and a large round mirror that I had taken off the vanity before this picture. I don't know if you can see the top, but I had sanded it down to the solid wood top. I did give it one coat of a darker walnut stain by minwax. After that, I finished the top with two coats of polyurethane, steel wooling in between and after coating. It turned out so pretty....

I then decided to give it a white, shabby chic, finish on the lower part and the frame of the mirror. There was a large flat area on the lower edge of the mirror frame. I felt it needed a little feminine touch and I shopped at www.doityourselfChic.com to get the perfect applique. They have very affordable resin based products that add a special, one of a kind trim to your projects. I chose #F2 which was a small floral embellishment. I then glued it to the spot on the frame, taped it down with painters tape and left it overnight to dry. The next morning, I stained the applique with the walnut stain, I had used on the top, as the appliques come in a "raw" wood tone. I took a taper candle and rubbed it over the areas on vanity and frame where I wanted the paint to come off easily when I distress sanded it. I chose Annie Sloan Soft White Chalk Paint and painted two coats on frame and bottom of vanity. I used this on the outside of the drawers, but painted the inside of the drawers with the Paris Grey color. After drawers dried, I papered them with a Jeanne D'Arc paper I have been hoarding. To freshen the really lovely hardware, I removed and gave them a light coating of Gilder's Paste in African Bronze. I then antiqued the entire piece with a gentle sanding to give it the appearance of being loved and used. I did not use the wax on the lower edge or the frame as it seemed that the finish was smooth. Knowing the top had the urethane, I knew that would be protected! What you see below is the final result. It is now in our booth at Antiques on Main in Gallatin, Tennessee where it will go to its new home. Once again, I was able to take an item that needed a little help, freshen it up, and hopefully give it a new path to loveliness. I urge you to find a piece and give it a try. You may surprise yourself, like I do.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chateau Grey Milk Painted Dresser

Hope everyone is not getting tired of the "redos" of the furniture that I have worked on this summer.  Last week, I took on the challenge of a six drawer Drexel dresser marked Parisianne on the back.  It appeared to have gone thru a few lifestyle changes of her own.  I saw evidence of aqua blue, yellow, and ivory, along with a final coat of taupe grey with pale yellow trim.  The paint did not seem to be sticking very well.  I was right in my assumption that someone had attempted to paint latex over an oil base.  That is never a good option, and I was always told in classes to never put thin (water) over fat (oil) paints.  I did need to fill in some areas with wood putty.  When I went to sand them smooth, the outside latex paint started to peel.  I knew that I would have to strip all the loose paint, and make a smooth transition to the paint below.  The photo looks worse than the procedure, but it did add to the time element.  I emailed the Jennie Leigh Studio,www.jennieleighdesign.com, and they assured me that the chalk paint would be an excellent option for the previous finishes on the dresser. 

It helps to have staff that are willing for you to bounce ideas off of their heads!  (Or a cookie off of their noses!!)
The next step was to make sure the dresser was ready for the chalk paint with a good cleaning.  I then applied two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Chateau Grey.  Did I tell you this is my newest "favorite" color?  After allowing this paint to dry, I was able to lightly distress the edges back to some of the other colors that were on her.  Again, I cleaned with a tack cloth.  The next day I applied two coats of Annie Sloan clear wax.  I did not use the darker wax as I did not want the color of the paint to darken. 

 As you can see, I finished the inside of the drawers with a really pretty paper I found at Hobby Lobby in the gift wrap section.  This was printed on a craft paper stock and worked perfectly for the drawer lining. I used Locktite adhesive spray to fix the paper to the drawer bottom after fitting it to size. I think it is always fun to have a "surprise" inside when the drawers are opened! 

And here is the finished dresser, at Carol's Corner in Gainesboro Tennessee, ready to go to a new home!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Economy Priced Chalk Paint!

Yep, You heard me right, affordable chalk paint.  Downside, it comes in a limited palette, black!  I apologize Annie Sloan and CeCe Caldwell, but I was in the middle of a "hurry up" project and reached for what I had on my supply shelf.  I knew I had a can of Valspar Chalkboard paint that I had used for another project, and I remembered the finish to have a soft sheen to it..... so...... brush in hand I attacked my $7.00 auction table.  I thought, "what the heck", it can't be all that bad, and I sure don't have a lot of money tied up in this piece of furniture.  The fact that this was going to be used on our screened in porch justified my decision.  You know how sometimes, things just fall into place....Well, that is exactly what happened here. 

You can see this little table had some really great details, perfect for family meals on our porch.  I sanded the top as this had been in the barn for some time, and it looked like engines had been changed on it!  I gave it two coats of Warm Pecan stain by Minwax, followed by two coats of Minwax Polyurethane with a day in between staining and sealing.  I did sand with a triple 000 steel wool between and after the coats of poly.  Two coats of the chalk board paint applied to the apron and the legs, and she was ready for her new home!  Nicest compliment I had was from a friend who saw it in person, and declared it to be as nice as a piece from the Pottery Barn! Thanks Laura!
Still want to try some of the recipes for some of the chalk paint on the Internet, and I will still use my "expensive" chalk paint, but for black, this is what I will be using.  Give it a try, you will be glad you did!

Partying this week at Make It Pretty Monday and
Wow us Wednesdays,http://www.savvysouthernstyle.blogspot.com/
Show & Share at Southern Lovely, http://www.southernlovely.com/
Petites Passion at Passion Parade Soiree,http://myricandreasen.blogspot.com/
Redoux  Linky Party #71 and Mes Preferes,http://www.redouxinteriors.com/2012/09/link-party-71-and-mes-preferes/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Redoux+%28Redoux%29
The Shabby Nest, http://shabbynest.blogspot.com/2012/09/frugal-friday.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheShabbyNest+%28The+Shabby+Nest%29
Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Friday, http://missmustardseed.com

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Best Biscuits in Batesville!

If your travels include a nice leisurely trip on Georgia Route 197 just about halfway between Clarkesville and Lake Burton, you will find yourself at a crossroads that features the most hospitable couple of ladies at Batesville General Store. They claim to serve the "Best Biscuits" around and that is certainly true of their biscuits and anything else on the menu in the quaint country store. Barbara (left) is assisted by Gretchen (right) and you can enjoy a nice shopping experience while your food is being prepared. Gretchen is quite an artist and you can select from many of her unusual offerings including bench chairs and vintage inspired furniture. Barbara can be found preparing delicious desserts and ice creams which change frequently, so be sure to ask for the current best sellers! The trip will take you by many pottery and craft galleries and is part of the new Southern Highlands Trail initiative. You can find out more about the General Store at their Face Book page, http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Batesville-General-Store-Restaurant/210384532320676

Humans are not the only ones who enjoy these legendary biscuits. Just ask "LuLu" and "Buddy" what they think you should order. They each have their favorite! My big purchase of the weekend was a set of double matching vintage French doors, that I will be using for an upcoming "Shabby Chic Weekend" project. Love the white, chippy finish! So.....bring a big appetite, and a way to carry home some of the mountain treasures with you from Batesville General Store and Restaurant.
Glimpses of the Soque River as you travel along this route will also lower your heart rate and hearken back to a time past. Stop at Mark of the Potter Pottery Gallery and enjoy the lovely natural falls of the river and be sure to feed the gigantic trout with fish food you can purchase for just that. http://www.markofthepotter.com/ They have lovely artisan made pottery from many populart artists. Check out their kiln opening schedule on their website. One thing is for sure, you will plenty to do and lots to see along this stretch of route 197.

I am partying at the "Make It Pretty, Monday" the Dedicated House

Monday, August 20, 2012

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and a Vintage Dough Box

Chalk Painted Dough Box

I just wanted to share with you one of the first painted projects I have done with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  This paint is amazing.  It went on smoothly and I was able to distress this piece and give it a very old, well used, well loved appearance.  I received my chalk paint from Jennie Leigh Design Studio in Greenville, South Carolina. You can find her here at www.jennieleighdesign.com.  She will ship any amount of products for a flat rate shipping fee.  The hardest decision will be to choose your colors.  For this project I used the Paris Grey over a medium dark stained piece.  I use a wax taper candle to run over the edges and areas that might be worn from use over time.  This quick step allowed me to distress to just the amount of "old wood" I wanted to show without going past into a lighter color of grain.  The inside color is a Martha Stewart color I had on hand of Enamelware.  I went to our favorite graphic site, graphicsfairy.blogspot.com and selected one of the popular French designs.  I then used the Picassa editing program to "flip" the design.  I chose to use the transfer technique using a Mod Podge sealed card stock and applied the design to the front of the piece. You can also find some wonderful transfer techniques at the Graphic Fairy website as well.  After completing the transfer, I gave the entire piece a coat of Annie Sloan Clear Wax, and voila, it was on it way to Carol's Corner in Gainesboro, Tennessee.  This little piece sold quickly and will make its way to a new home outside of Chattanooga.  This is a wonderful feeling, to know a piece that was once loved will be again!  Thanks for taking the time to listen to me go on about some great products and wonderful inspiring websites.  I am also partying this week at Feathered Friday at http://frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.com/ ,also at Redoux at http://www.redouxinteriors.com/ and Common Ground and the Frugal Friday at the Shabby Nest http://shabbynest.blogspot.com/ and of course at Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Friday,

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Shabby over Chic??

What to do when the "shabby" takes over the "chic?"  Why do over, of course!  At least that is what we have been up to on the mountain.  What started as a simple ceiling repainting has morphed into a much larger project.  Happy to say, that in week twenty, we are in the "move in" stage and the entire process is looking like something that will be finished.  With many large windows, we have changed colors to reflect the outside and the hues found in nature.  We have used Benjamin Moore colors like natural elements, french canvas, and bleecker beige to stage a neutral background.  Spa blue and soft greens and greys are used in the kitchen and the family room areas.  These same colors are being repeated in the master bedroom and bath.  Formal areas, such as the living room and dining room are renewed with accents of black and burgundy, and teal playing off the neutral palette.  And of course, my beloved blue and white china collections are used throughout.  This also means that we will putting a number of our treasures on our website, http://www.theblueheronstudio.com/.  I will also have many small furniture pieces for sale at our retail outlets at Carol's Corner in Gainesboro, Tennessee and Antiques on Main in Gallatin, Tennessee.  I will try to keep up with postings on the items for sale.  I am also considering a dealership for Miss Mustard Seed's new line of milk paint.  This fantastic paint is due to come out on the market later this summer.  There are wonderful colors such as Typewriter, Flow Blue, and French Enamel, just to whet your appetite.  These are fantastic project paints and milk paint has been a beloved medium for hundreds of years.  More on that with tutorials to come.  For the moment, I need to get back to working on this situation, and take advantage that it is somewhat cooler inside than out, and finish this "shabby chic" project!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Getting ready for the Southern Women's Show in April in Nashville, Tennessee.   Our products will be featured at the Shabby Lane Shops Booth.  Catherine Monceaux, owner of the online mall, will be on hand to distribute information about all the shops on the site.  If you have not visited, please go to http://shabbylaneshops.com/
You will find great ideas for all your home, garden or gift giving needs!  Please visit my website on the front page and leave a comment at my site if you can!  The pictures I have posted above are examples of what we will have offered for sale at the booth in Nasville.  The heart box is an example of French Beading and is completely handmade with copper accents.  The Eiffel Tower bottle opener is part of a new line of hostess, shower and baby gifts that I am pleased to offer.  Personalization is available for these items to make a special event even more so!
I am also offering quanitity discounts for weddings and larger events.  I will be posting many new items to the website in the next few weeks, so come back often, and if you are in the Gainesboro, Tennessee area, please stop in and visit our room at Carol's Corner off the historic square in Gainesboro.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Oh La La! Love is in the Air!

I can't believe that Valentine's Day is next week.  It just does not seem possible but 2012 is already a good deal underway.  We have been so lucky to have been spared a harsh winter here in the Southern part of the country, but it does give us a case of Spring Fever!  I always have that anyway after the holidays are over and the trimmings are packed away, but with the weather as nice as it has been, I have been itching to get in the gardens, or Spring clean the home.  Yes,  I still do that!  There have been some wonderful ideas on the web for small gifts as tokens for friend and family.  http://youcouldmakethat.blogspot.com/ for a very pretty lavender sachet pillow.  I have posted some girly gifts under my website in the French product section and have been busy hand stamping some Paris inspired gift tags that can serve as small gifts or tie on tags for a larger present.  Foodies and crafters alike can really get inspired with the following ebook available for downloading at http://myblessedlife.net/  Whatever or however you decide to celebrate for Valentine's Day, enjoy the process!