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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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Paint it and They Will Come!

Well, we just got back from our first Fall Show which was thru the amazing Shabby Lane Shops webmall at Cool Springs Galleria.   This show was the creation of a lovely young woman, Catherine Monceaux.  You can check out all the store fronts on line at Shabby Lane Shops.  I love the idea of buying gifts and must haves from other entrepreneurs.  She has other event planned for the rest of the year.  So be sure to check out the mall and sign up to be a vendor if you are looking for events.

Some of my neighbors at the show were Shandra  Holder with her amazing Miche Bags.  Had to get one, and I can't wait until it comes!She was a delight to be next to.  You can find all her information about the bags and her home parties at Miche Bags

Speaking of convertible items, the VeraStyle Jewelry booth was behind mine.  There is no limit to how you can style their jewelry, and it each becomes a statement piece that is both individual and versatile.  Maria and Shelly offer their products at shows and home parties.  You can find them online at Mialisia VersaStyle Jewelry.  Was so pleased that my DH surprised me with a chain that I can wear as a necklace, bracelet or eye glass holder. 

We had spent the last six weeks putting together quite a few pieces of our painted furniture to show the effects you can get with our Paint Couture Line of Project Paints that we offer online at The Blue Heron Studio and at select locations throughout Middle Tennessee.  We are also offering a class in Paint Couture with sample boards and sample products for the students, October 18th in Cookeville, Tennessee at the Cumberland Art Society.  Right now if you bring a friend, you can share the cost of the workshop at $59.00 and still both make all the sample boards and receive the sample paints.  If you are interested in attending, please email me at blueheron05@twlakes.net.  I will be happy to add you to the class roster.  We are going to have a lot of fun that day learning some new techniques to take your furniture painting to a new level. 

I also want to share a piece that sold at the show as well.  It was a china cabinet made by Burns around the 1950's.  We painted the outside in Paint Couture! Madagascar Mocha, and the inside in Italian Ivory.  I then stencilled French lettering on the inside back of the cabinet in Baltic Black.  A finish of Finish Couture! in Satin was applied with two coats.  I thought it turned out very classic, and I am anxious to do this again, perhaps on a bookcase?

 Overall, the show was great and the Brentwood area in Tennessee is a lovely place.  I only wish we could have had a little time exploring the area such as the plantation, Traveler's Rest and other historic sites.
I hope we get invited to return to the show, and now that I know how much there is to do and see, an extra day would certainly be in order. 

Until next time!  Keep painting and enjoy and cherish your homes and families!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Oh My Goodness!

It has been too long since I have shared anything thru this blog.  After promising weekly postings of projects or other creative endeavors, all I can say, is that I am sorry.  Early this summer, I had surgery that involved a great deal of recuperation and right after that I took a tumble down a flight of stairs that did not help the progress.  So.....I would much rather have been working on things or ideas to share, but had to slow down a little to heal.  All is well now, and I have been very busy creating new projects and repurposing items using the new Paint Couture Line we now carry as well as Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint.



Years of dirt was cleaned from the piece using TSP from the hardware and paint store.  I followed directions for the use and after it was done, I rinsed the piece with clear water and allowed it to dry.  I was very lucky that the original hardware was still in good condition.  I painted the hardware and gave it a dry brushed effect that I though went well with the piece.  

Closeup of Applied Molding

I did use some of the resin moldings from Do It Yourself Shabby Chic.  I really like their moldings and they apply easily with wood glue.  They can be painted or stained, depending on what you need to do.  Check out their website at http://doityourselfchic.com/.  They have lots of great designs.  I did also choose a small rose spray that I applied to the front of each drawer. 

I painted the entire piece with Paint Couture in Renewal.  It took two coats for this particular project.  I did follow directions and let 24 hours pass between coats, and another 24 after the last coat before applying Glaze Couture in Champagne.  This color was very subtle, yet the overall effect was to give a "Duck Egg Blue" shading to the piece.  Inside the drawers I used a Martha Stewart Latex Color called Bone Folder.  

The piece was quickly done, and yet had a good look when finished.  It has already found a new home!
I am busy getting ready for a show mid September in Franklin, Tennessee at Cool Springs Galleria.  I will have lots of new projects to share with you.  On a final note, I want to share our new color, created especially for our studio, The Blue Heron, by Paint Couture. 

We carry it in both quart and sample sizes!  Quarts run $29.50 and the samples are $12.00.  You can purchase this and all the paint couture colors on our website at http://www.theblueheronstudio.com

In the meantime, keep painting and making beautiful things happen in your world!

Monday, July 8, 2013



Sometimes, you just know what the name of a piece is going to be before you start.

I like to say my pieces I work on, "talk" to me.  I am sure you decorative painters know what I mean.  This was definitely one of those chats.  This desk was in need of a redo for sure.  I wish I had a "before" photo to share with you.  It was evident this was a sturdy maple piece from the 20's or 30's.  I wanted to honor the wood tone and redid the top with a natural finish.  I did put a walnut stain into the wood and finished it with several coats of polyurethane.  I figured this would give a durable finish in order to protect it from use as a desk.  I then proceeded to make my own "chalk" or clay based, paint.  This is not for the faint of heart, I can assure you!  I measured carefully into a large mason jar two tablespoons of non sanded grout.  I mixed with water to a creamy consistency, and then added my cup of paint.  I had a flat finish latex that was a Martha Stewart color from her old line at Home Depot.  The color was Pumpkinseed.  I thought it would be perfect as an accent to the hardware I found at Anthropologie.  As this project required several applications of my homemade "chalk" paint, I kept careful notes of how much paint vs. grout vs. water.  I did have to remix once.  After a day or two, my homemade "chalk" paint resembled jelly more than paint.  There are other recipes, this was the one I started with, and I will try more and maybe even this one again.  However, now that we are carrying the Paint Couture Line of project paints, that is giving me all the tools I need to do the finishes I want to do.  You can find out more about that line of paint at www.theblueheronstudio.com.  if you like.  

I did finish the entire project with two coats of Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Wax which goes on like butter.  We also carry that line at The Blue Heron Studio's website.  I used clear as I wanted the foliage green of the color to stay true.  For a pop of color, I finished the inside of the drawers with a bright color that I had mixed off the color of the knobs. 

  As I am doing some new items with metallic finishes and glazes, these mercury glass knobs will probably show up on a redo soon!  The knobs at Anthropologie can be pricey, so I try to wait till I have a coupon or some free shipping, etc. offer.  They are beautiful and inspire a lot of dreaming!
I am sorry that I have not posted in a while, but I have been busy working on many new items to share with you, and hopefully will be a better blogger!  

Remember, go out and have some fun, and "If it stands still, Paint It!"

Monday, June 3, 2013

Paint Couture, Glaze Couture, and Finish Couture at The Blue Heron Studio!

We are so excited to now be distributing this new line of project paint! 

It features some of the most lovely colors from great fashion design and popular home decor such as Chanel, Dior, and The Great Gatsby.  If you have enjoyed using any of the chalk paints such as Annie Sloan or CeCe Caldwell in the past, then you are going to LOVE this new paint.  Not only is it more affordable at $29.50 per quart, but you are able to change the looks with the extensive lines of glazes and finishes to achieve exactly that perfect look.  You can also use the Miss Mustard Seed finishes over this paint, and you can use the finishes over the Miss Mustard Seed Paint for a very durable finish.  If you are wanting the total dead flat look of chalk paint, then you can still get that with the flat finish, but you will get something more durable which is really desirable for tables, and pieces of furniture that can get some wear on them!

Colors are yummy, and we should have all posted by mid June.  If we are are out of stock on a color, just let us know what you are looking for.  We can special order, and have that to you within 10 business days to two weeks.  We continue to post new colors and combinations as well as videos and tutorials to both out pinterest boards, Miss Mustard Seed and Paint Couture and facebook page at

For information and to order this exciting new paint, as well as all of the Miss Mustard Seed products, please visit.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Why I have been so quiet for a while!

Just wanted to let all my wonderful readers know that I have not completely fallen off the wagon as to my blogging once a week.....but....I have not been very good at doing that for a while.   We recently sold our peaceful cottage on the Soque River in Georgia, and have moved back to our property in Tennessee.  While trying to get our arms around a slew of possessions that traveled back with us due to an early closing on the home....we rented one of the guest homes on our property long term.   So, we have been culling throught at least two of everything, trying to find a home for what we need or the best for replacement of current items, etc.....   This means that we now have extra furniture, decor, and general items that we have either donated or marked for sale at one of our retail locations in Gallatin or Gainesboro Tennessee.  We also did the Shabby Lane Shops Business Conference in Nashville recently.  Here is a photo of the booth we set up to promote the Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint.
We featured the garden benches we have been making in Tricycle Red, Mustard Seed Yellow, and French Enamel.  We also have sample packs of the milk paint available for $4.95 each.  This is enough to try a color on a small project. 
So, now that we have moved thru too much stuff, and some gardening projects, I hope to have more regular posts and how to's for everyone to enjoy.  In the meantime, enjoy the link to the video of some of our past favorites.


Friday, March 1, 2013

Great Little Cabinet

Not too sure what you would exactly call this cabinet ,(wash stand??) and I do wish I had taken a "before" picture, but I promise to do better in the future.

I tested a tip our house painter shared with me.
This cabinet had marks on it from an ink stamp.  Black marked "Paid" was very visible and there were multiple water marks. The top was a mess but the rest of the wood looked so nice, I decided not to paint which I normally do.  So......I used the denatured alcohol.  I did test it on a spot that was unnoticeable.  Our painter said if it did not soften the finish, it could be wiped on, and it could take care of many blemishes.  After the test on the underside of the top, I closed my eyes, and went with it!  It looked milky but the ink did start to clean up.  I kept on, all the while looking for it to soften the finish.  As it did not, I kept going.  I then took some dark Old English furniture restorer and put it on fairly heavy.  I wiped it off with a soft cloth and then reapplied it with a triple 0 steel wool pad.  I repeated this at least two more times.  When it dried for over two days and did not change back to the damaged areas, I polished it with a Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Wax and Polish and buffed it.  So pleased to say it did come out very nice.  It also has the original pulls which really add a lot of charm to the piece.  It is now ready to go to a new home from our booth 72 at Antiques on Main in Gallatin, Tennessee, close to Nashville.

We had such a nice day, and it felt good to get a lot accomplished.  I will have more to share with all of you later.  We were able to clean the Davis Cabinet Furniture Set and now have it and the small hutch for sale at the mall as well, along with other interesting small items.  If you are in the area, please stop in and enjoy a step back in time!
Now we are waiting for a rain snow mix for our general area in the Upper Cumberland.  Probably Saturday will be a good day to stay in and clean up the work area!!
Have a great weekend and stay warm:)



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Heaven to my Eyes!

First, let me apologize to those of you who received a duplicate post.  For the last four days, I have had issues with my blogger and I had to re post and check for the problem. 

As you may remember, I am on a mission to finish items this year.  However,  I am also on a mission to find items to re purpose and up cycle.  This makes for a huge conflict in one's soul.  I did have a chance to go thru an estate near the Nashville area and score some amazing items.  I have started to list some of the smaller items in my Etsy store and on my website. 

The Blue Heron Studios on Etsy

I want to take this opportunity to thank my wonderful husband who definitely got into the spirit of the hunt and also went back with me driving a trailer to pick the items up on Saturday.  Since I have already brought home an SUV filled to the brim, it was more than appreciated.

Here is a photo of him with his treasures.....all fishing items.....I am sure he is thinking of future expeditions.....probably more on the lines of the lake!

He was very happy!
Now for the amazing part.  Here are shots of the inside of the trailer and the back of the truck on arrival.  For a girl like me, it just does not get any better.  Somewhere between, "How much" and "I'll Take It!" I lost sight of my goals to complete projects already in line.  Oh well......if I don't get thru this by the end of summer, I will sign up for a Hoarding episode.  I wonder what the director would say if I whipped out some milk or chalk paint as one of my options??  For those of you who love the hunt and the refurbishing of home related items.....here are the photos......
It's hard to see exactly what is in here, but I can tell you there is a complete dining room set from Davis Furniture for the 50's or 60's.
Here is a shot of one of the two hutches with that set.
I have to be honest and say with the wood marked "Appalachian Beech", I am conflicted as to painting or just letting her sell as she is with a little TLC!
What would you do???
Leave me a comment, I would love to hear!
On another issue,  I did finish a quilt top last week, so all good intentions were not abandoned!



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Coffee Table Makeover

I almost forgot to take a photo of this little guy.  I was in a hurry last week to finish some projects to fill some empty spaces at our antique booths.  I know you have all seen similar tables at thrift stores, or garage sales and I want to share with you how I refreshened this piece to give it a new life.

I did a wax resist on the cleaned wood finish.  There were areas that were not perfect and some of the finish had worn off over the years.  I left those as is, as I thought distressing those ares could lead to a very aged look.  I used Versailles, one of my very favorite Annie Sloan Chalk Paint colors and brushed it completely over the table.  Some areas I painted with a heavier coat than others, but basically one coat looked like it would do what I wanted.  I then enlarged a great graphic from The Graphics Fairy website. 
This is a very beautiful piece of typography with a lot of detail and flourishes.  I enlarged it, and transferred it to the table top.  It is approximately 2 feet by three feet at this point.  I then hand painted the entire graphic.  I used a very fine triple 0 liner brush and Lumiere paint in a pewter color.  I love this color as it is not as harsh as a black but dark enough.  It seems to go well with every color I like to use, and the consistency is ink like.  I do thin it a little as I paint, but try not to make it too watery.
After the paint dried overnight, I did go back and with a sanding block gave the edges and legs a  distressing.  I also went over the entire table top with more emphasis on sanding the edges. 
I then put a finishing coat of Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint Furniture Wax when gives it a soft sheen and a moisture resistant finish.  You can find the wax at www.theblueheronstudio.com.
The Finished Table
Close up of the Lettering!

Monday, February 4, 2013

2013.....Still Learning......

With the concept that a blog consists of one's thoughts and aspirations, I thought it appropriate to publicly announce my " Word of the Year."   I know it's late, being February and everything, but it has taken me the entire month of January to decide.  I tried different concept words out, but the one that kept popping up was "completion."  I am hoping that writing this blog and sharing my thoughts and projects with you my lovely readers, will keep me accountable for 2013.  It was important that I take the time to realize the perfect word.  Whether it is preparing a meal, thought, book or project, or whatever else, I want to take the entire process from action to a completed ending.  I feel that this will definitely help one's feeling of self worth and accomplishment.  I don't think that either of those side results can be a bad thing.....so......"completion"....it is. 

I realized as I worked on pulling the house out of the holiday frenzy, and the resulting chaos, that many things were good ideas, but perhaps never fully executed.  So....as January unfolded, I found that I was finishing things.  What a nice feeling.  Now it has given me the impetus to continue and the energy seems to be building on itself.  I have never been one to make resolutions, but I like the idea of a word to focus on and to hold onto for twelve month period.  It will be interesting to see what is accomplished in both my personal and professional life trying this new approach.  I realize that for many of you, this is nothing new, but I am excited.  In the last month, (January 2013) I reclaimed my small miniature scene that many of you viewed, finished a quilt, and with bad weather was still able to up cycle a large china cabinet.  I also made some heart projects and worked on my website to update it.

Today, I want to share with you the before and after photos of the china cabinet.  It is now proudly for sale at Carol's Corner in Gainesboro, Tennessee....  I started with a white cabinet in two pieces with no back.  When I brought this project home, my dear husband, was sure I had finally flipped, but now he is a big fan.  He even helped me with the back and the other hardware issues we were facing. 

And below is the finished piece.  I did paint it in ASCP in Paris Grey over the white base coat.  The backing, which is bead board and the inside of the drawers are Old Violet.  This blue violet color looks wonderful with flow blue china as well as ironstone.  I did distress the cabinet to give it a look of a prior life, and it is now a happy, refreshed piece for sale in my booth in Gainesboro, Tennessee.
So, now I will continue my projects and try to finish them one by one, or sometimes one by two or three?
Have you finished any projects you are proud of lately?  I would love to hear from you!


Monday, January 21, 2013

Small World Musings!


Now that it is getting close to Valentine's day and there are an unbelievable amount of decorations and ideas on the Internet, I wanted to share with all of you kind readers one of my past hobbies and passions.

About  a decade ago, I would get together with a group of lovely ladies with a similar interest and we would come up with a theme for a room box or a dome scene.  One of our favorite rooms was a box with a Strawberry Theme.  Hmmmmm.......I pulled this little box out of storage where it had languished since my move to Tennessee, Georgia, and back, and thought this needs to see the light of day.  To my total amazement, the light bulb still worked.  I had to re glue the strawberry wallpaper back to the sides of the box, which meant another piece of wood trim for the corner where repairs showed.  I also ended up re gluing a lot of the little decor which had encountered accidents!  Some of the furnishings, such as the wire pieces, were purchased.  However, the cushions, stenciled floor runner, pillow, tea cart and food were created by our group.  There was always someone who was willing to take the lead and work out the bugs on a project the rest of us could follow.  We each had our own special niche!  I sure do miss those ladies.  They are talented, sweet, and funny.  A rare combination for friends indeed. 

So Mary Ann, Janine, Dorothy and Brenda, 
Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope you find a "forgotten" treasure that will bring back some great memories.  This is a good time of year to take stock of what we own, relationships, and everything else.  I guess my word for 2013 is going to be "reclaim."  This fits into my idea that I will go thru all the items that I own.  Purposefully use them or find another home for them with somebody else who will appreciate them or can get a good use from them.  We will see how this journey progresses this year.  I plan on putting a lot of items on Etsy or on my website www.theblueheronstudio.com for people to have a chance at.  So check back often, items will be change and be added.  In the meantime, enjoy the day, seize the moment, have a cup of tea, and appreciate all that we have!


Friday, January 18, 2013

Burlap Country French Love Note Pillows for Valentine's Day

The Internet and Pinterest are filled with wonderful ideas involving decorating and creating for Valentine's Day. It seems that this Holiday is being decorated earlier this year, which will give us all more time to enjoy the process.  This put me in the mood to create some Love Note Heart Pillows which you can find on my Etsy Shop at: https://www.etsy.com/listing/120877223/shabby-chic-country-french-burlap-heart

I Included ticking wings as well as a key tied to the heart pillow with twine.  There is a small loop attached to the back should a hanging heart be desired.  I do like them tucked into a group of pillows or placed among treasures on a bookshelf....  These are an American Made Product which is also a good thing.....