I am glad you chose to visit! My blog is a compilation of the many hats I find myself wearing. On any given day I may be an encourager, an instructor, or just a lady who is venting. You, dear reader, will probably identify with my triumphs and my tribulations! These snapshots fit into my Life Scrapbook I have named A. McInnis Artworks. I hope you will find something worth your while.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Annie Sloan Coco Paint: Before and After

My love of Annie Sloan paint is no secret.
It began two years ago with this
small stool project.
and bloomed...
to this beautiful Duck Egg and Old White mirror..
(I wish I had NEVER sold it!)
On to the side table in Duck Egg...
and the old fixer upper chair again in Old White...
the gray birthday chair for Susan..
.then came knee surgery and a break...
but this weekend...the urge to paint with AS returned.

I found this lantern at a yard sale for $3.
It was marked at $11.99 originally.
It was very heavy and had great
glass panels.


This is what she became!
Here's a quick  step by step.

Carefully remove all glass panels.

Step 1: Using Annie Sloan CoCo, paint all sections of lantern (no small feat!)
In reality, this color looks like light chocolate milk.

2. Using a sanding sponge, distress around edges and sides.
Distressing should be done wherever an item might
receive normal wear and tear.
If you remove too much paint,
go back and paint over the area and let dry before
 Use a light or heavy hand depending on the desired look.

#3. Using Annie's wonderful waxing brush and her clear wax,
cover all areas. Let this "dry" for a few minutes.
Chalk paint is very porous. The wax seeps into the holes
and grabs the paint for a very durable finish.

The lantern has now been painted, distressed and clear waxed.

#4. Using a brush just for dark wax, repeat the waxing procedure
except this time, use AS's Dark wax.

 Leave excess wax in areas that you want to appear darker.
Carefully wax in small sections at a time.
The wax dries quickly. If too much dark wax is applied,
use a small amount of clear wax on a rag to wipe away the excess.
Do NOT cover the entire project with dark wax and then try to wipe it off.
Work in small sections ONLY!
One other pointer: I always wax with clear wax before I use the dark.
The dark wax grabs onto the paint and seeps into the pores
and is usually too dark for my taste.
(This is, of course, a matter of preference.)

#5. After the wax dries 30 minutes to overnight,
buff with a soft cloth.

I love this, so very much....

What have you done with Annie Sloan paint lately?


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Spring in February? Yes, Mam!

It may be February, but it sure seems like spring to me!

Johnny Jump Ups are smiling upward...

Baby animals are experiencing their first days...

My husband's grandmother's Snow Bells have pushed their way into the light.

 Yes, mam...it sure seems like SPRING has sprung in the South.
(Sorry, my northern sisters! But your spring can't be far behind.)

Only a few weeks ago, we experienced snow!

and snow angels...

Now it's time for azaleas, proms, baseball, track....


Spring is a time of renewal and receiving the gift of hope 
after the long winter's dreary weeks.
I hope you take a minute to glance around,
enjoy the soft green moss,
the longer warmer days
and welcome Spring!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Even IF.......

It makes me sad to read some of the negative Facebook posts concerning Valentine's Day. I know, I know....some of you have had a very bad time at the Love Games. But I am here today to offer some encouragement...um, advice, too because I have had some of those very same feelings in the past.

Now before you give up on me and this post...listen up...for just a minute.  Please.
Love is a very touchy subject. So many people seem to have it just within their grasp and it slips away.
There are all types of  love...but you know what I mean....some people have been hurt on all levels ....

Once, about 36 years ago, I was a single divorced mom of a three year old little boy. Valentine's Day certainly made my heart hurt. It was heavy with sadness, mistrust, and disappointment. Enter a friend.
A wonderful woman named Patsy saw my life (and the life of my child) and did something about it. She didn't wring her hands or wish it could be different. She began inviting my son and me to dinner. (How did she know that money was so short that sometimes he ate and I didn't?) She invited us under the guise of having someone to play with her little boys, but what she was doing was practicing love. I remember those days like yesterday. Her kindness to me...her love to my son. Thank you, Patsy.
The Coach, my husband...entered our life a carefree bachelor of 28. He had never been around little children and jumped in with both feet. Through the years, he has not only been a father to my son but a grandfather to my son's children. He didn't wait to see what needed to be done, he did his best, even when he didn't know exactly what to do. God put him in that place for a reason...to run along side me and be my help mate. (Boy, did  he bite off  a chunk!) Thank you, JOHN.
Days in our life have been bad (and then worse) and then better (and then great) and back to bad and so forth....that's what love's all about.  Love is a rocky hill...it's never the same. However, it isn't just about you and your feelings...there is more than one person in any relationship...you are not all it's about.

Today, I received roses...and a card... and he's fixing my supper tonight...but more than that I remember a time when all he could muster was a card and it was signed..."Until times are better"...that's love.

You may not have the love of your life right now...but you DO have others to love...whether it's parents, children, friends...why not put yourself aside and do something unexpected for someone else...even outside your comfort zone? I will guarantee you that when your head hits the pillow tonight you will feel better...remember...it's not all about you...it's all about LOVE and there are many kinds of love and many ways to show it.

I am an optimist at heart...I rarely, if ever, totally give up on anyone or anything. That may not always be wise, but it's me. I know that someone reading this, needs these words. I know that you will read them and heed them. Even if you have had your heart trampled...Pick yourself up and think of a way to show somebody the right kind of love today. If you were here, I'd hug you and wish you a wonderful day!

There are your chocolates and roses... followed by the card...they are all from me!!
You are loved,

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Oh, We Had Hot Dogs and Potato Chips!

Most men are more or less defined by their jobs...whether this is right or wrong, (understand that I am not speaking in a religious vein, but in a practical everyday one). Men derive some of their self worth from being able to provide well for their family.

Women, on the other hand, seem to derive some of their self esteem by the state of their homes. (Now, you know it's true)...Once, when my son was about 8 or 9, he called me at work to let me know that he and Daddy had brought home a visitor for lunch. I thought he was referring to another child, but he was referring to a very well known coach from a university! I almost died. "What did you have to eat?" There was NOTHING in the refrigerator remotely worthy of someone famous. I had that beginning panicky feeling. "Oh," he replied, "We had hot dogs and potato chips. And don't worry, I put out a clean towel in the bathroom." Yes, that thud you heard was my heart hitting my feet. How could he do such a thoughtless thing?...You see, my house was a semi-wreck that day, and I was mortified. Were the men? Not mine...probably not the "famous" coach either, but I will never know.

So keeping my house in decent condition has always been a priority to me. (Never know when you might entertain royalty.) I noticed that every few months I grew tired of the way something looked and began a "search" for something to perk up the atmosphere. Nothing wrong with that...right? But to do that over and over seemed like it was bordering on obsession and never being satisfied. I began to feel uneasy ...was something wrong with me? And then something happened that changed my perspective... I got a room decorated and it stayed that way for several years. Wonder of wonders, I still liked it. What was the difference?

I know the answer to this age old question...WHY CAN'T WOMEN BE SATISFIED WITH WHAT THEY HAVE? Answer: Because we are so used to putting others first, that we have to skimp on details of the home that would make us feel comfortable...finally. For example, a new couch is needed. The old one is well, old and dirty and fraying. But Junior needs braces, so we throw a slip cover over the couch and make do until Junior's bite is corrected. All the while, avoiding eye contact with said slouchy couch. There is this underlying feeling of dissatisfaction in "that" area of the room...but we do our best to bury it.

 Get to the point, mam...just the facts, please. Ok, here it is. When I am able to decorate even in a modest way, it makes me feel better temporarily. But when, I decorate in a more substantial way (aka spending more AND GETTING SOMETHING THAT WILL LAST) I feel more settled longer...maybe even for several years. Maybe forever!  So, the answer to feeling better about your home is this...besides cleaning it...SAVE UP FOR WHAT YOU REALLY WANT AND MAKE PURCHASES WISELY. Make do with inexpensive trendy items until you can do what will give you lasting pleasure. Does this make sense?
Here is an example. Swags I made 15 years ago were still doing their job.
Did I love them? Fabric, yes...style, uh, no.

Whala! New updated drapes and I love it! Makes the room seem larger and lighter.
Even though I feel guilty for letting the old swags go...they served us well.
I added this centerpiece after the pictures.

A friend gave me this toile planter years ago...it works just right now!
I updated the buffet lamps with shades that have a leaf design on the lining.
They came from my bedroom.  (The value of using a similar color palette throughout
your home is re-arranging is so much easier.)
Cloche with nest and Peter's Pottery bluebird add "the hope of Spring" touch.

I brought out a small glass cabinet and added my lambs, some redware and
my great grandfather's little Webster's dictionary.

My hutch needed a good cleaning and I added some painted metal hearts that sport tiny bird's nests.

February signals time to bring out some of my vintage Valentines.
One of my favorite holidays!!

Even the bathroom got a little touch of spring.
I found the print bath cloth on sale for fifty cents...
The bottom line is trendy is ok, in small doses...but saving for a substantial
upgrade is more satisfying in the long run.