Welcome to my blog!

Thanks so much for stopping by! I believe that everyone can have a beautiful home without spending a fortune! One of my favorite things to do is find creative ways to re-purpose things I already have on hand, or have picked up at yard sales and thrift stores. Join me as I share with you some of my favorite ideas for crafting and decorating, as well as travel adventures, and fun things that I pick up on my treasure hunts! Much of my work is influenced by my love all things French, nature, and of course shabby chic! I have gotten so many creative ideas from you very talented bloggers out there, and I hope that I can be an inspiration to you as well!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Petite French Chest Reveal

Bonjour Mes Amis!
Last week I shared with you the little chest that I was about to transform for DecoArt.
Well, after much blood, sweat, and tears, I am now ready to share it with you!
Ok, I may have lied about the blood part, but it truly was a labor of love!
Are you ready to see the "after"?
Voila!  Here she is!
 And if you forgot what the "before" was like, here she is.........
 I am so happy with the end result, all of the work was worth it, I think!
And after so many hours, I decided to keep this puppy for myself!
 One of the reasons it took me so long was first, I had to come up with a plan.
DecoArt challenged us to use at least 8-10 colors. That is indeed a challenge for me!
And the project was supposed to involve textures and/or faux painting.
So I spent a great deal of time just plotting and planning.  Often if I just look at a piece for awhile, inspiration will eventually hit.

 Since you know how I love all things French, I thought it was fitting that I give this little keepsake chest a makeover with a French Twist!!
I love mixing paint colors, to create truly one of a kind looks.  That is how I came up with this pretty blue that I painted the spindle legs.
 Plenty of distressing, followed by dry brushing several different colors, gives instant aging and dimension.
Ok, I skipped ahead of myself a bit.
Here is the chest (I took the lid off while painting), before I dry brushed the legs, but after I painted the chest portion in my favorite creamy "Lace" chalk paint.  I painted the inside a few shades darker.

 Another reason why this was such a lengthy project and labor of love was I tried out a new to me product by DecoArt, called "Dimensional Effects".  It is a water based dimensional paste which can be used with stencils to create neat raised effects.  I found it quite tricky to work with initially.  After plenty of trial and error, I think I finally got the hang of it!  I used it to add fleur de lis to both sides of the chest.  
Because what could be more French than the fleur de lis?
 Here I am applying it with a putty knife.
You can mix paint with it before applying, or let dry and then paint. 
I chose the latter, as I wanted to paint the raised designs several different colors.
 You can apply several layers, to build up even more of your design.  
I wasn't happy with how it was turning out, so I ended up adding another coat to fleur de lis that you see below.
 I also used the paste to the swirl motif on the lid.

As a fun surprise, I decided to decoupage pages from a vintage French book to the inside of the chest.

 I think the chest would be perfect for holding treasures and mementos.
 Oooh, la, la!
 Below you can see some of the raised detailing I did along the front of chest.
 I also used a pearly paint as a finish over the raised designs.
Love the subtle iridescent look it gives (which unfortunately you can't see in my photos).

 I am so happy with the transformation, and I think my little chest is loving it, too!

 Here is one last look!
Au revoir!


Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Donna I see why you're keeping her, she is a beauty. I love your paint technique and the softness of the patina. Gorgeous job.

Rose L said...

She is a cutie and I don't blame you for keeping her!

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Donna, WOW she turned out fabulous. I love the effect with the dimensional paste and the different colors you used. So gorgeous on that lace background chalk paint. Inside is just as pretty and what a great idea to book page the interior. Love it. I can certainly see why you would keep this. What a nice addition to your studio space. Thanks for sharing your steps.
DecorArt is going to flip over this!! Beautiful work my friend.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Wow, lots of work on this one but it is beautiful! I love the raised effect and how you painted it out. Fabulous job.

Cynthia said...

So pretty Donna, I so enjoy doing raised stencils. I did them in the corners of our dining room in the old house and on furniture pieces. Doing this dining room is on the list that never ends, LOL. New house and there is still a list of additions. Do you have a list that never ends?


Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

That turned out so pretty, Donna! The raised stenciling looks fun! I'm glad you are keeping it for yourself...

Trisha said...

It looks fantastic! And the raised design is such a neat touch. Way to create another stunning piece!


NanaDiana said...

wow, Donna- That was a lot of work but so worth it in the end...especially when you add in using a new product-that adds so much extra time!
Glad you are keeping it. It is just a gorgeous piece and will be fun to have as an accent piece in your home. xo Diana

Okio B Designs said...

You did a fabulous job! Can't believe it's the same piece.


Susie said...

Donna, I am so glad I got to see this sweet chest. You did a fabulous job on it. I loved all the cute things you put inside too. Beautiful. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

The chest is stunning and I would be keeping it also. You did such a beautiful job on her - I love it!
Your one talented lady - enjoy your weekend.

Jan Hermann said...

Donna, this is just lovely - I think it's the BEST project you've ever done! The dimensional paste is wonderful. No wonder you decided to keep it - I would too. Beautiful transformation.

Jan ♥

Debbie said...

Wow! I've never seen the raised process before. No wonder you are keeping this piece Donna. A true labor of love. Wonderful job, and so YOU!

Unknown said...

cudowne :)