May 10, 2014

Anastasia Yellow

Well. My paint brush soap  shot off like a rocket after the news paper article and then things got busy. In a good way. Ive been busy in a bad way before and its no fun, this was busy fun. The CBC called and I did a radio interview all about the soap..van Gogh Fossil (chalk) paint--another favorite paint I use and carry at ReVived Vintage, asked if I would create a version for them and their paint of course we did:

Isnt is bea-u-tiful?! This is now available at all van Gogh Fossil Paint retailers world wide---some, I know, just shipped out to New Zealand!!  
Find the Paintologist near you HERE and go get one!! I would carefully unwrap it and stick the label somewhere where I can appreciate it every-single-day. Its so pretty. 

Also, and this one makes me giddy, but *my* private label soaps are also available in Lethbridge (My Hometown!! Can I get an old school Arsenio Hall "Whoop! Whoop!) and in Medicine Hat Alberta at Freddies Paint and Decor

Good for every single brush you paint it on walls, floors, canvas's , furniture, even make up artist are using it on their brushes.Talk about you people taking it further from the box than I did! I couldnt be more excited or grateful about that! Thank you!

Anyway, Ive rambled...all of this sure made things busier for me, plus the shop is full steaming along with custom work, workshops and just the day to day. Im exhausted in that really good way your happy and thankful taking a boot camp class or working a double shift in a downtown pub in Calgary during Stampede, and afterwards, your so sore and so tired but so happy for what you accomplished....yeah, JUST like that....(because Ive done both of those, so these are dead on references..LOL)

Im so  happy that so many of you read it about the Homestead House Furniture Acrylic post I wrote , appreciated it and popped in the shop for a quart. Its a great paint for quick, maintenance free, or needing a very durable-and washable project. but, sometimes, it just comes down to color.

Introducing: "Garden Seed:

I did this Baby in a day...I named her Anastasia because she belonged to my Great-Grandmother, Anastasia, who went by "Nancy" after she immigrated to Canada from the Ukraine. I originally named this piece Nancy....but after careful thought and consideration, and calling her that for a while...I decided she was much more Anastasia.

 Interesting Observance: most people are afraid of yellow...They love it after I've painted something in it and they can *see it*, then that yellow flys outta here.... but when I first suggest the color, I always get hesitation or a flat our refusal more times with yellow than I do with red, purple, green... *I think* its because yellow can go wrong. Its one of those colors you really have to choose the right Tone (Tones come from adding gray) Shade,  (comes from adding black) or Tint (adding white) Its the fear of "banana yellow" and I get it...I just re-painted my own bathroom because the first choice, in the light was just that, (and I love yellow) so I "toned" it down by adding in some leftover grey paint I had and perfection....its glorious. I love it there!  

I added some heavy duty weaved upholstery fabric to the drawers..Keeping with my Grandma's roots of bright and bold. 

The fact they were cats--funky cats--was Bonus. They're nothing short of awesome!!

Anastasia "Before"  Stored in my brothers basement in Edmonton, Alberta for 13 years....then hauled here, to Vancouver Island by my Mom and a trailer...Its took a family to reVive this piece.

Cleaned up the hardware...had to repaint the hardware, added some new hardware and fun filing cabinet labels, I did choose to dark wax it to add some *dirt* and depth to her, and she-is-done. 

I think Grandma Nancy would love her too. She would tell me ALL about it in Ukrainian, and I wouldn't know any of the words she was saying, but I would know what she was saying..and I would listen while she offered me another and another (and another and another) of  "Dad's Cookies" until the package was empty.

February 24, 2014

Paint Series: Homestead House Furniture Paint

I carry three distinct and unique paints in my shop---(van Gogh Fossil) aka: "chalk" Paint:; (Miss Mustard Seed) Milk Paint and (Homestead House) Furniture Acrylic.. and I get asked every day which one is my preference, my favorite..the one I cant live without. No one believes me when I toss my body across the 3 paint shelves  in soap opera-dramatic fashion and yell in a whisper  "All of them!"... Each one has such a different look and characteristic from the others. They are in fact 3 *very different* paints and my personal paint shelf wouldn't be complete without each one.  The next question that follow is always: "How do you choose which paint to use?" A great question. So, I decided to write a series answering the questions I get asked the most.....because I imagine, other people have these questions and just haven't made it into my shop to ask me yet..*smile*

Now, there are a few "truths" to furniture refinishing and a "perfect" paint for everything--an end all-be-all paint, just doesn't exist--that's a truth. There is no paint that will be the best choice for every single application I come across or every look and technique I want to achieve. Milk paint in "linen" white on a mahogany piece..Mmm, I wouldn't. A wax topcoat vanity in a high steam bathroom...not the best choice. However all of these paints have far more applications that they do outstandingly well in, rather than places they don't....its just knowing the difference between them, in their prep and in the endurance of the paint choice on the piece for a quality, long lasting finish.

So, lets dance! First up: Homestead House Furniture Paint

Photo Courtesy of  Homestead House Paint Co. and All Dolled Up

I love this paint and I will probably start all my upcoming paint posts that way. The reasons I love this paint, its a 100% acrylic, environmentally safe, zero VOC (no smell is a very good thing). This furniture paint is washable, scrubbable, super durable and without the (although very little)  maintenance of a wax or oil topcoat. I carry the eggshell finish so it has that little bit higher of a shine that some people buff and buff and buff the wax piece to achieve, but paint it and your done...but,...(and this is awesome), you can  still wax it if you wanna, and get that dark/clear/white depth and waxed luster most of us love. It does slightly dull down the eggshell, but not the durability.  What makes this acrylic different from the paint at your hardware store?  Everything!! This is made with furniture in mind, so much like chalk paint, it can be applied to almost any previously painted or coated surface without sanding, stripping or priming. A little goes a long way, it has a quick dry time and can also easily be "naturally" distressed similar to the milk and chalk paint.

Photo Courtesy of  Homestead House Paint Co. and All Dolled Up
When I choose to use it.

I choose my paints based on a couple factors. What kind of piece is it? What will it be used for? Who will be using it? Who will be taking care of it? What look do I want, Will the style or color be changed frequently?

All of these paints can be used in almost every depends on the look and the amount of work you want to do. For this paint..since it doesn't need the extra topcoat to be durable or washable, it's perfect for kitchen cabinets! It takes potentially a big job and scales it down to a manageable project!  A desk, or the furniture in your kids room, where you want it to be durable and washable, have almost no maintenance and in 5 years, you want to paint it again, this paint makes that easier. I also choose Homestead House acrylic when I want to start and finish a piece in one day..There, I said it! A dirty little secret. With the quick dry time and  no extra topcoat smell so I can paint in my living room...this actually can happen.

Photo Courtesy of  Homestead House Paint Co. and All Dolled Up

Photo Courtesy of  Homestead House Paint Co. and All Dolled Up

Now, I wouldn't choose this paint if.....the list is short.
~I want a velvet, chalky soft, "worn down over the years" feel to the piece.
{chalk paint or milk paint creates that beautifully}
~ I want a matte paint with just a true soft waxed luster:
{chalk or milk paint}
~I want to add shimmer and shake with metallic glazes or pearl finishes
{chalk paint--because these play the best on a porous matte surface}
~ I want a chippy, flaked off paint, natural look.
{milk paint}
~ I want a tonal, varied color "sun bleached" look to the paint.
{milk paint}
~ I don't plan on distressing it right away
{Homestead House Furniture paint distresses the best a short time after its dried. The longer it sits, the harder it cures and altho, you still can, its harder to achieve the more natural look}

The Color Palette:

    Left to Right: Maritime Blue, Soldier Blue, Homestead Blue, and Midnight Blue.
Photo Courtesy of Homestead House

 Left to Right: Laurentien,  Loyalist, Rideau, Quaker Blue
Photo Courtesy of Homestead House

Left to Right: Buttermilk, Ochre, Garden Seed, Mustard
Photo Courtesy of Homestead House

Left to Right: Upper Canada, Gatineau, Acadia Pear, Bayberry
Photo Courtesy of Homestead House

Left to Right: Cathedral Taupe, Bedford, Algonquin, Cartier
Photo Courtesy of Homestead House

Left to Right: Sturbridge White, Raw Silk, Champlain, Limestone
Photo Courtesy of Homestead House

Coal Black, and Chocolate
Photo Courtesy of Homestead House

For a fabulous, complete description of each color, Homestead House wrote, but what else, a blog post about it!  

another sometimes, I choose my paint solely based on 1 and only 1 thing.

What Color do I want?

Feel free to send me any questions either here or

Next up: van Gogh Chalk Paint!

February 13, 2014

Brush Soap

The Limited Edition van Gogh color palette is going gang busters at the shop! Thank you to everyone for the support with that--stopping in to see them, to high five me for picking them, pre-ordering quarts or just oogling the pieces Ive painted with them. "ReVived Vintage" and "Wheat King" are my very favorite, with "Carter" and "Zepplin" coming up a clear dead even! LOL!

In my last post I was a bum and teased and hinted at some more exciting news coming down the pipe!  Well, I can finally share now that its weeks away from rolling out and my freak out excitement is starting to boil over....


I've painted my entire life, and I learned early to invest in quality tools to get quality results and brushes were no exception. Ive had some of my brushes for 8+ years, which isn't unheard of if you take good care of them. Doing that, at times was a challenge, because Id clean them, condition them  like the good-devoted- to- her-tools-girl I am and sometimes, the very soap I used gave me grief. I go pick up my brush and start painting only to get oily streaks or pools in my work--residue left behind from the soap and/or oils in it clinging to my bristles, even after a good rinse. On the other hand, the soap and cleaners were harsh and smelly and left my bristles and my hands dried right out and brittle. Some soaps over conditioned so my brush held no resistance when I painted...See. Dilemma for artists everywhere!
When I started the planning process of opening my shop and considering all of the items I wanted to stock for supplies, a great brush soap, or lack thereof came to mind...I hadn't found it, so why not make it myself? Yea - why not!?!  I have some limited knowledge in natural oils and fats making my own family's balms and lotions when we need them...but making soap, that wasn't one of them. So, I reached out to a local artisan soap maker on Quadra Island, who...and if Im being totally honest here...I choose first because.......... she made soaps *I* had to have as soon as I saw them..Dont get me wrong; swirly, colorful, pretty soaps are great and organic and beautiful, but Hans Solo frozen in carbonite?!? Wha?!?

I remember, when I was little, and my very first BIG crush and heartbreak over a boy. Watching him get frozen in carbonate as I sobbed on the couch..I realized then, how love can sometimes be very complicated.                          

Dr. Who's Tardis?! and available in a root beer scent?! Hope my Dad's not reading this or his Christmas present this year is blown.

Clearly, Naomi from Quadra Island Soap was someone I wanted to work with..both of us appreciating the same, maybe small, joys in life and soap shaped like The Millenium Falcon  is definitely one of them. So, I emailed  about my "crazy idea" and altho, (I think) Naomi was unsure about it at first, she humored me enough to listen to what I wanted the soap to be..cleans and conditions, but long lasting, 100% natural but no heavy oils that would create a resist,  "puck" shaped instead of a bar, to hold in the palm of my hand to swirl and swish my brush around easily...and the next few weeks brought samples in the mail from Naomi, tweek requests to the recipe from me, until finally we created the perfect brush soap. ( and for a moment, I did debate about using her Lego People mold *grin*)

photo from Front Porch Mercantile

Fast forward to 4 months ago:
 I had a few other retailers on the island interested in carrying my soap when it first came out, so there were a few pucks in Duncan at Cameo Boutique and a few pucks in Victoria at Frosty by Design,  even a couple in Alberta but this last November, Victoria is where a bunch of us all met up for some retailer training for Miss Mustard Seeds Milk Paint. Jennylyn, the President of Homestead House Paint Co. who manufacturers Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint, spotted a lil puck of Revived Vintage's Paint Brush ReVival soap on Frosty's shelf and asked me about it...

Ive been following Miss Mustard Seeds blog forever...foreva..Years..You've heard of her right? Marian's blog receives over 1.4 million page impressions each month from over 250,000 visitors. Its loaded with thrifty DIY projects, vintage treasures, and home decor. I can remember one of her first posts about how Marian chose her name, Miss Mustard Seed, and when she bought the domain name online, it was that  moment she felt totally committed to taking it all the way..she was just starting was I.. and so I read her blog, not just for inspiration, but also for direction on what I should do next to take my business from "Hobby" to "Serious" (I bought my own domain name that day too) Now, I've painted with Homestead House milk paint for longer...I remember my Mom having the little brown paper bag of "barn red" in her craft room and being amazed at how she turned it into "milk paint" with just lil mind was seriously blown away by the magic of it..My roots of these 2 companies and its products run deep for me..So, the true fact that *Im* even a retailer of Homestead House AND Miss Mustard Seeds Milk paint is a proud high I was very happy to ride into happily ever after...

Then Jennylyn came over and asked me about my brush soap.

Fast forward to today...
In the next few weeks, Brush soap will become available at Miss Mustard Seed retailers worldwide! Over 200 retail locations in the United States, Canada, UK, Australia and Europe. Can-you-even-believe-it?! It is the same high quality, all natural brush soap that my customers have grown to love and I know--I just know, that every one else will adore it too! Its not just for milk paint...Its for ALL mediums. I use to to clean my acrylic paints, my chalk paints, my wax's, oils and varnishes... Homestead House and Miss Mustard Seed, being a bit "larger than ReVived Vintage" are still business run with small business values, choosing  to support my lil business with my lil soap idea, and to have it still manufactured, by hand, from a local artisan soap maker here in BC, which in turn supports my community...this makes me so proud..not just to carry their paints in my shop, but to work with them on the brush soap. To have my own "stamp" on companies that I respect and admire  *sigh*  It all just re-affirms entirely why I still love both of them just to death! They stand behind themselves, stay true to who they've always been, even through there own tremendous success and growth.
Promotion is starting! 
                           Miss Mustard Seed's First "Soap" post

ReVived Vintage Brush ReVival soap will still be available at ReVived Vintage in soft scents of "sweet orange" and "pink grapefruit"...maybe "vanilla" or "rosemary"   but Ill absolutely also have Miss Mustard Seeds Brush soap in all natural, which is a perfect sweet, organic "clean" lovely-lovely scent.

THANK YOU Jennylyn, Marian, The Mister, Naomi, my Mom and my friends and family who had to listen to me talk about soap A LOT last April and then again in November....I am so-so beyond blessed in my life, living my dream, doing what I love, where I love, with the people I love and grateful for every-single thing! Thank YOU!

February 7, 2014

ReVived Vintage "Limited Editions"

 I think we all have our "hoarding" secrets with things we're passionate about. Cooks have kitchen gadgets, quilters have closets of fabric, painters have paint...and nothing makes me more inspired and motivated to get creating as new colors do! Ive painted my whole life, furniture --canvas---anything, and so to me, 1 blue or 1 yellow just cant cut it..I need many-many- birds of a feather...and so, last August, as I was painting away in my shop, I started thinking about how other painters probably feel the way I do..and altho the van Gogh Fossil (chalk) paint palette is glorious, I, maybe selfishly, wanted some new colors to play with...and then, in a little while, Id probably want some more and later on, some more and so, I emailed Kathy van Gogh, "THE" van Gogh in van Gogh Fossil paint and tossed my shot-in-the-dark idea at her....and her being an artist too...loved my idea of  "Limted Edition" colors, feeding the need and hoarding itch of painters everywhere! An endless supply of rotating new colors for our palettes!! My creative cup runnith over...

Fast forward to today...6 months later. They went live and I am excited. I have a few really exciting things coming down the pipe and not being able to talk about any of them yet has had me bursting at the seams....but today, I can share this one...Limited Editions. Kathy bestowed the first round of color choice on me..and altho, having new colors to paint with is awesome and wonderful, actually picking new colors from a fan deck of thousands can be daunting..Last August, I chose 3, and then quietly tucked the list in my desk and enjoyed summer....and fall.....and Christmas and New Years and then my friend Lisa called ( another van Gogh retailer from Cameo Boutique here on Van Island) and said that she was up for a road trip and wanted to come and visit .....and so she came, and we spent the day together oogling fan decks, painting things, coffee, laughter, inappropriate jokes and had a really fantastic time... (She lives about 2 hours south of me, so our visits are always on a phone-- texting or talking.."in person" was long overdue) I chose 3 colors again, out of thousands, and then remembered the list in my drawer....and wouldn't you know it, I chose the same 3...*mind blown* Clearly I was committed....the fourth color was a collaboration choice and it compliments the palette perfectly.."Enough Rambling Christie, show the damn colors already" *wink*

The van Gogh Fossil Paint "ReVived Vintage" Limited Edition Color Palette:

I chose this smoky blue for a couple reasons. Blue is my favorite all hues and tones. I have to make conscious choices everyday to not paint everything I do with a shade of blue..I love the blue of the sky and the blue of the water. I chose "this" one because, when I drive my daughter to school, we are fortunate enough to drive along the sea wall...and its early enough that there is usually fog rolling across it, the reflection giving the water a really smokey blue.  This drive is a favorite for me. A beautiful way to start my day with Madi...sometimes we pull over and watch the seals and are late for school, but who cares. She chats about everything important to her and I listen and at 13 years old, that's important time together. The name, Carter, is my last name (and part of Madi's full name) and  all growing up, right up to today, its the name my closest friends call me.
Carter: with clear and dark beeswax topcoats

"Wheat King"
This name is "Home" for me...I grew up on the prairies, in southern Alberta and if you've been around my blog long enough, you know I love 'em.  Dont get me wrong, I love this ocean island life, I fit right in, but this girl will always have love for the"patchwork quilt" of yellows, greens and browns of farmers fields....Choosing a golden "canola" yellow was easy for me..Its my very favorite yellow..and the sky scrapers *I* grew up with ...the grain elevators...well. they were our Wheat Kings.

Wheat King: Clear and Dark waxed topcoats

"ReVived Vintage"
In choosing my palette I stayed true to me...I love deep, rich vintage colors. Not muted pastels, even though I know that Pantone's color of the year is "Radiant Orchid"..that means nothing to me...The colors that used to grace our dishware, and appliances, even our bathrooms ..the deep rich colors are *my* favorite. "Avacado green" am I the only one who wouldn't mind a bathroom sink and toilet that color? When I choose to name this deep rusty orange "ReVived Vintage" it was, obviously after my own business name..but it's what I do. So, I named it after the "vintage" colors our parents and grandparents surrounded themselves with. The colors I choose to paint (mainly) with to "Revive Vintage"

ReVived Vintage: with Clear and Dark Wax Topcoats.

A perfect grey. Not with a blue tone, not with a purple tone...a true grey. Thank you to Lisa for helping me choose this neutral....neutral colors are not my strong point, (*ahem* white?!)  but I love a good grey and this one is it.   Literally named for the grey it is..a perfect Zepplin grey...but moreso secretly in homage for my love of the good 'ol classic music that fills my house and my shop every single day..It always starts with Led Zep, but runs thru The Doors, Pearl Jam, Johnny Cash....unfortunately, I could only name this color once.

Zepplin: with clear wax and dark wax topcoats

That's my ReVived Vintage palette of van Gogh Fossil Paint. Don't you love it when a little idea comes together?!  They work so perfect together, but also with the entire van Gogh collection! I tend to put emotion into everything I do, so I am proud and excited and grateful for being given the opportunity to create and inspire with my very own color palette of chalk paint.. These colors will be sold at ALL vG retailers from here to Timbuktoo, available in a couple, go pick up a can of " Zepplin"  "Wheat King" or "ReVived Vintage" and be inspired to create.... tell them "Carter" sent you---*smile*

*thank you to Lisa for the sample board pictures of each color with the different wax topcoats. Such an awesome way to just show 'em all at their versatile best!*

January 20, 2014

My Point Exactly!

Just dropping in to post some pictures of the chair set I'm working on for a client (did I mention: 12 chairs?) because, since I posted a quick picture on my ReVived Vintage Facebook, word has come back to me, via emails, Facebook messages, phone calls, and visits from people at the shop, that these were a great-big-huge-hit. So much so that I needed to watermark them and create a "how to" workshop...LOL. It really is a fabulously awesome feeling randomly poking around Pinterest and seeing your work *very exciting* My friend (a fellow painter) called me tonight and told me that she was sent the picture and was asked if she could recreate the my chairs, which I thought was funny and wonderfully flattering...altho, the picture she got wasn't watermarked yet, she knew...luckily, she knows my work! as well as the background of my shop LOL!


Here's the before:

I know right...don't we ALL have this set? Well, except me..but, I've sat at this set manymanymany times because many people I know, have had this exact chair set. Its a great set! Solid wood, great quality, sturdy and solid and great.....but...kinda dated by now isn't it? Because, all the times I've sat at it, was at my friends house's when I was invited to stay for dinner or for sleepover birthday parties...I was watching a TV show the other day, that takes place in the 80's  and guess what!! Yup. They have them too..

And so, about time this happened then. a ReVival!

She needed a strip down on the seat, in order to open up the grain for a re-stain. After years of staining with *cough*wheeze* toxic chemicals and oils, I chose to use my new favorite! A 100% environmentally safe and sound combination of Miss Mustard Seeds's "Curio" milk paint, Homestead House's walnut wood milk stain and hemp oil. I needed to achieve the finish my client wanted. I was aiming to copy the stain of her wood floor...and  I did it with a recipe using these 3 products--all the while, the shop still smelling of vanilla.

Hemp Oil is my favorite topcoat of choice, especially with re-stains! It feeds and conditions the wood, deepens the colors and adds a level of water resistance....Id bathe in this stuff if I could, which I guess......*shrug* I could.
The color of the chair, is "mascara" from the van Gogh Fossil (chalk) paint collection. A dark slate grey and one of my addicted to favorites. When I go and drop off my empty cans of paint at the recycle depot, Marcus always asks me if I have a box full of "mascara"..maybe time to cut off of it for a bit.*grin*

I just luv LOVE how they turned out! They are a PRIME and PERFECT example of, with just a little elbow grease and a lil bit of paint, and not just any paint, but environmentally conscious paint and products, you can take good quality, solid, great pieces of (just) outdated furniture and turn it all around!
This before and after is exactly my point..exactly what I do and teach and encourage and *hopefully* inspire people to do everyday!

11 more to go!


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