Friday, January 29, 2016

Special Summer Event


Surfaces’ Creativity Exchange


June 22nd – June 24th

Join us at Surfaces to learn, share, network, and celebrate with other decorative artists.
We will spend 3-days creating a variety of wall, ceiling, and cabinet samples.

These are examples of the sample range. Finally samples will be available beginning in March.

The HOST/HOSTESS EXCHANGE: Local finishers are invited to host an out-of-town attendee. For each artist you sponsor, you will get $50 off your own registration. Spend time with your Facebook friends or have us help make the connections!
The TEACHING EXCHANGE:  Experienced talented local decorative artists will be teaching full-sized samples of their best-selling finishes.  In exchange, they get a price break on the attending the other classes.
THE RECIPE EXCHANGE:  Do you have a favorite finish to share with other artists?  The finish must be your own creation using Faux Effects products. Send a picture and written directions to by Friday, April 29th.   For your finish you get $75 off your registration. Each afternoon, we will recreate the recipes on quarter sized boards. You will leave with a notebook of new finishes and recipes. A cookie exchange without the calories!
THE SOCIAL EXCHANGE:  We will offer group activities after hours including a tour of Dark Horse Distillery and evening on the Country Club Plaza.  Stay over Saturday and join us for a trip to the Bottoms for junking and lunch alfresco in River Market. When you register, you will receive a menu of activities with costs.
THE MONEY EXCHANGE: Starting at $800 for 3-day classes.  Out of Town attendees can save $100 in the recipe exchange.  Local artists save by hosting a visiting artist.
THE SAMPLE EXCHANGE: I will teach 3 wall and 2 cabinet samples each day.  In addition, a local guest artist will teach 1-2 samples each day.  Your recipe book may include up to 20 new finishes.
SPACE is limited. Registration will open Friday, March 4th.  Samples will begin posting in mid-February. I am currently contacting local finishers interested in teaching or hosting. If you would like to participate, contact me at the above email or by calling Surfaces at 913-888-9996.

SURFACES School of Decorative Arts
is a Faux Effects International Gold Label Training & Retail Studio.

We have a 4,000 square foot training space.

We are located at 8190 Nieman Road, Lenexa, KS 66214
Convenient to I-35, I-435, and US 69 HWY 
Our airport is MCI, Kansas City International located in the exact middle of the country.
Surfaces is approximately 30 minutes south of the airport.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

My new kitchen: The Plan

Call me crazy but contact paper is really not a viable wall covering!  When my Mom saw the kitchen for the first time she said, "I had that same cook 1979."  She probably had the macramé plant holder as well.

There are some pluses to our "new" kitchen.  It is inside. 

OK...there are more things. It is a good size and very sunny.  It has a nice eat-in area. Storage space is good.  The Corian is new. It's not granite but I'm good with it. The color is nice and the stuff cleans/wears really well.

The tile is not subway but it's white and very clean.  I can work with it.

What doesn't work:
The wallpaper....Walmart special
Popcorn ceilings...of course
Heavy ugly ceiling fan
No task lighting
Poorly designed pantry
Old oak cabinets
Sheet linoleum floor in green squares

Now why is this list always longer then the things that work list?

Our friend Bailey came over to go over the lighting.  How do you cook when you have no lights? I believe people stayed married longer in the past because they really couldn't see each other.

Typical of my collaborations with Bailey.  We started with light bulbs....

and tore out a row of cabinets...

which caused the drywall to split and the ceiling to collapse releasing 4 bags of ceiling insulation. "I don't know why she swallowed a fly, I guess she'll die."  The chain reaction of home improvement.

As I noted in the previous post, Bruce is the only sane one is this relationship. He worked with Jon to get the wallpaper and popcorn removed. Everything is skimmed, primed, and ready to go. Like I said in my post about cabinets....hire a pro when you want it done right. This would have taken me at least 4-6 weeks on my own.

Bailey then installed my cook top lights. These are from IKEA in a charcoal metal. I love mixing IKEA pieces with unique finds...such as the light fixture replacing the brass ceiling fan. Bruce and I removed the old fan and installed this ourselves.

This wood and wire fixture is from Rensenhouse of Lights.  January is always their Bright Sale and I got this one At Cost.  It works well with my theme "Bohemian Chic" for the home. Bailey put in some pot lights and now I'm ready to work my magic.

I know painted plain walls are in-style but to me, an all white kitchen doesn't make me happy. It seems a little institutional. And hard to keep clean. I need texture and color.  Something with a little age that wears well.

When I walk in my kitchen I want to say "Wow, I love this" and not "Do you get Tater-tots with the meatloaf?"

The walls will be Aquawax mixed with Designer Metallic Setcoat. This is a very popular sample from our One Day Wax Class. It is a subtle palette with a bit of sheen that is amazingly durable.  I love pattern and have none on the walls so I want one in the kitchen. The above pattern is a favorite from Royal Design Studio rendered in Super Hide Metallic Silver and Rich Gold.  But I'm thinking of using this pattern from Melanie for the walls:

I love this delicate scroll work! These pictures are from the Royal Design Website.  Then I think I will add this pattern, also from Royal, on the soffit:

I want to finish the sunbursts in rusted etched foil! Wow...I'm already happy just thinking about it.

For my cabinets....let's face it, I've got some performance anxiety.  Is there a pill for that?

My pantry finish:
It's hard to retro-fit doors to an old opening and a barn door won't work in this space. I plan on adding Bomar or molding and some cool chunky handles. Then my finish will be our Indian Ivory which is a pale warm silver/gold with a slight grey texture and glazed cream.

Say goodbye to the blue table.

I need to use a beautiful round rug from our previous home and this color won't work. Oh well. Good thing I like to change things.  The new finish is a metallic olive bronze with a lightly cracked grey over the top. Then it's glazed and antiqued.

Where we removed the upper cabinets, I'm putting in chunky wood shelves. This will be a baking station with easy access to mixer, bowls, spices and such. Plus I have my grandmother's collection of milk glass. Guess I will have to cook....and clean more in the future. These cabinets will be a re-stain. I'm adapting the Setcoat I make to match Kendall Charcoal paint color into a re-stain formula. This way you will see the wood grain. I don't want all the wood to look painted.

The bulk of the cabinets will be in my Setcoat matched to Ben Moore Raccoon Hollow, which I will glaze lightly.

All I have left to do is select the floor and decide if I want to tackle it myself. Or hire out. The kitchen is the most important room of the kitchen so you want to pay for the best work possible. Even if it means walking on primed plywood for a while.

What do you think? 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What's Love Got To Do With It

If you follow any of my social media posts you know that I am in the process of re-modeling another home. The last go round I had a few advantages: time (14 years), money (faux was big and business busy) and help ( Bruce and I were both healthy).

Lots of things change in a year.  Most of you know about Bruce's illness and retirement from Surfaces. At the same time, people really cut back on faux-especially walls. So while I am taking over Surfaces I'm also re-evaluating my business plan.

This meant hustling to up-date the studio,

my samples,

my web-site, and my classes to reflect the changing tastes in decorative finishing.

I also worked on commission pieces:

Now people (and by people, I mean my Mother) question why I would also tackle a home. When you buy a fixer-upper there are always "taste" issues. These are the things that you change to reflect your personal style.  But there are often things that are just gross. Like nasty stinky cat carpet. Or stained cracked popcorn ceilings. And hideous wallpaper stuck right to the wall.

I adopted my alter ego: Wreck-It Rebecca and tackled the worst areas first. I started with the Guest Rooms so we could welcome out-of-town students again.

I pulled carpet, re-surfaced floors, removed popcorn, painted walls/furniture and decked them out.

Bruce was feeling good. With the help of my Dad, we created an outdoor space to enjoy with our friends and the dogs.

Now by this point I 'm getting a little worn-out.  Even the Energizer Bunny needs to charge the battery.  When did I realize that I was, let's say, loosing it?

My sister is helping me move a sofa out of the garage and into the house.  It won't fit through the door. I knock over a wall of brooms and rakes. It won't go around the stainless refrigerator also in garage because it won't fit with the kitchen cabinets.

I, as we say in the South, loose my religion. 

I throw boxes and brooms. My use of profanity would make a sailor blush.  My sister who works with special needs children is witnessing an adult tantrum. She adopts the inside voice as she asks me, "are you OK?"

OK? No. I am a tired frustrated mess. My back hurts. My neck hurts. My brain hurts. A year's worth of sadness, pain, and fear is bubbling up right to the top. I'm thinking of what we have lost and what we stand to loose. It is just a house but it feels like so much more.

"You know it will be good," Sally tells me.  "It will be beautiful. You always make things beautiful. And you and Bruce will be happy here."  She calls me that night and the next day to check on me. Wow. I must of scared her.  My sister is the best.

I finally tell Bruce about my trip to crazy town. He looks thoughtful and then this happened...

I came home from work to a house covered in plastic. Bruce contracted with our friend Jon to remove the wallpaper and all the popcorn. They repaired the ceilings, skimmed the walls, primed and painted everything.

Now many of you don't know this but Bruce decided to be an Uber Driver. It allows him flexibility and the chance to get out of the house. Plus it generates some extra income. This is how he paid the workers....for me.

"I want you to have a house you like. I don't want you stressed.  Now you will be able to work your magic and create a home you are proud of. When I'm not here, I want you to be happy and not thinking about all the work ahead."

So you ask me? What does love have to do with popcorn, priming, plaster, and paint?

I will tell you....."Everything."