Stripe and Chevron Madness


Chevron Side TableIt all started with this little piece…(the madness, that is)

A friend which I have painted several pieces for over the years requested this specific design for her teen daughter. I must admit that I have a love/hate relationship with the Chevron pattern. Mostly because I am cheap and refuse to purchase a reusable stencil. Instead, I do it the old-fashioned way using a calculator, tape measure, straight edge and tons of painters tape.

I painted the body of the table with Pure White Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and the chevron is ASCP Paris Grey.  Yep, those are my toes…obviously my love for paint doesn’t follow over to my toe nails.

Chevron by HandAnyhoo…Yes, a stencil would be great…but I love to torture myself. It makes me feel as if I’m a “hard worker”…lol

So…after feeling rewarded by my awesome mathematical accomplishment, I decided that I would take the easy route on the next couple of pieces and paint plain old stripes. I will warn you that sometimes I get a little obsessed, stuck, okay…so, I can beat a style to death sometimes. That might be what happened in this scenario. Shabby Beach ASCP Pure WhiteI was going for the surprise inside effect on this one. It’s Annie Sloan Pure White as the main color and Napoleonic Blue and Pure White stripe on the sides of the drawer.

then…I made these signsanchorsignwhich launched another obsession…

anchors…help it’s out of control…nope, false alarm that just the creative juices starting to kick in…and wah-la… just like that, the idea hits me for this sad little piece that had occupied valuable space in my garage.

IMG_7424The idea? You guessed it… Stripes and anchors and baskets which turned out like this…

Anchors Away Anchors Away Stripe TopThe stripes are Country Grey and Pure White Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I removed the drawer pulls and used rope for drawer pulls. ANchors Away Rope HandlesI removed one of the drawers which was broken and reused it as a wall hook with dock cleats for the hooks. Anchors Away Wall HookWhile I was painting the blue piece, this is the dialog that occurred in my over active brain…

“ooh we should go to Tybee Island over the summer…ohh I should name this group Tybee Beach.”

At this point I’m pretty sure a squirrel ran by and distracted me for half a second and then I was back to stripping. No, no I meant striping…in my clothes. I don’t paint naked. Although,  I have witnesses it before, but that’s another story.

Anyway, stripes were on everything at this point …and anchors. Don’t forget the anchors.

IMG_7500(The table is  Pure White with Country Grey stripes)

Then I painted this cute little shelf with ASCP Pure White and Paris Grey and made a  matching jewelry hanger out of an old frame and knobs that I had. It was instantly snapped up by another of my favorite teens.

IMG_7484So after a couple of days of seeing stripes, another friend saw the chevron table and mentioned that  her teenage daughter loved it and that she had a 4 poster bed in her garage that maybe I could do something with. I asked her to describe her daughters style. Get this…she said the walls are Tiffany blue and she has black and white Marilyn Monroe posters.

I instantly saw this…in my head.londonbed2 londonbed4 londonbed5Btw…that doesn’t always happen that quickly, but when it does, it usually continues to happen over and over with the same pattern, which led to this…

red cab chevronwhich had been in my dressing room since I closed our last store …but it looked like this… IMG_1910and I couldn’t figure out why I was bored with it. Now I know why…it just needed a little chevron therapy.

So that is how the Chevron and Stripe madness ended…just like that. Not really. It’s still happening, but I’m hiding all the other pieces that I’ve painted that way, just so you don’t think I’ve completely lost my mind.

Thanks for stopping by…

btw…I have some really big news to share with y’all very soon.

Anchors Away

This cute little chest of drawers was inspired by my travels to Tybee Island. The moment I laid eyes on it, I knew what I wanted to do. It was hot mess (see picture below) but there was something about it that seemed so charming. It was the perfect shade of blue and once I began sanding away the problem areas, it became even more beautiful.

Anchors Away

Someone had removed the original drawer pulls and used an interesting replacement… I removed them and instantly knew that I wanted to use rope for the pulls. One of the drawers was actually missing and the previous owners had hinged the drawer face to the dresser which was very awkward and not very functional. I removed it and finished the area of the missing drawer with sand ply and then searched for the perfect beachy baskets to fit the space.

ANchors Away Rope Handles

Not allowing any good piece of wood to waste, I reused the drawer front to mount my nautical inspired wall hooks, which happen to be dock cleats.

Anchors Away Wall Hook

I painted the top of the dresser in stripes of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Pure White and Country Grey, which I felt complemented the blue without being overly matchy-matchy. I also like to finish off the inside of the drawers with fabric and I’m obsessed with anchors so when I happened upon this super cute yellow anchor fabric, I knew my vision was meant to be.

Anchors Away Stripe Top

Before (I always forget to take a picture before I start)


Thanks for stopping by

Just a bunch of good ole junk…


Were getting back into the swing of things and enjoying our little space at Adjectives Market which we named Johnny & Gypsy’s Modern General. We must say that we do miss seeing all of you High Falootin’ Junkies  so we figured we would drop a line on our old blog and show you what  we’ve been pickin’ and painting. IMG_7050 IMG_7051 IMG_7085 IMG_7088 IMG_7255 IMG_7260 IMG_7261      IMG_7287 IMG_7289  IMG_7355 IMG_7436 IMG_7477 IMG_7478 IMG_7479 IMG_7480  IMG_7484  IMG_7486 IMG_7494 IMG_7495 IMG_7499  IMG_7501 IMG_7505Toot-a-loo…

Part II – Kitchen Cabinet Makeover

Here it is…my Cowgirl/Red Licorice Kitchen. Whew! That was a lot of work and it took longer than planned because we had family reunion slap dab in the middle of my project, but it was a nice break, so I’m not complaining.

I mentioned in Part I that I would explain a little more about why I used wax to finish the kitchen cabinets. I also said that I would give a estimate on how much a job like this would cost as a DIY project and how much I would quote this job for. I want to start by saying that this is not a typical project. It is in my home so I used advanced paint techniques and bold color choices that I probably wouldn’t suggest to the typical client. I have bold taste and I have the ability to repaint at anytime if I need to tone the colors down a bit.

So first off…the reason I LIKE WAX, is  for the ability to touch up and blend in repairs without being able to tell the boo-boo ever happened. Okay, so you are saying to yourself…why would there be deep gouges, scratches and other issues that might need touching up? The answer…CAUSE ANYTHING PAINTED HAS THE ABILITY TO SCRATCH with enough force. I have kids, dogs and LIFE that happens every day. Not to mention, these cabinets are NOT even WOOD, so it’s not a question of if…it’s when it scratches, I can make the scratch disappear in minutes with very little effort. With any other finish they would need to be stripped, sanded and completely repainted. With Chalk Paint and Wax you can paint right over the old wax and then re-wax, making it all blend together…like it never happened. Now that is magic!

Now lets get down to the nitty gritty details of the job…

This job it not for the faint of heart or a first timer. There were moments that I wanted to sit in the floor and cry, but I put my big girl boots on and pushed through. I also made mistakes…I’m a human and I do make mistakes…the important part is having the knowledge to fix the mistakes. This only comes with experience and it’s the most valuable tool there is.

So all you DIYers out there here are the numbers…

China Cab 12
Island 15
Wall 22
Total Hours 49

and here are the supply costs…

Zinsser Primer $14
Chalk Paint ™ Primer Red (2) $70
Chalk Paint ™Emperors Silk $35
Chalk Paint ™Florence $35
Spray Paint (Hardware) $7
ASCP Clear Wax (2) $50
ASCP Dark Wax $25
Paint Brushes (2) Purdy Cub $35
Ultimate Wax Brushes (2) $50
Wiping Cloths $10
Total Supply Cost $331

Now for those of you that do not feel comfortable with tackling a project of this scale, here is what I would have charged for a job like this. Please note that this was more than just a single color paint technique. It was actually two colors (the second being a wash).

Cabinet Doors (Remove, Clean, Paint, Reinstall) 26 x $55 $1,430
Drawers (Remove, Clean, Paint, Reinstall) 12 x $40 $480
Pulls (Remove, Clean, Paint, Reinstall) 38 $25.00
Hinges (Remove, Clean, Paint, Reinstall) 52 $25.00
plus Island (same as 4 extra doors) 4 x $55 $220
Total Labor $2,180

Now add the supplies that labor cost and for about $2500 you have a whole new look. That is significantly less than replacing all the cabinets for a kitchen this size which, by the way is 15′ x 15′.

Here is how I come up with the quote. Each cabinet door is $55 and each drawer is $45. Obviously I’m not painting just the door and drawers…I’m also painting the cabinet itself, but this is just an simplified way to figure the cost quickly when doing a quote. Now there are exceptions to this rule when the kitchen has a large island that doesn’t have doors all the way around I just figure what it would be if the doors were there. (it’s simple, no hard math for me)

I just want to say this about painting a kitchen versus painting a piece of furniture…if it doesn’t turn out right, it’s a little harder to change out than a dresser or a table. It is a LOT of work and it is a major room in your house. It can also make or break your house if you are trying to sell it so make sure that you are prepared for the job if you are going to do it yourself.

Another note…there are a variety of techniques that could change the cost of this job, such as painting the inside of the cabinets and the doors, which is a lot more work and more money, but creates a very nice, finished look. You might also want to distress the doors, trim out flat panels or fill in holes for new hardware, etc, etc…which all changes the cost.

Overall it was a fun project and I’m glad it’s finished. Now who needs a kitchen makeover? I gettin’ bored already…I need a new project or I’m gonna start gettin’ into trouble, lol.

Happy Trails…


Red Licorice Kitchen – Part 1

Red Licorice Kitchen – Part 1

One of the things about owning a store is that you barely have time to decorate your own home. Everyone assumes that you have this amazingly decorated house, which in reality there just isn’t any time or energy left to do such a thing. That was one of the many reasons that I decided to close the retail store and focus on commission work and to work on my own home.

The first task on my long list of “to do’s” was the kitchen cabinets, which looked like this….Really bad 1980’s faux wood laminate. This is actually the built-in china cabinet, I’m still working on the main cabinets. Since this is a farmhouse I wanted barn red cabinets, so I used Primer Red (note that this is a color, not an actual primer) a base color and then used a wash of Emperor’s Silk to make a deep, luminescent appearance. For the shelves and backboard of the cabinet, I used a progression of Florence that I mixed with Cream to get just the right western turquoise color.

Of course I used Chalk Paint™ Decorative Paints since I used to be a retailer for the line and have the a lot of training with this product. Even though I no longer carry the line, I still believe that there isn’t another product on the market that is more suitable for painting kitchen cabinets. I have done several kitchen jobs over the years, using everything from oil to latex and Chalk Paint out performs all the other, especially on laminate.

Step 1 – Remove all cabinet doors and drawers.

Step 2 – Remove all hardware.

Step 3- Clean each door and the actual cabinet itself. I used Clorox wipes to clean the laminate. I used brake cleaner to clean the hardware.

Step 4 –
Even though Chalk Paint™ is a no prep, no prime paint, this is laminate so I wanted to use every precaution possible. I used Zinsser Bulls Eye Water Based Primer which is tintable and I mixed it with the Chalk Paint™ colors that I wanted to use.  The reason I wanted to tint the primer was so that if the paint was scratched it wouldn’t be stark white primer showing through.

Step 5 – A complete coat of Primer Red and the custom Florence color was applied straight out of the can, without thinning it with water. I wanted to add some texture to the paint since I was going to be using a lot of dark wax.

Step 6 – After the Primer Red had completely dried I created a wash of Emporer’s Silk by adding water to the paint. This coat needed to be very thin and almost transparent so the there would be a variation of color. This is what creates the depth and also once it is waxed the different colors will catch in the light.

Step 7 – I applied the 2 coats of clear wax, buffing between each coat.

Step 8 – As I like to say, this is when the magic happens…dark wax. This is the final and most crucial process in creating the variation and depth of color for this technique. I worked in small sections and very quickly practically scrubbing the wax into the paint. This is where the texture of the paint comes into play. That texture will “catch” the dark wax and make a variegated/antique look.

NOTE- in Part 2, I will address why, in my opinion, wax is the best option for a kitchen.

Step 9 – All of the original hardware was spray painted satin black and reinstalled. Let me tell you, paint works wonders on dated hardware and it saves a bunch of money when it comes to kitchens, which typically have 30 plus pulls. That could easily cost $200 in new pulls. I sprayed the hinges and even the screw heads so that everything looked shiny and new.

I am sorry for the poor picture quality, but these were taken with my iPhone. I haven’t located my good camera since the move.

Check back for Part 2, which will include more photos of the main wall of cabinets and the huge island. I will also give an idea of what this job would cost in time and money to DIY and what I would charge to do a job like this.

Until then…tootles. I’m hittin’ the beach.

Our New Home – The Farm

I have so much to share with y’all about the farm and the house, that I almost don’t know where to begin. I guess I will tell you a little about the farm first. It is a sustainable 100% grass-fed meat farm with cattle, chickens, pigs and turkeys. We are not the caretakers of the farm, but merely just leasing a property that is located on the farm. The operation is very intriguing to me since I was raised on a farm. Of course, when I was young I didn’t appreciate farm life all that much, as I wanted to be a big city girl. I guess it’s that time in my life when the cliché about going back to your roots is starting to apply.

Anyway, here are a few pictures of the farm.

We have only just begun to explore the 480 acres of pasture land.

Nature happens all the time around here, so there are several pregnant animals.

This is Honky the Donkey – He earned that name, although I didn’t give it to him, but he makes an excellent alarm clock. I found out that he loves red licorice so of course I had to buy some. He can spot me waving it in the air and he knows what it is. He will take off running toward me hee-hawing the whole way.

This is Brownie. I know, I know…the names are just not very original, but I didn’t name them. She is very pregnant and I just can’t wait until there is a little foal running around. The horse farm next door has had a foal born each week we have been here. I love watching them get their legs.

The chicks are irresistible! Sorry Steph, I’m talking about the real baby chicks.

Mr. Turkey got his feathers all ruffled and started chasing me through the field. It’s probably the first time I screamed like a little girl in a long time.

The girls checking out the farm with their cousins. This is what kids should be doing instead of playing on the computer.

Although there aren’t any horses on this farm, all of the surrounding properties are horse farms. This guy and 4 of his friends visit with me every day. It really is the highlight of my day.

Our property is very wooded and secluded. We have old Hammock Oaks all over the place and tons of Pine trees.

See the little platform in the crook of the tree. The kids love to sit up there.

This is right outside of my kitchen window. I call it the stairway to heaven tree.

Well that is all for today…I have been working away on the painting the kitchen cabinets. I will start to post pictures this week. It is amazing…Of course I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint so you are going to want to check out that post. I will give a lot of tips and tricks.

Until then…Happy Trails…Denna

My Next Great Adventure!

As many of you already know, we have closed the Mount Dora store. We originally were trying to sell it and we had a serious buyer, but as the old saying goes “shit happens”. We had grown very tired of the brick and mortar/ retail aspect of the store. It really took me away from what I loved, which was furniture painting, junkin’ and decorating. It also took me away from traveling to find all of the cool stuff that I painted and decorated with. Basically, I lost myself and after a lot of stressful days and sleepless nights we decided that it was best that we sell/closed the brick and mortar and go back to being a working studio and occasional sale operation.

The Farm

At the same time that we were trying to sell the store, we had found an amazing new home over an hour away from the store, but closer to our Ocala bail bond office.  We moved back to Marion County, which we absolutely loved and missed so much. For some reason Ocala just seems like home. Our new home is located on a 480 acre working cattle ranch and is surrounded by some of the most beautiful horse country I’ve ever seen. It’s just what I needed…to disconnect for a while. I will take the next couple of months to work on the house and do lots of painting. I will be blogging about all the projects around the house and cool things about the ranch.

What’s To Come

We plan to do a lot of shows around the country, but we also want to host our own show or barn sales. We hope to have our first barn sale in September here at the ranch. We will have other antique/vintage vendors, great food and live music.

Where To Find The Products/Artists That Were At The Store

Painted Furniture from Blue French Horn by Marcia Malloy can be found at When Pigs Fly on Donnelly St.

I will keep you posted on the others as the find new stores to call home.


Bohemian State Of Mind

I have always lived an unconventional lifestyle. I have always been a little on the fringe of the social norm. Only in the last few years have I become comfortable with how different my notions of  the good life are from the status quo.  A traveling gypsy lifestyle would suit me just fine, as I could wander around the world hunting all of the beautiful things that make me happy.

Lately, I have been longing for the open road and craving the exploration of new places along the way.

This is how I envision that my life should be…if i were still young, wild and free…

I would be cruising down the open road to destinations unknown like this…

via here

Visiting bohemian artist friends with houses like this…

via here

Glamping in something like this…

via here

Soaking up the intellectualism of free thinkers, within a place like this…

via here

and dreaming that I was still young and cute enough to pull off a look like this…

Here is to being young, wild and free…D

The NEW High Falootin Junk Headquarters

Have you seen our new digs? We reopened in our new spot last Tuesday and we have been so busy that I haven’t had time to post until now. The build out of the new store was a lot of work, but so worth it. We love our new spot!

Here are some photos of the build out process .

In my last post I mentioned that I really wanted to rip out the carpet and get down to the concrete so that I could paint it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. After 3 days of scraping up felt paper and glue I nixed that idea

I really wanted to feature the chalk paint on the floor, so I had to find a quick and easy alternative to having new concrete pumped in or wood flooring put in only to paint over it. I decided to use a technique that I had installed during my trade show days. Plywood cut into 4×4 squares and laid with the grain going opposing directions for visual interest.

I then created a wash by adding water to Graphite Chalk Paint and painted the plywood. I really wanted to have a lot of highs and lows in the finish to create a finish that looked time-worn in some areas.

I then stenciled these paisley patterns on the floor with various ASCP colors.

We also built out the bay window so that I could double my floor area in that space and create not only storage underneath, but a great merchandising surface on top. By the way that is Aubusson, Versailles and Duck Egg Chalk Paint on the walls.

I love corrugated steel. It creates so much texture and it really brightens up small spaces.

After one and a half weeks of running the store during the day and building out the new store at night…Wha La here it is…

I hope y’all will stop by and check out the new digs!

Too -Da- Loo