Wednesday, May 21, 2014

everything you wanted to know about painting chairs but were afraid to ask!

After having completed a set of dining chairs this week, I thought it was good to do a blog post about painting chairs.
Here is my simple advice if you are planning to paint your own dining chairs at home:
1. painting chairs are always more work than you think!
2.  There is a reason why when I tell the girls who work for me that we are painting a set of chairs, they always let out a collective moan.
3. If you want to paint your chairs to be durable there are a lot of steps.
4. be prepared to take the week off from work.
5. find out from your insurance if they cover painting-induced carpal tunnel.
6.  pay someone to paint your chairs. You'll thank me later.

If you read the above sound advice and still want to paint your own chairs, here are steps to take to make the job a little less painful:
1. Sand the snot out of them. Get that shiny finish off...if you don't it will be chippy down the road.
2. I don't care what kind of paint you are using...chalk paint, latex, acrylic.... Spray primer the chairs first. I use Kilz oil-based primer spray.  It coats like a dream and any paint will bond to that.
3. always start painting your chair UPSIDE DOWN doing the legs first...again, you will thank me later.
4. once the legs are painted, flip it right side up. This helps with the stinkin drips, which happen a lot with chairs.
5. Sand between coats! Again, you will thank me. It saves a lot of time when you do the finishing coat.
6. You can check your chairs a hundred times over, and you will still find spots where you missed with paint. Be patient.
7. Also be patient with painting chairs with wrungs. They make you want to rip your hair out.  Trust me.
8.  for a cleaner look for your chairs (after using your primer) use spray paint rather than brush on paint.
9.  When you get done the first chair and you realize how much work they are, give us a call.  We would be glad to finish the other 5 for you ;) .

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Building by Any Other Name...

As many of you know, we are moving our shop. We are not sure where and we have to move soon. There is a deadline for this move. But, if you think I am in a panic about moving, yet not knowing where exactly we are moving to, you would be wrong. Let me explain:

Growing up we moved around a bit, and it was truly painful for me to attempt to make new friends. I would have rather cut my arm off than say hello to someone I didn't know. High school wasn't much better. I hated every minute of it. Unpopular and awkward, I never felt I quite fit in anywhere. I had anxiety. I was emotional. I was insecure. I had bad hair, a back brace, and boys terrified me. I often felt rejected and lonely.  Eventually, after my college years, I grew out of my awkwardness and anxiety and began to find confidence and who I was and my place in the world. I learned to make bricks out of the mud of my past. With practice, I began to build myself from the ground up. I still battled with loneliness and shyness, but managed it by forcing myself out of comfort zones where I hid from life.  I learned to make bricks. Out of the mud. Over and over, until the pillars in myself raised higher and thicker, making me solid throughout. There is a reason why ancient monuments, thousand of years old, still stand. It's because someone took mud and made simple bricks. And every solid structure begins with just one brick. One brick at a time. Until something magnificent is achieved.
So a few years ago when personal crisis in my life tried to knock me down, and my business was at it's lowest, I held fast and creaked and wavered, but I did not crumble. The foundation held. In fact, this building is stronger than ever. Now I've grown reinforced steel girders.
So wherever we land, whatever roof is over our heads, makes no difference. If things are up in the air, I will just land square on my feet. And the building will hold and stand the test of time.

I will keep you all posted!

                                         Ten years ago when I started my business

And  now...

Friday, May 2, 2014

BEWARE the pitfalls. And paint buckets.

It has been yet another week of soul searching about my growing business. How can I possibly keep up, what's my next move, why does my store always look crazy (two quarts of paint got tripped over and spilled this week) why isn't my Facebook page more interesting, why do other pages seem to have their crap together and not me????
I had talked today to my stepdaughter about having feelings of jealousy that other business minded people seem to be progressing forward with their businesses in terms of the WOW factor, while I still feel stuck in the stone age. I do not Instagram. I barely Twitter. My website is out of date. I let my Etsy shop shrink. I write hand written receipts and I have a glorified ledger. I am currently not writing a book. I have no scheduled speaking engagements.  But what I concluded at the end of the day is this: I should not look to the right or to the left but focus solely on my own tasks at hand. BEWARE THE PITFALLS of comparing yourself to what other people do!! While it's good to keep an eye on what is trendy, what sells, what new colors are popular, etc, it is dangerous to one's own creativity and growth to look too long over what other's are doing. It's easy to follow trends. But new heights of creativity can only come from doing your own thing. Pinterest is a great example of this "looking" I speak of. While it is great for the occasional look-see, I avoid it for the most part. Because everybody's pin boards start to look alike, and I don't want my stuff to look like everybody else's. I want us to be unique! To do things that nobody has done on the internet. Maybe that makes me not as popular, but at least I know what we create is one-of-a-kind. Just like any flower in the garden, God grows us each in our own unique way, in our own timing, with our own custom-fit goals and achievements. So I will continue to focus on our humble little shop. And see what blossoms out of it.