Two sisters just being creative…

I know this isn’t a decorating blog, but today it is…

I was creative a little bit this week, but not as much as my sister, Cindy… She is the queen of creativity…and I really mean that. My sister, Deb, comes in tied with her. Somehow I was absent when it came to getting the gene for decorating your home. Give me fabric or a pattern and I can come up with something, but tell me to decorate a bookshelf or the top of a buffet and we’ll be here all day waiting for me to figure out what to put where… I’m just lost when it comes to that. I have been known to send Cindy a picture of all I have to work with and she’ll say, “Put this picture here, add this basket there, move the glass thingy up more in the front, etc.” Yep, she’s helped me decorate long distance by texting pictures back and forth… Pathetic, I know…

Which brings me to my post today…it’s about 2 sisters who created something this week…one sister, Cindy, shines like the sun, and me, the other sister, did something on a way smaller scale… Let’s show Cindy’s handiwork first…

She found an old buffet at her mission, probably from the 20’s and brought it home to “redo.” Better known as “putting her touch on it.” It was that purplish brown varnish you’ve probably seen on old furniture.

She brought it home and started sanding on the top in her garage…and said it was a mess…E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E!

The top was mahogany so she stained it a dark walnut to tone down the red and then gave it two coats of polycrylic with sanding between. Then she steel wooled the last coat and applied Annie Sloan clear wax as a final coat.

Doesn’t it have a beautiful top now?

She painted the bottom of the buffet with Annie Sloan Chalk paint in a much lighter color and brightened it up…

Then she sent me a picture and ASKED MY OPINION on whether she should paint the drawers slightly different than the rest of the buffet? Why is she asking me, was my first thought… but I, being the good sister, said, “Oh sure, I think you should definitely paint them different.” I said that because I thought if “she” thought it, it must be the right thing to do! Here’s a picture of the slight color variation…

She said she was hoping for something like this dresser she had painted before… don’t you just LOVE it?

So she kept working and kept sending pictures… here it is with a few knobs…

This is the mirror that attaches to the back of it…

She finished the rest of it and I’m sure she stood back and said, “It’s a GOOD thing! I think I’ll keep it!”

But now she had a dilemma…she already had a buffet…a blue one that she painted a while back. I love it very much and hated to hear it was getting “the boot”…

…but I have to admit this new one is very very pretty in its spot! She said this one has more room too…

So that was a weeks worth of pictures from Cindy. Doesn’t she do nice work? I’m know I’m not supposed to be jealous, but I am just a tiny bit!

Okay, now onto my project… it’s a much smaller project, but it took me three days to complete… it was a time issue with me… you know, the baby shower…

I found this little wooden piece at Hobby Lobby and thought it would make a really sweet backdrop for my dolls…it was sort of neat the way it was, but I wanted to paint it white so my dresses would “pop” against it.

It had hinges on it that made it sort of zig zag… I wanted it to kind of encircle the doll when she modeled something, so I took the hinges off of one side and turned them around so it did just that.

I rounded up some white chalk paint I had and began painting… it was pretty rough wood, and dry, so painting took a little while… plus there were all those grids.

I gave it two coats to make sure I got in all the corners…didn’t want any brown to show…

Then I waxed it with Miss Mustard Seed white wax and was going to use a dark wax that I have to make it sort of “antique-y” looking, but it made it look dirty, so I had to paint over it with the white again and let that dry.

In the end, I just decided to distress it a little bit with some sand paper to make it look a little worn, but not exactly worn out…

So here is my finished project, with New Miss Nora in front of it… naked still because her mommy has had too busy of a week. I think it will be cute with some curtains hanging up and maybe a picture behind the grids of a blue sky or some trees… who knows what creative thing I’ll come up with!

So there you have it, two sisters doing 2 projects, both using chalk paint, and both very happy with their results…(But just between you and me, Cindy wins hands down!!!)

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Linda D. says:

    Wow, Jeanne! Love today’s blog even though it wasn’t about sewing! Cindy does fabulous work, but you and everyone already knows that. I love the way the chest was finished, I would never have thought to paint the drawers a different shade! And it really looks good where she put it. I actually prefer the new one to the older blue one, since it brightens up that corner. Oh, too, they have a snazzy red car in that garage!!!

    Your little project is really a cute background for the dolls, and you did a great job, Jeanne. Just because Cindy does “bigger things” doesn’t make your projects any less. We all have different gifts. Where did you find that in Hobby Lobby? Where the unfinished wood is? That is a cute idea that I may be able to do for Molly’s house.

    I’m sure you are all worn out from yesterday at the shower! Boy, was it a hot one and this week will be too. We will be waiting to hear about it and maybe some pictures too?

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Linda,
      I found the backdrop wood piece for my dolls in the clearance section of Hobby Lobby… Maybe you can find one there at your Hobby Lobby…
      I just finished doing my dishes…it took me 2 1/2 hours… I had every platter and glass plate that I own used I think.
      I have to get my pictures sorted out and then I’ll be sharing some…
      Thanks Linda,
      Blessings, Jeanne

      • Charlotte Trayer says:

        I was going to ask the same question Linda D. asked. Looks like I need to make a trip to HL pretty soon!! I love your idea of moving the hinges that way, too–thanks for the tip!!

  2. Jeanne, we can call you and Cindy, the inspirational sisters (plus sister Deb). My, both of your work is stirring some creative juices in me…mmmm…what can I work on?

    I will be eager to hear how the baby shower went and how the “bassinets” were viewed by all there. Talk about creativity! Thanks for taking us places we would not have come up with ourselves.


    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Becky,
      Hmmm…the Inspirational Sisters… I like that! :o)
      You’ll have to let me know what you find to work on…
      The baby shower was fine and we had a really nice turn out! I have so many pictures and I’m trying to sort them out… but I will share some…
      Thank you Becky,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. Charlotte A. says:

    You and your sister could have a TV show! I think you both do great work. It isn’t the size of the project that matters! Your backdrop screen may be a little smaller than Cindy’s dresser but that doesn’t make it any less wonderful!! You both are creative and have great skills.
    Have a good day!
    Take care.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Charlotte,
      Oh dear me, a TV show… I don’t think so… I don’t have enough time for my every day life , let alone time for a show…
      I’m sure I smiled at my finished project as much as Cindy did hers… :o) I’m glad you enjoyed seeing them.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Marilyn says:

    Cindy’s project gives me some ideas for a dresser I have that has long needed work.
    Your charming creation is going to be wonderful. I can see it with ivy leaves winding in and out here and there, and with leaves and flowers in summer and with fall leaves. How does that bench you have look with this piece? It’s going to make you a very pretty background.
    I’m looking forward to hearing more about the shower, maybe when you recover a little more.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Marilyn,
      Oh good, I’m glad Cindy inspired you with a project…maybe… :o)
      I haven’t tried the bench in front of it, but it might work well… we’ll see… I think it was too good to pass up! You can find the best props in Hobby Lobby…
      I was so sick of dishes I could croak… but they are finally all done… and everything “shower wise” has been put away…
      Pictures will be coming soon…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Shara Smith says:

    Love BOTH of your creations! The new chest teally brightens up the corner much morecghan the blue one:)
    Your wooden screen is a perfect backdrop! Perhaps you can add cup hooks and gather different fabrics on a dowel to lay in the hooks . That way you can change the curtains too:)

    Im sure Nora will love being “first up” for an outfit especially since shes a nudie cutie…Do you see her as a more modern girl or spanning many decades?

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Shara,
      I like the idea of how simple changing curtains would be with cup hooks… hmmm… :o)
      I can’t wait to play with it and see what I come up with first…
      I haven’t decided about Nora yet…who she will be…
      Thanks Shara,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. As I looked at the before photo of Cindy’s buffet, I couldn’t help saying, “No, don’t do it.”
    What with the current popularity of dark wood aka Ikea. But then, I thought, didn’t I do the same thing a long time ago? I did. But, no chalk paint then, painted my piece white and that old mahogany bled through. I think I put on 3 or four coats of paint to right the situation. As the progression in Cindy’s photos continued, I came around and with the final, installed in the corner photo, decided Cindy was right again. It is a lovely piece and with her decorating touches looks perfect in her home. (Love the little birds in a row basket thingy on the buffet mirror top.)
    Absolutely love your Hobby Lobby piece. I wonder how something like that would look with a Little Darling? Maybe too massive? Love it with the white paint. Can’t wait to see it with your fabric or flowers entwined. Should be a wonderful backdrop piece for years to come.
    Thanks for sharing the great projects today.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Joy,
      I’m like you… I thought the blue buffet was perfect, but I’ve learned not to second guess Cindy so much…she’s usually right when it comes to furniture and paint colors! She was this time too! I’m glad you came around to liking it…
      I think the backdrop might work for the Little Darlings… they might have to be raised up on something so the windows show more, but I think it will work…
      Thank you Joy,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. How creative you both are! Long distance to boot. My son has a desk similar in construction and color to the chest that belonged to our Nana. I wonder if they would like Cindy’s idea for rehabbing it. I’ll be off to Hobby Lobby to see if I can find a similar screen. What a great find for the big dolls’ house. What a great post! Thanks again for all the ideas.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Susette,
      I’m glad you liked it enough to maybe pass along the idea to your son for his desk. Chalk painting goes really quickly so you see results almost immediately! That’s always fun.

      I found my piece in the clearance section at Hobby Lobby… I hope you can find one too…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Oh, Cindy did a beautiful job on the cabinet. I also liked her old blue one. She has a knack for sure.
    Jeanne, I just love the wooden back drop you did. How clever!! There is a ton of stuff you could use with the back drop…very excellent project !! You mentioned an outdoor scene behind the grid…that would be cool as it would almost look like a bay window. Excellent!!

    I hardly get to craft stores but I think I might now. You find the neatest stuff. You and Cindy. Thanks for sharing!!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Paula,
      I could live with either buffet if it were me… but the new one is growing on me… Yes, she certainly does have the knack!
      I’m looking forward to using the backdrop too…I think there are lots of things I can do withi it.
      You just have to have an open mind and think outside the box when you see things that are the right scale… :o)
      Thanks Paula,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. Susette says:

    It’s me again. I did go to Hobby Lobby and found the screen. It was tagged $50! Yikes! The lady who uncluttered the thing said I could use the 40% off coupon and it would be just $30. The man who helped her then told me it was 66% off, $15. WOW! So I popped for one. Now to get the paint going. Thanks for once again contributing to the delinquency of an adult. Just what I need: More stuff.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Susette,
      Oh, congratulations on finding one, Susette… I LOVE to contribute to the delinquency of adults… especially adults who love dolls! :o)
      We want to see yours when you get it done…
      I know… $50 to start! No wonder they had “leftovers!”
      Thanks Susette,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  10. Cindy Ellicott says:

    Thanks everyone for nice compliments on my old empire buffet, you are all too kind and such good friends and an encouragement to Jeanne. When I told her I was painting a piece of furniture she told me she was painting too! I love the lattice work backdrop! She told you she was distressing it but I like to call it “shabby chic” or “cottage.” Now to get the extra buffet out of my dining room!

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Cindy,
      Y-E-S… Shabby chic…that’s my name! I really like it too… but I LOVE your buffet… Once again you have transformed an ugly ducking into a swan! I didn’t have any doubts!
      You need a shop in your home Cindy… that way, you could make something and put it in the basement and somehow advertise… and sell from home…
      I hope you made it through your day with the kiddo’s….looks like a handful to me…
      Love you,
      Your slightly jealous sister…Jeanne

  11. Wow, I like both of Cindy’s makeovers on the buffets, but I think I like the second one better. I really like the curved wood lines at the base. Cindy, you are indeed very talented.
    Love the Hobby Lobby piece. It will make a beautiful backdrop. I think I may have to look for one as well. I can see putting different pictures in the windows to change the scenes. May have to blow up some shots we took in Williamsburg and PEI. It would really be liking looking out of windows onto that scene.
    Can’t wait to see what you have planned for Nora’s debut.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Laura,
      Thanks for your compliments on Cindy’s work and mine… Susette went to her Hobby Lobby and found one and I think Linda was going to try and find one at hers… It’s in the clearance section if you go…
      I can’t wait to see what I come up with for Nora either… I’ve been too busy to even think about her… poor naked girl…
      Thanks Laura,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  12. Carolyn says:

    Cindy certainly does good work, there’s no doubt about that. I think it’s neat that you can text her pictures, and she can tell you how to arrange things. I need a sister like that! Don’t tell Cindy I said so, but between you and me, I like your project better. The buffet is very nice, but anything dolly sized will always get my vote. The little screen is so cute I’m wishing I had one!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Carolyn,
      Maybe Cindy won’t see your comments and even if she does, she understands us dolly lovers… I’m glad you like the backdrop and you should go to your Hobby Lobby and see if you can find one for yourself… it’s a pretty easy project to do…
      Thanks so much Carolyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  13. Anne Johnson says:

    What gifted gals you and your sister(s) are, Jeanne! The transformation of Cindy’s buffet and mirror is AMAZING! I love the two-tone effect. I noticed it required completely different accessories. Of course! And the French dresser with dark top — I want it! Both pieces look like they belong in “Cottage Style” magazine. Congratulations to Cindy, and when did you say her specialty shop is opening?! 😉

    Your carefully distressed doll screen is a charming transformation, too, Jeanne. It will make a lovely accessory for dolly pictures, and I can see that Nora is pleased to showcase it for you! I love the scalloped top, and I can just imagine some of your lovely lace behind the open grids for a picturesque look. Will the Grand Opening of your doll shop be at the same time as Cindy’s?! RSVP-ing right now! Thanks for sharing your projects, Jeanne. Loved the results!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Anne,
      What kind things you said to Cindy and me… Cindy already has a booth in an antique shop but she is helping baby sit for her grandkids now, so she can’t get over to it like she used to. She is very talented and whenever I have a decorating, painting, or home question, you can guess who I call!
      I’m looking forward to seeing my backdrop in a few pictures too… but first I need to make a doll dress to showcase in front of it… first things first…
      Thanks for your compliments, Anne,
      Blessings, Jeanne

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