Last St. Louis Hurrahs: Art Fair at Queeny Park

With our St. Louis days dwindling, we’re trying to get out and experience things we’ve been too busy for over the past five years. Today it was the Greater St. Louis Art Association‘s Art Fair at Queeny Park in Des Peres. I’m always shocked by how pretty St. Louis-area parks are, which makes me really sad that I didn’t indulge in them the whole time we’ve been here. To be honest, I had planned to take several pictures and review the fair. As soon as Zoey realized the fair wasn’t the rides and games type of event, the tantrums started and the pictures and etc. just didn’t happen. That being said, I did visit what I think may be the coolest pottery vendor I’ve ever seen.

Mississippi Mud Pottery (love the name) is based out of Alton, IL, just across the river. I like the idea of pottery but I rarely see pieces that really speak to me. I’m also rarely crazy about the earth tones so often used. I like the unexpected and a lot of pottery I’ve seen in the area is pretty but a little too ho-hum for my tastes (or wickedly expensive and I’m cheap). This stuff blew me away. I only bought two pieces but I could’ve gone crazy! The colors were so beautiful in eggplant purple and cranberry…really rich hues. The designs were outrageously cool. The pitcher below screamed Sangria to me and it was $55 (and it does have Sangria in it now). The pie plate/quiche plate was only $36 and would make the world’s best deep dish pie (if I could ever successfully make a pie).

Here’s the only downer: It seems like few, if any, of the pieces I saw today are actually on their site or in the photos section of their Facebook page, which is a shame. Maybe they’ll add them because the styles I saw today were knockouts. I think it was one of the artists, Chad, who was manning the booth. He told me that they can ship pieces. The site isn’t ready for ecommerce but a call or email is all it takes to make a purchase. With Mother’s Day around the corner, this might be a really cool gift idea (hint, hint).

Pitcher Style 3485

Large Pie/Quiche Dish Style 3342

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Revealing the Newly-Painted Furniture a la Pottery Barn

I mentioned last week that I was sick and tired of my Colonial style bedroom furniture. I’m not exactly sure how it was ever my style, but we all make some questionable choices in our twenties, don’t we? Despite my dislike, it really is quite nice. We had the forethought to buy the best we could afford, which meant all-wood Broyhill. Knowing it wasn’t in the budget to buy new furniture right now, I began looking for ways to change what we have. After seeing several different “Creating Pottery Barn Black” tutorials on Pinterest, I thought it was worth a shot to paint the pieces. The goal was to start small (the nightstand) and move on from there. It would be easier to cover a ruined nightstand than an oversize-style chest of drawers. (The blog entry that most heavily guided me was from Just A Girl blog.)

It was a…success! I chose what I deemed the best tips of all the tutorials and went from there to create my own. Best of all, we didn’t have to sand anything (well, a single spot on the top of the nightstand). I thought I would share our results and my own tips. I will give you fair warning that I don’t have a great camera. Everything I shoot comes from an iPhone 3GS. Forgive the poor picture quality.

Nightstand Before

Nightstand After

Chest of Drawers After

Dresser After

If you’re interested, I’m happy to share information on what we (Eddie and I) used. First, we chose to use only foam rollers (Whizz High Density from Lowe’s) to apply everything, from primer to paint. No brushstrokes! Our primer was Zinsser Cover Stain Primer in white, and we used about 1 1/2 quarts. For paint, we chose Benjamin Moore Low Lustre Finish Acrylic Exterior Latex Paint in 213 Black (about 1 1/2 quarts).

From there, we literally just applied product to the wood. It took two coats of primer per piece (don’t forget, we didn’t sand). It also took about two coats of the paint; we touched up some spots with a third coat.

The most expensive addition was the hardware. With a military discount, we wound up spending $140 on drawer knobs alone. I, personally, think it was worth it, though. And while we’re talking money, I’ll just add that the entire project (not counting labor since it was a DIY project) came in at around $200. Not a bad return on the investment, in my opinion.

As you can see, it isn’t all styled yet. We’re planning to change the bedding and curtains, and we’ll add some decor (and clean off my jewelry box) before it’s all said and done. I’m quite happy with it all, though! I hope this inspires someone to try it.

Sometimes it’s the Little Things…Conversation Hearts

As my grandparents used to say, I have some irons in the fire right now. I am sick of my bedroom furniture but really can’t afford to replace it with anything of excellent quality (and at this point in my life, I want quality). A Pinterest pin inspired me to paint it a la Pottery Barn satin black. It’s looking excellent, and I am going to share the tutorial, pictures and outcome soon. It’s not ready for its debut right now. Until then, or until I am able to wax poetic, I wanted to share an extremely simple holiday decor idea. And, yes, I did find it on Pinterest.

Check out my conversation hearts centerpiece. I found the candle holder on clearance at Target a few months ago. I had no idea what I’d do with it but thought it had great potential. At Christmas I added the candle and some Epsom Salts “snow.” For Valentine’s Day, it’s Conversation Hearts. I have to admit that the candy is dwindling because Zoey actually loves the hearts. I have a hard time keeping her hot little hands out of it. But, you know, it’s hard to deny a clever 3-year-old when she makes an iron-clad case for why she deserves a treat. I do have to admit that I am a little grossed out by the “UR Hot” ones. Seriously, who says that outside of a dive bar?

I’ll warn you, I’m a Pinterest-a-holic (at least early in the morning and late, late at night). If you’d like to follow me, find me under CourtneyStrimel.