Before and After: Paint Your Bathroom Vanity with Wise Owl One Hour Enamel

Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint

We have been slowly remodeling our home since the day we moved in, about 5 years ago. Our home had good bones, but needed modernizing and brightening up. I’ll admit, when we walked in for the first time and I saw dark red and brown walls, I knew we had our work cut out for us. Many layers of paint later, our home looks completely different from the neglected short sale we purchased just before our daughter started 1st grade.

One of the areas of our home that I really disliked was my private bath; we are each fortunate to have our own bathroom. It was SO dark – charcoal grey tile, dark red vanity, black sink and beige walls. Over the past year, I painted the walls white to offset the tile, replaced the brown Formica with granite and added a white vessel sink and modern faucet.

That dog would NOT move, I tell ya!

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting the kind and adventurous owner and creator of Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint, Karen Chouinard. Wise Owl recently released a product for cabinets and beyond, called One Hour Enamel. This amazing product dries hard as a rock in ONE hour. I have never painted cabinets before and this was the perfect product for a novice.

My first step was to remove all the hardware, doors and drawers. I wiped everything down with hot, soapy water to remove any traces of hair spray or any of the other many products you can see under my sink that don’t work on my hair type, ~sigh~ I opted not to sand, although that is recommended by other regular users of this product.

I learned how to use the reverse option on the drill – yay!

My cabinet took two coats of primer. I wanted to be sure the red tone of the wood was completely covered. The hard part of this process is waiting for the primer to dry, which takes 4 hours in between coats. I am terrible at waiting! This is not a quick project and you have to be willing to give up your bathroom for a couple of days – oh, so hard to do!

That Trader Joe’s body lotion under the sink is the bomb!

I chose Wise Owl One Hour Enamel in Carbon to give the vanity a modern, sleek upgrade. One Hour Enamel is incredibly easy to use. It glides on smooth and covers imperfections. It took two coats of Carbon to give me, what looks like, a brand new vanity!

Just noticed that little sliver of my reflection in the faucet – yikes!

I couldn’t be happier with how that outdated cabinet turned out! What’s old is new again and for less than 100 bucks!

Pen and Paper

My daughter’s sixth birthday is almost upon us and I am busy writing out invitations and making party plans. While at the dining table with my address book and favorite pen, I realized that I rarely sit to write anything anymore. I used to be an avid paper and pen writer. I had pen pals, sent postcards, kept a diary and jotted notes that were often decorated with doodles. I took great pride in my gorgeous cursive curlycues, embellishing every scented envelope.

In contrast, this morning names and addresses barely flowed from my wrist, which disturbed me greatly. “It’s time for a change, my friend”, I mumbled to myself. I do so love the internet, spell check and how quickly my fingers fly around the keyboard, but I am afraid that the art of pen and paper is getting lost in my quest for quick and easy communication. Would you like to receive a card in your mailbox? I’m fixing to send some.

Veronica Dearly Greeting Card
Veronica Dearly

You needed a good giggle, didn’t you?

Blueberry Paper
Blueberry Paper
Sweethearts in the Park

This is so sweet, I may send it to my husband. Some of the most beautiful handmade items come from Australia and this card from Blueberry Paper is no exception.

Icing on the cake vintage greeting cards
Icing on the Cake

I have to throw in a vintage inspired lovely, from one of my fave shop Angelina’s.

Calligraphuck greeting card
You Fabulous Bitch

So, I will admit that I love the whole Calligraphuck collection. I dare you to send one to your favorite naughty friend.

One Hectare Stationary
One Hectare
Green Thumb Notebook

One Hectare boasts that this is “the perfect stationary gift for people with big ideas”. The notebook is blank inside and perfect for jotted notes that are decorated with doodles.

Are you inspired?

Handmade Chat Janny’s Girl

Jannysgirl Summer Scarf
Summer Infinity Scarf

“I love browsing through fabric stores and dreaming of what a beautiful piece of fabric will become. Sparkly buttons, lace and vintage dresses have a special place in my heart. Who wore them in a time past, what was her life like, how did she feel when she wore it. Those are the things that inspire me to create.”

Jannysgirl totes chevron
Tote bag set

“I began sewing at a very young age. My earliest memories are of sewing with my Mother. We hand stitched doll clothes as we couldn’t afford a sewing machine at that time. As I grew older, my passion for sewing became stronger. I began making my own clothes for school. Then began making handmade gifts for family and friends. I have my Mother to thank for being my greatest teacher. She taught me everything I know. Some of my prized possessions are the handmade baby clothes my mother hand stitched for me and the 2 baby scarves she knitted for my son before she passed away.”

Jannysgirl handmade scarf
White Cotton Gauze Scarf

“My advice is educate yourself beforehand by reading how to books, blogs and even the Etsy seller handbook. Gaining as much knowledge about what you want to sell is key to being successful. You have to love what you do, so let your creativity flow. Check out the competition and don’t under price what you create and never try to match or compete with big box store pricing. What you make with your own hands from your own creative mind, the story you tell will speak volumes to the buyer.

My other advice is to treat your customers as if it were their birthday everyday. Communication and Thank You’s for your customers will keep them coming back. And, you will meet some wonderful people along the journey as well.”

Jennysgirl handmade scarves
Cotton Scarf in Beach Glass

“I love Etsy and have met some of the nicest people. I have so many favorites, but here are just a few very talented Etsy artists I know:
Kelly Bermudez
CariJoy Designs
A and B Design Studio
The Painted Mug
And many, many more, too numerous to mention them all”

You may find Janny’s Girl on Etsy and Facebook.

Handmade Chat Anna Pavlovna

Our names are Anna and Katherine. We are from Penza, Russia
In early 2008 we established our studio called Annapavlovna
All of toys are one-of-a-kind, in unique and limited quantity and they are made of natural materials, mainly, mohairs, alpacas, suede and wool felts. We create each item by hand. We also like natural colours, such as white, beige, brown and black.
Most of our ideas are nature inspired. Forest, earth, plants and flowers around us are helping us to create our toys. Very often our toys are inspired by children themselves.”

Made to order teddy bear
Made to Order Teddy Bear


“Katherine and I have loved teddy bears since childhood. Growing up, our mother and grandmother would make clothes, dolls, and stuffed animals for the kids in our family. We inherited our love of needlework and artistic skills from them. Today, Katherine and I support each other and work as a team. Though she studied economics and I studied fashion design, we work together to design and construct our collection. Toys are created with only high quality materials. It is our priority to use strictly natural materials.”

Anna Pavlovna
Elephant PDF Pattern

“We had to work hard to find own style. It’s not easy.It’s not a quick process.
Be prepared to do each and every task a business needs done! You’ll need to take on the role of everyone from designer,photograph, accountant, salesperson,customer service …”

Who are some of your favorite handmade artists?
River Luna
Friendly Toys

Anna Pavlovna
Made to Order Stuffed Fox


What are your business goals for 2015?

“- Build a better brand ForestMisha
– Customer Satisfaction
– Don’t be lazy
– Be patient and persistent
– Try something completely new”

Please visit Anna Pavlovna on Etsy and Facebook.

Handmade Chat

Handmade Chat Sculpture in Design

When I was a little girl, my mother and I took pottery classes at the famous Detroit landmark, Pewabic Pottery. My mom is very creative and tried to encourage an interest in the arts in both her children. Because I attended pottery classes, I have always appreciated the art of ceramics and know the amount of time it takes to produce a unique piece. Sometimes, you have a piece of clay exactly as you wish it to look and it is ruined in the firing process. Patience and tenacity are essential qualities for a successful sculptor, not just an artistic eye.

I was so pleased to run across the sculpture and ceramic designer, Dima from SCULPTUREinDESIGN, on Etsy. Dima’s pieces are each made by hand and his lovely personality shows through in his work, showcasing fantastic expression filled faces and reflections of important fixtures of Israel.

Handmade Chat with Dima, of SCULPTUREinDESIGN.

“My name is Dima. In 2013 I finished my studies at Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design in Jerusalem. Today I’m working as a sculptor and a ceramic designer from my studio in Tel Aviv. And I’m delighted to share with you some of my handmade ceramic creations.”

What inspires you to create?
“The combination of functional design and conceptual esthetic art in everyday objects. I really enjoy designing and making objects that are functional and yet, give space for thought.”

Hands planter

“Every item is made with care and love. I absolutely love the organic nature of ceramics and bringing the character out of the material. And I think it is necessary to alternate mass production world.”

Do you have a background in your craft or formal training?
“Yes, I am a graduate of the Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design in Jerusalem, Israel (2009 – 2013, B.F.A., Faculty: Ceramics Design).” 
What advice would you give to someone considering a handmade business?

” Just don’t be afraid to start! There are many people who started their business the same way, and they will be glad to help you with a ton of great advices in many, many Etsy forums.”

Kissing Face Cup

Who are some of your favorite Handmade artists?
“I love many great and creative Etsy artists. Some of them are: the illustrator Ashley Percival, who makes beautiful and vibrant modern styled illustrations; Photographer – Caryn Drexl, her surreal works are very impressive and inspiring; And I love so much Annapavlovna’s stuffed toys – every toy the girls do is so special and has its own character and living soul.”

What are your business goals for the coming year?
“I think, my main goal is to create my design and make my objects in such a way that will be understood by people from different social groups and different countries, and will inspire them.”

You may find SCULPTUREinDESIGN on Etsy and Facebook.