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About Me

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My name is Gerrie Wydeven doing-business-as Wydeven Designs. I have been conducting this small GREEN business since 2004. Wydeven Designs, based in the Atlanta, Georgia area, sells CHAIRS, LOVESEATS, CHAISES, SETTEES and other fine, well-constructed refurbished upholstered pieces. I love to travel, cook, take photographs and generally follow style and decor topics as well!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Fall Visit to Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground, Georgia

Last week, I joined friends from the Neely Farm Garden Club to visit Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground, Georgia - about an hour north of the Atlanta metropolitan area - link to website.  The owner of this wonderful spot is James Gibbs.
Jim Gibbs traveled for 15 years covering the nation and the world viewing gardens of every style and decided that he wanted to design and build a world class garden. He spent six years looking for a suitable site with a strong source of water and beautiful mature trees covering a rolling topography. It was truly "a dream come true" when he found the most beautiful site in the nation to construct the garden. The property is 292 acres and the house and gardens include 220 acres, making it one of the nation's largest residential estate gardens.
It was a beautiful day and we were not the only ones with this great idea.  The spaciousness of the gardens, however, made you feel like this was your private estate - a wonderful idea!

I took a lot of photos and these are just some highlights - the gardens are definitely worth the trip and I plan to go back for other seasonal visits!

This was a wonderful visit with good friends.  We even ate in the gardens - great sandwiches and a nice outdoor "picnic-like" setting.

Monday, October 29, 2012

An Early Morning Visit to my ASCP Pinterest Board

Love these pumpkins - source.
It is a chilly morning here in the South (for us, the mid-40's is chilly) and we are worried about family and friends in the "Hurricane Sandy Zones" - a lot of people!  For my own comfort, I thought I'd take a stroll through my Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) Pinterest Board - link here.  

I am now the proud owner of the following ASCP colors:

Old White
Chateau Grey
Duck Egg Blue
Paris Grey
Old Ochre

My ASCP Pinterest Board gives me a lot of inspiration and ideas. I just started a project with Cream - my latest purchase - and can't wait to show it. It is a very interestingly shaped chaise/settee - more on that later.

Here are some inspirational ideas from the board with sources identified. They all demonstrate uses of the paint colors in my possession - some are just genius - starting off with the great pumpkins shown at the top - what a great seasonal look!  
"Before I used Old White, and then mixed it with some white paint to get more white with less yellow. But now they have a Pure White. I found that look I liked was to paint the pumpkins with the Old White first, then paint over it with Pure White with a heavier than usual dry brush method. This left a little darker white in the crevices. The AS Chalk Paint worked well on both my ceramic and cheaper foam pumpkins, but it took up to 3 or 4 coats sometimes to cover the awful orange of the cheap ones."
I love this large cabinet in Chateau Grey which was one of my first paint purchases.  It really is a mossy green rather than a grey and I originally had some problems with that until I found fabrics (for my chair renovations) that coordinated beautifully - source.
This is such a great combination of Graphite (slightly distressed) and Paris Grey - source.
CoCo is one of my most recent purchases and is the "brownest" of the ASCP paints.  Here it is shown with Old White accents.  I like the distressed look but would probably have softened it a little - source.
Graphite is a very versatile color and I have often used it - just bought my second can of the paint.  I do find that using the dark wax enhances the color - source.
Love this chair and the paint combination - I have tried this combination myself on several chair sets and it is great!  Source!
 Well, I enjoyed this journey and am anxious to start new projects.  ENJOY!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Honoring American Workmanship - Lee Industries

In my quest for great heirloom quality upholstered pieces, I have a set of "go-by's" that help me determine whether a particular piece is worth the expense and effort to reupholster.  This is an important question in this age of mostly-imported furniture that is readily available to the American consumer and often at a pretty cheap price. As I often tell people who ask for this advice - do not spend the money on fabric and upholstering labor unless you know the piece warrants the expense - and YOU appreciate the difference.

Lee Industries Chairs and Ottoman in Robert Allen Fabric - link to my website - also available on Etsy and eBay!
One sure way to tell if a particular piece is worth redoing is to look at the label.  If it has a well-known USA furniture label like Lee Industries, you cannot go wrong - link to company website.  Located in Newton, North Carolina, Lee Industries uses top-notch manufacturing standards and produces exceptional furniture STILL MADE IN THE USA!  They are also dedicated to green/eco-friendly design standards and proudly promote their support for environmental sustainability.

I only have one set of chairs (plus ottoman) that are Lee Industry pieces in my current inventory but have had quite a few over the years.  I wish I could find many more!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Visit to Lake Burton - Lake Property Dreaming!

This was a beautiful fall weekend in Georgia. I had a successful garage sale on Saturday (netted over $600 between my daughter and me) and was able to drop off most of the items not sold at our neighborhood Goodwill Donation Center. GREAT!

During the sale, a neighbor stopped by to chat and mentioned that she and her siblings were selling a family lake home located on Lake Burton in northern Georgia.  I once (many, many years ago) owned a lake house in Wisconsin and have never lost the love of lake property. It sounded wonderful!  Since my husband and I had been talking about taking a Sunday "fall leaves" drive north, we decided to make this our destination.

The day was bright and sunny so we enjoyed the nice two-hour drive. The leaves are not yet at their optimum but beautiful never-the-less. The location of the property on Lake Burton is in Clarksville, Georgia.

Here is information about Lake Burton which, like almost all lakes in the State of Georgia, is man-made  - website
Lake Burton and Rabun County was named for Jeremiah Burton, a popular area citizen who would occasionally serve as bailiff in the local superior court and served in other civic positions.
Lake Burton At 2,775 acres, Lake Burton is the largest of Georgia Power's North Georgia lakes. 
Lake Burton was one of the first lakes in the United States created specifically for power generation. With the completion of the dam at the east end of the lake in 1913, more than 2700 acres of lake were created. In the rugged north Georgia mountains of Rabun and Burton Counties, Lake Burton has coves galore. Each is more breathtaking than the last, with peaks jutting high above the water. The Tallulah River was dammed and the town of Burton flooded when the lake was completed. Today the lake serves as a reservoir, controlling the flow of water to Seed Lake below it.
Lovely views of the house and Lake Burton - property of the "Greer" family.  
We thought the house and the way it had been decorated/renovated was charming.  The location is right on the lake with a lot of lake frontage. The lake looked crystal clear (and cold).  Just beautiful!
This restaurant was recommended as the BEST place for biscuits so we thought we'd stop for for lunch.  We were sorry to hear that biscuits were no longer being served (just for breakfast) but we had a very nice lunch here anyway.
On "Scenic Highway 197", we stopped by the Mark of the Potter - a wonderful shop at a great water rapids location. 

One of my favorite photos - looks like abstract art to me!
This was a nice visit and very manageable for our busy weekend!  I took a nice sun-soaked nap on the way home - not too shabby!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Planning for My Weekend Garage Sale - Tips and Techniques

I am planning my annual garage sale (aka yard sale) this weekend.  I have a sale at least once a year in order to clear out unwanted items from throughout the house.  With our lower level renovation project this year, we have a number of pieces of furniture, art and other decor that we are no longer using. I have tried to sell some of the larger items on Craigslist and have sold a large farm table and a media center. I have also donated the large sofa and a coordinated chair and ottoman to the Salvation Army (they picked up).

In planning for this sale, I have developed techniques and strategies that are based on my extensive research in this field - i.e., the hundreds/thousands of sales that I have personally attended. I have previously listed a set of planning principles for going to sales - read here - but in this posting, I want to talk about actually conducting a sale.

I found several bloggers who have developed their own lists and thought this one was a good basis for this discussion.

List of Tips -  source

#1 drafting

This blogger suggests linking to other, bigger sales going on in the area in order to get the benefit of crowds attending these. I find that there are often garage sales near huge estate sales and they do draw from the crowd. This is most easily done if not much planning is required or if you are aware of a regular/annual event (such as a neighborhood garage sale) that you can "draft" onto.

#2 stand out from the crowd

This tip is mostly geared to good and clear signage that can spark interest and help others find your sale - I absolutely agree with this tip!

#3 clean and tidy 

Wipe down, hose off, run through the dishwasher, washer and dryer, dust or vacuum.
You will get a fair price for your things if they are clean and well cared for.

#4 the price is right
Put a price on every item

I have walked away from any number of items/sales when everything is not clearly marked and it is surprising how often this happens. An easy approach, if there are a lot of items and little time for individual price-tag making, it to us either colored dots signifying prices (Clearly posted - red = $5, green = $10, etc.) or a table where all items are the same price such as a $1.00 table, $5.00 table, etc. You can expect to have stuff moved and dots lost, but this does handle most of your pricing requirements.  Individual pricing of everything is the best.

#5 tasteful display
Don't spread your things out all over the ground or in boxes. Be creative if  you don't have folding tables. It is a much more enjoyable experience to browse at waist height. I know I wouldn't want to bend over and rummage through stuff on the ground. If you have to pull out the patio table or other furniture from your home, by all means make the effort.

#6 something for everyone

I agree that it is hard to predict what will sell. My husband puts out all sorts of mismatched cables, electrical items and even paint products and they often sell. It also gives husbands something to look at while dutifully accompanying a spouse and not interested in your furniture, clothes, home decor, etc.

#7 free advertising

The blogger mentions craigslist which has a "garage sale" category. I listed my first ad today and showed the photos below.

Items shown on today's Craigslist ad - I plan to run at least three more before Saturday.
The beauty of Craigslist is that it is free and you can list items in different categories to include different ways to describe your neighborhood (by subdivision, city, neighborhood) and in listings for specific items that you are selling (musical instruments, furniture by owner). People researching sales can find out about yours through different search terms.

I thought the above tips were excellent AND, the best advice of all - 


Sunday, October 14, 2012

I am EASILY Distracted at Scott's Antique Market

Display at Scott's Antique Market - South Building
This is the second weekend of the month and, therefore, it is Scott's Antique Market weekend in Atlanta.  I visit this market most months with my friend, Bette, and I am always trying to determine a "theme" for both reviewing the various wares and for this blog. I had initially decided on "lamps" as a theme since I had been seeing so many great lamps at many sales.  Once there, however,  I switched to/added  "fall decorating" as we saw many colorful and unique displays.  My problem, however, is that I am VERY easily distracted at this market and start seeing and engaging vendors on all sorts of interesting items and subjects. This month's visit was no exception and here are some photos demonstrating the various (lovely, fun, inspirational) distractions during our visit to the South Building this month.

We spent quite a bit of time at this vendor's booth.  The husband and wife described their refinishing process and their travels.  I fell in love with the chair (Hickory Chair) on the left and thought the price ($325) was not bad at all.  Bette is looking for a bench and studying this one for her location in front of a fireplace.  We couldn't figure out what the tall "knobby" items were on top of the credenza and were told they were hat holders and that they sold a lot of these in Texas.  This is such a GREAT idea!  Although I have dozens of hats I wear for sun protection, none warrant a public display and unfortunately, my closet is not Texas-spacious enough to hold too many of these.  Another tidbit we heard here is about their "upholstering" process.  They use painters cloths (Home Depot, Loewe's, etc.) as fabric and have a North Carolina expert do the work for them.  The details on the upholstery work were very professional.  Amazing pieces and work! 
Several botanical displays were changing from summer to fall pieces.  These are just wonderful although somewhat pricey - but look at the results!
Themed items with an emphasis on Halloween orange.
Another recurring distraction is this vendor who operated out of a warehouse in rural Georgia creating these wonderful headboards with all the latest fabrics and using one of my favorites, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, to redo/do the woodwork.  Some are clearly newer compositions while others are refurbished older frames.  The workmanship is great and prices ($300-500) quite reasonable.  She does other work as well as upholstered pieces but headboards are her specialty including custom-made products.  
I did see quite a few very nice lamps - and some that were just whimsical! 
Another stop was this with this vendor who puts together custom potted gardens.  She has her own plants (although some patrons bring some) and her own simple pots.  Her charge is based on the plants and a planting charge - it seemed reasonable to us.  There are many, many pots at the sale that would work well for this kind of project and you could certainly do a wonderful fall display with the orange pots on the left. 
This vendor discussed their painting techniques (not ASCP but a custom, not-to-be divulged formula).   The red/orange (color did not photograph well) was shown in a number of pieces and we loved it!   He said pieces in this color had been a big seller this weekend.  The workmanship was very, very nice and prices were not bad- the little set of drawers was marked at $135. 
I am always distracted by upholstered furniture! 
Loved this combination!
Nice vintage loveseat with seasonal wreaths made of wood shavings - how clever!
I don't think I've ever seen a blue and white display I didn't like!

LASTLY - I bought this chair and ottoman and plan to use ASCP to redo with new fabric!   This is my first furniture purchase at Scott's.  Needless to say, the price had to be pretty good to get me to buy it!
Another great day at the sale!  I find I really look forward to these and every trip is unique and interesting!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Chalk It Up - Annie Sloan Chalk Paints in My Home Town

Display at the Purple Poppy - Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Seller in Norcross, GA (photos taken over weekend)
Over the weekend, I discovered a shop in Historic Norcross (my home town) that is carrying Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) and told Lynn White, owner of Chalk It Up, that I would return to visit and write a blog about her shop. Yesterday, was that day!

For those following my earlier ASCP postings, over a year ago, you know how hard it has been to find local ASCP sellers -  link to Annie's website.  I have ordered on-line from a shop in Alabama; traveled to Senoi, Georgia (about 60 miles away), to buy the paint only to find their stock was low; visited another location that was no longer carrying the paints; and, finally, found a source at the monthly Atlanta Scott's Antique Market.  This new location, however, is the most convenient and, as it turned out, the most friendly and helpful.  Lynn tells me that she has had the paints and other paraphernalia available for about 11 months.  

The actual "shop" is inside another very interesting shop space called the Purple Poppy.  The Chalk It Up displays are in the back of this shop.  
I chatted with Lynn about her experiences and what her "shop" was offering.  She is very enthusiastic about the paint and has several classes available to help people better understand how it works and the glorious options available. Her website,  link to website, includes the class schedule and provides a lot of information about the paints including a gallery of projects demonstrating different colors and techniques.  

Several ASCP projects 
I love the deep red (Emperor's Silk) on the base of this table.

ASCP color board at the shop.  I bought Cream and Graphite as well as the dark and clear wax.  
Lynn and I discussed several techniques and combinations - some of which I will give a try.  She convinced me to try "cream" which is similar to "old ochre" but a little yellower.  I like these light colors because they blend well with the fabrics I use and are very neutral.  After this purchase, I have the following neutral colors - "old white",  "old ochre" and "cream".  

Lynn also gave me a tip on how to create a blacker black with the "graphite" which I often use as a leg/woodwork color on my refurbished chairs.  The graphite is a charcoal grey with can be darkened using the dark wax but never really comes out a true black.  Lynn indicated that Annie Sloan herself has said that it is her intention to stay true to the French tradition that these paints support and that true black was not amongst the colors used.  Evidently, all her colors are true to that tradition - nice to know!
Lynn told me that I can make the graphite paint "blacker" by adding just a little of this acrylic paint available at Hobby Lobby - Liquitex ($4.99).  I definitely plan to try this!

More ASCP displays

I enjoyed my visit and paid for my purchases.  ASCP products are not cheap but they are great.  It goes against my generally cheap-skate tendencies to pay this much for this kind of supply but I do so happily (sort of) with these products.  Lynn did make me feel a little better about my extravagance.  For each can of paint she sells, a $1.00 is donated to a worthwhile charity - The Journey House See Journey House website.