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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!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Loving Annie Sloan Chalk Paint's Emperor Silk!

Red on this camper is ASCP Emperor's Silk (five colors used altogether) - link to image and source
Having recently returned from China (see my "postcards from China series - here is one - link to posting), I must still be under that country's magical influence. I purchased Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) (link to website) most "Chinese" color - Emperor's Silk. It is a rich red and a joy to work with - I have almost completed four projects and am looking around for more!

For those keeping track, I have now been using ASCP for two years - mostly on my refurbished upholstered furniture sold through eBay and Etsy (my website, unfortunately, needs to be "killed"since I can no longer update it and it is woe-fully out-of-date). I am probably close to a hundred projects and have used the following colors:

Old White (I'm on my third can)
Old Ochre (second can)
Graphite (third can)
Duck Egg Blue (my favorite until now)
Paris Grey (least favorite)
Chateau Grey (like a grey-green)
Emperor's Silk (new favorite)

The paint does go on very smoothly and I continue to fine-tune lessons learned including:
  • Start with a good cleaning of the wood to eliminate dust and oils (I used Goof-Off - link to website - it's heavy-duty and you do need heavy gloves but it works.
  • If there are gaps or gouges in the wood, fill them before painting - the paint will not hide them and will actually highlight them.
  • Do your first coat starting with the piece upside down - I am always amazed at how much I miss if I don't do this. 
  • Dilute the paint with a small amount of water if it gets too heavy or doesn't glide easily over the surface.
  • Use a toothbrush or other stiff applicator when applying wax into crevices - I am told the ASCP brushes work well for this but haven't made that purchase and do like the ability to just throw away these old toothbrushes when done - clean-up of wax is much tougher than clean-up of paint  which is easily done by rinsing under water.
Here are some photos from my ASCP pinterest board to further inspire - I love them - see sources and original postings by linking to source above.

Nice combo of paint and wood-tone treatments. 
This is demonstration using dark wax directly over the paint instead of intermediate clear wax - much darker look. 
Chest using both clear and dark wax. 

Very ambitious! 

This piece was first done with graphite (grey-black) and a second coat of Emperor's Silk added.

Here are my projects!

After "finishing" this set of benches, I did end up taking a very small brush to better hit the crevices/details on the legs - these were hard to penetrate. 

Loved how the horse turned out - will be using as part of my holiday decorations - probably with some bears on its back!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Postcards from China - Beijing

During our stay in Beijing, we visited the Sacred Way of the Ming Tombs which is really just a nice stroll along a shaded path with monuments/sculptures. The tombs themselves are not readily accessible. Our guide, Jane, stood at the same spot that Chairman Mao had been photographed at in the 1950's - this was one of his favorite destinations in China.
It has almost been a month since my husband and I returned from a Viking River Cruise trip to China - a journey of a lifetime. I have shared glimpses of this experience using a photographic "postcard" convention. This is the last of the series and features our last stop in China, the capital city of Beijing.

Beijing is the second largest city in China (after Shanghai) and has a 2000 plus year history.

From Wikitravel:
Beijing literally means Northern Capital, a role it has played many times in China's long history. Beijing's history dates back several thousand years but it first became notable in Chinese history after it was made the capital of the State of Yan under the name Yanjing. Yan was one of the major kingdoms of the Warring States Period, some 2,000 years ago.
We enjoyed our visit and felt we could have stayed much longer and seen much more. We were told the subway system was very well laid out and extensive and easy to use. We did note that traffic was horrible and doubt if we would have rented a car and tried to join in the fray.

Here are some highlights - we really enjoyed this trip and, unfortunately, it is still on our bucket list for more extensive exploration. We are finding that our bucket list gets longer and longer the more we travel!

We traveled with our tour group and guide "Jane" to the Great Wall of China in the Badeling area - a popular Beijing destination north of the city. We were there early in the morning and had an opportunity to see it before crowds arrived. It is amazing!
After visiting the wall, we had a tour of a nearby jade factory and had lunch on the premises. We bought this "Happiness Ball" and have it as a great memory of this trip!
On the next day, we traveled to Tiananmen Square, again fairly early in the morning. The square was being prepared for a distinguished guest visit and we heard that it was closed to other visitors starting closer to noon. We were happy that our guide had arranged this early morning visit. 
The entrance to the Forbidden City is off of the square through the Gate of Heavenly Peace.
The Chinese are very fond of rock gardens and see many images in them.  
The visit to the Summer Palace was our last in China - it is a popular local tourist site.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pretty in Pink - In Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Images of "pink" items used in home decor - courtesy House Beautiful - link to my pinterest board for source information - all images in this posting are found here.
Chair I wish I had in inventory
It is October - Breast Cancer Awareness Month - and each year I do a posting on "pink" used in decorating. I am sure there is a story behind the symbolic use of pink for this campaign but don't know what that story is. It is very gratifying to see the kind of progress that has been made on this horrible set of diseases and I know many breast cancer survivors personally - a wonderful cause!

I do not have any "pink" items in my own Wydeven Designs inventory and must admit that I am a little nervous about having a too "girly" look. I did just sell my last pink-like (raspberry) chair - a wonderful cut-velvet wingback - to a college student (and mother of college student) in Austin, TX. Looking at the images I found for this posting and the articles - outlined below - encourages me to go out and find more usable pink-red fabrics.  They truly are beautiful!
Some colors relax, others excite; pink does both. It provokes romance and glamour, and it is the color of love's first blush. Pink delivers feel-good emotion in the same way that a ranunculus blooms, one layer at a time. Give in to pink's pretty power. link to article
House Beautiful's article about how to use pink in decorating has some great suggestions - here is a sample:
  • Use Pink as a Surprise
  • Choose a Pink with Purple Tones
  • Try Deep Pink in the Dining Room
  • Add Pink to Energize a Space
  • Pair Pink with a Metallic link to article

Love this low-key light pink and neutrals combination! 

My kind of sofa!
This room setting shows how well pinks work with black and white (and of course, green)!
Sweet setting - I would definitely want that pink settee in my inventory!
I don't know about the mix of orange and pink here although I do love the cool grey tones.
Love this!
This photo reminds me of my family room in our last home which was painted a deep pink color - my favorite room in that house!

Another wonderful visit to the world of "pink" in decorating.  Here are some other articles that I found - some very interesting ideas here! ENJOY!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Travels in Georgia - A Visit to Montaluce Vineyards

Montaluce Vineyards in Dahlonega, Georgia link to website
Yesterday was such a beautiful fall day in our area of Georgia and we were thrilled that this was the date we had booked a vineyard tour in Dahlonega. Our son had given my husband (through Travelzoo link to site) a gift certificate for this tour back in June as a birthday gift and with all of the rainy weather and other events we had scheduled, this was the first good date for which we could book the tour. We were VERY lucky that it just happened to be one of the best days of the season - if not year.

First, a little about Dahlonega. From their official website link:
An “Authentic” getaway only an hour north of Atlanta, Dahlonega is the historic site of the first major U.S. Gold Rush and excels in hosting visitors seeking relaxation and “Adventure”.  “Arts” and entertainment fill downtown Dahlonega’s National Registered district where preserved architecture surrounds shopping, dining, music, and theater just a gold steeple away from the traditions of North Georgia College & State University. 
The property bordered the Etowah River used for kayaking and other sports - there is a rich Indian history of fishing on the river.
Another site for Dahlonega featured a great photo of the vineyard itself - obviously this is one of the areas star attractions. The tour included a 1.5 plus walk through the vineyards property with an expert guide who talked about the history of the area as well as the vineyard property (over six years old) and the process of growing grapes and producing wines. She was clearly knowledgeable and our group of 20 or so visitors had a great stroll which became a little more strenuous in the hilly areas. We felt we actually got a little exercise here!

Some of the vines were producing a second harvest. Because of the heavy rains, the vineyard was experiencing some atypical growth patterns and had also lost some vines because of excessive rain. Overall production of grapes, however, was up. 
Birthday boy on trail back to restaurant/winery. 
Yours truly with vineyards in the background. 
View of group tasking room and some of the holding tanks in the winery. 

We enjoyed our visit and made a commitment to return to the restaurant which was truly outstanding with great views of the vineyards and mountains beyond. The wine was pretty good too! 

Friday, October 11, 2013

A Beautiful Fall Visit to Scott's Antique Market in Atlanta

Outdoor "pumpkins" at Scott's Antique Markets
This is the second weekend of the month and, therefore, the occasion for Scott's Antique Market south of the City of Atlanta. I missed last month's event because of our China trip and almost did not go today because my regular friend/companion for these trips is on vacation this month. My sweet husband volunteered to accompany me and we had a wonderful time at the market. It helped that the weather could not be more perfect and the crowds seemed somewhat subdued.

I always choose a "theme" for my photography work at the market and decided that Halloween/Fall was as good as any - there were a lot of wonderful exhibits and items for sale.
We visited the south building which is my favorite at the market.
I like this cat candy holder!
Anything orange looked particularly right to me!
This lovely piece was surrounded by a sea of "French Linen" painted furniture - it just sparkled! 
This centerpiece was quite pricey ($600) but looked wonderful and would certainly work for a fall theme. 

Anything this bright orange is fair game for my Halloween/Fall theme! 

Loved these canisters!
This would work as a great indoor or outdoor centerpiece!
This wonderful floral arrangement (fake) was created by one of our favorite floral designers - his work is pricey but just great!
I do not always spend much time looking at the outside stalls particularly if it is very hot or otherwise not great weather but this was a great day for wandering around! 
I did not buy anything today (other than my usual double-scoop ice cream cone for lunch). These pieces were hard to resist and 3 out of 4 had been professionally refinished by one of our favorite vendors and beautifully upholstered in a drop-cloth quality fabric - unbelievably nice looking. 
What a great day for visiting (and not buying) at the Market - I look forward to returning next month!