Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Colour Red

My Dad and I.
I've been thinking about the colour red lately. 

Three years ago this morning, my Dad died.  He had a "cardiac event" and fell off a ladder while decorating for Christmas.  He was only 63. 

I learned how to paint from my Dad.  We were the house who always had a different colour front door.  It went from black, to red, to green, to red and those are the only colours I remember.  But I remember helping him paint it every time. 

He also spray painted the dying cedar trees in the front garden green since he didn't want to buy new ones.  See, the front of our house was always in the shade.  Those cedars were forever in season after that. 

I also learned how to thrift from my Dad.  He decided once, that the pine and broken white tiled kitchen table just wasn't going to cut it anymore.  I don't know where he found them, but he found two cement blocks (cool looking ones) and a huge glass table top and decided to put them together.  I helped him paint those cement blocks out on the back deck one day.  Just him and I.

That table was awesome. It was totally modern in our totally traditional home.  Better yet, if you dropped a piece of bacon on it, the dogs would go nuts trying to get at it.  I'm pretty sure my Mom hated that table because the underside was always schmagged with nose goo.

The last time I talked to my Dad was November 24, 2010.  He told me about a puppy mill that had been found near their town in Florida, and how all the dogs escaped.  Malteses and Shitzhus running rampant on the streets.  My Dad was pretty excited about it.  I was pretty excited about it.  Then, he told me, that no matter what I wanted to do with my life, he'd be proud.

I think he knew...I think I knew. 

Why am I telling you this?  A bunch of strangers who like my furniture, and friends and family who know this story already?  Because you find inspiration everywhere.  Because it's the huge things - the worst things in the world, that inspire you to do something better.  To do something that makes you happy.  Mine happens to be old furniture. 

After humming and hawing and pondering everyone's (awesome!) ideas, I decided to paint our next piece red.  She has her own story which I'll tell you in another post.  But with every dip of the brush and every roll of the roller, she was infused with my story too.  A story that I won't soon forget - full of paint and sunny days, the smell of damp moss and dead cedar trees, a story of freedom puppies and an immense fear of ladders. 

I've been thinking about the colour red lately because it was my dad's favourite colour.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Design Dilemma

We got this awesome mid century modern hutch for a song...

It was a case of being at the right place at the right time and we snatched it up. 

Here's our dilemma:
 Notice the common theme?
Albeit, this is no Heywood-Wakefield.  It's a Defehr...not quite the same esteem.  So it's not like we'd be ruining a piece of furniture history if we painted it. 
 What would you do??? 


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Amber

The Amber
This rustic little buffet caught our eye in a uniform of country green.  She was hiding out in a laundry room, another one of those "when I get to it" sort of projects that never got done.  She came to us with broken wooden knobs and a scrapbook picture taped to her back - rough and ragged and looking for a second chance!

First, we gave her a good sanding, and realized the lovely green paint was probably a chalk or milk paint and as we neared her raw wood surface we also figured out she was beautiful pine - with a beautiful pine aroma to go with it.  This was probably one of my more enjoyable sanding jobs! 

Chippy Green and Hammered Gate Pulls
We didn't want to fully hide her pretty green past, so instead we used three coats of white paint and distressed her generously, letting that green peak out, boasting her history.  Then, we gave her a two coats of wax to make her strong and durable for all those Christmas buffet dishes you might put upon her! 

Instead of going the glamourous route with crystal knobs, we decided to play up her rusticness and simplicity with hammered black gate pulls - reminiscent of the kind you might find on an old fashioned barn or shed turned play house. 

The Amber is unlike many of the pieces you might find at Sweet Peep.  She isn't all about her delicate lady-like curves or her mid century legs - she's about what you expect to find here in Central Alberta - rustic, hardy and a whole lot of beautiful if you're willing to look just beyond the surface.  She would fit in perfectly in any country dining room or in any home looking for just a touch of rustic!

If you are interested in the Amber, please email us at

Delivery is available to Edmonton, Calgary and areas for a $50.00 surcharge. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Amanda

The Amanda came to us from a good friend of ours who has been purging the things in her house.  It had been passed down through her family and she decided to part with it, since it didn't fit in with the modern aesthetic of her home and with a awesome fiance and an active son, a rambunctious dog and a friendly cat, it's delicate, feminine lines certainly seemed misplaced!  So instead of forgetting about it, and let it gather dust in the garage, she let us have it with a promise that we'd do something splendid with it!   What is one person's trash, is another's treasure and we gladly took this sweet girl in.  We don't really know her history, but we do know she is solid oak and fantastically made!

A little bit chippy!
We tried something a little different with the Amanda with regards to her paint treatment.  We love to try new kinds of paint, and decided to try Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint
I'm not going to pretend that I loved this paint. Maybe it was because of the colour we used (Linen) and the wood we used it over (an orangey oak) but it took us nearly six coats before it even began to cover the wood. By that point, I had had enough and used my regular Behr for the last coat, which finished it off nicely. The paint was nice for the fact that it did absorb into the wood fairly well, and instead of covering all the beautiful grain of the wood, it showcased it (you'll notice that on the bottom shelf). Will I use it again? Well...yes...because I have an entire bag of it and it's waay to expensive to let go to waste. Will I ever buy it again? Probably not. Though, the "Bonding Agent" is pretty awesome and I will probably buy that again. 
Lovely, scrolley glass
After the paint job, the Amanda got a heavy distressing - with her dainty french curves, she deserved something to really show them off - and finally a double coat of wax to make her strong and durable.

The Amanda would make a beautiful addition to any formal living room or dining room or would be perfect in any feminine home! 

If you are interested in The Amanda, please email us at

Delivery is available to Edmonton, Calgary and areas for a $50.00 surcharge.