Monday, December 30, 2013

Tools of the Trade

What is this fun little thing?
Here at Sweet Peep Design Company, we don't mind sharing our secrets.  Though we love what we do, we love to share how we do it so other people will delve into the world of furniture refinishing.

We get questions all the time about the paint we use and the waxes we use but just recently we were gifted a tool that we can't believe we lived without for so long! So we thought we'd share it with you!

The Painter's Pyramid!

This handy dandy little guy is shaped like a pyramid (duh?) and fits under just about anything - you can use it to hold up pretty much anything so you can paint all the way to the tips.  This is usually the biggest problem for us - and as for personal furniture, I know just about everything I've painted for myself has unfinished legs or bottom edges.  Not anymore! (If I get to it?) 

The latest project - with painted legs!
The other thing I have a problem with while painting?  FRAMES.  I have a gallery wall in our staircase that houses over 100 frames.  None of which have very well painted sides.  These little guys hold 'em up easy while painting.  Now maybe my house will start to look like a "painter" lives here.  (Maybe.)

Even better?  They're cheap and you get 10 in a pack!  (I thought 10 was an odd number and then I found out you can lock them together for doing odd shaped stuff.  Sorta brilliant eh?) 

Anyone else think it looks like a piece of cheese?

If you're all about "DIY" check these out for yourself!  You can find them at Lee Valley Tools in Calgary or Edmonton.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Some Photoshop Art

Obviously, we're not doing much for furniture these days over at Sweet Peep Design Co. 
If you're from Central Alberta - you'll know why.
As for the rest of you - it's really cold here.  And snowy.  I'll be the first to admit, I like the cold and the snow and everything winter but I'm certainly not willing to spend hours outside in the howling wind, sanding a piece of old lead-painted furniture.  Nuh-uh.  Not for me!
So, instead I've been staying warm inside and crafting a little bit!
My latest project is for one of my closest friends in Canada, a girl named Danielle who I met at a wedding in the Dominican Republic last October.  She and I bonded over terrible birthing stories and our love of naps and squeeze cheese and have been close friends ever since.
  For Christmas I wanted to make her something that was personal and sweet and didn't cost an exorbitant amount of money (there I go being cheap again...but we'll call it sentimental in this case.)
This is what I ended up with:
(thanks to for the inspiration!)

A little inspiration, a few minutes on Photoshop and a cool frame later... 

It's a mix of reality (she's a super awesome photographer) and inside joke (because who doesn't want to be a llama?!)  and I really hope she loves it!
Like what you see?  Send me an email and I'll send the template to you, or if you ask really nice, I'll make a personalized one just for you!
From Central Alberta and looking for a photographer? 
Check Danielle out at

Friday, December 20, 2013

Party Decorating and Washi Tape

The Sweet Peep celebrated the big 0-2 over last weekend and of course we had a whole super shindig for her, complete with an Epic Play Kitchen (I'll share that later!)  But being the era of Pinterest and Internet One-upedness, it seems that nothing goes untouched when it comes to party decorating.

Being that her birthday is December 14th and smack dab in the middle of the Holiday Season, I've tried really hard to make it all about her...meaning, NO CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS (until after the big day!) and NO RED AND GREEN!  So, her colours this year were hot pink, aqua, bright green and yellow.  A little summery...I realize.

Those are some gooood lookin straws!
As I was decorating the hot pink treats table I ran into a bit of an issue.  I purchased these seriously awesome (great, wonderful, fan-freakin-tastic) paper straws from Target for $1.00 (compare that to Michaels who sell them for $11.99.) and I wanted to showcase them.  So, I went to the go-to product for holding anything: the mason jar. 

But a mason jar is so...clear.  And, while cute, there was nothing "Pinteresty" about it, you know?

So I pulled out the Washi Tape.  For those of you who don't know what "Washi Tape" is (I'm looking at you Mom), it's pretty much really pretty scotch tape that you can pull off things really easily.  For those of you who want a history lesson, washi is a Japanese word for, well, Japanese paper.  And it's usually made from bamboo, the bark from a bunch of Japanese trees and even things like rice and hemp.  It's used to make origami paper, clothing and religious vestments and now, fancy, expensive, blogworthy tape. 

But it this case, we'll stick with pretty scotch tape OK?

I found this Washi Tape at Walmart for $2.97 (compared to Michaels who sell it for $8.99) and it was the perfect shade of bright (non Christmasy!) green and it came in a fun striped pattern.  I snatched it up and used it for everything from little flags on the cupcakes to embelishments on white Ikea frames. 

As for the mason jar?  I wrapped two strips of it around the centre and with some pink yarn I had over from another project, I wrapped that around the centre a few times and hot glued it at the back.  Finally, I took an embellishment flower (from Michaels...70% off because it was in their Christmas stock...but it's pink...) and glued it right in the centre. 

Voila!  Easiest, cutest, Pinterestastic Mason Jar Straw Holder. 

And, you know, while I was doing all this creative stuff for a bunch of two year olds, I kept asking myself  WHY?  Two year olds don't care.  Well.  I had numerous compliments on my straw holder. 
Made the 2 weeks of late night crafting totally worth it. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Reta

The Reta
The Reta came to us from a little house in the middle of Lacombe and we bought her for a song. She doesn't have the lines and the romantic curves that most hutches have - she was truly a diamond in the rough!

The Reta once belonged to a sweet old woman who housed her fine china perched upon the shelves.  We aren't sure what happened to the sweet old woman, just that she was 92 and her home was steeped in memories and heavy old furniture.  Her daughter's family was in the midst of revitalizing the small house, making it into something new and modern and they felt they should part ways with most of the beautiful furniture within its aged walls. 

The Reta is of midcentury modern design - meaning straight lines and simple craft.  Instead of having heavy doors, she has glass sliding panels (not shown in picture, but will be included!) and instead of being tall and intricate, she is small, simple and compact.  

As part of our "Design Dilemma" series, we got a lot of really fantastic ideas about this hutch - ranging from painting only the handles to framing it all in black to painting the whole thing. We decided to give her a good paint after cleaning her up and realizing she didn't have the same spice as some of the other hutches we found on the internet.

After giving this girl a light sand, we primed her with 2 coats and then painted her in "Maine Lobster", a pretty red that wasn't too bright but didn't have a brick tone to it. To finish her off, we covered her in a tinted wax that gives her a slight antique look and gives her a little bit of a rustic vibe. We decided not to distress her since she had a modern element to her and distressing didn't seem to fit. The one thing everyone seemed to agree on with this hutch was the need for new handles, but after the red was painted, these handles screamed to be put back on after a coat of paint. The new oil rubbed bronze pulls now pop against her new paint - the perfect accessories to the perfect outfit!

Tons of storage!
This poppy hutch is the perfect addition to any home - used here at the Sweet Peep Home as a bar for an American Thanksgiving feast, she would also be great for a mail center in the front foyer, or as her previous owner used her as, a place to put all your fine china in your rustic, modern dining room!
If you are interested in the Reta, please email us at:

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