Monday, September 14, 2015

Candles, Diffusers, and Melts - Which One is Best?

Are you a candle burner, a diffuser "user", or do you like the soft waxy melts that are so popular? There are so many brand choices and types to choose from it can be mind boggling at times. This is what I look for when I'm searching for the perfect scent for my home:

  • Is it all natural and no harmful carcinogens?
  • What is it made of? soy? paraffin?
  • Is the wick cotton or is metal which could contain lead?
  • Does it smoke when I burn the candle?
  • Does the scent last for a long time or does it fizzle out after a few hours of burning?
  • Do they have a scent that is pleasing for the different seasons?
  • How many hours will my candle burn? 
Those are a few things that are important to me when I'm purchasing such an item. So which product is my favorite and fulfills my list of necessities for a fragrance in my home?
1803 Candles are my choice of candles, diffusers, and waxy melts. 1803 Candles are all natural soy with an all cotton wick. This candle company is family owned and operated in the U.S.(I like family owned businesses where they promote health and good quality)
Essential oils mixed with fragrance oils, herbs, flowers, and spices are used to make the most wonderful scents available. A few of my favorites are Cornbread and Honey, Pine Needles and Berries, Holiday Cheer, Cranberry Cupboard, and Cabin on the Hill. The more summery scents are Lavender Buds, Lavender Sugar, Coconut Vanilla, and many more. 
The candles will burn for around 96 hours and the melts burn for 6-8 hours before having to add new ones. They are smoke free because they are made of soy instead of paraffin. It is important to keep the wick trimmed to 1/4" to prevent smoking. They are carcinogenic free - very important! 
One last "plus" is that the melts, diffusers, and candles come in the same scents, so you can use all three throughout your house. I use the melts and diffusers in areas of my home that do not have to be monitored as a candle would have to be. 
I know there are so many choices but if you haven't tried these all natural and great scented candles, melts and diffusers, I highly recommend that you do. If you stop by Fresh we are usually burning a candle in the front,using one of the melters in the kitchen and a diffuser in the restroom. We're open every Friday, Saturday, and Monday from 9-5 and you can always find us online here. Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Have you Tried Bath Teas?

Herbal bathing is relaxing and can be very helpful in soothing muscles and joints, relieving tension, stimulating circulation, and chasing away a nasty cold. It's very therapeutic to fill the bath with warm water and add a small amount of bath tea.
A small muslin bag filled with a special blend of teas can create an atmosphere of perfect relaxation. Candles are a nice addition to a warm tea bath too!

What's in the tea? Some have lavender, chamomile, rose petals, peppermint, rosemary, juniper, spearmint, and much more. The best part is you can choose which one best fits your needs.
There are several to choose from "Cold and Flu", "Basic", "Relaxation",and "Herbal". All of these have a nice aroma.

Here is how you can use the tea filled muslin bags:

  • Add to your warm bath water. You can use them at least twice.
  • After you use the bag in your bath water place it in your dryer for a great addition to your linens.
  • Use a small amount for foot bath.
  • Use the herbal bag as a compress to your neck, forehead, or other pulse points. 

We've started carrying bath teas in Fresh along with other bath products and lotions. Stop in and see what's new at our little shop on 403 College Street in Jasper. 

If you would like to register for one of our workshops you can go here. We will be celebrating Fall Fest on October 3rd along with the downtown area and the College Street shops. Have a wonderful week and if you need help with your next project stop by or email us. We LOVE to talk paint!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Applying Lacquer Successfully

Lacquer can sometimes be difficult to apply to a piece of furniture or cabinetry. Some of the difficulties that I have incurred are puddling and streaks. I am always trying new tools of the trade to make the job easier and more efficient. After traveling to North Carolina for training with the Paint Couture Collection we used a wool applicator to apply the Couture Lacquer and really liked it. We ordered several for the store and after using one several times I fell in love with it! It made the job so much easier and it covered the area so well.
Pour the lacquer in a paint tray, dip the wool applicator into the lacquer and remove any extra from the side of the tray. If you are working on a table top, dresser top or sides, drawer fronts, or anything that has a lot of surface area, this product is perfect. Start making long strokes in one direction and continue until you have completely covered the area. 

Rinse the applicator with soap and water and hang to dry. After the Lacquer dries (usually four hours) then repeat the same process. My daughter bought a dining table from Restoration Hardware and it was made of natural wood but she felt the top needed extra protection from spills and everyday wear. She used the Paint Couture Lacquer with the wool applicator and it went on beautifully. 

My next projects which include beds, dressers, and buffets will be finished with this wonderful easy to use tool. It is so much easier and better than a paint brush. You can purchase the applicator here or at our store front open from 9-5 every Friday, Saturday,and Monday. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

A Solution to Bleed Through on Your Furniture

I've posted several times on what I call "bleed" through on furniture. What is it? Why does it happen? What can you do to correct it when it happens? What does it look like?  I'm always looking for easier and better solutions to a problem when it comes to my projects. I tried a new product called Mylands Sealer recently that is the best product that I have found to stop the "bleeding". I must say it's the easiest, too. 

 What is "bleed" through? Bleed through occurs when you are painting a piece of furniture and you see spots start popping up and bleeding through the paint. Why does it occur?
There are two reasons this happens:
 1. The wood tannin's in certain woods will have stronger tannin's and they tend to bleed when you apply paint to them. Which woods? Mahogany, Cedar, and Cherry are the most famous for this problem.
2. The lacquer that was used on the furniture can also cause this problem. Most of the time if it's old lacquer or shellac on the furniture it will be more of a yellow brown bleed. I had not encountered this problem until this chest of drawers.

When I examined my chest of drawers I thought there would not be any bleeding because it was a light wood and light color. But I was wrong! This chest was a good example of "old" lacquer gone bad and when I started painting the drawers the bleeding started almost immediately.
What did I do? I took the Mylands and stirred it well and then applied one coat. I let it dry for four hours and then started painting my chest again and it looked great!
Below are pictures of the bleed through and how it looked prior to the Mylands Sealer and then after I applied the sealer. It was really easy to use and dried quickly and solved the problem.

 I used Angelic with a Weathered Wood Glaze and a Lacquer finish all by Paint Couture. The hardware was painted with Zinc Metallic Paint also by Paint Couture. You can find our products on our website and you can also email us if you want something shipped that is not currently listed.

Stop by Fresh from 9-5 every Friday, Saturday, and Monday for our help with your next DIY project. Don't forget we offer classes each month where we teach you how to use the paints and products. If you have questions about this post I welcome them! Have a wonderful week - Nancy

Monday, April 27, 2015

Catching Up and Keeping Up (sorta)!

WOW!!! I have been SO busy but I have a few things I want to share and get you caught up with what's going on at Fresh. First, is this not the cutest chair cover EVER??? My mom, Nelda, custom makes them. They are handmade out of painter's cloth which is very durable and washable. You can go here to check out her cute Etsy Shop. 
Mom and I just returned from our annual trip to Mountain View, Arkansas where she goes to the Dulcimer Festival and I go junking while she attends class. The weather was so nice and this is a beautiful place to visit. I look forward to this trip every year!

Sharon and I are busy getting ready for the Christus LiveWell Conference in Beaumont, May 9th, at Ford Park. You can go here to find out more on the Conference. We will have a booth set up with our paints and home decor items. I will be speaking in the morning session on "Making Something Old, New Again". If you attend the conference be sure and stop by our booth and say "hi". Sharon, Mom, and I will be there to answer any questions and help you with your next project or home decor. We will be giving away $800.00 worth of prizes at this conference. If you attend our session you could be one of the lucky winners of these great prizes from Fresh. Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint, Paint Couture, Chalk Pro, and Mother Earth have generously donated to this event and you will not be disappointed. 
I will be on the road again in the morning headed to Canton for First Monday Trade Days. We are located inside Timeless Treasures Antique Mall in Canton so if you come this weekend be sure and shop here - it's a wonderful store full of bargains. They are open late during Trade Days. 
I will be giving a paint demo in the Original Pavilion 2,booths 59 - 62 with The Shabby Divas. I'm not sure which day but check out these girls, they have some really cute items for sale. 
Whewwwww....I think that's all for now...oh yeah and May 23rd our youngest is getting married! Did I mention we've been planning a wedding amidst all of this....LOL! Have a blessed week and don't forget our website 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Easy and Economical Stenciled Pillow Covers

If you are looking for an economical and easy way to change up your home decor, these easy to make pillows could be your solution to this! I love making pillows from drop cloth that can be purchased at most home improvement stores. My favorite brand is Blue Hawk that I buy from my local Lowe's store. Lowe's carries several different sizes and weights. I like the lighter weight, 9x12 size for my projects. 
These pillows are 18x18 in size but pillow forms come in several sizes so you choose the size that you like best. Always prewash the drop cloth before you begin the stenciling. If you haven't stenciled before you can go to my instructions here to learn more. 
You will need to cut an 18x18 square for the pillow top. The back of the pillow is sewn using the envelope method which makes it easy to slip the cover off for washing. I will post instructions on how to sew these pillows in my next posting. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

From Wardrobe to Chest

Today's #freshredo is a beautiful chest that in it's prior life was a large oak wardrobe. The boards were bought at Lowe's and cut to fit the top of the base. I painted the top with Mother Earth's Chocoholic. It's a rich chocolate color that was perfect for this top. As you can see the boards had a few knots in them and after I applied two coats of the Chocoholic the knots showed through the paint. An easy fix for this is Paint Couture's Van Dyke Brown Glaze. One coat of Van Dyke covered the knots and the top looked exactly like I wanted. 

The base of the chest is painted in Paint Couture's Peacock with Satin Lacquer for the top coat. After you apply the Lacquer you should wait several hours before applying a second coat. When the Lacquer had cured for several hours I added Bronze Wax to the hardware and the raised decorative wood pieces.
This piece of furniture would look great at the end of the bed for extra storage or against a wall with throw pillows. If you would like to learn how to use our home decor paints we will be offering a couple of classes this month. April 18th at 10 am. we will be having a "Chalk it Up" class and on April 20th "Here's Your Sign" class is at 5:30. Register online at or stop by the store. We will be open Friday, Saturday and Monday. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Spring Cleaning and Updating

I don't know about you but I am SO ready for more sunshine! The rain and cold weather make for gloomy and long days. I've noticed the Blue Birds in our yard and other beautiful birds. I have a few azaleas in the front yard that have a few blooms and the Flowering Pear is in full bloom. 
I'm in the mood to do spring cleaning and a little updating here and there. Are you updating or remodeling this Spring? If so please share what you are doing. 

Here is my To Do list -
1. Add curtains to my den. I used to have curtains but for the past          several years I've had wooden blinds.
2. Replace the pillow covers in my den with new ones(a new color).
3. Replace the old light fixture in my foyer.
4. Paint the floor length mirror in my bedroom.
5. Clean out the garage - it's getting junkie again!
6. Add sheers to my curtains in my bedroom. 
7. Plant a few flowers in containers on my front porch.

For now that is my short list of a few updates that I would like to get done in my house before the Summer. But in Fresh we are decorating in every room. We're painting mason jars, metal letters, chairs, and anything else we can get our hands on! New spring merchandise is arriving daily and we are anxiously putting out the new items. We are getting ready for the Azalea Festival next Saturday and Fresh's celebration of our two year store anniversary. 
We would love to have you stop in for refreshments and say "hi". Have a wonderful weekend. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Miss Mustard Seed's Schloss - Another shade of Gray

Wikipedia says that Schloss is a German word that means "a stately home". Here is a picture of Miss Mustard Seed's Schloss and it's a nice gray tone. Grays seem to be very popular in home decor so this could be your choice for your next project. 

Schloss used 3:1 makes a beautiful stain on raw wood. But if you mix 2:1 you get a deeper gray that covers nicely on furniture. 
Mixing galvanized accessories with Schloss along with a few stalks of cotton compliments any room. You can go here  to see this color on a cute side table. You can also read how she ran into a little trouble painting the table with milk paint but the end result was perfect. 
The great part about milk paint is that it is very forgiving. Marian's Look Book is a great book for novice painters as well as experienced. Why? It has great instructions along with very helpful photos. You can purchase the Look Book here plus all the Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint and products. 
Our first newsletter went out yesterday and if you would like to subscribe to it go to and scroll to the bottom and sign up. We also added our upcoming classes to the website. You can click on the classes that you would like to attend and pay online. It's just that easy and convenient. We will be open Friday from 9-5. Stop by and let me demonstrate our paint and products. Hope to see you soon!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Miss Mustard Seed's Bergere

Several weeks ago I was working on a series of  blog posts featuring Miss Mustard Seed's New European Colors that are absolutely stunning to say the least! 
Up next, bergere a beautiful gray blue that is soft and elegant. If you want to add a little color to a room this could be your color. 

We are offering a class on Monday, March 16th from 1-4 using Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint. We are going to make a pallet sign. You will complete the sign and take it home that day. This class has limited space and you can register at Fresh. The cost is $45.00. This is a great opportunity to learn the basics on mixing milk paint, staining, and creating a weathered wood finish.

 As always you can order our Miss Mustard Seed's products online here.
Have a blessed week and try to stay warm!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Back on Track Again

It's been awhile since I've posted on my blog because I had an unexpected bump in the road recently. But thank the good Lord I am on the mend and doing great! I'm a person who loves to keep busy and I really have a passion for what I do. I really don't like to slow down but sometimes that is out of my control. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. I had some medical issues that were beyond my control and at one point scary. But it's all behind me now and I'm ready to start painting and working on my projects as soon as I am able. 
We have some exciting things coming up that I will be sharing very soon. We also have our March Classes on the Calendar and I will post those in my next blog. If you haven't signed up for our newsletter on our website you can go here to sign up. We are excited that so many of you have already signed up for our newsletter and we look forward to hearing your feedback. 
Check us out on Facebook to keep up with all the latest at Fresh. Remember you have to like things on our page in order for us to stay in your feed. Also we would love for you to "share" our posts so that we can get new "likes" and expand our audience.  Fresh is celebrating two years of business and we could not do any of this without your encouragement and support. Thank you and God bless you for all that you do to keep our little business trucking along....

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Meet Marzipan - Miss Mustard Seed's European Color

Marizpan is a confection consisting primarily of sugar or honey and almond meal,sometimes augmented with almond oil or extract. This is the Wikipedia definition of Miss Mustard Seed's new European color Marzipan. So you get the idea of this beautiful milk paint color.
Right now the neutral colors are sweeping the design world. I hear fellow painters mention quite often how tired they are of painting white, beige, and neutrals because it's the only color their customers are buying. I love the idea of decorating with neutrals because it's so easy to add a pop of color with pillows, rugs, and duvets. It makes it so easy to change the decor down the road if you tire easily of your current choices. And not to mention it's easy on the pocket book!
Shabby Chic is a look that uses mostly neutrals in decorating. When the look of "shabby chic" first hit the decor scene most of us loved it but thought "I wonder how long it will stay in style?" Well, I think it may be here to stay. The best part of the shabby look it's mixes well with other styles. Personally, I like to mix several styles in my home. Which style do you use in your home?
One of my favorite shows on HGTV is Fixer Upper. Joanna and Chip Gaines from Waco, Texas use their expertise to give some of the worst homes a face lift. Joanna has a great eye and transforms some of the worst houses into gorgeous homes for her clients. The best part - she and Chip use re-purposed goods and local artisans to help make the transformations special. 
You can get great ideas and inspiration from their show and Joanna has a blog you can follow as well. Go here to see more.
The sun is shining in my part of Texas today and I am SO happy to see it!! The perfect day to start a new project or finish an old one. If you are wanting to start a project - stop by Fresh and let us help you. We love to see your "Before" and "Afters"! Remember we also sell all our products online here.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Miss Mustard Seed's Layla's Mint

With Spring just around the corner Miss Mustard Seed's Layla's Mint is a refreshing color to dip your brush into and start your next project!
Whether you are wanting to paint furniture for a nursery or you need a soft pop of color in a room - this could be your choice. 
It's a very nice color that is not over powering and easy on the eyes. I love this minty green and I will be painting something in this fun color. 
If you look on Pinterest or in magazines you will find many items painted in this hue of green. 
Yesterday I posted about the new ballet pink that is a soft gorgeous pink and in my opinion would pair well with Layla's Mint if you are decorating a nursery or a little girls room. But don't limit yourself using these colors in a child's room, they would also look great mixed in your kitchen or dining room.
Here's a paint tip for today when using milk paint. Make sure you mix the paint well before applying the paint. I use a mixture of 1:1 when mixing. That is 1 part water to 1 part milk paint. I like to use my mini mixer to mix my paint but don't over mix it. Why? It will make the paint mixture frothy. If this happens, wait a few minutes and let the bubbles settle and then begin painting. If you want to know more about mixing milk paint I go into more detail on mixing milk paint here. Below is what the mini mixer looks like and you can order them from Fresh or if you are in the area stop by our store front. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Which Color?

Miss Mustard Seed's new European milk paint colors are beautiful!
It's hard to say which one is my favorite so I am going to feature each color. The first one I am going to show you is a beautiful pink - arabesque.

Arabesque is a ballet position which is exactly what this color reminds me of - pink ballet shoes! It's not a bright pink and not a dull pink but a subtle pink that's so perfect. Milk paint comes in a powder form that you mix with equal parts water for a full coverage or if you want more of a stain then mix 3 parts water and 1 part milk paint. Do you love the chippy look from the primitive furniture? Milk paint is chippy goodness! Or do you like more of a smooth look with no chippiness?
No problem, add Miss Mustard Seed's Bonding Agent and you have the smooth look.
Marian Parsons aka "Miss Mustard Seed" has a great blog that you can follow and learn from the best about her amazing products. Follow Marian here. Marian has several teaching videos that are insightful for the novice. Not only does she blog about her products but she gives advice on decorating, crafting and everyday life. I had the opportunity to meet Marian in Canada last fall and she is very personable, kind and helpful. When I meet someone like Marian my favorite description of that person is "down to earth". I felt so at ease assisting her in the Toronto Fall Home Show booth. She greeted each customer with a smile and took time to sign their books, answer questions and demonstrate the products.  Her mom is equally "down to earth" and such a great support for her daughter. I have a special bond with my Mom so I felt the "love" between these two. If you would like to read more about my trip to Toronto you can read about it here

Stop by Fresh and see the new European Colors and let us demonstrate the products for you and help you with your next project.
We will be open Friday, Saturday, and Monday from 9-5. And you can always order online from us 24/7 at

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Paint Couture Favorites

About a month ago we traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina for Paint Couture Training where we met new friends and learned many new techniques with their wonderful products. Right now I've got a little time to ponder on ALL the neat things that I learned in North Carolina and I thought I would share my favorite Paint Couture product. This item is available in ten colors and is an all natural gilding wax with no odor.  You can layer the colors to achieve many different looks. 
I like to apply the gilding wax with my fingers or with a small brush. Use Coconut Oil to clean your brushes and fingers or to remove any excess wax that has been applied. Where would you use gilding wax? Gilding wax looks nice on raised decorative areas on furniture, picture frames, and hardware. I'm working on a project using the copper gilding wax that I will post pictures of soon. Have you tried gilding wax on any of your projects? You will LOVE it! 

Peacock Paint Couture with Copper Gilding Wax

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

European Milk Paint Colors

It's been awhile since my last posting and I apologize. Sharon and I have been busy rearranging the store and moving our studio into another part of the store. New classes are being scheduled for each paint line and paints are being fully stocked in all locations. We are working on some new ideas that we are really excited about for the new year! I'll share those as they occur. 
Have you heard about the European Colors by Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paints? They are gorgeous and we will have them in stock this weekend and online. Here are the new colors -

Aren't these colors to die for? I love them all and I can't wait to try them on some of my projects. What are you working on? I'll be posting my latest projects soon! 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Paint Couture™ Training

Sharon and I have been on the road for several days. We traveled to North Carolina for training with the new line of acrylic paint that we are now carrying in Fresh - Paint Couture™. Let me just say this paint is AWESOME and the training was SUPERB!  I love working with people that love the paint industry and are willing to share their skills and knowledge. 
We met so many great folks the two days that we were being trained and had many laughs while learning. While on the road we planned several new classes that we will be offering very soon. So look for those in the near future!
I will be painting some of my projects with Paint Couture™ and showing the before and afters on here - can't wait to get started!!
Our website is getting a make over too for the 2015 new year so look for changes on it. If you need products shop online, shop our stores, or call us.