Best Birthday Weekend Ever – Pt. 2

This is a continuation of my previous post. So, if you missed that, you may want to CLICK HERE

I mentioned in that post that Seattle doesn’t see much snow. Well, this is how Friday morning greeted us.

It rarely snows in Seattle...
It rarely snows in Seattle…

Lucky for us, schools were still open. About 1/4″ more and they probably would’ve been closed. They’re not used to snow there. Oh, and I forgot to mention, Amy and TJ live on top of a mountain. It’s a mountain covered with homes, roads, etc., but it’s still a mountain. There are only two roads up/down. File that away, okay?

Saturday, started off quiet. By that I mean, with not much activity. The two oldest grand kids had sports tryouts. Joey stayed at home and entertained us with some WII football adventures.


Amy and I finally had time for the painting lesson I’d been promising her. As we were gathering supplies the previous afternoon, I’d asked her if she had a tarp or something we could lay down under our workspace. She said she did. I cracked up when she brought that “something” out.

Craft Paper? LOL!
Craft Paper? LOL!

It seems TJ found this old packet of info-sheets/workplace notices at his office. It’s nice, heavy paper, but the content is what amused me.

Amy has several items she’s been wanting to paint, but our time was limited. So I recommended that she pick one with detail. Since we didn’t have a lot of time, I wanted to explain as many tips/techniques as possible.

End table scored at Goodwill for $5.

She chose this oak end table. Structurally, the table was fine. Oak is just dated-looking. She said she wanted to use red on the base and black on top with some red showing through. We were using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP), of course, which requires no prep work beyond blowing/brushing off any existing dust. So we jumped right in.

Amy having fun with ASCP.

She was having fun, honest. She’s just concentrating.

I’ve always said that ASCP projects evolve as you go. What you might think you want to do at the beginning will often change as you see how the paint transforms your piece.

Our initial plan was to do a solid layer of Primer Red topped with a solid layer of Graphite then distress the edges. Once the red had dried, however, I decided we should apply the Graphite (black) slowly using the dry brush technique.

Dry brushing accentuates the details.
Dry brushing accentuates the details.

We both loved the way the dry brushing grabbed the grain in the table legs. There were a couple spots with a little too much paint, but, as I explained to Amy, leaving those spots there would add character.

If she decided later that she didn’t like it, she could just paint right over the wax.

We still had some paint left in our bowls, so she painted a shelf, too. You’ll get to see that later.

After the paint had dried (about 20 minutes per coat), we moved into the dining room for waxing. TJ needed the kitchen to make dinner.

Time for wax.

The original plan had us using Dark Wax only. But after seeing the cool detail on the legs, I recommended a coat of Clear Wax first followed by a thin skim of Dark Wax. We wanted the grain/detail on the legs to emerge.

Darker top.
Darker top.

Because we felt the top would look good slightly darker, we didn’t put Clear Wax on the table top.

The wax gives the paint visual depth.

Notice that the side panels on the table were still just red? We thought that might be a cool look. So they got Clear Wax only.

Red side panels.

Then we decided those panels looked too pink. Remember what I said about a piece evolving?

Amy applying a little Dark Wax to the panels.

Soon enough, we were finished.

The finished products.

Two pieces painted and waxed in one short afternoon. Not bad, eh?

Amy did a great job on her first ASCP project.
Amy did a great job on her first ASCP project.

Then it was time for dinner, more visiting, and a special treat.

Pop goofing with Joey.

At some point during the afternoon, it had started snowing. Again. With our flight due to depart at 7:00 AM the next day, we were a little concerned. But a look at the weather told us the flurries should taper off soon.

After dinner, Shannon, Amy, and I headed out for a quickie girls night. That’s the special treat. We all miss our monthly Thirsty Third Thursdays, which ended when Shannon moved to San Diego a few years back.

Shannon’s first snow in years!

It was still snowing when we left the house, so we decided to stay on top of the mountain. Even though we were pretty sure it was going to stop.

Me, Shannon, and Amy enjoying a mini girls’ night out.

It was so much fun hanging out, even if it was only for a couple of hours. Lord, how I miss having those girls close by…

Shannon, now accustomed to the mild, San Diego climate, was “F-F-F-FUH-Freezing.”

A couple of inches had fallen by the time we left the bar. We drew a snow family on the windows of an SUV, which, as it turned out, belonged to a woman from Baltimore. Small world…

It doesn’t really snow in Seattle? Yeah, right.

A guy headed into the bar as we were leaving said, “You’re not going off the mountain are you? The roads are TERRIBLE. And I’m from Maine. We barely made it up. These people do NOT know how to drive.”

As we were headed back to the house, we saw that one of the roads off the mountain was indeed closed. GULP.

We were supposed to leave the house at 5:00 AM!

The drive back to the house.

It’s a good thing we didn’t have far to go!

Lucky for us, the snow did stop. But only after about five inches had fallen. We did manage to get off the mountain, thank goodness. And made it to the airport with very little time to spare.

Snow-covered airplane window. See the heart?

We sat on the tarmac for an hour waiting for the snow and ice to be removed from the plane. A first for me, by the way. Seattle doesn’t have nearly as many de-icing machines as airports that are accustomed to snow.

After a very quick stop-over in Minneapolis, we made it back to BWI. And this is what we saw…

We were greeted by a snowstorm.

Ugh. Enough with the snow already!

Once we dropped my MIL off and headed south, the snow turned into rain.

After a very long day, we were home.

TJ and Amy, thanks again for the Best Birthday Weekend Ever! We love and miss you guys!

7 Replies to “Best Birthday Weekend Ever – Pt. 2”

  1. Kathy:

    What a surprise having your whole family in one place for the weekend.

    I don’t think I ever been up the Space Needle and certainly not for $19. ea (and even more in Cdn$) We used to go to Pike Place Market all the time but it is almost impossible to get parking during the summer.

    I was worried that you wouldn’t be able to get to the airport the next morning too. The snow storm missed Vancouver, we didn’t get any snow.

    That was a very nice family photo. You are so lucky

    OH, Happy belated Birthday Greetings. Must feel good to be 39 (again)

    Riding the Wet Coast

  2. Now accustomed to the mild climate, you say? Well yeah, it’s been between 65 and 75 degrees for the last three days! And it’s winter! How could anyone not get used to that?!

  3. Bob, it was a lovely visit, but we were still missing some folks. Our son and daughter-in-law were still in MD. And thanks for the belated birthday wishes. I’m 47 and proud of it! 🙂

  4. Shan, I could get used to that weather, too. Did you find a Warrenton for us in SoCal yet? I love that picture, too. I really do miss our TTTs.

  5. Another great day even with snow.

    It really is surprising how people in these parts react to snow, but then we/they don’t get it very often. I guess hubby and I were lucky to grow up around it and learned to drive in it.

    Sorry you took the snow home with you. You want some rain? We’ve had a lot of it now this last week.

    What a transformation with the table project. It looks great you two. You’re always so crafty.

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