N°5 / Chanel

27 Sep

What if there exists a perfume which encapsulates all of the world’s greatest love stories in to one tiny bottle?

What if there was a fragrance that manages to capture a moment in time so powerful and nostalgic that it evokes memories once forgotten?
That bottle exists and it is called Chanel No 5.

The feelings I get while wearing No5 can only be summoned up in one word: Elegance.  It is more than a fragrance…it is a stepping stone into adulthood…a stark line separating childish ambitions from strong independence.

Like most women who wear No5…their first memories of this perfume came from their mother…dressing up for an evening event…a formal occasion.   Daughters would look at their mothers in awe, a beautiful and gorgeous woman…strong, elegant, and graceful.  My mother would always lean down to tuck me into bed, and I would smell her perfume…it was always Chanel…it is a fragrance that I will remember forever.

Years later I would own every version, my favorite being Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere, which is the classical formula that is lighter, fresher, softer, more delicate, and suitable for every-day use. There are nights where I would spritz this on my wrist and just lay there in bed…allowing the notes to carry me away into an amber world full of prince and princesses, kings and queens.  It is truly magnificent.

The original Chanel No5 goes on strong and smoky (like rich leather and amber) whereas Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere goes on strong and woodsy but immediately fades into a sheer sandalwood with top layers of ylang ylang. If Chanel N05 was the Victorian Age then Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere is definitely the roaring twenties. It is beautiful, elegant, and full of classiness. It reminds me of a young Marilyn Monroe, still innocent and full of wonder.

The dry down for me is mostly vanilla and  jasmine, with hints of sandalwood.


Top Notes
Neroli, Ylang-Ylang, Aldehydes

Middle Notes
Jasmine, Rose

Base Notes
Vetyver, Sandalwood, Vanilla

For Her / Narciso Rodriguez

27 Sep

Today I had the pleasure of receiving this little guy from my perfume club, it was a gift from a woman of austerity: my old traveling partner. She owns a collection of possibly over 5,000 fragrances. Sometimes 5 versions of the same bottle (re created over the years). She was the nose of the industry before she became a well known photographer.

I have recently been obsessed with perfumes and wanted something darker and a bit sweet without too much malice. She recommended this little gem, which I absolutely ADORE.

First spray is a strong rum and musk fading out into the amber and vanilla. The dry down is mostly rummy and orange. I absolutely love it.

It is most ironically, light and lovely without being leathery or heavy. Imagine a woman in a white dress standing in the middle of a turkish spice market, wearing vanilla on her wrists and a parasol draped over her shoulders. It’s sensual in a subtle way…like a wink beneath dark and heavy lashes.


Top Notes:
Osmanthus/ Orange / Bergamot

Middle Notes:
Musk / Amber

Base Notes:
Vetiver/ Vanilla / Patchouli

Crystal Noir / Versace

27 Sep

I just received this in the mail last night, and my goodness…if you are looking for the perfect evening perfume, Versace Crystal Noire is it. This was formulated for the sexy femme fatales, for nights out with mysterious lovers and secret escapades. The dry down is AMAZING, top notes smells like powdery coconut, cardamom and pepper which fades into spicy gardenia and sandalwood…the fragrance is reminiscent of Indian milk, very creamy and decadent.

The only problem I’ve had with Crystal Noir is that it isn’t very versatile; I can’t wear this on just any occasion, it requires an audience. It’s lovely but the smell of coconut and pepper can be a bit too strong for my nose–but then I own the EDP, which by the way is super strong. Longevity can last the whole day and into the next morning, with sillage being just as enduring.

This perfume is scent embodiment of panties hanging on the door knob and steamy one night stands. The dry down smells like an autumn night dressed up in lingerie while waiting for the perfect suitor to appear at your door step.

I literally could not wear this fragrance without randomly slipping into day dreams, my husband seemed enticed by it too.  Very toxic in a totally good way 😉


Top Notes
Ginger, Cardamom, Pepper

Middle Notes
Orange Blossom, Peony, Gardenia, Coconut

Base Notes
Sandalwood, Musk, Amber

French Linen and Dark Wax

26 Jun

I finally got around to finishing this night stand, I am utterly in love! This was painted with Annie Sloan’s French Linen and Old White. I used Annie Sloan’s dark wax for a nice weathered appearance. I left the pulls alone, I was going to paint it white to match the drawer but the bronze tones made this dresser a little warmer. I absolutely love the scalloped details on this piece.  I did not paint the inside yet, still deciding if I should. Here are some pictures and details:

Annie Sloan’s colors matched to Behr colors (Updated for 2015)

22 Jun

I love Annie Sloan paint, however I am not always a fan of her prices. Chalk paint is currently the “in” thing these days, but after using her paint and creating my own DIY mixtures, I really do not see a difference. Honestly, whip up a batch of Plaster of Paris with any of the Behr colors that match ASCP’s and put them side by side…the difference is nil to nothing.

I know there is already a list out there that matches Behr colors to Annie Sloan’s but I realized after doing some research that the list is A) outdated B) the colors are not precise and do not match.

I wanted to do a very thorough and close match to ASCP’s colors. The colors I’ve researched are not just “similar”, they also match undertones and overtones. Thus, the colors are as close to authentic as possible.

Pardon my finger haha

 

Antibes Green matched with Behr’s Parakeet
ASCP’s Coco matched with Behr’s Ethiopia (camera lens makes it look a little green, it’s actually brownish cream).

In some cases when a Behr color is not possible, I matched it with Glidden or Ralph Lauren paints. All three brands are carried by the Home Depot and are affiliated with each other. Home Depot can transform it into a Behr “color” by using their color match system.

**So for example the closest match to ASCP’s Barcelona Orange is Ralph Lauren’s Varsity Orange, you can turn it into a Behr Premium Plus Ultra brand by letting the associate know the name and number of the RL color. Simple!**

 

 

 

  • ASCP Antibes Green
    • Behr Parakeet MQ4-47d

 

  • ASCP Antoinette
    • Behr Rosewater S170-2u

 

  • ASCP Aries
    • Glidden Wood Thrush Gold 10YY 45/419

 

  • ASCP Aubusson Blue
    • Behr Tornado Season S450-6d

 

  • ASCP Barcelona Orange
    • Ralph Lauren Varsity Orange RL4087
    • Behr Tiki Torch M180-6d

 

  • ASCP Burgundy
    • Behr Deep Claret BIC-50

 

  • ASCP Chateau Grey
    • Behr Grassy Savannah N340-5m

 

  • ASCP CoCo
    • Behr Ethiopia PPU5-6d

 

  • ASCP Country Grey
    • Behr Rye Bread PPU8-10m

 

  • ASCP Cream
    • Behr Hummus PPu6-11u

 

  • ASCP Duck Egg Blue
    • Behr Misty Moss N420-3m

 

  • ASCP Emile
    • Behr Gothic Purple N110-4d

 

  • ASCP Emperor’s Silk
    • Behr Red Red Red BIC-49

 

  • ASCP English Yellow
    • Behr Sulphur Yellow P320-7d

 

  • ASCP Florence
    • Glidden Niagara Reef Jade 70GG 25/242

 

  • ASCP French Linen
    • Behr Gray Squirrel N320-5m

 

  • ASCP Graphite
    • Behr Astronomical N450-7d

 

  • ASCP Greek Blue
    • Behr Empire Blue MQ5-56m

 

  • ASCP Henrietta
    • Behr Highland Thistle S110-4u

 

  • ASCP Louis Blue
    • Behr Opal Waters MQ5-50u

 

  • ASCP Napoleonic Blue
    • Glidden Federal Blue 50BB 10/147
    • Behr Velvet Rope MQ5-58

 

  • ASCP Old Ochre
    • Behr Dainty Lace MQ3-11u

 

  • ASCP Old Violet
    • Glidden Mountain Slate Blue 10bb 18/106
    • Behr Hypnotic MQ5-19

 

  • ASCP Old White
    • Behr Writing Paper S310-1u

 

  • ASCP Olive
    • Behr Kilimanjaro N340-7d

 

  • ASCP Paloma
    • Behr Metropolis N140-3m

 

  • ASCP Paris Grey
    • Behr Classic Silver PPU18-11u

 

  • ASCP Primer Red
    • Ralph Lauren Townhouse RL4062

 

  • ASCP Provence
    • Glidden Blue Green Sea 90GG35/153

 

  • ASCP Pure White
    • Behr Ultra Pure White PPU18-6

 

  • ASCP Scandinavian Pink
    • Behr Red Coral PPU1-5Ad

 

  • ASCP Versailles
    • Behr Mojito PPU8-11

 

 

Pretty Little Things

13 Jun

Quick update, my mom found these dirty frames when cleaning out her garage. I LOVE gold anything and these things had little ornate details that I knew could transform into something cute.

So dirty and gross!

First, these were covered in cobwebs and dirt, so a much needed scrubbing was my priority. I filled up my bucket and with some water & soap…I managed to get some of that yuckiness out. =P

What a difference! =P

So to prep, I decided to prime the frames with some 1-2-3 Primer I bought from your local Home Depot.
I then started to paint with Glidden’s “Winter Mauve” on one frame and Behr’s “Indiscreet” on another.

I allowed the frames to dry over night. The next morning I started the staining process; I’m still new to this staining thing but after my last project I have started to gain a little more confidence.

With an artist’s brush I applied the stain in little nooks and crannies, making sure to apply heavily in the moldings and corners.

After applying, I allowed the stain to “sit” for over a minute. Then with a lint free rag, I wiped off the excess using circular motions and light pressure. =D

I applied more stain on the outer edges to create a dimensional look to the frames. Once everything was dry I used a small painter’s brush, whipped out some metallic gold paint from Ralph Lauren (I used Parlor Gold). And painted the gold on to the moldings.

Parlor Gold by Ralph Lauren

For these frames I had in mind to use them as chalk boards, so I ordered some 8 x 10 glass panes from a nearby store. I applied primer to the panes and applied one layer of chalkboard paint. The finishing product? Fantastic!

 

Little Saigon

12 Jun

My favorite morning ritual consists of sitting alone in a quiet meditative state, next to my window…on a gray dreary morning. Sipping coffee from my favorite cup, and perhaps reading the news off my phone.
A week ago I read two separate articles on how Asians “lacked imagination” and are generally “not very artistic” (their words). Both pieces were from two separate but very reputable agencies, making me think that perhaps Asians get the sloppy seconds when it comes to first impressions. Being so, I couldn’t help but feel that it placed a bit of a dent in my morning. Either way, I shrugged it off and focused on my passion: refurbishing!

So I found this night stand sitting isolated on my street, someone had completely ruined it with cigarette marks, crayons, some coffee stains, belt marks, and dark holes. They left her out for the trash so I guess it is up to me to save her! =P

It’s covered in some gooey brown liquid…EW!
Lots of weird black marks

I couldn’t even touch it, no I made my husband carry it LOL.
So the first order of business was to clean the crap out of her. She was so dirty she almost made it stylish haha. So I brought out the hose, sprayed everything down and with a bucket and some soap…I used a wire sponge and started to scrub. I tried to get all the dirt and yucky stuff out of the crevices and sprayed down the areas that were inaccessible to me. It was tough, I am talking dried glue..gum, dead insects…I swore it was like a museum packed into this tiny little night stand.

I allowed for her to dry for a few hours then I whipped out my random orbital sander and proceeded to sand off all the leftover marks and little raises in the paint.

Sanding off all the little nicks on the drawers

I took my sander over the entire dresser, applying very little pressure and using 220 grit. This was my first time using an orbital sander so I was afraid of using anything too coarse, I didn’t want to destroy the night stand lol. Luckily I found it to be very easy to use, the machine practically did the work itself! In retrospect I could have gotten away with 100 grit if I wanted to.

There was an area on the side that had a large crack running up from the bottom. I was watching Restoration America (or something) and learned that I could use the sanding dust from my project mixed with a bit of glue to act as a filler. So never passing up an opportunity to try something different, I decided to do just that!

Large crack running up the side!

 

Some glue and sanding dust to use as a filler!

I filled her with a bit of glue, and waited to dry. Then sanded off the build-up until the area was smooth again. It worked perfectly! I couldn’t tell there was ever a dent there! =]

Once I wiped everything down with a tack cloth, I started to apply my first coat of paint. I used Graphite as my base coat, then applied 2 layers of ASPC’s Emperor’s Silk. I was inspired by antique Chinese furniture, something rustic but modern.

Lookin good!

I loved that the black base coat was showing through a little, giving the red a darker contrast in some areas. Instead of using dark wax this time, I decided to Stain this piece. I’ve had a bad experience using stain in the past, but I am not one to be deterred (trust me). So I decided to try it again this time, and it was a MAJOR SUCCESS.

I allowed the stain to settle into the nooks and crannies on the drawer. Wiping off using baby oil in areas that I wanted to highlight, such as the center of the drawers. Working in a clockwise motion, I wanted everything to get darker as the stain migrated away from the center. Generally I allowed the stain to sit for no longer than 30 seconds before I started to wipe it off, honestly you have to work quickly or it will dry fast. Use baby oil to remove!

I stained the top of the night stand and let it sit.

I left the stain on top of the nightstand for 3 days!

On hindsight I should have just painted it black, but I wanted to experiment with the results so I left the stain on top for 3 whole days. It took that long to dry (you don’t want to apply poly to wet stain). It smelled horribly but left a shiny finish. I love it.

After staining, I decided to stencil gold flowers on the front, it was my first time stenciling also and I was horrible at it! The colors seeped through to the bottom and left weird blotches! I was using a roller instead of a stencil brush so that was a total mistake, I also allowed my brush to get too wet.

First time stenciling

Either way , there was a lot of washing off and re-applying involved. Luckily, I got better at it and decided to finish the gold leaves by hand, it eradicated the fuzzy lines.

I had some left over paint that I needed to get rid of so I painted the inside drawer green.

To finish things off, I grabbed some handles at home depot and threw them together.

Boom. This girl is on fire!

Birthday Vacation

7 Jun

Another year, another moment of reflection. Time seemed to have sped up on me, and every day I am finding that life can be so fragile. I want to wake up every day appreciating all that I have, because I feel that everything might not have existed if I had made one wrong decision. Enjoy life now, every day, it may never be this sweet again.

I had the best birthday week ever, my husband is so absolutely amazing, I love him truly. He showered me with so much this month I feel so guilty! Today was especially nice because he surprised me with a visit to Peinture!

The store was pretty swanky!
Duck egg blue with an old white base and white washed!

Peinture is an Annie Sloan distributor in LA, I had so much fun on my trip and even got away with a can of dark wax!


The store was beautiful on the inside,lots of pretty furniture, and everything ASCP! I especially loved all the pieces that were done with color washes and paint layering. There were also pamphlets with color samples and paint chips.

The price for these pieces were a little outrageous, ranging from about $400 to $900 for a drawer! To be honest, I don’t see any difference between ASCP paint on furniture and just regular Behr paint mixed with POP at home.

I totally love all the ASCP samples on chairs!

The lady at the counter told me painting classes were booked until the end of July! Nooooooooo! =P

 

 

 

Super chippy

Such a beautiful piece!

My hubby surprised me with a delicious birthday cake on the way home! He is such the perfect guy!

By the way, I can’t wait to use my ASCP dark wax on my new projects!

All in all, a perfect birthday. Goodnight world.