Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Florentine Boxes

Ohhhh ~
it's sooo good to see you all again!

Talk about dealing with withdrawal symptoms.
Whoooo weee!

(Am I obsessed with blogging? 

After an entire week without my computer,
without my blog friends,
without any communication with you,
without any inspiration for my soul....
my computer has been cleaned up, fixed up, restored,
 full of memory, and is running smoothly again!

Life is good
and my world is once again right side up.  :)


So, how did I keep myself from going wildly insane this past week?

I read a lot of old magazines,
cleaned the house from top to bottom,
dug a lot of weeds in the garden,
canned 100 more pints of homemade salsa,
periodically did a little whining and wimpering
while The Husband rolled his eyes,


dawdled in a little creativeness.

I've had a thing for Florentine boxes and trays lately
(as you can tell by this earlier post).
I love the soft combination of faded pink, aqua, and dusty gold.
They lend an ethnic bohemian feel to the decor which I am happily embracing.

(Wait til you see what followed me home from the latest antique market last weekend.
I'll give you a wee hint:  prints & color.
Prints and color at Heaven's Walk?

After seeing many beautiful Florentine boxes on Etsy and eBay for some crazy dollars,
I wondered if I could recreate the look with something I already had
buried in the depths of my basement.

I unearthed this little gray, distressed box 
and decided to try my hand at making it look Florentine.
The floral carved top was perfect for some color.

First thing was to add some gilding
using Rub-and-Buff in "Old Gold" with a tiny artist's paintbrush.
I carefully painted gold in the background on the lid as well as a few bands of it along the top and bottom. 


 The wonderful thing about Florentine treasures is that the color on them 
always look like they've been painted on by hand.
No perfection needed here.

Right up my alley.

 I used touches of ASCP in 'Antoinette' pink, 'Duck Egg' blue, and 'Provence' aqua,
and then distressed it a bit with a light touch of my sanding block.

I'm still trying to decide on what French or Italian words to transfer on the top in a beautiful, old flourished font.
 Maybe "Beautiful Life" or "Live Gracefully"...

I had so much fun playing artist with that little box, that I found myself anxiously looking for another one to transform.

This next one was purchased a while ago at the local Goodwill store.
It was just a plain little box.
Nothing to write home about - but for $1.99,
it had potential.

I brought it home and painted it with layers of 'Duck Egg' and 'Old White',
but stopped there because I couldn't decide what else to do with it to make it something really special.

So there it sat.

For months.

Until some Florentine inspiration hit me.

But since this box didn't have any floral carving on it,
I used transfer paper to create this flourish design on the lid.
Then filled it in using a Permapaque marker.

It took me about 20 minutes
while memories of childhood coloring books danced through my mind.

 Gilding came next,
hand painted along the top, sides, bottom, and legs.
Once again, no need for perfection.
Imperfection ruled instead.

I then added the same soft ASCP colors.

The next step was a light distressing,
followed by a coat of clear wax
and a tiny bit of dark wax
to give it an even more vintage look.

I had so much fun painting these sweet little boxes.
I think it brought out the child in me ~

or maybe the artist-wanna-be... 

and certainly helped quiet the whining and wimpering ~

much to The Husband's delight.

~  Blessings  ~

PS Thank you all so much for the suggestions, tips, and advice you offered
with my computer issues. You were right!

Linking to the parties on the lower right of my sidebar.
Just click on the buttons!


  1. Hi Laurie! I wondered where you went. (Yes, you were missed!) Love your little boxes. The artwork on the second one is fabulous! Love the colors you chose. Hope your computer stays healthy!

  2. Oh My goodness Love the Creative !! love this idea... Glad you got you computer back!!!!

  3. Your florentine box is just gorgeous! Thank you for sharing how you did it! Hugs, Penny

  4. Both boxes turned out just beautifully, Laurie. You did a great job on them. So...tell me- did you take the computer out to that cow barn place again?;>) xo Diana

  5. Hey Laurie - Welcome back!!! I missed seeing you around,
    To be honest with you I prefer the 2nd one, what an amazing job you did on that plain little old box - think I have to try my hand at this
    ( oh and thanks so much for adding to my list of obsessions - I really did need just one more thing on my plate lol )
    Beautiful Job!
    Big hugs,

  6. Great job, Laurie...I think they came our great! So happy you found something fun to do while you had puter problems and so glad to see you back on here. I have problems if we are down for a day, but look at all you got done! We did have a life before the computer...remember??? LOL

  7. Hi Laurie...Very nice job on the boxes. And welcome back! Susan

  8. This boxes looks just beautiful. What a great job.

  9. Glad that your computer is sorted now - you certainly got lots done wehile you were offline:) The Florentine boxes are very pretty.

  10. I love the boxes... they came out great! You did a great job! Love love love them!

  11. Wowwww Laurie...that boxes are wonderful !!! them.....seize the day

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  13. These are lovely. I think I like the handpainted one best - great flair with the colour work, Laurie. Good to have you back in blogland.

  14. i love the look of your boxes Laurie! I have often wanted to try to replicate the florentine look~you did it very nicely!

  15. Oh, Laurie, your little boxes are BEAUTIFUL! You are quite the artist. They are absolutely lovely. Can you tell I LOVE them! :-)
    Mary Alice

  16. Your boxes are just beautiful!!


  17. Laurie,
    Welcome back! Sounds as if all your computer woes are but a memory! Life is good, indeed! Your boxes both came out beautifully! Perhaps you've stumbled upon a new avenue for your creativity???

  18. I've been wondering what you've been up to...I must have missed the last post. Aren't computer issues just the worst?! I'm glad you got yours all fixed up and your good to go. Those boxes turned out sooo pretty! You're so creative! xo

  19. These are just stunning! I love them.


  20. your boxes are beutiful. you did an amazing job and they do look florentine to me.
    how creative of you and the end result is really stunning.

  21. Wow girl! Of course those boxes are amazing!!! Everything you touch is! :) Love it all! I was wondering where you were!! Didn't realize you were suffering withdrawals over there! Sooooo glad you're back! :)
    love ya tons!

  22. Welcome back!! We missed you. Love the boxes...they turned out great!! Makes me look at wood boxes in a new light.

  23. these are precious, laurie.

    i remember the days my housework was under control (before blogging!)!


  24. Beautiful project! Is it just me..your words are so small on your blog I csn barely read them. I am glad I can see the pictures though!

  25. I can see you kept the creativity going, Laurie. They look great.

  26. Wow Laurie! You did a great job on those boxes. They look great and I love them

  27. Thank you for sharing your beautiful project at Potpourri Friday! Remember to enter the Home Depot Giveaway!

  28. just so pretty, laurie! your mixed the colors so well--that always scares me:) have a great weekend:)

  29. Hello Laurie
    I am hardly getting around these days either! Just too much happening with projects, shows and family. I have settled in for while now and trying to get my mind used to just being still.
    Your boxes are so pretty and they look like you had fun doing them...
    I know what you mean about computer problems, mine are all running slow and my laptop is hooked up to a monitor because I broke the screen in it. I will have to break down and buy a new one but trying to put it off for awhile.
    Blessings to you today, wishing you a fun labor day

  30. Its lovely!

    Popped in from S&S Fridays.

  31. They are BEAUTIFUL! Well done and thanks for the inspiration!

  32. They look fantastic!!

    Saw your post in simple and sweet friday.

    Check out mine here

  33. Welcome back:) They both look lovely! Thank you for sharing this at Rustic Restorations Weekend!

  34. You're so funny... love your writing style! Ahhh... so there is a fellow "addicted to blogs" person out there! Doesn't it make you wonder what we did before having a computer? Well, at least you remembered with those delightful and charming florentine boxes. Job well done!!

  35. Why is it that everything you do turns out so elegant! Way to do it again, sista! Slap me silly!!!

  36. Laurie,
    Beautiful boxes and technique too!

  37. Hi Laurie, maybe I need someone to take my computer for a week. I really need to clean my house from top to bottom. Between keeping up the outside and galavanting. Yes, always do plenty of that. My home has gotten a bit neglected this summer. Your boxes turned out so cute. Love both of them. You made them look vintage. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  38. Such delicate and beautiful pieces!
    You did a great job with them!
    Glad you are back in gear - it is hard to be away isnt it???
    Thanks for linking up this week!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  39. Beautiful job. Thanks so much for linking up at One Creative Weekend! I hope to see you back on Friday.

  40. Laurie, Thank you so much for sharing this inspiring project on Simple & Sweet Fridays. What an amazing job you did on making these florentine boxes. Just beautiful!


  41. Hello Laurie, I know how it is to be without your computer - it is really tough and you feel isolated from those you've come to love to be in contact with! So glad your computer is better - I'm hoping to get a new one in the future. Your Florentine boxes are gorgeous - beautifully done. I appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

  42. Pleased to have you back online again. Both of these projects are very sweet Laurie. Thanks for sharing at Shabbilicious Friday.

  43. Dear Laurie,
    I very much like how you did the Florentine - boxes are gorgeous and they look perfectly -wonderful idea -you're great! ! We can not get so far only - Florentine trays and tables -this I must try! ! Vicky


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