…favorite things friday – mary

I was thinking about what I could post was my favorite item this Friday. A piece of holiday swag or a great gift. I started to reflect on some of the traditions that I’ve been intentional about in my own family. My kids are now 9, 7 and 5 and they get it.


Whether it is their ages or the age that they live in, they know what is going on around them and they don’t miss much. If there is one way I’ve tried to treat these three children, it is with respect. Respect for their feelings and ideas and thoughts and tantrums. I want to know about the things that make them happy and what makes them cry. I do believe that if we show these little humans serious respect, resepect that we often reserve for adults, they will make smarter choices and feel better about themselves. I want to honor my kids in this way and I believe I see the fruit of it in the way that they in turn treat others, feel about themselves and are able to be creative and thoughtful in their own small world.

In this light, I want to introduce more that just Elf on the Shelf at Christmas time. I want to talk about Mary. Who is this woman that we put in our little manger on our counter top. She is wearing dull pink and covers her head but we know very little about her. Last week I introduced The Nativity Story. (Note: the actor that plays Joseph is in the new Star Wars movie – in case that fact makes you more interested.)


If you have not seen this movie, I would encourage you to sit down with your family or yourself and take the 90 minutes to view Mary and her whole story in its real light. It will change the way you think. It will bring to light the shame that this young girl felt being pregnant before she was properly married. It was scandelous. It  was something that could happen this day and age that would seiously cause a family to reject their daughter and disown her; throw her out of the house and shame her in many cases. Oh, how perfect. Her pregnancy cast her in a really negative light to her religious family, one that in most cases would have caused her to be executed. And this is how God chose to have it play out. He wanted it to buck the norm, to challenge the super-duper religious people and to make the statement that even the most righteous, church-going people have got it all wrong. They were clueless.

What does that say about those uber Christians today? The ones that shame and make others feel badly and judge and criticize? This story tells us that they are all phonies. That is does not take church and rituals. It just takes faith in believing in the impossible. And those that do not show love and kindness will be brought down and be put in their place. HA! Take that!

Mary means that the rules are wrong. Mary means that love, kindness and faith are the only things that matter. And even if everything looks backwards, judgement is never the message. The message is always love. Thank God. Because if Mary was judged and almost executed for  carrying the Son of God because others did not get it –  then maybe there is hope for me. Maybe it is not what others think or how things seem. Maybe it is only important what God thinks about me. And what I know about God is that the greatest message is and will always be love. Phew.



…twin marble-top tables

I heart marble-tops. I think they are a combo of vintage and sleekness. I found these at a local estate sale. If you have not run into me at a sale before, I shop quickly. And by quickly, I mean I run in and out of each room scanning for good pieces and before anyone can snatch a piece away from me I have a sale sticker put on it. Bam.

IMG_7345 IMG_7344 IMG_7343 IMG_7352 IMG_7349 IMG_7354 IMG_7353

Twin Marble-tops…$200 each.

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Hi Readers! I’m so sorry I am tardy on all your questions. It’s not because I don’t love you or care! Got questions? Email me: cbensten@blueeggbrownnest.com

Can you please tell me what to do with the legs on this table. I painted it all with Paris Grey, then Pure White, I wanted the Grey to show through.  I have watched several of you tutorials and the one with the more modern white table and chairs and you mentioned with the spindle legs to take the sand paper and go right down the leg….I tried that, but feel it is now has a spotty, leopard look….not good!  What am I doing wrong?  

I am assuming you are talking about wanting the paint to show through as you are sanding it. You need FINE sand paper. You also do not want to sand hard so that it rubs down to the wood, but rather just sands off that top coat of white paint. You can also paint a little less Paris Grey in the crevices and corners to have the white show through.


I have huge surface and i am not sure what to do with it…how to sand it…should i sand it? i distress the legs a lot so i think i should distress the top it just looks bad since i put nice fat two layers of paint and i am not sure how to distress it.

When is comes to large, flat surfaces like table tops I like to just sand the edges of the table. You do not want to take a sanding block to the surface unless you are going for a really, really shabby look as this can look messy. You can sand legs a bit more, but again, less is more. Just do the feet and the top of the leg. If you sand straight down it can look messy.

How is your space at Lucketts going?

Awesome! I have sold many, many pieces both big and small. It’s been great to be a part of a shop.


How do you get rid of these bumpy line marks ? I noticed they was there even after waxing, so i tried to gently sand over them which takes away the rough feeling but you can still kinda see them ? Is this supposed to happen or maybe i have done something wrong whilst painting ?

When you paint you want to make sure that you are taking care to smooth out lines as much as possible. The paint should settle after it is brushed on just a bit. Once it dries and you find that you still have too many paint lines and things are “bumpy”, this is the time to sand them down. Do not put wax down and then try to sand. Do it while the paint is unsealed.

I have a question about the chalk paint….I know you said no prep needed, but what about surfaces that have already been painted and were painted with semi gloss or glossy latex paint?

There is still no prep necessary! 🙂

Is there special considerations painting on bare, cut lumber, metal or plastic? 

Good questions. Bare lumber will suck in your paint. It can be very frustrating. You may want to seal it first with Shellac before painting. Experiment. Some woods will take it with many coats and others will not. Metal will work just find. Plastic can be finicky so just test an area. My concern with plastic is that it may “sponge” off. You will know what I mean if this happens to you.

I admired your mail box one time at your house – do you know what website it was from?

Maybe Van Dykes? Not sure as it was 6 years ago now.

I went to my local Home Depot in search of chalk paint, I couldn’t find Annie Sloan anything! I ended up buying Americana Décor, Chalky Finish, Fini Calcaire, I was searching for the clear wax, the one you refer to as looking like a candle, couldn’t find it! I purchased Crème Wax, Cire Crème… like liquid, little think but not really. Will this work?

There are so many furniture paints popping up now, aren’t there?! I have tried many of them now and there has yet to be another brand that I like more than Annie Sloan. I do not het paid to tell you this either! It is really what I think works best. Find a stockist in your area or order ASCP online.

I live in the Chicago area. I have recently been approached to give s quote/estimate on redoing someone’s table. Do you charge by the hour and add in materials?  If so how do I know what rate to charge?

I charge based on a few things – my time, materials and what the market will bear.

What is the cushion on the bottom for?

To keep your feet cozy?


I am interested in painting my armoire and need some guidance and tips. I think it is a big undertaking for me since this will be my first project. The armoire is made of cherry wood. Hope you can give me some tips. Also do I need to paint the inside too ? 

I would recommend watching my YouTube Tutorials to get an idea of where to start. Yes, I would definitely paint the interior to be cohesive.