On my last visit to Mid-Life Crisis by the Beach, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint stockist Pat Stone-Smith suggested new color combinations, so I bought a few sample pots for experimentation. Paris Grey is lovely, but I am beginning to tire of it.

Paris Grey
Paris Grey

I switched to Paloma, a grey color with a hint of purple. Believe me, although it’s in the grey family, it feels like a big difference. I decided to pair it with Henrietta, a pinkish lilac.


I wanted to paint elephant bookends. Actually, she–Elsa–is a single elephant split between the bookends. She has a lot of personality and looks very playful. I believe she is a female Asian elephant, due to her she lack of tusks. Hand carved and hand tooled, each side of Elsa perches on a book. You can see how the books have lines on their covers and spines and simulated pages. Elsa is already shellacked in this photo so there will be no bleed through of the dark wood. I’ve already dabbed a splotch of Paloma on her head. Elephant Bookends Unpainted Elephant Bookends Unpainted 2 As I sat painting her, an email arrived from a friend seeking elephants for her unborn grandson’s nursery. She had just seen my pair of elephants online and wanted to buy them. I told her about the elephant I was working on and offered to paint the books any color she wanted. I quickly sent her a photo with books to reflect a little boy’s library. She decided to purchase the pair of elephants but not the bookends, so I continued on. Elephant Bookends Elsa’s pizzazz comes from the gold foil. I used Artisan Enhancements foil, size, and clear finish. The foil went into the hand-tooled areas. I highlighted Elsa’s eyes and finished her off with Annie Sloan’s Clear Wax and a buff. Elephant Bookends Painted 1 Here she is with the gilded pages showing:Elephant Bookends Painted 2 I loved using Henrietta, a color that’s perfect for females of any age. I am the sole female in our household, so I don’t get to do frilly very much. Even though Elsa’s an elephant, she suggests femininity and daintiness. And I just know she will guard the books left in her care. What’s not to love about this little lady?

Ann Marie and David

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4 Comments on Elsa Elephant Flashes a Stylish Makeover

  1. Lisa @ Sweet Tea N' Salty Air
    October 14, 2014 at 3:50 am (7 years ago)

    Good day Ann Marie & David, Love the elephant book ends they look wonderful. My living room is painted similar to that Polama color very bold and beautiful. Love your blog! Lisa @ Sweet Tea N’ Salty Air

    • irisabbey
      October 14, 2014 at 4:47 am (7 years ago)

      Thanks, Lisa. Your probably realized how excited I was to work on her. She’s a sweetie. I’d love to see a photo of your Paloma living room.

  2. Robin @ Redo It Yourself Inspirations
    October 19, 2014 at 4:00 am (7 years ago)

    Wow, you turned those bookends into charming pieces! Your color choices and detail painting really highlights them with character. Beautiful!

    ~ Robin

  3. Gigi Harlan
    October 19, 2014 at 4:47 pm (7 years ago)

    I love elephants and I like how you painted yours to add a touch of feminine charm. I love how the books beneath her came out, just perfect!


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