Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Gypsy Wagon

I made a beadboard sign for a dear friend of mine, and she posted about it on her blog! Isn’t this the most amazing chicken coop you’ve ever seen?? And it’s CUTE! Who knew chicken coops could be cute??


Thanks, Rachel!


Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Have you ever screwed up? I mean, really screwed up…on something that didn’t belong to you?

It’s one thing when a project of your own goes south. That’s bound to happen once in a while, and it’s no fun…but what about when it happens on a project that belongs to someone else?

Well, those are the days when you just wish you never got out of bed!

You can see where this is going, right?

All I was supposed to do was a simple refinish job on a table top while my friend was between houses. There weren’t even any legs to worry about. She just wanted to resuscitate her hand-me-down table and give it a few more years until they could afford a new one. Easy enough….so easy, in fact, that I called in one of my handy-dandy short helpers in to do some sanding for me!

Remember this guy with the mischievous smile?

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Turns out he could have used a little more supervision on the sanding process, ‘cause this is what we ended up with:

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Let’s look a little more closely, shall we??

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Yep. All those arrows point to spots where he sanded right through the veneer into the plywood base. Ack!

We all know it wasn’t a great piece of furniture...

…but it wasn’t MY furniture to wreck!

It wasn’t fun for my boy or me to confess our mutual misdeed to my friend, although you couldn’t have asked for a more understanding listener. Since these weren’t the types of flaws one can hide on a stained table-top, I could only feel better about offering to replace the table. Strictly to ease my conscience (and trust me, it was a battle), my friend agreed to accept this table that I had waiting in my garage “in trade.”

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It’s solid oak, and I liked the legs! Plus, it has a leaf.

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(You can see I already had sanded the table top in this picture.)

After looking at some pictures of other tables I have refinished, my friend chose a lightly-distressed black base and a dark stained top (like this one).

black farmhouse table

Her new house has dark, reddish-brown wood floors, so I tried to give the wood top that tone, by using alternating layers of English Chestnut and Antique Walnut stain—two each.

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I finished the table with four coats of Varathane, to keep up with her young family.

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So that’s the story behind the table “Resitution.”

black farmhouse table

It went to its new home last night!

And now my conscience can rest! Winking smile


Linking up here!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Happy Birthday to ME! (and a giveaway for YOU!)

That’s right! On this day, 38 years ago, a 10-pound baby girl was born, and she turned out to be…ME!

This morning my six children awakened me by singing “Happy Birthday,” delivering this to my bed:

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(Sorry…I kind of started eating before I thought to take a picture!)

The flowers are from our neighbor’s yard (she said we could)…the bubble bread was made by my oldest daughter…she’s also the one who figured out how to fold the napkin from a YouTube video…my second son made the eggs with cheese and ham…and they all sang!

The only fly in my ointment is that I still don’t feel well. I’m sick of being sick. I don’t get sick very often…but on my birthday? That’s kind of lousy!

But you know what will make me feel better? I want to share the love a little bit. So I’m giving away another custom beadboard sign to one lucky reader.

The last winner chose this sign:


Or you can choose something like one of these:


Or you can choose something out of your imagination! You can choose the saying, the colors, distressed or not, vertical or horizontal…I’m flexible!

To enter this giveaway, just leave a comment telling me one of your favorite birthday memories.

Winner will be selected at random on Saturday, September 3.

Please leave an e-mail address if you don’t have one attached to your profile. Better yet…please attach an e-mail address to your profile!

I will not be responding to every comment...but I will read them all!

Thanks for sharing your memories with me!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Plugging away

It may seem as if my furniture projects have ground to a halt lately, but that’s not exactly true! There are actually a few I’ve been working on, but for various reasons they aren’t quite ready to show off yet. I have slowed down, though—while most of the summer has been unusually mild, the last couple of weeks have been unseasonably HOT! Blechh. I don’t like to sweat! Then I managed to catch a summer cold (that’s got to be an oxymoron), so I’m moving slowly.

One project that went home to a new owner this week was this little table. I’m not certain when this finish was wildly popular, but it wasn’t that long ago!

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The owner wanted the dark-top-white-bottom look instead, and I was happy to oblige.

The top was stained with Minwax Antique Walnut stain (3 coats). The base is Behr Ultra paint (color-matched to Sherwin-Williams Creamy), and it is glazed with Minwax Jacobean stain mixed with Martha Stewart glaze.

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I really did intend to “stage” the table and take prettier pictures! It turned out getting my hair highlighted (a first for me) took much longer than I anticipated, so there wasn’t time before the owner came to get the table!

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So just a couple of shots in my mostly-bare front room.

Thank you

to all of you who have offered constructive ideas for what to do with that bare room! I do think I’m going to attempt the “library-feel” one more time. It probably wasn’t clear that my front door really does open directly into this room—there’s no entry way, and no way to section it off, so a craft room or game room is not an option for me. And I’m afraid knocking out the wall between the front room and our main living area is out of the question—it’s a load-bearing wall, and my construction-minded friends tell me I don’t want to go there!

A couple of you reminded me of the beautiful tiny library space at Maillardville Manor:



I love it. I think this is the kind of look I want to create! I envision the low bookcases and two comfortable chairs on the wall opposite the front door. Next to the front door is the one and only window in the room, and I think a squashy loveseat would be nice there, facing the chairs.

So to begin with, I am scouring the classifieds for a loveseat and chairs! Wish me luck!


Linking up here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

One day

One day last week I woke up and decided I couldn’t stand my front room for one more minute!! I’ll be frank…I have always hated this room. Why is it that the architect who designed this home decided to make a tiny front room and a slightly larger family room (that connects directly to the kitchen), instead of making ONE decent-size room (and an entry wouldn’t have killed him)?? It’s been my bane for the last eight years. It’s a room that really serves no purpose.

I tried to improve it two years ago. I failed quite miserably. The idea was to make it kind of a ‘library’ room. Yah, it didn’t really happen.

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These bookshelf/cabinet/thingies were virtually my first furniture-painting project. They really didn’t out too bad…but the fact that I felt I got gypped in purchasing them always bugged me. They were advertised as “real wood.” They were so not “real wood.” I foolishly did not go to look at them myself, though, and by the time they came home, there were no backsies! I painted them anyway, and they weren’t horrible—but the white primer that showed through the “distressing” also bugged me.

In the picture above, you can also see my first major upholstery project on the left. There were two of those chairs, and I didn’t like them either! They left about a year ago, to be replaced by these:

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They were free chairs, so I was only in to them for the cost of materials to reupholster them. Again, they weren’t my favorite. The table, on the other hand, is my French Twist table, and it only joined the room a couple of months ago (replacing another early painting project). It’s still in my good graces.

In front of the window I had an antique writing desk I got in trade from some refinishing work. Underneath it is an old steamer trunk that belonged to my great-grandparents. These are both keepers!


Do you want to see what the room looks like tonight?

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Quite a change, huh? I sold the two arm chairs and the big black shelves. (Believe it or not, I got my money back out of them! I couldn’t be happier.) The steamer trunk and the writing desk have moved to my bedroom. I’d love to sell the rug—it’s always clashed with the flooring. And I’m not married to those curtains, either.

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Piled on the floor is all the stuff that came out of or off of the big black shelves! It’s been hard to find a place for it all.

Now it’s confession time:

I. don’t. know. what. to do. now!

It’s still a tiny, useless room (about 10’ x 13’). Just with less furniture. Winking smile Still, it’s a relief to have the ugly stuff gone, so I can start fresh. Taking out the wall to combine the two rooms is not an option--it's a load-bearing wall.

Any suggestions for me? I’m open to all sorts of ideas!

Friday, August 19, 2011

One for you, one for me!

Remember my beadboard sign giveaway?  The winner, Suzan, asked for a sign that said “God bless this home” in yellow.  I forgot to take a picture of it before I sent it off, but she posted one on her blog a few days ago.


Thanks, Suzan!  I’m so glad you like it.

Then on Wednesday, I found out that *I* won a giveaway from Tina at What We Keep!  That’s the best kind of blogging karma ever!  Thank you, Tina!  I’m so excited.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Do you know what “steampunk” means? I certainly didn’t! I had to check out wikipedia’s definition and, of course, ask my husband once I heard that word being tossed around. As it relates to furniture, I have decided it means anything that is a little bit industrial, a little bit funky, and a lot of fun!

I started out with this chest of drawers that has been sitting in my garage for months. I have mentioned often that furniture “speaks” to me, but this one was strangely silent for a long time…


…Apparently, that’s because I wasn’t speaking it’s language!

Then one fateful day, I spotted this cute dresser at Twice Lovely:


…and I knew…

My chest of drawers, however, wanted to be black and distressed. It was an old piece to begin with, so I needed to work with that.

steampunk chest of drawers

I purchased vintage valve handles from etsy. They came with the original dirt still attached! My love for ‘vintage’ ends there, so I ran them through the dishwasher.

steampunk dresser

I used 1/4” x 1 1/2” machine screws to attach the hardware. There isn’t much of a ‘neck’ on these valve handles to hold them away from the drawers, so they were a bit awkward to use. So next I purchased 1/4” nylon spacers to place between the valve handle and the drawer, and that makes them much more comfortable.

valve handle drawer pulls

They handles are secured by 1/4” nuts on the inside of the drawer.

vintage valve handles

That’s all there is to it! But I love the fun, funky look of the piece. I think this would be fabulous in a boy’s room!

steampunk dresser

What about you? Have you jumped on the “steampunk” bandwagon yet?

vintage valve handle drawer pulls


Linking up here.


This project was featured at Simple Home Creations, House of Hepworths, and Beyond the Picket Fence .

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

More Chicklets

About a week ago, I looked ahead and realized I was almost out of summer, and I still hadn’t taken pictures of my other two children! I showed you the youngest four children here, and pictures of the beautiful farm where I took their photos here.

So last Thursday I packed them all up and off we went to the farm! I snapped several pictures of my oldest, and then…by battery died. Ack. So…we got to repeat the whole process on Friday!

Naturally I took pictures of everybody all over again this time. I learned a few things the first time, so I had to practice some more. The slightly-sepia-d pictures are the ones I chose to display in my home.

This is Chicklet #1 (14 years). Yes, I have a dreaded teenager…and I *love* it! It’s so fun to have a child old enough to truly be a companion.

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Meet Chicklet #2 (12 years). I call him “Sunshine,” because he is such a bright spot in our home! He’s always eager to learn and try new things, he’s generally my most willing helper. He looks so much like his dad; he melts my heart.

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This is Chicklet #3 (9 1/2 years). He just started 4th grade, and didn’t want to appear too eager to go to school, although I know he was! He’s got a fiery temper, but he’s also the most willing to help out with the younger kids.

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Here’s Little Chick #4 (7 1/2 years). She’s my angel child. In a house full of LOUD children, she’s the one I have to ask to speak up! She’s gentle and tender-hearted, and tries so hard to do what’s right.

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Chicklet #5 (6 years) is developing into a tease! He wasn’t a very happy baby/toddler—partly, I think, because of speech issues, and it frustrated him not to be understood. Things have gotten easier as he has gotten older, and he’s just happier because of it. His smile brings me great joy, because there were years when I just didn’t see it that often.

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And finally we have Chicklet #6 (3 1/2 years). She’s very secure in her position as ‘baby of the family,’ and knows she’s the most important person in it! This little one wants to dance through life…and I want to let her, as long as possible.

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Thanks for coming along to meet them all!

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Retro Red

From a vintage baby cradle to a retro buffet…I am a woman of contrasts! I fell in love with this piece at Deseret Industries:

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It really is a lovely piece. The wood was in remarkable good condition…the finish…not so much. Whatever had been on there for a protective coat flaked off like mad…it looked like I was sanding in a snowstorm!

I know aqua is all the rage, and I gave serious consideration to that color—but I decided to go back to my first love: red!

retro buffet

I had a terrible time getting the color to photograph well. It was almost a brick red before I glazed it with black…then it seemed to turn a dark cranberry.

retro red buffet

The next picture is too bright…but I wanted to show the cute key! I love the fact that this buffet has a key. I painted the rest of the hardware with ORB spray paint, but I left the key it’s original brass.

mid century modern buffet

Do you have a color you love, despite all the trends? What is it?

mid century modern buffet


This project has been featured at Sisters of the Wild West.


Linking up here.