Monday, August 27, 2012

It’s My Birthday!

It’s no secret…I haven’t been in the blogging “mood” lately (it comes and it goes).  But I haven’t just been sitting around re-reading the entire Harry Potter series…  I have also been planning and preparing for my first birthday party in 27 years!

In celebration of turning 39 (for the first time), I hosted my own party on Saturday night.  I cooked and decorated, and then enjoyed the company of family and friends-we-love-like-family.

My daughter designed these cute invitations for me:


…and that set the stage for a pinwheel-themed party  ;-)

There was a wreath on the front door, softened by some wide tulle ribbon:

birthday 003-001

A pinwheel garland, also strung on wide tulle ribbon:

birthday 005-001

…and more pinwheels appeared on the dessert buffet…

birthday 006

…as well as one of my hand-painted signs (seemed appropriate for a party, don’t you think??) birthday 007

…and what was for dessert, you ask?  Well, there was

  • white chocolate macadamia caramel corn,
  • mint brownies,
  • German chocolate mini cupcakes, and
  • coconut lime crunch!

So you can see that cooking took a higher priority over blogging last week (there was also two kinds of lasagna and homemade cheesy bread).  I ran out of time to take more pictures before the guest arrived. 

birthday 008

Since I couldn’t share my goodies with all of you, I thought I’d share some goodies from my Etsy shop instead.  Through Friday, August 31, you can get 10% off your purchase with the code 39BIRTHDAY.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

French Country Dining Set

The workshop has occupied so much time and attention this summer that I have a LOT of furniture projects waiting for me! 

I’m at the point of wondering “what to tackle next?” 

I decided to go for the biggest bang—as far as reclaiming space is concerned! 

The table was dismantled, so it wasn’t taking up much room…but I had FIVE finished chairs stacked up in my bedroom, so I decided to finish the set so I could at least have my room back!

frenchcountrytable 001

If you’ve been with me for long, you know I have a long and glorious history with pressed-back chairs. 

I love ’em. 

One of my first major projects was this gathering table:

…and I loved it so much I later refinished a similar table in black:

Then there was my grand idea of refinishing a dining set with different pressed-back chairs for myself:

…which I didn’t end up keeping, but another friend of mine decided to run with the idea.  She bought up grundles of pressed-back chairs, and I finished them for her.  When she had multiples, though, I received some of the chairs back…in payment!

And that, dear friends, is why I had five pressed-back chairs cluttering up my bedroom!  As luck would have it, I found a sixth chair at Deseret Industries recently, and I was given this table (don’t you love the legs??)…

…what if I put them together??

Ahh…a match made in heaven!

signs 003

The table top was sanded down and re-stained in Minwax Dark Walnut, which for some reason didn’t want to get very dark.  I liked it anyway.

frenchcountrytable 003

The six chairs—all different—are painted with a Behr Color match of Sherwin-Williams “Creamy.”  They are glazed with a watered-down burnt-umber craft paint.  That is NOT my preferred form of glaze anymore—but some of these chairs were started long ago, and everything needed to match!


I like these table legs better…

frenchcountrytable 009

I had fun dressing up the table a little bit….

frenchcountrytable 012

…someday I’ll have a table that looks good with this doily runner; it’s my goal in life!

frenchcountrytable 011

Anyone up for an al fresco dinner?

frenchcountrytable 010

This project has been featured at Elizabeth & Co. and Domestically Speaking.
Linking up here:
Domestically Speaking Elizabeth & Co.
Primitive & Proper The CSI Project
Friday Remodelaholic 2805
My Simple Home Life’s Simple Creations Friday Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Feature Friday
Funky Junk’s Saturday Night Special The DIY Show Off
Beyond the Picket Fence Someday Crafts
Knick of Time My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Perfectly Imperfect {Primp}
Common Ground My Repurposed Life
From My Front Porch to Yours All Star Block Party
Cowgirl Up! {aka} design
Coastal Charm

Monday, August 13, 2012

Stripey Stool

Just a little “after” project to show you today….the “before” is not to be found!

I darkened this cute little stool with some antique walnut stain, and then used a little homemade chalk paint to “embellish” it a little.

  striped stool 

Of course I sanded off some of the paint to make it look it’s age!

stripe stool striped chalk paint

I guess it could be a flower stand or a little end table…

flea market 029 

But you know what?  I wish I had kept it for my shop!


Maybe I’ll luck out and find another cool stool for there someday!

********************************************* ******************************************
Linking up here:
Domestically Speaking Elizabeth & Co.
Primitive & Proper The CSI Project
Friday Remodelaholic 2805
My Simple Home Life’s Simple Creations Friday Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Feature Friday
Funky Junk’s Saturday Night Special The DIY Show Off
Beyond the Picket Fence Someday Crafts
Knick of Time My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Perfectly Imperfect {Primp}
Common Ground My Repurposed Life
From My Front Porch to Yours All Star Block Party
Cowgirl Up! {aka} design
Coastal Charm

Friday, August 10, 2012

Two Signs

I love it when I receive pictures back of some of my signs or furniture in their new homes!

Suzanne of Wicked Faerie Queen was the winner of my two-year blogiversary giveaway!

She chose this little Apiary sign out of my Etsy shop.

flea market 093

She posted this picture on her blog:

Would you believe this sign is really YELLOW?  Why is that color so hard for me to photograph??

Then a few weeks ago, Patti (the original recipient of a beadboard flag), ordered a sign as a gift for a friend.   She had seen the quote “Never miss an opportunity to sleep on a screen porch” on a sign with a flower, but wanted me to put my own “spin” on it and add a black cat to suit her friend’s home.

signs 006

This is what I came up with…and I have just as hard of a time photographing aqua as yellow  ;-)

 signs 008

It was funny that the recipient had to track me down to find out WHICH of her friends named Patti the sign came from!  I was happy to squeal.

She posted this picture on her blog:

Sleep on a Porch

Thanks for sharing, ladies!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chicklets 2012

The summer is almost over.  My younger kids start school again in less than a week, so that gave me the motivation to get some pictures taken again!  So that was this morning’s project.  What with taking the pictures (400+), culling the pictures (down to 216!), and editing the pictures (about 75 versions)…I’m beat! 

Is it bedtime yet??

If you’re interested in seeing last year’s pictures, click here and here.  There are pictures of the beautiful location here.

The following pictures were edited with PicMonkey. 

These are my children, ages 15, 13, 10, 8, 7, and 4.  After December 18—and before April 4—they will be 15, 13, 11, 9, 7, and 5!  How cool is that?

kidpics08-12 361u

kidpics08-12 186u

kidpics08-12 108u

kidpics08-12 084u

kidpics08-12 249u

kidpics08-12 229u

kidpics08-12 153u

Just for fun! 

I have been on a pinwheel kick lately—more of that to come!

kidpics08-12 012kidpics08-12 032

The Workshop, part 4

           In case you missed the previous entries:

Welcome back!  If you’ve stuck with me through this whole workshop project, you are indeed a faithful friend!

When last I left you, the outside of my new workshop was basically finished, with the exception of the paint (waiting until cooler weather) and some more concrete (waiting until the end of the month).

shop 002 

So what’s left…

…oh, yeah…the INSIDE!

Yes, those 9-foot walls…

shop 002

…and that 13 1/2'-foot ceiling (whose idea was that, anyway?)

shop 004

So I got to learn a new skill!  Mudding, and taping, and mudding, and sanding, and mudding, and sanding, and mudding, and sanding…ad nauseum(I still maintain that that means…until you’re nauseous.)shop 008

Let’s just say I learned a lot in the process.  If you look closely at the north wall of the shop (where I started), you’ll see…

….oh, forget it.  Just don’t look!

Had to rent a scaffold to reach that ceiling.  Doesn’t it look like that shop vac is enjoying moving up in the world??

shop 009  

Love how it looks like I’m wearing a long white glove here.  Very elegant!

shop 012

We decided to texture the ceiling rather than try to make it look smooth.  I had NO IDEA how much mud that would take!

First you slop it on a palette… (I understand that some professionals can make things like roses and butterflies.  No, I didn’t even try!)

shop 045

…then you squash it on the ceiling.

shop 017 shop 018This is my partner-in-crime, Michael J.  He took a squeegee-thingy and knocked down the excess mud.  It’s a dirty job, butwell, you know the rest!   

shop 027

Again, I understand that professionals can actually make a repeating pattern with the mud.  Ours has a pattern, really!  We call it… “chaos.”

There came a point at which I decided I was DONE with the whole mudding/sanding routine. 

After all, I told myself, “IT’S A SHOP!”

And myself answered, “Well, then paint it and be done with it!”

So I did  ;-)

Thank goodness for long-handled-extension-roller-thingies; they made the job a lot easier. shop 050

…but I still ended up with paint in my hair.  And eyes (ouch!).  And everywhere else!

But oh, look how much nicer it is even with just primer!

shop 051

OK, OK, I’ll skip to the end!  There’s nothing too exciting about watching paint dry!

Here it is all painted.  Yep, the ceiling is BLUE!  I’ve seen pictures of blue porch ceilings and loved them.  Well, I don’t have a porch, so I had to make-do with the shop!

It’s a little quirky, but it makes me smile.

signs 040

And see, I trimmed the window, too!

More to come…but we’re getting close!

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Workshop, part 3

A few patient friends have expressed interest in seeing the workshop progress…so at long last, here are some more pictures for you!  If you missed Part 1, click here.  For Part 2, click here.

The last picture I left you with was this one…the structure was basically complete, except there were no shingles on the roof.  And just so you know…I helped put the tar paper on the roof!  It gets HOT up there!

shop 086

One of the next things we tackled (“we” meaning my good friend Michael J. and myself) was to finish putting the exterior trim up.  As I mentioned before, we used Hardie cement/fiber siding to cover the building.  They sell 5 1/2” matching “battens,” but that was wider than I wanted to use (except on the corners), so we ripped each batten in half (you need a GOOD table saw and a carbide blade to do this).

Here’s the before…

shop 001

…and here’s the after!  It has a lot more character, don’t you think?

shop 001

shop 003

Around this same time, I hired professional roofers to come finish the shingling.  I decided it was not something for a rank amateur to tackle!

Can you guess why this is such a sad picture?  Well, that is as far as the crane would stretch!  They couldn’t put the pallet of shingles directly on the roof, so the poor guys had to huff them up the ladder under their own power.

shop 005

Trust me on this…packages of shingle are monstrously heavy!

But isn’t it looking pretty??

shop 006

One thing to note…we had originally purchased shingles from Lowe’s with the idea that my contractor friend would install them.  When he had to leave before that happened, I called a roofing company.  Their price for shingles was significantly better, which helped to pay for the metal sheeting on the soffit…

signs 026

…and the facia…

signs 027

…so I think it worked out well in the end!  It means a lot less exterior painting, now and forever!

Another exterior project that had to be done was to pour a concrete “landing” outside the man-door.  Apparently it is part of the building code.  Who knew

So we (this is Michael J. and I again) built a form out of some scrap wood…

signs 025

…filled it with some leftover gravel, and even a little rebar (it was on sale).

signs 029

Here’s the gratuitous shot of concrete drying.  And here’s another word of advice…DON’T trust the on-line concrete calculators that are supposed to tell you how many bags of reddi-mix you need!  Buy twice as much.  It will save you a frantic trip to Lowe’s in the middle of lunchtime traffic!

signs 030

Don’t laugh…but I had to autograph it!

shop 010

So the exterior of the shop is basically complete.  We still need to pour a concrete pad outside the garage door, and a sidewalk to connect it to the front of the house.  That is hopefully going to happen later this month! 

And I haven’t tackled the exterior caulking and painting yet.  Anybody want to come help me with that?

Except…I did have to paint the door. 

                            shop 002

Naturally, it had to be red!  

Yes…there’s still more to come!  Next time…the interior!