Tuesday, September 30, 2014

So God Made a Farmer

I was thinking about what to write this morning, and I had one of those “ah-ha” moments when I was reading the My Repurposed Life blog.  Gail gives a handy tip she has learned from all her sign making, and it was one of those things that had me wanting to do a face palm!!

Red Hen Home Farmer 1

You see, a few weeks ago I was asked to make a HUGE sign for Ruffles & Rust Square with Paul Harvey’s famous “So God Made a Farmer” monologue on it.   The finished size was something like 44” x 36”, if I remember correctly.  I framed it in with some stained 1x3’s, and accented the corners with some mending brackets. 

Red Hen Home Farmer 2

You can see that there are a lot of tiny little words!  Weeding out the vinyl took a very long time, and then transferring the stencil to the wood involved a lot of fiddling with “oodles and boodles,” as Gail calls them. 

Red Hen Home Farmer 3

So what was her tip, you are asking??  Well, she DOESN’T weed UNTIL she has transferred the vinyl.  That way she only has to fiddle with the “oodles & boodles” ONCE!

Ah, so brilliant…I love learning something new that will save time!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Two shall become One

In the last days of getting ready for The Barn vintage market last August, I was fighting some serious burn-out!  I still had a list of projects I wanted to do, but I was rapidly approaching the “who cares” point…  Have you ever been there with me??

Here’s one little project that barely squeaked in, and I’m so glad it did!

I came across the parts to an antique treadle sewing machine at a garage sale last spring.  It was disassembled, filthy…and I talked the lady down to $7!

Here’s how it looked after I cleaned it, put it together (you can see that the actual foot pedal part is missing, but I didn’t care…see, there’s a theme going on here), and gave it a coat of some black spray paint.

Red Hen Home treadle table 2

The plan was to build a new top, like this other treadle table I made here

But…then I remembered another table top I had in my “stash.”  It was a Goodwill find from over a year ago that I rescued it off of three spindly legs (the legs I burned). 

Red Hen Home treadle table 1

Angels sang!  They were a perfect fit.  I refinished the wood top, added a graphic (of course), and put the two together. 

And then…I took a lousy cell-phone picture.

Red Hen Home treadle table 3

<Sigh.>  Now that…in retrospect…I wish I had cared about!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Black Beauty

2014-09-21 18.10.46

Much to my dear husband’s delight, our dining room has a table in it again…although not for long!

Red Hen Home Black Beauty before

I refinished this set for a client who had picked up this set for a song from a neighbor at a garage sale.  You can see that the finish on the top was pretty worn (it looked worse up close).  She had hopes of refurbishing it herself, but only got as far as replacing three of the seat covers (red instead of white) before losing interest!  I was happy to step in and help!

Red Hen Home Black Beauty 10

After removing the original finish, the top got several new coats of stain in a mix of Minwax Dark Walnut and Early American.

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The chairs and the apron were painted in a DIY black chalk paint, and I distressed with a wet sponge to let some of the original finish show through.  I sealed the top with Minwax Wipe-on Polyurethane followed by a coat of DIY dark wax, and the painted parts were sealed with General Finishes High Performance TopCoat (satin finish) and DIY dark wax.

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I recovered the chairs in this pretty dark fabric she brought me.  She has little ones, so DARK fabric was a must!

Red Hen Home Black Beauty 1

This set is HUGE!  The chairs are very generously sized and nicely padded, so it’s a very comfortable table to sit at.  There are two extra leaves for this table as well, so it’s perfect for large gatherings. 

I really love how it turned out…my dining room is moving up on my priority list of rooms to finish!

Linking up here:

My Repurposed Life Elizabeth & Co.
Primitive & Proper Miss Mustard Seed
Friday Remodelaholic Coastal Charm
The Scoop!  

Friday, September 19, 2014


I stepped out of the “furniture” zone a couple of times this summer to play with TOYS!  I came across this little unfinished barn set at an estate sale on the day that it was half off…and it had to come home with me.

Red Hen Home toy barn before

I thought it needed a little color!

Red Hen Home toy barn 2

I wanted it to look as if it had been well-loved over the years, so I first stained all the pieces, and then used the “vaseline trick” to make the paint chip off in places.  I also let my 10-year old daughter paint some of the details on the cow (the udder) and the chicken (the eyes and feather details).  She had a great time doing it! 

Red Hen Home toy barn 1

She was not particularly happy that I sold it!


The other treasure I came across was this dollhouse at Goodwill.  It was definitely dated, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a TRUE antique.  All the windows were missing the “glass,” and some of the railings by the front door were missing.  The inside wasn’t in bad shape, just out-of-date.  The outside, however, had a TERRIBLE paint job!  The trim paint had been splattered everywhere, even on the shingles.  Amd the green color wasn’t working for me.

Red Hen Home dollhouse collage

Re-painting the dollhouse was a much bigger challenge than I had anticipated.  There seemed to be miles of trim!  I also had to go over many of the shingles where paint had splattered on them.  Then I “glazed” the trim to make it look a little more worn—it was OK if it looked old, but not sloppy, you know??

Red Hen Home Dollhouse

I didn’t touch the inside at all.  I rather envisioned this little dollhouse as being a conversation piece/focal point in someone’s home.  In fact, if it had fit in my little alcove in my living room, that home would have been MINE!  Alas—it was about 4 inches too tall!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

(Tap, tap, tap…) Is this thing on??

Holy smokes, friends…it’s been a while.

I didn’t really intend to take a blogging break after I hit “publish” on my last post in May…but that’s exactly what happened. 

The summer…with it’s pre-and post-summer activities…ended up being completely overwhelming for me, and something had to go!

It was overwhelming in a good way, don’t get me wrong…there were just SO many activities crammed in to a short space!  And I keep thinking, “Now that the kids are back in school, things will settle down…”  Well, I’m still waiting on that!

Lest you think I’ve completely ignored the furniture business, I do have some evidence to the contrary!  I participated in the Ruffles & Rust Barn Sale during August, and it was a ton of fun (and a ton of work).  I had some additional activites/obligations come up this summer that made getting ready for it a challenge, and I know those will be repeated again next summer.  I told my daughter several times as we were hauling and setting up, “Remind me that I can’t do this again next year!”

But by the end of the day, I was thinking…  “Aww…I really want to do this again next year!”

The jury is out on which side of my personality will prevail!

Red Hen Home Barn 2

I don’t have individual pictures of many of the pieces I took to the show, but I intend to show what I do have over the next few weeks.  Today you just get the big picture!

Technically I only rented a 10x10 space, but there ended up being room to spread out…which was fine by me, as I had PLENTY to bring!

I was EXTREMELY fortunate that almost ALL of my big pieces sold this time!  I had a running mantra in my head as we were hauling and setting up…  “Please don’t make me haul this thing home again…”

The gray buffet in the above picture was probably the heaviest piece…and it was one of the first items to sell!  Hallelujah!

Red Hen Home Barn3

Whoops…this picture is a little fuzzy!  I was proud of myself that most of the signs I made (at the last minute) came from my stash of cupboard doors.  I also took several lazy susans…I have a weakness for them when I come across one at a thrift store!

Red Hen Home Barn 4

The other side of my “booth”…

Red Hen Home Barn 1

I was able to spread out both width-wise and across the aisle!  I think I had at least DOUBLE the amount of stuff that would have filled a 10x10 space!  That’s the danger when furniture is your first love!  We thought this space was very feminine and girly…it may have been my favorite part.

I want you to know I have appreciate those of you who sent sweet notes worrying about me, or asking if I was going to continue blogging.  It meant a great deal to me!