Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!!

Happy 2013 to one and all!  Starting the new year confined to my bedroom while a gaggle of girls celebrates downstairs!  No, not really, just 4 girls and they would be ok with it if we decided we wanted to be down there with them.

Most of you know we are celebrating the new year with home improvement projects.  Funny story, I was very excited tonight to find out the Miss Mustard Seed is putting in the exact same floor as we are! I actually squealed, "I am SO cool!" when I read that! LOL!

Virginia Mill Works Natural 7/16"x4 3/4" Hickory Carya Ovata Stained Finish Engineered

No, this is not our home, but this is the flooring that we are putting in throughout the first floor!  We have one room nearly complete. The floor is down, the woodwork is painted, it is just waiting on a fresh coat of paint.  Paint chips are taped to the wall, waiting to see if tomorrow is a sunny day.  I will most likely make a decision tomorrow, whether it is sunny or not.



Thursday, December 27, 2012

And So It Begins...

This was definitely not the season that I had planned to begin painting my woodwork, but never-the-less, it is happening now.  With DH starting to put down our new flooring, the baseboards all have to come up anyway, so it only makes sense to paint them.  When I started in on the windows I realized why I wanted to wait until summer.  So I could pull out the windows and leave them out until they dry.  That is SO not happening right now!  I think the temps were hovering around 30 today.

I am very excited to get it painted.  I have never liked the color of my woodwork.  Yes, I chose the color when we built the house, but it was just never right.  If I had chosen something darker with less orange to it, then I probably could live with it.  But right now, I am going to be happy to see all of it covered.  In the mean time... lots of work ahead!!

DH also started ripping up the carpet in this room tonight!  Yay!!



Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I am hoping that all of you had an awesome celebration of Christ's birth!  We have had a very quiet, relaxing day.  That on the heels of a few very hectic, noisy days! :) I have had all my little "chickies" here since Saturday.  Sadly, my oldest and his wife had to leave today about dinner time to try to avoid the incoming blizzard.  I am excited about the prospect of getting snowed in for a day or 2, but very sad that they had to leave early.

As our kids grow and leave, and we get closer and closer to having an empty nest, we are little by little putting new traditions into place, all while trying to hold on to some of the old ones.  We find ourselves in the position of moving our Christmas dinner to Christmas Eve and moving our traditional chili Christmas Eve meal to Christmas day.  Minor changes so far!

My DH bought me an absolutely awesome Christmas gift this year!  Actually, he bought me several very nice gifts.  This particular gift is one I had been eyeing for a few months now at one of my fav stores.  And some of you will find it very strange that for a person who enjoys refurbing furniture that I would prefer a store-bought piece.  But this was made with old barn oak and distressed to perfection! I had been on the look-out for a china hutch to re-do, but nothing was ever quite right.

So here is my lovely china cabinet:

When I took the pics there was nothing in it yet.  I have since moved all the things out of the top of my corner hutch.  My family didn't think it would all fit, and it didn't...quite.  I put a few things down below.  For example, my china plates don't fit at all.  Ah, well, they will have to be stored below.
 I just love the details that this furniture maker added, making it more than just your standard primitive piece.  They just make it really special.  And yes, the desk will be moved so that this piece gets to stand alone along this wall.

If you are in the Midwest, stay safe!  If not, sorry you can't be snowed in ;)

Merry Christmas from my family to yours.



Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Top 10

I know it is not new in any way, and probably not the least bit novel, but I thought I would give you my Top 10 Reasons That I Love Christmas!

10. Decorating my house for Christmas

9. Shopping!

8. White Christmas!

7. Christmas music 24/7! New fav- Francesca Battistelli Christmas! 

6. Baking loads and loads of Christmas cookies!

5. Giving lots of gifts

4. Eating loads and loads of Christmas cookies!

3. Traditions

2. Time with family

1.  The birth of my Lord and Savior!!

What are some of your Christmas time favorites?



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

More Christmas!!

Hey all!  I thought I would add a few more pics of my Christmas decorating!  Just when I think my life is slowing down, something else comes up! (I think I am addicted to exclamation marks!!!) This morning I took a group of students to another nursing home to perform for the residents.  I really love doing this since I know many of these residents will have no one who even visits them during the holidays.  It is a great experience for the kids.  This time I didn't specifically tell them they had to shake hands with the residents, but when I went to do that, they all followed!  Yay for them! 

 Here is a close-up of my lovely sled.  My letters ended up being a little off, but I still love it! I need to come up with a better way of transferring the letters to my chosen surface if I am going to continue with painting stuff!

 One of the lanterns that my mom gave me for my birthday, planted amongst some Christmas greenery.

 One of many shelves in my house.  They all have greenery on them (yes, I love greenery and lights!), this one has a grouping of snowmen.

 One of my 2 nativity sets.  This is my Jim Shore set.

 Another shelf. This pic was taken at night so that you can see the lights that I love!

I hope you are taking the time to remember Jesus' birth during all the activities of the season!



Linking to:

Funky Junk Interiors
Liz Marie Blog

Friday, December 14, 2012


Well, we braved the crowds today and went to see The Hobbit.  Ok, really there were no crowds.  One of the advantages of home-schooling- you can go to an early movie while all the other kids are still in school! Great movie, although I would have to say it seemed even more violent than Lord of the Rings.  Just sayin'.

I have come to the conclusion that the pics I have on my camera are probably as good as it gets.  Until I take a photography class or at the very least, truly learn to use my camera, I will just have to settle for mediocre pics.  Anyone out there want to come over and work with me?  (hint, hint)

I am just going to share pics of few spots around the house.  I will start with the latest project that I tried for Christmas.

Simple little burlap stockings, decorated with osnaburg rosettes.  My original idea was to put a osnaburg ruffle along the bottom of the cuff, but I was feeling a bit lazy that day and didn't particularly want to strain my brain trying to figure out exactly how that would work!  Can you say LAAAZ-Y?? I already had 2 of the little rosettes that I had experimented with, so not too much work to make 2 more.  I probably made it harder on myself than I needed to, but that lazy thing kicked in again, and I chose not to get out my glue gun, so instead used a needle and thread to keep them together and sew them to the stockings.  Yeah, thinking back on it, it would have been MUCH simpler to use hot glue!  Ah, well.  Live and learn.

A few of my little Santas sit among some greenery.

The top of my kitchen cabinets.  The seed beads and chicken are there year round, and actually the lights, too.  I just add the greenery at Christmas time.

There will be more pics on other days.  Didn't have the patience to wait on more to upload.  So now you have something to look forward to!



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Better late than Never!

I know, I know!!  Been too long since I have posted anything.  I really have been busy!  Not to make excuses or anything! I actually finished decorating my house about a week ago.  So why haven't I posted pics you may ask?  In my defense, I have tried to get some pics of various things, but they are not turning out very well, between the fact that I am really not a very good photographer and the fact that my timing seems to be off for natural light.

So I have been spending my time completing a couple of little projects.  The first was a new tree skirt.

This is made out of burlap with a lovely gold glitter in it. My original I idea was to put a ruffle around it in the traditional way, gathering the edge of the fabric.  But by the time I had folded the fabric, it was just too stiff to be able to gather it.  OK, on to plan B.  I pinned little gathers all the way around.  A bit tedious, but can you really tell the difference? 

The tree all lit up.  And by chance a pic of little Lucy. :) Too bad she didn't pose better!

 Here a few shots of some of my favorite ornaments. 

And the outside of my house where you can see a sled, which actually belonged to me and my brother when we were growing up.  I painted "JOY" on it in red.  

And finally, the pillow that I painted.  It is made from Osnaburg leftover from the curtains that I made.  I made the case with button closure so that I can remove it after Christmas and put something different on it.  And yes, I already have ideas on what I want to do! 
Maybe this weekend I can get my lovely future DIL to get some good pics of some other decorations around the house!



Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I trust you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and that most of ate TOO much!  I believe that I didn't overstuff myself for the most part, but I did indulge in a bit too much pie!  We spent the long weekend with my son and daughter-in-law in South Carolina.  They live in the lovely northwest corner, near the mountains and also near a sizable lake.  The do have a 2 bedroom apartment and it is fairly large, especially for the two of them, but when you add in 5 extra people, it starts to get a bit cramped! But we certainly managed just fine, and they were fabulous hosts to all of us!

We had Thanksgiving dinner at my brother and sis-in-law's house, who also live in the same town as my son!  Unfortunately, sis-in-law had a nasty case of stomach flu on Thursday and on Friday, so wasn't able to participate in the festivities. :(  My brother handled it all with much grace, and a little help from me, my mother and DIL.  And then, as luck would have it, he came down with the stomach flu late Friday night.  Poor guy.  Sure wasn't ideal for them, but so far, none of the rest of the family has been struck with it.  Nor their little guys.

On Friday I did a little non-traditional Black Friday shopping along with Mom, DIL and future DIL. We hit some antique shops and furniture consignment shops!  Yee-haw!  Jeff would have managed to squeeze a piece of furniture into one of the cars for the trip home, had I found something I couldn't live without!

Got home Sunday evening and yesterday and today have been spent playing catch-up.  So for those of you who are wondering, no, have not even gotten the Christmas boxes out of the attic!  Hopefully will have an all day marathon of decorating tomorrow, but most likely will not get it all done.

Sorry no pics, no projects.  But I do have a couple of things in mind!



Sunday, November 18, 2012

My Little Bench

Well, folks, it has been kind of a hectic week here.  Hubby has been at the theater for the last 4 days running sound for the local high school production of Bye-Bye Birdie.  He is literally running on fumes right now, over at Bible study, hopefully not nodding off in the middle of a discussion :D

I enjoyed the beautiful day yesterday, no, not by going outside, although I did that briefly to take care of my dead mums and final remaining impatiens, which had been dead for a while.  Ok, so run-on sentence to complete that thought....I worked on projects!  I had free time, so decided to play around with some painting.  I have a cute, red stool that I bought years ago from Southern Living At Home.  It has sat in the back hallway for kids to sit on while putting on their shoes ever since I got it.  So I decided to play with it....

I had read a tutorial on how to do this, but since I couldn't quite figure out how to do the mirror image...yeah, so a little computer illiterate, I admit I did it in my own way instead.  I printed out the number and then using a sharp pen, outlined it, so that I could see it on the back side.  Then, using a pencil, I colored it in as darkly as I could.  I taped it in place, then using a pen cap :) I burnished it onto the stool.  Then, a tiny paintbrush to paint over the pencil markings.  The lines were done with just painters tape. Sanded the top surface...

...a little distressing....

...a single coat of wipe-one poly, just to protect the paint surface.

I was also working on putting the poly on the table leaf, which, by the way, is done!!

Here you can see my messy work area!  Including the mess in my corner hutch! Unfortunately, I think it is lighter than the rest of the table, even after 4 coats of stain.

That was my Saturday!

Thanks to my future daughter-in-law for the lovely shots of the stool-- I am still learning how to get the best pics of my projects.  I think I will be learning a few things from her!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!  Doubt very much I will do much blogging between now and then!



Linking to:
Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Friday, November 16, 2012

Quite an Evening

This evening was the Harvest Gathering for our home school co-op.  It was an awesome time filled with displays from the various classes that were offered throughout this semester. We had a demonstration of rain water run-off, a tae-kwon-do demonstration, and a derby car race.  Not to mention MY awesome girls chorus, GRACE Notes, singing a lovely prayer.  Plus, lots of good food and fellowship.  Never been a better one in my opinion!  I would say we have been doing these for about 6 years now.

Anyway...not much to report in the way of projects around here.  The new chairs are making progress, but not ready to show.  The leaf is a learning process for hubby.  It looks like it didn't turn out as well as we would have liked, but it will still be usable.

Another project I have been contemplating is my stairs.  I would really like to pull up the carpet and do some really nifty with them.  Hmmm...something maybe, sorta, possibly, but not quite like this.....


This is a little more detailed and possibly a little more rustic than I would probably do.  Have you tried a stair project?  Tell me about it.  And while you are at it, tell me if you think this one is do-able for me, a baby DIY-er.



Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Chair Story

I promised you the chair story, so...

On Thursday I found a set of chairs on Craigslist that I wanted to check out.  The post said Bedford-- 45-50 minutes away depending on where in Bedford.  We were planning on being out and about, closer to that area on Saturday anyway, but knowing that if I waited till then, they might be gone, I called Friday morning.  A laid-back male voice answered and said, yes, I could come see them that day.  He was actually located in Heltonville, which would take me at least another 20 minutes.  Ok, whatever.  So I headed that way.  

It wasn't until I was about halfway there that I started having second thoughts about my plan to go alone.  Hubby was already having a busy day, so I hadn't wanted to ask him to tag along.  I called him to talk to him about the wisdom of going alone, but he encouraged me to go ahead and just trust my own judgement.  I think my mother would have disagreed!

I passed through the small town of Heltonville and kept getting further and further into the "boonies." And of course, getting more and more nervous.  I did actually find the place on my GPS, but the spot marked was actually nothing.  There was a vague lane off the road, but I went on past to the next mailbox, about a 1/4 mile, then turned around when I realized that had probably been it.  By this time I had Jeff on the phone directing me via googlemaps.  I cautiously drove up the driveway to find a very dicey-looking house (using this word loosely!) and a shed that must have been his barn.  I sat there in my car for a minute, waiting to see if someone came out.  I had to hang up on Jeff to call this guy and find out if I was in the right place.  I was, and he came out of the house....

BIG GUY!  Ripped, dirty overalls, plaid shirt, shaggy beard and hair, knit cap.  OH MY!!  What had I gotten myself into?  He was waving me up closer.  I hurriedly speed-dialed Jeff again, then just held my phone in my hand. Now, what could he have done if this guy was a serial killer or a rapist?  I don't know, but it made me feel a little better!  

The chairs were great, the guy was just a kind-hearted, back-woods hick and things turned out fine.  But I still made the transaction as quickly as I could and beat it out of there!  And promised myself I would never again go alone!!  

Unfortunately, when I got them home, I realized there was a slight smokey smell, but I think it is wood smoke, not cigarette.  

Here is a pic of the "booth" my husband created for my in the garage so that I could spray paint out of the wind and soon-to-come cold weather.  I may or may not have felt a bit loopy when I was finished....Shhh!



Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Big Reveal!

Some of you have been asking when I am going to show you my table.  I had thought that I would put it off until I had all my chairs done and show you the whole "ensemble."  But I couldn't wait any longer!  Ok, maybe just a bit longer, long enough to torture and show you the "before."  So grab your cup of coffee and settle in for a long story!  And remember, you asked for it!

So to start a very long story--
I found this table top Labor Day weekend at a yard sale in a nearby town.
Note, I said table TOP!  Nope, no legs-- but I absolutely fell in love with the details on the apron, and we knew that legs would be simple enough to add.  As the saying goes, "if I knew then what I know now..." I don't know if I would have even given the $10 for it.
The top was veneer which was started to chip along one edge.  The pic is where I had started to pick at it to try to see, yeah, that was just the start of things to come.  I knew there was going to be no way that I would be able to patch this since I wanted to strip and stain the top.  So did some research on how to remove veneer...

The process involved softening the glue with steam and prying it up.  When I started it seemed to be going fairly well until I realized that I was only getting up one layer of the veneer! Oops!  And so I wasn't actually getting down to the glue.  So what you see me doing is putting a wet towel on the top and then putting a hot iron on top.  And yes, it ruined my iron! Do not try this with a good iron!  Needless to say it was a very long and tedious process.  It got a little easier when we got smart and borrowed a large wallpaper steamer from a friend.

The look that I finally got it down to was never meant to be the top surface of the table.  It was a mix of woods, what we are guessing was some oak, some hickory and some maple.  The strips around the edges were even all different widths! But I was loving the uniqueness of the look, especially with the deep knots and the wormholes.  I was even kind of liking the look of the few little gouges that I had put in it with my putty knife (OOPS!).  The pic above is after we had it all sanded down.  We have now realized that we probably should have sanded the wide edge pieces a bit better as I think there was still some glue left on them.

Part of the reason that DH and I fell in love with this piece was because it had the hardware to open out to over 100 in.  We had been looking for a table that would start small, but be able to grow with our family as we add spouses and eventually grandchildren.  But, of course, no leaves came with the table top, so DH agreed to take on the task of making leaves.  It is already unique enough that they wouldn't have to match exactly.  The one problem was the edging pieces- we couldn't find any that matched anywhere we looked.  So we ended up picking new edge pieces.  It changes the look just a bit, but I'm ok with that.

So all of this wood got 3 coats of Minwax Special Walnut stain. I thought about using the Dark Walnut, but was actually worried about it going too dark.  And then I finished with Wipe-on Poly in a satin finish.  6 coats!  Hope that's enough to protect it.  I don't mind a few more nicks adding to the character, but would rather avoid water rings.

So I admit, I was too lazy to strip the apron pieces.  Besides, I knew that I was going to have to put something on the legs so that I could distress them and it didn't look just like new raw wood showing through.  So I painted all of them with brown spray paint.  Then 2 coats of Swiss Coffee.  Then a bit of distressing.  One coat of paste wax, followed by antiquing glaze.  I was a bit concerned about this step since I wanted to keep these parts as white as possible with just a hint of the glaze in the crevices.

 You can see the antiquing pretty well in this pic.  You can also see that some of the decorative pieces are missing.  A few of them had fallen off while the pieces were sitting in our garage, so I glued them on and hoped that the glue plus the paint will cement them well enough.

Ok, I admit it, I still swoon every time I walk in the dining room!  We are pretty pleased with the finished project.  The next time I post about this table, I will show it with a leaf in it and all the chairs done!  Tomorrow I will tell you about my adventure finding my latest 2 chairs!

And if you have read all the way to here, I'm sure you have finished your coffee by now! ;)



Linking to:

Furniture Feature Fridays
Funky Junk Interiors