Drexel Accolade Nightstand makeover....

I cringe when I even think about painting any MCM piece but occasionally I bite the bullet and paint. Painted this MCM dresser and chest and have never regretted it...yet.

These little Drexel Accolade campaign "nightstands" are described as "MCM" but my research shows they are from the 1980s...so at best they are "vintage." (I cringe even more describing anything from the 80s as "vintage" since I graduated from college in the 80s!)

These little tables vary in "value." Originally my intent was to sell both as-is. But one had some serious "splash marks" all over it and as much as I tried I could not get it off. My only option was to completely strip and refinish the piece...or paint. 

Since I am AGAIN working on the final stages of my den makeover, I decided to paint the one with the serious flaws and use it as a side table. I started to strip and stain it, but I really need a painted piece rather than stained....just my preference. I believe it is important to have a balance of paint and natural wood in any decor and in this case the scales tipped toward paint.

(I will remind you to use extreme caution when painting "vintage" or "antique" pieces...do your research and know what you have FIRST! Make an informed decision before you refinish or paint...you don't want to find out later that you slathered paint on a 1796 colonial side table or spray painted a Hans Wegner chair...just watch "Antique Roadshow")

You can use ketchup or lemon based cleaners to clean brass. Just Google!

The brass hardware on these little tables needed some serious attention!

One interesting tidbit I ran across was how to determine if you have solid brass or brass plated...a magnet...magnets won't stick to solid brass...if it sticks, it is plated...interesting. Mine are solid so that determined how "aggressive" I could be cleaning them.

I'm not sure if a "clear coat" was sprayed on this hardware or age had taken a toll (maybe both), but even my 1/2 and 1/2 mixture didn't cut it. In the end I used a toothbrush, 0000 steal wool, a heavy duty brass cleaner and a ton of elbow grease.

Then I gave the entire piece a little KSTP treatment...Kilz, sand, tack cloth and then paint. 

I really like the look of "high gloss" so I went with a high gloss lacquer white...I think the brass really pops against the gloss white and hopefully it will look good with whatever couch I finally set my sights on!

One word of warning I hope all will take seriously...give paint time to "cure." Nothing is more frustrating than spending time and effort making a piece pretty with paint, only to mess it up by putting doo-dads on it too soon! Cure time IS important!!!! 

I cleaned up the other and it may be sold...I may hang onto it for the time being to see if I can use it in the den...but I am not really into "matchy-matchy" so I may not use it...who knows. And besides, that brass is a booger to shine up so I'm not really looking forward to doing that again any time soon!!!

You may notice I have a mix of MCM and "traditional" in my den...and that is honestly how I would describe "my style"....eclectic or maybe "transitional"...a little of this and a little of that. It allows me to add elements I love without having to worry too much about the actual "style" of each piece. 

Until next week....

Oak trestle table makeover...

I bought a table at an auction this past weekend that may be difficult for me to sell...

Hang with me...I know it didn't look like a winner when I brought it home, but the vision was there.

The reason it may be difficult to turn loose of is because I have been contemplating giving my dining room a little "farmhouse" flare.

Again, that is not "my style." But if I can infuse a little bit of the current craze into my decor without a lot of expense and time (like I did here with my bed), I am willing to give it a shot.

For 17 years, my dining room has basically been a "walk through"...from the living area, to the kitchen, to the den....we always use the bar for meals. The table (that got a makeover here) is pushed against the wall for 364 days out of the year and only comes out for Thanksgiving dinner. With the inserts added it easily seats 6-8 with the addition of a few chairs and a bench

But the antique trestle table fits right into my "I think I might" plan. It is the perfect size and style, just needs a little face lift.

The first draw back is it is oak. Again, NOT my favorite wood, but honestly oak is a great "farmhouse" wood to work with.

Second, I like my toes...they aren't the greatest toes, but they always seem to find anything that is out of place...vacuum cleaners, chairs, tables, an animal...whatever is NOT suppose to be there, the toes will find it. One of the reasons I am super careful moving furniture around.

The fact that there has not been a table in the middle of this room for 17 years may pose a problem for my toes.

To complete my vision, I would need the perfect chairs...not a huge deal because I see awesome chairs all the time at auctions. I may have to find a buffet for the wall...had one a few years ago and I kind of liked having a place for a little "fluff." And then there is the whole window, wall, rug, trim detail thing...hum. 

Regardless of what I do in my own home, I know the table needs a little love and attention. So that was the project this week...give this little table a makeover as if it were going into my own home. Then if I decide to actually move forward with my vision for the dining room, I have the table...if not, someone else will get a beautiful antique dining table!

I easily stripped the top using this process...not a lot of finish left on this old beauty but it did have dark "water rings." 

Several months ago a very wise reader commented on another table project and suggested using oxalic acid on water rings. I have never tried it and always just "embraced" the imperfections on antique pieces since nothing I tried worked well. But I did order the acid and had it on hand.

WOW!!!! Just wow. Worked like a charm. I made a paste with the acid crystals and water, dabbed it on the ring, and within 30 minutes, gone! I was a little miffed at first because it "bleached" the wood, but I scrubbed it with my 1/2 and 1/2 mixture and that disappeared as well!

I stained the top and applied three coats of tung oil finish...my favorite! I painted the base with homemade chalk paint, distressed a bit and sealed with polycrylic.

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Just beautiful....for now I am going to take my daughter's advise...set it in place and mull it over. Maybe see how many times my toes find it!!!! No harm in letting it hang out for the time being (except for maybe a few toes!)

Right now my den is in disarray and I am trying to decide what I want to do. I gave my couch to my daughter so now I have no choice but to buy a new couch...part of the "den makeover" plan that started several years ago (remember, if you can't "see" it, get rid of what is there and live with a blank slate for a time) Since the reveal, the club chair has been reupholstered and moved to the living room to make room for Brian's big leather chair. The coffee table is laying on Mitchell's bed because we needed more room for Cleo and our grandpuppy, Zoey, to wrestle! There is a new rug...

The jury is still out on it...doesn't seem to be wearing well and not real comfy...hum. I like the look, just not sure I like THIS rug!

So taking on a dining room makeover just isn't on my priority list right now. I know if I am ever going to do it, I should probably hang onto this table since they cost a pretty penny new. But I also know that if I take the plunge I will have a sizable project on my hands...and my hands are pretty full right now.

Maybe it can just hang out for the time being! Never know when a bug attack!

Until next week....

Our trip to New York City!

I am not a "travel blogger" so I rarely share my travels (not that I go too many places) but last week my youngest son, Matt, and I spent 3 1/2 days in New York City.

In 2005 the boys and I went to New York so Mitchell could do a photo shoot with Emmitt Smith. An awesome experience and the one day of sight-seeing hooked me....a city I never cared to visit became a city I couldn't wait to see again...it only took 12 years.

Matt and I met at Laguardia Sunday night...I flew in from Northwest Arkansas, he from Detroit. We hit the ground running Monday morning and spent three and 1/2 days walking, climbing, riding, standing and seeing....by the time we left Thursday afternoon, I wasn't sure I could manage walking to my gate, but we had a blast!

First, I got to spend time with one of my kids. That is, by far, one of my greatest pleasures in life. I watch worn out, stressed out parents with small kids and I know now that those tough years were worth every second...and I often wish I could go back and live every minute of that time! They go off to college and become adults and believe it or not, you miss them terribly...so getting to spend three fun-filled days with one of them is a true treasure!

I didn't take a decent camera (not that I know how to use my expensive digital camera) so all my pictures were taken with my I-phone. But that is okay....I think sometimes were are so busy trying to "capture the moment" with our cameras that we forget to take our eye out of the lens and really "see" the moment. Making memories is about living in the moment, not just capturing it on film (showing my age here...lol!)

But we did stop to take a few pictures along the way!

One place I desperately wanted to visit again was "Ground Zero." When we were there in 2005, the site was just a huge hole in the ground. I was amazed by the very existence of St. Paul's chapel across the street from the World Trade Towers....it seemed to be untouched by the massive destruction of the towers!

This little church, were George Washington prayed after his inauguration, survived that fateful day in 2001 and actually opened it's doors to the people who worked tirelessly in the days and months that followed. They have a room dedicated to 911 memorabilia, the most interesting to me was a pew from the chapel on which rescuers rested, leaving scratches and gouges from the equipment they wore. How tired they must have been....

When you looked west in 2005, across the serene cemetery that surrounds the church, you saw nothing...where the towers stood there was nothing but a gaping hole... an ugly wound on the landscape of our country.

A beautiful new tower and stunning memorial literally rose from the ashes. It is not the view that was there on September 10, 2001, but what is there is a testament to our country's resilience and strength....

The 911 memorial is...well honestly, I can not describe it. You have to see it for yourself. I am sure there are writers who could capture the magnitude and magnificence of the place, but I believe that every person will experience it differently...I don't think my words can do it justice. 

As I walked around the memorial, I noticed little white roses stuck in a few of the names inscribed in the memorial. When I finally took time to read the plaques, I discovered why. Such a simple but powerful reminder of what that one day means to someone, somewhere. 

We went into the 911 museum. It is a vast underground maze chronicling the events and people of that fateful day and the days that followed. I did not take pictures...I was too overwhelmed reading and listening and seeing to even think about taking a picture. The sheer magnitude of what happened, the lives lost and the final moments of their lives, the experiences of the survivors and first responders, and our country's collective reaction on that day and in the days that followed, completely overwhelmed my mind and senses. 

One quick observation shared by me and my son. I know the museum is meant to be a "historical accounting" of that event...and I understand why certain things were included. But both Matt and I walked away disturbed by the inclusion of the pictures and history of the "terrorists" who were responsible for the events that unfolded and changed the course of history. I came home and did a little research on the "why"....it is one of those things my mind understands, but not my heart.

From the memorial and museum we headed south to Battery Park...beautiful park with the friendliest little squirrels. I have pictures of Matt hand feeding peanuts to the little guys when we visited in 2005. This one figured out real quick that Matt didn't have any REAL food...he then proceeded to attack him. 

We took the ferry to Liberty Island and Ellis Island. Historical sites you have to see.

I took this picture from the main building on Ellis Island. I'm sure entering the harbor and seeing the Statute of Liberty was exhilarating...but millions of immigrants stood where I stood knowing that the final moments to their new lives were just a few processes away.

And that was just the first day! We went to the top of the Rockefeller Center (we did the Empire State building in 2005) BTW, my son (who is a pilot) is terrified of heights...so you can imagine what this view did to his blood pressure!

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The view of Lower Manhattan from "Top of the Rock"

The architecture throughout New York City is simply breathtaking...from the simple little "5 floor walk-up" apartments to the magnificent churches throughout the city....

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St. Patrick's on 5th Avenue

Central Park....

An absolute "must see" and if you really want to impress everyone rent a bike and ride ALL the way around the park. I'm still recovering a week later but by gosh I did it!!!

We rode a subway for the first time (only 2 stops but it counts!) from Grand Central Station. We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. We visited the magnificent New York City library and enjoyed an evening in the park listening to a jazz band and watching the swing dancers. We toured the Intrepid carrier and saw the Enterprise space shuttle. We rode a water taxi. We took pictures with the Wall Street bull. We rode across the Manhattan bridge at night. We ate beef on a stick and breakfast in a cafe where the owner sat at the bar and visited in either Italian or Greek (not sure which!) 

For us the absolute best way to get around New York and visit all the amazing sites was with a New York City Pass. It allowed us to ride all over the city and take in all the beautiful sights and sounds without getting crushed by the mass of New Yorkers and tourists on the sidewalks. The pass includes admission to anything you would want to see....worth every penny!

We didn't even make it to all the museums or Chinatown or the garment district or a Broadway show or any number of things we could have done...but I honestly think that might take several weeks...I was lucky to survive three full days!

New York is certainly not the place I would choose to live...but it is definitely one of those places you have to visit! Whether your passion is food, architecture, different cultures, history, entertainment, etc...it is ALL there!

Home again and back to the grind stone so next week I'll again start sharing what I know best....

Until then....

Gun cabinet "repurpose."

I saw a picture online of a "repurposed" gun cabinet and thought...cruuuuuud! I see those ALL the time at auctions and they go for nothing. Dang! NOW I know what I could do with one! 

Lo and behold, the very next week, I found one at an auction! 

Structurally it was pretty sound. Just needed a little TLC!

First, I gave it a good cleaning...usually a dish detergent and water does the trick. I CAREFULLY removed the sliding glass doors, popped the back off, removed the gun rack shelf and hardware then I painted the entire piece with homemade chalk paint. A little "distressing" to give it that "farmhouse" vibe. 

My go-to recipe for homemade chalk paint is 3 tablespoons of plaster of paris mixed well with 1 1/2 tablespoons of water...then add one cup of flat latex paint...mix well. I usually only mix up what I am going to need for a project since it really doesn't store well!

After I painted the entire cabinet, I added three shelves. I painted those with latex paint since I didn't "distress" them. 

The new back is "paint stained" bead board. I used the same process to "stain" it as I used on THIS cabinet makeover. Water down any colored paint, brush it on the wood and immediately wipe it off.

I sealed the entire piece with a clear coat...again, I never wax! New cup pull hardware on the drawer and it is good to go! 

Simple little makeover!

As you might notice, I rarely take time to "stage" a piece. More doing, less froo-frooing! 

I just happen to have this little walnut clock laying around....

While I had some chalk paint mixed up I decided to give it a quick little makeover as well...similar to this wall clock.

This makeover produced all the "scrap" bead board I used on this little bee box shelf I feature here....

You may have noticed I actually did TWO posts this week. Truth is I had this one ready to go for next week and well...I wasn't paying attention. But that is okay because next week I will be in NEW YORK CITY!!!! Yippeeee...just a little mini vacation with my son Matt...seeing the sights and doing the "tourist" thing. So until week after next....

Bee Box Shelf....

Sometimes things get "stored" in my garage and I spend a few years kicking them around. 

My daughter started raising bees several years ago. She would occasionally bring home old "bee boxes" to paint. 

One has been hanging out in my garage for...oh, I would say at LEAST two years. Waiting to be painted. Never happened.

In my quest to "organize" my mess of a garage I decided to purge a few things...but it is always hard for me to toss anything wood. One of my few "hoarding" tendencies.

An old bee box...scrap pieces of bead board from another project...old dresser drawer pieces...hum....what to do, what to do!?

Yep...a "bee box" shelf.

I used one side of an antique dresser drawer as the shelf and the scrap bead board for the back. A little glue...a few nails. I sanded the box and the shelf to clean them up a bit. (I could actually smell the honey!)After sanding and assembling I sprayed the entire piece with a clear coat just to seal the "chippy" paint.

Easy, peasy. 

Not my style so of course it will be sold, but just a quick reminder that you can turn any old "scraps" into something pretty and functional with just a little imagination...this didn't take too much time or any expensive tools...just a saw to cut the shelf, a hammer and a little sand paper. 

Next week I'll share the project that produced all the scrap bead board...another "repurposing" project! 

Until then....

MCM dresser makeover AGAIN!

I featured my personal dresser make over here!

I really love this dresser but as I mentioned in the original post, I have always regretted painting the drawer fronts. They have a little slant and as you can see in the linked post, they have a little "inlay" detail! Looking back, I wish I had stripped the drawer fronts, oiled them and just painted the cabinet and top....kind of like what I did with this dresser!

I guess I could have rolled up my sleeves and taken on the task of stripping the fronts...but honestly, you can't go back and easily undo what has been done...or can you?

If you find the exact same dresser, YES YOU CAN!!!

I happen to be driving down the street this past weekend and spotted a dresser and chest of drawers sitting out in a driveway. It just so happens they were the EXACT same style I have. I couldn't stop fast enough (annoying to the person behind me since I was hauling my 14' trailer) but was disappointed when told someone was coming to pick them up later that evening. I asked them to call me if they weren't picked up...that is when I found out they were GIVING them away...would I be willing to PAY for them? YOU BET YOUR BAZOOKA!!!! I couldn't get them in my truck fast enough. Do I feel a tad guilty that someone showed up later that evening to pick up their free furniture...only to find it gone...naaaaaa...okay just a tad.

So this is what the dresser looks like in it's original glory! A "Ward Furniture Manufacturing" dresser. It is identical to my blue one before I gave it a little makeover.

Hardly a scratch on it and the veneer was all intact and in good condition. I am always amazed when a 50 year old piece of furniture is in such amazing condition...I wish this 53 year old had faired as well!

I removed all the drawers and stripped the fronts using this process...never fails and a pretty quick process! Even though the finish was near perfect, old finishes "muddy" and "amber" over time and just removing the old finish really brings out the beauty of the piece!

TIP! When you remove drawers from a chest or dresser, make sure you label each drawer (I mark them on the underside with a pencil!) 

The drawers may look identical, but truth is they may not fit properly in a different place...age and wear can make drawers "stick" if they aren't put back where they were originally! 

I gave the cabinet a little KSTP treatment...Kilz, sand, tack and paint! I applied 4 coats of tung oil finish to the drawer fronts and legs...sanding (with 0000 steel wool) and tack between each coat. 

I. LOVE. WALNUT. AND I. LOVE. MID CENTURY! 

And now I. LOVE. THIS. DRESSER! 

I didn't "dislike" the original dresser, but again, I did regret that I didn't restore the drawer fronts. Now...perfect! 

As much as I would love to keep the matching chest, it will be sold. Can't keep every piece and since these aren't "valuable" MCM pieces, I don't feel too bad letting it go!  

Painting dressers today so until next week....

A new bed frame!

The last time I shared my master bedroom I had just finished the laminate flooring!

In this post I shared the "before and after" of my bedroom furniture.....

The bed was just so big and heavy and dark! Painting helped a bit, but it was still pretty big and "scrolly"...and I was just never really fond of it. For the record, I was madly in love with the entire set when I paid a fortune for it 16 years ago...but not so much these days.

It is no secret that in my OWN home, I have been slow to embrace the "country" style in large scale...mostly because I am afraid it will be a "passing fad." Not as bad as the chevron and burlap "fad" of 2014, but I worry enough about it that I am not going to start dragging my prized furniture to the garage and slathering it in chalk paint. (And for the record, it is another reason I am a HUGE advocate of sealing chalk paint with poly rather than wax...when the fad fades, you can easily repaint the pieces without having to strip the wax! And yes, you will have to strip the wax!)

What I have done is be very selective about incorporating the style into my home decor with a few pieces that I won't be too torn up about when the "fad" fades and I have to restyle them or dispose of them. 

To me, that is the secret to decorating. Incorporate the latest trends in less expensive ways...decorative pillows and curtains, wall decor, small furniture, wall paint. 

It is one reason I have not jumped on the painted white cabinet train...it is a HUGE undertaking...both financially and physically, and when the trend fizzles in a few years, there are going to be a lot of people not so happy with a kitchen filled with expensive painted cabinets. (For the record, I am NOT opposed to painting some kitchen cabinets...just not mine...yet!)

"But white cabinets never go out of style" you say. Well I say you obviously don't remember "honey oak" or "cherry furniture." EVERYTHING goes out of style. So be selective and proceed with caution when shelling out big bucks and Herculian effort to follow the trends! Do what you love, but think very carefully before taking on a massive Pinterest project!

Sooooo...back to the big, heavy and still too "dark" bed frame. 

Since I have not been "in love" with this piece of furniture for many years, and since I have made an effort to TRY to fall in love with it again, and failed, it is time to make a change.

And here is how I did it....

Now, before you think "OMG, she bought an expensive country style bed frame," let me tell you how I did a little horse trading to get this piece without breaking the bank.

First, I bought an entire bed room set at an auction. I didn't take pictures of the bed frame, but this is the matching dresser and nightstand...

Honey oak...EEEECKKK! My least favorite wood and color. And it is certainly "not my style." But stay with me!

So it came with a mattress and boxsprings...I didn't need them so the auctioneer resold those for me...deduction number one. Then I sold my old bed frame...deduction number two. At this point, I am at "break even." The dresser and bedside tables are getting a makeover and will be sold. The frame got a little makeover for my room.

This is how I justify incorporating the latest trend in my bedroom...it didn't cost me anything but a little time and paint.

Am I madly in love with it? Umm...not really but I like that I have incorporated the latest trend with little expense and effort.

I like that it is not as big and dark and hulking as my other bed frame...simpler, smaller, different. 

I do LOVE the fact that when the "country faze" finally fizzles, I will not beat myself up for disposing of an expensive piece of "trendy" furniture! 

Adding elements of the current "decor craze" doesn't always entail making a big financial commitment.

Case in point....

A few little projects....

I finally finished MOST of the projects piled in my garage...so what do I do? I go buy more!!!

Now you can barely walk through the mess. So in the next few weeks, I will have LOTS of projects to share!

This week I thought I would share a few little projects I finished up...and promptly sold. But they are good examples of taking something pretty much worthless and easily turning them into something worth having in your home...trash to treasures!

I have shared this little project in a previous post! I thought they were so cute I have been on the lookout for tripods ever since...tough to find but I did manage to score a few at auctions.

They are super simple to make and cute as a bug's ear!

I bought this little "whatever" for a song and decided to turn it into a little tv table....

The top was a "formica" kinda thing and not really worth salvaging. I had a wood top from an old table I found at the apartments, so I cut it down to fit, attached it, and then gave the entire piece a little KTSP treatment....super cute and perfect for a flat screen tv!

Ever so often I cruise through Goodwill. On one trip I found this ugly little wall clock.

I removed the metal doo-dads, puttied the holes, chalk painted and distressed the wood frame, and....

Perfect for someone's "farmhouse decor." 

Stay tuned...there are some nifty projects lurking in my garage I hope to share in the coming weeks! 

Until then....

Birthday traditions and a cheesecake extraordinaire!

As evident by my "Cooking 101" page, this is not a food blog. I usually share recipes that are easy or ones I have put my simple "twist" on.

But today I am going to share one that may seem a tad intimating but honestly, super easy. And because it APPEARS to be difficult, it not only tastes great, it will impresses everyone.

One of the great traditions in this home has developed as the kids got too old for traditional birthday parties. For your birthday dinner, you get to pick the meal and the birthday dessert.

I can usually guess the favorite desserts...but occasionally one of the kids will surprise me.

Last month Brandon requested a "Reese's peanut butter chocolate cake." Hum...that was a new one. No biggy...I baked a two layer chocolate fudge box cake, spread peanut butter buttercream icing and chopped peanut butter cups between the layers, topped with chocolate butter cream icingused my little frosting tip to make some little peanut butter frosting edging and them mounded the middle with chopped peanut butter cups. OH. MY. GOSH! Not only did it taste amazing, but it was the star of the dinner! 

My opinion....if you want to impress people with your box cakes (and save some money) ALWAYS make a buttercream icing! 

My oldest daughter's birthday is not until next month, but since she was here this past weekend I decided we would have her birthday dinner. No surprise that her dinner consisted of my famous Alfredo sauce...one I shamelessly "borrowed" from the Olive Garden (plus 2 tablespoons of cream cheese for thickness!) Usually over a pasta with shrimp or chicken. 

This year her dessert request threw me for a loop...her usual is my grandmother's lemon cake...definitely one you need to try! But she requested TURTLE CHEESECAKE!

Seriously? I have no idea where that came from, and honestly, I have never made one! Sam's use to carry frozen turtle cheesecakes that were awesome, but they no longer have them...after 20 years, go figure!

So I did what I always do when I have to make something I am not familiar with...I went to the internet.

For the first few decades of my adult life, I had to do what everyone did when needing a recipe...dig out the cookbooks. Not complaining...the absolute best (and simplest) brownies you will ever eat are from the Betty Crocker cookbook. The most luscious peanut butter cookies you will ever eat came from an old church cookbook my mother received as wedding gift. And there is no better recipe for plain ole' chocolate chip cookies than on the back of the Nestle chocolate chip bag. 

But the internet has changed a lot of things, so I googled "Turtle Cheesecake" and found a recipe that looked like one I could manage. The only change I made was using caramel ice cream topping rather than going through the tedious process of unwrapping a 14 oz bag of little caramels. I'm a lazy baker...lol! 

The cheesecake turned out amazing.

One of the little tips I want  to share is how I "drizzle" criss cross patterns on cakes and other baked goodies without a fancy piping bag. I also use this method for layering ricotta cheese in lasagna and anything else that needs to be layered or drizzled.  

First, take a plain ole' ziplock bag and put it in a cup with the tip of one corner pointing down....

Fill the bag with your "stuff"...in this case, melted chocolate.

Lift the bag out of the cup and gently "squeeze" all the goody into the tip of the bag by twisting the top of the bag. Then nip the corner of the bag with scissors....

There you go...a simple "pipping" bag!

I actually have a REAL pipping bag, but this is much easier...I can toss the bag when I am done...told you I was a lazy baker...lol! 

Baking is a lot like DIYing...we are so intimidated by the THOUGHT of the process, we don't even attempt it! 

Think of all the awesome refurbished furniture and cheesecake we miss out on when we don't even try! 

Practicality beats heirloom...

It certainly doesn't happen often. If you have been around awhile you know I will take heirloom over just about anything.

This stool was my great grandfather's drafting stool and I featured it here.

It is oak and it really isn't "my style." (whatever that might be!) But because it was an heirloom piece I carefully refinished it and recovered the seat.

But when it came right down to it, the little guy just wasn't very practical. First, it was kind of heavy and difficult to move around...truth is, if you lift up the seat it comes right off. Second, there is a good chance the thing was going to kill me! Since popping my cabinets up, I often need a little boost to reach the upper cabinets. The top of this stool spins and more than once I found myself dang near snapping a limb just to get to a spare can of coffee when I tried to use it as a "step stool!"

It was my great grandfathers and I seriously love it...but it just wasn't functional for the kitchen! 

I have been on the lookout for an old "cosco" type step stool. I found several, but all were too tall...so every time I would need to open a drawer I would have to move the stool...again, not practical! 

I FINALLY found the perfect stool...and naturally it was a mess!

Covered in paint, ripped vinyl seat, and minor rust spots on the legs. 

NO BIGGY!!! Fortunately the paint was latex so I was able to scrub MOST of that off with a little detergent and elbow grease. I have found that 0000 steel wool and mineral spirits will take rust spots right off of metal...then I just wipe it down with vinegar to neutralize any lurking rust. I recovered the little seat with some fabric I had on hand, and.....

Not sure I am a huge fan of the olive green step, but the fabric has a little olive green in it so for now it will do! 

But the awesomest thing about this stool is it's size...perfect fit for the corner of my kitchen and perfect height for a little boost when I need it!

I'm a little bummed that I had to give up my heirloom piece in the kitchen, but I will no doubt find a functional use for it somewhere, sometime!