Finding inspiration for a ladder shelf!!! And my master bedroom update!

One of the awesome things about the "blogisphere" is all the great inspiration and instruction you can find for just about anything you want to do! 

A few weeks ago, my inspiration came from Kristi at "Making it in the Mountains." She built a ladder shelf for her back deck and it is awesome!!!

Someday I plan on making one exactly like this! I bought a few ladder shelves at an auction recently and when I priced them to see how much I should sell them for they were going for around $150! Craziness! And they aren't even fit for outdoor use like Kristi's!

Anywho, MONTHS ago I ended up with a beat up old desk from an auction...the auctioneers know us now so when no one bid on the poor old thing, he pointed at me and asked if I would pay a dollar...whatever...I figured I could do something with it. Heck, the awesome hardware is worth a buck!

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I originally planned on restoring it but truth be told, it was pretty rough and I have learned that "rehabbing" these old desks really isn't worth the time and effort for resell. The top was laminate and the drawers were veneered. The only good solid wood was the leg and it was hanging on by a few flimsy nails!

But the drawers were well constructed...and the veneer was easily "patched." 

So I decided to use the drawers and make a "modified" version of the ladder shelf...a drawer shelf! 

I think it could be used as a storage shelf in a bathroom or laundry room...maybe toy storage in a kid's room! It's pretty sturdy so it can hold a lot of "stuff." 

I painted the drawers with the "frosted berry" paint I bought for my room. Not that I think it NEEDED to be that color, but I have the paint and I like it! Rather than use the awesome hardware (I am hoarding those for a special project) or fill in the holes, I used rope on the two bottom drawers and a plain white knob on the top! It doesn't NEED pulls, but I want it to look like what it is...drawers!

I cut the top drawer down....I contemplated cutting the middle drawer down as well...no reason why I didn't...I just didn't! 

Thanks for the inspiration Kristi!!! 

(BTW, it sold within  hours of putting it in my booth! Wow!)

MASTER BEDROOM PROGRESS!

As I mentioned in this earlier post, I finally broke down and bought the laminate I want for my master bedroom! Lumber Liquidators had a deal I just could not pass up! Fortunately, it will take two weeks to get it.

"Back in the day" that would frustrate me. There was a time when I could pull the trim, remove the old flooring, lay the laminate, reinstall the trim and paint...all in ONE day...or at least a weekend. Now...not so much. I have been pulling carpet and glue-down hardwood for over a week! My back ache and sore legs make living in this disaster of destruction somewhat tolerable!

Please note that even when my room is in complete disarray, I still make my bed every day! I am thoroughly convinced that the first day I don't make my bed will be the day I die...it's a "thing" I have. (discussed in detail here)

I had to remove the base of the fireplace surround to remove the flooring. I stupidly laid the floor THEN built the fireplace surround...I know better than that. This is a prime example of WHY it is a problem to set cabinets and fireplace trim on top of flooring!!!! Chances are you will replace the flooring long before you replace cabinets or fireplace surrounds...and removing the old flooring will be very difficult if it is under the cabinets or surround!

I did find one neat thing...I guess when I built this room I painted "I "heart" you" on the floor. How sweet!

There is a downside to DIY projecting! The mess! But I have wanted new flooring for YEARS so it will be worth it!

I decided to reuse the existing trim and set it on top of the new flooring...so I have to pull all the trim, remove the nails and scrape off the old caulk. 

I also decided to do the floors in the office...but right now I am only going to do the main bedroom and get it back in order before I tackle the office. The office is ALL glue-down hardwood and it will be a booger to get it all up! I played with gel staining the existing hardwood...and it would have worked had I stained it all at once rather than doing a big "test splotch." Unfortunately, you can see the "lap over" of the stain and it looks horrid. So it all comes up and new flooring goes down! 

I am hiring my neighbor to remove all the old flooring in the office...it is a small room but after a week of working on the master bedroom and what I know will be a labor intensive 2-3 days of installing the new flooring, I am finally having to admit I am too fricking old to "do it all."

Curses.

Flagstone....check!

That is one project I can check off my "to do" list! It is done...the project I started here. It took three trips to the "rock store" and two trips to Meek's for sand...and two trips to Lowe's for topsoil. But whatever...it is DONE!!! 

Well, until it "settles." Seems no matter how well you pack the sand base, a few rocks always "sink" after a little rain and wear. No biggy...just pull it up, put a little sand under it and then reset it. 

We had a 90% chance of rain Thursday (didn't happen!) so I wanted to get this project finished so the sand wouldn't wash away and the rock could begin "settling." 

I had a bench sitting in one of my flower beds in the side yard...thought it would look great in the corner. The terracotta pot is one I bought at an auction last year and was just sitting around. I decided it would look better with a few plants! 

This is another area that still needs a little "something." In time...for now, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!!

Get ready for a BUNCH of pictures!!!

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Again, there are hundreds of tutorials online for laying flagstone...it may seem laborious, but it really isn't that difficult and you won't regret it! 

I will offer a few little "tips" for laying flagstone. Make sure you have a good sand base, well packed. After your rock is down, water the sand and rock well so the sand will wash down under the rock. After that, dump a mix of top soil and sand on top of the rock and sweep it into the joints. Then lightly water it again. Rain may wash it away a tad the first few times, so you may have to add a little more sand and soil over time....just dump the soil and sand on the rocks and sweep...eventually it will pack and stay put.

If a rock "sinks," lift it up (just pry it up with hammer), toss a little more sand under the rock to build it up and level it out, reset the rock and then fill the joint with the sand and soil mixture. 

I have a tiny front porch and I love how this has opened up the front of the house a bit! It's still not that wrap around front porch I want, but it is a lot better than it was before! It eliminates an eye sore AND the need to crawl around every year filling it with plants! I just plant the pots and I'm done! Super simple to maintain! 

I use to decorate the front of the house in the fall with hay bales, corn stalks, pumpkins and scarecrows. I quit doing it because I had to deal with mildewy hay bales after Thanksgiving...but I may have to start it again this year...this area would just be too cute with all the "harvest" decor! 

Hum...guess we will see...fall will be here before you know it!

Antique Oak School desk rehab....

Several weeks ago I found an old oak school desk at a garage sale. I have never found one like it at a flea market or auction...so I bought it. I always love "unique!"

The very next day, I found one almost identical to it at an auction. Imagine that! So much for "unique."  

Both needed a little TLC...glue and clamps! 

I started stripping the old finish and had intended to stain and apply an oil finish...but truth is, these are "novelty" pieces now and chances are a teacher will buy it for her classroom or a mom will buy it for her kid's playroom. So I decided to give them both a little chalk paint treatment and brighten them up a bit.

I painted the desk top of the red one with chalkboard paint...thought that would make it kind of fun for a little guy or gal.

But the top of the white one had too much "carved" history for me to cover it up. I'll let someone else cover up the historical vandalism.

Fun little pieces that would make a great addition to a play room or a classroom! 

With the temperatures in the 70s this week, I have been projecting all over the place...pulling carpet and flooring in my room, working on the flagstone project I shared here....painting and prepping pieces I have piled in my garage! You couldn't ask for better weather! 

Weekend of projecting...the big flagstone project!!

I have been so focused on projecting furniture I have neglected a few little changes I wanted to make around the house. There were no good local auctions so we had two whole days to work around the house...yippeeee!

The first major change is my front flower bed. I don't even have any decent "before" pictures because I have seriously disliked this area for YEARS. It is right next to the entrance of the house, so I want it to look decent.

Over the years I have tried numerous different "landscape designs."  I have tried planting, not planting, pots...nothing tripped my trigger! After years of composting and mulching, the volume of the bed had "grown." Earlier this spring, Matt and I pulled all the landscaping lights and metal edging and dug out all the dirt and mulch...

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I didn't remember, until I looked at these old pictures, that I had beautiful daffodils in this bed...when you see what I have done, you will understand why this is an issue!

You can see the "contour" of the bed which was originally edged with landscape metal and lined with lighting. In the last few years, I haven't even planted in the bed. I just threw down some mulch and planted in the pots every year!

The only thing I left was the little Japanese Maple I planted 13 years ago and the ivy that has grown up around it.

If you have looked at my landscape pictures, you know I am a HUGE fan of flag stone. I bet there is 12-14 tons of flagstone in this yard...and I laid every bit of it!

Side yard...

Backyard swing pergola

Front yard swing pergola

Front yard swing pergola

Side yard under the pine trees

Walk between deck, patio and pond!

Needless to say, I love flagstone...and I can honestly say I have never regretted using it anywhere! Occasionally I will have to pull a stone and reset it, but all in all, the stones are pretty maintenance free! They are perfect for creating walk-ways, edging ponds or flowerbeds or for areas that will just not grow grass or plants. The flagstone along the side yard under the pine trees is a perfect example. That area was NOT going to grow anything. Over the years, the tree roots and moles have caused the rocks to "pop up" here and there, but I chalk it up to a "natural riverbed" look and leave it as is!

When I was mulling over what I wanted to do with my front "flower bed" I decided I wanted to add flag stone!

My plan originally was to add a flagstone border, and then eventually fill in the rest and create a little "patio" type area. Darn me...I calculated wrong and actually had enough to begin filling in the bed...and since I have already started, I guess I'm going to have to go ahead and buy more rock and finish up the entire job...darn it.

Truth be told, the "Colorado Red" stone I am in love with is a tad pricey, which is why I originally planned to do a little at a time. But, it is so worth it!!!

Quick tutorial...honestly, you can get step by step tutorials on how to lay a flag stone walk or patio online...it's pretty simple! Just make sure you have some muscle handy!

Matt and Brian are my muscle! (Matt is still in his brace from his accident, but that comes off this week...yeah!)

The first thing we did was remove all the loose dirt and mulch, down to the "hard" dirt. You will want to have a good 2" bed of sand to set the rocks in and the rocks range from 1 1/2" to 2 1/2" thick...so make sure you dig down a good 3 1/2 - 4" below your final grade level.

As I mentioned earlier, we dug out the bed earlier this year...and of course it has rained heavily a few times, which is actually great because I got a good feel for how the water WANTS to flow in this area! And it packed the ground!

This weekend we put down the sand bed. I watered the sand and packed it down and then leveled it, making sure I had the grade I need away from the house, the front porch and sidewalk and around the side of the house....

Keep in mind, my original goal was to just get the border down...so that is all I originally prepped!

Once I realized I was going to have so much rock left, I went ahead and prepped and laid the rock in the front part of the bed....

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Now you can see why I was so mortified when I looked at the old pictures and noticed my daffodils...because now they are under the new flagstone. I didn't dig them up when we dug out the dirt in the spring because they were still blooming and I wanted to wait for them to die back before I dug out the bulbs...and then I forgot. 

The temperatures are suppose to be in the 70s this week! INSANE for July in Arkansas! But perfect for finishing up this project! All I need to do is put down more sand and then lay the rest of the rock...a few hours at most! 

When I finish, I'll make sure I post more pictures. I'm thinking I might put my iron bench there and maybe add a few more flowering pots! This area gets TONS of sun so it is important that the plants are heat tolerant and don't require shade! 

The rest of the bed has sand down and is ready for the flagstone!!

And the BIG news...I finally broke down and ordered the laminate for my master bedroom....yep, it's happening!

Antique oak library table makeover...with my AWESOME daughter!

Years ago Matt called from college. He found a beautiful table/desk on Craigslist and wanted to know if I would go get it for him.

No biggy...I thought. Brian and I went and picked it up...in the snow. It was in the basement and we had to carry it up an icy walkway from the backyard. And let me tell you, that sucker was HEAVY! Massive, solid wood table...6' long and almost 3' deep. Not sure exactly what type of wood it is...the top looks like it could be constructed of several different types of wood. Regardless, after all the old, crackled finish was removed and a new oil finish was applied, it is simply beautiful!! Matt uses it as a desk and he seriously cherishes old wood like I do.

It has been a real "head scratcher" for me...I honestly couldn't figure out what exactly it was originally. Maybe a "farm house table" but it had two drawers on one side. And it didn't strike me as a "desk." 

Katie has wanted a similar table to use as a desk for some time now...but Matt's is MASSIVE and I knew we would never be able to find anything similar that would be small enough for her room.

And then we did!

(Naturally I forgot to take "before" pictures until I had already started working on it!)

My neighbor Caroline, who use to own a flea market, knew immediately what it was...on old library table! 

It is only 4' wide and would have had one drawer...which as you can see is missing. It is oak!

The top had veneer on it...and it was in pretty rough shape. So I started scraping it off.

Have you ever removed wallpaper? The first piece or two comes off in big sheets ...only to get to the 3rd piece and find that it comes off in pieces the size of your finger nail...even when you use steam and stripper!

Yeah, that is how this veneer came off! The first bit came off with NO problem...the rest of it took major work. I even used my iron with lots of steam (usually a no-no on wood)! When removing veneer, you have to be super careful not to damage the wood underneath!!

After the veneer was removed I had to deal with the water spot and the glue and the "knots" that had been filled before the veneer was applied! 

When sanding raw wood ALWAYS start with a fine grit and work your way down until you see that you are making good progress! I started with 220, worked down to a 50 grit, then worked my way back up to a 220.

I managed to get all of the water spot off with a good sanding! Katie and I decided the knots were going to be the "character" on the top! In other words, we just ignored them!

After stripping the veneer off the top, I tested the finish on the sides and base to see what it was going to take to get the old finish off.

Man-oh-man. That was one tough old finish. 

TIP: For years I have used Formby's furniture stripper to remove old varnish...but honestly, it is not cheap and I knew it would take 2 cans (at $16 a piece) to do this desk. I recently read something about using 1/2 acetone and 1/2 varnish remover to strip old varnish....works like a charm. Literally melts the old finish right off!!!

THIS is where Katie took over....I decided if she wanted a beautiful desk, this would be the perfect opportunity to find out what kind of work goes into a project like this! So I made her strip the entire thing! She used Citristrip first, then scrubbed the piece with an acetone/lacquer thinner mixture and steel wool to dissolve the old varnish! She used a toothbrush to get in the corners.

After Katie finished stripping all the old finish, we wiped it all down with mineral spirits and then we sanded the entire piece with 220 grit sandpaper.

One of the back legs kind of came apart after we stripped the piece. These legs were constructed of 4 pieces of wood glued together. Over the years, one of the joints had actually separated...so when we were applying the stripper, it got down in the joint and caused the leg to come apart. No biggy...that is what glue and clamps are for!!!

I constructed a simple drawer from oak I bought at Lowes. Nothing fancy! Katie picked out a simple knob out of my old hardware stash!

After sanding the entire table, I applied a dark stain. I really expected the top to stain much lighter than the base. Surprisingly, the top looked pretty similar to the base after it was all stained!

After the stain had dried over night, Katie and I wiped the entire piece down with tack cloth (a MUST before applying any finish or painting ANY piece!) and then we applied the first coat of the tung oil finish!

I almost always apply 3-5 coats of tung oil finish! Sometimes even more on tops I think will get a lot of use...like this desk! With oil finishes, it's almost a "look-see" process...I apply the finish until I get an even gloss finish on the entire piece...as long as any of the wood is still absorbing the finish, I keep applying it. 

Katie wanted more of a "flat" finish...I have always used "high gloss" tung oil finish so I was a bit surprised when I got a "high gloss" finish from the "low gloss" tung oil! Hum...interesting...honestly, I don't see much difference. Pretty darn glossy if you ask me!

Between each coat, we sanded with 0000 steel wool and wiped it down with a fresh tack cloth!

In the end...A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

It truly is a beautiful piece...I wish my photography skills did it justice!

I am always amazed when something so old and "neglected" turns out to be so beautiful. 

Now it is in her room (here) and ready for another lifetime of use!

I'm a mess....but I found my "frosted berry!" And an AMAZING dining table!

Why cut and color my hair? It's too hot to wear it down and I'm just gonna stick it in a ponytail. Why get a manicure? I'm only going to mess my nails up stripping and painting furniture. Why wear something decent? I'll just get paint all over it and get all sweaty mowing.

I dislike shopping and I dislike having to take an entire day to "get pretty." Shopping has never been my thing, but I did use to get my nails done once a week and my hair done every six weeks. 

Lowe's...now that is my kind of shopping and I do like hitting the thrift stores! Grocery shopping is a necessary evil. Just about everything else can be ordered online and shipped to my front door. Just last week I bought a new set of sheets and a mattress cover...delivered to my front door step! 

But seriously girls, there comes a time when you HAVE to go into a "brick and mortar" store . I can live with the paint covered shirts and shorts...but my "undergarments" were in major crisis! So my goal while I was in an actual department store was to find some decent shorts and tops for the summer...maybe get my nails done with the gift certificate my son got me for my birthday....SIX MONTHS AGO!

Unfortunately, I got so focused on trying to find decorative pillows that would coordinate with the "frosted berry" paint I was set on for my bedroom  (the room I have neglected for 14 years!) I only managed to get home with a few new pairs of panties. I guess the hair, nails and wardrobe will just have to wait.

This all stems from a desire to incorporate the "frosted berry" color into my master bedroom...

I have the blue on my fireplace wall (SW Silver Mist) and a bed spread and the tan and white in my decorative pillows and bedding. I use black instead of grey as an accent color. But the room really did need a little "pop" of color and the "frosted berry" color was perfect. 

I found the perfect "red" in my paint fan thingy I inadvertently kept from Sherwin Williams. (seriously, I didn't MEAN to keep it!) The closest I could get was SW Enticing Red 6600. Not too red, not too blue, not too orange...

I wanted to use this little bookcase I bought at an auction last week...

It's actually an old record cabinet but I am always in need of bookshelves! And this was an easy fix...

I wasn't sure whether to use the Dunne white (used here on my furniture) on the outside and the berry color on the inside or visa-versa. I decided you won't be able to see much of the inside once I get all the books stashed in there and the whole purpose of using the berry color was to add an accent piece to the room...so I painted the outside berry and the inside the Dunne white!

The wood was in mint condition. All I had to do was scrub the nasty off. I removed the little trim pieces on the inside, sprayed it with Kilz and sanded and tacked. Then I sprayed the inside with my go-to white...Valspar Dunne. I used the "berry" color on the outside...mixed it up as a plaster paint, applied two coats and then distressed it a tad. Sealed the whole thing with poly. (Again, I do not wax...just poly)

I found two decorative pillows for the bed at TJ Maxx that were pretty darn close to the paint color. I even found a totally awesome beaded pillow very close to the SW Silver Mist blue!

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The mirror. Okay, first, I have to say I love mirrors! Not because I am vain and want to look in them, but because I like how they brighten up a wall! This little mirror was doubly "bright" because the "frame" is little pieces of broken mirror set in some type of mortar. Normally I wouldn't buy something like this retail because I could easily find something at an auction that would work. But I LOVE IT and when I see a decor element I LOVE, I buy it! And it really wasn't that expensive at TJ Maxx.

I still want to add a few more things to this little corner to "stage" it properly, but I'm getting there. Again, I don't want something just to have it...I have to love it and/or it has to serve a real purpose. So in time I know I will find a few things that will doll up this little corner. And someday I might get my laminate!

One thing I have noticed while cruising around the "blogisphere." The little "design elements" really pull a room together...and while I have done a fairly decent job staging in most of my house, I have seriously neglected this room. 

So I am taking my own advise and tackling one little corner at a time...maybe in another 13 years it will be the way I want it!

One thing I know I will have to change...the curtains! Right now I have brown (I have them pulled to the far left!) Not a good accent color any longer!

I set these little cedar boxes out just to show them off. SOOOO stinking darling!

The larger one is a little Lane cedar box I've had for awhile...they are one of the "Things I Love!"  I bought the tiny little boxes at an auction yesterday, along with a few other goodies....

I don't know why I think little cedar boxes are just too stinking cute...but they get me every time! I will only keep one of the tiny little boxes. I'm sure I will find something to do with it just like I have the larger Lane boxes. One holds "stuff" on my dresser and the other went in my laundry room to hold dryer sheets! They are super easy to refinish...a quick scrub with varnish remover and then a few simple coats of tung oil finish...

Speaking of refinishing...I picked up a special something for myself yesterday.

I'm nervous...it's a HUGE change and I'm not sure I am up for it.

I featured a few little changes I made to my dining room here...I also shared a peek at some mid century chairs I bought here....

As I have said time and again, I obviously like eclectic. I know I want to use the mid century dining chairs, but I have grown tired of my Duncan Phyfe table. So I have been on the look out for a new table.

Well...yesterday I think I might have found it!

I had to use the camera flash to get a good picture of all the varnish crackling and the engraving details!

The top has been stripped and refinished at some point. Whoever did it, didn't bother with the two leaf inserts...they look original. And the base has never been touched as far as I can tell. The finish is very "crackled" and dark...which is pretty common with old varnish finishes.

I was thinking I wanted round...maybe a pedestal type table. Something along these lines...

This antique table would be a HUGE leap for me!

I honestly wanted something I could paint to brighten up the setting.

When I first spied the antique table I thought I could refinish the top and paint the base.

I know I won't paint the mid century chairs (gasp!) and the more I look at this piece, the more I'm not so sure I should paint it! 

It is the perfect size and can easily be expanded with the two inserts during the holidays. I really like the fact that it is different. I know it would be beautiful when I am finished with it!

I could leave it against the wall, or find an awesome side table to go under the pictures and pull the table and new chairs out into the middle!

It could be a special piece in this setting....

I don't know...I'm experiencing a deco-attack! (a mild "panic attack" brought on by the indecision of making a major decorating change!)

Where is Candice Olson when you need her.....

The Dedicated House

Taking the color leap!

It all started with a little catalogue my mom gave me from Gump's San Francisco. 

Poppies! Oh. My. Gosh...I fell in love just flipping through the catalogue! Word of warning...not cheap. But if I was ever going to spend $150 on a decorative pillow, I know which one I would get! 

Making drastic changes to something that has been a certain way for 14 years is a real challenge for me...as much as I like to change things up, I still want it to be the same. Now THAT is craziness!

So I won't do drastic. Just a little pinch here and there. 

This is my boring little dining "nook." 

During the holidays, I really dress it up with wreaths and garland and tons of fun stuff. But the rest of the year, it is just "ho-hum." Nothing really special even though it is smack dab in the middle of everything!

One reason I have the table against the wall is because it really is the "main thoroughfare" through the living areas and kitchen. We usually only use the table during the holidays. Occasionally Brian and I will sit at it when the bar is full of "kids"... but rarely do we need the entire table. (I considered moving the table back into the middle of the room until I dang near broke my toe on the vacuum cleaner left sitting in my bedroom...if it usually isn't there, I can assure you my pinky toe will find it in the dark) 

For years I liked to think of my decor as "warm and cozy." Now I am beginning to feel some of the elements are just "dark and dank."

Having "warm and cozy" (or dark and dank!) really isn't a problem in my house because I have soooo much natural light. That is a good thing but I am slowly coming to terms with the idea that "light" doesn't necessarily give visual interest to a space like color does! It just gives it "light." 

So here I go!

FOURTEEN YEARS! Yep, that is how long these pictures have been there, exactly as the were the day I bought them.

The pictures are simple little botanicals...the frame and matting is what really gave them their "visual interest." Not wanting to spend a fortune, I chalk painted and distressed the frame, painted the little decorative wood trim on the inside matting, removed the decorative tape on the black matte and changed out the large "rust colored" matte for a fun and bright red. (Yes, I need non-glare glass!)

With these changes made, the table looked very drab and boring. So I took my little Gump's magazine clipping with the beautiful poppy and hydrangea decor (my "inspiration"...I desperately want the $150 tapestry pillows...HA!) to Hobby Lobby and picked up some poppy and hydrangea silk flowers. I had made some little wooden "tool boxes" for my booth, so I grabbed one of those and painted it an "olivey green"  color (Gump's green) and distressed it a tad.

I am NOT a floral designer, and I know when to call in the experts. I called my totally awesome neighbor Trish, who use to be a floral designer, to help me make an arrangement for my table.

Trish is so much like me...rather than "help" me create a new arrangement, she loaded up all my "stuff" and took it home...and delivered this....

Isn't she crazy talented! She even added a few of her own poppies to give the arrangement more height! I love how she incorporated all the colors, including a little splash of lavender! It is exactly what I wanted! 

With these two little changes, this bland "thoroughfare" has turned into a spirited and colorful little "nook" that now has a tad more visual interest! I am considering breaking out some of my grandmother's china and creating a little table setting! With the boys older and the odds of flying balls and bodies wrecking havoc, I might just do that!!

This dining area is smack in the middle of my living room and den...and next to the kitchen. I really worried that the changes would "clash" with with burnt orange and black in the den, the blue, cream and brown in the living room, and the paprika and gold tones in the kitchen. It doesn't...it is the perfect "pop" this space needed.

Now I just need to get out in the garage and refinish my awesome mid century dining chairs...maybe find a new round table I can paint a bright color. I might even pull it out into the middle of the room...I will just have to put a VERY bright night light in the room so my pinky toes won't find it during my late night refrigerator raids!

I also want to change out the decorative pillows in the little mid-century chair in the corner...poppies maybe?! Then I might have to consider changing out the light...

IT NEVER ENDS!!! 

Decorating with knock out roses, ironstone, cookbooks and wood box seasonal displays...

If you have read this site long enough, you know I am not into "froo-froo" stuff. I like pretty, but I decorate with things I really love or has meaning...I don't want something just to "have" it. 

So most of what I buy at the auctions immediately go into my booths. I love the beautiful china, glass, and antiques I often buy, but I have "collectables" and antiques I have inherited from my family...it is all beautiful and has meaning.

These are just a few trinkets I took to my booth this past week! I bought the little wood folding chair so I would have extra seating...then decided I really don't want to store it! I have two more in the garage that need to be refinished or painted...maybe I'll keep those! I had the green retro bread box in my laundry room for coupons and decided it was just a place for me to toss stuff so I wouldn't have to deal with it. I love the little wooden rake tool box I made, but again, just another thing lying around that takes up space...cute, but I have enough "stuff" piled up...don't need more! I bought two antique fans...one is in my room, this one will be sold. The other will probably eventually get sold as well!

One thing I won't do is put something in my booth that is chipped or broken. Sometimes I buy boxes or flats of glassware at auctions and some of it may be unsellable because of its condition. I usually donate those pieces. 

One little piece caught my attention recently...a beautiful little ironstone creamer. I know it is ironstone because it is "heavy" compared to its size, even though it doesn't have a readable mark on it. Unfortunately the bottom had several chips.

Then it dawned on me...I always want to cut my knock out roses for the house but they are tiny little things with "weak" stems. I never have a way to display them because I don't have any tiny bud vases that would work for tiny flowers.

The little ironstone creamer is PERFECT!

It is small enough to hold the delicate little roses and looks darling on my kitchen counter.

The yellow bowl with the onion in it is one that belonged to one of the grandmothers! (I left the onion in the bowl so you could get an idea of how small the little creamer is!)

The cutting board belonged to my maternal grandmother that I refinished (featured here).

You may have noticed the 1997 Southern Living cookbook. That was the year my youngest daughter was born. Recently, I found the 1988 and 1989 books in an antique store...those are the years my sons were born! I have those displayed now as well! My oldest daughter has the 1981 book that belonged to my Grandmother. I'm sure someone in the family has the '88, '89 and '97 years, but I have no idea who or where...so I just bought these when I found them!

I started buying and displaying the holiday Southern Living books several years ago as well! They are so pretty and make great holiday kitchen decor! 

I like recipe books and I have a few favorites but truthfully, they usually only have a few "great" recipes in each. But these books have a little meaning since they are dated on the cover! Not sure if any of the recipes are any good because, honestly, I don't think I have ever looked through them!

Someday I may just have to do that!

While I was putzing around, I decided to dress up my seasonal box a tad. I had not done anything with it since the holidays.

Not feeling very creative, I bought a spray of sunflowers (50% at Hobby Lobby...$3), separated the stems and stuck them in the box. 

This is an old wood box I bought at an auction (I see them all the time at flea markets!) I stuffed it with newspaper, stuck some cut tree branches in it, layered the top with dried moss and then added pine cones from my yard!

In the fall I dress it with fall foliage....

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During the Christmas holiday, I dress it up with ornaments and such....

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It is a versatile little box and allows me to decorate for the season with little effort! 

It is one of my few "froo-froo" pieces. No real "sentimental" value but I love it!

My kind of decorating!

Speaking of decorating...I FINALLY decided to add some color and pazazz to my dining room decor...what little there is. Can't wait to share!

When the mouse is away...

This has been a week of MAJOR work so I will have lots of goodies to share. I had tons of projects piled up in my garage. I even skipped a potentially awesome auction this weekend because I knew I did not need to haul anything else home until I cleared out some projects.  Even though I know I put a huge dent in it, there is still so much to do.

Saturday and Sunday I painted outside. Brian (affectionately, the mouse) went out of town Monday so I rolled out my handy-dandy "sewing cart" and went to work on a few sewing projects! Seriously, I LOVE this sewing cart!!!!

I know it looks fairly organized in the picture, but truth is I had stuff strung all over the dining and living rooms for three days...compressor, staple gun and staples, fabric, piping, pillow stuffing, etc. When I project, I go all out. That is one reason I waited until Brian was gone for a few days...because the house was a disaster (I NEED A SHOP!) and I stayed pretty focused.

Painting and reupholstering. For me, they are time consuming projects because I firmly believe in doing it right, even if I do plan to sell the piece! Whether I am keeping it or selling it, I treat it the same. Maybe that is why it is so hard for me to step out of my comfort zone and go bold on some upholstery projects.

When I rehabbed this side chair and rocking chair a few weeks ago, I picked a very nice and neutral pallet and meticulously painted and reupholstered them. Only to have the person who bought them ask how much I would charge to REupholster them...go figure!

Completed this week..six throw pillows, four upholstered chairs,  three wood folding chairs, two antique oak school desks, one small table...if I had a partridge in a pear tree I would have painted and stuffed it!

The BIG chore is always the upholstered chairs. My first mental block is the fabric choice. I want something that will appeal to a lot of people, but is unique and interesting as well!

I dropped a little tease about this chair here! 

Again, note the grass...dormant...that tells you how long this chair has been stuck in limbo!

When I pulled the back upholstery off this old chair, I found layers of old fabric...including a really cool piece of hand stitched quilt someone had used as padding at one point. I am always amazed at the history these old chairs reveal!

Several of you were fired up about the prospect of PURPLE! Truth is, I'm a tad too boring and conservative to actually paint the entire chair purple. I bought purple paint, but in the end, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. 

But purple is the "color of the year" (or so the ads at Lowe's say!) so I wanted to use a bit on this chair!

I chalk painted and distressed the frame an "off-white" and then covered the back and seat (yes, I had to make a seat!) with this awesome fabric!

Since the fabric had purple in it, I went with purple trim! Aren't I just a wild and crazy gal!

So many other projects completed and I will share a few "before and afters" over the next few weeks. I made a large note and stuck it on the table to remind myself to take pictures before I hauled anything away!

Unfortunately, I don't have the space right now in my booths...so now the question becomes, WHAT DO I DO WITH ALL THESE STINKING CHAIRS!?

I guess I could throw a party...Lord knows there would be enough seating for everyone!!!

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AWESOME RECIPE PERFECT FOR GARDEN VEGGIES!!!

I haven't shared a recipe in a while but I tried this totally awesome CRISP CUCUMBER SALSA and it is TOO. DIE. FOR! And it is low cal for those who care!

                                                                       Photo and recipe curtesy of tasteofhome.com

Usually I try a recipe verbatim and then mix it up a bit to my own tastes. This recipe has cumin and honestly, I'm not a fan...so I was certain I would change it after the initial try.

Nope. Not changing a thing (except I added a little more tomato.) It is wonderful and perfect for chips or on a salad.

Give it a try...this is a perfect time of the year for fresh cucumbers and tomatoes and there isn't a better way to prepare them! (Okay, sliced with salt is pretty awesome!)

 

How we REALLY feel...

I have learned over the years that the best way to garner respect from my children is to treat them with respect.

"I don't talk to you that way, you don't talk to me that way."

I can't force my children to respect someone, but they are expected to treat everyone WITH respect...at all times.

Because of my personal commitment to speak kindly to my children, and my desire to always treat them respectfully, I tend to stiffle what I REALLY want to say sometimes.

So when I saw this sign on Pinterest, I darn near fell off the couch laughing...because let's be honest Moms...this is how we REALLY feel....

I am on my 4th child...she is an exceptionally intelligent child and mature beyond her years. My two sons are both college graduates and even my oldest daughter, who is a wife and mother of two boys, has returned to college and made the President's List (4.0 student) this semester. 

But when it comes to laundry, I have failed miserably as a mom. I can not for the life of me figure out a way to get my children to do their laundry from start to finish or even put it away after I have washed, dried, and folded it for them. Because honestly, that is what happens when they "do it themselves." Why, because they wash one load, put it in the dryer, start another load in the washing machine...and then disappear...for days...like, they are no where to be found. 

So if I want to walk through the laundry room, or maybe even do my own laundry, I have to clear theirs out first.

Brian believes the best solution would be to take it all out to the garbage bin. I'm not that mean. 

I discovered that for me personally, the best way to keep my laundry room in order was to make it "pretty." Earlier this year, I froo-frooed it up a bit.

Every day this room gets "Pinned" so I know I did something right! Because it is such a pretty and functional space, I keep my laundry washed and put away and I keep the room neat and clean all the time! 

SOOOO...when OTHER people in this house leave their clothes piled up on my machines for even a day, I WANT TO PUNCH THEM IN THE FACE.

I would never do that..I do not advocate hitting one's children.

Maybe just the threat that I MIGHT do something like that will motivate them.

(Trust me, when they read this post, all four of them will be laughing hysterically! AT me...not with me)