Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Coffee Table makeover

About three or four years ago, Jeff and I bought new living room furniture and came across a coffee table in the "scratch and dent" section and because we were buying a whole new living room set, the store threw it in for $25.00.  It had one scratch on the top about three inches long but was barely noticeable because it was also distressed by the manufacturer.  Distressed and/or distressable furniture is a must in our house.  Here's what it looked like as of a couple of days ago.

I have an in-house staff of distressors.

I've been wanting to refinish it for a while and now that we're having some warmer weather, I jumped right into it, without much of a plan.  That's how I roll.

I started by sanding off the table tops old finish with an orbital sander.  At least I think that's what it is.

I left a smidge of the old stain color hear and there and tried not to sand out too much of my children's distressing. 

 I like musing over their artwork, permanently etched into the wood and it's my prefered method of keeping track of their handwriting skills.  Madison's handwriting has made tremendous improvements over the last couple of years.

Then, with the help of one of my chickens, I primed and painted white over the old finish on the base of the table. 


I had to fire her when she went to take her 10 minute break and roosted on the wet paint.

Then I mixed a little bit of black acrylic craft paint in with some white to make a medium grey and watered it down by about 50%.  I wanted to go for a slightly weathered look and I wanted to keep the paint thin enough that I could still see through it.  I'm sure there are better methods but I'm just working with what I already had.
I brushed the mixture onto one board at a time then, with a damp towel, I rubbed most of it back off.
On the right side of the picture below, you can see the effect it had.

Next, I mixed some clear, glossy varnish with some medium brown acrylic craft paint and painted it on one board at a time followed by rubbing it down with a damp towel again.

I was both surprised and happy with the results I got considering the materials I used.

My children's handiwork is still visible.

Please visit the following:
Frugal Home Designs
 Between Naps on the Porch for Met Monday

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Big Vintage Oven Reveal!

 I was beginning to think this day would never ever come but,
with the exception of the two left burners which still need to be wired, my vintage oven is finally done!!!

She's beautiful and she cooks, just like me.  Except for the cooking part.  And I suppose the beauty part also would depend on the beholder but other than that we're exactly alike.  Old and large.  Except for the old part.  I'm forever 29.  And fortunately I'm not as large either.

It's been a long, long journey since we first brought her home that cold night in November.

Jeff rewired everything with all new wiring.

Removed the mouse poop filled insulation and replaced it with new.

Replaced all the old burners and degreased the whole thing.

He finished it last night at 10:30 pm after working on it for the last couple of Saturdays and we celebrated (tested it for accuracy) with frozen pizzas baked in the oven.  Something we used to take for granted.
The oven timer isn't working and rather than put more effort and money into fixing it, I think for now we'll just put a clock in that spot.  But other than that, it works just like a brand new oven.  I did some cooking and baking on it today and was really impressed with it.  Hurray!  It was a very long wait but so worth it.

Once the kitchen is done (still a long ways to go) I'd like it to have a similar look to this kitchen.

Coastal Living

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bathroom update

Where do I begin...
My bathroom is still coming along, just a lot slower now.  Remember I said that would most likely happen. 
Now we've decided that rather than finishing an entire project we prefer starting as many projects as we can and then run around in circles adding a little here and there to each one in a chaotic manner.  It just makes sense.  We like to call it circuit building and circuit decorating.  We got the idea from circuit training which works so well on getting into good physical shape, we thought we'd apply it to our house too because what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Back to my bathroom.  The kids fear I've gone a little ruffle crazy and Jeff says he likes it.  He knows who butters his bread.  Anyway, here's my latest ruffled project.

Disregard the unfinished yada, yada and blah, blah, blah.  We're busy.

I made these the same way I made the pillows.

Now, if you like it but you'd rather buy one, how about this one from Anthropologie for only $98.

Or this one from Target for only $26.99.

It is very similar to the one used in my bathroom inspiration picture from Country Living.

After rubbing the fingerprints right off my fingers making what few ruffles I did, I would recommend buying one.  Those of you who've ever made ruffles know what I'm talking about. 

Speaking of my fingerprintless, delicate little fingers...they're also now covered in blisters and calluses because I shoveled 9,000 pounds of concrete making a concrete floor for our well house turned tornado shelter. 
Yes I did.

Upcoming features:
1950's oven (to be finished today,)
more pillows
tornado shelter,
light fixtures, 
and quite possibly, none of the above. 

For more great ideas, please visit:

The Girl Creative

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ruffledy pillows

Not too long ago, while blog browsing, I came across a little picture tutorial of a ruffled pillow at Creamy White and decided to try my hand at making one myself.

First I tore two and three inch wide strips of fabric and machine basted them right down the middle.

Then I pulled the bobbin thread to make the strips all ruffledy.

After pining them in place to the pillow fabric, I sewed them on.  Also right down the middle.

Then I sewed up the pillow and stuffed it.

I had so much fun with the first one that I did it all again.

After posing the pillow on the bed,

I took no less than 127 pictures of Sophie.

I pulled some fabric from my stash (I inherited fabric stashing from my mother who inherited it from her mother) and would like to find ideas for a couple more pillows.  I was thinking large square pillows using the fabric in the lower left corner.

Please take some time to visit Li and look around Creamy White.  She has lot of good ideas!

as well as
Made it for Monday at Cottage Instincts for more great ideas! ☺

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

More curtains

I'm almost finished with the white curtains for the bedroom so I took down the unfinished cream and white damask curtains, put up the new unfinished white ones and stood back and took a look.  I used fairly heavy weight muslin, so it looked like I hung sheets on the windows.  I'm fine with that if the rest of the room is finished but when you don't even have trim around the windows yet, it isn't a good look.  So...I rehung the damask curtains over the white ones. 

In order to make it look better than it really is, here's were I started a couple of days after we moved in.

This picture is true to life...a baby sleeping on an unmade bed and a view of the Suburban getting it's battery charged.  It's always dead and there's always someone napping on my bed.

And here's the after.  No, let's call it the in-between because there's a lot I still want to do to this room.

I think I'm going to hang them from rings to add a little more detail.  As for the headboard, I'd really like an iron headboard but we'll see.  I have been using a door turned sideways, but that just isn't cutting it for me anymore.  I have other plans for the door now anyways.

I have two of these doors.  They came from the hundred year old four square we did a few years ago.  Someone had covered the panels with a sheet of wood and painted them, as well as every other piece of wood in the house, submarine grey!  I just painted over them and used them for head boards but what I'd like to do is strip them, shorten them (they're 7 feet tall) and hang them from sliding barn door track and use them as our bedroom and closet doors.  One of the best example's of this I've ever seen can be found at WhisperWood Cottage.

Monday, March 8, 2010


I'm so excited to introduce everyone to my mom and my cousin who have just started their own blogs.  Hurray!

For those of you who've been with me for a while, you've already met them when they helped us build our cottage.  Maybe you remember this conversation momma and I had a few months ago.  And what about the story I shared with you about my cousin Rick.

 Meat Needle Bender a.k.a. my momma. 
(My little Evelyn is a clone of my mom.)
My mom is infinitely talented.  She's a quilter, crafter, painter, seamstress, sings, plays the piano and has an insane amount of beautiful flowers in her yard.  I've been trying for months to get her to start a blog because she has so much to offer and it's just so dang fun.  Well a few days ago she finally took the plunge and I'm excited to see what she has in store for us!  Please show her what a kind bunch of ladies you all are, and stop by her blog to tell her welcome.  I'll be showing you all the curtains I've made soon but don't expect to be wowed and amazed by them.  I'm pretty sure I have my dad's sewing genes.  If you like crafting or quilting, get ready, because she's on a major crafting/quilting kick right now.  She'll probably be in magazines some day. 

And now meet Rick.  I call him Ricky.  I don't know how he feels about that and I really don't care.  We were born on the same day and he's a few hours older than me but, growing up, I was always taller so we've always had a love hate relationship.  Now he's taller and I'm still younger, so the feuding continues.  I'm only being nice to him now because he's one of my husbands best friends and I really like his wife and kids. 
He's also extremely talented.  Aside from singing and playing guitar, he can take hunks of wood and carve, chisel or chainsaw them into really great pieces of art.  He wins awards and stuff.  He also builds some pretty amazing things around his house for his wife so I hope you all will follow suit, and go to Chainsaws and Chisels to heckle him.  And if you still have snow on the ground, please throw a snowball at him for me.  Don't worry, he's too polite to throw a snowball back...unless you're a guy...then you better run. 

Now I'm off to recruit more bloggers!

P.S.  Oops!  I fell asleep at the wheel and forgot to include their links the first time around!  Thanks Deborah!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Breezy, billowy, white curtains

Since getting new bedding, I've changed my mind about my bedroom curtains.  Naturally.

Natural Curtain Company 
The cream isn't going to work anymore, but that's okay because I think I'm going to go with white.
Country Living
You know what happens when you put white curtains on a window, don't you?
Coastal Living
A breeze magically starts blowing them and has that relaxing effect you can only get from billowing curtains.

Architectural Digest

Thursday, March 4, 2010


A couple of years ago, I made a huge chalkboard for the wall behind my kitchen table.  I got the idea from Heather Chadduck's chalkboard.
I started with a 4x8 sheet of Masonite and painted it with several coats of chalkboard paint.  Then Jeff screwed it directly to the wall.

For the frame, I simply stained some trim without bothering to seal it and we nailed it right over the chalkboard.

When we moved, we just left it behind so now I need to make another one. 
It was very cheap and super easy.

Being a homeschool mom, you might think I used it a lot for school.  Nope.  It's more fun to use as decoration than for education!

Go visit Nester for more links to great chalkboards!

And Twice Remembered at:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

White sheets

I've never had a bed that I've been in love with.  One that has a look that calls to me, begging me to crawl back under the covers.  Now I think I know what the problem has been.  I've never had white sheets until just a few days ago!

Even my unmade bed is singing to me.

♪♫ "Celeste, come baaaacckkk!" ♪♫

I try to make my bed everyday, but since I'm rarely the last one out of bed, I occasionally forget.

Now, when the bed is made, I just want to jump up and down on it then waller all over it to mess it up again.

I didn't even bother to prewash or iron the sheets before I put them on.  Who really does that anyway?  Forget I asked, I don't want to know.

The quilt is new too.  It's Better Homes and Garden brand from, guess where.
Can you believe that???  I can't tell you how much I love this quilt!  It's reversible too.

Jeff says he likes it too and in order for him to prove it to me, I asked him to tell me why he likes it in the form of a song.  That's why the guitar is out.  It turns out, he mostly likes it because I like it to the point of being giddy and he likes it when I'm giddy.

Now, because I insist, for various reason's, on always carrying around a bag load of guilt to the point that I kept everything neatly packaged and unopened in my bedroom for two whole days just in case of who knows what, let me justify this surge of seemingly indulgent spending to you.

These are my old sheets.  Need I say more?
I think so.

On the left is the central part of the sheet, the part we sleep on.
On the right is a corner of the same sheet that obviously isn't quite as worn.

And I only paid 19.99 (half price) for the whole sheet set.  I'm not telling how much the quilt was.

The end.