Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What I Did On My Vacation

When we went to the Chicago area in February for our littlest grandson's 2nd birthday, we took a dining room set up to his parents. I've said before that I was "heavy" in tables, soooo although this was such a good buy a few years ago (Craigslist $75 for a table with six chairs) I really needed to let it go to a home that needed it.

I had painted the four legs about a year ago, but never got around to the table top. Here's the ugly orange wood color the table and six chairs were.

We had to hunt around in the garage to find the rest of the table and four of the chairs were up in the attic.

Once we got the dining room set to our daughter's freshly painted dining, someone couldn't decide if she wanted to paint the chairs white or black. I had painted two of the chairs black a year ago, so we started painting a couple of chairs white to get an idea of how they would look.

Here's the dark chairs. They looked a little masculine, so our daughter decided to cover them with some gray striped material.

Sorry about the size of this picture! I could not get it to a bigger size so I gave up...

As you can see, we painted the other four chairs white along with the table. Our daughter decided on a floral fabric that we used the 'wrong' side on as it was a little more subdued. The room has three pictures of the Chicago skyline and we (and I probably mean I) kind of got into the idea of business clothes for the chairs...floral skirt for the girlie ones and men's pinstripe for the guys. The cost of the material was about $15 (one and a quarter yard of striped and one and a quarter yard of floral), which put this project just under $100 since we used leftover chalk paint and homemade chalk paint using 2/3 paint to 1/3 gesso a la Villa Barnes' recipe.

I know ya'll are saying why didn't we distress and age down the table and white chairs, right? Well, daughter hadn't decided whether to keep the set white or paint it black by the time we left, so I told her we'd distress and stain them if they're still white next time we visit. Believe me when I say it just might take that long for her to make that dicision since she's lived in her house for about 6 or 7 years without any dining room furniture because they couldn't decide what they wanted!

I'm partying at these blog parties this week. Home you'll come over and check out the other blogs:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

You Get What You Need

This is a picture of our daughters on youngest daughter's first birthday. Youngest daughter was born 30-some years ago today, on the 1st day of Spring. In the picture, you can see middle daughter was crying because it wasn't her birthday... middle daughter loved getting presents, especially girly stuff.

Youngest daughter grew so fast, she and middle daughter soon were the same size-- despite a 19 month difference in their ages. Most people thought the two were twins and, by the time the picture below was taken, youngest daughter (in middle of picture) was actually a little bit taller than her older sister. The youngest wasn't very happy the day of the picture because she didn't like to get dressed up, something middle daughter loved to do! You can see it on their faces with the youngest staring straight ahead and middle daughter stealing a happy glance at her own dress and boots.

I often referred to the two youngest daughters as 'the best of friends and worst of enemies'. They shared clothes, friends, and a love for their older sister. They even shared an apartment the year middle daughter graduated from college and younger daughter started her last year of school. And of course, since middle daughter usually cried on her sister's birthday, she often "shared" her sister's birthday by getting a present too!

Fast forward to 4 years ago. Youngest daughter was starting a new job with a new apartment and new adventures, just before her 28Th birthday. I like to look at this picture because it tickles me how footloose and fancy free she was. Little did she know what would come her way the following year...

Yep... just a month after her next birthday, this little bundle arrived.

... And, my favorite part -- little Lily is just like her aunt (the middle daughter) and loves dresses and purses and anything with bling. And, no doubt about it, she could squeeze out a tear or two if she knew it would get her a birthday present today too!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Birdhouse

I've been thinking lately about the things I've carried around for years. One of those things is this birdhouse that always sits somewhere in my house, usually tucked away under larger things.

Many bloggers work for hours to create a rustic patina on furniture they're refinishing. The flaky, peeling paint on this birdhouse comes naturally. It sat for a long time on a fence post in the back yard of my deceased stepfather.

One day in the 1980's when I was having a bout with the flu, my mother and stepfather brought me a medicine called Theraflu. Knowing how resistant I am about taking medicine, my mother had an article of some sort wrapped up in a large towel. She told me if I took the Theraflu, I would get a decorating surprise.

Well, she had me at "decorating", so I chugged the medicine and starting unwrapping the towel-wrapped object. Both my parents started grinning and laughing to each other, thinking they had pulled one over on me. Seems they had removed this old birdhouse from the fence 'out back' because I had been talking about birdhouses being the rage at that time. They thought this was going to be a big joke on me when they pulled this old shabby birdhouse out (shabby wasn't in back then) and presented it to me.

Can you imagine how much I loved it? It really deflated their glee! So many times over those 30-some-odd years my mother has mentioned how she wishes she hadn't been so quick to give away something she's come to love too. It doesn't matter though 'cuz ...I'm not giving it back!

Join me at the following parties and see what everyone's up to!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Industrial French Country

For several years now I've spent my time drooling over magazines and blogs featuring the French Country Industrial Look. It's a look that I adore, and I have been adding bits and pieces of rusty industrial items to our home when I can.

The clock on the entryway wall in the picture above is the biggest piece of the industrial look I had until recently.

Here's a kitchen from the blog Greige Design, which shows a nod towards Industrial Country.

Since January when I made my pledge, I've been trying to "use it up" for the new year. So, although Restoration Hardware has some vintage industrial stools I've been dying for, I won't be getting them until we sell the bar stools we already have.

But, recently on a trip to Eureka Springs Arkansas, we happened upon an industrial style moving kitchen island I couldn't resist. Since we've been looking for a movable island, we bought it on the spot. One of us was happy about it, the other was just happy he wouldn't have to shop for a center island any more.

To get it in the truck, we had to take it apart and cut our trip short to get it back home to Texas that night. Rain was in the forecast and I didn't want to let the island get wet.

Here's a peek at the island once we got it put back together and rolled it into the kitchen the next day. I haven't gotten it "styled" yet, so disregard the clutter.

I started putting the stuff from the counters on the island so I could get the counters cleaned off. I plan to have less clutter on the kitchen counters and use the bottom shelf of the island for storage.

Of course, now I'm shopping for some large baskets for the island's bottom shelf to hold lids and pots and the like. Let me know by leaving a comment if you've seen some baskets you think might work.

This island is a mess with things piled on it now, but I hope to post another picture soon when I get it all set up with baskets on the bottom and some organization on the top! Please come back and see it when it's done.

Yes, that IS a Santa Clause sign hanging on the side of the wall in the picture above. I'm planning on making a set of signs showing other seasonal themes that I can change out as the seasons and holidays change. I thought if I left the sign up there it would remind me to get busy making those replacements. Hasn't worked yet, but how many people can say Santa Clause is helping them celebrate St Patrick's Day?

I'm joining the following blog parties. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Entryway Mirror

On Pinterest, I have a board for my entryway conversion. We plan to wall off the dining room's archway that leads to the entry hallway, and put a mudroom-type bench in the hall side and cabinets on the dining room side. The dining room is becoming a sitting room, but that's another story!

My favorite mudroom pin is this one:

I've hauled this mirror around for over 18 years, but have never used it. I think it would work for the mirror in the picture. While normally I always perfer to paint wooden objects, I wouldn't choose to paint this one.

Although it's dusty and needs some TLC, I love the details that someone created by hand so many years ago. I think a little wood restoration is needed, but I wouldn't want to do anything to hurt the original finish.

This mirror was given to me. It once had a matching handmade dresser that had been sawn a little to fit the dresser into a kitchen. I was told the dresser sat in that kitchen for 75 years, and that the mirror and dresser were very old even before it was fitted into the kitchen. So 75 plus 18...makes it 93 years ago when the then "old" dresser was sawn and fitted into that kitchen.

Hopefully we will be able to make that entryway mudroom come to life soon. In the meantime I'll be finding some product to bring some life back to the wood on the mirror, but nothing that will change it too much.

Any suggestions on what product to use that will revitalize the wood, but not change the finish, would be appreciated. Please let me know if you've rescued an old wood piece without painting it. Painting would be sooooooo easy, but I know it really needs to stay in its original state.

I'm joining Thrift'n On Thursday at Savvy City Farmer's blog and Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Freature Friday. Click below or their blogs at the right, under 'Blogs I Follow' on the right side.

Thanks for stopping by and please go check out their blog parties!