Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Projects in Review

Wow, it’s the end of the year already!

The last few weeks have been a blur for me, my job has consumed far more than it’s fair share of time.

No 40 hour workweeks for me, oh no.  It’s been more like 70 +.  Most weekends have been spent at work too.

It’s been go go go every day.

But enough of that already, Today I am off work and giving myself totally over to home and blog stuff.

I’ve noticed a lot of other blogs are running highlights of the year.   As I look a these posts I marvel at all my blog friends achieved in a single year.  It seems so impressive to see it all laid out, photo after photo.

So I’m going to go back and look at my year in blogging… short as it may be.  I do know that I’m disappointed with myself for how little I accomplished this year.  I had such grand plans!

I so wanted to be a better blogger this year, and better at completing things.

Alas, it was not to be.

Here’s hoping that if I lay it out it will look like I got more done than I feel like I did.

Worth a try anyway.

Here goes!

One of the first finished projects of 2011 was the dresser turned TV stand for my daughter.  She had waited a long time for it!

On the home front I revamped my kitchen floor by removing the white vinyl tiles and inserting grey in their place.

While I was at it I “designed” new curtains from drop cloths for the kitchen and dining room windows.

I repainted the kitchen bead board a new color, touched up the cabinets and finally finished the trim from the kitchen remodel we did 5 years prior.

Then I turned my hand to making drop cloth slipcovers to hide the dog chewed furniture in the living room.


Unfortunately I only got one of the wingback chairs covered this year.

In the spring I brightened up the mantel with a Nest sign, a Faux clock, and then added a vinyl “Create” decal to an old folding table I had.


Let’s see, after the dogs ate my wicker trunk coffee table I had to come up with a new one.

That gave  me the opportunity to use this curb found chest and add a door for the top.

I repurposed an old child’s size desk into a nightstand by making  a new top out of store-bought unfinished shelving.

The outdoor kitchen had to be totally revamped after going through it’s first winter.  As a result I’ve now become an expert on working with concrete!

A headboard bench was made for my daughter’s friend in exchange for lots of cool junk.

This plant stand was one of the junk pieces I got in that deal. A coat of turquoise and some stain on the top transformed it.

It took forever for me to pick out the paint colors for our house, but I’m so happy with the final results! (I’m especially happy I didn’t have to do the painting!)

I even got around to installing a new door in the sun porch entry.

Finally got to start converting the old shed we salvaged from Mom’s camp into my very own garden potting shed.

Got the windows and door in, and added clapboard siding.

And then a coat of paint to match the house. :)


I got to make a second headboard bench; this time for my favorite antiquing friend, Linda.

It was fun to make it and let her do the finishing!

Then I was inspired to make my very own tripod lamp by some of my favorite bloggers.

My son asked for a new coffee table, this is what I designed for him.

I repurposed a headboard to make a mirrored wall hanging for him too.

After winning a Command-Max paint sprayer in Gail’s giveaway I repainted my dining room bead board. (the counter stools were refurbished earlier this year, I had forgotten about them!)


And for Christmas I was inspired by Robelyn at Red Neck Chic to use some of my curb found mirrors to add a mirrored wall behind my tree.

What’s my favorite project of the year? 

Hands down, that would be Katy, our foster dog turned family member.

She was a handful in the beginning but now brings us nothing but joy.

(Except she is now convinced that the couch exists solely for her comfort. She doesn’t budge for anyone, not even Sandy!)


That’s my project year in review. 

Know what? 

After going through all the posts I gotta say it was therapeutic for me to see that I actually did get some stuff done this year.

Funny how easy it is to forget.

2011 turned out to be a good year after all.

We’re ending the year by having some friends and family over for dinner tonight, what are you doing?


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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wine Bottle Junk Springs and Bling

Here’s another project I did that was inspired by yet another awesome blogger. 

Laurel from Chipping with Charm first introduced this idea in October and it immediately went on my “must try list”.

You see, I already had all the parts so this was one of those “Duh! why didn’t I think of that!“ moments.

(the answer to that question was “because you’re not as smart as Laurel, that’s why!)

This box of bedsprings had been sitting around for way too long. It was time to start using some up.


The other night I was in need of a quick Christmas gift for my hairdresser and decided this would be the perfect present for her.

I had this rusty chain with pins found inside a curbed tool box. 

I’m guessing it’s used to hold fish after it’s caught, if so, then this is really kinda gross come to think of it.


I washed and sanitized the entire chain and then sprayed it with clear coat.

I had a cup full of rusty washers of various sizes and decided they would work just fine for bling.

Everything got a couple quick coats of clear protective finish and once dry I went to town with my wire snips and needle nose pliers.


This was super easy to do.  The hardest part was deciding when enough was enough!


I ended up making a dangling “skirt” all around the bottom of the spring.




I was in a hurry to get this done and didn’t take time to do a photo shoot so believe me,  I had to do lots of creative cropping to take out the worst of the clutter on the counters!

Total cost?

$15 for the bottle of wine I grabbed out of our wine rack to go with the bling!

Thank you Laurel for all your inspiration.  If you haven’t been over to Laurel’s blog yet, go check it out.  She is soooo creative.


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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Music Sheet filled ornaments-

Ok, so the other night I was doing a quick run through of my reader and happened to see that Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming was hosting a series of guest posts on handmade ornaments.


Now I’m not very crafty, but one in particular just hit me hard, and I simply had to go get the supplies together and make it right there and then.

It was this tutorial by Mandy at Little Birdie Secrets that caught my fancy.

What made me get up off my lazy tush and actually try to do this?


a) my tree in the living room was short on ornaments and I needed something  white or glass to go with the theme of the tree.

b) On the weekend I just happened to have found a box of a dozen glass craft ornaments I had bought last year and never used.

c) And Mandy’s tutorial promised these would be the easiest ornaments I ever made.


As instructed by Mandy I gathered my ornaments, a pen, and an old church Music Issue hymnal circa 1993, from back in the days when I sometimes played flute at special masses at our church.


They hymnal paper was quite yellowed, which proved to be a good thing.

Anyways, just as promised by Mandy, in less than 20 minutes I had a dozen ornaments to add to my tree!

My music strips were short so they didn’t stay curled up very well, but I still like the effect.

Pardon the dark pictures, I was too excited to wait until the weekend to take daylight photos. (yes, that’s the only time I see my house in daylight anymore!)


I’m now calling my tree decorating done.



I just love the way the mirror wall behind the tree reflects back the lights.

Why, it looks like I have 2 trees in my living room!

Thank you Mandy and Stephanie Lynn for inspiring me to use what I have and get my tree decorated.

If you haven’t seen the Handmade Ornament Series, get on over and check it out. Tons of inspiration there, why Stephanie Lynn even has a link to last year’s ornaments too!



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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Linda’s Headboard Bench – updated, she got it done!

A couple months back I showed you the headboard bench I made for my friend Linda.

The deal was that I would build it, but she had to finish it.

Well guess what? She got it finished and brought into the house in record time. 

Turns out she liked it so much it’s new home will be in the back entry near the kitchen instead of at the end of her bed.





Looks like someone else at her house loves this bench too.


Linda’s not sure if she wants to keep the high cushion shown in these photos, originally she had planned to use a 3 inch deep cushion, but this one was given to her free and fits the bench exactly too.  You can’t beat free, right?

It’s so much fun for me to see the bench all done and being used.

Someday I’m going over to Linda’s and taking pictures of her gorgeous old Victorian home to show you. 

Definitely drool worthy! I think I’ve got an “in” now that she has the bench…..



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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Look what a sweet neighbor gave me!

The house across the street from us sold recently and the owner’s daughter was clearing out the last things before closing day.

It was her childhood home and had been chock full of stuff when her father passed away a couple years ago. The house stood empty while the family decided what to do with it.  About a year ago they had cleaned out and sold everything at an estate sale before putting the house on the market.

Imagine my surprise when Barb came across the street to say goodbye and tell me she had saved a piece of furniture especially for me because she knew I liked to refinish furniture.

I was so touched that she thought of me!

I grabbed my hand cart and trucked it across the road to see what she had.

It was this awesome dresser,


complete with a big mirror!


Some of the decorative pieces had crumbled away. Even more came off while getting it home.


This paper label was nailed to the back of the piece.


And inside one of the drawers I found this receipt for clothing dated 1943.


How cool is that?


On my way out I spied this in the garage and stopped to admire it.


Turns out they were throwing it away and said please take it!


It still had the shipping label on it from when her father sent it home when he was in the Air Force.



Don’t know exactly what I’ll do with these yet, but I’m excited about getting them!

Goodbye Barb, I know it was hard for you to part with your parent’s home. We’ll keep an eye on it for you, don’t you worry.


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