glazing, Painted Furniture, painting, vintage style

Sewing Cabinet Gets Ready for School

We worked frantically this Saturday afternoon and into the evening Sunday to get the GarageMahal cleaned out and ready for a huge project that will be done before we leave for The Southern Belle’s Wedding June 1.
Tonight you get to see my awesome sewing cabinet. My friend Kandy gave me the cabinet and it is going to be going into my office soon.
When I got this sweet cabinet the top was split, there was a loose leg and one knob was broken. Hubby ripped off the top piece and used some glue and clamps to put the top back together.


Antique Sewing Cabinet

I am going to use vintage school items to decorate my office and am using the color pallet from the 1950’s Dick and Jane book pages for my painted pieces. I am framing some Dick and Jane posters that will be art work on the walls.

Dick and Jane Posters
I loved this color yellow it is called Jackfruit (Behr,of course). I only bought a sample sized container so it cost me less than $3.00 to paint the cabinet.
I found a new set of knobs that looked similar- only a little larger- at the Habitat for Humanity garage sale. Yay! I feel like I got them for free because I got several pieces of hardware for $2.00 that will be used for numerous projects. I moved the smaller functional knobs to the top drawer and gave the larger bottom drawer the bigger knobs.
I lightly distressed the finish then glazed it with my charcoal colored glaze.
Here is the beauty with a couple of coats of Rustoleum Urethane.
My office is going to be so much fun!

yellow sewing cabinet 4

yellow sewing cabinet 3

yellow sewing cabinet

yellow sewing cabinet 2


Dresser, gray, milk glass, Painted Furniture, painting, Star Hill

What is on Tap for our Weekend

This weekend we have a ton to jam into a short amount of time.
Tonight Hubby is helping our City House neighbors grout the tile backsplash. Tomorrow morning he referee’s the Early College High School’s Powderpuff Football Game. As soon as he is done( thank you sweetheart.) we are headed to Star Hill. My goal is to finish my awesome western dresser, paint my night stands, glaze and poly them and the sewing cabinet.
We need to unload the truck too. Hubby found wood for my back wall in the bedroom.




We have work to do on this wood before it goes up but it is going to be awesome!!

We will be going to work pooped Monday!

mid-life, Painted Furniture, painting, Star Hill, Texas, vintage style

Painting Therapy

One of the great things about being a happily married empty nester is that I can stuff my car full of treasures before work then head off to Star Hill after work to paint until bed time. Hubby is home helping put up backer board at our neighbor’s house for a backsplash project we are working on tomorrow night. I got here, fed the birds, looked in a nest near the house, left the doors open then got busy. It doesn’t match seeing my kids, but it has been a restful evening!

Blogging, Repurposed Furniture, Thrifting

It Could Be Worse Guys, You Could Be Married To Me

When you want to shake your head at what your wife, or husband drags home, I want you to have a picture of this in your mind…


This is my garage today after a weekend of both curbside finds and garage sale purchases. Sorry, Hubby, but it really is only temporary…I promise. I really do know we are trying to sell the house.

Here is what I found, bought and collected and where it will go.

I got this mirror along with the china cabinet. I paid $50.00 for both. The mirror is going to become a chalkboard for announcements in my office. The mirror frame will be painted “Innocence”, glazed and distressed. The barley twist stand will be left alone.

The china cabinet is going in my office. It will replace my book cases.
I got nothin’ to say about the pink chair. It was a roadside find. Anyone want it? I will even paint it if you want it to be a different color.


The chairs are going to my office. I really need them. They were $5.00 each. 4 chairs for $20.00. Oh! They threw in some cabinet hardware too. I am using some of it on a special project for a friend.
The headboard is a project the Hubby is going to work on. He has a great idea what to do with it so I am excited to see what he is going to do with it.


I paid $2.00 for this beauty. I am going to try Mandie at Altar’d ‘s method for tarnished silver on this. If I like it, I know who gets it…

Finally, the drawers and doors are from a GREAT neighbor who saved them for me. I already have a few ideas.20130422-185744.jpg

The dresser drawers are all that can be saved from this one, but the drawer fronts and hardware will be used!

See… It could be worse, you could be married to me!



A cheerful friend is like a sunny day spreading brightness all around.” – John Lubcock ( English Astronomer )

I have been thinking about friendship a lot lately. I think I must be lonely right now in this transition period of my life. I love my new job, but I miss the close friendships that I developed in my last position. Everyone is so nice here, but I am not at the point that I have people who know my kids, my husband, or even really me. The last time we moved cities I still had kids living at home. The parents of my kids’ friends became our friends. We went to church with them, played ball together etc. It is different when you are an empty nester making new friends in a new community.
My buddy, Tanis is also going through a transition. She is making friends on the country road where the Ranchito is and still keeping up with her city friends. She is amazing!

Recently I have had an opportunity to view both my daughter and daughter-in-law’s friends and friendships up close and personal. What I observed with both of my babies has made this mom feel blessed to know that my children have adopted the philosophy that friends are just family you get to choose.
Sweet Amanda had her closest buddies at Star Hill last weekend. When these girls get a chance to gather they act like they just saw each other the day before. They don’t miss a beat. These girls are really there for each other. One of the young ladies,Yliana brought her wedding invitations with her. She is getting married this June and needed help assembling the invitations and addressing them in calligraphy.

The girls had worked all day on their chairs, it was hot and they were tired but every one of them enthusiastically joined in on getting the invitations done. I think they went back to the tree house and worked all night getting them finished up after they were done at Star Hill.

wedding invitations 2 wedding invitations

That is just the type friends that Baby Boy and Sweet Amanda have. They will drop everything to help each other out. They are blessed.
Sweet Amanda is making a ton of new friends at U of H.


The Southern Belle (TSB) has moved to five different cities in five different states since she moved out of our home and off to college. She has a close group of friends that have been her buddies since the first year of college.

Many of them live close to her now and they do get to see each other from time to time. This year one of her best buds, Ashley went with her to Boston. It was on my daughter’s “Before I turn 30 Bucket List” to run in the Boston Marathon. Big Cat, TSB’s fiancee, could not go with our girl because he is a tax accountant and April 15 seems to be a pretty big deal with tax accounts. Ashley went along with her for moral support and I think just to spend some time with TSB. They shared quite an adventure during that very frightening weekend and I was so glad that TSB was not alone. Ashley was there at the start of the race, cheered her on, then met her at the finish. We will always be grateful that she was not alone during this stressful event and we look forward to seeing all the buddies at the big event.

Ashley took this picture of The Southern Belle at mile 16.

Both the kiddos have worked at making friends where they live. One of TSB’s new friends is singing at her wedding!

Once again I have a lot to learn from these amazing people who call me mom. I really am going to work hard on rebuilding my life long friendships and also making new friends in my new job.

glazing, Painted Furniture, painting, Repurposed Furniture

Learning to Paint Furniture

Not much exciting here at the city house this weekend. We are continuing to get the house ready to put on the market so that means we are doing a ton of really boring stuff like redoing the caulk in the bathtub, replacing a torn screen, patching drywall in the garage, and cleaning the fireplace. All necessary stuff, but BORING. We did get out first thing in the morning to go to the Habitat for Humanity garage sale and a large neighborhood garage sale. More on that later, because I did make a purchase, and scored a fun curbside rescue that is going to make a great project piece. I also got started on the little sewing cabinet, but I don’t have it finished because my glaze and poly are at the Garagemahal.

Because I get asked several times a week how I learned to paint furniture and I know you really don’t care that we now have a new screen on the window, I figured now was a good time to share with you the tiny amount I know about painting furniture. When I get asked about painting furniture the answer is pretty simple. I make a lot of mistakes, I read a lot, I use You Tube I read blogs,and I make more mistakes.

First, I would direct you to Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine. I signed up for it at Lowe’s and I get the online version on my iPad.


I also check out books at the library from time to time, and we subscribe to Home Handyman magazine too.

I also recommend four e-books.

Three from Mandie at Altar’d Designs. She is an amazing local artist. Altar’d Design



Another e-book I recommend is from Jeff, a furniture restorer and all around great guy.
Facelift Furniture


They all offer great insight and information into what works. Both have their own approach.

I actually type in exactly what I am looking for on You Tube and usually find a video that answers my question.

I check out Pinterest all the time. Want to know how to distress furniture? Type it in the search box and this is what you get:


Here is one article I just read:


The bogs I recommend are All Things Thrifty, Sawdust Girl, Centsational Girl just to name a few.

Just jump in. Buy some garage sale or Goodwill furniture then take it on. If you hate it, donate it. If you love it, brag. Give it a try.

Mirror, oak school desk, Painted Furniture, the office, vintage style

Decorating a New Office

I have a brand new office. It is roughly 3 times the size of my old office and oh, it is baby blue. Even though baby blue is not my favorite, the blue seems to fit with the building where the designer of this school really did use all the colors in his or her crayon box. The area that I am going to be turning into a school office was at one point in the not too distant past a library. Tons of space, a lot of storage, and plenty of room for my students. I am a happy camper.

For years I have collected vintage readers. I even have one McGuffey Reader. I have several Dick and Jane books as well as other classic readers.



I also have some teacher posters to go with the Dick and Jane series. they have literally been under our bed just waiting for the perfect spot, I finally have the opportunity to put them to use. What could be better- vintage books, in a library space. I have four calendar pages that I plan on framing in record album frames. I have four greeting cards that will be framed too.


In my office I have two cheap laminate bookcases. They must go. To replace the book cases I have purchased a china cabinet to use as storage and to display my books. It is going to be painted my favorite cinnamon cake with a glaze over it to show off the ornate doors. I love the 1970’s look. I have two 70’s mirrors that are going to go in there too. No one else seems to love them like I do.

china cabinet

1970's Mirrors

1970's Mirrors

The sewing cabinet is going to along this blank wall. It is going to be a soft buttery yellow.


The old school desk is going to sit in the corner by the china cabinet.


My paint chip art is going in there too because it has all the right colors to go with the Dick and Jane artwork. Add in a vintage globe and microscope and I am going to have an office that makes me smile. I hope it makes the high schoolers feel at home there too.
I am ready to get started!
Paint Chip Art


Building a Home, Lake Livingston, Silliness, Star Hill, The Garagemahal

What a Lake House Should Look Like

Before I post this message I have to let everyone know how incredibly blessed I feel right now.  The Southern Belle ran in the Boston Marathon today and had only finished the race shortly before the explosions.  I am one lucky mom to have two great kids.  Now, enjoy my weekend.

My friends,  this is how a lake house should look:

I woke up early Sunday morning, just me, the birds, and the squirrels were up.  As I walked around the house I realized that this is exactly how I always dreamed that our house would look.  I quickly went back inside and grabbed my camera so that I could share with you what I saw.

Forgive me, but I did not want to edit or stage these shots.  What you see is what you get.  You will see that my dream of how our little Star Hill should look is probably different from other people’s idea of dream home get away.  For me, it is about the evidence of use, more than the decor.

There were clean dishes on the drain board.  Lots of dishes. (Thanks Tanis for doing dishes and helping to get the meal ready.)


  I love the fact that we fed 14 people Saturday night out on our little deck, in the house and on the porch. (Baby Boy was the grill master for the fajitas!) It wasn’t about the food; it was about the laughter, the sharing, and being with my children and their friends.

back deck

There were chairs around the campfire.  Chairs around the campfire meant that even when they could have gone home, they stayed.  They ate smores, the stoked the fire, put on jackets and hung out- they even met our sneaky raccoon who keeps breaking into the trash can.

the fire pit


To quote C. S. Lewis ( yes, Baby Boy I read C. S. Lewis too!) “Is any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?”

The Garagemahal was messy.  We even went to bed with the garage door up.  This is something we do not often do, because there is deer corn in there and the critters will come in.  If I had walked into a spotless workshop it would have meant that either nothing took place there or I spent the time that the kids were here cleaning it up instead of enjoying them.

messy garage

There were towels to wash, paint to put away, fabric to fold, trash to collect, and I knew that we had a couple of hours’ worth of cleaning to do Sunday.


 When Baby Boy and Sweet Amanda got up to join us there were more dishes, the smell of bacon and eggs cooking and more time together.  They were a big help cleaning up!

It is my prayer that this is how my children and their friends think of Star Hill.  I want it to be a haven for both us and them as the world becomes busier.  A place to gather, laugh, make a mess, and enjoy nature.

As I left for work this morning I felt blessed.  We do not have days like this  often enough.

Apartment living, burlap, Chair, Coldspring, crafting, Decorating, Painted Furniture, painting, Repurposed Furniture, rescuing damaged furniture, Star Hill, The Garagemahal

Hooray for Chair Painting Day

I am still learning to use a hotspot, so I missed uploading a few photos. I will upload them as soon as I reach civilization. Enjoy.


The long anticipated chair painting day has come and gone. It was so much fun and I can’t wait to show off the before and after photos. Sweet Amanda and Baby Boy have an amazing group of friends who are united in their love of The Lord, the lost, and college ministry. It is tough for them to connect as often as they would like because they are working on college campuses around the state, The United States and the world. The girls who came to this event I believe all lived in “The Tree House” with Sweet Amanda while in college or were members of her small group. Lauren has been her buddy since birth. I have another blog post in the works about these girls, but today it is all about the chairs.

As the girls arrived there was lots of hugging, squealing and general mayhem.
All the girls signed in on a chalkboard and this determined the chair that they would be painting then taking home. Beth was not going to be able to make the event so we signed her in and The Social Planner, Tanis, worked on a chair for her with help picking color and fabric from the ladies who know her well.


Here are the lovely chairs before we got busy. I did not pay more than $5.00 a chair from Goodwill, Craigslist and resale shops. Every chair, except one had some structural issue. They had missing rungs, needed regluing, had need badly repaired… the list goes on and on. Hubby spent several days getting them all up to Baby Boy’s wiggle standard. He literally sat on them and wiggled around to see if they were sturdy. Remember that these chairs are going to live in homes that will have college students visiting often.

I numbered each chair with a post-it note so that the girls would know when they got up the hill what they would be working on.

Look at how nice and clean the ladies all looked in this photo! This was after inspecting chairs, but before the paint clothes went on and the work began. They really are stunning young ladies.



Each of the girls inspected their chair, looked at the paint choices, chose something, then got busy. Some of the girls checked out their fabric options before jumping in, but not everyone!

It was fun to watch the girls working, side by side, each on a different project, laughing, catching up, teasing and commenting on each other’s work.

Tanis brought her yard chairs for an update too.
As they finished the painting, the upholstery began on the chairs that had padded seats. A big thank you to my friend, Kandy for donating all this amazing fabric.

Here are the finished chairs-before and after.

Sweet Amanda
Behr Sailboat Blue with yellow chevron fabric. This chair originally had caning in the seat so hubby built a new top to go on it that is padded. It can be removed and re-caned if they ever choose to do so.



Behr Rapids blue with burlap fabric. She is going to monogram the back panel. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.




Behr Coral. Oops. I forgot the Mod Podge for this project chair. The seat is going to have a map of Colorado- where she will be moving in July to join her new husband in his ministry to University of Colorado. She roughed out the edges and took the map with her, so I cannot wait to see how it looks complete. Sorry Yliana.


Behr Cinnamon Cake and flowered fabric. This is my favorite off white, brown toned paint. She really classed up this 1970’s charmer. I love the distressing.




Valspar Elephant Hide with some fun, funky fabric. This chair gave Hubby fits and I think he was ready to throw in the towel, but at the end of the day it turned out so cute. The piping was in the fabric we got, already done and was plenty big for this little padded poof. It is going with Molly’s craft table that is painted the bright teal you see in the fabric. Yay for having a craft table.




Coral that Molly brought so not sure the color. Fabric was teal upholstery fabric. I used the darker coral on the chair back to create an ombré effect. Darkest at top then diluted the color the paint with the cinnamon cake as I went down. I like the effect. Beth surprised us by making it at the end of the day, and we surprised her with a chair!




chairs from an angle

Here are the lovely ladies with their finished projects all together at Star Hill.

DIY Show Off
DIY, DIY Painting and Glazing Furniture, DIY Projects, glazing, Painted Furniture, painting

The Paint and Products I Use

At the request of a few friends I am going to sort of walk those of you not too board with this amateur’s attempt at furniture refinishing.

The supplies I use on solid wood furniture:

Liquid sand


Palm sander


Behr Interior Satin paint with primer

My favorite off white- Innocence
My favorite brown- Revival Mahogany
My favorite green- Happy Camper


Behr Faux Glaze


Purdy Paintbrushes


Foam Sanding Block


Rustoleum Polyacrylic


Old cotton t shirts for rags


Minwax stain
I love dark walnut


What I do:

Clean the furniture with water. No chemicals. If the piece is going to be stained, sand it down with the palm sander. If it is ornate or just going to be painted, I use liquid sand. Wipe on, keep using a clean area on the cotton rag.

Use good brushes to paint.
Apply the paint in multiple thin coats. Sand between coats if you see ridges in the dried paint.

Glaze- I use one cup paint to 1/4 cup paint. I use a charcoal color for black or my Revival Mahogany for brown tones.
Paint on, wait a minute then wipe off-with the grain of the wood using a cotton rag. Leave a little extra in the corners and ridges.

Stain the wood pieces. Wipe on the stain with a rag wait a minute then wipe off excess with a clean rag. Reapply when dry if you want something darker.

Polyacrylic the finished piece with several thin coats of poly. Sand lightly between coats.