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A Chair With History

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I for sure, one hundred percent get my junking tendencies from them.  Both my parents are the use it up, make it last, only throw it away as a last resort type. They were green before it was trendy.  My mom reuses her zip lock bags because using them only once would be wasteful.   My dad also tends to be a junk collector like me.  Recently I have been able to use a few of his finds.  I now have this awesome work table under the porch at the Garagemahal because he found the resturant table legs.  I have this amazing buffet table because he picked this wood up out of the trash, and now I have a reading chair in my bedroom.

Of course she has a story.  It involves a scary old house, a copperhead snake, and a cane.

My dad purchased some property a while back with a house on it that is literally falling down.  I have been the recipient of this amazing window from there.

green window

The house has not been lived in for 50 years.  While looking around the house from the outside dad saw a chair that had been abandoned.  He asked me if I wanted it.  Heck yeah.  I didn’t even have to ask any more.  A chair that was junk 50 years ago and still is around today was at least worth looking at.  My mom and dad climbed up in the old house to get the chair.  Quite a feat since my dad had recently had back surgery and was on a cane.  As they walked across the room of the house toward the chair a copperhead stuck its head up between the boards, according to my dad,  my mom took off and left my dad to fend it off with his cane.  We have a history with copperheads at our house

.  My Hubby almost died from a bite at Star Hill a few years ago so we have great respect… and a score to settle.

English: Copperhead Agkistrodon contortrix mok...
English: Copperhead Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen at Louisville Zoo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dad made short order of the snake and managed to bring home the chair.  The chair wasn’t much  to look at.  Okay, she was a total wreck.  But I liked her low slung style.  She is definitely from the 1940’s.  The total opposite of the sleek modern style of the 50’s.  Thick and chunky and close to the ground.  She was broken on the back but nothing a little Gorilla glue and screws and Hubby couldn’t correct.  This piece has really for real worm holes.  You know how they try to replicate the tiny pin holes in furniture?  This old lady got hers the hard way.  My brother brought the chair to us and she looked even worse than I remembered.  You could literally take pieces of it off with your hands because the pegs holding the chair together had shrunk to the point they weren’t holding.  Hubby had to put it back together like a Tinker Toy set.

See the dots on the arm below?  Those are the for real wood worm holes that people try to replicate.

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I found a cushion that fit perfectly in Target’s patio clearance section.  $7.00 for this all in.   It was originally much more expensive.  I have no idea why it was marked down so much. I love that.  Perfect color for the room with the updated lamps, and my newly built bench.  The cushion fit the chair upside down.  The part that should be the back is the seat.

I am just going to stick in some pictures of the process here, but I am sure it would put you to sleep to see how many weeks this old girl was in the process of gluing, clamping drilling etc.

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I stained the arms dark walnut and I painted the body of the chair Behr Powdered Snow with a brown glaze.

Didn’t she turn out pretty?  I am going to love sitting in the chair by the window reading.  It is a real curl up in chair.

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chair for bedroom

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My Office

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I am just about done with my work office.  Tuesday I will have all the pictures loaded but I wanted you to see the progress.  It has taken me some time to come to terms with and attack my less than awesome baby blue walls and windowless space.

bare office

Here is the what it looked like when I moved in.

When my office was built it was designed as a storage room.  Yes, I do feel pretty special.  When you are the principal of an Early College High School that is starting up, you take what you can get.  In my new digs I am thrilled to have room for a conference table and storage cabinet.  My last office was less spacious.  I will never understand the color choices some designers make.  This block of tile is right outside the office.  I tell my students that the person who decorated this building wanted to use all the colors in the crayon box.  We have lime, pink, yellow and blue entryways.

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I decided to run with the baby blue, yellow and rose to make the office have a vintage vibe.  I re-did a 1970’s Fabulous china cabinet for the space.

Redone China Cabinet

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china

I brought in my old student Readers like Dick and Jane and have started collecting old school globes and school equipment for the space.

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I just found the globe on the right at Goodwill.  The front blue stone globe was a gift from some dear friends when I got my master’s degree.  The small globe behind it came from a school that has now been torn down and replaced, The large globe was replaced when The USSR changed.

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I just had these scales given to me by a sweet lady who works in the building.  They are perfect.

A sewing cabinet  given to me by a friend that I redid for office supplies has a place along with my paint chip art piece,

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I made a bulletin  board from foam board and my fabric hoard.  The color is perfect.

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Bulliten Board

Dick and Jane cards framed and a calendar are cheap alternatives for art.

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I found a magnet board at Kirkland’s for $10.00.  I couldn’t make it for much less!  It will be a good place for me to put up student work that they are proud of.

magnetic board

My job makes me happy.  I hope my office reflects me.  In educating students and collecting things I believe that you sometimes have to look past the current state and instead focus on the potential then help it to reach that potential.

It is why I do, what I do.  I will see you Thursday with pictures of the whole room.  I will not say it is finished, but I now smile when I open the door.

A Bench for the Foot of the Bed

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This project has been a long time in the works. A year ago, before I even considered moving to the burbs, I literally picked up these legs out of the trash at a garage sale. (I did ask first.) They once were legs for a side table and were solid wood.

I did not have a plan for them but they were too nice to be trashed.

table legs

When we moved into our new house I knew I would want a bench at the end of our bed. The room is big and I love having a place to sit and put on shoes in the bedroom. I stalled on completing this project because I am trying to keep the cost down in decorating our room. I am way over budget in the den and guest room. (Like double my $100.00 per room budget in both rooms.) Before starting the bench I had spent about $80.00 on the master bedroom and I still have a few things to do. The holdup was upholstery foam. It is expensive. Crazy expensive. The foam for the mudroom bench tufted cushion was $32.00. A friend of my daughter told me she bought foam on Amazon, but it was still going to be $20.00 with shipping.

A trip to Ikea solved the problem. Have you ever been in the “As is” section of an Ikea? It is a great place to find what you didn’t even know you were looking for. Table legs, cabinet doors, scratch and dent furnishings, hardware…the place is fun to look around in for the unexpected. I found a huge cushion for a couch or chair marked $5.00. Plenty big enough for my bench.

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I sliced the thickness of the foam in half using an electric knife then used spray adhesive to attach it to a scrap of plywood pulled from the hoard and cut to fit, added a layer of batting then wrapped an old sheet around the foam and attached it to the plywood with my staple gun. This step keeps the foam in place and smooth while the upholstery is being attached. It has been so long on this project that I could not find a photo of the cushion or the big slice job. I will keep looking.

upholstery diy

In order above: sheet on bottom, then a layer of batting, then foam, then plywood

upholstered bench

use a sheet to line upholstery

Hubby built a frame for the bench base and attached the legs with thumb screws. The frame and legs got painted a couple coats of Behr Revival Mahogany.

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square corner tool

This is a cool tool. It holds the wood at a 90 degree angle so you can attach the parts.

bench frame

legs on bench

bench

Here it was while we were fitting the bench top on the base. It looks like we did not have it on evenly.

The upholstery brings a little color into the room. it was $15.00 for two yards. Well it looks like I am going to go over on this room also, but not by much. The bench ended up costing $22.00. Not bad.

bench from side table legs

 

repurposed end table legs

 

teal bench

I love how this looks.

teal paisley colored fabric

 

master bedroom with bench

 

teal master bedroom

I really want to paint the wall behind our bed a darker color. I believe it is going to be Garden Wall by Behr.

building a bench from table legs

 

master bedroom

Here she is in all her beauty. Hubby wanted some color in the room. I think this fills the bill.

Semi- Homemade Pumpkin

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I learned something years a ago from my dad. Everything in retail is potentially up for negotiation. May dad will go tool shopping at Sears, and he will ask…”Is this your best price?” When the answer is yes, that is our best price, he asks about floor models, then he asks to speak to the manager. Rarely does he pay the listed price. On anything. I am not as brave as he is, but occasionally I do ask.
Recently I was in Kirklands. It was a 5 day sale and they had some really cute things on sale. I spotted a big wall pumpkin. Regular price was $24.99 but it was on sale for $16.00. I loved the size and the shape but I wasn’t so crazy about the bow.
Here it is online:
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When I saw one that had the bow torn loose I worked up my courage and took fit to the register. I asked the nice lady at the register if I could take the torn one at a reduced price. Guess what? Instead of $16.00, she sold it to me for $10.00.

I brought home the pumpkin then got busy.

A new burlap bow, and a cheap fall floral pick later I ended up with a super cute wall decoration. Doesn’t it look cute? I had Hubby hang the window under our covered front walk because it is going to serve as a seasonal backdrop for decorating.

This is a great semi-homemade quick project. I guess Dad knew what he was doing!

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Media Center Becomes Home Office

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Remember those giant televisions from the late 80’s and early 90’s? The tube type televisions were thick, wide and heavy. Oh… and UGLY! Smart women figured out a way to keep them from being the center of all things in the family room.
The solution was usually some sort of media center. Ours was a big open shelving oak unit. Long gone.

Before we even moved into our new house I knew we needed a place to put the computer modem, charge the laptops and phones, put the bills and keep up with paperwork. We had a place in our city house to keep up with everything but there was no space in our new house. Before we even closed on the house I found an armoire style media center that would do the job and would be able to be closed up when we don’t want to see everything. It was designed to have a pull out shelf for a big television that swivels. It was an $80.00 cabinet that was solid wood (knotty pine), and was made in 1987 according to the information on the back of the piece. It is 7 feet tall and 40 inches wide.

knotty pine

missing trim- fixed by Hubby

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knotty pine cabinet door

 

knotty pine media TV

The media center was bought and put into the storage unit the week we moved out of the city house. Once we moved into our new house it moved into the garage. The mail started piling up on the kitchen counter, the electronics started to be scattered around the house and my aggregation grew. Time to get after the home office.

I wanted the piece to be the color scheme of the Roadside Credenza. I knew that I wanted to paint the crown moulding and base moulding Behr Revival Mahogany and the body Behr Powdered Snow. Because it was knotty pine it actually took two coats of Kiltz primer to keep the knots from coming through. It was a workout to paint and took three weekends. Weekend one- primer coats, weekend two- two coats of paint on everything and weekend three- three coats of Kona floor poly.

behr powdered snow and revival mahogany

 

painting and glazing

glazing supplies

Essentials for glazing. Cheap brush, damp rag, glazing mix.

glazing up close

The glaze is Behr Faux Effects mixed with a little revival mahogany

using glaze to look like wood grain

I left the inside raw wood as a nod to my husband’s love of wood. It is going to have a bulletin board inside the back, a magnetic blackboard inside the door and some pockets to hold the bills and cell phones, but that is not ready yet. It is so tall that Hubby is going to have to use a bar stool when he is writing lesson plans or paying bills. Right now one from the lake house will work, but I have my eye on a great bar stool that is upholstered in teal. It may have to come home with me soon.

home office from media center

This picture is the best at showing the color. Color is tricky in our new house. I need to go back to class to figure it out.

painted and glazed home office

I still have not finished the curtains and it shows up here. Darn.

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Home office pull out

 

printer spot in home office

 

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What do you think about this beauty?

Reclaimed Wood Pumpkin

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Sometimes a girl just wants a pumpkin. Sometimes a guy is tired and doesn’t want to cooperate. What is a girl to do? Make that pumpkin herself!

Hubby declared this weekend a no work weekend. I tried to cooperate. I promise. But, the armoire needed glazing, the bench needed building, the yard needed mowing and there was scrap wood lying around from the wood wall just crying out to be used.

It was not a “no-work” weekend.

Here are the very simple steps to making the pumpkin.

Collect the reclaimed wood and lay them out side by side on a table top.
Connect the wood together with screws and a drill. I used strips we cut from cutting the sides of each board on the table saw but any wood will work even a whole fence board would have done the job. I drilled a pilot hole then screwed in the screws so that I did not crack the small strips of wood.

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Take a marker and draw out a pumpkin shape. I plan on making some bigger ones for the yard next weekend. I like them to look irregular.

Use a jigsaw to follow the shape. I used clamps to hold it in place while I cut. Don’t be scared. I had to make some funny cuts because of the curves.

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Here she is naked:

finished reclaimed wood pumpkin

And with a bow:

burlap ribbon on reclaimed wood pumpkin

Tie a burlap bow and silk leaves on the finished product. Ta Dah!

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Here is a sneak peek at the armoire.  Revival Mahogany, Powdered Snow, and glaze,  I am so happy with the results.

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Decorating the Mudroom Bench for Fall

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I really like fall.

  • I like the cooler weather- we live in south east Texas which is sometimes like walking on the face of the sun and other times like being in the Amazon jungle- depending on the humidity.
  • I seem to naturally gravitate toward warmer colors. My homes have always had a touch of red in them- even when country blue and mauve were all the rage. ( Who, beside me, out there is old enough to have had a duck with welcome friends painted on it? )
  • I work in education and I really like my job so it makes me happy to know that a new school year is starting. This year is especially exciting because I am opening a new school.
  • Fall means that family will be gathering, bonfires, smores, Thanksgiving, and cool evenings at the lake house.  Yay.

Oh, and I love fall decorating. Probably for the reasons above.

This year I am trying to use a lot of what I have collected along with some new things.  I am using a lot of orange, teal and antique white.  I am having fun getting everything out and deciding what will make the cut.  Do you do this?  Do you have to have everything out in one place before you know what you will use or is it just me?

I have the mudroom bench safely in place and the first thing that will be decorated will be this area.  The orange round pillows usually sit on my brown burlap chairs in the family room, but they wanted to join in the orange and green party this year.

Mudroom Bench Decorated for fall

The wreath has been around a few years.  It has held up amazingly well hanging out in the attic and even survived the move.

Pumpkin wreath

I purchased two croton plants from Home Depot- They were 3 for $9.00 so I really bought three and gave one to a friend.

I found the clay pots at the 99 Cent Only store to cover the black plastic pot along with a clear drip pan for each.  I am going to plant them in large pots for outside but for now they look great.

Hubby hung two matching windows (out of my stash of windows) on either side of the mudroom bench and I moved two plant stands in to go under the windows.  The two stands are not the same height so I stacked books under one of the pots to make the plants about the same height.

Old window for fall

I love that our new home has really tall ceilings.  There is plenty of room on top of the mudroom bench for me to decorate.   I have a feeling that this is going to be a favorite decorating spot.  On top of the bench I things collected around the house along like a wooden Coke crate, a cheesy Pumpkins sign, old snuff jars.  a big lantern and some faux and ceramic pumpkins .  I am sure that some things will be added and subtracted as the season gets rolling but I like having a space at the front door to decorate.

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