Family Treasure

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Are you lucky enough to have some family treasures? I am not talking about gold, jewels, or silver heirlooms. (Although if you have those things I am a little jealous!) I am talking about treasures that tell your family history, that you can pass on to others, and that remind you where you come from. I have a few pieces that I am going to share with you.

I have this dresser. It was the first piece of furniture my dad’s parents bought when they married, 90 years ago. It was the equivalent to Ikea furniture at the time, and was all they could afford. It came to my husband and me in rough shape. My husband took it to be stripped and it almost was destroyed. It literally came home in a box. My sweet husband painstakingly reassembled the pieces, sanded, stained, and varnished it as a gift for me. I treasure this piece and will always find a spot for it in our home.

old dresser

The photo is not awesome.  Sorry.  It is jammed in our guest room right now where my son and daughter in law are living temporarily.

I have my great grandmother’s bread bowl. She lived 17 miles from a paved road back in the backwoods of Louisiana. They got indoor plumbing when I was a child, she got a phone when I was in college. I got to spend time at her home growing up. I watched her churn butter, milk cows, use a wash board, and collect eggs. That sweet lady made bread every day using starter and this bowl. I wish I knew how to make bread but I treasure her bowl. I have started collecting wooden bowls at Star Hill but the bread bowl is the centerpiece.


I could only find this picture of the bowl this weekend.  I will add pictures when we get back to the lake house.

This weekend I got three more treasures while visiting my parents.

I got my dad’s suitcase. It is a dented battered 1950’s dark blue case. To the naked eye it looks like something that belongs in a junk store but this suitcase was part of a chapter in my dad’s life that changed my family’s destiny. My dad carried this suitcase to college. It carried everything that this son of sharecroppers owned; two pairs of jeans, three shirts, “some drawers”, socks and his good shoes. With those meager belongings he became the first in our family to go to college, get a degree, earn a living wage and instill in me and our family a love of learning and a strong work ethic.

dad's suitcase


Our new rescue dog, Lumi, thinks every picture should have her in it .  This was a totally spontaneous shot.  I love it.


My dad said the suitcase was once bright blue like the handle.

I also got my grandmother on my mom’s side of the family’s salt glaze pitcher. My grandmother did not buy this. She found it under the house my grandparents bought in 1961. She was a determined woman who I loved deeply. She climbed under the house to get this, cut herself and ended up with a leg infection that put her in the hospital.  She shined up that old  pitcher and kept it as a reminder of her move to the home on Duke Street.  If I ever go on Antiques Roadshow it goes with me.  I wonder if it is worth anything to anyone but our family?

salt glaze pitcher




My final treasure from the weekend comes from my dad’s mom. She did not have money to buy us very much growing up, but she was such a talented seamstress. She could tat, crochet, knit, and sew. This blanket was the blanket she made for my bassinet when I was born. I was able to use it when my daughter was born but when we moved my mom took it to her house for safe keeping. I brought it home to the burbs along with the other treasures.

baby quilt

Lumi was so sad I would not let her lay on the quilt.  This is her sad, rejected look.



My family may not have had much in the way of money, but we have a rich history none the less. What about you? Do you have any family treasures?


10 Of My Favorite Projects and a Big Thank you!


Thank you for reading my teeny tiny minnow of a blog. There are blogs out there that get 50,000 page views a day but it has taken me two years to reach that milestone. I am a full time high school principal and hobbyist blogger. My husband and I do what we do with furniture and our home just for fun. Before I start showing off some of my favorite projects, I want to say thank you, friends, for reading, thank you for commenting, and thank you for causing me to improve what I produce. I still have no idea what I am doing most of the time. By that I mean my husband and I are making it up as we go on our projects, and sometimes failing miserably. I am about the most technology challenged blogger out there. Between the time I started blogging and now both our children have married, my husband and I changed jobs, we sold a home, went a while “between homes”, bought a home and moved to a new city, my son and daughter in law have moved in part-time, I started a new blog called My Burb Home, and I have taken up photography as a hobby. Not bad for two folks in their 50’s!

This next year we plan to travel to two places on our bucket list, work on both our weekend home and our suburban home, build a raised garden, put in a fire pit,and continue to work on found furniture.  Life is good for this weekend loving couple.

As I looked back on past projects, there were others that could have or should have made the cut but I plan on rewriting several of them now that I don’t stink like when I started. Not many of you were around when I first logged in, set up an account and started rambling, so some of the projects below may be new to you. Just click on the hyperlink and it will take you to the original blog.  I hope you enjoy.

10. French provincial furniture makeover.  I love that we were able to take a couple of homely particle board pieces of furniture and make them beautiful. I am seriously considering selling this set because I want to redo the room like now I recently saw on a home tour but I love the color combination and how much I learned on this project.

French Provincial Dresser

9. Western Dresser.  We found a homely little Goodwill dresser and made it something fun for the lake house guest room we call the bunk room.
western dresser

8. Table and Banquette seating out of reclaimed wood.  Wow! This is one of my oldest posts and my dinky little camera did not do this beauty any justice.  I will be re-photographing this set.  This was a collaboration between Hubby and me to come up with a solution to a tiny space using reclaimed siding from our house.  It is one of the most functional spaces in our home now.

Making Room for a Dining Area at Star Hill

7.  Farmhouse Table.  I love the look of a rustic table but man, they are expensive. Our $90.00 solution to this problem turned out to be one of my favorite pieces of furniture. It moved with us and was where we gathered for our first Thanksgiving meal in the new home.

farmhouse table

6.  Wedding Chalkboard.  I did tell you my kids got married, right?  I was fortunate enough that both my daughter and daughter in law wanted me to make personal items for their wedding.   I loved that they wanted things that I worked on as a part of their special day.  The link above is one of those items, an ornate frame my daughter in law, Sweet Amanda, found at a resale shop that I redid for the wedding and added a chalkboard.  I chose this one because it was the first wedding project. I love all four of my precious kids.

DIY Framed Chalkboard

5.  Map Chair.  Another piece of furniture that needs to be re-photographed.  This little chair would be easy to recreate for a friend moving to a new city or a college student who needs to remember where home is. I seem to have a thing for chairs.

Map Chair Seat

4.  Painted Suitcases.  I have made a total of seven of these painted suitcases now  The link is to four of them I did at one time.  I love finding cheap old hard sided suitcases, priming, painting, distressing, glazing then adding a chalkboard to one side.  It makes a great entry into a home when guests are coming over or to announce an event. If I ever started a business, I would sell these because I enjoy mine so much.

Chalkboard Suitcase

3.  Junk Fairy End Table.  The last three are easy.  They are my favorite, favorite projects.  They speak to my love of color, family and friends.  The junk fairy ( AKA The Social Planner) dropped off this homely table while we were gone one day. I did not need it, so posted a photo of it on Facebook and offered to redo it for a friend. Robin snagged it. I am happy that she chose green as the color for the table. I really like how the stained top turned out. I enjoyed it so much that I painted a table in my own home close to the same colors.
The finished green end table

2.  Beverage Station.  I am now working on number three of these babies. What a great re-purpose project for an old stainless sink and a sewing machine cabinet. I love the look and they make entertaining in a back yard or porch more inviting. My favorite blue color, Behr sailboat blue, got used here. My long-suffering husband gets major credit for the stainless sink idea here.
drink station
1.  Mudroom Bench.  When we moved this year I literally looked for homes that my mudroom bench would fit in. It is by far my most favorite project to date. I look forward to the day that someone sends me a photo of their version of the project.&nbsp; A found dresser, waiting for heavy trash pickup, and a resale shop mirror turned into this beauty.
mudroom bench

I hope you enjoyed my little walk down memory lane. Thank you for taking the time to look back on my last two years. Thank you for allowing me to share what we do.

Team Dean End Table



I bought this homely 1950’s end table at my favorite resale shop because it was wood, and $5.00. I did not need this table, but I knew it would find a home. I did say it was $5.00 right?


The very evening I brought this beauty home I read a request for green colored items to auction for the medical expenses of a friend’s brother in law. Dean has nonalcoholic cirrhosis of the liver and is in dire need of a liver transplant. He has come close a couple of times but right now he is fighting an infection and has been in a coma 23 days. The medical costs are astronomical. You can read more about Team Dean Here.

A year ago I repainted an old end table dropped off at my house “Happy Camper” green by Behr.  It went to live with my friend Robin and has been very popular on Pinterest.  I liked it so much that I painted myself a green buffet table when we moved into our new home.   I knew the homely end table would be “Happy Camper” with  walnut stained tops.  Happy Camper is a color that reminds me of spring, and new life, something Dean needs right now.

I have learned a thing or two about tables in the last year. I am not afraid to take them apart to sand, stain, or paint. If it is screwed together, it can be unscrewed for easier refinishing.  This one fought me, but Hubby stepped in and got the last two screws out for me.  I was ready to get out the hack saw!
top of end table
Here is the top removed and sanded.

The top of both parts got sanded and repaired. There were a few cracks, dings and scratches.  I love this wood filler.  It is sort of a putty that fills in all the cracks and can be stained one it is dry.
wood filler

table without top
After everything was sanded. It got stained with Minwax Dark Walnut. It took two coats of stain to get it dark enough for my taste.
The legs and sides got two coats of green, then a brown glaze, then three coats of polyurethane, and new (re-purposed)  drawer knobs.(Check a local ReStore for hardware. It can be painted. These knobs were shiny brass before they were sprayed oil rubbed bronze.)
messy paint job

I used liquid sand on the legs and sides of the table then I slapped on a coat of the paint. It has primer in it and because it is a darker color that is going to have brown glaze over the top I did not prime the wood first. After my messy coat of paint went on, a quick sanding smoothed off any ridges.


green end table
I really like how this ugly duckling transformed. I hope it makes some money for Team Dean. If you are interested in buying it now, send me a message and I will donate the money then make a second one for the event.
Happy Camper green end table



It was not all fun and games at Star Hill this weekend. It was our first trip back to the lake with our rescue we named Lumi. (Snow in Finnish). It rained A LOT. We had one bored ten month old high energy puppy.
Sunday morning I found one of my paintbrushes had been destroyed. it is what I get for leaving it where it could be reached.
Who wouldn’t forgive a face like this?

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