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First Fall Dance

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Wow.  My little, baby blog will have 40 thousand views by the end of the day.  Thank you, to those of you who read what I write and follow my family’s  very ordinary life.  I am honored and blessed to feel that I have made friends I might not have ever met without the blog.  My life is so full right now that I feel a little guilty about progress on the new house.   We are getting serious about it because Thanksgiving is coming to the burbs!  This past week was our first major event at the school where I am principal.  It is a brand new school with only a freshman class this year.   I spent this past week preparing for an amazing dance at school based  on a masquerade theme.  It was a fun way to use my creative side while getting to know my kids in a more relaxed setting.   It was a long night last night but the kids seemed to have fun.  I am so very lucky to have a career that I love and get the chance to work with amazing teachers and students.

drawing on foarm board

foam board makes great decorations.  Stiff enough to stand, easy to cut with a serrated knife, cheap, and lightweight.

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foam board mask

spray painted mask

candy bar

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broken mirror turned into welcome sign

My amazing secretary gave this project to some students.  They made a welcome sign from a frame with a broken mirror.  I love it.

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candy bar

cute candy bar

chocoalte fountain

This chocolate fountain is now soaking in my sink.  Messy, but a fun addition to the dance.

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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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Herringbone Pattern Art

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Herringbone patterned art is showing up all over Pinterest. Of course I had to try my hand at it for the new house. The results were pretty good for a first try.

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Here is the tutorial for what is really a simple, but time consuming, art project.

I bought this frame with a covered bridge print in it from my favorite thrift store for $2.00. The print was on super heavy cardboard that was in good shape. It became the base for the art project. The frame just needed to be painted when the art project was done.  It was a nice size for a first attempt.  The cardboard print was 18″X24″ with the frame adding four inches to each side.

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I purchased three bottles of Plaid brand paints in the colors that coordinate with the room. I literally poured the paint in strips on the cardboard print then got a big brush and started mixing the edges together.

Here are the results:

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While the paint was drying I rolled out two long sections of Frog painter’s tape. I cut one of them into 5 inch sections and the other into 3 inch sections because I wanted there to be a little more interest in the pattern. I modified the pattern you see below by making the alternating diagonal two inches shorter.

Once it was totally dry I started taping down wide green tape. I may or may not have gotten the blow dryer out to speed the process because I am impatient 🙂 The picture of this part did not come out at all. GRRR. Because I was impatient to get started painting over the tape, I did not check the picture before moving on to the next step. It was way too dark to show.   I frustrate myself when I mess up like this. Here is my inspiration:

English: A herringbone bond in bricklaying.

English: A herringbone bond in bricklaying. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I put down a section of 5″ tape at an angle on the cardboard canvas then put a 3″ section at the end of the 5″ piece to match the width, leaving a sort of grout line sized space between each piece. I went to Pinterest for Herringbone examples at this point to make sure that I was at least on track. Once I got a whole row done across the cardboard canvas, completing the taping went quickly because I just had to keep the spacing the same and follow the pattern.

Once the whole painting was covered, I painted white plaid paint over the grout-ish lines that I created by leaving space between the tape. As soon as the paint covered everything, I gently started peeling tape up.

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I painted the white paint on fairly light so that it would minimize the drippy edges.

A coat of white spray paint on the frame and I was done. Easy. Ta Dah!

I love it above the bed.  It really helps to tie the room together.

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herringbone art finished herringbone

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Here are some of the blogs that I visited for inspiration:

http://whiletheysnooze.blogspot.de/2013/01/diy-herringbone-metallic-artwork-easy.html

http://www.craftaspell.com/2013/06/diy-herringbone-canvas-art.html

The Guest Room Part 1

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When we moved into our burb house, I did not plan on painting the walls right away, except the front guest room. Here is how the room looked when we purchased the house.

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I am not going to talk about the paint job in the front bedroom except to say it was not my style and the color scheme wouldn’t work.  I know that the former owner worked really hard on the faux painting.

As soon as we settled in I started looking for inspiration. Here are some of the inspiration pictures I found. I hope that clicking on them allows you to go site I found it at.
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http://cultureofstyle.com/tag/white-bedroom-furniture/

http://www.houzz.com/photos/171192/Turquoise-and-Green-Bedroom-eclectic-bedroom-san-Francisco

http://serbagunamarine.com/bedroom-color-schemes-blue-girls-ideas.html

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http://www.bhg.com/decorating/color/colors/decorating-with-color-expert-tips/#page=28

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http://www.bhg.com/decorating/decorating-photos/bedroom/blue/

I wanted the bedroom to be cheery but restful.
Here is what we have finished to date:
Walls painted. I love the light blue walls. They almost feel like a spa.
Empty frames painted. I found the frames at a resale shop. I spent $4.00 total on all the frames you see on this wall. The paint on the frames is all left overs from other projects. The white plates were 10 cents each at the resale shop. I glued metal soda can tabs to the back of the plates with E6000. I love that stuff.

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Painted Empty Frames
My bedding arrived. I am crazy about this yellowish paisley print. Target. Over budget. $90.00.

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The throw pillows on the bed are all outdoor pillows that were on clearance at Home Depot, Lowes, and Marshall’s.
Curtains hung. Hubby and I went shopping at Ikea recently. I was thrilled to find off the shelf curtains that were 110 inches long for $34.00 a pair.

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The herringbone art project done.

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I will be writing a DIY on this project. It was a fun evening project that cost less than $10.00 even factoring in the cost of the green tape.  ( I have plenty of tape to do several more projects.)$2.00 for the frame and the print that I painted over, Frog tape was $6.00 and I had to get one can of flat white spray paint for the frame. (I need to spray the frame again.) I had the other paint on hand.

The green lamp is in place. I think it is the best $2.00 I have spent in this room.

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New art work. Target. Over budget. $20.00

New lamp from Target.  $23.00.  I know, I know but the colors in the shade go perfectly with the color scheme.  Over  budget.

teal yellow and green lamp shade

I am not a huge fan of the bed frame as is and it will get painted and the posts are going to get trimmed down. I found this funky curio cabinet at a garage sale for a dollar.  Here is the before.

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Dirt Dobber nests and spiders were included for free.  A quick wash down, spray painted the frame and painted the back that amazing Laguna color I love.  I am not sure how long it will stay but I think it is a fun piece for now.  For a buck investment, It will not kill me to let it go down the road.

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I was able to incorporate the old dresser that once belonged to my grandparents, saved by my husband and completely restored.

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We have ceiling fans in our bedrooms thanks to a friend of Baby Boy and Sweet Amanda.  Don’t judge us for the fans.  I think they look ok,  It is going to be over a 100 again today here in the burbs.  In South East Texas it is miserable without air moving.

What do you think of the sort of finished room?

yellow and blue retreat mustard yellow bedding mixing blues, yellows and greens

Ornate Frame Makeover

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I went resale shopping Friday. Hubby and some buddies were golfing so I was on my own. I made quite a haul.

The projects will be showing up soon. The first repurpose from my weekend is a quick and CHEAP project. On my adventure I spotted an ornate frame with a broken mirror in it buried in a pile of paintings and frames. I dug it out of a pile of other frames. The pastor who runs the thrift shop told me he had dropped the mirror. He just doesn’t know what to do about me, he doesn’t get that I love the broken, chipped, old stuff more than the newer treasures. I asked for the price, he said fifty cents. SOLD!

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Here she is with the mirror removed. The back of the mirror was marked May 5- 67. She is younger than me and considered vintage…sad.

I explained to the pastor when he asked that I would be painting the frame and putting a bright print where the mirror was…he said he would pray for my husband. Three times. ( He upped it to four times later in my shopping.)

I purchased a roll of coral wrapping paper at Marshall’s that I will be using to line the back of my milk glass display. It is perfect for the “mirror hole”.

I had left over paint from the giant ornate mirror and could not resist the bright shiny look on this silly frame.

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An old S from a wreath I took apart finishes the beauty off. Fun, huh?

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Not bad for a total investment of about $1.50 in supplies. It will add a little silliness to the green bedroom. No seven years of bad luck here.

I like it.

Old Town Spring

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Because it is incredibly hot here in Texas right now Hubby and I get stir crazy in the middle of the day. We decided to take off to a town that got it right when the older part of the city started to decline. Old Town Spring is now a collection of shops, crafty stores, and unique restaurants. There is everything from a doll hospital to a furniture designer to my favorite shop, The Painted Pig. It was a great day trip.

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The shops are in old homes and shops. I had permission to take the photos inside the cute shop. I got a lot of cute ideas and definitely could see what colors are in right now. It was a great way to spend a hot day.

Power Tools Any Crafty Woman Should Be Able To Use

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I will admit it.  I am truly lucky that I have a husband who takes handy to a new level.  He can fix, build or invent just about every crazy idea I have so I am a little spoiled when it comes to using power tools.  This year I have made it a point to learn to use quite a few of the power tools at my disposal.  I am still no expert, but I feel like understanding how things work has helped me to know what is possible and what is not possible.

I am not now nor will I ever be as handy as Sawdust Girl or Pretty Handy Girl or Ana White.  Those ladies are serious business when it comes to building things, but I also am not afraid to try most of the tools we have.  Some still scare me.  I am often the chief shopper for wood, screws, bolts, paint, etc. so I get really ticked off when a sales person is demeaning.  I may or may not have reported a dude to the store manager for asking me what a “little lady” was going to do with an item one day.

Before we go any further, I need to let you know that all the tools I am “showing” come from the Lowe’s website.  I have included prices at my local store.  I really, truly do have access all the tools shown, they are just safely put up right now because of the massive paint job at Star Hill and the move at The City House.  They are for sure older and crustier. My tools also, could possibly, umm sometimes have issues.  My sander has a new cord because it accidentally got sanded through, my drill has some paint on it.  I was impatient and got busy putting something together while it was still wet.  I know what you are thinking.  Don’t judge me.

 I do like the Lowe’s website better than Home Depot.   It will tell you if your local store has the item. (Don’t buy tools online until you are proficient and don’t need someone to teach you how to use them.)  www.lowes.com

Here is my list of power tools that every crafty woman should be able to use:

1.       A Cordless Drill– The most amazing tool on the planet and in my opinion it is the great equalizer.  A drill will allow you do things you don’t think you are strong enough to do.  Go to Lowe’s or Home Depot and ask for help in the tool section.  Yes, ask for help.  When the tool person comes tell them that you are just getting started and you want a basic cordless drill.  Have them show you how to work it.  Be persistent.  Don’t leave until you know how to charge it, change the bits, and change the direction the thing turns. Buy some drill bits.  Not super expensive fancy drill bits, cheap ones that you can practice with.   Buy several screw tips.  Phillips and flat head.  Go home and get some scrap wood then drill holes and screw things in and out until you feel comfortable.  You really have to press hard on the screws or you will ruin the grooves in the head and the screw bit.  I get fussed at for that some. Throw away the screw bits when they are worn down and buy more.  Harbor Freight sells them cheap!  I can now unscrew/ tighten screws on the treasures I bring home if I need to.   I can fill in holes with wood putty and put new holes where I want hardware to go on drawers and cabinets, I can drill a pilot hole so that when I screw in things they don’t spilt the wood and I can hang a picture all by myself.  I can put on the picture hanging hardware, and put a screw into a stud to hold it.  I have also been trying to help out more in the construction phase of our projects.  I think I am getting better.

 my drill Wrong picture, ours is a 12 volt and is much, much older.  39.97

I REAALLY want one of theses.  They make working in tight spaces like furniture so much easier.  Saw it on DIY the other day. Right now Hubby has to come get it started with a screw driver if I need a screw put in or taken out in something tight.  It is going on my Christmas list.

drill I wantIt is called a close quarters drill.  49.00

2.       A sander (electric)– I have two sanders.  ( I know, pretty awesome huh?) I love my mouse sander.  It helps me get everything ready for paint or stain.  It gets used on almost every project.  I have one  at the city house and one at the lake house.  The sanding pads are stuck on with Velcro and they are super easy to change.  This is not a take bark off a tree type sanding- finish sanding or varnish removal.  Get one and just play with it because you will love how it cleans things up.  I also have an orbital sander.  If I have something that needs to be sanded more aggressively I get this out.  Still easy to use, still has Velcro sanding pads but if you are not careful it will leave circular grooves.  Don’t try to learn on a piece you love.  Practice on junk first.  We also have a belt sander that I can use but it is a work-out.  I have to have everything locked down or it will take off.  It definitely leaves marks in the wood if you don’t hold it level and apply steady pressure. (I have done that a time or two.) I also cannot change the sand paper on the belt sander alone.  I have tried and I am just too uncoordinated to do it without help. FYI, the higher the number on sandpaper, the finer the finish.  Get a lower number if you are removing paint or a stain then switch to a higher number (220) to make it smooth.

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3.       A stud finder– This finds where wood is behind sheetrock or paneling.  With this and a drill you can hang shelves or pictures on your own.  Get a good one and practice. You will only be frustrated with a cheap stud finder.

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4.       An electric staple gun– This is not an air-nailer that requires a compressor; this is just a staple gun that uses electricity instead of hand strength.  I have used mine to upholster chairs, wrap fabric around bulletin boards, make a padded headboard for example.  I can use the air nailer but the cost for this is steep with the compressor and all.  Mine does not have the hump that this one has.  Not sure I would like that because sometimes I need to get into a small space.

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5.        A Jig Saw- This makes rounded cuts.  Not too bad to use and not super expensive.  Clamp down your wood before using it.  Read the instructions above for the drill (#1).  Ask for help and don’t leave until you know how to use it.

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You can have straight cuts made at Lowe’s or Home Depot.  It just requires patience waiting on the person to come cut the wood and you have to know the length you want it cut before leaving the store.  I hate using a circular saw because I never stay on the line.   I have learned to use a compound miter saw too and love it but it is a lot more expensive and is a little scary to learn.  If someone is not at your home to teach you on this one, take one of those Saturday classes because they can do serious damage if you don’t know what you are doing.

Hooray for Chair Painting Day

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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

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Yliana

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.

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Lauren
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.

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Molly
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.

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Beth
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!

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chairs from an angle

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

A Chair at the Table Craft day

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I made this map chair about six months ago.
Map Chair Seat

Map Chair
Sweet Amanda, my most favorite daughter in law, liked it and may or may not have said that she would steal it. In order to save her from a life of crime, we started thinking about planning a day when her buddies could come over to Star Hill for a girls only craft day. Chairs in the country are crazy cheap so I got busy. I picked up these six beauties for @$5.00 each. I have also been collecting ideas for what to do with the chairs. Here are the chairs needing adoption by the girls and some links to great chairs for inspiration:

Chairs to Share

Yep. They really do look like a hoard in the Garagemahal. I have 6 chairs that I have spent a total of $25.00 on. At prices like this you know that some of them needed love.

Chair Repair

This beauty needed parts. Hubby had to make the cross pieces.

Here is a line up of the chairs that have been collected. I kind of feel like the SPCA trying to get someone to adopt pets.

The Blue is strapping hubby used to re-glue the legs.  All good now.

The Blue is strapping hubby used to re-glue the legs. All good now.

We were watching Baby for our friends and she attached herself to this chair.

We were watching Baby for our friends and she attached herself to this chair.

I think this old beauty would look cool with the slats painted in Ombre shades of one color.

I think this old beauty would look cool with the slats painted in Ombre shades of one color.

I have a thing for mission furniture.  Love this beauty.  Will look great uphostered and painted.

I have a thing for mission furniture. Love this beauty. Will look great uphostered and painted.

This beauty needed love to be ready for the chair day.  new parts, glue and screws are in.  Victorian feet, rosette at the top back, and a great shape.

This beauty needed love to be ready for the chair day. new parts, glue and screws are in. Victorian feet, rosette at the top back, and a great shape.

I have two of these for the party.  They have a lot of detail in the back and will really show off a glaze.

I have two of these for the party. They have a lot of detail in the back and will really show off a glaze.

Here are links to some inspriation chairs: Red Painted Chairs, Blue Chair,French Chair, White Upholstered Chair

Here are All Things Thrifty’s Week of Chairs. Love them

I have been picking up fabric in the remnant section and have even collected a few wild shirts from resale shops that might work for the seats.

The girls are going to bring paint from their projects along with what I have in the hoard.

I am looking forward to showing off the results from our chair affair.

Valentine’s Mantle

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I will bet that a few of you are thinking that you are tired of seeing my mantle. Well, here is the finished Valentine mantle.

Old windows from the garage, chalkboard from the upcoming wedding, silver candlesticks and pedestal from thrifting, string art,toilet paper roll art,ribbon wreath,topiary
I love it! It makes me smile.

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I also brought home my chalkboard suitcase to welcome Cupid!
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