Treadle Sewing Machines Become Side Tables


This past summer I found two treadle sewing machines while out looking for a sewing cabinet to make a beverage station. Here is a hint. When you are at garage sales looking for specific items always ask the seller if they have them. When I asked about old sewing machines the man holding the garage sale remembered he had these in the back of his shop. I paid $25.00 for each machine.

singer treadle sewing machine

treadle sewing machine
They were not identical, and I liked that about them.

The sewing cabinets were not salvageable so they had to come off but the bases. All that time in damp shed caused them to dry rot and the glue in the plywood to break down. The wood was like paper when we tried to touch it. I knew immediately that the metal bases would be night stands in our lake house bedroom. I like the industrial look against the reclaimed wood wall. I originally thought I would reconnect the drawer units until Hubby found these industrial tool cabinet tops that would fit the bases and would be tough for the hard life they get at the lake, but there was no room for the side drawers.

I happen to have a collection of drawers at the Garagemahal that I knew would work as a center drawer in each cabinet. See, that hoarding pays off.

Hubby put his biscuit joiner to work and connected two 1X4 sections to each side of the top so the drawer hardware would work. He also had to cut the drawers down to make them 12 inches deep instead of 18 inches. If you have the chance, get yourself a handy husband. I recommend it highly. This was the first time he broke out this new toy, and it is great.
installing drawer
I painted the 1X4 sides black to blend in with the black metal treadle base.

Baby Boy was at the lake house and volunteered to give the bases a bath.
cleaning sewing table
Why is it that the men in my life don’t smile? Could it be washing down a sewing treadle in 50 degree weather was not his idea of fun?
sewing teadle

I polyurethaned the metal bases with a satin finish to give the metal some richness.

We are not finished with these side tables, but I wanted to show you the progress so far. The room is coming along. The drawer is going to be distressed navy blue, and I still need to find hardware but here is one of the tables in place.

pull out drawe installed

drawer under the top

singer sewing teadle

side table out of sewing treadle
We are nearing the end of redoing our lake house master bedroom.

Reclaimed wood wall is finished.
Door headboard is finished.
Side tables are almost done.
Window trim is installed and painted.
Reclaimed wood moulding is installed around the ceiling of the room.
I can’t wait to show you the finished project. I still have curtains, wall paint and furniture to paint but the hard stuff is done and I found the perfect quilt for the space. This room is only 10 feet wide and 12 feet long so not much to paint.

Choosing “The Right” Navy Blue is Hard


The Southern Belle and Big Cat are getting a few pieces of furniture that I have collected just for them. A sewing cabinet turned into a beverage station for their awesome screened in porch. The next time we venture up to North Carolina I am going to take pictures of their back yard space. It is amazing.

Big Cat is a die hard Georgia Southern fan so navy for the cabinet was an easy decision. Navy blue. Not the bright sailboat blue the original beverage station is. I also decided to make a bar cabinet for them. They have a small dining space but entertain a lot so any space that they could use to hold glasses, bottles and things that don’t fit in their limited cabinet space. The interior of their home is also navy along with creams browns, and tons of natural fibers. Want to see it? I took pictures last fall Click Here. The cabinet is going to be navy too.

Hubby went to Coldspring without me. We went together to pick our paint, so there is no blame here. We are just learning that navy blue is a tricky color. The first color was WAAAAY too vibrant. Hubby sent the picture to me and TSB. I will bet she almost had a stroke.

The cabinet door confirmed my suspicion that we needed a color change.


Hubby went back to town ( 30 minutes one way) to get a darker color.
Here are the results:

Here is the cabinet in a darker shade:


I am not sure I love it, but I am withholding judgement until we go back to the Garagemahal. I am guessing that a coat of black glaze will tone it down. Hope, hope. I love the 1970’s vibe of the cabinet.
I will let you know about the paint. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

An Unconventional Kitchen Island


When we reviewed the blueprints of new house I noticed that an island in the kitchen had been an option that the first owners did not choose to put in. I knew that I would want a space to use as a baking and prep area.


I also knew I wanted it to be something unique. In my Craig’s List searching I saw an oak dresser on sale that would fit the bill.

Serpentine oak dresser

We removed the top of the dresser and saved it in case I change my mind down the road. The mirror has been hung on the wall in case it ever goes back to being a dresser. This disclaimer was inserted for those of you who don’t love what I do to furniture. (Although I still am not sure why you read my blog.)  Man, I sound cranky,  Sorry folks.  I promise not to let the haters get me down again.

butcher block island dresser

The hardware was shot.  I did find some hardware that will work with the kitchen knobs which are oil rubbed bronze.

dove tailed drawer

veneer sides out of oak.

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We took a trip to Ikea for a butcher block to add to the top of my dresser island. After doing some research we found that they have least expensive butcher block . It still is not cheap but compared to the cost at other places it was a deal.  We used half of the length of the butcher block and we are selling the other half to a friend for their kitchen.

Ikea Butcher Block

Hubby cut the butcher block down to size and we used the brackets included to attach it.
You have to treat butcher block with mineral oil. This one has three coats rubbed in.


The back was really ugly so we covered it with beadboard that I painted Behr Innocence- an ivory color.  The back is  going to get hooks that are going to hold pot holders and dish towels.

dresser island

This is going to be a great spot for prepping food close to the stove.  I never claimed to be a chef, but this will help me to at least not be as unorganized.

IMG_3939  butcher block top dresser for baking station IMG_3945 IMG_3946 oil rubbed bronze hardwar

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

\pine media center


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.

Home Office painted




inside of home office


Home office pull out


printer spot in home office



What do you think about this beauty?

Chevron Painted Bench

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We have had a coffee table bouncing around our house for years.  Hubby bought it years ago at an auction for $5.00.  He intended to turn it into a bench in our bathroom, but I found a vanity bench I liked better.  It moved into The Southern Belle’s room when she was a teen, then upstairs into the man room.  When we moved into the new house it didn’t have a home, but I wanted a bench for the front bedroom.  Ta Dah!  It finally gets to be a bench.  Here it is underway.  No photos before we got started.  Once again I got too excited to stop forward progress for pictures.  Sorry.IMG_3225

Hubby is getting pretty handy at cutting tables down.  He even made pocket holes for screws without a jig on this project!  ( If you know what I am talking about you are impressed…if not, never mind.)

We saved everything.  The top he cut off will be a shelf that is going to hold Hubby’s dad’s flag and a photo of him in his uniform.

The drawer is going to be a shadow box.

The drawer never worked right.  We found out why.  There was a five pound counter-weight on the drawer that was out of place.  It is steel and will be used somewhere.

I have wanted to have something chevron.  This was the perfect project.  It is a small space and should have been easy, right.  Wrong.  Mr. Math aka Hubby, had to step in and figure out the dimensions.  I used contact shelf liner for the stripes.  It was my plan to dry brush the paint on so I did not think the paint would run.  Fortunately I was right.  The light colored wood is the vinyl contact paper.

IMG_3239 IMG_3246

The paint is a an oops color.  Surprisingly it was the exact color of the lamp I just spray painted.  Yay.

painted lamp4

The photos do not do the color justice.  Look at the last picture for a true reflection of the color.  It also matched the color of the greenish tone in the fabric I bought for the front room.  Perfect.

I dry brushed the paint on, let it mostly dry, then peeled off the contact.



It turned out great.  Here is the result.  Love it.  I still need to put a coat of poly on it so that the seat will be able to hold up to suitcases and bottoms on the top.





Here is a sneak peek at the front bedroom.  Not finished yet, but already better.




Buffet Table With History


The best time to shop for anything at a resale shop or an auction is when no one else is willing to be out shopping.  If you want the best deals go when it is raining, early in the morning or, like we just did, when it is blazing hot. It was 102 on the truck thermometer and we were pooped after a day of shopping when I spied this table sitting outside a charity resale shop. It had just been delivered and heat waves were radiating off the black asphalt where it was sitting. The table was marked $60.00.

I walked around inside the store for a little while then asked the lady at the register what she would take for the table. To my surprise she said it was too hot and heavy to bring in so if we wanted it we could have it for $20.00. Sold.

solid wood table

I really only wanted the legs of the table, but both Hubby and I were surprised at the quality of the table as it was loaded. I knew immediately what I wanted to do with it. I need want a buffet table at the end of our breakfast room. I have been secretly jealous of my friend Robin’s green end table with a stained top so the color was obvious…well to me it was.  We worked on getting the base and table top cut from the original table, but it was just so new and commercial looking.  Yes, I am one of those people who like a room to look collected, not bought as a set.  I feel the same about furniture.  I want unique, original and character.  Hubby and I sat in the Garagemahal looking at the piece when it came to my husband.  Use the wood from my dad.  the plank has been sitting in the hoard over a year.  It is heart pine and full of character.  I love that my dad saved it from a trash pile at the place where he worked for 30 years.  According to my dad the wood was used as a drafting table in the shop of Gulf States Utilities.  He said it was built in the 40’s and was already old when he started there in 1960.  A quick measurement let us know that it would work.  Yay!  It needed a quick cut down to the sides to make it fit, a rub down with mineral spirits to clean it, and a coat of poly.  Nothing else.It will live in our house proudly.  I love wood with history.



The color is a little richer than Behr’s Happy Camper, because I needed it to match my fabric on the chairs in the breakfast area.  I chose Behr’s Jungle Trail.


One coat of Bona Floor Poly on this was enough to bring out the shine but not make it too glossy.


I love those nail holes.

green sofa table

It is hard to photograph a green piece of furniture at Star Hill.  I had to move it to the gravel road to allow it to show up.


Lots of work took place on this old wood.  I love that my dad saved it from the trash pile and held on to it for more than 10 years before I got it.  It looks amazing.


It was so well made that the two pieces of wood match perfectly.  We thought it was one  piece of wood until we got it cleaned up.

We Don’t Do Easy At Our House- The Beverage Station Revealed



What do you get when you add one artistic, stubborn chick to one math minded, if I build it I expect it to last forever dude? You get most of our projects. We don’t do easy at our house. A while back ( like February!) I saw on Pinterest a sewing cabinet turned into a beverage station. Here is the link to the posting I saw: Beverage Station.

It looked simple enough. Put something into the hole that the sewing machine once lived in and voila! Shortly after finding this project online I found a sewing cabinet at a thrift store. $12.12 for the cabinet. It was a basic sewing cabinet that had no machine inside. Probably a 1960’s version. I was visiting my daughter in North Carolina so what could be better than bring something to work on home? For some reason I do not seem to have a photo of it when I bought it. I hope you can forgive me. I think that my brain is completely gone with all the moving. Here is a photo of the inside before Hubby got busy cutting.


I finally got the Garagemahal cleared enough that I could get moving on the beverage station. As I shared my idea with Hubby, I could see the wheels moving in his head. That is where the not easy part started. He decided that a sink would be the best thing to put in the station. A sink would drain when the ice melted without having to tip it over. I am embarrassed to tell you this, but we just so happened to have a stainless steel double sink in the hoard. You know those sinks that everyone is tearing out of their kitchen right now to put in under-mount sinks? That is what we had…well we actually had two.

Double Sink

Hubby got out his grinder. A scary machine that I do not touch. It sends sparks flying and takes some arm strength.

stainless steel

I now have two separate sinks instead of one double sink!

Grinder to make single sink

After he finished cutting the sink, he cut out a rough opening for the sink in the cabinet. The hole was not quite large enough.

2013-07-09 10.09.44

sewing machine to drink station2

As you see from this picture I also filled in the holes where the cabinet hardware was. I found one I liked a lot more at our local Restore for fifty cents. It will match the house better. Of course I am saving what I came on it for another project.

I liked the idea he had about dropping in a sink but the sink on top of the wood was going to keep the cabinet from closing flat. This is where the project becomes more complicated. Enter another tool I am not comfortable using. A router. Hubby routed out a groove on the top of the cabinet so that the sink would be recessed. A much better look.

Sewing machine to drink station

sewing cabinet to drink station

I know that it is not very noticeable here but the sink fits so much better now!

Painting began. First a coat of primer then Behr Sailboat Blue. My back porch is going to be colorful! By the way, we have now painted a chair, a table top, and the beverage station for just over 1/2 a quart of paint.

sailboat blue

sewing cabinet make over

I used floor poly that is nasty stuff on the entire cabinet. It is going to be on a covered porch but exposed to the elements so I wanted it to last. I even primed the inside of the cabinet and applied poly to that part too. I also had a bottle opener in my hardware collection. It is attached to the end of the cabinet. Here it is all finished.

Please go back and look at my inspiration post if you think this will be too complicated. I do love my beverage station and will be getting a lot of use out of it, especially since it will be as easy as emptying a bucket under it to get rid of the melted ice, but there are easier ways to make this cabinet. We just don’t do easy at our house. Enjoy the finished product.

beverage station 1

drink station



Showing off my new dispenser.


Bottle opener on the side



I scrubbed the life out of this sink!


When we are ready to drain the sink, a bucket collects the water.


My cabinet hardware.


we can use it like a table with the top closed

sewing cabinet bar

we had no ice at the house…poor planning on my part

sewing machine

I wanted you to see how steep the hill is. it was tricky getting this set up, but it will work great on our back porch!


Confessions of a Neurotic Furniture Repurposer


Here is the deal. I am selling stuff that won’t work in our new house. Most of what I am selling is at garage sale prices. I have heard from some of my blogger friends that I need to stop selling my painted work so cheap, but I do what I do for fun. One of the pieces I sold super cheap was a chalkboard painted armoire. It has been around the block a time or three. My plan was to turn the inside into my craft closet but it hadn’t happened yet when the big move started to commence. The outside of the cabinet was cute. I loved the vintage hardware spay painted silver, the funky moulding that hubby put on the front of the doors and the whole vibe of the piece.

chalkboard painted armoire
I sold it to a youngster who is getting married for her new home. I laid awake the night it sold thinking about how ugly the inside looked.  It was just not finished.
The next morning when I should have been packing I actually untaped my craft box, dug out fabric, batting, wire, my staple gun and got busy while hubby was making a trip to the storage unit. On one side of the door I always saw a picture/idea hanger side and a white board/bulletin board side.
While hubby was gone I cut the fabric stapled the batting to the door and got busy with the fabric. In my haste to finish when I should have been packing, I turned the stapler around backwards. I actually managed to staple my tummy.

Yep. I stapled my very own body with a staple gun. It hurt! Hubby doesn’t know so don’t tell him, please! I applied antibiotic cream then got back to work.

When Hubby got home he was impressed with my effort and attached the white board and cork board to the other side with no complaint. He even went to get a can of spray paint for me while he was out.  I spray painted the inside ( it could use another coat but it almost looks good).

It is not exactly my vision, but it is closer.

Here is the inside of the cabinet.

IMG_2591 craft cabinet

I really am pretty neurotic when it comes to my furniture. But, isn’t admitting you have a problem the first step? Those of you who want to show your husbands/ significant other that it could be worse, you could be like me, feel free to show him/ her this post. They will be thankful that you are not as far out the crazy scale as you could be.

Making a Functional Coffee Table Fun!


We made a mad dash up to the lake Sunday morning. Two weeks away was more than we could stand, especially knowing it would be another two weeks because we are going to see our sweet daughter, The Southern Belle and her Fiancee, Big Cat. I had a project I wnted to wrap up and it turned out even better than I hoped. On our trip to Facelift Furniture in College Station, I ran across a sad old drop leaf coffee table for $14.00 at the local Goodwill. It was solid wood but was scratched up, and in general just looked abused. I am betting it did some time in a college apartment, poor thing.



I decided it would fit the bill at our “near the lake house”, Star Hill. We have a coffee table that works great most of the time but it doesn’t work for puzzles and playing board games. It will also make a great kid table when our adopted grand kids come to visit. Lawrence likes to sit on the vintage box at the coffee table to draw and play with stickers.

I decided to make this functional table fun! I wanted something that would make a statement when friends enter Star Hill. We have kept the colors at the house very patriotic. Denim curtains, red ticking upholstery, and milk glass are all part of the decor. Even the seasonal decor sticks to reds, whites and shades of blue. I decided to paint the top of this table Behr sailboat blue in a satin finish and leave the legs varnished.


First I sanded the top down.



Here is the blue painted with no glaze. It is vibrant!

The only tricky part of the painting was the hinged area. I glazed it all with a brown glaze mix that I used recently on the credenza. It is amazing how different it looks on the blue paint. It looks weathered and almost sun bleached. I wanted it to look weathered and worn so friends wouldn’t be afraid to put their feet up. I am really liking Minwax Finishing Wax on my finished pieces. It is petroleum based and you have to wax in a ventilated area, but I love the luster and adding coats makes the piece shine. This was a quick project that really got a Big Bang for the buck. One sample sized container of paint and a $14.00 table were all that I had to pay for. Come visit us at Star Hill soon and put your feet up. There is always room for a friend in our home. Our blue coffee table will welcome you when you enter.


You can see how vibrant the color is outside. I am crazy about this color.




Here she is inside Star Hill.


Set up for board games. Our twin nephews will be sad it is not Last Word!


Home Stories A to Z

Fabric for the Chair Day


This past week my friend, Kandy, sent me a message that she had some fabric for me that she thought would work on our upcoming chair day. Yippee, the chair event is going to be CHEAP! When it is all said and done I will have $25.00 in chairs, batting, and fabric for 6 chairs. It is going to be a fun day with every girl having something to take home that will remind her that each of these women are joined together by the fact that they all have a seat at The Master’s Table. When I picked up the basket from Kandy, I almost flipped out! She was an amazing teacher until she retired last year but I always told her that she missed her calling as an interior decorator. She just has that touch. She makes every space look “finished” when she decorates. I have already started begging her to come over and help me fluff up my home. Here is the basket of fabric she gave me.

Sweet Amanda just happened to come over Saturday night and went through the basket. She gravitated toward the chevron fabric. I am glad that there is enough for more than one chair if someone else wants it.

I like this wild paisley too.

BUT.. here is the fabric I am most excited about:

The fabric is some brown pleather that looks like tooled leather and som faux cow hide.

I can already see them put together on a piece of furniture at Star Hill. I am so excited! I may have to work on that piece next weekend.

I am looking forward to seeing The Treehouse Girls soon.

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