Pristine Drexel Buffet in French Linen

Suffice it to say, we have been crazy busy. Like most everyone during this time of year, somehow there doesnt seems to be enough hours in the day to accomplish all that I would like to.  Half way through working on this lovely piece, I was also completely redoing our teenage daughters bedroom (that post to come) moving our younger teenage son into our daughters old room (and redoing it), planning, prepping, baking/cooking and creating a huge Thanksgiving feast for our local extended family and attempting to tackle some smaller projects around the house. Does this strike a chord in any of you? I thought it might, so we are moving on. 

I was tickled when I found this piece. Not only was it in great overall condition, but none of the veneer needed repaired and all of the drawers/doors operate very smoothly.

I knew right away that I wanted to keep this buffet very  classic. So I opted for a French Linen DIY chalk paint on the body of the piece and the trim received a delicate coat of Alabaster White. 

I very gently distressed, as a nod to its vintage appeal, and buffed all the hardware with Rub n Buff in antique gold. 

The top of the buffet was given 2 coats of a wipe on Polyurethane for added durability and the body was coated with clear wax.

The overall finish is so super elegant and absolutely timeless.

She’s available for sale. 

For the Love of Shiplap

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I have never been a fan of wood paneling on walls. I’m talking about Brady Bunch esq’, 1970’s, brown, thin, laminate type paneling???  No thank you. However, solid pine, tongue and groove, white, shiplap type paneling….makes my heart skip a beat.

If you’re  a lover of all things Fixer Upper with Chip and Joanna Gaines (like me), then you understand the type of Shiplap I am referring to. I’ve been dying to add some to the focal wall in our bedroom. So a few weeks ago, my awesome and handy hubby helped me to make that a reality.

We simulated the look of shiplap but did not use traditional shiplap. Rather, we purchased solid pine, tongue and groove boards from Home Depot that measured 6 inches wide by 8-10 feet long. And mainly because they gave the same effect at a reduced cost (approx $2.50 less per board than regular shiplap).

My husband is a step away from Bob Villa and has just about every tool we might need for any home improvement project big or small. What a guy.

SUPPLIES-
Measured amt. Of shiplap material
Measured amt. Of quarter round trim
Air compressor
Nail gun (w/long enough nails)
Tape measure
Chalk line tool
Stud finder
Caulk and spackle
Primer (Bulls Eye 123)
Paint (SW Alabaster white)

We began by locating the wall studs and marking them with a pencil. This way we know where to use the nail gun. You could go an extra step, as we have read, and use some liquid nails as well….but truly that seemed like over kill to us. Normally, you would begin this process from the floor up. We did it in reverse,  guess that’s just how we roll. But seriously, we did that because we found out by way of doing crown molding in our bedroom that our ceilings are not exactly level. So, knowing that the crown is absolutely level, we wanted to start where we knew things would look right. I’d rather have a small gap or an issue at the floor (preferably behind the bed) than up at the ceiling where I will stare at it constantly. Make sense?

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After we lined up the first boards, things moved along pretty smoothly. With each new row we measured the board, cut them to size and staggered the seams, sort of randomly really. (Have I mentioned how MUCH I love to use the nail gun? OMG…its addicting). We weren’t going for a specific pattern. And some of the wood has knots and imperfections which I feel just adds to the rustic charm.

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When we got to the bottom near the baseboards there was only a small gap on one side of the room. We knew this would be the case because of the issues that we had when we first hung our crown molding. I filled it in with extra caulk and no one will ever know except us. Then my husband measured and cut the quarter round trim pieces to add in the corners of the wall.

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Moving right along with all of your supplies on hand, one could probably finish the wall within a few hours. It took us a couple of days because my husband was leaving town on business. And then of course, I had to paint everything.

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This is how it look before priming and painting. It’s lovely if you’re going for that blue Pine, very rustic look. I knew from the beginning I wanted mine White. And I love the end result.

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Now, I’d like a new bed frame. I’ve been on the hunt for something a little less ornate and probably upholstered. We shall see. Until then, I’m loving the wall and I’d like to do a few more walls in the house.

Faux French Grain Sack

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I adore french grain sacks and feed sacks…..just not the price. They can be seriously costly.
Having just reupholstered our sitting chair with drop cloths, I have quite a bit of previously laundered drop cloth material left over. This makes the perfect alternative to the ever so expensive french grain sack. Using some inexpensive craft paint (Martha Stewart – Wild Blueberry), a small paint brush and some painters tape, I created the stripes on the piece of fabric.

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I decided to just do 2 thin stripes on this, but I wanted them spaced a little wider than the width of the tape . So I marked the center of the fabric and put 2 strips of tape side by side directly down the center. Then, using 2 other pieces of tape, I eyeballed a thin stripe outside of the center tape and placed it accordingly. Smoothing and pressing all.of the tape firmly into place. Then, I slapped on the paint….I wasn’t going for perfectly bold, as I wanted the stripes to look a little worn. Waiting only a couple of minutes, I then removed the tape.

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Worked like a charm. I anticipated recovering a stool that sits in my kitchen. The zebra print is cute, but I was ready for a change.

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I took the stool apart to recover it. Because you could vaguely still see the zebra print under the drop cloth, I used a 2nd remnant piece of drop cloth under the one I painted. Using an electric staple gun, I quickly attached the new look of my ‘faux French grain sack’ onto the stool. Reattached the frame and waa-laa! Easy update and fun transformation.

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I have lots of plans for some grain sack throw pillows using the remaining drop cloth. The stripes, colors are endless.
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Drop Cloth Upholstery

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Years ago, I inherited this chair from my parents.  They had it as long as I can remember. Initially, it belonged to my great grandmother, so it is easily close to 100 years old. The structure of the chair is remarkable and it’s my husband’s favorite place to sit and read. Over the years, my parents probably had it reupholstered 3 or 4 times. (When I was very little, I actually remember it being a lovely cream colored ‘pleather’…..oh my). The material that I covered over has been on the chair for well over a decade.

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This material/print is completely NOT my taste. I love the look of linen and french grain sack, but did not want to spend that kind of money on fabric. So, I decided that some drop cloths (washed well and dried) would fit the bill perfectly. I purchased 2 of these from Home Depot @ $11.98 a piece.

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And seriously, they wash up so lovely. I put them in with some bleach, detergent and fabric softener and then dried them well. So super soft and easy to work with. I began by piecing together the frame of the chair, minus the cushions.

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Then I began tucking, as deep as possible, down into the frame. The sides, back and arms were aligned and hot glued into place, as I was not sewing a slip cover for the body of the chair. Hot gluing is the way to go, plus I didn’t want to see staples all over the fabric and I was concerned about being able to reach the wood beneath the existing fabric. However, if you are a sewing wizard (I’m a basic skills gal with a sewing machine) then you may opt to quickly whip up a slip cover instead.

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I just folded the seems where I wanted and hot glued it into place, pulling taught and allowing it to cool and dry before letting go. This part moves along quickly. The blessing is, drop cloths have a stitched seam all around. So I strategically made sure to have those seams exposed at the base of the chair for a finished look.

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I then decided on the location of the folds/pleats at the front of the arms. Pinning them in place and then removing pins as I hot glued them in place.

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Cutting a small stip, I created a finished edge as I glued, folding the fabric under. Then finished off those seams with nail head trim….so super simple.

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This is when I broke out the sewing machine. I did sew a boat load of thick piping. I wanted the 2 cushions to be finished on both sides, that way I can flip them if necessary. So I traced around the cushions, sewed on the piping and hot glued the remaining seams together, since I was not going to insert a large zipper.

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Overall, this would be easy enough for any DIY’er. I suppose if you worked diligently, you could complete this in a couple of days. For me, with my kiddos sports activities, daily chores and other home improvement stuff going on, I sort of piece mealed this project to the end result….taking me just under a week.
My cost –
2 drop clothes = $ 24 (some left over)
Piping – $7 (lots left over)
Nail head trim $11 (lots left over)
Glue sticks $5 (tons left over)
Total = $47 + my free labor

Professional reupholstery would’ve run about $400. (I’ve had an estimate in the past). So my $47 cost has truly brought about outstanding satisfaction. Its such a clean and fresh update.

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Drop Cloth Love!

Mini Paper Christmas Tree

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Christmas is literally right around the corner. I know what you’re thinking….didn’t we just do that whole Christmas thing? Atleast that’s what I’m thinking. We have friends coming from out of state for Thanksgiving week. So I decided to get my Christmas on a wee bit early this year. It has been difficult taking down all of the Harvest/Fall/Halloween decor, only because I feel like I just got all of that out. Makes me tired just thinking about it. So…Christmas, here we come.

After dragging countless bins out my workshop/storage room, I got a burst of Christmas joy. This was a blessing because honestly, I wasn’t initially feeling joyful about it all. It also gave me an opportunity to clean out the bins and donate many Christmas decor items I no longer use. So it’s a win win!

With the snow bringing itself to a full on blizzard status in the greater Denver area yesterday, I was able to create a little something new. And I may need to make a second and third one for a little grouping of paper trees.

Want a super easy, free, DIY book pages tree?

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I purchase lots of old antique books from Goodwill, thrift stores…etc. I had one book in particular that was 1/2 used (meaning, I ripped ths pages out some time ago for a different project). If you are a librarian or a tree hugger, please forgive me. I’m simply giving the book new life by repurposing the pages. I used a piece of cardboard to create my cone shape.

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I hot glued it into place and it worked famously. You could always purchase a Styrofoam cone from the craft store, but I was going for the free version. I then ripped pages of the book into strips, curled the edges with a pencil and starting at the base of my cone, I hot glued each piece on. Working my way up to the top of the cone and later filling in areas randomly with smaller pieces of paper.

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Sitting pretty just inside the front door. This would also be cute using sheet music. I have an old book of that too, but the print is too large for this little tree. Possibilities are endless. You could use news paper, craft paper, wrapping paper….so simple.

FYI, the watercolor Christmas print inside my type writer at the beginning of this post is a free printable courtesy of http://craftberrybush.com
Her site is lovely. Have a blessed and warm week.

Pallet Wood Sign

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So, have you ever completely dropped the ball on a good friends birthday? Probably not, right? Well I did…..and I felt horrible.  Who does that to their dear, sweet friend? Apparently, me…….ugh!

My wonderful neighbor, who also happens to be my eye doctor, is one of my good buddies. She lovingly treated me to a fabulous pedicure on my birthday months ago. All along, I had in my mind this one certain date as her birthday…..except that wasn’t the right date, or even month. OMG!!!! I have issues.

I had been thinking of something special I could create for her. We have similar taste and she loves antiquing, thrifting….etc. So while I was busy ‘creating’ in my mind, I sent her a text to make sure I had the date correct. When she responded with the date, I about fell over. I had missed it by 6 weeks. Seriously? I’m a total loser. I had purchased her an orchid but wanted something handmade to give her.

This is where the pallet sign evolved. I have one of these in my kitchen that I made years ago with our last name and year of marriage, so I decided to do the same for her. I dug through all of our remnant wood and found the best piece I could.

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Cleaned and de-bugged it well, sanded it down and coated it with Jacobean stain. Before the stain dried I white washed it with a tiny amount of paint and water. Wiped it well and sanded a bit more until I achieved the look I wanted.

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Time to stencil. I literally eyeballed it…..only because I didn’t intend for it to look perfect. But mostly because I’m just not very patient that way.

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I used a black paint pen for the bold print of the letters. (I love the Craftsmart brand from Michaels). Then I used a gold paint pen to sort of outline the black letters.

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It dries quickly and I was actually able to deliver my friends orchid and DIY pallet sign that afternoon. A VERY belated birthday gift. Never again.

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DIY – Framed Canvas with Scripture

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My kiddos just went back to school…boo -hoo…it’s entirely too quiet here now. I miss them already.

I have had some projects on my mind all summer, so today I got busy on one in particular. Some time ago I picked up 2 larger wrapped canvas (on sale of course) and stuck them in my work shop. These are 16 × 20.

I decided I wanted the backdrop of the canvas really dark, so I painted on 2 coats of Behr, Stealth Jet (it’s a copy cat/similar shade to AS Graphite). I love the depth of the charcoal grey within the black. So it’s not a stark jet black.

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Initially, I did not intend to frame it out, but I wanted the added dimension. I remembered seeing some small left over trim pieces that my hubby had in the garage. The width of the trim happen to be ‘spot on’ for the edges of the canvas. After some measuring and a handy saw, I made my cuts as needed. And no, they are not miter cut. I’m just not that skilled really. I stained the wood strips with Minwax Special Walnut, let them dry while I munched on some lunch and then attached them to the canvas. Sooo super easy, I promise.

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Using a very small drill bit, I made a pilot hole for the small wood screws that I put in. No measuring here, I just eyeballed it. I was not going for perfection…..rather, instant gratification.

I love sweet quotes and good scripture. I played around on paper for a bit with how I wanted the placement of the words. I used stencils for the bold print and freehanded  the other words.

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Using a pencil to trace and a ruler for even spacing, I traced the bold print. After that, I used everyday creamy white latex paint and a small brush to paint those letters.

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A steady hand is key. Probably best not to do this while jacked up on caffeine.  The gold cursive letters were done with a Craft Smart gold paint pen. I used a pencil to write it out first and then went over it with the paint pen.

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Very pleased with how it turns out. And the scrpiture….it’s from Micah 6:8. I may add that to the bottom, as well as possibly distress it. I’ll look at it for a bit a then decide. I do love the rustic element of framing around it. I will totally do that again.

A New Year…….and Some New Backsplash

Happy New Year people. Hard to believe 2014 is over. And the aging process only enhances how quickly time is flying by…….or maybe that’s just me.

Since my sweet hubby’s company shuts down over Christmas, we decided it would be the ideal time to take on a little DIY/home improvement project. Drum roll please…………Carrara Marble backsplash. Can you hear me singing hallelujah ??? Truly, it’s my all time favorite.

Our kitchen left a lot to be desired when we purchased this home 5 yrs ago. Size was great and a nice big island, so 3 1/2 yrs ago we had some cabinet refacing done. Since we liked the existing granite, and we were not reinventing the wheel w/regard to the layout…..refacing made so much sense. And it’s more affordable to boot.

For 2 yrs we have talked about backsplash, brought home multiple samples…..but didn’t fall in love with anything. I’ve always loved the look of subway tiles, but in the form of Carrara marble……and probably because of the veining and variation of color. Subway tiles are one uniform flat color and it looked just a bit too bland against our vanilla creamy cabinets. So we ended up deciding on this……

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I’ll preface by saying, we have never installed backsplash before. My handyman (AKA-husband) has put in tile flooring for us in previous homes, but we have never tackled backsplash. So he googled/watched videos, measured and talked to half of the tile employees in Home Depot to compile a list of exactly what we would need. He’s sooooo totally organized that way. I’m more like…..’we’ve got this……let’s just crank it out’. You cannot do that with this type of project……..God is really working on my patience. So here’s some before pics…..the lighting was terrible. (And that’s soon to be a whole separate project……can lighting).

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We sanded/prepped the walls, purchased all of the items on our list and borrowed a wet saw/tile cutter from our neighbor. While the carrara we chose did come attached in mesh sheets, so much of that had to be cut and fit around all of our multiple outlets. On top of that, each tile is beveled. We were warned about how tricky that is to grout……and they weren’t kidding.

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We worked like dogs for 2 straight days. But we got a nice system down of applying the thinset, throwing up the marble, my husband measuring and cutting all the intricate pieces. We would then individually ‘butter’ each piece and place it into the pattern accordingly. Ironically, we weren’t able to apply very many whole/sq. foot sheets. Primarily because the outlets. And my husband was a total ‘Rock Star’ with the millions of cuts he had to make.

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By the end of day 2, I could hardly lift my arms. They were total jello. Because of the beveled edges on each tile, we had to pipe in the grout lines and use our fingers to smooth it out. We could not use a trowel, so it made for a very tedious job. Then I had to carefully clean off each individual tile……which seemed never ending.

After that cured overnight, we were able to caulk all of the edges and apply the protective sealant everywhere. So, while my back, neck and arms are totally tuckered out…..and my nails completely destroyed…..the end result was totally worth it. We are just delighted with the final product and how it helps to brighten up our dark kitchen.

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All totaling, we spent about $550, made 3 trips to Home Depot and used 27 sheets of Carrara with 1/2 a sheet left over. So, very little waste……what a blessing. And I must say, while it’s not a perfect job……the grout and caulk are truly able to hide any imperfections. And we saved a boat load doing it ourselves.

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Next up……..multiple can lights and paint. Bye Bye Khaki paint color.

Vintage Chicken Coop Table

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A client of mine left this old chicken coop with me when she picked up her french farmhouse coffee table that I rehabbed for her. This was a ‘found’ object on her farm….what a bonus. Forever,  I have been wanting to get my hands on an old coop. My clients only request to me, “Have fun & do whatever you want to it”…..alrighty then.

This is where it began…..dirty,  wood peeling/warped and in need of a little tweeking.

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First things first,  a super good cleaning and a ton of sanding. This wood is super rough. I knew that she wanted to use it as some sort of table. Typically,  you will see these re purposed into coffee tables. …but I had just completed her coffee table and she wanted this to be more of a buffet/against the wall type of table.

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The solid wood backing was very split and peeling. So I took a chance and got busy peeling the entire first layer off. Hello SPLINTERS!!! After another good sanding and cleaning,  I decided on a creamy white (DIY) chalk paint. Handy hubby added a strip of wood to each end of what would be the bottom, so that I could attach some large locking casters to it. I LOVE caster wheels….they are just totally cool & practical.

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3 coats paint, inside and out, and then a bit of distressing was in order. I didn’t go bazurk. …just enough to age it a bit. After that was completely cleaned up, I brushed on a good coat of dark wax. (Minwax makes an awesome finishing paste wax….super reasonable too.  I order mine from Amazon here). A fraction of the cost of all the popular boutique brands.  I finished it off with a piece of pre-cut glass from Home Depot and a decorative knob that I picked up from Hobby Lobby.

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Overall, just a fun, funky and unexpected piece.

Burlap Table Runner w/Vintage Skirted trim

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Last year, I made some simple burlap table runners, both for my kitchen table and dining room table. After lots of use, I decided I should whip up some new ones before hosting thanksgiving. Additionally, I was creating a 3rd one for one of my ‘farmhouse’ clients.

Previously, I would just buy burlap by the yard. However, while in Hobby Lobby, I noticed this huge burlap table cloth and the weave is MUCH tighter. The big score…..it’s was in their ‘wedding’ section, which all happened to be 50% off. This large table cloth will easily create 3 separate runners (possibly 4, depending on the size you are creating).

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The added bonus is that it has a finished edge all the way around. I was completely sewing my runners, and embellishing my personal use ones, so that wasn’t a big perk for me. So I got busy, measuring, cutting and then ironing (on a low setting) to create a crisp edge and then did some simple straight line sewing along the seams.

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I have quite a bit of ,almost, antique linens that my mother gave me years ago. It all belonged to my great grandmother, so it’s nearing the possible 100 yr mark. Much of the larger pieces have some sort of yellowing and staining that is just not removable. So what better way to use it than to cut it in half and skirt each side of the runner. The special touch, is a bit of embroidery that my great grandmother did by hand. I pleated and pinned (‘right sides together….of burlap and skirted trim) along each side. Wasn’t going for exact measurements or precise pleats. I’m a ‘get the project done’ kinda gal……and I’m not super patient that way. But the finished look……darling. I couldn’t be happier…..1 down and 1 to go.

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