Sep 15, 2014

Fall French Country Farmhouse Mantle & Free Fall Printable

I am very slowly decorating for Fall. I don't have a lot to decorate with and pretty much need to do so on a budget of $0 so I am working with things found around the house or that are in my store. My favorite part of fall is decorating for Halloween, but I don't want to jump into that until the 1st of October. I also don't want to get ahead of what the season is actually doing here in Texas.

I have a large gold framed chalkboard already on the mantle so my first step was to update the chalkboard. I saw the below idea from Cottage in the Oaks and decided to tweak it a little for my chalkboard.

 Click here for a free downloadable pdf of the image I used on my chalkboard.

After I finished the chalkboard and set it in place I took my plant and placed it in an old crock and painted a fake orange pumpkin with a custom mix of Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint to make it a bluish green. I then grabbed an old blue window frame that was in my store and sprayed the window panes with Rustoleum Looking Glass Spray paint. Next I topped the window with my favorite straw hat (that I never wear) and yesterday hubby found a $10 orchid that helped balance everything. The only thing left that I would like to add are some mini white pumpkins.

Read More »

Sep 12, 2014

Vintage Inspried Workbench Part 2

I recently finished up the second workbench for the loft in my barn. 

For this workbench I needed:
  • space for the mini fridge
  • drawer for my sewing machine
  • drawer for my canned items such as polycrylic, wood conditioner, stain, bonding agent, etc.
  • drawer for my waxes
  • drawer for my knobs
  • drawer for my tools such as sanding pads, paint scraper, can opener, scissors, tape, etc.
  • dividers for my frames

The workbench below was the inspiration for my workbench. It was an image I found on Pinterest and the link did not link back to the original site so I do not know who to give credit to.

I used Minwax Special Walnut on the top and the custom mix of Miss Mustard Seed's Dried Lavender, Linen, and Typewriter from the first workbench. You can find the mix ratios here.

 I realized while I was editing this pictures that I forgot to distress the handles.

And here's a picture of the 1st workbench.

I am really loving having a sink and refrigerator right there in my loft. It makes things so much easier and gives me more time to spend on creating. One of these days I will finish out the floors and walls, but that just isn't in the budget right now. I envision wood floors and either light grey or white walls. The next step right now would be to add some shelving in the space between the windows and add some blinds to help with the morning sun.

Shared with:
Miss Mustard Seed
Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint
Finding Silver Pennies
Pieced Pastimes
Home Stories A to Z
Elizabeth & Co.
Upcycled Treasures
Read More »

Sep 11, 2014

Before & After >> Green French Country End Tables

These end tables have a little bit of a french country/mid century vibe to them, but I was able to allow the french country vibe to shine through by painting them with Miss Mustard Seed's Boxwood Milk Paint. Here's the before picture of one of them.

The wood on the legs and sides was very pretty, but the top of both tables was pretty scratched up and one of the decorative pieces on one of the sides was missing. To fill the gap from the missing side trim I used JB Weld Quick Wood epoxy putty. This putty fills better than regular wood filler and leaves a much smoother surface but takes a little more time to work with. I can't seem to find the picture of the repair, but here's the after picture.

I figured that these tables might have a glass or two placed on them and felt they needed a more durable finish than wax so I used Minwax Polycrylic as my final sealant. I am not a huge fan of polycrylic, but it did the job.

One of the tables chipped a little more on one side than the other and the other table didn't chip at all on the sides.

Shared with:

The Golden Sycamore
AKA Design
Liz Marie
Miss Mustard Seed
French Country Cottage
Pieced Pastimes
Finding Silver Pennies
Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint
Home Stories A to Z
Elizabeth and Co.
Upcycled Treasures

Read More »

Sep 8, 2014

Getting Personal >> Menopause at age 35

I recently found out that I am post menopausal. I am only 37 years old, but after having a hysterectomy in 2004 and an ovary removed in 2006 here I am. The doctors all hoped that the remaining ovary would be enough to maintain hormone function but it wasn't. So how did I know something was wrong?
  • My first clue was two years back when I was having mild hot flashes. I asked my Dr. about the possibility of early menopause given the previous surgeries, but she really didn't think it was a possibility so we did nothing. 
  • Around the same time my hair started to really thin out and I was loosing lots of hair when I would shower.
  • Then about a year and a half ago I started having insomnia. I would go for three days with no sleep and eventually my body just stopped being able to fall asleep on its own. We chalked it up to PTSD. 
  • A few months back I started having dizzy spells and headaches. I went to my optometrist and got a new prescription for glasses. 
  • Then I started having major hot flashes. I monitored them for three days and wrote down when the occurred and for how long and on average I was having a hot flash every 30 minutes. The hot flashes started disrupting my sleep and even though I could fall asleep with the help of the sleep aid I couldn't stay asleep for very long. 
With my notes in hand I went to see my Dr. and she agreed that we needed to test for menopause and check my thyroid.

A week later I was sitting in her office and we were discussing my results. All of my hormone levels said that I had already gone through menopause and was now post menopausal. I had originally decided that I would not go on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), but my Dr. talked to me about the risk of early onset of Osteoporosis due to the early decline of Estrogen versus the risks of HRT and we decided that since my risks of heart disease or breast cancer were lower than my risk of Osteoporosis that we would start the HRT.  Tomorrow will be a week on the estrogen and I have already noticed a slight difference in the severity of the hot flashes. I think we will need to tweak the levels some more, but at least we are on the right track.
Read More »

Aug 10, 2014

A New Look for a Wicker Bench

My front porch is sort of my little sanctuary. It's a great place to spend my quiet time, visit with family and friends, watch the birds and the deer, or just sit down for a cry. On my porch sits a little wicker bench for which I can't seem to find the right look. Every couple of years I paint the bench. The original finish was antique white then I painted it a light blue, and then purple.

After having painted the bench purple I never was motivated to finish decorating the porch. Since that time I have added a few more pieces making a big hodgepodge of colors so it's time to start bringing everything together again. To start things off I re-upholstered the tan cushion and spray painted the bench an antique white.

I don't know if those pillows are going to stay or not I just threw them there for the picture.

I like to have the option of washing things so I made a removable cover for the old cushion and today I'm going to show you how I did that.

Here's the cushion before:

Use a seam ripper to open up the cushion and remove the batting. Save the batting for later because you will be putting this cushion back together.

Use the fabric as a template for your cover. Cut two full pieces and one smaller piece that matches either of the ends.

On the small piece hem the edge opposite the curve.

Place the small piece over one of the larger pieces to determine where you need to cut the larger piece to create an envelope style cover.  You will want the opening to be closer to the edge of the cushion to make it easier to slide the cover over the cushion. Hem the flat side of the piece you just cut.

At this point you will have three pieces of fabric. Two that make up the bottom and one that makes up the top of the cushion. Pin the two bottom pieces to the top with the right side of the fabric facing each other. Pin the larger of the bottom fabric over the smaller one. Once everything has been pinned sew all the way around the cover.

Once I finished my cover I put the old cushion back together and re-stuffed it before adding the cover. Now I have a nice fluffy cushion for my little bench.

Shared with:

Read More »

Aug 4, 2014

Vintage Inspired Workbench w/ Full Sized Sink

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to add a barn to my work space. Our little barn wasn't the best place to do woodwork and finish work so after a lot of thought we decided to purchase a barn through Tuff Shed.

Having the larger barn gave me the ability to turn the small barn into my "dirty" barn where I do all my sanding and wood work. The new barn is where I store my inventory and includes a paint room and photography booth. Today I'm going to share a little of what is going on in the paint room.

All along I have planned on having sink so I can easily mix up milk paint and clean out my brushes without having to trek back and forth to the house. After looking at the space I decided that to make the most of the space that I have it would be best to build a workbench that runs the width of the barn. To do this I decided to build two work benches using the Sturdy Work Bench plans from Ana White. I'll share how I tweaked the plans in a future post.

My focus for the first bench was the sink and storage for my milk paint so after cutting the top to size I had my husband mark and cut the opening for the sink. Once that was in place I was able to start building around it. I started with some shelves for my milk paint, added a tilt out trash bin (also from Ana White), a drawer, and an under-sink cabinet to hide the plumbing and allow for a little storage space.

I used the picture below (from Little Shop Antiques & Gardens) as my inspiration for the coloring and texture on my cabinet.

Layer 1: Minwax Special Walnut
Layer 2: custom mix of Miss Mustard Seed's Dried Lavender, Linen, and Typewriter Milk Paint
Layer 3: custom mix of Miss Mustard Seed's Shutter Grey and Linen Milk Paint
Layer 4: Miss Mustard Seed's Linen Milk Paint

I picked up the hardware from Hobby Lobby while they were 50% off and painted them with the custom mixes from layers 2 & 3.

I will be including a tutorial on how I achieved this finish in a future blog post so make sure you stay tuned.

Here are a few pictures of the trash bin, drawer, and cabinets.

We still have a little plumbing work to do, but we're almost done. Since we don't want the fuss of a full sized water heater we have only plumbed a cold water supply line, but we will eventually add an instant hot water dispenser.

Shared with:
Finding Silver Pennies
Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint
Upcycled Treasures
Liz Marie Blog
The Golden Sycamore
AKA Design
Lil' Luna
French Country Cottage
Jennifer Rizzo
Read More »

Aug 2, 2014

Metamorphosis of a Living Room

When we first moved into our home here in Texas back in 2005 we had 5 kids ages 5, 4, & 2. If you don't already know we have two sets of twins. I can't remember the reason why but shortly after moving in we decided to buy a new couch. With a bunch of little ones running around we decided to go with a plumb colored couch to help hide the kid dirt. At the time our walls were painted in a very light cream color so the plumb couch worked fine.

After a while our walls became pretty grubby from all those hand prints. Since the paint was a flat paint there was no way to wash away all the dirt so we opted to paint the whole house and chose a sandstone color. That color plus the plumb couch (and over-sized red chair) made the room too dark and I longed to brighten up the living room.

After looking at tons of photos I realized that I was drawn to white couches, but with 5 kids I'd have to be crazy right? Well I decided that if I could find the Ektorp couches on craigslist I would go ahead and at least try it. The worst that would happen is I would switch out the white covers for the grey ones. I ended up finding two couches on craigslist that same day so I went for it and I absolutely love them. The kids dirty them up pretty quickly, but all that dirt comes out in the wash. Many people have stated that it's better to see the dirt and know you can wash it away rather than just hide the dirt. After seeing what the kids leave behind I am 100% in agreement.

So here's the room when I first got the couches.

After several family movie nights it became clear that we needed more seating as hubby likes to stretch out on the couch closest to the windows leaving only three seats available for the kids. I've been keeping this in mind and while reading The Nesting Place it dawned on me that we had the solution to our problem sitting upstairs. We bought a vintage green brocade couch from Goodwill about a year ago for $25. Our plan was to turn the upstairs living room into the kids living room, but that never really happened because everyone likes to be downstairs. So hubby and I moved the couch downstairs to try out for a while.

I don't know how long that green is going to stay, but since it was a $25 couch I have no problem playing around with it. I really love the brocade so I'm thinking I may end up trying to paint the couch, but we will see.

Read More »