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As I mentioned in the post previous to this, we have been getting rid of some of our furniture lately, to make room for some lovely new pieces from family members.

This post is about a rather plain, black coffee table that I’ve honestly had for the better part of 10 years.  A friend took me up on my offer to give it a custom paint job in the design of her choice, so it was game on!
The friend/client likes art deco, and waterfall furniture.  So I started Googling and hunting around Pinterest until I found this image – it came from the awesome blog, Little Green Notebook.

I was smitten!  I ran it by my friend, and she liked it, too!  Now… how to make my plain black table look like this one?

I am a hopeless eyeballer.  It’s just how I am wired, I guess.  So I studied the pic and did my best to sketch out a version of the fretwork design on paper, which I’d then translate into table-size dimensions.  Once I had a version I liked, I primed my table, and spray painted the whole top a satin ivory.

A couple of coats later, I set to work with my sketch and my big metal ruler.  Here was the interesting part – because this eyeballer had to do some serious measuring and re-measuring to get this intricate design to look right!  I have to say, I am proud of myself for getting the calculations almost perfect.

Once the design was sketched out, I began painting around the design – meaning, I would give the table  a coat of brown semi-gloss, making sure to paint around the design on top so the ivory would be left.  It worked!  It was also a lot of work.  I way underestimated how long this project would take, but that’s ok.

The straight lines were relatively easy to measure out and execute.  The art on this piece came in the curved parts.  Major eyeballing.  I am sure there are smarter people out there who know a way to use some device (French curve?) or calculation to make their curves more accurate.

I “warned” my friend about this – the piece she was going to get would have brushstrokes.  It would look hand-painted. She was ok with that.

The rest of the work was just really small paintbrushes and patience.

In the end, I think the result was worth all the effort.  It will truly be a conversation piece!

Oh, and one more thing.  I was super curious as to the origins of the table I pinned.
After some serious research, guess what I found out?

The table came from Horchow.com (it’s sold out) and its price tag…..drumroll please……………………..

“Entertaining” Coffee Table
Price: $1,039.00

As it turns out, I didn’t AIM to get a look similar to that of a thousand dollar table…. But it sure is fun when you realize, you HAVE!

XO,
Anne


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Hi!
Remember me?  I run this little blog.  At least, I used to… man, the last several weeks have been nuts since kids got out of school, vacations have come and gone, and now we’re in full time summer mode, which means mama’s on duty a lot more!
Whew!

But…don’t let that fool you.  I’ve still been working!  So I have some catch-up posting to do!

I’ll start with two tables that we’ve owned for years, but since we just inherited a truckload of furniture from downsizing family members, we were starting to look like Value City Furniture around here.  So, the black coffee table and console table had to go!

Rather than taking them to Goodwill, I decided to offer them up to my Facebook contacts as candidates for custom paint jobs.  I got two takers! I’ll post here about the console table, the taller of the two.

We decided the console table would stay black, and get a monogram and some detail on the drawer front.

This was our inspiration – an awesome hutch/cabinet done by a lovely lady named Michele, over at The Scrappe Shop Blog.  I pinned this baby a long time ago, and this console table was the perfect piece to try out a similar design!

She used vinyl on her piece, but I just used paint.

I found the letter T online that I wanted, printed it out and traced it onto posterboard.  That became my stencil.  I centered it on the top of the table and penciled around it, then used the ivory colored acrylic paint to fill it in.  Then I actually used a paper plate like the one above to trace a circle around the T so I could paint that, and then I freehanded some “leaves.”  Disclaimer: I am a very eyeball-it kind of girl… I’m sure there are more scientific ways to transfer designs onto furniture… I just haven’t gotten there yet.

I did the same thing for the drawer front, drew up a posterboard stencil to fit the drawer front, and repeated the pattern all the way across.  I LOVE how this turned out.  So striking, and honestly, easy!!  I could see using a paint pen for this type of work, too.  I just used very fine brushes.

This is one lovely table – a high-impact makeover with not a lot of work involved.  I’m thrilled to be sending this to the home of a good friend so I can see it in her foyer. :-)

Thank you, Michele, for the inspiration!!

Here’s a view of the finished product…

So the next time you have to get rid of a piece… offer it to your peeps and try out a fun, new design.
Thanks for reading!

XO,
Anne

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The title of this blog is “Because Home Should Be Great.”

I believe that wholeheartedly. But I’ll let you know up front that this post is not about my house.
It’s about me.  And all the other moms out there.  And it’s important.

I take great care and devote lots of time and energy to make our house a home that we love and can thrive in.  I also take great care to make sure my kids are healthy.  I’m very careful about what they eat – overall they are super healthy kids, for which I’m very grateful.  I insist on them getting plenty of sleep, eating their veggies, not too much sugar, and generally taking good care of themselves.  I feel that teaching them how to be healthy in a world that is largely not is one of the most important things I am charged with as their mother.

But now here’s my dirty little secret.  I am much less careful about taking care of myself.  And lately, it has been slapping me in the face, trying to get my attention.

It worked.

This weekend I was hit with yet another sinus infection. Since we moved back to the Cincinnati area, the sinus problems I’ve always been prone to have gone bonkers.  It’s seriously been ridiculous.  I’m sick of being sick.  I’m sick of spending days away from my family and my projects because I feel too crappy to participate in life.  I’m also – keeping it REAL here – at about the highest non-pregnancy weight I’ve ever been.  I’m tired.  Add to that… my genes do not carry an abundance of mental health, either.  Women in my family have lots of issues with moods, depression, you get the idea.  I haven’t escaped those genes by any stretch of the imagination.  I’ve worked really hard to manage that but in general, I just feel B-A-D.  Like, can I remember the last time I felt GOOD?  Like, don’t need 4 cups of coffee to get up in the morning or two glasses of red wine to sleep soundly?
Nope.

And I have had enough.

I started reading this weekend.  I’ve always been drawn to the work of Dr. Andrew Weil.  He’s one of the most famous and well-respected promoters of natural health.  So I started reading on his site about recurring sinus infections.

I found this.  Part of it reads,
I do recommend a dietary change to people with sinus problems. Try eliminating milk and milk products. Casein, the protein in cow’s milk can both irritate the immune system and increase mucus production. It is often associated with sinus conditions as well as with such problems as recurrent childhood ear infections, eczema, chronic bronchitis and asthma. It may take as long as to two months before you experience the full benefits of eliminating milk from your diet.”

This led me to more reading.

I found this blog.
That’s where I found the recipe for the Green Monster I’m having for breakfast this morning.

I kept reading.  I read about how woman after woman paid a lot more attention to what she was putting into her body, and how much better these people felt.

Check out this site.
Part of it reads:

  • Do you put everyone and everything on the to-do list – except yourself?
  • Do you continuously struggle with guilt around food and eating, and are tired of punishing yourself?
  • Do you know what you “should” do to take care of yourself, but it’s just not happening?
  • Do you want to feel energetic, sexy and fully love your life?

Can you relate?  I sure can.
I’m not saying you should go sign up for anything or pay a bunch of money for a program.
What I am saying is this…

On airplanes, when the sh*t hits the fan, what are you supposed to do if you have kids with you?
Put YOUR oxygen mask on first.  First.
Then, take care of the little humans around you.

There’s a lesson in that.

If we are deflated, exhausted, sick, tired, and feeling crappy, guess what… it’s harder to take care of your kids.  And your house.   And your marriage.

I have talked at length about this with many friends over the years.
And putting ourselves, as women, at the top of the list goes against almost everything in our current DNA.
Mothers often feel the need to be selfless.
Mothers are supposed to make sure that our kids are safe, healthy, fed, rested, and that they are where they need to be when they need to be there.
Mothers are also often taking care of running their households…cleaning, stocking, maintaining, improving, and more cleaning.
Many of us have husbands who are super helpful around the house, who are energetic fathers and are excellent at contributing in every way they possibly can.  I have an awesome husband and I am so grateful that God blessed me with him.  Most of the husbands I know are more than happy to go along with it when Mom says she wants to go to the gym, take a nap, have a night out, you name it.

But here’s the crux of the problem.  It is still the mom who has to decide she is going to do those things.  NO ONE can make us do them.

It’s so fundamentally simple…follow me here:
If we as women and mothers do not put ourselves on the list,
WE ARE NOT ON THE LIST.

This is akin, in some ways, to how so many of our veterans suffer when they return home from combat.  Many, many of these men and women have absolutely no problem giving up their time, sleep, safety, homes, families, and their very lives to protect their country and our collective freedom.
But try and get those same determined, protective, strong soldiers to fight just as hard for themselves when they come back – to recover physically, mentally, emotionally.  It’s damn near impossible for many of them.  It is a million times easier for those heroes to fight for others than it is for them to fight for themselves.  (This is why I am so strongly supportive of veterans…but I digress.)

We have to put ourselves on the list.  And not just barely on it…trailing at the bottom.
AT THE TOP.
I have not figured out how to do this consistently.  But I have realized that the consequences of not being on the list are not fun.  They do not, in the long run, benefit my family, my mental health, my body, my work, my soul, my marriage, or my home.
I tell myself it’s more important for me to get the laundry off the dining room table, or get a gift made for someone else than it is to get to the gym or make myself a healthy grocery list.
But you know… it is not.

So this morning, I had a cup of coffee.  Then I made myself a Green Monster.
Because no one else is going to do it for me.
I have options I need to explore about addressing the sinus issues that have been plaguing me – and I will.

But first… I’m going to get my daughter off to school, and then go for a walk, or call a friend, or hit the gym, or fill up my water bottle.

So if you come to my house, ignore the unmade bed, the dust bunnies, the unorganized, unlabeled closets.

And if you ask nicely, I might just make you a Green Monster.

Love,
Anne

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I didn’t get to post this when it happened just recently, but my Dad and I finished the hall tree we created out of an old interior door and an ugly bathroom vanity! Here’s my earlier post on it.
This was part of a design challenge issued by a local reuse/salvage store that benefits Easter Seals.
We got $100 to spend in the “store” and then had to create something new and fabulous.

You might have seen this pretty image floating around blogs and pinterest…

It’s from an awesome blog called Pretty Handy Girl.  It was exactly the spark we needed to make our hall tree!

And here she is:

That’s my sweet Dad who worked happily with me to create this – and make sure it won’t collapse when someone sits on it.  :-)  Thanks, Dad!!

The only things “new” about this piece are the cushion (I made it…foam, fabric, and piping from Joann) and some plywood my Dad used to reinforce the bench.  Everything else – even the four matching hooks, mirror, and door pulls came from Building Value.  Lovin’ it!!  So, this is my completely uncompensated pitch for you to scout out your local reuse and salvage outlets and USE their stuff.  Very cool.

This little beauty was auctioned off for charity, but if it wasn’t, I would happily have this piece living in my house right now!

Here’s the befores:

And here’s the after!

Have a great day!

Anne

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It’s time for a big TA-DA!  The first pieces of furniture I’ve redone are officially up for sale. :-)
This would be the desk and I chair I purchased separately at a thrift store.

I’m so pleased with the way they turned out.  And I am just hoping and praying for the right buyer to come along and love them as much as I do!

 I did my first distressing job on these.  I went with a pretty light hand.  I don’t like things to look too beat up.

 Speaking of distressing, I do believe it is the perfect way for my kids to help on these kinds of projects.  I mean, spray paint? No way.  Hand painting chevron lines?  Probably not.  But distressing furniture??  Now there’s something my kids are really good at!  Woo hoo!!  😉

 The desk came with the original hardware all attached, which rocked.  So I gave that a coat of black lacquer.

 I lined the drawers with some scrapbook paper that had some cool, inspirational quotes on it.   Just a little pick-me-up when you open the drawers.

 Aren’t these legs gorgeous?

I’m so proud of this set!  The cost of buying the pieces and the paint to cover them TOTALED about $30 but it did take quite a bit of time to hand paint and distress everything and there is a nice coat of Polycrylic for durability.   So, there you have it.
In case you missed it, here’s the before:

Thrift store pieces with a thoughtful facelift.  :-)

Anne Linking up here: The Shabby NestToday's Creative Blog

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I had forgotten how much fun it can be to get excited about wedding gifts. I mean, I have been married for a DECADE now, so you know… you forget. But I had the chance to attend a bridal shower for a family friend and his fiancee. And of course, I had to make them something. My inspiration was from the blog Lines Across My Face – isn’t this gorgeous?!

I love the modern stitching and negative space. After looking at the couple’s registry, I decided it would be perfect. I used a steely gray suede-like fabric and white thread. First, I did some decorative stitches around the pillowcase end. Very simple with my machine.

I decided to use white embroidery thread so the pillow could be used in any room, with any color scheme.
I’m so happy with how it turned out, nevermind the fact that I really underestimated the amount of time it would take me to finish it.  (I was, ahem, finishing it IN THE PARKING LOT at the shower. True story.  haha)
Congrats you two crazy kids! 😉
XO,
Anne
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Sniiiiifffff… Aah. Know what that is? That, my friends, is the smell of creating. OK, it’s actually just Rust-oleum glossy white. Nothin’s safe from my itchy little hands lately. Sewing, check. Gift making, yep. Upholstery, sure. Spray paint, duh. I’m desperately trying to use and move on out some of the projects I have going on so as not to make my dear, sweet, patient husband move into a hotel. So I had to laugh when the thought of Jeff Foxworthy’s redneck routine came into my head recently. Are you a DIY’er? Please take the following self-examination: If you are more likely to have paint under your fingernails than over them, you might be a DIY’er. If you are more dangerous in Home Depot than at the mall, you might be a DIY’er. If you only keep your subscription to the newspaper because it is a constant supply of drop cloths, you might be a DIY’er. If you have a Craigslist/thrift store/yard sale addiction and have no desire to seek 12 step treatment, you might be a DIY’er. If you go to a thrift store, and you don’t see tablecloths, clothes, or broken furniture. You see SUPPLIES. You might be a DIY’er. This list is by no means comprehensive, so if you notice any other behaviors that make you suspect you have been labeled a DIY’er… it’s ok. Just brush the spray painted hair out of your face. And carry on. :-) Happy Friday! Anne

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Morning!
And by that, I mean, I’ve been up since 4 a.m. for NO reason and am super happy about it! 😉

I have a bridal shower to attend this weekend and I don’t know the bride very well – she’s marrying into a family we’ve known for a long time.  I’d like to make something but I am struggling with what to make.
Baby showers have been very fun and pretty easy… I mean, it’s baby stuff.  It’s all so stinkin’ cute!

Here’s the set of burp cloths I made for a relative recently.

She does not know what gender her baby is, so I went with a fun, neutral palette.  And actually everything came from my stash, which is even more awesome!

I had found some Gerber cloth diapers on super sale somewhere a while ago.  The polka dot fabric was from Joann with a coupon.  The orange was a remnant at Joann.  And actually – ready for this?  The yellow was from a thrifted T shirt!  (washed well, I assure you.)

I had a ball making these.  I’m not a very precise, planned, or anywhere near perfect seamstress.  I have a simple machine and I do simple designs.
I kind of just went with what popped into my head (and Lord knows what that could be these days) although I knew I wanted to do bunting.  I mean, it’s everywhere and it is SO cute!!

So I cut the little triangles (and for that matter, all the letters, and other appliques) out of fabric, and then used Fray Check on them all.  Once they were dried, I pinned them into place and sewed away.
The bunting was super easy.  I used white thread to sew down the triangles, which actually worked very nicely because it made the bunting look “real.”  Then once the triangles were done, I switched over to some brown thread and just loosely followed the tops of the triangles, to make the “line” they were hanging on.  I am really pleased with how it turned out.  I will definitely be doing this again!  
Wouldn’t it make cute kids bedding??  Hmm… (mentally filing that one away.)

I sketched out the letters with pencil and then cut them.  You could obviously use a stencil if you have one.

The argyle was easy, too.  I sewed down the diamonds, then used the machine and some red thread and eyeballed it to make the X’s on top.  It is not perfect, but I kind of like it… it looks a little shabby chic.

These honestly didn’t take that much time, and were a hit with the mom-to-be.  I got the nicest thank-you note.  Thanks, cousin!!  Wish they lived closer… they will be fantastic parents. :-)

Now… back to the curbside chair I am destroying reupholstering.

I believe I have now spent 5 hours pulling staples out of that thing.

Cheers,
Anne

Oh, and I’m linking this up!

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My first lamp makeover is done!  This little light o mine was a whopping $4 at the flea market run by a nearby children’s home as their source of revenue.  It was really ugly.

But it worked and was in great shape and I thought the raised flowery vines painted on the front had potential.

So I spray painted the shade white.  It was kind of yellowed and not pretty.

It took more coats than I thought, and honestly isn’t my favorite..but it will do for now.

After I primed the lamp base, I used the $2 blue oops paint that I got at Home Depot for the desk I painted.

 (Did you spot our Knuffle Bunny on the counter? 😉

I decided to paint around the flowery vines, and I did those separately with a plain white semi gloss.

My kiddos joined in the painting fun. :-)

The night before I added some ribbon trim to the lamp shade.

I just used Aleene’s glue and did a little section of ribbon at a time, and pinched it til it held.  It was really easy, and I did it while I watched the new HGTV show with Lara Spencer called Flea Market Flip.  So perfect, right?  DOING a flea market flip while WATCHING flea market flip!

I am really really happy with the way the ribbon turned out.

Finally time to reassemble and see if it all works together.
Here’s the lamp that we were using on her dresser.  I think we got it for free when we bought some bedroom furniture about 7 years ago.  Sigh.

And yeah, the paint job in her room is still a work in progress.  We patched all the holes when we moved in and we haven’t decided yet what to paint in here.  I love her room, though.  It’s under the eaves of the house and is so sweet and cozy…perfect for a little girl.

So…drumroll please… here’s the finished product!

LOVE!  There is nothing like the satisfaction of taking an ugly duck and turning it into a lovely swan.

Now… onto the shoe rack nightstand project.

Happy Saturday!

XO,
Anne

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I have a bunch of things in the hopper today…
My Dad has a coat of paint on both the hallway bench we’re working on, and the “new” hardware for it.  Last Friday, I went back to Building Value and found the perfect, and I mean PERFECT, set of 4 used hooks to add to the piece, as well as a mirror, and 2 pulls for the cabinet doors.  All of it was $10!!!

Dad is giving the hardware all a fresh coat of black paint.  And the bench itself will be white.

I hit the sale at Joann Fabrics yesterday to get the correct size piece of foam, and found some clearance fabric, as well as the white piping, to make a cushion for this piece.  Yea!!  Cannot WAIT to see it come together.

Today, while the cushion fabric is going through the washer/dryer, I’m tackling a few things that have been on my to-do list for a long time.

The $5 desk I painted

needed the hardware primed and painted,

and a lamp I bought for Reese’s room for $4 at another resale place also desperately needed a coat of paint. (I kept thinking of bad 80’s beach rentals every time I looked at it…)

So those just got their first shot of primer.

AND at Joann yesterday I also found the perfect pieces of scrapbook paper to line the desk drawers with. They were old and had been scrawled all over inside, and needed a makeover.

I’ll post pics of the the drawers when they’re done.

Here’s what I’m thinking on today:
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I’ve ended up where I needed to be.
~ Douglas Adams

Hope everyone is having a great spring day!

XO,
Anne

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