A FARM TABLE + CHIPPY WOOD PANELS = A VERY HAPPY WIFE!

Ack! I was having a few computer/internet issues yesterday and quickly gave up on writing a post before I tore all of my hair out. But for today, my laptop is back up and running – I pray to the computer gods that it lasts just a little while longer!

So, over the weekend my husband and I drove out to the quaint town of Orange, about 30 minutes outside of Charlottesville, to pick up a farm table that I had found on Craigslist. And let me tell you my friends, it was a steal! Unfortunately, I don’t have photos as it is currently in pieces in the back of my husband’s car, but I can’t wait to put a paintbrush to it.

Currently, the table looks a little something like this:

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I’m not quite sure on what look to go for, however, and would love some input! Here are a few options:

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Natural wood top and distressed grey base.

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Shabby chic white.

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Stained top, white base.

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Or stained top, and base with a nice pop o’ color!

I’d love to take a vote and hear your thoughts!

While in Orange, my husband and I also stopped by an architectural salvage shop called Salvage Wrights and let me tell you, if you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend stopping by! It was  like stepping foot into a little piece of heaven. Weathered wood, chippy paint, shabby shutters, old barn doors, oh my! And the prices are really quite reasonable.

In the midst of looking for a barn door to replace our bathroom door with, I came across some fabulously chippy wood that had come from a patio ceiling of a 1910 farmhouse (and here is an interesting fact: did you know that patio ceilings are often painted sky blue to prevent wasps from nesting? Apparently, the wasps actually believe it to be the sky and will nest elsewhere. I may have to give this a try!). Each panel was 7’ long and there were dozens of them. And at $.50 per linear foot, I couldn’t say no! So I piled 10 boards on top of the farm table and went home a very happy wife.

The very next day, in our excitement, my husband and I threw together a frame fashioned from two of the chippy panels. Here’s a little sneak peak:

Chippy Chalkboard Peek

This guy will soon become a perfectly chippy chalkboard (and will be for sale in my Greenwood retail space) – tutorial coming Thursday!

DIY THURSDAY: ONE DOWN, A DOZEN TO GO…

I mentioned in this post the dozen or more unfinished projects I have sitting around my house, and I have every intention of finishing each one over the month! As a matter of fact, I just finished this guy:

Piano Bench Unfinshed

Please ignore the mess surrounding the bench, my office was in flux at the time!

I had already sanded down the top by the time I remembered to take a photo, but the entire piece was a distressed (and not in a good way) mahogany. So I lightly sanded down the base and began painting it in my favorite go-to color: Annie Sloan Old White.

Piano Bench Unfinished

With a couple layers of Old White, I then distressed the base and left it as is….for months. It didn’t look terrible, it was usable, and I became distracted with other, more challenging, projects. And so it sat. Until this morning.

To add that pop of color that I oh-do love, I painted the interior (yes, the top opens!) in Valspar’s Brushed Orange. I then stained the top in Walco’s Danish Oil in medium walnut, waxed the entire piece in Miss Mustard Seed’s wax, and viola! Finally, a finished product:

Piano Bench Complete

Piano Bench Opened 2

Simple and sweet. Or better yet, business on the outside, and a party on the inside!

And yes, those are real tulips you see in the picture – I needed to give myself a little spring hope in this frigid weather…

Tulips

Oh Spring, where art thou?

DIY IN THE WORKS…

Do you ever have those projects that just seem to take forever? Or rather, those projects that you seem to take forever to get to? I have a handful of projects that I have been working on bit by little bit, sometimes over a period of months. And these projects are not huge, overwhelming, or time-consuming by any means. Quite the contrary, in fact! They are the so-simple-I’ll-get-to-them-later kind of projects.

Let me give you a few examples:

Piano Bench Unfinished

I sanded down this piano bench and painted the base in ASCP Old White almost a year ago. The top opens, which I have painted in a lovely pop of orange. I simply need to paint a final layer of orange, lightly sand it, wax the base, stain the top, and viola! Done in 30 minutes. Yet there it remains – still unfinished.

Large Window Mirror unfinished

Or how about this large weathered window? I have every intention of transforming this sucker into a mirror, which simply requires cut mirror panes, glazier points, a little bit of caulk, and an hour of my time. Yet there it still hangs – as a window frame.

Chalkboard Unfinished

And this soon-to-be chalkboard was cut and fashioned into a frame a few weeks ago. It simply needs a few layers of chalkboard paint on the board and a weathered stain on the frame. What am I waiting for?!

And finally….

Curtains Unfinished

The dreaded curtains! I plan to transform this adorable material into stagecoach curtains, which required very little sewing, a little stapling (to a board that will attach the curtains to the top of the window), and the drilling of two little holes to hang the whole piece. This project has been a over year in the making. Oh my.

Needless to say, I can be a bit of a procrastinator! But I have challenged myself to complete these projects (and a handful of others that I didn’t share) over the next month. You can expect to see them pop up in future DIY posts!

How about you – are you a procrastinator like me? What projects do you have in the works?

DIY THURSDAY: SWEET & TASTY MORSELS!

With a million errands to run, wrapping to finish, and a teeny tiny bit more shopping to do, I haven’t had the time to complete any large projects this week (as I’m sure many of you are in the same boat!). I did, however, cook up a couple quick and easy sweets, which I ALWAYS have time for…

Christmas Bark

Two-toned Peppermint Christmas Bark! Devilishly delicious.

Here’s what you need:

  • 12 oz. (1 packet) of semi-sweet chocolate
  • 12 oz. (1 packet) of white chocolate
  • approx. 2.5 oz. crumbled candy cane

First, I started off with a packet of semi-sweet chocolate and white chocolate Ghirardelli morsels. After nibbling on quite a few…I melted the semi-sweet chocolate over medium low heat, stirring constantly until it was smooth and delicious. Once the chocolate was completely melted, I quickly took it off the heat a spread it on a wax papered cookie sheet:

Melted Chocolate

To release some of the bubbles and even out the chocolate a bit, I simply shook the cookie sheet back and forth a few times, and then placed it directly in the fridge for the chocolate to solidify.

Once the chocolate had hardened (about 30 minutes), I started on the white chocolate. Although, I’m quite certain I ate at least a quarter of the bag – try not to do the same (you need all the white chocolate you can get)! *It’s also important to know that white chocolate morsels do not melt the same as milk chocolate. For these morsels, you need to heat them over very lightly boiling water – they do NOT do well with direct heat (believe me, I know this from personal experience…)! Use a double boiler, or simply place a pot over boiling water.

Stir the white chocolate constantly and as the white chocolate begins to fully melt, begin stirring in about half of your crumbled candy cane. I used about 1.5 oz. but feel free to use as much or as little as you wish! As soon as the chocolate is deliciously melted, take it off the heat source and quickly spread it over the solidified semi-sweet layer – but don’t take too long as the first semi-sweet layer may soon begin to melt!

Once your second layer is spread, sprinkle the rest of your candy cane crumbles over the top and once again, put your cookie sheet in the fridge so the chocolate solidifies – about another 30 minutes.

And lastly, take your Christmas Bark out of the fridge and break into delicious bite size pieces. Perfect for a last minute holiday party or hostess gift!

Oh yes, on a side note and to take just a little more advantage of your melted chocolates, I also dipped in a few strawberries…

Sweet Morsels!

Enjoy and happy holiday!

PS…have an inspirational, encouraging, motivational, and positive story to share? Don’t forget to link up HERE!

 

DIY THURSDAY: ANTIQUED EMERALD SIDE TABLE…

Well, I’m obviously a little late in the game today. After my post on the 2013 color of the year, I felt inspired to add a little emerald to my own life and had the perfect piece to begin my experiment. Unfortunately, that piece took a bit more sanding, filling, and gluing than initially expected! I’ve spent the last day and a half refurbishing a piece that should have taken no more than a few hours. But it was fun, nevertheless, and kept me entertained far into the night last night.

Side Table Unfinished

You can see how beat up the table was!

A large chunk of the laminate was peeling off, so I tore the whole thing off and power sanded the top:

Side Table Sanded

I then used a quarter of a bottle of wood glue and almost an entire bottle of wood filler fixing and filling miscellaneous cracks and holes! Once the glue and filler were fully dry, I wiped down the entire piece and finally began painting the base layer in Annie Sloan’s Graphite

Side Table Graphite

(It was getting dark and cold outside so I had to lug the table into the warmth of my home for the paint to dry!)

With the base coat on and without any sanding between coats, I began applying Valspar’s Green Suede…

Side Table Green Suede

Emerald loveliness!

A single coat of the Green Suede over the Graphite actually looked fabulous – something I’ll keep in mind for the next project! – but I had a different vision with this piece so I applied a second coat, allowed it to fully dry, lightly distressed with 180-grit sandpaper, and then started applying the wax.

First, I used a small amount of Miss Mustard Seed’s furniture wax (just my preference these days, but any clear wax will do!), allowed it to sit for about 3 minutes, and then applied Annie Sloan’s dark wax. As usual, I always work in small sections using the dark wax, brushing on, and then buffing off with another coat of clear wax.

After the table was fully waxed and buffed, I decided to add in a little gold (you can’t go wrong with emerald and gold!) so I spray painted the drawer pull and also added a bit of gold paint detail…

Side Table Macro

And voila!

Side Table Complete

Side Table Macro 2

I love its style and the pop of color it brings. And as much as I’d love to keep it for myself…I have no more space in my house for miscellaneous furniture pieces! So come January, this little gem (get it??) will be in my space out in Greenwood.

LINKED TO:

HookingupwithHoHKatie's Nesting Spotshabby creek cottageMade in a DayFurniture Feature FridaysFrench Country CottageCast Party Wednesday

DIY THURSDAY: ENTERTAINMENT UNIT REDO.

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you may have gotten a peek of my entertainment unit redo last night. I think I let my excitement get ahead of me!

It’s quite amazing how easily a quick paint job can change the dynamic of an entire room. Initially, the entertainment unit was the monstrosity in the room – The Big Black Box was the focal point indeed:Living Room TV

I’ve been wanting to paint this sucker the moment we brought it into this house, and after finally convincing the husband that it was a go, I also had to convince him to unplug all the cables and go without TV for a couple of days, and it just so happened that it was during the SEC and NFL games. Oops…

But the weather was cooperating – almost 70 degrees! – and I could wait no longer. So we lugged it outside and I immediately went to work.

First, I removed the backing, shelving, and doors, and then sanded the entire piece down just to rough it up a bit in order to give the paint something to hold on to. I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for the majority of the piece, which typically requires little to no sanding, but I wanted avoid applying a half dozen layers!

Entertainment Unit Sanded

I then applied a thick layer of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen to avoid any seepage of black when applying the Old White.

Entertainment Unit French Linen

Once this base layer was dry, I gave it an allover light sand with 220-grit sandpaper to smooth it down, and then began applying the Old White.

Entertainment Unit White

I applied two layers of Old White on the exterior and just a quick layer of the white on the interior and again, used 220-grit to smooth things out. *Typically, you do not need to sand between layers. Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint is meant to give that hand-painted and matted affect for that distressed and aged look that everyone loves so much. I wanted to go for only a very light distress, however. Sanding with high grit paper allows for a smoother surface and offers a very light sheen rather than a matted finish.

Once the Old White was fully dry, I painted the interior in a custom blue using Louis Blue and Old White.

Unfortunately, at this point, I noticed the weather becoming a little less cooperative – a large and dark rain cloud was blowing in – so I quickly finished up with the blue, allowed the paint to fully dry, lightly distressed the edges using 150-grit paper, and then lugged the piece inside. (And in my hurry, I forgot to take the remaining pictures!)

In between bouts of rain, I painted the backing in my custom blue, the doors in yet another custom and slightly lighter blue, and the shelves in Old White. And finally, once everything was dry, I lugged the unit back outside to spray the top and interior in a crystal clear enamel to give it a tough, protective finish (I knew the top and interior would get a bit of a beating over the years, so I wanted to avoid the waxed finish).

Finally, I left the putting back together of the unit to the hubby while I basked in my accomplishment. Once things were in working order, I added some ribbon detail to the doors, and here it is today…

Entertainment Unit Styled

Entertainment Unit Macro

Entertainment Unit Styled 2

Better, don’t you think? It really blends into the room and brightens things up! I’ve added a few more touches of blue throughout the room to tie it all together and now feel much more at home. It’s amazing what a little paint can do!

Linked to:

Furniture Feature FridaysCherished Bliss

AND THE HOLIDAY DÉCOR CONTINUES…

This weekend will be the main holiday decorating event, but in the meantime, I thought I’d share with you a few vignettes I’ve thrown together…

Dining Mantle

Joy to the World Wreath

Dining Centerpiece

Boxwood Doubled

Dining Buffet

Rosemary Tree

Living Room Window

Noel

I love Christmas and readily partake of the Christmas spirit, but I also like to keep things sweet and simple. I’m lucky enough to have a fir tree and a holly tree in my backyard, so I take advantage of these during the holidays by keeping things fairly natural. A few garlands, wreaths, bulbs, holly and fir stems, ribbon, and a couple of handmade pieces thrown in for good measure, and I’m golden!

How about you? Do you like splurging on the holiday decoration, or do you like to keep things simple?

ps….can’t wait to share the entertainment unit redo with you tomorrow!

LINKED TO:

Cherished Bliss

 

A VERY MERRY GIFT GUIDE: FOR HIM (& SOME HOLIDAY BLING!)

Well, it’s that time again! Panic is settling in and I am wracking my brain on what to get everyone for Christmas. Aside from my vow not to procrastinate on the gift buying…my husband and I will be travelling to NYC a little early this year to spend Christmas with his family, so really – I don’t even have the opportunity to procrastinate much more than I already have!

I have the hardest time shopping for the boys of the family. Not children, mind you, but grown men that can have a bit of a boy mentality (don’t they all??). But somehow, I need to find gifts for 6 grown men that already have everything they could possibly want.

In my desperate search, this is what I’ve come up with:

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Gift Guide For Him

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Aside from shopping, I’m also working on my Christmas décor…slowly but surely! We’ll finally be getting the tree this weekend and I have every intention of making a big day of it. We’ll be chopping our own tree this year, and much celebration and eggnog will follow – I’m so looking forward too sharing pictures of the aftermath!

I also plan on creating a garland for our mantles this weekend, but I already started on the details…

Glitter Fruit

I’ll have a little sparkle woven into my garland this year! All you need is adhesive spray, glitter of your choice, a few plastic fruit pieces, and voila!

Glitter Fruit Unfinished

You’ve got yourself some bling. Just be sure to place newspaper down before the glittering begins – it can get messy!

So tell me, how is your decorating coming along? Are you ahead of the game or are you only just beginning?

THE BIG BLACK BOX–REVISED…

If you refer all the way back to this post, you’ll recall just how much I hate my entertainment unit. My husband bought it when we were in our previous and much more modern apartment in DC, but now that we are in our 1918 farmhouse style home, it simply clashes…with everything.

Living Room TV

The Big Black Box

While I couldn’t throw the piece out the door as was my initial instinct, I finally decided to take matters into my own hands with paintbrush and a few cans of paint.

I still have a few finishing touches, but here is a sneak peak:

Entertainment Unit Peek

Pictures and tutorial coming Thursday (oh, the suspense…)!

It still boggles my mind that it is next to impossible to actually find pictures of a television styled in a home. Although, I suppose it does make perfect sense – who really wants to see a towering and overbearing TV in the glossy pages of a magazine? But the reality of it is, we all have one. And if you happen to have a husband that enjoys football, you probably have a very large one! Truly, it’s impossible to hide so one must make do…

I think Miss Mustard Seed was the first to post a full frontal photo of an enormous TV setup that I actually liked:

She’s simply amazing, isn’t she?

I’ve come across a few interesting options since, so for those of you like me that have to live with the dreaded Big Black Box, this is for you!

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Offset your TV on a large console with oversized art.

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Frame your TV within a mantle piece. Or, if the TV is too large for a mantle (like mine) find or build a large, gilded frame to contain it.

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Just put it all out there on an oversized easel!

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Built-ins are your friend.

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Or just stick it in a corner.

What do you think? How do you integrate and style your own “Big Black Box?” Pictures and ideas would be appreciated!