Halloween Decor

I love a good mantle change. Once Miriam’s birthday passed, it was time to move into a more macabre motus.

Budget decorating: photographs I took and edited of a creepy house, almond wood cut from my parent’s trees and a couple gourds. It is a lost-in-the-woods sort-of motif.


We used to host a party for All Souls’ Day/Day of the Dead. I saved the cards with prayers for the dead. You can see a detail of one of the photographs from the oldest Catholic Church in Stanislaus County with the most amazing cemetery.


Pictures add big impact without taking up large amounts of storage space. I use the almond wood during various times of the year. My husband cut holes for candles.


I could resist neither this wire basket nor drapey, black fabric.


The broom was another consignment store find from Selective Antiques here in Hughson.


I am so glad my husband conceded to my decorating the top of the piano. I keep it minimal…or try to. With children, all decorated surfaces must be up high.


I kept our shipwreck items and with slight editing made it reference a haunted mansion.


Themes are only references, not rules. They help a person pick colors, textures and shapes.


The more time goes by, the more I love the colors I chose for our living room. The walls are neutral gray (Colonnade gray by Sherwin Williams) and the fireplace bump out, cabinets, and weird tv nook are all the same dark green. My dining chairs and an antique, living room chair are upholstered with the same.

I feel the colors I decorate with really pop against these two, along with making things appropriately moody if I so choose. Our fireplace tile is leftover from our kitchen backsplash and works well with the dark brown laminate floors. I miss our Victorian window/fireplace screen but after stealing its wood base for the mantle, we agreed to leave it out for winter to ease access to the fireplace.

The kids are not left out! We have a dancing broom bought from Keller’s that sings Shakespear (“double, double, toil and trouble), fake spiderwebs outside, along with a giant spider (made from rolled wool socks and pipe cleaners). We are playing with ideas for the exterior when Halloween comes.


Upholstered Headboards for the Triple Bunk Bed

Good design is in the details. And I believe good design does not waste. When we moved into this house one year ago I attempted to convert our dining chair habit to benches so the children would take up less space.


Nice idea, but uncomfortable! I think dining benches are usually wider than picnic table benches. The cushions have languished in random spots this past year.

We also had a IKEA Billy Bookcase that was put together one too many times that embarrassingly died of a heart attack our yard sale in April. I decided to use the sides to make upholstered headboards for the kiddos. They had a notch at the bottom to accommodate baseboards (in its life as a bookcase) so my husband cut them down to make them even all the way down. You can use any solid board for this project, wood or mdf. I just chose to use what we have on hand.

After removing the old fabric from the cushsions, I laid the foam on the ground and, using a pencil, traced where it would need to be cut.



IMG_7110Do you have any kitchen tools that only come out at Thanksgiving? I’ve used our electric knife way more frequently for cutting foam than cutting turkey. Regular scissors won’t cut it, you’ll need an electric knife.


IMG_7112I laid the freshly cut foam on the ground and draped the old quilting batting over to trim off the excess.

IMG_7113Ordinarily I’m a sloppy diy’er (my projects just photograph well). Here I decided to take the extra investment time and staple the batting on before the fabric. I did a variation on a hotel corner, tucking in whatever I needed to.

IMG_7114This step was totally worth it. I did not have to worry about each item sliding around as I worked with the fabric.

IMG_7117First I created my daughter’s headboard by laying down the fabric on the ground. At the fabric store I asked the clerk to cut 1/2 yard pieces for me. So I did not need to measure or cut at all for this project.

IMG_7118After my daughter’s I went on to my son’s. His fabric is upholstery fabric and laid very nicely while I tucked and stapled.


IMG_7120Immediately I asked my daughter to test out the finished project.


IMG_7125 IMG_7126My plan is to add an eye hook to the back on each end and loop some cord around the posts of the bed to keep it in place. This will make them easily interchangeable when the kids move up in the world (i.e. my baby starts using the bottom bunk).

IMG_7127Right now the top bunk is a play area.

IMG_7128This project was super easy and took less than an hour to complete two headboards. The only problem is that immediately my son rejected his and pushed it on the ground. It’ll be on the top bunk until I figure that one out. But we must always be flexible when decorating for children!

Little changes update

With building the bunk beds (see post: The Triple Bunk Bed), the antique guest bed needed a new home, so she has moved into the nursery. I appreciate having a bed and covers in the same room as the baby for late night/cold night nursing. It also helps as our four-year old, half of the time, does not nap but the two-year old still does. Attempting naps with both kids in the same room led to truncated naps for the two-year old. So now the eldest naps in the nursery, if the baby is not already asleep.

IMG_6432The painted blue desk has found the perfect home beneath our diy reclaimed wooden arrows. I draped a table handkerchief (a piece of fabric too small to be a table cloth) over the top as an accent.

IMG_6430I hung art on the long wall. A picture of Our Lady holding the Infant, an antique mirror that belonged to my grandmother and The Scream by Edward Munch. While this may seem like an odd combination we can interpret it in this way. On the left is how I want to feel, on the far right is how I feel at my worst, and in the middle I can check and see how I feel at the moment. The colors also work with the overall scheme (the true motivation behind the selection).

IMG_6431IMG_6438It’s a small room but we’re making it work.

Outside the cast iron, candle chandelier from Pottery Barn is finally in place!

IMG_6425I requested this as a Christmas gift when we lived in a large open home that lacked a chandelier in the proper place above the dining table. It worked for us in the next house when the chandelier was in an incredibly awkward spot. Our home now makes sense, so there seemed to be no place for this beauty, until I saw the potential of our front patio.

In order to ease the use of this, my father rigged up a pulley system. He hung two eye hook using toggle bolts, and connected them with a strong metal chain.

IMG_6429From the center of the chain is a small pulley, which is guided down the side of the window. Now I can lower it if I want to light the candles. I’m not sure when I’ll want to light the candles, but it’s an awfully good idea regardless.

IMG_6428I’m ever so excited that this will complement our new wrought iron fence!

The Triple Bunk Bed

12/16/15, Monday

While in college I found I love organization and clutter free areas. It calms me down and gives me space to think. For me, the kids room has been a cluttered nightmare as we made do with a double size bed for one and a twin size bed for the other in a 10×12 room. I avoided the room as I avoid our also-cluttered office.

Originally I planned on a bunk bed from Ikea that also comes with a trundle bed. This  would create a sleep space for all three. Then one day I came across these plans for a triple bunk bed. The idea looked so good. After some mulling over we decided to go for it. This weekend my husband has been working hard to put it together while I paint here and there with Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in Paris Grey. This light neutral color, very similar to the walls, will help this massive furniture item not consume what the eye beholds upon entering.

Today was a wonderful day of work. The sun was out. The air was warm. My mother-in-law came to visit and played with the older kids while we worked. Everything went smoothly for my husband as he progressed along the plans, which he had converted from word to pictorial format. I finished the day with painting all the pieces I could.


IMG_6422My daughter pumped the clamp while my husband drilled holes. He’s a master at finding ways for the kids to “help.”

Wednesday, 12/18/15

My husband has been working on the beds by himself. With large families or families with little children, to me it seems like if you have a project and the timing is right, you have to go for it. It isn’t always possible to bring in outside help whose schedules will match with the mystical window that occurs when both spouses are home (if both spouses work, as in our case). We only have one day off in common so President’s Day weekend became the choice opportunity. Unfortunately we all were sick, except my husband. Nevertheless, progress still was made!

Reflections: the chalk paint has been amazing! One coat, that’s all it needed. I purchase the Soft Wax (Clear) by Annie Sloan. It will be first time using that but the paint needs to be sealed. How to take the time to cure it…I don’t know, one step at a time. The paint is a little more blue than the wall color, I’m not sure I like how it works with the teal bedsheets. Again, one step at a time.

Two beds are in place, the second still needs to be bolted. The plans we use have the beds close together, so it’s rather awkward fitting if you are using a regular mattress. It will work for our toddler but we’ll have to re-evaluate and re-work in the future either by taking out the bottom supports (the mattress then being on plywood, on the floor) or raising everything else. My daughter was disappointed to have to sleep on the floor again, but I pushed her bed under the bunk. She was happy to feel she had a hiding spot.


2/19/15, Thursday

Creating good design is intoxicating to me. It might be the fuzziness of my mind with this cold, but I feel awfully excited about what is taking place in the kids’ room, and that is a first. The first two bunks are up with mattresses in place. We pushed the structure as far over as possible but with enough room left so my husband can still bolt in the third bunk. This is the moment when we start to see the finished project in view.

IMG_6445 IMG_6446The teal sheets provide the necessary pop in s space of very soothing color, too soothing, I think, for my personality. The black and white duvet covers keep it calm and in touch with all the gray.

Today, the duvet cover I’ve been hankering after from West Elm is one sale with free shipping so I’m going to make the leap and purchase it. Ultimately my daughter will happier having flowers over having the alphabet on her bedding, although I could go either way.

IMG_644812/20/15, Friday

It’s a small room so it will take some doing to get a decent photo, and until my health returns, I won’t be up for the task.

Updated impressions: We closed the gap from the second level bunk to the wall, so the overlap is much less awkward. I like the heights a lot. It puts both kids easily within reach for comforting (everyone is sick!). Currently my daughter does not use the ladder, which I think is because the wood is so much thicker than her little hands. We might put some handles that she can grip to get up. Currently, she steps on brother’s bed to get to her’s (even during the night!). We’ll see how this changes when the third bunk is installed.

The website refers to this as a weekend project. It very well may be if you don’t have small children or everyone is in good health. Overall, we’re very pleased and excited by this week-long project.

Update on the Chalk Paint: while adjusting the beds, my husband pulled on the second bunk, which scraped hard along the nook/groove in the wood posts (I hope you didn’t come here for technical wood-working terms). The movement did not chip or scratch the paint! To me, requiring only one coat and the -already seen- incredible durability justifies the price. I buy my paint from Vintage Market in Turlock, CA where the ladies are wonderfully helpful and friendly. It’s an amazing store with great prices and awesome diy inspiration.

All that’s needed now is bolting the third bunk, some paint brush-work and waxing. But as far as I’m concerned, it’s time to take rest seriously because this cold has worn out its welcome.

Oft-neglected Office Overhaul

Dear Reader, if you have ever seen photos of the my home interior you will not recall photos of our office. Our office is that place, that place inside the home of any family with young children where the children are not allowed. It is the, how you say, dumping ground of all things we do not want them to eat, tear apart or stab each other with (I do acknowledge there isn’t anything I would like to stab each other with).

You may also know, perhaps, that I am not very good at taking before pictures. I can take a thousand after pictures, but I somehow get so very excited about the process of overhauling that before pictures never cross my mind. I prefer to avoid looking at the before situation, why photograph it? Here is the best I could find of our office.

IMG_4850This was when we first moved in. As of two weeks ago, a wood antique desk was there at the open wall above; the circular table has its second home since moving out of the office; and I use, rather, store the chair that had no home (not the one pictured, that one is now blocking the fireplace).

IMG_4849My husband’s side was largely the same as what you see here.

I avoided the office. I could not sit and type while holding the baby so I used the kitchen counter to read, distract, write emails. My desk became so cluttered I rarely went in there. In anticipation of our tax return, I began planning.

There were a series of options. I realized I needed a counter-height desk and my husband needed more surface area. We would use 100-year old wood my father possessed to create book shelves to go all the way up to the ceiling and to form desk tops for us. I decided I could buy kitchen cabinets from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore to use as the base of my desk. We would buy Ikea parts for my husband’s desk base.

Then came a night of insomnia. I gave up on sleeping, went online and found this guide on turning an Expedit 2×4 shelf (of which we have three) into a standing desk.

The next day, thanks to pre-planned grandparent-babysitters, we made the 90-minute drive to Ikea, took the short cut to the marketplace and made it out in a little over an hour. Once home, I emptied our desk and antique dresser (used it for storage) contents into drawers and emptied the antique dresser. After a rant about not being sentimental about out furniture, selling these chairs which I reupholstered in preparation for marriage…

IMG_5136I decided to hold onto the dresser (used for storage) and keep it at my parents house, where they have unlimited storage space.

IMG_4244I bought it at a estate sale just before marrying. The woman I bought it from recalled being at her grandmother’s house as a child, opening the drawers, and handling the delicate linens she stored there. How a child could open those bottom drawers I’ll never know because they are heavy. It isn’t a very functional piece, but I realize I am sentimental about these pieces and will be careful what I choose to sell/give away.

Now, we’ve only got the books stacked on the floor, Expedit shelves on there sides with drawer inserts (mine on legs, my husbands without feet thus far). The room, for all it’s floor clutter, feels more open and clean to me. My storage system is taking shape with room for my sewing machine, cubby for my sewing box, a craft cubby. I am thinking I want a small filing cabinet next to my desk, but I want to move slowly.IMG_6337

After all, this weekend, we’re building a triple bunk bed!

Reflections while reading Only the Lover Sings, Chapter 1




As a child, there was just something different about me, different from the rest of my family and the people I met at church or at school. I hardly knew what that difference was. I enjoyed play outside, like any child. I had a deep imagination and richly patterned tapestries put together during that play. In 5th grade, a friend received attention in class for writing a poem. Desiring the same attention, I began to write poetry. I wrote and wrote and wrote and the thing became something I desired for its own sake. In 6th grade, I began to write stories. I fancied myself a great novelist, destined to be famous. This was an important development from my days of singing loudly in the front yard while I swung on my play set, imagining a radio producer would drive by and discover me.

I wrote and wrote and wrote. Deep imaginative worlds. Richly patterned tapestries. My play dissolved, as is common, in junior high; the writing continued. I did not see at the time how much of myself I put into the main characters of these stories. The stories had to reach 100 pages, because that was the predetermined length I set for myself that would make it a real novel.

In 7th or 8th grade, while staying over at my best friend’s house I stayed up late speaking with her brother, a year or two older than she, who was two or three years old than me. There was something about that conversation, which I can no longer remember, that changed forever how I wrote. I learned about detail and description in that conversation. Now my tapestries were no longer patterned only in my head but on the computer screen as well.

With my conversion came an inclination to scruples and rather than my visions of grandeur, I pictured writing as a gift bestowed by God, an emotional outlet, a fantastical escape, a gift which he might choose to take away at any time. Each story I finished, I feared it would be my last.

One day it was my last, a story I began while serving as a missionary, which, if you have been reading this blog are familiar with. Called A Girl and Her King, it follows my adventures in prayer, not much else. It is neither descriptive nor imaginative, I think, but felt inspired as I wrote. I’ve not written any fiction since, though I have since learned that God is not the type of giver I once imagined him.

Beyond that story, which is a treasure to me, there are only three stories I would care to look back on. The first is called Mary’s Fairytale, about a girl who has no family and whose young brother whom she cared for died suddenly. She is alone and searching for meaning in the world. She finds Christ.

The second is Velveteen. The main character, also a girl, also lonely, at odds with her sister, who seeks meaning and purpose, a place in life where she is wanted and useful. She longs to see again a girl the family fostered for a short time who ran away. The girl represents everything the main character wants, the freedom to think and dream in a world where reality has made dreams unbearable.

The last is The Story of Marin. This story was an enigma to me for a long time. I find genuine ugliness in it, hopelessness, and sin. I shared the storyline with a fellow missionary, admitting that I had no idea how to finish the story, it seemed hopeless. I discovered the potential of relationships while serving that year, and in that sisterhood, I discovered a fulfilling relationship much needed by the main character. That relationship became a place of hope to lead her out of the darkness of her life.

In that year of missionary work, I also encountered people, in Oregon, who opened my eyes to the possibility that there were others like me: artists, poets. What is it exactly? That ability to see the world differently that makes some tasks others like so un-fulfilling and other tasks which bore to some to tears utterly engaging?


Josef Pieper seems to have some answers. In our book club we have begun reading Only the Lover Sings. In the first chapter, or essay rather, better yet, reflection, he explores the meaning of leisure and the claim by Aristotle “We work so we can have leisure.”


“For nothing less it at stake here than the ultimate fulfillment of human existence.”


“There do exist activities that are meaningful without being either work or mere respite (from work, for more work).” These are the liberal arts which are meaningful in themselves. Leisure is not mere play. It is the thing that sets us apart from animals. He does not say this here, but it is the thing that comes after the first few levels of the hierarchy of needs are fulfilled. It is the purpose for which we continue to invent machines to ease life’s burdens. It is art, as he calls it first, the liberal arts and they are the work that is meaningful in itself, not work done out of usefulness, to serve some other good.


He gives us two preconditions for work to be meaningful in itself.

  1. Receptive openness and attentive silence (unlike the concentrated exertion of work).
  2. Man’s willing acceptance of the ultimate truth “awareness of being in harmony with these fundamental realities and surrounded by them.” This acceptance enables man to celebrate a feast, to engage in leisure.


“Wherever the arts are nourished through the festive contemplation of universal realities and their sustaining reasons, there in truth something like a liberation occurs: the stepping-out into the open under an endless sky, not only for the creative artist himself but for the beholder as well, even the most humble.”


This was my experience writing. This was art for me. Though my imagination has cooled and the fantasies calmed, I still look at the world, look out my window and see the spiritual interwoven with the physical. I can sit and gaze, it does me no harm to do so, causes me no boredom. I decorate to create an interior space in which I can do this, gaze at the wall and take in the beauty of a particular color, or the shape of an arrangement.

And I write again. I photograph again. I look for the image, wait for the word to come, seek to find that inner voice which spills so willingly out my fingers while I type. It comes too quickly for my typing skill and so my words are usually riddled with errors. Oddly enough, the same happens when I write by hand.

I do not know if I should share more of my writing. I look back on it as child’s play, as I do the games with imaginary horses I played during recess on the playground. I’m not plagued with those visions of grandeur. Rather, it is a blank slate; I do not know what to think about it, except that it is special to me. Your responses are helpful. Your comments welcome. It is a pleasure for me to spill some digital ink before you, and I hope a welcome gift for you.

Jewelry holder reveal

I love the idea of a world where necklaces live free, breathing clean air, away from the tangles and clutter of life piled deep within a drawer. Necklace holders, where they hang with grace, have attracted me for a while. I attempted to buy one shaped like a tree last year, but it was not in stock. In retrospect, I’m grateful for that.

My mother purchased a spool holder for her sewing room. I asked her to pick one up for me too. I know great projects start with rows of pegs. Cue work by amazing husband: he cut them up for me.


Spool holder from the craft store $13. Cut it into several pieces.

An antique frame from the consignment shop (if you follow this, you can guess where already: Selective Consignments in Hughson, CA), $10.


Frame mounting hardware stolen from a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe (there is a special seat for me in Purgatory for that, I warrant).

A little spray paint. A little wood glue.

Put ’em together what have you got?


Bibbity bobbity boo!




I’d like to say the story ends here. Unfortunately, it lasted for fewer hours than Cinderella’s dress. I came home to see it all on the floor, so my wood gluing skills need some work yet. I haven’t had a chance to get back to it, but I post it anyway because I know it will work, once we put the screws on it. Even without the finished-finished project, I hope you enjoyed sharing the vision.

New outdoor projects with pictures!

I’m sure I mentioned this a few times but now I’ve finally taken this finished project out of the garage and into the light. Here is the estate sale rocking chair with a blue makeover, Napoleonic blue by Annie Sloans’ Chalk Paint to be specific.



Sanding this would have been a nightmare. It’s very blue, but works well with the front door. I thought about trying my hand at distressing, but let it go since there is so much else going on.


We’ve been using this antique trunk as a coffee table in the front. Shabby chic? I think not. More like just shabby, neat but shabby.



My plan is to paint this with Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in Graphite (black). I think I’ll use a small brush around the hardware, allowing it to stay this deep rusted red.

The blue chair will be accompanied by an walnut stained antique rocking chair. So this eyesore of a bench will have to find a new home.



We’re planning a wrought iron fence around the front yard. If we get the fence, we may replace the wood, paint the bench and place it next to the fence. I like the angle of the seat and it was my grandmother’s, so I’d like to keep it if I can. The fence we’d like is along these lines, only around the yard not the porch (as we have no porch). It’s sleek and modern, but it’s iron structure nods to tradition. Since our home is contemporary, it needs a bit of modern and tradition with everything we do.

Example of using wrought iron without finials

Since I last posted pictures, we’ve cleaned the front up a lot and developed a clearer vision of what we want. Here is the before (after heavy pruning)IMG_4958

That’s a dolphin fountain by the way.

Here is where we are now:


We’ve removed the large oddly placed bushes, planted lavender, rosemary and other still very small plants. It’s been foggy for weeks here, so the photo is a little hazy. On the right will be the vegetable garden. My husband used suckers from my dad’s almond stumps to create the rails and wood stakes for the posts. He put the fence up in a less than a day. We don’t have wildlife to worry about, other than our children. For them, I hope it will act as a mental barrier teaching them they aren’t welcome without a big person to lift them over. Here is a close up.


Every step we take I love it more and more.

A solution to the toddler-book-decor dilemma: bookshelf reveal!

If you have young children and a yen to decorate you know how young children push you to adapt. I have been in search of a way to store my children’s books. I tried a traditional bookshelf a few years ago. That ended quickly. You’d be amazed how difficult it is for a two year old to re-shelve books. We used baskets. The book collection grew. We settled on using the bottom drawer of a dresser and that worked very well. That is, until we moved the children into the same room and needed every drawer of the dresser. Next we stuck the books into their play IKEA kitchen they never use. It was okay, but…new two-year old, same problem. The books ended up all over the floor. I invented a library system (perhaps not a totally original idea). We stored the books in our room and allowed the children to pick out three books each week. That lasted until Saturday (a week and a half into the system) when the kids were driving each other crazy and I let them loose in the “library” to occupy themselves. So here we are!

I liked this bookcase from The Land of Nod.

But at $200 it just wouldn’t work for us. I don’t believe transitional furniture should cost so much. Then I came across this diy tutorial.

Fabulous. As I’ve looked out of my kids’ window, since we moved here, I have enjoyed the view of the aged pallet the previous owners left behind. Let’s do it.

Clip, clip here. Clip, clip there.

We cut the pallet, which was missing some boards, into three usable sections. Here is a photo of the last one left.


Follow that with a white wash in Annie Sloans’ Chalk Paint, pure white.


I love how it turned out to a feathered soft gray. The walls in the kids’ room are gray, so I knew it would be the perfect complement.


By the goodwill of my gracious, wonderful, tired of looking for drywall screws husband to hang them, two shelves went on the wall. Recently, we had yet another incident of important things falling off walls (my fault it wasn’t hung with proper screws), so let me just say, drywall screws are important!


IMG_6200Add a book…

IMG_6201Add some seating…

IMG_6206And a child…


And voila! DIY pallet bookshelves for the kids’ room. My daughter has already staked out the top shelf as “hers” a pronoun we don’t often use here, so there may be some battles. Nevertheless, I’m pleased with how they turned out!

What methods have you used to solve the toddler-book-decor dilemma?

Considering new projects while making adjustments here and there

Following Christmas came more colds. The baby started with a cough and it slowly made it’s way around the family. I was knocked flat (or wanted to be) for two days. So I now continue to travel on the road of sleep deprivation towards recovery. One day…one day. Here are the minor changes that took place in the mean time…


In this photo you can see our wild one in her pack-and-play, a rare treat these days. I bought a new rug on clearance from West Elm, which is now under the piano. It replaced a rug from overstock.com which looked great in the online photo. It had less than perfect reviews but I decided to take a chance. What a mistake! I’ve hated it ever since so this $70 cotton dhurrie was a delight to purchase and receive. I very much enjoy paying $70 for rugs. I think the $700 ones are beautiful, but I don’t think I’ll ever go there. This one is contemporary, won’t shed, won’t irritate baby’s skin and as blues are my primary accent color for the room, it’s perfect!



For our Nutcracker Christmas party we moved our re-purposed antique radio away from our entryway station into the corner. The corner now feels so much more complete and I have a new surface to decorate. I still have guilt over painting this beauty, but I admit, I do personally love the way it looks. We removed the radio and the kids used the hole as a cubby/hiding place. I think it’s important to create opportunities like that for children.


Our entry way is simpler now. Typically we have tried to have a place to drop keys and my husband’s wallet. This is the current set up. Low table for my purse (in this case a doll leg) and a toy basket (not that the toys are in it).



Those are minor changes. More joyfully, I stopped by our local consignment shop, Selective Consignments in Hughson, CA. I noticed these beautiful antique chairs some time ago. At $250 for the pair they were well beyond a splurge purchase. Today’s treat for me? The sign read: “MAKE OFFER.” Not knowing what to offer, I spoke with the owner. “Oh those chairs from the 1930’s?” What? I admit my pleasure at discovering that, yet again, I unknowingly am drawn to items from the same Art Deco period. What will he take? $100 for the pair. Yes!

They have a new home. They are in the right scale to match two other wood chairs we have. I can finally get rid of the too tall, spindles-poking my-pregnant-stomach chairs. I’m not pregnant now, but I resent them for all the times it happened.






IMG_6144No scratches. No splitting. The pink faux leather isn’t our style, though I secretly like it against our gray walls and am planning pink as an accent color for Spring. Nevertheless, I promised my beloved I would reupholster them, so I think I’ll do all our chairs in a solid indigo outdoor fabric.

I’ve finished painting an estate sale rocking chair with Napoleonic blue by Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint. Chalk paint is amazing. I’m absolutely hooked. My difficulty with painting furniture has ever been that I hate prep work. If you feel the same, chalk paint may be just the thing for you. In Spring we’ll move the rocking chairs to our front patio area.

The next project on my list: paint the vintage metal folding chairs with chalk paint, arms in Pure White, body in Napoleonic Blue. These will go in the back yard, around the circular table, painted white, which belonged to my great-grandmother. I imagine a Parisian scene, blues and whites. It will be my imagined version anyway, which mysteriously does come together, though no one else may know the reference.

The project on our list: redoing the office and kids room. For the office, built-in cabinets and shelving, custom desks for my husband and myself. We’ll piece his desk together from IKEA, create shelves with brackets and 100-year wood my dad obtained from someone remodeling their home, and mount kitchen cabinets along the top of the wall (I’m thinking they’ll come from Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore). For my desk I’m thinking I will use cabinets, again hopefully from the ReStore, and have a counter height desk which will make sewing and work, while holding the baby, easier. At this time I never use the office for that reason. For the kid’s we plan to purchase bunk beds from IKEA, create some bookshelves using an old pallet, and finally have some space in there again! These projects made possible by our tax return. I am grateful.

As this new year rolls along I hope you also have some exciting projects planned. Good luck!