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Great finds Texas road trip

On my road trip from Houston to Austin last week, I was referred to Whistle Stop Antiques in Giddings, Texas. Unfortunately, everything wasn’t for the taking, but I did get some shots of some great pieces. Too bad there’s no kitchen remodel in the immediate future, otherwise I’d have purchased this beautiful old butcher table for an island. I cannot stand the fact that we only have abut 18″ of clearance between my refrigerator and the builtin island with cabinets and electricity. I need to check underneath and see if the tile runs under the cabinets continuously.


Next, I found some really cute holiday greetings manufactured from metal. If I hadn’t found the best find of the trip ( next photo) then I might have purchased this one. I had wished they would have been on sale too since it’s February.


But the best deal and my favorite find was this reclaimed wood and industrial side table that I had inquired about stuffed in the farthest most corner of the store just checking the price (not labeled on piece). I thought it was probably too expensive since it wasn’t labeled. Boy, was I wrong?!
The employee told me she inquired with the dealer about the price and it was $60, but she could take 20% off. Hello?!!!! Can you say SOLD??? I responded in a delicate affirmation, “I’ll take it.” What a steal? So, I thought! I’m right. See what it replaced… I had a bulky filing cabinet at the end of the couch. Now, it’s airy and perfect for the dark living room/media room.


Before, it was too crowded… What do you think?

A Place for the Little Stuff

magically elevated to new heights

magically elevated to new heights

I found this great typesetter storage box last spring in a fabulous antique store, High Street Antiques, north of Dallas in Plano last spring. It sat on the floor in my eldest son’s room for almost a year before I fell upon this fabulously priced side table at a garage sale… $10. Yeah!2013-01-26 14.19.34 (deleted 928895fa3da6130fe65abeab08acf0b3)

The piece had definitely seen better days and required a layer of degunking. Instead of working hard, I just took it out into the garage and sanded it randomly with a palm sander. That also allowed me to exposed the natural wood which is the best way to show off the glaze.

2013-01-26 14.37.15 (deleted 3b5f1141de8830770cf38bad0e8e310e)

I added another layer of pizazz by painting the interior drawer with a red latex paint. I was a little concerns at first because the paint was leftover from the prior homeowners. After it dried, the color worked out after all. But, I was willing to sand it off or decoupage the drawer, if needed.

a hint of color

In this refinishing project, I intended to dry brush the black latex paint onto the piece, the flat surfaces went much easier than the legs. After that layer dried (quickly, I might add) then I randomly applied the Martha Stewart coffee colored glaze for the final layer. I didn’t even put a coat of wax or polyurethane because it’s not going to see a lot of use. It’s basically going to serve as a base for the display cabinet. But, I would definitely add the poly protection if it were serving as a nightstand or a side table.



a place for the little stuff a place for the little stuff

a little boy's stuff

I did my best in coordinating, not matching, the two pieces together. It’s not easy to recreate that 100 year old antique look to pieces that will be sitting side by side. Let me know what you think. My seven year old definitely does not appreciate it.
Linked up at: Finding Fabulous Blogspot

Houndstooth Desk Inspired by Grandfather- Part I


SEC DISCLAIMER: No, I am not an Alabama fan, never have been, never will be! I am a Tiger of LSU. My passion for nostalgia runs deep in my blood. This piece of furniture is not just an old child’s desk. It was my mother’s desk as a little girl. It was also my desk as a little girl. Now it belongs to my son. When I think of houndstooth, tweed or plaid, I remember my Dad’O, my paternal grandfather. I remember this photo of him and I when I was about 3 years old. When I find it, I will post it here. He always wore a hat like Bear Bryant with a sports coat, always! This project is just a way to preserve the memories of my family through the times when old thoughts fleet me.

I hope you find these tutorials useful. I will write this post in two parts. The first part will break down the step by step of the pattern project. Part two will show the overall transformation of the desk.

There will be three video links that take you over to You Tube for the step by step directions.

houndstooth tutorial…part 1

Houndstooth tutorial part 2

Houndstooth tutorial. Part 3

Houndstooth Stencil

This project from Not Just a Housewife got me started.

I linked up with: The Shabby Nest

Milk Paint Virgin


Needless to say, powdered paint mix is a bit overwhelming to work with. I chose Miss Mustard Seed’s Tricycle Red which has a lot of pigment. There’s nothing like jumping off a cliff your first time out of the gate! I knew just as soon as I started to mix it up in a red Solo cup that it was going to be difficult to blend. I had already solicited advice from Mandy at Alter’d. Her advice was not to store the paint overnight in a fridge with your food because it will make everything taste like a metal can. I also watched the MMS tutorials. I had considered using a blender, but since I did not receive that Vitamix blender from Santa like I had requested, I passed. I finally came to the conclusion that I should put the mix in a resealable container so I could shake it up.

I chose an ugly country hunter green piece straight from the eighties that I picked up at a thrift store for cheap several years ago and never got around to painting it. It also had a smaller surface area for painting with milk paint for a first time out. If I were to dot his again as a virgin, I’d paint a flat surface as opposed to a vertical and rounded surface because the paint was quit watery and runny. I did mix in the bonding agent as directed as well because I didn’t want this first piece to be particularly “chippy.” This piece did require two coats since the paint was so thin. I was very apprehensive at first because the color was quit tribal!20130125-211818.jpg

After it dried (within an hour), I skipped out in the sanding, then rubbed it down with A Martha Stewart Antiquing Glaze by using a sponge. Instant hit!

Next, on to the top… It had grooves routered into the top single piece to make it appear to be wood planks. I never liked these grooves because they collected dust bunnies, glitter, and other small particles children and pets seem to dispose of. I got this instant urge to have Prince Charming pick up some wood putty as he was heading out the door. I wasn’t picky, I just requested that it be stainable. Bad idea!20130125-211651.jpg

My 2 hour project turned into a two day project because the putty would not dry! I don’t know if I just used the wrong filler or if I just used too much. I may have to go back and redo the top and I am uncertain about the results anyway. What do you think?
Fast forward several days…
After letting the top dry, I mixed some MMS Ironstone and applied 2-3 coats. After it dried, I sanded it down, then used the same Martha Stewart antiquing glaze to give the striated look on top. Paying particular attention to the filled grooves, I used extra glazing there. I opted not to polyurethane the piece because I want to see how it wears over time. I did use one light coat of Minewax Paste Finishing Wax which I gently buffed on by hand with and old t-shirt. From the photos, you can see that the top has already gotten a few scratches from the boys in this establishment. Oh we’ll character!
The boring wooden knobs were not painted with MMS milk paint, but rather covered with glaze to add sheen. These will hold me over until I find the right knobs for the job.

This piece remains in my breakfast area of the kitchen and houses some of the kids’ art supplies, paperwork for filing, and a display space (on the wall) for artwork and holiday decor. The handy drawer holds the kids’ tiny trinkets.

20130125-205034.jpg Ironstone & MS Glazed top

20130125-205054.jpg newly scratched surface

20130125-205013.jpg one last look

Peacock Tarnished Dresser


After stumbling upon Alter’d on Craig’s list here in Houston several months ago, I was happy to find others who were so passionate about refurbishing vintage furniture as I am. I immediately purchased and downloaded their ebook after visiting their shop for the first time. I have been a fan of turquoise forever, so naturally I chose to try their tarnished peacock finish first. I probably overpaid the $100 for this piece,


but I wanted a small dresser/side table for Prince Charming's bedside and I really liked the detail on the dresser. 20130121-170202.jpg

The drawers probably stuck a little too much for that price and I should have negotiated a discount. The next time I look at a piece, I will definitely keep that in mind when haggling asking for the best price. After a good rub down on the drawer runners with the dry bar of soap, it slides beautifully.
This is the first layer with latex paint (still damp). Procedure recommended by the Alter’d ebook.


    Now, after round of sanding with the palm sander…

    Then, distressed with Alter'd recommended glaze…

    Finally, I loved the original hardware, so I wiped some glaze on them and reused them again! Voila!!

    Take a look at this fabulous finish! I’m considering painting everything in my house with this finish now!
    So, if you love this tarnished peacock finish as much as I do, check the Alter’d website. They are a small business here in Texas with great stuff. Let me know what you think. What have you painted with tarnished peacock?
    I’m linked up at: Be Different Act Normal

    Headboard upcycled antique reinvented


    This headboard is very close to heart and was a long time coming. It has tremendous sentimental value because the wooden frame of it is upcycled from a armoire cabinet that was once in my grandmother’s home. I remember her keeping Audubon birds and a ceramic magnolia piece made from her own hands on display inside. The hubby wanted to convert it into a gun cabinet and I wanted to refurbish it, but it was beyond repair and damaged by insects from long-term storage. Once the cabinet fell apart and was beyond repair, the frame stood against my wall for over 2 years before we did something more with it. I also salvaged other pieces that I will showcase at another time.

    I had previously already had a bed frame for our queen sized bed, but when we upgraded to a king last winter…voila! Winner! My unhandy husband actually helped me out tremendously hear AND so did my high school bestie’s hubby all the way in Louisiana! He split the 2″x4″ with his saw for me so we could hang it on the wall and I drove with it in my car back to Texas last summer.

    Basically, I used less than $75 in materials because the rest (frame) was free!
    I used loo-on (spelling?) instead of plywood because it is lighter. The boys at Lowe’s cut it to my specifications at my request and a smile… The dimensions of the loo-on were about 2″ longer than the inside frame dimensions. 3″ foam was purchased from JoAnn’s with my 40% off coupon ($30 savings). I also bought a can of spray adhesive to attach the foam to the loo-on. I had previously chosen 1-1/2 to 2 yards of upholstery fabric. I chose to spray the fabric with some fabric protector, just in case. Finally, I used a heavy duty stapler and some screws to put it together. I centered the foam (cut to the inside dimensions of the frame) on the loo-on, then attached it with spray foam. Next, I stapled the fabric to the loo-on with hubby’s help. Then, I fit the foam/fabric covered board into the frame to fit snugly. 20130115-215504.jpgFinally, we measured and aligned the 2″x4″ to the upper third of the back of the frame.

    20130115-215346.jpg It was screwed into the back of the frame.

    20130115-215357.jpg Lastly, the second piece of the split 2″x4″ was attached to the wall and leveled.

    20130115-215411.jpg We hung the frame over the top of the bed with about a 6-8″ clearance over the top of the mattress. It’s super comfortable to lean against when reading a book and reminds me daily of my grandmother. The keyhole detail is also on display at the top of the headboard frame. I am very proud of our accomplishment! Thanks Hubby!


    Upcycled Lamp Shade


    In my unplanned travels this week, I stopped off at Eighty One Antiques and Reclaimed Custom Furniture in Lake Charles, Louisiana. I always like to get great ideas from them. If you ever find yourself traveling through, take my advice and go around on the loop and stop off at Ryan Street to visit Eighty One. My favorite find (which probably wasn’t even for sale) was this beautiful display of vintage Christmas ornaments hanging from an old lamp shade frame. Not only do I love this idea for Christmas ornaments, it’s also great as a mobile in a nursery or for other holiday decorations. I’m definitely going to do this! What are some ways, other than as a light fixture, have you used lamp shades?

    Ikat Painted Dresser & Ikat Art








    I linked up at Perfectly Imperfect!


    Silver Leaf Dresser

    This second hand dresser from the Catholic Guild was the first piece of furniture I undertook in my quest for a nicer home. Most people would start out silver or gold leafing some fruit or a tiny statue, but I decided to meet the challenge head on. I didn’t take photos during the process because I didn’t
    know I would be blogging this stuff almost a year later. But I must say when I tried to find a blog with silver leafing, I couldn’t find anything. I will make the effort to video how I accomplished this task and post it here soon.
    I used a nontraditional method, but my process has held up well as a bedside table for about a year now. I frequently put glasses of water on the nightstand and the water rings have never marked up the surface.
    Materials needed:
    Garage or enclosed space (any bit of wind will ruin a piece of silver leafing)- move the car out too unless you want speckles on your paint job…
    A squatting stool
    Decoupage (nontraditional adhesive), large bottle
    Cheap paint brush to apply decoupage
    2 packages Silver leaf pieces* ( purchased at Michael’s for less than $10 each)- depends on the size of your piece. Each piece of silver leaf in my pack was approx. 4″x6″. My small piece of furniture measure about 3’x2’x1.5′
    Silver polishing cream (in a small tube)
    Furniture wax or satin polyurethane
    4-6 pieces of 12″x12″ scrapbook paper (for sides)
    A sturdy brush for adhering or patting the silver leaf
    Scissors (to cut leafing to size)

    I really liked using the decoupage because I was accustomed to how it worked and it dried clear. So if I wasn’t moving along fast enough, it was no big deal. You really need fingernails to separate the leafing from the backing. * I do not suggest purchasing the leafing with adhesive backing since you’ll be applying your own.

    Plan to overlap the pieces.

    It will look bad for a while and you will likely second guess yourself for a while. I did not paint my piece prior to applying the pieces. I don’t even remember sanding it down. I was fine if my pieces crumpled because I wanted that worn look.

    Basically, I ran out of silver leaf and I was getting impatient, so I put scrapbook paper in the recessed sides. I figured since it wasn’t really visible, it didn’t matter. See the photo of the side of the nightstand. I think it makes the piece even more original.


    I was going to replace the handles, but I couldn’t remove them…see image.

    20130101-000926.jpg so, I rubbed the silver polish on the handles and they look great!


    As you can see from the close up images, this is an imperfect job. If you have OCD, I do not recommend this for a weekend project. You will need a lot of time and a lot of silver leafing to get it right.

    20130101-001906.jpg I really wanted the detail of the carving to stick out, so I paid attention to this area in more detail.

    After applying the silver or gold leaf with decoupage paste, allow the piece to dry thoroughly. Then I rubbed the silver rubbing cream from my finger onto the edges of all the drawers and the sides of the cabinet.

    20130101-002408.jpg I also rubbed some more on an old t-shirt and buffed the entire piece to give it a worn or tarnished appearance and to push down any flyaway pieces of silver.

    Finally, you can leave it if you will not be touching the surface and you want a flakey look over time. But, I recommend a coat or two of satin polyurethane or some rub on furniture wax. Upclose, the piece looks rough; but in the whole room, it dazzles in the sunlight. I am very proud of my first piece.
    These drawers come in very handy for all of my inspirational magazines as well.


    I hope you have enjoyed my first post. I look forward to your questions and comments. Happy cre8ing, my friends!