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When the music fades………and all is stripped away……My soul often finds rest in creating. After hugging our last summer guests good-bye yesterday morning, I spent the day reconnecting with my home and allowing myself to wile away the hours with no real purpose or agenda. And as is so often the case, my soul found rest with my hands as I attempted one of those lovely book page wreaths I’ve seen for several months now in blog-land. There are numerous tutorials for these wreaths online.  I loosely followed THIS one.  My supplies included an old copy of The Complete Works of Shakespeare for my pages, a cardboard cutout (I used a box from the post office and traced around a mixing bowl to create the circle from which to cut), a glue gun, and a short piece of jute rope for the hanger. After rolling each torn out page into…

I’m so excited to have finished my first slipcovers!  Granted, they weren’t extremely difficult, but their creation is a new chapter for me. Would you like to see? My plan was to paint only the two armed dining chairs at the ends of our table.  Remember how they looked originally? And then how I painted them, much to the shock of friends and family members?  (Painting the other six chairs seems too daunting, but don’t underestimate my intent to tackle the table legs next…) My new slipcovers have ruffles….and pretty grosgrain bows….Just like the ones I’ve admired for years.  I’m very in love with them. It was late as I worked on these, so I did not take process photos.  If you are interested in sewing similar slipcovers for your own chairs, Miss Mustard Seed has two amazing tutorials here.  I followed her basic concept of pinning the…

I finished the Union Jack desk in my oldest son’s room, along with a chair to match.  You can see the Part 1 here.We are slowly “growing up” his room this summer and his desk received the first overhaul.  I’ve always wanted to do a Union Jack design and, because we planned to keep this desk in his room during the overhaul (he used each and every drawer!), it was a great place for Union Jack!His chair was a Value Village find with a torn vinyl seat.  I painted it Sherwin Williams Creamy , distressed a little on the edges, and waxed.  The seat is screwed on from underneath, so I simply removed four screws, lifted the padded seat off its base, and stapled a cut-to-fit swatch of painting dropcloth right over the old blue vinyl.  So cheap since I had extra dropcloth anyway!What makes the chair special, though, is…

Happy Memorial Day, everyone!  Dear Lord, may we never forget the principles which founded this great nation.  And may we forever honor those ~ living and passed ~ who fight to defend our liberty and way of life.  We cannot say thank you enough.How fitting that I just happen to be working on some red, white and blue today.  Although this design is undoubtedly British, the colors are truly American…and those three colors together always bring a swell of emotion to my chest.I’ve wanted to paint a Union Jack piece for a long time now and was delighted when, after a recent decorating brainstorm with my son Gabriel, he agreed his desktop would be the perfect place.  (We are redoing his room slowly but surely.)Wherever would I be without this little helper of mine?  We painted the entire top Sherwin Williams Stolen Kiss first,…then taped off the lines roughly following…

I started this post a couple weeks ago to share a turquoise buffet I painted recently, but then we wrapped up homeschool, I headed to Minneapolis for a quick getaway with family, and never finished the post. First, a little back story:  A couple months ago, I sold a mustard-yellow dresser to a woman who asked if I’d be willing to paint her buffet-turned-tv-stand as well.  After sending me a few inspirational pictures of chipped, heavily-distressed turquoise pieces with stained tops, I went to work. I snapped the following pictures in my garage right before she picked it up, so unfortunately I didn’t have time for a good photo shoot.  But hey, some days are like that. Even in Australia. I’m never certain what will happen when I strip and stain a piece of furniture.  I need not have worried on this one; the wood was absolutely gorgeous.  I wanted…

Sometimes I lay my head on the pillow at night and wonder where on earth the day went….how another day managed to pass with still so many things on my to-do list?I try to rationalize by reminding myself of the progress I have made ~ the little things I accomplished that day to be present, to be real, to listen, to observe.  Things which become more important to me as my children outgrow shoes right before my eyes.Last night I had great intentions of spending the evening painting since we were blessedly home for the evening; instead, my daughter felt sick so we laid on the couch together reading about Mary and Laura chasing cattle from the haystacks in Little House on the Prairie.  Before long, the boys piled around so we sketched out a few games of Hangman on notebook paper.  When was the last time I played Hangman,…

Recently we tackled the construction of a DIY Balance Beam for my daughter’s 9th birthday.Purple, no less :)Following is a detailed step-by-step guide as to how we went about building it.  **Note: This project does involve cutting and welding steel.  If you have a husband who loves to build things, that’s also a plus:)Here are the materials we used:(3) 2′ x 6′ x 10′  (cut down to 4 1/2″ width to make slightly wider than Olympic width of 4″)(1) 5′ length 1″ steel square tubing cut into (4) 22″ lengths. All ends cut at 22 degree angle.(1) 5′ length 2 1/2″ wide steel flatbar (1’4″ – 3/8″ thick).  We used 3/8″ thick.From this flatbar, we cut two cradles to hold the wooden beam.  Each cradle had a bed 4 1/2″ wide, with side arms 2 7/8″ high.We also cut the four rectangular “feet” from this same flatbar, each foot being…

I found this pair of shutters for my living room at a second-hand store in town and knew they were perfect for the living room wall above our fireplace.The fact they started out red didn’t deter me in the least.  Paint: it’s what I do around here :)I decided to paint them a whitewashed gray, but didn’t have a definite plan.  Here’s how I went about it.First, I hosed the shutters off really well in our garage, let them dry (mostly ~ I may have gotten impatient), then painted a solid coat of Behr’s Ashwood which is a very close match to Annie Sloan’s French Linen.  (I mixed 1 1/2 cups Ashwood with 1/2 cup Calcium Carbonate and 1/4 cup water to make my own chalkpaint.)Next, I poured a little bit of Ashwood and a little bit of Sherwin Williams Creamy on two paper plates, and with a VERY dry…

After sitting in our garage now for several weeks, a pair of newly painted shutters have found their rightful home on either side of the large, overpowering, room dominating tv in our living room. Yesterday, using creamy grosgrain ribbon, I hung two boxwood wreaths from our local Fred Meyer  over the tops of the shutters, adding a touch of spring to a very spring-ready Alaskan family.Painting this wall was one of my first projects when we moved into our house almost five years ago.  Although Benjamin Moore’s Bonewhite has stayed the same, I repainted the back of the shelves from the original Farrow and Ball’s Green Blue~Farrow & Ball’s Green Blueto Farrow and Ball’s Light Blue after coming to the conclusion that Green Blue just wasn’t soft enough. (Both colors look darker in this post than the really are.)Farrow & Ball’s Light BlueThe decor on this wall has changed quite…

Tuesday.  Who doesn’t love a Tuesday?  No pressure, no expectation, just simply…..(deep breath)…..Tuesday.What’s not to love?I finished painting a very large hutch over the weekend and wanted to share the final results with you.  I love the combination of heavy distressing with sublime robin’s egg blue interior on this piece.And of course a little glass knob sparkle. I gathered several white serving pieces and vases from around my house to stage the inside for photos.For the body, I painted one coat of Behr’s Sterling mixed as a home chalkpaint (1 1/2 cups paint, 1/2 cup Calcium Carbonate, 1/4-1/2 cup water).  Sterling is a very, very light gray that looks almost white but it’s not ~ because it’s gray.Like a white with a past.  Scandalous.I found this piece on Craigslist and snapped this Before picture after I’d removed the original hardware.  You’re not missing anything there: Chunky, clunky and 70’s is all…