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It’s late and I’m headed to bed, but I had to share with you a quick glimpse of the project I tackled tonight using my own homemade chalk paint.If this stuff is as good as it seems tonight, I could get very, VERY excited.Here’s the piece I’m working on:After removing all the hardware, washing it down well, and sanding only to smooth spots that were damaged from unidentifed sticky goo or chipped areas, I removed the free standing top from its lower cabinet & I went straight to painting over the shiny, stained surface with my chalk paint mixture.No primer or nuttin’.I don’t know off the top of my head what this color is (the can is still in my garage and I’m too tired to retrieve it) but it’s a deep yellow my sister used on her library table.  She gave me the leftovers and I knew I wanted…

This blog was conceived from my love of furniture refinishing, decorating, and all things design.Oh, don’t misunderstand me.  I still love those things…!  I can get downright giddy were you to come over this afternoon and talk furniture over a latte with me.  Matter of fact, whatcha doin’ around 3pm?But seriously, as much as I love design, we all know life is more than just pretty stuff, especially when you’re a wife, mom, sister, daughter, homeschooling parent, etc. etc.  In a previous post I talked about my desire this fall to focus on a few things in my role as mom, ie primary cooker/baker/menu planner/prep cook.  One was making my own bread, the other was trying new recipes.I’m happy to report that my first week of homeschool was a success in both areas.  Yes, we accomplished a heap of school work, too, but that’s for another day. Not only did I grind my own wheat for the first time…

I’ve decided that fall is actually my New Year’s.  Every fall, inspiration hits to recommit to exercise, schedule engaging family nights, be more intentional about fostering relationships, and wow my familywith  several new, revolutionary, enticing recipes.Ha. We’ll see how I do :)I started a new weight-training program today and it felt SO good.  Although I’ve lifted off and on since I was 18, I’ve had a hard time committing to it again~ well, if I’m honest, a hard time committing to exercise in general ~ since we moved three years ago.  I’ve always been a firm believer in lifting weights, especially for women.  Not only does it strengthen your muscles and bones, it boasts an added benefit of building mental & emotional strength and confidence as well.Couldn’t we all use more of that?Now that I’m 41, physical strengthening is especially crucial.  I’m certain I’m losing bone mass and muscle mass and balance and elasticity each and every second. I…

Yesterday I posted about a planning system I use over and over to help organize my whirling mind and systematically schedule out my to-do’s in order to get things done.  I pointed out that getting things done wasn’t the best part of my plan (I claimed that having a plan was the most beneficial perk of all), but I must confess the “getting things done” is a pretty huge perk, too.  Today I’ll show you a few things I’ve completely (and I mean, completely) finished the last couple days as a result of scheduling them in my Notebook.First, a few shots of something pretty for my daughter’s room:In case you can’t tell from these pictures, it’s a chair I finally finished for Amaya after starting and stopping oh, seventeen or so times over the last year.  I received this from a friend of ours, and it came looking like this (okay, I confess…

Today I thought I’d share with you my method of organizing my to-do list.  I’ll warn you in advance: this is not fancy stuff.  But it hit me last night that my planning method has become a system I fall back on over and over again.  And if it consistently works for me, perhaps it is worth sharing with you :)For busy families, planning is important any time of year.  However, fall seems to be a great time to start fresh with the beginning of school, new Bible studies & programs at church, first days of extra-curricular activities, yard & house maintenance…..whew!  My mind can whirl for days with all the to-do’s I need to accomplish.My pattern goes something like this:1. My mind is whirling with everything I need to do, and every time I walk in a room of my house, or have a conversation with someone, or read a magazine, or…

Why is naming things after food such a comforting delight?I finished painting a French Provencal dresser last week.  When the time came to describe it online, I discovered that serving up a little Oatmeal for the body and French Roast for the top elevated this dresser from simply pretty to a warm mix of comfortable and yummy.  Would you agree?Because the top was not solid wood but composite, I opted to paint it dark brown to mimic a stained top.  I was apprehensive because brown can often look cheap and, well, like you’re trying to mimic a stained top.Which I was…. :-)The first brown I tried was too light, so I did the second coat in Behr’s French Roast (ha, see where I got the name?)  This time it was perfect:I love how rich it turned out.  I sealed the top with 2 coats Minwax Polyurethane in Satin and the bottom with WipeOn poly. …

August is here.The month when you begin to look back and realize the summer is nearing the fall.  When you suddenly feel the pressure to do all those things you haven’t done yet.  The month when you begin to evaluate whether or not your summer has evolved suitably enough to meet your high expectations.I can honestly say that, for me, this summer has.  Exceeded expectations.  And not just because of what we’ve done or said or with whom we’ve spent time ~ although each has been important and meaningful.  But more because of how His plan has continued to unfold in our marriage and our home and our lives…..in spite of us.This August I want to thank Him because He loves us so much and never, ever throws in the towel over our stubbornness, pride, attitudes, and mistakes.  Waiting on Him is one of the most difficult things I will ever do,…

Do ya ever have one of those projects that quite simply gives you fits at every turn?I just finished one of those.  And in spite of all the things that seemed to keep going wrong, as I take a moment to reflect on the process, I can’t help but appreciate the story this dresser could tell.Which reminds me a lot of our lives.  Of that amazing moment when you look back at a particular challenge or heartbreak and gradually begin to understand God’s allowing it in your life.  Not only does a small understanding of His ways fill you with gratitude for such an all-comprehending God, but it also helps reassure you that in the next hard stage you encounter, God will probably have a diving purpose there, too.And oh, what a story you will tell.This piece told a story from the moment its shape caught my eye during a…

PART ONEI’ve come to the conclusion I’m not a very good blogger.  I don’t post consistently.Sometimes I don’t respond when others graciously visit my blog and leave supportive, kind comments.I throw ideas around, but then don’t always follow through in a later post.And I’m sorry.See, when I first discovered the DIY blogging world back in November of 2010, it quite literally changed my life.  Shaunna was my first blogging hero.Then came Marian.Then Kate.  Then Layla.Since these first few amazing ladies, I’ve discovered many wonderfully gifted and inspiring writers in the blogging community.And I’ve discovered that one of my dreams is to be a more successful blogger.But I’ve also really struggled this last year with what that means, what this technology-based version of myself should look like.Everyone in blogland says to just be yourself, and I do believe that is important.  But I’ve often recognized the temptation to make things sound or look better than…

What a blessed summer.Lots of BBQing, s’mores, volleyball with family, planting new grass, cutting trees, sitting around the campfire, boating.  A blessed summer.I’ve been squeezing in some projects here and there and thought I’d show you a few in progress.  As you know, we finished the surround on our sitting room fireplace in March, and I painted the bookshelves around that same time.  In April, I found a light fixture on craigslist for $40 and, although a tacky brass, I knew it could be stunning with a little time and Krylon’s Oil-Rubbed Bronze.In case you’re wondering how on earth I found the patience to tape off each and every glass section on this fixture, I will confess it was a 2-3 day ordeal.  My precious 12-year-old son agreed to cut newspaper pieces to fit each area using a template I made.  Then, as I was (literally) waiting for paint to…