When we’re young, we strive to reach an ideal we’ve carried in our minds, an ideal which is a compilation of movie scenes, books we’ve read, families we’ve observed, truths we’ve learned, bits of life we’ve lived. We may not be able to accurately define this ideal early on, but its power propels us forward.  As we progress through schooling and relationships, jobs and big purchases, travels and recreation, it dances just out of reach beyond our fingertips ~ always there, yet never quite in focus ~ never quite attainable. Its drive is so very strong it carries us through excruciating tests, long hours on the job, heartache, moments of reprieve, and more striving.  It influences the clothes we purchase, the houses we buy, the activities we pursue, the way we parent your children, the way we spend money.  It drives our values, our choices, and our motivations. It…

I finished a little dresser this morning. Light and unassuming, this piece didn’t have a lot of carvings, turned legs, or molding, so I embellished the drawers with painted ceramic knobs from Hobby Lobby… …then stripped and stained the top to resemble old barnwood. I love how the dark wooden top gives this airy little piece substance. Like a little girl who’s growing up. Happy Tuesday, Jaimee

Every now and then, a woman just needs a good furniture makeover.  This dresser is one of them.Right away I need to clarify that, so far, this one isn’t for sale, simply because….well….I’m not ready to let it go yet.From the wavy drawer fronts to the scrolled pulls, not to mention the stripes all around, I can’t quite bear to part with her yet.  And I’m sorry.This dresser was sitting outside one of those garage sales held by a couple who lived in the same house for 40 years.  The same house in Fairbanks, ALASKA, for 40 years.  You can only imagine the oddities I discovered, as well as the treasures.The kind, old man told me he’d have to take $15 for this dresser because “She’s real solid wood throughout.”  Well, I could certainly understand that (shriek!), and proceeded to empathize with him as we loaded up my Suburban.But the…

I just returned from a morning run and somehow wanted to capture the beauty, the peace, the inspiration His great outdoors can bring.  Such a gorgeous fall day~! Words from a poem I couldn’t quite recall kept playing through my mind as I prepared for this week….this season….this Monday morning: “….The best is yet to be…” I did a quick search and was delighted to discover, and recall, this phrase is from a poem by Robert Browning, one of my favorite poets, call “Rabbi Ben Ezra.”  A faith-filled declaration of God’s design for the life of man which inspires a new perspective on youth and aging.  Here are a few lines from the first stanza~ Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, The last of life, for which the first was made: Our times are in His hand… If you need a dose of good…

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…