Hurricane Barry was a BUST!

Most folks get a day off because of a hurricane and relax. MOST FOLKS. Not me. Never me. I intended to try...but got sidetracked by stuff. I had on soft pants all day but didn't chill out until way late.

I updated my flatware chest and painted a wood bookshelf I paid $5 for that was in my garage because I found a can of General Finishes Milk Paint on a shelf that I'd forgotten I'd brought home forever ago because I wanted to do something in that color for personal use. The flatware chest update made my flatware look shinier. LOL! I should have BEEN done that.

If you EVER see a solid wood bookcase for $5 and don't bring that sucker home and refinish or update it...you're crazy. For real, seriously, crazy. Solid wood. $5. No brainer.

So yeah...I hurricane cleaned and did a few projects and now I'm finally tired enough to relax. Cuz that's how I get down. LOL!

DIY Chalkboard Menu Board

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I bought this frame and cut a thin piece of wood to fit the back of it. 

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I spray painted that with chalkboard paint, attached it using velcro dots (because I plan on using it for art later) and wrote out the menu for our cocktail party.

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It's currently hanging in the dining room over the buffet!  

I totally need to practice writing with chalk.  LOL!

Kent Coffey Perspecta Ongoing Refinishing Project

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The very first time I saw a Kent Coffey Perspecta piece, I was in mid-century modern heaven on Pinterest flipping through pictures.  Of all the different furniture periods and styles, I've come to love these pieces the most.  They aren't just functional pieces of furniture...they are art just as surely as if someone intended to hang them in a museum for us to gather around and admire in awe. Okay...that was flowerly as hell...but I'm totally telling you the truth of how I feel about MCM pieces.  And I've begun hoarding them in my garage and studying books, blogs, YouTube videos, etc. about how to refinish them as close to the original state as possible.  See...these pieces are now over 60 years old, so they have been through a lot.  But, in yet another testament to how amazingly well-made they are...they are heavy and solid still...after 60 plus years. If you find one of these in top condition like in the picture above, you're looking at a price tag of about $1600 or so.  I wasn't trying to pay that much for one, but I kept my eyes open prepared to pay a few hundred for one in need of some work.  

And then, one day it happened that I stumbled across one while doing one of my regular runs to find a new project. 

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I flipped that blanket up and stumbled backward.  I dug this out from under stuff and asked for a price.  I honestly didn't care what the price was, however...I was getting it.  And it was going to be mine, mine, mine until I die and my heirs get rid of my stuff. 

By myself, I hoisted that sucker up on the back of my truck and brought it home.  When Robby helped me unload it he asked who helped me load it on the truck and I told him, nobody.  All I had was a dolly and a blanket.  I laid the blanket in the truck halfway and then flipped the piece onto the dolly.  I rolled it to the back of the truck, leaned it against the blanket and pushed it using the blanket to slide easier allowing the dolly to fall and take out my shin.  LOL!  By the time I made it home I was hot, dirty and sore with fresh knicks on my left shin but, after an Aleve, I was happier than a televangelist counting up pledges for the week.

Here is my baby once we got her off the truck:

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And here is more of the damage that needs to be dealt with.

So you see...I have my work cut out with this piece since there is no way in hell I'm putting paint on her.  I want her to look just like the picture up top and I am determined to figure it out.  I want to use this in the family room as a television stand so I can look at her every night.  I can't WAIT to be finished.  I'm reading and bookmarking stuff daily and last night I bought some products a master refinisher used in a series of videos I've been watching.  My research is almost complete and I think I'll be ready in a week or so to start working on it.

Wish me luck.  I'll keep yall posted with my progress.  Just be patient with me because I'm going to take my time so I don't mess it up.  I want it to be PERFECT!

I think I'm going to name her after one of my long gone Elders, my great-Aunt Eola.  Aunt Eola was an educator her entire life and carried herself regally at all times.  Even if you popped by her home early in the morning and she was still in her robe with her hair in pin curls.  She was a tiny, Creole woman with glasses and gray hair.  Dainty and yet strong.  I remember she came to our home once and my father hit my mother.  My Aunt Eola swung on him and left all of us in COMPLETE AND TOTAL SHOCK.  She might have been 4ft. 9inches tall and she just JUMPED HIS AZZ. Strong, sturdy and beautiful. 

Yup...Eola it is!  Ms. Eola.  

That Gumbo Life Shop

I hung a headboard on a wall today.  

Why, you ask?

I'm not taking any questions.  Just go with it.  It works.

DIY Rustic 6ft. Pipe Shelf

Our sofa isn't against the wall and there is a pretty good bit of space between the sofa and the wall so I decided I wanted to put a 6ft. long shelf back there under the mirror I have there currently.  (Totally plan on replacing the mirror soon for something much larger.) I'd posted a pin to Pinterest a long time ago showing a shelf made out of pipe flanges and pipes with wood and finally decided to make one.

So...off to Lowes I go to buy two pipe flanges (1/2"), two 10" pipe nipples (1/2"), two pipe end caps (1/2") and an 8ft. long 2" x 10" board that I had them cut 6ft. off.  

When I got home, I sanded the board and stained it with Minwax Dark Walnut stain.  Robby installed the pipe flanges on the wall using sheetrock anchors and the shelf fit perfectly between the flange and the end cap.  I used a sharpie to color in the head of the screws so it blended with the flanges better.  

I'm only using it for decorative purposes so I wasn't really worried about it being knocked off the pipes.  If this is a concern of yours, ask Mr. Google for solutions as there are plenty.

I like it and I'm going to make a wall of them soon, shorter ones though.  Probably three of them about 3ft. each.

UPCYCLED! Coat, Hat and Umbrella Stand for Foyer

I found this stand and it was super rickety.  Like...SUPER.  But you know how I feel about real wood so I knew it would be alright.  I took it apart and cleaned it really well and then put it back together solidly minus the rings.  Then...I primed it and spray painted it in antique white.  I painted the rings gold.  

Wanna know how much I paid for it?  $5.  LOL!  Yup...you read that right.  $5.  

GO ME!!!!!!!

How to Make Lovely Ceramic Coasters!

One day last week I was procrastinating.  STORY OF MY LIFE!  I went to sit down and focus with a drink in my hand.  I already had a mug on the only coaster on that table so then I started thinking that I need more coasters.  So, of course, I started online shopping for coasters.  You know...all the normal places, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, West Elm, etc.

I saw stuff I liked that was more than I wanted to pay and the stuff that I thought was reasonably priced was just BLAH.

BLAH, I SAY!  BLAH!

So then I decided to make my own.  No...seriously...I picked up my keys and went to get supplies to make my own.

I bought white 4 x 4 tiles for .12 cents each at Lowes, a book of scrapbook paper for $5, some epoxy and some cork squares.

Prep your surface.

1.  Cut scrapbook paper 10cm x 10cm.

2.  Brush tile with Modge Podge.

3.  Put paper on tile.

4.  Let dry for 15 minutes. (A few of them, I did a bit of extra with some paint so I had to let those dry longer.)

5.  Brush tile with another layer of Modge Podge.

6.  Let completely dry overnight.

THE NEXT DAY...

Prep your surface and turn a disposable plastic cup under each tile.

7.  Mix epoxy per directions.  (Don't mix more than a little less than half a cup of each bottle.)

8.  Pour in the center of each tile.

9.  Smooth with a spreader.  I use Bondo spreaders.  

10.  Use a foam brush or a folded index card to make sure the sides coated and there is none under the tile.

11.  Let dry for 24 hours.  (I actually let mine dry longer because I was waiting on the cork adhesive to arrive.)

12.  Add cork squares to bottoms.

13.  Tie something around 2 or 4 of them to give as gifts!  LOL!

So yeah...I think they are gorgeous!  Guess what everyone is getting for Christmas this year?  LOL!  Yup.  Just bought two boxes of 100 tiles for $12.00 per box.  GO ME!  Oh...and I made like 32 more Friday.  Crazy pants.

They are on my Etsy site if you decide to not make any but find you need a few extra coasters around your house too.  I put one on every nightstand and one per chair on or near every table.

Tips:

1.  Line the bottom edges with clear tape that you can pull off when it dries so that the drips don't harden underneath.

2.  If you do get hardened drips, you can sand those off.

3.  Cut all of your paper first with an exacto knife.

4.  Don't let epoxy dry anywhere dust or bugs can light on them.  (Yes...it happened.  Damn daddy long leg mosquito!) 

Make Wood Wall Art Out of Anything Paper With Modge Podge!

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Step 1:  I wanted it to look old so I beat up a piece of wood I had from a shelf that I built with a hammer.

Step 2:  Sand it all over so you don't have splinters.

Step 3:  Stain.

Step 4:  Paint with Modge Podge.

Step 5:  Add paper items.

Step 6.  Let dry for 15 minutes.

Step 7:  Paint over whole thing with Modge Podge.

Step 8:  Cover with a clear satin topcoat for protection.

Step 9:  Let dry overnight.

Step 10:  Add sawtooth hangers to back.

Me likey.  I love how it looks really old.  

Have you ever done a Modge Podge project?  What was it?  

DIY Decorating Around a Flat Screen Television

I've had some stuff I've wanted to frame for a while now but never got around to doing it.  And...I had a super blank wall in the room I like to read in.  I have a television in there that I use to binge watch programs The Robinator doesn't want to watch like "Parenthood" and listen to music.  The room is comfortable and I've been finishing it slowly.  

That blank wall is opposite my mirror gallery and behind the television.  

Have I mentioned that I hate how televisions take up a wall?  Like...there never seems to be anything interesting about the wall the television is in front of.  I've seen where interior designers put a lot of art on the wall behind the television and I kind of liked that.  Then...I thought about other stuff that I like too and decided to make a mixed media wall.

Our friends, Kenny and Booth, have an amazing home.  Not because it's like this grand estate or anything (even though it is), but because everything in it has a story.  Anything your eyes light on has a unique history and story.  Walking through their home with one of them is like a cultural personalized museum tour and I love that everything has a story behind it.  They didn't just roll up to a furniture store and buy a matching living room set.  Every piece is unique and personalized to their personalities and the way they live their life.  They have fascinating art and bits of all sorts of amazing things to look at.  It's like a sensory party that you never want to leave. I could sit in their great room for hours and hours perfectly content.

And that's what I want.  I want spaces and things with personal and unique stories.  This room is the first one that I'm doing that way just to see how well it fairs and I am loving it so far.  I can't wait until I decide on window treatments because that will mean that I am finally finished with it as I've said they will be the last things I do in each room.

Michael's was having a 50% off sale on their wall frames so I picked up some of them for the vintage musical programs and art that I had.  I made a tray at an Annie Sloan paint techniques class I attended, did a canvas using stencils and added two wood pieces that I did myself.

The first one was an address sign with 13700 on it.  All my happiest memories in life so far were made at 13700.  It's where my husband and I first started out as a married couple and where we just grew into who we are.  It's where my family, framily and friends gathered all the time and where I've circled infertility, learned how to be settled and really just grew up.  

The second one is made from handwritten sheet music from a musical in the early 1900s.  "Swing Low," "Were You There?" and "Deep River."  I bought this years ago with the other pieces in Maryland.  

The tray was a fun time and I enjoyed meeting the ladies and learning about different painting techniques. So there is a story behind it too.  The vases were made using dollar store vases and dots and tape to create a design and then spray paint.  

I love the way it has all come together.  It's visually interesting and the television is no longer the focal point of the wall.  I even have room to add more pieces should I ever decide to.  I like that I decided to use the whole wall instead of just up high above the television.  

Vintage Mersman Round Coffee Table

Mersman 31-25

Mersman 31-25

I was looking for something I could try the shabby chic look on and glaze.  Since I only paid $5 for this piece, I wasn't scared I'd screw it up. LOL! And hey...even if I did screw it up, I could always strip it and start over right?  Right!

One of the things I really enjoy is doing the research on a piece and finding out who made it and when. I always get excited when a piece has the manufacturer's name on it.  

This table is from the 1950's and has a nice bit of solid heft to it. In the 1950's, laminate furniture was popular and this piece had a laminate top.  Because of this, I sanded it and primed the entire table before painting. Then, I distressed the base with sandpaper and put on a coat of polyurethane.  Next I used General Finishes glaze in black on the top and the shelf to give them a distressed look too.  I haven't decided if I want to glaze it again or not but once I do, I will do another coat of polyurethane after a super light sanding.

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Whatcha think?  This is my first attempt at distressing with sandpaper and glaze.

English Yellow Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Empire Chest

Annie Sloan English Yellow Chalk Paint - Two coats.

Annie Sloan Clear Wax - One coat.

Minwax Dark Walnut Stain - One coat on stripped and fully dry top.  

Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish - One coat on fully dry top.

Brasso - Rubbed brass brad finishes until they were shiny.  

The interior drawers are pretty perfect but I might paint them a shiny black.  Eventually.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  LOL!  I like it.  It makes me happy.  LIke...really happy.  Although, I'm sitting here looking at it now thinking that a stencil of white cherry blossom branches across the three long drawers starting about a third of the width in would be super cute.

Hmmmmmmmm...

Have you refinished a piece yet?  Or a new piece if you've done it before?

Do you like the yellow?  

 

 

 

 

Updating Patio Furniture

My patio chairs are in good condition.  I love them because they are oversize and they rock.  Because they are outside without a cover all the time however, they show major wear and tear.

BUT THEY ARE STILL IN GOOD CONDITION.

And I hate buying new stuff to replace something in good condition unless I just want something new.

So I bought 3 cans of Rust-Oleum Hammered Black spray paint, put down a tarp, cleaned the chairs off and got to spraying!

This is what the wear and tear looked like up close:

And now they look FA-BU-LOUS!  GO ME!

Looking for new cushions now.  I want a pop of color this time.  I think.  Even though neutral is more practical.  I should get neutral...BUT I AIN'T!

How to Not Snap 101!

Raise  your hand if you have multiple projects going on right now.  LOL!  I know I do.  It's how I don't SNAP.

Yesterday, instead of focusing on what I already have going on INSIDE, I decided it was the perfect day for OUTSIDE projects so I got up and headed to Lowe's not once, but twice and did a lot of Spring time sprucing up outside.  I started seedlings, did container planting and laid out a design for color throughout the year.  By nightfall I was covered in dirt from head-to-toe and smiling like crazy happy with what I'd done.  

And then...I settled in for the Oscars.  I never said I was boycotting them even as I understood why so many felt it was the only way to get their voices heard.  I always felt like the Oscars wasn't the problem.  The Oscars was simply the end of a very long Monopoly game complete with folks stealing from the bank and straight up angry board flipping when the cheating is figured out.  I watched because I'm a fan of film.  I watched because I've made 4 short films and one feature film and I'm hoping to get the chance to learn from my mistakes and make another feature film soon.  I watched because noting what filmmakers do with $150 million makes me laugh in comparison to the $350 thousand folks offer up filmmakers who look like me and then have the nerve to say, "Maybe if Black filmmakers made better movies...yada, yada..."

I thought Chris Rock's opening monologue was spot on but, as the production progressed, I became more and more offended.  I posted my feelings on Facebook:

There were the typical comments, of course and...I just started deleting fools because if you are going to seriously sit here and tell me that you don't understand why people of color feel some kinda way about this...you're already telling me all I need to know about you and I'm good on you.

Folks ain't trying to get nothing for free.  Folks ain't trying to take away from Leonardo and Cate and the filmmakers behind their performances.  Folks just want an opportunity to showcase their talents as well.  Folks want an opportunity to grow and learn from their mistakes too same as Steven Spielberg got to do with his evolution from "The Sugarland Express." 

Hey...you can't get better if you're not give the opportunity to continue on.

Ah well...whatever.  Let me get back to the project I want to finish today.  I need to run out and get some Brasso after I put on the final coat of paint.  And I need to finish choosing from my storage box of plant pots what I'd like to put some new plants in. And then I need to start stripping all the stain off the unique table I plan on using as an end table in the room this piece is going in and I gotta get outta here and hit up the sale at this upholstery fabric store that is going out of business so I can get some good deals on some fabrics for some window treatments my mommy-in-law is going to help me with.  

Oh...here is something that I saved to my 'FAH' (Funny As Hell) folder on my phone.  It's a folder that I keep with all the things I run across which me laugh like crazy no matter what else is going on.  I hope it does the same for you.  I don't know this guy in real life, but if you do, thank him for me for this laugh cuz baaaaaaaaaby...those hashtags tho!  LOL!


Stripping Paint with Citristrip! #Citristrip #DIY

I'm working on upcycling a new piece.  It's a fabulous chest.  I wanted to stain the top instead of painting it and started by sanding it.  Well...I got worried because I didn't want all of the wood's natural imperfections to be removed via sanding so I decided I'd strip it instead using Citristrip

It was my first time using it and it was relatively easy.  The most difficult part was letting it sit for 30 minutes.

So...using a paintbrush, I brushed it on the top pretty liberally.  After 30 minutes, I scraped off the gunk using my painter's tool which is seriously the best thing ever for doing so much by way of DIY.  Red Devil's Painter's Tool.

And then voila!  It was ready to stain.  I used a stiff bristle brush to get the scraped bits in the grooves and, since I was in the sun...it dried relatively quickly.  

This was seriously the easiest thing ever.  Stripping paint is tedious and generally icky.  This was easy and with a pleasant smell to boot.  GO ME!  LOL!

China Cabinet Upcycle - COMPLETE - #AnnieSloanChalkPaint

To start...I had to take off that old school gold leaf stuff.  I added about 20 drops of tea tree oil to some hot water, saturated a washcloth with it and then rubbed it all over the gold stuff squeezing as I went so there was water left sitting on top.  Then...I let it sit for about five minutes and, using the blade from a utility knife...scraped it off.  Easy.  SUPER easy.

Next, I painted the interior with two coats of Country Grey (followed by clear wax) and the exterior with two coats of Coco.  Since I was looking to coordinate with a painted chest we already have...I was trying to get a certain color so I followed the exterior with dark wax.

I plan on stenciling the interior back but probably not before Christmas.  I put some stuff in it to take a picture because I didn't want to pull out my china.  Then...I was like...well...I like my china where I keep my china (in the painted cabinet) and I feel like it's safer in there.  Now...safer from what I don't know.  This is how my brain works.  I have issues and I'm not working on them.

Still.

Before.  During. After.  

I like it.  It makes me happy.

And truly...that's all I want in life.  To do whatever makes me happy.

GO ME!

Sooooooooooo...have you decided to try a piece yet?  I'm thinking of painting our family room coffee table.  You know...since a little super cute puppy yall know teethed on it when we first got her.  LOL!

Annie Sloan MIRACLE Chalk Painted Kitchen Table!!!!!!!

I fell down a rabbit hole recently on Pinterest regarding Annie Sloan chalk paint.  I got really excited and then Angela shared with me the china cabinet she did and that pretty much sealed the deal for me.  I wanted to do something with the paint.

Our dining table is in the dining room so we needed a kitchen table.  Of course I'd identified one.  For whatever reason, I didn't pull the plug on it immediately and The Robinator kept asking me when we were going to get a table.  I'd decided I wanted to use a bench against the bay windows so the view wasn't obstructed and well...I just kept dragging my feet because I couldn't find exactly what I wanted.  I wanted it to be fun but still neutral.  Crazy I know.

This is what I liked:

But I wasn't crazy about the white.  The walls on the main level are taupe with white trim.  Too much white will make it BLAH...in my opinion.

The Annie Sloan pics on Pinterest made me feel like...YAAAAAAASSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!  I WANT THAT!!!!!!!!!  Pinterest Annie Sloan Table

Okay...so I needed a table.  

The Robinator was a good sport and went with me to a place that sold old furniture.  We were walking around when I found a table with crap stacked on top of it.  It looked horrid but it was REAL wood.  I asked the owner how much and when she said $50 I agreed INSTANTLY.

We brought it home but my shoulder was hurting so badly...he wouldn't let me start.  But I went to the place where they sold Annie Sloan chalk paint and picked out the color, Provence. I figured it would give me the pop of color I was looking for while still remaining relatively neutral.  

I decided I wanted to stain the top so I chose Minwax Dark Walnut as the stain for the tabletop.

I woke up this morning chomping at the bit to get it done but my shoulder was still messed up.  Because he's kinda awesomely fantastic...The Robinator sanded it for me and then I got to work.

These are the steps:

1.  Clean with Clorox cleaner and damp towel.

2.  Let dry.

3.  Sand top only (going to stain the top) with coarse sand paper.

4.  Wipe off dust.

5.  Sand again if needed.

6.  Wipe off dust.

7.  Sand with fine sand paper.

8.  Wipe off dust.

9.  Wipe down with damp towel.

10.  Let dry.

11. Stain.

12.  Let sit for 15 minutes.

13.  Wipe dry with old, soft t-shirt.

14.  Stain again if you'd like it darker.  (I didn't.)

15.  Paint rest of table with chalk paint.

16.  Let dry for an hour.

17.  Paint again.

18.  After 5 hours, add Annie Sloan dark wax to top.

19.  Wipe off excess wax.

I didn't buy the clear wax for the painted part because I didn't think I'd like it but I think I now want it so I'll go get it tomorrow and add it.

The table looks awesome.sauce.

In my opinion.

Would you try something like this?  I now want to paint and stain whatever I can find.  LOL!  I have identified the next piece I'm going to do and I am super-dooper excited about it!  I've found the chairs I want to use but not the bench so I might have to get it made. 

I want to use coordinating seat cushions and Sheffield valances in the space so that will be cool!  Buying new furniture made out of real wood can set you back a grip since the days of MDF being easy and much cheaper options.  I don't like MDF.  I'm a grownup.  I want my furniture to be made out of real wood.  So...either I'm going to have to upcycle old pieces or  spend ridiculous (to me) amounts of money to get good quality products.  With a little elbow grease and some vision...I'm pretty excited about the prospects ahead of me now that I know I can do this.  I know what my next two projects are going to be and Shelly has me penciled in to do something for her, but my project after that is a guest bedroom where I want to do two twin beds with an American flag motif.  

I'm all excited and whatnot and so is The Robinator.  Dude keeps passing by the table marveling that we only paid $50 for it.  LOL!  I love that.  

GOBBLE.GOBBLE!!!!!!!!

 

How to Make Your Own T-shirt Using Mirror Image on PicMonkey - #Racial Fatigue

Sometimes you want to wear a shirt that says what you want it to say.  Of course I couldn't find a t-shirt that said 'Racial Fatigue' so I made my own because I want to wear it.  Often.

I bought this:  Jolee's Boutique Transfer Paper

There are 5 sheets for light shirts and 5 sheets for dark shirts.

Then I used WordArt in Word, saved it as a PDF and then edited it in PicMonkey to flip (mirror) the image and make this:

Next I printed it on the transfer paper using my printer, cut it out as nicely as I could and ironed it onto a fresh white tank (notice I didn't call it a wife-beater...oops...LOL!) and VOILA!  

And now that I have 9 sheets left...I can get 9 more shirts outta this.  The public might not be ready for my personally created graphic tees.

If anybody wants to make one send me an email and I'll send you the full size image you can print out on transfer paper and iron on.