Thursday, December 29, 2011

Top Furniture Projects of 2011

Starting this blog last Spring has made all the difference for me this year.  I have learned more than I can say from some very generous, talented ladies who I have met through their blogs, or who have found me through my blog.  I can not stress how very grateful I am for each and every one who has ever left a comment of encouragement or validation for me!  Truly, this community is AMAZING in all that they do to teach and reach each other!

So, do I have some favorites that I finished this year?  You betcha!  For some reason I got on a buffet binge this year.  Probably because I was looking for some for myself  (look for those reveals coming up soon!) and old tired buffets appear to be plentiful right now. 

One of my favs would have to be this beauty.  When my computer crashed I lost the pictures of her stored within reach so you'll have to follow the link back to see her again.  She was in the sorriest shape I have ever worked on.  My poor husband helped me shore her up and spent hours trying to help reattach laminate tops and fill in holes.  This one was more than I alone could handle.  But she turned out so very, very pretty that it was worth every moment of work.  She found a home with a lovely gal and I'm sure they will enjoy her for years and years.

Another piece that finished up so nicely that I can't help but show you is the Beauty and the Beast .  The top on this one was a mess too but it painted up beautifully.  And those chairs, wow, they may have started out pretty crusty, but they were solid, gorgeous, and with a generous wide seat.  This set was so comfortable that I had a hard time parting with it!  I know the family that bought these were so excited about them. 

Finally, this was a piece that is quite dear to my heart.  Another buffet, I just couldn't seem to help myself this year!  This was part of a dining set that I refinished with a table and 6 chairs that matched her.  She wasn't really in bad shape at all.  Just a tired finish that needed to be refreshed and some minor repairs to make her work well.  I love, love, love her lacy little fretwork, and the oak leaf carved in the backboard made my heart go pitter/pat.  For a long time (until I bought yet ANOTHER similar buffet) she wasn't going anywhere.  But really she needed to be with her matching table and chairs, and I'm happy to report that she recently joined them.  Yeah!  It's even with a dear friend who will probably let me have some visitation rights! 

I'm enjoying seeing all the 2011 highlights out there.  I've linked up a couple of these to:

I wish I had time to do a proper top ten, but with all my photos floating all over the place on my computer now it will take too long!

Instead I will tell you that 2012 will be a happening year here in Omaha!  I am currently carving out a wee bit of time to work on some of my own home projects.  There is a master bedroom that badly needs an overhaul that is coming sometime this winter.  There are also several more need beauties in waiting in line for makeovers, and some client projects waiting for final instructions/inspirations.  And the Prairie Pickers and Peddlers are meeting soon to shore up our activities for 2012!!!  I can't wait to share more about that too!
May 2012 bring you much Happiness, great Health, a wealth of Inspiration and lots of Love!
Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!

Well, actually I'm surprised but we appear to be missing Tigers!  Years ago, when I was first married my Mom and Dad bought us a Creche.  Fairly simple and we replaced the ceramic figurines for some lovely wooden figures made by a dear family friend.  I loved it and set it up every year.  When our oldest two children were younger my Mom brought in a whole new element to the nativity scene.  She gave the girls some animals.  Every year our animal collection grew...and grew...and now it is quite a group that gathers around to bow before the baby Jesus!

 All three of my girls have grown up loving to set it up and move it around.  Every day it is a new visual treat and an adventure to create.  I watched my youngest this year set it up so that the animals were lined up single file around the stable to come see Jesus.  It didn't last long before she moved them to create a new scene, chattering away with the animals about why they were there and how they should behave. 

If you look closely you'll even spy a couple of frogs!
They gather on the roof to escape the crowd.
We have many animals that do not normally appear in the Christmas story typically, but we think they love being able to come and kneel before the new born King.
I love that my girls enjoy the telling and retelling of the Christmas story to their little animal friends throughout the holidays.
The animals and baby Jesus are even surviving Pepper's curiosity! 
New friends and old, let me take this time to say, from our home to yours Merry Christmas!


Linking to:

Friday, December 16, 2011

Bright & Merry

I know this title would leave you to believe it is all about Christmas, but it's not necessarily!  After months and months of staring at my "new" table and chair set in the corner of the workshop I finally found a minute, or 150, to dig them out and complete the set! The minute I bought that lovely chunky legged table I knew it would be mine, however you know how it goes with your own stuff.  I will warn you, I'm not afraid of color, really, I'm not.  My kitchen is red until I can convince my husband to paint it for the 3rd time in 2years  for pity's sake.  I actually love surrounding myself with happy colors.  Until I can lose some of this inherited  heavy oak all throughout my house (the 5 year plan) I'll probably continue to go with saturated colors.  So, her she is...
I used the same process that I had with my old  table and chairs and painted each chair a different Chalk paint color and the table base in Old Ochre.  The top is stained in Minwax Jacobean and poly sealed. 
I love those legs!  Truly, they've become an obsession.
This cabinet filled with my Fiesta Ware proves how much I like color.  I have 1 place setting of nearly every one of the colors available.  I've been collecting the pieces since 1994.  They are nearly indestructible.  I have enough pieces to easily entertain indoors or out with these dishes by mixing and matching.  Just like me, they're eclectic!
Here is where I waffled, the seat cushions, I chose this fabric because it had some of all the colors I wanted to use on the chairs.  In the end I nearly changed it out for some duck cloth because I felt like I might be getting just a bit too colorful here.  I may still change it out later, but for now, with 3 busy kids sitting here for all meals I will probably let them live here for a while.

The season continues to get busier and busier here at my home, so I would like to take an opportunity to wish you and yours a Bright & Merry Christmas!  May you and your family be truly Blessed during this special time.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Epic Fail

I had a great tutorial post I was going to be blogging about today...but it turned into a big dud!  I am so bummed because I was ready to tackle something fresh and new (to me).  I LOVE all the cloches out there.  So much fun.  I bought myself one of the new glass bottle cutters out there, some great glass bottles, some filled with the cheapest wine I could find, and a slew of lovely Christmas accessories to create some wonderful gifts this year.  I watched every You Tube out there about how to successfully make it work, several times.  I have years of stained glass experience so know all about break lines, cutter pressure, etc.  And none of that did me a bit of good :-(.  All of my bottles cracked in crazy waves, not once on the score line.  So, sorry, no tutorial and no recommendation on bottle cutters.  Now, if someone out there has had some great results with cutting glass bottles with a system I would love to hear from you!  I'm so frustrated I may have to go buy a bottle of good wine this time!

I'm sorry to have been ignoring the blog.  I'd love to share some gorgeous mantle or tablescapes, but I'm still limping around with the Christmas decorating/cooking.  I have been trying to finish the table and chairs that I bought for my family.  It needed some staining and painting, and now the chairs need the some painting and upholstery work.  Hopefully I'll have a nice reveal next week with the set all complete.  Don't even begin to believe I could have it beautifully staged for Christmas!  But I promise to show it anyway.  Now, off to to a bit of shopping and hopefully a bit of shopping for another storage piece for my family room.  I have new furniture arriving soon, and I'd love to pull that room together for a nice photo shoot soon too!  I'm not totally slacking...just a bit scattered these days.

Holiday Blessings to you all!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I am THANKFUL for:
A loving GOD that provides, always.
A supportive, loving family, and especially for my MR. and the 3 Little's (who aren't so little anymore)!
A community of friends who help hold me up when I need it most and bring me so many giggles and laughs.
Included in the above, but deserving of a special mention my fellow Prairie Pickers & Peddlers friends, Kathleen, Tammy, Suzanne, & Kirstin, that probably best understand what makes me tick!
The many Military families who serve with Courage, Dignity, and Strength.  You are ALWAYS in our prayers.
Living in a free Country, with rights and liberties we often take for granted.
A Wonderful new group of supportive friends from so many fantastic blogs all around the world.  How cool is that?!
Being able to realize a few dreams, start some new ventures, vent some creative juices.
A warm home filled with Peace and Plenty.
Good health, both my own and my family's.
Warm & Happy Memories of loved ones no longer here on Earth. 
The unwavering love and loyalty of family pets, well, at least the dog Ginger. I'm never sure how far I should trust the cats not to be plotting a revolt, but I do treasure those purrs.
New projects, new client-friends, and the excitement that comes with fresh challenges.
And many, many things that would take me a lifetime to list.

I wish you all a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving.  My hope is that you are able to celebrate all that truly makes life fabulous.  Laugh a lot, hug a lot, love a lot, be Truly Thankful,  and perhaps most importantly, remember those who need us, have lost hope, or are struggling.  

Blessings to you!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Bit Wordy

Custom orders can be so fun, but I also think the pressure is amped up just a bit.  I mean someone gives you some prize possession and wants you to freshen it up a bit.  I always worry that they really do have a picture in their mind of the end result...and what if I don't deliver.  Dadada DA. Anywho, D.S. thought she would take a chance on me and brought me 2 antique pieces that she wanted restyled.  I WISH I had thought to take before shots.  These were quite ornate with lots of roses decorating every drawer front, and flat surface, in a very Victorian fashion.  It was quite lovely, but the colors had begun to fade and it was looking a little tired.  I was given free reign once we had decided on the base color.  I have to admit to being a bit intimidated to begin.  The base is AS Chalk paint Paris Gray over Old Violet which was not a dramatic change from the warm gray that had been on the pieces.  Then I knew we needed to redecorate these pieces again.  What to do?  Numbers, stencil, resist stencil, number words, hmmm.  A friend said, "I see words, but I don't know about number words."  That's when the light bulb went off!
How about words of Inspiration?  I'm going to apologize in advance for the photos.  I was in a hurry and to top it all off, when my computer crashed it messed up my photoshop program which I still need to fix.
We reused the clients drawer pulls which were these grand brass and black pulls.  So I opted to use black on the lettering, outlined it with a gold pen.  Then I did use some stencils in other places with antiqued gold rub n buff as my paint.  I sanded both the stencils and the words back so they looked more time worn and fit in with the gentle shabby finish on the paint.  I finished these almost 10 days ago and I swear it took that long for AS Wax to really not feel tacky.  Ack!  Learning curve with the use of that I think!
The dresser does not have the large mirror attached in my photos as we were moving it to prepare it for pickup.  My client hasn't actually seen this yet, so I'm hoping she will approve of the changes!  Beware of giving the painter too much freedom!  (Nervous chuckle) 
I really wish I'd been able to photoshop these photos because it is so much prettier in person.  Next time maybe I'll paint the words "trust" me.
Happy Mid Week!
Linking to:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Liebster Blog Award

Kathy at Petticoat Junktion blessed me with an award this evening!  I am humbled and greatly honored to have been found out here in this vast cyber universe.  When I jumped off my big virtual cliff last Spring I was pretty secure with the knowledge that I would have good local friends that would be supportive.  What I had no idea about was this larger community of like-minded people in blogland who would offer such wonderful encouragement along the way as I continued to experiment and grow with my furniture restyling business.  Thank you Kathy for following and encouraging me and countless others too!  Your blog is so much fun to follow and you are an amazing furniture painting guru!! 

The Liebster Blog Award is presented to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

Liebster is a German word meaning dear, sweet, kind, nice, good, beloved, lovely, kindly, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

Here are the rules for participating in the Liebster Award:
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love too!

So without further ado:

Flo at Go With the Flo
Flo does the most beautiful work on her painted furniture.  She is just so uber talented, but I think what I admire most is her awe inspiring Spirit and Faith.  You must visit her blog to see how generous, loving, smart and dedicated she is.  Her dedication to the children of Uganda is truly moving.

Hollie at I'm Busy Procastinating
Hollie has been busy redecorating her gorgeous home.  She also restyles her furniture with paint in luscious colors!  I think Hollie probably caught me with her blog title.  I can so relate as nothing in my own home ever seems to get out of first gear.  I love how she shares her process.  Check it out, I bet you can relate too.

Colleen at The Painted Turtle
Colleen actually found me as she & I started our blogs about the same time with similar goals in mind.  She has some amazing pieces of furniture that she has painted, and launched a very successful first show recently.  I was struck by how genuinely she offered her support and shared her show experiences so that we could have our own successful sale.  I love that the blogs allow us to make friends around the country who share our same interests and passions.  Stop by and see how Colleen launched her business!

Betsy at Betsy Speert's Blog
Betsy probably thinks I'm some weird kind of stalker because I have never really had much dialogue with her, but I have nominated her for a couple of awards.  She is the most marvelous decorator and story teller!  I follow her blog faithfully and not only gain a lot of great decorating tips but I am highly entertained with her style of writing.  If you've not visited her yet I highly recommend you do so today.

Julie & Sharon at Vintage Shabby Chicks
I have to say that I just "found" Julie & Sharon's blog recently.  They will be big soon, trust me, their furniture redo's make me drool...figuratively, but still!  I see big success for these gals as they build their followers and business.  Stop over there and just look at their portfolio for some inspiration and ideas.  They are Fab I tell you.

There it is, and I wish I could have added about 15 more names.  This is an Awe-Inspiring place we visit every day!!  Thanks again Kathy!

Hope to have some more updated posts here very soon.
Until then...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lost In Space & a Feature!

My house is almost back to normal after our Market sale in October and yet I'm still finding myself a bit "lost in space".  I've been working on a couple of custom pieces that I almost have completed, but they seemed to take me twice as long as they normally would.  I want to paint my dining room piano room, but can't decide on a color.  I need to find the rest of my sweaters, but they sit boxed up on a closet shelf.  The house needs cleaned...bleh. I'm itching to paint my new dining table and chairs, but haven't gotten to it yet.   In other words, I'm just spinning around and not gaining much traction here!  There is a lot to do around here with the Holidays approaching, and I feel like I'm in some kind of daze.  Anyone else out there find themselves in this strange place?  I think I need something to give me a kick in the pants!

On a much happier note, I was featured today on 551 East as a Habitat Hero for "Cupcake".  Thank you so much!!  I am thrilled to have been able to participate in such a worthy, worthy Link Party.  It makes me smile whenever I think about all the people out there helping others with something that makes them so happy to create.  It's such a win/win and fun thing!  I especially want to thank my friend Kristy who purchased Cupcake for her soon to be born granddaughter.  Her supporting my vision for Cupcake's proceeds made it all possible!  So thank you Julia for choosing Cupcake!
Check out the following blogs for more information about Habitat Hero.
551 East Furntiure Design
Primitive & Proper
Simple Home Life
Wildwood Creek
I LOVE their blogs and I bet you will too!  Thanks Ladies for hosting the Link party!

Go DRAGONS (Volleyball & Football) in District Games this week!!  And of course, Go HUSKERS!
It's going to be a busy weekend!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tickled Pink

I am pleased as punch to announce that "Cupcake", the vintage dresser I had decided to sell and donate the proceeds to the Susan G. Komen foundation, has SOLD!!  Yeah!  Thank you Kristy!  They will pick up the dresser today and the donation will go in at the same time.  It makes me happy to support such a worthy foundation.  Thanks to all who stopped by to check out Cupcake during the past week.  I'm hoping to make this an annual event. 
Being thankful,

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

For the Cause

Now that things have calmed down a bit over here I have had time to take a look at what was happening around me.  Lots, I tell you.  Sometimes you become so focused on a goal that you miss some very important things.  Well, better late than sorry I think!  October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and while I count my blessings that I don't personally know anyone fighting this particular battle at this time, I do know that millions of women and men are going through treatments.  I decided this afternoon that "Cupcake" would be the perfect donation item for this month.  Mostly, because she is so very PINK!!  How perfect did that work out?  So here's the deal.  If anyone here in the Omaha area would like to purchase "Cupcake" during the month of October, you go home with her, and the price is donated to the Susan G. Komen Fund for Breast Cancer!!  How cool is that?!  You get the dresser and we can sit down together to make the donation in your name or mine.  Here's some photos to remind you of what Cupcake looks like.
She sells for $145.
Please contact me at
if you are interested in purchasing this dresser and having the proceeds donated.
Local only, sorry, Omaha area.
Encourage those you love to keep up with their annual Mammograms!

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


For those of you who came to our first ever Prairie Pickers & Peddlers Market and left thinking about a piece of furniture I have updated my site.  At the top of this page on the button marked "Pieces for Sale" you will find the sold pieces removed and some of the pieces from the sale added.  This is not a complete listing so if you don't see it contact me and describe it and I'll get back to you.  And if you describe something that was Tammy's or Suzanne's I'll send you their direction.  We certainly enjoyed meeting you!  I've had a couple of nice days catching up on errands and turning our "shop" back into my home!
I have received a couple of commission pieces to start on this week, I'll be sure to show you the before and afters on those as well as any new pieces from my stash that I complete.  I do hope you'll check back and follow along as the journey has really only just begun!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


The Ladies of Prairie Pickers & Peddlers Market wish to thank all of our supporters and customers who came by on Friday and Saturday just to say hi and admire, to shop, to say such kind and encouraging things to us, and to let us know that no matter what they were proud of our focus and efforts.  We had two fabulous days and feel very encouraged that there are people out there who love our pieces as much as we do.  And to our families, we are grateful that you were ok with eating sandwiches for dinner again and letting us finish waxing something, or overlooking the dust bunny as it skirted across the floor!  You supported us and made it possible to stretch our wings and let us fly!Thanks for being our biggest cheerleaders!
Here are more of the before photos that I promised the other night.
A couple of the Misters working hard and eyeing the baked goods!
And the Prairie Pickers minus Kirstin who missed the photo shoot from the first day.  I'll have to get photos from the 2nd day from someone that shows all 5 of us!
Thank you all!
And finally here are all 5 of us together!  Sassy girls all!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

First Market Sale!

Prairie Pickers & Peddlers Market, October 14th & 15th, 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., 9607 Fairby Dr., Gretna, NE
Sorry, lovely blogger  (yet again) won't let me upload more than 1 picture.  If you're nearby come see it in person I guess :-).  I'll try to edit more in later!  Have a great weekend!
P.S.  Tammy got some good pictures here's the link:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Prairie Pickers & Peddlers Market is coming soon!

There were times this summer when I was sanding, and waxing, and staining, and painting, and buffing that I thought this time was  Well, guess what?  It's nearly here.  Holy Cow, I'm so excited!  I have some AMAZINGLY TALENTED friends!  Everyone has worked long and hard to try and produce these fabulous products.  There has been blood (thankfully not much), sweat (buckets of), and tears (well, maybe not).  I think I could speak for the group in saying Thank You to all the people both here and out there in blog land that have lent their advice, support, and prayers!  We are so ready now to "do this", but in many ways I feel like we've already crossed the finish line.  We did something we set out to do, despite a few nay sayers and the obvious economic issues out there.  We persevered, we worked, we stayed focused and determined not to let this chance get away from us.  It has been a true blessing to work with Suzanne, Kathleen, Tammy, and Kirstin to see this thru to the finish.  We did it!!!!  And now what everyone really wants to see A BOATLOAD OF PHOTOS!
More stuff is arriving daily.  Wish us luck!  Come see us if you are in the Greater Omaha area, or want to travel out here! 

Prairie Pickers & Peddlers Market
October 14 & 15
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
9607 Fairby Drive, Gretna


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Matchmaker, Matchmaker make me a match.

Do you notice when I can't think of anything for a title my fall back is some old song?  That's just how I roll.
I have a couple of more pieces to reveal in the lead up to PP&PM next week.  There is a lot of excitement in the air mixed in with all the rag weed, and dust from fields being cut, leaves dropping in droves.  It's funny that one of my last pieces was actually one of the first ones I purchased specifically for the purpose of beautifying for sale.  I guess she was buried in the back and pressed into service as a temporary work bench.  Here's her before, waiting her turn.

 It worked out for the best though, because in the mean time my friend Tammy, aka The Prairie Pixie, found a great table and chairs and literally had to put them all back together again ala Humpty Dumpty, and made them gorgeous.  Here is Tammy's Hazel in all her glory.  Since Tammy did not have a buffet piece to go with Hazel, I asked  if she would mind if I painted mine so that she would compliment her set.  We both used Versailles Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan.  The top of the buffet was definitely salvagable and so restained in Dark Walnut and Jacobean and topped off with several coats of Antique Oil. 
I did have to update the hardware as hers was incomplete, flimsy, and the few original pieces were mostly broken.  I opted for something very simple in an oil rubbed bronze finish.  Hazel's friend has nice legs doesn't she?  That top drawer is the longest single drawer I think I've ever worked on.  Like nearly 5 foot long!

I can't wait to get the two pieces together this week as we set up for the sale! Come see us, or at least Hazel and Ivy!

Have a great weekend!
Linking to:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pepper Models our version of a Pet Bed

Good Morning!  With the Prairie Pickers & Peddlers Market looming in less than 2 weeks now I have been trying to tie up some of my smaller projects.  I was pretty productive this weekend and wanted to share two of the finishes.  Pepper, the distracter, was cooperative as model for one of my Vintage Suitcase Pet Beds. 
I've had this ladies suitcase for a long time and I finally got around to making it into the cute little kitty bed that I envisioned.  I found some wonderful "cat talk" fabric a couple of years ago and have been hanging onto it for this purpose.  Look.

Here's the flip side.
Too cute, yeah?
Because I like dogs equally I made a bed that could work for a smaller dog, or the family cat because you know if they want it they will take it over.  Just sayin'.

Nice, squisy, elevated.  and you have a classic pet bed that can easily be disguised as a suitcase sitting in the corner of the room.  A perfect new use for a vintage piece if you ask me. 

Updates about the Prairie Pickers & Peddlers Market can be found on the button in my top bar.  Come check us out if you are anywhere in our area!

Everybody up and get out there creating!