Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Big Blue and Ceiling Fans

So, it has been a busy week here in Nebraska.  Lots of fun, lots of family time, and lots of work too.  I'll have a couple of last week's project reveals later this week, but I FINALLY got around to a piece for me!  Woo Hoo!  I laughed hysterically when a sweet gal recently said, "Your house must look so gorgeous with all you do with furniture..."  Sadly it seems that my own house is the only thing that doesn't get touched very often.  In the 3 years we've lived in our current house the girls rooms have been redecorated, the kitchen has been painted (though it will be changed up once we get the time to work on painting the cabinets), and a lot of the oak trim will go as we work our way through the house.  The main rooms have all had a paint touch, but that's it.  The Master is in desperate need of a makeover that I am determined to tackle this winter!

Anyway,  in October I sold the buffet that I had loved, but had found a replacement for.  I painted the replacement, but the old one didn't sell right away and I needed some pieces for NJ & Co. so I took the replacement buffet down there.  Wouldn't you know it, they both sold about the same time.  I had another buffet, but it was too tall and I really wanted to place one on the backside of my sofa to use as a sofa "table".   I finally found another one I loved, but had so many custom pieces in the Que that I had to put it off for quite some time.  Now it is finished.  I decided to try a new (to me) ASCP color, Napoleonic Blue to pick up some of the dark blue in our area rug.
It is a lovely not quite navy/not quite royal blue.  Much fun to paint on this big oak piece!  
The top was stripped and stained in Minwax Jacobean, and finished with Minwax Antique Oil.
I kept the original brass hardware because I think it looks great with the blue.  And I keep reading how brass is coming back in vogue.

Some distressing a coat of clear wax and viola!  I toyed with the idea of adding some dark wax, and I may at some point, but I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out and will take my time to decide if I want/need to tweak it!

Now for ceiling fans, a point of constant debate in my house.  We only have 2, 1 in the Master BR and 1 in the main floor LR.  I totally appreciate what they do, cause heaven knows I get plenty hot these days and we have a Golden Retriever who also gets hot...and stinky at times...and sleeps in my bedroom and this Living area all the time.  It's good to move the air around.  However, I am stymied as to why every light kit has to have such limited wattage and be so darned boring (and occasionally ugly)!  If I were a lighting designer that would not be the case.  As I am unable to persuade my Mr. that we would indeed survive without the aid of ceiling fans moving air about I challenged him to help me find new lighting solutions to use with our fans.  Here is what we came up with for 1, the MBR fan will be part of that reveal if we ever when we complete it.
Here is the LR fan, oops he had already removed the "boob" light kit that lit the room with a dim golden glow.  Here was our compromise.

We found a Chandelier type of light that would mount to the current fan light base.  With the fan on our normal low setting it does not move a bit.  And, oh my, what a difference those 6 lights make when we need a bit more light in this room!

   Feel free to weigh in on this little compromise.  You won't hurt my feelings...much ;-).  Just kidding, I do not claim to be a decorating guru or a decorating blog by any stretch of the imagination.  But I do know that lots of people would love a prettier/more pleasing  light but have a hard time giving up the benefits those ceiling fans provide.  I'm one of them!  There are some options available, I believe, if we think outside the box!  For the record, one of my teens (who considers herself an expert on coolness) does not like it, the other teen remains (wisely) non-committal, and the 7 year old just wants us to get the ladder back out so she can continue to climb it.  Life is good!
Have a great week!
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Furniture Feature Fridays

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Talking Chair

I have not ever had that much luck finding good chairs, until recently.  Remember these two barrel cane back chairs?  They were a great find in pretty good shape.  So often the caning is broken in the cane back chairs and that's why they are being sold.  Lately though, and I know I probably will now jinx myself, I have found some nice sturdy chairs in good shape.  I've learned not to question why the change in luck...just go with it.
Who knows what next week might bring me!

Here she is, another chair finish.  I just love her lines.
I don't think any of my photos captures the true beauty of this fabric, but it's a lovely, lovely shade of navy that I like more than a lot!
It plays nice with the Old White Chalk Paint.  It's Super comfortable too!  I should probably be bringing this back to my home shouldn't I?
As a bonus...nice legs too. I am such a sucker for turned legs on furniture.  This piece is for sale at NJ & Co.  You can find it in the window saying, "Come in, tell them to get me out, sit on me, take me home."  OK, not really, but she would if she could.

Stay warm this week!
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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Going Green Again

Green, oh how I love thee.  It's just hard to find a color as refreshing as green.  I honestly don't think there is a shade of green that I plain don't like.  I like it mossy.  From Olive to Teal, and everything in between, I love it.  It should be no surprise then that the first 2 colors of Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint that I ordered were the 2 greens, Lucketts and Boxwood.  My Lucketts dresser sold (several times, long story), as soon as I finished it.  Here is Boxwood in all it's loveliness.
She chipped and flaked and distressed beautifully...like magic!  It's rather funny, because the parts where I think it would not flake off, sure enough it does.  Not much predictability here, and wow what a fun risk to take on some pieces.

This dresser still had all of it's original hardware, and it was tarnished and dented a bit.  In my eyes it was PERFECT!  I will say this time, mixing the milk paint was super easy.  I had purchased a new better hand mixer for myself and I dedicated the old one to the workshop.  The paint turned out so much smoother.  Now, when I painted the Lucketts Dresser I hand mixed that paint.  It was a bit lumpy, but the lumps brushed out just fine when I was painting my dresser.  So really, I don't think it makes a difference in the end result, but it helps those of us who are probably a bit OCD handle using milk paint.

I love how well received these pieces are!  The shoppers at NJ & Company have been very complimentary about these pieces.  Needless to say, I placed another order for yet more MMS Milk Paint and have more chippy pieces (maybe) in my future!  And I think there will be more green in my future too.  It just makes me happy.

Warm Wishes to you!
Linking to:  http://missmustardseed.com/2013/01/furniture-feature-friday-favorites-a-link-party-15/

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Winter Sky

It's Winter, it's gray, it's cold...most days that is.  The older I get the harder it is to find the joy in cold weather.  If I borrowed a page from my friend Kathleen's book I'd find something to be grateful for in Winter.  Hmmm, maybe the extra refrigeration my garage provides, or the lovely jolt I get when one of my kids runs in from outside and sticks theIR hand up my back!  Yikes.  Ok, maybe watching the bright red cardinals as they dart from the bird feeder to the spruce trees and back.  They look pretty against the bright snow.  The sky was blue today, which briefly fooled me into thinking it wasn't really that bad out.  Many days out now though I see nothing but a gray, gray sky.  So what color do I choose to paint, why Paris Gray of course.

A few weeks ago I ran across a nice mid-century Drexel step-back hutch.  Solid cherry, pretty, but so very dated looking and enough nicked up that I decided paint would be the best way to bring it back into vogue.  That cherry wood will still be there if someone/someday wants to strip it down and refinish it all.

This piece has storage and then some.  The hardware was in really good shape and we opted to reuse it as it fit the scale and style of the hutch.  I love Paris Grey, and to be honest that surprised me as I'm normally more into warm tones.  I'm really learning to appreciate it as the great neutral that it is.

I painted the back in Old White to lighten it up a bit.  Some distressing shabby's it up just enough to give it a nice farmhouse feel.  And if you don't happen to need a storage piece for the kitchen or dining room, it's a 2 piece unit and the bottom half would make an awesome console cabinet for an entry hall or family room.
It's tall, it's SOLID, it's solid cherry wood, it's Drexel made quality, it's FOR SALE!!!  For my local Nebraska peeps you just need to let me know if you'd like to stop by and take a peek.  They don't make them like this anymore!

Have a great week!

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Sunday, January 6, 2013


I've been thinking about this for the last year really.  I loved how everyone boiled down their "word of the year" last year into a one word goal.  I have not made New Year's Resolutions for years and years now.  It seems like such a good idea, but the reality is that one little slip up and seems like you've derailed your whole year, and we all knows what happens then right?  Yep, you throw out the baby and the bathwater, the tub, and the rubber ducky all in one fell swoop!  Yet that one word goal/statement/hope/dream/affirmation/whatever you want to call it kept coming back to me.  And I've watched many of you bloggers out there look back at your year and find satisfaction and the desire to repeat it.  Cool!  So, this year I'm joining you with my own word for 2013.  My word is
 There have been many, many days I have felt a bit like this guy most likely felt.  It really is ALL GOOD to have your business take off and grow in many new and unexpected directions, to have healthy children with many varied and healthy activities to support, to have a multitude of hobbies that you enjoy and need to find time for, to have a spouse you adore and want to spend time with, to have friends that you also adore and want to hang out with, to have a church full of wonderful people and fantastic activities you want to participate in.  It's all good, really!  I actively count my many blessings on a daily basis.  God has been so good to me!

But keeping up with all those things can be a challenge for someone with my, ahem, personality!  Don't judge too harshly my compulsive/obsessive tendencies!  Towards the end of the year I found myself almost hyper-ventilating as I struggled to be happy with all the good things happening around me.  It was time to take a breather and just let myself be present wherever I was.  So this year, I strive to keep finding that balance.  The balance that gives me peace and contentment with all the wonderful things right in front of me.
When I began this blog I really only intended to use it as a means to showcase for local clients the furniture that I had restyled and was offering for sale.  I have a spouse who does enough with "security" matters that he really wasn't wild about parading the family and children and our activities all over the world wide web! :-)
I think that I will for the most part honor that, however if I'm honest, one of the things that I've enjoyed the most about the blog is the people I've met from all over and the glimpses that I've been privileged to see into their lives.  I'm one of those weird people who will drive by houses on my errands and actually do a mental picture of what those houses might look like inside, and wonder about the people inside.  And when I'm really lucky at night sometimes I get a glimpse inside of an unshuttered window and I can SEE the wall colors or some furniture.  It's that peek inside someone else's life that can be so fun, and sometimes so surprising!  I DO have a life beyond my furniture business.  I'm a wife, and a mother, and last year I learned how to ring bells for church, I'm a quilter, and a Rug Hooker, and a bunch of other things.  Maybe no one else really wants to know that much about me, or my family and life.  I don't know, but maybe I'll post some of the things that are happening here and give you that glimpse into our windows.  I think it might "Balance" my blog a bit too.

So, if you find me not posting for a bit, or posting on something other than furniture it most likely is me just searching for some BALANCE in my life.  Happy 2013 everyone!  May it be a blessed year!

Linking to:  http://551eastdesign.blogspot.com/2013/01/a-new-years-resolution-turning-my.html
 The Lettered Cottage Word of the Year Link Party

Thursday, January 3, 2013

My New Furniture Obsession & Ladies Night Out

You can NEVER have too many chairs!  Really.  I have discovered that I was chair deprived for many, many years.  So recently I have become obsessed with simple side chairs.  I've bought some, restyled some lucky finds, bought some from my partners to use in my home (ahem, before they could even be brought into the house for the Prairie Market),**(correction, attempted to buy, Suz wouldn't let me pay cause she's super nice like that)** and scoured everywhere for more.  Many times they are difficult to find, well find in my budget.  Now I've decided that the rest of the world, or at least Nebraska, needs more chairs too.  Lucky me I was given 2 chairs by another partner, restyled those and managed to sell them before I even thought to get a photo taken :-(.

I finally found one cute little cane back the other day that was in the budget and snapped it up.  Then my newly minted "picker", the Mr., found 2 more budget pleasing chairs for me last week.  These 2 restyles went fairly quickly.  Sorry, no before because I appear to be hopeless when it comes to that, but I did get afters on these before they headed down to NJ & Co.!

These 2 ladies are very clean lined, well made and were in remarkably good condition.  I actually considered keeping the blue velveteen that was on the cushions, but I had fabric burning a hole in my craft room!  These are painted in Annie Sloan Old Ochre and waxed with clear wax only.  As hard as it is to find any good chairs at times, it is much more difficult to find a matching pair of nice chairs!
I love that open armed barrel style.  The caning was in wonderful condition.  They are distressed to give them a bit of shabby chic character.
Isn't this postmark fabric the bomb?!  Love it on these chairs.  Now, what if you paired these
with this.
Wouldn't that be fabulous in a small sitting area, or set up as a special conversation area in YOUR living room or family room??!  Yes, it would be wonderful....if I had a bit more space here.....

All 3 of these pieces are for sale at NJ & Co.  which is hosting their monthly Ladies Night Out tonight from 4:30-8 P.M.!  Come see us tonight and find me to say hi!

Happy New Year and New Blessings to You!