Refurbished Vintage Wooden Ironing Board

I have had this lovely wooden ironing board in my basement, it belonged to my Gramma. She gave it to me probably about 25 years ago, she’s passed now and I miss her so much.

There is one little corner that has some penciled artwork, I am pretty sure that was from me!

Anyway, as much as I have treasured this piece, I never quite figured out what I wanted to do with it. I thought about taking the legs off and placing wood shelves on it to hang it vertically. But I felt like I would be destroying it.

I lived in a very small condo unit for a little and had no room to set it up as a side table. I moved to a small one story home and again, didn’t really have the space to set it up as a table.

So my next thought was to put some poly on it and set on my patio to use as a plant table. As I started putting the poly on, I was totally falling in love with the finish and knew I could NOT set this piece out in the elements of rain and sun and have it destroyed.

I knew I had to find a place for this beautiful piece. And I did. I rearranged the last cabinet I finished (post is here) and I unpacked my small bookcase and moved that piece and…. Put the ironing board in front of the large picture window.

I love it! I am so happy how it turned out and I’m sure I’ll have it filled with plants and family photo’s soon!

I need more flowers!

For anyone that knows me and knows me well, knows that I love plants! Not only house plants, but I am equally in love with annuals and perennials. There are a ton of flowers I want for my yard and just do not have the place to put them. Whether it be due to the sun they need to the space they require for full growth.

I have been in my house for 5 years now, there were absolutely NO flower beds on the property when I moved in.

This flower bed was the last one that I added at the end of the summer last year. I desperately wanted bearded iris and roses but I didn’t have a good place so….

When I found these 3 iris plants reduced to half price at the end of the summer, I bought them and went to work to put in a new bed. Now I am looking for a raspberry colored rose bush as well as a beige colored rose. Then I will fill in the rest of the bed with perennials and pots of annuals.

Seriously, I go nuts with flowers over the summer. I am still filling in the other beds with perennials. Last year I found a gorgeous orange cone flower and some pretty asters.

Last year I also struggled with all the bunnies in my neighborhood eating my coneflowers! Thus the large concrete bricks you see along the fence. My yard is incredibly uneven so when the fence was installed, I ended up with gaps where rabbits, squirrels, and my dog, could get in and out.

Like a lot of you, we are having an early spring so my plants are coming along quite well BUT we still have some occasional chilly days and nights. I am so anxious to get out and play in the dirt and not have to worry about the temps.

Anyway, this particular bed is looking a little sad and lost right now and as soon as I can flower shop I will be filling it up for gorgeous blooms that warm my heart and make me happy to be home.

Be well my friends!

Refurbished Chest of Drawers

I was hesitant to post this furniture makeover. I still haven’t finished it, there is one little detail left to do that will make this chest of drawers amazing, at least to me.

I found this vintage chest at an antique shop and brought it home to refinish. I had been looking for something to store some of my craft supplies, even though it is not as big as I had hoped for, it still works. And it has eliminated some plastic storage tubs that were under my craft table.

I discovered this primer that is supposed to cover furniture with a shiny finish, so I gave it a shot. It also is good for covering paint and stain from bleeding through, which it absolutely did for the red cabinet that I posted earlier. This primer did cover the shine and the color well BUT, I did not seal the piece and the very first thing I set on the top as décor pulled the paint and primer right off. AGH!!!

I still have a lot to learn about furniture refinishing. Maybe next time I should still give it a little sanding just to play it safe.

So anyway, the one little detail that I wanted to do was to stencil or decoupage a floral design on the front. THEN I was going to put a poly over the entire chest.

But now, I am unsure if I want to waste my time and the materials to stencil if this isn’t going to seal well. Regardless, I do still love how the chest turned out.

If I decide to add the detail later, I will be sure to share it with you.

My Cherished Winter Break

These long, cold, and dreary winter months can sometimes be depressing for many people. And I get that. But for me, they offer me a break from yard work. These cold months offer me a time of relaxation and a time to rejuvenate spiritually, physically and emotionally.

But in all honesty, it has not been very cold here. Mostly rain and cloudy days, no snow.

I can use these months to settle in and catch up on reading; concentrate on self-care and exercising, bible study and prayer as well as meditation and yoga.

Winter allows me to catch up on hobbies that I have either already started and set aside or that I have been wanting to start.

This time also allows me to finally get some things done inside the house like painting rooms, cleaning out closets and dresser drawers. And I can finish sorting through all the boxes in the basement that contain family heirlooms.

Best of all, I begin to plan my vegetable and flower gardens. That does make me anxious for spring and to get outside to play in the dirt even though I am enjoying being snuggled in a blanket on my sofa.

Sounds like a busy winter for me doesn’t it 😊

But what I really like is that I can be a hermit and just stay inside (other than my 8-5 job of course!) and snuggle on the sofa with my pup and watch movies. I prefer staying busy but I have mastered the art of being a lazy bum too, and sometimes we need to allow ourselves that time to just be quiet and relax and rejuvenate.

What are you doing during the winter months?

 

Vintage Finds in my Basement!

I’ve mentioned in a previous post about why I love winter months. One of the reasons is that I am finally able to work on things inside my house vs all the yard and garden work I have all spring, summer and fall.

I have been unpacking boxes of my parents and grandparents things that were handed down to me or that I found in my parents attic and house after they passed.

In my post about the refinished hutch, you saw some of the dishes that I have. Some. Notice I said you saw “some” of the dishes. I have much more. I can’t possibly show you everything in one post, so I will have to show you some other things later.

These gorgeous tumblers that my parents had in the basement bar, otherwise known as the party room! They loved to entertain and had lots of parties. I certainly inherited that gene!

These glasses and matching pitcher were just everyday glasses that I remember my parents using. Since they have pheasants on them, I like to use them for autumn and Thanksgiving.

This is my favorite find. My parents dishes and good utensils that we only used for holiday dinners. I remember setting the table every holiday. I think I was channeling Martha Stewart and the Barefoot Contessa even at that young age!

      

What I did not realize… these dishes are actual china! I was shocked, I really had no idea. Now I use them when I have family or friends over for dinner.

    

Then there are these beautiful, hand crafted “rag rugs” made by my grandmother and her sister.

I remember as a child, the huge loom they had set up in a room. I was always amazed at the contraption! And I say it was huge, but I was pretty small at the time so maybe that’s why it seemed so large. I do remember that it took up most of the space in the room though.

They both worked in a sewing factory, so they were able to bring home discarded fabric. I believe that is what they used for these rugs. They really are beautiful. Unfortunately, they are older than me and the threading is starting to fall apart.

The colors do not go with anything in my house, but I really want to use them as long as I can. And, my kids won’t use them either so I might as well!

I washed one in the tub, it had already started to come apart so I thought the washing machine would just make it worse. The others I did on delicate and they turned out pretty good, some of the fringe fell apart but other than that, they are still in good shape.

And, I remember my Grandma telling me and my brother not run in the house when we were kids. I can assure you we did not listen because every time we ran across those rugs we ended up hitting the floor with a thud and then my Grandma would say “I told you kids not to run in the house!”

Then there is this baking dish. I find myself using this more than my own baking dishes. I just love cooking with it, knowing my Mom also used this for her meals. It warms my heart.

These glasses are quite special to me. They were my Grandma’s. I remember her giving me Coca-Cola in those glasses when my tummy was upset, or Hawaiian Punch (which was my favorite so she always kept that at her house!).

I believe they were jelly jars, or peanut butter, had a pop off lid maybe?  I love using them.

So those are just a few of my vintage finds from my basement. I’ll share more later!

Have an awesome day!

My Favorite Cabinet Makeover

I have to say, I absolutely love this piece of furniture that I just finished.

It’s the second piece I’ve done, and I love this more than the first. I made some mistakes on this piece too and learned a great deal from those mistakes.

This is the before picture, it was painted a colonial red.

I wanted to stain the top so I started hand sanding it, wasn’t long before I realized I could not do that! So off to the hardware store to purchase an electric hand sander.

My first mistake was thinking that the brand-new hand sander I bought, with the bag to catch the yuck, would “actually” do its job.

I quickly and happily got to work with my hand sander.

In my house.

In my craft room.

I was almost completely finished with sanding the top when I realized that little bag on the end does absolutely NOTHING! My craft room was coated in red dust. *SMH

So, I managed to hand sand the rest of the top. There was a small area of red that I could not sand off, and by that time I was so frustrated that I didn’t really care. And the stain sort of hides it. Sort of.

Then I started to research a primer to paint over and cover the red for the rest of the cabinet. I wanted to paint the base of the cabinet a creamy white. Thankfully, I found something that worked beautifully. I used two light coats of the primer and did a very light sand in between each coat.

After the priming was done, I went to work on staining the top. I played around with layering different stain colors on a piece of scrap wood that I had. I had a few small cans of stain on hand and figured I could save a little money and use what I have.

I finally got the color I wanted and did the exact same thing to the top of the cabinet.

After 3 days it was still tacky. Back to researching!

What I should have done was mix the stain in a different container, not add layers of different colors. I also should have wiped the surface after each layer. Thankfully it was only two layers but still…..

I used mineral spirits to remove some of the stain, and it worked great!

Next came the sealer. Believe it or not, I did NOT have any problems. I have 3 coats on the stain and I am really hoping that will be enough to protect it.

Then I put 2 light coats of paint on the cabinet, and again doing a light sand in between to help keep the finish smooth.

I put the doors on next, I still need to try to fix one of the doors, it doesn’t seem to be level and I am not sure how to fix it. I checked the hinges and the screws, I might have to just live with it.

I went with glass knobs vs the wood knobs that was originally on the cabinet. Just love the look. What do you think? This step was not without its challenges. I needed to use some washers to get the knobs secure.

The only way to keep the cabinet doors closed is with a small piece of wood that turns, holding the doors closed. I was hoping to come up with an idea to use something else, but I have not found anything I like yet.

I have 3 coffee tables, 2 side tables and 2 chairs to refinish. The piece I am working on now is a chest of drawers that I will store my craft and sewing supplies. I am getting a little creative with this one, I can’t wait till it’s finished! I’m looking into stencils so while I am trying to make my decision, I may have to start working on one of the tables.

The pictures are not the best, my phone doesn’t take the best pictures and the light in my living room is not the best. It didn’t matter how I moved lamps around to try to help, it just did not work.

What do you think of the finished product?

Pretty Little Crocheted Dishcloths

I love winter for several reasons. First and most important is there is no more suffocating heat! I can walk outside and not break into an immediate sweat. I’d much rather be bundled up in a warm sweatshirt or coat. That said, I do not like the frigid temperatures and artic winds either.

Second, and probably just as important as the first, I have a break from tending to my gardens and yard. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE my gardens and yard. But it is hard work for me; not only am I single, so that means I do everything myself but, I also have several different types of arthritis. The RA and the arthritis in my spine being the worse. Every joint in my body has arthritis, I am far from crippled and I stay active but, I do hurt.

So by August, I am ready to stop the yard work. I just need a break from the work and doing it in that awful heat we have.

Two other reasons I love the winter months are that I finally have more time to focus on my hobbies and work on things inside the house.

For the last few weeks I have been working on these crocheted dishcloths. I love them!

They are made with cotton yarn so that makes them perfect for washing dishes and then being tossed into the washer and dryer.

They hold up remarkably well. And the colors don’t fade.

Unfortunately I used a smaller hook than the last time I made them so they are little too stiff, I may use them as pot holders for a bit until they loosen up a little.

Some people prefer them this way but I like them to be a bit loose, that makes washing glasses easier. But these are also great for scrubbing plates and maybe a pots and baking dishes if the food isn’t baked on too bad.

I sometimes sell them on Etsy although right now I have absolutely nothing in my shop and I have closed it for the time being.

I also have a shop on Shop Handmade, my shop name there is LillyBug Designs, named after my dog Lilly. I do have a set of knitted dishcloths for sale, along with scarves and other items. Now I crochet, I think crochet goes faster and I seem to like it better as the stitches are easier.

I am looking forward to working on some new patterns for dishcloths in the next few months while I am snuggled on the sofa with Lilly.