Tuesday, April 24, 2012


So now that I have this wonderful 'new' needs chairs!  The chairs that we had were broken in spots and falling apart fast after 15 years of wear and tear from me, Jake, the girls, doggies chewing on them, ect...  Well let me tell you chairs are EXPENSIVE!  My sister has been building things from a website written by Ana White, so I decided to check it out.  There were some awesome chairs on there and I picked out two (one for Jake, Ansley and I and a taller one for Sarah)...Jake said he would build them and he did!  Here are the wonderful results! 
Thank you Jake and thank you Ana White! 
The approximate cost of each chair was only $45 and it only took about a week (not steady working) to get them all made!
Here is the link to the larger classic chairs and the link to the higher chair!

 One chair...pre-cut.  We (Jake) used pine to build them.
 Chair maker at work.
 One chair...all cut up.
Four chairs all in a row.  Sarah's is on this end.  They are ready to prime and paint.  The girls helped me put on the first coat of primer.  Then Jake and I did the second coat.  We used Kilz 2 and then Jake spray painted them with an enamel based spray paint...MUCH easier than using a brush!
 A table full of bottomless chairs!
The classic chair.
Making the seat.....  We used 1 inch foam and cut it to match the size of the plywood that Jake had cut for the seat bottom.  They were approximately 19X19.
Then we used a staple gun...used some upholstery tacks to attach the fabric (Hobby Lobby) to the seat bottom.  Then Jake screwed the bottom on the the chair and awesome addition to our kitchen table!
All done...Classic Chair
 All done...Higher Chair
And all together!

I love it!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Kitchen Table Make-Over...

When my grandfather died I was left his kitchen table.  It has been a great table but after 15 years of abuse from the four of us, it was looking a little rough.  I wanted to get a new table but those of you who know me know that I attach to things quite easily and besides this was handed down to me.  Hopefully to become a wonderful family heirloom.  Now the tables that I did look at were not all that different, mostly just painted and chairs that were not broken or wobbly.  So I set off on the Internet for some help on how to paint furniture that would actually look nice and not cheap or peel.  I found this website which was uber-helpful.  It is called Centsational Girl and coincidentally the tables are similar! This is my very first ever furniture overhaul and personally I could not be happier!  Jake is building me some chairs to go along with it and I will post once they are done.  Sarah is getting a big girl chair that is the same but taller.  Needless to say she is over the moon about not having a 'high chair' anymore!  So here is a before...

Preparing to sand...did a lot of procrastination here.....very nervous!

The leaf...which had some water damage on the ends from the great 500 year Flood.

One last before...

Let the sanding begin.
I used a medium grit cube sander to begin with and by hand got all of the edges and sides (hand cramps).  I made sure all of the surfaces were smooth to the touch.
This is the water damage I was talking about.
Jake cut me two strips of wood and put a ridge in it to match the rest of the table so that the water damage did not show.  I sanded this really well too.  I attached it with Liquid Nails and left the clamps on about 24 hours to make sure that it stayed in place.
My new toy!
I used an orbital sander to get the top super-smooth (and some of the edges).  Without this, I have no idea how long this would have taken me!
All sanded and wiped down with a damp rag, then a dry one.  I wanted to remove ALL dust particles before applying the primer.

The tools
I moved to the basement for priming and painting.  The pollen and dust here are so bad I did NOT want goopy yucky paint so it was good to move down there except you HAVE to ventilate (and I wore a mask)!  This primer was rough!  It is oil based and smells!!  I primed the whole table twice, letting it COMPLETELY dry between each coat.  I used an uber cheap paint brush and just tossed it.  I also tossed the paint since wasting that much time cleaning up oil based primer....YUK!
After two coats of primer.

I used Behr Enamel Hi-Gloss Ultra White paint (water-based).  I rolled the top and used a brush on the sides and bottom.

I used a really good paint brush (Purdy...and I washed this one out and kept it!) for this part..I did not want hairs left behind or lots of paint strokes.  I let each coat dry a ridiculously long amount of time...I am talking days.  I wanted the paint to harden completely.  A lady at the hardware store told me that paint dries from the inside out so I wanted to make sure that it was good and dry.  This is something that we use daily and then some!  I want it to stay pretty and last!
After 2 coats of paint.

CLEAR wax....strangely hard to find!
 I added 3 coats of clear wax.  I rubbed it on with a pad and let it dry an hour, then buffed it with an old soft cotton washcloth.  I repeated three times but I only waxed the top.  I hope that this helps it protect the top since it is the most used of all!  (I was told by several people that if you use a polyurethane on white paint that it would yellow it, so hopefully this clear wax will not!)


Ready for chairs.

I think that it turned out GREAT (course I am biased)!  I found my pitcher at an antique store for a great price and added some wonderful flowers.  Now all we need are chairs and they are on the way!  I love my new table and I have to say I am glad that I tackled this project and I am so happy with the results!
Let me know what you think!

April Photo Challenge {Water}

This picture was take in Mexico at an archaeological park XcaretIt is an underground river that used to be an ancient burial ground.  The water was so very unbelievable!  It was warm and uber-clear!!!  I can't wait to go back soon!
This is my entry for the April Rock The Shot photo contest!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Fifteen Years {Wow}

I got home, where Ansley renewed Jake and my vows.  Like was amazing and sweet and amazing!  Sarah was my beautiful flower girl!

have you ever seen such sweetness?

my bouquet

throwing those rose petals

ready for dinner (at Garrison's...YUM) and a hotel stay where we stayed when we got married!

Fifteen years!!

Harvest Vegetable & Beef Soup (Jake's fav meal)...

This is a uber-YUMMY healthy vegetable is the original recipe from the Family Fun magazine...and my changes in red.  Although I must admit I think it changes every time I make it!  :)   Enjoy!

Makes 8-10 servings!

3 TBS vegetable oil
1 LB stew beef, cut into bite-sized pieces
flour, for dredging
1 large or 2 medium-size onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 C thinly sliced mushroom caps
2 cloves garlic, minced (I use the kind in the jar)
7 C beef broth (I usually use 8 cups, they way it comes in the package)
salt & pepper to taste
2 C winter squash, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes (I have no idea what winter squash is so I use yellow- and I do not peel it)
1 large baking potato, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes (I do not peel the potatoes)
2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced (I do not peel the potatoes)
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1 tsp basil (I do not add this, usually I do not have it in my cabinet)
1/2 tsp thyme (I do not add this, usually I do not have it in my cabinet)
4-5 C Swiss chard, rinsed, stemmed and coarsely chopped (I specifically planted this in the garden this winter because I had a hard time finding it in the grocery store BUT I do substitute spinach)
14 1/2 OZ can diced tomatoes (maybe 2 cans, I love tomatoes)
1-1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce to taste

Step One- Heat the oil in a large heavy pot.  Dredge the beef in flour and coat it lightly then add to the pan.  Brown the beef for 2-3 minutes.  Add the onions, mushrooms, and garlic.  Cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.  Add the beef broth.  Lightly salt & pepper the soup, cover, and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
Step Two- After 30 minutes, add the winter squash, potatoes, carrots, celery, basil and thyme.  Return to a simmer and cove.  Simmer for an additional 20 minutes.
Step Three- Stir in Swiss chard, tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce, then taste.  If desired, add more salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce to taste.  Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the chard is soft. (I always cook it longer...I think that it makes it better)

It is really really good with shredded Parmesan cheese, asaigo cheese, feta cheese or ANY kind of cheese really on top and crusty bread on the side!  And like any good soup it is super good for leftovers!

Beef dredged in flour

mushrooms, garlic and onions

Beef Broth

Carrots, Celery, Yellow Squash and Potatoes

FRESH Swiss chard from the garden!


topped with feta

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Chair Make-Over...

So last week I found this very fun chair in my Mamaw's backyard...  I have been looking for some chairs for photo props and this one seemed perfect except for one little thing, NO seat bottom.  (And it was way dirty and dry!)
I gathered some tools and got to work.  I wore a mask while doing this.  (No reason to damage more brain cells than necessary, right?)

First I wiped it down good with just a clean wet rag.  Then I lightly sanded it with a medium grade sand paper.  After sanding, I wiped it down again to get rid of all of the dust.  I used the mallet to make sure that all of the dowels were in tight.  (I did end up having to insert about 4 screws to keep it tight)  Then I wiped on one layer of Linseed Oil and let it dry.  After about 2 hours I added one more layer of Linseed Oil and then let it dry for about 36 hours or so.
After One
 Then I set off to create a chair bottom.  After some research on the Internet I found this...  ToolGirl Website and viola a tutorial for making a chair bottom from men's neckties.  So with the assistance of my bro-in-law Jeff and hubby Jake I came up with 8 ties.  Then a trip to the thrift store came up with 8 more ties!  This website said I need 30 but I think that 16 will work because the chair is fairly small.  Let the weaving begin!
So the weaving was not quite as straight forward (but come on you all know my level of craftyness- zero) with help from Jake we weaved the chair together and it looks great!  Enjoy the finished project!
Special thanks to Jake and Jeff for tie donations and Jake for the knot help!  :)

Sarah helping me finish

All Done!


It works!  {whew}

Yea Chair!