Wednesday, May 30, 2012

You Can Check Out My Latest Project And My New Blog....Simultaneously!

Well, I figured I better christen my new blog, My Furniture Obsession, with an actual post.  So, I put my latest project, a refurbished dresser/buffet there.  The blog still needs a lot of work.  I've literally done nothing other than write my first post.  But, I'd be just tickled if you went and took a look!

My First Post!  Dresser Makeover

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Why I'm Not Reading This Book

I've heard some buzz about this book called 50 Shades of Gray by E.L. James.  And, I know some Christian women who are reading it or who have read it.  For those of you who aren't familiar with the book, it is a book that falls into the erotica genre and explores the world of sadism, masochism, & bondage. And, apparently a lot of women have become completely drawn into this book.

My cousin's wife posted a link to this article on Facebook today....

I'm Not Reading Fifty Shades of Grey by Dannah Gresh

Dannah sums up perfectly why I'm not reading the book.  Take a minute to read her post.  She speaks a lot of truth.  And, just in case you wanted a little more of my own's what I commented on Facebook....

"Very interesting post. I only recently heard about this book because I know different folks who've been reading it. I looked into what it was about, and I'll admit it sounded like an interesting read, I knew it wouldn't be one I'd be picking up.

I'm not one of those Christian women who thinks I can only read Christian fiction. Truth be told, a lot of Christian fiction disappoints, and I think most secular fiction is actually better written. However, I've had to be careful about what I DO read because I can get images & thoughts stuck in my head for a very long time.

I picked up a book not too long ago that had wonderful reviews, what sounded like a really fabulous storyline that followed the lives of 2 sisters over 50 years. But, at the very beginning of the story was a very graphic, disturbing description of one of those sisters being molested by her stepfather. I had to stop reading. It just wasn't something I wanted in my head.

And, I think that's the main reason I won't be reading 50 Shades of Gray. God knows how powerful thoughts can be. He knows how our brains function. Philippians 4:8 sums up how we can discern what we should or shouldn't read or watch pretty clearly...."Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.""

And, finally, taken directly from the synopsis for the book on
".....Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever."

 And, I'm pretty sure that's exactly what I don't want.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Stairstep...tractors? And, a winner!

First of all, the lucky winner of the book Mom Connection is Chatty Mommy!  She was also the only the odds were in her favor!  :)  Chatty Mommy, I will message you for contact info so I know where to send your book.

Second,  I had to share this picture....

Stairstep boys....on stairstep tractors

No.  We are not farmers.  But, these tractors are all part of our family.  Well,  three belong to my Father-in-law & one belongs to my husband.  Some people collect thimbles or ties.  Some people collect antique tractors.  Can you guess which category we fall into?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Giveaway & Book Review!

Hi everyone!  I've gotten so caught up in my new little hobby/ side business of refinishing & reselling furniture that everything else (including blogging) has gotten pushed to the side.  I've been working hard & steady for about 3 weeks now & am very close to the original goal I set for how much I'd like to have set aside for our family vacation in October. 

Now that the initial excitement & push to really get started is over, I'm trying to set some realistic goals about how to continue this endeavor.  I still am having a blast and I definitely want to keep going.  I just know I need to find some balance (my house is a wreck, laundry is piled up, & I've had less time for family and friends).  So, I'm going to slow down a bit.

And, this seems like the perfect lead in to the book review I wanted to share with you.  Several weeks back I was given the opportunity from MOPS International to review a brand new book.  It is called Mom Connection: Creating Vibrant Relationships in the Midst of Motherhood by Tracey Bianchi.

This idea of finding balance or creating a rhythm in our lives, as Tracey puts it, is what struck me the most as I read this book.  She describes with charming humor the 'real' life of motherhood.  So often as mothers it's hard to see past the chaos and noise of the moment.  Her description of pre-dinnertime madness - that time between 4 & 6 p.m. had me laughing out loud. 

She writes,
"I trip over piles of shoes while trying to find homework sheets.  My baby girl poops and I keep saying, "Don't worry, Mama will change you."  And then forget instantly that she needs a diaper as I yank pots and pans out of cupboards and wish that I had paid some attention to Rachael Ray.  What's for dinner?  Day-old quesadillas and yogurt cry out to me from the fridge.........Whipping up dinner makes me an anxious, hot mess...." 

So how does one find that balance and rhythm?  Tracey is the first to admit that it's not easy and that it may even seem downright impossible or overwhelming.  But her book walks us through some solid, practical ways to slow down, reach out to others, and embrace our faith in God.  Each chapter ends with "5 Mom Tested Tips" - a.k.a practical applications to the ideas in that chapter.  And, she includes 'Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down" - 2 different questions to make you think a little deeper, as well as a list of resources. 

The part of this book I was especially excited to read was about connecting with others.  She includes connecting with our husbands in this.  But, I was really interested to hear what she had to say about connecting with other women.  Sometimes it feels like some friendships are in limbo during motherhood.  There just isn't the time to invest in my friendships that I once did.  And, making new friends seems almost completely overwhelming to me. 

One of my favorite things that Tracey said on this topic of developing friendships was this...."We needed time to build history together.", she says of a group of women she felt connections to but was still getting to know.  "So, take the risk to connect and then sit back and give that friendship the space and time it takes to grow."

I loved that!  I sometimes felt guilty or bad that, while I've met many women since becoming a mom, it's been hard for me to develop that closeness that I crave in these new friendships.  Part of it, I know, is me needing to reach out more & make time to spend with them.  But, part of it, too, is just that - the need for time.  Close friendships form over time. 

Tracey Bianchi's book is one that you should take the time to read.  She speaks with wit, truth, & grace.  And, don't all of us moms need each of those 3 things!? 

So, here's your chance!  I have one copy of the book to give away.  Leave me a comment below telling me one thing you've learned, or are learning, about staying connected with other during the busy years of motherhood.  The chance to enter will close on Saturday, (May 26) at midnight.  I'll pull one name in a drawing.  And, I'll announce the winner on Monday, May 28th!  Good luck!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Whimsical Dresser

Do you remember the turquoise piece I was painting that was sitting on my hillbilly porch.  Well, I'm finally able to reveal what I did.

I bought this dresser off Craigslist....

I committed a big furniture buying 'no no'.  I thought this was the cutest little dresser at a great price ($15), and so when I went to buy it I didn't check it out as carefully as I should have.  The piece was not solid wood (like I thought) & the drawer faces are actually plastic.  Hubby pointed all this out to me when he unloaded it from the van.

I figured this would be a good piece to experiment with.  So, I chose some colors & techniques that are out of my comfort zone.

Here's the result.....

I painted the dresser part turquoise blue.  The drawers & drawer pulls I painted dove grey.  Then I decoupaged a whimsical lime fabric on the raised part of the drawer faces. 

This project caused me a great deal of frustration.  It was a lot more work than I anticipated.  But, I think the finished product is cute.  Now we'll see if anyone from Craigslist agrees with me....

Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Hillbilly Porch

My furniture obsession/ new enterprise has taken over my porch.  We might look a little hillbilly.....

If I just had a space to work/ store my finds it wouldn't have to be on the porch.  But, at least I'm giving my neighbors something to talk about.

Do you see the turquoise piece?  This is a color that's completely out of my comfort zone but I decided to give that paint color a try, plus I  have some special things planned.....You'll have to check back & see how it turns out.

By the way, I will be starting up a new blog (in addition to this one) called My Furniture Obsession.  I figured it would be an organizational tool for me in cataloging my furniture projects.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Latest Project - Shabby Chic Coffee Table

Here's a few pictures of my latest project that I just listed on Craigslist
 I had started sanding before I remember to take a 'before' picture
 Child labor
I wouldn't have needed to use the hand sander since I was painting, but Wyatt had fun helping!

My husband doesn't understand/appreciate the shabby chic look.  He doesn't understand why you would take a perfectly good piece of wood furniture, paint it, and rough it up.  But, there is a market out there for this look.  So, hopefully, someone who sees it on Craigslist will disagree with my husband & fall in love with it.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Twelve Little Sisters

Our newest arrivals.....

This stage always makes me nervous - They're so little.  They need to be kept warm.  And, although we keep a screen over the box, I'm afraid our cat will get a little too curious.  Fortunately, our dog seems to feel protective toward these little sisters & warns the cat if he's too close to the peepies.

What He Thinks....

Wyatt, my oldest, dug this out of his backpack this morning.  It was a day late, but it made me chuckle.  This is a paper he filled out for me at school.

My Mom is Special

My Mom's name is:  Karen
She is special because:  she gets us ice cream
I like it when my Mom:  lets us ride bike
My Mom can do many things!  I think she's best at :  closing cupboards & drawers
My Mom has a pretty smile!  I like to make her smile by:  getting my brother out of bed
My Mom is as pretty as a:  rabbit
My Moms is smart!  She even knows:  some songs
I'd like to tell my Mom:  to run

Well, it's nice to know that I'm as pretty as a rabbit!  I also laughed out loud when I saw what I'm best at.  My children (and my husband) can never seem to close kitchen cupboards or drawers.  I'm constantly closing ones that were left open.  Apparently I'm very good at it!

Coming up this week is a book review & giveaway!  So, check back!  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Chalkboard Sign!

Here is is!  My re-purposed cabinet door.

And, after....

Here's what I wrote on my listing on Craigslist...
This is an extra large chalkboard sign that has been created out of a re-purposed wooden cabinet door! The dimensions are 4 feet, 11 1/2 inches by 1 foot, 2 1/2 inches. Use vertically or horizontally! The outer edges have been painted & lightly distressed. A cork (for pinning small notes or decorations) & a vintage knob (for hanging a piece of chalk or an eraser) have been added. The piece can be propped where you'd like it or you can add brackets on the back for hanging. 

I'm getting ready to work on my second door...this one will be in peacock blue!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Yard Sales, Estate Sales, & Craigslist...Oh My!

I mentioned yesterday that I wanted to share what's been keeping me so busy & so excited lately. Well, I've always had a love of furniture & good deals. And, I've really wanted to try my hand at selling some things on Craigslist.

I started out tentatively several weeks ago. And, my very first go at it was very disappointing. I could have remained discouraged & given up, but decided to keep trying. My goal is to save up money toward our family vacation in October. I have a goal. Now I just have to reach it!

Some stuff I find will be refinished/repurposed. Some I will sell as is. Let me give you a peek....


I hit a yard sale last Friday on my way home from a Mom's meeting. Here's what I found!

- 2 tall outdoor lanterns ( you put a candle inside). Some of the glass is broken in one, but still a steal a $1 a piece!

- 6 vintage, wire latch canning jars & 1 blue glass canning jar at 25 cents each!

- a box of glassware for $3. I didn't know what all was in the box. All the glassware was wrapped in newspaper. I bought it for the water glasses which is what I found when I unwrapped the top few items. There was a lot of other beer glasses, etc. that I don't need. But, still a decent deal

- 2 solid wood cabinet faces/ doors - $1 for the pair!

Here are the canning jars. I have these listed on Craigslist. I found ones like this on Etsy & ebay that were going for anywhere between $7-15 a piece. I started out listing them for $7/piece, but haven't gotten a buyer yet.

I am so excited about the project I'm doing with these two cabinet doors! I'm turning them into large chalkboard signs. I have one completed & one more to do. I will list these on Craigslist when they are done. Stay tuned for pictures!

The outside lanterns are staying with me!

Estate Sales

I have never gone to an estate sale before & didn't know what to expect but there was one near where I live so I decided to give it a try. It's kinda like a yard sale, except it's inside and it's the contents of the entire house. Everything is marked. And, since I was there the 2nd day, everything was 1/2 off the marked price. Here's what I picked up....

These pedestal, drop leaf end tables immediately caught my eye. And, at $10 for the pair I couldn't pass them up. Originally I was going to refurbish them before selling them. But, I decided to list them as is and sold them for $40 for the pair. Still a great deal for the person who bought them & may want to refinish them.

And, I got this cute little pink, shabby chic chair for $5. I currently have it listed on Craigslist for $20. I've had one interested person so far. We'll see if I get a sale...


Well, I've already told you about some of the things I've listed as a result of great finds from different sales I've been to. I want to share one more thing that I just listed today that has been a piece I've been working on very slowly for a very long time.

It used to be a carpenter's nail/screw sorting cabinet.

Now it is a whimsical little cabinet that would be perfect for a crafter/sewer.....

I have to give a shout out to my husband who built a new drawer to fill in the one on the top right that was missing. And, he also make a backing for the piece. Originally there was no back & the drawers would just slide right through. :)

I will say it again - I am enjoying all of this so much. My friends on Facebook are going to get tired of hearing me talk about it constantly. But, this has really given me a sense of accomplishment. And, I feel like I'm 12 years old again - counting my babysitting money over and over because I was so thrilled to have money I earned all on my own. Here I am....almost 30 years later &, having been out of the work force since becoming a mom, I still have that same thrill now that I'm earning some money as a result of my efforts. Feels good.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Where Do I Begin?

 (Side note/ Question:  Last week my fonts went wacky.  They stopped appearing on my page as they appear when I write or edit my post.  I've also tried going into the 'Customize' section of Blogger under 'Advanced' & still there's a disconnect between what I've actually done & what shows on my blog page....Any one else with Blogger have this issue or a solution to it?)

I've been keeping very busy lately.  And, for the first time in a long time I'm really excited about something I'm doing.  But, more on that later.  First let me catch you up a bit....

1.  The solution to the question about where to place the fabric backed frame I talked about in my last post was provided by 2 friends.  My friend, Callie and my friend, Beth (of Simply Sewn) both suggested that I simply raise the piece a bit higher & hang it on the wall.  (I had it propped on the sideboard).  Such a simple solution, and it worked!

 2.  A long time ago...way back in a post from last Fall, I talked about my parent's old kitchen table that I decided to refinish.  You can go to that link to see before pictures.  I actually didn't have to do a whole lot to the piece other than refinish the top.  The table has been stored in our basement.  I was waiting for Joseph (the youngest) to get just a little older (and hopefully not as rough on furniture) before we brought it up.  But, we decided it was time.  The basement is so cramped & musty & dirty.  I didn't want to let it down there too long.

I'm really terrible at taking pictures, but here's what our dining area looks like with the refinished table in place...

 I had sanded the table top down to bare wood, applied a natural stain, & the poly coated it again and again and again.  There's probably 5 or 6 coats of poly on there.  I got a little carried away.  2 or 3 would have sufficed.

The four chairs on the sides are freebie Craigslist finds!  They need to be refinished eventually too.  But, for now, their scratches & dings fit right in with our home.

So, what happened to the dining room table we used to have?  You have to head over to this post at Simply Sewn to find out!

3.  I mentioned at the beginning that I've been busy and I've really been enjoying it.  Well, I'll talk about that more tomorrow.  But, here's a hint....Yard sales, Estate sales, & Craigslist...Oh My!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

So I Had An Idea

My problem is, that while I see potential in old things/ castoffs, my creativity level isn't as high as other folks and I have trouble seeing beyond 'This could be cool.'  The 'How' escapes me usually.

My husband had an old window screen frame that came out of one of the apartments we own.  It was designated for the burn pile, but I pulled it out a long time ago thinking it could be 'Something'.

Originally I thought about adding a backing to it, painting the inside with chalkboard paint & turning it into a chalkboard sign.  But, that particular project would require my husband's help in cutting a piece of wood to size.  And, John has many other projects that are keeping him busy right now.

Yesterday I brought it inside and thought about just sitting the empty frame on my sideboard as an accent piece.

 But, then this morning I got an idea!  (It must have been the fact that I got up early & had a shower & a cup of coffee before my boys were up!).  What if I stapled fabric to it as my backing?  This I can do on my own.  I have random pieces of fabric (even though I don't sew I can't pass up cute fabric when I see it at a yard sale).  And, I can handle a staple gun.

This is what it looks like......
A closer look....

Here's my problem...With the jars in front again I think it looks too busy.  So, do I just use it somewhere else (as a wall hanging or propped up somewhere else as an accent?)?  Or, the other thought I had was to either a) paint the top of the sideboard carry the black in the fabric piece.  or b)  paint the whole sideboard another color...something that a green or peacock blue.  or c)  something I haven't thought of yet.

So, I need your creative opinions.  What do you think would work?
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