Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Visit!

I woke up to the best sound ever in this morning: RAIN! We haven't had rain in over 2 months and things have gotten quite crispy.
It's amazing how fast the plants perk up. No amount of watering can do what a good soaking rain can.
We are supposed to get quite a bit more over the next few days too! Now we just need some nice crisp Fall weather and we'll be all set. :o)

Earlier this week, I got to go visit and meet a fellow Texas blogger, Cecilia from My Thrift Store Addiction. We've been talking about it for awhile and finally were able to meet! Of course, we had to meet - there's not a lot of Cecilias. LOL. She's absolutely adorable and so sweet!

We had a blast! She took me to all her favorite thrift stores and I got to stay in her cute house. Go here to see it all decked out for the Fall. All I can say is, the pictures don't capture the whole beauty of her home. I just couldn't stop looking around it all. :o) I loved seeing it in person!
We celebrated our birthdays too as they are very close together. Cecilia took me to one of her favorite restaurants for supper. Yummy! We talked and laughed and had a great time.
Cecilia and me
Afterwards, we went back to her house where we talked and laughed some more. We exchanged birthday gifts:
She gave me these cute red tins full of fresh dried herbs from her garden!! I love using rosemary and thyme in my cooking. Thank you, Cecilia!!
Then then next day, we went thrifting. I found some treasures -
A horse book, 2 beautiful pillow shams in my neutral colors, a Christmas plate, and a reindeer pull toy.
Here's a close up of the fabric:
And one of the plate. Love the saying on it and the red barn.
Then we met another fellow blogger, Audrey from Timeless Treasures, for lunch. She's adorable and I enjoyed visiting and getting to know her as well. The restaurant we ate at was charming and the food delicious:
Afterwards, Cecilia and I went to Comfort and shopped a bit more. There was one shop that had a "home" set up for their two pugs. Oh my word, it was too cute. The shop owner asked if they wanted to take their picture in their beds and up they hopped.
We also saw several scarecrows around town. I had to take a picture of "Jack Sparrow".
Sadly, it was then time for me to head home. However we are making plans to meet up again in the Spring, with Cecilia coming to my house. I can't wait! Thank you, Cecilia for such a fun visit! Here's to new friends.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Host Chairs and Fall Table Decor

I'm on a roll - two posts in one week! It seems like I'm either extremely productive or not at all. But when you're on a roll, go with it, I say.

Yesterday I showed you my dining room table and chairs all newly painted and redone. But I left you with a promise to show you my new host (aka arm) chairs.

So why am I finally getting host chairs after all these years? WELL, I've been thinking of the holidays, I'm tired of pulling out the metal folding chairs, and since my children are grown, someday they just might bring someone home with them. ;o)

So, I went on the hunt for chairs. First, I thought new. I looked at At Home, then Pier One, then World Market. Nothing that fit my style or ideas.

Then Friday, I went to my favorite consignment store and found two of these. Hmm, nice and sturdy, the price was right (both were cheaper than one new one!) and I know with paint and new fabric they will blend with my other ones. Ok, SOLD!! I loaded them up and brought them home.

 Yuck, need to pull off the dirty fabric and wash down the chairs.

Then paint them with my same DIY chalk paint, followed by wax. Recover the seats with some Waverly fabric I found at Wal-Mart - $6.44 a yard! Crazy, right?

And here they are! They turned out so pretty!

Of course, I had to dress my "new" table for Autumn - starting with a Fall runner, then a glass cake stand in the middle, some gourds and mini pumpkins, and a leaf garland along the middle.

I set the table with my woodland chargers, red dinner plates, with the leaf salad plate on top.

All set for Fall!

I'm in love with this set again and am thrilled with the "new" host chairs. Here's to many more family dinners at this table and many happy memories.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Dining Room Table and Chairs

I finally got the table and chairs done! I'm wondering why I waited so long to tackle them...I think it's because I couldn't decide if I really wanted to paint them or what color to use. But I absolutely love how they turned out.
Photo bombed by Missy the cat

Here's what I started with:

The finish was tacky in some spots and worn off in others.

We got this table and two chairs as a wedding gift 33 years ago. We bought two more chairs to finish the set. They were unfinished wood and the table has 2 leaves. Bruce wanted it to be Dark Walnut and I wanted Pecan. He won. :o) Thus the set ended up with a dark walnut stain. One leaf never quite matched - it was always a little lighter than the rest of the table.

Then I refinished it about 15 or more years ago. I tried to lighten the color but it didn't work. Eventually, we bought a bigger table and this one went up in the attic. Our son used it one year but it came back when he moved back home - again it went into storage.

But the big table wasn't comfortable so I sold it and we brought this one back into the dining room. I cleaned it and threw a tablecloth over it to hide the now yucky finish.

I finally decided it was time to tackle it and I got Bruce to help me take it out to the garage. I sanded the top, stained it Espresso (Minwax), added a second coat of stain, then sealed it with three coats of semi-gloss polyurethane.

The base and chairs got painted with a DIY chalk paint using Behr's Studio Taupe in a flat finish. I used white unsanded grout (2 TBLS of grout, 2 TBLS water mixed well then 1 cup of paint mixed in). It covers nicely and dries fast. A light distressing then clear and dark wax. Love it!

I'm so happy with how it turned out! It went from blah to wow and I love it all over again!
Here's the side by side comparison:

But wait! Why do the ends of the table have no chairs? Ah. I decided after all these years, we needed host chairs. Come back tomorrow and see what I used and to see the table decked out in all her Fall finery.

Sharing at these parties:
Vintage Charm 1
The Dedicated House Make It Pretty Monday
The Dedicated House Before and After Wednesday

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Silver Linings

Ever have one of those weeks? You know, the kind where more goes wrong than right? It's hard not to focus on the bad stuff and instead find the silver linings. I really have to work at being positive instead of negative during those times.

Anyway, I had a couple of weeks recently where my stress level was high and my outlook rather gloomy. It all started off with the phone company digging a ginormous hole in my backyard  and because of where they were digging, we had to take down my greenhouse. Which meant I had to move everything in it - including moving the pea gravel floor. Oh yay. Then it took them a week to come back and fix the cable. Of course, they came at a very inconvenient time for me. I had to completely change my plans so I could be home. Then it was another two days before they came back and refilled the hole. (I won't mention the now dead grass).*sigh*

In between all that, we planned and held a birthday party for my mother-in-law. A good thing but a little stressful trying to get everything and everyone coordinated.

(It turned out great and we all had a wonderful time!)

And then there were just lots of little things that just added to my frustration level.

I've learned during these times I have to step back and find perspective; look for the good things going on. So what were my silver linings?

First of all, in having to move the greenhouse - I got it all the junk cleaned out that normally gets put in there over the Spring and Summer. Now it will be ready for Winter! Yay! I'm ahead of the game!

Having to stay home on a day I was supposed to be somewhere - I was able to work on some projects I wanted to start - the ones it's been hard to find the time for. So hurray, they're started!

Then on a day when I was feeling really down, I got two emails. One from Shirley over at Hospitality Designs telling me I'd won her giveaway of the book  French Accents by Anita Joyce. I'd entered thinking it was a long shot but I love all things French and farmhouse so I thought I'd try. I was floored and ecstatic when I found out I'd won.  The book is wonderful. Anita walks you through what French decor is and how to add it to your house. I just may have to recreate that look somewhere. :o)  I'm smitten!

Then Beth from Farm Fresh Vintage Finds told me I'd won her giveaway of a HomeRight Finish Max Fine Finish Sprayer! No way!! Two giveaways? I won two of them?(I thought I wouldn't win this one either!) Oh wow, I am one lucky blessed girl! I wish I'd had this a couple of years ago when painting the farmhouse and stuff. I'm so excited to finally have one because let's face it...there's a lot more painting in my future! Beth has turned out some wonderful projects using hers. I can't wait to use mine! I'm on the lookout for the perfect victim, um project. I think I may have a candidate in the garage. ;o)

Silver linings indeed! We just need to recognized them in the middle of our messes.

Sometimes they are easy to see, like me winning the giveaways and my mother-in-law enjoying her party. Other times, I have to search for them. But they are there if we just look hard enough!

Hope your silver linings are shining through your clouds!

It still doesn't feel very Fallish around here - the mornings are nice and cool though and the heat isn't as intense. So that's a silver lining!

I'm still trying to get my table and chairs finished. I'm loving them so far. I need to get them done and moved back inside so I can decorate the dining room!

Hello! Let's Catch Up!

 Good morning! Goodness, it's been a long time! I've missed all of you. Let's catch up, ok? We moved to the farm full-time 2 yea...