Monday, April 27, 2015

Kitchen Table Rehab

Not the sloppy real housewives kind of rehab but the kind where you turn something old and tired into something new and beautiful. Come to think of it that's a lot like an episode of Real Housewives!
 My kitchen table has appeared as a prop in hundreds of blog photos but do you think I could find a picture of it pre makeover? No! Here it is during the process. It was a 20 year old standard farm house table with an unfinished pine top and white legs. I like the sturdy plainness of this but I wanted it to match the barn wood of the kitchen wall and the barn red accent color I'm now using in the kitchen.

Dark walnut stain, sanding and dry brushing with red paint (Ace Hardware Paprika) then several coats of satin finish poly urethane did the trick. The distressed look comes from the many years of wear this table has received from my family.  
I decided to leave the chairs the original natural pine which helps them blend with the rest of the kitchen.
Red seat cushions finish out the theme.
I LOVE the way my New/Old table looks now. Isn't it amazing what some elbow grease and paint can do to transform a piece of furniture or for that matter a room? This post wraps up my DYI kitchen renovation. I hope you've enjoyed seeing this year long work in progress. Now We're moving on to a face lift for the bedrooms but no major work needs to be done, at least I don't think so. We'll just have to see won't we?

I've put a tab at the top of the blog to group all the kitchen renovation posts in one place for those who might be interested. Thanks for following along.

Until next time,

Monday, April 20, 2015

Some Things Never Change

At least it seems that way as far as my design wall goes.
The sad quilt on the wall waiting for me to get up the inspiration/energy to get it done.
The same finishing strips waiting for their place in the mix. I have no idea why I'm so bogged down on this one. I just don't feel the love.
As you may have guessed by my blog absence we've been traveling again but I did get a little bit of fun sewing in before we left.
I made this darling little fabric book for grand daughter Evie who is 10 months old now. These little projects are so much fun to do but just like everything else the adage of measure twice and cut once applies even on small items.
Can you spot it? That's right, I got the pages sewn in backwards! I was so happy with the clean finish too. I had to pick this apart and re-sew and I had embroidered her name in the spine too. That had to come out as well because it no longer would read correctly. All's well that ends well but still. I have to laugh at myself sometimes because I get so excited about the outcome that I overlook the details, you know what I mean?
I do have a good tip to share with you though. When I have to trim the bulk out of seams, in this case trim batting out of the book seems, I use my billed applique scissors. They make quick work of this job and keep the fabric out of the way.
Often we have tools lying around which we only think of for one purpose but they can be used for so much more. Those billed scissors are very handy anywhere you need to be careful about cutting layers of fabric.

I hope all of you are feeling more creative than I am these days. Have you ever been bogged down by a project? What did you do?

I'm linking my pitiful design wall to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times. Let's all hop over and get inspired.

Until next time,

Saturday, April 11, 2015

And Then This Happened...

On Monday I showed you all the riotous color blooming in my garden. We shared the wonderful wisteria and lilacs, budding clematis and peonies. 
 On Tuesday the view outside my window was quite different.
That's right, it's snow. The first snow we've had in more than a year and it fell on April 7. Even though my flowers are ruined I'm not complaining. We so desperately need the moisture here in California but I can't help but sigh at all the beauty lost in an hour. The flowers will recover, their beauty is fleeting in any case.
We have a saying here in the foothills, spring cannot arrive until there's snow on the dogwoods. It's official - spring is definitely here!
Hope it's warmer where you are.

Until next time,

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

More Projects?

You know me I can never leave well enough alone. Just like the book says, "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" she'll want to renovate the whole house! If you don't know what I'm talking about you never had kids/grandkids so you'll have to look it up.

Here is my faithful minion Chris slaving away painting the back hallway/mud room. That wood trim is about to go! I found a beautiful warm shade of white at Restoration Hardware called Linen and we painted the whole kitchen, back bathroom and now this. It brightens the space without blinding if you get what I mean. 
The most difficult space in the whole house to paint! I will never understand this design choice, what a lot of dead/ wasted storage space but there it is.
A handy coat rack right by the back door holds dog leashes too. Chris made this from an old piece of lumber, he's so clever sometimes.
That gave me an idea to use a piece of fence we had lying around and turn it into a hat rack in the bathroom by the back door.
Handy to grab that garden hat as I'm going out the door.
The old kitchen curtains just had to go so I made these from yardage I already had in the stash. Simple and non-fussy. Just the clean lines I'm going for. The brick red color is exactly the accent I have going throughout the house.
I saw these letters on Creative Cain Cabin and saved them to my Pinterest board ages ago.You should visit Dawn's blog and see all the neat things she has done in her beautiful house. Anyway, I finally found a spot to shamelessly copy her idea. I love this pop of color over my kitchen sink!
I'll show you how I made over the kitchen table to match the barn wood pantry wall next. Any spring projects on your agenda?

Until next time,

Monday, April 6, 2015

Spring Fever On Dogwood Lane

I know, I know. I've been gone a long time but when you hear why you'll forgive me. I've been up and down the state visiting the grands of course. We walked on the Southern California beaches, built sand castles and dipped our toes in the waves. We ate wonderful fresh sea food on the Redondo Beach pier. Managed to have a meal with each and every brother and SIL which, if you've been a reader for any length of time you know means a lot of meals. Built Legos and changed dolly diapers, read stories and cuddled. Having five little grands living so far away means there are a LOT of cuddles to catch up on!
I made a surprise visit to Bunco night with my So Cal Bunco Belles. By my reckoning the Belles have been playing for almost 30 years and as an original and founding member I'm happy to say I always have a place at the table whenever I'm in town. So much fun to laugh and hang out with my gal friends. Where else can you be so comfortable than with friends you have known since you were young mothers together? All in all a glorious trip.
Of course, there is a price to pay for so much fun and ours came in the form of a mystery illness which sapped our will and caused both Chris and I to spend days in bed once we were back home. Nothing too terrible but exhausting all the same. Maybe our age catching up with us, with a mild fever thrown in?
The smallest dogwood tree putting on a show
The garden here is in full riot with the dogwood trees bursting out. The wild trees on Dogwood Lane are all white, the oldest trees bloom first and the youngest like the one in the picture above come into bloom last. If the weather holds the flowers will last for weeks. We have an ancient dogwood in the front of the house, tall and gnarled which I fear is putting on her last show. Only one branch is blooming this year, all others are dry and lifeless. The whole lane will be so sad to see her fall. This drought is taking it's toll in big ways and small.
The wisteria is almost past her prime. I wish you could walk out with me in the morning and evening when I pass under the arbor on my way to tend to the chickens. the wisteria's perfume mingled with  the scent from the lilac is intoxicating.
 My lilacs are glorious. I hesitate to call them bushes since they reach far above my head at least 15 feet tall. Shades of blue, pink, purple and this year finally, the white lilac I planted about five years ago has decided to bloom!
Yes, we really do have spring fever here on Dogwood Lane and we plan to enjoy it all the more knowing that the hot dry days of summer are not far behind.
I hope your spring is glorious too.
Until next time,