Sunday, August 31, 2014

Secretary Desk Makeover

Secretary desks have always been a popular piece or furniture in the Amish community I come from. I don’t know how it started but for the past generations many parents would present their children with a secretary desk “from home” or so it was said, when a son or daughter got married or moved out and was given various items to make a start with in their new home. Some of the most popular things were bedroom suites, quilts, dishes, hutches, desks and sometimes even a horse and buggy.

So, about ten years ago hubby’s dad decided to get a new secretary desk and we got the chance to have his old one. It was no wonder no one else in the family wanted it, with the ugly yellowish – orangeish color it was.  I really wish I had a picture of it. I did find one online that reminded me a little of it…

 

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It also had a header and glass doors, which I removed.  Smart hubby knew that before the desk could reside in our home, it would need a major makeover. At the time I painted it black and a few years later I added beadboard to the back of the upper part.

 

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Just the other day, I started eyeing the subject and I began to wonder why I haven’t repainted it a long time ago. It stood out amongst all the whites and neutrals of the living room.

I painted the main part a “dove white” and the beadboard and shelves got a coat of “shiloh blue” For now, I’ll leave the wooden handles, since it gives the piece a county look..

 

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I always like to take pictures of new projects through other rooms. I think it’s sometimes a better way of seeing whether everything flows together nicely or not. 

 

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I think it “flows” a lot better like this than when it was black.

The white jars and pitchers were all clear glass that I spray painted white a few years ago. The  “y” I added using carbon paper to transfer, then a black paint marker to color in.

I hope you enjoyed this post and are possibly inspired to redo old, out of style heirlooms instead of storing them. Smile

Happy Labor Day!

-Mary

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Crackling with Elmers glue

Earlier this summer a friend had dropped off a hutch that she picked up at a garage sale and wondered if I’d paint it. I haven’t been doing any painting for people since I started the garden parties but this cute little hutch I couldn’t resist!

 

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So now, a few months later, I finally got around to giving it a makeover. I got to choose what I’d do with it. I knew she wanted a neutral color, like white or off white, so I thought I’d try something I haven’t done in a while..crackling. I read somewhere that you can use elmers glue to crackle paint and decided to give it a shot. I swiped my son’s brand new bottle of glue he had packed in his back pack for school and got started.Smile

The finish on the hutch wasn’t shiny or overly smooth so I didn’t bother with any sanding. I should mention that I used my sprayer for this project but you could use a brush or roller also, I’m sure. I gave the hutch a coat of dark brown paint.

 

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I then applied glue to the drawers and doors..

 

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I used both a foam brush and my hands to spread the glue.

Now, here are a few important tips that I learned the hard way by not knowing about them before I started:

Always have the surface at a horizontal position to do this! I tried doing the sides of the hutch too, in a vertical position, but the glue ran and it turned out looking horrible, like it had a disease. I ended up stripping all the paint and glue and starting over. Sad smile

Apply a thick layer of glue! I tried applying a thin layer of glue but then it didn’t crackle at all. 

After applying the thick layer of glue, immediately put on the top layer of paint.

 

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Watch it crackle as it dries!

 

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Again, here is the before picture…

 

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and the after…

 

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I left the inside of the top dark brown, I thought it added a little character..

 

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It’s amazing what a bottle of Elmers glue can do!

Thanks for visiting, everyone!

 

-Mary

Monday, August 11, 2014

Rustic wall art

I really felt I needed a new wall display above the mantle since I still had the “Joy to the world” sign hanging there. ( I did feel “joy to the world” could be used year round so I guess that will be my excuse for not taking it down Smile)

I liked the look of natural aged wood in our living room so I wanted to make something with similar wood…

 

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I cut some pieces of old wood 13” long and various widths. I was thinking some sort of plague to hang pictures on. At the time I wasn’t sure what I’d do yet but I knew I wanted three square pieces.

 

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I pinned them together…

 

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Next I sanded and cleaned them. After that they received a coat of polycrylic…

 

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I attached hangers on the backs. I thought of using a clip board clip to hold the pictures but didn’t have any on hand, so I used clothes pins..

 

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I love the old wood look with all the character!

 

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I got the pictures printed out at Walmart for a few dollars each. I matted them with cardboard that I had lying around here. So for under $10.00 I had some rustic wall art!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

My little beach house 2

A few years ago I had posted about “my little beach house” which is a little retreat on our property that I gave a major makeover at the time. The past few days I have been adding a few nautical touches to it, just to give it a fresh, new look. To read about the original makeover click here.

Before I proceed, I want to mention a garden tour that took place a few weeks ago here in Holmes County, Ohio. I had promised you I would share a few pictures of that, so if you need some serious garden inspiration click here.

Back to the beach house. I call it that even though it is located beside a pond, but it is as close as I’ll ever get to having a real beach house, I’m sure.

 

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Let me begin by describing the sounds you will hear down here. First of all, there is an indescribable tranquility here like nowhere else. In the springtime the eastern Phoebe’s song will be heard close by since she raises her young in the eave of the cabin faithfully every year. The splash of a fish can be heard year round and during the summer especially, the chorus of frogs, one of my favorite nature sounds. If there is a breeze, you will hear the willow whisper a tune. I could go on and on about the music of nature down here but I imagine you get the drift.

I made a few cushion covers to add to the daybed…

 

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I used the same transfer technique on the fabric as I do for wooden signs. Once again, a French typography caught my eye on “the graphics fairy” website. And once again, I hope it says something pleasant, since I don’t know any French!

 

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I decorated these jars with starfish and hemp. The “sand” is washing soda.

 

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I made these little sail boats with twigs, hot glue and fabric. First I gathered some sticks that reminded me of driftwood..

 

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I drilled a hole into the base and stuck a thinner twig into it…

 

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Next I cut the “sails”…

 

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I’ve always been inspired by a friend’s amazing work where she paints word signs and sells them on etsy. You can find her etsy shop here.  She also paints wooden oars and that’s where I got this idea…

 

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My mom had picked up a drab brown oar for me in a garage sale for a few dollars so I painted & distressed it and thought it would be a neat touch down in the beach house.

 

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I tried, without, too much success to make a rope ball. I thought it would fit to a nautical themed room. For now it will have to do..

 

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Oh, and did I mention there’s now a swing hanging from the willow by the pond? A most relaxing spot…

 

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We’ve had the most amazing summer weather! It’s been beautiful and we get rain quite regularly so nothing is turning brown. Everything still almost looks spring like! My oldest son captured this photo the other evening when we were all cruising some back roads…

 

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I love summer! I hope you are enjoying yours!

 

-Mary