Archive for the ‘Home’ Category

A Dresser Reborn

After years of languishing in storage, this lovely dresser came to me by way of my friend Paula. It wasn’t quite so lovely when I got it, and it had a few problems…like a broken mirror. So I fixed it.

Dresser mirror in clamps

A little glue (and stuff) and it’ll all better soon.

Then I sanded it, stained it, painted the knobs, and put it back together. And . . .
drawers sanded drawers
04 Dresser

drawer knobs

Paint makes so many things look better

I didn’t like it.


It was boring. It didn’t want to be boring. So with inspiration from Miss Mustard Seed, a tester pot of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (in Duck Egg), some fun French fooferah from The Graphics Fairy (I used pieces from this one), and a little dark wax, I added a little flair.
Mirror frame, painted

Love the combo of painted & stained wood!

mirror frame
painted dresser
Now the dresser is no longer boring. And we’re both much happier.
finished project


The wax gives it more of a greenish tint, which is just fine, but it’s not as green in real life as it looks in this picture. Either way, I now love it.

The End.

P.S. I apologize for the messy state of my bed, which unfortunately shows in the mirror. Even though I’m not a fan of this quilt anymore (someone left a hairball on my down comforter, ruining it forever, so this had to come out of storage), I do normally make my bed. I just wasn’t in the mood that day.


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Well. That Was Different.

I live in North Texas, so this time of year I’m fairly accustomed to spending some time in my closet with my cats, hiding from tornados because the weatherman told me to. (The cats hate this because they are sure that whatever is on the other side of the door requires their attention.) I generally get a good bit of reorganizing done during those times. I even keep a blanket in there so if it’s late and I’m tired I can just lie down on the floor and sleep out the storm.

But today, it was mid-afternoon when the sirens went off and I was at work. So we gathered our purses and went to the bathrooms–because they’re surrounded by pipes and are therefore more solid than some other rooms, not because we suddenly all had to “go.” I joined the rest of my department in the men’s room, just for a change of pace. Sheila Walsh was visiting the office and got some photos of our bathroom buddies, but I only have a stupid phone, not a smart one, so I couldn’t record that magic moment. It was pretty entertaining, though.

That didn’t last long…but the next time the sirens went off the whole office met up in our large conference room in the middle of the building. It has a big screen, so we watched a local channel’s weather coverage, said a prayer, and plopped on the floor to wait it out. (They took out the chairs lest they become airborne projectiles.) And that pretty much took up the rest of the day.

We nervously jumped every time the air conditioning kicked on (it made a scary noise) and I wondered if I could still ‘assume the position’ I was taught as a child in Oklahoma during tornado drills. (It involves kneeling and covering one’s head with crossed arms. My arms still cross but my knees have been damaged and don’t take to kneeling like they used to.) But otherwise it was all rather dull. However, if I had to be stuck in a room with a group of people to wait out a storm, this was a great group to wait with.

When we finally got out, it was a relief to find our cars unscathed–especially since I foolishly parked under a tree this morning. My home appears to have escaped damage, too. Even the roses still have blooms. For these things I am truly grateful. Others around the area were not so fortunate.

All that to say, this is as good a time as any to take a look around at the things we take for granted and say “thank you” to the One who provides them all.

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I redid my bathroom. Now, only in my dreams can I do the kind of damage I’m watching on Bath Crashers as I type. This was a more cosmetic redo with a budget of about $200 and the help of my fearless travel buddies, Vikki & Rosemary. Here’s a before shot:

bathroom counter

Before. Note the annoying counter clutter.

I didn’t manage to get a shot of these, but my faucet handles were this awful combo of “silver” and brass to match(?) the brass shower surround.
shower stall

The hall tree used to live in the closet but it fit so nicely there....

So I found this fancy new product made for appliances that’s supposed to turn them into stainless steel. It’s a multi-step, slow, stinky process. Does it work? Wait for it.

First, there’s that counter clutter to deal with. I’ve said for years that what bathrooms need are appliance garages, someplace you can stuff everything without having to unplug it. So I decided to build one. Marc, the nice man at my local Lowe’s, spent hours (literally!) showing me how to build the thing and cutting the boards I needed. (Sadly, Lowe’s did not sponsor this post.) Then Vikki screwed the cabinet together….cabinet build and I built the door

cabinet door in progress

A work in progress

I ended up with this:
completed cabinet


Here’s a peek at the inside.cabinet inside If you look hard you can see that the cabinet has no back and it’s built around the plug. Add that to the nifty holder that corrals 2 curling irons and my hairdryer, and everything is beautifully contained. I plan to add frames around the mirror on both sides of the cabinet later. Hopefully I’ll be able to change that ugly light fixture, too. Meanwhile, the nasty orange original cabinets are now a lovely chocolate brown that matches the newly painted water closet.
peek in the wc

It used to be (yawn) white.

The stencil is the same as on the cabinet door, only here it’s a shimmery blue to match the main room walls.

Meanwhile, Rosemary worked very hard on the hall tree…

hall tree in progress

Artist at work.

which turned out like this:
finished shower & hall tree

See the silver?

The “stainless” finish is definitely better than the brass, but it does look painted. Since I’m generally not wearing my glasses in the shower, I can’t see the paint strokes so that doesn’t bother me a bit. I just thought you might want to know.

Someday I’ll figure out what to do with the corner windows, which offer a fabulous view of the backyard and the street. And, of course, offers my neighbors and anyone else going down the street a fabulous view of me in the shower. (Or it would, if I ever opened the blinds.) Here they are now.


It's just left of the hall tree, just right of the counter.

Any ideas?

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The Elephant in the Room

In my bedroom, to be precise. And I do mean a literal elephant.

He’s a humidifier.

I’ve been told by more than one professional—doctor, esthetist (esthetician…esthete…esth…lovely woman who does my facials, aka Tammy)—that I should invest in a cool mist humidifier, especially in the winter when heating systems suck all the moisture out of the air.

So I went to several stores and examined my options. There were several grown up models, but this little guy offered an automatic shut off option if he ever runs out of water—a plus for us absent-minded types—he cost the same as the duller models, and, well, he’s cute.

So I brought him home. And now every night he spits cool mist out his trunk into the air. I try not to think of it as elephant snot.

I think he needs a name, don’t you?


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$10 Challenge Winner!

Well, the long hot summer clearly caused more brain melt than I anticipated. While I saw some interesting entries (and got even more interesting excuses for not entering) the clear winner was Amy, who created a fabulous and elegant cake stand with $2.50 to spare.

She sent me a picture and I tried for a week to get the picture out of my email and into this post, but no matter what I tried it didn’t work. (I’m not the most technically adept person, as my office IT department will attest.)

So, drawing on my mad descriptive skills, let me paint a mental picture for you: What we have (and by “we” I mean “Amy”) is a clear crystal candlestick with a nice footed base and some detailing. (Garage sale, $2. Score.) On top of that is a clear glass plate (Wal-Mart, $1.50) with oval glass beads (clear glass aquarium rocks $4) around the edge of the plate. They make the plate look like it has pretty scalloped edges and adds a lovely touch of elegance to the whole. The end result is a pretty display piece that looks like it cost way more than a mere $7.50.

So, nice job, Amy! Your Wal-Mart gift card is on its way. And hey, if you make any more fabulous projects, let us know! (That goes for the rest of you, too.) Happy crafting!

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$10 Challenge Ends Today

So how’d it go? My own project . . . well, here’s the story: as I’ve mentioned more than once in these posts, I like colored glass. In fact, over the weekend I popped into the Dallas Museum of Art where I spent several minutes leaning on the second floor railing admiring the Chihuly flowers in the window and deciding which three I’d take home, should I be offered the choice.

Since that didn’t happen, I went home and assembled this collection:various glass items Most of it came from under cabinets and the backs of closets, but I did spend 50 cents on the purple piece at a garage sale and the red glass set me back 59 cents at the Goodwill Store.

I also invested $2.71 in Loctite, my new favorite sticky substance. I’ve now repaired multiple previously broken items with this wonder glue. Well worth the investment. (The Loctite company has no idea who I am, btw, so they didn’t influence this opinion at all.)

After washing the dust off my glassy items and making sure they were all dry, I started stacking and sticking. pieces in progress At this point the scent of adhesive became nigh overwhelming, so I moved everything out to the patio.

Truth be told, I wanted to begin out there but was dissuaded by the discovery that a band of wasps had built a sizable nest on the corner of my patio table. This observation came immediately after a sharp pain to the back of my leg where one of the little varmints stung me and immediately before my realization that my wasp spray was inoperable. Hence the indoor workshop. Between the discovery and the final phase of the project, sometime after the art museum (I know these little details are somehow important), I did manage to purchase a shiny new can of wasp spray and committed mass murder. And no, I don’t feel guilty at all. Clearly the opportunistic insects were just waiting until the barn swallows moved out in the false hope they could rule the patio. Wrong.

Where was I? Oh yes, on the patio with my glass pieces. I glued the blue/clear/purple section to the (upside down) wine bottle and decided that as my creation was already 3 feet high, adding the red & yellow pieces would be a bit much. (This turned out to be a wise decision.)

Next, I strolled over to the shed flower bed with a metal post (not pictured) that I picked up when I decided the rebar in the picture was too short (Lowe’s, $6.09 with tax) and hammered said post into the ground, only missing the post and whacking my hand once. No emergency room visit required. This time.

Finally, once the glue had plenty of time to set, I took my creation over, pointed the wine bottle end down, and carefully threaded the bar through the mouth of the bottle. It looked like this: finished product Here’s a better view of the bottle:

It looks blue in the picture but I promise in real life it's much more purple.

Then I went off to sit in my hammock chair and admire my glass sculpture. It looked so nice with the sun shining through it . . .

. . . for about twenty minutes.

Then I heard a crash, looked up from my book, and saw my hard(ish) work in pieces on the ground. Apparently there wasn’t a good enough bond between the wine bottle and the green vase and the two parted ways.

So that’s my $10 project story. I’m not too broken up (sorry, bad pun) by my project’s failure, it was entertaining and mostly free. All told I spent $9.89 and most of the supplies can be salvaged for another try.

What about you? Did you take the $10 Challenge? How did your project come out? Do tell! After all, it might net you a $10 gift card.

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There’s a Flower Friday post coming later today but I wanted to remind you that this is the weekend to finish (or begin and then finish) your $10 Challenge Entry.

You can do it! Just open your mind to the idea that you can be creative, picture what might be instead of what is, and as my friend Luci Swindoll says, look at life through the lens of possibility.

I’m doing a $10 project myself this weekend, so we’ll meet up with our creations in hand on Tuesday, OK? OK!

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