Repaint your Patio Furniture

This time of the year is my favorite.  The evenings are still cool despite the warmer days arriving.  I love to sit outside on my patio.  One of the smartest things Mr. Bee and I did recently was to take our existing wrought iron furniture and have it sand blasted and powder coated with new paint.  I wish I had taken before photos so that you could see the transformation.  I can’t believe how much better our furniture looks — like new and for a fraction of what we would have spent on brand new furniture.

We did invest in new outdoor cushions.  We visited Chair King and the staff were extremely helpful and knowledgable on how to help us select the perfect fabric and cushion size we needed.  Miss Bee picked out the stripes.  She thought the black and cream was neutral enough to allow us to change up the accent pillows.  I think she was right.  The chaise lounge chair has become a favorite spot for Hobbes.

The swing above came from Walmart several years ago, but the top had been worn and damaged from the sun and wind.  Mr. Bee had an awning company make a new top for it.  The nice thing about the swing is that the back reclines to make a sleeper!  Note to Mr. Bee:  The firepit needs some love with new paint, too.

We purchased the table and chairs from KMart about 10 years ago.  It was very well made, but the sun had taken a beating on the finish.   We had them re-done in a oil rubbed bronze and added the new cushions.  We also decided to place it under the porch instead of on the open patio so we could get more enjoyment in the shade while protecting the finish.  Mr. Bee added cafe lights to the ceiling.

 Next in the series…how to make your patio an extension of your home.

Quick Pottery Barn Orchid Knockoff

I was flipping through my new Pottery Barn catalog last night and I spotted something I wanted to try and replicate on my own.

I love the centerpiece using the glass hurricane with the orchid.  It’s not a new idea, but I think I liked how the orchids were placed in the glass with moss making it look kind of terrarium-ish (I just made that word up).

The glass hurricane sells for $79, but I wanted to come in way under that.  I already had the orchid stems.  I need a few bags of moss sheets, balls, and floral putty to hold it down.  I knew I also wanted a tinted glass hurricane.  I found one at Target for $23.

I gathered all my supplies, which cost less than $16 at Michaels, plus a pair of clippers for the floral stems.

 I bought two bags of moss, and one bag of six moss balls.

 And one bag of clay.

I took the wide mouthed hurricane and placed a big piece of clay at the bottom

Then placed the three stems of orchids in the clay

I emptied both bags of moss around the bottom of the stems to hide the clay, then placed the balls on top.  I wanted an end result of rustic elegance.  Not too fixed. 

An easy simple update, with a splash of color.

Have a fab Friday.

It only took a year

Last summer I painted my kitchen cabinets.  It took me an entire year to figure out what I wanted to do with the space above the stove.  I removed the doors and painted the inside because I wanted to have an open area to display pottery and a few cookbooks.  But, for some reason I just wasn’t sure what I wanted the finished product to look like.

I toyed with lining the inside of the cabinet with grass cloth wallpaper.  The shelf annoyed me because it was the typical thickness of a cabinet shelf and I felt like it took away from the clean look I was going for.  Plus, I knew I wanted to put a small accent lamp in the cabinet since there was an outlet there for the microwave and the light wouldn’t be able to show through wood.

I was looking through FB one day and came across a neat article posted by House Beautiful magazine on 101 makeover ideas (remember this article because I will working through the ideas over the next year).  Designer Libby Cameron’s tip was battery operated LED lights.  They look like a hockey puck and have adhesive on the back so you can stick them anywhere you want to back light objects from above.  Miss Bee and I got a laugh because the packaging said these lights were perfect for lighting your backpack.  Huh? 

That’s when the light bulb went off, literally, on how I wanted to pull together the look I was going for.  I found a package of three at Lowe’s for about $12.  I rummaged through my fabric scraps and came across just enough leftover from a chair I recovered several years ago (by coincidence the same fab as Church Lady’s shelf makeover).  Miss Bee had a few pieces of poster board (from the dreaded science fair projects).  I had some double sided tape.  I took the shelf down and went to the custom glass and mirror store and had them cut a tempered glass shelf to fit for about $35.  Tempered glass is very important for a project like this.  In case it breaks, it will break into marble sized pieces, not death shards of glass.  I went to Lowe’s and cashed in my free coupon for an 8 oz paint sample.  Then, got to work.

I am sorry I don’t have a before photo.  I was bad about doing it, but just imagine, it was boring.

This is front view.  The cabinet is just above the microwave.
Little used before this makeover.  When I cleared it out all I had
up there was a teakettle and mini muffin pans.

From the side of the kitchen.  That light puck really
lights up!  You may be wondering how is she going to
light puck?  Well, I put a yardstick in the pantry.  When I want to light
it, I take the yard stick and press it.  Voila!  Work with me here.

Here’s a view of the glass shelf.  Vintage little bird salt & pepper shakers
One of the bowls I collected from TJMaxx over the last year for this project.

Here’s the view looking up. I painted the top of the
cabinet a teal green.  And, you can see puck.

  My cookbooks and more bowls. I took the jackets
off the cookbooks to highlight the bright colors of the spines.
The little lamp was Earnie’s.  The base
was brassy and the shade black.  I painted the base
with vanilla spray paint and the shade a satin gold.  I may
go back with some rub and buff on the base.  Not sure.
I measured the sides and back of the cabinet and cut the poster
board to size.  Then covered the poster board with fabric and double sided tape.
The glass is being held in with fasteners two on each side.  I made holes
through the fabric to insert the fasteners.
I’m really pleased with how it turned out.  Simple. With just the right touches of color.  It only took a year.  

Beverage Cart Rehab

This little sad cart was what I started with…

It sat next to Daddy’s chair and since he couldn’t see real well, it suffered a few spills of his favorite beverage, Diet Dr. Pepper.  I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with it.  It has a alot of charm.  Tiny, vintage, wooden wheels, and a removable tray top.

I even tried to give it away, but no one wanted him.  Then one day when I was skimming through one of my magazines, I saw this and got a light bulb idea:

I thought it looked so much like my little cart.  I took my new paint color, Florence, from the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint collection, a little of their clear wax, chalkboard paint, and a tube of Rub-n-Buff in antique gold and went to work.

This is side view of the paint application and the Rub-N-Buff along the top edge.
This is a view of the wooden wheels and before I
applied the Rub-N-Buff to the hardware.
 Here’s the party animal now!
Can you see something in the top right corner?
Chalk board top for quotes or drink choices
Leg hardware after a little Rub-n-Buff
The bottom tray has a few accessories.
Going to expand the bar tending inventory this spring.
I took me about a day to do the whole paint process.  I think I put two coats of chalkboard paint on.  Then after everything was dry I did a little clear paste to seal it and finished with the accent of the gold rub-n-buff.  Let me know if you would like for me to wheel the cart over for drinks soon.  He will be available for parties!  Cheers!

Simone — the Sewing Table

I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it.  I just moved my Grandmother Ruby’s sewing table from storage into my bedroom to make it a dressing table.  I am the only person who probably gives her furniture names. Meet Simone.

Sewing Simone is named for Simone Beck, author and expert in French cooking.  With Julia Child they wrote The Art of French Cooking.  I imagine Simone could have whipped up pot holders or aprons at this table.

 Simone is going to the spa for a little updating, but I thought you’d like to see her first. 

I love the drawer handles.  I think I am going to try to clean them up a bit with Rub-n-Buff.  At first I thought I wanted to paint her and even though the top is not in the best shape, with Miss Bee’s encouragement I am going to leave her alone on the painting.  I think with a beautiful fabric and glass cut to fit I can cover the top.

The drawer still has the thread bobbins holder which I am using to hold my rings.  I put a ceramic tray in the drawer to hold some of my frequently worn pieces of jewelry.

Add a few touches of other accessories.

The mirror is Earnie’s. I purchased the leather and chrome ottoman from QVC a long time ago.  The paint color is new.  Martha Stewart’s Cumulus from Home Depot.  The cat is Oreo.  She’s crazy, but very pretty.

Next up.  Divinity candy.  I hate it.  Sister Bee loves it.  I think it tastes like mucous. Going to try and see if I can make it.  It involves a candy thermometer.  But, I’ve mastered that.  Today, Earnie is making a new candy recipe she got a church.   I’m sure we’ll have a fun story to share about that.

I challenge you to go now and name a piece of furniture in your home.  Cheers!

Frame Your Thanks

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I love the food (everytime I go to Luby’s I eat turkey and dressing).  I love the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.  I love it when it’s cold outside, but this year if it’s nice we might sit on the lanai for our meal with the fire going.  If I can talk Mr. Bee into it, I would love to install an outdoor tv monitor on the porch for watching the TCU vs UT game.  Sip cider and cheer on the Frogs.

On my desk I usually try to have a phrase or subway art framed for the season.  This Thanksgiving subway art can be found on Eighteen25.  Click on the link and it will take you directly there.

Happy Thanksgiving, ya’ll.

Love on The Rocks

Returned Sunday from a restful time in Ruidoso where the weather was cool and the livin’ was easy.  Woke up Monday morning for my first day back at work…to a stomach bug.  Not so good times the last few days, but I was due for a good bug as I haven’t had one in the while.  As they said in the Devil Wears Prada:  “I’m only one more stomach flu away from my goal weight.”

First post back, thought I would share a cute, easy craft that Miss Bee and I did while away.  Why is it when kids turn into tweens, they suddenly don’t want to exert any physical energy?  This visit she wasn’t interested in the least going with me on a nature walk.  Ruthie, the weinerful, gladly went along.

I gathered a few river rocks and Miss Bee sat down with me to make these….

You start with some river rocks, mostly ones with a flat top so you’ll have enough work space to draw your little something.  I scrubbed them with soap and water.  Put them on a cookie sheet at 400 and heated those babies up for a good 10-15 minutes…

Miss Bee still has the energy to color, so we grabbed her box of Crayolas for the next step…

Carefully take out the rocks one by one with tongs and set them on a cup towel.  Then, using the crayon of your choice, draw away.  The rock makes the crayon melt so you have to work fast, and with not too many colors, or they all blend into one mess.  So you need to do simple designs like hearts, stars, flowers, etc..

We left the sunshine one for our hostess along with a box of chocolates from the local chocolatier.  Who knew crafting in the mountains could be so fun?