Updates and snags!

I finished all the Bushel Basket Flower Pockets for the fence that our neighbors put up. As promised, here are the before and after pictures of them hanging on the fence.

After! Now I love looking out my kitchen window and seeing my lanterns, flowers and rock wall!

The $5 table I posted about last week hit a couple snags. I don’t mind a little distress and a couple of dings here and there. They can give a piece more character (kind of a look at me, I have been through a lot, and am still here attitude)! But, in this case the issues took away from the beauty. If you look at the picture below, you will see a crack running down the middle of the table and some deep holes. I was hoping the stain would make them less noticeable, but it didn’t do the job.  I had to fill the crack and holes with wood putty and then I painted the top with a wash mixture of Annie Sloan Graphite Chalk Paint and water. The rest of the table remained the natural wood.


This is how it looked after I painted it. As you can see there is no trace of the crack or holes!

The other issue was the legs or actually the feet. Some of the wood on two of the feet had broken off at some point and all four were not the same shape. You can see in the picture below that while the table was stable, the feet were noticeably different.

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There are two pointy feet and two round. In most cases, I really try to stay away from adjusting table legs. It can be difficult to level off and the table will be wonky! But in this case there was no choice.
Against my better judgement an inch and three quarters was removed from each leg (I had help because I haven’t yet gotten around to mastering a chop saw).
After the legs were cut, I reattached them realizing that I lost needed height for the table. I had recently removed four antique wheels from a dresser and decided to put them on the legs to get the height back. They were easy to attach. Just drill a hole and gently hammer them in.
After the feet were fixed and the top painted I felt it still needed something more. So, I decided to add a diagonal stripe to the top using Annie Sloan Black Wax. I taped off the table with painters tape, starting in the middle, and continued the pattern working out from the center to get an even design.
I applied the black wax using a brush and then wiped off any excess with a clean and dry cloth.
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I removed the tape carefully not to disturb the paint underneath and Voila! It looked even better than I thought it would. One thing to note, it will take about two weeks for the wax to cure before I can put on the final touch of a matte clear topcoat sealer from Artisan Enhancements.
I added handles to add more character. I chose an antique pewter handle to pick up on the grey in the table top.


This was one for the books! I really had to fight hard to save this table.  In the end, it was well worth the effort!

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A New Project and Amazing Support!

I thought I would share one of the pieces that I am working on to be sold in my booth at The Purple Painted Lady Festival in September.  I found this table at a moving sale sitting over to the side of the lawn where it was barely noticeable.  This sad little table was being ignored.  I went over and gave it a looksee.  It had definitely been “well used”. But, it was unique and it had a good shape. And for $5, I took it home!

The finish was already off, so I did not have to strip the wood.  The veneer on the sides was chipped so I had to remove it.
I took the veneer off using a putty knife and hammer being very careful so I would not gouge the wood underneath. 
Next, I sanded the top using an orbital sander with medium-grit sandpaper.
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I switched to a fine-grit sandpaper to get a smooth finish. I then wiped it down with a damp cloth to remove all the dust before staining. 
I like to mix stains for depth. I used Dark Walnut and Gunstock Minmax. I mixed them together in a separate container and tested it on a piece of scrap wood until I got the color I wanted.
It’s really coming along nicely.  I will be unveiling the finished product soon!

On another note, I knew when I started my Blog, I would have the support of my family and friends. What took me by surprise was the excitement they felt for me and their willingness to help. They became my eyes and ears on the street looking for furniture pieces and home décor items I could use! I have received texts and emails telling me about upcoming garage sales, links to Craigslist etc. Just the other day one of my friends sent me pictures of furniture that had been left on the side of the road after a garage sale. I ended up going to the house and coming back with two beautiful bedframes and a mirror.

These were all free! 

Another time I was visiting my cousin Nancy in Boston and she took me to a Habitat Rehouse store. It was an amazing place! There were so many great pieces at great prices too. Unfortunately, my car had luggage in it, so space was limited.  Of course I fell in love with a dresser and had to purchase it.  All the way back to my cousins house, I crossed my fingers that it would fit in my car.  We tried every which way, but no go! My cousin and her husband Wally volunteered to drive the dresser to Saratoga where we would all be gathering for a wedding two weeks later.  True to their word, they drove the dresser and dropped it off in my Aunt’s garage for me to pick up before heading back to Rochester. I told them I should name the dresser after them (Nally or Wance) for going so far above and beyond the call to help!

I took the drawers with me the first time so I could at least start working on them.
It fit!

All of the support I have received from everyone, for simply sharing something that I love, is very humbling. I appreciate it so much! Thank you all!!

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Don’t be afraid to ask?

In my life, I have not always been one to ask. I would wait for someone else to raise a question or miss an opportunity by not asking. Not anymore! Maybe its confidence, or age, who knows. But now, I will ask questions if I am unclear of something and especially if I am interested in an item! Which brings me to my current post about my latest project…a unique wine caddie. Almost all the items used to make this wine caddie were free! I got the wine crate from a local liquor store. I had just made a purchase and asked if they had any wine crates laying around that they would sell. The owner came back with two and said I could have them at no cost. The raw wood for the bottom of the crate came from our local Lowes store. I was shopping in the outdoor area and saw some wood slats leaning against a shelf. The wood look used rough and a bit dirty.  I asked the young woman behind the register if she knew if the wood was for sale. She did not know and the person to ask was at lunch. I left her my number and asked her to call when she found out. She called the next day and said it was scrap and I was welcome to it! I went back and got it. So now I had all the things I would need to make my wine caddy.

The idea for my wine caddie came from an old soda crate that I have been using to keep wine bottles in.


I love what I have been using, but the idea of having a carrier with French wine markings seemed perfect to me.


This is one of the crates that I got from the store.


I sanded it to get a nice smooth finish.


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One side of the crate needed to be filled in and smoothed out.  Both sides will be painted with Annie Sloan Chateau Grey chalk paint and I will use a white wash with the same paint for the front and back.


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This is the wood I got from Lowes. Like I said, very rough!


The same wood after sanding and staining it with MinWax Classic Gray stain. I want to use this in the bottom of crate to give it more interest.


I used water based poly on the boards before putting them in the crate.


The wood pieces fit perfectly three across.


After painting with Annie Sloan paint, I used light wax to finish.


After putting on wax, I let it sit for a few minutes and then wiped off the excess. I also put rubber feet on the bottom to keep it from moving and protect furniture.


Once everything was painted and waxed, I added handles on both sides.


I made dividers and  white washed them before inserting them into the box.



I love the way the wood looks on the bottom.


 Wine Storage
Serving station 






So don’t be afraid to ask.  The worst they can say is no!



Bushel Basket Lids or Flower Baskets?




In my previous blog entry, I showed you how to embrace a six foot privacy fence by hanging lanterns down the entire length.  I love the way the fence looks now, but it needs some color. I have seen pictures of beautiful hanging baskets on fences and wanted to do something similar. But the cost of the solar lanterns left me with a small budget to purchase flower baskets. I started looking around the garage to see if there was something I could possibly use. I came across bushel basket lids my husband and I purchased last year for a dollar each and we had about twenty.  I had planned to use them for holiday wreaths, but had not gotten around to making them.   After seeing the lids again, an idea came to mind to make flower holders out of them. Looking at the lid, I thought that if I could make a pocket, I could possibly put flowers in it.

My idea was to cut one in half and attach it to a whole to create a pocket! (Are you confused?)


Here is my husband cutting one in half
Two halves

When I went to put them together I hit a snag! The pocket it created was not wide enough to hold flowers.


I remembered seeing  a DIY show about shaping wood by putting it in water and bending it around a mold to change the shape. So…

I let it soak overnight
I wrapped it around a bucket, but it didn’t give it enough bow, so I added a small plastic pot. 
After it dried, the new shape made a perfect pocket for flowers!
I then whitewashed the separate pieces using a “very loved” can of Annie Sloan Country Grey chalk paint and water!




Painted front, back and sides to give it a more finished look!
After they dried, I attached the pieces using wire on the sides and bottom.
After I add wire, I touch it up with paint.
When I put them together, I had to make sure the wire loop was on top, so you can attach the s-hook to hang it.
I put cocoa plant liners in each bushel basket pocket…
I filled them with potting soil…
Added flowers…
And…here you have it! I really like the rustic look and once the flowers start trailing, it will be beautiful!


fence 2 flowers

Once I finish all the bushel basket pockets, I will post more pictures!

Next up: I will be working on some pieces of furniture to sell at The Purple Painted Lady Festival in September!



What To Do With A 6 Foot Fence


My neighbors put up a privacy fence last year. Wonderful people, with two dogs, a new baby and a need to keep everyone safe and secure in their yard. I have no problem with the fence at all. I just had to somehow fit it into my backyard design. The fence is visible from the road and follows our property line all the way back. I liked this feature and want to highlight it. I thought about what we might need back there, and lights came to mind. I adore lanterns and started researching what was available. Solar powered ones would be the best choice for convenience (no candles to have to light), but they all seemed pretty pricey. We found some great ones at Joann Fabric’s on sale for buy one / get one half off. it was still more than I was hoping for, but even with the cost, I was pretty sure it would be worth the impact! I will just have to use budget friendly items for the rest of my design.


As you can see the fence follows the entire yard. Instead of fighting this feature, I chose to embrace it!
I have to admit measuring is not my forte. My method is “eyeballing”, which would explain why there are so many nail holes behind every piece of artwork in my home! Since “eyeballing” will not work in this case I attempted measuring and after several tries, gave up!. For me it was easier to count all the planks and divide by the number of lanterns (fourteen). This resulted in a lantern every sixteen planks and ten inches from top.  Once that was all decided, I used a piece of tape to mark where each lantern would go.
I knew I wanted wrought iron hooks with a simple design to hang the lanterns. I found these on Amazon. They were exactly what I as looking for!
lantern full
I love the way your eye travels all the way to the back!

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Since putting the lanterns up, you can find me outside looking at the view of the lanterns at night. It looks so cool from the street!

Next time: I have an idea to use bushel basket tops…IMG_2915










This time of year inspires me. Everything has turned green and my mind is full of projects that I have dreamt about all winter!

My first project was to build a rock wall at the back of our yard. As luck would have it, the farm that is next to our property has rocks aplenty.  With the permission of the farmer I got to work…








Pull…then repeat and repeat and repeat…

IMG_3086After many hours of back breaking work, the rock wall is complete! When I look out my kitchen window and see my original vision in front of me, it’s an amazing feeling.  I almost want to break out into a dance, except I am too tired and sore!

whole rock wall


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We already decided it was fruitless to plant a garden in the back since it is home to so many of our friends.  Bunnies, squirrels, deer and woodchucks.  So it is going to be wildlife friendly!


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Mr. Woodchuck seems to like the rock wall too!



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The squirrels already found the feeder we put out for them.  I just hope he doesn’t fall in!


Next time: What to do with a six foot privacy fence that spans your entire yard?