Wall Paper Fix

Wall paper….friend or foe?

When I was a kid my mom wall papered EVERY room in the house. She loved it.

As we got older, I was able to help. As a teenager I was drafted as assistant. I learned how to wall paper, and what kind to buy because it was easier to work with. Keep an eye on the patterns and where they repeat and make sure to match them up when side by side. Yep. All the tricks.

But I hate wall paper.

Patterns can make me dizzy.And there’s probably a label for a person that studies it to see where the pattern repeats. It’s too busy for someone like me. I find it maddening.

We moved into this house and there was no backsplash and the counters are long which means it would cost a lot to do some kind of tile or stone.

So what did I resort to for SOME kind of spruce up? Yep. Wall paper.

I found one that would match everything and was muted and not too busy. For the price it was a quick, cheap solution.

The problem is its a kitchen. Humidity is the enemy of wall paper. I cook a lot too.

Over time it starts to peel.

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Ugh! How embarrassing!

It starts out small. Then over time it just gets worse.

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Under the window and over the sink.

And over the stove was the worst! But I fixed it before I took a picture.

Part of the problem is its so gradual that you kind of get used to it. I did attempt to glue it before but because it’s vinyl coated it kinda became stiff and tough to uncurl.

But today I had a revelation! Who knows if there’s already a self help thing out there and this is just old news. To me , it was like a little miracle.

I took mod podge, a little art paint brush, an iron and a damp cloth.

First I took the paint brush with mod podge on it and slid it under the peeling wall paper coating the paper and the wall. Then I took the damp cloth and draped it over the hot iron that was set on polyester. I pressed the wallpaper back in place!

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Just drape the damp rag like so.

The heat and moisture softened the vinyl coated paper and it went back in place without a hitch!

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Would you have guessed that this was all peeling?

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This was over the kitchen sink. Much better

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Before

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After

I was so happy with the result I had to share it with you! How long will it hold up? That remains to be seen. But ,this has been by far, the best repair I have had with this situation. I’m hoping it will last a while. It was really embarrassing because I entertain a lot for the family get togethers. Of course no one would ever utter a rude word or make me feel bad…. still it was annoying to me. Until today I thought the only thing I could do was rip it all out and get into a whole new expensive project. Of course there’s always something else that money can go to that’s more important. So there it sat getting worse because I was between a rock and a hard place….procrastinating and living with it gradually not noticing it much.

What a great feeling!

I have some parties to plan soon. Ahhh. I guess it bothered me more than I realized because that’s what motivated me to really think about a solution.

Do you do that too? Notice everything WRONG with your house before you throw a party but ignore it most of the time in your daily life? A party is a great motivator to spruce up and tie up those loose ends around the home.

Maybe it’s time for you to throw a party too!

Have a great day!

Seedlings

Now it is April. In spite of the final kick in the rump snow storm we had yesterday ,today is beautiful. Clear sky, sunny and snow melting quickly and new hope is what today has brought. You see, today my moon flowers that I planted last week have sprouted!

If you were with me last spring, it took 2 packs of moonflower seeds and I only got ONE plant. Moon flowers are so magnificent that just one vine is amazing and I was grateful that I was able to have even just that. However, more is better! You never know what your gonna get when you buy a pack of seeds from a store. Even with an expiration date…..and I was within the date that they still should have been good, to only yield a single vine out of all those seeds? There’s something wrong with that. The same thing happened many years ago with moon flowers for me that I only got ONE plant out of a whole packet….none others even sprouted.

My goal was to harvest all the seed pods from this plant and see if there was a difference. So I did. I wasn’t sure if it’s just that these are a difficult plant to cultivate or if the seeds just need to be fresher that what’s in the stores.

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Multiple sprouting going on here!

Moon flowers seeds do need to be soaked in water for a good 24hrs. Then gently cut a little nick in the hard shell. I used a steak knife with a fine serrated blade to kinda saw through. The idea is to put a little crack in it to help the first root pop out. I’m sorry I didn’t take picks of the pods or seeds for you. Next year I will.

Put them in some potting soil and keep them moist. Do not let them get dry! Yet you don’t want them super soggy so make sure they can drain. Put them in a sunny window in doors. I used the flats from my pansies and didn’t even fill the dirt all the way up….just half way. These sprouts came in LESS then a week!! So, from my little experiment, I have come to the conclusion that seeds must be fresher than what you get on the self at the store. These  seeds were harvested in the fall and kept in simple paper envelopes so they could dry and not develop mold. I removed them from the pods right before I placed them in the water to soak. They are only six months old from harvest till now.

If all goes right I will have lots of these babies to plant and share. I will keep you posted!

Have you done this already yourself?

If not, give it a whirl! Save your seeds from as many of your plants as you can. Some things are easier to just buy already grown from the nursery, but it’s fun to try your hand at starting things from seed too.

Happy Planting!

Spring is in The Air

March is not my favorite month. As a matter of fact it is my least favorite month. It’s windy, unpredictable, and that stupid daylight savings gig which takes me forever to rebound from altogether add up to…Ugh. I just try to get through it as best I can.

The only thing that helps are spring flowers. Fortunately, these critters are hardy and laugh at the sporadic snow. They bring the hope of better days to come.

I found a little farm….Huffman Farm in my town which I never knew about till a week ago. They had great prices on their flowers and wonderful flowers to choose from! So I bought 6 pots of tulips and 2 flats of pansies. Then I came home and got busy cleaning up the yard and brought some life back to my pots. Sure does brighten up the porch…..and my mood.~~

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I put the tall purple tulips behind these striking variegated pink ones and then added the pansies.

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I just love these Pink ones and hope they come back next year. I don’t seem to have much luck with tulips but I will try.

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What a nice welcome home at the end of the day.

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My favorite color is red. So I couldn’t resist these red tulips.

Pay no attention to that ugly yellow generator behind the screen door. The hub brought it up before the last snow storm….which was pretty nasty. There was a good chance we could lose power….fortunately we didn’t. However, it has yet to be removed and I can’t do it because it way to big and heavy. Sigh. Was hoping it would be gone by Easter but dreams don’t always come true, my friends. My new goal is this weekend. I’m done with hope. Now it’s sheer determination. That means out and out demanding, nagging and reminding everyday till his next day off. Usually has the desired result.

A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

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More lovely red. I’m not sure where I will transplant these when the flowers fade. I do know where I will put the pink ones though. Near the pond.

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Wonderful antique urn and pedestal. It was salvaged from my mother in law’s wonderful Victorian house that she sold years ago. I love the old chippy paint. Sometimes I wonder if I should paint it. The concrete is so old that the lions face has pretty much been worn away. Maybe paint would protect it.

The window boxes have been filled with pansies but I don’t want to take pics of them yet. Once they fill in and look better I will.

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The only little Easter decoration I have on the porch. When you put the candles on this and light them the fan spins and the characters spin around like a carousel. Have had this thing for years.

So that’s all the planting fun here. I feel better now that April is only a couple days away and my yard is all but mulched.Next is the grind of keeping up with the mowing and weed whacking. But for now it’s nice to do yard work without dripping in sweat and swatting bugs.

Happy Spring!

Sweet old cabinet!

One Memorial Day weekend, I was driving down the road just taking my son to the park. Well! What do I see? A  YARD SALE! Oh my! Trouble again -here I come!

Now mind you, I am no yard sale rookie. I can cruz by and spot the goods…or lack of them from the roadside without holding up traffic. I’m like a yard sale shark. If I spot something I will do a Starsky and Hutch wheel squealing’ spin around in my lil’ mom car like nobody’s business!

BUT….I’m taking the kid to the park. You just don’t stop for yard sales when the kid is on his way to play at the park. Not if you know what’s good for sanity.Now at the time he was 4 when the park was paramount. Best to do the park first…..

Mantra…if it’s meant to be, it will be there when I come back. I promise myself to stop on the way home and IF it’s still there I will drop off my son at home with dad. I will come back.

So I do stop on the way home, and I do see what I like and I drop of the tired out son with a happy meal at home and I COME BACK.

It’s a cabinet…Not something expensive but charming none the less. And on a blanket, among some unimpressive stuff is a clock.

Oh. Did I mention I have a clock thing? Umm….yea it’s bad.

But that’s another post.

Ok let’s knock on the door and get the home owner out for a little negotiation.

No answer…..knock on the neighbors door….no answer. So I’m standing there. I didn’t know what to do. This is not the norm for yard sale etiquette. Getting back into my car I look at the big yard sale sign. Can it be? The homeowner flipped the sign over and scrawled in spray paint FREE.

FREE?!

Well I couldn’t get the goods in the car fast enough!

I brought it home and cleaned it up. Happily found a spot for it. And there it stayed for 4 years. Here’s a look…..

Charming -right?!

Charming -right?!

Look at that sweet little lock and key detail.

Look at that sweet little lock and key detail.

Sweet lil’ thing. But now that some time has gone by, I keep looking at some things that are bothering me. I’m feeling a project coming on….

Let’s look at some of the not-so-cute things.

Cracks on the top. Hmm.....

Cracks on the top. Hmm…..

Now what happened to the chipendale harp like thingy? Gone but certainly not forgotten.

Now what happened to the chipendale harp like thingy? Gone but certainly not forgotten.

Oh and look at this….

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How clever! When a decorative piece came off of the top piece, someone just turned it around to face the back. Brilliant!

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I dunno, Bad Kitty. This is in need of some love. How have I let this go for so long?   Stop looking at me like that! Don’t judge! I have a busy life!

But, in truth, you get used to living with things. After awhile, you don’t notice them anymore. Then one day you do notice and that starts to work on one’s nerves…..and the wheels start turning…….

Before you know it, a transformation is in the works.

First let’s spackel the cracks with wood filler.

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Fill and sand -pretty standard.

Now it may sound odd but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to paint the entire piece. The reason was because I like this “pineapple” lacework and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to appreciate it without a dark wood behind it. It’s the trend to do some stain and some paint on project pieces so I played around a little before I made a final decision.

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Just another thing I tend to collect. Someone made this lace lovingly by had many years ago. Then one day it ends up discarded in a heap at the thrift store unappreciated. If you have ever crocheted you can surely understand the delicate work of tatting and the patience it must take. This is called “pineapple”.

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So after seeing with the first coat how it might look……I just decided the wood wasn’t really quality grain and the piece wasn’t substantial enough to pull off the dual look.

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I also decided I could still appreciate the lace white on white.

So I proceeded with the all white in chalk paint that I mixed up at home.

Now for some fun!

This is my first attempt at GRAPHICS!

I have been gathering up some graphics from THE GRAPHICS FAIRY who so generously has a plethora of amazing graphics for free on her site.Thank you Karen!

You can look up all kinds of techniques to transfer graphics. Amy from CANARY STREET CRAFTS has a wonderful tutorial which helped me figure out the best way for me to accomplish this. Thank you Amy!

I downloaded the graphics and sent them to Sir Speedy printing company close by via email and had them printed onto plastic sheets. Then I used an overhead projector scored from craigslist to show the image on the cabinet to trace. I used two different graphics combined to do this.

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Ok so here it is sketched on with the water color pencils my artist daughter Sarah gave me. This was one of the things Amy at Canary Street Crafts suggested to use. Genius!

Now, let me warn you. From here I need to paint with acrylic paint. However, the projector doesn’t give a real crisp picture of all the fine details as you enlarge it on your project. That’s fine if you don’t have a lot of fine details or you choose to eliminate them. If you are confidant in your skills or are not a perfectionist it’s no problem. But if this is gonna make you panic?  Find an alternative to do your transfer.

Personally, I’ve had some art classes in my past. You don’t need that to do this. Just use a fine brush and your creativity and remember mistakes happen.  It’s called “artists liberty”.

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This looks so much better with all the details painted in!

 

So here we are all painted up!

So now a lot of people say to distress the artwork. That may be true. But I like the way it looks just the way it is. There’s not really anything I’m trying to undo like lumpy paint or imperfect lettering that the distressing would fix.

This is not going to be sold. It’s for me.

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Not bad for a shabby little freebie, huh?

For now I’m just going to wax it to seal it. Sometimes I like to live with something for a while before I decide to change it.

Right now I like the bold contrast of black and white. But perhaps I will want to soften it in time. The freedom to decide is mine.

Distress or not to distress- that is the question. What’s your opinion?

Hope you enjoyed this post! There’s so much out there to inspire you. There’s so much free stuff being discarded that can be refurbished and loved again. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Keep your eyes and mind open to the possibilities!

Thanks for stopping by!

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This entry was posted on March 6, 2016. 4 Comments

Score of the Week

Today while running some errands alone (ahhh!), I took a little detour down a street. Now mind you, I know of a little antique/junk shop. You all know by now, I’m a junker and I’m shameless.

I never had the chance to check this place out before. They were closed when I had stopped by. But not today. It was Saturday morning and they were pulling stuff out of the store and putting it outside. Today it was going to be unseasonably warm for February….60 degrees for the high temp.

Well, lookie here! LIQUIDATION SALE?! Whaaaat?!

Well this sister about squealed wheels stopping. Had to back my truck up and then try to squeeze into a parking spot….there’s only a few slots in front of the building and its kinda tight. But where there’s a will there’s a way.

As I was making my way through the building, I saw a few things but nothing was hitting the hot spot. I was making my way back towards the front heading for the door…..still looking….this is the kind of place that has so much you can’t see it all at a glance. I saw outta the corner of my eye a cooler. Not just any cooler. It’s an old aluminium, aqua colored, Thermos brand “Vagabond” cooler. UGH! $175.00 price. No way!

So the owner was buzzing around putting some things around and we got to talking. Small talk, it’s a gift. Talkin’ about kids and scouts and hey I noticed this cooler…..

“Oh-you can have that for $20 cash right now”

SOLD!!! I about did a jiggity jig out the door carrying that cooler to the truck!

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Are you feelin’ it?

Now, my Hub would never understand my joy. I can’t imagine what he thinks when I get so excited about something like this.

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I’m swooning! I love the name!

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Here it is paired with the water cooler I bought a few years ago. Matchy match – ha! Like it was meant to be.

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Look at the swirly designs on the Styrofoam. It’s grey and white with aqua cap and spout.

I bought that cutie a while ago from another antique shop…for I think $8. Another steal. There’s no name on it but the lady at the antique shop said years ago when you bought a trailer this was a little something they gave the buyer. I dunno….I’m sure she knows more about that then me. I believe her though. See that swirly pattern is in the old vintage trailers…I think it’s Shastas…maybe Scotties. It’s on their tables and counter tops in that grey and white and the appliances were aqua often. 50s-60s.

Goes great with my trailer. Can’t wait for camping season! My camping girlfriends will certainly share in my joy!

What do you have a soft spot for?

Did you score something fun this week?

Do tell!

Scout Mom

I probably haven’t mentioned that I’m a Scout Mom. Well, I want to talk about that for a post.

I had no idea what I was getting into. Let me just put that out there first. But before that lets talk about how the whole thing started……

One day my son came home from school and announced he was leaving.

“Mom ,I just wanna tell you I’m going away. You are probably gonna be sad.”

“Hon, what are you talking about?”

“There’s a paper on the counter for you. It will tell you everything.”

On the kitchen counter was a flyer sent home from school about scouting. It had fun pictures of boys doing fun outdoors activities like canoeing and fishing etc.

How cute! My son has been a whole new adventure in my life….boys are very different. You can keep the whole nurture vs nature debate. Testosterone comes with its own agenda. We should embrace that and appreciate it instead of squelching it. We need what they bring to the world. Boys need guidance and good examples of how to be good men. Their energy needs to be channeled into the right directions.

Scouting offers that.

The Hub had always said he wanted our son to do scouting. And here comes our boy with a flyer that he couldn’t even read,announcing he was going to be doing this.

I guess the Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Of course this means mom is now a den mother. Mama bear doesn’t leave the cub.

It started out to be just me going to the meetings and helping with the crafts and bringing snacks in Tigers.

Then the following year they needed someone to be a den leader for the Wolf Den he was moving up to. I was willing to help and be the assistant den leader…..but my partner kinda bailed and I got dubbed Leader instead. But now I had an assistant who came later. Turns out we are a pretty good team. He sits with the boys and tells stories and lessons while I talk to the parents about upcoming things and keep things organized, bring crafts and snacks. We collaborate on ideas. Together we got thru the first year and rolled into the next year when the boys moved up to Bears.

During our year asWolf leaders we suffered a huge loss for our whole pack. Our beloved Cub Master was struck down unexpectedly with pancreatic cancer. It was six months from diagnosis to death. We lost her in September.

She was a warm, loving and giving person. She was my friend. Her generosity of heart and spirit was just beyond the scope of what most people are capable of giving. I miss her terribly. She started our troop 9 yrs ago and built it. Even when her son no longer wanted to do scouts she stayed. She spread herself thin trying to keep up with her now teenage son and his hockey and us at scouts. She had announced that she was retiring as Cub Master and someone would have to step up. But no one really wanted her to go and I think we were all a little scared to have to fill her shoes.

Then she got sick. She just had some pain. I thought she was gonna be told she had gall stones. I happened to call her when she had just gotten the news. She said,” well you’re the first to know”…..and dropped the bomb. I will never forget her trembling voice saying she was gonna fight with all she had. In six months she was gone. I still grapple with the loss of her in my life.

She was laid out in her Cub Master uniform. Our boys attended her funeral and we all wore our uniforms as well.

We had much to grapple with as parents and leaders. There was so much she did and we had no idea just how much. When she was diagnosed it was  right before the Blue and Gold Dinner. This is the annual big event where the boys who are ready to cross over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts do so in a ceremony. Kids all get their patches for the dens they belong to and awards they have worked towards. It’s a big deal. And we were scrambling to pull it together . Which we did.

One of the other moms with a son going into Arrow of Light stepped up to be Cub Master after the funeral.However at one of our meetings the people who had kids crossing over announced that when their kids crossed over they we stepping down. This of course means we will need to step up into these positions or our pack will be absorbed by neighboring town packs.

Wow- this sure was a far cry from where I started and far more involved then I’d ever dreamt.

 

Of course, again, no one was volunteering to step onto the Cub Master shoes. It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of time. If the job is going to be done right, it’s gonna take a lot to get it done.

I thought about my friend. We had so many little life things in common. She confided personal experiences in her life to me.I remembered her tears. I know she had hopes for me to take the baton. She never pushed it. She was taking me in. She was gently guiding me down the path. It was unspoken.

I decided to become Cub Master.

Seven hours of online training and tests later, I am certified.

At the Blue and Gold Dinner this Sunday it will be official.

I plan on staying on for the next couple years and have hopes that someone will be willing to fill my shoes when it’s time for me to move on. In the meantime I want to give our pack some stability back. Maybe create some new ideas to add to the array of things my friend started. I want to build our pack bigger and stronger so that perhaps more people will be there to take over. I want our boys to DO things and be excited to stay on into Boy Scouts as far as they can go. And to make wonderful memories.

Here’s a picture of the craft we did for our boys place setting for the Blue and Gold Dinner.

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The theme is “The Great Outdoors”. Our boys love fishing and roasting marshmallows for s’mores. What’s better than that?!

I drew inspiration from pinterest. I love those cartoon bodies with picture heads. Reminds me of those funny “Jib Jab” videos. The boys loved putting it all together. I did all the prep so all they had to do was some gluing and arranging…..remember we are dealing with boys. Drawing, coloring and scissor work is boring.Arranging and gluing was about all they can sit still for. Now if we were working with power tools, well that would be more fun in their book.

We will get there. The dads are drumming up a project in the near future.

Remember that show “Tool Time”?

Yea. “More Power!”

It’s the testosterone. Let’s just roll with it.

 

 

Quest for Dining Room Chairs part 2

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Primer on the first chair. Looks better already!

So after my little rest I was back at it. Sunny mild fall day is great for painting. Of course first these chairs were sanded and wiped. My loving mom sanded them for me while I was at work. How Sweet is She?! Thank heaven for mom!  She was right on board with me and so excited about the project too!

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Ahh ….look at that lovely black satin paint! Isn’t that a dramatic difference?! But that fabric makes me dizzy.

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Look at those sexy legs! I have a thing for nice legs. These kinda look equestrian to me.

As you can see I have moved my painting to inside of the house and where ever I could find a spot to do the job.

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Progess in the foyer.

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And in the kitchen.

Hey, I have a deadline to meet. Plus the Hub was trying to be patient. I know my projects can be unnerving……especially when I start spreading them in multiple areas.

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Look at this fabric! I was so excited when I found it!

See that fabric? I actually found it at Wal-Mart. Yes Wal-Mart! Now they don’t need me to plug them but I score a lot in their fabric department for great prices. I have other fabric shops available but believe it or not I usually find what I want here. For a while in my area they had taken the fabric dept out. I was freaking out! I guess enough other people were freaking out too cuz they brought it back! However the trim I found online for an amazing price. I had a lot of area to cover. These seats are upolstered front ,back and seat. The only seats that didn’t need trim were the arm chairs because those seats pop out. The other four had to be worked as one whole piece.

I really didn’t take any pics of the whole stapling process. It’s not pretty and once I got on a roll….well I wasn’t feeling so fun. I was in full on project mode. This was a good amount of work I had cut out for myself at a time of year that has so many other things that beg for tending. Like decorating for Christmas….shopping…work stuff..let alone just going to work and cub scouts and getting dinner on the table and tending the household obligations…need I say more?

BUT

DEAR

READER…..

BEHOLD THE RESULTS!

KINDLE_CAMERA_1448892682000KINDLE_CAMERA_1448892498000As you can see I made the deadline. We dined on Christmas Day in our fabulous new chairs that cost me a fraction of what a new set would have been. Actually, for the cost of one new chair or two , I got six. And I got the fabric I wanted too. Even though I had to change my original plan of stripping and staining….I like this result sooo much more.

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Thinking it looks better than my original vision of matchy match stained wood.

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Oh and I forgot to mention I patched and painted my existing counter seats for good measure. Had to patch over embossed fruit design on the backs.

So that’s that! This new look is so fresh to me after all these years. I just love it!

This is why I do this. The feeling of satisfaction with the end result. It’s what drives me through the frustrations that come with a labor of love. I have to be honest. I thought about people who do upolstery for a living. It is a hard job! No wonder angry staple happy person went buck nutty with that staple gun!

Well, what’s your thoughts?  Have you ever done this yourself? Are you contemplating it? If so I hope you have found some inspiration here.

Have a Great Day!!

This entry was posted on December 30, 2015. 4 Comments