Create an Inviting Office Space

Since I spend 99% of my time in my home, I LIVE in my home. It’s what I see when I wake up, work, play, relax, cook, eat – you get the idea. It’s my sanctuary. It’s my castle. It’s where I AM all the time. It was especially true this past year. Don’t get me started… We have made over almost every room in our 4 level home. We’ve also done a lot of work on the outside too. This house and grounds were a disastrous mess and it’s been a challenge to make it our own. Our top level has two master bedroom suites, and an office (have a peek at this web-site to find the best office spaces around your locality). It was originally 4 bedrooms, but you know, I had to make it mine, complete with moving walls. One of the bedrooms turned into our very … Read more

Typesetter’s Drawer Upcycle – Essential Oils Decorative Rack

We found this typesetter’s drawer for just a few dollars about 6 years ago and just never did anything with it…until last week. I have a challenge in my Blueprint member’s group that consists of 3 things: Clean up/organize your workshop. Make your workshop pretty. Do something special for yourself. I’m joining my members in the challenge and I’m: Cleaning up my office (workshop already done) Making my office pretty Cleaned up the typesetter’s drawer, stained and mounted it on the wall  of my master bedroom hallway.   Here is the “BEFORE” of the typesetter drawer: We decided to take it to the car wash and spray it down – normally you have to be very careful when getting water on old wood because it could warp. But I decided it was worth the risk since it looked like the back had already been exposed to moisture (rippled). Besides, I … Read more

Antique Side Table Updated with OFMP – An Empire Case Goods Co. Antique

Pepper – An Empire Case Goods Co. Antique This is a Sponsored Post I found a sweet little antique bedroom side table from the Empire Case Goods Company at an estate auction. It was in bad shape and everyone was passing it by like it had no more life to it. I knew better. I immediately knew it was a great find and fought till I won it. It was a bit pricey, but totally worth it. Pricey for me might not mean the same thing to others…  Upon a bit of research, I found the manufacturer of this side table, the Empire Case Goods Co., listed in a 620 page library book of Jamestown, New York 1915-1916 Town Directory. From what I’ve read elsewhere, the company was formed in 1912.  This side table was sold by the Donath Furniture Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Their tag was stapled to the … Read more

Making a Statement

Do you have vision? One of my Blueprint members, Lori Marie of 10-9 Designs has the eye. You know, the one that can see what not’s there. Fortunately, if you have the eye AND have to power or skill to make it happen, you can recreate your vision on a piece of furniture that makes a statement. Whether that statement is one like this piece, emphasizing one’s devotion appreciation, or desiring to just put art out there that soothes the soul. This piece was typical of an old antique that’s been sitting in someone’s basement, not really matching anyone’s style. Some gripe about antiques being painted, but I say it’s better someone enjoy a piece than have it sit collecting dust. If an antique is not in pristine condition, it’s probably not worth much anyway. Go here for an article I wrote about it after I looked into the subject … Read more

Dye Stain, Java Gel & Water-based Stain Comparison

Adding a Bit of Pizazz I have a lot to share with you today – and I’m using several different products and several different methods and techniques to try them out and let you know what I’ve learned or discovered. NOTE: Most products listed are affiliate links.   So here we go. First up: Let’s look at the differences between three different General Finishes stains: Java Gel (my personal favorite), regular water-based stain, and dye stains. If you’ve not used General Finishes dye stains, order some and check them out. They are water-based and super easy to work with. So here’s the deets: After prepping the piece, I painted the body in Loganberry from Chalky Chicks and topcoated it with matte CrystaLac water-based polyurethane. I left some of the wood parts that were had a nice grain and spiffed them up with Wise Owl Lemon Verbena salve, a gift from … Read more

Farm Table Turns Artsy

WARNING: You will either hate or love this project… I stepped outside of my comfort zone and did a fun project with no rules, no restraints and just plain old fun as my guide. Here is the almost before – the legs are painted already, but you get the idea…they originally matched the table with the same blonde wood. I tend to be very conservative in every area of my life but for this project – NOT! Then take a look at my plan that morphed into a super cool artsy table that was definitely outside of my conservative zone. It’s the video I posted for my FFB members as I was deciding which direction to take this farm table. I started in one corner and just kinda went a little crazy adding stencils everywhere until I liked the look. In a couple of spots I added a little background color … Read more

From Dresser to Dining Room Buffet

From [Side-of-the-Road] Trash to Treasure Our daughter, Katie, had told us she was looking for a buffet for her dining room. It had to be a certain size and very cheap. And of course, since I redesign furniture, I figured I could find one for a good price and just paint it her colors. If you want to hire services for cleaning painted flat walls with ease, you can get them here easily.  It took us a bit, but we eventually found this one for FREE [free is good] alongside the road. My two daughters and two grandkids did all the prep work and I helped with the painting. Some struggle with how to help their family when they have a project. Some charge them and do all the work. Some give a discount, and do all the work. For me, if it’s a piece already done and listed that … Read more

Upcycled Antique Window Wall Decor

NOTE: All red hyperlinks are affiliate links for your convenience.*   UPCYCLING AN OLD WINDOW I found an old window (click site for window repalcements) at a salvage warehouse and thought it would make a good addition to my living room walls. The only problem was it was old, dirty and falling apart. But I had a plan which is solar tinting as suggested by the professionals. I could see it all spiffed up and shiny new even though it looked like this: I paid $12 for it and asked DH to load it up. He shook his head and took it home for me. See, DH can’t envision like I can, so he often wonders how I can make something like this look good enough to use for decor. Fortunately he’s willing to help and has knowledge from past experience that helps me transform a piece. Reglazing The old … Read more

A Bit of Couch Table Glitz

Every time I flip a piece of furniture, I wish I could find a permanent spot for it in my own home. I think this is common for anyone who turns an old out-dated piece into art. We put our heart and soul into it throughout the creative process. It’s something that you must experience before you understand. It’s even hard to see it go out the door when it sells. You feel like a piece of yourself is leaving. Of course the cash in hand is great as is the thought that someone else will enjoy your creation. But still. It’s an emotional moment. I find it quite funny that we would get so attached to a “thing”. But it’s true. A piece of ourselves goes out the door each time. Here is the before. We got it from our favorite shop in Door County here in Wisconsin. We … Read more

Damaged But Not Destroyed

We tend to toss rather than fix, don’t we? Let’s reconsider. Let’s look through a better lense when considering what to do with an item. It’s so amazing to see an upcycle, redesigned and/or repurposed piece of furniture, decor, or whatever. I’ve seen it. I’ve done it. And I want to see you see it a do it too. This former book table shelf plywood and 2x4s homemade thingy was on Craig’s List. It was terribly scratched up by the owner’s dog. The lady was super apologetic about it when I went to go take a look. I even considered saying, “No thanks” to her when I saw how beat up it was. But I took it anyway and stored it for over a year waiting for time and inspiration to tackle it. Whenever I have a new product, method or technique I want to try out, in my mind’s … Read more