Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Studio/Workshop Before and After

Hey everybody!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas spent with family and friends.

I spent lots of time working on my new "studio" which is in the back of our new shop that we are currently designing.  It's so nice to have a warm place to make my bread boards now instead of using the gravel carport behind our house.  I know this is nothing that exciting but I wanted to show you how it looked before I worked on it.  
In a word, gross.  This place use to be a taxidermy business so there was all kinds of this and that splattered on the walls and floor.  I'm not sure what it was and I really don't want to know either, I'm just happy it's gone now.  First thing I did was pull up the floor.
Then I replaced it with parquet wood floor tiles.  Next, the ick splattered cabinets had to go.  I gave them a good cleaning and coat or two of Kilz, then, another three coats of Valspar Ultra White paint in semi gloss.  I'm thinking about adding knobs, just not sure what kind yet.  Then I sanded down the wood countertop and put a coat of Minwax Special Walnut stain.  The doors also received a coat of ultra white and the walls are painted with
Elmira White by Benjamin Moore.
I still need to add a few more things and install baseboards at some point.  
Here's what it looks like now.
I also brought in some personal things to make it feel homey.  I know it's just a workshop but I really believe in surrounding yourself with things that make you happy, especially when working.  I also brought in this stainless steel table which is so perfect for working on.  The stool was left behind so I cleaned it and recovered it with an old coffee bean sack.  
I am so happy with the entire room and it really inspired hubby to get to work in the other rooms.  

One really special thing I wanted to share about this place is that it's right across the street from my dad's old office before he passed away.  I just think that's pretty cool since this all happened because of my bread boards, which were inspired by my dad.  That makes me smile and I know he's smiling, too.

Can't wait to share the rest of the place with you soon!
Have a great day!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays

Wishing all of you a wonderful holiday season!  
I'll be taking a short break from blogging to spend Christmas with my family. 
Love to all of you!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Vintage Industrial Railroad Cart

Hey there everybody!  Is anyone else slightly overwhelmed by the fact that it's almost Christmas?  I'm sure hoping that some of you are as behind as I am?  I always have such great plans to make everyone's gifts, bake cookies with my kiddos, spend time planning teacher appreciation gifts, buy presents, etc., but by this time every December, I've done none of that and I rush to get it all done at the last minute, forgetting what Christmas is about in the first place.  Shame on me.

Somehow I found the time to work on the vintage industrial railroad cart that hubby brought home.  We were so blessed to receive 3 of them as a gift from one of my biggest bread board suppporters.  He gave us three of them and I just couldn't wait to get to work on one of them.  Luckily, it didn't really need much work.  I just cleaned it, sanded it, coated it with Minwax special walnut stain and polyurethaned the top and hardware.  Then we brought it inside to use as a coffee table in our living room.  I have always wanted one of these ever since seeing the ridiculously high priced one at Restoration Hardware.  Here's how it looks in it's new home.
We are so excited about this piece and will cherish it forever because it was given to us.

I'm off to catch up with Christmas!  Have a great day everyone!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Amazing Find

My hubby surprised me today with something we've always wanted.
I'm so overwhelmed that I'm just going to show you the photos.
Vintage railroad carts.  3 of them.
I can't wait to get to work on these bringing them back to their original beauty.  

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Mantel/Ledge Ideas

Hi everybody!  It's the middle of the week, I've got tons of work to do working on our new shop and bread boards so this will be short and sweet.  I hope everyone is having a great week so far.

We don't have a fireplace, though I sure wish we did, so I use this ledge that I built for our mantel.  I always try to keep it simple when decorating it for the holidays.  
Just some simple greenery that I clipped from some trees in the woods, bright white candles, some silver candle holders for a little sparkle and I added these vintage spools for some warmth and because they look a little like candle holders.
I think it all goes perfectly with the rustic pallet bench hubby and I built. 
I made the stockings from leftover pieces of canvas painters dropcloth and then wrapped the tops with jute webbing for a little texture.
And some nights, we remove the stalkings, add a bunch of candles to the top of the bench, light them and pretend it's a fireplace.  Hey, you do what you gotta do, right?!  I'm off to work!  

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Be sure to link up to the Mantel Link Party at Rhoda's!  Lots of fantastic ideas!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Table Decor Ideas

Hey there!  I worked on our table decor this morning and as usual, I kept it pretty simple.  
For the table, I used vintage Christmas sheet music for placemats.  Then placed my favorite white plates on top, along with my newest set of mini bread boards.  On top of those, I added the gorgeous vintage silver that my hubby brought home to me.  And simple white napkins complete the look.
I added some greenery into the hurricanes that were already on the table to add a little "festiveness",
is that a word?
I found this wonderful vintage dough trencher on Etsy last week and snatched it up to add to my collection.  I filled it with gorgeous pomegranates.  Simple, natural and pretty.
For above the pocket door, I simply went into the woods and clipped some greenery off some cypress and cedar trees and stapled it to the wall.  Free.
I bought one of those inexpensive faux green wreaths and added burlap strips to it that I cut from some of our coffee sacks, then hung it from our built in corner cabinet that holds my collection of transferware.  I also hung a glass berry garland from our light above the table.
For our buffet, I bought a mini Christmas tree and put it into a bushel basket wrapped with burlap and rope.  Then brought out my special vintage wine decanter with etched glass wine goblets that my hubby bought for me for our anniversary one year. 
To add some festiveness to the dining chairs, I tied strips of canvas to little berry wreaths that I made from glass berry garland, and hung them on the backs of the chairs.
And that's pretty much it.  Nothing fancy, just simple and inexpensive, but still pretty, cozy and warm for the holidays.  That in itself is beautiful to me.
Happy Decorating!

Come join us for a week of Holiday Decor link parties!
The Lettered Cottage

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Special Announcement

Hey everyone!  We wanted to share some exciting news with you as this probably wouldn't have seemed possible without all of you wonderful readers.

If you read our blog regularly, you all know what an amazing "picker" my hubby is.  In fact, he has a storage building bursting at the seams full of his finds from over time.  And you also know my love for transforming his finds into something unique and special, as well as my love for designing and building furniture along with my bread boards. 

Because of the unbelievable success of those bread boards and his amazing picking skills, we have decided to go for our dreams and open a new business right here on Main Street.  And all of his finds and my creations, will be available there! 
We signed the papers yesterday and get to start fixing up this cute little shop today!  We can't wait to get started.  We're hoping that in the next few months, we'll have everything ready.  It has so much potential and of course, I'll be blogging about it along the way.  We're doing everything ourselves so hopefully, we won't run into too many road blocks.

My hubby will be able to do something he has always dreamed about and I will finally have a place in the back, indoors, to work on my bread boards and furniture pieces.  With it beginning to get cold, our gravel carport "studio" just wasn't cutting it.  And I won't be annoying our neighbors anymore with noisy power tools.  :)  Actually, we have the most supportive neighbors EVER.

So, that's the big news, and we are pretty darn excited.  This would not even have been something we would have dared consider if it wasn't for all of YOU and your encouragement along the way.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support!  We are so grateful. 
I'll blog about the inside soon so stay tuned!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm Over At Beneath My Heart Today

Hey there! I'm guest posting over at Beneath My Heart today. I was absolutely thrilled and honored when Traci asked me to join her for Simple and Inexpensive Christmas Decorating ideas. I just love Traci and her inspiring blog. And I can't wait to see how her current home renovations look when complete.  
Hop on over to check out our Christmas tree and a few ideas for decorating for the holidays in a simple and inexpensive way.

Have a great day!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Vintage Cabinet Redo

Hey there!  Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  I was finally able to work on this cabinet that hubby found and let me tell ya, it had me completely stumped.  I just didn't have a clue what to do with it.  
No matter how much I stared at it, I came up with nothin'.  
But after some time away from it, 
I finally decided to just try to bring it back to its original beauty.  
Here is the before pic.
The top had a huge hole in it, so I removed that and bought another top at Lowe's for around 10 bucks.  
We attached the new top and I applied two coats of Minwax Special Walnut stain.
I decided to just leave the tin sides alone, but I did give them a good cleaning.  We removed all the hardware and I spray painted them with Rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray paint.  I also gave the entire piece a couple of coats of Minwax special walnut to match the top and when it was completely dry, I gave it a coat of wax.  Here's how it looks now.
I really love the darker color.  This pic isn't that great because by the time we were done, it was dark and the kitchen is the brightest room in the house.  But after being stumped for days, I'm happy with it and even happier that it's finished.
What do you think of it?
My hubby and I have some very exciting news to share very soon.
Stay tuned!

I have just listed more bread boards.  If you're ordering for Christmas, I'm accepting orders until December 16, to get them shipped in time for Christmas.  
Thank you lovely readers!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Warm Spinach Salad with Sweet Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette

Hey there!  Did everyone have a Happy Thanksgiving? 
Did you stuff yourselves silly like we did? 

We have been nursing our sweet little boy back to health so I wanted to make something fast and light today.  Although, with a stick of butter in the vinaigrette, I'm not sure it's light on calories.  But hey, all the healthy fruit and spinach cancels that out, right??  The warm vanilla bean vinaigrette is what makes this salad so special and I could seriously just drink it by itself.  It's that good. 

Also, this salad is a good way to get some veggies into your kiddos because of the sweetness of the dressing and the fruit added.   It's really a simple recipe and so yummy.  If you like vanilla or vanilla bean, you will love this salad.  Here's what you need for the vinaigrette.
Melt a stick of butter in a small saucepan.
To that, add 3 TBS of brown sugar and 2 TBS of honey.  Then scoop in the pulp of a vanilla bean and stir together until brown sugar is melted.  Now, I know vanilla beans are pricey, however, I buy my vanilla beans in bulk from ebay for about $15 including shipping.  I get about 30 beans and if you wrap them up tightly and store them in an airtight jar, they will last forever.  I use vanilla beans a lot so this is a pretty good bargain for us.  Much better than paying 10 bucks for 2 of them in the grocery store. 
Transfer entire mixture to a blender.  If you don't have a blender, just whisk for several minutes.
Add 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract and pulse (or whisk) until combined (about 2 minutes).  While pulsing, add 3 TBS of olive oil continuing to pulse to incorporate.  Pour into a small pitcher and keep warm.
I'm telling ya, I could drink this stuff without any salad.  Look at all those yummy vanilla bean specks.  So much goodness!  Set this aside and grab a 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts, toss them onto a small baking sheet and toast in the oven at 375 degrees for 5 - 8 minutes checking frequently.
Set aside to cool while you assemble your salad.  For the salad you will need a regular sized container of baby spinach, 3 oranges segmented (or a can or mandarin oranges, drained), a couple large handfuls of red seedless grapes and 2 red apples quartered and then cut into bite size pieces.  You could also add blue cheese crumbles if you like those, we do not, so I leave that out.

Combine your salad ingredients and drizzle the warm vanilla bean vinaigrette over the top.  Enjoy!
Here's the recipe:

Warm Spinach Salad with Sweet Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette
For the Vinaigrette:
1 stick melted butter
3 TBS brown sugar
2 TBS honey
1 vanilla bean
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 TBS olive oil

Melt butter in small sauce pan and then add brown sugar and honey, stirring until melted.  Add the pulp of a vanilla bean.  Transfer to blender and add vanilla extract and olive oil.  Pulse until combined.  Keep warm.

For the Salad:
1 package baby spinach leaves
2 handfulls red seedless grapes
2 red apples, quartered and cut into bite size pieces
3 oranges segmented, or one can mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted

Combine all ingredients in a large salad bowl and drizzle warm vanilla bean vinaigrette over the top.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm Over At AKA Design Today

Hey all!

I'm guest posting over at AKA Design today and I've got a fun Christmas inspired wooden sign project how to!  Be sure to click here and check it out and also make sure to check out the rest of their amazing blog, such inspiration!

Have a great day!  I'll be taking the rest of the week off to enjoy the holidays with my family!  Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

DIY Christmas Gift Tags

Happy Monday to you!  Although I wouldn't actually call a Monday a happy day, it's a short week and Thanksgiving week, too!  I don't know about you, but that makes me pretty happy.

Tis the season, it's almost gift giving time, one of my favorite things to do ever, and that means lots of possibilities for pretty packaging.   When I saw these oh so cute vintage school styled gift tags at Anthropologie, I just knew there could be a way to DIY them.  So how lucky was it that I came across this easy tutorial for them over at Flamingo Toes.  It's super simple and cheap, my kind of project, so I spent an evening whipping these things up and I just LOVE them!  Here's my version.....
All you need is card stock, red thread, blue thread and thin hemp twine, or whatever kind of twine you prefer.  Flamingo Toes even provides you with a template to print off to make it easier.  For teacher and coach appreciation gifts, I picked up these fun kraft gable boxes, available here, and some red and white twine, available here.  
 They reminded me of a lunch box so I thought they would be perfect with the school themed gift tags.  Fill the boxes with yummy baked goodies and you have a simple perfect gift to show your appreciation for those that spend so much of their time teaching our children.  I can't wait to get to work on mine!
If you'd like to make these cute little tags yourself, click here for the easy tutorial!
Have a great day!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy Weekend

Hey friends!  I apologize for the lack of posts this week.  What a week it has been!  I had hoped to work on this....
But it is still sitting right there, just waiting for me to spiff it up.  I'm fairly certain I've decided what I want to do with it and hope to finish it up (or at least get started) this weekend so I can blog about it next week!

Have a great weekend all!  What are you working on?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Vintage Cabinet and $50 Visa Gift Card Winner

Happy Monday everyone!  Did you have a good weekend? 
My hubby is in the process of cleaning out a few storage units he purchased so he has been bringing home fun things for me to play with.  His latest find is this cabinet that I've not figured out what to do with yet.  Here it is in it's original state.
I think it is beautiful but I'm not really sure what it is.  Does anyone know?  The end reminds me of a little pie safe with it's tin sides and shelving.
The hardware is beautiful but I'm not sure I want to keep the hinges.  However, I love the door handles so they are staying.
The top has a hole in it and will have to be replaced.  And I haven't decided if I want to paint it or just improve it's original features.  
 I'm also not sure if I even like the tin sides.  I love the aged tin sides on this piece from Anthropologie.
 I wonder if there is some sort of treatment I could apply to the tin to replicate that look.  
Anyone know?  Lots of decisions, huh!  What do you think?

P.S.  The random number generator has selected 199 as the winner of the giveaway and that belongs to:

Gail who's comment was: 
"I found the blog site, Yeah!!! LOl. I love the end tables...I must also say, I liked the swirl...haha But I would never have had the forsight to turn them into end tables with reclaimed wood. They are beautifyl!!!"

Congratulations!!  Please email me your address info via the contact page and we will send this to you so you can enjoy it!  Have a great day all!