Friday, December 21, 2012


I have been drawn to this style of table for sometime. The rustic look seems so much easier to deal with when you have children or grandchildren. No worries about scratches and scrapes!

 The legs are gorgeous on this table.

 Awesome chairs.

 Very soothing.

 These benches are fabulous! Spills? No problem, just whisk off the slipcovers and wash!

 I really want real wood chairs, but the prices are so far out of my budget! I may have to start collecting mismatched chairs.


Just a delightful mix of rustic and refined and graphic. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Entryway Makeover

Earlier this fall I decided to redo my entryway. I never get tired of looking through design magazines and books, and they always inspire me to try new looks.

So the entryway went from black furniture with red accents to pale blue and creams with gold.

 The little settee used to be in my bedroom, but I love it out here. Gold faux bamboo table adds a touch of glamour. And of course Stella thinks she needs to be in the photo!

 Black buffet has been painted with chalk paint and waxed for a tough finish on top. Chair fabric matches the settee. Mercury glass, some filled with paper whites for simple Christmas decor. 

Sparkly and serene.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Elf on the Shelf

My school teacher daughter, Sarah, told my daughter Robin (mom of twins, Jack and Lola) about this book. It comes with the story and a little stuffed Elf. The Elf watches over the children and returns to the North Pole each evening to report to Santa about the children's behavior. He returns every morning and the twins never know where they will find him!

My daughter and son-in-law are coming up with wonderful ideas that thrill my grandchildren. The fun part is that she emails a photo to myself and my other daughters each morning and we look forward to it. This morning she was a little late getting it out and was inundated with text messages asking where our morning cheer, aka Elfy, was!

Click here to order the book.

Here is where Elfy has been found in the morning!

 Fishing with Buzz Lightyear and Barbie! He is using candy canes, which were surprises for the twins because he reported their good behavior!

 Pretending to be in the Macy's day Parade. Hanging from the helium balloons!

 Riding Tyrannosaurus Rex and leading a parade of farm animals.

Hanging from a wreath at Grandma's house

But this was the best of all! 
The day after Thanksgiving we go tree hunting. My daughter told the twins that Elfy had a special surprise. When they got to the tree farm, there was Elfy waiting in a tree.

We walked around the corner and there he was!

 Lola was so excited to see him!!

Jack is still trying to figure out how he got there.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Putting a New Top on your Dining Table

As the holidays approach, I started thinking again about enlarging my dining table. We have nine people in our immediate family and growing. The furniture companies offer little in the way of large tables, and what they do have is way out of my price range. So my wheels started turning and I decided I could do it myself!

I documented the process with photos, it was not difficult, and the result is the perfect size table.

I started with a table I purchased from the Restoration Hardware Outlet store. It is a solid wood, double pedestal base and the price was excellent because the top was scratched. A $2300.00 table for $200.00.

I went to Lowe's and bought two sheets of birch plywood, at $44.00 each. They were very strong and heavy and had a nice real wood finish. I originally made a top that was eight by eight, but that was just too big so I cut 18 inched off one side. It made a huge difference in the feel of the table. Still large, but not too far away from each other.

I used strips of wood, 1x2's and 1x4's (extra pieces I had already) about three feet long and attached them to the underside with wood screws. This ensured that the the two sheets of birch stayed at the same level, held them together and provided stability.

I also bought five strips of trim to finish the edges of the birch sheets, here is a close up.

I applied these strips with a combination of wood glue and finishing nails, hiding the nails with a nail sinker.

I left all the imperfections because it is the look I was going for. Then I applied a coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to both the tabletop and the base, followed by a coat of her Dark Soft wax and one more of her Clear wax.

 The wax, applied but not yet buffed.

The final product! I still have not buffed the wax, I am letting it set up for two days to ensure it's durability.

It very comfortably seats twelve, but can handle up to sixteen and still not feel over crowded.

The total cost for this project, less the original base, is about $120.00. 
Bon Appetit!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Harry Potter 2012

The costumes were amazing, the fire was awesome and the rain held off! Our Harry Potter party was filled with so many wonderful costumes this year. Everyone from Harry himself to Severus Snape was represented in fine form. 

As the guests arrived they were greeted by Professor McGonagall at the door with a signature cocktail.

They were then "sorted" with the Sorting Hat and put in one of the four houses of the school, Hufflepuff, Slytherin, Ravenclaw or Griffindore.
 The Fat Portrait Lady seems happy with her assigned school!

Hagrid not so much.

A dinner of Chili and cornbread was served at long tables on the patio. Each table had it's school banner hanging above it, as well as floating pumpkins and candles. A roaring fire kept everyone warm.

 The evil Lucius Malfoy

 Fleur Delacour and Nearly Headless Nick

 Gilderoy Lockhart and Augusta Longbottom

 Snape surveys his fire
Then poses with Minerva

 The Malfoys

 The Fat Portrait lady and someone in a glamour wig!

 Rubeus Hagrid

 A wild Stag!

 Just plain scary!

 The lovely Rita Skeeter

 Alaster "Madeye" Moody and Bellatrix Lestrange

 Frightful Knockturn Alley

 Tiki torches lined the path to the Quiddich field

 The way Muggles arrive!
The way Wizards arrive!

 The house banners displayed on dessert

Dobby and Hedwig guard the food table

The dining hall

 Hermione and Draco fraternizing!

 Hedwig and the Wild Stag

An entire family of HP fans!

 The weasleys
 Game time!
 A wild game of Quiddich

So much fun!