Monday, May 30, 2011


I've mentioned that all my furniture pieces are hand-me-downs, right? And I've mentioned that it all tends to be that honey-oak color, right? And I've mentioned how much I hate that color, right? If you need a reminder, just read this, or even this, to see only a few things that I've had to rescue from that horrible 90's trend. I really should start a file for these pieces alone as they have a personal hated place in my heart (all things honey oak colored). Forever more they shall be called...The HOFF (Honey-Oak Furniture Flip).

So, in this week's chronicles of The HOFF I took bar stools I've had for 5+ years to a whole.'notha.level (as my pastor likes to say). Before:
These babies were given to me by my in-laws when we first moved in 6 years ago. And you know my motto: Never pass up free....well, anything. So, sure, they weren't pretty but they were free and I've seen no need to upgrade since they do their job just fine and, did I mention that they were FREE? I planned on painting them long ago but, you know, I'm lazy life got in the way. Plus, they really needed it because, besides being ugly, they had damage done from the in-law's pups:
Some teeth marks from gnawing on the stool legs. And full on damage when they chewed out-right:

I just sanded them down to smooth them out a little. It wasn't perfect but it was better and no one hardly looks at the stools bottom rungs.

My inspiration came from all the numbered chairs I've seen popping up all over blogland. From the Lettered Cottage:
To Life in the Fun Lane:
And even Sweet Something Designs:
Seems I'm way behind on the numbered stools/chairs bandwagon. And I liked the numbers but wasn't sure which numbers to do (something with significance to me?) 1, 2, 3 seemed logical but a little blah and boring.

Then the idea hit me when I kept saying 1, 2, 3...1, 2, 3....1, 2, 3...

Indians. Know this song? 4 little, 5 little, 6 little Indians... It was a favorite of mine in childhood. My husband says it's not PC and offensive and was pretty skeptical when I was painting them. *Gasp* what would the  neighbors think if they saw them?

I figured it wouldn't hurt to paint them and if I didn't like it I could always paint over it. But I do like them. I think it adds a little bit of whimsy to the stools and I smile when I walk by them and start singing. Of course, my husband is probably right. It's probably considered an offensive song now-a-days. When I tested my daughter she'd never even heard of it. Maybe it's an Oklahoma thing? Everyone from Oklahoma is either part Indian (ahem, Native American) or knows someone who is. My family is. But somehow I've never shared with my daughter this cute little song.
Anyhow -I like my whimsical stools now.

I slightly distressed them and still need to add a coat of poly (spray painted them with a flat black) but I am so pleased with them. No more ugly honey colored stools! (If only I could perform the HOFF on that pergo flooring!)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New Entry look...

My friend brought over her mudroom bench thingy (technical term). Which meant it was time to change up my entry to accommodate. Here's what the entry looked like...basically its a small walkway between the stairs and living room.

That is where my daughter piles alllllll of her things. Backpack, softball bag, skateboard, junk, shoes, etc.

Here is the bench with no adornments

Pretty, no? I am such a lucky girl (with an awesome friend) to get this thing.

There were hooks on the front by the mirror but I didn't want anything junking up that area so I grabbed some S hooks I already  had to hang things on the sides:

 Like my daughter's softball bag and backpack. I put some throw pillows at the top which were green like this:
 But I wasn't feeling them or the seat cover because everything was so dark. And solid. I wanted a pretty spring pattern to lighten up all the dark metal.So, I started searching for fabric I might like (for cheap of course).  I found it in cute pillow covers at Michael's. And, get this, they were on sale for only 1.60 each.
I just threw them on the pillows I already had and voila!

For the bench I want something that can be taken off and cleaned quickly. I perused the thrift store for any pretty fabric I could use and came across this floral patterned pillowcase which was perfect because I didn't even have to sew. It was only 2.00 too.

Underneath went a container (also donated by my lovely friend) for unsightly knick-knacks. So, here it is:

 I'm so excited about the organization it gives the front area. Plus, it leaves the area right next to the door open.

Problem now is the dirty, scuffed-up wall. See it? Of course you do.


I'll get around to it sometime.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Since it is spring going into summer (has been in Florida since, oh, January)  I figured I should clean our backyard. Especially since my husband was kind enough to buy me this swing chair for our anniversary.
Which looks like a scary contraption until you sit in it and it is sooooo comfortable. My co-worker had to make it dirty (said it looked like it was one of those types of swings) but I refuse to let him ruin it for me. It's a comfortable chair that I can sit in and read a book and relax under the tree.

Problem is is that I get to look at this:
And this is the "cleaned up" version (I always forget to get the really real before picks). Remember that my back yard was neglected and trashy? Well, this is after I cleaned up a little bit.

I wanted a peaceful backyard oasis but my budget...well, you know me- I'm cheap. I didn't have $300-400 laying around to buy new pretty patio cushions, new chairs for the table, flowers, an umbrella, etc. I had to work with what I had. So, instead, I bought flowers for only 15.00 and assessed what I had.

This was a good time to purge, purge, purge. I took every decorative item that wasn't hanging on my walls and laid it all out to see what would work outside.
After all, I knew a lot of things wouldn't work. They had to be pretty (pops of color would draw the eye and make it look fun!) but also weather resistant. We have too much rain and blazing sun so no candles and no flimsy fabrics would do.

Here is all the "stuff" I have:

This was also a good chance to clean out those unloved items that I never use.
Rearrange, reorganize. So, I inventoried. Unfortunately, my house still looks like this with all the stuff strewn about.

I gave my patio furniture a good soak down with the hose to clean them off of any debris. Then I took this old crappy flower pot and decided to redo it

 It was pretty beat up. It even has a hole in it. But I was determined to use it.
I spray painted it with leftover red paint I had on hand so the cost of a bright new planter-FREE.

I also remembered some huge Christmas bulbs I had that I love but only display at Christmas time. And I thought, "Why not use them as gazing balls?" They are red which matched the flower pot and would sparkle beautifully in the sun.

See there, the hanging part of the bulb? Yeah, just flipped upside down and voila! Instant gazing balls.
I set them on top of some red hurricane glasses I had which looked awesome (I just need to add some weight so they don't fall over and shatter).

 I brought around a pillar that had set out front for a long while with a pot on it.
This is the cleaned up version. And it still looked pretty bad. Plus, I needed another splash of color. So I took some of my true aqua paint sample left over from my failed attempt at my night stand.
I diluted the color with water and quickly painted the pillar. (it only took 10min).

 I like the splash of turquoise and is a great place to set drinks when sitting by the fire. 

Anyhow. Here's the after when I added pillows for the chairs (already had as well) and flowers.
My total cost for this makeover was...
8.50 for flowers.And lots of elbow grease of course.

I didn't do much to the main patio but I did make a nice display on the table.

Again, all free. Now I just need to add a few more plants/flowers to make my back patio a little nicer.