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Saturday, April 30, 2011

One Thing at a Time

One thing at a time...

This is not a lesson I have learned. It means I have a tendency to wear myself out going and going and going... until I crash. Yesterday was a going day. Tomorrow may be a crash day. This post is about what I did yesterday:

We're trying an experiment growing vegetable plants this year. A few weeks ago, my cousin, Paul, brought us a load of dirt in his truck and helped unload it into our backyard for our garden. Yesterday morning, I planted all of our little plants from Home Depot in our small raised bed. I'm sure that's not the best and most cost effective place to get plants, but it was definitely the most convenient. I planted
a bell pepper,
and watermelon.
I'm a little concerned that they're not gonna make it. I'm not sure there's enough sunlight, some of the plants are too closely spaced, I'm not sure the bed is deep enough, and I'm not entirely sure I'm going to be awesome at weeding the garden. ;-)

After I finished planting the garden, I sanded and spray painted the patio furniture. The people who lived in this house before us left their old patio furniture and it was pretty rough looking. So I decided to give it a face lift.

Here's how it looked before I painted it.

First, I used a steel brush to knock off some of the paint flecks. I also used the scraper on the end of the brush to knock some of the old paint off.

Then I used an old rag to clean and wipe them down.
I used this to paint it. Each one got a different color.
And this is how it turned out. It's not perfect, but it's better. I got the idea to paint them bright colors from my friend Christina. I think it was a great idea.

I ran out of orange spray paint because I tried to paint the back of the chair as a test run... so then I didn't have enough. Planning ahead worked against me this time. Ugh... another run to Home Depot.

When I was finished painting the patio furniture, I put a coat of polyurethane on the coffee table (so we can actually use it now).

And deboned the turkey that I had turned on earlier in the day.
At the end of my busy day, I got to do one of my favorite activities... I went swing dancing!

And no, this is not a recent photo. But it is a fun photo that my friend Misti took... and I love it! Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My $6 Coffee Table

This is my $6 coffee table.

And here is how my coffee table looks now:

Let me tell you the story of my $6 coffee table.
I had finally decided that our little ottoman wasn't cutting it as the spot to put plates and cups on in the middle of the living room. Especially considering the fact that we don't have a dining room or kitchen table in our house. (1100 square feet really pushes you to get the things that you're not using out of the house.) Hoping to find a cheap coffee table for $15-$20 that I could refinish, I was keeping my eyes open on, etc. As I was heading to work one day on a Thursday, I spotted a garage sale on the corner with the ideal coffee table in the yard. I only had $6 cash, but I decided to stop anyway on the off chance they'd take a check or something. When I asked the lady how much she wanted for the coffee table, she said "Mmmm, how about $6?" Seriously?! So I bought it.

I was so excited about this little blessing from the Lord. (These are the type of things that remind me that He loves me personally and knows my every desire.)

As I was trying to decide what to do for the refinish, we went to Home Depot where I looked through the paint selection for inspiration. After pulling together a palette of the colors in the room, I decided to tie the coffee table in with the sectional in our living room since I don't have anything else in the room with navy blue in it. This photo doesn't really do the colors justice. Poor lighting, I know.

Here's how the refinishing went:

I started by sanding the table down. It took me about half an hour to do a light sanding so that the table would hold onto the paint.

The next morning, I pulled out the paintbrush and got to work painting.

Once I had put two coats of paints on the table, I taped the border on the inside of the table for the navy blue.

For the design on the middle of the table, I took a template from this lovely lady's blog and traced it out.

I freehanded the painting of the pattern. (Edit: Apparently this was misleading. I meant to explain that I painted over the traced pattern with a paintbrush... I think that free-handing was the wrong word to use.)

And here is the finished product. It usually takes me a while to process things, so I'm still deciding whether or not I like it. =)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Celebration of Life

I decided to be rather ambitious this year and host a sit-down lunch for family and friends in my backyard. I pretty much used every piece of silverware, china, and glassware in my house... and still had to borrow some from my mom. But it turned out to be a very nice time.

As we set off for church this morning in our "Easter Best" I was concerned about the threatening rainclouds, but when we left an inspiring Easter service, it had cleared up a bit and the rest of the day turned out to just benefit from the overcast skies (by being cooler).

My goal this year was to have theme that would celebrate life... the first flowers blooming, the baby birds being born, our own lives and the lives of those we love, and the most important life of all... Jesus! I created little cards that look like this to put on the table:

These are the other two little cards I did:

Here's a close up of the table:

I think lilies are my new favorite flower. Too bad they only bloom for about a month each year. There are so many colors and varieties. These grew awry in a quite pleasant way.

I was so busy running around trying to make sure everything was in order that I didn't have time to take pictures. Here's who took a lot the photos. My dad took the rest (including this one).

I had LOTS of candy left after filling little plastic eggs for the Easter egg hunt, so I made these for favors:

I made a pink strawberry cake and lemon icebox pie. I asked my sister, B, to make cookies and she made some bea-U-tiful glazed sugar cookies that tasted as good as they looked. Everything was SO yummy!

After lunch and dessert, everyone sat around and dyed eggs (an Easter tradition with my family).

And my little man went on an egg hunt. Almost every time he found an egg, he said, "Silly Easter Bunny." I must say that my dad found some creative hiding places (as usual). Here's my little guy with his Easter basket:

And here's me and my little gal in her Easter dress:

My little (awesome) family:

My big (also awesome) family:

I could go on and on with the photos, but this blog would be forever long if I did!

I hope that all the eggs and birds and bunnies are reminders to everyone of LIFE! One life matters most- and that is the life of Jesus Christ who rose from the dead and who we celebrate on this Easter day!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Getting Better?

Tonight, I had planned to have a relaxing evening doing some design work, looking at some magazines, perhaps reading some blogs, making some crafty stuff, and doing similarly enjoyable things... Alas, my job got in the way. I got caught up in learning how to send an HTML email and creating some graphics for said email. Finally, I think Mike made some progress in this learning process and it looks like I'll be able to do it. I am SO thankful for a wonderfully talented and intelligent husband who can figure things out that feel beyond me!

Last night, however, I did some design work and here's what I came up with... one new, one improved.

Monday, April 18, 2011

La Maison

Sunday, we happened upon a little antique shop in East Memphis that was having a sidewalk sale. Suspecting that their prices were a bit out of my price range, I was hesitant to even look, but my husband encouraged me to take a peek. Out of my range it was, but I am glad I took a peek since I got some ideas and found some things that I really like. Perhaps I'll find something similar at an antique store that is within my price range. But for those of you with bigger budgets, I encourage you to check it out. (Here's a link La Maison.) Those of you with budgets more like mine, you can window shop with me here.

I loved this display of lovely flowers (water lilies? cabbages?). Mostly, I loved the color and the shine! Ooooo, shiiiny!!!
And this little display of antique christening gowns caught my eye. How innocent and precious.
These curtains would look great in my living room, but not for $500 a pair!
I would love to do my little boy's room with this little bed and with a sailing theme... especially since my husband loves to sail.
And these lamps are exactly what I'm looking for in my living room, again though, not for $300 a pair.
This display was inspiring. I especially love the ribbons by which the silver platters hang on the wall. Not sure I would have ever thought of hanging my good silver on the wall??? But I must say it has a beautiful effect.
This little table/desk would look beautiful in front of the window in my dining room. I would use it as a little desk for my laptop and printer. So much better than my current monstrosity of a desk!
And finally, this little red nightstand... I love a pop of red. Not sure where I would put it in my house, but it is just too, too cute!

Over and out for now!