Sunday, October 26, 2014

FARM HOUSE TABLE PART IV (will this ever end?)

Yes, these particular posts will end with the next post on this subject (I hope)!

My table is now out of the warehouse/workshop and in June's garage where she will stain and paint it. Just so happens that June lives about a mile from me so I was able to go there this morning and take a quick peek.

Truthfully, I thought it would be done by now.  When June told me it was at her house I wondered why it was there and not here.  I didn't know that she does the final work on a piece outside away from the warehouse where there is dust all over the place.  She moves it to her store, if there is room, or her garage.

Here are the pictures of the table after Roy did his magic on the pile of wood I picked out.  Hard to believe that pile of wood turned into this beautiful table.  The legs will be painted a cream color and top will be stained.  I just can't wait and am so pleased with the table to this point!

Sorry for the shadows.  I tried to
get the length of the table.

Top needs some fine sanding, but the 
"roughness" and knot holes will remain.  

Bread board piece and more of the wood details

Turned legs.  I think I had originally decided
on a leg that had more "curves," but I
really am pleased with how they look.  Perfect!
Another week and it should be in my dining room.  I hope so.  I am getting anxious!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Lately I've been feeling a little like Martha Stewart with all of my DIY projects.  But, I am saving a lot of money, which is always a good thing!

I needed night stands for my guest bedroom.  With the new farmhouse table arriving soon things are getting moved around and switched out.  I wanted night stands with at least two drawers for storage.  I can definitely use two of the drawers for my "stuff" and I always like to have drawer space for my guests.

I finally found just what I was looking for.

It might look a little ugly, especially with those pulls, but they are solid, sturdy and wood.  Best part is that I got them for $30 each.

So, first I decided to just change out the drawer pulls.  But, after three of my lady friends saw the night stands and all gently suggested they should be painted, I finally agreed!

Chalk paint seemed to be the way to go.  I googled it and there are dozens of great tutorials on the web.  I watched several.

Since I am basically too lazy  to drive a distance to get the extremely expensive designer chalk paint recommended by a couple of friends and after checking out the website, I decided to get the chalk paint from Home Depot, the Americana Decor brand.  They also offer several tutorials on their website.  Well, when I got there they really didn't have much of a selection of paint colors.   But, they did have two jars of the color I liked from looking at the color chart on Home Depot's website.

I started painting.  It is easy, quick and fun.  The paint dries very fast.  I got some on my sleeve and whipped it off with a damp rag while it was still damp and it came off perfectly. Each night stand received two coats of chalk paint.
I put the glass knobs on just to see how they
would look.  I like them a lot!

The next step after painting is to add a layer of clear furniture wax.  There is a gentleman at Home Depot who works in the paint department who is very knowledgeable and helpful.  He suggested I use Minwax and not the expensive wax that is sold with the chalk paint.  Thank you - it worked great, but for the final coat I did purchase the Americana Decor brand.  It was just easier to use.

Then came the distressing.  I didn't want much distressing on these pieces, but I got a little carried away. I used a fine sand paper and lots of elbow grease!

Distressed and ready to apply the dark wax
After using tack cloth to get rid of any fine particles left after the distressing process, it was time for another coat of wax.  This layer is normally a tinted, dark wax.    Home Depot was out of the darker wax, so I went to Michael's and purchased the Martha Steward brand.  It was $10 and worked like a charm.  I wiped it on, wiped it off once with a damp rag and then again with a dry rag.

And, I forgot to take a picture of applying the dark wax process. Sorry about that!

Another coat of the clear wax and these tables are good to go! (Remembered a picture!).  It is recommended that two coats of clear wax be applied to the top of any furniture such as this for added protection.  I put on three coats.  Call me crazy!

If I had to do them again, I would have first used an off white chalk paint topped by the blue and then distressed it.  I think the off white paint coming through would have looked great.  I also would have ordered a lighter stain wax, which was available through the Home Depot website.  But, live and learn.

The night stands are cute and very functional.  The total cost for this project was under $90 which included the paint and wax.  I will enjoy using them and I hope my guests do, too!

Now, I think I need a tall lamp for this table.  Time to check the online yard sale sites!

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Just a quick update.  Today I went to see the progress on my table.  The wood has been cut and the sanding process of each individual piece has started.  The pieces will be glued and screwed together and the "bread board" added to each end.

While I was there Roy put me to work.  I tried to explain that I had sanded many, many times in my life (even own a palm sander just like this one), but Roy wanted to make sure I am doing it right!  That's OK!

Table will be much wide then these five boards
Love the wood, even the nail holes, which might get sanded out.

My friend, Barbara, is in the background.  June took the pictures.

Here is one of the legs  Well, the legs will not look like this.  Each leg will go onto the lathe and be turned.

It's coming along.  June and Roy tell me the table should be ready for painting and staining in about a week.  So, maybe by Halloween I will be sitting down at a beautiful farm house table to eat my cheerios!

One another note - check out all of the orbs in these pictures.  This is an older building, but full of old furniture.  For those of you who believe orbs are more than just tricks of light, there are many of them floating around in these pictures.  Freaky.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


I joined an online quilting group dedicated to swapping quilt blocks.  Well, that is how it started, but now we are planning much more - more swaps, blocks of the month and even quilting retreats. I see friendships forming, ideas spinning, great tips and suggestions shared, and lots of fun going on. There are about 139 of us from all over the United States.

For our first swap it was decided we would make 12" (finished) churn dash blocks.  We had to purchase Kona white fabric for the background and the "dashes" could be any fabric we wanted as long as it was bright colors.  We had to submit at least 12 blocks and we would get 12 blocks back.  Many of us submitted more than that - I made and submitted 24 blocks.  As many blocks as we submitted, we would get back.
The 24 blocks I submitted.  I used many different fabrics.
Sorry it is on an angle!
Our blocks also had to include our name and city/state attached to each block submitted.  I used address labels, but some of the ladies got very creative and included little notes with each block they made. Reading those was fun as it added a very personal touch.  We sent our blocks to Jessica (our fearless leader) and included a self addressed, stamped envelope so she could send the new blocks back to us.

The deadline was September 15 and by September 26, Jessica started mailing out the swap blocks.

Jessica sure had her hands full distributing the blocks- 510 blocks were submitted by 37 ladies from 18 different states!  Quite impressive!  I didn't envy her the job of randomly selecting the blocks sent to each of us or organizing and mailing out all those blocks, but she did it and did a fabulous job of doing it!  Each of us received blocks from different women and none of our own were returned to us.  I did get two blocks from Allison, but they were each made with different material so it worked perfectly.

I was out of town the week mine arrived, but it only made the anticipation so much more fun!  Here are the 24 blocks I received.

Aren't they beautiful?

Such great fabrics were used by the ladies
Here are some close up samples of the various materials used.

Roxanne used  fabric that is out of this world!  For 
those who know me, she couldn't have picked a batter fabric!

Denise used this very pretty fabric.  She found it in her
grandmother's fabric stash.  Love it!

Amy used magnifying glass fabric from the 
Nancy Drew fabric line (no longer available)

Laura used John Deere fabric.  How cool is this?  Great colors, too!

Some fabrics are bright and add so much to the 
overall design like this batik block made by Jessica

But, what to do with them?  Since I have several other projects going on right now I decided to be lazy and sash them together and add a border.  But, what color sashing? I went to my trusty quilt store in The Quilt Shop on Main in Jasper, GA and with the help of the quilt store ladies, decided on a subtle black batik.  I don't think you can really see it, but the fabric has waves of deep blues and grays.

Starting the sashing  process
But, I still wasn't happy.  I had 24 blocks so the quilt top could be four blocks across and six blocks down.  I needed a border, too.  I went through my stash and found the perfect border fabric that I had used as a backing on another quilt.  And, I actually had enough!  Then I got a great idea.  I could add another block and make a square quilt - five blocks across and five blocks down.  The new block I would put in the center using the border fabric to tie it all together.  Then I thought of something even better.  I would do it in reverse - like a negative of the other blocks.  The middle block would stand out and really add a punch to the quilt top.

Happy with my fabric choice

So, now to get down to business and add the rest of the sashing.

See the "negative" block in the middle?

 Finally got the sashing completed.  Now on to the borders!

I have to admit I wasn't sure about the black sashing,
but now I love it and think it highlights each
individual block.
  Reminds me of stained glass
Here is the end result.  I could not be happier with this quilt top.

Awesome!   Sam and Lady like it, too!
So glad I did the "negative block in the middle!  Thanks to my
great neighbors, Valerie and Phyllis who are hiding behind the quilt!

It is hard to believe that all of those different blocks, different materials of all different colors and patterns would come together to make such a fabulous quilt top.  All due to the ladies who made each unique block.  How blessed am I to have participated in this swap?

We also decided to do a Christmas theme block exchange.  Those blocks were due October 15.  Rules were the same - at least 12 blocks had to be submitted and as many as you submit, you will get back.  I made 20 blocks before I ran out of fabric.  Can't wait to see the blocks I receive for this swap.

Special thanks to the following 23 ladies from 15 different states who made the very beautiful and special blocks for my quilt:

Josephine H., Carver, MA           Jessica L., Toledo, OH                  Kristy C., Greenfield, IN
Martha M., Quincy, FL                 Pam G, New London, OH              Erlinda R., Goodyear, AZ
Allison H., AK  (2 blocks)           Sheri P., WY                                 Donna B., TX        
Alberta M., Sunbury OH              Rita S., Terrell, TX                       Amy G., Tallahassee, FL
Tricia H., Kingman, AZ               Kaitlin D., Athens, GA                  Laura R., Council Buffs, IA
Darlene R., Pearland, TX            Judy Wilson, Brazoria, TX            Mary B., Northern VA
Denise O., Centerville, TN          Emeli P., Hampton, VA                 Roxanne L., Kokomo, IN
Margie H., Milton, WI                 Carol M., Big Fork, MT