Ollie the Collie

Sunday, November 13, 2016

This is my daughter's dog Ollie!  He is a 6 month old Border Collie (also know as Ollie the bad Collie)  Really though, he is one of the sweetest dogs.  He goes on adventures all the time.  This weekend he's gone to Hobby Lobby, Lowe's and Home Depot.  My daughter is socializing him and she finds all the stores that allow pets.  Actually there are quite a few of them out there.

If you would love to bring a smile to your face - follow him on Instagram.  Watch as he experiences his firsts.  Lately, he loves leaves and barks to go outside.  He actually thinks he's herding them, but we won't let him know otherwise!  We can't wait to see what he does with the first snowfall!

Taking a break from "Leaf Herding"


This face just makes you laugh!  Here's hoping you join Ollie on his many adventures!

Sunflower Maze

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Every three years there is a wonderful sea of sunflowers in my little town.  The owners of a restaurant (on the site of the sunflower field) plant 75 acres of these magnificent flowers.  The sunflowers go on and on.  It's a magnificent view.  Visitors can walk through the sunflower maze, purchase sunflowers, and honey (made by the bees on the farm).

Last night, two of my high school friends and I went to walk the maze at sunset.  It's been very hot here in Central New York this summer and last night was no exception.  Actually there was a downpour as I was driving to the field, which made the air very humid.  We lucked out though, the sun came out just in time to shine over these sunflowers before going to sleep for the night.  

Sunflowers at Sunset
Sunflower facing opposite of the rest

Sea of sunflowers

If you're ever in the area, or driving on the NY thruway, this is definitely worth stopping to see.


Here is an amazing video of the field.  Inside the maze, they cut out a wine bottle and glass that says, "I Love NY".  It quite something to see!

Chippy Paint Chair

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

I went to the salvage antique store the other day.  It felt like it was 100 degrees out in the sun, but my daughter and I had fun looking at all the old furniture, especially the milk crates from a local dairy.  They were fun, but a bit more than we wanted to spend on them, instead I found an old chair.  This poor chair was just sitting outside and was really weathered.  The wood on the seat was splitting away from each other and there must have been four coats of different colored paint on it that was just peeling away.  It just had some character to it and I couldn't resist for $10.00.

This is the poor chair in the before state.  I decided to break out the sander and remove most of the paint.  It still looked pretty sad until I added some white linen chalk paint from Rust-Oleum.  
Chair Before

The chair after it had been sanded down.  I didn't take all the paint off because I wanted the "chippy paint" look to it.  

I did a light coat, by dry brushing the paint on the chair.  All I do to "dry brush" is dip the paint brush in the can, just enough to get some paint on it.  Then blot it on a paper towel to remove most of the paint.  Lightly go over the surface with the brush to give it a "whitewashed" appearance.  

I started on the bottom of the chair to make sure I didn't have too much paint on the brush.  As you can see, I applied pretty messy, after the chair was done, I went back and lightly sanded the chair with very fine sand paper.  Do this so it doesn't have a freshly painted look to it.

I only did one coat on this chair.  I wanted a very worn "farmhouse" look to the chair.  It's all your preference on the final results.  I would start off lightly, you can always add more.

The next step was to "antique" the chair a bit.  I had some left over brown chalk paint that I used.  If you don't have brown paint on hand, you can buy a sample from Home Depot or Lowes and add a little plaster paris to it.  I have also use an acrylic paint from a craft store.  Burnt Umber is a good color to use when you want to antique something.  Dry brush the brown paint on using a small craft paint brush to get in the nooks and crannies of the chair.  

 I have used the chair in my photos of my arrangements for my Etsy Shop, and I really love the way the flowers look on the old chair. As soon as I do my fall decorating, I think I will leave the chair on my front step with some flowers on it.  

Now it's your turn to try a makeover.  Look for chairs at yard sales, craigslist, and even on the side of the road.  Just remember, the more weather beaten the chair is, the nicer it will look all distressed.

Feel free to "Pin" and "Share" this post.

Have fun & enjoy!


Farmhouse Style Fall Decorating

Sunday, August 7, 2016

As much as I don't want summer to end, it's inevitable!  I love the warm weather, longer days, and of course having the summer off to recharge and on work on my DIY projects.  However, since I have no control of the seasons, rather than fight it, I will reluctantly welcome Fall.  I am lucky enough to live in upstate NY where the fall colors are beautiful.  Everything around us turns into great hues of yellows, oranges, and red colored leaves.  There are a ton of apple orchards, pumpkin and sunflower farms to get you in the spirit of the crisp fall evenings.

In the next few weeks I will be taking down my summer flowers and replacing them with mums.  I decorate my front step (insert sad face, I always wanted one of those huge front porches with the white railing - so jealous of those who have one.  When I see a house with one and no decorations, I so badly want to knock on their door and ask if I can decorate it!)  Well I make the most of my small little front step area, and the area in front of my garage to decorate instead.

In the next few weeks, I will be posting some fall DIY projects along with some of the flower arrangements and wreaths I have been working on.

Today my daughter and I are heading to a salvage yard to see what we can find for some projects.

For now, I will leave you with a fall arrangement I just made.  I love this!  This is for sale in my Etsy Shop, but I really think I need one for my home as well :)

Off now to find some salvage finds....

Jack Skellington Wreath

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I took a little time out during this heatwave and started working on some Fall and Halloween wreaths.  I had been cleaning out the garage (which really needed it) and of course got sidetracked, but that will be another post.

Last year I made a "Nightmare Before Christmas" wreath for one of my friends, and my daughter convinced me into make a couple more for my shop this year.  Well my wreath never made it to my shop, as soon as it was posted on my Facebook page it sold. 

I will be making another one shortly, but I just wanted to show everyone how this one turned out.  I think it's adorable.  If you head over and like my Facebook page (click here), you will get notified when I post new items, and from time to time I offer coupons & discounts.  


Long Island Free Printable

Sunday, July 3, 2016

I made this free printable today.  I am gathering things to make a coastal gallery wall in my home and I thought it would be fitting to include a print from Long Island, where I grew up.  I decided to share my print with anyone who loves Long Island.

I have two sizes in beach colors available 8x10 and also 16x20 if you want to print it on canvas.  

I also have a 16x20 Black & White Print as well.  

Click on the link underneath the picture to print the Subway Art.


                                                     8x10 Long Island Subway Art
                                                     16x20 Long Island Subway Art

Farmhouse Table Makeover

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Recently I decided to tackle a project that I've been wanting to do for quite sometime.  I was off from school this week, while all my friends were posting "beach" vacation photos on Facebook,  I ran out and bought all the supplies I would need to make over this table (honestly, I would've rather been on the beach) however, I thought this would be the week I would get caught up on some of those little projects I have been putting off.

 I had two end tables and a coffee table that were in dire need of a makeover. Don't get me wrong,  I loved the honey colored wood when I first bought them, but I have slowly grown away from the light wood  throughout the years.    Last spring I put in cherry colored laminated floors and that made the honey colored furniture really stand out like a sore thumb.  I already have a farmhouse dining room table (which is next on the list- thanks to some nail polish remover that shouldn't have been on the table to begin with - that's a story for a different day.) I like the looks of the tables, they are solid wood, so I had the bright idea to makeover these pine tables to have a farmhouse look rather than buy a new set.

Believe me, while raising two kids, my tables have had their fair share of scratches and dents.  I figured this was the perfect opportunity to have a distressed farm table look, hey why not they already had a bit of distressing right?

This is one of the end table I began with.  I have never stripped furniture before, so after numerous youtube video tutorials, I decided to give it a try.  I figured I would start with the smaller table and if all else failed, I could always paint the top with chalk paint, since I was gonna be painting the sides of the tables anyways.  

I brushed on Citristrip then let it sit.  I found it comes off best if it is still somewhat damp.  If it dries a bit (hint - don't do it in the sun like I did) it is harder to scape off.  Now it was only like 60 degrees outside when I did this and it was pretty early about 8:30 am, so they sun wasn't hot, and it still dried up rather quickly. I just re-brushed some more on and then scrapped it off.  

**The tricky part were the edges of the table.  Lots of places the stain could gather, so I wound up using Mineral Spirits and steel wool size 0000 very fine along with the metal putty knife to get the hard to reach places off.  

I found my smaller size dull putty knife was easier to handle and remove the varnish & stain.  Make sure yours is pretty dull so it does not gauge the table.  

I dumped the old stain into a small plastic dish (actually the little ones lunch meat comes in.)  I've seen people use foil pans as well.  The small dish was easier for me to handle as I was wiping off the stripper.

This is the stripped down photo.  I know is doesn't look it, but the wood was very light and the sun was too helpful shining right down on it.  

Before you really couldn't see the grain of the wood, but it shows clearly in this photo.  If you look the two end pieces look much lighter than the rest of the top.  My daughter and I thought that the manufacturer used two different types of woods (look at the horizontal piece compared to the vertical pieces.)  This did drive me crazy when I began staining it!  I kept the stain on for a few minutes before wiping it off.  The I sanded it down and restrained it again. 

If you look closely, you can see how dull the tabletop is with the stain & varnished removed.

Coffee Table Stripped Down

The top looks blotchy, but it really isn't.

From the side, it looks like the stain didn't take, but if you look at the table from above you can see that it has. I think it is the lighting that makes it look this way.   I also used "wood prep" by Minwax to prepare the wood so it wouldn't be blotchy.   See the scratches and the knots in the wood?   For some reason all 4 corners are dark.  They were dark before I put the stain on as well.  I think it just adds to the distressed look.

I painted the bottom of the table with a deep brown.  I found a quart of flat paint base at Walmart on clearance and had them mix the color.  My reason for the dark brown was due to the fact I wasn't stripping the whole table, just the top.  I knew I was chalk painting the bottom half and I wanted a darker color to come through rather than the honey colored when I distressed the table.  

Painting the base of the table brown.

Next, I added the white chalk paint.  If you look closely you can see the table was stained all over and not bare on the ends like the other photo.

2nd coat on the coffee table.  Had to move into the garage today, it was cold and rainy! 

This is the coffee table top after I brushed on the Polycrylic.  I used 2 coats on each table.

It took a total of a week to finish all three tables.  We had rain most of the week, and I let everything dry overnight between coats.

I distressed the furniture using a fine sanding block.  When I finished sanding, I went over the corners and drawer edges with the brown chalk paint.  I used a dry brush for this effect.  I dipped the paint brush in the paint, wiped most of it off on a paper towel and then went over the areas I wanted to have an antique look to them.

To finish the top of the tables I used Minwax Polycrylic in a Satin finish.

I think they turned out amazing.  What do you think?

Homemade Chalk Paint Recipe:

1/2 Cup Warm Water (I let the water run a couple of minutes to get really hot)

1/2 Cup Plaster of Paris

1 1/2 cups Paint (I used Glidden Ultra -Hide White Flat Paint)


In a paint cup - add 1/2 cup plaster of Paris - pour in warm water and mix thoroughly.

When the Plaster of Paris is dissolved, add the 1 1/2 cups of paint and mix well.

I bought the paint cups at Lowe's, but they have them at Walmart as well.  They were less than a dollar.
I bought at Home Depot, Walmart has it as well.

Mixing cups, you can purchase tops for these as well

I purchased the knobs at Target.  It was a 10 pack for $18.29.  I was replacing knobs elsewhere, that is why I purchased the larger pack.