farm table gone coastal :: REVISED

In a few weeks we will be putting our house back on the market.

This means two things.

1. I will be constantly cleaning and picking up behind my boys in an effort to not let things get too out of control so I don't have to run around like a mad woman trying to make the place look presentable before a prospective buyer comes by.

Whew, that was a mouthful.

2. Any big projects on my mental list will be put on hold as I am thinking it's not appealing to have my buffet sitting atop a drop cloth, partially primed, with all manner of paint supplies scattered about. Sigh.

So, when I saw Layla's table, my heart went aflutter and I knew what I had to do. One last painting project.

I wanted to give our farm table a new look.

It's a great table. Super sturdy and can take any and all abuse my boys throw at it. I know some people, Didi, will think painting it was a bad idea. But I was bored by it and really wanted to lighten it up. I'm really drawn to driftwood looks but have been too nervous to attempt it.

Then Layla at the Lettered Cottage did hers. And she gave a great tutorial!

With one exception, I followed her suggestions to the letter.

Here's what I did.
Sanded her down. I had some help with that part.

That's a spider man face painted on Spinner's cheek. He got it at Home Depot, of all places. We went in to pick up a couple things and turns out they were having a festival of sorts. Face painting, popcorn, hula hooping, balloons, music and dancing, and kids workshops. Go figure. So, fun times at Home Depot.

And, of course, being the dangerous work that sanding is Tank insisted on wearing his helmet.

After sanding it down to a nice smooth finish (I did not sand the legs) I applied a coat of poly. Poly first, you say? I wondered the same thing. It's so the color the poly gives it will show through rather than the raw, sanded wood color.

While the poly dried I painted the legs. I mixed some heavy cream Behr paint I had on hand with some white until I got the color I wanted.

After the poly was dry I used a mixture of paint and water (50/50) and put a coat on top. When that dried I dry brushed about 5 coats or so. This is where I veered a bit from Layla. Around the fourth coat of dry brushing I added a touch of mocha glaze to what was on my brush. I was wanting to darken it up just a smidge. Once that was dry I sanded until I got a look I was happy with.

Then I used Deft furniture protector stuff. I know it has an official name but I can't remember it. It's a lacquer rather than a poly. Then I sanded it a little more to remove some of the shine. It is supposed to look like a piece of driftwood, afterall. I'll let you be the judge of whether I achieved that look or not.

I am liking how it turned out. It's a big change. When we move we will go with different wall colors so I am looking foward to pulling together the whole look I have in mind. At some point. In some yet-to-be determined home. For now, I have to get this place cleaned up. The realtor's are coming over to photograph.

Revised :: 2.25.10
Okay, so after living with this table for two days I decided the top wasn't quite right. My desire for a driftwood, rustic look just didn't come through as well. It was nice but not quite enough contrast between the table top and the base.

Pastor J liked it but, being the awesome hubs that he is, was fine with me tweaking it. He's getting used to this and let's me have my fun without too much protest over the disruption of removed furniture and general dismay when I am in the middle of a project while keeping up with the boys.

The table top really started bugging me Tuesday night. I could barely get through the night. It was all I could do to keep  myself from getting up at 2am when I woke thinking about how I would achieve the look I wanted. I was so anxious to get it right. After dropping the kids off on Wednesday morning I came home and got to work. Here is what I ended up with.

I'm not sure if the difference comes through very well in the photo. But it is different. Looks more like an old piece of wood dragged out of a trash pile. Which is what I wanted.

I like the contrast between the top and base much better.
Here's what I did.
Totally trial and error.

I sanded it down a bunch. 50 grit, followed by 80 grit, then 120 grit to smooth it out a bit. I didn't sand it clean. It was patchy. With various shades of white still as well as various shades of the original wood showing through.  Also did some distressing of my own by using the edge of the sander to give it some real rough looking places. Then I grabbed some stain, Early American tint, and covered it all. I wasn't sure this would give me what I wanted but I was determined to use what I had on hand. I like how it turned out.

I was afraid the stain would make the white that was coming through look dingy but it gave it a nice warm brown look which looks great agains the darker brown of the original wood that received the stain. I also dry brused a little black paint (flat spray paint to be exact, cause that's what I had) around the corners and randomly around the edges.

Once my mom came by to give me a much needed second opinion I applied Deft for a protective finish.

And now, I'm happy with it and can move on with my life.

Left is the final-re-do, right was the first re-do

Spring is knocking on the door. . .

can someone please let her in?


enjoying the small things

i discoverd a new blog recently, enjoying the small things.

a well written blog with beautiful photography.

but, really, there are a lot of blogs out there that fit that description. 

i think after reading this incredibly moving birth story you will agree that this is a pretty cool family.

wreath update

In between doing laundry, wiping noses, administering antibiotics, doing laundry, pinning down Tank to torture him with eye drops, doing laundry, checking fevers, and, have I mentioned doing laundry (?), I am working on wreaths.

Our little fundraiser is in high gear and the orders are trickling in. This will be ongoing as the Camacho's continue to raise money for their adoption.

My kitchen table is overwhelmed with wreath making materials. If you want to add your name to the list it's not too late. Just follow the instructions here.

If you have already ordered one I will be contacting you soon.

Wreath Fundraiser and a Cool Family

Styrofoam, Burlap, Fabric, and Buttons. I'm throwing it all together for a good cause.

Kenny and Meredith Camacho are among the first people we met when we moved to SC to plant a church. Not only have they been an integral and important part of the leadership and decision making of our young church, they have become good friends, great encourager's to us and people we admire.

Kenny is a PhD candidate in English with a specialty in 20th Century American Literature. He is also a part of our church worship team. Meredith teaches special needs kids at the high school level and helps out with our children's ministry. They have a beautiful little girl, Evangeline, who recently turned one. Now they are looking to grow their family.

I'll let Meredith tell you about it, "We're adopting because we want another child. God has been leading us to adoption since before we were married. We've been prayerfully considering adoption for a long time now, and we feel like He's leading us to do this now. Since we've begun this process, we've already seen God working a lot in us and through other people, and that's been really reassuring to us."

As you know, adoption is a costly endeavor. The Camacho's are faithfully pursuing ways to raise support to cover the costs ahead of them and have been encouraged to see the Lord's faitfulness and affirmation along the way.

This is where the wreath comes in. I made this whimsical wreath for my mother as a birthday gift. After I made it, and got to enjoy it in my home for a few days before gifting it to my mom, I started thinking about the possibility of making these as a fundraiser for the Camacho adoption fund.

And so, after talking with Meredith, that's what I'm doing. I wish I could remember where I first saw this wreath so I could give them credit. It was on a home decor blog that I found by clicking from one cool blog to the next. I didn't save it but have remembered it since and decided to put my own spin on it.

We are getting the word out in a few ways but I thought this might be a good place to start. So, for you local yocals that would like to purchase a wreath all you have to do is email me and let me know.( My email is over there to the right in the sidebar) They are $15 and every penny goes toward the Camacho adoption fund.  If you live out of town and would like one I think we can arrange that, too. I need to check on shipping cost. We will just take it one order at a time and I will communicate final cost to you through email.

I can't do too much specialization but if there is a certain color you want me to stay away from please let me know. For example, if you just hate orange please tell me and I will avoid all manner of orange. Or if plaid makes you cringe, pass it on.

I already have one order so the cutting and glueing has begun. Now it's your turn.

For $15 you get a decorative, original wreath that can be hung anywhere and, more importantly, a chance to help a loving family bring their child home.

On behalf of the Camacho's, thanks for the support!

leaving things alone

No. I can't leave things alone.

I'm always tinkering.

Today. . . I'm tinkering with this place, Blessed Chaos.

Well, I meaning my friend Lynn.

When I do the actual tinkering I generally have to beg ask her to undo what I messed up.

My next purchase is going to be HTML for dummies.

Anyway, things are a little out of whack here right now and they may stay that way for the weekend because Pastor J and I are headed to the mountains for an overnight.

Without the kids.

Or schedules.

Toodles. . .

It matters

The use of the R-word is back in the limelight again.

By now I’m sure everyone has heard about Rahm Emanuel’s use/misuse of the word, followed by Sarah Palin’s rebuke, followed by a sit down with Disability Leader’s to discuss the damage this word causes.

Followed by Rush Limbaugh’s response, who called the meeting between Emanuel and Disability Leaders a "Retard Summit," followed by a letter from Tim Shriver, Chairman of the Special Olympics, appealing to Rush in much the same way he and other’s did to Emanuel.

Too much?

An over reaction?

Political Correctness gone mad?


Maybe not.

In many respects the r-word has gone the way of “moron” and “imbecile” and “idiot,” words that once medically described the cognitively impaired. These words were adopted by popular culture to describe something or someone dumb.

The r-word is definitely used by many in this way. “Oh, I can’t believe I did that. I’m so R,” “You look like a R wearing that!” And so on.

I think much of the time those that use it so cavalierly are not intending to make fun of someone with cognitive delays when it rolls off their tongue.

Or, at least, that’s what I’m told.

But isn’t that what using the word implies?

The word exists because it has been a diagnosis for people like my son for years.

It is associated with people like my son.

When it is thrown out as an insult or used in a pejorative way it’s done so because, in our minds, we associate it with people who have low IQ's.

It is one of the first things we were told after Bean's diagnosis. "Your son will have moderate to severe retardation."

That word.


It's a punch in the gut.

The first time I felt it was sitting in the family room in NICU listening to the doctor describe our precious boy.

The last time I heard it was yesterday as two middle school boys were walking by our house and one called the other a "retard" while acting out the meaning and laughing heartily.

Another punch in the gut as I realized that one day soon Bean will come to understand that he is the subject of the joke.

Still don't get it? Read this.

If you have a few minutes. . .

please grab a seat and read this. It's written by our friend, Erik, from Four Oaks Community Church in Tallahassee, FL.

Are we on our way to repeating history?

My Awesome Dog: A Short Story by Spinner

Have you seen  my Awesome dog?

Hes a grat dog. I want to tell you all abowt him.

I codint take my eyes off of his hug horns. Becos they were so long. His expresson seemd to say he was very happy. Becose he was smiling like the sun. This fine specimen had 3 eyes. Becose he was an Alien dog!

That is the story about my Awesome dog.

The end.

The Winter Blues are Vintage Gray

We have been a little puny around here lately. Mild stomach bugs in two of the boys, migraines for me, and general fatigue all around. Maybe winter blues are kicking in.

A sickly household hasn't stopped my project juices from flowing though. Maybe that means I'm obsessed. Lying in bed with my laptop perusing diy blogs while intermittently flipping through Country Living, Southern Living, Real Simple, BHG, Home catalogues. Nah. I'm just committed. Committed to creating surroundings that are comfortable, functional, beautiful, and warm.

Once I got off my duff I worked on a desk that I picked up for Spinner. I found it at His House thrift shop a few weeks ago and it has been waiting patiently for it's makeover. I was so excited to get going that I forgot to take a before picture. Oh well. You will just have to trust me that it was boring. Solid wood with wood block drawer pulls.

I painted the body Vintage Gray by Valspar and left the top natural. It's the same paint I used on Spinner and Bean's twin bed's last year.

Beds I found at a junktique shop. They were maple and really really shiney. Had to get rid of that. I went with the Vintage Gray not because it suits their current room/wall color but because I am thinking ahead. To the day we move. I'm banking on that happening within the next 6-7 months. I have big plans for our new home. No, I don't know where we will live yet. Or what the house will look like. What the space will be like. Or what projects will take priority. But like I said earlier, I have projects in mind. So what if some of them are for a yet to be determined home. My plan is for the boys room to be white board and batten - at least 2/3 of the wall - and I think this color, Vintage Gray, will look great against it.

Anyway, back to this project. I grabbed an old chair to use for his desk. It has been a number of colors, most recently black. I used that to my advantage since I was going to rough it up anyway. I thought the black and white and natural wood would look great coming through the gray.

I love it. And I love legs with lots of imperfections. Who says the prettiest legs are flawless? Not me, no-sir-ee.

Apart from a fresh paint job, some distressing, and glaze, I switched out the wooden block pulls for some brushed nickel pulls I found on clearence at Target. Much improved. Remember, you will just have to take my word for it!

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