my 3 tiered blonde tableWhen I was emptying my storage unit this past April/May

and saw this 3 tiered table among my packed up belongings ~I’d genuinely forgotten about it.  Heck, I’d forgotten about several things…

which made all the work feel like a treasure hunt!

Thinking about some winter and holiday decorating in mom’s house, I decided to pull it out of the storage on this end for another look.

It looked a bit rough from being in storage so long?

The top looks so discolored too much harsh Arizona sun?

And I didn’t remember it being so blonde ??

Uh, yeah.  It definitely needs a makeover!

a makeover for the 3 tiered table--In the interest of time -and the fact that I was working on the mechanical room- I had my stripper-guys tackle this for me, I negotiated $25.  It would have cost me about that in product plus my time, & this way I could keep to my other project~very worthwhile!

At left you see it stripped clean, and I spent about an hour sanding it back to a smooth finish before staining.

Below, now stained—using both Golden Pecan and Aged Oak gel stains.

my 3-tiered table now stained

oxidizing the table with Behr's Pecan SandieThe piece was looking nice but, sort of FLAT. So I decided to grab some paint to ‘oxidize” it.

Not age it with a dark wax, or white or liming wax,

but with a favorite Behr-Pecan Sandie.

Like using an aging wax~you apply and wipe it away.

With paint, I apply it kind of sloppy into the grooves and crevices with a disposable chip brush and use a wet-damp rag to [loosely] wipe it away, then a dry rag to tidy it up.  ~Only wanting a subtle look of age, I was sparing with the paint.

This small alteration to the room should make a helpful change for winter.


the living room BEFORE

The Living room BEFORE with the ottoman

and AFTER with the 3-tiered table.

the living room AFTER

a change in the LR--

picture below on left While sorting through some of the boxes in the mechanical room—mom found a few snap shots from her parent’s wedding day in 1925!

picture below on right A whole area dedicated to family photos–really old ones, funny ones that are hard to put away and current!  It’s a fun way to display pictures in a HUGE family and they get looked over SO MUCH!

pictures just found of my grandparents wedding day in 1925

Family photos!

Best day EVER!

O M G ! ! !

If I’m dreaming…

don’t wake me!

national chocolate day!


keep. calm.  omg!



Keep. Calm.

-I’m trying, I’m trying-

Best. Day. EVER.

Happy Chocolate Day!

; D





working on the mechanical room--Every muscle in me aches–and I’m sure I must look like a very old woman moving around -BUT-

the floor is finished,

there’s one wall still in need of a little repair, otherwise, all has been freshly painted, and–

during all the work we discovered a few compromised areas around the windows and sill plate/foundation walls and made those repairs too…yep,

it’s a domino effect, right?

We added the 3rd wall of adjustable shelving -you can see above- so we’ll make better ORDER of all the chaos!


the mechanical room makeover--I also discovered a cheap deal on 12×12 press and stick tiles– the white were 49¢ and the blue-gray 29¢ each.

*Wish they had more of the blue-gray for the checkerboard effect…sigh

But since they really DON’T stick

-and I STILL had glue left from laying the Mannington floors in other parts of the house-

I decided to glue the tiles down so they would truly stick.  It’s all that crawling around and up&down to make cuts that’s got me aching so badly.  Seriously, oh my aching muscles & knees!

the mechanical room makeover---
*Commercial grade glue~ this was the smallest quantity I could buy, $150 for that bucket you see below.  It has laid more flooring than I can tell and there’s still 1/3 left.
So, I’m telling you this because– if I’d hired this job out, they would’ve charged me (probably $150) for “materials used,” like this glue.   How many times/jobs do you suppose they would’ve  -REcharged-  that same glue bucket before it was finally used up??  A little food for thought, huh?

DIY rocks!

laying a floor in the mechanical room--
-These were close out tiles so I bought all they had left of the “prettiest” pick. Choosing white gave me great pause but, next to the other selections

I discovered a few benefits in these cheapies–

Because they were “low end” and kind of thin I could cut them with a scissors and the cutting board!

The combination of white walls, white shelving, and the white tiles has seriously brightened up this dark, dungeon-y room!

This project took 158 tiles and only cost $69 + tax!  But no longer living directly on concrete—priceless!

We still have a little work to finish up as well as the dreaded

sorting~cleaning out~putting away,

but it’s truly BETTER, a 180° project!


You can forget about that call to “Burried Alive” now!

the mechanical room makeover--

I’ve had the flu, something secondary, tried to jump into some projects a bit too soon apparently, relapsing back into the flu and the stupid secondary thing. . .

I’m just NOW feeling better.  Maaaaan.

Beyond THAT nonsense, I’m working on crappy projects that ~truth be told~   I’d almost rather still be sick than do.  Fall clean up, and cleaning up/out the storage unit and garage to put things away for winter.  Isn’t THAT so exciting?

REworking the mechanical roomWait–there’s more. . .

We need to have a gas line rerun from the house to the garage and the condition of the mechanical room was NOT going make that happen. So we’re in the process of tearing up and rebuilding yet another space to work -APPROPRIATELY-.

Even MORE exciting, HuH?

I forgot to take a picture before beginning–don’t think I would’ve shown it to you anyway–just too embarrassing.

The “Before” might have looked like a “Burried Alive” show—THIS picture is at end of day today.  It’s about a 90° change with another 90° change scheduled for tomorrow.

THEN, we start putting up the Green House.

No rest for the weary,



ps~ a LONG-ago picture of an Arizona Fall I actually really got to enjoy!

The Grand Canyon in Fall!  However, once the Park Ranger got over the shock of how I coaxed that buck to the car with Keebler crackers, he seriously reprimanded me for the dangers of doing that!    OH–yeah–uh…

…seemed like a fun idea at the moment–and HIS hips totally handled those yummy, buttery, calorie-fest crackers better that mine!  ; D

A LONG-ago Fall in The Grand Canyon!

a recently given "gift"Old friends of my mother were moving— “Would [ I ] like this old dresser?”

Yes -and- Thank You.

It’s very solid, simply styled, and sadly, not without issues needing attention–but nothing I can’t handle.

The drawer tracks and guides are the biggest issue, and one of the wooden wheels is broken~ c’est la vie.

a "plain Jane" gets a makeover!Sure, I could just  do some repair and a paint job,

but where would the fun be in   just that?


So I pried out the rails for the 2 larger drawers and ripped them down at the table saw, and then re-installed them at a shallower depth.

In the original style, the face frame and drawers were all flush—but I thought it would be fun to create Full Overlay Drawers and something more architectural !!!

I grabbed a 2×4 sheet of birch veneered plywood and the jig saw…

a facelift for a "plain Jane"

…and applied a new face to each of the drawer fronts!

a facelift for a "plain Jane"

But wait, there’s more. . . !


I’ve learned through the years to keep an open mind for sake of

surprises & happy accidents!


the sketch and idea of what I wanted--I traveled home to Phoenix. I emptied my storage unit and drove a big truck with the balance of my stUff back to my mother’s—until I figure out my next move.

But now I have stUff all over the place & it needs to be put away somehow-somewhere. And since we all know that necessity is the mother of all invention. . . . I sat quietly thinking about and sketching out a solution.

the best laid plans---I had a plan~but then I stumbled onto this 90¢ thrift store cabinet and those plans took a slightly-left turn.


just roll with it--






So I made some design changes and got to work!

RE-inventing the 90-cent thrift store cabinet

And I really love it!

the road to re-INVENTION!

the road to re-INVENTION!

Looking back, the pictures in the original stain don’t look too bad—hUh.  Anyway, until I’m back in my own home again the finishes work well in mom’s LL and I have access to my beloved dishes!

But as MUCH as it holds—all my dishes are nOt put away, so I need to think about MORE storage solutions.  Dear Lord–

The right door was originally broken (I’m sure the reason it was so cheap).  I re-glued and clamped it but it’s going to need more attention–AND the old DEmountable hinge seems to be sprung, thankfully I can still order a replacement!  I haven’t seen these in forever and didn’t know they were still made, so, whew!  GooD hinges are a BiG deal~I know this from my years designing expensive kitchens!

*The benefit to this DEmountable hinge is that you can adjust or remove a door from just ONE SCREW per hinge!  However, Euro and Mepla hinges are actually nicer (nothing visible from the outside) and give more range of adjustment and removal.  If you have a newer kitchen w/better cabinets you’ve probably got one of these styles!  Enough with the geeky cabinet info!

Just some of my china obsession!Yes–another of my obsessions!  I love to create a beautiful place setting and am so excited to see my pretty dishes again!  I’ll have to share some of it soon—Lenox, Waterford, Mikasa, Noritake, Spode, Charter Club, Calvin Klein, and a big stack of actual Italian chargers!!!  Virtually everything I’ve collected easily mixes and matches so I really get to play with it all!

~I need to figure out where all my stone ware is going to go next—yikies!

~Early this morning I headed downstairs to look at my project again and this was the morning light coming into the lower-level (basement).

~The last pictures are something I just found on pintrest and a collage showing the concept to completion of my project!


filling my dish hutch--

Uh-Oh!  More that needs to be put away--

my dish hutch in the morning light--

 a dish hutch I just found on pintrest!I’m sharing this project with just a few of my favorite linky parties!


Furniture Feature FridaysSavvy Southern Style






my Dish Hutch--beginning to end!

working on the doors--My ears won’t pop,

my head is about to explode from all the coughing,

my nose doesn’t stop running, this at the end of the flu? So unfair–but,

it is sO gOOd to BE OUTside and working on a project again!!!


After sanding both doors, I got started waxing them with liming wax for a sort of “white washed” look!

I also made some decisions about the “interior.”  I would have loved to play with some gray or blue and old white combo, but giving consideration to where this will go and what it will be around, AND the china it will hold, I stayed with the tones of “wood, liming wax, chocolate.”  So, essentially—browns.  ; D

Instead of JUST PAINTING the interior walls and shelves, I splashed on some initial paint but spread it out and around with a Venetian plaster spatula.

Here’s why1. Using a V-p spatula pushes the paint into the wood’s grain and crevices, it reduces how much paint/pigment is left on the surface making a semi translucent finish (with more color than stain).  2. The V-p spatula leaves a silky-smooth finish without any sanding!  3. Such a thin amount of paint dries almost immediately–YaY.  *I did decide to lightly sand for some distressing.

applying paint w/a Venetian plaster spatula

covering the plywood edges--The interior walls and shelves were done so fast–I got to move right on to adding the edge banding—it was nEVer going to look properly finished looking at plywood edges!

I bought ¾” pre-glued Red Oak veneer edge banding, $2.69 for 8ft.  I had about 6″ left at the end (whew).

You iron it on (melting the glue) but I had all those curves so I also used a heat gun ~and a towel to hold it in place until it set ’cause it’s hOt!  Then I sanded the surface and edges for a nice finish, and it looks FABulous!

I reapplied the original backboard but then overlaid it with tongue & groove planks on the horizontal.

Today–I have just a few details to be finished and I’ll get to bring it in the house and

load it up!

adding horizontal planks--Yeah, sorry I’m being a little slick with the black & whites, but I’d rather show you the finishes when it’s



almost finished--


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