Craigslist--Victorian Theatre seats!Taking refuge on Craigslist to distract myself from a winter storm (late February), I stumbled onto these really cOOl Victorian Theatre seats$25!

The first thought that popped in my head was, These would be amAZing as outdoor seating on the deck!”

I text an offer,

they were still available,

and my offer was accepted—$15!

I chased off to get them—at this incredible house to boot!

Check out the front doors!

The house of those Victorian Theatre seats from CL!

getting started on the seats--

So—on to the seats!

I got boardsdeck boards– so it would “blend” more and not detract from the vintage patio table (another story) already there!  Deck boards would be rigid, meant for the outdoor elements, and hold up to the wider span of the bigger seat without a center support.

I cut the boards down, had to rip one, ran them through the router, dry fit them, stained them—then applied them!

The seat frames were already “PLACED” in position to figure out the boards and lengths needed.

the Victorian Theatre seats set in place--

the seat frames--

dry-fitting the boards--







sanded and getting stained to match the deck itself--




I dry-fit the boards to make any adjustments needed, then sanded and stained them before the final application.

The Victorian Theatre seats getting put to use!

And here they are in actual application—I screwed them to the deck to keep them totally stable!

Perfect extra seating when needed—and the seats flip up out of the way when not needed!  Perfect!  And this whole project only cost about $35.

◊ I think I’m going to create a wood arm-rest too!

◊ Ugh- the deck needs to be stained again too!


The Victorian Theatre seats!


The Victorian Theatre seats--folded out of the way when not needed!


The Victorian Theatre seats from Craigslist!

the CL secretaryI bought this secretary (and another) off of Craigslist the beginning of July, but with all the craziness going on—

I’m  just getting to work on it.

It’s in good condition, but for the drop-down part, and that should be a fairly simple repair!

Now to figure out a color scheme.

spraying the interior of the secretary-First, I knew I wanted a pop of color for the interior.  But it was NOT going to be easy to paint.  Spraying it would help—but I don’t have a sprayer so I used two cans of spray paint.

I taped off for over-spray using Paper Tape.  I bought a generic brand to save some money~and make a comparison from the one I usually buy.  Not bad, but not quite as sticky a hold in the humidity. All in all, I’d probably buy this generic again (save some money).  Plus- painters tape gets really expensive and this works well for many projects…TRY IT!

-using Paper Tape for this part

I liked the chartreuse green color—good for a girl or boy, & a young, fresh feeling!

Once I removed the divided insert, I kind of preferred the clean open interior. It leaves more room for today’s uses (computers and all).  So I left it out—less work to do too!

WITH or WITHOUT the divided insert--?

a base of a pale blue-gray, and a top coat of a soft white--Now the outsidehow about just a soft white…?

But with some dimension.  I painted 2 coats of a very pale blue-gray, THEN I painted a top coat of white.  I did a little distress sanding to reveal the base color and some wood—then I burnished it with a razor blade to a fine hand and a slight sheen.  The finish feels almost like a waxed piece.  Oh, and, you can create some interesting distressing!

not the usual manufacturer's stamping-

Instead of the usual painted manufacturer’s stamping it had a metal plate.  I love those little extras!

We’re having another weird-weather day & the light is  s t r a n g e!  But you can see some of the sheen on the secretary’s lid.

Again, that’s from burnishing the finished paint with a razor blade.

-you can see some of the burnished finish on the lid

◊ I still need to burnish both sides,

have already restored the drawer hardware,

just have to put back the drop-down hardware—IT HAS PROBLEMS.

Then it’s off to the antique mall,

and hopefully a new owner sOOn!


just need to repair the drop-down hardware--

Tomorrow will be 6 weeks since I sprained my ankle so badly.  I’ve had ups and downs trying to heal, and our recent tornado scare was certainly no help—but all in all, it’s “better!”  I’ve been trying to work on small, non-stressful things, and was finally about to jump back into a big furniture project when the storms hit, so once again, things got side-lined for clean up.  However

the deck step lights died and needed replacing, and since that was a pretty low key project~I jumped on it!

The Deck--the step lights need replacing....


I found white·clear rope lights seemed to work well for this project.

  • They gave a nice, even illumination of the steps AND the flagstone at night for safety—and pretty, ambient lighting too!
  • BUT—they yellow with age and don’t have a long life.
  • They are low profile (½”) and fit well under the lip of the step,
  • except- their mounting clips push them back out.
  • And until recently, they didn’t have  l o n g  lengths so you had to connect multiple strands to get the length you wanted (which could be a gOOd thing too).

The Deck--the step lights need replacing....The guy at the store told me I might prefer to try out the 

  • longer lengths,
  • lower profile (3/8″),
  • brighter light, and
  • longer LIFE – lower energy consumption

of the LED rope lights!

And how convenient—I needed 48ft!

So I bought them & installed them AT DUSK—so I could see where I was putting them, but also, how I wanted to REadjust the lighting layout this time around!

The Deck--the step lights need replacing...And- instead of using the included mounting clips (same issue of projecting out more than I wanted), I used cable staples.  I could secure the lights in more places and tighter to the deck!  I just had to hammer them in place one at a time—really easy!

Mom snapped a couple of pictures of me working on it as the sun set (it was not as dark as the picture would have you believe).

Replacing the Deck Step Lights

Replacing the Deck Step Lights

Thought you’d like to compare—with lightswithout!

Now you see why we need’m?

Replacing the Deck Step Lights

Replacing the Deck Step Lights

And you can see they aren’t too in your face by daylight.

Replacing the Deck Step Lights

Btw—those are outdoor floor lamps on each side of the porch swing!  Totally portable, except that I did screw them in place after a few wind storms knocked them over.  And, they have built-in dimmers!


the outdoor floor lamps on each side of the porch swing-

Between Mother Nature and my ankle, we/I seem to be shaking all about.

"Auntie" time--pool time!I put wind chimes up in mom’s trees when I first came back here.  The storms here scare me.  The chimes are quick to get our attention when they come.

Sunday evening my second brother and s-i-l brought the girls for some much needed “Auntie” time.  Let the  g a m e s  begin!  (Their parents FLED to the car, locking the doors, to escape soaking wet good bye hugs!)  We played in the pool, danced around, acted goofy, watched a movie, and finally– headed for bed- late.

The wind chimes woke me about 3:40. Instincts said to check the Local Weather Chanel—was just looking like a severe thunderstorm with high winds, and I stood at the deck door praying hard for the Box Elder tree to be kept safe.

Pre-3 storms worth of damages below—this poor tree has to come down now.

the Box Elder tree PRE-storms

WoW, it seemed really bad—and another check of the TV was now reporting a tornado NW of us heading our direction.  I sprinted up the stairs (on a bad ankle) to grab the girls from the alcove, the library, and mom in the Master.  My phone app started screeching out an emergency alert as we hit the LL, and the city’s emergency sirens finally sounded off closer to 4:30 (someone was asleep at the wheel for the late alert).

When all seemed clear and we headed upstairs, we could see the tree took another hit, but we’d have to wait for day break to see all.

another storm--another hit

We were only grazed,

the tornado moved more North, but even from the fringes, this town took some damages and lost power in multiple areas (not us thankfully).

The hUge branch came down right between the corner of the garage and my vintage furniture!

The only thing I could really think to do -until guys with chainsaws come- was to DE-leaf the tree.  I think it will all be more manageable now, and all the small branch-leaf debris is stacked neatly to be hauled off.

MORE Storm Damage

So- back to play-time with the girls!

◊ We cooled off in the pool,

◊ I rested and soaked my ankle—again,

◊ and I showed them how to do The Electric Slide!

Learn the steps -so you can join in next wedding you go to!

We’re recovering!

Auntie Catherine

The Electric Slide w/the girls!

weeding--what fun!My mini-me came to spend the night!  We did an assortment of goofy auntie-niece activities, including watching the old movie Clueless!

(the one-liners are fabulous!)

Day 2, after we finally got up and moving, we blew up the inflatable kiddie pool (with the air compressor) and filled it with the garden hose (and many pitchers of hot water).  We laughed that if we had to do it all manually, it might be finished—next week!

Aleigha was such a help—we weeded!  All day!  Thank God she loves me.

Well, actuallywe rotated weeding some, then wading in the pool.  After lunch we also threw in a painting project she wanted to play with.  It was a fUn day!

Break time!  Again!

Break Time--again!

All the “pool time” seemed to be exactly what my ankle needed and is SO much better today!  Who knew!

Here’s Aleigha’s projectit’s something she saw on pintrest.

Boy did I do some searching to find the origin of these photos—they’re all over pintrest with NO credit to the person who did it (sad).

1st—we/she placed tape on her jars to see about how big she wanted to make her hearts…

…but I had her peel them off to cut out the shape with a scissors, I thought it would be safer for her than using a knife.

Aleigha's project!

I suggested she place the jars upside down to paint…so paint over-spray wouldn’t go inside the jars, and I thought it would be easier than trying to both hold and turn the jars.

Aleigha's project!

She sprayed 3 coats—and we went back to our “weeding & wading” in between each!

After both jars had ample time to dry, we “primed” the chalkboard paint and THEN we took off the tape.

Aleigha's project!

from HEART.LOVE.ALWAYS.Her mom came to pick her up before we could finish and decorate, so we’ll play with that next week!

The finished jars at left are from Alexandra at LOVE.HEART.ALWAYS. and this was my niece’s inspiration!

Catherine & Aleigha

btw—this is how I finished the day!  ; D

it was a LONG day!

my sprained ankle is recovering…have had my 1st full night of sleep in almost 5 weeks since this freak accident happened! Didn’t wake up even once in pain last night—a reward for dutifully staying off my ankle-?  For the most part—you can only take sO much boredom.

That “lump” you see is NOT my ankle bone, it’s the last visible part of the injury -which is still a little swollen and -still- painful.

Since things are on the UPswing, I’m going to PACE MYSELF and start working on some backed up projectsthey’ve been waiting long enough for my attention.

These are just some of what’s been on hold—


my newest projects-

Happy 4th!

vintage flag kit from A GILDED LIFE!


Wishing you all

a Safe





4th of July!


Great flag, huh?!

Happy 4th of July!


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