Archive for January, 2011

Imagine a beautiful spring day,

warm sun kisses your skin,

birds are singing in the garden.

It’s quiet–except for the giggles and chatter of your little girls, who are lost in the play of a tea-party!  Can’t you just see it?!

Since Easter is late this year–April 24th,

there’s time to plan that garden tea party!

And I have found the most perfect Easter Garden tea set for your little one!

…you’ll want to get out the camera, for sure!


Tea pot

Creamer and Sugar

4 each ~ cups, saucers, spoons


Sorry ~ this is now



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I can’t help myself. I love kickin’ ’round flea markets, thrift stores, antique stores—overflow trash days!

There’s a thrift store half hour from my mom’s house that does an Everything half off–1st Monday of the Month! No kidding!  I try not to miss it.  I almost always find something pretty cool.  Often, great.  Sometimes, unusual.  But look what I found on one of those Mondays!

OMG!  It was, basically, already the size of my little cabinets, and someone had done a great job gutting it!  It has so much potential!  This is definitely coming home with me!

So here was my plan—–


I really wanted to pay homage to its original use, the good condition of the veneer, and the fabulous art deco design!  So…..

I–painstakingly–removed the whole front panel, and cut it down, preserving enough wood to build a door frame.  Hey!  It could be that Boy’s Armoire I bailed on earlier…!  (past post—A Boy Can Have an Armoire Too…..Right…?)

To be a little tongue-in-cheek, I scoured antique stores for old sheet music to wallpaper the interior!  Then, wanting a transparent door, I tried out some 3/8″ chicken wire, but it looked girlie and I was thinking “boy.”  And, I already had a name–O’Henry! So I used some old wire screen and gave it a copper finish.

Taking no chances—I had a professional refinish the veneer so it would “really sing”—sorry!

In the tradition of a true armoire, I gave it a hanging rod and shelf.  A vintage hardware drop found in a flea market, is the perfect finishing touch!





23″w  x 39″h  x 13″d








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Since the sewing machine was still out….I thought it would be fun to re-purpose an old tee shirt from one of the boys into a pillow!  Some clothes are just too cute to let go of!

This is how I did it!

I cut the off sleeves, and then the neck/shoulder area from just above the armpit to preserve all of the BUG! In past projects, I cut just below the armpit, squaring off the tee shirt.  But the “square” design wasn’t quite square (because of cutting higher), so I used a glass cake plate (so to see through it to center the design) and made a round form, instead!

I used some faded red ticking for welting, and for a little extra detail. 



Unfortunately, it puckered once I stuffed the pillow.  : /   Hey, that could work for a girl’s pill to look scalloped, like flower petals….!

Anyway, the welting gave me a place to hide the stitches needed to close the pillow after I stuffed it!

Old tee shirt—new pillow!

I feel bad when I hear people say they are afraid of, or don’t know how to sew.  It really is so easy.  And there are so many things you can do creatively with simple straight stitches–nothing fancy.  Give it a try!


PS—-here are those finished aprons for my nieces!  My goofy nephew is modeling for the 3rd missing niece!  He’s sooo accommodating!

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After I finished building Ensiola and Catrina,       I thought—What about the boys?

I was on a roll and pulled some stuff to build another set of doors that would look more “boyish.”  This is what I came up with.  They were cute–but, I just wasn’t feelin’ it. I still moved forward building the carcass, but when I propped the doors in it–I still wasn’t feelin’ it.

Plan B—





So—the boy’s Armoire became a boy’s hutch, and, at last, it looked right!

When I cut the doors down, it put more emphasis on the raised panels, so I thought the whole piece would have a better balance to replace the flat side panels of the cabinet with raised panels also.  Back to the saw…..

Initially, I wanted a totally stained piece–but it looked a bit contrived.  So I “painted it” to look “well worn” and dirtied it up with the same stain.

I found the fabulous miniature arrow hinges in a ReStore, and the handles were pilfered from a curbie.  What’s a “curbie?”  My affectionate term for things found on the curb–luv trash days!  Tapered bun beet I coerced John into cutting (fingers would have to be too close to the saw blade for my comfort) and more ReStore crown molding to finish—and I LOVE IT!  Even if it’s not an armoire.     I’ll try again–keep watching!










23″w  x 46″H  x 14″d


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I had this idea in my head for a while now

for a little girl’s armoire.

Actually, TWO ideas, but one was definitely going to test my math and wood working skills, so I started with the “easier” design, figuring it would help me sort out just how to build the second.  Which was truly challenging and is one of my absolute favorites—

and I named it for ME!

But 1st— Ensiola!

*named for my bf!

The top picture shows a few of the pieces used.  Those porch spindles?  WellI cut them into individual “balls” making bun feet!

I imagined an old fashioned design with chicken wire doors, and used some great fretwork corner pieces found in a flea market a couple summers back.  The crown molding was found in a ReStore, and again, the bun feet were cut out of savaged porch spindles.  I’m always collecting hardware and fabulous vintage wall papers, and the paper used in both cabinets I actually found documented in a book!


22″w  x 46″h  x 13″d


*This piece sold and shipped to Arkansas!

. . . and then my difficult baby. . .


23″w  x46″h  x13″d


Now the one that became my challenge.

I wanted the lattice to be the same thickness as the door frame.  I needed to figure out how thick to rip each of the layers, and figure out the depth of the dado so both layers would stack together flush in the door frame.

And it got more complicated at the center rails, oh my goodness!  All this fuss to be sure the door looked good, AND was rigidremember a little one will be playing with it!

Btwthe base -or feet- were styled and cut from 2×4’s!

Both cabinets were made using reclaimed pine, flea market hardware, and crown molding donated to a ReStore.  AND both have the same Magnolia & Cardinal vintage wall paper     that I found documented in a book!


















I’m sharing these cabinets with these linkie parties!

Domestically SpeakingPhotobucket




The Shabby Nest


Furniture Feature Fridays






Tickled Pink at 504 Main


freckled laundry

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Staying in one of the guest bedrooms of my mother’s house, revealed a few shortcomings.  No problem–easy remedies really.  Just have to hit the thrift stores, see what’s out there to re-work.

I found a small drum table (added a vintage table skirt and glass top) and a nice reproduction fauteuil (I had reupholstered) which would provide a nice place to sit with coffee or a computer.  And–I found this sad-looking secretary I thought could be transformed.  It would be nice to have a TV in there–and some interesting books (design, landscape, cooking, native birds).

Its drop-down was broken off and missing, the top was just barely attached, I really liked the Queen Ann legs (although one was in really bad condition), and WOW–did it STINK!  I’ll take it!


Well, you can see I took the circular saw to the top portion and decapitated it! I saved the loose top piece w/decorative back for some future use–you never know what!

I was going to cut it down to the top drawer, but decided to leave enough height for a DVD player.  I cut and contoured a top for the TV to sit, and routered a simple ogee edge.  Then, I just started building up, giving the side panels a whimsical design, since I was going to shabby-chic it.          —You can see it has been fully employed already!  It’s a bit chaotic around it because more work is yet to be done.

I painted an 8ft diameter sky in the center of the ceiling, with clouds and birds.  I applied lattice from the corners of the room inward to the circular sky, that give the illusion of a gazebo!  Look for a future post showing the finished Garden guest room!



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A couple of my nieces have birthdays this month.                                            I thought it would be fun to make them their own aprons and we could spend an afternoon together baking something!  Maybe a Birthday cake, and have fun decorating it!  Can’t you just see frosting all over the place?!


A fun little project–except–I had no pattern. I was trying to use a cute apron I already had as my “model.”  I dragged out a couple of my tubs of fabrics and linens, another thing I love to collect–oh God!

I had fun playing sorting through for just the right patterns to work with, and made quite the mess….!  But here’s the first one–my prototype!  I think it looks pretty cute as is, but I’m wondering about a little monogram, some appliqued flowers, a pocket…..?  In any case, I know what changes–and corrections–to make on the next one.  I’ll pick up in the morning.    Catherine

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