Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Flea Market Find

Mr. Study and I enjoy going to the flea market on Saturday mornings.  It's really become something we enjoy and do consistently together.  Some days there is nothing to buy and other times you could find lots of treasures. We've bought linens, enamel ware, a flare box, a china serving platter, a vintage Oklahoma State University pennant, and a beautiful wood bowl just to name a few of our favorites  Recently I spotted this oak end table that was priced at $25.  I haggled the lady down to $18 because it was pretty wobbly and would need some work.  

The table was in decent shape.  Minus a few stains, wobbly legs, and split top.  I started this restoration project by removing the screws from the wood top.  This immediately made the top split in two pieces. 

Once the top was removed, I began loosening the "x" from the legs that was holding the top on.  I didn't want to remove it completely.  Only enough to get some glue down inside. About 3/4".

The next step was clamping the base.  The joints around the base were quite loose as well.  One trick for getting wood glue in tight spaces is a syringe. You can pick one up from your local drug store. I keep it rubber banded around the glue bottle, otherwise it would become lost or stuffed in the junk drawer.

When I repair furniture or other projects that need to be clamped, I always leave them overnight.  Sure, it takes patience but it's worth the firm foundation you are left with. While I was waiting on these joints to dry I worked on the top.

This is one of the pieces from the split.  Since it has a nice groove in the wood, I simply used my Dremel and sanded the glue so the pieces would fit together like new.  The Dremel once again saved me so much time.  I had this sanded out in less than 5 minutes. You can see the top part is sanded, while the other side of the groove still has glue on it.

After sanding, I applied a light coat of wood glue on each piece of the table top.  Then clamped them together.  Overnight, of course!

It was important that I fill the holes left from the screws.  The screws had stripped the wood when I removed the top and I knew it wasn't going to be a nice tight fit without some help. I'm not sure where I learned this, but I've used it on other projects like replacing the strike plates in our home. Stick a few toothpicks in some wood glue and stuff them in the old hole.  You want a tight fit.

This is now a weapon!  Really though, wait overnight.  I know, I know...patience is a virtue. After these are completely dry, chisel them off to the base.  If you let this dry the right amount of time they will come off cleanly.  Otherwise if you rush this and the glue is wet, the toothpicks will bend or just pop out of the holes.

 Now the fun part.  Putting it back together.  I glued the top on the base and then put the screws into the newly filled holes.  By doing this, it gave the screws something to grip on to.

Now the REALLY fun part.  The reveal!  

Ohh la la, bask in all it's mission oak richness.  Go ahead, click on that picture and enjoy the deliciousness in full size!

This is one heavy and solid table.  It was a great $18 purchase.  I like to think that it has some great story behind it.  I'm assuming it was handmade as there were no markings on it and it had a simple and classic make to it.

Our daffodils are in full bloom now and I couldn't resist these cheery guys. Not to mention how wonderful they smell.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Favorite Things

Danielle over at Butler, Party of 2 is hosting a new link-up for favorite things.  I got to thinking about my favorite things and found my list broad and unique.  So, I'll just share a few things that I use often that I consider my favorites.


My hands down, favorite beauty tool is the Japonesque Go Curl Pocket Curler.  I have never met another eyelash curler that gives this much precision and long term curl.  I've recently tried several others and I ended up returning them.  Don't even try an off brand of this style of curler.  It doesn't stand a chance to this.

Now, this may seem like Mr. Study's favorite thing, but it also happens to be mine too. It's a Traeger Grill.  This is no ordinary grill.  It smokes and grills with natural wood pellets. No icky propane or chemical infused charcoal. You actually taste the food.  It's a great way to cook healthy too.



Another favorite beauty item is Anastasia Brow Fix.  It's a brow wax pencil.  I use this with a blonde brow powder to fill in my light eyebrows.  Using powder alone would never stay all day for me, so using the wax first gives me all day wear that looks natural.

Mr. Study and I love a good cup of coffee.  One of our favorites is Alterra Coffee Roasters from Wisconsin. My sister brings pounds, yes POUNDS of this home when she visits.  I just received a package from her yesterday with a pound of Alterra in it.  What a fantastic surprise!  We call this our weekend coffee.  We drink more costly and fancy coffee on the weekends when we can sit down and enjoy it.  During the week we drink grocery store coffee.  Silly, but as much coffee as we drink we could keep a Colombian village fully employed.


 Another favorite of mine is Ace Cabinet, Door & Trim paint.  I'm in the middle of painting all of our trim, doors, and most of cabinets in our home.  This is a semi gloss enamel that smooths on it's own after painting to leave an almost coated look.  It's beautiful and durable.  I know it's an odd favorite, but I've been using it alot lately. I've even painted some furniture with it.  Check out our entertainment center that was painted using Ace Cabinet, Door and Trim paint.

Join Danielle's link-up so we can see your favorites.

Butler, Favorite Things

Monday, February 20, 2012

Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire

Ever have a stack of wood in your fireplace that will not start?  Or maybe it's just me. My husband always builds the fires, but when I try to do it, it doesn't go as well.  I'm no boyscout! So, I found a tried and true method for a fire starter that will use up old candles and dryer lint. 

Here's what you will need. 

- Leftover candles or any other kind of wax.  
-  Dryer lint.  Just save it in a bag as you go.
-  Muffin pan.  I bought one at the dollar store or use aluminum.

Melt the wax in a hot water bath or in the microwave.  Just remember if your candles have metal in the base of the wick (most do), don't microwave them.  Unless you want to celebrate the fourth of July in your microwave! That's why I use a hot water bath. I also had some paraffin that I added to this batch.

While you are waiting on the wax to melt, divide the lint into each of the muffin tins.

Once the wax is melted pour the wax over the lint.  They don't need to be soaked, but their needs to be enough wax to hold the lint together.

 At this point I put the tray in the freezer.  This will allow your fire starters to pop right out of the muffin tin.  I keep mine in an enamel bowl by the fireplace. When your ready build a fire, throw one or two of these in with the wood.  Light the fire starters and walah!

You'll find that they fire starters burn longer, which allows your wood to get started.  No more newspapers and blowing to get the fire going.  Now, sit back and relax!  Get a cup of coffee and enjoy your fire.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

That's a Framer

You've seen this done a million times thanks to pinterest.  However, I can honestly say that this project was finished long before pinterest. I found this antique plaster frame at a garage sale for .50.  I couldn't find two quarters fast enough to give to the 60-something year old lady wearing a white t-shirt and NO bra.  Think sand in socks. Oh heavens! 

I nearly forgot a before picture.  So, here it is when started.

It wasn't a bad looking frame, but it hadn't reached it's potential.  It came without a back so I knew it needed to be reincarnated as a chalk board. You know the drill. Cut some hardwood plywood (or whatever you want to use) to fit inside your frame.  I didn't prime the wood.  Just put several coats of chalk board paint on it.  

For the treatment of the frame I simply used an antique white spray paint, distressed it a bit and gave it a quick glaze to bring out the beautiful details.  

I had a hard time finding where I wanted to hang it.  After several months (really!), I settled for a blank wall in the laundry room.  

I'm sure the board won't change much since it's out of the way in the laundry room.  It would be fun to write a note to Mr. Study and see how long it takes him to notice.

Monday, January 23, 2012

This Cupboard is NOT Acceptable

For the past several months my spice cabinet has been a bit of a thorn in my side.  Every time I opened it up, nothing could be found. My method was basically like this. Look at every jar and bottle and shove it to the other side of the shelf in an attempt to find what I needed.  This is what I was dealing with!

 This is absolutely NOT acceptable...EVER! Unless you enjoy living in chaos. Which I don't advise.

No wonder I found four containers of Paprika!  HUH!?  FOUR....all because I couldn't find what I was needing and kept buying it (in bulk, clearly). Can I blame it on Mr. Study?  He's the one that bar-b-ques and smokes.  Tee-hee-hee.

Knowing I didn't want to do anything that took alot of time and wanting it to be budget friendly, I went to the garage.  I had several pieces of culled lumber we had picked up from Home Depot for "just in case" projects.

I measured the length of my cabinet and cut the lumber to fit. A quick sanding and staining had this project done before noon.

The fun part was putting it all together.  I tried to put spices I use frequently closest to the front and easy to see.

You can see that I stacked two full length pieces and then another short one.  I used an additional short piece on one side only, leaving plenty of room for the items that get daily use.  Well, not daily.  I like to think daily.   Things I used less often, like honey, extra sea salt and peppercorns, molasses, etc were put on the top two shelves.

We'll see how long this looks this good.  I should take a picture in a month and compare.  I know it's no pinterest spice cabinet.  But it works for me.

Now if only all spices would come in perfectly stacking tin cans.  Then the world would be at peace.  My world at least.

You've not seen the last of this cabinet yet.  I'm serious about taking a picture in a month.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Soft Pretzels

Want to eat something delicious this January?  Make these soft pretzels!  

I found the recipe over at Annie's Eats.  These are especially delicious these served hot with brown mustard.  I might have also eaten one drizzled with butter.  Stop by and check out all her other delicious recipes.  And you may want to check out her fabulous foodie pictures.