Monday, January 27, 2014

Buffet Makeover

Because I lost photos when my camera was stolen, I have no work-in-progress shots of this makeover.  But luckily I had taken a "before" photo with my phone so I at least have something to show you!

I bought this buffet on Craigslist.  Although it doesn't look too bad in the before photo, it needed a lot of TLC. I loved the two-toned style, but the top and the wood weren't in great condition and there were some veneer issues. It was also missing the back piece so there was a space between the top and the back.  I say the "backsplash" piece because I have no idea what it's actually called.  I'm sure it has some fancy dancy name.

I had a furniture restorer put on a new backsplash for me since that's not something I could do (no saw, limited talent).

BTW, sorry for the unstyled photos. This baby is heavy, so rather than bring it upstairs to style it and then take it back down or to the garage, I just took it outside so I could take some pictures. 

I loved the inlaid wood which was in good condition. Because of the buffet's overall condition though, refinishing would have been a major job.  I thought the piece called more for a refinement than a restoration. So I decided to paint it, but keep the inlay the original color. I had the backsplash stained to match the inlay as closely as possible because I wanted a touch of that color at the top as well.


I sanded and filled where the veneer was missing and fixed some other issues. 


Then I painted the it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey, taping off the backsplash, inlay and applique.


I wet distressed it, gave it a couple of coats of American Paint Company clear wax, and it was done.  Another piece out of my basement stash finished!

Before ...


And after.

What do you think?  It will be going to Mr.P's as soon as there is space for it.

Have a great week!

Sharing at:
Coastal Charm: Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
The Dedicated House: Make it Pretty Monday
A Stroll Thru Life: Inspire Me Tuesday
Cedar Hill Farmhouse:  The Scoop
Elizabeth & Co: Be Inspired
Green Willow Pond: What We Accomplished Wednesdays
Domestically Speaking: Power of Paint Party
The Dedicated House: Before & After Wednesday
Redoux: Link Party
Miss Mustard Seed: Furniture Feature Friday

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Snowy Snowy Day

I have a makeover to show you, but we got hit with a snow storm yesterday.  In order to get photos to show you the "after" I need to move the piece outside from the basement, and that's a little treacherous right now with seven inches of snow and ice out there.  As a little teaser, here's the "before."

So I'm hunkering in today and working on the basement (still!).  I've taken three loads to Goodwill, and I'm not done yet!
While I'm working, I have some chicken soup in the crockpot for dinner tonight.  It seemed like a good choice for this snowy, cold day. 

Gluten-free chicken soup for body and soul
Gluten Free Goddess

Here's the recipe if you'd like to try it. It's delicious and originally from the Gluten Free Goddess.  Thanks to my friend Lynn for sharing it with me!

Chicken Soup for Body and Soul Recipe


Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
3-4 split chicken breasts (free-range organic, if possible), rinsed, patted dry
8 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 heaping cups thinly shredded cabbage (bagged cole slaw mix is fast and easy)
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, cut up
1 yellow summer squash, cut up
2 zucchini squash, cut up
6 to 8 baby Yukon Gold potatoes, cut up
1 4-oz. can chopped green chiles- mild or hot, to taste
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon each of: dried basil, oregano and parsley
Hot red pepper flakes, shake to taste
1 14-oz. can Muir Glen organic fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 or more cups organic chicken broth, as needed
A dash or two of balsamic vinegar to taste


Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil into the bottom of a Crock Pot or slow cooker. Lay the chicken breasts in the bottom; top with half the chopped garlic. Season with sea salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, bell pepper, yellow and zucchini squashes, potatoes, and green chiles; and toss them with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Season with sea salt, ground pepper, herbs and a shake or two of hot red pepper flakes. Toss to coat.

Pour the veggies into the crock in an even layer. Pour on the diced tomatoes. Add the chicken broth and a dash of balsamic vinegar, to taste. The liquid should just about cover the veggies. If you like more of a brothy soup than a stew, add more broth.

Cover and cook on high for 5 to 6 hours, until the chicken is tender and easily breaks apart into pieces with a large spoon (my chicken was very cold when it went into the pot, so adjust your cook time accordingly, if you need to).

Taste test for seasoning adjustments. I added a pinch of brown sugar to mine to balance the tomato-garlic and spice. Stir in any seasoning adjustments and serve.

Makes four hearty servings to soothe you- body and soul. This recipe is gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, corn-free.

Stay warm!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Winter Whites

As part of "Operation Basement Clean-up" I'm trying to get all of the pieces I have stored in the basement painted this month.

I wish I had "befores" of these pieces to show you, because the difference is dramatic.   But I lost my camera, and the before photos were on the memory card that was in the camera. :-(  Actually I think the camera was stolen, because the last time I remember seeing it was at Mr. P's when I was taking some photos for Facebook.  Of course it's my fault for forgetting and leaving it lying around in the first place ... 
Anyway, these are my first projects of the new year, taken with my old camera.  I hadn't done anything in white for awhile, and I wanted to do something cottagey with these pieces. 

The first piece is an old, small buffet.  I bought it from a woman who came into the shop one day, and it's been sitting in the basement for months. It was originally dark brown wood and missing a knob.

Because I was worried about bleed-through, I used KILZ primer as a first coat.  Then I followed that with two coats of ASCP Old White on the outside, and General Finishes Lamp Black Milk Paint on the inside. (The white spot is a hole in the back piece.)

I distressed and waxed the piece and added cute knobs from Hobby Lobby. I used the wax from American Paint Company, which I LOVE!

I think it would be darling in a cottage style dining room or kitchen.  It's smaller size makes it very versatile.

The second piece is a washstand I bought at an antique store when I was 19.  It was one of my first antique purchases on my own. It wasn't in the best of shape when I bought it, and that was ... ahem ... a while ago!  It was originally a medium brown finish. I haven't had it out in the house for years, so I decided to give it a new life with a coat of paint and sell it.

First I sanded the top down to bare wood because the finish was peeling and there were water marks.  The rest of the piece was okay to just take the paint.

I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White again for this piece.

I gave it a distressing and waxed it, and put back the original hardware, which was my favorite thing about the piece. 


Both pieces are for sale at Mr. P's Emporium.
On to the next project in my basement stash!

Sharing at:

Coastal Charm: Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Les Chateau des Fleurs: Monday Party
The Dedicated House: Make it Pretty Monday
Elizabeth & Co.: Be Inspired
Green Willow Pond: What We Accomplished Wednesday

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Staying Warm and Cozy

I'm finishing up a couple of pieces that I'll be sharing with you soon.  But today I'm feeling a bit under the weather -- which is 10 degrees outside right now!  Despite having the heat cranked up, our house isn't getting any warmer than 65 degrees.  It was built in the '80's and isn't very energy efficient.

So I'm thinking today is the perfect day to curl up with the dogs, some hot tea, a good book,

and a cozy throw.  Sometimes you just have to sit back and take care of yourself.

If I get some more energy later, maybe I'll make some homemade soup.

In the meantime, for those of you who are dealing with this artic blast, take care, stay warm and think cozy thoughts!

(All photos from Pinterest, but original sources not found.)