Monday, December 30, 2013

Homemade Christmas Gifts

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!
We always enjoy this special time of year with friends and family. On Christmas eve, I rounded up my little ones and we watched The Nativity Story. I love that movie and was so happy to be able to do that with them. Great way to begin all the festivities.

Today, I just thought that I would share a few of our "homemade" gifts that we did this year. We had fun coming up with ideas and putting them together. Brett had to do most of the work and he did amazing as always. Love that man!

So, here's the gift he made for his mom...

I got this idea from KariAnne at Thistlewood Farm. She has made some fabulous letters out of pallets. We decided to do a rustic letter A (for Arganbright of course) out of some salvaged barn boards we had on hand. We made it on a very large scale because his parents live in a timber-framed home and we pictured it up high on one of those beams.

For my sister Alana, I decided to make a vintage hostess set. I've made one before... they're just a really fun and festive gift that you can be creative with. Here's how it came together...

The items I included were: vintage soda crate (for a tray),  mason jars (for drinking glasses), carafe, paper straws, vintage mason jar with candy canes, notebook and some tree trunk slabs for a rustic centerpiece. (things that I added that are not pictured are a bar of hand-soap, some ribbon and a recipe for hot coco). My sister is such a great hostess, so it was fun to put this together for her. I loved the festive pop of red with this gift! It was perfect for Christmas. (if you want to see the other hostess set i put together you can do that here.)

The last gift that was homemade was a new stable/horse stalls for Little Miss. She's in that American Girl Doll phase and absolutely loves her horses that go with the doll.

Brett made it to fit in a little closet/storage space in her room. It turned out perfect! The doors open and close and the kids spend a great deal of time playing in it themselves.

It was a great Christmas.
Thanks for stopping by! 

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" Luke 2:11

Linking To:
The ScoopMod Vintage Life ~ Knick of Time ~ 
The Chicken Chick ~ The Dedicated House ~
 Savvy Southern Style ~ Give Me the Goods ~
French Country Cottage  ~ Rooted in Thyme ~
Frugal Friday  ~ The Cottage Market 
The Vintage Farmhouse

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Farmhouse Table

I was so excited when I saw this table listed for sale at Furniture Zone  in Boone, IA. You just never know what treasures you might find there.

It's a fabulous reproduction farmhouse table. I love these!
The husband agreed, so I bought her and sold my other table.

Here's the table that I bought via Craiglist and painted before this one...

She was great but my painting has improved and I was ready to move on. Especially when I found the style I love and the farmhouse table fits our dining room space so much better.

Since my husband was home for 4 glorious days over Thanksgiving, we went to work on some house projects. I decided to try a little something new for the table top. I didn't want to have to buy anything so we worked with the materials we had on hand...

I started by mixing some of my French Linen Chalk Paint with water to create a wash. I didn't measure or anything... just mixed till I thought the consistency was right. Then I applied it with a brush... (warning: the lighting is not great in the work pictures because i work at night when all the babes are sleeping)

Here's the completed French Linen "wash" on the tabletop...

Then my husband applied a coat of Sherwin Williams Pickled White Oil Stain over the French Linen wash...

When that was dry, I did some sanding...

This is where all the work photos stop. I forgot to keep that up. After I sanded to get the look I liked, Brett finished the top by applying two coats of the Minwax (water based) Helmsman Spar Urethane. For the rest of the table, I painted her using the French Linen Chalk Paint.

Here's how she turned out...

The chair dilemma remains. I love the wood tones brought into this room but I'm not crazy about these chairs. I have a few ideas of what I like but we'll have to see what I can find.

and truth be told... i will never be cured of my love for Darcy :)
This chair is by Rachel Ashwell and can be found here.
It's my "someday" dream chair... after I work really hard and sell some big projects.
Always good to dream!

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, October 14, 2013

French Linen Dresser

I came across this beautiful dresser at a yard sale a few years ago. Her paint and finish were a mess but everything else was in great shape.

This piece is from the Touraine Custom Collection by Drexel (circa 1950's to 1960's). To date, she's my favorite yard sale find and I was glad to finally work on her. I was really excited to buy another color of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint too. French Linen was the color I chose to go with.

I painted the shell of the dresser in French Linen. For the drawers, I did a mixture of French Linen and some Old White. Here (sorry, I did not measure when I mixed the two clolors together). Here's how she turned out...

I love the serpentine shape and how she looks painted with just a bit of contrast. For the hardware, I used Old White and then did some distressing. It was just the right finishing touch for this piece.

She fits perfectly in our half bath. French Linen is such a great color and I look forward to using it more throughout our house. My husband was happy to see this color make its' way into our home :) 

You can find me and keep up with my furniture projects, cottage house projects or vintage rentals here...

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Thanks for stopping by!

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Monday, August 19, 2013

a pretty little table

Thanks to a friend, I was able to buy this pretty little table.

She's not vintage or antique... just a great reproduction table. I normally steer clear of that but this piece looks old. The legs are so great, I was sold. This turned out to be one of my favorite pieces I've done in a long time. It was a no fuss project that turned out really pretty with nothing more than some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. My favorite color of course...

Here's how she turned out...

Seriously... did I mention these legs :)
I love them.

 I think she would look great as an entryway table or in a sitting room with two chairs on either side of her. She's a gem!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Story of Harper Rose...

Today I need to share a story. It's a story of a little girl named Harper Rose. She has touched my heart deeply and I believe she will impact others as well.

Let me begin by telling you how I know Harper. I met Harper's mom Tara, in elementary school. Second Grade to be exact. I don't have a picture of us from then... but I found one of us in Junior High...

 Tara is the one in the middle. Jen (left) and I (right) are holding her. It was pajama day at school and we were doing our best to avoid the next class I'm sure. Such good memories!

We've grown up a little since then...
Tara (left) Jen (middle) me (right)

 I've always thought that the Lord has blessed me with wonderful friends. Friends who love the Lord and walk courageously in faith even when it's hard. Tara is indeed one of those friends. I think you will agree with me as you hear the rest of the story.

Well, Tara found herself a cowboy, fell in love and they got married in September 2007.

His name is Justin and they compliment each other so well. He too, is a man of great faith. They said their vows that day not knowing what the future would hold. After some time and much prayer, they were overjoyed to be expecting their first child.

We rejoiced and celebrated along with her...

In September 2011, they welcomed Lyla Jane into the world.
~this beautiful photo is by Isaac Mark Photography of Kansas City, MO~

Time marches on and they head off to their new adventure in Colorado.

Lyla continues to grow...
~this beautiful photo is by Cherish Anderson Photography~

and soon they are rejoicing again.
Tara finds out she is pregnant with their second child!

They go about life as normal... Tara got very sick with her first pregnancy and this one proves to be the same. She fights her way through it. She came home to her parents ( in Des Moines) for about a month just to get some extra help with Lyla as she was still not feeling well.

While she was home she did a 19 week ultrasound (in March) because she was so excited and didn't want to wait until she got back to Colorado to find out the sex of the baby. A girl! Lyla was going to have a sister!

 Later, Tara got a phone call from her doctor in Colorado... the phone call you never want to get. I am just going to let you read what Tara and Justin shared with friends and family from their journal:

Our precious baby girl is now a little over 20 weeks in the womb. Last week we found out some very difficult news. We want to explain what the doctors have explained to us. We had an ultrasound done at 19 weeks, while I was in Des Moines. My doctor in Pagosa called me a few days later when she got the results, and told me that this ultrasound showed that Harper's heart had small ventricles, Harper's kidneys were enlarged and there was some fluid on her neck. Our Colorado doctor got us in touch with a wonderful maternal and fetal medicine doctor here in Des Moines. They did a second and more detailed ultrasound. It confirmed what the first one showed. Harper also has a deformed right hand and a cleft palate. The doctor told us that she believed all of this was characteristic of what's called Trisomy 18 or Edwards Syndrome ( is a good website to visit). The doctor did an amniocentesis which confirmed this for us last week. This means that Harper has an extra chromosome at the 18th pairing of her genetic makeup. Trisomy 18 is not compatible with life, according to medical understanding. 95% of babies with Trisomy 18 die in utero. 5% live for up to 10-15 days after birth. 1% have lived for up to a year. The neonatalogist we spoke with believes Harper will be a part of the 95%. However, he said there's no way of telling when she will be born. He said she could come at anytime or even be full-term.
The doctors do not believe that Harper is suffering. We are praying for her complete healing. We know our God is more than able. We also know that He is good in all circumstances.
We would ask that you would pray for her complete healing and for our family during this difficult time.

Can you imagine being on the receiving end of that news? What would you do?
Many people began to pray... my family included. Most every night Brett and I prayed and soon Averi and Bentley followed our example. They lifted up Harper Rose in prayer on a daily basis. Have you ever heard the prayers of a child? They are powerful! I watched from a distance as the Lord's hand came upon this family in a mighty way.

 Tara and Justin walked each day in faith and covered in His grace. What struck me the most was how they honored Harper's life. They were in complete submission to God's will and His timing. Tara began to feel better and at the regular OB visits Harper's heart rate was normal. They continued to share with others in the journal entries they made. My faith was challenged and I was being encouraged as they were sharing their life during this time of great trial.

On Tuesday May 21st (30 Weeks) they went in for an ultrasound to see how things were going and it revealed that Harper Rose had just recently passed away. She was now with Jesus. On Wednesday May 22nd at 10:30 am Harper Rose was born. She weighed 2 lbs and was 13 inches long. They got to spend some time holding Harper's body. I love how Tara described her sweet baby girl:
She had many of the characteristic traits of T18 including the cleft palate and elongated head, but she was beautiful. She looked like she would have had a gentle spirit. She had dainty little hands and feet and penetrating eyes. We had the opportunity to spend several hours with her small frame and see God's design in her.
  At the hospital, they had a beautiful set of photos taken while they got to hold Harper in their arms. You can watch the slideshow they put together for her memorial service by clicking on the link below. While the first song plays you will see maternity photos. During the second song you will see the photos of  Harper Rose and her parents at the hospital. It is powerful and moving.

 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139: 13-14 (NIV)

Though I did not get the chance to meet this little girl,  I rejoice in knowing that this is not the end of her story. In light of the cross and the empty tomb, I know that this is only the beginning. Haper's life and the heartache her family faces are not in vain... there is indeed a greater story being written.

"And the God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while will himself  restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." 1 Peter 5:10

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Old White & Paris Grey Dresser...

I love this simple dresser. My husband thought she needed a complete sanding so he took it upon himself to do that. I gladly let him. What a gem!
After that all she needed was some paint.

I went to work with these...

Here's how she turned out...

The shell of the dresser is Old White. For the drawers, I mixed the Old White and a little of the Paris Grey together. Due to the simplicity of the dresser I thought a little contrast of color was nice along with some new hardware from Hobby Lobby.

Simple and Sweet.
Just how I like things.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Nursery Dresser for Ayla

My sister Alana had her baby girl!
She is absolutely beautiful.
So, let me introduce you to my niece Ayla Elizabeth...

Her nursery is so sweet and charming that I have to share a few of the details with you. My mom fixed up and painted a dresser for the room. Wish I had taken a "before" picture because it was a train wreck. My mom did a wonderful job with this antique dresser. Great eye Mom!

Grandma Lane enjoying that baby girl...

Here's the cute Jinny Lind crib and bedding.
I love the quilt and how it hangs above the crib!

And this is just perfect for all the little nursery books don't you think?

The only thing I contributed to the room was this...

Have you seen these on Pinterest?
 I saw one of these and thought it was the perfect idea for a nursery.
All you need is a pretty frame, decorative paper and the significant dates. Finish it off with the saying that makes the piece... "what a difference a day makes".

Welcome to the world sweet baby girl.
 We are so glad you are here!