Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Farm Table and a Couple of Procrastinators

Good morning.

If you read this blog, you may remember that a while ago a LONG while ago, I went to one of my favorite antique stores, showed you some photos of my day out, and asked you to guess what item in the photos was something I actually came home with. You can see that post here.

Well, last March my DH decided that he was bored with the winter and tired of being stuck inside. If you are a mom, do you remember when your kids were little and kept telling you how bored they were? After a while it started getting aggravating and so you FOUND them something to do, like clean up their rooms or write a book report (can you tell that I was a young mom back in the day when there were no iPhones, iPads, or computers to play games on?). Well, Hubby kept on with it so finally I said: "Well, why don't you just build us a farm table!". Bad mistake. That afternoon he went out looking at wood and other materials, came home, told me to go over the dimensions with him, and bought the materials the next day. This was a month before we had planned on beginning work up at The Nest. Needless to say, the table got built, I Annie-Sloaned the skirting and legs, along with the six antique chairs that I bought, four in one place (one of which is seen in last photo on the linked blog post above), and two in another. All that needed to be done was to stain the table top and wax the chairs. And there they all sat. In the garage. (Along with two old dressers that I bought almost two years ago and still haven't refinished.) Who uses garages for cars anyway? Ha. We spent so much of the spring and summer working on the other place, that the table simply took a back seat.

So, last week we decided that we want to get moving on our farmhouse look, and that it was time to finish our my project, and there I went. In two days I stained and polyurethaned the top and waxed all the chairs. Yesterday we lugged out the old table and chairs (Craigslist here they come) and put them, where else, but in the garage, and dragged in the new set. We are really pleased with how it came out. We did it on a budget, which was the best part!

Most of our furniture is dark,
and we are trying to lighten it up a little.
Since our dining room is part of the open concept,
and not a formal dining room,
our current table just doesn't work.
I bought it before I met Bob when I did have a
formal dining room.

...and hello dear sweet farm table...

We will be painting this whole area after the
 holidays, and have something in mind to 
replace the plates on the wall...

Here is a better shot of the top of the table.
The stuff on the table was a bargain.
The Thanksgiving greenery was 80% off at 
Hobby Lobby the other day,
and the candle holders were from our 
outdoor wedding six years ago.
Such a bargain!...

We are currently doing some work in our great room...more on that in a future post. Hopefully, though, not too far in the future. We do tend to procrastinate sometimes!

Are you doing any DIY lately?

Monday, November 23, 2015

Winter Whites and Winter Days

Hello friends! 

Today we woke up to a 31-degree morning, which is pretty cold for November in NC. My heart goes out to our friends in the mid-west who have it so much worse with their early snowfall. I hope that you are all doing well!

Recently I purchased some lace fabrics and trim on Etsy, and most of them were in winter whites, so I couldn't resist pairing them with some of my vintage winter photos on burlap linen.

Do you remember when you were little and
your mom bundled you up so tightly that
you could barely walk?

But if you did as you were told,
she rewarded you with a ride on your 
Of course, she was all bundled up too!

When you grew up,
you got to skate with your friend.
You were still bundled up against
the cold.
Well, maybe not as much as 
when you were little!

Wherever you are,
enjoy the season! 
Thanks for coming by.

This week I will join Wen's Simply Neutrals Tuesday.
You can find Wen's blog here.
Thanks again Wendy.
I really appreciate all of your hard work!

Friday, November 20, 2015

A Ladder, a Bench and an Old Window

Good morning to all!

Yesterday Mr. Perch, my darling hubby, and I took off for a little antique hunting. Not actually antiques, mind you, but just fun old stuff. This is not DH's favorite thing to do, but he was looking for something specific so was willing to go. Unfortunately, he didn't find it (when we do, it will be fodder for a future post), but we I had fun looking anyway! One of our favorite places to go is The Vintage Village in Raleigh, NC, which is a short drive from where we live. The Village is composed of several different small shops, along with SuzAnna's Antiques, which is the largest store and is home to various vendors. I've written about shopping here before. It's always fun to look, and you can generally expect to find something that you weren't even looking for!

Following are some photos that I took in SuzAnna's. The other shops are smaller, so I don't generally shoot pictures in them as I don't want to be too conspicuous!


That's my Mr. Perch browsing around in
the back!...

This vendor sold some nice purses and totes...

All kinds of goodness here. 
Look up, down, and all around.
Lots of stuff hangs from the ceilings
and upper walls...

A pretty display of china...

...and a sweet Christmas display 
in blue and green...


...and hand-painted signs galore.
DH liked the one with the little red wagon.
I told him we couldn't buy it. 
He wanted to know why.
I told him not to ask any questions.
"Did you buy one from Pinterest?",
he asked.
"One doesn't buy stuff from Pinterest",
I replied, and told him to drop it.
He did.
Can you guess why I didn't want to buy the sign
with the little red wagon?...

This was a really unusual, a LARGE winding spool
of fat twine. 
Not something I was looking for, 
but very cool to look at...

In this display my heart sang over the
galvanized wash tubs,
and they were marked with very reasonable
but alas, they were not to be mine today...

And thought we don't need yet another dresser,
I loved this one. 
And in spite of the fact that I am not so much
a red lover,
I thought this display of red was very pretty...

More signage...

...and a mannequin that I swooned over.
Someone stopped to ask me a question,
and I totally forgot to check the price on it.
It must be my age. 
I was probably born before this mannequin
was manufactured ;~)...

I liked the way that a boxwood
wreath formed the letter "O"
in this display...

And this shop also carries Miss Mustard Seed
paint products.
Not only that, but Marion,
A/K/A Miss Mustard Seed,
is visiting this shop on November 28th.
Imagine that.
Her husband's family lives here,
though he and Marion live in PA...

So I am the winner.
I found three items, all of which I was looking
A ladder. A bench. And an old window...

What am I going to use them for?
You will have to keep reading my little old blog
to find out!

Did you bring home any junk for your garage today?

Many thanks for coming by!

Quick Tips from The Wren's Nest

I'm Good morning!

This is a good news day for you. There will be no more posts about The Wren's Nest until at least next April. I can hear you clapping already!

Just a couple of last notes, well, actually tips. As you well know by now, my husband and I are DIY folk, but by no means professionals at anything we do. A lot of what we get accomplished comes by way of learning by our mistakes, or, more often than not, by just fixing our mistakes.

Here is one of them, with a workaround that turned out kind of pretty.

When we were cutting the paneling for the 
bathroom (see earlier post),
we obviously didn't measure correctly
to account for the electrical outlet.
Not once, but twice!
At this point, we were running out of paneling.
So, I thought about what I could create
to cover this boo-boo...

This is a larger outlet box than normal.
The only switch plate that we could find
to fit it and cover the mess was this type,
but we didn't need the part of it
that was cut out for the switch...

I brought the switch plate to Walmart,
where I found this lovely and inexpensive
frame, making sure that the switch plate 
would fit inside of it...

I then covered the switch plate
 with pretty scrapbook paper
following and adapting a tutorial that I found
through Pinterest (what else?!),
coated it with Mod Podge,
and added a vintage rhinestone button
to hide the switch cutout...

This is what the switch plate then looked like
on the back.
I glued the button on, and also
 fed a small piece of wire through the
back of the button, taping the ends to
the back for added stability.
At this point the switch plate was not glued to the
frame or burlap mat that came with the frame.
When we actually got ready to hang this all up
we decided that there was no reason to use the
mat, and it would have gotten in the way
of everything...

This is how it looked from the front...

We screwed the switch plate to the wall, 
using the one screw on the right 
that was needed for the actual outlet.
The two screws by the button were 
just glued in for effect.
The frame was then attached to the wall 
separately with wood glue,
upside down so as not to interfere with 
the molding...

(Before hanging it up, Hubby did replace
the outlet with a new white one.
We have this thing about ugly old 
outlets and switch plates.)
Too bad for this bad photo!

Who said that switch plates can't be


And here is one quick tip. Have you ever tried to spray-paint kitchen cabinet knobs and gotten frustrated with the fact that they keep rolling around? You might find this helpful.

Original knob...

Punch holes in the bottom 
of an egg crate,
insert the knobs, and
spray away darlings!...

Ready to be hung,
and so much cheaper than buying new

Norm Abram and Martha Stewart have nothing on us!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Wren's Nest: Our Last Visit of the Year

Hello to all!

On our last day of being at The Wren's Nest for this year, I did manage to snap a few photos while we were packing to leave. These will give you a better idea of the colors that we used than what you saw on my post about the completed bathroom, since those photos were taken on a very cloudy day. All of the walls throughout, except for the master bathroom, hallway, and kitchen, were painted in Simply White, a Benjamin Moore color which we had mixed in Glidden to save money. About half the price and covers quite well, so you can't go wrong. (No, I don't advertise, sponsor, get sponsored, or any of the same.) We used the BM version of this color when we remodeled our master bathroom at home, and it is simply (pun intended!) my favorite go-to color. Clean and pure, not too stark, not too creamy, and looks good with just about any grey, taupe, or greige color. (As a matter of fact, we will be using it throughout Plum Tree whenever we get around to painting it!)  For the walls we used an eggshell finish, and for the trim-work and cabinets we used semi gloss. For the hallway and kitchen, the walls were done in Glidden's Smooth Stone, eggshell finish, and the walls in the bathroom above the chair rail were done in Smooth Stone, semi-gloss, with the bottom portion being done in Simply White, semi-gloss. Smooth Stone is a very pretty light grey, not too Taupe-ish, but not too cold either.

We hung these little pretties in the 
guest room. 
Purchased at Target, they are
flowers made of newspaper print.
To the left is the large bay window that
faces the front of the unit.
Though we did hang white shades
on all of the windows,
the one thing that I did NOT do is paint
any of the window trim since we will be
replacing all of the windows and
constructing new trim next year.
Until then I won't hang any curtains either.
To the left you can see the ugly window trim
as it looks now...

We also hung this piece in the guest room.
I fell in love with it when I saw it in,
of all places, a Cracker Barrel!...

Another view of the guest room.
And yes, the vanity still sits in the middle
of it!
We got this pretty vanity for the guest bathroom
as a close-out in Lowes,
but we ran out of time and couldn't
do a thing in this room.
By the way, did you know that what when 
one Lowes considers something as old
stock and marks it down,
another Lowes up the road might
consider the same item as new stock,
and charge 30% or so more for it?...

A new fan in the master bedroom.
The one that came with the unit had no light on it 
and we hated walking into a dark room.
So we bought a light kit for it, but it wouldn't work on the fan.
We gave up and just bought a whole new fan.
A clear case of throwing good money after bad.
Probably why there wasn't a light on it in the first place.
Perhaps I can create some marvelous piece of
mixed media art with it! 
Did you know that you can buy a whole new fan with a light
for not much more money than you would pay for just a light kit?

The hutch that you may remember being
in the bathroom at Birdsong is now
in the master bedroom.
In this photo you can also see the
laminate flooring, and 4-inch baseboards
that we installed throughout...

The same master bedroom furniture
that we used at Birdsong...

In the kitchen we loved the original hutches.
Here you can see the Smooth Stone color
on the walls.
The hutches, and all cabinets in the unit,
were painted Simply White.
We retained all hinges and knobs.
They were originally a tarnished
brass color, but I sprayed them with
an oil-rubbed bronze color,
which is also called Metallic 
depending on where you buy your
spray paint...

Since I knew I wanted to store pretty 
whites, blacks and greys inside the built-ins,
the insides were painted in a darker grey
for contrast. 
I used Glidden's Wood Smoke for this,
and I also used it for the door in the 
hallway that opens to the garage.
Not that Mr. Perch ever leaves fingerprints
or anything...

OK. So the hutches you see above look kind
of crisp and clean, don't they?
Well, below is what I was up against 
when I started out.
My favorite thing in the world was the contact
paper that lined most of the shelves.
I've said it before and I'll say it again.
Using contact paper on shelves should be 
a capital offense.
Removing it is a pain, but did you know
that if you apply a heat gun to it in small sections
at a time, it will come up fairly easily?
So imagine my great joy 
when it started to come up...

...and underneath it I discovered an ancient 
burial ground!
Ants, long dead, stuck in the glue backing.
After I painted the cabinets inside and out, 
I lined every cabinet
and the bathroom vanity with a nice padded 
white shelf liner that doesn't stick!

Now, isn't this much better?...

Well, I have to hand it to them.
At least the old contact paper matched 
the counter-tops!...

We felt like we got a lot accomplished this year, in spite of the infected wound issues on Bob's foot. Next year we want to replace the windows. The ones that are in there now are the old fashioned aluminum crank awning type that require you to manually change out the screens and storm windows, both of which sit on the inside and are attached with these funky little clips, most of which we had to replace. Not to mention that out of 16 windows, only four still had the screens. The condensation builds up between the outer windows and the storm windows, and then it drips down on what should be a window sill, thereby rotting it out. We will also replace the sills. The windows will be nice double hung vinyl ones, which will look and act so much nicer!.

After the costly and time-consuming job of replacing the windows, the next to be done is to replace the counter top in the kitchen, add a new sink and faucet, rework the plumbing under the sink, and add a back-splash. I will also paint the ceilings at some point, since all I had time for was the one in the bathroom. Until then we will live with a bumble bee decor and shiny ceilings!

Thanks for coming by. The good news for you is that you won't hear much more about this place until next spring!!