Sewing machine chair refreshed

Inspired by …

“What inspires me?”  Anything that is unique and has a story. My Mom’s Antique Old Sewing machine cabinet and chair. I love old pieces with character, or in this case, a history. I grew up learning to sew on this sewing machine and spent many, many hours sewing my clothes. “Simplicity” and I had a love affair that went on for years.

I remember one Christmas getting a Simplicity pattern and fabric from my Mother. I was disappointed that my sister had the better pattern and material, but I fell in love with my new dress while working on the sewing machine and table. Honestly, I ended up with the cuter dress after I added the rickrack and other embellishments. My sister was asking to borrow mine all the time. (Just for the record … Rickrack was the “in” thing in the 70’s!)



It has been a busy month moving my daughter and family into their new home, and then a week later moving my Mother into her independent apartment. It was with haste and not much sleep that I pulled the chair apart and dove into this project.

The legs unscrewed and needed to be sanded and the tips painted. I had a great idea to wrap the legs in plastic bags from the store since I had extras, but, the bag seemed to get in my way. I wrapped the next ones with shop towels that I was able to use later to stain the legs and screwed them into a box to spray paint.

Don’t you just love how the stain brought out the grain in the wood? The seat needed  cleaning, sanding, staining, and a new covered seat cushion. The back of the chair was layered with grunge from hand oils and dirt from the many times I pulled it out and pushed it back in. For the inside under the lid, I placed cork to give it a more polished look, but I love the look of wood and cork together. Seems earthy :)

I also used cork inside on the bottom to line it and I love that my Mother still has her original #Kenmore sewing machine kit.

I wanted to redo something for my daughter that would mean something to her. Inspired by the past and the generations of women who went before her and sat in this very chair. Now with a bit of updating it will fit into her new home.

Refreshed in love! ♥

Materials used in this “Refresh“…


Rustic Mist Metallic paint and primer in one (tips of chairs)

Special Walnut stain (all wood)

Zinger primer (seat base)

Coffee Metallic Glaze  (to bring out the texture of the seat base sides)

Goodwill pillow sham for $1.99 to cover seat and ribbing.

cork on a roll (lining the seat inside)

and new hinges (old ones broke while disassembling)



Furniture Refresh

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Update on Stained walkway

I have had so many questions on this one post.

Click here →  Staining a walkway

The #1 question?

“How is it holding up?”

I think a lot of you are interested not only in the ease of application but that it looks so nice when it is finished. But the BIG question remains … How is it holding up, after more than 3 years? 

I love it!

I live in Minnesota where we have more winter than summer. Ice and snow. Shoveling and ice melt to put on the walkway for safety. In other words, “We are tough on our sidewalks here!” I have two spots where it has finally worn through because of water and ice melt from our roof. That being said … do you want to see it?! First, a close up of the two areas.

It doesn’t peel, (That was the #2 Question) It is just sort of wearing. A quick touch up will restore it to the other areas. Here is my walkway over 3 years later with the two spots marked for point of reference.

Not bad for 3 years, right?

Hugs and make it a great day,








Making an Easy Patio Garden


My daughter and Miss G wanted to have a patio garden but space on their patio is limited. Fortunately they don’t have anything on it, so it allowed me to build them a small tiered garden.


Off to one of my favorite stores to get supplies #HomeDepot. I used 1×6 boards and 4×4 posts. Since this garden was going to be on her patio and not on ground I had to put a plywood base on it. No leaking all over the patio and into their garage!


I wanted to build as much as I could at my home, and as you know, my workshop is located on my driveway in good weather. I am sure my neighbors don’t even blink when they see me out with power tools anymore. The design was easy. 4 feet wide and 6 feet front to back. Easier to do math that way!


How do we get the patio garden to their home? Mr Man’s truck! He is such a great husband and is very patient with all my ideas. I thank God daily for him ♥


Set up happened fairly quickly and then to make sure there were no leaks I added a heavy plastic to line the bottom. I stapled it in to hold it in place. It can be removed later when they move to their new home.

(Coming soon … Sept 25th!)


And what was Miss Joy doing while we were working?

Hahaha, being a kid of course!


Soil added, seeds planted, and before you could blink, vegetables where sprouting. It was an amazing place to put the garden as it got a lot of sun and was easy for her to water being right outside of her front door.


I think, one of the most fun things for kids to see is the plants as they start to grow.

Knowing that the time and energy they have put into it, is worth something!


Little visitors may even come to visit from time to time …

Do you see them?

Look closely.

There are two!


I asked the girls to send me a photo of how the garden was doing and they sent me this.

Looks like someone has a green thumb.


Since this photo was taken they have a few pumpkins and gourds ripening on the vine, tomatoes that she is giving away to me (who knew that she wouldn’t eat them!), beans, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, and fresh basil. I say all this to really say, It is amazing at how much bounty you can get out of this small space!

Hope this inspires you to make one of your own!



When a parent moves in


I had heard about children moving back home after college. In fact, one of mine did, until her wedding day. It was great and I loved every minute of it. Have you heard about parents moving in with their children? I had, but when it is not something that you think will be part of your future, you tend to not give it too much attention. For Mr Man and I, it was to be until my mother’s independent apartment became available. 8 months with no movement on the list gives one pause.

To her credit, it has to be hard to move into a home that is not your own. I hear daily, “What can I do?” What I hear is, “You need help because you are failing at keeping things up around here.” I try to hear her intent instead of my interpretation, but I fail sometimes, and it causes hard feelings. I also work 4 days a week and it takes Forever a REALLY long time to get to work. Road construction season is here in Minnesota and they have decided to work on EVERY route I can take to get to work! So I know that she waits to have me home so that she can share her day with me, but she doesn’t get a lot of time. It has to be hard for her but all I feel is the pressure.

I think it stems from our relationship in years gone by. I was 17 when I graduated high school and left for college. I never looked back. Like most kids that age, I felt misunderstood and unloved. My family is not a warm fuzzy feel good family and I am almost a Pollyanna. Great combo. Distance helped me work through my feelings along with some counseling and we forged a great long distance relationship with visits in between that always went well. When my father had a stroke in 2012 and then 5 weeks later passed away, my mother and I talked about her coming here to live so that I could help when needed.


I would do anything for my family. I also believe in the Bible and it says that we are to “Honor our parents”. 

Eph 6: 1-3

1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise), 3SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH.…

When we are children we are called to obey. When we are adults we are called to HONOR. Interesting to me that it doesn’t say to LOVE them. Maybe love happens when you honor?

Honor … being respectful of them. Hard to do when I am being pulled in “one” more direction. Hard to do when something is said in a manner that is not polite. Hard to do when I have my own hobbies and things to do and I have to do something for her instead. My selfishness gets in the way.


I am trying. It is a battle I fight everyday. Sometimes I win, and sometimes I lose, only to come back and fight better the next day. My projects are still happening but blogging about them is difficult in the busyness of my life. I am trying to change things up but still don’t have a good handle on how to make that happen. Thank you for your interest and for being patient as I try to get my life into some sort of routine. This is not a forever situation and I remind myself of that. There will still be plenty of time after my mother is able to move into her own place. Until then … thank you for sharing in my journey.

Any helpful tips or thoughts are welcome!




Easter Boo Boo Bunnies with FREE Printable!

I have 6 adorable littles (aka Grandbabies) who I wanted to love on this Easter.

I went looking on my Easter Pinterest board for inspiration and found something that I had pinned earlier that seemed quick and easy.  Two of my favorite things!

This was the original pin

I was hoping for a pattern, but she made them free hand, so I went about reinventing the wheel …

I coercedbribed, asked, if my Mom wanted in on the fun. She agreed, and while I made the pattern and traced around them, she cut them out for me.

I have the bestest Mom ever! Thanks Mom!

I had a few false starts.

I wanted my ears to be fatter, and we won’t even mention the times that I sewed the ears on wrong!


They are filled with rice so they are able to go in the freezer or heat up in the microwave for my  littles. They will be tucked in boxes and baskets and leaving Minnesota tomorrow for other states.

One other thing that I did differently … I stenciled my littles first initial on the bunny belly so that there are no mixups or arguments about who’s bunny is who’s.

I was a mom once! 😉

In one family, 3 boys and 1 girl (aka 2 polka dots, 1 blue, and 1 pink), and 2 more families with 1 girl each (1 pink each).

I didn’t want you to have to come up with your own pattern, if you just wanted something simple to copy, so I made a free printable that you can download to your computer.


Happy Easter to you and your families and  a special thank you to the woman who gave me the inspiration


Building a “Milk Crate” coffee table

An easy “Do-It-Yourself” project is this coffee table. This is not a new idea and it has been done over and over again by others.

My Minnesota daughter found the idea on Pinterest and promptly let me know that this was something that she would like me to make for her. I pinned it to my Pinterest board for a time when I could make it. Her 9th Anniversary was this month and I thought this would be the perfect time.

Home Depot had a sale going a few months back on wooden crates, so I bought them, and set them aside. They were a bit heavier in construction than the ones I saw at Michaels. Better for a coffee table!

I had the conversation of “if” and “when” I would make it … would she like it painted or stained? And what color paint or stain? She decided she wanted a dark stain which was perfect, as I had Jacobean by Minwax, on hand.  This is the first project that my mother has seen me work on so I had company while I was making it.

I have plywood of all shapes and sizes left over from various projects so I didn’t have to buy a special piece to use as a base and I purchased swivel casters to make it easier for my daughter to move when she was vacuuming or exercising.

Stagger the milk crates and screw them onto your 1/2 inch plywood.

Hide said gift around the corner, in the downstairs, so that the surprise is not found.

This child of mine finds everything before she is supposed to see it!

I added 4 “L” brackets, for a piece of plywood to sit on in the middle, and then decorated it with rocks and a candle that is battery operated.

No burns for my grand daughter!

Finished and ready to be delivered.

The little one has already deemed this a fire pit for her toys. Hahahahahaha.

Hope this finds you having a GREAT day!

Making a beer caddy

Boss’ birthday … quick, what do you get them?

EVERY year it is the same “hard to come up with a great idea that he will like.”

That’s right. He. is. a . guy.

Girls are easy peasy, men not so much.

Word has it, he likes a good beer every once in awhile.

Don’t you just love the internet?

Evidently, there is a Beer of the month club.


You could just give the person the gift card but I am all about the presentation.

Back to the internet I went.

No time to remake the wheel so to speak.

I found a pattern HERE and headed out to get this thing made!

I made a few changes from the pattern.

Mine has 3 pieces of wood on each side, a square handle, and I hung a bottle opener to the side.

Tied, so he wouldn’t lose it.

I stained it my favorite stain color ever.


A piece of drawer liner was added.

(Just in case the bottles were cold and had condensation)

I personalized it and added the “Beer of the Month” gift card.

Easy one day project completed in the nick of time.

Have a great Monday,

A child bench re-do

Sometimes, we are given the gift of changing something old into something new again.

My daughter, found a piece of furniture at a garage sale that she thought would be just perfect in her home to help corral shoes and give Miss G, a place to sit while putting them on.

When you live in a state that has snow, you do not want them walking all over the house with snow and salt dripping on the carpets and floors!

Can I get an Amen?!

We were away and she called to see if she could borrow our truck to pick it up.

I guess I forgot to tell Mr Man. Um, sorry honey!

When he opened the back of his truck, he texted me to find out if he just stumbled upon a surprise.


Just another project of love.

My daughter thought that the sitting area was made of cedar, but in taking a closer look, I discovered it was just stained a more reddish color. The top of the bench had a train painted on it and she wanted it removed.

I tried to get her to let me do something creative and spectacular to it, but she shot me down.

(Insert pouty face here)

She just wanted it to be stained and rustic.


No frills.

“Got it, Mom?”

“Got it!”

I love the sanding part of the job. It gives me time to think about who owned it. It lets me feel the wood and how it is made, see the imperfections, figure out what needs to be fixed, and time to create what I envision the finished look to be. You know you really like what you do, when you enjoy spending time with your project! LOL

This little gem had some deep scratches in the sides, was all different shades of stain, and had sharp edges on the top that would need to be addressed. Sanding out the sides a little more took care of the scratches, I chose American Walnut stain, and rounded the top of the points while I was sanding. I did have a repair to make on the back where wood was missing and a screw was sticking out.

A fun and easy project that only took a day to finish.

It is now at it’s new home and being used just as my daughter had envisioned.

I call it a good day!


Homemade Natural Dog Treats

When Miss “G” comes over for our weekly sleepover, a fun activity we enjoy, is baking.

Not such a good idea for my waist line!

Not wanting to stop an activity that is so fun for us to do together,  I wondered what we could make that we could use up every week.

Enter, my dog Paxton, and her dog Pinker.

They love treats and they eat them daily … and I had a recipe that we could try!

Of course I bought two bone cookie cutters and found an easy recipe.


Below is the recipe that we use and the dogs LOVE!

I have pinned (on Pinterest) other dog treat recipes that I have tried, or will try. You can check out my Pinterest board [here] and

please feel free to share your dog treat recipes with me. I would love to pin them on my board and share them with others!