Yard sale chair renovation

I picked up this beauty for $5 at a yard sale last year:

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OK, so maybe “beauty” wouldn’t be the best word to describe a tired-looking wicker rocking chair with multiple layers of fading paint. But I saw enough potential there for a quick DIY refresh that I snagged it up in the hopes of turning it into additional seating for the covered front porch.

I finally got around to working on the chair early this week. I started by power-washing it to get rid of any chipping paint. A word of caution here: Power-washing wooden/wicker furniture may cause it to splinter and will roughen up the finish a bit. I didn’t bother sanding this piece, but if you want perfectly smooth results, you may want to add that step.

Using wood glue and an adjustable clamp, I glued down some spots on the chair that were coming unraveled. So far, the repairs are holding up great!

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After the glue dried, I basically sprayed the whole thing with Krylon spray primer/paint in one. I chose a glossy khaki color similar to our home’s window and door trim. It took a total of three cans to cover everything well.

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Here’s the final result:

Wicker-chair-refinished

This project took me about two hours to complete and cost me about $15 total (for the chair and the three cans of paint).

Wicker-chair-closeup

So what do you think of my “new” rocking chair?

What to do when you feel like you’re lacking (Haven 2014 recap)

For the past three years, I’ve had the amazing privilege of attending the Haven Conference in Atlanta. It’s an event mainly targeted at bloggers in the DIY/home niche. Every year I connect with friends that I so badly wish lived down the street from me so we could have coffee regularly.

Beneath-My-Heart

Traci from Beneath My Heart and I enjoyed the chocolate fountain (a little too much) that Home Depot and Ryobi provided for the Haven Mavens on the last night of the conference. The food at that event was, in a word, epic!

My-Repurposed-Life

My friend, Gail, from My Repurposed Life is one of the sweetest and most genuine ladies you’ll ever meet. She is also a repurposing rockstar with a crazy huge Facebook fan club.

MyBreezyRoom

 (Photo courtesy of My Breezy Room)

My roommate this year was Kala from My Breezy Room. She is as cute as a button and I love her style! She is also a bit, ahem, younger than me so she’s helping me navigate all the social media stuff I’m still not up to speed on. ;)

Space-BW-Plantation-Relics

These lovely ladies made me laugh until I (almost) peed my pants every.single.night. On the left is Karah from The Space Between and on the right is Sabrina from Plantation Relics.

Making-Lemonade

I also the privilege of catching up with one of my favorite blogging ladies, Carrie from Making Lemonade. She’s a fellow Pa. girl, which makes her extra special. ;)

In addition to kickin’ it with my blogging sisters at Haven, I got the chance to meet with representatives from brands I’d like to work with in the future. And I took away a ton of information about how I can grow my blog and DIY skills. This conference is priceless!

But despite all the wonderful friendships forged and tips and strategies absorbed, I seem to also come home from Haven each year with a self-inflicted icky feeling that I’m somehow lacking … lacking in style, beauty, business success, notoriety, accomplishment, friends, youthfulness … blah, blah, blah, the list goes on.

I can’t really put my finger on why I feel this way other than, when I see all the amazing things these ladies around me are accomplishing, I guess my default reaction is to feel like I’m somehow missing out. And this makes me sad because I know deep down that what I’m really missing is the clarity to see how abundant my life right now truly is.

I recently read a post by Michael Hyatt that explored the roots of this icky feeling. What I discovered after reading his post was that this comparison trap that often has me in its clutches is a common one.

The tendency for us to focus on what we should go after rather than expressing gratitude for what we already have is a by-product of what researcher Brené Brown calls our “culture of ‘never enough.’”

Speaking from experience, I can say that falling into this trap leaves me discouraged and even sometimes debilitated, and it masks the tremendous gifts and blessings I’m currently experiencing in my life.

So, in an effort to take the great from Haven but leave the feeling of inadequacy behind, I’ve decided to look at my experience through a different lens, the lens of gratitude. This lens has the power to focus my view on all the awesome things happening to me right now, and there are honestly too many of them to count.

If you’re like me and you sometimes feel like you are lacking, here are some tips to help change your focus and view your circumstances in a more flattering light:

  1. Start each day with praise. For me, this means that after I wake up and get my bearings, I set aside a short (but highly effective) quiet time where I begin by thanking God for all the blessings in my life.
  2. Embrace a “to-don’t” list. One of my biggest weaknesses is saying yes to too many things. Recently, however, I’ve gotten better at the “to don’ts” (i.e. saying no to the wrong activities and avoiding low-priority tasks). This practice helps me accomplish my top priorities. It also allows me to feel OK with the fact that I will never be able to do it all, but I can do the right things for me and my family at this moment.
  3. Lend a helping hand. The easiest way I’ve found to get out of the “why me” slump is to reach out and help others in need. Volunteering time for a cause greater than myself always has the profound ability to completely change my focus - in nearly an instant. The shift in my attitude and outlook that I experience after I participate in a mission trip, worship practice or nursing home visit is a blessing far greater than my contribution to the cause.

I’ll leave you today with this wise quote from Michael Hyatt:

“We will never have more of what we truly desire until we become fully thankful for what we have.”

Master bathroom details (plus a giveaway winner)

I am happy to report that the master bathroom renovation that began last September (I know … embarrassing) is approaching its finish line. I wouldn’t feel so badly about how long it has taken if, say, we were ripping out walls, replacing the tub or changing out flooring.

But no. This redo only involved minor, aesthetic updates. I’ve come to accept that some projects just have a habit of taking forever. I can’t really put my finger on why but I suspect it has something to do with my tendency to become unhealthily obsessed with Netflix series take on too many projects at the same time; you know, a sort of “lots of pots on the stove yet nothing’s ready to eat” situation.

Regardless of my personal shortcomings, I have enjoyed putting together this master bathroom. My goal was to create a light, neutral space with a natural, coastal feel. (We live in the woods near a lake).

I started with a lake-inspired gray on the walls, adding a few white stripes and an inexpensive chair rail to give the space a more finished look.

Then I built a shelf from scrap wood and added some free DIY wall art.

Master-bathroom-renovation

The DIY driftwood mirror I made (without nails or screws) contributes to the coastal feel.

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Two things I added to the room that, I believe, make it seem more upscale are the plantation shutters and the sink faucets.

The-Shutter-Store-open-window

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The light fixture was a bit of a challenge. I fell in love with a few that were out of my price range, so I settled on a $50 version from my local home improvement store. I added clear glass shades to give the fixture more of a rustic vibe.

Coastal-inspired-light-fixture

Since we don’t have the budget right now to replace the shower/tub combo, I gave my current shower situation more of a spa-like feel with a new shower curtain from Walmart and a SprayShaper™ shower head.

Waterpik-showerhead

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I always like to have at least one handheld shower head in my home because they really are the easiest way to bathe kids and pets (indoors, at least). ;)

Speaking of the Waterpik® SprayShaper™, today is the day I announce the giveaway winner of that shower head and a handful of other goodies, courtesy of HGTV star Kelly Edwards

Kelly-Edwards-Design-Cookbook-package

Drumroll please …

The winner is Leigh Anne Borders!

Giveaway winnerCongrats Leigh Anne!

The one project I still have to finish with regard to my master bathroom update is the vanity makeover. Stay tuned for details on that project coming soon.

And in case you forgot the master bathroom “before” …

Master-bathroom-before

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Removing-old-mirrors 2

Do you have any thoughts on why some projects seem to drag on forever? I’d love to figure out the magic formula for getting to “done” faster.