Upcycled Pet Bed Project


The best therapist has fur and four legs…


I truly believe that. Throughout my life, my dogs have always been there for me everyday, no matter my mood. I know a lot of people feel the same way about their pets, whether that’s a dog, cat, lizard, bird, horse…they just love us unconditionally.


I know it has been a very long time since I blogged, but there has been so much going on in my life and blogging often takes a back seat. I’m hoping to do a better job and start making this blog more of a priority, rather than an afterthought. More to come, hang in there with me.


Now if you know me, you know I love to take something old and make it into something new again. Renew, upcycle, reuse.


I recently found this Samsonite suitcase at an estate sale and snagged it up because I knew I had a project in mind.



My idea was to turn it into a sturdy, trendy pet bed!


Oftentimes when I am at an estate sale and buy something, I often wonder about where its been, how old is it, what stories can it tell…

I don’t know how old this suitcase is, or where it’s been, or even who owned it—but I do know it is very well made. Thanks, Samsonite!

The interior is very cool and well taken care of.



My first job was to remove some of the “extras” in the interior and update it. I sewed a new backing but kept the original hardware and fitted it with the new fabric.





It’s all in the details, right?


Now for the hardest part…sewing a box cushion. I bought a 2 inch thick foam cushion from Joanne’s and fitted it to size the inside of the suitcase. I picked a very soft, gender neutral flannel fabric for the cushion and wanted to leave an opening for easy removal and washing. (Pet hair-you know how it goes.)

I found this tutorial from Pretty Handy Girl.

(Thanks Pretty Handy Girl! You’re pretty handy!)

Check her out.






Next came adding the legs. I love this part because I got to use my husband’s power tools.


Almost finished and no blood shed yet. I even took great care to add washers so nothing pointy would stab into the foam cushion.

{On a side note, it was very hard to drill into the suitcase-that’s what I mean by well-made.}






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Almost. It needed a little more something.


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What do you think? I know someone who was very confused as I worked on this….



Perhaps she figured out it wasn’t for her. I will have to be on the lookout for an extra large vintage suitcase for her.

(Don’t think they made them in her size…maybe a steamer trunk?)

Maybe she can just rest her big, ‘ol head on it.

Never mind, she has my lap for that.



Peace and love and big, wet, sloppy kisses.





Hanging on to the Warmth and Sunshine a Little Longer


It’s Mid-October here in Chicago…

And you know what that means!!!!

It’s Hockey Season!

Whoo-hoooooo! Time for the excitement and heartbreak and stinky gear and adrenaline filled games and taxi-ing the boys to and from practices, etc.

Not to mention, watching the Stanley Cup Champions and screaming at my television because it’s become way too expensive to even attend an actual Blackhawk game…

Ok, seriously, that’s not what this is about at all.

~It’s about dreading what’s about to come~

The Chicago Winter

The older I get, the tougher it gets. All the snow and cold and worst of all, all the gray, cloud covered days.

But we had a few Indian Summer days here lately and it has been delightful. I just wish it would last longer. So I am sharing a little of that.

sunshine and birdsong

This summer, my neighbors moved to Florida and Gave my family their wicker furniture they couldn’t take with them. I made new cushions for it and some new pillows to go along with.


Perfect place to read a little and enjoy a cup of tea.


If you live in a climate like I do, you know it’s best to enjoy these days because it will feel like a very long time before they’re back!




Peace & Hockey,


Guest Furniture Re-dos

I must introduce you to my friend Anne…


We met while our sons played on the same hockey team a couple of seasons ago but discovered we had more in common than just the highs and lows of youth hockey and stinky-smelly hockey bags.

She likes to re-do furniture too and has an incredible talent for taking old and used furniture to fabulous and amazing pieces anyone would be proud to have in their home.

She shared with me some of her Before and After’s and I think she does a marvelous job.

She took this scratched and dinged up dresser and transformed it beautifully.



This transformation came out so Beautiful!

Here’s another great one…

From this-


To this!

white dresser

What a difference!

And one of my favorites…


Blah and Boring to Elegant and Embellished

bird dresser

How sweet is that?

Isn’t Anne truly talented? I know she uses one of my favorite paints to paint her furniture (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint) and puts a lot of elbow grease into fixing these babies up.  I honestly admire her work and can’t wait for spring to come so we could hit up some estate sales together and maybe work on some projects together.

You can find more of her curbside finds and furniture re-dos on her Facebook page. If you live in the Chicago land area, she might be able to help you take an old, worn out piece of furniture and turn it into something lovely.

In the meantime, I hope she has inspired you like she has inspired me.

Keep up the good work, Anne!



Linking up this week with:

The Dedicated House

The Turquoise Home

Miss Mustard Seed

Chic on a Shoestring Budget

Dresser Makeover


Another Curbside Find…


It’s been awhile since I posted…

Always something else that needs to be done…

But I recently acquired a lovely dresser that was put out to pasture (sitting out by the curb, waiting for the garbage truck to load it up).


See? It still has the garbage sticker on it…

I felt the need to come to its rescue.  This girl was found down the street and when my husband saw me eyeing it, he was like, “Don’t even think about it. We have enough stuff.”  He’s right. We do have a lot of stuff.

So I walked away and we went about our day, dinner came and went, it got dark out, bedtime for the kiddos, reading, watching TV, catching up for the parents.

The next morning, she was still there. My husband went to work, kids went to school.

She was still there. No garbage pick-up yet.

I ran some errands, came home.

She was still there. Beckoning. Garbage pick-up is running behind schedule.

So I did what any thrifty person would do…

I located my kids’ old Radio Flyer Wagon, hanging up in the rafters of the garage. Got it down without giving myself a concussion in the process, and walked down the street with it.

Loaded up the dresser on her back into the wagon and pulled her back to my house. (I hope none of my neighbors saw me).

Perfect project to try my hand at making my own chalk paint!

To make my own chalk paint, I searched the internet for the perfect recipe and read many reviews. I loved this one from How to Distress Furniture.

I went to my local Ace Hardware and bought some paint, Plaster of Paris, sandpaper, and got to work on her.

I sanded away all the dents and dings and surface first. And then it was time  for the fun part—Painting!


The paint color I used is called “Smokey Gray” by Clark and Kensington. Mixing it with Plaster of Paris made the paint go on super smooth!

I gave her two coats of paint and then used Annie Sloan Clear Wax.

After about a day, I sandpapered again to give it a rustic, vintage look and stained the top with a couple coats of Minwax Dark Walnut. When that dried, I used Minwax Polyurethane to protect the top.


And here she is! Original Hardware and All!



Here’s a crooked shot…

In the sunlight, the paint color is blue-ish.

Indoors, the paint looks more gray.


I love how she turned out!

What do you think?



(I really need to stop taking crooked pictures)

And in the end, my husband was impressed.

Now if only I could get someone to buy this from me so I could move on to my next curbside find.



Linking up!  Please check out these great Link-ups!

Miss Mustard Seed

chic on a shoestring budget

Feathered Nest

The Shabby Nest

Rooted in Thyme

Re-loved Fridays at the Vintage Storehouse

The Dedicated House

Nautical Love


It’s been a long while since I have written: Summer goes by so fast doesn’t it?


We took our annual trip to the Jersey Shore…

I LOVE the smell of the salty air and the sound of the waves…

 photo 80c35bda-7f4e-4bd2-8352-1102a08a0aa1_zps7595d530.jpg

I Love THIS GUY even more!

I LOVE to go antiquing while I’m there.  You can read about it here.

This year I was inspired by all the nautical themes I saw…

Anchors, sailboats, lobsters, sand, surf…

I tried to bring a little of that back into my home.

I started with a frame I found at a thrift store for $10.  It had a picture of Elvis in it.  That’s gone now.

I had some fabric left over from a previous project and printed a picture from the wonderful Graphics Fairy onto some muslin.


I purchased and downloaded the nautical stars from a wonderful embroidery site called Urban Threads.  (If your have an embroidery machine and are looking for cool designs, I highly suggest giving them a look-see.)

As you can see,  the hardest part (for me, at least) is lining up the stars to match both sides.


Most of the time I try my best and then pray…


Not too bad, huh? 


Next I used some adhesive spray to secure the fabric onto my board.




That’s Vee-O-La! in KathySpeak


I also cut apart a wonderful grain sack I found to make it into a table runner.

I had to get out my serger which always makes me nervous.  Anyone who is new to serging will understand.  But all I did was try to serge the edges.

Before the Serge


After the Serge



Here’s some views of the finished projects






And of course, how could I leave you without posting this………



Please have a Beautiful Day!


Linking up!


Telephone Table Makeover

My Great-Grandmother’s Telephone Table

My Great-Grandma Lena had a telephone table in her house (as did most people from that generation, I suppose) that was given to me several years ago that I love.  In our world of cordless phones, cell phones and Skype for that matter, I find it so interesting that people only had one phone in their house, (a rotary phone), that everyone used.

I believe they also called it a “gossip bench”.

Mine got nicked up and abused through the years and was an eyesore in my kitchen.  But I couldn’t get rid of it because it was Grandma Lena’s so I decided to re-do it.


Geez,  that is AWFUL!

The top is scratched and stained…


So I took her outside for a good sanding and cleaning…


Painted her with Benjamin Moore paint in “Antique White” and stained the top with a dark walnut wood stain…



I must note here that I SHOULD HAVE primed her because I had a REALLY HARD TIME with the original wood showing through the antique white paint.  I truthfully ended up using spray paint primer very carefully in areas that it kept bleeding through and then once again painting over it with the antique white.  Next time, I won’t skip such an important step. ( yeah, right.)  I also put a coat or two of polyurethane on the top to make it shine and protect it.

Next I sanded it a bit to distress it and then came the fun part…

The Seat Cover!

I went to the Graphic’s Fairy and found a cute, grainsack type image to transfer onto some painter’s drop cloth I had left over from this project.  Once again I used the Citra-solve Method for transfer because I feel it’s the easiest on drop cloth.  You can see a tutorial here.

Here’s a terrible close-up…


But….I REALLY like the way it turned out….


Now if only I had a Rotary Phone…

Hmmmm…Estate Sale Anyone?

Anyone? Anyone?

Bueller?  Bueller?



Sharing at Brag Monday at http://thegraphicsfairy.com/ and



Buffet Makeover




I love to find diamonds in the rough: AKA- furniture that is headed for the hills, and I love to use it for something new.  It’s kind of my way to stay green.  There are so many great pieces of furniture out there that are so well made that just need a little love and elbow grease.  It might take some time to find what you want, but that’s what makes part of it so thrilling to me. 

And when you find something you’ve been looking for, you feel like yelling, “SCORE!” 

Most of my favorite pieces in my house come from local Estate Sales.  Each piece has a history to it and I feel like I am bringing new life into it.

I had been on the hunt to find a piece for our Living Room/Family Room since before Christmas.  We had purchased a large flat screen TV and had to replace our entertainment center that we have used since our first house in 2000.

We didn’t have anywhere for the cable box, DVD player and Xbox to go so it ended up looking like this…



Yuck, I know. 

So I took my time and searched and found this little beauty…A dining room buffet.



She (I don’t know why I called her a “she”) came with a Portuguese marble top that weighs 5 million pounds.  Luckily for me, a very nice person at the estate sale offered to help me carry it to my car AND loaded it for me.  (Thank you so much,very nice person, wherever you are…)

I liked her (there I go again) because she had some cool details and is strong and sturdy, not too big, not too small.  I thought she would fit perfectly under the T.V.


Not too much work needed here, not even a sanding…so I just painted it.

Easy, peasy.



My husband had to drill a hole into the back of it so all the wires could fit through…thank you Darling!










Better, I think.  And she only cost me $60!  “SCORE!”

I hope whoever owned this before me knows I will take good care of her and she has many years left!

Now go forth and go estate sailing, raise your mast high and Enjoy the Ride!

Linking to miss mustard seed’s Furniture Feature Friday.


Furniture Feature Fridays
and domestically-speaking…http://www.domestically-speaking.com/2013/04/174th-power-of-paint-party-popp.html
and….The Shabby Nest
.cThe Shabby Nest

Glider Redo


It is not a slight thing when they, who are

so FRESH from GOD, love us. 

                                                                                          —Charles Dickens


Before my first child was born, I searched like many moms-to-be for a rocking chair.  I found a glider that was both comfortable and affordable and purchased it with money I inherited from my grandfather.  I knew he would of loved to buy a rocking chair for his great-grandchild and every time I sat in it, I thought of him and pictured him smiling.

Two children and twelve years later, the glider sadly goes unused and the fabric is an eyesore.

I decided it was time to donate it.  I reluctantly moved it into the garage to wait for the donation truck to pick it up.  When they came to get it, my husband at the last minute surprisingly told them we’d changed our minds, we wanted to keep it. Huh? 

And then I understood…He felt the same way about that glider as I did!  How many nights did we sit in it, holding and snuggling our babies, fresh from their baths when their little faces burrowed into our necks?  How many days did we spend in it, rocking away, reading books to our little ones?  How many hours did I spend nursing my little loves while they looked up at me with their big eyes, trusting eyes, sleepy eyes, sick eyes?  How many minutes did we enjoy just letting the world go by as we sang and cradled and loved those little ones?  Countless.

Priceless memories.  We couldn’t give away that glider:  It was something we’d have to keep.


So I decided to re-do it and put it back to


Now I am not a furniture reupholsterererererer by any means…(nor can I spell it), but this is how it came out!



I bought a painter’s drop cloth, washed it and loosely made a pattern from the old cushions and sewed away.

I love the look of old French grain sacks so I tried my darndest to imitate them by grabbing a graphic off the wonderful website www.thegraphicsfairy.com and using the Citra-Solve method of transferring it. 

Then I painted on some lines and hoped for the best!



It’s perfect for the basement/toy room.  The best part is, it still gets used by us all the time! 

My boys might not sit in my lap anymore while I rock them to sleep, but this chair will always hold those precious memories for me.

I know my grandfather would like that.




I’m linking to Miss Mustard Seed’s FFF, Be Different, Act Normal, and Funky Junk Interiors!
Furniture Feature Fridays

Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special

And Brag Monday @ http://www.thegraphicsfairy.com

Chalk Board Table

I love to find furniture curbside!

That translates into, “found items that someone else is planning on throwing away”.  Of course, my poor kids get anxious any time we drive by someone’s house on garbage day and there’s furniture at the curb and they notice me slowing down a bit…Too bad for them!  What do they think the minivan is for, lugging around all their hockey equipment?  (Well, it is but the added space is a bonus for me and my furniture “finds”).

Found this during the summer.


Just sitting there, ready to go into some landfill somewhere.

I had to do a lot of sanding and filling in on the top because it was pretty dented and nicked up.


Oh my, not looking very pretty.  Lots and lots of wood filler.

I had planned on painting it gray and sanding and restaining the top brown, but alas, things didn’t work out that way.  (Best thing about curb-finds…when you mess up, you don’t feel that bad because you got it for free!)

I ended up painting it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey and then using the clear and dark wax to bring out the details.  I like to use a little water with the ASCP because I feel it goes on better, not so thick.  The great thing about ASCP is you don’t have to prime it.  Yay!

I ran into some problems along the way…all that wood filler I put on!  Of course I sanded the top smooth, but couldn’t get it stained right because of all the wood filler that showed through.

So I thought I could paint the top brown.


Yeah…no….didn’t do it for me.

So I got an idea…chalk board paint!


Doo dee doo dee doo….


I like the way the waxes brought out the details better, don’t you?  It definitely needed it.


So then I decided it needed something more and stenciled “Don’t Forget” on top.  I figured I could use it by the front door to write myself notes since I’m notorious for forgetting something on my way out each day.  I used freezer paper, my computer, and printed out the words.  Then used an exacto knife to cut it out and paint it on.


Doo dee doo dee doo…


Still a little wet here…

Finished product…Viola!


Never miss an opportunity to tell them

you love them!

I’m really going to try to link up to Miss Mustard Seed’s fabulous Furniture Feature Friday!


<a href=”http://www.missmustardseed.blogspot.com”><img alt=”Furniture Feature Fridays” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JWDuEjrKVvY/ToJSEPtLtMI/AAAAAAAAHw0/Ujcg3Nk6SZo/s1600/fffbutton2.jpg”  /></a>

I’m linking up to this great party!