Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Up and Running...

Well, I guess the new year is just about the best time I can choose to launch this blog of mine that I have been thinking, worrying, pondering and procrastinating about. So many of my friends and family have been telling me "You really should start a blog," so here I am... blogging. Now what?

I guess the best thing I can do is to just jump in with both feet and get started. I have to tell you though, I am not sure I can ever keep up with some of the amazing people out here in blog land that post daily, sometimes more than once a day, with absolutely incredible stories, projects, and goings on in their lives. It makes me tired and breathe heavy just thinking about trying to keep up with them for a day. Not gonna happen. So, in my little blog, I will share when I can, no promises for daily awesomeness here. My goal is more likely to be little, sporadic doses of awesome. You know, the kind that fly out of left field and knock you on your butt when you aren't looking awesome. That would be me, the Sporadic Awesomeness Blogger. Sounds like I just invented a new super hero.
Yeah, that was my intent...
(This is Bella by the way, my Golden Retriever, and yes, sometimes my super hero.
I am sure you will get a kick out of her antics here as well. Again, more about that later.)
I have been so blessed lately by finding incredible blogs and collecting inspiration and ideas for home decor, recipes, craft projects, stories that make me cry, stories that make me laugh, photos of projects run amuck, etc. I drool over all of the wonderful things I see others doing. They inspire me daily, so I suppose I should just share the inspiration and quit hogging it all for myself, huh? I kinda feel like Gollum in Lord of the Rings. But instead, picture me in a deep, dark cave muttering "My precious, my precious" and sitting in a pile of magazine article clippings, craft supplies, amusing stories and anecdotes, amongst my thrift store finds, clasping a few close to my chest. Mine, mine, mine, me, me, me...
Uhem... Time to share.
I HAVE amassed quite a collection of photos that tell the story of projects that I have worked on. Amazingly enough, some I've even completed. We won't discuss the one's that are still waiting, and if you should ever visit my home, be forewarned, open all closet doors SLOWLY. That's all I'm gonna say about that. I have also been told that I can tell a good story now and then. Perhaps that will be part of my blog as well. The Lord saw to it that I have a story to tell, but it's more like a mini series, so more about that later perhaps.
I guess there is no better time than the present to start sharing. So with that said, I present to you... oh, where to start, where to start... I present to you... aaaaahhhhhggghhhhh... the pressure of making a good first impression... just choose one already... Okay, okay....
The Bench
Have you ever experienced the perfect find? Kindred spirits will know right away what I am talking about. For the rest of you, the perfect find is when you come across something while out in a thrift shop, yard sale, flea market, etc. and it speaks to you. Symptoms of the perfect find may include but are not limited to:

  • Head to toe chills.

  • Sudden onset of school-girl giddiness.

  • Hot or cold sweats.

  • Heavy breathing.

  • Grabbing a total stranger by the shoulders and screaming "Isn't it beautiful?"

  • Jumping up and down and shaking said stranger violently.

  • Inability to sleep the night you bring said item home due to an overactive imagination that is pondering all of the possibilities that this new treasure is going to bring to your life.

  • Typing run on sentences when writing about the perfect find.

This is the story of the perfect find.
My daughter and I were out shopping at the Salvation Army Thrift Store (one of my favorite thrift stores in the area, and one of my favorite charities) early this past fall when I came upon this little pretty. She was stuffed in amongst a dozen or so downtrodden dressers. I glanced in her direction (yes, for the record she IS a she) and looked away to the next row when suddenly my neck snapped back in her direction at the speed of light. I swear I heard harps off in the distance. No, really. (Insert head to toe chills here.) Using the utmost caution, I approached her slowly, as to not cause a commotion. I didn't want someone else running up and claiming her as their own, when it was oh so obvious that she was going to go home with me. (sounds kinda like a bad country song, right?) So as I meandered over to the aisle she was in, trying to look uninterested, when in reality my heart was pounding, I rounded the corner to find another lady headed in her direction. Suddenly, out of the blue I am in an all out adult game of musical chairs and the music had just stopped! Let's just say my pace quickened. I got to her and sat down with a jolt, right on the price tag. I do believe it was all in my imagination though, because the lady passed us by without even a glance in our direction. (insert heavy breathing and hot and cold sweats here). Forgive me Lord. I do love this bench.
So, after regaining what little dignity I had left... oh, who am I kidding? My dignity had flown out the window the second I thought someone else was interested in her. That should read: as soon as I could again see straight, I scooched aside, and with one eye tightly shut, the other slightly opened, and with a look that said "Please , Lord, let it be something I can afford" etched into my face, I looked down at the price tag I had been sitting on. "Please?"
Psalm 37:4 says "Delight yourself in the Lord,
and He shall give you the desires of your heart."
My willingness to make a fool of myself must have been highly entertaining to Him, because as I looked down and focused my one squinched eye on the orange price tags that I am way too familiar with, it read $34.99! If you could read my thoughts (technically, you are already doing that...) they would have went something like this: "Oh Joy! Oh Jubilation! Oh my goodness! Today is 25% off wooden furniture day!" I quickly did the math in my head. Twice. Because I know I have been wrong before and probably will be again. The price for this treasured girl was a mere $26.24. (Note to self: I should get a calculator for my purse for such occasions. Nuff said.) In one swift motion, I reached down and tore the orange price tag in half. Don't worry, I wasn't on a rant or anything. You are supposed to do that. That is what let's others know that the piece is already spoken for, should they happen across an item that has already been purchased or is in the process of being sold. As I sat there, my mind racing with the possibilities this girl had in her, I was trying to reason out in my head what had drawn me to her. My hands gently went across the seat, which was in bad shape and needed some TLC. Nope, that wasn't it. I ran my hand across the curve of the sides. Nice, but no. Then I stood up and suddenly realized what it was.   The SPINDLES! I loved the style of them, the shape of them, the size. Everything about them is what gave this little bench her personality and charm. I loved them so much that I was running my fingers back and forth on them, making a noise similar to when you stick a baseball card in bicycle spokes, when my daughter interupted my daydream with "Momma, whatcha doin?" Before you go picturing her as a small child in your mind's eye, I need to tell you that she is 22, but yes, she still calls me Momma.

This is my daughter, Meagan, on her wedding day.
Sigh. Love that girl.
In the above mentioned definition of a perfect find, I stated that you could perhaps grab a stranger by the shoulders while shaking them and shouting "Isn't she beautiful?". This works equally as well with family members. In fact, my daughter is used to this behavior coming from me, and well... sometimes she expects it. Especially in thrift stores. (insert sudden onset of school girl giddiness here.) On the way home we stopped off at my friend JoAnn's place ( you may know Joann, Joann Fabrics? Yeah, she has a lot of friends...) I knew exactly what I needed. Grabbed two foam pieces that looked like they would fit and guessed on the fabric amount I would need. I KNOW! I never measure anything. Most of the time it works out. Sometimes it doesn't. I do a lot of Plan B projects around this place.
So, flash forward to my yard. That is where the photos were taken. I knew that this beauty had potential and I wasn't going to waste one minute of daylight in getting started on this project. I brought her home, brushed her off with a whisk broom, got a screwdriver to remove the seat, and started painting. No, I didn't prime. No, I didn't clean her with a wood cleaner. I simply brushed her dust off and took a damp paper towel to the really dusty parts. (If you are looking for the "How to Refinish Furniture Perfectly" blog, then sadly, my new friend, you are at the wrong blog. ) Then I spray painted. Satin finish black spray paint. Sorry, I don't recall the brand name or even where I bought it. I know, bad blogger, bad blogger. I will do better next time. Maybe. Maybe not.

I started spraying at one end and by the time I finished at the other, it was dry already. Thank you Jesus for a nice sunny day! So I gave it a second coat and while that dried, I went in the house to deal with the seat.
I had two of these:
That needed stapled to one of these:
I was so happy to discover that it was such a perfect fit, that I forgot to take pictures of the process of getting the fabric and foam attached to the seat. It went something like this: Place the foam down on the bench seat. Lay fabric over the top of the foam. Flip. Check to make sure they stayed lined up. Nope. Adjust. Fold fabric over the bottom of the bench seat like you are wrapping a big present. Staple. Staple. Staple. Staple again. Again. Staple. Keep stapling. You got the idea? Good.
When I got it done, I realized that the place that the hinges had come out of were now 2 inches below the top of the 3 inch cushion I just added to the bench seat. Ooops. See, there is always an oops in my projects. Never a quitter, I tried and tried to squish the seat cushion out of the way, but I simply wasn't strong enough to do that and hold the drill in place to set the screws. I needed backup. At that very moment, my son Matt came walking in the door from work. "Whatcha doin' Momma?" He also calls me Momma, he's 24.

Sigh. Love that boy.
So, after Matt took over with the drill while I stood on the seat bottom, we managed to squish the foam flat enough to allow us to install the hinges back on the bench. It was soooo worth the effort. Look at my girl in all her glory! Just don't look at the unfinished beadboard walls behind her. We are in the middle of a kitchen redo around these parts.
Here she is posing with some of her new friends:
So there you have it. My seemingly neverending first blog post. Wow. If you stuck around this long, you must a.) think me incredibly funny and charming; b.) need a new hobby or c.) be one of those people I paid to come here. Either way, I am glad to have had your ear for a while. If you are so inclined, leave me a comment to let me know you were here, otherwise, I will feel that I spent all this time talking to the walls. Not that I mind that, they are good listeners. It's just sometimes human interaction can be nice. ;) Speaking of human interaction, the dinner timer just went off and I am going to go have dinner with this man:
My hubby of 26 years, Bob, who I call Mountain Man.
Be sure to check out all the other great projects!

Thanks for stopping by!
P.S. I would do one of those cool signatures that I see on other blogs all the time, but I don't know how. If you do, could you leave a comment about that too? Thanks!


  1. Your bench turned out beautifully! I love the color and the cushion is perfect! Bella is adorable. I just lost my Golden about a year ago...still miss him.
    Welcome to Blogland! Have fun...that's what it's all about!

  2. Welcome to the blogging world. You are in for a fun & wild ride, new friends, and never a dull moment. Feel free to check out my blog. Your dog is so cute & way to go with the bench.
    -Heather @

  3. The bench looks wonderful ... it certainly is MUCH improved over its original condition, and I don't think you can ever go wrong with black! I also enjoyed learning so much about your family in your first post ... Welcome to blogging!

  4. Welcome to blog land! Your bench turned out great!!!

    This is where I learned to do the fancy signature thing....


  5. Great first post! Welcome to blogland!
    Paula Grace ~

  6. It looks beautiful! Good luck blogging, it is addictive!

  7. Lisa,
    Wow! You truly have a talent. I am so glad to call you family.

  8. Welcome to blogland, Your bench turned out perfect, don't you just love it when a project comes together...I hope you had fun on your first blog, I started in Sept when I was recouping from an illness and was so excited when I would get comments and when someone I didn't even know chose to follow me I was beside myself....I love it when I learn new things to put on my blog, someone is always around who knows the answer I don't...I am a new follower of yours, come for a visit...see yu soon...

  9. Welcome to Blog World. I started in November and haven't been the same since! Thanks for introducing us to your family. (my husband is a fisherman too.) and showing us your DIY project. The bench turned out great. Keep blogging girl! --Delores

  10. Your bench turned out great! Great first post...informative, creative and fun! Welcome to blogland.

  11. Lisa, I just love ya girl! You are a ray of sunshine with your storytelling!! Will be back for more! Hugs! ;-)

  12. Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging! You are going to make so many friends and meet amazing people everyday, enjoy!

    I l-o-v-e your bench! I would have grabbed that baby up so fast! It turned out great!

    Since I started blogging, spray paint has become my new BFF, especially black spray paint! If it's not nailed down, it's getting spray painted!

    I don't usually participate in Metamorphosis Monday but I'm glad I did this week so that I found your blog. I've got "older" children and have been married over 25 years, so we have alot in common, as well as liking black spray paint!

    Take care and have a great week!

  13. Welcome to blogland. It certainly is the place to get inspired.

    That is beautiful bench!!! Great job.

    I have a posting on the signatures that Becca did over at Blue Cricket Designs. Super easy.


  14. Welcome to blogland! What a fabulous first post! I love the bench! And you are hilarious!

  15. Welcome to our sick twisted little world! Only kidding, you've joined a great group of very talented ladies, not to mention they are ALL sweet as pie (like triple chocolate fudge pie)! Good job on your first post! I enjoyed learning about you and your family!

    The bench looks great. Dying over those spindles!

  16. Welcome to blogging! What a great 1st post... I love black furniture and you did a great job.

  17. Hi Lisa, Great job on your first post, yes, you are incredibly funny! I am gaining so much courage by reading other peoples blogs. I have never ben one to try new construction projects until I saw other women doing exactly what I wanted to do. Your bench is terrific! I am thinking I would like to replace some of my chairs with a bench, so Maybe I should get off the computer and head to the thrift store before all the good bloggers snatch the good stuff! Happy creating, and have fun blogging, Karyn

  18. Your bench came out beautifully. Nice job! And welcome to blogging! I hope you love it.

  19. Wow! I just love your bench. You were right to hustle over to it--don't you know that if I'd been there, we would have had a race to get to it!

    It looks absolutely wonderful painted black and upholstered. You did a great job.

    Welcome to blogging. I think you'll love it. :)

  20. Hi there Lisa. Congrats on your first blog posting! As a fellow Michigander (yes, I know we are now called "Michiganians", but I really like the sound of "Michigander" better!) I loved your bench! Great job! And Bella, well, she is just too cute! Looking forward to your future adventures!

  21. Cute bench and welcome to blogging!

  22. I am so excited for you about your find! What a great project and a great final outcome. I can't wait to see how your blog progresses!!!

    Best wishes,

  23. Wow! That's just amazing! The bench turned out lovely, I even liked it before you put the cushion on but woooo! love the cushion too!

  24. that bench looks FAB! It looks so much better in black and I am a natural timber gal!
    I just started blogging in november so am new to all this fun too, then in january I started my second blog - yeah some folks are greedy like that. check out my efforts and tell me what you think.

  25. Love that bench.. I've got a project I've been wanting to do and dread the thought of sanding and stripping.. so this is very inspiring.

    Also, I got my blog signature here and I love it!


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