Everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matthew 7:24-25

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dining Room Reveal

I’m thrilled to be able to share my new dining room with y’all today. First let me start by showing you my inspiration. I found this photo over at Beth’s Blog, Home Stories A to Z, and I just loved it.

A to Z Dining Room

Here’s a reminder of what I started with – the Dungeon Dining Room.

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This is what the space looks like now.

Drumroll, please………….

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Well, what do you think? I love it. There are a couple more things that need to be addressed in this room, but I couldn’t be happier with the way it looks.

What’s so amazing about this redo is that it cost me only about $95. Yeah, you read that right $95. How?? Through careful planning, using what I already owned, and repurposing things to work in this space.

For instance, the flower arrangements… I helped my friend Allison make these for her daughter’s wedding a few years ago, and she was kind enough to give me couple in return. Originally these arrangements were filled with blue hydrangeas, but I made them work for my space by replacing the blue flowers with more muted tones.

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Next, the drapes…

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I’ve been planning this redo for quite some time now, so I’ve had my eye out for things I could use in this space. I found the material for the curtains at Hancock Fabrics a few months ago and picked it up while it was on sale at half price. By opting to make these dummy panels, rather than real working drapes I was able to save on yardage too. The result? I was able to make these curtains for about $30.

Hmmm….Where to hang them?

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I’m a wild and crazy girl!

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I picked up these finials at Hobby Lobby.

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And the mirror….

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My sister-in-law gave me this mirror way back when the Tool Man and I first got married. It belonged to her, and for some reason or other she no longer wanted it. (It might have had something to do with the fact that it was brassy gold.) So I painted it silver and hung it in over the couch in our living room at our first house. (Although, I was never really pleased with how my paint job turned out.) When we moved to our new house, I hung the mirror between the dining room windows. When I decided to go ahead with this redo, I was inspired by Miss Mustard Seed to give the mirror yet another facelift.

So here’s what it looked like when I started this makeover. My sad attempt at antique silver…yuck!

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First thing I did was tape off the glass and spray paint the frame brown. As you can see I had a little monkey helping me.

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Then I gave the frame a coat of turquoise. Turquoise?! Keep your panties on people, I’m not finished with it yet.

See how I let some the brown basecoat show through.

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Next, I dry-brushed on a coat of cream. Finally, I rubbed on a little umber with a damp cloth to tone everything down.

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I even went back and scraped the paint down to the brown base coat in some spots. Love the character that this added!

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Time to hang. Thank goodness I know the Tool Man!

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This time I decided to put the mirror on the wall opposite the windows. Now the mirror can reflect light coming in from the windows and brighten the room even more.

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Lucy was totally in on all the action.

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And now the details…

A nest I found in my yard. Yeah, that’s a chicken egg in it. The Tool Man says that’s a mighty big egg for such a little nest.

He’s right.

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Since I moved the mirror, I had to find a something else to hang between the windows. How about monkey portraits? Aren’t they sweet? Can you guess who’s who? (Here’s a hint: Look at their hair.)

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The centerpiece…

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The cup and saucer were pieces that my mother inherited. That pale, robin’s egg blue is perfect for my taste. See my apples? For as long as I can remember, my mom had a wire, chicken-shaped basket sitting on top of her refrigerator. It was full of straw, and there were 7 red plastic apples in it.

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She let me have the basket recently, and I use it for collecting eggs. I repainted the apples and wrote the fruits of the Spirit on them. I think they are the perfect addition to my table.

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My china pattern is Crestwood Platinum by Noritake. I’m lucky enough to have 14 complete place settings. Woo hoo! Only thing is, I’ve had it for 10 years, and probably have only used it 4 times. (Which is probably one more than my mother has ever used hers.) This is embarrassing, but half of my pieces still have the price tags on them. How crazy is that? It looks awful nice in that there china cabinet, but I really need to use this stuff more.

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I mentioned there were a couple of things left to address in this room. Well, one is the chandelier. It still has to be moved, but don’t hold your breath. There’s also the little matter of the holes in the ceiling where speakers will go one day. And last is a rug. I’m OK without the rug for now. It certainly is easy to sweep and mop under the table. But one day, I’d like to have a rug in there.

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Finally, I thought I’d leave you with a glimpse out the dining room windows.

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How many folks can sit in their dining room and watch their dinner running around in their front yard? Just kidding! I could never eat my girls.

I’ll be linking this post to:

Somewhat Simple, Inspiration Friday, Weekend Wrap-up Party

Monday, June 27, 2011

Baseball Cake

This past weekend I was busy making a baseball themed, double birthday cake for Blake and Kyle. They wanted the Texas Rangers starting line-up depicted on the cake.

It was a pretty large cake – 16”X16” – which feeds 80 people. (Note to self: 16” square pan does not fit in your oven.) I ended up having to piece two cakes together to get it large enough. This was OK though, because the client wanted two different flavor cakes anyway.

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For the baseball diamond, I used graham cracker crumbs mixed with a little brown sugar. The combination looked just like sand.

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The players are tiny plastic figurines which I hand painted to look like the Rangers. I couldn’t get too detailed with the figures, but I was able to paint a “T” on their hats and their numbers on their backs.

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I cut the flag shapes out of fondant, wrapped then ends around wooden skewers, and let them dry. Once they hardened, I piped words onto them with royal icing.

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Linking to Inspiration Friday, Weekend Wrap-up Party.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Lessons Learned

It’s hard to believe.

I never thought we’d make it.

Fox’s Pizza of Rayville is officially one year old!Party smile

Whew!  A lot of water under the bridge since this time last year.  If only the Tool Man and I knew then what we know now.  There’s nothing quite like experience!

I’ve learned quite a bit over the past year – about business, about the food industry, and about people in general.  So I thought I might write some of these things down to share with y’all.  Maybe you can glean something from my experiences.  Hopefully, you’ll get a laugh out of this.  It’s all in good fun, even if it is true. Winking smile

1.  People are very particular (and peculiar) when it comes to their food.   “Cut this, add that.  Light on this, extra on that.  Cook it less, cook it more.”  You get the picture.  It’s amazing some of the requests you get from people regarding their food.  Just ask Patty C.  Of course, I’m right there in the middle of them.  I will only let the Tool Man make my pizza.

2.  The customer is not always right, you just have to let him think he is.  This often means you’ve just got to swallow your pride, bite your tongue, and do what you gotta do to make him or her happy.  Even if they are flat out wrong, or if you know they are flat out lying, just try to keep ‘em happy.

3.  You should never go into a restaurant within 15 minutes of closing time.  Those people are ready to go home!  I never really considered this until I was on the other side of the counter.

4.  People ask dumb unintelligent questions.  I have two pet peeve questions.

1.  “How many people does __ size pizza serve?”  First of all, our pizzas come by the inch.  You really should be able to envision how big a 6”  or a 12” pizza is, shouldn’t you?  Second, I’m gonna need a little more information to answer this question, e.g. how hungry are the people or how old are the people.  I mean two 16 year old boys are gonna eat a lot more than two 5 year old girls.

2.  “How many slices come in a __ size pizza?”  Well, I could cut a 6” pizza into 30 slices, but that doesn’t affect how much pizza you’re gonna get.

5.  It’s hard to get good help.  Don’t get me wrong.  The help we have is good.  Great, even!  We love our people!  It’s just not easy to find them.

6.  Pizza ovens are not just for pizza.  It hasn’t been easy, but I’m slowly perfecting the art of baking pies and cakes in the pizza oven.  Many a cake has come out of that oven about 2” taller on one end than the other. (Of course “Precious” doesn’t mind, because she likes to eat the extra crumbs I shave off the tops of the cakes.)

7.  People are creatures of habit.  I can’t tell you how many customers we have who order the exact same thing 90% of the time.  For example, we have a Mr. Whole Meatball Hoagie on wheat, a Miss Grilled Chicken Salad add jalapenos,  a Mr. & Mrs. Two Big Daddy Deluxe Pizzas, and a Mrs. 12 Hot Wings with honey mustard dressing, just to name a few.  Me?  I’m a Mrs. 6” Veggie Pizza on wheat, light cheese.  We have some very faithful customers who have yet to try our pizza because they are stuck on our other food.  They just don’t know what they’re missing!

8.  The restaurant business is tough work.

Extremely hard.


Although, not quite as demanding as child-rearing.

There are countless other lessons and experiences I could write about, but I’m getting tired, and you’re probably getting bored, so I’ll stop for now.

I’ve got a few other things to share with y’all, but I’ll save them for another day.  Things like monkeys and fish and cakes and dining rooms (yes, it’s finished, well, sort of.)  So be sure to pop in soon.

P.S.  I just want to say, “Thank You,” to any and all who leave comments.  I love hearing from y’all.  It’s amazing how one little comment can brighten a blogger’s day. Smile

Friday, June 24, 2011

Dear Ol’ Dad

Ty definitely inherited my love for arts and crafts.  He really enjoys drawing, painting, crafting, and creating.  So it was no surprise that he wanted to give his dad a handmade gift for Father’s Day. (Which probably was a good thing, since I told the Tool Man that I wasn’t buying him a Father’s Day gift until he bought me a Mother’s Day gift.) Smile with tongue out 

Domestic disputes aside, Ty decided to make his dad some plant markers for the garden.  I helped Ty by writing the names of the plants on cardstock, and he drew pictures of the vegetables and colored them.  Then we laminated the cards and glued them to dowels.  We used hot glue, of course.  Ty is a firm believer in hot glue.  Hot glue and scotch tape.  Instant adhesion!  He’s far too impatient to wait for glue to dry.  He’d never make it in traditional school with Elmer’s white glue!  I don’t know, but I think the teachers might frown if he came to school with a hot glue gun.  But I digress…

Here’s the Tool Man and the monkeys with his gift.

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Lucy had the Cindy-Crawford-Mole-on-the-Lip thing going on.   I’m pretty sure it’s just a brownie crumb, though.

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O.K.  These pictures just make me sick!

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If you know anything about Ty, you know he loves fruit.

Forget the chocolate chip cookies, cake, or ice cream.

This boy would rather have strawberries, grapes, or…


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No, he really didn’t, but it’s a good picture isn’t it?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chair Makeover


What do you get when you send Dad out to buy furniture?


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A big, ugly “unique,” black hole of a chair.

Not exactly the look I was going for in Ty’s room.

Now the question is, “How do I make it work?”

Here’s my solution: hide the chair’s “uniqueness” with a slipcover made from a drop cloth. Just an average, ordinary canvas drop cloth I picked up at Home Depot. It’s plenty big enough for the job, it’s inexpensive, and it lends just the right vintage-y character I’m looking for.

Here’s a few pictures from the process. I won’t go into a lot of detail here, but it’s mostly a bunch of pinning and cutting.

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This strip of fabric I cut to wrap around the edge of the chair. This is also the piece that inserted the drawstring into so the slipcover would fit nice and tight on the chair.

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Here’s what I used for the drawstring. I just cut off the hem of the drop cloth. No sewing involved!

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I love the final result!

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I really was amazed at how easy this project turned out to be. Best of all, if when this slipcover’s in need of a washing, it is super simple to remove and toss into the wash. And because I washed, bleached, and dried the drop cloth before I started sewing, I won’t have to worry about the slipcover shrinking.

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Drop cloths are my new friends. Like I mentioned earlier, their color and texture suit my country style perfectly. I’ve already covered a couple more chairs, and I’m thinking about making some pillows with the scraps I’ve got left over.

I’m linking this post to the Block Party @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia – Drop Cloth Projects. Pop on over Tuesday and check out all the inspiring ideas! Also linked to Miss Mustard Seed.