How to Mortar Wash (German Schmear) a Brick Fireplace

Materials Needed:

    • Plastic or drop cloth
    • Painter’s tape
    • 2 buckets (one for mixing mortar and one for water)
    • Durable gloves
    • Mortar mix
    • Electric drill (for mixing mortar)
    • Mixing paddle
    • VersaBond White Mortar Mix
    • Putty knife (metal is preferable)
    • Heavy-duty sponge
    • Rags

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Making a Wipe Board from an Old Window

In 2001, we moved to Cullman, Alabama and renovated two houses 🏘(side by side built in the 1930s) in the historical part of town. We had a contractor renovate one of the houses 🏚for our family to live in.  Neal (and I as his trusty assistant 😉), renovated the second 🏚. Both houses were 💎s in the rough. I was skeptical 🤨, but Neal saw the potential 🤔.

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Making a Headboard from an Old Door

Here is a diamond in the rough 💎 . . . we saw potential! 🧐

This old door had six panels, but we only needed five panels for a queen sized bed headboard. That works great because Neal prefers an odd number of panels. (For my sake, glad he likes odd!😉)

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From Butcher Block to Farmhouse Table

Bye-bye butcher block table and HELLO farmhouse table!

In the early 1990s (when Ryan and Emmy were toddlers😳) we moved into a house in Auburn, Alabama (War Eagle!) and bought this kitchen table from Sears. It served us through several moves and the stories it could tell from our two children growing up! Originally, it was a butcher block table with white legs; our son Ryan painted the legs black and used this for an art table/desk in his room while he was in high school.

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Building a Barn Door for Our Dock Closet

This blog post describes the process we used to build a barn door for our dock closet; however, the same steps apply to building a barn door for any room in your house. The only difference is that we used treated wood and plywood.

Here is our dock closet before building/installing our barn door. Neal purchased all of our supplies from Home Depot. We started by measuring this treated plywood and cutting it the size we need. It will be the frame for the door. The height will be 84 inches and the width will be 42 inches. Continue reading “Building a Barn Door for Our Dock Closet”

Vintage Bench Makeover

This was one of my favorite projects for many reasons:

  • it was a treasure from my father’s house;
  • it is old;
  • I was able to trace its history (the furniture manufacturer);
  • I was able to combine two of my favorite things (chalk paint and using fabric); and
  • It was also a quick transformation!

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Fall Tablescape

I just love fall — the cooler nights, carving pumpkins, drinking warm cider, smelling freshly baked apple pies, wearing cozy sweaters, and oh the brilliant colors as the foliage explodes with shades of red and orange!

Until this last year, I was a school administrator and thus never had time to decorate for fall. Now that I am retired and doing education consultant work, I have more time and enjoy decorating our home for different seasons.

My father passed away on July 27, 2017. I miss him, but know I will see him when I get to Heaven. Dad had several old cars and trucks. He loved to restore old vehicles. This container (oblong metal box in the photo above) is the toolbox (behind the driver’s seat) in one of three of trucks Dad had behind his barn. I believe the truck is from the 1940s.

 

I just love using something that is genuinely old and rustic. It also reminds me of my Dad. Continue reading “Fall Tablescape”

How We Installed Barn Wood on Our Porch Ceiling

This is a picture of the porch ceiling before we added the old barn wood.

Below is an after picture of the barn wood ceiling (also after we added the rock on the face of the house, built the fireplace,  and wrapped the columns). The floor is our next project!

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Making a Sewing Machine Table

We found this Singer sewing machine base at an antique mall in Vestavia, Alabama several years ago. We love old things. We used it on our patio porch for several years. We used a rough (not polished) piece of granite as its countertop.

Because Neal and I have moved around so much for my career, I was finally thankful to actually have a craft room/closet to leave my sewing machine out and used it as needed without having to unpack/pack up each time. I also have more time now that I am semi-retired.

Below are two before pictures of the sewing machine base. Notice that it is very rusty. 

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