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Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Early on in the rehearsal process we were advised to study children in our attempt to portray 8 year olds in A Charlie Brown Christmas. Not being around kids very often, I decided instead to load up my Netflix queue with Charlie Brown videos. 

This way I could study how cartoon eight year olds interacted. I'm not sure I've learned anything, but tonight was entertaining anyhow. 

I watched You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown (with wine).  It features a couple songs we'll be performing so that was fun to watch. And now I think we all need baseball bats for Team, but I digress. 

Tonight I enjoyed Snoopy's song Supper Time the most. It reminded me so much of my little Peanut. He always enjoyed a good supper time. I imagine if Peanut could have sung, he would have serenaded me with Supper Time every evening. 

I'm counting on that joyful memory to get me through. We open in just over a week and I fear it may get worse before it gets better. Hang onto your hats, folks! 

Constant State of Purge

Since I moved in August I've been in a constant state of purge.

Those close to me would probably disagree considering the large quantity of stuff and things I possess.  When I moved into my teeny tiny house things just kept piling up in the basement.  This photo doesn't even do it justice.  This was probably before several more loads arrived.

I've since added a shelf, which is loaded up and there are still boxes laying around to unpack. Well I went through several and took a whole car load to Savvy Home Consignments of vases, trays, antique pieces, curtains, pillows, and even a portion of my prized party glasses. I figure I can't possible have 88 people in my teeny tiny house to use all of these glasses anyway, right?
Photo from Savvy Home Consignments.
And so it will continue. As I try to fit all of my things someplace in my house, I will have to make the decision "Do I really want to store this?" How do you pare down when your stuff begins to overwhelm you?

Friday, November 28, 2014

As It Turns Out...

I was sick.

Go figure. There's a fine line between what gluten allergies feel like and having a cold feels like. Both miserable! 

Thank goodness I pulled through because I started rehearsals for A Charlie Brown Christmas and I'm going to need all of that energy for ridiculous singing and dancing. Ridiculous! 

And my sister and I just opened an Etsy shop: Strong Arts & Crafts, so I should get my behind in gear and start making things to sell.

So much to do these days. Happy holidays! 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Sick Of This!

After a full day of crafting, cooking, and getting things done around the house I should be exhausted, but I'm up late due to allergies and not being able to breathe. 

I started my day with an old favorite recipe for sweet potato hash from my ultra metabolism cookbook. It's whole foods based and I knew nothing about it would give me an allergic reaction. 

I procrastinated craft time by cleaning up my kitchen including putting away the party dishes from a few weeks ago. I fixed my loose closet door with a couple tooth picks in the screw holes. I even hung my new coca cola sign.

Then I headed into my basement to get crafting supplies and procrastinated a little more by doing some rearranging. Or organizing the crafts as I tell myself. 

I finally headed out to my workshop in the garage and prepped a bunch of barnwood for crafts. I've got some jewelry hangers, votive holders, signs, and bed spring trees and snowmen in progress.

I might actually have a few things to sell at the craft fair next week! I ended my evening with my Coffee Beef Stew (totally non-allergenic) and whipped up a new brownie recipe that seemed to be allergen free. 

I didn't even take my stomach meds tonight as I recently heard they can cause higher sensitivity to allergens (like I need that)! So that leaves the cider and brandy as a culprit. The brandy is probably not high quality and I tend to have a reaction when I'm slumming it with my liquor selections.

Perhaps never again. I'm sooo sick off this! 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Than This Happened

It seems like forever ago that US Cellular sold my account to Sprint and forced a phone upgrade on me. But it was only about a year ago.

I felt like it would be convenient to have a phone that would communicate with my iTunes and that turned out to be correct. Since getting an iPhone I also got a new car with all the fancy Bluetoothness. I will never deny that it's pretty convenient. But it's pretty much just a glorified iPod. 

I absolutely hate the keyboard and pecking out each letter one by one. This is the modern age for crying out loud! Once I tried to download a Swype app only to be highly disappointed and I gave up. Until now. 

For some reason I was in the app store thingy and it recommended this Swype app. Don't mind if I do! Absolutely beautiful. It's as if we've been reunited... And it feels so good! 

So here I am back on the blog because I can actually communicate with this iPod now. So sweet. Stay tuned.  I'm going to attempt to get back into the blogging saddle. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Busy Little Beaver!

So I finally found a teeny tiny little house with space to work on my furniture! And as luck would have it, I got in early to perform a complete makeover with paint!

I was blessed with a few nights off from Mary Poppins rehearsals as we just got that ball rolling over at the theatre and I'm Assistant Stage Manager, which isn't so crucial in the early stages. 

I started by digging out my Springfield color swatches from the house file. I got them color matched in glorious Behr paint and primer. I really needed that primer because the walls were VERY dirty!

In two days I managed to paint the living room and front room one night and the two bedrooms on night two. I love the smell of fresh paint!

Tonight after rehearsal I plan to tackle the closets. Hopefully I'll be done before midnight! I'm so tired...

Check out what I've accomplished!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Crafy Fair Fun

Well, my sister and I both overslept on Saturday for our very first Craft Fair as Strong Arts & Crafts. But we had plenty of time to get set up by the 9am start time. Then we cooled our heels as the crowds were slow getting out of bed and to the fair!

Morning traffic picked up and we did fairly well, but as soon as the rains started, the crowds began to scatter.  We toughed it out for awhile, but with no sunshine on the horizon, and the wind beginning to pick up, we decided we'd call it a day.

Tearing down in the rain was the most fun!  Here are the pictures of our booth before we began scrunching further and further into the center of the tent. :)

We got an awesome paper banner from Sign Pro in La Crosse, but sadly it was soaked by the end of the day.  Next time we'll have to get a vinyl banner!

Hopefully we will get another opportunity to try our hand at the craft fair again soon!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Craft Fair Busyness!

So my sister and I have joined creative forces to bring Strong Arts & Crafts to the Trempealeau Catfish Days Arts & Crafts Fair this Saturday, July 12th!

We have been considering pooling resources for awhile now and at the spur of the moment decided to try our hand at a craft fair. Why? Because we're crazy like that! I've been reading up on everything I need to know to be a successful craft fair vendor and combined with my event planning background, I think we'll do just fine.

However, right now I'm in crazy list mode. I'm trying to make lists of everything I have to do, have to finish, need to set up, must buy, must prepare for.... Tell me again why we decided to throw this together at the last minute for the first time?

Here's why.... we make awesome crafts! I'm super excited to sell the furniture and crafts I have been making directly face to face with real people! If you're in the area for the festivities make sure to stop by and say hi between 9am-4pm on Saturday.

Here are a few of the projects I prepared this week especially for the fair.
Garden Mushrooms on old garden tools.

Repurposed yard stick sign on pallet wood for hanging or on a shelf.

And some additional items to see there...
Portable Ironing Board Bar.
Pallet wood Wine Bar.
One of many repurposed wind chimes!
One of my repurposed lamps.
Plus of course my sister's embroidery, felt crafts, gnomes & fairies from This Mom Loves...! Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Back In The Workshop!

After a week spent at the theatre auditioning Mary Poppins hopefuls and a weekend spent relaxing at various drinking establishments, I'm back in the workshop!

Before all of that business, I stopped by a friend's rummage sale and picked up a car full of reasonably priced treasures for repurposing.

I took two chairs and made them into a bench with the help of a few salvaged baseboards. Tonight it got a coat of paint along with a lovely end table and a chair in such poor condition it could only be a garden chair. 

I'm feeling the creative juices flowing through me again!

As I was painting the table legs I was thinking about how I used to try to paint them vertically. It seems logical, right? 

But it is actually far easier to run your brush from side to side, in essence slapping the leg. I keep a small amount of paint on the brush and go slowly to avoid splatter on nearby finished pieces. 

Using the method, and because the paint is slightly thinned with plaster of Paris and water, the paint usually comes out perfectly smooth. It also is less likely to drip because your brush follows the creases with each detail.

Just thought I'd share with you in case you're still struggling painting table and chair legs vertically. Happy painting!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sew No More

Well, in all honesty, I found this sewing cabinet without a sewing machine to begin with.

I had just dropped off a carload full of furniture at Thrifty Pickin's and had gotten loaded up with a few cast offs from their storage. The car was pretty full, but I couldn't resist the temptation to stop by the thrift store as I passed.

And I saw this sewing table beauty. I had been on the lookout for one, but they usually were out of my price range with sewing machine still in tact (what would I do with that once it was removed?!)

This one was priced for repurposing with no machine left for sewing.

So I squeezed it into the back of my car and began dreaming of its transformation. I posed the question on Facebook "Should it be black or brightly colored?" And I received great, but mixed feedback.

Someone wanted me to leave it wood. But honestly, this cabinet isn't all real wood. I knew it would look snazzier dressed in black paint. But I wanted this to be an outdoor drink station, so I felt it should be brightly colored for your patio. I added that pop on the inside and I love it!

I finished the painting, waxing, and poly

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Good, The Bad, and The Beautiful!

I have some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that I took a beat up old cast off dresser and transformed it into something absolutely beautiful.

I'm not exaggerating when I say I've already spent a good deal of time just gazing at it. Or gazing at the pictures I took of it. I'm just really happy with this first attempt at repurposing old dressers. (Which is good because I have two more lined up on do I get myself into these things?!)

The bad news is

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Work In Progress

Thrifty Pickin's was kind enough to gift me this broken down dresser. It was missing all but the bottom drawer. I forgot to get the picture until I already started working on it... par for the course.  But this picture does show some of the beautiful wood grain contact paper I stripped from this old dresser's lovely bones.
Whew! Was that ever way too much work! I might be inclined to never do that again. But once it was off and sanded down, I could begin working on restructuring. I knew I wanted to make this into a bar... because bars are quickly becoming my forte.  :) So I figured the top drawer support should go, but the second one would be a good height to set drinks and bottles and things.

So here she is with the pallet wood

Monday, March 31, 2014

It's Been Awhile!

It's been ages since I posted a before and after picture! I worked on this chair this weekend for my aunt.

The new fabric I actually picked up last summer at the local thrift store. It is a portion of a drapery panel. I love finding (and finally using) an interesting, repurposed fabric!

This last week I also completed this lovely leather topped coffee table. A friend passed it along to me and I immediately saw it dressed in a classy black. She turned out beautifully and has already gone to her forever home!

This DIY 2x4 table was at the thrift store hiding under a horrible

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Has Sprung!

I've been busy in my workshop encouraging Spring's arrival with a splash of color here and there. Actually, as I packed my car last night full of items to haul to Thrifty Pickin's, I noticed everything was the same color.
I tend to do that when I mix up chalk paint because with the plaster of paris in the paint, it will harden and won't keep very long. On a bright note, everything is.... well... bright!
I did sneak in a lime green chair with a little teal flower detail. These two beauties intended for the garden have already been delivered and snatched up. Hopefully I'll find more chairs to gardenize as the weather continues to blossom.
This cute little magazine rack just had to be teal. If you've got a retro piece like this I just feel like that is the way to go! She's heading down to Thrifty Pickin's next week after the store gets moved over to the main drag!

But the biggest recent accomplishment in the workshop was completing my retro ironing board. You can tell by the before picture that I purchased it long, long ago when the grass was greener. 

I thoroughly enjoy the label, so I had to preserve it... with a photograph. It didn't survive the repurposing treatment. I stripped it off along with the white paint. I spray painted the legs black gloss to revitalize them. Then I got to work staining the top. I had this idea that it should be stained wood.  

Well, one thing led to another and I was not happy with it. The ironing board was folded up and stuffed into the back of the garage until the snow started to fly. Then it was hauled down to the basement to wait for spring when I could strip it and start over. Ugh!

Well, upon reflection (and a suggestion),

Friday, March 7, 2014

Word of the Week: Repurpose

I've been working on several little repurposing projects this week. I have a whole pile of things that are still in progress and an enamel tub (you can see part of it in the back right) filled with other goodies waiting for their next assignment on this earth.

Last week I put together a candlestick and little wooden stool to make a lamp. I had to drill through the candlestick, which I kept assuming wasn't going to work... but it did! (PS I need a new set of drill bits in case you're thinking early birthday present.) I drilled a hole in the stool for the cord to feed through and then I glued the pieces together. I also took the base of the candlestick, turned it upside down, and glued it to the top to form a cap on the top. 

This week it got the white chalk paint and distressing treatment along with a little wooden caddy, a candlestick (purpose still TBD), and a couple of picture frames that are intended for my spring art on burlap. I'll definitely post a picture when those are complete!  I feel like the lamp will need more work as I may need to do some spray painting and I still have to wire it and find the perfect lampshade. Stay tuned!

I've been super addicted to creating pedestal dishes lately and this has to be one of my favorites.
 I found the little bendable man at the thrift store and immediately saw him as a pedestal. I started with a coat of bright and cheery orange paint and painted a companion wooden plate to attach him to. When dried, I glued his hands to the plate and worked backwards gluing his top half joints together so he could hold the upper pan steady. He's pretty darn strong! He's standing in a loaf pan and holding a slightly smaller loaf pan. This will definitely be heading to Thrifty Pickin's this week!

Another favorite for me this week was updating my suitcase clock.

I had previously sent it to the store, but we decided it needed something more,

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Regal Throne

Can you even believe it's the same chair?

I picked this structural beauty up last summer. It was quickly stripped down of orange fabric and primed. Then in a frenzy of chalk paint, it received a few coats and sanding to distress. And after a coat of furniture wax, it sat around the house for a very long time.

I eventually cut fabric using the old fabric as a template.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Love Letter

Well it's a day late, but I usually reflect on love on February 14th for some reason.

This year I lost my main man, Mr. Peanut. It was difficult to say goodbye, but I'm so grateful for the fourteen and a half years we had together. There are really no words to express a love so true. He was the love of my life and I miss him every day.

I had plenty of challenges this year and was lucky to have amazing support from my family.

I moved back to Wisconsin to look for a job and my parents welcomed me with open arms. While I waited for the right job to come along, they let me reorganize their closets, paint walls, and redo landscaping to keep me from getting bored.

And when I decided to start repurposing furniture, they parked their cars in the driveway so I could take over the garage. (The half that wasn't filled with my belongings.) They put up with sawdust, wet paint, and spray paint on their lawn. And now, I've brought all of that into the basement for the winter!

Most recently when my car broke down in the big city on a Sunday night, my dad drove into town to rescue me. And over the last three weeks with no car, they've graciously allowed me to chauffeur them to work and then hijack their car for my own use. Now my dad is vigilantly searching out my next new car. Thanks Mom and Dad for everything you do!

My sister has also been very supportive since I moved back. She filled many days with activities and visits with the nieces. We went hiking, swimming, and to concerts and such. It was wonderful to have the time to spend with her family.

She is always quick to set an extra place for me at her dinner table and pour me a glass of wine or crack open a cider. She always shares what she has.

I was so happy to be able to share our love of theatre this year on two different shows. As much as I love spending time with her family, it was extra special to just have sister time together every day. As lives get busy, it can be easy to disconnect from family and friends and I am so thankful for staying connected through our shared interests.

It's been nice being closer to the rest of my family as well. Every now and then I get a lunch with my aunt, a chat with grandma, Friday fish out with the Adams clan, and sometimes a visit from the Hanover family. You enrich my life!

This year I've reconnected with friends since moving back. I really took this opportunity to strengthen the friendships of those who reached out to me and tried to be open to all possibilities. In that process I've strengthened some old friendships, built newer ones, and let go of some old ideals as well.

Thank you to all of you who chose to welcome me back into your lives! It means a lot when you're feeling like the new kid in school again. I appreciate you and the time we've shared this year!

Here's hoping for more of the same in the coming year. I'm always looking out for possibilities--you never know what the future will bring. Wishing you just as much love in your lives!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

An Experiment In Color

I had this itch to paint something coral, but of course I don't have any coral paint. But I did have red paint I was inclined to use up. And I always have flat white on hand.

After a little internet searching (that's really how I solve all problems), I discovered you can make coral paint by mixing together red, white, and a little orange.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Pop Of Color

I've been busy crafting in my spare time. Here are a few things I've brightened up recently!

A thrift store find, this little end table really cleans up pretty! The original brass handle got an update with a pop of teal spray paint.  It is available for sale SOLD at Thrifty Pickin's in Coon Valley. 

I've been searching out interesting pedestal and dish combos to combine as a pedestal dish. I always have a seasonal, cute dish...

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Busy Crafter Bee

I was a busy crafter bee today. I started by looking at Pinterest for a very long time. I browsed heart decorations even though I told myself I should move on to Spring and St. Patricks Day. I just can't stop crafting hearts!

I wanted to make hearts from wire and so once I accomplished that, I dug out a few skeleton keys and buttons to add to complete the ornaments.

Then I moved downstairs to finish my captain's wheel I distressed, painted, and glazed the other day. Today I applied the finishing wax and then drilled a hole in the center to add the clock works. I finished by...

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Little Spring Warmth

While browsing the Pinterest awhile back, I ran across this pin that looked too cute to pass by. I pinned it right away and then discovered that the link did not lead me to a tutorial, but instead to a blog in... Spanish? I don't even know.

Point being, this is a really cute idea and in order to bring it to fruition, I would need to use my own...

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Unbelievable Transformation

Recently a friend salvaged this beautiful, old farm table and passed it along to me to work my magic.
I had a few ideas for this table. It came to me on wheels and so I thought perhaps with a new top and a little more height it could be a fabulous kitchen island. But the cost of a quality stone or butcher block top slowed me down on that idea.

Also, the wheels were in pretty bad shape, so they would have had to be replaced anyhow. Trust me, they had a hundred years of rust on them that made it extra fun to pull them out. I learned a little oil...

Friday, January 10, 2014

Sharing More Beauties

Although I finished these months ago, I don’t believe I’ve shared them yet. I was at a standstill for production because the house was filling up quickly with finished projects and nowhere to sell them. Now that I’m displaying items at Thrifty Pickin’s* in Coon Valley, I’m clearing out the basement and garage!

*Chairs currently available at Savvy Home Consignments.

These chrome frame chairs are really heavy duty and comfortable. I secretly hope nobody buys them so I can bring them back home again.  The fabric reminds me of a Frank Lloyd Wright print. I’m really in love with everything about them. And I had two so you can see the before and after in the picture, but they have both been finished now to match. No more ripped orange fabric.

The grey tables (SOLD) I picked up at two different locations and was super excited to find a matching pair. Of course I’m in love with...

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Thrifty Pickin's

This weekend I dropped off a car load full of furniture and things at Thrifty Pickin's in Coon Valley. This included a few pieces I've already shared with you and these newer items. I'm hoping the Thrifty Pickin's crowd will love the new additions!

Here are a few of my chalk board creations. There are two cutting boards and a metal tray. These are ready to hang in your kitchen for your shopping list notes or party menus.
Photo from Thrifty Pickin's.
This stripey, low coffee table is...


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