Monday, July 25, 2016

Updating the Screened Porch at the Summer Cottage

I recently updated the fabrics on our screened porch at the summer cottage. They were beginning to get a little worn looking after 7 summers.

porch furniture with new fabric

When we were planning to build our little summer cottage one of the things at the top of our “must have” list was a screened porch. Because our lot is pie shaped our house is only 30 feet wide and 40 feet deep. We insisted on a screened porch all across the back on the lake side. Actually we have double screened porches. I had originally drawn the porch to be 15 feet wide by 30 feet long but the builder talked me into 12 feet wide. His reasoning was that 15 is an odd size for lumber and it would cost less and be less labor if I went with 12 feet wide. 12 feet wide is sufficient but 15 would have been even better!

screened porch

We spend a lot of time out here and eat most of our meals here too. We love the view of the water.

lake view

If you have followed and read this blog then you may already know that I don’t change things very often. When I find something that I like I buy it and I usually keep it for a long time. If you compare the new fabric to the old fabric you will notice that they are almost identical. I searched and searched for a fabric that I love but kept coming back to the old stuff. The new fabric is not identical but it is very close.porch furniture with old fabric

The photo above shows the old fabric. When I found that fabric it was the end of a bolt and there wasn’t enough so I had to use a solid color for the backs and bottoms of the cushions. This time I was able to get enough fabric for everything. While the old ones were not torn or worn out the color was a little faded and dingy looking with a little mildew on it. These cushions stay outside 6 months of the year and are stored inside 6 months of the year. It is outdoor fabric. For the new cushions I did take time to put in invisible zippers so that they can be washed if needed. The old cushions did not have zippers. I found the fabric online at  They had a great selection and I was able to order samples for $1.75 each before making my selection.  I was very pleased with my purchase although shipping took longer than I expected, more than 2 weeks.The name of the fabric that I chose is called Snow Leopard by P Kaufmann. (If you missed my dining room update using PKaufmann fabric for wallcovering you can see it here.)

porch furniture with new fabric 3

The new fabric had to coordinate with the blue paint on the house without clashing and I think this one does that pretty well.

screened porch seating 1

In the photo above you can also see the old curtains that I used. There were very inexpensive sheers from Ikea, maybe $5.99 per pair! I don’t see those on the Ikea website any more. Those were hung with rings on tiny nails. For the upgrade I went with the cotton Lenda curtains from Ikea. They were $19.99 per pair when I purchased them. Now they are a little more.

Ikea Lenda curtain panels

So far the curtains have held up very well. They are not outdoor fabric and I did not add waterproofing or any weather protection.

brackets for curtain rods on porch

I used the Betydlig brackets and the Hugad rods from Ikea.

curtain rods for porch

All of my Ikea purchases were made last summer so I don’t now if they are still available. If they are not, I’m sure that Ikea has an affordable alternative.

porch furniture with new fabric 2

I also made new cushion covers for the dining chairs. I didn’t realize how much the cushions show up due to the tabletop being glass.

new cushions for dining chairs

updated porch 2

updated porch cross view

updated porch dining area 2

updated porch dining area

updated porch

I plan to do another post with a fresh tablescape and another more instructional post on putting the porch together step by step.

I hope that you are enjoying this hot summer as much as I am!

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I’m linking to Metamorphposis Mondayand to Inspire Me Tuesday. Click the link for lots of inspiration!

Monday, July 18, 2016

DIY Beverage Stand Workshop- the Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

This is NOT a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

After seeing a social media push by Home Depot about a “Do It Herself” Workshop for building a beverage stand I decided to go online and sign up. Since I love a hands on project, I thought it was something that I would really enjoy.

Beverage stand image from Home Depot

photo from Home Depot

The image above was used by various bloggers to encourage participation.I followed a blogger’s link to register then I received a confirmation email reminding me of the store location and time. I arrived at my local Home Depot store at 6:15 for the 6:30 workshop and stopped at the service desk to inquire as to where the workshop was inside the store. Both employees at the service desk were working with other customers so I had to wait for several minutes. When it was my turn I asked about the location. Neither employee had any knowledge of a workshop that night. After I told them that there was a workshop they tried to convince me that there was not then one employee stepped out to the store entry to “check the sign” and came back and told me there was not a wokshop beause it was not on the sign. I insisted that there was and told her that I had an email confirmation.  She asked to see my phone to see the confirmation. After reading my email she decided to call a manager. Apparently the manager had no knowledge and told her to call someone else. After the second phone call she told me to go to the saw where they cut lumber.By this time it was 6:28. I proceeded to that area and seeing no signs of a workshop I asked an employee. That employee sent me to another saw at the very back of the store. There I found a group of 4 women and shortly afterward our instructor came up.  We were working around a lumber cart with a large piece of plywood laying on top. Said lumber cart is not a stable surface as the two center wheels are bigger than the wheels on either end and thus wobbles up and down. Our instructor, who was very good, told us that we had a very limited amount of time and that one beverage station would be built and that we could take turns using the air nailer, as the materials were already cut. Each of the ladies there had a very odd look on our faces and the instructor asked us if we thought each of us was making one. While the website registration did not explicitly state that each participant would be building a stand to take home, we all thought that we were when we signed up for the workshop. That issue has since been cleared up on the Home Depot website registration page for DIH workshops. The instructor told us that the materials for the project cost $38 each so we would build one then we would draw numbers to see which lady would take home the project. I wish that I could say that the class went smoothly from there but unfortunately it did not. Other employees in the area were busy bringing in stock from a truck and putting it away so our instructor was interrupted by other customers several times. We finally decided to continue without his supervision while he helped a customer. As we were building I looked at the materials.

materials for the beverage stand

The photo above shows all of the materials with the exception of the 10 quart galvanized bucket but also includes a piece of scrapwood in the lower left corner. The instructor said that the store was out of stock on the buckets but should have one the next day. Is it just me or did they not know for weeks that the workshop was coming up? The instructor told us that he found out a 8 PM the night before that he would be teaching the workshop. Maybe I’m over the top here but how much trouble would it have been to have a folding work table, maybe a bottle of water for each attendee and perhaps a small token or coupon for each lady. Silly me, I thought Home Depot was trying to build relationships with potential customers. Instead, it appeared that we were a major inconvenience to employees trying to bring in stock.

I asked the instructor why the materials were so much. His answer was that if you purchase a piece of plywood that is 2 feet by 4 feet it runs the price up since it is just a few dollars less than a full sheet of plywood ( which is 4 feet by 8 feet). So I ran the numbers in my head and figured that if 4 of us purchased one piece of plywood and shared it that each of us could have a project for less than $20 each. I asked the instructor if that was correct and he said that it was. He even showed us a lower grade of plywood as another option that was less expensive. I also asked him if he could cut the wood if we bought it and he said that he would. I then asked him if we could use his nail gun to put them together. He said that we could not because he had to help put the stock away and we could not use the nail gun without an employee with us.  My only regret is that I did not get the phone numbers of the other ladies so that I could invite them to my home for our own workshop and allow them to use my tools. None of them had an air nailer but thought that they would be able to improvise.We decided to purchase the materials using the lower grade plywood. I think our final price for materials was $12 each but that did not include the bucket since they didn’t have any buckets! When I went back to purchase a bucket I think it was $9.99.

legs for bevarge stand

These are the legs for the beverage stand. I actually used screws instead of the small finishing nails so that it would be more sturdy. I don’t have step by step photos as I didn’t have my tripod and couldn’t take the photos and hold the material at the same time. Christy from Our Southern Home has an excellent tutorial here as she was one of the bloggers who participated in the promo. At the workshop at the store we did not cut the circle out of the top since we did not have a bucket. When I built mine at home I did have the bucket and wanted to cut the circle. This was by far the hardest part.

cutting the circle

As you can see, I drew two diagonal lines on the top to find the center. Then I used a string, a pencil, and a nail in the center to draw the circle. I have completed many projects but have never tried to draw a circle like this. You can also see that that was a disaster! It was ugly!! I could not hold the pencil steady and came up with a very wobbly circle. I ended up doing what I always do; I found an object (probably a plate)with the diameter that I needed and traced around it. It works every time for me. Then I drilled a hole for my jigsaw blade and carefully cut the circle.

beverage stand close up

I painted it black since the other furniture on our screened porch is black. I set this geranium in the bucket when it’s not being used for ice.

beverage stand with added molding for  a finished edge

If you look closely in the photo above you can see that I added molding to the top edge for a more finished look.

beverage stand complete

The beverage stand makes a nice addition to our screened porch.

In summary, I was very disappointed in my Home Depot experience. I think that they missed some good opportunities in a big way. After the workshop I saw many other comments on social media that other participants in other locations also had negative experiences while a few had wonderful experiences. I do hope that the Depot will work to improve the workshop experience at all locations.

I’m linking to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch, to Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Throught Life, to Thoughts of Home on Thursday at Decore to Adore and to Grace at Home at Imparting Grace. Click over for lots of inspiration.

I hope that you are having a wonderful summer!

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Febreze Air Purifier

This is a sponsored post. I received a Febreze Air Purifier to evaluate and review the product. All opinions are my own.

I recently had the opportunity to evaluate and review the Febreze Air Purifier. After using it for several weeks I have been very pleased and impressed.


The Febreze Air Purifier is a Hepa type air purifier that removes up to 99% of air pollutants. This large model retails for about $89 and stands about 26 inches tall.


Since she was a baby, my now grown daughter has struggled with air borne allergens. We decided that her room was the perfect place to start.  Several nights before we got the air purifier, my daughter awoke during the night with terrible allergy attacks, sneezing repeatedly, throat and eyes itching, and runny nose. Because she is “scent sensitive” we did not turn on the scent feature while it was in her room. The machine operates quietly so that it does not interfere with sleep. Since using the Febreze Air Purifier, her allergy attacks have been significantly reduced. It made a dramatic difference in her room and she loved it. 


After a couple of weeks we moved the air purifier to the den. Again, the quiet operation allowed us to continue to watch TV and carry on our normal activites without any problems at all. While the air purifier was in the den we tried out the scent feature. We tend to be very sensitive to scents and find many candles to be over-powering. We started with the lowest setting for scent and it was so light that we turned it to the highest setting. The fresh Febreze scent was very light and pleasant, making the house smell really fresh and clean. I would highly recommend this product!

I’m linking to Thoughts of Home on Thursdays at Poofing the Pillows and to Grace at Home at Imparting Grace.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Making a Mason Jar Chandelier

A few months ago my son’s fiancee told me that she would like to have a Mason Jar chandelier for the wedding reception and wondered if I could figure out how to make one. I love a challenge so I set out to make one.

mason jar chandelier

Once completed, I loved how it turned out.

chandelier bride and groom

The finished chandelier measures nearly 3 feet from top to bottom and about 30 inches across. So, how did I do it? I don’t have a step by step tutorial because I was pressed for time finishing it just a couple of days before the wedding!!

brass chandliers reconfigured

The chandelier started out as 2 separate brass chandeliers that I purchased for about $15 each.  I found one at an antique booth and the other at a Habitat Restore.One of the chandeliers that I bought was just like this one from my dining room with 2 levels. The other was a very large single tier chandelier.dining room before chair seats

Those types of chandeliers are screwed together on threaded rods. To disassemble one, you simplyhold it at the top and bottom and twist counter clockwise.

brass chandelier with arrows copy

I disassembled the two chandeliers and turned them upside down and ran the existing wires out the bottom. Next I moved the bottom ornament to the top and the top ornament to the bottom basically flipping it upside down.

brass chandelier with arrows copy

Next, I removed the bottom from one chandelier and the top from the other and screwed them together to add another tier. One note about reassembling. The first time I put them back together I twisted them too tight causing the threaded rod to cut through the insulation on the wire which caused it to short out!!! Not good!!! I had to unscrew the whole thing and repair the wire and put it back together again, being very careful not to over tighten! I added a plug in lamp cord to the end so that it could be plugged into an extension cord in the top of the tent.

painted chandelier

Next, I gave it a couple of coats of oil rubbed bronze spray paint. Then I took off the sockets by unscrewing the wires and unscrewing the sockets. I drilled a 3/8” hole in the top of each mason jar. I put the jar tops on the end of each arm then replaced the sockets with shorter ones and attached the wires again.  I purchased these 1 1/2” sockets on Ebay. Then I purchased these Edison style bulbs on Ebay and put them in. Next I screwed on the jars and she was complete. The bulbs were the most expensive part running about $100 for 18. The sockets were about $30 and the jars were about $10 bringing the total cost to around $170.

chandelier bride and groom

My niece Haley made a very similar by simply flipping a single tier chandelier as pictured below.

haley chandelier 3

Halely chandelier 2

I don’t include a lot of family photos on the blog but I am adding just a few that were taken before the wedding.

groom family

mom and groom

parents of the groom

I hope you are enjoying your summer. It is blazing hot here but I am loving the sunshine!

I am linking to Thoughts of Home on Thursday at Decor to Adore, to Grace at Home at Imparting Grace, to Pretty Project Party at 11 Magnolia Lane, to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch and to The Creative Circle at Domestic Charm. Click the links for lots of inspiration.

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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Lazy Susans or Efficient Susans?

My son recently got married and my husband and I hosted the rehearsal dinner. Of course I had to complete a couple of DIY projects. I decided to make lazy Susans for the tables.

lazy susan on table 1

I very quickly snapped a couple of pictures just before everyone walked in the door. I wish that I had better pictures but I think you can get the idea.

lazy susan top

I purchased the precut 24 inch circles of wood from one of the big box home improvement stores for $9.72 each. You can see them by clicking here. Since our big box stores are very close to each other I decided to check the price at both stores. I was shocked to find that the other store price was $18.49 for the exact same piece of wood! You can see that one by clicking here! You can see in the photo above that I marked the center and drew a circle where the turntable or spinner would go.

lazy susan base

I purchased the turntables on Ebay for $6.99 each. You can see them by clicking here. I applied a generous amount of construction adhesive and affixed them to the wood. By the way, you can purchase a Lazy Susan already made from Lowe’s for $70.98 but it’s only 14.75 inches in diameter. You can see it here.

lazy susan upside down

Then I gave them a quick coat of primer, paint, stain, and polyurathane.

lazy susan close-up

lazly susans on tables

Unfortunately I was in a really big hurry and I failed to get a good close-up shot of the tables. For centerpieces I used my go-to tool caddies stuffed with annuals and a little Spanish moss.

lazy susan with tool caddy

The next 2 pictures are how I used the tool caddies at another rehearsal dinner.

tool caddy with flowers 2

tool caddy with flowers 1

This one is particularly sentimental.

Jesse tool caddy

If you look closely you will see the groom’s name on the bottom. He made this at Home Depot almost 20 years ago! I wish that we had written the year on there too!


Several years ago I updated the kids’ tool caddies with fresh paint so that we could continue to use them. You can see that post by clicking here.

I hope you are enjoying these first days of summer! I surely am.

I’ll be linking to Thoughts of Home on Thursday and to Metamorphosis Monday. Click the links to see lots of inspiration.

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