So it appears that this long week of terror in our fair city has finally come to an abrupt end. Beginning on Marathon Monday, and culminating in the death of one, and the capture of another suspect in the bombings, this week has been filled with 24-7 news coverage, lockdowns, shootouts and horrific deaths. Nothing short of an epic Hollywood motion picture, only this time it was real…and personal.

Boston Skyline Chris Mathison

It has been difficult to imagine and write about anything other than the events that were unfolding before our eyes, in our hometown. Blogging about design and decor seemed irrelevant while all of this was happening, and now reflecting on that drama brings a few thoughts to mind. Firstly, thanking the law enforcement officials and officers who bravely put their own lives on the line in the pursuit and ultimate capture of these suspects. Secondly, being grateful that our friends and families are safe, and that we are free to resume our normal daily activities, whether it’s shopping, taking in a show or just enjoying a walk outside without fearing for our safety. Lastly, remembering and honoring those who have lost their lives, and those whose lives have been forever changed by this week’s tragic events. To that end, the Governor and Mayor of Boston have set up

The One Fund

The One Fund

From their website: “Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Menino today announced the formation of The One Fund Boston, the purpose of which is to raise money to help those families most affected by the tragic events that unfolded during Monday’s Boston Marathon.

“I am humbled by the outpouring of support by the business community and individuals who are united in their desire to help. The One Fund Boston will act as a central fund to receive much needed financial support,” Governor Patrick said. “At moments like this, we are one state, one city, and one people.””

Donating any amount will assist those most affected by the bombings. You can do that here, knowing that your donations will provide financial assistance to those citizens in greatest need during their, in many cases, long and painful and costly recovery. Stay strong, Boston,

Boston Strong Logo

and have a safe and finally peaceful weekend everyone. Susan  

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It’s Wanderlust Wednesday, but this week, instead of my usual trip across the pond or from the deck of a cruise ship, I am reposting this blog I wrote one year ago on April 15, 2012, Patriots Day. Our hearts and prayers go out to all of those who were impacted by the horrific events that unfolded on Marathon Monday. In the wake of those recent tragedies at this year’s Boston Marathon, I wanted to re-share this blog with all of my readers, and any onlookers watching from afar who are interested in capturing the essence of the amazing, wonderful, joyful city we call Boston.

So here it is:

In honor of Patriots Day, a uniquely Massachusetts holiday, a little Boston history for your reading pleasure. Facts confirmed by Wikipedia, several historical societies and my historian-in-residence, Coach.  Click on the pictures for links to websites and information.

Boston (pronounced baws-tun). The Capital of Massachusetts. The Hub. The City of Champions (see Boston Red Sox, N.E. Patriots, Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins). Although significantly smaller in population than The Big Apple, what we lack in size we make up for in historic stature. We are the site of the world’s oldest marathon, begun in 1897, the Boston Marathon.We have the oldest MLB ballpark, Fenway Park (c.1912)

the Swan Boats (c.1877) in the Public Garden

and Harvard University, founded in 1636 and the alma mater of 7 US Presidents.

We are Beantown, named for Boston Baked Beans, a dish created by the Colonials, using beans cooked in molasses, a plentiful product due to the slave trade.

Home of the USS Constitution, nicknamed “Old Ironsides”, (C.1787) the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat.

Named The Cradle of Liberty, and founded by the Puritans in 1630, Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States. Instigators of the American Revolution, and the site of the Boston Tea Party

The Boston Massacre 

and the famous Midnight Ride of Paul Revere (the reason for this holiday!)

Penned by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1860, this poem details Revere’s April 18th journey by horseback from Charlestown to Lexington & Concord to warn the townspeople to take up arms in defense of the oncoming British invasion.

“…He said to his friend, “If the British march By land or sea from the town to-night, Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch Of the North Church tower as a signal light,– One if by land, and two if by sea; And I on the opposite shore will be, Ready to ride and spread the alarm Through every Middlesex village and farm, For the country folk to be up and to arm.” 

The British, whose ships were in Boston Harbor, were planning a march to Concord, where they were to destroy supplies and munitions stored by the local militia. Revere’s plan was to make his way there ahead of the advancing British troops, alerting the locals along the way of the impending British invasion. On the night of April 18, 1775,  alerted by the two lanterns hanging in the Old North Church, indicating the British would be advancing in boats over the Charles River, Revere began his historic journey on horseback. He travelled from Charlestown to Concord, alerting the local minutemen of the advancing regiments. Captured and released by the British, he made his way to

The Old North Bridge, the site of the Battles of Lexington and Concord

on April 19, 1775, the beginning of the American Revolution. Yes, you do need to know this for the exam. No, you cannot bring your musket to class for show and tell. Whether this is a holiday for you or not, enjoy the day. And whether you are running or watching the Boston Marathon tomorrow, be careful in the heat! Happy Patriots Day! Susan

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In a recent post, I blogged about transferring French Typography onto wooden furniture using wax paper– this week’s High Five For Friday! Yup-regular old wax paper– the old-fashioned kind we used to wrap our sandwiches in for our tin lunch boxes-is suddenly all the rage again.Sandwich wrapped in wax paperSo I thought I would give the wax paper transfer method currently posted on my D.I.M. Pinterest page a try, since I am working on some new pieces. Coach found this cute little old pine telephone table that I thought would work nicely.

Telephone Table Before

(This one’s from the olden days, folks, when we had those gadgets attached to the wall called telephones, with an attached cord so you had to sit down to talk on them and use loads of paper books with names and addresses and phone numbers in them : )…

Wax Transfer Phone Image

Here are the steps:

1. Cleaned and steel wooled. It hardly had any finish on it so no sanding needed. But I made sure that the inside was clean as well. Nothing worse than opening up some cute, vintage refinished piece only to inhale the strong odor of musty cigarette smoke.

2. Added 2 coats of Annie Sloan French Linen paint. Love the soft color and the flat finish.

Telephone Table Painted

3. Got some wax paper (this pic shows parchment paper which apparently works as well, but I haven’t tried that yet)

Wax papers

4. Find a picture- I got mine from the Graphics Fairy– and print it in your REGULAR INK JET PRINTER!! Not a laser printer, apparently that just melts the wax. Make sure when you go to settings you reverse it for the transfer process prior to printing. Cut the wax paper to the same size as a regular sheet of copy paper. Slowly feed the wax paper into the printer, being careful not to let it wrinkle or crease. Once printed, allow time for it to dry so it won’t smear when you lay it down on your piece.

Wax Paper in Printer

5. Dampen (NOT WET!) the furniture so it will accept the ink. Center the wax paper, print side down, on to your piece of furniture.

Wax paper transfer on table

6. Now just start rubbing all over the design, pressing firmly. I tried two methods of transfer- the credit card- which I found had too sharp of an edge to really press.

Wax paper transfer with credit card

The back of a spoon-perfect! Rub the image until  it is completely transferred.

Wax paper transfer with spoon

The harder and longer you rub, the darker and clearer your image will be. You can carefully pick up the paper and check underneath as you go along, but just make sure you put it back exactly in the same spot- otherwise the image will appear blurry. Allow to dry (about 5 minutes)

7. Finish with a coat of Annie Sloan Soft Wax.

Wax paper French Typography transfer

8. Since we no longer have giant phones and tons of phone books, I discovered a cute new storage place for my Ipad!

Wax Paper French Typography Transfer

TGIF everyone!! So happy to finally have some nice sunny weather-NOT!!! Susan

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Recently I have been working on quite a few pieces of “junk-tiques”, so Coach and I have been frequenting the auction, estate sale and flea market circuit, and have come home with quite a few great country finds.

CDH Junk-Tiques

Of course, most of them need a little, nea, a LOT of TLC, so over the weekend we opened up the HICC (seriously, you don’t know what that is?!?)

HICC

fired up the sander and got to work on the transformation process. When I came across an old commode at an indoor flea market, my intention was to sand it all down and then restain/antique it. But I just couldn’t bring myself to strip away all those years of paint and the beautiful layers of colors, ending with the final soft pink it is today. However, the same did not hold true for the drawer pulls and hinges-years of caked-on paint had obliterated the design and the finishes- who does that?!? Paint Removal with Vinegar I get painting the chest, heck, we all do that. And I understand that painted hardware is “in” right now, but people, if the hardware has beautiful inlaid flowers and a gorgeous pewter patina, leave it alone!!! Paint Removal from Hardware That being said, I needed to find a way to strip all of the old paint off without harming the hardware, my granite countertops and my sinuses. Pinterest to the rescue!! I found several DIY pins with all kinds of methods that did not include harsh chemicals, so I kind of combined a few and came up with my own quick and easy method. Simply: fill an old saucepan with water (enough to cover the hardware completely), add a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar and a few drops of dish soap. Any kind of white vinegar will do, but I especially like this one because it says “Nice!”, and nice matters, as a friend of mine recently reminded me : )

Paint Removal with Vinegar

Drop in the hardware.

Removing Paint in Water and Vinegar

Bring the whole concoction to a boil. Paint Removal with Boiling Water Allow to slow boil for 20-30 minutes (keep making sure you have enough water in the pan- don’t want to singe the hinges!). Keep checking the pieces- after 10 minutes or so you will begin to notice stuff floating in the water, and if you pick up a piece, you can see the paint starting to peel away. Paint Removal Boiling Water After 30 minutes, start taking the pieces out one at a time-you need to keep the others submerged until you are ready to clean them, otherwise the paint will reharden and stick. I used a toothpick and a small toothbrush (preferably not one you are using again!) to get into the crevices. Paint Removal with Toothbrush Buff the piece with a terry cloth towel to remove any clinging bits, then rinse in water and wipe dry. Can you believe the beautiful detail I uncovered under those layers of paint!?!? Paint Removal Paint Peel At this point, you can use a little metal polisher-like this awesome stuff use because: 1. It’s from Cape Cod- which we love and 2. It really works!! Cape Cod Metal Polishing Cloths

Individual little cloths already soaked with not-too-smelly cleaner-easy and neat. Polish, buff dry and you are done. Once completed, the drawer pulls were re-attached to the pretty little pink commode, which I finished with a crystal door pull and a touch of Annie Sloan French Linen Chalk Paint and Soft Wax. Annie Sloan French Linen

So now the once simple pink commode with the layers of painted hardware has a new look, not exactly what I had envisioned when I first spotted it at an antiques market, but I think the improvised version is even better…do you agree?

Pink Commode Finished

And it also has a new heart– which I uncovered as I was sanding the layers on the bottom of the chest-so sweet!! Paint Removal Heart Detail Have a terrific Tuesday, everyone!  Just remember to do what you love, follow your instincts and don’t come unhinged if it all doesn’t quite go according to plan. Susan

PS: I have joined a new weekend blogging link party sponsored by Serenity Now: Creative Solutions for Staying Sane. It’s a fun read and has loads of great ideas for everything from cooking to awesome DIY projects! Check them out!

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Welcome To Country Design Home!

Inspired. Rustic. New Country Style...in the suburbs. Because you don't have to live on a farm to create a warm and inviting country-styled home. Follow my DIY junkin' journey as I give tips of the trades and inspired fresh country design ideas to create your own Country Design Home.
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