Pillowtex Pillow Giveaway!!

And just like that, it’s Monday, and what better way to start off a week that may include a springtime Nor’Easter!?! How about with a giveaway of a Pillowtex Duck Down and Feather Pillow to help you sleep through those stormy nights!?!

Pillowtex Triple Core Pillow Giveaway

Welcome to the Pillowtex Triple Core White Duck Down  & Feather Pillow Giveaway!

 Hosted By: So Simply Stephanie Sponsored By: Pillows.com

Giveaway Ends April 7th, 2014 11:59 EST

The Pillowtex Triple Core White Duck Down & Feather Pillow is a luxurious, high-quality down pillow that features a unique design to insure a superior support for a great night’s rest. The Pillowtex Triple Core Pillow is made up of 3 chambers to provide excellent support combined with comfort. The inner core is filled with 5% White Duck Down and 95% White Duck Feather, and the two outer cores are filled with 25%  White Duck Down and 75% White Duck Feather. The three cores are then covered with two plush layers of 230 thread-count fabric made of 100% cotton, with double-stitched seams to insure the durability of each pillow.

Want to know more about this amazingly comfortable pillow?
You can purchase the Pillowtex Triple Core White Duck Down & Feather Pillow or browse through their impressive line of luxury pillows, comforters, feather beds and more at Pillows.com. 
NOW, TIME FOR THE GIVEAWAY! Want to win a Pillowtex Triple Core White Duck Down & Feather Pillow? Here’s your chance! Enter via the Rafflecopter link below.

Be sure to come back daily for additional entries!
Void where prohibited. Open to US residents only. Must be of legal age to enter.  Odds of winning depend on number of entries. This blog has not been compensated to promote this giveaway and is not responsible for prize shipment. One (1) winner will be randomly chosen via the Rafflecopter widget below and will be notified via the email listed on their Rafflecopter contact info. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to the email with shipping information or a new winner will be chosen. Winner’s name may also be published on SoSimplyStephanie.com and applicable social media sites to congratulate and help with winning notification. Winner’s information will be shared with a Pillows.com representative to facilitate shipment. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and other social media sites are not affiliated with, do not endorse, and are in no way responsible for this giveaway. 
If you have any questions regarding this giveaway, or would like to have your product featured, please contact Stephanie, owner & editor of So Simply Stephanie at sosimplystephanie@gmail.com

#tbt Photo Memory Cake

It’s #throwback thursday! I’m not certain who came up with this idea, but it’s kinda fun to see so many friends and family posting old photos of loved ones on social media. This week’s throwback is actually a post I penned back in 2012, when I first started blogging (boy, that seems like a lifetime ago…) Back then, I had about 5 followers, maybe a half dozen “likes” on Facebook and I had no idea what Instagram even was! Since hardly anyone actually saw this post, I thought I would re-share it. Hopefully it inspires you to try one too!.

So, in the spirit of #tbt, here is the Memory Cake that I created for my sister’s (ahem, milestone) birthday, using old photographs that I printed on icing sheets. And, if you have a faded photograph of someone you hold near and dear, don’t forget to share it!!

“Faded photographs, covered now with lines and creases”. When it’s time to celebrate a special family occasion, such as a milestone birthday, people often create videos or scrapbooks using old photographs. This year, for my sister’s (I am not going to divulge the year she was born, but let’s just say Elvis was in the building) birthday celebration, I decided to add a sweet twist to an old idea. A photo cake!!  I have made hundreds of cakes over the years for birthdays, anniversaries, even weddings, but I have to say that this particular cake was really special, as it touched my heart, as well as my sister’s.  I am not going to give you a full tutorial on how to create a cake like this. It is not simple, and you do need a basic understanding of cake decorating and using fondant. However, I will provide you with what I think are the most important things a cake artist needs in his/her “tool box” in order to create a memorable photo cake.  Let’s start with the cake. You need a good solid cake that will hold up to the heavy fondant and piped icings. I normally make mine from scratch, but when I am pressed for time, I sometimes us a box cake mix, doctored up. This is a great basic

Once you have all your layers baked, cooled and chilled, it’s time to start decorating!!  I used to freak out when my cakes weren’t level, or pieces pulled off around the edges, but then I started watching Ace of Cakes. Duff Goldman describes cake decorating as using”‘smoke and mirrors” to get the desired results. He, by the way, has a line of awesome cake decorating stuff at Michael’s Crafts. A little extra glob of frosting here, a bit of fondant there can make what initially looks like a disaster into a beautiful edible work of art. This handy tool, a cake leveler (I know, it looks like a hacksaw, right!?) levels each layer so that they stack properly. When cakes bake, they rise and end up with a “dome” in the middle which needs to be planed down. This leveler makes a perfectly even cut, and you can use it to cut exact layers as well. I use a basic buttercream frosting recipe, especially if the cake will be covered in fondant, which is actually just sugar and water cooked until it becomes a pliable sweet dough. You can find fondant pre-made in your local arts and crafts store, but this recipe is super easy, a lot cheaper and the fondant actually tastes really delicious! Rolling out the fondant smoothly can be tricky- you have to keep covering your work surface with confectioner’s sugar to prevent sticking.  Once it is rolled out to your desired thickness (it should be 1/8-1/4 inch thick) and size, you simply roll it right right onto your rolling pin and then transfer it to the cake. It is important that the frosting “crumb” layer of the cake be smooth, as you will see every bump and lump through the fondant! Unfortunately, they don’t make “spanx” for cakes!!

Stacking the layers is the next step. Place each layer on it’s own base! Stick dowels or sticks into the layer below, cut exactly at the level of the fondant.  Without this step, your cake could end up unintentionally looking like the Leaning Tower of Pisa,

Family holding up leaning tower of Pisaas the weight of the higher layers will eventually sink into the one below.  Next up, adding the photos.

On this cake, the photographs were “pasted” on using a watered-down buttercream frosting. “Now where did she get those photographs, and are they edible?!?” you ask. The photos were printed on my Canon IP3600 photo printer, using special frosting paper from Icing Images (yes, its actually frosting on a plastic back that you put in your printer!) with special food coloring inks,

which make for edible decorations. (Disclaimer: on this cake, some of the photos became non-edible, as I ran out of food coloring ink at the last minute and had to switch to regular ink instead. Luckily I was there to cut the cake and remove the pics prior to serving : ).  The final touch: the ribbons. I was going for a “movie reel” look, but couldn’t find ribbon or tape anywhere.

So I fused these two ribbons together to make one long continuous piece to wrap around the cake and give it a vintage look. The topper was just a sparkly plastic Happy Birthday from the dollar store. And, again, I am not going to divulge the actual number of candles on the cake, but there was enough heat to start it on fire-lol!!! 

So there you have it. Photo cake deconstructed. Now,  I think there is some leftover pound cake that should go well with my morning coffee!! Have a sweet day everyone!

And a very special happy birthday to my big sister. XOXOXO Susan

One Ocean Arts Shop Showcase

OneOceanArts Logo Baby Seal If you follow my blog, then you know I love showcasing new businesses and shops that are unique and have something special to offer. So, today I am super excited to share the newest venture of my niece, Jamie, a fur seal trainer by trade,

Jamie Mathison OneOceanArtsa talented artist and now a budding entrepreneur from Gloucester, MA. (Where she actually lives in a lighthouse, folks!!) Inspired by her love of the ocean and its beautiful creatures, she is taking the plunge and has opened her Etsy shop called OneOceanArts.

OneOceanArts Etsy ShopNow offered are beautifully block-printed clothing and accessories, including t-shirts and tanks, tote bags and baby onesies

baby whale onesie on OneOceanArtswith the sweetest sea-inspired illustrations. How awesome is this little guy!?!?

Baby Seal Onesie One Ocean ArtsEven the happy shark is adorable!

Shark Onesie from One Ocean ArtsAll of her artwork is original,

Sea Turtle Onesie from One Ocean Artsand each order is customized and hand-block-printed on 100% cotton, organic and blended materials, using colorfast and long-lasting inks in bright, vivid hues of blacks, whites, pinks and aquas.

Fish School Toddler T on OneOceanArtsMore examples: A block-printed women’s hoodie offered in grey with your choice of block print color.

Anchor Hoodie on OneOceanArtsHere is the description: “This is a one of a kind hoodie hand printed just for you. There are a variety of prints, shirt colors and ink colors to chose from so you can make it your own!  Any print you see in our store can go on this shirt, so feel free to customize your item. You can also chose placement of the image. Do you want it on the back of the shirt instead? No problem! Make sure to let us know what image and ink color you would like when placing your order. Don’t see your size or favorite color? Message us and we’ll do our best to make it happen!” Loving the design on this men’s nautical compass T.

Compass T on OneOceanArtsSo you choose your clothing or accessory item, then you have the option to choose the block print, the placement and the colors. Brilliant!! Each item has a full description including sizes with full measurements and color choices. Loads of options, each one ocean-inspired and uniquely created for you. Along with children’s and adult clothing, OneOceanArts is also offering block-printed canvas tote bags

Canvas Fish Tote Bag from OneOceanArtsmade from recycled materials, block-printed in the design and colors of your choosing. Loving the old VW bus with the surfboards!

Block printed tote bag on OnceOceanArtsJamie is continually adding new items and designs to the shop, so check back often to see what’s new! If you are searching for the perfect gift inspired by the ocean, or just want to “sea” Jamie’s new shop, check out OneOceanArts (and tell her that Auntie Sue sent you). Have a (not-so-top ‘o the morning after St. Paddy’s Day) Tuesday, everyone! Susan

The Antique Table Throwback

It’s #Throwback Thursday, everyone! What better way to celebrate than to show off my latest DIY project? This week it’s a turn-of-the-century table Coach had stashed in the barn. Pretty beat up, lacking polish and pizazz and missing the little finial in the base.

Antique Table Before Restoration B&WThis is the before when it was manufactured by the Denhard Furniture Company of Louisville, Kentucky, sometime between 1855 and 1905. This is the after.

Antique Table Clock and Books Staged PMHere is the how-I-did-it:

1. My first step is always to clean the piece to make sure there isn’t any dust or dirt or mold or mildew-after all, who knows where its traveled in these last 100 years? I wanted to preserve the top to stain, so I flipped it upside down and went to work.

Antique Table Primer Upside Down

2. I painted the base it with my favorite primer: Gripper by Glidden. Awesome stuff. Covers everything in one coat.

Antique Table Gripper Primer

3. Once that dried, I painted the body with a coat of Benjamin Moore matte finish paint in a custom color. And by that I mean that I mixed a couple of different cans of paint I had on hand to create this creamy white color. I will name it Buttercream Frosting. Because I love Buttercream Frosting. And it is a buttery cream color. Hence, the name.

Antique Table Benjamin Moore Custom Color4. I painted all of the raised detail blue-this is why I LOVE redoing old furniture. You don’t find this kind of carved detail at big box stores!

Antique Table Old Finish Detail

And this locking mechanism for the legs is brilliant! A screw-eye is attached to the leg, which then in turn is attached to the brace with the screw. So sturdy.

Antique Table Screw and HookOK, so I painted all of the raised detail with the same home-made blue paint concoction that I used in the Colonial Country Cupboard I recently completed. Love it, want to use it over and over again. But I am almost out, so I’m going to have to find a way to replicate it! OK, so now the detail was blue.

Antique Table Painting DetailThen I repainted the entire piece again with the Buttercream Frosting and wipe away the excess off the blue details.

Antique Table Wiping Off Paint from Detail5. I sanded everything down to give it that rustic, aged look that we like.

Antique Table Sanding DetailAnd by we, I mean myself and Coach. I know a lot of people are not fans of the painted, sanded, stained look, but that’s cool. One man’s trash is another family’s re-loved vintage table : )

5. I glazed the entire piece with General Finishes Brown Mahogany

Antique Table General Finishes Brown Mahogany Glaze

(I was planning on using this for the top, anyway, so this way it matched color tones. I’m kinda smart like that.) Simple process. Paint the stuff on.

Antique Table General Finishes Brown Mahogany Glaze Applied Try not to spill it. But if you do, use plastic drop cloths so it’s easier to scoop the stuff up and put it back in the can.

Antique Table Spilled GlazeI’m using plastic lace table cloths from the dollar store. I know, right? Cheap, pretty and practical (insert joke here). Used a damp rag to keep it workable while I wiped it off until I was satisfied with the results.

Antique Table Wiping off Glaze

Look how the detail pops now!

Antique Table Glaze completed

Antique Table Side Detail Finished6. The base has two cross pieces that meet in the middle. At one time there was most definitely a decorative finial, but that was  missing. I was searching for something suitable when I spotted these curtain rods at the Christmas Tree Shop. (If you don’t have one near you, and don’t know what this store is, let me assure you it does not merely sell Christmas Trees!) These were a glazed, antiqued metal and cost $5.99!

Antique Table Pineapple Rods Christmas Tree ShopSo I removed the finial from the rod,

Antique Table Removing Finial From Polethen filled the finial with glue

Antique Table Finial with glue filler

and also coated the spindle with glue so it would be very secure.

Antique Table Coating Post with Glue7. So now the new pineapple finial is a welcoming addition to the antique table. Is it the original? No. But I would never have been able to find that. This seemed like a sweet solution.

Antique Table fixating pineapple finial to post8. For the top, I used the aforementioned Brown Mahogany Stain to replicate the rich brown of the original color and finish. That was after Coach sanded it down, but I didn’t catch him in the act, so I don’t have a shot of that. But I do have a pic of him cleaning an old cupboard using my kitchen gloves. He worked for a few minutes and then said, and I quote: “This DIY stuff is hard work. I’ll finish it later.) And he removed the pink gloves and left! So I remind him of that whenever he drags home yet another piece of furniture and says “work your magic with this”. Ha.

Coach cleaning the cupboard7. I applied a couple of coats of Fidde’s Supreme Wax

Hope Chest Fiddes & Son Waxto give the top that glowing finish.

Antique Table Top Fiddes Wax Finish

8. Here is the final closeup reveal of the accented details and beautiful wood top!

Antique Table Top Dressed

I think Mr. Denhard would be very pleased with how I have lovingly restored his table. What do you think? Could you love a table like this in your home?! Do you have an old piece of furniture kicking around? If you do, then it’s your turn to add it to the #Throwback Thursday Collection! Susan 

Dangers of DIY-Hardware Replacement

I recently wrote a post entitled the Dangers of DIY

Dangers of DIY

where I discussed the many chemicals and compounds that are in all of the seemingly harmless paints and finishes that DIY’ers use on a daily basis. If you didn’t see it, please click here and read it. It’s very important that you are aware of the pollutants and potentially hazardous materials that you are breathing in while working on your favorite old piece of furniture or wood trim in your homes!

However, there is another, less apparent danger that is also so important to know about and correct for your family’s safety. In another recent post, I showed off a gorgeous 1950’s Lane hope chest that I had completely restored.

Refinished Lane Mid Century Modern Hope ChestI am really proud of that piece, but what was I not aware of that needed changing? The locking mechanism of the chest was similar to the one that was in the news recently, when two small children climbed into it and tragically suffocated. How could that happen?! The old locks, in the chests built before 1987, had a push-button that was easily engaged so that the top could open up, and then instantly click into place and lock down once the top was lowered. There was no way to unlock it from the inside, and since it is a cedar-lined chest, it was built with a tight seal to keep out the moths and protect your clothing. Clearly, this needed to be changed.

The new locking mechanism was provided by the manufacturer, the Lane Company, free of charge.

Lane LogoThey have had several recalls in the past, most recently in 2014 due to this recent tragic incident. All we had to provide was the latch style and serial number (here is the online link to use)

Lane Furniture Latch Replacement Illustration

and we received the new lock in the mail in less than a week. The simple replacement process took just a few minutes, and you can see a video here by The Furniture Refinishing Studio on the exact procedure. Lane Hope Chest Lock Replacement VideoThe lock is not that difficult to open (and it does come with a key if you really want to keep it shut tight) but once it is opened, there is no way to lock it down from the inside. The mechanism remains disengaged and the top remains open about 1/2 inch until you re-engage it, which can only be done from the outside of the chest.

Lane Latch Operation Video

So now, there is no way that this tragedy can be repeated. If you have an old hope chest or any other old piece of furniture that you are DIY’ing, check the hardware! Old cupboards and cabinets and cribs and dressers were not built with the same safety procedures we have in place today. It is our responsibility, as we are refurbishing these pieces to use or sell to make sure that we change locks and alter pieces to ensure the safety of our children and pets, too! So, as you are working on your next DIY project, take a step back and make sure that what you are producing is not only beautiful but safe and secure for all to enjoy. Have a terrific Tuesday, everyone! Susan

Cookin’ Up Blue Kitchens

The other day I spotted this photo on the blog “The Decorista” by New York City-based interior designer Ashlina Kaposta. If you don’t follow her blog, you should, because her style and design photographs are nothing short of spectacular! Blue Kitchen House Beautiful via The Decorista She had posted this photo of a blue kitchen by House Beautiful with the caption: “They say that blue suppresses the appetite, thats why you rarely see a restaurant in blue. On that same note, you never really see a true blue kitchen either, blue is usually a color for the bathroom as it promotes a feel of relaxation. However, after seeing this gorgeous soft blue kitchen, I’m thinking why not. Hey, it might even help those looking to eat less. Whatever the case, it looks absolutely stunning especially with soft golden accents.”  With that color theory in mind, and my own kitchen being a gorgeous Benjamin Moore shade of Buxton Blue,

Benjamin Moore Buxton Blueyou would think that would have done something to suppress my appetite and make me more relaxed, but, well, no. But it did get me thinking about it a bit and realize that you don’t often see blue kitchens-more likely to find yellow or white or red. BUT, I did a little digging and came up with some of the most gorgeous blue kitchens ever.

Now, modern and contemporary is generally not my style, but wow-and I adore this backsplash! Makes me smile every time I look at it!

Blue Kitchen ino-getiashvili

Blue Kitchen by Ino Getiashvile

This one is also very sleek but so bright and cheery!

Blue Kitchen Fleur Ward Interior Design

Blue Kitchen Fleur Ward Interior Design

This is so charming with the white brick walls in contrast to the aqua retro cabinetry and open shelving

Blue Kitchen Bratislava Kitchen by Gut Gut

Blue Kitchen Bratislava Kitchen by Gut Gut

My design eye is always drawn to country, whether it’s rustic (check out that amazing hood over the stove!)

Blue Kitchen Welch Forsman Associates

Blue Kitchen Welch Forsman Associates

or charming-loving the red accents and the one blue cupboard in contrast to the otherwise white kitchen

Blue Kitchen TresHus Architects & Builders Cottage Revival

Blue Kitchen TresHus Architects & Builders

and cottage styles-this one in London by Pearce & Co Woodsmiths. That blue rustic tile backsplash simply amazing.

Blue Kitchen Pearce & Co Woodsmiths

Blue Kitchen Pearce & Co Woodsmiths

If you follow my blog, you know I love color. And these kitchens do not disappoint. Pulling in the color of the ocean in Bermuda, this stunner by Village Architects AIA.

Blue Kitchen Bermuda Residence Village Architects AIA

Blue Kitchen Bermuda Residence Village Architects AIA

The bright blue chairs pop nicely against the pale blue walls and white cabinetry.

Blue Kitchen David Scharff Architect PC

Blue Kitchen David Scharff Architect PC

While in this kitchen, it’s the dark cabinetry that contrasts with the lighter furnishings.

Blue Kitchen by Terri Rose CKD

Carlson Project by Terri Rose CKD

And in this space, the deep blue walls provide the dramatic backdrop to the white kitchen and dining areas.

Blue Kitchen LuLu Designs Online

Blue Kitchen HGTV LuLu Designs Online

More blue cabinetry. Now, I am not sure if I would be brave enough to go bold with the permanent fixtures in the room. And blue cabinets are permanent. In this case, a very bright blue. But, I love it! And, no wonder, it’s from a beach front cottage on Martha’s Vineyard. Sigh…

Blue Kitchen Marthas Vineyard Cottage ERS Design LLC

Blue Kitchen Marthas Vineyard Cottage ERS Design LLC

And even deeper blue, with the contrasting yellow tile backsplash. To me, reminiscent of Monet’s kitchen in Giverny. Blue Kitchen Michael Lyons Architect These last two kitchens are pastel and pretty perfect. Traditional & formal or

Blue Kitchen Ulrich Inc

Blue Kitchen by Julia Kleyman for Ulrich

more contemporary in style, they both are so soothing and inviting.

Blue Kitchen Nieman Architects

Weyand Residence by Nieman Architects

Even though my heart is all about country kitchens,  I find the color blue to be so welcoming, no matter what the style. Perhaps because it is the color of nature: the sky and the sea? Do you agree? Do you have a blue kitchen? I would LOVE to see and share it! And to be inspired by more fabulous blue kitchens, check out my Houzz.com “Cookin’ Up Blue Kitchens” Ideabook. In the meantime, have a (one-less-hour-of-sleep) Sunday, everyone! Susan 

RugsNow Giveaway & Coupon!

Recently, the good folks at RugsNow contacted me to ask if I would share an upcoming Facebook Spring Giveaway with all of you-$1500 total in prizes to three lucky winners! How exciting is that?! RugsNow Spring Giveaway FacebookAnd, of course, since it means that some of you, dear readers, will be able to win some great stuff, I obliged. And, they are allowing me to offer you an additional 25% off on any of the items offered on their website, including rugs, accent pillows, throws and poufs! (How did they know I was looking to freshen up my family room for spring?!) What I really like about the RugsNow shopping experience is that they are very user-friendly and so detailed in their product information. You can sort by color, popularity and price, and once you have found a product you MUST HAVE, they provide all the details you need to make an informed decision. And, did I mention you will get an extra 25% off by using the coupon code COUNTRY HOME?!? Country Home Coupon Code This is a web-shot of a beautiful jute and cotton, hand-woven area rug I have selected named Capalle.  Capalle Rug from RugsNow To the left is the full pic, but once you scroll over it, a very closeup and detailed image pops up so you can get a good feel for the materials and colors available. Below that is a color-wheel bar that picks up all of the colors in the item. Brilliant! RugsNow Capalle Content Cleaning InstructionsThey also carry gorgeous throws RUgsNow Throw and poufs and loads of accent pillows. I am thinking these would look great as a fun springy addition! RugsNow Accent Pillow So, how do you enter the contest? Just click the Spring Giveaway pic and it will bring you to their Facebook page. RugsNow Facebook Giveaway From there, you fill in the requested info, and for additional entries, you share the ad with your friends (and whomever you would like to see win-maybe they will split it with you : ). Don’t wait too long, because the contest is already well under way and ending soon!  If you just want to shop for some great home accents, then go directly to RugsNow.com and click away! RugsNow Home PageJust remember me when it’s time to check out and use the coupon code COUNTRY HOME for an additional 25% off! Have a great Thursday everyone-it’s going to be almost 40 degrees this weekend-yay!!!  Susan

MirrorMate Makeovers

I recently visited the home of a friend who was planning on framing out a large wall-mounted bathroom mirror rather than replacing it, a trick she had seen on Pinterest (of course : ). In her basement were the rough-cut trim moldings that she was priming and painting and then cutting prior to mounting them over the existing mirror. A perfectly great idea which I am certain will give her bath a whole new look. BUT, she could have saved some time and trouble by checking out this company: MirrorMate.com.

MirrorMate Logo

They offer custom mirror frame DIY kits in all types of styles and colors, so you can transform the look of your mirror with minimum muss and fuss! I LOVE brilliant ideas that save time and look great! Here are some examples from their website:

This frame sample is Tribeca Black

Tribeca Black Sample MirrorMateUnframed Before:

MirrorMate Tribeca Black FrameAnd this is the after. The mirror frame’s rich, dark tones enhance the dark tones of the existing wood work and vanity.

MirrorMate Tribeca Black Framed

This frame sample is Venetian Silver Wave.

Venetian Silver Wave Sample MirrorMateI can imagine this in any coastal bath-so pretty! The before is very nice, but the mirror is a non-factor in the overall decor:

MirrorMate Venetian Silver Wave BeforeThe after is pretty amazing! The silver brightens the space and highlights the marble vanity top.

MirrorMate Venentian SilverFor a dramatic change, you might like this rustic Lexington Metallic Ash

MirrorMate Lexington Metallic Ash

This is the before, again a very nice but ho hum kind of bath

MirrorMate Lexington Metallic AshAnd this is the after: that mirror!

MirrorMate Lexington Metallic AshFor more information, and the complete, simple measuring and DIY process, click here to visit their website.

MirrorMate Measuring

You can order samples to make sure you are choosing exactly the right frame for your space. And, you can check out many more before and afters on their Pinterest page. This is a perfect solution for a simple makeover, or even for staging a home for resale, adding lots of drama for minimal dollars. I hope you all have a transformative Tuesday, everyone! Susan

I’m a Bob’s Blogger!

Right. Huh? Who is Bob and why am I so excited about blogging for him? Well, Bob is none other than Bob Vila,

Bob Vila Photothe original American DIY’er and TV handyman/host of This Old House and Home Again, along with his new web series, Building Green. BobVila.com is a website dedicated to giving you the “HELP YOU NEED FOR THE HOME YOU WANT.” There are so many resources available for everyone from hapless homeowners to the most experienced contractors. SO, you ask, why am I blogging for him?!?  Well, Bob has a page for Bloggers-a Featured Contributors page that showcases “A Community of Bloggers who “Live and Die to DIY”that’s where you’ll find me and the links to my blog, Country Design Home!!

BobVila.com Home Page

My first official published DIY link? The Vintage Rolling Bar Cart.

Rustic Vintage Rolling Bar CartThis has to be one of my all-time favorite, most inspired DIY projects. And it’s posted for Bob Vila fans to read, along with a few other of my other most favorite DIY projects like my Love-ingly Restored Hope Chest.

Refinished Lane Mid Century Modern Hope Chest

and my recently-completed Antiqued Mirror On The Wall.

DIY Antiqued Mirror on BobVilaNation

I am pretty proud of the DIY projects I share, and now they are all together on one page for everyone to check out! And, as the weeks go by, I will be adding my newly completed projects, and possibly some oldies but goodies, like How To Shrink-Wrap Your Porch

Wicker and wood summer porch

and The Whale’s Tale.

 Whale Table  on Porch

Click here to check out my Featured Contributor page:

Bob Vila Nation

 And if you like what you see, could you be so kind as to add a comment or “favorite” my designs? Bob likes the love! Along with my projects, there are loads of other contributors who share information about everything DIY, like this “Rewiring a Lamp” from the AZ DIY GUY (I love his AZ DIY Guy’s Scary Warning – Electrical Edition)

Bob VIla Nation Rewiting a Lamp

or this DIY Bathroom Vanity by the Hudson Valley HandyMom

Bathroom Vanity Makeover Bob Vila Nation

There is just so much to see, so much incredible information to read, videos to watch, contests to enter, and of course, Country Design Home on BobVila.com. So make sure you check it out and let me know what you think. And now I am off to complete yet another DIY table makeover (that I will hopefully be posting to BobVilaNation very shortly). Have a terrific Thursday, everyone! Susan

 

Colonial Country Cupboard

Last summer, Coach and I took a long weekend trip to Bethel, Maine for a bit of golf and R & R.

Two Beers Please Bethel Maine PMWell, I should say R & S (Rest and Shopping) as we did quite a bit of antique shopping up and down the Maine coast. My heart skipped a beat when we turned a corner while wandering through the many aisles of Pa’s Tradin’ Post in Oxford, Maine.

Pa's Tradin Company Signand discovered this gorgeous old country cupboard!

Pa's Tradin Company MaineAnd, I was even more excited that it actually fit in our CRV, even with all the luggage, coolers and golf clubs! (Truth be told, I would have tossed those clubs to get this piece in my car…)

Country Cupboard in CRVIt was newer, but completely hand-crafted using old lumber and pieces from antique windows and dressers. It needed quite a bit of work, so I took my time refurbishing it, in between quicker, easier projects. Well, I am happy to say that it is finally finished, and styled, and sitting proudly next to the fireplace in my family room. So, what once looked like that, now looks like this!

Painted Country CupboardThe exterior body was painted with Annie Sloan French Linen Chalk Paint. I then sanded the edges and raised detail to give it the distressed look we like.

Country Cupboard Sanded Corner DetailThe shelves and doors I painted (after replacing and re-glazing many of the old panes-these were actually old windows that were repurposed-I LOVE that!)

Reglazing and painting window panesin Glidden Antique Beige “chalk-like” paint that I mixed myself. Here’s the recipe from “In My Own Style”

In My Own Style Chalk Paint RecipeThe back planked wall of the cupboard was painted with a custom color that I created-kind of a soft, denim blue.

Country Cupboard Custom PaintI had originally painted it with Miss Mustard Seed Eulalie’s Sky Milk Paint (you can read about that fiasco here),

Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint Eulalie's Skybut once I decided where it was going to be in our home, that needed changing. Oftentimes, I paint a piece with the colors I would like, only to realize that it just doesn’t work in the intended space. That’s the beauty of paint-one quick coat and you have a whole new look! I wanted it to be a close match, but a lighter blue tone to the drapes in the room, since it would be in proximity to the window where they hang. Finally, I waxed the entire piece with Fidde’s Supreme Wax to give it a nice, warm, glowing finish. The hardware remained the same. Chipped, rusted black? Perfect!

Fiddes and Son Supreme WaxThis is the before, dingy white, cracked windows, unpainted interior.

Country Cupboard Base Interior

Country Cupboard Base BeforeThis is now. A pretty painted piece that shows off many of the pieces that Coach and I have collected over the years.

Country Cupboard Design HomeThe showcased pieces are primarily from Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, The custom color blue I chose for the background enhances the blues in the pottery and plates and brightens the brass trivets and pieces.

Country Cupboard StyledColonial Williamsburg is an historic site that Coach and I love and have visited many, many times. This is the William and Mary crest trivet-one of our very first mementos we purchased over thirty years ago.

William and Mary TrivetThe re-painted and re-loved cupboard now reminds me of the shop front windows and taverns on the Duke of Gloucester Street, filled with old glass and pottery pieces, brass trivets, plates and mugs.

Williamsburg Virgina JugNow, when I step back to admire my transformed country cupboard,

Country Cupboard Doors Opened Styled

I am transported back in time to our many wonderful trips to Williamsburg. And isn’t that why we save our souvenirs and mementos-to remind us of happy times and fun trips? I hope you all have mementos you keep to tell your story, and a beautiful cupboard in which to display them. Have a “think spring” Tuesday, everyone! Susan 

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