“Paint it black.” ~ Mick

Paint It Black, The Rolling Stones, 1966.

I hadn’t heard or thought about that song in years, until R recently started learning it on her ukulele…  and playing it over and over and over and over (and over and over) again…

Without delving into whatever dark thoughts Mick might have had more than 40 years ago when he wrote it, I’ve decided it should probably be my theme song.

Not because I’m a depressed person wanting the entire world to reflect my emotional bleakness…

…but because I like to paint things black. :)

As I look around the house I see that this “paint it black” hobby goes back a ways and ranges from painting large things black…

… like this wall I painted with chalkboard paint back in 2009 (and still love!)…

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… to this little desktop organizer that I found just a year ago or so.

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This table came from the Salvation Army, and started off seen-better-days, beat-up maple…

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…I like it much better black.

And this little tilt tray table (a Goodwill find) had been painted a dirty white with little painted flowers scattered here and there..

… again, much better black.

And I can’t forget my favorite $7.99 rocker…

It started off with a bleached out birch, very light finish (with multiple red-juice stains)…

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It also got the paint-it-black treatment.

I don’t paint all our furniture black of course… painting furniture is usually my last, not first choice. Antiques, family pieces, and high quality furniture don’t get painted. And sometimes I even remove black paint… like back in 2007 when I refinished my little roll top desk… (oh my, that was a job!)

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But many of my inexpensive thrift store finds, if the wood isn’t good, have ended up painted.

Recently I’d been looking at the big bookcase in the living room… It was the last bit of furniture with that dated reddish/mahogany stain left in the house. We used to have a lot of mission style furniture in the living room, most of it with that color of stain. But over the years it’s been replaced with other things and this bookcase just seemed kind of stuck in the past. The bookcase isn’t great quality… I bought it right after we moved here because I needed someplace quickly to put the books that had been on the built in bookshelves at our old house. No built in shelves here equaled boxes of books sitting everywhere. So a quick trip to Sam’s got me this:

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It does the job but it’s not “good” furniture (not solid wood for sure…) and I was tired of the red stain.

So out came the black paint…

I just knew it would look better black.

It was only a two day job to empty it, drag it outside to give it a light sanding, and then paint it. (And putting the books back was a good time to clean out a few to donate!)

After the sunroom re-do I LOVE jobs that only take two days (and nothing weird happens like nasty colors bleeding through the paint, or finding that things…that shouldn’t be… are stuck together with liquid nails!!)

I primed it, then gave it a couple of coats of paint and a light distressing on the edges.

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I really like how the black paint seems to age it and make it look more current at the same time, and the distressed edges highlight the details of the bookcase…

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It’s kind of like getting a new piece of furniture without spending anything but a little time.

Better, yes?

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~Happy Monday~

Crazy Casa K

 

What makes me happy?

As if you couldn’t guess…

Having my African child home again for a visit!

K having thumb wars with our grandsons~

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The past week has been a whirlwind of going, and doing, and sharing, and catching up…

 

All of us out for lunch at our favorite Vietnamese restaurant~

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K’s “two-yard” (combination dress, blanket, towel, baby sling, etc) hanging in the bathroom~

 

Sharing an African snack of little flatbreads K made dipped in groundnut paste (peanut butter) and honey K brought home from Ghana, along with a little Colorado honey and cinnamon sugar~

The beaded bracelets she brought home for us ~

 



She looks good… happy… and that makes me happy.

I couldn’t believe my eyes.

I’d never really known what that phrase meant until last night when K, our daughter who is serving in the Peace Corps in Ghana, “dropped in” on our family St Patrick’s Day dinner. Our oldest daughter, E, was in on the surprise having arranged her travel and picked her up at the airport and brought her to the house.

I honestly couldn’t believe what I was seeing when I first saw her… It was an amazing, emotional, evening

Here is R and baby E (our youngest granddaughter) and K… still teary faced from the reunion.

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K and baby E during dinner (corned beef, potatoes colcannon, and soda bread of course…)

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The two “partners in crime”… they worked very well together planning K’s surprise appearance and keeping it a secret from everyone.

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I may not be blogging much for the next couple of weeks (the length of K’s stay) but I will try and pop in now and then and share some photos…

~Happy Monday~

Crazy Casa K

 

What makes me happy?

The first signs of Spring in the garden…

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…and a lovely green shirt, direct from my brother in Ireland, to wear on St. Patrick’s Day!

 

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(The shirt says “the far away hills are green” in Gaelic…)

Thank you Steve… and Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

*~*daybook*~*

simple-woman-daybook-small*~

 

 

FOR TODAY

Outside my window… the sun is just coming up, the birds are singing, and the air smells like spring!

I am thinking… about how we managed to run out of milk without me noticing (I’m tired this morning, no deep thoughts here. ;)

I am thankful… for the lovely spring day that stretches out before us.

In the kitchen… at M’s request I made daughter E’s Spanish Rice recipe with dinner last night. Mmmm…

I am creating… a little music, a little order, and a little beauty as I am able

I am going… to town later to buy milk. ;) We’re also working at the thrift store today… we missed our shift yesterday due to a homeschool group field trip, so will make it up today.

I am wondering… what to use to cover the old footstool I’m restoring. It was my grandparent’s and has been in pieces for years. I’ve fixed the wooden base and it’s strong and sturdy now but I can’t decide on a fabric to use to recover the top.

I am reading… The Lewis and Clark Journals. I’ve read parts of them before, and recently decided it was a good time to pick them up and journey a little farther with Meriwether and William.

I am hoping… we get to have S for the weekend. I still need to call her foster mom and set it up. I should have called earlier, but the days just got away from me. (And I really dread calling, the foster mom can be tough to deal with, so it’s a job I tend to put off!)

Around the house… I’ve been working on a project that I’ll share next week. It’s turning out great, the only downside is I now have a Rolling Stones song stuck in my head….

One of my favorite things… a game of Yahtzee with M and R. We played a quick game after dinner last night and it was so much fun. I do so enjoy spending time with them.

Some photos to share…

This photo is one of my favorite older photos, it was taken in March of 2007… the horse is Chance, a Tennessee Walker that used to live next door. He was an awesome and amazing horse, and we loved him. He had a tough life though and I would have bought him and given him a better life if I could have. Unfortunately, his owner was asking a couple thousand more than we could afford.  The house next door was foreclosed on 5 years ago and Chance was gone, but I still think about him and hope he is happy and well fed where ever he is right now.

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R and Chance in March of 2006…

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crazy like a fox…

We had a nice little snowstorm yesterday, and in the middle of it R excitedly called me to the window… there was a fox right outside.

We see foxes here from time to time, but this one was especially big and his coloring was just beautiful… and he was especially bold. He crossed the front of the house just 10′ or so from where we were watching him out the kitchen window, then crossed the driveway and went out into our little front pasture.

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From the sunroom windows we watched him circling the big scrub oak bushes, each in turn, sometimes running a little, then heading to the next bush and circling it.

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For a while I couldn’t figure out what he was doing, it was snowing too hard and we were too far away… but then we saw a rabbit moving frantically from around the back of one  of the bushes… and the fox shooting around from the back of the same bush a second later.

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I got lucky and my camera caught the fox in mid-stride… in mid-air… all four legs off the ground, body stretched out… he was moving.  He wasn’t moving quite fast enough though, and the rabbit got away.

The fox stopped and stood for a moment watching the rabbit disappear into the falling snow…

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… before he finally gave up and headed for greener (hare-ier?) pastures.

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He’s here crossing the road just to the left of the tree. I wish the photos were better… but it was really snowing hard and I had to take them through the window… I knew the second I opened the front door he would have been gone.

The sunroom… finally complete!

The sunroom (classroom) is finally done!

It took a full two weeks of hard work, during which nothing seemed to go the way I thought it would… but it’s done.

Come on in….

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What do you think? :)

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Here’s a before picture, just in case you forgot where it started. Yes, it was very brown, but no it didn’t lean… I have a terrible time keeping the camera level! ;)

I finished last Friday after a marathon day of measuring, cutting, painting, staining and putting up corner and quarter round moldings…

Thankfully, the moldings went up easily… and none of the tiny quarter round moldings split, even though a few of the nails had to go in really close to the edge…

I caulked around all the new moldings then touched up all the paint and had everything cleaned up and tools put away by the time Joe got home around 6:00. Thankfully he likes how the room turned out… I had been a little worried, since I was painting over the natural wood on the walls, but he agreed that the white paint really brightened the room up.

I moved the big rolltop desk to a side wall (under M’s window) to paint and then decided I liked it better there, so I left it. I put some of the same photos back on top, and also added a few other special things as well.

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I brought this little stool in from the back porch to hold a few plants or a cup of tea. I love it’s chippy old paint…  leftovers from a year or two outside!

I was a little stressed about water from the plants possibly damaging some of the newly refinished wood on the giant steps, so I pulled out some old enamelware for the plants to sit in… I’m being super careful when watering (no drips!) so hopefully, between all the polyurethane and the enamelware, the wood is well protected.

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A new metal thermometer for the wall… I took these pictures on a warm day!

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I do love how the room turned out… It was worth every minute I spent working in there. It feels so fresh and clean, and much more open…

I love living in a log home, I love the beauty of the wood… the knotholes and various tones in the logs…and it’s solid feeling. But there can also be a heaviness to the huge beams and all the wood. Even though this room has two log walls, it feels much lighter to me now.

 

 

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It feels very good to check this one off the to-do list!

 

~Happy Monday~

Crazy Casa K

 

What makes me happy?

Watching the deer grazing in the early morning sunlight….

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One Hundred Years Ago…

…. you  might have had this book in your library.

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And made things like Dandelion Cordials…

 

 

And Nasturtium Vinegar…

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This book came into the thrift store while we were working yesterday and never made it out on the shelf…

I think the whole book is charming, from the recipes to the illustrations….


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to the list of due dates on the front page.

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The book is in remarkably good shape for it’s age, the binding is strong and the pages are in great condition. I might just have try one or two of these recipes this summer. :)