Chalkboard Table

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For more than two years now, I have intended to do something with this coffee table, but never got around to it, until yesterday. It is a laminate surface, so I wasn’t sure if it would work to paint it, until I discovered chalk paint about a year ago. Boy, is that stuff wonderful!

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I used a DIY chalk/chalkboard paint recipe with sanded grout, and made it on the thick side, hoping to create a better writing surface.

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In between coats (I did two) I sanded it down to a satiny finish with 600 grit sandpaper. Normally I would wax my chalk paint, but as it turns out, if you don’t wax your surface, you magically end up with a chalkBOARD!

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The chalk goes on like butter (whatever that means) and it erases beautifully, and up to the point where I was uploading these pictures, I thought the whole thing was just pure genius. But as the kids continued to (very exuberantly) use the chalkboard table, I began to notice slight scratches in the paint. So apparently it isn’t working so well with the laminated surface. If I had to guess, I am thinking I shouldn’t have put it on so thick.

I have a (non laminated) train table to paint in the next few weeks, so I will see how the chalkboard surface works on that. Meanwhile, I just need to come up with a magic cure for the peeling paint on this baby.


February Thrifting

The thrift shop has been my friend, lately.  Actually, the thrift shop is always my friend, but lately it’s been my generous friend.  This is just some of my recent favorite loot.

A handmade creamer and sugar set.  In one of my all time favorite colors!

My very own secret stash of colored pencils.  It’s not just that I like to sketch with them (occasionally) but even looking at them makes me happy!

These hen and rooster salt and pepper shakers are a present for somebody special.  Surprise, Rachel!

And these?  This entire stack, plus a couple more that the girls were drinking out of (total of eight) I got for .80 cents!  I love milky white glass!  They’re Pyrex… which means that you can put them in the oven for custards and such.

I got this stone crock to bake bread in.  I love it.  When I’m using it I wish I could have a window into it’s past life.

Napkins and plates – both thrifted and both used daily.

While I already had the baby, I did purchase the walker at a thrift store recently.  Which in turn has bought me time.  I’m all about buying time.

This outfit caused Kinsley’s heart to flutter.  She is fully aware of the beauty potential of such an outfit.

Sophie’s dress was thrifted last summer, but when she saw me photograph Kinsley’s outfit, she wanted to get in on the action.

House Tour :: Bathroom

Now I realize that bathrooms are usually not cause for great excitement, but please notice the shower curtain.  Mom got an incredible deal on it at a yard sale, along with coordinating shower hooks, towels, washcloths and even a matching bed set (which is now on the girls bed).  So please admire the dots.

The bathroom itself has very limited storage, so the shelf with all the extra towels and other bathroom thingies, got parked outside the bathroom at the end of the hallway.  The shelf is one that was Dan’s (given to him by his brother and sister in law quite a few years ago), and it has been in every bathroom of his before we were married, and every bathroom of our since.

The Papa Hat

I’ve been taking advantage of all this ice, sleet, and snow, to accomplish a few indoor projects over the last few days. Unfortunately when I get into project mode, the basics always seem to suffer – but it does feel good to get something out of the ordinary done once in a while.

I’ve wanted to make Dan a hat for quite a while, and for some reason never quite got around to it. Last night I finally chose a pattern, pulled out the yarn basket and got started.

Unfortunately, I don’t think Dan actually likes it much, as it’s not quite as warm as his stocking cap and beanies really aren’t his style….


Kinsley says that it looks like “a pregnant mama hat”… so maybe I just have really poor taste in the pattern choosing department.

I found the pattern on Ravelry (which is one of my favorite sites to browse for inspiration and motivation.) The hat is called The Skater Beanie, and the pattern was highly adjustable, as sizing was based on measurements, instead of a gauge swatch.

I’m not certain what the yarn is, since it was a ball I collected a while back from a thrift store, but I don’t think it’s anything special… just your basic yarn.

I crocheted the hat in one sitting (except for 42 bathroom breaks) and it really only took a couple of hours.

I hope to get around to making The Boy a coordinating hat, maybe this evening…

hours of fun


I snagged this probably incomplete deck of Snoopy playing cards, for ten cents at the thrift shop a while back. I put them away for a moment of desperation. The time came, recently.

Kinsley loves card games, and can spend lots of time playing her own versions of them. Her favorite is Liar. Her version of the game involves lining all the cards up into a “long train”. It takes her a while to do this to her satisfaction.

After playing with her cards the other day, she gathered them all up and handed them to Dan, saying: “Papa, can you put these away where I can’t reach them, so that I don’t lose them?”

that thrift shop style


Kinsley spent some quiet, quality time with herself in her little dream world, the other evening. When she emerged from the playroom, this was the result:



Sophie woke up about then, and after informing me that “The Baby Hippo is awake, now!” she ran into the playroom, to make herself into a “Queen Baby Hippo”.


Dan and I thought that the new look was more “Bag Lady” than “Queenly Hippo”, but Sophie was happy with the results.





The girls come from a long line of thrift shopping women. It’s pretty much in their blood.


It’s not that uncommon for my grandma, my mom, my sister, myself and my girls to be hitting the thrift shops together. That’s four generations of bargain hunters, all in one place.


Now, as far as their tastes in these bargains? That’s totally acquired.

…quite possibly my all time favorite, most amazing thrift shop purchase ever!

Drum roll….


An Espresso Gaggia! But alas, when I brought it home, it was broken. I wept. Actually, I didn’t weep. But if I had time and energy, I probably would have wept. I felt like weeping, anyway.

However, my completely incredible, wonderful, and also very handy husband, managed to fix it. In his words, he bumped, thumped and knocked on the pump. But I’m pretty certain that it was more complicated than that. He’s simply being modest.