Monthly Archives: March 2012

Pop On the Mantel

Now that we have officially hit Summer Spring I thought I would get in the mood a little by decorating our mantel.

I really didn’t know how I wanted to decorate it but I knew I wanted color. I have seen so many great looking mantels decorated with white for spring but I just don’t have a ton of white decor so I decided color was a better route for me. Plus our mantel and brick are both light in color so a little color would pop out against it.

Like most of my ideas these days I started looking on Pinterest for ideas. I really didn’t find any inspiration until I saw this table top display.


I loved the pop of color the tissue paper pom-pom balls added! Even though its a table top display the concept is basically the same. So the next time I was at Walmart I picked up a packet of tissue paper.

I decided on the multi-color packet because I was able to get a ton of sheets for a great price (it even says “Great Value” on the cellophane) and I figured I could use the leftovers for actual tissue paper for gift bags.

Even though we used tissue paper pom-poms in Noah’s nursery I didn’t make them. So I did a little Google search and decided to use Martha Stewart’s method. The directions are fairly straight forward and simple.

Does it bug anybody else that Martha Stewart is the queen of all things craft, gardening, and cooking but yet she probably doesn’t come up with 90% of the stuff… it ‘s all her staff. Oh, well the method and tutorial worked.

Since, I didn’t have enough of any color to make a solid color pom-pom I decided to go with the ombre look.

I made three pom-poms, used dental floss as string (because Noah was sleeping in the room with the thread), and hung them from the ceiling with a thumb tack.

I planned to hang one higher than the others to hide the brackets of the mirror that normally hangs on the mantel. Varying the height helped also to create some visual movement.

After playing around with some pottery, baskets, and other odds and ends this is what I ended up with.

I really wanted to incorporate some greenery into the decorations since Spring brings so much new life. And since Easter falls during the Spring I added a cross and our “As For Me and My Family We will Serve The Lord” plaque. I think it’s my favorite part.

I think the pom-poms add a whimsical touch to the mantel. Which is not really like me but I think it is appropriate now that we have a little one around the house. I wouldn’t even be surprised if these pom-poms make an appearance at her birthday party later this year!

So for less than five dollars I was able to give our mantel a little pop of color for Spring.

What do you think? Did you decorate your mantel for Spring? If so, did you use neutrals or pops of color?

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Flower Bouquets

I am so glad to see this busy week come to an end.  It’s time for some rest and relaxation around the house.  Here’s a look at what I have been enjoying all week.

ML gave me a bouquet of flowers for each year we have been married.  I have enjoyed having fresh flowers around the house all week.  The mixed flower bouquets are from Colombia, but I am not sure where the other flowers are from.  They are beautiful though.  God definitely displays His glory through all of His creations.

Hopefully, this weekend we can enjoy some fresh flowers outside too!  Our yard is in need of some major TLC.  We got the chance to work a little in it last night and hope to finish getting everything ready for Spring this weekend.

After working in the yard last night, I started reading The Girl Who Played With Fire (the sequel to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo).  Is anybody else as addicted to these books as I am?  I finished The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo in record timing and really haven’t enjoyed a book that much in a long time.  There is nothing like the thrill of holding a good book in your hands (yes, that makes me a little nerdy).  Hopefully, I will find some more time for reading this weekend.

So anyway, I hope you enjoy your weekend as much as I plan to enjoy mine!


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Instant Family Heirloom

Even though our anniversary has come and gone, we are finally getting to enjoy our gift to each other.

We transformed this old dining room table into an instant family heirloom.

But not without a little elbow grease. It’s hard to believe it’s the same table. I’m just in love with it now! This is actually the same table we have been using in our dining room for the past three years. I just always kept a table cloth over it to hide its imperfections. And boy did it have imperfections.

I am sure this table has a story to tell about all the abuse it received, but we will never hear it. We found this little gem at a yard sale a few years ago for twenty bucks! It was like love at first sight. A Duncan Phyfe table in need of repair. Even though we already had my great grandmother’s Duncan Phyfe table, I just couldn’t pass it up. I convinced Michael Luke that it would be perfect for us when we have a bigger house someday. A table for the kitchen and one for the dining room. We are still waiting on the bigger house.

So we loaded up the table and brought it home. The previous owner even threw in two of the table’s chairs for a dollar. We combined the best of each chair to make our desk chair. And since we didn’t have room for two dining tables, one moved upstairs to the guest bedroom before we transformed it to a nursery… now it’s in storage (waiting on the bigger house). We chose to keep the yard sale table downstairs because it’s smaller than my great grandmother’s, and let’s face it, we need all the room we can get around here!

Originally, when we bought it we had plans to refinish it and stain it. But as the years went on I began to entertain the idea of painting it. Like these tables I found on Pinterest.



I had dreams of it being an informal table where family and friends could eat and play together. Up until about a month ago, it had remained covered by a tablecloth, and then one day I decided to remove the table cloth in order to motivate myself to refinish the table. It worked!

And as I began to brainstorm about what wood gift (the traditional gift for five years of marriage) to give ML for our anniversary, I thought it would be neat if I could give him some piece of wood furniture. Then it hit me… we had a wooden table that needed refinishing! So I asked him what he thought about us giving it to each other as a joint present. He loved the idea! Especially since we plan to use it for many years to come.

The other weekend we moved the table outside, and ML sanded it smooth. I was completely amazed that he was able to remove all the dings, scrapes, and nicks on the top of the table. I knew then that our purchase had been worth it.


Friday, ML took off work, so we could celebrate our anniversary and work on the table. First, we went out and bought the supplies we needed.

We splurged and bought Sherwin Williams paint and primer. Since we plan for the table to get a lot of use, we wanted a durable paint that would stand up to the abuse we know it will receive. For extra protection we chose the door and trim paint in satin finish. Once cured, this paint will become much harder and more durable than typical latex paints for walls. For the color I chose Martha Stewart Living color Popcorn.

It’s just a simple clean white.

Saturday morning, I started priming the table. I just applied one coat but looking back on it now two would have been best because I had a few spots where the stain kept wanting to show through which required extra coats of paint.

I allowed at least four hours between all coats. It ended up being more than that most of the time since I could only paint while Noah slept. So late Saturday afternoon and part of Saturday night, I painted the first coat of paint.

With the first coat of paint, I could already tell I was going to love our decision to paint the table instead of stain it. Sunday afternoon, I found time for the second coat of paint. I thought it would be all the table needed, but after it dried I felt like a third coat was needed. Plus, it would add a little extra protection.

So Monday morning, during another one of Noah’s nap times, I applied the third and final coat of paint

At that point I couldn’t wait for Michael Luke to get home from work, so we could move it back into place. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to work on it until the late that night.

And here’s the best part.

I painted the top of the table with chalk board paint! So not only do we have a beautiful dining room table, but you can draw on it too. This will be perfect when Noah grows up someday. I do suggest rubbing the entire surface with white chalk and wiping clean before using colored chalk. To remove the color chalk just wipe with a damp cloth.

Update:  Through trial and error I have discovered that side walk chalk wipes clean much easier than typical chalk board chalk.

I ended up making my own chalk paint since I couldn’t find a color I really liked. It was really simple (I used Martha Stewart’s recipe):

  • 1 cup paint
  • 2 tablespoons unsanded grout (I used white)

Combine together and stir until grout is mixed in. You end up with really thick pasty paint.

I suggest scooping some onto the actual surface you plan to paint and then using a roller brush to smooth it out.

After the entire surface has been painted and dried, use a 150 grit sandpaper to smooth the surface.

I also finally decided to invest in some Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint. I know it is all over the blogosphere, but I wanted to give it a try on the claw feet for the table.

You may have noticed the feet on one side of the table. We were debating whether we liked the bronze with the white or just white feet. After seeing a few photos today of other white tables with bronze feet, I am going to leave them bronze. What do you think?

We are so excited that three years ago we decided to blow $20 on a table. We have invested less than $100 in it and now have a beautiful family table that will hopefully grow old with us. We agree this was the perfect five year anniversary gift for each other!


The table really makes the dining area look so much bigger and lighter. Beforehand, every thing was dark and heavy looking. The white table helps to balance the dark colors in the wood.

So what do you think of our gift? Have you found any yard sale or thrift store finds like this?

I am linking up for

at: Young House Love, Hi Sugarplum, Bower Power, and The Great Indoors,


Weekend Bloggy Reading

and at Thrifty Decor Chick.



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