A Game of Christmas Clue

Hubby and I wanted to do something different this year with the kids. The girls are 19,17 & 10 so they are old enough to play this little game we have put together…

Every year the kids prepare a Christmas wish list, I we buy items for them from the list but we also get them each one “big” gift which we have chosen for them. Well this year we are going to make them “work” for the “big” gift with this little game!

We are hiding gifts in 5 different places in and outside of the house. Inside of each of these boxes / bags is a little riddle / clue they will have to figure out in order to find their gift… I seriously cannot wait to see how they will handle this… because honestly they could get frustrated, they could have a ball, they could irritate one another… I mean what are we thinking!? Well Christmas day always seems to go by so fast that I’m hoping whichever way they go they will create a memory and will be able to laugh about it later… even if they are only laughing at our stupid clues!


These are the clues we are leaving for them…

In gift 1

A present for you three is not under the tree…

So a game of Clue you’ll have to play, in order to find your gift today…

Work together to solve this clue… otherwise you’ll not know what to do!

Clue #1

This is the place I would stay, if I were your pet Mockingjay!

In gift 2

Clue #2 will be simple for you, but find it FAST is what you must do!

Clue #2

If I were a doll I’d hide from you all, in the highest space, in the messiest place!

In gift 3

Clue #3 you’re getting closer to me, figure it out and happy you’ll be!

Clue #3

On I’m wet, off I’m dry, you don’t use me enough I don’t know why! I’m not a shower, I’m not a tub, but I am used to help clean and scrub…

In gift 4

Clue #4 might be tougher than the rest, but you’ll get it I’m sure ‘cause you’re the BEST!

Clue #4

My protection is solid and heavy you’ll find, I’m somewhere close to the back property line!

In gift 5

Clue #5 is the last one you’ll need, figure it out you’re bound to succeed!

Clue #5

Brown & Brown & Brown & Brown, we’re not watching “IT” because of the Clown!

Hubby is concerned about them getting last clue, but I’m pretty confident they’ll get it! The answer to the last riddle is where we will have stashed the gifts… so much fun! I’ll let you know how it goes!

Do you have a fun Christmas tradition or are you starting something new this year that will help keep present time from ending so quickly? Feel free to share, I would LOVE to hear about your family’s traditions!

As always thanks for stopping by!

Oh, and if you know my kids PLEASE don’t tell them about the Christmas Clue game!

Until next time…

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Awkward Closet Turned Dressing Room!

This post is really part 3 of the bedroom update that we have been working on (see 1 & 2 here). The closet area is the biggest change we made to the room, the rest was really just paint and decor… which I will share with you soon…

As you can see below she had an awkward setup of this space. The vanity door and closet door butt up to one another and the whole thing was just a tight mess! The closet itself is a nice size walk-in, it was just not setup to function as well as it could.


She also had wire shelving in her closet and the overall setup of the shelving was not ideal… why would they stop the bottom shelf 8 inches from the wall… I just don’t understand!?

My SAH (Super Awesome Hubby) and I removed all of the shelving, slightly reworked the setup and installed wooden shelves & rods… oh yeah, and filled the million holes left by removing the wire shelving… so much fun!

We also removed a large portion of the closet and vanity wall, including both door frames. We also added a light fixture in the ceiling just outside the closet and rearranged the light switch locations to be more functional for the new space.

We removed all of the carpeting and ceramic tile floor in this area in order to help tie these three spaces together… The removal of the tile floor and its underlayment was a sucky job, we used a hammer drill with a spade bit and it still took us FOR-EV-ER! And while I’m complaining let me say that removing the 5,000 staples that they used to tack down the carpet padding with was no walk in the park either…


No pain no gain right? Here is the much loved AFTER, although we still had not installed the shoe molding at the time I took this photo.

The new lighting we installed gives us so much more light and makes the dressing room feel like a showroom… LOVE!

The stencil I painted on the wall was a HUGE pain because it was so big and flimsy, but I love how it gives the wall a sense of purpose & design!


Now the closet is stocked and ready to use! My vintage doorknobs are up and being utilized… yay! She has so much more room for her clothes now…

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I found this great wall mount wire basket at Home Goods and set it up for gloves, hats etc… The basket above the dresses I use to store her blankets… she LOVES her comfy blankets, but I keep them up high so she doesn’t get all of them out at once!

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I used one of the antique armoire doors I updated… I added a french cleat to the back of it and hung it up at the perfect height for her to see her entire outfit in the mirror. I also updated her “BRIE” letters with a coat of silver spray paint and some silver German glass glitter… very bling bling!!!


I had a very difficult time deciding what to do with her shoes, so for now I’m using this soft woven basket I found at Target. I am storing all of her summer shoes in a basket under the bed and only her winter shoes go in here… that way she is not digging through all of the shoes to get to the pair she wants. This is just a temporary solution until I see how she is using the area, but it seems to be working great so far.

One of my favorite changes is the addition of the grey floor planks. The flooring is from the St. James collection, “Flint Creek Oak” purchased from Lumber Liquidators. It has it’s own padding attached and it was very easy to install!


This is the view from her bedroom, looking into her new dressing area! To help define the space as a “room” (and to add privacy if needed) we installed at the entrance a wood rod, molding and a set of grey velvet curtains.

I still need to fix a few issues with the way the curtains are hung (removing the clips and adding ties), I also need to stencil some numbers on the baskets on the top shelf in the closet… quick & easy things to do, just need to get to them!


I am super thrilled with the way it turned out! Brie and all of her friends love it too (whew!) I know it may seem a little sophisticated for a 10 year old, but she will be able to grow into it quickly and I will not need to update her room again… a big plus for me! There may be a few items that will get changed out between now and the time she moves out, but the overall feel of the room will stand the test of time I think…

I hope you like her dressing room make-over too… I really feel like we took an awkward closet space plus an unused area and turned it into a wonderful dressing room that feels roomy, organized and beautiful!

Thanks for stopping by…

Until next time!

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A Little Mom Bragging

When people ask what I do I find myself struggling to define exactly what that is… I don’t think I can say I refinish furniture as I believe that means to return it to it’s original state… I don’t think I’m an artist because I don’t do any decorative painting on the furniture… So when clients insist that I am an artist I beg to differ and this is just one of the many reasons why…

This is a charcoal sketch that my 16 year old daughter did as an art class project! It is her interpretation of an original sketch by Albrecht Durer. It truly brings me to tears looking at it and knowing that this was sketched by her!DSC_0021

This is the original art work she sketched from…

“Head Of An Apostle Looking Downward”

Head Of An Apostle Looking Downward - Albrecht Durer - www.albrecht-durer.org

What a wonderful interpretation of the original! I have no idea how she does it!


To me her work is the work of an artist… and it truly sickens me that I am raising 3 utterly talented girls and I cannot draw, paint or sketch! Not to mention that Cassidy, the artist of this sketch, doesn’t see her talent and spends very little time on it… I actually think that should be a crime don’t you?

I would LOVE to get her to help me produce some truly unique pieces with her original works of art this summer… I may have to be reduced to bribery though Thinking smile

Thanks for bearing with me as I pulled this out of my Mom brag bag… it’s full of “stuff” but this one was the most recent and has moved me so…

Thanks for listening!

Until next time…

My Signature

Twin Victorian Beds Revived

I’m so proud of myself for getting some fabulous “BEFORE” pictures! Seriously though… I bought these Victorian twin beds in September for a client of mine… she knew I couldn’t get to them for a while and she patiently waited 3 months for them! These beauties are going to be for her two girls who share a room… Can you just imagine how awesome these are going to be? I can!

They are antique with beautiful detail, wood rails and just look at those curved footboards!


It may seem “crazy” to some of you to paint these, certainly they could be restored, but they really are going to be gorgeous once they are done!

Here is the headboard after two coats of a custom mix of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I mixed a ratio of 3:1 Pure White and Graphite to achieve this lovely soft gray color. I could have used Paris Grey, but it tends to pull to the purple side and I wanted to achieve more of a true Dove Grey color…

I did have weird bleed through spots after 2 coats, so rather than fight it I just removed the paint and sprayed the area with 3 coats of Zinsser spray primer (outside was a balmy 74 degrees). After the primer was dry I repainted the headboard, two coats, no bleed through.

The footboard had no issues, I just cleaned it really good with Formula 409 before I painted it with 2 coats of the custom Grey paint.

I painted the accent pieces in ASCP Graphite… doing this kind of detailed painting is very time consuming, keep that in mind if you are doing this yourself or paying someone to do this… but it is SOOOOO worth it! Look how the Graphite makes the details POP!

The final pictures are pretty crappy, which is embarrassing, but it was an overcast foggy day and I couldn’t setup outside and there just wasn’t enough indoor light! Anyway here is the finish product!


I distressed the beds using a combination of wet sponge and sandpaper, that way I could distress the majority of them inside and just a small amount needed to be hand sanded.


I used Briwax to wax the beds… it’s VERY smelly so I only use it outside, but it goes on beautifully and dries super fast. After I waxed it I buffed it with 0000 steel wool and then a final buff with a soft cloth.


The curved footboards are just incredible!


I added an initial for each of the girls on the top of the headboards..


To add the initials I used my Silhouette to cut out the letters in vinyl and then applied them to the wood once the base color was dry. I then painted two coats of Graphite over the entire piece and after the paint had dried I removed the vinyl letters. The letters came up easily and the lettering is very crisp and clean.


This was a fun project for me! I love the fact that these little girls will be getting wonderful beds as Christmas gifts. I can only hope that they will treasure them for a very long time!

On a totally random personal note: A couple of days ago my 19 year old daughter invited me to go with her to the Dave Matthews Band concert in Charlottesville this coming Friday… I love Dave Matthews but the fact that my daughter asked me to go with her was just such a sweet thing… I guess it means that she’s either 1. not too embarrassed to be seen in public with me, 2. still thinks I’m pretty cool or 3. she wanted me to buy the tickets Thinking smile! Who knows, but I’m super excited to go and I know we will have a great time. I haven’t been to a concert in 5 years or more, boy tickets sure have gotten expensive!

Thanks for stopping by…

Until next time!

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Vintage Doorknob Hooks

This was a SUPER easy project to do… for me the hardest part was figuring out how to do it and since I have already done that for you the hardest part for you will be finding the perfect knobs… lucky you!

I bought a BUCKET full of these vintage knobs, I know… some people will hoard anything 😉 Some of them were full sets, but these were a few of the single ones, they were exactly what I was looking to use for this project. They are rather beautiful and aged and perfect for installing in the new dressing room area we are working on for our youngest daughter.

I bought a two part epoxy “Steel Stik” and some hanger bolts for wood application. Below are all the items I needed to complete this project, except for the gloves…

This is what the roll of epoxy looks like when you remove it from the tube. You just cut off a small amount, it dries super fast so just cut off what you can use in 3 minutes…

PLEASE use gloves… it’s more awkward but necessary, you do not want this stuff on your skin! You knead the epoxy with your fingers until the two colors blend into one.

I rolled it into a worm shape and shoved it into the stem of the knob. Make sure you put enough, you want the bolt to push it out some so you know you have it in there snug.

Insert / push the hanger bolt as far as you can into the stem of the knob. Then remove any excess that is squeezed out of the side or top, I used the knife to scrape it off.

Make sure your bolts are level, I just eyeballed mine and that appeared to be good enough. The product sets in 3-5 minutes and in an hour can be drilled, tapped etc..

While the product was setting I drilled a hole in the wood shelf supports. This is why we installed the supports out further than the shelves… you will need to screw these knobs into a stud or wood support of some sort!

I screwed the knob in once the product had set… this project was seriously just as easy as I’m making it sound.

Now she can hang purses, hats, scarves, robes, outfits whatever she wants from these knobs… I’m installing 6 in the closet… you never know what a girl will want to hang up… and I’m HOPING that she will want to hang up stuff on her “new” super cool knobs! I do all I can to help the girls stay organized and have clean rooms but you know the old saying “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” so it will be interesting to see what she eventually ends up hanging on these… as long as it’s something I will consider this experiment successful!

By the way if you are looking for some vintage knobs let me know… I’ve got quite a few left over Smile

Thanks for stopping by…

Until next time!

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Santa’s Toolbox

I bought this vintage toolbox a few months ago, it was in rough shape (they usually are) but I knew it could be something wonderful… It took me a month or so to figure out what I wanted to do with it…


I figured it out just in time for Christmas decorating!


I painted the outside of the toolbox Annie Sloan Emperor’s Silk, but I left the inside the original green.


I printed the typography on a laser printer, mirroring the print. It reads “Santa’s Toolbox, if found please return to the North Pole”… super cute!! I placed the printout upside down and used a Blender marker on the paper to transfer the print to the box… rubbing firmly with a spoon to ensure transfer.


I lightly distressed the box, waxed and buffed it.


I filled it with baby poinsettia’s and it sets happily on my dining room table!


I loved how cute this box came out! I didn’t put the typography on the backside of the box in case I wanted to use it throughout the year all I have to do is turn it around…

Hope you like my little Christmas project…

Thanks for stopping by…

Until next time!

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White and Gold French Dresser and Nightstand

We did great with our timeframe for getting Brie into her new room before Thanksgiving (click here to see part 2) all we have left is shoe molding and painting the ceiling sheetrock repairs… I want to finish those two things before I show you the final reveal… but it looks FAB.U.LOUS!

However, this is the new dresser and nightstand set I picked up for her. The dresser is in great shape and even has partitions in some of the drawers to help keep everything in its place!

BEFORE (sorry, forgot to put all of the drawers back in)

And the cute little matching nightstand… if only there had been two!


I knew I wanted this set painted Pure White (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint), the white just POPS against the freshly painted grey walls! I am generally not a “gold” person when it comes to hardware but the white / gold / grey combination just works perfectly!


I distressed it ever so slightly, but it did take 3 coats of pure white to cover the original finish the way I wanted it to…

You can see the sheen from the wax top coat if you look at the top of the dresser in the picture above… it’s so smooth! I waxed it with Annie Sloan Clear Wax and buffed with a soft cloth.


I absolutely love the finish on the handles. I cleaned them off really good with Formula 409 and a bristle brush and let them air dry. After they dried completely I sprayed them with Krylon 18kt Gold paint (3-4 light coats), this paint applies beautifully… I even sprayed a few pinecones with it for holiday decorations!

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I did the same process for the little nightstand, however I painted the inside with some leftover custom blue chalk paint… I never throw away any leftover custom colors as I always seem to have a small something I can use it on. I gave her a silver tray for the top to put her water glass on at night… we had some issues with the last table that I would rather not repeat with this one.


Brie loved the soft pop of blue on the inside of the nightstand. I do need to get a basket to go in there though as she uses this space for her drawing supplies and it tends to look a little junky.

I also sprayed a mirror and some frames she had in her old room in the same Krylon Gold… the gold just looks gorgeous with the grey walls and coordinates with the dresser perfectly!


Pop in some pictures of friends and family and it becomes a wonderful focal point that she gets to enjoy all of the time!


I also purchased this snow leopard print bean bag from Pottery Barn Teen (they were on sale recently), she sits in it just about every day and draws or plays with friends… she REALLY loves it!


I hope to be done with her room very soon so I can share it with you! I love it so much I’m tempted to take it over for myself Sarcastic smile

Thanks for stopping by!

Until next time…

My Signature

Linking up to these parties!
Between Naps on the Porch, Coastal Charm, Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, The Dedicated House, A Stroll Thru Life, Primitive and Proper, The Ivy Cottage Blog, Elizabeth and Co., Savvy Southern Style, Domestically Speaking, French Country Cottage, From My Front Porch to Yours, My Romantic Home

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