Easiest furniture redo ever

About eight years ago, I decided I needed to replace my dining room furniture. The china cabinet and table were purchased back in 1982, soon after we were married. We used the table practically every day and it was showing plenty of wear. It didn't take long in my search to discover that china cabinets were a thing of the past. They had been replaced with low buffet - type liquor cabinets. After all, I don't think new brides are interested in using fine china. I used mine to display my teacup collection ( which was all the rage back then) and some pieces from my grandmother. Maybe I could just find a new table in light oak? Nope, everything in style was dark, nothing would match... now what?

 I re-evaluated my china cabinet, which was still in great shape and the style was plain enough and decided to refinish it dark and buy a new table. 
Now the search began for how to do that with the least effort. I had refinished a few pieces before...I remembered the endless sanding, the mess, the strong smell...

Then I found this article at Monica's blog!
She stated that you could successfully refinish a project without all the sanding and smell. Her directions were very easy to follow and plenty of the comments on her post were helpful.


I decided to take it on. In hindsight, here are a few key things to remember:
  1.  I followed her instructions to the "T", no shortcuts. Yes, there are precise waiting periods between coats but they pay off in the end.  
  2. Using a tube sock instead of a brush was so much better! You can use your fingers to get into corners or any ornate details in the wood.  
  3.  Use the product she used General Finishes... no substitutes. There are plenty of wood shades to choose from. I chose the Java shade Monica used. I only bought a quart and when I was finished, there was over half a can left. I did several other pieces before the can was empty. It really stretches! I found it at a local furniture store but I've also since purchased this brand from Amazon.
  4. IMPORTANT: This product is only for stain over stain. I don't believe it would work over paint.


This is the dining room set when it was purchased. Light oak with a very high gloss. I lightly sanded the piece for 15 minutes to remove some gloss as instructed. If you are redoing kitchen cabinets you will need to thoroughly clean them with a degreaser. No need for heavy sanding. This is a very easy product to work with. It's a gel that sits on top and doesn't need to soak into the wood. You do not wipe it off.

   After putting on thin rubber gloves, I used my hubby's old tube socks. They will reach up to your elbows and you'll be glad of that. lol
 Dip into the stain and apply. I referred back to Monica's instruction many, many times to be sure I was following exactly.


 Don't be discouraged at how the first coat looks, It's all going to work out...trust me.

Finished off with the General Finishes poly as suggested...

I used the same hardware because they were plain and not outdated. I gave them two coats of Rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray paint.
Now, to purchase a table. There were plenty in a dark shade to choose from...


 This is the table I chose! It's a perfect match! You would never believe that they weren't purchased together.

 It's been eight years and it still looks like new. No wearing off, no fading, and the finish is scratch-resistant.
 Again, here's the link:

https://monicawantsit.com/staining-oak-cabinets-espresso-color/


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Flower Power

I don't know about you but I've had my fill of this lockdown. Even though I have plenty of hobbies to keep me busy, the monotony of every day repeating itself is driving me crazy. I feel like I'm trapped in the "Groundhog Day" movie! So I'm going to think good thoughts about Summer and my flower beds and how much I enjoy tending them.
Here's some shots from previous years...


I hope you enjoyed your visit!

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An Amish Gathering

An Amish gathering in a home to worship on a chilly, Sunday morning. The Amish don't gather in a church building because they believe that they don't have to. They believe God can be worshipped anywhere and consider their daily lives part of worship.





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Homemade Vegetable Soup



There's nothing better than a piping hot bowl of homemade vegetable soup when it's chilly outside!
This recipe is one that I make often and I use just about every vegetable under the sun...the more the better, right? I don't even measure most of the ingredients...just add as much as you like.


Here's the recipe:

2-pound ground beef, browned and drained
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
1  onion, chopped
2 large diced potatoes

Add fresh or frozen of the following ingredients:
carrots
green beans
 corn
chopped broccoli
chopped cauliflower

add:
2-14.5oz. cans of stewed tomatoes, chopped
1 - 8oz. cans tomato sauce
2  teaspoons minced garlic
parsley
celery seed
salt
pepper
and my favorite ingredient for flavor...1 envelope of beef stew seasoning.
Serve with some crusty bread or crackers... yummy!!


A visit from the Easter Bunny...

This is our first great-grandbaby, Luke. It's his first Easter and that's his Grandma in the Bunny suit!

 She keeps him a couple days through the week when they are working. She is off work for two days and she has been visiting the homes of her co-workers and the kids can see her out the windows (social distancing). When it gets dark, she comes back and hides plastic eggs in the yard so that they will be able to have an egg hunt on Easter morning! Today is her birthday and this is how she's spending it!

Apple blossoms

Signs of spring... 
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Stuffed Omelet

With everyone across the nation at home on lockdown, this is a great time to try new recipes. That is as long as you have the ingredients on hand. It's not so easy to just run out to the market on the spur of the moment these days. We have decided to only shop every 10 days and check that list twice.
It's a good time to use up the stock in your pantry.

 I've been making breakfast omelets:
Recipe:
Melt a teaspoon of butter in a non-stick pan over medium heat. 
Whip two eggs with a teaspoon of water for each omelet. pour in the skillet and spread to cover the bottom. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cover with a lid. 

When the egg is cooked, add your filling. We prefer sliced pepperoni and shredded cheddar cheese because we always have it on hand but you could use anything...sausage, ham, shredded beef, or vegetables, any type of cheese...anything works!
After filling, use a large spatula to flip the first side. Hold with the spatula for a few seconds to help the melting cheese hold it in place. Then flip the second side to the center...add the lid for a second or two to heat through..

Plate it up and add some salsa, if desired, to top it off!


So easy but so good!

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