Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!
I just read a post by fellow blogger Lara Blair at

Have you heard of  One word Resolution?  I think it is great!! Instead of saying something like " I will go to the gym every day in 2013" or " I will lose those last 10 pounds in 2013", it provides one word you want to use to provide yourself with insight into how you want to proceed into the new year. 

You are choosing a one word "theme" for the new year according to blogger Gretchen Rubin of the Huffington Post. 

I did not have to think too hard about what I wanted my "word" to be as it is a theme I have been thinking about and trying to figure out for the latter part of 2012.  It is "Purpose" with a capital P

Let me back-track a little here....!

I was an english and Journalism major in college.  never specifically went into the field as i figured i would not make any money and as a young single gal that was important! i wanted to travel and have a fun single life.  and i did! 

I was VERY fortunate to stay at home and raise my two sons who are now 20 and 22.  One just graduated from college and the other is a junior in college.  I feel blessed with my life and my family. 

I put off blogging because I thought, everyone has a blog! Well, truly there are lots of them but the good ones have a real niche and some loyal followers. 

I finally decided to start blogging because I love to write, I love photography and I love to take things that don't look so good and make them look so much better!  I have always enjoyed all these things so I guess this is my niche....or at least a start!  So here is part of the challenge for me.  What is my real purpose in writing my blog.  That is what I am still trying to figure out.  Does it need to be instructional?  Lots of the good blogs I enjoy are instructional.  Does it need to be entertaining? I hope mine is!  How do I gain more followers? What are people looking for? Or,  is that what it is about?  What am I looking for? What is my purpose?

I guess that is what it boils down to.  Having raised my children and now working two part time jobs, which aren't always as busy as I would like them to be, I need to determine where i want to go, what I want to be at this stage.  Is where I am at where I want to be? Those questions have been a challenge for me for some time.  I think some of it is the Yankee in me! I  always think I should be doing MORE! 

So, let me ponder this in the new year and see if i can come up with an answer, for myself. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

doing a little online shopping!

I saw this little fella and the pillow below on Pinterest this morning. They are from Joss and Main.  I love creative bird decor....hmmm, don't know if i have a spot or not!!

aren't they sweet??

Friday, December 28, 2012

Holidays are over!

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday with the fam!  We did at my house!  There were 10 of us here for dinner and lots of laughs.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Ready for Christmas at my house!  Hope you are at yours as well.  Merry Christmas and Happy New year to my blogger friends.  Thanks for following and supporting my blog this year!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Re-covering dining room chairs

If you need to spiff up your dining room before christmas it is not too late.  I bought two yards of a beautiful upholstery fabric at a local store and did the chairs in a day or two.  All you need is a staple gun, staples and the fabric.  You don't have to use an upholstery weight fabric but it is usually a little heavier and more durable, particularly if you plan to have them on for awhile. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Choices in paint

I know I write a lot about Annie Sloan Chalk paint.  It is how I got turned on to this idea of recycling and restyling furniture.  I have always enjoyed taking something that did not look too great and making it look really good....on a budget! 

It is a challenge and I enjoy using my creative side!  Guess I am pretty much left brained...or not too much brained this time of year!!

My absolute favorite paint is Annie Sloan. I learned about it taking a class at Sea Rose Cottage in Bristol, Rhode Island over a year ago.  It is a beautiful little town on the water with lots of cute antique and gift shops.  About half an hour from Providence, RI.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

New Blog title

Hi all.  just finished this little cabinet. It is listed on my etsy shop!  I also wanted to let you know I have changed the name of my blog to Contendedpainter!  It will be found at or if you google ContendedPainter it should come up.  It is easier than the old name which had hyphens and I think describes my fondness for painting and creating!  Will update you with some more of what I have been working on around the house soon! 
The piece below I ended up painting in latex on the outside and Annie Sloan chalk paint in "Old White" on the inside.  Great for a bathroom or mudroom! 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

getting close to being done!

Well, I saw this little cabinet at auction and really liked it. Vintage and I love the glass knob. It is painted in Latex on the outside and Annie Sloan chalk paint in "old white" on the inside.   I LOVE Annie Sloan chalk paint and have been using it exclusively but I had some "bleed" from the dark colored wood right through two coats of Annie Sloan paint and i was getting frustrated. so I used some clear shellac on it to prevent further bleed and bought some latex paint and primer in one. It did the trick. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Sometimes when I am a little overwhelmed it is good for me to sit and blog a bit! I know this time of year is crazy for most people and I have decided I am making it unnecessarily so! 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas mantel

I think this year's Christmas mantel is done.  I collected five vintage brass candlesticks.  I primed them and then sprayed them with Rustoleum Glitter paint.  I was glad I primed them as there were a couple of little spots where I missed the brass with the primer and the spray paint did not adhere.

I ike the way they came out!

I then bought five red candles, $1.00 a piece at A.C. Moore and the little tree for $5.00 there as well.

My blogger friend Danielle from Finding Silver Pennies made the lovely red and white rag garland.  She sells them on her Etsy shop.  I love that it is a little countryish but adds pretty red color to the mantel.  The Pine cone is from Homegoods, one of a kind for the store I was in!! Love the hunting through the shelves for that one piece that finishes a look!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas memories...

Here are three little Christmas decorations that bring back fond memories...  The little Miss Piggy one I think my friend Lori gave me.  She was a college roomate and is a dear friend.  I dressed up as Miss Piggy (quite well I might add!) for a college Halloween party at our apartment.  She loved it and gave me this as a reminder! I wore a boa and made my Miss Piggy Nose out of a dixie cup covered with pink silly putty and put two little holes in the cup!!!
 This next one, the little duck, one of my best friends, Bob, in high school gave me.  I have it ALL these years later....ok, so it is not really that many!!

The next one one of my dear boys made me.  Not sure which boy and there are lots of others they made on my tree. I don't do a fancy tree, I do a tree that has lots of memories and lots of handmade, and yes, occasionally partially broken ornaments.  Love em all!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Working on my christmas decorating early this year and really having some fun.  I found a little box of 30 "tiny" LED lights (battery operated) I have put on my mantel.  Found them at Walmart!  Good old Walmart-never know what you will find there....! 
Here's a little peak at the mantel...


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I have completed my first foray into the land of Milk Paint.  It was completely different than working with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  I did not opt to use a bonding agent on this piece so I allowed the paint to do what it wished to do!

Monday, November 26, 2012

a sneak peak at an auction find!

I found this antique commode at an auction last week. very sturdy, good hardware and nice lines. I am painting it in "Sea Green" milk paint.  Paint still wet in this pic. \  More later....!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Yummy fall foods..

I spent most of the day today in the kitchen making our Thanksgiving meal. We were at my sister's for Thanksgiving and I always like to have leftovers so guess I have to cook the meal before I can have our own leftovers!
My husband made the pies, two apple and a sweet potato. We did take the apple pies to my sister's but he saved a sweet potato for himself and the boys...sorry but I am not a fan of pumpkin or sweet potato pies!
Today I roasted lots of veggies with some olive oil, salt and pepper and herb de provence! Yum!

Friday, November 23, 2012

A pretty little fall decoration-on sale!

I saw these pretty little pumpkins on Pottery Barn and they are on sale! I know Thanksgiving is past but these are great to use through the fall until it is time for the Christmas decorations, which in my book is not quite yet! Hope you all enjoyed your holiday!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mirror is done!

Hi all!  I have finished my white mirror.  Two of my girlfriends were here for coffee recently and were concerned that I want to sell it!  I am not sure if I will keep it or not, but they did pick out two good spots for it. One spot is over my ASCP "Aubusson blue" dining room buffet or in my living room which is all blues and creams.  I think the dining room may be best! 

Dining room buffet

Detail on top of mirror is Annie Sloan Chalk paint in " Old White" and some gold highlighting
 Living room has lots of cream and blue as well so this room would also work on long wall on left side of room.


Next blog post I will show a pic of a vintage green metal shelf I bought at auction.  It is kind of fun and I think I will paint in ASCP "Graphite" and "Old White"!  I guess you can see I like the cream colors!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving week!

Miss you my blogger friends!  I hope you all enjoy a happy holiday with your families/loved ones.  I will try to get a pic up tommorow of the mirror I said I would finish a long time ago!  Busy with work and getting some pieces prepped to paint! 

I had the opportunity to have a little visit with my two nieces last week in Boston and a visit here from my nephews.   What I really love about any of the holidays is spending time with family.  Always makes me happy!

my two year old niece!  what a doll!

My one year old nephew! 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

I find as a fairly new blogger, to learn and keep up with the technology you need to blog with some frequency. I do not always have something to blog about but when i try to think of a good subject I just think about what I would want to learn on a blog!

  Blogs are fun to write, read and look at all the pretty pictures. I think the pictures are very important. You need to have a good visual to go with the printed word. I have learned a lot from other bloggers, I am not afraid to ask questions because I figure that everyone started somewhere and most of us probably depend on one another to some extent.

Advertising on my blog is something i am undecided about. I don't want my blog to look too "commercial" but at the same time with the furniture I paint, I like to earn some money at creating new out of old, vintage pieces. So, that is something I am thinking about and will have to learn the "technology" to do it! I don't know how to " enable cookies!"

  I have spent a LOT of time on the computer figuring out things for myself and I am relatively pleased with my progress. I figure most things I can google and usually find a tutorial for it. If not I have found a website that publishes names of web designers and I have used one of them to do my "button." It is called

        So, if you are a blogger you know what I mean when I ask you to "grab my button!"

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Have you noticed how a lot of folks are going back to all white walls and lots of white decor? an example follows in the pic below. I really love the look! I think it is peaceful looking and allows for lots of versatility with accent pieces. Right now, I have a two red love seats in my family room. They are great but I am kind of stuck with lots of color!

Source: via Elaine on Pinterest

Source: via Elaine on Pinterest

Color can be a lot of fun as well but for now I am wishing on most things white!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Next project!

I really enjoy showing before and afters of my projects.  Sometimes I buy pieces that I think look a little hopeless but in the end they turn out pretty great! Well, this one I saw at a thrift store and saw the promise in it immediately!  I love it! 

It had a big red Marine's sticker on it.  It said "My grandson is a U.S. Marine"!  I did not know how easily it would come off or if it would but it came off very easily I can happily report! 

Some pieces are very challenging when you least expect it!

I plan to use Annie Sloan chalk paint in Versaille on this piece and maybe some gold accents to finish it off.  I happen to have lots of Versaille and would like to use it anyway.  I get my paint from Nancy at Sea Rose Cottage in Bristonl, RI. 

Nancy offers classes and when I have a problem with a piece she is always there to help me out.

Here are a couple of not so fancy pics of my new find! I am very excited about it! So excited if it fits in my family room, it is a keeper!  Yes, those are my legs you see in the reflection!  I couldn't very well keep them out of the picture! 

I love the little flower basket on the top of this mirror. 

When it is done, I will post some pics!  Also keeping my eye out for a good piece of furniture to finally try out Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint.  It is different than the ASCP, and I am anxious to try it out. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My brother's farm!

What a great weekend we had!! My two sisters and I met at my house Saturday a.m. and drove to Alexandria, N.H.  This is the Newfound lakes Region and it is so beautiful and so much less touristy than the Winnapasauke Lake area. 
across the street from my brother's farm.  Bear Mountain in background!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Fall.....

There are sooo many things I love about the fall.....The Colors are so beautiful and the lighting is breathtaking.  I wanted to share this pics with you.  Went outside this afternoon and snapped about 100! These are some of my favorites.  Hope you enjoy them too!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

table ready to go!

I have finished this little table and have put it on craigslist. Two responses right away. Marketing furniture to me is the hard part...the easy part is in the creating.  I found coordinating ribbon and put it on the pulls. It's still unique looking and I hope someone will enjoy having it in their bedroom! 
Ready to go!

I lightly painted over the existing hardware and added the ribbon with some of the same tone as the paint.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bedside table update!

 I have been working on the bedside table finally.  I picked an  annie sloan chalk paint in "French Linen".  I think it is a green-ish gray. Very pretty color!  I painted lightly over the original hardware.  The original pulls had a round metal circle from the bottom of the design but one was missing, I love a little challenge! 

I have put twine through and like the look. It is different.  I am not a matchy-matchy type!  HOWEVER, on Etsy I found a beautiful plum colored thin vintage french ribbon.  I am thinking that will do the trick. 

I try to use the original hardware when I can as it often really "fits" the piece best.  However, there are so many options for hardware replacements at places such as Home Depot, Target, and some really special ones at places like Anthropologie or Restoration Hardware or even Van Dykes Restoration catalog.

Anyway, will update you further when I have waxed the piece to protect it with a clear wax and decided on my final pulls!  Ribbon or twine-weigh in!  I am leaning towards the ribbon.  loving the plum color with the gray.

Love a vintage pull!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Birthday Party!

This past weekend we celebrated my husband's  #*)& birthday.  He never gives out his age or let's me do so! Not sure why as he looks 10 years younger than he is but boys will be boys!  We had both my boys come home and one of the sweet girlfriend's.  Sadly, the other girlfriend had to work!  My mother in law came as well.  A small party but fun just the same. 

I cooked a good part of the day Friday.  My family likes Southern style food or BBQ so I made a pulled pork with potato rolls, homemade cole slaw, BBQ'd chicken, greens, corn bread and dessert.  I am enjoying cooking lately and thought it would taste better homemade than ordering from a local barbecue! Lots of leftovers to send home with people so all went well!

Soon, I need to do some more furniture painting! Still have not done that "Bombay Company" bedside table-it sits in my garage looking lonely and needing attention!  More on that soon I hope! 
Corn bread made from scratch with buttermilk!~

buttermilk banana cake that I finished with a cream cheese frosting-a HUGE hit!

ready to party!

Finishing up the basement....

After 15 years of living in the house we live in, I finally decided to update my basement.  It had hand-stenciled walls, handprints of mine and my two boys in different colored paints from when we moved in and they were small.  It had no style and I wanted cork flooring, freshly painted walls and all new furniture.  So, of all those things after pricing them out, I ended up with professionally cleaned existing rug, professionally painted walls ( I am tired of painting walls and decided to indulge myself!) and re-purposed or "up-cycled" furniture.  At much less of a cost and I am quite happy with it.  Down the road I would like to add a white slipcovered couch from Ikea but that will have to wait.  
oil based primed and latex painted old laminate bookcase.  dark gray!
chalk board from vintage thymes marketplace
annie sloan chalk painted in "paris grey"-looks like new!

Drum table
The lamp below my son got at a yard sale. it was brass and rusted with an ill-fitting lamps shade! I painted it in Annie Sloan chalk paint in "Graphite" and found a new shade at Target on clearance for $9.00 as mentioned in previous blog! 

The chairs are slipcovered (professionally done at a good price years ago) and I bought the chair and a halfs originally for $300 each at Building 19.  It was a good buy.  Bought them probably 20 years ago and they are going strong!  Comfortable for two people sitting together!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Crazy for Halloween!

I am crazy for Halloween!  I think I like it so much because it is the one holiday that is just about fun!  No gifts, no obligations, just costumes and trick or treating! 

I also like it because it is or can be all about creativity, dreaming up that unique costume or party.  I love decorating for halloween and started early this year. It is not October yet and I am on a roll!

I pick up a little something new each year but try to keep it tasteful!

my favorite decoration is one done by my boys when they were small !

a little witch from christmas tree shops!

pumpkin scented candle

a little tea light witch in the kitchen...

my favorite by far are witches....and i used to be one....more on that later!!!!

We had for years a fourth grade teacher who lived next door and in the woods behind our house, his house and another neighbors he would have a spook trail for his fourth grade classroom.  It was great!  All the neighbors put so much time and effort into it and the night of the party all his fourth graders would carve a pumpkin.
The adults would run them to the trail, put a candle in them and the whole trail would be lit up with beautiful pumpkins! So great!  Each year I dressed as a scary witch and yes, sometimes I did scare the little siblings on the trail.....the fourth graders maybe not so much!

Enjoy your holiday this year... Do something creative!