Sunday, September 29, 2013

Burlap Breakfast Stools

 Recently I had the pleasure to makeover some breakfast stools for my favorite customer!

Her stools had a few issues:
  1. They were bar height at a counter height island
  2. They were too dark
  3. They were too boring
  4. The legs were falling apart
  5. They were dirty and dingy

I had to snap some pictures before I started and it was after dark, so excuse the poor before images please!

The first step was to trim the legs down to be a more appropriate height for the island counter bar in my customer's house.

We set the miter saw at 10 degrees miter and 10 degrees bevel and trimmed off 5 inches.

All legs got sanded and roughed up, then cleaned with TSP to prep for paint.

I made the seat covers out of burlap, cutting all sides and the top and sewing together.
Then I experimented with a few different options for buttons colors. 
(I cut out little circles in different fabrics to 'act' as buttons)

Lighter cream buttons to match the legs?

Tone on tone using matching burlap?

And the final result . . .

 This stool transformation really helped brighten up her kitchen! 
Her daughters immediately tested them out and approved!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

BE Conference ReCap

A few months ago I heard about this blogging conference in Houston. I hadn't been a great blogger (I'm rather inconsistent) and thought that it was only for serious bloggers. So, I shrugged it off and said I wasn't going.

Well a couple of weeks ago I was contact by Bobbie Byrd @ She told me she had come across my blog and thought I could really benefit from the conference and offered me a ticket. I decided to take the ticket, and even though I couldn't make it on Friday I would go on Saturday.

As the conference got closer I almost decided not to go again ( I felt lazy) but thankfully my sweet blogging friend Bree @ convinced me to go again! Yes, I have yo-yo decisions quite often! Bree & I carpooled to the conference and buddied up! I was so thankful to have a friend there! 

Here we are at the conference

 When we got there we checked in and found a seat in the opening welcome session.
We planned out our day, looking at each of the sessions we wanted to go to.

Our first session was from Laura Fuentes @SuperGlueMom who has her own business called MOMables.

Laura taught us a lot about how she treats her readers and what they expect from her. She taught us how to bring value to our blog and the importance of the information we give our readers. 
All in all some great tips!

 The second session was with Jeff @Jeffalytics who taught us all about Google Analytics. I've been on Google Analytics for a while now, but I always wondered if there was a better way to use it than I had been. Again, some excellent information learned in this session!

We took a break for lunch and headed over to Grub Burger in City Centre.
(photo courtesy of Sarah @prettyprovident)

 The food was yummy! I had a Guacapotle burger and a Grub Signature Infused Rita.
Let me tell you about this Rita! It was no ordinary Rita! Here's the description:
Fresh Pineapple and Watermelon, Berries, JalapeƱos all infused
with Sauza Silver Tequila
 yeah . . . jalepenos in my drink . . . you can tell I'm in Texas!

We got back to the conference to attend our session on photography. I have to admit that many of my photos on here are less than steller and I figured I could use all the help I could get.

Rachel Matthews @SthrnFairytale put on an excellent presentation give us all sorts of tips on lighting, placement, props, cameras and more!

We finished out the day with an inspiring session from +Karen Walrond @Chookooloonks. She talked about blogging being all about community. Her photography on #lookforthelight is an amazing concept and I enjoyed listening to her a lot. She reminded us to blog about what we are passionate about.

We ended with a treat!

 And had to say goodbye to new-found friends!

I'm so glad I went. 
It really helped encourage me after being around fellow bloggers. It reminded me why I started blogging in the first place. 
I may not have a million followers, I may not get paid to blog, but every time I get a comment from a follower I am thrilled to know someone out there cares about my blog and cares about what I have to say. I hope to build the blog community that I learned about this past weekend.

Thanks for stopping by and reading!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

So You've Heard about Ancestry, Now What??

Those of you know me outside of the blogging world know that I'm a bit of an ancestry nerd! For those of you who have never researched your own ancestry, I've decided to help out!

 Over the next few months I'm going to  give you the tools to start your own ancestry research.

Inspired by my favorite shows Who Do You Think You Are, you will take your own journey in discovering where you came from and how it shaped you into who you are today.

Here's what you'll learn in:
1. What you need to start your research
2. How to use
3. What information is worth paying for?
4. What are the best sites to use and why?
 5. You've hit a brick wall, where do you go now?
6. What to do with your research.
7. Lots more details that you'll learn as we go!

As we begin this 'journey' I'll start with a photo from my family history. 
This picture is of my great grandparents. I got the original copy from my aunt. The photo is mounted on thick card stock. It's one of several photos I'm proud to have of my ancestors.

How did I get interested in ancestry research, you may ask. 

I'm not 100% sure when it really started. I remember that in college during my Clothing History class that we had to put together a book of old photos of our family and talk about their clothing and how it related to the decade. We had to cover at least 7 decades, so you had to go way back.
I began to gather photos for the project and I imagine that had a lot to do with my further interest.

When starting ancestry research, the first thing to do is to gather  as much information as you can from your family. 

I recommend this information be gathered on 2-3 generations beyond yourself with at least 1 or more generations not living.

1. First & Last names of husband and wife (maiden names for the wife)
2. Birth & Death dates for the people. If exact dates aren't known, try to learn the year.
3. Birth & Death locations - states are a must, county and/or city are helpful.

Tips on where to find this info? 
-Ask your parents! Ask your Aunts, Uncles, & Grandparents!

- Family Bibles are primary sources for genealogy research. They often have a small family tree or major family and life info listed in the beginning of the Bible.

- Family scrapbooks - look through scrapbooks of old photos and newspaper clippings. Names are often written on the back of old photos - see if you can find out your grandmother's maiden name! Obituaries often give parents and children's names, helping you connect to another generation.
Dig in and find out what you can, next post we'll talk about how to get started on


If anyone would like help on this, I'm happy to meet up and assist you with starting your family tree. *Free of charge*
Ancestry research is a passion of mine and I love to help others explore their roots.

Don't forget to follow me and subscribe by email to find out the next steps in researching your family tree!



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