Tuesday, December 31, 2013

All Good Things Must Come to An End...

Another year gone...another year older...and hopefully wiser?

I like everyone else (it seems) can't believe another year has come and gone.
It's been a busy full year and here's some of the fun things I did this year:

I built this from my imagination and a few old pallets. (and only minorly injured myself)

Original Post Here
I had lots of wonderful meetups with the Houston Blogger Social Club!

I completed my first boot camp and 5k!

Built our master bed! And had it featured on Knock Off Decor!

And I've started sharing my passion for ancestry research, hoping I might inspire others to research their own ancestry!

My year ended with a touch of the flu, a last minute trip to MO to see friends and family, and a whole lot of DIY projects on the to-do list! Lots of exciting things in store for our future and I hope you'll keep reading my blog for another year of fun!

Happy New Year!!

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Monday, December 16, 2013

Ancestry: Finding unique and exciting information

 When researching one's ancestors, we all want to find out we're royalty or related to a celebrity...

If you're not related to a celebrity or secretly inheriting a castle the next best thing is finding stories and details about the lives of your ancestors is the next best thing. 

Using the Ontario County, NY GenWeb website I was researching the Winslow line in my ancestry. (We are believed to be descended from Edward Winslow from the Mayflower, but have yet to connect the dots...)

While looking into the Winslow family I came across a black sheep of the family. My 2nd great grand uncle...otherwise described as my 2nd great grandmother's brother...

Below you'll find 3 very interesting articles that give a glimpse into the life he lived!
From Geneva Gazette 3 August 1894
Charles Winslow of Shortsville, "encumbered" with a wife and little children, eloped last Saturday with Mrs. Anna Aldrich, a dashing widow of the same place.  The wronged wife sued out a warrant for abandonment against her husband, armed with which deputy sheriff Aldrich pursued and found the elopers in Syracuse, where they had driven from Palmyra in a buggy.  Winslow was brought back under arrest and lodged in jail to await examination.  The gay widow was left to return at leisure with her rig.  We learn these particulars from a letter to the Rochester Herald.
From Ontario County Journal 3 August 1894
Last Saturday afternoon Charles Winslow of Manchester bade his family goodbye, and started for Palmyra, bag and baggage, where, according to the story he had told his wife, he had secured work at his trade, that of a cooper. The same afternoon Mrs. Anna Aldrich, a widow, who lives on the road between Palmyra and Manchester, told her mother that she was going to Palmyra to buy a dress. At Palmyra the couple met, and Mrs. Aldrich, who had, unbeknown to any of the household, smuggled a large amount of her apparel, put it with that of Winslow's, and it was all sent to Syracuse as belonging to Charles T. Ellis. The "happy couple" then drove as far as Clyde, where they remained Saturday night. They again began their journey eastward in the morning, and by Sunday night had reached a small hamlet in the suburbs of Syracuse, where they remained until Monday. After they had left on Saturday afternoon, a member of the Aldrich family had gone to Manchester for a doctor to attend Mrs. Aldrich's mother, Mrs. West, who was in feeble health, and there learned that Winslow had left town also. Mrs. Winslow became suspicious when she heard that Mrs. Aldrich had left for Palmyra also, and as her husband had taken nearly everything in the house and left her in destitute circumstances, she decided to investigate. She was soon satisfied that her husband had gone off with the Aldrich woman, and went before Justice Dunham and secured a warrant for his arrest on the charge of desertion. Sunday morning, Deputy Sheriff Lyman Aldrich, with the warrant in hand, went to Palmyra and after some difficulty learned that the couple had expressed their baggage to Syracuse, and had started for that place in a carriage. The deputy could not get a train to Syracuse until evening. When he arrived there at 11 o'clock Sunday, the express office was closed, but he was on hand bright and early Monday morning. He had stated his business and had hung around the office for several hours, when the clatter of hoofs was heard, and looking out he saw the elopers approaching behind the widow's spirited steed. A minute more and Charles Winslow was inquiring for baggage belonging to Charles T. Ellis. The officer approached him, and before he had time to wink, he was under arrest.

"Well, Lym, how the ____ did you know that baggage was here," retorted the captive, as he was lead out to the carriage in which sat the widow awaiting his arrival. After exchanging good-byes, the loving couple parted, Winslow taking the train for Canandaigua accompanied by the deputy, and the widow saying that she would be glad to return home if she would be received by her mother. Winslow is well known at Manchester, where his wife and two small children reside. Mrs. Aldrich is the widow of the late Edward Aldrich, who died about a year ago, leaving her with a child, now but ten months old. Winslow was taken to Manchester Wednesday for examination before Justice Dunham, who sentenced him to either three months' imprisonment at the county jail, or to furnish $800 bonds for the care of his wife. He is now in jail, having not yet secured the bonds.

About the time of his departure, another charge was found against him. He had some time before sold a horse and taken the purchaser's note for $60. He soon after sold the note to another party. The man to whom Winslow had sold the note did not know of the exchange, and made payments on the note to Winslow, who received the money and said nothing. He will probably not be arraigned on this charge, as friends have volunteered to collect a number of outstanding bills of Winslow's and straighten the matter up.
From Ontario County Chronicle 19 November 1902Manchester, N. Y.
Chas. Winslow, who was at one time a resident of this village and worked in the meat market owned by N. G. Herendeen, but for the past five years lived at Port Gibson, was killed at Newark on Friday, by a horse running away with him, throwing him against a tree and crushing the top of his skull. Last January he came near being killed in a like manner by being thrown against a telephone pole which unfitted him for labor for several months. As he was a skilled horseman, he seemed to take delight in driving vicious horses. His age was 35 years.

After reading this it's actually quite sad how he lived his life. It makes you wonder what drove him to such a lifestyle and such a fate.


On a happier note, other exciting information I have found is that I have 4 men in my genealogy that served in the Revolutionary War!

Timothy Bigelow 1739-1818 (Proven in the DAR database #A010060) First Lieutenant in the Berkshire Co Militia
Nehemiah Blackman(Blakeman) 1740-1808 (DAR #A010738)Drummer for the Waterbury Regiment in Connecticut
Joseph Waldron 1753-1822 (DAR #A120851) Private in Massachusetts army
Frederick Schutt 1760-1828 Private in NY's 2nd Regiment, camped at and survived Valley Forge

I plan to use these patriots to become a member of the DAR.
For those of you that don't know, the DAR is the Daughters of the American Revolution. To join, you must prove your lineage to a patriot who served in or aided the Revolutionary War.

I hope you've enjoyed learning what unique and exciting stories you can uncover when researching your family history. 

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cane Back Chair Makeover

I've been dragging my feet about re-finishing this chair and it's cousin (I found another chair almost identical and plan on using them for the end chairs to a dining room table)

I finally started working on one and I was so proud! I hate putting things off!

I may add a stenciled letter or number on the seat. Or some other design...any suggestions?

This chair started out as such an ugly duckling. The fabric was like a bad curtain, and the wood was dated looking.

 I removed the seat and tightened all the screws to make sure the chair would be strong and secure.

Then I noticed only 2 legs had protective pads, so I had to get those off. I used a screw driver and hammer and they came right off.

I painted it my usual favorite white (still working off the same gallon I've had for numerous projects!) Careless Whisper by Valspar. It's the paint and primer in one.
I cleaned the chair with TSP and started painting!

The seat is re-covered in Osnaburg. I tea dyed the osnaburg to give it a bit more color to stand out against the white, although my test piece was darker than the real one, I still think the minor difference looks good.

As I mentioned above, I would like to add a stencil, vintage graphic or something to the seat. I think that will be the perfect touch to finish it up!

I distressed the chair to give it the worn farmhouse look. Do you think it's enough distressing? Or should I add more?

I hope you liked the chair makeover! I'll be sure to add an update once I've completed the other chair and added the graphic!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Operation: Christmas Crafting

This Christmas we may not be at home, so instead of using our 9' tree from last year, we opted for the 4' tree. Much more manageable to get up and decorate.

With that being said, I felt like switching up my decor style on my tree. 
The theme? 

"Coastal Burlap Christmas"

I was partially inspired by this ornament I got last year while shopping along the Galveston seawall with my bff Sara. 

Those of you may know that I sort of pride myself in making things for little or no $$. I try to find things I already have around my house and see how I can use them to accomplish what I want to make. This occasion was no different.

I quickly gathered my supplies:
-Starfish (leftover from my birthday in April)
-Seashells (leftover from my wedding 4 1/2 years ago)
-Aqua Glitter paint (leftover from a random project earlier this year, from Hobby Lobby)
-Terra Cotta paint (bought on clearance earlier this yeah for a fun craft supply)
-Paint brushes (borrowed from my sister)
-Hot glue gun & glue sticks (no craft is complete without!)
-Pine cones (from my yard. The annoying pine tree is good for some things)
-Dried flowers - I did not have this and at some point I may get some and add later.

I had most of what I needed, but had to purchase some bell cap connectors(25 pieces) and silver metallic cording(15 yds). Together only $5.00 on Ebay.

 I started by laying out all the starfish and supplies.

Then got out the glitter paint and painted it on the starfish and shells.

Below shows the starfish before and after the glitter paint. It didn't change the color, but it added a very nice sparkle that was hard to capture in a picture.

After the glitter was try I used my hot glue gun to glue the bell caps on the starfish and pine cones. This gives me something to dangle them by. 

 To decorate the pine cones I used the terra cotta paint. For those of you that haven't used this product...It's very neat! It's lumpy and rough, and in this case was perfect to add 'snow' to the pine cones. (It's also great for homemade coral if you want to make it look rough)

After the 'snow' dried I added more of the glitter paint to make them sparkle!

Once I cut the metallic cording to length and tied them on to my new DIY ornaments I hung them on the tree.

I'm loving the natural elements they bring to my tree. I think they were just the right touch.

So now...more about my tree transformation. Last year it was all about silver, aqua, teal, blue, and black. But considering my love for all things natural and neutral it was time for a change. 

I traded out my silver tinsel for burlap garland and ivory tulle.
My shades of blue ornaments will go around the house in various forms of decor, while the whites, creams, and silvers hang on my tree.

Here's some pics of my tree this year. (Yes it's small, but at least I didn't need a ladder to decorate!)

It started out with lights and burlap...

My little helper...not so helpful while he takes a nap!

My DIY ornaments added!

 And after all the ornaments and the ivory tulle is added...

I needed a new more neutral tree skirt so I grabbed some yardage of beaded 100% silk dupioni...I had to laugh, who  puts silk on the floor as a tree skirt?!? #obviouslyIdonothavechildren

Loving the overall look of the tree! It makes me feel happy and relaxed!

Hope you enjoyed my diy ornaments! Have you made any new Christmas decorations this year? What did you make?

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