Friday, December 2, 2011

From the Back of the Barn...

There's nothing like finding an old piece of furniture in a attic,
or as in my case,
in our barn.

There is the mystery of where it has been
and why it was allowed to be tossed aside.
My Farmer tried to convince me that this piece was better left where it was,
and I pretty much agreed with him
until we got the back porch enclosed
and I knew this piece would look perfect out there.

I hoped that underneath the bird stuff,
years' conglomeration of spider webs,
and repulsive bat droppings,
there might be something there.

Well, let's just say it was a big hope. 
It ended up I had to rip the whole back off of it. 
It was so horrible:
I just could not get it clean.

My Farmer was called upon to attach a new back for me.
He also ended up having to put new side pieces to hold the doors, 
and it was quite a job for him to get it all in working order so that the doors would close right and latch up, and the whole thing wouldn't sway and bow in the process. 
  He wanted to quit on this thing more times than I should tell
  and I felt a twinge of guilt for not letting him.

But he kept at it.
There's something about investing a few hours of time
that makes it hard to give up on something.
 And I knew he could fix it.  

Having a stone house limits what you can hang on the exterior walls;
many of the inside walls are plaster, crumbling easily under very little weight.
So we decided to use another piece of furniture as a base.
(Please, excuse the mess in the midst of getting it ready).
I bought this at a yard sale for a small price:
it was missing the bottom two drawers.

I began by painting the outside with Slate Black Annie Sloane Chalk paint
and the inside with a her Provence.
Since I was only using this as a base coat so I wouldn't have to sand it,
I used a very small amount, needing only one coat.
Then I painted everything with a flat white paint
and waxed it with clear Fiddes and Sons wax.

The next problem that arose was how to attach the two pieces together,
since the wall where we planned to put it was stone.

It sat in the basement for a few weeks
as other things popped up,
but then I sold my school cupboard because it's colors did not work well
with the color of the floor where it ended up.

I suddenly needed the space.

So my husband improvised with this idea:
 (I know, it looks a bit awkward,
and there's an obvious hint that it was a board from the barn,
but I try to limit my complaints.)

I really had no idea what in the world he was going to do to make 
it all stay together,
but he bolted in through the top
and then...
up through the bottom
with what looked to me like gate bolts.

All I know is they look like they'd hold in a tornado.

(The two pieces are beat up enough that I didn't mind what he did
as long as he could get them together.)

And they did.

I now had a great storage place for my supplies and books
for the kids' school.

Decorating it with some fresh greens seemed a fun idea
since it's the Christmas season.

In the morning,
I sewed up the skirt to hide the school mess.

I love having a better place to store my teacups
and some of my sewing things
since my sewing machine sits out in this room now, too.

My husband's solution to hide the wooden block
is for me to paint it to look like a book.

I have to tell you,
I was pretty impressed with him coming up with this solution.
I think all this renovation type stuff is making him pretty creative.

Now, the question is,
what book should I make?
I came up with the possibility of painting it to look like the book
that we read together when we were dating.

(I was working on crafts for a sale when we first met,
and I chose this book for him to read
to sort of break the ice.)

So, here's what I'm going to do:
if you leave your guess
(just one guess per person, please)
at what book it was that we read,
the first person that guesses it
I will send this gourd ornament that I painted.

I spent a lot of time on this one
and got the idea from this beautiful Christmas card
illustrated by Rob Fathers.

I'll throw in a scarf I made as well
since I have a few left from the craft sales.

If nobody comes up with a correct guess
(as that's a good possibility since even my Farmer didn't remember
and probably would never have guessed it),
I'll just randomly pick a number from the comments that you leave.


  1. i have absolutely NO idea! none! but i really like the creativity you two can come up with together!!! :)

  2. Wow! That's a tough one!

    I'm going to go with A Tale of Two Cities.

    I do the same thing to my husband... I come up with an idea but can't always complete it myself and I have to call upon him for help. Many times he wants to ditch the idea but I won't let him. (I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who does that, lol!) Like your Farmer, he has had to get pretty creative to fulfill my idea(s)! I say it's good for him and he always pulls through! Great job on your new storage unit!

    Your quite talented! Love the scarves too!

    Crossing my fingers I guessed right or will be lucky enough to win the drawing!

  3. Your stone walls are utterly amazing! How unusual! I love them! And that new wall cabinet is saaaweet! :) The solution your hubby came up with sounds like something mine would, too. lol!

    xoxo laurie

  4. I know you said this somewhere--I searched your nanny story, but you never got that far on here. I am guessing Little Dorit since I know you like that movie -- I was going to say the Farmer's almanac or Farming newspaper thingy, but you said it was a book--I know I am going to kick myself when I hear what it was:) What a beautiful gourd! I love your painting!

  5. Oh, and I love the use of the cupboard you found. He is very clever! I love the greens on it too!

  6. I love it! I always enjoy seeing the transformation of the items that you refinish. You are so talented. Wow. Ok, I have no idea about the book. But, since it's Christmas time, I will go with "A Christmas Carol." :-)

    Many blesssings,

  7. Very creative with your bat poo covered find! It looks great! I think the book idea is fantastic. I'm gonna go with the Bible...b/c...well, I have no idea!

  8. Oh man! I remember you coming up with the idea to read but I can't think of it... was it Pride and Prejudice? Oh stink, it's driving me nuts!!!
    I love how your room is looking and the way you put them together!! Can't wait to see it next week!!!

  9. goodness... i dont know how you do it - but everytime you and your hubby do a project I almost find myself cheering for the piece of furniture - "go go go, you can do ittttt!" lol that really is a wonderful piece you put together!

  10. You did GOOOOD! I love that shelf and you are a rescue superhero!I am hosting my first ever blog hop this weekend and I would LOVE if you stopped by to link some stuff up!

    Kim @ Too Much Time

  11. Could it be A Christmas Carol?

  12. What a perfectly gorgeous married piece....Hmmmm....kinda like you and your Farmer, hey? I'm not even seeing where you need to camouflage anything once it's all put together...But, I'm game for a giveaway challenge....Sorry I didn't know you sooner; and my limited internet access would never allow me to go back and search your archives - so I'm just winging it here....I'm going to say Catcher In The Rye....for lots of reasons and none at all....Wishing you a wonderful weekend....Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

  13. Oh boy you got me stumped on that one. I do love your project and it looks pretty darn good on that wall. Love the little skirt thingy too, that is charming.

  14. That cupboard is perfection! I hope I come across a window like that in my travels sometime soon...

  15. Well my first intinct was Pride and Prejudice, but your sister already said that, so I have no clue!!! Great job on the piece, it looks wonderful!

  16. I LOVE how your hubby sticks with you on these projects, and what a clever man coming up with the idea to paint the book!

    I was going to said "Pride and Prejudice," too. Amazing that so many of us would think of the same thing.

    Barring that, I will go for "Sense and Sensibility."

    But what I'd really LIKE to see is "The Love Sonnets of William Shakespeare."


  17. ohmygosh, what a fabulous save! Kudos to your great husband for hanging in there and sharing your vision, It's amazing!!!!

  18. Dickens' was the first thing that popped into my head!! So funny that mamy have also had that thought. I"ll go with another Dickens' that hasn't been mentioned, Bleak House!

  19. My suggestion would be to NOT paint a book but to wrap it in a vintage book jacket. That way you could change it around.
    ~ C
    The book idea is brilliant and I am glad you didn't leave it in the barn!

  20. Hiya, Farmer's Wyfe! Visiting from Deb's place on Inspiration Friday and thoroughly enjoying my visit, I must say! From your white tree - too nifty - to this fabulous new bit of primitive furniture from a barn treasure - you are living the life, to be sure!

    As to your book - I'm guessing the Bible - the perfect pick for foundation building - which this block of wood is, in fact.

    I hope you'll visit me at The Writer's Reverie - I'm excited to know you're home schooling. I'm launching a home school resource project with some partners in January called Constellation Academy - so birthed by God in an amazing way. I'll be teaching history/literature/Bible/drama from my Principle Approach background. We also hope to be offering cyber classes eventually, too!

    Looking forward to my next visit with you!
    Kathryn Ross

  21. the cabinet turned out amazing... and i LOVE the stone wall!

  22. I have no idea what to guess, but I think you should paint the board to look like "Atlas Shrugged"!

  23. Not sure about the book, i was thinking of over the river and through the woods to grandmothers house, but I don't think you would give him that kind of a book to read. Also you are a very talented painter...

  24. Would luv for you to add it in our linking party, so our readers will discover this awesome project at
    Have a great week,

  25. Great looks so nice.

  26. What an awesome piece you found. I love the makeovers you did on the 2 pieces and how you 'married' them together! Perfect! I love your stone wall, too! Wow!

    I'm your newest follower! Stop on by sometime! I have a weekly linky party called Terrific Under Ten Tuesdays. It's for projects made for $10 or less. I would love to have you link up sometime!

  27. I have no idea but since it was while you were crafting, was it some sort of painting technique book? I Absolutely LOVE the handmade hutch. My sister Liv says looking at your stuff makes her want to hit you. Not literally. I would have to take hours to walk through your house looking at all your creations.

  28. Well it would be hard to guess a book that you read together not knowing you, but I do love the Lord of the Rings trilogy so I am guessing that. I love the cupboard, so neat. I love finding things like that.


I love your comments!