It’s rare for me to pop on the blog for a random chat. But here I am!


First of all, I’m a little excited about an upcoming feature series that I will be hosting with some good blogging friends.

You know how I love to make something from nothing? Well, that’s just a little hint about what we have in store for you very soon.

Not long ago my husband was helping a builder friend with a little demolition work.  It was good for him because guys can work out their frustrations when they have a good demo project.  It was good for me, because as they were throwing debris down the chute to the dumpster and he thought to set a little old door aside. He wasn’t sure how I would use it but knew that it just might be something I would like.  And I did… and do.

I knew what I wanted to do with it.  I wanted to place it on a skinny side table that I picked from the roadside, that was unfinished and a bit weathered and dirty.


Trash to treasure rustic door transformation


A table I had prayed for.  We have a fairly large wall space in our living room, but there isn’t a lot of floor space there.  I wanted something that I could use for decor purposes.  My prayer was answered with this fabulous find, which just fit into the back seat of my car the day I discovered it.

The side table underwent a litte repair and a chalk paint transformation before the holidays.


This trash to treasure table was a fabulous roadside find.


When I picked it up from the side of the road it was quite rickety.  I took it because I saw how the legs were attached to the table stringers and had a pretty good idea that it could be repaired and become solid.

It took a little bit of work because the corner nuts were rusty and were buried in the wood, but Tim managed to get them out.  There was a slight problem in that they couldn’t be tightened down, because of being buried in the wood.  I had the idea that if we placed a metal washer over the wood and then screwed the nuts down tightly we could get the required pressure and the legs would be secure.


An easy repair to secure the legs of this trash to treasure table


After a trip to the hardware store for four washers that didn’t cost a dollar for all, we discovered that I was right!  Yay!  I love when an idea is fairly easy and inexpensive.  I say fairly easy, because I did not have the hand strength that was required to get the nuts out of the wood, but Tim did.

Although my roadside find looked like it had water damage.  It was dry and there was no odor of any kind.  That made it easy for a quick chalk paint transformation.  I used the FolkArt Home Decor Chalk (affiliate) in sheepskin. The same paint I used to give an antique washstand a makeover.

I could hardly believe that I now had a spot to do some decorating and it was a great focal point for my living room too.  It was so fun to decorate with the Advent candles and the gold oak leaf tree.


Handcrafted gold oak leaf wreath and trash to treasure table with Advent candles


The New Year came and though I love gold and sparkle at Christmas I was ready to put all the beauty away.  It felt good, but I needed something to fill in the spot where that classy gold wreath took center stage. So what did I do?  I set that old rustic door on top of the side table with the unpainted side to the front and hung one of my drying evergreen wreaths on it and I placed a vase of winterberry branches on the table too.  All decorating caution was thrown out the window when I mixed those winter/holiday elements with the addition of the X and O letters from my stash.  We all need kisses and hugs.  So with that rational… up they went too.

Even the vase which was a cast-off of sorts was upcycled when I gave it a coat of fresh paint to freshen it for Christmas.

I’m looking forward to having more fun with the side table and the rustic door in the seasons and holidays ahead.

Whether it’s making something from nothing or doing a little bit of upcycling… that’s the kind of home decorating that makes my spirit soar these days.


Speaking of upcycling…

Did you see that Matthew Mead debuted a new Country Sampler magazine?  

Matthew Mead is so creative and has been inspiring me for many years… ever since I first saw his work in the now retired, Country Home magazine.

I was excited when I learned he was looking for bloggers to review his new magazine… Country Sampler’s UpstyledHome.


Country Sampler's UpstyledHome magazine by Matthew Mead


The new issue made its way to newsstands just before Christmas and to my mailbox as well.  In the midst of the holiday busyness, I didn’t get a chance to spend much time with it.  I wanted time to sit with my cup of tea and devour it page by page.  Something I only recently was finally able to do.

Matthew really is the king of upcycling and thinks of the most creative ways to use a common item and turn it into something extraordinary. The magazine has several ideas that I think are particularly creative and fun.  It even features Mary Emmerling, the icon of country styling, and her home.  (I’ve been a long-time fan of hers.)

Let’s speak heart to heart.  You know when you want so badly to say only good things about someone because you respect them and are inspired by them?  That’s me.  This is hard because to me, the magazine was dark and tired and a nod to the past and not the future.  Granted I live in the blogging world where we as bloggers have a tendency to set style, but this is a style I love.  So, I shared my magazine with a friend who is about 15 years younger than me, forward thinking, and who loves antiques and innovative ways to use and decorate with items of the past in various condition and asked her for her evaluation.

It wasn’t just me.  Her unprompted thoughts mirrored mine.  The magazine is filled with tons of creative ideas.  They just aren’t fresh.  To me.  Or to my friend. My husband enjoyed reading it and I’m sure most will.  But, it isn’t innovative in the way I have come to expect from Matthew.  That being said.  It also caused me to realize that as a blogger there is considerable pressure to inspire and decorate… outside the box.  All of us in publishing, online or in print, feel that pressure.

When we first built our home, a New England style saltbox, I loved primitive early American design and within my budget and skill did all I could to achieve it.  I’ve lived in 6 homes since.  Every time I move my style changes a little bit and most of that is because, if you listen, houses will tell you how they want to feel and be decorated.  I’m a long way from those early American/Shaker style days.


Matthew Mead's NEW Country Sampler magazine featuring a drawer shelf


My style today is more modern, though traditional, and even a little bit minimalist compared to the past.  While temporarily living in my apartment with thrifted second-hand furnishings I continue to embrace “upstyled” home decor.  There are a few ideas from the new UpstyledHome magazine that I would like to incorporate in my small space… such as the drawer turned shelf or the ring mold turned wreath and the monochromatic look of Sandy Kelly’s featured home.

I hope you pick up an issue and evaluate it for yourself and let me know what you like and what you would enjoy incorporating in your decor.


Kids' first time cookie making - TollHouse chocolate chips do delight


And finally…

As I type this there are kids from another apartment in our building hanging out in the kitchen with my husband.  They are making chocolate chip cookies from scratch for the first time.  The six-year-old LOVES food and had absolutely no idea what it meant to make chocolate chip cookies.  His first question was, “When do we get to put the chocolate chips on the cookies?”  To say they’ve been looking forward to this little session in the kitchen with great anticipation, might be an understatement. I can’t wait to see and take a bite of all that chocolatey goodness.

The air is filled with excitement and anticipation and I’m hearing lots of words like, “yummy!”

If you’ve been baking cookies regularly with your kids or grandkids, find out if they have a friend who has never had a cookie-making experience.  It’s such a little thing to those of us who bake and such a BIG thing to kids who really have no idea where cookies “come from.” [wink]

And that photo above of the cookies. Those were the cookies the kids made and placed on the cookie sheet for baking.  Pretty sweet!


It’s been fun chatting with you.  Maybe we should do this again?


Thanks so much for popping by today!

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  1. Diane, Your husband really knows you well! What a great little door. I took a workshop at Haven with Matthew Mead and I remember him telling everyone that he was having his own magazine that would be coming out in a few months. I’ll have to see if I can find it in any of the stores around here, and deciding on what it’s like and the price, I might buy it.

  2. Gwen says

    This was a fun post. Just like we were having a chat. God placed what you needed on your path and gave you wisdom to fix it to be stable and sturdy!!! I do like how it looks with the door!!! They’ve sold that very item for $60 in a place downtown!!!
    I do not fit a mold. I see my style emerging. But lots more to do. Slowly. Blessings

  3. Malia says

    Hi Diane, I love your new table! The white is perfect.

    I am intrigued by this new magazine. Mathew Mead always has amazing ideas. Can’t wait to check out it out. Thanks for letting is know about it!

  4. I love that door and you are so lucky to have a hubby who looks out for you like that. My hubby has done the same thing, even while complaining about so much stuff I have in “his” garage.

    The table is a great score too, I love the paint job you gave it and how you style it differently for each season. Thanks for sharing with us at Waste Not Wednesday!

  5. These are some great trash to treasure finds… favorite. 🙂 I love what you did with that table too. Thanks for sharing your inspiration with us at Waste Not Wednesday. I hope to see you again this Wednesday.

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