Collage table with remnants from “The Great Flood of 2016”

img_3636 My daughter’s house flooded in the “Great Flood of 2016”. When the trucks came to her house and lifted the pile of household debris there were some objects and fragments of things left on the ground.  She saved these items in a bag and told me she wanted some kind of memory table or box made to put these items in.  This year for Christmas I was able to make this project for her.  These fragments hold memories  and she can now have a safe way to keep and display them.

I found the end table at a Thrift store in New Orleans. It did have an edge on part of the top shelf but my husband took that off and made sides around the top and bottom shelf. I thought maybe she had enough objects to fill in both shelves but they ended up all fitting on the top shelf.


My 1st step was to stain the new wood that he added to it so that when I distressed it a pretty wood color would show through. Then I painted it Pewter Gray and distressed it.

img_3623_collage-of-putting-objects-onThis collage shows the process of putting down the objects on the top shelf. I hot glued the objects down to the table so they wouldn’t move around. Then I poured 1 quart of  Park’s Super Glaze on top. I waited 24 hours before pouring on another coat and really thought this would cover all the objects but it did not. The 1st coat went on smooth and didn’t have issues with bubbles. The 2nd coat did not do so well – it had a lot of imperfections and bubbles that showed up too late for me to do anything about it. But for this project it was okay. It looks like the objects are in a flood and it certainly was not pretty and smooth when all these objects went through the real flood.  I may end up putting a little more glaze on it.  (Warning – this stuff is expensive!)

final-collage-of-bottom-shelfThe next step was to do something special with the bottom shelf. I decided to decoupage pictures of her house during the flood, her debris pile and a Louisiana map. I stenciled the word STRONG across the map to show that we are Louisiana Strong.



On Christmas Day I surprised her and the grandkids with the table. It was very emotional for her as her and the kids started pointing to the objects and naming them. A lego, a paint set, paintbrushes, Mr. Potato Head glasses and a ear, a spool of thread, a piece of the tile floor, knobs from furniture, a spindle from a chair, video tapes of her 1st child’s birth are just a few of the things in the collage. One day she will be able to look back and see how some good things did come from this experience and she can still hold on to some of the memories from before the flood.

Antique Singer Sewing Machine

image2_collageMy sister and brother in law found this 100 year old sewing machine at a garage sale about 2 years ago and gave it to me to refinish.   I finally got around to giving it some TLC and some much needed sprucing up.   I just love the old pedal sewing machines and I can’t help but think of how exciting it was back then to use one of these for the 1st time.  This one still had a lot of the parts, bobbins, etc. in the drawers and the pedal on the base still works fine but unfortunately the leather treadle belt is not attached anymore. I did not refurbish the sewing machine other than to clean it with some polishing cream.  I just wanted to make it presentable where it could be used as a table.

IMG_0787_collage My first step was to work on the 4 drawers. I decided to paint them a light teal color, distress them , and then seal them with a coat of clear wax and then dark wax.  The dark wax toned down the bright color and made it look more natural for an old piece of furniture.  When I placed them back in the cabinet I saw how the original wood looked great next to the drawers so I decided to not paint that area.  I knew from the beginning that I needed to salvage as much as I could of the original piece.  As you can see in the 1st pictures the veneer was missing on most of the top so that part had to be painted.

The cleaning of the machine with the polishing cream.

The cleaning of the machine with the polishing cream.



IMG_0856_collageI kept the part that folds out to display the sewing machine with the original finish. I refreshed it by staining it with Minwax polyshade.



IMG_0862_collageIMG_0871_collageThere were some places where I had to scrape and sand the veneer to make it smoother. I was not able to get off all of the veneer but I knew it was going to be painted and distressed  so I figured it wouldn’t matter.  I painted the top surfaces just like I did the drawers,  sanded, and then clear and dark waxed.

My favorite part was clear waxing on the original wood on the holding areas for the drawers and inside the drawers. It really made a change in the wood and was exciting to see it come to life.



Here is the finished project. It is now in my shop and I am putting some of my sewing related items for sale displayed on it. The sewing machine is priced at $120.  Update: This sold after being in the shop for only a week.


Red Rooster Chair

IMG_4478One of my latest projects is this Red Rooster Chair.  Before the makeover this chair was very plain and not very attractive and I came close to giving up on it.  My husband had to work really hard to get it reinforced and sturdy again.

IMG_0765_collageI took off the seat cushion and the next step was to go through my upholstery material to see which one would go with this chair.  As soon as I put the rooster material up to it I knew this had to be it.  I had just the exact amount needed leftover from a project I did years ago and I have always loved this material.  I sanded it some and then painted it Sherwin Williams Intellectual gray made into chalk paint and put on a clear wax. The next day when I set the cushion on top to see what it would look like I really liked the gray but I decided to go forth with my original plan of painting red on top of the gray to give it a two tone effect.  I painted a thin coat of Sherwin Williams Antique Red made into chalk paint and sanded in some places right away because I wanted it to be heavily distressed. The wax I did the day before also helped the effect of it looking very distressed without having to do a lot of sanding.


IMG_0776_collageIMG_0782_collageI clear waxed the chair, let it seep into the wood for a day and then dark waxed it the next day. You can see on the close-up picture of the back slats of the chair the difference it made with the dark wax. The 1st two slats have the dark wax.  I love doing simple projects like this and seeing the results right away.  Sometimes people come into the shop just wanting a single chair for a kitchen area or a desk.  This one is available at “Ginger’s Attic” for $48.

This shows the before and after of the chair.

This shows the before and after of the chair.



Glitter Projects for Photo Shoot

This week I got to play with lots of glitter doing some projects for my daughter’s photo shoot. She is doing a “Smash Cake” type session for someone celebrating their 30th birthday. Being a former Kindergarten teacher I’ve had a lot of experience with glitter but I just found out an easier way to do this without the messy glue. (Thanks to Pinterest) For these projects I sprayed on the Mod Podge clear acrylic sealer and then sprinkled the glitter. I did it in small sections because with the heat the spray doesn’t stay wet for long. One thing I learned after struggling with taking the labels off of the wine bottle was that I could have just left the labels on and glittered right over them and it would have covered it well enough.  On all the projects I sprayed a layer of the mod podge sealer on top to help keep the glitter on but I will say they still shed glitter a good bit when handled. I can’t wait to see how the pictures come out after tonight’s photo shoot. Here is a picture of how she set it up for the photo shoot.IMG_0493IMG_0490

Vintage Bread Box

image2I found an old vintage bread box that was all rusty and wanted to refurbish it and make it usable again.  I first cleaned it up and took the hardware off.  Then I painted it with Sherwin Williams white latex paint (duration) to give it a durable and washable service.  I purchased months ago a really nice stencil that says “The French Bakery” in French.  I was so excited to finally get a chance to use the stencil.


Here is the bread box finished and in “Ginger’s Attic”.  It is nice, clean, and refurbished, ready to go in someone’s home and could be used for it’s original purpose – to store bread products in.  It even has a small vented area in the back of it.IMG_0282


Metal Wall Décor – Painted, Distressed & Antiqued

IMG_6974IMG_6979_collageMy husband and I found this nice metal wall hanging at an estate sale. I have been looking for something to put on my kitchen wall ever since we repainted it.  I love the designs on it but it was in need of some TLC. It was rusting and pieces were flaking off both on the front and back.  First I  scraped off all the areas that had loose pieces and sanded it lightly.  Then I painted it Sherwin Williams Empire Gold – made into chalk paint.  This is the same color as my dining room which is close to where I will have this in my house.  I only had to paint one coat because I really wanted the original black to show from underneath. Then I distressed it which is very easy to do on metal pieces. Then I put on clear wax, let it dry and then antiqued it with dark wax.  This was one of the easiest projects I have done in a long time.

Here it is hanging In my kitchen over the pantry door. I love it!

Here it is hanging In my kitchen over the pantry door. I love it!


Vintage wall divider panels refurbished for the men’s bathroom in Country Kitchen

We have been remodeling at the Country Kitchen and now have 2 men’s bathrooms. I worked on some old vintage room dividers that have been in the restaurant since it’s beginning 30 years ago to use for privacy panels in one of the bathrooms. The bathrooms have beautiful new tile walls and floors and didn’t look very vintage so I wasn’t sure if it was going to work. I painted a two tone effect of two shades of gray to match the tiles and I varnished with a heavy duty varnish.  I think they came out really nice and I was so happy to be able to use something we already had laying around the restaurant – especially after the expenses of doing this nice renovation.

IMG_7231_collage better oneFullSizeRenderIMG_7232_collage

Bench made from twin bed frame

IMG_6591_collageHere is another bench made from a twin bed. The foot board was cut in half and used as the sides. The headboard is used for the back.  This frame didn’t have any rails with it but was in very good shape and very sturdy.  The only part that had some damage was 2 small areas around the knobs which I fixed with some wood putty.  I also had to cover the metal screws with wood putty.  Usually we redo old pieces of furniture; this was probably the newest piece we have done.


This shows the building of the bench.

IMG_6470_collageI purchased material for pillows and a cushion and then picked the paint colors.  My sister offered to do the sewing. I first painted the bench with white primer. Then I painted it Halcyon green (Sherwin Williams) same color as Annie Sloan’s Duck Egg Blue. I make my own chalk paint with the Sherwin Williams paint.  I put on clear wax (Cee Cee Caldwells) in some of the areas that I knew I would be distressing. Then the next day I painted the next coat -Caen Stone (Sherwin Williams).  My next step was to sand lightly to let the blue color show through. I didn’t want the white primer to come through too much.

IMG_6560_collageI then put a coat of clear wax and waited a day and then put Annie Sloan dark wax mixed in with some of the clear wax.  It really needed the dark wax.  When you have two completely different colors it is too much contrast and the dark wax makes it all come together.  The dark wax does have to be wiped off with cheesecloth or a lint free cloth. Both waxes act as a sealer so you do not need to put any varnish unless you are going to place it outside.

This is the bench in my shop with the pillows. The cushion will be ready soon.

This is the bench in my shop with the pillows. The cushion will be ready soon. I love the bird fabric on the pillows and it really brings out the blue color in the bench.  Thanks to my husband and sister for their help with this project.


Here it is with the cushion. It is for sale for $300.



Vintage Cane back Barrel Chair

IMG_6474This vintage cane back barrel chair was given to me by a friend. It was a fun learning experience and I am excited about the way it turned out.  The 1st step was to remove the upholstery and cording.  One thing I’ve learned from previous projects is to keep the piece of fabric you take off to use as a pattern. I almost threw out the cording because I was planning on using a type of braid.  I’m glad I didn’t because I realized how hard it was going to be to find just the right braid and to put it on without the staples showing.  I ended up reusing the cord – just covering it with the material which was something I had never done before.  This was definitely a Learn-as-you-go project. I cut the material strip to match the cord and stapled it on. Then I decided to sew with my sewing machine through the indention on top of the cord so I removed most of the staples and put pins instead.  As you can imagine this was really hard because of the thickness of it and  I didn’t know what kind of needle or stitching to use.  My machine kept jamming and I broke two needles in the process. (I am not an experienced seamstress but at least I knew how to replace needles from past experiences. LOL! )  With a lot of patience and praying I  was able to get the large cord that wrapped around the whole chair done on the machine and then did the small ones that wrapped around the legs by hand. My husband used his nail gun to attach the cording (most of the staples were hidden in the indention of the cords.)  We did use hot glue in some places. The buttons (tacks) were done with a method I had done on a previous project. I used the original tacks and made a new button cover with the material and hot glued the new button cover onto the original tack.  Sorry I forgot to get pics of the buttons on the chair but they came out great.  The chair was painted, before I did the upholstery, one of my favorite gold colors.  The fabric I used had cotton batting with it and I did have to sew it together which was also something new for me. My sisters are avid quilters – (not my thing)  so I just did the best I could.  I found this cool gold pillow with beads to put with it and now it is in my shop.


IMG_4926_collageThis shows the stages of the upholstery. I was surprised how nice the covering was under the blue material. I already had my plan of making it a bright color and the fabric picked out  so even though it was in good shape I still went ahead with my original plan. I’m glad I did because it will brighten up a room for sure!

Little Free Library at First United Methodist Church; Gonzales, LA.

IMG_5353At our Church we recently put in a Little Free Library.  My husband built it with materials he had around his workshop and I had fun doing the painting and stenciling.  These are fairly easy to make and on the website – you can get ideas on how to make one and find out about registering it.   We registered ours so that we would be on the world map to make it easy for people in the area to find us.   We have a tutoring/homework help ministry at our church and have had lots of donations of books so this was a great way to provide books to the community and promote literacy.  It is for adults and children and the idea is for people to take a book now and leave a book later.  But it is okay if the book is not returned.  Please look into getting one of these libraries for your church, neighborhood, or school. It is a worthwhile project and we look forward to all of the great blessings that will come from it.

This is a collage of the library being built and decorated.

This is a collage of the library being built and decorated.

The library being installed at the church.

The library being installed at the church.

The library being blessed by Pastor Mark Goins and the congregation.

The library being blessed by Pastor Mark Goins and the congregation.

Ginger and Little free library 2