Free Stuff, Table Makeover, Zinc Finish

At the end of the summer, I passed a house in town with many pieces of furniture out front, all free. I grabbed a couple, what I could fit in my car, to refinish them. Maybe keep them or give them away. I've been wanting to try this Sherwin-Williams Impressions paint, which can create a zinc look. So here's how I did it, for what I decided to keep as my new coffee table:

The paint I used was Sherwin-Williams Faux Impressions Metallic, Latex Finish, Pearl. This a translecent paint, so a base coat is needed.  I wanted a smooth finish so I used this sanding block between coats, 100 grit. These 3/16" rollers worked great too leaving a smooth finish.  The directions by Sherwin-Williams recommended a different nap roller, but it would leave a pebbly finish, which I didn't want. This small roller was great for this size project. I recommend using this rather than a brush to avoid brush marks, which will show up on this finish.

After disassembling the table, I sanded with an electric sander, then primed using a gray primer because I knew I was going to use a dark gray paint.  

 After priming was done & dry I painted each piece of wood with 2 coats in Sherwin-Williams 7076 Cyberspace. Giving that a couple days to dry, I rolled on the 1st coat of SW Faux Impressions paint.
* Important * - This paint dries quickly so you have a few minutes to remove the roller markers. I continued to roll, in different directions until the marks disappeared.

Its sort of blue when 1st applied.  Left side is still wet, the 2 on the right have already dried.  I gently wiped off a little of 1st coat. Then after it dried too much was wiped off so I did a 2nd coat and didn't wipe off any.

The legs I sanded to remove any loose rust, primed and painted. I spray painted these with Rust-Oleum American Accents Metallic, color: Oil Rubbed Bronze. I could have used black because its hard to see the color once done.

 I finished the top with 3 coats of Minwax Water Based, Polycrylic Clear Satin.

I really love this finish and will try again with a larger piece of furniture like a bureau.

How to Make a Coffee Filter Wreath

Supplies: 16" foam wreath ($4.50 with Michael's coupon)
200 count natural coffee filter package ($1.29 at grocery store)
Glue gun
a dozen glue sticks (give or take)
 2 1/4 " thick satin ribbon
3 sewing pins

 Because I didn't want my wreath too full, which is what happens when you use the whole filter, I cut each one, leaving 2" for the wreath.  Throw away/recycle the pointed piece. With the 2" remaining piece, bunch together the filter and apply hot glue, place on wreath, hold for about 30 seconds to adhere.


This is the back of the wreath, as you can see its hard to get the glue on every piece of the folded filter, which is fine, it will still hold.

I wrapped a piece of the ribbon around the top of the wreath, then brought it up to hang. Because mine is on the wall, no door, I used a staple gun to hold it in place. Its hidden under the ribbon. Sewing pins keep the ribbon in place on the back and 1 is used to attach the bow on.

Jack's Abby Brewery


I recently visited Jack's Abby Brewery in Framingham to photograph some of my brother-in-law, Bob Kiley's art work.  I got a sneak peek on the inside as they were in the process of making their beer.  Jack's Abby was founded by 3 brothers Jack, Eric and Sam Hendler.  They have grown and recently expanded to allow more room for bottling and storing.  
Shown below, the Copper Weave, Bob made for Jack's Abby, as well as copper taps in the tasting area for their seasonal beers.

 Bob's Copper Weave was the inspiration for the packaging of the Copper Legend Octoberfest, shown below.


Jack moving the beer as Herb supervises. Their logo, shown above, was hand painted on the wall by Jack's wife, Abby.

Mike Gleason, aka Lashes, is working on his beer {also called Lashes} which is available now.

 Very aromatic, Hops, are used in their beer including their most popular, Hoponuis Union.


Some of their specialty beer is aged in barrels. Baby maker is aged in a once wine barrel for 9 months. Others aged for a year in bourbon barrels giving the beer a bourbon flavor.

One of the owners, Jack with plumber, Bob who has done all the plumbing here at the brewery.

Nothing goes to waste, as these await a blackstone farmer who picks up left over grains to feed to his cows.

Weekly tastings & tours: 
Visit Jack's Abby! 

Fall Decorating Finding Your Own Objects

Hand made Copper Vase

I love decorating for the seasons and it may change a couple times before the season is over. Just by finding things you already have and adding some elements from nature, i.e. rocks, flowers, sticks, makes it more personal and about you.  Look for the colors of the season, for fall warm tones of browns, copper, gold.  

By finding things that belong to you and have special meaning is what makes your house feel like a home. Here is my fall mantel, for now and below where I got my pieces.

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Delicious Moist Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips

After several different pumpkin bread recipes I've made, this one is the best. 
The mix of spices gives this one great flavor.  Everyone loved it, even my husband who doesn't like pumpkin! It went very fast in this house..

1 can pumpkin 15oz
4 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups of sugar
3 1/2 cups of flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves 
1/2 tsp ground ginger

aprox 1 cup of chocolate chips (as much as you like)

Preheat oven to 350. Spray loaf pans, ( I used 2 pans, each 5"x9").
In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
I then sprinkle chocolate chips into pans and mix in. 
You can add as much or as little as you like.

Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

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The Best {chewy} Granola Bars

Homemade granola bars are much better then the store brands and you know whats in them!
During the school year I make these often for my kids. They have them for breakfast or bring them to school for snack, they go fast.

Preheat oven to 350.  Butter or spray a 9x13 pan.

3 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup rice crispy cereal
1 cup flour
1/4 ground flax seed (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup butter, softened {or earth balance spread}
3/4 cup honey (add more if its seems dry)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups miniature semisweet chocolate chips
handful of shredded coconut (optional)

Mix everything well, except for the chocolate chips & coconut. It takes a few minutes to really mix well! Then mix in chips & coconut. If it seems dry/crumbly, add a little more honey or soften butter.
Spread into pan, press down.
Bake about 20 min. it will start to turn golden brown. 
Let cool in pan, if you cut them too soon they will fall apart. 
Cut into bars or squares.
Store in an airtight container.  

From Dreery to Cheery Cabinet Makeover

My mom has had this cabinet for 30 years and recently asked me to refinish it for her. My brother made this for his 8th grade shop project.  She was open to me choosing the color.  I chose a bright and cheery color, yellow (and her favorite color). I also replaced the hardware with an oil rubbed bronze finish and added a much needed shelf inside.

Cabinet Before
Paint color Benjamin Moore Dalila 319, and to seal it, water base Polycrylic by Minwax, clear gloss (which will not alter the color). 


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Real Pistachio Cake


Every now and then I like to post a good recipe! All of them are made from real ingredients, nothing artificial.

Because my dad loves pistachios, I wanted to make him a pistachio cake for his birthday, (not the kind with the artificial pudding mix in it).  So I came across a good one, I modified a little..

I chose a cream cheese frosting but you can also make chocolate or have none.

 - 1 cup shelled natural pistachios
 - 1 cup all-purpose flour (I use Arthurs White Whole Wheat)
 - 2 teaspoons baking powder
 - 1/4 teaspoon salt
 - 1/2 cup whole milk
 - 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
 - 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
 - 1 cup sugar
 - 3 large eggs
 - 4 oz cream cheese
 - about 2 c. powdered sugar
 - 2 tbs milk
 - 1/2 c. butter 
 - 1/2 tsp vanilla


Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9x9 cake pan, round or square, then line bottom with wax paper. Butter paper and dust pan with some flour, knocking out excess.

Pulse pistachios in a food processor until finely ground. I did them a little chunky, as seen in picture.  Put 1/4 cup aside for the topping.  To the 3/4 cup of pistachios add 1 cup flour, baking powder, and salt mix well.

Combine milk and vanilla.

Beat together softened butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add pistachio flour and milk in batches, beginning and ending with flour, and mix at low speed until just combined.

Spread batter evenly in cake pan and bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a thin knife around sides of cake and invert onto rack. Remove paper and re invert cake onto a platter.  
Frosting- Beat softened butter and cream cheese for a few minutes. Add milk & vanilla, then slowly add powdered sugar until its the right consistency. 
Frost completely cooled cake. Refrigerate (if frosted).

I modified mine from this recipe:

Did you know Jello Pistachio pudding mix has more almonds than pistachios and contains less than 2% pistachios. I'll pass on the yellow 5, blue 1 and yellow 6 as well as preservatives & artificial flavors!
Ingredients in Jello Pistachio pudding mix:

Thirft store Finds for Fall

Whenever I bring my donations to a thrift store I look around & recently found something for me for my fall decorating.

White distressed solid wood made in Indonesia, $3.

Small wood pedestal 0.99, cant beat the price-

Trunk Coffee Table


My dad's trunk from the service (from the early 60's) had been stored in my parents' basement for all these years used for storage. I asked if I could make it into a coffee table. My dad had a set of casters already. We added a piece of wood inside at each corner to support the casters, then I had a piece of glass made for the top.  Clear adhesive rubber stickers hold the glass in place, 1 at each corner.


Pretty Is Pink Boutique Now Open at New Location

For the past 7 years Lori Rosenberg has had a huge following for her fabulous woman's boutique in Franklin. Which has the best jeans, dresses & accessories. She needed a larger space & wanted to update the store image.
With a quick turn around this bank was transformed to a fun, eccentric mix of femininity and industrial style boutique.  Lori paid special attention to the dressing rooms, which tend to be over looked, an important part of her store.  Warhol-like hot pink wallpaper lines the dressing rooms.  Lori had a friend make plumbing pipes as a clothes display.
Now open in Franklin at 280 King Street.
Plans and updating Pretty Is Pink's logo/image by Weafer Design.

Pretty is Pink's logo by Weafer Design: