Taking a Different View

 

Yesterday was one of those, really, you’ve got to be kidding me days.  The day was planned out and yet, the plan wasn’t working.  I’m not a real planer, so, when I do, it means I’ve buckled down long enough  to make a plan and that just might be painful.  Well, painful is pretty strong, but I would rather be creating. 006

There were  a  lots of things that just were not working, lots of set backs and I became discouraged.  But, only for a few short moments did I allow my mind to go in that direction.  I remembered that it was up to me to decide what I was going to think about. 

“You become what you think about.”- Earl Nightingale

So, the decision was made to think about how full of joy and gratitude I am.  My heart began to sing again as I thought about how blessed I truly am. What a difference it made!  The creative juices began to flow again and projects were completed after all. They were not as I had first envisioned them, but even better!

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“Sometimes in the winds of change we find our true direction.”- unknown

Everyday it becomes more evident to me, that life, people and furniture are alot alike.  So much depends on how we view them. What does your view look like?

Counter Tops Etc.

Some of you who have been following me know we are in the midst of a huge kitchen remodel.  Now, most people who take on these projects have everything all planned out.  Well….we don’t! This is the 3rd home we have remodeled and I’ve learned  there are always unexpected suprises that undo the best laid plans.  So I choose to just make a few decisions at a time.  I know how I want it to look when it is done, (in my mind). Getting there is not always easy, but Mr Prairie Rain is very helpful.

We’ve been having a lot of discussions about the countertops. Can’t make a decision on what to use.  I want something functional, easy to keep clean, that feels warm and homey.  We thought about concrete, soapstone, and just about everything that is out there. Nothing seemed just right.

Until today! I was working on a drop leaf butcher block table that looked like this: 0114130826a

Then this:

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Eventually I had the table top down to the raw wood.

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I already had the legs painted when I remembered to take this picture.

“Sometimes in the winds of change we find our true direction.”- Unknown

The table inspired me to do a little research and now I know that I want to DIY butcher block counter tops for our kitchen, from reclaimed lumber.  I’m so excited!  They will be beautiful and will add a lot of warmth to a space with a lot of stainless steel. The cabinets will be painted and then glazed to add a little more warmth.  Enough decisions for today!

Can’t wait to start working on the kitchen again. However, it’s amazing what you can do with a microwave, crock pot, and electric skillet.  If you need the refigerator, it’s in another room.

And the table and chairs, they are finished! 

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Safe Harbours

Yesterday after posting my blog, panic set in!  Real “What have I done?”  sweaty palms, heart pounding panic. I felt very exposed and vulnerable.  Why was I telling people about my journal entries, aspirations and dreams?  I really don’t know, except I just couldn’t stop!  I wasn’t playing it safe. Something just kept pushing me on to spill my guts. That being said, the sky didn’t fall in, the world didn’t end after all!

“A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”-William Shedd

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Sometimes when I have finished a piece of furniture, I go through some of the same  panicky thoughts.  Like, “What will people think of this?  Is this too weird?  Is this even the right color? Will anyone want this? ”

I’m learning that my redos are just like life, everyone doesn’t like the same thing. Some can’t imagine why anyone would put chevron stripes on an antique dresser and others will love it.  And for the first time in my life, it’s OK, in fact it’s better than OK.  I finally know that it’s not that I’m not good enough or that my furniture isn’t good enough, it’s just isn’t for everyone. Ironic that it has taken so long for me to get, that even I have potential. 

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I’m not into mass production. Unique one of a kind pieces, make my heart sing. Wow, that’s me and you, one of a kind, unique, all with special gifts that only we have been given. For this I am so grateful. I am so blessed. 

“Whatever you are by nature, keep to it; never desert your line of talent.  Be what nature intended you for, and you will succeed.”-Sydney Smith

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.  Just be you, and let your heart lead the way.

Change Directions or Follow Them?

curved road I was thumbing through one of my old journals the other day and read a few.  The entry on January 26, 2007 got my attention. It said, “I want to inspire and help others especially women and want to make things pretty or look better. We shouldn’t throw away furniture or people, they all have potential.  I want to live in such a way to help others be the best version of themselves they can be.”

That was 6 years ago. I ask myself today, “Am I doing it? Am I living in such a way to help others?”

“You will recognize your own path when you come upon it, because you will suddenly have all the energy and imagination you will ever need.”Jerry Gillies 1113120847b

Praire Rain Designs, has been a dream of mine for a very long time. There was always some reason (excuse) why I couldn’t do it. Then in 2011 it was impossible to ignore any more.  I HAD to do it. But when things were not going according to my plan, I wanted to give it up, but a very wise family member wrapped their arms around me, held me and convinced me that quitting wasn’t an option. They showed me how passionate I was any time this topic came up.  Which was all the time! My heart says it’s not all about the furniture.  There is more going on.

Was this gift, this obsession, with furniture given to me to be shared and not hidden under a bushel? What if a piece of furniture could change someone’s life? Could a piece of furniture really improve someone’s life? Would I be able to bring joy into other lives through furniture?  Or is it the joy I feel, that would bring sunshine to others? If I follow my heart will that alone be the example others needed?  Is telling this story, the push someone needs to begin to live their best life?

 “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.” – Douglas Adams

I don’t know for sure where Prairie Rain is headed, but my heart tells me that wonderful things are in the future.  We are on the right path, the energy and imagination are flowing. Maybe it is the vessel being used to help others enjoy their home more. Which will lead to other positve experiences. Or, is it the vessel that will lead me to the person or persons I can encourage and help them be the best they can be? I don’t have the answers.  All I know is that I’ve been placed on this path, where it’s going, l don’t know. It’s a journey. Everyday it’s a stepping stone.

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Ginny Meets Lola-Paper Bag Top

Sometimes things just are not as they seem. That was the case with Ginny (I’ve taken to naming some of my projects, it becomes such a personal relationship). I was sure when Ginny came to my shop that I could remove her top that was split and cracked and there would be a beautiful top underneath.  After hours and hours of removing the covering………….there was nothing beautiful under there! Disappointed, very. So she spent some time in the back of the shop gathering dust.  I just didn’t know what to do with the top. She was forgotten.

027 Until, “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”
Wayne W. Dyer

Ginny was back in the shop and I saw her potential again! 

She has such great curves. She deserved my attention.

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 The lines were beautiful.  She needed to be saved.  Brown paper bags  were crushed and tore into irregular pieces then glued to the top.  When the top was dry, it was stained with a dark walnut stain.  Then I applied wax letting it dry, buffing it and repeating this many times. And that is how Ginny was saved. I had to look at her differently. When I did, she changed into this beautiful entry way piece, desk, or vanity it just depends on how you see her.

Ginny and Lola met today, they are for sale side by side at Rerun Consignments in Council Grove, KS. They are very different, but I think they’ll be able to appreciate each other.

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Lola Goes To Town: Green Desk Reveal

Last week I began to take charge of a couple areas of my life.  Not because it was a New Year’s resolution, but because I wanted to.  Something down deep told me to, “get on with  it”.   So I am.  I have had so many projects and goals for myself and Prairie Rain that  I think I just got overwhelmed and didn’t.  Didn’t have a plan, didn’t move forward, didn’t take continous steps toward those goals.  But something has changed!

I have been feeling so joyful, yes joyful so joyful, that my heart swells with joy.  Nothing has changed, except me.  My attitude, my perception, my gratitude over being so blessed. I still don’t know what God has instore for me, but I know it is REALLY good and awesome!

Enough about me, how about this desk, Lola.

002 I really love how Lola (that’s my name for her) transformed from an unnoticed sitting all alone in a hallway to going to town. She had potential! This is the story of Lola’s transformations. So, this is what I started with.

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An all wood solid desk, that needed a little reglueing, first.  And then the fun began. First I stripped, sanded, and stained the top.  I used Minwax Special Walnut Stain and after the staining was done I applied 4 coats of Annie Sloan clear wax to protect the surface.  She’s smooth and beautifully hand buffed to bring out her beauty.  I thought about stripping the drawers, but she had such great jewlery (hardware) that I wanted to stand out, so the drawers were painted too. 005

The base was painted with chalk paint in a custom color mix.  Next was lightly sanded and distressing with a very fine sanding block.  The final step to bring out all of Lola’s best was waxing with Annie Sloan Clear and Dark wax and hand buffing with soft cotton cloth.

She’s going to town.  I’ll miss her but someone is looking for her and has a special place for her in their home. She can be found at Rerun Consignments, in Council Grove, KS. just ask for Lola! 001

 It’s early in the year, but she just might be a favorite project in the year 2013!