This blog gives designs and plans for the projects I've completed. You can see more on my sibling blog:


Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I've decided to combine my Design blog and Feats blog. 

People who follow my Design blog don't always go over to my Feats blog to see the end result of my ideas.

So, if you follow me on this blog, I would really like it if your popped over and became a follower of my Feats blogs here: TRU TALES FEATS. If you decide not to, that's okay too, but I'll miss you! I'll still keep in touch, though, 'cause I follow those of you who have blogs.

I'll be exporting this blog over to my Feats blog and eventually close this one out.

So, I'll see you over the rainbow, or someplace like home!


Friday, October 29, 2010


Well, I got a start on my plant stand. This how part of the bottom layer looks with 2 coats of primer.

 I'm using Zinsser BIN primer and I'm likin' it. It dries fast, to touch in 15 minutes and I can recoat in 45. Certainly not like any oil based paint I've ever used before. I have read reviews that people think it stinks a lot. I have not found the odor to be offensive at all. Certainly not near as bad as the paint thinner I used to clean the piece. I thought I would have to open a window or 2 for ventilation, but, unless I'm just used to the smell, it seems to go away quickly.

So, here's the question. See those metal supports between the 2 shelves on the one table? I'm not sure if I should paint them to match the handles (pewter) that go on the piece...

 or paint them the same color (pine, with a brown glazing) as the main piece.
Approximate color

The color of this house. Dutch Boy won't let me copy a swatch, only the whole picture.
Any thoughts?
It's too bad white doesn't go with my scheme, 'cause that's lookin' good with just the primer.


Thursday, October 28, 2010


   It's come to this! This is my living room, but I've had to temporarily take it over as a workshop, since I don't have a decent basement.

 Our basement is a dirt floor and only under one section of the house. the other part is a crawlspace. Anyway, there is barely enough room down there for the utilities and canning products, not to mention the ceiling is so low, I can barely stand up straight in parts without hitting my head on furnace pipes.
   It's gotten too cold to be painting in the garage, so I have to move my projects indoors. In fact, I had to move Henry's Train-Activity table/ Toy box into the mudroom to finish it. Just for the painting though. I will finish all the prep work in the garage, since that doesn't matter if it's cold or not.
   This is the reason my living has become a workshop.

  This being my plant stand. It should have been done  long before now, but life gets in the way.

Here are the excuses reasons why I don't have this done:
#1 Farming. This is one of our busier times of the year with harvesting as well as the normal chores. I did get a couple of days to work on it when a piece of equipment broke down, but only enough time to get everything done but the painting.
#2 Material Procurement. Since I needed several different kinds of tables for this project, it took a long time to find them. I had a couple from our first furniture and found one at Goodwill. The best luck I had finding tables was when a neighboring town had their citywide rummage sales. I picked up 3 of them there; actually 4, but Gary thought the one was too nice to cut up, so it will be repaired (it has a veneer top that is damaged) and painted. Anyway that brought us to the middle of September. The final piece I found on Craigslist a couple weeks later.
#3 Other Projects. Specifically, there are 3 Grandkids birthdays this time of year, and I like to make them each something homemade and the rest of their present, money for their savings. So, I made a tote from some pillow panel fabric for Blake to carry his tractors in, a train-activity table/ toy box for Henry, and a pair of slippers for Jayden. When I get the plant stand done, I have to start working on Christmas presents. No rest for the weary I guess. PHEW!
#4 Laziness. I did have a couple days when I could have worked on this project, but I chose to spend the time resting and catching up on recorded TV shows. To be fair, I did need the rest, 'cause we have been going almost nonstop since we started filling silos. Thankfully, we only have one left and that's the easy one. If all goes good it'll only take 2-3 days to fill.

That's my story and I'm sssstickin' to it!
BTW This is what my kitchen entry looks like for the moment. Had to get those plants inside. I've already waited too long in some cases, but hopefully they'll look better once I do a little pruning and such.

 I...can't...wait...til... this...project... is... 


Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I need a different place to put my plants, when I bring them in for the winter. Last winter, the suspended ceiling buckled under the weight of the hanging plants.....AT MIDNIGHT!!!!! What a rude awakening that was! So, when I showed hubby what I had in mind for putting my plants on this year, he was all for it.

Here is my inspiration:

Sorry, this is the closest I can get you to this one.
You have to scroll down for it.

This one comes from 

Anyway, here's my design

Mine will be painted green, because it will be in the dining room and that's the color scheme there.
I just finished procuring all the tables I needed and hope to get this project finished before the snow flies, so we can have the garage back. First we have to finish the train/activity table.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010


This is the design I have in mind for Henry's Train/Activity Table.

Jessica will get baskets to slide through on the bottom shelf, to hold toys.
We are still trying to decide if it should have casters on the bottom to roll the whole table around. 
What do you think, Jessica? Do you want casters?

I was thinking for Christmas, maybe I would make a reversible town/farm insert to go with this. 

Some thing like this...
Town & Country Road Carpets Set of 4
Only painted on hardboard or plywood.
Or, maybe I'll paint it on indoor outdoor carpeting, but I think the board idea would work better for "driving " cars or trains on.


Monday, August 23, 2010


This is something I would like to make for the home. I was thinking a flag type sign. I was inspired by this blog post at http://aplaceforusfour.blogspot.com/2010/05/hallways-bringing-outside-in.html, except that I would like to do it more frugally and not quite as ornate.
Here is my design:


Wednesday, July 21, 2010



This is a d├ęcor item, for the deck, I made from salvaged items. What people had thrown away, I saw potential in. These are glass window blocks, which I “Frugalpaged” and added our monogram to.

So, here’s what I started with:
Some old glass window blocks we had hanging around from taking down a building many years ago, a heart shaped plant hanger someone was throwing away, some leftover chain from a new light we put up, and some strapping from around a cardboard box used to keep it together during shipping.

Here’s what the glass blocks looked like before.
I know pretty gross, huh?
They were piled in a room, which we never go into, under one of our silos.

And here they are all cleaned up. I used some calcium, lime, rust cleaner to get all the dried on grout off after I scrubbed them with soap and water. Then I washed them down with vinegar to clean them good and prepare the glass for better adhesion.

This is the heart shaped plant hanger somebody helped me dumpster dive for. It had a square plate on the bottom, but I asked hubby to change the disk on the chop saw so I could cut it, and do you know what that sweetie did?  He went ahead and just cut it for me. Unfortunately, he did this before I had taken a pic. It was green and had rust spots on it, but it had good bones. The bottom pole is a 5/8” rod. That’s huge as most I’ve seen are only 3/8” or 1/2”.
So, anyway I cleaned it up, sanded  it, and washed it with vinegar. Then I spray it with Rustoleum Hammered Brown paint. No need for primer and covers rust good, according to the can. 
Anyway, it looks good. I also painted 
the chains, which were bright brass colored.

I got the inspiration for this project Here.  The blogger Mod Podged a lantern and I thought it looked pretty cool. I didn't have Mod Podge, so I did a search for the recipe and made my own "Frugalpage"  I wanted something that would be somewhat water resistant, so I use Elmer's Pro Bond. After a test I found out it is not water resistant, even after baking the finish on, so I sealed it with clear enamel. The Pro Bond has some wood fibers in it and this made for a nice texture on the blocks. For this project, I used 2 coats of "Frugalpage" made from regular Elmar's glue and one coat made from the Pro Bond.
Photo courtesy of: thehandmedownhouse.blogspot.com

I copied some letters from my photo program, cut them out and traced them on the blocks with a permanent marker. This is much neater than trying to paint them on. 

To hang the blocks, I cut lengths of strapping and bent it around the blocks. Hubby helped me to rivet them together at the top. You need two people for this step to get it relatively tight. Next I sanded and painted the straps with some leftover enamel from another project and finally finished the whole block with clear exterior enamel. I put S-hooks from some broken bungie straps on to hang them from the chains. 

I drilled a hole through the top of the deck rail and slipped the pole down through it into a block at the bottom, also with a hole in it. I smeared the hole on the inside with petroleum jelly and that kept the paint from scratching off. I hung  the blocks from the chains, and there you have it. Done! 


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Filled in all around . No more flowers other than that one.
garden5/15 garden5/27
garden6/8 garden6/18



Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Its time for edition #5 of Hoo Are You Tuesday!


If you want to play along be sure to link up with Leslie at Night Owl Crafting!

1. What is your favorite restaurant?
My favorite restaurant is a local one called McQuire's. We like to eat there because the food is good, it's close , and we see people we know to chat with.

2. What kind of music do you like?
I like pretty much all kinds of music, except heavy metal and rap. I prefer lyrics that are not derogatory to humans in general. I do listen to Country most; however, in the car.

3. What do you watch on TV?
I watch a variety of shows on TV, but I guess my favorites are the CSI's and shows of that nature. We don't have cable or satelite, but there are enough channels that we get over the air, that I still have to record shows to the DVR! I particularly record shows on the CREATE channel. I love their how to shows.

4. Do you enjoy reading and if so what kind of 
books do you read?
I do like to read, but seldom make time for it. The kinds of books I tend to gravitate toward are either romantic fiction or who done it. I prefer female authors, because, frankly the sex is better and the plots more everyday life. Some of my favorite authors are Sue Grafton, Sandra Brown, and Susan Wittag Albert.

5. What is your favorite color?
My favorite color appears to be purple. I say this because when I was looking at the flowers I planted out by the deck, most of them were shades of purple.




This is how our gazebo has looked for years. The table was never easy to clean with the deck stain we originally put on it, so I put a tarp over it, which was ok.... for awhile.  

I always felt it needed dressing up, so this is what I did: 

I painted the table with brown exterior latex paint and then painted on the flower and stenciled edges with acrylic paint. I sealed the whole top with concrete sealer. It has come through one winter just fine, so I think it will be alright.

I made some curtain rods to fit out of 3/8” steel rod and I painted telephone insulators [the kind that attaches to the house] to use as brackets. 

The “curtains” are shower curtains, which I got on clearance for $5.00 a set. I used some black hair bands [‘cause Walmart didn’t have black elastic] which I sewed into the tiebacks. I painted fence insulators and attached them to the outside of the posts to hook the tiebacks to.

The final touch when I get around to it is to make some matching cushions for the benches.

Visit thecsiproject.com

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The potato tower looks good. The front has filled in and I even got my first flower.

garden5/15 garden5/27
garden6/8 garden6/18