Archive of ‘La Ruche’ category

Thanksgiving Wishes


A quickie transformation and warm wishes to you for this holiday of thanks and loved ones. Our family continues to heal as our son’s health slowly improves. We find more to be thankful for each day. More of the ordinary. I wish you all some ordinary happiness, too.


As usual, I found this beauty was in someone’s trash heap. Ugh. I love flower urns but they are so expensive.  Luckily, there we’re two. I think these things are like Foo Dogs, you can’t have just one.


Can you see my little pumpkin carver in the reflection?

They are the plastic kind which I never like at the store, but I think the fact they were all beat up and crusty made them great for a make over. And the plastic made it possible for me to get them in the car! I swept off the loose dirt and put on two coats of shiny black spray paint and swooped up to the flower store for $10 mums. Next up, little evergreens for winter!


Oddly, I lucked into this aged beauty earlier this year. I bought a chair from a vintage shop and when I drove into the back alley to pick it up, this was in the trash next door behind a restaurant! Score. It weighs about 75 pounds! No idea how I got it in the car. rusty-urn-pl

And one more bit of randomness-we grew this! Actually, my son did. With love and care all summer and fall. The only one from a huge patch. Chipmunks? Cucumber beetles? This little guy is about as lucky as we feel.


Happy Thanksgiving!

From Icky Brown to Blue with Spots!

My Mother


And her ex-chairs.


Well, I’m not exactly a chip off the old block… but we do both love a bargain.


A couple of years ago we were at Lucketts Spring Market (click here)basically Mecca for junk and furniture makeover lovers like me! While she was shopping a picker’s booth, I was chatting with him and she comes up with a chair-how much for the pair of these?

Picker: “$9”

Me: “Um, for both?”

My mother: “SHHHH!”

Picker: “Yep.”

Okie dokie. Seriously, where did he come up with that number? I totally see my mother’s point, but at that price… really!? We could have swung the $18. Two chairs! Cute chairs….

So, here’s what they looked like when we got them. A bit on the yucky brown side.


Here’s how we got them to the car.


Perhaps you’ve seen these photos before? Just sayin. A lot of people thought we were hilarious and leaned out their car windows to snap a pic!

They moved to my house where they sat and sat and finally I pried my daughter out of one-she loves them. My poor mother will never get them back.

I used a hammer to pull up the old seats.


Basically a cardboard backing with light padding and fabric stapled on. The nails were already under the fabric, so when you nail it on, there’s nothing to cover with welt or trim.


I liked the clean look of the chairs, so gave them a scrub, gave them a couple of coats of bright white spray paint, then just covered the existing seats to keep the same lines.


When covering a seat in this way, I find it helpful to put a staple or two in the middle of each side, then work around the rest of the edges. It helps me keep the fabric straight and smooth. Then, I pushed the fabric over the old nails to let them poke out for reuse. All that was left was to nail the seats back down.


at-table-pl* A quick note on this fabric-it’s curtains! I saw them on the clearance rack at HomeGoods (we have no affiliation) and immediately thought of chairs-it’s a heavy linen and I loved the colors and pattern. I often find fabrics in this way and usually it’s much less expensive than buying the same quality at the fabric store and often totally unique.

**We did steal the chairs from my mother, but she already found another bargain pair that need a makeover!

What’s wrong with my Chalkboard Wall?

Seasoned Wall PL2

Seasoned Wall-Rub chalk on, rub chalk off! Enjoy.

Maybe you’re not the type to read directions. Or you had a contractor paint you a chalkboard wall during a recent renovation.

Did you or the contractor season it?

So if you’ve got a Chalkboard wall in your house but you can’t get it to erase when you use it and now it’s looking a bit unsightly, you probably skipped a step.

We are currently redoing our ‘art room’. Previously looking more like the ‘where-do-I-put-this’ room. I roughed up a sketch (drawing is not my thing, but I know my ideas turn out so much better when I start with a plan) and jumped in with a can of Chalkboard paint. Maybe not the best place to start, but I couldn’t wait to get that paint on the wall!

After 2 coats, it was black and clean (completely forgot to photograph!). Pretty sleek actually. Made me think I could live with a dark dramatic wall color one day!

But, if you want to use the wall as a chalkboard, don’t stop there. The next step is to season it. This is so easy. My kids loved doing this, then had a great time sweeping and vacuuming after, too! Take a piece of white chalk and rub the wall with the side of the chalk. It’s easier with the fat pieces of regular chalk. But any white chalk seems to work-we basically used all the white chalk we could find in the house-even the anti-dust (which is less dust but not really dust-free) and little skinny pieces of chalk worked.

Then it will look like this.

Seasoning Fairy PL

As you can tell, as long as you’re rubbing the chalk across the wall and not writing on it, you’re good. No precision needed-even the chalk fairy can do it! Costumes not required.

Chalk Minion PL

After that, just take an old rag to wipe it all down. And if you’re lucky, like me, maybe your minions will fight over the mini-vac till the floor is clean!

And finally, you’re ready to celebrate!

Seasoners PLNow, if as I mentioned earlier you missed this step. No problem! Just clean up your wall with a damp rag, wait till it’s fully dry, pull out your fairy wings and season away. 

Happy chalk boarding!

~Ali (& crew)

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