Thursday, May 22, 2014

Fois Bois Changing Table

Hi all! Amelia is 6 weeks old now and letting me sleep through the night. I don't feel nearly as exhausted as I have felt the first weeks after her arrival. I thought I would finally post my DIY Fois Bois changing table/dresser! Fois bois means "false wood". I have wanted to try this technique for a very long time and it turned out great.

For the nursery I knew I wanted a long dresser to use as her changing table. I had been researching on Pinterest for a while and considered using a mid century dresser. I used to see them ALL THE TIME in the thrift stores, but now that I actually needed one, they were nowhere to be seen. Here are some of my favs from Pinterest.

SIGH.... so seeing as finding a mid century dresser is near impossible, I went back on Pinterest and kept looking. Then I found

Wow! Hello beautiful!! I was in love the first moment I saw it! I think it's just beautiful and would go with the other furniture in the nursery. How do I replicate this?? I started by looking for a cheap 6 drawer white dresser. I went to all the local big box stores and didn't see anything. Then I came across this on Amazon.

When I purchased it, it was $172 with free shipping, now it's $192.98....geesh, got lucky there. Well, when it was delivered the box weighed a TON! Did I mention that I was 9 months pregnant when I did this DIY??! I had to have Caiden and his buddy carry it into the house for me.

9 million really there were 9 million pieces!!!
It took 2 days to put it together. My butt was going numb from sitting for so long while doing this project! Here's the after picture. I left off the kick plate piece. I didn't like the way it looked as it took away from the faux mid century look I was going for.

For the fois bois paint treatment, I went to Home Depot and picked up two paint tools, a "wood grain rocker" and a "graining comb" both made by the Martha Stewart brand in the paint department. I did a google search on how to do the fois bois technique. It definitely takes some practice! I recommend having some large cardboard on hand to practice on. Start with a coat of primer, I like Zinnser Cover Stain Oil based primer. The dresser is laminate, so I had to finish it with 4 coats of oil based polyurethane in satin finish.

waiting for each coat to dry!

I wanted to replicate the drawer pulls that were on the original dresser but while searching the Internet, all I found were very pricey options.... not in my budget. Then thankfully I found this tutorial from Sarah M. Dorsey Designs, for DIY ring pulls. AWESOME!!

I found all the materials at Home Depot, and YES! they were made for under $2.00!! I used nickel instead of brass and they came out really nice. I love it when people come up with awesome alternatives!
Here's the finished product! I love how it came out! The paint and topcoat have been very durable. I'm so glad I didn't settle on just a regular, boring changing table. This fits the room perfectly.
Next projects: Babushka crib mobile, twin bed skirt and crib skirt!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Radio silence a.k.a "So we had ourselves a baby!!"

Sooooo, it's been a while since I have posted. Sorry for the radio silence. We found out we were pregnant in August and my interest in blogging, sewing, diy-ing etc. went downhill from there! A total loss of energy, for everything. Even reading my favorite blogs. That was the only real "illness" during pregnancy. No morning sickness and all around felt good health wise.

At around 9 months pregnant I finally found some energy to do a changing table DIY! It came out great and I will have a post about it soon!

Baby arrived on Tuesday April 8th and we are over the moon happy! So without further adieu.........

Amelia Catherine Dana

6 lbs. 12 oz.
21" long

Yep, two middle names! We're fancy like that! Lol, just kidding. I just couldn't leave one out! Catherine for my mom and great grandmother and Dana for Jeff's grandmother.

Now that I am in the stage of the sleep deprived, I am slowly working on the projects of making the crib mobile and also a crib skirt and bed skirt for the nursery. Hopefully they will be done sometime this century! =) I've also gotten back the interest of reading my favorite blogs again, it's so good to be back!!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Date Night: Anyela's Vineyard

Happy Monday all! Just a quick post before I go into the salon.
On Saturday Jeff and I had a wonderful afternoon at Anyela's Vineyard in Skaneateles, NY. It is one of the Finger Lakes. New York State is known for our wonderful wineries along the Finger Lakes.

"Nature meets wine"

      "Located in the heart of New York's scenic Finger Lakes region, the Finger Lakes wine country is centered around four main lakes with Native American names: Canandaigua ("The Chosen Spot" or "The Chosen Place"), Keuka ("Canoe Landing" or "Crooked Lake"), Seneca ("Place of the Stone"), and Cayuga ("Boat Landing") with the latter two also recognized as separate viticultural areas due to their unique grape-growing conditions. Some of the newest growth in this region, however, is coming around the "Little Lakes" – Conesus ("Always Beautiful"), and Hemlock (the only lake names for European settlers) found in the west. The smaller lakes in the east – Owasco ("Floating Bridge" or "Crossing Place"), Cazenovia ("Lake of the yellow perch "), and Skaneateles ("Long Lake") are also seeing wineries open in their vicinity."

We did a wine tasting and settled on a yummy 2011 Dry Riesling and a large cheese platter. Soooo good. We LOVE cheese!

It was such a beautiful day and if you ever find yourself in upstate New York, please explore our wineries!
This week I think I will have to tackle my basement storage for our upcoming community garage sale.... so no sewing for me..... this is what my dining room table looks like, Jeff is thrilled. :)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Date Night: Oakwood Cemetery Ghostwalk

Hi all! Last night Jeff and I had a wonderful time out with friends. For the 2nd year in a row we went to the Onondaga Historical Association's "Oakwood Cemetery Ghostwalk".

Jeff and I as we waited for our group to start. It has rained for a few days straight so we really got lucky with the weather!


It is a tour through one of Syracuse's largest park like cemeteries. It was built in 1859 by Howard Daniels.
From Wikipedia
1909 postcard of the old original entrance facade built in 1902, which has been closed off since the building of Interstate 81, years ago. Last summer, Caiden and I had the chance to walk around up there on the elevated railroad track part. Very cool indeed. I will have to find those pictures.

From the website
"In the early 1850's a group of prominent men in Syracuse began looking for grounds for a new cemetery. In the forefront of this group were E.W. Leavenworth and John Wilkinson. Meetings were held on and off until the late 1850's when the group began to act. The men were interested in making the new burial ground a rural cemetery, which was a popular cemetery style during that time period. In contrast to burial grounds in the city which were overcrowded, odoriferous, and were prone to vandalism this cemetery was to be an attractive and civilized place to bury one's loved ones. The chosen site encompassed a glacial hill where springs carved valleys around steep slopes forested with massive oaks. The rural cemetery, designed as a series of landscape pictures, was to be a place of spiritual fulfillment for the living as well as a resting place for the dead. An overall picturesque effect was achieved through varied topography, irregular land division, winding roads and paths, and controlled internal views. The rural cemetery was designed to be a place of natural and man-made beauty, where individuals and families could escape their everyday lives and enjoy the surroundings."
It truly is a beautiful, peaceful place. While not a traditional "ghostwalk" this was a walking tour where we meet some of Syracuse's famous and infamous that now 'reside' in Oakwood. Portrayed by actors, each person shares their life here in Syracuse and what they did to make them famous. 
This years inhabitants are:
Comfort Tyler (1764-1827)
One of the earliest settlers in Onondaga County. He surveyed the land and roads and held a number of political offices. Comfort Tyler was also affiliated and arrested with Aaron Burr for treason, because of surveying land in Texas. The charges were dismissed. Comfort was buried elsewhere but was brought back to Syracuse to be reinterred with family in the Cornelius Tyler Longstreet mausoleum which looks like a pyramid.

Cornelius Tyler Longstreet mausoleum erected in 1875.


Inside the Longstreet mausoleaum. Family or friends could come and visit and lounge on the furniture in the monument. It is completely sealed off now. Source:

Milton Price (1825-1889)
The Merchant Prince of Syracuse owned a department store located across from his mansion on Salina Street near Jefferson Street. He was known for his wild promotional antics and charitable deeds.
Old advertisement for Milton S. Price store
Milton S. Price in front of his cash register, telling us about his life.
John Wilkinson (1868-1951)

 Inventor of the air cooled engine for the Franklin Automobile Company among other automotive inventions. He was also known as a champion cyclist and athlete.

 Wikipedia image
John Wilkinson source:Wikipedia
John Wilkinson telling us about his sporting achievements.
 Wilkinson monument
Dr. George Greeley (1844-1902)
Dr. Greeley was a local homeopathic doctor who suffered through a terrible loss of losing his sister, daughter and wife to illness and was unable to save them with his remedies. He was plagued by scandal after scandal for forgery and public intoxication. These events led to him committing suicide on the steps of the Oakwood Cemetery Chapel.

 Oakwood Cemetery Chapel
Dr. George Greeley in the chapel telling us about his terrible choices in life. It was creepy and dark in there.
 This was behind us as we were listening to the Doctor. The walls were lined with them. We weren't told what they were but if we had to guess, some sort of temporary vaults. Did I mention creepy??
Here are some other photo's from our walk through the cemetery.
Sabey monument built into the hill.
Erie picture of the same monument shown on in the hill.

Weiting monument all grown over.
How Weiting looked in the 1890's.

The Haggerty Lion.
"On November 11, 1982, the Haggerty lion was placed in Oakwood as a memorial to Michael Charles Haggerty who died at age 14 in an auto accident in 1974. His brother Thomas, who was two years younger than Michael, was an art student at Syracuse University when his parents asked him to create a special and original memorial. Michael had always liked lions and his mother thought a lion would be appropriate - a friendly protector, inviting but with claws. Thomas began work on the monument in the summer of 1981. He formed the clay image in his garage, spraying and wrapping his work each night. After this initial phase, the large figure was moved outside of his home and his work was supervised by an Syracuse University instructor. After a year's work, the 620 pound bronze statue was ready for placement. Michael had originally been buried at St. Mary's in DeWitt, but the authorities responsible for the diocese cemeteries objected to the monument. Michael was then reinterred in a special spot at Oakwood with the lion standing guard. Many people do not know about the Haggerty lion because it is situated in a wooded area and during seasons with leaves, it is well concealed. The lion can be found across the road from the Chapel. At the corner where the woods begin is a small trail which leads about 20 feet up a small incline to the monument."

The beautiful monument is completely hidden unless you know where you are looking, I had to be reminded that it was back there.

The old caretaker's office. A huge stone building that is now in shambles. It is kitty-corner from the chapel.

1920 postcard of the caretaker's building.
Source: Wikipedia

Being a genealogist I really love this cemetery. The history and information a cemetery can give a family historian is immeasurable.  We have done some letterboxing in Oakwood also. I loved the monuments so much that our wedding photo's were taken there in 2007!!
I apologize for the fuzzy scanned photo's, it's hard to scan a wedding album!

All photo's were taken at the Chapin monument. It is a huge structure of Greek style columns. Marie and Henry Chapin were wealthy socialites that lived in Syracuse in the early 20th century. It's hard to believe that there are only 2 people buried at such a large structure. It is so beautiful.


Google Earth
Well anyhoo, that's my love affair with Oakwood Cemetery. I look forward to next years tour!!








Thursday, June 13, 2013

Project: White House Black Shutters and Red Door!

I have mentioned before that Jeff and I have been in our house for almost 6 years.... (we moved in on Halloween day of 2007, lol, my favorite holiday!!) and while we have been slowly getting the inside to reflect our personalities, the outside is still the same sad color of mustard yellow with red shutters. Since day one I have wanted to paint it!! For a while I was leaning towards a very modern gray color but I just wasn't sure, something was holding me back. Well, since taking Caiden back and forth to work through a very beautiful neighborhood daily, I saw the color scheme that I absolutely love..... white house, black shutters and a red door.... a totally classic color for a vintage loving gal, it now totally makes sense to me.
Jeff surprised me with this house on our wedding day, we had been living in an apartment for years. To say I was surprised is an understatement. It was the sweetest thing the man had ever done, and how he kept it a secret is beyond me. It is 6 blocks away from my ex husbands house, so my son could ride his bike back and forth to each house and be around his friends. We are in a great community and excellent school district! It's really been a wonderful place to raise Caiden and give him memories and family traditions that he can pass on to his own family someday.
Here are the only pictures I have of the outside of our house (I'm not sure why that is???). Sorry for the terrible photos. They are scanned copies of the print out Jeff gave me when he surprised me at the church! (Pictures taken by the previous homeowner.) We have changed some of the landscaping a bit. The development we live in was started in the 1970's and our home was built in 1978. It is a raised ranch style house and totally devoid of character, not the style of house I would have picked out, but it is not our forever home either, and the fact that Jeff totally surprised me with it alone make me love it!! I am enjoying myself with the decorating and DIYing that comes along with home ownership. :)

We are a corner house with a large side yard and front yard.

Large backyard with pool, 4 season room, 2 story deck and patio. We didn't want the hot tub so the previous homeowners took it with them.

Close up of deck area, we want to strip the paint (that is now sun damaged) and stain the deck and possibly replace the railings, but we are not sure on that one.
So here are some examples of homes I found on Pinterest with the colors I am dreaming of now!! It just screams classic, traditional, americana.... all things I love!

All beautiful houses.
 This picture gives me a glimpse of what it would look like painted white. I will add character to this house if it kills me!!
I think we will start painting in the spring, once some of our flower beds have gone to sleep and a tree on our side yard loses it's leaves. I am very excited to get started on the BIG project of painting, but at least there are a few little projects to do now that will add to the beautiful exterior I imagined! :)
I will keep you updated along the way!