Downsizing – Spare Bedroom 1: Library

The summer of 2017 was officially the start of Phase 2 of our fixer-upper.  This means we had saved enough money to conquer partial bathroom renovations, master closet makeover, a cooling vent and insulation for the garage (I didn’t really get this but Jeff thought it was a priority) and doing something with the two spare bedrooms.  After a year and a half everything had found a place but it wasn’t organized in a way that felt like home.  This was especially true in these two bedrooms which were filled with a hodge podge of what we had brought with us and most of it was oversized for this house which made the rooms seem smaller than they were.

It took me a little while but with some strategic thinking I began to list what I’d like to use each of these rooms for which helped me envision what would be needed to make that happen.

Bedroom 1 which measures 11′ x 9’10” was to have 3 purposes:  a place to hold books and read (aka – the library),  exercise and to sew. 

This is how the library portion of the room came about.  I love books and often read a favorite more than once.  There is something soothing in tangible pages to flip through, being able to mark the margins and turn down the corner when something touches my heart.  Yes – I have an iPad and think it is wonderful, especially for travel, but I don’t ever want to live in a house without my favorites:  A Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindberg, Adventures in Prayer by Catherine Marshall, Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard, The 10 Faces of Innovation by Tom Kelley, Live Carefully by Jerry Traylor, Beautiful in God’s Eyes by Elizabeth George and so many more.

We had brought two bookshelves with us – one was ours and the other had belonged to our daughter.  They were different woods and heights but when we first moved in they had the most important quality,  providing a place to remove books from moving boxes and store.

I began to dream about furnishing these rooms with a focus on function and price.  I didn’t need brand new and when my friend, Angie, introduced me to Facebook Marketplace, I found a resource that fit those goals.  As I found a few pieces for other parts of the house and learned how to use chalk paint, my confidence grew.  Soon I was ready to move the mismatched bookshelves out and begin my search for matching bookshelves.  Fortunately for me someone else was ready to say goodbye to two Broyhill units for $200.00. 

It is fun getting something new (well, new to me) but it also means some effort is required because the bookshelves that were there now needed to be emptied and moved to make room for the new.   In a very short time I went from organized to chaos.  This is often the point in a project where I ask myself “What was I thinking?”

One of our bookshelves we sold on Facebook Marketplace for $35.00.  The other bookshelf which was sturdy, well made and solid wood still had some life in it and soon I was placing two coats of white chalk paint and later distressing before a clear coat of wax was buffed in. As if I hadn’t created a mess already, I decide to add painting to the mix. There are times it is good that Jeff is at work.  

Here it is in its new home in the den waiting for the wax to dry before books are placed on shelves.  I am happy to say it now holds a variety of books, including my cookbooks.

I need to give a big shout out to my dad who is always available to pick me or my husband up in his truck as I procure another treasure.  My son-in-law, Josh, has also come over to move some of the heavier pieces.  It takes a village to make a house a home.

Finally, the bookshelves were picked up, dusted and vacuumed (let’s just say they came from a house with cats) and it was time to move the bookshelves in.  Not shown in this picture but new brushed nickel knobs replaced the bronze ones.  The shelves have lighting and are 19″ deep which allows for a nice display.

One of the last pieces for this room, has been the chair.  I wanted a comfortable chair for reading and hand sewing.  I found this one on Offered Up (another site to look for treasures) for $50.00.  It had recently been recovered in gray  and fit into the corner.  

I will be showing completed pictures of the room after I have shared the different sections.

What was Jeff doing while I tackled the room?  This guy is such a hard worker and is as committed to making this house our home as much as I am.  He replaced all our baseboards – so much work but what a difference this has made.

Coming up next – Spare Bedroom 1 – Exercise

Related Posts

Downsizing and Our Kitchen Makeover

What’s In My Library

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Noah’s Kindness Cookies

Today I am dedicating a cookie recipe to a special sweet baby that God sent for 12 days before needing him back home.  His name is Noah Haskovec and God gave him to parents (Angie and Jarrett) that bravely chose to take their heartbreak and create a tool to encourage others to live out kindness in remembrance of their son.   I am blessed to work with Noah’s mommy and for the second year one of my kindness projects is to feed her at work for the month of October.

What is so great about Noah’s Kindness Project is its simplicity.  You can either plug into a few of the service projects that are listed on the site or you can think of your own.  It can be done on your time schedule (and doesn’t necessarily have to be done in October because goodness knows we can use kindness throughout the year.)  Here is the link to learn more about the program.  Please consider spreading your own unique brand of kindness.  You have been given gifts and talents that can help others.

I like this cookie because it isn’t too sweet and works well with a spelt or gluten free flour so my husband who is wheat sensitive can eat them.  The cookie is very tender and decorated with blue and white sprinkles to resemble the sky and clouds with a little rainbow colored edible glitter.

Noah's Kindness Cookies
Serves 30
A tender almond flavored cookie, dipped in chocolate and decorated with sprinkles
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 2/3 cup sugar
  2. 1 cup butter
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1 tsp almond extract
  5. 3 cups of flour (note - spoon into measuring cup and level off)
  6. 1/2 tsp salt
  7. 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips
  8. 1 tsp of coconut oil
  9. Sprinkles or chopped almonds
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare cookie sheets by lining with parchment paper.
  2. In large mixing bowl, combine sugar, butter, egg and almond extract. Beat until light and fluffy.
  3. Shape into 1 Tbsp balls and then roll into 2 inch log. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough placing 2 inches apart. Bake for 9-12 minutes or until set. Cool completely.
  4. In microwave safe dish place chocolate chips and coconut oil. Heat in 30 second increments at 50% power, stirring until smooth.
  5. Dip one end of each log into melted chips, then sprinkle dipped ends with sprinkles or almonds. Place in refrigerator to help set the chocolate before storing.
Adapted from Cookies! A Cookie Lovers Collection
Adapted from Cookies! A Cookie Lovers Collection
Deliciously Inspired http://www.deliciouslyinspired.com/
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Picture Makeover

A few weeks ago I had a chance to visit a few thrift stores.  I found a few new toys for my grandchildren, a cd, a journal and I found the picture I’ve been looking for to place on a wall above my desk at work.  There was a connection when I saw the picture.  It reminds me of one of Jeff’s and my favorite moments when we visit Oceanside.  We check the time for sunset, then head down to the beach and sit on a wall about 15 minutes beforehand watching the sun disappear slowly into the ocean.

I’m going to tell you the story of the picture and its makeover.  Please excuse my reflection in the pictures.

I purchased at a Goodwill.  Price $3.99.  It had a wood-colored frame that was peeling in a few places.  I came home and took all the pieces apart, carefully handling the glass.  I wet a soft towel and wiped down the frame and glass.  

I used Goo Gone to remove the sticker and glue residue and a glass cleaner on both sides .

I went through my paint supplies and held them up to the print deciding on a combination of two blues I had.  I laid down a shower curtain from the Dollar Store to protect my rug.  I mixed up the paint and begun to apply the blue letting it dry between coats which doesn’t take too long in Arizona.  I usually put a layer of saran wrap on the plate for easy cleanup but forgot this time.

I wanted the picture to be a constant reminder of one of my favorite verses “Be Still and Know that I am God.”  Mark 4:39, Psalm 46:10. I pulled my leftover stickers and fortunately had the letters to spell out “Be Still”  I had in mind to use one of the pieces of Oregon driftwood my friend and coworker Cindy had brought me back for her vacation last year.  

I had a little Mod Podge and placed a few layer over the self adhesive stickers.

I then took the painted frame and driftwood piece outside and gave it a good coating of sealer.

After the sealer had dried, I put the glass, print and cover back together.  Then glued the driftwood piece where I wanted it.

Here is the finished project which is now on my office wall.

 

 

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