From Trash to Treasure…

The best things really do come to you when you’re not looking.  I love a good antique/vintage shop, browsing,  wandering around aimlessly.  Several months ago I happened to pass a shop on my way home from work.  I thought to myself, “Why not stop and take a look around?” And that’s where I found it…the project that was waiting for me.  I was looking at the chairs and the man that worked in the shop asked me if I was looking for something in particular.  I really didn’t need a chair, but I wanted one.  So he showed me a few that really weren’t my style and I just continued to browse around and was about to leave  when he brought out this….


I had really thought that the chair looked awful, but the bones of it were great.  He told me that it is a great chair to reupholster and that it wouldn’t be that hard.  He asked me to make an offer…and for $25 it was mine…and I had myself a project!  The next step was choosing a fabric.  There are so many great fabrics, but I ended up on my favorite website,!  It was a hard decision, but  a fun one and I chose a turquoise and off white french inspired fabric…





The first step was removing all of the old, rusty upholstery tacks.  This proved a tedious task as the tacks were very difficult to remove with out damaging the wood or popping them out across the room and leaving the sharp rusty tacks all over the floor.  But it became an easy once we figured out the method that worked.  We used an upholstery tack removing tool and wedged it under the tacks and slowly pried them up and then off.



Some of the old tacks were salvageable, but many were damaged from removal, either they were badly bent or the head of the tack had completely popped off.  I wasn’t sure how many of the tacks I would use, since I had purchased a coordinating turquoise trim to go along the edges.



We were careful to look  how the chair was assembled as we removed the old fabric so that when we reassembled the chair it would be an easier job.


The stuffing that was underneath the old fabric was in decent shape and I saved myself a lot of time by using the existing material.


I then placed the old pieces of fabric on the new fabric and used it as a pattern.   I traced along the old pieces and allowed an additional 2 inches to fold over to make a seam.



I then placed the new, cut pieces over the chair to ensure a proper fit.  I did have to cut another seat for the chair because it was too small and I did not allow enough fabric for the curve along the bottom edge of the seat.



We then folded the fabric over to make a clean line and began stapling the fabric to the frame as close to the wood as possible.  It was important to pull the fabric tightly as possible as  we stapled to ensure a proper fit.



We then continued…folding, pulling and stapling the fabric around the whole frame of the chair.  I then took the trim and hot glued it as close to the wood as possible covering the staples.


And…at last it was done!  I was so happy with the completed project!!


But…the best part of all was what I found inside the chair!!  On the floor, under the chair, as  I was taking it apart was a 1918 Mercury Dime.  I was shocked!  The chair now has a story.  And I wondered…who’s pocket change was this, when did this happen?



I couldn’t bear to put the dime away in a box, so I decided to make it into a necklace.  I purchased a coin bezel from ebay for about $10…And this necklace now has a story too!


The Man-dalier

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I also had to add the creative genius of my boyfriend.  He transformed the chandelier in the dining room into a very unique lighting option.  Balvenie Scotch Whiskey comes in these cardboard paper cylinders.  He thought that they should be put to a better use and he created the



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It actually creates a softer, more ambient lighting…and it is genius!


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Oui, Oui….French Onion Soup!

It has been downright chilly in the state of Florida this past week!  To curb the chill I thought a soup would fit the bill.  I love French Onion Soup and  I always order it whenever I see it on the menu, so this was the perfect soup option to make.  I cannot resist the crusty French bread and ooey gooey, melty Gruyere cheese.  Cheese is the key to my heart and Gruyere is one of my favorites.  It can be a bit pricey…when I purchased it, it was $14.99 a pound, but it is well worth it to make an authentic French Onion soup.

I looked at several recipes.  They are all pretty much the same, but I tweaked and combined a few to my liking and found the perfect combination of flavors.


French Onion Soup

1 stick of butter

1 cup of dry white wine

4 large yellow onions, thinly sliced

4 cups low sodium chicken stock

4 cups beef broth

3 cloves minced garlic

2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce

2 Bay leaves

2 tablespoons of minced fresh Rosemary


several slices of crusty French bread

1/2 pound of Gruyere cheese, grated

Melt butter in a heavy pot or dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onions and cook uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the onions from sticking, and brown until caramelized. french onion soup   Once the onions are caramelized, pour in the wine and scrape the browned bits off of the bottom of the pot.  Allow the wine to reduce, then add the chicken broth, beef broth,  Worcestershire sauce,  garlic, Bay leaves and several dashes of pepper.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. While the soup simmers, slice the French bread into 1 inch slices. french onion soup And grate the Gruyere cheese. french onion soup recipe When the soup is done ladle the soup into a oven safe bowl,  place 3 slices of bread and a good handful of cheese on top of the bread.  Place under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown around the edges.  Remove from the oven and lightly sprinkle with Rosemary. french onion soup recipe Serve and Enjoy!!   mel_sig flower post divider

Starting a brand new year….with Pete the Cat!

I am so excited that the new school year has begun and there is no better way to kick off the year than with Pete the Cat!  He is a classroom favorite that I have read and re read many times…the class demands that we read the books everyday!  Pete is a cool, groovy cat who always has a positive, upbeat outlook.  Each book in the series written and illustrated by Kimberly and James Dean is so much fun to read and has such a great message. He encourages the reader to just keep singing, not let small things get you down and that there is always a positive way to look at life.  We read the complete series…we rocked in our school shoes as we read “Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes”, wore our cool blue magic sunglasses with “Pete the Cat and his Magic Sunglasses” and learned all that we all have a special and unique talent if we look for it with “Pete the Cat and the New Guy”.

“It’s all good!” ~Pete the Cat


Read with Me

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During Circle Time, each child got the chance to hold our own Pete the Cat.  They were so excited to have him join our story time!

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I made a fun little lift the flap book for the kids to try and guess whose shoes are pictured. They then lift the flap to reveal who is wearing the shoes.  They love that they are the stars of our classroom book!

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Sing with Me

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We sang a fun version of B-I-N-G-O that has Pete the Cat in it using our pocket chart and laminated words.  As we sang, each letter of Pete was covered by a paw print.

Art Time

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We made painted Pete the Cat’s out of paper plates and blue paint.  We then added eyes, nose and whiskers.

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“Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons”

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We glued four buttons onto a shirt cut out to go with our story.

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“Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses”


The children used blue water colors to create the magic, blue sunglasses.  I then cut them out and they glued the lenses to a sunglasses cut out.

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The sunglasses were the perfect size to go along with our painted Pete the Cats.

“Pete the Cat: Rocking in His School Shoes”


“Pete the Cat: I love My White Shoes”

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The kids were so excited to show off their school shoes!

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The kids picked which color they liked best to paint their shoe cut out.  In the book as Pete went walking he kept stepping in things that changed the color of his shoes: strawberries, blueberries and mud.  He then steps in a puddle and washes everything off and returns his shoes to a sparkling white.

Bulletin Board

I had an Van Gogh inspiration for my start of the year bulletin board!  I was so excited to re create Van Gogh’s Starry Night using the children’s art work…and together we truly are a masterpiece!

“I know nothing with any certainty

But the sight of the stars

Makes me dream.”

~Vincent Van Gogh

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We painted large pieces of paper that I then used for the moon, stars and swirly sky!

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We had an amazing start to our new school year!  I am looking forward to all of the many fun and creative things that we will experience through out the year!


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