Sunday, February 4, 2018

This Decorative Piece Was Worthy Of A Makeover For So Many Reasons

There is a history behind this tattered piece of decor that has been hanging in our home. In the same spot since we moved here in July of 2012. Back in September of 2011, Lisa and I housesat for my brother while he vacationed in Colorado for a week. He lives in the White Mountain area in New Hampshire. Years ago he built his house. It's in the boonies. Very peaceful. No street lights. Dirt road. We deemed that week as a vacation. It was just Lisa, myself, and our 2 fur-nieces.

This was before Lisa and I found our home and started our family.

For most of the week, we hung out at Joe's house. We played cards, had Lisa's parents over for a couple of cookouts, lounged on the screened in porch, had lots of playtime with our fur-nieces, took walks through the woods, and ventured to a couple of small nearby towns. We visited little country stores, the covered bridge, and scenic areas.

While out and about one afternoon, we spotted a rather large community yard sale in a parking lot. Lisa and I love yard sales and flea markets. We stopped and spent about an hour browsing the tables of goodies. Shortly before leaving, Lisa spotted this piece. We both fell in love with it. Lisa said that once we found our version of a perfect home, it would be the first piece we hung on the wall.

In July of 2012, we moved into our home. The day after moving in, Lisa rummaged through the boxes and found this piece. We went from room to room discussing possible places to hang it. Finally, we chose the small wall space on the left side of the front door.

That's where it's been hanging since. Although I've dusted the piece time and time again, it was starting to look dingy. On occasion, I'd wipe it down with a damp cloth. But, even that was proving to be useless.

For the past year, when my eyes fixated on this piece, I'd think, "I need to give this piece a makeover." I'd mention my plans to Lisa time and time again. She'd tell me, "Go for it. It needs it." However, time and time again, I put it off.

It's been a crazy busy year. 

Late this morning, I was about to work several DIY Dog Mom Projects that would be up for grabs once completed. Lisa and I stepped out onto the front porch for a bit to refill the bird feeders. The piece caught my eye.

When we got back inside, I took it off the wall. Today was the day. I was going to give it a makeover. I had put it off long enough.

I used a flat head screwdriver to take the straw and stick pieces off. They were caked with dust and cobwebs. I scraped the old glue off. After stripping the entire piece, I washed it. I allowed it to dry for an hour before applying fresh coats of paint.

I used a barn red paint to refinish the bench. Then, I stenciled some tiny pawprints and coated with our trusty satin varnish.

I ditched the bales of straw. They were beyond saving. The wood jug was able to be salvaged. I painted that and put on a coat of protective varnish. Then, I snipped a few dried tea roses from one of my bouquets and created a mini bouquet.

For the branches on the right side of the door, I kept the original and then added a couple sprigs of pussy willows our neighbor friends give us each year. I wrapped the bottom with twine.

The end result was simple. Refreshed. Generously coated with varnish so I could dust and wash easily in the years ahead.

We hung the piece back up in its original spot.

Then, we sat on the sofa and talked about that week.

It was our first vacation together. And, our last because shortly after we moved into our home and started a family. 

It was the week when I kissed a salamander and I liked it. 

It was the week when we had ice cream for lunch on a couple of occasions. 

It was the week we took our fur-nieces for a ride to get ice cream.

It was the week of scenic drives and witnessing the Summer months transitioning into the beauty of a New England Fall season.

I look back on that week with such love. It was our first and last vacation. Lisa and I both agree it was the best vacation in our entire life. 

And I say "last" because about 6 months later, we found our home. We started our family. 

It's as if the Universe knew.

That's why this piece continues to hang in our home and it was worthy of a makeover.

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