back porch decorating

I wish you could come over for coffee.

We have 247 things to discuss.

Like did you watch Downton Abbey last night?  And aren’t Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes the cutest couple on the universe?  And I’m so happy for Bates and Anna (except didn’t she look like she had way too much Meryl Norman base on) and that lady that came to blackmail Lady Mary was on my last nerves and good for Edith I hope she will finally be happy and Daisy needs to calm down.

And if you’re going to be in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area on Friday, January 8 I’d love to meet you.  I’m having a fabric launch party and I’m giving away fabric and notebooks made out of the fabric and note cards made out of the fabric and we’re serving cookies that look like the fabric and partying like it’s 2016.  Which of course it is.  Stop by The Quilt Asylum in McKinney (right off the freeway at the Virgina/Louisiana exit) from 6:00-8:00pm.

And I found the best bobby pins that stay in your hair and come in polka dots.

And I am going to be on television in Nashville.

And I made you the cutest free printable for January at the end of the post.

Oh….and PS  look what I did with my dining room table.



This is what the table started out like.

It was our first dining room table so it’s seen life in the 90’s.

The table was perfect when we had two people living in the house and ate dinners that started with Lean Cuisine.

But now that there’s six of us, we needed a little more space.  So the table kind of traveled around the farmhouse trying to find a new home.  Here’s a picture of it on the back porch. It just never really worked any where and I was about to donate it and all of its Lean Cuisine history to the thrift store.

Until I came up with the idea of making it into a coffee table.

table diy project

I wish I had a picture of my husband’s face when I told him we were doing this.

It kind of reminded me of the time I asked him if we could stop and pick up a 40 pane window out of the trash.

He started the project by removing the top of the table.

Then we decided where on the leg to cut.  I wanted the table to be coffee table height, so we cut the leg to 16 1/8 and the table measures 19 1/4 high.

I marked the leg and he sawed the top part of the leg off.

table renovation steps

Then came the hard part.

How to attach the leg to the table without giant screws showing on the top?

He simply took a 1 x 6 board and screwed the leg to the board.

Then he attached the board to the table top with shorter screws that didn’t poke through the table top.

table project

Now for the controversial part of the project.

To leaf or not to leaf.

We could have left the leaves down, but I wanted a round coffee table for the space.

So he added more 1 x 6 boards underneath the table so the leaves would be extended permanently.

back porch decorating

Here’s one last look at the finished table.

From the donation pile to a starring role on the screened-in porch.

I might just pull up one of those woven gray chairs and have a Lean Cuisine. 🙂

January Page

And now for something a little different.

I’ve been wanting to create some printables and I thought it might be fun if I challenged myself to make a new one every month.

Here’s January’s entry.

You can print out your own for free….here.

I’m going to print it out and clip it onto a clipboard for each month.  It’s perfect for framing or putting on your bulletin board….

….or just making you smile. 🙂

Happy day friend.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


    1. Image for Shirley Grimm Shirley Grimm

      I'll be at your fabric showing in McKinney. Then two weeks later I'll be in Paducah to celebrate my Dad's 102 birthday. So as always I'll check out your sister's shop, MAKE. Talented family!

  1. Image for Sue Sue

    I so totally agree with everything you said about Downtown Abbey!!! Still love that show. And, love what you did to that table!!! Genius.

  2. Image for Barb Barb

    Your cheerful post made us smile, what a wonderfully positive note to start our 15 degree 4th day of January. Wish we could be in Texas to visit with you, what total fun. May you have a super day and week.

  3. Image for Tammy Tammy

    Oh my goodness, I did watch Downton Abbey and I loved it! I know your little dining room table is happy to still have a place in your home. Thanks for the cute printable......I look forward to seeing all the rest of them, too! Love, love reading your blog......have a Happy 2016! Tammy

  4. Image for BRENDA BRENDA

    1 DOWNTON ABBEY: I have seen the whole season already & it is so sad to knw it is over :-( 2. HOORAY! I have a table just like yours in storage and can't wait to dig it out and do the same thing :-) (thanks!) 3. I am from Texas but now live in Florida, so I cannot be there but am sending friends that will (lucky dogs!) 4. Happy January!...I LOVE THIS BLOG!

  5. Image for Yvonne Shafer Yvonne Shafer

    Good morning! Come north! It's beautiful here in Michigan! I can't wait to see the new fabrics. And I love the new printables. . Recycling the table was a genius idea. It looks great on the back porch!

    1. Image for Kris Kris

      Ditto on the Michigan request, preferably the west side of the state. :) My daughter is too young for Downton ... but I want to show her this episode when she is a bit older, and to let her know that Mr. Carson is demonstrating real love for Mrs. Hughes. I got tears in my eyes when he talked about how Mrs. Hughes is beautiful to him. You are starting the new year with a bang! Charming printable and coffee table.

  6. Image for Terri Terri

    Good Morning!!!! Downton Abbey did NOT disappoint !!!! "GrandMama" in her usual rare form was a hoot!! Carson and Mrs. Hughes make me smile .. :) .... Table is absolutely gorgeous!! Love the look!!! AND SURE DO WISH I WAS CLOSE ENOUGH TO MAKE IT TO ONE OF YOUR EVENTS!!! Come on down to the Sunshine State!!!! :) Have an amazing & Blessed kind of day !!!!!!!!

  7. Image for Beverly Beverly

    Great use for your beginner table. I love it when things in our homes have history. Yes. Yes. About Downton Abbey, that is. And, I so agree about how Anna was looking. What in the world were they thinking???

  8. Image for Heather C Heather C

    Happy 2016, and yes was I ready for Downtown Abbey but I'm sorry, Anna is a Debbie Downer, and don't you love to repurpose something that has history with you into something you can re-love again and your print made me smile as I can relate to everything as I sit in this 30+ weather.

  9. Image for Doreen Doreen

    Love the table! Great idea. Dallas and Nashville so far from northeast Ohio. Please, please, please come somewhere closer and I will be the first one there! I will wear red lipstick, even though I have dark hair, and Lee Press on Nails so that you will know who I am! Promise I will. We are new to Downton Abbey cause we always watched The Good Wife, but seems she must not be so good anymore as she is never on. So we are watching reruns of Downton and are on Season 1 Episode 3 and now totally committed! So please, no more spoiler alerts!!! Anticipating your appearance to the Cleveland, Ohio area very soon. Doreen

  10. Image for mary beth mary beth

    Am I the only one who does not watch Downton Abbey? Looks good but I never think of sitting down to watch it. I am sending your information to my niece. She's an architect in TX and I hope she can pick me up some of your freebies and attend your launch party. Sounds like you will have a lovely day and I am very excited for you. The travel circuit - Whoo Hoo! Come to Chicago please ;) Oh, and thanks for the printable

  11. Image for Sandy Sandy

    I too have seen the entire sixth season and Christmas show. Don't worry, no spoilers. I'm rewatching and smiling. Love your table. I'm showing my husband " how to" since we have a similar table that was my parents. Mind you, my dad is 95, so the table is an antique. Need a coffee table in our family room for grandchildren and guests. I would love to attend your fabric party and meet you, but I'm in Ohio watching our first snowfall of winter.

  12. Image for Ann C Ann C

    My uncle did that to an old oak table back on the 60's. It was a large oak pedestal table, but their room was large and my aunt didn't want to part with it. It was great for playing games on as kids.

  13. Image for david david

    Your dad will be 104!!!!? How awesome! My mom just turned 94 this Christmas and I was boasting about it but, apparently, she is but a spring chicken. Congrats on all the fabric stuff and that table is quite a makeover. Well done!

  14. Image for Nancy @ slightly Coastal Nancy @ slightly Coastal

    Congrats on all the fun adventures awaiting you in the next few weeks. I love the table...but you knew I would since we had that whole "conversation" about being short when I shortened my table into a coffee table. By the way...I just returned from up North so I am still feeling tall. It will wear off in a few days and I will go back to feeling short again soon. Dining room tables with history make the BEST coffee tables don't you think? Just think...all the years we tell our kids "Don't put your feet on the dining room table!" Now, they can. hehehehe Have a great day karianne!

  15. Image for Michelle Rudis Michelle Rudis

    Dratz! Dallas is about 5.5 hours away and I'm stuck in Houston on the 8th. :( Best wishes for your fabric launch, though. Just like everything else you put your mind to, I know it's going to be a great success. And thank you for the free printables--how awesome is that?! I love free. Happy Day to you too, friend!

  16. Image for Julia Julia

    I have never watched Downton Abbey. Just haven't! I love the table makeover and the history. So glad the story will continue!

  17. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    Oh I can see it now...sitting around your short dining table ( brilliant idea, btw), and talking about all of the 247 things we need to talk about...what fun! Texas sounds should come north! ;)

  18. Image for Cheryl Ann Cheryl Ann

    Nashville? When & where? I live in Franklin and would love to see your show. Great idea with the coffee table! It so rewarding to shop our homes & create something we love. Thanks!

  19. Image for patti rice patti rice

    Happy New Year! I'm a new subsriber to your blog and love your creativity and DIY style. Can you tell me where you found those gray wicker chairs or if you posted them as a project on your blog? Such an adorbale front porch :)

  20. Image for Cheri Cheri

    I've been following your blog for several months and really enjoy it. Your home is gorgeous. Thank you for the printable today, it's just the right mix of hip/cute/classy! I printed it out as the cover page for my new planner. I'm really looking forward to next months version, so I will encourage you to complete your challenge! I would also love a tutorial on how you are doing this. I recently bought a graphics set from Hungryjpg, which is addictive, but I'm not sure what to do with all the graphics files now that I have them... Happy New Year

  21. Image for june june

    LOVE THE NEW PRINTABLE! LOVE THE TABLE - you are so inspiring!! Wish I could meet you in Texas - you need to come to Minnesota and kick off that new fabric line. Let me know if I can help somehow to get your name out there:) Safe travels...

  22. Image for Pinky Pinky

    I wish SO much I could come see you! Best wishes on the fabric launch! THANKS for thre printable. I am going to print it nOW! Love it!!!!

  23. Image for Pinky Pinky

    PS!!! Geesh, forgot to mention how MUCH I love the table and that it is your first dining room table! I used to live on Lean Cuisines too:):)

  24. Image for Jessica Jessica

    That table just looks stunning! We have our old dining room table that is round and really only works for four people. We had it custom made with leaves to make it turn into a rectangle, but over the years with the wear and tear, the sides started to droop and we can only use it as a round table. I am very much over the look of it, so your post totally inspired me to repurpose that table! Thank you for this amazing inspiration!

  25. Image for Donna Donna

    1. Downton Abbey was fantastic and my husband even reluctantly agreed to watch it with me and got sucked back in even though he might have mentioned he had lost interest. ha ha. 2. Thank you so much for the cute printable. It's already gracing the front of my refrigerator and makes me smile. You are so generous with your talents. 3. Wish I lived closer so that I could attend your events - best wishes for success in all of your upcoming plans.

  26. Image for Susan Susan

    EEK!! Downton Abbey!!! I loved every minute!! What can I say about your blog, except that you make me smile and you always have the greatest tales and stories. You should definitely write a book along the lines of Lewis Grizzard or something with all your cute stories. I adore your table and I would like to know what paint and color you used and what stain you used to distress it. Thanks!

  27. Image for terri lee terri lee

    Thank you for making me smile! I love what you did with the table, and I'm posting the printable on my clipboard right now. It's perfect :)

  28. Image for Jeanne Jeanne

    Love the table transformation! And for some reason it seemed so funny that you marked the spot for your husband to cut the table leg. I wanted the legs cut off a counter height stool so it would fit under the kitchen desk. My husband wouldn't cut the legs since he thought I was crazy, so I had to cut them myself. The stool is only a little wobbly but fits right where I want it. :)

  29. Image for Kristin Kristin

    I'm so glad you found a way to keep your table. Dining tables are so important in the life of a family. Our kitchen table was my grandparents'. It was going to be sold at their estate sale back in the 80's, but as my mom looked out the kitchen window that morning saw it there in the yard, and said, "Too many stories have been told around that table. I don't know where it will go but we can't sell it." This was in Ohio; half the family was in Oregon and the other half was all along the East Coast, but my aunt and uncle hauled it home to Virginia. One of my cousins took it for a while during graduate school in New York, and then I acquired it while living on Cape Cod. Now I'm back in Oregon and the table is still with me. It's not ideal for space, but as my mom said, too many stories were told around it. It even has a couple burns from my grandmother's cigarettes! And now it's the table where our family stories are told. Long-live dining tables!

  30. Image for Shan Shan

    I love your style. You have inherent talent that just can't be replicated. Wow! Anyway, will you consider putting your cute printables onto a printable calendar? I want one to put on my fridge! Thank you for sharing all you do.

  31. Image for Julie Julie

    Absolutely love the "new" coffee table. Perfect for that room (porch). Fabulous idea, and awesome hubby for helping. Happy New Year!!!!!

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