Not your normal Farm Table

One of my aunts was recently switching up her house and my great grandmother’s table didn’t fit her needs anymore, so I jumped at the chance to have it.  My mom’s grandmother Nanny had this table on the farm in western Kansas (hence the blog post title).  And it is BEAUTIFUL.  It has been well taken care of over its years.


The chairs are a little creaky, but I think that adds to some of the fun of having such a meaningful table in my house.


They look a little more orange in the picture above than they are in person, and they coordinate well with the furniture I already have in there.  I have a few more plans for the hutch in the corner… so stay tuned for some updates for that.


The fabric on the chairs is a beautifully textured champagne color that my aunt had chosen.  I love the fabric right now, but if in a few years I want to change it up, these are easy to recover!



I love the way it looks! And it is pretty incredible to think about all of the people who have sat around it, or shared meals together around that table.

By the numbers…

This dresser has been through a few reiterations.  This was another basement find from my grandmother’s house.  This is what it looked like when I got it a few years ago (minus the silver handle on the top right… I was testing out my new handles):


The dresser had been in the basement when it flooded and had a few issues.  The broken drawer (you can see the gap at the bottom right where the broken drawer had pushed the frame outwards) was fixed with a little wood glue and some nails.  The top is warped from the moisture, which I never fixed because it is still functional and isn’t overtly obvious (plus its not an easy fix!).

At that time I sanded this guy down and stained it with a Minwax Jacobean stain with a high gloss polyurethane coating.  It stayed in my master bedroom until we got married and needed a little extra clothing storage.  We upgraded this guy for our master bedroom and moved this dresser out into the garage.  Unfortunately I don’t have a good picture of what it looked like stained in the master bedroom (one day I’ll get the hang of this whole ‘taking before pictures’ thing).

I decided this would be a perfect canvas to do a dresser upgrade that I’d seen around the blogosphere, knocking off this Anthropologie Dresser (you can see some here and here).

I didn’t want to make this a big project, so I left the dresser exactly as it was and just bought stencils and some black paint.

First step, we centered the stencils on the drawer and added some painter’s tape, a little wider than the roller.


Next we just rolled on the black paint:


As soon as we rolled the black paint on we removed the stencils and wiped up with a wet paper towel the one spot that wasn’t as crisp as the rest.



I like that the numbers aren’t super obvious, but think it spruces up the dresser quite a bit! And for 15 minutes and less than 20$ (free if you already own the paint and stencils) it was a pretty stellar upgrade!


We’ve moved it upstairs already and it looks great in the space, but I can’t show you it without ruining the project I’m working on now, so you’ll just have to live in suspense…



Can I take your picture?

I’ve always loved photography, and am learning to be better at it.  I have those great parents who are supportive of all my new interests (of which there have been quite a few… piano, photography, woodworking, running… and most of them have stuck).  So when I was in high school they bought me a Canon rebel and classes to learn to use it.  Since then I’ve been kind of obsessed with photography.  I love a good photo, whether it be artistic or just a snapshot that captures that moment in time, I love them all. And since I have a collection of cameras old and new, the office walls were a perfect place to display this collection.

So when Nannan and I were going through her basement and I found some of these old cameras, I just knew I wanted to display them. Some of them are a little worse for the wear, but I love that they show how much they have been loved over the years.


The black box behind this camera is actually an old lunchbox that reminds me of ones construction workers used to take to work.  The larger prints are photos that an old relative of mine took.  The woman in the photo below is my great great great grandmother. Doesn’t she look like she is out of an old black and white movie? office-cameras-3

But you’ll notice, not all the cameras above are as old as others.  And that leads me to one of my favorite stories and one of my favorite people.  I had a professor in college who had also taught both my brothers and my mother when they were at the same university.  He and my mother had struck up a friendship and kept in touch off and on over the few years with the occasional Christmas card or update letter.  He’s definitely a quirky professor and an excellent teacher (although his favorite line at the beginning of every semester is to say: I feel like when I’m grading students I am really grading the teaching… and I am an A teacher!)


Vic believes very much in the supernatural and the meaning of dreams, etc.  And so one day my twin brother and I had gone to his house to visit and he said: “my wife (who had been deceased for several years) came to me last night and told me I should give you all of her cameras.”  She had been an artist and worked with a lot of photography medium.  Of course I told Vic: no no I couldn’t possibly take her things! But he said he had been trying to figure out what to do with all of it, and since she had told him so, he couldn’t possibly go against her wishes.  And thus I became in possession of all of her cameras and lenses and photography books.  I never look at these shelves in the office without thinking of Vic and his wife, and the generosity he showed me.


Also on this shelf is a little mug that my aunt found me.  Since I work for the family company, and am one of the only female grandkids that lives close to my family, I regularly get delegated to be the errand girl. (In my family, we are run by the women… my mother and her three sisters and mother are all wonderful, formidable women… and together… whoa) So my aunt found this little winged roller skate and it reminded her of me and my willingness to be the little winged errand girl. I love that she thought of me and have kept this here with some of my other treasures.


And finally tucked on the tallest shelf, is a cute little picture of my grandmother circa 1922.  I think she looks cute peeking out around all the cameras.