From Ashes to Beauty

How do you handle stress? Hard things? Bad news?

Covid 19

George Floyd

Ahmed Aubrey

So many things to process. It’s overwhelming at times and I run to the garage. I insert my ear buds. Worship music flows. Loudly.

Books are listened to

Podcasts are absorbed

I’m not sure hiding in the garage is what I should do but it’s my safe place

Tonight, I delivered a piece I have working on for a couple of weeks. It’s been the piece I ran to. Here’s the story:

A “few” years ago, a vanity was dropped off.

What do I do with it?

It’s not really my style

It’s really cool and has so many pretty details

Stick it in the hoard.

Way in the baaaaccckkkkkk

Move it around every few months while looking for the next thing to work on

The husband rolls his eyes as it’s moved and as you say “one day I’ll figure out what to do with that piece.”

A few weeks ago, I had a paint brush in my hand, big shock, and I swiped the front door of the vanity to see what it would look like painted white. Still no plan in sight.

Fast forward a few days from the paint swipe………

I received a message from an old friend

“I’m curious do you do projects/furniture pieces for others, like for sale or no?”

I replied “Yes girl!!! What can I help you with?”

She needed a vanity for her daughters room.

I thought to myself………..for real???

We exchange pictures of the vanity. I explained that it was ROUGH and imagination would be necessary to see its beauty and the potential

The front piece was broken off completely
Love the casters

I received the “Go” to restore!

I repaired

I primed

I painted

I distressed 💜

New knobs – thanks Hobby Lobby for always having cute knobs

I even lined the drawers with the cutest fabric

Never give up on the perfect place for pieces. While it didn’t end up in my house, it will now be loved in a young woman’s room

Making beauty from ashes is not only a hobby, but it allows me to block out some of the noise of the world, even for just a few moments

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This morning as we woke and swung our legs over the side of the bed, the sweet feel of grit was welcomed.

Not really welcomed

Our bedroom has been undergoing a facelift and while it’s fun to see the newness come to life, there are things that are suffering.

I would rather put on my work clothes and work outside than clean ANYDAY. But some days, cleaning has to come to the top of the list.

Today……. it’s clean the floors.

Cleaning the floors means more than swiping a mop across the floor because as the cleaning begins, so many other things are needing attention. It becomes a giant black hole.

To do list begins.

Does anyone else need an “in your face” list? Mine is written on the mirror.

In sharpie

I wanted to prepare our bedroom for an “after” photo but obviously it’s not ready. And I am really ok with it.

Our church series has been on pausing.

Hitting pause is H.A.R.D.

As it I look around and see the undone things.

Missing trim on the insides of the 1903 original windows
Hanging photos
Missing knobs

I didn’t repurpose our bedroom for anyone else but us. A room to welcome us in the evenings after a long day of work. A retreat.

While I will still enjoy writing and taking pictures of the before and after, I’m going to pause for a minute and enjoy the ride

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Mother’s Day 2020

Mothers Day Sunday usually includes a row at church filled with family members honoring the mothers. Sweet hugs from friends and the many happy Mother’s Day wishes This Mother’s Day is a little different because church is held in our living room sitting on the couch eating a muffin and drinking coffee in our shorts and t-shirts.

My kids are still here all under our roof. They know my thoughts on the “Hallmark holiday” but know my heart skips a beat when can be together. I’ll take it no matter what day is.

Happy Mothers Day to my mom.

She’s be the first one to admit that Mothers Day is just another day because she wants to be loved and appreciated every day vs. presents and a special meal one day a year. Moms middle name is helper. She is the best sidekick and is always willing. She’s Jack’s bestie and you can find her most days rocking a little boy or helping me in the garage. Happy Mommas Day cutie. We love you
The second Momma in our home is Courtney. Mommy to Jack (3) and Luke (8 months). Dedicated is an understatement. I watch as she mothers, teaches, disciplines and mostly loves those two little boys. There were times in her life motherhood wasn’t in the plans but God had a different plan. I watch her be sweet and attentive, loving and stern when necessary. Happy Mothers Day sweet daughter.
You make me so proud

We have a new mom in our home . While she is not in our everyday craziness, we still have the honor to listen to stories about your big kids and the grand babies. Happy Mommas Day D. Your house family loves you

My babies aren’t babies. They are all grown up with families and lives of their own. However they will always be my babies.

I birthed you

I raised you

I whooped you when nevessary

I kissed your boo boo’s and wiped your nasty noses

I loved you then

I love you now

I’m forever grateful to be your Mom

On this day May 10, 2020 happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, the wanna be moms, the mom whose heart aches this day for whatever reason. Know that you are thought of, prayed for and loved.


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Basement Apartment Bathroom and Laundry

The bathroom…….

It might not be the first room you think of as the absolute favorite but it is mine.

The bathroom size is astoundingly large for a studio apartment. It’s roomy, has plenty of storage, a really large shower and even a washer and dryer.

You walk into the bathroom through the cutest of sliding doors painted the same pretty blue as the kitchen and bedroom cabinets.

The first step was tiling the shower. White is my jam. I knew I wanted subway tile but how would it be laid? I saw a photo of a stacked pattern and knew immediately that’s what I wanted .

Sticking with the black and white theme of the house, we added black penny tile for the shower floor. The entire apartment floor is waterproof vinyl planks that match identically to my original 1903 hardwoods in the main house.
The icing on the cake
The cherry on the top
The whipped cream
The fixed shower wall!
It’s my favorite of all favorites, can you tell?
I ordered it three different times and it came broken every time. I thought about giving up but the fourth time was the charm.
A slim IKEA cabinet added for towels and such fits the space perfectly
The vanity was a single so the counter space was lacking. There was room on the wall that was already being used as an access for the washer/dryer. A couple of cute basket with jars that can hold a toothbrush and other necessities was the perfect choice
A full size stack washer and dryer makes going to the laundromat obsolete
A simple vanity
The cutest of wooden mirrors
Some wooden shelves finish the space



Love the bathroom

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The Basement Apartment Bedroom

A small and mighty bedroom is what we have.




And a surprise

Since 266 square feet is super tiny, I wanted the decor style to flow from little space to little space.

Here is the bedroom
Bed – 54”
Two closets – 18” each
Nothing more
Nothing less

This was my inspiration photo

I wanted colored cabinets surrounding the bed
I wanted a pop of color on the wall behind the bed
I wanted lights
Dang…. I wanted a lot
The stock cabinets we purchased for the kitchen had the same style in a pantry.
Pantry – Closet
Same thing right?
So we bought 2
The overhead cabinets were not so easy. There were no stock cabinets that measured exactly what we needed so Mr. Handy built it. Now what do I put in those holes?
Metal bins?
I struggled with those holes for sure. All spaces need smart storage

I did not have troubles with the headboard! Some plywood. A little batting to give it cushion and pretty fabric and bam!! A beautiful headboard.

We added trim around the fabric
Bought some fantastic lights that pull out for the perfect reading opportunity. We added a wooden shelf for a book, your phone or whatever would be at arms reach since there is no room for a bedside table of any kind.

Remember those holes I didn’t know what to do with?

I went to the hoard and found an old nightstand. The drawers? Oh my word. They fit perfectly.
We added poles for hang up clothes to each closet
One of the best surprises in the bedroom is the hydraulic lift bed. With a gentle lift, there is 54” x 74” of premium storage. And no one has to even know.
We added a ceiling fan and some soft and pretty linens.

The door to the left is the bathroom and next I will show you the prettiest room in the basement apartment renovation.

I’m excited to share!

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Jack is 3!!!’

When you were born you made me a grandmother. I’m your BB

When you were 1 you were sweet and inquisitive. You look so much like your daddy and you absolutely have stolen our hearts.

When you were two, you became a big brother!!

I blinked and now you are 3 (you say thaaaaaaareeeeeeee!)

You are so sweet.

You always pray before you eat and most of the time you say the Lords Prayer
You still look like daddy
You have a lot of fun with your friends when we aren’t quarantined
Swimming is one of your favorite things
You are a fashion statement
We have so much fun
Jack and Father O’Dougherty
You are so handsome
You are a good sport
You are Papa’s sidekick
You drive a really nice Mini Cooper
Trucks are your favorite. Diggers, firetrucks, dumptrucks just to name a few. You also are a big fan of Steve Irwin the Crocodile Hunter
You love when Uncle Kyle comes to visit
Nana is one of your very favorite people. You knock in her door just about everyday and yell “NANA!”
You might be part monkey
Look at that smile
Sometimes we cook together. We were making biscuits
You are an excellent helper
Sharp dressed little man
Your very favorite people
and Luke

Jack William Wissinger I cant believe that you are already 3 years old. You fill my life with so much joy. You are loved from the inside out and all the parts in between. Today we celebrate your special day.


Your BB

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The Basement Apartment Kitchen

Once the plans were drawn up and I knew how large and in charge the kitchen would be, I went searching for inspiration.

Should it have white cabinets with dark counters like the big house?

It just didn’t feel right. I wanted it to feel like my vibe but it needed to have a flair all its own.

This photo stopped me in my tracks. While we don’t have a window and I didn’t have room for a farm sink…….the cabinets were my jam. Cottage farmhouse! I found the vibe I wanted.

I began searching for the perfect shade of blue, found the best backsplash and color matched the white I wanted for the walls and trim.

The budget did not allow for custom cabinets built by the fairy cabinet maker so we searched Lowe’s and Home Depot for stock cabinets that would fit. Can you even believe, after picking out the most fabulous of refrigerators, the stock cabinet sizes were perfect.

No fillers were needed

It was a miracle

I wanted white quartz counter tops.

Nothing more. Nothing less. But when the quote came back $1600 for less than 6’ of counter with a sink hole I might have cried a little. Come on!! I just couldn’t not justify spending more on the counter top than the whole kitchen cost. I hung my head and shopped the laminate section of the store.

Oh my word people. The marble looking laminate was absolutely positively wonderful and I am a little ashamed at my behavior over laminate. Forgive me laminate for doubting you. $300. Are you kidding me? I was ecstatic.

The last thing to do was slide in the full size narrow refrigerator, install the microwave/convection oven (do you know you can even bake cookies in this thing?) and call it a day.

A cute coffee mug holder.

The cutest basket on the wall for fruits and vegetables

A flowered rug

This kitchen is a wrap

Tomorrow is Jack’s 3rd birthday so my post will be ALL Jack but I’ll come back Saturday with the bedroom.

Have a fantastic Thursday

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The Basement Apartment Living Room

The basement/apartment needed a place for rest, for reading, for watching TV and anything in between. Nothing is big so I needed to create all this in approximately a 6’ x 8’ space

I knew I wanted an entertainment cabinet. The wall it would be on was a very specific size. I kept my eyes peeled at the Interfaith Thrift store and one day landed on the perfect piece. It was UGLY but changing ugly is my specialty.

I removed the top drawer and framed it in. This made a space so that design wise it could be a little different. Add a basket, stack books, whatever. The space was also going to mimic the rest of of our home. Lots of white, black and wood. I wanted to call it “farmhouse cottage.” You’ll see where the cottage comes in tomorrow.

Painted black


I added some very discreet handles I found in the hoard and it’s done

With the discount from the Interfaith Thrift store, I think I paid $15 and the rest of the stuff I already had.

The next step was seating. This was the hardest part by far.

I really wanted a couch.

I REALLY wanted a sleeper couch so that more than one guest could sleep if necessary.

I searched for a loveseat

I searched for a futon

I searched for an extended chair that pulled out

It was ridiculous how much I searched. Everything was just too dang big.

So I stopped stopped searching and one day, as I perused Pier One I sat down to rest my feet.

I sat in the most glorious, comfortable, velvet, perfect color gray chair and I knew immediately it was THE chair.

But because I can’t just buy it because it’s perfect….. I had to go home, shop the web and make sure I was getting the best deal, fret over wondering if it was the perfect purchase and then wonder if I waited too long and it would be gone.

I finally bought it and it was a great choice!

Now it needed a foot stool.

I had already purchased fabric for another project. More on that later too! I had a footstool hanging out in the hoard and I asked Mom if she would be willing to cover it for me. I wish I had a before picture but I don’t.

I added a fluffy rug.

I painted the cutest outdoor metal table which was originally teal and made it into a side table for the already perfect chair.

Some plants and a pillow were added.

The TV is on a swivel and extendable mount so that it can viewed from anywhere in the space.

The AC is currently having a cover made for it and hopefully it will be done this week.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post. The living room in the basement apartment is cozy, practical and perfect in my opinion.

Tomorrow is the kitchen!

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Basement bar

The basement apartment needed a table or an island or BOTH.

When a person only has 266 sq ft to work with, you have to think outside the box

I found this piece at the Interfaith Thrift Store. It was the bottom half of a large buffet.

Solid Wood

Stanley furniture


Yes! I can make this work

I want it to have double, triple, even quadruple jobs

It needs to have storage ✔️

It needs to provide a space to sit and eat, or work, or watch TV or ? ✔️

It needs to match current decor ✔️

Since I didn’t get the top part of it, a counter would need to be built

The height needed to be perfect.

Many legs would sit under the “pretend”‘counter trying to determine the height. Short barstools? Taller barstools? Fat or skinny barstools?

So many options

But look at all the storage!!

Counter built

I spray painted the already cute hardware and put it back on

Even the back needed to be cute so I added wood trim to match

The top was stained to match and the doors were put back on

It was meant to be

The perfect size

The perfect piece

And even cute from the back

This week is all about the basement apartment.

I hope you will enjoy seeing all the details

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A Dresser for Carter

My sweet neighbors are having a baby boy.

“I’m looking for a dresser.” Lauren asked.

“I have one. But you will have to use your imagination.” I replied

It’s broken and needs a lot of love but it’s really old, really cool and has a solid marble top that would be perfect.

“I trust you” she said so I went to work .

I glued
I repaired
I sanded
I primed
(Always prime)

We picked out the prettiest shade of blue. Dixie Belle Dusty Blue

The hardware was put back on. We decided the original was perfect so all it needed was a little soap and water

Just for a little surprise, I added his sweet little name to the top drawer

It took a little imagination

Some elbow grease

And a lotta love, but baby Carter now has a place for his jammies.

Love you already sweet little boy 💙

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