If at first you don’t succeed…

By March 24, 2014 Gifts, Projects, Vintage No Comments

Bless me Father for I have sinned. It has been 23 days since my last blog post. I’ll say three Hail Mary’s. On my knees…

Over the last several weeks I’ve been gearing up for the Little Prairie Girl Barn Sale happening on Friday, April 11 and Saturday, April 12. If you’ve never been – it’s a MUST! A woman by the name of Natalie Meester turned her good old Iowa dairy barn into a gift shop. On occasion from Spring through late Fall, she hosts Vintage Market Barn Sales. The loft of the barn, along with the adjacent Hen House and Machine Shed, are transformed into vendor space for local shops and individuals to showcase their talents. The focus? Repurposing, antiques and more.


Little Prairie Girl Gift Shop

Be there or be square!

I had been thinking about submitting an application (it’s a juried sale) for sometime and on a whim I decided to contact Natalie to see if there was still space. Much to my surprise, I was accepted with open arms. So far, I’m only committed to the April show. I’m hoping to make enough to, at least, break even. Anything beyond that would be an added bonus. At first I was worried about filling my humble 10’x10′ space and now I’m beginning to get a bit concerned about how I’ll manage to haul all of the AWESOME finds I have stumbled across in the last month. Thank goodness my husband bought a trailer awhile back for his electrical company. Unbeknownst to him, I was secretly doing mental cartwheels at the thought of all of the “junk” I could scavenge with that trailer! Today while we were perusing Menard’s he bought more bungees and tie downs and said they were “for me.” I think he may be on to me.  But, YEAH, for bungees!

Anyhoo…back to my preparation for the sale. A few of the projects I’ve been working on include some seasonal Easter decor, a small dresser/nightstand in the most amazing shade of turquoise, a recycled crib bench and some glorious accessories in shades of pink, orange, red, yellow, antique white and hints of grey. I found inspiration in this amazing fabric and these adorable little Easter eggs.

Can’t wait to share everything I’ve been tackling!

I love the feeling I get after I finish a project. Most times I stand back and I’m just tickled with the results. Giddy, in fact – like a crafting high. Or, maybe it’s all of those paint, glue and stain fumes I’ve been sniffing. I did have turquoise boogers the other day from all of the spray paint that undoubtedly made it’s way into my lungs. Hmmm… So, usually there’s a lot of giddiness, and then, on occasion, there are those epic fails. I had one of those fails this week. Luckily, the only thing it cost me was time and a few dollars.

I’ve been working on a small child’s table that I converted from a sad looking end table. The top was pretty beat up so I sanded it down and talked my father-in-law into letting me use his shop for some re-staining (because it’s heated and the weather here is still freezing ass cold). He assisted with a couple of coats – it took three! After some additional help from Annie Sloan for the legs, I was ready to decoupage a sweet little vintage ABCs poster to the top. It was my first attempt at a large-scale decoupage and let me tell you that anyone who says it’s easy is either a. lying or b. LYING! The paper bubbled, warped and looked just plain AWFUL after it was permanently attached to the top of my beautifully stained table. This project had just earned a big fat ‘F’ for ‘FAIL!’ After scraping off what I could by hand, I introduced the top to a belt sander. Bye bye, beautiful stain. Ugh… And now the big question, what to do with the top?! The poster was one of a kind (but luckily only $1.50 at Goodwill). I didn’t want a run-of-the-mill painted top and I didn’t really want to take the time to stain it yet again. And then – AH-HA – the solution! Chalkboard paint – and I happen to already have some on hand for a couple of other projects. So…now something that looked really awful and elementary, looks classy enough for any playroom. A+

After a bit of meditation, I realized this little lesson in crafting says a whole lot about life, too. We all know the saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” But should we keep “trying” the same strategy over and over until we get it right? If we really aren’t good at baseball should we just keep playing baseball until we make our way to mediocre? Or should we maybe try football or tennis? And maybe we went to college for a certain field and we get our first job, but we don’t really love it. Should we keep trying the same job, in the same field over and over until we find the position that makes us just kind of happy? Or should we dig deep and ask ourselves what we’re passionate about and perhaps change direction? I’m not sure I know the answer, and I’m not saying we should change direction simply because our first try wasn’t successful, but maybe we shouldn’t be so afraid of a little change either. After my little end table lesson I now like to say, “If at first you don’t succeed, maybe, just maybe, you need to change your plan.” Oh yeah and there’s this little takeaway too. Everything, even really big, epic fails, can be fixed. Even if it means you need a really big belt sander to remove a few layers of the crap to get back to the good stuff.

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