Archives for October 2012

Working on the Master Bedroom

Do you remember a post I called the “Cast of Characters“?  In that post, I was gathering things for  a wall display above our master bedroom dresser.

It moved a little further along today.  I’m not finished, but do you like it so far?

Master Bedroom Dresser Wall

At one point, it looked like this….

MB Dresser Area With Green Plastic Pot

The Annie Sloan Chalk Paint product said it will work on plastic, so I painted that green pot “Duck Egg” blue.

Annie Sloan Duck Egg Paint on Plastic Pot

I laid these cheap bracelets from Kohl’s out so everyone would think I was very neat in the way I remove my jewelry. One is actually plastic…the smaller one. I looks like real silver and I’ve had it for over two years! The bigger one is something cheap, too. I’ve lost any good jewelry I’ve owned, so I don’t even bother to try. I’m a junk jewelry kind of person!

Hey…I’ll bet I could paint them with the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, too!   Just kidding.

Here’s a plate I moved from the bathroom. I used to have several of these and I accidentally broke three in one day. I almost cried.

Here’s another angle of how this area currently looks. Notice the little blue frame with nothing in it? It will say “Family” in chalkboard paint when I get this finished.

Above the Dresser in the Master Bedroom

.I have never really liked the way the master bedroom looks in this house. With the new slipcoverered chair and ottoman coming and the new bedside end table…

Duck Egg Annie Sloan Painted End Table

I may change my mind and like this room!


Rosemary in Mendota

Mendota did not get snow. Mendota got rain. Sniff.

All kidding aside, I do not mind. Our friends and family in the northeast have had a very scary two days. They are safe. I am grateful.

However, I had intended to wow you with snow pictures. Would a rainy gray background of my weedy rosemary do instead?


This demonstrates how forgotten my garden became at summer’s end. The walk to the rosemary inspired me to make rosemary potatoes for dinner, so I picked quite a bit before returning to the house.

I also passed by one of the mums  I transferred from the pot to the ground just a few days ago. I know…a bit weedy. I’ll get around to taking care of that!

Mums in the ground

If these mums “take hold”, I’ll have them to enjoy for years. Here’s a few that are several years old. They are looking a little sad at season’s end but they have been putting on quite a show for at least 8 weeks.

And lazy gardeners listen up! I left last year’s pumpkin out so long that it rotted. As a result, I have been treated to a Cindarella pumpkin which I’ll be displaying on my Thanksgiving table. Wow! Have you priced these pumpkins? Thank you rotten pumpkin seeds! This picture makes it looks small, but it’s a good size and perfect–even though it is growing laying on its side.

It’s time to get the rosemary inside. I picked quite a bit of rosemary, so I’ll hang some up to dry…

It will dry in this basket…the kitchen is smelling so good! I’ll pick more in a day or two.

When it dries, it’ll go into the little rosemary spice jar I made last summer. I’m still in love with spray on chalk paint.   I painted this lid and talked and talked and talked about it in this post.

Rosemary Herb Jar With Chalk Paint

Back to the potatoes. My potato picture has a shadow…it’s me…loitering about with the camera wishing these were my homegrown potatoes, but I only grew three potatoes this year. A total potato disaster here at RiverCliff Cottage. Here’s a sprig for the potatoes I bought…

A couple of tablespoons of olive oil and a dash of seasalt. Oven preheated to 425 degrees. This will be ready to eat in about 35 minutes. I am so hungry…

Thank you for reading RiverCliff Cottage.  So much!


Snow and Slipcovers

Back around 2002/2003, I lived in Massachusetts. I’ve been fortunate to live quite a few places, and for the most part, I’ve enjoyed everywhere I have lived. Massachusetts was more challenging for me. My “southernness” made me feel like…”a whore in church!” Really!  Excuse my French!

In spite of this, there was one thing I loved during this time. Snow. We had an extremely snowy winter in Massachusetts. After a sad day of worrying about my mother in Virginia, worrying about how my dogs were barking in our overly-tiny, overly-expensive yard, longing for that yellow house on the hill in Mendota…thinking about this…..

Swinging Bridge, Mendota, Virginia

I’d just ache to be in Mendota, Virginia. I’d turn on the back porch light and watch the snow fall. I’d cry until I became distracted by the beauty and magic of snowflakes.

Tonight it is October, and we have a forecast of snow in Virginia. I’m hopeful that some time tonight, one of my “dear girls” (Gracie or Luckie Dog) will wake me..or maybe just the excitement of the possibility of snow will wake me…and I’ll turn on the porch light and see snow falling. If that is the case, I’ll sit in a chair and just watch it.

This time, there will be no tears.

Maybe I’ll wake up to this…

I hope your life is as good as mine.

Present day….I’m continuing working on my house…updating it…and attempting to use what I have. This will save me money, but it will also keep a piece of furniture out of the landfill.

I’ve wanted a chair and ottoman for the master bedroom for a long time. We have an office upstairs that I’ll be reworking in the spring of 2013, and I found the perfect chair and ottoman in that room. However, it is the wrong color. I thought about having it reupholstered, however, my cats and their desire to sit on everything in their path…Yikes! I decided to have it slipcovered.

However, I can’t sew. If you’ve read this blog in the past (for instance…here), you know that I’m hopeless at sewing.   If only I could!    I have read numerous blogs, tutorials and videos about how to slipcover furniture.   I considered it, but my husband accurately told me “you can’t sew….in fact…you stink at sewing.”

I asked around and received the name of Danette Mayfield. Danette is from North Carolina but she makes the trip over to the Tri-Cities every so often for both slipcover and upholstery work.

I called her, sent a picture of my chair and ottoman and got her price.  I already had the fabric.  She was very reasonable.

She came over two weeks ago. Here she is…

Danette Mayfield Slipcovers

I don’t know what I expected with the slipcovering.  She took the creamy white twill fabric that I had and cut it to fit the furniture right on the spot. How smart!

The room is a wreck.  We have paid no attention to this room in years.  When our doggies became too feeble to go up the stairs, we quit going up the stairs.   Annie is already gone, and Luckie and Gracie are 14.    It is bittersweet to know that we’ll be using the room again in the near future.

Thank you Lord for the 14 years of sweetness.

Danette was fast.  I felt comfortable with her, and, in fact, left for breakfast while she continued working.    She’s a doggy person, too, and she had her border collie with her.   I took a picture of her dog but it didn’t turn out well enough to include in this post.

Danette said she’d be back in a couple of weeks with my slipcovers for the red ottoman and the red chair.  They’ll be moving to the master bedroom all happy with their creamy white twill look.

I’m off to look for snow.


Mendota Cemetery Quilt 2013

Hi! I’ve been gone for a few days. Well, not gone, but not online. I’m back!! I’ve missed you!!

When I started blogging in April, one of the earlier  posts  involved our Mendota and Mt. Vernon cemeteries and the fundraising that supports the upkeep of these cemeteries.  Dale Jett and Hello Stranger put on an amazing show right here in Mendota during May.  Here’s our talented and kind pals….

That show also was the kickoff of our quilt raffle. Both were very successful. And fun!

Now…present day!   It’s time to get ready for 2013! In just a few weeks, we’ll be setting the date for the 2013 benefit; and earlier this week, a few of us met in Kingsport to purchase fabric for the new quilt.

We planned to visit several quilt shops, but we found exactly what we needed at a shop called “Heavenly Stitches Quilt Shoppe” on Ft. Henry Drive in Kingsport. One of the owners, Paul, was there,  and we yakked it up with him. Very nice.

The quilt we’re making is a “flying geese” pattern, so this year’s quilt will be called “I’ll Fly Away.” Recognize that? “I’ll Fly Away” is a song made popular by the Carter Family and one that Dale, Oscar and Teresa sing regularly and DO AN AWESOME JOB!! It all ties together. Beautifully.

And Heavenly Stitches has lots of fabric to choose from…a rainbow of color!

Fabric Array at Heavenly Fabric

Here’s the fabric we selected for the new quilt.  The first one in the lineup…the black and blue…was the “inspiration” fabric.

Fabric for Mendota, Virginia Cemetery Quilt

Since I’m a quilter wannabe and not a true quilter, I can only tell you the little bit I know about the fabric selection…you have to have a dark and then a light for this quilt.

Mendota Cemetery Quilt - The Chosen Ones

We’ll have several work days on the quilt, and I’ll be participating. I’ll take you along and show you the progress of how these fabric selections become a beautiful quilt.

Paul, the owner of Heavenly Fabrics, invited us to look around at some of the quilts on display.

Black Quilt at Heavenly Stitches

Have you heard of the Shiloh Baptist Quilters in Benhams (Bristol, Virginia)?   I’m not sure what the relationship is or how this quilt ended up at Heavenly Stitches, but Paul said this is their work.




My New/Old Blue Annie Sloan End Table

I took some pictures of my new/old end table that I painted with the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in “Duck Egg”. It’s a blue/green and looks very good in our master bedroom.

I hummed this song while working on the table…”Songs sung blue…everybody knows one…”

Duck Egg Annie Sloan Painted End Table
I think the next line is…”Songs sung blue…every garden grows one…”

The table is distressed and “chippy” looking which I like. I am no furniture finisher, but I am happy with the outcome of the table. I love it that I never had to prime or sand anything. Just slapped that paint on!

Annie Sloan End Table 2

I know I have droned on about my old/new end table for days. Ahhh…it’s done (at least for a while…I may stencil the top but that’s for another day)! I’m not keeping the lamp that is shown in this picture. It came from Target, and I like it but I think I can find one I like better. In fact, I’m leaving in just a few minutes to return it and continue my lamp search.

Duck Egg Annie Sloan Table 3

Do you remember? “Old Yeller!” Ugh…

End Table Before Picture

Back to present day…I like books on my end table. Have you ever heard of Miss Read? My sister, Pat, and I collect them. Very good “falling asleep” reading!

Books on theend table

On another subject, the 2013 Mendota Cemetery Quilt took its first baby steps this morning as Chris Schazenbach, Linda Stock, Margie Dean and I went and purchased the fabric. I can’t wait to share the name with you!

Until then…XXOO


The Drawer Pull Arrived!

Whew! It was a work day today! Did I tell you I’m working about three days per week at my friend’s business, About Face Aesthetics, Skincare and Weight Management? We are in the business of making people look and feel better. Who wouldn’t love a job like that?

And…I sent my friend, Sue, out to find the drawer pull for my end table. Here’s what came home. For $2! Love it.

The Endtable Knob

Now the downside of working today is that I did not have good light to take a picture of the end table that I painted with the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

I’ll be including that in tomorrow’s post.

Until then, XXOO


Asheville and My Shoe??

This post is about two things. We had a really nice weekend and that is the first part.  The second part has to do with my shoe. 

On Saturday, Mike and I along with our friend, Sue, drove to Asheville to meet Marc (Mike’s son) and his family. I wanted to deliver their two pumpkins.

I forgot the pumpkins.  Ouch!

It was a perfect weekend to make this trip. Look at this…

Mountains Near Sam's Gap

And this..

Mountains Near Sam's Gap 2

And how about this? If you believe folklore, we’ll have eight or nine snows this winter.

Wooly Worm

We met Marc, Mary, Jack and Connor at Neo Cantina. It’s a Mexican restaurant in downtown Asheville near Biltmore. We meet them at this same restaurant about three times per year. It’s a fun tradition.

Here’s a picture of all of us…

Beaule family

And then I looked up in the trees and saw this bit of sweetness…

Connor in the tree

And this cute 13 year old….

And here are the older kids and the really older kids…

And a good picture of Marc, Sue and Jack…

And now the shoe…

My cousin’s husband, Sammy, pastors a small church near our house called Pine Grove. While we are members at Mt. Vernon in Hiltons, I like attending Pine Grove occasionally because everyone is family. Really family!

This is a Revival Week at Pine Grove. Tonight was the first night of revival and at the close of the service, Pastor Sammy asked everyone to come to the alter and kneel or sit nearby for the closing prayer. Since I’m able to kneel, I joined the “Kneelers.” My sister was right behind me with the “Sitters.”

The prayer was steeped in sweetness, and I was thinking how much I loved the intimacy of worship with family and neighbors in this rural community.

And then it happened. It was like a flash of realization! I realized that this…

$29.99 TJ Maxx Shoe

Was prominently displayed while I knelt! It was all I could think about!


Annie Sloan Paint Project Day 3

Woo hoo! I am getting very close to having this project done!   I’ve been working on it a few days and talking about it in a past post. 

My end table began the week looking like this…

End Table Before Picture>

Tonight, getting close to the finish line, it looks like this.

It’s not done. I need to find an antique glass knob, and all of the antique stores I’ve visited tell me about the ones they USED to have!!   Also, this needs a final coat of clear wax with another good buffing.  Maybe a new lamp, too?

Tonight when I went down to the shop, the table was sitting there completely dry with two coats of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in Duck Egg that I applied over the past few days. “Duck Egg” describes a green/blue/gray color.  My friend,  Sue, tells me it’s green, and I tell her it’s blue. 

So following the two coats of chalk paint, this piece was ready  for the waxing process. I’d read online tutorials on the waxing  process following the chalk paint application, so I knew that the next step was to apply a clear wax. Annie Sloan makes a full line of products, but I had only the paint. I used a different brand of clear wax and it worked fine.  With any project, there are a dozen ways to get to the end result.  Sometimes just starting is the hardest part. 

So, back to the waxing.   The clear wax has the consistency of a heavy lotion so I brushed it on.  I used a  paint brush we had on hand.

Clear Wax for Chalk Paint

Once this clear wax is applied, it needs to dry a set time. For the brand I used, which was Miss Mustard Seed’s clear wax product,  the time was 3-5 minutes.  I had this wax because it was included in a milk paint kit I won last week at the Southern Bloggers Conference.   Use what you have. 

After 3-5 minutes, I wiped the wax with a soft lint-free cloth. It was actually a pair of Mike’s old underwear. The next step was to follow with the glaze. It was called wax but it has the consistency of glaze in a pot.

So…Sue and I brushed this all over the end table and let it dry for about 3-5 minutes and wiped it off.

And another view…

The “antiquing” step is the place where your preference weighs in on how you apply the wax. If you want a piece of furniture that looks like you found it in  a coal bin, then lay it on thick! If you want something that looks slightly aged, take a lighter approach.

I’ll be showing you the big reveal for this piece when I find the knob. I’m going to cheat on the hunt and look on Ebay tonight. Is the internet great or what?

I’ve had fun doing this project.    When we bought this end table, we lived in Acton, Massachusetts, and it was ” hurry, hurry…make a house a home.”    I did not make the wisest purchases, but with this new look, I think I can enjoy this table for a long while!



Little Trip Down The Road

So if you’re reading my blog regularly, you know that I have been working on an Annie Sloan Paint Project.    I had every intention of getting it close to completion today, but I didn’t get that done.   Instead, Sue (a friend staying with me a couple of weeks) and I started down the road, and I wasn’t really sure where we were headed.  Home Craft Days at Mountain Empire?  Gate City?

As we headed out of Mendota, we passed this…the Mendota Baptist Church.

Mendota Baptist Church, Mendota, Virginia

This is the church of my childhood, and many of our social activities revolved around the church.   My mother, Vivian Barker, was president of the “Training Union.” I have no idea what a Training Union actually did but we were there on Sunday evenings for the Training Union. Mrs. Virginia Shankle was the pianist in the morning, and Jack Nickels was the pianist during the evening. Jack played “by ear” and Mom said that he played fast and made her want to dance.    Can you imagine dancing at a church in Mendota in the early 1960’s?  Shameless.

Back to present day!

Sue and I  parked in front of the church and entered my friend Katie’s store (which is only open when she wants to open it!)  She and her daughter, Dawn, were getting things together for a booth at  Home Craft Days. I knew they were busy, yet I also knew they wouldn’t mind if I slipped in. We are lifetime friends. I’ve known Katie all my life, and I’ve known Dawn all her life.  She’s a grown woman now, but I held her when she was  just days old.  Here’s the inside of the store…

Mendota Store

Mendota Store

When I look at that table, I imagine a time when Katie retires that we might share tea there.   Maybe our sisters will join us?  Wouldn’t that be nice?

Look what I found….

Pumpkin Painting on Window Frame

I bought it!

We headed off to Gate City!   This means we’ll be traveling into Scott County, Virginia, on the A. P. Carter Highway.

AP Carter Highway, Scott County, Virginia

I know what you’re thinking…God’s Country.  You could be right!

Gate City is the county seat for Scott County, and it’s an authentic downtown. In larger cities, town centers are built in weeks, but in Gate City, the town center is real.    This picture was taken on the main street which is called Jackson Street.    

Gate City Main Street

There seems to be a spirit of renewal. I think loft apartments would be great in Gate City, and there may already be a few. Oh look! My True Love (Lowe’s) has been here! Sigh.  Wonder what this will be?  Do you know?

 We decided to eat at the Family Bakery.

In September, Mike and I attended our friends’ daughter’s wedding. The Family Bakery catered the reception meal, and it was delicious.  They took special efforts to ensure everything was perfect.  For instance, the corn pudding was from corn cut off the cob the night before.  It would have been so much easier to use frozen corn, but they opted to use fresh.  I had seconds! 

The daily menu, however, is lighter than the catering menu. Sue and I split a Reuben sandwich and tomato bisque soup. I had a red velvet cupcake. This is a great place to get that red velvet fix without eating a whole cake!

There is wi-fi and a place to sit and surf the internet. I like Panera and Starbucks, but this is definitely better.  There are reminders of faith and family on the walls and comfortable seating.  

Family Bakery Wi-Fi

Cute fall decor and and I could not resist buying a dishtowel.

Fall dishtowel

Here’s another…

Thank you for reading RiverCliff Cottage and traveling down to Gate City with Sue and me. Why don’t you comment about it? I’d love to hear from you!!


Annie Sloan Paint Project Day Two

Let’s do something together…let’s watch paint dry…

Specifically, let’s watch “Duck Egg” Chalkpaint  by Annie Sloan.

My husband almost laid a duck egg when he figured out I was carrying around a piece of “perfectly good” furniture with intent to paint it…not just shifting furniture around.

What does he know?  Quack!


Tomorrow is waxing day. I don’t actually have the right wax so I’m using Miss Mustard Seed’s wax as a substitute.  I have no expertise in this so I’m just winging it.

If I fail, I can always redo it. I’ll be embarassed, though.


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