Thursday, June 30, 2016

Vintage Enamel Table Re-Do

Last summer I took some time away from writing -- ah, well, that happens more often than I care to admit, but anyway -- I took some time to unleash other kinds of creative energy. As a result, I refinished an old, enamel table. You may have seen these kinds of tables before in your grandma's basement or on Pinterest. They were popular in the 1950s.

I bought my table at a rummage sale 30 years ago. It wasn't for sale, but I asked the seller if she had a table, and she showed me an old, white and red enamel table tucked in her basement. After showing it to me, she hemmed and hawed, but finally let it go for $20. Money well spent!

My little Evan Marie (30+ years ago), licking the beaters beside the table.

At the time there was rust on the top, and one of the slide-out leaves didn't work well. But I was merely looking for something to use as workspace in my kitchen, so I dragged it home and did something I wish I'd NEVER done. I covered the top with contact paper. Not once, but a few years later, I did it again. So there were two layers of contact paper on the table top. Ugh!

Years passed, and as we moved about we dragged that table with us (which had been used for myriad purposes) until it ended up here on the farm. Eventually it wound up in the basement, where it got covered in stuff for about ten years or so. Unfortunately, it also got rustier, as my basement is occasionally damp.

I thought about fixing it up on a few different occasions, but it wasn't until I needed a base to put a computer hutch on top of -- a place I could use as something of a "secretary" for my cards and writing supplies -- that the table really popped into the forefront of my mind. So I yanked it upstairs, and here's how the project went.

Now, mind you, I'm a far cry from being a perfectionist when it comes to projects like these, so the outcome probably could be improved upon, but I'm very happy with the results.

Rusty & Musty!

Go ahead, laugh at my tools! The knife beat a scraper, and I WISH I'd had a heat gun stripper, but I had to make do with a hair dryer. Hey, it worked.

Last of the blue contact paper, and on to the red checked.

I didn't want to lose the "Seal of Quality" with the maker's identification, When it came time to paint, I took some of that poster mounting putty that you buy in little strips and molded it over the label. Worked perfectly! Peeled the putty off easily afterward. I did the same thing on the drawer knob, because I was having trouble removing it.

Silver metallic spray paint for the legs! They make everything nowadays.

Stripped down, sanded, wiped clean.

It's coming along! I can't tell you how hard it was to paint those red stripes. I tried taping lines for spray, but that smudged all over the place because the lines sit inside hollows or wide grooves. I finally free-handed with a narrow brush. Took two tries, and it's imperfect, but I am totally satisfied.

Jeff, my hardware guy *heart* putting it all back together.


TA! DA! There she is! Isn't she pretty?
The table is comfortable in my upstairs "she room". This room used to be my daughter's. She got it in her mind a few years ago to remodel. I helped her strip and refinish the old painted floor (no hair dryer on that project!) and then she painted the walls in red (on the bottom) white on the top, and one upper wall black. It looks like an old fashioned school house. I love it, and my table looks perfect in there.

Now I have a pretty cloth on the table top for protection, and the upper half of my computer hutch sits on top, working as a secretary for all my stationary supplies.

And I'm on to a new project! I believe I'll soon be fixing up my vintage camper.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Featured Novel: Bitterroot Bride by Angela Breidenbach

A beautifully spun story about the power of second chances. ~ Amazon Reviewer
I loved The Bitterroot Bride! The part where she compares church 
to riding a trot made me laugh out loud.  ~A. Chatman

About the book:

No one knows the real Emmalee Warren, just what they want from the infamous prostitute. Men are coming out of the woodwork to stake a claim on the miner's widow. They wanted her body before. Now they want her money. Hiring a lawyer, Richard Lewis, to save her from financial ruin might let her start over where no one knows Miss Ellie. Becoming an unknown is the only way to freedom…or is it? Can she leave her past and build a new future?


Chat with Angela:

Ques: We heard there was something special that happened to you while writing your fourth book in the historical romance series, Montana Beginnings. What was special about the Bitterroot Bride heroine for you?
Angela: Writing Miss Emmie learning to read became an amazing experience. Though I’d learned to read at four, I didn’t understand how to connect and read people until well into my adulthood. So while Miss Emmie became proficient in reading, I became proficient in relationships. She’d eat up every book she could get her hands on and studied with intensity. I did the same thing, but about relational topics.

Ques: When did you realize the parallel character arc had so much in common with your real life?

Angela: About halfway through the first draft an epiphany happened. I stopped, took a day or so to really think about my personal experience, then began an intentional focus on writing the emotional parallel.

Ques: What do you hope Bitterroot Bride does for readers?

Angela: I hope this story is both entertaining and encouraging. I’d like readers to absorb the idea that like Miss Emmie and me, if you have the desire to learn something then you can. Age doesn’t matter.

Ques: Can you tell us the titles and a little about the Montana Beginnings series?

Angela: All four titles are set in Helena, MT from 1889 – 1895. It’s right when we became a state, but mining couldn’t support us forever. The Debutante Queen introduces us to Calista who steals an orphan off the street to protect her from a cruel master. Eleven Pipers Piping brings forward the newsies, newspaper boys and orphan train leftovers, into Mirielle’s classroom. Then in Taking the Plunge, Delphina takes us back to the iconic Broadwater Natatorium as a swim instructress. Then Emmalee enters the scene as we find out how Montana chose her state flower. Each of these lovely Victorian ladies finds her true love while carving out a meaningful life in Montana’s frontier. 


About Angela:
Angela Breidenbach is a bestselling author and host of Grace Under Pressure Radio on iTunes. Angela is the Christian Author Network's president. And yes, she's half of the comedy duo, Muse and Writer, on social media.
Connect Here:
Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest: @AngBreidenbach

Monday, June 13, 2016

Featured Novel: The Babel Conspiracy by Sylvia Bambola

The Babel Conspiracy by Sylvia Bambola, was the first book I've read from this author. It will not be my last… it is very well written and at times, you won't want to put it down. Looking forward to reading more of this talented author! 
~P. McGuire

The Babel Conspiracy 
by Sylvia Bambola

About the Book:
The Babel Conspiracy is a tale of intrigue and love. Two women engineers struggle to develop the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft amid ever intensifying global terrorism and muddled personal lives. Trisha Callahan has an abiding faith in God, and “those roots of middy blouses and pleated skirts, prayer books and incense-filled churches went deep.” This faith is tested when she finds herself in love with a married man. Audra Shields sees herself as a modern Lady Chatterley, “liberated but not forsaking breeding, intellect, or femininity.” When she becomes involved with a dangerous stranger, she begins to question her lifestyle. 

Both women try sorting out their personal problems while racing the clock to finish a project fraught with sabotage and murder. And who’s behind it all? When the Department of Homeland Security and the Mossad finally figure it out, the answer surprises everyone.


What readers are saying:
“It has been quite a long time since I have read a book such as this one, one so pertinent to today's landscape of life. The author has written an excellent novel that could have been pulled from tomorrow's headlines - from both political and scientific advancement points of view. . . . I highly recommend this book for those who love intrigue, suspense, fiction, and a little bit of romance. The book is well paced, has plenty of action, and good character development.” Rachel Helms

“The Babel Conspiracy by Sylvia Bambola is a very thought provoking novel about the way that things could be in the U.S. in the near future. We need to humble ourselves before the Lord and pray for America in these perilous times. The characters were well developed and the story shows God's love and redemption.” Linda Rainey

About the Sylvia Bambola:
Sylvia Bambola is the award winning author of eight novels, including Rebekah’s Treasure (2015 CSPA Book of the Year/Christian Historical Fiction) and The Salt Covenants (2015 Reader’s Favorite

Bronze Medal Winner/Christian Historical Fiction). A resident of Florida, she teaches women’s Bible studies and has two grown children.

Where to find Sylvia: