Posted: under Homemaking, Travel.
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Oia, Santorini

Oia, Santorini

Patina –  (noun) – color and texture of the surface produced by wear.

Is it any wonder that I am attracted to furniture with patina?  Immediately even new furniture in my home takes on “patina”.  Certainly  you can purchase mechanically pre-worn furniture, but honestly, no factory can reproduce the impassioned fork marks on the top of my dining room table made by my toddler.  Or the teeth marks on the bed post. Or the tire tracks on the coffee table.

I am comfortable with having love-worn furnishings instead of those that are shiny and new.  I gave up superficial perfection long ago.  My priority is child rearing, not House Beautiful.

But there is a tension between “vintage” and “neglected” and between mature, refined furnishing and those that are dilapidated.  It is hard to verbalize, but I know it when I see it.  And I have never seen age and antiquity harmonize with beauty  so well as it does in the Greek island of Santorini.

Fira, Santorini

Fira, Santorini

In all of my travels I have never seen a civilized place so beautiful as Santorini.  Perched on the caldera of a dormant volcano, it basks in the Mediterranean sunlight in glorious shades of blue and white.

Sun drenched Santorini

Sun drenched Santorini

I suppose if I had to name a “perfect day”, it was the day my husband and I hiked from Fira to Oia.

Doug and Cyndi

An attempt to revive the memories of that day inspired the color-scheme of my homeschool room.

Blue and white church

I spend most of my waking hours in my school room.  We built it as an addition to our home the year after our trip to Greece.  I knew exactly how I wanted it !  Abundant sunlight.  Geometric patterns.  Vivid blues and creamy whites.

My schoolroom

My schoolroom

Three chairs in my much-used schoolroom crossed the barrier from “well-worn” into “spent”.  They are antique chairs but are not valuable.  I frequently have to re-glue and clamp them.  No chair can withstand the mechanical leverage of a child leaning back.  Every one of my nine children seems determined to assault my chairs.

Looking not-so-charming

Looking not-so-charming

I was contemplating the replacement of these chairs when I stumbled upon a number of wood refinishing Do-It-Yourself sites while unwinding before bedtime.  (I know.  I should have been knocking out that summer reading list. )  But I was inspired!  I rarely embark on DIY projects, but I rocketed into this one with a sense of determination.

Four steps would take me through the project.

1.  Paint furniture with a vibrant-colored base coat.

"Oh no, what have I done?"

“Oh no, what have I done?”

That moment when you wonder if you should stop.

That moment when you wonder if you should stop.

2.  Apply lightly a neutral-colored top coat using a “dry brush” technique.







It is desirable for the base coat to peek through the top coat.


3.  Roughen edges and vulnerable areas with 80 grit sandpaper.



4.  Apply a tinted glaze, then promptly wipe it off with a damp paper towel.

Waiting to dry

Waiting to dry

The final effect

The final effect


My children were critical of my project.  “Mom, why did you make that chair ugly?”

My tough critic

My toughest critic

I am pleased with the result.  The colors are warm; the chairs are visually interesting.

Basking in light

Basking in light

In no time, I am sure, this paint job will be dinged up, peeled off, and worn out.

At home in the schoolroom

At home in the schoolroom

My faux painting will have achieved “patina”.



Comments (1) Sep 17 2013

“I need a vacation!”

Posted: under Homeschooling, Reading list.
Tags: , ,

“I need a vacation, ” said the woman who travels every chance she gets.

Yes, I am talking about me.

More specifically, I need someone to come feed and nurture my family while I chain myself to a hammock.

Maybe somewhere like this:

Roatan, Honduras

Roatan, Honduras


“Why?” you ask?  Why would I try to flee the care and comforts of the family I love?


I am so behind.

There are twelve books haunting me on my nightstand.  AND THAT DOESN’T INCLUDE THE NOVELS I DOWNLOADED TO KINDLE!


Summer reading / Teacher inservice





Cognitive skills training and executive skills training.

I think I’ve read some of each book, but have yet to finish one.

Why am I so behind?

Then it dawned on me.  My youngest child is three years old.  I have not nursed a baby in two years.  I got my  best reading done during those years of nursing younguns, when I had to get off my feet and sit still.  I used to knock off several books a week, but now I struggle to finish a couple per month.


The LORD certainly knew what He was doing when He designed the whole “nursing mother” plan.  He knew that a mother with an infant needs to get off of her feet every two to three hours to nurture that little one.  At the time it seems inconvenient, but it is restful for the body and refreshing to the mind and  soul.  I miss those times, and now my ambitious reading list, my “homeschool teacher inservice training”, is haunting me with the Specter of Unfinished Business.

And that leads me back to my dilemma.

I need a vacation.

Or better yet, another baby.


What was on your summer reading list?









Comments (0) Aug 15 2013