Tackling Projects

When Covid first hit I made a long list of projects I wanted to get to while I was off of work.  The list was LONG.  But…I was off for about two days and then I jumped into mask making.  Oh my.  I seriously made masks for about a month straight and my list languished.

I’m still off work.  My doctor still doesn’t like the idea of me going back to work as I’m still high-risk with my thyroid cancer return so…I’m doing the best I can do and trying to make things work.  It’s not an ideal situation.

Well with a few cold fall-like days in a row, that list is really calling me.  I know as the weather turns colder it’s harder to tackle some of the projects.  So I picked a few easy ones and jumped in.

I grabbed some graphite Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and painted the unfinished wooden box I bought at the thrift store for $2.


I did two coats of paint, sanded and the clear and dark wax.

It ended up like this…


I left the inside just raw wood.  I have my planner stuff and stickers inside.


I was happy to have that done…next up, my theater chairs.

I keep these in the garage between the basement door and the door that goes inside the house.  I bought them at a shop in Sumner Iowa.  I originally bought them so the school aged childcare kids could put their coats and backpacks here.  I had planned on restaining  them and cleaning them up…but like so many things on my project list, it didn’t happen.


On Labor Day weekend, I decided today was the day.


I didn’t intend for a full makeover, just a fixer up.  I had no ambitions to sand it all down to raw wood so adding a stain was good enough for me.

Here they are all done.


Note the packages sitting there.  The mail lady just dropped off my mail.  It looks like a couple of you sent packages.

I’m happy to be getting a few things checked off that list.  I’ll be even happier if I can check off a couple more things.  What’s on your to-do list?

20 thoughts on “Tackling Projects

  1. Jill Klop

    I don’t exactly have a to-do list, but wanted to say that I was diagnosed with Covid yesterday. I tried so hard to stay home, wear my mask, was/sanitize my hands and I still got it. My community has pretty low numbers for it too. So far my symptoms are mostly just fatigue. You are so smart to have made the decisions that you have about putting your Health first.

  2. Robin

    I love your chairs, and the placement of them. I’ve seen them at sales before but didin’t know where I would use them and you have the perfect solution. My todo list, or honeydo list, is about to get smaller today. Hubby is gone for a bit so I have a landscaper coming to redo the front of the house and a new garage door opener is being installed. Both have been on the list for years, it’s time they get done. Hubby is in for a big suprise when he gets home! I’m cleaning closets when they’re here. Tonight I’m going to peruse all of my Bonnie Hunter books looking for a pattern to use up scraps. You’ve been a great inspiration to me. Thanks for all you do.

  3. Donna

    I have a to do list that keeps building! Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait until we’resettled for the winter before I can tackle it!
    Good for you for getting started on it!
    Love and prayers

  4. Linda Lewis

    I am getting ready to sell my house, so I have several projects, some of which I need to hire out. The roof has been done, that was the most costly. Now I’m painting in the 2 spare bathrooms and refinishing the vanities, almost done. I have new tops on order and will need help installing. I’m in line to have my house power washed. Working in the yard and garden too. I feel like this was the time, since we can’t go anywhere. Blessings, Jo.

  5. Donna Weeks

    Great projects. Tackling a few small projects is motivating. I have been restating around the house and donating lots of vintage ”stuff” to our local Habitat for Humanity Restore store. Feels good to help others. This week I am working with a group of friends to create a prayer flag for a quilting friend who is struggling with her health. Next will be pillowcases for our local Seniors for Christmas program and then some for a 202 Fires Help project that will be mailed to Bear Creek Quilting Company in Lebanon Oregon.

  6. Sherry Whalen

    Yesterday I cleaned up all of the houseplants that had spent the summer outside – spraying for bugs, cleaning off the dust and trimming leaves. I repotted several, took cuttings of some of the really large overgrown ones. And discarded a couple that are just too overgrown and unsightly (this was actually the hardest part to do lol). It was a great job to get done – most of them are back in the house for the season so when the weather turns I will only have a half dozen to pull in. Today I clean up the left over pots and I can call the job done!

  7. sewhappy

    Hello: You are doing better with your list than I am. I see you did get my friend’s package for Carver. She continues to spoil him. I think he has a third Grandma :-) Happy Birthday Carver.

  8. Susan

    Jill, I too am so sorry that you have COVID. I hope your symptoms don’t get worse. Would you mind sharing where you live? I live in the SE corner of Iowa and feel that I have been dodging it.

  9. Judith Fairchild

    I really like what you’ve done with the wooden box and theater chairs. Getting started is all most always the hardest part. Congratulations on getting done.
    Jill praying you have a quick recovery from the Covid. Even a light case is not anything to mess with take care.

  10. Pat

    It is always such a good feeling to check projects off the “to do” list. I love your theater chairs . They look just right in your garage hallway.
    I have many plants to bring in the house and get ready to clean up. Sherry could you tell me what you used to eliminate the insects before you bring your outdoor plants inside.
    Jill, prayers and thoughts go to you. I hope you will be well soon.

  11. Linda White

    Jo, I just want to take a minute to thank you for sharing your long journey with cancer. Both yours and Kramer’s. Your wait and see attitude is so wise and I am claiming it for my own. My recent CT scan of my lungs (because I have a lot of nodes) showed an increase in number of nodes and one that has increased in size to 2.4cm.. that is just under an inch. So now I will be going for a PET scan, and likely to the thoracic surgeon for biopsy. I am trying hard to follow your example and not borrow troubles and staying calm and keeping the stress low. I can feel the weight of this tho, hanging over us. Now I understand completely what that waiting and staying calm is all about… and how hard it is.
    So thank you again for setting out the tools I am going to be needing as I get thru this time. We, like your family, will deal with whatever comes along… but we don’t have to like it!! Hugs and love

  12. Elle

    You’ve got me going! Today I am doing all the little things that have been piling up. None of them are even 5 minute jobs. I already have 13 done in 75 minutes! I have the next 4 lined up!

    Thanks for the kick in the butt Jo! I’m actually now looking forward to the rest of the day and feeling super accomplished when by bedtime! The final one and the reward? I’ll start quilting a super king size Snails Trail flimsy that I finished up just a week ago! It’s 56 blocks and for my brother/SIL.

    Happy Tuesday and happy get ‘er done day!

  13. Jill Klop

    To Judith Fairchild – I live in a small community north of San Antonio, TX. While their number had been quite high over the summer, my community remained very controlled.

    Jo- I appreciate your concern. It started out like a touch of the flu. I was very tired. No fever. A friend reached out and said he’d had similar symptoms and tested positive. Even though I had not seen him, that prompted me to go and get the test. I was very surprised to be positive. I feel fine now that I’ve been on some steroids. If I didn’t know I was sick, I wouldn’t know I had it. So, for now, I think it’s the light case.

  14. Sherry Whalen

    Hi Pat – I used a simple insecticidal soap. Mostly I want to eliminate the chance of bringing in aphids, so I spray heavily and group the plants together in the garage over night (or 2). Then I take them out and use my garden hose and spray them with water to rinse and hopefully knock off anything that is hanging around. I don’t know if it works but I haven’t brought in any bugs over the years and it makes me feel better lol.

  15. Deb E

    Love what you’ve done with the theater chairs! Adding the stain to fill in the bare spots and scratches has also kept the ‘character’ of the chairs, too. Good job! Love the box you stained, too. Doesn’t it feel good to get small things done & enjoy your home even more? We’re getting a TON of projects done (when its too smoky/hot outside, we go inside), and I’m sleeping much better at night knowing everything we do now will help us later on.

  16. Kim J LeMere

    Those chairs turned out really nice without stripping them. I have redone a few pieces of furniture but I would never of thought to just add the stain, so much easier when a piece just needs some brightening up.

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