Friday, October 29, 2010

"For this child, I have prayed"

We had a baby shower at work for Chamblee, a physical therapist, who is welcoming a baby girl named Hollice soon. I asked for a sneak peak of pics of her bedding from our boss, and when I saw the yellow and green, came up with this...

This painting was a personal first for me in a couple ways. It was the first painting I ever completely free-hand painted, without penciling anything first. It was also the FIRST painting I completed in my new home art studio! (Which you will see soon...)

I came to the startling realization recently that my paintings will not be "Katie Marconi"s for much longer, so I'm going to try to do as many as I can while I can still sign that signature!

"For this child I have prayed, And the Lord has granted the desires of my heart."
1 Samuel 1:27


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dresser makeover-Shabby White Distressed

Our guest bedroom is going to be set up in a shabby, comfy, cottage style. The walls are already a textured faux suede finish that will work perfect with the cozy feel.

The first big piece to be completed for this room was the dresser Sean and I had in our house in Conway. I got it out of our barn after it was left in one of our rental houses. I stained it with a walnut stain and got a good 3 years out of it...But I'm not finished with this baby yet.


For revamp number 2, I sanded it down and painted it Ivory white, then...of course...distressed the edges. I used the same hardware and spray painted it with metallic spray paint in nickel.



Nickel hardware:

An old wrought iron bed is in place and I'm working on finishing up accessories and bedding. What do you think about how the dresser turned out?

Stay tuned for more...


Monday, October 25, 2010

Entryway Staircase and Vintage Telephone Table

I love "statement" entryways. I've had a few images bookmarked for a long time now and combined elements from each to create an artsy, bold entryway for our house. As a reminder, here's a before pic of our entryway taken when the previous owner still lived there:

I picked up this vintage telephone table, also known as a "gossip bench" at a little thrift store in West Memphis called Sacks Thrift Avenue for $30. It was thickly painted with a green and white crackle paint and was an absolute nightmare to sand off. It was one of those projects where I'm cussing myself in my head for taking it on.

See? He's giving me the "I can't Ba-LIEVE you brought this thing home" look.

But it always pays off when I see it through to the finish, and I LOVE how this turned out.



I knew I wanted it red as soon as I saw it. I painted it red with a can of paint left by the previous owner of our house, sanded areas to distress, then coated those areas lightly with a black stain and glossed it over with polyurethane. I hate that the camera could never capture the true wall color. It's a deeper teal than it looks in the pics.

A close up of the distressing:

Lastly, the cushion was recovered with solid black fabric, that will probably be changed out frequently based on my mood.

I'll stack books underneath and there's a little clipboard to leave notes on top. I bought it at my favorite salvation army store back in conway. It was brass and, well, just plain fugly.


But it was $.5o and I knew it would be precious. All it took was a coat of oil rubbed bronze spray paint.


The genie-inspired lamp was another salvation army find, and I actually think I found it on that same trip. It was also brassy and cost only $4.00. I spray painted it with silver spray paint and put a temporary white shade on, until I can find a cute patterned one.

I took a before pic but it was so long ago that I can't find where it's saved...sorry!

In a red frame I found lying around, I placed an 8x10 photo Sean and I took the day we got engaged. I found the red painted wood at a local flea market for $.50 and on it, wrote a scripture from Song of Solomon with the date we got engaged in roman numerals.


After: "I have found the one whom my soul loves."
Song of Solomon 3:4

Piece by piece, this big puzzle is coming together. I've got kitchen, office, and guest bedroom projects to show, so check back!

~The Grays

Linking to:


Sunday, October 24, 2010

White Chicken Chili

I'm still in disbelief that fall is here again and Christmas is coming soon. I feel like just a moment ago, I was making one of our favorite chilly weather comfort foods, White Chicken Chili, at our house in Conway on a rainy day after school.

And now after just a blink, the season has come again. We've been enjoying football games and preparing for our housewarming party that is in a couple weeks!

The first (and only!) meal I have yet to cook in our new house was this delicious creamy chili. After too many nights of delivered pizza and fast food takeout, I forged through the mess in the kitchen to give us our first real meal in ages. My recipe is a mixture of lots of white chicken chili recipes, and is always different. Here's a round-about version of what I usually put in.

White Chicken Chili
  • 2 15oz cans of white beans (Northern beans)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3-4 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 14oz cans of chicken broth
  • 1 cup half and half or milk
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 4oz can green chilies, drained
  • 4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1.5 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
Cook your chicken in boiling water until no longer pink. Remove the chicken and set aside.
Empty the pot and saute the chopped onion and garlic powder in butter for 2-3 minutes. Add the flour and mix until incorporated.
Add the beans, chilies, seasonings, chicken broth, and milk and bring to a boil.
Reduce your heat to low, add the cheese and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Top with a sprinkle of extra cheese or a dollop of sour cream.

Another option, is to omit all the seasoning and use McCormicks White Chicken Chili seasoning packet. I've done both so you can go either way!

Happy Fall yall:)


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Distressed End Tables

As Sean and I were on our way to go garage sale-ing one day, Mrs. Pam asked us to keep an eye out for any end tables. Being the fixer-upper that I am, I asked, "What's wrong with these?"

Well, as you can see, they were old and ragged like she said, but I saw a project in our future! I showed her some pictures of different paint and distressing treatments that we could do and we got to work.


We sanded them down with a sander, then painted with black satin acrylic paint.
When the paint dried, we sanded the edges and sanded even streaks with medium sandpaper to distress.
Then, used our finger dipped in wood stain to darken the sanded, bare wood.

After a coat of glossy polyurethane, they were done!

*The befores are of the round one, and the afters are of the square one, but they were identical.

The after:

They are now rustic contemporary and fit in perfectly with her living room.

She loved them so much that we've done the same to her mantle. I'll update soon!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

And grace will bring us home...

Are you feeling a little neglected? From the "anonymous" posts to the random followers I've run into in the last couple weeks, I know that you are! I'm so sorry to leave you hanging all this time...but I'm about to give the same ole excuses. Life is a crazy whirlwind , I've been going non-stop...yadyada. But it's true! The work week goes by in a one long blur, then the REAL work starts when we try to complete as many projects as 48 hours will allow, weekend warriors style. I haven't been able to find ANYthing in the jumbled mess, but when I unpacked our weight scale I saw just how truly on-the-go I've been lately! It's time to get back to a healthy routine, which you'll be glad to hear, includes regular blog posts!

I can say there is now light at the end of this unsettled, uprooted, chaotic tunnel we've been living in during this move. You are about to be bombarded with ENDLESS amounts of pictures and projects I have to share with you. Coming Soon! I'm so excited for you to see! For now, while things are still pretty crazy at work and home, I'll let you in on a little sneak peek of what's been going on in the house on Delta lately...

We were FINALLY able to move into our home, after over 2 months of anticipation and "in-between" living. On Saturday, October 2nd, we pulled up to our new home with butterflies...

Only to find the owner still there. At the risk of being charged with stalking, we drove one house down to my aunt and uncle's house a waited in the driveway as I called the owner. We weren't desperate or anything...

We waited mere minutes more and were finally able to walk in for the first time as "ours". I walked around with my hand on my heart, not sure what to do and feeling so beside myself. "Is this real?"

We couldn't waste much time being awestruck...we were on a very limited time frame and had alot of work ahead! A crazy 45 mph windstorm was blowing through as we loaded the necessities, our bed and bags, into the house for the first night.

I was so exhausted that night, but felt so at "home". We slept like babies.

Until 5:30 am when both of us were wide awake, ready to get a start on the big move. Lots of amazing friends and family pitched in, and we accomplished so much in a short time.

The kitchen was the most important room for me to get "settled" first. It's the heart of any warm home and deserves the most attention.

Everywhere I looked, my "workers" were unpacking and organizing. I would still be doing it 2 weeks later if it wasn't for them!

Ashley and Owen took a break to snuggle on the back porch! Yes, I allowed breaks in my sweatshop.

The living room filled up with our loot pretty quick. My cousin Marissa diligently unpacked box after box.

Once things had calmed a little, we wasted no time lighting a fire to relax. Remember, a fireplace was a MUST for us!

Bonus points if you can guess how many dogs we collectively had roaming around...

6, I believe! But a home without a dog is no home to me.

We truly have accomplished alot in the 11 days we've been here, but I need this weekend to take pics. Can you give me that? To tide you over, here's the collection of empty "Befores" I took as soon as we walked in the doors.


It was the first room we painted. The scalloped black and white valances are gone and it has a totally different feel now.

We couldn't wait to take the curly-cord phone off the wall! Actually, we didn't wait. It was gone asap.

The Dining Room looking into Entry

Living Room

The GIANT master bedroom...we call our current bed the "Barbie bed" because it looks so tiny in here!

They are about as pooped as we are!

Hang in there while we wrap up a few things this weekend. I hope you are enjoying the beginning of fall as much as I am!