Reclaimed Dining: Breakfast Room Table

I love dining tables.
At just seventeen, I bought my first one; and the obsession was born.

There's something so special about the time spent around the table. 
I just recently shared some of our kitchen and dining room here.

I crave not just the delicious prepared meals but the time of lingering and talking.
So, it was a no brainer when Cowboy pointed out this metal outdoor dining set at an auction.

I forgot to take a "before" pic as usual but it was all metal with no seats or table top.
We had some scraps of "car siding" similar to what we used on our family room ceiling.

The texture and warmth of the wood against the classic black metal is such a great combination.
(For those wondering about the "how-to"...after fitting together the wood pieces we removed the top and drilled holes in the metal to secure the wooden top to the table.

The next challenge was the chairs. I was thinking I would cover them. But, when Cowboy cut out wooden seats and I glossed a little stain over it I fell even more in love with the contrast.

Don't mind the toilet seat in the background. Things get a little crazy around here.

After the stain was dry, I put a couple coats of coconut oil on the wood. 
I use this on quite a few of our tables and our butcher block island as well. 

We hope the new family enjoys many meals and memories gathered around their table.
We enjoyed so much of the Good Maker's Market and to all of you we say...

From R7 to you --
Be a blessing.

P.S.  For another fun dining idea you can check this out...

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Warning: Beautiful Barn!!! - Good Makers Market

Last weekend we took R7 Reclaimed on the road to the Barn at Bunker Hill 
for the first ever Good Maker's Market.

If not one shopper had showed, I could have spent the weekend just gazing at this barn!!

But they showed up ready to have fun and hunt treasures and handmade goods.

We had such a beautiful weekend!

The photo booth was a hit!

One bride-to-be even carried a photo booth away to use on her big day.

This beauty was a show favorite and the smile was priceless from the young junque shopper who has a new vintage style makeup case!

The sky was so blue and made the perfect backdrop for the beautiful barn!

I love the timeless juxtaposition of delicate and hardworking captured in this photo.

The grass was green and soft under my toes and another young shopper will travel the world in vintage style with her new leather carry-on.

I love these classics all mixed together. If you look at the background you can see the old pews brought in and covered in quilts for shoppers to take a break and enjoy live music!

I never tire of refreshing the displays and meeting people.

It was fun to add a few fall touches.

In the early morning light, Cowboy and I even enjoyed a little breakfast 
at this beautiful table before it was carried off to its new home.
You can see a little more on how we made it here.

We were overwhelmed by the kindness and excitement that all showed for our dream we call R7.
We appreciate those who encourage us!

P.S. If you want to look petite just have your picture taken by the tall corn we grow here in Iowa!

From R7 to you --
Be a blessing.

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Uninvited: The Assignment of Loneliness

One of the very special parts of my recent trip to She Speaks was hearing Lysa TerKeurst's first message from her new book Uninvited. She poured her soul out to us and the whispers of "me too" could be felt all through the room. 

(This post is part of a blog tour for the new book and you can learn more or join here.)

I remember the first time I spoke of it. As a young teenager I contemplated how a girl like me with a big smile, good grades and often surrounded by friends could feel so lost - disconnected from the crowd and longing for the close friendships it seemed so many others enjoyed. What was wrong with me?

In sharing my struggle with a counselor and mentor she encouraged me that maybe God had a plan for my life that would make this time useful. She proposed that perhaps one day I would be a preacher's wife and need to be content with many friends but not find those close and thriving friendships I was craving. I began to accept that feeling of loneliness as God’s will for me.

Through my teen years, my parents once thriving marriage crumbled, and I looked for anything to fill the void. I entered a marriage of my own fresh out of high school and accepted that even in marriage, loneliness was my lot.

God did have plan. He did want to use my lonely feelings. But, if you know my Cowboy, it was not for me to be a preacher’s wife! Loneliness was not some special assignment from God. No. We all feel desperate for relationship, connection and love. Those feelings of longing and wanting are part of His plan to draw us to Him. His will and was for me to fall deeply and completely in love with Him because He first loved me. He made me to want. He wants me to find that life giving fulfilling friendship with Him.

I had the privilege this year of attending She Speaks. While I was there I was challenged to ask others to describe me in one word. The words came pouring in and I was astounded by the encouraging words and then I saw it. My Sunday school teacher from high school wrote one word.


Tears poured down my cheeks. As I sat among hundreds and hundreds of women in a beautiful setting, taking in the best teaching and worshipping with incredible music and sincerity, there it was -- one simple comment. Loved.

That’s His will for our loneliness and rejection and hurts. To be loved by the only One who can fill our love cups and heal our hearts.

 As a Proverbs 31 volunteer I knew I would soon receive the #Uninvited book, but I couldn’t wait to dive in and start reading on the plane home.
“Live from the abundant place that you are loved, and you won’t find yourself begging others for scraps of love”

So I invite you to join me this fall as I reread the #Uninvitedbook and unwrap this truth. 
"Even when you're overlooked by others, your are handpicked by God." - Lysa TerKeurst

You can learn more and get a free chapter here
You can join the online Bible study and request my small group (#82 )here.

And...I'm giving away a FREE copy of the book so follow me on Facebook or Instagram to enter!

From R7 to  you --
Be a blessing.

Pickin' Part One: Clues and Tips for Flea Market Shopping

Where do you find stuff? That is absolutely the most commonly asked question when we share R7 Reclaimed Vintage. It's a tough question to answer because the answer is everywhere
Nothing is off limits.
Flea markets, garage sales, thrift stores, estate sales, auctions, burn piles and trash day!

But...there is a better question to ask that I think might help...
HOW do you find your stuff?


It's a little like looking for treasure. 
The clues you find along the way will guide you to where to start digging.

After a little practice you will be able to sniff out the bargains...

So the first step to gatherer clues is to understand the lay of the land. 
In other words know the kind of shop, event, or market... 
    • Is it a "vetted" or "juried" event? These usually have fancier names, lots of online advertising, vendors styled beautifully and made to be an experience. At this sort of market you are likely to fall in love with many items. Prices will be mid-range with many custom pieces but also similar items among vendors. At this type of market do a quick scan around looking for the most unique vendors with one of a kind items that catch your eye and then come back to shop signs, furniture, pallet goods and such. 
    • Is it an old fashioned flea market? This may look like junk piles, animals might be sold, and the rows and rows of tables might be easy to look past. Prices will range greatly at this kind of market....from true antique show prices down to garage sale prices. At this kind of market you need the most strategy and it's not such a good idea to browse because most items are one of a kind.
    • Is it an antiques show or shop? These can be presented in so many different ways from carefully curated to borderline hoarder style. The items are typically authentic and prices well researched. Theses are becoming unique treasures and splurging for something and learning all you can is well worth it from time to time. 

So once you have clues about where you are it's time to pay attention to more specific details.
I think the best way to describe what I do next is "sorting" -- not physically but mentally.
  • Dishes, glassware and collectibles are quickly scanned and price range noted. These take a little more time to browse through and because it has to match each person's individual taste or collection it's more likely to be there when I come back through. The exception would be if I note especially good prices and then I will shop right away.
  • At all times, I keep my eyes alert to really unique items or very functional furniture.
  •  I also sort out by textures and materials...such as enamels here, galvanized there, wood over there and so on. (I take a quick peek at prices too just to get an idea in my head.)
  • I also note unique handmade or really inspiring pieces

*Note -- this isn't a long process, just something I do quickly in my head.*
As an example with these pieces I would quickly categorize galvanized farmhouse (the feeder), barn wood primitive (the gate), shabby chic vintage (wicker), personalized (custom letters)  

And this chair is an example of something that I would stop in my tracks and ask about because I know if it's a good price it will go quickly.

So once I have a map in my mind I begin gathering the next set of clues.
  • I move through a booth seeing what is really unique. If I was writing an article about the vendor what would I say? Whatever makes them special -- that's probably what I want from them.
  • I make friendly conversation. Understanding one's personality makes it easier to have a conversation and sealing the deal. Most vendors WANT to talk with you.
  • I don't dwell. If I'm not instantly intrigued or in love with it. I move on. 
  • Does it have a place and a purpose?
  • Have I seen one before? If so how does the price and condition compare?
  • Does it have a purpose? Could it be used to store or organize or is it strictly decorative?
If I'm stuck I try to imagine a place where it would look great. For example this feeder is easy to instantly think of a Jo-Jo style "Fixer Upper." Once I have one of those rooms in my mind then I see it --- perhaps files or papers in the upright section and pencils or pens in the tray. Little magnets on the front to hold a memo. Now I a kitchen, office, playroom -- it has potential!

This is first in a series, so come back and I will give more tips on treasure hunting including how to pick a hoarders pile, how to negotiate respectfully, and how to bring home the right mix!

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From R7 to you --
Be a blessing.

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