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Atta Girl Says: Milk Paint Carolina on My Mind Rocking Chair

Maybe just like a friend of mine, it hit me from behind.

Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint Carolina on My Mind Rocker

Yes I’m goin’ to Carolina in my mind.

Can’t you just see my former Carolina journalism professors failing me for not fact checking before I immortalized a misquoted James Taylor lyric in Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint? (At least it wasn’t a national memorial.)

Yep, I’m pretty sure this mistake would have gotten me a big fat F back in j-school.

OK, this was supposed to be a look-at-me, aren’t-I-so-clever post about how I transformed a broken down yard-sale rocking chair with milk paint and hand-made stencils.

Until I Googled James Taylor’s lyrics and realized that I did the thing I hate most on Pinterest. I made a sign (or in this case, a chair) with a glaring error on it. I didn’t misspell a word. And I didn’t confuse plural and possessive as so many people do. (Major pet peeve of mine!) But I did screw up the lyrics of a song that is the unofficial anthem of my alma mater. In paint.

It’s Carolina IN my mind. Not Carolina ON my mind.

Carolina on My Mind Rocking Chair

I’m blaming it on all that Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill wine we chugged back in the day and all those Time-Out chicken & cheese biscuits we ate to nurse our hangovers. I bet Billy at Time-Out would have had something insulting to stay about my mistake. (Sorry for the trip down memory lane for those of you who aren’t fellow UNC grads; you had to be there, and if you were, you probably remember Billy fondly.)

Carolina Vintage Mini Market Featuring Atta Girl Says Sophia's Decor and Farmhouse Decor

I’ll be taking this chair to the upcoming Carolina Vintage (mini) Market to sell, and I guess I’ll be getting out my French Enamel Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint and my Old White Chalk Paint again to fix my little big mistake. Don’t you think I should? Won’t most North Carolina residents, and certainly most Carolina fans, spot the error immediately?

Atta Girl Says: Milk Paint Carolina on My Mind Rocking Chair

The thing is, I never intended for this rocking chair to have Carolina connotations. It wasn’t conceived as a piece exclusively for Tar Heel fans. But in that Carolina blue color, in this market, I’m sure that’s who will buy this.

This rocker has been sitting in my garage for months, a yard sale find.

Recently, I decided I wanted to give it one of my signature stenciled paint treatments, like I did with the child’s tricycle chair, my stars-and-stripes chair, the Coca-Cola chair and the Sinclair dinosaur stool.

Driving one day, I spotted a bumper sticker on the back of the car that said “Cackalacky,” which is slang for Carolina. Lightbulb moment! I knew then I wanted to paint a North Carolina-themed chair with the state silhouette on the seat and James Taylor’s lyric on the back.

North Carolina on my Mind Rocking Chair

My original plan was to add a red cardinal — the state bird of North Carolina — to the back of the chair. I also planned to paint the heart in the center of the state red.

North Carolina State Silhouette Rocking Chair

But my husband and mother-in-law convinced me to keep the blue-and-white motif, saying that this way the chair would appeal to both UNC fans and North Carolina residents. Since I’ll be selling the chair in Raleigh, which is N.C. State territory, they both said the touches of red would be a sure turn-off for any diehard Tar Heels.

Of course, I’m not sure I should be taking decorating or decorative painting advice from a Wake Forest graduate (my husband, Bruce) or a woman who named her cats after the 2009 UNC men’s basketball team. (I am not making this up! Kitty-cat Tyler Hansbrough and Deon Thompson are still around, but feline Wayne Ellington died a few years ago and Danny Green recently ran off. We think pussycat LeBron James might have been involved in his disappearance. My inlaws have so many cats that Bruce and I are unsure of the fate of Ty Lawson. Really people, I am not making this up. Those are her cats’ names. In the past, she has also had cats named Michael and Jordan.)

Atta Girl Says: Milk Paint Carolina on My Mind Rocking Chair

Anyway, back to my chair. I really do love how it turned out. Except for the misquote.

Miss Mustard Seed’s French Enamel is a pretty good match to Carolina blue. I can just imagine this on someone’s porch. Maybe Roy Williams is in the market for a rocking chair.

I’m pretty sure the dean of the journalism school won’t be buying it.

Linking up to Project Inspire{d}


  1. Oh my goodness. Your mother-in-law and her cats cracked me up! I remember that team. As a die hard Carolina fan who went to UNC-G (the OTHER Carolina) I appreciate this chair. I know you can’t imagine this, but TIm started rooting for Duke just to spite me since I was such an obnoxious UNC fan. That’s what we did as kids. Watch UNC basketball games. I had a mad crash on Mike O’Koren in high school. (I know, you’re way too young to remember him. He wasn’t very good.) Thanks for the laugh and I hope the market does great!
    Marty Walden recently posted..Best Ever Homemade Hamburger BunsMy Profile

  2. Doris Henson says:

    That chair ROCKS…..pun intended! :-)

    Doris Henson

  3. Too funny – I thought it was ON instead of IN too! Love the chair and I’m sure that some wonderful UNC fan will snap it up fast! I’d like to see how you make your homemade stencils, btw.
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  4. Yeah- we Southerners are picky about our color combinations, aren’t we? Love the rocking chair!
    Ashley recently posted..Happy House!My Profile

  5. Hysterical Amy! I love the misquote and the cat story. As an NCSU grad, I would have loved to see the heart WOLFPACK red, but the chair is adorable and it will be snapped up (even if you left the misquote!).
    Holly recently posted..The Accidental GardenerMy Profile

  6. Love the chair Amy….would love to know how you got that NC image on the seat…would love a tutorial in the future!!…The chair will not last long at the sale…it is fantastic!

  7. What a great chair! Life to the full! Melissa
    Melissa recently posted..Coral Chalk Paint TableMy Profile

  8. I am a Carolina girl too (’02) and have just laughed out loud at the Boones Farm and Time Out part. That was practically its own food group back in the day.
    I do love that place and your rocking chair {misquotes and all}!!!

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