5.19.2011

Here We Go 'Round The Mulberry...Tree?


We have a huge Mulberry tree in our back yard.
Actually we have two of them.
There's a smaller one near the herb garden.
I'd never seen a mulberry tree before.
I'd only ever sung the children's song about a
mulberry bush...or driven on roads named "Mulberry".

We moved into our house last October
 and all of the leaves had fallen off of the tree and I actually thought the tree was dead.
My husband recognized the tree once it started to produce berries a few weeks ago. He kept picking them off and eating them, but I don't eat berries without knowing for sure what they are. So a quick Google search proved Caleb right (see? I'm admitting to that rightness publicly!).

The berries are so yummy and the branches are COVERED in them!
They should be entirely ripe by about  next week. I can't wait to collect them and freeze them and bake with them and make myself sick eating them...

Yesterday I mowed the back yard and then I walked out back with a bowl of plain yogurt sweetened with honey and I just picked a handful of berries and dumped them in my bowl.
Yuuummmm!


Then I sat down with the latest Better Homes that came in the mail this week.


Life can have so many simple sweet moments if you just keep your eyes open for them.


What an unexpected blessing!



5.18.2011

I Love Houndstooth!



I love houndstooth fabric, but it doesn't always go with my usual taste in decorating.
Since my sun porch demands an eclectic antiquey nature vibe in the way it's decorated I thought this would be the perfect excuse to use houndstooth fabric. 
Joann's had some on sale for $7/yard. I only needed a very tiny amount for the footstool I was recovering, but I went ahead and got a yard so that I can make some throw pillows for the sofa on the porch.

I got this really strange-but-cool foot stool  a few months
 ago during that awful time of year known to many as winter.
 I personally call it torture...cold and I just don't get along.
So since I got it in winter I had to wait until Spring to spray paint it.

Before:
I paid $5 for it. The base is made out of metal and the top is wood. It had really icky old green
velvet fabric on it.
I spray painted it a bronze color I had left over from painting the ceiling fan.
I've never upholstered anything before (other than a dining room chair).
I'm sure there's a better way for me to have recovered this stool, but this worked fine for me.

After I painted it and let it dry for a few days I ironed my
fabric and laid it out on my cutting mat right side down.
I placed the footstool upside down on the fabric and I cut about 1" from the edge all the way around the circle. Then I took a fabric pen and I traced a circle all around the base of the stool.
This gave me a guide for where I should hem the fabric. I pinned it in place and then I used invisible
thread (I'm addicted to using this stuff!) to sew around the edge of the circle.
Then I flipped it over and trimmed off as much excess fabric as I could.



Next I cut out a few layers of batting to about 1" less in diameter than my fabric circle.
Then I used fabric tacks from Joann's to secure the fabric and batting in place.
After that I nailed in decorative black upholstery tacks to cover the nail heads.
I'm so pleased with how it came out!




Don't look too closely!








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5.16.2011

Guest Room Makeover

We have 3 guest bedrooms in our house right now.
Only one has been finished.
My definition of "finished" is painted, decorated, and completely ready for guests at any random time that they might show up.

I love decorating with gray.
I love, love, love Hollywood Regency style and Art Deco and Candice Olson style.
Random I know.

We have a nice guest room on the main floor of our home.
It's a nice size and has a large closet (twice as big as our master bedroom closet!).

The room's theme is gray, green, white, & gold.
Here's what it looked like when we bought the house:
That's from the house listing picture...it's all I had that
showed the before of the room.
Anyways...the wall color was 100x brighter in person.
I felt like I should hand out guests sunglasses before they entered the room.

So my sister Ariel came up for a visit in January this year and she helped me redecorate the room.
 I think we ended up spending about $500 total on the room.
That includes *everything* - comforter, bed, bed rails, paint, primer,
new light fixture, mirrors, chair, curtains, curtain rods, etc.
Ariel is an awesome decorator.
She instantly caught my vision for the room and helped me throw this together.
We finished the whole room in about 2-3 days.

I'm so happy with how the room came out!
We used a beautiful shade of gray from Lowe's Valspar line.
It only took 2 coats, which was nice.
We got the bedspread at Ross for I think $20.
The mirror's were from Goodwill for $10 each (they are HEAVY).
The bed was from a flea market for $20. I spray painted it white.
I got the vintage curtains on Ebay for I think about $15 each.
I bought an inexpensive white top sheet one size bigger than the bed size and
 I used that as a dust ruffle for the bed skirt.
We used scrap fabric from hemming the curtains to make throw pillows for the bed and chair.


Green chair was $20 at Goodwill. Eventually I'd like
 something a little different, but for now it works just fine.
The chair's legs were missing most of the stain so I painted them white.
The vintage folding luggage rack was from a thrift store for $7.
I spray painted it white.
The cute little marble top table was $5 from a flea.
The fluffy white throw was on sale at Target for $17.
And for the Kleenex box I paid...people I'm kidding! I'm not going to be that detailed.
I just wanted to see if ya'll were paying attention still.

Cute little gold bird is from Goodwill for 50cents.
I spray painted it gold.
I also painted some gold on the plain white knobs that were already on the closet doors.
These bed side tables were built for me by my dear husband!
He is soooo talented! He used scrap pieces of wood from his shop.
I drew up a rough sketch of what I wanted and he built me a matching set in ONE DAY.
Seriously. One day!
I painted them white and added a vintage gold carved wood medallion to each front.
I got a bag full of them at an antique store a while back (I think $3 for the bag)
and was glad to have a way to use them.
It's hard to see all the detail on the night stand, but Caleb
put criss cross designs on the back and on the sides.
I had glass cut for the tops and I bought those little clear stick on thingies
to keep the glass from sliding around.

Isn't it pretty? Just needed some gold paint (I paint way too many things gold).
After I painted the medallion I glued it on with that E6000 glue held on with a clamp from
Caleb's work shop. It's on their TIGHT too. No nails needed. I use that glue for everything.
It's great for jewelry and crafting and apparently gold medallions.


I found this round shade at Goodwill for $4 and had Caleb wire it for me and
put it up in place of the ceiling fan. Since I took out the ceiling fan I bought a small fan and you can see the makeover on fan on this page here.


I would prefer a chandelier in there, but for now I'm very pleased with how this turned out.
And finally some of the art in the room.
My sister printed off a fleur de lis pattern she found online and painstakingly made it into a stencil (just using computer paper). Then she traced and painted a pattern onto two matching framed pictures I got at Goodwill. They had hideous matching park scenes from the 50's.I just painted right over those with the gray color we used on the walls and then Ariel painted the gold fleur di lis on each. Sorry the pics are so bad.




The only thing left for the room is to find a nice rug.
Anyways...I couldn't be happier with how it all came out :)

5.15.2011

I Just Don't Like Ugly

We took down the ugly ceiling fan in our guest room recently and put up a light fixture.
I did want to get a smallish table fan for guests.
I do not like ugly fans.
The cute vintage looking ones at the store start at $50. I'm an not paying $50 for a nice breeze.
Nope not happening.

However, when I was at Target this week they had a fan that is fairly nice looking and only $12.99.
Now that I can handle. It's really powerful and has two speed settings.
 And yes, Stefanie it does make lots of whirring noises as it spins ;)

The only thing is that it had a large maker's logo in the center of the fan. I wasn't bonding with that (as my husband would say). I really don't like ugly. Especially company logo ugly.
This all probably sounds really picky of me, but that's how I roll.

Here's what I did to fix the problem.
See that huge ugly logo? What is a "RE" anyways?
I really don't know.



So I used this fancy little circle cutter thingie I got at Ollie's a while back for like $2 or $3 or something.
If  you've never been to an Ollie's your should go! Just try and not be creeped out by the weirdo old man cartoon logo guy they use to sell stuff (see it's a bad logo day for me).
Ok moving on...
I printed out this cute little bird graphic. I think I got it from Graphic's Fairy, but I can't remember.

I measured the circumference (ohh big word! yes..I was homeschooled) of the ugly logo area and then set my circle cutter thingie to the same measurement.

I located my jar of Mod Podge (Mod Podge Rocks) buried in a box of Caleb's stuff.
I'm not sure why it was in his stuff. Oh well.
Pouring...
(I guess this shot isn't really necessary)
I was fresh out of paint brushes and I was feeling to lazy to run over to the Dollar Store so I just cut off a hunk of a kitchen sponge. Yes people it was an unused one! Ew...I'm a very clean person.

I dabbed on some Mod Podge and then I arranged the bird image how I wanted it and finished by putting a top coat of Mod on it.

It made me wonder if it would dry faster if I turned on the fan...I didn't though.
But it was a good thought.

Ta Da!
I'm happy with it.
The ugly logo is gone.
I can now rest in piece knowing that there is one less piece of ugly in my house.




The Graphics Fairy

Words



I wanted to share two links with ya'll today.
Both of these posts really "spoke" to me recently.
Plus I woke up pondering the subject of words and how they affect us and those around us.
My sister-in-law (who happens to be one of my bestest friends!) posted all of these wise words on her blog.

Part 1 on Words

Here are some good Bible verses on the subject of words and the tongue...

"Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

Proverbs 29:20

"When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
 Proverbs 10:19

"There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts,but the tongue of the wise brings healing."
Proverbs 12:18

"Leave the presence of a fool,for there you do not meet words of knowledge."
Proverbs 14:7

"Gracious words are like a honeycomb,sweetness to the soul and health to the body."Proverbs 16:24

"So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!"
James 3:5

I'll leave you with one amazing way in which we can and ought to use our tongues for good:
"Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is
above every name,  so that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
"
Phillipians 2:9-11


I hope ya'll have a blessed Lord's Day.

5.14.2011

A Garden Bench Makeover

This week I finished painting an old garden bench I got a thrift store recently.
I think I paid $25 for it.

Before:
It's in good condition - just needed a fresh coat of paint.
That can of black spray paint was for a different project.

After:


I plan to put it along one section of fence along where my veggie & herb garden is.
A resting place for a weary gardener :)

5.13.2011

I Told Ya'll I Spray Paint EVERYTHING...

So I hate to brag...but I pretty much have the best screened in porch...well...ever!
It's my favorite room in our home.
I love spending time out there reading, talking on the phone, sitting and talking with Caleb, day dreaming about my gardens etc.

We live in a rock house (!!!) from 1954.
It's adorable! I love it. Anyways...
There's a second story screened in porch off the kitchen.
It faces the back yard and down to the creek.
It has vintage metal awnings to keep the rain from blowing in.

All the walls are the exterior rock. It has a GORGEOUS stained wood ceiling.
Blue slate floors. A screen door. Nice cool breezes...ok I'll stop now!


I've been working on decorating it.
You can see the chairs I spray painted and reupholstered here.
This week I bought and hung curtains on the windows (is that weird of me?).
We recently bought a circa 1920's huuuuge wood porch sofa thing. I need to reupholster that too.
Ok I need to hurry up and get to the point of this post. I said spray painting and ya'll are no doubt wondering what I spray painted. I'm getting there. I'm a rambler. I babble. I'm sorry.


Anyways...
The previous home owners had installed a nice new ceiling fan out on the porch.
The base was nice looking (satin nickel finish), but the blades were a hideous light wood grain that clashed really badly with the nice dark wood ceilings.
The base was nice...but it was waaay too modern for the style of the porch.

So I looked at buying a new outdoor fan...are you kidding me?!
 Have ya'll seen the prices of those things?!
Plus most of them were ugly.
And like I said before..I just don't like ugly.

So I sweetly asked Caleb to take apart the fan for me so that I could spray paint it.
I picked out a dark antiquey bronze spray paint for the metal pieces (from Lowe's) and a taupey color for the blades.
The blade color didn't come out looking at ALL like the lid on the can... but I still ended up liking it.
Here are some before and after pics:
Before.
See what I mean about the nice ceilings and the weird modernness of the fan?


After!
I think it's an improvement for sure.
Like I said the paint color came out way different than the cap.
The cap had a more gray tint to it and this is a little more of a flesh tone.
Ew I hate that word "flesh". There's a lot of words that creep me out.



I know that was all a lot of words for only a few pictures.
I'm sorry.

5.11.2011

Sewing Headbands

Photo of me taken by my sister.
And no people I don't usually wear a measuring tape in my hair...only for special occasions ;)


This year I've sewn all kinds of headbands for friends and family.
They're easy and fun to make and they're great to give as gifts.
They're also a great way to use up small bits of fabric or ribbon.

I'm going to be sewing some more head bands this week to give to a friend.
Here are links to some of the tutorials I've been using:





(I plan on making this one today)

(this particular pattern would make for a good head covering for worship)

(I have made this one yet...but I really want to!)


(I've made tons of these)


Anyone have any other links to headband tutorials?

5.10.2011

Who doesn't love Foghorn Leghorn?





"That's the first time someone else shot my mouth off"

Wrought Iron Chair Makeover

Last year I bought a pair of matching wrought iron patio chairs.
I think I paid  $20 for the pair.
They're both needed a good spray painting (that being the case I'd say
they were paired with the right owner).

Before:

After:


I'm using the pair on my screen-in porch.
I couldn't be happier with how they came out!

Caleb was sooo sweet and helped upholster the seats for me.
Since they were missing the seat insert he traced out a pattern and then cut a board for me to use.



It really is so handy to have a handy man around.
Yep. He's a keeper.


Chairs: $20/pair
Seat: scrap wood
Foam cushions: $6/pair (I used a coupon at Michaels)
Fabric: .50   ....for real people...shop at flea markets!
Spray paint: 2 cans @ about $3 each (I used gloss black)
Total = $32.50 for awesomeness on my porch :D




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