Monday, November 30, 2009

Snowman makeover

I changed the clothes on this snowman Christmas countdown, with a bit of paint. I think he looks more in fashion now.



Sunday, November 29, 2009

Garland and Bows

We hung our stockings over the fireplace! This is the first time I have had a fireplace for Christmas so I couldn't wait.

We spent the day putting up Holiday decor, Christmas lights, garland, bells and wreaths. It's our first Christmas in our new home, so Rory decided to hang up outdoor lights.

Our entry table is now in the holiday spirit with just a bit of greenery. I filled a large glass vase with acorns and pine cones from the front yard and these great pine branch decorations.
After the move we noticed Rory had a few old boxes of glass balls and lights and a few other holiday decorative items from long ago. I found these two porcelain candlesticks in the boxes. They were a little dated, painted red, green & gold with hot glued plastic gold holly attached to them. So I popped off the holly and gave them a fast brush of white paint.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Pottery Barn Decorative Pilllows, how to.

I visited our new Pottery Barn store a couple weeks ago, and loved what I saw. But I didn't love the price. These beautiful and simple linen deco pillows stuffed with a feather insert, they are cute, comfy and can be used on couches, chairs or beds.

We recently scored a great solid white slip covered couch that is in dire need of some decorative pillows and color. Seeing these, I thought that's simple enough and at $25 a cover +$12 a down pillow insert, I can make them for way less.

I bought the feather inserts at Crate and Barrel for a better price and even took advantage of the free shipping that day. I've decided to make 8 pillows total and bought 5, 18"X18" square pillows and 3, 12"X12".
I found a great online store for the fabric, I bought 100% Linen from Russia, I found it here at, it comes by the yard and is 59" wide. I used around 1/2 a yard per large pillow case. About 2-1/2 yards for all 5 was enough.
I am beginning to buy my fabric online as the prices are so much better then local stores. As long as you wait for the free sample swatches to come in before ordering yards, it's perfectly safe. I loved the "Cedar Green" more then the color of the PB pillow.
I found 8, 1-1 /4" diameter coconut buttons from Etsy for $5.

I made a quick pattern out of paper, it helps me when doing multiple cuttings. I folded the fabric and pinned the pattern cutting 2 at a time for each piece.

For the each 18" square insert I cut 3 pieces of fabric. One 19"x19" square per pillow case.
One 19"x16" for the bottom of the envelope opening and one 19"x9 1/2" for the top
(total 5 of each size to do 5 pillows).

I sewed a 1/4" wide cord with a scrap piece of material to make one long cord. I then cut it into 6" pieces for 8 total toggle loops, one for each pillow.

I pinned, and sewed the edges of the envelope opening first. The under flap with a 3/4" seam, and the over flap that you will see with a 1- 1/2" seam, I think bigger seams look nice and more professional.

Then I pinned the three pieces right side out, just like the case will be when done. I then sewed a 1/4" seam all around the edge, trimming any uneven edges.

This is the first stitch in a French seam, right side out.

Then turned the pillow case inside out and pressed the seam and sewed again 1/4" all around. This is a "French Seam" to conceal the unfinished edge completely. Go Here for more detailed how to steps for seams, including the French Seam. Not difficult, but you must make sure you sew over the rough edge on the final pass.

Turned it back right side out, and sewed the button on, then the toggle loop. put the insert in and Done!

I did this for all 5 large cases, and I'll do the same for the little cases, but shrink everything down. The cut pattern sizes will be 13"x13", 13"x 11", & 13"x9". The seams and toggle loop are the same as before.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Photo Shoot!

We got to dress up today just like it was our wedding day!
Val, our dear friend in photography school needed wedding shots for a project. As she couldn't find any other couples where the husband would volunteer to wear a suit and have their picture taken. Well Rory was great about it, even though it's not his favorite thing to do.
I think he looks quite good in a suit, I am happy that both my dresses still zip up, and Val's '57 Bel Air doesn't look bad either.
So we headed out to a local vineyard and then over to my parents home where she took these beautiful photos.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Refinished cabinets

I'm finely getting to posting the refinished cabinets in our laundry room. We have a narrow hall of a laundry room, but its still important to me to make it look cute and bright.
The dark wood of the mid seventy's was putting a damper on my laundering bliss. So it had to go.


Rory and I sanded the cabinets and doors to remove the finish and to give a good surface for the paint to attach to.
I removed the ancient contact paper from the interior shelves, using this handy dandy tool, a razor scraper.
Painting the inside of the cabinets with a crisp clean white finish really made a difference.
I did a fast paint job with an eggshell paint and primer in one Behr latex in Newport Blue. Then lightly distressed it to reveal some of the wood below. I wanted an old farm style look for these 3 cabinets. I might add some nobs to the doors if I find the right ones. It has made our laundry room light and airy.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Delay in progress

We are both sick, and it is causing quite a disturbance in our long list of things to accomplish. Hopefully we will be back on our feet by the end of the week.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

More finds to share

We went estate sale cruising again today. It's starting to be a weekly thing for us. We have a lot of estate sales in town every weekend and we are getting the hang of it.
You have to be there early so your the first to see everything, you have to be a bit pushy and having a wing man is a must. The local antique dealers and estate sale junkies are cut throat around here.
Today we used these skills to score these great finds.
The marble chess board was a simple buy from the local company that rescues abandoned livestock.

This is the score of the day. Rory and I had to be quick about it, as many people had their eye on this slip covered couch, chair and ottoman set. It's pretty much brand new, and it was a GREAT deal! We got a few envious looks as we payed for it and carted it away.
I have Baxter proofed it by adding a brown cover to the seat temporarily. I will have to get a nice fashionable throw. The whole cover is machine washable but Baxter would have me washing it weekly with those muddy paws of his!

We love the set, and the chair in our bedroom is so comfortable and cozy.

Oh yes I forgot the lovely copper coal scuttle, that I love.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Gladiolus bulb planting

My parents have decided to change their front landscaping. Which means that I have inherited many of the wonderful pink gladiolus bulbs that they enjoyed for over 17 years.
I dug them all up last week and have dried them a bit, but I am eager to get them in the ground this weekend. They will be fine in the ground with our mild winter. I won't see them show up for a few months yet, but next July I should have these beautiful blooms to look forward to.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Quick bench seat, and finds

Here are the funky chandeliers I found at a garage sale this past weekend for $5.00. I have no idea what I am going to do with them, I have them hanging outside under our covered patio. I think they have a lot of character.

Here is the bench that inspired me to refinish the outdoor patio set. I had a bit of the material left from the chairs and I made a quick padded seat.

Rory cut out 1/4" plywood in the shape of the bench. (since I'm banned from the table saw)

One layer of 1" foam and 2 layers of badding.

Here is the finished product, it's a lot more comfortable and it matches.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Baby Burro!!!!

Our good friend Val had a surprise Baby Burro born yesterday, (which was also Baxter's 4th Birthday) One of the two wild burro girls that she adopted last month was pregnant and it was all unknown until he showed up!
His name is Norman, he is one day old. He weighed 34lbs yesterday and already gained 3lbs in one day. We got to spend an hour with the little guy today, I even fed him his formula, since his mom won't nurse him. Rory picked him up and he nuzzled the two of us a few times. He is all legs, and a bit wobbly but very healthy.
He is soooooo soft, like a beaver fur coat. He has curly black hair and a gray tummy! So sweet.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Refinished Dining Set

I finished the dining set this week. After one quart of black oil paint, a pint of semi-gloss varnish and 2 yards of material it's all done!
I really like the way it looks, I would change only one thing if I had to do it over. I would buy satin varnish, not semi-gloss (but the home depot didn't carry it and I was buying supplies there.) Next time I'll go to the local hardware store and pay extra for the right finish.
Anyway, it looks great and I have enough fabric left over to upholster a cushion seat for the bench to match.
Here is the before again

And the finished product

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