Saturday, December 7, 2013

Trying A New Angle


I've written a number of times about the re-do of my bedroom.

I've been (mostly) pleased with the (almost) finished product:

I love the color (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint's "Paris Grey" done up by Lowe's in Behr latex.  I painted the formerly dark green metal bed to match, which makes it appear to "float" in the room.  I want to re-do my draperies (they're too...bridal-y or something).  But I am patient and will find the right ones.

What bugged me is that the room is a really good size - 16 x 15.  But it lacked flow, which made it seem cramped.  Out of view in the photo above is a dresser (to the left of the bed against the wall), a small slipper chair to the left of the dresser, a chest of drawers (in a perfectly sized niche in the wall opposite the foot of the bed; two large closets are on either side of that niche) and a large arm chair that you can just about see under the window to the right.

So, with 4 days on my hands at the Thanksgiving holiday, I got a wild hare.  I angled the bed and came the dawn - I have space!  I was able to put my arm chair in a place where I can actually *use* it, instead of banging my shin against it every time I walked on the far side of the bed.  The slipper chair is now more visible and also more useful and I love, love, love having the bed on an angle!  It's now the focal point when you enter the room and it's just beautiful.  I think once I find my elusive perfect draperies, I'll be done in my bedroom.

And a comparison shot:

I am linking up at:

Mod Vintage Life - Mod Mix Monday
Petite Michelle Louise - Grey Day Thursday
French Country Cottage - Feathered Nest Friday
Miss Mustard Seed - Furniture Feature Friday
My Romantic Home - Show and Tell Friday

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Christmas 2013

Some notes:

  • no greenery this year.  It's beyond my budget; last year, I lucked out and got a windfall from a neighbor who lost an evergreen to Hurricane Sandy. 
  • everything is either from the flea market, Good Will or they are items I previously owned
  • the "garland" on the tree is the wire part of some wired ribbon.  I bought a big roll of it at Michael's last year on clearance.  I cut the wired edges off of both sides of the ribbon, cut them into manageable sections and wrapped them around my hand to curl.  I then gently pulled them out - like a Slinky - and draped them on the tree.  They give a delicate sparkle to the tree.

the tree

the mantel

the coffee table

tiny trees in Limoges cups

the piano

I am linking up at:

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I'm A Prepper!!  Not that kind of prepper.  Although I can get that crazed look in my eyes right about this time of year.

I'm a Christmas prepper.  I am a one-woman show (anyone have a brother/cousin/uncle/dad who likes curvy dames with an attitude?) and I work a full-time job so my Christmas decorating time is a bit limited.  I did it all in one fell swoop last Thanksgiving weekend and I will never do that again.

Another reason I have to "prep" is because I have a small living room and I have to re-arrange the furniture to accommodate my Christmas tree.  No big deal, really (love those coasters for moving furniture!) but I also use this as a cleaning opportunity.  I scrub my hardwood floors thoroughly and then make with the Murphy's Oil Soap.  I clean the woodwork, the fireplace accessories and hearth, and vacuum the undersides of the upholstered furniture.

One thing that has to be moved in the process is an ornate reproduction Victorian birdcage.  A find at Sam's Club years ago, I love it and it looks beautiful in the corner where the Christmas tree takes up temporary residence.  In years past, I've disassembled the birdcage and stored it in a closet.  

This is what I did with it this year.

I put it on my little front entryway.  I filled it with all those odds and ends of faux Christmas greenery that is not exactly nice enough to use in any great amounts inside.  I hung a wreath from HomeGoods ($49.99 down to $10 last year) on it, and stacked a couple of bundles of firewood underneath.

I think it looks so pretty and welcoming out there.

In other news, I scored this from GoodWill for $39.99.  It's missing a small piece of trim (I think I can duplicate it) and it has a wobble (which I can definitely fix).  I'm thinking French linen, Old White and silver leafing.  And stripes.  Definitely stripes.

I'm linking up at:

Saturday, September 7, 2013

When Last We Left Our Blogger  It's been 6 months (a bit more) since I wrote here.

A lot has been going on.  I gave my heart to someone, and he stomped that sucker flat.  (Note to self - don't do *that* again)

But I'm back.  And I think I have an incredible opportunity.  An old childhood friend (really - I've known him literally since kindergarten) has been very encouraging about my mad skillz at this stuff I do.  He's asked me to put together a business plan for what it would take for me to get my goods out to a larger audience.  I'm beside myself with verklempt-ness.  I alternate between clueless rapture and utter nausea.

My thoughts are a booth in a local arts/crafts/antique mall, as well as a space at a large flea market near my home.  If anyone has any advice - up to an including "WHAT?!  ARE YOU CRAZY?!  DON'T DO IT!", I would be grateful to listen.

I'm linking up at:

Monday, March 4, 2013

The $14.97 Monstrosity

In a previous blog post, I lamented my lack of thrift "finds" and poked fun at the fact that everyone else in blog-land seemed to be able to score amazing things at the local Good Army/Salvation Will places.

I think I finally found one of mine own.

I've long wanted a button-tufted ottoman for a coffee table.  I really wanted a round button-tufted ottoman for a coffee table.  But even the basic ones were out of my budget; the "plain" Hayes ottoman at Ballard's starts at $300

During my weekly visit to Good Will, I found this:

I don't think the manufacturer could have chosen a more repulsive fabric if they had been held at knifepoint and ordered to do so.  Cheap plaid taffeta...really?  But I stopped and looked.  I hiked up the skirt and it was immaculately clean underneath.  I did the sniff test, which must have looked hilarious to the other shoppers.  Passed.  I sat on it - extremely sturdy with no wobbles.  Some of the buttons are missing, but the tufting holes are in place and easily located.

Then I checked the price.  Oh.  $49.97 - not a bad deal, but more than I had to spend.  Maybe next time it will still be the...wait.  What?  Lemme check that tag again.  That's not a 4...that's a 1.  Yep - $14.97.  I snatched that yellow tag off so fast I almost got a paper cut.

I believe in my little romantic heart that I can make this look almost as good as the Ballard number. I have ordered a swatch of this fabric:

It's cotton upholstery fabric and it's only $8 a yard.  If it suits, I'm going to go for it, and I might use it to make drapery panels and pillows for my sofa.

I'll keep you posted on the transformation.

I am linking up at:

Mod Mix Monday @ Mod Vintage Life 
Make It Pretty Monday @ The Dedicated House
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday @ Coastal Charm
Tweak It Tuesday @ Cozy Little House 
Wow Us Wednesdays @ Savvy Southern Style
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Based On A Story By...

That's Hollywood-ese for "your first book was made into a hit movie, and we want to milk that franchise for all it's worth but we don't want you actually involved, so here's eleventy billion dollars to go away and we'll give you this lousy credit instead".

Once again, Debbie at Confessions of a Plate Addict has inspired me to do something based on a story by...well, you know what I mean.

I previously made this wreath:

...which was inspired by a post by Debbie.

This week's ripoff tribute was inspired by her lovely Ballard's sale items.  Since I live in Bugtussle, a trip to the Ballard's outlet is a day thing, so I ordered my stuff online.  I got the same delicious wired document ribbon and French script wrapping paper.

Having learned the absolute value of a Michael's "50% off one item" coupon, I put that to good use last night.  So between Michael's and Ballard's, I have a new spring wreath.  I tweaked mine a bit and added some roses made from the wired ribbon.

So thanks once again,'re absolutely an inspiration.

Linking up to:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Les Petites Choses

This morning, I was an ugly brass picture frame, covered in scratches (which is probably why I was on the uber~junk shelf at HomeGoods)

Now, with the help of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Antibes (green), Duck Egg (blue), Henrietta (the roses) and a wash of  Old White, I am now a miniature verdigris chalkboard that looks as if it belongs in a tiny French garden.

I'm to be a birthday gift for a special young lady.

I am linking up at:

Mod Mix Monday @ Mod Vintage Life 
Make It Pretty Monday @ The Dedicated House
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday @ Coastal Charm
Tweak It Tuesday @ Cozy Little House 
Wow Us Wednesdays @ Savvy Southern Style
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Post~Christmas score

No longer available, but they were originally $59 each at Le Barn du Pottery.  I bagged them for $11.99 each.

I won’t be using them for tree toppers.  At 22.5 inches tall, they’ll make great statement pieces for my living room.

“As is”, they are a bit too glittery.  I think an extremely dry brushing of black (very, very faint), followed by a judicious application of ASCP in “Paris Grey” will tone them down perfectly.

Update:  the more I look at them, the more I think I want to make them into lamps.  Must ponder.

I am linking up at:

Mod Mix Monday @ Mod Vintage Life 
Make It Pretty Monday @ The Dedicated House
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday @ Coastal Charm
Tweak It Tuesday @ Cozy Little House 
Wow Us Wednesdays @ Savvy Southern Style
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Update on an update

(from the Department of Redundancy Department, no doubt)

In this post, I updated you on my bedroom progress.  I also showed you photos of the slipcover I wanted to use on my old, very dated looking 90s chair:

Hello ~ the 90s called.  They want their chair back.

It's actually damned good Rowe furniture.  Solid, well~upholstered, and has held up remarkably well through 3 moves, 7 dogs and a lot of sitting. I also have the sofa, loveseat and an ottoman:

While a bit exaggerated, the curved arms aren't too far removed from what's being sold in Ikea, Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn these days.  Re~upholstering was not in my budget, so I knew it would have to be slipcovers.

My first choice was  I had read about them on various decor blogs, but frankly, I was less than impressed.  Their selection is tiny, and never seems to be replenished, and after my 5th email asking about inventory went unanswered, I gave up.

My second choice was Rachel Ashwell's "Simply Shabby" line from Tarjay.  After reading the online customer reviews, I realized these wouldn't work as they are apparently fairly thin and stripes and prints show through the cream/natural slipcover.  Strike two.

By this time, my thoughts on the style I was going for had changed.  I realized that I wanted a more formal look to my living room and bedroom.  I then found this style by SureFit:

I love the matelasse, and even though I have a dog, I love the white.  I wasn't sure if the slipcovers would fit my furniture, though.  I lucked out and found a new, unopened with tags chair cover on eBay for half of the retail cost.  I bought it (it was sold with a two week return window) and it arrived today.

Amazing.  Even my award~losing stinking photograph looks pretty much like the vendor website photo above.  It fits very well, has a nice weight to it, and best of all, it's machine washable...woot.  The stripes don't show through, and I think it complements my "Linen Rose" bed linens perfectly:

vendor photo

my actual bedroom

That leaves a Parsons chair to be slipcovered (SureFit to the rescue again), and the installation of drapes (plain, white linen panels that I'll trim with fabric from a second "Linen Rose" duvet cover I purchased for that reason) and my bedroom will be done.  I'm also going to get the same slipcovers for my living room furniture.

I am linking up at:

Mod Mix Monday @ Mod Vintage Life 
Make It Pretty Monday @ The Dedicated House
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday @ Coastal Charm
Table Top Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life
Tweak It Tuesday @ Cozy Little House 
Wow Us Wednesdays @ Savvy Southern Style
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Winter Decor

Next year, when I say I'm going to use fresh evergreens to decorate my mantel and piano...feel free to punch me in the head.  What a pain to clean up.  (but seriously...I'll use it again).  In fact, I'm still using it in the form of potpourri.  Excessive amounts of evergreen needles on mantel and piano + some Yankee Candle "Balsam & Cedar" scented oil = pine scented potpourri for the winter months.  

I am still trying to find and define "my style".  It appears that "Down On Your Luck Glamour" and or "Genteel Frenchy Poverty" are trending at my place right now.  I'll just call it "Rustic Elegance" and be done with it.

I revamped my Christmas living room centerpiece by removing the evergreens and replacing them with moss and silvered, glittery pine cones.  A few dabs of hot glue, and the book page roses become a romantic counterpoint to the almost architectural feel of the white birch branches.

My mantel also retains some of the Christmas pieces, but again, with a rustic, silvered touch.

What I call "winter naturals" ~ the balls and orbs and "artichokes" and berries in this little display are from a big bag of potpourri I purchased at Michael's after Christmas two years ago.

Thank God I bought it for the colors, because the "scent" of the potpourri was unbearable.  I dumped the entire bag on a piece of newspaper and left it on a table in my sunroom for about a month.  The scent has long dissipated (thank God) and now I use the bits and pieces as tabletop decor.

The birds' nest is from my yard; it's been spray painted silver.  The "birds" are a salt and pepper shaker set I scored at GoodWill for under $5; I silvered them with Liquid Leaf.  The pine cones are from the yard, and the silvery nuts are from the above mentioned "winter elements" bag.

Even though my pictures still stink (I really do need to trademark that phrase), they now are taken on my iPhone 4s, and are an improvement over my old digital camera.  I had been wanting to show how I painted my mantel, but couldn't get decent photos until now.

Here's my mantel "before" ~ just that awful orangey raw pine.

Here's the "after" ~ a custom blend of ASCP in "Paris Grey" and some other colors (which I didn't think to write down at the time).  I wrote "faith always", "hope always" and "love always" in French on the front of the mantel with a mix of Paris Grey and a white paint.  It's very subtle, which I wanted, and I love it.

The dining room centerpiece is a silverplated chafing dish I found at the Saylorsburg flea market for $6.  It's filled with the "winter naturals", pine cones and book page roses.  I try to incorporate similar elements in both the living room and dining room decor as my place is small...this seems to make things more cohesive.  

And finally, here's my favorite "winter decor" ~ Cody, The World's Least Scary German Shepherd having a roll in the snow (he's wearing his hoodie)

Mod Mix Monday @ Mod Vintage Life 
Make It Pretty Monday @ The Dedicated House
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday @ Coastal Charm
Table Top Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life
Tweak It Tuesday @ Cozy Little House 
Wow Us Wednesdays @ Savvy Southern Style
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage
Inspiration Friday @ At The Picket Fence