Friday, April 30, 2010


Right up front I'm going to admit to something - I may have lost my mind. Or taken leave of my senses. Take your pick as they are both probably accurate. 

I'm thinking of attempting making slipcovers.

I know. I know. 

I have a sewing machine. It's still in the box it came in when I received it as a Christmas present eight years ago. I know
But I seriously don't sew. 
Or, well, I haven't sewn anything since Home Economics class back in 8th grade. And we aren't going to ruin my Friday by actually saying how many years ago that was...but I will say that our President was Reagan at the time. 
When did I get old? Ok, sorry, I digress. 
My inspiration are the Couture Slipcovers from Ballard Designs.

I'm in love with them.
So simple, fresh, and I adore the simple little ruffle at the bottom. I heart these. I covet them. But they won't fit my existing chairs - well - not as they are. I would have to literally saw off the top 4 inches of chair and cover them in foam, and...well, you get the idea. 

So what if I made my own slipcovers?
I could do it. 
I think. 
I've been researching it and honestly, it doesn't seem that difficult. I know - famous last words - right?
I thought I would make a pattern out of some old muslin I have laying around and then maybe a "test" run slipcover out of some dropcloth fabric - just to see if I can actually do it. Then I'm not out any actual money for my experiment. What do you think? Can I do this? Any seamstresses out there (who aren't laughing at me hysterically) - could you give me any pointers? Is it possible? 
Or do I need to just be committed??? Be honest. I can take it!

Which also leads me to needing to finish the dining room. I need an area rug and I was thinking of getting one from I haven't bought anything like that from them before - anyone out there know anything about Overstock and their quality? I also need to find some new curtain panels. Lots to do still.

I'm linking up with Follow Friday! It's a great blog hop and a wonderful way to find some new blogs and make some new friends!

Friday Follow

Thursday, April 29, 2010

some trash turned treasure!

I will admit that I have no problem whatsoever snagging something off the side of the road marked "free" OR something clearly waiting on the trash truck. 
In fact, I love finding cool things this way and giving them a second chance. 
It makes me happy. 
Very happy. 
I've had some luck with this over the past couple of weeks too. 

First, I found this in the alley next to the trash and it was marked FREE.
 It was in perfect condition physically - it just needed a little love!
So a bit of sanding, some primer and a coat of Satin Black later and I have this!
Sitting along with this chair were 2 plant stands.
I got to work...
And now I have these!
And lastly - I found this sad little cart...
Again, in good physical condition - still sturdy and the wheels rolled perfectly.
Now it looks like this
And it sits next to our grill to hold extras like plates and tongs and grilling what-nots!

LOVE my freebies!

Oh and 1 more
I found this guy two days ago and haven't had a chance to do much to him yet
I have sanded him down 3 times so far and I still have a lot of work to do.
But that's ok. I've wanted some of these chairs forever. My grandparents had these out on their front porch and I grew up sitting in them. They remind me of laughter, and family, and homemade ice cream. I'm thrilled to have found it!
Will post pics again when I get it done!

I'm linkin up!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Kitchen Island re-do

It's all done and I'm very pleased with how it turned out. 

This is what I started with - it was fine white but my cabinets are a glazed cream color and the white just wasn't doing it for me. And it just seemed...a bit too...old school maybe. But you know - for something I bought at a garage sale 10 years ago - it's been great. It just needed a make-over!
I wanted a very dark brown - almost black - but I couldn't find that exact color. SO what's a girl to do? Improvise!
Here's what I did. I lightly sanded it down to "rough" it up a bit. 
After that I went over it in spots with a brick red color so that later when I sanded the edges I would get a hint of the red and the white. I like layers!

so then I went over the whole thing in a flat black

And then I went over all of it in a dark, chocolate brown - and got this.

It is the exact color I wanted. I also sprayed some brushed nickel on the knobs and voila - new, old kitchen island that cost me NADA. I already owned everything I used. 

I like that it is a darker color compared to my cabinets. And I feel like it grounds the space more too.

To review - front side

from the side - before

From behind 
after - I added a chalkboard :) 
I love that too. And so does the 3 yr old!

Thanks for looking!

I'm linkin up!


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

real quick like

The kitchen island is DONE - I even have it in the house. I'm just finishing the drawer pulls and it will be totally finished.

In other news I just scored some AWESOME finds from the trash. An old, metal porch chair. I'm totally psyched. I have to get all the rust off of it and it is COVERED. So that is my next project.

Pictures to follow in a bit!

Friday, April 23, 2010

A few projects I've been working on

Per my rather manic personality - I have several projects all going at once. 

I know.

I can't help myself.

I usually have one large project happening...and then...well...other small projects kinda happen along at the same time.
Again, I know, I know

So here is a smattering of some of the things I've been doing over the last few days. The weather is nice again so I've been outside spray painting to my little hearts content!

First - a preview of the BIG project.

I decided I needed to redo our kitchen island - which is really more of a microwave cart but it works in my kitchen as a small island. The dimensions are right and it provides me with more workspace - a good combination. Here she is as she was since I bought her 10 years ago at a garage sale for $25.
She was stark white and wood pulls and accents. Totally fine and a great deal for $25 bucks but I just didn't think it looked *right* in my kitchen. At least not in her current condition. 
And the husband went out of town for work. 
Which, to me, translates to DO A BIG PROJECT immediately before he can object.  
I'm sure I'm the only person who does this. 

Ok - back to the project.
from behind
and from the side

stage one - add red to the edges so it will show through after I get her totally painted and I sand and rough it up a bit

I know, I know, stay with me though - these things usually look worse before they look better.
Here she is after a rough coat of flat black spray paint. I was going to paint it black and leave it at that. But then I started thinking I would like to have it like a REALLY dark brown - almost black. 
But I can't find that exact color. 
So I'm doing the black coat on first. Then today I'm going to go over it in a dark brown. The black undercoat should darken the brown enough to give me the look I want. 
Also - I tried to get the drawer out and there is a stop in the back of the drawer preventing it from coming all the way out and it is screwed onto the underside of the drawer - I wasn't just being lazy. So that is problematic but I'll make it work. Somehow. I have faith

Anyway - this is as far as *this* project has gotten because we had thunderstorms yesterday evening AND a soccer game. So I'm going back out there in a little while to hopefully finish it up. The pulls and knobs that will go back on are copper and match the rest of the pulls in our kitchen. I'm excited. 

And now for a quick side project. 

I found this little gem at the Goodwill yesterday for 50 cents.
Note the ugly brass top but it was in good shape otherwise. 
So...a little ORB spray paint later - well, 2 thin coats later...

Voila! An accessory for our bathroom!

I have also been working on our patio. It is huge and we needed more seating. I have a couple of awesome finds literally from the trash that were marked FREE. Love that. I'll try and get that post up later today. 

Also - it's Follow Friday!!!! 
A great party and a great way to find new blogs!
Friday Follow

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

My garden went nuts this past week

my climbing yellow rose bush - the little bushes under it are my peonies - those should be blooming sometime in the next week 

closer shot

standing underneath it - it smells amazing
just because it is so beautiful

my Mr. Lincoln red roses went nuts this past week too
as did the miniature roses

my Clematis also opened
with more blooms looking like they will open anytime

even the dwarf Nandinas were getting in on the colorful action

Hope everyone is enjoying their Spring!!!