March 30, 2011

Adventures In Slipcovering

The little man is a cutie, but the chair....not so much. It's hard for me to believe that at one point in time someone thought this floral pattern was actually attractive.

So here goes nothing. I may be getting in over my head. My plan is to make a slipcover for this ugly duckling. I have *some* basic sewing skills, but working with furniture is a new endeavor for me.

Of course, I've done my research and I've read and watched lots of online tutorials. They all tell me the same thing - for your first project pick a chair with clean, simple lines. And cushions that are in good condition. Well I didn't exactly get to pick my chair. It sort of picked me. It's my husbands' grandmothers' chair. It's been sitting in my in-laws basement for over 5 years. Kyle has refused to part with it and instead has insisted that one day he will spend the money to have it reupholstered. And then, as luck would have it, I went and got all obsessed with DIY and design blogs and of course he jumped at the chance when I told him I thought I might try to slipcover something.

Clean, simple lines? Not exactly. I didn't notice it until we got it home, but it has this back cushion that looks like a separate cushion, but is actually attached. As you can see above, it doesn't make for a very clean line at the top of the chair. Cushions in good condition? Not exactly. Even if it did make a clean line, the back cushion is lumpy and deflated. And the bottom cushion isn't much better. After a lot of hemming and hawing last night and a brief conversation with my mom who has slipcovered before, I had decided there was no way I could slipcover over this back cushion. So what's a girl to do?

She gets out her scissors!

I was a little nervous what I might find when I started cutting. But I was pleasantly surprised that the back cushion actually came away from the chair quite easily and in one piece.

I know that looks like a really disgusting stain on the back of the cushion, but I believe it is just the old, dried glue that was helping hold it to the back of the chair.

I found a lot of dust and what I believe to be a Christmas ornament hook during my demolition.

My husband confirmed that this chair did, in fact, sit right next to his Grandmothers' Christmas Tree every year.

Ever since we brought this chair in to the living room this morning, my son thinks it's his personal throne. I had an impossible time taking pictures because he wanted to jump in every single one. When I texted my mom this picture and told her I had removed the cushion. She texted back and said "Is that burlap or horse hair?" Ha! Horse hair? Really, Mom? But apparently they used to use horse hair for cushion stuffing and insulation in walls. You learn something new everyday. It's burlap, by the way. Please excuse the dust and cobwebs. Aren't these little legs cute? Why would anyone hide them under that ugly floral skirt? I had originally thought I would make a skirt for my slipcover, but I can't hide these cuties. So I busted out my scissors again and cut that old skirt right off. Anyone want some beautiful, floral fabric scraps? You know you do.
Ahh, I like her so much better already after removing that skirt.

This week I will be making a trip to the fabric store to buy foam and a few other items needed for new cushions. I will keep you posted as I attempt to transform this beauty. Follow along. You won't want to miss this adventure.

Have you ever slipcovered anything? Were you happy with the results? I'm more than happy to hear your tips!

I'm linking up with Miss Mustard Seed.

Furniture Feature Fridays

March 28, 2011

Chalk Talk Mondays

Happy Monday everyone! It's time for some new words on the chalkboard.

I'm a big believer in following your dreams. I think there's a lot of power in dreams, especially if you picture your dreams as a reality and just go for it!

*all pictures where edited with picnik's "boost"

Do you have a chalkboard in your home? What does it say today?

I'm linking up this post with my favorite blogger of all time, Sarah at A Beach Cottage.

March 24, 2011

Cutting Flowers

I love fresh flowers in my home. I would have vases full of fresh cut flowers in every room of my house if I could. My dream is to have rows and rows of cutting gardens behind my house ala Martha Stewart.

I'm not there yet, but I do have these beautiful daffodils that come up in my front bed every year in early spring. They only bloom for about one week so I always cut as many as I can and enjoy them while they last. They just say spring to me.

Do you have fresh flowers in your home on a regular basis? What are your favorites?

March 22, 2011

hello spring

I'm linking this post up with Sarah's amazing blog, A Beach Cottage. Go check it out!

I live in the south for a reason.....besides the fact that I was born here. :) I love spring and summer and really dislike cold winters.

It was a pretty cold winter for Alabama standards and I have been aching for spring to arrive. I can't wait to get lots of beautiful flowers planted in my front flower bed and plenty of fresh herbs and veggies growing in the back garden. Lucky for me, springs seems to have started a little earlier this year.

It's still too early to plant everything. It never fails that we'll have one last frost in April despite the 70 degree days we've been enjoying lately. But I could hardly contain my excitement for spring any longer. So this weekend we took at trip to a local nursery to check out the selection.

Aubrey LOVED riding around in the plant cart at the nursery.

I didn't really plan on making many purchases yet, but I guess my excitement for spring got to me. I bought a few perennials for the front bed that will survive a freeze, in case we have one. And some herbs that are freeze hearty or can be planted in pots and transplanted to the ground later.

Here's what I bought in case you are curious:

From left to right. Top row: Mexican Sage, Pin Cushion, Blue Star creeper, Butterfly bush (didn't make it in the picture). 2nd row: Stonecrop, Grace Ward, Rosemary (2). 3rd row: Chocolate minute (not pictured), Pineapple Sage, Chives, Berggarten Sage, Pink Phlox, Thyme. Bottom row: Lavender (2), Lemon Balm

If you've never seen Mexican Sage it is beautiful when it flowers. Gorgeous purple, sort of spikey buds everywhere. You can see the lone flower in this picture.

And I'm super excited about my french lavender. I love the smell of lavender and the leaves on this variety are so pretty and delicate looking.

Have you ever smelled chocolate mint?

If you haven't you're missing out. Here's a close up.... hoping maybe you could get a whiff through this picture. Delicious! I don't know what I will use this for, but it smelled so amazing that I had to buy it.

Anyone else so excited for spring? Are you already making plans for your summer garden and flower beds? What are your favorite things to grow?

March 20, 2011

Chalk Talk

When I first started following design blogs I was immediately enamored with all the DIY chalkboards I saw everywhere. Chalkboard refrigerators, chalkboards on bathroom walls, chalkboards on kitchen walls and chalkboards in kids bedrooms. But most of all I loved the picture frames turned into chalkboards!

It was the first DIY project I couldn't wait to get started on. I already had the perfect frame that had been sitting in a closet collecting dust for sometime (I wish I had taken a picture of it before I painted it). I think it was laminate with a fake wood grain and cherry color. Yuck! But it had this beaded pattern around the perimeter which I loved and I guess that's why I never got rid of it.

I gave it 3 coats of white spray paint and ta-da! Love it!

This was the original picture that came in the frame. I turned it over and sprayed the back side with 4 or 5 coats of Rustoleum chalkboard paint.

Done! Perfect! Piece of cake!

I've been having a great time with it since I made it. Each Monday I write a new quote or saying or word on it and it's sort of my inspiration for the week.

So I thought it would be fun to start sharing it every Monday. Maybe it can serve as a little inspiration for others too! Hope everyone is having a fabulous Monday!

I'm linking this post with Layla's fabulous blog, The Lettered Cottage.

The Lettered Cottage

March 17, 2011

mail time

Does everyone else love the part of the day when the mail arrives or is it just me? I'm always excited to see what little gifts await me in the mailbox. Maybe the new Anthropologie catolog, maybe an unexpected letter or package, maybe a wedding or baby shower invitation.

Today I was surprised to see only two pieces of mail (that's rare!), but they were both fun and unexpected.

The first was a hand written letter from Lands End Canvas thanking me for my recent order. I definitely didn't expect that from a large company like Lands End. I was impressed.

I was equally impressed with the super cute and majorily discounted bathing suits I received from them several days earlier.

Navy with white dot skirtini $12 for both pieces. Yep, thats right. $12 total.

Navy stripe with kelly green trim bikini. Another $12 bargain.

The second and even more exciting item in my mailbox was a small package from Lisa Leonard Designs. If you've never seen her handmade jewelry you should take a peak and if you've never read her blog you should check that out too. One of my absolute favorite blogs. Seriously!

I ordered two pieces from her (unfortunately neither were for me). The pewter heart wall hanging for a friend who is getting married next month.

And the family tree necklace for my mom. Both are so beautiful in person. My instagram pictures do not do them justice.

Not a great picture. I should take another one, but I already packaged it back up in it's cute little box. Check the website. I promise it's amazing!

Anyone else ordered from Lands End Canvas? Anyone else so ready for summer that they are already swimsuit shopping? Any other Lisa Leonard lovers out there?

Take Two

So I've tried this blogging thing in the past and it's never really worked for me. Well, with a wild toddler, running a busy business, trying to keep this house somewhat respectable and keep hot meals on the table it's no wonder I run out of time and blogging goes to the bottom of the priority list. But you know what they say....try, try, try again. I really do enjoy blogging and I'm in the middle of redesigning my living room so I've been working on lots of fun DIY projects that I would really like to document and share.

So here goes nothin'. Take Two. I hope I don't disappoint!
P.S. Just as a little sneak preview of things to come, here is one of my recent DIY projects. A lampshade that I recovered myself. LOVE that paisley fabric. You can also see the picture gallery that I recently hung and a chalkboard that I made in the background.

sorry for the poor quality iPhone pic!