April 26, 2012

now you really can take a seat

For those of you just joining in, you can catch up on the sofa saga with part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4.

I'm not a tease, no matter what you may have heard about me. But I feel like I've been dangling a carrot in front of you for too long.

Now technically I can't call this 100% complete as it is missing one rather important piece (the cushion is unexpectedly delayed) but I couldn't wait any longer. And anyway, my Polly Perfect card expired long ago, so I figure its better to show you real life, right?

There are so many great tutorials out there for reupholstering. Linda, Tiffany and Erin can all school you on the ins and outs. So I won't reinvent the wheel, but I will share some of what I learned about the process. (I'm going to go ahead and pretend that you are going to actually read this list and not just scroll thru to see the final pictures.)

It was easier than I thought. This is not to say that it was an easy project, but I had imagined bruises and cuts from ripping out old fabric and -not kidding - 3,000 staples. I thought there would be screaming, crying, punching, cussing. (Obviously I have a very dramatic imagination). But I made it thru with only one small cut. I did cuss through the whole thing, but I pretty much cuss thru everything so that's not unusual. I did find though that there were a wicked number of opportunities for 'That's what she said...' in upholstery. But that's a story for another post.

BYOF. That F is for Friend people! There are many areas of this project that are a two-person job. For me at least. I am sure there are master upholsters who can hold the fabric tight with one hand on both ends while stapling. Their friends probably call them 'The Octopus' or something cool like that and they wear hats with funny sayings on them. I am not one of those people. The hubs was a huge help in keeping things taut (that's what she said) while stapling. We were a rockin good team on this project and usually we don't work well together on DIY stuff, so that is a "bold statement" as John Travolta would say.

Upholstery is not a no-sew project. I don't sew, hence me sending out the cushion, but I now think I wanna. After my dear friend Becca (who also designed my blog header) helped me to sew the piping, I realized sewing isn't as intimidating as I always thought. Btw, when I say 'help' I really mean she did everything while I stood over her shoulder yapping in her ear. But it looks fun. I think the trick is figuring out the machine. Once you've got that all you need is time and the fabric world is your oyster!

Foam is a B@*#$. It comes in all different depths and densities. The ladies at the fabric store expect you to be as knowledgeable as they are on the subject and it never seems to want to cooperate. Don't get me started on foam.

All in though, I enjoyed this far more than I anticipated and I'm over the moon with how it turned out. I anticipated an epic failure, when in reality I've saved myself over $600!

So on to the eye candy. Let's remember first were we began.

And here is where we are today.

Sorry for the crooked angle, I was blinded by staring into that crazy window

All taut and piped up. Not bad for an old lady.

I really need to learn how to un-yellow my nighttime pics
So there she is, in all her 95% glory. I'll take some legit beauty shots when the cushion comes in. Does this give you the upholstery DIY bug? I say go for it! You might surprise yourself.

I'm linking up to POWW @ Primitive & Proper 

April 24, 2012

there is a pill for that

I'm having another monkey monkey underpants episode.

Between finishing the couch, trying to get inspired to finish the bedroom, children, jobs and the general merriment that is life, my brain has a hard time resting these days. Since our society apparently frowns on early morning cocktails (I should have worked at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce) I have to find alternative ways to let the stress out. This results in small projects, which results in more on the to-do list, which results in more stress. These are the days of our lives.

The newest example of this was over the weekend. I wanted to get something hung up in our bedroom so that it starts to feel more like a room and less like a prison on Locked Up Abroad. So I made my templates for everything, just like I did with the gallery wall, and all was progressing. Until I ran out of newspaper. No panic required though, I just used my MacGruber MacGyver skills and decided wrapping paper would work just as well.

(I'm cropping out most of the mess in this picture btw. I'm all for keeping it real, but some people might be eating.)

After hanging the wrapping paper, my ubiquitous and ever helpful 4-year-old said "Oh mommy, I really love these stripes. These are good colors."

While I agree they are good colors for something else, not so much for my room. However, the longer that stayed on the wall (we're talking minutes here) the more I kept thinking 'I like this idea'.

Now I've framed wrapping paper many times before. Hell, I even tape it to my mantel at christmas. But this time I was thinking a little different. Something longer. Possibly a way to introduce more pattern into the room.

Something clicked (not my jaw this time) and just like that, it became my mission to find this 'something'. I found a few options the next day and temporarily taped them up to see what I thought.

Not bad.

My husband liked it as well and said, "you know what would be cool is if it went all the way to the ceiling and down to the floor" (he'll be getting an extra present on his birthday this year).

Then, yesterday I saw this picture on Chinoiserie Chic

ts a sign.

I'm thinking I'm on the right track here people. Or at least a track. Which is a big improvement from the muddy gravel nothing I was on before. Inspiration is a'rising again. I better get something done before it disappears.

Have you had any happy accidents lately? And did you see RHONJ? Oh yeah baby, this is gonna be good.

April 20, 2012

awards and cords

I was hit with the lucky stick twice this week when two of my favorite ladies, Charmaine at My Best Friend Craig and Laura at Elegant Nest gave me the Liebster Blog award! Woot woot!

The Liebster Blog award is given to a blog on the rise. It is a great way to shine a light on those that are making their way in the blog world, and I am truly honored for the privilege. 

This is probably as close to a Grammy as I'll ever get, so let me take this opportunity to thank my fans, my family for supporting me and of course God. (why do musicians always thank God in their speeches?) In all seriousness though I have a great respect for Charmaine and Laura and it means a lot that they even thought of me. 

With this honor, I get to pass on the love to five of my favorite blogs.

Amelia at House Pretty
Colleen at Lemon Drop Dreams
Emily at Lucite and Lavender
Meg at Nutmeg & Company
Erin at Out on a Limb

Now with this award comes great responsibility my friends. Please continue the tradition by doing the following:
1. Link back to the person who gave it to you. Its important to represent!
2. Post the award on your blog for all to see!3. Give the award to 5 of your favorite bloggers (ideally with approximately 200 followers or less).4. Leave a comment on your chosen 5 blogs to let them know that they have been given the Liebster award.

Now for the 'cord' portion of this post - I'm off to a friends house today to sew some piping (cording). You know what that means - yes, the blasted couch is almost done! Here is a sneak peek.

Make sure to check in next week for the big reveal! 

April 19, 2012

garden stools for everyone

The more I see garden stools, the more I want one. They have been around forever, and I'm a sucker for a good classic.

Skinner Auctioneers & Appraisers via Boxwood Terrace

With all the fresh colors and finishes though, maybe mixing up the traditional is the way to go.
Red Nook
Neiman Marcus

Do you have a garden stool? Know a great place for a budget friendly option?

April 17, 2012

happy Domino day!

It's here! It's here!

I've got my Starbucks and my Domino. I anticipate being deep in Domino bliss for much of the afternoon.

Can't wait to talk about favorite pages, pictures etc. Did you rush out to get it first thing this AM? Or am I the only Domino dork?

April 16, 2012

take it outside

Happy Monday! I hope that everyone survived the weekend and there is no storm damage outside your window today. 

Now that the pollen has finally stopped falling from our big old Oak trees in the backyard, we can get started on one of the projects I have on my 2012 list - the deck.

While there is a lot of unsexy things that need to be done to the deck - new stairs, railings and replacing several boards - there is also a decision to make.

Is our outdoor space going to be a place for dining?

Buddha Interiors via Pinterest
via Pinterest
Southern Living via Pinterest

Or, will it be for lounging?

Southern Living via Mix and Chic via Pinterest
via Pinterest
House Beautiful via Pinterest

Do you have an outdoor space? Do you use it for hanging out? For eating? Eating while you hang out?

April 12, 2012

seeing spots

We don't have a lot of art in our house.


We have a lot of the crayon/marker/glue and dried pasta variety. However, we don't have a lot of grown-up art. Tons of pictures, a few prints and one etching (fancy I know) but not much art to speak of.

So I find it funny that I have a whole board on Pinterest dedicated to that very thing. Lots of paintings - abstract, landscapes etc. A whole bunch of things I absolutely love but would never in a million years be able to create not to mention the fact that they aren't very budget friendly.

But what good is Pinterest if it doesn't inspire you to get off your arse once in a while and try something new. Can I get an amen?

So with a perfect blank slate just waiting to be 'arted' (I don't think that is a word but I am here by declaring it a verb. I'll alert Webster's.) I decided to give it a shot.

I've always loved this painting by Damien Hirst (Opium). So with the ignorance confidence of a novice I uttered those famous 5 words, "how hard could it be?"

Luis Bustamante via Pinterest
I went to Michael's with my coupons and a list of colors I wanted to use. First big break, the canvas was on sale. I went with a 16x20 so as not to overwhelm myself with a big vast white board screaming 'ok, so make me beautiful ms. know-it-all.'

Picking out the paint colors was a huge time suck. Apparently I don't craft enough as I had no idea how many shades of every color in the rainbow there was in the world of craft paint. Luckily at $.60 a bottle, I stayed within my meager budget. Two packs of small round stencil sponge brushes to create my circles and I was armed and read to create.

Maybe it was the fumes from all of the craft paint but I was psyched. I couldn't wait for nap time so I could get to work.

In order to keep those perfect lines I figured a grid pattern would do the trick. With the very thin painters tape left over from my tray, I first made all of my horizontal lines using a piece of tape as my spacer. Then, I repeated the same process vertically.

Although it made a lovely gingham pattern, the squares were just a bit too small for my spongy circle things. Big bummer.

Attempt number two. I used my wide painters tape for my spacer...and that was a total bust. That tape was too wide and I only got a few rows in.

Third time is a charm. I put two pieces of the thin painters tape together, overlapping them slightly and used that for my spacer. Just right. Do I sound like goldilocks?

With some old cardboard I made myself a little painters palet and got to work. At first I thought about trying to follow the colors in the original painting dot for dot. But that would have driven me bonkers. So I went random.

Starting with one color, I would fill in 3 random squares. (I don't know why I picked 3). Then, move to the next color. I went thru the whole rainbow, doing 3 squares of each color before starting over again with the first color. Repeating this over and over until I got to the last few empty squares. At that point it became a bit of a chess game but turned out pretty well.

Some of the circles got a little wonky and aren't exactly uniform, but I kind of like that actually. Because really, what in my house isn't a little wonky and not exactly uniform?

The whole project only took about an hour (would have been shorter if I didn't have to tape and retape) and was under $20. A great deal I would say.

Have you attempted to recreate a piece you've seen on Pinterest?

April 10, 2012

gotta know when to fold 'em

Know when to walk away. Know when to run.

I'm quoting Kenny Rodgers. This means I've been doing some soul searching, or some drinking. I'll let you decide.

The paint color I chose is now on the walls in the master bedroom. And although I love it, really I do, its making me re-think the whole color scheme I had in mind.

But I can't show you my progress without a little light conversation first. So let me give you a brief history of the room.

The house was built in 1942. Just kidding, not that type of history. When we bought the house, this room was nothing but a white box.
Plain as plain can be. Nothing to fix or remove, just a blank canvas. Literally.

Our first iteration was Amelia's nursery. These were pre-blogging days, so sadly I only have two pictures. Taken with a very old camera.

I loved this room. And it stayed like this for almost 3 years. A lifetime in my always-changing-things-around world.

But as we prepared for our second baby, we decided to switch rooms. They are roughly the same size, but I thought it was time we got to use the walk-in closet.

With all of the prep we took to get the new room ready for the girl(s) we didn't put any effort into our 'new' bedroom. We took the polka dots off the wall. That was it. And thus the 'redo our bedroom' line item took its permanent place on the to-do list.

Look at this sad two legged bedside table for pete's sake. It may defy gravity, but its just pitiful.

This brings us up to this weekend. The room is stripped. Curtains are down and everything is off the wall. And many many holes have been patched.

does anyone else always have Barbie's on their dresser?

I kicked the kids and husband out of the house and took all day Saturday to listen to Pandora and paint.

Now it should be known that I am not the 'cut in' person in our relationship. My husband is the cutter and I am the roller. Some might say that is because we are an awesome team and love to share responsibilities and work together.

Some would be wrong.

The truth is I am WAY too impatient to cut. The taping, the prep work, the patience to SLOWLY glide your brush along the...ugh. See. I'm too impatient to even describe it.

But this time was different. Maybe it is the residual patience built up from having two little girls, or my advancing age (even though I don't look a day over 21) but I wanted to try the whole thing on my own.

To prep myself, as any good blogger would, I asked WWYHLD? (what would young house love do) I studied Sherry's video on how to cut in. I even bought Sherry's favorite brush.

And it paid off. I mean, come on now, look at that line!


And the color - lovely!

I took my time and sang as I went. I literally whistled while I worked. And without an inch of blue tape in site, I had a painted room and newly painted trim before the sun went down. Only 2 Starbucks teas required.

This isn't the best picture (poor end of the day lighting + tired painter/photographer). It reads more peach than it really is. In reality it really is the perfect grass cloth warm yellow.

So this brings us back to the issue I started with. (see I really did have a point)

The color scheme. While I think the navy will work well in here, I propped my kelly green mirror up to the wall.

And while I don't think they are NeNe vs Kim level enemies, I don't think they are doing each other any favors. So I'm thinking the green is out.

What do you think? Just go with various shades of blue? Ditch it all together and go with a totally different color, like coral (at the risk of hearing my husband complain about a coral bedroom)?

If only Kenny Rodgers sang more about color stories.

April 6, 2012

treat yourself friday

I try to do a little something fun for myself on Fridays - get a tea at Starbucks, buy a new magazine, etc. (I know, I live on the edge.)

One of my favorite things to do is get my nails done. However, I often find myself without the time to go to the nail salon, aka 'mommy's special place'. And as a result, I have more bottles of nail polish at home than I care to count.

Last Friday I was feeling particularly cheap but still wanted my Friday treat, so I picked up a bottle of Sinful Colors at Target for $1.99. Can't get any cheaper than that.


Turns out this is the BEST nail polish I've ever used (with the exception of my Chanel). This stuff stays on longer than a RHOOC marathon. No chipping. Bright colors. So much fun.

Treat yourself this Friday and pick some up.

April 5, 2012

take a seat part 4

Raise your hand if you have a half dressed couch in your garage. Wahoo!

I'm feeling good. I'm in control, as 80's Janet Jackson would say. I made legitimate progress, and there wasn't even excessive cussing. (no more than the normal daily amount that is)

But you are looking for the details, so lets go back to where we last left off.

My lovely little settee was sanded, primed and given two wonderful coats of black spray paint.

I have no idea what those hieroglyphics are btw
Fabric was purchased and my staple gun was ready. There was no busy work left. No more procrastinating or stalling. It was time to 'get to gettin'. 

I decided to start with the outside side panels. They didn't have any batting in them when I pulled the fabric off, so I thought it would be the most straight forward place to start.

I pulled the old smoke filled fabric out of the biohazard bag and laid it down on my pretty, new, clean linen to make my template.

I was sure to trace my line about an inch or so away from the template itself to give me a little wiggle room when installing.

Then I cut out my inaugural piece.

Next up was ironing out any and all wrinkles.

Then folding over and ironing the edges for one staple ready template.

Now I don't profess to know a stinkin thing about upholstery (as we've established) so maybe this is common but I was thrilled to have these wonderful pre-paved roads for me to follow. They were like a big neon sign, "Hey rookie, staple your fabric here!"

don't worry, all old staples were removed before new stapling began

I eyeballed the positioning of the template, making sure that all sides would be covered. Then I lit a candle, turned on Pandora and got to stapling.

One staple at the top, the bottom, left side and then the right to hold the fabric in place. And then back to each side, pulling, holding, stapling.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Some staples wouldn't go in all the way, as you can see. So I'd have to pull it out and restaple. But again, not nearly as bad as I had feared (so far).

It actually went a lot quicker than I had planned (knock on wood). So quick in fact that I got both outside sides down in just a little over an hour.

High and tight - just like a good soldier haircut.

I will pause now so you can raise the roof with me.

There was a bit of excess to trim, but for the most part, the template did a great job of using just the right amount.

Already a vast improvement from her former life and she's only gonna get better.

Only one small change of plans so far. I'd originally thought I would do nailhead trim but my little paved roads are too wide for the nailhead. It looks like I'll have to go the piping route. Which means a dip into the sewing pool. Damn. I'm not ready for swimsuit season.

Next up, we'll go inside - arms, back and seat baby. Oh yeah.

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