Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ya-Hoo! The Coatroom Bench is Finished!

The finishing touches are now in place on my bench.  I can mark it off my list!  Today, I completed the slipcover for the seat and I hung a wreath on the window above the bench. The bench had been painted last week.  It just needed the slipcover.

I began sewing the slipcover yesterday.  I took my time and machine-basted the piping in place so it would have nice corners.  Everything went well, except I ran out of time.

Today, I was eager to finish up, 
not knowing how much *fun* I was going to have.  
Let's just say things didn't go as smoothly today.

I sewed the top to the sides and that went pretty well, other than the fabric being a nightmare to work with.  Note to self:  Do not try to use piping with thick, heavy, stretchy fabric.  When I finished the top, I felt all smug.  It looked pretty darned good.

The bottom half, which was the exact same size as the top half, refused to be pinned in place so that it lined up.  I pinned and re-pinned and re-pinned... at least a dozen times.  I finally resorted to sewing it together in bits and pieces and taking it up here and there to make it meet.  Foul language was involved.  Luckily, it looks fine, except for the fold bumps in the piping, which should settle down soon. No one but me will be aware of how I cheated to make it go together.  Well, I guess if you read my blog, you'll know.  :-)

I put the slipcover on.  It was far easier putting it on than putting the under-slipcover over the raw foam.  It looked good, but the vignette needed something more.  

How about a wreath?  A cute, small, natural wreath.  I don't have one and am not patient enough to wait and find the perfect thing.   I pulled down a spare wreath, hot glued small pinecones, finished it out with yard sale ribbon that just happened to look nice with all the colors in the slipcover and pillows.

By the way, this is the inspiration photo that I've had in my files for several years. I'm one step closer to the look I have in mind.  I've had this photo so long, I can't remember where it came from.  If you know, please tell me!  I like to give credit where it's due!

Oh, yes.  Much better.  So here it is.  Not perfect, but pretty enough to make me very happy.

Be sure to check out the latest RE- Party!
We RE-do, RE-decorate, RE-organize, RE-pair,  RE-upholster, 
RE-furbish, RE-finish, RE-purpose,  and of course, we love to RE-lax! 
This party celebrates the RE-'s in our lives! 

Take a look at these other wonderful link parties for more clever ideas.  
I'm linking this post with them!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ode to the *Faux* Mantel

I don't have a fireplace or a mantel in the house, but hubby has a fabulous vintage one in the barn.  Go figure.  In order to get my mantel fix for the holidays, I need to browse online.   Luckily, there's a lot of faux mantel inspiration out there.

Just because you don't have a fireplace, it doesn't mean you can't have a mantel.  Years ago, I might have snubbed my nose at them, but now I find their quirkiness very appealing. I even have a few ideas about how to make them useful.  Maybe one day, I'll jump on the bandwagon!  

Faux Fireplaces as seen on Growers Daughter
 As for decorating a mantel for the holidays, one look that is very appealing to me is a mantel trimmed with things from nature.
Vignette Designs did a wonderful post on Decking the Halls with Fresh Greens and Flowers

from Happy to Design

I've already posted once about the faux fireplace from Jaime on Caught in Grace.  She now has it decorated for the holidays!
I love Jaime's quirky chalkboard fire!

How pretty is this!  Six old boards.  Wow.  - as seen on The Little Apartment
 She was inspired by this (me, too):
from Dreamy Whites
By the way, after browsing a bit on the Dreamy Whites blog, it was hard to get back to this post. I love the look she's created in her home.  I love that it's not completely white.  Bits of vintage looking color is everywhere.

Maybe a mantle isn't needed.  A fabulous shelf can 
be decked with holiday trimmings.

Peg Rack - from Country Sampler Magazine

I also write a blog for Rockin' B Antiques - the shop where I rent my booth.  I have written a post with inspiration for decorating mantles for the holidays. There are LOTS of really pretty pictures there, so take a look!
Be sure to check out the latest RE- Party!
We RE-do, RE-decorate, RE-organize, RE-pair,  RE-upholster, RE-furbish, RE-finish, RE-purpose,  and of course, we love to RE-lax! 
This party celebrates the RE-'s in our lives! 

Take a look at these other wonderful link parties for more clever ideas.  
I'm linking this post with them!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Oh, Christmas Tree! Oh, Christmas Tree...

Putting up a tree this year was much more pleasant than last year.  Last year was the last year I put up a large tree.  I cussed and I fussed and I swore.  (In a Scarlett O'Hara voice) As God is my witness, I will never put up this *^%$#*! tree again!

This year,  I pulled the large tree down from the attic for the last time - I sold it!  Ha!  It's gone.  (In a Wizard of Oz Munchkin Voice) Ding Dong the tree is gone!  Which old Tree?  The humongous tree!!!...  You didn't know I could sing and do imitations, did you?

OK.  Enough nonsense.  
This year, intead of one huge tree, I put up three smaller trees.  The largest is a four foot tabletop model.  It's easy to carry, easy to put in the stand, and easy to decorate.  No cussing or fussing... just peace and joy.

A few years back, I got into pretty trees.  I changed them a bit each year.  Some years I went with all one color - like gold.  Other years, I'd have a theme.  Whatever.  My darling hubby, who let me just say has never helped decorate the tree, began a campaign to go back to an old fashioned looking tree just like he grew up with.  Big multi-colored lights.  A colorful mix of ornaments.  And you know?  I was ready for a change anyway.  We've been happier with our crazy trees than we ever were with the fancy ones.

So, here's our four foot table top tree with the big lights and multi-colored ornaments.  Let me break it down for you.

I have a wonderful quilted skirt that I bought half price after Christmas two years ago.

Our tree topper is a key element.  The first year we were married (or actually I think it was before we were married), Hubby gave me a gift sealed in this can.  I put it on the tree and it's been a tradition ever since.

Truck ornaments - Hubby has fond memories of playing with Tonkas when he was little.
Vintage Ornaments found at a recent yard sale.  I like the colors.

Stuffed felt ornaments.

The twelve days of Christmas - I broke two last year in a tragic decorating mishap.

Ornaments from Loved Ones

Ornaments I made years ago when I enjoyed being crafty.

The final step was putting as many Christmas tins around the base as I could.  
Now, why would I do that?

To protect the tree from the curious critters lurking around our house.

Here's the RE-Party!

We RE-do, RE-decorate, RE-organize, RE-pair,  
RE-upholster, RE-furbish, RE-finish, and RE-purpose.
AND... we RE-decorate for Christmas!!!
This party celebrates the RE-'s in our lives! 

Take a look at these other wonderful link parties for more clever ideas.  
I'm linking this post with them!

Carrot Souffle

For Thanksgiving, I never have to worry about the turkey.  For this, the family is thankful.  In our family, everyone contributes to the overall meal by bringing covered dishes - vegetables, salads, desserts, whatever...  This year, one of my covered dishes was Carrot Souffle.  It was wonderful.

I first tasted carrot souffle at the Piccadilly restaurant.  It's very, very sweet - almost dessert-like.  My friend, Penny, gave me her recipe.  The best part about making it at home, is being able to control the amount of sugar and butter.  Cutting back on those makes it healthier and it's still delicious!

I didn't take photos of my souffle, but it looked pretty much the same as in the lovely photo above from Cooking FunI've never visited that site before today, but I do plan to go back and browse.  It looks like she has some wonderful recipes!

The recipe makes a small souffle.  I made a much larger batch.  I used a 5 pound bag of carrots and multiplied all the other ingredients by five. It filled 1 small and 2 large casserole dishes.  I wanted to have some for home and some to take.  It would have been better to have just tripled the recipe.

I used the carrots that were already cut up.  That made it so easy!!!!!!!  Easy was good since I was multi-tasking like crazy that morning.

Here's the recipe:

Carrot Souffle
  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 lg eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½  c sugar - Penny recommends less - ¼ c or maybe a little more
  • ½  c butter, melted – Penny recommends ¼ c
  • 3 Tbs flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Bring carrots and water to a boil in a medium saucepan; cook 45 minutes or until very tender. Drain. Note: With 5 pounds of carrots, it took much longer to get my carrots tender. I steamed them.
  2. Process carrots in a food processor until smooth.
  3. Stir together carrot puree, eggs, and remaining ingredients. 
  4. Spoon into a lightly greased 1 qt baking dish.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until set. 


I added a blog page with links to my recipes and hopefully, this will make it easier to find particular recipes. (See the tabs just under my blog header.)  I plan to add more as time goes by.


Take a look at these other wonderful link parties for more clever ideas.  
I'm linking this post with them!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Headboard Bench Gets a Makeover

Months ago, I bought a bench at a yardsale.  It was obviously made from a headboard.  The lady who sold it to me said it was an incomplete project that she got tired of looking at.  She just wanted it gone.  I was happy to help her out. 

Thanks to her unfinished project, 
I now have a wonderful bench in my coat room, 
but it was a long time coming.

It sat at our house waiting for attention for ages.  I began to wonder if one day, I too, would just want it gone.  It was already partially painted.  It was as if someone had been putting on the first coat and was interrupted and then never got back to it.  Or maybe they were going to do some sort of two toned finish.  I don't know.

I got started on it last week.  Knowing I would be distressing it, I didn't even prime it.  I wish I had read Barb Blair's great article (Design Sponge) on subtle crackle finish last week.  I would have used a bit of crackle here and there.  I also would have made my first coat of paint something other than black.

I bought some one inch thick foam and put four pieces of it together to form a cushion.  I would have preferred to have one nice four inch thick piece, but Hobby Lobby didn't have it and I didn't have the patience to wait.  As the Nester says, "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful."  I find myself using that quote often these days.  It's a wonderful phrase to help you feel better about not being a perfectionist.  

I made "underwear" for the cushion - a cover for the foam to go under the real slipcover.  I made it from a painter's dropcloth.  I love dropcloth slipcovers for the real slipcover, but in this case, I had something else in mind. I haven't had time to make the real slipcover, so this project isn't officially finished.  I plan to pipe the real slipcover and make it look a little bit snazzy.  

With Thanksgiving cooking to do, I didn't have time to finish.  The bench cushion would have to settle for underwear for a few days.  But then, all my furry friends came to investigate. Ugh oh. I decided to give it a temporary cover out of a fabric similar in color to the one I'll be making. I just wrapped a few yards of fabric around the cushion and tucked it here and there.  Why bother?  Because, I swear, if I didn't , one of the kitties would barf on the dropcloth cover and it was incredibly hard to pull over the foam.  I hope not to have to wash the "bench underwear" very often. So... better safe than sorry.

I had fun playing with pillows. I don't think I have the right look yet. All of these pillows came from yard sales, and I love them, but I believe I need some a little smaller.  I recently found some pillows at a yard sale that would have been great on this bench.  I put them in my booth and they sold.  Dang!  (or , if you speak French, ^%$#@!)  

Once I finish the real slipcover, I'll feature it in another post.  Meanwhile, I'm happy with it.
Be sure to check out the latest RE- Party!
We RE-do, RE-decorate, RE-organize, RE-pair,  RE-upholster, 
RE-furbish, RE-finish, RE-purpose,  and of course, we love to RE-lax! 
This party celebrates the RE-'s in our lives! 

Take a look at these other wonderful link parties for more clever ideas.  
I'm linking this post with them!

Inspired By...

I'm thinking I need to do a better job of featuring some of the inspiring ideas I come across on blogs.  Here are a few things that caught my eye made me swoon this week in no certain order -

From Design Happens

Notes From A Cottage Industry
Notes From A Cottage Industry

Caught in Grace
Maple and Magnolia
It's a Wannabe Decorator's Life
Vignette Design

from Mossy Rock Interiors

from Between Naps on the Porch
Confessions of a Plate Addict
By the way, if you like French music, then open Confessions of a Plate Addict - her playlist is mostly (maybe all) French music, with lots of Carla Bruni (wife of President of France) songs . 

Burlap Runner Tutorial by Confessions of a Plate Addict
Design Sponge - Before and After Basics - by Barb Blair
Leanne from Mossy Rock Interiors actually introduced me to Barb Blair this week.  Leanne's gray table is featured in this post.  She said she learned the whitewash technique from Barb. Barb's real site is Knack, but she writes Before and After Basics articles for Design Sponge.  I have read some of those before, but didn't put all those connections together.  

I will be a regular reader from now on!  I have read a few of the articles and have seen such good hints.  One of her recent articles - Putting the Snap in Your Crackle - shows how to use crackle finishes on just a few areas of a piece in order to create a truly aged look.   I'm totally inspired!!!  Now if I could only have some quality time in my paint room!  
Be sure to check out the latest RE- Party!
We RE-do, RE-decorate, RE-organize, RE-pair,  RE-upholster, RE-furbish, RE-finish, RE-purpose,   
and of course, we love to RE-lax! 
This party celebrates the RE-'s in our lives! 

Technorati - DQMHFW9MB22C

Sunday, November 21, 2010

RE- Party #4 and Something About Kathy

It's time for another RE- Party!  Join in with any post featuring something some you RE-did, RE-organized, RE-pairs, RE-furbished, or RE-purposed.  It can also be a RE-laxing or RE-membering post.  Or maybe you RE-charged or RE-examined.  You get the idea.  Join in with something you think others could benefit from in some way!  This party celebrates ALL the RE-'s in our lives!

Meanwhile, I'm going to RE-peat a post that I wrote early this morning for Rockin' B Antiques.  It was titled, Something You May Not Know About Kathy.

Kathy has a booth a few spaces down from my booth.  She began renting a month or so after me, so she, too, is a "newbie".    I admired her booth from the day she set it up.  She definitely knows what she's doing (or she's talented enough to fake it really well!)  

 I have only begun to get to know her.  She's quiet.  I found out a great deal about her when a friend of hers came to the store.  What I found out is very inspiring.

Kathy and her family lost their home and all their worldly possessions four years ago in a fire.  Luckily, no one was hurt.  The home was built in 1847.  It burned down the day after Thanksgiving, 2006.

This is the Christmas card she and her family sent out that year.  The words are so true!

The photo on the card shows what was left of their home.  If that card doesn't make you stop and think, then ... well, I don't know how to finish that sentence, but it must be something terrible!

Her friend told me that our local magazine - The Newnan-Coweta Magazine -  had done an article on her in the latest issue. You can click here to see the full article onlineIt starts on page 13.  We had a celebrity in our midst and didn't even know it.  In fact, I don't think anyone at the store knew.

But the article was not one of sorrow.  It was a story of coming back from zero.  Guess how she furnished her new home?  Totally from yard sales!  Oh, yes!   And her house is so pretty it should be in a magazine.  Well, actually, it is. :-)

Here are some photos of her house from the article:

This Thanksgiving, 
may we all remember what's really important!

On a lighter note, join the party! 


Take a look at these other wonderful link parties for more clever ideas.  
I'm linking this post with them!

A Letter from JJ

 This is a guest post from JJ, 
the little fluffball who is visiting us this week.  
He wanted to say hello to his mom and dad.


Hello Mudda.  Hello Fadda.  
Here I am at Camp Granada Senoia.
You didn't know I could sing, did you?

You don't need to worry about me.  I'm having a really good time.

You would be very proud.  I am learning some manners. Everyone around here is pitching in to make sure I behave.  If I step out of line, somebody is bound to growl or hiss at me.

Buddy has made sure that I no longer try to jump on him.  He reminds me every time I come close.  I keep telling him that he doesn't really need to remind me any more. 

We have lots of fun around here.  My favorite thing to do is to go on long walks. I don't even need a leash here.  You know, we're gonna have to talk about that leash thing when we get home.

Our walk is not actually a walk for me.  It's more a run.  I can run faster than any of these big old dogs around here.  Everybody keeps laughing at me.  I think it's that silly haircut they gave me at the shelter. Boy, I sure am glad I'm not there anymore!

We have contests on our walks to see who can mark the most territory.  I'm really good at that game!

I have been meeting lots of new friends.
Yesterday, we had a stare-down/bark-down with 4 big dogs from the farm across the street. We won!

Auntie D put my pretty toys away.  She said I wasn't supposed to pull the fuzz out. That's OK.  I didn't like eating fuzz anyway.

She gave me this really cool rope toy. I like to run around with it and growl and pretend I'm vicious. 

Sometimes, I can get Jack to play keep away, but mostly, he just looks at me like I've lost my mind.

I stay really busy all day helping with all kinds of projects. I have helped with painting, planting flowers, cooking and cleaning. Anything Auntie D needs help with - I'm right by her side!

I'm a very good watchdog.  If anyone comes up the steps, I let everyone know. Uncle R can't sneak up on Auntie D anymore!

Hey - guess what!  I haven't had a single accident since that first day!

Well, I've gotta go now.  You can stay at the beach as long as you want!

Love, J.J.


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