Wednesday, September 30, 2009

~autumn calls~

The leaves are starting to turn, the mornings are beginning to get foggy, and the date is September can only mean it's time to start decorating for fall!

This picture with both hydrangeas and pumpkins was the perfect warm up.....

Did you know these are called baby-boo squash? How adorable & fitting the name.

I love the simplicity of the candelabra w/ the pumpkin and black bird....

As promised in my last post, I drug the bins downstairs and started pulling stuff out!

Have any of you ever tried ironing burlap??? Yikes! Next time I think I will hang it, roll it or took tons of steam & a spray bottle to make yet more steam to even begin loosening the wrinkles....It's like wrinkled linen on steroids!!!

First things first...had to light the yummy Yankee candle "autumn wreath," to set the mood. And of course no decorating project would be complete without a quick run (no not exercise!!!!) to JoAnn's Superstore to pick up a few missing components...$30 later for a few tiny items....and we are ready to begin!

I found this super cute little quail at JoAnn's. Isn't she so sweet? So I got her and her sister plus 2 babies. They also had pheasants which were equally as cute.

I usually don't use the cherub shown here in fall decor, but this year I decided to try something new. Does he fit? Here is the tablescape w/ the cherub & a couple of the quail.

I love this little decorated cone w/ the black bird & embellishments. I got it from a local artist in an antique store down the road. I would love to figure out how to make them. That would be a good little craft for a rainy day, huh?

Next in line is the top of the hutch. It is really fun to decorate during the holidays.

And lastly, the top of the piano (which incidentally, I got free off craigslist!) And it plays beautifully!

That's it for now....more updates later! Next on my list is the front porch....but I need to do some dead-heading & gardening first before I show any of you outside stuff!

See you next time!

(First three pictures courtesy of Country Living)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

~hydrangea heaven~

I know I'm not alone in my love of hydrangeas! They are so beautiful. What I really adore about them is the way they fade and dry naturally...just waiting to be clipped & arranged in a basket or in a wreath. Mine are just starting to fade & when they are just the right shade, I'll put them to work in my home.

I have to admit I am a bit obsessed with them! I have a very small garden and in the last 2 years I've managed to plant 13 ok...pretty much decided I could use these anywhere there's dirt. If only they could handle full sun! Then I would likely have no other flowers! (except roses of course!)

I really love the white snowball hydrangeas...they fade to a gorgeous creamy white.

To make an autumn wreath with dried hydrangeas:

Start with a grapevine wreath (which you can find at any craft store for $2-5) Any size will work, the wreath in the picture started w/ an 18" grapevine wreath. Choose the greenery you like such as hydrangeas and rugosa rose hips (shown above).

Get out your trusty hot glue gun, or if you like florist wire that will also work. For me I prefer the hot glue because it seems to hold things better & you don't scratch up your fingers while trying to thread the wire through the grapevine wreath. Although....I can never seem to do a project without burning myself at least 2-3 times with my glue gun!

Then start attaching the blooms. Just be sure to tuck in the stems as you go. When you are happy with how it looks loop some florist wire around the top of the wreath & proudly hang it on your front door or anywhere else your heart desires! My experience has been that hydrangea blooms seem to last forever as long as you treat them delicately!

Now I am officially in the mood for fall decorating! Got the bins out & they are sitting next to me as I'm typing this post! I think that will be tomorrow's project....I'll take pic's and show you all Tuesday!

Thanks for stopping by!

pictures courtesy of Country Living

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

~thrifty finds~

Like most of you, I love finding stuff at the thrift stores! We have a goodwill outlet store not far from our neighborhood, and I usually can't bear going in it, because everything is, literally, dumped into huge bins that you have to sort through. And it's mostly broken, junky, trashy stuff that needs to be in the dumpster!

But because I can't help myself & because I have found a few things that have been absolute steals....I venture in every so often. The last venture turned up these! They are big & look to be pretty old. Perfect for storing oats, grains, sugar etc...Love them! I actually got 4, and the total cost was around $2.50!

Right now I have them on my baker's rack in the kitchen. I love the vintage look of them!

The next find is a platter...from a regular goodwill store. And, I am in love with this pattern!! It's hand painted under glaze, by Vernon Kilns, made in U.S.A.

Then my wonderful friend found these matching pieces at a thrift store in her neighborhood. She paid a total of $3 for the sugar bowl & 3 plates!

I hung the 3 plates in my kitchen, and the platter sits on a stand in the kitchen also. Then, the same wonderful friend found 4 more pieces at the same store & nabbed them for me. Again just a couple bucks for all. Then the store must have decided they had some value because the last time she went in they had 4 plates for $35!

I put them in my vintage hutch (found at a garage sale) in my living/dining room.

Thanks for stopping by! See you next time....

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

frenchy chair rehab

I found these black & green striped chairs (eek) on craigslist. I do love CL! More than half, but not quite all....of my furnishings come from CL.

I put up with them for awhile because I tend to get "project overload" but finally got to them and I think they turned out fabulous!

BTW this is my dining room before window trim, baseboards, and a different table and chairs. You can kind of see the after shot of it in the pic's down below.

First I had to pry the nails & tacks off the chairs so I could remove the old fabric. Then I just used the old fabric as a template for the new fabric. I used a staple gun for the first one, but came to the conclusion that I could really save myself a lot of grief & effort by getting out the ol' glue gun. What an invention! Love it.

Anyway, I happened to have the red trim left over from another project and luckily, it matched the fabric perfectly. I used an antiquing kit from Lowe's (about $15),from American Tradition. I didn't prime it or anything this time. Just painted right over the black. The antiquing kit comes w/ the actual paint (cream) and a type of stain that you rub on the paint after it dries. Then you quickly wipe it off, but leaving some in the cracks and grooves.

So, here is the finished product....I love the red & cream together with the rest of my house. It just warms up the room and gives it kind of a swedish / frenchy feel.

The tablecloth on the table is a beautiful, antique quilt I found at a garage sale for $10!!! I snatched it up...felt like I was stealing something I was so thrilled! Anyway the backside is actually what's showing. Here is a pic of the is really darling... hand quilted. But too tattered to display so I just use the underside & it works perfect with the decor.

Thanks for coming by, see you next time!

Monday, September 14, 2009

I'm dreaming of a bedroom...

I absolutely love the simplicity and elegance of this room. I especially love the way the bedskirt drapes softly on the floor. The little touch of color, with the faded red fabric, on the chair is perfect. For the last little while I have wondered how hard it would be to make a bedskirt like that? Anyone ever try this?

Ok..this picture seriously makes my heart skip a beat! What can I is truly divine! The pure white bedding, the ruffles, the embroidered pillows, and the distressed green side tables! The frenchy touches on the headboard & side tables, the tiny bit of gold....and the pure excellent-ness (is that a word?) of that gorgeous headboard! I swear I would mortgage my house to find a bed like that!!! And then the very simple white curtain pulled back ~sigh~ What more to say? I am in love.

You know what I am loving about this room? The painted white paneled walls. And the baseboard moulding. That is the exact style of trim I want for my daughters beach room (and for that matter our whole 2nd story!) With this room the textures in the bedding, flooring, and walls really speak to me. The architectural details in the oversized, distressed mirrors are fabulous, the chandelier is gorgeous.

Now here is my dilemma....I cannot decide my true love...the rustic-ness (another new word I'm inventing for this purpose) of this room or the elegance of the prior rooms....
I am just smitten with the rustic plastered walls! The paint that looks so aged, and un-even...the to-die-for batten boards and the color!! I am loving the vintage feel of the linen bedding, the simplicity of no window coverings, and the little vase of wild flowers....mmmmm....

Lastly, this room just makes me makes me dream of another time..and yearn for the days of Jane Austen novels...a time when we would be taking a carriage ride, wearing sweet muslin dresses, and taking a "walk about the room" arm in arm with a dear friend........
What I love about this room is the simple white bedding, with a touch of faded floral. And the departure from painted furniture to natural wood pieces. I am so loving the paintings above the bed...some unframed on canvas and some in beautifully intricate frames. Who can decide ladies? Master bedroom re-do is coming shortly. I would be delighted to hear your ideas!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

barbies to beach bedroom transformation

I had finally had enough!! Several years ago I let my then 5 year old daughter choose her bedroom paint color(s) and decor..... So, off to the paint store we went....well any of you who have little girls don't even need to wonder what colors they adore at that age! She heads straight to the Nickelodeon display and we came home with barbie pink and bright purple!

I know what you might be thinking! How could I allow such ghastly colors into my vintage home? Seriously, it was not easy...I kept thinking "let her make her own decision and feel a sense of accomplishment." That was that, she made the decision and we ended up with purple walls (2/3rds of the way up) and pink & white awning stripes on the upper third. What you can't see from the before pics was a sweet little princess canopy with toule and lots of pink chintz fabric, that hung above her bed. It did help a bit, but even so after 3-4 years of this I couldn't take it anymore!

My 13 year old daughter & I were laying on my bed trying to decide what to do for the day on the last week of summer and I said, "I hate that bedroom!! Let's redo it today before Dad gets home!!" If you have seen the post with the cupboard project, the inside of the cabinet is painted a really pretty robin's egg bluish/greenish color. As luck would have it...the color is close enough, for my (now 9 yr. old) daughter's taste, to sky blue which is now her favorite color. So, with very little persuasion on color--we started the project.

We started by priming the walls--it took all of one gallon! We removed the dated carpet, and all the tack strips & staples that came w/ it.

Then I started installing the floorboards. The flooring is prefinished tongue & groove fir. Most of the boards were 7-8 feet long, so I tried to stagger the boards so the horizontal seams didn't line up. Lots of sawing (I do love my power tools!!) But I have to admit, at this point, I was wondering "what in the world was I thinking...doing this on a whim w/ the hubby at work..all by myself...????" But carry on I said to self! You can do it!

Here's the final product! We still have some decorating to do...I'm planning on hanging soft white curtain panels, and installing 1x4 white base boards. We're also adding, just a few, beachy accessories to finish up, but we will be keeping the general look very simple & uncluttered.

She is so happy with her new room!! She can't keep her sisters out of it!

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