Monday, November 18, 2013

Embarassing "Before" Main Floor Pictures

I'm sharing a room that I don't really post much about. The front room. The room filled with natural light. The room guests see when they first walk in. The room with a lovely window seat.

The room winds around to the dining room too

This is also a room that has the terrible, nearly white, plush carpet. And the room where our sweet dog, Porter, spends his days...barking at the UPS man and watching the world go by.

See that black Kong Porter is playing's the culprit!
Ugh. This is what I'm most embarrassed about. Stains from where Porter eats his Kong. It's black rubber and it leaves awful marks on the nearly white carpet.

When we first bought this house, I had great plans for getting new wood floors on the main level before we moved in. It really was a smart plan. Too bad our budget didn't agree with my plan.

It's actually a blessing. In the two years that we've lived here, I've had lots of time to research wood floors. We have a large dog. We want to have children one day. We aren't rich. We need something affordable and durable. So where did my research lead me? Laminate! (We installed some in our upstairs office early in 2013 and I'm really happy with it).
Look at how the grout is chipping. Some of the tiles are loose too. Ends up, they had applied this right over vinyl. Big no-no!
They had also used an incorrect transition piece. Awesome.

So this weekend, we purchased nearly 800 square feet of TrafficMaster Farmstead Hickory 12mm laminate flooring!

And because it's going to save us $1700, we're doing all the tear out ourselves over the next couple weeks. Then a professional comes to install the flooring the week of December. I'm giddy!


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Master Bedroom Makeover Progress: Part 4

The never-ending bedroom makeover...well I do have progress to share. See previous posts here, here and here.

I finally got to go to the City (yeah).  I got to shop in stores other than WalMart and I got my pillow, which was a gift from Karli. That pillow which I was building my entire room around...the pillow that I had not seen...that vital pillow...the inspiration for fabrics needed to complete this project.

Here is the pillow Karli got me and I love it.  It really looks great with my paint color and is just the right amount of traditional/modern to mix it up in this bedroom. Yeah daughter!!

The trip to Denver was worth the wait. I needed drapery rods, draperies, and fabric for the bedskirt and recovering a chair seat...Mission Accomplished.

Here is the progress...........

Drapery Rods
Drapery Rods from JoAnn's Fabrics, Home Inspirations Signature Series, Oil Rubbed Bronze Finish, 50% off sale, $29.00 each.

White Draperies from Ikea, Ritva, Cotton, Backtabs, Machine Washable.
Loved the fabric with a linen look.  Also loved the price, $24.99 per pair.

The gray-print fabric I found at JoAnn's Fabrics, Waverly brand, 1/2 off.  Had to stand in line for it, but since I also found those curtain rods, it was all good.  I had to recompute the yardage since I had figured it to be 42" wide instead of the wider upholstery fabric I ended up buying. This décor fabric is always more expensive, but it may be 15 years before I redo this room.  It was still an investment at $29.00 a yard.

I made the bedskirt in sections.  I've made them before using part of a sheet to cover the foundation.  It can still be challenging to move the entire mattress, lay the bedskirt, then put the mattress in place.  This time I made it in three sections, still using an old sheet. 

I cut my gray fabric 19" (the height of the foundation plus some to go under the mattress).  I made two sections 82" length (for the 2 sides) and one section 62" long (for the bottom of the bed.)   I have a Queen size bed.  I then cut the old sheet into 15" tall pieces the same lengths as the other sections.  I sewed the sheet pieces to each section.  It was then so much easier to slide these three sections in place under the mattress, instead of one big one.  It also accommodated the footboard. 

Recovering the chair was a simple fix.  Here is what it looked like before. (also seen in my post about my favorite old chairs!)

I just turned the chair upside down, unscrewed the seat and then had the huge task of removing all the staples I had put in the last time I covered this seat.  I decided I wanted the cushion thicker so I cut a new piece of foam, then cut the fabric and restapled it all.  

Now that all of that is done (the rods, the drapes, the bedskirt, the chair seat, the new pillow)......the old comforter doesn't look that great.  Isn't that always the way it goes? 

So, this bedroom makeover isn't complete yet.  Now I have to deal with the bedspread/comforter.  Keep checking...I'll get it finished some day!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Blessings Tree for Thanksgiving

Last Thanksgiving, Brent and I hosted both of our families at our house. It was a wonderful, special day and I love the fun touches we added with decor and a "blessings tree" at the front entry.

We cut out some leaves from multiple colors of paper and tied a ribbon to each. Then we placed several branches in an urn. Simply place some markers near the blank leaves and have guests add something they're thankful for. It was a really great way to see all our blessings hanging on a "tree."

Mom helped with all the tablescapes and I think they were just perfect. Our tableclothes were white, so we added small vases with green mums, orange pumpkins and some squash. Mom made a few new napkins to mix in with some orange ones I already had. Since I didn't have enough silverware in our wedding pattern, we mixed all the silverware up and I think it turned out really fun!

We set up the dessert buffet in the front room near the tables, so everyone could help themselves as they wished.

After the meal, the guys enjoyed a game of football in our backyard while Brent's mom did a craft project with the little ones. I love that we have the space to entertain like this now. Speaking of blessings...this house is a huge one for us!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Leigh's Wedding Party--A Fall Supper

My dear friend Kathy's daughter, Leigh, is getting married in November. Another neighbor friend, Pat, and I decided to host a party in her honor.

Since Leigh already had a shower, we thought a couple's party would be fun. After all, we wanted to get to know her fiance. How perfect to have a Fall Supper Party!

We enjoyed planning all the details for the big night. I'll highlight areas for you and share some of our photos.

The Invitations:

My artsy friend, Judith, gave me some beautiful khaki colored paper that worked great to make the invitations. I folded the paper in half and did a dry-brush stencil design in chocolate brown. I did the wording on the computer, copied it onto white cardstock paper, cut it with a paper cutter, and used double stick tape to attach it inside. I then repeated the stencil design inside and then again on the outside of the envelope. 

The Tables:

I recently used painter's drop cloths to cover a ceiling in a shed, see this post.   I really liked the fabric and thought it would make wonderful tablecloths for this party. I purchased a 9' x 12' size dropcloth at Sherwin Williams and from that I was able to get 4 card table size cloths and one to fit a 6' table. I then purchased one drop cloth that was 6' x 9' for the larger table. After washing and drying the dropcloths, I pressed them, cut them to size and hemmed them. That's how easy it was. I really love the organic texture...a cross between linen and burlap. Really perfect for a fall dinner party. 
We topped each table with a brown runner. (I made the runners for Karli's wedding three years ago and have used them many times since then.) On the runners were vintage wood boxes containing old white ironstone pitchers of various sizes.  In each pitcher was native wheat grass that I cut from along the fence row and dried. We included pinecones from Pat's yard, tiny white pumpkins, and small votive candles for sparkle. 

We wanted casual, but traditional. We mixed up the table settings, using some of my dishes and some of Pat's. We had blue and white transferware and brown and white transferware. We mixed up the stemware as well, using both blue and brown. Even the napkins were mix and match....brown print, blue and white, solid brown, and ivory. I think the effect was warm and inviting.

The Menu:

In keeping with our casual, rustic feel, we kept our food simple, as in "Fall Comfort Food."  Karli had helped us plan what we were going to serve and she helped with the food prep. (So glad my daughter can cook.)

Spinach Dip served in a small Pumpkin
Mini Pretzels and Cracker Assortment
Cream Cheese topped with Raspberry Chipolte 
Assorted Fall Beers and Micro Brews
Main Course
Fresh Green Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Sweet Peppers
Homemade Ranch Dressing
Crusty Wheat French Bread with Garlic Butter
Hearty Beef Stroganoff
Buttered Green Beans
Pumpkin Bundt Cake
Chocolate Bundt Cake
Fresh Whipped Cream
Cream Cheese Mints

Here are some photos of the appetizer table. The little straw bride doll adorning the table is a vintage keepsake of Pat's.

The "Bar" area was special too. Years ago I had made this lattice divider when Leigh's brother got married. We used it at the reception. Then, when her other brother got married, we used it at the ceremony. It was only fitting to use it for some of Leigh's festivities. An old washtub sits on an antique kitchen table holding the ice and beers. Karli wrote the beer choices on old cupboard door that I had painted with chalkboard paint. We set this up outside on the deck. 

Another cupboard door, which I made freestanding, greets guests as they came to the front door. Karli did the writing on this one as well. (Sure glad she came home to help with this party.)

Karli and Bride-to-be Leigh were childhood friends, living down the road from each other. It was wonderful that Karli got to come home, help with the party and celebrate with Leigh.

My camera battery failed at about this time...lesson learned...always have a back-up battery in the camera case. I did not get photos of the rest of the food, or all the people at the party. I didn't even get a photo of Leigh and Jake, the Groom. I did however get one of Karli and Brent. Brent deserves to be in this post too. He worked hard...hauling all the stuff for the outdoor bar area and all that beer!

What a great evening we had! Now we can all look forward to the upcoming wedding and spending more time with these people that we love.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Art Shed: Part 2

I have had the pleasure of helping my good friend, Judith, convert her outdoor shed into a new space. For lack of a better name...we refer to it now as "The Art Shed." Did I mention that Judith is a real artist? If you haven't already done so, check out what we started with and the progress on the shed up to this point

Here is a photo of the Before (which you can see more of here):
Here is the shed with the added insulation.

Here are photos of the After:

Welcome to "The Art Shed"...step through the front door and check out the new space. 

We are finally ready to reveal the new look with furniture and artwork in place.
    Through the front doors you are greeted with color and art.

On this wall, you see the little green table which Judith's father made many years ago.  See this post to learn more about it, Judith's New Old Green Table. It is the perfect spot to display some of her art. A large basket on the floor is filled with rolled art paper and a fun green yard chair is great for sitting a bit.
Painting the table this shade of green really works with her art.
The Shed will be used in a variety of ways: as a display area for her art, as an area to work with clients on custom work, and perhaps even as a work-space for Judith and other artist friends collaboration on art projects.
This table provides a work surface with seating for two.  

The mustard box sits on the table and holds art supplies.
Judith made this great floor lamp.

 A mustard mat for guests to wipe their feet at the front door.

   To the right of the door, a metal shelf holds art supplies and hanging on the door is one of Judith's signature pieces, an angel painting.

Judith's husband, Larry, found this wood chest in Kentucky. Don't you love the bold floral painting leaning on it?

Here is a close-up of the fun indoor/outdoor rug.The rug was the
inspiration for the color choices in the shed.

    Judith places paintings in this stand, handy for browsing. The bell chime that hangs above her was a gift from her daughter.
  It will be exciting to see the ever changing artwork on display in Judith's Art Shed. Here we placed a fun artsy clock that she created.

It has certainly been rewarding helping my good friend transform her shed into a place she actually wants to spend time. She and her husband, Larry, are really the greatest people to work with. I hope they enjoy their made-over space for many years. I know that Judith will...she'll be out there changing the artwork on a weekly basis. She has so many great pieces, she'll be busy for quite a while!

Check out more of her work at She is an extremely talented and delightful gal and I am so very happy we could work on "The Art Shed" together.