Sunday, May 29, 2011

tablecloth trick

Photo sent to me from Hilary at The Upcycle Furniture Company blog

First, a big and heartfelt thank you to everyone for sharing in the excitement of my home being featured in Fresh Cottage magazine. It's been beyond wonderful to receive comments (and photos from bookstores sent via phone!) so full of cheer and support. How fun is that!? Thank you, thank you!

How I install oilcloth

It's been just over a year since I "installed" two yards of oilcloth to the dining room table and I have been very pleased with the results. I no longer fret over scratches and marks made to the surface of this table where everything from meals to homework to tinkering takes place. Of course I also like the playfulness the patterned oilcloth adds to the room. HOWEVER, after one year of said daily activities, I thought it was about time to refresh and so when I ordered 2 new yards, I decided to try the reverse pattern of red with white polka dots.


Now you see it ...

Now you don't ...


Completed in :15 or less.

What do you think? Team white with red or red with white? We're still not quite sure around here but regardless it's a simple, inexpensive, non-committal and fun change.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

fresh cottage!

It was one year ago today that fairyrockstar Fifi O'Neill, chopped watermelon, mixed pink lemonade, and snipped mums to stand-in for daisies while Dan Mayers took photographs and I moved through the day in excited disbelief.

Fast-forward to this morning when I received an email from Stacey who wrote that she just saw the piece on my home in fresh cottage magazine. I hadn't known when the article would be out (and had been scouting the magazine racks regularly) so I raced over to my local bookstore, minutes after it opened.

In the quiet bookstore, I could barely contain my enthusiasm, even saying to the cashier, "I just have to share this with someone!" I beamed and blurted.

And I am still beaming, 14 hours later, as I blurt this news out here.

Thank you to Fifi for the perfect words; for everything.

As many of you know, my mom passed away in December. She was always my greatest cheerleader and I miss her more than ever when there is news to tell. Makes me appreciate sharing on my blog more than ever, where I am thankful for all of the sweet cheerleaders I also have in the blogging community.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Monday, May 16, 2011

happy mail

It had been a while since I had participated in a swap so when Stevie of My Art Canvas asked if I'd like to, I agreed instantly.

Stevie creates the sweetest things, like her prized birdhouses, using a pretty palette of aquas and pinks. She made the framed chalkboard shown above, too.

So many thoughtful details using vintage supplies.

But this pillow is my very favorite among the treats from Stevie. So cool!

I put together a sampling of treasures, both tinkered and collected, to send.

The generosity of bloggers is something that always inspires me.

Thanks again, Stevie! Our swap was a very fun way to celebrate Springtime.


Thursday, May 12, 2011

sweet dreams

It's been just over a year since I painted the bedroom but lately I am thinking it's time to do a bit more feathering. Just a bit. To reignite ideas, I revisited The Ultimate Inspiration Photo (below).

Ah, page 36 of Cottage Style (Country Collectibles #56). I like the idea of placing short runners over each night table to lighten and brighten, and plan to finally buy a pair of (inexpensive) skinny lamps like the one shown (Hello, Ikea!).

Feeling ready to commit to using the coveted piece of fabric on my bed. Plus another pillow or two? {Thank you, Shellie!!!}

Inspired by the red number 2 hanging from the trunk, I'm thinking of painting a rustic sign that says something like Cottage for Rent or Roses for Sale and hanging it beneath the yardlong print of roses. {Doesn't this look like the same room as The UIP?}

With a little tinkering (replace white hardware, paint a bit) this short rack has possibilities.

Does anyone remember HGTV's Decorating Cents with Joan Steffend? Gee, I loved that show. Even the awful makeovers provided useful ideas. Anyway ...

As always, ideas are welcome, my creative, talented and brilliant friends!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

i will find you

Has this ever happened to you? You're reading someone's blog when you see an image that evokes a GASP! and suddenly you find yourself on a mad Google-fueled Amazing Race-type expedition of what it is and where to find it. Friends, I admit that this happens to me.

And happens quite regularly at Koralee's inspiring and always beautiful blog Bluebird Notes, where I fell hard for ... cupcake liners ... from Greengate ... a home decor company in Denmark from which I can't figure out how to order. So, the quest began ...

My search ultimately lead me to Norfolk Textiles in the U.K. and I am now the owner of cupcake cups and paper cups (although not the same GASPed-over pattern, they are still very sweet).

In related news, I have had similar reactions to pieces from PiP Studio in Amsterdam, as shown above.

So, I actually did a GASP+double take when I saw this plate while sauntering about TJ Maxx yesterday.

Although it is not from PiP Studio, it really looks (to me) like it could be. I bought just one plate to display ... for now.

{What is it about these rosy patterns that makes me swoon?}

Remember to shut-down your computer before running out the door to TJ Maxx ...


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

l'armoire est fini

So, Saturday was the day I had set aside to finally paint the armoire. Somehow over a breakfast consisting of cereal and magazines, I decided I would paint the entire piece white with pale aqua stripes, and leave all hardware on.

Because the window is a favorite piece, I took my aqua color-cue from the backing wallpaper, which lead me to choose Almost Aqua by Glidden.

The armoire was sort of beastly to paint and I needed to do a paint-run half-way through.

Overall I did about two coats to everything but the drawer fronts and hardware (just 1 coat) and let it dry overnight.

Sunday morning I still wasn't 100% sure if I should add the aqua stripes but then I just had to with the safety net of knowing that if it didn't look right, it could be covered with another coat of white. No measuring for me: I used the paint chip as my guide for width.

I gave a quick, light coat of paint and then carefully removed the tape.

Next it was time to shabbify the hardware with a little nail polish remover on a paper towel. The top pull is the before; the bottom is after a little damp swipe here and there.

Finally, the most fun part: the sanding. When I sand painted furniture it feels very "artisan-like" to me, as if I'm painting a picture because where I choose to sand or how much wood to reveal is so deliberate. It's like adding glitter or frosting a cupcake; it's the most enjoyable part of the process to me.

Once the sanding was how I wanted it, I wiped the entire piece with an old, dry towel to remove the sandy dust. (There's probably a real word for this that I'm just not thinking of!)

While the aqua paint was still open I tried Marie's Paint a Bottle project from the current issue of Romantic Country. And of course, painted a few cans and a wire basket found after scouting the basement.

The armoire was given another full day to dry and then today ...

Back in its place in my let's-pretend-it's-a beach-cottage living room.

I am thrilled with how it turned out!

Loving the painted jars, too!

Now, does anyone make speaker cosies?!

Thanks for cheering me on and hanging on through this long post!