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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Tutorial: easy-sew envelope pillow covers.

Hi friends!
I hope you're having a wonderful Spring so far.

I'm still working my way through my Spring Spruce Up...just some small changes in our home, little refreshers here and there.

I showed you my easy-sew pillow covers that I made from World Market's wonderful Tatiana curtain panel:
[easy sew pillow covers - from World Market's Tatiana curtain].
Beautiful fabric, right? I'm so pleased with these and they couldn't have been easier to make.  I actually got 4 covers from the smallest size curtain panel...what a steal!

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Monday, March 31, 2014

the most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.

the most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire
~ Ferdinand Foch

I heard this quote for the first time last night at yoga class, and it's really stuck with me. As I moved through my practice, it kept resonating through my head and heart.

And I thought about how truly incredible the human spirit is.

How beautiful, how resilient. How much it yearns to give.

How it is capable of achieving miracles big and small.
[sunset from my home office window, feeling lucky].
While we sometimes focus on this concept on a large scale, take a moment to think about it on a more personal level: those hundreds of small gestures you all make in your houses to turn them into loving homes that embrace the spirit of your lives, and bring comfort and joy to your families.
You are all such an inspiration to me every single day, sometimes I'm overwhelmed.

I believe this comes from the human soul on fire.

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

spring spruce up part 2 - a little bit rustic, a little bit glam.

Hi there friends!
It's Thursday. It's almost Friday. That doesn't mean anything, just wanted to do the happy weekend dance.

Ok down to business.

Remember our master bed frame that I showed you last week?
Let's revisit it, shall we?
[before: dark iron inserts].
Yea yea I know you can tell we went furniture shopping in the mid-90s.  But I still actually really like this bed. 

Living in a house that backs up to a forested area, I still like the knotty wood since it translates well into our environment.  One day I'd like to sand it down and refinish it to a more modern wood tone...but that's another project for another day.

I've had my eye on those iron inserts for a while now and since they were just screwed into the frame they were easy to remove, haul down to the garage, and spray paint.

For this easy project, I used one can of Rust-OLeum Champagne Mist [$6.76]
Following the can instructions; shake, shake, shake your booty [and the can], and when you think you think you're done shake some more.  When I was all shook out, I sprayed 2 light coats onto the iron.

As an added bonus, I used the electric screwdriver to drive the mounting screws slightly into an piece of scrap wood and gave them a shot of the Champagne Mist as well...popping them through a cardboard box would've been easier but I inexplicably didn't have one!
[painted screw heads].
Since the bedspread was going to be touching the iron inserts, I did wait the full 24-hour drying time before reinstalling them into the bed.

and voila! not bad for a $6.76 upgrade, eh?
[after: a little bit rustic a little bit glam].
I really adore this Champagne Mist color...now to find other things I can use it on...





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Friday, March 7, 2014

the Spring spruce up.

It seems odd to think about Spring. It feels like only yesterday that we were knee deep in snow here in Portland. Well maybe it was only calf deep. But still.

Yesterday I noticed the hellebores starting to bloom and the muscari poking their grassy leaves up.
I found myself walking around the house rearranging things and dreaming up little projects, when it dawned on me that I was sprucing up for Spring.
[muscari].
The last major project we finished is what I call The Great Board and Batten Wall [see post here].  Since I can't decide what my next major project should be, I've been diving into smaller easy to accomplish ones.

Like sewing these great pillow covers using the beautiful Tatiana curtain panel from World Market.
[before: old pillow, tatiana curtain]. 
[after: pillows with pretty new covers].
Oh yea, I sew a mean square! That's about the extent of my seamstress skills.  My poor sewing machine never gets to do anything harder than this.
At $33, that Tatiana panel made 4 pillow covers...what a steal.  And the other day I found a $17 curtain panel at Target that coordinates perfectly with the blue in this pattern, so I'll definitely be sewing a few more.

Next up on the hit list: do you all recognize this bed? I think half the people who bought a bed in the mid-90s bought this girl, including us.
[master bed - before].
Living in a house that backs up to a forested area, I still like the knotty wood since it translates well into our environment.  One day I'd like to sand it down and refinish it to a more modern wood tone...but that's another project for another day.

The theme here is simple decor refreshes: that means I've got my eye on those iron inserts...me thinks they need to be painted a shinier glam-ier metallic. They're just screwed into the frame so they're easy to remove and spray paint.

So friends, what color do you think...
Gold?
Champagne?
Bronze?
Copper?
something else?


Thanks for reading, as always!
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Thursday, January 30, 2014

the great board & batten wall part 2 - tutorial


Hi friends! As promised, here is the tutorial and materials list for the great board & batten project of 2013...that was started the last week of 2013 so really I guess it's the great project of 2014!

If you missed part 1, here it is...if you're not interested in the nitty-gritty, that's the post you want
:-)

Remember what it looked like before? A big empty useless wall. That door goes down to the garage so like everyone else, it's our primary entrance and exit to the house.
[before].
A couple of trips to our home away from home, Home Depot to pick up the supplies:

the materials list, all from Home Depot except paint...

  • backboards [optional*]: 1/8"x4'x8' Sparta Oak Panel - 3@11.63 = $34.89
  • horizontal molding: 1"x5"x6' Primed MDF Boards - 3@5.45 = $16.35
  • horizontal molding: 1"x5"x8' Primed MDF Boards - 1@7.26 = $7.26
  • vertical molding: 1"x4"x12' Primed FJ Pine Board - 2@10.14 = $20.28
  • vertical molding: 1"x4"x8' Primed FJ Pine Board - 1@6.76 = $6.76
  • hooks: Liberty 3 inch Heavy-Duty Coat & Hat Hook, Antique Brass - 7@3.28 = $22.96
  • paint: Kelly Moore Dura-Poxy+ untinted semi-gloss - approx 1 quart=$12.50
  • table saw: already owned
  • DAP painter's putty for filling in the nail holes: already owned, barely made a dent in it; about $5.50 for the little tub
  • totally awesome Ryobi Cordless Brad Nailer - already owned, but if you want one they're only $129 USD. I swear this is the best $129 I've spent in years
  • DAP's Alex Painters Acrylic Latex Caulk - 1@$1.67=$1.67
*backboards: we wanted a really smooth overall look especially since the paint was going to be glossy and our textured walls weren't going to give us that look. I've seen tons of wonderful board & batten projects with only the vertical battens and horizontal pieces...it's just not what we wanted here. 

Total cost [excluding nail gun and painter's putty]: $122.59...smokin' deal to completely transform this unused wall into something beautiful and useful!

Measurement pic below:
[the measurements].
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