Saturday, 29 May 2010

Blueberry Breakfast

Well, the dumpster chairs are finished, and we celebrated their makeover with a pretty breakfast! Here's Lois modeling one of the shabby-turned-chic chairs. I rinsed them off, scrubbed them, painted them a creamy white, and made seat cushions for them. I'm also working on throw pillows for them, but have just made one so far. Blueberries were on sale at the grocery store, so I thought we'd have a true blue celebration with one of my favorite breakfast treats--blueberry muffins. Here are some pictures from our true blue breakfast.
The chairs before and after. I used ticking on the top for the seat cushions and a yellow floral print for the undersides. Then I made this pillow with part of a vintage tablecloth on one side and a vintage pillowcase on the other. 
The chairs before. Yikes, up close I could see why they were in the trash, but the still had good bones. Wish the person who threw them out could see them now!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Trash to Treasure

When I saw these on the street, my heart went all a-flutter! I've been wanting some chairs for our back patio but hadn't come across any that I thought I could lug home. I've seen some great ones at the flea market, but without a car, it's not exactly a snap to swipe any set. I was thinking of just getting 4 mismatched random chairs so I could bring one home at a time (I always like the look of mismatched chairs), but when I saw these on the street right near our place, I knew they were the ones! And FREE!
They need some TLC, as you can tell from this second picture, but I think I can spruce them up. I like chippy painted things but these are way too worn--not just paint chipping but dirty looking too. I tried to scrub what looks like soot off, but it doesn't come off, so a coat of paint it is. I'm going to paint them a cream color, but I was having a hard time deciding on a fabric for seat cushions. I want them be colorful and look good with all the colors of the flowers in the garden, and look good with various tablecloths. So, what fabric to choose? I was thinking instead of choosing just one fabric that I'd make patchwork chair pads like Alicia's patchwork pillows I made a while back. So cute! I've started cutting the squares, but I'm no square cutting pro and I think this is going to take a while. I'm making strips and using a rotary cutter, but I wonder if maybe I'm missing some key to cutting lots of them quickly. If you have any patchwork cutting tips, let me know! After pics coming soon.
Update! I just changed my mind! I was looking over at some totes I made last week (I should show you those!) and I used ticking for the exterior fabric. I decided I'll do the same charcoal grey ticking for the chairs pads as well. Classic and it will go with all the colors of the flowers and my tablecloths. I'm afraid all the colors in the patches might be too busy. 

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Garden Party

Andrew's out of town so on Thursday night I was thinking about taking Lois out on a date, but the weather was so nice and the first rose in the garden was blooming, so I decided we'd have a date at home in the garden. We got dolled up, made things pretty, had a nice dinner, and watched the sunset. It was a carpe diem sort of night. I couldn't just let leave the house and miss out on that rose blooming! I knew in the next day or so it would be withered. It made me think of a classic carpe diem poem by Robert Herrick, "To the Virgins, to make much of Time." The first stanza is...
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying 
So we gathered our rosebud and and made the most of it. It was one of the best dates I've ever had.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Progress

Reader Kim left a comment in my last post that she'd like to see how things are progressing in our little place rather than when it's all finished. And she's right. I do write a blog about home and decorating, partially anyway. So here's a peek. These are just a few of the areas that are coming along, but areas that I really don't completely know what to do with. Keep in mind, this isn't how I want things to look! And I took these pictures with my phone. Also, excuse the mess!
So first, the shelves near the area that I call the bar. We're using the metal cart that I used to use as Lois's changing table for the actual bar. On the shelves above it, I wanted to put bar type things and some other masculine things. The natural wood of the shelves was bothering me though. I thought they really stood out (and to me, not in a good way) so I painted them white so it would flow more. Now I just need to buy more things to accessorize the shelves. They are sort of far apart, and only about 6 inches deep, so I definitely need some taller things to fill the spaces. So what do you think I should put on these shelves? Lisa suggested going with mirrors to brighten the space, and I liked that idea, so I got one mirror for the bottom shelf there. Maybe I should get more. She also suggested a male portrait, and maybe a plant for the middle shelf and some bar accessories (books, decanters etc) for the top shelf. Good ideas, I thought! My mom suggested books, plates hung in the background, and to just really fill up the shelves. So what do you all think I should do? Remember, they're only about 6 inches deep, and all the stuff on the shelves right now, and that tray on the wall are just there until I know what to do with them. But don't you think the shelves look better white? I'm still getting used to all white walls, but I do like it. Uh, I think so anyway! Haha, I go back and forth on that one. (Update: the bar became my sewing nook, which you can see here.)
Now to our bedroom. I finally have a mantel headboard! I love it, but I'm not sure what to do above it right now. I love family pictures. And I only really like them in a room all together or on shelves and tables mixed in with other things. I never like them mixed with other artwork on walls--that just looks weird to me. So I thought I'd hang family pictures above the headboard since I don't know where else to put them, but I wasn't liking how it looked, so I stopped. Lisa suggested a huge, old frame to go above the headboard then hang the pictures inside it. Neat idea! I was also thinking of just scraping the pictures and going for something architectural and funky. (Sorry, bed's not made!)
Also in our room (which has a black and white sort of theme, as you can see) has this little fireplace that is off center of the wall next to the bed. I had the family pictures hung above this fireplace and started to really fill it up, but since the fireplace is off center it looked funny. So I went with this vignette instead. I want a few smaller pictures or prints or plates or something like that to go above the silhouettes. And then I want a plant to go on the black wall shelf there. Anything else? What do you think? I also need to work on the stuff on the mantlepiece.
Tell me what you think so far. I have lots of other problem areas to show you (or I should be positive and say challenging areas!) like the living room, which is sort of an awkward shape for arranging the TV area and sitting area. More coming soon.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Blossoming

Our little place is coming along slowly but surely. Hopefully I'll like some things I've done enough to post pictures soon. I think I said that before weeks ago though! Lordy, it seems to be taking me forever to get it together. It's hard for me to visualize what this place needs that we don't have--what would work where--and hard, too, when I figure it out but can't jump in a car and go get that fixture, stand, picture, etc. that I have in mind (because we don't have a car here). One thing that's practically coming along by itself is our little garden. I've bought a number of plants that have started to bloom and the rose bushes that were already here are starting to bloom as well. It's so nice to see pretty flowers just outside each day. Indoors things are starting to blossom, and I'll show you soon.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Sweet Liberty

Recently I bought a new sewing machine. I couldn't bring mine from home because of the voltage issues and different outlets, so I bought one here on Gumtree, which is like Craigslist. I made a few dresses for Lois last week--my first dresses with Sleeves! Granted the sleeves are with elastic, but still they are SLEEVES! It was so much fun making the dresses. I used Liberty fabric for this one and followed a pattern from Little Fish in a Big Pond on etsy. I bought the peasant dress kit a while back and made a variation of it for the Liberty dress. I can't wait to make more. Sewing is so neat!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Language Lessons

Last weekend was wet and chilly, but that made for a good opportunity to see some great rain driplets. I walked to the store in the rain, when it was just raining lightly, and noticed all the little round beads of water resting on leaves and flowers. They were so pretty that I decided to go home and head back out with our macro lens to get up close and personal with them. Macro lenses are so fun! Probably what I like most about photography is that you often see things you wouldn't normally notice, or you see them in a different way than what you're used to. To me, it's sort of like realizing interesting subtleties of a new language. I don't really know any other languages, but I know enough to know that certain words and structures of sentences have different nuances, subtle differences here and there that reveal something new, something you may not have known or noticed before about a particular word or phrase in your own language. At one point I was hunched over, down low on my knees, trying to get this first picture of the flower petal. A man stopped and said, "are you OK?" He didn't see my camera at first and was concerned that I was hurt! I told him I was okay and that I was trying to get a picture of the water on the petal, a petal that probably would have gone completely unnoticed to me had I not thought of it in pictures, my new language I'm learning. (And yes, I meant to call them driplets and not droplets just because I prefer the way it sounds.)