Friday, September 30, 2011

Stencil Giveaway @ Reloved Rubbish

I am just about to start a stencil project on a chair, and saw this slipcovered project at Reloved Rubbish.  Not only does she offer a great tutorial, she's also doing a stencil giveaway from Maison de Stencils.  Check it out!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

More Fall Ideas

I spent a good part of today sanding the dining room table that I'm hoping to reveal soon.  I say "hoping" because I have been working on this thing on-and-off since last Spring, and it's just been one disaster after another.  In the meantime we've been living with no dining room table because I sold our set on Craigslist right about the time I started on the table.  I was sure I was going to whip that baby out in a few days.  I was wrong. So ... very ... wrong.

Living without a dining room table hasn't been that big of a deal since we usually eat in the kitchen anyway.  But I'm hosting a board meeting next week for a group I belong to, and I need the table for the potluck -- let alone the fact that it's kind of embarrassing to have a bunch of people over with an empty dining room (although it has come in handy as a storage space for furniture I've found and need to paint!). So I'm getting my patooti in gear and getting it done.

When I got sick of sanding I took a break and looked through my latest issue of Southern Living for some Fall decorating ideas. The leaves are starting to turn here and the gourds and mini-pumpkins are out, so I want to add some more elements to the Fall fluffing I've started.  I found a couple of creative and easy (I'm big on easy) ideas I've never seen before, so for those of you not in the south who may not see Southern Living I thought I'd share.

We've all seen painted pumpkins before, but I haven't seen the rectangular treatment like this one:

When combined with the striped pumpkins and pumpkins with circles it makes a nice display.

I think this would be great on my buffet table for the board meeting, and it's easy-peasy.

This is my favorite.  Rather than use a real pumpkin though, I think I'm going to try it with a "Funkin" so I can keep it through Thanksgiving and re-use it next year.

You can find the instructions for all of these in this issue of Southern Living or online.

I love the combo of the kale and pumpkins on the cover too!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Getting Well With The Women

I've been an absentee blogger for a week.  Last week I was busy finishing up a (non-furniture) project, then on Thursday I was off for a long "Women's Wellness Weekend" sponsored by Virginia State Parks.  These weekends are designed for women to take some time for themselves, enjoy nature, and destress.  I've been to one of the WWW programs before, and to be truthful this one wasn't the best.  The food was terrible (mainly fried, processed or canned -- and this was a "wellness" weekend!), and the events weren't very well organized.  But I still had a great time.  That's because I went with a group of 11 fabulously diverse women ranging in age from early forties to soon-to-be seventy. We shared a lodge, late nights sharing stories, ideas, feelings, advice, and -- of course -- wine!  

Studies have shown that when women gather with friends they release more ocytocin, which counters stress and produces a calming effect.  Add the beautiful Virginia countryside with the trees just starting to show their fall color, and you've got a winning combination!  So now I'm back, rejuvenated and ready to get back to work on some furniture and decorating projects. I'll share some soon, but in the meantime here are some photos of some of the weekend's sights.

Have a great week!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fall Fluffing

As I mentioned in my last post, it is just beginning to feel like Fall around here.  As soon as I feel that little nip in the air I get happy.  Fall to me is about new beginnings, which actually makes no sense since outside leaves are falling and my garden is starting to go into hibernation.  I guess it goes back to the anticipation of a new school year when I was little.  Not that I particularly liked school, but I looked forward to new Fall clothes (I loved shopping even then!), new teachers, and new adventures.

So over the weekend I dug out my decorations and started to fluff up our house for the season.

I prefer to use natural elements such as real branches, leaves and pumpkins, but it's still a bit early here.  The leaves haven't started changing, and I'm not seeing the mini pumpkins and gourds in the stores yet.  So for now I'm using silk leaves and my collection of  "phony" pumpkins.  I'll add in the real thing as the season progresses. 

To get started I just decorated our family room, starting with the mantle.

I mixed in phony and faux Fall elements with some of my collection of vintage white pottery which were already on the mantle.  (I'm not a big fan of all the brick around our fireplace, and am debating whether I should paint it white or whitewash it ... I can't make up my mind because once you start there is not going back!).

I made a quick garland with garden twine and paper leaves.  I  may come up with something more elaborate down the road ... or not.  It will depend on whether I get the right combination of inspiration and motivation at the same time!  

I added a Fall message to the blackboard I made from an old frame and put it on the vintage washstand in the family room (another Craigslist find).

The actual first day of Fall may not be until Friday, but in our house it's already started.  Yay!

Sharing at:

The Lettered Cottage

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ready for Fall!

I know some of you out there in blog land start your Fall decorating right after Labor Day.  But somehow I’m just not feeling it when I have sweat dripping down my face and I’m squashing mosquitoes.  Oh I forgot -- My mother always told me:  “Ladies don’t sweat dear, they glow.”  Do mothers ever say that any more?  Having two boys I never had occasion to bring it up. It’s a stupid saying if you ask me, but I think her mother told it to her.  My grandmother was from Georgia and had Southern Lady manners. Actually, I sweat like a pig around here in the summertime (sorry Grandma). Now that’s another stupid saying!  I don’t think pigs sweat ...  

Anyway, my point is even though the calendar may say September, it’s hard for me to get into the Fall spirit when it's 90 degrees, the humidity is high and I’m "glowing."  But the last couple of days we’ve had cooler weather here in Virginia. The nights are getting a bit chilly, and I’m finally starting to get that Fall feeling.  I absolutely love Fall!  It’s my favorite season.  I love the crisp air, wearing sweaters, and cozying up the house.

The scene from our living room window last Fall. The bench was a Craigslist find.

The driveway.

Our front lawn. As you can see, we're surrounded by trees -- lots of Fall color!

Mosby amid the MANY leaves we end up having to clean up!

Now that I’m in the spirit, I’m pulling out my Fall decorations this weekend. Since the boys are grown I don’t do the spooky Halloween theme anymore.  I like to decorate with natural material like gourds, pumpkins, leaves, and branches. As you can see by the photos above, we're not lacking in the leaves and branches department!  I also love a lot of candles and added texture by using throws over the furniture to up the cozy quotient. 

I’ll share what I end up doing next week.  In the meantime I found lots of decorating ideas on the web today and thought you might like some inspiration too!

Love this stunning and easy idea from Better Homes & Gardens.

Piles of pumpkins & guords.

More pumpkin piles!
- Southern Living

 Great idea for over the mantel.

Simple & beautiful.  The tags add the special touch.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Gender-Friendly Makeover

Most of my painting projects lately have been on the feminine side.  Although I love the French, feminine look, I realize it's not everyone's taste.  So when I found this little chest at a thrift store (for just $15!) I decided to give it a gender-friendly makeover.

The chest was sturdy, but the top and bottom drawer tipped down when you pulled them out.  I saw that a piece had broken off of the plastic slide guides on both drawers.

That's an easy and cheap fix -- I got the replacement slide guides from Rockler, replaced the broken ones, and voila, fixed drawers!

I loved the old hardware and didn't want to change it. I took off the handles, but I didn't want to mess with the keyhole, so I just taped around it.  I did a simple paint job with two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Graphite. (I do use paints besides chalk paint, but since it's so quick and easy it's been my favorite lately!) Then I lightly sanded some edges to bring out the original brown.

I wanted a pop of color on the inside, so I painted the inside and sides of the drawers in ASCP Aubusson Blue.

A couple of coats of wax, and it was done.  

I can see this chest next to a comfy chair in a library or as a nightstand. 

With the paint it has turned from traditional to transitional. and I think it will appeal to both men and women. Nothing froo-froo, just cool. I love it!

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