Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bridal Shower

Today was the bridal shower for my oldest daughter. I volunteered to make some cookies for the shower. Darn that Pinterest.... for showing some REALLY cute cookies. So my preparation started weeks ago with ordering the supplies. Three different types of cookie cutters, decorating tips, bags, sprinkles, etc... On Friday I began by baking the cookies early in the morning. I made two batches of cut out sugar cookies. Easy enough. Then it took 3 recipes of Royal Icing to frost those babies. And I don't know how many HOURS to decorate them. Luckily I had a couple of friends who came in about the time I was ready to drop and saved the day by helping to decorate the remaining cookies. The shower was great! We had a nice turn out, people had a good time (at least I think they did), the food was delicious, and my daughter was thrilled with her gifts. It was so nice of our youngest daughter to throw this for her sister. Here's a few pictures of the shower, and of course those labor intensive cookies.
Oh, just in case you were wondering about that abstract picture in the background... we had the shower at a local art center. These types of drawings were all over the walls so we just left them in place.
Left: Mother of the Groom Middle: Bride-to-be Right: Mother of the Bride (that's me)
Here are a few pictures of the Pinterest inspired cookies. They turned out ok but boy were they work!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A productive but Accident Prone Day

I had a list, I really did... you know, one of those "To Do" lists. I vowed to stick to it to accomplish a lot before company comes to visit this week end and we have a bridal shower for my oldest daughter. Well, things did not go as planned. First, I decided to water the plants. Yes, a typical morning routine for me, I got started a little late this morning (about 10 a.m.) But one thing led to another and about 4 p.m. I finally came inside. I don't know what came over me but I trimmed rosebushes, fertilized plants, repotted some ferns, pulled weeds, etc. The yard sure needed it but it WASN'T On The LIST. Oh, and I ended up with scratches all over due to trimming those rose bushes! A friend came by for a little visit and I wanted to show her the bedroom I'd been working on, so I pulled up the blinds and they totally fell apart! So after she left, I had to clean up that mess.... that wasn't on the list either. Finally, late afternoon, I start to do the chores on "the list" most related to updating an upstairs bedroom. I'm going to show you some picture of that shortly. But since I had the ladder in the house, out of it's usual storage spot in the garage, I decide to change a blinking recessed light in the kitchen. Wouldn't you know it, I now can not get the fixture reassembled! GRRRR... Ok, on to the bedroom.
Here's what it looked like before. Bright pink walls & flowered border.
Here are a few pictures of what it looks like now.The walls are now gray and this is a new comforter on the bed. I went for the Shabby Chic look. I've been collecting ironstone platters so I decided to hang a few over the bed. I did buy a king sized headboard at a recent auction. I'm trying to decide if I want to use it as is (natural wooden color) or paint it to match the vanity and chest.
These are some valances I made last night.
I finished the bench to go with the vanity. I upholstered it with the same fabric that I used for the valances. Oh, yeah, another accident happened while I was upholstering this bench. I was using my pneumatic staple gun (which I just LOVE) and it broke! The spring that is inside, where you insert the staples, came apart. So until I can get a replacement, no more upholstery jobs.
This is a little table that has been in my husband's family since 1910. I just couldn't bring myself to paint it. So it's staying as a natural wood. It's plenty chipped too. That's an old child's chair sitting on top: I bought the chair at an auction and I love its chipped up paint. It's holding a child's tea set that belonged to my mother. I can remember getting to drink tea from it on very special occassions when I was a little girl.
For now I just sat this collection of purses on the window seat. I'm trying to decide if I should hang them on the wall.
A close up look at that child's tea set I mentioned. I also redid the bathroom adjoining this room. But that post will wait for later. Thanks for taking a look at the updated bedroom. Linked to:
Totally Transformed

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dresser Update

A while back I saw a dresser that had been painted a metallic silver and then glazed. It was a new piece of furniture made in a vintage style; and it was pricey. I had a similar actual vintage dresser so I thought I give that paint technique a try. I am pleased with how it turned out and I thought you all might like a look.
Here's the dresser before, well of couse I forgot to take a picture with the drawers in. I get overly excited to get started and I forget
Here's what the dresser looks like after painting and glazing. I'm pretty happy with it.
Here's an up-close shot.
I tried a product that was new to me for this redo. The dresser was already in an upstairs bedroom and I didn't want to move it outside to spray paint it so I wanted a brush on metallic paint. After much looking, I finally found one made by Rustoleum. It works very well and I have a lot left so I'm sure I'll be painting other items with this color. Well, thanks for taking a look.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A View from the Bedroom Window

The last post I made showed some furniture I was redoing. That was in a bedroom that our oldest daughter occupied when she lived at home, and where she still stays when she comes home to visit. That bedroom has a nice set of windows and a wonderful view of part of the back yard and the fields behind our home. While I was working on the furniture for that room our farmer came to mow the back field and bale it. I thought to myself, "yep, he's mowing our parking lot." When daughter #1 gets married at the end of September we're having the reception in our side yard and this field is where I intend to have the guest park. Let's just hope it doesn't rain a lot right before or during the big day and turn muddy. Of course, right now we REALLY do need the rain and I wouldn't mind some mud. It's terribly dry. Here are a couple of pictures of the view out the back bedroom.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Progress on the Bedroom Redecorating

I've been working to update one of the bedrooms on the 2nd floor of our house. This is the room that my oldest daughter occupied when she lived at home. That daughter is now 29 and getting married soon. So I figured it was time to redo the room and get rid of the stuffed animals, the bubble gum pink walls, the flowery border, etc... To date, I've moved the furniture from this bedroom into another guest bedroom to finally be put with the rest of the matching set. The walls have been painted a gray and it is so much calmer than those bright pink walls. AND.... I've painted some vintage furniture to replace the set I moved. About 2 years ago I bought a nice vintage chest of drawers and a matching vanity at a neighbors garage sale. I paid $50 for both pieces. They've been stored in my basement along with LOTS of other furniture waiting for a redo. Most of the pieces will be sold in my booth space. But this I just kept hanging on to for the right spot. Finally, I figured it out! Here are some pictures of the furniture. I'll do an entire room reveal at a later date as I'm still working on it!
There are the vanity and dresser in their "before" state.
Here are a few after shots. I really like the pictures where you can see the dresser reflected in the mirror of the vanity. I realize now that I need a bench for the vanity. Not a problem at all.... I went and looked over my "stash" of furniture in the basement; and I had about 5 to chose from. I selected one that looked good with the vanity and that will soon be painted and recovered too. Well, I'm off now to paint a dresser that is going to become a tv stand in another spare bedroom. Boy this is fun! Shared at Miss Mustard Seeds and Debbie Doo's Also linked to:
Totally Transformed

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Another landscape border bed - complete (for now)

Lately I've been doing a lot of yard work. You may be wondering why I'd be attempting that in this heat. Well, knowing that you'll be having a wedding reception in your yard tend to drive the improvements! Today's little project was putting mulch all around some forsythia bushes. I'm tired of having to try to maneuver the riding lawn mower between these bushes anyway. I used a method that is ecologically friendly. I dug a little trench around where I wanted the flower bed to be, then I placed newspapers all over the grass... I used at least 3 layers, I wet the newspapers as I went to keep them from blowing. Then I mulched right over the top of the newspapers. I mean, a THICK layer of mulch. This should be enough to do away with the grass and now I won't have to try to drive the mower between the bushes! Here's the beginning:
And the end result:
Here's a picture of my very first hibiscus flower from this plant this season. I just planted these hibiscus from the roots that a neighbor gave me from her yard. I'm happy they are blooming this year. I hope they continue!
Now that I've done some work I'm going to go have some fun! There are a couple of garage sales that start this afternoon. I'm going!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Chrome Chair Redo

So what am I stil doing up at this hour after such an early morning? Guess I just got so enthused by Fox Hollow Cottage's linky post over on Face Book that I couldn't sleep. Plus I find browsing the net for new ideas very inspiring and relaxing. I was busy today with an insurance class and in addition to that have been painting a bedroom.... a reveal will be coming when I'm all done. But I still wanted to share on the blog. So I'm posting a project I did a while back. I was in a small neighboring town a while back for a meeting when I spied a chrome table and four very neglected chairs sitting on the curb. I told the friend that was with me that if that set was still there after the meeting I was going to check in to it. Sure enough, there it was, hours later still on the curb. So I walked up to the house, crept across a creaky front porch and bravely knocked on the door. A lady eventually answered and told me that sure I could take what was out on the curb. When I heard that my friend and I didn't waste any time. We got the car and began to load. It was a little more difficult than I thought it would be as I had forgotten to take out the items from my last junking adventure treasure hunt. But, we did get all the pieces to fit in the back of the Explorer. Here's a few before and after pictures.
Here are the sad looking chairs in their "before" state.
Here are the chairs in their "after" condition. I didn't change anything at all about the table. I just cleaned it up and tightened the legs. This set, once put into our booth, sold pretty quickly. The person who bought it said they were happy that I didn't try to paint the chrome on the table. They liked it in it's original state. Believe me, I considered painting it and then decided not to. Glad that someone is now enjoying this neat little set. It makes me happy to have saved this set from going to the dump. :) Linked to Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Friday Party.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

One of the reasons I wanted to start a blog was to be able to share some projects with others on those "linky" parties. So, I did just that! I've linked my child's desk project to My Uncommon Life of Suburbia. They said to share their link, I'm not quite for sure how to do that. But I'm trying. Thanks for hosting the party!

Monday, July 9, 2012

One Small Accomplishment

Well, I've spent hours getting one landscape bed back into shape. I had let this bed go too long without mulch and it was a weedy mess. I used old cardboard boxes, cut open to a single layer for the weed mat and then put the mulch on top of that. I think this is a good utilization for the cardboard and since cardboard is biodegradable it will eventually decompose and put it's nutrients into the soil. I've done this before and it really does make a nice weed barrier and lasts for several years. The plants in the area seem to do well too. Here are a few pictures for you. This bed is WAY in the back of the yard; it's really a separating feature for the yard as it meets the field behind the house. A dear neighbor tilled this for me earlier this year and let me transplant all those big chunks of ornamental grasses from her yard to this bed. Horray for nice neighbors.
Well, I hope this keeps those weeds in check for quite a while as this was a LOT of work. I wish I could say that this is the only bed that needs this treatment, but unfortunately there are plenty of others. Oh, the rain started again so I'm now back inside. Think I'll experiment with some paint colors for an upstairs bedroom. How are you spending your day?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July

Well, it's been another busy day but I did dedicate a little time to crafting. Yes, even on the 4th of July. I got my craft on BEFORE the fireworks. Of course, not thinking ahead like I'm prone to do, I didn't remember to take any before shots. I promise I will get better at this as I go on. Heck, I just figured out how to load a header today too. Baby-steps will get me to a better blog, right! So, I had picked up a small bench, child sized. It really wasn't too bad except for the three cut out hearts along the back. That look was in for a while, I think back in the 80s, but it's definately out now. So I glued a cabinet inset that I happened to have on hand over the cut outs. Then I painted the entire bench a soft yellow and stenciled on a couple of birds. Oh, also the piece was distressed.
I also quickly made a couple of pillows. I really love the fabric, it's colorful and summer appropriate.
Our house sits on a hill so the view of the fireworks is very good from our front porch. I really enjoyed the city display. I know in this picture it looks like we have a tree on fire, but those are the fireworks behind the tree going off. I was just too lazy to get up and move someplace else so that the tree wasn't in the way. This view was good enough for me.
By looking to the west I could see the city firework display very well. For some reason I turned to look east and I caught a beautiful view of the almost full moon. This picture doesn't do it justice because it was actually looking quite yellow. But the moon was just framed so nicely between the columns of the front porch and the trees that I had to take a picture.