Archive for March 2012

How to Reupholster a Chair Seat

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About 6 years ago I reupholstered a chair from a matching pair I received free from a colleague. It was a simple paint/apply seat fabric job using white paint and black and white graphic fabric. I loved how it turned out. I blogged about it here.   If you don't want to go back and read here is a synopsis:

What I started with:

And what I had after:

The fabric was getting tired and faded so I reupholstered the seat again this weekend. It is so easy and there are a million tutorials out there so I'll just go through mine quickly.

I had purchased two yards of this fabric at Christmas time.  It's by Waverly I think. I saw it in the store and had no idea what I would do with it but knew I loved it.  So this is what I used.

And now my chair looks like this:

Here's the story.

Flip the cushion and take off the old fabric.

I pretty much took every tool out of Jim's toolbox to accomplish this. Let's just say
 I did a very thorough stapling job when I put this fabric on.

Replace batting and foam if needed. I did not need to do this.

Use the fabric you took off as  your pattern for your new fabric.

As I was doing this Ellie snuck up and put this here. It was cute.
She has to be involved in everything.

Years ago Jim bought a staple gun that is used with a compressor.
It makes things SO easy!  Of course, a compressor doesn't have
to be this big. We do enjoy overkill over here.

Pull fabric taut and staple, staple, staple. Pretend you don't
care how many you'll have to pull out the next time you do this. Just staple and pull
your heart out!

I like to do 2 sides first before doing the corners.

I know some people say to wrap the corners like a package but I have never been able
to do that. I just pull and staple as neatly as possible. These are not my
best corners. But I kinda don't care because you won't see them
when the seat is back on the chair.

Dizzy yet?  Yeah, I get that the cane back and the fabric
make for a woozy feeling. I am going to sew up a simple gray pillow to put on the back.

The other thing we did yesterday was to pound down every popped nail on our deck. I'm planning on staining it soon to freshen it up too. Here's my man wielding his hammer.

Watcha up to this weekend?  Anything good to report?


Latest & Greatest Friday #25

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My head is swimming with spring projects!  Are you feeling the same way?  As we speak, I have a naked seat cushion waiting for its new spring wardrobe. If I could only find that darn stapler it would be done already but alas!  We haven't unpacked in any organized way so it's who knows where. Can I borrow yours?

Anyway, last week's party was amazing. We had over 100 link ups and they were all awesome. I can't wait to see what's cookin' for this week!

Have a great weekend!

Need a Blog Makeover!

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It's spring and I want to make over everything, including this blog. I've never been happy with the stock design I use and could never get the colors right.  I want something super fresh, pretty, and reflective of my personality a bit more.   Here's the deal, despite my husband being, um, a WEB DEVELOPER, he has limited time right now since he's taken on some extra projects. I am lucky I know how to turn our computers on let alone fiddle with code.

Does anyone have a go-to designer they recommend?  Or are any of my readers interested in redesigning it for me?  Budding graphic designers who want some free publicity? We could work out a barter of some kind too.


Features from Last Week's Party

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Today I taught 2nd/3rd grade resource room. It was a good day over all. But they were super chatty and I came home with a splitting headache. So we piled the kids in the car and headed to Kohls for some shopping and then to McD's for a rare fast food treat. I don't dig fast food so we don't eat it often. Molly was beyond thrilled to eat half a chicken nugget and sniff a french fry. That kid never eats.
So I wish I had a fun project to show you but I got nuttin. So instead I'll do what I like to do even more than show my project.  I'll show off yours!  Here are some of the awesome features!  It was smashing party though and I truly appreciate all the support you give the party each week!

Grey Buffet

I love the color!  It's so elegant and modern. So pretty!  Plus it looks like it holds a ton!

Homemade Chalk Paint Dresser

I love homemade chalk paint stories because I feel like I'll get the nerve to try it if enough people say it works. And this piece is proof!  Look at how lovely Alicia made this plain dresser!  It's perfect now!

Laundry Room Rug

Ok, I adore everything Cassity and Justin do in their home!  And this rug rocks. Aren't the colors fabulous?  How can you not want to do laundry with a rug like that? So cheerful!

Professional Seam Tutorial

I wish I had read this before I made a skirt for Molly. My seams do not resemble these in any way. But now I know how because this tutorial is clear and explicit. Such a big help!

Delicious Buffet

I felt like Rachel Zoe when I spied this buffet. "I just died. It's bananas."  Those were my thoughts. I LOVE this so much!  The color is perfect and the top is gorgeous!!  Don't you have buffet envy?

Thank you to everyone who linked up and if you were featured, please consider placing my button somewhere on  your blog. xoxo

And I'll be honest, right now not one of these American Idol contestants is thrilling me. I feel like it's been all elevator music. sigh. How come no one ever sings Bon Jovi?


My Gray Interior Door

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I painted the interior side of my front door gray!  Sounds like a good plan right?  Here's the story! My entry bugs me. We didn't paint it when we moved in and it is yucky. The walls and trim are an off white color but it all looks dirty and dingy. I'm guessing it hadn't been painted in a loooooong time.  Plus, the previous owners had custom stained glass windows installed in back of the sidelights for privacy. Stained glass roses. Roses. In stained glass. I have a hammer hunch that they will be gone some day soon.

But for now... I decided that a little splash of color was the answer and dragged the kids to Lowes to find the perfect shade of gray with which to paint the interior side of my front door. Brilliant! Um, maybe not so much. It looks lavender at night.   I know I'm not supposed to take pics at night and natural light is best and blah blah blah but I had to show you!  ACK!  I did not want a purple door!

But like a good blogger, I do have a before to show you. Mind you, I'm a good blogger but not a great blogger so I remembered to take the picture after the blue tape was up. But you get the idea.

After, around 5:00. Still day light but starting to look purple.

9:30 PM. And we have lavender

So now what?
I thought maybe the yellowish trim was the problem so I repainted all the surrounding trim in a whiter white. Now it looks purple and fresh. awesome.

Do you have any good DIY gone awry stories?  If you do, I'd love to hear them!


The Dangers of Aluminum Wiring

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Disclaimer!  I'm not an electrician and this is my opinion based on my experience. All electrical issues and questions should be referred to and answered by a certified/licensed electrician.

In the late 60s-early 70s home builders began using aluminum wiring to run electricity rather than copper. From what we've researched they did this to conserve copper for the war effort. Aluminum is a good conductor but they soon found out that is a very poor performer when it's connected to something such as an outlet, appliance, or light fixture, especially if those fixtures are fitted with copper.  From what I understand, aluminum contracts and expands with temperature fluctuations and this allows little bits of air into the connectors. The electricity begins to arc and before you know it you  have a house fire.

Wire nuts to "pigtail" copper wiring to aluminum do not seem to be a permanent answer. After much research, Jim learned the only US government approved method to remediate aluminum wiring (besides ripping it all out and rewiring) is to have it crimped with a special tool and connector called Copalum which binds the copper to the aluminum in a tight, impenetrable manner. You can read more about it here.  Electricians need to be certified to perform the crimp and they need to use a special tool to compress the crimp together. It is NOT cheap but we decided it was the only answer for our aluminum wiring.

We are so glad we did. This is what the old outlet looked like in Ellie's room when the electrician took it out of the wall.

For those of you who don't know, those connectors should look like this

And those wires are literally burned from the connectors up about two inches. We were so upset but glad that was the only outlet/fixture that was burned.

If you have aluminum wiring it may be something to think about and talk to a certified/licensed electrician. This was huge investment. Think buying new kitchen cabinets kind of investment. But after seeing that outlet we think it is the best choice for us.

Now on a lighter note, they also found this behind the light in the master bedroom.

Yup, that is silver, blue, and beige wall paper that looks like an EKG. I'm surprised they didn't find a disco ball tucked up in the rafters too.

Shocking. (heh heh)


Flea Market Finds

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Hi Friends!  I hope you all enjoyed a fun and restful weekend. We did!  I saw my nephew play his trumpet in the high school jazz band and they were awesome!!  I'm so proud of him. He is thoughtful, handsome, determined, and talented!  Go Joey!

Today I went to a flea market at a local high school. I was so excited to go but once I got there I almost regretted it. It was a nasty, cut throat affair. People were pushing, rude, and careless with the items. Frankly I was speechless. Do we have to lose our common sense and good manners to get a $3 baby gate?  I think not.  I grabbed a few pieces of milk glass and some wreath forms although some lady yelled at me because she thought I cut the line to pay. Guess someone spit in her chocolate milk this morning. 

Here is what my $9 bought me.

I love that measuring cup I didn't need it but it is super thick and heavy and felt old to me. It made me happy!

So let me tell you a story. When we first got married and bought a house I decided I would hang this and only this in my dining area.

Pottery Barn

And so I spent months scouring eBay because at the time it was being sold by PB for $299.  I ended up getting it off of EBay for $199. Better but still what I consider a bit of a luxury to us. Everyone thought I was nutso to hang a giant chandelier in our dining area when was really just the eat-in part of the eat-in kitchen. I did not have a dining room. So yes, I hung that in my kitchen. So what? I loved it so much that I excluded it from the contract when we sold our house. That chandelier is MINE.

So it went into storage for 6 months until we bought this house. Then it sat in the box in the dining room (it finally has a proper home) for 5 months until the electrician took care of our copper wiring.  He opened the box and rays of light radiated out as the angels starting singing. Finally it is up!  YES!  Uh-oh. Bad news. Neither Jim nor I can find the crystals. Weep. Sob. So I found the replacements and put them on but there was only 3 of each so now this is what it looks like: 

Keepin' it real, peeps, keepin'it real.

And with that, I wish you a great Monday!


Features and Latest and Greatest #24

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Yesterday and today have been a whirl. I have been so tired lately. Not sure why but I am finding it hard to plug through a day. I even fell asleep on the couch today for a little bit!  That's why my features are a day late!  Sorry!

Here are the most viewed links!  And there were a ton of great looking recipes this week so if you haven't checked out last week's party I suggest you do!  And if you are a feature, I'd love if you would grab my button! :  )

Shabby Chic Dresser

Orb Chandelier

And some of my faves too!

Ladybug Cupcakes

Chalkboard Fridge

Let's move onto what you're doing this week!  I can't wait!  Thanks for linking up!

Guest Blogger: Cindy from Beaux R'eves

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Hi Friends!  I fell in love with Cindy's guest room transformation!  She has a great vintage style with an eye for details but she doesn't over do it. I think it's so sweet!  Thanks for coming by today, Cindy!

Hi, I'm Cindy over at Beaux R'eves which translates to"Sweet Dreams"  in French.  I'm an Interior Designer and a Certified Home Stager.  I'm so happy that Jenny asked me to do a Guest Post on the details of my Guest Room Makeover. 

 You can see the Room Reveal Here.   

This is Part Deux of the Details of the Makeover.

 We left off with the Bedding and lighting details 

you can find here in Part One. 

  Did I mention the color of the walls?  

If I neglected to do that here are the Details:  Steamed Milk SW 7575

 It's a warm milky white color that really suits this room.

While we are on the subject of Painting, let's talk about other things that were painted in this room.

This dresser had been in Miss Beaux's room until she decided she was too hip for it.  It was a mahogany color but it wasn't really a good piece. Just some laminate pressboard inexpensive furniture. The mirror that is hanging above was attached but I wanted the flexibility to use the dresser on it's own so I detached it.  I mixed ASCP in Old White with Benjamin Moore Monroe Bisque to achieve a creamy white color.  I felt that the Old White just by itself was too cold and needed some warming up.  I painted Cocoa on the flowers before going over them in the Old White.  A few coats of wax and it looks like a totally different piece. 

Surprise!  I painted the inside with Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue mixed with ASCP Old White.

 Here is another piece that received a new coat of paint.  I've had this little telephone table for quite some time.  It's traveled with me and made an appearance in just about every room in the house.  It was last spotted in my son's room hanging out.  Well Hey, he's in college so it's fair game right? 

Looks a little dinged up doesn't it?  What in the heck was my son doing in that room?  Nevermind, don't really want to know.  A couple of coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Blue and Old White around the edges.  It's yet to be finished as there is a design that I am working on for the top, but I ran out of steam...

Here is a peak at the "Work In Progress" .

Sitting next to the telephone table is the chair that I slipcovered in dropcloth material.  You can see the whole redo HERE.  The sheep picture was purchased at a consignment shop and the painted iron pieces I've had in my stash for some time.  Pillows were purchased at Homegoods.

 This sweet book bundle also got slipcovered with dropcloth. I have a short tutorial coming up where I will show you how I did it.  

 This Pottery Barn Shelf was hanging around in my storage area also.  It was in our old house in California and then in Miss Beaux's room for a while. 

 The accessories were pulled from around the house.

  The horse picture on the right was downloaded from the Graphic's Fairy and popped into a Costco frame. 

The branches were gathered 

on a walk with the dogs by the pond.  

The only purchased items were the silver trophy 

from Nell Hills $7.50 

and the little hanging votive cups from Target

 in the Dollar Section.

 $2.50 for three!  

My daughter and I love to cruise the dollar section and try to find different ways to use things.  I just screwed in cup hooks under the shelf and placed battery operated candles into the cups.  

I just saw these today on One King's Lane for $22.00 for colored votive cups.  I think I did good!

Once I detached the mirror Mr. Beaux put hanging wire on the back and I hung it up,

 threaded large white ribbon onto the side hooks 

and tied it up onto a glass doorknob from Hobby Lobby that we placed into the wall.

  You can see my Hinges in the reflection of the mirror.

Miss Beaux had a day off of school one day last month 

and we went to the Antique Mall near us.  

I walked by these Hinges and picked them up. 

 They were $4.00.  I had no idea what I was going to do with them, I just knew that I needed to have them. 

 And then Viola!  

I thought with all of the Black accents wouldn't they look so cool? 

 "You want to do what?"  Said Mr.Beaux...  

"Why would you ruin a perfectly good door?" 

 Ummmm, for the "cool" factor? 

 I finally had to role play with him and have him pretend to be the Handyman and I was the Swanky Interior Designer...  Just do what I ask and don't ask questions!  

Yep, sometimes they just don't get it.

What's left to talk about?  The bench? 

 I recovered and you can see the before and after here.

  And the pictures and plates hanging on either side of the mirror.  The silhouettes are my boys when they were small created at Disneyland.  

Do they still do that?  

And the plates are ironstone from estate sales and thrift stores.  The black rocking chair was a gift from my Aunt and  Uncle.  It's an antique but I'm not sure how old it is.  

And, if you want to revisit my

 Anthro Hack Drapes you can go Here

Thanks so much for sticking with me for the Details!  

Whew, that was a lot to cover.  

And thank you Jenny for allowing me to "Guest Post" about my Guest Room!