Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tis Christmas

In light of all the crazy things happening in the world right now, I'm trying to keep my children smiling and keep them from worrying. It's my job as their mother to let them know they are safe. I don't think they should fear living their lives. I keep reminding them that it is Christmas! We celebrate Christ's birth and the wonderful blessing that Him living gives to us: that GIFT
We celebrate the spirit of giving.
I love that my daughter drew this picture for a little girl she doesn't know well, but loves!

I love how easily children love. They love simply because they are alive. It's so so easy for them. They are so unspoiled, so whole.
I love that my children are wanting to give. Oh, they're not little saints...they want gifts too. They are kids after all. 
You know what, that's fine. They are living, they are learning. One day they will understand how much more fun it is to give than receive. 
I want them to know how to receive gratefully - to understand that the real gift is that the person giving it found them worthy of a gift. That is the part I want them to hold to. The people in this world that love them.
I received a gift this morning from a friend and it made me smile. The gift is great, I love bracelets and Home Depot so I adore the gift. But, what I love the most was written in the 'message' space on the gift card, "To the lady in pearls while painting! We love you!"

Those words say it all to me. They KNOW me and love me and were thoughtful enough to give me something meaningful. The card will be used and the bracelet will be worn. Every time I look at the bracelet I will think of my Trey baby running around saying "Lala, I love you" and the gift card holder with those sweet words will be tucked away in a box with my other precious memories. 
One day, later in life I'll probably be going through those boxes with my daughter as I've done with my own mother, and she will ask me why I kept it all these years...I hope I will have taught her enough that she will know that it was because I love the people who gave it to me and was humbled by being worthy enough to receive.
So this Christmas I want my children to feel joy. Things have been so bleak since Friday and I honestly can't even think of it without tearing up, but I'm trying to center myself and find the joy in celebrating the season. He has given me so much to be thankful for all under my tiny little roof. Those little ones need to celebrate Him and feel the joy of life.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dining Chairs

My dining chairs were not an easy project for me. I had seen individual chairs for sale in antique shops all over the place...until I actually started looking for them. I knew I wanted all four of my chairs to be different. I thought I wanted all four of my chairs to even be different colors only linked together by upholstery fabric as well. So, my chairs have been difficult for me. I even lost one before picture. That's what happens when your chair search turns into a 6 month project. 

The Chairs Before

This chair I found quickly, so naturally I thought I would find them all that fast. I loved this chair and claimed it as the one that would be mine at the table. It's still my favorite one.

These two fell into my lap almost 2 months later. Problem was I only wanted one of them and the shop wouldn't split them. So I talked down the price to what I would have willingly paid for one chair and it worked. Now, one of these now resides in my mother's master bedroom.

This was the next one I found and the only one that I can't find the true before picture of. This was raw pine with a rattan seat. So I had to make a board that I could add foam and upholstery to in order for this one to work. This is how I painted it originally. Sorry about the yellow-ness of the picture, we went through a phase where the hubs wanted to use curly bulbs...everything in our house looked sick for a while.

This is the last one I found. It's is also the one that my daughter Jade claimed. I found this one almost exactly six months after I found the first one.

I will have you know that I have since found individual chairs all over the stinking place. I guess our town was just going through a dry spell in the single chair department when I was searching.

You can see how they looked after their first paint and upholstery jobs here. It just wasn't to my liking and the upholstery was a stupid idea. Even with it being outdoor fabric and scotch-gaurding them they were trashed within a few weeks. 
This is why

Children children everywhere! For those of you that don't have kids you should know; kids are gross! I love and adore them but they put their shoes on upholstery, touch things with dirty hands, wipe their noses on your couch, and ram sharp toys into wood furniture. This is why I love the distressed look - it camouflages what all the wee ones have actually done to the furniture. Also, baby wipes clean microfiber like a dream ;)

Then I found this one day

MmmmHmmm, in all its yummy vinyl durability! To me the multi-colored chairs didn't make sense without the upholstery fabric tying them all together. So, I got busy painting and upholstering some more.

I'm well pleased with these now! I love how easy the vinyl is to take care of. I love how just about everybody that sees them, touches the seats. They make me happy and it's one more project down for my own home.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Antlers

My husband is a hunter. I'm more of a fancy girl. I like things that sparkle and while I don't decorate my house with Art Deco all over the place, I am drawn to that era of lushness. My husband would throw a hideous 1982 lounge chair in the living room and live with stained carpet forever simply because they are comfortable. I don't blame him really, I love comfort just as much as the next person. But, why do comfort and beauty have to be separate? I've tried really hard to incorporate things into our home that my husband loves so that he feels comfortable and at home when he's here.
I say all of this to just point out that I would not normally be the type of person to decorate with antlers regardless of their current popularity. For me the fad of rustic chic is just a happy coincidence.
We now have antlers in several places...

On top of my Entertainment Console - a shed

Above my Magnetic Board - a plaque

Even above my head where I type out my blog - yes a whole mount

You know what? I kinda love them. At first I wanted nothing to do with this style and I fought to have the deer head mounted in the garage...I lost that battle. It's in the master bedroom because our house is open concept and I didn't want it staring at my guests in the living room. I just pretend he's not there for the most part. 
I feel like he's glaring down at me now for daring to ignore him...oh well!

If you are squeamish in any way - please look away from the next picture. I am including this picture because this is my life, what I live with from the end of October every year until the beginning of January. I tripped over this in the dark garage and found it wrong on so many levels. I took a picture with my phone and sent it to a friend to complain. Friends just laugh at you. Maybe they would feel differently if they tripped over a severed deer head wrapped in a Walmart bag in their own dark garage.

So I had my husband cut off the antlers and wash them so I could get crafty with them.
I was thinking chrome and gold, so that's just what I did.



My husband even bought me white hydrangea for my vase this morning. He's totally worth tripping over a deer head for ;)

All grossness aside I think they all turned out pretty beautiful. So I'm the fancy girl that decorates with antlers...and loves it. Who knew?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Stockings Were Hung By the...

...front door
On vintage door knobs attached to an antique door pediment, with care.
It just doesn't have the same ring to it as the original, but we have a house sans fireplace so we all do what we must!
I had to make stockings to match my tree skirt. I'm funny like that. I like symmetry, matching, and pretty much all other things that OCD people do. I started these stockings last Christmas and due to work load and general busyness I only completed one at that time. That seems to have been the norm around here for personal projects - at least until lately!
This is what I started with

This is the stocking pattern my mother used for our family stockings back in 1983 I think. It's an awesome pattern but I struggled with it a lot. There are about three things this pattern tells you to do that seem almost unnatural...I think I told my husband that the pattern was smarter than me and required some sort of advanced geometry degree we both know I could never obtain. My frequent phrase while sewing these at my mothers house was, "Mama, I need help again!" She's so sweet and patient :)

I was really proud of cutting them out because burlap can be a little tricky, but they were great.

I had to modify the cuffs because they were just plain and I had other ideas.

This was my daughter's and by far the most time consuming cuff to make.


My own


And finally Jade's
The stockings make me happy. It really is the little things that matter most sometimes.

All hung with care, by the front door on vintage door knobs attached to an antique door pediment, with care.

Happy Christmas to you all!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Entry Bench

I'm obsessed with Sarah Richardson.
There, I confessed it! I love everything she does. I find her mixture of pattern and color amazing and I love that she makes everything look beautiful while being functional. When she did her farmhouse I thought to myself...THAT is my dream house!!! Every. Single. Room.
I was most in love with the bathrooms, but the mudroom/entry was a very close second. I loved the fabric for the curtains, the fun red closet doors, the pine paneling. I most loved this old bench though.

Everything is just so wonderful in my opinion! That bench started me on a hunt though. I was determined I could find one somewhere.
That didn't work out so much. I looked for a year. A YEAR! Nothing, no benches anything close to like that were to be found in my little chunk of Texas, nor in my mother-in-law's little chunk of Oklahoma. So, I brain stormed with my father and we put together a plan to build one. I wasn't going to be too expensive but I was going to have to wait for a while. My father is building a custom kitchen and his shop was completely full! So wait I would.
While waiting for personal furniture, I'm working on other furniture. My friend Merideth had some chairs she wanted me to work on (to be blogged about at a later date) and I was a busy bee, doing one at a time as they still needed to sit in their home. While I had one of her chairs I set it in my entryway all completed and it hit me what I truly wanted for the space...

I thought Merideth's chair would look great as a bench under all my frames.

Thus I began my search for windsor benches. This was an even less fruitful search than the farmhouse bench. All of the ones that I found affordable were too short and wouldn't work in the space. The ones that were true antiques cost more than my kids bathroom remodel! I started to lose hope and pull the building plans back out again. 
Then one Saturday, with both kids complaining and trailing after me, I went into one of my favorite local shops. There, in a corner booth buried under another bench and several other pieces of furniture was this bench.

YES! Called the husband...may have begged a little, and he bought it for me. I was a happy girl!
Then I got to work

Painting spindles is not my favorite job for sure, but you gotta do what you gotta do!
Then came distressing and waxing and all that fun stuff...on spindles.

But oh how yummy it turned out! I love it so much.

So a big thank you goes out to my wonderful husband for buying me a bench and putting an end to my two year search!

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Story of a Chair

My husband would say I have some sort of a love affair with chairs, though he would probably phrase it as "a sick love affair with chairs". I prefer to be less derogatory of my seating.
Our house is on the small side. I totally thought I would be fine with this because kids have the most stuff when they're babies and then it gets better right???? Yes, I was the idiot that actually thought that. Regardless of the fact that I am an organizer and purger by birth, I married into a family that has quite a few pack rats...and it's apparently genetic! Who knew? But even though the house is wee, I didn't see the big deal with trying to put nice seating spaces into all the rooms, including the children's.
My friend Merideth scored this chair for me while I was on the road to Oklahoma in August.

Oh so hideous! The only thing I actually liked about this chair was the fact that it was faux bamboo and the size was perfect for my purposes.

It was to be for my son's room and even before I had the chair I knew what  I was going to do with it. I was going to paint it red and I had a gorgeous antique grain sack for the upholstery.
Then I finished Dylan's Cabinet and decided that might be too much red for his tiny room. So I went with blue instead.

This is the same ASCP that I used on Dylan's Chest: Napoleonic Blue 

I was completely and totally in love with this grain sack from the second I saw it. I didn't know what it would eventually be used for but I bought it immediately!

I had to make the piping myself and try my hardest to sew the new cushion cover and make it look good. I'm still relatively new to sewing so I had to enlist my mother for a little bit of this. But, I am very proud to say I did most of it myself!

Putting it all together

I had to use auto primer on the chair. The yellow was insane to cover!

Until this chair was in his room this is how my son would read or play his games. This is also how his room looks the majority of the time as well...STUFF everywhere! He's also extremely stubborn about being photographed so I have to sneak the pictures in quickly or I don't get them!

Here it is all finished.

I dig the blue faux bamboo...it makes me happy :)

I love that all of his bedroom colors are in this grain sack!

I also love that he sat down in his chair and said that I was "the best most awesome mama ever!"
He's pretty fantastic too!