Sunday, May 13, 2012

Emily's Pillow

I don't sew, or I didn't...then Pinterest came along and I started having all these crazy ideas. Ideas like "Hey you can sew, it seems like everyone else is." Or, "It can't be that difficult!" I got this crazy idea to surprise my friend Monica with a pillow for her little girl Emily. I wanted to try my hand at this sewing thing and I had done a bit of it already by this point. So, I had fabric samples and I had pinned the item I wanted to copy. I was ready to go!
Or so I thought. I don't have a sewing machine, I always use my mothers. My wonderful parents were out of town and I decided to lug my children to their house and spend the afternoon doing Pinterest projects. I got there and thought I would just automatically know how to thread my mothers sewing machine...I did NOT know how. I could have called her and asked, but I honestly didn't want her to know that I couldn't do it. Yes, I am that stubborn!!!  So, I whipped out my handy dandy little iPhone and Googled it! I watched a tutorial on the brand of machine my mother has and I got it done. My mother still does not know this, thankfully! Anyway I got down to business and cranked out the pillow. I think it turned out pretty cute and Monica seemed thrilled and Emily hugged it tight so I was happy.

I don't know why it looks red in this picture...I will blame the awful fluorescent lights

You can see my little circles in the background

Before it was sewn together with the back panel

From the side

Back panel

Finally the finished product. I gotta say, I really think I want one for myself ;)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Magnetic Board

In dire need of a family 'command center' (because I LOATHE looking at stuff all over my fridge) I decided to make a large magnetic board. I got a 24"X 56" piece of scrap from my father and purchased some magnetic paint, and got to work. I followed the instructions and used thin layers...and a LOT of them. Now, I hear that some people have a good experience with magnetic paint and love the stuff. I was not one of those people. After three layers it barely held a strong magnet and after five it would hold the strong magnet but not the average ones. I was a tad frustrated and started trying to come up with a different idea. But, I'm pretty stubborn and I really wanted a magnetic board, not cork or clips.

 I started looking for a large piece of tin. Either a panel from an old cabinet or from an antique ceiling. We've already established that I'm somewhat cheap, so I will tell you that I was frustrated by the prices of the large pieces. I told a few friends I was on the lookout for the tin and Ashleigh immediately told me she had just seen a large piece at one of my favorite shops. I jumped on it and went the very next day to check it out.

Yeah, I bought it. It was huge and perfect, and not too expensive. There was a lot of chipped paint on it and it had some great coloring. I especially loved the green on it.

I had my husband power wash it because I'm pretty sure the paint chipping off was lead paint. It was also a curved piece so I very carefully flattened it out without messing up the pretty design that was pressed into it.

I also wanted a few other colors popping through, so I painted spots all over it...yeah it looks weird now, but just wait!

Then I busted out the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old  White and painted the whole thing. I didn't do a perfect job because it wasn't needed. Then after that was dry, I sanded it down making sure that all those pops of color could be seen subtly. 

Next I had to get to work on the frame. It had to have a frame because those edges are sharp! I had several ideas, but I love reusing old wood. Call it recycling or upcycling...whatever it is, I adore it! So naturally I raided my father's supplies. I thought I found what I wanted in some old but unused fence pickets. However, they ended up almost crumbling to pieces when put through the planer. So off I went to the hardware store to buy some boards. While at the store I was on the phone with my father and he mentioned that he found some other boards and he thought they were more the look of what I wanted in the first place. So, I went to his shop and got to work! He was right, they were perfect.

Cutting the boards is always a favorite part of mine. I get a rush from power tools. I'm sure that makes me weird, but I don't care.

Slight miscalculations happen sometimes...

Back side of the frame

Finally hung in place. I hopped up and down a little bit. It's the little things that make me happy!

This is a great addition to my house and a wonderful place to hang kids drawings, schedules, and favorite pictures like the one featured above. It's a favorite of me and my husband when we were just engaged. 

One more project down...thousands to go ;)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Something I Adore

You know, every once in a while you come across something and it just clicks with you. It's not practical or functional, but you LOVE it! I fell in love with this old cash register. It's gorgeous! Almost everything on it is original. It's silver and marble and I sigh whenever I look at it. 

I was told that this was originally glass that shielded the numbers, but was replaced with plastic at some point in time. I want to put glass back in it...but it's not mine ;)

It makes me want to open up a shop just so I can have it on display by the checkout counter. Like I said, not practical at all. I just love it!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Entertainment Console

For a wedding present to us, my father had built an entertainment center. He built it off an Italian design that I had ripped out of a magazine. At the time I wanted everything to be sleek and modern, lots of glass and steel. I was 21 and I thought I wanted the opposite of what I had grown up with. I loved open shelving, super clean lines, and traditional whatnots for this girl! Ahh the hubris of the young. While it is a look I still like, I now realize it never would've worked for me and my family. Firstly, when open shelves are involved you have to be sure that everyone in the household is neat and clean like you are. That was not my case, it is obviously never going to be my case either. So this is what we had, birch and steel

Aren't all the kiddos cute? The middle two are mine. I realize this isn't the best picture, but you can see how cluttered everything looks with it all open. Truth be told, it was fine before we had children, but that quickly changed once all their toys and books and other things started taking over the house. My plan was to put doors on everything and add some trim to make it look more classic. I was going to take off the metal strips on the edge and put wood trim in its place...I had a plan.
Then, TV's got huge and flat and my husband had to have one. He came home with one as our anniversary present about two years ago and I had to come up with a different plan, and for the time being it had to be a free plan. So off came the metal strips, it was measured and cut down to a good console height with the plan of retro fitting it and adding more shelves and doors and base and crown, etc. Instead, it sat in our house like this for TWO YEARS!

Dead serious! Wood filler splotchiness and all. Oh well. I still had plans to modify it and make it great but they were on the back burner. Then, this beauty landed in my lap via a client!

Thank you Shauna! Would I prefer to have this as a buffet? Absolutely! But, our house is a tad too small for such luxuries as a buffet and I needed an entertainment console! So I busted out the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White and got to work! I love the detail on this piece so so much.

So pretty. It had needed a little modification to become what I needed it to be, so I had to work on that as well. Fret not, I kept it simple in the hopes of one day having a bigger house and turning it back into a gorgeous buffet!

Then came painting out the inside. I used Benjamin Moore peacock blue (my signature color) at 50% strength so it was just a touch of color and not super bright. I wanted subtle. Then I used some sanding and both clear and dark wax to finish it off.

I stayed with the original hardware because it is beautiful and looks great in the room.

And here it is all set up and in place. I love love love how it looks and could not be happier with this addition to my home!

And this is a detail of one of my other favorite things in the room, which just happens to sit on top of the new entertainment console.

Now, it's on to the next project! Only now, my house feels a little more complete too ;)