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 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!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Burlap and Muslin Christmas - Tree Skirt

Last year was an extremely busy winter for me. Starting in the late Fall, I was booked solid through the end of January. That was such a blessing and a crazy awesome experience for me as well. In the midst of all of that I decided I needed to get all Pinterest crafty and make new Christmas decor. Pinterest was full of tutorials on 'fast and easy' and 'no sew' options. However, my children are little demons when it comes to destruction and I knew that none of those easier options would hold up for our household. So I merged a few of those tutorials into one and came up with my own version.
I had never had a tree skirt and I decided the old blanket just wasn't good enough anymore and that regardless of my busyness I was going to have a tree skirt!!!
This is what I put together:

Burlap and Muslin

Cut them into strips. By the way, don't you love the vintage yard stick...sigh, they just don't make them like that anymore!

Used the muslin for the base and serged the edges. Next came the tedious part, the pinning.

After once around I was feeling super excited! This was going to be awesome!

Five hours later, with burlap burn and arms aching from holding the weight of the skirt while sewing, I was not thinking awesome...I was thinking 'idiot'

Then, when all was finished, I was in awesome-land again. It turned out perfect! I had to cram it into one night because I had planned a Christmas Brunch for my ladies and I wanted everything to look great! This is such a lousy picture of my tree with the skirt under it, but I honestly couldn't find the one I had originally taken.

Here it is all spread out - I still just love it!

It suits my house and I am so happy that I did it. I'm even more glad that I took the time and sewed it rather than hot glued it. This is something I want to last for a long time!