Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bringing the indoors out!

There are few things I enjoy more than sitting outside on a lovely spring or early summer day enjoying the smell of flowers and the feel of a wonderful breeze on my face. I have longed for a beautiful outdoor space of my own for quite some time. We have almost always had some sort of outdoor space to enjoy, but it was never particularly cozy or had quite enough seating for many people to enjoy it at once. Well, that has changed. As part of my birthday present my wonderful husband help me get our spacious deck all set up as an outdoor living space for me to enjoy. I AM LOVING IT!!!

Now I have a great place to sit and enjoy some quiet time to myself and admire some of these.

Or sit back and watch these guys make memories!

Monday, April 25, 2011

new chairs

When we moved into our house last year it was the first time I was going to have both an eat in kitchen nook as well as a formal dining room. I have always wanted that! Anyway, my family has had this table that has been passed around to all of the sisters at some point I think. So I had a table for my nook, but no chairs. So I found these at a garage sale the weekend I moved in. I was excited because they were a perfect match for the table. But as they sat there for a year, that area became very colorless to me. Wood chairs, wood table and wood floor. It needed something. Also the wicker was uncomfortable for as often as we sat there, so I decided to recover them.

Here is the before of the chair.

 I started with a base coat of Krylon spray paint in avocado.

It was a little much on its own for me so I distressed and glazed them as well. I use Valspar premixed glaze. Just paint it on.

And wipe it off.

I then used a drop cloth and stenciled numbers on for a little whimsy and recovered the chair with two inch foam, batting and the stenciled canvas.

Then end result is a much cushier, more colorful set of chairs.

I LOVE them.

I have a few more projects in store for this area, including a new rug and I am thinking the table will go two tone soon!! I can't wait to show the finished room!

Edited: I painted the table too! Now it is nice and bright and lovely!!

Easter weekend

Not much needs to be said here! I had such a blessed weekend! My husband set up a day full of surprises for me on my 30th birthday this Saturday. I will try to blog about it this week. Then I got to spend Easter Sunday with these ridiculously cute boys!! Nuff Said!! I hope you all had a great weekend as well.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Waste not!

So,  have seen all these cute cloches and terrariums around blog land and thought they were super cute! I want one! I've seen a couple at hobby lobby and home goods, but I just haven't wanted to spend the money on them. So.... enter a horribly ugly light fixture I found at a garage sale last fall for $5.00. I forgot to take a before picture of it all together. I actually bought it for the small chandelier inside the oak and brass surround. I thought it would be perfect for a friend's kitchen redo.

Anyway... I never threw out the cover because I was convinced I could do something with it. Well, this week I decided to have a go at it. Here is the before. I had already started painting when I realized I still needed to take a pic.

I painted the wood part a green color, which I later topped with a lighter green color.

I then covered the old brass with silver leaf. If you have ever worked with silver leaf you know it can be a messy frustrating job. But they now have some packaged on like a wax paper and it helps SO much with the mess!

half brass, half silver leaf

Once that part was done I used some antiquing glaze to age all of it a bit.

My two year old wanted to help with this which resulted in this little treat!

Thank goodness I had freezer paper down!

Here is a close up of the finished product.

And here are a couple of pictures of where it ended up. I haven't decided if it will stay or not. I had forgotten before I did the whole thing that it had tinted glass in it. Every time I see it it reminds  me of those glasses that tint in the sun and never seem to really become clear once inside. Not really dark, but not clear either. But I thought I would share it anyway. Really I didn't lose anything, since I already had all of the supplies on had for the project. If I hadn't tried I'd never have known!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Works in progress

Warning.... this post will involve an attempt at depth. I know, I know, some of you out there didn't know I had it in me.

A year ago, after we bought this house my husband bought me a lovely (in my mind at least) antique chair. Whoa, deja vu. No I am not simply re posting about the OTHER  antique chair I coaxed him into buying. Anyway, similar enough story.... girl meets chair, girl loves chair, husband buys girl the chair. Girl gets home.... rips the chair apart, gets overwhelmed and banishes chair to the garage. Until a week ago or so. I have spent the last couple of weeks stripping the chairs original finish off and adding a new coat of tongue oil.

Yesterday and today I tried my hand at re-webbing. So, here she is... my current work in progress.

The funny thing about this chair...even from the beginning is that when  look at her I don't see the neglected sad chair in the back corner of the antique store. Or even the mediocre at best webbing job. I see..... potential. I see possibilities. I see the the beautiful end result that will come with just a little (or maybe a lot) of TLC.

It got me thinking. What if I could see all people, including myself, the way I see my projects. What if instead of rough edges and unpolished finishes I saw works in progress full of potential. Would I have a little more patience, knowing that it is too soon to expect the beautiful finish? Would I be motivated myself to give some of the TLC required for that finish rather that just a steaming pile of judgement? The fact is that we are all just big works in progress. Luckily we have the most amazing DIYer EVER willing to spruce us up if we will just give ourselves up willingly. I feel so blessed that God can look at me and see something beautiful even if I am cracked, unpolished and maybe a little caddywampus. One of my goals over this next year is to become more patient with others and have the same grace with them. Join me if you dare and be graceful with those you know, those you meet and even yourself! We DIYers pride ourselves on the knowledge that even the saddest looking finds can be polished up to become show pieces!!! The same is true for people. We are not always what we appear. And a sometimes you just have to get to know someone to see the true beauty.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Back home!

I was so fortunate to grow up in a wonderful place with some land and some nature and plenty to explore. I grew up in Kansas on a "farm". Not the kind with eggs to be gathered and cows to be milked. The kind with lots of crop, that is actually leased out to another farmer, but we had acres upon which to roam and explore as kids. I love looking back on those days of play, but what I love even more is that my folks are still there and I can take my boys back to enjoy the "magic" of all that nature! If it was that wonderful for me as a little girl, I can only imagine how my little crazies who love to get dirty feel when they are there. We went back for very short visit this weekend and my boys got to get their hands (and feet and legs and face) dirty.