Use What You Have Guest Room Makeover, Part II

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Look at me all posting part two (part one is here) of the guestroom makeover just like I said I would! Whoohoo!
I left off with this photo of the curtains I made and the tree branch curtain rod. It also exemplifies nicely my mad Craigslisting skills. Ever since I made the slipcovers for my couch I've been wanting to try making one for a wing back chair. Except I didn't have a wing back chair. But it only took a couple of days checking my local craigslist to find this one for thirty dollars. Unfortunately I haven't made a slip for it yet, but I did make a little throw pillow with fabric left over from the curtains.
 I also found this wardrobe on Craigslist for free. Yes friends, if you are as obsessed with furniture as I am you can do a quick check for what is free in your neighborhood and then race to try and pick it up before anyone else. You will usually lose, but sometimes you will win.
 Isn't this beautiful? And, magical. I was so proud when each of my children independently and unprompted tried to climb in and told me they were going to Narnia. 
The hinges were a bit wonky but again my handy hubby came to my rescue and fixed it up for me. 

The area rug you see is the one I used to have in my family room before I got all gung ho and bought a big one for in there. You are right, it needs to be shampooed. 

I'm pretty sentimental about this bed. The crocheted coverlet was made by my Grammy Tietz many years ago but I never had a bed that was safe from kids and pets to put it on until now. I would just pull it out of my hope chest every once in awhile and admire it and whisper, "we'll be together one day."
Can you even imagine doing all that? Me neither.

At the end of the bed I have a quilt folded up that I will love forever because it used to be on my beautiful sister, Lani's bed. She passed away in January and I like to go and lay my head on the quilt and miss her to myself.
And if that isn't sentimental enough for you I also brought in this cart that the previous owners of our home left in the storage room and put the bunnies that my sweet friend, Paige, knitted for me on it.
I think she should charge people big bucks for these cuties. Not me, obviously, but other people. They are so dang adorable!

Our internet router comes in through this room so I tried to disguise it a bit with stuff but I still need to work on that.
I'm letting you see it anyway because I like you and I think you won't judge me. Working with what you have means sometimes things aren't perfect, but I'm okay with that.

My Use What You Have Guest Bedroom Makeover, Part I

Sunday, August 23, 2015

This summer has just zoomed by and been full of lots of fun things that I hope to write about, but one thing I really don't want to skip is my guest bedroom makeover. This little room started out as a bedroom for Jonathan, even though it doesn't have a closet, and then served as a sort of catch all for our workout equipment and not in use furniture when he moved downstairs. We also made excellent use of it as a place to stash mess whenever someone is coming over where we could close the door and pretend I am a good housekeeper.

As usual, I get so excited to start a project that I forget to take before pictures. Here are some I snapped while I was prepping to paint.
Lovely, no? I had taken the first step and painted the bed here. If you're interested I used homemade chalk paint and Annie Sloan clear wax on it. 

The thing I like most about this little makeover is that I did it using a lot of what I already had and getting the "new to me" items on the cheap. Okay, you caught me, that's what I like about all my projects. I love the challenge of making a room better using more creativity than money, although I like money too.
I've often wondered how people with unlimited budgets decorate. Making a decision when the world is your oyster seems almost impossible to me; I always start with the things I already have and take my inspiration from there. Recently it occurred to me that if money were no object I would have to actually give myself a limitation by first choosing a really special or unique inspiration item that everything else would have to work around.

I decided to sort of apply that principle here when I painted the bed we've had for over 15 years and used for several kids a bright green. I basically can't get enough of that color but I knew when I did it that everything else I did in the room would have to get in line and work with the green. 
 I also love this room because I got to go full steam ahead country cottage shabby chic farmhouse primitive-whatever you like to call it-in there.

Following my own decorating order of operations, I painted the walls white and got to work sewing some simple curtains. I wanted a gingham pattern because it says farmhouse to me but I specifically chose this one because it was on clearance for $1.99 a yard. Can I get a high five for that? Custom curtains for less than twenty bucks-seriously-can't beat that. Although I am being loose and generous with the term "custom." I just cut rectangles and hemmed the edges, no lining or anything.

I showed Marc some pictures of branches as curtain rods, like this one
 and my handy hubby got right to work.
I'll probably pull those leaves off soon, but I really liked how they looked when we first put it up.
Okay, I'm actually running out of time tonight, because people always think they should get dinner, so I'm going to finish this up with a part two, hopefully tomorrow.

I hope you like it. 

You can see the rest of this room redo here.

Linking up

Mike and Elle's Garden Wedding

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I love parties and party planning and especially parties that are weddings, so when my friend Elle told me she was getting married and looking for help planning the wedding I may have started squirming in my seat and clapping my hands and gasping, "Me, me, me, Oh Let Me Do It!!!!!" Yeah. Like that. And I am so lucky, she did. 

Eleanor is an amazing woman with four fabulous kiddos. Her husband, Matt, passed away a few years ago and she has been holding down the fort with grace and humor and basically everyone loves her and is in awe of her. I think everyone who knows her was elated to hear that she met another wonderful man to share her life with, Mike. 

Between the two of them they have NINE children. Just let that sit for a minute.

I asked Eleanor what it's like when they all go out and she said in her unflappable way, "It's not as crazy as you're thinking it is."

But really, you're not here to for me to blah, blah, blah, you're here for the pictures right? I totally understand! Let's go.

It may have taken me four tries to get the chalkboard right, but now I'm in love with it!
 Elle's friend, Karly has a home with an amazing outdoor space that should be in Architectural Digest. She was thrilled to host the wedding and it was so fun working with her to make everything gorgeous.

These picnic benches were set up on the lower level of the yard to serve as kid tables, or "third generation seating" if you prefer. Some people feel very strongly about that :-)

Every wedding should for sure have a great rope swing to keep things interesting.

Eleanor and Mike looked radiant. They are clearly so in love and thrilled to have found each other.
Is that dress not to die for?

After the ceremony and pictures there was the dinner. I'm just gonna say it; it was beautiful.
Clearly I did not make all this gorgeousness by myself. It was so much fun and a real privilege to work with Dayna, Holly, Emily and Julie, some of the most talented women I know.

At one point I was up on a ladder placing flowers and succulents in a hanging arrangement. All four of them were on the ground holding the ladder, passing me plants, and telling me where to place each one from their vantage point on the ground. We were cracking up at our own intensity over where each little flower needed to go and Emily pointed out that this moment sums up what we're all about.

Each of us would do anything-would be anywhere-to help the others have a more beautiful life. I love you ladies.
And this cake. Seriously. I just can' tasted ah-mazing too. It was made by Elle's friend, Michelle Christiansen , who only takes clients from referrals, so, if you need her, call me.
And there you go. Here's wishing all the best to this wonderful Bride and Groom!


Tips for Painting for a Client

Thursday, June 18, 2015

tips for painting furniture
I finished these darling pink and gold pieces for a client a couple of weeks ago. It was so fun painting for her, when we were discussing color she told me she wanted something super bright and that to her red and gold are like neutrals. The hot pink is perfect for her!
pink dresser
I've just started painting for other people, and my learning curve is pretty steep but there are two things that I feel clearer about after this project.

First, I am an easily bored baby with a minuscule attention span and about half way through any project I start thinking about the next thing I want to do. When it's my own stuff I can flit back and forth between projects like a bi-polar butterfly, but when a client has their daughter's clothes in stacks on the floor because I have her dressers it is better to get it done promptly. Like a professional. Which is what I am going to dress up as for Halloween this year.

 So, in order to facilitate the timely completion of a project, it helps if I start with the hard parts first. That way I get the most difficult stuff done while I'm totally focused on the project. 

In this case the hard part was painting the cubbies inside of the desk...

and the spindle legs on the little table.
Which brings me to the other thing I learned this time around. When determining a price for the work, remember to consider those difficult areas in your quote. The matching dresser that I painted (not pictured) took about half the time to paint as the desk, even though it was much larger. 

Working on these pieces was super fun! I love the hot pink-and it matches Muffy's outfit quite well, eh? And Marc thinks it's silly for a grown woman to dress teddy bears...

Just for fun, here is a before photo too.
Linking up


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