Burlap Curtains

Burlap is one of my favorite things to use….just under European grain sacks….anywhere I need fabric in our home. Ever since we started the living room redo a year ago I’ve been looking for just the right thing to put on the windows.  They are very large windows and cross the entire front of our cottage.

I found these great rope tiebacks at an outlet type store….and I knew that whatever I did to the windows I wanted to use them! And, of course, rope leads straight to burlap in my mind. 🙂

I wanted the curtains to be very sheer…didn’t want to cover up the view or block the natural light. {I LOVE natural light….don’t like lamps too much.}

We ran across these wonderful rolls of landscape burlap at an old general store when we were out of town one day….and I knew they were perfect! They are a very loose-weave burlap. They are 3′ x 12′ each and only cost $6.00 a roll. ha! Cannot beat that. Curtains for 3 large windows only cost $36.

We loaded up on 6 rolls and they’ve been waiting in a closet for a few months …… waiting for me to get to them and make curtains. Last week I got out the sewing machine, started sewing, and my machine decided to stop working. Grrrrrrr. I was determined to get these curtains up. SO, I whip-stitched the top seam……and hung them on the rods, trimmed the bottom a bit longer than the floor, and then……YEP, I hot glued the hem! Done. {If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know how I feel about sewing machines. It’s bittersweet and doesn’t always bring out the best in me.}

From start to finish I made floor-length curtains for 3 large windows in under an hour. And….I love ’em. Thank you whip-stitch and hot glue! You know, it actually looks better than if I had sewn them on the machine.  You do not see a seam anywhere. All things work together for good, you guys! 😉

What have you been doing in your home lately?

Covered in burlap fuzz~

Sharing with:  Tip JunkieBetween Naps on the PorchThrifty Decor ChickFunky Junk InteriorsDIY ShowoffHome Stories A to Z a.k.a. DesignSerenity NowSavvy Southern StyleMy Romantic HomeJennifer Rizzo

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French Linen Side Table Redo

We’ve had this little side table by our front door for a while now….but it was looking sad. It needed some TLC……so a few weeks ago, it got some!

Here it is before I began….

Here it is finished in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, French Linen with Old White accents and a dark wax finish. I’m loving it.

It sits by the front door still….and holds some fun little special things……little shoes that made it through Ellis Island in the 1800’s, the original, working movie script of Lord of the Rings, etc.

I don’t think it looks quite as forlorn now. It even brightens up that spot a bit more.

Have you redone any furniture in your home lately? It is the quickest, easiest, and least expensive way to completely change a room.

Be sure to come back tomorrow…….we are having a fabulous Moen giveaway! Shall I say…Oil Rubbed Bronze, anyone!!!??????

Blessings~

Sharing with:  Tip JunkieBetween Naps on the PorchThrifty Decor ChickFunky Junk InteriorsDIY ShowoffHome Stories A to Z a.k.a. DesignSerenity NowSavvy Southern StyleMy Romantic HomeJennifer Rizzo, Miss Mustard Seed

Grain Sack Covered Handles……

Handsome has LOTS of games! Especially ones like tavern puzzles, binary arts, etc.  We needed a fun place to put them that could be easily accessible so they could be used, but a little bit hidden. 😉

We found these perfect baskets with lids….and stacked them in our living room; but it drove me crazy that the handle holes were so big that you could see inside and it looked a bit junky. ugh. {The very thing I was trying to avoid.}

I love vintage grain sacks……European ones, especially. I try to keep a stack to use for all kinds of purposes.  I thought little pieces of grain sack would be a perfect ‘handle hole cover’.

So, I cut small pieces of grain sack that were about 1″ larger than the handle openings on all sides and hot-glued them inside the baskets.  I only glued the top of the grain sack ‘flap’……so when you stuck your hand in to lift the basket they wouldn’t get in the way.

grain sacks

grain sacks

I love it! Problem solved.

Do you have any little things in your home that are driving you crazy and you would like to fix?

A little less crazy~

Sharing with:  Tip JunkieBetween Naps on the PorchThrifty Decor ChickFunky Junk InteriorsDIY ShowoffHome Stories A to Z a.k.a. DesignSerenity NowSavvy Southern StyleMy Romantic HomeJennifer Rizzo

Numbered Cubbies / Numbered Shelves

While cleaning out a wayward closet a few weeks ago I found this little dark wood/stained “cubbie box”. It was very forlorn-looking.

I’ve always loved numbered cubbies and numbered shelves….we are actually working on doing a wall of large numbered cubbies in our dining room. I thought this little piece would be fun as a miniature one to host a rotating collection of whatever finds its way to it.

numbered cubbies

numbered cubbies

I painted it white with chalk paint. Distressed it a bit with dark wax…and used a sharpie to number it. We’ve had fun rotating what’s inside.

numbered cubbie

numbered cubbies

It reminds me of a miniature version of vintage hotel mail slots.

numbered cubbies

A fun little project that cost $0….can’t beat that!

What have you been up to lately? Any fun projects going on?

Blessings~

Sharing with:  Tip JunkieBetween Naps on the PorchThrifty Decor ChickFunky Junk InteriorsDIY ShowoffHome Stories A to Z a.k.a. DesignSerenity NowSavvy Southern StyleMy Romantic HomeJennifer Rizzo

The Blessing Tree…..

After Easter was over and our Passion Tree was completed…I had another idea for the branches that we had used. I thought it would be fun to create a Blessing Tree.  I originally was on the lookout for an old, wooden violin case….let me know if you see any!…..to use for our ‘blessings’; but since I hadn’t found one that I really liked yet, I thought the branches from our Passion Tree would be great!

the blessing tree

I wanted to create little cards or tags of fun little blessings….or things to do….or things to ponder and then have them in a convenient location in our home….So, each time someone comes over or visits they can pick one and take it with them.

the blessing tree

the blessing tree

the blessing tree

I still want to use the old wooden violin case idea; but for now I think this is super fun!

the blessing tree

tree blessing

the blessing tree

Our Blessing Tree sits in the middle of our living room/entryway area…perfect for people to grab one as they go or come.

tree blessing

blessing tree

the blessing tree

 I added some fun vintage French dictionary pages so it wouldn’t just have little tags hanging on it……and I’m always looking for excuses to use vintage book pages.

the blessing tree

the blessing tree

the blessing tree

the blessing tree

 For the summer I created a list of fun things to do….to slow people down…..things to be enjoyed or savored.  They are printed on vintage French sheet music……I’ve included those lists/printouts for you below in case you would like to create your own tree.  Feel free to print them out, cut them into little strips and put them or hang them somewhere neat in your home.

 We tell people there is only one rule…..you can’t read the strips of paper and pick out one.  You have to just pick one and be surprised! 🙂 No choosing.

Here is how we created our Blessing Tree:

{See our Passion Tree post for how to set up the branches}

1. Print out a fun list of things to do or ponder, or scripture, or encouraging words.

2.  Cut them into strips.

the blessing tree

3. Punch small holes in one end…I used a teardrop hole punch for ours.

4. Using any kind of wire {or leftover Christmas ornament hooks} bend the wire into a hook to create a hanger for each strip.

the blessing tree

5. Hang away…all over the branches!

Here are the two sheets of printouts that we used:

{You can enlarge or shrink them depending on your preference.}

tree blessing

{Click here or on image for printable}

tree blessing

{Click here or on the image for the printable}

 If you were picking a strip….which one of the above would you want to pick?

Blessings~

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Summer Mantel {2012}

The sprucifying has continued…….I’ve been changing up everything around here lately.  I decided to paint the mantel white….it was a very old white when we received it as a gift last summer.  {Yes!  A gift! A 200-year-old solid wood mantel from an antebellum home.} We love it……I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint [my favorite paint] in old white and just dry brushed it on top of the original paint to brighten it up a bit.

 I’ve been in a seashell mood lately….shells are everywhere!

 We stack vintage book bundles inside the fireplace in the spring and summer when we are not going to be using it.  We are a family of bookworms…..so books mean a lot to us.  It keeps the fireplace from being a black hole in the summer.

 I had fun making these European grain sack covered votives.  I’ve collected several 100+ year-old German grain sacks….and I use the edges to cover small glass votives with white candles inside.

 And instead of wood in the basket….there are lightweight summer blankets for some fun movie nights ahead!

 We have only had a mantel for a year…..and have enjoyed being able to change it with the seasons.  What did I ever do without one?

Do you switch things around in your home for different seasons? Or do you like to keep things as they are throughout the year?

Oh, and by the way…..I’ve loved hearing from you guys about the fun memories you have of things you did during the summer growing up!  Keep them coming…..we’ve added some of them to our bucket list because I had forgotten about them and you guys reminded me. 🙂

Happy Thursday~

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Painted Piano {Gasp!}…..

It’s OK. Don’t panic. You CAN paint a piano….we’ve pained several. We are a musical family that is very plugged in to many music professionals, have a large music school here at the university…and have checked with all the right professionals. Relax. 🙂

I would not suggest painting a Steinway, or any other highly prized/collected piano. They usually have a beautiful finish to start with….and you would have to come to grips that if you painted it the value would immediately go down if you ever wanted to resale it.  {However, it’s not that you COULDN’T paint it….I just wouldn’t suggest it, for investment purposes.}

We love our piano…but the wood was not a very pretty color/stain.  So, we painted it.

Here is how we painted it at first….very whimsical to go with our very whimsical living room.  We loved it.

 But last year when we started the living room redo we just wanted something a little different.  So in the fall I repainted the piano….and here is what it looks like now:

 Knobs before {typical little piano brass knobs}:

 Knobs now {vintage cut glass}:

 For a cushion I used one of our hand painted faux grain sack pillows.

 If you are going to paint a piano…. chalk paint is a wonderful option.  I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Gray, and then distressed it with the dark wax. I think I need to distress it a bit more. It only took one coat. {One of the many reasons that I love chalk paint!} This whole project took me just a couple of hours.

There is nothing that I’ve found that can’t be painted. I’ve painted refrigerators, countertops, TV’s, floors, tub, tile, etc. Really…..you can change your whole world with paint!

Have you ever painted anything out of the ordinary?

Happy Wednesday~

Sharing with:   Skip to My LouTip JunkieToday’s Creative BlogNot JUST a Housewife,  Blue Cricket DesignThe Shabby Creek CottageWhipperberryThe Idea Room,  Between Naps on the PorchFrench Country CottageThe Lettered CottageThrifty Decor ChickFunky Junk InteriorsAt the Picket FenceMy Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaCommon Ground,  DIY ShowoffHome Stories A to Z a.k.a. DesignSomeday CraftsOrganize and Decorate Everything,  Making the World CuterThe Girl CreativeCraftomaniacCarolyns HomeworkFingerprints on the FridgeTatertots & JelloSerenity NowNo Minimalist HereSavvy Southern Style, Coastal CharmMy Romantic HomeRedouxWe Are That FamilyThe Charm of HomeDelightsome LifeAnything GoesRooted in ThymePositively SplendidCedar Hill Ranch,  House in RosesRook No. 17Elizabeth & Co.Domestically SpeakingThe Power of PaintThe Trendy Treehouse, Faded Charm CottageMichele Raven DesignsJunk in Their TrunkGingersnap CraftsNight Owl CraftingThe Vintage FarmhouseMy Repurposed LifeThe Rooster & the HenShabby NestFinding FabulousThrifty Handmade DaysHomemaker on a Dime, Miss Mustard Seed

Spring Mantel

I am still learning how to take pictures in this room.

It is not as dark as it looks…but the way the light

comes in makes it hard to not get grainy  pics!

{Correction….I’m still learning how to

take pictures in general! ha!}

A few weeks ago we decided to paint the new mantel

white….and I love it! We’ve been all about lightening

up around here for several months.

For those of you not with us last summer…

we had been looking for an old mantel for a very long time.

A local church had this one in storage and GAVE it to us!

It is over 150 years old and came out of an antebellum

home that weathered the Civil War…just like the brick and

floors of our cottage.  We just love it!

Here’s some fun pics of our spring mantel….

Our pussywillow tree is finally big enough for

me to be able to cut branches and force them inside. Yay!

So we put two big vases of them on either side of the mantel.

I love bee skeps…..and this is a little mini one.

*****

On another note….have you guys ever checked out the live Eagle Cam?

We enjoy watching it each spring.

Our kids LOVE it! {Me, too!}

The eagles just began mating last week…

soon their will be eggs that you can watch LIVE…

hatch, grow, eaglets being fed, etc.

Check it out here and bookmark it.

Check back several times a day….it is a live cam.

You will want to keep it on all day once the eaglets hatch…

it becomes addicting. 🙂

*****

We had fun getting our Easter decorations out yesterday.

Isn’t it fun getting decorations out….it’s almost like a walk

down memory lane.  Lots of “Do you remember when we use

to do ____ with this?” And “I completely forgot about satin bunny!”

Do you decorate for spring or Easter?

Until tomorrow~

Sharing with:  Skip to My LouTip JunkieToday’s Creative BlogNot JUST a Housewife,  Blue Cricket DesignThe Shabby Creek CottageWhipperberryThe Idea Room,  Between Naps on the PorchFrench Country CottageThe Lettered CottageThrifty Decor ChickFunky Junk InteriorsAt the Picket FenceMy Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaCommon Ground,  DIY ShowoffHome Stories A to Z a.k.a. DesignSomeday CraftsOrganize and Decorate Everything,  2805Making the World CuterThe Girl CreativeCraftomaniacCarolyns HomeworkFingerprints on the FridgeTatertots & JelloSerenity NowNo Minimalist HereSavvy Southern Style, Coastal CharmMy Romantic HomeRedoux504 Main733 BlogWe Are That FamilyCreating Really Awesome Free Things,  The Charm of HomeDelightsome LifeAnything Goes

Preserving Fun Memories

When we re-painted our stairway wall as part of the living room re-do

we came to a spot that we just didn’t have the heart to paint over.

Fourteen years ago when we painted the wall bright yellow

our oldest child was 2—and as he went up the stairs

I reminded him not to touch the walls because they were wet.

He was 2. He was left-handed. He needed help up the stairs.

And his habit was to put his little hand on the wall while he climbed.

So, we had these precious little 2-year-old handprints

from 14  years ago on our stairway wall that we just didn’t want to lose.

We decided to preserve them…and even highlight them in a fun way

when we re-painted.  We outlined them lightly..one even included an arm! ha!

And then we ‘framed’ them in Cape May pebbles…..one of our son’s favorite

vacation spots.

We now have these two cute little framed handprints going up the stairs

to treasure for always.  We have even talked about cutting that

part of the wall out if we ever move. 🙂

There’s plenty of other things on our walls that we don’t

want to preserve….the large dent from our son’s head

when he flipped back in a chair in the dining room,

the pin holes one of our daughter use to like to make behind her bed

in neat patterns {she thought we didn’t know}, and many others.

But, this one…..it is super special. And we didn’t want to lose it

behind a coat of paint.

What do you do to preserve special memories in your home?

Happy Wednesday~

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Painting Faux Grain Sack….

We are still in the midst of the Living Room Redo….but definitely closing in on finishing.

Just a few little things we’d like to add here and there.

I absolutely LOVE European grain sacks….and collect them whenever I find them.

The grain sacks  that I have, though, are not the ones that I wanted to use in the living room.

So, until I find just the right ones….I painted some faux ones!

I will replace them with the real thing whenever I find just the right ones.

{Sorry—I took these pics before I ironed them….but you can get the idea!}

I definitely did not de-wrinkle and poof-up for these pics….forgive me. 😉

Here’s what you need:

1.  pillow covers {I made my own out of linen, aida, canvas; but you can purchase them already made..or make them out of any material you choose.}

2.  Pillow inserts…if you do not already have them

3.  Paint in desired colors — acrylic is fine {you can use the little bottles from Michael’s, etc.}

4.  Fabric/Textile medium….DecoArt or Martha Stewart Crafts from Michael’s ,etc.

5.  Paint brushes..foam is best

6. Painter’s tape or masking tape

Here’s how ya do it:

1. Tape your stripes….in whatever pattern you desire: one broad and one thin or several thin or thin/broad/thin—look at pictures of grain sacks that you like. {You will have to do only one stripe at the time; but it dries quickly…so, never fear!}

2.  Mix your paint with the textile medium according to instructions.

3. Paint your taped-off stripe….but don’t make it opaque if you want a worn look.  You will almost be dry-brushing in some areas—let your paint run out on the brush.

4. Once that stripe is done and dry, remove the tape—and tape your next stripe.

5. Sew up your pillow covers—put the inserts in—and enjoy!

I did a couple of red ones on aida for Christmas—-they are not my favorites because the red was too bright. Ah, live and learn! They were still fun for the holidays—next time I will know to go with a deeper shade of red for a more authentic look. Each one of these pillows cost just a few dollars to create. {I used the pillow inserts that I already had.}  So, they are a great fix while I am waiting for the real thing to appear before me….at the right price, too! 🙂

Enjoy~

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