Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Whatever Wednesday: Dabbling With Photos to Show off some Beadwork

My friend, Rachel, does amazing beadwork! She has made earrings, necklaces, pins, you name it!

Our last name means "one who keeps bees" so I kind of have this thing for bee stuff and she was so kind as to give me a large bee pin when I moved away.

I'm no expert, by any stretch of the imagination on photography, and especially for doing flat lays of photos, but I thought I'd give this a try to show off the beadwork in the bee.

*sigh* There are still shadows.  I think that ideally those shouldn't be there, but if I had of taken it during the day instead of at night I'm sure these would have turned out better.  LOL!

Added fabric for interest (but I didn't really know how to set it into place so I just shuffled it together a little bit and left the bee partially off so it wouldn't get lost in the details of the fabric).

 Shoot from the top?

 Another from the top, with the more contemporary fabric.

 Or at an top/side angle? 
Either way, this was a fun way to spend ten minutes. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Furniture Fridays - Refinished Antique China Hutch

My friend, Tracy, had this cute antique hutch that was the first thing her parents had purchased when they got married in the 40s.  Since Tracy is re-modeling her kitchen, she wanted an update on the china hutch so it would match her other furniture.

As with any antique furniture, refinishing it can be a little more difficult than with newer items.  Mostly, prep work is the key to a good finish; you know, sanding or sanding deglosser, primer, then caulking around all the seams, then paint.  And to finish it off, put on some Polycrylic (especially in humid climates) that way the glasses, plates and other items will not stick to the latex paint.  

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Whatever Wednesday: Rock Collection Canning Jar Display

I've had a rock collection since I could pick up rocks and put them in my pockets (which my mom was very much against because they inevitably ended up in the wash.  But it is hard to lug those heavy little things everywhere!  For years (and I mean around 16 years!) they were just sitting in shoe boxes on the floor of my closet.

Now they sit on my mantle in old fashioned Ball, Mason, and Atlas jars.  I LOVE how they look, that they are ready at a moments notice and that I can easily take them down so my kids and I can look at their differences and beauty.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Furniture Friday: Set Backs Make Projects All the Better

At least that's what I'm telling myself!  Remember this post here with a sneak peak to my look-alike Lorraine chair from Restoration Hardware?  Did you see the date on that post?  July 10th!  I'm still working on it!

Some projects just take longer!  We've had a vacation, a business trip, a funeral, and just life happen since then.  I don't consider any of those set backs...those are just life, right?

So, today, I'm posting the almost finished chair with these words of caution:

When you plan to use drop cloth for a chair, make sure you either buy two...or don't use it for three other projects before you start the one you wanted the cloth for! 
Granted, I really like how the other three projects turned out, but, you know, I didn't end up having enough for the cushion cover.  I also couldn't remember where I bought the drop cloth.  I thought I'd save time by staying close to home and purchasing a new drop cloth from our local lumber/home store, Porter's.  Sadly, when I got home, I found that it didn't match the chair.  So, I drove the 20 minutes to Lowe's, where I hopefully bought the first one.  Did you know that drop cloths come in different grades?  I ended up buying the medium grade only to find out that I had previously bought heavy grade.  So, I'm off to Lowe's again to exchange them.  But here's a sneak peak of how it's looking so far:

On a positive note, the delays did help me to rethink some things about how I was putting the piece back together.  I ended up adding double cording AND vintage upholstery studs.  I was only going to put the cording on, but since I initially ran out of fabric, I started adding the stud and I love the dimension and contrasting color it brings to the piece!

Check out my other drop cloth projects here, here, and here

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Whatever Wednesday: Cake Plate Love

Did anyone else jump on the band wagon of making your own cake plates a few years ago?  I did, and loved making them for activities like my son's cub scout dessert auction fundraiser (that's a mouthful!).  My daughter also wanted to make one for her dresser.

It's an inexpensive, fun and super duper easy project!  They may not last forever, nor will they go in the dishwasher, but They're cute and add a little extra to a gift.

 These are just from the Dollar Tree, so $2 here. 
 Glue them together with E6000 glue.
 I decided to prime this first, just on the underside and on the candles stick. 
My daughter chose pink... match her tiny tea set. 
 This plate is from Target, I think it was $3- the candle stick from the local thrift store for $.49. 
 I did spray paint the candle stick navy before gluing it to the bottom of the plate.  Like I said inexpensive, fun, and easy cake plate love! 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Furniture Friday: Upholstery: Permanent and Temporary

We used to live close to this fantastic Salvation Army store.  The people who worked there were great! And when you dropped items off, you could get 20% off of any item!  You can bet that I utilized that opportunity a lot in searching for furniture! 

I found this wicker chair there, looking all brown and mustard-y and decided it needed to come to my home for a makeover. 

Hahaha! This is me with my Christmas wares many years ago.

This kind of upholstery job is fairly easy.  Sadly, I finished this was waaaay before I even thought about sharing my work on social media, so I have no pictures to illustrate how I did it.  However, if you're thinking about doing something a little more difficult than kitchen/dining room chairs, but don't want it to be too hard, this is the kind of chair to try next.  

Sewing cording and the seat band to the seat deck.

To make a permanent upholstery job, this does take some minor sewing skills (and I'm not a sewer, believe me!), but you can do it!! 
  1. Make a band the width of the cushion plus 1 inch.  
  2. Place cording onto your fabric, wrap slightly around it and sew as close to the cord as possible.
  3. Cut the seat deck fabric (where you sit) the size of the cushion plus 1 inch all around.  
  4. Sew the cording to the band.
  5. Then sew the band and cording to the seat deck.  
  6. Staple into place.

You can see the seam that connects the two parts of the seat band and then, again, the cording.

A couple of years ago, I had a photographer friend who needed a grey and white chair for a photo session.  She called to see if I had one.  I didn't, but I did have this one and some grey felt fabric.  So, I safety pinned the grey fabric onto the cushion for her photo shoot.  Perfectly temporary!   

  As you can see, all I did was:
  1. Stretch the fabric so that it was taut
  2. Safety pinned it all over to keep it in place.  
  3. Enjoy

It even looks good in my new house!   And yes...I still haven't removed the grey - it's just a great color!  I think I'll have to do some other chairs in the grey velvet. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Whatever Wednesday: Using a Drop Cloth for Your Photo Opps

My husband's family recently had a family reunion with a cowboy theme and I was asked to make a photo prop for the occasion.

After perusing Pinterest for a while, I came across these two photos from

They were pretty adorable, but at $87.95 per piece, it was too much for my budget!   Instead I used the drop cloth that I bought for another project (because it's huge and is able to sustain multiple projects) and decided to hand draw it instead.

Reasons I chose a drop cloth:
  • We were driving from Missouri to Idaho and wouldn't have much room for a big piece of wood; this folded up nicely and didn't take up much space.
  • I wasn't sure what the "venue" would look like when we got there, so I thought cloth would be pretty versatile.  
    • It was!  At first we thought we'd place it on a 4x8 sheet of plywood with the holes cut out for the faces, but that would have cost more money AND then we would have had to of propped up the wood as well.  By using cloth, we just poked holes in the top and sides and were able to support it on a porch-ish area by just tying string to the beams.  It was a bit windy and there was a storm coming in, and it stayed put well! 
Drew with pencil:

Traced with black Sharpie:

If you had a projector of some kind, you could use it to trace.  Or make your own like they did here, using a smart phone, or here, with a box and duct tape, or if you'd prefer a video, check this out, here.  

Then all the painting: I just used craft paint