February 2014

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Orange rocker white cube

Enter one short bar stool that was gifted to us by a friend dh and the boys helped move…


It was fine as is. But I really needed to paint something. Plus, the little 2 drawer cube I had sitting beside my orange chair in my bedroom wasn’t working.

Orange rocker white cube

It was a little low for a side table and I thought it would work better for storage in the closet anyway.

Since I decided to use the bar stool as a side table in my bedroom, turquoise was the obvious choice for paint color. The only problem is that I’m getting a little weary with the turquoise and I’m leaning more towards softer colors. I’ve been trying to pin down my style for a long time, and I really think I lean towards a farmhouse or cottage style. I may do a separate post on that when I learn a little more about the different styles.

Now, I’m not ready to completely chuck the turquoise — just tone it down a bit. So I took a little sample pot of turquoise paint I had on hand (the same one I used to paint the sailboat art’s sail here) and added some white paint. I was surprised how much the white paint diluted the turquoise. I had to add quite a bit more turquoise back in and finally wound up with a color close to a robin’s egg blue.

I left it just like this for about a week because I wasn’t sure I wanted to distress it. No one in the house wanted me to distress it, but that wasn’t a good measure because I’m the only one that likes that look anyway.  Finally, I decided it was too boring. I had read about using steel wool instead of sandpaper to distress and decided to give that a try.

Steel wool

The steel wool left a hint of charcoal color on the paint which fit in with the distressed look quite nicely, but it was taking WAY too long to get down to the wood.

I switched to 100 grit sandpaper and finished in no time.

Distressed stool top

I put one coat of antique glaze on the whole thing and called it done. I opted not to use poly because I didn’t want the finish to be too shiny. I’m still considering how to protect it but for now it’s enjoying it’s new home.

Orange rocker white cube

Orange rocker bar stool closer

Bar stool distressing close up1

You may have noticed that the throw pillow changed from the first picture of the orange rocker to the second one. About four days before Valentine’s Day I decided to make another pillow to go with my Valentine pillow collage. I felt like a little white pillow would go perfectly and when I saw this pattern on Pinterest, I jumped on it. I crocheted like crazy to finish it in time, but alas, I was a day late. I wasn’t about to let all that hard work go to waste so I decided to use the pillow in the bedroom — at least until next Valentine’s Day.

Crocodile pillow

The front is covered with crocodile stitches and the back is just double crochet.

Crocodile pillow back

It was a pretty easy and quick project although the crocodile stitches got a little annoying after a while.

Bedroom sitting area before:

Orange rocker white cube

Bedroom sitting area after:

Orange rocker bar stool

Now if I can just scrape up enough gumption to re-upholster that rocker!!

Valentine tablescape

Valentine tablescape

I love Valentine’s Day. I used to tell people that it was my very favorite holiday. It seemed a little inappropriate for a priest’s wife to have Valentine’s Day as her *favorite* holiday, so I stopped announcing it.

Since I’ve had kids, Valentine’s Day has been more about the food than the decor. You know, making sure they have heart shaped blueberry muffins for breakfast and heart shaped cupcakes for dessert that night. Maybe if I’m feeling extra spunky I’ll use the heart cookie cutter to make festive sandwiches for lunch. Or maybe dd11 will do it…

Now that I’m a home blogger, the holiday is about the decor, too.  I had some fun last year in the school room…

Valentines 2013

And I even got back in to sewing a little bit with an elaborate burlap and felt heart pillow inspired by a post I saw on Tatertots and Jello.

Here is what I’ve done in the new house:

I must have searched through 20 boxes in the garage looking for that Valentine burlap pillow cover I made last year. I found it in the painted trunk which is right where I wanted to display it. {sigh} One pillow alone on the trunk looked kinda sad so I took some fabric I picked up at Michaels at Christmastime and wrapped it around a pillow form as suggested in this tutorial. I’m working on a white crocheted pillow cover to add to the scene, but I used dd5’s giant Valentine teddy bear named “Beary” to round things out for now.

Valentine pillows

I gathered things from around the house to set up this vignette on the antique desk in the entryway. (My very sweet hubby brought the flowers home for no special reason.)

valentine foyer close up

valentine foyer vignette

valentine roses on antique desk

The heart form hanging on the mirror belongs to my oldest daughter. She graciously allowed me to use it to complete the little Valentine moment. The candlesticks and birds I’ve had hanging around for a while and the pink doilie I crocheted close to 20 years ago! {gulp! TWENTY years ago?!?! Really!?!?!}

Remember the burlap wreath I made for fall with the apples? I removed all the apples and replaced them with hearts from Dollar Tree. I spent $4 on flower bunches that had styrofoam hearts included.

I’m thinking this burlap wreath is going to be quite useful in the months ahead. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Shamrocks, Easter eggs, American flags…

valentine wreath supplies

I pulled the styrofoam hearts out of the plastic flower bouquets and attached them to the wreath. Dh thinks it looks too sparse. I agree with him but don’t want to trek all the way to Michaels or spend any more money on Valentine decor, so we’re going minimalist on the Valentine burlap wreath this year. Maybe next year I’ll beef it up with some red bead garland or a big red bow. Here’s how it looks for now:

valentine burlap wreath

I rarely ever do themed tablescapes because it takes me forever to place everything just right. When I was digging around in the garage for the pillow cover, I ran across a box of table linens. When I saw white and red tablecloths, I knew I’d have to play around with it this year. Before I ironed a thing, I started tossing things on the table just to see how I liked the look.

Then I set up an ironing station and ironed from the bottom of the table up so I could put things directly on the table as I ironed them:

In the meantime, I had big kids washing all of my Corelle plates and my silverware. We got a little behind on dishes but they actually didn’t complain at all about helping out their ole ma. I thought about using the Noritake china we got as wedding gifts, or the Wedgwood Edme china I found at a yard sale, but the colors on the Corelle everyday wear were perfect for a Valentine set up.

Valentine tablescape 2

I was determined to spend absolutely nothing on this tablescape. I totally shopped the house to complete it. If I had had the time to shop and extra funds, I would have added some red pillar candles to the crystal candle holders or scattered some fake rose petals around the table. But I’m pretty happy with it. And the time I spent on it wasn’t in vain. We’re having out of town guests for lunch on Sunday and I plan to leave it set up for them. (minus the crystal wine glasses; I don’t want to stress all weekend!)

Valentine tablescape

(And yes, I did cheat and move the rustic coffee pot of roses from the entryway to the table!)

Do you decorate for Valentine’s Day or any of the other minor holidays? I tell you, having a blog is very motivating. I used to be lucky to get my pumpkins out before October 30th!