Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Great Dining Table

Chick-a-dees, last time this room was on the blog was about a year ago and it looked a bit different. Now, I have a giant dining room table. And by giant I mean Keith, Toastie, and I could probably sleep on this thing and not touch. It’s hard to tell because the room is still empty and lacking in anything to give a sense of scale but it is 9x4'.
Basically, it’s a giant slab of glossy awesome and I feel very special to have a husband and dad-in-law that would make such a table for me. We used it for Christmas dinner and I can happily say it comfortably seats 12, which means that we can totally squeeze way more than that at it.   >>> Dinner party, anyone?

I don’t have specific, step-by-step instructions on how to build it. I only took pictures of the progress, but I do know it is a compilation of different tables we found on pinterest, modified to the size we wanted. This table by Shanty 2 Chic is the closest, although our top is quite different. FYI, ours was a tad more than $125 (but waaay cheaper than anything you can find at a store). The rustic, farmhouse table is trendy (and cheap!) but we opted for the more expensive, knot-free white pine for the top. We wanted a classy piece of furniture since the dining room is so central in our house.

I hope you enjoyed peeking into our table-making process. It was definitely work but so, so worth it if you have a vision AND a budget.

Still on our dining room to-do list:
- Floor covering / rug
- New light fixture to replace the ridiculous chandelier
- Add some COLOR
- Benches to go with our table
- Secure 4 parson chairs in a fun pattern to go at the heads

Friday, January 16, 2015

4 Ways To Use Bleach As a Dye

Would you agree that sometimes the best things are unexpected? Little happy accidents, if you will. Like when you buy a shirt that doesn't really fit because, "I can layer it, all will be fine" but then spend the whole day tugging and rearranging so out of vengeful spite you hack the shirt apart and turn it into an awesome DIY dye fest on your bathroom floor.
Moral of that story: don't buy clothes that almost fit, but if you do, REPURPOSE!

Polka dots: cotton fabric, q-tips and bleach in a dish is all you need to get the fabric-transformation party started. When the fabric has lightened to the color you desire, give it a good rinse in cool water.

Tie Dye Spiral: Cotton fabric, rubber band, and bleach in a squirt bottle.
Grab the fabric in a pinch and start twisting, as you get to the outside of the fabric it might be easier to wrap it around instead of continuing the twisting motion. Just sayin'. Once the fabric is in a bundle secure with the rubber band so it is nice and tight. Squirt bleach along the dotted line. The amount of bleach will vary depending on the thickness of your fabric. Part of the fun is the unknown! Embrace the unpredictable! When the fabric (the bit you can see) has lightened to the color you desire, give it a good rinse in cool water.

Negative Space: Cotton fabric, bleach in a spray bottle, random bits.
To prevent unwanted overspray, work in the tub (or outdoors). Place the random bits - I used wooden diamonds - on your fabric. With the spray bottle on mist, squirt the bleach on the fabric. When the fabric has lightened to the color you desire, give it a good rinse in cool water.

Tie Dye Stripes: Cotton fabric, string or rubber bands, bleach in a squirt bottle, scissors.
Bundle the fabric into a snake shape and tie TIGHTLY at various intervals. Squirt the bleach on the fabric between the strings. When the fabric has lightened to the color you desire, give it a good rinse in cool water.

NOTE!!! Bleach acts fast so don't leave your project sitting. Unlike color dye that needs a long soak time, you bleach dying will probably take less than 5 minutes. 

All said and done, I'm pretty pleased with how the shirt saga ended. In fact, I already have an idea of how I will use the fabric. What about you? Have any shirts that need a bathroom bleach date?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Transformative Powers of Reupholstery - Recovering a Stool. Level: Easy

You know how sometimes a room "makeover" is really just changing out the pillows and painting a wall a fancy color? This is post is sorta like that. Only I'm swooning over the powers of fabric instead of paint.

If you recall, I thrifted this stool awhile eons ago. It's been moving from room to room, being generally useful. Which, as contradictory as it sounds, is exactly why I hadn't recovered the seat yet. Really, I wanted to cover it in fun, brightly patterned fabric but couldn't settle on something that would work throughout the whole house. Finally, I decided that a white-ish, lightly patterned fabric was the (easiest) solution.

As you can see, the seat was in rough shape. The pink plastic had faded to a blotchy shade of vomit and there was a crack exposing the innards. And I lived with it in this state for a year. *What is wrong with me?*

Anyways, the "makeover" was as simple as removing the existing covering with pliers and a screwdriver (for additional prying prowess) and stapling on fresh fabric.

TIP! To get the best results when covering something with fabric, work in small sections, stapling the fabric on one side then the opposite side. This allows you to pull the fabric tightly without skewing the pattern.

To give it a polished finish, I stapled a pretty piece of scrapbooking paper as a backing. I also glued the original tag back in place. It's barely readable but it's the thought that counts, right?

That's all there is to it! Stool transformed.
Anyone else find it amazing how swapping out fabric (or paint) totally changes something?

PS - a little out-take from the "after" shoot. Her nose is in all the things. All the times. Example: she recently discovered the litter box. Oh my gag.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Us 2015

Have I mentioned that I love this man? He is my favorite. 
I am the luckiest.  Even when I'm just a head sprouting from his armpit.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Made These: Fish of the beanbag variety

I volunteered to make beanbag fish for an activity. The outcome: 3 fish and a white lump with fins.

Does the fabric look familiar? It should. For the most part, I used scraps from not one, not two, but three (!) other projects. It seems fitting that one of the previous uses was to make a whale, yeah?
If you are wondering about construction: to reinforce the thin fabric I used fusible interfacing. The seams are all double stitched for added strength. The filling is polypropylene pellets.

Since they were made to be thrown I did not add eyes. Little buttons would be super cute though.

Friday, January 2, 2015

winter mantle

As I was editing the pics for this post I realized that not only did I not post the Christmas mantle, I didn't even take any pics of it. Ack!

To sum it up, the Christmas display was the opposite of this one. It was full and colorful and, after a month of adding Christmas cards to it, a bit overwhelming.
This arrangement is probably the most minimal yet. You know, since I've done sooo many in the year we've lived here. A grand total of 3, which is a pretty pitiful amount, really.

Anyways, the original idea was milk glass vases and aqua globes but things shifted directions. The stars got hung, the vases were replaced with candles, the harvest moon got re-mixed, and a few other things came and went. It was the usual add-subtract shuffle that happens when decorating.
I love how simple the end result is, and I love how it combines things we already had in fresh ways.
The origami stars were actually made by my aunt for my bridal shower/wedding. After we were married, we incorporated them into our Christmas decor but this year they will be staying out a bit longer :)
The candles are basic votives, propped up on vintage mason jar lids. 
As I already said, I made the moon to go with the fall decor but pulled it out when I realized the stars would be staying.

The lamps, brass kitty, and mirror are the mantle staples. Ever present.
I swear that mirror was made for that mantle. The funny thing is that I bought it at a goodwill when I lived in Texas - 4 years before we even considered making our house our home. I remember purchasing the mirror and thinking, "what the heck am I going to do with that?" while driving back to my tiny room. I'm pretty sure it just lived in the back of my jeep until I moved back to Indiana. You could probably make a good argument that I am a hoarder from that story but I am going to say that some things are just meant to be.  That mirror +  that mantle. Home furnishing soul-mates.