Monday, April 25, 2016

Inspired By a Gown

While trying to zero in on a style that my daughters would be happy with for a dress, I ran across a white, cotton,  summer gown that I fell in love with.    I've been working on my vow renewal dress and finally finished it.  The gown inspired me to make one from some scraps that I had left over from a shower curtain and some sheets.  

Here it is with my beautiful model....


I hand dyed the shower curtain and sheets to match my dress so that I could use pieces of it.  The embroidered lace with the scallops are what I used and had all of this left over.


I made it for me, so that's why it's so big on her...but it looks so cute frumpy.  I see a photo shoot soon in a field of flowers!


The sheer, gauzey fabric was sewn in on the side...it gave some pretty detail.


You can see the button holes for the shower hooks here on the pockets.  I want to find some pretty ribbon and tie blousey bows to them.  

I'm pretty happy with how this little piece turned out....just like I saw in my head!

I have more fun making slipcovers and such rather than clothes...but I could do this type of clothing any day!


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Cleaning Windows

Some days are the absolute pits.  When those days come, I find myself working to keep my mind from dwelling on the negative.  I definitely talk to God the whole time too. 
We just recently got some news last week that wasn't what I wanted to hear.  Our youngest had some blood work done to test her for Celiac Disease and Diabetes.  Thankfully her sugar was normal but her celiac test came back fairly high and her endo said it pretty much confirms it.  But the only way that it can be 100% confirmed  is either by another blood test that tells if she has the predisposition gene or a biopsy of her small intestines.  She decided that she didn't want that and I have to agree.  She would have to eat foods with gluten before the biopsy could be done.  She feels horrible when she eats gluten, so there is no way I'm putting her through anymore.  Either way, she needs to be on a gluten free diet to feel better.  I'm still learning, so if any of you have this disease, I would love to hear your tale and what foods you eat.

So this is what I have been doing to drive the blues away!


Remember I told you all that I would figure out something else for this door?  Well, I did and am kinda proud of it!  I used some shutter closet doors that I took down to fill in the glass on the french doors.  This side of the door is stationary.  I also moved out the clunky chest of drawers too.


There's quite a bit of room at the foot of the bed.  Having the chest gone gives lots more of it! 


For awhile now, I have been wanting to try my hand at painting diamonds on a floor with pink and white.  This room used to have yellow walls and black and white furniture.  When we got the carpet, I picked it out to go with that color pallette.   The cutout was a dark wood linoleum.  It has been painted several times since I've went to pastels.  
My diamonds are free hand...not taped or drawn, so they are imperfect.  
But now I am in love!

This is a high traffic area, so I keep a rug down to catch muddy shoes and dirt.
Some day in the very near future, I am going to rip out this carpet and paint the floors!  I think pretty rugs would be perfect with this type of painted floor.


Then I added this old window to give a little division.  I love this even more!

This is where the cleaning windows part comes in.  I spent some time cleaning each pane of glass on this window wall.  Not an easy chore with keeping streaks at bay.  But it definitely kept my mind busy.


I added another window to our window wall too.


Now it goes all of the way to the ceiling.  I'm planning on adding some crown moulding to the top to finish it off and hide that the window wasn't quite straight.


I really am liking it!


It helps with the size of the large chair.


This is my chair now...I've since retired the other chair to the rest of the family, lol.  This chair fits my back and rump perfectly!

Today, as the sun shined, I sat and looked at how beautiful our home truly is.  The pastel colors, the brightness of it even when the sun is hiding and how warm and cozy it is.  It truly makes me feel comforted.  That's what a home is supposed to be...a comfort away from the rest of the cold, harsh world.  I feel God here...I've said many many prayers...I've cried many tears...but most importantly, I've felt love more.  I guess why I decorate the way I do, I am trying to convey that outwardly.  That's how shabby chic makes me feel....loved and at peace.  And who doesn't need that?!

Have a blessed Sunday and the rest of the week!



Thursday, April 21, 2016

Always Something New

There is always something new going on here at our home....some hair brained idea I get in the middle of the night it seems.  My husband really loves it when I come up with something new to do.
(that was sarcasm)


Look closely and you'll see the doors that lead out to a bedroom/sitting room.  I always had to make room for the door to swing open and shut which drove me nuts...so much wasted space!

Well, I wanted to do a sliding barn door but after finding out how much the hardware cost, I came up with a cheap version.  Let's just say, I saved hundreds!

I bought a sliding door track kit and we made the existing door into a slider....it was so easy and cost around $30.  


I filled in the holes from the hardware with wood filler and used some door pulls to fill in the handle hole.  Leaving up the cornice hid the track perfectly!  I painted the glass so guests would have privacy since I couldn't put the curtains back up with it sliding now.


See the difference?  Now I have so much more room!


I used a cabinet I had to store our trash can and trash bags since the trash can used to be behind the china cabinet in the corner.   I had to rip out two bottom shelves to make room, but I still ended up with more storage!  If you haven't noticed by now, I have a fetish with hiding the not so pretty things.


To make the doors look different in the back room, I added this post.  It wasn't quite tall enough, so I added a block of wood underneath it.  I love the added charm!


The other side got some sheers and ruffled panels.  I wish I had one more pink shade like I made for the 6 windows a few years back.  It would make this look like window number 7!


But for now, it'll do until I come up with something else.  At least privacy is still offered, lol.


Remember when I redid the stairwell?  Well, we had some spindles and a hand rail left over.  So once again, I came up with how to use them. (nothing goes to waste) 
We still have to build the rest of it, but this facing the yard, looks beautiful  It needed something and this did the trick!  Once the flowers start blooming, it'll be even more beautiful!


Now, to this little pup....she has stolen out hearts!  She's growing like a weed and is soooo SMART!

This is the first time she saw herself in a mirror...just look at her studying herself.  I think she thought she looked pretty, don't you?


She loves to play fetch.  Over and over and over but most of all, she loves to be right by our sides, in our laps and being loved on.  And something that is wonderful....Louis loves her!  They romp and play so well together....now how's that for a dog and a cat being best friends?!  


He's the cat's meow!

I hope everyone is doing well.  I sure have been doing a lot of praying these past few weeks....more than normal.  Seems like so many are going through so much.  I do know one thing though....give it to God and He'll do the rest.



Saturday, March 26, 2016

It's about the Lamb

This time of year, the thoughts of what my Savior did for me and you really are amazing to think about.  The intensity of what He went through.
If you have never watched "The Passion", I highly recommend it.


We went to the movies to see it when it first came out and let me say, the house was full of bawling people.  Just thinking about the movie and how detailed it was, really makes you see and not just read, on how brutally Jesus was Treated.

Some of my favorite scenes of this movie were one in the Garden when He was talking to God.  How alone He must have felt while everyone was sleeping when He asked them to pray.  We've all felt that way at one point or another in our lives.  He's experienced what we have gone through...that's what He took on for all of us.


Can you imagine the heaviness He felt knowing what was about to happen?  And we think our lives are tough.


Another favorite scene of mine is the very ending as He is coming out of the tomb.  As He looks up, you see the intensity and the power in His eyes.  I cry every time and want to jump up and down for JOY!  He won!!!!  He took back the keys of death and gave us all a chance at everlasting life!


My God is an amazing God and I love Him so much!  Thank you Jesus for giving me life.  Thank you for carrying my burdens and my cross.  Thank you for loving me.  Thank you for giving me life again!


So you see...while many celebrate the Easter Bunny, I celebrate what Easter is really all about.  ~The Lamb ~

Happy Easter to you all and if you do not know who God is, I pray that your heart be softened, that  He speaks to your heart and you accept Him as your Lord and Savior.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Building a Bench Seat

As you all may know, my sweetie and I built a "what I call" window wall a few years ago from some old windows my brother in law brought to me.  It gives separation without cutting off light and making our open concept seem smaller.

I started out with no curtains, then to shades then to shades and panels.  The panels hid the feet but it always seemed a little busy to me.  You all know how that feeling of things just not being "perfect" gnaws at you?  Well, that was me.


Plus, I felt like I needed something like this table in front of it.  But that could have been because I have too many pieces of furniture, lol.


So, one night, I went down to the garage and cut some wood we had left over from redoing the stairwell.  Hannah and I propped all of the wood up to see if I liked this idea and then it was on like Donkey Kong.


I took off the feet and used the brackets as corner braces on each end after attaching the legs.  I used "L" brackets to attach the whole piece to the window wall for support after taking off the feet.  Using wood filler, I filled all of the holes and waited until the next day to sand and paint.  I'm happy to announce that Hannah and I built this all by ourselves as my sweetie slept.  I see a great future for that kid!


I used Valspar paint and primer in one with a satin finish for the bench.  I had originally thought about making curtains below the bench, but after I finished painting, I loved the simplicity of it all.  


I was using the island to make Hannah a skirt and sat the planter on the bench to get it out of the way.


Well, I loved it there, so I left it.


Still enough room to sit on each side too!
(P.S. Hannah loves her skirt)


Doesn't it look better with this bench and without the curtain panels?!


See how it divides the two spaces?  Without this window wall, there was so much dead space and no definition.
Thankfully, we have plenty of room to be able to do this.


And I love how the scroll on the "H" peeks through on the other side.


I then had the dilemma of figuring out what to put in the planter's place on the island.  I have silk flowers on the bench, the mantle and the counter...I knew flowers would bee way too much so I used this jar carrier.  I painted it white, and then painted the lids to the jars a pale pink.  The little pink polka dotted cup holds a topiary to add some green paired  with the little rooster.


After all of that work, I decided to open the windows since it was so nice out and air the house out.

Then I played with Lucie...


She's growing like a weed and loves to roll in the hay.  We are having so much fun with her!  She has definitely helped keep us from dwelling on losing Gabe 2 weeks ago.  If we didn't have her, we'd still be crying.  I think God knew we needed her and I am so thankful she got to meet Gabe before he had to say goodbye.

Can you believe Easter is this weekend?  And right after that, Hannah turns 17!!!  Man, the time is flying faster and faster!  



Thursday, March 17, 2016

Fixing the Stairwell into Shabby Chic Stairs

Long ago, when this house was built, the downstairs was never meant to be a bedroom.  It was meant to be an open garage work space.  The stairs were the only so called finished thing in this space but never finished the proper way.  

My mother had the basement finished after her divorce and it became her suite until she remarried.  For years it was just a spare bedroom and a place for my sweetie to escape to.  After making it our master retreat, I've  been trying to make it more usable and easier to clean.

Here is a photo of the stairs at Christmas a few years back.


To the right at the landing, the stairs used to veer off to the right as well as to the left.  The right side was enclosed to cut off the garage from the living space.  There used to be green carpet as a runner which never made sense to me with it leading to a workshop.  Didn't they think about the carpet getting dirty and greasy?


Another peeve of mine was how the door swung into the hallway.  The fireplace mantle hides a wall mounted gas stove which has always been there.  So the door being swung that way made no sense to me because it was a fire hazard.


It cut into the hall making it hard to pass by freely when the door was open.

So guess, what?  I couldn't stand it anymore so we made it right!


Ahh, so much better!  Now all of the doors in the hallway swing the same way.  There is something to say for perfect harmony and unison with things working properly!

BUT....
this job quickly became larger as I had to patch up the door jam and trim.  I then saw how bad the stairwell needed painted and those hideous stairs that we supposedly made look better taking off the carpet years ago, needed to be properly done.  


I had been wanting to take down the handrail and spindles on the right for a loooong time.  Remember, these stairs used to be open on both sides.  When they enclosed the right side, they left a gap that was hard to keep clean.  So much dust and hair would get trapped there.  I would go nuts trying to keep it clean...but no one ever noticed it but me since I am the only one that cleans them.


Then I began ripping off the beadboard that we had installed trying to cover the mess of what the stairs looked like after taking the carpet off.  I've never understood why someone would buy a finished stair tread but "rig" up the riser part.  And look at that opening...can you say "wrong"!!


The builder (aka my step dad) added luaun paneling to each end that the carpet didn't cover. Also, he added two pieces of plywood under the stair tread but didn't make it even with the tread or the riser....making it hard to add anything to make it a  solid surface.  See the paint mark on the bottom?  That's how far we had to build it out when we added the beadboard.  Now that was ridiculous!  

So I brainstormed and thought I'd just rip out all of the stair treads and buy new....but that plywood still posed as a huge problem.  Not to mention a stair tread and riser for one stair would run between $40 to $60.  For 12 stairs, I couldn't bite that bullet.  Then I remembered, while at Lowes one day, I saw some really thin strips of moulding in the section for the outside of your home.  Like for windows and such.  


It fit where moulding should have went.  I couldn't use standard moulding because it would stick out past the tread.  This trim covered up the plywood and met up with the tread perfectly.  We also installed a 12 foot plank of wood that filled in the gap pretty well.  And....see that beadboard that isn't painted?  We finally closed in that opening that drove me nuts!!!  Now the desk area beneath will hopefully not get so dusty!  I finished sealing  up the rest of the gaps with caulk and then waited patiently for it to dry so I could start painting.  As I waited, I painted all of the door trim in the hall.


The upper half of the stairwell got a new paint job and color too.  Kinda scary painting, but so worth it!


The stairs finally were ready to get a nice fresh 2 coats of white white paint.  They could stand another coat, but I ran out of steam.


The opening is completely gone now!  Like it was never there....
I'm glad I keep scraps!   The beadboard I used was the original paneling color which matched up perfectly. Once painted, you can't tell at all.


I can't believe how much brighter the stairwell is now!


I think this blue really helps to reflect and cool the light making it nice and bright.  Plus, it goes well with the master retreat color making it cohesive.


The beadboard got a nice white white paint job covering up the antique white which was really a creamy yellow.  The stairs will be so much easier to keep clean with no gaps.  The mirrors went back up because I love how they reflected the light.


Notice the chandelier?  


I always wanted a light here but had no way to add one because of the upstairs floor being so tight to this ceiling.  I finally have one that has a switch and plugs in!


The stairs are perfect to me now!  Solid and they didn't break the bank!

A job that started from a door sure did turn into a HUGE one but now I am truly content with how they look and function.