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!

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.  

Thursday, March 10, 2016

How to DYE a Wedding Dress

In late Spring, my sweetie and I are renewing our vows.  25 YEARS!!!  I bought a used wedding dress because of the price...$75!  When I bought it, it wasn't exactly what I had envisioned, but as a seamstress, the fabric yardage couldn't be beat for that price.   Applique's, organza, tulle, satin.....they all get pricey when you are buying lot's of it.

The dress needed to be cleaned!  But after calling and getting prices, I decided that $150 wasn't where I wanted to spend it at.  So...I washed it in my washer!

It came out white as snow and in perfect condition.  I lost a few seed pearls, but they weren't missed to the eye.

It originally had a zipper in it which made it too small to zip completely.  So, I searched online how to make a corset and I ran across a company that sold them. Here's the link: Laceeis Corsets 
It cost around $40 after shipping from Amazon and came in just a few short days (standard shipping).

This photo isn't very good, but shows after adding it.  I laced it way too tight and it made the ribbon look awful.   I ripped out the zipper first then sewed the corset pieces in and then tried the dress on for the very first time!  Can you believe I bought a dress without being able to see if it fit?!

But....I still wasn't happy.  I had wanted a pale pink dress!  That's where the RIT Dye comes into play.

I bought the liquid, the powder and some color remover for just in case.  I decided to use only half of the liquid  in my bath tub.

Hannah and I were shocked at the bright red color!  I added half the bottle and 1 cup of vinegar to hot water from the spigot.

Then we bit our lips and dropped the dress in.  I wore gloves and had a paint stick, but then decided to just dive in and do it all by hand.

The pale pink started to show and I was beginning to become really happy!

This is it when I pulled it up out of the bath tub.  It was so pretty!

I knew it would lighten up after I washed it in cold water.

And it is slowly becoming my dream dress!

It is absolutely the prettiest shade of pale pink!

The corset definitely added the perfect touch to the back.   I will begin transforming it even more now that it's the perfect color and fits!

Maybe this will help someone to get some ideas and how to save on your piggy bank! 

 Stay tuned for more updates as the months go by...I sure hope it turns out how I'm seeing it in my dreams! 
So far, so good!