Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New House Update #1

I haven't had much time to just sit and relax the past few days.  Things have really started moving along at the new house, but today I had a little bit of time so I thought I'd share a quick update on how things are going. 

*Warning - these are not fancy pictures at all, just quick cell phone shots (and some are a little gross, consider yourself warned.*

Here's the dining room "before."  Still has its popcorn ceilings and original paint and trim.

Here the popcorn has been scraped off, but no painting yet.  Well, a tiny bit in the corner, but then I remembered to snap another picture.  : )  See how much better the light is reflecting off the ceiling already?  That popcorn junk just drains the light right out of a room.  I hate it I tell ya!  Absolutely despise it!

And here you can see I've got the upper trim coated with primer.  Doesn't it make the room look bigger already?  

I don't have pictures, but the ceiling now has its first complete coat of primer/paint.  It needs a little more work before we can add the 2nd coat.

The other thing I had to work on was the refrigerator.  It did not get cleaned out and left open when the electric was turned off.  A year later and it looked like this when we opened it.

There was year old McDonald's sweet tea in there, an exploded energy drink that had basically turned to a jello-y plastic on the shelf, and lots of mysterious crud and mold.  Yuck!!

The job of cleaning it fell to me since my dad and Hubby were scraping the popcorn ceilings.

This bottom section of the freezer was the worst.  The wire basket is actually covering up the worst of it, it was completely black with thick sludge and gunk and I don't know what!

A couple of hours later (and LOTS of bleach) and almost all of it looked sparkling clean!  A few stains remained in the bottom of the freezer where it had been the worst.  No matter what I tried I couldn't get them out.

So I bought a a can of appliance spray paint and after a few coats of that it was looking right purdy again.  

And I had to share this one last picture with you, a comparison of the kitchen "before" and now in the middle of things.  A complete and utter disaster, lol!  Good thing we're not trying to live there yet.

Now I'm off to make supper and then we'll be right back at it as soon as Hubby gets off of work.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

It's My Birthday...It's My Birthday!

If you follow me on Facebook then you know that a birthday present from Hubs came in the mail the other day and I was excited to open it.....but he wouldn't let me.  Not until my actual birthday.

Well, that's today!  I'm the big ol' three three today.  So I just wanted to share really quick what the super cute present was, you know, since I promised to do that and all.

(picture via Amazon)

Aren't these coasters kee-UTE?!?  
I saw them featured on another blog and just had to have a set for myself!

They're made in the USA from 100% recycled rubber.  They're made by Flox and this is the Numeros set.  They have lots of other super cute designs as well, but this was my favorite.  I can't wait to get the new house set up so I can start using them.

Here's the link if you're interested in some for yourself, or think they'll make the perfect Christmas present for someone you know (because they really are incredibly nice).

(affiliate link)

Now I'm off for a day of removing popcorn ceilings and scraping moldy gunk out of a refrigerator that didn't get turned off and left open properly.  Happy birthday to me.  : )

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fall Pillow Cover Tutorial

  We've had our couches for about 5.5 years now I think.  For a long time I loved how the plaid pillows looked with the gingham fabric and had no desire to change them up.  But...then after a couple of years I began to tire of the same ol' same ol' all the time.  At some point I bought some coordinating floral fabric and covered one of the pillows using basically just a gift wrapping technique held together by fabric tape. (Mad skills right there!)  Later on, I added a smaller pillow that I had made a faux grain sack pillow cover for.

But I what I really wanted was a set of covers that I could slide over the pillows and change up for the different seasons.  With 2 kids, and a dog who loves to lay on top of the pillows to sleep, they get dirty quick.  The idea of being able to easily take them off to wash them really appealed to me.  Plus, if you just have covers they can pack flat in a storage box and take up no room at all.  Trying to pack away a tub full of pillows that are just for fall or just for Christmas takes up way too much valuable space.

  This is something I've been wanting to do for over a year, so finally I just went for it.

I found a "before" picture and cropped it down so you could see what the pillows looked like.  By themselves they're just fine, but add in a vintage wool plaid blanket with fall colors and it began to clash horribly (or look kinda Christmas-y when you're going for an autumn look).

A few hours of sewing later and I had this.

Ahhhhh....so much better!   A lovely change.

Now let me share how I made these, because I'll be the first to tell you that I have very minimal sewing skills.  I wasn't about to attempt anything that needed a zipper or a button hole sewn in.  But these envelope style covers are as easy peasy as it gets I think.

I followed {this video tutorial} for the cover itself.  It's explained very well and SO simple to do.  I actually didn't sew it completely at first though.  I did the hem on the short ends and then sewed my leaf pattern on before I finished sewing the cover.

For the leaf, I printed out an image with the shape I wanted.  It actually wasn't quite big enough so I ended up tracing around it to make it bigger.  Then I laid it over the wrong side of the fabric and traced it pushing down firmly so that it would leave an imprint on the fabric.  Every few inches I would carefully lift the paper and trace the impression left on the fabric with a pencil.  (There may have been an easier way to do this, but I couldn't think of one at the time.)

Here you can see the pencil outline.  I edited the picture so that it would stand out more.  After that I cut out the shape, laid my tan fabric over the pillow so that I could see where to position the leaf, and then pinned it in place.  (After the fact, I realized that it would have been much easier if I had sprayed the back of the leaf with some spray adhesive so that it held in place smoother and more tightly.)

Then I got to sewing.

You know those pictures you see on Pinterest of dreamy craft rooms that are as big as my entire living room and kitchen combined?  You know the ones that have a scrapbooking table, a sewing table, and tons of adorable organization going on?  You know, something like this...


Yeah....that's not mine.  I could only wish for something like that.  Here, on the other hand, is my "craft room."

Yep, that's reality folks.  We had to eat supper in the living room that evening.

Anywhoozy...I sewed the leaf on leaving a space at the edge so that the fabric would become raggedy after washing.  I also clumsily sewed some "veins" on the leaf as well.  I've never attempted anything more than a straight stitch before so this whole leaf sewing thing was a new adventure for me!

I followed the same tutorial for the smaller brown checked pillow, just using different measurements.  I added the strip of tan before sewing the cover shut just like I did with the leaf, and left the edges of it raggedy as well. 

 I assumed I was going to have to wait awhile until I could get to a big craft store to find cute buttons to put on it, BUT on a whim I decided to just check and see what our Walmart in town had and low and behold they had these adorable buttons!

Don't they look like little crocheted doilies?  SO cute I tell ya!!

I have enough fabric left that I plan on making another leaf cover for a 2nd pillow, only using a maple leaf design this time around.

 If you've been wanting to attempt pillow covers, but aren't sure because of a lack of sewing skills or some other such fear, I'm here to say, "If I can do it, you can do it."  Just go for it!  Mine aren't perfect by any means.  Some of my stitches are a little wobbly, and my envelope flap actually ended up the wrong direction, but you probably wouldn't have known that if I hadn't told ya.  And neither will anyone else if you make some.  Find some cheap clearance fabric and do a practice run with that first if you need to, but just go for it.  It really is quite simple and you'll be incredibly happy with the new look and so proud of that fact that you made it!

If you'd like to see the rest of my fall decor you can see that {here}.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Guess What?!?

Exciting news!  

We closed on our house yesterday!!  

We are now officially first time homeowners!  
We are thanking the Lord for His kindness in allowing us this privilege.

The hard work of scraping popcorn ceilings, painting, and putting in flooring begins tomorrow and we hope to be moved in by Christmas.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Day Dreaming!

I can't seem to stop dreaming about how I'm going to decorate the new house.  It's SO exciting!  

I had so many things floating around in my head I just had to jump on Polyvore.com and "put down on paper" the look I've been dreaming up for the dining room.

I call it Vintage Industrial Farmhouse.

Of course, I could never afford the kinds of prices they have listed for each of these designer and name brand items, BUT...I hope to pull off something very similar on a small budget by shopping yard sales, thrift stores, etc.  The most important thing to remember when working with a small budget is to be patient!  The right item/deal will come along, you just have to be willing to wait and pull it all together over time.  If you want it all instantly then it's going to cost you an arm and a leg to make that happen.

I quite like my arms and legs (and my savings account), so I know this will take some time to all come together.  It's just fun to dream!  It's also nice to have a vision to work towards.

So what do you think?
Would you be brave enough to try and mix vintage, rustic, industrial, AND farmhouse styles?  Are you the patient collector type or the "gotta have it now" type?
I'd love to know what you think!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Opinions Wanted!!

Have you ever been dying to just let go with your opinion about something, but tact and manners and reputation had you biting your tongue until it almost bled?  Well then, today's your lucky day!  I want your opinion!

As most of you already know we're in the process of buying a house.  (Yay!)  We plan to pull up carpeting in what will become the dining room, as well as pull up an existing damaged laminate floor in the kitchen and lay new floors throughout the two rooms.  I've been pondering over a few different images and can't decide which I like the best.  Now mind you, I've only seen these images online.  I haven't yet looked at any samples since the nearest home improvement store is over an hour away.

So...I want you all to weigh in with your opinions.  Which one do you like the best?  How do you think it will look overall in an area of several hundred square feet?  

I'm not looking for opinions on laminate vs. hardwood vs. engineered hardwood.  We've already done the research and had lots of discussion and for us, for this point in time and this house, laminate is our best option.  Trust me, I would LOVE to have real solid hardwood someday, but that's just not the best option right now for a few different reasons.  So, I'm just looking for opinions on color, texture, style, etc.

(Amber Hickory)

I've already decided I want something that has brown undertones and not the typical orange undertones of oak.  I'm really drawn to different hues of Hickory.  Hubby likes this Amber Hickory pretty well.  He likes that it's a little more uniform in color and "texture."  I'm not sure if it would be too dark though.

(Lake of Bays Rustic Tan)

I really like the rustic-ness of this one, but not sure if it would be too busy when done in a large area?

(Marcona Hickory)

Here's another hickory option, not quite so rustic as some of them, and just a little lighter than the Amber Hickory.

 (Bala Tan)

This is another one I really like.  It's different from the others in that it's not nearly as dark, but to me it seems to have a more authentic, aged, and charactered look to it.  Hubby thinks the differences in colors might be too drastic and look too busy once two whole rooms are done in it.

1. Amber Hickory        2. Rustic Tan           3. Marcona Hickory          4. Bala Tan

Here they are side by side for an ever closer comparison.

And here are the two rooms it will be going in so you can picture how it will all flow from one room to the next.  (Walls and trim will be getting a paint job and will no longer have yellow tinted walls and dark trim, but will become white trim and most likely tan walls for now.)

**Update** - after receiving several comments already, let me just come back and say that the kitchen cabinets will remain the same for now, but within a couple of years will probably be painted, most likely white.

So what say you?  Which one would you choose if you were going for a warm, rustic, vintage farmhouse look?  Do you happen to have anything similar to any of these in your home?  Do you love it?  Hate it?  Think one is too dark or too light or too busy?

Speak up and let those opinions fly!


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Smidgen of Fall Decor

I realize that probably 80% of Blogland has already moved on from fall decor and are well into their Christmas ideas.  But...I'm part of that 20% that's a little behind in sharing and has no interest in decorating for Christmas this early.  So, today I'm sharing my little smidgen of autumn I was able to do this year.

If you're just now joining me here at The Cozy Old Farmhouse let me just explain a few things.  1.) We're currently renting a very small home while waiting to buy a house.  2.) The majority of my decor is packed away in the depths of a storage shed.  3.) Since we're moving very soon I had no desire to go through all the effort to unpack a bunch of things for fall.  

So let me show you how I added a few touches without unpacking my whole box of decor.

A few weeks ago Hubs and I did an organizing revamp on the storage shed and in so doing I had brief access to the tub of fall stuff.  I had about 2 minutes to open it up and grab a couple of things that were packed on top.  One of those things was the vintage wool blanket I found at an estate sale last year.

The two fall pillows are a sewing project I completed a couple of weeks ago.  They're pillow covers for my existing couch pillows, and I plan to share more about them in my next post.  My sewing skills have all been self-taught and I still consider myself very much a beginner, so I was thrilled with how these turned out.  (Squealing in excited triumph is more like it.)

I threw this picture in just as a reminder of what the crate side table looked like before.  Again, very basic and simple decor since this is a temporary home.

I moved the stack of old books over from another table, rearranged the rolls of crochet thread, and added a candle.  The coaster is an old coffee can lid.
If you'd like to know more about the lamp you can read about that {HERE}.

I had an extra strip of brown checked fabric leftover from my little pillow cover so I just simply tied it around one of the rolls of thread.

I found this cute wire basket in the Walmart craft section for $2.47.  I added a fall scented candle, and surrounded it with Hickory nuts that the kids and I found on our walks in the neighborhood.

The fireplace remains the same except for some added twigs and dried seed pods that I found on the property of our new soon-to-be home.

I love using items from nature.  Not only are they budget friendly (a.k.a. FREE), but they don't require any extra room for packing away at the end of the season.  You can simply toss them back into the yard and gather new things next year.

On the bottom half of the fireplace I removed the screen since we aren't using it, and put my crate inside along with a few small gourds and some more seed pods scattered around.

The only other touch of fall is in the kitchen.  During my 2 minutes with the tub of fall decor I also grabbed this little handmade vintage quilt (a $1 yard sale find), and the little vintage quilted pillow.

It's amazing how just this little added layer of color, patterns, and texture brings so much more warmth to the kitchen.  It makes me happy every time I look at it.  Plus, it's a pretty cozy place to sit after dinner and watch while Hubby washes the dishes.  :D

So that's it.  Just a smidgen of fall here and there, using a few basic things I already had, adding in a touch of new, and a scattering of nature.  Even that little bit brings the warmth of the season and changes how the house looks.  Small budget decorating is all I've ever known.  :)


Friday, November 8, 2013

What I've Been Up To Lately

I know I've been pretty absent and kind of sporadic here on the blog as of late, there hasn't been too awfully much to blog about.  If you follow along on the Facebook page then you know some of what I've been up to lately, but I figured I'd do an update post for those of you who don't follow along over there.
(And just a little side note for those of you who are FB fans, the way Facebook is set up not everyone receives every one of the updates.  Some people will see a few updates, and others will see a few of the other updates, but most likely not everyone is seeing all the updates.  Especially if you don't interact with the page, then they think you're no longer interested and will begin to filter them out of your newsfeed.  That's why it's important to "like" something or leave a comment occasionally so they know you still want to see the content in your news feed.  The best way to keep up to date with all the goings on and not miss anything is to actually click over to the page and scroll through the happenings, and don't rely solely on your news feed.)

I've had a few fun thrifty finds over the past months.  I found the metal measuring cups and scoops at a little local thrift store for 75 cents.  A few weeks later I found the set of metal measuring spoons at a yard sale for 25 cents.  Then I rescued a handmade vintage quilt from a thrift store for only $5!

I also posted about finding these cute little wire baskets in the Walmart craft section for $2.47.  I turned mine into a fall candle holder.  (I plan to share a fall post soon.)

Just last week I found this great old carpenter's toolbox, folding ruler, and huge wire basket all for $10 at a yard sale.

In August my daughter turned 6 and we had a Barbie princess party.

In September my son turned 3.  He wanted a Lightning McQueen cake...with a monster truck on it....and Mater on it.  So we ordered the cake, it came with McQueen on it, then I let him add one of his monster trucks and his little toy Mater.  Notice how Mater doesn't quite fit, and he's sort of hanging off the edge?  : )  It wasn't a perfect looking cake by most people's standards, but it was perfect in his eyes and he loved it.  

We visited a local restaurant called Hobo's that has adorable and "junky" decor!  Notice that rusted tin ceiling?  
(These are just cell phone pictures, so not that great, I apologize.)

Some of the booths had chippy reclaimed wood planks.

Other booths had faux rusted barn lighting and warm chunky wood beams.  I could barely concentrate on my food because my head was on a swivel.  : )

Apples went on a great sale and I tried out canning for the first time!   I made applesauce and then used the liquid I had cooked them in to can apple juice.  I used the scraps, cores, and peels and made Apple Scrap Jelly.  I used another batch of apples and made Crockpot Apple Butter, and used the scraps from that to start fermenting a big jar of homemade apple vinegar.  I'm finding that canning is pretty fun and quite addicting!

The kids and I made these cute little Pinterest inspired acorns.  They were so simple with just a Hershey's kiss, mini Nutter Butter cookie, and a chocolate chip.  (Held together with a little melted chocolate.)

Somewhere in that mix we also visited family and spent an evening walking on the beach and collecting shells.  I captured this shot of my two kids with my cell phone as well.  They looked so sweet.  : )

By this time it was Halloween.  Instead of carving pumpkins, our tradition each year is to paint them.  The kids always look forward to it and it's always a lot of fun. That's my version of Mike Wyzowski there on top.  : ) 

Oh yeah, and one last thing that we've been up to lately......



No big deal really.....



Nothing too exciting....




Only that.....we're buying a house!!!!!!  
It's a 3/2 on almost 5 acres and we are VERY excited!  Closing date is set for November 20th.

Here's a sneak peak of my soon-to-be kitchen!
Can't wait to get my hands on it!  :D

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