Friday, July 18, 2014

House Updates

There haven't been any major changes around here lately, but a few things that have been languishing in an unfinished state for months have finally been completed so I thought I'd give you an update.

A few months ago I packed my kiddos off to spend a week with their grandparents and I had a 12 hour a day paint-a-thon while they were gone.  At the end of the week I shared these pictures of all I had been able to accomplish.  I got a lot done, but there were still some unfinished parts that I hadn't been able to finish up.  If you follow me on Facebook then you might have seen me post about my sister staying with me last week to help out with some painting projects.  She was my minion for the week and finished up a lot of the things I wasn't able to get to.  It was probably the first time in my life I've been able to boss my big sister around.  :D

(These are the "before" photos.)

The upper trim in the school room had been caulked and primed, but I never got the chance to finish edging it in and put the top coat of gloss on the trim.  She finished that for me.  I didn't get to the trim around the window either.  She primed it, I followed behind her and caulked it, then she finished it off with it's glossy top coat.  She also got all the baseboards primed for me, but we didn't have time to do anything more than that to them.

Same routine with the trim around the front door, she primed, I caulked, she put the top coat on.

This little alcove had never received it's coat of tan paint, nor had the trim been addressed.  She put the first coat of tan on, I did the 2nd coat, I painted the ceiling and primed the upper trim, she primed all the doorway trim, I caulked everything, then she went back through and put the top coat on all the trim.

Same routine again for the trim around the sliding doors, prime, caulk, top coat.

I've only got 2 "after" pictures to show you because I still need to do some final touch up painting in some places before I can get everything put back together.  But you'll get the general idea.

Here's the living room view now.  Not only is it much improved with the dark foreboding trim gone, but it also looks like people actually live here now with pictures on the wall and such.  : )

Front entry way lightened up.  (Notice the baseboards, primed but not finished yet.)  This area needs a lot of help, it's very plain and boring.  But...this door almost never gets used so I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do with this spot.  Anyways, at least the dark trim is gone now.

We probably could have made a lot more progress during the week if I had been able to help out more. I did all the caulking, but she's the one who did the majority of the painting.  Why you might ask?  

Because I was busy working on this project.

Another "grain sack" shower curtain.  

This time it was a custom order for someone.  She had seen mine here on the blog and loved it and wrote to me asking if I could make her one as well.  I designed a more personalized layout for her and spent the week sewing, setting grommets, and hand painting it all.  I'm happy to report that she loves it!

I'm contemplating listing these in my Etsy shop as a customizable/handmade item.  What do you think?  Do you think they'd be a good seller?  Would people be willing to pay a higher price for something personalized and custom made?

Anyways, that does it for my house updates.  A great big THANK YOU goes out to my sister for all her hard work and being willing to paint what probably felt like miles and miles of trim work. 
 Love you Ethel!  :D


Monday, July 7, 2014

Simple Patriotic Decor & Table Setting

I know July 4th is already over and most bloggers share their tablescape pictures a month in advance so as to give their readers ideas to copy, BUT....I didn't really know what my table and dining room would look like until about an hour before it was time to eat.'re getting pictures after the fact.  : )

My sister and her family came to stay with us a few days and we all celebrated together.  
I kept the decor really simple, but it felt festive and fun just the same.

You might have noticed the curtains.  Those are new.  I finished making them a few weeks ago, but I hadn't shared them yet.  I love them!  They add so much life and color to the room, and it's nice to be able to block out the hot sunlight.  You might have also noticed the buffet.  I've never shared it either.  It's a dresser that I found on Craigslist and I talked the guy down to $60 for it.  This is its "before" look.  I have plans to change it up.  You can also see that we are still using a plastic folding table as our dining room table.  But that won't be for much longer.  Last week I scored a table for FREE as well as the two darker wooden chairs you see.  It needs a makeover, but I hope to get it done soon so we can eat at a real table again.

For the table setting I used a plastic tablecloth from Walmart, then folded a small gingham tablecloth that I already had and laid it across the middle.  The wooden box napkin holder is always on our table.  I didn't bother with a centerpiece.  I used our everyday white plates and our everyday flatware (that I've had for 12 years!) and just bought small flag themed dessert plates to put in the middle.  My sister brought the cute colorful napkins.

Next to the adult table I set up a kids table, with paper straws as a quick and easy centerpiece.

I already had the game board, pitcher, and rooster set up.  
I just added a few paper decorations from the dollar store.

The game board was a yard sale find from a couple of years ago, and the pitcher was a recent thrift store find for $1.99.

My rusty rooster has made his return finally.  He was a $1 yard sale find a couple of years ago as well.  
I love him with much love!

Above the table I hung two more paper thingy-ma-bobs from the ceiling fan chains.  You can see my collection of aqua Mason jars in the window in the background.  You can also see raindrops on the glass.  Just as I started taking pictures the clouds rolled in and it started to pour.  My husband had just started grilling too.  I did the best I could with the lighting I had, and he still turned out some yummy hot dogs and hamburgers even though he says he risked his life by grilling in a storm.  : )

Festive colorful decor doesn't have to be complicated or expensive.  Quick, easy, and cheap can still look great and it leaves you plenty of stress-free time to enjoy the day.

My sister and her daughter have stayed on a few extra days and while the cousins are having a blast playing their hearts out together, my sister is helping me finish up some painting projects around the house.  It'll feel good to have a few more things finished up!


Friday, July 4, 2014

Patriotic Summer Decor

Hey y'all!  Happy Independence Day!

I thought I'd share a bit of my patriotic summer decor with you today just in case you decide to check in after you're stuffed full of hot dogs and watermelon, or while you're waiting for the fireworks to start.  : )

Not long after I got the gallery wall put up, I added some decor to the opposite wall, the one behind the couch.  I've had it up for a good long while now, but never got around to sharing it. 

I've had this shelf for almost as long as I've been married, but it's getting a little war torn.  If you look closely you can see that it no longer sits straight.  After 6 moves in 12 years it's gotten a bit warped.  But I don't mind too much, I still love the style of it as much as I did when I bought it.  I've also had the picket fence flag for my entire marriage.  The first 2 years of having my own home I had Americana style decor, but then I sold off almost everything and started a new style.  The flag was the one thing I couldn't part with, though, and I still put it up every summer.

I wanted to add lots of touches of red and blue to the house to evoke a sense of patriotism without being like, "here's a hundred flags flapping in your face."  I used lots of non-flag items, like a wooden cheese box, baking powder tin, and a vintage tea towel to accomplish the look.  The picture on the little clipboard is of my father-in-law as a young boy.  Nothing says American summer as much as baseball, am I right?  A little glass milk bottle from Lima, OH (where we used to live) holds wildflowers from the woods next to our house.

This end of the shelf has another rusty license plate (love those things!), an old insulator, and a stack of vintage ice cream cups leftover from my ice cream social 2 years ago.  C&C Cola stands for Cantrell & Cochran, so it's meaningful to us since our last name is Cantrell.  

I shared the blue pillow on the Facebook group page a couple of weeks ago.  It was my only Fun Friday Find for that week, a 99¢ score at a thrift store.  I paired it with a throw pillow from our bedroom set that we're not using right now.  On the other end of the couch is a feed sack pillow.  I simply placed a throw pillow down inside the feedsack and folded the ends over.  And there stretched out taking a nap is our little kitten, Snuggles.  She was only 4 weeks old and weighed 1lb when we found her, but now she's 12 weeks old and weighs about 2.5lbs.  She's so playful and funny and the kids are just loving her.

That's it for me today!  I'm off to fix a big breakfast for my visiting family and then I have lots of cooking and baking to do for the day.  Hopefully the fireworks show won't get rained out tonight.

I hope you all have a happy and safe 4th of July!

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