Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lights Out

Finding a new way to use a discarded object is a thrill for me.  So when it came to planning the centerpieces for my daughter's "Urban Rustic" wedding,  I knew  I would be able to incorporate my favorite hobby with her theme.

I started by collecting old light fixtures at yard sales and picked up several at the Habitat Restore.  I over collected so I would have a few for backup if some did not work out.  Broken glass was just removed and not replaced.  That actually worked well with the theme.

Here is a sampling of my collection.

Next step was to remove all electrical parts that distracted from my vision.  All glass that could be removed was taken out and cleaned.  The metal parts were sprayed with black paint and then reassembling began.
This is how they looked in this phase.

The final step of converting them to terrariums was two days before the wedding.  I had preordered a variety of succulents and the proper soil for this type of plant.  I had also collected small rocks, dried thistle, votive holders, rustic ribbon, twine, bark, and some word charms to add as needed.  Placement of the plants was pretty much determined by what would fit in what fixture.
Here are some shots taken before they were transported to the reception.

As you can imagine, I did not get pictures at the reception but I do have this shot taken by a friend.  After the reception we offered them to the guests and they disappeared quickly. 

I am entering this in the CSI project and hoping to make the cut.
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Monday, June 28, 2010

Hand me Down

This cedar chest was given to me as an engagement present in 1970.

It survived eight moves that included five state to state transfers.  Then it rested comfortably for over 30 years in one location. 

Sometimes it had to be disguised to blend with the decor.

When my daughter became engaged I thought it would be nice to pass it on to her.  To make that a more welcome present I updated it by painting the bottom and having the padded top reupholstered.

 It took to the makeover with dignity and grace.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Chair duo makeover

Since not much is happening right now, I thought I would take the opportunity to post a few "before and afters" from some past projects.  It keeps the entries shorter and hopefully more frequent.

These little gems were found at TFA (THE FUTURE ANTIQUES).  I almost forgot to get some "before" pictures.  But I remembered just in time and snapped these at the upholstery shop.  Get prepared for some eyepopping fabric.

Loved the fact that they were companion chairs but not identical.

The wood detailing on the arms made these chairs even more interesting.

Now for the transformation.  Since I enjoy a bargain even when it's not coming out of my wallet, I searched for a deal on fabric.  I checked the remnants at the Baker Odds & Ends store.  The most you can usually find on a roll is 3-4 yards so there was a very slim chance I would find enough to do both chairs.  What I did find were two pieces that worked well together.

Since I was still a little short on fabric, I had both cushions done in leather.

They blended perfectly in this loft setting with more contemporary pieces.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tabletops in the Top Ten

Table settings are in my top ten list of things I'm passionate about. It's fascinating to me to pull things from here and there and in a few hours have a masterpiece.  (The time spent depends on how much "here and there" storage you have and, if you have loaded that storage with things you have no idea why you bought.)

What makes it easy is there is a diagram to follow.  There must be plates and glasses and silverware all arranged in a predetermined manner.  That forms the grid to which you begin adding until your creative radar says STOP.  The interesting and really grand part is the infinite variety of the required elements.  Top that with limitless centerpiece possibilities.  There are no restrictions on color (It's ONE dinner.  You only live with it for a few hours.  So pull out the stops.)  There is the freedom to use flowers, jewelry, candles, fabric, lighting and just about anything else that will fit on the tabletop.

Tobi Fairley mentioned a beautiful table setting by Eddie Ross in her blog and I was so jazzed I was on the prowl for new things for my next dinner party.

I loved the flowers on the plates which was the catalyst for the brilliant Eddie Ross display.  So when I saw these cups and saucers at Upscale Resale I did not hesitate. 

Since it was "everything half price day", I decided to buy this set too.

I think I can actually use them together if need be.

I had some fun and a little frustration setting them up for photos.

It's all part of getting aquainted with a new purchase.

The pink has slightly faded on the borders and one cup has a hairline crack but to me this makes them more precious.  They have character, and when the beauty of youth fades,  character rises in value.
So, that means all I have to do is find runners, napkins, napkin rings, plates, chargers, glasses, silverware, candles, candleholders, vases, flowers, and chairs and I'm ready for the party.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What's Your Style

Today I discovered a new blog called "From The Right Bank."  A challenge was offered to submit one photo that best depicts who I am.  Well, I have gone through my tear sheets and my downloads only to find bits and pieces but not a complete room that really nailed it. 

Then it dawned on me to pull my Tricia Guild files.  To me she is the Queen of Color/Pattern/Texture in combinations I drool over.  So here it is:

High Ceilings
Elaborate Chandelier
Hardwood Floor
Painted Furniture
Curvy Lines
Plenty of Pattern
Fabulous Color
Simple Window Treatment
Mix of Old/New
And a great table for my dream group friends to gather round.

Now it's your turn to show us the real you by clicking here.

Monday, June 14, 2010

In The Moment

I have been practicing living in the moment by finding joy in the present and letting go of what is over.  It took some diligence at first but now I catch myself when my mind slips into thinking of yesterdays and tomorrows. 

I am reminded of this practice every morning as I remove the drooping blossoms of my daylilies.

They burst forth each morning with a glorious blossom on each stalk and when the day is complete, they let it go.

The next morning a fresh blossom is wide open taking in the day and giving off it's beauty.

They don't wonder if yesterday's blossom was good enough.

Or if today's flower will measure up.

They have "One Day At A Time" mastered.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pillow Mania

With the demise of so many shelter magazines my subscriptions have been drasticly reduced.  Although I have filled the void with some wonderful design related blogs, I still miss turning those slick pages to see what will delight and surprise me next.  I tend to devour the ones that are still published by reading the details related to each picture.
House Beautiful's June 2010 was barely through the mail slot before I had my feet up on the ottoman and my fingers flipping the pages. Page 26 showed six objects under the heading THE BEST.
This pillow was one them.  I might have bypassed this page in search of something more interesting but I'm eager for pretty stuff on slick pages.  So it's no surprise that I read the caption too.


 The surprise came when I saw the price. 
 Who pays that for a felt pillow?

The bigger surprise was my reaction.  I immediately knew I had to have one!  Let me assure you, I did not order one.  Actually, I didn't really like it that much.  Not my colors for one thing.  But what was it that made me think I needed to have it?  Did I want a pillow shown in a national publication that I knew I could have for $25-$30?  What is really at work here?

Well, let me tell you what is at work here.  It's me!

If you too would like this pillow for $30, keep reading.

1.  There are no "how to" books at any of the craft or fabric stores.  Search the internet for ideas.  Expect to fill in a lot of blanks on the "how to" part. 
2.  Felt is available in gaudy colors at any hobby or fabric store.  For more acceptable colors check here or purchase wool clothing at a resale shop or yard sale.  Be sure it is 80-100% wool.  I tried the boiling process to felt the wool and after an afternoon of playing Little House on the Prairie, I threw it in the washing machine on the HOT cycle.  I also made the mistake of buying a man's suit coat because I liked the color.  Double FYI:  There is an enormous amount of stitching and overlapping and interfacing in a man's jacket.  When you finally have it ripped apart you have very little useable fabric left.  To add insult to injury there was no fabric content label.  I forged ahead making two flowers out the miniscule pieces I had salvaged only to find out the edges frayed.
3.  It takes longer than you think to cut the shapes and form the flowers.  A cute little flower for your hair or an accessory for your purse...a piece of cake.  Enough to cover a pillow can become a little tedious.
4.  If you are over 50 allow extra time for threading your needle.
5.  Attaching the flowers to the pillow is a pain in the _ss.
6.  If you are not clear by now....let me repeat myself.  You will not make this pillow in an evening!

I say, if you have a lot of patience, determination, and more time than money....and, you really love this pillow, then GO FOR IT.

I did, and I now have a pillow I'll sell you for the discount price of $400.
Mine measures 11"x15" (thus the discounted price)


Great for any room in the house.

Seriously, it was rather fun and it gave me something to blog about.

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