Aug 27, 2013

Easy to Make Burlap Pumpkins

Welcome to Make it Happen Monday (ok....well a day late!)
First and foremost, I want to thank everyone who took the time to comment on my posts about my CoCo, said a prayer and even emailed me.  The outpouring of love that I received was just amazing and greatly appreciated!  I am comforted in the fact that she is now happier than I can ever imagine and that she will forever live in our memories.  Thank you all!!
Now, let's talk about fall!  I have been putting off crafting for a while, but it's time to get my rear in gear!  I love Pinterest (who doesn't!) and finding adorable and easy projects is always at our fingertips.  One of my favorite Pinterest projects for fall are these adorable burlap pumpkins.  I made these last year for my the shop and they were a hit - not to mention that they are extremely easy and fun to make!

No real sewing ability is required....if you can manage a needle and a gather stitch....you are good to go!

All you need is:

Burlap (or any other fabric you like)
Scissors
Strong Thread or Twine
Needle
Dried Beans
Poly Filler
Cork, Stick, or Pumpkin Stem
Any Embellishments
Glue (I used E6000, but hot glue would work, too)
Most of all - Your Imagination


I made several sizes, but the one that I did the most of were ones that end up being 7 1/2 ' wide x 4" high.
Start by cutting a circle (in this case, 16" diameter).   Then, simply begin sewing a gather stitch around the edges.  I fold the edge over about 1/4 inch as I went along just to give the thread a little more to grab hold of.  Once done and before gathering all the way, put about 1 cup of dried beans on the bottom, then a good amount of fiber filler.  Don't worry about getting it to look finished at this point.


 Then, pull the thread and tack into place.  Leave the needle as you continue to stuff and fluff.  When it gets to the point you like, dry fit the "stem" to gauge the size of the hole you need to leave. 
Then, take the needle and thread and go around a few more times to secure the gather even more, pulling it tighter as you go.  Secure the last stitch then glue the stem in and embellish as you desire.  That's it!!
I really love these!  They are such a unique and simple decoration for the fall that will last through Thanksgiving.  The possibilities are endless in the style you choose...I prefer the natural look, but you can use old jewelry, glitter, buttons, etc. etc.
I would LOVE to see your version of these!  If you make some, please post pictures on my Facebook page!
'Til next time!

Aug 22, 2013

Missing My Girl

This week has been one of the hardest in my life as we said goodbye to our sweet little constant companion of almost 15 years.  My baby.  My friend.  My CoCo.

 
It is through tears that I write this post, but I feel this is just something I need to do...to honor one of the best dogs I've ever had.  She was more than special, and I fought to hold on to her as long as possible - but it really came down to what was best for her, and not for my own selfishness.  We let her go gracefully and I thank God that Dean was strong enough to be there with her, showing her love until the end.


CoCo came to us soon after we lost our other lab, Lady, to cancer.  I was not wanting another dog so soon, but our daughter worked at the local veterinary where there was a six month old lab that had come in for adoption.  She called and asked us to come look at her.  After all of 10 seconds, Dean said "come on, let's go home"....and so it began.


CoCo was a wild child in the beginning and she was not an easy one to tame down.  Whoever had her the first few months of her life didn't seem to have trained her in any way. With a little time and a lot of patience, she turned out to be the best natured and most disciplined dog we've had.  She was so smart and could understand almost anything we said to her.  I have read that dogs have the intelligence of young children, and with CoCo, I believe that is true. 
 

Before we brought her home, we had already adopted our cat, Molly, and they did not know what to think of each other...but, it didn't take long for them to co-exist.  Many mornings I'd walked in on them...Molly on the dog bed, and CoCo on the floor.  They had a love/hate relationship; however, they were "siblings" and seemed to know it.  We'd have to put CoCo up outside while we went to work, and Molly would be upset if we didn't get 'her' dog in before dark. 

When CoCo turned around nine years old, she started losing her eyesight.  First in one eye, then the other.  The doctor said that it can happen with labs...for some reason, they stop producing tears.  For years, we had to put drops in her eyes and keep them as clean as possible.  Nonetheless, she still seemed to enjoy life.

 
Enter Tiger, our other cat that we adopted in 2010.  He was not used to being around other animals, but it took only a very short time for him to become CoCo's best friend.  He kept a sharp eye out for her and never let CoCo get too far out of his sight.  One evening when I was looking out of the kitchen window, I saw him get in front of her and coax her back when he felt she had gone too far in the front yard.  Today, he is lost and confused, looking all over for her and it breaks my heart even more. 

 
The last month has been particularly hard.  She started going deaf and I believe her sense of smell was also just about gone.  When I spoke to her, she looked confused and couldn't tell where the voice was coming from.  I had to put the food right up to her because she couldn't find it based on smell.  Any quality of life that she had left was quickly slipping away from her and I really didn't want to make that appointment, but I couldn't let her keep going like that.  She was having a hard time standing up and watching her just lay on her bed with her eyes open and looking dazed just absolutely broke my heart.  She became very antsy most every night, and yes, we could have medicated her, but really....what kind of life would that be?  The doctor said that it was about her dignity and we agreed it was time.  I can honestly say that it feels like my heart has been ripped out.  So many people feel that "it's just a dog", but to me, she was one of my babies.
 
 
All I can hope is that she knew that we loved her and that she will be waiting for us.  I can't stand the thought of spending eternity without her.  For now, I want to picture her running free and happy until we can play ball together once again. 
 
Until then, my Puppy!

Aug 18, 2013

Another Trash to Treasure Story

 I'm always so happy when I find a good sturdy piece of furniture during my hunts!  This one is no exception.  Dating back to the 1950s, this piece is solid and heavy!  The drawers even work great, which is always a bonus with older furniture.
 

Normally, I love mahogany....and my house has a LOT of mahogany furniture.  However, this one really couldn't be refinished since I had to do some filler work.  Plus, it's mostly mahogany veneer, so I really have no guilt about making this a willing subject to my paint brush.
 
As always, what color?  With the clean lines and stately shape, I first thought black.  But, I haven't done a white piece in a very long time....so Navajo White (Benjamin Moore) it became!
 
 
The pulls were pretty rough, so I gave them a quick spray with Rustoleum primer and Oil-Rubbed Bronze spray paint.
 
I sanded the top, put on several coats of mahogany stain and topped it off with several coats of wax.  How gorgeous is this??  The sheen that wax gives is nothing like the polys and lacquers.  Just look at the glow!

 
It's now available for sale in our room at Deep Creek Vintage!

 
If that little round oak table doesn't sell soon, it too will get a makeover! :)

 
Yep....I think it looks pretty good in it's new attire!
 
 
'til next time!


Aug 12, 2013

From Brass to Bronze - Updating the Outdated

Welcome to Make it Happen Monday!

I am ashamed....very ashamed.  I spend so much time on my projects for resale, that I don't spend a lot of time decorating and updating my home.  I have some beautiful antiques throughout the house (of which only one is painted!), but there is a lot of room for tweaking and refreshing.  Our master bathroom is no exception.

I REALLY need to paint the walls...it's painted in a boring neutral color.  It isn't that bad, but I really do want to make it a retreat - something in the pale blues.  However, painting will have to wait until it gets a little cooler, but in the meantime....the brassy fixtures have got to go!  The towel racks, TP holder, robe and curtain hooks....must.all.go.now. 

 
Remember when brass was in?  I vaguely do....but I obviously bought into it and I'm sure these fixtures were not cheap.


Hideous.

Oil bronze is all the rage these days, so I went on the hunt for some - but the prices are quite outrageous. Then, while browsing the paint aisle at Lowe's (which I do VERY often)....I spotted it!!  Valspar Rubbed Oil Bronze spray paint!  I have seen on the "Design on a Dime" type shows where they will paint instead of buy new...so I figured...what the heck??
 
Down they came and I started the prepping.  I gave them each a sanding with some fine grit and primed with spray primer.  I used Rustoleum black.
 
 
So, once again I failed at taking pictures during the process....but one thing I do recommend that I did not do, is let them cure at least overnight before you put them back up.  Also, there can be some scratching and chipping when putting the screws back in, so make sure to have a little bit of the paint on hand.  I sprayed mine on a paper towel and used a little brush to touch up. 
 
I did learn something....spray paint will melt Styrofoam....never woulda thought it.

 
 
 
Much better!


 
Even close up, it looks like the "real" thing!

 
I am by no means a good photographer...pulling lighting into a bathroom is not an easy thing when there are no outlets.  I hope you can get a good idea of how good this actually looks!

More reveal of the bathroom as we start pulling it together.  I'm thinking new wood floors, beadboard paneling, new chandelier, new tiling around the tub, etc. etc......Dean's not going to be happy. :)

At least for now, the brass is history, and I made it happen.

'Til next time!



Aug 5, 2013

Green with Envy - Miss Mustard Seed's Boxwood

This week, I didn't actually go all the way to the back of the project pile, but finished a project that I've had sitting in the garage for several weeks (which will free up the walkway to get back to the pile again!).


When I brought this baby home, I posted about her on Facebook and here on the blog.  No question, this dresser has been on my mind since I spotted her while trying to decide what to do with it.  I bounced back and forth on colors - anywhere from black to white.  Still not feeling it, I started seeing green.....Miss Mustard Seed's Boxwood Milk Paint, that is.  I've done several pieces in her Luckett's Green and was excited to try this deeper shade.


I really love working with Milk Paint, but I'm always careful about what pieces I use it on.  I didn't want a lot of chipping on this one, but I wanted it to have a rustic look to go with the top.  We had to strip off the warped and badly splintering veneer top which left the rough underlayment.  I sanded and stained that with dark walnut and I actually loved the not-so-perfect look to it!  It laid the ground for where I wanted to go with this piece.


I painted the majority of the dresser, but left the only two drawers with curly maple veneer natural.  I used bonding agent when I mixed up the first batch of paint to minimize the chips.  Once dried after one more coat (this time with no bonding agent), I added a light sanding, distressed the details of the gorgeous carvings, added several coats of wax - and she was just about done. 



I chose simple walnut stained wood knobs on the two lower drawers and pulled out the last two iron bird knobs I had left in my stash and painted them to match the dresser.  With that - ALL DONE!


After a lot of fretting and pacing back and forth in front of it for weeks, I'm really happy with the way it turned out.  I like to use color, but try to keep things somewhat simple and classic.  This green was perfect in contrast with the wood!




UPDATE:  She sold almost immediately and made a road trip to her new home!
'Til then!

Linking to:




UPDATE!

Here she is in her new home.  Gorgeous!!!!



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