Jul 22, 2014

It's National Hammock Day!

I bet you didn't even realize today was a holiday!

It's National Hammock Day!

Hammocks are the ultimate guilty pleasure, aren't they?
It's pretty hard to be stressed out or busy while laying in one.
And sometimes in the midst of busyness, it's hard to take a break and just enjoy a few moments of rest.

Or read a book.

We've had our hammock for a few years now, and I recently found this gorgeous coverlet with tassels.
I've used it at a vintage market, but mostly I knew it would be perfect for our outdoor getaway.
It offers some romance as well as a bit more comfort for our rope base.

I made these pillows with Cabbages and Roses fabric, and they are for sale in my Etsy shop.
Pretty, summery, and inviting.

And you always need a refreshing beverage on a hot summer day.

A table for the afternoon nap is an old barrel container flipped over as an impromptu piece of furniture.  

So how about it?
Will you be celebrating National Hammock Day?

Grab a beverage and a book.  
Steal away a few minutes of the day.
 I won't tell!

xo Denise

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Jun 26, 2014

Adding farmhouse style to our family room

For about a month now, I've been making changes to our family room.
I'm slowly but surely figuring out what style I love, and what style truly what I want to live with.

You know what has helped me clarify my style?

It sounds so obvious, but if you're like me, and you love a variety of decor styles, your own style can get muddled.
And I felt like that's what was happening to me. 

There was one evening where I was wanting some fresh inspiration for our house, and I decided to really study my "Favorite Decor" board.

When I started that one, I didn't go into it with a ton of thought.  
It was just a board that I pinned to if something immediately spoke to me, or made me say, ooooh.
As I looked through all my pins, it instantly became obvious what I love.

Chippy furniture, warm woods, soft fabrics, white walls, and vintage accessories with a collected look.
Everything was warm, bright, and inviting. 
Little bits of European flair.

About the time I started making an effort to change the look to what I was inspired by, I went to an estate sale at a beautiful farm. 
There was tons of great stuff, and I was able to bring home this farm table.

I loved the rustic look to it.  
You could tell it had been loved on for many years.  
There were bits of newspaper glued to the top and paint splatters.  

 Maybe someone's craft table. 

After a lot of sanding, and some hemp oil, it retains the rustic charm I wanted, but still shows the patina of the table.
I lived with it in it's all wood state for awhile, and then recently painted and distressed the legs in Miss Mustard Seed's Ironstone milk paint.

We still needed a spot for our DVR and game console, so I had my dad build us a simple TV riser with openings for the technology.  
I used General Finishes wood stain in Antique Cherry.  
This is by far the best wood stain I've used, and I couldn't believe how well the color matched the old, refinished wood.
I'm so happy that we have something that functions practically but blends in with the old.
The apron drop front and basket hide all the cords.

 I've been anxious to reveal a new to us piece that is now in our family room.

This fabulous vintage cabinet that I bought from my friend Sarah of Roost Reimagined
I love the cracked paint finish and the simple shape of it.

This particular spot has undergone so many changes and makeovers, I think I've lost count.
Previously we had open shelves, and I just wanted something that I didn't have to constantly be updating and styling.

Lots of storage all hidden away!
After I had loaded this up, I was doing some cleaning on this piece and noticed a little metal tab on the front right corner that said NPR.  
I didn't really want that on there, so I carefully pulled it off, and this was revealed:

Do you see it?
Now, I'm not sure because the history that I heard on this piece from Sarah wouldn't match up to what she was told about where this came from, but....
I am so curious if I have yet another piece from Oregon State Hospital!
You might remember the dresser I got on Craigslist that came from there.
It's definitely a possibility, but who knows? 

I loaded up on some fresh cut blooms from our garden.
We have four hydrangea bushes, and I just love this time of year when I can have fresh bouquets all over the house.

I still have lots of tweaking that I want to do in here.  
I am still looking for some small salvage or vintage pieces to flank the trellis and wall basket above the TV.
I just couldn't decide what I wanted here.

It's been fun to change it up, and add more of what we love in this room.
Thanks for visiting with me today.
I'll keep you posted as things continue to evolve here!

xo Denise

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Jun 23, 2014

Chippy milk paint dresser in Linen

Happy Summer to you!
It's my favorite time of year!  

Hannah just finished up her softball season right before school got out, and one of the perks of where she played at was that there was a thrift shop two blocks away.  
Several times before her games started, (since we were there an hour before game time for warm ups) I'd head over and see if I could find anything interesting.

I sure did.  
This dresser:

I almost never have such good luck.  
And I tell ya, I was really lucky, because initially I left it there!  
And then I realized, what the heck are you doing??!  
Go back and get that thing!!
(...in all reality, I have a garage full of furniture, so I was trying to be good and not haul any big pieces home to add to the growing pile.....)

But this was too good to pass up.

I did a random few strokes of Eulalie's Sky as the base, and then did two coats of Linen on top
(Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint).

I did a heavy, chippy distress by using my metal scraper.

I also wanted a few crackly spots, so I also did a few spots all over the dresser with the Crackle Medium. 


 Last week, I also made my first visit into a Hobby Lobby!!
About 2 years into blogging, I kept hearing all my furniture rehab buddies talking about Hobby Lobby 50% off knobs- and they were always so stinkin cute- I was super envious.

The stores were nowhere near me, and then a few months ago a friend of mine said they were coming to Albany. 

You have to know that the 3 major cities in Oregon are Portland, Eugene, and Salem.  
In that order.

I won't complain!  
I'm just not used to a large company wanting to move to Albany for their first store in Oregon!
 I'll take it! 
It's closer than Portland or Eugene, so I'm good with it.

I replaced the wood knobs with these pretty mercury glass ones.

I was struggling to install the two that needed to go on the bow front top drawers.  
The wood front was thick, and the screw wasn't poking all the way through.
I needed something that could hold the nut while I screwed in the post.

I was about to give up, and reinstall the wood knobs on the top two drawers, when Jon suggested a tool kit he had in the garage.

It had a set of tweezers, and it worked perfectly.

The tweezers kinda reminded me of the ones you play "Operation" with.
So helpful!   
The tool kit was made by Task Force, if you are interested in finding it for yourself.  
I wish I could tell you where we got it, but it was a Christmas stocking stuffer from a family member.

The mirror on this piece is super heavy- the glass is original, but it looks like the distressing got a little acid treatment to help with the aging process, prior to my purchase.

The mirror hinges were missing, so I replaced those, thanks to House of Antique Hardware.  
 The shipping was incredibly fast!  
So awesome.

The mirror hinges were originally brass, but I toned it down a bit with some Dove Gray paint.
I may add a bit of stain to it as well to age it up a bit.

Finally, I added this little vignette to the top- featuring some of our hydrangea blooms and a vintage clock I have for sale in my Etsy shop.  
It is one of my favorite pieces!
It's super heavy, the clock works with a wind up mechanism on the back, and I love that it also looks like a trophy.

I'm absolutely loving working with this paint.
And my customers are loving it too.

I just ordered a bunch more to work with, and am looking forward to more projects!

Have a fantastic day!
xo Denise

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Jun 17, 2014

Powder room updates- French elegance

Our powder room downstairs has been getting some small elegant updates over the last week.  
I think I've only posted on this space once or twice, so here's a little progress peek!

It's a challenging space to photograph because of the tiny size and lighting issues.
Since we moved here 6 years ago, I painted the walls, stenciled a tone on tone pattern, switched out the lighting and hardware.
That's about it!

Eventually I'd like to take out the cabinet and install a sink into the farmhouse desk that we currently use for our bar.

from our Christmas house tour
I've already measured it, and it fits almost perfectly into the spot.
I might have to shave off a bit off the back to make everything flush, but that's a project down the road!

I added in this statue a couple years ago- it's very similar to one we had at our wedding near our guest book.  I bought it several years ago at a local antique store for around $20.
I've filed the cornucopia with some aqua Japanese glass floats.

We also installed the vintage lantern in here about a year ago.
I was hoping it could be hardwired in, but no such luck.

I covered up the original fixture spot with a replica French street sign that I painted.
The builder grade mirror is framed with a large vintage frame that I simply propped up on the counter.

Over the weekend I picked up some peacock feathers - I've had dried or faux flowers in here previously, but as this room has evolved I wanted something more like a 1920's French flat.

The height of these is a nice compliment to the tall mirror frame.
I swapped out a vase I had been using here and opted for an apothecary jar instead.
It is embellished with a rosary coin and vintage ribbon.

I filled the base of the apothecary jar with dried lavender.
It looks so pretty and still smells wonderful.

Over the weekend, I went to Hobby Lobby for the first time ever!!
It was overwhelming trying to take everything in, but mostly I was in search of their famous 50% off hardware knobs.
It did not disappoint.

I was buying some mercury glass knobs for a dresser makeover that is about halfway done, and while I was there, I decided to grab a couple more for a little update on our cabinet doors.
 Previously, we had some standard silver knobs, and I wanted something with some sparkle and elegance.
I'd love to paint the cabinets, but it seems like a wasted effort right now since I know that I want to put the farmhouse desk in here soon.

I think my favorite thing in our powder room is this portrait of Mademoiselle Dubois.
I had it for sale for awhile at Aunt Bee's House.
It wasn't selling, and honestly it got to the point where I knew I would be sad to let it go, so she came home with me and adds a beautiful touch to the room.

There are some surface scratches and dings, but I don't care.
I still think she's gorgeous!

Thanks for letting me show you our updates on this teeny tiny space!

We're enjoying the beginning of summer vacation, and I'm looking forward to some organizing and painting today.

See you soon.
xo Denise

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Jun 11, 2014

how we built our vintage door arbor

You know the old saying, "do as I say, not as I do?"
Well, that's kind of what this post will be!

Today I'm sharing how we built our vintage door arbor.
We are fairly novice DIYers, so those of you who are really good at building stuff may find some better shortcuts or ways of putting this together, but this is how we did it.
We also realized in our stumble-along method (no plans, just winging it off the Pinterest photo) some better ways we could have constructed this if we were doing it over again.

I'll try and give you some of those ideas in *italics where you can learn from our DIY project!

Building Supply List:
2 x 8' boards
We used pine.
Determine whether or not you want two or three boards for the arbor top-we opted for two.
2x4' boards for support brackets.
Vintage doors with windows.
outdoor zinc screws
tools for cutting your wood 

Make sure that both doors are the same height.
The width of the doors is important to know too, but not as big a deal.
Ideally you want them as similar as possible to make the construction process easier.

 We measured how wide the entrance needed to be- so we could get the lawn mower through and the yard debris cart.
Make sure it is wide enough for any equipment you regularly use to get through.

Measure before you begin cutting because it will determine where your notches need to be on your arbor header.

*We did all our measurements on the spot where we were constructing.  It would be easier if you have a level, firm surface like your driveway or garage to ensure everything is level, and not moving around while you're constructing.  We had the triangle wood feet on the doors from when I was using these at shows, and it helped.  You could also use thin wood strips and tack them to the bottom and /or tops of the doors to keep them the width you need while you are building the header.

We started out by removing the glass from both doors.

I wore safety glasses and gloves, and used a hammer to break out the glass.
As you can see, we had a tarp underneath, so it made it lots easier to clean up and not have tiny shards all over the driveway.
Just scoop up the tarp and dump it all in the garbage.

Before you cut the notches in the header, set the 2x8 on top and use a pencil to mark out the width of each door.
It makes it really simple for cutting.

*again, having a level surface makes this much easier!

I took the 2x8's to my dad's shop since he has a lot more tools for this project than we do!
I didn't get photos during the process, but I'll try and map it out for you here.

Cut your notches for the arbor top that will fit over the doors.  
*You want to allow about 1/8" extra on your notch measurements.  A snug fit is good, but as we learned the hard way, too snug will end up splitting your header.  
Just enough to allow your header to sit comfortably on the top of the door.

We used a bandsaw to cut the notches and then chiseled out the remainder of the pieces.
Using a compass, determine your edge circle and draw your cut line onto the ends of the 2x8 boards.
We made sure there was 1 1/2"" between the outside notch edge, and then a 1/12" top.
Like this:

Next, because we get a lot of wind in our area, I felt like it would be good to have something securing these into the ground.  
The arbor is probably fine without this step- once we got the header on, it adds quite a bit of weight, and with the openings from the windows, the air circulation probably makes it safe as-is, but we still did this next step anyway as a precaution.  

I couldn't find anything that would fit the door width and act as a spike to drive these into the ground. I didn't want something ruining the look of the vintage doors, and wanted it to be completely hidden.  My solution was to use metal shelf brackets.  

They were narrow enough to add to the bottoms of the doors,

and the pointy edge acted like a spike that we could push into the dirt.
We drilled pilot holes into the bottom of door, and then secured the brackets with screws.
It's probably not ideal, but it gives us a little more peace of mind that there's a little bit of an anchor.

We used a metal rod to get the holes started in the dirt for the brackets to be pushed in, and then set the door into it's spot.

*I also want to note here that we used a manual grass edger to carve out some excess grass.  This helped with keeping the arbor level.  
It also looks better when it's done, and saves you a lot of headache with the lawnmower! 

Once the doors were in place, we added the headers.  
As you can see, from my tip I shared earlier about not making your notches too tight, we had a split.  
We opted to use some Gorilla glue and painters tape to hold it in place while it dried.
If you're a perfectionist, you will be having a fit seeing this. 
My arbor, my repairs. 

With your 2x4's, cut your support brackets with a square ruler, (the triangle ruler).
Drill pilot holes on the outside of the door through the bottom (but not all the way through the bracket) and then set your screw.
Do the same through the corner of the top of the bracket into the header.

Once everything was set, and the glue from our repair was dry, I used an exterior grade white paint and primer, and painted the arbor top.

The final step to our arbor was adding some screw hooks to the top of the door windows and adding some pretty hanging baskets.

These were from Lowes.  
This would also be beautiful with hanging lanterns.  

Because we used only two 2x8's for the arbor top, I thought it would be really beautiful to add little twinkle lights strung over the top when we have company over.  

I hope this tutorial was helpful!
We keep it real around here- sharing our mistakes along the way.  
We really love how this turned out, and even though there was a bit of frustration along the way. When all is said and done, we both love how this turned out and are so glad we did it.

Let me know if you have any questions, and I will try and answer them for you.

xo Denise

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Jun 10, 2014

Vintage door arbor

Well, we did it.  
We crossed off another project for 2014!

You may recognize this vintage door arbor- I classify it in the "urban legend" category of Pinterest, because it is pinned so often everywhere, but I have yet to see an original source.

The photo looks like it is professional, but I've never seen a legitimate pin of where to find building plans (if there are any) or who to give credit to!
If you know, please tell me!

I've adored (like many of you) this idea for a long time.  

About 2 years ago, I stopped in to my local ReStore, and noticed a pair of vintage doors that had just been donated.  
I asked one of the guys working if they knew if they were available yet?
As luck would have it, the guy I asked was the donor, and he said I could have them.  
For free.

Happy dance!! 
 I would finally get to build this arbor!
Well, time got away from us, so they were used as props for several shows I was in over the last couple years.

 I was determined 2014 would be the year that I would have the arbor done.

We added in some pretty, wispy hanging baskets to the window frames.

This is one of my favorite spots in our garden.
There's lots of perennials, and it's the main entry way to our yard from the front gate.

As of right now, the view you would normally see being framed by the new arbor is our very large blue trampoline.
We love having it for Hannah and for her friends that come over, but someday when she's done with it, we plan on putting in a paver patio on the other side of the arbor.

I love the aged, vintage charm this adds.

Even from our back deck, it adds such a fun element to our yard.

This project had it's challenges-  tomorrow I will share how we built it and put it together!
If you'd like to see more inspiration from my Pinterest board, Outdoor Living Spaces, you can click here.

xo Denise

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