Sep 29, 2014

Secretary desk in Linen and Artissimo

One of my all time favorite colors is navy.  
I've always loved to wear it, and I love that it is becoming a home decor trend again.  
(Actually, it's a classic in home decor, but we're seeing a comeback right now....)
If we were to dig through some of my old photos, you would even see that my homecoming gown was navy.  
But we won't do that.

Remember that perfume from the 1980's that said, you always feel beautiful in navy ?
It's so true!
It's dramatic and still friendly.
It makes everything somehow warmer, even though it is a cool tone.

I got this secretary from a dear friend of mine.
I remember when they first had it and I always admired it.

 When she asked me if I wanted it, I couldn't say no!
It was beautiful in it's original pine, but I saw so much new potential in a fresh color.

And I have been dying to try Artissimo on some furniture projects.

It's such a pretty, inky blue.

I thought it was a great complimentary color to Linen for the interior of this piece.

I'm still having so much fun working with milk paint.
I love the nuances of it and the results with each project.

It's such a great piece, and offers so much storage and decorating options!

I just dropped it off at Aunt Bee's this weekend.
With the end of September quickly approaching, I've started making my to do list of everything that needs to get done before The Farmhouse Show in 4 weeks! 
Lots to do between now and then.
I'm already working on Christmas projects....whew.

How about you?  Are you a fan of navy?

xo Denise

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Sep 28, 2014

Comforts of home: Fancy grilled cheese and Mexican Chicken Corn Chowder

Fall is the season for warm, hearty soups, isn't it?

One of my very favorites is Mexican Chicken Corn Chowder.
The first time I tried it was at a soup exchange that I hosted a few years ago.

My sister in law brought this one, and it was my favorite.
And what is better with a big bowl of soup than grilled cheese?!

As a fun twist for fall, I am showing you these fancy grilled cheese sandwiches that you can make with a leaf cookie cutter.
Super fun, and super easy.  
Yummy, and a special treat for dinner with friends or family.

For the grilled cheese~
I have a couple leaf cookie cutters in my stash.
You can find these pretty easy at gift shops, cooking stores, or sometimes in your local grocery store with the seasonal baking goods.

My cutters aren't very big, so you might have some extra bread left over, but you can find bigger cutters that won't have as much waste.
I cubed my extra bread for another topping for dinner.

It's easier to cut out with a thicker type of bread- we really like sourdough, and it works great with the cookie cutter.
Once the bread was cut out, I did the same for the cheese.
I buttered the outside of the bread and fried it for about a minute on each side.
Crispy, ooey gooey, good!


 Mexican Chicken Corn Chowder:

1 1/2 c. shredded chicken
1/2 c. onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 T butter
2 chicken bullion cubes
1 cup hot water
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 c. half and half (2% milk is fine too)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack
2 cups shredded cheddar
2 cans creamed corn
1 can whole corn kernel
4 oz green chiles
dash of hot pepper sauce

optional: 1 tomato, diced

Brown the chicken , onion, and garlic in butter until chicken is fully cooked.
Put into a large cooking pot.
Dissolve bullion in hot water.
Add to chicken mixture and season with cumin.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir in crams, cheese, corn, chiles, and hot sauce.
Cook, stirring often until cheese is melted.
Stir in tomato if desired.

This rich and hearty soup is packed with flavor!

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

xo Denise

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Sep 26, 2014

simple no sew pillow tutorial with freezer paper stencil

Hey everyone!  
I wanted to come back today and show you a super simple and fun pillow you can make.

I enjoy sewing, but I know not everyone has access to a machine or likes to sew, so here's a super easy way to make a customized pillow.
For this project I used a scrap piece of drop cloth for my pillow cover.
You can also use cotton or twill.

I used a longer lumbar pillow for this project.
The size on this one was 26 x 14"
and I bought it at JoAnn's a few years ago for another pillow project.

I've had a hard time tracking down this size again, but you might be able to find it...
If you can't, Ikea also makes a good size rectangular pillow (slightly smaller though) that I like (Fjadrar)It's usually around $7.

**Be sure to get a pillow suitable for outdoors if it will be exposed to the elements though!!
The Ikea pillow is down filled, so it can't get wet!

For your fabric, cut it about 24" longer than your pillow.

You will lose a lot of that extra length when you gather up the edges to tie off.
You want to also make sure that you have enough fabric length to wrap it around the pillow.

Next, you can print off your welcome or whatever saying you want to have for your pillow.
I just used my Word program.

The font I used here is Janda Stylish Script.
It's a bit wispy, so if you have trouble seeing something that thin, you might want to opt for a chunkier font or script.

Print off your phrase- I made mine big enough so it printed off on 2 pages.
You can cut the font in half where it would naturally join together and tape it for your stencil.

Place the print out underneath your freezer paper, and trace the lettering.

Once it is traced, I place the freezer paper on a self healing quilting mat and cut out the letters using an exacto blade.
Again, if this is difficult for you to see, use a thicker font and you can maybe even get away with some sharp scissors to cut out your letters.
Make sure you save any interior pieces- the middles of E's or O's etc- because  you will need them!

Once all your letters are cut out, place your freezer paper on your fabric where you want your lettering to be.
Smooth it out and make sure it is as straight as possible.  Using a hot iron, iron the freezer paper onto your fabric.
Place any middles to any letters (...your E's, A's, etc) where they belong and carefully iron them in place.

Once your stencil has been ironed onto your fabric, you can use craft paint to to dab the color onto the stencil cutout area.
I just use a foam brush.

Use uniform coverage when you apply- mostly so that there aren't any globs around the edges where you will be lifting off the stencil.

Let the paint sit for a few minutes to dry slightly, and then you can peel away the stencil from the fabric.

P.S. If you want an aged, faded appearance to your fabric lettering, once the fabric is 90% dry, toss it in the washing machine for a quick wash, and it will lift some of the color so you have an aged,  faded look to the print.

Continue to allow to dry for approximately one hour, and then you are ready to wrap your pillow!
I wrapped the width and had about 2" overlap.
I folded over the edge and simply safety pinned it shut.

No one is really ever going to see this side of it, but it still looks nice to have a folded edge.

Gather up the ends and using a length of ribbon (I used about 12" for each side) tie a simple knot.

That's it!

Have fun~

xo Denise

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Sep 25, 2014

Rustic fall porch

Welcome to our fall porch!
The weather decided that on the first day of fall that it would do a 180 degree turn from the last day of summer.  
We went from 80 degree weather to the upper 60's literally overnight.  

Come on in and sit down!


I made a big batch of homemade popcorn and poured a couple glasses of fresh squeezed apple cider for us to enjoy.

On one of my treasure hunts this year I found a Whirley Pop for a song, and we have loved making popcorn with it.  
Our secret ingredient is to add in a teaspoon of garlic salt to the oil so that it coats all the kernels as they pop.
So good.
You know who else loves popcorn?...

I can't decide what I like better- icy cold apple cider, or warmed....which do you prefer?

A couple new additions to our porch this year was the no-sew bolster pillow and the plaid blanket.
The pillow was super easy!  
I'll show you a tutorial tomorrow!

I was excited to find a fall blanket at Goodwill a few weeks ago.  
I love to have seasonal throws for the porch.

Our summer flowers were looking really crispy, so it was great to refresh our planters with some bright autumn color.  
In our urn, I plopped in a big ol' pumpkin, and surrounded it with a twig wreath.

Don't you just love how mums bring in fall?
I have yellow, orange, and the one to the left below is a tricolor that is just starting to open up.  
I can't wait to see how that will look.

I have to tell you- the best place here to get fall mums is at Godfrey's Nursery.  
They are just outside of Salem, and would you believe that I got all our flowers for $8.50 a piece?!

Let's enjoy the cooler weather, and watch the neighbors go by.

xo Denise

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Sep 22, 2014

Green and aqua Fall mantel

This year I decided to go very non traditional with our fall decor.  
At least on the mantel.
I'm still debating about the dining room, but we'll see.

Over the last few months, I haven't done a lot to our mantel- I changed it up a bit for spring and summer, but then we had a photo shoot here in July, and the editor for the magazine wanted a different look- something I had late last year- and so the painting that I was wanting to enjoy again has been down waiting for me to do something about it.

The painting is one we've had since we moved in, and I am hoping to do a post about it soon!

Anyway, I wanted to work it into our fall decor, so I decided to go towards harmonious colors in our family room.
Greens, aquas, neutrals.  

I bought the white washed wood box this summer at Molly Mo's Antique Faire.

I drove around to a couple places over the weekend looking for these green squash.
They are such a pretty color of green and have a very rustic look.

Our hydrangeas are pretty much done blooming for the year but they have turned from bright periwinkle blues, to gorgeous shades of green, aqua, and pink.

I also added in some spanish moss to soften the edge of the box.
I was hoping to drape a bit of green hops to this (which I have in my booth at Aunt Bee's House) but of course I forgot to get some when I was there this morning.

A few fall berries are also tucked in for contrast.

I swapped out the summer hydrangeas in our vases for fall twigs and berries.

The last few years I've had a fall banner on our mantel, but I decided to swap it out this year for a natural wood bead garland.

It was really easy to string together with some heavy twine, and I used 3 packages from Michael's to make the garland.  Just a few torn strips of old muslin fabric to add softness to the ends.

It's definitely not a traditional look for fall, but I love that it fits with the colors in our home, and still has all the cozy and rustic elements of fall decorating.

Maybe next year I'll go back to traditional.

Have you decorated for fall yet?

xo Denise 

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Sep 18, 2014

beachy vintage cabinet

I promise I'm not anti-fall!!
I just typed up that title, and thought, sheesh! 
I really do sound like I'm clinging to summer for dear life here with my last couple posts!

I've slowly put out a few fall items because we've had company this week, but I'm hoping this weekend I will pull out the decorations and spruce up the house for fall. 

If you follow me on Facebook, then you probably know why I'm slow on the holiday decor at the house- I just expanded my space at Aunt Bee's House this week.

As I mentioned previously, I moved out of Bella Hill at the end of August, but I really liked the amount of space I had between the two shops- it was just a lot of work to stock two spaces at two different locations.  
I'm pretty excited about my new space!

This cute little cabinet will be going down this afternoon.  
My room is mostly done, but there's still some space to add in there.

I painted this in Miss Mustard Seed's Grainsack.  It has a great greige tone.
Not quite gray, but almost.

Lots of pretty little curvy spots too.

I wanted to accent the louvered parts of the door, so they are painted in Eulalie's Sky.

It gives it a great beachy feel, doesn't it?

I also highlighted the upper curve with the aqua too.

Lots of distressing....

And some pretty new ceramic knobs.

It's small in size, but isn't too shabby on the amount of storage.

If I wasn't so in love with my vintage wicker basket that is usually at the foot of the bed, this might've stayed put.

Here's a shot of part of my new space at Aunt Bee's House:

It's so light and bright, and I had a lot of fun putting it together.
I'm also super excited to have a window to stage!!

You'll have to see it in person- the photos I tried to take have quite a bit of glare, so it's hard to get a clear photo...

Anyway.  Lots of fun changes.  

And by the should see all the amazing stuff I'm squirreling away for The Farmhouse Show in just 6 weeks....

xo Denise

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Sep 11, 2014

empire dresser in Ironstone and Luckett's Green

I've been sitting on this dresser for about 3 weeks now.  
I'm in hoarding mode right now as I am getting ready for The Farmhouse Show at the end of October, and some pretty exciting news!! -I am expanding at Aunt Bee's House!
If you follow me on Facebook, then you saw the announcement a couple weeks ago that I was moving out of Bella Hill.

A lot of people have been asking questions thinking that I'm being polite with my online response, but honestly, truly the answer is time.  It's a ton of work to keep multiple spaces stocked and maintained, and I just felt like it was time to focus on one location with everything else going on in my business and my life.

I still have tons of stuff though, and my current space at Aunt Bee's does limit me a bit with what I can fit in there.  
I'd really like to keep a regular rotation of dining sets in my space since they usually sell pretty well for me.  
I just haven't had the space to do that, and only have them available for shows typically.

So very soon, I will be in another spot in Aunt Bee's with more great stuff to share with you!
I'll keep you posted on my new space!  I'll still be in my current space, but adding an additional spot.

I'm pretty excited, because I will also have a small window to dress and I have been busy pinning all kinds of ideas to my Great Booth and Shop Staging board on Pinterest!!

Anyway, this dresser will be making it's way to you very soon!
I picked this up in one of my very favorite areas.  It was buried under a bunch of stuff, and I almost missed it!

I decided to do a custom mix color of Ironstone and Luckett's Green.  
It still looks like Luckett's Green but slightly lighter than LG alone.  
It chipped up beautifully!

The top got a light sanding and stained in General Finishes Antique Cherry.

I haven't done any fall decorating yet, so it was fun to pull a few fall-ish pieces together to stage for this shoot.

I just love mercury knobs with this style dresser and paint finish.  
It's like putting on little diamond stud earrings with a t-shirt, jeans, and boots.  
Just the right amount of bling.

I need to get one of the drawers fixed before I sell this one, but you can check my Facebook page to see when and where this one will be going!  

I'm getting super excited for The Farmhouse Show- I have some pretty amazing pieces right now in my garage.  
I have a tower of small tables and farm stools that is beginning to look like something out of a Dr. Seuss book.  
If it gets any higher, I won't be able to shut the garage door!

Mark your calendars!  

This is one of the best shows in the Willamette Valley and you will not be disappointed!!
I am also unveiling a new look for my show spaces.  
I decided it would be easier than trying to change up my look all the time.
Can't wait for you to see it!

xo Denise

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