Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It's A Messy Process

Re-doing is not always glamorous.  In fact it often means living with a mess while the beauty happens.  And that is exactly what we are knee deep in right now.

As you know we are doing some work on our daughter's bathroom.  And because we also have other things to focus on, like life for example, we have yet to complete the process.  But we are off to a good start.

The paint is mostly on the walls.

The wainscoting is 1/2 way done.

And some accessories have been gathered and purchased.

But you put that all together in one space and all you get is a big mess!

And the truth is this mess is probably going to stay for a few weeks since we have family in town.  But my daughter can still get to her Elmo seat - as long as she is wearing shoes and watches out for tools.

The bath tub is still working and she still has her ducks in a row (sorry...couldn't resist).

And we just ignore the fact that every time she walks into the space she says "Mom...I no like blue.  I want orange."  Yup...to many decorators for one family!

So although it is a messy process, it all pays off in the end.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Little Money Well Spent

The guest room is almost done!  Well almost done for now.  It is in need of some more furniture but that just isn't in the budget right now so it will have to come later.  And in all honesty, it would be just filler furniture.  You know, stuff that looks pretty and takes up space but isn't really used.  So we will get to that down the road.  But in the mean time I just finished off one more project to go in the space, a lamp!

I love this lamp because it was a true diamond in the rough.  It started out looking like this...

Ugly, huh?!?!  Really at this stage the best thing about it was the price.  $2.50 at a local thrift store.  But it was the right size and at that price worth trying to make it pretty.  

It went straight to the garage and I went straight to my spray paint collection.  Which by the way my husband says is totally out of control.  Honestly, I feel like it is just getting started!

I grabbed a can of off white and got to spraying.  Continuously moving the can and applying thin, even coats.

After letting it dry overnight I took some sand paper to it, roughing up a few spots here and there so the gold finish came through.

Then I picked up a lamp shade at Target and put it all together.  I found a light bulb and kept my fingers crossed that the lamp actually worked.  Probably something to test out before you go to all the trouble of painting it, but we all know I like to live on the edge.  But lucky me, it worked!  

When it all came together I liked it even more then I thought I would.  Always nice when that happens.  Pretty proud of my $2.50 find!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Little Pin & Tuck

I love this duvet cover.

Target Home™ Pinched Pleat Duvet Set - White
Anyone else with me?  It is from Target and you can find it here.  But there is only one problem with it, this...

$69.99 - $79.99

In the grand scheme of things it isn't a horrible price for a duvet cover but never the less it was more then I wanted to spend.  But that didn't stop me from day dreaming about how perfect it would be for my Guest Room makeover (which you can read more about here).  So it was time to come up with a solution.  And since this is a blog about a girl who loves to DIY, I bet you can guess what I did.  I DIY'ed!!!

How did I do it?  Well, it is your lucky day cause I am about to tell you!  

The first thing I did was buy a plan white King size duvet cover.  

Room Essentials® Duvet Set - White.Opens in a new window
This baby ran me $34.99 at Target.  A much better price.  From there all I needed where some pins, a measuring tape, a needle and thread.  I measured out and pinned every 20" going across my duvet cover.  Now I decided to space out my pins for a less frilly more simple look.  But if you want your to look more like the pic above I would make them closer together.

As I said I did measure the distance between pins but I did not measure to make sure each pin was lined up perfectly.  I just eye-balled it and turned out just fine, but that detail is up to you (little Ms. Perfectionist!).  

Next I pulled out one pin and pinched the top layer of fabric between my thumb and forefinger (make sure you aren't grabbing the bottom layer!).  Then I turned it in a circle

and then stuck the pin back through it.  Next I grabbed my needle and thread and snuck my hand in between the layers of duvet and put the pin into the center of the bunched fabric starting from the bottom up.

I put in 10 to 12 simple stitches making sure to grab all the twisted fabric.  

I put the needle back down through the center and tied it off on the inside of the duvet.  And my first pin & tuck was done.  No I just repeated this about a dozen more times and I was all done.  

Now I apologize for no real "all done" picture.  I took about 30 shots and just can't get anything decent (even with PicMonkey).  The room is very dark and the tucks just don't come out on the white background in a photo, but I promise it looks great.  Truly, it does!

Friday, July 20, 2012

& The Fabric

On Wednesday I showed you how to sew a pillow.  (I'm certain you all ran out and made 8 new pillows right away.)  I also promised you I would be back to tell you about the "&" fabric I used on the front of the pillow.  So I am here to do just that.

So where did I get that fabric?  The answer is my garage.  Yup, you read that right.  I went into the garage and cut a square from a not so gently used drop cloth.  Canvas, splattered, the whole nine yards.  Then I threw the square into the washing machine.

Let me warn you that you will want to cut off a square a good amount larger then you will actually need.  My drop cloth was pretty dirty so I really needed to wash it but washing and drying it did cause the edges to fray a good amount.  So make sure you have edges to spare so you aren't stressing as you watch the fabric tumble.

Next I made myself a stencil.  I simply printed out an "&" from my computer.  Then I cut it out.

I put some painters tape on the back and put it in the center of the fabric (which I had cut down to size at this point).  I mixed together some fabric paint I already had.  I used a narrow brush and dabbed on the paint.  Yes...dabbed.  I used a light amount of paint and gently dabbed it on tracing the outside of the stencil.

I removed the stencil and let the fabric dry over night.  

And the fabric was ready for sewing...

It is always SO satisfying to reuse items I already have around the house.  Try it out!  Go shopping in your garage.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

How To Make A Pillow

It is our favorite time again...it is How To time!  And I am finally ready to give a how to in front of my sewing machine.  I have had two official sewing lessons (thank you Colleen & Carol!) and completed three homemade pillows so I am ready to pass on all my brilliant knowledge.  Brilliant = a little nervous and truly still a rookie.

Today I am going to teach you how to make a 16"x16" envelop closure pillow.  This is the basics gang, but the perfect place to start!  

To make a 16"x16" pillow you will need:
- If you are using Home Decorators Fabric 1/2 yard will be plenty as it is  54" wide
- If you are not using Home Decorators Fabric a 1/2 yard is enough but leaves no room for mistakes so I        recommend buying 3/4 yard (regular fabric is generally 43" wide)
16"x16" Pillow Form
Measuring Tape
Sewing Machine 

The first step is the measuring and cutting of your fabric.  And don't forget...measure twice cut once!  You will need three pieces.  The front piece and 2 back pieces that will overlay to create the closure.

The front piece is 16"x16" + 1/2" seam allowance on each side.  Which means you need to cut a 17" x 17" square.  Simple enough!

(sorry, forgot to snap a pic of the front piece before sewing so I had to make due with this one above.  just remember 17"x17" is the measurement of the front piece of fabric before any sewing is done.)

For the back pieces you will need 17" across (wide), as we established above.  Then lets figure out how long each piece needs to be.  If we take 17 and divided it by 2 we get 8.5.  But that would mean our two pieces would meet up directly in the middle and we want them to overlap so they create a closure.  (The meaning behind "envelop closure".)  Lets take our 8.5 and say we want the pieces to overlap by 2 inches.  So we add 2 to the 8.5 and we are at 10.5.  Then lets add 1/2" seam allowance and we come to a grand total of 11".

We will need two of these pieces so cut out two 17"x11" pieces.  And now your cutting is done!

Lets keep working on the back side of this pillow.  We want to create a clean edge along the seams where the overlap occurs so how do we do that?  Well plug in your iron.  Fold one edge about 1/4", just eyeball it.

Then fold it again, another 1/4"

And iron this down flat. And when I say iron I mean "press".  You want to place the iron down and hold it there for a few seconds then pic it up and move it.  Do not slide the iron back and forth.  We are creating a crease not ironing out wrinkles.

Do this to both edges of the back pieces and then head to your sewing machine.  Now I can't tell you exactly how to use your sewing machine as each machine is different but I can tell you that your Users Manual is GOLD.  I tend to shy away from reading manuals but trust me you need to have that baby handy at all times!  One thing that I have found very helpful is understanding how a sewing machine works at the most basic level and I found this graphic to be SO helpful...

Ani Lockstitch2      

This picture (which I found here) shows how a stitch is created.  The center circle is your bobbin.  The blue is the bobbin thread and the green is your top thread.  Pretty cool, huh?!?!

OK so you are at your sewing machine.  Hi friend...

The first seams to sew are the ones you just ironed down.  So sew along the edge you now have folded over twice being sure to grab both pieces of the folded fabric.

Next lay the two pieces of fabric down on the one large piece of fabric, that will act as the front of the pillow.  Very important that you lay the fabrics face to face, meaning put the front (pretty side) of the fabrics facing toward each other.  You are sewing this pillow inside out.

Line up the outside edges and your two back pieces should overlap one another by about 2".  Pin around the outside of the fabric in order to keep everything in place as you sew.

Start in the center of one side.  Use the guide on your sewing machine to sew a 1/2" in from the edge.  One quick tip - I find it hard to see the measurements on the machine once the fabric is in the way so I put a piece of painters tape along the 1/2" line and make sure my fabric runs along the edge of the tape.  

Now start sewing!  Of course you need to sew all four edges creating a 1/2" seam all the way around.  What do you do when you get to the corners?  This is a fun one!  Stop 1/2" before you reach the edge.  Make sure your needle is down, holding the fabric in place.  Lift the foot and rotate the fabric 90 degrees.  Put the foot back down and keep sewing.  

Once you have sewed all four sides snip off the access fabric at the corners but don't get to close to the seams.

Now flip the fabric inside out.  Well actually it will be right side out since you were already working inside out.  Using the edge of your sewing scissors or the eraser of a pencil from the inside gently press out the corners so they look more square than round.

OK only two steps to go.  Go back to your iron.  Set the fabric down on the ironing board and roll out the edges in order to open the seams (just picture rolling out a worm from play-doh!)  and then press it flat with the iron.  You can also iron out any wrinkles that have popped up.

And the final step?  Stuff your pillow form through the envelop seam and step back and admire the amazing pillow you just created!!!  (Also calculate how much money you saved!!!)  

I hope reading through this isn't overwhelming!  It took me about 30 minutes to sew this pillow.  Although it seems like a lot of steps it is all very intuitive and once you have done it once you will be able to pop pillows out in no time.  But please send me your questions!  Do it in the comments below as others may have the same questions as you.  And if you want to make your very own "&" fabric stay tuned as I will show you how later this week!  

Happy Sewing!

Monday, July 16, 2012

MD How To's

Sad to say it is Monday again, but the good news is I have all kinds of fun stuff to share with you this week!  And the first thing is a new Mission Decorate Page.  All you have to do is look up.

Check out the new addition to the menu..."MD How To's".  If you click on it you will see links to many of the How To projects I have done over the last year and a half.  You will find everything from how to refinish a table to how to buy a sofa.

I hope this is a useful tool for y'all!  And later this week I will add to my How To list with a great post that I can't wait to share with you.  So keep checking back for all the details.

But in the mean time I will leave you with a dose of adorableness...my daughter in a firefighter's hat!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Collage It

Many designers create what they call in the business "mood boards" - a collection of ideas for a space used to give clients a taste of what to expect.  And I figure if the professionals do it then why shouldn't we!

A mood board can be a great way to organize all those crazy ideas running through your head.  Put everything together in one space and see what you've got.  And PicMonkey offers a great tool to do just that...collages.

Gather pics from various spots like Pinterest, product websites and even shots you have taken.  Put them together in one photo collage and start to see your room come to life.  Just like I did for my current project, my daughter's bathroom.

You can swap out different pics to see what you like and send it off to your stylish friends to see what they think.  A quick and easy way to get inspired!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My Somethings Old

Just the other day Sherry at Young House Love chatted about how so many designers have been saying "every room should have something old in it".  She then went on to show off a fabulous Craig's List find that I am totally jealous of and if I lived closer to her and knew her address I would totally steal when she wasn't looking.  

Gorgeous, right?!?!?!  But back on track...I couldn't agree more!  You know, with that part about every room should have something old in it.  We all love to buy new shiny stuff but I so often find that it is that old piece with a story and history that makes a room come alive.  Even if it is just a chicken bowl.

Yup, I have a bowl / chicken in my office that was passed on to us by my husband's late grandfather.  And we love this little guy!  It makes us think of Grandfather Don every time we walk into the room and in it's small way makes this house our home.  

In my kitchen I love the antique kettle that sits above the cabinets.  It was an antique store find and I love to dream up all the places it has been.  I usually picture it on a cold morning in Yosemite boiling up water over a campfire.

In our family room one wall is dedicated to a "something old" art project that I made from recycled cabinet doors.

And our dining room is home to one of my favorite Craig's List finds (take that Sherry!) which brings much needed character to a very bland (for now) room. 

So wherever your Old comes from I think it is a brilliant idea to bring a meaningful or antique or collected item into each room.  Because although Pottery Barn is beautiful none of us want to actually live in the catalog.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Refined Tradition & Elegance

A while back I saw this bathroom on Pinterest

color combo

and fell in love!  The subway tile, claw foot tub, yellow polka dot floor, even the door knob are beautiful.  But what really captured my attention was the color combination.  And I knew right away that this is what I wanted in my daughter's bathroom.  But, in-spite of what I like to believe, I do not have free rein over this house.  My husband does have some say in the big (like paint) decisions.  So we came up with a plan we can both get on board with (he felt the turquoise was to "kid bathroom").

So, our plan...

We are getting started with this

Buxton Blue is from the Benjamin Moore Historic Color Collection - A collection of 174 time-honored hues...steeped in refined tradition and elegance.  Yup, my daughter's bathroom, where she splashes in the tub, splatters her My Little Pony toothpaste and tries her best to get the pee in the potty, will be refined and elegant.  That is how we roll.

Despite my claim last week that the long weekend would be project free, I did recruit my husband to help me get started on the paint so the bathroom is looking like this.

He kept hiding from the camera but I did manage to get this shot of him hard at work.

Well, at least part of him hard at work.  

I will give you one guess as to why we didn't take the paint all the way to the baseboards.


Yup, wainscoting!  We will probably do the regular chair rail height rather than this taller version, but isn't this inspiration room amazing.

We will also get rid of these horrible fixtures

which we also have in our Master Bath, by the way.  Add some towel hooks, maybe a floating shelf, possibly some art.  Love these

bathroom wall art

And possibly even replace the light fixture.

Which we have two of in our Master Bath - must have been a builders special.  Please don't ever go with a builders special cause there ain't nothing special about it!

I'm also hoping to frame out our, yup you guessed it - builders special mirror.  Check out this one that I found here

So as you can see we have big plans.  Actually they are really little plans - all little things that will hopefully add up to a BIG difference (but not a big bill).  That isn't to much to ask, is it?