Friday, September 28, 2012

French Graphic Basket

My parents were cleaning out their garage and were going to throw away a plain basket.  I knew I could do something with it.  Here is what I came up with:
I decided I wanted to add a French graphic.  I used the same graphic, from The Graphics Fairy, that I used on my chair makeover.
I started with a scrap piece of drop cloth I had left from other projects.  I used the freezer paper transfer method that I used on the table runner I made a few weeks ago.  The image transferred much better this time.  I sprayed the fabric with hairspray first and then I wet the fabric more than I did last time.  I am much happier with the result. 
I then frayed all of the edges and stitched a line on either side with embroidery thread.
I adhered it to the basket using double-sided tape.
I added some sunflowers and used it as a centerpiece on my kitchen table.
Adding the graphic turned a plain basket, which was headed for the trash, into something special.  

Can't wait to hear what you think.
Have a great weekend!
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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Crochet Hangers - Copycat Challenge

Debbie-Doos  is hosting a Fall Copycat Challenge today.  My Grandmother passed away over nine years ago.  She was an avid crocheter and one of her specialties was crocheted hangers.  I have many of the hangers she made and think of her each time I use one.  
A few years ago I taught myself how to crochet.  I wish I had let her teach me, but I didn't have any interest in learning until recently.  She did beautiful work.
All of her stitches are even and everything is perfect.
  It was time for me to attempt to copy these.  For starters on this project I tried to find straight wood hangers like she used.  I searched everywhere and could not find anything like that.  I remember my mom used to buy the hangers for her at Caldor (anyone else remember that store?).  Well Caldor is gone and so is any store that sells such a hanger.  
If anyone out there knows where to find these hangers, please let me know. 
 In the meanwhile, I bought basic wood hangers and had to "make up" a pattern to get it to fit.
Here is my version.  Ugh...not quite the perfection of my Grandmother's, but a decent first attempt.  
One of the biggest issues was right up by the hanger where it is wider than the rest of the hanger. 
 Like I said, I made up a pattern.  I chained 120 and then I skipped the first 3 chains and did five double crochets in the next, then skipped three and did a single crochet.  Then I skipped three and did six double crochets and then skipped three and did a single crochet and continued until I got to the end.  Then I flipped it and did six double crochets in the half shell from the other side and then one double crochet in the single crochet from the other side.  I made two of these and started to attach them when I realized it was not going to cover the section by the hanger.
 I added a few rows of single crochet on either side to make up the difference, but I'm sure there are crocheters out there who are cringing right now. 

My shells are not nearly as uniform as my Grandmother's, but part of that was because I just couldn't get the darn thing to fit the hanger and had to stretch it here and there.  
I'm sure it would be much easier with a straight wooden hanger.
Here's my version next to my Grandmother's.  
Sometimes it's harder than others to be a copycat!! 

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fall into Fall - It's a Party #84

Welcome to this week's Fall into Fall party.  
Last week's party was loaded with so many great ideas and inspiration.
Here are this week's features:

Our Home Away from Home shared this beautiful burlap and lace runner she made for her kitchen island.  I love all of her fall decor.  Gorgeous!
Calypso in the Country shared her fall table setting.  
I love the touches of red and the simple elegance of the apples in baskets.

Picked and Painted transformed a buffet by painting it a custom homemade chalk paint in red.
Blue Star Antiques transformed a flea market find into this beauty.  I just love the striped top.

Priscillas shared her DIY sweater pumpkins made using sweaters she bought at Goodwill.
This is such a great project.  I need to make these!
Easy Peasy Grandma created these super cute Fall baby sandals.  So adorable!!

Akawest  shared her recipe for the world's best brownies.  I'm going to have to test this recipe out.
These look super yummy.
The Dedicated House  shared her recipe for chicken and dumplings in a slow cooker.
With the cooler weather here, my slow cooker is used all the time.  I can't wait to try this recipe.

If you were featured, please grab an "I've Been Featured" button (you can now find my buttons by clicking on the buttons tab right under my header).  Now let's get started with this week's party.  I can't wait to see what you have been up to.  Link up anything you have been working on...home decor, sewing, crafts, organizing, baking, recipes etc.   I will keep this link open through Friday.

A few rules:
1.  Please become a follower (if you already follow me on Google, I would love for you to follow me on Linky Followers as well).  

2.  Please grab my party button above and display it either on your sidebar or somewhere in your post.  This way word can spread about the party.  The more people at the party, the more fun we will have.

3.  Please enter the link to your actual post, not just a link to your main blog page.

4. Please visit others who have linked up.   Everyone works hard on their projects and blogs...let's show each other some love by visiting each other.  Let's have some fun and hopefully make a few new friends along the way.

Ok...Let's Party


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

When Perfect Isn't Really Perfect

For the past several years I have been on the lookout for a carved mirror for my dining room.  I wanted a large mirror that I could put above my buffet.  But of course, it seems once I get something stuck in mind, it's often very difficult for me to find that exact thing.  Then, when I least expect it

...I find it.

Here it is...sitting in the back of Home Goods.  A Drexel Heritage, gorgeous mirror.  It wasn't inexpensive at $250, but it was a deal, as I know that mirror is at least $500+ from Drexel Heritage.
I went and got the measuring tape from the store and measured it.  It was 42" x 64".  
Now that information was a bit useless, since I had no idea what the size of my buffet was, but I figured it had to be larger than 64" wide.  Worse case scenario, I figured I would hang it vertically if I had to.
The mirror is HEAVY.  I got someone to bring it up front and put it in the back of my minivan (which fits everything)  and I lugged it all the way home.

I was very excited.  
When I got it home I pulled it out of the back of my mini-van and then realized I could not get it up the stairs in the garage.  It is big and bulky and HEAVY (did I mention that already) and couldn't do it.  Luckily my friend stopped by and she helped me bring it in.
It was even more gorgeous in my dining room.
However, it was even larger than I realized in my dining room.

My buffet is 60" wide.  
The space above the buffet to the crown molding is 64" high.
The mirror is 42" x 64"
Do you see my issue???
To hang the mirror horizontally (which is what I thought I would do), the mirror would actually be wider than the buffet which would not look right at all.  The rule of thumb is that a mirror should be 2/3 the width of the piece of furniture you hang it above.
 Clearly this would be breaking the rules, and not in a good way.
To hang it vertically it would reach from the top of the buffet to the molding,
filling all of the space above the buffet.  
Here is an idea of what it would look like (I super-imposed it into the photo).
Here is another view:
I really want to keep this mirror.
Do you think it will look "wrong" if the mirror fits the entire space above the buffet (the mirror is 64" tall and I have 64" of space between the buffet and the molding)?

I could swap out the buffet for the server piece on the other side of the room, 
which gains me all of one inch (since the piece is an inch shorter).

I've searched the house and there really is no where else the mirror could go...
plus, this is really the room I want this mirror.

What are your thoughts?

Don't forget to stop back tonight for my Fall into Fall party.

The link opens at 8pm EST.  
Hope to see you then.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Monogrammed Pumpkins

Fall is officially here so it is time for me to finish up adding all of my fall decor to my home.
It's amazing how a simple monogram can make anything look fancy.  
I wanted to decorate my front hallway for fall using
these cream colored pumpkins at Michaels.
Using my Silhouette machine I printed our initials onto black vinyl.
I added some fall foliage into a Lenox vase.  
Under the cloche, I added an image that I printed onto card stock from The Graphics Fairy.  
I wanted some fall leaves, but the leaves haven't really begun to change that much by us, plus I don't love bringing leaves in from outside since you never know what bugs you are bringing in.
My solution...images of leaves from The Graphic Fairy, printed onto regular copy paper and cut out.
They look pretty real.
How is your fall decorating coming along?
I'd love to know.
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Friday, September 21, 2012

Hitchcock Chair Makeover

My mother-in-law is in the process of cleaning out her New York home to move full time to Florida.  She offered me a Hitchcock chair to do with as I pleased.  I had never heard of one, but based on her verbal description of it, I was sure that I could do something with it.  It's called a Hitchcock chair because it is manufactured by the Hitchcock chair company.  Here's the before and after:
I loved the lines of the chair, and I knew that a little paint and some topography, I could make this chair into something special for my home.

I started by lightly sanding the entire chair.  My plan was to use Annie Sloan chalk paint so sanding wasn't really necessary, but I find it helps get off some of the dirt and dust that accumulates over the years as well as roughing up the surface.

I taped off the seat and got out my chalk paint in Old White and went to work.
After one coat I realized that this was going to be tedious, and so I switched over to spray paint in Heirloom White (which is almost identical in color to Old White).  Once I switched over to spray paint, I covered the entire seat so as not to get any paint on it.
Once the paint was dry, I started to lightly distress the edges.  Since the chair was originally black, it made it very easy to distress since the black shows through.
Then I went to The Graphics Fairy  and picked out this beautiful graphic for a French floral shop.
I used charcoal on the back of the graphic to do the transfer.
Then using a pencil I traced over the design transferring it onto the chair.
Then I used a Sharpie and traced over the letters.
I applied clear wax and then a dark wax to the whole piece.
In person the chair has so much depth created by using both the clear and dark waxes.  
So what do you think of my chair makeover?
Can't wait to hear what you think.

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