Tuesday, January 31, 2012

DIY couch pillows = practically new couch!

i have seriously been searching MONTHS (literally) for the perfect fabric to make couch pillow covers, and a few weeks ago, i FINALLY found it! it was perfect, exactly what i wanted, and i fell in love as soon as i saw it. even better, it was half off the regular price - and that's a good thing... upholstery fabric is pricey!  my current couch pillows were in desperate need of updating. some of the corners were pulling apart... just bad.
here is a photo of the lovely fabric - it's a suzani print which is my absolute favorite.
the fabric with the blue birds was what i used to make throw pillows for my sister. she made a headboard and covered it with this fabric and had a ton of leftover..... so she sent the fabric to me and now she has two lovely pillows to match her beautiful headboard.
back to the couch pillows -
i have 7 couch pillows. yes, seven! we have a huge couch and a chair and a half, so i had a lot of work ahead of me. plus i was adding zippers to all the covers because i needed them to be washable. zippers are simple to add in, but can be confusing at the same time.
so here was my solution to that... once all three sides of my pillows were sewed up (right sides together, of course), it was time to sew in the zippers. my computer sat open right beside my sewing machine, and i followed step by step instructions so i wouldn't mess anything up! once you get the first one down pat, you've got it from there. the next six pillows were a breeze.
to save me loads of time, i cut fabric for all the pillows, sewed up three sides together on all the pillows, leaving only the zippers to be sewn. when you are working with a zipper you have to switch the foot on your sewing machine. then once the zipper is in place, you have to switch back to the regular sewing foot and sew the edges closed. just lots of switching! but all worth it!
after i got all the zippers sewed in, i took the old pillows and stuffed them into the new covers, zipped them up, and fell in love with my new 'old' couch all over again!
it really makes it look like a brand new couch! i'm so happy and all those many months of searching has finally paid off.
i believe oliver is enjoying the new pillows more than we are...

Friday, January 27, 2012


Have you ever caught a glimpse of something in you that was a spark, that needed the encouragement, support, and belief in others to help bring it burning bright into the world?  Sure you have!  Are you a parent?  Found someone to share life with that makes life a little more amazing?  Maybe its your job... Maybe it was just the better part of who you were... Life somehow works a little bit better with the support of community.  This is why kickstarter is such an important opportunity for you as a supporter - and for those talented enough to create and inspire us all.  Something is ignited in you when you support another person trying to share their spark with the world.

this is a call to anyone reading this to PLEASE HELP!

brian mcweeney is a musician in nashville, tn, and has just launched his music project on kickstarter. 
in his own words...
"If you are not familiar with Kickstarter, it is a platform that allows you to financially support artists and creators of all kinds.  You are the modern day patron of art, and your contributions will literally produce this album - making you part of a movement that says “we can do this … together, but on our own”."
not only is brian mcsweeney a wildly amazing musician - he is super fantastic, generous, kind, sweet, funny, a lifelong friend to my husband... and he sang at my wedding :)

check out his kickstarter page and help get his project up and running + with any contribution over $5 that you KINDLY make, you will receive a treasure!

every dollar counts...
no contribution is too small!  I know, I know - the economy is bad, blah blah - you got something to give... Even if all you have to give is spreading the word for others to find this amazing musician and to support him!

click HERE to see brian's video and a hear a sample of his magnificent music that YOUR generous donation will help to make possible.

a huge thanks to everyone!

DIY chalkboard time

everyone has the chalkboard craze on pinterest, including myself. 
there are 85 billion pins on how to make your own chalkboard, and how to turn frames into a chalkboard, add labels to your jars with chalk paint - it's endless. and it's genius. 
so finally i put use to a picture that was purchased when we first moved in together in huntington, wv. this picture has been sitting in a closet wrapped in paper since we moved to south carolina. 
i unwrapped the brown packing paper and cleaned the glass. i used painters tape to wrap the entire frame and then went outdoors to spray the glass with chalkboard spray paint!
 i did as the can said - multiple small thin coats.
i believe i ended up doing three coats and after all is said and done, i wish i would have done a few more. 
after spraying i took the frame on the porch to dry overnight.
 i also laughed at my silly hubby sporting his superman shirt.
isn't he just adorable :) 
back to the chalkboard!
the next day i took my new chalkboard inside and 'primed' it up. i read multiple blogs stating to do this... you use the side of the chalk to rub all over the frame and this acts as a primer. leave it on for a few then wipe it off.
after wiping all that dusty chalk off, we tested it out and it was exactly like a real chalkboard! all from a cheap can of spray paint that i purchased at hobby lobby!
this was my first go at it -
and this was david's
and what we settled on ~
i love my new chalkboard. it was fun and super easy to make! 
so go make one!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

{creating a home}

we have the most lovely 'real' wood burning fireplace framed with a beautiful mantle and ginormous mirror. it is most definitely the highlight of our living room. 
with that said, i needed my mantel to be decorated... really good. 
i have always had a love for mercury glass. the way a light shines through and creates different effects by the discolored markings in the glass... it's just lovely. so i started with that idea - mercury glass. 
pinterest has been overloaded with mercury glass DIY projects, but on a shopping trip one day i found a boatload of treasures! this was one project i would pass on and buy instead. 
marshalls, home goods, and tj maxx - THANK  YOU! 

here's a few images of our mantel.
see how the light glows... i love it!
that white hand looks freakishly real in this photo... its only ceramic!
and at night with a fire burning in the fireplace -
i'm obsessed with this lamp. mercury glass bottom and burlap/linen shade. doesn't get much better than that. it puts out minimal lighting which is perfect for our living room full of windows.
the buddha sits happily on our favorite piece of furniture in the house, the custom built console table!
Monday, January 16, 2012

DIY wood stain for a DIY wall shelf

while shopping around savannah, georgia, a super fantastic town, i picked up three ADORABLE elephant wall hooks. i have been wanting THIS shelf from anthropologie - but the price tag was too much for me to pay when i have the means to make nearly the exact same thing myself.

the idea of making my own stain was also very appealing to me... so i did just that with a few simple and cheap ingredients - vinegar and steel wool.

i took a glass mason jar and put one piece of steel wool in the bottom, then poured vinegar over it until it was covered. i sealed the jar up and let it sit for 2 days.
we had a scrap piece of lumber and cut it to the size we needed. here is what untreated lumber looks like... brand spankin' new wood. not pretty.
we laid the board out on our workbench and with a sponge paintbrush we applied a coat of the steel wool/vinegar stain. it went on clear. i read that it needs drying time to allow the stain to soak, and as it dries the wood darkens. welllllll... IT DID JUST THAT!  before it was completely dry i added a second coat of stain.
after 24 hours, here is what our brand new piece of lumber looked like...
i couldn't believe my eyes. it was the aaaaaagggggeeeeed barnwood look that i dream about decorating my entire household with. and the more coats you apply, the darker the wood becomes. perfect.
we finished the wood with minwax finishing paste (use that stuff on everything!)and then pre-drilled holes for our elephant hooks and screwed them in.
and there you have it... a wall shelf that cost less than a fraction of the anthro shelf, and its made with your own hands... much more special! we have our new shelf hanging next to the door that keeps our coats and the pups leashes. it is super convenient, super adorable, and i absolutely adore it!!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

{weekend in savannah}

i. love. savannah.
and when you add the beaty's to a weekend spent in savannah... you have perfection! 

here a few reasons that i love savannah -
you can walk around town with a drink in hand. and by drink - i mean alcoholic.
the shopping is fantastic.
the food is even better.
savannah moss is the prettiest thing i've ever seen.
it's a 'haunted' town, so you can rent a hearse and take a ghost tour!

 this is sarah... she is completely fabulous, and she is pregnant with twins!!!!

shopping at the paris market. if i won the lottery, this is the first place i would go to decorate my home. it's a warehouse of fabulous home goods.

now to discuss the hearse tour. 
HERE is the website with all the information you will need. 
if you are ever in savannah and have the time to take this tour, ask for lunatic laura. 
she MADE the tour! even made pit stops along the way to stop for drinks! 
and here was our hearse...
{best. picture. ever.}
the ghost tour was definitely the highlight of our trip.
i wish every SINGLE weekend was a getaway with friends :) 
silly, fuzzy hats
love her so much!

hope this inspires someone to go to the lovely savannah, and take a ride in a hearse!
Friday, January 6, 2012

what christmas really means...

christmas to me is all about family.
seeing all my nieces and nephews light up with every gift handed their way is priceless.
we have 9 nieces and nephews... nine! so there are loooooots of gifts!

this christmas i was ready to be home! i miss my family so much and anytime we travel home i am just filled with excitement.
here are some images of our family, and the joy we all share together during the holidays-
lauren getting cool-whipped in the mouth. my favorite thing about this photo is my moms face! hilarious :)
a christmas ornament that speaks volume. needless to say, there will never be a greater meaning to any decoration my momma displays!
the complete joy of my heart... ella, ava, lauren, ethan (holding amos), christian, and savannah.
my family. couldn't go a day without them. me, brooke, dad, mom, missi, and michelle.
brooke and derek, and their newest addition, amos.
amos sleeping on his momma's stocking... such a precious pup!
and my little christmas angel, emmylou. she thinks she is hot stuff when she gets to 'wear' anything... even if it is just a red velvet bow!
the sisters stockings... the same stockings since we were born. mine is the santa claus on the end and i love it so much! my mom does SO good filling our stockings, and always has. notice the philosophy boxes sitting in front of each one... see what i mean! there was also philosophy inside... doesn't get any better than that!
my love... on christmas, and every other day of the year!
nana jane and reagan baking gingerbread cupcakes... and oliver trying to help in any way possible.
beautiful reagan and her masterpiece.
aly, reagan, and ellie - all just the sweetest little girls!
 SOOOOOOO ready to open gifts!
skyping mark and anita and all the california family!

hope everyone's holiday was as fun as ours!

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