October 25, 2013

Making a Grain Sack Pillow

I really like the burlap trend that you're seeing in decorating now.  And because I like French Country and French accents in my home, I wanted some burlap pillows with French writing on them.

After shopping around for a while, I discovered that I could buy two grain sacks at onlinefabricstore.net for $10 each and decided to make my own pillows.  I've always made pillows for my home so this was an easy decision.  You can save a lot of money by making your own pillows and you get a custom look.

I liked these two options because one had a French theme and the other had a cow.    I found pillows that I already had that would fit well.
You can use an old pillow, buy a pillow insert at a fabric store or just stuff your pillow with loose batting.  I wouldn't advise stuffing a burlap pillow though.  The weave is so loose that you may have fiber that pokes through the fabric.

The bags had a finished edge on one side that I actually liked but because I couldn't reproduce it all around I decided to sew over it.

A standard pillow size is 18" square and this bag was 17" across so that worked perfectly.  I turned the bag inside out, measured 18" each way and marked it with a pin.
I trimmed the extra fabric off the top and bottom of the bag and then sewed three sides of the bag together.
I also sewed the final corners for a few inches leaving most of the fourth side open so I could insert the pillow.  I like to sew all the corners with the machine instead of hand sewing them because they turn out stronger and more uniform.  I inserted the old pillow and then hand sewed the bag closed.
If you've never done anything like this before the burlap is good project to start with.  The weave is so loose that you can't see your hand stitching at all - if you use a matching thread.  And this is an inexpensive project to try.
And voila!  The finished product.

This is not a great pillow to cuddle with.  Burlap is pretty rough.  But it is a fun decorative statement.

And here's a preview of the newly painted mudroom with the burlap cow pillow...

We're going to make a new console for this room and I think I'll wait to show you more after it's all finished and decorated.  And show you how we make the console.

Have a great weekend!  Love and blessings!

 "For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills."  Psalms 50:10

I'm linking with astrollthrulife-inspire-me-tuesday-grain-sack.html

October 23, 2013

Making My Own Art

I love Art.com.  I often measure the frames of art I already have and then order something new to fit the frame from Art.com.  As I was shopping their website I kept being drawn to pictures of white cherry blossoms.  After experimenting on a tray I already had, I decided to make my own.

Mark cut three boards for me.
I spray painted the fronts with two shades of turquoise paint giving the background a softened effect and then added a dark brown to shade the edges and sides of the boards.
This is what I had in the cabinet so this is what I used.  I then used the edge of a stencil and added a fleur de lis pattern to the outer edge of the art.

Thanks to my daughter who took this picture.  She had been encouraging me to blog.
I then began to paint the branches.  I picked a piece of art that I liked and imitated it a bit as I wasn't sure what to do.

I used a soft green to add leaves and branches which gave the picture dimension.  I also made the flowers different shapes which makes them look they're facing different directions.  Watering down the white paint also gives the flowers more dimension.

And here's the finished art!

I had my own art in our living room all summer and changed it out this fall.  I'll most likely put it back in the spring.  The best part - it was free!  
This is our living room this past summer.  

"The flowers have already appeared in the land; The time has arrived for pruning the vines, And the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land."  Song of Solomon 2:12

Hope you're all having a blessed day!
I'm linking up with savvysouthernstyle-wow-us-wednesdays-160

October 20, 2013

The Mudroom

Our house has a pretty unique floor plan, which I love.  When you enter the front door, you come in to what we affectionately call, "The Mudroom."  It probably deserves a more glamorous name but when the realtor showed me the house for the first time, that's what she called it.  And it stuck.

You can go straight through the mudroom and out onto the deck.  If you turn right, you can go through a door to the garage and if you turn left, you enter the house.

This is the first few years.
Standing in the room facing the front door.

 It may be hard to see in this picture but I painted, "The Benediction," all around the room at the top of the walls.  "The Lord bless you and keep you.  The Lord make His face to shine upon you and give you peace."  I added a few more sentences to make it fit..."The Lord bless your coming and going.  Blessed be the name of the Lord."

This was the other side of the room.  The door to the house is on your left.  The patio door on the right.
We bought this hutch at our second hand store.  I stripped it and painted it.  
A few years later I edited the wall over the bench.

I wanted a large bench in this room and couldn't find anything.  So we bought a king-sized headboard and footboard and Mark made a bench.  It was originally stained a light color and I stained right over the original finish and made it more closely match our other furniture.

Later, I moved this clock into the room and repainted the hutch.  (The bottom half of it is now in the dining room - painted aqua.)

The door to the garage is on your left.  You can see the closet door that's next to front door on your right.
We were all driving down the street one day when I shouted, "STOP!"  One of our neighbors were having a yard sale and sitting in the middle of their yard was this table.  It was twice as long and the legs were a rusty green.  They told us they'd found it in the river!  We took it home and remade it and I love it!

It was this way for about 8 years.  And then I got tired of it.  I was really in love with blue and white and was collecting plates and vases, etc. and decided to repaint this room.

I first painted the whole room, including the ceiling, with a contractor grade pure white.  I taped off where we were going to add mouldings.  I bought a wall stencil on line and began to paint.  It took me three months.

Mark and our son, Mark Ethan, added mouldings and new closet doors.

My assistant  husband, Mark

Our son, Mark
And here is the 'finished' room.

The angel and fleur de lis in this picture have both been painted black.

This picture was taken before we finished the mouldings.

The other side of the room.  A new door to the left.

I got this 'gate' that's on the wall at Hobby Lobby at one of their 75% off clearance sales.  Love it!  The roosters in this picture used to be painted realistically but they held still too long and got painted white.

I love how fresh and bright the room turned out.  But I had a hard time accessorizing it.  My rule of thumb is to find a fabric I like and decorate around it.  It's a lot easier to match paint color to fabric color than the other way around.  I matched this paint to the blue toile that was in the living room and it turned out a little more 'purple' than I wanted.

You may have noticed that the word 'finished' was in quotes.  That's because I'm going to repaint.  It's been a hard decision because it took me SO long to finish and I really do like it but...now it doesn't match.  It's been this way for only a year and a half.

After many paint swatches and painting a piece of plywood over and over again, tormenting my family with, "What do you think?", I have decide on Sherwin Williams' Interesting Aqua.  The can is sitting in the room ready for me to start.  I think I can do it.  What do you think?

Oh!  And I found plans for a big 'side board' that has now been added onto the list of things to build.   ana-white rustic-x-kitchen island  I think I'd like to put it in here in place of the bench.  We will edit it to be appropriate for this room but I love the x's.  This is my inspiration picture.

I think I have all the things in this picture and no place to put them - except the 'chia' head and I don't want him - her?  I debated for quite a while whether to paint my walls like this.  I think it's gorgeous but I can't spend another 3 months stenciling.  I'm hoping my stencil pattern will show through my new aqua paint and I won't lose it completely!

Have a great day full of joy!

"For I know the plans I have for you", says the LORD. "Plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."  Jeremiah 29:11

October 17, 2013

Deb's Fall Decor

Deb and I went to junior high and high school together many, many years ago. I can remember around 7th grade trying to time my walk to school so that I would run into her and we could walk together.
We found each other on Facebook several years ago and have enjoyed staying in touch since then. She and her husband, Brad, still live in our hometown of Northglenn, Colorado. They've been married for 37 years and have two beautiful grand children.
Deb often posts family events on Facebook and I have enjoyed seeing the cute things they've done with their yard and house. I asked her if I could share some of these things with you.

They often have family gatherings on their back porch and it's always decorated for each holiday. I love the warm touches of red for fall.

I think the chalk board pointing the way to the smores is such a cute idea!

And don't you know that cute plaid thermos is filled with something delish!?

A tractor seat holding a pumpkin.

An old cream can and a basket of mums.

And in their front yard, this guy makes an annual appearance! Deb tells me people stop and take pictures of him.

A shelf above the stairs in her house.

A bowl of scare crows.
One of their best ideas is a horse trough turned into a great outside fireplace! Deb's husband, Brad, cut the bottom out of the trough so they could sink it down into the ground to make it the height they wanted. They then propped the (removed) bottom up with cinder blocks and installed the burner tube for the natural gas on top of that. They covered that with gravel and a layer of glass fireplace rock. They went with the clear glass so it would look like ice. Deb said, "We'd wanted a fire-pit for several years but couldn't find anything we loved. We thought about doing it in brick but that didn't really go with our eclectic *hillbilly* style. This is perfect for our yard. All of our friends and relatives love sitting around it and it's a huge hit with the kids! "
I think it's great!
My thanks to Deb for sharing her pictures with me! I'm sure I'll be wanting to borrow them again when she decorates her porch in the spring!
Have a wonderful, blessed day!
The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. Therefore, my heart exults and with my song I shall thank Him. Psalms 28:7