March 25, 2016

A Garden Gate

Happy Good Friday!

It's not looking much like Spring here today. We got several inches of snow the last two days and then it added a layer of freezing rain. I kept looking out the window yesterday because you could hear a constant cracking and breaking as small branches fell from the trees and every once in a while there was a 'whamp' and a 'thump' as a big branch hit the ground.

This morning it looks more like Christmas than Easter!

This wall 'gate' used to sit on our plant shelf in the family room.  I bought it on clearance at HobbyLobby a couple of years ago and it's been several place in our house over the years.
It used to be black but recently I painted it with chalk paint to match this little chest and put it above it to balance the desk at the other end of the room.  You can see how I painted this chest here.

This has always been kind of an odd little spot in our house.  It's a hallway that leads from the entry to the living room. It's also right at the bottom of the stairs. It's too small a spot for a very big piece of furniture and so once I put this little chest here, I've never changed it.
But every once in a while, I change what's above it.
I love this French sign. I got it at HomeGoods a couple of years ago and it's been hanging in the hallway to the kitchen. We've recently made some changes in that hallway and I thought it would be fun to move this sign to a more obvious spot. It had a kind of apple green color on the wood trim around the sign and I painted it a dull tan/brown before I moved it.

Some silk delphinium give another pop of color.
I've had this lattice fabric for a couple of years now. I bought it originally to make slipcovers for our dining room chairs. I got it out this week and I'm thinking I'll either go ahead and make the chair slips or use it in the living room. I love anything 'lattice' and this fabric is so fresh and pretty!

And lattice and summer flowers go perfectly together!

Have a wonderful Easter as we celebrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus! May we celebrate His life every single day of the year! Jesus is the Lord of lord and the King of kings and I am forever grateful for His sacrifice of love!

love and blessings~

"Behold, I will set your stones in turquoise, and your foundations I will lay in sapphires. I will make your summits of rubies and your gates of crystal, and your entire wall of precious stones."
Isaiah 54:11,12

March 23, 2016


The Lord put this on my heart to write a few days ago and very honestly, I hesitated. Since then, He's given me two confirmations and I am repenting and writing as fast as I can. :)

I hesitated because this post felt a little harsh but sometimes the Lord corrects us sternly with a desire to bless us.

Several years ago the Lord spoke to me about 'motives.' Since then, I've examined my motives before I do most, speak to someone, go somewhere, etc.  I believe the Lord cares about our motives more than He cares about our good works.

I believe that if our motives are not pure in what we're doing, the work will be burned up. In other words, we may as well not have done it. If our motive is to appear Godly, to have someone else think well of us, or to promote ourselves, we need to stop and get our hearts right before we do anything else.

If our motive is manipulation, we're really in trouble, because control and manipulation are a form witch craft.

Proverbs 16:2 says, "All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the LORD weighs the motives."

For some, this may be a new thought. They've believed that it was a given - that they should go to church, that they should attend the Bible study, that they should take that family a meal - but if the motive is not pure, we've gained nothing in God's eyes.

I think it's very easy for us to be influenced by a society where everyone wants to be a superstar, where everyone wants to be recognized on social media, and where humility and servanthood are not things to be desired. But it's desired by God. 

Matthew 6:3 tells us, "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing," We are to keep our good works secret, not flaunt them, and certainly not seek recognition for the things that God deserves all the glory for.
A few years back I was in a relationship with a pastor and his wife. I knew the Lord had put me in their church as an assignment. I was asked to be part of their worship team.

I typically start every day with worship. And so even before church on Sunday mornings, I was in the practice of spending time with God in worship and in His Presence. I had an opportunity to share this with this pastor, and his response was, "How long do you have to do this before you get into God's presence?" He saw this as a means to an end. His desire was not for God but for the benefits of God.
The Lord would later show me this man from His eyes. The man had a spirit of selfish ambition and I saw the word, "devour."
Philippians 2:3,4 says, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

This is to be our motive; that we first are glorifying God and then that we are seeking the good of others and never hoping to advance ourselves. 

love and blessings~

Our New Chaise Makeover

I bought this French chaise from a photography studio here in town. It had never been in a home and was used only for photographs so it was in perfect condition. I have always wanted one of these and was thrilled when I saw it for sale. 

When you last saw it, it looked like this. And even though it was perfect, I didn't want to leave it pink.

So, I painted the upholstery and the wood frame with chalk paint and covered the cushions with drop cloths. I used the same methods I used on these chairs. (The secret is to sand the fabric after you paint it!) I liked the way they turned out and nobody has ever suspected that the fabric was painted. I used the same colors on this chaise.

And I covered the cushions with drop cloths using the same steps I used for slip covering my couch.
How to Make a Slip Cover - Part Two

This makeover was free - I already had the paint and the drop cloth but you could buy enough paint and a drop cloth for less than $20.

This chaise is super comfy! My son was here for a visit and when he spotted this, he immediately flopped down on it and looked out the window.  And that's what I do, too!
We're almost done with our bedroom makeover. You can see the edge of the track for the barn door in this picture. My husband has worked and worked to get it up. The end screws don't hit a stud and he's had to change the molly bolts several times to try to get it securely on the wall.

He made another trip to the store this weekend for more bolts and hopefully he'll get it figured out this week. In the meantime, he's been working on putting rustic wood all around our house. I'm excited to show it to you when we get it done.

Find out how I made this pillow here: Making Pillows for the Master Bedroom and our progress on our master bedroom here.

Have a wonderful week!

love and blessings~

"Behold, I will set your stones in turquoise, and your foundations I will lay in sapphires. I will make your summits of rubies and your gates of crystal, and your entire wall of precious stones."
Isaiah 54:11,12

I'm joining these linky parties:
Rattlebridge Farm

March 21, 2016

Happy Spring!

Don't you just love Spring! I know I do!

We've had some really mild weather here in Michigan but we all know that warm weather is probably a good month away. So, I've decided to pay more attention to the calendar than the weather report and add some Spring to our family room.

I haven't made any big changes in here for a while.  We're adding some rustic touches with wood trim and beams in some of the house and I think I'll soon do the same in here.
But to celebrate Spring, I've added some pink blooms.

A Spring mix on the coffee table and some cherry blossoms behind the couch add just a soft touch of color.
I bought this ginger jar at HomeGoods. It's a lighter blue than my other blue and white and I love it in here. Because it's lighter, it doesn't seem to be quite so formal and traditional so it's perfect in our casual family room.
I had gotten influenced by how popular silver was recently but gold has always been my favorite so I changed all my picture frames and accents back to gold all around our house.

I found this little pot at HobbyLobby. It's kind of rustic finish. There were a couple of different shapes and sizes and I bought a couple for the deck this summer.

We're supposed to get snow later this week so I'm enjoying the sun today. Have a wonderful week!

love and blessings~
"Behold, I will set your stones in turquoise, and your foundations I will lay in sapphires. I will make your summits of rubies and your gates of crystal, and your entire wall of precious stones."
Isaiah 54:11,12

March 14, 2016

Making Pillows for the Master Bedroom

We had beautiful weather here over Spring Break. We didn't go anywhere because my husband had recently returned from an Economics Conference and has another one coming up soon.  So we spent the week with our family and working on a few small projects around the house.

We almost have our barn door up.  We ran into a few snags but are working them out and should have it up this week. I can't wait!

So, in the meantime, I've worked on some other small things. I don't usually buy throw pillows very often. Every once in a while I'll find something I really like and buy it but usually I'd rather make mine out of whatever fabric I'm using in my room.

I ordered this gold damask fabric along with the tassel fringe when I ordered the blue damask. I canceled the blue when the company notified me that they required a minimum order of five yards. I couldn't use all five yards and I didn't want to spend that much money. I had ordered this gold fabric, thinking I would use it too, but when it came I decided to make all my pillows from it.

The blue in this fabric is very subtle but the tassel fringe had all three of the colors of the fabric and was perfect to tie everything together.
The links are at the end of the post for the fabrics and fringe.

I first made two big shams out of the damask. I measured my fabric up against a king-sized pillow and cut it out with enough to fold over.
I sewed this all around. I then cut out two pieces for the back of the sham.  I didn't want to use up my damask so I used a tan fabric that I already had.  Plus, this damask is so heavy that putting two layers together would be too much.  If you're interested in purchasing this fabric, it was great for these pillows but it's the heaviest fabric I've ever used. My sewing machine would not go through these corners and edges of this back fabric. I would not try to use it for a slip cover. It's upholstery weight. It doesn't bends.  lol
I made an envelope opening on the back of this sham and then inserted my pillow.  I didn't worry about centering my pattern on the pillow because I knew I was going to tuck it behind the bedspread shams. Otherwise, you want to center your pattern on your pillow.
I also made two large square pillows with my blue fabric on the back and the gold damask on the front.

I backed both of these pillows with the bluestone polyester.  This gives me the option of flipping them over and having more blue on the bed. After I put them together, I stuffed them all with polyfil and hand-stitched the openings closed.

This little one I made with what fabric I had left after all the others. I would have liked it to be a little larger but this is all the gold damask fabric I had left.  If you're wanting to make these same pillows and want this one to be bigger, you'll need to order more than 2 yards.

I made one small square pillow with blue on both sides.

The large shams are tucked behind the shams that came with the spread.  The gold pillow in the middle was one I already had (ready-made). It has small fleur-de-lis in the fabric.

I got my French chaise painted and reupholstered today. It needs a pillow. I probably am going to have to make some more! lol

If you're on Spring Break this week, I hope you have a wonderful time!

love and blessings~
"Behold, I will set your stones in turquoise, and your foundations I will lay in sapphires. I will make your summits of rubies and your gates of crystal, and your entire wall of precious stones."
Isaiah 54:11,12

Pentex Antique Gold Damask Fabric - 2 yards
Bluestone Polyester - 1 yard
Blue Tassel Fringe - 7 yards

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March 10, 2016

Beams in the Bedroom

Hi All!

Our master bedroom is almost finished.  My husband's been on Spring Break this week and we actually had a lot of fun yesterday getting our 'beams' up.  And we're both loving this change!
I have always loved the slant of our ceiling and when I suggested that we do this project, my husband liked the idea too.

We purchased 12 8 ft long, 2x4's of rustic white pine. We purposely picked imperfect boards for this project; ones that had lots of knots and even imperfect edges. I stained them with MinWax Weathered Oak and a little bit of MinWax Aged Oak Gel Stain ahead of time and gave them plenty of drying time.

Be sure to do this in a well ventilated area. The stain has a strong smell and it takes a few days before it goes away. It gives me a headache and I wanted to wait until it was gone before we put these in our bedroom.

The Weathered Oak definitely has a gray tone to it and the Aged Oak is more the color of our furniture.  I think I may use less of the Aged Oak if we do in this other rooms of our house.

This was a very straight forward project and easy to do.  We cut the two boards that follow the slant first. They were the only cuts that had an angle. All the rest of board had straight cuts.

We may add some decorative metal pieces to some of our seams but they're really not very noticeable. This is probably our most noticeable seam - right above the bed.  There were not studs in this area to really get the board on tight so one is slightly twisted.

If you saw my last post on our bedroom, I had ordered fabric for pillows but received notice that I had to order five yards.  I cancelled the order. I had already ordered this gold damask as another fabric that I was going to use, and when it arrived I really liked it and decided to make the pillows out of it instead. I'll post a pillow tutorial soon.

I found this French chaise right here in town. A local photography studio was selling it. They'd been using it just for pictures. It's in perfect condition although I don't plan on leaving it this color. It's a solid piece of furniture and very comfortable. This is now my new favorite spot to read.

I have a Pinterest board where I save ideas for reupholstering furniture and think I'll probably make the wood a distressed white and recover the chaise in an off white French linen.

We had taken down our chandelier during this project so I cleaned it and replaced some crystals that were amber with clear crystals.

I hung our mirror above the dresser and added a decorative piece above it. I'm not sure I love it so this may get tweaked a bit.
We bought two 28" wide doors for our opening to our bathroom.  We've never had a door there but loved the idea of barn door here. I painted the doors a soft gray/blue and they're ready to hang. We're hoping to get that done tomorrow.

You can also see my wall treatment a little bit in this picture. I've not been able to get a good picture of it. I will also try to do a tutorial on it soon. I used two colors of paint to mimic Venetian plaster.
So we have a few more things to do and this project is finished.
We are still trying to get estimates on redoing our master bathroom and once that project is done, we're planning on replacing our upstairs carpet, including this room.

I'll be back soon with tutorials on the pillows I made, the wall paint treatment, and painting and hanging the barn doors.

love and blessings~

"Behold, I will set your stones in turquoise, and your foundations I will lay in sapphires. I will make your summits of rubies and your gates of crystal, and your entire wall of precious stones."
Isaiah 54:11,12
Bedspread and shams -
curtain fabric, pillow fabric and tassel fringe -
rug - QVC, Royal Palace about 12 years ago
French chaise - second hand