Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Gathering Roses


I fell in love with this fabric a long time ago and purchased a chair slip in it for the kitchen.
I just HAD to have some of that gorgeous color in this old house.
My head and heart were telling me so.

When I saw that my friend, Tausha, had purchased a duvet cover and pillow sham 
and had casually thrown it over her sofa bed...
the pink roses tumbling over the overdyed purple-denim background
draping onto the floor...

I swooned.

I groaned.

I whined.

I wanted it.

My head and heart were in total agreement.

So I took some of my hard earned money that was being saved for something really really special
and bought some fabric.

I flew over to my oh-so-talented friend, Randi's house and begged her to stitch up a king-size fitted sheet 
to cover the cushions in the living room.
You see, a duvet cover was permanently affixed in my mind.
But the more I thought about it, 
the more I realized that I wanted to be able to look at this gorgeous fabric all the time,
not just at night when I climbed into bed.

I wanted to walk past the living room and see those faded roses strewn across the sofa.
I wanted to see that deep, rich, cozy overdyed purple-denim shade warming the room.
I wanted to sprawl across it while watching television.
I wanted to lay my head in the middle of it.

Yes...I'm quite obsessed like that.

A king sized fitted sheet works perfectly as a cushion cover on this old sofa.
I usually have a 'Mon Ami' sheet tucked on it which is just perfect for spring and summer.
But 'Somerset', with her rich, warm shades is dreamy for winter.

Sweet Randi worked diligently at getting the project completed in just a few days.
She knew I was chomping at the bit to feel that luscious fabric in my hands again.

I tucked it in and smoothed it out.
I squashed down-filled pillows into the shams.
I threw pillows here and there around the room waiting for the perfect combination to appear.

And all the while....
my head was singing
and my heart was sighing.

As I stood back with a smile on my face and started taking photos of my now warm and cozy room,
my head started talking with my heart again.

They chat quite frequently.
It's where many of my ideas come from.
The ideas that make my husband raise his eyebrows in wariness
and squint his eyes in despair.

Head:  You need prairie shutters in here.
Heart:  Oh! I agree!
Head:  You need to ask hubby about getting it done as soon as possible.
Heart:  Oh!  I agree!
Head:  You're going to Home Depot next week to pick up replacement windows for the attic.
You could get the wood then.
Heart:  Oh!  Great idea!  I agree!

I can really get myself in trouble listening to them, you know...?
{That happens quite frequently, too.}

I see more prairie shutters as another texture in here.
Earthy, rustic statement pieces.

A beautiful backdrop for 'Somerset'.

Head: the need to ask hubby about hanging that chandy from the medallion in here, too.
Heart:  Oh! I agree!

My husband hasn't a clue that I have these conversations with myself while decorating.
Poor guy....

In the meantime,
you can find me gathering overdyed roses in my living room,
and trying to quiet the little voices in my head...

~  Eucharisteo  ~

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Channeling My Inner Craftiness with Faux Paper Mache Vases

I passed up a Rachel Ashwell paper mache bucket on eBay last month.

I'm still kicking myself.

But being the semi-crafty (?) person I am,
I wondered if I could make one myself.

I did.

Well, sorta.

I bought some pretty dinner napkins...

dug out a terra cotta pot,

and hauled out some Mod Podge from my stash.

I set the pot upside down on a stack of bed risers,

and then tore the napkins into 2" strips, peeling the three layers apart.

Letting my free spirit flap feebly soar while totally winging this project,
I slathered on the Mod Podge,

laid on a strip of napkin, and tapped it into place with my fingers and with the tip of the paintbrush.

Eventually, the entire pot was covered and looking pretty ugly.
My inner-craftiness was quickly disintegrating into a pile of "What-was-I-thinking"?

So I tried it again on a glass vase.
Same technique.  Different napkins.
The glass was a bit more difficult to work with,
but I kept going.
Slathering and laying and sticking and tapping.

I turned out the basement lights,
and trudged up the stairs ~
expecting no miracles.

The next morning, my wary eyes peeked apprehensively at the mess on the basement table.

Okaaaay....not tooo bad.
Not too bad at all!
I gave them both a light coat of poly and let that dry.

I turned them over in my hands and decided that they both needed more of an aged look.
So, I pounced on some dark wax and rubbed it around, creating a vintage patina.
After giving them a little buff job,
they were ready for their photo shoot.

I'll let you decide if they're photo-worthy.  :)

Glass vase

Glass vase

Terra cotta pot

Terra cotta pot

I am ready to try another one and will be looking for a large pot this spring at the garden centers.
Instead of napkins, I plan on trying it with some floral wallpaper.
Yep.  Totally winging it again.

Looks like my inner craftiness will be getting another workout...

~  Blessings  ~

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Story of a Prairie Table

His wife wanted a table.
A rustic planked prairie table.

A table that whispered of times gone by;
of hands kneading bread on worn boards;
of farmhouse suppers lit by soft candlelight;
of mornings full of bright sunlight splashing across thick planks.

So the man hauled slabs of wood on a sled through the deep snow to his workshop.

Together, they decided to use parts of the table that already stood in the kitchen ~
making the project a little more difficult,
but well worth a try.

Since a narrower table was in the plan, 
his rough, weathered hands unscrewed the old tabletop,
piece by piece.


After it was sanded, stained and steel wooled,
the wife stood back and smiled at her hard working husband...

...and he smiled back.

She set out candles and celebration glasses for the dinner hour,
and watched the sunlight dance across the planks ~

just as they had in her mind.

Her vision was complete.

Her heart.....happy.

~  Blessings  ~

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Prairie Shutter

My new year started out with a list of  projects a mile usual.
I wanted to take advantage of the free time my husband has during the winter
before his busy season begins in the spring.
So, after a quick trip to Home Depot for some wood planks and T-hinges,
Project #1 was quickly completed.

This little south facing window in the kitchen fills our kitchen with light in the spring and summer,
but it also allows the cold of winter and the heat of summer to creep in.
The windows in this old farmhouse are less than energy-efficient,
so creativity in keeping out the cold and heat is imperative...

until we win the lotto and can afford to replace them all.

So, the simple solution to keeping us a bit warmer this winter
was the addition of another prairie shutter.

You can see the other pink prairie shutters in our home here and here.

The Mister built them in an hour's time.
I immediately swished on a coat of my favorite prairie pink,
and the next morning they received a scrubby white-wash of creamy white.

A bit of roughing up with my palm sander,
and they were up in a flash.

Our kitchen is already feeling a bit warmer.
I love pulling them open each morning to the let the pale winter sunshine in,
and closing them at dusk against the cold, starry night.

{♥ I want to thank each and every one of you for your heartfelt prayers and comforting words during the recent loss of my sweet little Sophie. They meant so very much to me. God bless you all. ♥}

~  Eucharisteo  ~

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