Jun 28, 2011

Giveaway Time!!!

I'm beyond obsessed with Sheridan French and her darling blog!  And her cray cray super fun clothing line!  I'm pretty sure we could all be best friends forever if I ever met her.  Maybe I will go to Ft. Worth and just see.  Anyway, she's having a giveaway of one of her pieces.  I'm loving her Georgina dress and also the Claire dress seen HERE

Tuesday Tutorial: Custom Headboard

*sigh*  I have been pining for this $4,000+ Oly Ingrid headboard for months.  And my MIL offered her employee discount for this Berhardt Madison headboard.  It just wasn't the same, and if I am going to spend hundreds of dollars on any furniture, it better be what I want.  The I came across Grace Bonney's genius custom upholstered headboard at Design Sponge (DIY awesomeness!).  Since I wanted the nail head look instead of the padding, I followed Centsational Girl's instructions for her master bedroom redo.  Somehow I convinced Philip this would be perfect in our bedroom between the windows.  How did that happen?  Anyway, I'm super glad he wanted to start right away.  He cut out the frame from 1" plywood, following Grace's spec sheet. Then he stapled two layers of batting to the front, along with the linen fabric.  This is about the time I was reconsidering the project.  It just didn't look very finished.  Enter the nail head trim.
I started by watching Grace's video, then I got the tools ready.  The rubber mallet is the only really necessary item so the nail heads don't get damaged, but all of the others came in handy. 

After determining the length I needed for each section, I used the pliers to clip the nail head trim.  The metal file helped smooth out the uneven edges.

I used the pliers to hold each nail head in place as I nailed it into the board.

Once the pliers were stuck, I gave the nail head two to three more whacks.

The curves were clearly the trickiest, so I used my extra tools as weights when I was planning the placement of the trim.  Every four or five nail heads, I'd stand up and look at the headboard from the bottom to make sure everything looked even.

Now I'm ready for the legs.  All in all I am super pleased with the results.  It really needed the added trim to give it a much more custom (not homemade) look.

Fabric:  medium weight linen (4 yards in Baby Blue--not sure why it's no longer listed)
Nail Head Trim: #3 French natural upholstery trim (comes in 10 yd. increments)
Batting:  full size batting (I do wish I had tripled the batting instead of only two layers)
Plywood:  Home Depot

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Jun 27, 2011

Tailored Touches

It has been six months of renovating, rebuilding, and repairing. It's time to bring in some softness. I've been putting off making a pleated shade for the kitchen window.  It looks way too challenging, and I get super stressed and sweaty (gross) when I am sewing because I freak out that it is not going to turn out perfectly the first time.  I absolutely hate redoing work, especially when I try to make it perfect the first time!  So I tried to follow Martha Stewart's (somewhat vague) tutorial on how to make a custom roman shade. My window in the kitchen is wide and short, so the formula for determining the space between pleats was tricky. And I'm pretty sure I did not put the rings in the right place, but the pictures were like 1x2" and I couldn't enlarge them.  Anyway, I'm obsessed with this fabric.  It's Covington's Bosporus Toile in Flax. I want my whole home to feel that relaxed, calm, and cozy in classic toile way. Ahhh, I am so happy to see this project finished!!!

My other kitchen project is still incomplete. My hubby wanted a kitchen nook with a bench, which I thought was a great idea for the small space.  So I picked out the lovely upholstered Tribeca bench with tufted back from Ballard Designs (LOVE!). But at 36" deep (and $899), it's too bulky for our 1950's home. We ended up building a frame with the intentions of upholstering it. Well, more like me upholstering it.  After staring at the plywood frame for a month and a half, I was ready to tackle this enormous project.  Let me start by saying I had no idea how to make this.  Google is amazing, and I am consistently floored by the amount of information I can find and apply immediately.  I found a fabulous tutorial on making box cushions.  These are actually portable cushions and not at all in line with my project, but I needed to learn how to do piping--so easy!  I was going to need about 6 yards of fabric, so I ended up getting two large drop cloths from Home Depot.  The fabric is sturdy and much like canvas duck cloth, plus it has a great neutral stone color that goes with my Antique White cabinets without being too matchy.
Long story short, I ordered 4" medium density upholstery foam, cut it with an electric knife--so cool!, measured the top, sides, and skirt for each bench, then I made 12 feet of piping from the drop cloths.  I sewed the top L-shaped piece to the piping, that to the sides, the sides to the bottom piping, the sides to the skirt, and then hemmed it.  Easy enough, right?  Eight hours and lots of sweating and stress later, I now have an upholstered bench in my kitchen.  It's so cozy!  I'm now in the middle of using every throw pillow in our home to make it even cozier.  So far, my favs are the toile (of course) and the pale blue and tan stripe on the far right.  Or maybe the brocade.  Or the flap pillow.  Well I clearly don't really have a favorite, but when I have a tiny round table, I will never want to leave!!!

Stay tuned for my next upholstered project--a headboard!!!

Jun 16, 2011

So It Started Like This

Although it was 99° outside today, I bravely ventured out.  Glad that I did since I was absolutely irritated by the complete ignorance humored by this:
Is it really so?  Because I'm pretty sure comming is NOT a word.  At all.  But the day gets better.  Not one block later, a young girl around 20 years old is zipping down the sidewalk in someone's motorized wheelchair with her legs hanging over the handle bars.  Too bad she was going too fast to get a good picture, but it was a lot like this (*add in afternoon traffic and legs on the handle bars to your mental image).
Then she nearly ran me over in the grocery store while she was hanging a hard left near the dog food.  Wow.  Now I'm pretty disappointed that our city is full of phonetic spellers and people who exploit the elderly, but then the day took a turn for the worse.  Cue the low class individual in the cleaning products isle. I was about 10 feet behind her and gaining when she quickly glanced at me over her shoulder and chucked something into the hanging Swiffer mops.  What?  Well we meet up a little farther down the isle next to the insecticides.  She's holding a brand new tube of Crest toothpaste (the fancy Vivid White kind).  I've bought enough toothpaste to know you don't buy the tube without the box.  At this point she's blocking me from looking at the mosquito spray, so I just stand there and stare at her and this weirdo situation.  She shrugs and says, "This stuff is so much cheaper at the DG [i.e. Dollar General].  You should go there."  I thank her for the suggestion, and she moves on to the next isle.  I can't help but look over the Swiffer bottles to see what she threw back there--GUILTY.  It was the toothpaste box and some gum pack wrapping.  I move down to the next isle just to look, and she is slipping it into her purse!  Really?!  Toothpaste is like $1 (maybe not that specific kind), and her cart was full of other stuff.  Clearly it was time for me to go home.

Last Christmas Philip and I saw a hitchhiker open a clear candy can full of Hershey Kisses and dump the contents into his jacket, throw the empty container onto a shelf and walk away.  What do you do when you see something like that?  Confront them?  Tattle tale?  Let it go? 

Jun 3, 2011

Happy Tears

If you don't already love Erin Gates' Elements of Style blog, you should start now!  She has a ridiculous love of fashion and decorating.  And she features a Runway to Table look with another fellow blogger.  Every time a new post pops up on my Google Reader, I can't wait to read it!  Today's post took on a whole new side to this style blog--real life.  She shared her deepest, darkest body issues that resonate with most of her readers.  I am the one who thinks all the bad happens to me and that everyone else's life is far more glamorous than mine, so here you go.  Proof that everyone faces struggles that go deeper than hating the way all clothing looks in all dressing rooms!