Sunday, July 31, 2011

Love Seat Reupholstered!

It is finished!  My dear old love seat has new life.  My plan all along was to do do it in brown.  It's neutral and goes with everything I already have, but then this roll of red fabric caught my eye.  It would be so fun, but so bold.  I asked Mom, "Play it safe, or go for it?"  She said, "Go for it," so I did!  And I already had red accents, so it wouldn't be completely random.  

The reupholstering process turned into quite an ordeal, as so many projects do.  The pattern you'll see in the "Before" picture isn't actually the original fabric.  The person I bought this from did a decent job of recovering it themselves, but then there was still a layer of fabric under that.  And that fabric was installed well!  Mom spent most of the day Thursday just trying to get it all off.  She ended up with a huge blister on her finger and then later I stabbed my palm with a screwdriver while trying to pry out staples.  After all the fabric was off things picked up a little bit, but we did end up making two trips back to the fabric store, once for more material and once for more thread.  Even though it took longer than we wanted, all of Mom's work paid off, because I think it looks great!  I love that I have such a signature piece now.  Because I do have lots of green in the living room I was afraid things would look too Christmas-y.  I'll just have to make sure never to put green pillows on it, and I do want to get red pillows for my couch, to tie it altogether.  In the mean time I'll be cleaning up all the little red threads that are now all over my house!

Before, and what it's always looked like since I've had it.

What it looked like underneath. thanks.

And after!

Yea, definitely need red pillows on the couch.
Love it, and no more slip cover!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Curtain Call

Three posts in one day, definitely a new record!  But I've finished up another project!  There are a few things about my apartment that are a little odd, and one of them is that there are no cabinets under the bathroom sink.  There's a good sized counter, but nothing underneath.  Since I'm short on storage I've got a ton of stuff under there, and I hate that you can just see it all.  I wanted to put up a little curtain under there, and waited until this weekend when Mom would be here with the sewing machine.  We picked up the fabric when we got the fabric for the love seat, but I waited to get the curtain hooks at Walmart.  It was $20 for 8 at the fabric store, and only $5 for 7 at Walmart!  When we got home I put up the curtain rod and clipped the fabric onto the hooks, to figure out how much to hem and all, but when I stood back and looked at it, it just looked funny, not how I had imagined it.  The problem was that the hooks were so large, they hung down a few inches and you could still see all the junk underneath.  Then Mom came up with the solution, hang a second rod behind it with another piece of fabric hanging from it, not a long piece, just enough to block the view to underneath.  

Now, even though I enjoy be crafty, sewing isn't something I have much experience with at all.  So Mom gave me a few directions and tips, but I did all the measuring and cutting and pinning and sewing myself.  Even though the finished product is just three rectangular panels, I'm proud of them.  And not only does the curtain hide everything like I wanted it to, I think it looks cute too!


Brushing up on my sewing skills.


Worth the Wait

I am not a very patient person, or as I like to think about it, I'm a very eager person.  So when I moved into my new place I was just oh-so-eager to have everything all finished just the way I wanted.  And it has been hard to wait on finding just the right piece.  For example, my bedside table.  I didn't have one when I moved in, and I knew what I wanted: a small, round pedestal table, that I planned on painting white.  I checked Craigslist every day and Goodwill every week or so, and in the meantime I used my step stool, then when I bought my coffee table and end tables, I used the extra end table.  From time to time I'd see something close to what I wanted and I would consider getting it, but then I'd tell myself "No.  Wait for what you really want."  And I am so glad that I did because last week I finally found it!  I'd been searching Craigslist under the furniture tab, but then I decided to check out the antiques tab, and there they were!  Two round antique pedestal tables, for $30 a piece.  I called the lady and set up a time to go look at them.  They were exactly what I wanted, and each one had different unique characteristics, but I decided to get the slightly larger one.  Once I brought it home and got it next to my bed, I really liked the way the natural wood looked, and I think I'm going to leave it that way.
Excuse all the cords.
And now on to my second search.  I wanted to take the lamp that's been on my bedside table and move it to my kitchen table.  I know putting a lamp on a kitchen table might seam odd, but that corner of my kitchen is really dark and I wanted to brighten it up.  But before I moved that lamp to the kitchen table, I had to find one to replace it on the bedside table.  I found one yesterday at Goodwill that was $6.97, but the lamp shade was broken so I asked for a discount and I got it for $4.97.  But I didn't even care that the lamp shade was broken because it was hideous and I had no intention of using it anyways.  And today I found a burlap one at Target and it looks great!  It coordinates well with the lamp and with the overall look in my bedroom.  I'm so glad that I waited for just what I wanted, and that another aspect of my room is complete!

Love, love, love!

The original shade...eww.

New Kicks

So the couch re-upholstering has been, well, going.  Slowly but surely it is getting done.  And after running out of a few things again, I made another trip to the fabric store.  I also needed to go to Target to look at lamp shades.  I need two of them, and I found two that will work, but I wasn't in love with them.  I went ahead and got them just to be safe, but then headed next door to T. J. Maxx to look there too.  I didn't find any, but I did find something else.  Shoes!  Shoes to wear on Wednesdays.  I like to match the shoes I wear on Wednesdays to our ministry team shirts, and this year they're a light slate gray color.  And when I saw these Converse All Stars in the same color, with colorful accents, for $24.99.  Well, I needed to buy them.  And then when I took a picture of them for the blog, I got a little carried away...

Friday, July 29, 2011

Window Lessons

When I decorated my kitchen the corner that my table was in was really bare, and I thought that a window would look good on the completely blank wall.  Thankfully we had a few at my parent's house so I brought one back with me after Amanda's wedding.  And today while Mom was working on my love seat I went to town on fixing up the window, which started out looking like this:

I started out the project with the normal routine: clean, remove hardware, sand it down, and tape it up.  I didn't cover the glass completely because I figured I could control the spray paint can enough to not get paint on the glass.  Well, I was wrong.  I soon noticed a light red misting of paint on the glass.  Ugh!  I grabbed some paper scraps and covered up the glass before finishing all the painting.  And one of the benefits of it being so stinkin' hot is that the paint dried quickly.  But when I pealed back the paint, the red paint was so obvious.  

Original tape job.

Tape job, take 2.

 My mom suggested I scrape it off with a razor blade but I didn't have any; we had to make a trip to Walmart, so I put it on the list.  Once we got there she said I should get this little scraper thing made just for stuff like that.  I was skeptical and hesitant, mostly because I hate the sound of things screeching on glass, so the thought of scraping a metal blade back and forth across glass just did not appeal to me,  but it was only $1.97 so I figured I'd give it a try.  Oh. my. goodness.  That little scraper was amazing!  It took the paint off in one swipe, no scraping back and forth!  And it didn't make any screeching sounds.  I had the paint off of all 6 panes of glass in probably a minute flat.  Success!

One handy little tool!
 Unfortunately, the next step of the project wasn't the most successful.  I waned to distress the window to make it look, well, distressed.  I did not get the look I wanted.  It just looks like a really bad paint job.  I went ahead and hung it up, because I'd worked on it all afternoon and just wanted the thing on the wall.  I do plan on fixing it, hopefully sooner than later, and I think I'll try crackle paint.  A friend from high school, who I haven't really talked to since high school, suggested it.  We caught up briefly and recently because we checked out each others blogs.  She said she's done it and liked it, so I'll give it a try for Round 2.  Thanks for the tip, Amanda!  And you can check out her blog here.

I like the window in the corner, just not the look of this particular window.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Menchies and a Makeover

Today was Stacie's birthday so I treated her to Menchies.  Last time I went I was so overwhelmed with all of the options that I just piled on everything that sounded good to me.  I decided that the next time I went I wanted to make a mixture that went together more.  So this time I got mocha and peanut butter and vanilla frozen yogurt, and I topped it with granola, cherries, strawberries, a few pound cake bites, a few brownie bites, and marshmallow cream.  It was delicious!  And once again mine weighed the most, at 9.5 ounces.  

Stacie's is on top, I'm on the bottom.
 And today my mom got into town, and she'll be here until Sunday.  One of the main reasons she came is to re-upholster my love seat.  I love this little love seat, but it has an awful design on.  I've always had a slipcover on it, which works, but having it redone would have been nice, and it's finally getting done!  Once it's all complete I'll post pictures of the process, but for now here's a sneak peak...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fall Is On Its Way!

Rocking my ankle brace.
In the summer the gym closes at 8:00pm as opposed to midnight, so it's a little harder to fit it into my schedule some days, and today was one of them.  But it was still light out so I decided to go for a walk at the fitness trail at ETSU.  I've always known the trail was there, but for whatever reason I had never used it, it was really nice though and I'll definitely go back.  Minus tons of gnats, it was a great evening to be outside.  The sky was absolutely spectacular, with the sun casting golden rays from behind huge, fluffy clouds.  I wish I had my camera with me, but unfortunately I didn't.  And as I walking I heard marching band music, at first I was a little thrown off because ETSU doesn't have a football team, and therefore no marching band, but then I realized there must be a high school have band camp at ETSU.  I got so excited inside because I just love marching band music!  As soon as I hear it I'm flooded with thoughts and feelings, like the way cool, crisp autumn air feels, the sound of leaves crunching under my feet, the smell of bonfires, and the taste of apple cider and pumpkin chocolate chips muffins.  It's a great reminder of why I love the fall and now I can't wait for it to be here again!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Happy Moments and Mug Monday

 First of all, my camera died after two pictures this weekend, and they weren't even cute ones, so I don't have any to post, sorry.  But it was tons of fun!

Now on to today...Today was one of those dreary, rainy days.  It was drizzly all day, and then every now and then it would just downpour.  One time Brittany and I were downstairs at the office and it thundered so loud we both screamed, and the windows rattled and the light fixture hanging in the dining room was shaking.  It was nuts!  

But despite the dismalness (I just made that up) of the day, there were several happiness moments.

1) Tiffani just now posted all of her pictures from China.  Megan and I's pictures were similar, but Tiffani had lots of shots I hadn't seen yet, so it was fun to relive lots of our crazy moments.  Like the one below.  This was our first van ride in Shenyang.  There was the driver obviously, the nine of us with our carry-ons, and twelve suitcases, all in a small van.  I'm in the very back, second from the left.

2) I came home at lunch and was thrilled to find the latest copy of Real Simple in my mailbox.  Amanda got me a 12 month subscription for Christmas, and it has probably ended up being one of my favorite gifts, because it's like a new little gift each month! 

3) I had to go to Walmart after work and was welcomed by my favorite Walmart greeter (is it sad that I know the Walmart greeters?).  But this man is cute and jolly and cheerful and the best greeter ever.  When I walked in today he said "Well come on in out of the rain honey, and welcome to Walmart!" And it wasn't "honey" like a creepy old man would sat it, but a sweet grandpa.  And bless his heart, he was working so hard and fast to get all the carts dried off.  If I'm ever a Walmart greeter, I want to be one like him.

4) I had to exchange some mascara I bought last time at Walmart, and when I did I got 84 cents back.  That's three more quarters for laundry!  Score!

5) On the way home I saw a groundhog!  I love spotting groundhogs, and I've noticed that when I do, I verbally announce it, whether I'm alone in the car or not.  So when I saw him today I yelled out "Aww! Groundhog!"  And this one was walking, so I got to see his cute little waddle.  I don't know if groundhogs are pleasant animals or not, but they seem so cute and cuddly, I just want to pick one up and hug it.  Maybe I could get one as a pet...

And since today was a gloomy day, soup just seemed good for dinner.  I made a childhood favorite, tomato soup and peanut butter crackers.  I know it probably seems weird.  But when I was little I didn't like tomato soup, and then my mom convinced me to try it with peanut butter crackers, and I liked it.  I liked it enough to try it again, and eventually I liked tomato soup on it's own.  But every now and then, it's good to go back to.  And that brings us to Monday's mug.  Or mug-bowl.  This was a Christmas gift from Jenni a few years ago, and she personalized it!  I guess it's a mug because it has a handle, but it would be a huge mug, so I've always used it for soup.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Night Laundry

I'm beginning to see a pattern in my life: Friday nights in the laundry room.  But even though tonight was the epitome of the life of a boring loser, the rest of the weekend should make up for it.  Tomorrow me and six other girls are heading to Asheville for Jessica's Bachelorette Weekend Extravaganza!  And these aren't just any girls, they're some of my closest friends and the funnest girls in Johnson City and Knoxville.  So add all of us to a king suite in a hotel or to eclectic, crazy downtown Asheville and fun is bound to happen!  I can't wait to share some of it with you, but in the meantime you can enjoy some pictures of our laundry room. 

I've been getting People magazine since I moved in but I never subscribed to it, no complaints though! And I got the latest edition today, perfect timing.

I've been saving quarters like crazy now.
The lost and found board.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Thrifting Tips

 When I posted recently about finding the mirror at Goodwill, a friend responded “How do you always find such good stuff?”  So I figured I’d share some tips that might help make your thrift store shopping more successful.  And I will say that I’m at a bit of advantage because we have 3 Goodwills in Johnson City, so that helps a lot!

1)  Go often – Merchandise is constantly changing at thrift stores, as they restock the shelves daily.   So the more often you go the better your chances are of finding good stuff.  I’ve probably been to Goodwill once a week this summer.

2)  Go at the beginning of the week – Like I said, merchandise changes daily, but Mondays and Tuesdays tend to have the newest and/or nicest stuff.  Many people will donate things on Saturday or Monday, after cleaning out over the weekend, or if they have yard sale items that didn’t sale. 

3) Just do it! – In my opinion, if you’re contemplating getting something, just buy it.  Obviously thrift stores don’t offer multiples and you can’t buy it online.  So many times I’ve put something back on a shelf and then gotten home and really wished I’d gotten it.  I’ll go back a day or two later and it’ll be gone.  And if the item is in really nice condition or something commonly used, this is especially true. 

4)  Shop for potential – A lot of the items you’ll see at the thrift store aren’t going to jump out at you, because they’re mostly outdated and sometimes just plain ugly.  That’s why you have to look at everything as what it could be, not what it is.  Lacking inspiration and ideas?  Looking at decorating/crafting magazines and blogs will help a lot.  You can often find articles that will show before and after projects, and ideas about how to reuse old items.  And I think the more you see things you like, the easier it is to come up with it yourself.  Better Homes and Gardens has a Do It Yourself magazine that is full of crafty decorating ideas, and every so often they come out with an antique edition that shows how to repurpose antiques.  It’s probably my favorite magazine for this kind of thing, you should check it out!

Well, hopefully these tips will help, happy thrifting!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mirror Makeover

Remember the mirror I bought last week at Goodwill?  Well, it's all made over! 

 I started by removing the hooks, and thankfully the actual mirror was removable, like the glass in a picture frame, so I could just take it out and not have to worry about taping it.  After the hooks and mirror had been removed, I sanded it down.

Next I gave it two coats of spray paint, Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch in Leafy Green, which I already had left over from a previous project.

The hardest part of this makeover was finding new hooks.  I looked at Home Depot and Lowe's and didn't find anything I was crazy about.  I ended up just having to get the only ones that would fit.  They don't look awful, just not as cute as they could be I guess.  All in all though, I love my new little $2.97 mirror!


Sunday Recap and Mug Monday

I didn't get a post in yesterday because I didn't do anything interesting until later at night.   Hannah, Chelsea, and Jillian came over because we were going to go see the Winnie the Pooh movie.  As soon as I saw previews for it, I knew I wanted to see it, and I knew that that group of girls would be perfect company.  So they came over and we made Rice Crispies treats, then it was off to Walgreens to buy some snacks for the movie and an ankle brace for me, then off to the Carmike.  We were the first ones in the theater and we had it to ourselves for quite some time, so of course we had some fun!  When we got back to my place we made another batch of Rice Crispies treats and then put in a movie, which all of us except Jillian slept through at some point.  We finally headed to bed around 2am, and let me tell you, I felt it this morning.  I can't stay up late like I used to!  Oh, and all those Rice Crispies?  We put together goody bags for some of The Well students working out at Doe River Gorge this summer, and took them out there and delivered them this morning.


Originally I thought this would be my last Mug Monday post, but now that's not the case.  Yesterday Hannah gave me a gift from Peru, where she went on a mission trip earlier this summer.  It was a mug and it was purple, she is so thoughtful!  I was so excited for Hannah to go on this trip.  She's been talking since the fall about wanting to go on a mission trip this summer, but was hesitant because her parents weren't crazy about the idea and she was concerned about raising support.  She showed incredible faith though, deciding that she was going to be obedient to the Lord's calling and serve him overseas this summer.  She trusted the Lord through the support raising process and saw him provide above and beyond what she needed!  I  know that the Lord used her in Peru and that she learned a lot as well!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Summery Snacks

I knew I would need to go to the grocery store at some point this weekend, I just hadn't decided when, but when I used up all my creamer this morning, I knew I'd have to go today, since I would need creamer for my coffee tomorrow.  I did not feel like showering and getting ready to go out though, it was Saturday and I wanted to be a bum.  But then I realized that even though I hate rolling out of bed and going out in public, I have no problem going for a run and then going out, even though I look about equally as gross.  So that fixed it for me.  Go for a run and then go to the store.  Then I figured it probably wasn't a great idea to run since my ankle was still a little swollen and purple, but no problem, I'll just go for an intense power walk.  So I got dressed and headed out and stopped at the car wash place on the way.  I've been needed to vacuum out my car for forever and figured this was as good a time as any.  Since it was so humid out I worked up a sweat doing all that vacuuming and as I looked in the rear view mirror I thought it looked like I'd just finished working out.  Perfect!  Now I don't even have to go walk and people will ignore the fact that I don't look all that great and my hair is a little greasy and sticking out like crazy, cause they'll think I just worked out.  So I drive by the walking path at ETSU and continue on towards the store.  

As I'm sitting at a stop light I look in the mirror at the car behind me and saw that there was a woman driving and a man sleeping in the passenger seat.  I thought that was a little strange cause it's not like we were on some long road where people drive for miles and miles and you even have the chance the fall asleep.  As I continued watching I noticed that the woman kept looking over at the man every few seconds and then noticed that the man just looked a little strange.  He didn't look relaxed the way you do when you sleep, he just looked really tense and almost like he was frowning.  Then I realized that we were in the turning lane headed toward hospital and would be passing it in less than a mile.  "What if something is wrong with him and they're on their way to the hospital?!?" I thought!  So after the light turned I kept glancing back at them and sure enough they turned into the ER entrance!  All afternoon I've been wondering what was wrong with him and I hate that I'll never find out!  I just hope he's ok.

The rest of the trip was uneventful, except that I bought a watermelon.  As I walked past them, I realized that in all of my adult life, I have never bought a watermelon.  And that is a shame because I love watermelon and they aren't that expensive.  So I picked one up and smiled as I did so.  I also bought strawberries, but that's not as big a deal cause I do that often.  But I was happy because watermelon and strawberries are cheerful summery snacks.

I think strawberries are one of the prettiest fruits, especially the part you throw away.

A delicious sort of mess!  The bowl should be more full, 
because about every other piece I cut I put into my mouth.
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