Thursday, February 24, 2011

More Wedding Pinwheels

Seems like all my time is going to pinwheels these days!
Not exactly true...but only 44 more days to complete all the projects!

I've also been working on the dress.  Emily wanted the black sash removed and decided she wanted a red and teal sash added to the wedding dress.

I had to open up the sides and the zipper of the dress to get all the pieces out! YIKES!

There was no other way to remove the pieces...just very carefully with the seem ripper. I also needed the pieces to use as a pattern to create a new sash that looked similar to the black one.

Emily wanted the red satin to be the main back ground color and have the teal color peeking out between the rows.  Not exactly the most simple solution, but after much "diggling" (my mother-in-laws word for small, hard handwork) I was able to come up with a solution.

It meant ironing the red into an accordion style sash, then cutting the teal pieces so they would slide into the "pockets" of the red....stitching them all down to lay flat and stay in place.

I have it all put back together, but I still need to get it put back into the dress...but I'll wait until the final fitting so that it all fits Emily perfectly.

The end result...Emily is happy with the change!  Now...on to the next project!

Till tomorrow,
P.S. Yes, Jared, these pictures have been altered so you can't see what the dress looks like!  :~}

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Birthday Surprise

I've been working on so many projects lately.  Wedding items seem to get the most time these days, but I've also had 6 birthdays in the month of I'm in the middle of recovering a chair!

My friend Kathy's birthday is in February...and she is an avid quilter and lover of old quilts!
Several months ago she brought me a bag filled with handkerchiefs that once belonged to her grandmother.  She said she just KNEW I would find something to do with them. 

She also had a few she "set aside" because they held special meaning to her and she told me that she would like to have them "returned". ( I knew that meant in another form!)
I put them all the handkerchiefs into a jar - thinking if I saw them on a regular basis they would stay on my radar and I would make her something.

Of course, the jar got moved to a shelf...still within eyesight...but truly off my immediate to do list.

Enter the planning of surprise party for her!  I knew I better get busy. 

 I had this old cutter quilt I previously purchased in Louisiana so I cut out the very best part of it to use as a starting point for my gift for Kathy.

She loves vintage quilts, so using this old one as the base was perfect!  There is just something about the feel of vintage linens and old quilts.  The softness and love that pours from the fabric is tangible!

I toke the old handkerchiefs that Kathy had set aside and ironed double fusible webbing on the back. I cut each of them into hearts, using the best parts of the handkerchief.

Once all the hearts were arranged, I ironed them onto the quilt top.

Th lighter ones didn't show up as well as I liked, but I also knew I wanted to trim out each heart with vintage laces and trimmings.

I went to my lace stash and  pulled out a variety of vintage lace and trims.

I chose a lace or trim that would look good surrounding each of the hearts.  Rather than ruin the look and feel of the vintage piece by using my sewing machine, I hand sewed the trim around the hearts to complete the piece. 
Wrap it up...and off to dinner.

Let the Party begin.  The table was set,

the dessert and meal prepared...and the guest were in hiding until Kathy showed up!


Wonderful food and great conversation.  I think the evening was a success...and the surprise was complete - party and gift!

Till tomorrow...

Friday, February 11, 2011


Since uncovering this "lovely" sub-floor in the upstairs bathroom, I've become obsessed with plotting what direction to take to refinish this bathroom floor.
I have several ideas swirling around in my head. 

I'm not afraid of "floor work"...At one point a few years back it seemed like all I was doing was "floor work."  This was one of the big floor projects I worked on a couple of years ago.

When we pulled the carpet up in this room, there a really ugly (and damaged)  floor underneath. Once the floor was cleaned of all staples and extra nails, we spent a lot of time bleaching out the old "animal" stains. We were finally able to sand the floors and  lay the grid lines. My daughter and I started with the darker of the two stains (Jacobean) and rolled it on first.  Once the dark stain was dry we rolled on the lighter stain (Pecan) over the whole floor.

The floor was then sealed with polyurethane.

This is truly one of my favorite floors.  Too bad furniture had to be moved in! HA!

My husband and son-in-law laid this floor.  When we pulled the carpet up in this room there was an old porch hiding underneath, but it was also covered with plywood.  So the decision was made to lay a new pine floor to match the flooring in the rest of the house.

On this floor I only masked off the outer perimeter, then stained it all Jacobean to match the color of the other hardwoods in the home.

Simple, but dramatic.

My next floor I worked on was again a total re-do.  After the carpet was removed, and once again millions of staples were pulled (the previous homeowners had stapled down the carpet padding!).  We rented a large belt sander from Home Depot and went to work.

The old floor came out beautifully once it was fully sanded and cleaned up.  (Notice ALL the dust along the edges of the walls!)  Sanding is messy work, but very rewarding!

The next step in here was applying the dark stain.

My son-in-law helped me wipe on the stain.  We eached worked from the sides to the middle and were able to adjust our color and intensity to match each other's strokes.  Having help makes the job go so much quicker.

We ran out of stain and had to make a Home Depot run, but all ended well as we worked out way out the door and into the hallway.
Most floor work is a lot of elbow grease but is very satisfying work.

Once the stain was completely dry, I used an over sized stencil in each corner as a decorative accent.

The design is painted on top of the stain, before the polyurethane is applied.

Again, in this small bath, the carpet was removed and the floor was sanded.  We had to use a palm sander in here because of how tight the space is!  I used the same stencil in here that I used in the bedroom...but I masked off some areas (so not to paint them) and turned it upside down to create another look.

The last floor project I worked on was again in a small bathroom that also had carpet.  When we pulled the carpet back to take a peek at the floor we saw what we thought to be a "nice pine floor" 

However, after pulling all the carpet out, there was a big square of plywood in front of the shower.

Well...Plan B better always be an option! So instead of refinishing the floor, I ended up painting the floor all white.  I also chose to hand painted a design in front of the sink instead of using a stencil.

 I also decided that rather than hidingthe fact there was a large piece of plywood right in the middle of the floor, I would play it up by making it look like a small bathmat in front of the shower.
I hand painted another design on the plywood and added the word "shower"...
I thought it turned out pretty cute!
Of course, looking back at these floors I want to find some "new" floor ideas.   I have found there were many others in blog land that had already thought about and/or completed the painting of a plywood floor.  Many bloggers gave pointers, step by step instructions, and some even listed the pitfalls of painted plywood.
But...the more I looked the more I thought that maybe I should pull out ALL the carpet upstairs. 
(My husband is NOT amused!)  Oh well...he'll go to work one day, and....................

Here are just a few of the ideas I came across that I think are over the top!

This image came from Design *Sponge.  I love the over sized design. (That would have to be for the whole upstairs area!)

I'm not a yellow girl, but this is so pretty.  This came from
Kelly Peterson at Paisley Wallpaper.
She goes into quite a bit of detail from prepping the floors to creating your own stencil. She has a lot of renovation work going on and I love her photo of the day.  Be sure and check out her blog.

This distressed floor is also painted a golden yellow color, but I love the soft worn look of the paint and floral design.
This image is from About.Com.

I found this wonderful lacy floor at Design *Sponge also,.
I would paint all my floors if they would look like this!

I think you'll also love Ashley Ann's DIY {stencil painted subfloor}.
 She gives a great tutorial from start to finish about painting a subfloor.
Ashley also created a pretty stencil she used on her floor.  Be sure and check out her blog.

I have much to think about regarding my very small floor...however, I still think ALL the carpet may have to come up (and very soon!)

Till tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Rain, sleet and snow!  Another winter day in Texas...who knew? This is not our typical weather.
I guess the only upside is another snow day.

Our big treat this morning was having breakfast with our neighbor Mr. Woodpecker. 
Mr. and Mrs. Red Bird, the Blue Jay's and various other bird families also came to eat breakfast.  This was the first morning we spotted the woodpecker at the feeders! 

Watching the snow swirl around outside put me in the mood to go on a "spring" hunt!
I certainly wasn't going to find it out my I began to hunt for evidence of spring inside my own house.

I love these vintage towels that hang in my kitchen.  They are colorful and bright, even with the passing of time and use.

A single rose can brighten any spot.  This rose is past it's "prime" but still lovely!

OK, OK...I know these flowers are fake, but they can certainly add cheerfulness to my table.

I thought if I brought out some colorful floral dishes they would brighten our table also.

I think setting the table with bright colors helps with this cold, gray day.

I also think setting the table with different dishes at each place is even more festive!
You can decide where you want to sit based what makes you smile.

These birds are singing with happiness to be inside rather than out in the weather.

But I think the best sign of spring I found inside was this sweet girl planting her seeds. 
She knows that spring is just around the corner!

Stay warm!
Until tomorrow...