Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Vinyl Seagull T

I bought a shirt for Eden the other day and while it was cute it was also a little plain so I jazzed it up with some cute seagulls. I was using my silhouette for another project so I used it to cut these out at the same time but you could easily cut them out by hand.

I love this sparkly glitter. They look kind of subtle on the grey but I think they're really cute.


My favourite part is every time I point them out to Eden she makes seagull noises.

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Orange to White Dresser

As with the Catie's bedside table this move brought on a need of furniture. Eden hasn't ever had a dresser because we used my in-laws.  My Mom happened to have the perfect dresser in her basement that I've been eyeing for years, the time was finally right though and she happily passed it on to me.  I didn't however love that it was a brilliant orange. This picture is after I've sanded it and started to prime and in a very dimly lit basement, it's still very bright though (I swear those drips in the back are not from us, that was from a previous paint job).


Using a paint sprayer we made it a nice clean white.

The original handles were incredibly cheap white plastic so I ordered some satin nickel pulls to replace them.  This is the project that I accidentally ordered the wrong size that ended up being used for the spice shelf which means this dresser has been handle free since August.

Here it sits, notice how the drawers are slightly open?

I should have been more irritated and ordered them right away but it just didn't seem that big of a deal.  When you wanted to open a drawer, any drawer you had to start from the bottom and work your way up, Brad hated it far more than I did and lately we've both grown especially tired of it. I finally got around to ordering the right size and installed them and we both cheered a little at the luxury of only opening the one drawer you need.

Here's a close up of the handles.

It's nice to finally check this project off my list.

Lastly, if you need drawer handles I highly recommend this website, D. Lawless. They have a huge selection and their prices are amazing.  Shipping to Canada isn't awesome but I've always been able to ship to the US.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Couch Fix

Guys, I did the greatest thing. To explain let me start by telling you about my couch. I've had it for quite a few years and before that it was my Mom's. She gave it to us when she got a new one. It's super comfy and we especially like that if you take the back cushions off a person can very comfortably sleep there. It's not necessarily my favourite pattern but I didn't have to pay for it so it was perfect.

Only over the years the cushions have really started to look slouchy, especially the love seat. There was obviously a problem there as it had grown in width and shrunk in height. 

I didn't take before pictures so I went through and found these ones from when we lived in Lethbridge but that was 3 years ago. You can imagine how much worse they've gotten. 

Notice how you can see the back of the couch above the cushion? It's irritating and not the most comfortable. I didn't think anything could be done about it though so we dealt with it. 

Flash forward and I've started to upholster furniture. I currently have the ugliest duckling of couches in my garage just waiting to be made a swan. While I'm waiting for fabric I've been researching. I plan on adding buttons to the cushion but I didn't know how to do that so I searched and found this amazing post about how a woman took her slouchy, old cushions (just like mine) and added buttons. It looked brand new! 

My couch has arm rest covers but they ALWAYS ended up on the floor so years ago I put them away. I pulled one out and was shocked at how much cleaner it was than my couch so I took all the covers off and washed them with bleach. Once that was done I cut up the armrest cover to make covered buttons. Then I used this easy video tutorial to tie on my buttons. There are buttons on the back too so the cushions are still double sided. My love seat cushion had some tearing so I added some batting and did a little mending but nothing major. 

I can't believe the change! (After this picture I took the buttons off and moved them out wider, you'll see the difference later but this shows the throw pillows well)

That left just one last irritation. The throw pillows on this couch are huge, see on the above picture? They barely fit on the couch and fall off really easy because they're so wide. They are so tall that they sort of bend in the middle and they are constantly in the way so they get put on the floor all the time. To fix them I unpicked two sides of the covers, leaving the other two as is, and washed them. I took the pillow forms (just some bunched up batting now) and cut 4 inches off two sides. Then I wrapped it in a new layer of batting. I cut 4 inches off the covers and sewed them back up inserting my updated batting. They're more full and still useful but not in the way anymore.

It's such a huge change. After someone has been sitting for some time and they get up the cushions stay just like that. It's amazing.

Some before and afters.  
It sort of feels like a brand new couch and I started and finished it in one day. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Refinished Dresser

This dresser has been 4 years in the making. 4 years, how ridiculous.

When Brad and I were first married we had two of these Ikea Malm dressers. They were super functional. The drawers were deep and they rolled smoothly. They worked great until we moved 3 times (that takes a toll on Ikea furniture). A couple of the drawers needed some work and they were just so tall and imposing. I really didn't like how they took over the room.









I started perusing Kijiji and I firmly believe that if you look for something you'll find it and I sure did. I found this dresser for $20.


It's here where I mention that I have a very accommodating husband who is so supportive of this hobby. Sure, this dresser has 9 drawers but what you can't tell is that the drawers are significantly more shallow and just so much smaller than the Ikea one. So in the name of style we seriously downgraded the storage room in our dresser and he hasn't complained even one time. In all the time we've been using it I haven't ever regretted the change.

 I found this inspiration picture and kept it in mind for 4 years.

So we used the dresser as is for 1 year and then we moved again. In a productive push I sanded down the outside frame and then quit and we used it that way for 6 more months. Then we moved into my in-laws house and it sat in storage for two years and now finally I'm here, ready for a change.

I took the legs off, sanded them and stained them Espresso. I lined the drawers up and painted them heirloom white and replaced those awful ugly knobs. I had picked up new nobs 3 years ago and couldn't wait to reattach them.

 I have the same blue in my curtains so they're a good fit.

Then I reattached the legs and worked on the base. I'd sanded it really well previously but in the moves and in storage it needed some spot sanding in a couple places. I've stained a few things in the past and every time I buy my stain I look at the wood conditioner and wonder if I should use it so for this project I actually bought it. I'm not sure I noticed a difference but perhaps I would have if I hadn't used it? I'll use up the can I have on future projects but I don't think I'd buy it again.

Look, an actual picture with me in it! How crazy. Wish I had a little make up on but whatever.


I only used one coat of the stain and then I put on three coats of varathane. I think that's the key, I love a satin finish and the three coats gave me what I was going for. I think the picture shows the finish really well.

The wood grain is so pretty on this piece hey? The dresser turned out exactly how I wanted it too and we're loving it.

Check out the difference in the top finishes.


Here are a few before and after's

Nice to finally check this piece off my list.
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Monday, November 10, 2014

Red Shelf Update

Years ago Brad and I built a shelf to hold all my craft supplies. It's been really handy and I still love it but we initially painted it bright red, I'm over the colour and was ready for a change.


I had initially planned on painting it emerald green but this shelf sits in my kitchen area and with the couch and chairs and pictures I though it would make for a busy area.  I decided to paint it white instead.

And it turned out very nice, but so very boring. Every time I looked at it I was annoyed at how boring it was.  To fix it I decided to try my hand at a stencil so I bought all the supplies and set them aside to work on the couch and chairs. The shelf got covered (and is still covered) in all my materials and for now I've decided I don't care if it's boring, you barely see the top anyway. Perhaps I'll get to it eventually but for now it's fine as it.

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Friday, November 7, 2014

What the Girls Wore - Halloween

How about some pictures of some cute girls.

Some days are perfect and this was one of them.


I complain a lot about how early Catie's school is but one nice thing I can say is that her bus stop is great. There's a playground and then a lake with tons of geese.

 Eden loves the girl swings.

 and both girls can't get enough of this little squirrel

I spent a couple hours potty training Eden and then quickly decided it's too early and quit. I took this one cute bum shot though.

 We made some dipped marshmallow treats for Halloween

  and they were a hit

And then there was Halloween. You've seen Eden the bunny
and Catie was Sofia the First

The girls went trick or treating and got piles of candy. It was all a success.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Quick and Cheap Closet Update

I know I keep singing my mother's praises but it's only because she's a genius.

Whens she was here reupholstering my couch Catie and I were putting away her clothes. She loves to help but she can't reach the bar in the closet, so she gets a stool, I put the clothes on the hanger and then Catie hangs them up. It's kind of a long, painful process but at least she's helping.

Enter my brilliant mother.

For ridiculously cheap we created this dropped bar.

I had an expandable shower curtain rod on hand so we used that. We picked up some cheap chain from Home Depot, wrapped it around the bar and hooked the end up, super easy.

In some spots we used little bolts and screws but in another we just opened the chain and hooked it together, I would do that next time.

Here's the bolt and screw

 See how I just hooked the chains together?

You can see how the chain is wrapped around the rod.

And now Catie can hang up her own clothes all by herself. She can easily see what's in her closet and get herself dressed.

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Upholstered Wing Back Chairs

I finished upholstering my green couch and said, "I'm done with that for a while!" but the more I looked at my sitting room the more I wished we had slightly more seating. It's really not a couch, it's a love seat that only fits two so if anyone else is over we have to go up to the messy family room. I think it was meant to be when I came across two wing back chairs on a buy and sell page. They were $50 though and I was trying to be responsible. When my Mom offered $15 for one and they accepted though I couldn't help myself and I became the owner of this chair.

Again, trying to be responsible so I only bought one. I figured I'd regret it one day but for now it was the right choice.

I knew I wanted a grey fabric with lots of texture and I'm super happy with what I found (though I took pictures at all different times and it looks different in all of them).

Like the couch I stripped it down to the frame

Here's a look at just how many staples needed to come out (my magnetic dish is my new favourite tool, it so handy for holding staples).

and I'm learning there's a point in every reupholster project where it gets really gross. All those crumbs that disappear into the couch over the years end up somewhere and you're going to find them. Notice the penny, a sunflower seed and the pin? Such nice treasures hey?

The bottom and arms were first to be re-covered

Next was the wings, love the piping.


I finished the rest of the chair and then moved onto the box cushion... oh box cushions. They are not fun. My first attempt was horrible, the second was okay. It's still slightly loose but I've left it for now.

And the finished chair.

And a few before and after's

Okay, now is where this post gets extra long. I was being responsible and only bought one chair but then I finished this one and I had enough fabric, minus 1 meter, for the second chair. It seemed silly to do nothing with all this fabric when the other chair was still available and only $15 so I bought that one too and re-covered it to match. I'm not sure both chairs is the best fit for this space but I think down the road I'll be happy for the matching set.


The ottoman is missing from these pictures because it's in the middle of a re-do and that white pillow is just a form, waiting for a cover but my supplies are still in the mail. I'll post those together when they're finished.

Chair one. Notice my new coffee table in there? Do you love it or hate it? I super love it but others haven't been so into it :)

And Chair two. I think I've finally got the hang of box cushions after this one.

I think I'm actually taking a bit of a break from upholstery for a little while (not too long though, I've got two more wing back chairs in my garage waiting for a friend).

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