Posts Tagged ‘home’

christmas decor

I haven’t been this excited about Christmas in ages. I am hosting my family this year, which gave me the perfect excuse to deck the halls of my new house. Turns out, I didn’t have the greatest collection of Christmas decorations, so I decided to seek out some “new” stuff. Most of the decorations are vintage or handmade, and most came from Etsy sellers. Click on the photos below if you’re curious.

Click here to see the full set on Flickr.

Just 4 more days until my little house is full of 2 sisters, 2 parents, 1 brother-in-law, 1 nephew, 1 Nana, 1 aunt, 1 uncle, 2 turtle-doves, and a partridge in a pear tree. I’ve got presents to finish and wrap, guest rooms to prepare, and grocery shopping to do, but my main goal this week is to make this.

Merry Christmas!

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I love handmade Christmas decorations, but I hardly had any that were made by my own hands…until now…

I think I meant to make this felted garland last year…but I never got around to it. (That’s a familiar tune around here this time of year.)  It was not *quite* as quick and easy as I had hoped, but that’s probably due, in part, to my perfectionism rearing it’s ugly head halfway through this thing. That’s not to say that it was difficult, by any means. I just added some extra steps.

I used about 1.5 oz. wool roving in several colors, and got about 48 balls out of it. I needed two pairs of stockings to tie up the roving, and used the washing machine technique for felting. The problem was that wherever the stocking gathered between knots, it created a crease in the felted ball. I wound up with 48 little brightly colored…fannies (which you can sort of see in the bowl in the photo below). Ahem. So I hauled my fanny to the craft store and bought some needle felting tools. I’d only tried needle felting once, at a sheep and wool festival, but that little demo provided me with all the knowledge I needed for this project i.e., stabstabstabstabstabstabstab…

I arranged the various felted balls in a perfectly random pattern (I know, I have a problem), and used a natural, twine-colored worsted weight yarn to string them.

I love the handmade touch they add to my mantle.  

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The dining room has been in progress for a long time. This was the only room that underwent some reconstruction. I had to rely on Dear Old Dad to be the project manager, and I paid him in food and beer and hugs. Because that’s all I’ve got. Project #1 was removing two windows and installing a sliding glass door, and Project #2 was building wainscoting around the room.

I could bore you with the details of wallpaper removal, sliding glass door selection, and wainscoting design, but I’d rather forget most of that and take a visual trip down memory lane, instead…

The Before

pink. and very wallpapered.

gold "candle" wall sconces and hideous ceiling fan.

that's the kitchen through the doorway, it looks VERY different, now too!

The During

wallpaper gone. ceiling fan replaced with Ikea light fixture.

one afternoon i came home to find my dad ripping the siding off my house---surprise!

temporary wall to hold my house up while most of the back wall is being removed.

installing the sliding glass door.

the beginning of the fancy wainscoting.

(Another post written during the remodel…back in August!)

The After

(More info about my stuff on my Flickr notes.)

Before I moved into my house this past July, I already knew exactly what I wanted my dining room to  look like. I just didn’t know I would love it THIS much!

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dining room progress…

The house is starting to come together. Some rooms are nearly finished, just waiting for a few tweaks here and there. The dining room, however, still needs more than just a little tweaking, but I couldn’t wait any longer to start getting it into shape. I just couldn’t look at this anymore:

Now, I look at this:

That unfinished wall is waiting for a sliding glass door which will lead to the back yard. But the light fixture has been changed, the furniture is arranged, and I couldn’t help putting some color on the other walls…

That particular soft aqua hue wasn’t easy to find. It’s Araucana Blue by Matha Stewart, in Behr paint. The bottom half is just primed. The other big project in this room will be to create wainscoting on the bottom half of the wall. But for now, even the white primer is better than that pink paint!

I still have to hang artwork, shelves, and curtains, but I’m happy with the way it’s turning out!

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I found this orange vinyl chair at Goodwill a couple years ago. It’s in great shape, it has nice modern lines, and it’s actually pretty comfortable! So I convinced myself that the orange vinyl was groovy and lived with it in my apartment for a while and rather enjoyed this weird little piece of furniture. Now that I’m moving, I have a whole new idea of what I want my home to look like…and it does not include orange vinyl. (Aqua Naugahyde? Perhaps…) Now, I watch more HGTV than any person really ought, but it still took me longer than it should have to realize that reupholstering the chair was the perfect solution for my limited furniture budget! After a few e-mails back and forth with my sewing guru, some ordering and returning of mislabeled fabric with an online fabric store, several trips to good old Jo-Ann’s, and finally working up the courage to just go for it, I have a new chair! It should be noted that I really have no idea what I’m doing, but here’s a little peek at my process:

disassembling the chair.

disassembling the chair.


sewed a strip of fabric that fit tightly around the bottom cushion.

sewed a strip of fabric that fit tightly around the bottom cushion.


tightly pinned the lid on the bottom cushion.

tightly pinned the "lid" on the bottom cushion.


the cover for the back cushion, all sewn up for a snug fit!

the cover for the back cushion, all sewn up for a snug fit!


my corners are bunchy. im not skilled enough to know how to make them smooth.

my corners are bunchy. i'm not skilled enough to know how to make them smooth.


brand new old chair!

brand new old chair!

At first, I was looking for a fabulous fabric to use, but finally decided to use a plain canvas, since I was pretty sure I was going to mess the whole thing up. And I know all the cool kids would tell me to remove the vinyl and use it as a pattern, but I wasn’t about to take that chance, either. If I botched the reupholstery, I at least wanted my orange chair to remain intact!  Turns out, the chair looks really great. Mass-produced, even! I don’t want to say it was easy…but it kind of was. Being my first attempt at upholstery, I’m not sure if it was easier because the entire chair came apart, or because of the shape of the cushions, or what, but I am completely proud of myself and SO excited about finding the perfect pillow to accessorize my “new” vintage chair!

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new old chairs

I went garage sale-ing with a friend this weekend and picked up something I needed and something I …”needed.” The thing I really needed was the desk I found to use as a sewing table. It was the perfect size and price and very solid and has a little bookshelf built into the side. It’s not great looking, but it’s not ugly and it actually spent its former life as a sewing table!  Perfect.

The thing I didn’t know I needed until I saw it was this pair of wood folding chairs. The seller didn’t know where they came from but they remind me of theater chairs. Well, maybe “theater” is a bit generous. At the very least, they could have been used as seating in some gymnacafetorium for the school talent show or something. That’s vintage enough for me. I have no idea where I’ll put them, but they called out to me, so I’ll figure out that part later. I just think they’re super cool.

The pillow is from Appetite Home.

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