Posts Tagged With: Dining Room

The Chair Seat Thief

Saturday morning I got a text from my SIL (sister-in-law) Lindsee. She’s pretty good at flattery…she must know it will get her everywhere with me.

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She sent me a picture that looked something like this one that I took when I got to her house

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Good thing she sent me the picture. We didn’t need the foam, just the fabric

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*If you don’t have the JoAnn app on your smart phone, you are missing out! Back to chair cushions. I met Lindsee at Hancock Fabrics on Sunday and we scouted out their remnant table. We found some that we thought matched the paint in their kitchen perfect so we snagged it. BTW, we were right on the color!

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Six dollars a yard! We got 2 1/2 yards plus an extra fifteen inches they gave her at half price because it was the end. Total for the fabric was less than $18. I’m going to use the extra fifteen inches to make some placemats and probably napkin rings. I’m thinking of giving them to my brother for his birthday. He’ll be thrilled…maybe not. Back to chairs.

We got to Lindsee’s house and got to work. I started taking seats off chairs with some help from my niece Reygan. It was also lunch time and when Auntie Amy takes all the cushions off your dining room chairs, you have lunch on the floor.

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I’m not mean. I promise. To compensate I brought them cookies. Plus they got to help! Poor Adicyn just wanted to sit in a chair

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To get the existing chair pads off, I took a screwdriver and unscrewed them from the bottom

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Then we were left with this

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…and this

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I numbered all the cushions and the chairs so we would know which one went where. It might not seem necessary, but it turned out to be good. Nothing is perfect so I knew not all the holes were going to be lined up the same on all the chairs. We could have recovered them one at a time, but then we wouldn’t have a dramatic picture like this one

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Or this one

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See? Totally necessary.

Due to the fact that the fabric had stripes, we needed to line it up. My CDO (OCD, but the letters are in alphabetical order like they should be) wouldn’t allow it to be any other way. So I had Lindsee (and Reygan) measure the middle of the seat.

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She also got to measure a couple kids in the process

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So I cut around the seats allowing an extra 3-4 inches around each side just to be safe and started lining up

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Then stapling

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 Hunter and Adi wouldn’t let Rey play with them. She was pouting (what a cheese)

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Until I asked her to help me

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Stretching and stapling and stretching and stapling and folding corners until I was all the way around it

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When I would get one done, Lindsee would put it back on after Adi would find the chair that matched the seat

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We also had to take a picture of a bunch of law breakers. That’s right, no tags on these chairs

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Hunter pointed out that only I would go to jail since I removed all the tags and handed them to them.

But the chairs all got finished and they look fab!

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Who doesn’t love a before and after side by side?

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Total cost was $17 (I already had staples for the staple gun). I think that’s pretty good. Thank you Lindsee for letting me invade your house and do this with you. What’s next?!?!?

Categories: Projects, Tutorials | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Make it Pretty

I told you Friday about a trip that I took to get tires put on our car after having one blow out. I also told you that there was a JoAnn Fabrics on my way home. Convenient, right? Hobby Lobby was also on the way home, but I drove by. Look at me being good and saving money. I felt so completely out of sorts after that, so I did stop at Caribou for a Campfire Mocha…I get weak in the knees just thinking about it. But anyway, I wanted to share with you my project from JoAnn.

I’ve been looking for some artsy thing to go on the wall in the sideboard corner. Earlier in the week, I had made a trip to the town closest to us that has more stores than just a gas station. I found some fabric that I thought would be a perfect wall hanging there. If you like the fabric and want your own, here’s the link to find a store in your area.

Then when I was at JoAnn, I found this frame

Factor in that this was on clearance, I knew I could make it work

Then I had to decide which way I wanted. With or without the mat.

I liked the look sans mat better, but knew it would be more work so I sent the pictures off for a couple more opinions. Wouldn’t ya know it, but they liked the more work way too. So I set off to work.The size of the frame was 16×20, but I wanted to measure just to make sure. So I measured the opening from the back and it was just a little bit smaller than 16…good thing I measured.

Then I cut up a piece of foam core. Measure twice cut once, I wanted to leave a little room for the fabric to wrap around the board and for the pins that I would be using to hold it in place so I cut it slightly smaller than the opening. An eighth of an inch gave me just enough room.

Just like when I was cutting the foam core for my fabric organizers, I used a super sharp razor blade to cut it for this too. This time, to make it a little easier, I borrowed Michael’s box cutter

I started off pinning. Back in a previous life (about 5 years ago), I used to be in custom framing. So I can tell you that this is how the pros do it. You can totally do this yourself and it will save you quite a bit of cashola. If you are ambitious enough to complete a cross stitch project and then have it framed, this is how they would probably stretch it. So much more permanent than just using sticky back board. Start off pinning one edge so you know what straight is. Then stretching as you go, pin the other three sides. Remember to pull it tight so you don’t see bubbles in the fabric.

After it’s all stretched, cut the extra fabric off of the back. The good thing about using the foam core was that I just ran my rotary cutter along the edge and cut it right off. It was almost ready to be framed. The excess fabric on the back needed to be taped down to help with the stretch a little bit. I just used clear packing tape.

The corners were folded to have a sharp edge and not let the fabric bubble…and here’s a picture of me trying to hold down the fabric and take the picture with my right hand. Oh if only you could see the other 7 attempts to get this picture.

At this point, if you’re like me, you will take all the tape off, pull all the pins out and restretch it around the correct piece of foam core. Hopefully you stretch yours on the right one in the first place. But either way, the piece gets put into the frame and then the back put on.

When I “test fit” the frame above the sideboard, I didn’t like it. It was too small and it just didn’t feel like that was it’s home. I tried one more place and it was perfect. When you come down our stairs  there is a wall. We see if every morning and several times a day and it’s been a blank slate of latte since we moved in. Before we moved in, it was this wallpaper

I think this is an improvement. What do you think?

You can see it from the dining room which ties in with the orange placemat that Lumiere sits on

You can see it from the door in the entry room where we usually walk in the house and the green coordinates with the green in the state art that hangs in there

There is only one question left. Why in the world did we wait so long to put something there? Especially when it cost so little

  • Frame – $10 at JoAnn on clearance
  • Fabric – $5 for half a yard from my local fabric store (check out this link for where you can get it)
  • Foam Core Board – $2 at Hancock Fabrics
  • Sewing Pins – $2 at Hancock Fabrics
  •     Total – $19

Less than $20 for something to make me smile every morning? I call that a win! Now, we just need to put a light at the end of the stairs, so we can see it a little bit better. We’ll get there eventually. There’s a lot to do in this house! If you’re a regular visitor to my little spot on the internet, you may have noticed that I’ve done some updating on the pages at the top. This right brained girl is figuring out this web coding stuff…who knew? At the top of the page, you can “Tour Our House”

Right now, there are three tours you can take. One of the whole house from the beginning and two shorter tours of progress in the kitchen and the entry room. As I find time in between projects here and helping plan my middle brother’s wedding, I’ll be adding the progress of other rooms to there too. Don’t forget to check it occasionally.

I hope you all have a great spring weekend! As always, I’d love to see the projects you’re working on! Post them on our facebook page or tweet them to me. Seeing other people getting stuff done motivates me. Come on, motivate me people!

Categories: Decorating, Projects | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Be Our Guest

Ten years ago today the hubs and I went on our first date. Ten years? Oh. My. Word! So I thought that it was appropriate for me to share with you a little bit about how we celebrate anniversaries. A few years ago, Michael and I made a switch in what we did for our anniversary. We go out for dinner and a movie. We’re total cheapskates too, so we totally do lunch specials and matinee movies. I love that we just spend time together. In keeping with our frugal living philosophy, we buy our gifts for each other at thrift stores. It’s such a fun challenge! The first year we did this, we had a $7 limit at a local consignment store. I got Michael an electronic dartboard and he got me a bread machine. The dartboard fizzled out pretty quick, but the bread machine got used last weekend to make bread for our annual family dinner. I love the smell of fresh baked bread!

When we celebrated our 9th anniversary in October, we went to Goodwill with $10 each. I got Michael some speakers for our surround sound system. Here’s what he got me

The glass is the same as the stemware that we have and the small saucepan is like what we have too so he got that for me. Then there is the candlestick that he got me. I loved it and knew that it was going to get a coat of paint. Well, yesterday with our record breaking warm temps it was time for me to be outside painting! I set up my little paint spot on the deck

It was primed

Then it was painted and there was only one color that this was ever going to be. Can you guess? What does this look like to you? Maybe this?

Of course Lumiere has to be marigold!

My Lumiere isn’t enchanted, but he is enchanting. I secretly keep hoping he will break out into song when I walk into the dining room

Now I just need to find a little table top clock…and a teapot and a cup with a chip in it.

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A little More Christmas

I’m not sure if it’s the procrastinator or the decorator in me that saved gift wrapping to the bitter end. Remember the pom poms that I made instead of bows for our gifts this year? While sitting and watching Revenge one night, I just made poms so when I started to wrap gifts, I would have them. Between Michael and I, we have 6 parents, 7 brothers and sisters, 4 of them have spouses/significant others and between all of them there are 10 nieces and nephews and 6 pets. That’s a lot of poms! Since I needed a place to store them, they found a pretty little home in my trifle bowl. Most of the time I fill it with something edible, but I pulled it out of storage and filled it with poms.

Image from Pampered Chef

This fall when I wasn’t ready to admit that winter was coming, I found some felt snowflakes. While I wasn’t sure what our Christmas colors were going to be, I firmly believe that a can of paint can cover a multitude of sins uncoordination so I picked up three of them. Design rule: Decorate in odd numbers – one, three, five. It adds interest to a space. Then while I was outside one day ORBing (oil rubbed bronzing) my fall soap dispenser, I decided that one of these snowflakes needed the ORB treatment too. Being the resourceful gal I am, I took down our suet birdfeeder (temporarily) and hung up my snowflake

You know I will always share with you my “what I would have done different” stories and this is one of them. There are a couple ways I could have done this differently. The first being that this is felt meaning very porous…very porous. This baby soaked up a lot of paint and turned this into a $5 project instead of the $1 I paid for the snowflake. I should have sprayed it with a sealer first then my precious ORB paint. C’est la vie. You win some, you lose some. Option number two would have been to buy a piece of hardboard at good ol’ Menards for $7 for a giant sheet and used the snowflake as a pattern. Then I would have taken it to my McDad and begged him to cut out some snowflakes for me with his scroll saw. It probably would have cost me a few bags of M&Ms or some ice cream, but would have been worth it. Hmmm, next year! Regardless of the resources, I still liked how it looked with an ORB treatment

Felty but metallicy. This snowflake found it’s way to our dining room table too. It sat underneath my trifle bowl filled with poms

So, what do you think? Procrastinator or Decorator? I choose decorator, but I know it’s probably more like procrastinator.

And you’re not going to believe this, but I have picked out our 2012 colors for Christmas. Thanks to some after Christmas deals, I’ve gotten a good headstart on our Christmas decor for next year. Pictures to come soon!


Categories: Decorating | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Warming by the Fire

I grew up with a wood burning stove. I remember the fire blazing on those cold winter nights and it was nice and warm inside. Since I moved out of my childhood home, I haven’t lived in another house with a fireplace. Boo. I’ve always wanted a fireplace, a place to hang stockings and a mantle to decorate for the holidays. Well when Ana White posted her building plans for a fireplace anywhere, I knew it was just a matter of time before we had one in our house.

Image from

Last week Michael got out the sander and the Kreg Jig and went to work. If you’re a regular reader, you’ve already seen it. My coffee filter wreath and ruffly tulle lights are sitting on it right now.I used Ana’s plans but did some things a little different and still have more plans to make it go a little better in our Victorian house but I wanted to share with you what we have so far. I’ll give you some advance warning that the lighting in our garage is beyond awful and therefore some of these pictures are not that great depending on where I was standing. Michael has been wanting new lights in the garage for when he is working on cars and if I’m going to be doing projects out there too, I might cave and get him new lights for Christmas.

Anyway, back to the fireplace. When I bought all the wood I was headed to my Dad’s house so while I was there I asked him to cute it down for me. When I got it home and in the garage, here’s what I was starting with

I used an electric handheld sander and 220 grit sandpaper to make it nice and smooth.

For me, sanding before assembling is much easier than trying to get into all the corners. I didn’t know where the sawhorses were (although I did find them after I was done) so I grabbed these two chairs. Those are another project for another day, but for this they worked great so I could sand the wood to build with.

After everything was sanded I busted out the Kreg and the user’s manual and made my first pocket holes.

Then I attached the legs to the top piece. I laid both pieces on the garage floor and put them together

Once I was done, I stood it up and saw this

The unevenness of our garage floor also made my fireplace uneven too. So sad. Before I messed it up anymore I decided to wait for Michael to help me. We took it apart, flipped the top piece over and put it back together…even. Then we followed Ana’s step by step directions putting the rest of it together with a series of clamps. We added the sides on. Ana’s plans were for 4×4 posts or use 2-2x4s instead. Since the 2x4s where on sale and I’m a cheapskate frugal girl we went the 2×4 route

Then we added on the first top piece

Notice how we have it standing up so we could work with it? Those are ramps that Michael uses when working on cars.

When we put the top top piece on we noticed that I should not be sent to Menards by myself to get wood it was twisted…bad

No joke, that was 3/4″ twist there.  We got the top screwed down as much as we could but I’m still going to be looking for a new 2×6 for that top piece but for now it works. Bella seems to like it

You make have noticed a gap between the 2×12 and the 2×4 mantle part. This one here

Well, we’ve established before that sometimes I’m not good at following directions. Here’s a snippet from Ana’s plans. I’ve circled the important part

Yeah, mine were not 11 1/2″ wide. Mine were more like 11 1/8″. Had I followed directions, I would have caught this. We thought about cutting down the 2×4 sides  but decided to leave it because we have plans to add some crown moulding around the top which will hide that so we decided not to worry about it. It’s also currently in primer because Michael and I can’t agree on a color to paint it. We’ll need to decide soon so we can get the stockings up on it. Not that we use them much, but I’m making pretty ones this year.

I want to see pictures of your mantle decorations! Whatcha got for me? Has anyone else made a faux fireplace for your dining room?

Categories: Projects | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

2,478 Miles Revisited

In yesterday’s post I told you about our trip down south to see Michael’s sister and brother-in-law. I also (perhaps cruelly) made you wait until today to find out some of the great treasures we got. Well, here’s the first thing I got for Michael

You guessed it. It was sitting outside our hotel so I snapped a picture for the hubs. Wait, you didn’t think I got him the actual car did you? Y’all know me better than that…I’d rather buy paint…and this cute car we saw one day (minus the Tink decals on the window)

Don’t worry, I’d buy Michael his 1970 Chevelle that he really wants too. Seriously? How did this turn into a post about cars. Let’s get back to the important things.

Like I said yesterday, we were living out of a hotel for a week that was 10 minutes from the hospital where Michele was at. The hospital had visiting hours (didn’t know that still happened) that were an hour long three times a day and 90 minutes for the last one of the day. In between were 2-3 hour breaks for us to sit and watch tv, eat or just plain worry and be bored. A few times when I couldn’t stand it anymore I went shopping and sometimes I drug Meagan with me. Michele knows I love a good deal, so it gave me something to talk to her about too…that and Bella getting stuck in walls…and drawers. Meagan and I took a little trip to Marshall’s one afternoon and spent about an hour there. She got some clothes and walking sticks for when her and Dennis go Geo-caching. I found a great deal for Ashley in the form of chevron

A full set of queen sheets for $5! I think she might try a little bit of Rit dye on them so they aren’t so peachy, but they are chevron! I got a bottle of water which doesn’t sound great, but it came in a blue bottle! One more for the tree! I also got some great little boxes that are going to go in our entry room. There are three of them, so smaller and one larger. Sorry, this is the best picture I have of them right now. Once they are in their permanent home, I promise a better picture

One day, I took a trip to Pier 1 – oh I love that place! I have some great inspiration for at least one project.

Looks a lot like some wreaths I’ve see on Pinterest. It’s circles of felt that have been folded and rolled and hot glued. I can do that!

Another night, between the 5pm-6pm visiting hour and the 8-9:30 visiting 90 minutes we found an Applebees to eat at. Turns out they were remodeling and selling pretty much everything in the place! The money went to St. Jude’s so it was really a win-win. Jeremi and Meagan bought pictures off the wall which was way cool. Michael and I didn’t want a picture, but we did have our eye on something else. Everything was being sold as “make an offer” so we bought a light. Do you know which ones I’m talking about? The Tiffany ones that hang over the tables! We bought one to haul all the way back to Iowa with us.

Who buys a big light in Alabama just to haul it back to Iowa? People who pay $10 for said light, that’s who. You read that right – I didn’t forget a 0. This light set us back only $10! I know it’s not some people’s jive, but we kinda love it. Our house is a traditional folk Victorian and we mix a little bit of classic style in with it and I can’t wait to get this hung in our dining room and get a little bit of Amy touch in that room. It was on a track so now the big dilemma is how we’re going to hang it in our house. Enter, stage left, my electronic guru husband.

After a week in Alabama, we had to make the decision to leave there and come home. With Michele still in the hospital, the decision was not an easy one. We went back to Mississippi for a night to pick up some stuff we had left there. Early the next morning while Bella and Bristol spent some quality time on the three seasons porch, I packed the car. Any champion packers out there? I was totally worried about not having enough room for the light and all of our stuff, but I tackled it like a puzzle. I love puzzles (Michael – not so much) so I’m the packer in our family. Here is the back seat. What you can find here:

  1. the glass part of our Tiffany light
  2. the snack bag
  3. my jacket
  4. my coupon binder -never leave home without it and never let it be too far away
  5. my purse
  6. bed for one of the kids to lay in
  7. lunch bag with an icepack
  8. my laptop

You’ll notice the back seat is down and that’s because it has to be. When we travel with the kids, we don’t put them in carriers and don’t want to stop for them to go to the bathroom. Instead we put their bathroom in the trunk and put the seat down so they can easily get to it if need be. It’s usually not a problem, but with Bristol, well I have no idea how so much stink comes out of such a sweet little boy so we did find ourselves pulling over a couple times to…well, you know. If you kids are not of the feline variety, I recommend that you not try this at home.

Then there is the trunk…are you ready for this list?

  1. cat’s bathroom
  2. my suitcase (it’s the pink one)
  3. Michael’s suitcase
  4. snack bag
  5. 9 picture frames from the garage sale Michele and I went to
  6. gift wrap bows and curly ribbons that I found for 18 cents
  7. pillow
  8. bathroom bag
  9. the other cat bed
  10. scratching post
  11. cat carrier – just in case we needed it
  12. kitty crinkle tunnel
  13. the structure of the Tiffany light – this part was wrought iron and barely fit
  14. our Halloween s’more treats – worked on those in downtime
  15. three bottles of Listerine because I got them for 65 cents each
  16. Ashley’s chevron sheets
  17. my blue bottle of water
  18. Michael’s bag o’ tools…just in case
  19. a little bitty air pump….just in case
  20. the three green boxes for the entry room
  21. two pairs of cute shoes
  22. Michael’s laptop
  23. an Amy’s coffee mug that I got at Caribou on the way down (how cute is this?)
  24. other stuff I know I’m forgetting!

That’s how you get the car packed. Gotta say, I felt like a superstar. One last picture and we said goodbye to Mississippi. There’s just something about pictures of the flag and I love this one because it’s on the house of our favorite military family

We decided to break up the trip home into two days so we stopped at Michael’s parents house. We stayed the night and took off the next morning but not before getting some BBQ to bring home with us. Bristol slept most of the way home…occasionally something like this

He makes us laugh, that’s for sure. Whenever we are traveling home, I love timing the trip so we are in Iowa when the sun sets. I have been a lot of places, but I completely adore an Iowa sunset. When I see the sky painted orange, yellow, blue and purple, I know I’m home. I’m an Iowa girl (forgive the blurred trees – it’s a Blackberry picture taken at 70 miles an hour)

Someday I will do a post for you all about Iowa sunsets. Trust me, it will be worth it!

Categories: It's Our Life, Let's shop!, Living Frugal | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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