Thursday, December 29, 2011
Somebody (actually, two somebodies - Elliot was born on her Daddy's birthday) has a birthday coming up! My mind and spare time are consumed with all things fun and girly. Here is what is inspiring me ...
Photos: Cake, Cake, Once Wed, Jones Design Company, Style Me Pretty.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
My mom used to have crocheted "doilies" around her house. In high school, I remember thinking they were atrocious -- not to mention a pain to dust around. But framed in front of black (like these, in Kristen Cunningham's bedroom), they are pretty cool, and would be a great way to use a small family heirloom that might otherwise sit in a closet.
Look closely, and here they are again, this time framed between pieces of glass. Another way to appreciate their lace-like quality without bringing out their granny-like qualities (though myself, I love a little "granny" now and then).
Eddie Ross -- of course! -- has another great way to use them: dye them a color that you already have in your home.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
After we made the skirted tables for my sister's wedding, I knew that we needed one to use as a desk for the office. It took a little convincing to get Wes on board -- I think he was hung up on the word "skirt," which clearly wasn't fit for his man room/office. I eventually wore him down by e-mailing him inspirational photos every other day and threatening to never make him pancakes again.
Not only did he change his mind, but he upped the anty and really improved on the original project by building a super-sturdy desk that fits our needs perfectly (and it looks pretty darn good, too). He's so handy.
You'll have to ask him if you want to know more about the measurements, but the desk is basically two boxes made by 2-by-4s and 2-by-3s and connected in the middle, with a piece of 3-quarter-inch plywood on top. He researched ready-made desk sizes to come up with the measurements for height and depth.
And he used the sizes of the two plastic drawers we bought to decide on the width. He was worried about storage, but with these babies (which we picked up at Target, for under $30 for both), we have more storage than in the old desk.
The rest of the project was basically free since we used lumber left over from other projects, and the cotton-duck fabric from the previously-mentioned wedding tables. We did have the plywood cut to size at Lowe's. Since the desk is so much shorter, it wasn't a problem that I had cut my yardage into pieces. By the way, I used about five yards of a very wide fabric (the bolt was probably more than 54 inches) to make this skirt.
I didn't take any photos of the beginning of skirting the desk, so refer back to the post on the tables for that. Basically, I stapled the top of the fabric around the edge of the plywood, creating a crease in the middle where two pieces of fabric meet.
If I had a sewing machine/knew how to sew, I would have hemmed the bottom first. Instead, I'll use my fabric glue to hem the bottom, using the floor to help me keep a straight line.
To make a pleat at the sides, I wrapped the fabric around and stapled at the corner, and then again about two inches from the corner.
Then, I folded the fabric back and brought the folded edge to the corner and stapled it down. I made sure that my fold wasn't too deep that the rest of the fabric wouldn't make it to the end of the side.
When stapling the skirt to the top, it's not necessary to staple to the very edge of the desk, or to staple super close together. I put about one staple every two-to-three inches.
To cover the top, I hung the fabric face-down on the front of the desk, and stapled as close to the edge as possible, as often as possible.
Then I folded the fabric back toward the back of the desk and secured along the back with a couple of staples.
To make the sides neat, I trimmed the fabric so there was about three-quarters of an inch on each side, then folded it under and secured it with fabric glue.
And there you have it! All that's left is the finish the bottom (which could be interesting) and have a piece of glass cut for the top to make a better work surface, and to protect the fabric. I'm thinking about putting a trim tape along the bottom of the skirt -- maybe Greek key?
Next, I think I'd like to try a round or hexagon-shaped table for our breakfast room. This table (in a foyer designed by Tom Sheerer, spotted yesterday on La Dolce Vita) is my inspiration.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
My second attempt at making roman shades from mini-blinds was much more successful than the first. Here's how I did it:
I learned last time that the blackout liner had to be attached to the fabric before attaching fabric to the blinds, so the first thing I did was cut the liner to the exact size I wanted my shade to be. The also really helped me keep straight lines, since I now had a clean, straight edge to follow.
Next, I cut my fabric so that it was about an inch bigger than the liner on all four sides. Then, I used my fabric glue and folded the fabric around the edges. This is the back of the shade that faces the window, so you can trim it a little to make it look neater.
The next step is to get the blinds ready to attach to the fabric (and liner). If you need a visual, hop over to Jenny's instructions. I let the blinds out all the way and took them off the wall and laid them on the floor, face up. I cut each of the small strings that go between the slats and removed the outside strings, being careful not to cut the lift strings, which are the strings in the middle of the slats. Then, I removed the plugs on the bottom of the blinds, and slid all but five slats off.
Now I put (what was left of) the blinds face down on my fabric and glued the top on first, taking care to not glue the lift strings down and leaving space at each end to reattach the blinds (now shades!) to the window.
Now I measured for each slat (I did them 9 inches apart) and place them all before gluing any of them. Then I glued them down, taking care not to glue the lift strings, and then reattached the bottom by tying new knots in the string and replacing the plugs.
Then they went back in the window! I'm so pleased at how they turned out -- much better than last time! I hope this helps if you are thinking of trying this project -- certainly feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions. It's definitely a great idea, and I want to make sure all of the credit for it goes to Jenny of Little Green Notebook. I merely bow at the throne of her DIY goddessness.
By the way, the fabric is Florabunda in Sea Glass by P. Kaufman. You can get it online here, though I decided to patronize King Cotton, a great local shop.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Don't you love a skirted buffet table (like this one, from Cote de Texas)? Or is that just me? I recently made two of them ... sort of.
My sister was married last weekend and the ceremony was on a patio/overlook at Vulcan Park here in town. There were two lovely map/table/things showing visitors what they can see from the overlook right in the ceremony spot. Do you know what I'm talking about? I don't know what to call them. There were big arrows pointing to the airport and the UAB campus and they were tilted so that everyone at the wedding would be able to see them. Not very attractive, to say the least.
I got the bright idea that Wes and I can make some "tables" -- for lack of a better word -- to slide over the map-thingies for the wedding. The construction part was pretty simple -- just some plywood and two-by-threes. I covered them in simple cotton duck fabric.
I can't sew, but I'm pretty handy with a staple gun, if I do say so myself. The fabric I bought wasn't as wide as the tables needed to be, so I devised a way to make a "pleat" in the middle with a simple fold.
There is a pleat on the corners, too, which was an easy way to make them look pretty seamless. To save time (and because it is kind of windy on that overlook) I stapled the bottom of the skirt to the bottom brace of the table.
I don't have a great picture of them finished, but here's one from the rehearsal so you can see the scale. They're pretty big -- a little too big for our little house or I would keep them as they are -- 44 inches tall, and 20-by-64 inches on top, to be exact. I think I'm going to try to take the fabric off and have Wes make a smaller version to use as a desk in the office. We'll add a piece of glass to the top and a great lamp and -- voila! Instant desk. In the mean time, here are a few others I love:
These three photos: Top, Erika Powell; Bottom two, Grant K. Gibson.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Surely I'm not the only one who occasionally (er, perhaps slightly more often than that) struggles with projects, right? "Struggle" might be a slight understatement with my latest: making roman shades out of mini blinds.
I saw this project on Little Green Notebook on the very first day I found that blog. I declared Jenny my DIY Hero and have been dying to try it out on one of the 4,276 windows in our house dressed in lovely mini blinds. You can get the directions for the project here, but the gist is that you cut all but the lift strings on the blinds, remove the bottom and all but enough slats to create the folds, then put it back together and attach fabric to the front. It sounds complicated, but wasn't too bad. That is, it wasn't after I ruined one set of blinds by accidentally cutting the lift string -- good thing we have plenty of extra sets.
They looked great and raised and lowered like a dream, but since the fabric was a pattern, I wanted to add a black-out liner. So I bought a few yards in Fayetteville over the weekend, thinking it would take just a few minutes to glue it to the back. That part was true, but when I hung it back up, things started to fall apart ...
Um, that wasn't exactly what I was going for! Clearly I need to glue the liner to the top, but that won't solve all of my problems.
After some raising and lowering and trying to encourage the liner to fold properly with the fabric, I realized that the lift cord is preventing that from happening (because it is in between the liner and the fabric), and is causing the major bunching action you see here.
I think I can salvage this one by cutting the liner along the lift string and re-attaching it in three pieces, and now I know I need to line the fabric before attaching it to the shades next time. Live and learn, right?
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Reader Brooke sent us some pictures of a headboard she and her boyfriend made from wooden doors they bought at Home Depot. She was inspired by a Martha Stewart project (find it here and here). I love this project! The end result is a great-looking piece of furniture they will certainly hang on to for many years.
Brooke says, "The doors come in different widths, and so in order to figure out what size you need, see what size your bed is and then divide by two. We cut the doors off at about 36 inches and plan to make a foot board with the bottom part of the doors. We screwed three flat boards across the back to hold the doors together and used the top one to hang it from. You can find the trim to go around the edges and to cover up the center seam in the same area as the crown molding at Home Depot. I think the whole project was around $175."
It looks so great, Brooke!
Monday, February 23, 2009
Sometime around Christmas, I came across an image from Cottage Living of an oval grapevine wreath covered in bittersweet vines. It was so good-looking, but my bittersweet was long gone and I'd moved on to a Fraser Fir wreath, anyway. But, I thought the oval wreath was such a clever twist, and I've been wanting to do something similar.
A Saturday morning trip to Hobby Lobby yielded exactly what I was looking for. They had oval wreaths, and plenty of (fake) Forsythia branches. For just $19, I bought three branches, the wreath, some 20 gauge floral wire and one branch with green and white flowers, just to mix it up. It took just about ten minutes to wire all of the branches to the wreath, and I love it! Hooray, spring!