Saturday, February 8, 2014

Upholstery Project: Before and After


It's been so long since I've done this I forgot how to do some things!  I don't think I've uploaded any pictures from my digital camera since August and I couldn't find the cord!  Anyway, let's get on with it shall we?  This was my first upholstery project, by that I mean I bought chairs and had someone else upholster them.  Ha!


This is what I started with!  Can you believe it?


You can't really tell in these pics but the chairs were upholstered in what appeared to be carpet.  They were hideous, but I loved the silhouette of the chair and the scale was perfect for what I was looking for.  They were also cheap, like $60 cheap.


I've had this black-blue vintage french ticking for years.  I ordered it from my absolute favorite ebay seller.  She has incredible textiles that you just can't find other places.  What she sells is cream of the crop in my opinion, unique and often one-of-a- kind.


The ticking was actually a french mattress cover.  It still had some feathers in it when I received it.  The beauty of this particular ticking is it can change from blue to black depending on the lighting and what I have around it.  I want it to lean towards black.


I am thrilled with how the chairs turned out.  I didn't have enough of the ticking to cover the entire chair, so I figured this tightly woven burlap would complement my house and the chairs perfectly.  I was unsure of where and how much of the burlap to use.  I definitely wanted the entire backs of the chairs in ticking as these are the first things you see when you walk in my house.


Now it's time to play with the pillows.  Grain sacks look great.


Orange florals look great.


And my favorite pillow in my house looks great.  If I ever get bored with pattern, the chairs are neutral enough I can pull back entirely and not have pillows, go with solids, etc.

I can't wait to transform some other pieces of furniture and maybe resell them?  I have more ideas than time, so that most likely won't happen...but maybe :)

Until next time,

Amber

Thursday, July 25, 2013

DIY Reclaimed Wood Shelving


We are in the thick of our kitchen update, friends.  It's taking a long time and of course there have been bumps in the road.  I think when you live in the space it's sometimes harder to make decisions because you have to live with the choices you make.  You already know what you don't like and what you'd like to improve, as opposed to renovating a place you've never lived in.  Not to mention you have an emotional attachment to the space.  As it sits right now, my kitchen cabinets are white (YAY!).  I think the look I'm going for is a little modern country with a touch of industrial.


I'm going to make my own reclaimed wood shelves to save some money.  Last Friday I picked up some wood samples from a local company, Vintage Timberworks.  Vintage Timberwork's showroom is charming (think Snow White's cottage) and I wish I could have walked around the lumberyard to explore.  They handle all kinds of reclaimed wood projects and can fabricate for you or you can buy materials and DIY it. The top piece of lumber is douglas fir and the bottom piece is pine.  The lumber comes in 1" or 2" thick pieces.  Grey is so popular right now, but I want a warmer feel for what I have going on in my home, Vintage Timberworks gave me these samples to play around with.


All you DIYers listen up.  This wax is amazing.  Really, really.  The wood samples I got were really rough and this stuff really transformed the wood and was incredibly easy to apply and use.


Before I applied the wax I sanded both wood samples.  I used various grits of sandpaper, 120-220 grit, and spent maybe a total of five minutes sanding just to knock down some of the really rough splintery parts of the wood.


I let the little lady try it out too, not sure that was a good idea because the next day she helped herself to the sander and started sanding stuff in the garage.  No joke.  She's getting too independent for her own good.


I was pretty sure I was going to lean towards the douglas fir but I wanted to see what the pine would look like after the wax was applied.


It was a little chilly when I was working with the wax and it was easy, but I think if it was warmer out it might be even easier.


You apply the wax with the grain with a paint brush.  Wipe off any excess wax and let it sit for 24hrs.


The next day you buff out the wax with a lint free cloth and the wood has a really pretty sheen.  It's not overly polished but just enough of a shine.  I think I'm going to go with the douglas fir.  The pine is out of the question, but I'm trying to decide if I want to experiment with any other species of wood.  The douglas fir is gorgeous in person and really inexpensive.  The overall shelf style is going to be simple, basically a larger version of these samples.  Stayed tuned for more on this project.

Happy Thursday!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Gone Girl



This isn't a book review, friends.  I haven't even read Gone Girl and have no idea what it's about.  I'm talking about me.  I've been threatening to shut down my Instagram account for sometime now.  It hit its shelf life for me.  Expired.  No good.  No more.  One morning I logged in and just hit that delete button.  It's been very liberating, not being bogged down by feed!


Isn't weird how you can be so into something that it kind of becomes part of your day, part of your routine, and then just like that you're over it?  I guess it isn't that weird for me.  I'm fickle and change my mind on a whim.  Instagram was so fun for me at first and then slowly it became a major time waster, a conflict creator between mutual friends, not inspiring, or fun.  The problem is, there is no context.  You don't get the whole story.  You get a snapshot and a caption.  I've watched friendships end, including some of my own.  I've read countless blog posts written by successful women not feeling adequate or good enough and I think so much of their feelings come from the constant flood of feed that isn't really reality.  There is a lot of negative comparison that goes on.  It was becoming more show, less sincerity.  Life isn't perfectly composed and I started to feel like there was too much fluff.  I'd rather spend my time with these two pictured above and I'd rather document in my heart, not pictures.  I don't want my girl's memories of me to be dominated with me bossing her to stand this way, to look that way, to do whatever, so I can take a picture to share with people who are, for the most part, strangers.  I don't want to be engaged with people I don't really know at that level I guess.  I'm a private person, but since I've started this blog have been trying to put myself out there more for some reason, which at times has been thrilling.  I've been getting out of my comfort zone, but after some thought, I'm not really sure why.   Why do I need to get out of my comfort zone?  I like it here.  Why can't I have greatness in the simplicity of my little life I've created?  Maybe all those pinterest things that tell you life doesn't start until you get out of your comfort zone have something to do with it!  I'm over those too.


The bottom line is I'm pretty introverted, with moments of extroversion spattered throughout my life and social media outlets like Instagram don't work for my type.  I don't want to see a play-by-play of others lives or share a play-by-play of my own.  I want to live and be inspired.  I want to share my ideas in a more intimate way, like on this blog, and I have to be "feeling it" to do so, not on a M-W-F schedule.  This has never been a place where I look for likers, just connections, whether it be one connection or a bunch.  Am I the only one who feels this way?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.  Does it become too much for any of you, enough that you want to just stop it all and just live!?  A friend shared this article and I thought it was so great I wanted to share.  Number 1 on the list is huge.  Happy people don't concern themselves with other peoples business, well that is what social media relies on... you being concerned with other peoples business... good food for thought!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend, whoever you are out there reading...if you are!

I hope to get back to this.  I miss writing and clearly I'm out of practice!

XO,
Amber

(I love this picture of my girl above.  Her snaggletooth, it was hanging on by a thread and literally just fell out of her mouth last week.  It was so funny looking and everyday it would get lower and lower.  It was ridiculous, but now that it's gone I miss it!  Funny little tooth!)





Thursday, May 2, 2013

Libby Mae & Buster Truman


We have two new additions to our family, the white one is Buster Truman and the tan one is Libby Mae.

We only planned on getting this sweet girl, but on the way to my parent's I mentioned to my husband that it might be better to get two puppies if the breeder had two left.  He didn't shut me down immediately so that meant there was a chance!  Haha!


My logic:  We would be going through the puppy phase with one dog and it wouldn't be that much more work with two at the same time.  Two puppies might minimize the whining and crying and separation anxiety that comes with taking a puppy away from its mother.  They are little, how much work could it be?


I'm not sure if my logic was correct!  It's like having twin babies that just learned to crawl!  They are both so little, there are many hazards that could hurt them right now.  Buster almost slipped through my back fence the other day. They do keep each other company though and play together and cuddle together when they sleep.  There's lots of shenanigans going on!  Anything that dangles is something to play with, pant legs, ruffly socks, laptop cords...the skirt of my sofa!  I may be getting rid of my sofa sooner than I planned!  Yippee!  I don't like what I have and have been wanting a new sofa for years!  Haha!


This guy.  He is so sweet.  I'm glad we got him.  Libby is a little more independent and somewhat standoffish, which is fine, she stays out of trouble that way!  Buster is curious and loving and he likes to eat.  He lets Sutton hold him like a baby and put him in a baby carrier.  He just goes with the flow.  Libby is going to be easier to potty train I think.  This guy is going to take awhile.  Libby will sit in one place if she is unsure.  Buster follows his sniffer where ever it takes him.

These two will definitely be keeping me on my toes for awhile!

Happy Thursday!


Monday, April 22, 2013

Black, White, and Flamingo Pink



My little sweetie is turning six soon!  She's getting a big gift.  I'm sure I'm totally unprepared and it's going to rock my world for a while.  We're getting her a puppy!  Our baby dog is up in Nor Cal near my parent's so we will have a simple mini party with them and our new pooch her birthday weekend.  Once we get back we are going to have a very, very, small celebration with a handful of girly girls from her class.  I'm doing things backwards here.  We don't have invites or a date, but we've got favors!


Whatever we end up doing will be outside in our backyard.  We will have a s'mores bar with an over the top marshmallow roast in lieu of birthday cake.  The linens above just came together and have been a fun starting point for the get-together.  Love it when that happens.  The black and white stripe is Ikea fabric.  I will not sew it, just cut it to fit the table, if that is even necessary.  I'm going for this kind of vibe, but less wedding-like and more birthday-like :)The linens will be layered.  Black and white stripe on the bottom, vintage floral tablecloth on top, the ric-rac trimmed dot napkins will be used somehow, someway.  One of nice things about small parties in your home is you can use real plates and linens, even with six year olds. 


And you can go a little overboard with the favors.  The girl had a lot of input here, as she should.  We bought almost all of the favors on a recent trip to Scottsdale in this small, but mighty fun store.


These are girly girls I'm talking about.  Sutton picked out a pink nail polish for each of them.


These are so fun, not included in the favor, but we'll use these at the party.  The birthday girl picked out a "6" for herself.  Her guests will get a star.


I try to avoid sweets, but one small sweet treat won't hurt.


Little lip glosses


These little things are so funny and random!  I love that Sutton wanted these.  Babies and flamingos, why not?!


Where the babies and flamingos will sleep inside the favor boxes.  We don't want them to get lost in there!


We also included a gift certificate for each girl to get a pedicure at a nearby nail salon.  I cannot explain to you how much Sutton loves to get a pedicure, it makes her day.  We wanted to share that joy with her friends.


We packaged everything up in these fun popcorn boxes, stapled them shut, added some jute webbing and an Instagram pic for fun.  I got an email last week from Walgreens with a coupon to try their new Instagram photo printing service.  It was so great.  I uploaded this picture from IG and my 4x4 prints were ready the next day (I think you can get one hour service, but I did this late at night).

Now we just need to figure out the rest of the details.  It's kind of great doing this ahead of time, one less thing to worry about as the actual event gets closer.

XO,
Amber

Monday, April 15, 2013

In Heavy Rotation Around Here


I have a super yummy one for you, friends.  My mouth likes it as much as the Real Simple corn salad.  We eat many vegetarian meals in our household.  It's not forced.  I don't consciously plan meatless days into my meal plan.  It's just the way we eat.  This is my fave right now.  Basically you put what's on the left into what's on the right and put it in the crockpot for 4hrs.  It is so good and SO easy!  I've been making this a lot on the day I work in Sutton's class.  On a super busy day it is so nice to come home to dinner already made.

Ingredients:

4 orange bell peppers
1 chopped zucchini
1 can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 chopped green onions
1 cup of crumbled feta
1 prepared box of rice pilaf
1 chopped clove of garlic
1 tsp dried oregano

Directions:

Cut off the tops of the bell peppers and remove the seeds.  Chop the small amount of bell pepper around the stem and toss into a bowl.  Add all the other ingredients to the bowl and mix up.  Spoon the mixture into the bell peppers.  It helps to cut off a little of the bottom of the bell peppers before you fill them, so they can stand up straight in the crockpot.  Place the stuffed peppers into the crockpot and cook on high for four hours.  You will have left over stuffing which is also great by itself.  You might be able to fill one more bell pepper, but I haven't tried it yet.

The original recipe is from Martha Stewart.  You can find it here.  I made some changes on accident and now this is just the way I make this meal.

Hope you enjoy!

XO,
Amber


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Little Miss S Big Girl Room Ideas

Have you guys heard of Olioboard?  I played around with it this morning and it was so fun!  I put together this board for my girl's room.  Her room is bad.  I had it professionally painted when she was a baby (5 years ago) to match her crib bedding, which was cute when she was in a crib but that has been long gone and now there are so many different things going on in her room.  She doesn't care one bit, but it drives me nuts.  It's time to give baby girl an upgrade.  Most of this stuff I have been collecting for years, it just needs to be pulled together in one place!  These are just ideas I have, I'm not sure if this is what we'll end up with, but it was fun to pull it together digitally in one place.  Sometimes I need to see everything together before I can make decisions.  Many items I buy for my house are from Ebay.  If you haven't given Ebay a shot you are missing out.  I ALWAYS check Ebay before buying other places.  You can find unique one-of-a-kind items and textiles that can really make your home different.

1- Ebay 2- Home Depot 3- Young America 4- Barn Light Electric 5- Ikea 6- Ebay 7- Anthropologie 8- Ebay (this is vintage fabric and it's gone, however this is my favorite vintage textile dealer) 9- RH Baby and Child 10- Window Seat 11- House of Antique Hardware  12- Warehouse Fabrics 13-Ebay 14-Ebay

Happy Wednesday!

XO,
Amber