Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Spring Cottage Decor

 

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow..

Awe, I can’t believe its here again, my favorite time of year! The sight of the earth bursting forth in color, the smell of “green” in the air and the sound of birds singing their hearts out. Today I even heard a frog croak in our garden pond! It was a bit rusty sounding at first, but he finally found the right note. :)

I have been working on getting some spring decorations up that I will share with you here. I am not quite finished in the living room, so that will be a later post, but for now, I will give you a tour of the dining area, all springified …

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Some changes I made to our dining area are the drop cloth curtains, which you can read about here. I also added the little cabinet in the corner. It was a left over from the vintage fair that I didn’t let go. I do that sometimes, if it’s something I’m kinda in love with, I’ll put a good price on it and not back down. :) The cabinet was a mint green color during the fair last year, so that may be some of the reason it didn’t sell. I then painted it duck egg blue, thinking I would have it in the vintage fair this year, but plans changed and I ended up painting it white for our dining room. I painted the inside back a charcoal gray. Here is the before picture of it..

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Below is a picture that has the different decorations numbered, along with a short explanation of how I did it or where you can find the object, if your interested. :)

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1. Drop Cloth Curtains that you can read about here.

2. A chandelier that I found at a garage sale for $15.00. ( I am still looking for bulbs that will look better than the ones pictured. Maybe a jar for a shade? We shall see:))

3. A restored barn wood sign, which I sell on my Etsy shop.

4. The glass terrarium is really just an upside down vase with the lid of a glass canister glued to the bottom. (or top now) The bunny is my son’s piggy bank, which hasn’t seen any coins for years that I painted white. The little plant in the pot is fake.

The eggs are a whole other story! I read a tutorial on how to use real eggs for decorating purposes and so far I’ve been quite impressed with how they’re holding out. I used a t-pin to prick a hole on each end of the egg. I wiggled the pin around to make a larger hole. I then straightened a paper clip and used that to stir the inside of the egg, to get the yolk thinned. Then, I blew into the one hole, blowing the insides out of the other hole. It was really not that hard, though I felt a little light headed at times. :/ I ran a little water into the egg and blew that out too. After draining them a bit, I painted the white shells with acrylic paint. I’m hoping I  can store these eggs and reuse them next year.

5. I made this little wreath out of Boxwood sprigs. Using thin, green wire, I attached the pieces to a larger wire circle.

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Inside the cupboard there’s a cute print of a bird cage that I got off of The Graphics Fairy website.

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I think there’s a peeping tom (literally) photo bomb in this picture. :)

Now, on to the buffet..

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Designing paper scrolls is a big part of my life since I opened my Etsy shop, but this one I can’t sell since it’s a song title. If you are interested in a scroll, visit my Etsy shop to see more. I also do custom work.

I made the little cage out of chicken fence and the birds are from Dollar General. (They were bluebirds until I claimed them. :)) I snagged the cute little Daffodils at Aldi for a few dollars and the Carnations are from Walmart. I am loving the cheer real flowers bring to a room! :)

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I hope you are all having a blessed spring. (yes, we can say that now! :))

Thanks for visiting!

-Mary

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Drop Cloth Curtains

 

Hello everyone! I know I haven’t been posting regularly this winter and I apologize for that. I’ve been caught up in getting my Etsy shop up and running, spring cleaning, and just the usual every day tasks that never cease.

Some of you have messaged me wondering whether all is okay and I assure you it is! I find that I have less furniture makeovers going on during the winter since I do a lot of my painting on the outside. So hopefully once the weather breaks I will have more makeovers to post about!

Yesterday I had a lot of fun making new curtains for the dining area. Last winter I had made burlap valances for these windows and I still remember how much time and muscle I put into them! You can read all about it here.

I still like the look of the burlap feed sack curtains but felt they were a bit too rustic for the rest of the kitchen/dining room. My favorite décor and about all I pin is farmhouse style décor. I am sure if you follow me on Pinterest you probably know that, but seriously there’s nothing as inviting and down home as this style! I love neutral combinations of whites, grays and natural wood. I also have dreams of adding shiplap walls to our home someday, giving it that fixer upper look. :)

So yesterday I set all Etsy and spring cleaning things aside and focused on getting some spring décor up, which I will share with you later on. But for now, we will focus on these very simple, inexpensive valances that I made.

First let me ramble a bit on my newly discovered fabric that I’m sure I’ll be using a lot in the future.. drop cloth canvas..

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After doing a little research online on how to work with this fabric, I decided to bleach it to a lighter color first. I filled our laundry room tub / sink about half full with cold water and added around five cups of bleach. I then soaked the canvas for three hours, making sure it was all covered with bleach water. (I set soap jugs and other heavy things on the fabric to get it to stay down)

After the three hours were up, I washed it in the washer at a regular cycle, with the usual laundry detergent, and dried it at a normal setting.

I fell in love with this suddenly soft, light, lineny fabric that smelled so good! Before, it was very stiff and too tan for my liking.

You may not be able to tell by the picture but here it is after it was bleached..

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After hemming the valances, they were ready to hang. I basically just made rectangles, without even making a pocket for the rod. The fabric hangs so nicely, there was no need for one.

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It’s always hard to take good pictures with the focus being the window, but hopefully you can tell how light and farmhousy this fabric is!

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I will definitely be using more of this fabric in the future! I’m thinking pillow covers, table runners, etc..

I hope you are all having a great week! Thanks for visiting!

-Mary

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Bench Makeover

 

Last week I had the privilege of meeting a very special family whom I did some painting for. I had the most enjoyable time with them and miss them already:) They were such an inspiration to me and we had a lot of good talks. :)

I am not presently painting for people on a regular basis but this was arranged last year that I would do some painting this winter in their kitchen, including a cabinet makeover. This I will post later on.

I also redid an old wooden bench for these people that I want to share with you on this post.

First, here is a before picture of the bench..

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We’ve been having some beautiful February weather so I was able to paint it outside..

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After two coats of white water based paint and some sanded edges it looked like this..

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I wanted to add a quote to the top of it, something that would fit for a kitchen, since that is where the bench will reside…

I used my new favorite toy, the Silhouette Cameo to cut out a quote. When I cut out stencils, I use cheap contact paper instead of expensive vinyl for the stencil.

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My favorite part of this process is peeling away the contact paper! :)

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After a coat of Annie Sloan wax, the bench was done!

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I hope you are all having a great winter…Thanks for visiting!

-Mary

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Introducing: My Etsy Shop!

 

As I type this I feel like I did as a little girl on Christmas morning. Such is my excitement! For a number of years I have envisioned how I would someday have an Etsy shop. (I even like that word, Etsy) And, finally, the time is right!

Through most of January I have been working on getting items made for this shop, along with spring cleaning our house, so to say I’ve been busy is an understatement! But being busy is a good thing for me, especially during these long, gray winter days. Speaking of which, these days are making indoor picture taking quite the challenge since I need lots of natural light for good photos and sunny days have been few and far between!

Back to Etsy. I wanted to pick the perfect name for my brand and finally came up with something that will work, I think…

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After all, we reside in a white cottage. What could be more fitting? Keeping it simple, folks. :)

My vision has only begun for The White Cottage Co. I am starting out with some farmhouse style signs, lights, and a few jars.

Eventually I want to add some more vintagey, cottage style decor.

Okay, let’s get a bit nostalgic for a second. I have all these wonderful memories of going to my grandparents’ houses as a little girl. I can still smell the fresh cut grass (that was cut with a push mower, no motor), freshly brewed garden tea, and of course the ever present smell of cows. Both my grandparents lived on farms so I got to experience a little taste of the good ole’ farm life. I even got to milk cows by hand!

Anyway, as my mind wanders back through those golden days (this is making me feel old), I think of things grandma used to have in her kitchen that I would love to bring back, so to speak. It may come back as a different color or style, but back nevertheless. So right now, that’s what I’m working on, creating some items that bring some of the good ole days back in our houses.

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I will share a few pictures of my little crafting corner that I made in our living room. Since our living room area is rectangular, I was able to divide an area behind the couch off as a separate little “room.”

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I’ve gotten a lot of use out of these beaded panels we made a few years ago. They have been used in weddings, fairs and as a room divider during the time I had indoor tea parties. Now a few of them will serve as a shield to my cluttered crafting corner.

Behind the panels..

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So far I have loved this location for my studio! In the past I’ve had spaces upstairs and downstairs in my night gown. Okay, if I type something weird, it’s because it’s way past my bedtime. :] Here I can be on the same floor level as everyone else and I can multi - task with ease, like cook and craft at the same time.

Take note of the wall light in the picture below. It works quite well above my table, providing the perfect lighting. No wiring required. A little industrial and cottage style mixed together. Oh, and I sell them on my Etsy shop. :)

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Notice the shelving in the background? For a quick and easy tutorial on that, click here.

Not to just go on and on about my studio location but one of the best, if not THE BEST thing about it is what I get to enjoy come spring and summer while working here. I have a huge double window to look out into the great outdoors. Of course I do that now too and enjoy watching the birds, other wildlife, and occasional snowflake, but being a spring and summer person, I can’t wait to open the windows to let the smells and sounds in!

Let’s take a moment to see some green pictures of our backyard in the spring. After all these gray days, this is something to look forward to!

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This is some of the sound I am looking forward to hearing. Oh, and let’s not forget the chorus of these guys…

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Maybe it’s just me, but around this time of the year I start to feel it.. that itching to go out and put my fingers in the dirt!

Again, here is the link to my Etsy shop, The White Cottage Co.

I welcome any tips, advice and feedback! I’m sure some of you out there have been there, done that with Etsy and I would gladly listen to any advice you would have for me!

Thanks for visiting!

-Mary

 

 

 

     

 

Industrial Shelving

 

When I created my studio space in the back part of our living room (which you can read about here), I needed every space to be put to good use, since it’s not a large area.

I’ve always noticed these industrial pipe and wood shelves on Pinterest, and thought they would fit in great on the one wall to hold my paints and brushes.

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I wanted two shelves, around 7” deep. Here are the “pipe” parts I needed.. (four of each)

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You can probably tell by the pictures how the shelves are put together..

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I really like how the light, which can be purchased on my Etsy shop, goes with the shelves.

The cost of the pipe pieces was a little more than I had hoped it would be. It was around 30.00. The wood is pieces of old barn wood we had around here, so I didn’t need to purchase that. I gave the wood a coat of bowling alley wax, preserving it’s natural color.

This was a very simple project, yet serving a good purpose!

I hope you enjoyed!

-Mary

Friday, January 6, 2017

My First Silhouette Cameo Project

 

January always seems like a long month for me, short days, gray weather, the rush of the holidays are over. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, it just seems to last longer than the average month.

Today as I type this, I am sitting inside the window with a ray of glorious sunshine warming me, so today we are blessed with bright sunshine. (though we had a frigid 1 degree this morning:( )

We also had an inch or so of light, fluffy snow yesterday afternoon and last night. I am thankful for our picture windows to admire the beauty outside while being cooped indoors.

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The birds (and squirrels :/) are an entertainment on days like this..

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Of course, Pebbles watches them for a different reason than what I do..:(

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Getting to the point of this post here.. I saved up some money from Birthday and Christmas gifts to buy a new toy for myself..  a Silhouette Cameo! (drum roll) I admit to feeling like a child on Christmas morning when I took it out of the box. Folks, this is a crafters dream!

I won’t keep on fussing too much here, but to put it in one sentence: After years of carbon paper, scissors, hours of cutting out stencils, aching arms from holding stuff in place, and the list goes on, this machine does all that and more!

Now, I admit to felling a bit intimidated while setting it up and yes, I’ve had frustrations already, BUT I can see where it’s a learning process and the more I familiarize myself with it, the better it will go. Also, there are tons of great videos out there to help along.

 

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I’ve never owned a Cricut, but I’m hearing on videos and from other people that the Cameo is similar to the Cricut, maybe a little more advanced.

I will have a more detailed post in the future, once I know my Cameo ( I like that, “my Cameo,” almost like a child Smile) better. So far, I’ve only used vinyl for my project and typical of me, I ended up trying one of the more difficult things with it first, instead of easing into it, so I did have a little stress, but it ended up turning out okay, for a first project.

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I love designing wall scrolls, so I decided to make one out of brown craft paper for our living room wall.

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Up close..

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The letters are black vinyl letters, which the Cameo cut out, after I programmed it to do so. I peeled the words off the adhesive vinyl backing and placed them onto the craft paper. Usually there is a technique where you use clear transfer paper to take the letters off, but for me (or maybe the brand of transfer paper I had) it didn’t work very well and I ended up wasting precious vinyl. I want to try some other methods on the next project.

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I used an empty cardboard tube to wrap the craft paper around a few times on the top and for the bottom, I just rolled it up and glued it to make it look like a scroll.

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It’s not perfect but it’s just the look I wanted for that wall in the living room!

I can’t wait to try another project with this amazing machine! The possibilities are endless!

Happy Friday, everyone!

-Mary