Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wood Signs For Back Porch

Now that I have the porch all refreshed, I wanted to add some wooden signs to it. Of course, I have my arrow pointing to it, declaring it to be a "Happy Place".

This one was easy to make. I started off with an old fence board cut to the length I wanted, then cut a point and "feathers" for it, glued it together, then when dry, painted it.

For the post, I used an old spindle a friend gave me. It's just been sitting in my wood stash waiting for the perfect use for it.

Next I made a "Welcome" sign. I had my "EAT" sign from the dining room I was no longer using. I took the letters off,

repainted it red, and painted my words freehand. I like how it turned out. Perfectly imperfect!



Next up, I made a "porch sayings" sign. I nailed several old pickets together, painted the background with a Sun motif then again free-handed my words.

Just need to hang it up next visit and it will almost be time for a party. Well, as soon as I finish the drink station. Just a few more tweaks and I'll be ready to share!

Friday, June 19, 2015

My Happy Place

I have a "Happy Place"

- the back porch at the farm. It's pleasant to sit out there and watch the birds, soak in the quiet, and enjoy a cold drink.

But it hasn't looked its best lately. It's needing a make-over. Let's give it one!

Here's what I started with:

Not very exciting. The white paint on the Adirondack chairs was getting dingy. And the red metal table needed a fresh coat of paint too. The black chairs needed their own table and some cushions. The wooden bench left behind by the previous owners - just ugly, but at least useful for holding the dogs' water pan.

 I started by removing everything and sweeping it really well. Next up, was painting the chairs and tables.

Found this little table in the garage just waiting to be used. Perfect for the metal chairs!

Hm, what color for the chairs? Why, red, of course, to go with the red bench. And the tables? Let's do yellow - that will make for a bright, happy spot! And here we are, several cans of spray paint later:


Then it was off to the store to find pillows to tie everything together:
Love the large, flowered print!

I moved the red bench over to where the old wood one sat. Added pillows to it but also added some lime green ones into the mix:

Now the black metal chairs need their dressing up...There! All better!
Ready for visitors!!

Time to relax with some iced tea and a magazine:
Ah, my "Happy Place"!

Feel free to stop by for a cold drink and we'll sit and talk. Just follow the sign and you'll find me:

I've got a few more projects planned for the back porch- like my old "EAT" sign. As you can see, I took the letters off:
I've turned it into a cute porch accessory!

And I'll share what I used to make a drink station. Bruce was a sweetie and painted it for me!

Where's your "Happy Place"?

Hugs,
Cecilia

Partying at these parties:
You're Gonna Love it Party Hello to Summer

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Trip Down the Decor Memory Lane

Hey there, my friends! I thought it would be fun to take a trip down Memory Lane today - a trip back in time to see how my decor taste has changed over the years. And I'm apologizing in advance for bad pictures - I didn't know a thing about photography and had a cheap-o camera. Plus let's face it, some are over 30 years old. :o) So, are you ready? Let's go!

Let's start with college/early marriage days. We basically had hand me down furniture and posters or cheap artwork on the walls. It was fun starting off our life together and to be honest, I didn't know a thing about decorating.  Seriously. I was surprised shocked when we went over to a friend's place and her kitchen was all coordinated. What?!? You can be coordinated?
The art was jungle animals, the couch from one of those cheap furniture places, the side table from my Mother-in-law...wish I still had that, lol and the lamp was one I made. I think we had a jungle theme going. Sort of.

Then we went from an apartment to a duplex, bought a waterbed (remember those?), my father-in-law made us a coffee table and suddenly I felt grown up.  From there we bought our first house, my FIL made us a wall unit with shelves for the TV,  I wallpapered, we added bifold doors to the laundry area and had our first baby.
Artwork was wooden cutouts
Artwork was still framed prints or some kind of homemade things. I felt good about our little house most of the time unless I visited bigger, grander homes. Then I would long for nice art, a bigger house, traditional furniture.
A couple of years later with 2nd baby on way. The flowered couch got recovered many times then the brown couch came in and took its place for awhile. I wasn't fond of it. 

Several moves and rentals later, we finally bought the house of our dreams and the decorating bug bit hard.  I would have loved to have access to a premier auction website, where you can bid on auctioned pieces, like this auction fine art site, to find some nice pieces of art. How nice it would have been to be able to find great pieces of art that would last us our lifetime.

Instead, I had to find things in stores - I bought metal trays, nicer framed prints, plates, and a Victorian/Hunting themed look emerged. Our house was pretty traditional/formal and flowery. Honestly, not us at all but who I thought we should be.
Chair I bought at a garage sale




The formal dining area was an office area for awhile. Like our Charlie Brown Christmas tree?

Metal tray for art on the back splash

plates and prints on wall behind the guys

Then I hit a wall. I was tired of the stuffy, formal look and wanted a more inviting and comfortable look. I inherited some nice antique furniture that needed a spot in the house, the kids were teenagers and I wanted them to feel like home was a good place to hang out.

So I got a comfy, slip-covered couch, the coffee table was replaced with an old toy chest, gone were the crocheted doilies and flowery things. I was finally realizing my home needed to reflect who we were, not somebody else and their home. We're not formal, traditional people. We are easy going and informal. Our house finally started to reflect that. I also started painting which has given us several wonderful pieces of art.
"Memories of New England"

"Exploring His Limits"
These are pieces that have special meaning to us, as fine art should be.

Then we bought the farmhouse. It needed help. And I saw the opportunity to finally decorate in a fun style that reflected who we really are. As a second home, I've been able to try things I would have been afraid to try in the city home. Like painting the cabinets white and adding a chalkboard wall,


A farm table with mismatched chairs,

Comfortable, nothing is too precious, furnishings,

Thrifted and made over furniture,

A serene and uncluttered bedroom,

A fun and colorful outdoor space,

And soon a bathroom with a piece of furniture as the vanity.

The artwork on the walls have evolved to my paintings and wood signs,


but it also has metal signs,

And thrifted pictures. I guess some things never change. Lol. Except now they have a similar theme. :o)


What about you? Has your taste in furnishings and art changed?

Come back Friday to see the porch makeover. Maybe you caught the sneak peek above!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Painting the Dining Room Chairs

My week long stay at the farm was very productive. I cleaned the closets (if you missed it, you can read about that here),
and I painted all my dining room chairs. I had always meant to; they were all mismatched with nothing in common except they were cheap! Somehow, I never got around to it but all the different looks kept bugging me. Anyway, it was way past time to paint them!

yellowish chair, rush-seat chair, golden oak chair
 First I started with my bench. I was just learning about painting furniture and it didn't quite turn out right. Time to redo it!

I mixed up my recipe for chalky paint (2 Tbls sanded grout with all the lumps mashed out mixed with 2 Tbls water, then added to 1 cup of paint. Mix well) and started painting. This recipe covers well and goes a long way. Plus it's a good way to use up those sample cans or leftover paint!

Finished the bench then moved on to the yellow chair. Yay! No more dirty-looking, yellowish chair!
Left the dings along the edges though
Painted the golden oak, pressed back chair next (had to mix a seconded batch of paint), followed by the rush seat chair.

Nice! Hm, they still needed something so I lightly dry brushed them with some white.

 Then it was time to wax them. Wouldn't you know, I left my dark wax at the city house! Now what?!?
Mixed wax with glazing medium
Hm, I remember reading you could mix paint and wax together. I found my glazing medium and mixed into the clear wax. It worked perfectly! Really brought out the details and softened the color nicely!
Notice the left side with wax - really softens the look
Isn't the pressed backed chair beautiful? All those details really show.

Loving how they turned out. They look more cohesive now.


I took the two large burlap wrapped pillows and gave them new covers. I used the printed burlap on one side and a French-themed duck fabric for the other. Of course, I forgot to take a picture of them. Take my word for it, the fabric really goes well with the chairs' color. I'll show you next time - I promise!!

Hurray! One more thing checked off the list! Next up is the back porch refresh. Here's what I'm starting with:

I'll share that next week along with how my first two painting parties go. Super excited about them.

Until next time!

Cecilia

Partying here: The Dedicated House- Make It Pretty Monday