Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

Isn't this the most perfectly beautiful spring picnic?  Wishing you all a very happy Easter! 

Image: flickr

Saturday, April 3, 2010

How to turn an old coffee table into an upholstered bench

This is actually a project I did last summer that I am finally putting up a post about.  My grandma gave me this old Ethan Allen coffee table when I moved out of the dorms and into a house with four other girls my junior year of college.  By the time I graduated, that coffee table had been spilled on, stepped on and was basically pretty beat up. (not that is was anything great to start with)

I decided to turn the coffee table into something I would use, so I started looking online for inspiration and came across this tutorial on that explained step by step how to turn an old coffee table into an upholstered bench.  So I headed to JoAnn Fabrics and Menards, bought the supplies I needed, and followed the directions step by step.  Here is the result:

This bench now sits at the foot of our bed and it works perfectly because out littlest pup, Emma, can now get up on our bed to snuggle.

Here is lil Emma.

And here is our other pup, Oliver.  He likes to sleep in bed like a real person.

Here are the pictures from the tutorial that I followed.  

To see the tutorial and make an upholstered bench of your own, click HERE.

Also, I would LOVE to see any inspiring furniture or room transformations that you have done, so if you have any that you would like to share, please email me at

Eric – I cannot wait to see the craigslist dresser you and Aimee are working on.  You will have to email me a picture of the final product and don’t forget to take a “before” picture!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Forget that paintbrush and leave those walls WHITE!

If I were to do it all over again, I would have left most of the walls in our house white. I know that sounds boring, but after seeing so many BEAUTIFUL pictures of rooms where the furniture serves as that “pop” of color, it makes me wish I would have skipped the painful process of picking paint colors and painting and left my walls white. (I have a very hard time picking paint colors, so for me it was painful.  There are just SO many wonderful options.)  If you think about it, it is much more versatile to leave your walls white. You can switch up the throw pillows, a glass vase or your bedspread much easier than repainting the entire room every time you want to feel like you need a little change.  Check out these inspirational pics and maybe you will agree.
(click on the pictures to see larger)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Meet Tilly

Hello everyone!  Sorry I have been MIA for the past two months. I have been busy with work, my class and a new little project. Excuse me… I mean my BIG 1,200 lb project!  There is a new addition to the family, the late 1800s Challenge Gordon letterpress I just purchased!  I named her Tilly. (Sorry, Amanda P. – I had to copy the name.  It is just too perfect.  Tell your Garmin I named my letterpress after her.)

Let me explain…
(I will try and keep this relatively short)
I have been in love with letterpress for as long as I can remember.  It is simply beautiful the way the designs and type bite into the paper giving it a third dimension.  The impression is subtle, yet powerful and I absolutely love it.

I have had this idea for a while now to find an old letterpress and restore it back to working condition.  I had been looking on Craigslist for about six months and had never came across a thing.  One Sunday morning I was snooping around on Craigslist and I found one!  I must have looked at the ad literally two minutes after he had posted it. I was the first one to call about the press.  An old farmer from Waupun, Wisconsin had bought it a few years back at a farmers’ auction with the intent of fixing it up.  He told me he was just too old to fix it up and wanted to sell it.

Long story short, my dad and I drove out to Waupun the next weekend to see the letterpress.  My dad is very mechanically inclined and can make ANYTHING run.  After looking at it we decided it would be able to be restored and I bought it!  Two weeks later, we hitched up the trailer, headed back to Waupun and brought it all the way back to my parent’s house.  It now sits in the lower third garage all ready to be fixed up.  All I have to say is thank god for tractors!  It is huge.  The flywheel alone is about 200 lbs!

Now the research begins.  I have joined an online letterpress community called Briar Press that I have found to be unbelievably helpful!  I have found a manual for a press very similar to mine, where to buy new ink rollers, what kind of sandblast to use and the number one bit of advise I have received is to KEEP MY HANDS OUT!  I guess this kind of press, called a platen press, is known for taking off fingers! Ouch!  I have even had several people invite me to their letterpress shops to show me around and teach me. 

The next few moths will be a lot of degreasing, sandblasting, ordering new rollers, ink and paper, going to letterpress museums, visiting shops and a whole lot of learning.  It will be a process, but one I am very excited about.  I have big plans for Tilly once my dad and I get her up and running.  I am sure I will be updating you often on our progress.   

Here are a few pictures.  The letterpress came with eight trays of lead type and a paper cutter.  I also included a couple of inspirational pictures of letterpress.  You’ll see why I love it so much.

Images 1-3: Sycamore Street Press, Images 4-6: Letterpress Delicacies, Images 7-8: Golden Rectangle Press

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Quote, A Video and What to Do With That Naked Wall

Hi everyone!  Sadly, it has been an entire week since I have posted anything.  When I first started this whole blogging thing, I had high hopes of putting up a post every day, except for on the weekends.  Now that work is back to being as crazy as ever and I have started my small business course and all the homework and reading that comes with it, I have not found it to be possible.  So, instead of a post every day, I will aim for two, maybe three times a week.

I am not planning on taking any courses this summer (summer is way to much fun to have class), so I will have more time to decorate, work on DIY projects, cook, AND blog about all of it!  I love summer!  Refinishing furniture is much easier when you can move it outside to the deck!

So, finally here is my post for this week!  It is kind of a combo of different things – A quote, a video and some room inspiration.  Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

A friend of mine wrote this quote and shared it with me this week.  I love it and believe every word of it.  It is now one of my favorite quotes!

Be the cake decorator, not the frosting.  You don't go far being still, just sweet, and decorative.  The longer you stay still, the more stiff you get. - Corrina Crade

I just added some visual flair! See below:

Here is a video that another one of my friends shared with me this week.  I think all of the stairs in the world should be like these.  Take a look and you will see what I mean.  And what a great concept, huh?  The fun theory.

And now a little inspiration on what to do with that naked wall.  I prefer the uncommon solution to the problem: cups, empty picture frames, colorful plates, framed shopping bags, etc.  There are endless possibilities.

Images: Image 1: Contented Me, Image 2: Elegance Redefined, Image 3: ?, Image 4: Furnishing My Home, Image 5: maedchenmitherz., Image 6: Martha Stewart, Image 7:Shelter Pop, Image 8: the style files, Images 9 & 10: You Are My Fave Jr.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Design on a Dime: Painted Floors

There are so many fun and creative things you can do with your floors, especially when you PAINT THEM!  It is an inexpensive way to make almost any floor work.  Concrete or hardwood, here are some great examples:

For a tutorial on how to paint your hardwood floors click HERE.
For a tutorial on how to paint your concrete floors click HERE.
Images 1-10: Apartment Therapy, Image 11: Better Homes and Gardens, Images 12-13: CalFinder, Image 14: Casasugar, Image 15: Driftwood, Image 16: House to Home, Image 17: la la Lovely, Image 18: My Home Ideas, Image 19: Point Click Home, Images 20-21: Rooms That Work, Image 22: the style files, Images: 23: The Lennoxx