Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Poor Man's Custom Framing

Okay, so I'm not a man and I'm not poor but I am a gal that likes to save a buck or two. Knowing how much I like birds, my mom hand embroidered me three adorable birds on white muslin for my living room. I was so excited when they were done and went searching for frames. Ummm...wow. Priced framing lately? Not what I wanted to spend. The fact that I needed three of them only made it worse.

So I thought, who needs matching frames?? Not me, no sir. Off to the thrift store I went and found this beautiful picture for $2.98. The picture is pretty bad but the frame was large and solid wood.

I knew I could make the matting out of the ugly print...

I took the backing off, pulled out the print (which was attached to a heavy cardboard, score!) and measured how big I wanted my opening to be. A few pencil lines and I was ready to cut.

This went quickly with a razor blade and the straight edge ruler. HINT: Be careful not to press too much, forcing the razor through the cardboard so hard the end of it hits your dining room table. Nope, please don't do that.

I decided to cover my mat with fabric. I had a neutral fabric that I had purchased when I was deciding on what to use for my rocking chair and it was the loser. There was plenty for this purpose though. Isn't that great when you have something you can reuse in a way you didn't think of when you bought it?

Iron your fabric first so it is nice and smooth, then place your mat over the back of the fabric....

Get out your trusty glue gun......

And start folding over the edges, gluing them to the back of the mat. I used a fabric scissor to cut the fabric toward the corner, making it easier to fold. When you get to the inside, trim the fabric so that you have an empty square in the middle.

Be careful when you cut toward the inside corner not to go too far. You don't want to see the mat at all from the front of the picture. I cut almost to the inside corner, leaving a bit so when it is folded, you have a slightly rounded edge of fabric and the cut does not show.

After this was done I put it into the frame, placed my embroidery over it and tucked it all in. It looked unfinished on the back and I was concerned about dust getting in so I made a backing for it.

I had this wallpaper left over in the basement so I cut a piece and glued it around the frame. Not the best job but you won't see it anyway.

And here is the finished product!! Wasn't that easy?

It's not a perfect, professional framing job but I'm happy with how it turned out. And the best part is that it only cost me $2.98!! This frame is 17x20. Try finding a new, solid wood frame in that size for that price.

Now I need to search for two more so I can get the others framed up. After that I'll decide what color to paint them. Since I'll be buying mismatched frames, I plan on painting them all up the same color for unity. White or black, I haven't decided yet.

I'm sharing this project today at these great blogs! Be sure to check them out!


Saturday, October 24, 2009

There's still time!

I know it's getting close to Halloween but you still have time for some great projects. Check out this pumpkin topiary by Kimm over at Reinvented . Isn't it cute?! She gives step by step instructions on her blog.

The best thing about it is you can put it out year after year. No rotting pumpkin topiaries at Kimm's house. Phew!

Kelly from Rose Vine Cottage also made one. She used all white pumpkins and I love the urn she put them in. You can view her completed project here.

Not a topiary but an easy and fun fall idea.....
white crackle pumpkins by Lisa at Fern Creek Cottage.
The tutorial for these is here .

Have you been over to Hooked On Houses today? There is a fall home tour going on so be sure to check it out this weekend!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Procrastination Project Completed!

I got the project done this time around, phew! Here's the chair before when I was trying fabric out on it:
You can sort of see it in this picture with the green fabric it originally had. I wish I had taken a better before picture but in my hurry to get started, I forgot. Do you do that too?

And here it is now after a coat of Heirloom White paint and a new, pretty fabric for the seat....
(I had a couple comments about the blanket when I posted about this party. It was handmade and was my baby blanket. I'm so glad to have it, it's held up beautifully and I just love it. The embroidered blanket behind it was purchased at my very first auction. I went with a friend who was also a rookie and we were so nervous but it was fun. We both left with some goodies and feel a bit more confident for the next one. There are some serious auction goers out there, let me tell you!)

My hubby helped me recover it. Okay, so we didn't do a professional job but it looks nice and more importantly, it's done after procrastinating for more than 5 months!

I took the blankets off so you can see the back of it. This rocker was bought at a yard sale for $10. The woman selling it told me it had belonged to her mother in law and that many babies were rocked in this chair. And now I sit in it with my "babies." How special!

I also wanted to say thank you to all who came to visit Rue and her sweet home. I was so glad to have her here and for the opportunity to show off her talents. It's always fun to meet new bloggers and have a new one to stalk...errrr.....read. I hope you found a new blogging friend in Rue.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Guest Post For Those Old House Lovers

Happy Monday! Today I have something very special to share with you, an amazing blogger named Rue. She has a beautiful blog called Rue's Peanut Butter and Jelly Life. After you read her guest post today be sure to go visit and say hello, you can find her HERE. She just completed a kitchen renovation that is beyond amazing!

When I first visited Rue it was like meeting a kindred spirit as she also loves old homes, especially all the history and stories they hold. She recently did something that some would think is crazy, she took off her new vinyl siding. Yup, you heard me right, I said she took it OFF.

She's a brave lady with a handy hubby and I'll stop talking now so you can enjoy her post:

I’m so excited to be doing a guest post for my sweet blogging friend Michelle and it’s so nice to meet all of you!

Michelle asked me here today to talk about our old house and why we are taking it back to the way it was before someone came in and “updated” it. Well, to start. I have always wanted to restore an old home. As my readers already know, I have a great passion for things of the past and the need to preserve them. I believe that old houses are especially in need of our love and devotion, because they’re part of our history and of a time when people cared about craftsmanship.

Sadly, more and more of these beauties are being torn down in order to build new and supposedly better houses. I say supposedly, because I’ve lived in a new house and it needed more maintenance than the 100 year old beauty that we’re living in now (lol). Just so you know, I don’t have an issue with building a new home, if that’s what you want, but I think it’s a tragedy to replace an old home with a new one unless it’s beyond help and falling down.

Now that you know a little bit about how I feel, let me tell you what we’ve been doing to our 100 year old foursquare.....

This is our home when we bought it…

The porch and dormer were taken off years before, but the recent previous owners thought it was a brilliant idea to tear off the rest of the beautiful trim and encase the house with vinyl siding.

You can find an article on the lies about vinyl siding ‘here’, but here’s the part the stood out to me the most:

The Vinyl Lie

by Gary Kleier

Every day unsuspecting owners of historic homes, believing they are actually making an investment in their home, succumb to the vicious lies of an unscrupulous industry. Unfortunately, most will never know it. Most will never see the immediate undermining of their property value or the long term destruction of the structure of their house. And what is this vicious lie? Vinyl siding. Vinyl siding installed over wood siding. And the most vicious lie is that it will improve the property value of an historic house.

Lie number one: Vinyl siding will increase the value of your home.

As an architect involved in numerous historic restorations, I am frequently asked to evaluate an historic house prior to purchase. In virtually every case where vinyl siding has been used to cover original wood, the buyer wants to know the cost of having the vinyl removed and the original siding restored. In every case the same question comes up; "Why would they desecrate an historic house in this manner?"

Increasingly people across America are understanding the value of our historic properties. Like antiques, the closer it is to original the higher is its value. Frequently, the buyer not only sees vinyl siding as decreasing the value of the house, but wants the seller to pay for its removal. This removal and repair of the original wood siding is normally as expensive as the original installation of the vinyl siding.

In a typical historic house of wood frame construction a wall would normally be composed of the following: plaster on wood lath, the wood studs, exterior sheathing, and wood siding. While these materials may seem solid to us, water vapor easily moves through these materials and escapes from the house during the winter months.

During the installation of vinyl siding a layer of styrene insulation board is applied over the wood siding, and the vinyl siding is applied to that. This insulation board forms an effective barrier to the passage of water vapor, thereby trapping it within the wall. During the winter months this water vapor will condense to liquid water and began rotting the wood materials. Over a period of years the structural integrity of the exterior walls can be completely destroyed. Further, the presence of deteriorating wood has been shown to attract termites and other wood attacking insects.

©2000-2002 Gary Kleier, OldLouisville.com

Gary specializes in restoration architecture and architectural forensic services.

Besides all the information found online about how bad vinyl siding is, my husband and I really wanted to own an old home and covered in vinyl it does not look old. It looks devoid of character.

Here’s my brave husband tearing off the vinyl…

I think I actually heard the house exhale ;)

And here’s the house after it was painted …..

Much better right?

We still have 3 sides to go and a porch and dormer to replace, but it’ll have to wait until spring, since snow is coming very soon to Ohio.

Not only are we bringing back the outside, but the inside as well.
The refinished stairs before...

and after….

And we’re in the process of taking out the new wood floors and carpet to refinish the original wood floors. So far we have one room finished.

Before (after we took out the carpet and sanded) …

and after…

Look at the beautiful floor that was hidden!!

To tell you the truth, a lot of people have had their doubts about what we’re doing, but you know what? Although, anyone could have moved into this house and left it as is, they would have been missing out on enjoying the beauty that was covered up. To us it would have been pointless to buy an old house that looks brand new. Why not just buy a new house?

As for us, it’s the love of this old place that makes us want to pull up our bootstraps and bring it back to life and if houses could smile, I believe that this one surely would.

Thank you for reading,

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I hope you are all enjoying the weekend. You can see above how Tucker is spending his Sunday afternoon. I'd like to go cuddle up with him, a snooze sounds wonderful. No napping for me though, my parents are coming over for dinner and I have the makings of a wonderful Sunday meal here. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. Yummy!

Be sure to come back tomorrow for a guest post from a super sweet friend of mine. And Tuesday is the end of the Procrastination Party. Do you think I finished my project??

See you tomorrow!

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Couple Updates

I've been rearranging around here lately. Ever get in that mood where you just want to move everything around? Must be the change in weather, it's been quite cold here in Pa.

I love this dish soap that Target sells. I'm not a fan of lemon scented cleaning products and this has such a pleasant smell to it. It works well too!

I moved the kitchen "island" (aka the completely unfinished dresser that will be an actual island someday) sideways. I think it frees up more walking space in the kitchen and gives more room to anyone sitting in the chairs. Unfinished though so more about that later....

Remember those corbels my daughter and I found? Here is where she wanted to hang them. I think it's the perfect spot since you can see them when you walk in the front door....

And on the kitchen side, they frame out the front door. I couldn't be happier with them.

I also wanted to update on the dishwasher! I talked about it HERE.

So far, so good! It is holding up nicely and I haven't had to do anything at all to it. After it was painted I used two coats of sealant. Just the Valspar sealer from Lowes.

Well this was a completely random post for Friday. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. We are supposed to have a Halloween parade. I'm crossing my fingers the weather cooperates!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Another Year Gone By....

This little girl is 9 today.....

She is smart, funny, creative and our first born.

She loves Hannah Montana, her new DS, writing stories and animals.

I made her a polka dotted Hannah Montana cake for the occasion. We celebrated last night with dinner and presents. (Don't worry, it went much better than this did. My mom made dinner. Smart on my part huh?)

I'm changing my blog song for the day to a song I sang to her all the time when she was a baby. I know, I know, sounds painful but an infant doesn't know about being in tune right? She didn't seem to mind my singing.....really! I would hold her and sway with her and tell her all about my dreams for her. And she would look up at me with the biggest blue eyes you'd ever see.

You see, she was my first born so there was time to sway and chat and sing. I love our chaotic, fun life with three kids but some days I miss those early quiet times so many years ago....

We love you so much Hailey, Happy Birthday big 9 year old!!

I Hope You Dance

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat But always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances
But they're worth taking
Lovin' might be a mistake But it's worth making

Don't let some hell bent heart Leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out Reconsider
Give the heavens above More than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance I hope you dance

(Time is a real and constant motion always) I hope you dance
(Rolling us along) I hope you dance (Tell me who)
I hope you dance
(Wants to look back on their youth and wonder)
(Where those years have gone)

I hope you still feel small When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance Dance

I hope you dance I hope you dance

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Autumn Fun

Last week we decided to get our Autumn Fun on and head out for some pumpkins. Hailey always goes right for the animals....

Not exactly picking them off the vine but still fun....

Ella practiced her pumpkin balancing....

And Emidio made friends with this very easygoing cow...

He wanted to buy him. Can you imagine how a fake cow would look in my living room? I don't think it would match the window treatments.

It was a fun time and we left with 6 little pumpkins and 3 big ones. And next week I'll have to buy more because so far I've had to throw away 4 little pumpkins and the big ones are looking quite sad. We could have waited until closer to Halloween but that's ok, there's more fun to be had at the next patch...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Procrastinators Unite!

Are you the type of person that procrastinates? I am. I would try and deny it but why bother. I'm joining in Melissa's Procrastinator's Party over at The Inspired Room . Here's how it works: Pick a project that you have been putting off, commit to joining in the party and then we'll all show off the "afters." Sound good?

I have to get this project done this time around. Last time, I was the queen procrastinator because I signed up for the party and then didn't finish my project. Not good. This time I'm determined to get it done. Remember this chair?

This is going to be my project. She needs a coat of paint and a new seat. Check back on October 20th to see the transformation....if I can get it done that is. Yikes, I'd better go start now.....or maybe I'll just wait till next week.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Do you love fall?

I can't get enough of fall....the smell of the air, pumpkins, mums adorning porch steps. It's my favorite season and I've been trying to bring that feeling inside the house. Fun decorations for the kids and some natural touches for me....

I bought these cute number flashcards on Etsy, such a fun way to mark the date for upcoming holidays...

I did do an antiquing to the blue door with some watered down brown paint. A simple change and I love it now! I really think the door is going to work with the room. I'm not sure it will show up in the pictures but the antiquing toned the color down, it's so much calmer now....

That poor wreath needs some help....I swear it didn't look that smooshed last fall.

What's your favorite part about fall? Apple cider, pumpkin picking, beautiful mums.....or maybe it's the candy on Halloween? Yup, I think that just might be my favorite part, raiding the kids' candy buckets. How about you?

I'm linking this post up to Julia's Home House Tour over at Hooked on Houses. Head on over there and see all the fall tours!!