Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Country French Slipcovers

When I was at Costco last week, I picked up one of my favorite magazines -- Country French. From what I can tell, it is only published twice a year. These images are from the fall/winter 2009 issue. I couldn't find any information online except for that it is published by Better Homes and Gardens. Anyway, I was so enthralled with some of the glossy pictures in this issue that I decided to scan them and share them with you.

I especially like this picture, it is on the front cover and inside, and I find it very eye catching. The flowing drapes and table coverings would not work so well in my house, although I still love them. What I REALLY love is the slipcovered dining chairs. The fabric softens and feminizes them. When I get my living/dining rooms painted, I will get my dining room chairs out of storage and show you the slipcovers I made for them a couple years ago.

I tend to like French country fabrics -- a lot. Mmmmm--the colors, toiles, florals, animals, textures--all appealing.

More slip-covered dining chairs in a more modern setting.

Even more slip-covered dining chairs-- parson style.
I would say that 50% of the dining chairs in this publication are slip-covered.

Did you notice anything else in common in all the photos? Look at the wall color. Maybe it was subliminal, but I have been thinking about painting my kitchen walls a warm yellow-gold, and then as I was scanning these pictures this morning I noticed that they all had warm yellow-gold walls. Hmmmmm.........

(PS--I am giving the adsense one more try. If you happen to be on this blog and notice what I consider objectionable material being advertised on my sidebars--please let me know. I have no control over what ads they put on here. If it happens again, I will remove them and try to find another way to earn a few shekels).

Friday, August 21, 2009

What Dreams are Made Of

Sometimes my dreams are like this--rumpled and tumbled and all mixed-up. Each dream has it's own story to tell, winding in and out of other dreams, waiting to be sorted, ironed, and folded so that each story can be easily told.

Each dream is woven from soft cotton, printed in beautiful colors and patterns -- some muted and softly colored, others bright and bold.

I spent a few hours earlier this week ironing my dreams out in preparation for next month -- my month of sewing! Sewing, sewing, sewing -- around other chores such as school starting, the Palouse Empire Fair, putting up garden produce, continuing with my painting projects, and oh yeah -- LIFE. Think I will get much sewing done?

Dreams, dreams, and more dreams unfolded in my mind as each wrinkled yard of fabric was ironed and folded.

More dreams waiting to come true. Any dreams of yours in here?

Dreams -- setting on top of the London Shade sewing project for my friend (hope to get to that this weekend), setting on top of the fabric I bought 6 months ago to reupholster the bones of this vintage Martha Washington chair. I've got my work cut out for me.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Vintage Aprons

Last weekend I was able to go to a few yard sales in town --the first sales I made it to all summer. Is it just me or do the yard sales seem sparse this year? Anyway, I was so excited to find these lovely vintage aprons for dirt cheap.

I love the hand embroidery on this gingham apron. This apron has a soft, well-loved feel to it.

This one is definitely sheer and frilly! The green embroidered cherries are pretty.
Apron details

Hmm.....this one looks more like it belongs in the bedroom instead of the husband likes this apron..........

Last but probably the most used --this is a good old farm apron with a small amount of ric-rac applied to the pocket.

I love yard sale finds like these.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

How to Hand Texture a Ceiling

Here you found my tutorial on how to hand texture a ceiling (either you are totally bored or you are a glutton for punishment!)

Anyway, in case you ever wanted to learn how to spend MANY hours with your arm above your head while balancing on a ladder -- you are in the right place. First, it is best to start with a room such as the one above --empty of furniture with the bare floors that are yet to be refinished. If you don't have such a luxury, then you had better put down some drop clothes or plastic to protect your furniture and floors.

Second, purchase a BIG 5-gallon bucket of this -- all purpose joint compound. This is the most economical way to buy it. I bought this one for around $15 at the local hardware store.

Third, split some of the compound out into another bucket -- I pulled out about 1/3 of it to begin with. This just makes it easier to mix.

Fourth, add some water. I used approximately 4 parts joint compound to 1 part water -- that seems to be the best mix to me -- it allows for smoother application and it makes your joint compound go farther.

Here is the water and joint compound mixed up. I used a paint mixer attached to the cordless drill to help me mix it. The resultant mixture just barely holds a peak -- a soft peak (if you have ever whipped egg whites or whipping cream you will understand this terminology).

Here is the meringue-like mixture ready for application. The tools I am using here are a flat hock and a large taping knife or plaster trowel (8" to 12"). The hock will save you many trips up and down the ladder as you can load it with your compound and dip off of it instead of your bucket. The large knife helps spread more compound at a time and gives you smoother texture. You could use a smaller knife and get a choppier texture. Pie anyone?

Now it is time to climb the ladder and get to work. Pick any place to start. I started in a corner, but that is not necessary -- you can start and stop anywhere you want. I start and stop a lot because I have 4 kids to tend to while I am doing this and other fun chores. Just apply the compound in a somewhat hap-hazard way -- you can edit your work as you go along.

Here you can see what the old texture looks like compared to the new texture. (Feel free to click on the picture so you can see it larger). There is really no wrong way to apply the joint compound -- it just depends on the look you are trying to achieve. You can apply it heavily with lots of overlapping and chunking up of the compound, or you can apply it very thinly and smoothly so that very little texture is left. It is totally your choice. I like it to be somewhat smooth with shallow texture. You do have some time to play with it depending on how warm your ceiling is. I was doing this in about 90 degree weather so I had about 10 minutes before the joint compound started to dry and then if I tried to go back over it I would make a mess. The good news is, if you make a mess you can always go back over it after it has dried!

Here is the final product in another room that I textured over the winter. It is painted with a flat paint so that it minimizes the reflectivity of the texture. Once again, feel free to outclick on the picture to see it better.

There you have it! Just be careful getting up and down the ladder!