Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Creating a Place To Hang Your Stuff!!!!!

When my niece Miriam and her hubby bought their little home a couple of years ago......
It had a small coat closet in the downstairs hall.....
 which wasn't large enough to hold all the stuff that people in New England need
 to get through the taxing seasons of the north.
they went in and out of the side door off the living room more than they did the front door.
This is how it looked the first year they lived in the house, 
before I got my hands on this space.
This door opens onto the screened in porch, and is the prime exit for Perla the wonder dog's walks.
Miriam wanted a hall tree,
or something....
just some place to hang their stuff by the side door.......
I am brilliant!!!!!
I looked at the area in question.....
I looked at the bookcase.....
Since I was adding a large bookcase across the room, 
I asked Miriam if she really needed this one?????

Here's a picture of the new bookcase across the room.....

'Cuz I had a better way to use this built in.
'Cuz I am a @#$ genius!!!!!
I had the top three shelves removed, along with the bottom divider.
I had a wooden board applied across the back which the hooks were screwed to.
This prevented the dreaded hook pulling out of the wall problem.
Miriam and I spent a completely obsessive amount of time looking for the right hooks.
I found the kind I wanted, immediately at Restoration Hardware.
Miriam be frugal.
Miriam be cheap.
Miriam was convinced she could find something similar for less money.
Miriam drove me crazy emailing me options.
But I gotta hand it to the girl.
She found some nice ones at Lowes.
As you can see in the shot below.
Miriam and Ross couldn't even wait for the construction to finish before they started using thier new "closet".
The long bottom shelf was installed to allow a taller space on the lower level for boots.
Next step was having it painted!!!!!
Here's the finished product!!!!!
It works like a charm.
The woven baskets hold Perla's leashes and things.
The wire baskets hold hats and gloves.
The topmost shelf holds Ross's baseball caps.
Here's one of my fabulous side by sides!!!!!
with Kindle and iBook, who needs shelves?????
On that note,
Latah, Gatah

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Accessorizing With Fake Stuff!!!!!

When I plundered Michael's for Miriam and Ross's living room, I found a cute little wooden tool box that I placed on the linen press I had previously painted for them.
Now, all I needed to do was find something to put in it.
Since I had filled the vases on the mantel with flowers.....
I didn't want more flowers stuffed in this here box.....
I thought that it would be perfect for holding pots of herbs.
Only problem was.....
Since the two youngsters were about to be new parents, 
I figured that the last thing on their minds was watering any tiny pots of herbs.
There wasn't enough light in the corner of the living room to grown nothin'!!!!!
I did what I always do when I am incredibly lazy and bored.....
I looked on the internet and found some fake herbs!!!!!
I found them HERE.....
being the stupendously wonderful aunt that I is....
I bought these for them, and waited impatiently for the arrival of said pots!!!!!

In the mean time.....
Miriam had to outdo me.....
by the time I brought these over and put them in the wooden holder.....
it didn't seem like such a big deal.

I was really happy with the herbs, they looked just like the website pictures.
They were a little short for the wooden box, 
so I set them on a couple of paperback books.
Putting stuff in things...
(how's that for descriptive????)
can make such a difference!!!!!
It really visually warmed up the corner.

Before and after!!!
Talking about before and after....
I just noticed that the larger framed picture propped on the linen press.....
is pictures of Miriam and Ross when they were little, and the smaller picture is them together now!!!!!

I obviously am not the most observant aunt.

On that note.
Latah, Gatah

Monday, May 19, 2014

Accessorizing a Cottage Fireplace Mantel

Hello everybody!!!!!
Bear with me, I'm in a good mood.
Nothing hurts today!!!!!
Boy, getting old is a bitch.....

on to my blog post.....
We left off my last post with Miriam and Ross's footstools settling in to their new home.
Since the room is nearing completion.....
I knew that if I left the accessorizing to my dear niece Miriam, 
there would be a lotta krap  items spread around that I wouldn't like.
To avoid this situation, I went to Micheal's and found some things, as well as rummaged through my stuff and chose a few items that I felt I could part with.....
as long as the two youngsters appreciated them and never lost them or gave them away or stored them in the basement or attic.......
I gave them a water color that I had used over my fireplace in my cape cottage.
Remember this picture from my cottage?????
I just wrote about this a little while ago.
Ross and Miriam refuse to let me hang plates on the wall.......
so I am still trying to find things for their walls that we all will like.
Below is their living room with the water color in its new residence.
So, let's see.....
Ov Vey!!!!!
Everything on the mantel is from me!!!!!

I had given them the candlestick alabaster lamps, but they didn't have any light bulbs....or lampshades.....
I'm one of those dorks who likes a symmetrically arranged mantel.
I know it's chic to have it asymmetrical,
 but that's not how I roll.
I wasn't thrilled with the fake fern on the mantel.
Miriam liked it.
So it was moved to a table, and I gave them my collection of Bristol glass blue vases.
Still no light bulbs.....
Miriam and Ross must have been very busy....
There is an electrical outlet in the center of the mantle for when folks used to keep a clock on the shelf.
 when you need to know the time.....everyone in this house looks at their iPhone......
I plugged the lamps in there, it was very convenient, but we needed to leave the painting leaning against the wall to hide the plugs.
The mantel still looked too bare to me.....
what good are vases without sumptin inum?????
6 months later, they still hadn't gotten any light bulbs, so I swung by Lowe's and picked up the appropriate size and wattage, as well as the pair of lampshades.
Lowe's rocks!!!!!
I was in and out in 10 minutes!!!!!
This was after I had spent an inordinate amount of time at Micheal's.
We were getting ready for Miriam's baby shower.
We wanted the house to look beeootiful.

When I shop for accessories, I choose a lot of stuff to try out, and return what I don't use.
Tons of silk flowers.....
Tons of baskets.....
Tons of miscellaneous stuff!!!!!
So I gathered arm loads of white flowers, as realistic as I could find.
I chose all different sizes, as that makes for a better bouquet.
Then I hauled it over to the youngster's abode and cut them down to fit into the vases.
I think the lampshades make a tremendous difference too, to adding shape and texture to the grouping.
Here's one of my fabulous side by sides for comparison!!!!!
The room looks all glowey when the lamps are turned on.
I am a lover of lamp light as opposed to over head recessed lights. 
It's just so inviting and comfy.
I have lights in most of my ceilings, but seldom use them except in my kitchen, although I even have a lamp in that room as well which I keep on in the winter nights,...
I realize that I'm not posting as often as I used to.....
but bear with me.....
I am crazily submerged in designing fabric.
It may not amount to anything, but I am having a really good time.
I've also been gardening, as that is what I have to do in the spring.....
but that isn't as much fun.
Actually, that isn't any fun.....

wait a second!!!!!
before I go.....
I want to do a side by side of the way the room looked when I started and the way it is now!!!!!
OK, now I'm done.....

On that note,
Latah, Gatah

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Ottomans in Their Home.....

It is now time to show off the footstools I redid for Miriam and Ross in their living room that has been decorated by moi!!!!!!!!!
This is what they looked like before I redid them.
Wellllll...... not really.....the footstool on the left we ended up replacing with the one on the right below.....
They supply a place to rest one's feet or extra sitting if there's a crowd visiting.
I used the same white fabric as the chair slipcovers for the tape I made to edge the bottom of the footstools.
This visually united the two pieces, even though the bodies were in different fabrics.
I made toss pillows out of the same blue patterned fabric that covers the ottomans as well as the pair of painted chairs in the back of the room.
I also made bigger ones for the sectional.
This way the pattern is spread over the entire space.
with a new baby in the house, 
everything is topsy turvy.
My great nephew came a few weeks early, and we hadn't gotten all the furniture for his room yet.
No worries,
we have 10 new fingers and 10 new toes in perfect shape, 
so I try to tell myself that's all that matters.......
He is very cute,
Perla the wonder dog seems fine with him,
and I still haven't changed a diaper........

On that note,
Latah, Gatah

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Getting Fabric On the Second Ottoman.....

Or Betsy Screws Up AGAIN.....

No matter how many times I do stuff.....
I manage to usually mess up a step somewhere along the way.
One of the things I love most about watching Project Runway on TV, 
is when the contestant designers realize that what they are working on 
is a big fat disaster,
and they start from scratch on a new design.

As you may recall, 
we left off at this point as I was showing you guys the unmatched pair of footstools I reupholstered for my niece and her hubby.
I had gotten one done.
The second one was at this stage.
I had added 2" medium density foam to the built up top.
For those of you just tuning in, I built up the top so that it would end up the same height as the first ottoman, shown in the top picture.
The next step was to apply the Dacron.
As I told you in my last post, I had run out of Dacron, so ordered another roll, only to realize that I needed the wider one, not the smaller I had hoped would be sufficient.
Since I did this, a new invention has just come out that you might find useful in your DYI projects.
It's called a measuring tape, and I believe that they are now available at most every hardware store.
After I received the second roll of Dacron that was twice as wide as the first.....
I covered the second ottoman with it.
I ordered these rolls from a different supplier that my old roll, and being a fledgling upholsterer.....
I didn't remember what I had gotten in the past, other than to know it was the same stuff I use in Flerida.
the new roll was denser than the old roll.
Ended up being thicker when applied.
Oy vey, Oy vey, Oy vey!!!!!!!!!!!
So, when I came to the corners, I figured out that instead of just bunching the Dacron like I did in the first footstool.....
I had to cut out some of the fiber in the corner, in the shape of a triangle so it wouldn't be too bulky, and fold it down like a gift wrapped package.
Then I compared the two ottomans, side by side, and realized that the second one was going to be 1/4" to 1/2" higher that the first.....
after everything I went through to make them the same height!!!!!!!
don't worry kampers....
the screw ups have just begun!!!!!
I made the cover for the second one, thinking to myself...........
"Betsy, sweety pie.....
(I didn't really call myself sweety pie, that's just an artistic  flourish for the story.....)
(any way....)
"Betsy, sweety pie.....the first cover for the first ottoman had really sharp corners, why don't you slightly round the corners of this second one, and make the sewing a little easier!!!!!"
Which is what I did.
Well, kampers, if you know anything about geometry.....
if you round off the corner of the perimeter of a rectangle, it diminishes the overall outside dimension.
when I sewed the sides to the top, it was too tight.
Causing the frame of the footstool to poke out at the sides!!!!!
Not a great look.

Someone was going to bang a body part on the sharp edge.
like Leo, my new great nephew!!!!!
Just like on Project Runway, 
I made a whole new cover.
This is why it's always good to have a little extra fabric.

As you can see, 
it came out much better.

I finished it up like the first one.
Now it was time to add the cambric to the bottom of both footstools as a dust cover.
It's a nice way to give a finished look to an upholstery piece.
Fold under the edge, and tack it with a staple in the middle of each side, pulling it tight as you go.
Then, starting in the middle of each side, work your way out, pulling the fabric tight as you staple it in place.
It gives a nice finish, and covers over the raw edges of the upholstery fabric.
here they are, all finished!!!!!

For your viewing pleasure.....
I have supplied a side by side collage of the before and after!!!!!!!
Next post, 
I'll show you how they look in the living room of my exhausted niece and nephew.....
It ain't easy being new parents.
I go visit for a while, hold the baby, time to change the diaper and I'm outta there!!!!!

On that note,
Latah, Gatah
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