Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Easy, Inexpensive Wall Art

Ever have one of those weeks where every day something, at least one thing, goes badly.  Well that was my week a couple of weeks ago.  It started with my son vomiting all over my bedroom carpet (on my birthday, no less), and then progressed to my washing machine over-flowing, and then Sunday (Father's Day) my Refrigerator broke.  Those were just a few of the highlights of that dreadful week.  Thankfully, thing seem to be going much better.  The fridge was repaired, just needed a simple thermostat - a quick and inexpensive repair- thankfully!  According to the repair man, my washing machine was fine, appears as though the water leaked out the door...I have a front loader.  The rubber seal sometimes pops off and it prohibits the door from closing securely....go figure.

Despite all this, I was, however, able to get a few things accomplished around the house!  One quick project I did, was make a beautiful piece of art to adorn one of my dining room walls!  I had seen and heard about framing left-over remnants of fabric or wallpaper, and making this your wall art.  So, I figured I would give it a try.  The most difficult thing for me was to find a fabric, more accurately, a pattern/design that I really loved and wanted to incorporate into my dining room.  I wanted to draw on the blues, whites and yellows I already had in the room.  After much searching, I came across this fabric at

I love damask, and thought I would order a sample to see if it would coordinate well!  I received the fabric, and I absolutely loved it.  I ordered 2 yards of fabric, which is more than I needed for the  piece of fabric I was going to frame,  but I figured I could make some table runners for my dining room table too. 

Once I received the fabric, I began measuring, as I had hoped to cut an 18"x18" piece of fabric to then frame.  However, due to the pattern, size, etc. I had to play with my numbers a bit.  The large damask pattern was what I wanted to have centered in my frame, but it wasn't easy, as the repeat pattern is in the shape of a diamond.  I finally decided to go with a 16"x16" piece of fabric, with the damask in the center.  Before I cut the fabric, I ordered a matte black frame off  The opening of the frame was 16"x16", but the overall dimensions of the frame were 18"x18".  That size would be perfect for the wall I had in mind to hang it on.

The frame arrived, and thankfully under the glass was a 16"x16" thin piece of paper.  I took my fabric and taped it to a sunny window and then adhered the paper atop of the fabric.  After some measuring, I taped the paper so that the large damask was centered on the paper, with an equal amount of fabric above and below the damask pattern.  I traced around the edges of the paper, and then cut just outside of the lines, so to ensure the fabric wasn't too small for the frame. 

The size of the fabric, once cut, was a little big, but it was fine. I then ironed the fabric to get out the wrinkles, etc.  BIG MISTAKE!!  The fabric is a dry clean only fabric, and my iron shrunk the fabric, enough that it was too small for the frame:-(  Sooooo, thankfully the way the pattern ran, I had another opportunity to try this whole process over again.  This time I ironed it but on a very low setting and did so, prior to cutting the fabric.  I repeated the process above for tracing and cutting the fabric.  This time the fabric fit within the frame just fine.  I then placed the back of the frame on and hung it on the wall.  The frame was all of $24, which was a steal for a square-shaped frame.  Apparently, a square shaped frame over 12"x12" is considered a speciality size. 

But you could frame anything and make it art for your walls!  I'm eager to try this concept with wallpaper!  Here's a pic of the finished product!  The flash on my camera illuminated the center of the damask....kind of cool!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Relaxing Getaway

My husband and I celebrated 12 years of marriage the beginning of this month!  We typically like to get away for the day or for an overnight, though it tends to happen a few weeks after our actual anniversary!  My in-laws so generously took our three children all day Saturday, Saturday night, and Sunday morning.  So, we took advantage and decided this year, we would opt out of staying somewhere overnight, but rather do a day trip.  It didn't take us long to decide to head to the coast.  Maine's coastline is absolutely beautiful!  I forget this at times, especially during those bitter, cold winter months!  The little coastal towns and communities are just so quaint!  We began our trip  in Camden.  Camden is truly one of our most favorite coastal communities.  We sat on a bench overlooking the harbor, and just took in that salt air and all the various boats that were docked. 

We then headed into a few adorable shoppes, and admired so many beautiful things!  I love to see the beautiful craftsmanship that is displayed in these shoppes. 

We then, spontaneously decided to travel further South down Coastal Rt. 1 to Rockland and Rockport.  My husband had never been to the breakwater/lighthouse there, and really wanted to see it.  What a gorgeous spot.  The lighthouse is approximately .75 miles off the coast, but thanks to the breakwater, that was built in the late 1800's, you can walk that near mile out to the lighthouse.  It's so picturesque!  We enjoyed our long walk out, hand-in-hand, and soaked up the salty air and scenery. 

Once we reached the lighthouse, we were able to go into the lighthouse and travel to the top.  WOW, panoramic views of ocean!  Sail boats were cruising by, and the waters were peppered with lobster traps.  We even caught a glimpse of a large fish swimming around the base of the lighthouse. 

After spending some time in absolute awe of God's beauty, we walked the .75 miles back to shore. 

From there, we continued Southbound on Coastal Rt. 1, and headed through Thomaston, Warren, Nobleboro, Damariscotta, Edgecomb, and Wiscasset, stopping periodically at Antique shops found along the way. 

What a wonderful, relaxing day we had.  We really got to enjoy the company of one another, and didn't have a care in the world.  It was rather nice!  Now, I realize this has nothing to do with home decor, but it has everything to do with "all things beautiful"!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

DIY Upholstered Headboard

Don't you just love the look of an upholstered headboard!

Lorraine Tufted Headboard

Camden Tufted Headboard
They are just absolutely beautiful! I am a sucker for the diamond tufting, and the curves, oh the curves!  I was getting rather tired of our wooden bed with spindles.  It was terribly uncomfortable to rest your back against, and honestly it looked rather dated. 

I have been wanting an upholstered headboard for awhile now, but I can just imagine what my hubby would have said when I showed him the price tag of these beautiful headboards from pottery barn and ballard designs.  So, I decided, yet again, that I would look on-line to see what I could find for a tutorial on making my own upholstered headboard.  Keep in mind, I had never upholstered anything, well not successfully!

I found some fantastic websites that gave step-by-step instructions on how to make my own headboard.  So, I showed my hubby the tutorials, and he thought we could handle making one.  Rather than recreate the wheel, I thought I would provide you with the various blogs we referenced when making our headboard.  Check out:   Centsational Girl, Addicted2Decorating, Markovadesign, Bejane, and jenwoodhouse.

Honestly, I read these tutorials over and over again, and took bits and pieces of info. from each one, as my hubby and I began making our upholstered headboard.  Please note:  you will need to have a second person help you when you begin the button tufting process, it makes things a lot easier.

First things first, I wanted a very basic, solid, timeless fabric for my headboard.  I ended up going with 10 oz. Bull Denim in Natural.  I ordered it from, as they have great prices, and your order ships free if it's over $35.  It was only $8/yard, and it was 60 inches wide, which was super important, as you really want the fabric to be as wide as possible, so that you don't have to sew two pieces together to get it to cover your headboard.  60 inches was more than adequate for our queen-sized headboard.  I ordered 3.5 yards, but I really would have been fine with 2.5-3 yards of fabric.  I wasn't sure how much fabric it would take to cover all the buttons, but it really took very little fabric.

The next step was to decide upon the style of the headboard.  I knew I wanted it to be diamond tufted, but what shape.  At first we opted for the rectangular shape, as it would be easy to cut, but then after my hubby made the rounded edges on the rectangle, I thought it looked a bit too contemporary for me.  I am so TRADITIONAL!  So, we decided to go with the shape of our existing headboard (refer to that lovely photo above)

We then headed to Home Depot to get our OSB for the actual headboard.  We opted to buy a full sheet 1/2 inch thick.  Some of the blogs I read said you could use 1/4" but we wanted to make sure it would be sturdy enough.  Once we got it home, we then took our existing headboard and traced the shape of it against the OSB.  Then my hubby used his saw and cut along the traced lines to create a beautiful curvy frame, and to cut it to the appropriate height and width (which varies depending upon how big your bed is i.e. twin, queen, king). 

The next step was to figure out how far apart we wanted the buttons to be from each other and how far apart we wanted the rows to be.  My hubby is an engineer so I left the calculating up to him.  He then used a marker and marked where each button would be by making a small circle.  He then marked where the buttons would be on the diagonal with an X.  Once this was finished, he used his drill and drilled holes through the OSB where each of the buttons would go. 

We then bought some spray adhesive and sprayed that onto the OSB, to then place the 2" thick foam onto.  Now, I ended up ordering my foam on-line.  I didn't want to mess with buying and adhering 2 or more pieces to the headboard to cover it.  Instead I ordered a sheet of foam, large enough to cover the entire headboard.  This was the biggest expense of the project:  $52. 

So we adhered the foam to the headboard, and then used an electric carving knife to trim off the excess foam, particularly around the curved edges.  It worked like a charm.  Foam is not easy to cut, but the electric carving knife worked beautifully. Thanks Michelle (friend and neighbor) for letting us borrow your knife!  My hubby then cut holes through the foam with  a piece of conduit, 1" in diameter, to allow for the buttons to somewhat fall into the holes to give the tufting a deeper look and feel. 

Next, I needed the buttons.  We calculated that I would need to cover 35 buttons.  I opted to buy them on-line as it was cheaper.  I bought 7/8" also referred to as size 36 buttons. They came 3 to a package so I ordered 13 of them, with a few extras just in case.   I choose to get the half ball cover buttons, as my fabric was thick and didn't work well with the other type. 

Now, it did take some time to cut the circles of fabric out and then to wrap them around each button, but like another blog suggested, do it when you are watching a movie.  It's much like knitting, if you know what I mean.  The other essential tool that I purchased was an upholstery needle.  I wasn't really sure which size would work best to I opted to get a kit.  I found the 6" and 8" needles to work the best.  You need something long enough to feed through the board, foam, batting and fabric.  Don't forget the upholstery thread either.

I really wish I had taken photos along the way, but I didn't.  Sorry!

Once the buttons were all covered, we laid the OSB (otherwise known as the headboard) on two saw horses.  We covered the board with the foam attached with a double layer of high-loft batting, which you can get at Joann Fabrics.  So, just lay the batting right on top of the foam.  Make sure your batting is wide and long enough to staple it to the back side of the headboard when the time comes to do so!  Next lay the fabric over the batting, making sure to straighten out any wrinkles.  I actually ironed my fabric prior to placing it atop the batting. 

I followed the instructions on threading the needle and of course feeding it down through the fabric. I cut a relatively long piece of thread, doubled it up, and then fed it through the eye on the back of the button.  I then tied it so the knot fell right on the eye of the button.    My hubby laid on the floor between the two saw horses and used another upholstery needle to stick it up through the pre-drilled holes and then through the batting and fabric, so I would then know where to feed my threaded needle down through.  It worked wonderfully.  Every now and again I would have to fish around to find the pre-drilled hole, but it took out a lot of the guess work. 

Once I fed the needle and thread down through, my hubby grabbed the end of the needle (well not the pointy, sharp part), and continued to pull it all the way through to the back.  He then slipped the thread off the needle, and then began stapling.  You have to staple once, then make a zig-zag pattern, stapling each time you do a zig-zag.  This just prevents your thread from slipping out of the staples.  If you have an electric stapler/nail gun, that would work the best.  We actually had a bit of trouble, as our electric staple gun didn't like working upright.  It would shoot a lot of bad staples or jam.

Some blogs suggested you do the buttons on the down rows first, and then go back and work horizontally, but I'm not convinced that is necessary.  Though, one thing I did learn (the hard way) is you don't want to push the buttons down hard and deep, as you are stapling the thread to the backside, as you will have no extra fabric to make the pleats that you need in order to give it that deep tufted look.  Just gently press down on the buttons as the thread is being stapled on the back, and as you start to work on the diagonals (which is where the magic of the button tufting becomes evident), make sure you form those pleats before adhering the next button.  Make sure, as well, that all of your pleats are going in the same direction!  Once this was done, 35 times it looked great!

The last and final step was to pull the batting and fabric taut around all edges of the headboard.  Keep in mind, you need to make pleats on the outside edges where ever there is a button.  You can choose to do one straight pleat coming out of the button to over the side and then secure the fabric to the back with a staple or two, or you can make two diagonal pleats coming out of the button and then wrap the fabric around to the back and staple it.  It's totally whatever is your preference! 

You must then go all the way around the headboard pulling the fabric taut and stapling that and the batting to the back of the headboard.  We stapled the heck out of it, so to ensure it wasn't going anywhere.  The curves on the top of the headboard can be a bit tricky, as the fabric tends to want to bunch up there, but we just cut any extra fabric that was in the way, or cut slits in the fabric to make it easier for us to staple it down without any bunching.  The end result was beautiful.

For some reason everytime I took a picture of the headboard it came out blurry, no matter what setting I had it on.  Sorry about that, but you get a visual now.  I just bought Pottery Barn's Amelia Quilt and Shams in Porcelain Blue off Ebay, and will post pictures of the completed look when I get a chance. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mercury Glass Lamps

I seem to be obsessed with a few things right now, mercury glass being one of them.  I recently bought two different pillar candle sets in mercury glass, and I just love them.  Mercury glass is so elegant looking.  It's lustrous, reflective qualities give a really rich look and feel.  I personally think you should incorporate a touch of it in every room.  It fits with so many decor styles!  Check out these beautiful mercury glass lamps from Pottery Barn.  And, yes, I have been drooling over these for awhile now, but I just couldn't bring myself to pay $209-$269 per lamp.

Antique Mercury Glass Table & Bedside Lamps

How about these

  Alternate View

Well these are ONLY $80-$96, but that's just for the base, you would have to buy the shade separately.

Well, just before Christmas '11, I happened to be in my local T.J. Maxx store (which is one of my most favorite places to shop for home decor items), and I spied these beauties

I love the lines of the base, and the mercury glass, oh that beautiful mercury glass!  The price tag for the lamp and shade was $39, and they had a pair.  I "needed" new lamps for my bedside tables in my bedroom, and I just knew the mercury glass would look stunning, BUT I thought $39 was a little high.  Ultimately, it would be $78 + tax for the pair.  I admit, I'm cheap.  I decided to wait it out and see if they would get snatched up, or clearanced at some point done the road (hoping they would be clearanced at some point down the road).  I'm always trying to work on being more patient, so what better way to test myself!  My philosophy with stuff like this is, if those lamps are meant to be mine, they will still be there when I go back, and better yet, they will be marked down!!!

So, every couple of weeks I stopped by T.J. Maxx to check on those lamps, of course, and they were still there.  The price tag hadn't changed so I just kept, periodically, stopping by.  Well, it was sometime in February, my daughter and I had to run into T.J. Maxx for something else, and of course I had to check on the lamps to see if there were still there, or if they had been marked down.  Low and behold, both lamps were still there, and they had been marked down to $29/piece.  I wasn't about to let that deal pass me by, so my daughter and I each got a cart and loaded the lamps into them.  For $60.90 I got both lamps.  I was soooo excited.  I'm thinking I might wrap the shades in burlap, another thing I'm obsessed with right now, to give my bedroom a bit of texture, and to change the look of the lamps, just a bit.  Actually , if you refer to the pics of the mercury glass lamps from pottery barn, you'll see they have burlap shades.  I'll let you know if and when I get around to doing that project.  I'll post pics of the lamps on my bedside tables, once I'm done with all the renovations in my bedroom.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Backyard Renovations Update 1

Well, honestly, I think it has rained here in Maine for a week straight.  All the rivers and streams are flooding.  With that being said, it's quite difficult to get anything accomplished outside!  Our Contractor, Joe Simpson, popped over today to get something done on our deck.  Poor guy, he has all this work to do, and just can't get to the various jobs he has committed to due to the rain.  We can't say enough good about Mr. Simpson.  Despite the rain delaying all his jobs, and the many jobs he has committed to, he still squeezed our project in.  We are so grateful.  We would've had to get real creative in finding ways to get in and out of the pool!  Joe's working hard despite the on and off rain showers!  F.Y.I. if anyone in the Central Maine area needs a contractor, Joe is awesome!  I'll post more, at a later date, about some of the beautiful projects he has done in our home, pictures and all!

So, here's where we stand as of today with the deck.  Joe was able to frame up the floor of the deck which connects from our existing deck to the pool.  We will have an 8'x8' deck abutting the pool.  We will then step down onto our existing deck, which will only be 5 ft. wide by 14 ft. long.  This area will allow a space for our grill and just some outdoor space, albeit small.  The remainder of our deck will be converted into a screened-in deck with a roof (16'x14').  We aren't sure this will be done anytime soon, as Joe has other jobs he has to get to, and we need to get busy laying the deck boards (who knows how long that will take us).  At this point we really just want the deck to be functional, safe, and allow for access to the pool.  Joe also reinforced the deck with posts set in cement to support the weight of the screened-in room and it's roof.

Take a look....

Check back in a couple of weeks to see if we finish putting down the deck boards. Now we just need to decide......pressure treated or composite decking for the flooring? Any thoughts?