Friday, July 29, 2011

One Thrifty Chick: DIY Farmhouse Table

Happy happy Friday!
But not so happy that its the last Friday of July. For real?? I can't believe this summer is going by so fast...it doesn't help with all the monsoonal moisture. Ugh.

Anyway.
I'm just going to let this picture speak for itself.
Cuz its definitely going on my Pinterest as inspiration for my outside dining table :)
Is this not completely beautiful???? And huge??
I love it :) Reminds me of my farmhouse table in my kitchen...just more rustic...and probably cheaper.

This splendid idea is brought to you by:::: 

And to see the genius behind making this table, you have to visit their how to! Its simply amazing :)

Have a great weekend!
Alicia

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Re-cover a Patio Cushion

So, I'm not going to lie. I've been dreading this post just as much as I was dreading actually making the darn things. First off, I had no idea what I was doing so I'm not really an expert on the matter anyway. But then I thought....so what? I did it, it turned out great...I may or may not be able to explain how I did it very well, but thats who I am and thats what this blog is all about :) We live, we learn, we tell....and then we just hope people understand it, right?

So, lets begin!
We got this patio set the summer after we moved into our house. So, we've had it about two years now. It may look good to you, but those cushions use to be green. Yep, deep forest green. And the wood on the table and chairs already need to be restained. Two years, folks. Two years.
For some reason when I bought these, I thought they would last a little bit longer than that. What was I thinking, silly ol' me. I even brought them inside for winter! And the worst part is, that the cushions looked like this last year. Thats only one year where they were actually green.

Well...I could have left them. But I didn't like the color. It was washed out, faded...and purple. Not my style at all. And I hated sitting on them cuz I had no CLUE what was in them....spiders, bugs, dirt, bugs, stickers, bugs. Who knows what the wind blows in or what climbs up those chairs. Anyway. I wouldn't sit on them. And I didn't know how to clean them unless I sprayed them down. Then they would be wet. And by the time they were dried, I would have forgotten that I was going to sit on them anyway and then by the next time I wanted to sit down, they were dirty again....its an on going circle....

I thought of just replacing all the cushions. The cheapest I found per chair was about $40. Plus I have a love seat bench type thing that is still in the basement that I would have to purchase new cushions for and that was ranging in the $100 range...And that still didn't solve my cleaning dilemma.

So, I decided to go the cheaper route and make covers on my own, ones that I could wash often and that would dry quickly. I thought about using outdoor fabric...then priced that out, and it would have been about $100 for all the cushions. Too much for me. I looked at my pillows that have been out there just as long as the current cushions, and they aren't outdoor fabric and seem to look great compared to the darn cushions! So I opted for the same kind of fabric the pillow covers are made out of, semi-outdoor is what I call it. Although its probably not at all. But it is for me! And then to go even cheaper...I didn't want to cover the back with the 'expensive' fabric when no one is going to see it. So I bought some cheap black dollar fabric for it. :) With this...my price per chair went down to $8.

So, to start. I took a yard and a half of my nice fabric and turned it upside down on the cushion. The bottom piece of the cushion was thinker than the top so it sloped down a little, but I didn't worry about that part of it, it would just fold into the cushion crease anyway.
I then pinched the fabric, and pinned the pinch all the way around the whole cushion. 
Next, I took the fabric off the cushion carefully and stitched the pinch closed with my sewing machine.
I then laid the fabric back on the cushion and maneuvered it into place.
Flipped it upside down (you probably don't really have to for this part) and pinned down the four corners from top to bottom where I wanted to sew, then left over piece will resemble a triangle (if that makes sense). This creates the dimension for the seat. Take off the fabric. Sew where you pinned and put the fabric back on the cushion. 
Carefully flip over the cushion. Now first off, you will need to measure the size of the top back cushion, and the bottom back cushion.
Cut the black piece a couple inches longer on each side. Fold over and stitch the fabric where the 'open' part is going to be on the cushion.
Now place the black fabric upside down on the cushion and line up.
Pin the black fabric to the other fabric on all three sides (do the top or bottom first, but not both at the same time). Slide the cushion out carefully and sew along your pins.
Now do the other section the same way.

Once everything is sewn together, you may want to send another stitch around everything to make sure its secure.

For me, putting the cushions back on was the hardest part. It was a game of shimmying....pull down one side, pull down the other. And since the two sections are attached (top and bottom) it was easier to fold the cushion in half and put both pieces into the cover at the same time, and do the shimmy dance all at the same time with both top and bottom.

Once that hurdle was over, I was glad to see it turned out perfect! 
This took about an hour to an hour and a half for each chair.
I have yet to tackle the big bench.
That may be saved for next year :)

Next in line for a makeover??? That darn wood!
I see a lot of sanding in my future :)
I'm not sure if I should keep the wood blackish brown....or paint it all black or even white!
What do you think?? I'm leaning towards white, but I'm not so sure I want to attack those crazy angles on the chairs just yet. Maybe keep only the table white??

Friday, July 22, 2011

One Thrifty Chick: Zebra Rug

Hey! Can't believe this week has already come...and is almost gone! Goodness, time flies.

I am loving....LOVING this rug from JandJHome

I've often wanted to incorporate animal prints in my decor, but am far far too afraid to do so. I think this one might do the trick! It's not overwhelming or "rich grandma" looking at all.
You all know what I mean, right? Like gold and cheetah together?
Anyway.
Love this!
You can find the tutorial here at JandJHome.

Alicia

Monday, July 18, 2011

DIY Wood Sunburst Mirror

DIY wood sunburst mirror made from cedar planks. DIY farmhouse wall decor and decorating ideas


As I mentioned last week, I've been itchin' to change up my front room. It was a hard decision to make, but after much thought, I decided to do it. I'll give you the short end of a long story...well, not really. Anyway, here's the deal. My house use to have the main accent color as black...black frames, black tables, etc. So, all of our family pictures were always black and white with black frames.
When I started redecorating, I kept finding that I was leaning more and more towards natural earthy colors, and what goes best with natural earthy colors? Brown. Black does too...but for what I was going for, brown was what I wanted.

Now, black and brown can co-exist. But when I wanted to put one of our old pictures up...it just never looked right. So, as all my rooms slowly transformed to browns, my front room was a haven for all of those pictures because it was now the only room in the house with black accents. And the only real reason for that was because of the pictures. So, I found myself decorating around the pictures. And the only reason for that was I felt that I had to have those pictures somewhere, because I really don't have any other pictures of us in our house and the hubs kept giving me crap about it. Anyway. Long story....so, I never really liked the room because I was decorating it for the wrong purpose.

When I first started to venture into redecorating the space, I still wanted to keep the grounding color black, but I found this totally awesome fabric that I had to have....and it of course, naturally had brown in it. And so the crazy redecorating process ensued.First up was to take off all the pictures on the wall and put up something in its place. I didn't want to spend much money....and it had to make a statement.
Sunburst Mirror -Ballard Designs Knock off made from Cedar planks only for $11!
....aka...be huge :) and the fabric was calling for something a little more vintage looking...and brown, of course. So, I remembered seeing this beauty over at Ballard Designs:
and thought that I could totally make that. Ha!....and so the insanity began. Here is a peek into my mind: 
I cut up a Bed Bath and Beyond catalogue into rectangles, then from there cut them into triangles and tried to configure someway to make my mirror look like Ballards. 
These are just two of the many many ways I tried....I think I had decided to pursue the bottom design.

So, first off. I took my cedar planks and drew up my cut lines. I measured the length at 22"then found the middle on one of the short sides, and drew a line from the corner of the other to the middle mark. Did this on the other corner also.
I did this ten times, using 5 cedar planks. I then used my miter saw to cut the separate pieces.
And used my jigsaw to cut the triangle pieces. I warn you...this did take some time :) 10 large triangles and 20 small triangles later::::

I laid them out on the grass to the same design as the magazine cutouts....and it looked completely awful. So, awful that I thought, "jeez, what a waste of time. Now I have all these pieces for no good reason." lol "I guess they'll make good firewood."

I almost gave up...especially when I realized that in order to do that design, I would need twice as many cuts as I had....Then I thought about maybe putting some space in between them, so I wouldn't have to do any more cuts or go to the store again to get more wood. Yes...laziness.

But, thanks to that laziness...that's when the final design came to be :) So, first, I took the smaller triangles, and put them straight side against the largest triangle. Measured them 4" down from the top of the big triangle, and cut of the bottoms.
Then, I used some wood glue to secure them together:
Next I stained them a dark chestnut.
Sunburst Mirror -Ballard Designs Knock off made from Cedar planks only for $11!
Then I cut a circle out of plywood using my jigsaw and used a nail gun to secure all the pieces together to the circle. I did this on the cement in the garage for a level surface, measuring the empty space between them with my level. It ended up being a little more than the width of the level. Not exact...but you can't tell, can you? Exactly :)
Sunburst Mirror -Ballard Designs Knock off made from Cedar planks only for $11!
Then I used some poly to seal it up.It gave it a nice shine too :) The bottom right three are with poly, and the rest aren't. What a difference it makes! 
Sunburst Mirror -Ballard Designs Knock off made from Cedar planks only for $11!
Once everything was dried, I bought a 12" circular mirror and secured it to the top of the sunburst with Gorilla Glue. Love that stuff! :)
Sunburst Mirror -Ballard Designs Knock off made from Cedar planks only for $11!
I waited overnight for this to dry in place, and then added some felt to the back of the mirror on the plywood (don't mind the hack job).

And then added a picture hanger to the back. I used a bit larger nails than the ones it came with, just to make sure it would stay in there, cuz baby....this thing is heavy!
Got it up on the wall and was relieved :) Finally, after two years...just this amount of change made me actually love this room, and want to be in it :)
Of course, the new pillow covers helped a bit too.
Sunburst Mirror -Ballard Designs Knock off made from Cedar planks only for $11!
This is about 50" in circumference.I know :) huge!!!
Exactly what I was going for! 
Sunburst Mirror -Ballard Designs Knock off made from Cedar planks only for $11!
Next up for a change? The curtains! I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them...but I'm excited!
Luckily, for now...they still go with the pillows, so it won't drive me too crazy :)
Sunburst Mirror -Ballard Designs Knock off made from Cedar planks only for $11!
Total cost of this sunburst mirror?
Cedar planks: $8.15
Mirror: $3
Everything else I had on hand.
Total: $11.15.
Umm...yes, I think I would rather have this than the $349 Ballard mirror :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

One Thrifty Chick: Red Faux Coral

I'm in the middle of changing up our front room.
I know, I just changed it like two weeks ago....lol. Actually it has been at least 2 months to my credit :)

I have concluded that I have waaaaay too many blue hues in my house. So out go most some of the blues and in comes some color!

I saw this project and thought it would be perfect!!!! in my front room :)
She made this red coral out of dry dough.
Awesome, huh?
This of course is brought to you by the ever so clever Vivienne at "The V Spot"


I think I'm going to try mine with some clay...since I have like pounds of it on hand already :)
Have a great weekend!!!
Alicia

Monday, July 11, 2011

10 minute No-Bake Cookies

Happy mid-summer ya'll. I know, I know. Mid-summer. Sad, it hasn't even been a summer at all yet. Hasn't this year been completely wacko?? I just hope it straightens itself out pretty quickly, cuz if I get one more inch of rain....my basement may be caput. We had a puddle outside for the past couple of days of at least four inches deep. Driving down the road this morning was like driving in a washed out river bed.

But, for whatever reason, the chicks are really enjoying it! So there's that :) 

Well, all this weird weather has put me in the mood for some fall and winter cookie faves. I use to make these all the time when I was a kid with carob powder.
And every single time I made them, my hands turned deep yellow.
Probably cuz you aren't suppose to burn the carob powder.
But I always did.
And believe me, those yellow hands do not go away quickly :)

Well, here's a recipe of our family fave sans the carob powder....and yellow hands.
 
3 Tbsp. butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. cocoa
1/4 tsp. salt
 3 Tbsp. milk
1/2 cup peanut butter (I use the reduce fat creamy)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups quick oats
First Step: 
Melt butter in saucepan
 Remove butter from heat.
Second step:
Stir in cocoa, sugar and salt until well blended.
 Stir in milk and bring to a boil.
 Remove from heat.
Third Step:
Stir in peanut butter, vanilla and quick oats.
(just a tip, I spray the measuring cup with nonstick spray before I put in the pb, it's much easier to get out)




Once you get it all nice and mixed up, drop onto a surface sprayed with nonstick spray.
I used foil here:

And I used a nice serving tray on this one. Either way. Or even wax paper works, of course.

I hope you enjoy them as much as we do! The best is that its so quick, simple, and all the ingredients are things you already have on hand!

Alicia

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Slow transformations....

Oh yes. It's summer. Finally!
Can you feel it???? I sure can. In my hands, quads, butt, skin...everything.
I'm sore! and bitten to death by mesquitos.

I wish I could say that I get a lot more things done around the house during the summer, but in reality...I don't.
I have projects galore that I want to do and need to do. Well, probably not need in the hubs eyes...but a total need in mine :)

But right now, our priorities are this:
I know. Bad lighting. But the sky sure looks pretty, eh?
Yes! That is sod in our backyard. You are not mistaken!
Oh, and a coop that is almost done! and seems like it has taken just as long to build as it has taken to get the sod in our yard :) 
Not the best before. But you get the picture. It was dirt.
I should have taken the before before when we still had trenches and sprinkler lines everywhere.
Did I mention that those trenches and sprinkler lines were in our backyard since...ummmm...last October??? And then it snowed. and then it rained. and then it got better weather. and then months after better weather, they were finally finished. and then we had to pay the guy again to level out the yard. and then.....yes, I can go on and on. But I won't.
Lets just say that now I am happy :)
It took two and a half years to get there. And now Max can finally go pee in the backyard when its raining and stop ruining the grass around our mailbox. Very Happy :)

Once we get that coop done...and the yard finally settled...and the patio in...and see? there's more. lol.
Anyway...I guess when I get time, I will finally finish the project that I was working on before this all happened.
That little baby in the corner:) 
It use to look like this on the outside.

And STILL looks like this on the inside.
It stinks. Like literally...it smells really bad in there. I don't really want to conquer this part of the project...that is why it's taking me so long.
But I know when its finished. I will be so flippn' happy! Cuz then, I could actually open it without vomiting muskiness.

Hope you all had a great Fourth of July!
Alicia
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