Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mustache and Monocle Pillow How-To

Today I'm sharing the how-to for the personality of my recently made-over mud room:  the mustache and monocle pillow.  

Super-fun and yet simple, this could be a great little accessory for all kinds of rooms.

To make this, I combined a few of my stand-by techniques including using canvas drop cloth for the fabric choice and freezer paper stenciling for the mustache and monocle.

I started by cutting the two pieces for the pillow.  Then, I printed a mustache using the same design as the one for this mustache hipster bag.  

For the monocle, I simply cut two circles, one slightly larger than the other, using a punch for one and  tracing the lid of my Mod Podge for the other.  Use whatever works for you, just remember you're making a stencil, so you will nest them together to create the look of a monocle.

Then, I just ironed the pieces onto the fabric and painted.  Click here to read more about freezer paper stenciling.

Next, I made the bow tie from a piece of fabric that was approximately 5" x 7".  I folded it together longways and sewed around the two sides and corners, leaving a hole so it could be turned right-side-out and pressed flat.

For the "knot", I cut another strip of fabric approximately 3" x 5", and folded and pressed the two long sides with an iron.

Then, I just pinched the middle of the bow tie to bunch it a little, then wrapped the strip around snugly, and sewed it.

Then, I hand-sewed the bow tie into place on the pillow top.

For a finishing touch before constructing the pillow, I added a little gold chain to the monocle.  You can  find this in the jewelry supplies at Hobby Lobby or your favorite craft store.

Just remove the unneeded links to get it to your desired length, then sew the ends in place with a needle and thread.

I love how the chain just sort-of hangs freely.  Tons of personality, I tell you.

Hope you like this!  Click here to see more of the mud room.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

When Life's Not Fair

You may not agree at first, but I think Thanksgiving is the perfect time to come to terms with the fact that life is just not fair.  

Someone gets the last of the Lucky Charms... or has to go to bed earlier than their sister... or gets wrongly accused... and the first thing you hear is, "That's not fair."

And what about when the woman behind you in line cuts to the register beside you when it opens even though you were there before she was?  Now that is seriously not fair.

There was a time I didn't allow those words in my house and I refused to let my kids say them.  But, then I realized we were all missing out on an important lesson.  The truth is that life really isn't "fair".  

It's the fact that we have more blessings than could ever really be counted on our blessings board...

And that we've never had to wonder if we'll have food to eat at our next meal or if we'll be able to pay the water bill.

It's knowing we can be forgiven over and over and over again for doing the same sinful thing because God's mercy never fails even when we do.

And even when things are really hard, and health fails or we lose jobs or even loved ones, we can still be thankful that we have a God who chooses to  give us mercy instead of what we deserve.

Theodore Roosevelt's quote, "Comparison is the thief of joy" is being pinned all over Pinterest, and it's so true in a lot of ways.  But comparison can also be a giver.  It can give us the ability to be thankful when we think of where we could be if not for grace.

Sometimes when we're having a great meal or sitting around our cozy house, I'll say to my kids, "This is so not fair."  And they're starting to realize just what I mean.

When I consider my life, my family, and my friends, I can honestly say that life has never been fair.  And that is something for which I am truly thankful.

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.

 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.                                   
                                  Psalm 103:8-12

{Download this 'Give Thanks' banner over at Edie's}

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mud Room Makeover

And now for the continuing story of the mud room... 

Instead of getting treated like a tired old maid who was constantly being bogged down with all my kids' junk, I thought I'd rescue the old mud room.  Give it a new personality.  One that was a little more dignified.  Like a distinguished English butler, ready to welcome our guests.  And so I came up with this... 

I even gave it face to match its personality.  (Mustache and Monocle Pillow how-to coming soon.)

My design plan started with the paint color--this is Calypso Blue by Benjamin Moore, and it really causes you to take notice of this small room.  The lack of natural light made it a hard color to photograph, but take my word for it--it's the perfect shade of peacock.  It's also one of Ashley and Jamin's favorite paint colors listed in their new  EBook, Handmade Walls.  If you haven't downloaded your copy yet, what are you waiting for?  Click on the button in my sidebar to get yours!

A black and white houndstooth (found at Hobby Lobby) seemed like the perfect fabric for the bench cushion, and the gold velvet pillows from Pier 1 help give it the distinguished English butler air.

The small mirror and key were both from Hobby Lobby on 50% off week, so I got them for $7 or $8 each.  After a light spray-over with Krylon's Gold Foil spray, they were up on the wall.

The old cabinet hardware was not much of a contrast with the wood, so I switched those out with these awesome ceramic and brass ones, also from Hobby Lobby.  (Have I mentioned how much I LOVE that place?)

And for a little something extra, I added black vinyl numbers.  Be still my heart.  It really is the little things...

And for more interest, we switched out our can lights for a couple Ottava pendants from Ikea using a recessed light converter kit from Home Depot.  Both HD and Lowes carry these kits in the stores, but they're made for different types of recessed lights, so check them out first.  We ended up having to order this one online.

I'm really happy with the new personality of the room.  Even though it's small, it's the perfect space for guests to hang their coats and bags.  And since we're hosting 22 people for Thanksgiving, it will definitely be put to good use next week.

So, good-bye, poor tired old maid.  You may go rest in peace and let the kids' new lockers deal with all their stuff.

The butler has taken over in the mud room and has everything under control.  I think I'll name him Mr. Carson.  We could use a Mr. Carson around here.

Hope you like this little update!  I'm sharing it with a few of these friends.

Thrifty Decor Chick

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Locker Mom

I have four kids.  Therefore, I have four-kids-worth of kid paraphernalia.  Coats, shoes, bags, and junk galore.  We've got it.  So, when we built our house three years ago, my husband and I made sure the plans included a mud room for pretty and practical storage of the kids' stuff.  Only, it turned out to be only somewhat practical and so not pretty most of the time, crammed full of backpacks, gym bags, and mountains of shoes.

So, we made the decision to move the kids' storage area to the garage and get them lockers {cue angels singing}, because it turns out that I guess I'm a Locker Mom, meaning I like the stuff hidden away and out of sight. Now each of the kids has a place to store all of their things inside an extra large school locker.  

My husband did the searching for these and found the best deal on what we wanted here.  He worked with them to get a custom quote on the size and color we wanted (love this Cardinal Red).  If you would consider yourself a Locker Mom and you're in the market for kids' lockers, I highly recommend them!

They turned out to be exactly what we were looking for, and shortly after we got the lockers, we were able to find a this Expedit Shelving Unit at Ikea to store a few more pairs of shoes for my husband and me.  The high gloss red is a perfect match to the lockers.

And that big wall behind them has a ton of possibility.  We're thinking about a wall mural if my husband and I can come up with one we agree on!

And as for the mud room, I figured with all the kids' stuff removed, it was a nice clean slate for a makeover.  Here's what it looked like before...

But I really think you're going to like the after.  Stay tuned for that coming soon!