Monday, March 31, 2014

Thanks for a Great March!

It's hard to believe it's almost April!

March was the best month we've ever had on the Amber Bottle House, and we have you to thank for it!

We got a lot done in March...

... and we got our awesome new web address.

Hopefully, we'll be able to tackle some bigger projects in April.  I'm really looking forward to seeing what plants we have (once they bloom) and landscaping around what's already there.  I can't wait to get some annuals planted by the mailbox and in pots by the front door. Woohoo!

Also on the to-do list: laundry room (it's a mess), finish changing the hardware on the cabinetry in the bathrooms, finish my office, start the basement guest bedroom & bathroom, and start choosing flooring for the kitchen and downstairs half-bath.

I guess I'd better get started!
Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Quilt Rack

Ever since we got some of Nana's quilts from my mom, we've been scheming a way to display them.  It was actually my mom's idea to use a ladder, but vintage ladders can be pretty pricey at antique stores, so Grant built one.

He bought two 6-ft 1x4" pine boards and a 1" dowel.  I stained all the pieces with Minwax Stain in "Classic Gray."  

I love the weathered look this stain gave the wood.  Initially, I was going to whitewash the pieces, but I wanted something different.  This stain was actually more forgiving to work with than whitewash anyway.

Grant drilled out 1" holes (but only about 1/2" into the boards) every 12" down the length of both 1x4's to accommodate the dowels. He cut the dowel into 18" pieces and slipped them into the holes he had created.

He also angled the bottom of each board so it could stand steadily against a wall.

(Don't you just love that carpet? Yeah, me neither.)

And ta-da!

This project was so simple. I'm actually thinking of making another one to hold towels in the guest bathroom. (Thanks in advance, Grant!)
Happy Sunday!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Plate Rack

I'm sure it would surprise you to hear that I want to decorate the walls in the dining room with dishes, right?

I had thought we would build our own plate rack, but the scalloped sides are not going so well. And by "not going so well" I mean badly. With only a jig saw, it was nigh impossible to get smooth scallops along the sides of the plate rack.

While at Greenbrier Antiques with Rebecca, I stopped to eye a red plate rack... the third time I've looked at this particular plate rack.  It was marked at $55, which was more than I really wanted to spend, but it seemed better than slaving for hours over our homemade rack.

Then the clouds parted.  The plate rack was only $40 when rung up. Victory!

The red was not what I had in mind, so I took our power sander to it. 

Simple enough: just wear a mask and clothes that can get dirty.

 Once the red was mostly sanded off, I wiped it clean and got ready to paint. I would normally use leftover house paint, but dowels are ridiculously difficult to paint with a paint brush, so I bought two cans of Rustoleum spray paint in satin white.

Two coats later...

Grant hung it in the dining room for me where it looks right at home, and I filled it with some ironstone pieces.

 An added bonus: while digging in boxes for the ironstone, I found our silver creamer and sugar bowl from Grant's great-aunt...


Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

More Pillows!

Besides creamers/sugars...

... I have a need for more pillows!  
It's really more of an obsession than a need. I rotate them from room to room and constantly peruse potential pillow fabrics.  They're just so easy to move from room-to-room, and they're relatively affordable to switch out in order change the look of a room.

I found some additions at Marshall's the other day.  The first one is reminiscent of a tea towel with red stripes...

...and an adorable button.

It looks perfect in my reupholstered armchair...

... in the living room, which has other red elements.

I found a pair of cadet-blue pillows for $30, and I thought they would work nicely with the various shades of blue in the den...

They sort of work as a neutral backdrop with all the other patterns and shades of blue in the room.

Happy pillow-hunting!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Painting Lately Part 2

As I mentioned in Part 1, there are several large, blank walls on the first floor of our house.  For one in the living room, I painted a rustic rendering of the Tennessee state flag...

I knew I wanted to have a vintage-style pharmacy sign somewhere, and the huge blank wall opposite the windows in the den seemed like the perfect place.

I bought a 24"x 48" canvas from Hobby Lobby (if I had it to do over again, I would probably use a large piece of wood) and gathered my paintbrushes.

First I used leftover wall paint (Benjamin Moore "White Dove") from the den to cover the entire canvas.  Then I taped off the perimeter so that I could paint a border of navy blue craft paint around the entire canvas.

I used the roll of Frog Tape as a template for the semi-circles at the corners.  It took several coats to get the blue uniform and opaque.

I used a stencil to write out the word "prescription."  

To center words, I just count how many letters are in the word or phrase, find the letter in the center, and put that in the center. For example, after measuring for the center point on the canvas,  I counted 12 letters in the "prescription," so letters 6 and 7 (R & I) were positioned equidistant around the center point.  Easy enough! Using this little trick will make your lettering look more professional.

As you can see, the blue was streaky at first.  It took three coats total to get the navy to have a uniform look.

Once "prescription" was stenciled and painted in, I started a-googling for fonts that would belong on an old pharmacy sign.  I came across this sign.  I modeled some of my lettering after the word "colonial" on the sign and sketched them onto the canvas.

At first my fake pharmacy was going to be called "Scenic City Apothecary," but that was too many words, so "City Apothecary" it became.

After several coats...


All you need for this type of project is paint and some patience (although a projector would have been most helpful to do the non-stenciled lettering).

Now to get this guy up on the wall!
Happy Monday!