Entries from January 30th, 2012

If you Follow via Google Friend Connect

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30.1.12

Hey everyone, just popping in quickly to say if you follow us via the Google Friend Connect thing below read on:

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Google has announced that they’re discontinuing the service for all non-blogger blogs like yours truly. So if you want to keep following along, and of course you do! Follow us via our rss feed by clicking here.

Peace out for now!

Examples of a Well Styled Bookcase

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30.1.12

SOMEONE MAKE ME GET OFF PINTEREST! Seriously that place has to be the biggest rabbit hole of the time sucking variety since my once upon a time addiction to playing the Sims…but no seriously, if you haven’t tried it get on it right now but only if you have 3 hours to kill.

So anyway back to my why I was on pinning like a fool. Our Bedroom Makeover has been on a roll lately since we painted and added some awesomely DIY’d by me (if I do say so myself) curtains to change and brighten up the space. With that in the bag I have decided it’s time to turn my attention to the bookcases that flank the window on both sides and create the little seating nook with our 2 vintage chairs while they await reupholstering (soon hopefully, keep your fingers crossed).

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Since Bryan built these with his father the color on the bookcases is staying put, no painting allowed. But anyway since everyone else is doing the painted shelves thing sometimes I think it’s nice to be unique and keep the stain. But it’s definitely time to switch up what’s on the bookcases, it’s looking a little bit sparse in places.

And that’s where Pinterest came in. I have been on the lookout for some bookcase inspiration and I thought I’d share so you could be inspired too. I love me a well styled bookcase.

Clarendon Street eclectic family room

#1 via

These are painted a nice rich dark color with tons of books and no knick knacks the lighting highlights the contents of the shelves and keeps the contents from getting lost in the dark space. 

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I love the styling on these shelves from The Art of Doing Stuff her whole blog is awesome but check out this post on 7 ways to stack books. Who knew?
 
Lindy Donnelly traditional living room

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Another set of wonderful dark stained bookcases. Again there is a minimal amount of “stuff” on the bookshelves other than well placed stacks of books.

Living room eclectic living room

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I love this entire room and all of the colorful books and accessories, and if notice they’re not afraid to display their paperbacks right along with their hardcover books and pretty accessories. That’s my kind of styling.

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Here’s another wonderfully styled set of dark bookshelves. The bold colors in the other areas of the room and the coloring of the books themselves help to keep the bark tone of the bookshelves from feeling too heavy.

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And finally this is another great example how a careful selection of accessories combined with what feels likes a natural selection of books and objects stacked throughout leads to a wonderful and inviting space.

So what do I hope to take away from all this?  In my mind I’m thinking of mostly books, minimal accessories, a place where my fun summer beach reads can be at home with my hardcover classics. I want a casual collected over time feel. I’m also thinking some great bookcase lighting is in order.

So which ones are you favorites? I’m loving #4 and #5 a lot but they’re all great! Do you like tons of books with minimal accessories or are you all about showing off all your stuff?

How to Make Lined Curtain Panels

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27.1.12

Update: If you’re looking for the exact fabric I used it’s Robert Allen Khandar available here* or at a number of other places too.

As promised, I’m back to show you all easy step-by step instructions How to Make Lined Curtain Panels of your very own. When I started this DIY project I had made curtain panels before but never lined ones.

This time I wanted to add the lining because I knew it would make the curtains last longer, drape better, feel more luxurious, help filter out the light (which might even help you get a few more minutes of precious sleep) and prevent the neighbors from seeing some fantastically awkward silhouettes through the curtains. Yeah um, no thank you.

How to Make Lined Curtain Panels

With all those reasons kicking me in the butt to figure these bad boys out, a funny thing happened, I realized that they’re not really anymore difficult then the plain old unlined version, especially when you use this cheap and easy secret for the lining.

The secret is to use twin sheets for your lining fabric, there’s a few benefits to using sheets as lining; they’re way cheaper than buying specific drapery lining (I got mine at Wal-Mart for $5 each), there are all different colors to match your curtain fabric and they come complete with an awesome large hem so there’s no need to sew that. Every step saved equals an awesome benefit in my mind.

With all that said, there is actually more ironing than sewing in this project. So if you don’t own an iron then go buy one right now…on second thought read this tutorial first then go buy one.

How to Make Lined Curtain Panels

So let’s get to the point of why we’re all here shall we? Let’s learn how to make some professional lined curtains…and I thought you were all here to read my ramblings. Psssshaw ;)

What you’ll need:
  • 54 in Home Decorator Fabric in your choice of pattern cut to your desired length plus 12 inches (so for my 84 inch panels I used 3 yards of fabric for each panel with some excess scraps left over for goof ups)
  • Twin sheet for lining
  • Sewing Machine
  • Sewing Machine Thread to match your fabric
  • Iron
  • Good pair of scissors (sharp scissors will make all the difference in the world)
  • Ruler or yardstick

Step 1

Gather your curtain fabric and cut to size, for each standard 84 inch panel you’ll need 96 inches of fabric or around 3 yards which will give you some scraps at the end. To make longer curtains just add 12 inches to whatever you’d like your desired curtain panel length to be then divide by 36 to see how may yards you’d need.

DIY Lined Curtains - Step 1

Step 2

Once you have all your fabric cut out it’s time to start with what will be the bottom hem. Start by laying your fabric out upside down on your ironing board. If you have a pattern make sure it’s going in the right direction. Fold the bottom edge up 1/2 inch and press firmly into place. Then fold your fabric over again 5 inches, press and pin into place. Sew the hem in place with a straight stitch.

DIY Lined Curtains - Step 2

Step 3

Now it’s time to get your side seams sorted out. Some people advise cutting off the selvedge which is the finished edge from the factory that runs along lengthwise to prevent the selvedge from shrinking differently then the rest of the fabric. I didn’t on mine because I plan to bring them to the dry cleaners for cleaning in the future but you can di it depending upon your preferences.

Fold the vertical sides in 1/2 in and press, then fold over again another half inch and press again. You’ll want to pin it in a couple of places to hold it together then do the other side in the same manner. Don’t sew the side seams together just yet though.

DIY Lined Curtains - Step 3

Step 4

To prepare the sheet you’ll need to cut off 3 of the 4 hems, leaving the large decorative hem in place. This will form the bottom hem of your drapery lining.

DIY Lined Curtains - Step 4

Step 5

Now it’s time to place your lining together with your drapery fabric. Lay the entire piece of drapery fabric (wrong side up) out on a large flat surface like the floor. Lay the sheet right side up on top of your drapery fabric. The wrong sides of your fabric should be together. Now, align the sheet’s decorative edge (that you didn’t cut off) about 4 inches above the edge of the bottom hem of your drapery panel. You don’t want them to line up at the bottom and you won’t want to sew it together. Leaving it loose will help the fabric hang better and look more like curtains than like a pillow case in the end.

DIY Lined Curtains - Step 5

Now tuck your sheet edge under one side of the hem you pressed in Step 3 and pin firmly into place.

With the one side pinned smooth out your sheet liner so it lies flat on top of your drapery fabric. Depending upon your panel size and fabric width you may need to cut off the excess fabric from your sheet. Cut the sheet so that it tucks under the remaining vertical hem neatly. Trim the top to match the length of your drapery fabric.

Step 6

Final step. Fold the top edge down 1/2 inch and press into place. Then fold over 6 inches and press. Pin to hold it into place. Now you’ll want to sew two straight stitches. Sew with a 1/4 inch seam to lock into place. To create a rod pocket measure down 2 inches from your top and sew a straight stitch.

Creating the rod pocket is optional but I always do this last stitch even if I’m using ring clips in case I change my mind later and want to shirr the curtains on the rod. I’m fickle like that ;)

DIY Lined Curtains - Step 6

Tips to Ponder

If you are making multiple panels, make sure the lengths match up exactly.

Check to make sure you cut your prints in the same direction, and make sure you sew your panels so the pattern runs in the same direction.

*Some links contain affiliates

The Curtains Make the Room!

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25.1.12

Remember when I said the curtains were hung and they looked MA-VA-LOUS. Well I took pictures as promised a and am back to share all the details of how totally awesome and how they’ve completely changed the look of the room. I’ll be back on Friday to share all the DIY instructions how to make easy lined drapes just like you see here but for now let’s just admire them.

Lake House Style DIY Bedroom Makeover

I’m loving the added height, color pattern and texture the curtains have added to our newly neutral bedroom. I have to say it took me FOREVER to find just the perfect fabric for these bad boys right here. But it was totally worth the wait. I was looking for something bright and bold but not too overpowering and of course I wanted some killer coordinating fabric for the pillows that tied the whole thing together all while paying homage to our inspiration room.

I must have ordered 20 samples before finally settling on the choices you see in the room. I’m so happy I took the time to order and wait for the samples it really made all the difference and is something I highly recommend. Even if it does cost a few dollars per sample it’s money well spent to ensure you get the look you’re after.

Lake House Style DIY Bedroom Makeover

But let’s go back to the beginning so you can see how the fabric choices all came together.   If you remember our inspiration room photo had the most amazing fabrics layered throughout the room.

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What I wanted to take away from this room was the bold use of color, the mix of floral and geometrics and the layering of patterns and textures, all while staying away from the designer price tag. I was loving the Ikat referenced geometric fabric in the curtains from our inspiration room as well.

Lake House Style DIY Bedroom Makeover

I found this Robert Allen Khandar  fabric in Jewel and fell in love as soon as I got the sample in. It’s gorgeous fabric and perfect for drapery. I needed approximately 12 yards for the 4 curtains panels so at $14.95 per yard it would be around $45 per panel…not a steal in my mind but totally worth it when you compare the $200 per panel price tag of our inspiration room fabric.

The most amazing part was right before I went to purchase the fabric I found the very same fabric on fabricguru had a discounted selection on sale for $6.50 per yard because it had a tiny grease smudge about 3 quarters in. Yup, that works out to around $19.00 per panel which I don’t know if you’ve looked lately but i can’t EVER find designer looking drapery panel for that price ANYWHERE! If you know of some place let us know!

Oh and if wondering about the grease smudge…when we got the fabric there we 2 small (smaller than the size of a penny) slight grease marks that ended getting cut off in the end. So major score on our part for be willing to take a less than perfect run of fabric we saved over $100 off the retail price of the fabric.

Braemore Wonderland Pearl Pillows

The Floral pillow fabric from our easy peasy envelope pillows is Braemore Wonderland in Pearl and I also found it on eBay for around $10 per yard, another score since the fabric retails for around $30 per yard.

Lake House Style DIY Bedroom Makeover

Lake House Style DIY Bedroom Makeover

I’m really loving the mix of color and pattern that plays off the neutral background. The floral pillows and the stripes are a nice mix.Just so we can jog my memory because I love a good before and after, here’s what we started with.

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Then with a little furniture tweakage and a new coat of paint it went to this.

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I was pretty impressed with just the coat of paint. Now with the addition of some bright and cheery fabrics we’ve gone all the way to this

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It really feels like the whole room is coming together now. So what’s next on the list you ask? Well , I’m thinking of restyling the bookshelves and adding some art to the walls. Then it will be on to reupholstering those chairs and adding some color to the end of the bed with a blanket I’m planning on sewing. But that will all come in good time. So what have you been up to lately. Do you have any tips for finding great fabric for less?

Update: If you want to learn how to make Professional Looking Lines Panels just like I did, check out the detailed step-by-step tutorial here.

Snow Fun

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23.1.12

Saturday morning we woke up to a bunch of fresh fallen snow It snowed through most of the day but when it was done we were left with just the right amount of fluffy powder.

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Enough to run, jump, sled and play in, but not too much that made walking more than 2 feet misery.

Sunday turned out to be the perfect time to take Nikolas out for his first real fun in the snow since last year when he was too little to give a crap. I anticipated in normal everyday almost 2 year old fashion, resistance to all of the layers of clothing that come along with fun in the snow. But a funny thing happened not one peep of resistance from this little man. Not a NOOOOO, not a WAIT WAIT, not a complaint.

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This guy was ready. He had been planning his moment of snow attack looking longingly through the sliding glass door for almost 24 hours now.

P1150246 There was no time to be wasted posing for pictures for this little boy.

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I on the other hand decided it was a perfect time to do just that…pose for some pictures. I’m camera shy sometimes ;)

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Then we though he just might like to go for a sleigh ride in the back yard…judging by the dimples I’d say it was Nikolas approved. I just love those dimples, I fear for the amount of girls those dimples will attract in high school. I think I’ll just keep him 2 forever…ok maybe he could grow up to 4. Then he can stop. Yes I think that’s the plan.

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Of course Bryan couldn’t let him have all the fun by himself.

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After a few runs I decided it was my turn to get in on some of the action.

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We then lost our riding buddy to his new favorite activity…eating snow of course. Good thing we didn’t have any of the yellow variety in our yard ;) That would be just gross.

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What were we doing while Nik was eating snow….posing for pics of course.

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