Entries Tagged as 'Home projects'

How To Make a Simple Terrarium



Well hello there, I’ve missed you all. I have a great little bedroom update to share today. Yes we’re still moving slowly along in that room. I’ve never really had any space that I could call done so I’m determined to keep on chugging along one little piece at a time until I get it where I’m content to move along.

Bedroom Lamp

Do you remember when I mentioned that I had purchased a lamp to place on the dresser and I couldn’t decide if it was a right for the space? Well I decided I agreed with some of the comments I received and back it went to the store, I liked the lamp well enough but just not in that spot. I’ve learned if I’m not loving it 100% then to just return it and try something else. I always end up happier than if I kept it and tried to make it work.

Bedroom Lamp 1

The lamp covered up some of the wall gallery and the neutral colors weren’t balancing against the other colorful elements of the room. On the trip back to Home Goods to return the lamp I found a great apothecary jar and at $19 I grabbed it and ran, especially considering I’ve seen ones for three times that amount in other places. It was the right shape and scale for the top of the dresser and I liked the light air feel of the glass, but it was still missing some color.

Apothecary Jars

I contemplated a few different options to fill it, including glass fishing floats or colorful stones but in the end I decided it was the perfect spot to add a little life to the area in the form of a small terrarium . I had some small square glass vases stashed in the closet so I added those to the mix as well. I like how the square vases contrasted against the curvy lines of the Apothecary jar.

I was hoping that it would be a quick and easy project and it was. Once I had the supplies (which took 2 trips to the store because I couldn’t make up my mind)  it took less than an hour to put together. The most difficult part was lowering the plant into the jar, which took a little careful maneuvering to settle it in there.

Terrarium Supplies

On the second trip to Home Depot I bought my supplies. I already had my Apothecary Jar from Home Goods and two other glass containers I’d use as pots. I purchased a few African Violets and a Parlor Palm which are great indoor houseplants, thrive in low to medium light conditions and don’t mind being a little bit humid which can happen in a closed glass jar. Side Note, I bought way too many plants. I only ended up needing 3, one for each pot. I also picked up some potting soil and decorative stones. Most people also recommend using activated charcoal but I couldn’t find it so I skipped that step. We’ll see if I live to regret it.

Apothecary Jars 3

After that I added a small amount of the decorative stones to the bottom. Since there aren’t any drainage holes I wanted to leave the water a place to gather at the bottom in case I overwatered. I actually had too many in the photo above and ended up taking some out, but you get the idea.

I placed a small amount of soil then lowered the African Violet carefully into place. At some point I may have wondered aloud how the #$*@ can I get this plant into that jar. After a little trial and error I found adding just a small amount of soil and then filling in around it was the best method. I ended up having to brush some of the soil off of the leaves this way but it all turned out good in the end.

It got a little messy so be sure to work outside or cover your work services to keep the clean up easy.

Apothecary Jars 4

I planted another African Violet into one of the smaller square planters and the Parlor Palm into the larger vase, this time without the #$#^&.  That was it, easy peasy.

I’m loving how simple this was and the color and sparkly touch it adds to this side of the room.

Apothecary Jars 1

Also the clear containers that allow the pebbles to show through are super cute.

Apothecary Jars 2 copy

So what do you think? Anyone else tried sticking a plant in a jar lately?  Did you love the results, or were you thinking how the *#*&$% am I going to get this plant stuffed into this jar.

Lake House Style: Easy Peasy Envelope Back Pillow Tutorial



Good morning everyone, we had a new addition to our Lake House Bedroom this weekend. They’re bright, bold and just the right shot of color our are newly neutral bedroom needed after receiving it’s fresh coat of paint last week. These are the first of a few doses of color our bedroom will get. They couldn’t have been easier to sew and they look so good too sitting on the bed all fluffy and colorful. I have plans to make a few more in this fabric and some others to pull the whole room together but those will have to wait for another day and another post since it’s back to work time for me today.


In the meantime while I get my sew on for all the other pillows, here is a quick and easy tutorial on how to sew envelope back pillows. I decided to go with an envelope back because it just might be the easiest way to sew a pillow ever. I made these for my Euro size pillows on my bed which are those big square ones you see all the time. I just love the way they look but never love the price tag on those size pillow covers.

Envelope Pillow Tutorial 1

First you’ll want to choose the size of your pillow. I wanted to cover my Euro size pillows which are 24 x 24 inches.


You’ll need to cut 3 pieces of fabric. I wanted floral fabric on the front with a neutral fabric on the back. Out of the Front Fabric I cut 1 piece 24 inches square. Yes the same size as the pillow, I like mine nice and plump so the finished size will be slightly smaller than the 24 inch pillow. Then you’ll cut the 2 back pieces. My measurements were 24 x 14 inches and 24 x 20 inches allowing for a 3 inch overlap that makes the envelope and a generous 1 inch hem allowance.

Make sure you iron all your pieces flat. Even if they don’t really look wrinkled iron them anyway. It makes sewing a professional looking pillow that much easier.


To finish the back pieces press your raw edge down 1 inch. Fold it over and press another 1 inch.


Using a straight stitch on your machine hem the back pieces you just folded and ironed.


To assemble your pillow lay the front piece down face up. Next lay your shorter back piece face down lining up the raw edges with your bottom piece. Make sure the right sides of the fabric are facing together. Then lay your longer back piece face down which should overlap the first piece.

Pin your pieces in a couple of places along the edge so they don’t shift around as you move them to your machine.

Using a straight stitch sew along all 4 sides of your pillow

Turn the whole piece right side out


Your back pieces should overlap, creating a simple envelope back pillow. Easy. Peasy


Stuff and fluff till your hearts content.

Let the Bedroom Tweakage Begin



Well hello everybody, I can’t believe it’s 2012 already! Boy time flies. We had the most wonderful week last week hanging around the house, playing with our Christmas Booty, with some lounging and movie watching thrown in. Unfortunately it’s back to work today for us all. Back to reality.

So now that Christmas has come and gone and our few glorious days of laying around on the couch came to a close I got inspired to begin implementing our plan for our Master Bedroom updates.

To us it seems like we’ve never really gotten the room to where we wanted it. When we moved in we put some green paint on the walls (that we weren’t totally in love with after the fact) and placed our bed and old nightstands in the room and called it OK for now, especially with all the other more pressing projects we had planned for the house the Bedroom got put on the back burner.


Actually we’ve had a number of compliments on the green paint saying it’s cozy and cocoon like, but we’re not convinced and we’re ready for a change anyway. One lesson we’ve learned over the years is that we’ll always be tweaking and moving things around. What we liked yesterday we will most certainly want to change up over time even if it’s not as dramatic as changing the paint on the walls or getting a new piece of furniture. We’ll most certainly change this along the way in whatever we decide to do now. It’s just some of the fun of the process.

Anyway the first couple of tweaks we’ve got going on is the addition of our 2 new Bed Side Tables. We are stupid in love with these guys. For the last 4 years we’ve been using side tables from my parent’s old living room, which were about 6 inches too short, which was inconvenient to reach out of the bed to put something on and only had one teeny tiny drawer that didn’t fit much.


But thanks to an awesome Pottery Barn Rewards from our couch purchase back in April that was about to expire purchased the first Pottery Barn’s Sophia Bedside table mentioned here in our Bedroom inspiration board table and an awesome Christmas gift from my parents to complete the set. We now have that extra 6 inches of height that the old Side Tables were so desperately lacking. We can finally put a glass of water down comfortably and with the added bonus of deeper more usable drawers we’re crazy excited about our new purchase. Yeah we’re secretly doing a happy dance at the new functionality the Bedside Tables add.


Of course this is only the first step in our Master Bedroom makeover and only one of the tweaks we’ve just recently done. We also changed out the shades on the Bedside lamps to a cleaner more modern drum shade from Target for $16 each. The old ones were looking a bit to traditional with the bell shape and I love how simple changes can really update up the look of an item. Same lamps +New shade = muy updated look. B also now has a vintage Brass fish sitting on his side table that I found on Etsy and a sweet painting a local artist painted of our lake which was also a great random Etsy find.


My great grandmother’s vintage chairs have found their way into the bedroom flanked by the two bookcases B and his Dad built for us a few years back while they wait for us to decided on a fabric and get to the big project of reupholstering them. Honestly, I think there is horse hair in them so we’ll have to take that project one step at a time when we get around to tackling it. I’m kind of apprehensive about yanking out all that horse hair, but I know that it’ll all be worth it in the end.


We’ve also added the Ballard Designs Olivia Mirrored Side Table in Antique Brass in between the vintage chairs, topped it off with a Mercury Glass Lamp from HomeGoods and a couple of vintage brass quails that now live on the table that B bought me from Etsy for Christmas. Between the Fish on the Bedside table the Antique Brass Table nestled between the chairs and the Vintage Quails it seems there is a brass theme emerging around here and I’m kind of loving it.


On the bed we changed out the old Orange Duvet cover for the Pottery Barn essential quilt in Ivory which is thinner than I expected from the catalog pictures but so amazingly warm and bonus for anyone who wants to buy it I think it’s on sale right now for even less than we paid for it on sale a couple weeks back. Underneath is a  Cream Coverlet from Target that matches the other cream tones in the room, because I love to sleep in a cool room with lots of layers to keep me warm. It also adds to the warm snuggly look on a bed


All in all it’s already looking a lot more pulled together but in reality there’s still a lot to do to see our inspiration board I pulled together come to life.


Like painting the entire room a more neutral color, sewing new drapery panels from the Robert Allen ikat fabric (number 1 on our board), sewing new colorful floral pillows for the bed (number 9 on our board). Possibly adding a colorful Vintage quilt, drooling over the amazing bed (number 2 on our board), hanging artwork and the million on project details that will go into the room before we can call it done-for-now, since we never call anything truly done around here. Oh and if you’d like to see all the source for our Inspiration Board we detail them here.

I’m loving how it’s turning out so far and can’t wait to see it evolve over the next few weeks/months as we implement our Inspiration board, change our mind 100 times on fabric, do some more DIY projects. Oh how I love a good room makeover.

Anyone else got some bedroom tweak age going on of the redecorating variety? Whether it be new lamp shades or a Coverlet change it’s amazing how little things really add up to one big whole. We’d love to hear about it.

Plans For The Not-So-Distant Future



Hello, and welcome to our little house by the lake…so happy you’ve stopped by! If you’re new here you might want to come visit our Lake Tours page, grab a cup of coffee, take a look around and enjoy this beautiful lake we get to call home. Or you can subscribe to our RSS feed for updates. Welcome to Our Lake House!

Can you believe it’s almost Christmas. I cannot wait. Even though Christmas is just around the corner and has put our Master Bedroom update on hold for now. I’ve still been gathering all the bits and pieces of the plan together so I’m ready to attack when the holidays are all said and done.

So let’s talk about something other then Christmas for this post…shall we?

For those of you who are new around here, you can see how it’s all been going down with our new bedroom plan here and how we’re were planning to go full steam ahead here.

Finally I think I’ve settled on a an overall direction and we’re about ready to start, that is once the dust settles after all the gifts are opened.

Bedroom Board 3

But let’s have a bit of a refresher. If you recall we started with this inspiration photo below. That’s not to say our version will come out looking exactly like this but it’s always nice to know the look and feel you’re trying to accomplish before you start picking things all willy nilly.

Sarahs Houses Photos - Sarahs House: Season 3 | Facebook


Once I had the vision established it was on to the fun part, picking out pieces that I wanted to bring into the space, for our very own version, cottage, farmhouse, lake-house vibe.

Here’s what we’re starting with it’s a bit on the green and orange side and smaller than our inspiration image but I think we can do it.

MB Before 2

Let’s start with the paint color, I want something lighter and brighter this time around so we’re going to go with Martha Stewart brand paint at Home Depot in Milk.

Originally I  had picked this piece of fabric which I loved and still do for the pillows on the bed, but after trying unsuccessfully to find curtain fabric for the windows that I was completely happy with and that (a)matched the fabric below and (b) still lent itself to our inspiration image it was back to the drawing board  so to speak. silsilacurry

Bedroom Board 3



I found this curtain fabric that I’m head over heals in love with number 1 Robert Allen’s Khandar Fabric in Jewel. It has the same ikat reference as our inspiration image does in the drapes albeit on a much smaller scale and will have the same color impact. I sent out for a fabric sample the other day and it is GORGEOUS! I can’t wait to order the fabric and get started.


Next I wanted a floral fabric for pillows that reminded me of the large scale floral in our Inspiration Room and would replace the one I originally picked but couldn’t match. And it had to be at a much lower price point than the look we’re trying to copy.

Our inspiration room’s Hot House Flowers by Schumacher came in at over $128 per yard.  Yeah,  I’m not spending $200 on pillows. I need to sew myself. Not…Happening. The fabric I’ve chosen is number 9 on the inspiration board Braemore’s Wonderland Pearl Fabric and at  $29.74 per yard it’s a much more manageable price for 2 pillows than the Schumacher piece. Also in person it totally matches the colors in the curtain fabric. Finally I found the hounds tooth in number 8 is a great small scale geometric that could add a lot of dimension and interest.


image I am somewhat obsessed with number 2 on our inspiration board the Catalina bed by Somerset Bay. There’s a couple of things to consider here first, it might be a it pricey. I have no idea what the price point is but I can only imagine. I’m worried that it could overpower our small room. Right now, I’m trying to figure out a way we could get the look on a budget. Of course I’ll keep you posted when I figure it out/break down and buy the bed throwing the budget to the wind because I love it that much.


Our current old nightstands left much to be desired in the way of functionality. They’re too short to be practical and they’re literally older than me. They definitely need some sprucing up to be the pretty pieces they once were. We’ve got plans for them, but not in this space. Our number 3 on the board Pottery Barn’s Sophia Bedside table is the perfect mix of cottage style with a big drawer, height and extra storage that our nightstands we have now are seriously lacking. At $349 a piece they’re really not that pricey.


Number 4 the Long Key chest from Somerset Bay, the same manufacturer as the bed, I’m obsessed with is to-die-for. I love all of Somerset Bay’s Furniture with all the different color options and am quietly contemplating how to buy the entire line. The mushroom color in our space would be ideal. The detailing on it is incredible. I’m thinking of trying to transform our current dresser into something similar. I have a couple ideas involving dowels, wood glue and paint of course. I hope it works out the way I have it in my head. I love when that happens. I’m really excited to try it out but that may have to wait depending on the weather. It’s no fun to refinish furniture in the snow.

imageNumber 5 Ballard’s Olivia Mirrored side table would be perfect in between two chairs. At $99 it’s a total steal and really reminds me of some of the shapes and finished in our inspiration room. I think I’m sold on this piece.  It’s a perfect size to add a tiny little lamp and set down a book in the bedroom next to our vintage chairs from my Great Grandmother.


Which brings me back to our chairs that need reupholstering. Here’s a refresher of what they look like now.

Very Orange and torn and totally in need of some love.


I’m planning on a neutral fabric with nail head trim so I can easily move them from room to room should I tire of them in the space or just want to change things up a bit. It’s a fabric form Joann’s Christopher Lowell line and is so much prettier in person than the picture. It’s a pale gold color with a slight horizontal strié. It’s pretty and subtle with ton of texture. The nail head trim will be a perfect touch on top of the fabric bringing these chairs back to life.


Finally to the bedding, I’m loving number 6 on our board the handmade reproduction quilt inspired by our space. It’s for sale on Etsy for $550, it’s such a pretty work of art but it’s probably more than I’m willing/able to spend on a quilt. It does have my wheels turning however.

That’s it. Whew that was a a long post! Of course some things we may tweak along the way just like our original fabric choice that’s gotten totally thrown out the window. I can’t wait to get started. For those of you that made it this far, you can follow along on all my whims and picks for this bedroom makeover on my Farmhouse Inspiration board on Pinterest here or follow all my Pinworthy Picks here.

It’s Beginning to Feel like Christmas



Hello, and welcome to our little house by the lake…so happy you’ve stopped by! If you’re new here you might want to come visit our Lake Tours page, grab a cup of coffee, take a look around and enjoy this beautiful lake we get to call home. Or you can subscribe to our RSS feed for OurLakeLife updates. Welcome to Our Lake House!

No matter how prepared I am for the Holidays I always feel the angst of the mad dash as Christmas grows nearer and the list of things to do grows longer.

Of course it doesn’t help that we added, on top of a normally busy time, the building of a new fireplace surround. What was I thinking? Oh right, I was thinking how nice it would look to hang the stockings on a wonderful new mantel and actually have room for a tree because the TV was up and off the floor. Guess what, I was totally right! It looks fantastic!

It’s so close to being done and ready to hang the stockings and add some garland I can’t wait to have a fire going with the stockings hung and the garland strung.

Here’s a sneak peak of how it’s looking now.

Fireplace 2

We’ve white washed the front to give it a cozy cottage lake house feel, all that’s left is to stain the top of the mantel the same Red Mahogany stain as the floors, just to tie the whole thing together.

In the meantime as you can see the tree peaking out in the photo above we’ve been decorating away as the tree sits in it’s new home where the TV once was. It’s such a big improvement over when we had to put the tree in front of the sliding glass doors, just to the right of the fireplace in the photo above. Talk about a traffic pattern block!

Wedding Ornaments

I love decorating the tree , I’m a bit of an ornament collector and have been buying ornaments for years, even before I had a home and tree of my own. Some of them of course are more sentimental than others like the gold ones above that we gave out at our wedding as favors. Every time I put them up I remember sitting on the floor the week before our wedding hand wrapping each ornament. Good thing we didn’t have 400 guests!

Well that’s all for now, I promise to show more Monday as the tree gets finished and the stocking are hung. Until then I’m off to bake some Christmas Cookies, Brownies and all sorts of fun treats! Yum, Delicious!

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