Sunday, May 15, 2011

Curtains... How to?

So, the turquoise fabric (seen here again) is perfect color-wise for the room. The size seems like it will also be perfect. I think I could literally cut it in half and each half would make a panel that would be the right size. However, I don't know how to make it work. All of the edges are unfinished, so I know I'd need to hem them somehow, but I'm NOT really a sewer. My grandmother gave me the most wonderful vintage sewing machine, but somehow every time I try to use it, I get the thread all snarled up. I am not exaggerating, every single time I have ever touched a sewing machine, I get it hopelessly snarled up. I even took home ec in high school and did it to EVERY SINGLE SEWING MACHINE in the class. Every time. Some day I will conquer my problems with sewing machines and be able to learn to use the beauty my grandmother gave me to take up quilting, but I don't think I have the time to do that all right now. So I thought about trying to use the fuse strips and iron the hems down, but I'm not really sure if it would be OK to iron this kind of fabric. It's a crispy kind of polyester I think. Right now, I'm considering getting some pretty red embroidery thread and doing a blanket stitch by hand along the edges, to give it a little extra color, and because I can definitely do it myself. The problem would be that it would take me quite a while to hand sew all of that yardage on four sides. The very final issue is the weight of the fabric. Although it's thin, it's HEAVY. I worry that it would too heavy for the dinky curtain rod I have and would pull the screws out of our wonky walls. Sigh. So, should I try and figure out a DIY way to turn the fabric into curtains, or just admit defeat and buy some actual curtain panels (cheap ones...)? I'm all ears. :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Modern Vintage for Baby's Room

So, you've seen some of our progress so far for the baby's room! One other thing we've been trying to accomplish is adding some "modern" touches that still work with the vintage influences in the room. I've bought two things that seem small, but I think will make a big impact. One is a set of three small touch lamps that are shaped like mushrooms. I first saw them on Ohdeedoh, and found them on Amazon for less than $20. Since there is no outlet in the closet of the baby's room, I put these on the tall chest in there and they are SO CUTE. I think the color and shape are modern, but speak well to vintage style, too. They give a nice glow and I think they will work well as night lights.
The other find is this set of "Vintage Alphabet Cards." Unfortunately, I can't grab the photo like I did with the mushrooms above (I'll photograph my own stuff once I get the room in better order) but I highly recommend you click the link to look at these super cute cards. They are pricey, but I was able to find them on one of the gazillions of discount mom websites (I think it was Zulily) so they were half off. Very very very worth it. They are adorable, and they will take up a great spot on one of the walls. I'm not sure where they'll go yet. I think I might put them over the crib, but I also might put them on the wall next to the mirror on the long low dresser. We have to push the mirror almost all the way to one side so we can fit the changing pad on the dresser, so it looks a little wonky. I'm thinking maybe the cards would balance it a little. Even though I think they look super cute hung on strings like in the display image, I think I might just use command strips to fix them directly to the wall in neat rows. I have a friend who has alphabet flash cards displayed like that and it is surprisingly cute and not messy. Of course, then I'd have to use a level... Ew. Maybe some twine and clothespins would be cute...

So now we are looking for one or two more pieces of cool art for in there. And a nice mobile. One of our favorite boutiques in town is running a half off deal through Scoutmob, and we really really tried to find some good stuff but couldn't find anything that was right. We were tempted by a Jonathon Adler paper lantern (like this one) but in such a tiny room, a purely decorative anything has to be a big important decision. Of course, looking at it again, I'm thinking maybe we really need it... Isn't it so pretty? We looked at Kudzu Antiques near us, too, but just couldn't find the right thing. We've got a few months though, and we're both happy with the progress we've been making.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Chair is Here!

I'm so excited that the chair got dropped off today. I didn't get home from school until 10pm, so sorry for the dark photos.
I love these brass tacks on the arms. Unexpected, but very appropriate I think.
Here they are again on the front of the chair! Cute!
Side view. I don't know if you can tell, but the wood on the chair is almost exactly the same as the wood dressers. It's so nice when things work out like that...
Here's the side/back. I love this little piping detail. There are a couple of little flaws on the chair that are kind of annoying, but overall, it seems like the upholsterer did a really nice job. He fixed the springs that needed replacing, and the chair feels softer to sit in, so I'm assuming he replaced the padding/stuffing, too. I'm still knitting the pouf to use as a stool, but hopefully it will be done soon. I'm almost done with the knitting part, but now school has gotten back in, and I'm slammed.
Here's the chair with the best blanket ever tossed over the back. I'm officially in love with the brown and white and red. And the wall color with the red chair is really pretty, too. Things are clicking! Now we just have to find the baby's name...

Sunday, May 8, 2011


OK, I know these photos are going to be kind of semi-useless. Sorry. But we painted the baby's room this weekend. I'm so happy that we got it all done. We ended up using the "Vintage Taupe," and it is really fresh and clean feeling. It's not totally white white, so it's still kind of cozy feeling, but in such a tiny room that gets the least light of any room in the house (except maybe for the bathroom...) using a light color really was a good choice. The Benjamin Moore paint is all low VOC, so I could help Justin with it. The primer was a different story. Ugh, it was so awful! I helped a tiny bit with that, but not much because I started worrying I'd end up giving the baby another arm or something. All told, it took two coats of primer and two coats of the paint color. The trim could definitely use a refresher, as could the ceiling, but neither is glaringly awful, and there's just too much other stuff to do to worry about it.
Here's the closet doorway "before" with the blue on the walls (and clutter EVERYWHERE).
Another view of the blue. It was so pretty, but trust me, it was just way too dark. It had a lot of gray/black undertone, and it just made the room feel kind of depressing. Not what we wanted for a baby...
The current light fixture... Ugh. This is the last ceiling fan in the house. We are planning to replace it with something more fun (and not a ceiling fan, since it's just not necessary in our house and we have the awesome crank windows when we want circulation). We just have to find the right fixture.
Here's BooBoo watching us paint from outside. And yes, that is a giant tupperware of sand and sand toys on our stoop. It was my DIY/cheapskate answer to getting Roxanne a sandbox. Classy.
Here's the closet "after." The wall color you see is the final color. BUT, we did not paint inside the closet. It was already a slightly darker taupe, and not worth changing. This dresser will live in here, and we actually think we might leave the doors off (at least for now) because it makes the room feel bigger. We just need to get some storage bins for up top. All those delightfully bright plastic giant toys up there are for Roxanne's vast "Weeble Village" that my mom has helped me amass via thrift stores and consignment sales. Roxanne LOVED the Weeble toys, and I'm sure the new baby will, too. My plan is to put them in bins and just have one down at a time. Roxanne always had them sprawled over half the house, so we're trying to avoid that now.
In cleaning out this closet, which was full of thrift store and estate sale stuff still in bags (come on, you know sometimes you stash a bag or two of thrift store finds and forget about it... right?). I cleaned it all out, and found this super adorable vintage Playskool toy. I had forgotten about it! When you move the rings on and off the peg on the right, the bell rings. I love the colors of it, too. It looks like I paid about $2.50 for it. It's wooden, so I'm pretty sure I won't let the baby play with it (lead paint? can't be too safe) but for display, it's adorable.
Here's another view of the new wall color. This little wall is where the crib will go. I'll try and take photos in here soon that are better lit, but I can't figure out the best time of day to take photos in here. The lighting is just awful.

My rocking chair is supposed to be dropped off tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Topeka Lipstick

OK, so I spent over an hour this morning at the fabric store... ALONE. Justin bowed out gracefully, so I trudged up to Marietta by myself and wandered around looking at fabric rolls for what felt like three weeks. I cut lots of samples (probably 10?) but none of them were absolutely perfect. Like, none of them screamed that they were the right fabric. I took what I had and called my mom (duh). We talked about it at length, and she helped me realize that using a print had a LOT of drawbacks. I won't bore you with them, but for serious, it was a lot. At that point, my four favorites included a red and white print of chickens and chicks (which sounds crazy but actually looked sort of dutch and retro), a brown faux velvet (the only semi-plush fabric that didn't look really really cheap), a cool red and dark orange Moroccan style print (the same as the yellow one from last post, but in reds), and a yellow and white wide stripe with some brown polka dots along the white stripe. Each choice had drawbacks. The chicken print had the white parts, so would end up dirty and dingy from everyone's butts/legs/arms,etc., the faux velvet made me nervous because I didn't want to end up with a poop chair, the Moroccan print was two busy and read a little more pink than I liked, and the stripe had the same white issue as the chicken print. SO, after talking to my mom, I realized I really agreed that a solid was probably the best, and that one of the most appealing things about two of my favorites was the bright red. I went back to the torture chamber/gallery room and hunted for a true red (preferably velvet). I finally spotted Topeka Lipstick, a really really pretty cotton duck/slub fabric up on the top row of the red section. I cut a sample, took it outside to my car and held it up in the sunshine against the baby comforter and crib dust ruffle, and decided on the spot that it was perfect.
Here's the fabric sample in the middle. On the left is the crib dust ruffle (pleated, not ruffly) that my mom found at Goodwill. It's DwellStudio for Target, and $40 on eBay, but my mom got it for under $3. Score! The crib comforter is on the other side. One side is the dots and the other is the stripe. This is from the DwellStudio line that is *NOT* from Target. You can't get the comforter without getting the set, but the set is around $340 or so on Amazon. Yikes. My mom got the comforter at Goodwill for around $5 (I think...?). The two are not from the same set, but I think they are adorable together. I bought a white flannel crib sheet yesterday for $10 from Buy Buy Baby (the most appallingly giant baby store EVER at a mall in the burbs). I think this bright red is just amazing with this palette.
Here's a close-up of the chair fabric. It's a SUPER tight weave, and there's a slight amount of variation to it, so it almost reads like a chenille when you look at it from a distance. It's just such a pretty, saturated color. It was $8 a yard, and since I only needed 3.5 yards and got a 15% discount via my upholsterer's relationship with the fabric place, I spent $25 total on the fabric. Not too shabby!
Here's the sample with the knit blanket I talked about previously. I hope to keep it on the back of the rocker, and I think it looks wonderful with it! Another huge plus to using a solid. I could never have used that blanket with another pattern on the chair. Too busy.
Just one last view. I can't help it. It's just so good! I really couldn't be happier. I'm keeping my finger's crossed that I can use the turquoise fabric I bought first for curtains. I LOVE turquoise/aqua and red together. In fact, they were our wedding colors. We had a gently retro themed wedding (duh) and played only 50's and 60's music at our reception. It was so fun.

I've still got LOTS to do to finish my one last paper by early next week, but I'm having fun doing what I can here and there to work on the baby's room. Justin and I went by Ace Hardware this afternoon and picked up two different paint samples to try in the baby's room. Both are light and taupe, but one is almost totally white, and one is darker. We'll see how they look up on the wall... We learned our lesson about not trying a sample on the wall. I'm looking at you, mustard kitchen. Stupid, stupid mustard kitchen.