Monday, March 6, 2017

A TREASURE HUNTING STORY AND MY WEEKEND PROJECT


About a week ago I popped into Ross looking for something unrelated, and a palm leaf outdoor chair cushion caught me eye. It's a slightly smaller scale, but matches my palm pillows and bench perfectly.


They only had one in the store, but I brought it home to see how I liked it with the outdoor table.  I went ahead and checked the other Ross closest to me that night too, but they did not have any more.


I ran it by Ray after I brought it home, and he liked how thick and comfy it was compared to the thin Ikea cushions we have been using with the chairs.  He even admitted that he liked the color and pattern it added to the space (it was looking a little blah with all of the brown).  So, the quest was on to find 5 more!

The next day I checked two more locations that weren't far from home- no luck.  So, the day after that we were in a town about an hour outside of OKC to watch a basketball game at our alma mater OBU, and they happen to have a Ross in town.  We swung by there to check and they had FOUR. Score!  So, if you're keeping track, that gets me up to 5 total.


The next few days launched an all out hunt for ONE more cushion.  All total, I checked EVERY. LOCATION. in the OKC metro area (about 10 total), and came up completely empty handed (except for these beauties I came across while checking one of the stores!).  I started contemplating my options, thinking maybe I could buy more fabric like my pillows and get a cushion to cover myself, although I wasn't thrilled with the idea because the scale of the pattern is a little bit different.  I don't think anyone else would ever notice, but, you know!!

On Friday we had to go the opposite way out of town for a funeral about an hour and a half away, and you can bet I checked... the town had a Ross!  So before we left town we checked there, and although I didn't find a single cushion, they did have a double.  After some thinking, I thought maybe I could cut it to fashion a single cushion and stitch the cover back together.


I had one last ditch hope... a brand new store was opening across town, so as soon as it did this weekend I ran to check it out.  No palm cushions.  :(    So, my final plan is to work with the double cushion and try to make it work.  I'm actually going to try to make two out of it.  One of the cushions I bought has a slight defect, the printed pattern got shifted somehow in production and the colors and patterns don't quite line up.  Not a huge deal, but I'll take that one back if I can get two out of this large one.  I'll keep you posted on how it works out.

OK, more than you ever wanted to know about my cushion saga!  I thought I'd share, though, because that's normally how things go around here.  Nothing is ever easy, and persistence pays off!  I am very excited about the change, though.  Even though the patio is officially "finished", I'll always be tweaking little things here and there.  In fact, I'm really thinking about painting the dining table a bold color, maybe navy like the coffee table out there, or I can't get this photo out of my head!


Pottery Barn Saybrook sofa, Ikea Stockholm pillow, Tommy Bahama Swaying Palms Pillow, bamboo coffee table


Now, for part 2 of today's post.  Last Spring when I went on a girls' trip with my daughter and our friends, we saw this cute dalmatian statue at one of the downtown shops.  Of course, it was concrete, possibly vintage, and really expensive.  My friend and I both remarked that it would be pretty easy to make our own if we could just find the right dog to start with.


So, back to the Ross saga, when I checked that very last store that was just having it's grand opening, although I didn't find my cushion, I did find this guy!


As I stood there in the store looking at him, I googled pictures of dalmatians, because I wasn't even sure if he had the right body shape to pass as a dalmatian (I'm no dog expert- I didn't want to be trying to make a greyhound look like a dalmatian!  I'm sure one of you could tell me what kind of dog he's supposed to be... maybe a skinny Lab?).  After convincing myself that he was close enough, I made my purchase and brought him home.  He then proceeded to freak everyone in my family out that saw him sitting there out of the corner of their eye.  ;)

To begin the transformation, I simple sprayed him with some spray primer that I had in the garage, then did a coat or two of white paint (I used this).


After he had dried sufficiently the next day, I googled dalmatian images again so I could see where to add spots and get some ideas for how they should look.


I wanted the spots to be random and not too uniform, so I just free handed everything and added a spot wherever one seemed to be needed, using some leftover paint from our black doors.  The paint was nice and thick, but it is hard to get good coverage over a glossy finish, so it took 2 coats for the spots to be filled in uniformly.  I feel like I had some practice on these lampshades.  (Off the subject, but this project reminded of how creative God is!  Looking at all of those photos of dalmatians, no two were the same.  Their faces and markings were totally unique.  Amazing.)


I found a close up photo of a dalmatian's face to work on his eye area, that was the hardest part to get right!  I ended up keeping it simple and painted some black around his eyes, then wiped it off with a damp paper towel, leaving paint in the creases to define the eyes.


Then I used some craft paint to paint his eyes brown, outlining them with a fine Sharpie when the paint dried, and using a tiny brush to paint a pupil in the middle, finished off with a tiny dot of white. I'm by no means an expert at painting things like this (I referred to the photos A LOT), so I'm really happy with how it turned out!


Of course, we needed to add a bow collar and I took a piece off of an old earring to tie on to look like a tag.


When my daughter came in the house last night she said "Where's the dog?"  I think she wanted to place it so it wouldn't scare her... ha!  It is pretty realistic looking at first glance!


It's likely he might end up on the patio when we get it set up for the season, but he sure is cute inside too, and couldn't fit in better with those cute spots!

dog, dalmatian, dog statue


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22 comments:

  1. I have been on a few of those wild goose hunts in my time. As you are driving to the stores do you ever think that every car on the road is heading to the same store/sale? I do, and it makes me crazy. I have not quite decided if I enjoy the treasure hunt or it is aging me..LOL. I only have one complaint about your post today.... The dog...I NEED THAT DOG!!!!! Now to try to convince my boss that I need to make a quick trip to Ross today. Have a great day Jennifer!

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  2. Oh I have done the same thing with a hunt from store to store. It just makes you crazy. That dog turned out so cute. I love it. Great job on the eyes especially.

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  3. I absolutely love your blog and your style. I'm a lot older than you but you have just about become my mentor. Teehee. I love that you just tackle whatever project you want to do and get it done. You really inspire me.

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  4. Everything is just fabulous Jennifer! Love the dalmatian the most!!!!!!

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  5. Why don't you use 4 palm cushions & 2 solids on the other chairs? At Home has a great cushion selection.

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    1. I thought about that as a last resort, we'll see if I can get this big one to work. Thanks!

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  6. That dog!!!! How cute it turned out, I want one!

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  7. A Dalmatian dog like that used to be one the prizes on Wheel of Fortune back in the '80s. Am I the only one that remembers that?

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    1. Hmmm, I was an avid WOF watcher but I don't remember that. Was he on the spinning turntable where you could choose your prizes? ;)

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  8. Your hound dog turned out so cute! You don't notice that sad look till he was rendered in living color.

    I am just as obsessive when I get an idea of what I want. I am sure you will make that double cushion work somehow. I can't stand it when I find 5 or 7 dishes, and I want 6 or 8. Something about those odd numbers just make me nuts!

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  9. You are such an inspiration and so talented! You have definitely given me some great
    ideas!

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  10. The dalmatian looks fantastic ! I wasn't sure at first... I thought the dog looked really nice in the cast bronzed tone. Now, it looks like a piece of Art -- not too whimsical -- just perfect !

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  11. Your dog turned out so cute! Love it (and your cushions too)!

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  12. So glad you found more cushions! I know you will come up with a plan to create a single out of the double cushion you bought. I love Ross but haven't been there in a while. When you mentioned a new location, you definitely got my attention! Is the new location in the OKC area? Love your dog, too!

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    1. Hi there! The new store is in Yukon. It's on the south side of I-40 just east of Garth Brooks Blvd. It's in a whole new strip with Academy and Marshalls. It's on the smaller side, but nice to have one in that area!

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  13. The dog turned out GREAT! I also LOVE the palm cushions and hope you can make 2 out of the bench cushion. I LOOOOOVE your patio!

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  14. If someone has already mentioned this, ignore me! That palm print is actually a Tommy Bahama as well, it's just called Island instead of Swaying Palms! So, if you end up getting someone to make some for you! :)

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    1. Oh, I didn't know that, Elizabeth! Thank you! So, it looks just like Swaying Palms, but on a smaller scale, right? Good to know!

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    2. Yep! It's a different texture too, as I'm sure you could tell from the cushions you purchased. Swaying Palms almost has a linen like/basketweave texture and Island Hopping is definitely outdoor polyester feeling!

      I offer both in my etsy shop, but for different purposes since one is best outdoor only. :)

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