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!
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!