January 2012 - Dimples and Tangles

Straightline Laser Level-Not Just For Hanging Pictures!

This week I'm working on some draperies for some dear friends who have just finished building their dream home (literally...they built most of it themselves!).  I wanted to share a little trick I use for cutting wide drapery fabric straight across.  I used to measure from the cut end of the fabric about 5 or 6 times across the width and sort-of just eyeball a cutting line, but that was time consuming and didn't always give the straightest results.  Then, a light bulb went off in my head one day. 
Don't you just love it when that happens?

First, I measure the length I want down one edge and make a small cut.

Then, I do the same on the other edge.  I grab my handy laser level (affiliate link) and adjust the beam so that it starts at one cut and shines across to the other cut.  I don't use the bubbles at all, just the line up the laser beam.

Sometimes I need a little obstacle to stop the beam so I can tell where it's hitting the cut on the other side.  Next, just follow the line with your scissors and voila!  A perfectly straight cut all the way across!  It does help to start your cutting on the opposite side of the level, that way your hands aren't blocking the light as you cut across.

I darkened this picture up a bit so hopefully you can see the red laser line.  I was cutting as the sun was streaming through the windows today, so it was a little tricky to see the line, but if you're in low light or even working at night where you can dim the lights a bit it works especially well.

Linking up with: Savvy Southern StyleThe Shabby Nest, Remodelaholic,
Crafty Texas Girls

Cornerstone Confessions 
Thrifty Decor Chick
Home Stories A to Z

*This post contains affiliate links.


{Old} Magazine Inspiration

First of all, thanks for your input and thoughts on what I should do with my chairs.  I'm still trying to decide for sure and would welcome more input if I haven't heard from you!

So how was your weekend?  Ours was relaxing and productive-the perfect mix!  Ray & I enjoyed a date night Friday evening while the kid's spend the night at their grandparents' house and yesterday we had Ray's parents over for lunch.  I made this cake and it was delish!  There was none left by the time the day was over.  

My big accomplishment for the weekend was that I checked #7 off of my list of goals for the year.  My closet is clean, hallelujah!  I could not stand it one more day so I tackled it while the kids were gone.  It feels 3 times bigger now!  No pictures...the before was way too embarrassing and there's nothing special about the after...it's just clean!

Anyway, as I was cleaning out I came across a stack of old magazines that I flipped through one more time before I pass them on.  Here are a few photos that caught my eye.  I find it interesting that even though most of these pictures are several years old, the design is still appealing and attractive.  That's successful design in my book-
classic and timeless. 

Bright, beautiful kitchen-
Southern Accents November/December 2005

Another fantastic kitchen-love the paneled island, open shelving that is styled beautifully, and the bamboo shade.

Southern Accents November/December 2005

Such a fun idea for a girl's room!
Southern Accents November/December 2005

I'm drawn to the colors of this room, the patterned rug, and the gold coffee tables.
Architectural Digest November 2006

It's a secret what I liked in this room...but doesn't it look sleek and sophisticated?  
And colorful?
Architectural Digest November 2006

The arrangement of the books on the shelves, the oversize candles and the bunch of leaves gathered in the middle of the table. 

Southern Accents November-December 2006

Gorgeous ceiling and double sided see-through fireplace.  Grand.

Southern Accents November-December 2006

Molding detail on the ceiling and that yummy chandelier dripping with bling!

Southern Accents November-December 2006

Green chairs and matching lantern.

Veranda April 2010

Love this mix of table and chairs.  And the ceiling.  And the chandy.  And the styling.  Everything!

Veranda April 2010

Yes, please.  I'll sit outside all day!

Veranda April 2010


Decisions, Decisions {Help Me-Vote!}

I'm planning a project in the near future.  I have these-

I'm planning to use these at the ends of the table in my dining room redo.  I'm 99% sure that I'm going to paint the frame black, and I probably won't put any tufting in the cushions.  I've been thinking all along about using a canvas drop cloth to do the upholstery, but lately I've been drawn to the idea of doing  something fun that will really make a statement.  

My table will be a dark stain and I'm not sure what I'm doing for the side chairs.  I've been searching on CL for months but haven't found anything yet.  

Soooooo, here are some fun fabrics that I found while browsing the web.  I'm really loving my black and white drapery so I thought I might pull that into the dining room (it's all open together with the living room).

Larger scale zebra-

Geometric prints-

These 2 chevron prints are large scale-

Greek Key-

Large scale ikat-I'm planning to make some pillows from this soon but thought it might also look really cool on the chairs.  Go here to see a fantastic project with this fabric, and the pictures will give you a good idea of the size.

One other choice-go ahead with the dropcloth and make 
some punchy pillows to set in these chairs.

Thoughts?  Have you seen something I didn't include that you think I should consider?  
I'd love some feedback on this one!

P.S.-I know lots of my friends that read don't have a google account.  You can still leave a comment by selecting "anonymous", write your comment, and sign your name in the comment section if you wish.


Painted Built-Ins

You've already seen glimpses of these built-ins, but I'd like to go back periodically and
 show you some before and afters of a few projects that I've done
 prior to starting this blog.  

See the tall section completely covered by doors?  When we bought the house the section in the middle was just a big opening for the television.  I can't stand trying to make it look "pretty" around a tv, so we had some doors made to match the ones that were already there to conceal the tv.  It's such a cleaner look and looks a bit more like a built-in piece of furniture to me.

We've slowly jumped on the painted cabinets bandwagon and it's amazing the difference it's made in the look of our home.  I've always loved stained cabinets, but sometimes it's just time for a change!  These are very nice, well made shelves but the time had come where they needed some attention to the finish.  After a few years of debate 
(in my own head), I decided to go for it.  

The main reason for all the debate was that I didn't want to paint all of those shelves!  Enter my birthday present last year, a $49 paint sprayer from Home Depot.  I had 2 coats on those shelves in about 5.2 minutes.  It is a fabulous tool, although I did go through much more paint than I would have used had it all been applied with a roller.  
Worth it, though.

We changed the hardware out not long after buying the house, so this time around I just used a little oil-rubbed bronze spray paint to change the finish on the knobs.

As much as I enjoy decorating, I do not particularly enjoy styling bookshelves.  It always involves lots of trial and error, arranging and rearranging to find just the right grouping.  Generally once I get them figured out I leave them alone until it is time to change decor for the seasons.   This time I used lots of mixed metals and tried to keep them fairly simple.

My dad made this mantle for a house that we lived in 12 years ago that didn't have one.  It has moved with us through 3 other houses.  

I wanted to go dark with it but decided to leave some of the oak showing through so it would look a bit distressed.  I basically just dry brushed and rubbed paint off as I went if I got a little too much on.  

*UPDATE:  Click here to see how I later painted the backs of these shelves!


I Heart Houndstooth

Last year my sister found a fabulous large scale houndstooth fabric and 
recovered an ottoman with it.  I loved it so much I finally bought 
my own fabric and made some new pillows.  Heart.

I even wore it to church last Sunday!

Houndstooth: Do you love it or hate it?


Life's A Trip! {Church and Stage Decorating Ideas}

Our annual Women's Retreat took place over the weekend and I was responsible for coordinating the decorations.  The theme was "Life's A Trip!"  I was thankful for lots of help to pull everything together and here are some photos of how everything turned out.  

We met in the Fellowship Hall for our meals (yum!) and we had 32 (!) round tables set with centerpieces of maps, globes, and travel cases stuffed with travel brochures.  

A friend was responsible for the dessert bar we had on Friday evening, and I wanted to show you how cute it turned out.

Gracia Burnham was our speaker.  You may remember her in the news about 10 years ago.  She and her husband, Martin, were American missionaries in the Philippines.  While celebrating their 18th anniversary at a resort, they were captured and taken hostage by the Abu Sayyaf Group, who were a militant group of Muslims.  They were constantly on the move, endured many gun battles, and after a year of being held her husband was killed in a gun battle in which she was injured but freed.  Her story is an amazing testimony of encouragement, hope, trust in the Lord, and truly understanding what it means to love your enemies.

I am thankful for a wonderful church who cares about fostering spiritual growth for women and the talented, hard working group of ladies who organized this event.  
Fantastic job, ladies!

1 Down, 3 To Go

I have TONS of storage in this house, and every bit of it is bulging.  It's ridiculous!  I'm on a mission to clean up and clean out-starting with this closet:

I can't believe I'm showing you this.  Once at a party a guest opened this door by mistake thinking it was the powder room.  Horror of horrors!

It's the dumping ground...the place everything gets shoved when I don't have a spot for it.  I usually have to clean it out twice a year just to remember what's in there.  

And...after working only a little over an hour.  The anticipation and dread with these kinds of jobs is always so much worse than just doing it!

It's not a perfectly staged beauty shot with matching storage baskets labeled with chalkboard tags, but it's clean. And organized.

For now.  Here's hoping it will stay that way for a while.  

These tubs work beautifully for deep shelving.  They are easy to slide in and out so I'm not having to dig around at the back when I'm searching for something.  

Oversized boxes from IKEA used to corral all of the "special" school papers.

I also wanted to show you this ribbon rack that my dad made for me years ago.  
It hangs behind the door and is SO handy!

Close-up: Just some dowels drilled in at the top and notches in the side to hold more dowels.  This would be fairly simple to DIY (but I'm so glad my dad did it for me!).

The best thing is all of the empty space.  I feel smothered when every space is crammed full and there is not an inch to spare.  Now there's room for those extra kleenex boxes, paper towels, and my purse! 

Have a great weekend-I'm out until Monday.  I'm spending today and tomorrow decorating at the church for our big Women's Retreat this weekend.  Will show photos next week!

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