Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Curtain Project No. 2

I tackled my first curtain project last March.  About that same time, I bought some fabric for my craft room curtains.  It was pricey - but I just fell in love with these little birds.  How could you not?!

I've never been a sewer and although I seem to have masted the pillow cover, and did alright at the kitchen curtains, but this project scared me.  It could be because it would be the first time not working with cotton fabric.  Cotton is easy to press and make hems and seams.  This embroidered bird fabric is polyester and I was lost.  Just under a year after the purchase I finally brought it to my mom for help.  It also didn't help that I wanted a London Shade design...

London Shade: a cousin to the Roman shade in looks, but made like a balloon shade with side rigging and the bottom dowel omitted.  

Instead of all the fancy direction in the curtain book I bought - we just sewed the lining and fabric right sides together - leaving a rod pocket at the top.  turned all the fabric right side out through that pocket and pressed just the edges to get this:

We left 1 1/2" for the rod pocket - creating this beautiful ruffle at the top.

Then came in the "cousin to the Roman shade" part and I needed to add rigging.  It ended up being really simple - I added rings 14" in from each side.  The first ring I sewed 12" from the bottom of the curtain and continued about halfway up ever 6"

After the rigging was complete I had my finished product and I couldn't be happier!

Have you ever attempted a project out of your comfort zone?  I'm so glad I finally did because I am SO happy with the results.  They are perfect in my craft room. And if that someday become a baby room, it will be perfect for that as well!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Pinterest Projects Completed

Hopefully you've been following along and saw our post on Saturday about the Pinterest ideas that we decided to work on this weekend.  We finished and are ready to share them!

1) The Tree Art from Lowe's Creative Ideas magazine:

2) Hallway display shelves inspired from another home blogger.  We did take this to a slightly different level and we'll explain more about how we did it in a dedicated post.

3) Lastly - we took inspiration from sticking letter on canvas that my friend Paige tried out and applied it to a make our own wooden sign idea for our Porch.  

Have you completed any of your pinned ideas lately?  I can believe we finished three in one weekend!  Leave some links to our hour Pinterest projects turned out below!

What We've been Cooking - Bread

I know we've been referencing Pinterest... A LOT lately.  But that's where all the good ideas are coming from and it's silly not to take advantage of other's creativity when you're in a creative slump of your own.  It's that why we all blog - to learn from others and make our homes beautiful?

This recent pin made our stomach's full and happy!  We LOVE Tuscan loaves of bread that we buy at our local farm stand.  This is from the blog Simply So Good - and you know what? she picked the most perfect title ever.  This is the easiest baking recipe I've ever seen and it makes the most perfect Tuscan style loaf of bread.  Crusty on the outside and soft on the inside.   The dough takes no more than 5 minutes to whip together - just make sure to give yourself the full 12-14 hours to let it rise. We found overnight is key.  First we stuck to the recipe and did a plain one - which is still amazing.  Then we got creative like suggested on the blog - we added cracked black pepper and 2 tbsp of Pesto in the loaf this weekend - it's amazing and would be a perfect BLT bread.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Pinterest Inspired Weekend

I love winter because we don't have many weekend commitments, allowing for more weekend house projects.  And working on our house makes us very happy.  We have a few weekend projects for the long President's Day weekend - many of which are inspired by Pinterest.

I found this large wall art on Lowe's Creative Ideas - I think it will make a great statement mantel piece for the winter months.

We've been looking at color samples again for our downstairs hallway and I've been trying to figure out a wall art solution that makes an impact but is also not expensive.  I was inspired this idea  I found on Pintrest. This blogger added this to a hallway primarily used just by her family and not by guest as a place to store some personal photos and notes.  I loved the idea and we've started some low profile shelves of our own for our hallway as well.

I also have a pin I posted a while ago that I still haven't tried.  Using sticker letters over a canvas and then painting white, revealing a special quote when the stickers are peeled up after painting.  I used this as a method of making our own wood sign for the porch - including our "Porch Rules"

Have you been working on any projects inspired by your pins?  I actually have a secret board over on Pinterst named "List of Projects to Work on instead of Pinning."  It's secret because I won't want you to know how many I haven't stopped to do... and how often I'm pinning instead.

We'll update this post after the weekend as well with some of these projects completed!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Cookbook - Broccoli Cauliflower Soup

It's my dream to write my own cook book this year and I've challenged myself to write 1 original recipe a month to get moving.  I need and would love testers!  This has been tested out 3 times so far after the original draft and I feel like it's ready.  Please dive in - make some soup - and let me know what you think! 

January: Broccoli Cauliflower Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
2 Shallots chopped
2 Garlic Cloves chopped
1 Head of Cauliflower chopped
1 Head of Broccoli chopped
4 tbsp unsalted butter
4 tbsp flour
Salt & Pepper
2 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
3 Cups Water
8 oz Havarti Cheese shredded – recommend the dill Havarti
2 tbsp pesto

Using a medium (6qt) dutch oven, melt butter at medium heat.  Add shallots and garlic, season with salt & pepper and sauté for 5-8 minutes.  When shallots and garlic become translucent sprinkler in flour and cook another 5 minutes on low heat until roux smells nutty and is softly bubbling.  Wisk in chicken stock; scraping all bits off the bottom of the pan. Let chicken stock and flour mixture simmer for another 5 minutes.  Add water and cauliflower and bring to a rolling simmer.  Let simmer for 5 more minutes then add broccoli and season with salt and pepper – cook another 10 minutes until both cauliflower and broccoli are fork tender.  Take dutch oven off the heat and puree until smooth with an immersion blender.  (You could also puree in a blender in patches – add soup back to pot.)  Mix in shredded cheese and pesto.  Serve hot with crusty bread – garnish soup with cracked pepper, additional cheese, and parsley if available.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Master Bedroom Details

The Master Bedroom is on it's way to being designed and finish which is an item on my 101 in 1001 days list!  New paint is complete.  We brought the living room color in, Behr Cozy Cottage, because we loved it so much.  We're going for a Rustic Lodge Hotel look.  Some of our inspiration is on this Pinterest Board:  The room isn't complete quite yet - but I want to share with you some of the details we've finally finished.

Wedding photos for our home is another thing that's been on the list for a long time now.  We used a Christmas gift card to get all three of these frames from Target and a small business Friday coupon to order photos from our portrait shoot we did with my friend Debbie @Deborah Zoe Photo.  Yes, we're at an ice cream stand in that photo, it's one of my favorites!

You may or may not know that I firmly think all curtains and curtain rods are grossly overpriced.  And it's unfortunate because when you are in a tight neighborhood you NEED curtains and curtain rods.  Inspired by some industrial ones I've seen at West Elm we hit the hardware store to add a curtain rod to the master bedroom window and ended up with this:

Copper pipe and pipe hangers!  We're still missing outer curtains - I'm thinking sheers and then solid roman shades to replace these brown things.  The three pipe hangers and copper pipe came in at a total of $13.  That's what curtain rods should cost.  I also love the copper color on the rich wood trim and the fact that it's pipe.  Maybe that's the construction manager in me.

The last detail finished so far is the one I'm most proud of.  We'll call it a West Elm hack for hacking purposes.  I love the idea of creating designs of completely overpriced furniture.  The West Elm Patchwork dresser is what we tackled.  I fell in love with it when it came out, but #1 we do not need a new dresser, and #2 it's $1,000!  But I did have some untouched natural wood closet doors to work with.  (I love out black watch flannel sheets from L.L. Bean! - those were a Christmas present!)

Source: via Miss on Pinterest

These closet doors were begging for some kind of make over.  So I primed and painted all the "trim" white and stained each square different for the West Elm patch work look.  Now we have unique closet doors and a big piece of art for the bedroom!  I got to use paint the old home owners left behind for the trim and it was Benjamin Moore low VOC paint.  I'm hooked! We normally buy Behr from Home Depot at $32 a gallon - but the low VOC of a better quality paint was so much nicer to work with - no smell!  I may spurge for the good paint for whatever project we tackle next.

Have you hacked anything lately? I've seen one other patch work dresser hack and it was an IKEA dresser hacked to look like the West Elm one.  Personally I love the design on the closet doors!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Master Bedroom Paint Job

It's winter again - that means its time to break out the paining supplies and start changing colors on the walls around here.  When we moved in last December we got 3 rooms painted before spring arrived and it was time to play outside.  It's on the list to paint all the rooms in our home except two - and we checked one more off the list recently. 

Enter Master Bedroom before pics:

We've had a blue bedroom before, at our second of the three apartments we've lived in - and we loved it.  Lake blue walls with brown bedding mixed in worked for us then.  One think I think made the difference then was the white trim work.  In the bungalow all of our downstairs trim work was left natural and we love that craftsman touch.  We also loved how the living room color we picked out complimented the wood beautiful.  So in came living room color - Behr Cozy Cottage:

It's on my 101 in 1001 days list to finish our master bedroom retreat.  There has been more progress since the paint job that we'll share soon.  What do you think of the color?  We're going for a Romantic Lodge Hotel look.