Sunday, November 30, 2014

DIY Cow Silhouette Pillow


I was in a crafty mood the other day, so I decided to work on a project I've been wanting to do for quite a while.  Over the last few months I've been busy with bigger projects at our farmhouse, so it was nice to sit down and work on something like this.

I've been searching for new throw pillows for our farmhouse for quite sometime.  I would like to switch all of our current throw pillows out for ones that offer more of a farmhouse vintage look and feel. I'm finding that my style is starting to shift a little since we bought the farm. I've had our current pillows that are on our living room couch for about 6 years, so I think it's about time I change them up.  As a result of my search, I've been reminded of how expensive throw pillows are, and how much it would cost me to buy new ones to go throughout our entire house!  Since I'm all about using what I already have, I decided to start out by making my own.

I keep a tote filled with fabrics that I find at random places, so I already had everything I needed for this project.

To begin, I searched online for cow silhouettes.  After I found one that I liked I sketched it out by looking at the computer screen while I sketched on paper.  Usually I would enlarge the image and then just trace it, but this particular image would not enlarge, so I just had to draw it the best I could.


The next step is to cut out the stencil and pin it to the black fabric.


I used a white crayon to trace the cow image onto the fabric, and then I cut it out.



After I finished cutting out the image I flipped it over so the white crayon marks would be hidden.



I then sewed the cow image onto my second piece of fabric.  I used a sewing machine and just followed the edges, leaving enough of an edge for the fringe to show.


Next, I sewed the smaller piece of fabric onto the larger piece of fabric, and then I put the rest of the pillow together.




And that's it!  Now I'm eager to make more.  I'm planning to make pillow covers so I can use the pillows we currently have.  I'm still in the process of gathering inspiration for the rest, but for now I'm loving our new cow pillow!





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Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Green is Gone!

About two months ago I began my biggest DIY painting project yet, the exterior of the farmhouse.  We have future plans of building a big front porch, replacing the windows and doors, adding shutters, and much more, but I just couldn't stand the green any longer!  To me it was worth it to go ahead and paint even though some things will be replaced a little later on.


 It took quite a while to complete because I did it by myself and I brushed it on.  I also painted all the windows which required taking each window apart.  It needs another coat, but I couldn't get it done before the cold weather came, so I will have to tackle that this Spring.




I chose a satin finish.  It looks perfect on all the trim, but the siding looks streaked.  I will definitely use flat paint when it comes time to do the second coat this Spring.  I probably could have saved myself from having to do a second coat if I had chosen flat in the beginning.  Oh well, now I know!



I have already started doing a little Christmas decorating!  I just couldn't resist!  I love this time of year!











It was definitely a lot of work, but painting this house made all the difference! It looks and feels so much better! And I saved nearly $4000 doing it myself. 

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Have a BLESSED day!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Flooring Update

I finally finished uncovering the original flooring I found in our foyer.  I am so excited to know that these floors run all throughout the first floor!  It will take a while to uncover them all but it will be all worth it in the end.  Come on in and see!



These floors are exactly what I wanted, but I had no clue they were already here, hiding underneath all that carpet and plywood!  This kind of character can't be bought! I am so thankful we discovered them!


As for restoring them, that was a lot of work! I'm no professional when it comes to this kind of work, but I knew I wanted to maintain the character and keep the rustic look and feel of the flooring.  I cleaned them with Murphy's Oil soap over and over until they were clean.  Next I lightly sanded them with sandpaper by hand to smooth them down a little.  The last thing I did was apply a coat of Rejuvenate in a satin finish and that's it.  It sounds simple, but the process took forever! So worth it in the end though to get these results!  I actually applied stain to some of the boards in the beginning, but quickly sanded it off when I realized they looked much better in their original state.


 

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Have a BLESSED day!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Refreshing our Living Room Tables with Chalk Paint


For several months now I've been wanting to try out chalk paint.  I know I'm way behind and almost everyone has used it by this point, but I just couldn't see spending so much money on a can of paint!  I'm sure the popular brands out there are very nice and high quality, but I still just couldn't do it, especially since I didn't know for sure if I would like it or not.  Anyways, on a recent Walmart trip I ran across a display of (you guessed it!) chalk paint! It was only $5.97 for a small container and they had several colors to choose from.  I also purchased a can of Miniwax brand Paste Furniture Wax in natural for these projects.


First I tackled our coffee table.  I found this solid oak pedestal table at a yard sale over the summer and knew right away it would be the perfect coffee table for us.  I love our couch, but because of the chaise lounge I had trouble finding a table that would work.  This one is just right, it just needed a little re-fresh!


 The chalk paint was super easy to use.  The only thing I did to prepare the table for paint was wipe it clean with a damp cloth.  I applied the paint with a regular paint brush that I already had.  At first I tried to apply it neatly and precisely, but I soon realized that chalk paint is very different from the paint I'm used to using.  It goes on sort of thick.  I only applied one coat which didn't cover completely and left obvious brush strokes. I'm sure one more coat would offer full coverage if you were going for that look.  I didn't mind since I wanted to distress it anyways.  After the paint dried I used sandpaper to distress it.  I tried to target the areas that would naturally show wear and tear with age such as the edges.  After this I used a washcloth to apply the wax.  I rubbed the wax into the table using circular motions. Once the wax dried, I was left with a beautiful smooth matte finish.





I did the same exact same thing to our two end tables.  These tables were left in the farmhouse when we bought it.


They turned out pretty great too! 






 I'm eager to tackle other paint projects now that I have this new found love for chalk paint!

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Monday, November 3, 2014

An Awesome Discovery!

There are so many projects going on around the farmhouse that I don't even know where to start.  There is not one thing that is completely finished, just many many things in progress.  I guess that's why I struggle with keeping my blog updated.  I never know what to share.  Today I've decided to start sharing what I'm working on as I go along, even if it's not a finished project.  I am so excited to share my recent discovery in the farmhouse, the original white oak tongue and groove hardwood flooring! And the best part is that it's all throughout the first floor, even the kitchen!


We are still trying to figure out this house. Long ago there was an old farmhouse that sat in this very spot and then in the 1960's they built a new home, but saved a lot of the features from the original house.  We knew the staircase was one of those features, but we had no idea these beautiful floors were hiding underneath all the carpet and plywood. In fact we asked the sellers if there were hardwood floors underneath the carpet before we bought the farm and they said no.  We know these floors have to be original because these are not 1960's hardwood floors.

My dad has been helping me rip up all the old flooring, and let me tell you it is a job! They had no intentions of that plywood ever coming up when they nailed it down years ago!  As of now I am just working on the hallway/foyer.  My little man has a Birthday party coming up and I don't want the house to be too much of a disaster when we have guests.  Also, it is a very time consuming project so my approach is to do just a little at a time.  The good news is the floors are there, and if it takes me the next year to uncover them all, that's okay!


Here you can see a little spot where I cleaned off the dust and dirt.  We love the rustic character and we don't want them to have that super slick refinished look.  We are going to keep them as original and rustic as we can.  Just cleaning them will do wonders!




I just cannot express how excited I am about these floors. I've searched and searched for new flooring that would look similar to this and it just doesn't exist.  You can't buy this kind of character, and I am so thankful we found them hiding!

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