Monday, December 17, 2012

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas {Part 3}

Well, here we are with my final Christmas post!  In case you missed it, {Part 1} featured my second favorite project while {Part 2} showcased the two projects in a tie for my third favorite projects, plus others.

So, of course, {Part 3} will finally reveal my most favorite favorite. First, though, I think I'll show you what probably was the easiest and quickest project I completed for my Christmas decor.

Friday, December 14, 2012

We Need a Little Christmas {Part 2}

I have recently been perusing my previous posts, and realized I am a bit of a rambler!  I hope I don't deter anyone from reading because of my goings-ons, but I love to share where my inspirations come from and how my projects evolve.  But I will do my best to keep it short and sweet but still full of good stuff!  :)
So, here we are with {Part 2} of my Christmas cheer!  As with {Part 1}, I have a couple of projects I did for our Christmas house this year that I think are pretty unique and hopefully you will enjoy.

Monday, December 10, 2012

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas {Part 1}

Christmas was my mom's favorite holiday.  And it will be weird, to say the least, to not have her here for her favorite time of the year.  Memories of her are constantly in the back of my mind these days, but I am trying not to let them get me down.  Instead, I'm trying to let her love of Christmas inspire me.  Because the last thing she would want is for me to not celebrate, to forget our reason for the season:
"And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus,
for He will save His people from their sins."  --Matthew 1:21
So, on to the celebrating, and decorating!   

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

{Re*Made}: Breakfast Table Window Seat

When my hubby and I began work on our current home--which is my childhood home--we quickly realized that what was intended as the dining room would not work for us because our table was too big.  With the living room as large as it is, we were able to make it a combo room, but were left with an open area off the kitchen with no function.
My mom then mentioned that when we lived there, she always thought a window seat would be neat in that room.  The more I thought about that idea the more we liked it, so that became the plan:  to create a "breakfast room" with a window seat, a small table, and a couple of chairs. 
If you haven't seen the transformation of the kitchen and breakfast room, it really is amazing.  But if you have, you might remember the bench we built for our window seat.  Just a plain-jane plywood box with a lid for extra storage. 

Breakfast Room Before & After {be made designs}

We painted it before installation, which was a bit of a disaster.  I have never experienced a paint like this before.  We chose our color, selected our paint finish, and had it mixed--like always.  Wet paint almost always looks different from the sample, so when it looked different as I was painting, I wasn't too concerned.  But as it dried (outside) it didn't really match the color sample either.  I know lighting plays a huge part in color, so I thought, ok, we'll get it inside and it'll be better.  Um, yeah, NO.  It became the worst color ever and most definitely not the color we chose.  See?  Most definitely NOT chocolate brown.

{be made designs}
I just love this girl!
I mean, ok, it's probably not the worst color ever, but it was not what I had in mind.  I knew eventually I would have to repaint it and of course it needed a cushion.  It wasn't very comfortable to lay on and read and drink coffee.  :)

I knew I wanted it a light color but still have some contrast since all our walls are light.  I also wanted to keep it neutral.  I change my mind too much to commit to a color, ha ha.  I need something that will go with a variety of colors and accessories.

One day, while looking for something else, I was rummaging through my fabric bolt stash, and saw a fabric that I thought would be perfect for the bench.  But not as a cushion.  As a cover for the bench.  It's a good neutral that would give me that contrast, plus it is a durable fabric meant for upholstery, so it was perfect!

{be made designs}

Covering it was fairly easy.  I cut the length of my fabric then measured the depth of the lid and the height of the front of the bench.  Miracle of miracles, those two measurements were the width of my fabric, so all I needed to do was cut almost down the middle and I was good.  How did that happen?!

Once I had my pieces cut, I used a staple gun to attach.  Simple enough.

{be made designs}

{be made designs}

Even with just the fabric covering it, the bench looked 10 times better, but I wanted to do something to the front of the bench to make it special.  Not just a fabric covered seat.  On our trip to the fabric store to find our cushion fabric, I ran across the nailhead trim and decided I wanted to do something with that.

I decided on a pattern:  diamonds, and took measurements to figure my placements.  I first outlined the front with the nail trim, then added the diamonds after.

{be made designs}

The diamonds were tricky.  I ended up doing each side individually to make sure it matched my measurements as accurately as possible, and to make sure each side met the points in the right place.

{be made designs}

First one down, four more to go.

{be made designs}

It was time consuming.  And back breaking.  And  a lot harder to hammer in those tacks than I would have thought {you can see my lines aren't perfectly straight}.  But after a couple of days, I got them all done.  And I was pretty excited about the turnout.  :)

{be made designs}

Now that I had the bench redone, it was time to make a cushion.  The fabric definitely helped with comfort {the plywood edge could really cut into a person's leg} but it still wasn't good for long reading sessions.

I laid my foam on the lid, then cut it down to size.  It was the right length, but too wide.

{be made designs}
Cutting with scissors was not a subject I mastered in Kindergarten, which plagues me to this day.  Thank goodness it was going to be covered!
Then wrapped it with batting for extra softness.

{be made designs}

Then I wrapped the fabric around to get my fit for the cushion cover.  I wanted to make one like a sham so I could easily remove it for washing {since it is at an eating table}.

{be made designs}

I love the fabric.  Vintage French postmarks and addresses.  I wanted a neutral fabric that would work in both the breakfast room and the dining room, as I was planning on covering my dining chairs in the same fabric.  I also wanted something with a bit of red in it to coordinate with the red accents in the kitchen.

{be made designs}

After I had the cover made, I put the cushion back in place, and with the pillows, it's the perfect little nook.

Breakfast Table Window Seat Redo {be made designs}

Doesn't it look good?

Breakfast Table Window Seat Redo {be made designs}
I had to borrow a couple of our dining chairs for the shots.  I am in the process of restoring a pair of dining chairs we had to be the new breakfast table chairs.  :)

Breakfast Table Window Seat Redo {be made designs}

So, whadya think?

Breakfast Table Window Seat Redo Before & After {be made designs}

It's not a dramatic change, but a better one and a more comfy one!  I still have a project or two in mind for this room to show off some things of my mom's.  Hopefully that will get done sooner rather than later.  Maybe next year's Spit*Shined list!

Well, I hope you found some inspiration!

ta-ta for now

Friday, November 16, 2012

New Wedding Stuff!!

If you've kept up with me on Facebook, then you know I've been working on a few new wedding designs.  It's been too long since I've sat in the design seat (graphically speaking) so I was excited to get back to work on a couple of designs that have been on the back burner for quite some time, as well as a new one.

I've been trying to get myself to broaden my horizons, so these new designs feature a new technique for me, while another design gets a little trendy.  I typically try to stay away from trends and keep things more classic or unique, but I couldn't stay away from this one.

So, without further ado, I present the three newest members of the {be made designs} Wedding Invitation Collection!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

{Re*Made}: Nightstand Revival

I'm slowly trying to get back in the swing of things with my design work and completing my goal list.  I know I won't be able to get it all done this year as I had hoped, but I think, for me, it was a great start. 

So, I finally have a new {Spit*Shined} project for October.  Woo hoo! 

Regrettably, I have inherited a few new pieces of furniture.  Some are going in storage until I have a home large enough to showcase them and properly utilize them.  Others are replacing pieces I currently own as they are much better quality.  But in the case of one small little piece of furniture, it was going to fill a void in my bathroom, after a makeover, of course.  :)

For as much storage as our little house has, we still need more.  But isn't that the story for everyone?!  I especially needed a little more storage in our bathroom for all my junk:  hair do-dads, specialty make-up, nail polish, that sorta thing.  All that has been in our bathroom cabinet but gets hidden behind our first-aid box, linens and shared daily toiletries. 

You may remember that our bathroom has a large vanity counter that is open underneath:  the perfect place to add in a little extra storage.  I've had my eyes open for something that would fit underneath it, but most pre-manufactured things I have found are too tall. 

My mom had a nightstand in her bedroom that she'd had for as long as I can remember.  It needed a little TLC, but I really thought it would be the perfect piece to go under our vanity.  The two extra drawers would give me plenty more space to stash my stuff and clean out our cabinet.
Nightstand Before {be made designs}

However, it, too, was too tall.  By like only two inches!!  But, after looking at how the piece was originally constructed, we saw that it would be pretty easy to eliminate those two inches (and a couple more) although I would have to lose the front base piece.  I really liked that little detail, but I needed this piece to work, so off it came.
{be made designs}

Next was the painting part.  You may also remember that my bathroom has baby blue and baby pink colored tile.  Not the greatest color scheme in the world, but hey, gotta work with what I got.  I have slowly begun incorporating grey accents and I think it's working well.  So I decided to paint this little chest grey, but I wanted to 1) use cream also so it wasn't just a flat Navy-ship-grey piece, and 2) do a little painter's tape "stenciling".

First, since the cream was going to be my "detail" color, I painted those areas first in the cream.  That included the moulding at the top, the sides and the drawers.
{be made designs}

After a couple of coats and drying, I applied the painter's tape to those areas I wanted to stay cream:  the moulding at the top of the chest, the edge and face of the drawers, and a trompe l'oeil moulding on the side.
{be made designs}

I cheated a bit doing the moulding stencil on the side.  The right and proper way would have been to measure, use a level to make sure my lines were square, etc.  We still have tons of boxes from my mom's move and when I saw one open, I thought the flap would make a great stencil.  So I found a box that was the right size, cut off the flap and taped it to the side of my chest.  I then applied the tape to the outside of the flap, eyeballing the levelness.  My square may not be perfectly square, but you can't tell and it was a super quick way to get it done.
{be made designs}

I used a separate circle object--a plastic bubble container you get in those gumball-type toy vending machines to be exact--to draw my curves, then cut off the excess tape. 
{be made designs}
{be made designs}
Once all the tape was in place, I applied the grey paint.  I went glossy with the paint, which is something I never do.  I'm just not a glossy girl.  But I thought being surrounded by glazed tile, a glossy chest would look best.  (ha ha, I was a poet and didn't know it.  Yes, I'm always cheesy like that.) 
Again, a couple of coats and let it dry.
{be made designs}

{be made designs}

Finally dry, it was time to remove the tape.  I love this part, seeing the idea revealed.  Plus, it's fun peeling the tape. :)

{be made designs}

{be made designs}

When we redid the bathroom, we used vintage-inspired glass knobs on the cabinets.  I wanted to keep that same look with this chest, and remembered I had some truly vintage glass cabinet handles stored away, waiting for their perfect place.  Perfect place found!  And I got lucky that the existing holes were the right size and space apart.
{be made designs}

So, paint is dry, tape removed, handles installed.
Presenting a revived nightstand turned bathroom storage chest.

Nightstand After {be made designs}

It really is a new piece of furniture.  I love looking at the before and afters just because it is so dramatic.  And it fits perfectly in our bathroom, now housing all my goodies.  Yay!
Nightstand After - as new storage {be made designs}

So, whadya think?

Nightstand Revival Before & After {be made designs}

Hope you found a little inspiration.  :)

ta-ta for now...

Linking up here:  Get Your DIY On 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

For the Love of Junk {Warrenton Fall 2012}

Spring and Fall are definitely the better seasons in  South Texas, in my opinion.  If it's a good year, we are still getting enough rain to keep the grass green.  The breeze is blowing enough of a cool wind that even on hot days, which are generally high 80's, low 90's, it's not that hot.  In Spring, we can emerge outside, enjoy the sunshine after a drab Winter.  In the Fall, we can again enjoy being outside after a brutally hot Summer.

Spring and Fall in Texas also means Texas Antique Week, when the thousands flock to two of the tiniest towns in Texas located in one of the more beautiful parts *IMO*--Round Top & Warrenton.  I have actually only been a handful of times but each year I go, it leaves me wanting more.  After a few years reprieve, we were finally able to make it to the last weekend.  Which I think is the best time to go because the vendors are making great deals so they don't have to pack up what's left over. 

We stuck to Warrenton this year, and I had really one main goal in mind:  find new dining chairs.  And anything else that may tickle my fancy. :)

Our day started early, and with that I made the executive decision to stop at one of the best Czech bakeries around.  Cream cheese kolaches and sausage rolls with awesome sausage was the breakfast of choice, and O. M. G.  My new goal:  learn how to make kolaches the Czech way because these were AMAZING!

I highly recommend a stop to the Kountry Bakery if you are ever in the area.

So anyhoo, awesome breakfast to get us started, which was a must since we were going to be walking lots and lots that day.  There are literally miles and miles of stuff to see.  And you cannot see it all in a day, but I did see a few things I thought would be fun to share with you.
We had to walk by this guy going in and let me tell you, the smells from this little bug were amazing!  I love the way coffee smells.  And how cute is he, too?!

A "trend" I noticed this year were these extra large 3-D metal letters.  We debated getting one for our house because they are pretty cool.  But one vendor had taken them and made lamps.  Now those were cool.
I thought this shot was neat, too, because you can see the variety of things you'll see in just one booth.
I love the hats!  Lots of vintage and retro clothes & accessories.
That same booth had these cool vintage lights.  I love the globes!
There is a lot of art and not just antique art.  People bring in their own works, and displays.  This one was too quirky not to share.  Kinda perfect for Halloween I guess.  :)
I guess I was into lights this year, ha ha!  But these were my favorite, by far.  This guy took random, everyday vintage items and made them into pendants.  Wire baskets, mason jar chicken feeders, metal pails, and more.  They were so cool and would have looked awesome in my kitchen window.
This is how my hubby spent the day:  searching for every toy booth to add to his police car collection.  He fared much better than me!
Finally, I scored on dining chairs!  These chairs weren't exactly what I thought I was looking for, but when I saw them, I knew.  They were also already re-upholstered in a fabric that would look pretty good in our house.  But I still needed two more....
This was a prefect example of taking old and new materials, and making a totally new object.  It was set up as a fountain, but I'm sure you could set it up to be a working sink. 
These metal filigree wall hangings were pretty popular too.
What a great mix!
I was getting a little worried about finding these because it wasn't until the very end of the day that we came across them.  But we finally found our two end chairs.  And they aren't an identical pair (one is a bit larger than the other) which makes it perfect for his and hers chairs! :)
My other great find of the day was this gorg cameo broach.  It's hard to tell in the photo, but it's actually a reverse cameo.  Love it!

I can't wait until Spring to go again.  I think I've convinced my brother to come along this time and take a look.  But if you love old junk, old junk made into new junk, or new junk made to look old, then this is definitely the place you need to check out.

O, and our new dining chairs look awesome!  Much better than our former chairs.  :)

So very happy!  :)
Hope you felt the love too!
ta-ta for now,
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