Sunday, May 24, 2015

Patio Pillows & Curtains

I've been updating (well, ... decorating) the back patio.. adding on from the wonderful Natural Light Patio Cover we had installed last year.  It's not 100% complete yet, but I can put a couple of sneak peak pictures on the blog!  Now, can you ever have too many pillows?  (nope).  I made 3 of the green floral pillows, 4 of the pink pillows and 2 of the brown pattern pillows.  Pillows just add that color that you need and can tie everything together.  And.. they're cheap and easy to make.. my favorite kind of project!


There is not many other stores I love to frequent than fabric stores, especially Field's Fabrics here in the Grand Rapids area.  They have a great selection of home decor fabrics, outdoor fabrics, upholstery, and about any other type of fabric you might need (all at very good prices).  The fabric for my pillows were all remnants that I got for *dirt cheap*.  The filling is from some old seat cushions that I saved (yes, my husband calls me a "border hoarder"), and was absolutely the best filler I've ever had.. super smooth and soft.. it made beautiful pillows.  To give you an example.. I made all the pink pillows for $3.  Talk about decorating on a budget!

And.. speaking of decorating on a budget... check out our curtains below.  Made of 100% painter drop clothes! 


The curtains took a while as we first needed to find channels to install onto the patio cover (to hold the curtains); regular rods just wouldn't have looked right and could have damaged the structure.. so we didn't want to do that.  We found the channels (attached to the bottom of the awning frame) online.  They look so good, it looks like they are "a part of the structure".  We then had to find the channel clips which we were able to get at Menard's.  My hubby did a fabulous job hanging the channels.. and I did the rest.   

The beauty of painter drop cloths is they're cheap.. and you only need to hem the bottom to the length you need.  The sides and top do not need hemming.. so the job is not as time consuming as getting several yards of fabric and making curtains (and .. um.. did I say WAY CHEAPER?).  All in all, I made 10 panels.

More pictures to come of the finished patio.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Farm Entrance

Have you ever had a visitor come to your home?  Maybe someone that you don't know.. that is selling something or wants to talk to you about "their religion"?  Now.. imagine that person comes around the back of your house to a private slider onto your deck?  Or perhaps a door that is never used.

Our new gate... now known as the "Farm Entrance"
We would have these people stop by.. unannounced.  Solicitors.  And it simply became just "a little too close for comfort."  Now, we're not anti-social, but we do live out in the country where everyone has plenty of elbow space.. and we like it that way.   We just prefer people to use our main entrance.

There are two driveways to this property.  The first one goes right to our garage (automobile) and our nicely remodeled side entrance door (where there is a welcome mat!).  The second entrance (which I believe may have been an original or very old entrance to the house) goes along the West side of the house and simply disappears into our back yard; it's a bit awkward. 


Normally the only individuals that would use this second driveway (or "farm entrance") is our hay supplier, the equine veterinarian, the farrier and anyone else that may need to get back to our barn or pastures for some reason. 

Well, I'm a bit tired of people using this driveway to knock on our door and ask for either our time or money for one thing or another, sometimes scaring the **** out of me by knocking at the back slider. 

Enough of that...


We have officially fixed this annoying problem.  Now.. we might have to get a little sign to put on the gate.  Any ideas of what it should say?  We still have to paint the posts green to match the gate and clean up the landscaping a bit.  We are loving our new gate!


In the picture above, you'll notice a very dead looking tree in the background; That is actually an old (dead) tree that has a trumpet vine all over it... which it should be starting to "green up" soon.  You might also notice some concrete blocks in the photo... they are for another project that is in the works as I type this blog post.  More coming soon on this.. it's going to be a busy summer!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Bedroom Barn Door

We've had a project in mind for quite sometime.. and it's now finished. When we bought this old house almost 5 years ago now, there was a beautiful old 15-pane glass door into the master bedroom (which use to be a parlor in the "olden days").  Since the bedroom is very small, we removed the door and used it for our pantry door which we love.  This left no door for our bedroom.. until now.


After searching for unfinished pine doors at local 'big box' stores (Lowe's, Menards, Home Depot..), we found one by a local guy that made them (for less expense than a commercially-made one).  


Knowing the door was going to be painted to match our trim and woodwork, this door made a lot of sense to us.  It definitely has some "character" and is "rustic"!  


It took a few coats of paint.. a more ivory color that was facing the living room, and a white that would be closer to the trim and woodwork in the bedroom.  We primed, painted, painted, painted, and then hung the door.  Well, it wasn't even that easy.. but we'll spare you the details!  

Primed Door

The door is now hung and we love the look of it.  We still need to add some rollers to the bottom (attached to the floor) as the door will sway a bit, but that is minor.  So, we now have a finished bedroom door... until we decide to re-do that entire wall (when we remodel our front sagging and rotting porch!), at which time our new barn door will remain.. but the rest of that bedroom wall will look different (more to come on that project)!

Closed bedroom door from living room

We have many projects slated for this summer.. so we'll see how much energy (and money) we have for them.  Heck, these photos were taken with our cell phones because I haven't had the time to take the good camera and make 'beautiful images' with it.  In the meantime, we're enjoying our new bedroom door!