Friday, February 24, 2012

New Goat Feed Grocery Bag In My Etsy Shop

These two rascals eat a lot of food.

The feed sacks that hold their food are really sturdy and big.  I didn't want to throw them away so I decided to upcycle them and make shopping bags out of them.  I've just listed my first one in my Etsy shop.

I've been using mine for almost a year now, and they've held up really well.  I wanted to make sure they were really sturdy before I made them to sell. 

I double stitch all of the seams which gives it a nice squared shape and also makes it stronger.  The baggers at Harris Teeter love them because they stand up by themselves and can be easily filled.  They fold up just like a regular paper bag for easy storage. 

Next in the shop - Chicken Feed Sack Grocery Bags

Thursday, February 23, 2012

More Clucking And Buzzing

We've welcomed a few new girls into the chicken pen for a few days.  We're chicken sitting for some friends from church until they get their chicken accommodations built.


They've been very good little cluckers.  Scratching and roaming and getting along just fine.

I did have to run outside once this morning (in my pajamas and muck boots) to chase off what I thought was a hawk.  Turns out is was a buzzard and won't hurt the chickens.  At least I got some exercise - hope the neighbors weren't watching!

That's our own Reba Mae on the right in the picture below.  She's our only chicken left - all of the others were attacked by wild dogs, coyotes, or hawks.  She's also our last "named" chicken.  We've learned to not name our chickens anymore.  We'll just call them "the girls".  She's enjoyed the company of other chickens for the past few days.  She's even layed an egg!

In other news, the bees were a flurry of activity today - it was in the 70s.  They were coming and going like crazy and their little pollen sacks were stuffed full.  I sure hope we get some honey this year. 

Our hive boxes are wrapped with paper to help keep the hive warm in the winter.  We really didn't need it today. 

Happy clucking and buzzing at your home!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Guest Bathroom On A Budget

I've always loved this little bathroom on the third floor of our house.  It has a cast iron soaking tub and it's walls are clad with tongue and groove paneling.  I never really decorated it when we moved in because it was my teen son's bathroom and he didn't really care what it looked like.  It only held the necessities that you see below -towel, toilet paper, kleenex, and soap.

After said son vacated the room and I redecorated it to become a guest room, I decided it need a little bit of fluffing.  I didn't spend any money, but instead shopped around my house to add some special touches. 

I tried to add light colored accents in the room to balance the darker tones of the wood - and there is a lot of wood - from floor to ceiling!  I added some colorful accessories to the shelves.  See the little glass goblet on the side of the tub?  It's holding the tub stopper!  All of our old tubs and sinks in the house have rubber stoppers instead of modern metal ones. 

I'd love to replace the lighting (I mean, really, who needs 6 light bulbs in their bathroom) but I'm not ready to add another thing to Hubs hubby-do list right now.  A wall basket holds extra hand towels and washcloths.  See the little dish next to the soap pump?  Yup, holding the sink stopper!

The soaking tub will eventually get a shower curtain, hung from a ceiling mounted rod, but for now the hand held sprayer will have to do (and our guests can always use the shower in the second floor bathroom.

The large vase was a gift from a friend.  It's the same china pattern my grandmother used and that my favorite aunt uses (The Friendly Village by Johnson Bros.)  And yes, here's another view of the lovely rainbow and daffodil window.  The oil painting was done by my daughter under the tutelage of my grandmother.   I love having special things around the house that remind me of people I love. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Guestroom Accessories On A Budget

After checking out the bed on a budget and the bedding on a budget for our guestroom, now it's time to look at the accessories.  I basically shopped my house for things that would work with the colors in this room.

  One thing, in particular, that I bought for this room was the luggage rack that you can see at the foot of the bed.   I actually bought it about 10 years ago in anticipation of having a guest room one day - am I crazy or what?  I've held onto it and now I can finally use it. 

I bought the side table (on the left side of the bed) at a thrift store a few years ago for just a few dollars.  It was in rough shape - broken drawer, missing handle,  and a really bad finish.  What it did have going for it was it's size and shape, general sturdiness, and drop sides. 

I glued and clamped the drawer back together, replaced the handle with a leftover one from my old kitchen, and sanded and painted the whole thing. 

I painted it the same satin black as the bed. 

To accessorize, I used a few items around the house that I particularly love - a needlepoint seat cover with beautiful colors, a small wooden heart box that Hubs gave me, a wren mug from a friend, and a cross stitched picture done by my grandma.

The other bedside table is really a round sewing table.  It was made by one of my clients for his wife who passed away.  No one in his family wanted it, but it meant a lot to him.  He asked me if I knew how to sew and when I told him that I sewed all the time, he asked me to please take the table home and put it to good use.  It still contained all of his wife's thread, needles, and sewing supplies.  I've kept it as is; never using the supplies but keeping it like a time capsule of days when women had a sewing table next to their chair in the living room to catch up on mending and darning. 

I covered the table with a table cloth (thrifted, of course) that I usually use on my round porch table in the summer.  It fit the small sewing table perfectly.  I topped the table cloth with a round basket because the table top is a bit uneven.  I added a little bit of reading material, a small starfish, a bedside water carafe with drinking glass lid (I found it at Pier One a few years ago), and a small red bird to repeat the red colors on the bed.  I've kept it mostly neutral colors with just a few pops of color.

One tricky spot in the room is the window that sits between the bedroom and the bathroom.  I think this was originally an exterior wall because the window is double glazed and the window trim in the bathroom is really well caulked.  My problem?  The bright colors are well. . . really bright.  I don't think this picture does it justice!

Until I decide on something else to do, I'm camouflaging the window with a silk orchid arrangement  working like a window box. 

The lamps I'm using are from my oldest daughter's wedding 7 1/2 years ago.  We used them to decorate the plain social hall in our church.   I'm not crazy about the cords showing, but they don't distract too much from the overall look of the room.

Another shot of my grandma's cross stitch.  Home is where the heart is. 

The rainbow and daffodils in all of their glorious color!

One of the best accessories of the whole room is the view.  This shot is taken through a screen on the window, so it's a bit fuzzy, but looking out into the backyard gives you a sense of being up in a tree house. 

Next post - the bathroom.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Guest Room Bedding On A Budget

The inspiration for the colors of the new guest room were found on a pillow that a friend gave me after my kidney transplant.  She knows I love birds and this sweet pillow has some beautiful colors.

After Hubs hauled the new frame and mattress set up the stairs and set it up, I was a little disappointed that the mattress set seemed to swamp the antique bed frame.  Years ago, the mattress and box springs were thinner.  Now they both made deeper, even requiring special sheets.   The headboard that I worked so hard to fix up was almost completely hidden.  To add some  height, I added a body pillow. 

I made a pillow case for the body pillow from a curtain valance.  I bought the valance at a yard sale when Hubs and I were driving back from our camping trip last summer.  The lined valance measured 14 1/2  feet by 30 inches.  It had wonderful trim and a cute scalloped border, not to mention the wonderful toile print (in red!)  I paid all of $2.00 for it.

I simply cut the fabric to the length I needed, slipped the pillow between the lining and the front, and whip stitched the end closed. 

The two striped pillows were from Target.  I got them 10 years ago and used them in my previous house.  They aren't exactly what I want, but they'll do until I find some other fabric to upcycle into new covers for them.

I never buy patterned bedding unless it's a decorative pillow.  Generally the larger the purchase, the more neutral I go.  Whenever I see a cream, white, tan, red, or brown quilt or coverlet at a good price, I pick it up.  This quilt was purchased a few years ago at Sears on clearance for $15.00.  It is a simple cream quilt with vertical stitching (in this case, I've turned the stitching to run horizontal so the bed will appeaar wider).  At the foot of the bed, I'm using another cream quilt  but this one's in a sateen finish for some contrast.  I picked it up at a yard sale for $5.00 - it had never been out of the original bag.

  I actually used these quilts as table coverings at my daughter's wedding.  We needed some extra tables set up for extra guests, and I didn't have any more tablecloths.  I quickly ran to my stash and grabbed the quilts.  They looked really nice in the outdoor setting on our property and washed up well in the washing machine. 

The only new purchases I made for bedding were the mattress pad and sheets.  I found both on clearance at Marshalls.  I decided not to use a dust ruffle for this bed.  Because the room is so small and the ceiling height is low, I think the ability to see as much of the carpet as possible makes the room appear larger. 

 The only thing I still need to pick up is a full size fitted sheet in a tan color to cover the exposed box spring since I'm not using a dust ruffle. 

Next post - accessorizing the guest room.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Guest Room Redo - A Bed On A Budget

My goal was to have a welcoming guest room on the third floor of my home since the children had left the nest.  My goal was pretty big and my budget was pretty small so I had to get creative.

First, I used an antique bed frame that I bought about 25 years ago for $40.00.  It had been in the master bedroom until we upgraded to a queen size set.  We actually used the queen set on the full size frame for awhile.   Hubs rigged it so it wouldn't fall apart, but it wasn't ideal.  I sanded it down and spray painted it with a satin black paint.

  The foot board on the left has been sanded and the headboard on the right has been sanded and sprayed with one coat of paint.  I ended up using three coats and used 2 cans of paint.  Several light coats is better than one heavy coat.

 My spraypainting area was quickly set up using a drop cloth over my compost tumbler in the back yard near my potting bench.  Looks like I have some tidying up to do!

Here's the third floor of our home, waiting for it's new identity.

Here's Hubs trying to fit a full size mattress and box spring up a very narrow and tight stairway.  Now that I feel so much better, he's having a hard time keeping up with all of my projects.  I may or may not have heard him mumbling under his breath. 

 I was able to get the Serta mattress and box spring set at a deep discount because they did not match exactly and the box spring had a smudge on one corner.  I figured it would always be covered, so it wouldn't matter.  Saving several hundred dollars on a slightly imperfect, not to be seen by the naked eye mattress set?  Yes, please. 

Once all of the pieces were put together we had a nice bed for our guests. 

Next post - dressing the bed on a budget.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wrensday: Lenten Rose

I always look forward to the Lenten Roses blooming around this time of year.  These little beauties bloom even when the weather is cold and gloomy.  I think they are just beautiful.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Guest Room Redo

I'm just about done with the guest room redo.  There are a few more details to take care of, but enough is done to share some pictures with you.

Here is a before picture.  This room was originally a sun room above the second floor of our home. The previous owner (who built the house himself) turned it into a bedroom when his family got larger.  Your eyes are not tricking you - the ceiling really does slant down toward the windows. 

This was our son's bedroom for the past 6 years.  Once his sister got married and moved out, he moved over to her apartment which is over our detached garage.  It's nice for him to be a bit more independent since he turns 21 this month.  Picture this room with a crate furniture bed, bean bags, military posters, and clothes strewn everywhere - that's what the room looked like before it became what you see below - a storage room for extra furniture and accessories. 

I was itching to make it something warm and welcoming for guests - without spending much money.   First, I painted the walls a pale blue color (Mountain Air by Sherwin Williams).  The off white carpet was still in good shape and the solid pine floors in the rest of the room just needed a good cleaning and a coat of polish.

Here's what the room looks like right now.  

The dresser is my son's old dresser - I just painted the hardware oil rubbed bronze.  The full size bed frame is an antique that I bought 25 years ago for $40.00.  It was in the master bedroom until we upsized to a queen bed. 

I'll give more details about the bedding and accessories, bathroom (you can see a bit of it to the right), and the rest of the room later this week.  All told, I spent $500.00 on the bedroom and most of it went to the new full size mattress set.  The rest went for 1 gallon of paint and 1 can of spray paint, one set of sheets, and a mattress pad.

I'm excited to show off the guest room.  Anyone want to come for the weekend? 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Reminders Of His Love

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, my focus starts to turn towards hearts.  Not the bright red paper ones, but ones you would find in nature.  I'm always looking for heart shapes whenever I'm walking around our yard or out on a hike somewhere. 

I decided to stroll through Pinterest today and find some photos of hearts in nature.  Here are some that I love. . .

Source: via Bev on Pinterest

Source: via Bev on Pinterest

I love how God built little reminders of His love into the world He created for us.