Sunday, January 31, 2010

let it "snow"

this one's for my homies up north. wanna know how much frozen precipitation it takes to shut down the state of tennessee for an entire weekend? this much:




it's ok, you can laugh. see, we aren't equipped with things like snow plows and tire chains in the dirty south, and a handful of salt-spreading trucks won't cut it at times like these. so we have to mob the grocery store, interrupt all the prime-time television programs with winter storm warnings, cancel school and all community activities and hunker down for the long haul. just like this past friday. woohoo, snow day!

certainly we did some decorating around the house with all our free time, right? indeed:


yes, that couch has a pull-out bed. no, that's not as much fun as a snow-weekend pallet on the floor. obviously.

after two days of lounging, movie watching and pancake eating, captain fantastic got some cabin fever. so he did some grilling while it sleeted. sloat. had slat. past tense. chicken? calzones? quesadillas? he literally grilled every grillable item in the house on one afternoon, amidst active precipitation:


then we took the big dogs for a walk, which was ill-advised given the ratio of ice to exposed sidewalk. we didn't get very far. but we did get a chance to do a little dog-sledding:

video

woohoo, innagural blog video! betwixt tomfoolery, we did actually work on some projects this weekend. stay tuned for two new light fixtures and a multi-function storage solution this week. peace out and stay warm, y'all!

please note: despite all evidence in this post to the contrary, we are not complete rednecks. sterling, however, is actually a total spaz.

Monday, January 25, 2010

before & after: yours truly

i got my hair trimmed before our wedding in june, but previously, i hadn't gotten a haircut in about eight months. and i was starting to look like the 20th duggar child.



hair of this magnitude is a pain. literally. it was always getting caught in my purse straps, pulled by my husband on accident, tied in knots...i couldn't even wear a ponytail because it was too heavy. something had to be done.

so i kissed it goodbye...

got it nice and straight...



and chopped it all off for pantene's beautiful lengths, inspired by my friend nishta's touching story.




before:


after:


i feel like a new woman!

now to replace that horrid fan...

Friday, January 22, 2010

home is where the hearth is

so i did something really fun yesterday.

if you were around in my wedding blogging days, you recall my love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with photoshop. things are still a bit rocky, but we've made some progress. i've been dying to try a little hot before-and-after action on some photographs of rooms but hadn't gotten around to it yet, so when my pal martha asked me for some advice on how to arrange her mantel (seriously? i'm so flattered!), it was just the push i needed to give it a try! martha sent me a picture of the den in her cute, cute house that she and her husband have been fixing up over the past year (check out her blog for some amazing before and after pictures of the work they've done, it's so cute!):


apparently the furniture arrangement's a little different these days, and they have a totally fabulous new rug that makes me jealous, but this is the general idea. i proceeded to probably terrify poor martha with an extremely enthusiastic and prompt response of six photoshopped ideas. so check out my playing-interior-designer-fancy-pants-inspiration-board-mock-ups. or something.

1) fun sunburst or quatrefoil mirror hung in the center, wedding portrait leaning in front. make a silhouette of gibson (their adorable pup) to lean in front of wedding portrait. balance on the other side with a large vessel of greenery and a smaller item or two.


2) find old shutters in a color you like and hang them on the wall. hang portrait on top of shutters. balance sides with arrangements of topiaries/greenery and candlesticks.


3) metallic round mirror in center, portrait leaning in front off to side, along with puppy silhouette. grouping of plants/topiaries/candlesticks on the other side.

4) kindof a mixture of previous ideas...large square mirror with cool frame as backdrop


5) get a neat, structural mirror, like this window-looking one, to hang or lean in the center. lean the wedding portrait to one side, with a grouping of candlesticks on the other side. put a few small things in front of the portrait (these are little birdies made of pottery)

6) find a big cool branch outside and hang in on the wall, prop portrait in front, group small candles around.

whaddaya think? anything pass muster? don't quit my day job?

i wish i had a mantel.

Monday, January 18, 2010

silver-leafed side tables

is that a collective gasp i hear? surprising but true: i have completed another furniture makeover. it helped that this one didn't involve hours of painting tiny leaves. it did involve hours of messing with leaves of a different sort though: silver leaves. i don't know if you can pluralize it like that, but i'm gonna. no use trying to stop me.

you may or may not recall the recent lack of bedside table chez stone. no more, friends. no more. i wanted something reminiscent of this from horchow (and others in the aforementioned post), to tie in with the silver starburst mirror above the bed:


but i wanted to make it myself. obviously. most of my girlfriends think i'm a total wackadoo for wanting to make things that i can already buy in their completed state. but that's why i have blog friends, no? and two kindred spirit bloggers, get your martha on and little green notebook, had recently completed silver leaf projects themselves with fabulous results.

firstly, i procured a pair of tables in my desired shape. these came from my friendly neighborhood target:


then, i coated them in silver leaf size. it went on milky, like so:


eew, milky. but it dried clear and tacky within 20 minutes-ish, at which point i started applying the amazingly thin and infuriatingly delicate silver leaf sheets. tip: pick yourself up a roll of wax paper along with your size and silver leaf. you can cut it to the size of the leaf sheets, lay it on top, press with your hand and transfer the leaf from the tissue paper it comes in onto the wax paper. it is so. much. easier. to transfer it to your project like this. trust me.


i used a soft brush to smooth it down. i didn't worry about overlap or wrinkles or oddly-shaped pieces, because i wanted it to have a distressed vibe. the stuff smooths on pretty well though, so it didn't really matter anyway. when the leaf had all been applied, it looked like this (notice the scraggly bits all over the seams):



the leafing instructions suggested using a soft cloth or piece of velvet to burnish it and buff off these bits. i used a swatch of velvet from my fabric sample stash, and it worked really well:




LIKE MAGIC.

warning: silver leafing will turn your living room into freaking tinkerbelle's fairy dust party extravaganza. even after a good vacuum and a shower, you will sparkle for days. after the glitter settled, the tables looked like this:


only i wanted something less shiny and a bit spotty, kinda like an old mirror, so i finished the tables with a coat of antiquing glaze:




here's one in action:




both tables are complete and in place now, but the one on the other side of the bed is hard to photograph, and also nekkid at present. next on the list for the bedroom: bedside table lamps and window treatments. go.

for kicks and giggles, here's a glimpse of the bedroom last spring, before the wedding. note that this is not a true "before," as i'd already done a considerable amount of sprucing to captain fantastic's bachelor pad by then. the true before, which was also before i blogged and therefore undocumented, involved brown plaid sheets, a black/pink/blue/yellow quilt and a picture of an 1800s log cabin from an estate sale, hanging off to the side of the bed (because the nail was in that spot when he moved in, duh).

and now, the "during" (since there's still work to be done)


and now the real work begins: teaching c-fan to consistently use a coaster. hmmm...

Friday, January 15, 2010

I DIE

...as rachel zoe would say. and i about did, from shock, when i found out that i was the winner of furniture feature friday at miss mustard seed's blog! i was all, "no way!" and miss mustard seed was all, "yes way!" and i was like, "nuh-uh!" and she was like, "totally!" and i almost passed out. so. i'm really excited. it's so cool to get recognition that something you did is actually neat. i mean, one tends to lose all objectivity and reason when the work in consideration is one's own, and i'm historically pretty hard on myself in an uber-perfectionist sort of way. so, thank you to all the kind commenters and new followers, and welcome to anyone who's visiting from miss mustard seed! imagine me jumping up and down, clapping my hands and squealing before i run over and hug you. or, you know, just nonchalantly offering you a seat and a martini, all chic-and-gracious-like. whichever. (insider tip: realistically, i'm probably doing the former)

i actually finished revamping one of a pair of bedside tables last night and had grand plans to shock the pants off everyone by posting a sneak-peek today...until my camera battery died. it's been one of those weeks, y'all. so anyway, expect a makeover soon to the tune of this:




turning into something more like this:


by way of a little silver leaf and a lotta patience.

IS THE SUSPENSE KILLING YOU???

here: a peace offering. while trying to find a video of rachel zoe saying "i die" to illustrate my post title, i came across this bit of internet hilarity. b-a-n-a-n-a-s. enjoy.

Friday, January 8, 2010

special bulletin: stone completes table, blogosphere stunned

I DID IT!!! ok...so maybe i haven't been running (...it's been in the single digits outside!), and last night's final load of laundry has been sitting in the dryer for 18 hours (...we had to watch football with friends!), but i HAVE followed one new year's resolution so far: i finally completed the boring console table that i began making over back in october. and i am thrilled with the results!

from this:

to this:





TA-DA!!!

after a light sanding, i gave the whole thing a coat of light blue paint, then i hand painted the design in white (inspired by this wisteria chest). one meeeeellion years later, i finally got around to coating it in two different types of glaze. i'm really pleased with the way the raised texture of the hand painting caught the glaze, giving the design lots of depth and the whole piece an antique vibe - exactly what i wanted.


not one to avoid a chance to be ridiculously perfectionist, i even lined the drawers with a contrasting harlequin-patterned paper (and mod podge, so it's quasi-durable):


festive, no? now, the million dollar question is....

original knobs that i painted bronze, for a rustic touch?



or faceted glass knobs, for a splash of antique glam?


thoughts?

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