Tuesday, March 25, 2014

5 (Wishful) Signs of Spring in Maine

1. Flowers are blooming.

Unfortunately, this Spring it's still so cold that they're either "faux"...

or felted.

2. The song birds are back.

In my March 11th post about Cardinals, I wondered where the birds were. Well, it's two weeks later and I'm happy to report that they've found  our new feeder. We're being visited by blue birds, cardinals, chickadees., and ...

even some felted birds.
 3. New  deck chairs are stacked and ready.

Needless to say, they'll have to wait in the garage...
...until the last foot of snow finally melts off of our deck. 
4. The camper comes out of storage next week.
Only  45  more days until our first trip to Searsport Shores in the little Casita!

5.  I rearranged my closet.

I just reorganized my seasonal clothes, changed purses (deep orange to bright, happy turquoise), moved the sandals to the front of the shoe rack, and ...

treated myself to a pair tropical coral ballet flats. 
 Hope springs eternal...in my closet at least!

Do you switch your closet around with the seasons?

Now if it would just get above 19 degrees so I can put the LL Bean boots away!

"It's spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!" 
~Mark Twain

Spring Fever? I've got it  bad...how about you?
Is it Spring yet where you live?
p.s.  Snow showers predicted for tomorrow...will it ever end???

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Updating Mom's House #5: Our DIY "Trash to Treasure" $1199.00 Chair!

My sister, Joanne, and I are updating and redecorating our Mom's condo for her while she recovers from a stroke and thought it would be fun to share our progress with you. We started with the Living Room, moved on to the Master Bedroom and Bath, and just finished our first DIY upholstery project!

THE $1199.00 CHAIR

We were inspired to try this project when we fell in love with this chair on display at our local Curtainshop in South Portland, Maine.
Designer Maggie Martell's chair...our inspiration

One of the interior decorators there,  Maggie Martell, told us how she had copied the chair (she found her "before" chair by the side of the road)  from one she saw in a high-end  catalogue for  $1199.00 + shipping.  Maggie is very talented and was wonderful about sharing tips with Joanne and I.

The original Suzani Chair, Maggie's inspiration ...$1199.00
 The original Suzani Arm Chair comes in in Orange & Turquoise, Yellow & Cream or Blue & White....all are insanely gorgeous! 

But way beyond our budget for updating Mom's house at $1199.00 each..
So...with Maggie's encouragement, Joanne and I decided to try some DIY "Suzani" upholstery on one of Mom's old living room chairs ourselves. Mom got the chair secondhand about 20 years ago from our sister, Nancy, who was giving it away when she moved. The fabric was very faded but the "bones" of the chair were still good.

Luckily, we found the same fabric that was used on the original chair in stock at the Curtainshop . It was pricey at $47.00 per yard so we cut very carefully and made due with 3/4 of a yard. The texture of this fabric really makes the chair though, so we knew we needed it to get "the look" of the original.
We were able to upholster the back and seat in a contrasting orange fabric which was more reasonably priced at $17.99 per yard. This mimicked the original chair and helped out our budget.

Mom's chair has a wooden frame with woven caned inserts. Joanne painted all of that a turquoise green color. (She felt that she wanted to go a little more green than the original to pick up the other colors already being used in Mom's living room.)

. As a young child, I had watched Mom and Dad reupholster furniture themselves so I knew some of the basics...but I had never tried it myself. So Joanne and I improvised as we went along. I'm sure we broke about every rule of Upholstery 101...and a few pieces of Maggie's advice as well!

The back wasn't too bad to do...

Mom's trusty glue gun came in handy where we messed up with the staples!

The next step was to prep the seat and back.
We were able to remove the buttons on the tufted areas but were left with deep little valleys in the fabric (Decorator Maggie would probably be cringing right about now!)

Time for the trusty glue gun again...that and a bag of polyester fiberfill evened out the surface. After that, we covered both seat and back with two layers of quilt batting, and finally, the orange fabric.

 We ran piping along the edges where the seat met the back.
 After a break...or two...we were anxious to apply the designer fabric to the back.
 We were able to staple the top and bottom but it was back to some hidden swipes with the glue gun to secure the sides to the frame.
We covered areas with exposed staples with a coordinating decorative trim.

And voila...our finished chair...
We DID it!!!
We were really pleased with the results!

Oddly enough, on our way to visit our Mom the next day, Joanne and I stopped into a local antique shop and spotted this...a strangely similar chair to the one we just created. It just seemed kind of uncanny...

The total cost to re-do Mom's chair (fabric and trim) was $87.59. I had the batting, staple gun and glue sticks on hand. So...the way we see it, we got a $1200.00 designer look for Mom's living room for less than 100.00!

I think this look could be duplicated on many a wooden-armed "ready for Goodwill or the curb" chair. I like the chair in both the yellow and blue as well and would love to challenge someone in blogland try this project in one of those colors. If my sister and I could figure out how to do it, I guarantee that anyone reading this can. Just be willing to jump right in, not take the project too seriously, and...

Have the glue gun ready!

I'm linking this post to more parties than usual for two reasons: 1) Cause I love how our chair came out, and 2) Joanne and I earned one link for each nasty hot glue burn we endured finishing this project!
Please click on the links below to visit each these each of these amazing blog parties:

Saturday Nite Special at Funky Junk Interiors
That DIY Party at DIY Showoff
Sunday Showcase Party at Under the Table and Dreaming
Sunday Best Showcase Party at Twigg Studios
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps On the Porch
Motivate Me Monday at Keeping It Simple
Masterpiece Monday at Boogieboard Cottage
DIYers at Home Coming
DIY Party at Home for 4 Sweet Home
Amaze Me Monday at Dwellings

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Updating Mom's House #4: A Coastal Maine Table

My sister, Joanne, and I are updating and redecorating our Mom's condo for her while she recovers from a stroke and thought it would be fun to share our progress with you. We started with the Living Room, moved on to the Master Bedroom and Bath, and are about to start on the kitchen...

It was almost dinnertime when we finished cleaning up from painting Mom's bedroom. We were tired and looking forward to a quiet dinner and a glass (or two?) of wine.

Our Mom's home is not just on the ocean, it hangs right over it!  Our little corner of ocean is Casco Bay in Portland, Maine. We're lucky to always have the table with the view...
When Mom originally chose the colors for her kitchen, she was inspired by the busy harbor outside her windows and decorated the room in red, white and blue.

Joanne repainted the kitchen chairs and picked up some new accessories to dress up Mom's table....red and white linen napkins, blue pottery dishes and crystal-beaded napkin rings...and was anxious to use them. So, amidst the messy paint buckets, drop cloths, brooms and brushes...

Joanne set a special table for supper.

We're lucky to be just a short walk from the local fish market...

Fresh fish, a green salad, and wine...served on a pretty table overlooking Casco Bay...what more could we want after a long day of painting and redecorating?

"Any time women come together with a collective intention, it's a powerful thing. Whether it's sitting down making a quilt, in a kitchen preparing a meal, in a club reading the same book, or around the table playing cards, or planning a birthday party, when women come together with a collective intention...
       ...Magic happens."  *     

*Quotation from Phylicia Rashad
This post is linked to:
Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps On the Porch
 Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Updating Mom's House #3: The Master Bath

My sister, Joanne, and I are updating our Mom's condo for her while she recovers from a stroke and thought it would be fun to share our progress. Here's the third installment!

We were so pleased with how the re-do of  Mom's bedroom turned out...the colors were perfect.

It opened up into the dressing area portion of the Master Bath, which was still done in her original 1980's rose, ivory and blue color palette. And it was wallpapered!
Wrong colors but great look...a vintage lace tablecloth as a shower curtain!

The bedroom paint was barely dry when we (picture two disheveled sisters with a bit of decorating OCD here) had a conversation that went something like this:

Cheryl: "So we can live with the bathroom the way it is, right?"
Joanne: "Yah, I guess so. It doesn't show too much...unless you look around that corner over there."
Cheryl: "Let's just ignore it then."
Joanne: " Do we have any paint left?"
Cheryl: "Plenty for a bathroom".
Joanne: "OK...I'll brush, you roll."

Before we could start painting, though, it took us two full days to scrape off the wallpaper...inch by annoying little inch. Mom and Dad had apparently not sized the wall before they put the paper up.  (As much as I love Mom and Dad, I still believe there should be  a special place in h*ll for people who apply wallpaper without taking a few minutes to size first. To me, it's kind of like "paying it forward"...an anonymous gift to the person who will someday have to remove it.)
But now Mom's bathroom is painted in our BM "Quiet Moments" spa color and we love it!
New bathroom fixtures weren't in our budget but just the fresh paint color updated the room a lot.

 I spotted this couch table in the "Pit" at a local discount furniture store one day and immediately knew Joanne would love it. I sent her a photo on her on her cell (caught her on the Maine turnpike heading to New Hampshire!) and she said, "Go for it", so back to Mom's condo it came. Turned out it fit perfectly in the outer dressing area of the master bath.

 It provided a focal point for added color and accessories.
We played down up the 80's chrome fixtures by going with silver mercury glass candlesticks.

(Oops! We will take the plastic off the new lampshade...promise!)
We painted the smaller toilet area of the master bath as well. It is so small that we only had one shelf to accessorize in there. Joanne used some of Mom's pottery with sea glass and a starfish to create a coastal vignette.
 The whole master suite is unified now and updated with color...
and accessories perfect for a house by the sea!

I bet you thought we were done now, right?

Nope! Stay tuned...

This post is linked to:
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm
Show Me What You Got Tuesdays at Our Delightful Home
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Through Life
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