furniture projects

{ home } Wonderbaby's Room

15 months ago I had a baby.  Since we didn't know for certain (although Hubs 100% suspected) that our newest little bundle would be yet another girl, the nursery sat unadorned for many months.  

Many months.

And then I started picking away at it. 

Knowing that by the time it was complete, she would be quite past the new-baby stage (sigh.  Do not let me go There.), I didn't want to incorporate anything that we would have to switch out again for a few years.

Also, there was the color palette. Deep Red.  Aqua.  Bright yellow.  Pink.  An overscaled Heather Bailey Pineapple Brocade!  I could even do it from my stash, as there was serious yardage left over from a project for the teengirl that took a u-turn long ago. 


Honestly, when I shared this with others, there was often a courteous smile and nod. I am positive they thought I was creating some kind of circus-like nightmare. Giant pineapples in a baby's room. Heavens to Betsy!


Neveryoumind.  I knew what I was doing and marched on, albeit with some trepidation.


There is a mini down comforter for which I made a duvet.  Wonderbaby likes her blankets and coziness.  The bedding is simple.  I made a pink bedskirt and added coordinating ties to a simple pink yard-sale bumper.  The framed crewel piece is one of my favorite finds from a local thrift.  I've had it for years and it works perfectly in here.


The window faces east, so it is lit up with the most gorgeous sunshine in the morning.  Makes getting decent photos a bit tricky for some reason... seems like there is either a lot of light in there, or not.  At any rate, The exposure meant that the floor length curtains needed a heavy duty lining.  I tried pleating the curtains for the first time, and they are quite far from perfect, but I like how it reduced bulk at the rod.  And it gives a playful print a more tailored look.


The dresser was picked up for $25 and given a new life with paint.  I love love love this color.  It's not too bubble gum or cadillac.  The hardware is original.  I know, it was perfect.   I say it all the time, but  they just don't make furniture like this anymore. They don't.  It is so solid!  (Do you like the finger smudges on the mirror?!  Good.  I'm just keeping it real. )

crib corner and wall art

There are plenty of blankets that get moved around and used all over.  One is a gorgeous quilt made by Beki, another is a red baby blanket from miss laeroport, one was picked up in the nie-nie auction in 2008, and a couple others are vintage finds that I had to rescue.  They take turns in the crib and out and sometimes covering up with white rocker that has seen years of constant use.  Jade made us one as well, but babygirl has adopted that as her snuggly favorite and it is never around for a photoshoot. 


My favorite corner of the room is this, which is directly in front of you when you are walking up the stairs. The print is from Elsie, and I picked it up at the Red Velvet Art brick and mortar store when home in Springfield last year.  The red shoes are from Jen.  I made the green dress in a last minute mad dash for St. Patty's wear.  The deer was picked up antiquing with my mom in Florida two years ago.


I still love embroidery.  The simple stuff especially.  I'm breaking tradition and by putting it up there, but I really like how her name became art so easily. 


My mother in law made a cross stitch birth announcement for the wall, and it hangs by my rocker with this felt circle garland (from the Craft Hope for Haiti fundraiser) that I love but for which I can't seem to find a home.  That moves around the room and sometimes comes downstairs for parties.  Lucky garland!

The nursery is not finished, of course.  What room ever is?  I have a vinyl cuckoo clock decal on it's way from Etsy to go over the mirror, and some day I would love to replace this carpet and/or get a pretty area rug.  But for now, it's all good. 


It's a happy little space and Wonderbaby wakes up cheery every day. 

stick 'em up

Well that was a longer-than-intended blog break. 

sooo close.

The pink nursery dresser is awesome and basking in its new-found russet-pink glory.  It's been done now for over a week.  However, it is still in the garage because the giant dresser that is currently in the room needs to come out and go somewhere.  Any of my local friends need a huge mission style dresser with 8 drawers?  I'm totally serious.  We don't have a vehicle that can haul it, so you might have to get creative.  But you all are good at that.  ;)

Remember in that photo last week, of the top of my kitchen cabinets with the white pumpkin and the witch silhouette?  I decided it needed More Fall, so I also replaced the contents of glass containers (from lemons and shells) and threw in some sticks from the yard.  Know what?  Five minutes later it totally looked festive.  Go.  Go get some sticks.  And say 'totally festive.'


Next up?  You all have got to try roasting plums.  Oh My Goodness.  Yes, the recipe is on its way. 


Fidget's got a brand new bed

The girls were gone this weekend, so I took advantage of some extra time and finished up Fidget's duvet.

duvet, complete

I really like how it turned out.  Like I mentioned before, I used two thrifted vintage sheets and added a ruffle of fabric from Heather Bailey's Pop Garden line.  The room was already painted yellow and green, so I wanted the ruffle to pick those colors up, too.  Plus, ruffles are so darned charming.

See how that top sheet has the floral edge?  It's just at the top of the sheet, meant for showing when you fold it over.  I thought it was perfect for the top underside of the duvet, as I tend to fold them back when I make a bed.

That's the netting from her side rails you see on the bottom.  It's covering the light yellow eyelet bedskirt (also thrifted).  I'll have to try and get a better shot of that next time.

ruffly kerfluffle

The bedroom furniture is that set I mentioned not too long ago, the 1970's era cream and gold 'french country' girls set that was featured in all the department store catalogs of my youth.  It was a steal at a local used furniture shop and I cannot believe how solid the pieces are after all these years. (Well, I can.  They don't make furniture like that anymore, unless you are planning on investing in furniture.  And that I'm not doing, especially for something that will probably see nail polish and markers and shoe scuffs over the next few years).  A few nicks and scratches, sure.  I'll take them.

This is the dresser.  The jewelry box in the middle was mine as a little girl.  It has the ballerina (now with a missing arm) that spins, and a satin aqua interior.  Fidget loves that music box.   My name is on the bottom, scrawled in pen.  I went through a phase for a few years where I labeled everything.


The lamp base was something I picked up on ebay back when I was setting up the nursery.  I'm glad it still works in this room.

through the looking glass, Fidget's bed.

There is another piece, the desk + hutch, that is still waiting for a new chair.  It looks lonely without the chair, so I thought I'd save that for another post after I've found one. 

There are still some wall pictures to move around that don't quite line up with the new arrangement.  Most of the art in her room is taken from my old hardcover Mother Goose book that was falling apart.  I always loved the pen and watercolor illustrations, so I clipped them out and framed them for the nursery.  At the time I had bought some frames that I intended to paint, but never got around to it.  They are all trimmed in a gold that happens to match the trim on the new furniture.  I like it when things work out that way.

It's gorgeous and 74 today here in Kansas City.  Spring has been teasing us with more days like this lately, and I love it.  Enjoy yours, whatever it may be.

A block. Some more Florida photos. And delivery.

I'm not doing so well with turning my Twelve Square blocks in on time.  So far they have all been about 10 days late.  However, they are getting done, so I feel pretty good about that.  This latest one is for Leslie:

Feb Block for Leslie

The fabrics she sent were all summery and fresh, and I immediately thought 'bubbles' and circle appliques... but it looks like the other squares she got were more traditional cuts of blocks and stripes and so forth, so I hope this square doesn't completely throw off the completed quilt. 

The circles are hand-turned and slip-stitched, so no stitches are visible.

Feb: Leslie :: Twelve Square

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the 1/2 grouper sandwich

This photo just cracks me up. Do I look scared?  Surprised?  Nervous?  Probably all three. It was taken on our second full day with my folks, when my mom and I went antiquing.  This is the HALF Grouper sandwich.  It was bigger than my head.  And no, I didn't eat all the bread; I ended up eating the innards with a fork.  Tasty though.  (That is an awful word, innards.  Sorry about that.)

These do count as Florida pics.  I know the seaside stuff is better, but -- really -- look at me.  I'm in a long sleeved shirt.  I also had a sweater hanging from the back of my chair. The sky had a grayish cast all but the one day we went to the beach, so this is it.  I'm pretty sure an umbrella was involved, too.

good Greek eats down by the docks

Mmmmm.  Baklava.  I love any place with outdoor seating, especially with a view.   It's so charming and casual.  I feel like I'm on a movie set or something when I eat outdoors, sipping my coffee, watching the world go by.  But we didn't, and no one else did either that day.  It was just too chilly and damp.  Better luck next year, I'm sure.

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And, delivery! 

No, I didn't go into labor.  We're only 21 weeks along now, and our sonogram looked great the other day.  Doc says momma and baby are just fine.  Whew!

But I amexpecting the delivery of some furniture today.  That 1960's and 70's-ish creamy white and gold girls bedroom set from the Sears/Montgomery Wards/JCPenney Catalogs that I stared at longingly as a girl?  I found a four-poster bedframe, dresser+mirror and desk+hutch (and secret compartment sliding door-- bonus!) the other day for a steal at a used furniture place.  It's solid; the drawers are pristine and slide smoothly.  They even knocked off 20% percent for cash and because I'm really, really nice.  *grin*  I can't wait until it's here so I can clean it up and get going on Fidget's Big Girl Room. 

{ Local girls?  This place also carries a really good inventory (usually) of mid-century stuff, too.  Dining tables, bedroom sets, hutches, side tables.  There is one Danish modern hutch that is particularly wonderful.  It's been there for a while, I bet you could get a good deal.  Let me know if you want the inside scoop. }

So yesterday we had to make way in Fidget's room for her new stuff.  This is always a huge project, and included cleaning out closets and drawers and everything.  But doesn't it feel great to have a trunkload for Goodwill?  As soon as it stops raining today I'm going to scoot out and purge the back of my wagon.

Happy Wednesday!  xoxo

Made in 2008

Thank you, each and every one of you for the sweet congratulations on our newest little Big Project.  2008 was a strange year for me -- not the least of which was a month-long emotional drama resulting in a miscarriage last summer -- so the baby news is something that I am, shall we say, cautiously excited about.  We are 16 weeks along now, and every week I feel more confident.  Last weekend I actually pulled on some maternity jeans, so I suppose it is real now.

Anyway, you just have no idea how much your sweet words meant to me.  Really.  So thanks.

Made in 2008

2008 was also the year I tried to crochet.  And slip-covered my little settee.  And did a lot of satin stitching.  And clothes-making.  Even for myself, which was something I had never done. I picked up watercolors for the first time since college and also made silly sashes for our annual Miss America Party.  Sarah set up a flickr pool called 'What I made in 2008" and this was just the little push I needed to look back and review.  

It really was a productive year.  October, November and December seemed so light on the Making, mostly due to feeling, well, tired and queasy. I was surprised how much I got done before then, though.  (And I actually forgot to shoot a couple of things.  A couple birthday number shirts and other embroidered gifties that got wrapped and given away before I could document them.  Oops)

So, here's to 2009.  I have a quilt to finish.  Some more quilt blocks for Twelve Square.  Some more sewing for the girls.  And a nursery to arrange.  That sounds like enough to keep me busy for a while.

What are your big plans for 2009?

here and there and making curtains.

Pajamas and skirts and tops are fun to make. 


But I've veered off course and need to focus on the projects needing my attention so very much.  This is the week I really get to work....

 >> On the seven white linen curtain panels for those kitchen windows.

linen for curtains

 { I don't like making curtains.  All those chances to end up with wonky edges. And uneven hems that are oh-so-obvious against the squared corners of my windows... And yards upon yards of fabric slipping and sliding around while I try by best to press those hems.   And doing this seven times.  Frustration, thy definition is curtain-panel-making. }


>> And on that bathroom and it's hundred layers of paint.  See, we couldn't just paint the bathroom. No, we've got three kinds of primer, paint, faux glaze and two coats of protectant.  So far, I'm through two of the primers.  And that is just for the vanity.  There is also a linen cabinet, window and wall trim, and a door begging for my attention.

So maybe you'll understand if things are quiet behind la Fence for a few days.  Because photos of white linen curtains and irons and paint are thrilling and all { ahem }... but finding new ways to say, I painted this! and One more panel, done! might just do me in.  I kind of want to get the zone and get it done.  Ever felt like that?  Like ripping off a bandaid for a whole week.

* the one about the salad and the grout *

There are a lot of funny things that happen when you are remodeling your home. 

Like when you are walking into your newly tiled bathroom
with supplies, like dark tinted primer for the vanity
that the guy at Lowe's who-thinks-you-paint-anything-that-isn't-nailed-down mixed for you yesterday.
Just bringing it in there, 
in case you have 30 minutes to spare and want to 'dig in.'
And instead you drop the unopened can of darkly tinted primer
and it explodes at your feet
running into all the tan grout
and splashing up onto the side of the tub
and on your shoes
and legs
and towels
and the vanity (which is actually ok because that is the only place it's supposed to be).


And taking some of the towels it landed on, dripping with paint,
and thowing them into the vanity sinks.
And finding even more towels to wipe up the paint
(I'm talking almost a whole quart of thick charcoal gray kilz)
and smearing it all over the place.

And then, after a lot of words that are not very nice,
Thank you, Lord.  For making me the painter I am and knowing that I need to clean up sometimes.  I know that I have a huge can of mineral spirits in the garage.  Please please please please help me get this paint out of my grout.  Before hubs comes home.  Thankyousoverymuch.  I think I need to slow down.  Amen.

And I poured the mineral spirits all over the mess, took my toothbrush and scrubbed. And scrubbed.  Most of it came out.  I worked up a sweat, I tell you.  This mistake was not going to get the best of me.

Because I haven't even done after photos yet, for heaven's sake. 

I also find this particularly funny because I just had the best salad (thank you amy, that tuscan salad is superb!) that made me feel so wholesome and good.  I even rinsed my lettuce with vinegar, so as not to consume anything chemical or yucky. 

And then I spent a half hour with my head in the fumes of mineral spirits.  It's all about balance, right?

Also, I need to find a new toothbrush.

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* I've had a couple emails about my sense of humor with this little mishap.  The thing is, it was a mess, but it wasn't the end of the world.  In the Big Picture, I'm just a comfortable suburban housewife with very few things to worry about on a daily basis.  This really is the Small Stuff. And am I ever so thankful for that.  xoxo.  happy weekend. *

Slipcover? Check.

We've come a long way, baby.  You were like one of those poor girls on What not to Wear, with your vintage 80's faux impressionist chintz and worn spots.  Stacy, contorting her face with a grimace, and Clinton, rolling his eyes at the folks off-camera.  You've got great curves, you're just not wearing the right clothes...

But you were a diamond in the rough.  A $32 diamond.  On sale.  And I wasn't sure if there was room for you in my house, but I needed you.  You were my little project. And girlfriend, we did ok.

Done at last.  Done at last.

We're done.   It's been a swell adventure; one that reminded me why I don't attempt this every day.  But worth it all the same.  Look at you!  You're strutting!  You know you look good.

Alt view: slipcover

Are you going to keep this up?  Can you?  Now that you know about hemlines and flattering your figure, playing up your assets?  You will?  OK, good.  Because sister here isn't making you a new dress for a while.  [roll credits]

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I made the monogram pillow for my sister months ago.  She keeps forgetting to take it home with her, so maybe I should starting spelling my name with a K and claim it as my own.  Because I'm liking it with the blue AB print. There's another project, I suppose.


I'm excited to move on to new projects.  Dresses for Fidget?  For me?  Should I tackle my growing stack of vintage linens? 

Maybe a few poolside cocktails in Arizona will help me decide.   Oh, yes. 
T-minus two days.  Yeeehaw!


I need to borrow some of Beki's mind-blowing energy+ability-to-get-stuff-done and just wrap this one up already.

just about done.

The hem isn't done. 

I still need to hem the bottom.

And I can't decide what color pillow to make. 

Or pink?  I like the pink pillow, too.

And so it still isn't finished.  But it's reeaaallly close. Oh, and the thank-you prezzies that I promised aren't done yet either.  But they'll get done; please don't flame me for that.

So that's about it, other than the fact that I am disturbed by how excited I am about American Idol tonight.  I love me some David Cook.  We have never watched a whole season before, but it's fun.  Neil Diamond Night should make for some cringeworthy entertainment.  They each have to sing two songs.  Will Jason Castro sing Red, Red Wine? (I've read rumors that he chose September Morn and Forever in Blue Jeans.) What save-the-world-message songs will Archie turn into Muzak?  Will Brooke forget the lyrics again?  You know she'll do You don't Bring Me Flowers. I'm not sure what Syesha will do, but I don't really care.  She's got Broadway written all over her -- which is great -- she's just not a popstar.  Cookie, though... Girl, You'll be a Woman Soon?  Hello Again? I kind of hope he takes something really upbeat and makes it his own, like he did with Mariah's Always be my Baby...   I like that he keeps us guessing.  (Can he make Sweet Caroline edgy?)

Oh, and here's more of my cherry tree.  Because I can't be stopped.


I'm seeing light...


She's nearly finished.  (I am not sewing over my pins.  It's a slow process, pulling these babies out every couple inches or so, but so far I'm pleased...)

nearly done

And some etsy goodies arrived in the mail the other day from Candace's shop.  Have you checked out her goodies?  Lots of sweet little vintage finds and crafts.  I picked up four of the prettiest (clean, perfect condition) vintage pillowcases and some handmade gift tags. 

in the mail

These little bunnies are so cute, I'm going to have a hard time putting them on packages!  ;)  I never know what my plans are for pillowcases (sometimes they are just pretty to cut up), but I'm happy to have them, too.  These are so springy. 

On a completely unrelated note, we're getting a new stove today.  Now that I'm a grown-up, I find appliance deliveries very exciting.  And now you know you have that post coming.  Please try to contain your excitement.