DIY

DIY Chess End Table

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

For the longest time, I’ve been wanting to create a chess/checkerboard table for our own family room, so how excited was I to see one of my cousins actually take on this project herself !  I’m lucky to be Stephanie’s cousin by marriage, and I just love how with a little ingenuity, she transformed someone else’s discarded end table into a chess game table with two types of stain and imagination !  

The best part is, this was her first DIY project.  Bravo Stephanie ! 

  time to play

Here is Stephanie’s DIY story:

“I found this table no one wanted next to a dumpster and I thought it would be fun to transform it into a chess/checkerboard table, an idea inspired by a table at my local coffee shop. 

The table had a lot of water marks, the finish was peeling, and one panel of the table was uneven.  So, a friend and I brought it home and set to work to transform it. 

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DIY Lavender Eye Pillows and a GIVEAWAY

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Greetings friends, happy Friday !  You all know I’m on a lavender kick lately as I’m harvesting my plants in my garden.   I’ve made plenty of bouquets this week to give to all my neighbors and friends.  My entire house is filled with the scent right now.

Lavender is one of the most soothing herbal remedies, so much so it helps you sleep better !   So this week, I put my dried lavender to good use by making some eye pillows with linen fabric and simple embroidery.  

  

cg do not disturb pillows    

 

Here’s my step-by-step how I made these lavender eye pillows:

Supplies:  Fabric of choice; fabric lining (optional); dried lavender (approx 1.5 cups for each pillow); organic rice or flax seed; sewing machine; embroidery hoop & thread (optional); ink jet printer; scissors; masking tape; cardstock. 

First, I cut my linen fabric to approximately 8” x 10”, then used masking tape to attach it to cardstock.  Make sure your fabric is perfectly flat to the cardstock or it will cause a paper jam.   

tape linen to cardstock

 

Next, I centered this image below in a Word document, then ran it through my computer printer !     Printing with black ink comes out dark brown on the linen. 

do not disturb image

Note, the ink when dry is steadfast to the fabric and won’t run, but try not to get it wet, because it can bleed just a bit. 

I hand embroidered the details of the lavender sprig to the linen with a small hoop and some deep purple thread. 

hand embroidered detail 

Next, I cut some fabric lining to the same size as my linen, then sewed my lining and printed linen inside out on three sides.  The lining is optional, but I think it helps keep the outside fabric texture smoother to the touch, especially if using these on your eyes.   

sew together

  

To create lavender filling for pillows, combine 2 parts dried lavender to 1 part organic rice or flax seed.  You can use less lavender if necessary, but I have plenty so that’s my math and I’m sticking to it.   If you’re short on lavender, you can also use essential oils to enhance the scent of your flax seed or rice filling. 

lavender mixture

  

Fill your pillow with the lavender mixture, then hand sew fourth side together.

fill and sew

  

That’s it, easy peasy !

cg lavender eye pillows

   

Use them for relaxation, headache tension, or even tucked in your pillowcase or bureau drawer.   And did you know lavender is a natural moth deterrent ?  Place them in your closet as a repellant !  Or just leave them next to your bed as a soothing scent to drift away to slumber. 

  cg lavender eye sachets

   

Here’s the best part !  I’m giving FIVE of them away to you, my lovely readers, PLUS a bundle of fresh lavender, from my garden to your door. 

To be eligible, simply leave a comment – the FIVE winners will be chosen by Random.org.  Giveaway ends Monday June 21st at 8 p.m. 

******  THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED  ******

 

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A Bistro Set Makeover with an Unexpected Surprise

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

So as I was touring the backyard the other day, I realized there’s definitely some sprucing that needs to happen, especially with guests coming on the Fourth. 

As I meandered up the hill behind the grapevines, I was reminded of the thrift store bistro set I found a couple of years ago that I had every intention of refinishing but I just never got around to it.   The set sits on a little gravel patio that has a great view of the vines, but it certainly been been neglected.  After leaving the bistro set out all winter (so dumb), the set was, how shall I say . . . . what’s the word ?  . . . oh yes.  

GROSS. 

I meant there was moss growing on top of the table, the paint was chipping everywhere, and it was covered in spiderwebs.  ICK. ICK. ICK. 

So I decided the time had come to give it a makeover.  I convinced myself I’d have a fresh new set in no time at all with just a little paint and fabric.   Well, that’s what I did, repainted and recovered the seats.  But in the middle of my revamp, something rather unexpected happened.  Something I hate to relive.  But you’ve just got to know. 

First, take a looky loo at this retro bistro set Before:

bistro before

 

And After:

bistro after

 

Purty, huh ? 

It’s just such a great set for sitting and watching the grapes grow. 

chairs after 2

   

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