"Why in the world did you pick this name for your blog?" ...so glad you asked...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Business (Ad)Venture

Yowzers. I'm kinda making myself nervous.
I'm thinking about starting a little adventure; trying to flip Craigslist, Goodwill and garage sale furniture finds for a few extra bucks. I've gotten such a great response from my simple chair makeover and I keep wanting to try the shabby chic style I see in so many other blogs... Since my own home will not be cottage style, my only chance right now to use Heirloom White, Vintage Glaze and distress the edges of anything with sandpaper is to flip a few pieces, you know?
I've already gotten a coffee table and a chair to start with. They were $10 each. Not the best bargains ever, but I can't seem to find those $2 deals that everyone else discovers. Maybe I'll hit the thrifty jackpot someday.
So I started thinking about names for my "company." It will sound better when I list things on Craigslist to have a company name. The first thing that popped into my head is what I like best so far.


                                                        "Not Too Shabby"

Isn't that incredibly witty? Isn't it the cutest thing you've ever heard?  Just don't Google it because you'll find 20 other consignment shops and furniture refurbishing businesses that are already using that name.

So then I started thinking of something I could do to set myself apart. I thought about having some sort of theme (besides the "I repaint everything white" theme), something that would unite all the pieces I paint. I'm thinking along the lines of a design of some kind, like maybe a lotus blossom. But a lotus blossom isn't very shabby chic. I don't know. It can't be a bird or a butterfly or a cricket. Too used. Whatever it is, I think it might help me find a more unique title for my "shop."

And as a side note. I officially HATE Valspar spray paint. I used Krylon on my first chair makeover and it was easy peasy. I picked up a couple cans of Valspar for the coffee table.... baaaaaad choice. The nozzle is so hard to work. The coverage is AWFUL. It spattered everywhere as it came out. It is NOT working for me and I am taking back the second can and getting my money back.

Hopefully, I will be showing you the finished first product in the next couple days! Fingers crossed someone will want to put it in their house.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Retro Upgrade

Being that I'm 30 now, I think I might need to stop wearing the Winnie the Pooh t-shirts and cut-off knit pants that I use for pj's. I'm slowly buying more grown up pieces for my pajama wardrobe. I bought three sets from Target and I got one pair of pj pants from a 50 cent bin at a garage sale. The garage sale pants are my new favorites, of course. They are from Old Navy and the fit is really ideal. I'd been wanting to try (I start lots of sentences this way, don't I?) to duplicate some pants for myself from a pair that fit well and yesterday had the hour I needed to take it on.
I took an old sheet set I've had forever that was passed down from my parents and used it for fabric. I laid our the pants one leg and one side at a time. I cut about an inch outside the edge of the legs and then matched my pieces and sewed. I was already quite familiar with simple toddler pant making and my experience certainly helped me with these.
It was close. In true Pretty Pickle fashion, the rear seam almost wasn't long enough to allow for a waistband. I did end up with super-skinny elastic, but I kind-of like the look. Not what I'd planned, as usual.
Isn't the pattern on the fabric sweet? I'm all about vintage lately. These sheets look much more stylish as pj's than they ever did as sheets in my opinion.
One plus, because they're old and well-loved, the fabric is sooooooo comfy!


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bought Me a Cat

Not really... Those are the first words to the first song on my toddlers fave music compilation CD.  And, so as not to sound too totally random, this idea really does tie in with my post.  It's really just a link, sorry if that dissapoints.  A link to the most creative furniture redo I've seen so far in my short time searching the bloggosphere for tips and inspiration.
And if I had a cat, this project would be getting bumped right up to the tippy-top of my list.  I don't know why I love it so much, I just do.  And since I didn't ask this blogger's permission to post pics, you'll just have to go visit her to see what in the world I'm jabbering about.  :)

ps. I have some sewing projects coming your way soon. Since we have an offer on our house and I don't have to worry so much about clutter being out, I brought the machine off the shelf and sewed up some things I had already cut pieces for. I just need some elastic and I'll have three (yes three!) things to show you!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Better Stuff

Ok, so we all know and love Anthropologie. That beautiful, artistic storehouse of ruffled, flowered and creatively pleated goodness...
Well, a challenger has just entered the ring. Rouche.
Listen, just listen.
This website offers clothing, accessories, shoes and more. They have a category called "Decadent Ruffles." You can basically narrow what you want to look at by whether or not it has frills. How fantastic is that? But wait, it gets better.
Once you click on "Decadent Ruffles" then you get three more choices divided by color. But the colors are indicated by cupcakes. A strawberry cupcake: Pink Lady, denotes all frilly stuff that's shades of pink. A chocolate cupcake: Chocolate Peanut Butter, will take you to shades of brown, tan and taupe. A peach cupcake: Peaches N Cream, will take you to all things cream, beige and white.
Could you get any more wonderful?!

And then the clothes! Oh, the clothes! They are just as delicious looking as the cupcakes! Very Anthro, if you will, and not cheap. Not as expensive as Anthro though. I'd say they are 3/4 to 1/2 the price of similar Anthro finds. You really should check them out. The only drawback... not being able to try things on. Maybe that doesn't bother you, but things always fit me so weird.
Accessories always fit, though.

How about the "I Love to Sew" charm necklace? Cute, huh?

And if the prices are still causing you to struggle, just think of it as a whole new place to get inspiration for your own projects.
Happy looking!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pillowcase Top

I already posted this a while ago on Sterling and Topaz, but since I wore it today and I have nothing to post while at the beach...
It's my first ever pillowcase top.  I had no pattern, just used some of the knowledge I had gained from making dresses for my little girl and some of that Pretty Pickle beginner's luck. By the way, it's not an actual pillowcase, just in that style.  I'm a little too big in the hips for an actual pillowcase.  I used some fabric I had leftover from the "birthday dress" I made my girl who was turning two.

I was so jealous of the pretty fabric combination.  I wanted to wear them somehow, too.

I left a bit of fabric at the top above the tie to become a ruffle when scrunched.

This was the first time I ever top-stitched.  I didn't even know what it was called at that point.  I just thought it would look neater.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Vacation Consternation

Don't think that the title of this post means I'm not enjoying my beach getaway. I truly am. I have gotten to walk on the beach alone, go to some antique stores with just my very easy, very happy 9-month old daughter, go to a thrift shop and Goodwill by myself, lay out on the beach under a huge umbrella and watch my two-year old play in the waves with her daddy, eat yummy smoked tuna dip, take some pictures that will be cherished...

and so much more!
Here it comes...


With all the cleared space I've had in my brain and all the alone time I've had on my hands, I've thought of so many projects I'd also like to be doing. I thought it might be a good use of my beach-air cleared brain to make a list of these things I've thought of.

I want to make 3-4 pillows. 2 using my Amy Butler fabric. 1 with a muslin ruffle, like this. 1 with some sort of design transfer, like one from Olive Rue. And maybe one of these, too... for my daughter's room.

I want to paint the two side tables a lighter grey than we plan to paint our living room walls. Or maybe a darker grey. And by the way, is it "grey" or "gray?" I guess since I don't know if I'm going lighter or darker, I'm not ready to do that yet.
I do have the color picked out for the walls. I can't tell you what it is, because I don't have the chip here, but I took a whole buncha greys into Abercrombie at the mall and asked an associate if she would mind if I stood around and tried to match them to the perfect grey of the store walls. She said I was the first to ask that, but, that, of course I could. She even stood there to help and brought another girl over to get her opinion too. :)

I want to choose the perfect blue-grey that will look fabulous against the orange I have chosen for the entry. The blue-grey will cover the buffet that will be our entry table. Unless I decide I want it that color forever, I eventually plan to refinish it. I'm just not ready for that yet. And I'm into paint right now.

I want to make a ruffled table cloth to cover my daughter's little square table.

I want to get several pictures, currently languishing in the digital world, printed and framed to go in our new hallway.

I want to create a large frame from moulding to go around our starburst clock that will hang over our new mantle.

I want to create a piece of art with the old window I got at a flea market.  I'm planning on hanging a "U" as a monogram from the piece of lock that's left and painting the frame some color other than white.  Something fun.  Not sure the color scheme of the kitchen yet, which is where it will hang, most likely.... although... I did say my next kitchen colors would be based on this.  hmmmmm... maybe lime green? But, I do love turquoise so. Then there's a happy shade of yellow to consider. Doggonit.

There's more that will come to me later. My girls just woke up from their nap and my brain is now occupied with them again.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Poppy Clip

Hair clips are a favorite quick craft of mine.  I like hair adornments because you don't have to be good at fixing your hair to use one and they take any hairstyle up a notch.  I knew I would need a lot of them once I had a little girl that needed her hair kept out of her face and I wasn't about to spend $5 -$10 per clip for something I could learn to make myself.  I ordered 50 clips, 50 no-slip grips, a few spools of ribbon and I was off!  That was over a year ago and I've made clips for my little one, myself and for baby shower gifts.  I wear them in my hair and I clip them on the necks or straps of plain shirts to make them special.
If you read my last post below about my poppy canvas, you know I cut out billions of circles.  Well, maybe it wasn't really BILLIONS, but I did end up with more than I needed.  Here is how I used some of the leftovers...

(I'm wearing a bathing suit top.  We're at my husband's family condo in Destin on vacation.  Sweet!  I've already taken a walk on the beach this morning BY MYSELF!  Can you believe it?!  A mother of two children under three taking a walk by herself?!  It was truly awesome.)

I usually cover the clip with a ribbon, but I was in a hurry, so I just glued the flower straight on and glued the no-slip grip inside.

I rummaged around in my underwear drawer where I keep all the extra buttons that come with clothing I've bought over the years and found this perfect pearlized button.  I especially loved the style of it.  I was able to pinch the flower a bit to give it some shape as I sewed.  I wouldn't have been able to do that with a regular flat button.

Linking up!



Friday, August 20, 2010

Grandma's Poppies

Grandma had a great jewelry collection and she loved delicate, beautiful things. Some things I remember from the many years we would visit on Christmas are her lacey table linens, embroidery hung as art, glass flower sculptures, gold leaf plant stands and the fantastic Christmas Trees made from vintage beads, rhinestones, pins, earrings and other fancies glued to a piece of black velvet framed in gold ovals. These were here signature Christmas craft and she gave a few as gifts over the years. I inherited mine. But that's for another post.
I also inherited a good bit of her costume jewelry including a very long pearl necklace. I have worn it maybe once and I didn't think there was any harm in letting my two-year-old play dress up with it. Well, of course, I should have thought that through just a minute longer, because pearls ended up all over the floor instead of on the strand. Now those pearls wait in a baggie to be used and enjoyed again in their next incarnation. I ran across this lovely tutorial at Twelve Crafts Till Christmas and knew that 12 of my pearls had just found their places.
I already had a blank canvas, because I bought a 2-pack and used one for my masking tape flower project. I have plenty of fabric (Lord knows!). We all have straight pins, right? Then, of course, the pearls... and two girls who so graciously took naps at the same time so I could cut out a bazillion circles.


Here is where it will live until we move, on my dresser in our bedroom. That blue light is from the phone.  I didn't take the time to properly stage for the picture... sorry.  It's my real life, folks.

I used 4 fabrics, 3 satiny ones and some white muslin.  I think I'd like them to have a bit more volume, so I may either just add more layers, or add something like tulle that will be really voluminous when wrinkled.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Baby Turtle Love

Stopping in to Benjamin Moore paints had been on my to-do list ever since I started reading all the crafty blogs and following link after link and coming upon mention after mention of some beautiful color by Benjamin Moore. We always start at Lowe's or Home Depot for paint selection, and, unless we're paiting a wall, which isn't very often, we don't really look at paint at all.
That's quickly changing though as I begin my journey down the multi-colored brick road of furniture painting.
I'm sorry I don't have a before picture to show you, but instead of tackling the end tables or buffet I showed you in the last post, I decided to start with something a bit less dear. I picked up a $10 side table with some really great shapes from Craigslist about a week ago and suddenly, upon seeing the Benjamin Moore store yesterday, decided it needed some paint NOW. We really weren't even positive we would keep it because I didn't have a place in mind for it when I bought it.
I got a $6 pint of Baby Turtle green thinking that the color would be great either in our future living room or it could stay in our bedroom where we have it now. Let me tell you, now that it's done, I am sooooo glad I have more of this color left over. It looks so beautiful in our bedroom with our vine and flower print bedspread from Pottery Barn. I know exactly what I'm using the rest of the paint for, but I'm not telling. You'll just have to wait and see!

It's such a comforting shade of green that could really work with "cottagey" all the way to modern decor,  in my opinion.

The details on the side really came out to play when the lighter color was applied.  Sometimes the brown of wood just swallows up pretty details like this.

Look at that wonderful shape!  So mid-century to work in our living room, but the curves make it equally at home in our bedroom.

Do you have a favorite paint color/brand?

Linking up to Beyond the Picket Fence and New Nostalgia...


Sunday, August 15, 2010

More Makeover Candidates

There are dangers involved in having a mini-van. I used to own a CR-V, but we decided after two kids that the amount of stuff we would need to pack for trips to see family 7 hours away in Atlanta wouldn't all fit. I balked at getting a mini-van, but now that I have Oliver (my Oddyssey), I am completely spoiled and have used that big cave behind the first row of seats for sooooo many things.
What kinds of things, you ask? Well, wouldn't you know I have some pictures to show you (and maybe a little bragging to do).

I saw these little beauties sitting outside a consignment shop about 30 minutes from me.  I had gone in there a couple of weeks ago and didn't see anything but "farmhouse chic" as I like to call it.  I thought it might be smart to check again.  And, lo and behold, there they were, sitting outside waiting for me.  They were marked for $75 for the pair, but the shop owner immediately came down to $60.  I'm pretty terrible at pushing for a bargain, so I was glad she offered.  I love the lines.  That shape on the side is so much better than just dowels holding up the second tier, which is all I've seen in the past. And the shape of the legs is pretty groovy too.  I'm planning a coat of sophisticated gray paint.

Here is the find I could have never even BEGUN to think about purchasing if I'd still had my dinky CR-V.  I have been on Craigslist (we are taking a break now by the way.  I need some time to re-evaluate my commitment to our relationship) almost every day looking for deals to help furnish our new home in mid-century style.  I spied this in a picture of a warehouse full of furniture billed as a blowout sale of antiques and hotel furniture.  I was sure that by the time I got there it would be sold and if it wasn't, it would be too expensive.  I don't know what I was expecting, but probably at least $300.
I didn't see it at first, then, suddenly, there it was, next to some headboards up against a wall.  I looked at the tag.  $160.  I was so excited that I thought it was in reach!  I decided to contain myself and continue my bargain training.  I asked the attendant if he could be flexible with the price.  He said he could make a phone call.  I told him to ask the owner about $125 and she agreed to $130!  yea!  It didn't hurt!
Look at the wood color variation on each end of the drawers.  Love that.  It's pretty badly scratched on the top and especially on one end and I don't think I'm up to refinishing.  For now, she's probably going to get a comfortable coat of cool blue-gray paint.  Maybe sometime in the future, we can tackle a refinishing

This one I found on Craigslist for $995.  I'm sure it's a bit prettier than ours is at the moment, but that just reconfirms to me that I got a great deal!    

Friday, August 6, 2010

Living With What You Love

My inspiration for this post comes by way of The Inspired Room. I thought I would start a series here at The Pretty Pickle about living with what you love or, more specifically, sharing with you the things that I have around my house that are meaningful to me.
A lot of blogs I read do room tours and house tours. I'll kinda be doing that for you as I decorate our new home, but in the meantime, I can share a few things I have out in our current house that hold memories or special meaning for me.
I already gave you an example with my shadowbox post.
Here's the next installment. It's short and sweet. I am the proud owner of a very large, very intricately inlayed wood folding screen that was given to me after my grandma died. I am very privileged to have it. It is truly valuable, both in the green stuff sort-of way and also in memory and emotional currency.
I remember being relegated to sleeping on an air mattress in the den when I was young and my parents and I were visiting my grandparents. My grandma displayed that screen in the den and I would often study it's colorful details before drifting off to sleep. It was a strange juxtaposition of comfort and stiff formality for a very young girl. It is now displayed in our formal dining room and I love to see it as I go about my day. I will still stop for a moment to study it's details and admire the colors... and, somehow, still feel a small dose of comfort in the familiarity and in the memories.

I don't have any pictures of the detail of the screen and I'm not at home right now to take one.  (I'm visiting my folks out of town).  But here's a picture you've already seen of my dining room table staging efforts and you can see the screen in the background to get a better look.


Monday, August 2, 2010

My Turn

And so it begins...I have officially redone my first piece of furniture.  I have been reading more and more blog posts about refinishing, painting and generally customizing thrifted gems with "good bones" and I just couldn't stand it any more.  I had to try out my own transformation.  I figured a chair was a safe first project.  Here is the chair before...

Our new home is going to be flavored with mid-century style and this chair was part of a dining set I found in a consignment shop.  I asked the owner of the shop if the owner of the set would split up the chairs so I could just get one.  I was eyeing it to be the chair we'd use at our built-in desk in the new kitchen.  The owner contacted me and said it would be $25 for a single chair, so I went and picked one.

I already new what fabric was going on the seat (because the stained denim print vinyl wasn't doin' it for me) and I got two cans of Bahama something-or-other (can't think of the name right now) spray paint at Walmart.  
After about one and a half cans and a whole bunch of staples that my dad had to help me muscle in, it's done!

Isn't she a beaut?

Do you recognize the fabric?  It's my precious Amy Butler Gothic Rose in blue that was inspired by my daughter's dress.  I still have plenty left to make some pillow covers, which, of course, you'll be seeing here as I complete them.

I betcha with my new found and growing love for thrifted and otherwise used furniture finds, I'll soon be running into the same problem this blogger posted about.  Go read her funny anecdote and you'll see what I mean.  I already caught some flack today for buying an old window to decorate.  I couldn't pass it up though.  It was FIVE dollars!  And how many tutorials are there in the blogosphere about decorating old windows?!  Plenty, right?  Well, it's my turn to try it and have a blog post of my own about it.  Wait, you're not my husband are you?  I don't have to defend myself right now...
Anyway, many projects soon to be in the works and I will surely share as I go.