diy burlap pillow cover

i remember when i was about seven and i gave my grandmother the cutest little green heart chotchkie you ever did see.

(side note: can we please pause on the word chotchkie. is it not the strangest yet most fun word to say? say it three times fast, chotchkie, chotchkie, chotchkie. wasn’t that fun? did i lose you? i had to google it to figure out how to spell it correctly and this is what google told me: a small worthless piece of crap. well, gee thanks, google. it did redeem itself by adding a side note. how fun that google also likes to use side notes. no wonder we are friends. anyway, google also said in its side note: chotchkies can be pretty. indeed some are. and some are, unfortunately, worthless pieces of crap.)

well, my grandmother loved her new little green heart and she decided, at the time, to hang it in her bathroom. the only problem was that her bathroom was not green. it was peach. with absolutely no green in sight.

this new no-green-in-the-peach-bathroom sparked a redecorating frenzy and my grandmother was soon replacing all of her rugs and towels and such to make the cutest little green heart chotchkie look like it belonged.

i’ll never forget my grandfather giving me a half smile and telling me that he was really glad i gave her that cute little green heart. his words, if i remember correctly, were, “ya know you start with a green heart and before you know it, everything else must be changed.”

you might be wondering why on earth i am telling you this story?

well, besides the obvious, that i really wanted to use the word chotchkie in a sentence, i also recently experienced how one little chotchkie can spark a snowball decorating frenzy.

enter my cute little owl i received from the garland exchange i signed up for.

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isn’t he cute?

you know what’s not cute?

yup. that welcome burlap pillow that sits on our front porch bench. not so welcoming, if you ask me.

it was time for some redecorating.

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so, i grabbed some supplies: a sharpie pen, scissors, bakers twine, pins, brown twine (that i decided not to use and instead use white thick string), measuring tape, and of course, burlap. oh and a large sewing needle (i forgot to add it for the picture).

i started by wrapping my pillow insert in the burlap (if you’re wanting it to be more precise, use the measuring tape…i like to wing it).

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then pin the edges together, so you’ll know where to sew.

this is where i stopped taking pictures because i wasn’t so sure how it was going to turn out. just take your needle and string and weave in and out around the edge until two thirds of the sides are sewn. are you following that? i’m terrible at tutorials.

next, take the sharpie and write your word or saying onto the burlap.

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then take the bakers twine and sew along the letters (after you’ve removed the pillow insert).

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you could also cross-stitch to make it more interesting, but i only had an hour free during my son’s nap time, so i had to work fast.

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once that’s done, slip your pillow insert in and tuck the last edge inward and sew together and you’re done.

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put it next to the cute little owl that started it all and stand back and admire.

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and then notice that your thrifted two dollar pillows need pom pom edging and your front porch bench needs to be reupholstered.

Ah, yes, this is what my grandfather must have been talking about when he said, “start with one thing and everything must be changed.”

i guess i have some projects lined up for the next couple of weeks.

that’s okay. i’m loving my pretty little worthless pieces of crap. i mean chotchkies. 😉

chotchkie, chotchkie, chotchkie! such a fun, strange word! 😉

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house tour tuesday: the hidden nest

you know that saying….

birds of a feather, flock together.

it’s so true.

i’m learning that more and more each day.

i took a lil’ break from blogland, from designing, from basically everything the last couple of weeks and became a bit of a hermit. if you know me, you know that means two things: 1.) either i’m sick or 2.) i’m being introspective. in this case it was 2.)

i’ve really done some soul searching (as emo as that sounds) and while i feel like i might have lost the drive or confidence to put myself out there for a little while……i’m back.

today seemed like the best day to get back at it….maybe it was the great thrifting time i got to do with a good friend (love ya, K!) and all of the treasures we found. or perhaps it was the friendly mom at my son’s school that mentioned that her cute, white farmhouse was all clean and decorated for Halloween and if i was interested i could take pictures for my blog?

did someone say farmhouse?

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as it turns out, there were a whole row of white farmhouses. and in irvine. IRVINE! who knew? (for those that don’t live in California…finding a farmhouse in Irvine is about as common as finding a kangaroo in the mountains. that was a horrible analogy, but that’s all that came to mind. sorry. also, i might have just googled kangaroos to double check that they don’t live in mountains. i know nothing about kangaroos. and no they don’t. unless, you are counting what google said about them living on ‘desert plains on rocky mountains.’ in which case, just ignore everything i just said).

moving on…

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now these are not your ‘old’ farmhouses; it’s Irvine after all. they have farmhouse like qualities, that i definitely swooned over. (side note: i have this thing about white houses in movies. if it starts with a white house, has a white house in it, i’m going to love the movie. hands down, every time. now that you know this, you too will love movies with white houses. don’t argue with me. just say, ‘ok.’) 😉

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one of my favorite features was the front door.

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besides the cute fall wreath and anchor knocker….

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it’s a double dutch door. i’ve always wanted one of these. there’s just something so inviting about them. if they had a mouth and could talk, i’m sure it would be saying, “come on in.” or maybe it would say, “quit being a peeping tom.” however, since we were invited, i’m going to go with the first and not the latter.

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upon first walking in, i saw this. i thought for a second i got my dream job and was the photographer for Pottery Barn (call me! wink wink). it was straight out of a catalog. it was so cute!

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then i noticed the old work table that was perfectly imperfect! it had the most beautiful patina.

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it was around this time in the tour that i learned about where some or most of the old treasures in the home came from.

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apparently the mom of the mom of the house (who lives with them. we’ll call her grandma J from here on out) loves, LOVES old things. she loves to collect them, find them, re-purpose them.

does this sound familiar?

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she walked me through each room and told me about each piece she had found.

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how she had them re-purposed.

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or rescued from a yard. again, sound familiar?

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we had a great time talking about what it means to us to be collectors of these items.

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how we each love art and finding art to grace our home. (she had this cat and cow painted on wood by a local Old Towne Orange artist! they hang in the playroom of the house.)

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and one of the things that we both mentioned is that though we love the items and they bring us joy, it’s not about the ‘stuff.’

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it’s about the history behind them. the story that each one holds. the lives that used to have them.

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i was having a great time talking with her and admiring how she decorated the home and looking through her own hand drawn art collection of notecards (coming to Etsy near you! you can do it, grandma J!).

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and then sweet grandma J offered me coffee,

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with cream.

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little did she know that’s my love language.

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so you see, my perspective has changed the last few weeks. and i’ve been learning, that though not everyone will ‘get’ you or support you (and by you, i mean me), some will. it’s important to listen to those that do.

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because birds of a feather, flock together.

so thankful to have my peeps (and for meeting new peeps) who have similar feathers and want to fly together.

thank you to the H family and grandma J for the tour of your lovely farmhouse and, of course, for the coffee!

diy: backyard chalkboard

remember the vintage sale i had a couple months ago?

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well, i had a few things left over that didn’t sell and one of the items was this old door.

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i was kinda glad it didn’t sell because i really liked it and thought it would be fun for something.

a few weeks ago, i was trying to convince my son to play in the backyard with me. he didn’t really want to and i can’t blame him. it’s hot, the grass is very dead, and there’s not a whole lot to do.

so, to tempt him in trying to play in the backyard, i made him this:

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i think i might add some clips, so he can also use it as an easel and paint once in awhile.

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it makes for the perfect spot to score our baseball games (mini baseball games that is. our backyard is tiny).

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he was pretty excited about it for about a day and a half. he has now moved on. *sigh*

time to think of a new attraction for the backyard. i’ve got some ideas brewing.

happy Monday, friends. here’s to a new week ahead!

house tour tuesday: home away from home

this weekend my family and i went to Cambria to visit my in-laws.

they recently (actually more like four years ago), built their dream house on the central coast and i thought it would be nice to do a tour for the blog.

and then i forgot my camera.

welp.

so….i thought it would be fun to take you on a little tour of my home away from home: the thrift store.

i love to thrift. to me it’s like going on a treasure hunt.

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you never know what you’re going to find.

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sometimes there are big things.

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and other times, there are just small items that catch my eye.

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but, the one thing i’ve noticed is that i most always find something that i could decorate my home with.

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sometimes there are vintage linens,

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and old chippy farmhouse finds (my favorite!).

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you might be saying to yourself, “what would i do with all of this stuff?”

well take this old dresser, for example, (which if you follow me on instagram, you know my latest obsession with dressers!) 😉

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and then pair it with this oversized mirror (btw, i would probably paint the molding of this mirror),

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and maybe some of these old milk glass pieces as catchalls:

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and you have an instant nightstand or entry table that has a huge impact.

or take this gilded frame:

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just pop out the center picture and replace it with some fabric and glass and then add some handles to the sides and you have a one-of-a-kind tray (thanks to my friend, Suzee, for that brilliant idea!).

need to decorate a little girl’s room?

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how about this old iron bed (for only $10!!! what a score),

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hang a vintage cross stitch over it,

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and add a crystal chandelier and you have quite the girly room!

it doesn’t take a lot of money to have a beautiful space. just some treasure hunting, maybe a little elbow grease, and some creative thinking.

hope this inspires you to do a little thrifting!