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!

the shop is stocked: oversized ruler growth charts

i just realized that i’ve never really talked about my job on here (except for the interior designs i’ve shown you from various client’s homes).

it’s hard for me to define my job, since i have a few i work on.

my most important”job” (if you can call it that) is being the mommy to this sweet boy.

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but, when i’m not playing firetrucks or baseball in the backyard,

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you can usually find me working on one of these in my garage.

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and they come in three fun colors: 1.) Old American 2.) Weathered Grey 3.) Special Walnut

they’re great for charting the growth of your family, giving as a gift for a baby shower, a house warming gift, or even just a piece of art for your walls.

the best part, is if you move homes or decide to paint the door jams, it comes with you and the markings last forever.

and with Christmas coming up, i thought i’d make it really easy and give you the link where you can get some shopping done! 😉

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happy measuring, friends! xoxo

house tour tuesday: the vintage schoolhouse

it seems only fitting, right?

that this vintage loving mama, would send her child to a school that is vintage infused.

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maybe it was the Pinterest inspired wreath on the door that first caught my eye.

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or the old doors with original doorknobs.

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or the cast iron bench with perfectly weathered wood and adorable little pillows.

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no, no, maybe it was the old furniture they used for the sign-in area.

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as if that wasn’t enough, when i walked through the door of the classroom…

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i was greeted with old original chalkboards with old wood trim.

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and burlap(!)

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lots and lots of burlap! (how could we go wrong?)

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then the little kid vintage furniture hit me,

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lot and lots of vintage kid school furniture. (i nearly fainted)

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but, then i noticed something more.

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something beyond the old doors, burlap, and vintage furniture.

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i noticed the creativity happening.

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the wonderful way, in which, the school was teaching the kids,

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how to learn all the things around them in the world.

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there were no worksheets.

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or sit-down-and-listen-to-this-lesson kind of activities.

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nope. not at all.

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it was all just old fashioned fun.

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hands on learning.

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with real life tools,

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and real life experiences.

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so, the children can learn and grow,

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and see how things work,

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or hear how they sound,

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and play while doing it.

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so, while i love all the vintage stuff this little schoolhouse has.

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i really love the experience it gives my son.

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and the message it is teaching him about the world we live in.

of course, it also helps that it has one of the best teachers ever! (we love you Mrs. W) and one of the best preschool directors ever (you, too, Mrs. R)

so, if you’re looking for a cute, creative, vintage, hands-on-learning, fun preschool….go check out this one in Old Towne Orange.

and hey, tell them the furniture finder sent ya! 😉

house tour tuesday: our son’s room

hi friends!!

hope ya’ll are having a great week.

i am now healthy and well from walking pneumonia and back in the game of getting stuff done.

in fact, i think my meds worked so well, they transferred some sort of energy ball serum into my blood that made me go a little crazy with finishing up my son’s room. it’s  been the one area of our house that never really seemed pulled together. perhaps it was the stage of going from a nursery to a big boy’s room that always felt a little unfinished.

well, now it feels done (or at least for now. considering i just did a post about the antler dream catcher above his bed, that has already been moved. i was having nightmares that he was going to get stabbed by an antler in the middle of the night. it had to move).

wanna take a look?

come on….i know you’re just a wee bit curious about where the antlers moved to.

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or what is now above his bed.

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it’s not nearly as exciting as giant antlers.

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but, the thought of a paper garland accidentally floating down and plopping on my son’s face is easier to handle than an antler stab.

don’tyathink?

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see that bedding? that’s what started the ball rolling with getting our boy’s room done.

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or maybe it was his bed guard that my hubby decided it would be a good idea to use as a seat and snapped it in half (the one in the pic is an extra we had at our family cabin. i’m kinda liking the back up one better. my mom and i found this old gem at a garage sale up in the mountains).

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well, after buying the bedding at Ikea and an ice cream cone (it’s an essential staple when we go), i realized on our way home that i forgot to pick up one of those cute little book shelves that everyone has pinned on Pinterest. ya know what i’m talking about? i really wanted one for our boy for two reasons: 1.) they’re cute and 2.) i’m hoping that he’ll wake up on a Saturday morning and get distracted by a book and we’ll get an extra twenty minutes to sleep in.

wishful thinking?

maybe. but worth a shot, huh?

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i remembered i had an old broken drawer in the garage that i might be able to use as a shelf.

it worked. i’m jazzed.

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i’m also jazzed that his antlers found a safe home, on a wall with no cute sleeping child underneath.

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speaking of home. have you seen the Finding Fall Home Tours going on right now?

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you’re not going to want to miss it.

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it has some major decorating eye candy.

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and some great ideas to make your home feel like Fall (especially for us Californians. we need all the help we can get with this 90 degree weather).

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so, go check it out.

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and then ask them if i can play along, too, next year! 😉

what about you? are you ready for Fall?