Friday, December 8, 2006

Slipcovers for dummies
Natalie asked about my slipcovers in the comments below. Following the Valerie Principle, I'm making a new post. And anyway, I happened to have another pic.

Natalie, the slipcover on the big couch is one I bought with a gift certificate some friends gave me.

On the small couch, I have a length of white denim draped across the bottom half and tucked a little bit, and the back is covered with an old quilt. That's actually the backside of a full-size quilt my grandmother made, but the patches on the top are worn thin and falling apart. I hated to throw it away and kept it for years, trying to think of a use for it, and then hit on this.

I try to keep the edges of the denim tucked under, but as you see, it does come untucked. It's not too much trouble, though. I wash it once every month or two, spray it with Scotchgard and throw it back on. The quilt doesn't have to be washed but about once a year, since it's not actually being sat on.

Now, slipcovers for clever people. ;-) I've thought about sewing slipcovers, and checked out this video on making them from the library, and it seems a pretty straightfoward process. It showed how to measure the furniture and mark, cut, and sew the fabric. The only thing that required more than basic sewing skills was making piping to sew into the seams, which gives it a more professional look, but isn't really necessary. If you can't get the video from your library and don't want to buy it, you could try this pattern. It's the same info, but I found seeing it done on the video to be much more helpful than reading the direcions in the pattern, plus the video teacher shows you cool shortcuts, like a very simple way to make the miles of bias fabric you need for the piping.

But even though I already have the fabric, I haven't done it yet because it looks like it will be a pretty long project and I'm, um, just not clever enough right now. :-p


Thursday, December 7, 2006

More house pics for Kelly P, since she asked so sweetly. :-)

Another angle of the living room. You'll notice that nearly all the furniture is slipcovered. This is because it's all shabby beyond belief. The majority of what we own is either hand-me-down or yard sale and thrift store purchase, and there are even a couple of things we picked up off the side of the road.

We found that trunk we're using for a coffee table in the attic of this house, the big couch was given us by my in-laws when we first married, the small couch and the end table came from my mom - Mom and Daddy bought that end table when they first married. The centerpiece bowl on the trunk is a bread bowl that was used by Mike's great-grandmother to make her daily biscuit in. You can't see them very well, but there's a small blue-painted end table next to my rocker and a narrow blue cabinet in the corner to the right of the window which, along with the recliner my son is leaning out on, were given to us by the previous owners of this house. The beautiful blue, white and green handmade quilt was a gift from the super-talented Mrs. McIntyre. I bought the rocker at a yard sale for $5 and the ship paintings were bought at a silent auction at our church for just a few dollars. Um, the lamps were all bought new. Darn. For a minute there I thought I had an entirely non-newly-purchased room. :-p

This is technically our back door, but it gets used like it's the front. No one's ever used our front door, except for the Seventh Day Adventist Jehovah's Witness ladies who came to visit once. I was in the middle of lessons and didn't have time for a long drawn out conversation, so I told them my husband was familiar with their publication and wasn't interested, and thanked them nicely for their time. They never came back. I think I've found the magic words! "My husband isn't interested." Feel free to use it if you ever need it. ;-)

This one's especially for Heather P. The missing third box of books arrived this afternoon!

The other wall in the Christmas room - you can see the banister in the mirror of those pics in the post below. The boys' room is upstairs, and that pile of junk on the stairs is stuff they're supposed to take up when they go. That's an entertainment center we bought second hand, but I use it to keep my grandmother's quilts in, and extra blankets and things. The lamp was a bequest from Mike's Great-aunt Celia, who passed away five years ago, and the clock was a hand-me-down from his parents.

The older girls' bedroom. They're not fond of peach and want it to be painted either pale blue or green. What do y'all think? The beds are a second-hand purchase, and the bedside table began life as a sewing machine table. My grandmother bought it for my mom when she was expecting me. Grandmother didn't like Mom lugging her huge, heavy Kenmore machine around when she was great with child. :-D

One of the few new purchases, we had an Amish man make these hope chests for our two eldest daughters and gave them to them for St. Nicholas day presents last night.

Mike picked up this dandy piece off the side of the road a few weeks ago. Needs a touch up here and there, but it's sturdy and has such beautiful lines. The rug was left here by the house's previous owners.

And that's all for tonight - I'm tired! Good night, sweet dreams...

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

We don't have the tree up yet, and I've only decorated a little so far - I tend to add a bit every couple of days, but here's a peek:

Advent wreath

Here's our living room with Advent centerpiece

The sideboard in the dining room

And the fireplace in the sitting room - the Christmas room, the kids call it now, since it's where the Advent wreath is, and where the tree will go in another week or two.

The kids made a bunch of snowflakes today and I let them hang them on the chandelier in the dining room - you can just barely see Mosey in the background, serenading us on the piano with Christmas carols.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Happy New Year!

Tonight we lit our first Advent candle - I think this is our kids' favorite part of Christmas. The verse we always read for the first candle is Isaiah 9:2, "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined." Before reading the verse, we always turn off the lights and let the kids walk around for a bit, then Mike reads the verse and the appointed child strikes a match and lights the candle.

We've been doing this for so many years I've lost count, and they never tire of it. It's great having a tradition like this.