Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Rustic Barn Door Baby/Dog Gate

First things first, we got a new puppy!! Here she is..
She's an Irish Setter, and we figured out pretty quickly that a regular plastic tension supported gate just wasn't going to do. So, I found this GREAT online tutorial and promptly gave it to Dusty.

We built it out of Pine, which is on the expensive side but it probably the sturdiest lighter weight wood. Read the tutorial for specific instructions but basically you build a square to the measurements you need your gate to be, then attach trimmed boards to that frame. The "X" detail is probably the hardest part, but its purely aesthetic so can be skipped if you don't have it in you. 

 Dusty "roughed up" the wood using a pocket knife and we painted our gate in Glidden's Linen Canvas door & trim paint.
The finish turned out great but I will warn that this is an oil-based paint, so don't use it unless you have space you can dry your project in. Its VERY fumey.

We framed the wall and mounted using SUPER heavy duty bolts and a self closing hinge.

Here's another of the finished product:

Friday, August 9, 2013

How to Dye or Stain Leather Furniture

Several years ago, Dusty & I were given a hand-me-down sofa from my mother. It is American Signature brand and was a taupe-ish colored leather. The sofa had lived a good life, 6 or so years in her living room and 4 or so in our rec room, so when we started redecorating the room we were torn. The color of the sofa really didn't look good in the room. Tan walls, tan tile, tan sofa? I think not. 
Boomer on the Tan Sofa-- BEFORE!

My husband really wanted a darker color but we hated to discard such a good piece (plus we didn't have the funds to purchase a new piece). He said to me "why don't you dye it?" and I thought he was crazy... turns out its not only completely possible but its EASY!! So, here is how you do it:

  • First of all, I think this probably only works if the item in question is genuine leather. Bonded leather, I don't know about.
  • Order your supplies. I ordered online from and received my goodies in around 2 days. If you can't wait, I know that Tandy's Leather shops also sell this brand. 
  • You will need Deglazer, Dye, and a Finish. I used 32 oz fiebing's deglazer, 32 oz professional oil dye in walnut, and 32oz tan kote finish
  •  I used Fiebing's deglazer in the 32oz size for this project. The 32 oz was fine, but if I were to do it again I might double up.
  •  I have also read that you could use straight acetone but the fiebing's really isn't that expensive so I figured, why risk it? 
  • The deglazer removes dirt, body oils, and any existing finish that is on your sofa. We were AMAZED at how easily it all came off. It prepares your surface to accept the dye, so your leather will have an almost suede-like texture when you're finished. Apply the deglazer evenly but don't scrub. We started out using old socks, but switched to some left over felt I had and this worked well.
  • Next is the dye application. I used Fiebings professional oil dye in Walnut I purchased 32 oz of this as well, and could have easily gotten by with about 1/3 the dye. 
  • We used the felt again for this and it worked well. It is a good idea to use an old spray bottle of water to mist your leather as you apply the dye- it does help the dye go on more evenly. Use broad strokes.
  • I did a first coat, the a second coat mainly to even out the color an hour later

The sofa after 2 coats of dye
  • We then left the sofa in the garage overnight to dry. I am not really sure if this is necessary but I didn't want to risk smearing the dye with the finish. 
  • The next morning we applied the finish. I used Tan-kote . There are a lot of finishes available if you want a glossier finish or what not. 
  • We switched back to socks for this application, but I read terry cloth works well too. The finish reminded me of hair conditioner in consistency. It gives the leather a nice, conditioned look and sheen while it seals in your dye and makes the leather and color water resistant. 

After 2 coats of dye + tan kote finish
We let the finish dry for around 6 hours then moved the sofa back in the house have been enjoying it ever since!

Our new old sofa in its spot
Last but not least- Wear gloves!! It took me a week to get the dye off my hands.

Some tips:
  • Wear gloves!
  • Do not try indoors- the fumes from the deglazer and dye were particularly noxious
  • Take a before picture! Sorry, I forgot to do this.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Flower Meanings!

Folks ask us ALL THE TIME about specific flower meanings. I have always had some standard answers, mostly based on hearsay, but recently I came across Victoria's Dictionary of Flowers... and it is an awesome resource!!

It provides us with awesome tidbits like gladiolus mean "You pierce my heart" and yellow roses stand for "infidelity"... There are some positive meanings in there too but I loved those two in particular.

The Society of American Florists is also a great resource for flower meanings.
Apple Blossompromis
Baby's Breathfestivity
Bachelor Buttonanticipation
Begoniadeep thoughts
Black-Eyed Susanencouragement
yellowsecret admirer
Forget-Me-Notremember me forever
Gladiolusstrength of character
Hibiscusdelicate beauty
Hollydomestic happiness
Jasminegrace and elegance
Larkspurbeautiful spirit
Lilacfirst love
Marigolddesire for riches
Orange Blossomfertility
Orchiddelicate beauty
Pansyloving thoughts
Passion flowerpassion
Queen Anne's Lacedelicate femininity
redpassionate love
red & whiteunity
Star of Bethlehemhope
Stephanotisgood luck
reddeclaration of love
yellowhopelessly in love
Yarrowgood health
Zinniathoughts of friends

I have decided that if I had my wedding to do over again (which hopefully I won't!) that I would want to choose flowers for my bouquet that conveyed a special meaning. I went back to my own bridal bouquet recipe and here is what I came up with (using victoria's flower dictionary):
White roses- A heart unacquainted with love... hmmm? 
Craspedia- Edgy OR Good Health... lets go with good health on this one
Dusty Miller- Delicate, Happy ... better...
Stock- You will always be beautiful to me... perfect!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

10 Beautifully Blossoming Spring Centerpieces

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Your Valentine's Day Headquarters!

We are getting geared up again for Valentine's Day this year! This year we are soooo excited to offer unique and creative valentine's day gift ideas.

We saw this ADORABLE arrangement in February's Martha Stewart and thought "I can't do that!"
So we are doing it! We are offering a similar bouquet to this one, in a birch bark vase with personalization for $100

This year, we decided to do something else new and ordered a few boxed of David Austin's garden roses. Now, most of our Valentine's day customers love the classic red "freedom" rose, but if you love peonies then these Garden Roses are for you! Their HUGE heads are fragrant and in full bloom they are just spectacular!

For $90/dozen we are offering the garden roses arranged in a vase with greenery and filler.