Yay! It’s Fall Time!

I finally got outside and took pictures of the fall colors and scenes!




Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

I bought and used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint today.  If you haven’t heard of chalk paint, it’s paint that goes on easily and leaves a matte finish.  It’s mostly used for furniture, but it can be used for just about anything, including walls and floors.  Annie Sloan also makes clear and dark wax, which gives the piece additional character and a protective finish.

Today I painted a desk the chalk paint color florence.  First, let me share the history of this desk.  My parents bought it for my sister when we were teenagers.  I think they got it at Walmart or Target.  When we moved out of our parents’ house, she gave it to me because she no longer used it.  Up until last year, I had it down in my basement and I was using it as a TV stand.  Here’s a picture:

IMG_1183About a year ago, I had some latex paint left over from a different project, so I painted the desk and put it in our guest bedroom.

IMG_4066I thought it looked better than it did before, but it still didn’t have a lot of character and I wanted a bolder color.  So, I decided to try again.  Here’s what it looks like now after the chalk paint.

IMG_4078Slide1BA_1I am very pleased with the results.  I love how the dark wax creates an antique/rustic look. Now I just need to figure out where I’m going to put it.

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

I created my blog exactly one year ago today!  My, how time flies.  I wanted to take the time to highlight my favorite posts from the past year.

Click on the pictures below to go to each post.

1.  Architectural Photography (my first post) – October 2, 2012
IMG_0750_Edit2.  A Stroll Around Town – October 13, 2012
Door3. Bathroom Before and After – October 14, 2012
IMG_10054. Pumpkin Cheesecake – November 22, 2012
IMG_15055. DIY Curtains – December 12, 2012
IMG_16076. Bedroom Makeover – January 2, 2013
IMG_18267. Orange Muffins – February 12, 2013
IMG_19098. The Greenhouse – April 5, 2013
IMG_2203_copy9. Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies – April 21, 2013
IMG_249210.  Happy Independence Day! – July 4, 2013
IMG_309711. At the Zoo – August 10, 2013
IMG_3698_copy12. My Sister’s Dog – September 28, 2013
Logan2Thank you to those who have followed and read my blog throughout the past year!

DIY Valance

I made valances for my living room.  Here’s how I did it!

Step 1. Figure out how wide you want the valance to be.  I decided to make mine 50 inches wide, which is the same width as my window plus window frame.  Once you figure out how wide you want your valance to be, add 4 inches (2 inches on each side) for seams.  So my starting fabric was 54 inches wide.

Step 2. Figure out how long you want the valance to be.  I think 16 inches is pretty standard.  Because the fabric wraps all the way around the back of the valance, you’ll want to cut your fabric twice the length of the final product.  So, I cut my fabric 32 inches (actually, I cut it 33 inches to give myself a cushion for error) by 54 inches wide.


My starting fabric; ironed and cut to 54 inches wide by 33 inches long.

Step 3. Fold and iron to create clean hems. fold down 3 inches on top, 2 inches on each side, and 1 inch on the bottom.

My folded and ironed seams.

My folded and ironed hems.

Step 4. Bring up the bottom of the fabric so that the top and bottom hem folds overlap by 1/4 of an inch or so.

IMG_4054Now your valance should be 50 inches by 16 inches (or whatever dimensions you planned for).

IMG_4053Step 5. Pin and Sew.  Pin the fabric every 5-6 inches.  Then sew the fabric so that the top and bottom hem folds are sewn together and both are sewn in to the front of the valance.


Note: this is the back of the valance. The front of the valance should be seamless.

Step 6 (optional). When finished sewing, I went back and ironed the bottom of my valance where fabric folds and wraps to the back.  I didn’t want to do this prior to sewing because I feared it would cause my pins to get moved around too much.


Just a side note: ironing with the left hand while taking a picture with the right was a feat. But you guys are worth it.

Step 7. Hang and enjoy!


Naked Windows are No Longer

We finally installed blinds in the living room!  Weeeeee!

To add texture, I decided to hang some valances.  After a lot of thinking, I decided to make smooth valances instead of ruffled ones.  I got my inspiration from this Etsy Shop.  Here are before and after shots.





Feel free to ignore the sooty fireplace and the basket of cat toys.

Anyhow, I used Dwell Studio’s Bella Porte in Charcoal.  It’s my favorite fabric.  If you like it, too, you can order it at fabric.com.  In a little bit, I’m going to post directions for making a valance like the ones pictured above.