Friday, March 30, 2012

sourcing my number stamp...

How amazing it is to wake up on a chilly, rainy Friday morning and find my inbox flooded with emails about one of my little projects! I got hit with the most wonderful double whammy today, having my numbered cabinet featured on BOTH The Handmade Home & Maple & Magnolia! (THANK YOU, Ashley & Susan!) I had no idea this was going to happen ~ oh happy day!

I paint and sell and lot of I need things to be quick and efficient when it comes to completing a project. To number the drawers on this one, I used a silicone stamp with a clear block rather than a stencil. Stamps are soooo much faster and easier!

The million dollar email question of the day is "where did you find the stamp?"

I purchased these last fall, and they were in the "stamp isle" at my local Michaels. Here is a photo so you know which package you are looking for...

And here is the UPC, just in case that make them easier to find. The clerk in the store may be able to search their system to see if they can find you some. I did check the Michael's website, but didn't see them. 

UPDATE: I was able to find 3 sets locally this morning! Email me if you would like I set! $8 each, and that includes shipping!

I am going to stop at Michael's today, so will inquire while I am there to see what info they can give me on how or where to find them. 

Want to see the full tutorial on how I complete the cabinet? Click here...

A BIG THANK YOU to Ashley & Susan for making my day! 

I wish you all a Friday just as happy!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

drumroll please...the sofa results

Wow! I am so happy to see so many of you weigh in on my sofa issue! The opinions were all over the place...some loving the Ektorp sofa from Ikea, some of you really disliking it. 

Now let me preface this decision by saying I am a comparison shopper. I don't jump at brand names, or high price tags assuming they are better. I drive my hubs nuts because I research, read endless reviews and weigh all the factors before making a decision. If I could have a side job working for Consumer Reports, I would! I love to save a buck whenever I can, but have been burned more times than I can count choosing on price alone, whether it be because it was cheap or because it was expensive and I assumed it would be the best. 

Use caution...this is a long-winded post. Many of you that left comments yesterday wanted details of my search so I am laying it all out there for you!

Ok, now for the winner. 

{ Insert falling confetti and party horns blazing here...}


Isn't she gorgeous??

Now here is WHY I chose her. 

I shopped locally at 6 different furniture stores that carry various brands. Only one carried a sofa I could get slipcovered in white, and the quality was questionable. Yesterday, I shopped Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel and Ikea in the Chicago suburbs. 

Here is my verdict on each store I shopped yesterday:

 (Pottery Barn - Basic)

POTTERY BARN -  They had a nice selection, but the Basic sofa was way to small for my hubs. It just was not a good fit. And to be honest, it seemed a little 'basic', hence the name I guess. We tried the PB Comfort, and the back cushions I could just tell were going to be trouble. The sales girl admitted they do have issues with the back cushions looking broken down and squished. No thanks, been there done that on many different sofas in the past. I just wasn't feeling it from anything else in PB. For the prices they were by the time you upgraded your fabric and cushion, I expected more. I really wanted something to work, because I do have a very loving relationship with Pottery Barn, so would have loved to have one of their sofas adorning my home. But in the end, I just didn't find what I was hoping for. 

(Ikea- Ektorp)

IKEA - The every popular Ektorp sofa. At $399 and $49 for a replacement cover, you just can't beat the price. I will say this, I went in thinking it was going to be really uncomfortable. I remember sitting on the floor display a number of years ago and thinking "what the heck, its like I'm sitting straight on the plywood." Well I am happy to report it was not as I remembered it! We found ourselves thinking it was "ok" could be our sofa in a secondary room and it would do the job, but we wouldn't "love" it. Does that make sense?  It for sure didn't have a feel of quality, but it could get the job done and get us through a couple of years AND save us a boatload of money 

 I have to say, I could tell straight away it was not a quality piece of furniture. But lets be real for $400, you are not going to get top of the line. If I had children and wanted a white slipcovered sofa, I would TOTALLY be buying the Ektorp. Sticky hands, juice cups and goldfish crackers need something that is not an 'investment' piece. And for the price, if the cushions break down and go flat after year two, you could but 4 more for the price of one better sofa. But if you want something to go the long haul, I am not convinced this one is it. 

(Crate & Barrel - Willow)

CRATE & BARREL - now for the reasons I chose the Willow. Maybe I am a little biased, as I have a Crate & Barrel sofa in my living room. I have had it for 6 years, and it still looks practically show-room new. It is micorfiber, which normally I am not a fan of, but chose it on a whim in a cream color. Truly, it is AMAZING how this thing cleans up. We have dropped BBQ sauce straight on it, and all I need is a paper towel and a few squirts of Windex (who knew?) and it is 100% gone.  You would never know a baby back rib was just face-down on my cream colored sofa. The down-wrapped cushions have still retained their shape nicely, too. So where I am going with this, is that C&B has proven to me the quality of their craftsmanship and materials. 

When the hubs first sat in the Willow, his words were "Oh, this one feels good." It was the first time I heard that! The cushions are down-wrapped...enough to make it comfortable, but not so much that you get that 'sinking' feeling. They are supportive in all the right places. The size was right, and the tall arms I didn't think I would like...well I LOVE them! Perfect for snuggling in with a pillow or to use as an arm rest. For a shorter person, maybe they wouldn't work so well, but I am 5'11 and the hubs is 6'2 so we found them to be perfect!

The cover is exactly what I was looking for. Snowy white, it has a nice weight to it...and I of course ripped it off so I could turn it inside out and inspect it. VERY well sewn. Heavy stitching, nice straight lines. It surpassed all my tests! 

Another thing I loved about the C&B sofa - it is made 100% in the USA, North Carolina to be exact. I try to be conscious of that as much as I can. It is also is "bench made" which means the same man in the factory that builds the solid wood frame, it also the guy that makes the cushions and sews the slipcover. Love that. 

The price is high, I can't hide that fact. Not on sale, it is $1799. Gulp. But, in this case I really feel is is the best decision for us. I know it is not for everyone...and that is why it is such a great thing to have an affordable alternative like the Ektorp. 

So there you have it. 9 stores, and many...many white slipcovered sofas! I am so glad that process is over, and I can't wait for April 9th to get here so it can be delivered and I can sink in and enjoy it!

Tune in Monday if you would like the review of the 'vinyl faux wood floor we installed!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

sofa talk...

The floor installation is done! Woohoo! It took us about 4 hours, and really was pretty simple once you got the first row that lays against the wall in place. We finished up when it was dark yesterday, so I will snap some pics and show you tomorrow. 

Today, I need to talk sofas. I need your two cents on this one. I am so torn on what sofa to get for my sunroom. It seems like everyone in blogland has an Ektorp sofa so I knew I would get good advice from you!

 Do I spend more in hopes of getting a better quality sofa, or do I just go with the $399 Ektorp from Ikea since I could buy 4 of those for the price of one from Crate & Barrel or Pottery Barn? 

Here are my choices:

 Ektorp from Ikea:

It has been a while since I sat on one, but I seem to remember it being uncomfortable. I have the Ektorp chaise, and I LOVE it! Oh, and when I see the display in the store, the cushions are so flat and squished. I am sure that is because they get sat on a million times a day...but has that happened to anyone else?

 Willow from Crate & Barrel:
(sooooooo comfortable, but the high arms seem a little high, no?)
PB Comfort from Pottery Barn:
(closest in style to the Ektorp, but 4 times the price)

 Am I really paying for quality with this one, or will it be a disappointment?

Anyone have any of these? Any input or advice?

I want to hear it all...the good, the bad and the really ugly.

Oh, and to add to the decision...anyone out there have a rather 'big' husband like me? He is 6'3" not exactly petite. I am afraid the Ektorp will be too small in scale for him to be comfortable. This is not our main living room...but we are going to hang a flat screen on the wall, so I am sure I will find him out there more than I think!

Ok, can't wait to hear what you have to say! If my mind is swayed to get the Ektorp from Ikea, I am heading that way tomorrow!

Monday, March 26, 2012

YAY! sunroom floor going in today!

As you are reading this today, the hubs and are a busy little bees laying a new floor in our sunroom. We need a 'temporary'new floor in this space because I just could not take one more second of the commercial carpet we inherited with it when we bought this house. I say 'temporary' due to the fact we will have hardwood put in this room when we have new installed in the adjacent great room sometime next year.

Ok...let me be slightly more honest...I tired of that carpet 6 months ago and ripped it out on a whim. I have lived with the plywood floors ever since, but it is time to be slightly more civilized. It would have been dreamy if I could have just painted the plywood floor that was there, but that pesky commercial carpet was glued down and left a mess all over the wood.


I was on an aimless stroll through Lowes the other day and happened on this beautiful...although vinyl...faux wood floor. Normally, I am not a 'faux girl', much less a 'vinyl girl', but they were running a killer sale, and I was armed with a coupon I found in my mailbox last week sent out in the mail. It came to  just under $180 to do the whole room, and it had great reviews on the website. After all that... I was feelin' the love.

And the fact that is will be easy to keep clean, was a major plus for me. My beloved 4-legged baby, Jake comes in from outside through this room about 10 times a day.

Muddy paws + vinyl floor = clean up so easy even the hubs can do it! 

And since the room will be 75% covered with one of these beauties...I was even more convinced I could live with it for a while.

(photo via Dash & Albert...not my color palette for this room..but love their rugs!)

Keep your fingers crossed for me that installation is as easy at it seems!

I'll report back tomorrow with a few photos and my 'product review'.

Happy Monday, girls!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I {heart} City Farmhouse

I am back today with another of my favorite places in Tennessee!

City Farmhouse. (even the name is cool, no?)

My hubs now refers to this shop as 'where the Urban Farmgirl would live'. Get it?

City. Farmhouse. Oh, he thinks he is sooo funny. But I love it so much, I would move in if I could!

This time we are in Franklin, which is right outside Nashville.  If you want to visit the town where you are most likely to be eating lunch at  a table next to Kelli Pickler or Faith Hill...this is it! Most of the country stars live in and around Franklin. It is a charming, quaint and has some SERIOUSLY good shopping! Antiques, boutiques and fabulous restaurants are everywhere!

Before my visit, I had found City Farmhouse on Facebook and through their blog. Kim, the owner sent me a message and told me to be sure to stop by and I am soooo glad I did! Kim and her husband David are two of my very favorite people on this Earth! We talked and talked forever...another blogger-meeting with a happy ending. I just love meeting the people behind the blog! They made me feel so welcome, I can't wait to go back and visit them again!

There store was amazing, so I thought I would take you on a little tour!

I {LOVE} the tractor grill hung on the wall with a light in it! That would be sooo awesome in our media room! David makes those, by the way. 

They carry some of the best painted furniture...but it doesn't stick around long, so if you see a piece you want you have to get it when you see it!

I about died over this door...and yes, it did cross my mind to ask if I could take it off the hinges and take it home with me. I really should start carrying a screwdriver in my purse for such occasions! 


Let's have a closer look, shall we??


I stared at this old window for a loooong time. Isn't it fantastic? It is so big, and the beveled glass was almost too much. It was ah-ma-zing!

Don't even get me started on this antique table wrapped in old zinc. I want one soooo bad, but it needs to be larger. My hubs would just think I was the coolest wife ever if I brought home one of these for his poker table. 

Love, love, LOVE this chandi! 

And my favorite piece of the whole visit..this old farm table. If I had a way to haul this baby home, I would have. It is really long, maybe 8-10 feet. It would have made an incredible dining table out on my porch. 

City Farmhouse has a ton of architectural salvage, too! Doors, window...all with chippy paint in a rainbow of colors! 

And the lockers?? Well, I have a little 'thing' for lockers, I admit. There were such a cute petite size, perfect for a kids room!

I heard from so many of you after yesterday's post. You either live near Nashville or are planning a trip there, soon. You really MUST take a day to visit Franklin! I will do a longer post tomorrow about their Main Street area where all the boutiques and restaurants are. 

But one of the best things was seeing City Farmhouse, so be sure to stop in...and give Kim a big hug from me!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

my visit to Vintage Junky

Ok, so I realize I have been home from my Nashville trip for a couple of weeks now...I took a little {too long} off from blogging, but now that I am back I just had to share with you one of my very favorite stops while I was there!

Vintage Junky in Spring Hill, Tennessee

I have always loved Michelle's blog, so when the opportunity popped up for me to tag along on a trip with the hubs to the Nashville area, I jumped on it! I was soooo excited to meet her in person! I am always so nervous meeting a fellow blogger for the first time. Are they what I will expect? Am I what they will expect? Will it be awkward dead silence or will we be like long lost best friends from the word go? Well, let me tell you...Michelle fits into my 'long lost best friend' category. {LOVE HER!} And her little family! I wish she could have closed up shop so we could have spent 2 days shopping our tails off around the Tennessee countryside. But, a little thing called 'business' got in the way, {darn responsibility, right?} so I took a raincheck, because I KNOW I will be back in Tennessee soon!

Brace yourself, there are a lot of photos ahead...and very little words. Michelle's shop is so awesome, it just does all the talking for me. And photos of pretty things are always the best part anyway!

Somehow I just knew when I walked up to this cute little entry, I was going to {love} what I found inside!

And WOW, was I right. I stepped inside and immediately knew I was in trouble. But the good kind of trouble...the kind where I wanted to buy every. single. thing. in her shop! that a 'good' kind of trouble?? Guess it depends on how you look at it. To me - yes. Yes, it is. 


Her husband, CJ makes the most amazing chalkboard art. I showed you the piece I had him design for my booth at the shows this summer...and I have a feeling as soon as I am done with this post I am going to be ordering another. I mean look at that trailer, would you??


This little yellow cart was soooo close to coming home with me. I miss it already. 

Even her signs are cute, no? I would like to buy the silver...and the sign, please!

The 'Thank You' sign below came home with me. If you visit my booth at any of the shows I will be selling at this will see that beauty proudly displayed at the check out!

If you live near Nashville and want a piece of {GORGEOUS} custom painted furniture, Michelle is your girl! She does amazing work! I would love the dresser below for my guest room...

Speaking of custom painting...if you would like a custom chalk art piece of your own, don't forget CJ can do that, too! I am slightly obsessed with his work can you tell? 


I miss Tennessee. It is such a beautify state, with such beautiful little shops. I can't wait to go back! If you are in the area, you simply MUST make it to Vintage Junky. I promise you will love it, and love meeting Michelle and her little family! 

It is so great to know that the person behind the blog is just as {FABULOUS} as you knew she would be! I owe a big THANK YOU to Michelle for making me feel so welcome! I swear we could have talked forever...she should have just put me to work! I was there so long I could have painted a few pieces of furniture for her while I talked her ear off! 

Tomorrow I will be back with another of my very favorite places...this time it is in Franklin, Tennessee!

Happy Wednesday, girls! I am off to take photos for Etsy!

Monday, March 19, 2012

HOMEBOUND - the Spring edition!

I am so happy to announce Heather, from Post Road Vintage has put together an amazing Spring issue of her Homebound e-zine! It is even more amazing than the last...full of inspiration with amazing photos!

In this issue you will find inspiration on things like photography, table settings for spring, seed starting, shopping a Paris flea market and even how to make the cutest door-stop ever! 

You can find me between the virtual pages with a little bit of info on one of my MAJOR decor-crushes...

white English ironstone

Heather has an amazing line-up of bloggers that have contributed:

Becky from Buckets of Burlap
Kristin from Faded Prairie
Courtney from French Country Cottage
Janet from Shabby Fufu
Andrea from Faded Plains
Maria from Rusty Hinge

If you have not already here to visit Heather's blog so you can sign up! Oh, and did I is free? Yep, thats right...we are just here to spread our love for the things we love!

Oh, and speaking of ironstone....Ironstone-palooza will be happening in my Etsy shop Wednesday night. It went so fast last time, I thought I would give everyone a heads-up so you know when to expect it! 

Happy Monday, girls! 

I will be back tomorrow showing you one of my favorite places in Tennessee to shop! Stay tuned! 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tattered Tiques - open this weekend!

I can't believe it has been 10 days since my last post! I took that vacation thing and squeezed it for every last drop, didn't I? But, I am officially back...will be posting regularly again after my much-needed break. 


We all need those once in a while, don't we??

I had a FANTASTIC day today! I took a few new things into Tattered Tiques in Lake Barrington, IL. If you live around the Chicago area, you really should take a trip over to the shop this weekend! It was open today, and will be open again Friday and Saturday.

It was super crowded by the time I got there today, and they had only been open for 15 minutes! The weather was so beautiful, everyone was out looking for new things to freshen up their home for spring. It was hard to get pics because it was so busy, but I snuck a few in when the crowd moved into the other room. 

I love the chippy white paint on this bookshelf...

and architectural elements...I am cra-zy about them!

Stop in to see Anne & Julie at the is located at:

22029 Pepper Rd, Lake Barrington, IL

And don't worry...even though it was super busy today they put new things out all weekend!

Happy Weekend, girls!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

back to reality...

It was a wonderful week in Nashville! But, it is time to snap back to reality and get back to work. 

We had an {AMAZING} time!!...met some of the most wonderful people, that until last week I only knew through their blog and emails. You never know how things will turn out once you step out from behind the computer screen...but I know I have made a few friends of the very best kind...the life-long kind. The girls I met were some of the most welcoming, genuine people and I am sooo honored to have met them in person!

I can't wait to get a few blog posts together about my trip! We had some crazy weather days that included rain...and even a tornado here and I couldn't get a ton of photos, but I am going to show you a few of my favorite places in the Nashville area to shop! 

But first, the task of unpacking, doing 30 loads of laundry and sending out all those Etsy orders that rolled in while I was gone! I will be back tomorrow with a few details! And at the top of my list....catching up on my blog reading! I need to see what you have all been up to while I was away!

Happy Tuesday, girls! It is great to be back!