Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Design Boutique Open For Business

I love to go to stores that are filled with booths of all kinds of decor items, vintage and household must haves.  Within a few miles of Allendale there are several shops to spend a few hours going from booth to booth and discovering surprises in each one.

I have often thought I could do this! I love thrift shops, garage sales, close-out sales and Craigslist. Most of this time I find too many items for my house- how perfect to shop for things other might love! Of course my daughters love the things I come home with and let me know all the time how willing they are to take them off my hands.   At Christmas they each receive at least one thrift store find and most of the time can't guess which one is the thrift store treasure.

I visited The Red Door Consignment Shoppe and Red Door Mall
Address: Allendale Michigan, 6837 Lake Michigan Drive, at the corner of 68th street.

I loved it immediately, located close to home and exactly the design opportunity I was looking for.

I found a few items that with some new paint would be great for my new boutique. One at a thrift store  the other on Craigslist.

This is how they turned out.

Both pieces sold in the first two weeks!

Introducing............................ Sew Fun Design Boutique!

Hope you can stop by soon! (It really is a fun place to shop)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Fun Bedroom Design For 6 Girls

ALL six of my grand children are girls, they range in age from 2 months up to 9 years old.

I had so much fun planning a room for when they come visit our lake front home.

 (Hopefully it turn out so comfortable they never want to leave:)

I started with an idea from an HGTV Show called Sarah's House . Sarah Richardson did a  bedroom in a  cottage for her own children. She used different but matching quilts.  Here is a link to Sarah's website.
 I put that idea in my " decorating binder" that I store all my favorite colors and ideas in.

I found 6 different quilts that have the same color pallet, but each one has a different designs.

I decided to go with, bright green, soft yellow and pinks, which are the dominant colors in the quilts.

We painted the room a beautiful soft yellow from Benjamin Moore- called HC5- Weston Flax 

(My idea book had a note from an old House Beautiful Magazine, stating the this yellow was perfect for a north facing room. The girls lake front bedroom window faces north)

Now that it is painted - I totally agree with House Beautiful--- it looks beautiful ---I am loving me some yellow)

My next challenge was to find a dresser that had 6 drawers., I wanted to put their names on each drawer.

 I  found this dresser  that  desperately needed some TLC at a local thrift store for 90.00. It is a mid-century style with lovely curved drawer fronts.The dresser was solid but ugly:)

I took it to a very talented lady at Re-Imagined.   Michelle is so creative and uses Annie Sloan Chalk Paints.

I gave her the color scheme and some fabrics that I was going to use for decorating the room and told her just go for it ~ I have seen a lot of her work and I completely trusted her to create a beautiful  and fun piece of furniture for the grand girls room!

Here is the dresser completed. I love it!

 Michelle at Re-Imagined Just For You,  also created a really unique wall hanging for their room.

 I had wanted to write a permanent note to the girls that was also dated Summer 2012 to remember the year we completed the room for them.

One of the times I stopped at Re-Imagined , they had stacks of cupboard and drawer fronts, over 600 of them:)
Michelle told me they where going to make some fun things with paint and hooks.   I knew immediately I had to have one. 

 It turned out so cute. The cupboard and drawer front re-imagined---- with chalk board paint & hooks. I had her finish it with permanent  white paint so our note would last forever. 

It looks  so great on the wall.

We finished the room with 3 set of cream cottage looking bunk beds.

They came from Art Van Furniture in Grand Rapids Michigan

It is from their Petite Phillipe Collection.

I also love the "port hole" looking mirror which is perfect for this lakefront bedroom


I hope the "Grand Girls" love the room and make many memories of being at grandma & grandpa lakefront home. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Have you ever heard of a Sleepy Hollow Chair?

We are in the process of finishing our lower level, completing a 1200 sq feet area, a big project for 2 people who are still working full-time.

One fault that I will admit to having, is once the creative ideas start flowing for a new decorating project- I tend to branch out into the existing areas. So, not only am I managing the lower level  project I started changing the main level too!

 I just mentioned to my husband  in passing I would SOME DAY like to change the paint colors up stairs (I probably should have waited until the lower level was done)  You ladies know what I mean, just rearranging the furniture and maybe adding a few new things.......
My poor husband is trying hard to keep up with me.

After picking out a new color pallet- I always start with color.  I saw an accent chair on Craig's List, that I just had to have, it matched perfectly!

They called it a "Sleepy Hollow Chair".  Here is what I found out about the history of  Sleepy Hollow Furniture.

Grand Rapids, Michigan is known as the furniture city and many of the best upholsterers can still be found there. These craftsmen continue to create or recreate many antique and modern pieces of furniture.
One of the more exceptional pieces of leather furniture is the beautiful antique sleepy hollow chair. A chair made famous by the West Michigan based upholsterer Francisco Melendez. He revolutionized the antique upholstery business in the state of Michigan where many leather sleepy hollow chairs grace Grand Rapids homes. This style of chair was introduced by Francisco Melendez to Puerto Rico in the late 1990s; and can be seen in a number of upscale homes. The chair, a beautiful work of art, is tufted with buttons and is usually accompanied by an antique leather ottoman. Still, more than 40 years after his introduction to upholstery, Francisco Melendez continues to create art in the form of upholstered antique and modern furniture.


I bought the chair and matching foot stool on Craig's List, in pristine condition for $75.00.  I know mine is a genuine sleepy hollow by the markings.  I also was able to call the furniture store on the label of the chair they verified the authenticity of the chair. The color of the leather is a beautiful soft gold. More like a taupe- the photo looks too yellow.

 I am totally in love with my new/old chair.

 The chair is more like a buckskin color- above photo is too yellow- below  photo is too cream:  I LOVE the color of it:) 

 It is in perfect show room condition and a very comfortable chair. I think it is an amazing find.

I am going to redecorate my entire living  room around it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tansy Green Leather End Table

In 2007 we bought a beautiful condo on a lake. The sun-room is a favorite spot to relax. I painted the lake facing wall -- Sherwin Williams "tansy green" SW6424. It is a bright beautiful grass green and makes a perfect frame for viewing the lake.

It really has become one of my favorite colors.

I have been very, very busy the last 2 months, we are working on completing our 1200 square foot lower level.

I am  so excited. my goal is to use all re-purposed furniture except two pieces of furniture that I have bought new...a love seat  for the family room and the 3 sets of bunkbeds for the Grand-girls room.

(That will be another blog soon!)

I have been on a mission to find the perfect pieces to put together.

The first item I found was two very pretty rocking swivel chairs on Craig's List. I wanted swivel chairs so they could turn to watch TV, or visit with another guest or turn completely around to view the lake. (That idea came to me about 2:00 AM one night when I was thinking about the layout of the room!)

In my Martha Stewart Living Magazine  I found a leather topped table idea. I fell in love with it the minute I saw it. and I have kept it in my "Idea Binder" .

My first challenge was to find the perfect table.  I found this one on Craig's List for $20.00.

The size (12x20) was perfect, but I did not like the country dip on the side:)

I brought the table to a new friend of mine that does AMAZING ...really AMAZING things to create beautiful pieces of re-purposed furniture. ( I have Michelle working on a few other piece for my lower level project I can't wait to share them with you). I found her on Craig's list, when she posted a re-imagined  beautiful Hooker Cabinet.

You can find her at Re-Imagined Just For You

She painted the table a shade of grey with  Annie Sloan Paint that is a perfect compliment to the leather and the accent chairs.  I also had them cut the "old" country curves off each side of the table to give it a modern look

My next big challenge was to find the perfect (green) leather. I went to the most incredible leather store in Grand Rapids called Tandy Leather  I  found the perfect tansy leather green cow to put on the top of my table. The only problem was I had to buy the WHOLE  Italian green leather cow!! All 30 square feet!

My husband was not too happy with my New Large Green Cow- but I was elated that I found the perfect piece of leather.

Here is my finished project!

Love it!!! Love it!! Love it!!!

I can't wait to share the rests of my projects with you.

Finishing, 1200 square feet with all re-purposed furniture is a lot of fun!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ten Must Do Things On A Cruise Ship

I am getting very excited to go on the cruise we have booked for January 2013, on the new Carnival Breeze.  I have cruised more than a dozen times on all the major cruise lines.

Here are some of my best travel tips.

Here are ten wonderful things you can enjoy on your next cruise vacation.

1. Walking the decks at night. It is one of the most relaxing things to do on a cruise ship. The night sky, the moon. the water and most cruise lines have music playing on the upper decks~so romantic!

2. If you can afford it, get a balcony.  It's so beautiful to sit out on your balcony at night.   A balcony is a great place to share a breakfast for two.

3. Order room service. 24 hour room service is included with your cruise, take advantage of it.

4. Each night when you return to your room the cruise line  delivers a "newspaper"  of activities for the next day. This is so much fun to read and plan.

5. The atrium of the ship. This is one of the most beautiful parts of the ship. We love to "stroll" through the shops before dinner.

6. The "sail away" party on deck as you leave each port. Waking up in a new port every morning.

7. Staying on the ship when everyone goes into the port. We enjoy the ship not being so crowded.  No line for the water slide:)

8. Book a cruise that has their own "private island". This is a great beach day. The cruise line provides all the fun and activities on the island. We go over first thing in the morning and stay all day.

9. The Vegas style shows that are "free" (included with your cruise fare). The opening night comedian, so funny!

10. Taking a nap on the deck.

Let me know if you have any questions about cruising. I love to share what I know

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Top Ten Things I Could Write About

My daughter, Jenilee thought I should write a blog...... I was not convinced I had anything worth sharing.

I think a lot of people think the same thing. Hopefully, this will help you come up with your own list of possibilities.

Here is my list.

1.Ideas on  raising productive children. I am so proud of my 3 daughters, they are incredible. They are wonderful mom's and do a great job taking care of their families.  I see the results, I must have done a lot of things right!

2. What it takes to have a great marriage- certainly after 33 + years I have learned something:)  My husband is one of the greatest blessing in my life.

3. Travel- I love to travel and share the travel tips I have learned.

4. Family fun time.  Living on a lake in Michigan makes that easy.

5. Cooking-  I have many time saving ideas for creating healthy meals. I think that cooking from scratch has become a lost art - we eat very little processed foods.

6. Sewing- this is the MAIN reason for my blog:)

7. Weight loss, getting fit & healthy eating.  I started strength training at 52?- I really should write about how this has changed my life.

8. Spiritual life-  My faith in God's protection and direction. God has done some wonderful things that I could write about.

9. Being a grand mother. I love this part of my life.

10.  _______________________________ any ideas ?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

MacGyver is alive and well!

The time has come to write about my husband, Ben. We lovingly call him MacGyver.

Hopefully, you remember the TV show,  MacGyver, (1985-92)

 Wikipedia says that...........

"MacGyver is a resourceful agent with an encyclopedic knowledge of science, able to solve complex problems with everyday materials he finds at hand, along with his ever-present duct tape and his Swiss Army Knife."

We are in the process of completing the basement of our condo. We needed to buy a shower stall. I found one on Craig's List. The guy we bought it from could not get the unit into his basement.

 (That should have been our first clue.)

I never worry about the details, I am married to "MacGyver"and no challenge is too big for him!

We drove about 1 hour north with my husband's Chevy S10 pick-up. The shower stall would not fit IN the truck, but after thinking and measuring, Ben came up with a solution.

(I did bring a book to read, sometimes my MacGyver takes longer then the real MacGyver to come up with a solution.)

It took us 2 1/2 hours to make it home in the dark.  (Thank goodness!! we arrived under the cover of darkness.)

A few weeks ago, MacGyver, was watching our granddaughter, Sloan. Grandpa wanted to get some work done in the garage and Sloan loves being outside.

Grandpa needed to come up with a solution.  First he took careful measurement of the distant to the road.  He placed the trash can and walker at just the right angle.  He tied a long rope from the trash can to Sloan's walker.

She had the run of the driveway and sidewalk and  was never in danger of road traffic. 

When I came home she was happy as can be!
His most famous accomplishment is the time Ben's semi-truck broke down in Lancaster PA.  He used his limited but creative mechanical skills to get his truck running again.

He first determined an airline hose had broken.  It was the middle of the night which means a service call would be expensive and a very long wait.

A state trouper stop to see if Ben needed any help. Ben told him he needed a small hose for his truck. The only store open was the local Walmart.  The state trouper took Ben to Walmart. He told Ben he wanted to see what "MacGyver" was going to do.  Ben walked around the store looking for the perfect solution.  He bought a lamp repair kit and two hose clamps.
 Ben used the threaded rod and the two hose clamps to fix the airline hose.  This $10.00 fix got him all the way back to Michigan.  (I think his company returned the lamp kit and got their money back:)

I am sure that police man is still talking about the resourceful MacGyver driver!

Love that guy!