Flea Market Finds with Matthew Mead {Book Review}

Hey all,

Now that the summer is winding down, I’m trying to quickly tackle all of my design books before I return to the daily grind of teaching. This week’s read was Flea Market Finds with Matthew Mead. He’s written several holiday decor themed books, but Flea Market Finds presents more as a bookazine than an actual decor book. It contains work completed by Matthew himself, but also his designer friends. Though there are not many fleshed out DIY projects within the pages, there is plenty of eye candy to fawn over.

 

The cover even pulls you in. Look at that milk glass and the greens/blues. Aren't you already in love?

The cover even pulls you in. Look at that milk glass and the greens/blues. Aren’t you already in love?

Each tip is given as a vignette, explaining different ideas and color schemes that work well in rooms. Each section has a main theme (like Mid-Century Matthew) and includes some description of what you’re looking at in the pictures. He also includes tips for how to place different pieces and collections to showcase their true beauty. Here are some of my favorites from the book:

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Okay, so brass and gold are slowly returning to my repertoire. I’ve always been leery of using it in different rooms, but this spread explains how to use gold leaf.

 

Shock of the century? I picked the page that is all green and blue. Plus, who can really say no to a vintage globe. That set of drawers was a thrifting find that was painted and updated!

Shock of the century? I picked the page that is all green and blue. Plus, who can really say no to a vintage globe. That set of drawers was a thrifting find that was painted and updated!

 

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Is that coral? WHY YES IT IS. See? It doesn’t have to be overtly beachy but can still have a relaxing vibe. I love the monochromatic tans and browns. But really, keeping that room clean seems nearly impossible. I do adore all the seaside finds though…

 

So, this book was great for a quick look through, a wetting of the palette you could say. It only gives you basic ideas for your own DIY. I would consider this more of an inspiration board type of book, rather than a how-to guide. I loved the ideas and the colors, but it wasn’t completely what I expected. However, if you need some inspiration or just want to oogle some lovely interior pictures, pick this sucker up!

 

XOXO,

Ashley

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Going Yard With Fabrics {Deck Pillows}

I may have gone a bit overboard with my pattern selections for the pillows on our deck. I wanted to match and enhance the color of the chairs, tables, and flowers on our deck. But my main jumping off point was our deck umbrella. Its stripes have blue, green, yellow, red, and even orange. They’re bright and perky, perfect for an outdoor living space. I feel as though you can take more risks and be a bit bolder outdoors. Plus, if you really don’t like it, or get sick of it after a season, it’s easy to change! No walls to paint!

Here are all the finished pillows. I'm starting from the end of the story and then shooting to the beginning. Bear with me here...

Here are all the finished pillows. I’m starting from the end of the story and then shooting to the beginning. Bear with me here…

Anyway, so here’s how I made those lovely pillows.

I purchased six pillow forms (with plenty of fabric and coupons to boot) from JoAnns. Make sure, when making outdoor fabric pieces, that you actually choose outdoor fabric. These fabrics are typically more durable, machine washable, and are less likely to fade in the sun as quickly as a typical cotton fabric. I originally picked two coordinating fabrics to use, but ran out of the stripe and needed extra. So I went back and purchased the floral print, which I also adore (though I think the red is probably my favorite, I’m a sucker for a geometric print).

I wanted to make sure that these pillows weren’t like the ones that I had made in the past. I actually wanted to tackle a pillow slip cover, so that if I decided to change it out, it wouldn’t be removing stuffing and starting all over again. I looked online and landed on a simple, straight forward tutorial over at vixenMade. She gives tips and suggestions for making an envelope style pillow cover which is almost exactly like what I wanted.

So here it goes, how to make a simple slip cover, with a few differences from the vixenMade tutorial.

First, measure around your pillow form. I left about an inch around each side. This is more because I'm not totally proficient at the sewing machine. Giving myself some extra room just in case my stitches aren't straight insures that the pillow covers will fit.

First, measure around your pillow form. I left about an inch around each side. This is more because I’m not totally proficient at the sewing machine. Giving myself some extra room just in case my stitches aren’t straight insures that the pillow covers will fit.

 

Two: cut two pieces of fabric for the front and back of the pillow cover. I cut the second piece slightly larger than the first, so that it would still be the same size after hemming the cut edges. Cut the larger piece in half. This will be the back "envelope" part of your slip cover.

Two: cut two pieces of fabric for the front and back of the pillow cover. I cut the second piece slightly larger than the first, so that it would still be the same size after hemming the cut edges. Cut the larger piece in half. This will be the back “envelope” part of your slip cover.

 

Three: iron down the sides that you will add the hem to. Then hem/serge with a stitch that you are comfortable using on your machine.

Three: iron down the sides that you will add the hem to. Then hem/serge with a stitch that you are comfortable using on your machine.

 

Pin these pieces to the other larger side piece. Make sure you do this inside out! I accidentally sewed an entire pillow, only to remember I didn't put the pieces inside out so half had the inner part of the fabric showing. What a pain to take out all those stitches!

Pin these pieces to the other larger side piece. Make sure you do this inside out! I accidentally sewed an entire pillow, only to remember I didn’t put the pieces inside out so half had the inner part of the fabric showing. What a pain to take out all those stitches!

 

And let’s not pretend that bad things didn’t happen. Because, whenever I complete a sewing project, something is BOUND to go wrong.

Hmm...that's not what it's supposed to look like...

Hmm…that’s not what it’s supposed to look like. I miss measured and just went for it, of course. That was a mistake. Not to mention I forgot what color thread I’ve already set in the machine, so it definitely didn’t blend with the fabric.

 

But after all the mistakes, sewing machine headaches, and having to get some extra fabric, I’m happy to say that this project is done!

 

Happy? Perky? I hope our neighbors don't mind all the color!

Happy? Perky? I hope our neighbors don’t mind all the color!

Aren't my new red chairs the cutest? The pillows work perfectly and make it look a bit more inviting. Now, if only I could find a tiny table to go in between...

Aren’t my new red chairs the cutest? The pillows work perfectly and make it look a bit more inviting. Now, if only I could find a tiny table to go in between…

 

Now, I know it’s a lot of color and pattern, but I think because the color family plays so well together, it doesn’t seem quite as busy. But even if it is busy, that’s all part of the fun!

 

XOXO,

Ashley

 

PS- This project was a bit more expensive than my typical projects. I spent around $50 for all the fabric and the pillow forms. Because I had so many coupons, plus a gift card, I was able to get better pillow forms and fabric that wasn’t necessarily on sale. I will say, however, that all the gloriously done pillows I found at places at HomeGoods were at least $40 for a set of four, and I needed six. Plus, I wouldn’t have been able to pick all different fabrics!

Flea Market Find {Using Vintage Fabric}

Hey everyone!
I finally had the time to devote to some minor sewing projects the other day and figured I would share a quick update!

Several weeks ago, I scored some super cute fabric from a flea market. It had the original Lord and Taylor tags on it, but was such an odd size, it was definitely a remnant. For dirt cheap, and because it was certainly my colors, I couldn’t pass it up. Who can say no to vintage, floral fabric? I wasn’t even sure what I could turn it into! But that didn’t matter! I just took the plunge.

After delicately cleaning it and allowing it to air dry, I lightly ironed the edges and let it sit for a while. Eventually, I decided to update the pillows on our bed, moving many of the others into the guest room and making room for new funky pillows. I pulled one of the colors from the print of the vintage fabric and found a perfect, solid color backing fabric. I decided to split the fabric and make two pillows, the length of a sham but narrower in the width.

After measuring, cutting, and pinning the edges, I was ready to sew. These were actually a quick project with my handy dandy sewing machine and I was done in no time. The prep took more time than the actual sewing, of course! I just made a simple form, rather than a cover, filled with polyfil, and sewed up the last hole. What do you think?

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I think they fit right in!

Xoxo,
Ashley

Anatomy of an Entryway {Foyer Update}

Hey all,

I recently posted this picture of our entryway and new rug.

Wouldn't you like to come over?

Wouldn’t you like to come over?

I figured, though, that I would give you a heads up into what it takes to MAKE an entryway. This is the first place people typically see in your home. You want to convey your personality, style, and give a little dose of excitement and whimsy too. But, it’s typically forgotten or overlooked. Just put a catch all piece there and move along because it’s not a room you stay in. I would argue, however, that it’s important to finish it off and make a welcoming entrance to your home! And so, I give you my anatomy of an entryway.

anatomy of an entryway

 

The mirror tutorial can be found here. I’ve collected those medallions over time, adding another mirror in a different color here and there.  The rummage sale, where I bought the green stool, can be found in this post. The desk was passed down to me after my uncle passed away. It is a sweet reminder of him every time we come into the house. The flooring, though it took forever, was well worth it. You can see what it started as here and the process it took to get it to what it is now. The owl umbrella stand was an under $20 purchase from our local Habitat for Humanity store. He was hidden away in their small section of housewares and I grabbed him as fast as I could. Most of owl umbrella stands I’ve found can price for $50+, so he was definitely a good find. The small coat rack is perfect for guests to hang their coats and not have to get into the hall closet, which can sometimes look like a hoarder’s dream. And the little antique chest, spray painted to match the room, is perfect for those strewn about shoes that never find a proper home.

But the capstone to this room is the new rug. I found the brand, Fab Rugs, at our local tag sale. Though I LOVED the rugs they had, neither was perfect for the room and I couldn’t pull the trigger. I came home that day and found the brand online. With a 20% off coupon, I was able to get this rug for $39. Plus, it’s made of plastic! It’s made out of recycled plastic, which makes my green little heart happy. Plus, since it’s plastic and we have a huge furry dog who tends to track in dirt, I can just hose it down outside if it ever gets dirty. It’s also reversible! If I decide that the blue is too much, I can turn it to the white side and have just a touch of blue. All in all, a great purchase.

So now, think about your foyer and what you can do to it to make it a welcoming, whimsical, fun spot to come into rather than the ignored space in your place!

 
XOXO,

Ashley

***Not pictured: On the wall opposite the mirrors is a framed print my mother did in college. It has all the colors picked up in the other objects. Also not pictured are my two brass ducks, sprayed to match the room.