Nestled In {Colorful Nesting Tables}

Hey all,

After receiving some beautiful red chairs for my birthday (thanks Grant!), I realized that we needed a little table in between to finish off our patio space.

 

Where can I put down my drink? Oh...no where? Yeah that situation needed to be remedied.

Where can I put down my drink? Oh…no where? Yeah that situation needed to be remedied.

 

I’d been searching every time we go out bargain hunting and happened upon a cute set of three nesting tables. But man, they needed some serious help. The tables were left in the rain, to the point that the price was rinsed off the tag and there was a great deal of rust on the glass tops. The black paint was chipping or rusted in spots. I knew they would be a bit of work, but finding pretty intact, iron pieces with the glass isn’t always easy. So I picked up this trio for $30 and planned to clean them up at home.

 

Remember these lovelies? Well, I had all that spray paint left over, so why not match the tables to the rest of the deck!

Remember these lovelies? Well, I had all that spray paint left over, so why not match the tables to the rest of the deck!

So after scraping down the tables and cleaning off the dirt, I sprayed away! At first I thought about getting extra paint and doing different tables in different hues of the same color. But because I had all the left over paint from the potting project, I figured I could save some moolah and just use that. Plus, I knew that it would blend in well with the rest of the things on the deck!

The glass, however, was a different story. I soaked it overnight in soapy water, rust didn’t come off. I made a paste out of Comet cleaner and left it on there, using an old toothbrush to scrub off the rust, and it didn’t budge. Then I used good old fashioned baking soda and vinegar and that seemed to help some. It wasn’t a perfect job, but the rust stains are much better than when I purchased them. So, without further ado, I give you….nesting tables!

 

Super cute, happy, and just the right pop of color. I made the smallest table the brightest color so that it didn't overpower the other two. And because we really only have one piece on the deck that is the orange, I thought the tie in with the largest table would be best. And, do I really need to explain using blue on the middle table? I use blue for everything (everything that isn't already green...).

Super cute, happy, and just the right pop of color. I made the smallest table the brightest color so that it didn’t overpower the other two. And because we really only have one piece on the deck that is the orange, I thought the tie in with the largest table would be best. And, do I really need to explain using blue on the middle table? I use blue for everything (everything that isn’t already green…).

 

So? What do you think? With just a little elbow grease and some extra paint, these guys got a new life! I’m pretty satisfied with how they turned out. Anyone else updating their deck or outdoor spaces?

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!

A Porch to be Proud Of {Updating our Deck Furniture}

Hey everyone,

 If you remember MONTHS and MONTHS ago, we used to have all our deck furniture in a deep red. And though, I’m always partial to that color, I wanted to update the deck and give it a real face lift. Plus, the spray paint I used didn’t adhere well to the old, vinyl straps. So after two years, it was peeling pretty horribly.

So originally, I decided to paint the table and chairs in a bright blue. Scott wasn’t happy with the thought of MORE BLUE in the house, or around the house for that matter, so I decided to mix it up.

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Can’t go wrong with a bright blue! Can go wrong with spray painting while the outdoor unit of your HVAC is on (sorry dude). I painted the table and two chairs blue and the other two chairs went bright green.

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A little blue, a little green. What perky colors to see through our kitchen window!

These colors matched the plant stands I painted a few weeks ago, which made the whole deck look like a cohesive space. Plus, my grandmother gifted us a fun and funky umbrella for the deck, which also incorporated all the colors and more! I’m still searching for an orange color to repaint our white plant stand. It needs a little perk. But with our happy new window boxes that hang off the deck and all the flowers in full summer bloom, I think our deck looks pretty good!

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See! Even Truman is satisfied with the changes.

 

XOXO,

Ashley

Green Thumb, Homegrown {Potted plants and garden update}

Hey ya’ll!

I must be on some sort of break to be posting in the middle of the week! I’ve recently been working with my grandmother on updating all the potted plants around our deck. They looked a little sad before, reminiscent of the commercial where the girl kills all her potted plants until she finds a certain potting soil. I had pots stacked in pots, old soil sitting and waiting for a new inhabitant, and then the very sad, burned up evergreen. It definitely wasn’t forever-green after our horribly hot summer last year. Many of my other potted friends didn’t make it through the summer, either. They have to be VERY hardy and take more than just full sun. Our deck is not only always sunny, but it takes in a ton of heat, so the flowers have to be okay with dry soil from time to time. My previous choices, with the exception of three plants, didn’t make the cut. I will spare you the pictures of the sad, dried up variety and only provide you with the happy, finished product ones! This is mostly to appease my own vanity, as I now can’t believe I left our deck looking so sad and dry when it looks so happy now.

 

 

Best plant in this picture: My great-grandmother's rose bush is in the top, largest pot. This little lady has moved with us twice, but has lived at many other houses. She's a resilient plant.

Best plant in this picture: My great-grandmother’s rose bush is in the top, largest pot. This little lady has moved with us twice, but has lived at many other houses. She’s a resilient plant.

 

This is when a plant rack doubles as a little scenery diffuser. Our neighbors are very close and very cluttered. You know how I feel about clutter. By putting this many post (nine on the shelves, one on the stand and one on the ground), I've diffused that view from our back door. Thank goodness.

This is when a plant rack doubles as a little scenery diffuser. Our neighbors are very close and very cluttered. You know how I feel about clutter. By putting this many post (nine on the shelves, one on the stand and one on the ground), I’ve diffused that view from our back door. Thank goodness.

 

Well, townhouses are quite close to their neighbors, aren't they? We have darling neighbors on this side, so no need for privacy there. Just one stand and two big guys on the ground.

Well, townhouses are quite close to their neighbors, aren’t they? We have darling neighbors on this side, so no need for privacy there. Just one stand and two big guys on the ground.

 

And if some of these plant stands look familiar to you, it’s because we’ve used and reused them so many different times. They were originally purchased from Ikea as barstools in our first apartment. When we moved back to our hometown, we no longer had a bar that needed stools, but we did have a garden that needed stands! I painted them black and placed them in the garden. They moved to this house in their black form and even stayed that way for two years. But after several years of wear and tear, they needed a little love.

 

Yeah, that's just not cutting it.

Yeah, that’s just not cutting it.

 

So, with lots of cleaning, elbow grease, and a left over can of spray paint. These two stools got a little love and a brand new life in bright green and bright blue. I actually like that they don’t match, because that leaves room for my old smoking table to also get a facelift.

 

This was from my great uncle's house. We're not smokers, nor do we need a "smoking table" in our home. But its strong metal base and larger top made it a perfect plant stand. After a winter outdoors it started to crumble, rust, and just look awful. It needed several coats of bright blue love, but it looks amazing now.

This was from my great uncle’s house. We’re not smokers, nor do we need a “smoking table” in our home. But its strong metal base and larger top made it a perfect plant stand. After a winter outdoors it started to crumble, rust, and just look awful. It needed several coats of bright blue love, but it looks amazing now.

 

So our deck of flowers is really coming together! Just in time for spring to almost be over. Yikes, where does the time go? I still have plans for a few flower boxes on the railings of our deck and one more big pot to be filled and placed. I’ll have to update about my little garden next time. It has some work coming its way too!

 

XOXO,

Ashley