Thursday, May 25, 2017

Our Little Cabin in the Woods-Part One

I hope you haven't been holding your breath waiting for us to finish the cabin!  Like most everything we try to tackle these days, it has taken about three times as long as it should have...and we're still not totally finished, but I'm going to share it anyway, because we're just sooo close to being finished, and I can't wait any longer!

When we purchased the land next door, this structure was already there.  The 16' x 24' building was built on sight.  It has a front porch and a gambrel style roof which allows space for two sleeping lofts inside, one in front and the other in the back.  It was covered in white vinyl siding on the sides and back, but had cedar on the exterior of the front wall, inside the porch.  The inside was unfinished, but had a small wood stove and a window unit air conditioner in the wall.

What We Did...

On the exterior, we removed the vinyl siding (I forgot to take a "before" pic with the vinyl siding.) but here's what it looked like after it was taken down.  See the door leaning up against the back wall?  We added that so that we would have a back entry.  We also removed the window unit air conditioner that was in the can see where the hole was filled in.

New back door with awning...

Front porch area is now trimmed in cedar to match the front cedar wall.

Color scheme that we chose to use is the same as what we used on our house last spring...more about that in the next blog post.

We needed to add new air conditioning, as we had removed the old window unit, so we went with a ductless system by Samsung, and we love it!  It works by remote control, and keeps the place at a constant temperature, even automatically switching from a/c to heat, when needed.   It's also energy efficient.  (Samsung did not give us anything for mentioning this product.)

We also needed to connect it to the septic tank so that we could add a bathroom. That required ditch-digging.  

We removed the ceiling fan. (I borrowed this picture from Hope Contracting's Facebook page...Hope Contracting did most of the work for us.)

Insulation went up.

...then the metal ceiling!  I was so excited about using corrulated metal on the inside, and I do love it as much as I thought I would!  Oh, and see the black wall up on the end of the loft?  That's chalkboard paint!  Just imagine camping out and playing tic-tac-toe up there while you're supposed to be sleeping!  I plan to add some funky picture frames to the wall so that kids can create their own wall art within the frames...

And, here's my sweet hubby hanging the funky green chandelier!

That's all I'll share today...this post is taking me three times as long as it should, too!  I only have about a thousand pictures to look through after four months of working on the place!  

Be watching for part two where I'll share the bathroom and some more interior work real soon.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

How to Make Envelope Using Scrap Book Paper

I'm going to a birthday party in honor of a great friend...I've made cute little earrings to go into the gift bag that I'm putting together for her.  I didn't want to just drop them down in the bag to get lost, so I needed a box or something to put them in. Searching for box to be found.  I needed it now.  What's a girl to do?  Well, I figured, "How hard could it be to make my own little package?"  As it turns out, it wasn't hard at all, and I'm sort of proud of it, so I thought I would share it with you and show you how to make your own, if you should wish to do so.

I keep a stash of scrap-booking paper around the studio, so I went in search of a piece that would work.  Of course, it needed to match the color scheme of the gift packaging.  And, I was thinking thicker would be better.  I found a perfect piece of paper!

I decided that I should be able to cut the 12" x 12" sheet in half and fold it to resemble an envelope.  Using my self-healing cutting mat and metal ruler, I cut the sheet in half.  That gave me a strip of paper that measured 12" long x 6" wide.  I measured down 4 1/2" on the strip and very lightly marked a line straight across the strip with a pencil (on the white, back side) to indicate where the folding crease would be.  I used special tool for embossing.  It has a tiny ball on the end and works great for creating a folding line.  I pressed the embossing tool, using light pressure, along the line against the ruler to keep it straight and made the fold line.  

Here's the same piece, already cut and fold lines embossed, showing measurements...

I measured 4 5/8" from the first crease line (to form the back) and made another crease. Now it should fold over onto itself and have a flap that folds over the front.

I then made side flaps to fold around the back to attach the front to back.  I cut the excess strips on the sides away from the front flap and the back, cutting all the way to the fold line that is the bottom.  Using an adhesive gun, I rolled adhesive along the half-inch flaps and stuck them around the sides to the back.

It now has a back, a front, and a front flap, so it looks like an envelope!

I decided to cut a scoop shape out of the front under the flap to make it easier to reach in and find whatever is inside.  I used a bowl as a template.  Slipping the envelope over the corner of the cutting mat, I put the bowl down and cut around it with an X-acto knife.  The front flap is hiding under the corner of the mat.

I placed the bowl so that the scoop would start about one inch from each will make sense when you see what I do to the front flap.  

...and this is what it looks like at this point.

Now it's easy to pull out a card (or whatever) but I'm wanting to do a little something more to the front flap.  I think I want another curved cut, but it will need to be larger than the one I just cut so that it will cover it completely.  So, using the same bowl, this time I centered it so that the cuts would go all the way to the side edges of the flap.

Now, this is what I have...

Next, I'm thinking of many ways to close the envelope--you could go with a little sticky dot on the flap, or get really fancy...

I decided to use a hole punch and run a pretty ribbon through the hole, and then tie it around the entire little package.  Here's the final result.

This could work for a card, too!  It was a fun little, quick project, and it was perfect for holding the earrings.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Is it tile? Or Paper?

I'm kicking myself right about now, because I forgot to take a pic of this little table before I hit it with paint!  It's SO HARD for me to remember to do that....oh well, I do have a shot of it right after I put the white paint on it, but before I added the bits that make it pretty.

My plan was to decoupage some pretty scrap-booking paper to the top, making sort of a collage that resembles tile.  There are so many pretty papers out there in Michael's and Hobby Lobby...I could spend hours there just looking through them. But since I didn't have hours, to make the process go a little faster, I took along some other things that are going into the space.  That was a huge help in finding perfectly coordinated papers for the project. 

Here are the three that I chose.  For some reason, I couldn't get the top paper to photograph with the true pretty green that it is, but the other two look exactly right!

You can see from the first picture--the top looks sort of rough.  Originally, it was topped with a piece of old vinyl tile that was glued on, so it pulled up splinters of the plywood when I pulled it off. I probably should use some wood filler before I do the decoupage, but I'm not going to.  I believe the paper is thick enough that it will harden to be flat.

The table top measures about 14" x 14".  The paper sheets are 12" x 12".  I played with them until I found my favorite for the center.  I brushed the decoupage medium (glue) directly onto the table and carefully put the sheet of paper in the center, just eyeballing it. Using a brayer, I rolled over the paper applying pressure to push out the extra medium and flatten the paper. Working quickly, I used a paper towel to wipe up the excess glue.  I let the medium dry completely before I did the strips around the edge.

I measured around the edge to see what surface area was left, and made the decision to leave about a 1/8" white showing between the bits of paper to give it the grout look.  I used my handy paper cutter to get nice straight strips of paper.

Using the same process as with the big center sheet, I added the strips.  Once they were dry, I added the final little squares at the corners.

Once it was all completely dry, I covered the top with a layer of the decoupage medium to seal everything and give it a finished look.  The medium comes in several different finishes to include matte and gloss.  I went with the gloss.

Here is the finished table, shown in front of the other things that will be going into the space. The actual space is small, so I'm trying to stick with things that will easily fit.  This little table will be perfect beside the daybed to hold a lamp or cup of coffee.

I will be posting more as the project comes together.  Hope you'll come back to see the progress!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Something New...

My customers asked for more "Gypsy style" merchandise, and I listened...

As well as making more custom banners that will be available at all of our markets, I have also created some paper place mats that feature original custom collage artwork.  These products can ONLY be purchased through Down in the Delta.

Your first opportunity to see them up close will be at the Vintage Market Days event in Mobile on March 17-19.  I look forward to seeing you there, and I hope you like the new Gypsy products!

They were created on a chalkboard-like background.  (The heart is just a watermark, so try to ignore that!) They come twelve to a package for $8.  All twelve are one style.  I thought about making some assorted packages, but that would just cause problems, as some folks would be looking for multiples to fit a table for four, and others would be looking for six or eight.  This just keeps it simple.  You can just purchase the ones you like.

*Please try to ignore the heart/circle watermark...they do not appear on the actual product.

As always, remember that you can get "first looks" at my pickin', new creations, etc. over at Instagram...follow me here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Pulling Together a Christmas Decorating Theme - Part Two

Once I had all of the elements pulled together, I realized that I wanted another fuzzy ball garland.  I went back to Target and they were sold out...went to another Target, same story. The shelf was empty.  So, thank goodness for the Internet and!  I had it in my hands within two days, and they had a sale going, plus free shipping, so those were some unexpected surprises!

I started with the dinner table, which we finally brought back inside.  Hubby is much happier, except that now it's hard to actually eat at the table because his wife is playing around with place settings, decorations, etc.  Nothing can be touched while I'm playing and taking pics--I know the family needs to eat--they just have to find another spot until I'm finished, then they can have the table back.

The first "look" was a little more formal than I usually like.  You see, I've never actually liked the look of a formal table with a tablecloth, but I decided to purchase a red one anyway, because, well, I felt like I needed it for Christmas. Keep in mind that you could use a tablecloth in any color that's in the established palette of colors...remember the fuzzy balls? Lots of colors there.  I was trying to use one of the colors from that palette that would best make the red transfer ware shine.  I was thinking the red would do it, but once I got it all set, I didn't like all.  I did take pics though so that I could share with you that it doesn't always work.  

So, what exactly is it that I didn't like?  The red tablecloth just felt too heavy...I'm thinking I would like a white tablecloth, maybe topped with a strip of burlap to add that dichotomy that I love so much-a little rustic-ness opposing the fancy.  I also don't care for the tan napkin that I used.  I did try to add a little bit of whimsy to the overall look, but the little angels are sort of getting lost and the fun factor doesn't really show up much at all.  

So, as sometimes happens when you're pulling together a theme, you pull it all apart and start over.

Here's the second look...

I like this one so much more!  

I started with just a simple table runner as opposed to a tablecloth.  This one was made to look like an old grain sack, but it's a new piece from Target.  I kept the large ironstone pitcher filled with greenery, and just started adding things again.  This time around, I'm using plain white plates with the green bowls.  it's much more casual, but still has a few fancy touches--I kept the gold rimmed glasses at each place setting.  Bringing in the rustic vintage textile mill spools to use as candle holders knocked the fancy feeling down a bit, too.  This time, I played up the red with the candles, but then I hung the cute little angels around the candles so that they wouldn't get lost on the table surface.  

I added vintage glass ornaments in colors from my established color scheme at random places around the center of the table, and for a little unexpected fun, I dropped some peppermint candies into the mix.

I decided it was going a little too much towards the rustic side, so for a little more shine, I pulled out some gold chargers to set under the white plates.  They look nice against the wood tone of the table.

Being happy with this look, I decided to carry it to other places in the kitchen by setting up the top of the chest with the glass drying rack and a wooden drawer, which was once a vintage glove box.  I placed the clock on top of the drawer and filled the open drawer with more peppermint candies and napkins that match the entire scheme.  I placed matching glasses on the rack so that they are within easy reach.

The gorgeous red transfer ware that I love so much is in the cabinet.  Still looks pretty there, but I'll have to play with some more settings to get it so that I like the way it looks on the table for an actual meal.  I'm sure you will see it again!

I also switched out the candelier with crystals with one that is more simple.  I now need to find some candles to use there... When I use candles up there, I will probably not use the tall red ones on the table.  I'll replace them with some small white votives at that point.

Yes, this is much more me....but, I'll still be playing around more.

I hope I've helped you just a little to understand the way we pull a look's so much like just getting dressed and pulling the accessories out to go with the outfit.  Same process.  Sometimes you put on a pair of jeans, then the top, and something just doesn't look right, even though you thought it simply change tops!  Same thing with dinner table decor, or home decor.  It doesn't always look like you thought it would, so you just shuffle things around until they are pleasing to the eye.  Starting point is always the same find that "idea" piece, or focal piece, and start from there...determine your color scheme from that piece, and just pull together a mix of old and new bits and pieces--then play!  Have fun!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Pulling Together a Christmas Decorating Theme-Part One

Hello everyone!  I just realized that I have not posted on the blog since September! If you've followed me any length of time, you know that I am the organizer of a couple of vintage market events each year, and they are a lot of work, so that's where I've been.  As soon as the Vintage Market Days of Mobile event (where I was a vendor) was over, I was running around pulling together the Down in the Delta Vintage Fall Market.  It was a great event, and I'm doing so many things now, it's hard to write about it all, but if you would like a re-cap of how the market went, just look at the home page of the website (The pics have been moved to the Gallery Page, Fall Market 2016.) where you will see lots and lots of pictures.  Now, I'm on to other things-specifically, Christmas, come on, let's go!

One of the most shocking things happened during the DitD Fall Market, which was held at our home, Pimperl Place-people wanted to come inside for a tour!  As you can imagine, I had been so focused on prepping the outside where the market would be, that I had totally neglected the inside, so we were not going to go there, but it did plant an idea in my mind for possible inside tours later on down the road. I have done the local Christmas Tour of Homes for our Kiwanis Club in the past, so the idea is not totally foreign to me-I just have to decide when I'll open my home again for tours and plan for it.  

I also recently did a small holiday event (as a vendor) where the event organizer complimented me on my staging abilities and wanted to watch me put my display of merchandise together. She wanted to try to understand the process, how I get things to look like they do.  She was intrigued as I talked her through the process from beginning to end.  It always surprises me when people ask me to show them how to get a certain look..I guess it's somewhat of a gift that I was blessed with, so I don't really give it much sort of just happens in my mind.

So, I decided to blog about exactly how I approach decorating, or more specifically- Christmas decorating-each year.  I always do a different theme or "look" annually, mostly because us creative types just get bored using the same things over and over again.  Now, don't get me wrong...I do save and re-use my things over and over again, just not all of them at the same time. Once I come up with my look, I pull from what I already have, and then I add to that.  I am fortunate in that I have a warehouse for my business, so it doubles as a great place to store holiday decorations from year to year, and I do have lots to store as I've collected for over twenty years.  

I will attempt to put everything into steps now, which is strange for me to even think about, because I usually just start throwing things together, but I need to organize my thoughts in a way that will be easy for others to follow and here goes.

1.  How I determine my "look" or theme.  As I've already told you, it's always different every year. Some of my themes over the years have been:  A Hard Candy Christmas, Wooden Toys at Christmas, A Peppermint Christmas, Peacocks and Rustic Forest, and sometimes, it's just a color story theme that starts with a tablecloth or piece of fabric that I like. I used some of the same elements in A Peppermint Christmas that I had previously used in A Hard Candy Christmas, so that's the way I re-use. Sometimes the themes overlap

So, you will need to find one "something" that you love and you will build around that.  That something, ideally, will have several colors to make an interesting color scheme, although a monochromatic color (one color) scheme could just as well work too.  There always will be an exception to any rule that you can think of!

This year, I started with some transfer ware dishes that I picked up at an estate sale.  I really wanted to use these, so that was sort of in the back of my mind as I looked at other things.

It has lots of red, but other colors, too.  The other colors will now become part of the color scheme.

I should tell you that I also need to consider that my dining room chairs are turquoise (this year!), so unless I want to use slipcovers, I will also make that one of the colors in the theme. I will show you some pics here of my kitchen area where there is a lot of turquoise, so that you can see how hard it would be to remove that color from the scheme.

My existing current kitchen colors...

Existing chair color...

So now, to make it all work, I will take the colors in the plate, plus the turquoise, and I will go from there adding and subtracting elements until I have a pile of things that look nice together.

2.  Adding additional elements  I went shopping recently...Down in the Delta Vintage Market, several Christmas Open House events, local estate sales, and my birthday weekend in Laurel, Mississippi.  Shopping with the holidays in mind, I picked up some more fabulous white ironstone (which will work with anything!) and some new Christmas pretties...At this point, I still had not determined my exact theme or color scheme...just bought things that I liked, keeping those red transfer ware dishes and my ever present turquoise in the back of my mind...

White ironstone-always a good choice!

Estate sale glasses-$1 each!

Detail of a new cake pedestal/dessert server

Italian Florentine box from estate sale
3.  Look at everything to determine what will work together.  So, now that I have a good collection of things pulled together, I look at it all and see what "plays well" together.  I might have to edit some things, but maybe I can use them in another room...

At this point, I can see it coming together, especially since I found the fuzzy ball garland!  It has all of the colors already established, plus more, and that's a good thing.  This now becomes my piece that all other things will relate back to.  If you're a decorator, you have a "story board" that shows how it all works together-this ball garland will become that reference piece for this decorating project.  Now, I can start picking out wrapping paper, tablecloth, napkins and ornaments.  I will draw from my collection and make new purchases as needed.

Can you look up, back through the pictures and get a feeling for what Christmas will look like at Pimperl Place?  It's a very colorful, eclectic look, that includes some fine vintage and antique pieces, as well as some fun and funky, playful bits.  That's me in a nutshell!  

I think this is a good stopping point for today.  I will pile it all up together and start getting a plan in my head, and of course, I'll try to remember to take pics along the way so that I can share each step with you.

I will share another tip before I go though.  Holiday decorating time is a good time to pull furniture out, move pieces around the room and do a good thorough cleaning.  I have just decided that I would like to bring our big dining table back into the house and move the round one to the porch.  The round one is okay for four people, but I have a feeling I will have lots more than that to fit around the table during the holidays, and anyway, hubby has been complaining about the smaller one for a couple of months now.  He doesn't like it at all! It's time for the big one to come back in.  Now, I need to go make use of a mop and some wax when the table goes out...

Getting ready to switch out the table with another one...

I'll be back for part 2 within a day or two.