Thanksgiving Wishes

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A quickie transformation and warm wishes to you for this holiday of thanks and loved ones. Our family continues to heal as our son’s health slowly improves. We find more to be thankful for each day. More of the ordinary. I wish you all some ordinary happiness, too.

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As usual, I found this beauty was in someone’s trash heap. Ugh. I love flower urns but they are so expensive.  Luckily, there we’re two. I think these things are like Foo Dogs, you can’t have just one.

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Can you see my little pumpkin carver in the reflection?

They are the plastic kind which I never like at the store, but I think the fact they were all beat up and crusty made them great for a make over. And the plastic made it possible for me to get them in the car! I swept off the loose dirt and put on two coats of shiny black spray paint and swooped up to the flower store for $10 mums. Next up, little evergreens for winter!

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Oddly, I lucked into this aged beauty earlier this year. I bought a chair from a vintage shop and when I drove into the back alley to pick it up, this was in the trash next door behind a restaurant! Score. It weighs about 75 pounds! No idea how I got it in the car. rusty-urn-pl

And one more bit of randomness-we grew this! Actually, my son did. With love and care all summer and fall. The only one from a huge patch. Chipmunks? Cucumber beetles? This little guy is about as lucky as we feel.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

From Icky Brown to Blue with Spots!

My Mother

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And her ex-chairs.

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Well, I’m not exactly a chip off the old block… but we do both love a bargain.

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A couple of years ago we were at Lucketts Spring Market (click here)basically Mecca for junk and furniture makeover lovers like me! While she was shopping a picker’s booth, I was chatting with him and she comes up with a chair-how much for the pair of these?

Picker: “$9”

Me: “Um, for both?”

My mother: “SHHHH!”

Picker: “Yep.”

Okie dokie. Seriously, where did he come up with that number? I totally see my mother’s point, but at that price… really!? We could have swung the $18. Two chairs! Cute chairs….

So, here’s what they looked like when we got them. A bit on the yucky brown side.

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Here’s how we got them to the car.

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Perhaps you’ve seen these photos before? Just sayin. A lot of people thought we were hilarious and leaned out their car windows to snap a pic!

They moved to my house where they sat and sat and finally I pried my daughter out of one-she loves them. My poor mother will never get them back.

I used a hammer to pull up the old seats.

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Basically a cardboard backing with light padding and fabric stapled on. The nails were already under the fabric, so when you nail it on, there’s nothing to cover with welt or trim.

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I liked the clean look of the chairs, so gave them a scrub, gave them a couple of coats of bright white spray paint, then just covered the existing seats to keep the same lines.

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When covering a seat in this way, I find it helpful to put a staple or two in the middle of each side, then work around the rest of the edges. It helps me keep the fabric straight and smooth. Then, I pushed the fabric over the old nails to let them poke out for reuse. All that was left was to nail the seats back down.

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at-table-pl* A quick note on this fabric-it’s curtains! I saw them on the clearance rack at HomeGoods (we have no affiliation) and immediately thought of chairs-it’s a heavy linen and I loved the colors and pattern. I often find fabrics in this way and usually it’s much less expensive than buying the same quality at the fabric store and often totally unique.

**We did steal the chairs from my mother, but she already found another bargain pair that need a makeover!

Because Dirty White is Not a Color

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When we first bought our place in Florida, I went down for a weekend to hire contractors and get things moving. A neighbor was having a yard sale and I bought two awesome patio chairs. This was before we had toilet seats. I think I spent $30 for a beachy bedspread, 2 chairs and a roll of fabric (to recover the seats of the chairs-not my style). Before I got in the door at my place, someone yelled at me from their car-I KID YOU NOT, this woman followed me as I staggered down the street with my chairs because she wanted to buy the bedspread from me for her 90-year-old mother. I felt like a bandit already, so I just gave it to her. A few minutes later my doorbell rang and she pressed a twenty in my hand insisting I take it. Um, okay. The whole thing was very hilarious and rather sweet.

The chairs have held up really well considering I’m not sure they were really meant for outdoor use, let alone by a pool. The slip covers are a heavy off white canvas. It’s washable, but….. has gotten pretty disgusting over the two years we’ve had the chairs sitting outside getting used by people in wet bathing suits.

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This was after many attempts to clean them-dry cleaning and bleach included!

I shopped all over town and online with no luck finding cushions or affordable covers to replace them. And spending hundreds of dollars on cushions or custom slip covers that would continue to sit outside and be exposed to the elements just wasn’t gonna happen.

Maybe we can dye them? I had asked the cleaners about this and they said they could but it would be darker in spots where the stains were. I figured I didn’t have anything to lose and would just try it myself with my favorite dark color: navy blue!

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Supplies: 2 stained slip covers, tongs, 4 bottles of RIT dye, salt, hot water, and a large tub

The RIT dye website is awesome! And no, this is not a sponsored post. They have lots of tips and directions. Enough information that I ordered up my four bottles and got to work! And really, that’s all I needed-4 bottles of dye for 2 large chair covers, lots of salt (thanks mom for the tons of salt you left when you moved), hot water, and a husband willing to schlep everything to the backyard so I could watch the kids in the pool and he could cook dinner!

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Thanks, hubby!

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Dark clothes to go with dark dye! Stir the salt into the hot water first so you can see that it is all dissolved.

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Add the dye and stir again.

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Keep mixing it up so you get even coverage. Our fabric was really heavy and large, so I kept moving it about the whole time as it tended to fold up a lot. Time varies on how dark you want your color.

 Much improved! I’ll let you know how they held up when I get back down there. But over a few days of use with wet bathing suits and white towels/clothes, nothing rubbed off and they still looked great! blue-cover-pl

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