Sunday, January 22, 2012

January Blooms

Portugal is chilly {especially in the shade or inside!}, but not cold enough to kill the beauty that abounds. So fun to pay attention to what’s blooming around our house!







Even the strawberries keep coming. Need to catch them before the birds do.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

“Custom” Dining Room Chairs

This isn’t my first post about our dining room chairs. They’ve been one of those seemingly expensive projects we’ve ignored for a LONG time. We’ve been content with the mix-match group we had, yet for dinners where we had a lot of people who sat in those chairs for a long time, I felt bad for them! In light of the fact that our job is hospitality, we decided this would be the next project to tackle when money became available.

Last fall we found some cushioned faux-leather-but-you-can’t-tell chairs we loved on sale! We had to wait until February for them to come in, yet in December we got a call that the manufacturer was not going to make more. We got our money back and started looking again. We went to several different places in Lisbon hoping we could find a decent alternative. I did find out that custom upholstered chairs are expensive in big furniture stores and mom-and-pop shops the same. IKEA had a sale on their chairs at the time, and I have always liked the INGOLF chair:

INGOLF Chair, brown-black Width: 16 7/8 " Depth: 20 1/2 " Height: 35 7/8 " Seat width: 16 1/8 " Seat depth: 15 " Seat height: 17 3/8 "  Width: 43 cm Depth: 52 cm Height: 91 cm Seat width: 41 cm Seat depth: 38 cm Seat height: 44 cm

My husband wanted to get these chairs and add a padded seat of our own {?}. We had seen some great outdoor fabrics so this sounded like a possibility. I agreed to it when he said we could ask our local upholstery man to pad the chairs for us…for the right price. This was something I didn’t want to mess up! Guess how much the man said it would be:  10Euros per chair—unbelievably good!


What do you think? We are VERY pleased! My husband got to see the fellow carve out the foam to fit the chairs perfectly. They are as comfortable as we hoped! The fabric is a linen-look wipe-able outdoor fabric. Perfect for all our projects at this table and meals with kids!


You might can see the end chairs are not the same {two of the matching mismatch set!}. We hope to find something unique for the ends…someday.  For now we are happy with such a welcome change!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Winter Wreath


So you probably can guess what I made this wreath out of! I had seen a tutorial for a wreath made from cute striped socks, so I thought I’d raid our stash of less than optimal socks! The girls contributed tights that itch them, and I had two pairs with holes.


I remembered to take the photo after I’d already started cutting! Once your socks are cut, you slip them on a styrofoam wreath form you’ve made a slit all the way through.


Once I had the wreath covered, I cut out the “Brrr!” with my Silhouette and attached the vinyl to a piece of lightweight hard plastic I had cut to fit the back of the wreath.


I hot glued the edges of the plastic to the back of the wreath. Next, I added a felt snowflake I had from a gift box with a button of sorts with a nail-like shank. It feels great when I can use things I’ve held onto for projects like this!


I decided to use a wire hanger attached with straight pins and strengthened with hot glue. We have to use these big power suction cups to hang wreaths on our glass front door panel since a wreath hanger won’t fit {but I am thankful for that glass so I won’t complain!}.


Happy winter everyone from sunny but chilly Portugal!

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