All Cleared Out, Where Do We Go?

All Cleared Out, Where Do We Go? via cottagemagpie.com

All Cleared Out, Where Do We Go? via cottagemagpie.com

When I declared so boldly that I was going to finish my living-room-slash-sewing-space once and for all, I forgot I was going to have to pack the whole room up and clear it out. Ugh!! Isn’t that just the hardest part ever? Having to figure out where to put all that stuff so that it doesn’t (a) swamp the rest of the house, yet (b) is still accessible is just hard. Haaaaard!!!

Okay, it wasn’t that bad, it just took FOR EVER. But I’m happy to say that not only am I don’t clearing the room but we’ve actually done the first teeny, tiny bit of work! Yay! So, given our current rate of progress, we should be done in, oh, say, 37 years! Woo hoo!!

Kidding. I’m sure we’ll [Read more...]


Living Room, Before

Living Room, Before via cottagemagpie.com

Living Room, Before via cottagemagpie.com

I just realized that I never actually did a full “before” post of my Living Room here at Pear Tree Cottage. It was included in the very first post for the house, (“Welcome to Pear Tree Cottage“) that I did back in (gasp) 2007, but I never looped back around to show you the nitty gritty. So, since I’ve decided to get this room done, done, finally done, I thought I might go ahead and give you the goods on what this room looked like when we bought the house.

It’s been through many, many iterations since then, and I’ll share a little summary of those next week, but for now, here’s a little look back to 2007, featuring my [Read more...]


Refocusing: My Sewing Studio

Refocusing: My Sewing Studio via cottagemagpie.com

Refocusing: My Sewing Studio via cottagemagpie.com

So, I have a little bit of Decorating ADD. I think you all knew this already. I think I knew this already, but wasn’t quite ready to admit it to myself. But it’s true. Sometimes it’s for practical reasons (can’t afford the next step, can’t logistically do the next step, can’t physically/mentally do the next step, don’t have the skills for the next step). But sometimes it’s just, you know, “OOooh, SHINY!” (This blog is called Cottage Magpie for a reason, people.)

Case in point, my recent obsession with the once-again-large family room (and the new-to-me iron daybed I got to put in it (and the Bohemian quilt I made to put on that)). I mean, yes, it was the right thing to do, and yes, it was a good evolution in our space to open it back up, etc. etc. etc.., but [Read more...]


Iron Daybed for the Family Room

Iron Daybed for the Family Room via cottagemagpie.com

Iron Daybed for the Family Room via cottagemagpie.com

I feel like all of my progress in my house is kind of a groundswell. It really doesn’t seem like much is happening for… well, years, but then all of a sudden things start to come together. I think by this time next year our house is going to look quite different, and it’s going to seem like we just did our house all in one swoop, although really we’ve been working on it for years, it’s just not much to show! Or maybe it’s just that I finally know what I like.

Either way, I think the fun stuff is going to start happening. [Read more...]


Maybe Bigger is Okay, Too.

Maybe Bigger is Okay, Too via cottagemagpie.com

Maybe Bigger is Okay, Too via cottagemagpie.com

So the other day when I shared my scrappy Irish Chain quilt, I mentioned in passing that there’s no longer going to be a mudroom. I know. I kind of just slipped that in there without much of an explanation. Terrible. So today I’m going to explain.

For those of you who may not remember, my family room has been a long, ongoing process. I haven’t done any real decorating in there yet, despite living here for 6 1/2 years, because I can’t seem to get the layout right! I keep fussing with it and fussing with it and still I’m never happy. Last time I made a big change, I had decided that it was just that the room was too darn big, and [Read more...]


Purging, Sitting, Stitching and Vintage Art

Purging, Sitting, Stitching and Vintage Art via cottagemagpie.com

Purging, Sitting, Stitching and Vintage Art via cottagemagpie.com

So, a funny thing happens when you post about Spring (Spring!!). Mother Nature decides it would be suuuuper funny to dump massive quantities of snow all over your proceedings. Um, yeah. Like A LOT of snow. The day after I pushed “publish” we were treated to a snowstorm of (for the Pacific Northwest anyway) epic proportions. For four days I didn’t go anywhere and nobody came here. Which was kind of awesome because it meant that I could tear my whole house apart! Ha!

I’ve had some bigger furniture swapping projects that I’ve been avoiding because it would mean major chaos fallout for a few days while I put things back together. You know the kind of project I mean? Where you are playing musical furniture between four different rooms and everything in those four rooms has to be dumped on the nearest available surfaces or crammed in boxes so you can just get the pieces moved around? And then you’re left with an entirely wrecked house?

Yep, one of those projects. [Read more...]


A Collection for Baby Girl’s Room

A Collection for Baby Girl's Room via cottagemagpie.com

A Collection for Baby Girl's Room via cottagemagpie.com

Baby Girl’s room has been such a journey for me. I’ve had expectations that were just SO HIGH that I could never move forward with any of my plans. I’d get started, do some work, get confused, get discouraged, start over… In her short little life her room has changed so many times, it’s kind of embarrassing. So far she’s had two rooms, three beds (plus a crib), two china hutches, two dressers, two nightstands, and we haven’t even discussed paint colors. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

Most recently, just before Christmas, I got a wild hair and decided to finally paint the bed white (and the inside of the closet). I’ve been waiting forever to do it, and Christmas was not the best time, but I just did it anyway. Baby Girl helped. We had fun. And as much as I do actually love pine, I love the white so much more for her room. [Read more...]


The Phone Cord, She is Gone

Dining Room Progress via cottagemagpie.com

Dining Room Progress via cottagemagpie.com

So, while I’m convalescing with my head cold and waiting to feel better so I can start plastering the fireplace, I’m still chipping away at my dining room buffet project.

You may wonder why we move so slowly on projects. Of course we have the usual reasons: budget, time, et cetera. But the other reason, which I suspect is common, is fear. A little thing like moving a phone cord can easily become a much larger project. You open a wall, you have no idea what you’re getting into. I speak from experience (*cough* leaky faucet -> whole house rewiring project *cough*). One or two of those, and you get a little DIY PTSD. [Read more...]


The Elephant… er… Fireplace in the Room

Fireplace in Craft and Office Space via cottagemagpie.com

Entrance to my Home via cottagemagpie.com

One of the things I’ve never entirely shared here is our fireplace. There’s been mention of it, little bits here and there, but never full on. I’ve tried to take pictures of it over the years, but it is really hard to capture! Not only is it big, grey and featureless, every other room in the house shows up if you try to photograph it. I just couldn’t do it.

Today that changes, for two reasons. First, between my glacial progress on the dining room, updates in the family room and in my workshop, there’s much less humiliation on the table. But secondly, and more importantly, I’m eyeballing that fireplace for a makeover. I’ve wanted to make it over since the day I bought the house, but it hadn’t made the list until now. [Read more...]


Book: The Country Living Book of Country Kitchens

Book: The Country Living Book of Country Kitchens via cottagemagpie.com

Book: The Country Living Book of Country Kitchens via cottagemagpie.com

Sometimes, for fun, I check out really old decorating books from the library. Which, by “really old” means from the 80’s, which is also when I graduated from high school, so really I probably should not be calling them “really old,” but you get the idea.

I like to look through them and just see. How different is the style, really? Do I still like it? Have I changed? Is my taste destined to be stuck forever in a bygone era? Or is there something that transcends time and is still exciting today? I wonder about these things.

So, a few weeks ago I found a book that I just had to bring home. It’s The Country Living Book of Country Kitchens by Bo Niles from 1985 and features all of the classic 80’s country motifs. And yes, there’s lots and lots in the book that’s fairly dated. Case in point: [Read more...]