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...]


Dining Room, Steady but Very, Very Slow

Dining Room Before via cottagemagpie.com

Dining Room Before via cottagemagpie.com

I have been on a whirlind of cleaning and purging and organizing around here. I’ve been so driven just to get all the junk outta here that I haven’t really stopped to take pictures, either. Well, plus, they’re kind of embarrassing. I mean, the “before” pictures are, “Yowza!” and the after pictures are “Meh,” so I haven’t been feeling inspired to share them.

But then, on the other hand, that is what’s really going on here, and I do want to share. I wish I could bring you all over and point out all the good stuff, so you could see the progress, instead of posting pictures where it’s kind of hard to tell that it’s SO much better than it was before. It doesn’t seem like it shows that well in pictures. In real life it’s a huge difference. [Read more...]


The Sequel to the Lamp Story (Vintage Swag Lamp)

Vintage Hanging Lamp with Hand-Painted Glass Shade via cottagemagpie.com

Vintage Hanging Lamp with Hand-Painted Glass Shade via cottagemagpie.com

I know I haven’t given you the whole story yet, but July was pretty rotten. I usually try to keep it positive around here because this is my “happy place” but there’s just no way to sugarcoat it. July SUCKED. Both of my parents spent time in the ER at differnt times, one of them in the hospital for a week. I spent most of the rest of the month caregiving for my parents and then passing a stomach bug back and forth between the members of my immediate family. So. Not. Fun.

But, there’s a bright side to all of this. Apparently I paid my dues in July, because August started out with a huge bonanza of a bang in the form of a treasure trove of finds from garage sales and salvage. July was so awful, and all the treasures so lovely, that I hope you’ll indulge me in sharing them one at a time.

First up is my new dining room lamp. Do you remember last summer when the hand-painted glass shade of my beloved dining room chandelier met it’s untimely demise? It had looked like this:

Vintage Hanging Lamp with Hand-Painted Glass Shade via cottagemagpie.com

And part of why I loved it so much was that the pink and yellow roses on it reminded me of my very most favorite colors of roses:

Mixed Cabbage Rose Bouquet via cottagemagpie.com

Well, all this time I’ve been trying to find a replacement. Not easy. Mr. Magpie did find a small, milk-glass hobnail shade, but it’s much smaller than the old one. I mean, I am not complaining, it was fine. But I still missed the old one.

Last week, I finally found something to replace it. Please welcome my new dining room chandelier:

Vintage Hanging Lamp with Hand-Painted Glass Shade via cottagemagpie.com

I looooove it. It has the pretty flowers on the shade:

Vintage Hanging Lamp with Hand-Painted Glass Shade via cottagemagpie.com

But it also has chandelier crystals!!! I had thought by choosing this style of lamp I couldn’t have any pretty crystals, but here you go, I’ve got both in one.

Vintage Hanging Lamp with Hand-Painted Glass Shade via cottagemagpie.com

I found it at my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore, my favorite local salvage place. It was not at all expensive, and I’m so happy. I am going to darken the finish just a wee bit with Rub-N-Buff and then I might actually add a tiny bit of that yellow and pink color to the shade. I just have to figure out how to do that. Any ideas? I want something that will just add some color on some of the flowers but not block out the original. Like a water color, but for glass, right?

I wasn’t sure what to do with my original lamp at first, but then I realized it would look perfect in the window in the family room. You can just barely see the existing chandelier in the top right corner of this picture. (There’s a ton more pictures in my post about how I had painted the chippy green hutches in the family room.) I have always been a little worried about that little chandy because it’s so close to the curtains. By moving the dining lamp in there I’ll be able to swag it over and stop worrying.

Family Room with Chippy Green Painted Hutches via cottagemagpie.com

Now I just have to wrangle Mr. Magpie long enough to install it. Them. Both. Hee hee.

What about you? How is your summer going?

~Angela :-)


Painted Front Door (Before & After)

Painted Front Door (Before & After) via cottagemagpie.com

Painted Front Door (Before & After) via cottagemagpie.com

Have you ever had one of those days where you just do something completely impulsive? I have those days quite often. Especially now that I don’t keep any lists anymore. So a few weeks back, I just had one of those days where I could NOT look at the color of my front door anymore.

So I painted it.

When we moved into our house six years ago, we painted the entire thing. It had been kind of a greyish brownish bleahish color before, and the door was salmon pink. You can kind of see it in the listing photos in this story about how we bought the house, although I think the listing agent blocked the door on purpose in the photo!

I couldn’t decide on a door color at the time, and a friend suggested matching the leaves of this pretty plant we had in the front garden. So the door became this plum color. Like so:

Painted Front Door (Before & After) via cottagemagpie.com

I have never liked it, unfortunately, but I hadn’t gotten around to changing it. So the other day I just grabbed a can of sample paint I had laying around and painted it:

Painted Front Door (Before & After) via cottagemagpie.com

I was going for that pretty robin’s egg blue door like I made in my digital makeover of the front of the house.

Digital Makeover Ranch to Cape Cod via cottagemagpie.com

The closest thing I had on hand was the paint I used for my grain-sack table legs, Sherwin Williams’ Aloe:

Painted Front Door (Before & After) via cottagemagpie.com

So, while that paint is greyish green and pretty inside, it’s pretty neon blue outside. So I’ll keep trying. But for now, I love it soooo much better than the plum:

Painted Front Door (Before & After) via cottagemagpie.com

Painted Front Door (Before & After) via cottagemagpie.com

Painted Front Door (Before & After) via cottagemagpie.com

Once I settle on a color, I will have to get the right kind of paint and do a proper job, but for now it’s happy and cheerful, and that makes me happy.

Painted Front Door (Before & After) via cottagemagpie.com

Of course, now Mr. Magpie is saying we should paint it red. Ha!

What color is your door?

~Angela :-)


Rustic Workshop Trunk Makeover (Before & After)

Rustic Workshop Trunk Makeover (Before & After) via cottagemagpie.com

Rustic Workshop Trunk Makeover (Before & After) via cottagemagpie.com

Well, the last three weeks have been quite an adventure. We’ve had breakdowns, accidents, injuries, life changes, work changes and exhaustion. For awhile there, I was on a simple loop of coping and sleeping. Things seem to be getting to a state of equilibrium now, in my new normal. I’ve been wanting to show you what I’ve been up to, and I’m so thankful I have the time and space to do that again.

First up, my workshop trunk. This little trunk had been waiting for soooo long for it’s turn under the paint brush! I found it at the Goodwill years ago and I’ve been using it for storage in my workshop (i.e. office-slash-craft-room) ever since. I think it was originally a cherry-style finish, but somewhere along the way someone had attempted to paint it. It looked like part spray paint and part latex painted with a roller. Even with all the “distressing” it’s gotten over the years (read: total abuse and neglect), it just didn’t get better. It was shabby, but not in a good way. [Read more...]


Grain Sack Workshop Table (Before & After)

Grain Sack Workshop Table (Before & After) via cottagemagpie.com

Grain Sack Workshop Table (Before & After) via cottagemagpie.com

I‘ve been working on my workshop (craft-slash-office space) for some time. I knew that I wanted to paint the main work table, but I could NOT decide what color or style. Stained top? Painted legs? Plain white? Something fun? It’s been a major stumbling block for moving forward on this room. That and the jigsaw puzzle of figuring out that plus everything else — walls, other furniture, slipcovers…

Well, as you know, I finally decided (thanks to the inspiration from Pinterest and this book), to keep the walls white. Then I decided to refinish the wood buffet (still in progress). Which meant, yay, I could paint the table. I knew I wanted the top to be white to aid in photography for the blog, but I also wanted something fun since the rest of the decisions so far have been pretty staid. But what?

Kathy of Petticoat Junktion to the rescue!!

I was reading her amazing blog, and saw this adorable grain-sack inspired table:

Grain Sack Workshop Table (Before & After) via Petticoat Junktion

Isn’t that swwony? I mean, who could resist with the cute turquoise paint and the vintage quilts and chenille. I emailed Karen immediately and asked her if I could copy her for my table, and she graciously said yes (and also said I could share a picture or two of hers here so you could see — thank you, Kathy!!).

This is how I did it. First I had to pick a color. True to form, this was agonizing and took a long time. Here’s just a few of the samples I tried (some new, some from my stash)

Grain Sack Workshop Table (Before & After) via cottagemagpie.com

I’m glad I held out until I found the exact vintage-y blue-y green-y color I was looking for. The legs are Aloe (SW 6464) and the top is Steamed Milk (SW 7554).

I drug the table outside, sanded the top some and stained it dark walnut to give it some age before I painted. The top got a coat of primer and two coats of white, and the legs just got two coats of green since they had been primed and painted white by the previous owner.

Grain Sack Workshop Table (Before & After) via cottagemagpie.com

Once the paint was dry I distressed it, then brought it inside to do the stripe. I used the same basic technique that Kathy did, shown here:

Grain Sack Workshop Table (Before & After) via Petticoat Junktion

I used plain masking tape to tape off the center stripe, because that’s what I had on hand, so I cut in against the tape when I painted my center stripe. Then, like Kathy, I hand-painted the thin stripes with a tiny little brush. I used the tape as a guide to keep them straight. They’re definitely hand painted (read, wobbly) and I love them.

I distressed the stripe, too, just a bit, then polyed the whole thing. Three coats, and I buffed in between. I don’t usually bother with multiple coats or buffing, but with a table that will get hard use I thought it would be worth it.

My work table is a repurposed kitchen table that I got for $40 at a garage sale. It’s a standard 3′ x 5′ table, and I thought a 3″ stripe seemed about right. The skinny stripes are small, maybe 1/4″ wide? And the width of the tape apart from the main stripe. You’ll notice Kathy did two skinny stripes on her table, and it looks great. I did mine from memory and only put one. I actually like Kathy’s version better, but it’s already polyed so I’m going to call it good and be happy!

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the before and after:

Grain Sack Workshop Table (Before & After) via cottagemagpie.com

Grain Sack Workshop Table (Before & After) via cottagemagpie.com

And here:

Grain Sack Workshop Table (Before & After) via cottagemagpie.com

Grain Sack Workshop Table (Before & After) via cottagemagpie.com

I’m completely in love with the whole thing. Too bad it’s covered up most of the time with my works in progress! Ha!

I did take a moment to take some pretty pictures before I put it back to work. Here’s a few:

Grain Sack Workshop Table (Before & After) via cottagemagpie.com

Grain Sack Workshop Table (Before & After) via cottagemagpie.com

Grain Sack Workshop Table (Before & After) via cottagemagpie.com


Grain Sack Workshop Table (Before & After) via cottagemagpie.com

Whew! Now on to the next project.

Do you all struggle as much as I do with making decisions? It seems so effortless for most people!

~Angela :-)

Thank you again, Kathy, for letting me share your great work and copy your idea!

Linking up to: The Shabby Creek Cottage, From My Front Porch to Yours, Fine Craft Guild and Lilyfield Life