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...]


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 :-)