Living Room Curtains Part 1

Is it just me or is Fall flying by with a blink of an eye?  I can’t believe that Halloween is quickly approaching and that our eight week Fall program at work is quickly coming to a close!  I think I may finally be able to breathe a little bit!  This weekend has been nice.  No work, no home football game, and just time to work and get things done in the house!

I have been working on the curtains behind the scenes over here for a few weeks.  Each night after a long day at work and a little family time after dinner, I would break out the sewing machine and iron and get to work.  I will say that it has been great to clear my mind and keep my hands busy.  It has been my me time.  Any other mom’s out there find that once you had kids you started staying up later to get things done?  I’ve turned into a little midnight owl for the quiet and chance to sew.

I think I can say I am learning to sew!  The sewing machine and I got off to a rocky start! Once I got the hang of things, we started getting along (most of the time anyways).  I can thread my own bobbin, thread the machine, and troubleshoot!  Needless to say this little sewing project is slowly wrapping up.  I have three panels left to go.  I have sewed nine so far!

Here is what I needed for this project:

  • Sewing machine (I borrowed one from my MIL)
  • Needle for sewing machine and bobbins
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • Curtain Fabric (I bought mine on sale from Joann’s Fabric. It has since been discontinued. I would buy home decor fabric, since it is thicker fabric and wider.  Usually home decor fabric is 55 inches wide or 45 inches wide)
  • Curtain Liner (Also bought on sale from Joann’s Fabric)
  • Sewing Gage

I followed a tutorial from View Along the Way.  You can find her tutorial here. Her tutorial is excellent!  I have never sewed before, and I was able to follow it!

  1. Determine size of Curtains. I decided I wanted my panels to be 98 inches long.
  2. Cut out each panel. I bought an extra 10 inches of fabric per panel to accommodate the hem, so my fabric for each panel was 108 inches long and 45 inches wide. I also bought a liner that I cut to the size.  I cut my liner to 100.5 inches long, 2.5 extra inches for hem, and 39.5 inches wide, 5.5 inches shorter than the width of my curtains.  I made the hubby do the cutting,  Do you see the mess in our living room?! Toys everywhere!DSC_0571
  3. Iron and sew your bottom curtain hem for your panel and liner.  I used a 4 inch hem on my curtain panel fabric and a 1.5 inch hem on my liner. I folded the fabric for my curtain fabric four inches from the bottom and ironed it down.  I then repeated this step and folded my curtain fabric again four inches from the bottom, ironed it down, pinned, and sewed my hem.  For my liner I folded my fabric 1.5 inches from the bottom and ironed it down.  I then repeated this step and folded my liner again 1.5 inches from the bottom, ironed it down, pinned, and sewed my hem.DSC_0550DSC_0559
  4. Attach your liner. Lay your hemmed curtain fabric right side up. The pattern should be facing up. Place your liner on top of your panel.  When you place your liner on top, place it so the pretty part of the hem is facing the pattern of your fabric.  This probably seems odd, but it mades a beautiful curtain when you turn it inside out!  I promise!  I had to read the directions here a few times. Your liner should be 1.5 inches down from the start of your curtain panel. Line up with the edge of your liner to the left edge of the panel.  Pin your liner to your panel. DSC_0572DSC_0574DSC_0575DSC_0579

Stay tuned to see how to attach the rest of your liner! Part II will be coming soon!  In the meantime choose some fabric and start on your own panels!  If I can do it, you can do it!  Seriously, I had not used a sewing machine since 7th grade home economics class until this project!  So far so good over here!


How we hang heavy items on our plaster walls

I know I have been slacking on the writing over here.  It has been crazy busy over here between Fall programs at work, football season, and family life.  We have also been trying to wrap up three projects at once.  Note to self- this is why you finish a project before you start another one.  I guess slow and steady wins the race?

I have written this post a few times, but never finished it.  So I guess tonight is as good a time as any.  After we painted our kitchen, I had a few items I wanted to hang on the walls.  One of the items was a heavy wood wine rack.  My husband already despised hanging this item, because it is a PIA to hang!  Well turns out, our plaster walls made it even more difficult.  What we thought was going to be a simple project, turned into one that caused a full on nuclear melt down.

We were so used to our dry walled walls in our new house in South Carolina, that these old plaster walls have thrown us for a loop or two.  One it is super difficult to find the studs and two its 120 year old plaster that in some spots has pulled away from the lath.  We really didn’t want our wine rack to come tumbling down ripping the walls with it, so we had to do a little research after attempt one with a pretty good sized hole in the wall.  Hubby had to repair the wall, sand, and re-paint that wall.  He may have been huffin and puffin about this, so I did not get a picture of the hole.

After a little research, we came up with a solution that was slightly inspired by picture molding found in old houses.  We bought thin pine poplar wood, cut it to the size of our wine rack, and attached this to the wall.  Then attached our wine rack to the poplar wood.


We decided to add a second piece of poplar wood, so the wine rack would lay flat.


You can’t see the wood at all, but next time we plan to paint it to match the color of the wall before hanging. Needless to say that wine rack isn’t going anywhere!



Dining Room Plan

For the past few weeks now we have been working on our dining room.  We have slowly but surely been working to finish putting board and batten up in our dining room.  As soon as we saw this house in February, I dreamed of putting board and batten into our dining room.  It just seems to fit perfectly with the age and style of our home and the one feature that our dining room was missing.  I had to slowly work on my husband to tackle this project, because it is a beast.  We are three weeks in and still not finished!  So today, I wanted to share our entire dining room plan.

In August, we made our first big change to the dining room when we replaced the outdated ceiling fan in our dining room with an elegant chandelier.  You can read more about changing the light fixture here.


I then really pushed my husband to start installing board and batten in the living room.  For the board and batten I wanted it to be taller than the average 48 inches.  We originally thought of doing 65 inches, but it was too tall.  We ultimately decided to use a height of 60 inches, which is around shoulder height for us.  I feel like taller board and batten is more formal and just belongs in a dining room.  We will paint the board and batten white to match our trim.  I will post more on the board and batten at a later date as we get closer to being done.

The top half of our walls will be painted a dark moody blue from Benjamin Moore called Gentleman’s Gray.  I love the richness and deepness of this color especially when paired with a contrasting white on the board and batten.  I cannot wait to replace the mossy green paint on the wall!  The idea of painting over the existing color is driving us to the finish line as it currently makes the room feel too dark and cave-like.  I know I have said this before of other areas of our house.  Paint makes such a big difference!

Dining Room Paint Color

We are keeping our current farmhouse dinning room table as we had it custom made at our first house from James and James.  I really love this table and it was a requirement when purchasing our home in PA that it had to fit.  This may have driven our realtor nuts, because the table is seven feet long.  We are also keeping the chairs that we found from World Market and purchased whenever there were really good sales on their furniture.  I did add an older piece to the room by purchasing a refinished antique buffet table at a local antique store when we first moved into the house.  I felt like it fit perfectly with the time period of the home.  Plus I love the idea of mixing old and new together.

We will also hang some sentimental pieces from our alma matter in the room including a picture of Old Main and a picture of the Nittany Lion Inn where we were married.  The picture of the Nittany Lion Inn was actually signed by everyone who attended our wedding.  These pictures always make me feel at home and are our reminder of our journey together so far.

Since I am making the curtain panels for the living room, I am going to buy curtains for the dining room.  I plan to go the cost-effective and budget friendly route and purchase plain and simple white curtain from Ikea.  For a rug, I found one I love and have been eyeing, but it is currently out of stock.  I guess it gives me time to save before we purchase.  It should be back in stock around Thanksgiving.  So with no further ado here is a picture of our dining room plan:

Dining Room Plan

If you want to shop my style:

What is the latest project you are working on in your home?


Curtain Fabric is in!

So this post is a little late this week.  This momma has been swamped.  Sixty hour work week, but at least its doing something I love.  Plus, our daughter has had one nasty cold!  I have enjoyed the evening snuggles in the rocking chair, but this virus needs to go!  I hate seeing my baby miserable.  Now to the reason for the post….

My fabric is finally in! It’s finally in!  I guess its time for the daunting task of sewing 12 curtain panels when I haven’t sewn since home economics class in seventh grade!  At the time of buying the fabric, I thought this was a great idea.  Now, I am a little scared!  Six weeks of waiting for the fabric to come in, and now I get cold feet. I can do this right? I guess I am the only crazy lady who buys 36 yards of fabric to make curtains to save money on curtain panels. #becausecurtainsareexpensive I couldn’t find what I wanted at a decent price, so I said why not? I might as well make them!

Here is the fabric:

IMG_2688 (1)

You can find our living room update here.  So far we have painted the walls in Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee.  The room has six windows, but won’t it look fantastic once the curtains are finished and curtain rods are moved higher above the window?


I guess I better get sewing.  I’ll update you when they are finished or when I’m having a melt down from my inability to sew.  Its too early to tell how this will turn out!

A little Monday Inspiration

Our trip to Magnolia in August motivated me to go back and read Joanna Gaines’ blog from the beginning.  If there is one theme in her blog is to find inspiration for the design of your rooms and to go with it!  If you love your space, that is all that matters! In today’s technology filled world inspiration can come from places like pinterest, other people’s blog posts, or in my case an ad on Facebook.  Facebook has stalked me so well to know that I love design sites and home decor stores like Wayfair and Overstock.  I don’t know whether to be horrified  or to say thank you to Facebook?  Today as I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, I was overwhelmed by advertisements for home decor sites.  Then one picture stopped me dead in my tracks.  It was a picture of a sleek, modern, velvet chair.  You know that OMG love this!  Gotta have it moment?  Well this chair had me swooning!  I guess that advertisement worked….

This chair isn’t typically my style, but that is part of what I love about it!  It all of sudden made my living room design come all together!  It goes perfectly with the fabric that I picked out for curtains.  (If only the curtain fabric would come into stock!  I ordered the fabric through Joann’s Fabric weeks ago,  but apparently I am the only crazy lady ordering 36 yards of this fabric to make 12 curtain panels.  They are having a hard time sourcing all the fabric.  Thats a different story though!) The chair is also the perfect accent for the room.

So without further ado, my inspiration for today….

chair for living room

What I love about this piece?

  • The velvet fabric
  • The color of the fabric is breath taking
  • The lines of the chair

I just want to cuddle up and read a book! You can find the chair here!

Lucky for hubby I had impulse control today!  It is added to the want list for the future!  Once the curtains are made and up, if the fabric ever comes in, we may just have to bite the bullet.  For now, though, a girl can swoon!

Visiting Waco

Ever since the show Fixer Upper began, I have been a huge fan and begging my mom to take me to Waco.  About a year ago my parents moved to Dallas, Texas, and were now conveniently located about 2 hours from Waco.  Last week my daughter and I finally made it out to visit and took the much anticipated trip to Waco.  I was like a kid on Christmas Eve the night before and too excited to sleep!

We went during the week on a Tuesday to avoid the crowds.  We left Dallas at around 9 a.m and got into Waco at around 11 a.m.  Our first stop was Magnolia Table.  We had a short 15 minute wait to be seated.  The inside of the restaurant was gorgeous!  I loved all of Joanna’s touches from the wood beams, to the tile floors, to the sign that said “Everyone has a seat at the table.”

Magnolia Table

The food far exceeded my expectations!  We ordered the tater tots as an appetizer and then I ordered my go to brunch dish of Eggs Benedict.  The tater tots were crunchy, huge, and looked home made.  The tater tots are pictured below, but I got so excited to eat the Eggs Benedict that I forgot to take a picture.  Oops!  This girl was hungry!  The Eggs Benedict was one of my favorite Eggs Benedict’s that I have ever had.  The homemade biscuits were buttery, flaky, and melt in your mouth!  My poached egg was cooked perfectly and had just enough gooey egg yolk!  My only suggestion is that it needed a little more bacon, because who doesn’t love bacon?


After breakfast, we headed to the silos.  Can I just say how breathtaking the silos were?  What a gorgeous place to go shopping!  We waited for the bakery and walked around the shops and let my daughter get some energy out running around outside.  A lot of the products on her online store were at the shop.  The iron sconces I had been eying were not :(. Maybe thats for the best, because I really did not need to spend $200 for two iron sconces.  I did find a beautiful sign that says “gather” that is now hanging in our kitchen.  I absolutely love it!


We then booked a tour with Waco Tours, and spent 2.5 hours traveling around Waco and seeing the sights.  I enjoyed learning the history of Waco, seeing Baylor, stopping at some town favorites like Clint Harp’s shop, Heritage Creamery, and Cool Beans Cafe.  Our guides were absolutely wonderful!  My favorite parts were the stops at Cool Beans Cafe, Heritage Creamery and Clint Harp’s shop and seeing the houses featured on the show.

fixer Upper

I tried a cowboy coffee at Cool Beans Cafe which was a little sweet for me.  I still drank it because coffee, coffee, coffee! My daughter got dairy free ice cream, because she is dairy intolerant still.  The ice cream was an absolute hit with her!  She couldn’t get enough she kept asking for Mooooore!  Plus her belly afterwards was happy! Thank you Heritage Creamery for having a dairy free option!  It made this momma happy, because she could actually enjoy a treat with everyone else.  We don’t go for ice cream much because she always feels left out.  We’ve trialed dairy on several occasions and she always ends up with a tummy ache, diarrhea, and the worst diaper rash.  No fun for her and no fun for momma!

Cool Beans and Heritage

Clint Harp’s show was right next to the house built for them that was featured on the show.  The shop was small but had some amazing items!  Including some fall decorations like wood pumpkins!  My mom picked one of these up!  I wish I had too!  I picked up some wood napkin rings that look great on our dinning room table.  Eventually, I will get those wood candle holders I have been eyeing!


After the tour we made one final stop at the Silos Bakery before heading home!  I had to try a cupcake!  I tried the lemon lavender cupcake, and OMG it was too die for!  Joanna can I have the recipe so I can make these at home?!  I am still dreaming of them!  Who knew that lemon and lavender were such a magnificent combination?!  I didn’t!

Silos Bakery

Definitely worth the trip!  I wish we had more time while we were there, so I could have checked out some local antique stores and local shops.  Next time!  Maybe I can convince my husband to book a night at one of the houses….



Lightening up the Living Room

Remember that child free weekend when we painted our heart out?  The kitchen is not the only room we painted.  We also knocked out the living room at the same time, because I equally hated the color in this room as well.  The living room before we painted felt like a dark cave.  This room should not feel like a cave when it has 6 windows and receives a ton of natural light!  The color on the wall was like tannish brown which just reminded me of poop.  Not what I wanted to be reminded of every time I walked into my living room.


Our dog, Otto, was supervising while I took photos. You can see before we painted we also had to do some wall touch ups.  We also took down all the outlet covers, because they were painted the same colors of the wall.  Not sure why someone would paint them, but we didn’t want to repaint them a new color.  So we took them down and replaced them with new white covers once we were finished painting.

I decided to go with a creamy white from Benjamin Moore called Swiss Coffee.  If you remember when we sampled the paint originally I doubted myself and we tried another paint sample color before we decided to stick with Swiss Coffee.  I am so glad we did!  The paint did wonders for this room! Lucky for my hubby this time I didn’t second guess after we put the first coat of paint on the walls this time.  I loved it the moment we started painting, because I could see the change taking place right in front of my eyes.


I may hate the prep work to painting, but after you are done painting and love the change it is so rewarding!  This space is now one of my favorites in the home with new paint on the wall.  It was an easy and fairly inexpensive cosmetic fix too!

Before and After Living Room

Here is our to do list in the living room:

  • Paint
  • Raise Curtain Rods
  • Curtains
  • New larger rug
  • Different accent chairs

So the next project we decided to tackle was the curtains.  We need twelve curtain panels for this room.  Not cheap at all.  I decided to make an attempt at making them myself, and this girl hasn’t sewn since home economics class in middle school.  This could get interesting.  I’ll let you know all about the process as I go!  Any sewing tips for this newbie?

Whats your next project?!