DIY…update the look of an old cane chair with a fabric re-upholstery project!

Since we’ve moved, I’ve been in major DIY mode. I have this great old cane chair that I love, but it needed a fresh new look. I have changed the colors and theme of my bedroom and that’s where I keep the cane chair. It was covered in a fabric from about 10 years ago’s look and colors of my bedroom back then. I took a photo of my new quilt and off I went to the fabric store. I found a great complimentary upholstery fabric and bought 2 yards. I wasn’t sure how much fabric I would really need. I ended up not needing that much, but it’s more than ok that I got extra fabric. I plan to make a matching pillow, so more fabric turned out to be great!

To do this project, I needed some other tools. I used an iron, ironing board, screw driver, staple gun, staples for the staple gun, sewing scissors, and a hammer. Once I gathered all of the tools, I got to work.

tools, fabric, uphostery, can chair, seat, DIY
Tools for fabric upholstery of old cane chair seat

fabric, hammer, staple gun, staples, scissors, plyers, DIY, cane chair

Tools and fabric

 

Fabric, upholstery fabric, fabric store, re-upholstery, cane chair, DIY
Fabric I chose
Fabric, upholstery, tools, recover, cane chair, DIY
Cane Chair seat recovered

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First I cut the 2 yards of fabric down to 1 yard.  Then I ironed the yard of fabric I was planning on using to recover the chair seat.  I turned the fabric upside down on my living room carpet and then figured out which direction I wanted the shape on the fabric to be.  Vertical or Horizontal.  I chose Vertical, just for aesthetics.  I think it looked better vertical.  Then I carefully started wrapping the fabric around the seat, rolling the edges of the fabric under as I stapled. I started on the sides first, as the corners a bit more difficult to navigate, especially if you haven’t done much DIY re-upholstery projects.

When you get to the corners, you may have to cut some of the excess fabric off and then fold it creatively.  You may need someone else to help you hold the fabric taught so you can staple it into place.  I managed to cut, then fold it creatively, hold and staple by myself.  This takes a little practice though.  Give it a try and it it doesn’t work, you can always use some pliers to take the staple out and do it over again.

Once I had the seat of the cane chair, completely covered and stapled to my liking, I then set the seat on the chair to see how it looked.  I originally was going to chalk paint the chair, but I really liked the antique look of the chair color against the cream and orange of the seat fabric.  I decided to leave the chair the color it was instead of painting it.  I will use the chalk paint and wax for another piece of furniture soon, I promise!

Here’s the final outcome (sans throw pillows).  I will be sewing the covers for the throw pillows another day soon.  Once I complete the pillows, I’ll post a final, final photo to show the completed DIY cane chair make over!  I love how it’s looking so far.  If you’ve done a DIY project that you are proud of, please comment below with any photos of your project. I’d love to see what other people’s DIY projects are and how they are doing them, with any tips/tricks you may like to share.

fabric, upholstery, cane chair, DIY, staple gun, decor, home furnishings
Almost finished DIY Cane Chair seat re-upholstery project

 

In between sleep & inspiration

Lately my inspiration has been coming to me as I’m about to fall asleep. You know…that time when you’re floating inbetween consciousness & the deep restful sleep we all need. In my mind, the story and words are magical. I should get up and immediately write them all down. Instead, in my inbetween state, I tell myself that I will remember the words & write them the next day. The problem is…I don’t remember all of the fabulousness when I wake up. I remember bits & pieces but can’t seem to pull it all together.

To try to come up with a solution to this dilemma, I have put a notebook & pen on my bedside table. I’m hoping the next time inspiration strikes during my inbetween wakefulness time I’ll be able to capture enough of the story to retell it while I’m fully awake.

Unplugged in New Orleans

I spent 3 nights and 4 days with nine of my fabulous girlfriends this past weekend to celebrate my upcoming nuptials. On the way to the airport, my smart phone had some fatal crashes and started removing apps and contacts on it’s own. My fiance was able to restore my contacts so that I could use my phone to make calls and send text messages while I was away. I didn’t have time to go and get a new phone before I left for the trip, so I just used my phone very minimally for the weekend.

It was actually really nice to not be tied to my phone all weekend. I was truly engaged and present with the people I was with. I didn’t miss my phone and left it in my hotel room most of the days. It wasn’t working well anyway and it was one more thing to worry about and carry along in the heat. I got a feeling of freedom from not being tied to my phone all weekend. I wasn’t able to take any photos or post any of my adventures on my social sites, but the other girls had that all covered, so I just really enjoyed the freedom of being unplugged.

We covered some serious ground and logged thousands of steps all weekend. For the most part, we saw New Orleans by foot and on the “Hop on, Hop off” tour bus we got tickets for. It was a great tour and we took advantage of the schedule and route to get to the parts of town we wanted to be in each day. It was a 3 day pass for $39, which also included FREE walking tours. That’s an amazing deal, if you ask me! I highly recommend you do this tour on your next trip to New Orleans.

When I got home, of course, I went right to the mobile store to get a new phone. I wasn’t thrilled about being forced to get a bigger phone, but the new phone is actually pretty amazing. It has more memory, more core power, is able to multi-task better than my old phone, can handle me playing music and doing another task at the same time…kind of awesome!  I’m sure I’ll get used to the larger size in no time.

Being unplugged and not tied to my phone all weekend did bring back memories of my younger days, when owning a cell phone was just for those who had a lot of money or who were Exec’s at Tech companies. I didn’t have my first real cell phone until about 15 years ago and even then I didn’t use it all that often and only took it with me on long car rides and in case of “emergencies”.  Wow, how the times have changes in such a short amount of time!

As a society, we have become so dependent on our smart phones that we may be missing out on important moments and things that are right in front of us. I am going to try to stay in a place where I continue to unplug when I’m with others, be it I’m out to dinner with friends, taking a walk or even just sitting on my couch watching TV.  I want to live now and be present in this time and I feel, for myself anyway, that when I’m on my phone, I’m not 100% in the moment or engaged. I hope you will join me to try to unplug a little bit each day and especially when spending time with those you love. Engage with them instead of the apps on your smart phone and enjoy the moments that are happening now that you will never be able to get back or repeat.

Tell your story

Last night while going through my basket of “gifts” that I collect all year for birthdays etc…, I  found this great sign that I actually bought a few months ago.  I hung it up in my bathroom so that I will see it every day, as a reminder to tell my story more…in pictures, the written word, art, journaling, or just telling my story to whoever would like to hear it.

Each one of us has an incredible story to tell. I hope by seeing this photo, you will also be inspired to tell your story, however, messy and complicated it may be. The more complicated, the better!  If you’d like our help telling your story, we’d be happy to help you spread it however you choose.

Tell your story
Tell your story

Collecting Vintage Vases & Candy Dishes

I’m starting to collect vintage flower vases and candy dishes to use for a Vintage inspired themed wedding next Fall. Think 1950’s soda fountain meets candy counter!

Now to find a place to store them between now and then. I’ll be making some other DIY things for the wedding too. Check back for an update on what those may be. If you, too, are inspired by lovely vintage pieces, be it a piece of jewelry, a vase or a china pattern, I think you’ll like what I’m working on!

 

Vintage Flower vases
Use Mason Jars with pretty ribbon as centerpiece vases.
Use vintage candy jars that you can find at thrift stores or garage sales for a Candy Bar at a wedding or your next vintage themed event.
Use vintage candy jars that you can find at thrift stores or garage sales for a Candy Bar at a wedding or your next vintage themed event.

[blog layout=”normal” column=”2″ count=”3″ show_content=”” nopaging=”1″ cat=”[]” posts=”[]”]

[/blog]

I want to ride my bicycle…I want to ride my bike!

#46 – Get outside & go for a bike ride…

The weather is getting nicer and there’s a long weekend coming up this weekend (yep…it’s already Memorial Day…hard to believe, I know.)  What a great reason to get your bike out, tune it up and go for a ride…or several! 

If you don’t have a bike of your own, why not try bike sharing?  Bike Sharing?! What’s that you ask?!  Bcycle is a Bike Share program where when you become a member, you can pick a bike up at one station and return it to a different one, for a small fee, of course.  There are several bike stations at Bcycle’s across America…in several cities…Boulder, Broward, Denver, Chicago, Des Moines, Madison, Houston, Omaha and even Hawaii.  If there aren’t any Bcycle stations in  your city but you would like to see a bike share program in your community, go to the website and under the “locations” tab, request (and ask your friends to do the same) that they add your city by entering your zip code.  It’s a great way to enjoy a nice bike ride if you don’t have your own bike in your own community or while you are traveling to other cities.  Check to see if Bcycle is in your city then get out there and take some rides. 

Happy Memorial Day!  I hope you are able to take some time this weekend to be with family & freinds having some much deserved fun.

Wellness Week is here NOW & Spa Week is coming in April – Pencil them in!

#48 –  Wellness or Spa Week, both are great reasons or excuses…if you need an excuse…to get a fantastic wellness massage or spa treatment.  And…YES…You do deserve it!

Twice a year, Spa and Wellness Centers across the country discount their treatment prices or come up with special pricing for certain treatments that they offer to new & returning customers to intice   If you haven’t ever had a massage or just haven’t had the time or budget to indulge in a spa treatment in some time…this is a great way to get pampered for less.

This weekMarch 19th – 25th, on Spafinder.com you can see what locations in your area (yes it is a nationwide campaign) are offering $50 services or 50% off services.  Check it out but make sure you call soon to make your appointment, as they do book up fast!

In April, the 16th – 22nd is Spa week.  Go to Spaweek.com to see the Spas that are offering great deals that week too. 

Make sure you pencil these dates into your calendar so you don’t miss out!  Hey…why not book an appointment for both weeks.  You work hard and deserve it!  Little Miss Idea will definitely be booking an appointment for one of those weeks for sure.

Cheers to Wellness!

New Year…New Vision…New You!

#49 – Create a Vision Board to attract what you truly desire this year

I am an avid reader of all kinds of magazines. I not only subscribe to at least 5 magazines myself but my friends recycle their magazines by sharing them with me when they come over or I go to their houses for a visit.

Since it’s a new year, I decided to make a personal Vision Board with some friends on a cold Sunday afternoon.  In anticipation of all the great changes I’m planning on making this year, I organized a fun day at my house with some friends to create personal Vision Boards.  We tore, cut and organized photos from all of those magazines that I’ve been meaning to recycle.  My friends are much more organized and faster than I am though, so they actually finished their boards.  I, on the other hand, have an envelope full of great pics, quotes and inspiring words that I am planning on gluing onto my very own vision board soon.  Just not quite yet.  I’m still in search of a few perfect photos.  I want to make sure that I capture everything I truly desire before I cement my wishes to the universe on a poster board that will hang in a very visible spot that I will see every day for the rest of the year. Mine is a work in progress that I plan to add to as the year progresses.  I’m always growing and therefore a “work in progress” too, so I thought having space to grow on my board was ok.  It’s my vision, after all, so I can do what I like with my personal board.

If you are feeling stuck or would like to open your heart to new desires, creating a vision board by yourself or with some friends might be just what the doctor ordered.  It was a lot of fun.  I highly recommend this activity. It would also be a great team building activity at school or even on a professional level; if your team has lost it’s focus or just needs to redefine goals or strategy.  If you are a manager with direct reports, why not ask your team members to make a smaller vision board of how they see your team’s vision and then share & discuss at your next staff meeting?  It might bring some great ideas to the surface, open the dialogue for things that need to be redefined or changed and also re-energize/motivate your team.  I bet this would a staff meeting that won’t be soon forgotten!?!

If you aren’t sold on Vision Boards yet, check out these sites that will give you some background on Vision Boards and also give some guidance about how to create one for yourself:

http://www.oprah.com/spirit/How-to-Make-a-Vision-Board-Find-Your-Life-Ambition-Martha-Beck

http://www.visionboardvault.com/what-is-a-vision-board

http://christinekane.com/how-to-make-a-vision-board/

 

It's easy, just use stuff you already have at home.
 

Holiday Decorating Ideas…on a budget!

#55 – Budget Holiday Decorations…

A co-worker of mine is a fantastic holiday decorator and with her help, we transformed our office space into a Holiday Wonderland.  Her decorating skills on a budget inspired me to give you some holiday decorating ideas that you can do on a budget.  The decorating that we did at the office has put me…personally…in the “holiday spirit”.  I actually love coming to work in the morning and seeing all of the great decorations.  It makes me happy and excited at the thought of spending time with loved ones in a couple of weeks.

So…you’re thinking…that’s great, but just tell us how to do it already!  One of my favorite things that we did was to use wrapping paper in different colors (that we got at the Dollar Store, Target or Walmart) and then take framed art work that was hanging on the wall and wrap them like presents with a ribbon around them and a big bow with a plain ornament hanging off the middle of the bow with a paper clip.  The art in the room looks like gifts haning on the wall and really finished the room when we were done decorating with white lights (that we wrapped around pillars – in the office) and different colored ornaments that we hung from the ceiling tiles with paper clips. 

At home, if you have a dropped ceiling, you could do this…just prop the tiles up one at a time and use paperclips (you have to bend them to secure them to the ceiling tile frames) to hang the ornaments on (better if you tie nylon thread or string to the end of the ornament to attach to the paper clip and secure) at different lengths to create a really cool ceiling look. 

Go to the Dollar Store, Walmart or Target and pick ups a couple rolls of contrasting holiday wrapping paper, some wide wired ribbon in one color that goes with both papers, and a package of different colored ornaments that goes with or is contrasting to the paper you choose…at Walmart & Target…they have boxes with two to three different contrasting colored ornaments that you can buy for $15 to $20.  If  that is out of your budget for this year or you’ve already decorated but like this idea, put it on your list for your after Christmas shopping and get everything you need for next year’s decorating at 50% to 60% off. 

Another great decorating idea for the holidays is to use a large vase or hurricane and put two to three different colors of ornaments in the vase/hurricane and use it as centerpiece or in a corner of a room, if the vase is large enough. This looks very elegant and is also a favorite of Little Miss Idea.

I love how festive the office looks and am excited that we did it on a budget.  I couldn’t wait to share it with you.  Happy Holidays!

Colder temps & shorter days make being “Inspired” hard for me personally…

#56 – Inspire others to increase your own inspiration by volunteering this holiday season

What inspires your creativity or your sense of accomplishment?  Helping others inspires me.  So I am making a commitment to volunteer more this holiday season and also in 2012.  I am looking into what organizations in my personal community will benefit from my skills and willingness to help others while also benefting their overall mission.  Once I figure out (I’m making a list of my top 3)which charities are a good fit for me, I am going to introduce myself to them and see how I can help.  I’d like to work with a charity that helps/empowers women to improve their lives through education, employment search assistance, housing assistance or even a food bank that provides food to women and their families who otherwise may go hungry. 

I donate money  and household items all year long (to the United Way, Goodwill, Girls Inc., and other charities that my friends support), but I rarely actually donate my time.  I’m busy working a full time marketing job, selling Stella & Dot jewelry on the side – www.stelladot.com/sites/megbenjamin– writing this blog and socialilizing with friends.  I am going to come up with a plan to actually use my free time to give back and make a difference in my community this season and going forward into the New Year.  I am hoping by putting my actions where my mouth and my pockent book are, I will be inspired and able to write more creatively and freely.   I’d love to hear how you donate your time to help others in your community…maybe your stories will inspire me too!