Author Archives: cardinalkay64

Yet More Canned Ham Progress

Yesterday I shared some exciting new progress in our canned ham’s interior.

Turns out our new bedding

is the reason why we painted our refrigerator black + red!

NOW it makes sense!

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Both G.O. + I really love those new arrow decals on the wall!

My thoughts are to repeat them on the opposite end wall of the ham,

which is way too plain Jane:

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Wow, what a yawn!

I’d like to see a single row of arrows on each side of the window,

 similar to this photo that the etsy shopkeeper posted:

decal of arrows single row

Not too much — just enough to “have a conversation” with the wall

on the opposite side of the ham.

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Oops! Please disregard the dusty stove top — somebody needs to fire the house keeper (me!)

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Hey!  What’s going on with those curtains?  You ask.

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I am sewing them with this fabric from Fabric.com.

It’s a very lightweight white cotton,

so our ham will be bright + light, even when the curtains are closed.

fabric for ham curtains

But that print!  I couldn’t love it more!

Turns out it’s “having its own conversation” with something in the ham,

but I’ll share that fun story tomorrow.

Back to the curtains.

Here’s Plan A for hanging them, with clip-on rings:

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I’ve gotta admit, I’m not in love.

Maybe they would look better if we just shirred them on that rod,

OR how awesome would they look with black grommets!?

I think I want grommets.

grommet

OF COURSE I DO.

G.O. has the job of grommet installation at our house,

wouldn’t you know it?

cats fighting

  Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Canned Ham Interior Updates

While we might not ever finish our Dutch colonial (sad!),

the good news is that when it comes to our canned ham,

we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel!

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Sure, that exterior might look all vintage, retro + groovy,

but I worried that the plain Jane interior was more than a little blah.

The humanity!

I mulled over several options, like wallpaper,

but that seemed like such a huge project!

Besides, G.O. wasn’t having it.

cats fighting

We still needed some pattern in there, so I kept hunting.

Finally, after an exhaustive search,

I decided to order these arrow decals from etsy seller Danadecals:

Yay! — right?

The seller describes them as “arrows with a modern twist”,

+ I thought they would go with my proposed industrial/camp style.

Soon enough (but not before they arrived in our mailbox — oops),

I finally shared all of this happiness with G.O.

Frankly I’m drawing a blank re: what happened next,

but in a few days we decided to try + apply those arrow decals.

We timidly started with a wee small section above the bed.

Baby steps!!!

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I think we both shouted “omigosh!” in our heads.

We really loved the way the arrows transformed our ham,

 even though, initially, they were a tad difficult to apply.

Maybe not quite as difficult as those press-on tiles in our kitchen:

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I’m pretty sure that those scribbles mean G.O. was hating that project.

Poor guy.

But back to the arrows.

We persisted, + since practice usually makes perfect in our G.O.’s world —

within hours, he was putting them up all by himself.

TA DA!

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Oops! Please disregard the dusty stove top — somebody needs to fire the house keeper (me!)

Let’s have another look-see, shall we?

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Pretty exciting, no? — + how awesome is that buffalo check blanket?

It’s Martha Stewart, + I ordered it from Macy’s (no longer available).

Now, at long last, our wacky red refrigerator makes perfect sense!

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I love it when a plan finally comes together!

But wait.  There’s more!

 

 

I’ll force myself to wait until tomorrow to share, though.

Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 


Plain Jane House Gets Its Makeover

We spent the weekend in my hometown in southern Illinois,

+ while there — as is my way — I perused the listings on realtor.com.

Do you do that, too?

Anyway, I was surprised that there were so many houses under $100 grand!

For example, this plain Jane (with lots of potential!) is only $49,900!

You can see more in the Realtor.com listing, here.

cape cod of greenville front exterior

Just yesterday on Facebook,

my cousin from my hometown posted the photo of a house

she was interested in buying, + guess which one it was!

Hard to believe, but yes — the plain Jane house!

cape cod of greenville front exterior

Say no more!

I was soon dashing over to Pinterest for some design inspiration to share,

+ here’s what I found, from the blog, Nesting With Grace.

It’s another plain Jane house, this one with a small porch.

(Some of my cousin’s Facebook friends suggested that ‘her house’ needed one!)

But something’s not quite right.

The wrought iron porch column + the stair railings

were all the rage, back in the 50’s + 60’s — but today, it looks dated + too thin.

It needs to be replaced with something more substantial,

  + on that note, here’s the stunning AFTER:

I know!  It’s like night + day, isn’t it?

It looks like they’ve replaced the wrought iron with white vinyl,

which is probably in stock at your local build-o-rama.

The light fixture’s been updated to something larger,

+ there’s a new mailbox + new house numbers.

Even though the porch is quite small,

there’s room for a sweet + welcoming French cafe chair.

The new front door has been painted a pretty shade of blue:

Now, pay close attention to this:

all the accessories — the chair + the flower pots —

echo the blue of the door + the white of the posts + railings.

For yet more color coordination, the shutters are painted the door blue,

+ the pair of white Adirondack chairs even have blue pillows.

There’s a lot going on,

but keeping everything in just one color family

makes the design cohesive + not too crazy or too busy.

 

The landscaping’s been updated with some classic boxwood shrubs

+ some pretty pink + red Knock-Out Roses, which bloom all season.

(Notice how the red is repeated in the red stripes of the U.S. flag.)

The new white window boxes add architectural detail,

+ their small evergreens (dwarf Alberta spruces?)

will provide winter interest when the roses go dormant.

Let’s have one more look at the $49 grand house in my home town:

cape cod of greenville front exterior

It’s easy to envision some of the blog house’s AFTER features here, isn’t it?

Remember — it, too, was once a plain Jane!

Now it’s time to share on Facebook!

Stay tuned for my cousin’s + friends’ reactions!

 

 


Welcome To Hydrangea World!

Our relatively small yard is now home to a whopping 18 hydrangeas!

What I am now calling “Hydrangea World” began last fall,

with this informal hedge of oak leaf hydrangeas planted on our lot line:

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We bought 7 plants, 8′-10’T, @ $11 apiece, from Menards,

+ 4 of them are happily blooming already:

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Next up — the western foundation of our Dutch colonial:

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Once again, we planted a row of hydrangeas —

this time in mixed varieties.

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You guys.

Look at the gorgeous blue of that Twist ‘N Shout, 3’-5’T!

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Once I spied it (at Menards), there was no going home without it! —

which means that there are now 2 of them in our foundation bed:

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There are also 3 Pistachio hydrangeas, with beautiful pink blossoms, 3′-5’T:

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Aren’t the petals beautiful?

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At the window bay, we planted 3 Endless Summer hydrangeas, 3′-5’T:

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Wow oh wow — that blue!

In my last post, I spoke of this fertilizer for acid-loving plants.

hydrangea food

Turns out that hydrangeas love acid soil, + adding acid to said-same soil

results in blue Endless Summer hydrangea flowers.

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That means I will be regularly fertilizing my hydrangeas with it,

as nobody loves the blue flower more than I do!

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I would have happily added even more hydrangeas to our foundation,

but G.O. was insistent that we have a mixed-plant section.

Here ’tis

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Upper left: Stirfry hosta 20″T x 36″W — Upper right: Ostrich fern 3′-5’T — Lower left: Younique Pink astilbe 16″-20″ — Lower right: Firefly coral bells 30″T-12″W

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Coral bells

That’s going to look great, once the plants fill out, don’t you think?

And finally, in closing, here’s our climbing hydrangea (who knew?),

which was originally planted to grow up this trellis

on our garden shed . . .

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. . . but which has since been transplanted to here,

underneath our pretty maple tree:

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Wait.  What?

There’s an interesting story here; I’ll share soon.

As always, stay tuned!

 


Happily Fertilizing In The Garden

My friend in Florida suggested I use SUPERthrive vitamin plant brew,

. . . so I just fed it to everything in our garden . . .

superthrive

. . . one watering can at a time!

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It was quite a job, since we have lots of new plants in our yard,

but I love gardening so much, it’s not work for me!

Anything for my plants!

The instructions say that SUPERthrive can be used

in addition to other types of fertilizer.

That’s a good thing, considering all the “brews” that I add to my plants!

When anything new gets planted, we always add root stimulator,

a.k.a. Quick Start, by Miracle Grow.

root stimulator

As the season progresses, about once a week, I add fertilizer,

each one formulated for different sorts of plants.

My ferns + hydrangeas apparently grow best in acid soil,

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so they are fed with this:

hydrangea food

 Fun fact:

Endless Summer hydrangea flowers turn blue if their soil is acidic,

which means they’ll coordinate nicely with all my blue garden accesories.

Here’s one of three** we just planted, with my beloved bird bath,

made with a blue + white transfer ware plate:

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The birdbath is resting on an old hollow tree stump,

+ the silvery green plants in the background are pulmonaria,

more commonly known as lungwort.

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My pretty blue gazing ball usually rests nearby on a white iron stand.

This morning I was moving stuff around, so I just snapped its photo on the lawn:

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Here is one of my most favorite garden accessories —

my cobalt blue glass star!

We have three** of them hanging from a branch of a tree,

where they manage to catch the sun in both morning + late afternoon.

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** Why groups of three, you ask?

Design professionals insist that odd numbers

are more pleasing to the eye than even.

I do this in my interiors, too.

  • * * *

Finally, in my quest for beautiful flowers + lots of ’em,

I add Bloom Booster to my flowering plants:

bloom boost

We planted an informal hedge of oak leaf hydrangeas last fall,

+ most of them are flowering already:

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You may notice that the oak leaf hydrangea’s flowers are elongated

+ consist of hundreds of tiny, white petals . . .

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. . . whereas the Endless Summers’ flowers are round-ish,

with larger petals.

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What the hey — I have never met a hydrangea that I didn’t love!

We’ll probably add more to our garden as the summer progresses.

Stay tuned!

(If you’re interested in my post

about the front foundation bed of our Dutch colonial, go here.)

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Got A New TV Show To Love

I’ve got another favorite HGTV show — it’s called Hometown,

starring this super cute couple, Ben + Erin:

hometown -- erin and ben

They had me at their old pick up truck* + their incredibly cool logo.

Don’t you love logos?

*G.O. says the truck looks like it’s a ’64 Chevy (+ he always knows.)

Thumbs up!

hometown -- pick up truck

Anyway, you know the drill with these shows:

The cute hosts show another cute couple some makeover wannabe houses,

the second cute couple chooses one, + then the re-do ensues.

Take this house.

Please.

hometown -- house before

It had plenty of curb appeal but now has lots more.

Extra points for the highly coveted (by me) red window sashes,

which play nicely with the pretty red Japanese maple.

hometown -- house front after

Every yard needs at least one Japanese maple!

hometown -- house front close up

Here’s the living room, sporting some really tragic green paint:

hometown -- house living room before

Now check this out.

I’m interested to know your thoughts on the busy tile fireplace surround.

hometown -- house living room after fireplace

I surprised myself with how much I liked it!

They based all their color choices on the tiles, which I think is genius.

hometown -- house living room after from above

My favorite makeover occurred in the kitchen (as it most often does.)

Here’s the lame + sad before:

hometown -- house kitchen before 2

Is it wrong that I like the existing vintage floor tiles?

hometown -- kitchen before

How could you not love white cabinets with pretty gray back splash tiles?

The range hood design is pretty swell,

+ little granny loves the bridge faucet, too!

I swear, I had that exact, same utensil crock from Lillian Vernon in the 70’s!

hometown -- house kitchen after looking at door

Yes, I’ll admit it —

the natural wood floor is way better than the original tiles.

Look how sweet — that little pass-through window

looks into the adjacent breakfast nook:

hometown -- house kitchen after view to b'fast nook

Notice how they kept that original cupboard, which rules:

hometown -- house b'fast nook before

Erin asked Ben to make a new copper counter top,

+ he didn’t even complain!

hometown -- house b'fast nook after

We’d have been all like this:

cats fighting

Ha ha ha ha ha!

Now, then.

The breakfast nook benches were originally one very long church pew.

Good job!

hometown -- house b'fast nook 2

At the top of the stairs, there’s a cozy sitting area,

which, in my little world, would never be used,

but hey.  It’s cool.

hometown -- house sitting area

The best thing about the master bedroom is the tall wainscoting, which I love

+ which I now want for our own bedroom.

You can’t go wrong with pale blue walls, either!

hometown -- house bedroom after

Oh, + check out how the artwork’s been hung low,

on the wainscot, rather than above.

That vintage blue dresser is definitely calling my name!

hometown -- house bedroom 2

We’ve got that same blue striped blanket, from Target,

+ I think that groovy tan + white gingham bedding is from IKEA.

So.  Are you watching Hometown yet?

I’d love to hear what you think of it!


Finally! Landscaping!

Somehow, during this spring’s canned ham makeover,

we’ve managed to do some landscaping for the Dutch colonial.

FINALLY!

Here’s what’s happening out front:

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Needle scratch.

Wait.  Where are the plants?

How disappointed was I that the mulch + plants blend too much!?

surprised baby

Buzz kill!

We’ll just have to fix it!

I’m mulling over some possible remedies, so stay tuned.

For now, let’s get back to the landscaping happiness!

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We planted 7 barberry shrubs to accentuate our front bay

+ to complement the brick red in our beautiful stone foundation.

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Of course, these will make more of a statement

when they mature at around 3′ tall.

In the meantime, for height, we added my beloved pedestal + urn combo.

Doesn’t the lavender look great against our white siding?

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In front, we planted a row of pretty coral bells.

Their green + brick red color coordinates nicely with the barberries,

while their larger leaves add contrast, which is visually more interesting.

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Now it’s time for some flowers!

Something spiky at either end could provide fun exclamation points,

so we chose red-blooming astilbes.

Ours are a tad lackluster right now,

but fingers crossed — here’s what we’ll have:

astilberedsentinel

Aren’t those pretty?

Speaking of pretty, we planted one accent Knock Out rose at the far left side.

It will grow to about 4′ tall.

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Our plans are to add at least one more of this same rose

on the opposite side of the front of our house.

We are going to repeat the coral bells over there, too,

which should add some much-needed balance

to our asymmetrical house.

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Sooner than later — I hope — we’ll finally tackle + finish that porch of ours.

Notice how we painted the blocks black to add depth

+ make the lattice pop:

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Our front yard looks like there’s been an explosion, but no worries!

Our nice neighbor recently helped us remove the original sidewalks.

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We’ve already been shopping for bricks,

because my sidewalk hopes + dreams look a little something like these:

STAY TUNED!


Peel + Stick Subway Tiles

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I shan’t lie —

our canned ham counter top re-do was a real morale boost!

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I couldn’t wait to see how swell those groovy, new black counter tops

would look with the white subway tiles we’d chosen for our back splash . . .

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. . . so we didn’t wait.

Fast forward to this afternoon.

Behind those crazy scribbles (?), there’s G.O., installing our peel + stick tiles:

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Yes, it looks like he didn’t want his photo taken (sorry!),

+ I’m pretty sure he was swearing like a sailor at this point.

Turns out those tiles were insanely difficult to install!

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Think contact paper, in hell.

 But they look pretty fan-tastic, don’t they?

Perhaps it was worth it.

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NOW I can’t wait to see our sink + our new faucet back in place!

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Stay tuned!


Black Is Back

canned ham at arbys drive thru

When I last blogged, I’d bid a sad farewell

to my dream of groovy red appliances for our canned ham . . .

appliance -- igloo retro bar fridge

. . . but I bounced back by embracing the ham’s original black appliances.

I briefly flirted with the idea of painting our cabinets black,

because black is definitely a thing now, + I’m totally on board with it.

But please, though.

cats fighting

Black cabs were just not going to happen, not in my little world.

The good news is that I actually really like all the warm brown wood in our ham!

Let’s move on now + have a look-see at our counter tops:

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G.O. removed the sink (+ replaced the ugly faucet with this newer, cooler one!) . . .

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. . . + the stove top:

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And SURPRISE!  Our counter tops are now black!

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Yes, black!  Paint!  In a can!

Not the stuff that’s supposed to look like granite,

although I do kind of like that darker black at the far right:

rustoleum counter top kit

I wanted plain Jane black, instead:

rustoleum counter top paint

Dare I say that I am hoping for a soapstone counter vibe?

Anyway, the fumes are just nuts, so beware.

G.O. wore a half mask with charcoal chemical filters,

+ he didn’t smell a thing, not even inside our tiny canned ham!

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It’s best to paint in several light coats; these photos were taken after coat #1:

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But wait.  There’s more!

It’s not just our counter tops that are getting their paint/love . . .

. . . G.O. painted our walls Pittsburgh Paint’s Thin Ice!

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It’s a near-white with just a hint of gray,

+ has really brightened up the camper’s interior.

I LOVE IT!!!

Here you can see the difference between the original beige + the new light gray:

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That back splash area will soon be sporting some very cool press + stick subway tiles:

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L O V E !

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I can’t WAIT to see those tiles against the black counter tops!

So.  Lest you think that G.O. is doing all the heavy lifting, never fear!

I, too, have my own pet projects, about which I shall soon blog.

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Stay tuned!


Embracing Our Black Appliances

canned ham at arbys drive thru

In my most recent past post,

I mused about our canned ham camper’s appliances:

canned ham -- kitchen

After Plan A (replacing them with vintage-style red ones)

+ Plan B (spray painting them red) were quickly nixed by G.O,

 Plan C arrived — my embracing the black appliances.

Here’s what’s involved with Plan C:

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Let’s break it down, starting with the cabinets.

I want to paint them Pittsburgh Paint’s Black Magic:

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Black cabs are not only a ‘thing’ now,

but they will also make that black microwave disappear.

canned ham -- kitchen 2

Let’s also say goodbye to that bad beige kitchen wall,

+ hello to this peel + stick tile backsplash:

trailer -- tiles with grout

YUM!  That dark faux grout is pretty dreamy, isn’t it?

Next, we’ll change out the beige counter + table top

with this faux marble laminate:

canned ham formica sample with tabletop

The subtle veining adds just enough gray

to complement my mostly gray scheme — again, here:

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Our plans for edging the counters

are to go completely old school, with this product:

metal edging

One can find it online, from either Home Depot or Lowe’s;

sorry, I don’t have the link.

* * * *

Now, then.

Since I haven’t taken a photo of the ham’s existing vinyl flooring,

(it’s also beige — imagine that!),

you’ll have to trust me that I dislike it, too (imagine that!)

Here’s its replacement:

yet more peel + stick product — gray-ish oak vinyl planks!

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Now for the worst ‘offender’ in the canned ham’s interior:

canned ham settee and fire extinguisher

How quickly can we say ‘bye bye’

to the dinette’s very, very bad Motel 6-ish upholstery fabric?

Just say NO, am I right?

Well, it should be ‘leaving’ very soon,

as I’ve already selected my replacement upholstery fabrics.

The seats will be covered (by ME!)

in this crazy good indoor-outdoor gray from Calico Corners:

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I use the words ‘crazy good’

because it looks just like linen + is as soft as velvet!

(Did I mention that it’s indoor-outdoor fabric?!)

It’s going to wear like iron + clean like a breeze!

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Amazing!

But wait.  Here’s where things get even more exciting.

The seat backs will be covered with this blanket fabric,

San Miguel, from Pendleton:

pendleton blanket fabric by the yard

(Please notice the small red crosses;

more on adding red accents later!  Yay!)

Meanwhile, I’ve sketched out my design hopes + dreams, here:

I ordered the fabric last week,

but it’s not yet landed in our mailbox.

When it arrives, who knows?

The scale of the crosses might be wrong,

the gray might not play nicely with my Calico Corner gray,

or who knows what?

Fingers crossed, however,

or I may find myself scrambling** to come up with Plan D!

(**Not really — I’ve got it cued up + ready, just in case,

’cause, people.  That’s what I do.)

Anyway, stay tuned while I wait for the mail to arrive;

I’ll keep you posted!

 


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