Friday, October 30, 2009

FAB Friday it is

Oops, I almost did it again.  Forget to put up the FAB Friday image.  I don't know that it's that I'm so forgetful as that I often seem to lose track of what day it is.  Which is what happens when you work for yourself at home AND your DH is retired.  Days sometimes lose their name.  I actually have a little calender taped to my keyboard to help me remember dates but at time even that fails to penetrate the brain.  Plus I've been working on getting ready for an art show in Raleigh the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend.  My brain and my focus is being pulled in many different directions.  When I can I try to compartmentalize days and say okay, tomorrow concentrate on Etsy work, the next day the online store and take photos and write descriptions, the following day aim for studio time, so forth and so on...but we know it doesn't always work that way don't we.  There are emails and phones to answer, distractions and interruptions and unexpected happenings or snafus.  All part of  a day's work.  So I have days when I feel so scattered I feel I get nothing accomplished.  But today I concentrated on tags for the show and actually got a bunch done.  Yay! :-)

So it's late in the evening but it's still Friday and here is the FAB (free atc background) Friday free image.  If you like it, take it, use it as you will.  If you don't like it come back next Friday to see if I have something you like better.  I never know until I hit the Save As button what you will see.

I'm wishing everyone a BOO-ti-ful weekend.
post signature

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The DIY "bug" spreads

This is more of, how one thing leads to another, post. In a previous post I put up the image of the new chippy aqua cabinet that ended up in my dining room. My dining room that has always had a yellow, red, green and black theme. Well I love my distressed black cabinet and my black china cabinet and they look great with the aqua cabinet and the black toile I used in the door of the cabinet.  But I'm having to remove the red fabric in the china cabinet and the doors of the built in book shelves so I can bring in some accents of that kind of aqua-y/blue color.

And even though yellow goes with the new cabinet color and kitchen walls (that you can see from the DR) it needs to be a pale yellow and my yellow is too strong. And the question became... what to do. I really didn't want to repaint the dining room but when push came to shove I knew I had to do it.  My dining room is the worst room in the house to take pictures so please forgive this one.  It is a sample I did.  You can see some of the yellow.  Above the chair rail I will use a color called Cream in my Coffee...doesn't it sound delish?!  And thanks to my dear friend Lulu of Coastal Sisters who shared her foyer color with me, that is what will go below the chair rail.   I love it!  Thanks sweet Lulu!

Now you have to understand it was never my intention of redoing my dining room. At all!  But (and by now you know there is ALWAYS a but) one simple piece of furniture that I fell in love with has changed everything.  Literally.  Luckily Mr. Shabby is okay with this new DIY project.  His only concern being that I put the stencil design that I did on the yellow wall, back on the new wall.  So that's part of what you see on the image above.  Gail playing with the stencil color.

Now here comes the part that gets me really excited!  I've been wanting a new dining room table ForEVAH!  What we have now has been okay in all our other homes but is so not fitting into the scheme of things in this house.  Blond oak wood  is NOT a cottage look.  But today I found the table that is.  At a steal!!!
I ordered it!!! :-)

Ain't it gorgeous?!
 I only ordered the table.  I already have chairs I've been wanting to paint, once I figure out how I want to do them...hmmm...maybe a little aqua, maybe a little black perhaps?  Oh I'm so excited about this baby.  I can't wait to get it!

The other thing I got excited about was something Mr Shabby did for me.  I really felt I needed a better way to store my fabric.  Every time I pull out something the stacks fall over and I just shove it back in and then it becomes a mess. 

My problem was my studio is so small how could I add something that solved the problem but wasn't a space eater?

And here is what Mr Shabby built for me.  7 feet of cubby holes! 

And only 7 inches deep. We just scooted the cabinet over a tad and it fit right at the

See?  Hardly takes up any room at all.  And I got to reorganize my shelves.  Again.  It is a sickness isn't it?

post signature

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fabric Art Collage by Rebekah Meier

Do you like fabric?  Work in mixed media?  Or not?  Looking for some really fun ideas and inspriation?
Then get this book.

Some of you know about my recent developing passion for working in fabric.  Like all newcomers to a new art form I am hungry for information, ideas and inspiration.  And remember...I don't sew!  Rebekah offers well written information in her book that I understand came out this spring.  The images alone are great eye candy.  But it's more than that, it's instructions on how to accomplish her techniques.

   I was doing a general search at Amazon when what caught my eye about this particular book was it's title.  And since I do call myself a mixed media artist I of course had to check out the mixing of fabric and mixed media techniques.

I wasn't disappointed.  I've already tried one of the techniques and got way excited with the results! 
Thank you Rebekah for the inspiration.  I can't wait to play some more!
post signature

Friday, October 23, 2009

More makeover pictures & FAB Friday image

This is how one thing leads to another.  Mr. Shabby has been saying to me for a long time, "wouldn't the kitchen be nice with a small gas fireplace in it?"  Mrs. Shabby of course agrees with him but her practical nature asserts itself and claims, "yes, but our eat in area really is to small for  fireplace".  This is a discussion that has continued in many, many forms for quite some time now, in fact a verrrry looong time.  And Mrs. Shabby gave in.  BUT.  And you know there is always a but.  IF we do that we will have to go to a really small table to make some room for this fireplace you insist on dear.  And so we compromised.

Mr. Shabby got his fireplace (now residing in the infamous dining room where all projects seem to end up in wait limbo)

And since we have a nice dining room we could switch to a small bistro style table just for two in the eat in area.  And so Mrs. Shabby got this adorable bunny table and chairs.

So then the conversation went like this.  Well I guess we better go ahead and buy the kitchen flooring and get that installed then the gas people only have to come out once to cut the hole in the floor and do the connection.  Okay, sounds reasonable to me.

But... and you know there is always a but...since we're going to redo the walls we should do those first before we lay the floor.  Yep, sounds reasonable to me because then we don't have to worry about getting paint and "stuff" on the new floor.

I decided to do wallpaper below the bead board and under the chair rail. But...yep, you know there is always a but... somehow I missed the wallpaper calculation by one sheet(!) so we had to stop and wait.  It arrived today so tomorrow we can finish wallpapering.

I thought I would do a nice glaze treatment on the textured wallpaper.  Paint it the same aqua blue color as the wall, glaze with a nice earth brown (I've done this color combo before and it's beautiful) but for some reason on the wallpaper sample it just looks dirty.  So, I'm rethinking below the chair rail and am considering maybe a kind of brown but...yes, there is always a but isn't there.... I'm stuck right now on this so who knows what color it will actually end up.

Then I found this old cabinet I fell in love with.
It's hard to tell in this photo because it was a bad light day and the yellow is influencing everything but the outside is a great chippy aqua.  The inside was an ugly brown so that part got repainted.   Then I had to figure out what to do about the empty sides and door.  I wanted practical storage...I already have a built in glass front china cabinet in the dining room for the pretty stuff.

And I had a roll of this fabric hanging around from when I ordered it years ago but never got around to using.  So here it is finished.  The shelves inside give me great storage for so many things.

But now....and there is always a but isn't there(!)...I have to redo my dining room color scheme because while I've loved the yellow it is just now to strong with everything else going on.  I've already changed out the red fabric you see peeking in the corner of this pic to the fabric you see peeking out in the fireplace pic above.

 So yesterday I picked up some color swatches .  Some kind of cream color for sure (probably below the chair rail). And a form of tan/brown above?  Or vice versa?  Oh my now I'm in more "think" mode.  And then I'll have to recreate the stencil design above the chair rail because Mr Shabby loves it...and after that then I'll have to...

Oh the joy of DIY projects! :-)

Here is your FAB (free atc background) Friday image.  If you like it, take it and use it for whatever you want.  If you don't like it, there will be something else next Friday, so stop back by.

I'm wishing everyone a super weekend! 

post signature

Monday, October 19, 2009

Add a signature to your blog posts ~ Easy Peasy!

If you have access to a photo editor then check out Fab Tutorials and learn an easy way to add a custopm signature to your blog posts.  I literally did it in 3 minutes!  I saved my as a gif file so the background would stay transparent and you would only see my signature.

post signature

Friday, October 16, 2009

FAB Friday on Friday! And a kitchen story Oh My!

Yes I'm actually doing it! Posting the FAB Friday image on Friday. New around here? FAB (free ATC background)Friday is when I post an image you can grab and use however you like. It comes off my digital drawing board, is always 2.5" x 3.5" when created (atc size). So if you like it feel free to grab it for yourself and if you don't like it stop back next week because I never know what comes off that drawing board until it's done.

Have you ever done a DIY kitchen renovation?  It's an interesting process.  Of course the first thing we usually want to do is design our dream kitchen.  But.  And there is always a but.  First you have to consider budget...the most important thing...and what can actually be done within those confines.  Then you have to know how to compromise, because if you don't have a big budget (like us) and you are making it fit an existing space (meaning no walls moved or tore down) then most likely say bye bye dream kitchen and get truly creative. 

Our actual working kitchen area is small, about 11 x (almost)12 and only two walls with which to work in counter space, sink and appliances. 

So here is our kitchen the morning we first saw the inside of the house.  We actually combined a vacation  with house looking.  Our Realtor was nice enough to meet us the morning we were leaving (at 7:30 AM!) so we could get a look inside before we headed back to Florida.  Notice all the upgrades and all the counter space! LOL

And by the by, what cabinets were there, were metal!  And rusty dirty!  Ack!

But I saw potential...a diamond in the rough.
Little did I know I would be living the "rough" for almost 8 years because the kitchen needed an complete overhaul and our budget wasn't going there yet!

We tore out everything but the sink.  Even took the down the old wallboard because it also didn't feel clean and we had to know what we would deal with behind the walls.

And this is what I had to depress me whenever I came to my kitchen.  You know how much time we spend in a kitchen right?!

Wondering what that is under the lights? An old dresser we've been using to store dishes and utensils and use as our one and only counter. The old sink is porcelain and had slanted ridged sides so they could not be used as counter space. Oh. And notice the clean dishes? EIGHT YEARS WITHOUT A DISHWASHER LADIES! So this is why in my previous posts I was so excited about the dishwasher

Since we are doing the kitchen our self it has to be done in stages.  The sink wall has been the first stage.  And it is almost done!  The tile for the back splash is bought but not up yet.  The glass fronted cabinets that run from the fridge side to the oven side above the sink is now on order and then a few finishing details and that part will be done.  Can you hear me singing hallelujah???

The cabinets for the other wall were all ordered today and hopefully by early spring we will have the stove side of the kitchen done (fingers crossed).  It's hard to wait but I figure if I can wait 8 years I can get through this!

Now we're working on the eat in area of the kitchen and I'll be back later with pictures for that.   New flooring (purchased and waiting) ceiling tiles and crown molding will be the last things done in the kitchen.  Or at least that's the plan.  And one thing you learn about DIY projects is that plans can and absolutely do change!

I wish everyone a wonderful weekend!  Me?  I'll be hanging wallpaper below a chair rail. :-)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Celebrate Friday on Monday? Why Not!

Happy Columbus Day everyone (it is that holiday isn't it? My brain is on holiday is all I know LOL)  Goodness but it was absolutely crazy last week around here at the cottage!  So much so I once again forgot to post the FAB Friday free image.  Some of you know we are in the middle of a kitchen renovation and things got sped up last week to the point where whenever I turned around Mr. Shabby was saying we need to go to town for this...for this... and for that. And please, don't think for a nanosecond, no matter how much I love that man, that he is going to town to EVEN make a decision about my kitchen without me! ;-) So all of a sudden I found myself having to make a firm committed decision to flooring,cabinet design for the other side of the kitchen etc. Last night I was so exhausted from all the thinking, deciding, staying focused and the whole commitment thing! LOL I had to go to bed early.

So between all that, the store Birthday sale and the Mind Wide Open contest poor FAB(free atc background) Friday got overlooked.  But we'll just do it today on Monday. :-)   As always the image is atc size 2.5" x 3.5" and you can use it for whatever you want and if you don't like it come back next week when (hopefully on Friday) I'll have another FAB Friday image for you.

Friday, October 2, 2009

LET'S PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!! and FAB Friday

We're CELEBRATING a BIRTHDAY!  Shabby Cottage Studio the online store is two years old today!

It's hard to believe!  My little online venture is growing and evolving and always teaching me something new.
I have the best customers in the world, a lot of whom have become friends and I want to show my thanks and appreciation by having a SALE!

 Today (10/2) through midnight Thursady (10/8)
 Everything in the store is 25% OFF
(excluding online classes)

Along with the sale I am having a lot of giveaways!  14 to be exact!  2 a day for the week of the sale!
Here is how it works:
For every order placed the name of the customer will be added to the pool.  And next Friday I will begin randomly drawing names from that pool until all 14 Freebies are gone!

And I have some great gifts for I'll be drawing for!

How about a one year Free subscription to Totally Creative Magazine (see my review in the post below)
Fun products from the store like German Glass Glitter, Glimmer Mist, Maya products  AND MORE!
Also one lucky winner will win a FREE WORKSHOP of their choice from Creative Workshops!

So come on by and join the party at Shabby Cottage Studio
Do some shopping and get some great deals
and your name will be added to our drawing pool to win a chance for some fun prizes!

Oh my I almost forgot our FAB(free atc background) Friday image!    Remember this is yours to use however you like.  If you like it, take it, if not, come back next Friday to see what the next FAB Friday image might be.  Your guess is as good as mine! :-)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

More Inspiration

I have recently been introduced to a new magazine.  My very first digital magazine!  So I had no idea what to expect. I must say I was pleasantly surprised when the PDF copy of Totally Creative magazine landed in my inbox the other day.  Fifty pages of craftiness!  Normally I am not a craft magazine sort of person and I did not expect the magazine to be of this size or so chock full of ideas and projects!

A few of the the first things I noticed and liked about this digital magazine actually wasn't the projects.What I really liked, and appreciated, was the fact that being a PDF, I can zoom in on the type if needed to read something easier. how nice it was to be able to have wonderful quality pictures of the projects AND be able to zoom in on them while retaining that wonderful quality. Last on my list of likes was the fact that in the supply lists I can simply click on a number of product links to go directly to the product website.In a regular magazine I have to bring the magazine to the computer and type in the addresses I want to visit.I must say so far I'm diggin' on this whole digital magazine thing. :-)And if I absolutely needed a hard copy in my hand I can simply print out what I want.

Now I explored further and started to look at the individual parts. I enjoyed the Feature articles, especially Diary of a Disorganized Designer Diva Part 1.You know what hooked me into reading his article?This statement made by author Madeline Faiella...."reality is not like those fancy crafting studios you see in creative magazines."Because it is a sentiment I have held for a long Yes we all want our studios or craft room to look nice but they have to be functional too and look like someone really works there! So the article was refreshing for me.The other feature article I enjoyed was Creative Niche: Organizing Your Creative Space.Ummm, maybe you can see the path my thinking was following. ;-)

There were some wonderful in depth tutorials and simple projects that didn't have that "simple" look and they covered a gamut of materials and ideas from clay to fabric to paper to wool & needle felting.There were projects for crafting with the kids and some crafting just for mom.Which works for me as my kids are both 4 legged and they keep getting tangled in the project and are just generally not helpful.

I also loved the product reviews! As a seller of altered art and mixed media supplies and an artist who also uses those supplies, a product review will grab me every time! If you haven't had a chance to check out this magazine yet (I think it's not been on the market that long) I say go for it!You can purchase it by the single issues or subscribe.And right now I notice they are offering a discount on their subscription price.You will find them at