11.30.2012

Getting The Wrinkles Out Of Slipcovers

After being stuck in transit for over two weeks, the slipcovers for my new Ikea Henriksdal armchairs finally arrived!

It was like Christmas morning, opening that package!  Little by little this room is coming together.

So here we are with another edition of Rocket Science.  Yep - a post dedicated to getting the wrinkles out.  I am such a June Cleaver today.

As  you can imagine, the slipcovers come out of their package wrinkled like crazy.  {I couldn't help but put one right on the chair.  I was dying to see it on there in my dining room!!}

Wrinkles and all, I'm so happy with them!  They are comfortable, casual and surprisingly sturdy.  

Yes, I have a very large, furry dog and three wild and crazy kids, and yes, we eat a lot of Italian food with red sauce and drink red wine nightly occasionally, and I still chose white slipcovered dining chairs.  For the table that we eat at every day.  Yes I did.

I might soon be eating my words instead of red sauce, but I love the fact that these slipcovers can be washed and bleached.  I'll report back to you as to how they hold up in an active house like mine.

I wouldn't define my style as shabby chic, but I think if you're going to buy cotton duck slipcovered furniture like all the Ikea chairs and sectionals that so many of us have now, you have to be open to a certain level of wrinkliness.  It's the nature of the fabric that it's not going to be perfectly wrinkle-free, especially after being sat in.  

However - little preliminary de-wrinkling when they first come out of the package or the wash will make your slipcovers look wonderful.

Joan of For The Love Of A House was so sweet to offer me some suggestions after I posted about her chairs being my inspiration for this purchase.  Joan suggesting not putting the slipcovers in the dryer after washing; let them air dry and then iron when damp.  I will definitely be using this tip.  Thanks Joan!

When de-wrinkling straight from the package, I used a combination of ironing, and also my favorite product ever, Downy Wrinkle Releaser (fyi:  this is not a sponsored post.  I'm just a big fan of cutting corners and taking the easy way out of things!)  Ironing gets out the major wrinkles (and is a complete pain in the patootie to do with a slipcover); the Wrinkle Releaser will smooth out wrinkles that you incur when putting the slips on your chairs. You can skip the ironing altogether too - check out these two chair backs.  The one on the left was ironed and then wrestled onto the chair; the one on the right was de-wrinkled only with the Wrinkle Releaser, after the slipcover was put on.  

The trick with the Wrinkle Releaser to spray generously, then pull the fabric taut.  Pulling the fabric does make it ripple a bit so beware.  A cloth on the floor catches excess spray (and makes me think a striped Dash & Albert rug would look cute in here!)

The slips can definitely use a bit more Wrinkle Releaser, but I'm not going to be too fussy with them.  The goal is casual, comfortable, but pulled together.


I love the scale of the chairs in our dining room; they definitely anchor the table a bit more.  The other great thing about them is that they are lightweight and I can use them in the adjoining living room for additional seating, or the kids can easily pull one up the computer in the office armoire.  


One baby step forward!

Now off to clean my house - it looks a lot cleaner in these pictures than it is in real life!
Hope you have something fun planned for the weekend - a Christmas tree perhaps??
Enjoy and thanks for visiting my little blog!

11.29.2012

Free Chalkboard Christmas Card Printables!

Hey friends!  I'm so glad so many of you find that tip on writing on chalkboards useful.

While we're on that subject this week, I thought I'd share this awesome collection of FREE printable chalkboard-style Christmas cards!  They were created and are being offered - did I mention for FREE? - by Ashlee of I'm Topsy Turvy and her sister Chelsea of Chelsea Peterson Photography.

I already ordered my cards for this year but I saved the templates for next year.  Aren't they fabulous??



All you have to do to save the templates is "like" Ashlee and Chelsea's Facebook pages.  Visit I'm Topsy Turvy for the links!

Thank you Ashlee and Chelsea for sharing these with the world!  There are so many nice people in the blogosphere!

11.28.2012

Host A Wreath Decorating Party

The other night I went to a wreath decorating get-together orchestrated by some of the moms at my son's new school.  The kids that go to his school are from all over Boston, so it was really nice to meet some of these ladies, seeing as Peter spends a big portion of his life with their boys.


I didn't take any pictures at the event {I'm the newbie and I thought it might be kind of weird if I whipped out my camera and started taking pictures of the supplies!!} but basically the hostess bought the wreaths and assigned everyone certain items to bring.

There was a large area in her home devoted to the supplies.  Several glue guns were plugged in and awaiting us on covered tables and the crafty and uncrafty alike glued and wired all sorts of fabulously sparkly things onto our wreaths.  Everyone helped each other while we enjoyed light appies and sweets, a glass of vino and a few laughs.

It was interesting to see how different each wreath came out!

These days I find myself drawn to natural elements and so the wreath I made is quite amusing to me.    I was looking to do just a bunch of ribbon cascading down from the bottom of my wreath, but ended up coming home with this very blinged out little number (with a couple of my rub-n-buffed shells hanging on there for dear life - I just can't quit them!!)

What can I say, I got caught up in gluing sparkly things onto my wreath.  Actually, I glued, and then ripped off, glued and ripped off - as usual I am much better at helping other people with their color schemes and designs than I am with my own.   And despite all the bling on my wreath, I think mine was the least decked-out.  I wanted my little Rudolph to be the star of the show - what do you think?  Does he say - fun and whimsical, or who's the crazy lady???

The wreath decorating event was tons of fun and would be a great evening to organize for your neighborhood, or a girls night in with your friends before the craziness of the season hits us all.

Here are some ideas for hosting your own party:

  • Pick up plain wreaths wherever you can find them the cheapest.
  • Assign the participants an item to bring.  You might choose to have each person bring supplies in an assigned color, or a specific item like ball ornaments or ribbon.  Any unopened ribbon or decor can be returned after the party.
  • Ask your guests to bring a glue gun and glue sticks if they have them; if you have a big crowd a couple power strips wouldn't hurt either.
  • Spray-on snow was a big hit at the party I was at.
  • Keep food light.  Nuts - chocolate covered pretzels - veggies and dip are fine for an event like this.  Don't forget the bevvies.
  • Your house is going to get messy!  If this stresses you out, you may want to host this event outside or in the garage.
Such a fun idea - I wish I had thought to do this with my girlfriends years ago!


There's nothing like a little sparkle and the smell of evergreens to get in the holiday spirit!

11.27.2012

Fancy Chalkboard Lettering



It's no secret I'm a big fan of chalkboards.  I'm a doodler, a list-maker, and a lover of quotes, and it's just plain old fun to write on the walls.

Do you want to draw on your chalkboard all fancy-like for the Christmas season???  It's as easy as pie.  (oooooh I ate too much pie this Thanksgiving.  why why why can't I just say no to pie??)

To give your chalkboards a little flair for the holidays, try this trick that I have also used for making my Destinations sign, and also for tracing a monogram onto fabric.

Play around with the message, sizing, and font in Word, then print out.  Cut out the words and arrange them until you have the desired effect.

Use the side of a piece of chalk to color the back side of the words. (never mind that I am showing the tip of the chalk in this picture….use the side…..much quicker!)

Use a pencil to trace the words onto your chalkboard.  It will leave a light imprint.  Do one line of words at a time so you don't smudge your traced letters.

Wet the tip of a piece of chalk and then go over the traced letters, filling in and embellishing.  The wet chalk will dry nice and bright (white or colored).  I kept the paper next to me so I could refer to it and recreate where the letters were thicker for this calligraphy font.

Keep a little dish of water and a paper towel next to you for "erasing" any boo-boos.  Q-tips are great if  you are doing a more extensive design.

You can a border with a ruler, or use fancy fonts to print out designs that can embellish your chalkboard.

It doesn't have to be perfect - but using a mix of fonts as your guide can definitely add a little something- something to your chalkboard art!  Simple or fancy, just have fun with it!

Here are a few of my favorite inspirations.


Fun for a family room (or my basement!)




Make a chalkboard menu for your dining room.  Create circles by tracing a plate.

This one looks like it was drawn with a chalkboard marker.  You can find them here.

I love this one so much and these words are bound to make their way into our master bedroom!

…and this one is destined for the chalkboard walls in all my kids' rooms :)

Such a great idea for a covered entry!


{via}

Hannah just put a new message on the little chalkboard in our dining room last night.  It couldn't be more appropriate for this house!!!

Have a wonderful day, and start of the Christmas season my lovelies!

11.26.2012

Mangia Monday:: November Highlights

Welcome to Mangia Monday, friends!  I hope you had a wonderful Thankgiving!

Every Monday I co-host MM with my fun friend Kristin of Delightfully Dowling.  Don't miss Kristin's awesome recipes - she's training to be a chef and she's got some delicious ideas to share!  (And also the most delicious little side kick!)

As usual, our Mangia Mondays players totally blew us away in the month of November.  I will need to host or go to about 50 parties to make all these awesome recipes I learned from you this month!  I present to you some of the highlights from the past month.

This Egg McMuffin Casserole hails from Mo 'Betta and would be great to serve a crowd for breakfast or brunch during the holidays.

I need to try this Homemade Applesauce from Or So She Says.  My kids eat applesauce every.single.day of their lives and like peanut butter, I'm always running out.  Plus I like the idea of being able to sweeten it but control the sugar content!

Little meatballs are always fun at a party - try a twist on them for your next holiday soiree with these Spicy Chicken Meatballs by Linda Makiej.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortellini from Six Sisters' Stuff is great for this busy time of the year.

I don't know about you, but I feel like all I do in the month of December is eat.  This Asian Flavored Salmon from Housewife How-Tos is perfect for a lighter yet satisfying meal to counterbalance all those rich and fattening holiday delights!


Pan Fried Scallops with Golden Almonds and Creamy Cauliflower from Beyond The Peel sounds like something on the menu in a fancy restaurant, and this presentation makes me think I might like cauliflower!!  How good does this look???

Food Done Light offers this beautiful Thyme, Rosemary and Yogurt Roasted Turkey Breast.  The presentation is just lovely and the use of Greek yogurt instead of butter is so intriguing to me.  If yogurt works in chicken dishes, why not a roasted turkey?

Looking for something yummy to take to a holiday get-together?  The Chic Geek shared Pecan Coconut Brownies that look divine.

Pumpkin Maple Whoopie Pies?  Yes please!  These are from See Sara Bake.

Check out these amazing-looking Gingerbread Cupcakes with Pumpkin Frosting and Candied Pecans from Life With The Crust Cut Off.  Don't those flavors sound delicious together??

Did you cook up anything fabulous for Thankgiving?  Share your favorite recipes, or a kitchen tip or restaurant that you've enjoyed, by linking up or sharing in comments.  If you link up, please remember to link back to Shine Your Light or Delightfully Dowling, or include a Mangia Mondays button in your post.

Thanks for joining us today!