Sunday, 30 June 2013

New updates + summer fun!

Whew, we have a lot to catch up on from the last five weeks!

After the studio reveal, I took a break from house projects to enjoy the summer. First up was our 4 year anniversary trip to Raleigh...

We were able to catch up with some old friends, check out the downtown area (the Trolley Pub tour was the highlight of our trip!), and see the all the beautiful homes in the amazing neighborhoods. It was all very "white picket fence" perfect—loved it there.

Next was a trip to Brad's hometown in Mississippi to visit his family and attend his high school reunion.

Here we also had the opportunity to visit with friends & family and take in the calm country scenery. We always have the best time visiting his family.

And finally, my favorite of all... a surprise flight to California to surprise my dad for Father's Day!

Follow me on instagram to keep up! @jennasuedesign

My sister and I had secretly planned this months ago and we pulled it off without a hitch (even after major flight delays!). My parents were completely shocked, and my dad said it was the best Father's day he's ever had. That made all the travel pains so worth it :)

Speaking of my little sister...

She's moving in with us! She's on her way to Florida right now, somewhere in the middle of Texas... I can't even tell you how excited I am.

She'll be staying in the "man cave", which I suppose we should now call the woman cave. It's only temporary until she finds a job and a place to live, but I can't believe my sister will be living in the same city as me! This will be the first time living near any family in eight years. We're going to have the best time ever.

Okay, moving right along... as you probably know, we're still in the middle of our new master bedroom remodel. I haven't made much progress on that end, but I have decided that our living room needs a little facelift.

It all started with a new slipcover for the couch. I decided to switch things up a bit with a pattern:

It feels very casual beach house to me, and I think it will really liven up all of the neutral decor. I have the slipcover ready to go but I'm waiting until all the other pieces are in to put it on.

We were also way overdue for a new area rug...

(ignore the super oldness of this photo—but it's the only shot I could find of the whole rug):

Not only was it past its' prime, but it was wayyyyy too small for this space. We brought it with us from our old house where it fit perfect in the living room, but this room is about 4x larger than our old one so it was all wrong.

But I'm glad I waited, because I found The One.

I had spotted it on Rugs USA for 50% off about a month ago, and didn't even bother continuing my search. It was perfect. And cheap. A week later I went to buy it and just my luck—it was now 65% off!

An 8x10 100% jute rug for $152 shipped.... yes, please!

It completely transforms the room.

And those tassels are just the icing on the cake. I want to buy ten for every room in my house. I can't get enough.

And I love the way it looks with my new couch fabric:

I also have a new coffee table in the works along with a couple accessories, so I'm excited for this room transformation!

On to some not so good news...

Remember these salt dough decorations I made and proudly hung in our new bedroom?

Well, sadly, they are no more.

I was in a deep slumber one night, and heard a giant thud. I woke up to find the anchor missing... it had split in two and fallen behind the TV. Yikes...

So I put it off for a while, trying to figure out what I was going to do. I still loved the idea of an anchor there and wanted to salvage it somehow, so I hot glued it back together...

There were a few more cracks towards the bottom, so I decided to break the bottom part off and fill all the cracks with glue to reinforce it:

The hot glue is a lot sturdier than the actual dough itself, so I felt confident that now that the stuff had finally dried through and worked out its air pockets, it had all the cracks out of its system and wouldn't be giving me any more major trouble. At least I hope not. Lesson learned... if you're working with salt dough—keep it on a smaller scale. And/or don't hang your heavy objects... gravity always wins.

Even my plaque was letting gravity get the best of it...

I couldn't come up with a good way to salvage that so I decided to scrap it all together and come up with a plan B.

My Plan B was walking through the aisles of Hobby Lobby, hoping to find some inspiration. A 10" round piece of wood and some rope caught my eye:

It was a $4 investment, so I figured it was worth a shot.

After considering a few options, I decided on printing my "Come Sail Away" phrase on thick paper, gluing it to the face of the wood, and using the rope as trim.

Step 1: Printing out my design.

Step 2: Gluing it to the wood (I used Krylon Spray Adhesive, love this stuff), then trimming off the excess:


Then it was time for the finishing touches.

I used a line of hot glue, and slowly worked my way around the edge:

Easy Peasy.

Finally, I drilled a hole at the top and fed my twine through.


I kinda like this one better anyway. So I'm glad you cracked, stupid salt dough.

Then I turned my attention to my poor anchor. I figured the best thing to do was to simply cover it up with something interesting. I thought about paper mache, then newspaper... then I dug through my spare fabric drawer and pulled out a stash of scrap linen:

I thought it had a cool natural look and would be interesting layered and wrapped over my anchor, so it was settled.

I cut my scraps into thin pieces and gathered my materials:

I really didn't have a specific game plan in mind, so I just started covering it with modge podge and strips of fabric.

Then I started wrapping it until all the blue was covered:

After trimming off the scraggly threads, I had myself a linen anchor:

What do you think? Brad says it looks like a mummy. That's cool with me. It's still an anchor.

So, there's my project re-do update. I hate doing things over, but it was a lesson learned... and now I know for the future!

Something else did come of this project though... I loved the "Come Sail Away" quote so much that I decided to make a print out of it:

I made a couple other new prints as well, and released them as part of my Fresh New Summer Prints promo:

And while I'm on the topic... I wasn't going to roll this out for a few more days, but I'll give you guys first dibs since you patiently waited five weeks for a new post :)

I'm feelin' a little generous on this fine Sunday evening, so I'm giving away a limited number of 5x7" NYC City Map postcards (in black, as shown in the photo above) plus 10% off any order!

Here's how:

1. Visit and start shopping!
2. Add your print(s) of choice to your cart (you don't need to add the NYC map)
3. At the end of the checkout process, enter the code FREEPOSTCARD to receive your 10% discount
4. The postcard will be added to your order and shipped to your door right away!
(The code will be deactivated once the postcards are sold out). 

That's it for now! I've got some crab cakes to bake and a hungry man to feed, so I'm off...

Susie says "Happy Summer!"

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Help me decorate/modernise these newly made-over armchairs and sofa!!!

Here is the finished product! My very first make-over project :)

The colour of the backrest and the armchair on the left, doesn't look quite right in the photo, must be the lighting on something... But let me assure you, it looks just like regular black leather in real life :)

But now, the question is... How to modernise this antique sofa, and at the same time soften the harshness of black leather?

The problem is, I still don't know where these pieces will end up, so would prefer for the cushions/throws to be versatile, and able to fit in anywhere... if that's even possible?

I generally like white, black and navy. I don't mind a bit of colour, but not too much!

I can't wait to read your suggestions on cushion size, colour, pattern etc :)


Friday, 28 June 2013

Plantation shutters and a NEW sofa!!!!

Some exciting stuff has happened around here lately.... Firstly, we placed a deposit for 3 plantation shutters (as a trial)... and a few days ago we placed a deposit on a custom made sofa for the family room.

The plantation shutters are for the study, and bedrooms 3 and 4. If they work out and we are happy with everything, we will order the rest (the arched windows and the more important rooms).

And after years of over thinking the new sofa, we decided to go with a black leather 3 seater. It will be made in Melbourne and we've chosen a lovely Italian leather. The seats will be made out of Dunlop Enduro foam,.Black Cat Webbing will be use, but we are yet to decide the exact seat and cushion firmness, and depth and height of the sofa.

Can you tell how excited I am? :)


Mom's Pure Wisdom

I was recently presented with the opportunity to work with Nestlé® Pure Life® on their Mom's Pure Wisdom/Hydration Movement campaign, and it just seemed like such a natural extension of something I already wanted to talk about... so I jumped at the opportunity! 

During a time when my step dad Edd's suffering was at its hardest and ugliest, I remember talking to my mom one day about things going on in my life, and I remember feeling sheepish and hesitant to mention some of what I was struggling with because here she was, watching her husband suffer intensely and ultimately slip away, so what right did I have to talk about my petty "problems?" I said to her, "I know it's nothing compared to what you guys are going through, so..." and she stopped me right there and said something that made a big impact on me. It was along the lines of, "Jenni, I don't want you to feel like you can't tell me what's going on in your life because you feel it doesn't compare to what I'm going through. We all have our own struggles and they are all important, and I never want anyone to feel like their problems aren't big enough to matter because they don't measure up to mine or someone else's."

What she said made an impact on me for a number of reasons, because here she was, someone going through something more excruciating than you can imagine, and she was saying that my problems were important, too, and they were not diminished by the magnitude of hers.

So why am I saying all this? I guess I've been thinking about it a lot lately because, especially here on the Internet, it can be so tempting to belittle others who complain about problems we feel are petty or that aren't as big and bad as our problems or the next guy's problems - believe me, I've been there, done that. "What right do you have to complain when you could be having ___(fill in the blank)__ happen to you?" And there is something to be said for perspective, most definitely. I think we should all consider our blessings before we whine, especially publicly. But my mom, in that moment that she validated my feelings in the midst of her own much "worse" problems, helped me realize that it truly does others a disservice if we act like they have no right to feel what they feel since there are others going through worse things. There will always be someone who has it worse, just like there will always be someone with something bigger and better than what you have. We are all human beings in this life thing together, and we are all learning perspective and coping and strength along the way, whether our problems are big or small in comparison. Just a little something to chew on today, and to remember going forward.

*This post is sponsored by Nestlé® Pure Life® and is part of a campaign to promote hydration (as well as mom's wisdom!). Please be sure and visit the Nestlé® Pure Life® Facebook wall and leave a comment with the hashtag #momswisdom sharing what your mother (or grandmother!) told you and how it has made you a better person. :)
*Thank you to Linquia for the opportunity and ideas!


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Feature Friday: Cape 27

Today I am featuring the fresh and bright home of Jessie from the blog Cape 27.  If you have been following my blog for awhile you may remember her original home tour on my blog here. I'm so excited that she is back with a new and improved home tour! Here is what she says she loves most about here home. 

When we choose pieces for our home we try to steer clear of anything "style" specific. I could say that I like classic pieces with rustic, industrial, and vintage mixed in, but really it's just anything that feels right at the time. My heart definitely has to be in it. So as far as what I love about our home, it's knowing that each and every piece represents us, and what we're drawn towards, not just decor that fits into a certain "style". I love that everything isn't necessarily meant to go together!



Read about this DIY Plank Wall here

Read more about this custom art creation here



Read more about this DIY map art project here



Read more about this ombre dresser transformation here


Thanks so much to Jessie for sharing her house with us! Make sure you check out her blog here

Go here to check out past Feature Fridays.