Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Summer Projects

 First thing's first...

Girl's Night Out was a huge success!  We danced to JT, ate good food, and believe it or not... we actually ran into a few familiar faces.  Oh, and if I may say so myself, our dresses made a pretty cute duo.

In other news, I've been working on a few projects around the new place, and I thought I would share one.  J recently turned an old glider into a tree swing... which made outside time (our favorite) increase drastically.  However, with the added outside time being under a tree near a high traffic walking path, it didn't necessarily create the private lawn seating we'd hoped.  We still love it, but I decided to make a new seating area closer to the door so we can escape from Code Red and other crazies quicker than two shakes of a lamb's tail.

(There's a hint to my favorite movie hidden in that last sentence.)  :)

We have two concrete benches on our front stoop that I thought would serve well as a little reading nook.  It's also covered... so we could even sit out there during a peaceful drizzle (my favorite reading backdrop).  I just needed it to be comfy and cozy, and I had a long way to go!

Here's the before:

I decided to make two cushions for the benches.  You may not know this, but memory foam sold in craft stores might as well be gold.  It is CRAZY expensive.  Luckily, J and I had an old queen size mattress topper we were going to donate to the dumpster (due to the inevitable sink hole it created when two people attempted sleep at the same time).  I convinced J to help me measure the benches and cut the foam to fit Saturday.  By Saturday evening, I had a new seating area.

Tools needed:
- an old mattress topper or egg crate
- outdoor fabric
-razor blade
-measuring tape
-sewing gear

I'm a bit of a spastic seamstress, so I don't do well with patterns.  I just laid the foam on top of the fabric and cut about two inches from the outline.  (I needed enough to cover the thickness of the padding, but I still wanted the fabric to be relatively taught.)  Once the fabric was cut, I turned it inside out, pinned down the edges, and started sewing.  See, spastic.  I don't measure with these types of things...  I just go for it.  As long as I'm only working with basic pillows and such... it normally turns out.  Normally.  I had both the cushions finished before dinner, and in plenty of time for a little evening enjoyment.  By far the quickest, most satisfying project I've ever done.

I was lucky enough to find this fabric 1/2 off at a local fabric shop in Charleston.  I purchased 5 yards for both cushions and two pillows, and I still have left over!  The cost for these pretty little things came to a grand total of $33!  I'm a happy girl.  The benches measured 5ft long and 15 inches deep.  This mattress top allowed plenty of foam for both benches, and I even have left over to make the pup a new bed.  Score.

Puppy helped out a little, too!

The Afters:

I added a new door mat, succulents, and even made a few pillows to match.
The yellow fabric is from an old embroider skirt I had!  Talk about repurposed goods.

Isn't it cozy out there!  Now, I just need to convince the landlord to pressure wash the front of the house.  I'm also working on sewing a flag for the front post... I'll keep you updated on that project as it progresses.  :)

Late night reading with a fresh pitcher of Sangria
I've been spending MAJOR time on my stoop these past few days.  It's been in the low 70's/ high 60's in the evenings, and I cannot seem to get enough of the outdoor time.

Here's a recipe of Sangria that pairs well with the cool summer nights...


- 1 bottle of red wine (Whatever you have on hand.  I used Pino and mixed in a glass of Malbec)
- 1/2 cup Triple Sec
- 1 peach, diced
- 1 orange, sliced in wedges
- 1 apple, diced
- 1 nectarine, diced

Let chill for at least an hour, and enjoy!

Are you working on any summer projects?


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