Monthly Archives: August 2012

I’m getting ready to go back to work next week, and I am trying to do something about the organization systems in the house. I get a little crazy about keeping things organized, but unfortunately, the other people in my life (my husband dearest and our two year old daughter to be specific) don’t feel the same way I do about the mantra “a place for everything and everything in its place.” I feel like I am forever organizing and re-organizing–so my new tactic is to organize once in a way that makes it easier for the other folks to put things back where they belong. I am trying to make it super simple and appealing. Easier said than done.

Here is one solution I am kind of psyched about. My husband’s ties always somehow end up on the floor of his closet instead of the tie hanger. I will acknowledge that the previous tie hanger is not very user friendly, especially in a closet that is packed full to the gills. (another project for another day)

Enter the Elfa tie rack I got from the Container Store.

I wanted to make the ties more easily accessible, so I wanted to hang the tie rack on the inside of the closet door. This tie rack was perfect–just what I was looking for, it was only $10, and it was perfectly simple to install. All I needed to do was drill two holes and use anchors for the screws. (make sure if you do this that you use the smallest possible drill bit–you don’t want the hole to be too big for the anchor or it will be loose)

I feel some major organizational catharsis right now, but we’ll see if my hubbers likes it and if he is willing to use it.

The navy blue greek key fabric I ordered for the chairs came in the mail.  I’m a little disappointed with the pattern because it is very small.  I thought the pattern was slightly larger.  It looks a little busier than I was going for. I guess that is why you should always order a swatch before taking the plunge!  On the upside, the fabric company accidentally sent me a couple yards of a grey dwell studio fabric that is pretty cute. Maybe I’ll use it for the chairs instead.


I went to Home Depot to buy an upholstery gun and to Michaels to buy batting for the seat.  Here is a good blog piece about choosing the right upholstery gun for you. Love that I just stumbled on the LittleGreenNotebook because of a google search.

Now I just have to put the pedal to the metal, so to speak.

I went thrifting today with my friend Andi.  We saw a little gem at one place, but I thought it was a little pricey at $120:

We also saw an awesome midcentury ‘pecan’ dining room table at a decent price–the table was about $50 and each of the six chairs were $50.  The table is from 1956.  I neglected to take pictures of the table and the website photo doesn’t do justice to the lovely architecture of the woodwork–but suffice it to say, I would have snapped it up if I had not just gotten two thirds of the way through refinishing the table I found at Karl’s.

Not much else happening at the consignment angle, so we went across the street to Dwelling, the “if I had money” store.  The Dwelling showroom is a rehabbed old warehouse filled with lots and lots of beautiful pieces to dream about.  Two ceramic end tables (priced at roughly $600 and $400 respectively) made me rethink my earlier assessment of the ceramic end table I had seen across the street.

Here are a few more of the fun things we saw:

Love this orange trellis carpet!

Some fun pillows:

And some interesting light fixtures:

Should I go back to the consignment store and buy the table?

While I was on maternity leave with Caroline, about two years ago, I found a beautiful midcentury dining table at an estate/salvage store. My mother calls the store the emporium of earthly delights and it is her absolute favorite place to visit in Philly. Karl is the proprietor.  Here I am with Karl and baby Caroline.


Here is the table in Karl’s emporium of earthly delights:


I loved the table, and its funky pea green cane backed-chairs. I believe it is a Lane.  I had seen a very similar table in a Martha Stewart magazine and loved the curve of the legs.  Oh, and the table has two leaves, and seats twelve when fully expanded.

As much as I loved the table and chairs, they were a little rough around the edges and needed some attention – particularly the chairs =)

My to do list included, (1) silver leaf chairs and table legs edge (2) refinish table top (3) reupholster chairs (4) eventually re-cane some of the chairs.

Fast forward two years later, and a second baby, I have refinished the table top, and I am almost finished the silver leafing.  Refinishing was easy.  Silver leaf is not very easy.  In fact, it is one of the more difficult refinishing projects I have tackled– the silver leaf is just so fiddly.

I leafed one of the six chairs.  It took FOREVER, not to mention the fact that silver leaf is super expensive.   I spray painted the remaining chairs with silver paint as a temporary stop gap measure.

I also started the silver leaf on the table legs.  I got very frustrated (and also had a baby) and stopped working on the project for a few months.  I just picked back up to finish up before I go back to work full time.

So silver leafing is kind of involved.  I found a tutorial on the Martha Stewart also has a tutorial.  And here is a nice idea for leafing with aluminum foil–maybe a nice idea for walls or other large areas.  Here are the materials you need:

The short version is as follows:  first you sand the area you want to leaf.  Then you prime it with a red or yellow ground.

Next, you coat the entire area with a gilding size, which is basically a clear glue. Once you paint the size, you wait for about 10 minutes or so until the glue is tacky (basically sticky to touch) and then you start applying the silver leaf.  Check out Martha’s tutorial on this, as she shows you how to lay the leaf down with a leafing brush.  This technique didn’t really work for me, because I was working on the table base.  I cut the silver leaf into strips and then applied it by placing the silver side down, and holding on to the paper backing.

It took me two or three layers of silver to get rid of the red ground.  Here I am on the second layer of leaf:

My leafing came out pretty rough, but I actually like the look of the patina.  The Ivy Cottage blog tutorial on aluminum leafing shows how to accomplish this same look by crinkling the foil and then painting it.

I haven’t been a complete bum – I’ve made a little bit of progress on my two projects

For the two chairs I bought from Craigslist — I finally found some nice navy blue greek key fabric on  It was a little bit pricey, but I think it will be marvelous.  Now I need to invest in an upholstery gun.  



I also found a persimmon version that looked great, and a little cheaper to boot:



Second, I sanded the midcentury modern nightstand I found on the side of the road. I am sticking by my initial assessment that the wood is teak – it is very heavy and sanded down to a nice blonde color.  I still have to get some of the nooks and crannies, and go over it with a 100 or 120 grit sandpaper, but at least this is a start:






I unscrewed the legs and the handle to make things a little easier and neater:


We are city dwellers so strollers are our main mode of transportation. I seem to have accumulated a few of these contraptions–a bugaboo as our main single, a McClaren volo umbrella, a Bob iron man jogger, and now with number two, a Bob Dualie double jogger.  The double Bob is great, but sometimes it is just a little too big. I wanted an alternative to the double stroller–for those times when the double is just too inconvenient–like when we are going to a restaurant, or if we are driving anywhere. (We have as tiny car and the Bob Dualie definitely does not fit in the trunk).   I searched around on the interweb and found an awesome sit and stand board that attaches onto any stroller with an axle.  It is the Kid-Sit from Kleine Dreumes.  


This is the best skate board attachment I have seen.  The Kid-Sit is super easy to attach to your stroller–there are two little plastic buckles that strap on to the axle.  It is pretty narrow and is easy to walk behind.  The seat can be removed if you want to use it only as a skate board.  When you are not using the board you can latch the board up and out of the way without removing it entirely.  

The Kid-Sit works great for older siblings that are at least two years old.  Any younger, and I think it might just be too tiring  or difficult for them.  We love it!  Other kids love it too and always want a ride.  Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the best part –the price tag.  The Kid-Sit only costs 120 Euro.