No seriously, don't try this.  It was a royal pain.  It haunted me in my dreams.

Waaaaaaay back in June, I went to a garage sale and the lady tried to give me chairs.  No seriously, she had like 15 chairs at this sale and she offered me at least 3 of them.  For free.  They were ugly.  Really ugly.  I painted and recovered one of them that was sort of a dining chair and sold it at our garage sale.  And then this guy sat in my basement for over a month because I was too chicken to tackle it.

Dun-dun DUN!  The evil yellow 70's chair that nearly did me in.

Check out the gnarly nailhead trim.  There was a time when I thought that I might just let it live in my my music room.  The yellow kind of matches.  And then I decided that July 12th was the day.  That's right, it took us 14 days of blood sweat and tears to turn it to this:

Ta-da!  It's kind of like our baby.  We fought so hard to get this baby into the 21st century, oy.  I scraped my hands pulling staples, made my knees raw from kneeling on the carpet, and nearly bruised my hand from the stupid staple gun.  Yeah, I'm kind of a wimp.  It's ok.

Imagine trumpets sounding and bells ringing as we finally put the last staple in.  Anyway, the fabric is kind of a cross between velvet and chenille and I got it for cheap cheap at Mill End Textiles.  Nevermind that I bought 4 yards and used like, 2.  ;)  I bought the piping fabric and piping there too.  This was, btw, my first time doing piping too.

I had help.  On that fateful day, July 12th, I found this awesome website/tutorial that was very helpful and encouraging and made everything look so easy.  If you're doing some easy chairs, check out this link.  I think I'll go the easy route next time.  ;)  Oh, and Ted helped too.  Actually he helped quite a lot.  A LOT lot.

The button, however, was my own addition.  I found a button-making kit at Michael's on sale for $1.50. It was exactly the right size and I didn't need a fancy button-covering contraption to make it.  I love it!  I think the button totally brings an element of class to the chair.  I had to drill holes in the back of the chair to make it happen.  Yeah.  Just more blood, sweat, and tears.

Notice that we chose NOT to put the nailhead trim back in.  Instead we used piping around the arms.  In retrospect, I totally should have just bought more nailhead trim.  It would have made life much easier, but I like the way this turned out.

Oh, and super bonus?  Nori loves the black fuzzy fabric.  She can play jungle hunter camouflage cat 24/7.  She's already claimed the chair as her own.
We had a great barbecue last night for the fourth.  Some of our neighbors came and we also had some old friends from Pierre join us.

Good friends, good food, what more could a girl ask for?  Well, maybe a new flower bed?  Voila!

I love these new day lilies that are grape colored!  I knew when I saw them that they were exactly what I wanted: a splash of color but a hardy plant.  And of course a few hostas to fill everything out.  This took us a LOT longer than the flower bed we did in the front yard, but T was so patient and worked so hard to help me put everything in.  I love my hubby.

So yes, a girl could ask for a new flower bed.  How about an old dresser turned credenza?  Say no more:

Here's the before photo:

All our DVDs, video games, controllers etc, used to go in the black boxes.  Now they fit perfectly in the new credenza.  We even drilled holes in the back of the new drawers and the back of the dresser so all the cords would hang out the back instead of our components cluttering up the top of the credenza.

Picnics, of course!

Last month T and I worked on a little picnic basket that we made from an old suitcase.  Well, we finally took it out for a test drive.

We went to the Japanese Gardens at Terrace Park.  Oh how I love Japanese gardens.  This one is no exception.  It's on a lake and it has all sorts of beautiful landscaping, architecture, and walkways.

The perfect way to spend a summer evening with my hubby.  Awwww.
It's really hard to type with a cat sitting on both of your wrists, but I'm gonna give it a go.  Nori is a feeling a little lap-deprived since I've been gone for the last 2 days.  It's time for some cat/mom bonding time, even if it involves impairing my wrists for the time being.

Before I left, I read this post on Centsational Girl and was totally inspired.  First of all, I love Emily Henderson's work, and I've always admired her bookshelf styling skills.  She manages to combine just the right amount of quirky statuettes and old books to make me swoon.  Also, I have a lot of time on my hands and love a new project.  Enter: Project Bookcase Re-Style.

We have 3 major bookcases on our main level, and we have a lot of books.  Not like an obscene about of books, but a LOT of books.  Anyway, here's our built-in hallway bookcase before I touched it.

Haha, this is almost embarrassing! This is probably not the best place for a catch-all, but it has turned into our place of stuff-stashing.  Bottom shelf:  lamp shade.  Third shelf:  random white shelf that needs to be hung in the bathroom.  Fourth shelf:  supplies for next crafty project.  Fifth shelf:  angel figurines from my recently deceased grandma that I haven't had the heart to put away yet.  Shelves 6 and 7 don't look that bad, fortunately.

And now for our living room shelves:

Just lots of books.  And a black cat that likes to play jungle hunter by camouflaging herself against my black furry blanket.  (It actually works pretty well for her, she's scared me a number of times that way.)

I started by taking all of the books and arranging them by color on the hall bookshelf:

I've seen a lot of people arranging their books by color instead of by content/title/author.  Like this one on curbly, or these on colourlovers.  I really like the way it turned out, even though I think it works better if you have a cubby bookshelf like the expedit from ikea or something.  (T and I have been dreaming about getting an expedit for ages now...)

Then I went to the thrift store and found some treasures....(the book is for T, he loves old medical books.)

After literally hours of arranging, re-arranging, and re-arranging again, then coming back 2 hours later to re-arrange again, here's what I came up with:

People, I have a lot of white dishes.  Yes, I know that.  It's just that they're so charming and look so good against a black bookcase!  I love the way it turned out.  Midway through the process, I realized that I had a ton of old books stashed at my parents' house in my old room like the silver oil burner, the 3 blue bottles, and some of the books in the left bookcase.  We had to leave T's old textbooks on the bottom 2 shelves because a) they act as an anchor because they're so stinkin' heavy, and b) we have nowhere else to stash them.  So maybe I'm not Emily Henderson, but I think it turned out all right.

Have any ideas on what I should do differently?  I'd love to hear 'em!
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