Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My body is in Virginia, but my heart is in a cozy English cottage and a Slipcover DVD Giveaway!

Hello friends, I hope you all had a great weekend with family and friends.  I made sure to set aside a moment to honor all those brave souls who fought and lost there lives in defense of my country and freedoms.
So here we are into the month of June already. 
I have found myself knee deep in slipcovers lately. While pre-washing a load of painters drop cloths, I entertained myself with a movie on my MacBook. 
via google images
You know this cottage...one of our favorite movies right?
I was crushed to find out that this gorgeous little English cottage was a ...dare I say it...FAKE!
via google images
But who could resist the darling interior sets.
That drum end table...be still my pounding heart.
Those cozy and plump club chairs.
I set out to get inspired to create a chair that Kate Winslet would have been honored to place in her(fake) cottage.
vis Southern Living
I liked the mix of patterns here. The seat being different from the body adds a dash of playfulness .

I found this chair at Cottage Haven Interiors. Isn't it beautiful?
It should be at $1,699.00!!!!!!!
Uh.. no thanks Mr. Cottage Haven..I still have school loans to pay and I like to eat.
Here is my Salvation Macy's chair. I think I paid around $41.00 for it. It is a well made upholstered piece from North Carolina. We all know those North Carolinians know their furniture...this is good American made stuff. Yes folks, we do still make things in the USA. It doesn't all come from China. 
I know some of you have a concern about bringing home furniture from thrift stores. Do your homework...check you items out thoroughly and ask the manager if items are treated.
In Virginia, we have a law called 'The Bedding & Upholstered Furniture Law'  that business must work under.
My Salvation Macy's has a special room where they treat all pieces and then label them as such.
I feel pretty confident bringing home the furniture I purchase.
More internet browsing and I found this and BAM! 
This is the look I wanted.
So here I go.....
Here is the seat cushion all crisp..neat and all together gorgeous.
Once again velcro was my go to product for my closure needs. Much easier than zippers, which I vow to attempt....someday.
My seat cushion fits perfectly!!
I have already sewn the back and sides at this point. I can't believe that I had forgotten to take a photo of the exposed back of the chair after I removed the pillow. The support coils were exposed and there was that cotton fill stuff over that. I stapled on a couple of layers of thick batting to give the back more stability and softness. Pretty easy...no rocket science stuff here.
My chair had an attached plowback, which I detest. So out came my seam ripper and threads began to pop.
This left me with a gaping hole in my cushion back...
This is what I did to solve that problem. I made a drop cloth cover that holds it all together very nicely.
Yes...once again Ladies
Make friends with the piping sandwich.
Nothing to fear here
Many of you have commented and e-mailed me asking what kind of cording I use.
This is what I buy...usually in bulk for about .39 cents a yard at my Joann's.
My felted wool scrap bird pincushion is my trusty companion at all times.
Yikes...that machine needle looks painful....sorry about that little birdie!
Once again...my inspiration chair.
Drum roll please

My cottage knockoff
'The Miss Winslet'
I think it would fit right into Kate's (fake) English cottage, don't you?
I just love how the beautiful decorator fabric dresses up the painters drop cloth.
This is a piece of remnant designer fabric from Braemore Textiles. I paid $7.00 for a 2 1/2 yard piece.
I placed the contrasting piping only at the bottom hemline to keep the chair from looking too 'busy'.
Placing it there will also make it much easier to change up the pillow back in the future. I won't have to worry about the new fabric matching all the piping.
I'm getting pretty good at this piping stuff. I did intend for the arm tucks to fall in the other direction, but I forgot to keep in mind that you are pinning in reverse. Oh well..it will have to do.
I ruffled the corners and placed a line of mini pleats at the center. I think it is the little details like this that help give these restyled chairs added personality.

So what do you think..did I achieve a cottage look?
I think the jury will be out until I hear from my friend Gretel, who actually lives in a cottage in the Cotswolds  
Ok...so here is the promised Giveaway part of my post.
 My good friend and slipcover mentor Shelley, of Custom Slipcovers by Shelley, is donating a copy of her fabulous DVD slipcover instructional video ($48.00 value) to one of my lucky followers! I own this DVD and it was instrumental in helping me create the slipcovers you have seen on my blog.
Shelley is a self taught slipper (not to be confused with stripper) and has turned it into a thriving business over the last 10 years.
Just look at a few of her beautiful slipcovers she has created for her clients.
Isn't she cute!
I love the DVD because I can play as many times as needed. I can stop it..sew ..play it..sew..you get the idea. It's like having your own private slipcover expert in your home with you. Goodness...I'm starting to sound like one of the Rosetta Stone language commercials.
So ladies, if you have admired my slipcovers and would love to learn from a pro, then leave a comment saying so. I would also highly recommend that you head-on over to visit Miss Shelley, browse through her older posts and lust over her fabulous slipcovers.
 Be sure to tell her Janet from The Empty Nest sent you. 
My DVD Giveaway will be open until Tuesday, June 7th, at which time I will pick a lucky follower.
As always, I like to make my giveaways easy to enter, so please simply leave a comment letting me know you are interested and I would really love for you to visit Shelley to let her know you are hoping to win her DVD. This is a very generous offer from her and I really appreciate her doing this for my readers. 
Because we all know that you guys ROCK!
YES...before you International beauties ask...you are included!!
Here is a little sneak peek at my next slipping victim.
Another Salvation Macy's treasure.
Be sure to come back for her fashion debut.
As always, I will leave you with a little snippet of my world..enjoy
click for close up
Our many Eastern Bluebird babies will be leaving their box any day now.
Mr. Secret Agent just called me outside to watch the babies fledge!
Heading outside with my camera...be right back. 
Wait for me!
Ok...let's see if these wings work
clinging to my River Birch
"you looking at me?"
love the tufts of 'hair' behind his eyes
"hey you...take a picture, it will last longer"..."oh..that's right , you are"
Ready for a take off....
We had to scoot them back into our yard several times to protect them from the nasty crows who were looking for a quick meal.
Wasn't that a treat?
We have more getting ready to fledge in our front boxes also.
click for close up
We had some really awesome clouds on Saturday...even with Mother Nature's intense colors removed, it is still breathtaking.
Until next time...be kind and stay creative.
PS...Here is my DVD endorsement disclaimer...My love for this video is pure ;->
No goods were received in exchange for this giveaway.
I had already bought mine...darn!

Good Luck!!
NOW CLOSED with winner to be announced June 8th

Places I will sharing this week


Furniture Feature Fridays
All Things Heart and Home
;Transformation Thursday

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Anyone Up for a Giveaway? NOW CLOSED

Hello friends and welcome back. 
If you are new to my blog...well you picked a great day to pop in.
I feel like doing a
Ok...so a few months ago, I used a few of my gorgeous home decor remnant fabric pieces to create a few fun summer totes.
For the linings, I used vintage pillowcases from my local thrift shop finds.
I hope you will think them worthy of a Giveaway prize.

This is the first one....OH, did I forget to tell you, I'm not just giving away one tote. Two lucky winners will walk away with a new Empty Nest Original (that sounds so pompous...but cool).

Oh..and did I also neglect to tell you that these totes will be packed with beautiful, fun and colorful 
All kinds of cottons, home decor and more.

The first tote is fashioned form  a design house home decor floral/stripe fabric.
Beige strips on one side and pale green on the other.
Yup...my name is one the outside of your tote. 
You can no longer deny knowing me

This tote is lined with a pretty light lavender floral vintage pillowcase
So sweet

I love the muted watercolor floral
Just imagine filling my (your) tote with summer market veggies, books from the library or flea market treasures. Perfect as cool beach bag also.

The second tote features a remnant piece of Susan Sargent fabric.
I love the colors and design of this fabric.
Both totes are fabulous and functional 17 inches x 15 inches with a 3 inch gusset.

My name will haunt you forever...not to be removed unless by court order

Summery lemon yellow and lime green vintage pillowcase lining on this beauty.
Even the striped handles are constructed from remnant home decor fabric, very sturdy.
My(your) totes are soft and easily folded up to be tucked in a suitcase or a handbag while traveling.
Let's face it...with gasoline being close to $5.00 a gallon, you will appreciate a Free tote while on the road!

A small sample of my excess fabric!
As an added Bonus, I will be filling each tote with lot's of fabric from my overloaded stash.
My Giveaway will be open to ALL my followers. So if you are an international blogger, please do enter.
There are none!!!
I hate Giveaway rules like I hate those grocery store loyalty cards.
My thoughts on those:
"I'm shopping in your darn store...just give me the stupid sale price already!!!!"
Ok..back to my sweet persona
So are you feeling lucky?
If you have some spare time (I know...what's that?) 
A tweet and a blog mention is always nice, but NOT a requirement.
My Giveaway will close on June 5th, Sunday.
I know these are busy times for many, so I am giving you two full weekends to enter.
Until next time...be kind and stay creative.
Sharing with :

This Giveaway is officially Closed!
Good Luck everyone and Thank You.
The Two lucky Winners will be announced Monday morning

Savvy Southern Style
The Shabby Nest