Thursday, October 17, 2013

Bedroom Makeover Mood Board

Though we've made a lot of progress in decorating this house, we have yet to start on the bedroom. There are differing schools of thought in terms of what one should decorate first when one moves into a new home. I liked to start at the front door and work out, getting the public spaces done first. We also spend most of our time in the living room and dining room. At least, when we're home and awake. But now that we've done most of our other Phase 1 projects, the bedroom is all that's left completely undecorated.


I first read about this New York City loft apartment via the now-defunct Yellow Hammer Design Shop blog. I liked its masculine, neutral, relaxed feel. Though it's nothing like the last room we redecorated, it felt very "us" to both Doug and I, which I think a master bedroom redesign probably should. However, this is no blogger project, as you might imagine. It was featured in Architectural Digest so everything in this room is luxe, custom and expensive.

Our budget is somewhat different. Luckily, we already have all the furniture we need. 


I have my bed from Hardwood Artisans, which is solid walnut. Our dressers are George Nelson for Herman Miller and Broyhill Brasilia, respectively. I'd love to replace the bookcases with something that has doors since they get so dusty, but that's not in the cards right now since we're saving up for something bigger. You also can see the bedroom at the end of this video house tour we did a while back. 


So I decided to put together a mood board to help guide me through what the rest of the makeover might look like.


There are three main elements in this room:

  1. A neutral, monochromatic palette
  2. Lots of wood
  3. Lots of texture
We've already got quite a lot of wood going on with the bed, dressers and bookcases so I haven't quite made up my mind about whether to install a wood wall treatment or go with something different like a faux leather. Tacky? Maybe. But while repainting an office is pretty easy if we decide we want to sell in a few years, prying off a wall treatment is a bit different story. So I want to look for a way to get some texture on the wall without doing anything permanent.

The rest of the texture will come from fabric, throws and pillows. I already made a burlap pillow for the bed so I may extend that into the draperies. The knobs are for the built-in nightstands on the bed, which have never had pulls. I was supposed to choose some four years ago when I had the bed built, but I just never did. 

The sconces are just a first stab. I'd like to get a little closer to the inspiration, but I don't want to have to pay an electrician to hard-wire any lighting. I'll be looking for plug-in ones that are either good as is or that I can upgrade with a little spray paint. 

So that's the plan for the master bedroom. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Scrap fabric table runner and Zanesville Stoneage Modern

Sometimes timing just doesn't work out. Last Thursday I had my last sewing class for the session. My intention was to make a dog bed for Chester, but instead of the fabric I ordered showing up in time for me to wash and dry it, it showed up 10 minutes before I had to leave for class.


But since I wanted to go and needed something to work on, I shoved the scraps of burlap and scraps of the accent fabric I bought into my sewing bag and off I went to class with my fabric and my sewing machine and a complete absence of a plan.

Luckily, it worked out pretty well and I got a table runner out of the deal.

The problem was, I didn't have quite enough of the fabric I used for the center strip on my pillow to make one long runner and my teacher was concerned that putting a seam in the center of the runner would look odd unless the fabric matched up, which I couldn't do because I didn't have enough. So I borrowed the look of my pillow and put a burlap strip in the center.


Not bad for a little fall-inspired sewing project and it only took about an hour. I have a 60" long table so I made sure all three pieces together would equal 78" leaving 9" on either side to hang off the ends. The most challenging part was sewing in straight line for 78", but it was good practice.

As for the pottery, most of what you see here is vintage Zanesville Stoneage Modern. I find the little ones at local thrift stores and estate sales pretty frequently. The larger ones are a little harder to come by. Also, the white one in front and the shiny bronze one right behind it aren't vintage at all. The first is by a guy named George Scatchard, who is 77 years old, but still making pottery. He even sells on Etsy. Up close, it really puts the Zanesville to shame, but from far away, they look great together. Oh, and the shiny one I got on clearance at Michaels a few weeks ago.

The point is that this ended up being kind of a fall-inspired table thanks to the colors of the fabric, the texture of the burlap and the colors of the pottery, which I already collect and lives on the open shelving in the kitchen most of the time. I have trouble with the frivolity and waste of seasonal decorating so putting together a something that feels fall-ish to me without spending any additional money was pretty satisfying.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Beekman 1802 Cinnamon Bun Bundt Cake

These days it's pretty rare for me to cook from a cookbook. There are tons of great food blogs out there and with more than 550 recipes pinned to my Treats board, baking from a book rarely enters my mind. I do use my Joy of Cooking and America's Test Kitchen cookbooks on a regular basis, but pretty much only when I need a really solid recipe because I'm planning on modifying it.

However, I had a birthday last month and my good friend Amanda found me the most tremendous book: The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook. Just look at this. Isn't it gorgeous?


Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell run Beekman 1802, which seems to have started out as a goat farm based in Sharon Springs, NY and evolved into a store, brand, television show and general lifestyle. They also have another book: The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook, which you can be sure I'll be checking out.


The focus of this dessert cookbook is seasonal, picking out produce and flavors appropriate to each one. That means no ice cream in January or strawberries in September. Purely by accident, this tends to be the way I cook anyway because we buy a lot of our food at the farmer's market near our house. So this was really the perfect present for me.


Plus, thanks to four straight days of rain this weekend, I got to try out this Cinnamon Bun Bundt Cake recipe immediately.

Mine wasn't quite as pretty as the one in the book and looked a little naked right out of the pan so I added a powdered sugar glaze based on Smitten Kitchen's pumpkin cinnamon rolls. Since there are spaces in the book to write down modifications and notes to make the recipes yours, I added those directions to the Notes section on that page. You know, for future generations.







Cinnamon Bun Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

Cake
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup warm water (105° to 110° F)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 large egg yolks
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil for the bowl
Flour for the work surface

Filling
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided
2/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Glaze
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar in the warm water. Let stand 5 minutes, or until foamy. If it doesn't get foamy, throw it out, go out and buy new yeast and start again.
  2. Meanwhile, in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the butter and 1/4 cup granulated sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg yolks, buttermilk and salt until well combined.
  3. Beat in the yeast mixture. Beat in 3 1/2 cups of the flour until combined. 
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, adding more flour if necessary.
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll to a 12 by 18 inch rectangle. Brush with 3 tablespoons of the melted butter.
  7. In a small bowl, combine the 2/3 cup brown sugar, the cinnamon and salt and sprinkle over the dough. Starting at one short end, roll into a cylinder. Cut crosswise into 10 equal pieces. (Note: Deb from Smitten Kitchen says use a serrated knife and don't put any downward pressure on the dough to keep the pretty spirals intact. Just saw back and forth.)
  8. Brush a 10 to 12 cup Bundt pan with melted butter and coat with the 3 tablespoons brown sugar. Place the pieces of dough, seam side down, around the pan, angling the pieces slightly so that no piece completely covers the swirl pattern of its neighbor. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until light and puffed, about 45 minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  10. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the buns are golden brown and well risen. Remove from the oven and let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then invert onto a cake plate.
  11. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla (if using) and, using a hand mixer, beat until smooth. Spoon onto cake. Serve warm or at room temperature. 


I made this for dessert, but we actually found it to be even better the second day after the flavors had a chance to settle. If you skip the glaze, this could also make a pretty decadent french toast base the next morning!

I was not compensated or otherwise perked to write about The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook, but some links contained in this post are affiliate links.

Linking up to: Making Home Base | Handy Man, Crafty Woman | New Nostalgia | Give Me the Goods Monday | The Shabby Nest | Uncommon Designs | Liz Marie Blog | Blissfully Ever After | Design, Dining & Diapers | Crafty Scrappy Happy | Craftberry Bush | The Shabby Creek Cottage | Link Party Palooza | The Creative Connection | Serenity Now | Share Your Creativity | Dear Creatives | Simply Create | Making Monday | Super Saturday Link Party

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Tail-End of September


It's time for another edition of Tail-Ends, where I give those who might have missed them the first time a second chance at the best of the best of the previous month's posts and projects. Four top projects for four Chester paws!

And if that's not enough Pies & Puggles for you, keep in mind that you can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram!

Autumn Baking: Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts with Maple Glaze


Fall is my favorite baking season! I've done a lot of baking with caramel, maple, pumpkin and bourbon since September started and I've got an apple recipe coming up next week!

Operation Upcycle: Chalkboard Peace Globe


September marked the start of an occasional series here at Pies & Puggles: Operation Upcycle. I have a few things in my Etsy store that have been sitting around for a while so I thought I would try sprucing them up a bit and try out some new products and techniques in the process. This project used spray chalkboard paint and it worked great!

Flip flopping: living room and dining room makeover


I put together this animated gif (my first attempt at this trend) for the post I did on the new gallery wall I put together when I switched our living room and dining room. Thanks to the government shutdown and uncertainly over the regularity of paychecks for the coming few weeks, I haven't wanted to pay to have the chandelier moved, but we'll hopefully get that accomplished in late October.

Upcycled Vintage Wooden Bowls


Another Operation Upcycle project, I spiffed up these old teak bowls with some new paint. I tried out a Krylon paint pen for the first time and was impressed by it. I'll be using that again in the future I'm sure.

So that's September wrapped up at Pies & Puggles. What did you do last month?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Upcycled Coffee Sack Pillow


I need more pillows like I need a hole in my head. But the thing is, I'm taking a sewing class and since I don't need any curtains at the moment, I'm making pillows. Besides, Joann's Fabric is having a sale on pillow forms right now so I bought...um...six, I think. Can you ever have too many pillows? I say no.

Of course, the upside of all of this is that now it seems insane to pay crazy prices for throw pillows. These things range from $30-60 at most of the stores I typically admire. Last night I bought a pillow insert for $4 and some fabric for $2 so for $6 I can make something just as cute. 

If I can do it after six hours of instruction, I think maybe anyone could do it. And it gives you the opportunity to use cool stuff like this burlap coffee bag I bought at the Hometalk Halloween Hunt last weekend. 


I'd always wondered where people found things like coffee bags and grain sacks and last weekend I saw both while out shopping in rural Maryland and Virginia. So now I know. Pretty neat, huh? I bought this bag at Chartreuse & Co. for just $7.

Anyway, I decided to put my newly acquired sewing skills to use and make a pillow. I'd never used burlap before and I was a little worried about the whole unraveling issue, but luckily while I was pondering all of this, I ran across this pillow on The Happy Housie.

DIY Burlap Pillow at The Happy Housie
Suddenly, I knew exactly how to deal with the unraveling burlap issue and, even better, I had a cool idea for spicing up the pillow by putting a strip of another fabric in the middle. Plus, since the pillows I'd made to date were all one fabric, I thought it might be fun to expand my skill set by figuring out how to accurately measure, cut and piece together three separate pieces of fabric.

First though, I had to get rid of the coffee smell.


The smell of coffee doesn't bother me so much since coffee is basically one of my food groups (which also include chocolate, caramel and cheese puffs in case you were curious). However, I knew if I smelled coffee, eventually I'd smell rancid coffee since if the smell is still there, the oils are still there. So I soaked the bag overnight in the bathtub with four scoops of Oxiclean.


Next I unraveled where the bag had been sewn together so I could get as much fabric out of it as possible. As for how I figured out which pieces I would need, I pretty much just followed the instructions at The Happy Housie. For my 14" by 28" pillow form, I cut all the pieces 15" high. But the length was a little more complicated. 


I decided I didn't need as much overlap as Krista so I used a 9 1/2" wide piece of fabric in the middle (allowing for a 1/2 inch seam on either side) and two 28" wide pieces that would wrap around the back to make a simple envelope style pillow.


Next I cut the pieces I would need. My sewing teacher taught me that with a loosely-woven fabric, you can pull out a thread to make a line for you to cut. That was pretty good advice because as it turns out, cutting in a straight line is kind of challenging.


Next I started sewing pieces together. First I pinned the three pieces of fabric together. Then I rolled the ends and ironed them so that the back would look finished when I turned it back right-side out. Finally, I sewed up the sides.




I had planned to put the writing on the back of the pillow so it would be visible, but not obvious. But when I turned it right side out, it turned out that's not exactly what happened. Unfortunately, I attached that piece backwards so it's not really all that visible, but the front still looks good!


This also marks the start of our bedroom redecoration, which is pretty much the only room in the house we haven't touched at all. 


We've had the bedding for a while. I bought it at West Elm when they were having a sale. The new pillow matches perfectly, which actually wasn't an accident. Of course, I think the next step will be to make up a mood board because what are the chances I'm going to get that lucky with the next decision?

Finally, I wanted to thank Cassie at Primitive & Proper to the invitation to the Hometalk Halloween Hunt. Doug and I really enjoyed shopping all four locations. There's also a link party for all the bloggers who participated over at Primitive & Proper so you can check out all the other projects they did with their finds from the weekend.

I was invited along with other DC-area home bloggers by Sweet Clover Barn to take part in the Hometalk Halloween Hunt. In return, I agreed to make a purchase from one of the stores on the tour and write a post about what I created. All content, ideas and opinions are my own.

Linking up to: Making Home Base | Handy Man, Crafty Woman | New Nostalgia | Give Me the Goods Monday | The Shabby Nest | Uncommon Designs | Liz Marie Blog | Blissfully Ever After | Design, Dining & Diapers | Crafty Scrappy Happy | Craftberry Bush | The Shabby Creek Cottage | Link Party Palooza | The Creative Connection | Serenity Now | Share Your Creativity | Dear Creatives | Simply Create | Making Monday | Super Saturday Link Party | Inspire Me Tuesday

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Barn Sale Time: Hometalk Halloween Hunt


Last weekend, Doug and I took a little drive out to Frederick, Maryland by way of Lucketts, Virginia. We really love having the opportunity to get out of the city and into the surrounding Virginia and Maryland countryside. Many weekends we can be found out in Middleburg, Virginia for lunch and antiquing, Purcellville, Virginia for whiskey tasting or Delaplane, Virginia for a trip to our favorite winery, Barrel Oak.

This past Saturday we took the opportunity of lovely, summer-like day and an invitation from Sweet Clover Barn to come out to one of their monthly sales of hip vintage furniture and other housewares. We also made stops at Chartreuse & Co. in Buckeystown, Maryland, and Old Lucketts Store and On A Whim in Lucketts, Virginia.

The event was the Hometalk Halloween Hunt, which was intended to be a blogger meet-up affair at the above spots, but as Doug and I got stuck in traffic on the Beltway, we missed most of the festivities. No matter! There were still loads of fantastic things to see and buy and photograph so here are a few of my favorites from our day trip.

Sweet Clover Barn





Chartreuse & Co.





Old Lucketts Store





On A Whim





Stay tuned later in the week for a couple of projects I've been working on using what I found while I was out hunting and a couple of little things gifted to me during the day. Here's a big hint: I've been learning to sew and some of my inspiration came from the Halloween Hunt!

I was invited along with other DC-area home bloggers by Sweet Clover Barn to take part in the Hometalk Halloween Hunt. In return, I agreed to make a purchase from one of the stores on the tour and write a post about what I created. All content, ideas and opinions are my own.
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