Battle Scar Plaid

Painting a plaid pattern was a wee bit more difficult, than I first thought.  True plaid or tartan fabric has intersecting stripes that are woven, where one color seems to bleed into another. Until I learn how to create that with paint, my plaid will continue to be stripes layered one on top of another.

I played around with the paint until I came up with a pattern I could call my own. I selected Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Louis Blue, Napoleonic Blue and Versailles. The colors, had just enough contrast to make the pattern look interesting.

Friday's Furniture Fix

Friday’s Furniture Fix

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Gone to the Dogs

Instead of spending my Saturday painting like a mad woman, I turned my attention to the cedar chest that sits in front of the bed. This piece of furniture has been used and abused by little paws. The dogs use it to jump on and off the bed, as a result it has been recovered countless times over the years. The things we do for our puppy dogs, right! Continue reading

Bulletin Board Personality

It’s funny to think about how many personalities this old bulletin board has had. I stripped off a layer of fabric to look at the cork and wondered… why did we stamp green leaves all over it?  Anyway, it was time to give it a new purpose. The wood frame is still in great condition but I may still paint it at a later date. 

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To Slipcover or Not To Slipcover

Pink is not my signature color and the Victorian style does not match anything in our home, but after much debate, I was not ready to let go of my grandmother’s love seat. Having it upholstered was too pricy.  The answer, make a slip cover.  This was my first big adventure in making a slipcover and I’m crazy over how it turned out!


Love seat before

Love seat before

Of course I never would have jumped in with both feet without first studying the tutorial at the Miss Mustard Seed blog. If I can follow Marian’s instructions on slipcovers, you can too! She is very thorough and my “go to” for inspiration!

For the fabric I used an 8 oz. (9′ x 12′) drop cloth purchased from Lowe’s. Then I went back and bought another one haha!  One was more than enough for the love seat but I need more fabric to cover the large down filled cushion. I used the center seam as a guide to helped make sure both sides of the seat back, seat, and back were mirror images of each other. I would have utilized the amount of fabric more efficiently had I not used the center seam in this way.  As it turned out, the seam running down the middle adds character to a very simple design and I like it!


Pin sections together and trim away extra fabric, repeat....

Pin sections together and trim away extra fabric, repeat….


Making the slipcover was not difficult but it did take a great deal of patience.  After awhile I got the rhythm down…drape, pin, trim, drape, pin trim, repeat. You get the idea.


Covering the complete love seat just didn’t look right so I decided to expose the carved woodwork at the top.  My first thought was to make ties but I quickly changed my mind in favor of straps.  Think of it as a sun dress!


Frog closure detail used instead of a button or tie on the back

Frog closure detail used instead of a button or tie on the back

Instead of leaving an opening in the center back, the opening is where the left side panel and the back panel meet. It seemed like a better place due to the exposed woodwork on top.  This also gave me an opportunity to use the frog closure at the top.  A handsome detail!  (I’ll explain in a minute why I didn’t use buttons.)



The cushion was the last part of the project.  The challenge was trying to keep the ban of fabric going around the cushion the same width.  The cushion is really a long down pillow and rather floppy.  I think covering a more rigid cushion would be easier.

Confession time!  I don’t know how to install a zipper or make button holes so velcro is my crutch (so embarrassing).  I used velcro on the back side of the cushion where I made an envelope opening. 


Slip cover made from a drop cloth

Slip cover made from a drop cloth

Love seat after with slip cover

Love seat after with slip cover

The overall design is very simple and of course it would look better with fabric covered cording as suggested in the Miss Mustard Seed tutorial.  I’ll work on that for the next project, especially now that I know what to expect.


© 2015 To Slipcover or Not To Slipcover was first published on Thistle Key Lane

Spicy Cinnamon Brownies

In the February 2015 issue of Better Homes & Gardens, magazine. I found a  recipe for Cinnamon Spice Chocolate Brownies.  It reminded me of the movie Chocolat.   The main character,  Vianne  (Juliette Binoch) added chili powder to hot chocolate for Armande (Judi Dench) and a friendship was created. I thought I would test out the recipe to see if I wanted to add it to my favorites.  It was good but not quite what I had imagined so I changed a few ingredients and my version is below.  This one is a keeper. The exotic taste will take you by surprise.

Spicy Cinnamon Brownies


  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup  butter
  • 1 cup  granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup  cold water
  • 2   eggs
  • 3 tbs  canola oil
  • 1 tsp  Kahlúa
  • 1-1/4 cups  all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup  unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp  baking powder
  • ¼ tsp  ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp  salt
  • 1/8 tsp  cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp  ground cloves
  • 2 tbs  Hershey’s chocolate syrup
  • Optional – cinnamon and sugar


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8x8x2 inch baking pan with foil, extending foil up over edges of pan.  Lightly coat the foil with non-stick spray. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan melt butter: remove from heat.  Whisk in sugar and water. Whisk in eggs, oil, and vanilla until combined.  Stir in flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, salt and cayenne chili pepper.  Stir in chocolate syrup. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan by lifting up on the foil.

Cut into bars. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.  Makes 16 brownies. Obviously, I might be able to cut the brownies into 16 pieces, but I can’t cut them evenly to save my life, as seen in the photos.

(For the original recipe please refer to the February 2015 issue of Better Homes & Gardens Magazine.)

Enjoy with a cup of coffee or if you are feeling adventurous, a glass of wine!

Counter Clutter Contained

I have a box full of projects and like everything else in my house this one is saying, “paint me, please!” I  liked the Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint so much on my last project that I decided to use it again.  The desk organizer doesn’t  take up  much room on the kitchen counter and can hang out with my laptop.  Papers on the counter drive me crazy although sometimes it can’t be avoided. I’m feeling optimist this will keep it contained.

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Table Project Phase Two

Table project phase two is now complete and a success!  I should also mentioned it was much more fun than phase one.

After stripping off the paint last weekend I gave the table a light sanding then decided where I wanted the wood grain stripes.  I used painters tape for the stripes and then made sure the tape was straight by measuring with a ruler.

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