Before & After : My Grandma's Chair

Four summers ago, my family was in the process of helping my Grandma move out of her apartment and into assisted living. My Grandma hand selected one "big ticket" item from her apartment for each of her grand kids. In addition to that, we could all more/less pick and choose any other items we wanted from her apartment. I picked up this chair of hers.It wasn't that I was so enamored with it as it was (peach wouldn't really be my thing!) but I recognized that it was a nice chair, and seeing as my Grandpa made his living in the furniture industry, it made sense in my mind to take a piece of furniture.The chair has been sitting in our back storage room of our basement all these years. I've felt horrible about that, but I wanted to wait to fix it up until I had just the perfect spot for it.
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For our summer home being about a 100 year old house, it has a surprisingly large master bedroom. And after moving in the furniture we had for the master, we were left with an empty corner that was begging for my Grandma's chair!
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I just picked it up from the upholsterer this week and could not be more happy with how it turned out.This fabric was not necessarily what I had in mind when I pictured re-upholstering the chair, but I saw the sample and nothing else compared. I saved a ton on fabric and labor by having it reupholstered as one cushion rather than re-creating the "cushion on top of the chair" look.I am so pleased with this project, and something tells me my Grandma would love it too!

The Lettered Cottage

Monday's 10 Things

Here's what I'm most thankful for, right now!
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1. An awesome night out with friends Friday night.
2. Laughing so hard I cried.
3. My brother, who celebrated a birthday this weekend.
4. Having so much fun with Claire at the beach.
5. The look on her face when a wave comes and she bolts for the shore.
6. Claire's Big Girl Bed Boot camp worked this weekend.
Ahh, to be back to having our evenings and sleeping at night!
7. Picking up my new mom mobile today, should be fun.
(and no, it's not a minivan!)
8. Hydrangeas in full bloom in our back yard.
9. A short work week for Eric and a long holiday weekend ahead.
10. Plans to take Claire to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago this week, she has no idea!
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What are you most thankful for today?

Fresh Start Sunday

Life up your eyes on high, and see who has created these, who brings out their army by number. He calls them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power, not one is lacking.
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Isaiah 40:26 (World English Bible)

You Can Find Me Here...


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I'm so excited to be featured over here today on the very first
Fresh Coat Friday at Life in the Fun Lane!
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Thanks so much Holly!

Sassy Red Shoes

There's a women's consignment shop named The Purple Rose within walking distance of our summer house. I'd intended to visit multiple times, but finally just got around to it. Lucky me, on the day I was there, all shoes and handbags were an additional 20% off!I picked up this pair of sassy red shoes for $13!I've already paired them with a black dress, and with blue jeans.
For just $13, seriously, how could I have resisted?!?

Cards #1-4

In addition to yarn wreaths, I've been working on some new cards for the craft show.
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Here's the first four!

Yarn Wreath #5

Ivory yarn and muted fabrics. All the wreaths I've made up to this point have been in much brighter colors, so this seems so nice for something a little different.

Monday's 10 Things

(keeping Claire entertained with an iPhone while we wait for our food!)
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Here's what I'm most thankful for, right now!
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1. Marrying Eric, seven years ago today!
2. A whole collection of amazing memories and experiences with my best friend.
3. Seeing what a great father he is to Claire.
4. My dad and all he's done and continues to do for me and my family.
5. Knowing how much Claire loves her Papa.
6. Our first grill out this past weekend at our new house!
7. A really nice church service on Sunday.
8. Watching Claire belt out the words to "Here I Am to Worship!" Seeing her raise a little hand like she saw others doing, and watching her clap totally off beat to the rhythm of the songs!
9. Two in-progress wreaths finished today, and 20 in-progress tattered flower pins finished today...hurray for the nap time sweat shop!
10. A family dance party after dinner tonight featuring Beyonce, why not?!?
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What are you most thankful for today?

Fresh Start Sunday

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!
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2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

Yarn Wreath #4

Aqua Ice yarn along with lots of Heather Bailey and Amy Butler fabrics, yummy!

So Official

I'm not sure that I've ever anticipated a piece of mail as much as I did a little package that was set to arrive this week. After tracking it online and knowing that it was out for delivery, I raced to the mailbox as soon as the mailman came Monday morning. I opened the mailbox only to have my heart sink as the package was not in there. Ugh!
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It looks like the mailman must have made a little error, because sure enough, Monday afternoon he came racing back up our street delivering my package!
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Inside...my very first Cora Anne Designs business cards! EEK!10 amazing different designs on one sidetypewriter font on the other
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And a whole bunch of them have been turned into tags for the craft sale Makes me feel so official!
(Ha! As if the Etsy shop and blog weren't enough!)

Monday's 10 Things

Here's what I'm most thankful for, right now!
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1. A forecast for a week of perfect weather.
2. Fun get-togethers planned for this week.
3. Backyard picnics with Claire.
4. New flowers in my backyard
(after a late frost took away the first ones I planted)
5. A babysitter already lined up for 5 different Friday nights this summer, woo hoo!
6. A change of plans that allowed me to make it to the Fulton Street Artist's Market this weekend.
7. Watching Claire practice the Bible verse she's learning at church.
8. A craft room that's full of finished and almost-finished projects.
9. A little shopping excursion and lunch with my mom.
10. So many exciting things happening for Cora Anne right now, I'm just about ready to burst with excitement! (Don't worry, I'll share soon!)
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What are you most thankful for today?

Yarn Wreath #2

Here's my next yarn wreath!Made with Lagoon-colored yarn
(doesn't that sound so peaceful?!?)
and fabrics that include reds, pinks and blues. The largest flower is made with Amy Butler's Tumbled Rose fabric from her Love line, and one of the smaller flowers is made with her Sunspots fabric in wine, also from her Love line.

Brown Paper Packages...

...tied up with string
(and some great decorative tape too!)Back in February I shared with you some decorative tape that I had found (from the dollar bins at Michael's...score!) I've been putting the tape to good use. My favorite style for gifts right now is simple...brown boxes or brown paper with decorative tape and finished off with white string and a tag.Each Christmas I'm disappointed as the gift bows I worked so hard on inevitably get smashed en route to holiday parties. This year, I'll be all about decorative tape instead. Problem solved!

Yarn Wreath #1

Here's my first yarn wreath for the craft show!
This one includes celadon yarn, and fabrics full of spring-like greens and aqua blues.Oh man, they ALL look so good in my house.
I'm already planning on keeping my first one,
but can't I just keep them all?!?

Taking a Leap

Since starting Cora Anne in November, 2008, I've had several requests to participate in craft shows. I've toyed with the idea, but ultimately have turned each one down.
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Last year, I seriously considered having a booth at the Etsy West Michigan day at the Fulton Street Artisan's Market. I think I was as far as filling out the application, and then I never sent it in. I went on the day and saw what a great time the vendors were having and really got upset with myself for not allowing myself to be a part of it.
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This January, I was in preliminary talks to participate in an awesome new wedding show here in Grand Rapids. Yet again, I backed out. I had major regrets about this at the time, and still do now.
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I think my biggest issue each time is that I've lacked the confidence to just do it. Fears of setting up a booth and having no one stop by, or preparing a whole load of inventory only to have not a single item sell.
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After talking it over with Eric who did a great job of talking some sense into me, and getting my mom on board to hang out with me on the day of, I'm very excited to share that I will have a booth of my own at the St. Patrick's Craft Fair in Grand Haven on August 21!
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I've been extra busy already getting inventory ready, and have about a million ideas for displays swirling around in my head. Starting tomorrow I'll share items I've been working on, but for now, I'll leave you with a little sneak peak!

Monday's 10 Things

Here's what I'm most thankful for, right now!
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1. A dear friend, celebrating a birthday and an anniversary this week.
2. Watching our niece baptized in church on Sunday.
3. A much more relaxed family weekend at our new house.
4. Realizing that from our new house, we can hear boats on the water and ships blowing their horns in the channel...so cool!
5. Having our sweet Claire back, wow her attitude last week had us nervous!
6. Watching Eric grilling the fish he caught on Lake Michigan and knowing he was loving it! (And coming from this non-fish eater, it actually tasted pretty good!)
7. Text messages from neighbors asking if we can meet outside and let our kids play.
8. Watching how two year olds interact with each other.
9. A really fun new pair of red shoes which I love!
10. Blogger is back up and running (the reason my 10 Things is so late today!)
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What are you most thankful for today?

Fresh Start Sunday

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
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Romans 15:13 (NIV)

Before & After : Kitchen

This weekend we put some of the finishing touches on the kitchen in our summer house, so I think I'm ready to share pictures! Be forewarned...the "before" pictures are scary and the "during" pictures get even scarier. But I promise the "after" pictures make up for all of it!this is how the old owners had itwe knew we had an ugly kitchen to deal with...
with sloping floors and counter tops...
but we didn't know we had uninsulated, weak walls...
plus a really bad electrical situation.
lovely.on a whim, my dad and husband started pulling cabinets off the wallsthen they started on the counters and drywall
(notice the old windows that just got covered up in the walls!)
and before we knew it, it looked like this!
wait, where did the kitchen go???
I see empty walls and into the crawl space below, but no kitchen!it felt like it stayed like that for a really long time,
but finally we turned a corner and we got to start putting it back together
we used a combination of stock cabinets and custom built by my dad to get exactly what we needed. I wanted open shelves above and my dad built those as wellmy dad and I installed the marble tile back splash.
I had never tiled before and have always wanted to try it out
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and finally, the finished product!
hey Abi, notice what's on the wall!This was a major DIY project. We hired out the electrical, had a friend of my dad's help with plumbing, and my Uncle helped install the counter tops. Outside of that, it was all me, Eric and my dad. But mainly my dad, there's no way in a million years we could have pulled this off without him!
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I love every last bit of it and I can honestly say it turned out exactly how I envisioned. I also loved being able to try things in this kitchen that I might not have done in my every day kitchen including all open shelves above and a microwave installed below the counter. And after spending two weekends at the house now, we know the kitchen is actually very functional and meets our needs really well.

The Lettered Cottage