Monday, June 28, 2010

Side Table Remix

I found this cute little side-table at GW a while back for under 10 bucks.

I loved the clean lines and the way our magazine basket fits perfectly underneath. However, I did not love the cracked and peeling varnish look.

So, I spent some time working on it this weekend and transformed it!

It was really easy, but it did take some time because I had to remove all the old varnish before I repainted it. Here's what I did:

Step one: Remove the varnish

I used a chemical stripper to remove the old, nasty varnish. I painted it on using an old paintbrush, and of course I wore gloves as well!

You "paint" it on the varnish, and then after it starts to bubble you can just scrape it all off.

I had to repeat that a couple of times to get all the varnish off! Then, I gave it a good sand-down.

Finally, I spray painted on about 3 coats. I used a glossy paint so the surface is easier to wipe down.

And voila! I love easy, cheap makeovers!

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Catch-All Room

I love doing home improvement projects around the house, but inevitably our 2nd bedroom turns into this:

I affectionately call it the "Catch-All" room. During the larger projects, we throw things in there and just close the door. Instant peace.

I think I have cleaned this room out approximately 4,571 times since we got married last August. It's like the gift that just keeps on giving! So, it was the subject of another deep clean a couple of weeks ago, and I can finally leave the door open again. But, I wanted to share this picture in hopes you would get a little giggle or two out of it.

I bet that even Martha Stewart has a catch-all room, don't you think?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer Refuge

We went up to Josh's Grandpa's cabin this weekend. It was such a nice, relaxing break from the hectic pace of life!

There was a lot of eating, lazing around, and doing crafty things. Those are the best weekends, I think.

And isn't my sister gorgeous?

I got some great ideas for projects from my mother-in-law... She is pretty much the queen of knitting/crocheting/crafting. She spins her very own wool- I think that says a lot!

So, check back soon and I will share some of the fun ideas with you!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

P.S. I'm Un-Cognito

Anyone notice a little change here on my blog? Yup, that's right, I changed the spelling of my name. Apparently, my little "Pseudonym" of Michela was starting to confuse friends and relatives who read my blog. So my real name is Mikalah. Same pronunciation, different spelling. How's that for confusing? =) At first, I wanted to be careful about sharing personal information online (since it used to be that you could type my name into Google and bring up 4 results- all pointing directly to MWAH). But now, thanks to Mikalah Gordon of American Idol fame, I feel better about using my real spelling!
Happy Wednesday!

Blogging "Desert"

(Photo by Andrea)

Hello, fellow blogging friends.

I have a confession to make.

I forgot about my blog.

Do you ever have those days/weeks/months where you just aren’t feeling the inspiration? Maybe it’s a blogging desert that I’m walking through… I’m not too concerned though, I know that sooner or later words and thoughts will come back to me!

In the meantime, I wanted to share that (Hallelujah!) I got a new job! I will start it in mid-July. It’s very similar to what I am doing now (I work in HR for a very large organization… the government in fact), but in a much better environment. I am, to say the least, ecstatic.

Also, I’ve been practicing and taking voice lessons again (did you know I was a voice major in college? Yup, I was), and I also joined a small vocal ensemble that meets every other week or so. Music is so important to me, so it’s been a huge blessing to be involved in that. I’m hoping that within the next year I will be able to start up my own voice studio! That would mean quitting my full-time day job and focusing on music once again, joy of joys!

So that’s what is cooking over at the house of Posy. How about you? What is new in your life?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Skirt Refashion

Today, I'm sharing a fun little wearable re-fashion that I worked on this week!

I've had this dress for a while now, but it's been hanging out in the back of my closet. I love the fabric, but the cut was just oh-so-NOT flattering.

OK, I know it looks horrible here, so I feel I must post this picture to show that I (sorta) kinda pulled it off. Maybe.

See? Yeah, maybe not.

Well, instead of bemoaning the fact that this cool dress just doesn't fit me well, I decided to make it into a skirt!

Now, for those of you who want the details on how this worked...

(Disclaimer: I wish I had better step-by-step pictures, but sadly the lighting was horrid because I did this at night! Sorry!).

Basically, I just laid the dress flat (making sure to UNZIP the long zipper in the back first, otherwise the zipper would have been cut off and I would not have been able to use it), and cut straight across the dress where I wanted the waistline to be.

I ended up with this left over from the bodice:

This dress was easy because the ties of the dress were right where I wanted the waistline to fall. I then folded down the top and sewed it to where the old waistband was attached to the skirt:

Here is the waistband from the inside, you can see where I sewed it with dark brown thread (only so you can see it better, definitely not because I was too lazy to go out and buy the right color!):

I am lazy when it comes to sewing. That's the truth. But somehow, my projects seem to turn out just fine and generally last as long as I want them to, so who's complaining, right?

As far as the zipper goes, I unzipped it before cutting the dress so it would be usable for the skirt, and then I just folded down the part that I didn't need in the back:

I made an almost invisible little stitch where I wanted the zipper to end (so that it doesn't unzip itself like a train running out of tracks!).

And there you have it. Easy as (eating) pie.

(Take that, Anthropologie!)

How does your garden grow?

Do you remember these scrawny little flowers I put out on our porch a few weeks ago?

Well, they have definitely spread out nicely in their new little home! I can't believe how fast they grew, now I actually have to trim them back sometimes!

Also, I learned an important lesson about potting plants that I would like to share (you probably already know this, but if you do just humor me). I learned that it's not smart to plant flowers in a container that has no drainage system. Why? Because when it rains for 2 weeks straight your flowers tend to DROWN.

Of course, I did what any self-respecting girl does when her plants are drowning, and I called my Mom. She told me to go buy a new container, one with holes so the water will drain out, and guess what? It worked (of course). My droopy flowers perked up again, and they are none the worse for the wear.

Are you planting flowers or working on landscaping this summer? Any other tips for a wannabe green thumb like me?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Perfect Lemonade

It's been raining here for nearly 2 weeks, and I'm starting to feel like I live in Seattle! However, today the skies cleared up and the sun came out for a few hours, and I suddenly felt like making lemonade!

So here's an amazingly delicious, and very easy recipe for homemade lemonade. Enjoy!

1 cup sugar
1 cup lemon juice (either fresh or store bought, if you don't want to juice that many lemons!)
6 cups icy cold water

Mix them all together, pour over ice, and enjoy!

For a twist, sometimes I puree strawberries or raspberries in the blender and mix them in too for some more flavor. SO GOOD!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Barn Swallows

Thanks to Katie and Ashley’s knowledge and internet-searching skills, we now know the exact species of our little bird-neighbors! They are Barn Swallows. I found this photo and tons of information about them on Wikipedia.

You ladies are awesome! I tried to find out what they were to no avail, so it’s nice to find out a little more about them! Apparently, they are busy nesting right now so hopefully there will be some babies soon. I will keep you updated!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Simple is Best

I put together a new little arrangement for our dining room table the other day. My first thought after I had deemed it complete was "I totally can't blog about this. It's way too boring and simple."

But then I realized, if professional writers can take something as miniscule as a trip to the grocery store and make it blog-fodder, then SO CAN I! I mean, I realized that sometimes simple is best.

In fact, I've been inspired lately by The Nester's "Summerize Your Home" posts. She mentions getting rid of clutter, which is exactly what I've been doing around our house lately.

It was very easy to put this together. I used things I already had- even the flowers were from our planters on the porch. The crocheted doily is from a garage sale, it was only 25 cents!!! SCORE! I think I actually may have yelled that at the garage sale, and my husband may or may not have run the other way.

But, it was a great find.

How about you? How are you preparing your home for the Summer months?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New Neighbors

I am so happy to announce that we have new neighbors! They are very friendly, and frequently stop by to chat on our porch.

Sometimes they're a little loud, but they are super cute so it's easy to ignore.

Without further ado, please meet Jimmy:

He's a bird.

A very, very patriotic bird.

And his wife, Clara:

She's a little shy, and spends a lot of time in that nest that appears to be made of regurgitated mud. I guess even birds are experiencing some economic difficulties.

I think that perhaps very soon, we may have some baby birdies outside our window too!

Do any of you have little animal friends living around your house?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

out with the old, in with the awesome!

Slowly but surely, we are replacing some of our old, hand-me-down furniture and accessories. And let me tell you, it feels awesome! Don't get me wrong, I love vintage things. But 80's vintage is totally different from 50's vintage.

Case in point- our old coffee table (here you can also see our old couch, lamp, and side table as well!):

Last week, when Josh and I went on our IKEA rampage (hey, I got a bonus at work, don't judge me!), we spotted a coffee table there for only $19.99.

It was love at first sight.

I love the clean white lines with the woven table runner! At first I thought it would be too small, but in reality I think the other coffee table we had was too big!

So here's my question for you:

What is your favorite IKEA purchase that you have made? Or, if you hate IKEA (do IKEA haters even exist?), tell me about another piece of "bargain" furniture that you love!

And, if anyone is looking for an AWESOME 80's glass-topped coffee table, I can totally hook you up. I might even give it to you for free. OK, I will pay you to take it away.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I went a month without shopping, and lived to tell about it

(FYI, this picture has nothing to do with the post. I just like it, that's all.)
Image from

Quick update on the "Stuff-Fast." It's over, friends! I successfully made it 1 whole entire month without buying superfluous items for myself! My dear friend A and I decided to mutually end the little competition and take ourselves out for coffee to celebrate. It was just time to be done.

But you know what? I think it taught me a lot. Because I love lists (and I'm pretty sure you do too...), I will give you a few of the reasons:

1) It helped me think about what I buy, instead of just plunking down my $. I realized how often I buy little things (earrings on sale, trips to GW, cute sandals for a far-off vacation to Tahiti), without thinking. When I had the buying option removed, I realized how many times I justify those little purchases.

2) I thought about other people more. I chose to use that time, and the money I saved, to do a couple of nice things for other people. Giving gifts is always a great experience, but even more so when you really have to give something up yourself!

3) I finished up projects I had laying around instead of finding more! I can't tell you how many times I have left a project unfinished because I found a fun little table at GW to spray paint, or a frame to refurbish, or a cute sweater that needed fitting. Sheesh, it was just getting out of hand! So, I used that time to finish up some of those extra projects I had laying around.

Well, there's more that I could go on about, but I think what it really comes down to is that I needed a reminder that life is not about STUFF. It's fun to shop and fix up things and decorate, but in reality I could survive without all of that.

But coffee? That I can't survive without. Just thought I would throw that in there.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Time for a little bling...

I finally realized something a while back. Something that has been nudging me for quite a while, but I never really truly understood. Until now.

Friends, we needed some lamps.

Back-tracking a little here, I must tell you that we have approximately 15 lamps already. Unfortunately, most of them are under 15" tall, are older than my beloved Grandma Bertie, and have what I kindly refer to as "sketchy" wiring. As in, once one of these lamps decided to blow up for no apparent reason whatsoever.

SO... to remedy the situation... we bought some lamps!

I think you may recall a couple of them from this post here, but we also got a sweet new pair for our living room area as well:

I think they are pretty close to what I originally had in mind:

But seriously, the day I spend over $100 dollars on a single lamp will be the day Jessica Simpson decides to go goth. As in, it just won't happen.

The lamps I found were at Wal-Mart. Shades: $10. Base: $15. Total: $50 for two lovely new lamps. Really, you just can't beat that price.

And truthfully, I am mostly excited about the fact that I can now turn on a light switch without fear of explosions. That's worth almost any price!


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