November 24, 2012

Custom Handpainted Signs!

Y'all might have seen this posted on Home by Ally's Facebook page tonight. If you haven't already "liked" the page, go "like" it HERE! Let me know you stopped by and are now following the blog! 

For a weeks now, I've been wanting to have a go at these cute little signs. They just add that charm and personal touch to any home. And it may come as no surprise to y'all from my last post that this is one of my favorite quotes. I try to live by this. 

"You can make plans but the Lord's purpose will prevail."

Has this ever been so true? I just love it and it's my daily reminder even more now that this is hanging up in our home. Do you have a specific quote that you live by? I will be making more of these as I've already been asked by family and friends for custom orders. But the question truly is, is this an item that y'all would like to see in my Etsy shop? Fully customizable of course with a quote of your choosing, size, font, colors, etc. For this frame, I choose a very faint grey paint with a deep grey, almost black lettering. I stained pieces of wood and also nailed them to "frame" the wood. This is totally made out of all wood and personally made by me, Ally of Home by Ally. I have hand painted this quote (Yes, my hand hurt afterwards) and plan on hand painted all of my orders. 

I love how it turned out. Don't you love when you know a project is going to come out great but then it comes out even better than great after you are complete? I just love that. Well let me know what y'all think of my latest creation! And if you have a quote you would like to see, let me know! I just need to figure out how much something like this would be to ship.... ehhhh :)

I should also say that many of you who have followed my blog for awhile know that I have a few "Repurpose Sales" a year at my home. A repurpose sale is something I made up while we were stationed in Minot, North Dakota. It allows all my friends, fans and followers to come out for one evening and enjoy seeing TONS of new pieces of repurposed furniture, DIY projects, crafts, home decor, etc for sale at my home. So far, I've had two very successful repurpose sales and I plan to keep doing them since everyone seems to enjoy them so much. I plan to have a couple of custom painted signs at my next repurpose sale as well...which I'll give you a hint, will probably be sometime in February  2013 after the holidays die down!

Well we've enjoyed this weekend, that's for sure. My husband only gets about one weekend off per 1.5 months. He has a weird schedule and we're hoping soon he can find an office job in his career field which will allow us to be "normal" after him working 6 years of nights, shift work & 15-18 hour shifts. Ah, the joys of being a cops wife ;-) But I wouldn't trade it for the world. I sleep safe ;-) This weekend we of course participated in Black Friday, went to a couple yard sales & I shopped till I dropped. I have to say it was nice to just "shop" and not worry. And more than that, to just enjoy being with each other.

I hope y'all have a great night and I'll talk to you soon! Still tweaking over here at Home by Ally for the holidays so I'm sure I'll have more sneak peeks to show you! Remember if you are a new follower to click "FOLLOW" on the righthand side bar. And if you haven't liked the page on Facebook, do so here! I appreciate all of you and your kind support everyday! Thank y'all!


November 19, 2012

Stay up to date with Home by Ally!

Hey y'all!

This will be a very brief and quick blogpost. I just ask that all of you do as this post says to please stay up with Home by Ally's newest updates, furniture redo's, DIY projects and home decor as well as my life of being a military wife! Facebook is making it harder and harder for you to keep track of us so help all of your business pages out by doing this for your favorites! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask! I will help anyway that I can!


Step 1: Look to the left of your Facebook home screen and find a section called "Pages Feed."

Step 2: Click th pencil to the left when you mouse over "Pages Feed." "ADD TO FAVORITES" will pop up. Click "Add to Favorites."

Step 3: Go to the most awesome page in the world (found HERE). You can find my page by typing in the "search" screen on the top of your Facebook page.

Step 4: Find the "LIKE" button under Home by Ally's cover photo. It should already be "liked." (Shame on you if it's not!) ;-) Make sure to hit "like" if you haven't done so already!

Step 5: Mouse down over "liked" and you will see "get notifications." Make sure to have a "check mark" next to "get notifications." Do the same for "show in news feed."

Step 6: In the same menu, below "show in news feed" is a "add to interests lists." Click "add to interests lists."

Step 7: Click "My favorites" to add Home by Ally to your favorites or make a new list. This will allow you to stay in touch with all the latest news, projects & decor over at Home by Ally.

Again, I thank all of y'all for the support and would love for it to continue as you watch my little blog grow. The little blog that could as I call it. Let me know if anyone has any questions! XOXO


Christmas 2012 Living Room Tour

Happy Holidays y'all!

I cannot believe that Thanksgiving is this week! WOW... has November flown by or what? And have I mentioned that I super duper excited for black Friday shopping as well? The hubby has off this year so we get to go together... I am so excited and still trying to decide where to go first... I'm thinking Lowes. Does that surprise you?

I started decorating our house for Christmas about a week or so ago. We actually usually wait until the day after Thanksgiving but you know what, who's rule is that? I don't care... I do what I want. I have really enjoyed having it up early. 31 days just isn't enough enjoyment for me, okay? Hehe.

This year is different obviously because we are in Florida and I am enjoying a new home to decorate. I usually going 110% all out for Christmas because it's my favorite time of year... but I'm excited to say we get to go home to North Carolina this year for Christmas to spend it with our families. First time in 6 years for my husband and in 2 years for me, thank you Mr. Air Force. Not that I am not thankful to being able to travel to many different places including living in 4 different Air Force bases in 5 years. We are happy to be here in Florida and are finally settling in and I have to say, it feels great to do so. I haven't "loved" every base that we have been to but I've tried to make the best of it and be positive. I have no godly idea why I hear some people say they dislike Florida and this base but then I also hear them say this is their first duty station. They just don't know how good they have it.

It's a brisk fall night in Florida and we love having our windows open. I've been listening to Carrie Underwood and decorating all day. It's not perfect but I am far more enjoying this year at Christmas than last. Although, while we were in North Dakota last year at least we had snow :) I haven't gone all out this year either on account on us going home to N.C. in just a few weeks! So excited. Still. Have I told you how excited I am about N.C.? I can't WAIT to just give my mama & daddy the BIGGEST hugs ever! I miss them everyday and am so thankful to have them both in my life. So thankful.

On a side note, I have to share with y'all some exciting news here at Home by Ally! I was contacted yesterday about being interview for a local newspaper here in Florida! Talk about making my day! And today I received another email from a vendor who wants me to try out their product & let y'all know how I feel about it! I am loving it and it makes me feel so good about all the positive feedback.

Here is our living room this year at Christmas/Thanksgiving. If you haven't noticed, I rearranged our furniture. I sold our small dining nook table and put our oversized chair in its place. I flipped our sofa and our t.v. cupboard opposite each other. Sometimes that is all you need is just simply to rearrange. I forgot to mention that furniture placemat will be included in my "design consults" which are coming soon... so stay tuned and follow me along this journey!

Obviously, I ramble a bit.

The iron gate on my entryway table is from Ross. The t.v. stand is from Ashley furniture believe it or not. I just customized a bit more to fit my taste. The end tables and coffee table are from Ikea. You can find them here. The mirror I actually just bought from the kindest lady off of Craiglist. They are not all creepers, yay! The pillows on the couch are a light mint green and cream. They are Ralph Lauren and are from Marshalls. The lamps are from Hobby Lobby.

Isn't this mirror just gorgeous? I originally didn't plan to hang it here because I have another mirror waiting in N.C. for me. For now, I will enjoy her sweetness being here. I love how much light it reflects in our narrow living area. And a tip for y'all, mirrors make small spaces appear larger and are great about reflecting light. If you can help it, try to face a mirror to a window so the natural light can reflect off the mirror and into your space. There is my pretty Christmas tree in the background. I just realized I didn't have my huge bow on top when I took this. That's ok. DARN IT, no it's not.

And here is the mirror in focus. Gorgeous white in the shape of a window and the actually frame is slightly distressed in a faint gold. I am loving it in the space. 

I found this print on Pinterest and I LOVE it. And I need it. I stress. A lot. And I'm clinically OCD as well as having severe anxiety. But this is my daily reminder to breathe. And no matter what, God is in control of everything, whether I like it or not.

I got this old milk cans from my wonderful mother in law.

Our T.V. cupboard is also from Ikea. You can find it here. It has a lot of storage and it just down right pretty with its glass doors and classic white color. I redid the styling in the cupboard as well with adding little touches of the holidays such as pine cones in that metal pitcher and small bells in the little glass canister to the left. The little doxie is also riding a sleigh ornament in the middle. My husband got a kick out of that placement. :)

I love just lying on our floor and looking at our tree. It's not perfect or the most pretty tree in the world but it's ours and I love it. But on another note, look below. Hello! Do you see me?

I absolutely adore our stair railing. I did plain light garland (white lights) from Hobby Lobby. I added the burlap ribbon and pine cones. The finishing touches were the antique sleigh bells and the tiny apples & cherries that are covered with gold and bronze glitter. Everything on this railing can be found at Hobby Lobby and the dollar tree.

Here's another view. I just drool over my antique sleigh bells. They are just gorgeous. Pinecones add a rustic touch to any decor, especially during the holidays. I also love the smell they give off.

Here I am... snapped a picture for y'all of me. I shoot with a Nikon for those of you who have asked. It is a professional grade camera, Nikon D700. I use a Nikon 50mm 1.4, Nikon 85mm 1.4 and a Nikon 24mm 2.8 wide angle. I also like to shoot people in my spare time. If you haven't already liked my photography page on Facebook, please support me and go "like" it here. You can find my photography blog and website here. I thank you in advance.

Here is a beautiful photo of our tree adorned with bronzes, golds, silvers and burlaps. Lots of mixes of texture and colors but all in the same family and ones that compliment each other. Again, my bow isn't in the photo :( Bummer on me for that one.

It also has silk white poinsettia leaves that I am obsessed with every year. You can also find white silk poinsettias on top of my milk planters in vintage inspired wire crates.

I got a huge burlap tree skirt a few weeks ago and instantly fell in love. It is super thick and lined on the opposite side with silk. All for $19.99 at TjMaxx. I will take it considering the ones I looked at last year on Etsy, though handmade which I love... were $60 +. Ally 1. $60 skirt 0.

Like I said, I know our home isn't perfect and in fact it never will be. I have days where I want to get rid of everything and start fresh. And I have days also where I love it and I am content where it is at. The trick is to just find the right balance. My best advice to someone who is trying to find their "style" or do their living room is to first start with a great basic, neutral sofa and furniture. Add elements of color and pop in your accessories. And remember to bring "you and yours" into your space. You do this by photos, pillows, antiques, old keep sakes, vintage items that you have a tie to, etc.

I hope y'all enjoyed my 2012 Christmas home tour. It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful, right?
I am linking to a link party here!


November 15, 2012

The Primitive Life- Organic Milk Paint Review

Hey Y'all! Happy Thursday! WOOHOO! Tomorrow is FRIDAY! :) 

Ok, so enough of the "Ally" time...have you ever heard of Chalk Paint? How about milk paint? It's coming back into style just as quickly as chalk paint came and I have to admit... I'm already sold. 

The Primitive Life "Organic Milk Paint" contacted me a few weeks ago and asked me if I would try a sample of their awesome organize milk paint and blog about how I felt when I used it. A review and I get free milk paint? Um, YES! I think I knew I would love it before I even tried it. 

Dawn and her husband, Britt own a primitive country store called "When Pigs Fly Again" in Mount Dora, Florida. You can find their Facebook page here!They explained that they were looking for a paint line to carry in their store. They found that many of the popular lines did not cater to their "country" customers. They began researching many, many paint manufacturers and chose one that has been making milk paint for over 50 years! They were impressed with the "green" aspect of this line and the fact that it is non toxic. Most importantly, it is made in the USA and that also meant just as much to these two! Dawn explained that Miss Mustard Seed offers a new milk paint product but it is made in Canada and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is made in England. They are very proud of their line and frequently use it themselves and in their store. They are eager and willing to share this amazing product with new friends all over! Dawn also explained that her favorite colors are Cotton, Cornflower and Twig. She said she really cannot pick just one! 

So, I was SUPER EXCITED like a kid in the candy store when I opened the package and I saw the milk paint along with some grew smelling fall scents. They have a large selections of colors which are all to die for. I need to try them all I think ;-) I choose Hay because we all know I love a crisp, clean look. It reminds me of a butterscotch yellow mixed with a soft beige. Perfect.

Ok! So, here's my test subject below. This is an adorable side table originally built in Lenior, North Carolina. It has wonderful bones and I knew it would be just perfect for this project. It would add the perfect little elegant touch to any space...whether it be your living room or a bedside table. 

I followed Dawns directions and mixed the organic milk paint just as the directions in the box say. It will be somewhat thick and this is a good thing :) A little goes a long way so you don't have to stick that whole brush in to get the coverage you are looking for! I recommend as does Dawn, a good brush when painting furniture and when using their organic milk paint. Also... guess what, you don't need primer with this paint! Yep...the coverage is incredible!

Seriously, how could this NOT go well? You had a gorgeous piece of furniture and even better paint. Seriously, are you already sold I am. So, the paint below was still drying but I was REALLY excited and wanted to snap a decent picture for y'all before it got dark here in Florida! Isn't she BEAUTIFUL? 

Isn't this side table just gorgeous especially with this beautiful color? I wanted to hug Dawn at this point...haha! But seriously, I really was DYING over this paint. It went on so smoothly and perfect. The whole prep work I did for the paint was that I lightly sanded down the end table all over. I do this for most of my projects. I don't think you have to do this for this paint but it is recommended....

And here is the finished product below! I am in LOVE with the results and I will most definitely be a returning customer to The Primitive Life's "Organic Milk Paint." I apologize for the bad quality photos, it is now dark here in Florida and I was just too excited about this makeover not to blog about it tonight!

Look at that color? Isn't it beautiful! And I also noticed when I went to distress this particular piece, the paint actually made it a lot EASIER for me to distress it. And I LOVE that...if you have ever distressed a piece of furniture, you know why this is awesome! Just love it!

And just for fun, look below for a fun before and after. It is amazing what good paint can do. I am amazed and more than anything impressed with this organic milk paint. What do you think?

So, all in all... here are my final thoughts on The Primitive's Life "Organic Milk Paint."

-Simple instructions make for a fool proof system.
- Great coverage, no need for any primer. This was only one coat!
- Easy to distress & customize.
- Cute colors for lots of different types of projects.
-Highly recommended by me, Ally from Home by Ally :)

Remember to "like" "When Pigs Fly Again"on Facebook here and the actual "The Primitive Life- Organic Milk Paint" Facebook page here! I think this is an outstanding product and I would highly recommend it to a seasoned furniture painter or a first timer. 

Remember to "like" Home by Ally on Facebook here and remember also to click "follow" here on the blog to the ride side of the screen! This lovely little side table will be available for purchase on my Home by Ally Facebook page. I hope y'all enjoyed my review on this amazing organic milk paint!

Have a great night!


November 12, 2012

DIY no sew burlap table runner

Hey y'all! I haven't blogged in it has been weeks. I don't think that ever happens. But I also have been in what most call a "rut" between my mama going through her surgery to remove her cancer & being away from home during that time... and finding new inspiration in my home.
 If you follow me on Instagram (@Allyschmidheiser) & on the Facebook page (here) for Home by Ally, you know that we recently purchased a new farmhouse table. I wasn't really planning on doing this but I fell head over heels in love with this new table. You know how you go in a store and see something you totally just died over and you kinda gasp and say "Oh my gosh... I need it." That's what happened. And did I mentioned all of this happened, including selling the new table... all while my husband, Ryan, was at work. Seriously, I work magic... I know :)
Isn't she lovely? I LOVE LOVE LOVE... have I told you how much I love her? She is so sophisticated yet rustic. Pretty yet simple. Gorgeous yet understated. And have you taken a peek at the bottom of her gorgeous gams? OMG. I still look at it and I'm like... why did it take me this long?
 But if there is one thing that I have learned everyone... now listen closely. And say it with me...
"If you do not love it, do not buy it."
Just because it is pretty does not mean that you need it or even really want it for that matter. I used to buy anything and everything that was cute...and on sale. Mistake #1 and lots of lost ca$h. However, this table was SOOOOOO worth the cash. And the effort to sell my other one. My husband was upset at first but then realized we were getting another farmhouse table so he was ok after that. He shares my love of being able to have all of our family fit comfortably at one table and how easy this table functions during the holidays or even just with friends over.
Have I ever told you when Winston, our mini-doxie gets excited when we arrive home... he'll jump on the bench & onto the table just to get higher and closer to us? I love it.
The top is perfect, wide enough to have placemats & still have room in the middle where my runner is currently to place food for the holidays, etc. I'm brainstorming new ideas for a centerpiece right now. For now, I just have my little DIY box that holds my pillar candles and in the summer I put hydrangeas in. Those will also be available in my Etsy shop which you will have to stay tuned for the big opening coming soon! I hope.

The wood has a richness about it that I love and instantly was one of the first things that made me love this table. As many of you know, I am a HUGE fan of WHITE. I love white curtains, white walls, white cars, white china, white sofas, you name it... I'll probably love it in white. BUT... I can appreciate something pretty such as a pretty stain, grain, wood or piece of furniture. And my BLACK Equinox :) This table is the right mix of traditional, simple and farmhouse style that I love. What do you consider your style of decor? If I had to name a style for myself, it would be "traditional cottage or traditional farmhouse." I love clean, crisp colors and cool tones. I love the richness that wood brings while I also adore anything that is crisp white. All in all, this table is exactly what my dining space needed. Temporarily, I put a small table I redid in the left corner with a huge lantern I found at HomeGoods. And to the right is my corner hutch that I also redid and has been passed down 2 generations in my family. So far, I am loving the changes and I am not done yet :)
Ok! Now onto the true post that this was supposed to be! I've been searching for a burlap runner for over a year place on our old & new farmhouse table. I searched and just did not want to pay $50+ for something like that when I would say burlap at say Hobby Lobby and JoAnne's for a mere $7.99 a yard. I value homemade but this mama doesn't have a ton to spend :) I looked at this one the last time I was looking and found it to be my inspiration for this DIY project. Have I also mentioned how much I love Ballard Designs and Pottery Barn... because they give me SO much inspriation for my home:) And with inspiration comes no cost :) Ya like that, eh? Haha! This Pottery Barn one is no longer available, sad panda face :( But maybe that means I just need to have one of these available in my Etsy shop as well... what do you think?
Source: Pottery Barn
So... with some inspiration from Pottery Barn and a few other blogs... and Pinterest, I decided to make my own. I wanted to link back to these blogs...but for the life of me, I can't remember where I saw a tutorial like mine! Hopefully I find it and can link it back soon! :)
-Burlap, any color. I purchased mine from JoAnne's & it actually has a sparkle in it :) You will need to measure your dining room table length. Add 12-24 inches depending on what you want to the length of your dining room table and that is the amount of (length) that you need in burlap. I recommend having 6-12 inches hanging off each end of your runner. Example: My tables length is 84 inches. I added about 6 inches to each side. 6x2=12+84 equals about 96 inches give or take a few. I highly recommend washing your burlap before you do any of these. This will create your starting fringe and get rid of the burlap smell. I washed mine on gently cycle in warm water. I then TRIED to iron it out :) I ironed on the cotton setting if anyone is wondering.
-Measuring tape
-Iron with ironing board (Optional but recommended)
Step 1: You will need to decide now exactly how wide you would like your runner to be. I wanted my runner to be about 20 inches wide. So I measured from the left side 10 inches in and marked it. I did the same with the right side. The photo shows 10 inches in and where I cut the burlap. DO NOT CUT ANYTHING YET. I recommend NOT cutting this far, only about a centimeter of a cut just to know where you will start the cuts.

Step 2: Once you have marked or simply cut about a centimeter of where you will need to cut the ends, find the center string where you cut and simply pull it out like as shown below. GENTLY pull because these strings very easily break. Once you have pulled the whole string out of the length of your runner, there should be a small visible line that will serve as almost a guide to you for cutting your edges of your runner. See photo underneath this one.

Here you can see the line after I pulled the single piece of thread out. It provided me with a nice straight guide to cut and make my edges nice, clean and most importantly, straight. You will need to do this to both sides...

Once you have cut both sides and have a single cut of burlap, you are now ready to work on your ends. If you have any excess strings, cut them at your desired length.

I pulled another thread out as once again, a guide for one of my ends of my runner as shown in the photo above. I wanted about an inch of fringe on each end. Do this to both ends or to desired length.
I recommended earlier that you iron your burlap after you wash it. I must suck at ironing because mine just wouldn't iron as greatly as I wanted. But I stuck it on my table anyways... because I figured it'll fall out drumroll please... and here she is!

So, what do you think about my no sew burlap runner? I am loving it along with our new farmhouse table. Are you going to try it? And to top that off... I didn't mean before but the burlap was $7.99 a yard... and I had a 40% off coupon. I bought a total of 3 yards rather to be safe than sorry and ending up spending only about $15.00 total...actually I lied. I also recieved an extra 20% for Veterans Day weekend sales which actually made my total for this project a mere $10. I'll take it.

Oh! And I almost forgot. I was featured this week on another military wives blog, Simply Ciani. You can find here blog here which is also the link to where I was featured! Thanks again Jennifer! I LOVE her blog... great looking home and wonderful DIY projects! Everyone head on over and "like" her FB page here and remember to hit "follow" on her blog! Thanks loves!
So are you going to make your own? Let me know what you think! I would love to hear your thoughts! And do you just love our farmhouse table or what?
Talk to y'all soon!

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