simple is beautiful

Fabric Shopping in High Point

Friday, February 26, 2010

When it comes to fabric shopping in High Point, there is something for everybody.  A while back I promised to share some of my favorite fabric stores with you.  I recently made a trip to High Point and wanted to share  two of them.  Many of my followers are in North Carolina, and a lot of you travel here for the High Point Furniture Market, so I thought you might like the inside scoop.  If this isn't your thing, please come back again.

1502 Fabrics
2108 Dunmore Ct.
High Point, NC

1502 carries a wide variety of gorgeous fabrics ranging in price from $10-50/yard.  They carry upholstery fabrics as well as fabric for window treatments.  1502 also has an extensive selection of rods, rings, tassels, etc.


The room in the back is where you find off price fabrics starting at $6/yard.

That is where I found this wonderful little guy.

Leisure Fabrics
2600 Bedford St.
High Point, NC
My other favorite fabric store is Leisure Fabrics.  Let me first say that there is n-o-t-h-i-n-g at all glamorous about this store.  You must dig for gold.  The two gentlemen who work there will help you, but you must be willing to throw some elbows to get what you want.  The reward is that all fabrics are $3-4/yard.  Also, you don't see the latest greatest here, but there certainly are treasures to be found.

As you can see, all the fabrics are standing on end and sometimes what you want is in the back of the row.  "Will work for fabric" must become your mantra.  They also carry fringe at $3-4/yard as well as a few tassels.  Another note of importance, they close every day at 12:00 and re-open at 2:00.  Be sure to check the schedule before you go.

If you explore any of these, let me know what you think.  I'd love to hear from you.
Happy shopping!

Cute Roller Shades on the Cheap

Thursday, February 25, 2010

kIf one theme is consistent in the decorating world, it is finding less expensive ways to beautify our homes.  Thrift stores have gained popularity and do-it-yourselfers are doing it themselves more than ever.  That is why when I read the March issue of Southern Living I was excited to see great ways to embellish cheap roll up shades.
I love this stenciled shade.  Over the years I have done many a stencil project, but I do believe something this small would be a breeze.  I especially love the pop of red on the window below.  There are so many stencils and colors, the sky is the limit.

This monogram by sunny's paint is my favorite.  I love a preppy monogram.  Used in a room with only one window, this would be so charming.  I'm thinking about my son's room and how the tailored look could easily go in a boy's room. Top it off with a pelmet box or keep it simple as seen above.

Focal Wall

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


A while back I asked for your advice on what to do in the entrance to our home.  It was sort of plain, but functional.  Several of you left comments with great suggestions.  Thank you so much for all of your responses!  I think the consensus was that something could definitely be done to bring a little umph to that spot.

I seriously considered using contact paper to make chevron stripes, but was afraid I would pull the plaster down when I decided to update it.   Instead I used happy tape to make a diamond pattern.  I've seen it done several times and thought it would add just the right touch.

The project went a lot quicker than I thought.  First I took some careful measurements and made light marks on the wall.  Then I began applying tape.

I think it the touch to the entrance that I was looking for.

Blue and Green Obsession

Monday, February 22, 2010

     If there is a combination of colors that has caught my eye, it is blue with green.  The earth and sky.  The ocean in the tropics.  Picture a sunny summer day when you look up to see the bluest sky at the top of the greenest treeline.  I love that (I miss that).

    Perhaps this cold winter has kindled this new color obsession of mine, but truthfully, I have always loved blue with green, green with blue.

      Rooftop Terrace traditional landscape
      Amoroso Design contemporary bathroom
      color combos - blue

      Gethsemane Gardens

      Sunday, February 21, 2010

        Meet my two new friends Josephine and Napoleon, hostess and host of Gethsemane Gardens, one of my very favorite nurseries.  Gethsemane Gardens specializes in Hellebores and woodland plants.  They also carry lots of winter bloomers which is such a treat this time of year.

        I discovered Gethsemane several years ago when I was shopping for a birthday present for Mom.  Mom is difficult to shop for and when I find out about something she wants, I try to beat her to it.  In this case, it was a white fruited Nandina.  I called every nursery in town and was referred to Gethsemane Gardens.  At the time, my oldest son was only 7 or 8 and really wasn't interested in going shopping at a "flower store".  He soon changed his mind.

         We were greeted by the owner, a hard worker, always in the middle of raking, planting, and tending the nursery.  I asked her about the white fruited Nandina  and she offered to take us out to the green house several acres away ~ via a golf cart.  My sons eyes grew big, wow, a golf cart ride.  The rest is history.

        I love a real working nursery.  Not one with big trucks that back in and deliver perfectly pruned and fertilized plants grown in optimal conditions.  No, this is the real deal.  Real people.  Real work.  Every day.  There is something to be said for that, and that is why I return year after year.


        The nursery is located off of a country road on a plot of land just perfect for a woodland garden.  A walk through the glade is much like an Alice in Wonderland experience, complete with little tea sets and magical creatures.

        The hellebores were just beginning to emerge above the foliage.

        Next we entered the greenhouse filled with fragrant Daphne and more Hellebores.


        Oh, did I mention the fresh eggs for sale in the garage?  Honor system, just leave the money in the refrigerator door.

        Above is a plate that I painted several years ago.  I saw one like it in Tiffany and Co. and made one for myself at one of those "paint your own" pottery places.  It reminds me of my favorite nursery.  The working one, with chickens and bunnies, and little tea sets tucked into the forest full of Hellebores.

        Thank you Josephine and Napoleon. 
        I am sharing this with A Southern Daydreamer.

        The Cottage and Vine Banquette

        Sunday, February 7, 2010

        Not to worry, this isn't another post about "the plate wall".  No, this is about something else.  It's the thing under the plate wall.  I thought it was high time that I share this with you because so many people have commented on it and asked questions about it.


        That black thing back there is not a buffet, it's a banquette.  

        We had it built a few years back, before making the mortgage payment each month wasn't the main focus.  Boy what a difference a couple of years make huh?  OK, enough of that.


        I kept seeing fabulous banquettes in magazines and shared my collection of tear sheets with the mastermind who did the design work.  Doug, was so excited and immediately went to work with drawings.  His inspiration came from storage on ships.  You see ships are much like small homes; use your space wisely because there isn't much of it.

        The seat backs pull down from the top and on the inside there are shelves.  I store everything from cookbooks...

        to school supplies....

        and all things in between.

        The bottom drawers open the full depth of the bench providing ample storage as well.  Here you see my son's supply of origami and potholder making supplies.  Other drawers contain hardly used appliances and the boys' schoolwork that I can't part with, etc.

        Part of the the Cottage and Vine philosophy is making the most of a small space.  Space for one could mean a one bedroom apartment or for another could be a rambling ranch, but here at Cottage and Vine, we are just like everyone else, looking for places to put stuff, and this has been one of the best additions to our home thus far.

        What do you do with your space?  Do you have any tricks up your sleeve?

        Black and White Bathroom

        Wednesday, February 3, 2010

         "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."    Theodore Roosevelt

        When my husband and I shopped for our house 14 years ago, we knew we wanted to be in an older neighborhood.  We love older homes for their character.  You get the hard wood floors, picture molding, plaster walls, big trees, and tile bathrooms.

        Sometimes the tile in bathrooms of older homes is not what you would chose if you were starting from scratch, but as the economy would have it, we are not doing major renovations any time soon.  No, we just continue to do what we can ourselves and try to make the most of it.  That said, I have been busy.

        Our house has two full bathrooms and that is it.  They both were due for a fresh coat of paint so I saw this as an opportunity for change.  Our downstairs bath is a hardworking one and really serves nothing more than a utilitarian purpose, get in , do your business, and get out (because someone might be waiting in line).

        Wall Stencil

        First of all, this bathroom has been through every color under the sun, and I even covered it with wallpaper once.  This time, I decided to let our black and white bathroom be just that, a black and white bathroom.  I found a stencil at AC Moore and went to town.

        I used a sponge to apply the black craft paint which I am happy with.  The loose, slightly worn appearance is nice for our 70+ year old house.  The sponge has to be dampened before you use it so that it doesn't absorb too much paint at once.  Be sure to ring the sponge out well or you will have to do this.

        Shower Curtain

        If you have never visited Little Green Notebook, make that your next stop.  Her DIY projects leave me with my mouth hanging open and an urge to run to Home Depot in the middle of the night.  LGN is the inspiration behind my shower curtain.  One of her posts demonstrated how to make a stencil by using freezer paper and the computer which I tried for the first time on the Anthro chest of drawers.

        My shower curtain is made from an old muslin sheet that I picked up years ago at a tag sale.  Those old muslin sheets are the best.  The width was perfect and so I left the selvage edges.  Next I attached about a four inch border at the bottom with black cotton sheeting fabric that I picked up at Walmart (washed a couple of times to avoid differential shrinkage).


        For the stencil, I played around on until I found the font and design that I wanted.  The font is biondi and the design is wingdings 2 - abcd.  Easy.  Then I taped freezer paper to the screen to trace my stencil.

        Once I had the font and size, I cut it out with an exacto.

        OK, this part freaked me out.  Well, it freaked out my entire family, because everyone watched.  After making the shower curtain, I didn't want to ruin it by messing up the monogram.  The cool thing about freezer paper is that it can be ironed to stick to fabric temporarily which is perfect for this use.  After positioning the stencil, I ironed it into place.  Next I applied fabric paint with a sponge applicator.

         I gave the medicine cabinet about six coats of glossy black paint.

        We took down a nasty wall cabinet that while it was nice for storage purposes, it took up visual space and just ...yuck.  We added this glass shelf.

        To help with the space/storage issues is we added a towel bar to the back of the door.


        This robe hook beside the tub comes in handy on those cold mornings. 

        Finally, the ceiling in this room was rough in texture from years of neglect.  We covered it in textured paper and painted it white.  We actually did this several years ago and it has held up well.

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