Sunday, March 4, 2012

make and frame your own art.

I decided recently to make my own framed art for our bedroom, and this is what I came up with! Making a tutorial requires a lot of patience and picture-taking, so I didn't snap any pics along the way. But here's a general idea of how I did it:

1. Raided the manly mechanic's shop for a saw of some sort. I opted for the hand-saw, as the power version is still slightly intimidating.

2. Purchased two pieces of molding (for the frame), a tri-fold poster board, and wrapping paper (I already had the P).

3. I hot-glued the creases in the tri-fold poster board so it would stay open. I then mod-podged the wrapping paper to the board.

4. I sawed my moldings at an angle, into the lengths I needed to frame the poster board.

5. Using "ballerina slipper" pink by Martha Stewart (got a sample on sale at Home Depot for 50 cents), I painted my molding.

6. I didn't have any of the super-trendy glaze, so I decided to try my hand at my own version. I dabbed a paper towel in some black acrylic paint and brushed it lightly along my moldings once they had dried. That got me a nice black distressed look.

7. I painted one coat of the ballerina slipper paint onto my black wooden P. The black peeks through, which was the look I was going for.

8. Using hot glue (some other version of adhesive may have worked better), I glued my framing on and glued my P to the bottom right corner.

9. I also glued on some white twine for hanging.

10. That's it! Hung it up in the master. It doesn't match the current decor, but it goes with the future look I have in my head;)

Here are some more photos. I think eventually I'll apply the same process to some smaller ones, and maybe then I'll post the tute. Until then, this project cost me around $25, much less than any framed print you'll find in a store!

Oh, the cubby. See it up there? It taunts me every day, as I have no idea how to fill it...

My very own "glaze" technique. Turned out pretty cute!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Gator Love

Gator Love

Wallis orange top
£20 -

Party pants
£85 -

Seychelles wedge sandals
$70 -

Chanel quilted handbag
£3,725 -

Resin jewelry
$28 -

Sterling silver earrings
£25 -

I was feeling inspired by the ol' alma mater today... orange and blue are always great together! But really, how incredible is that white blazer? It's by Dorothy Perkins: SS12 Smart White Blazer. Yes, please! And how awesome is it that the blue trousers are called "party pants?"

When I started to create this collection, I was actually looking for some green ideas for my St. Patty's day trip to Charleston, SC. Obviously, no such luck. Maybe next time?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

expensive finds and their thrifty counterparts: living room furniture.

I have been dreaming about all the exciting things we're planning on doing to the house ATW (after the wedding.) That dreaming includes a lot of perusing Anthropolgie and some of my other favorite stores.

Here is the Thackery Chesterfield sofa from Anthropologie. This is the chartreuse version.

Isn't it gorgeous? Price tag: $2,498. I pretty much love anything tufted, and when you add on the nail head trim  on the arms, I'm madly and obsessively in love. I wondered to myself when drooling over this sofa: I wonder if I could find something like this used. And so off I went to craigslist, where I searched in furniture for sale, and typed in "vintage sofa."

Look at what I found!

image 0

Technically you could re-cover it, but personally I like the mustard yellow. I would love to refinish the wood though, to a white-distressed. And actually, wouldn't it be cool if the primer was gold, so the distressed portions showed a little gold? Sigh. You could even, gasp, add a nail head trim to the front, underneath the cushions, and around the wood trim on the arms.

Price tag for this one: $550, which includes a matching loveseat.

Here's another beauty, the Amelie Sofa, in Blazing Poppies:

This one is $2.498. Isn't it cool? A little wild I'll admit, but what a great accent piece! Everything else could be white, and then BAM. Blazing poppies.

Finchleigh Camel Back Sofa w/ Ball-n-Claw Feet
Finchleigh Camel Back

Wouldn't it look great covered in something like this:

Garden Gate, Garden
Garden Gate fabric from Tonic Living, $9.95 per yard

 Here's another I found over at Ethan Allen for $2,099.  Looks almost exactly like the one above!

And if you're not into buying used (vintage), there are plenty of new, inexpensive options in local retailers.

Head on over to World Market, and there you will find this, the Erin Cute-as-a-Button Loveseat:

Erin Cute-as-a-Button Loveseat | World Market
Guess how much she costs? $449.99. If you like the tamer look, you can stick with the fabric choice. Or, for about $9.95 a yard, you can re-cover it with something like this from Tonic Living:

Varenna, Sky
Varenna in Sky

More sighing. Oh, to find the time.

I guess you could just bite the bullet and buy the expensive versions, but where's the fun in that?

What do you think, Anthropologie or craigslist, Ethan Allen or Etsy? Tough call, I know!

faux brick patio.

I did this to my patio floor about three months ago, but I'm scatter-brained and forgot to share it with you all! I also couldn't ever seem to get a photo that I was pleased with, but here's my best shot:

This project only took me a few hours over the course of a couple days, although I will shamefully admit that I still have a few finishing touches to add, like painting the bottom of the walls where I accidentally got gray paint on the white, and touching up the areas in the old aluminum screen cage that have become worn and patchy over time. We're also planning to update our patio furniture, but we have tentative pool plans, so this flooring was an inexpensive, quick fix (it was hunter green before. Yikes!).

So, here are the materials I used:

  • Paint roller (all things Purdy have been recommended to me by professional painters)
  • An extension for your paint roller (you can use a broom stick if you don't want to buy/ rent a pole, and a broom stick is much lighter!)
  • Your base paint (mine was the light gray, and I chose a semi-gloss for easy cleaning. It did take a while to not feel sticky though.)
  • Your brick paint (mine was the dark gray. The old owner of our house left some in the garage, lucky us!)
  • Two or three large rectangular sponges (you can find these at your local hardware store. You can pick whatever size you like, but the rectangular with the rounded edges made for more of a "paver" type look.
  • Two paint trays
  • Scissors
I started obviously by cleaning the area and removing all furniture. Then:

1. Using my roller and extension, I painted the floor my base color. I only did one coat, as I knew I would be covering most of it with my "bricks."
2. Starting in one corner, I began my brick pattern in columns. My first column ran right along the edge of my floor, next to the screen cage. I started by pouring my brick paint into a tray and dipping one side of my sponge into the paint. Tip: better to have too little paint than too much! You can always re-sponge a spot to add more if needed. If your sponge is too saturated, it will look very fake. You are going for imperfection, just like real bricks and pavers.
3. It is obvious that you will have some space at the end of your first column. Leave it for now. I waited until the end and then used my other sponges to cut the sizes that I needed to fill in the space. On your second column, start you first brick halfway down from the first column's starting brick. Like so:

You can see at the end of each column (top right), where I left space to go back and add a half-brick.
 4. Continue your columns in the same manner. Make sure you can get out of your space once you finish! We don't want you to be trapped while your paint dries! Stop and look at your progress from a few steps back. You'll want to make sure you don't start to slant your columns. If you do, just adjust your next column by starting it a few inches out and gradually working in to create a straight line.

When I was finished with all of my columns, my space looked like this. See how the edges aren't done?
5. This is when I measured by empty spaces at the end of my columns, and cut my unused sponges to match.

Here are some of the sizes I used.
6. Once your paint is dry and you can reach them, fill in your empty spaces. I even have a ledge in front of the french doors that lead out to the patio, and I applied the same process to the ledge to make it look "bricked" as well.

7. And voila! Enjoy your new faux-brick patio floor! We love ours:

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The little yellow table.

Remember the table we found in the attic of the Manly Mechanic's shop? If not, this is what it looked like:

Well, I just couldn't wait. I refinished it today. What do you think of my little yellow table?

I think I need to sand the edges more... I was going for a more weathered look.

At some point I think I'd like to add a stencil. Maybe like this one from Living with Lindsay:

Except I think I'd like to glaze mine, sort of like Pretty Handy Girl did:

What do you think?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Women in Power

This morning I was listening to the Bob and Sheri show, and do you know what Sheri said?

She said (paraphrased), "when I first started in radio, my boss at the time called me into his office and said, 'hey, little girl, I'm going to tell you the most important thing you ever need to know about working in radio. Here it is: women don't like other women.'"


Sheri of course went on to say how offended she had been that someone would make such a blanket, prejudiced statement.

And I guess I agree. But. There was that little voice in the back of my mind saying, but, it is kind of true. And sad.

I only know this because a) I can remember being one of those women at times, and b) I have worked with many women who seemingly deplore other women. And it got me thinking. (Like so many things do.)

As a younger woman, I think I was always on the defensive, assuming other women were trying to one-up me, out-do me or bring me down. And then I matured and realized that when women come together and truly encourage one another, they can accomplish great things. There are many women in my life (including of course, but not limited to, my family and bestest friends, whom I of course adore) that I love so very very much and for whom I hope the very very best.

Look at all of the beautiful women in my family!

And my girls... how could I forget my girls?

However. (And of course you knew there would be a however.) Those women do exist. You know, the one-uppers, the kind who can't be happy for you, the kind that don't know who they are, so they try to steal a bit of who you are. The kind that give us all a bad name. It's actually interesting, because recently I've come into contact with a few such women. Women of power and influence, "heavy hitters" you could say. The kind of women who climb the ladder. Funny thing is, I am no such ladder-climber. Not to say I lack ambition- I have plenty of it, but the climbing looks tiring. I'd rather do what I do, do it well, and maybe have a positive impact on someone's life along the way. And hey, if that involves a fabulous career or some hefty cash-flow, even bettah!

Anyway. My recent experiences have just further solidified my stance that women hold women down so much more than men do. As long as there are women in power who trample others to get to the top, or who hold other women back because they feel threatened, we will never get very far in the business world. These "women-don't like-other-women" types are always viewed by the majority as a bit of a joke, which only means that their time at the top will be short-lived. And even if that time isn't cut short, what kind of legacy will they leave anyway?

Do you know what took place a few weeks ago, that I didn't get to go to? The Altitudes Design Summit, a conference for design bloggers. The majority of the attendees were female (although men were included!), and it was all about how to grow your design blog. Women teaching women! Women encouraging other women! These women are very accomplished and have a lot of unique talent, and they are sharing it with others. That, my friends, is how women should treat each other.

It doesn't have to be the way that Sheri's boss described it. Women can like other women. There is nothing I enjoy more than bouncing creative ideas off of my girlfriends, my mother and so many other women in my life. I come up with some of my best work when I'm musing with them.

In fact, look who I stumbled upon the other day: TheGirls With Glasses! What a great, creative female duo (see below)! We should all be so lucky. I will leave you to peruse their inspiration and hilarities, and to think about these questions: what would the business world be like if more women were like those at the Alt Summit? What other successful female collaborations can you think of? Go, ladies, go! Go forth and encourage:)

The Girls with Glasses Show
Go check them out, they're hysterical!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Addition to the design party

As I increase my stockpile of awesomeness for some new additions to my Etsy shop (FINALLY!), I created this little morsel... only, I sold it locally before it could hit the shop. Good thing I took some photos first, because I'll be offering this one at the design party!

Silver plated chain with hand-crafted Italian beads!

Cost for the party: $18