30 April 2011

Just a reminder...

...about my Fabric Giveaway.

If you'd like a chance to win it become a follower and leave a comment at the linked post above.

I'm spending part of my Saturday at a roller skating rink for the birthday party of one of my son's friends. It's the same rink where I had my 11th and 13th birthday parties. I think that's the last time I have roller skated...hopefully I don't come home in a cast.

29 April 2011

A Royal {overload?}

How am I spending my day? I am curled up on the couch, soaking up every dazzling second of the royal wedding. Oh yes; after much resistance, I have been completely, and unashamedly sucked into the hoopla. I can't help it- it's a real-life prince, and he's marrying a regular girl and making her a princess....what could be more beautiful?? {My husband would say "real life"...whatever.}

If you aren't getting your fill with the royal wedding, let me shove a little more British at you- 
Here are some homes in London:

(My personal favorite:)

And of course we can't forget this one:

Whether you're enjoying the festivities or desperately trying to make it through the day without hearing the names William and Kate (good luck) I hope you all have a happy Friday!

Don't forget about my zebra-print fabric giveaway! If you'd like a chance to win it, become an official follower of my blog and leave a comment on THIS POST. I'll be announcing the winner May 3rd. Good luck!

28 April 2011

Before & After Thursday

I would kill do almost anything to have a craft room. I have it all set up in my head so organized and pretty....
This clever girl from Beach Brights turned her unused formal living room into one:


Those shelves full of bins on the back wall are blowing my mind. She is oh. so. organized. Love it!!!
Check out her post here to get all the details.

Don't forget about my zebra-print fabric giveaway! If you'd like a chance to win it, become an official follower of my blog and leave a comment on THIS POST. I'll be announcing the winner May 3rd. Good luck!

26 April 2011

Guest posting and a giveaway

First of all, today I'd love it if you would come read my guest post at Giveaway Blogdom. If you like giveaways, you will LOVE this site.

But speaking of giveaways- before you go, I'd like to announce that I am having one!!!
I have a bunch of that beautiful, zebra-print fabric left over from my clock and couch pillows, so I'm giving it away to 1 lucky follower.

It's over two and a half yards (93 inches) of cream & brown colored, zebra-printed gorgeousness.

All you have to do to be eligible to win is to: 
1. Become an official follower of my blog (if you aren't already-if you are you're halfway done!) by clicking the follow button on my right sidebar under the "Followers" label
2. Leave a comment on this post. The reason for the comment is so that I know you actually want it- I have people like my brothers-in-law who follow me out of pity, and I'm sure they have absolutely no interest in winning zebra fabric. 

I will announce the winner on Tuesday, May 3. So you've got one week! If you're not already a follower, become one, leave a comment and be back here in a week to see who won!

In the meantime, please come join me at Giveaway Blogdom to read my guest post about ways to decorate using kid's art. If you've got kids, I know you've got tons of it floating around, so here are a few of the ways that I've come up with for displaying it. 

25 April 2011

A peek at what I'm working on...

First of all, if you wouldn't mind indulging me for just a second while I show off my cute kids on Easter:
This was after 3 hours of church, and they are still smiling....miracles are real!
Ah, I heart them :)

Today I am working on finding a permanent home for these beautiful Easter lilly's from my parents

Thanks to my crappy track record with plants, chances are good that the whole thing could be dead in a week. But, I'm remaining optimistic that they will last through the spring, so I'm going to replant them.

I could just buy a pot, but where's the fun in that? Instead, I'm focusing on turning this thing from a $1 Easter bucket into a pretty planter.
I'll let you know how it goes....

I want to give a huge thanks to Jessie from Mix & Chic for awarding me the Stylish Blogger Award over the weekend! 

Like the last one, I have to reveal 7 things about myself, and then pass it on.

1. I have 2 dogs
2. Sometimes I wonder why I wasn't satisfied with 1 dog
3. I believe that the only reason to run is if I am being chased
4. I have never been to a club
5. I would love to live somewhere with mountains, snow, lakes, forests AND a beach
6. When I was a kid I wanted to be a storm chaser
7. My favorite thing to do is laugh

Now I'm passing it on to......Full of Great Ideas! I just found this blog recently and I really enjoy it. The name is definitely fitting!

I'm off to keep working on my bucket!

23 April 2011

Happy Easter!

The Sweet Survival

I sure wish I would have stumbled across this cute yarn egg wreath made by Trisha at The Sweet Survival a lot sooner. Now that Easter is a day away it's a little late! Oh well, there's always next year. Perhaps some of the ambitious of you can hurry over to her site and find out how to whip this up before tomorrow. 

Have a great Easter! Come back next week for a giveaway!!!

22 April 2011

Back from the brink

This clock has rolled back from the edges of hell. Seriously, I took this thing to a really bad place. Here is what it looked like before:
There was absolutely nothing wrong with it, except that I was tired of the look. Plus I had a vision of it in zebra and it looked insane (-ly awesome!)

One broken glass front and a terrible oil-based paint job later and it had taken a serious turn for the worse. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to bring this one back.

But several coats of white house paint and a trimming of zebra fabric (along with a little prayer) were all this baby needed to be resuscitated. 

I wanted to really tone this thing down and have it be very understated despite the bold fabric trim, so I used the fabric only on the inside edge and I painted over the huge numbers and instead used an Elmer's paint marker to draw over the little triangles that had been above each number. 
I won these, along with a whole box of cool Elmer's stuff, in a drawing held by Amanda at Serenity Now. Before this I had never heard of a paint marker, but let me tell you, they're awesome. The grey one was perfect for my clock.

Here is my living room with the clock before:

And here it is after:
My husband is terrified of the fact that I'm bringing another dose of zebra into the room. But it's so subtle that in the picture you can hardly even see it. I keep reassuring him that we are a long way off from this:

I actually can't decide how much I really like the way it looks. I love it up close, but up on the wall I'm not so sure. It's not the zebra that's throwing me off though; it's the shock of white. I guess I've just gotten so used to seeing a dark color up there that now the white is hard to get adjusted to. I think it's also because other than the candlesticks, this is the only really white thing in this room, so it's standing out a lot.

I switched out the dark books on the top left shelves for some lighter ones, turned so that their white page-edges show. I like the way it looks a little better.

I'm going to keep living with it for a while to decide what I really think. But for now, I'm just happy this clock made it through it's transformation and lived to tell the time another day!

Weekend Bloggy Reading

21 April 2011

Before & After Thursday

This mirror's Before & After really speaks to me, mostly because I was dying to do this to the boring, builder-grade mirrors in the bathrooms of our last house. I thought that transforming them into something special could be as simple as gluing on a frame, and Emily from Emily A. Clark just showed me that I was right.



Read her post about this transformation with a MirrorMate frame, AND about how you can enter to win one of these babies for your boring bathroom mirror. 

20 April 2011

Guest posting at Frugalful

Today I'm really excited to be guest posting at Frugalful, which is a site dedicated to teaching women about "Living pretty on a budget". Check out my post about revamping old decor, and then check out the rest of the site. You'll leave with lots of great tips!

18 April 2011

Concrete floors

I hate grout lines. I also hate that whoever laid the tile in our current home did an awful job of cleaning up the grout, so we have several areas that look like there is dried mud on the floor. If I had a flooring choice it would not be tile. I feel like I've been there, done that way too much and am completely over it. Here's what I don't think I would ever be over:

I don't think I'd put this in a really traditional-style home, but in the right house this floor would be amazing. Maybe in our next place we can rip up all the flooring and polish the concrete slab...

14 April 2011

Before & After Thursday

Today I'm showing a desk that was beautifully made-over by Natalie from Natty by DesignI love how the look of it is totally transformed by the eye-catching paint color.

Aren't you just itching to repaint something now?? Little table in my foyer, I have my eye on you...you'd look great in a bright fun color!

Click here to see more pictures and to check out Natalie's blog.

*If you have a project you want featured email me with a link to the blog post where I can find the photos.

Happy almost-Friday!

13 April 2011

Shattered dreams

You'll be shocked to know that not every project I plan goes off without a hitch. Ever since our living room redo I've been wanting to do something with the clock above the tv.

I've been inspired by this picture:
I like how the zebra print from the stool is repeated around the mirror.

I thought since I have the cute zebra pillows on the couches, it would look cool if I wrapped the frame of the clock in the zebra print also.
Can't you just picture it? Looks awesome, huh?!

So anyway yesterday afternoon while the twins were napping I set out to make my vision a reality. I climbed up on a chair and pulled the clock off the wall and just as I was doing this my five year old came in the room and was very concerned with what I was doing. He was like "Oh no Mom, get down from there! You're going to get in trouble." I reassured him that I knew what I was doing and that since I'm a grown up (unlike him) I'm allowed to do things like this. He wasn't convinced. He watched me head out to the garage with a worried look on his face. I planned to repaint the whole clock in a cream color, then put the fabric around it. I took the clock apart and lifted the frame off and the glass instantly fell out and shattered in front of me. 
You mean this thing wasn't attached?? Or PLASTIC??!!
It never occurred to me that a clock this cheap would have actual glass; I've always assumed it was plastic, and didn't take any time to study it before I took the clock apart. 
Guess that was mistake number one. 

Mistake number two was deciding to try out some of the leftover paint from our living room shelves and tv cabinet. It's oil based paint and YIKES! It does not come out well on plastic, which is what the frame of this clock is made of. 
My son came out halfway through the horrible paint job, looked disapprovingly over my shoulder and was like "Mom, you're making a bad choice." So annoying when a five year old is right. 

I haven't given up yet. I'm still trying to figure out a way to salvage this wreck of a project. I guess not everything that I create can be a masterpiece. {Sigh}

12 April 2011

How to copy a look for less

First, when you’re admiring a look that you love, focus on the details. Think about what it is that makes the room so special. Is it a color repeated over and over? A mix of patterns? Uniquely arranged items? Pay close attention to the accessories because as beautiful as the large pieces in the room may be, it’s the accessories that really make a room, and these are usually the easiest to replicate.

Second, think outside the box. Once you’ve decided what it is you want to imitate in your own room, think of ways to do it cheaply. That usually means not getting something that looks exactly like the inspiration item, but you can still create something with a similar look, and therefore will translate into giving your room a similar feel as in the one you admired.

Third, shop right. Hit up thrift stores, yard sales, flea markets, Craigslist or Goodwill and keep your eyes open for a “diamond in the rough”. Remember that almost anything can be painted, papered or covered in fabric for a brand-new look, so ignore the superficial and just make sure that the piece you’re eyeing has the size and shape that you’re looking for. The details are easy to change. And don’t forget to shop your own house- a lot of times you can make easy changes to things you already own to make them better fit the look you’re going for.

I’m going to use this picture as an example:
If I was wanting to replicate this look in my own living room, I would start with that pillow with the 3 on it, because it’s the first thing that caught my eye when I looked at the picture. I wouldn’t try to find one to buy however, because it is just as easy to use an iron-on to transfer a 3 to a plain pillow that I already have. I would paint my coffee table black and use stencils to create a similar circular pattern with white paint. (I’d leave out the stars from my pattern because I’m not too into those- just me.)
I’d get three inexpensive jugs to line up on the coffee table and spray paint them silver. I’d use a vase I’ve already got and fill it with branches clipped from trees from my yard.
Floor lamps are expensive, so instead I’d replicate the two in the picture by finding some desk lamps in a similar style (they look eerily like something you could find at an office supply store) and spray paint the whole thing silver and set them on side tables on either side of the couch.
To get the tree stump side tables I’d follow a tree trimming crew and ask for some of their cast offs {I’m half-kidding with this one- but I’ve been considering doing this!!}
The colorful Lucite display at the stairs is beautiful and eye-catching, but I’m sure not cheap. So I would give my room a similar display of color by framing brightly colored scrapbook paper in either “frameless” picture frames, or cheap frames that I’d painted white to blend into the wall so that the paper would really “pop”.
Finally, I’d slipcover the couch I’ve got so that I could have red without paying for a whole new sofa.

Being a copy-cat can be fun! BUT you don't have to stress about trying to make your room (or item) a mirror image of it's inspiration. Creating something with a similar look and feel but with your unique touch can be even better!

11 April 2011

A pillow made from cleaning rags

That's right, I said cleaning rags. I was in the Dollar Tree last week and was walking through the cleaning isle when a flash of silver caught my eye. It was these double-sided cleaning towels- micro fiber on one side for dusting, and wire threading on the other for scrubbing.
I stood and stared at the shiny silver for a few minutes and thought "hmmmm....I wonder...." Then I snatched two up and took them home. I figured if it didn't go as well as I was picturing in my head, at least I'd have a couple great new towels to clean with.

To make the pillow I laid one towel silver side up, and the other towel on top of it silver side down.

I didn't bother with pins or anything, I just held the two together and sewed all the way around except for a space big enough to turn it right side out.

I stuffed it with a mix of poly-fil and quilter's batting (I didn't want to spend any more money on this thing so I just used what I had on hand) and hand sewed the edge where I'd stuffed it.

Here's the result!

I could have made this look a little nicer if I'd taken the time to iron it before putting it together, but I'm fine waiting for the creases to go away on their own. This pillow took me about 10 minutes from start to finish. Love quickie projects!

It's not a pillow you'd want to cuddle up and take a nap with- it's pretty rough! But I like the silver sparkle that it adds to my couch.

Weekend Bloggy Reading