Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Featured on Finding Fabulous!

While I was out of town last week, Jane from Finding Fabulous featured my thrift store tray makeover! If you missed the original before and after post, you can catch it HERE.


Jane has an awesome blog where she features all kinds of fabulous things that were DIY-ed on a budget. Check it out when you have some time!
And check out her feature of MidSouth Stagers HERE!
Thanks Jane!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Tribute To My DIY Hero

I have been absent from my blog over the past week because I have been home for an unexpected trip. My grandfather passed away Tuesday, and thankfully I was able to spend his 2 final days with him. He was 97 years old, and until 2 weeks ago, was still driving, growing his own greens, and living independently. He was an inspiration to many, but I feel priviledged to have been his grandaughter, and also to be able to carry on both his and my grandmother's knack for DIY-ing. They were DIY-ers mostly out of necessity, but also because having expensive material posessions was not what mattered most to them. Family and friends were their top priorities, and I think we all need to take a page from their book to make sure that these are our priorities as well.
 My brother, me, and Opa
My Opa (He was dutch, and this is what we called him...it is what many Europeans use as the word for grandfather) kept a giant garden for many years, built his own work-shop behind his house, and added on an entire bathroom (while in his 70's!!). He could build just about anything, and fished for and grew most of the food that he (and we) ate.
My cousin Cathy, Opa, and me on one of his birthdays.
He made many of the furniture pieces in my grandparent's house, and I am so glad to have one of the pieces he made in my home. He was always checking on others and was more than generous with the food that he grew in his garden and the fish that he caught. He took me on long walks (in the stroller) through the neighborhood when I was little and pushed me on the swing (teaching me dutch songs) until the sun went down. He always let me "help" in the garden and in the shop, and even sometimes let me mow the lawn!

Opa's grandkids on his 96th birthday. The last pic of all of us together.
He loved his family and my Oma, and I am grateful for the time that we had with him. There will never be another one like him.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Why I Shouldn't Have Nice Things

Do you see this sweet ball of fur?
Look how playful and innocent he is...
Oh look how sweet and content...
So carefree and happy...
Such a cutie. You just want to squeeze him...
Until he runs around your house like he has become temporarily possessed and knocks over/shatters your soon-to-be-hung MIRROR that you just blogged about finding and that you had already picked out a place for...
Yes...those are pieces of it on the floor.
Cut to me with the saddest face you've ever seen.(Yes that was a Karen Walker/Madonna reference)
So yes, this...

is why I shouldn't have nice things (note the crazy eyes...)
I may or may not be ordering this shirt for him shortly. It's a toddler shirt, and he acts like one so I find it appropriate.

Alternate title: Why I shouldn't leave nice things in destroying-distance of the Murphy Monster. Either way my mirror is in a bad state. I'm checking out mirror repair options today, but I'm pretty sure it's going to cost me a pretty penny either way. The original glass was super thick. I'll keep you updated.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Estate Sale Deals!

I am SO excited about what I snatched up at an estate sale this week (Ok, not exactly snatched up, but I couldn't believe that on the last day of the sale it was still there!
This is a Carver's Guild mirror that had a price tag of $125. I saw it on Sunday, the second day of the sale when it was marked down to $80. But I still couldn't bring myself to spend that much (I'm cheap). But I went back on Monday, thinking for sure that it was gone, and it was STILL THERE! It was marked at $67.50, and after talking them down to $50 and trying not to show how excited I was, I loaded it up!
HERE is one on ebay to show you just how insane $50 for this mirror is!!
I have an idea of where it's going, and I'll post once I make that decision. I also found a few other great things. If you can see what looks like a pile of fabric to the right, that is 4 custom drapery panels that I got for $20 total. I love the print on them and the colors are right on trend.

A tip about estate sales:
Go the first day and scope it out. They usually run 2-3 days. If there is something that you know is an awesome price and will go fast, go ahead and snatch it up. If you have to think on it then wait. Go back on the last day when everything is priced much lower and see if your piece is still there. You would be suprised, like I was!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Few Blog Updates!

I hope everyone is having a happy January! I thought with the new year I should spend a little time updating the blog. So, a few things that you should check out:
There are several new options in the column to the right. You can now "like" us on facebook, get every new post emailed to you by simply entering your email address, and check out our Pinterest page by clicking the button!
We also have a new header showcasing some recent projects and a new background.

Also, I bought THIS today! Which hopefully means better pictures on the blog!
In keeping with the theme of new year, new updates, I have made several personal "resolutions", or whatever you want to call them. Here are a few, because I feel like if I make them public, I will be more likely to follow them!
1. Start wearing eye cream at night. Apparently the rest of you started doing this years ago, and no one told me. Now my eyes are all wrinkly and it's going to take me years to catch up. Thanks a lot for keeping me out of the loop, guys! I guess better late than never.
2. Start only getting on Facebook to update my business page or occasionally post pictures. I feel like the "friend" side of it has become a little negative lately, and I am not even seeing updates from the only people that I would like to keep up with. So if you need to get in touch with me, it's probably not the best place to do that. So far I am 3 days and counting with no Facebook, and it's pretty great!
3. Get over my body issues. This is my big one, and it's the hardest. I don't know if I'll ever be completely able to embrace things like cellulite, hair turning grey, or flabby arms, but I'm going to do better not to dwell on it. That brings me to my new blog venture on the side:


I get asked about my clothes a lot, and I decided to do this to help people shop for fashionable things on a budget. I am not an expert, not even close, so this is just informative and for fun. The catch is that I would have to be OK with posting pictures of myself (which I don't know if you've noticed, is a thing that doesn't happen on this blog!). This will be the big challenge for me, so please check it out and give me some encouragement! I hope you'll follow along with the new blog as well as this one. And spread the word to anyone you think might enjoy it! I'm really excited about it!

Did any of you commit to resolutions this year? Have you already broken them? I'm curious to see what others think about them, so let me know!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Before and After: A Quick Look At A Client's Living Room

When my clients moved into their beautiful new house, they didn't exactly have furniture that worked in the space. Truthfully, no furniture would work in this space without it being found specifically for it. This living room has a wall of french doors to the right, an empty wall to the left, a wall-to-wall opening in the back to the kitchen, and a fireplace/built-ins in the front. So basically any furniture placement was going to block something.
The deep red formal drapes were very dark and just for show...not actually functioning. And they weren't really their style. Also the dark painting to the right was competing with the TV. The current arrangement was blocking the great french doors, and there was lots of wasted space behind the couch.
So without changing the wall color, we were able to lighten/casual things up quite a bit. This is only half of the room (there's an awesome sectional behind me...but my phone only does so much). Placing a sectional against the left blank wall really freed up the space. There is actually a recliner to the right behind me as well.
We wanted to go with soothing colors so lots of greens, blues, browns, and beiges. I made the drapes with this amazing fabric that I'm pretty sure I bought the remaining lot of on the entire planet. The custom pinstriped side chairs are meant to flank the fireplace and be functional: They have rolling castors and can move around quite easily to face the fireplace if needed.
The pillows are a sea-foamish color, similar to the medallion print rug though it's hard to tell here. They are velvet with satin ends and add a little sophistication. The built-in's are filled with almost entirely items they already had...just staged to showcase each piece.
I promise to have real pics at some point! I am looking at cameras as we speak...there's a good deal going on with THIS one right now. Any input on cameras before I swipe my card?? Suggestions welcome!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Design Work Sneak Peek

I wanted to give you a little look at the office that I am working on. I am hoping to get several before/afters of this house posted soon. I showed you a little bit of the den HERE.

This is a side wall in the office. We needed file storage but also needed a nice furniture piece since this is the first room that you see when you walk in the front door. So I chose this double file cabinet from Ballard. We also needed something to sit over the file storage, and this cotton canvas painting by Hillary Butler was perfect. She tweaked the colors a little to fit our scheme. You can see more of her beautiful pieces HERE. The accessories are all from different places around town, but look great paired together!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A few New Year's changes

I promised that I would tell you more about my coffee table that is now an ottoman in THIS post about my DIY moss vase fillers. I have also made a few other changes to the den, so I thought I would show you all in one post. I thought it would be fun to take a look at the den and all of the changes it has been through.
 The first pic is how it looked when we bought it, middle is in-progess painting...yes that's me painting. Such a flattering pic. And on the right is after new paint on all of the trim, walls, and refinished floors...they were still wet.
On the left is what it looked like a month or so after moving in...pretty much using what I had. And the right is the den today. I'm sure it will change again before too long!
One change was getting new prints for these frames. I also wanted to paint them...I was tired of the dark. Those ugly comfortable and not-going-anywhere-anytime-soon couches were enough dark.
So I used a little gold spray paint and ordered new prints from THIS etsy shop. They have so many more prints that I want to order! So fun and different!
I love the new look of them and think it brightens up that wall a bit. I also have a few new pillows. The color splotch pillow was on super clearance at West Elm outlet. The bee medallion pillow (it's kind of hidden) was literally like 2 bucks at Dillard's the day after Thanksgiving. I'm trying to not be so OCD symmetrical with everything. Can you tell?
I also like how the frames contrast with the big print over the side chair. Not quite so matchy-matchy. You may also notice a bigger change...a new rug, and my ottoman.
Oh, and those shades in the windows...mini-blinds with fabric glued to them. No joke. Look on Pinterist for a good tutorial. It is SO easy and inexpensive.
This rug was such a steal! It is actually two seagrass 5x7 rugs from TJ Maxx that were $49.99 each! I had some heavy-duty thread in the same color, so I literally just stitched two sides of it together. Because of the pattern of the rug, you really can't tell! You can't beat $100 for a 7x10 rug.
And as for the ottoman, I apologize for not taking pics of the process, but I got carried away. But all I used were 3 large foam squares that I placed on top, wrapped it in batting that I stapled to the bottom, and then wrapped it again in a fabric I picked up a few weeks ago. I am probably going to get new, sturdier legs...maybe a spindle leg painted gold...we'll see.

Friday, January 6, 2012

DIY Decorative Moss Vase Filler.

I don't know if that's the technical term for them, but Moss Balls was the only other name I could come up with...sorry if that sounds a little awkward :)
I needed something to fill the glass cake dome that is currently in my built-ins, and I didn't want to pay $2-$3 a piece for Mossy balls (OK that just sounds weird, I'm now calling them spheres).
I already had some moss from THIS project and THIS project, but you could pick up a sheet (mine was actually an entire table runner) at Hobby Lobby when they are 50% off or with a coupon from Michaels...it will probably cost you about $5.
I picked up some floral spheres at Hobby Lobby for 50% off. So they were about $2.50 for a package of 6.
Oops...blurry pic. Sorry!
Next I cut the moss into lots of pieces. I wanted each one to fit on the spheres without wrinkling up.
One thing to remember when working with this moss is to have something under your workspace (mine happens to be the floor). This stuff gets everywhere!
I used my hot glue gun to attach the pieces all over the floral foam. It was kind of fun...like putting together a puzzle.
Sorry again for the blurry pic...not sure what was going on there. Maybe too much caffeine for the photographer.
Once all of the pieces are on, you can't even see where any of them match up.
Here they are all happy on top of my ottoman that used to be my coffee table...more on that in another post.
And here they are in their new home! I still have a couple left that I am going to use somewhere else. I'm just not sure where that is yet!

So my cost breakdown:
6 foam spheres: about $2.50 (hobby lobby at 50% off)
Sheet of moss: already had, but used about 1/4 of it so let's say $1.25 ($5 for total sheet at hobby lobby)
Hot glue: already had
So I spent around $3.75 total for 6 moss spheres. As opposed to $16.50 HERE. Anyone notice that PB calls them spheres too.
I think that's a pretty good deal for an hour spent DIY-ing!

Monday, January 2, 2012

DIY Mason Jar Candle sticks

For Christmas, I like to give a lot of homemade gifts to family and friends...I do this because it saves money but also because I feel that it is a lot more thoughtful than some random gift that I found for them last-minute. Christmas is more about the thought than about the commercialized holiday that it has become. I love getting homemade gifts and I think most other people do as well.

This year I wanted to make my mom a couple of those cute "redneck" wine glasses that I have seen at several gift shops. They are a little pricey if you buy them retail, so I decided to make them myself.
Here is a pic of what I'm talking about:
via Stylemepretty.com

It pretty much involves a Mason Jar and a glass candle stick. So I went to the thrift store and picked up a couple of pretty candle sticks. I already had Mason Jars. I also picked up some glass glue.
But, when I got home, I realized the sticks were TOO big for glasses...they ended up being more appropriate for a rapper. This is all I could picture:

Not what I was going for...my mom looks nothing like this and defnitely doesn't need a "Crunk cup".
So I decided to turn them into candle holders instead. They are much more appropriately-sized for candle holding, and now no one will get my mom confused with Lil'-John.

These are the candle sticks that I chose for the project...for the wine glasses, they would need to be 4-5 inches shorter.
First, I picked up this glue that works on glass...it is fairly inexpensive compared to the other glass glues, and worked great!
I applied the glue to the tops of the candle sticks and then centered the jars on top. It dried very quickly and it is super-sturdy.
I took a pic of them after they were dry, and my phone ate it.
But luckily, my mom sent me a couple of pics of what she has done with them so far. They are phone pics so they aren't super-clear, but you get the idea!
She added some glass rocks and a tea light for some color to each one. Cute, huh?
Now do you see how big they would have been as glasses?!
She says she is thinking about tying some twine around the top of each one, which I think will look great! And after looking through Pinterest, I thought I would share some more ideas for these Candle sticks (apparently I'm not the only one that has made them into candle holders as opposed to wine glasses...)
Used as a seasonal decor/candle holder:

Find the post about the two above HERE.

How cute would this be for a kid's party? I love the painted lids and bases:
Find the full post for those HERE.

And another seasonal Idea...this one added knobs to the lids and also painted the bases:
Found HERE
I love using Mason jars in unexpected ways!

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