Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Custom Artwork on Display

So I have this rule, if I do not have a spot (home) for a new item when I am shopping, I do not allow myself to buy it. I'm such an organized neat freak that having items haphazardly throughout the house really bothers me. This was the case when it came to my necklaces. My jewlery box was full and statement necklaces are popular, which meant I was missing out. Of course a new necklace would be a quick and cheaper way to change up an outfit. I was determined to solve my dilemma! I had perused Pinterest (hours of research of course!) and found all kinds of ideas to hang necklaces. The idea that stuck the most was the one using picture frames. 

I bought 2 unfinished frames that were 11 x 14 at Michael's when they were 55% off. I waited a while, but eventually bought Rustolum's Hammered Silver spray paint. One afternoon in the summer, I painted both of the frames outside.

They then sat around for months. (Not like a baby shower or anything happened to keep me busy!) When I was at Michaels for one of my weekly visits, I found corkboard about 1/2 inch thick in 11 x 14 sizing. I bought 2 and they fit perfectly in my frames. I knew where I was going to put these and wanted some fun fabric to wrap around the cork board. I got lucky and purchased 1/4 of a yard on sale for 50% at Joann's a few weeks ago. Finally, I was all set!

I put a wall bracket on the back of each frame so I could hang them. Luckily, I already had these and only had to dig them out of my stash.

Then, I started hot gluing the fabric to the corkboard.

This took no time at all. I then placed the covered board into the picture frame. To hold it in, I got out my trusty staple fun an staple it in. (So eager, forgot to take a picture)

Seriously, this took me maybe 15 minutes for 2 boards. 

I decided to use clear thumbtacks which I already owned. I used 6 on each board and alternated them by various heights to help with spacing. 

Now for the fun part!! I took them upstairs and hung then on the wall. One on each side of my dresser. Then I decorated them with my necklaces.

So now I can buy a few more fun statement necklaces and I have created custom artwork as well. One final look of the room in general.

Yes, I sleep facing my most prized, shoes, and jewlery!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Holiday Inspiration

In the beginning of November, I decided that I needed to finish up all projects before the holidays jumped up out of no where. So, I got busy!!

I painted the hallway and stairs. There is nothing to show as I painted it the same color, but there is something great about a fresh coat of paint on the walls. This also included recaulking all baseboards as well as repainting all baseboards and trim in the hallway and stairwell. Once that fun task was completed, I hung up this cool picture frame idea at the bottom of the stairs.

This also led to my new valance at the bottom of the stairs. A little funky print wise, but incorporates the colors used on the first floor of the house.

Now if only I could find a new rug to replace this ugly mess! Totally clashes with the rest of the house, but serves as a great chew toy for Blondie.

I also found some fabric and made a valance for the bathroom that I had painted earlier in October. Of course, I fell in love with this fabric at $49.99 a yard. That is not a joke. I only needed a quarter of a yard and it was 50% off, so what the heck! What do you think when I say I accidentally shortened the valance by an inch? I don't think you can tell though.

I made some additional storage for my statement necklaces which also functions as artwork. More on how I made these later, but here is a sneak peek.

Finally, it was not only the inside of the house that got attention. Let's not forget about all my leaves!! I spent almost the entire weekend outside and bagged 25 bags of leaves. Now that sounds bad, but let's not forget the other 27 bags I had put out earlier and I blew some of the leaves down street into the woods as well. Boy, do I love fall! And in case no one believes me, here is a picture of 25 bags!

Now, bring on Christmas. I am 1/3 of the way done with the Christmas cards too so I'm off to a good start!!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Oh, Hunter Rain Boots, How I Love Thee

Im not sure how it started, but the other year I fell in LOVE, like head over heels obsessed in love with Hunter rain boots. I would talk about them constantly. A very pretty maroon color ended up on my Christmas List last year. In fact, I was certain I was going to receive them when a box was given to me. I was so confident Christmas morning that I declared I was unwrapping them only to find my rubber mallet. Was I slightly disappointed it was a mallet and not my boots? Yes, however, that mallet has earned its own place of love. It has been very useful throughout the year and if you don't believe me, just look at all my projects.

This led me to haunt the Hunter website on a weekly basis. In the spring, I couldn't decide between a navy blue pair or stone (little grey almost white) pair. By the time I decided on navy, they were out of of my size. My obsession grew. I'm not even exaggerating this next part. I would check the Hunter website on a DAILY basis to see if they put any on sale. Not joking! I had entered my stalker-eqse phase.

I finally got smart and tried a pair on at Nordstroms over Labor Day to check the size I needed. However, my desire to own a pair grew more. Not sure how that was possible. So yesterday I went shopping again. I decided to take a stroll through Nordstrom's normally this is a quick little trip to remind me that my bank account is not nearly as big as I wish it was. However, I thought I should try on the Graphite Grey Hunter rain boots for fun. So as I had them on I asked if there was any way they were on sale and the sales associate said YES! The stars did align!! So, I sent a bunch of text messages and bought my Hunter rain boots. I'm in love!!

So to make this story even better, it is raining today. Now, I am going to run errands and get to wear my boots, awesome!!

This second picture is their true color. It was really dark in the hallway last night, but I had to take their first picture at home!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Revived! The little bench lives again!

Do you remember this little guy that was the find of the day?

I was so excited when I found him for only $25, however, he required some work. The wood seat was cracked and needed replaced. With a family owning a saw mill and wood shop, it is ironic, replacing the wood seat took the longest part of this rehab.

I toyed with the idea of painting the bench a different color, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. The structure was in great shape and I felt all the dents had been well earned. I hated to remove all traces of its previous life. I decided to sand it down and re-stain it. I had a can of dark stain, so one less item to purchase.

The fabric for the seat was another story all together. I was all over the board. I knew it needed to be more muted colors to match the existing color scheme, but I kept picking vibrant colors that didn't match.  When looking through a handful of scraps at a fabric store in the city one day, I found it! The disappointing part was the price of the fabric. It was $20 a yard. When the sales associate rolled out the fabric, there was a mark in it. However, it was in an area I was going to work around and not need. The sale associate was going to throw it away when I asked her if she would discount it due to the mark and she agreed. So, my yard of fabric only cost $10!

I think the bench turned out great and I'm so excited. I think I'm starting to get the hang of this.

This is its home for the next 2 weeks until a Christmas tree arrives and reclaims its place in the living room. Until then!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Dining in the Dining Room!

I have been quite busy around the house trying to finish all of the projects I started this summer before the holidays start. Last weekend, I can proudly say, all of my dining room chairs have been reupholstered. I'm absolutely loving the way it looks!

And now the entire room looks like this. 

I purchased the table at Pier One in August. There is a bench that matches the table and I thought about that option, but when I found another chair to make 5, I decided not to go that route. I do feel very grown up having an actual dining room table and chairs. Now if I could find a hutch, rug, and some wall art, the room will be complete!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Christmas Cards Round 2

Okay, so I took another card stamping class for Christmas cards again. It is November as I write this post, but I took the class in October. It still felt early to try new ideas, but to be honest, starting early is a must!

This class was taught by a different instructor. And if I think about it, I preferred the first instructor over this one. The last class didn't start until we all arrived and we introduced ourselves. This class, they had us emboss once we arrived. The reasoning was to help keep the class moving, but I was disappointed because I felt rushed looking around the store before the class started. Also, this class didn't discuss other techniques and tips, which I really enjoyed hearing new ideas last time.

The class wasn't a bust though. Granted, I have mastered using a stamp and embossing powder. What I never really thought of was using a piece of a larger stamp. I found this to be such a great way to really take advantage of existing stamps rather than always buying new. So now, the rules that apply in my closet for making new outfits applies to my hobby. Shocking!! Haha!!

Here is what we accomplished in class:

So, you may be wondering if you will be receiving one of these, but the answer is no. I made a tree card last year and this year I want to do something different. I found a cool stamp and can't wait to finish my design!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Baby Shower...Check

Remember in August when I said I had been consumed by a project, well that project was invitations for my sister's baby shower. Yep, I'm going to be an Aunt to a little girl in early December! Well, that is if she arrives when the doctors say. I'm guessing she is going to be a handful so what better way then to start early by ruining her mother's plans and coming early. Just saying! 

Once the invitations were done, then the planning started. However, the invitations took a few drafts...I think 9 total samples!! 

Not going to bore you with all of the previous samples that didn't pass the approval process. Here is the masterpiece:

Overall the day was great. A ton of presents. Seriously, I was afraid it would take HOURS for her to unwrap everything. Everyone who came was so incredibly generous and she received so many cute things. Here are some photos to remember the day!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Giant Rubber Duck and a Bike Ride

Pittsburgh has been hosting a giant rubber duck at the Point. I had been meaning to get down to see it, but as usual, other things always come up. Knowing that it would be leaving this weekend, time was of the essence. Of course, seeing the back of it Friday night added to the intrigue. Rather than trying to find parking, I decided to park and bike in.

Rather than a morning run, the bike ride was my workout. Let's just say that 47 degrees on a bike was colder than ever anticipated. Next time, I will dress a little heavier! I happened to get some great photos in the morning though and it was worth the chill.

I did decide though that the morning crew workouts on the river were probably colder than I was.

When I biked past the casino, there was an event for Susan G Komen. They were all kinds of bras tied onto the railings!

After this I decided to head for the duck! It wasn't a bad ride, but there were SOOO many people. It got to the point it was easier to push the bike so I didn't run into a stroller or a child or a pet! Ironically, I ran into a colleague. His entire family was there to see the duck, so I offered to take their pictures. This worked out well as then they took my picture. Just so you know, I wasn't planning on my picture being taken, so yes, this is a photo of me not showered, without a stitch of makeup. Beware......  :-)

Yeah, this no little rubber ducky. It is massive. I took some other photos from the side as well.

I didn't stick around too long, as I just wanted out of the crowd. Now who do I sound like? It was a nice morning ride though. It always amazes me how I forget how much I like riding until I'm back on my bike. I have to make sure I take advantage of that more often. It sure beat trying to find parking and then paying some outrageous fee downtown.