Friday, December 31, 2010

Toothpaste and blog makeover

I interrupt this hibernation with a very random post (it's been in the 70's today so I'm feeling a little better :)).

The other day I discovered that white toothpaste magically erases kid artworks on white walls. It may work on walls painted other colors as well but I personally tested the white walls myself. And it actually works!


Just put some toothpaste on a dry toothbrush, preferrably one you're not using anymore, and scrub-a-dub-dub on the wall. I wiped the excess toothpaste off with a baby wipe, let dry, and a pristine wall is all that's left! The artworks in my unofficial test panel were made with colored pencil, crayon and black marker. And they're gone!

Before.


 During.


After. And I got the windowsill too after this pic was taken.


Since my discovery a certain reverence for the power of toothpaste has come over me and I've been seen scrub-a-dubbing both this and that since. Yay for toothpaste!

I even converted my husband who've been scrubbing at our formerly white dining room wall behind the kids' seats. I don't know for how long that wall has been covered in splatters and smears of various nasty substances from the table, we've tried cleaning it but with flat paint in white (previous owners obviously didn't have any kids) and two kids under 5 we have been fighting a losing battle...
The toothpaste works on that too! It's just going to take awhile to get it all done. And I just bought some paint for that room today so hopefully the white will be a thing of the past anyway.

On a different note. During my hibernation with abundant candy eating I've managed to overhaul my blog design as well. Well, I winked my husband into overhauling it for me :) He's soooo much better at that Photoshop thing than I am and he's excellent at taking directions so it all turned out exactly like I wanted - colorful, over the top and gorgeous! Please check it out and tell me what you think :)


My main concern with the blog is that the blog itself is a lot fancier than my content - would that be false advertising? Hopefully some day our house will match the blog. I tell myself you have to have a goal in life :) Although the house will probably never be quite as flamboyant as the blog in it's current state, the husband and kids need to be able to live here to :)

And the third thing I was going to mention is that I have a problem. Remember my bathroom I finished only this last spring? Well, I already want to change it up. Yup, that's how quickly I change my mind. Mind you, it wouldn't be a complete overhaul, still love the turquoise. But it's feeling a little cold, too colorless or something. This pic is giving me ideas.


The bathroom probably wouldn't end up quite as wild but I'm seriously thinking of pulling some of those gorgeous colors in there with various accessories. Hmm, have to keep plotting that out.

Oh, and Happy New Year's! :)

Now, where was I? Oh, yes! Candy and hibernation. Mmmm... Back in a few weeks!

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hibernation

I'm feeling cold, lazy and unmotivated to post lately. I'm going to take a month or so off to hibernate, eat candy and sleep. Hopefully my creative juices will start to flow again as spring grows near (this is Texas and spring starts early :)).

I'll leave you with some random pics collected over time of things that speak to me, maybe they'll speak to you as well? :)







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Sleep tight, I know I will. Talk soon! :)


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Monday, December 13, 2010

Flirty slip cover

I have officially finished my first slip cover ever and I'm so happy to show you the result. Voila!


Alright, alright. Not the best pic, I know. More to follow, though, so stay with me :)

This chair looks like this in the nude.



It's a curb find from a few years back. I thought it had potential because it didn't stink and was very sturdy. It's got some stains and the fabric is very rough which is why I wanted to cover it. I thought I'd try a slip cover as opposed to recovering it since I figured it would be a little less work. And it was a lot easier and faster than reupholstering it, I finished in two afternoons/evenings, and that's even with a lot of procrastination and dragging of feet :)

A few years ago I bought a sofa slip cover at BigLots for $25. It never got used for the couch for various reasons and the thought hit me that maybe all that thick and nicely patterned fabric could be used for a slip cover for this chair. For the last year and a half this chair has looked like this.


See that chair in the corner? The sofa slip cover has just been thrown over it but it's all very shapeless and haphazard. And I've been dragging my feet over this slip cover for that long.

I didn't follow a specific tutorial for this but I've read a few on the subject in my days so I just worked from memory :) No measuring was involved in this project either. If you want a tutorial I found one here that more or less outlines what I did.

Here's what I did (in very general terms).

1. I ripped all the seams on the original sofa slipcover and ended up with two large pieces of fabric and several smaller. I made sure that the original skirt piece was left in one long piece so I could use it for my ruffle without having to re-attach the pieces or hem it.

2. I draped one of the big pieces over the front of the chair, right side down. Pinched and tucked and pinned and basted until it laid flat and fit right around the inside arms, the top of the back etc. (There's no detached chair cushions on this chair so I avoided the extra step of doing a separate cushion).

3. Sewed all my pinned and/or basted seams on the sewing machine.

4. Tried it on both wrong side and right side down to make sure the fit was right.

5. Repeated steps 2-4 for each outer side piece as well as the back and attached the pieces together as I went.

6. I took my long hem piece and pinned it on the slipcover while creating a pleated ruffle, attached it with the machine.

7. Cut pairs of rat tail cord for the ties and sewed them on with the machine.

All that remained was to put the cover on and have an official photo shoot :) As usual my pics came out not quite right (I blame the setting sun) but I've doctored them in Photoshop so they should be ok. Alas, Photoshop can't fix my blurry pics (or at least I don't know enough Photoshop to make it happen) so you'll still have to put up with that :) But here are the afters.







Luckily for me the fabric was chaotic enough that I could get away with not having to match it up at the seams and I paid no attention to the direction of the fabric what so ever :) Still turned out pretty well, don't you think?

My husband was so impressed with the results ("It's like a whole new chair" is an exact quote) that he now wants me to get a move on with all the other chairs I have promised to slip cover (my collection of curb find chairs keeps growing).

So this boxy, ugly chair turned into a flirty little ballerina of a chair with a cool slip cover. And the thick damask patterned fabric only cost me $25, that's hard to beat. So what do you think? :)

Ps. Linking up with
C.R.A.F.T.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Henna art work

Here's a shorty post about some wall art you may have noticed in my last post (but most likely you didn't because no-one asked. I'm totally volunteering this info :)).


Like most of my stuff it's DIY from scratch. Foam core boards again. I'm talking about the black and white art on either side of the large armoire.

While trolling the internets one day looking for Indian henna/mehndi designs and inspiration I found these images. (The first 3 from Designsmehndi.com, last one I don't know from where and I was unable to find it again).


And I just thought they were soooo pretty! Loved the graceful silhouette of the legs and feet not to mention the beautiful patterns. They're henna design sketches for henna artist to refer to when they're applying the henna, most are bridal henna I think.

I cleaned up the pics in Photoshop, printed them out and filled in the outlines with a fine tipped sharpie (did some retouching with the sharpie on the last pic as well since it's a pretty low resolution image). I more or less followed the same procedure as last time around as far as the foam board assembly goes, I used mod podge again to glue the paper onto the foam board and painted the edges black (again). I didn't have to blow the pics up much, I only printed them as large as I could get them to be on a standard sheet of printer paper.

And the result is some pretty cool modern/traditional henna art in a nice graphic black and white. They're all 14x14 inches and if you look closely at the first pic above you can see that they didn't quite come out perfectly square, they're all a little wonky. It doesn't bother me though. But I have no idea how it happened because I measured and used a square template :) And this other project I just finished I didn't measure anything and it came out just fine. Go figure. I guess that's why I don't often measure stuff :)

That wall before.


And the afters.




This last design is my favorite. The funny thing about these feet and legs is that they sort of go with where I placed them. That huge armoire is used to store our coats and shoes since our entry is right there and I didn't want that whole mess out in the open since it's also our living room. Shoes go with beautifully decorated feet, no? :)

What do you think, aren't they pretty?

As a funny side note I realized the other day that the color of the walls in this room are pretty much the same as that neon yellow-green of a brand spanking new tennis ball... We love it, though. And guests like it too (or they've been too afraid to object :)). We have a tennis ball room :)

Ps. Linking up with
Someday Crafts 
C.R.A.F.T
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Monday, November 29, 2010

Joy to the world... (and me, me, me)

... the Christmas decor is up!

To be honest it's been up for almost two weeks already but since I knew the rest of you had your hands full with Thanksgiving and whatnot I figured I'd wait until Xmas stuff was kosher. I'm not a huge fan of holiday decorating since it's a lot of trouble for something that comes down almost immediately. Xmas stuff stays up for over a month so I do some of that, and here's what it looks like (I've mostly decorated in the living room so that's all you'll see here).

View of one side of the room.


View of the opposite side. Don't mind the writing on the mantle, it's supposed to be a Bible verse when it's done but I'm starting to wonder if it'll all fit and since I haven't won any of those Silhouette giveaways yet it's taking me FOREVER to do it the old fashioned way.


Since my place looks a little Xmasy all year long I haven't really done much. The stockings and the stocking holders is all I added to the mantle, the rest stays up all year long :)


I got inspired to rework an old fake garland into this wreath using a large thrift store wreath form, added some ornaments and a bow and done! I like the hefty size of it. FYI I did add a wreath to the outside entry but it's not done yet, hopefully more on that later.


My little black naked tree got a dose of Xmas. The flowers were there already and I added some bead garland, some purple ornaments and a couple of birds. The last ones just because, found them at Dollar Tree. Figured a tree needs a couple of birds. The lighting is hard in that corner or I would have gotten better pics.



And the little Xmas tree. Just a jumble of ornaments from previous years. It used to be only silver and purple but I discovered that with my new colorful color scheme in here the two-tone looked a little washed out in comparison :) So I had some gold and red added to the mix.


So a little bit of holiday feel without too much effort. I put some Xmas music on today while cleaning up the usual mess the kids create so I could take these pics, to try to get into the spirit :)

On a completely different note I'll show you some pics of me, before and after. I got myself a haircut about a week ago. I wanted a change and a recent video I was in for our church made me feel like I wanted to cover up more of my face. I used to do drastic changes to my hair before the kids but it's been growing wild for over 4 years now. This cut isn't very drastic but at least it's different.

Before. LONG.




The befores were taken right before I went to get it cut so it's still wet from the shower and thus flatter than usual.

After. About a foot shorter with bangs and layers. These pics were taken today, maybe because the weather was on the warmer side (winter cold makes me go into hibernation mode and I don't get much done) or because I finally found a hairdo that I really like for this new cut? Either way, I snapped away.


Um, I'm sharper IRL, by the way :)



It took me a while to get used to this new hairdo. At first I felt it just made me look more like the frumpy housewife I am. I cut another inch off the bangs on my own (the result is what you see in these pics) and after that was done it felt a little edgier and more me.


Snapping away with the camera, trying to look good :) And I think I'm becoming more and more like my husband because some of his silliness is certainly wearing off on me...


I guess it could illustrate my first reaction after the cut? :)


Later I let my hair down and this is what it looks like.

On the plus side for the new look I do use a lot less shampoo, and covering the grays should be cheaper. I just wish I could re-shoot that video too....


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