Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Inspiration and giveaway wrap-up

Haha! I guess I should have known that you, dear readers, feel the same way about giveaways as I do :) Why else would you be following along here, right? I just wanted to give something back to you since we're small enough for the chances of winning to be pretty good. A thank you of sorts :)

And we have two happy winners who've been duly notified, with prizes on the way or on the way to being sent out :)

While I wrap up my latest outrageous DIY (new curtains, at first I was sure I hated the result and now I'm fairly convinced they're pretty fab, detailed post to come in the near future) I'll give you a few inspirational nuggets to ponder.


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The pants/skirt, whatever it's called. I love it! I hate wearing skirts but if it's basically shorts with two skirts attached I might actually like it. If I can work up enough courage I'll give this one a try sometime. Is this too loony to wear in the west, at Walmart for example? It somehow reminds me of a crazy rendition of the 70's pants, but with flair instead of ugly. 

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 Nothing spectacular here. Except the rope decoration behind those oval silhouette frames. A great way to give the frames more presence on the wall. I love ways of adding grandeur to "average" objects (although the silhouettes are nice too). 


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Mirrors, mirrors everywhere! I think I have a slight obsession with mirrors. I have at least one mirror in every room and multiples in most of those rooms. Kitchen too? Why not? :) I'll give you a peek when I finish this other project I'm working on in the kitchen.


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If someone can give me a hint on how to DIY replicate that lovely purple dresser I want to hear all about it. It looks almost metallic? So nice and bright :) And this purple thing is a mild obsession too lately. 

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A jungle bathroom. If my place wasn't so tiny and if I wasn't so good at killing plants I would love this look. I will nevertheless try to add some more (hard-to-kill specimens, mind you) plants to my house collection. It's like your house isn't really a home until it's got a few plants hanging out in there. 

And an exotic sunset with breezy fabric and lovely arches... This pic really lowers any kind of stress for me, just looking at it. *Sigh* :)

Now, I'm trying to decide which of my recent projects to show you next time. Usually it's mostly a question of which area/room is easiest to clean to give you guys decent pics to look at :)

This time around I have added agony over these curtains (they may be fab, they may be tacky. It's in the eye of the beholder, I'm sure, but this beholder keeps changing her mind, or my eyes are deceiving me). Maybe I'll see where I'm at in the creative/loony process by then and possibly be so brave as to show you something I'm not sure about and let you guys be the judge(s?). Either way, have a lovely week and I'll talk to you soon!


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Monday, March 21, 2011

Vinyl Bible verse (and a surprise)

In this modern age of Silhouette machines and other fancy cutting devices to make crafting easier (and put your bank account back many hundred dollars) I have done this the old fashioned (and very slow) way - with scissors. After much deliberation over whether it was going to fit or not and with plenty of help from my excellent gifting of procrastination I finally finished it. And I only had to edit one word out :) (It's supposed to read "Every good GIFT" but I had to drop that first "gift" to have room for it all).

The writing is slightly wonky because every letter was individually applied and I didn't manage to do it exactly the same way every time, despite following a straight line marked on the mantle. 

I like vinyl and all the different projects we've seen in blog land for a while but I wanted this to have real meaning to us and not just be decorative. So this is a little daily reminder for us that God is a good God who gives good and perfect gifts, all the time, and he never changes.

A quick run down of how I did it. 

Supplies

Black contact paper (leftovers from my fridge project)
computer and printouts of your chosen words/text, they need to be printed mirrored
glue stick
scissors

Process

1. I chose my Bible verse and printed all the words out on our printer, in an appropriate size to fit the mantle. And before I printed the words I made sure to mirror them in Photoshop (I think some printers can do this too).

2. I then cut out a letter very loosely (or syllable if some of the letters were "touching") from the paper and used the glue stick to glue the paper back to back with the contact paper, on the protective backing of the contact paper. 

3. Then I cut out the letter/syllable exactly following the print-out template's outline, peeled the protective backing off of the contact paper and stuck it in place.

Tip: It's a good idea to plan out how many words will fit on each "row" and to start with the middle word on each row to make sure the sentence is centered.

I did my planning in Photoshop but goofed up somewhere because I printed the letters bigger than I had planned, thus the needed editing of a word (not to mention lots and lots of repositioning and cramming together of the letters, some hair pulling and much procrastination later). But I made it and as they say - what doesn't kill you will make you stronger :) I'll remind my bald spots about that if they complain.

So anyway. I'm quite happy with the outcome.
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And that Bible verse kind of leads me to the surprise. Gifts! A giveaway to be more precise.

I've been at this blogging thing for over a year and it's been slow going with a few hurdles along the way. But you beautiful people have deemed my writings/projects interesting enough to follow along on this journey, some longer than others, but still. I appreciate you all for sticking it out through the slow periods and for leaving sweet comments along the way.

I'm not a huge fan of giveaways myself for a few reasons - usually you don't want the items being given away, or the blog has such a huge following your chances of winning are just about non-existing, and in the best of cases giveaway posts make for a boring read in your Google reader. However, I don't have that many choices as far as giving back to you so a giveaway is taking place anyway.

I can't guarantee that you'll like what I'm giving away but since there's only a little more than 100 of you out there your chances to win should be better than on many other blogs. Here's the loot.

The rainbow washer necklace with adjustable cord closure (I've never worn it except for this photo shoot. I'm not much of a necklace person, don't ask me why I made it in the first place :)).


A decorative mirrored wall plaque, plaster I believe, found at the thrift store. About the size of my hand (palm and outstretched fingers).
 

If the two first choices aren't appealing I have an Amazon.com gift code worth $5 which I've earned by using Swagbucks. I've used these Swagbucks gift codes many times so they're for real :)

(If you're interested in getting started with Swagbucks you can click the banner below. You basically do your "Google" searches through Swagbucks whenever you're online and earn points that you cash in for gift cards or prizes, it's free and easy.)

Search & Win


How this works

If you subscribe to or follow this blog you're eligible to enter by leaving a comment on this post. I'll randomly pick two winners (make sure I can easily find your email or put your email in the comment). The first one gets to pick any one of the three prizes. The second one gets to pick from the two prizes left over.

I'm fairly certain I can get the plaque to you in one piece if you live in the US, the other two prices are open to anyone, anywhere. You have a decor gift, a jewelry gift and one practical gift to choose from so hopefully you'll get something you want :) 

I'll pick the winners in a few days and get in touch with you! Thanks for reading my blog :) It would definitely not be fun without you.


****Update, update!****

The giveaway has been closed and two winners have been notified. Thank you dear, sweet people who entered and thank you all who read and follow along here!

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Brown dining room (finally!)

Proudly presenting the finished dining room!

Finished as in finally painted, but a lot of the individual pieces/areas of this room are still works in progress. Here's the guided tour. (I apologize in advance for blurry pics, this room has very little natural light and it's hard to get really good pics in here, despite sunshine outside and all lights on.)

First up our computer/office area. A place where massive clutter collects, not to mention all the technical thingies the husband claims to need. I not only painted the walls, I also made a real effort to make storage stylish. All the components of this desk will be painted the same ivory shade and black pulls and handles will be added.

A blurry pic showing the Moroccan lantern in action up against the wall, as well as the fake flowers I squeezed up on that shelf to help the beautification along.


There's not much I can do about all the stuff in this area so I'm trying to make it look as orderly and organized as possible with a few decorative accents spicing things up. The boxes up on the shelves will be recovered with some nice paper or fabric to go with the color theme in here. In the wicker storage baskets are masses of discs, cables and other technical stuff as well as some overflow of all my crafty materials and tools.


Under the desk we used to have a bunch of cables all jumbled up. They're still there but they are now mostly hidden under this footstool. It may not look like much, but believe me, this is soo much better than before! :)

I found this office chair at the thrift store a while ago. I've been wanting one of these forever and was so happy to get it for only $15. It's awaiting a coat of black paint as well as a seat re-cover in a snazzy vinyl. Glossy turquoise crocodile would be divine! Will see if that is doable when I get to it.

 The fridge area. Not much has changed there except the color of the wall (and I patched up the cracked wall above too).

 This corner of the room still looks unfinished to me. There will be a white banquette along those two walls eventually, the table will be painted and the three chairs closest to the camera will be slip-covered in drop cloth. I think there might be another lamp/lantern hanging in that corner as well.
And a roman shade on the window. So much still to do!


Here's my first attempt at making a floor cloth and I consider it a fail. It looked great until I got to the polyurethane. It needed so many coats and I put it on thickly and ended up with yellow puddles. I can probably sand that down and try again but for now it'll have to do. At least you know it's not pee :)


Just some styling with unusually good looking Dollar Tree fake flowers :) And Dollar Tree bamboo place mats (which we do use, until the kids have killed them at least).


The center piece is a thrift store leaf shaped platter with a few bags of exotic Dollar tree potpourri and a couple of candle sticks. For lack of anything better to put on there :)


And George Washington is hanging in there still :)

 As I promised back when I made it the Mora clock now pops beautifully against the background :)


And one last pic of the view into the living room.

I don't have any really good before pictures but here's a collection of snippets of this room from before which will at least give you an idea of the change this room has gone through.



And the after again :)


We absolutely love this color in our dining room!

It does make the room look darker which I'm hoping to alleviate by bringing in more lighting, but at least the room now feels more put together, more elegant and more inviting and cozy. I've mentioned before that this room is so devoid of natural light that we leave the lights on in here all day long (even before we painted it brown). That's why I decided to embrace the darkness instead of trying to fight it. And brown is such an inviting color.

This is Behr's Pepper Spice by the way. And it will of course be balanced with a lot of white and some pattern as well as some lovely color when it's all done.

So do you guys approve?

Ps. Linking up with
Blue Cricket Design
Domestically Speaking

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Casual cabana lamp


Ok. I had been eyeing this lamp at the thrift store for several weeks. And then I finally went ahead and bought it since it was half off and I loved the size of it. Got it for around $5 and it worked too!
Here it is set up in our living room, before the transformation began.

I really like the base and am going to leave it as is. The shade was a bit tattered. Not to mention that that shade and base together looked like something a very big-haired woman would have put in her pastel living room back in the 80's :) Sharing the space with little angel figurines and porcelain shepherdesses with flowing hair... You know the look. Which I don't want to be associated with :)

I didn't want to get all involved in this and have to go out and buy fabric and redo the whole thing from scratch. So late one night (isn't that always the case, huh?) inspiration struck. I decided to just paint it with some craft paint I had on hand.


Some painters tape helped me mark out (somewhat) straight and even stripes. I mixed my black craft paint with some white glue (I've read somewhere that the glue makes the paint a little more flexible when dry) and started painting. I did two coats in rapid succession and removed the tape before it dried. To my dismay it had leaked a little under the tape in a few places but as long as you're not too close to it you don't really notice.

For your viewing pleasure I recommend you don't get to close to it, ok? :)


This is what it looked like after the painting was done.

After staring at it for a while I decided it needed something else. The old trim on the shade was still visible and that tattered look was very visible on said trim. I went to my stash of pistachio shells and hot glued them all around the top and the bottom. The pistachios remind me of sea shells so I'm just using them where you could use the real deal if you had them on hand.


And these are the afters. I would call this a casual cabana look, but a (male) visitor said it gave off Cat in the hat vibes :) I almost gave him a sermon about how stripes and other graphic patterns are very "in" right now but managed to hold my tongue :)

I like that I got a huge lamp with a punchy look for only $5. What do you think?

Is it more cabana or cat in the hat? :)

Ps. Linking up with
Domestically Speaking
The Thrifty Home 
Someday Crafts 
Blue Cricket Design

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