Monday, January 31, 2011

Big News, More Big News and a Craft

The first bit of big news has to do with one of my favorite blogs.  Vanessa from Southern in my Heart has teamed up with her sister Heather from Gourmet Meals for Less, and they have started a brand new blog.  Their new blog is called At the Picket Fence and it's going to be awesome.

To kick things off they are doing an entire week of giveaways.  I hope you will go over there and check things out during their launch party.

Speaking of parties, (and the second piece of big news) I think it's about time I hosted one.  Over the weekend I hit 300 followers (all I can say is wow and thanks) and I think it would be fun to have a party.

Living in the Northeast, this is what has been going on around here.  Snow, more snow...

and even more snow.

Oh, I'm sorry...and a little ice.

So, in trying to come up with a name for my party, and with snowy weather on my mind (we have had 7 storms so far and #8 is due to hit on Tuesday), a logical choice became Winter Blues Wednesday.  The picture is from The Background Fairy and the eggs reminded me of Spring...something I am very much looking forward to.  Even if you're from a warmer climate and not feeling the winter blues, I hope that you will join in on the fun.

There is so much inspiration out there in blogland, I think it will be awesome to host a party to see what everyone has been up to.  I am hoping that you will all come and join me this Wednesday with whatever you have been working on including but not limited to your home decor, crafting, sewing, knitting etc projects.  I really hope you will all help make my first party a success.  You can grab the button for the party over in my sidebar.  I would love if you would tell your friends.  I love making new friends.

Now onto the craft:
Do you have a little girl in your life?  Does she have hair clips?  Where do you keep all of those hair clips.  How about this:

All you need for this project is a canvas, fabric and some ribbon.

It's really pretty easy.  You start with a canvas...I used an 11x14 canvas.  Take a piece of your favorite fabric and wrap the canvas and staple it to the back (similar to what I did here with the memo board I made).  Next take different colored ribbons and staple them on the back, then wrap over the front and staple to the other side on the back.  Leave a little space in between each ribbon.
Continue with the ribbons until you cover the entire front.  Then staple a piece of ribbon from the top left to the top right to create a ribbon hanger.
That's it.  You can embellish it with a big bow on top as seen above.  The hair clips just clip onto the ribbon.  So cute.

Thanks again for stopping by and remember Wednesday is the big day for the party.  I hope you will all be there.  Can't wait to see what you've been up to.


I am linking up to Wordless Wednesday.  Come check it out.

Friday, January 28, 2011

From Shared Bath to Boy's Bath

My kids rooms are connected by a Jack and Jill bathroom.  When my daughter decided she wanted her own bathroom a few months ago, we had her "take over" the guest bathroom.  You can check out her new bathroom here.  This is what I did to the Jack and Jill bathroom when we first moved in:

I picked a gender-neutral theme of fish.  I took the fish directly from the shower curtain and bath mat and hand painted them onto the wall.  I then had two fish hanging from fish wire from the ceiling.

It was super cute when they were little and they loved it.  But once my daughter took over the bathroom across the hall, it was only fair that this bathroom reflect a little more of my son's personality at 12 years old, rather than when he was 3.
Here is the updated bathroom.  After sanding each of the hand-painted fish and all of the dots off the wall, removing the border and patching up all the holes, I repainted the bathroom using Restoration Hardware paint in the color Cloud (from RH Baby and Child).  My son decided he liked the blue/brown combo.  I let my son be completely involved in picking everything.  For the moment the tissue box (and soap dispenser) remain until I can make something more fitting.  The "A" is hand painted by me.  I bought a square canvas from Michaels and with pencil drew out the letter A and then painted it using the color scheme of the room.  I then hung it using a brown ribbon with blue polka dots on it.  A mirror that was in the attic replaced the boring builders mirror that had been there.

I changed out the builder light fixture above the sink with a light fixture my son picked out.  The light fixture was purchased at Lowes.

Two of the easiest ways to update a bathroom are to change out the faucet and the hardware on the vanity.
We swapped out the builders faucet for this cool one my son picked out from Lowes.
We also updated the handles with much larger, contemporary handles, again bought at Lowes.
To keep with the blue and brown theme, he picked out the shower curtain and bath mat from Restoration Hardware Baby and Child.

I love the word DREAM.  I bought letters from Michaels (that were already painted white) and using a sponge circle brush, added the blue and brown dots.  The brown paint is also from RH Baby and Child.  I bought the sample size which was enough for all the projects in the room.
Some vinyl blue and brown dots scattered around the room.  New white switch covers replaced all of the fish covers.

A nice hook for his robe...and the room is complete.  This bathroom was completely transformed for very little money.  Let me know what you think.  I always love and appreciate your comments.  Have a great weekend.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Awards and Lamps

I want to say a big thank you to Janell from Isabella and Max Rooms for presenting me with the Stylish Blogger Award.  She has one of the best blogs in blogland.  If you haven't checked it out, you need to.  She is so incredibly talented.  A few months back she even got her own segment on the Nate Berkus show!

I also want to send a big thank you out to Heather from Straight Stitches for also awarding me the Stylish Blogger Award.  She has such an inspirational blog filled with great ideas.

They both made my day by passing this award on to me.

So the idea behind the award is to tell seven things about yourself and pass the award on to seven blogs you love.  I won this award a week or so ago and I revealed many things about myself.  You can read all about it here.  
I will tell you seven more things about myself:

1. I often blog at night while sitting in the lobby of my kids tennis academy.
2. My idea of relaxing is to do a huge project.  I don't relax in the "normal" way.
3. I have been playing the piano since I was 5 years old.  
4. I was on bed rest for 17 weeks when I was pregnant with my me...that's a long time...especially for someone who doesn't know how to relax. 
5. My favorite colors to decorate with at the moment are blue (robin's egg especially) and grey...not necessarily in the same room.
6. I do not enjoy cooking.  My husband is an amazing cook and does all of the cooking on the weekends.  I do cook during the week, but mostly so me and the kids can survive.  
7. I love having organized closets and drawers.  Organizing spaces is another way I enjoy relaxing...I know, a little wacky.  

Here are the seven blogs I am presenting the award to:

Each of these blogs I visit on a daily basis.  These blogs provide gorgeous inspiration.  These blogs are amongst my favorites.  I hope you will check them all out.

Now, back to our regular scheduled programming:

Here is my home office.  The lamp on the desk I have always loved, but it really didn't provide me with enough light to work at my desk.
I had gotten it years ago at Bombay and still love it, but I really needed a desk lamp that I could illuminate my work space.  In the same trip to Home Goods where I bought the new lampshade for the floor lamp in my downstairs family room (you can check it out here) I also came across a great lamp for my desk.

It was in the center of the aisle on one of the tables where the store displays some new merchandise.  It was very Pottery Barn/Ballard Design looking.  For $39.99 it made my wallet happy as well.
I love the warm bronze tone of the lamp.  I think it goes so well in the room.  An unexpected benefit of buying the lamp happened as well.  As I was deciding what I thought of the lamp, and trying to find a place for the other lamp (the one from Bombay), I started cleaning up my desk area.  This led to a total reorganization of the office.  Each and every piece of paper was either filed or thrown out.  Almost four hours later the office was done.
 Here is the finished, cleaned up, organized office.  It feels so good to have a clear workspace.  As you can see, I still have the tag on the lamp.  I'd love your opinion.  Do you love it as much as I do?  Let me know what you think.  As always,  I love and appreciate your comments.  Have a great day.  


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's all in the lampshade

It's amazing the difference the right lampshade can make.  I stopped by Home Goods on Sunday (there's a shocker, right?).  When I walked in I saw that the line to check out went all the way to the back of the store.  I said to myself, I hope I don't find anything.  Isn't it Murphy's Law that I would.
Do you remember this lamp?

This lamp started out looking like this:
Now, the truth is that this lamp has been in my family for a very long time.  I remember it when I was a kid.  We used to call it the yellow lamp (I wish I had a picture of it but I don't).  The base was painted yellow and it had a narrow, tall lamp shade (it was the 1970's after all - very Brady Bunch-like). When I painted it white for my son's nursery years ago, I tried to find a long and narrow lamp shade similar to the orginal.  I couldn't find any that worked at the time (or at least none that were reasonably priced).
Here is the bell shaped lamp shade

When I moved the lamp to the basement hangout area and painted it bronze,  I found a bell lampshade from Target for the lamp.  I never felt like it really did anything for the lamp and have been looking ever since for the perfect lamp shade.  Specifically I was looking for one in the original shape and size that was once on the "yellow" lamp.  While walking through the very crowded Home Goods I found the PERFECT lamp shade.  It was in a brown silk finished both on the outside and inside.  Perfect price as well $29.99.

The proportions are so much better.  I think the original shade from 1970 was a little narrower than this one, but this is pretty darn close.  Since I can't find a picture, I am totally going off of my recollection.
Regardless, it is much more appropriate for the lamp.  Look at the soft glow it gives off.
It's so nice to have the lamp finished off as it was originally intended.
It's amazing the difference the right lamp shade can make.  Proportion can make or break the look of the lamp.
I picked up a few other things while I was least that way it was worth the wait on that long line.  I'll share the rest later this week.  Let me know what you think of the new lampshade.  As always, I love and appreciate your visits and comments.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Book Cover Tutorial

I like to use old books in my vignettes I create throughout my home. The books in this vignette are almost 100 years old.

But what if you don't have any old books...or the books just don't go with your decor?  How about making very simple covers for any hardcover book.
I started with a couple of hard cover books that I would not otherwise display (I believe that writing handbook is from my freshman year of college).  I also went through my scrapbook paper and chose sheets of paper that I had two of.  When I was in high school, I would cover my text books using old brown paper bags and then decorate them.  The book covers I made today have much more style.

Flipping the paper over, I taped the two matching sheets together.  I needed two sheets in order to cover both the front and back of the book.
I laid the book on top of the paper with an even distance on the top and bottom (it doesn't have to be exact).  I folded the paper up at the top and bottom of the book to make a crease for me to follow.
Using that crease, I folded the paper all along the top and bottom as shown above.
I then laid the book back on the paper and brought the two ends together.  I creased it again on the sides of the book and folded it again.  I then tucked the front cover of the book in one end and the back cover into the other end.
I wanted something to cover the seam where I attached to two pieces of paper.  I used Martha Stewart adhesive ribbon.  Great product.  It was in a gift basket filled with crafting supplies I received for Christmas from my Secret Santa.

Just peel off the backing and adhere.  Couldn't be any easier, right?

Here are the two books in my new vignette.
Such a pretty shabby chic look, for the total cost of a couple of dollars.  It also took less than ten minutes.  You can't beat that...easy, cheap and chic!  I love how it came out.  Let me know what you think.  As always, I love and appreciate your comments.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Introducing Sara

Debbie-Doos is having her pet party today, so I just had to have Sara be a part of it.

Sara is 4 1/2 years old.  Sara was not a planned addition to our family.  One Saturday in October, 2006 we were running errands.  One of our errands that day was to stop at the pet store to pick up some hamster food (we had one hamster).  We were going to stop at one pet store, but drove by a little too fast, so we ended up going to Petsmart.  We walked in and they were having a small adoption fair in one corner of the store.  My kids, then 5-1/2 and 8-1/2, wanted to know if they could go over to "look" at the kittens.  I grew up with a cat which lived to be 22 years old.  She was a grey/black Tabby cat.  For years I had told my kids about my cat growing up.  So I went to get the hamster food, and my husband and the kids went over to the kittens.  By the time I came back with the hamster food (no how long could that have possibly taken...two minutes), my  daughter was holding a kitten.  She was a stray that was found in someone's backyard.  Long story short...some pleading and begging thing I know we have a new addition to our family.  It didn't hurt their cause any that she looked so much like the cat I grew up with.

Here she is as a kitten...there was something about that cute face.  I couldn't resist.  They say pets sometimes chose you.  I really feel like that was the case with Sara.  Instantly we all felt a bond with her in the store.  She was a calm, gentle kitten who loved to be held.

We bought Sara a really nice cat bed...she has NEVER slept in it.  Instead she has found other locations she deems more suitable.  How cute is she in this little crib (which was mine when I was little-same with the high chair to the left).
Here she is on her first Christmas.  She is such a good little cat.  She is a very calm cat.  We have always felt that she is more dog-like than cat-like.  She runs to greet anyone who enters our home.  She follows me around all day long.  She loves to be held.  She really is not shy.
She loves to be part of the action.  Here she is on the towels that were going back out to the pool house.

Like I said, she likes to sleep almost anywhere except for her cat bed.  Here she is asleep on my daughter's bed (one of her favorite locations).  She reminds me a little of the dog in Peter Pan.  You know how the dog looks after the children...that's Sara.  In the morning she makes her rounds checking on each child as they get ready for school.

She follows the sun during the day.  You can always find her in the room that has the sun shining in.  See what I mean?  Who has it better than her?

She definitely thinks she is one of the kids.  Every morning when my kids come down for breakfast, she is already sitting at the counter waiting for them.  She usually starts in the middle seat, but as soon as my son comes down, she knows to move one over to the left.  Then she just sits there during breakfast...doesn't make any attempt at the food, just wants to be with us.

Sara turned out to be one of the best impulse decisions we have ever made.  She is the best kitty ever.

Hope you join in over at the party.  Let me know what you think of our sweet Sara.


Also, I'm so honored that Erin from House of Turquoise has featured my daughter's room makeover.  Click here to check it out.
I've also been featured at Be Colorful for my guest room makeover.  Hope you come check it out.

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