Monday, February 28, 2011

Mirror Make-Over

In a recent post about my cubby unit, I mentioned that I was in the process of re-doing my bathroom. It is not an immediate project. I am just changing things here and there as I come across ideas or good deals. The walls are chocolate brown and the vanity, trim, and floor are all white. I am thinking I am going to stick with the white theme and add a white shower curtain. Before I began the make-over process, the bathroom design was a total mess. The walls were brown. The shower curtain was black and white. The rug was light green. A mess. 

The mirror hanging above the vanity was black and gold. I liked the carved detailing but the colors did not work at all. I took advantage of the beautiful weather this past weekend and gave it a transformation. First, I taped up the mirror with newspaper to keep paint from getting on the glass. Next I sanded the frame and then gave it a coat of white spray paint. I was surprised that one coat pretty much covered it. After the mirror dried, I made a gray glaze from gray acrylic paint and water. I rubbed it on with a cloth, working the paint into the grooves.

Before (corner)
It turned out to be exactly what I had wanted for my bathroom. The mirror had the shabby chic look I was going for and the gray glaze was the perfect color to accentuate the carved detailing around the edges. It looked perfect against the dark bathroom walls. I will be taking pictures of the mirror hanging, once the rest of the bathroom is complete.
After (corner)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Make a Wish...

This post is in honor of my amazing mother's birthday. She is the absolute BEST. Period. This is the birthday card that I made her. Ever since I can remember, I have made her homemade cards for her birthday. She used to tell me that she wouldn't accept store bought cards from me. I'm not sure how long that rule was supposed to be in effect but I'm keeping up the tradition. 
The card that I made is actually not a card at all. It is not paper and it does not open, but it serves the same purpose. I made it on an 8x10 piece of canvas and glued scraps of material together to form a layered cake. I used scrap trim and beads I had leftover from other projects and finished it with four real candles on top. No, she is not turning four but I won't reveal the real number (You're welcome Mom). I wrote the message on a piece of card stock, cut it to fit the back of the canvas, and attached it with hot glue.
She also got a wonderful present. She got an ipad! She was so excited because she has wanted one for a while but had no idea she was getting it. Now, I just have to help her figure out how to use it. Every time I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she said the same thing. A gallon of paint to paint the kitchen. I really hope I never ask for a gallon of paint for my birthday. But, since that's what she said she wanted, she also got a gift card to Home Depot. 

So, financially, my dad actually bought those gifts. But I did make her favorite cake. It is a copy-cat version of Cracker Barrel's chocolate coca-cola cake. My parents both always ask for this same cake on their birthdays. As appreciative as she was for her presents, she deserves so much more for all that she does for me. I told her she just has to wait until I'm rich and famous. Yea right!

First Grain Sack Pillow

I am planning to make a whole set of pillows to go on the couch. I am envisioning a neutral assortment of burlap, linen, and cotton; with a combination of French vintage designs and soft country detail. My inspiration comes from all over, mostly from other bloggers and, of course, Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn. 

If you have read many of my other posts, you should be well aware of my love obsession for grain sacks and all things made from them. Well, I decided it was time to make my own. I found an old pillow insert and begged my mom to sew a pillow case for it. I chose the same "linen-ish" material that I used to make my "Mrs." and "Mr." pillows. I chose to add brown stripes to the center and to both outer edges. I marked off the areas that I wanted to stripe with tape, and got out my paint brush. Typically, when I have a paint brush in hand, this is not the sort of project that I am working on. Besides my furniture and crafts, I also paint acrylics and oils. I haven't done anything new in a while because I have been in more of a mood to re-decorate with DIY creations but if you enjoy artwork, I would love for you to check out my stuff. You can find most of it at Dainty Paint. I plan to add some of my art to this blog as well. 
So, back to the pillow. This was an extremely easy project (especially considering the fact that I didn't do any of the sewing) but I was definitely pleased with the outcome. After the paint dried, I sanded over the stripes with a sanding block to fade the color. I'm still hoping for the real thing one day, but this is a very close second.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fun Find of the Day

I haven't been in Urban Outfitters in a while and yesterday I was in the area so I decided to stop by. Occasionally, I find clothes and shoes that I like in there but I really enjoy browsing through their fun accessories. Since Urban Outfitters is a sister store of Anthropologie, some of their items are very similar (or the exact same) but some how Urban Outfitters is no where nearly as dreamy as Anthro. While browsing through the gadget and houseware items, I came across these little notepads. As an advid organizer and list enthusiast, I was thrilled. I had seen the "All Out Of" notepad online and meant to order it but I guess it slipped my mind. I constantly have a grocery list in the making, and this had everything you could think of listed on it, along with extra space to write in other items. The list even has hummus (exciting to a Nutrition major)!
Next I saw a "Cook This" notepad. It had a place to write down recipes along with the shopping list for ingredient, prep notes, and a place to evaluate the final product. You better believe this made my day. Aside from this blog, I also have a food and nutrition blog where I create healthy recipes and make-over typically unhealthy meals. If you are in to that sort of thing, I would love for you to check it out at Nosh N' Nutrition. I have a feeling I will be back soon for a second notebook.
There were some other notepads that were pretty funny but I decided to just get the ones that were useful. When I saw the "Pack This" notepad, I had to have it as well. I am constantly forgetting important things when I go on trips. The check list is just as complete as the grocery list and I am headed to the beach in a week so I'll get to put it to use.
Each notepad was $7 which is a little pricey but I think it is definitely worth it. I just love lists, especially when they are cute, neat, and organized.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cubby Unit Make-Over

I ran across this cute little piece at the thrift store a few weeks ago. I wasn't sure what to call it so I pulled out the Pottery Barn catalog and there was a piece very similar. They called it a floor storage cubby unit so if thats what Pottery Barn says than that's what it is. While the PB version is not exactly like mine, it is $249 opposed to my $6.99 bargain. It was just a boring wood color when I brought it home but I knew that it had  potential.

To give it a new look, I took it outside and gave it a nice coat of white spray paint. Then I got out the sanding block and ran it over all of the edges and the top to give it a shabby look. I had seen wooden numbers used as decor on baskets in the newest Pottery Barn catalog and decided that it would be a great look for my "cubby unit".
Pottery Barn wooden numbers
I got some wooden numbers at Hobby Lobby for 99 cents each and painted them white. I drilled a whole in each number and tied them on to the baskets with jute string. This piece is going in my bathroom (which is in the process of getting a makeover) where the walls are chocolate brown. I love the contrast with the white. For the sake of natural light, I took the photo in the living room and just grabbed a few props that were close by. I haven't quite decided what I will set on top once it is in its permanent home (the bathroom).

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Anthropologie inspired dish towels

Within my group of friends, wedding season is coming into full swing. I have 4 friends getting married between March and July so many of my recent projects have been gifts for bridal showers and reception decorations. I have previously made the Ballard inspired "mr." and "mrs." pillows, the Pottery Barn advent calendar, and the moss initial wreath for wedding gifts. The most recent shower I went to was a kitchen shower. Sticking with the kitchen theme, I decided to make dish towels. I am in love with all of the towels at Anthropologie (along with everything else in the store). The designs are all so unique and each look as if they are hand made. 

First I bought a set of solid white flour sack dish towels at Wal-Mart. They were $5 for a package of 5 towels. I cut 2 squares out of one of the dish towels, each small enough to fit on a piece of cardstock computer paper. Then I taped the fabric squares to the center of the paper. Next I created my designs. I decided I wanted one of the towels to have an image of a wedding cake. I put my years of doodling experience to use and sketched a wedding cake. I scanned the drawing on my computer, printed a test sheet to make sure the image was in the center of the page, and then printed it on the material (taped to the card stock). 

For the second towel, I decided to create a list of wedding anniversary gifts. I had seen this on one of the Anthro towels and thought it was so cute and actually useful. I didn't know what the traditional gifts were for most of the anniversaries so I figured other people probably didn't either. 

Once I had both of the images printed, my mom stitched each fabric square on a dish towel (Again, I really should start sewing). I asked her to not stitch directly on the edge of the material, so that the edges would be a bit raised and have a shabby look. Next I picked out the trim at Hobby Lobby. I'm sure the employees were ready for me to leave because I had the towels and probably 50 different rolls of trim spread out all over the counter. After trying out a million combinations, I found exactly what I wanted. 

So this project ended up being a joint effort with my mom; I was the designer and she was the seamstress. I wish I had taken more pictures of the process of making the towels, but for some reason, that sort of thing just slips my mind sometimes. I loved the finished dish towels, as did the bride-to-be. I have a feeling I will be playing around with more designs to make some more of these. 

DIY Project Parade.jpg

Thursday, February 17, 2011

More Thrifty Finds

Just wanted to show off my goodies from my last trip to the thrift store...

Every time I go to the thrift store I pick up a stack of books, take them home, rip the covers off, and find them a special place. This group of books ended up by the fireplace, in the basket I found for $1.48. These book bundles are sold in stores like Pottery Barn and cost $39 for 4 books! Mine average about a dime each.
Here is another example of how I have been using my thrift store book finds for decorating. I found the horse book ends there too. I just love the contrasting colors and sizes of the books.
I spotted this wooden chess board for $0.79 and thought it would be a great addition to the shelves in the entertainment center.
Last, I found this empty spool for $0.99. I think it used to have some sort of cable wrapped around it. I plan to decorate it with chunky rope wrapped around the spool. Now, for where I am going to put it, I have no idea.
No, Presleigh was not a thrift store find, but I thought this picture was just too cute not to post :)