Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Easy decor projects

Over the weekend I got the inspiration I needed (pinterest, of course!) to do a few projects around the place.

Most of my kitchen is visible from the door and I wanted something pretty for people walking in to see. I've had the idea to do a "coffee station" for quite a while but have been slowly gathering components to it together.

 photo IMG_4363_zps4ef9dab9.jpg

As I find more pieces (thrifting makes decorating go the long way home) and it really comes together I can let this space evolve. For now I'm loving it! I have an assortment of sugars, cinnamon, cocoa (for the poor man's mocha) and my matcha and melon syrup for my green tea frap. The little chalkboard I bought on and featured in some photos on my instagram. The chalkboard bunting is a free printable found here that I spent forever cut out and affixed over a jute string. Tiny, clear Command hooks hold it in place.

Also in the kitchen area I already hung my canvas art and had this idea about a clipboard for my grocery list. I buy a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables so my list is constant. I took a cheap clipboard and painted it with Plaid Crafts FolkArt Chalkboard Paint.

 photo IMG_4365_zpseeea2c0a.jpg

This was a brush on paint and the brushes I bought for this project were absolutely horrific. The paint is thick and needed something much smoother hence why I only painted part of this clipboard so far. My intention was to paint it in a pattern or design but with the brushes inability to keep within the lines....that didn't happen. But it still works great!

The canvas art I made by designing the words in picmonkey, printed it with my little home printer and Mod Podged it to a small canvas. This made it easy to hang and I didn't need to frame it.

 photo IMG_3442_zps1fd4eba7.jpg

The quote is from my favorite scene in Arrested Development. I looked high and low for a clip of this scene and couldn't find anything worth showing which is really sad because it was hilarious.

I also finally figured out how to hang this Eastside Distilling calendar that didn't have any holes in it. The idea of poking a hole in the lovely photography made me sad and then the other day I had an epiphany...

 photo IMG_4399_zpsd769da2e.jpg

I've also taken to growing lavender indoors.

 photo IMG_4392_zpsd253ce32.jpg

I read somewhere that lavender (and other aromatic herbs) purify the air and I'm obsessed with lavender so any old excuse will do.

 photo IMG_3975_zps43eedf4f.jpg

See? Lavender obsessed.
Herbes de Provence goes into many of my dishes (it contains lavender) and I had a lavender lemonade the other day and all I can think about is going back to that cafe and getting another one and maybe a lemon lavender cookie to go with it.

And speaking of obsessed, a fruit salad with the combination of watermelon, strawberries and blueberries is what I eat at least twice a day.

 photo IMG_4314_zps242ca38d.jpg

I hope your life is as delicious as mine has been lately. And remember, if you miss me you can visit me on flickr or instagram where I post more regularly.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Mini gallery

I got a sudden inspiration the other day when Gina tweeted...or of those about some free printable art. I had three art pieces sitting on the arm of my chair waiting for number four to complete the set and they had been that way for two weeks.

I already had an old photo in a frame so I did a color wash on the frame to match my new scheme (color wash being paint plus some water to change the opacity) and I had a painting I rescued from Goodwill, already framed. I also had a canvas I had made based on the glitter state pinterest project. To be honest I based my project off the image and caption alone, the actual directions (follow the pin) are different.

Then I saw this pin and knew I needed to have that. I printed it and Mod Podged it to a canvas to match my home state art project and then I had a nice little set!

 photo IMG_3787-2_zps6782b297.jpg

(If you look closely you can see my cat staring out the window in the reflection)

The chevrons are some chipboard shapes that came in this pack of three for $1.00 at a local variety store. I painted them gold and strung them on jute. I already had a little banner thing going on with my leaf banner on this wall so I chose to hang them this way for some interest. $1.00! C'mon.

 photo c-3790_zps6e91849d.jpg

Now my whole wall is decorated! This is a momentous occasion let me tell you. This is truly the art of someone who scrounged for materials but I have to say I'm really enjoying it.

  Have you completed any pinterest projects lately?


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Storage as art

I had two problems with my bedroom space. I hadn't hung anything on the walls, and I have about a bajillion too many scarves hung up on the coat rack in the corner.

I actually decided to go for the smaller of the two rooms in my two-bedroom because I had more furniture that needed to go in the library/craft/makeup room. Also the smaller bedroom didn't share a wall and that was really the deciding factor. The point being that there just isn't much in this sleeping space.

 photo IMG_2567_zpsc61f36f8.jpg

I decided to remedy my two issues with the help of these handy little clear Command hooks I discovered.

   photo IMG_2557_zps2f7057cf.jpg

I also used some (a lot) of the Velcro Command strips on this mirror I found at Goodwill (have you ever tried to remove Goodwill price labels? It's like the best glue in the world which is why I didn't even bother trying to remove the label on this since no one will see it anyway.

   photo IMG_2564_zps4777cb67.jpg

 I put them all over the mirror and then snap the wall side ones into place, then it's a cinch to peel the backs and simply stick it to the wall. I've done this for other art and it works great. The heavier the piece, the more strips you want to use. And they aren't difficult to remove as I had already stuck this mirror on the wall and decided I hated the position of it. Sigh.

I used a pencil and a measuring tape to map out spaces 12 inches apart on my wall, stuck my hooks to the wall, and voila.

   photo IMG_2567_zpsc61f36f8.jpg

It gets some of the scarves out of the way and makes art out of them. It did occur to me this might be slightly tacky and juvenile but I decided there were no decorating rules. I hung up the bag because I think it's adorable and the poor thing is always getting wrinkled in a pile somewhere. In case you're wondering I bought the bag here.

   photo IMG_2569_zps2fad7f29.jpg

Above the dresser I hung the mirror where I can use it to see what I'm doing when I put on jewelry. The mirrored tray I've had for ages and the jewelry tree was a Christmas gift from a friend.

 I jumped on the giant blingy statement necklace bandwagon and those things do. not. fit in traditional jewelry storage no matter how many ways I tried. So I used some tiny clear Command hooks (seriously the company just needs to start offering me stock options at this point) to hang them from instead.

   photo IMG_2577_zpsf05b32f7.jpg

And it turns the necklaces into well-stored art much like the scarves.

Just an FYI - jewelry is more likely to tarnish out in the open like this but if you've got a jewelry buffing cloth and some time in front of the TV you can easily take care of that.

 photo IMG_2579_zpsd627f199.jpg

The dresser was a gift from my old neighbor who I was telling about trying to paint a dresser I'd salvaged (to be featured in another post) and he told me he had a dresser I could have. How great was that? (Those storage boxes to the side were blogged about here way back in 2009)

 I went from blank walls and piles of accessories to dig through to decorated organization.

   photo bedroom_zps013ab958.jpg

What do you think? Tacky and juvenile? Or would you try something like this in your home?

Also, I have to confess my real reason for being so absent from blogging anymore is that I've run out of storage space on blogger and it is just a pain to upload them to an outside site and then get them over here. It just makes blogging not as fun.

I do spend quite a bit of time on flickr and you will find much more of my goings on over there.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Mr. Darcy's Dilemma & Delight - a review

 photo IMG_1151_zpsbcc2c281.jpg

I have actually been reading Pride & Prejudice spinoff stories for several years. When I worked at a school I saw one of the students reading one and then the idea was new to me so I read a few like Mr. Darcy's Diary and Mr. Darcy's Daughters (the latter of which is a part of a series that I really like). Since then I have read several every year. Somehow - according to my Goodreads lists anyway - I always tend to start and end my year reading these spinoffs. This year I mixed it up by reading this one a few months before the end of the year. I am such a rebel. ;)

Mr. Darcy's Dilemma and Delight is a different type of story about how Elizabeth and Darcy come to fall in love. They've already got some history - the history we all know - and then we find out how evil George Wickham truly is.

The story begins in medias res ('in the midst of things' if you're not a lit nerd like me) with Darcy out doing Darcy things like looking majestic on a horse and contemplating his responsibilities when he hears strange sounds that indicate someone is in trouble. He (unseen) witnesses Wickham walking away from - as further investigation enlightens - Miss Elizabeth Darcy sobbing on the ground. That's as descriptive as it gets, in case you were worried. And I promise that isn't giving away too much of the plot as it is in the synopsis as well.

Darcy mans up and gets help for Elizabeth, even going so far as to help her conceal events from her family (ruination for the sisters as well hanging in the balance).

We really breeze right on past the proud Darcy here and jump right into the most thoughtful and caring man on the planet. This man thinks of everything and creates a provision for it and he has a mindful, caring hand in Elizabeth's healing of her emotional trauma. And working through his doubts of how to care for a broken woman whom he still loves despite his hatred of Wickham and the evil that his actions wrap them into was a wonderful progression to read.

Elizabeth, in the meanwhile, is not a total shrinking violet. Obviously she has her rough patches and anxiety moments but she has an active hand in the restoration of herself that was written in a very gentle and believable way. She wasn't always one way or another because humans are not and emotions sometimes rule and sometimes we have good control over those things. If Austen's Elizabeth were a real person she would be very proud of this representation of her.

In the end, the love Darcy and Elizabeth develop is so full and deep it's like gentle waves washing over all the terrible things they've endured and making it all clean. A truly beautiful thing.

And there is no way you walk away from this book not completely in love with Darcy yourself. You thought the original made you love him? You ain't seen nothin' yet.

Amazon has the kindle version for only $4.99 (as of this posting)!

Fun fact: the cover photo - I totally took that. :)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Budget basic bathroom

I really enjoy white in the bathroom, it really helps it feel clean to me. In this case, things I used just happened to be white and then I was able to collect a few to keep it up. Most of the things I used to organize and "decorate" - I'm using that term quite loosely - came from thrift stores so let me show you how I kept the budget way down and kept a clean look.

 photo a-2064_zpsc503c345.jpg

 First of all, because this room just seems to be moisture prone even on no shower days I've decided against hanging art on the walls until I can figure out something that won't be adversely affected by that. I honestly haven't minded as I no longer use this room to do my makeup in the mornings and I don't stand there for an hour staring at nothing.

My shower curtain was a new in the package thrift store find - what a score!

 photo a-2061_zpsea703aa0.jpg

These cupboards/drawers are hideous and SO HEAVY Need something out of the drawer? Add it to the 12 tasks of Hercules.

I remember when I was first touring this place and getting my key and the apartment manager was pulling on the towel rack to see how well it was attached and was like, "Oh this is a good one." And I looked at her like are you crazy? This thing is wooden! And has watermarks!

What can you do.

On the floor is this adorable doily look bath mat I got from World Market. It was cheaper and cuter than the ones I was seeing at Target, go figure.

 photo a-2067_zps351d88f7.jpg

On the counter I have a series of thrifted jars holding my extra soaps, Q-tips and cotton rounds.

 photo a-2058_zps45abc893.jpg

The little glass tray is a new addition, also found at a thrift store. I was amazed at how clean it made things look even though things are still sitting in the same spot.

 photo a-2059_zps2ebe530b.jpg

In my window, which I posted about previously, is a shutter which adds extra privacy and hair doo-dad storage. 

 photo a-2057_zps0efd64e1.jpg

I wanted to be able to use this "chandelier" I made (see the original post here) but it wasn't waterproof so first I sprayed it with several coats of clear coat. Now it decorates my lightulb instead of the boring fixture that was there previously. Admittedly this works much better when you have a "normal" light bulb.

 photo a-2071_zps65eeafb1.jpg

I'm going to estimate total cost for accessories around $40.

Could you go for a mostly white bathroom? Or would you go nuts and have to hang things on the wall? If you have any suggestions for things to hang that wouldn't be dust catchers or moisture wicking bacteria growers I'm all ears.