Sunday, January 31, 2010

some puffs and a little decoupage

When my kiddo was just beginning to eat solid foods, he loved Happy Baby's puffs.  I loved them too, but for a different reason, I loved the shape of the containers.

I saved them all with the thought that they would be useful...someday.  Well, that day has come.  They are the perfect size to organize the "little stuff" in the playroom.  To add a little flair to the already cool design, I decided to decoupage labels onto a few containers.  I used my handy circle cutter, 1 sheet of clearance Martha Stewart paper from Micheal's, some glue, and decoupage.

First, I made the labels that I needed.

Then, I attached them to the puff container with a little decoupage.  I smoothed out all the bubbles and made sure the edges were secure.  Then, I put on the top coat of decoupage.  I wiped off any excess with a paper towel. 

After a couple of hours of drying time, I had several new, re-purposed storage containers. I can't wait to put them to use. 

How about you...have you re-purposed or decoupaged anything lately?

Friday, January 29, 2010

falling hearts...

somedays, i feel like this. and i feel grateful to be loved and to be able to love.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Basement Bathroom Before

Recently, we (well mainly my hubby) have been in the process of renovating the basement bathroom. When we moved into our house, the basement had been partially finished. Basically, they had framed out a couple of rooms, slapped up the drywall, put in a drop ceiling, and installed some ceramic tile. There was also a full bathroom that was installed by the builder, which definitely left something to be desired.

First, the flooring was white and blue linoleum sheet, which completely clashed with the adjacent room's "colonial tan" ceramic tile.

Secondly, the walls were simply primed drywall. Oh, stunning.

Thirdly, the vanity was a gray and cream swirl porcelain with stains on top of a honey oak base. My hubby cut this up with his reciprocating saw (an xmas present from moi) before I could get a pic.

Fourthly, the mirror was a rectangle glued on the wall. There was a rusty metal towel rack and rickety metal fixtures and hardware.

Fifthly, the light fixture just didn't fit with our vision of the bathroom.

So, with the exception of the shower which is lined with white porcelain squares and has clear glass sliding doors the bathroom was gutted.

A few of "in progress" pics.

I'm definitely looking forward to sharing our big under $400 basement bathroom reveal. It's getting there. The tile is in, light fixture installed, vanity in place and working, toilet is flushing, new trim is up and painted, which means IT'S MY TURN TO GET TO WORK.
My list:
1. Find a mirror.
2. Sew panel to target shower curtains to add 6" in length and hang to camouflage the shower.
3. Find cabinet/shelves to hang above toilet.
4. Find basket for towels and TP next to the vanity.
5. Hang recently thrifted wall art.

As soon as I'm finished, I'll post the AFTERs! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

#3: How do I look?

We've come to part 3 in my 3-part outfit series this week showcasing my Ann Taylor LOFT bargains and the fact that I'm actually dressed in something other than jeans and a t-shirt.  I promise that this is the last day in a row that I will celebrate the Stormy Seas necklace.


Dress:  Ann Taylor LOFT, $11.93
Cardigan: American Eagle
Belt: Kohl's
Shoes: Steve Madden
Necklace: Anthropologie Stormy Seas

I really love this dress.  It makes me feel like spring is approaching even though it is still very far away. Plus, I love the soft ruffles and the perfect just-above-the-knee length.  It does require a full slip, but I don't mind...there is something so mysterious and feminine about wearing one.  

So, how do I look?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

#2: How do I look?

I'm back with Day 2 of my three-day, i-get-to-dress-for-work, trip.  Today's outfit debuts another of my Ann Taylor LOFT bargains as well as the splendiferous Stormy Seas necklace.

Top: Jcrew

Cardigan: Target

Necklace: Anthropologie, Stormy Seas

Skirt: Ann Taylor LOFT, $2.93, I know I can't believe it either.

Tights: Express

Shoes: Kohl's Apt 9

I really love this skirt because a) it was a STEAL and b) it has those slant pockets that give it a cool, slouchy feel. Overall, I'm not that pleased with this outfit because I think I need a belt at the waist or something--you know to provide a slimming effect.  Plus, I really need to do iron the top.  Oh well, at least I'm dressed.

So, how do I look?

Monday, January 25, 2010



I need one.

I want a new desk for my "formal" living room or at the end of the foyer in the family room area.  

The purpose of this desk is two fold.

1) To serve as an attractive workspace in the main living area of our house.
2) To fill some very bare wall space.

The desk will be paired with a brown leather or cream covered parsons chair depending on the desk selected. Brown leather will go with a white/cream desk. Cream covered will go with the espresso desk. You get the idea.

My heart leans toward the mini parsons desk from West Elm, but my mind knows that it just doesn't fit in our house.  I put it in the above collage anyway though...that way it can still nag at me.  It's so petite and cute and has such nice lines and sleekness. Okay...moving on.

Any favorites from the above collage?

#1: How do I look?

Hello. I'm not much of an outfit of the day girl because I'm usually wearing some variation of this.  But, today is a special day because I actually have to be at work.  Typically, I work from home and hang out with my kiddo, but I travel a couple of times a month.  Although I do hate to be away, I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to "get dressed up" and have some "adult time".

I'm taking this three-day trip as an opportunity to wear my pre-xmas  Ann Taylor LOFT bargain haul.

Dress: LOFT Bargain, I bought this dress for $5.93.  It's a little big, but I love it for the price.  I especially like the length.  I'm a big a fan of skirts/dresses that hit me a little above the leg--it makes me look taller and shows off one of my better features (I think at least), my lower leg.

Cardigan: Ann Taylor, on sale

Tights: Assets

Shoes: Target

Necklace: Anthropologie, Stormy Seas, also on sale-$29.95
This necklace is one of my most favorite recent purchases.  I've been longing for it, but, of course, I wanted to get it on a discount.  Isn't it grand?

Okay. Outfit with coat, scarf, and bag.

Coat: French Connection, Bloomingdales circa 2006-7

Scarf: Target

Bag: The Sak--my latest cross-body obsession

So, how do I look?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Note cards for Haiti.

A friend of my mine is raising money for Compassion International Disaster Relief by selling sets of 5 blank note cards depicting pictures of her world travels for $20.  All proceeds will be donated to Compassion. The pictures are beautiful and your donation is so needed and so worthy.  Please consider.

To purchase or simply make a donation, visit:
Note cards for Haiti.

Here's a few samples: 





Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Gotta Love Craig's List...

So, I have this list of Things to Find over there in the sidebar.  This past weekend, I scored a mint condition wing back chair with solid cherry legs and the tags still attached to the bottom---made in Toledo, Ohio baby---for $50!  Yes, $50, which means, I, finally, get to cross one off my list.

I've been searching craig's list for weeks for a perfect wing back chair at $50 or under (I'm ambitious in my bargain hunting.  I'm dead set on having one slip-covered wing back in my "formal" living room that I've been working on pulling together for a while now. (I will post about that sometime...)  I want to pair it with an ottoman (maybe a pouf or storage cube), a tiny side table with a reading lamp and a thought-provoking book.  I'm trying to create little sophisticated reading nook.

Now that I've got my wing back, I have to figure out the slipcover situation.

1) Do I buy a cheaper, ready-made slipcover?


2) Do I have one made?

The first option is great because it is immediate and cheap.  The second option is great because I will be able to pick the style and fabric of my choice to tailor it to the room.  I'd like to go with a cheap option...but I also want it to add to the room, not take away from it.

So, here are a couple of options for slip-covers.
1) Sure-Fit Cotton Duck in Natural (I actually would probably hem this up so you can see the legs), $50

2) Sure Fit Colette in Cocoa, $50 (This is actually the style I love, but the color is iffy for my room.  I have grayish walls, and I'm worried about them clashing.  Although, it is a brown-gray, not a black-gray/blue-gray.)

My plan is to visit the local fabric shops tomorrow to find some local people who make slipcovers.  If I can find a bargain (no more than $100-150), I will probably go that route.  If not, I will pick from one of the two above.

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Living Room Makeover

I'm helping my friend, well actually kind of imposing my help, with her plans to decorate her "formal" living room.  The room is right off the foyer in her house and adjacent to her dining room, which is red with a dark antique dining set.  She's interested in possibly complementing the red with either yellow or blue tones.  I've come up with a couple of options.  Both involve two slipper chairs, a loveseat, a pedestal table, a large coffee table, and a small desk area.

Option #1

EB's Living Room #2
Option #2
EB's Living Room
Which option would you pick? Or do you have any other suggestions?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Weekend Project #2: Re-Purposed Crib Bumper, It's a Nap Mat!

After seeing this post this weekend, I had this sudden urge to turn a crib bumper into a nap mat for my kiddo.  First, it's a great way to re-purpose or re-use a crib bumper and I'm all about that.  Second, it's a cute idea for a small, portable nap mat--just grab your toddler plus a cozy blanket and head off to a friend's house.

I actually didn't use my current bumper for this mat because my 18-month-old son uses it to snuggle up against in his crib.  The one I have is thin enough that if he stands on it, it just collapses, which prevents him from being able to use it to boost himself out of his crib--thank God! 

So, I headed off to target--my go-to place for such items on sale.  And, low and behold, they have a ton of dwell studio bumpers 75% off right now.  I bought this one(link) for $8.74.

What I did...

1. Cut off extra bumper.  Since I don't plan on ever using this as a real bumper, I cut off portion of the bumper so that the finished mat was a better size for my kiddo.  First, I cut the bumper in half.  Then, I cut off approximately 23.5 in off each half, which fits my 32 in kiddo perfectly with plenty of room to grow.  The amount you cut off will vary depending on the height of your kiddo

*Don't worry about the ties not lining up exactly.  As long as the non-cut ends line up and all of the ties are close enough to tie together, the bumper will fit together as a mat when you're finished. 

2. Cut off 1.5 in of the batting in order to be able to easily make a 1/4 in seam along the ends.  I'm a novice seamstress at best; so, I just folded in the fabric 1/2 in and made a straight 1/4 in seam across the cut ends.  You could also remove the piping from the scrap ends and sew that in to create a more custom look.  For me, that was going to be too much work.

3.  After the end-seams were all sewn up,  I cut the extra ties from the scrap bumper.  Then, I lined up both halves and found the middle of each half in order to sew in additional ties.  The additional ties are necessary in order to make a mat; if not, the two parts pull apart too easily.

4. I just used a seam ripper to rip out a couple of stitches; then, I inserted the ties and hand sewed them in.  I made very small stitches that they can barely be seen without looking up close.

5. After I sewed in all four of the additional ties (two for each side), I tied them all together.  Voila, I had a mat!  The funny thing soon as I put it on the floor my kiddo ran up to lay on it! I think I have a winner.

6. (in progress) You can fold the two halves of your new mat easily together and roll-up the mat sleeping bag style.  I'm in the progress of sewing together the scrap fabric from the scrap ends in order to make a velcro tie that my kiddo can use to roll and unroll his new nap mat. (I will edit this post when I'm finished).

So, what do you think?  Have you re-purposed your crip bumper in another way?  If not, try this! It was quick and easy, even for a girl with no sewing skills whatsoever. 

Also, I want to apologize in advance for my poor photos--I'm sad to say that I'm currently working with just a point and shoot and I need to get better at taking pictures of each step! I'm planning to make another mat for a friend and I will make an effort to take more pics.

P.S. I linked to this post on Today's Creative Blog.

Weekend Projects #1: Felt Heart Wreath from The Idea Room

Last week, Amy from The Idea Room posted her take on a felt wreath, the heart felt wreath(link).  Immediately, I knew I had to replicate it.  I'm not a big Valentine's Day decorator, but when I saw this wreath it gave me such a warm and cozy feeling.  It resembles smooshed rose petals, which is just perfect for the upcoming romantic holiday.  The wreath itself was very easy to make--1 heart styrofoam wreath, 3" circle pattern, about 1 yd red felt, and a bunch of flat-head pins.  I didn't count the number of circles that I cut out, but I can say that I used approximately 1 yd of felt.

Instructions: Fold the felt circle in half, then in half again; the circle will form a wedge.  Place a pin through the point in the wedge; then, place the pin in the Styrofoam heart.  Continue to place the folded circles on the heart close together, leaving no visible Styrofoam.

The best part about this project is that I was able to do this project with the kiddo.  I cut out circles and he placed them around the house--even inside his Mr. Potato Head.  I'm planning to make two more wreaths for gifts...I think I will soon tire of felt circles.

But first, I've moved on to making some white felt balls in the same manner to use as winter decorative bowl fillers.

Thanks, Amy for sharing your great idea! Also, another tutorial for felt wreaths can be found here on design*sponge.

Edited January 31 

I wanted to post some pictures of my felt balls and even a felt pin I made from felt circles.  I've had too much fun with felt lately!



Friday, January 15, 2010

What do I love to do?

I need this print. theloveshop

Actually, I love to do so many things. But, I feel most passionate about getting my hands dirty and creating something. Whether I'm cooking dinner, baking cookies, painting pictures, taking photos of my nugget, making jewelry, agonizing over the placement of my home decor, hunting for thrift finds, putting together an outfit, planting flowers, printing invitations, planning parties...what it comes down to is I love creating and making something my own.

However, I need for focus my energy. Out of all the things I love to do, what do I love the most? Where do my true talents lie?

As I scan over the list above, it is basically a list of my hobbies. Can I turn any of these hobbies into more? I don't know, actually. What I do know is that I need to focus my energy somewhere


I'm hopeful that this blog will help me in this journey.

Parting Thoughts: I want to live a life full of intention and purpose. I want to leave a mark. I want to create something and I want to share it. I want to love the frivolous but never forget the truly important--life, love, people, and hope.

A few minor projects...

This week I painted a couple of items that I had wanted to make use of for some time. The first is a brass plate rack that was in need of a coat of creamy white paint (aka a sample I had on hand from Home Depot). I had been wanted to replace a dreary sconce that I had hanging to mask my kitchen cabinets (came with the house, builder-grade, honey-oak cabinets...let's just say they are not my taste...but, truthfully, I'm just grateful to have a kitchen that I can decorate and cook in...period.) with this plate rack that I bought last summer. Yes, I'm embarrassed that it took me six months to actually do it.

What motivated me was a lovely and green damask plate that I discovered on Wednesday at Goodwill for 1.99. I definitely needed to add it to my green kitchen. Lately, I've had a keenness for damask-anything and I've always had a deep passion for green.

So. There you have it. It's not a big "in your face" before and after, but it's better, right? There are two positives. 1) It takes up more of the cabinet; so, you don't see that it is actually not wood on that side. The not-wood aspect is a big pet-peeve of mine. 2) It is more in line with my bright and green decor.

Now, I just have to find another plate. More Goodwill hunting.

The next little project I took on, was to paint a little wooden, pedestal candy dish that I purchased at a thrift store for 2.00. I've been inspired to paint and distress everything by Holly from Life in the Fun Lane and this object was in need of some love. Therefore, using the same Home Depot creamy white paint sample that I used on the plate rack, I sanded it, painted it, sanded again, painted again, distressed it with coarse sanding paper, and gave it a coat of polyurethane. It turned out like this...

Cute, right? I just love it. Now, I have to figure out what to put in there that is toddler-friendly.

Sometimes, the little things can bring you a sense of "yes, i did, in fact, accomplish something today".

How about you...did you accomplish a "small thing" this week?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tan, Taupe, or Grey Oxfords: Pick one for me!

Today's nice weather got me start thinking about what to put on my feet when there not all covered up in boots. The bottom line is...I'm tired of ballet flats. As comfy and as versatile as they are, I need a new alternative to the flat. My day-to-day toddler chasing limits my shoe choices to something practical and comfy, but I don't want to sacrifice style either. Otherwise, I could just wander around in crocs, right?

I've got my eye on a pair of tan, taupe, and grey oxfords. I think that they would look cute with straight-leg jeans and cords that hit just at the top of the shoe, which would work for winter-spring. They're perfect with skirts, dresses, and shorts for spring-summer.

What do you think about oxfords--are they a yay or nay for you?
Which do you like from the following list?

Joan and David, "Zena", 180

Boutique 9, "Brazen", 149.95

Slither and Saunter, 129.00

Frye, "Erin", 167.95

Pour La Victoire, Charlie, around $100

Steve Madden, Tuxxedo, 78.95
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