Friday, September 30, 2011

Fashion Friday: Embellished Tank

I had some leftover fabric from the pillows I made a while back, so I decided to make some flowers and sew those onto a plain tank from Target:
If you Google "rolled flower tutorial" you'll get hundreds of links to learn how to make these. I made a few in various sizes and then pinned them to the tank top. Once I was happy with the positioning, I sewed them on, et voila! a pretty tank that makes getting dressed so much easier - no need for necklaces with this one, I'll wear mine this fall with jeans and a cardie.
I swear, now I want a tank in every color with pretty flowers on them! I hope you enjoyed my little sewing adventure - have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

EEK! So scary!

Okay, not really, they're just three cute black photo frames from IKEA that got dolled up for Halloween with the help of some scrapbook paper :D

I first printed out some suitable frightening letters and cut them out - this cardstock looks yellow but it is actually more orange:

Then I matted them on the black cardstock and pop-dotted them onto the frames:

These will be part of one of my Halloween displays - I am lucky to have a couple of hutches and mantels where I can put out some scary goodness, so I'll show you those as it gets closer to October 31. I bought the frames in a 3-pack for $5 and I had the scrapbook paper and glue, so this little project comes in under $5.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fall Mantel

I am joining the fabulous party at Layla's with my fall mantel!
From the left, silk grass from Michaels in a vase half-filled with fall colored filler "gems." Glass pumpkin, a gift from my friend K., vanilla candle on ORB-painted candlestick, and a small mercury glass votive holder for some bling.

Going across to the right side, the other glass pumpkin from my dear friend K., small apothecary jar with candy corn, mercury glass votive holder and a tall candlestick I found for $4 at World Market, on clearance, and I painted with my beloved ORB spray paint. The pumpkin atop the candlestick is from my backyard.

Simple but warm and colorful - off to check out the other gorgeous mantels at Layla's!
The Lettered Cottage

Fall Wreath for $5 and change

I got the idea for a wreath with my last name initial on it from my friend L at Challenging Martha - she made a super cool fall wreath and I had $5 in my pocket, so I hit up the dollar store and dug out some leftover scrapbook paper I had from a project I will share with you tomorrow.

I started with a wreath form, some greenery/flowers in fall shades, ribbon, and brown leaf forms - there went my $5.
I played around with the "ingredients" and the floral wire I had leftover from the lavender wreath I made this past summer.

I have to admit I preferred the wreath form from Walmart because it was fuller, but it was a little more $ and I wouldn't have been able to get the rest of the stuff for my fall wreath, so I made do with the skinnier, and lighter-in-color wreath form from the dollar store.

I made a letter B from orange scrapbook paper, and glued it onto black cardstock that was glued onto an oatmeal lid, for stability. Then I punched a hole through the paper and lid, and used more floral wire to hang it from the bow I made with the ribbon:

Notice how the wreath blends in really well with my door. I kinda don't like that. I think a dark chocolate brown door would be more awesome, but that's a project down the list for now.

I love my fall-toned wreath - the lavender wreath now resides between the windows that face onto the front yard, and looks lovely there with the window boxes and more lavender below. Now it is this beauty's turn to grace our front door, and I am very happy with the result.

I hope you liked this little project - I had lots of fun making it, although stuff kept coming up and I started it over three weeks ago!

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Organization: A year's worth of homework

With two boys in school now, there are lots of homework and art project pages filling up the bin I set up in the office. Now that the new school year has started, it was time to decide what to do with last year's stash. Once I saw this, my decision was made:

One evening a couple of weeks ago, I sat down and photographed everything I wanted kept for posterity. I did save a couple of projects from each of my boys, and the memory books their teachers had made of the whole school year. I know, I'm a sucker, and we'll see how those fare in a few years, but for now I am keeping them.

I got a coupon for a free poster print at Walmart, and I found super cheapo poster frames for $6 each, so my project ended up costing around $12 total.

We are redoing this particular corner of the playroom/office, since my husband likes my computer better (better graphics card, yeah!) and now never sits at his desk, so this corner is going to be the media/recharging station/printer/etc. area, but for right now I really like my boys' work up there.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fashion Friday: Fall, where are you???

It's been in the 90s here this week. That's just not ok, really. I am so ready for my scarves and sweaters and boots and everything that is cozy and layered.

Here are some sets I've put into a collection to inspire my autumnal fashion wardrobe:

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Thinking ahead

I've started to think about Christmas presents - don't shoot me! I know it's barely September, but I am hoping to make some of these presents myself, which requires thinking ahead.

My husband and I had a Make Your Own Spa Goodies party a few years ago, so I think I could manage to make some of these scrubs:

I LOVE these, with cheapie pillar candles from IKEA!

What a great gift idea for foodie friends:

Another great spa idea, this time from The Martha:

Are you making anything to give away during the holidays?

When melatonin fails

I have to say that since melatonin entered our lives, things are mostly smooth. melatonin is a natural sleep aid that has greatly helped our youngest, who is autistic, regulate his sleep cycle. We started using it after a nightmarish week during which our sweet boy did not sleep. At all. For five days. On day 6 I was ready to kill someone, my husband talked to some friends with autistic children and, thanks be to the heavens, melatonin came into our lives.

However, once in a while - once a month or so - sleep rhythms still get messed up and this is why I have gotten 6 hours of sleep, TOTAL, since Saturday. I am writing this on Tuesday evening so I hope (fingers crossed) tonight goes better. My husband has been staying up with our boy as late as he can and then I take over.

Still, I will take once a month rather than every night, as was the case before we started using melatonin.

I am not advocating the use of melatonin, or telling you this will solve your problems, etc. I am just sharing my experience and how this has (for the most part) worked for us. My husband took melatonin for a week last year and he became almost sociopathic, to the point that I was ready to pack bags for me and the boys and take off until he was off it. So, yeah, not for everyone. But for our sweet baby boy, it's been a great help.

I'm so sleepy . . .

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Delayed gratification

I have been working on this:
for the past 2 weeks, and it is STILL not finished!

I just hope I can finish my fall wreath before Christmas!

Monday, September 19, 2011

We have a new toilet!

You like, yes?


Yeah, the bathroom re-do, part deux, is currently going on, I'll bring you pics of the latest development and the REAL new toilet soon. I know, I know, you just can't wait ;D

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fashion Friday: Missoni for Target

So the much-awaited line of Missoni for Target finally arrived in stores an d online, crashing the website and causing much chaos for those of us who usually shop at Tarjay, Missoni or no Missoni.

I admit I was awaiting this line as well, but as with most designer lines that are self-knocked off for budget stores, most of it failed to wow me.

Part of it is that so much of the line is swimwear. Granted, someone who knows her Missoni might be shopping for spending cold winter days in Barbados or cruises, but even so the horizontal stripes are kind of weird. A few other items were vests or blouses that weren't really flattering, the vomitorium of colors and patterns too loud for me.
thumbs down missoni

Where this line fared better was in accessories and home goods items: Shoes, scarves, decorative items, etc. are bright pops of color in doses that are totally doable.
thumbs up Missoni

Of course, these are the items are that mostly sold out, so I may not be the only one who thinks the bigger pieces would have been more successful in a more muter palette.

Of the items I liked I may get the beanie and/or the scarf, but I'll have to see them in the store before I make my decision.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

2012 Calendar by Georgianna Lane

I recently ordered a calendar from an etsy shop, I was very taken with her photographs of Paris and the price was an absolute steal. Usually each 5x5 print sells for $12 and here was a calendar = 12 prints for $20 with free shipping. How could I resist?

First, I received a very nice (personal, not form) email shortly after paying, and a few days later I got this in the mail:

There was a very nice card inside . . .

. . . with a gorgeous bonus print:

And the piece de resistance, the 5x7 prints that make up the calendar:
The prints have the calendar bit on the bottom 2 inches so when you're done, you can cut that off and you have the original 5x5 print ready to mat and hang up.

The 2012 calendar is currently 20% off and shipping is free, so I highly recommend you get one now, the images are beautiful and you have art to treasure forever!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Google f*@&$%* Maps!

Remember when I told you about my little misadventure which involved me walking out to my car in a rather unflattering outfit and getting caught by the Google Maps car taking pics of my street?

I said, " . . . the Google Maps street level cam-car drove into our court just when I was carrying plants for my garden. In nasty old sweatpants, a ratty old cardigan that makes me look 8 months preggo and uber-stylish white socks."

If you didn't believe me, I hereby post proof of said moment, straight from Google Maps:

The fuckers blurred my face, why couldn't they blur my ass instead??? Sheesh!

I swear, I am scared for posterity. Because of my posterior.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lookit what mei hubby built me!

This spray paint storage rack now hangs in the shed he built a few weeks ago:
Of course, the first thing he said after showing it to me was "just because it's half empty, doesn't mean we need to fill it up." Awww, he's so cute - now I just need to get the other half of my stash and put it up there ;D

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In remembrance: 9/11

It was a Tuesday morning like any other, I woke up at my usual 5ish (I'm a morning person through and through) and was putting my makeup on with CNN in the background and vaguely heard something about a plane hitting a tower in New York. I turned and as I focused on the TV image, I saw another plane hitting the tower next to it. My first thought was that it was a clip from a movie. A second later, I realized what the unbearable truth was.

I drove to work and broke the news to a couple of colleagues who had been focusing on writing code that morning and had not checked the news yet. All the news websites were overloaded so I began checking online newspapers from Spain and France, which were still accessible. The news kept getting worse and worse; the images, more and more horrific. In our world full of movies with car chases, monumental explosions and unending CGI effects, this horror was incomprehensible.

I went home early from work, and spent the next 10 hours or so going from channel to channel, sobbing when the members of Congress sang America the Beautiful, then later, crying when people outside Buckingham Palace sang our national anthem. Throughout the world, people were Americans. The time for mocking our society and decrying all that is wrong with our country had stopped for all those who were united with us in grief - that time would come back, inevitably, because we sure do give a lot of material for others to mock, but right now, there were loving hands extended towards us. At work I received many emails from companies and affiliates in other countries, expressing sorrow for the attacks.

The incredible number of victims, so many of them firefighters and other personnel who ran into the nightmare as many were running from it. The stories of heroism in the middle of all that fear, the calls to loved ones from people in the airplanes, the overwhelming hatred of those who sought to destroy so many lives for their unjustifiable reasons. I remember it all. And I will never forget.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fashion Friday: Leopard Red

This is one of my all-time favorite combos: leopard print and bold red. I just got this cardie from Old Navy -- they had given me some coupons for 50% off a couple of weeks before when I was school shopping for my boys, so when I went back for some jeans, this cardie also caught my eye.

leopard red

Along with my new super cheap (less than $5) Revlon lipstick, I think this is a winning combo that can be accessorized in many ways: statement necklace or bracelet, chunky earrings, signature ring, etc. I foresee wearing some version of this outfit many times this fall and winter.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Frame Jewelry Display

You know how sometimes the glass that comes with a photo frame breaks? And you don't want to throw that frame away so you stash it for months in various places, until your husband is all "hmmm, are you going to do something with this thing?" And then a friend gifts you their old coffee table but one of the ten knobs is missing and you're all "Whoa! Frame + knobs? Can I say jewelry display?"

Okay, so maybe you haven't thought this, but I did, and here are the results.

I took the frame and painted it in Oil Rubbed Bronze, then covered the backing with gold dust vellum paper from my favorite paper store.

The backing was a piece of laminate that my husband had leftover from a project and he cut it to size for me. Once the laminate and vellum were adhered, I marked a grid of nine spots on the back - three across, three up and down. My awesome husband drilled the laminate and paper and we bought some new screws because the ones that came with the knobs were too long.

I now have a place to display some of my bracelets and necklaces:



The total cost of this project was solidly under ten dollars. The paper was $2.75 (plus tax) and the new screws/washers were under $5. I had the frame, we had the piece of laminate and we had the nine knobs from my craft table project.

I hope you have enjoyed my repurposed photo frame craft!

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