Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Kurt & Jacky Sitting in a Tree

Not too long ago I posted the DIY gift that I gave to my cousin at her wedding and I also wrote about her sweet wedding cake (pun intended). I finally photographed her wedding invites that I designed and here they are.

Jacky picked out the Brides ivory and chocolate invitation kit from Michaels and asked me to work my typography magic to lay out the details and other inserts. I also created the ceremony program (farthest on the left).

Now you can see how the wine bottle gift that I made matched her invitation design.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My sideboard's got the runs

One of the projects that I quickly whipped up during my dining room decoranza was the table runner for the sideboard.

This little diddy took me (at the most) 15 minutes to make. After posting my tv entertainment unit makeover, I realized I desperately needed a table cloth or runner to break up the long white table top and tie everything together. Luckily, for my wedding, my helpers and I made about two dozen accent table cloths out of a thick chocolate brown satin fabric and I had some scraps left over. I dug through my fabric box and pulled out the longest piece I could find and got to work.

First to go was the pressed crease right down the middle of the piece. I took out my trusty Oreck iron and it was gone in a flash.

I also grabbed my Dritz Stitch Witchery, which is a no-sew fusible bonding web similar to glue for fabric, but cleaner and it doesn't soak through either side.

This stuff is pretty fragile so when you get to the part of unrolling it and cutting your piece off, make sure not to stretch it or you might end up with a bunch of small pieces.

Next, you need to iron your edges over to create a nice fold before ironing in the stitch witchery. Fold over 1/4-1/2 inch and make sure the fabric has a nice crease so that it can hold itself.

Then unfold the hem, cut your stitch witchery to length and fold it in.

Once you have made a fabric sandwich with the stitch witchery in the middle, run your iron over the hem. This melts the stitch witchery, adhering the two side together.

As you can see here, the stitch witchery glued the side together creating a solid, straight hem. This stuff is so strong that it is machine safe and dry cleanable.

To create a crisp corner, repeat the above steps and be extra careful when tacking the corners down so that you don't get a bubble or odd overlap. Think military corners!

In no time flat, you'll have a quick-and-easy runner fit for any table or sideboard. This is the perfect way to inexpensively dress up your Thanksgiving table without worrying that your relatives are going to ruin your uber-expensive table cloth with their messy eating habits.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Here Kitty Kitty

By now, you must have figured out that there are more than Justin and I living in our humble abode. We also share our space with two curious and spirited kiddos–er–I mean kitties. Harley has been an accessory in a few of the photos throughout the last couple months.

Benny is the less attention-seeking and hasn't added his creative flare in any of my projects, but he is quite cute and gets himself in some interesting spots.

Of course, I couldn't sign off with out posting some photos of when they were kittens (almost 4 years ago!). Check out these cutie-pies.

Look for more of them in the future. I'm sure they'll "drop in".

Friday, November 20, 2009

Shop West Elm

When I was in West Elm's store last week, I was swept away with the great goods they have this season. I was also pleased as punch to see that some of their merchandising displays looked like some of my own stuff at home. (Pat on the back to me!)

I love the way they casually stacked these various bedding and bath items on the display shelves. This is such a great way to welcome your guests to your home this season. Imagine a pile of mismatched fluffy towels and extra blankets piled in your guest bedroom. It makes me want to grab the bottom blanket and snuggle up.

Looking for a simple and understated gift for your boss this holiday season? These high-stylin' insect lacquer storage boxes scream sophistication. The organic bug shapes get a dose of glamor in the silver silhouette application and for $12–16 a pop who could go wrong?.

I'll take a silver twig any day. Add some candles and you've got yourself a warm and toasty fire...or, this beautiful manzanita candelabra. Buyer beware, this pretty thing only holds mini taper candles, no big-uns for this one.

Justin will love this one, I saw a handful of faux deer antlers artfully placed around the store during my romp but sadly, they were for display use. If only I had bought one at the vintage store during our Twin Cities exploration, oh wait I did! (See the second photo below, I artfully displayed mine as a centerpiece during the finishing touch stage of my dining room decoranza).

Have I mentioned that I love green? Well, feast your little eyes on this, heaven in the shape of an ultra sleek Parson's desk (with two drawers!). Wouldn't this look lovely in my office? I think so.

I had a faint flashback when I saw this window headboard. It vaguely resembles the desmond screen that I featured in my post about the Jonathan Adler store a few weeks ago. I adore this piece for the same reasons I was drawn to his piece. The negative space that the cutouts create could make extremely interesting patterns especially if it was in front of a wall painted a contrasting color.

The size of these studded wool pillows originally caught my eye (24" square) but what put them on my list of favorites in the store is the coziness of the wool material and the studded detail. The simple addition of the studs ups the impact-ante of these pillows and they are still super comfy!

I smiled when I saw this table scape showcasing the store's seasonal table toppers (dishes, silverware, serve-ware, accessories, etc.). My cousin used sliced tree trunks as cake stands at her wedding and West Elm uses them in their centerpieces this holiday season. If you're looking for a rustic look, tree stumps are the way to go.

The simplicity of these contour line framed pieces adds elegance at the drop of a few DIY pennies. These are easy-peasy to replicate if you are looking for some modish art in your home. With a few classic black or white frames, kraft paper, and various types of string, these could be achieved in less than 15 minutes and they pack a good-clean punch.

Last, but certainly not least, I saw this woven glass hurricane in the clearance section. While it isn't summer anymore, this could easily be filled with some punchy red ornaments to create a beach-ey holiday centerpiece. For those who own a clear glass hurricane already, break out the rest of your hemp roll from the 90s and get to work.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

ebay Creative Reuse

Today is the last day to enter your creative reuse for a chance at $1,000 ebay buck-a-roos. The ebay Green Team has united with DIY superstar Zem Joaquin of Ecofabulous to award a $1,000 shopping spree on ebay plus a personal consultation with the one and only Zem.

I entered my dining table that in a few short weeks I took from retro orange:

to chocolate chic.

I also entered my tv unit turned sideboard that I showed you last week (the contest allows one entry per day per email address). It started out as the topper to our entertainment stand

and ended up as a permanent and useful piece in our recently decorated dining room.

So, for your chance to win $1,000 in ebay cash enter your reuse project today! (Note: entries aren't limited to furniture. Some other entries include a dog collar made from old flour sacks and a purse made from plastic bags.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I am a Runner

Up until this year I loathed running, so it may come as a shock to some of you (my runner friends whom I would ask disdainfully how they could enjoy it so much and my parents whom thought I was attending track practice in middle school, but I was actually working on homework until track ended before I could return home) that I now consider myself a runner.

These same people also know that Justin and I ran the Ottawa Moose Miles 5K this past April. Up until that point I had, on the occasion, gone running for exercise, but nothing to the extent of 3.2 miles. I think I can confidently say that the most I had run prior to that experience was at most 1.5 miles. Was I out of my mind to sign up for the race? Maybe, but I went full steam ahead anyways. Leading up to the R date, Justin and I trained like madmen, and it wasn't surprising to find us legging it around our neighborhood on a Friday night. But after some sore legs and a new pair of shoes, we were ready.

I would love to give a play-by-play as if we participated in a high intensity football game, but there really isn't much to say about running a race. There was a fall down and a puking incident, but neither were one of us. We both had on our music and I told Justin he didn't have to stay with me, at 6'2" he is a foot taller than me and my short legs just can not keep up with him. I set him free to run at his own speed, which could have been the death of him because he said when he saw that he had run the first mile in under seven minutes, he knew it was going to be a rough finish. I guess I'm the steady one in the family. Before the race even started, we were surprised when we checked in and saw that Justin's dad, Jack, and younger brother, Jason, were also going to run. Justin's mom tagged along as well and was our lone cheerleader. In the end, we both finished within our goal times: Justin at 24:03 (3rd in his gender age group) and me at 27:22 (3rd in my gender age group). Jack finished at 24:27 (2nd in his gender age group) and Jason finished at 20:13 (1st in his gender age group and 6th overall). So, we all left with our shiny medals and that's the story of my first race.

However, our running didn't stop. Justin and I continued to go about three times every week all throughout the summer and continuing into the fall (though now we are on the treadmill). And we are planning to run the Fox and Turkey in Batavia on Thanksgiving, which is four miles along the Fox River. I'd be lying if I didn't say that I'm nervous, because I am. Though, I am going to do my best and my goal is to run the whole time, no walking for these puppies!

Enough of that though, what I want to share with you today is an awesome map tool that my runner-neighbor told me about. It is and what makes this a nifty site is that you can plot your path on their interactive map and it will tell you how far you went. No more guessing your distance when you are on the bike path or estimating how wide your neighbor's yard is, this baby tells you the exact distance.

And, you can use this for more than running. I have used it to measure how many miles our bike trip was and how far I walk from the train station to my office in the morning (depending on which route I take).

By creating a login you can save your routes and share them with other people. You can also search through other users maps. We have used this a lot to track how far we have gone and many times to settle a distance debate as well.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Decoranza V: The Finishing Touch

This is the end of my dining room decoranza. This week you have seen how I transformed a $33 Goodwill dining set into a refinished masterpiece, painted the town green, whipped up a set of silk curtain panels, and hacked another piece of Ikea furniture into a gleaming sideboard. The final stretch of the decorating marathon is all about accessories and putting the final touches on my freshly transformed room.

Let me remind you how the room looked before.

Check her out now!

And here's what it cost:
Dining set: $33 (table) + $30 (paint and clear coat) + $64 (upholstery) = $127
Walls: $69 (paint)
Sideboard: $39 (paint and roller brush)
Accessories:  $111 (art - more on these later) + $31 (plants & pots) + $55 (other odds and ends) = $197

For more information about where I got something, shoot me an email or post your question.
Related Posts with Thumbnails