Sunday, November 11, 2012

Moving on over.....

When I started gearing up for launching my etsy store (located here)  I realized that I wanted to brand my business website, blog and etsy store in one location with a unified (more or less) name (still dreaming of a physical store afterall).  While I can be the most intermittent blogger (possibly ever) I do plan to maintain a blog as a format for sharing current client projects, DIY (attempted anyway) projects, and general home decor and design ramblings.

The site is still very much a work in progress (so please bear with me) but it can be found here:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Delusions of DIY: Passport Stamp Coasters

This post is all about living in the real world. I'm so not crafty.  Or handy.  But I've mentioned that before.  I still try and sometimes the results are adequate, sometimes the results are utter crap.  Like this project.

I picked up the wood circles at a random Ben Franklin I stopped in a few months ago (didn't realize they were even still around) with a coaster project in mind (gee, thanks pinterest).  I made copies of some of the more interesting/pretty passport stamps and visas in our passports onto vellum.  I was operating under the idea that I could Modge Podge the vellum to the wood the same way others have been doing with other papers to ceramic tiles.

Then I decided I didn't want the exposed wood on the sides/back of the coasters and that the vellum might look better on top of a wash of color.  So I used the Martha Stewart gold from Home Depot (decided not to use it on a previous project but had already opened it), I added some water, brushed it on and wiped it off.

 I liked the end result, but would water it down more if I did it again for less overall color.

Then I cut out the portions of the stamps I wanted to use on the coasters using the circles as a template.

(Yes, I did all this with a towel spread over my lap while sitting on the sofa watching TV.)

I applied the vellum with the Modge Podge and even though I thought I had it wrinkle free as it dried that was so not the case.  I tried smoothing the vellum down as it was drying but that just ended up blurring the images, maybe because it was vellum and not paper?  I added a top layer of Modge Podge as well hoping I could still salvage them but no luck.

The top left (visa for extended stay in Belgium) turned out the best, the two on the right side (entry/exit stamps for Russia with the Statue of Liberty in the background and entry/exit stamps along with Visas for Jordan) are just too blurry and wrinkled.

The three that I did with single cutouts from my photocopies had the most potential.  The one I tried to use more two separate pieces of vellum on wouldn't lay flat for anything.

If I were to try it again I would do an actual image transfer onto the wood instead of using the vellum.

So there you have it. Not a terrible way to spend an hour, I can laugh at myself and the end result.  I learned something from it (I think) but it was definitely a miss instead of a hit.  I can't be the only one with projects that totally fail??  At least I hope not......

Monday, July 23, 2012

Delusions of DIY: Painted Doormat

I was inspired by this image on Pinterest:

I have a black door, I have almost the exact same lanterns in the same place, I tracked down the urns at the end of fall last year and this summer I did something I've never done before in my entire life.  Planted flowers.

My Salvia looks sickly all the time and I'm tempted (but too lazy) to just pull it out.

Then I decided a needed a door mat.  Let's ignore the fact that the only people to ever come to our front door are the UPS and USPS delivery people (I'm beginning to wonder if Piperlime and Nordstrom will cut me off for abusing the free returns). 

After seeing the many tutorials floating around on Pinterest (and because of all the Piperlime boxes) I decided to go the DIY route.

Last weekend I attempted a monogram with a border.  It didn't work out quite as I'd hoped.  I used the negative space from some random chipboard letters I had laying around and painfully cut out the letters from a sheet of "permanent" adhesive labels I had laying around.  Permanent my ass.  The painters tape held up well but as soon as I started spraying the small letters of the monogram went flying and I ended up with this:

It's fine but really wasn't doing anything for me, so it's at the back door and today I decided to try again. I bought another $7 coir mat from Home Depot and decided to go in a totally different direction.  Union Jack.

I taped out the pattern:

Decided which of the colors I had laying around to use:

Ended up with Rustoleum's Night Tide, and sprayed away:

I actually really like the end result of this one:

Except that it's too small, how did I not realize that before I did all this???  I haven't seen larger plan coir mats anywhere but I guess I'll keep looking or break down and buy a spendy one.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Shit CMG says: Ikea Cowhide Rug

Over dinner last night my husband and I had the following conversation:

Me: "I want to go to Ikea this weekend."
Him: "What could we possibly need at Ikea?"
Me: "A cowhide rug for the living room."
Him: "I'm sorry, I must have misunderstood you, I thought you just said you wanted a divorce."

I laughed harder than I have in forever.

I love our current living room rug but I want less color and pattern.  I'm convinced it's going to make the room come together.  And I need a pale almost white cowhide rug.  May the Ikea gods have favor on me for making the trip and one will actually be in stock.

Elle Decor

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

DIY Industrial Wall Vases

Friday night I took this photo in the bathroom of a newly opened restaurant in Milwaukee, Odd Duck.  I loved the decor for the most part and per the bartender the build-out was all done by the owners of the restaurant along with the staff.

As coincidence would have it, I saw this image on Pinterest on Saturday:

Which links back to this awesome tutorial on Design Sponge.

Clearly not a new idea, but new to me, or maybe my new found interest in industrial fixtures and fittings has just finally made me take notice.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Delusions of DIY: Gold Painted Geodes

I'm obsessed with all things gold at the moment and I've always liked geodes so of course I repinned this image on Pinterest:

And instantly thought of it when I came across this little cutie at a consignment shop today, it had me hooked with the lucite base:

Major improvement after removing the "Geode" sticker (thanks Captain Obvious) and the gross green felt from the bottom of the lucite base:

I used Goof Off in the little metal can to remove the adhesive:

I read the can AFTER I used it, when my fingers starting feeling weird, and apparently you shouldn't let come in contact with your skin.  The warning label reads "WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the state of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm."

Awesome.  I wasn't planning to use my reproductive parts but I'd still like to keep the intact.  I should really get some decent rubber gloves, and read labels first.

Then I used my new favorite to come in a can product on the outside of the geode after taping off the lucite base and face with painters tape:

The end result:

I'm not positive I love the gold paint now that it's done (and wishing the geode was a teal/turquoise color).

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Look for Less: Owl Table Lamp

West Elm, $99

TJ Maxx, $35

I think the TJM version is really cute and better priced for a trend item.  And now he's getting packed up to be shipped to a friend.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Upholstery Basics

I admit that when it comes to reading blogs I'm mostly about the pretty pictures and great tutorials but this picture post by Cassie at Hi, Sugarplum is just too awesome:

I learn something new every time I take a project to the upholsterer or workroom but I love the way this sofa was made to allow for a side by side comparison of different options.  I find over and over that not everyone can articulate what they like or don't like but they definitely know it when they see it!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Still Loving.....Anything with a Greek Key Detail

Like this tile flooring in a historic mansion turned B&B I was in recently:

I wonder if my husband or my tile guy would be more annoyed with me if I suggested cutting out a portion of the barely a year old black hex tile on the floor of my guest bathroom to add this border:

I bought the entire spool of Greek key trim at Joann Fabrics recently and can't decide if I want to do bolsters on the guest beds or trim out the curtains (or both) with it.

I love the trim used with a strong Ikat print in the same same color here:

I keep looking at, and walking away from, a set of Hollywood Regency horse head bookends with a Greek key motif around the base at a local consignment shop.  I really think I need to go get them for my office.

I'm also pondering painting a wood tray (I'm obsessed with trays) I picked up at Goodwill aqua and using a Greek key stencil (in gold) either around the outside or in the inside bottom of it.

I'd love even just a few pieces of the Jonathan Adler Greek Key china:

This bench with Greek key details would be gorgeous in almost any room:

I will probably always regret not buying the coffee table version of this from Williams Sonoma Home:

I know Greek Key is having a really popular moment right now but I still think it's a classic and can't get enough of it!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Client Project: Basement Kitchenette

I was so excited to do glass subway tile in a vertical herringbone pattern as a part of this project, but when I saw this tile I knew the client would love it:

I think we may run it vertically though:

It's the Oak Moss Crackled Cardine from The Tile Shop that can be found here.  I really do love the availability of their products and generous return policy so much that they are usually my first stop when looking for tile.  Where else can I over order high variation tiles and return the pieces I don't like?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Our House: My Long Neglected Office

Last fall I made the permanent shift to working from home full time and my home office went from mainly unused to needing to support actual work.  No longer just a place to put paperwork and random furniture (my husband's massive wing back chair, the Room & Board Loring Sofa that wasn't comfortable enough for the living room....) but the room in the house where I'll spend a huge chunk of my time.

This was such a 'non-room' for me that I don't even have any proper before photos:

The only in progress photo is a random one taken by my mother in law shortly after we moved in (before it was totally crapped up):

When I look at my Home Office board on Pinterest there are some common themes that jump out to me right away:

Clearly I like the two matching tall bookcases flanking a desk or shorter table (and I must be the only one that needs actual office equipment in my office.)

I picked up this vintage drafting table on Craig's List for $100 (and was THRILLED with the price):

Clearly it needs some cleaning up but I still think it'll be perfect for my office.

Sometime last spring I came across a set of campaign bedroom furniture and just had to the buy a single drawer, 2 door little 29" tall chest.  I had no idea what I was going to do with it but I couldn't not get it.  So it sat in my garage as one of the many pieces of random furniture that were occupying my parking spot for months.

Then I bought a 3 drawer campaign chest the same size and decided I should have hutches built to get my vision of the tall bookcases.

Then I got prices for the hutches.  I seriously miss my hourly finish carpenter. Badly.

I procrastinated on the hutches for months.  My office is embarrassingly overflowing and disorganized at this point.  Olive thinks blueprints are her bed (which makes perfect sense considering slippers are her favorite toys).

Yesterday I bought two vintage Stanley furniture bookcases at St. Vincent de Paul, they're well made, in a great condition, and cost far less than having the hutches made for the Campaign chests.  Not to mention they are ideal for my needs:

They've already been stripped of their hardware, cleaned and sanded.  Choosing the 'right' dark teal/peacock inky blue color is proving harder than I expected.  I'm debating between these two colors at the moment but oddly enough Hague Blue looks brighter and lighter in most actual photos and Teal darker:

           Farrow and Ball Hague Blue
             Benjamin Moore Teal

Either way though, the inside is going gold!

I'm not still feeling the massive surge of motivation to get stuff done like I was a few weeks ago but I'm definitely ready for this progress. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Fever

I'm not sure if it's the season, my in-laws impromptu visit next week or just having reached the point where I need my own house to feel more done while I continue working on other people's homes but I've been buried in various at-home projects for the last few weeks.  On top of my regular gig and client load.  I'm a tired girl at the moment but pleased with the progress for sure!  I'm "this close" to being done with 10 different projects so I have no final photos to share yet.

The hunt for a credenza to use as a media stand has been never ending.  Last month at a local consignment shop I found a faux bamboo bedroom set that had a long dresser similar to this one:

I felt moderately guilty showing it to my husband, I mean the guy actually wrote into our wedding vows that I couldn't put faux bamboo and lucite in every room of our house but after weeks of seeing nothing else I took him to see it Saturday afternoon.  I made a direct beeline for it when we got to the consignment shop and was so relieved it was still there I didn't even notice the SOLD sign that was silently mocking me.  I wanted to kick my husband for pointing out that it had sold the day after I'd planned to go back for it earlier in the week.

At our next stop we did finally mange to find and agree on a piece and our TV is currently sitting on all 81" of it's MCM glory.  I couldn't be more pleased with it.  It's exactly what I wanted originally and I'm loving the warmth that it brings to the room.  Photos to come.....

As soon as we got the credenza home I decided it was time to paint the coffee table base.  So this is currently in the garage with it's first coat of gold paint on it:

I love this table like none other, and did long before antlers were everywhere.  My husband thought he could not possibly hate it more, until I told him I was painting it gold.

I'm not loving the current gold spray paint I'm using so I may be running to the hardware store for a few others tomorrow.  Any suggestions?

If I could sort out a fabric color for the ottoman (I'm thinking coral, my husband readily agreed but pointed out it might be bit much with the gold table, uh huh) and what to do about end tables I could possibly almost start to feel like our living room was making real progress!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It was fun while it lasted....

I'm bummed picnik is closing but have had fun playing with all the premium features on the site that I would never spring for.  I trying to find a place in our house to work in this photo I look in London.

Wish our usable wall space wasn't so limited!