Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mood Board: Living Room

Felt like making a mood board incorporating some of the things I'm loving lately.

Mood Board: Living Room

1. Reverie Rug in Silver Gray | Rugs USA (and a variety of other places)
2. Open Weave Burlap Drapery | Restoration Hardware
3. Storm of the Marsh Giclee | Ballard Designs
4. Terra Cotta Table Lamp | West Elm
5. Branch Side Table | West Elm (I own this and love it)
6. Victor Chair | West Elm
7. Dunham Sofa (iron basketweave fabric) | West Elm

Can you tell I've been poking around West Elm a lot lately?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cat Bounce

So I discovered Cat Bounce today and it was too amazing not to share.

It's cats literally bouncing on your page. You can click, drag, and drop them to get more bounce action.


Clicking "make it rain" drops loads more cats across your screen.


And when the googly eyes make an appearance, clicking them will give you rainbow cats.


It's about as awesome as Internet awesome gets.

Go bounce some cats!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

DIY: Hogwarts Express Sign

Earlier this month I threw a party to celebrate the release of the special edition Harry Potter Wizard's Collection box set containing all the movies and special features and a few extra special goodies. By "threw a party" I mean "rented a beach house for a whole weekend and spent weeks prepping decor and menu items." I'm what you call a casual fan (haha).

One of the first of the many little projects I created was a Hogwarts Express sign. I found Michael's had inexpensive boards close enough to the size I needed so I grabbed one and bottle of gold acrylic craft paint and brought it home, all the while this image from the movie planted firmly in my brain:

Hogwarts Express 9 3/4 Sign

I have a bunch of art paints of varying types tucked away in my garage, so I grabbed some red and a sort of terra cotta color (to help soften/mute the intensity of the red I was using) of the acrylic variety and mixed up a color that seemed about right. The board got two coats of the red color. I let it dry between coats, of course.

Then I taped off a border and painted that border gold. (I have no pictures of these initial steps, because I didn't think of taking pictures until after the border was finished.)

I wanted as much accuracy in the font as possible, so I found a high-ish resolution version of the sign and after altering the contrast in Photoshop in to make the letters and background as disparate as possible (black and white, as opposed to red and gold), I brought it into Illustrator and used the trace tool to make them vector objects. Then I sized the text on a rectangle scaled to be the same size as my board until it looked about right.

I printed the words on normal paper and taped them in place to see how it looked.

Hogwarts Express 9 3/4 Sign


Then I untaped the images and using a soft pencil, scribbled all over the back of the printed paper.

Hogwarts Express 9 3/4 Sign

Once the paper was good and scribbled all over the opposite side as the printed text, I taped the papers back in place and traced over the letters, making sure to press very firmly as I went.

Hogwarts Express 9 3/4 Sign

This causes the pencil that is scribbled all over the back to transfer onto the board, making the painting job much easier than regular free-handing it. It's an old trick but a goody, for sure.

Hogwarts Express 9 3/4 Sign

It took 2-3 coats of gold paint for the letters to be opaque enough. Painting letters is a painstakingly slow process, especially when you need multiple coats.

A regular cereal bowl from my cupboard was the perfect size to trace for making the circle around the 9 3/4.

Hogwarts Express 9 3/4 Sign

I filled that in with 2 coats of white, followed the same scribble-transfer process for the the numbers once the white had dried. Then I painted the numbers with black acrylic paint and free-handed the black outlining the circle. Altogether I spent about two evenings time on the sign since I work all day and had to allow time for the paint to dry between coats.

I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. It was a lovely way to welcome guests to the beach house at the start of the party and also let them know they were at the right house!

Hogwarts Express 9 3/4 Sign

After all had arrived, the sign moved closer to the food table to join the party and face inside, away from the bright sunshine.

Hogwarts Express 9 3/4 Sign

The sign was a lot of work, but I had a blast creating it. If you want your own Hogwarts Express sign, but the thought of creating one on your own sounds daunting, you can always buy this licensed one instead. But it is a little more spendy than the $10ish (or less, I can't remember exactly) it cost to make my own.

Monday, September 3, 2012

I Choose You, Pika - err - Wait... DwellStudio?

So after contemplating these three fabric options (I had more, but narrowed it down) for a couple weeks...


I just ordered 11 (!) yards of DwellStudio Vintage Blossom...

Large_UI-136 make curtains for my bedroom. Hopefully they will look as good in reality as they do in my brain once they are sewn and hung.

They've gotta look better than these, right?


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lamptastic Bedroom Update

After being really stuck for a few months on how to move forward with decorating the bedroom, I'm finally making some forward progress. I'm going to thank the solid grey pintuck comforter I bought awhile back for opening up my options (vs the patterned one I had before).

Several weeks back I came across a pair of lamps in our local Tuesday Morning and then continued to walk by them pretty much weekly, contemplating whether they would work in my space or not. I finally gave into temptation and picked them up yesterday. Matt didn't hate them (or love them, but not hating is good enough for me), so stay they will!

New Lamp

I was hoping they would compliment the yellow dresser and not compete with it by pulling some warm colors into other parts of the room and at least to me that seems to be the case. Eventually I'll replace that clock with something more attractive, as long as I can find something with illuminated digits.

New Lamp

The inside of the shades are metallic gold and they give off a really nice warm glow that isn't really captured well in these photos.

New Lamp

I'm loving the mix of metals with my little birdies that live on my side of the bed.

New Lamp

The lamps actually are a bit more brassy/bronzy than the gold color the camera captured here, with oil-rubbed bronze color base and finials.

New Lamp

The picture above probably captures the color the best. And you can see how they tie in the goldy colors in the peacock pillow and even the brown of my old chair (which I'd like to replace with something... taller).

There are swatches pinned to my just-for-now black curtains (in the part of the room not showing) that are being decided between for new curtains. I've given up on finding ready-made curtains that I love. I'm just going to have make my own. I think I know which fabric I would like to go with, I am just debating if it's worth paying almost double the cost for it versus the more budget-friendly alternative pinned next to it.

Decision, decisions...

In an almost entirely unrelated note, I also snagged these beauties while I was at Tuesday Morning to put away for Christmas:


They look convincingly like glass, but they are actually acrylic and reasonably large (the taller one being about 18 inches tall). I looked all over for a lovely set of decorative reindeer last winter, but to no avail. These will do nicely, though I will have to keep out of reach of my darling fur babies.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Dresser Renovation - Reveal

So I am fail at blogging, apparently, and never posted a reveal of the final yellow dresser. So here we are, six months later, without further ado...

Yellow Dresser

I ended up painting in our computer/office room, since it was too cold to utilize the garage at the time. There was plastic laid down under the dresser, but I got rid of it pretty quickly after I finished painting and before snapping these pics. The paper bowls kept the plastic from bunching around the legs and made it easier to paint as well as protect the carpet in the final drying stages with the plastic gone.

You can see that I taped off the inside edges when painting even though they can't be seen with the drawers closed, because even if no one else could see it, I would know if the edges were sloppy and I knew that it would bug me.

Yellow Dresser

Yellow Dresser

Please ignore the silver curtains in the next image. They were a trial that I ended up hating and quickly returned.

Yellow Dresser

The black curtains in the next image were old ones I already had and what's currently in the room. Still looking for curtains with the right pop of something to compliment the dresser and perhaps pull in some more teal. Probably something patterned.

Yellow Dresser

Wish I could paint the walls, but since I'm currently in a rental the allowed changes I can make to the house itself are quite minimal. But that's okay! I do what I can!

As a reminder, here's the original dresser:


Quite a change, no?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dresser Renovation - Prep

Found this great old dresser is good condition.


It was exactly the shape I have been looking for, and a good price, so I snapped it up. The plan? Paint it a happy yellow and update the hardware.


Started out with filling holes with wood filler and sanding down the all the pieces. My kitties were very good little helpers, of course.


Once everything was filled and sanded, new holes need to be drilled, so I broke out some paper and a tape measure. Held the paper against the new hardware and used a nail to poke through where the screws will go. Figured out where it would be centered and measured from the outside left edge to the left hole. Checked that it would be the same from right edge to right hole, and then marked that spot on the tape measure. You can see the pencil mark (just short of 8.5 inches) in the image below.


Then I picked a distance from the top edge of the drawer (in this case 3 inches) so that the pulls would be evenly placed on all the drawers. The paper was only used for the figuring out the distances. After that it was all measuring tape and a pencil to mark the spots to drill.

I then used a nail to tap a starter hole where the pencil marks were and then drilled the holes. Sounds like a lot of work, but it was worth it to get the holes perfectly placed and not have to redo anything due to miss-measuring. I did this prior to painting so that if I did mess up, I could fill the holes and redo it without destroying my paint job.

Speaking of paint, the first coat of primer is now on the front of the drawers and drying in my home office. The key to priming/painting is thin, even layers of paint. For this project I used oil-based primer. It will ensure that nothing underneath it will leak through and it sticks super well. It's also perfectly okay to use as base for latex paint.


And because I'm a bit of a perfectionist, I used painters tape to mark off the edges where I want the paint to stop.


It's too cold in the garage to paint - it needs to be at least 40° F for my primer and 50° F for my paint. Too cold temperatures can affect the adherence of the paint, so always check your paint cans for that info. After I finish the drawers, the frame can be brought in and primed and painted. It's already been sanded. There just isn't room for everything to be done at once. Ideally I'd prefer to be painting in the dining room, but as earlier pictures have proved, my super involved kitties would likely be a problem.