Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bathroom Makeover: The Plan

This is probably the last room in my house that I should be decorating, but it's small and cheap and I just keep thinking about it. So on I go. It's the half bath on the main floor, and is about as plain as they come. White walls, white trim, grayish formica counter-tops. Blaaaaaaah.

Here's my plan. Grey horizontally striped walls (13" tall per stripe). Repaint cabinets white. Yellow accents (hand towel, wall-mounted magazine rack, artwork). I'm afraid a small yellow rug would get grungy too quickly, so I'll probably go grey on that. And then some pops of spring green (plants?) and maybe orange?

By the way, you wouldn't believe how hard it is to find a cute patterned yellow rug or hand towel. And it's hard to find many options for a very small rug too (even in grey!). They are mostly just solid bath mats. So if anyone has any suggestions of places to check out, I'd love to hear them!

So, I wanted to use this great mirror I inherited from my parents, whom I believe inherited it from my grandparents. I was going to paint the frame all yellow (is that a crime?), but was devastated to discover that it is about a half inch too wide for the room!

After some disappointing shopping trips, I've decided instead to use this mirror from my bedroom and paint the frame yellow. It will replace the flat mirror currently over the sink.

So here's the plan (plus painting the cabinets white)

Or at least that was the plan until I discovered that rug is no longer available and the towels are the only one on the website where the hand towel is not offered. Now what? I swear I've searched high and low. I'm going to go ahead and paint anyway. If you've seen any great yellow or grey rugs and hand towels, please let me know where!
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Textured T-shirt Tutorial

Now that's a lot of T's.

I've been wanting a white or cream shirt that has texture, that I can just layer under cardi's and jackets. Most of what I've been seeing has been more expensive than I like, so I decided to make my own. I ordered 2 of the same shirt from Forever 21 ($6 each) and in 2 different sizes, since their sizing is somewhat inconsistent for me (not to mention my growing pregnant belly). I like the material of this shirt--it's a soft somewhat dressier jersey knit and a scoop neck that is not to low for bending over and picking up a toddler. Not to mention it's long enough to cover my enlarge abdomen for at least another month or two!

Here's how to do the rest:

1. Using an erasable fabric marker (the kind that disappears with water) and a ruler, mark down the sides of shirt #1 where you want your edges. In the last 2 photos you can see that the texture is a panel down the middle, doesn't go all the way accross. You can also see that I skipped this important step myself and tried to eyeball it.

2. Cut shirt #2 up the side seams so that you can attack the front and back of the shirt separately. Using a solid cutting edge (metal ruler) and rotary blade, cut shirt #2 into horizontal strips about 3/4 of an inch in height.

3. Measure the width of your proposed panel on shirt #2 and trim all your fabric strips to that length.

4. Pin one fabric strip onto shirt #1 at the top. You will quickly see how the jersey knit curls up at the edges. I used about 6 pins per fabric strip. Line up your next fabric strip so that the edges touch the first strip of fabric (and you can even slightly overlap them since they will curl). Repeat again and again and again.

5. Sew two lengths of stitches parallel all the way across the shirt on each strip of fabric. Trim all your threads. Repeat again and again and again.

6. Using water, erase you guide lines and then congratulate yourself on a job well done!

p.s. I think this would also be cute if you only took the texture 1/3 of the way down the shirt for a tuxedo effect.

p.p.s. You could use another matching material besides jersey knit, like layers of matching colored linen, or chiffon, or cotton, etc. Something that won't fray though.

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Friday, February 18, 2011

DIY Paper Cup Wreath

I see a lot of crafts in the blogosphere that I think, "That looks okay in the photo but in real life I think it would look cheap." But here is one craft that is cheap but I think real life (and in the photo) would actually look pretty darn cool. What do you think?

A DIY paper cup wreath! Modern and elegant. Twig and Thistle does it again. Pin It

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fancy Cuffs

Do you watch Modern Family? Cam always has fancy shirts with fancy cuffs. Do you know what I saw on last night's episode? Take a close look at Cam's shirt cuffs.

It's the very same fabric I used to make my high chair cover!
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Monday, February 14, 2011

My Paper Heart

I recently shared these awesome framed hearts from Sarah & Bendrix. Since there wasn't time for me to order one before Valentines Day, I decided to make one of my own to give to my hubby. I didn't go back and look at theirs, I just loosely had the image in my mind and made my own version of it.

If you want details on how I did it, keep reading.
I used a frame from IKEA and used some strips of corrugated cardboard under the mat to give it enough room for the dimension needed by the folded paper hearts. A simpler solution would be to just buy a shadow box frame, but apparently I can't do anything the easy way.

I gridded out my paper into equal size squares (and apparently I can't count, I should have had another row or two!) Then I cut out anything red from my magazines (strawberries, bike jerseys, shoes, swimsuits, etc.) and used spray glue to back them on another sheet of paper for more sturdiness. I used my mini heart punch to punch out the hearts, and scored each of them down the center. I folded them to give dimension. I put a dot of plain old Elmer's glue in the center of each of my grid squares and carefully placed each heart using needle-nose pliers and an Exacto knife. I felt like an entomologist (bug scientist). Let dry and erase grid lines. Then I wrote in my love note and put in in the frame. Total time commitment: about 2 hours. And he loved it.
(grid lines)
p.s. I have to say, this day is a lot more fun when I'm planning special things for someone else. Pin It

Valentine Goodies

I found this cute idea on Super Ziper, and thought I'd give it a try. My crazy husband likes milk chocolate better than dark chocolate, so that is what I used. Chocolate dipped pretzel sticks with candy hearts on top.

The pretzels are not quite flat on the end so the candy hearts kept sliding off, so I actually sawed off the tips. Yes, I sawed off the tip of each and every pretzel with a serrated knife so they would be flat. Then dipped in melted chocolate, and stuck the candy heart on the end. Since I didn't have any styrofoam without raw meat on it, I improvised and used a loaf of rosemary bread that I was about to throw out (because it was getting old). I just stuck those dipped pretzels right in for drying. Hopefully they won't taste like rosemary. Hopefully my hubby will think they are as sweet as I do.

I made these a couple of days in advance, so the salt is starting to spot through the chocolate. So a little tip for you would be don't make them in advance if you want them to look perfect. Also, don't use a loaf of bread to stick them in. If you leave them there for a few hours, the ends start to get soggy. But they do crispen up again once removed. That's another lesson I learned.

You can find the jumbo candy heart sprinkles on Amazon or Etsy, or probably a number of other places too. Pin It

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine Sneak Peak

I ordered this Valentine for my hubby for V Day. If you know him, you know nothing could be more fitting. He has a nickname of "mantis the man" which comes from an inside joke, from high school I believe. Big thanks to designers Nathan and Matthew for making more and shipping so quickly. If you want one too, you can find it in their Etsy shop here. Pin It

Friday, February 11, 2011

Baby Hat & Blanket Tutorials

I'm a little scared of sewing knits myself, but these are so cute I might just have to cowboy up and try it. You can find step-by-step  hat tutorial here.

And the step-by-step blanket tutorial here.
She ordered Michael Miller knits (design by Patty Young) from Etsy, which explains the cuteness. I haven't see such cute knits around here locally. Not that I've been looking, but I periodically browse, you know. Pin It

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Free Wallpapers

You know how everything Fossil does is cool? Well you can download some pretty cool wallpapers for your computer/iphone/ipad for free on their website.
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Monday, February 7, 2011

Recipe Share: Mini Chocolate Lava Cakes

Now here's a recipe that might just come in handy for you this Valentines day. Or any day really—I mean we're talking chocolate here. Double chocolate. Does your sweetheart love chocolate as much as mine?
Ghirardelli® Individual Chocolate Lava Cakes

2 oz Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate baking bar, broken or chopped into 1-inch pieces
1/4 c heavy cream

4 oz Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate baking bar, broken or chopped into 1-inch pieces
1/2 c unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 large whole eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/3 c granulated white sugar
1/2  t pure vanilla extract
1/4 c cake flour
Raspberries for garnish
Whipped cream or ice cream for garnish or topping

To make centers, in the otp of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water, melt the 2 oz of chocolate with the cream. Whisk gently to blend. [I had success microwaving the chocolate 30 seconds at a time on 50% power, stirring in between, and then adding the cream. But you have to be very careful not to scorch it if you use the microwave.]
Refrigerate for about 2 hours, or until firm. With your hands, form into 6 balls; refrigerate until needed.
Preheat the over to 400 degrees F. Spray six 4-ounce ramekins or custard cups with cooking spray.
To make the cakes, in the top of a double boiler on in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water, melt the 4 oz of chocolate and the butter, stirring occasionally until smooth.
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, whisk the whole eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla on high speed for about 5 minutes, or until thick and light. Fold the melted chocolate mixture and flour into the egg mixture just until combined. Spoon the cake batter into the ramekins. Place a chocolate ball in the middle of each ramekin.
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the cake is firm to the touch. [Be careful not to over bake them]. Remove from the oven and let sit for about 5 minutes. Run a small, sharp knife around the inside of each ramekin, place an upside down plate on top, invert, and remove the ramekin. Garnish with raspberries and a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream.

from Pin It

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Valentine Inspiration

Check out all these cute Valentines items from Sarah & Bendrix. How fun would it be to share one of these with your sweetie this year?

I see a new DIY project in my future! My little heart punch is going to come in really handy. Pin It