Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Getting my Craft on

The great things about reading blogs and browsing Pinterest is you get a lot of great ideas and inspiration. 

The bad thing about reading blogs and browsing Pinterest is you get a lot of ideas. 

The good thing is usually the crafty projects are cheap. Usually. (Do you have whiplash yet?!)

Here is a sneak peek at supplies for  two projects in the works.  

Monday, September 23, 2013

Happy Monday!

I had a very productive weekend--probably the first weekend in a long time that I've been able to actually have enough energy to do things.  I did massive amounts of laundry, cleaning, patching some holes and re-painting them, and doing some general busywork around the house. I'm hoping my productive streak lasts through the week!

Remember my deck?

There were several broken and warped boards that needed replaced before I could stain my deck. So a couple months ago, my dad came in and replaced them with new boards. Then I got sick. So my deck has been sporting a lovely stripe pattern for quite some time now. 

Before the boards could be stained I had to pre-treat the new wood. So that is one thing I did this weekend. Like any normal, sane person, I wait until fall to finish my deck. You know, right when I can no longer use it. Yeah, that's me. Procrastination with a capital P.  

So the deck is one project I hope to finish this week! 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

the Saga Continues...

I finally got all pieces of my artwork in, and I was a little too impatient to do the smart thing and wait until I get a new TV credenza and move furniture around before I threw them up on the wall. I was dying to see if the pieces played well together. Let's start with a preview before I go into detail, shall we? (Sorry for poor pic quality.. once again iPhone + user incompetency = poor pictures. Bad Blogger. I promise, once I get some of these projects done I will buy a new camera!!)

So this is where I landed today. I wouldn't say I'm there yet. But I'm also trying to give the "grand plan" a chance and wait until all of the pieces are in alignment. Then I'll fix it.  Part of the "grand plan" involves buying a mid-century credenza (which I may have found--stay tuned!!) and moving the TV to the credenza, in the middle of the gallery wall. That is why there is a blank spot in the middle, taped out.  I promise, I'm not totally crazy.

To kick it off, I mapped out all of the pieces using my daughter's craft paper and then I played around with the various layouts until I found one that worked.  Here are the various layouts I tried. 

Option A

Option B

Option C

While I was mapping out all of this madness I was texting my friend with pictures and we both ultimately thought option C was the winner. I initially started with only 6 prints and quickly discovered that 6 was not the magic number. So I hunted my house and found another print that worked with the color scheme, but I am not sold on its wood frame, so it is kind of a stand-in for now. Then, I put everything up on the wall.

Then, seeing it on the wall made the left side look very sad and empty. So I moved a couple of prints around, and landed on the one below. But I need to keep playing around with it because Option C worked really well when the two white frames stacked on top of each other, as above. I just need to fix the emptiness on the left side.

What do you think? Ultimately, I think there are two pain points for me: the wood frame sticks out and I miss the symmetrical stacking white prints on the right. I also think once I get the credenza and TV in, I will do some smushing and move the prints closer together. I did toy briefly with the idea of spray-painting a couple of the frames gold, thinking it might make one wood frame more acceptable if there are four different frame colors, but just not sure yet. I figure I can always break out the spray paint down the line. 

Prints are, from left to right: 
  1. Kelly Hall Ligurian Houses art print from Minted 
  2. Destiny Womack "Hope" print, from Etsy
  3. Painted canvas print, artist unknown, from Target years ago
  4. Non & Oui Indecis print, from MadebyGirl
  5. Heidi Carlsen Rogers Fine Art print, from Etsy
  6. Trellus print from Michelle Armas
  7. Circus Animals on 33rd Street by Bettman from Art.com 
So that is where I am today. What do you think? 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

SnapShots V.1

I always like hearing or reading about what people are currently hooked on. I myself am so fickle that things change in the blink of an eye, so I thought it would be fun to capture what I'm currently into.

Snapshots V.1

LISTENING to Kari Jobe's "Where I Find You" c.d. Kari has a GORGEOUS
voice and I was lucky enough to hear her live at Women of Faith this year! Image above from KariJobe.com

WATCHING Revolution, on NBC. Actually, since I'm not current on T.V. or movies, I'm watching prior seasons on Netflix to get caught up. But I. am. hooked. This series shows the world with no electricity--the power went out and a team is fighting to get it back on. Amazing action sequences, and really makes you think about how life would be with no electricity/power. Image above from NBC.com 

READING Sophie Kinsella's Wedding Night. Sophie is such a funny author--I first read her with the Shopaholic series and she has since written other novels. I have read every single one of them. They are such funny, lighthearted reads. Image above from Barnes & Noble 

EATING Peyton, my mom and I went to Applebees the other night and I tried a new item on their menu-the Honey Pepper Chicken and Shrimp. It was delicious and I'm already thinking about getting it again!!! Image above from Applebees.com

So there you have it, a Snapshot into the current happenings in my life. What are your snapshots? 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Gallery Wall in the Works!

I think I have finally selected all of the pieces for my gallery wall! I am really into magenta, pink and yellow right now, so I have used that as my color "triad" for this room. And of course, I selected all of the pieces with my favorite Lee Jofa La Fiorentina fabric in mind. Someday, sweetie, you will be in my house, oh yes you will.

In the meantime, as I (impatiently) wait for the various art pieces to arrive, I thought I would do a mood board showing the direction I am headed and the various pieces I have selected.  I also had to throw in a little kitty kat and the fabric, of course!

Gallery Wall

Here is what I've selected:

  1. Michelle Armas "Trellus" print
  2. Destiny Womack "Hope" print
  3. Made by Girl "Non & Oui Indecis" print (A side note on this one--is this perfect for me or what?!) 
  4. Heidi Carlsen Rogers Fine Art print
  5. Kelly Hall "Ligurian Houses" art print from Minted
  6. Nora Quinonez Leopard Print pillow from Etsy
  7. Lee Jofa La Fiorentina fabric

There is one more print I ordered, that I can't import onto Polyvore (presumably due to copyright): "Circus Animals on 33rd Street" by Bettman.  I thought my gallery wall needed something other than abstract art, and a little bit of quirky thrown in. Plus, ever since an elephant ate my cotton candy when I was little, I've been fascinated by them. I mean, you have to figure if an elephant likes cotton candy, that makes them awesome.  And an elephant's tushy walking down the city street? Tell me that ain't funny. 

What do you think of the combination of the prints I've selected? Against that charcoal wall? I wonder if it will make me fall in love with the wall after all. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Do you Birchbox?

I admit I am one of those people who love free makeup and skincare samples. And yes, I am also one of those people who think putting the word "free" in front of something makes it justifiable even if you are shelling out more than you are getting for "free." It's okay if you are fully aware that you are being illogical. 

I am a VIB (Very Important Beauty Insider) with Sephora. What that means is I spend a ridiculous amount of money on makeup and skincare and they want me to keep spending more ridiculous amounts of money on makeup and skincare, so they entice me with points and free samples

I love samples. A daily makeup routine? Not so much. Most days I am lucky if I remember to throw on mascara and lip gloss. But with all of the samples I've tried over  the years, I have found some items that I consistently return to. I thought I would do a roundup of my top ten favorites.

Top 10 Makeup & Skincare picks

  1. Bumble and Bumble Bb. Thickening Dryspun Finish, Sephora. This is relatively new to the market, but I love the texture it gives hair!
  2. Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk, Birchbox.com. I've tried multiple dry shampoos and I've found this one to be the best for my fine hair. 
  3. L'Oreal Youth Code Dark Spot Correcting & Illuminating Serum Corrector, drugstores. I have a few sun spots on my face that have started to fade since using this serum. 
  4. NARS Lipstick in Flair, Sephora. This lipstick is so creamy and non-sticky and it doesn't dry out my lips like some other brands. 
  5. Stila Lip Glaze in Black Cherry, Sephora. A little sticky, but shiny and pretty. 
  6. NARS Lipgloss in Dolce Vita, Sephora. I go through this gloss like crazy-it's my favorite one out there!
  7. Benefit BADgal Lash Mascara, Sephora. I've tried a lot of different mascaras and this one makes my lashes look all fluffed up. 
  8. Shiesdo Bio-Performance Advanced Super Revitalizing Cream, Sephora. I love this stuff. It's super moisturizing and makes my skin feel so soft. It's definitely pricy but a little goes a long way. 
  9. Lady Gaga's Fame perfume, Sephora. I first scoffed at a perfume by Lady Gaga. Named Fame, of all things. (I mean, honestly, can you sound more pretentious?!) But then I smelled it and fell in love. It has Belladonna as one of its ingredients. Hm, poison, in perfume? I likes it. 
  10. Clinique A Different Nail Enamel in Black Honey, Sephora. My new cult favorite. I love the dark color on nails!!! 
But back to the free sample thing (you knew I couldn't let that go, right?!). A few months ago, I subscribed to Birchbox. I had read about monthly makeup and skincare sample programs and Birchbox seemed like one of the cheaper versions to subscribe to. At $10 a month, they are not free samples, but I have to admit, it is super fun getting the beauty box in the mail each month. Peyton loves it, too--she squeals when she gets a funky nail polish color or perfume sample. Me, I'm in it for the lip gloss and skincare samples. Because even though it's not free, it's still the same fun feeling as seeing "free samples with purchase" at the makeup counter in the mall.  

Image from Birchbox.com/

What's in your beauty bag? 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Can't get no Satisfaction

Who sings that song?! It's been in my head the last week. I've been thinking about customer service lately, or rather the lack of it. I am the first to admit that I am impatient and want everything now, now, now. But I've had a series of moments lately that just don't make sense to me.

  1. I found a bamboo chair on Craigslist that I just loved. I could see the fixer-upper potential. So I emailed the address and received an almost immediate response saying it was still available. I immediately email back and say where would you like me to pick it up at? Now... 8 days later and I have not heard a peep. Even more maddening is the posting is STILL showing on Craigslist as available. 
  2. I ordered two prints from two different Etsy vendors. One print came within 4 days. The other print? I am still waiting. No tracking number, either. I received an email the day I ordered it saying I would receive a tracking number and the item would be shipped out within 1-2 days. I didn't get the tracking number, so after a few days, I contacted the seller. Still, no response. I contacted the seller again and finally received a response apologizing for the lack of response (they said they didn't get my first email), and that it was shipped out via first class mail and if I don't receive it by Friday, let them know and they would re-send me a new one. So... at least I know I will get one, but it is now 9 days past the original order date! 
  3. Another Etsy vendor I had emailed asking for a quote for curtains. The seller was fabulous and provided me with a quote the same day I had contacted them. The quote was very helpful-# of yards of fabric, and the costs for their labor. But, as I had mentioned when reaching out, I was pretty sure they were too expensive for me. After I received the quote, I thanked her and said I was afraid they were out of my budget at this point in time, but could she also give me a quote possibly on roman shades in that fabric? That was 12 days ago and I haven't heard anything back. Now it could be the seller was insulted and thinking I was wasting their time, but if I were the seller I would be picking up on the fact that this potential buyer really loves this fabric and really want to order something in it and is trying to find an item she can afford "at this time." So, again, if I were the seller, I would either respond with "sorry, the roman shades cost more than the curtain," or I would respond with a quote and also suggest if it weren't in my budget that they also sell a pillow cover in the same fabric, and would I be interested in that? Mind-boggling. 
One could say I should stay off of Etsy and Craigslist, but I am really trying to find art items for this gallery wall I am (very slowly) working on. I don't want to throw just anything up there! 

Right now, I have two photos and two on the way. Currently, they are both residing on the slice of wall between my window and door to the backyard. I absolutely love them!

**Update: Sorry for not citing sources, I think I mentioned these prints in a prior post and forgot to document the sources again! Print on top is Michelle Armas' "Trellus" print; print on bottom is Heidi Carlsen Rogers' Garden Petal-Pink-Yellow-Modern Art Abstract-Minimalist-Pastel.

How about you, have you ever had moments of dissatisfaction with Craigslist or Etsy sellers? Please tell me it's not me, people, and that I'm emitting some kind of horrible vibe when I very nicely reach out to people!!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My New Best Friend

I have been sick as a dog the last week and a half, and a huge project due at work on Friday and absolutely no brain cells or energy with which to do it. Fun times, folks, fun times.  That said, I was (finally!) catching up on my magazine reading and read my House Beautiful issue and LOOK what I saw!!! This is the "Instant Room" feature, and Betsy Burnham put this one together. My jaw hit the floor.

Those are my curtains!!!! I might have shrieked and said, I WANT THAT! Those curtains would cost me $500 smackaroos like I mentioned... so hard to justify it. But just look at how amazing this room is--those curtains totally make it happen! Leopard, stripes, teal and green... I swear, Besty Burnham gets me

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Teaser shot!

I got one of my new prints in the mail today! From Heidi Carlsen-Roger's Etsy shop. It came very nicely packaged with a pretty pink bow and a handwritten note thanking me for my purchase and to have a happy day. 

Looking at this picture, I think I will!  Look at how good it looks up next to the Trellus print from Michelle Armas!

I can't wait to get my third print from Destiny Womack! 

Pink Curtains on the Brain

I mentioned in a recent post (o.k., stop laughing. it was recent a month ago...) that I had made the jump and painted my living room wall charcoal.

I have been living with it for awhile, and while I don't hate it, I am not in love with it. I think it's the carpet that throws me off. The wall looks fantastic in the dining room, with the floor, but when I see it with carpet, something just throws it off for me. 

But I know when I started down this road of a dark accent wall, I had a vision. I am all too often too impatient to see a vision through to the end. So more often than not, I yank out the paintbrush and start on a new vision before I've given the old vision time to grow and evolve. And lately, all I am hooked on are images of white rooms with bright pops of color.  I think Emily Henderson's design for Bri Emery's room exploded onto the blog world and everyone, everywhere, wants it. I am weak. I too, want it. (Check out the link with its gorgeous pictures and tell me you do not want to live in that yummy goodness!) But, before I cross into the light, I am going to try to see this one through. 

So here is where I started... I wanted to bring up my white leather sofa from downstairs and offset it with teal accents,  a mid-century modern credenza for under the TV, and an art wall full of my brother's gorgeous photos


West Elm italian sofa / Thrive midcentury furniture / CB2 media storage furniture / Mod furniture / Robert Abbey lamp / Jonathan Adler turquoise home decor / Ballard home decor / West Elm antique brass furniture / CB2 stackable shelve / Bamboo side table / Blake Side Table | Ballard Designs

Well, somewhere along the way I got tired of teal being the only color in the room, and all of a sudden, pinks and yellows were shouting my name.  I stumbled across Michelle Armas' prints and ordered this one. And... well, you can't have an art wall without more than one print...So, I started looking for more artwork on Etsy. And I ordered two more prints: this one, by Heidi Carlsen Rogers; and this one, by Destiny Womack. I am hoping the bright pops of color (magenta, yellow!) will pop off the dark wall and offset the TV.

And all of this is of course, fueled by a dream of having curtains in my favorite fabric-of-the-moment:

Lee Jofa Groundworks La Firoentina fabric in magenta/wine
I may have to settle for a pillow in this fabric, it is so pricey and hard to justify such an expense. But, so yummy.

So that is where I am-drooling over pink curtains and waiting with impatient breath for my new artwork to arrive!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

On My Radar: September

On My Radar: August

Tek Gear black cropped pants / Thrive upholstery furniture / Modern home accessory / West Elm bentwood furniture / Tek Gear Fleece Sweatshirt

  1.  I am kind of in love with this chair. It looks mid-century modern, but super comfortable. And it comes in so many colors of the rainbow! Not that I want a rainbow, but the hard decision would be what color to buy! 
  2. This Lee Jofa Groundworks fabric just does it for me. Pillows, curtains, I want it all! 
  3. I am hooked on super-comfy clothes for lounging around at home. I discovered the Tek line at Kohls and it is super soft and stretchy. I don't do yoga, but I am totally capitalizing from it's benefits! 
  4. This Bentwood table from West Elm is a fun find. It has mid-century vibes and the wood look that I am crushing on right now. 
  5. I have always been a fan of leopard. In fact, I took Peyton shopping the other day and she picked out a pair of leopard pants and a leopard cardigan. I couldn't be more proud of her if she was mine. Oh wait. She is. 
What are you crushing on this month? 

Squeaker in the House

I think there is a theme occurring where I forget I have this blog and a month goes by and I go "oops." Bad blogger. In my defense, I feel really badly blogging when I only have an iPhone for pictures. Color me an amateur! I think I will try to stick to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday posting schedule. I should be able to commit to that, right?! Ok, so I missed Monday. And it's Wednesday night.  Baby steps, people, baby steps.

So in mid-August we added a new member to our family.  Meet Bugsy.

image from here

No, not that Bugsy. (I crack up every time I see that picture...)  This Bugsy: 

This little spunky guinea pig has quickly been a source of entertainment in our house. Doesn't he look like a little chick or a little popcorn ball all popped up?! No? Just me?! 

On the first day we brought Bugsy home with us, I had to do a little demo in my kitchen. Peyton had let Bugsy run around like he was born free. And of course, since we were huge scary giants, Bugsy ran to the nearest corner he could find. That corner happened to be the corner where my cabinets met in the kitchen. And apparently, that corner happened to have a hole where the baseboard did not fully cover the gap between cabinets. Bugsy found the hole. So there was Peyton, crying her eyes out that she lost her pet on the first day and I was freaking out wondering if he got between the floors in the house and did he get into the vents because goodness knew, we'd never get him back.... (Drama, much? Yeah.)

So I yanked the baseboard off with my bare hands and there was Bugsy, cowering at the back of the cabinets. Folks, I thought I was going to squish the little thing as I was pulling him out! But we got him out and my war wounds (4 cuts/scratches on my hand) are all healed now. When you bleed for them, that's when you know they are family.

Bugsy is a happy little squeaker now. He likes to jabber nonstop when we let him cuddle on us, and he does little "pops" (jumps) in his cage all. the. time. Every time Bugsy pops, so does the bedding. All. over. my. floor.  But he's so soft, and so cute that you just have to forgive him. And just LOOK at his spiky hair! Isn't it hilarious? I call it the sputnik tushy. Tell me you don't look at that shot below and think "sputnik tushy."

No? Just me?!