Sunday, August 30, 2009

DIY: Home Love

Thanks to my jet-setting boyfriend, I'm going to have a bunch of alone time this next week. We've both been so busy the past few weeks, we haven't spent much time together around the house, and our many projects are suffering for it.

First things first: I HAVE to get some grooming done on the yards. Unfortunately, we don't have many yard tools, so I'll have to convince my step-dad to let me borrow some tools. You know, the big boy stuff: weed whacker, power trimmer, etc etc. I need to hack away at my rosebushes, trim the front grass, weed the backyard, COMPLETELY cut back my tomatoes and zucchini (they're a bit neglected), and trim my lavender bushes to do some of these things I found on ApartmentTherapy.

Secondly, thanks to eager friends, and my amazing shopping skills, Delaney's closet is starting to look more like a baby's closet. Unfortunately, there's still crap in there from when the guest room was a storage room/office. Most of it is electronics, and that's Trevor's scene, so I've avoided dealing with it. Add it to the fact that there's absolutely NO lighting in there, and it's a very easy space to ignore. Luckily, I picked up some shelves from FreeCycle that look very similar to these:

The plan is to recover the shelves like here, here, and here. Also, I need to get some serious lighting in's a deep, huge closet, and most kids (and their mommies!) are afraid of that. The fuse box is in that closet, so there has to be a way to wire something, right? Too bad that's SO not my (or Trevor's) forte.

Isn't that dreamy? I'm trying to decide if I want to keep the door on her closet or not, it's a standard interior door size... but if I did, I could do something cool like this paint technique.

I'm getting ahead of myself, the whole point of this was listing projects I'll actually complete in the next week!

Thirdly, and this was something I wanted to complete tonight... I need to recover our dining room chairs. It's a newer Targt bar table, in dark wood, with microfiber seat cushions. However, AllieDog was bored in our first CA apartment, and chewed it up. Now, with my fancy reupholstering skills (and the fact we just got the set back from some friends who were borrowing it), I'm ready to fix them up. They currently have a light mocha color on them, and I'm just going to use the grey microfiber fabric I'm using for the texture-from-hell quilt. I have PLENTY left over.

I think that's sufficient, those are the main projects that I've been putting off. Add to the list the everyday things: cutting the squares for the above mentioned quilt, finishing the above mentioned quilt, printing the baby shower invites, etc etc. The list never ends, does it? :)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Day of Delaney and Design Inspiration

After some discussion with Trevor, we decide to not do the ENTIRE room in the Lavender Ice, mainly because it might be just too much. So, we're going to fake a chair rail, and paint a thick white stripe around the room, keeping the creamy-butter color on the bottom, and putting the purple on top. I actually really like the idea, so I promised him I'd get a blog up demonstrating the beauty.

Love photoshop, lol.

So, the pink "oh miss delaney" box is this DIY project from Design Sponge, making a nightlight out of a stretched, painted canvas. The chandelier is from Target, and the glider is my dream chair from Babys R Us. Too bad it's like $400. :( If I don't get it, I'm still perfectly happy with the rocker I re-did, I just love the modern lines, the comfort, and the fact that it's called "Marshmallow".

Emmalie and I spent 5 hrs baby shopping in Marin today, and I was SO inspired! Giggle had a TON of Dwell products (far too expensive) and I found a cute cute baby store, Janie and Jack, that was just clothes, but amazing adorable. I found a sweet hot pink hoodie that I almost bought full price until my dear friend took it out of my hands. (Part of their Parisian Park collection. I made up for it for getting $100.99 worth of infant outfits for $15 at Macy's.

I decided I want to change our bedroom, the light green on the wall, and the dark green on the ceiling are bumming me out. I think I'm going to use the different shades of grey, creams, and light purples from the Crow baby shower invite in there instead. I'm so drawn to them!

Right now tho, I'm pooped, and I still have a flea bath to administer and dishes to wash. Trevor James will be home in 2 hrs, so I guess I should get started. After Dear Genevive, swear.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Baby Girl: Shower Invites

Tonight I'm flexing my graphic design muscles, and designing some fancy, trendy baby shower invites. Okay, so it's been a while since I've done graphic design, and I've surely never been trained in it. Mostly, I've taken free illustrations I've found via HowAboutOrange and added some fancy fonts. But I think they're pretty cool.

I'm trying not to make them TOO girly, since our baby shower is actually going to be more of a house party - with baby gifts. :D

I still need to come up with a couple more, then print some comps at work. All the people who are involved in the baby shower planning are busy busy people, and I'm not about to be the mom-to-be who sits there watching her friends slave away during the party. I'm definitely going to be involved, and the invitations are just the start.

Which one do you like?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

DIY: Sweater Blanket

Awesome. Add another project to my "completed" list.

Remember this post? In about 4hrs total, I tore apart a favorite old sweater, combined it with some FreeCycle neon-pink stripey fabric, and made a little baby blanket. I do mean little, it's like 22x32 inches, thats all the usage I could get out of the sweater. Sure, there was the option of finding other sweater material, but I was determined to finish this, and wanted just the old pink one as the cuddling side.

I started with this sweater, from Tarshay 2 yrs ago. It doesn't fit anymore, and is long misshapen from Trevor doing laundry. Oops. (This picture makes it look more neon than it really is, bad lighting and still no digital camera. Birthday is only 1 month away!)

I pieced it together, specifically keeping some ribbing on there for extra interest.

Then I used this FreeCycle neon-pink stripey fabric for the backing, and didn't put a batting between. I just hemmed all the way around, and turned it inside out. I was having enough issue with the sweater stretching, and the stripey fabric is a little heavier, so I figured it'd be good for a light blanket. I did quilt it, following the lines of the stripes for a guide, but randomly spacing the lines of stitching.


I haven't bound it yet, because I don't have any coordinating fabric at the moment, but I definitely will have to. There's points where the sweater stretched past the hem, and it looks messy, and a binding will cover that up nicely. Then, I'll also have a place to put a "to baby from mommy" message, or some other sentimental sappy momento. (PS, that cool pieced wood thing in the background is a table my grandpa made eons ago, from like 7 different woods. It'll find a place in my house eventually!)

Now, it's time to clean out the fridge, take out the garbage, and cut squares out of the finicky jersey I talked about here. I've decided to suck it up and finish. Nights are getting chilly in the North Bay!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Baby Girl: Miss D's Room

I can't afford to do a whole lot in Delaney's room right now, as work is somewhat in turmoil at the moment. So, what do I do? Design with colored pencils. Oh yeah.

So, my drawing-to-scale skills need some honing, but you get the picture. (Isn't my rocking chair awesome, and totally spot on? Hah.) Main colors are obviously the light purple, and light blue, with accents of orange and hot pink to keep things interesting. I have a color board coming soon, it's just all on my laptop, which I of course left at the office this weekend. :-/ The crib is the Olivia from Walmart, along with the coordinating changer and dresser. Mom has already promised the crib, so that's checked off the list. Thanks Mama :)

What do you think?

Friday, August 21, 2009

HELP! Quilting Predicament

So, I'm about 1/4 done piecing my first quilt, and honestly, it's not THAT well done. Oops. Apparently, I really like cutting fabric and putting it together, but I'm not the best at, you know, exact measurements.

So, currently, this is what it looks like.

Yes, this is my first quilt (Since I was 10), and yes, it's the one with 4 different fabrics, the faux suede upholstery fabric, the purple satin type, the Joel Dewberry cotton, and a stretchy thin jersey. I'm ambitious, and I like texture. Sue me. (The picture is from when I pinned it up against the Delaney's color samples 3-4 weeks ago. We chose purple. It's still hanging there.)

So, the other night, I made a 7" square out of cardboard, and cut out all the remaining squares I needed, of everything but the stretchy jersey (the white background with flowers). I stopped there, thinking I should put interfacing on the back of it, but then do I iron on the interfacing first, and then cut the squares? Or, cut, then interface. I also have spray starch, that would probably help.

The next thing is, if I'm going thru all this trouble to be super exact (as I should be, I know, quilting is an exact science normally, please, hardcore quilters, don't hunt me down), should I tear apart the current quilt, and start again? I know I'll have to buy more of the blue Joel Dewberry.... But then again, at the current size, I could just fold it on itself, and perfect little baby quilt. But then what about all those 7" squares I've cut out already in the other fabric? I could just save them, and use them elsewhere, but I should be smart enough not to use faux suede microfiber upholstery fabric in a quilt again, right?

Woe is me. I hate being unfinished on this thing, and so distract myself with other projects, like the sweater baby blanket (which is now pieced together, I need to put thin batting in, cut the backing in the crazy neon pink stripey FreeCycle fabric, and bind, a whole 'nother obstacle for inexperienced me). I threw out the baby quilt idea to Trevor, and he was somewhat butthurt I wasn't going to finish it big person size. He likes to cuddle :)

I'm tempted just to cut the jersey flowery one as is, piece it together, use the current haphazard piece, and tie it, instead of actual quilting. It'll still be just as cosy, Delaney will love the texture once she's around, and it can become our picnic/4th of July blanket, and we can laugh at it every time it's shown in public.

Thoughts? How can I salvage this? CAN I salvage this?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

DIY: Current projects

Man. I wish I had my fancy digital camera so I could take some teasing photos.

Anyway, right now I'm working on a mobile, cut out a million stars from 20yr old paper swatch books I got from my mom a couple weeks ago. I love the different textures of the expensive paper, and sitting there cutting and pasting reminded me of when I was a kid, using those swatch books instead of construction paper.

Also, I currently have some crazy neon pink striped fabric in the washing machine, a free-cycle gifty. I'm getting ready to tear apart my old pink sweater, and create a super simple baby quilt, just follow the lines of the stripey fabric. Guess it's time I learn to bind?

Trevor wants me to work on a blog of his - he's apparently taking full advantage of his flight benefits, and we're heading to every NHL stadium this season. I know, I know, I said "really, the same season we're going to have a new born?", but Trev doesn't ask for much, so I'm going to indulge him. Our 4yr anniversary was yesterday, and I'm still enamored with his spontaneity. So, he's blogging about his travels, and I'll need to help him with the blog design and such.

On that note, I think I'm going to major in graphic design. I've dabbled in English, Chiropractic, and business management, but nothing has stuck. So, I don't go to class, and just work all the time, haha. I've been immersed in graphic design my whole life, thru my mom. (She's a huge influence on my style and creativity, don't know if she knows) I get frustrated, because I'm not as good at is as I'd like to be. I can feel my way around the Adobe Suite, and PageMaker (from Journalism in HS) . It can only help me understand colors and form even better, and give me that daily creative outlet I'm desperately lacking at the moment.

Now I need to get off the computer, and work on that sweater-blankie project. I swore I'd complete *something* by the end of the night, and if tearing apart a favorite sweater is the one thing I accomplish, so be it!

Monday, August 17, 2009

DIY: Long Sleeve Refashion

So, I woke up this morning a little chilly, but still wanted to wear my pretty dress. (Mostly, because I haven't bought maternity pants yet. Oops.) After going thru my sweater/jacket options, I realized I don't have A. Anything that fits, or B. Anything appropriate for the weather. Everything's too heavy, or wouldn't jive with my dress.

So, lucky me, I remembered I saw a refashion post somewhere along my blog travels. I couldn't find the original post this morning,and with 15min before I had to leave for work, I just kinda winged (wung?) it. (I have now since found the post. Duh. From Amy Karol's Angry Chicken)

I used this shirt (Old Navy favorite tee, long sleeve)

1. I first cut out the neck hem, just right along the stitches.

2. Then, cut from the center of the neck to the bottom hem.

3. Some tutorials stop here, and you can either leave it hanging loose, or if it's really big, tie the corners together, but this wasn't working for me. So, leaving a 2in tie on either side, then cut about 4in off from the bottom hem.

Voila! Perfect little cover up for the foggy NorCal mornings.

(Yeah, I like bathroom shots. Also, shout out to one of my favorite Etsy sellers, Sharlee Gems for my amazing Octopus necklace!)

Have you done something like this? Leave a link to your post/picture in the comment section.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Items of Lust: The Poster List prints


Okay, so, I finally have my lap top at home with me for the first time in a month? Yeah. And, Boy is working, and the last post mentioned my stress, and avoidance of situations, so suprise! You get another post tonight.

I just found ThePosterList, and well, I'm in love. Not to mention their 2 for $20 program right now? Yeah.

My favorites (quick, guess my favorite color):

Inspiration: Easy Quilts

So, I'm distracting myself from work woes tonight with home decor. I've found some super easy quilts recently, and have been saving everything as a link on Facebook. I still haven't finished the quilt hanging up in Delaney's room, when I told Trev I might just turn it into a baby quilt, he got all huffy, "That was supposed to be a cuddle quilt for us on the couch!" What a sweet boy :)

I have to admit, life is pretty stressful right now. It feels like every time we take a step forward, we have to take two back. Anybody know me from a past life? Maybe I was a jerk, and I'm just working off that karma, hah. Anyway, I need to just focus on things I can control, like an easy quilt :)

I've found some recently that look fun and simple... last thing I need is more stress!

Their color situation is super busy, and far too bright for my taste, but it's definitely quick,  and could adapt to a larger quilt very easily. They didn't do any actual "quilting", which leaves the door open for interpretation. 

This is one of the first quilts I saw on AT when I got on this design kick a few months ago. I still love it, and while it's definitely not "simple", all the pieces are the same size, which means I could make a template and be done with it.

Purl Bee recently featured Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson, which was one of the 4 books I picked up from the library when I saw the quilt I talked about above. This color wheel quilt is PERFECT, and, I can get all the supplies for $72, to make the massive quilt. LOVE it! This is something I'd make for myself, or even for my mommy, a graphic designer, from the days of REALLY cutting and pasting.

First of all, this quilt brings memories of that Dashboard Confessional album, and the song "The Mix Tape" by Jack's Mannequin (the artist formerly known as Something Corporate, who also wrote"Miss Delaney", where we got Baby's name from), AND it's super graphic and fun, and I love the idea of doing a quilt like this, something SO not traditional.

This one is awesome, of course. The applique brings me to something else...There's another one I've been searching the internet for, because I guess I didn't link it on Facebook the first time I saw it, but it's the easiest quilt, with the most impact, I've seen. Basically, the artist took a graphic fabric, orange flowers on white, and combined it with a simple white fabric, and made the flowers originate in a corner, then scatter across the rest of the quilt. They cut out the flowers, and appliqued them on the rest of the normal white fabric in a random pattern. Then, quilted around the flowers on the original fabric. Very fancy. Anybody know what I'm talking about??

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Kitch Love: Emily Peacock Hug Kiss

I saw this on OhDeeDoh this morning, and when I found out it was cross-stitch, it made me want it even more!!

Two pillow kits, to do the colorful hug and kiss. These would look great ANYWHERE in our house. Either on me and Trev's bed, as bolsters on the couch, or in Delaney's room. The somewhat muted colors (while varied) aren't too "rainbow", but definitely break up the monotony of the solid, neutral colors they'd be sitting on.

I'm planning on being done working by Thanksgiving, and I see much crafting in my future. I also have a birthday in a month and a half. Who wants to buy the set for me?

Also, I went a little crazy last night, and realized with a paint color change, and new window treatments, my living room is basically finished. I drew mockups of everything, and colored with pencils for like 3 hours, lol. I'll scan them in eventually. This week is a little ridiculous, and I don't have my big car to get ugly free things with, so any posts will probably be web-browsing based.

Friday, August 7, 2009

RIP: Free Cycle Couch 11/08-8/09

It's a sad day today.

Apparently, Allie Dog is not adjusting to Trev's new schedule very well. She's alone for about 5hrs a day now, instead of Trevor being home with her while I'm at work, and it very upset with us, apparently. First, she's anxious and over-hyper when I get home, and then remains whiney all evening long, no matter how much love/food/potty time I give her. The worst?

She's started peeing on the couch again.


She used to do this when we'd leave her alone in the apartment, if we left her alone for too long she'd pee, because, well, she had no where to go. But now, it's like a deliberate act of defiance! I take her out multiple times during the evening, and one final one before bed. Last night, we went outside, went potty, then went to bed. an hour later, Boyfriend came home, and voila, pee on the couch. Wtf dog?

It's ONLY been the past two weeks when her schedule has been all jacked. I completely reupholstered the couch too, so it's like she's slapping me in the face. The interim solution is to close our bedroom door at night so she can't sneak out, and get new foam for the cushions, and throw the covers in the washer.


After (the late-night culprit, snoozing the very day I brought the finished couch up from the garage. My living room now looks much more pulled together than that chaos in the background.)

But, I fear the couch's life has truly come to an end, regardless. The other night, I lost my cell phone somewhere in the depths of the couch, stuck between raw plywood and the ancient mechanicals of the pull-out bed. My hand came out scraped and bloody from old staples and splinters and other nasty things. So, combined with the dog situation, and this, it's time for a new couch.

Luckily, I have some ideas. And, pretty much, Ikea is where I'm headed.

I like the Karlstad sofa, and it's honestly where I got the shape for my couch when I reupholstered/reconstructed it.

Probably, the white is too light for our lifestyle, but it it would certainly brighten up our living room. My plan is, of course, to get a slip cover, but then even put some sort of slip cover UNDER the fancy slip cover, maybe vinyl tablecloth-type material? Just in case the dog acts up, and then the cushion inside isn't compromised. Once pee gets inside a cushion, you're kinda SOL.

Ideally, we'd love a chaise add-on, but being that the chaise itself is the same price as the original couch, AND my living room is teeny, it's probably not going to happen.

Of course, this is all wishing/dreaming/hoping until we get our car payment taken care of next week, and then we have some bills to handle that were put on hold while Trevor was unemployed, but soon enough we can have nice things. For now, Febreeze is my best friend. *sigh*

Next time I reupholster, I'm doing something smaller, and less used than a couch. Something like a decorative chair or something. Too much heartbreak when it's time to let it go.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Current Obsession: Letters

Okay, so I know this isn't new on the design scene. But, I'm pretty much obsessed with typography, and 3D objects on my wall. One 4th of July, I went to a sorta-friend's house for a pre-fireworks party, and besides being expertly designed, on the wall behind their front door, they had a column of "R"s, in all different shapes/colors/sizes, to represent their last name.

Since then, I've wanted to recreate that for us, with "T". Not as exciting, and doesn't have the "curl factor" that an "R" might, but still. I can't wait to take Trevor's name (even tho mine is pretty cool, can't get much better than "Strong"), and I would love to have a beautiful homage to it, without going crazy with his Scottish family crest.

I bought my mom an "H" from Etsy Seller VintageEmbellishments, and it looks great in her kitchen. Now, with baby Delaney on the way, I want to create a similar mishmash collection of letters for her room.

Some favorite styles:

Hah. I just bought that last one. Oops...Her letters are $6! Not bad. Guess I'm done browsing Etsy now, before I do any more damage.