Nov 29, 2010

cheap thrills

some of my latest, affordable finds:

bryn posted about this rug last week, and i loved 
it so much, that i bought one! i haven't decided if i am going
to put in in the breakfast room or in the spare bedroom upstairs
 that we currently use as an office.
by the way, MANY companies are offering 
FREE shipping this week
so, if there is something that you 
have had your eye on,
this might be the perfect time for 
santa to buy it for you!

Nov 27, 2010

it's coming along...

i've been slowly working on a bedroom for a 6 year old girl.
we just reupholstered and painted a $20 thrift store bench,
and will be starting work next week on the window treatments,
which will be made from the yellow fabric.
a long pillow on the bed in the schumacher hot house fabric
will tie it all together. 
we are still a few weeks ways from finishing,
but i will post pictures when it's all done.
i'm loving the way it is all coming together!

Nov 24, 2010

happy thanksgiving.

i spent the entire day in my kitchen...
baking, sauteing, boiling, whipping, kneading and stirring.
i. am. exhausted.
but i love getting ready for thanksgiving.
i love that tomorrow, i get
to eat a tasty meal with my little family
and take stock of my blessings.

happy thanksgiving everyone!


a few months ago, i wrote a post on
the great selection of anthro-inspired 
knobs and pulls at hobby lobby.
well, i just found another great source...
world market.

buying new knobs can instantly update an
old dresser or nightstand and add
character to existing bathroom cabinets.

what's great about these knobs is that many of them
are identical to antropologie knobs,
but at a fraction of the cost. plus,
unlike the knobs at hobby lobby,
you can shop online.
click here to see more of their selection.

Nov 23, 2010

green polka dots: making it work

kari contacted me because she was struggling 
with her daughters room:

she loves the green and white polka-dotted comforter,
but was not sure what color to paint the walls, 
or what to pair with the green.
here's what i came up with:
adding yellow creates an analogous scheme,
enhancing visual harmony.
touches of black and white
provide contrast and a 
little bit of chic.
to read more about analogous color schemes,
read the post i wrote for design dazzle here.

Nov 22, 2010

fall flower arrangement on the cheap

last week, it was my turn to host book club.
i have been in this book club for almost a year 
(my first book club, ever),
 and this month was my turn to select the book and to host our dinner and discussion.
(and, just in case you were wondering, 
i selected "the help" by kathryn stockett, and it was fabulous.)
i wanted to have a nice, 
season appropriate flower arrangement(s), 
but i didn't want to spend a fortune.
here is how one of my arrangements turned out...
i was able to make two arrangements for $10.
(there was a buy one, get one free deal...the roses were
9.99, and the mixed bouquet was 6.99, so i got it free!)
it started like this:
a dozen cream roses, 
and typical grocery store "fall" bouquet---
what is is with those pre-made bouquets?
80% of the flowers are pretty, and look great together, and then they always seem to throw in some
random, ugly flowers that don't seem to belong.
in this case, there were some really pretty brownish flowers, 
and then some bright red and yellow carnations. 
no thank you.
not what i had in mind.
i took out the bright flowers, and mixed some
branches and leaves from my yard with the roses and other flowers.
i love how the silver looks against all the warm tones of the arrangement.
i bought that little aluminum vase at a thrift store for .75.
the wheat adds a nice texture.
wouldn't an arrangement like this look
great at a thanksgiving table?
this is the second arrangement i made.
i used a glass vase, and filled the bottom with rocks.
i'm really happy with the way they turned out...
cheap, easy and pretty.
(my favorite!)

Nov 19, 2010

liberty of london

"strawberry thief"
i am currently helping cally to spruce up the main floor 
of her home,and i using this fabric as the 
inspiration for our color scheme.
cally says she likes:
"warm, but not dark.
simple, but not bare.
practical, kid friendly, smart, comfortable."
i think i know JUST what to do!
i'll share one or two of the idea boards
with you as i finish them...

Nov 17, 2010

bath makeover

living in a rental can really be a bummer.
especially when you are the "creative" type...
allen and i built our first home just 2 1/2 years after 
we were out of college, and spent the next 8 years
building another home and remodeling three.
so, the transition to this rental house has been
...(*ahem) interesting.
 yes, i admit, there are days when i feel sorry for myself.
when i stare at the vinyl floors and the ugly wallpaper
i just know for things to look GOOD, it would take an
overhaul that we cannot afford and frankly, don't really have 
the mental energy for right now. 
but then i spotted a little bathroom makeover that
really got my wheels spinning.
just over a year ago, jennifer boles, 
author of the blog peak of chic, 
transformed a bathroom 
 without ripping out the floors. or the ugly shower.
or the laminate countertops. 
and it looks fabulous.
the before:

and after!

 after seeing these pictures, i am highly inspired to do
something with one of the two bathrooms on our main floor.
didn't she do a great job?
you can see more details of this transformation here.

Nov 16, 2010

making "mom" stuff look good...(or at least trying)

ok, so i usually don't post too much stuff on 
this blog about "mom stuff", 
but as i was looking through my photos, 
i came across several photos i had taken of things 
i have done for my kids.
any mom knows that it's obligatory to bring treats to your kids
classroom on their birthday. 
this is what i brought this year to my daughter charlotte's class.
i used my cricut to cut the scalloped circles, and my printer to print a couple of pages of the
"happy birthday charlottes", (designed in microsoft word) 
which i punched out with a large circle punch.
(available at any scrapbook or craft store)
the whole thing took me less than 40 minutes, 
from start to finish.
yes....i signed up to bring the treat on "s" day in kindergarten.
i made a text box in word,  
printed a few pages, cut them out and
them stapled them to snack size baggies.
(and yes, i realized after i printed and packaged them all that
i spelled "sandwiches" wrong. UGH!)
this project took about 20 minutes...
(not including making the sandwiches).
ahhh...the bake sale.
what school doesn't have a bake sale at least once a year?
this year, i made banana bread in little ceramic loaf pans
that i bought on sale at michael's craft store.
now, we all know how cheap banana bread is to make...
well, imagine my surprise when i checked in at the
bake sale table to see that my loaves were going for $10 a piece!
it's all about 
presentation, folks!
 yep...i also signed up to bring treats on "g" day.
i decided to bring green and red grapes in
little snack baggies, and then put the 
baggie inside a cellophane bag.
i used the cricut to cut both the "g"s 
and the scalloped circles.
can you tell i like that scalloped circle?
and, onto another item we moms deal with on a
monthly basis: the birthday gift.
lately, it seems like i am buying and wrapping
a birthday gift about once a week!
one way to transform a simple gift
 bag into something special 
is by making a custom tag.
a few pieces of coordinating paper,
a tiny strip of ribbon,
and a brad is all it takes.
another thing i like to do is  to attach small gift items
to the top of the gift in a cellophane bag.
it makes the gift look really fun and
the birthday kid loves getting a peek at some 
of his/her birthday goodies!
a more unique, playful and sophisticated look
for any gift can be achieved by layering two different ribbons.
if you spend just a few extra minutes on the tag,
it makes the gift so much more special!
this is a super simple wrapping...
(the birthday boy happens to be my little man's 
good friend, our next door neighbor, and a pirate enthusiast!)
the only thing that took any time at all was the tag.
i grabbed the pirate image off of the internet,
imported it into microsoft word, and
layered a transparent text box with with text on top of it.
 some twine and simple brown wrapping paper add to the overall look of the gift.
i used a custom stamp and gold ink for the top.
here is one last gift, made fun using ikea wrapping paper,
2" wide grosgrain ribbon (i buy in 50 yard bolts for about $10)
and a flower that i pulled off a $1.25 flower garland from walmart. 
(the garland is 6 feet long, and has about 15 
flowers on, for less than .10, i can take a
gift from mediocre to festive and fun! it's way more fun 
if it's cheap, don't you think?)
really, it doesn't take THAT much more time to 
transform something from mundane and boring to
something fun and pretty!