Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tutorial: DIY Calendar

Oh goodness, where did the last week go??  Yeah, I don't know either!  We have lots of catching up to do, but before that, here's a lil' somethin I've been up to...

I've been looking for a way to get better organized and keep track of upcoming dates & events.  The hubs & I have a shared Google calendar which is on my laptop & phone, but I tend not to use it for the little things that babygirl & I are up to daily.  I also wanted a place to plan out blog posts.  I'd seen so many of the dry-erase picture frame calendars on Pinterest (like this or this) and I knew I wanted to do something similar, but on a LARGE scale.  I've been keeping an eye out for large picture frames while out thrifting, and lookie what I found this past weekend (at G-Dub for $9.99)!!

Sorry the picture is at a weird angle- it's on my kitchen counter, aka workspace, cuz I could hardly wait to get started!!  I instantly LOVED the bamboo-look frame:

But not really digging the gold.  So I made quick work of taking the back off, removing the poster & glass...

And slapping on a (few) coats of my fave black paint.

At first I was thinking of using different background colors for each week, but then it felt like that might be too busy.  So I decided to raid my fabric stash and see what I could find.  Pattern would be fun, but might compete too much with whatever I am writing.  So....I settled on this funky gold velvet croc print remnant I picked up ages ago.  I decided to just "upholster" the original poster because it was a nice heavy cardboard.  Here is the fabric laid underneath it:

I used black electrical/duct tape to secure the fabric...

And here's my upholstered poster...

Instead of taping grid lines on the glass, I knew I wanted to use ribbon under the glass so I'd have a seamless surface to write on.  So I tested a few colors of ribbon to see what I preferred.  I decided to keep it nice & neutral with the cream ribbon.

Testing the whole look, and I'm LOVING it.  Except I grabbed the MATTE black paint instead of glossy- oops!  Easily remedied with a few light coats of clear gloss spray paint!!

This was THE MOST TIME-CONSUMING part of this project- measuring out the grid lines.  Whew!  If I'd thought it out, I'd have made the top, bottom & sides a tad bigger than the rest since they'll be partially covered by the frame.  But that's called hindsight, and no way was I going to change everything once the thought came to me!!

I popped the glass back into the frame, and then the upholstered poster.  Unfortunately quite a few of the little metal tabs that help to hold the goods into the frame had been lost, so I used the ones that were intact, and then placed another heavy cardboard that had been in the original picture behind my upholstered piece, and went a little nuts with the tape to make sure it was secure.

I moved the hanging brackets so I could hang the picture horizontally:

And here's the finished product!!

And after adding days, dates, etc.  I'm going to have to play around with markers to find colorful ones that ALSO show up well, tho it IS actually much more visible in person!

But oh-my-goodness I couldn't be happier!!  Now I just need to re-arrange the study and get a new desk in there so I can hang this baby and put it to use!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Weekend Update

Happy Monday!!

We had lovely weekend over here- beautiful weather, along with a good balance of work, play and helping out a neighbor.  Couldn't get much better if you ask me!!

Friday afternoon babygirl and I quickly hit up one of my favorite thrift shops in hopes of finding a cheap Halloween costume.  No luck, but I did score these cool looking vintage patterns for .10¢ each!  I haven't opened them yet, but hoping they'll be a fun sewing project.

Later Friday evening we were driving thru a neighborhood near our house when we spotted a bunch of cabinets on the curb.  We pulled over, got super excited about what we saw, and loaded up 2 cabinets in our car.  We got home, took measurements, and got even more excited when we realized the cabinets would fit above our laundry room sink- score!!  I'll post a full tutorial this week, but here's what a good chunk of our Saturday was spent doing:

It wasn't quite cool enough to make chili, but I did anyway, and it was deelish!  Recipe to come...

I also did a little fall decorating.  Not too much, but I love fall colors and it just made me smile.  I'm trying to get my hands on some brown bandanas to use for my Thanksgiving tablescape- wouldn't that be adorable?!

 Today the hubs helped a neighbor pick up a new fridge and move it in.  By the time he got home there wasn't much daylight left, but I was determined to visit one of my favorite shopping centers with a great antique store, Goodwill & Big Lots- talk about a trifecta!!!  I've got lots of pics of some of my favorite things to share with you later this week, but I can't get this guy out of my head, and can't help feeling like I passed over something pretty darn special.  I really hate when that happens...

What do you think?  Did I pass up a cool piece?  And just to rub salt in my wound, the price was a mere $14.95, marked down from $45. Booohoooooo......

I'll cheer you (and me) up with a pic of our cutie from a trip to Lowe's this weekend.  Have a great week!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Window Shopping: Goodwill

Today babygirl & I took a shopping trip to one of my favorite places- Goodwill!!  We hadn't been to this location in a few months, and I could swear the prices have tripled since we were there last!!  I know it's a thrift shop, and prices are lower than if you bought them at their original location, but sheesh, the days of bargains seem to be long gone.  And as you'll see, I think some of their prices would rival the original retail price!

Here are some things that caught my eye...

So this set isn't my style, but it is nice looking, until you see the price!  At first I thought it was $15.91 for the set, but it wasn't, that was JUST THE TRASHCAN.  What the heck??  The toothbrush holder was $4.94 and the tissue box I believe was $5 something.  Seems crazy to me.  Just as crazy as putting Bath & Office items together, LOL.

A couple boxes of vintage looking ornaments, the colors were pretty, and the price was reasonable- just $1.51.

I thought this plate was cute if you had an H initial.  Isn't that the H from H&M??  It looks so familiar.  Oh, and I think the price was $2 something, not bad.

There were tons of vintage-y looking Easter baskets, which I thought were really sweet.  I don't necessarily have the place for a bunch of baskets, but I think they'd be best en masse, and used as a cute Easter display.  They were all priced in the $1 range.

This pack of cards cracked me up!  You can't see because of the glare, but the top said "A Southern Christmas" and each of the items were southern foods- cute!  I don't recall the price.

More holiday items- these snowmen were cute, they reminded me of ones my mom has, but I didn't think they were a terrific bargain at  $7.97, do you?

This is a handsome piece for a gentleman's den or office, I'd just be wary about whether the temperature, barometer & humidity measurements were accurate.  Regardless, the campaign style is hot right now, and the price was fair at $6.96.  (Dad, notice the sheep?  It was nothing special, lol.)

These were an odd pair, but I thought they could be cool in the right spot.  As we were leaving, I saw a lady had grabbed them up and was checking out.  Am I the only person that wants to ask people what they're going to do with items in their cart at Goodwill, particularly strange items like this?  I think they were $5 something.

Babygirl was intrigued by this funny-looking carved coconut, so I had to snap a pic.  She kept laughing at it.  Don't know the price.  Have fun!

Those white buildings were pretty cool.  All of the windows & inset areas were lined on the inside with a thin paper.  I'm not sure if they are supposed to be lit from the inside with a tiny light, but I thought that could be pretty.  They were around $4 each.

This was interesting, I think it is an inset for a drum shade so the light doesn't blast you in the eye. I could actually use this for the drum shade I installed in our breakfast nook, but I had NO IDEA how I'd connect it to the shade, or if it was even the correct size.  It was $3, I think. 

These caught my eye because there were so many of them!  It took a bit of looking at them, but I think they were meant to display ornaments, or some other small hanging item.  A great find if you have a collection of items that need to be hung!  Collections like this definitely aren't my style, but I'm sure they'd make someone very happy.  And, they could easily be spray-painted to match any decor.  They were $.99 each.

G-dub was fully stocked on hideous brass chandeliers, but I've seen lots of bloggers & DIYers spray paint these with beautiful results.  I didn't check the prices, the brass was blinding me!

There were quite a few large framed pictures, which is pretty unusual for this location.  They all seemed to be in decent shape, and the art could easily be swapped out, or the frames painted to match any decor.  Prices ranged from $4ish to $10ish

Here are 2 rugs that looked fairly decent- one was a runner, the other a full-size area rug.  I didn't get the price on it, but the runner was $34.  The thing about rugs from Goodwill, at least in my opinion, is you must also figure in the cost to have them cleaned.  I'm almost never deterred by the filthiness of something at a thrift store because I know I can scrub the heck out of it, but a rug is something I'd have professionally done.  If you have a carpet cleaner though, you could probably do it yourself.

I thought this set of 2 placemats were whimsical and sweet.   They had a needlepoint/cross stitch-type look, which I'm very fond of!  The price was $2.52.

On our way out I ran into this adorable stuffed Canada Goose.  I love funky pillows, so this guy would have fit right in at the T casa.  Two things stopped me from picking it up- the neck was under-stuffed and wobbled all over the place.  Not really a big deal- the seam just needs to be opened up and a little more stuffing added.  Thing 2, there was no price.  One thing I can't stand about G-dub is that if an item is missing a price, it has to be taken in the back to be re-priced, and isn't brought back to the sales floor for 24 hours.  This makes me nuts when I spot items I love because I know the chance of me running across it again in 24 hours is slim.  Oh well!!

We actually left without any of the above items, so if you see something you like, high-tail it over to the Goodwill on Northside Drive!  We didn't leave totally empty-handed though, I found a sweet winter vest for babygirl and a great pair of jeans for the hubs.  Total for the day was $10.74- not bad!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tutorial: How to DIY a Wedding

In honor of our second anniversary today, I thought I'd tell you all about how I DIYed most of our wedding!!  It was a second wedding for both of us, and while we wanted a traditional wedding, we didn't want to go broke doing it.  As much as I tried for a collaboration, the hubs just really wasn't into planning all the details of a wedding.  He wanted to show up and have fun and build a giant bonfire (argh, men!!).  So I dove head-first into the planning and consulted frequently with my bridesmaids on colors & flowers & all the little details and my brother, aka the rockstar chef, on all things food.

I was going for a rustic, chic, southern, modern, family-oriented affair that focused on great food, great family & friends, good music, dancing & fun.  Simple, right???  LOL.

So let me set the scene...we got married at a friend's horse property, lovingly called The Barn.  It's a gorgeous wooded spot in the middle of the city, and it couldn't have been more perfect.  She already had so many of the fantastic rustic details, so we just played them up to the fullest.  There were old wood benches that we used as seating during the ceremony, a simple low stage that our great neighbor built for us, a version of a chuppah we made on the spot out of PVC and draped in tulle for a focal point, and that was just the ceremony.  Here, take a peek...

We did all the table decor, and used a combination of long family-style tables with the same benches used for the ceremony and round tables with wooden chairs.  The tables were draped in white voile and then topped with burlap.  We used moss in the centers along with mason jars filled with sand & white candles, tiny bud vases purchased at Big Lots with white & lime green spider mums, and rustic bird tealight holders (purchased at the Dollar Tree, of all places!!).  The tables were set with white dinnerware we purchased in (major) bulk from Ikea, and we bundled the white linen napkins with a strip of burlap & ribbon and tucked sweet wooden utensils into them.  For glassware we used a combo of mason jars strung with "shrinky-dinks" that doubled as place cards with each guests name & table number (we painted wooden signs for each table with table numbers) and a perfect way to make sure that no one lost track of their glass!  We also purchased wine glasses in bulk (again, Ikea) and used those for the wine.  We served wine from Trader Joe's (cheap & delish), Yeung-ling beer iced in giant galvinized tubs, and lemonade & sweet tea served from large drink servers we purchased (these have come in so handy, we use them at every party!!).  Here's the eye-candy...

Around the site, we used more of the bud vases with spider mums and the bird votive holders.  We also purchased clear glass tea light holders from Z Gallerie that we used on the rustic wooden high-top cocktail tables.   There were so many cool details on site too, like these awesome chandeliers.

The round tubes you saw next to the tableware were our favors to the guests.  In my family we grew up doing "Christmas Crackers" every year on Christmas Eve, and a few years back my sister & I started making our own crackers instead of buying them.  We knew this would be an awesome favor!!  If you're not familiar with crackers, they are just a cardboard tube covered in paper with a snapper hidden inside and tied on the ends.  One person pulls on each end, a loud POP happens, the paper tears off the end, and gifts pour out!!  We filled them with bags of ivory & lime green Sixlets, scratch-off lotto tickets, silly jokes and the obligatory paper crowns.  We urged guests to wear them, and wore them ourselves which made for lots of cute pictures!!

I also took on the task of making the ring-bearer "pillows", all the boutonnieres for the men and the corsages & bouquets (and a special flowergirl headband) for all the gals.  Whew, that was a LOT of work.  I did a trial run months before and felt very confident in my abilities: overly-confident, I'd say!  They were left to do the day-of, and that made for a very un-relaxing day.  But I think they turned out alright!  For the ring-bearer pillow I used a large moss-covered ball purchased from Michael's, added a stick "handle" and then tacked ivory ribbon to the top and tied it in a large bow.  I stuck to a simple combo of lime green & white spider mums for my bouquet, the same mums and allium (I think that's what the spiky purple bud is!!) for the bridesmaid bouquets, lime green spider mums for the corsages & headband, lime green button mums, allium and assorted greenery for the boutonnieres, and an ivory rose with greenery for the hubs.  (He broke his boutonniere within moments of putting it on, I almost killed him, lol!)  Here are a few pics...

I saved the best for last- the FOOD!!!  My brother (the chef) and I (the wanna-be chef) pored over the food for months.  We talked about it for hours.  And then, somehow, he along with his wife and a couple extra hands here and there, pulled off the most amazing wedding feast ever.  I can't tell you how many people raved over the food, and I'm still trying to figure out how they did it!!

The Menu (as best we, and the photos, recall):

Apps- shrimp & grits, fried chicken drummettes & deviled eggs
Salads- caprese salad (that mistakenly went out as an app, lol) & caesar salad
Mains: cornmeal & pecan crusted tilapia with a peach whiskey sauce, meatloaf with a brandy mushroom cream sauce & roasted pork tenderloin with an orange sage sauce
Sides: roasted corn on the cob, collard greens, mac & cheese and mashed potatoes
Desserts: red velvet & carrot cakes, pecan pie, flourless chocolate cake and a fruit & meringue cake

Feast your eyes...

So there you have it, October 16, 2010, one of the best days ever!!