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DIY

Add a Little

July 27, 2016

One of my favorite things to do is to add simple updates to already cute pieces. Sometimes there are ways that you can just add a little pizazz or extra oomph to something that make an item even better.

This was the case for a little baby blanket that I updated for a family member.

Often you can buy swaddling blankets like the one below on sale at Kohls, Marshalls, or even Target. I purchased this one as a set at Kohls for $5 for the set.

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While the blanket was cute, I wanted to add a little more to it. Luckily I had some navy blue poms on hand that matched the blanket perfectly. As you can see above I laid the poms on the blanket to get an idea for look prior to pinning and sewing.

Once I found a design I liked, I pinned the poms and used my sewing machine to quickly add them on.

Here is the finished product:

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Once finished, I folded this cutie up and sent it to a family member who just had her first little girl! It was a simple way to say “thinking about you” and a simple and easy update project.

I will caution, with any product and kids, use discretion and safety. While the poms are anchored on, you should always watch a child near small objects. Safety first you know.

What kind of items do you like to update or put your own spin on?

 

Aesthetic DIY Home

DIY Peony Wall Art

June 1, 2016

It is no secret that I have a fondness for all things wall art. The right selection can make or break a space. The thing about wall art though is that it can be expensive.

I was checking out one of my favorite blogs the other day and above her daughter’s desk was this Lindsay Letter’s art canvas.

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Via

Isn’t the art just idk awesome?!? There are a variety of sizes on the Lindsay Letters site and I was so close to purchasing the piece….but then I also thought…”ehhh vacation is coming and that means expenses”.

So I set out to make my own art (inspired by Lindsay but you know different). I still HIGHLY recommend looking at Lindsay’s canvases and prints. She is super talented and I love her use of color.

Anyway back to the DIY Peony Art…here’s the materials I used:

  • A big ole canvas. I think it’s 24 by 36 or something like that. More or less it’s large. (These can be purchased at Michaels or Joann Fabric for about 15-25 bucks with a coupon.)
  • Lots of little acrylic paints in pink, green, gray, white, coral, yellow, brown, red.
  • Brushes. Mine are not full on artist quality but they also aren’t the plastic ones you buy for kids.

I had a photo of peonies that I saw online and used that as inspiration along with some peonies on our table. Here are some process photos:

 

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I hated it at the above step. I was not digging it and wanted to throw in the towel.

 

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I started to add in some detail colors and began to like it a little. And yes…I am the worst. I paint on top of our carpet. Risky risky.

 

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Peonies meet peonies.

 

I added a lot of layers and a lot of white. I finally got to my “I’m done” point and this is the finished product:

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Another view:

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Overall, for about thirty dollars and a little sweat equity I would say it was worth trying to make something myself. It’s definitely unique to our home and brings in some of my favorite colors. Next step, building a frame around it!

What are projects that you’ve taken on yourself instead of purchasing? What are some of your favorite artists?

Aesthetic DIY Home

A Handy Pinterest …On Hand

March 1, 2016

When I discovered Pinterest during my junior year of college shit got real. I shamelessly or shamefully (you decide) spent just a little too much time on various boards. I loved seeing what my friends were into and pinning images that inspired me. Then Pinterest stopped showing me friends stuff as much and started filling my feed with “suggested items”. Not bad, but less personal…and a wee bit creepy at times.  #notlookingupabexercisesanymore

Though I super enjoy Pinterest, I also love flipping through a magazine and coming across something I just love. I old style rip out that page and “pin” it to my board. I don’t have a cork board though, I have a binder.

My binder is awesome.

It holds a bunch of images that have been hole-punched that I can refer back to. It also holds images that sometimes you cannot find on Pinterest. I have home images, home improvement tips and tricks, and home buying guides in my binder.

This thing is so handy to have around because it allows you a simplified look at what really catches your eye…not temporarily but long-term (enough that you have to tear out the image, clean up the frayed edges, and hole-punch).

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What tips and tricks would you offer for keeping all your home decorating tips on hand?

 

Aesthetic DIY

DIY Marble Tray

February 29, 2016

In my estimation, marble is so pretty. It is chic and timeless. I’ve been looking at marble pieces for ages and like to add marble touches into our apartment when I can. One thing I’ve been lusting over is the marble tray below. It is so pretty and can be used for holding trinkets, glasses, and more.

 

marble tray ballard

Source

Marble pieces can be expensive though. So when I stumbled upon this DIY marble tray tutorial from the lovely Jen.

I really do think Jen’s tutorial does an awesome job of explaining the process so I’m not going to steal that thunder. It was soo informative.

After following the tutorial, I made a tray for both my mother-in-law and myself. The look a tad different because they have different handles.

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Here is an image of the one I kept. I use it as a jewelry holder and display tray. My mother-in-law typically uses hers to put snack bowls on when guests come over.

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For a whopping $25 bucks for materials for two trays, this was a fun way to add one of my favorite elements into the space.

Aesthetic DIY Home Music

Lyrical Art

February 22, 2016

Piggy-backing off of my February Mixed Tape post, I thought I’d talk about how you can take some of your favorite lyrics and add them to your home decor.

A while back I saw these oversized book pages on a Pinterest image.

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Sugarboo Designs Book Art

The framed book pages come in various sizes up to 3 feet by 4 feet and there are many different page selections. They are made by Sugarboo Designs and are just really cool and unique.

They are unfortunately also out of my price range for the time being.

I super liked these prints. I wanted to recreate one for my own space but was lacking a wall space big enough for such a print.

I liked the dark look (seen above) with text and thought I could create a chalkboard on which to put some text.

Using a precut 2’x4′ chalkboard from Home Depot. For under ten dollars, It was a good size for the wall space I had available. I also purchase some oak molding to form a frame around the chalkboard, (roughly 12 feet).

I can’t really take credit for building the chalkboard/frame combo. My husband somehow managed to staple the chalkboard to the molding. How, I may never know.

When the chalkboard was finished, I looked around for my own book quote to etch onto it.

As I was originally enamored with the book page idea, I chose an excerpt from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. I liked the excerpt I chose and even put a page number at the bottom of the chalkboard.

Eventually, I decided to change the words on the chalkboard and chose some of my favorite lyrics for the board.

In the most current photo, I have lyrics from Kacey Musgraves Biscuit on the board. I love this song. I also really appreciate Kacey Musgraves’ music. Her lyrics are so descriptive and witty.

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Each time I look at it, it brings me back to growing up in Kentucky. It depicts southern mannerisms and wording in many ways.

It’s just a little way that I like to add some of my current lyrical favorites to our space.

DIY Home

Making It New: Floor Pillow

February 17, 2016

Happy Wednesday! Halfway through the week- phew.

Today’s post is on taking something old and making it new.

When I first started dating my now husband in college, he had this olive green (floor? bed? miscellaneous?) pillow that he used all of the time.

When he graduated and found his own place in Chicago, I figured the pillow had probably made its way to a new home or magically disappeared.

I was wrong.

The pillow not only made it to his bachelor pad, but it also made it into our now apartment.

He loves this pillow. He at least said so when I talked about donating it. As there are few things he really takes to, I figured I might be able to keep the pillow and recover it.

A few years ago I sewed a cover around the existing pillow.

Floor Pillow Process

Sorry for the grainy image but you get the idea.

This was before I was gifted a sewing machine. I hand stitched this thing- bad, bad, tedious idea.

How he ever let me put a girly pattern over it I will never know.

When it was finished, I liked the size and the utility and was smitten for a while.

However, back to my Pillow Tips, I realized I could get so much more use out of this pillow if I had a cover I could switch and wash if need be.

To be honest, I hid the pillow behind our couch for a while. I just wasn’t into the pattern anymore and felt like as my style developed that I’d picked incorrectly.

Then one day, as I was digging through a pile of pillow covers at the Crate and Barrel Outlet, I found a huge zippered pillow cover for $2. No lie.

I went all territorial and made sure that cover was in my hands at all times. A lady asked where I found it (last one mind you) and I directed her toward the bin then quickly checked out. – Survival of the pillow cases man. Okay, I may have a little shame. I am sorry lady.

When I got home, I took the hidden floor pillow from behind the couch and placed the cover on it.

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This cover is approximately 22″ by 22″. It is pretty large. I was instantly smitten again and the pillow has continued to get good use.

So here’s the main idea: when in doubt, keep on trying and playing around with objects. You can make something new by covering it, painting it, adding adornments, etc. It may take a while to figure out how something can work in your space, but be willing to wait and be creative.

Believe it or not, this pillow is the oldest accessory that we have in our home (that wasn’t passed down). It has withstood college, bachelorhood, my recovering skills or lack there of, and now a new case. This olive green, flowered, stripe pillow is our old renewed.

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How about you? Any tips or tricks you have for up cycling your items to keep giving them life in your space?

 

Authentic DIY

Loving on the Significant Other

February 9, 2016

I met my husband when I took a Human Performance tennis class at Baylor. I had switched my scheduled class last minute to be with my friends. Hey, no shame. During class I kept lopping balls off toward other courts and this nice guy would toss them back as I ran like a dope after them.

That same guy thought I was doing it on purpose. I wasn’t…I am just miserable at tennis. Though I wasn’t purposefully hitting balls in his direction, I did notice that he was very sweet.

I was in my flirty stage that semester. I had a newfound confidence from working with guys at summer camp that I hadn’t had since coming from an all girls high school. I claim that that’s what made me open my big mouth and start chatting him up one day. Five and a half years later, we are married and still best buddies.

There’s your sap.

The thing about our relationship is that he always comes up with far better gifts for me than I do for him. I just can’t figure out what to give him. He’s humble, he’s not self-serving in any way, (aka humble), he likes tools, and he likes when I bake for him. These things go into finding a way to show him love.

Most often, I choose to go the baking route to show him love. For smaller holidays or every day little celebrations, I like to show him love with this simple gesture.

Though not every significant other is just like mine, I would suggest that most aren’t going to turn down your baked goods. 🙂

Today I’m sharing a little Valentine’s Day surprise that you can make very easily for your significant other.

Valentine’s Day Cinnamon Rolls

Here’s what you will need:

-One Can/Roll of Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls (I buy a smaller roll but feel free to go big!)

-A baking sheet or round cake pan

-Oven

-Red Food Coloring (optional)

It really is that simple.

Step-by-Step:

-The first thing I do is to crack open my can/roll of cinnamon rolls and lay them on a baking sheet. As I use a smaller package, I do not have enough rolls to fill a round cake pan so this is my method.

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-Next I preheat the oven to 375 degrees for my nonstick sheet. Follow the directions on the can as they differ for sheets used, etc.

-The cinnamon rolls should bake for 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye on them to make sure the bottom of your rolls aren’t getting  too crispy.

-Once done baking, allow the rolls to cool for a few minutes before icing. While waiting you can add a few drops of red food coloring to your icing and mix with knife or spoon.

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-Use a knife to spread the icing onto the roll in a heart shape. Your rolls will still be warm enough to soften the icing. The heart will typically spread and drip a little bit but this is okay. Plan on serving immediately or freezing to keep the heart from drooping too much.

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-Serve to your beau!

This is so so stupid easy and just a fun way to add some Valentine’s Day cheer to the rolls. It’s a simple and nice gesture to feed to your person too!

Looking for some other simple love ideas for your significant other? Check these out.

  • Do a chore for them that they don’t enjoy. Every one of us has a chore we do not like to do. Mine is vacuuming. His is ehhhh probably laundry. When you serve the person you love in some way it says to them that you are thinking about them.
  • Write a nice card or note. It doesn’t have to be Valentine’s Day to do this. I love to surprise my husband with a note in his wallet or his car visor that tells him I’m proud of him and hope he has a good day. He even saves them which is sweet but embarrassing when I write it on a scrap of paper.
  • Block out a time when you can be together with no distractions like phones, homework, tasks, etc.  How often do we give people only part of our attention? I touched on this with loving on kids, but the same goes for adults: listening and spending time together makes such a difference. You can play a game together or just eat and chat.
  • Hugs.
  • Give a little gift. I enjoy this probably more than he does, but I love getting little presents and tokens. I also like to do this for others…especially when it’s a surprise or not required. Little tokens like someone’s favorite coffee or a new book by an author they like can make someone’s day. When you give gifts that demonstrate thinking about that person, it shows you care about them.

I’m not sure if any of you all noticed, but these suggestions actually align with a VERY popular book by Gary Chapman called The 5 Love Languages. This book talks about how we each experience love in different ways. My crafting and baking for both the kids and hubs in my life suggest I really like to show love through gifts. This is because I often experience love through gifts – yep. I like stuff, experiences, all of that jazz. My husband, though he likes my baking, shows his love and experiences love in different ways. For him, though the baked good is nice, he likes that I am fulfilling a need for him -that of eating. I am serving him in some way. I know that may sound old school, but it really is a super interesting concept and something that can help you better understand those around you.

I hope these suggestions help as you look toward making the special person in your life feel valued this Valentine’s Day. I recommend checking out the book if you haven’t already and seeing if you learn something new along the way.

What are ways you like to show those around you love daily?

Authentic DIY

Loving on the Kids in Your Life

February 5, 2016

Valentine’s Day is coming up. There may be a lot of pressure for romance or big gestures on Valentine’s Day, but I’m here to tell you how small gestures can make those in your life feel special and cared for this Valentine’s Day. Today’s topic is how to make the kids in your life feel an extra little dose of love.

Even if you are not a parent, chances are you may be a relative, family friend, or caretaker for a kiddo. I don’t have any kids, but I do have beautiful nieces and nephews and two great kids that I nanny for. One thing I’ve figured out from being around kids is that kids LOVE special days. There is so much excitement for them. I love the excitement they bring to a special day and I also love them – hence I try to do a little something for each of them.

This year I plan on using these cute mailboxes I found at Target’s dollar spot to hold sprinkle cookies and little notes for the kids I nanny for.

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On the little chalk heart, I am going to use a silver Sharpie to write their names. Then I am going to use my heart shaped cookie cutter to trace out note cards for each of them.

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On each heart, I am going to write something I think is special about them.

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This is just a little token to surprise each of them and to tell them why they are special to me. It’s a way for me to show them love, but it’s also a ‘thank you’ gift. I am so thankful for the joy and the curiosity these two have brought to my life. They have made my transition to Chicago so much better (and while I won’t tell them all of that) I do want them to feel the care I have for them.

While this is just one way to show the kids in my life a little extra love, here are some other small gestures that can make kids in your life feel special:

  • Listen to them. This sounds so simple but how often do we check our phones or fiddle with something rather than giving a child a chance to tell his or her thoughts and stories. Ask questions and give them some eye contact. It really does make a difference.
  • Surprise them every now and then. I know it can be a concern that kids are going to be entitled if you give them everything or never say “no”. I certainly understand that. With this in mind, I would suggest surprising them with something small every now and then. It could be a little visit to a favorite place, a treat, new art supplies, or a movie they’ve been longing to see.
  • Hugs. Not all kids are touchy-feely so I say this with a grain of salt. A lot of kids do like hugs or high fives as encouragement. Much like an adult, respect kids’ boundaries, but know that they may need a hug every now and then.
  • Play. You don’t have to be a big kid, but nothing says you care more than getting on the floor and making dinosaur noises. Use your imagination to be there with them.
  • Set boundaries. We may not all be able to do this, but if you are heavily involved in a child’s life then love them and set boundaries. This is both a little and big gesture. I know this may sound counterintuitive, but kids tend to feel safer when there are some rules and expectations. You can check out what expectations may be age appropriate here, or here.
  • Encourage them! I don’t know about you but I tend to be in my head a lot. I have to remember to communicate to those around me what impresses me or brings me joy. Catch a kid doing something good. I mean it. Catch them doing something good. Tell them how great it is and maybe even why. This helps build a kid’s self-worth and make them feel awesome.

I hope you enjoyed this little look on how small things can make the kids around you feel loved. I will be back later next week with ideas on how to make significant others feel loved.

Happy Thursday!

 

Aesthetic DIY

DIY Pom Blanket

February 2, 2016

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Happy Tuesday!

In today with a quick and easy DIY project.

One of the looks I am drawn to again and again is pom pom bordered pieces. I love the quirky cute charm that adding poms brings to an item. It reminds me of Lilly Pulitzer pieces; a hint of feminine and fun.

In our home, I like to mingle masculine colors with girly accent pieces. I figured one way to do this was to create my own pom pom bordered blanket. It is one of the easiest projects I’ve done to date done and easily repeated with basic sewing skills.

Here’s what you’ll need:

-Thread of your choosing (I usually use white thread because it’s easy)

-A Fleece Throw (mine was from H&M home but similar here)

-2 rolls of Poms (I bought mine at Joann’s …each roll was about 4 yards in length) *

*Joann Fabrics often has mobile coupon codes.

– A sewing machine (could sew by hand but would take a lot longer)

1. First you take your poms and line them along your blanket’s shorter sides. You will only have enough for your blanket’s shorter sides and not lengths. This makes it easier to fold. If you want poms all around then you will need more pom rolls. Note- one roll of poms covers about one short edge on a 50×60 inch throw.

2. Pin the edges of the pom liner to the blanket’s edges.

3. Thread your sewing machine.

4. Line up the edges you want sewn under your needle and sew along the edge.

5. Don’t forget to backstitch at the beginning and at the end of your edge.

6. Repeat the process with your other edge.

7. Look along the edges for any stray threads that may need trimming.

When finished your blanket will look similar to this:

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The nice thing about this project is that it is fairly easy and easily personalized. You can choose a fleece color that works for you and a pom color that fits your taste.

Hope you enjoy this little DIY!

Aesthetic DIY Home

Midcentury Cane Chair Revamp

January 28, 2016

A few years ago I spotted a pair of cane chairs at a yard sale. To be more accurate, we drove by the yard sale in the car and never stopped. I so wish I had.

I thought about those chairs for months. I even contemplated going back to the home and asking if the chairs still were around- and then I realized how borderline creepy that may be.

About three months later, I walked into a boutique clothing store and saw a midcentury cane-backed chair. “Well damn…another great chair but not for me”, I thought. Followed by, “Maybe, just maybe, they will sell me this chair.” Then I noticed it had a price tag. Let me reemphasize: It WAS for Sale!!!

I looked at the tag and felt the price was within range and took the chair on the spot. I didn’t even look at the clothes they sold. I just paid and left.

We lived with the chair this way for nearly a year and a half. In fact, I kind of liked it with it’s vinyl leather look.

 

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From the get-go I had an itch to change it up. I didn’t want to paint the wood, so I figured the chair seat was a good place to make a change.

Since we have a lot of masculine/industrial looking furniture in our abode, I choose a more feminine and playful pattern for the switch.

Then I set to work.

Here is what the process I took to recreate my chair.

Supplies:

  • 1 yard of upholstery fabric or duck cloth (washed and pressed)
  • 1 yard of batting
  • Foam thick enough and wide enough to cover set area
  • A pair of needle-nosed pliers and regular pliers…tools to remove staples
  • Staple gun with staples
  • X-Acto Knife
  • Screwdriver (if necessary)
  • Patience

Step-by-step:

  • Start by removing the seat from the chair. (Mine was screwed in.)
  • Remove the previous fabric and batting from the seat frame using n.n. pliers.
    • This was super tricky on my chair and took a long time.
  • Once all the staples and fabric are removed from the seat base, place the seat base above the foam and trace the shape. Use the X-Acto knife to cut the shape.
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  • Surround the foam with batting and then place on the seat.
  • Cover the foam and seat form with the fabric, center it how you want to see it. Carefully flip over the seat and staple the fabric’s edges to the wooden seat base.
    • Make sure to pull the fabric nice and tightly as stapling so there are no awkward fabric lumps.
  • Screw or reattach the seat to the chair base.
  • Enjoy!

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What items would you give a second life to in your space?