My 3 Monsters: February 2011

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More Graphic Wall Art

As I mentioned in a previous post, we are working on finishing up our master bedroom {that we began working on almost a year ago . . .} As I also mentioned, I L.O.V.E. inexpensive graphic art.  I'm kind of a sucker for typography, too.  So when I happened upon this to-die-for-gorgeous bedroom at The Pampered Mom over the weekend, I knew I H.A.D. to have that wedding announcement subway art on her wall.  It is stunning. And Brent likes it so, you know, that makes up for the silhouettes.  It was super easy to throw together in Gimp {because I want to print it BIG}, but it could also be done in Word or the like for a smaller print.  What took the longest was trying to find the font that was used in the original -- I finally decided that it was Haettenschweiler.  That may or may not be exactly right, but it is blocky and has that curve on the R just like the original so, close enough.

Subway art is one bandwagon that I have wavered about hopping onto, but I just loved the idea behind this one.  I love the idea of our master bedroom being about the two of us -- our own little refuge from the beautiful chaos of family life. I guess now it's official.  I've used every decorating trend/cliche in the book.  Hmmmph.


A Little Something I Learned

I was watching a tv show with one of my most favorite interior designers, Sarah Richardson, the other day when I had a genuine a-ha moment.  {Well, I wasn't actually watching it with her.  She was starring in the show I was watching. I should really work on my grammar.}  She and her assistant were talking about three desirable qualities in design projects: cheap, fast, and good.  Alas, usually only two of those qualities can exist at the same time.  See:

Cheap + Fast = Not Good
     'Nuff said.  Really great stuff is hard to find inexpensively unless you have a lot of time to look around and wait for just the right thing to find its way into your life.

Fast + Good = Not Cheap
     It's easy to find really beautiful, high quality products if money is no issue.  Just look at Anthropologie or Restoration Hardware as proof.  Plus, with money you can hire contractors who {usually} do the job right and much more quickly than us "weekend warriors".

Good + Cheap = Not Fast
     Here's where it sunk in for me.  I want good stuff -- beautiful, high quality stuff.  And I, of course, never have much in the budget for decorating.  I don't think I'm an extravagant spender anyway. Which is exactly why my home is an 8+ year work in progress.  I feel so much better about that now.  It's not because I'm lazy or because I can't have the look I really want.  I've just chosen good and cheap and that takes a while to do.  *sigh of relief*  There's hope for my little home yet!

In other news, I painted the handrails of my stairs today.  No big deal.  No one will probably ever notice it.  It has been ugly dark brown stained wood for . . . probably ever.  I'm sure it was probably super stylin' back in the 80's when this house was built.  But every single other piece of trim in the house is white.  And that has ALWAYS bugged me.  Now it is perfectly lovely and unnoticeable.  Yay me!


Confessions: I'm a Bandwagon Crafter

So, I guess I'm just not as creative as I might like to think that I am.  And you probably wouldn't believe me if I said that I loved the following things BEFORE they became major crafting trends:  cottage style, burlap, the colors gray and robin's egg blue, monograms, ruffles, hair flowers, and silhouettes.  Seriously, I did.  I've had an inspiration file on my computer for AGES that is full of silhouettes and cool letter Gs.  Really.  Whatever.  I know I'm telling the truth.  You may think that I've spent too many hours on internet craft blogs when I tell you that my bedroom is painted gray with crisp white board and batten panelling, burlap on the floor, and I'm working on a really fun silhouette project {cuz y'all know how I love me some cheap, graphic wall art}.  What. Ever.

I am jumping on the silhouette bandwagon right now so I thought I would share these printable images that I created tonight.  They're sized for 11x14 photo prints because that what fits the frames I picked up at Goodwill.  Click on each image to go directly to its download location.

I can't decide if I like them better adorned or not.  I'm open to opinions.  Enjoy the images!

{I'm also working on a Jane Austen inspired set of dishes right now, with silhouettes on the salad plates and my favorite quotes from Pride and Prejudice written in  pretty script around the edges of the dinner plates. Brent thinks the idea is somewhat ridiculous, but since I got the set of white dishes at Goodwill for $3 last weekend he just rolls his eyes and lets me have my fun.  However, he doesn't know yet that these silhouettes are going in our bedroom so . . . I may have some 'splaining to do in the morning.}


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Today's Creative Blog



As if you care, but I flatter myself to think so . . . as of noon today our 2010 tax return has been filed.  Can I just get a "heck to the yeah", "boo-yah" and a pat on the bum?!  It's been a great day.


Hmmmmmmm . . .

I'm trying to gear up to do my taxes. Ordinarily I look forward to it.  I just feel so distracted this year for whatever reason.  I've been sitting at my desk for hours avoiding the task -- checking e-mail {over and over again as if I were expecting some very important message} and clicking through my favorite blogs and online stores.  And I've been thinking about this "desk" at which I'm sitting, which is really our old kitchen table, and wondering if it's really working for me.  {It doesn't really matter - we aren't planning on upgrading anytime soon, but thinking about this issue = NOT doing taxes = good right now. Also, sometimes plans change.} I really like all the surface area my table provides, but the printer and all the components are just sort-of shoved underneath.  All my storage is on top of the desk, which eats up a lot of that surface area I love so much, and it's just a little too high.  I've been sort of opposed to computer desks for home  in the past, but I may be reconsidering my stance.  I've always thought of them as being really stuffy and my home {I hope} is anything but stuffy.  There are a lot of really stylish options out there now days, however.  I have found a few that I wouldn't mind bringing home to meet the family at CSN Stores (while avoiding doing my taxes, of course).  I do love those little keyboard trays that pull out from underneath the work surface. Really love those. And if I had a neat little enclosed cabinet to house the "mechanical stuff" I may not waste so much time fishing paperclips and Cheetos out of my printer so that the paper feeds through correctly.  Whatever.  I'm pretty good at it. Now, about those taxes . . .



Even though the Man for Whom I Have Forsaken All Others and I are pretty ambivalent about Valentines Day, we are decidedly pro-Chick-fil-A.  So, yeah.  It was a special night, just like the advertisement said.  Three times.

{Yes, we actually went to Chick-fil-A tonight.  And don't you romantics feel sorry for me.  We giggled for hours about how silly it was, which was plenty fun in and of itself.  Plus, their chicken sandwiches are delicious.  I'm just sayin'.}


When I Grow Up. . .

I want to be a baker.  I'm serious.  Sydney and I have entered the gourmet cupcake business this weekend to earn money for her to attend a Young Women's Conference this summer.  She's the brains behind this operation -- she came up with ideas, created a flier, and did all the leg work getting orders.  I clicked through my inspiration file on the computer and came up with the recipes.  And in just one weekend she earned over $200 of the $425 she needs!!  Look at the cute cupcakes to see why:
OK, that picture is from my cell phone in the car as we were making deliveries, but they really were cuter in real life.  We offered 6 flavors:  Rootbeer Float, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Banana Split, Smores. Orange Cream, and Chocolate Almond Mousse.  I tasted them all in the name of quality control, and I can tell you that each is as delicious as it is adorable.  Those orange cream ones . . . To. Die. For.  They taste just like Creamsicles.    I'm really proud of my baby girl for taking the initiative to earn what she wants, especially in a day and age where children her age expect so much to be handed to them.  {And I am thrilled to get to bake cupcakes again, which is kind-of my favorite hobby.}  Maybe she and I will have to go into business together long-term. . . .

So, if you live in the Phoenix area and you want some cupcakes in the next few weeks {we have two more dates scheduled, but I am not opposed to doing special orders!} shoot me an e-mail and I'll give you the details.  Have a great week!  {I really do plan to blog more this week. :-) }


No-Money Make-Overs Imagine With Me . . .

Well, first of all let's imagine that it hasn't been eight days since I last had time to visit this little blog of mine.  Pretend also that last week wasn't one of The. Most. Stressful. Weeks. Ever!  {That pretend is for my sanity.  Thanks.}  I had sick family last week.  Every. Single. Day.  I wonder if there will ever be a day that you can buy amoxicillin by the gallon -- like chocolate milk or something.  That's what I need this time of year so I don't have to run to the Minute Clinic every day. Also, Riley's play was Friday night, which he almost missed because he had a pretty good fever and ear infection going on.  He's a real trooper, but that story deserves a post all its own.  I think we finally finished the sets for the play Thursday night, just in the nick of time.  Add to that not having access to your money because the bank says your account is in bankruptcy.  {Ummmmmmm, no.}

But everything is great this week.  :-)  So now, imagine with me {because I forgot to take a photo} that you bought a super cute pair of canvas ballet flats.  They were a black and white flower print and they went with everything -- well, lots of things anyway.  Then imagine that you are going to see your brother-in-law compete in the Iron Man triathalon.  And it's a rainy day.  And you are trying to carry a large bag of snacks, a blanket and two folding chairs while shepherding seven children through a crowded park.  And it's dark.  So you step in a mud puddle.  And you're wearing those cute shoes.  And even though you rinse them out at home and send them through the washing machine they never regain their original cuteness.  Got it?  Mmmkay.  I couldn't bear to throw those cute shoes away -- they're still perfectly good shoes.  So I gave them a little makeover this weekend with black fabric paint and a couple of zippers.
Et voila!  They look like new shoes, and cuter than the original, if I do say so myself.  I painted them with a few coats of black fabric paint {which make them look like leather if you don't really look too closely} and hot glued on a couple of zipper ruffles and rosettes.
 Then, because the outside was so cute, I had to add that cute polkadot pattern to the insoles.  And now I love them again.  Yay me! {London Tipton in the house!  What!}

Now, imagine again that your daughter has a cute yellow sweater.  Kind of like this one:
but the dragonfly is gray.  And then imagine that, even though it was super cute, and your daughter was super cute they just didn't really go together.  The proportions were weird -- the sweater was too long and just a little too tight in all the wrong places.  So your beautiful daughter never really wore that cute sweater.  And also imagine she had a pair of gray yoga pants from the second grade that she still wore and you wished she wouldn't.  Got it?  Mmmkay.  I couldn't bear to throw that sweater away -- it was still a perfectly good sweater and my baby girl looks great in yellow.  So I gave it a little makeover this weekend by adding those old yoga pants to it.  {Sis was concerned, too.} It looks like it came straight out of Down East Basics and didn't cost us a penny.
I cut off the bottom edge about 1/2 inch above where the ribbed part started.  I also cut off about 6 more inches of sweater and sliced it open down the front middle.  {This is where Sis got really concerned.}  I flipped the bottom band over so the raw sweater edge was facing down {because it made a cute little ruffle detail that I liked} and reattached it to the bottom of the sweater with a long zig-zag stitch on my machine.  Then I cut the waistband off the yoga pants, removed the elastic, cut it in half and used that to bind the two middle front edges.  That also gave me about an extra inch and a half on each side so I could make it overlap and add buttons, but I didn't.  I liked it loose and open down the front, but the option is there in the future if I change my mind.  At this point it looked really plain and you know how I like to girly-things-up.  So I cut strips of fabric down the length of the legs of the yoga pants, gathered them up with my machine into pretty ruffles and sewed them down the front of the sweater, three on each side.
I started with just two ruffles, but my little sister, Leslie, suggested a third to fill the gap between the two which was pure genius on her part. And now that old sweater is as beautiful as the girly who wears it.  We made a matching flowery headband out of more of the yoga pants fabric to go with it, which is like the cherry on top of the sundae.  SO CUTE! Sydney likes it, but says she doesn't have anything that it matches.  I told her Clinton and Stacey always say that things don't have to match, they have to go.  And she looked at me like I was from another planet, but that's OK.  {Has she never seen What Not To Wear?!}  Plus she has jeans and a white t-shirt.  She'll figure it out.

Check this out.  It's awesome:
Get Your Craft On Tuesday

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