Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Succulent Succulents

Oh yeah, I have a blog.  We all knew this would happen.  I am easily distracted.  But I have a good excuse this time.  We've had exchange students from China staying with us.  They are such cute girls.  Our schedule has been packed finding fun things for them to do, and with work of course. 
I think I'll go ahead and post my little table and succulent project.  I was OBSESSING over finding a table to go behind my sofa.  I was so excited to go to the grand Real Deals event where they stock up the whole building with stuff.  However, it may be my imagination, but I think their prices are a bit higher than they used to be.  They had cute furniture but it was more than I wanted to pay at this time- I still need grass.  Also, they didn't quite fit what I needed.  I didn't want to pay a lot and then have to paint it. I picked up some cute trinkets like a little bird (of course) and an old-and-crappy-looking-mirror (always wanted one of those!).  Then I actually went back into the store because I was so determined to find a table.  I used super observation skills and found a sad, ugly little table that nobody wanted and was being used for displays.  It had a red line through the price.  This was a good thing.  So I bought her, took her home, and painted her white.  The end.
Wait, then I needed something to put on her.  I am LOVING succulents these days.  Last year Dan bought me a plant.  This plant kept on living and living like it didn't know about my dark track record with plants.  It only needed water as often as I'm likely to water a plant.  We eventually found out it was a Jade plant of the succulent variety.  My grandma used to have what she called hen and chicks that would spread around her garden.  And have you seen those vertical succulent gardens?! Anyway, as I looked at yard ideas they kept grabbing my attention.  I'd like a whole yard of them, they come in so many colors and shapes and sizes.  However I learned that they while they are good for desert areas they will not usually survive the winter and come back.  But I could have a miniature little succulent garden of my own.  Or two.  Lowes had a bunch of these plants and you could just take a variety of them and put them together in a container.  The drippy ones are called pearl necklace or something, love that one. You do want drainage like a hole in the bottom, or rocks.  I wish I had added sand to the dirt as well.  Well,  I love how they look.  I wish I could say they were doing super well- they were supposed to be so easy! One of them is so needy! I wonder if the containers too shallow or I planted to many or something. It keeps trying to die and I actually think it's under watered.  Did you know the number one killer of succulents (go ahead, say succulents again!) is overwatering? Well, leave it to me to figure out how to kill a thing.  Sometimes I'm surprised they let me have kids.
Oh, the picture on the table is an image I found on http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.com/p/search.html That site is cool.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ode to weeds

An ode to weeds, but not wode, because my family would disown me for that.  We spent many summers cutting that evil stuff down. 
Can you make a wish on milkweed too?  My farmer neighbor probably thinks I'm crazy out cutting milkweed but I love these things.  Actually I like a lot of the weeds around here, they make beautiful backdrops for portraits.  Our neighbor was kind enough to cut them for us, but I was sorry to see them go.  If I had my way I'd have enough grass to run around on, but plenty of tall grasses, viney things, and awful things that spread everywhere. 
My sister taught me this trick.  Spray the tops with hairspray, they stay together a little better.  I need a prettier vase but this will have to do for now. 
I thought I'd post a couple more shots taken in the backyard and the empty lot.  It was fun while it lasted. By the way, the dress in that photo above is available at Leslie's shop, link's on the right.  Just sayin'.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Apron Love

Just sharing a little obsession.  I love aprons.  I don't even cook all that much.  Dan's the real cook.  But he doesn't wear these.  Don't worry, I bought him a sugar daddy apron.  I tried to buy him a nice one for Father's Day, but I have not yet found any awesome aprons for men, not even on Etsy.  Let me know if you see any. Although Anthropologie has darling aprons, I get mine at TJ Maxx.  They are just as cute, at a fraction of the cost.  They should be paying me.  Anyway there was a blank spot on the cabinetry around my fridge so I thought that was a good spot for my collection.  I used the 3m hooks so I didn't have to make holes in the wood.
Speaking of obsessions, I don't know how many birds are in my house.  I didn't mean to start collecting them.  You know, you're at Real Deals and there's a sweet little birdie for only a few bucks, so you pick him up. A lovely garden statue owl at TJ Maxx is calling to you.  They happen to be hiding in the fabrics you pick out.  Suddenly you're in danger of having a theme.  I'm not counting, that would be embarrassing.
What can't you resist (f the comment section is working on my blog yet)?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Bench!

I finally have a bench for that large, blank space that is my entry. I kept looking at the DI until I finally found a lovely headboard I could use. It's only a twin so it's a little on the small side but I think it's fine. The only sad thing is that it doesn't go at all with what I made to hang above it so I have to make a completely new plan. It needs some styling for sure. I planned to make a yellow and white chevron pillow for it but I'm not sure if that's the right thing, and I'll have to do something different under it. Weird little carpet line underneith but oh well. So many possibilities, how will I ever decide? I'll have to take another picture when I have it all figured out. Anyway, I'm so proud of Dan for putting it together! He didn't know how to do any of this stuff when we got married, but he's figured so many things out, like how to use man-tools. He made an awesome permanent baby gate too because our stairway is too wide for most gates.
This tutorial helped us out a bit:
And if you want to get more complicated, I always love this blog:

Monday, July 4, 2011

Paint: quite possibly the solution for everything


Man, if you give a mouse a cookie! That post yesterday got me thinking about my basement. I went ahead and made a whole steampunk theatre room inspiration board for the husband so he could see the whole picture and jump right on board! Well, it didn't exactly go that way. I think I always start with too much build up, and then he just won't bite. When I figure out the right way to inflence others so that I always get my way I'll write a post about that. Don't despair though, I'm not giving up on it yet. Anyway so today I saw a picture of a painted floor, and did some searching. I think it would be cool to either acid stain or paint our basement floor (my sister did this, looks nice). I'm leaning toward paint, maybe with a stenciled pattern. This option is economical too, shouldn't that get me some points? I think I love the blue floor in the kitchen pic best.
The sad thing is we can't even start on our basement until we get grass in the yard. Well, I guess we could paint the floor
Most of these pics came from wideopenspaces and apartmenttherapy blogs but I'm afraid I don't know where they came from originally

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Steampunk kitchen/dining room

Oh, and this stove PLEASE!And while we're at it, we might as well have this laptop. Come on, people put them in their kitchens all the time.
I love inspiration boards! I'm so impressed when people put them together so beautifully, and I think, now I'll simply go and purchase all those things and make a perfect room! But of course I don't. Well, I wanted to try to make an inspiration board. It was kindof difficult for me. See, I have this horrible problem with indecision. Notice there are three clocks represented, that's because I couldn't decide. Now, I love clocks. I'd like to put them all throughout the house, but there won't be batteries in any of them. That's how we do things here. Out of batteries? Sorry, it's broken. Well anyway, an inspiration board from me can't be simple, nothing is with me.
So here's my steampunk kitchen/dining room. I'm fascinated with steampunk although I'm still trying to figure it out. If you're not sure what it is, think "Series of Unfortunate events"(heart, with jim carrey, more hearts) or City of Ember. "Picture a world where steam drives not only trains but also all sorts of other anachronistic inventions like computers and airships; where women wear corsets and red satin, and life has a distinctive Victorian flavor and aesthetic. Throw in lots of brass and clock gears, perhaps a dragon or maybe even a vampire, and you have steampunk." C.S. Harris
The pendant is from the Sundance catalog (outlet section- we considered these for our house). The stool is from homedecorators.com (still considering these for my home- I think it might fit in the country vibe too, what do you think?). The chair (thought it could be a dining chair for two sides of the table) is from overstock. The gear clock is from homedecorators.com. The rest of the items (except the kitchenaid-just found that image on google) are from Etsy. That giant wall pocket watch is cool! I thought the little gears or typewriter keys would look cute in a bowl (not sure how that bowl fits, but I liked it anyway-could always get something silver), and the keys would make great art in a frame. So, feel free to critique my little attempt!
Oh, and if you can't get enough, here's some more fun stuff. I totally have my wheels turning now. Hopefully I'll be able to use some of this stuff somewhere myself. http://vividlyvintage.com/2010/10/12/blowing-off-some-steam/

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Vintage Wreath

For some reason this vintage wreath caught my eye. I like that it's made from old music or book pages. It's another way to make your decor meaningful, especially if you use a favorite book. You don't have to tear up a family treasures, you could use a new book and even try antiquing it if you like the look. You can also do this with an old children's book (try Ebay to find an old favorite) and use it in your kid's room. I just wanted something old, and I love music. I got my papers from the DI of course, in an awsome music book/magazine from the 40's. There are several ways to do this. Some use to rows of cones, some have them all rumply looking, some stick out towards you. See what way you like best! I can't find the tutorial I used but here's a similar one. The only detail I think it's missing is when you make the cones, try taking two opposite corners and bringing them towards each other. Then pull them in and roll it, keeping the bottom tighter of course. Right now my wreath is hanging in my dining room. It's near my computer, and it took me a couple of weeks to figure out what that musty paper smell was.
Since I'm crazy here are some other cool versions

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Friday, July 1, 2011

I'm not sure how to start out here, but I'll post some pics of the dining room, since it feels almost done to me. I dug around for some frames I already had, pulled out my collection from the DI, and painted some frames white. I have a friend who has a vinyl lettering business, so I asked her to make me the "Eat Cake" in a font I picked out. My grandpa used to say that, so it's in homage to him. I also framed a recipe for lemon filling in my grandma's own handwriting. I picked up a couple scrabble games at the DI (good for fridge magnets, in a bowl on the coffee table for a little impromptu game of scrabble, or art projects), so I had an R for the little frame. The key and the clock are things I had around so I stuck them up there.
I painted my old, dark chairs white and put new fabric on, I'm getting pretty good with the staple gun. It only took us a few months to finally screw the chairs back on. Our friends were threatening to stop coming over because their kids were always flipping themselves off the chairs. Waah (jk). So what needs to be done here? This table definitely needs to be refinished. I'm thinking of restaining the top and painting the legs white (any ideas appreciated)...someday. I'd like to get two non-matching chairs for end seats, and I need some curtains for the sliding door. I'm terrible when it comes to curtains, I'm not sure what I want.
I like my decor to have meaning, and I feel like this arrangement accomplishes that. It was also really inexpensive!