Happy 2012!

Welcome, won't you stay a while? There's so much to do, and we hope to share it all with you this year. Design, crafts, frugal living... You'll find this and more at Design-Aholic!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Was a BLOG of a Great Year

2009:  What a year!  The last few months have been busy to say the least...  Why did I have to find the joy in blogging around the same time as taking a new position at work?!  I don't have nearly enough time to do all the great projects I find online, but in the last 6 months, I have had some great projects I'd love to reflect on.

Trust me, the best is yet to come, but here, (for maybe only my sake?) is a reminder of what 2009 held for me in the way of posts and projects:


 My first post ever...

 The start of the obsession...

 First piece of furniture refinished

 all the ideas are flowing now...

 starting to really get into this!

 Someone stop me!  (or don't...)


so much more to come...



Whew!  That's crazy to look back on.  Still feels like I have a million things to share :)


To really ring in the New Year, since I realize there's so much in my life I need to be thankful for, I am starting a new feature.  Every week, it's a Small Victories of the Week post.  I'd love everyone to link up their stories of a victory they had, big or small, complete or not.  I want us to all remember we've got a lot to be thankful for.  :)

Here's a button for you to use to display the feature:

Won't you join the party?  :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Problem Craft

Ok, Finally I can finish 2 projects that have been pending for, um, 2+ weeks?!  Ugh.

Can you believe it was difficult to find these:

Serioulsy.  I found every other sort of paper clip at all the office stores, dollar stores, everywhere.  Just.not.these.

I finally ordered them at work from our 2" thick office supply catalog.  $10.50 for a box of 36.  I need 4-5 each for the two projects I'm working on, the I'll have plenty for future projects. 

Anyway, stay tuned in the next few days to see how I used them.  Want a hint?  4, 4, 4 pictures in one!  :)

Oh, and Happy New Year!  I can't wait to share all of the pending projects I have, and look forward to meeting more blog friends in 2010.  All the best to and every one of you!

DIY Candles & Containers

This year, after being bitten by the craft bug this blog thing has caused, I wanted to try my hand at a craft that could be a good gift for the holidays or any time.

Lucky me, to have seen a post that Kate did over @ Centsational Girl.   I tried my hand at something I would consider less crafty and more DIY... I doubt I'd do this again, but I thought I'd share since I did like how they turned out.

First, I gathered the materials I needed:

-Glass Containers (each one was no more than $0.50)
-Frosted Glass Spray Paint (this brand was $9.99 at Michaels, but the Rustoleum brand is much cheaper at Joann's- about $4.99)
-Letter Stickers (I liked this font, but get a sticker that can bend with the roundness of your container.  These were a bit too stiff.)
-Microwaveable Soy Wax ($13 w/40% off coupon), wicks ($2.99 for 12), and colorant/scent (if desired)

I purchased as many glass containers that matched as I could at the 50% sales at the local thrift store.  I tried to get them all about the same size.  I cleaned them all by hand, and then put the letter of the name I was giving them as a gift for.

Then, I used the frosted glass spray paint, and sprayed right over the lettering.  Since I was doing this a day before it rained, and around 10pm at night, they didn't dry.  Yes, I was totally impatient.  AGAIN.  Don't be shocked, this is a normal occurance.  And, of course, the impatience messed up my project.  Grrr.  (Can I quit my day job so I could do my projects during the day hours?  umkaythanks.)



After I brought the glass inside to dry faster (see above paragraph about my impatience), I started to mix up the soy wax as they mentioned on the package.  I made all different colors, and tried to add scent. (I purchased Lavender, since I was giving these to coworkers, and it's a calming scent, cause God knows we need it.  ugh!)



I used chop sticks to hold the wicks up while they dried.  They all cracked at the end drying point, and I assumed it's because they cooled too quickly on the granite.  Had I read the instructions thoroughly though, I would have read about the fact that you make a well in the wax as it starts to cool.  Oh well.



The best part about this project?  Packaging them up to bring as gifts!  I love that since the colors were not traditional christmas, that they'll be able to be used throughout the year.  :)

Again, candles are cheap enough that I probably wouldn't do these again.  I prefer decorating, and more hands on craft projects.  But hey, I've got the experience under my belt now.  And, I have another post now that shows the not-so-rosey side of crafting.  I'm not perfect, and not every project can turn out perfect.  :)

Anyone have a project that went horribly wrong?!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Presents & our gift to ourselves

I thought I would update my "wists" (see left frame, towards the middle) and remove some of the great items I had on there, that I  received as Christmas Presents!

First off, I know this is white.  And yes, I have a brown dog that seems to leave his "paint" wherever he lies.  And yes, he climbs up and sleeps on the bed at night.  But, I couldn't help it.  I've wanted this West Elm duvet since the day I saw it!  Is it bad that I'm anticipating my wedding dress being similar to this?!  I guess Gunner is going to have to take more baths (his favorite!  not.) or stay off the bed, all in the name of this:

(now I just need those White Euro Shams... Can you say, Helloooo Giftcard?! and, did you notice that the stock photo is pictured on a headboard very similar to the nailhead trim version I made a few months back?!  *squeal!* I guess it was meant to be!)

Then, there's this:  I love the traditional and throwback style of the Hourglass.  In fact, I first saw a white sand version at Pottery Barn, but came across this great green sand one offered from CB2.  I LOVE this one, and can't wait to display it!  Plus, now I see these cropping up everywhere- even at Kohls... (They had blue and red sand versions of the same shape.)

(this will look great in our office with the new white furniture!)

And of course, now that the clean up bug is striking us, we're about to order this set from JC Penny as our Christmas Present to our sanity our selves, and because we're just that cool to want furniture as a gift:

Yes, it's strikingly similar to the Bedford Collection from Pottery Barn.  Right down to the chairs even (and speaking of chairs, remember when I posted about my thrift scores, where I got the $5.99 chair like the one below?  Looks like I'm painting it white!).

The difference?  Oh, the 6 pieces we're getting from JC Penny is coming to just over $700, while the same pieces at PB would be well over $2k.  Oh, and slightly different handles :)

Anywho, many more decor and craft projects to post soon, I just wanted to do some housecleaning.  Look for the upcoming posts on my living room transformation with the material I just bought, some organizational posts, and of course, some crafty posts too, just to round things out.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Packin' up for the Holidays

I asked my mom, weeks before Christmas even hit, if it was "sick" that I was also looking forward to putting everything away, and organizing it for the next year.  That unconditional love said, "No!" with enthusiasm.  The problem I had last year?  By mid January I certainly felt it was time to pack Christmas up until next year... But, the holiday sales (ie, percentages off) were only getting hotter! So, I was accumulating Christmas Decor through the end of January.  (great of course for me this year, when I got to use all those awesome things I purchased!)

Either way, I enjoy organizing (type A, did you call it?!) and putting away just as much as the decorating puzzle (very scientific...)

So, what did I get to organize myself this year?  I figure it's finally time to step away slowly and put your hands behind your back move away from those old boxes we used to move stuff to our new house in, and upgrade to easily identifiable totes in the great Holiday Colors.  :)  So, in my shopping adventures yesterday, I found these containers:

(These are 18/gal Sterilite containers.  I got 3 of these for $4/ea at Targay)

...and one of these, also at Targay for $5 (so much better that the versions that lay on the floor.)

So, I have to admit that even though Christmas is my favorite holiday, and is only 2 days past, I'm ancy to pack up, and refresh for the upcoming Spring.  In fact, we've already started weeding out, and organizing.  I took Kate's advice on her recent post about how to tackle it.  PLUS, I'm working off the new "set a timer, get a lot done" philosophy.   (Set a timer, for 15-30 minutes, and challenge yourself to work fast, and get as much done as possible.  It really works!)

So, soon I'll be saying goodnight to our Christmas decor, and getting the house ready for the spring.  I've got a whole boatload of projects on tap...  Just a few are: Living room re-do, white winter wreath, and Yellow Flower topiaries.

Luckily, I've noticed that others have my "sickness" about packing up for the season.

Thrifty Decor Chick: Packin up Christmas
Centsational Girl: Five days to a Fresh Start

See, I'm not alone  :)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Orange Crush

I did it.  I picked the fabrics!  Thanks for the great comments you left me yesterday! 

From the last inspiration post I thought I should do it, and just go with the biggest statement, inspiration photo #4!

That means that today, I purchased these fabrics & findings:


If you recall, I posted this photo as an inspiration yesterday:

Here's my INCREDIBLE score for the day:

--The roll, of orange, 10 yards, $2/yd= $20 (this will make the actual curtains... 4 panels)

--The Zebra print flat fold, 2 yards, $3/yd= $6 (this is for the ottoman, plus there will be extra, since the table is only 20" wide, and I got 54" fabric.  Can you say pillows?!)

--Two 84" pre-made drapery panels in a blue organza fabric, $5/ea=$10 (like the inspiration photo, these will go along the big front windows)

--Orange chevron fabric, a jacquard style, 1 yard, $3.50/yard= $3.50 (for pillows)

--Blue Velvet flat fold, 1 1/4 yard, $2/yard= $2 (they didn't charge me for the 1/4 yard it appears!)  This will also be for pillows

--6 packages of black drapery clips, 7/pack, $2.39/pack= $16.14 (I will have a total of 6 panels in this room...)

--Foam, purchased yesterday, $23 (now just need a bit of batting...)

TOTAL:  $20 + $6 + $10 + $3.50 + $2 + $16.14 + $23=  $80.64 for a total room re-do!

Now, to get to work over the next few days off!  Oh, and I need to learn how to use the sewing machine I'm borrowing from my sister.  :)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Serious Debate!

Yes, I'm still looking for the "just right" fabric.  See, I seem to have a problem deciding if I want the room to be mellow and neutral, or pop with bright accent colors.  Oh, and did I tell you about the fabric store I found today?  Have you been in a home fabric store where the HIGHEST price fabric (and there were at least a 1,000) was $9.99???

I couldn't decide.  I clammed up!  I lost all sense of design ability and came sulking home.  I did manage to buy some high density foam though, to make the comfy base for the soon to be ottoman.

So, after doing a quick search online related to decorating with "blue", here are some photos that really inspire me:

This is the best representation of our walls, and what our floors will look like.  We even have a leaning shelf (in white though)

Even though the ceiling is blue and the walls are white, I like the contrast.  And, the ottoman is blue too!

I love the linen/tan fabric with the blue here.  This makes me think I should do I linen/tan fabric for the ottoman...

Now here's a statement.  I thought Orange would look great with the blue.  I really love this modern combination.  I could totally pull this off!

Blue and white seem to be perfect partners.  So crisp.  This is not "my" blue, but it still is inspiring.

The green art here really makes the blue pop.  I was thinking an apple green velvet on the ottoman would be crisp and modern!

So, it's official.  Blue walls, with white, and red furniture doesn't have to look like the 4th of July!  (I'll have to remember that :)  )

They all seem to be neutral.  I was looking for the ottoman to be a statement piece in the room, but perhaps that will have to occur through accessories.

Thoughts?  I just think that too many choices made me a coward today.  Weird, huh?  Anyone else have that problem?!  :)

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