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!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ballard Inspired Bee Bulletin Board

Do you remember when I posted about my love/hate relationship with bees?  I've been itching to use one in the decor here ever since then.  Now that our calendar is off of our bulletin board (because I made this dry-erase message center), I have a big wall of brown.  Ok, "Cappuccino" if you want to be technical.  But there's no contrast.  Enter: bee stencil, and watered down acrylic paint...

My Ballard-inspired Bee Bulletin Board:

Here are some before photos so you can really appreciate the size of this bad-boy.  I think it's about 36x24" with a 2.5" crown molding border.  It's pretty big!  And, it's a message center for us, directy across from our kitchen.  You may have also see that I posted Christmas cards on it during the season.




Anyway, I finally settled on a bee that looked slightly vintage, slightly whimsical, and not all furry and fuzzy, cause you know I don't really want to look at a full on INSECT.  (Which Z reminded me, it is a BUG... zoinks.)

This was a project inspired by two Ballard Items- Their framed bulletin boards, which are super fancy and a bit overpriced (!) and their bee designs on items such as totes, bags, towels and lampshades:

Their "Madison Corkboard" which is $299:

And things like the "Queen Bee" tote:

or the "laptop tote": or or the "Bee Pillow":

So, here's what I did:

I taped some paper together, and brought the image up on my desktop.  I freehanded this one, by starting with the body shapes, adding in the lower legs, then wings.  I added the detailing of the strips and the upper legs last.

I transfered my drawing to the bulletin board, and made sure the scale was good, and then cut the whole pattern out.  I didn't worry about cutting the stripes out yet.  Then, I pinned the pattern down, and traced the outer edge with a black ballpoint pen.  (Black, since my paint was going to be black, and my pencil didn't work on the corkboard :)  )



Here's a straight on view in case you want to use this one as a pattern:

Then, I took a squirt of cheapo acrylic paint in black (even though it's not a true black, more a very dark grey) and watered it down with a few drops.  I knew I could make the painting darker later, but I was attempting a more vintagey look.

Paint!  Just use your outline, and a brush with a flat edge, and cover your traced pattern.





I love that the cork sucked the paint in, and while I didn't water it down enough initially, the cork did the rest by getting me to almost the look I was going for.

Finished product again:



Up close on the paint:

Now, I just need to find (or make?) cuter push pins.  :)  And one question:  Should the bee body be colored in solid black?  Or, would it look like a flying termite (as Z so eloquently put it) if it were solid?  The stripes let you know it's a bee, but a solid version would look more whimsical?  I don't know!  Help!

I guess this bee thing isn't just a fad.  My first puppy, Kadee, had bee toys.  And Lexi and Gunner share a few bee toys too:

So anyway, I love it, and now just need to work on the rest of that big, blank, brown, boring wall.  Alliteration my friends, alliteration.

**Oh, and did you SEE IT?!  I finally made my curtains.  Go check out the sneak peak, with a full post coming soon.**

Until next time!

Megan's Banner: Giveaway Winner

Megan Lee, from Love-Lee Homemaker was the winner of our 100th post giveaway.  She let me know she received it and even took some photos of where she hung it!


She hung it in her dining room over her mirror (good thinking!), which I'll take as a complement!  :)

Thanks Megan for showing off your stuff.  Make sure to stop by her site, Love-Lee Homemaker.  And, if you want to make your own banner, make sure to stop by the tutorial here.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Orange you glad you stopped by?!

I learned to sew today!  Really, with a machine, and threading, and bobbin winding and all that jazz!

AND, the great thing?  I was so comfortable with it that I tackled a HUMONGOUS project.  Yep.  I sewed four 84" curtain panels today.

I can't wait to reveal the whole project on how to sew them, and how easy these were to make.  I'm tired after a long day up early to watch a friend's munchins, and then learning that scary glorious sewing machine.

So, this post was just a sneak peak at what they look like, and make sure to check THIS POST for my inspiration for what the whole room will look like soon. 

I'll be back with more, so be sure to be on the lookout :)

PS:  Thank you to all my new FOLLOWERS!  You guys all ROCK!  142?  Seriously?  This is amazing!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

VOTW #5: Relaxing ahead

WELCOME everyone, to another episode of our weekly party: VOTW: Victory Of The Week!  (...and, Welcome BACK to some of you!)

Each week, on Fridays, we take a few minutes to re-count our wins, our successes... our Victories, of the past 7 days (or longer :)  )

While I don't call them "rules" per say, the idea is that you link up to something you're proud of- something new you tried or did, something awesome you just have to share!  Whether big or small, we have small victories each week that keep us going in this life.  I just want you to share them!

So for me this week, I've had a trying work week, but a fabulous blog week.  I can't even comprehend all the great things I was able to do during one break of the crazy California rain storm we're in the middle of.

So, let's recap, even though these projects aren't all posted yet:

I painted 8 things:

2 Lamps (yes, one was my milk jug lamp!)
2 small 5x7 canvases
1 large 30x40 canvas (sneak peak here, at the end)
1 set of bookends
1 ceramic bird
1 newly revamped chalkboard

I crafted 4 things:

Red fabric heart wreath
Jute wrapped Vase w/vintage Key
Milk Glass Birds Nest
Cigar box-mod podge glitter box (not such a happy ending.  sigh.)

I organized/created 2 things:

Phase 1 of office/craft room
Facebook page for Design-Aholic

That's a total of 14 projects, and I couldn't be happier with an average of 2/day for the week.  :)


Actually, today, with all those great projects listed, I'm kicking back for my small victory:

Spending some downtime with these two cuties (and Z, who's not pictured :) )

That's Gunner, a chocolate Cocker Spaniel on the left, and Lexi, a Boxer/Labrador (puppy!) on the right.

You may have remembered a week or so back when Lexi got skunked?  Fun Times.  Or when I made modern silhouettes out of their mugs in November?

And, I'll also be taking some time to catch up on some magazines that have been calling my name:

 That's right, two new subscriptions kicked in: Veranda & Good Housekeeping (both $5/year subscriptions through Amazon deals) along with Real Simple, two decor catalogs: Ballard and Ethan Allen, along with everyone's favorite, Better Homes & Gardens.
I'm still waiting for my newest House Beautiful to come.  :)

So lovelies, I leave you with MckLinky for this week's VOTW: Victory Of The Week

Grab a smaller button, and post up on your page to remind others to be proud of their victories:

I'll do a re-cap of VOTW #4 this weekend.  I'm honestly pooped.  I'm so excited however to have had everyone link up, so I'll be featuring you guys again real soon.

And, a special note to all my followers:  I've got EVEN MORE coming!  As a special gift to me this weekend, a friend that I work with is letting me watch her two adorable kids Saturday morning, in exchange for showing me how to use my sewing machine!  WooHoo!  I'm thinking it's a pretty fair trade.  :)  Can't you just imagine how aweome the post will be when I share with you that I finally revamped the living room!

Take a $5 IKEA vase, and... Wrap it!

This was a quick and easy texture-rich project I tried one rainy afternoon.  We've had a lot of those.  Rainy afternoons that is.  So, I've been forced enjoying trying crafts I couldn't quite take the leap into before.

After seeing some very similar posts [here, here and here],  that little blond light bulb went off, and I found my before version in the garage.  I bought this ceramic vase, if you can call it a vase, at IKEA for $5 (maybe $4?)  Either way, flower stems barely fit in it, and the color was too blah.  So it sat.  And sat.  and collected dirt, dust and grim, in the garage.  But it was reborn recently, and I'm loving it!

This is 3-ply jute twine from Michaels.  40% off coupon, but it was only $5 to begin with.  I didn't use the whole roll either.

Really, grab your glue gun, vase, and some 3 ply jute and wrap as much or as little as you want.  That's it.

I basically glued a dot every 3rd or 4th row.  The initial row I glued around the entire circumference.  And, the bottleneck was tricky, and did take more glue too.  But all in all, a very quick and painless process.




And, since I had one key leftover from the framed key art project, I thought I'd try a form of display by hanging it on the neck of the bottle.




Did you notice this vase in the office?  :)  Make sure to check that post of for a list of upcoming posts.

So, there you have it.  Check another one off the list!  That's another project from my new office/craft room!  Don't you just love that texture?  Yum!  And, did you realize this is the same jute I used for my Valentine's Banner?  Check that out here

Toodaloo folks, until next time...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Leafy Green My-First-Chalkboard

Yes, that title was a throw back to the Little Tykes products.  No, this is not PVC plastic, and orange and yellow like those kiddie picnic tables everyone has.

But, it is about how I made our first chalkboard.  It was a revamp project- a fun find from the HomeGoods clearance section.  Hideous (I think) to begin with, but an awesome shape.

Because the finished product is so much better than a before, here you go:

And, here's what I started with:


The project was simple.  The hardest part was finding the chalkboard in the first place!  This chalkboard was on clearance, on the day I had the incredible shopping trip when all the stars aligned.  I picked it up for $10.  Check out the regular HomeGoods price, and the SUGGESTED price... wah?!  $120?  For that?  No sirry bob.

This bad boy weighs seriously about 10 lbs.  It's solid.  it was brown, with a heavy coat of mod podge and some travel theme before.  I love the little cubby at the bottom, and the curve at the top.

After I decided the office colors would be green and blue,  I pulled out the Rustoleom Satin spray paint in Leafy Green.

With my inspiration paint sitting next to me, I dismatled the screws, and took off the metal chalkboard.  (Extra sweet bonus?  since the beige piece was actually metal, it doubles as a magnetic surface AND chalkboard.  SWEET!)


I gave it a sanding, so that the paint would stick.  I didn't bother with primer on this one, since I sanded it down, and sprayed a total of two coats on the exposed edges.

Then, I used my little container of Chalkboard paint that I picked up at Jo-Ann's with a 40% off coupon, and painted the metal sheet.  It was banged up to start with, so it needed a coat of paint anyway.  After two coats of paint, I was ready to put everything back together!

Screwed it up, glued it on, nailed some holes into the wall for brackets, and there we have it.  I primed the board by rubbing chalk on it, then, tried to erase it off.  [I need a real chalkboard eraser- where do I get one of those?  Target?]  Ahh.  So much better.  Now, I just need to find a cute jar to hold chalk in!  Maybe a heavy duty wine glass?  I feel another project coming on.  Get me my meds.  teehee.

So, while this isn't an ornate, framed out chalkboard, it is my first chalkboard, and I'm just easing into the idea.  I don't know how much we'll use it- or not. 

Here's a photo in the office (make sure to check out the phase 1 office/craft room post from the other night here)

What do you think of my creation?!  The color?  The wall location?  Did you make sure to check out my post on this office to get the full list of new projects and about my inspiration fabric here?!  I hope so! 

Man, I'm on fire!  There's so much good stuff.  You're in LUCK.  I'm so glad you're here and actually care about my projects.  I'm just having a blast and a half!  :)

Oh, and we're all in luck that they don't make this version of that my first picnic table anymore.  My sister seriously had one.  I was jealous at the time.  :)

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