Established in 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

DIY-Destination Sign

It was my intent to share my latest project last week but Dorsey Dog got sprayed by a skunk before we were about to depart for Nashville. Nightmare. I'll post about that Doggie Drama another day.

Moving on. Some of you have asked, "Where do you come up with this stuff?" I'm a copycat. I'll see something and with Nick's help figure out how to make it with a touch of my own flare. This project's inspiration was pulled from May's House Beautiful along with several variations popping up on Etsy.

You can buy this here & it has the option to make a custom one.

I like to think that you guys are checking my blog religiously so here's the moment you've all been waiting for - the BIG REVEAL!


Our Version

Now for those who are interested on how to create your own, keep reading friends.

Head to Michaels and bring the list below to purchase the nuts and bolts:
24 x 48 inch primed canvas. $14.99 w/ coupon
2" inch stencils. $1.99 on Clearance
3" inch stencils. $0.99 on Clearance
4" inch stencils. $1.99 on Clearance
Jar of black acrylic paint.  $5.99 w/ coupon
Tube of acrylic paint (color: titan buff).  $8.99 w/ coupon
A spool of ribbon. $0.99
Grand Total:  $35.93  vs.  $295 price tag online
*Michaels always seems to have a 40% coupon on a full price item

Prep Work
Here we go!

It only took one coat 

Make a List, Check it Twice.
We created a list of every place Nick and I lived starting from birth until now. This is where you can get a little creative (i.e. instead of Cincinnati, we used the Queen City). This helps to switch it up. From there we taped together a paper "canvas" so we could see the spacing and make adjustments. This step is critical, I repeat critical.

We were working three different sizes of stencils so in some cases where we thought we'd use a 4" inch stencil, we had to swap for a 3" inch because there wasn't enough room. (As you can see with the Excelsior mishap below).

Dry Run

Paint & Patience.
Once you have your rough draft, it's time to paint. We created a system: I held the stencil, Nick would paint then we would wipe off the stencil and use the hair dryer to dry the letter. This is a one letter at a time project. 

The ribbon is used as a guide

Note: a sunny day, a big pitcher of lemonade, an iPod and a heap of patience are also necessities! Unfortunately, those you can't buy at Michaels at 40% off...  :) 

Slow and Steady

Note: As you work your way down you'll want to continue to re-measure to make sure the spacing is still accurate. The last thing you want to do is have your final city "smushed" at the bottom.

Hairdryer - hot for a few then switch to cool.

I'm not sure how many hours we spent on this project. It was a lot. We were able to complete half in one weekend and then moved our work station into our garage and finished the final cities over the course of a few evenings this week.

Final steps are finding the perfect spot for your new artwork, attaching brackets to the back and hanging. 

One more look.

Nick and I both agree that this is our favorite project that we've done. It is so personal and it looks awesome in person. 

If you want one of your own but don't want to put in the hours there are several spots online to get a custom one made. No I'm not starting this as my business so go here. 

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND! Go out and make something folks! 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Eye Candy: Santa Monica

Last week I did something that I would only do for my immediate family and approximately 5 friends - drive on the 405 Highway to Santa Monica.

I could go on and on about why I am not cut from the cloth to be a regular 405 driver; seven lanes of stop & go traffic ranks #1.  

However "traumatic" the car time, it was absolutely worth it. The pictures will do all most of the talking.

First Stop: The Viceroy Hotel

Poolside @ the Viceroy

Posh. Notice the mirror, roman shades & bamboo chairs.

Plates a Plenty Outdoors

The Viceroy is phenomenal especially when it comes to design. I was drooling and being "that girl" who was taking pictures left and right while people sipped sparkling water and made billion dollar transactions over lunch.  
How awesome is this shot? Credit to B.

Photo of a photographer

Here was what she captured

We walked down the beach over to Abbot Kenney Blvd in Venice for a quick bite & some shopping. This block had everything from antiques to high-end boutiques to quaint little shops like the ones below. 

Treasure Trove

Cake stands in every size and shape

   Antique Chic

This little dreamer fit the scene

Enjoying every minute

Good stuff.

Truth be told - I spent more time in the car than I did in Santa Monica but like I said it was totally worth it!  I will be going back anytime the invitation is extended by my wonderful friend. Oh and today's her birthday so Happy Birthday B$!  xoxo 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bear With Me

Eeeek! It's been almost a week since my last post and I can explain! I just returned from a wonderful cross country trip to see my family in Kentucky. I have so much to share so please bear with me while I get back in the blogging swing of things.

In the mean time enjoy images of my precious niece, Anna Violet.
Happiest Little Baptized Baby

Proud Auntie

Sweetest Little Family

Hopefully Anna's adorable self has bought me a few hours or perhaps a day with you guys!  Toodaloooooo; I'll be back soon! 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Elephant Envy.

Here is my tale of the one that got away. On Monday I was out thrift shopping and spotted an elephant in the room. Literally. A white ceramic elephant with gold accents.

I don't know about you but I have a few questions that I ask myself when considering a purchase - Do I need this? Where would I put / wear this item? And so on. While I was having this inner-monologue, I realized my hands were full and to me that is always a sign to check out and go home. However, on my way out I snapped a pic because I liked him and figured I would think about it and could come back for it.

Spotted: Mr. Elephant in Local Thrift Shop

Later in the afternoon I sent the image above to my sister Allison and her immediate response was "Buy now." I messaged her back that I already left the store, her response was "Pull the trigger, don't miss out." Just the validation I needed! 

To add to the elephant intrigue last night I kept seeing elephants on some of my favorite design blogs and in several lay-outs in LONNY. If you aren't familiar with LONNY it is "the"online decor mag!

From LONNY. Posted here.

Image from one of my fav blogs.

We all know what happens next but I'll still share. I went back to retrieve Mr. Elephant and of course he was gone.  I blame this next sequence of events on the over-consumption of coffee this morning: I proceeded to frantically search the store for Mr. Elephant and goes as far as locating the manager to inquire.

Our convo went like this, "I was in here yesterday and there was a white ceramic elephant" (picture me doing hand gestures on size and location of Mr. Elephant) and before I could go into more detail of my saga he cut me off without hesitation or empathetic tone to say, "Sold."

Now you may think this blog entry is totally ridiculous because it's about a ceramic elephant that can most likely be purchased at one's local Pier 1 store , but I feel like everyone has had this moment; a time when you missed out on a great find or just assumed it would be there when you went back for it.  Sometimes those "if it's meant to be" type moments are nice but that's only when it's still there!

If you've had a "the one that got away" moment, I'd love to hear about it!  Seriously friends, if no one responds I'll think the California sun is doing more than just making me tan but in fact damaging my brain.

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Quick Weekend Recap

Oh hi y'all!  I hope you had a great weekend! We had fun, low-key weekend at our Mini House. We were saving our energy for next weekend when we head to Nashville / Hoptown.  I am beyond excited about seeing my family and friends in a matter of days.

Thought I'd share a few snapshots - most were taken on my good ol' blackberry so I apologize for the poor quality.

Soaking It Up  
A much-needed afternoon at the beach

Toes in the Sand 
Perfect weather, perfect day!

The rest of our weekend entailed several walks with Dorsey Dog, scoping out surfboards for Nick, lots of time outside and of course many hours working on our latest project.  

Hang Ten 
Can you imagine me trying to carry one of these?

Sneak Peak
You can laugh at this overly-staged photo.

Regarding our project - this picture is all I can share for now but let me say this, I'm obsessed. This is one project that I can't do solo so I'm happy that Nick is totally onboard and is sharing my obsession. He might not admit it to you guys but he is... trust me.  

The goal is to have it completed before we head home so keep checking in! 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Anchors Away

Last week I had an epiphany! Ok, that's an exaggeration but I did come up with the idea for this week's project out of the blue. I decided a pair of anchor pillows would be perfect for the red adirondack chairs on our front lawn or possibly the bench in our backyard.

With this idea, I looked around to see what was out there:

Etsy had tons of options. I liked this one! here

Fancy and a $140 price tag. Available here

Full disclosure: I didn't sew the covers. I want to learn how to sew this year but the pillow covers below were an awesome steal from Target a month or so ago for $2.83 each

Tools of the Trade 

I went to Michaels for white fabric paint, white chalk and was hoping to find an anchor stencil since my freehand drawing skills are pretty elementary... very elementary.  Think stick people. :)  Unfortunately all I could find was a little anchor print in Dollar Days bin as a point of reference.

Step by step:
  1. Iron pillow covers so they are nice & smooth 
  2. Utilize Helpful Hubby's artistic ability to draw an anchor with white chalk
  3. Insert cardboard into the cover so the paint doesn't bleed through 
  4. Tag team and paint in the anchor outline

Work in progress, Pillow #1 
Touching up a few spots. 

It took about 24 hours for these to completely dry. Then I filled the covers with cheap ($0.25 ) pillows from a local garage sale. They were hideous but it didn't matter (and yes I washed them!) The final step was spraying each pillow with Scotch Guard so they are somewhat "weather proof". 

Finished Product

Possible Spot, We'll See! 

Each pillow is a little different from the other one since Nick free-handed them.  Total cost for this little project was less than $15 and it was SUPER easy!

What do you think? Any pillow projects in your future?

Enjoy your weekend my sweet followers!  

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mini Gallery Wall

From the Pottery Barn catalog to design blogs, gallery walls are pretty much every where these days.

In my opinion what makes a good gallery wall display is when they are a blend of artwork and photography. A gallery wall is your chance to personalize; seize the opportunity and create your own!

This one is fun!

Nick and I had a gallery wall in our loft (our first place) in downtown Denver.  We had a long narrow wall and so we decided to take a stab at creating our very own.

Our Rookie Attempt

We talked about hanging it again in our office at Mini House but somehow in the 10 months that we lived there it was just one of those things that we never got around to.

On Saturday we discovered the box with most of the prints in our garage and thought heck, why not!
 This time we decided to lay-out our "design" 

Confession - last time we literally just had a stack of prints and nailed / hung our way down the wall.  I have read blogs about planning, measuring, taping and other strategic methods.  Me nor Nick has enough patience for all that jazz... 

Here's what we've got up there:

  • Pair of bird paintings that me & my BFF created. I blogged about it here
  • Hershey print  - birthday gift from me to Nick
  • Wedding picture collection 
  • Collage of album covers from Mason Jennings (Nick's favorite musician) 
  • Photography from my oh-so-talented friend, Becca.  Check our her photography site - here
  • Picture of me at age 3 that use to hang in my grandfather's office. 
  • A Colorado print that I got off Etsy 
  • A small framed print that my sister Amy picked up for me in Prague 
Our gallery wall isn't quite complete but it's one of those projects that we can add to and change out over  time.  

Do you have a gallery wall at your house?  If so I'd love to see it! 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dose of Dorsey

The beach bag was packed and ready but we never went had our fun in the sun; it was gloomy and overcast. Bummer, but we did put our swimsuits on to give Dorsey Dog a bath. This activity is a full contact sport and not a very pleasant one for anyone involved.

I can hear you - "Why don't you take her to the groomer?"
Response: It's pricey, it's over in fewer than 15 minutes and it's somewhat entertaining.

The hard part is over.  Now it's time to shake off outside

Check out her face pressed up against the glass, hilarious.
She'll wookie and do this until we let her in. 

Here's our pretty girl

Despite the gross weather, we had a great weekend and got a few little project done.

I'll be posting new DIY delights this week so stay tuned.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Beach Bag Essentials

Well folks, it's been a short week but very busy week here and I am glad that it's FRIDAY!

I'm packing up my beach bag and heading down to the beach for some fun in the sun on Saturday.

I wanted to share my beach necessities:

LL.Bean Boat Tote (monogrammed, of course)

Lands' End Over-sized Polka Dot Beach Towel
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer in SPF 70

*I'm actually testing this product for Neutrogena. They sent me 2 bottles to try. More to come on this. 

My inspiration for future Mini Houses

Camelbak Bottle - Gotta stay hydrated!

My Little Shuffle.
I love the sound of the ocean but tunes are nice too! 

And finally... 
Gotta show off my MIAMI pride and protect my face. 

What are your beach or pool essentials?  I'd love to hear!  My bag is pretty full but there is room for suggestions / items!  Have a great weekend y'all!