Tag Archives: DIY
Aside

Showing Off – My Ghetto Craft Room

17 Sep

Hey Everybody! I finally did something crafty over the weekend! *Insert super-awkward-white-girl-dance here*  I’m feeling incredibly productive at the moment. I just hope I can keep the ball rolling. It feels great to finally have some order among the chaos that tends to be my life & home. This weekend is definitely at the top of my list of productive weekends of 2012.

Saturday started with a trip to Jo-Ann Fabrics. They had just moved out of a tiny strip mall space and into a HUGE location that used to be a “family fun center” – you know, bumper cars, mini golf, laser tag, all kinds of arcade games, etc – so it’s seriously enormous. As I’ve been describing it to my friends, “It’s like Hobby Lobby and Michaels had a baby and the baby is on crack” – in other words, heaven.

This weekend was their grand opening, so there were sales and coupons coming out my ears. I picked up a 40″ cutting mat for $25 (on sale from $50). But I’m not here to talk about good deals. You’ll have to go see for yourself.

Once I got home, I was itching to sew or make something, but my “sewing room” (aka completely unfinished basement) was in complete disarray. So I got to work – completely neglecting weekly cleaning tasks, laundry, dishes, etc. in the process (so worth it).

After about 4 hours and 1.5 discs of “How I Met Your Mother”, my craft room looks like this –

Janky-Ass Craft Room

So pretty, right? Yeah, not so much. BUT it is perfectly functional – lots of storage, a sewing table, a cutting table, and an extra surface for who knows what. It’ll be great when I have girlfriends come over for sewing/ crafting/ dance-party adventures.

The extra table actually has a drop-down keyboard tray that would be perfect for a small sewing machine, and it was only $10 on Craigslist. Score! The top was in pretty rough shape, but luckily I was completely incapable of passing up a package of chevron shelf liner for $5 at TJ Maxx a few months ago – even though I had NO idea what I’d use it for. About 20 minutes of trying to apply said shelf liner later, now this table is probably my favorite part of the whole space.

But then there’s also the cutting table – first of all, see the tiny pink cutting mat on the chevron table above? Yeah, that’s all I used to have for cutting fabric – 12 x 12″ of scrapbook cutting mat. The new cutting mat is such a godsend – I can’t BELIEVE how much easier it was to cut fabric and actually keep it square with this bad boy. Flutters, my friends…full-blown heart palpitations. The table I’m using is a drafting table I’ve had since I was in high school (you know, when I dreamed of going to art school & getting famous). Needless to say, since the art school dream died, this poor guy hasn’t gotten used except as a catch-all. Lucky me, it’s the PERFECT size for my giant cutting mat – and is being showered in love lately.

Of course, we can’t forget the most important part of the sewing room – the sewing cabinet! My mom bought this for my birthday (in APRIL) from Walmart. It’s not the fanciest or most well-constructed of sewing cabinets – actually it’s pretty much the exact opposite – but it’s got tons of storage & surface area and works just perfectly for a novice like myself.  We put it together right away, but it’s sat unused until I could get all my crap organized – which was tough because we had a houseguest living on the other side of the basement for a couple months, and I really didn’t want to barge into her space to spend hours organizing, so I just let it be for a while. Now it’s got everything right at hand – small organizers in the cabinet front hold sewing essentials, and scrap fabrics & old photos for scrapbooking are on the shelves inside the cabinet. My canvas bin full of fabric yardage I’ve purchased over the last few months tucks onto the big shelf when the cabinet is not in use, but I have to pull it out to sew or else there’s no room for my super-long legs under the table. No big deal though, usually whatever I’m sewing will come out of this bin & I’ll need to take it out anyway. The best part is that if I want to, I can close up the sewing cabinet to make the whole area look a little less cluttered.

Over to the right of the sewing table is a little rolling cart & 3-drawer storage unit that used to reside in my art studio at my parents’ house. The cart is currently holding my minimal ribbon collection, hot glue gun, and general crafting supplies. The 3-drawer unit is surprisingly empty for the moment. Apparently I have tons of storage in this make-shift craft room! Oh, and you can also see a small fraction of my ridiculous DVD collection there. Some women collect shoes, I collect movies. You’ll get over it.

So, there it is – complete with ghetto “wallpaper” (fabric stapled to floor joists above to cover insulation bats) and concrete floor & walls. Not the most beautiful space in the world, but super functional and a nice little retreat.  The TV & DVD player make it that much more appealing because I don’t feel so secluded if there’s something on the TV, plus I can get my fix of chick-flicks when I’m down here.  I can even bring Love Bug down to play with the overflow of toys that we store in the basement. It’s like Christmas for her because she pretty much forgot about all these toys. Oh, to be young and easily distracted.

I still fully intend to get a rug & a ceiling light (but not a hard-wired one) to make the space feel a little more finished. I don’t want to put too much more work into this space because we’re hoping to move before the end of the year and it would just feel like a waste.  At least now I can host those crafting (and dance-party) adventures at my place. Everyone’s invited 🙂

X’s

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Not Such A Baby

29 Aug

Love Bug turned 2 this month. TWO! It’s absolutely crazy how fast the time goes – yes, I know people say it all the time, but that’s because it’s TRUE!

We had a pretty awesome little birthday bash for her – held at my future in-laws’ house in their huge backyard. We’re lucky that they have a large party tent because we got a few pitter patters of raindrops throughout the afternoon, but otherwise the day was absolutely gorgeous.

I just wanted to pop in and share some photos from the glorious event – especially after all the work that went into planning it – I’m so proud of how everything came out! I’m in no way an event planner, but I do have a seemingly endless list of inspiring feeds in my Google Reader…so that helps 😉

I don’t have a lot of detail shots of the party setup (I know, I should seriously rename this blog to have something to do with “fail” because it’s all I can seem to do…haha) BUT here’s what you get –

I went ultra-girly, but tried to keep it modern with hot pinks, oranges, reds, and yellows. I love how the watermelon fruit bowl pops on the hot pink tablecloth.

Here’s our little drink station – we snatched the beverage tub from Target for $10, the straw dispenser came from Michael’s for around $3, and the beverage dispenser belongs to my future mother-in-law.

Side note: See that little strip of chevron along the outer edge of the tablecloth? Well, the tablecloth was too small for the table, so there was white on either side of the red – not horrible, but definitely needed a little something extra, so I had my mom run strips of chevron duct tape over the edge of the table. I had bought the duct tape just in case we needed it, but with no real plans to use it. It’s always good to have fancy duct tape, in my opinion, it can be used for so many things and people NEVER know what it is! I actually had a close friend email me a few days after the party to ask where I got the cute table cloth on the food table because she wanted one for her upcoming birthday party!

I love this shot. I love how everything happened to line up perfectly. I love the dessert bowls filled with dips – snagged from TJ Maxx for $2 a piece. I love the apothecary jar I also got at TJ Maxx for $12. I love the fresh strawberries in the cute porcelain basket – another TJ Maxx score at $3. I think my favorite parts of the whole party set-up, though, were the labels and the popcorn.

I made the labels all by my lonesome with the intermediate-level Adobe Illustrator skills I learned in what proved to be the most useful High School class ever (even earned me college credit – win!). I feel like Illustrator doesn’t get enough attention in the craft-blog world.  I might throw a quick tutorial up if anyone seems interested – these labels were surprisingly easy to make & modify. That’s why I LOVE Illustrator. Photoshop has its place, of course, but when it comes to simple graphic designs, Illustrator will always be my go-to. I actually did the invites myself, too – a 5-hour labor of love. Here’s how those turned out –

Back to the popcorn. The popcorn entered the equation by a [rare] stroke of genius on my part. I had intended to fill the apothecary jar with colored candies – maybe in a gradient or ombre effect, I hadn’t quite thought that far ahead.  I went to a store in the mall that sells colored Sixlets (best candy ever!) by the pound and started hunting for the colors I wanted.  I really wasn’t finding the bright, bold colors I was hoping for and, me being the procrastinator that I am this being the day before the party, didn’t really have time to go all over town looking. Luckily for me, this same store sells flavored popcorns and I asked one of the employees if the fruit flavors were brightly colored or more muted colors. Instead of just answering my question, the angel brought me samples!  I’ll keep the number of samples I devoured to myself to minimize humiliation, but, in the end, I settled on Strawberry, Orange, Banana, and Cheesecake [fave] to mix together in the apothecary jar. I think the popcorn turned out better than the candy would have due to the bright color & large scale of each piece – not to mention the cost savings and the fact that I didn’t have 4 lbs of leftover candy after the party.

Something you may have noticed in that first picture is the pink square thingy over to the left. It’s kind of hard to tell what it is from that distance, but here’s a closeup –

It’s just a little glitter name plaque I made literally at the last minute (did I mention I’m a procrastinator?). Seriously, I finished it up AS we were walking out the door to the party… I’ve got a tutorial for this coming soon – it’s a short one because this was SO easy… so easy I don’t even have pictures for the tutorial except the final product! Haha.

In the end, everyone had a really good time – there weren’t as many toddler-age children as we had planned for – just Love Bug & her BFF – but there was a SWARM of cute babies ranging from 1-4 months old! They were definitely competition for Center Of Attention.  Evvie still won. Just look at that face 🙂

Happy Birthday Love Bug!!!! ❤

X’s

Somebody to Love

Pinterest Challenge

6 Jul

It’s Pinterest Challenge time, according to a few credible sources

I feel like I discovered Pinterest before it became a “thing”. {If only this were truth… }  It was wayyyyy back in January 2011 and I was just starting to blossom as a domestic goddess… Pinterest made me a monster [No, really, ask my fiancee].  With the ability to FINALLY compile EVERYTHING that could possibly inspire me, I turned into a crazed home-making, cooking, DIY-ing, crafting, sewing, spray-painting savage [with impeccable taste, of course].

That being said, This is now the FOURTH {un}official Pinterest Challenge, and I have yet to participate in a single one. This just won’t do. I am determined to make some sort of magic this weekend. Something to get me off my tush during this heat wave and let my creative energies loose.

I haven’t quite decided on a project yet, but here are some directions I’m leaning…

1. Ikat Chevron Painting (would be AHHHMAZING in my bedroom, which I posted a brief concept board of here)

2.  DIY Plank Headboard – Like the one pictured below, but with a “zipper” seam down the center… not sure about the lights

3. Laundry Closet Makeover (ambitious? yes. necessary? even more so.)

4. Painted Vases (would need to do some serious thrift store shopping to accomplish this one)

5. Toy Storage Crate (SOOOO Cute – and will be perfect for the makeover I’m planning for my daughter’s room!)

Who else is jumping on the Pinterest Challenge bandwagon? Anybody have a list of pinned projects SO long that you’ll simply never have the time to complete them all? Does the list just keep getting longer? Yeah. Mine too.

X’s

Somebody to Love

Inspiration Boards

3 Jul

I just wanted to stop by and share a couple inspiration boards I made over the weekend. I love how an inspiration board can bring conceptual ideas into reality and really help you make those difficult design decisions.

Here’s board #1, which I made for my bedroom. [If anybody wants sources for the items on this board, just let me know and I’ll get them included.] Luckily, I already talked my fiancee into the duvet, so we’re well on our way to making this dream a reality 🙂

Does anybody have any suggestions for wall color? I’m not opposed to leaving them white, but I would like a bit of extra color in the room!

The second board is for our guest room, which we have set up in our [unfinished] basement. The walls are actually just muslin hung from the floor joists above. I’m planning to dye the muslin an ombre blue… thus the gradient wall color 🙂

Every. Single. Item. in the guest room board can be purchased at Target. I love Target!

I’m really getting into this whole inspiration board thing. I never realized how much I truly love designing rooms until I started putting it all together!

What do you think? Any suggestions for improvement? You think I’m the bomb-diggity? Feedback of all kinds is SO greatly appreciated – even if you’re just making fun of me for saying “bomb-diggity”.

X’s

Don't Go Breaking My Heart

It’s the Little Things…

8 Jun

Yesterday was a bad day.

Like, a terribly horrible and exhausting day.

Nothing earth-shattering happened… In fact, looking back on it, nothing BAD happened at all.  Everything that happened was either frustrating or annoying and it just ate at me – all day long.  The printer at work wasn’t feeding paper from the multi-purpose tray the right way, and I had to re-print the same document about 12 times to get it to come out on company letterhead.  My supervisor had meetings all day and wasn’t around to approve the reports and invoices that I needed to get to our client by close-of-business yesterday (they finally got there at 9:00 this morning…). Overall, it was just one of those days where the hits just keep coming and it really wears you out.

I was still really run-down when I got in this morning and just not looking forward to spending an entire day writing meeting minutes for the three 2-hour meetings we had this week, so I opened up my Google Reader and started reading my favorite blogs.  Just reading the words written by some of my role models – people who do not know me and probably never will – made some of the weight on my shoulders dissipate nearly instantaneously.  I kept cycling through, reading post after post and I finally got to this one.  If you’ve never read DESIGNLOVEFEST, you really should start. These girls are so inspiring – creative, beautiful, adventurous. Bri’s post today about things that make her happy really made me re-evaluate my mood today and realize that it really is the little things that make me happy.

So, in copycat fashion, here is my list of little things that make me [HAPPY]~

1} Clean, dry, beautifully-organized laundry.  This one is hard for me – it doesn’t happen very often with my hectic schedule, and it truly stresses me out to have piles and piles of laundry on the floor, never able to find what I’m looking for. When I nail it, it’s SO relieving that I’m usually giddy for days.

2} Really, really bad television (and some not-so-bad) – I don’t know what it is, but these super corny, super dramatic shows are like crack.  To me, there’s nothing that can erase a bad week like curling up on the couch on Saturday morning and burning through all of the DVR’d shows from the week – The Bachelorette, Secret Life of the American Teenager, Hart of Dixie, The Lying Game, Glee, Glee Project… and that’s only a partial list. 🙂

3} Brilliant Ideas – when I see something inspiring and figure out the perfect application of the idea in my own life, I feel empowered. Like I can keep bettering myself and someday I’ll be exactly who I dream of being.

4} Typography – When I see something that is beautifully typeset, it literally takes my breath away. I never realized it until I started reading blogs – and even more so when I started planning my wedding – I’m obsessed with typography. I need to learn more about it so I can make things beautiful on my own.

5} Drawing – This is something I don’t do nearly as much as I would like to… pretty much never, lately. I used to be a rather skilled artist, and watching a drawing come alive on the page brought me so much  happiness. This is something I’d really like to get back into, once I get my life organized a little better.

6} Pictures of Puppies – who doesn’t cheer up when they see one of these li’l fellas?

 

7} My Friends – I don’t have a lot of friends – partly because I’m a lot to handle, partly because I’m really picky after  being burned once or twice by people who did not have my best interests at heart – but the people I do consider friends pretty much kick major ass. They would do nearly anything for me on any given day and I’m so thankful for that.

8} Relaxing nights with my family – When we’re both home, life is so good. We work together on nearly everything – dinner, chores, parenting, choosing tv shows/ movies… Now that Kyle is about to start a corporate job [YAY], I’m seriously looking forward to more time like this. No more retail work hours – until 9:00 or later sometimes – no more weekends, only Monday-Friday; 9-5. It will be heaven.

9} Evelynne – The only reason she’s not first on this list is because it’s a given that she makes me happier than anything in the entire world. There’s not much else to say about that. The love that a mother has for her daughter simply can’t be put into words.

Look at that face!!

10} The little things – The fact that all of these things I have listed are the only things I need to be truly happy – it’s perfection.

Now it’s your turn – what makes you happy? What do you do to bring yourself back after a bad day or week?

Look for a new post this weekend – hopefully I’ll actually get around to one of my tutuorials!

X’s

Hopelessly Devoted to You

I Have a Secret Agenda…

23 Mar

I think I’ve chosen our wedding photographer!  I haven’t actually met with her or even discussed it with the fiance, but I’m obsessed with this girl’s portfolio.  Everything she does is magical. The bonus is that she already works with one of the girls I’m thinking of hiring to do makeup for me & my bridesmaids!  I don’t wanna drop too much information too soon, but I am really excited about this one and had to share!  

Her packages are slightly more expensive than I had intended to pay, but I’m realizing how important it is to me to have the perfect wedding photos. If I’m going to go to ALL of this trouble and money to plan an amazing event, you bet your sweet pattootie that I want the whole thing documented to perfection!  I even realized today that one of my ultimate goals for the whole event is not just to make sure everyone has a great time, but to have the images of my event plastered all over Pinterest! Haha. I know it’s kind of a selfish agenda, but how cool would that be, seriously? To have the decisions and money and hard work acknowledged by quite possibly the most stylish and creative community of people in history? I’d probably die of happiness. 🙂

So, I’ll leave it at that for now. I’m going to talk to my man about the photographer tonight and hopefully see if parents can pitch in to cover the extra financial gap… I’ll let you know how things turn out!

I promise I do have a DIY post coming soon! I made the most adorable Paper Bag dress for my 18 month old daughter, which she wore to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade here in town, and a zippered diaper clutch for my friend Maggie, who is due with her 2nd child (first son) in July! Just a matter of finding the time to write out the tutorials and edit the photos… on our crappy home computers– bleh!

Does anybody have some tips about maybe negotiating w/ a wedding photographer? I don’t know if that’s something that’s even acceptable by wedding etiquette! Love to hear from you!

 

X’s

Christa

M.I.A.

15 Mar

Holy COW. It’s been HOW long since I posted something? Super-duper ridiculous fail on my part. I was doing so well and really enjoying the feedback I was getting from everyone out there in interland.

So, here’s a list of upcoming posts that I FULLY intend to write…soon.  Unfortunately, work has been occupying so much of my time lately… as has cleaning & laundry. Do you have any idea how much laundry piles up in 1 week from 2 adults and one toddler? It’s insanity.

OK, enough stalling.  Near-future posts by yours truly will include:

  1. Boxy Diaper Clutch tutorial [DIY]
  2. Choosing Floral Arrangements for your [Wedding]
  3. Conquering Sewing fears [DIY]
  4. Final selection of Bridesmaid dress fabric [Wedding]
  5. Toy organization in limited space [Home]
  6. Plans for my new Craft Space [Home/DIY] <—this one I’m SUPER excited about

I don’t want to get too ambitious, so I’m gonna stop before I completely screw myself over.

Keep in mind that these are in no way listed chronologically. You’ll probably see the Craft Space plans first, since I can’t stop thinking about it… and I tend to be an over-planner and under-achiever. Sad, but true.

Anyway, back to work for me!  Thanks for dropping in!

X’s

Christa Mae

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