Archive for ‘design’

September 6, 2011

Ryan :: Autumn Wreath

It’s COOL outside! This weather, although probably short-lived, is amazing. I’ve been waiting to make our autumn wreath until we had a cool streak. Yes, cool … meaning two consecutive days under 90 degrees. So that day is today!

I realize that I still haven’t posted before/after pictures of the house. It’s only been what, 5 months?! I’ll get to it. For now, the front door. It was originally a dark olive green – yuck. I appreciate that this color holds a special place in the heart of many people, but I just can’t handle it. We took the door a dark charcoal color with the tiniest hint of violet. We also added the giraffe doorknocker from Anthro. I couldn’t resist this little guy. He welcomes guests and makes quite a racket to let us know when someone knocks at the door.

I have been gathering pieces of autumn goodness to make a wreath for this fall. All of the pieces for this wreath were found on sale at Joann’s, Michael’s, and Anna’s Linens. The wooden wreath form itself was picked up on the side of the road by yours truly. I’m not ashamed. It originally had some ghastly pink ribbons and hot glue ridden flowers. After removing all of the unwanted pieces, the wreath form was ready for a new life. Here is the result.

The straw-like pieces are from Michael’s. Levi actually spotted the 60% bins on the sidewalk while we were leaving BB&B. He regretted mentioning it after I started digging through the florals. We also scored some nice tiki torches for a few bucks. The little berries and feathers were a JoAnn’s find, with a 50% coupon, of course. Never buy anything from JoAnn’s without a coupon. Seriously. The burgundy hair-like pieces surrounding the center of the wreath were on clearance at Anna’s. I found out why too. They dye your hands hot pink. I mean solid pink. After working with those pieces, I had to scrub my hands so much to get the dye off. It was worth it though – I like the richness that the burgundy adds.

Yay for fall days!

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August 9, 2011

Chairs :: An Obsession

I’ve always loved chairs. This love has grown recently first with the wedding and now with my home-focused-brain.. Chairs can make a huge statement, whether at a wedding or in the living room .. which is part of why I love them so much. I wanted to share some recent inspiration for things that yo’ bum sits on, both for parties/weddings and in your home.

First, I have to show you this picture.  How gorgeous are those ribbons?!  This was for a wedding ceremony for the guests’ chairs.  Time consuming, but sooooo worth it!  I am in love with this.

Another great idea for a ceremony or party is to add some color with pillows.  Not only do they increase the comfort level, but they are also appealing to the eye.

This is another wedding idea, which I love for hanging on the new couple’s chairs at the reception.

Now to the home..  I am currently on the prowl at garage sales, Craigslist, and side of the road locations with my eyes peeled for some kind of frame similar to these which I could recover.  At the moment, I’ve given up hope of buying something like these in a newer fashion.  But hey, I love a challenge.

How amazing are these?

Anthro, you would.

I love love love these bright chairs for a child’s play area or even for a big person’s desk chair.  Maybe I’ll repaint the office chair (currently red) with a fresh coat of highlighter lemon. 

Lastly, I am in love with the idea of tree trunks as chairs – side tables – footstools .. what have you.  Fortunately, I picked up some stumps off the side of our old street in the fall when some neighbors were cutting down a tree.  Yes, my husband still loves me. 

I have yet to tackle this project, but it’s coming sometime soon.  Maybe when we’re in double-digits again.

August 3, 2011

Chevron Canvas :: DIY

This is a project I did for the dining room over a month ago. I have been loving the chevron pattern everywhere lately, and I thought this would be an easy and cheap addition to bring some shine into the middle of the house.

All you need is a blank canvas (or three), acrylic paint or spray paint of your choice, a tape measure, and some painter’s tape — which I would highly suggest the frog tape. Blue painter’s tape is for those of you looking to make some sort of abstract blurred line. I was not going for that .. I want my tape to actually create a straight line. I’m a big fan of the green stuff.

To begin I took a pencil and made tiny markings where I wanted the points of the chevron to be for one line. I ended up making the points 6 inches apart vertically and horizontally. Next, cut pieces of tape the length you need between each marking. If you pre-cut them and have the pieces lined up, the process is much faster. I found it worked best to change the pieces of tape for the first line around until I liked the way it looked. Then, I used that line as a model to measure the rest. This is the hardest part.

Also, I taped off the edges of the canvases because I thought the white would leave a cleaner look. I like how they turned out, but you could easily paint the sides if you wanted.

Then tape off however many other canvases you are game for. I wanted a grouping of three, so this is what they looked like after taping them off.

I had the bright idea to use gold acrylic paint and brush it on like a real artist. For my patience level at the time, this was overrated. I completed one canvas with the gold acrylic and it wasn’t bold enough for what I was wanting.

I decided to do a second coat, which created the bright gold I was looking for.

At this point, I was tired of hand painting …. so I looked for another option. We had leftover metallic spray paint from some other projects around the house, so I decided to see how they looked on the canvas. Silver and bronze.

When I laid these two next to the gold, it just seemed like they were too bright in comparison. So I decided to paint over every other stripe of the silver and bronze metallic canvases to tie them together. Add a picture hanger on the back of the canvas and pick your spot to hang it up!

This is our dining room, complete with the chevron canvases. I think they add a nice contrast to the bread and wine picture that Levi’s father took in the 70’s. You basically have to walk through this room to get to any other room in the house, so I love that it has a warm, cheery feel now. It took me awhile to decide which way to hang them … “W” or “M” … I decided on “W” because Levi’s middle name is William.

July 13, 2011

Ryan :: Recent Happenings

This is what our living room looked like on Sunday afternoon.

Fabric bonanza.

Over a month ago, we bought 4 cane-backed chairs off of Craigslist to go with the beautiful dining table my parents gave us as a housewarming gift.  The table was my grandmothers and it’s gorgeous.  So, the chairs need to be something special too.  This is what the chairs looked like before.  They weren’t terrible, but I wasn’t digging the fabric.

Imagine this chair x 4 plus 2 chairs (one shown below) that were given to us by the previous owner of the house.  Four hours, hundreds of staples, and a swollen hand later … we had newly covered chairs.  They look pretty and they feel better too.  The fabric is so comfy on the hind legs.

The makeshift red curtains don’t do much to block light or heat … that’s the current project.  I’m sewing the rings on next!  Can’t wait to share them … think light blue, orange, circles, and texture.  The fabric was a gift from the amazing owner of Interior Fabrics, where I used to work over the summers.  I’m so excited for her to come see where the fabric is being used once they’re finally done!

On a more depressing note … I completely forgot my camera on our trip to Austin for Jen’s wedding!  I could have kicked myself!  You can believe me though, everything was gorgeous … down to every last detail.  Fabric Flowers.  Suspenders.  First Kiss.  BBQ.  Succulents.  Lemonade with crushed strawberries.  Photobooth.  Cake / Pie / Cupcakes.  Birdhouse.  Dancefest.  Spiced Pecans.  Sparklers.  It was beautiful.  Tim & Jenny are such a testament of God’s love, clearly shown throughout their day.  I. loved. every. minute.

On Saturday we took a detour to the lovely town of Fredericksburg.  We found this amazing little German antique store with hundreds of ski poles imported from Germany.  I don’t have any use for vintage ski poles, but if you do … head down South.  I agonized over this vintage dough bowl.  Vintage + Wood + Bowl + German = Something I had to pull myself away from … once I heard the price.  It was actually a good deal for a dough bowl, but I couldn’t justify the purchase when I didn’t know where I would put it.  The bowl was huge, which increased its awesomeness … but I will just have to enjoy it through this picture.

I also saw these chimes while we were there … I’ve been wanting to make a chime out of old silverware I bought at a garage sale awhile back, but haven’t taken the time yet.  I like the idea of hanging them from another dish – this platter was cute. 

These planters (with succulents!!! yes, I’m obsessed with succulents right now) were outside of a cool little shop.  Definitely want to recreate this idea for the backyard; maybe for some herbs.

Before the wedding, we spent the night in Round Rock with some family friends, Leland & Dana.  Dana is super talented … she is so crafty.  She has most recently been making her own metal jewlery.  Everything is unique and completely customized for the person.  She made me the cutest necklace with charms of different shapes and sizes that say different things.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of it — but I DO have a picture of the decanter tags she made for us!  Yes, our liquor has jewelry too.  Look how amazing these are.  We have 10 or 11 in total … my favorite isn’t pictured, but these are the pictures that turned out the best.  Let me know if you need a custom necklace/charm, etc.  Dana can hook you up!

I was so happy to get back home to our Hager Beans.  She’s growing so fast!  Can you find her?

June 9, 2011

Ryan :: Shoes

This is the latest *completed* project at the house. I didn’t come up with this idea on my own .. unfortunately. I saw this beauty on Pinterest. Obviously, I fell in love with the idea. This is such a great idea for many reasons.

(1) All the pretty shoes are at eye level. Easy to see, easy to grab, and easy to slip on when you’re still waking up.

(2) They’re art. Really, shoe art. Nothing better.

(3) Even when Hagen is full grown, she won’t be able to reach these beauties. She won’t be allowed to chew on shoes of any kind, but hey — we all know junk happens.

(4) It’s incredibly easy to execute. All you need is molding (at least 1” thick and cut to whatever size you want), some paint, and finishing nails! Easy peasy.

June 3, 2011

Life is a Party :: Anthology

Not to be confused with Anthropologie, Anthology is another obsession of mine. Along with Rue, High Gloss & Lonny. These online mags are just so fun to me. Not only are they creative and fresh, but they’re free and full of inspiration.

Here are a couple of my favorite pages from the third issue of Anthology.

Well, life is a party right?  I can’t even imagine how excited I’d be to come across a staircase covered in streamers and love notes weighted with oranges.  Brilliant.

On another, equally exciting note for me … the pantry project is done!!  (minus some backsplash that will be added in the near future..) This means that my kitchen is somewhat in order and I am much less of a crazy person!  Well at least in the i-can’t-stand-it-when-my-kitchen-is-out-of-control regard.  In other ways, I’m definitely still crazy.  But I think that’s a good thing.

The bathroom expansion/demolition extravanganza began this morning!  I had to dry my hair in the bedroom corner as a result … yeah, still locating the plugs and all that jazz.  Big hair in Texas is totally acceptable.  There is currently no door on our bathroom, so we’ll invite you to come visit later.  Sheet door installation commences asap!  I hope to get some pictures uploaded next week of our new digs!  Now, go put streamers on a staircase for someone … at least leave a random love note.  It’s the small things.

May 31, 2011

Vintage Fresh [ love & teacups ] :: Style Shoot

So … in case you’re getting tired of all of the Ryan posts, here’s something fresh for you .. some images from my lovely peeps, Brandy & Brandon of Bella Pop Photography.  Yeah, they’re pretty amazing peeps I must say.  This style shoot was back in April at Honeysuckle Gardens in Midlothian, TX.  We also collaborated with Shannon Caldwell of Something You who made our models — Stacy, Lisa & Matt — even more gorgeous … and handsome (Matt was such a great sport).  This style shoot was an opportunity for me to show my abilities, but also to give ideas to incorporate at a wedding reception, shower, etc. The day was perfect, minus a little wind, and it was great experience for me .. pulling all of the details together.  The overall vision was a fresh take on vintage with a smidge of french influence.

I incorporated lots of fresh flowers from The Connection (previously The Flower Market) in milk glass vases, also used in my wedding. Brandy contributed some of her doilies to accompany some my grandmother had made, which heightened the vintage feel. The place settings were borrowed from my mother … I almost lost it when I found them in her cabinets, because I had never seen them before! Way too pretty to be collecting dust on a shelf. The spoon napkin holders were borrowed from Levi’s aunt, who made them using rustic silverware that had been passed down. All of the teacups and saucers were graciously offered by some dear family friends. Brandy made the macarons, which were delicious! I made the scones and intended to bake the wedding cookies, but unfortunately they flopped … so Central Market lent a hand there!

Overall, the table, tablecloth, and chairs were the only pieces that were rented. The troops definitely rallied to help me gather the pieces for this event!

I took inspiration from Martha’s fringe focused designs for the paper pieces for our shoot. Using paper selected from Jo-Ann’s and the convenience of Brandy’s printer, with our’s on the blink, these pieces came together seamlessly. I really love them a lot.

I tried some different paper dahlia techniques, but was never satisfied with the result. So I created my own method for the paper dahlias.. cutting tissue paper into small squares, pinching the middle of the paper and twisting the edges, then pinning the twisted middle to a foam ball with sewing pins, until completely covered with paper. I used hot glue and a sewing pin to secure fishing line to the ball to hang in the trees. For a more permanent application, hot glue would be a good option to secure each pin down, I just didn’t take the time. Unfortunately, the wind was a little rough on the dahlias … so they flattened on one side as the day progressed!

Stacy .. this girl has some definite style. Loved the skirt.

Lisa and Matt .. working their stuff. This was around their anniversary; what a great time for some new photos!

Happy Tuesday!

May 25, 2011

Distractions :: Anthro Sale & Daily Deals

So, for those of you who jumped on the Groupon and Living Social bandwagons … beware, I’m about to open a can of worms. Maybe you already have. Over the past few weeks, I have stumbled upon some new sites that have daily deals ranging all across the board. Where Groupon & Living Social focus more on restaurant and lifestyle savings, these focus more on clothing and home accessories. Can of worms, opened.

These amazing sites I speak of are as follows :

Gilt Groupe

One Kings Lane

The Foundary 

Rue La La

Each site has a limit to the number of items that are available within each sale category. The Foundary notifies you of the items currently being purchased while you’re on the site … which definitely creates some buying pressure. Luckily thus far I’ve just been browsing, but I did buy a little beauty for our living room. Unfortunately, the sale is off and I didn’t save a picture of our newly ordered ottoman … but trust me, it’s super chic and a bit manly to balance out the vintage girly vibe we seem to be slowly drifting into. Plus it’s cheaper than most I’ve found on Craigslist!

To further add to this apparent online “window shopping” obsession I have, Anthro is having a big sale. These are some of the beauties that caught my eye … Nothing bought for me (though the skirt is oh so tempting), just making note of these types of pieces for the next resale or thrift shop I encounter! So fun to look.

Happy hump day! We’re getting shelves in the pantry today! Which would look even more amazing if they were dressed by a stack of turquoise bowls …

May 23, 2011

Ryan :: Of Craiglist & Pintos

The house is still coming right along .. I feel more sane every day. We are almost completely out of the garage apartment (YAY for ditching the window units!); We have to be out by this weekend, so that’s definitely at the top of the priority list. Hubs has been amazing throughout the entire process .. through our long discussions about paint color (where I basically poured over paint chips and he “listened” while reading something) and his determination to move everything in our first weekend. Although the latter didn’t quite happen, it was due to my continual requests of his help at the new house .. including painting, which I have quickly learned is high on his “my absolute least favorite things to do, but I’ll do it for my wife” list.

In light of the fact that we are moving from a one bedroom apartment to a two bedroom house with a full size living a dining … garage sales and craigslist have been taking up a surprisingly large amount of my time in the last month or so. We have found some amazing things — it just takes some bargaining and being in the right place at the right time. I have been refinishing most of the pieces that we found, but this beauty below is not like the others. It didn’t need any work.. It’s already gorgeous. We drove to Dallas last week to pick up this beauty. The top is made of onyx which, for those of you like me who didn’t know the difference, is similar to marble in that it is just as heavy and strong, but it’s more translucent. I fell in love with this table and even more when I heard the lady’s story about buying it from her elderly Italian neighbor years ago who brought it over from Italy. I can’t imagine wanting to sell this, even if you’re redecorating … I mean you could make this table work anywhere .. but I’m not complaining. Now, it will grace our living room for years to come!

I can’t wait to share some of the refinishing projects I’ve been working on for our office and bedroom. Pictures to come soon (we’re still working on getting the internet wired at the house). For now, I’ll leave you with this interesting sight. You have to know my husband to understand some of the things he gets excited about — but to give you a little background of this picture : Rice and beans are a staple in our home. Not only do they taste good, but they have the right ratio of protein to carbs, they keep us satisfied, and they’re cheap!

When we were first married, we made our first trip to Sams together. Rice and beans were on the list … but I had no idea what we were in for. Of course, Levi wanted to buy the biggest bags they had (50 lbs) because they wouldn’t go bad and we would eat them all at some point. Both valid arguments, but trumped by the fact that storing those bags would mean they would sit in the middle of what we liked to call the “foyer” at the apartment (which also served as home to the washer/dryer and litter box .. all things that I would have most definitely wanted to greet guests). So, I went with the “We can get that when we have a house to store it in” line… Well guess who has been talking about getting the 50 lb bags ever since we signed the papers – most definitely my boy.

This past weekend we made our first Sams trip for the house, which included this bag of pintos. We just finished off the 25 lb bag we bought at the beginning of the year, so we’re thinking this might last us into next summer! Ha! Didn’t I tell you? We eat alot of rice and beans…

Now if we could just remember to bring the tupperware over to the house, we could start taking our lunches again. SO tired of eating out.. It’s sabotaging the workout plan.

May 18, 2011

Vintage Fresh Style Shoot :: Sneak Peek

So… remember that workshop back in April that I styled with BellaPop?? Well, I have a little sneak peek for you compliments of Vanessa of Del Pino Photography, who attended the workshop. We had such a great time that day and the weather was perfect (minus the minor gusts of wind)! Here’s a small taste of that day … many more pictures to come! Vanessa, girl, you’ve got some major talent. Thanks again for sharing your amazing shots!