Archive for ‘handmade’

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!

September 5, 2011

Paint Chip Wall Calendar :: DIY

So the original plan was to have this ready to post for the beginning of September … but now it can be a September project for you to have ready come October!  For those of you on Pinterest (and for those of you who aren’t, but should be), you have probably come across the myriad of crafts and designs using paint chips. Garland, bunting, framed, decoupaged, you name it.. I don’t completely condone all of the projects, because some take a ridiculous amount of paint chips and some of them don’t really have a purpose other than to use a ridiculous amount of paint chips. I felt a like a little kid grabbing 7 of each color I used, trying to make sure the paint man wasn’t going to “catch me.” Almost like I was stealing, even though they are free. The fact that we bought a lot of paint for the new house made me feel better – like I was bartering with Valspar. I think they probably came out on top.

Now that I have that confession out there, on to the actual project. Stevo had an old frame. in a horse trailer. parked beside a pile of trash. ready to go to the dump. When I saw it, I snatched it up he gave it to me for “this calendar I’ve been wanting to make.” So here goes.

:: What you will need ::

A frame – any size will do, but the bigger the better {this is Texas}

Cardboard for backing

Poster board {white or color of your choice}

28 Paint Chips {colors of your choice}

Double-sided Tape

:: Let’s get going ::

The frame had a trash bag duct taped around it and onto the glass when we found it. I’m not sure exactly how much good the trash bag would have done in protecting it, but the duct tape did it’s job – it was very nicely caked onto the frame and glass. After some windex and elbow grease, the frame was ready.

Here it is without the glass.

Since there was no backing to the frame, I got a box out of our recycling bin that just happened to be large enough for this sucker. I had to cut the piece to fit and duct tape an edge on; but it’s ok because this part won’t show at the end.

I should also mention that it helps to have an audience. (Even if they are sleeping).

Now that we have the frame and backing ready, it’s time to make the calendar itself.

I used 28 paint chips from Lowe’s in 4 different shades of orange.  You could do all different colors, but I like the monochromatic look.  Remember you will be writing on top of these, so lighter colors will work the best.

Cut the paint chips down to the size that will work for your frame.  I got the largest paint chips and just cut the name of the color off, because I wanted them as large as possible.  It may take a little rearranging to see what size you need.  I placed my chips 7 across and 4 down, realizing that I would have some days at the bottom of each month that would share a block.  If this bothers you, make a 5th row! 

After arranging the chips, secure them with 3 or four small pieces of double-sided tape.. or do it the old-school circle of tape way (which I had to do on about a fourth of the chips).

As you’re arranging, you will want to leave a space on one side of the frame for you to write the month.  I decided to make it on the side.

As you can see, the poster board wasn’t large enough to cover the whole frame.  So I used it to place the paint chips on, and made a space on the side with a piece of toulle wrapped around the edge to add a little texture.  The toulle is taped to the back of the frame.  You could use hot glue if you’d like, but I wanted the option to change it out later.

After securing the poster board to the cardboard backing, assemble behind the glass in the frame!

Then find a place for your new calendar!  Our’s is in the office, and adds a nice detail of brightness against the gray walls.  I need to get some stronger expo markers, but they do the trick for now! 

Happy Labor Day!

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.

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!

March 31, 2011

Oh Dear :: Wedding Shower Sneak Peek

This shower was so special to me. One of my best friends, Stephen, has found a wonderful woman to love and care for in life. It’s beautiful. The weather was perfect, bellies were full, and laughter was abundant. I can’t wait to share the detail pictures so graciously taken by Brandy of Bella Pop Photography .. but for now, my amateur photography will have to do!

Yayy for reunion with old friends!

March 25, 2011

Fringe :: Wedding Detail

Fringe isn’t something that is normally rises to the topic of conversation, unless we’re talking about cowboys in wranglers and chaps or Cher rocking one of her outrageous costumes .. until now.  Take a look at these pictures, all ideas created by Martha Stewart’s wedding team.

Wedding favors, centerpieces, invitations, placecards – all adorned with a touch a fringe and a bit of flair. I’m loving this idea and the fact that it resembles the color scheme of the up*and quickly*coming style shoot. Maybe we will incorporate some of these ideas? You’ll just have to wait and see.. But for now, enjoy these.

So. excited. for. this. weekend. Lots of wedding shower goodness to come!

March 16, 2011

Soap and Matches :: Wedding Favors

In a previous post, I highlighted the favors that we had at our wedding for guests. Coming across these cute and similar ideas, I couldn’t help but share. This just goes to show how easily you can set your event apart with a little creativity and personalization.

The soaps are from an Etsy seller, fully customizable with lots of fabric swatches to choose from. Perfect for a spring or summer wedding!

These match jars are an easy DIY project that will catch your guest’s eye .. and it something they will use. It just makes sense to give your guests something they will use and remember you by, rather than spending money on trinkets that will be thrown away when they get home. Here is a tutorial for the match jars.

Love the use of sandpaper on the lid for easy striking!

March 4, 2011

Cupcake Liner Garland :: DIY

When I stumbled across this cute idea, it immediately reminded me of the doily garland (yet to be featured) that we made for our wedding. What a great way to add some color and texture to a party or shower and use some of those leftover cupcake liners. Every time I buy decorative liners, I am inevitably left with a small stack in my cabinet that never get used. Not anymore.

Here is a lovely tutorial that walks you through making the purely cupcake liner garland without flattening them. The one below incorporates fabric, tulle, and ribbon along with the cupcake liners – giving it a bit more texture. For this garland you will most likely require more wrappers (or fabric) to prevent the garland from hanging like this.

Enjoy your weekend!

February 28, 2011

All About Buttons :: Wedding Detail


Buttons are one of my favorite things. Absolute favorite. So, of course they were on of the details I wanted to include in our wedding. I came across button bouquets on etsy, and fell in love – but not with the price. So then , I thought “I could make those” … as I do with many things that turn into 30 hour projects … which this did. It was worth it though. I mean, just look at these beauties. Love.

My original thought was to have three of the button bouquets for the head table. After finishing two, I was done … it takes a lot of wire twisting and time to make the bouquets look full enough. So instead, I decided to make a pomander for my junior bridesmaid to carry. She was adorable – and I was able to make it in half the time! For one, I didn’t have to make the wire as long and the buttons stayed exactly where I stuck them in (as opposed to the bouquets that I had to secure together with floral tape). Regardless, I’m in love with them both!

Here’s a tutorial that walks you through twisting the buttons on wire. I also hot glued some of the buttons on, but it can get a little messy at times. Mixing in broaches or other jewelry accents was a nice way to fill some holes as well.

I also came across some other cute ideas to use buttons you might have lying around. Especially digging the button garland! Deepest gratitude to everyone who donated their buttons to our wedding!


Happy Monday!

Credit for first 3 photos : Bella Pop Photography

February 2, 2011

Matchboxes – Valentine’s Edition

Today I came across these little beauties and couldn’t resist sharing them. Although I don’t have any kiddos, I thought this was a really cute idea for those of you who do and need a fresh idea for Valentine’s Day ! Much like our wedding favors, this blog had the idea to dress up matchboxes. Replacing the matches with candy and completely covering the outside of the boxes is more exciting than the usual Valentine’s day cards. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to dust off the construction paper and crayons!

You can find a tutorial on how to make these little beauties here!

I thought this DIY Moleskine Photo Album was a great idea for you scrapbook types to create for your valentine as well.  Happy creating!