Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A looooong weekend

I was a little antsy on Saturday and needed a project.  I had an idea for something above my bed but couldn't find what I was looking for.  I did however find a frame sale at Michaels.  I found these frames for about $8 each.  I also painted them because I wanted some color on the walls.  Each one has a wedding photo from my wedding.  Designing in threes:

I think my next project may be lamps for my nightstands.  You know the candle stick ones they always do on design on a dime?  Any other good inspirations out there?  I also need some pillows. 

Sunday I was antsy again so I took my kids to the Yuma Zoo also known as Petco.  I don't recommend it.  This could happen to you:

His name is still undecided.  I am taking votes:
1. Otis -to go with our dog named Milo.  I know Otis was the dog and Milo was the cat but we thought we'd change it up a bit.  Don't judge.
2. Achoo - My 3 year old's suggestion.  She's into fake sneezing these days
3. KC - as in Kitty Cat since that's what we all currently call him
4. Mak - My husbands initials

Thank goodness we had something to do on Monday.  Who knows what would have happened.  The holiday allowed me to channel my energy into something more cost-effective and patriotic:

I think my mom got that idea from a magazine when I was just a kid and we've been making it ever since. 

Do you ever get Memorial Day and Veterans Day confused? Mmmmmmm-Memorial Day is in Mmmmmmm-May and Veterans Day is in November.  I used to confuse those until a friend stressed the Ms and I never forgot again.  Now you won't either.  You are welcome and God Bless America!!!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Vintage Revivals: Anthropologie Teapot Lamp

Vintage Revivals: Anthropologie Teapot Lamp

Vintage Revivals Anthropologie Lamp Tutorial

So I have been looking at a lot of teapots lately because of my daughter's upcoming "Fairy Tea Party".  I think it was the same day that I saw this:

I also saw this:

And I thought I would try to follow the tutorial found here.  And this is what I came up with:

The bird was at Michaels for $3.59.  The other pieces I found at Goodwill for $4.60 (including some extra pieces I didn't end up using).  We won't talk about how much the tea pot cost.  OK it cost $60 BUT it came as that set of 3 so I will surely do something fun with the other 2.  Maybe a miniature lamp or paint them for something for the tea party.  Saty tuned on that . . .

Anyway, her tutorial was great!  I did a few things differently.  She had an old lamp that she used the base of but I didn't so I bought a threaded rod from the lighting section of Lowes.   Since my pieces were not symetrical like hers, I put washers in between each piece to hold it in place.  I think I will add some glue as well because it is a gift for my mom and I don't want it falling apart on her.  Some of the pieces jiggle a little as it is right now.  If it still seems unstable, I will add a lamp weight. 

If you try it, make sure you read the part where she says "THIS IS IMPORTANT".  I read it (or skimmed it) and still had a hard time figuring out the drilling at first.  The secret is to do it gently so it doesn't wiggle all over the plate.  They also make something called a drill plate, I believe, that has various sized holes in it so you can lay it on your project and hold the bit still.  The exact bit I got is called a "Hole Saw" for tile, marble, etc. 

My husband calls this the Mad Hatter Lamp.  Thanks for looking! :)

Friday, May 13, 2011


Here are a couple of the elements for a profect I am about to start.  Can you guess what I'm making, or attempting to make rather? :)  Find out in a few days.  Hopefully.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lets talk trunks!!

I have a thing for old streamer trunks and chests.  I don't know why.  I don't even have space for the ones I have but I love them just the same.  I supposed I am a sap for all things sentimental and for organization.  What better way to keep all of my sentimental items organized?

When my first daughter was celebrating her first Christmas, I asked my husband to buy me a trunk and spruce it up.  I had a "baby box" where my mom kept all of my baby things she had held onto--clothes and such.  I wanted the same for my girl but I wanted it to have a collage of pictures of her actually wearing the things in the trunk.  Well my husband picked out the elements to include in the trunk and used a clear epoxy resin to attach them to the inside.  He also included some things of our history together including a list I made before I met him of what I wanted in a man. I will not tell you what is on that list and I plan to cover that with a photograph before my girls can read.  Hah!  Anyway, here is the trunk I plan to give to my girl someday filled with the her baby things I can't bring myself to part with. Hopefully I can fit them all in there!

The next trunk I altered was for my husband.  He was medically separated from the marine corps after 10 years.  I wanted him to have something nice to store his special items including old uniforms, medals, photos, and other memorabilia.  This was not a task I thought I could atempt entirely on my own as there are a lot of military traditions and "dos" and "donts" that I do not understand.  So I enlisted the help of Kirk, an exNavy man who now makes shadow boxes. 
First, I went to craigslist and bought this old trunk for $70

With the help of My husbands buddies at work, I collected all the things that needed to go inside the box.  Good thing the guys were in on it because I bought female chevrons on accident.  haha. Kirk put a wood stain and finish over the box even though it is covered in canvas.  It actually came out beautifully and I was so glad he did it:

Then he built a shadowbox into the lid and put some extra hinges on it to support the added weight.  He also made an engraving with all of his duty stations and dates listed on it.  My husband LOVED it!!  He still shows it to every man who comes over.

The most recent trunk I've been working on is one for dress up clothes for the girls.  I think I will turn it into a baby box for my younger one when they outgrow the dress-up thing.  I bought an antique trunk with domed lid that had already been painted gold for $40 on craigslist.  Then I taped off sections of it and painted it pink. My husband thinks it's ugly.  haha.  I still need to put in some childproof hinges so they can't smash their fingers.  The ones I bought don't fit in it so this one is still in the garage as a work in progress.  My oldest one sees it and says it's treasure.  That's exactly what I was going for--girly treasure!!

Have you done anything to an old trunk?  I'd love to hear about it!  I may just need another one. ;)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Collage wall update

Well thanks to some of your great input, I have started my wall collage.  Pallavi directed me to the amazing Vintage Revivals Blog where I saw this wall of mirrors she created for under $75:

In case you missed the first post, this is what I started with:

I dragged my kids to the thrift shop and picked up 6 frames for under $25 and then Michaels for some spray paint.   I needed to decide how to lay it all out. I would have done it on the floor but I didn't want to take the mirror off the wall so I mapped it out in photoshop. I roughly measured everything and used a 1'=1" scale:

In real life, I was really happy with the way the right side turned out but I couldn't seem to get the left side right (remember when I said I "roughly" measured everything).  So I went to Homegoods to find something different (the bird).   You don't want to know how many holes are under those pictures.  hah!  Here is what I have so far.  I may add to it later:

With the frames, bird, and paint I spent about $50.  What do you think?

UPDATE: I got a bigger frame for the left side which is my favorite one!!  Hoping it looks a little more balanced now.  :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mystery Painting

I went to the thrift store to get some frames for my wall collage I'm working on.  One of the frames I bought had an original painting in it.  I was wondering why someone would get rid of something that they had spent so much time on.  I wonder if it was given to someone who gave it away?  Is it a picture of someone the artist knew?  Why does such a little boy have all those suit cases?  My 3 year old said he was crying.  I'd love to know the back story of it.  Maybe someone in Yuma will recognize it or the siganture.  I can't make it out.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Birthday parties and Inspiration

Is it just me or are 1st birthdays very exciting?  Realistically, they are more about the parents than the child.  When my first turned 1, it actually felt like an accomplishment.  I was just so excited that my husband and I had survived the first year without accidently killing her or purposely killing each other.  Plus the first year brought hope that she may start sleeping (she didn't by the way).

One night when she was about 9 months old, I had a dream about a tutu.  I know that's totally lame but what else is there to think about when you spend 24 hours a day 7 days a week with an infant?  Anyway, I wasted no time in making that tutu a reality.  I can't say it came out exactly like the one in my dream but I liked it anyway and designed her entire birthday party around it.  I had no theme other than lime green, hot pink, and black with white polka dots.  A friend of mine suggested that those colors were totally 80s.  So we had a "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" party and the other babies and kids came dressed in 80s as well.  The party favors were fraggle rock monsters, care bears, and Garbage Pale kids.  This all came from a superficial dream about a tutu. 

So what are some things that have inspired you?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Design on a nickel

So lets talk kid rooms.  One of my favorite things!  My daughter loves Mickey Mouse (and all his friends).  I may have inadvertantly influenced her since I am a bit of a Disney fan myself.

When we moved her from her crib to her big girl room, I knew I wanted to do something Mickey-ish but it had to still be girly and it had to be done in Disney style which is NOT bedspreads and curtains with characters all over them. 

I got with a friend of mine out here in Yuma, The Mad Muralist and started brainstorming.  I used actual rooms on Disney cruises and in their hotels for inspiration.  Anyway, this is what we came up with:

We have earthquakes in this corner or AZ so I never hang anything above the beds.  A mural seemed like a good alternative to a headboard or wall hanging:

Notice the dust ruffle?  My mom had the idea of adding some lace to make it look like Minnie's bloomers.

This is the Mickey Mouse Penthouse at Disneyland.  I love how its almost as if the creativity is oozing off the desk and onto the wall:

So the Mad Muralist incorporated minnie into this idea and "sketched" onto the wall around the desk.  I bought a rolltop desk, painted it pink, and replaced the hardware with some I found on ebay:

I love the little descriptions that are taken from Walt himself:

Napping has never been my daughters thing, so I wanted something to cover the windows and make it a little darker in there.  My uncle is an amazing artist and he painted this painting for her.  I told him I wanted it to be the "view" from her room.  This picture doesn't do it justice.  There is so much detail like a teeny tiny tinkerbell.

She needed a special light fixture so My mom got her this chandalier for Christmas.  I got those hands from Disneyland, put some wire in them and made it look like it was holding the chandalier.  I also made all the pillows on the bed that were lacking from the first photo:

The Mickey and Minnie end tables were a group effort.  My mom made the templates and my stepdad cut them out of wood.  I got some cheap stools from Ross and my husband attached the heads to the stools.  I painted the whole thing with chalkboard paint so the girls can draw on them.

The whole room cost about $500! 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Wall Photo Collage inspiration

Being a photographer with 2 cute girls (if I do say so myself), people always say "You must have so many pictures in your house".  Well I don't really but I'd like to.  I have no problem decorating my girls rooms but lack inspiration in the common areas.  I think part of the problem is that its hard to spend money on that stuff without my husband noticing.  hehe. 

Anyway, I have this big mostly empty wall in my living room with a round mirror in the middle.  I really love the mirror and thats about the only place with enough wall space for it to go.

I'm looking for photo collage inspirations and ideas.  I found a good post about this on Design Formula.
Originally I had planned to use various colored frames but she recommends not doing that unless you are only using black and white photos which I don't want to do.  I love color!  Here are some collages I found inspiring even though they are not all exactly what I am going for:

I love these colors from Two little Dicky Birds:

I like the various shapes in this one.  Of course, theres no actual pictures:

I like the color and I see the charm in this but super close together just says clutter to me:

So what do you think?  That mirror is about 3' tall.  Do you think I could incorporate a collage with that or is it too big?  Do I need huge prints to fit the proportion of the mirror?  Anyone have a wall collage to share?  How about some sources for cheap frames?  I've heard Ikea has some but we don't have one here.  I love Marshalls, Ross, Homegoods for stuff like that too.  I think it will take me a while to build a collection.


I was trying to come up with an idea for my daughter's 2nd birthday invitation.  She is having a fairy tea party because my girls just LOVE tink!  I found this cute invitation online:
BUT I really like things to have a more personal touch.  Plus I wanted to throw in something tea related.  So I dressed her as a fairy, took a picture of her, and made my own silhouette. 

I just LOVE it eventhough most people may not even notice that it's her.  I may use the image for some things to put around the party.  I'm not showing the full invitiation until it reaches its intended recipients at the end of June. 
It was so much fun I threw one in for my last client with her pictures because her baby had such a cute profile:

So what do you think?  Do you think people would be interested in custom silhouettes as framable pictures and/or custom invitations/cards?

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Welcome!  It smells pretty in here!  I am hoping to create a place to share creative ideas.  I'll share mine and I'll ask for your help with my projects.  I look forward to creating with you!