Saturday, July 30, 2011

What Do You Think of Juju Hats?

I think I like Juju hats. They are unusual, but so interesting and textural. They have been popping up more and more in mainstream designs. Even HGTV.

They are feathered hats from Cameroon traditionally worn by kings and nobility.

Cameroon Juju Hat
Domino Magazine


Image 1
Table Tonic


Image 1
Table Tonic


cameroonian juju hats
lavivahome

They come in all different sizes and colors.

If you love them, they'll run you from $400 to $700.

Ouch. 


Not quite the same as feathers, but I still think it's fun. I'm thinking about making one. I haven't told Josh yet. We'll see how that goes. Ha ha.

Some people think they are weird. Some people think they've become to popular in mainstream designs.

In my neck of the woods, I don't think very many people are too familiar with them.

Tell me what you think. Be honest!










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Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Clipboard Named Bumble Bee

As a teacher, one of my go-to things is a clipboard. I've seen plenty of decorated clipboards all over the internet that use scrap paper and modge podge. I had neither item on hand, but I still wanted to cute-ify a few of my clipboards.

I didn't feel like going out and getting any supplies, so I thought I'd see what I could wrangle up from what I had.

Here's what I came up with:
  • clipboard
  • packing tape
  • yellow spray paint

Perfect!

I thought I'd start out easy with some stripes.

Step One:

Cover the clip with the tape, then tape off stripes. Keep in mind that when you paint over the tape, the color will be the negative image after the tape is removed. Use that as a guide for measuring out how wide you want your stripes.

I was lazy, so I just eyeballed an even distance between the stripes.

I'd ended up with something looking like this:



I know she isn't beautiful, but this was a test project, so I picked my worst clipboard in case it didn't turn out. The darker, shinier stripes is the tape.

Step Two:

Grab some cardboard and bring it outside to paint. Shake the can up really well. And paint! Make sure that you're not downwind.

Step Three:

Wait patiently for the paint to dry. You don't want to peel off the tape while it's still wet.

Step Four:

Carefully peel off the tape. Don't drop the tape mid-peel because then it might stick to the painted stripe part and make a big mess. Oops. (See the bottom of the clipboard?)

**I also don't advise doing this project if you just did your nails.**




It's graphic. It's bold. It looks like a bumble bee. :)

I like it. 

I think I'm going to hunt down some masking tape tomorrow and a few more colors of paint and try some chevron and maybe a plaid.

I still have five more clipboards . . .



Linking up to Lemon Tree Creations



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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The ORB Strikes Again!

Just a little change can make a big difference. For example: our mail slot.

We don't have a mailbox, we have a mail slot right next to our door. I love it, by the way. It rewards my innate laziness. No need to go to the mailbox to see if the mail has arrived. No running out to the mailbox if it's raining or icy or ridiculously hot.

Anyway, our mail slot was ugly. Ugly. No lie.

Before

Eew.

I think it used to be a brass color.

If you squint it kind of looks like it's a leopard-spotted mail slot. Wild!

Not the look we were going for. So . . .


  1. Break out the screwdriver and take it down.
  2. Lightly sand it down.
  3. Then spray on a coat of my fave ORB (Oil Rubbed Bronze) spray paint.
  4. Screw it back on the house . . .


And I think she turned out beautifully!

After

I know we need to clean the siding. Our house is supposed to be white not gray. It'll get done eventually. Promise. Don't judge.

So great. And I didn't spend a dime because we already had the paint on hand. So much better than shelling out $35 for a new one.

For a side-by-side review (and because I just found out how to make a collage in Picnik):



Win!

Makes me smile. I hope our mailman likes it too.


Linking up to IHeart Organizing



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Monday, July 25, 2011

27 Before Twenty-Seven


Since I've turned 26 just a few days ago, I thought it would be a great opportunity to make a "27 before Twenty-Seven" list. This was, of course, inspired by the wonderful Nicole Balch of Making It Lovely who wrote about her 30 Before Thirty list back in March of last year.

I think it is a great way to look at a year and see all the possibilities. And hopefully, on my 27th birthday, I'll be able to look back and see how much I've accomplished and learned during my 26th year.

I still might tweak the list a bit, but I think it's pretty much done. Wish me luck!


  1. Paint the bedrooms
  2. Organize the office
  3. Have a garage sale
  4. Eat more vegetables
  5. Make the perfect homemade salsa
  6. Get a puppy(?)
  7. Grow an herb garden
  8. Take a photography class
  9. Plant a fruit tree
  10. Paint the fence, porch, and pergola
  11. Plant a climbing vine on the pergola after painting it
  12. Figure out how to organize the video game equipment
  13. Re-tile the bathroom
  14. Learn to make at least five crockpot recipes (I’ve got a recipe book of 1400 of ‘em, so this shouldn’t be too difficult)
  15. Clean out the hall closet in order to store craft supplies there
  16. Thrift for a coffee table
  17. Find affordable rugs for the living room and office
  18. Backup computer files
  19. Change bedroom light fixture
  20. Host at least one party
  21. Pack my lunches for work
  22. Eat a healthy breakfast each day
  23. Make a meal plan each week (I’m rather inconsistent with this, but it does really help)
  24. Take my vitamins each day
  25. Create at least one piece of art
  26. Make at least half of all Christmas presents this year
  27. Organize the pantry



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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Weekend Links * 7.23.11



Itty Bitty Cinnamon Roll Bites from Picky Palate












  • If you're not a web designer and you have your blog or website, you should check out Don't Fear the Internet. So far they have produced four video tutorials on understanding the basics on html and css. Great stuff.




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Friday, July 22, 2011

Today Is My Birthday

I turn 26 today. So far it's been a great day.

I just wanted to take time and say a special thank you to my mom. I've been able to celebrate 26 birthdays because of all the work she put in on my first birthday. Or rather my zero birthday not my "first"-- but still kinda my first. You know what I mean!



Thanks Mom!

By the way, isn't my mom beautiful?!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Inspiration File: Home Office

My brain keeps returning to our home office. By the end of summer, I am determined that it will be organized and pretty. 


Here are some home office gems from my inspiration file:


Rue
An eclectic home office that is unified by the white color scheme. I'm not sure about the chair but I understand having something soft underfoot like that rug. I also love the blinds-- adds texture and charm, but it's not stuffy. I'm not a fan of stuffy window treatments.




Kim Ficaro via Pinterest
I had to include this one because of the glass lamp. If I had space, I would put my desk in the center of the room too.




re-nest
I like the idea of using a dining table as a desk. Again, you would need enough space, but imagine all that work surface!





Lonny
Notice the white lettering on the white walls. You can get away with a large graphic design like that without it being too in-your-face if it's tone on tone.




Better Homes and Gardens
I like the storage in this home office. Baskets, binders, and bins. Oh, my!




Rue
Obviously not a traditional home office, but it has drool-worthy work space. I'm dreaming. Just close your eyes for a second and imagine with me . . .




Better Homes and Gardens
This is just practical and pretty. Squares of fabric covered cork board, pegboard, whiteboard, and chalkboard. I could do that. Hmmm . . .


What's your home office like? Do you love it? Hate it? Any tips and tricks to share?





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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How to Make a DIY Glass Lamp (And Why Diamonds Really Are a Girl's Best Friend)

Someone must have been crossing their fingers like I asked because this project finally worked. I was beginning to think that I would have to scrap the idea of having a pair of glass lamps. However, if you use the right materials, it really is pretty easy.



If you’re interested in making your own glass lamp I have a few hints for you, so that you can learn from our mistakes.

Materials
  • Glass Vase
  • Lamp Kit
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Drill
  • 3/8 " Diamond Glass Drill Bit
  • Lamp Shade



First you need to pick out your glass vase that you’ll use for the lamp base. Keep in mind that you’ll be flipping the vase over, so you want to make sure that the vase opening is not too narrow that it would create an unsteady base. Make sure that the diameter is also wide enough that you can easily maneuver your hand inside the vase—this is important when you’re assembling the lamp kit.

Also, I wanted to have the ability to display a few objects at times in the lamp, so consider the size of the objects you want to display in picking your vase.

We went with cylinder vase that is 14” tall and 6” in diameter that we found at Hobby Lobby. They were originally $19.99 but we got them at 50% off.

Drilling Into the Glass

Next you’ll need to drill a hole into the bottom of the vase, so that you can attach the lamp kit. The best way we found was to keep running water on the glass while you are drilling. I’d advise you to lay a towel down in your kitchen sink so the vase doesn’t slide around. I used the sprayer attachment while Josh drilled through the base of the vase. Be careful to not apply too much pressure.



This is where we ran into a problem. Originally we went to Home Depot and bought a regular glass and tile bit. It looked like this:



Don’t get that one.

Otherwise this will probably happen:



Spend the extra $5 and get the diamond glass and tile bit. It will look like this:



With the first bit, we followed the directions. We were careful. It took over 20 minutes of careful drilling, but then the glass cracked.

I was so disappointed.

The diamond drill bit made such a difference. Same process. It only took about 2 minutes. No breakage.

Just remember, it’s true: Diamonds really are a girl’s best friend.

At least when you’re drilling into glass.


Assembling the Lamp

Next you assemble the lamp kit. It’s pretty easy. Just follow the directions. This is where the screwdriver and pliers are helpful. 

I bought our lamp kit at Walmart for $5. It has a white cord, which was fine with me. You can get a gold or silver cord lamp kit at Home Depot for $10. I didn’t care enough to pay double for a different cord color, but that’s just my opinion. Get the one you want.

Then add your lamp shade and a light bulb.

Plug it in . . . . hold your breath that it works . . . and success!





What do you think?

Feel free to ask me if you have any questions. I’ll do my best to answer them.


Linking up to Home Stories A to Z, Tip or Trick Week, and the Art of Doing Stuff



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Monday, July 18, 2011

In the Meantime . . . a Few DIY Goodies

I'm working on two projects right now, so while you're waiting I thought I'd share some DIY goodies from other brilliant minds around the blogsphere.

img_7790
Twinkle Board from Design*Sponge


Embellished Mirror from Poppytalk


Easy Memo Board from Desire to Inspire


Making a vase for on the wall… 

step one
Buy  or find a piece of wood to use that is in proportion to the jar, which  you also need to find or buy. If you are like me you will have the  chance to recycle one. Make sure the jar (or use a vase) has a lip on  the top. Paint the wood however you would like it.
step two
Position the jar on the wood and drill two holes on either side at the the base of the opening. 
step three
Wrap  steel wire around the lip of the jar a few times and twist it once   until it’s secure.  Position the jar so that it’s lined up on the wood   and poke the ends through the small holes that you drilled.  Wrap them   together in the back and clip any extra wire.
step four
Drill  two additional holes at the top of the wood and wrap a second  piece of  steel wire through leaving a large loop at the top.  Twist the  ends  around the base and clip off the extra wire.
Add water and flowers then hang it up.  Dried or imitation flowers could also be used.
It really was that simple! Fun to make :)
Hanging Vase from Creative Minds  Without Borders


Enjoy! 

If all works well, I'll have two completed projects to share with you tomorrow! 

One of 'em we've had a few set backs, so help me by crossing your fingers. . .




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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Weekend Links

I love a blog with a sense of humor. One of my favorite new blogs: Catalog Living pokes fun at some of the more ridiculous staging found in home catalogs.


Catalog Living

Muffin stared at Gary and Elaine with a look of betrayal and disappointment, having discovered another dog’s portrait on the wall.


Do you like cheesecake? Do you like strawberries? Do you like chocolate? How about combining all of that without the hours of baking and chill time of a regular cheesecake? Yes, please! You should try out strawberry cheesecake truffles from Annie's Eats.

In case you missed it earlier this week, you should check out the NYC digital gallery. It can be overwhelming with over 700,000 printable images, but totally worth it.

These map wallpapers are beautiful.

Another home style quiz from Homegoods. I am Global Casual. Overall, a good match.

Happy weekend!

Friday, July 15, 2011

How to Use Google Reader (A Blog Fan's Guide to Sanity)

What is a Reader?

In Google’s own words:

“Google Reader is a tool for gathering, reading, and sharing all the interesting blogs and websites you read on the web.

A reader allows you to “subscribe” to the blogs and websites you want to follow and organizes them in one place. It is something I highly recommend if you follow more than a handful of blogs. Instead of bookmarking each blog individually and continuously revisiting them just to see if they have been updated, you should add them to your Reader. Then when you are ready to read your favorite blogs, you visit your Reader and it highlights all unread blog posts and allows you to read them all without leaving the page.

My Google Reader


I have over 120 blogs that I follow. Some of them post daily, some weekly, and some only monthly. Before I started using Google Reader, it was frustrating trying to visit each blog individually to see if there was anything new. Now—it’s easy peasy with a reader.

I chose Google Reader because it’s easy to use and I already have a Google account. There are others out there, but I don’t know much about them.



Getting started


Joining Google Reader

If you already have a Google account, then you simple need to visit www.reader.google.com, sign in, and you are good to go!

If you don’t have a Google account, visit www.reader.google.com and simply click “create an account” on the right side of the page. It’s really simple and painless—email, password, birthday—that’s pretty much it.


Adding a blog to your Reader

There are two ways to add a blog to your Reader:

1. Click “Add Subscription” on the top left of the Reader page. Type or paste the blog’s web address, then click “add”. That’s it! After a second the newly added blog should appear in the subscriptions window. This is usually the way I use.



2. Many blogs have button on their pages that look like this 
 , or it may say “RSS”, or—like mine—“subscribe with a reader”. Click that button. Typically it will lead to a page that give options of which reader you want to use to subscribe. We are using Google Reader, so choose that one and then you’re subscribed!


While you’re at it, you can practice adding my blog!

You should do it right now.

I’ll wait. . .



Did you do it?

Great! I’ll love you all forever for that!


Reading a post on Reader

If a blog has any updated posts that you have not read, it will be bolded in your subscriptions window. Click on the bolded blog name and the post will open in the main window on the page.

However, my personal preference is to click on “All Items” near the top of the page, which puts all unread posts in one continuous stream instead of needing to select each bolded blog individually. I guess I’m just lazy like that.

Hint #1: Reader’s default setting for viewing posts in the main window is from newest to oldest. This bothers me. I feel like I’m reading backwards or skipping ahead to the last chapter of a book. To fix this, you can click on “view settings” and choose “sort by oldest”.




Hint #2: Sometimes I like to read particular posts outside of Reader and on the blog’s website itself. It’s prettier and sometimes the formatting is easier to follow. To easily do this, click the arrow on the post’s header.





Tips and Tricks


A few helpful keyboard shortcuts:
  • ·         j – scrolls through to the next item in the list
  • ·         k – scrolls backwards to the previous item in the list
  • ·         f – fullscreen (press f a second time to exit fullscreen)


Tags:

Tags are a way to bookmark posts of interest. Tags are found at the end of each post. You can use any word as a tag. You can add more than one tag (just make sure you separate each tag with a comma). Once created, the tags are found below the blog titles in the subscriptions window.




That's it! Well, the basics anyway . . .

Please, please, please let me know if you have any questions or if there's anything I need to clarify.

Let me know if this was helpful or if you have any other tips for using Google Reader. I love comments!



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