Tuesday, July 31, 2012

New Fabric Designs

Gymnastics Love fabric for the Olympic themed design contest this week at Spoonflower

Planes fabric for the aviation themed contest starting Thursday at Spoonflower
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Friday, July 27, 2012

Thrift Store Find turned Guest Room Decor

Yesterday, after seeing this awesome project, and also table top decor like this one,
I headed to Goodwill to search for glass items. 

Here's what I came home with.

I paid just under $4 for these guys.  Then I picked up a sprig of flowers at Michaels for $1.

And used some wire cutters to cut off little branches to be used in each vase.

Next up is to find an old tray to set them all on. 
And probably add pretty scrapbook paper to the bottom of it. 

Simple, and inexpensive.  What do you think?

Linking up to:

My parents are coming to visit this weekend!  LOVE!

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Etsy Love: Little Elephant Treasury

I was browsing through Etsy yesterday and just couldn't resist creating a treasury full of little blue elephants.  Seriously, how cute are little elephants?  They've always been one of my favorite animals, I think maybe because elephant starts with E, like my name :)  Is that weird?  Ah well.

Which reminds me... remember those horrible ice breaker name games?  The ones where you have to say your name along with a word that starts with the same letter of your name?  Then you go around and have to remember and say everyone's name and word?  Oh man.  My stomach honestly starts churning just thinking about the phrase "ice breaker."  Yeeeeeee ohhhhhhh.... Wow.  I can remember the only words that I could EVER think of that started with E were elephant, egg, and eggplant.  And now you can see why I was so cool and popular in middle school.  Nope, I'm definitely not a quick thinker when put on the spot.  I totally freeze up.  And this is why I can't think about ice breakers anymore.  So, on to the sweet little elephants (that have nothing to do with social situations)!

You should head over to Etsy to check out these items!  Pure love.


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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

DIY Tissue Paper Wall Art

Want a project that takes very few supplies and not a lot of moolah?  Try this tissue paper wall art!

Here's all you need.

I picked my tissue paper up at Party City for about $1 each.  The decorative one was around $2.  I chose yellow and gray because those are the colors of my sister's wedding next summer, so if she likes the way this turned out, she can use it at the reception. 

The steps for this project are really easy.  First, you need to cut out squares from the tissue paper.  Mine varied in size from about 1 inch to 2 inches square.  You can see I kept the paper folded over and cut strips first, then squares.  That really helped to save time. 

Once I had cut squares out of one piece of tissue paper per color, I started putting them on the canvas with mod podge.  This step is also called "mod podge your face off." 

(Sidenote:  I have always called this "modge podge" but I recently looked at the bottle and it's actually called "mod podge."  Whoa.  This blew my mind.  How long have I been saying this wrong?) 

Sometimes, less is more. With this project, I found that more is more. The more I layered, the better it looked. You can do any pattern you want, but I wanted to group my colors a little bit. 

The last step was to line the edges with the decorative paper.  I chose a wedding-y pattern just in case it shows up at the reception somewhere. 

Total cost of this project?  Less than $10 with coupons and sales.

Total time spent?  Probably an hour or so, along with some wait-time in between mod podge coats.

My verdict? I like it, but I don't love it. I won't be offended in the least if my sister doesn't like it. I think what I don't like is the gray- it's too dark for the yellow. The gray was also technically silver, so it was kind of metallic, which made the blending not as pretty.

I would love to try this again with different colors! I have a package of pastels (light pink, light yellow, light purple, light blue), which I think would look great together for some nursery art, but since I don't need any nursery art yet (sorry, mom), I didn't use those colors. Maybe I'll try it for my next friend who has a little babe :)

If you DO have kids, I think this would be a fun project to do with them!  You parents know better than me, but I would guess that depending on their ages, they could go from just helping place the squares, to doing it all themselves.  And how cute would it be if you cut out letters and put his/her name on top? 

If you try it, let me know!  I would love to see your versions- especially ones with a better color scheme than mine!

Linking up at:
Someday Crafts
Beyond the Picket Fence
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
AKA Design
Simply Designing
Homemaker on a Dime
The Dedicated House
My 1929 Charmer

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Monday, July 23, 2012

New in the Shop Today

Hi everyone!  Today is my Etsy shop's one week anniversary!  I have been listing new photos and digital art since I opened, and now have 20 items in my shop!  I'm way excited.  I would love it if you checked it out!

Here's my newest photo. 

The fabric background was designed by me!  As I've mentioned before, I have been creating fabric designs at Spoonflower, mostly for the weekly contests, but I've also started creating my own.  I would like to turn this design into a fabric line and put it for sale on Spoonflower.  It would be my first! 

In other news, there's been lots of excitement over here:  our air conditioner broke!  Yowza!  Yes, it's been in the 100 degree range out here in Iowa, and our house peaked at 91 degrees.  I just love it when my forearms stick to the desk while I type, don't you?  And sweating while watching TV?  And trying to fall asleep?  Reminds me of the college dorms in August... which we all want to remember, right?  The only difference now is that we are just not equipped with fans anymore... we only have one small little guy.  Remember how many fans we had in college dorm rooms?  Two big box fans in the window, at least one other in the middle of the room, probably one at each desk and maybe another by your bed?  Or was that just me?  Oh memories...

Oh well, all is good now.  I guess I should be counting my lucky stars that a luxury like air conditioning was the worst of my worries. 

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Run, Don't Walk, to Michaels!

You guys!  I went to Michaels yesterday and found some awesome deals!  If you are looking to do some fun DIY projects in the near future, you should get on over there! 

I went in looking for one thing and one thing only: a canvas.  And this is what I came out with.  Whoopsies.  But honesly, when Michaels has a 25% off your entire purchase including sale items coupon, you just don't pass that up!  You just don't! 

So I came out with all of this!  But just you wait, (cue the My Fair Lady soundtrack "just you wait 'enry 'iggins, just you wait") I've got some cool plans for this stuff!  It will all be put to good use, I promise. 

I did have to laugh at a big bin of stuff they had outside the store labeled something like "small impulse items."  Ha.  At least they're honest.

Check out my deals! 

Yes, that is a set of FIVE 16x20 canvases, on sale for $14.99, with an extra 25% off, which came out to JUST TWELVE DOLLARS!  I AM JUMPING UP AND DOWN AS WE SPEAK! 

I almost couldn't even contain myself.  When I handed over my coupon and saw another $10 come off the price, I think I actually died and went to heaven right then and there in the check out line. 

They had two selected colors of spray paint (originally $6.89 I think) marked down to just $1.99!  Does Michaels do that every week?  I don't buy spray paint very often, so I don't know if that's normal or if I really got a steal.  The colors this week were the Greek Stone that I bought, and Celery (which was already gone).  All other colors were on sale for $4.99.

I grabbed the letters for a purpose (top secret gift for Andy).  Those little wooden rectangles just called out to me and I couldn't leave them behind.  And I was running low on Mod Podge, which is clearly unacceptable. 

I can't wait to get started on my next projects! 

If you're thinking of scoring some of these deals- go now!  The coupon ends today!

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Friday, July 20, 2012

DIY Bar Stool Upgrade

Remember when I was going to do a little weekend project?  I finally finished!  And there was nothing little or weekend about it.  I ended up completing this bar stool upgrade project over the course of four days this week.  Here's how I did it.

Looks like fun, right?  Ready to start?  Here's what you need. 

 I actually ended up using three cans of spray paint, and forgot to use the spray glue. I also had extra fabric (I bought one yard) and only used a little bit of the foam and batting. The foam I used was just a cheap-o mattress topper.

I started by sanding the legs to rough them up a bit.  I have never done this before, but I read it helps the spray paint stick.  I used a higher grit sandpaper, and then gave them a little wipe down before painting.

Next up was to spray paint.  I can't even tell you how many coats I did.  Probably ten?  Is that normal?  I sprayed both upside-down and right-side-up to get all around the rungs.  It really was necessary to do this.

Once the stools were nicely coated, I let them dry for a full day before going on to the next step. 

To get started, I measured around the stool and cut the foam a couple inches wider than the stool top size.  Then I cut the batting a few inches wider than the foam.  I then got to stapling.  First the foam, then the batting.  This is the step where I forgot to spray glue the foam so that it stuck to the top of the stool.  I'm not too worried about it, but you might want to just to make sure it stays in place.  Once it was all stapled, I trimmed off the extra batting.  (I had erred on the side of "too much" rather than "not enough," so I had quite a bit extra to trim.)

 Next I did the same thing with the fabric.  Again, I cut way farther around than I needed to, and ended up trimming 1-2 inches all the way around after I stapled. 

The last step is to admire your new stools! 

What a difference a little paint and fabric can make. 

Total cost of this project?  For me, about $35 for the spray paint and fabric.  Everything else I had on hand. 

Total time for this project?  Mmmmmmmaybe about 3 hours by the time it was all said and done, more if I include paint-wait time between coats, but remember I'm stopping along the way to take pictures.  Also, I've never done any of these things before!  I was a total rookie.  A seasoned pro could probably knock it out in half the time. 

So while my work certainly isn't perfect (you can see the underside is sticking out a bit around the legs), I'm definitely happy I did it.  It's a nice change and was for sure cheaper than buying new bar stools.  The slightly off white color matches our baseboards perfectly, but I think a fun pop of color would have also been nice!  Maybe one of the blue or green colors from the fabric.  But really, I'm way happy with how they turned out! 

So, what do you guys think?  Anyone planning a furniture upgrade soon? 

Linking up to:

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Etsy Love: Chevron Treasury

Hi everyone!  I created my first Etsy Treasury yesterday.  It's this cool thing where you put together a group of products that you love, based on a theme that you choose.  I am currently obsessed with chevrons (in case you couldn't tell from my banner, DIY wall art, and nursery monster print).  I love love love this pattern, and pretty much want everything with chevrons on it.  So I put together a group of items I love from other Etsy sellers. 

Want to see 16 awesome chevron products?  Here's the link.  Seriously, check it out!  And go visit their shops to see way more awesomeness!

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

About Me

I updated my About page up there, so go check it out!  And don't be shy, follow me too!

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

DIY Chevron Wall Art

Anyone else have stacks and stacks of paint samples lying around?  We went crazy collecting samples when we bought our house and wanted to paint just about every room.  Well, our enthusiasm for painting decreased after we covered up the worst offenders (hello deep orange and forest green two toned bedroom), and we were left with a bunch of samples that we don't need anymore. 

I caught the crafting itch last week and decided to take advantage. 

Read along to find out how I made this sophisticated fellow:

I started with an old canvas that I had previously painted grey, my stack of paint samples, and some decoupage finish.

After playing around with some different ideas, I decided to cut the samples across the three colors in 1-inch strips, like so.

The nice thing about this is that I was left with a smaller paint sample that still had the names of the paint colors, so I can still use them as samples for future projects.  Don't worry Valspar, I got your number.

Once I had a bunch of strips cut, I started laying out some patterns, and finally settled on this sideways chevron.

I thought my trusty decoupage finish would do the trick... but wow, it didn't.  The strips were peeling up and not sticking completely.  So either my technique was horrible (quite possible) or the painted canvas was not an appropriate surface.   So this happened. 

Next up was to move the whole operation outside and switch to spray glue.  I REALLY didn't want to do this.  I hate using spray glue.  So messy.  So sticky.  But alas, it worked like a charm.  Be sure you have an old drop cloth or something to put underneath for this. 

Note:  Be sure to spray the back of the strip and then stick on the canvas.  Don't spray the canvas thinking you'll be able to stick several strips at once and save time.  (Yes, I made this mistake.  It worked for the first row, but then the next time I sprayed, it of course went all over my nice row and made it gummy and splattery.  I know, I know, rookie mistake.  I told you I avoid spray glue at all costs!)

I matched up the darkest color of one strip with the darkest color of the next, lightest with lightest and so on.  Same for each row of various shades.  I like the finished product because it gives it another dimension with the dark and light stripes going up and down. 

See how my canvas isn't quite full?  That wasn't my original plan (I ran out of paint strips), but do I like it?  Yes, yes I do. 

The spray glue left everything feeling a bit sticky (probably due to user error, yours could totally be sticky-free), so I added a layer of decoupage on top to cover up the sticky and give the whole thing a nice satin sheen. 

From the close-ups you can see it's certainly not perfect (like I said, I had some troubles with the glue), but take a few steps back and it looks great!  No one else will ever inspect it close up like I did anyways... 

I love him.  Yes, he's a him.  A nice manly chevron. 

Total cost of this project?  For me, a big fat goose egg (I had all the supplies in my stash).  But if you have to buy the spray glue, canvas, and decoupage finish or mod podge... maybe around $20.

Total time spent?  For me, over an hour, mostly due to the mess ups and taking pictures along the way.  But you can probably do it in about 30-45 minutes if you don't have any troubles. 

So what do you think?  Anyone else feel like I do about spray glue?  Think you'll be trying out some paint sample wall art in the future?

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Boju Designs is Open for Business!

I am so happy to announce that I've opened my shop on Etsy, Boju Designs!  I sell travel and nature photos that have been edited and texturized to create a slight vintage feel, and fun colorful digital art for kids. 

My absolute favorite little guys:

My favorite photos:

Some more of my items are listed over there to the left.

And now see that nice little tab at the top of this page? Isn't it just calling your name? You can click on Shop Boju to visit my shop!

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Friday, July 13, 2012

DIY Stool Project Preview

A little weekend project, anyone?

We have had these counter stools ever since Andy had just moved to Iowa and was still a bachelor, about 6 years ago.  They worked fine for him in his old apartment, but then when we got married and moved to a new place, they were a few inches too tall for our new counters, so they barely got used for about 3 years.  Now in our new house, they're the right height again, but... eh...

So, as you can imagine, I've been complaining about them and begging for new stools.  He finally broke down about a year ago and said okay, it's time.  But then I became a wishy washy peep and have never been able to decide what to get.  Do you know how expensive bar stools are?  The kind with cushions and backs?  Way too expensive, that is the answer.  Long story short... er... long story long, sorry... we still have the dang stools!

Yesterday, I was checking them out for the umpteenth time and decided, we don't need no new dang stools, I'm gonna DIY the heck outta those puppies!  And so here we are.  I am way too excited about this!  If I mess it up, no harm done.  If I rock it out, we'll have new(ish) awesome stools on the cheap! 

The supplies:

Stools.  Foam.  Batting.  Fabric.  Sand paper.  Scissors.  Spray paint.  Spray glue.  Staple gun.

I am so obsessed with this glorious fabric.  Fancy me choosing a paisley print, go figure.  Major bonus:  50% off fabric sale at JoAnn today!

I think the fabric looks great with our current kitchen/ dining room surroundings.  Still a lot of neutral, but the counters and carpet are staying for now.  We really want to paint that whole area, though, and we've been thinking a green color, so the new stools will look great with the new walls.

The plan? 

1. Spray paint the suckers white(ish) to match all our baseboards and stair railings. 
2. Upholster the tops with my sweet new fabric.
3. Be super impressed with myself if it looks good.

Check back next week for a step by step how-to!

And happy weekend, of course!  I will be spending mine with my siblings in-law.  LOVE having visitors!

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