crafty · design · DIY

I Heart Birds

I have an IKEA malm dresser to hold my clothes. Actually M and I each have one. You know the one. It is blonde wood, totally nondescript. I used to like that, but I think I am ready for something a little less boring. Today I read about wallpapered furniture and figured if there was ever a project that screamed DIY, it was this one. I had in mind a wallpaper I had seen that I loved. It should be easy for me to find again, right? It has birds and clouds on it, Google has to turn up something with those keywords. Nope. Ok, I bet I starred it in my RSS reader, let me search “birds” and “wallpaper”. Nope. Ok, I am sure I starred it so I will just search “wallpaper”. Scroll, scroll, click. Nope. Scroll, scroll, click. Nope. Sigh. Wait, is that it? It is! Yeah. Now I know where I can order it and get started on my brand new wardrobe. I also happen to love the yellow boots in this image. I am definitely going to have to figure out a way to work yellow into this project.

crafty · design · DIY

Zen and The Art of Sign Painting

Thanks to Google street view I was able to find a picture of the original sign.

When I was little every Tuesday my noni would pick up my sister and me from school and take us to ballet lessons and then to her house for dinner. The ride in her car took us past a very distinctive Mack Truck sign which I am sure I was drawn to because it had a bulldog on it. Sadly that building and the sign have been torn down and replaced with a Walgreens but luckily for me one of my grandfather’s many many talents is that he is an experienced sign painter! For Christmas I asked for a replica of the Mack Truck sign I remembered so well. He was going to go ahead and make the whole thing for us, but then I had the even better idea that I wanted to have Grandpa teach me how to be a sign painter. The Mack sign just so happened to be the perfect first project. He set about cutting out the shape and giving it a coat of white paint. Over the course of a few weekends I have traced the design onto the sign from a picture we found on the internet and given the whole thing a first coat of paint. I even had help from my dad to paint the dog.  It has been great hanging out with my grandfather and learning a new skill. This weekend I got to paint outside and the weather was so beautiful and painting takes just the right type of concentration, it is almost like meditating.

crafty · sewing

Cashmere Me

I am pretty sure I have mentioned that not only am I am pack rat but that I love love love cashmere. Basically even if I have a cashmere sweater that no longer works for me I can’t bring myself to throw it out. It turns out there is a reason I have been hanging on to it and that reason is so I can sew myself a cashmere cowl! Thanks, Leya for the great tutorial,  giving my sweater a new life, and giving me another way to wear cashmere everyday. via

crafty · design · DIY · home inspiration

Phoenix Commotion

While recovering from tryptophan overdose this weekend and visiting family I accidentally caught the evening news. Thank goodness I did, otherwise I would never have found out about the Phoenix Commotion. Started by Dan Phillips the Phoenix Commotion strives to provide affordable housing to those that would otherwise not be able to have a home of their own using salvaged and donated materials in Huntsville, Texas. These tiny, beautiful homes are whimsical with mismatched roofing, wine cork floors, picture frame sample ceilings, and crystal plate windows. Materials that would otherwise have made their way to the landfill instead get a new life in one of Dan’s small homes. Anything and everything is fair game for Dan, his crew of 5 “unskilled” workers, and the future homeowner. Not only do these houses reduce landfill burden, but touch the land lightly with their small footprint and ecologically minded design. I might have to move to Huntsville to work with Dan and get the skills I need to build my own salvaged treasure. You can read more about Dan and see some amazing pictures of his work here.

crafty · design · DIY · home inspiration · WDITOT

I Heart Green

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Over the course of my life I have had many favorite colors. For a very long time red was the favorite, but at some point over the last few years I started to really dig green. Bright yellow greens make me especially happy. I have been seeing a lot of green show up in kitchen photos lately and it makes me wonder… I mean I love green now, but who knows when the shift will be to yellow or blue or back to red? Then I am stuck with green cabinets as a haunting reminder of my green period. This kitchen is a wonderful use of green accents and vinyl wall decals, which may be so last year, but are something I still happen to love. The swatch of green on the wall give the table and chairs a special place. I have been coveting those IKEA chairs since I saw them and I think they look great in this small kitchen. If you will really closely you will also see another of my favorite things, a little birdie. This is a really great way to add color quickly to a rental space that you have to paint over. Way to go, Jennifer!

crafty · knitting

Cosy Knitting

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The temperature has started to fall in the Big Apple which means I am feeling more inclined to have big piles of yarn in my lap to help keep me warm. I started my first blanket of the season yesterday after ripping out my first blanket of last season which I had stopped working on because I wasn’t happy with how the colors were working together and I wasn’t happy crocheting. After hours of unraveling and balling the yarn I cast on about 100 stitches with my size 20 circular needles. I am using three strands of worsted weight acrylic that I bought forever ago. I know, I know I don’t normally use acrylic but it really is the best for blankets because I can throw it in the wash. It is the perfect mindless meditative activity since I am knitting every row. I didn’t do a gauge swatch so I wasn’t sure how this was going to turn out. I don’t normally like the look of the garter stitch but so far I am loving the openness of the stitch with the bumpy texture. I don’t have quite enough to keep much more than my lap warm, but luckily I can use past years blankets for now.

crafty · DIY · sewing

Shirt Skirt

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I am getting back into wearing skirts lately. I always forget how comfortable they are during the summer. I even took to wearing skirts while for bike rides at the shore. If you haven’t tried it, I think you will be surprised. I have a few jersey skirts that get a lot of use, but I also have a lot of tshirts that are sitting around. I am thinking about doing a mash up of this tutorial and this one. As I have mentioned, I am not a sewer, but these seem like good projects to cut my teeth on.

crafty · DIY

Street Clothes

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I started a couch to 5k program this past weekend. With help from an iPhone app I am alternating between walking and jogging for 20 minutes. It is torture all the way, but getting into shape always is in the beginning. I have even figured out how to work the run into my commute home so that I don’t have the temptation to stay in once I get home. This has me taking a slightly different path to my apartment and on Saturday this meant I passed a few boxes of free baby clothes. Isn’t it lucky that I just happen to know someone who is going to be needing baby clothes in the near future! These are obviously used items and even after giving them a good wash in hot water there are still stains on them. No problem! I have been reading about freezer paper stencils and this is perfect time to try them out. I downloaded some free dingbat fonts printed and cut them out and covered up some of the stains with puppies and giraffes. Emily at paperseed has generously provided templates for a dragonfly, flowers and a butterfly as well. I used the tutorial she suggested as a reference and it worked well. It is a bummer they are single use, but until I get a Yudu, this will do nicely.

crafty · DIY

To Make an Omelet…

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I read somewhere that creativity is quantity not quality. When I read the headline I was like, “No way! Why would they say that?” Then I read the article. It is totally true. In order to be really successful at something you need to practice and learn from mistakes. The only way to make mistakes is to go ahead and do it. That can be a little daunting in this era of DIY and the internet. It seems as if everywhere you click you see lovely, wonderful, creative end products that make you wish you were that creative and talented and perfect. No one posts about the time when they made handmade soap that accidentally ended up looking like SPAM once it was sliced. Until now that is. Craft Fail is a site devoted to all those projects that ended up less than perfect. I personally love it. It can been really tough for me to get started on a project when I know there is a 50/50 chance of it being not so great (or a down right disaster) when it is done. Now I can learn from other people mistakes and realize that mistakes of my own are learning experiences in themselves. I think that the SPAM soap might be considered a happy accident rather than a fail. Especially with the little SPAM wrapper. Too cute! So let’s all get out there and make some mistakes! via