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 · 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!

design · DIY

Rubber Hose Chair

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I love the idea of taking something that is destined for the trash heap and giving it a second life. All the better if that item is something I would like to have around anyway. This chair is beautiful and uses rubber hose that has been rendered useless with age and use. I can totally see having a bunch outdoors on our deck. Best of all? There is an Instructable so that you can make one as well! Even more brilliant is the fact that the frame is a 2’x2′ piece of plywood with almost no waste. Bravo! Now I just need to get my hands on a rubber hose that will otherwise be thrown out. Anyone? via

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…

craftfailblog

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

crafty · DIY · recipe

Not In This Economy

The economy has been on my mind a lot lately. It is a tough time to justify spending money. Personally, I have always been thrifty. I am pretty sure I get it from my Grandpa (thanks, Grandpa!) I tend to save my money everyday and over indulge once in a while, sometimes on one big thing, sometimes just a few days of “reckless” spending. I buy store brand when I can, I don’t buy expensive clothes (although I do tend to pay for comfortable shoes figuring I only get one set of feet) and I will make instead of buy if I can get away with it. Can I just tell you that I love what I am seeing in my RSS feeder lately. Articles on how to make your own cleaning supplies, how to make your own bread, how to paint your own wall mural. I am a fairly crafty person but I never thought about making my own butter. In this age of convenience we tend to buy things instead of looking to how we can make, grow or re-purpose what we have. Recently, I read an article on how to grow my own loofah! I love it! I know we all only have so much time in the day and can we really can fruits and vegetables or compost under your sink in our tiny NY kitchen? Maybe not. But I bet there are things you can do to help put a few more pennies in your wallet. Do you really need to use paper towels? I know, I know they are so convenient but if I can get by without them, so can you. As an extra added bonus (as if saving money wasn’t enough) this new way of thinking about saving money can help save the environment. How you ask? For example, making your own cleaning supplies means you are not throwing away extra packaging and you are reusing bottles over and over. Talk about win win!