Google+ Nine Red: 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Party Time: Cake Stands & High Rise Snacking

This weekend we are having a little birthday party for Ralph's 30th, and when we started planning the food I immediately thought of these cupcake stands.  Not that we are serving thousands of cupcakes or anything, but taking food serving to the next level {pun!} is always helpful when you're running low on countertop real estate.  The bittersweet moment here, is that I already gave away about 5 of these that I had made before, but never used - so during the move I decided to ditch 'em.  And now I need them! That's always the way.  Luckily, they are so easy & affordable to make, that you could make them & gift them every single time you have a party and never really feel the effects in your wallet.  Look how simple these are, and if you're like me, you'll wonder "why didn't I think of this before?"
That's pretty much it.  Easy. The only trick is to make sure to use a strong epoxy or silicone that will bond glass to glass {I use E-6000} That's it. Really. Plus it's almost New Year's, serve up your snackers in style, right? It's so easy.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Santa Tracker...

Merry Christmas! It's already that time... between the move, the shopping, and the crazy rush of string art tablet orders (thank you all!) this month has been a whirlwindSo I'm a little late with my holiday spirit! The presents are wrapped, the tree is up, and it looks - smells - and finally feels like the holidays.  Yesterday I came across the Google Santa tracker - just in time.  Jeez, Google went all out! This is way different than the typical tracker.... He's got a dashboard to see his status, games, I would have loved this as a kid! My favorite is a spot to chat with Santa, and you can send phone calls from him out to your friends and family. I'm about to send out quite a few...
So whether you have kids or not, this is fun & cute! They did a great job. Check it out here, Google's Santa Tracker, and have a very Merry Christmas with family & friends!


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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Backyard Adventure

I haven't had a chance to show much of the yard yet, mainly because it's huge and it gets dark around 4-5, so my picture taking window is pretty slim! Ah.. still adjusting to mountain life.  The other day however, we did decide to take a break from unpacking and just climb the hill behind our house.  We have no idea how far back the property line is, but we're pretty sure it's the whole hillside.  So Ralph and I threw on some boots, and set out to conquer the beast.. here was our first view, and we were only beginning the climb:
We were already higher than the house! This "hill" is deceptively steep... but we had a goal: the top!

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Monday, December 17, 2012

A Fresh Start

Good Morning! It's the final week before Christmas, can you believe that? I haven't done a thing, and that's fine.  We have our tree, which was surprising enough, but it has yet to be decorated.  It has lights, but the ornaments haven't made their way to the tree, yet.  And you know what? I like it.  Eh, we have a few days, right? Last week was so crazy, quite a few things didn't get done, and I didn't have time to write - sorry! 

Do you ever have those days or weeks where you just try to do everything and then some? Man, that was last week for me.  I felt like I had a million things I wanted to do, and I was running around trying to do them all - which leads to not much getting done, or at least not very well.  So this week I'm starting fresh, and taking the advice of one of the greatest fortune cookies ever: Live in the moment.  That couldn't have come at a more perfect time, what with the holidays, and our move.. I'm getting ahead of myself, & setting unrealistic expectations.  So this week will start with a deep breath, a fresh start, and a big cup of coffee. 

Ok - no more whining.  Even though we haven't decked our halls, doesn't mean I haven't thought about what we would be doing to bring in the holiday spirit.  In the past year or so, I've gradually fallen deeply in love with the whole midcentury style, so I pulled up a few ideas for a midcentury holiday, and found some really cool ideas..
Not sure if I could make the switch from a live tree to an aluminum one, but this one looks so interesting, it's worth a try some year.  Put a colorful spotlight on there...  Here's a fireplace that we have actually been scouring eBay to find, I would love one of these in our place:
I love paper, and I love projects, these mid-century style ornaments are easy, and so cute:
Of course, they are from Design*Sponge...head there for a full tutorial. 

So anyway, how are you all doing, ready for the holidays?  What are your mantras that get you through the busy times?  Enjoy the season, live in the moment, and Happy Holidays everyone!


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Friday, December 7, 2012

How To: DIY Crystals for Winter Decor

OK - first & foremost, this new house & move has been keeping us extremely busy!  I apologize for my lack of posts, but you know what?  We have the internet again! That means I'm back to posting regularly.  After last weeks storm, with our fun floods & septic alarms, our lack of cell phone service and internet, seeing that Google logo pop up on the lappy was a huge breath of fresh air!  You don't realize how much you need the net til it's gone... I swear it's as essential as electricity.  Or I'm just dramatic... whatevs.

Since December seemed to sneak in while I wasn't looking,  I was reminded that I wanted to share this awesome winter decor DIY I spied over at Kara Paslay Designs - man, she is constantly coming up with amazing projects!
I love these! They are so different than your usual holiday and winter decorations.  Don't get me wrong, I love me some sleigh bells & Christmas trees, but these you could easily leave up until spring and it won't look weird.  They remind me of that Ice Princess from Candyland, I bet her place would be floor to ceiling in crystals like this.  I can't stand that game however, I had to play it daily for years when I worked in childcare - over it! Anyway, guess what these cuties are made of? Straws. Yep. Straws. She's done it again - hop over to Kara Paslay's blog for the full scoop.  Hey, wouldn't a little LED lighting look great under there? Hmm..

I have 3 million things to tend to today, but believe me when I say that my intentions were to fill you in on all the little repairs & improvements we've been doing in just the last few days. It's amazing how such little things can be so satisfying, I'll assemble a list & share soon, because if you haven't done them to your place -  you should.  Who knew a motion sensor light would bring us such joy?  For now though, check out these amazing yellow leaves off our deck:
Gorgeous, right? Only drawback - once those hit the driveway (which is sort of steep) & soak up the rain, you quickly get nature's version of a slip n' slide. Look out! Have a fantastic weekend everyone, fill it with soup, fireplaces & coziness... see ya Monday!

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Oh, the "Pin It" button is working again.... bonus points!

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Monday, December 3, 2012

The First Night....

We made a goal earlier last week, to be sleeping in the new house by this last Saturday.  Well we met that goal, and just in time too.  As we were unpacking the mattress, it started to sprinkle again - which was the beginning of the third, and largest storm we've been facing out here in the west.  Seems like Ben Lomond wanted to give us a wild welcome, and really let the rain pour down.  Record breaking rain, or so I hear.  We learned about the haunting sounds of a sump pump going off and on under the house, and what to do when your septic alarm starts going off. Yea - I know - septic alarm?!  For two people who have never dealt with a septic, this was exactly what a nightmare of mine sounds & looks like.  I was pretty stressed, but had to remember to stay calm, and that things could be worse.  A lot worse. Here's what we woke up to (I can't believe I even slept!)

Wild stuff! This is just one area too.  But you know, now that the rain has stopped, things have dried up a little, and the septic is being repaired - I have to reflect and think that it's your attitude that will get you through things.  So on that note, rather than feeling overwhelmed I'm going to be positive. For example, we learned:
  • Our roof is not leaking into the house.
  • Under the house is fairly dry. 
  • The house did not float away.
  • What to do when the septic alarm starts screaming at midnight.
  • We have a lot of water to do some "fun" french drains with. 
Hope everyone else enjoyed their weekend, we are happy to be in the house, and ready to start tackling these projects. The internet is about to be transferred, so I may disappear for a minute, but I promise to be back soon with a more exciting post than water down a hill.  Have a good one!

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Kitchen Table Makeover Ideas

So the other day I was showing you a table tutorial, and I mentioned the dilemma with our current table.  Well I've been going crazy thinking of a few ways to customize it, (or build a new one if all else fails!) to match our style which is more modern, colorful & bright.  I just can't say no to bright colors, so if we can't put bright on the walls (house is a little dark for that...) then you know we'll have some bright fun pieces.  Take a look at the table, check out that hutch while you're in there: can kind of see our wall samples there, I think we have a winner! Three walls in the lighter one, and one accent in the darker. 
Sorry about the mess! Like I mentioned before, we're moving! Actually, it's been pretty clean. We've been packing up a truck of boxes, bringing them over, and unpacking.... surprisingly seamless so far.  Anyway, love this table - we just want to do something to it to make it more our own.  That hutch will definitely be getting the deep turquoise, almost peacock treatment.  Probably with a fun fabric background and some new knobs, but the table is undecided.  Maybe something like this old favorite I did a few years ago:
Striped Table Tutorial
Or this glass triangle paint job I featured a while back:
Painted Glass Tabletop
I'm imaging joining the two techniques, and having a pattern of triangles over the top with the wood grain showing through the edges. We'll see. We're going a new direction with the colors of our kitchen, leaning towards a teal, turquoise, orange, white sort of thing going on... sort of like this, but with teals and whites the more dominant color.
Actually the peaches in the bowl are the perfect example!  What's new in your home, any painting adventures on the horizon now that winter will be locking us indoors? Thanks for stoppin' by friends!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How To: Dining Room Table

We are mid-move, so let me apologize in advance for my short & sweet posts!  I was at the new house yesterday thinking more about our dining table. I like it but the space can hold something a bit bigger.  I looked at a few tables, and nothing really spoke to me.  So I thought - hello!? - let's just make one! I shared this Live Edge Table a while back which I love...but also found a tutorial that shows the steps start to finish, I love it's simplicity:
It's beautiful and can be customized in so many ways. The tutorial is from the blog Our Vintage Home Love and is very detailed and user friendly.  I got a full lesson in table construction just buy skimming the pictures.
Nice and simple construction.  I never realized there were so many table legs available at the hardware store! Did you know that when you put new legs or parts on a piece of furniture that weren't originally intended, it's called marrying? Well now you do - just a little useless trivia for ya.  Like, "I married the legs from this table with the top of that table".  You learn something every day, so they say.  When furniture and marriage are in one of my sentences it's usually "I love that couch so much I want to marry it".  Ramble alert!

For the full tutorial, visit their blog hereI would love to do a really long one of these someday, nothing beats a 12 seater table!  Now if only I could figure out the drop leaf action... hmm....

So, what kind of table do you have?

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Building a Couch

Whoah, what a weekend!  Thanksgiving was delicious, we celebrated my Mom's birthday on Saturday (Happy Birthday Mom!) - and Ralph and I battled the beast that is IKEA, on a Sunday! We may not have really thought that decision through, but we were fogged by the excitement of buying our first brand new couch. It's a big step!
Meet Karlstad! I love love love this green.  We both really wanted an "L" couch, and this living room is big enough to hold one.  But wow - getting this thing home was a real test of our patience.  IKEA has that special something that gets you to come into the store, only to find yourself trying to quickly get out.

We had a return to do (mistake #1), we pulled number "02" and they were on 70...  45 minutes later we were in, and starving! Surprise, guess what? It was a special eat-for-free day, and the lines were cra-aa-azy.  We'd already come that far, so we hopped in with the rest of 'em and loaded up on the (FREE!) meatballs, chicken tenders, and whatever else Sweden could throw at us.  Then it was on to pick out a couch!

Actually, the couch was already a 100% yes, so no in-store decisions necessary.  I gotta say, the rest was pretty easy and straightforward.  An IKEA worker was actually available, friendly and wrote our order up. We paid, and then went to furniture pick up where - oh that's right - what DOES a couches box look like? It looks like a pallet of 5 enormous boxes that they slap on a tiny baby cart and say "Have a nice day".  I am kicking myself for not taking a picture, it was hilarious.  Maybe it was the shock, but really, what was I expecting? Some flat packed miracle I could toss in the back seat? Yes, of course.  It was both funny and frightening in reality, and we got it into the truck with surprisingly few snags.  A  nervous ride home, and it was time to BUILD ourselves a couch..
It was 26 pieces in all, a lot of bolts, and a LOT of slipcover.  But it was easy! How often can you say that about IKEA assembly? I was shocked. Best couch ever, and it's soooo cozy. We sprang for a rug though, totally not in our plan or our budget, but I don't see my self getting to make this T-shirt rag rug that I want anytime soon.  (It would be SO worth it though...!)

That one is great, but won't realistically get done for another 5 years. So, we had our eye on one just as shaggy, as we wanted a really cozy rug - and IKEA had plenty.  I haven't figured out how we'll be vacuuming this high pile beauty, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it... for now I can't get my toes out of this thing, I think the dark looks great with the green:
In other news, we are still slowly but surely brightening up that kitchen (from this post).  We added some under cabinet lights, that make an amazing difference in the work space:
I got excited and installed them, even though I haven't cleaned up all the wires yet, but what a difference! If you look closely you can see the 4 color samples on the right wall there, none of which we went with. Ha! SO glad we got samples..  Please forgive the quality of my pictures lately, all our things are between two houses so I'm usually only armed with the phone's camera - which is surprisingly good..

Hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving and weekend with the family & friends, here's to a new week!

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gnocchi with Butternut Squash, Sage and Pine Nuts

There are so many recipes for side dishes for Thanksgiving that go beyond the traditional, I can't even tell you where to start. I will throw in my two cents however, on what I think you should definitely consider making to grace your Thanksgiving table this year.  This is the second time we've made this, it's a delicious gnocchi dish with roasted butternut squash, sauteed fresh sage, and pine nuts.  It is delicious!
We found this recipe last year, when we were going to a Thanksgiving Potluck, "Friends-giving" as it was called, and I believe it was the week before the big day.  We wanted something different.  So, using my favorite way to find recipes, we just knew a few ingredients we wanted to use and just plugged them into good ol' Googy.  In this case "Gnocchi with Butternut Squash" pulled up a ton of results, and we chose {and loved!} this one.  It's pretty easy, pretty affordable, and always a big hit.  So when you're browsing the thousands of recipes out there for something new this year, consider my advice and try this! Hop over to Savory Spicy Sweet where Liz will give you the step by step. Thanks Liz!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, have a wonderful day hopefully filled with great food, family & friends!

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How To: Wiring Pendant Lights

Hello again! I figured since yesterday I posted a DIY light fixture, that now would be as good a time as any to touch up our knowledge of some wiring tips and tricks.  Wiring up lamps & lights is one of those things that always intimidated me, but now thanks to the internet & actually trying it a few times, I'm no longer scared! Still though, when dealing with electricity it's always good to proceed with caution & get an expert if things don't seem right.  Otherwise, It's fairly straightforward.  One of the most helpful posts I've seen was over at The Ambitious Procrastinator, where they give a step by step on wiring up a set of decanter lights.
Aren't those things awesome?! Maybe I should just do a huge cluster of those in our kitchen, or maybe that Mason Jar Chandelier from a little bit ago. So many choices! Maybe I'll start collecting decanters just in case. Hop over to The Ambitious Procrastinator for the full scoop on not only wiring up those beauties, but how they made them in the first place. 

As for what I've been up to, things are getting crazy hectic with the moving, but I've had a few spare moments here and there to play with some new string art ideas.
I love that blue elephant! I had actually done a red one prior, then someone wrote me asking if I could do blue. Of course I can!   The "home" tablet was a really fun one, and has been on my  mind for a while. Not only the aspect of filling in the negative space vs. the letters, but finally tackling cursive. I think it came out pretty good, and would work with any word.  The modern ones are still my favorite, and that set of 3 was a custom order I was thrilled to do. I can't get enough of those circles lately.

If you are interested in a string art tablet, I'm still making them, but if you need them before Christmas get in touch with me ASAP.  Things get SO crazy during the holidays! Here's a link to my etsy shop to get started. 

Make it a good day!


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Monday, November 19, 2012

How To: Wooden Cube Chandelier

Last week I talked about the kitchen lights, and a few of the ideas we're playing around with for the tall ceiling above the work space. We want something big and bright, but nothing too visually heavy that will crowd up the room. We want it to feel really open.  Here's one of our contestants, it reminds me so much of the Ghost Lamp style, where bare bulbs shine through a beautiful skeleton.
I love how it's still the natural wood, and is so modern with it's fun angles.  I think for the kitchen area I may have to rig this up with 3-4 light bulbs to get the light we're looking for. Maybe Edison light bulbs? This is a great project, and you can get the full tutorial right here, from the creative folks over at Vintage Revivals.  Enjoy!

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Kitchen Light Surprise

I think my favorite room in the new house, would be the kitchen - hands down.  I've always wanted a large kitchen, and this house delivered! It's nice and open, so we have a clean slate to work with here.  These are the old photos, so they still have the real estate agents staging stuff in there.
One of the things we want to do right away, is whitewash those beautiful open & tall ceilings.  I love the look of wood, but in a light limited area, we need to do what we can to brighten it up in there.  I think we'll whitewash the wood so we can still see the grain, but reflect a little more light down.  One of our ideas was to eventually put lights in the eves.  You can see where the wall meets the ceiling, there is a gap - perfect for lights to shine up and reflect down.  So it went on the to-do list. Then something amazing happened...

Last week I was at the house taking care of little jobs, when I got the craving to hop up on the counters (I'm not a tall person!) and see if it's possible to even put lights in there.  Surprise! There was a lighting fixture in the eves! Not just one either, but 8! One in each section of the roof. I was so excited I yelled.  However, no switch would turn on the lights, even with a fresh bulb.  But hey, at least the wires are there, right? Then.... something amazing happened...

I was showing Ralph, to see if he could figure it out, and we were still stumped.  As luck would have it, I happened to turn on a few light switches right as he did and BAM! Let there be light! We were so happy we ran to the hardware store to buy 7 more bulbs. Apparently, the lights have two switches, and both have to be turned on at the same time.
Pfft! I'll turn on 10 switches at the same time if I have to, this is fantastic! I was so happy to see these there.  I wish all projects got done that easily, we dreamt it up - planned it out, then all of a sudden it was done. Perfect!  They add a lot of warm light to the room, and once that ceiling is whitewashed it will add even more.  I'm extremely picky and sensitive with lighting, how it looks, where it's placed, the whole 9 yards.  I can't wait to get some under cabinet lighting in there too, that will look incredible.  Speaking of lighting, did you notice a certain light culprit in the photo above? Look at this bad decision:
Mmhmm. Not only is it just one of those standard hallway lights, but it's seriously 12 feet in the air... and the bulb is burned out {ofcourse!}.  I tried getting up on the very very top of the ladder {I know, I know I shouldn't do that, so don't try that at home!} and I still can't comfortably reach, it's only a five foot ladder - give me a break!  Anyway - the dead bulb is only half the problem, the other problem is I really don't like the fixture. It's too high for something so small, and I know exactly what kind of light will shine down. That faraway, weird kind of light. Maybe I'm crazy, do you know what I mean though?  So we're in brainstorm mode now, something bright, something big, and something fun since it's a huge space.  One idea is a large wood "skeleton" cube, with a few bare bulbs inside:
I love the look of the wood! It would be great to make a really big one, or a hexagonal one... the other idea, is to find some wonderful old brass chandelier, preferably something wild from the 70's, and spray paint it some amazing color.

Source: via Matthea on Pinterest

Maybe something along the Mission style side of things..

Thought we may be getting up there in the price, and after everything we've had to buy to just get in this place - it's a shoestring budget for me.  I think for now we're leaning to the spray paint route, but we'll see. Stay tuned, I'm going to post the tutorial for that wooden cube light soon, isn't is awesome? Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Porch Potential

***Update: The Porch has reached it's potential, see the mega update here - but be sure to scroll down and see the crazy looking before shots***

Well we haven't wasted any time getting into the new house and tackling any project we can.  Luckily we have two months to complete this move, so that gives us a little flexibility.  We haven't been able to just start hauling things over yet since we were waiting for it to be fumigated. Sounds gross, right?  It's normal, I swear!  Oh, for those of you not living on the west coast, termites are a pretty common pest around here.  So it's a standard sight to see a house dressed up like a circus tent now and then...
I can't wait for that thing to be off! I wonder what the neighbors think... ha!  I'm really happy we were able  to do this before moving in, I've heard it's a nightmare to bag up all your stuff for this, and move out for a week.  Now, why exactly the termites prefer to eat the wood of the house instead of the 3 million trees surrounding it is a mystery to me.  But it is what it is, and now that this is out of the way we can really get to work. One thing we did last weekend,

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How To: Pizza Rolls

A few weeks ago we were sitting on the patio, thinking what to make for dinner.  One thing led to another and we came up with an idea.  Let's take a pizza, roll it up, and cook it!  We figured we were total geniuses.  Well - a minute or so later on the internet, and it turns out that we are not the first to think of this.  The internet is bittersweet that way, but - I did get some tips that saved us a lot of trial & error pizza.  We were thinking roll it, bake it, slice it.  Instead, we sliced it, laid them down like cinnamon rolls, added cheese & baked them.  These are delicious, you've got to try them - but I warn you, you may eat more pizza than you normally would!  This is my first "full picture" tutorial, thought I'd give it go - perfect for pinning!  Here you go:
Not that pizza needed any sort of improvement at all, this is definitely a fun twist though.  We arranged them so the sides were touching, and this made for a super soft center roll.  Good luck deciding who gets that one, it's amazing!  I bet if you space them out evenly that each one would get nice crispy edges and soft centers.  We also added all kinds of stuff to ours, kale, broccoli, and more sauce & cheese!

Weird about the Dental floss, huh? I see why now. The pizza is so squishy that a knife would just flatten it out.  I took the floss, wrapped it under, then around the top like I'm about to tie a bow.  Instead of tying, just pull the floss past itself (like a loop) and it will slice clean.  I recommend doing it kind of fast, so the pizza doesn't see it coming and squish up on you.  Fishing line may work well too.  Now, all I had was mint floss.. and you'd think we'd taste mint, but there was no mint flavor at all... so fear not if you don't have unflavored floss!  Just slice away.  Oh, and be sure to lay out a bunch of fun dipping sauces - try it California style and dunk it in Ranch dressing.  Enjoy, this one is a new family favorite!

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Friday, November 9, 2012

How To: Soda Can Flower Lights

I know the holidays aren't upon us just yet, but they are right around the corner.  Forgive me, I know some people go crazy when everyone gets all Christmas-ey before Thanksgiving, but this project requires some prep time! I promise not to go too "deck the halls" on you right now.  Plus, these can be used year round.  I've been saving this one to share for a bit.  I love Christmas lights, so much that I stock up on them every time I start to see them in the stores.  Because really, have you tried to buy a strand of simple white lights in July? You either can't find them, or they are 4X the price... Can someone just open up a year round Christmas light store?! I'd be there all the time, and I know I'm not alone. Who's with me?

Moving on.. Today's How-To uses a strand of white lights, some soda cans, and a die cut machine.  If you don't have a die cut machine, you could cut these out by hand, but please... use gloves!
Tutorial & Photo Source: Curbly
Aren't these adorable?  Not just for the holidays either, I'd use them year round. Especially on the patio. The use of the die cut machine in this was a real "Ah-ha!" moment for me.  I love aluminum cans, and all the lanterns you see using cans are adorable.  But the problem that stuck out was always the cutting of the cans.  Seemed not only tedious but dangerous - remember in the movie Twister, when they cut all those cans into little fans to lift the detector-thingys (technical term..haha) up into the twister? Yea. Their hands were seriously cut up, and that always stuck with me.  So that machine would be a huge shortcut. Worth the investment if you don't have one, they come in handy all the time.

To see the full tutorial on this, head over to Curbly, one of the most amazing DIY sites out there.  An interesting twist on this would be to paint the backside.  While spray painting light-weight aluminum flowers seems like a nightmare, let me suggest press and seal paper.  I came across this pointer recently, from the genius over at CheltenhamroadTake whatever small thing you plan to paint, put it on your press and seal paper, then do as it sounds. Press, to seal, and that paper will hold onto the tiny items long enough for you to paint them without blowing them off the table.  I can't tell you how many times that tip would have helped me! He lays the directions out far better than I could, here.

In other news, we are officially homeowners, and we got our keys on Tuesday! It's so exciting, a little scary, but mostly exhilarating.  I'm really looking forward to all the projects we are about to tackle, and I can't wait to share them all with you.  I know there's a lot of sweat, blood & tears in the future, but it's all going to be worth it.  We have a ton of ideas, so here we go - wish us luck! Have a fantastic weekend!

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Before & After: Beautiful Bamboo Fence #2

A while back I posted about my sister, Denise, and her boyfriend, Joey's fence they finished up.  You can see it hereWell they didn't stop there, the two have been extremely busy pulling off yet another amazing backyard makeover, and their fence is the icing on the cake.  So nice actually, the company they purchased the bamboo from has entered their fence into their Project of the month contest. And for good reason! Check it out:
Pretty amazing right?! They did a great job.  That redwood frame looks gorgeous with the golden bamboo.  Perfect match, so warm! If you like this as much as I do, hop onto Cali Bamboo's contest gallery on Facebook and "like" their fence pictures to help them win. They deserve it!  I've watched them tackle this side yard from start to finish, and it has been a labor of love. They took an unused hillside covered in raspberries and turned it into an amazing summer patio.  A word of caution to those who love raspberries, do not plant them unless you get the thornless variety! Removing insanely overgrown raspberry vines is an absolute nightmare.  But that didn't stop them, they still did it, and it was worth it:
Luckily they took a lot of pictures of the process, and

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Wild Wedding Weekend

Hi Everyone! We are back! I don't know if I mentioned it, since I had so much to do to get ready - but last weekend we had not one but two weddings!  I haven't been to a wedding in years, so the fact that these both landed on the same weekend was a crazy coincidence.  Luckily we were able to make it to both, and celebrated the marriage of two couples, and great friends.  Saturday's wedding was in Sacramento (about 2.5 hour drive from us), and we had the foresight to go a day early.  I am SO happy we did that, we ended up sitting in about 4.5 hours worth of traffic, and if I had to rush to a wedding after that?  I don't think I would have stayed up as late as I did! Wedding #2 was closer to home, in Aptos, which is normally a fairly foggy place year round.  Luckily, it was a gorgeous 85 degree afternoon.  Perfect for an outdoor wedding. It was beach themed, and we were surrounded by beautiful Monterey Cypress trees on a lush green golf course. They chose a fantastic location and they did an amazing job creating this wedding. Congratulations Meghan & Adam!

I snapped a few photos throughout the trip to share, here was our hotel room in Sacramento:
Very modern - I love that so many hotels are going the studio-apartment route...

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

How To: Bird Cage Chandelier

Bird cages are readily available. Garage sales, thrift shops, previous pets... have you thought of making them into a light? Some stores sell birdcage chandeliers already, but that will run you upwards of $200 - $800 (no joke!).... lighting can be intimidating but it really isn't that hard! Today I want to show you how I took my old bird cage (sorry lil finches..) and made it into a sunny chandelier.  Take a look:
I chose paper cranes for mine, but another really cute version would be the "mushroom birds" you see at craft stores:
In that photo, you can tell it wasn't originally a bird cage, but a lampshade that has wires vs. paper. I promise to make one of those next time, and I'll do a tutorial for you then. But for now! Let's begin:

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Spotlight: Spin Art

I love nostalgic arts!  Just like string art & tie-dye, spin art is one of those projects that reminds me of childhood.  So fun to make, and looks pretty cool.  I've seen a lot of different spin art machines that give you splash look, but this machine I want to share with you uses markers instead, and gives a much cleaner & controlled look:
These are the work of Sarah Gee...  I love all the colors she's used.  These are so mesmerizing, and pay tribute to the project of the past.  Check out the video on The Jealous Curator, but be careful, it's really hypnotic!

Let's keep in touch: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter & Email.  

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pinterest Picks: Jackolanterns

I couldn't think of anything for my pumpkin this year, then as a few of us were talking about Fall in general, & someone said something that sparked an idea:
..........get it?! Ha! Pumpkin Pi.... oh that's a knee slapper. So dorky!  Have you all started carving up your produce yet?  Here are a few ideas I pulled from Pinterest.  These ones are cute, a little bit creepy... I love that they hang from the tree. They are made from turnips!

That front one almost looks sad... not mad.  Meh. Who said you had to carve only pumpkins anyway? Let's carve all the crazy fall squash:

I imagine the butternut squash singing, I dunno why.  Your pumpkin doesn't always have to be trying to scare the kids right off your porch, take these simple patterned pumpkins:
Source: via Jesse on Pinterest

I think that last one had little christmas lights instead of a candle? Can't tell. If you're the detail oriented type and want to get really extreme with your pumpkins, here's some pinspiration for ya:

Ugh! That skull is the creepiest thing ever! But, you gotta admire the work they must have put into it. Still though, his eyes creep me out! I need something cute after that...
Source: via Jesse on Pinterest

Aah! Much better. I love those big eyes! So what's it gonna be this year? Creepy scary pumpkin or cute n' cuddly?  Either way, hop to it! Halloween is tomorrow..... Alright, keep it real people, be safe n' stuff.

Let's keep in touch: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter & Email

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Monday, October 29, 2012

How To: Sliding Barn Door

I've shown you all pictures of the house-to-be, and like anytime I'm about to move, all I can think about is what will go where, how to decorate, and what needs to be fixed right away. This fills up 85% of my thoughts, no joke! So one of the issues that's been killing me, is the positioning of some of the doors in the new place.  Someone did not think this through.  Particularly the larger bedroom, let me try to paint you a little picture here.  The door opens inward, and blocks a door that goes outside.  That door that leads outside, also opens inward.  Can you picture the problem? You can't have them both open at the same time, no matter how much you swap the directions. They slam into eachother.  Until this...
The Stony Brook House
The perfect solution, a slider!

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

How To: Origami Star Lantern

Oh man, oh man - I love Origami! I always have. I've always had a place in my heart for it, don't know why. It could be part of my fascination with all things Japan, or my love of all things paper.  I used to do a lot of Origami but set it aside for a while.  When Ralph & I decorated for the Sushi Party, we made a few little cranes & such to place around, and it reignited my interest in the paper folding arts. I'm especially impressed when Origami can be made into something not only decorative but useful, like bowls & boxes. And now, the Origami Star Lantern:
Photo Credits: How About Orange & Passengers on a little spaceship
Let's have some collective ooh's and aah's shalle we?! So cute.  One piece of paper, many folds, super adorable.  You will be seeing these around our house, especially when decorating for the Holidays comes up (suprisingly close!)  Don't worry, the candle is actually inside of a glass votive, not just sitting dangerously in the paper. They've really thought of everything...

These can be used for a lot of different things, bowls, potpourri, or put a frog in there and use it for ikebana.  Or upside down, poke a hole in the back or each and put the low wattage Christmas lights in them.  Just think how many you can make if you swindle your friends & children into helping, haha!  I love the colored ones but I think the white is my favorite.  Head over to the adorably named blog, Passengers on a Little Spaceship for the full tutorial.  Which, by the way, is amazingly detailed!


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