Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays <3

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Wall Display For $25 Or Less!

Whenever I'm thrifting-sniffing-around one thing I always make a point to look for is old frames WITH matting included - if you find a framed photo that's matted, PARTICULARLY CUSTOM matted - blind your eyes away from whatever shade and texture of ugly the frame is - and how terrible the photo is.

You've struck gold!

Matting is really the element that catapults your framing into a higher level of sophistication - and unless you are crafty enough to buy and cut your own mats, or are fine with purchasing the selection of pre-cut run-of-the-mill-sized mats - it's pretttttty pricey to have professionally and CUSTOM done.

So here we are -- I found a very LARGE CUSTOM matted and framed (puke brown) photo (a duck....from the 80's duck). It cost me $4.50.

Throw in a couple of knick-knack wall-hangings I got over a year ago and quickly fell into hating.....and a cheap gold-framed mirror - ALSO being sold for peanuts.

I gathered up the motley crew and spray painted ALL of them the same glossy black.

Picked up some 89-cent sheets of designer paper from the craft store.......and used old black ribbon I've had laying around to cover the seams of different cuts of paper in an interesting proportion. Tape it up - and you have a COHESIVE group that collectively makes an impressive wall display.

ALL FOR UNDER $25!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Modernizing The Queen - Part 2

I DID IT! And completely by myself at that! It required some diligent measuring, many swipes with the stud finder, heavy duty hooks, and a steady hand.......BUT I DID IT.

Feeling accomplished :-) My $10 goodwill-find-transformed is looking stunning.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Modernizing The Queen - Part 1

So while on one of my thirft-scouting-adventures I spotted the following amazingly fabulous mirror at goodwill.........for $10. $10!!!!

One thing I love to do is mix throw in antiquey/old/worn items randomly into our mostly clean and modern designed home decor. What is more classic than a curvy "Queen Victoria" mirror? I honestly have no idea if that's the proper name for this shape mirror, however we're gonna go with it.

ANYWAYS - Of course it was not only a disturbingly bright shade of orangey brown when I found this little was worn on the top and reminded me of a musty basement. Nothing a little surface cleaner, elbow grease, and black paint can't solve!

I had already begun painting/staining with the black paint in these pictures - however you can still see the NEON-ISH hue of the original stain on the inside lip.

I will have Part 2 up shortly hopefully. I had finished fully painting/staining with the black to my liking - and hope to hang this sucker up over our dining area table this evening...........knock on wood! The thing HAS to weigh like 20lbs and may involve anchors if there aren't studs where I need them to be. Sigh. Fingers crossed!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Ring

Green Amethyst & Diamonds!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I Confess (Unhealthy Fixation on Frippery)

Seriously, I have officially stooped to an all-new shockingly horrifying low.

I am utterly embarrassed, amused, confused, stunned, and in disbelief as I prepare to divulge the following information.

This morning I was in a frenzy to peel myself out of our pillowy-cloud of a bed, get myself presentable for the day, hair, make-up, pack my lunch (chicken stir fry! my first attempt in life to make it and I have to say it was a rather yummmmmy success) ----------- I grab my multitude of bags (including hand-, computer-, lunch-, and make-up-)....jump in the car, rush to work and of course I had to get here at 9:01am. OH-ONE. One minute late, I'll cut my losses.

I'm going about my morning, chugging down my jug of coffee, eating my banana, going through emails......I throw my hand up to my face and lean in on my elbow - today is one of those days! All of a sudden, as I'm unconciously tugging on my ear........I realize........I forgot to put EARRINGS ON.

Necklace on. Oversized ridiculous costumey ring on.

No. Earrings.

I GASPED!!!! I literally grabbed my desk and had a moment of statue-esque stillness, my eyes wide - a quick panic - and an immediate string of possible solutions! Drive home? Do I have an extra pair in my bag? In my car? THE HORROR! How many people have seen me this morning? I feel like I came into work NAKED. My skin crawled and tingled in nervousness. AND to make matters worse - I am wearing my hair BACK on this particular day....just showcasing those naked ears even more.

WELL......I did it people. I DID IT. I went, on my lunch break, to the next exit up on the highway.....and bought a pair of simple stud earrings....

I can't help but feel like some kind of irrational addict. WHO DOES THAT???? Apparently me.

Sneakily I attempted to sashay my way back into the office and to my desk like nothing happened - crisis averted - a huge weight off of my shoulders now - my offending lobes were covered. All is right in the world again.

Should I even attempt to wrap my head around all the levels of wrong here?
What can I say. I'm a piece of work.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

DIY Glam Silver Canvas Tiles

As with any home, ours is still a work in progress. I have so many projects I’d like to do! I should really stop for a minute, step back, and be proud of everything we’ve accomplished so far.

After years and years of living in college dorms with white brick walls, and then strings of white-shoe-box apartments in New York City, I vowed to myself that the day I finally had a place of my own, every single inch of it would be PAINTED IN A COLOR. No more white walls ever again! Life is wayyyyy too short for me to be blinded by the white!!!!

Well, we’re on our way to achieving that dream of mine. The most important and large rooms are painted. However the bathrooms are still sadly weepy and stark in white. I've done some punches of color to tide me over for now -- and here is the DIY step by step for these fabulous damask canvas 'tiles' I did for our master bathroom. Hmmm....I'm thinking we’ll most likely pull a color for the walls from the awesomely hippie-hemp-esque stiched shower curtain we have up. Sage green? Wheat taupe? Chocolaty brown? Stay tuned for that.

All you need for this extremely easy wall-decor-project? Four items.

  • Canvas (any size or shape you'd like)
  • Silver spray paint
  • Damask stencil (or any stencil you like - widely available at craft stores)
  • Paint & brush (your favorite colors!)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Standing on the Edge

Have you ever stopped and wondered where this seemingly ‘age-old’ tradition and inherent list of “set steps” for getting married came from?

Don’t you remember reading those elder novels in high school speaking of women’s dowries? What exactly happened in this world that caused the tradition of handing over your little girl and her most pricey possessions as a perk to the lucky man – to the lucky man now emptying his bank account and handing your little girl a shiny rock to display on her finger?

What’s it all mean anyways? What’s the significance? Do we just accept it because lots of people in the world follow the same suit and have been for decades…so that’s what is proper to do?

Call me a cynic or call me a modern day woman. This wedding hoopla just isn’t for me. AT ALL.

I think we decided we’re eloping on the summit of a mountain. Preferably near a cliff. Not so we can jump afterwards (you negative nancy’s!) but more to remind us at that moment of the overwhelming forces of nature and how overwhelming the fact we’ve found each other is. On top of the world and standing on the edge. Literally & figuratively. Imagine? Quick, simple, laid back, easy, relaxing, and focused. I love it. Done.

"Wearing a ring on the fourth finger of the left hand dates far back to ancient Egypt, where it was believed that the vena amoris (the vein of love) ran from that finger directly to the heart."

"A great marriage is like a long conversation that always seems too short."

Saturday, October 31, 2009

DIY Art Prints

The best part about having our own space in this world - whether it be a single room, an apartment, a house, an RV -whatever space is completely and utterly yours....the best part is the freedom we hold to pick and choose what we would like to surround ourselves with and look at everyday of our lives.

What makes you happy? What's your favorite color? What makes you smile? Reminds you of special memories? What is your creative vision?

Well, the biggest shock to me personally about people's selections for their homes - is when the walls are decorated with store-bought-dime-a-dozen-generic-general-just-because art/photo prints.

Admittedly, I am a photographer and have a professional side-photography-business ( in addition to my full-time duties as a publicist - however I promise making a beautifully original custom art photo print is easy as pie.

Step 1 - Take a photo. Since this is an ART print objective - your photo should be of a place or thing that holds special meaning to you- and for better abstract-art-effect, it should be a close up - zoom in to the little bit that is just your favorite. The bit that drew you to think of this special place or thing. If you're unable to zoom in as far as you'd like, try an interesting and unexpected angle.

{I was in California last Thanksgiving for my lovely cousin's wedding. In the guest room I was sleeping in was this STUNNING was such a special trip, a whirlwind, a welcomed break from my life on the east coast - and as I drifted off to sleep this is the angle I would see the chandelier from and I just thought it was gorgeous and needed to be captured in an image - when I see this now I don't just see a chandelier - I see all of the memories from this trip playing back in my mind.}

Step 2 - Upload it to your computer & using a photo editing program (I use photoshop, but for the basic beginner - you can use the editing option in your iPhoto, or an online simple FREE photo editing program like BE FUNKY, which is amazing - - or picknik or FotoFlexer) -- and just simply play with color hue, contrast, saturation, and effects. Press all the buttons you can and SEE WHAT HAPPENS. :-) You'll eventually land on an effect and color you love, and voila - a home made art print is born!

Step 3 - Order prints, frame & hang! And again for large prints I can't stress enough how incredible is. So affordable, ships the same day, and so many options for print material - just fabulous.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween-EVE!

I flippin' love Halloween.

{ode of the kitchen towels - and NOTE: my fool proof BAMBOO! I don't lie!}

I will be closing this laptop and in about 2 seconds I'll be sinking into that couch right there....looking greatly foward to relaxing in front of our newly installed eco-friendly and energy efficient pellet stove. Best invesment. Ever. I just have to say if you're looking into alternative heating - pellets are marvelous. So affordable, renewable, and you still get that flame that gives you the cozy homey "gather 'round and snuggle in" feeling. Just in love. We'll see what winter brings....but theoretically only $500 worth of pellets is all it will take to keep our little dream home heated for the season!

Oh.......and did I mentioned I got engaged on my birthday? {10/ wonder October is my favorite}

Whatta week.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Green-Thumb-Gene (& lack thereof)

Did anyone else not inherit their family's green-thumb-gene? Am I the only one over here leaf-ily-challenged?

What is it specifically about the concept of:
#1 dig a hole.
#2 plant something.
#3 water it so it doesn't die.

That I don't get?

It IS that easy, right? 1,2,3. Ugh.

Perhaps it's more horrifyingly embarrassing for me that I need fool-proof bamboo desktop plants (that actually SAY on the tag....NO DIRECT LIGHT and barely needs water so don't worry if you forget for 2 and a half months) because I grew up in a house that could in all likelihood qualify as the next great rain forest after the Amazon. With all of my mom's floor plants and hanging plants and table plants.....seriously, walking up the stairs into the living room might feel to a stranger like hiking in a heavily wooded national park.

Now this is not to make fun of my green-thumbed mother - oh no. I'm in AWE of this magnificent woman!!! I just don't know how she does it. Her yard is a botanical garden. Any and all colors you can imagine, the widest array of most beautiful plants, trees, flowers, it never ends, you can spend hours marveling at her work...I've told her many-a-times she should start charging $5 at the beginning of the driveway to enter.

Me on the other hand......ugh depressing! I'm not giving up though! Dreams of a grand garden - where I can pick my own herbs and veggies - will happen.....eventually.

Until then, I guess I'm fine enjoying my lovely (&fake) lillies ;-)

Monday, October 26, 2009

DIY Graphic Headboard

When we moved out of our apartment and into our house, I had a grand vision. Everything would be home-made, re-purposed, re-made, hand-crafted, and all considered 1-of-a-kind via my thrift-loving ways and DIY addiction.

Nothing more I hate than a home that looks like a cookie-cutter-show-room.

Exhibit #1 - One of my first orders of business was to create a dreamy master bedroom. That evokes the feeling of floating on a cloud and serenely calms your bones the minute you walk in. When I think of a dreamy state I think of things becoming blurry......that lapse of time in between falling asleep and fully waking up where your eyes aren't focused.

This train of thought led me to thinking about FADED LIGHTS.....and their soft glow. How I would love to always be surrounded by that.

I dragged out our strings of Christmas lights - in the dead of spring - and after the sun set, I secluded myself into the darkest corner and snapped a string of shots.

After selecting my favorite shot, I just brought up the picture in photoshop and played around with the color hue.

In the end I wanted the hue to match the exact color of our room - however this could be really great for contrasting colors - a stunning statement that would stand out. After finalizing my color hue, measuring around the bed and nailing down the perfect size print - I headed to my favorite printing website --

Don't be fooled by the lackluster website! Don't be put off by the non-fancy format! This service absolutely delivers - at an extraordinarily low price. You can order poster size prints for a mere $8. Since a headboard is a special focal point in a bedroom, I sprung to get this printed on CANVAS. Once my gorgeous canvas print arrived I embarked on stretching & staple-gunning it myself onto a wood frame (this included the first staple being excellently lodged into my hand) and after a few bandaids, help from the Mr., and some frusterating sighs...........VOILA!

The photos are from when we first moved in - hence the BARE-ness. There's been many-a-changes made in this room and some lovely additions. Also - we've painted ALL of the walls that soft jade color -- keep your eyes peeled for dream-state-bedroom-pictoral-update!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Today Is That Day

Hersheys. Ghiradelli. Godiva. Lindt. German chocolate. Belgian chocolate. Swiss Chocolate. Haut-Designer Chocolate to generic store-brand chocolate chips. Chocolate fondue to chocolate syrup. Chocolate chip cookies to chocolate cake.

I'm sorry, but some days I really do believe chocolate - of any brand/lightness/darkness/ the answer.

Who cares what the question is?

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever (proclaimed by me)
  • 2 sticks of butter at room temperature (vitally important!)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract (I'm big on flavor)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (plus a couple extra handfuls for good luck!)
Simple enough, the run of the mill blend the butter with the sugar, once creamy add the rest of the wet ingredients, slowly add the dry ingredients until all incorporated - then dump in ALL OF THAT CHOCOLATE. Extra handfuls necessary. And why not throw in some white chocolate chips for good measure.

Bake 350 degrees about 8 minutes (I like my cookies slightly UNDERcooked and chewyyyyy)
That perfect world right in between eating cookie dough and fully crumbly cookies.