Thursday, October 30, 2014

Painted Pumpkins

FINALLY, my completed pumpkins!

You guys aren't going to believe this, but I caught a nasty head cold last week AND then I got all four wisdom teeth yanked on Friday. Hence, the delay in getting these bad boys painted and the blog post published.



This is the first time I've painted pumpkins. As you can see, these are not your traditional Halloween pumpkins. I'm hoping to have them around through November as well, so I went for a more contemporary look. The littlest one with the blue is my attempt at creating an Ikat design.

Maybe I'll wait until after Halloween when all of the pumpkins and gourds go on sale and I'll paint a few more!

Here are some Pinterest inspiration pictures that got my creative synapses firing. 

Bling with an unexpected color

Candy Corn Stripes, Argyle, Chevron

Puffy paint? Yes please!

Ikat
What girl doesn't love glitter?

I've been searching for small/taller
pumpkins ever since seeing this!

Is anyone else stretching their creative muscles with pumpkins this year?

~ Alicia 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Creative Seasonal Decor

Autumn has definitely arrived here in New England.

The foliage has finally reached Boston, gourds and pumpkins are nestled on doorsteps and in window boxes, I've broken out the riding boots and scarves - it's glorious!

I've been busy with a pumpkin project of my own... I'll post pictures as soon as it's complete (hopefully tonight).

But in the meantime, I stumbled across this fun project on Pinterest and had to share. It's a little reminiscent of my recent blog post 'For the love of succulents!', and a little bit of foreshadowing for my project to come.

Check out Cheryl's post over at Tidymom.net for details on how she made an Elegant Succulent Pumpkin Planter.

Perfect for the season!
~ Alicia

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Little Privacy (With a Curtain) Please!

I don't currently own a sewing machine, so I'm a pretty big fan of 'no sew' tape. I first learned how easy it is to hem curtains with 'no sew' tape from YoungHouseLove.com 

If you are a fan of this blog, you already know that John and Sherry recently announced that they will be permanently stepping away from their blog of 4 years to pursue other careers. Sad for readers, but wonderful for their family. For this project, I decided to channel my inner Sherry. 

In my last two apartments, the front door has had a pane on glass looking out into the foyer. Which makes for a pretty door, but doesn't offer a whole lot of privacy. 



I thought about purchasing a curtain and just hemming it to the correct dimensions, but curtains can be pretty expensive and I knew I wanted something light to contrast the darkly stained woodwork. I purchased some white fabric from Joann Fabrics a while back and had just enough to make a new curtain for this window. 

Here are the steps I took:

First, I measured the dimensions of the window so that I knew how wide and long the curtain needed to be. There's nothing worse than going through all of the work only to find that the darn thing is too short. Believe me, it happened with a panel of curtains I hemmed a while back. Ugh!

Taking one side, I evenly folded over the edge of the fabric TWICE. You want the raw edge to go under the nice, new edge that will be exposed. I like to iron my folds to make sure I'm creating straight lines with the fabric. The hems can be any width you want. I usually go with 1-1.5 inches on the sides, and 3 inches for the top and bottom hem. Note that you don't want to close up the top hem entirely since you will be pushing a curtain rod through it!


Then I took a strip of 'no sew' tape and cut it to the desired length. I like to work with shorter sections so that I can be more precise, otherwise I find that the fabric puckers.


Next, I placed the strip under my second fold, treating it like a fabric sandwich, and ironed with a HOT iron. I let the heat of the iron rest and sink into the fabric/tape (glue). More of a 'pick up, and press' sort of motion. 


Once I had 'no sew' taped all of my edges, I was ready for hanging (a small rod and bracket had already been installed by the previous renters - yay!).

And... tah-dah! Much better don't you think?

P.S. I hemmed all of the curtains in the apartment the same way. I measured how many inches needed to come off, folded the fabric under, and 'no sew' taped to create a new hem. Time intensive, but easy peasy.

~ Alicia




Friday, October 10, 2014

Bathroom Humor

Decorating small spaces can be a challenge, especially a small bathroom. Upon moving into the new place, I made the mistake of buying a dark gray shower curtain that I thought it would look chic, but when in reality it made the small bathroom... feel even smaller.

After switching it out for something more light and airy, I knew I was on the right track to achieving the calming bathroom of my dreams.

I combined a few decor favorites from my last apartment and added a few new things too:
  • Shower curtain (already mentioned above)
  • Two bathmats, one for in front of the tub and another for in front of the sink. (Tootsies on the cold tile is not fun)
  • Silver magnifying mirror
  • Qtip holder in a vibrant blue glass
  • Blue wooden frame for art

The blue frame hung vacant for a while as I searched for something worthy. I thought about creating something myself to match the coastal decor I already had going on - a framed postcard from a trip to Nantucket, a glass vase filled with the remains of my smashed terrarium, and a couple other odds and ends. 


But it wasn't until I stumbled across this image on Etsy that I knew I'd found the winner, and surprisingly it had nothing to do with the ocean. 




It's a print of the 1891 patent for toilet paper! Not only is it funny (in my opinion), it's also interesting (also my opinion). I opted for the parchment paper look and purchased from Etsy's Patent Prints for $7.00. The print now happily resides in the blue frame above the toilet - which hopefully amuses our guests as much as it amuses me. 


Renting = outdated wooden vanity 

If you've done something unexpected and quirky in your bathroom or home I would love to hear more about it. Feel free to comment or reach out.
Have a great weekend!

~ Alicia 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Driftwood Mirror Update

I've been dragging my feet when it comes to my driftwood mirror project. I first started talking about it back in May, which feels like an eternity ago!

If you take a look back, you'll see that I salvaged one of my old mirrors from its' broken frame and glued it onto a new piece of plywood with enough of a border to do something creative. I decided on driftwood and purchased 100 real driftwood pieces from the Etsy shop Driftwood Amour.

The project turned out to be a bit of a challenge since the pieces are so small and it's like a puzzle trying to completely cover the plywood. I may have to order more pieces to finish the project, and then I'm going to have to figure out how to hang it - I anticipate it being pretty heavy.

Anyway here is the progress. Stay tuned, I might finish it... possibly by next May.

Happy Hump Day!

~ Alicia


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

For the Love of Succulents!

Succulents seem to be all the rage right now and I've officially jumped on the bandwagon. 

I purchased a little handing terrarium similar to the one at the right from Whole Foods over the summer. Well, he didn't last long. I had it nicely displayed on the window sill over the sink so that I could enjoy it while doing dishes, and well... the boyfriend came along to put the shade down and... SMASH!    
I'm still waiting for my replacement terrarium (and surprise roses - ahem!). But moving on!

I purchased the white planter (below) from Home Depot last Spring to keep fresh herbs in the house. Sadly, the planter was a bit small and my cilantro, basil and mint didn't even last through the summer. 
                                                                                                                  
My replacement plan was always succulents, but it wasn't until I came across these FAKE succulents at Michaels that I finally got moving with the project. 


As you can see, I simply bent the stems of the fake succulents and pushed them into the already existing potting soil. I know it's not the cleanest option, but I do have plans to replace the dirt with pebbles. Stella was very curious about the whole process. As you can see, I couldn't get a picture without her in it. Meow!                                                                                                                            


I'm really happy with the end result, they look very realistic for being plastic. I even had the boyfriend touch them because he didn't realize they were fake. It works out well since the apartment doesn't get a lot of natural light.

I can't wait to start another succulent project. Check out some of the inspiration pictures I have pinned on Pinterest. There are some really creative ideas out there. 

What a bright idea! (Get it?)
The natural wood, the glass dome, LOVE.
A great way to add some coastal flair.
I passed one of these in TJ Max recently
and now totally regret not taking it home.
Funny enough, I have the exact same bowl!
But I use mine to hold fruits and veggies. 
Channeling a little Kim & Kanye,...
a WALL of succulents.

Has anyone else done something awesome with succulents?

~ Alicia