Oct 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

The sun is beginning to set and soon all the trick-or-treaters will be out and about.  I love seeing all the costumes and the reactions on people's faces when our chubby bulldog, Roxy, goes wobbling out the front door to greet them.  Roxy is going to be a troll, which is what she was last year too, and it's such a riot.

Our neighbor had a Halloween party last night and I'm very happy to tell you that Rob won the 1st place prize for Best Costume.  I was so excited Rob won because he NEVER gets into costume.  Also, the costume was my idea and we made it ourselves - so that was cool too.  Originally, Rob was going to throw a sheet over his head and be a ghost...how freaking boring is that?  Right?  Anyhow, I convinced him to be Edward Scissorhands - and taking a look at a couple images of Edward was all it took. 

I scowered through the racks and bins at a couple local thrift stores to find what I needed for our costumes.  Luckily, I found most of the props at the thrift shops.  However, I did require a trip to Joann Fabrics and a Halloween store. 

Check us out...how cute is Roxy!  She's special. 

Detail is everything and execution is no joke. I printed out pictures
of Edward so we could mirror his character as best as possible.
Rob has the perfect Edward body shape too!

This is my sister and I. Check out her wind blown make-up job.

For never really being into dressing up for Halloween, I think we did pretty good.  And Rob's 1st place prize is proof that he killed the competiton.   He's already throwing around ideas for next year's costume.
I hope you have a safe and Happy Halloween.

Oct 24, 2010

Stenciled Curtains

I couldn't wait to share this mini-makeover with you.  After the stencil project I did on our back door, found here, I knew that I'd be temporarily obsessing over stencils.  I immediately started thinking about what else I could stencil away.  And that's when I began wandering around the house, staring at random items and furniture, trying to come up with a good stenciling idea.  I walked into our guest bedroom and looked around for a moment.  Got it!  The curtains in the guest bedroom were just so drab and borrrrr-ring.  Wouldn't you agree?  So that was it. The guest bedroom curtains it was.
The curtains used in this project are very basic (inexpensive too) and you can score them at IKEA for just $19.99.  Once you've got your curtains picked out, here's what else you'll need:
  1. Craft Knife  ($4)
  2. Overlay Film ($9 for a whole book.  If you're crafty, a DIYer and creative I'd suggest you buy the whole book.  Trust me, it'll get used!)
  3. Fabric Paint  ($2 each - I used 5)
  4. Sponge or roller brush  ($2)
  5. Double-sided Tape  ($4)
  6. Ruler
First, I cut the lining out of the curtains.  This won't make a difference in how the curtains will look.  I found that doing this made it easier to flatten the fabric and keep everthing straight while stenciling. 

Next, I did an "image" search on Google for "stencil patterns."  I found a pattern I liked, expanded the image to a good size and printed it out.

I traced the pattern on a peice of clear overlay film and used a craft knife to cut it out. 
Because my pattern isn't solid, I had to do an additional cut in the center of the stencil.  This important step gave me the mini stencil [I'll refer to this as the "star"] shown below in my left hand.  

If I were to paint the big stencil above, without the "star" in the center, I'd get a solid pattern- which I didn't want

Then, I took quick measurements on the curtain to ensure my patterns would be evenly spaced. After that, I placed double-sided tape all around the back of the stencil- really getting in close to the stencil's edges.  This was very helpful in keeping the stencil in place and pressed tight against the fabric.

Finally, I was ready to paint away.   

I used the end of a pen to put pressure on the stencil.  This helped adhere the tape to the fabric.

Here's the stenciling in progress:

My suggestion is to use a sponge brush because they are super easy to work with. I'm not sure I would have achieved these results with a roller brush- they can get really messy.

This is the first panel that I finished.  Pretty awesome! 

Overall, stenciling my curtains was fun, fast, easy-breezy and budget-friendly.  All said and done, this makeover cost $48.00 - WITH THE CURTAINS!!! 



This project partied with the best of them at:

Oct 14, 2010

Practice Makes Perfect

We're planning a baby shower for my lil' sis!!! I'm pumped! You know I totally claimed the decorations. The small decor joys in life...make me so cheesy happy.

Anyhow, the shower isn't until the end of Nov., but the ideas started flowing immediately. I've always wanted to make those tissue paper balls, which I know you've seen on the internet, so this is a perfect reason to make them. Because I want to master the art of crafting balls before the shower, I got right to work. Luckily my twin popped in with a bottle of wine right as I started.  I put her to work and it's a good thing I did because making them is much easier with two sets of hands.

Here's our first stab at making tissue paper balls: [please excuse the iPhone pics]

If you haven't guessed by the blue and green colors, my sister's having a boy!

Not too bad, right?  It'll look a thousand percent better the day of the party.  The plan is to make a crazy amount, like 40 to 50, in many sizes and hang them at different lengths above the table.  I'd also love to work an obnoxious amount of paper chains into the mix.  I recently made paper chains for a football slash birthday party we had and they were so easy and cheap and FUN to make.  
The theme for the shower is going to be safari animals - with more focus on giraffes and elephants because I think they're cuter than their other safari friends.  So, you can imagine how excited I was when I laid my eyes on this cute cookie jar at my favorite thrift store yesterday - perfect for the baby shower.  And it was only six dollars!

Oct 9, 2010

Backyard Flower Arrangement

We had family over for lunch today.  I love entertaining! I've heard that you grow out of it but I'm not so sure I've heard right.  The weather was delicious and I really enjoyed hanging out in our backyard  - more so than other days.  I think it was a combination of the warm sunlight, oh-so-perfect temperature at 75 degress and the smell of freshly cut grass in the air.

I bought a Fern this past Spring and it tripled in size - I just love it.  [I'm  thinking about bringing it inside for the winter but I must perform a serious pesticide treatment first.] 

While staring at the Fern I wondered how it would look if I were to put pieces of it in a vase with water.  Hmmmm.  I started to pull pieces off the Fern and my mother-in-law suggested that I also cut pieces from an annual in one of my garden beds.  The next thing I knew the two of us were off - buzzing around and looking for other colorful peices of nature to add to the vase.

We had fun.  Here's a picture of what we snipped, clipped, pulled and cut from the yard.