Friday, July 30, 2010

Dilemma

Everyone always gives us a really hard time about being addicted to Craigslist.  Clay used to be the one that would find all the great deals but I've been on a roll lately.  It has become part of our morning routine.  Get up, get some coffee, and check Craigslist.  Usually I don't even look at the "free" section because its usually junk but for some reason I did this morning.  What a gem I found!

Clay and I are picking it up tonight.  Its free!!  As in $0!  Now my head is spinning with ideas for a redo.  This is where I need some opinions.  Do I just strip it, stain it darker, and add new hardware?  Or go for something a little more out there?  I was thinking of getting a damask stencil, painting the top white, stenciling the damask black, and then painting the bottom a bold color like yellow or pink and adding glass knobs.  I thought it would be really cool for a teenage girl.  Or, maybe doing the damask stencil with a really dark stain pen on the top and then staining over the whole thing with a lighter shade.  I told my mom, it is too early for my creative brain to spinning like this.  What do you think?  Comments and opinions are appreciated!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A CONSTANT Struggle

I don't know why I was on Amazon last night but I checked my wish list to make sure it was still up to date.  Its not even so much for other people as is it for me.  There are so many cute things on Amazon, that I'll forget where I saw something.  So here is my struggle.  I love shoes.  I mean LOVE shoes.  I love them bright, REALLY tall, and super fun.  I've even caught myself making audible ooh and ahhh sounds in the shoe aisle at Nordstrom Rack.  Problem is...I'm a huge tightwad.  I have a couple of pairs of fun shoes but since I'm at work 99% of the time, they are all black or brown and sensible (a.k.a BORING).  I think I've solved my dilemma.  Any extra money I make from selling Craigslist redos, helping out at weddings, etc I will reward myself with a pair of non-sensible, party on my feet kind of heels.  Here is a screen shot of just part of my wish list.  I think the first ones will be a toss up between the gold peep toes and the silver mega platforms.  Good thing the hubs is 6'5"!  I could wear 9" heels (not that I would) and still be shorter than him.  I guess it will push me even more to find some craptastic deals that I can turn into fantastic finds. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Great Day Yesterday

I always listen to Martha Stewart Radio (XM channel 112).  I've never called in when Martha is on (frankly, I think I'd really be too nervous), but Mario Bosquez was on Everday Living and talking about DIY weddings.  The new summer issue of Martha Stewart Weddings is all about DIY projects.  Once they started talking about DIY cakes, I couldn't help but call in.  I think I was actually sweating when I called.  Anyway, with lots of help from my family, we made Clay's groom cake ourselves.  If you have never experienced the glory that is a cake ball, then you are in for a treat...literally.  Cakes are so expensive and buying cake balls already made is even more ridiculous.  Like many things I see, I thought, I can do that!  We made three flavors: carrot cake, red velvet, and blackberry cobbler (Clay's favorite).  They are fairly easy to make, but pretty time consuming.  By the way, Mario and guest raved about the idea and went on a tangent about cake balls in general.  Here are step by step instructions from Bakerella (my notes are in pink)

Red Velvet Cake Balls (or use any cake flavor/frosting combo you want!)


1 box red velvet cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake)
1 can cream cheese frosting (16 oz.) don't use the whole can, they get way too mushy and will get squished, I would suggest about a half.  The mixture should be like Play-Doh.
1 package chocolate bark (regular or white chocolate) I used almond bark
wax paper
Crisco-I know, I hate Crisco but it only needs a bit to keep the bark from clumping
Skewers for dipping the balls
A big piece of styrofoam to put them on while they cool unless you don't mind the flat bottom. 
1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
2. Mix thoroughly with 1 (half) can cream cheese frosting. (It may be easier to use fingers to mix together, but be warned it will get messy.)  Fingers are the best mixers-just make sure all the big chunks are mixed
3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet. (Should make 45-50. You can get even more if you use a mini ice cream scooper, but I like to hand roll them
4. Chill for several hours. (You can speed this up by putting in the freezer.)-freeze for about 2 hrs, then once they are semi-hard, re-roll to get a smoother ball, then freeze for about another 2 hrs.
5. Melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package. I think the person that wrote this is crazy, everyone knows chocolate gets lumpy in the microwave!  Use a double boiler and work  in small batches. Sometimes the cake will get in the almond bark/chocolate so you will want to change out batches if it gets too clumpy
6. Roll balls in chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm. (Use a spoon to dip and roll in chocolate and then tap off extra.) Oh, they make sound so easy.  If you stab them with a skewer, dip in the almond bark, and then kind of roll them until it is hard enough not to drip, you can then stand them up in the styrofoam so your ball is round, not flat bottomed.

-Once they are done and the almond bark is completely hardened, gently pull out skewer and place on wax paper.  I went back and filled in the holes with a little more bark.  Make sure you seal the whole completely if you are doing cobber balls, they like to seep juice.  These are so great for parties since you don't need forks or even plates really.  They were quite the rav.  Here is picture from the wedding reception. 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bakerella has tons of great ideas on their website.  The directions to all the pops below can be found on their website.  Everything looks cuter on a stick and these bite size goodies help with portion control:
Cheescake pops:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mini Pie Pops (these are definitely on my to do list)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Aren't these mini wedding cake pops so cute? 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
To top the day off, my chandelier redo was featured on Better After!
http://betterafter.blogspot.com/2010/07/brassy-to-bronzed.html

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Chair Redo

I finished the second coat of paint on my little desk chair last night and just put the seat back on.  When it is just up against the turquoise wall, I like it.  But when I put it at my desk, it clashes with the red cherries in the apothecary jar and looks a little like the color of radioactive peas.  I'm debating whether or not to try again with a different color.
Before:
It was a really weird color green with a hairy brown seat.  I had to take that material off outside because it was so full of dust.  Still only $15 on craigslist!


After: 
Painted the whole chair in Behr Citron and recovered the seat with the same Amy Butler fabric that I have on the couch pillows.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Making the Switch

Our home computer was on its last leg.  It is my old computer from about five or six years and slower than dirt.  We've had the hard drive crash once and now it takes FOREVER to do anything.  Clay was ready to get a new one.  He uses the home computer for work and was constantly frustrated with it not working.  When he is ready to get something, he just does it.  So, last night while I was making dinner, he went computer shopping and came home with an iMac. 

We went back and forth about staying with a PC but the Mac had much more capability when it came to graphics, photograph editing, etc.  Now comes the learning curve.  I have NEVER used a Mac.  I have a feeling Clay wants me to figure it out and then teach him how to do everything.  I'm pretty sure the user's manual is going to get lots of use but so far, so good.  This computer is an all in one.  No tower, that is all built into the monitor.  It was the easiest setup I've ever seen.  We plugged in one cord to the power outlet and that was it, the rest is wireless. 

On a side note, I finally got my sewing mannequin that I bought off Craigslist!  It is going to take quite a bit of work, but I think it will look great in the end.  I also got most of my desk chair redone so pictures will be posted this week for sure.  Not much left to complete the craft room...except finishing all the actual crafts that I've started in there!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fabric Blowout

Today through Monday, July 26th, http://www.fabric.com/ has all their Westminster fabric on sale for $2.49 a yard.  There are some of the cutest prints and of course, all the ones I put on my order are turquoise, hot pink, or yellow.  I can't help it, I love those colors.  I really try to get out of my color box, but its soo easy to go to the same ones.  Football season is right around the color, so I made sure to get some burnt orange in there for good measure.  Here are a couple that I ordered today:

Friday, July 16, 2010

Its Like Crack

Now that I'm linked to all this decorating, repurposing, cooking, and designing blogs, my brain is in overload.  Everywhere I go, I see goodies that just need a fabric overhaul, or a coat of paint, or just a little wax.  Its scary.  I'm so bummed that we are going to Plano this weekend.  I'm missing out on the City Wide Garage...again, and a sweet estate sale that I've already cruised online.  They have some really cool chairs that are practically begging me to redo them.

You may see two ugly side chairs with old material and outdated caning, but I see the new chairs with the wood white washed and a tone on tone stripe fabric. They just need to be brightened a bit.

My husband would probably think I'm nuts to love these chairs but isn't the shape great?  A little darker stain on the wood and new damask fabric would be great for the office.  Or, paint the base a bright color and put a bold print on the cushions.  The options are endless. 
**I had a reader ask what spray paint I used on the chandelier redo.  I used Krylon primer in white first so that the dark would have a good base to grip to and then I believe it was also Krylon in oil rubbed bronze.  It has a metallic flake in it so it has a good texture to it and a bit of sparkle so it looks like real iron. I was really impressed with how it turned out.  I will check for sure the next time I go to Home Depot.  I'm sure it won't be long before I need some more.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Craft Room Update

I managed to get some much needed painting time in last week and this afternoon.  I finished all the walls and only had to go to Home Depot once today.  I was about 90% done and ran out of paint.  I scraped every last drop out of the can and it just wouldn't make it, so I had to take my paint covered self up to the store and grab another quart.  Don't you hate when that happens?  I still have some work to do.  I need some big obnoxious piece of artwork on the wall above my desk.  Maybe a collection of old vintage signs?  I'm on the hunt.  I need a desk lamp and a cool old fan since we took the ceiling fan out.  I have a couple of more pillows to do for the couch and a sewing machine cover.  If I ever get that sewing mannequin from the Craigslist lady, then she'll be recovered in leopard print and out somewhere as well.  But, for having Aquapalooza on Lake Travis this weekend and a houseguest, I think I was still pretty productive.  So, here is the updated pictures:
Before:
Pretty dull and tan.  The desk and bookshelf were Craiglist finds.  I painted the bookshelf white and took that front door off.  I had done the same thing to the desk and added the glass knobs that I found at Hobby Lobby.

























Bruiser and Ruby love hanging out with me in here now, but even they look uninspired with that wall color!
Here is the chandelier I got at an estate sale, I still can't believe her grandchildren didn't want it.  Oh, what a little oil rubbed bronze spray paint can do.

After:
I still need to find a chair as well.  It will be recovered in either the red polka dot that is folded up on the desk or the same material as the couch pillows.
I still need to go through my wedding pictures and put one in this shadow box frame I got from my friend, Paige, as well as put my garter in it.

Overall, I love it.  I love turquoise and pink more than anything, so this is a good balance of girly, but not pastely and over the top.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Plugging Along

Aren't things supposed to slow down in the summer?  It seems like we get busier by the week in the Ellis household.  Weddings, birthday parties, holidays, houseguests, in town, out of town... Geez.  This schedule has not left me much time to blog or work on my craft room.  The lady on Craigslist that I'm buying the sewing mannequin from realized that it is all the way in the back of her cluttered storage unit and can't get to it.  They are moving in two weeks so she said it be would accessible by then.  Um, if you list something to sell, have it ready!  Oh well, at least I know I'll have it in a about another week.  I'm just ancey to get the room completely put together.  Clay was out of town last night, so with the supervision of Bruiser and Ruby, I got about 2/3 of the craft room painted.  I love it.  I think it will get even better once I move all my white furniture and see the color against it.  I will definitely need some art on the walls or on my desk.  I looked  around a bit on Etsy and found another great store.
Here are a couple of the super cute and quirky things you can find at Farouche:

Love all of these:
I really wished this matched my kitchen
I'm definitely getting these (they will personalize for free):