Sunday, February 27, 2011

Crafty Bitch(es) - Round Three

So not too many of my friends are really all that interested in home décor and DIY… one exception to that rule is my pal, Kendall. Last week, she sent me an e-mail with two super-cute DIY throw pillows, so of course we planned a date to craft. (Aren’t we cool?) Before I start, let’s get one thing straight, I LOVE to craft but my skill set is somewhat… limited. So when we planned to do the throw pillows, we quickly realized that we needed to “fake it til we make it.”

So instead of actually making the pillows, we hopped on over to Ikea (which is conveniently about 10 minutes from my house) to buy the throw pillows and the throw pillow case. Before you start thinking that most of our work was done, I’d tell you to get off your high horse. It was quite a bit of work. :-)

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank a few people for which this pillow would not have been possible. (I’m watching the Oscars right now and I think I’m getting a little inspired. Or tipsy.) First, I’d like to thank my Mom. I called her about 4 times throughout the day. Thanks for answering your phone and/or calling me back each time even though you were at work trying to deliver babies. She is my crafting idol. Next, my pal Kendall. Her eternal optimism was greatly appreciated during the mini-meltdown I had during flower making. She’s also pretty resourceful; you’ll see what I mean below. Finally, my husband who acts super enthusiastic about my little DIY projects.

Now when I first spotted this Dwell throw pillow from Target, I really wanted it, but I just wasn’t feeling the $25 price tag, especially considering I have a bed full of pillows to buy. So, we decided to DIY it. I’ll warn you (in case you feel like taking this on) that this was a many-hour project.

First, you’ll want to take the throw pillow cover and divide it into 9 sections by folding and IRONING the edges down, sort of like this.

Then, you’ll take your fabric (choose whatever color you’d like your flowers to be) and cut into two inch strips. Cut as many strips as flowers you’d like to have. Fold in half lengthwise and iron, like so…

Next you’ll need some kind of backing for which to create and glue your flowers to. The tutorial said interfacing. It was at this point in time that we called my Mom to learn exactly what that was. After learning what interfacing is and realizing we didn’t have anything, we decided to get a little creative. (Kendall’s idea.) Insert dryer sheets because we’re klassy like that.

I will tell you that if you choose to go cheap-o like us, be sure to wash the dryer sheets to remove the scent/oil, then throw them in the dryer. Check out Kendall. Get it girl.

So, then you make your flowers. Sounds easy, right? Not quite. I had a bit of a meltdown doing this. I’m pretty sure Kendall thought I was going to lose it for a minute there. So, here’s a short tutorial (although there are tons of YouTube videos and blog posts in more detail).

Take a strip of fabric, tie a knot on one end then start some kind of variation between wrapping and twisting. Still not totally sure how I did it. Hot glue as you go on the backing you use. (For us, our trusty dryer sheets.) It’ll look something like this:

Then, once you create the first flower, you’ll look super-proud, like this:

Now do that eight more times. Sweet Jesus, it took a long time. Then, simply hot glue each flower onto your throw pillow. If you’re a laid-back, confident lady like Miss Kendall, you just eye it and it looks perfect. If you’re like me, you get our your trusty tape measure, measure it five times, then carefully glue each flower, then scrutinize, get up, walk around, come back and look at it for another five minutes. Then, decide it looks pretty darn good. Then, I repeated that eight more times.

Here’s the final product and I’m pretty darn proud of Kendall and myself!

Total cost? about 13 bucks. Ikea pillow: $3; Ikea throw pillow cover: $6.99; fabric from Hobby Lobby: $2.79. Not bad. It’s the first piece I’ve made for my “gray and yellow” themed guest room I’ll be working on this spring.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wardrobe Issues

I really don’t think of myself as a particularly stylish person. I have my moments, but I find that most trends that are “in” just don’t interest me. And I’m OK with that. Just because it’s on the runway doesn’t mean it works for every day. I have friends who are really stylish who can pull it off, but I don’t think I’m one of those.

I tend to get really stuck on certain things. Case in point: during about a six-month time frame in 2009, I was really into turtlenecks. OK, that was actually painful to write. I feel like I should really spend some time alone and just think about that. Weird. I swear I went on a shopping trip and was showing the hubby all my new stuff and he actually sat me down and said “We need to talk. You have a turtleneck problem.” I literally looked down and it just occurred to me that almost all the tops I had bought had some sort of “neck thing” going on.

Well this weekend, I went on another shopping trip and dontcha know it, I’ve found another subconscious obsession. This time? Ruffles. Literally everything I bought (including a pair of flats) had some kind of ruffles on it. Does anyone know if ruffles will be in this spring? Geez, I sure hope so.

While I appreciate Greg’s sometimes needed interventions, he also has no problem letting me know when he’s not quite feeling what I wear. A few years ago, I bought what I thought was a really cute spring dress; Greg referred to it as my moo-moo. Errrr. For my bridal shower, my bridesmaids made him answer questions about our relationship and it was a quiz during the shower. (Super-cute!) When asked if there was one thing of mine he could throw away…? You guessed it. My “moo-moo” dress. Cue the “awwwwwww.”

Now fast-forward to Monday morning, I decided to sport my new cute black flats; Greg referred to them as my “slippers.” I started to give him an “aww, bless your heart” look and explain that they were regular shoes and then I realized, OMG, he’s giving me the same look. :-)

But the truth is, I give Greg just as much trouble as he gives me about his work wardrobe, which mostly consists of pleated pants and blue shirts, white shirts and blue and white shirts that all pretty much look the same. It’s sort of embarrassing; I’m convinced his co-workers think he only has like four shirts.
(But it’s all in fun and we adore each other without or without fashionable clothes.)

And, in closing, if you see me walking along rockin’ shoes that look like slippers, a moo-moo or any kind of treacherous outfit, please don’t hesitate to intervene. Apparently this home girl could really use the help.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My Fave Home Decor

So, I have to share my absolutely favorite home décor item that I’ve bought recently. When I first came across it in the West Elm catalog, I had to have it. I’m pretty sure I even sent a link to my hubby with a note that said “We have to have this.” He probably responded with something like “Sounds good. Whatever you think.” But honestly, I just really didn’t want to pay full price for it. (You’re shocked, I know.) Then, as I was stalking the website (per the usual) and saw that the oval candle wall hanging SOLD OUT.

Being somewhat obsessive, I sent an e-mail to West Elm customer service and (bless their hearts), they e-mailed me back to let me know that they located several at the Dallas store. So, of course I headed to that store immediately (lucky for me, the only West elm store in Dallas happens to be in a shopping area that is one of my clients, so I’m over there often) and happily bought two. I didn’t even mind paying full price.

While they laid in the corner of my living room for about two months, we finally got them hung up and ordered flameless candles for them. They’re even remote-controlled. Oh yes, you heard that right. They’ve been quite a hit with guests who like to pretend they’re doing magic tricks a la the Young Darth Vader commercial. Put another way, this equates to 26-27 year-olds pretending to be Harry Potter.

I just feel like they give the room a more modern look. The hubby and I are still on the fence about whether the flameless candle look is cute and sets a nice ambience… or is more like Applebee’s chic. (?) But we like it.

Next challenge (I mean, besides finishing the master bathroom and starting on the guest bedroom) is the fireplace mantel. It’s a little… bare.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Idiotic Monday or Why I Should Have My License Revoked

So, yesterday was a very odd day for me. It doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that it was Valentine’s Day. Or a Monday. I just think I left my brain at home.

Case in point: I was driving back from a client meeting (luckily, I didn’t say or do anything idiotic during THAT) and realized my car was still covered in sand because of all the snow/ice from the week before, so I decided to go get a car wash. Totally normal, right? I’ve even been to this exact car wash SO many times. But for some reason, when it was time to put the car in neutral, I’m pretty sure I put it in reverse. I suddenly started moving backward on the ramp that is supposed to push your car forward. Um, WTF? Pretty sure I’ve been driving for almost 10 years.

The fun didn’t stop there, though. So, I finally get the car in neutral and, quite honestly, I’m thoroughly enjoying my car wash. Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You” was on and I was rocking OUT, channeling my inner “Elton John/peacock costume/Muppet show with a little Gwyneth Paltrow.” You know what I’m talkin’ bout.

So, then the car wash was over and I pulled out onto the street to drive back to work. Guess what I forgot to do? Yes. I forgot to put the car from neutral into drive. So I pull onto the road and begin to accelerate when all I hear is my engine revving. All of the people waiting at the DART bus stop are looking at me like I’m crazy. I’m suddenly VERY embarrassed. So, I put my car in drive and take my bruised ego back to work.

So, then I’m making my usual hour-long (shoot me) commute home. I’ve easily ate about 3,000 calories worth of cookies and brownies (thanks to my sweet hubby for the warm cookie delivery to work!) and to be honest, I’m over the whole car wash incident. I’m talking to my sister (via my hands-free headphones, mind you!) and driving home. I stop off to fill up my tank and I’m still just chatting away. So, I swipe my Kroger card (you get 10 cents off per gallon!), swipe my debit card and jump in the car. After sitting there for several minutes, I check to see where it’s at and realize, um, I didn’t even put the gas nozzle in the tank. Seriously?

So, while I left my brain at home, I did get to enjoy a very quiet Valentine’s Day (hubby had to work late, so we celebrated earlier in the weekend) with a glass of wine, cheesecake and The Bachelor.

Happy Tuesday! Here’s hoping the week gets less weird.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Crafty Bitch: Round Two

I’m back and between you and I, I think I’ve really outdone myself. Last weekend, after an entire week of being snowed/iced in, I was finally able to get out of the house. Since Super Bowl XLV was taking over Dallas, I decided to stay in the ‘burbs for the entire weekend. Since the hubby is in the middle of busy season, he often has to work weekends, so with no friends in the ‘burbs, I was on my own. So I decided to get crafty! I was hoping to tackle no-sew curtains for the master bathroom (as I’m very anxious to finish the re-do of that room), but had a bit of a fabric store fail. Joann’s Fabric was a freaking nightmare. Who is willing to literally “take a number” to get fabric cut? Not this girl. So that’s a craft for another day.

Instead, I decided to make a yarn wreath. Sounds kind of country bumpkin, right? Now before you cue the “Beverly Hillbillies” theme song and your mind automatically goes to the deliciously ‘90s “make your own potholder” loom kit when you think “yarn crafts,” hold tight. (Side note: Am I the only one to use this kit to make my own shitty potholder and give it to my grandma like it was the best gift ever?)

OK, let’s get back on topic. The yarn wreaths are actually really cute. My sister did one with antique buttons that inspired the idea! And let’s face it, my orange, autumn berry wreath is still up. Embarrassing. I’m shocked I haven’t received a “warning post card” from the Homeowners Association.

If you want a more in-depth, how-to on how to do this, check out Danielle Burkleo’s super-cute blog. She gives a way better tutorial than me. What can I say? I’m a crafting newbie. Now I’ll give you my quick run-down.
The supplies (a bare wooden wreath, a roll of yarn and a few pieces of felt):
First, wrap the yarn around the wreath until it’s entirely covered. It took me an entire roll of yarn – and let’s face it – about two hours to do this. I did it while watching the Super Bowl.
Next, it was time to make the flowers. Take a piece of felt and cut it into a wavy circle.
Then, start cutting in a circular strip until you get to the center (see below).
Then, start wrapping the felt tightly. The larger the circle and the more you cut, the larger the rose. So I made a few sizes. Once you get to the circular end, paste the base to the rose. I used craft glue, but hot glue would work, too!
Proud crafter with my first handmade flower:
Then, pin (or glue the flowers) onto the wreath. I pinned them so I can easily remove them if I’d like to re-do the look of the wreath without all the yarn-wrapping again.

So, here’s the end result. Not bad for a novice crafter!

All in all, it took me about the length of the Super Bowl game (so however long that is? 3.5 hours?), but it only cost about $11. A quick search on Etsy showed comparable wreaths at $25-80, so I feel it was time well-spent!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Baby Story. No, Not Mine.

So, I have sort of a guilty pleasure. I absolutely *LOVE* watching TLC’s “A Baby Story.”

When I work from home, I always take a little break around noon-ish to eat lunch and watch this show. It basically follows a couple during pregnancy, throughout labor/delivery and right after. And during the delivery, they like… show stuff. Sick, right? What an amazing miracle, right? Well, it recently occurred to me that a good portion of the people they highlight opt for a “natural birth” or even worse, a *shivers* water birth. Every once in a while they’ll highlight an average couple that delivers in a hospital and with lots of drugs, but not too often.

I’ve never thought much of it, but during the recent Snowpocalypse in Dallas while I was working from home all week, it occurred to me that this is a very odd show for me to watch (being childless and all). I made this realization when my hubby, who was working from home, too, walked into the living room from the office and nearly passed out. I thought the TV screen had burned his eyeballs the way he grabbed his face and spun around and started making gagging noises. “No, no, no, nope, no, no…” was all he could muster to say. So you can see, we have some maturing to do.

For me, I think the show is a form of birth control. When I feel like I can deal with that kind of pain, then maybe I’ll be ready. Anyways, long story, short – these bitches are all kinds of crazy and when I have a baby, I’ll call the hospital in advance and have the epidural waiting for me. On ice. Geez.

Any other crazies out there watch/enjoy this show? Just me?

Friday, February 4, 2011

A Cold Day in Hell

Holy Jesus, it’s been cold outside. Having lived in Oklahoma for 11 years, I’ve had my fair share of snow and ice. But I also moved to Texas for a reason and that was to get away from the cold weather… yet here it is.

So, here’s something interesting: I haven’t been into the office all week. Due to an emergency home issue (more to come on that) and bad weather, I’ve spent the week working from home. During this week, I’ve learned a few things:

1. I chose the wrong line of work. Apparently, I should’ve become a plumber because they are allowed to charge an ungodly amount of money for an hour or two of work. I had to work from home on Monday to wait for a plumber to come out, dig around in my front yard, fix a pipe and then rob me. (And by “rob,” I mean I wrote him a check for what he quoted me. I'm feeling a little dramatic, leave me alone.) Luckily, Greg and I save a small portion of each paycheck to our home account (or as Greg calls it, “Home Acquisitions account” – he’s such an accountant) so we can buy décor, make improvements, etc. so it wasn’t a huge deal, BUT I was just hoping to spend that money on décor for my mantle or my guest bedroom re-do, not a broken pipe. So is the life of a homeowner, though.

The aftermath: Thanks overpriced plumber. Really nice.

2. You can and will gain 4 pounds if you lay around and eat an entire plate of cake balls over the course of only a few days. Whoa. Get it together girl.

3. Our smoke detector is alive, evil and wants to ruin our sleep (and as a result, our LIVES). Anyone in Dallas, knows all about the rolling blackouts we had on Wednesday. So, starting at 7 a.m. (when we were still soundly sleeping, working from home that day and all), we realized we lost power. A minute later, every alarm in our house went off. Pretty sure, you’ve probably never seen two people running around so confused. I’ve honestly never heard my husband mutter so many cuss words in a row. Being somewhat new homeowners, we were clueless about what to do. So after about 10 minutes of expletives, pure confusion, and running around like we had somewhere to be, we came up with a plan. After ripping out all the batteries (didn’t work), trying to unplug (didn’t work either) and one call to the Frisco Fire Department, we thought we had it under control. Until about 2 a.m. on Thursday morning when the alarm went off again and continued to do so about every hour until 7 a.m. that morning. Two calls to the fire department later, I think we’ve got it solved. I think about our smoke detectors much like Kevin Mcalister thought about the furnace in his basement in Home Alone. Alive and terrifying.

4. Chickfila is worth the risk. After being stuck in my house for literally 3.5 days, I had to get out. Against Greg’s better judgment, we ventured out (after digging out garage door out of the snow so it would open) to enjoy some chicken-y, waffle-fried goodness. Roads were very icy but we made it safely home and boy, was it worth the risk!

5. The bitch is back. That’s right, the crafty bitch that dwells somewhere inside of me is hoping to make a return over the weekend. With all of this down time I’ve had at home, I made a list of things I’m hoping to tackle. More to come on that soon!

And here's a look at our front yard and my car covered in snow. Poor girl.

Hope all of you are staying warm and safe…