Thursday, July 21, 2011

Honey, You Mossed Try It! - (DIY Moss Letter)

I was just itching for an afternoon craft project a couple of weeks ago, after being tied up for several weekends in a row with out-of-town tasks and whatnot. After seeing a few tutorials online, I decided to get my fix by creating a moss-covered letter.  This was one of those "I don't know why I'm doing this but I want to" kind of projects.  I knew I would like it, even though I have no idea where it'll end up.  After all, I love the color and flair these can bring to walls, bookshelves, and various vignettes.

And after all, it's not like I'm investing in a moss-tang.  It was basically the price of a jar of moss-tard.  (Yep, I just went there.)


Here's what you'll need:
- Letter (I used an inexpensive cardboard letter from JoAnn)
- Sheet moss (I used two packages, but would recommend buying three so you have more large, full sheets to work with)
- Low-temp glue gun (The "low-temp" part may reduce the amount of curse words and hopping around like a fool while shaking your frying hand in the air.  At least, that's what I was thinking.)
- Glue sticks
- Something to cover your floor/craft area (I used free Christmas wrapping paper I keep on hand for projects)
- Scissors

In case you didn't notice, I didn't include scissors in the photo above. On accident.  But I mean, you do have other options.  You could shred the moss with your teeth, for example.  But I would recommend it. (a) The moss will get stuck in your teeth (b) It's really messy (c) I don't imagine it tastes very good (d) If the neighbors catch a glance through the windows, it would be rather hard to explain.

So, use scissors - even if I didn't include them in the photo, mm-kay? Moving on...

Get to Workin':
It's pretty simple.
- You just fold the sheets out, then start wrapping pieces around the letters.
- Glue the pieces in place, one piece at a time.

Here's my progress after the first sheet.

- Use your scissor to trim around the excess around the edges.
- Keep gluing pieces next to each other.

As I mentioned earlier, I might buy more than two packages to make things move along more easily. My packages had about 1-1/2 larger sheets and a few smaller pieces for each package, so I had to spend more time making each "seam" look natural and fairly seemless.  I think would be easier to have three-or-so large sheets, and just use a couple smaller pieces to fill in. Capeesh?

Here's the final product:

And some detail shot of the side...

I got my crafty-fix.  And a moss letter in the process!  I keep moving it around our place.  It looks so vibrant in each little spot. 

Do you ever find yourself itchy to get your hands a-workin' to make something pretty?  Do you love the bright green moss as much as I do? Any recent crafty projects to share? 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Thrift Shopping - Mission Possible in Birmingham

I stopped into Mission Possible recently and found some incredible items I had to share.

Like this full size bed for less than $150.  It had a few dings but wow. 

I think this twin bamboo headboard was only around $10 or so!  This is pretty on trend now (people are incorporating those Golden Girls chairs into beautiful spaces).  With the right surroundings, this sucker could look so chic.

You're going to think I'm crazy.  But I've been thinking of this sofa ever since I laid eyes on it.  My initial thought was "ugly sofa, but it has great lines. Good candidate for reupholstery (in which case I would consider making two large cushions instead of four). But the more I looked at this thing... it's kind of rad as-is, and could look great with some kitchy pillows and modern accessories surrounding it. The color isn't great in this photo, but it gives you an idea of the green velvet color that is so on trend.

Any recent or favorite thrifting finds? Do you think the green sofa totally ugly or totally chic?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dining Room Updates - Curtains & Rug!

You know that place where you eat food (when company comes over, at least)?  The dining room.  Yeah. That place. Well, ours has looked so sad I couldn't stomach to eat a bit in there. But we're making progress! We hung drop cloths as drapes in the dining room and living room, and the rug arrived.

Let's start with the windows, shall we?

Although this is actually an "in progress" shot, it helps you to get a good idea of how the windows looked before removing the mini-blinds and hanging the drop cloth drapes.

Before removing the mini blinds
Any good house project comes with it's own equally crazy mess.
Before removing mini-blinds, but after a huge mess landed on the table.
See that green painter's tape?  It's where I marked where the curtains should end. 

These are big windows.  That means huge curtain rods and lots of fabric, so unless I wanted to spend a gazillion dollahs I had to get creative.  After finding several posts in blogland about drop cloth drapes, I decided to move forward with the idea.  I mean, if it doesn't work, I haven't lost all that much.  And I was so tired of those blinds. 

I highly recommend them!  But I'll admit that I wish they weren't so close to the wall color, so I'm considering ways to change that a bit... but overall it's such an improvement.

Oooooh.  And now for the rug...
Dining Room - Andulusia Rug from West Elm, Drop Cloth Curtains
Notice the art on that wall on the left?  The one I scored at the yard sale awhile back?  Oh my gaaaahhhhh, I love it.

Some of you have asked about the color, so here are some more photos.  It's not a "Wham! In-yo-face!" yellow and it's not a darker mustard color.  I'd say it's in between but leans towards a brighter shade.
Andalusia Rug Detail

One more tid-bit about this rug:  Our vacuum cleaner broke a few weeks ago.  We use the Roomba for the living room but haven't used it in the dining room since the rug arrived.  And a few weeks later... with just a little dust-buster action and white doggie hair all around... you would never know.  Which means if you have white pet hair (I certainly select our decor around the dogs, unfortunately) it could work really well for you.

Next, I'm installing the drum pendant I ordered (from Seth) for my birthday.  It's on hold until I get the fabric swatches to confirm the color choice.  Then I'll figure something out for the wall on the right (I have a DIY idea in mind).

Any curtain or rug experiences you'd like to share? What do you think of the new additions?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I Love Thrifting Party Recap!

So, you know about the global I <3 Thrifting party called for by Rashon Carraway of Mr. Goodwill Hunting?  Here's a recap of the event in Birmingham.  We had a so much fun!

First of all, we found great items at our cherished thrift store prices.  And secondly, it was so exciting to meet people with similar interests and mindsets about decorating without breaking the bank!

We started out at Goodwill on Greensprings Highway.

A few of the gals arriving...
L to R: Me, Susie from Boiled Peanuts and Porches, Stephanie from Tuscaloosa, and Susie's friend Whitney.
Ready to see some of the action?

We found a lot of brand new hardware (from Target) and at least three of us left with a package or two. $2.00/package!  Perfect for an easy furniture update.

Stephanie was just getting started at this point.

She happened to mention that she was looking for a door to hang on a sliding hinge to separate two rooms in her home. When we spotted this one for $10, we knew it was meant to be.

My mom found this new night stand (with just a couple of small scratches a furniture marker can easily remedy) for my little sister's room.

And my fun-lovin' MIL purchased two floor lamps for $10 a piece (that will be sold for around $200/each once they're repaired and refinished!).

Everyone checking out... My mom also bought the new outdoor storage basket shown on the bottom right.

Next stop: Salvation Army

Susie and Whitney checking out a bench.

Mom was on a roll.  She found this vintage china cabinet at $119 that had just been unloaded.  Jaws were dropping all around. 

Here she is standing beside it, to give you an idea of how huge this piece was.

She left with a dresser, too (also fresh off the truck) for $59.  I wish the pictures captured how nice they were.  We're talking solid, old, beautiful pieces.  Atta-girl!

My mama-in-love-and-law said this reminder her of George

Stephanie keeps a polishing cloth in her purse to see which pieces are sterling silver.  What a great idea!

The silver wasn't real, but she left with this wooden crate that she plans to use on her wall as a shelf (an idea inspired by the Nate Berkus Show).

I bought a white dish ($1.99) would look great with a moss ball on top, giving some height to a vignette on a dresser or bookshelf.  I love the turquoise shades on the perfume bottle ($1.99) and decided to take the chance on whether or not I would find a spot for it.

There were lots of other purchases that I didn't capture on the camera.  In fact, I realized I didn't take any photos of the other things I brought home.

Three packages of new hardware - $2/piece.

Pretty little saucer for $.99 (I'll share ideas for this in a separate post).

And this little guy for $.75 (you can count on a "before" and "after" post after he gets a quick coat of spray paint).

When I decided to host an I <3 Thrifting event in Birmingham, I was excited to have Alabama represented in Mr. G-Dub's party, and to possibly meet people that liked thrifting as much as I do. But I didn't think I would necessarily meet people that I would really enjoy spending time with outside of the thrift store. And that's exactly what happened.

I Love Thrifting Party in Birmingham
Thanks to everyone for coming!  And for Rashon Carraway for calling on thrifters to party together this weekend.  It looks like we may celebrate in 2012, as well.  Hope to see you all there!

Did you spend some of your weekend with some second-hand hunting or participate in an I Love Thrifting party?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Will You Be There? I Love Thrifting Party Tomorrow!

Are you ready for the weekend?  It's a special one!

Just a reminder that anyone who wants to join us for the Birmingham Chapter's I Love Thrifting party...  here are the details.  And remember... no stress!  This is super-casual "nice to meetcha" and "did you find anything cool?" kind of event.  In between running errands.  Shorts and flip flops.  Baby spit on your collar.  It's all good! 

Who:  Ummm, anyone!  Thrifting lovers.  Anyone who wants to attend! And a mariachi band.  (Is that a little over-the-top?  Okay, scratch that.  Although I did consider it.)
What:  Meet and greet.  Shop-fest.
When:  Saturday, July 9th - 11am
Where:  Goodwill on Greensprings Highway in Homewood, Alabama
              Green Springs Hwy S - Birmingham, AL 35205
Next, we'll head to the nearby America's Thrift Store  UPDATE:  I meant Salvation Army. 

Message me below if you're thinking of attending!  I know it was kinda' last-minute so it may just be me, my mom, and my MIL.  But I really hope to see some of you there!

For a complete list of locations, visit Mr. Goodwill Hunting here.

Oh, and if you decide to come, just look for the gal wearing the pink "I <3 Thrifting" t-shirt.

Are you coming?  Do you love thrifting?  What's your favorite thrift store?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My birthday gift...

We had such a great part of our week at the beach... sun-bathin', eating seafood, opening presents! 

One thing I didn't get to open was my gift from the hubs.  But that's not a complaint. At. All.  For the most part, we don't chance "surprise" gifts around here.  For Christmas and birthdays, we make lists and hope the other pays attention to the other's requests.  There have been several exceptions, of course, but that's how it typically goes.  Here's an idea of how it played out before my birthday:

Him:  What do you want for your birthday?
Me:  I don't know!  I want lots of things.  How much are you willing to spend on your only wife?
Him: Ha-flippin-ha.  What do you want?  
Me:  A lap dance. 
Him: For real, Erin. What do you want?
Me:  I want two things. Number one: a spray painter.   
Him: Hmmm. Okay...
Me: But I REAAAALLY want you to install the new window treatments.  Without complaning. That's what I for-reall-y-want-sies, you big hunk-o-man, you.
 Him: (Sighs, then laughs) Why does it have to involve manual labor?

(days later)

Me:  I want the spray painter, but doesn't it seem like something I would just buy myself? I mean, it's a tool.  Maybe I don't want it as my birthday gift.
Him:  Yeah.  I've been thinking that myself.  So what do you want?  Your birthday is just a few days away.
Me:  I think I want this drum pendant for the dining room.  
Him:  That's kind of a lot for your birthday, considering there's ALSO an entirely separate part of your gift that involves cursing, measuring, and installation.
Me:  But darling, my amazing-balls grandparents just gave me some birthday cash.  So put it towards the light fixture 
(He folds out his hand, I slap the cash in his palm. I jump around squeeling)

So back to the lighting fixture. 

I've considered several styles, but a drum pendant seems to be the best balance between the classic architecture and our modern and constantly-evolving style.

Option 1 (a previous purchase) - CB2 Eden Pendant

I actually purchased the CB2 Eden Pendant a year or so ago.  You can't beat the price at $50.  But it seemed a little too small, so I never installed it.  Just to make sure, I double-checked last week.  Sure enough, the width (just under 20") was too narrow. 

Option 2 - West Elm Short Drum Pendant

The dimensions seem perfect,  and it's also a great deal at $150, but I want a brighter white (more ba-BAM!).  Our walls and curtains are too close to the linen color than I'd like.  Moving on... 

Option 3 - Alluminare Drum Pendant Light

We may have a winner, honey.  Hoping.  It's 24" wide and 10" high.  Seems like a good fit.  We'll see!

Any lighting favorites out there? Anything on your gift-request list this year?  Even if it's awhile away, what would you ask for if it were right now?