Fall oak leaf wreath.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fall Craft Projects

I've been seeing lots of really cool yarn and felt wreaths all over the internet lately and decided to make one myself for Fall. I made this one last year right before Christmas and loved the way it turned out. So I took a trip to the craft store to buy my supplies. All I needed was yarn, embroidery thread, felt, and a wreath form. I really like alternative seasonal colors, so instead of reaching for the more typical yellow and orange I found this dusty purple yarn and thought it would look great with olive green, blues, yellows and grays.

I really like the balance of the mellow gray and green and the bright blue and mustard yellow. My first step was to wrap the wreath. I used a styrofoam form and took my time wrapping with the yarn until the entire form was covered. It took me just about an entire episode of Project Runway to finish it! Now, on to the fun part!

I settled on an oak leaf theme and got to work hand-cutting the oak leaf shapes from the felt. I cut all of the leaves free-hand and I thought it was fitting since no two leaves in nature are exactly the same! I cut out some large leaves and smaller leaves in contrasting colors so I can layer them and stitch them together. I separated out two strands of embroidery floss of and did simple backstitch where the leaf veins would be. I used embroidery floss with some contrast on the leaves, so the stitching would pop.

I cut and sewed leaves in every different color combination I could think of and kept a few singles. I also did a few with a reverse vein pattern. So all that was left was deciding on a layout and gluing everything down with a low-temp glue gun. I tied it off with two layers of ribbon and it's complete!

This festive little fella is now living on my front door. Happy Fall, everyone!


Office dachshund.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

When I pre-ordered the Design Sponge at Home book from Barnes and Noble almost two months ago I needed to add something to my order to qualify for free shipping. I've literally wanted these Jonathan Adler Dachshund bookends for 3 years (why do I deprive myself?) so I figured it was the perfect time to order them. So I added them to my order and anxiously waited for them and that beautiful book to arrive sometime in the second week of September. They've finally arrived and I'm thrilled!

Aren't they awesome? Some of the reviews said they weren't quite heavy enough, but I was actually impressed with their heft. This set is a great addition to my office space and keeps my design books tidy. It will act as my stand-in dachshund until I can finally get a real one. If you are interested in purchasing a set of your own, keep an eye on the B&N website, they go on sale fairly often!

And speaking of Design Sponge at Home, it's an absolutely beautiful book with great photos and beautiful design ideas. I've even recommended my boyfriend peruse it to get some ideas for his  furniture designs. It's a great read!


Herringbone paint treatment.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A few years ago, this herringbone paint treatment technique caught my eye in the Martha Stewart Living magazine. There was an entire article devoted to unique decorative paint treatments. I loved the detail in the pattern and the overall look it gave the piece.

Since I didn't have an old Eames lounge that I'd be willing to experiment on (knock-off or otherwise) I decided to transform an inexpensive, functional piece from IKEA. I chose the BEKVAM step stool. I needed one anyway and figured if it came out terrible I could always paint over it!

I decided to go with a green and white color scheme. Since the piece was so small, I only had to buy paint samples! I went with Martha Stewart White and Bay Leaf. They were about $3 each at Home Depot. I had to buy a larger container of glaze than I really needed, but figured I could use it for other projects later on. I bought the rubber comb at Michaels. I assembled the step stool, gave it a quick sand with find sand paper to even out the rough spots, painted the flat surfaces with the base color, and taped off the stripes.

Once I mixed up the green paint and the glaze, I applied it in sections with a foam brush. I ran the rubber comb over the top diagonally, trying to keep it as steady as possible, wiping it off on a paper towel in between passes. If it came out too wiggly, I quickly reapplied the glaze and did it again. You have to work quickly because the paint will dry fast! Once it was completely dry, I pulled up the tape, applied new tape on the just painted parts, and did the process again. I painted the edges with the green paint, and painted the rest of the piece white for contrast.

Thinking back it probably would have been easier to do the paint treatment on the individual pieces before it was assembled. There were a couple of tight spots in the corners on the first step that could have come out a little cleaner. If I wanted it perfect I could always sand it down and do it again, but I actually don't mind the variation.

I think it came out really nicely! It's a very functional piece around the house and looks pretty stylish at the same time. If you'd like to read more about the supplies and steps for this paint treatment, click the link at the top of this post. There's even a video you can watch!

While I'm at it, here's a little pic of my office/studio that I've been promising for the past 6 months! There's the light gray I painted on the walls, I'm so pleased with the color. The bookshelf was a vintage find that my sister picked up at a yard sale for $10. My boyfriend refinished it for me for Christmas. You can see a corner of the painted rug that I haven't finished yet. The room is still a work in progress, but it's coming together!


Neon Minis.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It's that time of year when I need to start getting ready for the holidays and stocking up on supplies. One new item that found its way into my virtual shopping cart was a jar hot pink ink! I was so excited to try it out! I printed the "Bonnet" portion of my Classic Boot and Bonnet print on smooth white and light dove gray cardstocks.

I was so thrilled with the way they came out. They are both listed in my Etsy shop.

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