Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thanks again!

My envelope pillow tutorial is being featured again, this time on Blue Cricket Design!  Thanks so much for the recognition Becca!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Makin' a Trip to Ikea

This week has moved so slow.  I haven't gotten much accomplished, but I'm hoping to catch up this weekend.  My husband and I are going to take a trip to Ikea in Charlotte to get a few things and maybe I'll have my living room mostly finished by the beginning of next week.

These are a couple things that we want to come home with us.
The Jappling Chair that is only available in stores.

The Lack wall shelf is available online, but we'd rather not pay shipping.

I also want to make a stop by the Loomcraft warehouse in Burlington to see if I can find anything else to use in the living room.  I took some pictures with my phone when I was there a while ago.

Look at all the fabric!

 85% of the stuff that's there isn't that great, but then there's the 15% that's fantastic and only about $8 a yard.

Even though it's only Wednesday, it'll probably be Saturday night before I get to post again, so everyone have a good start to the weekend.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


...for giving my little envelope pillow tutorial so much attention.

I randomly checked my stats Friday night and saw that there was a HUGE jump in page views thanks to the Tip Junkie adding me to her list of Newest Projects to Make.

On Monday Beth from The Stories of A 2 Z featured my tutorial as well.

Both of these ladies have so much style and it feels great to be among the projects that stood out to them last week.

Thanks again!

Free Vintage Botanical Prints

Here's what I'm working on.  Changing this wall in my kitchen

(sorry for the horrible picture)

to coordinate more with the new colors in my living room.

My living room and kitchen are basically one room so along with the vintage prints, I'll also have to find new kitchen luck on those yet.

I'm using to find the right prints.  The site is taking for-ev-er to load so it'll probably be a while before I have anything on my walls.

All of the printables on the site have copyrights that have run out so they are free to print.

These are some of the images I'm printing right now.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cheap Eats: Stove-top Popcorn

Is anyone else having a suh-low Monday?  Mine felt like it would never end.  I forgot to pack my lunch last night and ended up leaving some things out of my lunch this morning as I rushed to get it together, so I was super hungry by the end of the school day.

After I hugged my little boy and changed into more comfortable clothes I got to work on a snack.  Stove-top popcorn is one of my favorites. 

It's so much cheaper to make popcorn yourself rather than buy microwave bags, especially if you buy the Smart Balance stuff.  That bag of popping corn was about $3 and it'll probably take me 6 months to get through.  Stove top popcorn also tastes a lot better and doesn't have any crazy artificial ingredients and preservatives in it.

The extra few minutes of shakin' a pot over the stove are worth it.

I have one tip for good stove top popcorn:  heat the oil with one kernel of corn in it.  When you see bubbles start to form around the kernel, put the rest of the popping corn in.  I used to wait until the kernel popped to put the rest in, but found that by that time the oil had gotten too hot and half of the popcorn would burn. 

It's ready!

And finally....a must have:
It sticks right to the popcorn and makes it soooo good!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn Knock-Offs at Carolina Pottery

I realize that this post is not going to be useful to very many people since there are only 4 Carolina Pottery store locations and they don't have an online store.  BUT maybe it'll encourage you to hit up a store like it near you.  Garden Ridges are pretty similar, they may even have some of the same product, and there are a lot more locations.  Also, if there are other chains similar to Carolina Pottery that I'm not familiar with I'd love to hear about them.

Carolina Pottery is a ginormous store with everything from accent furniture to faux flowers to glassware.  As you'll see from some of my pictures the stores are very bare-bones and warehouse-ish.  Everything they sell isn't amazing, but I found some great deals with a lot of style among the 6,500 square feet of items.

Lets start with one of my favorite finds.  This trunk comes in a bunch of different sizes and would be great as a side table or coffee table.  They range from $40-$100 and look very similar to the Mayfair Steamer line at Restoration Hardware which ranges from $800-$2,500.


This little cloche is $7 and it came home with me.  It doesn't have the wooden pedestal like the Restoration Hardware cloche, but I found one at a thrift store for $2.  So, for $9 I was able to recreate a $69 accessory from Restoration Hardware.

I am a sucker for paned mirrors.  This one is amazing, but it's still a little too expensive for me at $199.  

I actually like this better than the arched mirror that Pottery Barn had a few seasons ago.


This glass canister also came home with me.  It was $7.  The canister from Pottery Barn that's the same size is $34.  Sorry for the horrible picture.  I snapped it in my bathroom real quick because I forgot to take a picture in store.


That's it for the Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn knock-offs.  Here are some other great items I saw.

gilded faux bamboo side tables $60-$75

glass lamp $49

mirror $70

more trunks $40-$100

wooden sunburst mirror $35

(not sure if I love this or hate it) mirror & glass side table $100

These metal sphere thingies look like something Restoration Hardware would sell $10-$20.

Are there other chains like Carolina Pottery in other parts of the country?  I'd love to hear about them, so feel free to fill me in!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Shark Tank

We are proud new owners of a Shark Navigator upright vacuum.  The vacuum claims to never lose suction just like a Dyson, and my mother-in-law, who's used both vacuums confirms that the Shark is just as good.  Look at how much stuff it sucked up on its first test run:
All of that is just from our living room rug, which is fairly new, and my son's bedroom.  Yuck. 

We got ours from Bed Bath & Beyond.  It's $150 at BB&B, which is $30 cheaper than what it costs at Target, plus you can use one of their 20% off coupons on it.  With the coupon it cost us $130, a mere fraction of what a Dyson costs.

We'll see if the Shark stands the test of time and lives up to its claim.  For now, it is awesome, and I'm actually looking forward to vacuuming the rest of my house.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Framed Vintage Keys

OK, I posted this little project twice on my old blog and now I'm posting it again.  I'm just really proud of my keys.  Not to sound braggy, but I thought of this all on my own.  It wasn't until after I had this piece finished and hung that I saw this at Restoration Hardware.

This key art is 18.5" x  18.5" and retails for $199.  Mine cost me $25. I got a handful of keys at the flea market for $5 and a shadow box from Micheal's for about $20.  

The top and bottom rows of keys are flat so I just hot-glued them on.  The middle ones are tacked on with thread.

A few more months after I'd hung my keys I saw these at Pottery Barn.
Those keys are "vintage" (can you call something vintage if it's recently been mass produced?) and $19 for 7 of them.  Also, I love that gallery wall.

p.s.  The Restoration Hardware key art is no longer available online, but it's available from their catalog if any one's interested in dropping $200 + shipping on it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

No Zipper Envelope Pillow Tutorial

I'm making progress on pillows to re-color my living room!  I've only gotten two done and I have about 20 more to go.  Haha, not quite 20....but seriously I have a lot of throw pillows on our couches.

Ok, here's the rundown of what it cost me:
  • paisley-ish fabric: FREE (my mom bought a whole bolt of it and gave me some)
  • geometric fabric:  half a yard for about $4 at Hancock
  • feather pillows:  These are pillows I already owned so technically they were free.  I originally got them from Ross.  They had hideous covers on them and were on clearance for about $3.
    Here's a quick how-to:

    I made templates out of poster board after the first round of pillows I made for a day bed we used to have.  This saves a ton of time and eliminates measuring and worrying about keeping corners square every time.  The template shown is for an 18x18 inch pillow cover.

    1.  The big square is 18x17, the one next to it is 13x18 and the third one is 10x18.  I simply trace them onto the fabric with a pen so I have a line to follow when I sew because I can't sew a straight line to save my life.
    2.  After I've traced the template I cut them out and leave about a half inch or more of fabric past the line that I've drawn.
    3.  The next step is to hem the panels that will be the flaps on the back of the pillow.  And yes, that is really my disgusting ironing board cover.  I fold the edges over twice then iron them so they stay down.

    Then sew.

    3.  After both panels are hemmed, attach the corners of one of the flaps to the front panel of the pillow with a pin.  Make sure the back side of the fabric is facing out.  Repeat with the other back flap.
    4.  Pin the bigger flap to the front panel.  The bigger flap should be on the outside when the pillow is finished.
    5.  Pin the smaller flap.
    6.  Sew!  Follow the lines drawn on the fabric and re-enforce the corners by double-backing on them.  Make sure those pins are removed before the needle gets there.

    Back to Sew Much Ado

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