Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Random Awesomeness

Hello friends! I have been so busy creating and decorating for Christmas in my house that I have been neglecting the good ol' blog lately. So sorry! I promise I'll update with lots of pictures soon.

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you some random things that make me happy. Enjoy!

Source: google.com via Joy on Pinterest


I will watch this movie approximately 473 times before Christmas. FAVORITE!

Source: flickr.com via Joy on Pinterest

Sweet baby! I want more border collies!

Gah!!! So cute! I am obsessed with sheep and wool lately. Is that strange?

Source: tumblr.com via Joy on Pinterest

I want to live here...

...or here...

Okay, I'll stop there. I could go on and on.

Be back soon with Christmas decoration pictures. Yay!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Stencil Winner!

Congratulations to Susan Krauss! I'll be contacting you for more information, Susan. Happy stenciling!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NOVICA Winner!

Thanks to all of you who entered to win the NOVICA gift certificate! Random.org generated comment number 5:

Congratulations to Katie @ Strawbridge Stuff! I hope you find something wonderful for your sister!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Last Chance to Enter Giveaways!

Hey guys! Don't forget to enter my two giveaways! You can enter for a chance to pick up a gift certificate to NOVICA and a chance to win a stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils! Just follow the links to the relevant posts and leave me a comment for a chance to win.

Hop to it, people!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Office Makeover: Accent Wall and a Giveaway!

I'm going nuts with the giveaways this week, huh? I hope you're enjoying it as much as I am!

Hey, remember when I told you about the inspiration for my office makeover? Well, it's slowly but surely coming along. My latest endeavor was to stencil the main wall in my office and the folks over at Cutting Edge Stencils were gracious enough to send me a stencil for review! I did a bit of research and really fell in love with their Casablanca stencil.

Cutting Edge Stencils has a lot of different designs to choose from and I could have easily chosen at least three others, but I loved the curves and simplicity of Casablanca so I went with it. The stencil was shipped promptly and arrived with an awesome clip-on level to help keep the stencil straight and level as you move along. Be sure to read the instructions and go to Cutting Edge Stencils website for some very helpful videos. I watched each one at least twice before I started!

Here is a before picture. My office is painted a sage-y green color. I didn't want to take away from the beautiful color already on the walls and I didn't want too much of a stark contrast so I opted to do a half-tint of my original wall color for the stencil color. This way, I would have a more subtle tone-on-tone effect going on.

I used a high density foam roller (which was included by Cutting Edge Stencils) and a lot of paper towel for this project (rolling the excess paint on a paper towel before painting the wall is a key step). The process took a lot longer than I thought it would, but I attribute that to my having to paint two coats before moving the stencil to the next section of wall (painting a light color over a dark color probably wasn't my brightest idea, but not a big deal). The trickiest parts were the corners where the walls met and the bottom where the wall met the baseboard. I made sure to tape off the ceiling and baseboards as well as the adjacent walls. Cutting Edge Stencil's online videos were REALLY helpful when trying to get into the corners without screwing everything up!

All in all, it took me three days to do one wall but I was multi-tasking and letting paint dry between coats. I have read that stenciling a wall can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days depending on the size of your room and if you multi-task like me!

As for the stencil, it was fairly easy to use. The level helped immensely! And it was super easy to clean up afterward.

Here's my office after I finally got everything back in place. (Please ignore my pink chair that I have yet to re-upholster.) I love how it turned out! Not too striking, but definitely adds a bit of interest to the room, don't you think?

I really enjoyed using this stencil and I think you will too. In fact, the folks over at Cutting Edge Stencils want to give one of you a chance to win your very own stencil! Woo hoo!!! Get excited!!!

Once lucky winner will get to choose any stencil they want (for a value of up to $50) from the Cutting Edge Stencil website! All you have to do is leave me a comment telling me which stencil you want (and be sure to leave your email or other contact information)! How easy is that?

The giveaway will be open until 5:00 p.m. CST on Thursday, November 17, 2011. You can only enter once, please! And spread the word...you know your friends would love this, too!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gifts With a Cause and a Giveaway!

Hello friends! Anyone else start their Christmas shopping already? I started a couple of weeks ago because my free time is booking up QUICK and I know Christmas will be here sooner than I think.

Anyway, so I've started shopping and making stuff. But I wanted to share with you a fantastic website where you can find a lot of wonderful unique gifts!

Have you heard of Novica? Novica is a leading fair trade artisan website that works with National Geographic to give talented artisans around the world a place to express their artistic talents and provide access to the world market. Novica has thousands of top fair trade corporate gifts, accessories, jewelry and home decor items on their website.

I was thrilled to be given a chance to choose one of their products for review! After much browsing (seriously, they have so much great stuff it was very difficult to choose), I finally decided on a gorgeous shawl called "Maya Unity" made in Guatemala. Once I ordered it, my package took about a week to arrive and when I opened the box I was very pleasantly surprised to find that my shawl was gift wrapped!

The maker of the shawl even included a small "worry doll", a traditional Mayan cloth doll, and a postcard with a personal note from the shawl maker! How cool is that?

Isn't the shawl lovely? Very lightweight, soft, beautiful colors. I will wear it as a scarf. I have a scarf collection that grows by the year. I would have taken a picture of me wearing it but, I'm not gonna lie, I was lookin' mighty rough that day. I don't do pictures on rough days.

Anyhoo, I love my new shawl/scarf! And guess what?

The folks over at Novica want to give you a chance to win a gift certificate!!!

To enter the giveaway, just head over to the Novica website and take a look around. They have everything from women's and men's accessories, scarves, home decor, even walking sticks and cufflinks! After you've browsed a bit come back here and leave a comment telling me what lovely thing you found that you would want to put a gift certificate toward. It's that simple!

The giveaway will remain open until 5:00 p.m. CST on Tuesday, November 15, 2011. You may only enter once and be sure to include your email address so I can contact you if you win. Spread the word and get your friends over here for a chance to win!

Oh, and by the way, if you dig what Novica does you can sign up to be a consultant for their home party division. If you're interested, follow this link for more details!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ridiculously Easy Pillow Covers

Remember how I told you that I was mad for plaid and cable knit crazy? Remember how I said I had some simply brilliant ideas on how to incorporate both elements into my winter/holiday decor? Remember all that?

Well, I'm back to show you what I did. And, let me tell you, it is so stupid easy. And cheap. Seriously.

Step one: go to your nearest thrift store and buy mens (or large womens) plaid shirts and cable knit sweaters. Go ahead. I'll wait...

You back? Good! Now take all that stuff you just bought for less than a meal at Chili's and cut it all up.


That's right. We're gonna slice up those shirts like Edward Scissorhands and make some pillow covers! Here's how I did it:

Take your plaid shirt and button it up. Turn it inside out. Using the plaid "grid lines" as a guide for a straight line, measure the width and height of your pillow. Mine were 18 X 18. I added an extra inch on each to give me a 1/2 inch seam allowance so my plaid shirt was cut to a 19 X 19 square.

Now pin the two pieces of fabric together (you know, the front with the buttons and the back of the shirt). Then sew all sides together.

Now unbutton the buttons, turn the pillow cover right sides out and stuff your pillow in. Button up and VOILA! You have just made a plaid pillow cover.

The cable knit sweaters are just slightly more difficult. Out of my four sweaters, only one had nice big buttons going down the front and I sewed that one up just like the plaid shirts. But the others were regular old sweaters so I simply measured to the size of my pillows, adding an inch for seam allowance, cut, pinned and sewed three sides. On the fourth side of each sweater pillow, I sewed about two or three inches from each corner and left the middle open in order to stuff the pillow inside. Then I just hand stitched the pillow shut. Granted, when it's time to take the winter pillow covers off, I'll have to cut open the hand stitches, but I don't mind that. If you're super crafty, you could put a zipper in there. But I'm not that ambitious. Anyhoo...

There you have it! Super easy and quick and CHEAP plaid and sweater pillow covers! Now, why on earth would anyone go to Pottery Barn and buy a sweater pillow for $60 when you can do your own for $2?

While I was at it I made a sweater pillow for Big Bertha and a faux grainsack pillow for Eloise. 

I have some other ideas for the remnants of my plaid shirts, but they are for Christmas. I'll post that little piece of brilliance closer to the time. Meanwhile, how do you like the pillows? Let me know if you decide to give this a shot. I'd love to see how yours turned out!

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