Monday, November 30, 2009

House Beautiful for $5

Since you now have $10 available from your no-longer-renewable subscription to the recently tanked Metropolitan Home, stop by Amazon's Cyber Monday magazine sale, which also includes Real Simple and Southern Living. And Cosmo, if you're so inclined.


For a change, spent the weekend being tourists in our own backyard.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Fall Cure 2009: The pantry and more ikat

I've been busy making more fake ikat storage things. For such a dumb cheap project, the boxes are working out well.

To make an ikat tray, do basically the same thing as for the boxes, except cut your box down to the height you'd like.

Wrap in your handmade ikat paper and tape it down.

The pantry only took a few hours to straighten up. For the first time ever, my sewing machine is now in reach (off to the left), along with all of the craft junk I've been accumulating lately. And the floor is blissfully bare.

I found this discarded basket, glued it, cleaned it up and filled it with more craft junk.

I've been making excuses to get things out of the pantry - offering crackers, forgetting to close the door, etc. Come on over; we'll hang out in the pantry.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Fall Cure 2009: Bedroom

I've been quietly working on Apartment Therapy's Fall Cure. My goals were modest - clean the bedroom closet, pantry, and bathroom cabinet. The two big areas are done. Here are a few pics of my closet - first the 'before', second the simplified 'after.' (Note: There are actually gaps for additional shoes!)

My little jewelry vignette is made with a thrifted blouse stretched over a piece of cardboard for wallpaper. The jewelry tree is, well, a tree - a stick from the park that I did not even bother painting. All the jewelry is courtesy of mom.

You can get a complete tour of my closet organizing techniques here (I know you're fascinated.) Also my Spring Cure after is here. (I actually gave away those red shoes. Sigh.)

Anybody else doing the Fall Cure?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

DIY Wednesday: How to make a silhouette pillow

I was never all that into silhouette pillows - they seemed a bit dour and old fashioned in black and white. And then I saw these. (Top: Aunt Bucky via Simplified Bee; Bottom: Karen Hilton Designs.)

The real deal will run you $70 to $75 and justly compensate some cool designers. Or you can try your hand at your own, using your own kid's profile (or British royalty if you prefer.)

Checkout this how to from Do It Yourself magazine that uses felt and fusible web.

Good Day Sunshine used felt and a stitched-on silhouette.

Brooklyn Limestone makes hers with an iron-on transfer.

Over at UCreate, Homemade by Jill painted hers.

Guest blogging today at From The Right Bank

Alek, the stylish blogger behind From the Right Bank to the Left Coast, is in the process of moving to the Deep South (Atlanta) and I am honored to be guest blogger for her today. Check out her blog for some real class and meet bloggers who are guest posting for her this month.

Photo: Vincente Wolf, Veranda via Desire to Inspire.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fun cheap trays, cutting boards and lamps

Saturday I picked up the cute Barbar birdie tray ($7) at IKEA for my mother-in-law the bird watcher, whom we will be visiting in a few weeks.

I also bought four packs of Dralla bendable cutting boards at IKEA - $3.00 for a pack of two, a perfect lightweight gift to take on an airplane to A Land with No IKEA since these aren't available online. I subsequently lost one pack somewhere in Target since IKEA charges for bags and I was carrying them under my arm while trying on a pair of grey Mary Janes.

And last, these CB2-style lamp sets are on sale at JCPenney - you get a floor lamp and a desk lamp in a set. The gray and black are $40, while green and pink are $30.

Monday, November 23, 2009

World Market weekend deals

Hello Readers,

This is a partially sponsored link, meaning I would have posted about these deals anyway, but as it is, if you click and buy something, I get, like, a dollar. Same with the Hotwire ad over on the right column. We shop both places all the time anyway, so why not advertise to ourselves?

What are you all doing for Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday? Yours truly will be going nowhere near a store from now to mid-January at least. I might venture online.

Here are a few deals from World Market:

Toss pillows are 40 percent from November 26 to 28.

Check it out:

Save 40% on Toss Pillows for 3 Days Only at (1126-1128)

Everything is 20 percent off on Cyber Monday, November 30.

Check it out:

Save 20% Off Your Entire Order, Plus Get Free Shipping on Orders over $50 with Coupon Code 1DAYAFF - One Day Only at (11.30.09 Only!)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Words to live by

"There's nothing better than another day."

Max Edward, age 4, November 13, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Decor style quiz

Liked it.

Elissa over at Vintage Green turned me on to Sproost's personal style quiz. My results were:

33% Contemporary
33% Rustic Revival
34% Cottage Chic

Does this not explain why I can never decide on anything?

I took it again and it added a previously unmentioned genre - Hollywood Couture. Troubled, I took the quiz again and found out I was 20% Nantucket Style.

The only thing clarified by taking the same style quiz over and over is the styles I didn't like: Stuffy Traditional, Fake Mountain Man and Anything Arts and Crafts.

For more style quizzes, check out Struggling to be Stylish.

Liked it.

Liked this, too

And this, waddya know

And this

In other news, I took the Sesame Street personality test. I was nailed on the first try.

I'm a Bert.

They tried to make Bert sound cool, but I'm not happy about being a Bert. Probably because being sour about the results of a personality test based on children's programming is a very Bert thing to do.

Take it and let me know if you're an Elmo so I can punch you.

Images via Sproost.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

DIY Wednesday: How to alter the sleeves of a heavy knit sweater

Last week, you may recall, I was mooning over big grey sweaters.

Rather than put out $80 for a lovely Ann Taylor sweater or even $25 for a perfectly acceptable Forever 21 version, I found a second-hand one - nowhere near my size, naturally. Even though it was a large, I figured that oversized sweaters are in right now. But the sleeves hung down past my fingertips and I looked like refugee in the thing.

I found this nice tutorial on how to alter a fine-knit sweater over at Sweet Sassafras, but nothing on a heavy knit sweater for people who don't own a serger, don't knit and are afraid of the zig-zag setting on their sewing machine. (I did get the general drift that if you cut a loose knit sweater, it will unravel.) So here is my ghetto workaround, which does not require a sewing machine and involves no cutting.

1. Measure the sleeves and determine how much shorter you want to go. I decided to shorten mine by two inches.

2. With the sweater right side out, find the shoulder seam and measure down the sleeve that distance and mark. Do this all the way around the sleeve.

3. Fold the marked edge so that it meets the shoulder seam and pin, as shown below.

4. Hand stitch along this edge (shown above) using a thread that matches your sweater.

When you're done, the inside of the sweater will look like the photo above at the sleeve. The 'roll' will feel a little weird when you put the sweater on but will flatten out and not be visible.

No one will ever know.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Blog awards

I've received two blog awards recently - the One Lovely Blog Award from Cristin at Simplified Bee and the Honest Scrap award from Lucy at Four Walls and a Roof. I'm flattered to be so awarded since both are real live interior designers and classy ladies to boot.
Passing one or both along to the following:
Elizabeth at Absinthe and Orange - For fearless, honest DIY projects and for sucking me into the whole refashioning old clothes thing.
Alexis at One Grand Home - Great decorating deals, including 100 DIY headboard ideas.
Struggling to be Stylish - For being down to earth, funny and practical.
Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog - Best explanation of what to buy or not buy at a dollar store that I've read.
Jill at The Good Life for Less - For cute cheap outfits.
If the Lampshade Fits - Gotta love any blog with a category called Eat the Rich.
For the Honest Scrap award, I'm supposed to post 10 honest things about myself.
  1. Blog awards make me nervous.
  2. I have a hard time thinking of 10 honest things.
  3. Aye yi yi
  4. Oh, here's something. I have a theory that people are alloted a certain number of words a day. Some people are given millions, so they start early in the morning and talk as much as possible to run through their share. Others, like me, get only a few thousand. So that's why by about 4 p.m., I've run out of words and I'm starting to blather.
  5. Sometimes this occurs way before 4 p.m.
  6. I pretend to be allergic to animals when really I just think they are gross.
  7. I write reminders on my hand.
  8. I watch with lurid interest programs like I Didn't Know I was Pregnant and Monsters Inside Me.
  9. I once had a dog named Puppy.
  10. I can put my foot behind my neck.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Big grey sweaters

While in California, i got turned on to Project Runway, a shameful addiction that I can no longer feed since we don't get Lifetime at home. I've pretty much fixated on Althea's sweater cape, which I've somehow gotten into my head that I can make. (She who has sewn nothing more complex than a Moroccan pouf.)

Photos: Project Runway, Episode 11; Ann Taylor Loft, $79.50; Forever 21 via The Good Life for Less, $24.80; JCPenney, $34.99.

What are you craving for fall?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New bed with new blanket

I know you all've been on pins and needles waiting to find out if we went with the box spring or not with our found-on-the-street West Elm bed frame. Thank you all for your helpful comments. Since we are modernists and shrimpy, we decided to go without the box spring for easier leaping into bed and a more minimalist look.

In my spendy whirlwind, I bought a gray blanket from Kmart on sale and with an online promo code for $16.19. It's a light silvery gray and very soft. Any Kmart New Media Marketing Persons out there listen up - my online shopping experience with Kmart was perfecto. I was sucked in via an ad in the September issue of Glamour, which featured these Mary Janes. While at, I tossed in the blanket and a sweater I had no need for but couldn't resist for $6. Lots of brand-new shrink-wrapped fun for only $33.88.

Speaking of spending, now I'm looking for better lighting in the bedroom and thought some sconces hooked to the headboard might help. Also sconces could eliminate some night stand clutter. But sconces are ridiculously expensive. Plus you need two of them. I searched all my favorite rock-bottom lighting places and finally landed on this architect's lamp from the Crate and Barrel outlet for a mere $30 a piece.

I love swing-arm lighting, expecially of the brushed silver kind, which tend to run $150 to $200 a pop. But is this incarnation too office looking? Below I cut and pasted the lamps to the headboard.

What do you think? Mr. Bromeliad says I can buy whatever I want as long as it's 'not a pillow.'

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

DIY Wednesday: Anthropologie inspired pillow . . . and necklace

Knock off this now-discontinued but quite cute Anthropologie pillow with a potentially completely no-sew solution from Crafterhours via Ruffles & Stuff.

And, as long as you're knocking off Anthropologie, check out this ranuncula necklace how-to from Mrs. Priss. I particularly love that her major supplies were a Goodwill blouse and a broken necklace.

Vintage metal chairs

Still in the Sierra foothills with a photo series heavily devoted to rust. These are vintage chairs and an old truck parked outside of Cooper Vineyards in Plymouth, California. Generous wine tasting here. If you can only hit one, this is it.