Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Impressive DIY beaded chandelier

Britt from A Penny Saved took Heather's Dollar Store Crafts tutorial for a beaded chandelier from a wire planter and mardi gra beads and kicked it up a notch. This one lights up and everything and saved her hundreds if not thousands of pennies.

Ultimate DIY Competition

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Making sauce

Many Italian families in Long Island still make their own tomato sauce. Our friends do it once a year in a big blowout that starts at 7 a.m. and doesn't stop until the last tomato is boiled, mashed, salted, canned and boiled again (about 7 p.m.) by a labor force of Italians, Colombians, Ghanians, a midwesterner or two and occasional drop-ins by Paris Hilton wannabes.

All 40 bushels get a bath in the garage. Some tomatoes get sliced and jarred with basil. The majority go into four tubs in the back yard by the pool and are heated over propane burners until the skins burst. Then they are drained through old lace curtains and sent through two grinders where they are rendered into sauce. The skins go into the garden as compost.

This year no grocery store in town had enough jars, so we drank as much Coke and beer as we could so we could use the bottles.

In the end, we all get a reward for our day's work - a huge outdoor dinner featuring pasta with fresh sauce.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Metallic Moroccan poufs

Glad to see that metallic Moroccan poufs (aka ottomans), cubes and sundry blobs are still rocking rooms across the blogosphere.

Also nice is that there are some less expensive options available now.

This one is Nate Berkus for HSN for $100.

Here's faux leather for a mere $30 via eBay.

Then there's always the DIY option for the price of a loud second-hand dress.

Images: Table Tonic; Nuestra Vida Dulce; Amanda Nisbet; Jonathan Adler; Ellen Silverman; Amanda Nisbet

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My DIY: Make a dahlia brooch

My August inspiration was lush florals, and finally one of my inspirations has come to fruition in an actual wearable product. (Don't forget to add your inspirations, projects and pretty rooms to Inspired in August.)

Easy no-sew dahlia pin. Cut a strip (or strips) totaling 24 inches long and about two inches wide. Fold in half. Cut skinny V shapes. Roll the strips, gluing as you go. Add a pin to the back.

Or, if you can't be bothered, buy a huge one from EmersonMade for $68.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Make a DIY Colette bed

Camila at High-Heeled Foot in the Door and fellow NYC girl made her own version of Crate and Barrel's Colette bed for under $300. Just reading the post made me tired. She saved, oh, $1,300 with the help of a manly man with saw skills.

Get the full how-to from High Heeled Foot in the Door.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Morning glory

A tiny shaft of light hit only the tip of the back of this morning glory, causing the center to brighten up like a light bulb.

Worth getting up early for.

Make a DIY drum shade

The Keylor Family made this 23 inch drum shade out of embroidery hoops, flexible plastic and fabric for about $18.

Add a $2 DIY diffuser with Young House Love.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sometimes I knock off Anthro, sometimes Anthro knocks off me

Above, Anthropologie's Billowed Bow Tank, brought to my attention by Christine at Down and Out Chic.

Below, my first no-sew ruffled collar, made about a year ago.

Make a fabric rose necklace with Used and Abused Vintage

A few weeks ago I posted a how-to for making fabric roses. Corinne over at Used and Abused Vintage whipped up this necklace while my roses were still rolling around on my closet floor.

Check out her fantastic results at Used and Abused Vintage along with many other DIY fashion projects.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Is Shabby Chic coming back?

While reading the September 2010 issue of House Beautiful, I came across a teeny paragraph that stopped me cold.

"Plump, comfy upholstery is making a big comeback. The relaunch of this
20-year-old favorite couldn't be better timed. Floris Sofa, from $3,650. Rachel
Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture."

Actually, I could care less about whether Shabby Chic is making a comeback. But is it true about plump, comfy upholstery? Did you know this? Is HB (and Lonny) just playing with us?

This is a big deal to me because I am the current owner of some very plump upholstery and I'm on the edge of getting rid of it. (I've been on the edge of getting rid of it for at least 10 years.)

My current sofa looks a bit like this, except that it has no slipcover. I'm trying to decide whether to invest several hundred dollars in a new bright white slipcover and in restuffing the seat and back cushions.

Or, just as plump, comfy upholstery is about to make a comeback, should I leap the other way and buy something slim and modern, like the new Silhouette Sofa from Crate & Barrel?

You can read about the identical turmoil here and again here.

I know you understand why this decision goes to the core of who I am as a human being.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Kevin Sharkey's apartment

A little design happiness for your Monday morning. See more, including before and after shots, at Martha Stewart.

Don't forget to share what's inspiring you in August.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My DIY: Anthro inspired rose tank

Last week I showed you how to make fabric roses.

This week I'll show you a few ways to use them.

One is to knock off this Anthropologie tank, shown below. It was $78 and is no longer available.

Alert readers may note that my tank does not look exactly like the Anthro tank. Funny thing. I had more roses going all the way up the straps but thought it looked like too much. I took roses off.

Then I found this image of the tank as worn by a real person at The Chloe Conspiracy and realized that "too much" is exactly the right look.

The first step is to make between 7 and 22 fabric roses in shades of one color following my fabric rose tutorial or something similar.

Pin them on to the shirt and try it on. Reposition roses as needed. Remove roses if conservative.

Sew the roses on, stitching along the outside of the center of the rose. This will help it to lay flat.

That's it. Hand wash, I'd say.

Another capiz light DIY

Capiz again. TiTi at Shoestring Pavilion made a faux capiz light out of . . . can you guess? . . . you can't possibly guess so I'll tell you . . . milk jugs.

She also ingeniously figured out a way to attach her creation to a generic ceiling fixture.

Get the details at Shoestring Pavilion.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

John Derian again for Target

Since I was just mooning over botanicals, how happy I am to learn that John Derian is back for his third collaboration with Target, which features lots of purply and pink lush botanicals.

I have to confess that I think my favorite items are the ones with bugs on them.

The new stuff is available starting September 5.