Friday, April 29, 2011

What's inspiring in April

For April I was inspired by fabulous closets. Guess who did not post any fabulous closets, offered no closet organizing advice and did not touch her own closet?

What can I say? The Real World comes first.

So, I've decided to keep the party going another month. But in the meantime, I wanted to share some of the fabulous things you've been doing. Spring seems to have given everybody some DIY energy (or maybe all the rain kept us inside and made some of us get things done.) You people amaze me.

Nicole at Design Blooms revealed her fabulous sun room makeover. I want to live in this sun room. Just check out those fish pillows up top.

Casey at Loft & Cottage revealed her cozy guest room makeover. Don't you want those mirrors?

Jesse at Good Girl Gone Glad finished a fun chalk board wall. It looks like it's already being put to use.

McLaura at Ramblings around DC and Beyond made this gorgeous hand-stamped ginko leaf rug. Hand. Stamped.

Maya at Soccer Mom Style shared this awesome DIY book clutch. You know I'm a sucker for a good book clutch, especially one that doesn't hurt a book.

Got something going on? Or seen something that inspired you? Link up for April . . . and May.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My DIY: Eco-friendly lace shopper

It's spring, and a young woman's fancy turns lightly to thoughts of upcycled shlepping gear.

It's one thing to decline plastic in favor of a self-important canvas tote or even a non-self-important one*. It's another to get one's canvas tote from the discard bin and make it pretty.

Why sew or buy your own tote when thrift stores always seem full of languishing logo'd totes?

I got this tote from a workmate, one of hundreds who had received the identical tote after a conference.

It was new, sturdy and not one bit cute.

I blackened out the logo.

And I dug out a doily my friend Katie had given me over a year ago when she bequeathed her entire craft stash to me.

I bleached and ironed it.

I centered it on the bottom of the bag and used Fabri-Tac to glue it down. The glue worked much better than expected and dried clear.

I folded down and glued the corners.

I like how the lace edge changes the whole shape of the bag.

Total cost: $0.

*Although I do love the concept.

DIY peacock pillow

As a person who loves to knock off interesting designs by way of felt, I deeply admired this lovely felt and painted fabric peacock pillow by Amy from Positively Splendid. She shares a complete tutorial with pdf patterns at Tatertots and Jello.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dark flower

After more than a year of owning a DSL, I just now figured out the f-stop thing. (Little number means big hole; Big number means little hole.)

This was taken before that flash of insight. But the underexposure looked kind of cool.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Lace totes

Lace totes seem both a buyable and DIYable option for spring.

I can see covering up a scuffed but nicely shaped purse with a layer of lace.

Lace Tulip Tote, Ann Taylor Loft, $30 on sale; Soft French Lace Tote, Tortilla Girl via Etsy, $85; Dolce and Gabbana Woven Sicilian Straw and Lace Tote, costs more than your life

Friday, April 22, 2011

My DIY: Big Long Island map collage

Finally, my map project, inspired by map art featured in my March Inspired blog party.

Although this comes as a shock to many Brooklynites, we actually live on Long Island here. I wanted a big nautical somewhat vintage looking map of Long Island to fill the huge wall space above our huge sofa.

Inspired by this from House Beautiful.

And this from Amanda Nisbet.

But it's not an easy thing to find a big map that can be blown up to 40 by 60 inches without looking grainy. So I made my own by tracing over a Google map in Photoshop.

I added fake details like a scale and I hand drew a compass based off the one in the House Beautiful mural.

I had a sign shop print the whole thing out on plain paper, then I cut it into six sections and framed it with IKEA Ribba shadowbox frames.

If you'd like to make this project, I've uploaded my map at, which you can have printed from PDF.

Mr. Bromeliad, the true talent in our household, pointed out that six frames hung closely together were always going to be slightly crooked. He recommended attaching the frames together with silicon glue (which could be cut through to separate the frames later if needed) and two lightweight removable metal bars.

Here he is using a city person's sawhorse for his drilling.

And a city person's workbench for the attaching.

The only bad thing is now the couch looks even more cruddy when seen next to shiny new art.

What have you been making lately? Link up at this month's Inspired blog party.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Micro macrame inspiration

I love seeing ways of reinterpreting macrame withe a modern vibe. Check out these designs by Lorraine Cook and Joan Babcock Designs.

Get some more knot inspiration from my November Blog Party.

Get started with some free micro macrame patterns.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Words to live by

"Happiness is having a large, loving, close-knit family in another city." George Burns, quoted in the London Independent

I've been saving this quote for a long time. I'm going to see family tomorrow.

For the record, this quote was submitted by a family member.

My DIY: Fashion week wire necklace

Super easy DIY inspired by Maria Cornejo's collection at New York Fashion Week back in February.

Cornejo featured these very simple wide wire necklaces.

Shortly thereafter, that icon to fashion forwardness The Dollar Tree came out with these $1 packages of floral wire.

I don't think I even need to tell you how to make this.

To change it up a bit, add a single large bead.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

Inspired in April - Fabulous closets

A few to get you started. A few to get me started. There'll be more later to keep me going, hopefully attached to posts brimming with helpful closet cleaning tips.

What's inspiring you in April? Link up below.

Images: Things that Sparkle via Fuji Files; Jenna Lyons' closet; Style Files; Decor Pad; Bijou and Boheme.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What inspired in March

Collages of maps inspired me in March. I have actually completed a project that I hope to show you next week.

Here's a little bit of what inspired you. For a complete list, see the March blog party. (April's party will be up shortly.)

Jadyn at Dutch British Love is inspired by the new book Undecorate. See images at her blog.

Alexis Anne at Clean Smart Simple Style shares a room design based on the color of poppies.

Haley at Cardigan Junkie introduced me to the new online magazine Dabble.

Domestic Jenny built her own coffee table.

Soccer Mom Style pulled off several projects including a DIY ice cube clutch.

Jules at The Diversion Project shared a gorgeous tropical slightly Moroccan home.

Vintage Hydrangeas has a gorgeous bedroom inspiration board that includes her own DIY sunburst mirror. She also followed my instructions for making a rose pillow, except she made hers from a pair of pants.

Modern Country Lady made moss topiary pots.

Rambling around DC posted her own gorgeous closeups of daffodils.

Speaking of yellow, Christine at Bijou and Boheme posted yellow interiors.

Style it Chic shared an amazing huge lego table.

Dream and Dress shared a convincing Phillip Lim inspired rope necklace.

Also thanks for the mentions:

Copy Cat Crafts - A terrific source for DIY versions of big-name fashion and home furnishings.

Dollar Store Crafts - A top DIY and craft blog. Check out DSC's list of recommended reading.

Amber Interiors - Clever, fun interiors and amazing DIYs. Home of the one-room-two-looks series.