Monday, April 14, 2014

Project Pandemonium

I've never been great at staying on task.  When I clean or organize, I tend to flitter around from one thing to the next - halfway finishing something and then being distracted by another, then eventually returning to the first after I've stopped a few other places in between.  These last few months have been pretty crazy.  We decided to take on our master bed and bath, along with some smaller projects in preparation for something happening the end of this month, and that felt like a good amount of work.  But then I was selected as a contestant for Creating with the Stars, throwing a big but beautiful wrench into the works.  Now that the contest is over for me (probably a blessing in disguise) I'm racing against the clock to finish the projects I had originally planned to complete this month.

The biggest project left, at this point, is tiling the bathroom floor.  I knew I was getting myself into something time consuming, but I didn't realize how much time that actually was.  At the rate I'm working right now, I'm looking at about 40 hours of hand buttering hex tiles and slapping them on the floor.  Help.

But I know it's going to be everything I'd hoped, so I feel motivated to do it.  I'm already about 15 hours in, and Spotify is getting me through it.

I found a really beautiful dresser at Red Racks a while back for $30.  It's solid wood and has some wonderful details, but it was in pretty rough shape.  I'm blessed to have a woodworking father who loves to help his daughter out, so my dad replaced a leg and took some warping out of the top for me (I have no idea how, but patience was definitely involved).  The dresser was painted a creamy white, but once we got some of it sanded off, I fell in love with the wood.  I need to get the paint out of all the nooks and crannies and get her stained.  She's going to be lovely.

I'm a huge fan of painting old things to give them new life (within reason - there is way too much painted furniture out there right now, and sometimes I want to cry for the gorgeous wood that has been covered up) but I've never bought something new with the intention of painting it.  Our bedroom is coming along, but I needed new lighting for the bed, and I also wanted to add a bit of color.  I searched high and low for some great swing arm lamps that didn't break the bank, and while I didn't find any in a color I liked, these lamps were a nice shape and a great price.  I've been really into powder blue lately, it feels fresh but still calm - important for me in our bedroom, so I grabbed a few cans and mustered up some patience.  Trying to get even coverage with all of the moving parts wasn't easy, but I did my best to spray very thin coats and give lots of drying time in-between.  I'm letting them cure for a few days before I try and move them, just to be safe.

While I won't be able to show you most of my current projects until May, I am excited to be able to share the tutorials from my Creating with the Stars rounds with you in the following weeks.

I painted this wall in our living room and sadly painted back over it a few days later, so I'm hoping someone else will give it a try in an area where it can last a bit longer.

Do you complete one project at a time, or flitter around from one thing to another?  Are you working on any projects at the moment?  I'd love to know I'm not alone in the depths of DIY.

Monday, April 7, 2014

My Favorite Piece for Spring: The Kimono

The older I get (probably more like the more kids I get) the more comfort and ease become important to me.  Yes, I have come to that point that my 21-year-old self promised never to get to.  But I am a firm believer that just because things need to be easy, that doesn't mean they need to lack style.

This last weekend I had the opportunity to attend Go Blog Social.  This also gave me a chance to get out of my stretchy pants and sweats, and into something a bit more stylish: some pleather leggings (a glorified stretchy pant) and a Kimono (a glorified robe).

When it comes to creativity, fashion truly was my first love.  I even spent some time in New York in the industry, but the way I approach it has changed quite a bit, and I don't really consume it the way I used to (part of why you don't see much of it on this blog). I tend to stick to a lot of basics and classics, wearing them into the ground, and then I pick up one or two pieces a season to freshen up my looks.  I don't jump on every trend, but this easy, breezy kimono thing had my name all over it.

I wish I could give you some sources, but most of these pieces are several years old and the kimono, I picked up in January at Forever 21, but can't seem to find it online.

I thought it would be fun to give you some other ideas as to how you could wear a kimono - because I know not everyone feels comfortable in motorcycle boots and pleather leggings.  I've already worn this thing more times then I care to admit and will continue to do so until the weather is ridiculously hot and humid, or it disappears (my husband hides it).

It looks equally excellent with skinny jeans and boots for the day as it does with a maxi dress and sandals for a wedding or night out.  The key is to keep what you wear on bottom slim, or show off your waist with a dress that cinches in.  And it's a great way to stay covered up yet cool.  I've seen several styles at Forever 21 and H&M and they were perfectly priced for a timely trend.

Photos taken by my friend, Kelsey Williams.

On another fashionable note, I was asked to help Divine Caroline put together a Geek Chic look for their Strut Your Stuff Pin & Win Sweepstakes.  Click here for your chance to win $500 and take a minute to check out the items I helped curate.  

*This post contains affiliate links. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Round 2: Paint + Saying Goodbye to Creating with the Stars

It is with mixed emotions that I tell you this was my last week competing in Creating with the Stars.

It was such an amazing experience, and the creating part was a blast.  I really didn't mind the sleepless nights or the running to Homegoods for the right accessory to get the perfect shot before I lost sunlight.  It was such a thrill, and I couldn't have enjoyed it more.

I will say, keeping it a secret was very tough, especially when your friends tell you they're voting for projects that aren't yours.  Each week my jaw dropped to the ground as I saw what the other contestants had done.  The time and talent was incredible, and it was just an honor to have my work shown alongside theirs.

But I feel like I'm going out on a high note.  I felt so good about this one, and it almost made me want another baby (almost).  When I decided to do this pattern, I thought it would be perfect for a kid's room.  I actually painted it in our living room (it's the wall behind where the couch sits now, where the big thrift store art I upcycled hangs) and staged the nursery with borrowed and purchased items.  It's a perfect representation of my style: clean and classic with something a bit exciting - that green!  A little pattern, a little sheepskin, some modern, some traditional; I wouldn't change a thing.

While I'm sad to be leaving Creating with the Stars behind, I'm so excited for all that April has to bring.  Micah has been working long hours on our master bathroom remodel, and I know he'll be glad to have me back at his side.  We've got some pretty crazy deadlines for something really exciting happening the last week of April.  But with no immediate deadlines I can now look forward to attending Go Blog Social this weekend.  My dear friend, Kelsey, is coming in town for it and staying with us, and I am so looking forward to some good old-fashioned girl time.

In case you aren't following me on Instagram or Facebook, here is the link to the news interview I did on Monday.  How that ended up happening is a blog post in and of itself!

I can't end this little chapter without thanking some people.  Michael, my mentor, was beyond wonderful.  From talking through ideas, to little styling suggestions, to reassurance and support, I can't thank you enough for your kindness and guidance.  You were a dream to work with!  My husband was a huge help and didn't bat an eye when there was no dinner on the table and the house was a dirty disaster.  And the rest of our family helped with anything and everything: from letting me borrow items to taking my kids for a few hours.  It really was a team effort, and I was so blessed to have this team.  

I look forward to sharing tutorials on the stenciled wall and the other projects from the last round in a few weeks.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Olive's Farmers Market Party

It's time to vote for round 2 of Creating with the Stars!  This round is PAINTING.  I hope you'll take a second and head on over to East Coast Creative to vote today and Tuesday!

Since I'm kind of swimming in projects I can't share with you yet ( I don't like it either), I thought today I would share a really lovely party my dear friend, Laura, threw for her daughter.  Laura is not only an amazing photographer, she has such an incredible eye for all things design.  Her home is just gorgeous and her style, whether it be interior or event, is so effortlessly beautiful.  I'll let the pictures do the talking, and give you a few sources at the end.

Laura is the best moment-capturer I know.

Favors : Target | Paper, tissue for flowers, watering can, baskets: Target | Banner: scraps on hand | Stand : Ikea | Plants + pots: Walmart | Berry baskets, strawssliver wear, crepe paper (for flowers): Shop Sweet Lulu 

Thank you, Laura, for sharing!  Have a lovely week and don't forget to head on over to East Coast Creative to vote.  

All photos by Lark Photography.