Oct 29, 2012

Designer Look-Alike: DIY Capiz Shell Chandelier

I love this West Elm Capiz Shell Pendant and thought it would look perfect in our little girl's room, but it doesn't quite fit the budget at $129.  So, we recreated this very same look to hang from the existing flush-mount ceiling fixture with just a few items from the local craft store.  And, we did it for a mere portion of the total retail price!  Here's how it looks and how we did it...

Materials and Tools:
Several Sheets of translucent white vellum paper (I used 6-7 sheets)
An adjustable circle cutter (or a lid/glass to trace circles with and a pair of scissors)
White Thread
Embroidery hoop that will fit around your light fixture (measure diameter of your fixture cover, and get a hoop a tad larger)
Sewing Machine

1. Cut lots and lots of circles...the adjustable circle cutter cost me $20 but it saved lots of time and will be super handy for lots of projects down the road.

2. Lay out your circles in rows, staggering how many fall in each row so your "capiz shell" strips vary in length.

3. Sew your circles together into strips with a simple stitch setting on your sewing machine.  Leave about 5 inches of thread on the ends (see photo above)...you'll use this thread to tie the strips to the embroidery hoop.

4. Tie the "capiz shell" strips onto the embroidery hoop, and space them out evenly.  I used the outer hoop of the embroidery hoop because I needed it to expand a bit to get around the globe of the light fixture.

(Note: If you can, remove the globe/cover of the light fixture and set the embroidery hoop on it while you tie on the strips)

5. Finally, carefully re-install the light cover with the embroidery hoop around it.  Then turn your light on and admire your thrifty creation!

What do you think of it?  Not the same as the original fixture, but definitely along the same lines, huh?  I'll showcase the entire room from inspiration board to execution later this week!

You can also use this same concept to create a mobile for a nursery....just like Dana Miller showcased {here} on her blog House Tweaking.  Her creativity inspired me to go for my DIY capiz shell pendant light.  Isn't this gorgeous?!?!

Have a happy day!  And, stay safe from those gale-force winds and floods if you're with us in the North East, bracing for Hurricane Sandy.

Oct 25, 2012

Guess Where We're Going this Weekend?!?

Where are we traveling to this weekend?  Here is your (way too obvious...) hint:

If you passed 1st Grade you probably guessed it already...Washington D.C.!  As much as I wish we were just going there to sight-see, we actually have quite the endeavor ahead.  We're going to explore our nation's capital via a 26.2 mile run called the Marine Corps Marathon.
My husband will be running his 2nd marathon - his 1st was the Chicago Marathon.  I'm so proud of him!  After his 1st, he swore he would never run another...and look where we are today.

I will be running my 4th marathon - 2 Marine Corps Marathons and 1 Chicago Marathon are under my belt.  This time around, I'm the one saying I will never run another!  (The race itself is awesome - It's the training part that's a major time commitment.)

We're praying for healthy bodies, good weather, and strong minds to get through this feat.  It's so much better once you cross the finish line and are looking back on it as a fond memory...I promise!

If anyone is considering a marathon, I recommend the Marine Corps Marathon for 6 reasons: 

1) The course is beautiful - great landmarks, memorials, and monuments to see
2) It's very entertaining with so many cheering crowds - never a dull moment
3) The event is so well organized and supported
4) It's so great to run in a race that pays tribute to our military heroes - past, present, and future
5) The weather is typically beautiful in DC this time of year (the end of October)
6) The course is super flat!

Have any of you run a marathon?  Any one thinking about running a marathon?  Let me know, and I'll try to peer pressure you into it.  Wish us luck and please keep us in your prayers this Sunday, 28 Oct!

Oct 24, 2012

A New Trend - Pink Wedding Dresses?

A little bit "gypsy" and a tad "cotton candy-esque", the modern version of the pink wedding dress has officially made its debut with Jessica Biel's beautiful petal pink dress from her nuptials with Justin Timberlake last Friday, 19 Oct 2012.

When I first saw Jessica's dress, I was shocked that she went this way!  She is one of the most strikingly beautiful ladies of Hollywood and always dresses so well and typically with tasteful restraint, so I expected a traditional white frock with maybe some cutting-edge lines.  Instead, she glows in a surprisingly prom-pink (chiffon?) dress with a more traditional cut.  High five to her for being unique and bold - I love it! 

Here are a few other pink wedding dresses, so pretty they might just change my mind about the must-be-some-shade-of-white-to-qualify expectation.  Are there really any wedding day "rules" after all???

The "pro" argument: I think all these ladies look simply dashing!  And, you could always wear the dress again to a formal event because it's not the proverbial white wedding dress.

The "con" argument: I can't help but wonder if the "what was I thinking when I chose pink??" question would creep into my head when I glanced over my wedding photos 10-20-30 years from now.  (I guess that can be said for some white dresses too!)

Could you?  Would you?  Should you?  Is pink the new white?  Do spill!

Oct 22, 2012

Call Me Crazy...A Painted Antler Chandelier

via Decor8

For some reason, I love this kitchen by Don Raney and Jaymes Richardson of Civility Design...which admittedly puts me on the eccentric decorating side o' the fence.  First off, the kelly green subway tiles set with white grout are super cool with the bright white upper cabinets, black lower cabinets, and that huge picture frame window.  And, to address the gorgeous elephant in the room, those bright Hermes orange antler chandeliers are simply fabulous (to me).  Is anyone else with me on this?  

Now, you're wondering where I'M going with this...   How has this quirky cool space inspired me?  You could totally repeat the expensive custom chandelier look in a highly affordable fashion by painting a seemingly cabin-themed chandelier, reinventing it as a sleek, contemporary fixture that merely nods to the great outdoors in a cheeky chic sort of way.

Faux-Antler Chandelier (featured in the Oct/Nov 2012 issue of HGTV Magazine!) - Home Depot ($189); Plasti Dip Matte Black Spray Paint - Lowe's ($6)

Why the Plasti Dip spray paint?  It provides a flexible rubber coating that could be removed in case you want to repaint it in the future.  Also, I think it would give the perfect "thickness" to the chandelier, yielding a nice dipped look - like the custom bright orange chandeliers above.  

A plain matte black spray paint or even glossy black spray paint looks equally as cool.  The glossy black antler chandelier used in the "equation" above was from a wonderfully decorated nursery on a blog called Project Babies.  Visit the site to see their rendition in the nursery {here}.

Oh, my final addition would be some cool modern-looking circular light bulbs, similar to those shown in the kitchen...

(These bulbs from Amazon.com (6 pk/$14) would totally make the chandy look even more custom and modern.)

I'd like to put a painted antler chandelier like this over my kitchen table, to make the space look more hip and contemporary.  Am I brave enough to do it???  The jury is still out...  

So, tell me, is a painted antler chandelier "wack" or "wicked cool"?  Have you ever seen one?

Oct 19, 2012

Room-Divider Curtain + Another Book Sling

I've divided my hugely long living room - at last!  I'd never complain about the vast space it offers; however, it was a (welcome) decorating challenge to "visually separate" the office and living room from one great room into two more-distinct areas.  Enter ceiling-mounted curtain panels - an instant room divider!

 (velvet curtain panels and hardware from West Elm)

 See, it's successfully divided the room into my office in the first part...

And, our living room in the second part...

Even better, it hides a little toy area/kid reading nook from immediate view upon entering the space.

Toys?  What toys???

Oh, there you are!

And then, to foster my addition to organization...yet another book sling was made.  It was made out of extra fabric from the DIY cornice box you can see in the living room above.

Simply can't get enough of this large-scale yellow floral print!  So cheery, fresh, and bold.  Step-by-step directions for how to make your own book sling can be found {here}.

What do you think of the ceiling-mounted curtain as a room-divider?  Do you think it works in the space?  Hope you're diggin' the vibe like we are!

Oct 17, 2012

Some One Kings Lane Excitement...

I'm excited because I got my first One Kings Lane purchase in the mail yesterday!  I ordered two very usable kitchen items - a set of red-lacquered salad tongs, and a catch-all yellow bamboo bowl.  Wanna see?!?

They arrived exactly when One Kings Lane projected they would come, and came carefully wrapped in lots of bubble wrap.  It was so nice to be "thanked" as soon as I opened the box.  Now that's a way to get repeat customers...

And, here are my new items in use!

Awesome news: All week long, One Kings Lane is offering fantastic deals on their home and kitchen appliances! With the holiday season approaching, this is the perfect sale to make sure you have everything you need for warm gatherings at your home.  If you're new to One Kings Lane, sign up today for a $15 credit for purchases of $30 or more.

I found yet another practical kitchen utensil that I ordered yesterday...

It's a Thin Apple Slicer that yields 16 slices (vice the 8 huge slices you get with typical apple slicers) - much better for little ones to eat and much better for apple recipes.  Even better, it was discounted down to only $8.  I love it and can't wait to get it in the mail!

Head over to One Kings Lane now before the current kitchen deals are over this Friday!  Any one else a One Kings Lane lover? What have you ordered off the site?  It's a new staple in our house.

Oct 15, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

This Kristen-created recipe is super delicious and uber easy to make.  It's a fun one for a family pizza night and perfect for football-watching parties.  Make it...you'll love it!

1 roll Pillsbury Refrigerated Pizza Dough
2 cups chicken, cooked and cubed
Frank's Buffalo Hot Sauce
2 Tbsp butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup Ranch Salad Dressing
1/4 cup Marie's Blue Cheese Vinaigrette (in refrigerated produce section)
Colby Jack shredded cheese
Crumbled Feta Cheese

1. Preheat oven to temp on pizza dough packaging.  Flatten dough and bake on pizza stone or metal baking sheet for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes.  Leave the oven on.

2. While dough is baking: combine cooked & cubed chicken, buffalo hot sauce (as much as desired), melted butter, and garlic.  Set aside. (You can prepare this chicken mix in advance so the flavor sets in even more)

3. Prepare the "sauce" by mixing the Ranch dressing and Blue Cheese Vinaigrette together.  Stir until combined.

4. After pizza crust is cooled a bit, spread sauce around to the edges.  Sprinkle on your first layer of shredded Colby Jack cheese, then sprinkle on the chicken.  Add another layer of shredded Colby Jack cheese, and finish it up by sprinkling the crumbled Feta cheese on top.

5. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese is ooey gooey and melted.

(Serving Suggestion: You can mix up extra sauce for dipping.  Plate with a little celery on the side.  Mmmm!)

This pizza tastes even better as leftovers for the next day.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

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