she’s 1!: braden’s one-year-old birthday party

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged…mostly because I spend my life online editing and running AOL’s Roswell Patch news site now.

But I wanted to take a brief moment to post something on the birthday party we threw for B this past weekend. Thanks to inspiration found scouring other blogs and Pinterest, I think we pulled it off rather nicely. Take a look and see what you think.

do-it-yourself: harlequin patterns and changing tables…

I’ve been working on the nursery and it’s definitely coming along now…s-l-o-w-l-y, very slowly, but we’re getting there.
I still have three months, but I know that with the holidays coming up three months is going to fly by and Braden will be here before we know it.

Fortunately for us, my parents have given us the two main pieces of furniture that we’re using in the nursery! One piece is a wardrobe that was used in my own nursery. I love the idea that my daughter will grow up with something that I also grew up around.

The second piece my parents gave us was an old chest they used in their room for years and years. Deriving inspiration from the items on Layla Grace, I decided to try my hand at converting the piece into a changing table by utilizing a do-it-yourself harlequin pattern in the colors I’m using in the nursery.

This is how it turned out….

braden's changing table

Here’s how I did it:

-Remove any hardware (drawer pulls, etc.).
-Paint the entire object one solid color. Let dry.
-Use painter’s tape and create a diamond pattern over the entire object by focusing on one surface at a time. For instance, lay out your tape on the top first, then each of the sides individually and finally, the front (over the drawers). You can measure the distance between each piece of tape or lay it out freehand (like I did). Press the the tape down as firmly as possible to avoid heavy bleeding, but realize that this is a nearly impossible task and you WILL experience some bleeds. That’s okay.
-Fill in each diamond shape with a secondary color. Let dry.
-Once dry, remove tape. The diamond pattern should be obvious. Keep in mind there will be imperfections.
-Using a crafter’s angled-edge sponge brush (choose your own size, I used a smaller size), brush on a third color over each of the diamond’s edges, covering up any bleeds or imperfections along the way.

The trick, I learned, was to accept the minor imperfections (over-correcting also causes problems) while trying my best to achieve the look I wanted.

Overall, while it’s not perfect, I am really pleased with the way it turned out.

can’t get enough of “Young House Love”!

When a friend of mine recently dropped the name of a blog called “Young House Love,” I had never heard of it before. But you better believe I’m addicted now!!

John and Sherry Petersik

They are totally my kind of couple and as I sit here reading all of their tips, tricks and DIY ideas I am suddenly overcome with the undeniable urge to DO SOMETHING!! I feel like making a fabric headboard, repainting all of my trim, running down to IKEA, heading out to a thrift store, yanking all of the furniture out of our house and bringing it back in (or not) piece by piece until I achieve the exact look I’m going for…which might be hard, since I don’t have a detailed vision yet, just a feeling I desire to convey. So how do I get from here to there? Young House Blog even has a section to help you with that (Pin Down Your Style or Decorate in Stages)!!!

Check out this monogram art piece that I’m definitely going to replicate somewhere in my house (with an “F” of course)! SO easy and lovely!!!

Detailed instructions on how to create your own can be found here. (p.s. That’s a Halloween/fall motif they’ve set up on the entryway table.)

It really is one of the best step-by-step blogs I’ve ever come across and I’m sure it will be a repeat destination in my internet search history.

ready made…

So, I am completely obsessed with this new magazine/website: Ready Made.

I stumbled upon it on accident at San Vito’s one night, while waiting for our pizza to come out of the oven. I couldn’t put it down!

First, let me say, I love how Ready Made runs down inspirational ideas and concepts in its pages. It takes potentially complex activities and breaks them down into manageable projects. And, surprise, surprise, nearly everything you read about can be duplicated in your own life, be it going green, crafting, building, traveling, ect. (hence the name Ready Made…). They even tell you exactly what materials you’ll need and how much it will all most likely cost you so you know before you attempt any DIY projects.

Here are some of my most recent favorites:

-Men’s wear button-front mini. Maybe I’m ultra-loving this because I just finished my own version of a seersucker mini and wore it last week (thank you very much!) But, this Wren clothing line inspired mini seems so much simpler and just as cute, here are the step-by-step directions on how to make it.

{Image by Kathryn Gambel for Ready Made}

-Trail-mix bars. Yum. Pretty much sums it up! Recipe found here.

{Image by Kim Cornelison for Ready Made}

-Solar firefly lanterns. Wow. That’s putting it lightly. How adorable are these little lanterns?! Remember when you were a kid and you used to catch fireflies and put them in a jar? This is the grown up version. I’m thinking of making a few for my front porch now. Here’s how.

{Image from Ready Made}

do-it-yourself patio furniture…

It’s been over a week since I last posted, but you’ll forgive me for spending most of my free time outdoors enjoying this AMAZING spring weather!
I’ve been trying to transform our outdoor space into a place we’ll want to (**and be able to**) spend more time this summer. In addition to planting flowers and mulching, raking and blowing, I’ve also been bit by the DIY bug…big time!!
A few weekends ago, my mom helped me build a deck storage bench. We went to Home Depot with nothing more than a picture and walked out with a cart full of lumber, screws and a some mental notes on measurements.
Needless to say, it was a day full of power tools and manual labor.
This is what we ended up with: (I’ll post instructions on how we did it soon!)

Then, still on my patio furniture kick, yesterday I went ahead and built two Adirondack chairs to go with my new bench. Once again, I headed out to the the hardware store and came home a load of lumber sticking out the window of my tiny Elantra. 🙂 It was quite a feat managing that fit, let me assure you!
Here’s the final product: (I’ll post instructions on how I built them soon!)

updates to ChrissyRox…

I’ve been prompted to post some of the things I’ve been working on recently to my very-neglected Etsy site. If you see something you like, let me know. Or, if you have something particular in mind I’m all ears! I’m DEFINITELY open to special orders! But, by all means, don’t get hung up on the price. Let me know what you want to pay. I’m really feeling all of those kinds of specifics out still.

For now, check out the new ChrissyRox stuff that has been uploaded to Etsy…and let me know what you think!

toddler chic…

Maybe it’s just the newness of spring in the air, but I’ve been inspired to get crafty again.

Recently, a friend of mine asked me to accessorize a t-shirt for her daughter’s second birthday party. She mentioned a few ideas she had and then left the creative process solely up to me.

With as many shirts as I have done recently, I hadn’t done any baby clothing, which made me semi-nervous. But, the process was actually quite freeing! Follow my logic here; adult women don’t want cupcakes on their t-shirts, but how adorable are t-shirts with cupcakes on them?!! If I wasn’t so chic-minded (riiiight…wink), I would be half tempted to make myself one! My point is, prior to all of our grown up style aesthetics the world is a much larger, more interesting place. A place where cupcakes on t-shirts are beautiful and not silly. A place where lovely possibilities are boundless. I kind of liked living in that wide open world…if only for a few hours.

See what you think about the shirt I came up with:

After I finished that one, I was on such a roll that I also designed this one for my niece:

Today, I’m hoping to do one for another niece and, who knows, maybe I’ll put them on etsy and take some orders?! 🙂

**NOTE** The mission to improve upon my wine bottle centerpiece is ongoing and I will be uploading new pics of how it looks as I progress. 🙂