Thursday, October 27, 2011

Living Room Gallery Wall

I knew that I wanted to decorate the living room yellow and grey in my new place months before I even started apartment hunting. This is my favorite part of the living room. Honestly though, the rest of the room couldn't get more yellow and grey unless I got a yellow or grey couch. I was working on getting one, but I figured out how to clean my couch here so the grey couch will have to wait. I would love to paint the walls a nice soft yellow or light grey, but that too is out since we rent. 

This is about what I could do and I am so excited about it!

The quilt is a project I found on Happy Together here using Joel Dewberry's Aviary 2 collection of fabrics shown here. I convinced my mother that it was the only thing that would do for a birthday present this year. I LOVE it. I think it is the most beautiful quilt I own. The pillows are from Ikea and very affordable. I love how they tie in the couch color with the yellow and grey theme.

The gallery wall is inspired by many that I saw on Pinterest. Search gallery wall and you'll see what I'm talking about. I used a few frames from Ikea (love that place!) and put in black & white pictures from an old Ansel Adams calendar I happened to have. It was really old - like from 2002! (I'm a bit of a hoarder.) The top left frame has lyrics to a song. It's super tiny writing but I managed to fit the whole song in. There is also a quote from e.e. cummings and the bottom right frame says, "Be Awesome Today." Those are all printed on cute scrapbook paper. The "S" is from Michael's, and covered in many, many coats of yellow spray paint, then hung with a black & white polka dot ribbon. I used my Silhouette to cut various words and phrases out of vinyl and used those to fill in the spaces around the frames.

I love using vinyl to decorate in the apartment. It doesn't damage the walls and adds a lot of style when you aren't allow to paint. I almost always get my vinyl from Expressions Vinyl and for indoor use order the removable indoor vinyl. There are so many colors and styles to choose from I could really cover the whole house in it! I'm not being paid to say that, I just love their selection, great customer service and fast shipping.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Have You Started Christmas Shopping?

Confession: I'm almost done! It's the first time I've ever been this close to being done with Christmas shopping this early in the year, but I still have a lot of work to do on stockings. We have a lot of people at our big family Christmas, so there are a lot of bases to cover when it comes to stuffing stockings. In my playing around on Pinterest, I came across an awesome blog and I had to check it out.

This has to be one of the best lists of stocking stuffers I have seen so far! Plus for those that don't like to make everything on their Christmas list, it's not all crafty things. Jenna's Journey gives a complete list of items for everyone on your shopping list and they are really creative things too. It's going to make my shopping so much easier. I may even be done before the month is over!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Dirty, Dirty Couch

I knew my couch was dirty before I started this project, but I really had no idea how dirty. I have loathed it lately and had started shopping for slipcovers. Well back-up. First, I started looking for tutorials on how to make slipcovers. That looked like an absolute nightmare, really, I think you must be very brave or absolutely crazy to make them yourself. So then I started shopping around. The prices were killing me! I couldn't imagine spending what some of the places were asking and I wasn't even finding anything I was the least bit in love with. It just so happened on the same day, I found two AMAZING things to share with you.

First, for those in the market for a slipcover, check out They have beautiful and affordable slipcovers. They carry brand name slipcovers at unbeatable prices. Believe me, I've looked at the other places. And I was not paid to say this, just found them and saw how awesome they were.

The second thing I came across was on Pinterest. I found a tutorial on how to clean a microfiber couch. (Update 8/13/15: the link to the original tutorial is gone.) It was really my lucky day because that's exactly the type of couch I have. So I figured I would give the cleaning a shot and if that didn't work, I could always buy one of the great slipcovers I found.

I made a list of all the supplies I would need and headed out to Walmart to get them. I couldn't find white scrubby sponges like she recommended but I found brown, which match our couch so I grabbed them. I had no trouble with the rest of the supplies.

Supplies needed:
A spray bottle, rubbing alcohol, soft scrubbing brush like pictured, scrubbing sponges (ideally white to prevent color transfer).

Pour the rubbing alcohol into the spray bottle and spray the affected area of the couch. Use the scrubbing side of the sponge to scrub the dirt off of the couch. Then use the soft bristled brush to rub the nap of the fabric back up after it has started to dry. It will help restore the original softness of the fabric. Try not to over saturate the fabric because it can leave "water ring" like spots and only clean in small sections at a time.

I didn't notice until I posted it but I had a nice glass of wine in my supplies picture. It wasn't mentioned in the supply list but it is a nice thing to have if your couch is as dirty as mine.  You are going to be doing a lot of scrubbing and you will sure need it for your breaks. Warning though, open a window or two if you can, the smell of rubbing alcohol is VERY strong!

So this is my dirty, ugly couch cushion before:

And this is my lovely, almost perfect couch cushion now:

I think I can live with it awhile longer.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Shabby Apple Ballerina Dress

If you haven't heard of Shabby Apple, you absolutely must check them out. I love dresses and adore everything they make. I was recently lucky enough to win a $50 gift card to their store and was ecstatic! I have been eying their dresses for as long as I can remember, waiting for the day that I could make one of them my own. Well, that day is finally here!

One of the great things about their site is that you can shop by "collections," where the outfits are similar in style. So if you have a certain look you are going for it is much easier to find. You can also shop their sale and practically perfect departments. They also have a wedding department that carries styles for both the bride and bridesmaids.

I chose Ballerina, which has been one of my favorites from the start and I anxiously awaited it's arrival. It shipped very quickly and came beautifully packaged. I couldn't wait to try it on! It fits like a dream and is very comfortable. I wore it all day and had no issues with comfort or movement in it. It also washed well on the delicate cycle, which I was happy about because I am not one for hand-washing anything. I think it's become my favorite dress!

Now I can't wait to get another beautiful dress, skirt or other beautiful item from Shabby Apple. I'm in love!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Family Name Art

Yesterday was my Grom's birthday, that would be grandma to most of you. We are taking her out tonight to celebrate and I wanted to make her something very special. Her house has been in the process of being remodeled and I found this wonderful frame at Ikea when we were on a trip there for decorating inspiration. It's fun having two places to redecorate. Pictures of our new place will be coming soon! I've been so busy with packing and moving, then unpacking and organizing that I almost forgot about making her present. But yesterday, my mother was posting pictures for everyone of all the happenings over at their place and a light bulb went off - Grom's present! So, I put everything else aside and got to work figuring out what to do for her and came up with this:

I wanted to make sure that it would match their new decor and that it wouldn't just be another piece of art to hang on the wall. I used the pictures that my mother had posted as color inspiration, especially this wall hanging she made:

(don't you just love it?)
The details: The background on the right and left sides are newsprint scrapbook paper and the middle is a green print from the Luxury Stack of Premium Stack scrapbook paper. On the left I attached a white cardstock daisy and on the right I used a white scroll font stickers to spell "Fish," the family name. I printed the quote on the green paper in LD Old Glory font. "Being a family means you are part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life. No matter what."

I think it will go wonderfully with the new decor and more importantly, I think my Grom will love it!