T-Shirt Turned Swimsuit Cover

Pinterest is filled with t-shirt projects these days. Not gonna lie, I was both intrigued and skeptical when I started seeing the pins so I pulled out an old t-shirt and started cutting away. And what do you know, it was awesome. So off to Savers I went to pick up some shnazzy mens t-shirts, most importantly a special shirt to turn into a swimsuit cover for my sister’s bachelorette party gift. I followed this tutorial which was so easy. I did sew up the the sides just a bit to give it a bit more shape because it was a little boxy on it’s own.I used iron on sequins which were a huge pain to work with but I can’t argue with the results.Not too shabby for a t-shirt, huh? I picked up a few more t-shirts to try out some of the other tutorials I’ve found. Hello cute diy tank tops!

Wedding Projects

My little sister’s getting married in October which means I’ve been busy crafting some special goodies for the big day, because that’s what us crafty people do. Nothing inspires creativity more than a special occasion. And I’ve found deadlines don’t hurt either. For some reason my creativity tends to be a bit elusive until I’m almost out of time. Not my favorite trait…

Some of my projects are still top secret but I do have a couple that I can share now. First up is the stole I crocheted for her shower gift. She’s getting married on the beach so I thought it would be nice for her to have something to wear if it gets a bit cool in the evening. This could have more to do with the fact that I’m always freezing than her actually needing it. But she’s also having a reception back home which could actually be chilly so it’s versatile at least. The pictures are horrible due to “someone” procrastinating till the cloudy day before the shower to take pictures. I am so on the ball these days.I used this pattern which I absolutely loved. It was easy with all simple stitches but it was fun to work on because you’re not doing the same thing over and over. The best part of the pattern is that if you do make a mistake you’ll find it in the next row so you won’t have to tear out too much of your hard work. Very helpful for someone like me!I added beads in an effort to fancy it up a bit. They don’t show up in the pictures very well but I promise they’re there. Small, clear, kind of shiny beads. This was my first time adding beads to a project and while I am definitely glad that I did, it was super time consuming. You have to add all the beads you want on the skein of yarn before starting it and then keep pushing them down as you go. Not terribly efficient, especially when the beads are pretty snug on the yarn. But it was totally worth it for this project and I learned something new so will put this one in the win category. After all was said and done I’d say it took me around 25 hours total and I really enjoyed every minute of it. I am so happy I decided to take up crocheting! I just fall more in love with this new hobby with every project I make!

The other project I have to share right now are the fancy wedding flip flops she’ll be wearing on the big day. We went to JoAnns together and picked out a great trim from the fabric department. I wrapped the straps with white ribbon and then glued the trim on top with fabric glue. A simple project (although I do always manage to get glue everywhere!) that really looks extra special. They’re going to be the perfect companion to her wedding dress on the beach!

Stay tuned for more wedding projects to come in the near future. Pinterest has me crafting like crazy!

The Project that Nearly Killed Me

After far more frustration and failure than should ever accompany a simple project like this, operation change the living room artwork is finally accomplished.I swear this project nearly drove me mad. It started out as a map project. I ordered a great big beautiful map from amazon and intended to cut it in thirds and glue them to the canvases. Easy peasy. What ended up happening was simply an epic fail. The first canvas I tried wrinkled and bubbled and basically turned into a red hot mess in about 5 seconds. I proceeded to turn into a hot mess right along with it, because that’s what I do when my crafty projects fail. I am a pillar of strength I tell ya’. So after the map and I finished with our meltdown I had the brilliant idea to actually hold the map up over the couch and see how it looked. It looked brown. Not the beautiful yellow that it had looked like online, or the pleasant orange that it looked like when looking at it by itself, but brown, like the walls, like the couch. The map turned the whole area into a sea of brown. Lovely.

So back to the drawing board I went, now with the determination to get some color up on those walls. After lots of time scouring the internet for ideas, I decided to stick with my original 3 canvas idea with song lyrics in the middle. So back to JoAnns I went for a replacement canvas and vinyl letter stickers.And then once again back to the land of epic failure. I measured, drew lines, carefully placed my stickers, realized that I forgot to include the actual letters in my measurement so it was uneven, remeasured, realized that my lines were going to show up when I took the stickers off (duh!!!). It was at this moment that I remembered how every single one of my elementary school report cards said “Jackie needs to check her work”. I guess some things will just never change. Even when I check my work I get it wrong so I choose to simply accept it as who I am. But eventually I figured it out. And by eventually I mean I made enough mistakes to work off of and my amazing hubby came in with a sweet L shaped ruler that saved my sanity.Then I got to actually have some fun and paint away. At least one part of this project was easy!Next up I made stencils out of painters tape. I cut a stencil out of paper, taped it on wax paper, covered the area with painters tape on the other side and cut it out. This actually worked out really well, thank goodness or I really may have thrown the whole thing in the trash. Then I painted merrily away and hung my proud new project over the couch.And it looked wrong. I couldn’t put my finger on it, it just didn’t look right. Too small, too short… I wasn’t quite sure, and neither was anyone else who walked in my house and said the same thing, until my darling BFF told me she read that artwork over the couch needs to be at least 80% the size of the couch. Bingo! So I decided the answer to my problem was to hang frames on each side of the canvases, and since the lyrics are “Home is wherever I’m with you” it only seemed fitting that the frames hold something related to places Justin and I have been together. Cue more time scouring the internet which ended at zazzle.com where I was able to have vintage postcards of places we’ve visited together printed out for less than a dollar a piece. Finally my project was complete! It may have nearly cost me my sanity but in the end, I’m pretty happy with it 🙂Now the only problem is that the new artwork has called attention to my desperate need for new throw pillows. Those puppies are beyond ready for throw pillow heaven. And maybe a new couch, which will likely mean adjusting all the artwork, so a million more holes in the wall because like I said, even when I check my work I get it wrong… Will the madness never end??? 😉

Photo Canvases…Check

While my home decorating list seems to just keep getting longer, I have managed to start checking projects off. I decided to tackle the photo canvases I wanted to make for the master bedroom first since they would be a quick and easy project.I won’t go into a full tutorial here since the internet is already filled with great info that is far better than I could ever do. So I’ll just give you the basics in case you’re interested. Paint the sides and edges of your canvas. After it’s dry, paint canvas and the back of your photo (trimmed slightly smaller than your canvas) with mod podge and adhere. Smooth the photo on from the front as well as the back of the canvas. Coat top of picture with a coat or two of mod podge (this step is optional, I did it because I like the way the brush marks over the top make it look more “artsy”). After the mod podge is dry, dry brush around the edges with black paint. That’s all there is to it! Pretty easy project, although I will say it took some work to get the edges really black. I ended up using a sponge brush and sponging it on super thick.I used the pictures that were already hanging in the bedroom, replacing two framed pictures with the three canvases, adding the picture that was on the opposite wall over my dresser. To replace that picture I printed out lyrics from the song “Marry Me” by Train and put them on scrapbook paper.I love the way the yellow scrapbook paper gives a nice little pop of color. It was a super easy project, took me about 15 minutes, but it’s a fun change up to the room. So there you have it, a fun little crafty freshening up of our bedroom. It’s certainly not a huge change but it’s nice to have something new to look at on the walls sometimes!

Call Me Thrifty

My friend and I headed out on Friday to try our hand at thrifting. Sufficient to say we are hooked.

We started out the day at the Salvation Army ReStore where we didn’t find much besides the realization that this super cool store is really close and must be visited frequently.

Next up we hit Hidden Treasures in Saint Anthony. True to it’s name, we found lots of treasures, including these lovelies. I paid 9 bucks for the both of them. 9 bucks!!!! They are huge and going to look fantastical once I spray them with some rustoleum oil rubbed bronze paint! Did I mention I got them for 9 bucks?!?!

Luckily for us Hidden Treasures was right by Jersey Mikes where pretty much the best sandwiches ever live so we made a pit stop and made our stomachs very happy.On the way to our next store we happened to drive right by the MPLS Photo Center, and since that place makes me happy I thought we should make a quick stop.I adore this place with all my heart. And I remembered to snap a picture of my favorite photo hanging in the gallery right now.I know my picture is awful but I do kind of love the way it turned out with my reflection in the photograph.And isn’t this photo amazing??? The mist, the still water, the horse and rider. Love it.

The next stop on our whirlwind tour was the downtown Salvation Army and it was giant! And it just so happened to hold the most magnificent thrift store find that I will probably ever find.Guess who needed a new kitchen table??? You guessed it, me! This thing is gorgeous and is going to look so incredible once it’s painted black. And the best part??? It was $25. This single find has probably given me unrealistic expectations for the rest of my life. Now I would like you all to take a moment and appreciate how meant to be this table was for me.Not even an inch to spare. She was made to come home in my Jeep! I can’t wait to get started on this project! I still need chairs but the tentative plan right now is my dad and I are going to build two benches for the long sides and I’m going to buy two chairs for the end, either new or refinish some from a thrift store/Craigslist (I told you I was hooked).

After squeezing the table into the Jeep we headed downstairs and found a whole new level of amazingness in the “As Is” store. It’s filled with brand new stuff that stores send when they don’t need it anymore. Clearance, dye lot testing, that sort of thing. I was able to snag two adorable swimsuits for $15 total. Oh how these good deals make my heart happy. I thought we’d never leave the store because we kept finding more treasures around every corner. Housing this store and the Salvation Army thrift store in the same building is pure genius.

Once we finished our thrift store adventures it was time to buy supplies to make our new treasures amazing so it was off to Home Depot and JoAnns. I also picked up supplies to redo my patio furniture. I’m going to try to spray paint it with Rust-Oleum oil rubbed bronze. I’m scared. Not gonna lie. But if it works out it’s going to be amazing. If not, well let’s not talk about that possibility.It is in desperate need of some love so hopefully my spray painting will be just the ticket!

So now that I have all these treasures it’s time to get to work making them awesome. The only problem is that I have way too many projects and I don’t know where to start!

Office Inspiration

After pestering Justin for over a year about wanting to redo our office he has finally relented agreed. He spends a lot of time in there for work and has been starting to feel a bit couped up in there so that has certainly helped my case. Whatever the motivation for the change, I am ecstatic for the chance to redecorate a room! It’s been a couple years now since I finished painting and decorating our house so there really hasn’t been any room for me to get creative in here for awhile. I’ve really missed it! The office has never been great though so I am excited to let my creativity run wild in there.

Over the last year I’ve started reading several DIY house renovating blogs which have taught me a lot and given me all kinds of ideas that I’ve been wanting to try out. It’s also probably given me way too much confidence as far as building goes but that’s what we have dads for, right? My favorite DIY blog is Young House Love and is actually the source for my office inspiration. I love the desk they built in their office and the plan is to replicate it to the best of our abilities. Lots of good stuff going on in this room that I plan to use for inspiration. First up, the desk. They found used cabinets at the Habitat for Humanity Restore and refinished them. I’m hoping that I have half the luck they had with their find ($1 a cabinet!!!). They added a few inches to the tops of the cabinets to get the height they needed, then made the desktop out of framing lumber. I haven’t quite decided on the desktop quite yet. I love theirs and that is my first pick but it is a lot of work. The other option I’m considering is purchasing two pine desktops from Ikea and staining them darker. Either one will be nice, just depends on how much we want to tackle. I do like the idea of using the same lumber as the desktop to build a small bookcase for the opposite wall and it would be cheaper to go the full on diy route so we’ll see how it goes. It also depends how much our dads/friends with saws and tools want to help us out 😉 We have pretty good dads and friends though so I don’t foresee much of a problem in that department.

I also really like the pop of color provided by the green chairs and am thinking of bringing that into the room with some new curtains. I’m in love with these guys from Target.I want to paint the walls a light grey which would look awesome with these curtains!

I plan on making a magnet board to go over Justin’s side of the desk for all of his papers that currently reside on a bulletin board. I really like this one I found on Pinterest.It’s made with magnetic metal, a radiator cover and a thrifted frame. How cool is that? For my side of the desk I plan on hanging a wire with clips that I can hang my scrapbooking layouts from. Let my scrappy work double as home decor! I also want to get a couple of the rails from Ikea and hang the utensil cups and baskets from them to hold my glue, pens, etc.

On the opposite wall from the desk I plan on creating a mini-wall of short bookcases, either store bought or built. Ideally I’d like them to match the desktop but if that turns out to be too difficult I’ll go with white which will match the cabinets under the desk. I’m not sure yet what I want to hang over them but I’ve got lots of different ideas. Here are a few of the things I’m thinking of from Pinterest.I love this idea; a map cut from cork glued onto plywood with pins that say “want to visit,” “was here,” etc (although mine would say “I want to go to there” because I’m obsessed with Liz Lemon). Super cute and kind of motivating for an office where you make the big bucks to pay to visit all the places 😉 There are all kinds of variations of this that would be possible as well. Maybe purchase a map and put it over cork and frame it… I think it would be cute to frame a quote on each side of it too,quotes that relate to life/work/travel.I love this mixed media canvas and it’s art that I feel like I actually might be able to conquer. I also like the two birds, it’s like Justin and I 😉 I would make mine with book pages though, what with me being a bookworm and all. If I did this one though I think I would break it up over three smaller canvases like this oneI’m sure this part of the project is bound to change a million times until I actually just make something. There are just so many fun possibilities! I’m also going to make some fun stuff to decorate the shelves with. I’m hoping to find some treasures to repurpose at the thrift stores (I’m seeing lots of thrift store trips in my future…). For sure I want to find some animals to spray paint. They’ve done this on Young House Love and I just adore them but I’ve never had a home for them.Basically I just want to find a bunch of stuff to spray paint I guess.

We’d like to change the light fixture in the room as well. Right now we have the traditional boob light which is fine but not exactly special. I like this one from Ikea.Justin really likes soft light in the office so this would be perfect. I might need to find a lamp to provide better lighting for me when I scrapbook though. Justin currently has a paper lantern lamp on his desk so maybe another one of those for the desk and then something that I can pull out for scrapping when it’s dark in there???

Last but not least we’re going to need to do something about the chair situation. Currently we have a blue chair and a black chair. Not a great look. Ideally I think I’d just like to find a new black chair that looks similar to our current black chair. It’s comfortable and really what we need for office sitting. But I’m also thinking I would like to find a cute chair to repurpose to put in the corner. Something that would be comfortable to read a book in if one of us wanted to hang out there while the other worked. This one is definitely not a need but should the opportunity present itself, I’ll have my eyes open.

So that’s the plan as of now. I’m sure it’s bound to change a million times but I am having lots of fun making plans and can’t wait to get started! It’s going to be a long process and a lot of work but reading all the diy blogs has taught me to have patience with these kinds of projects, a lesson I seriously needed. Thrift stores look out! I’m a comin’!

Lately

*A few Smash book pages to shareI’m sorry these look so blurry. If you click on them they are just fine but for some reason they aren’t clear in the post. Sometimes WordPress fails me…

* A friend and I headed downtown for a super fantabulous girl date the other day. We visited the Minneapolis Photo Center, which had a great new exhibit, but is also one of the coolest buildings I’ve ever been in. It is everything you think of when you think of a restored industrial space; wood floors, exposed bricks, wood beams, huge windows with amazing views, awesome doors. It is such a cool space.We followed up our loft lust with dinner on the new rooftop patio at the Uptown Cafeteria. Awesome patio, awesome views, awesome food. When we were in the Bahamas I had conch fritters and fell in love. Since then I have been searching for something similar to satisfy the craving. But all that has changed now that I’ve had the crab fritters at the Cafeteria. They are DELICIOUS! I cannot wait to go back for more!!! It was a perfect girls day out with some much needed city time.

* So far the bone marrow biopsy recovery is going better than ever before. Seems like I was right when I predicted it would be the best biopsy ever 😉 I give all the credit to my sweet new anti gravity chair and the awesome care I’ve been receiving from the hubs. He rocks. I’m certainly not 100% yet but I’m much better off than I’ve ever been at this point before which is making me incredibly happy! Not to mention that recovering so far has included dozing in the sun while my handsome hubby fixes the lawn. Nice.

*My creative mojo seems to be back in full effect and I am chomping at the bit to make some fun new crafty goodies for around the house. I want to turn the wedding photos I have in our bedroom into photo canvases like this.I want to make one of thesefor the bedroom as well, I’m thinking with lyrics from Train’s “Marry Me.” I want to dress up my photo wall in the living room by adding some color. My photowall is made up of thrifted frames that I spray painted black so I want to pick up some more frames and maybe find some cute prints in the thrift stores or come up with some things I can make myself. I’m thinking for sure a map and then who knows from there! Between Pinterest and my imagination the possibilities are limitless!

Well, that’s about all that’s new with me lately. Basically just a lot of getting creative on my computer while my back heals 🙂