Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas is Here!

Good morning friends!  Well now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, I can finally relax again and get back to normal things.  Is it me, or did this last weekend make you feel super stressed?  This time of year always overwhelms me.  I always feel like my Christmas shopping list is longer than it was last year and there will be no possible way I'll get everything done.  But alas, every year we manage to have a great holiday.  Here's hoping to a great (and relaxing...?) 2011 Holiday Season!

Anyway, I don't know what you guys have first on your shopping list, but mine is always to order the Christmas cards.  I love love love sending and receiving Christmas cards.  Something about it just makes me happy.  But I always have a hard time figuring out where to buy them and what to put on them.  No kiddos for us yet, so I feel kind of silly doing the photo card route.  No one wants to see a pictures of me and my husband (i mean, we think our photos are great, but i'm guessing no one else will), so instead I go the cutesy design route.  This year, I found this great site Pear Tree Greetings.  I managed to score a great deal during this black-friday-cyber-monday hopla too, double yay!

They have some really different holiday cards - from fun shapes and folds, to ornament cards to timeline cards (which I heart) and the prices really aren't too bad, when you consider there competitors.  Here are a few i love:

The Tri Folding Card

The Fun Shape Card

The Ornament Card

The Kiddie Update Card

The Recap Card

They also have this really cute section of holiday gift tags, which i've been eyeing up.  I'm such a nerd, but I love this stuff! 

Anyway, what's first on your Holiday planning list every year? Putting up the tree? Hanging the lights? Black Friday shopping? Stay peaceful my friends!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I am Thankful...

I am thankful for my husband who makes me laugh and smile everyday.  
I am thankful for my dear family, near and far.
I am thankful for my amazing friends who have become family to me.
I am thankful for wet kisses from my sweet doggie.
I am thankful for my two beautiful grandmothers.

I am thankful for chefs and markets and delicious restaurants.
I am thankful for beer and wine and happy hour.
I am thankful for my two legs that take me everywhere i need to go.
I am thankful for parks and fresh air and this beautiful world we live in.

I am thankful for love and generosity and kindness.
I am thankful for laughter and friendship.
I am thankful for creativity and inspiration.
I am thankful for all of you who read my posts and make this whole blogging thing worthwhile!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Custom Mirror Frame

Over the weekend me and my hubs installed a mirror frame in our master bathroom.  It looks fantastic, we are so thrilled with the transformation!  You might remember my Previous Post about selecting the color.  Well, we ordered a few samples and the selection was easy - stainless steel all the way.  We liked the simplicity of the frame profile and the stainless color balanced the warm browns in the room.  So here are a few before shots of the bathroom.  Its not the largest room, so bare with me on the strange angles.  

Master Bathroom - Before

Master Bathroom - Before

Frame pieces
So we ordered the mirror frame from Mirror Mate and got a sweet 15% discount.  They're offering the discount through Dec 7th, so take advantage my friends.  The ordering process was easy.  You just need to take a few basic measurements to get started.  The site has measuring tool to make the process fool proof.  I found it very simple.  It only took about a week for it to arrive after we placed the order.   The frame arrived in four pieces.  Putting the frame together was relatively easy.  First we laid the pieces out upside down. 

Corner connection
Upside down frame
Next, we glued all the mitered corner pieces and pushed in the connecters.

Pushing in connectors
Glued & Connected
Next, we flipped over the frame and wiped off all the extra glue.  The glue is water soluble so it came off very easily.

Extra glue on frame
And here is the finished product!  I looove it!  It feels so much more permanent and finished.  Little details make all the difference.

Master Bathroom - After
Master Bathroom - After
Master Bathroom - After
Frame Detail
So what do you guys think?  Do you have any rooms in your house that need a mirror makeover?


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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Terrarium Party!

Good morning bloggies!  I wanted to share a fun project with all of you that is super easy and will test out your green thumb!  Last week, I was invited to a 'Create your Own Terrarium' party at Herman Miller, one of my favorite furniture manufacturers in town.  They always have beautiful floral arrangements on display in there showroom, so they decided to bring in there florist, Urban Petals to host an event for us designers who are constantly gushing over how beautiful the flowers are.  If you haven't heard of Urban Petals, you should check her out.  She does some amazing work here in DC and has a great story!

The invitation said we'd be making our own terrariums.  I have to admit, I didn't know too much about terrariums or even notice that they have become trendy recently, but apparently they are (I'm just a designer, what do i know?).  You can check some interesting terrarium designs here and here or you can purchase them at a few different Etsy sites:  Tiny Terrains, Natural Woodland and Petit Beast.  They'd make some fun Christmas gifts, don't you think??

If you're interested in building one on your own, I'll show you how we did it.  I have to apologize for the crappy iphone pics that's all I had with me that night.  But you'll get the point. 

Materials we used:  Moss, Stones, Soil

Plants:  I choose 4 different plants with
different leaf types, heights, volume, etc.
Glass vessel
Soil and colored stones
So, first you gather the materials above - Soil, Stones, Moss, Plants and a container to put them in.  Most nurseries will have a terrarium section.  If they don't just ask someone who works at the shop to tell you which plants are suitable for terrariums.  The plants don't require much care.  I'm told that you only have to water them once or twice a week (We'll see if mine is still alive in a few weeks).  I should also mention that you don't water them like a normal plant, instead you use a spray bottle and just give them a few spritzes of water.  The leaves will soak up all the water and take it to the roots.

Step 1:  Put stones in the bottom of the container
Step 2:  Place moss around the outside of the container

Step 3:  Add soil into the middle of the ring of moss

Step 4:  Place plants into the soil,
fill gaps in with soil and loose stones

Final Product!
Water and Enjoy :)
I had alot of fun making this.  It was something different to do and opened my eyes to world of terrariums.  Now I even have a few more terrarium inspired ideas in my head.  Have you guys ever made a terrarium?  What do you think of this latest trend?


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Monday, November 14, 2011

DIY Carpet Stair Treads

Over the weekend I did a quick little project that transformed our stairs.  We've been looking for carpet treads for our stairs for a while now.  Our dog has a hurt leg and she's taken a spill here and there (my poor baby) so we thought it was time to add a little padding on the steps so they aren't so slick.  So I started looking around online and basically found either A. ugly or B. expensive.  So, I took matters into my own hands.  I work with carpet tiles on most of my commercial jobs, and thought, i can just cut one of those suckers in half and put right on my stairs.  And that's exactly what i did.  The project turned out beautifully.  Here is the process:

uncut carpet tiles
25cm x 25 cm

i love this pattern and texture,
so rich!

Rubber backing

I choose the dark color because I wanted something that matched our dark wood flooring.  I didn't want to call attention to the carpet tiles, its more for a functional use.  But these tiles look great, so I guess i got form and function, right?   I should also point out that the backing is recycled rubber.  The rubber works as a natural adhesive so I don't have to worry about anything ruining the wood floor finish.

Step 1:  Draw a line down the center of the tile

Step 2:  Use an exacto knife or utility knife to cut
 through the backing and carpet fibers

Step 3:  Pull apart the pieces and trim
 all the rough edges with scissors

Step 4:  Put the tiles on your stairs

Step 5:  Admire there beauty

I'm super happy with how these turned out.  And now we worry much less about our cute puppy (ok, she's 6, i know she's not a puppy anymore) falling down the stairs.  There are tons of carpet tiles out there, but the most common one on the market is Flor.  You can usually find these at Home Depot or Lowes.  I think even some furniture stores are starting to carry them.  The tiles I used are made by there parent company Interface.  

Have you guys ever used carpet tiles?  What sort of inventive things have you done with them?

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A morning at the Guggenheim

Last week while I was in New York, me and my ladies (+Greg) made a quick stop at the Guggenheim ( = architectural love) before we had to head home.  There was an amazing exhibit on display by Maurizio Cattelan entitled All.  The  exhibit included every piece he has ever created all in one space.  This piece came about with his decision to go into retirement.  There couldn't have been a better place to show off all these pieces.  Walking around the corkscrew ramps of the museum allowed the viewer to see each piece from multiple angles and really experience his work.  You can read more about it here.

Being at the Guggenheim and New York in general was such an inspiring trip.  It lit a fuel inside my creative zone that had been extinguished for a while.  I would encourage everyone to get out there and do things that you haven't had time for lately.  Make time for things that make you happy - its worth it!

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