5.31.2012

Wedding Gift Ideas & Happy Weekend

It's wedding season! We are in the prime age for wedding invitations... I believe we have seven save-the-date magnets on our fridge right now. That means I need to start buying good wedding gifts! I've been doing some online window shopping and these are my top finds from my favorite stores. Most of these items are on sale right now, of course. You know I always shop the sale section first!

Wedding Gift Ideas: West Elm



Personalized stuff is always a can't-miss wedding gift. I LOVE these monogrammed dish towels from West Elm. In fact, I'm thinking about ordering some for our kitchen!

Land's End has great beach towels and blankets that can be personalized. I love how long they are– tall legs don't hang off the bottom! Perfect gifts for friends who live near water or like to travel.

Wedding Gift Ideas: Lands End



Pottery Barn always has nice, traditional gift ideas that suit wide varieties of people. We got these mason jar glasses as a wedding gift and use them all the time. People always ask where we got them!

Wedding Gift Ideas: Pottery Barn



I love this vintage-looking red picnic cooler from Crate & Barrel. You could fashion a really charming gift with that, filling it with other picnic goodies.

Wedding Gift Ideas: Pottery Barn




Target is a great place to buy standards, like bakeware sets and grilling tools. That scalloped dinnerware set is very cute, don't you think?

Wedding Gift Ideas: TARGET



You can always count on Kohls for colorful kitchen goods, including KitchenAid and Fiesta brands. They have some super cute beach towels on sale right now, including this chevron version below. Two beach towels, a beach bag and some sunscreen is a great gift for a couple heading out on a tropical honeymoon!

Wedding Gift Ideas: KOHLS



***
Every year I get together with some of my former college teammates for a shopping excursion in San Marcos, Texas, home of a fantastic outlet mall. I'm headed down there this weekend– I can't wait! I'm crossing my fingers that I can find some affordable treasures at the Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel and Restoration Hardware outlets... The fun part is that my teammates recently bought their first homes, so it will be fun to help them buy great stuff for their houses- on the cheap, of course.

What do you have planned this weekend? Will you be joining us on the wedding circuit this summer?


* Happy Friday! *

Best Blog Tips

5.30.2012

DIY Anthropologie-Inspired Necklace

Well I wasn't planning on making two necklaces this weekend, but sometimes the fun stuff happens when you don't plan!

My best friend knew I had pinned this DIY necklace a few weeks ago, so she thoughtfully created a birthday gift for me that provided all of the supplies I would need to make it!

Imagine her slight panic when I texted her the day before my birthday about how I was making myself a statement necklace! Luckily, it wasn't the same necklace project and her gift wasn't ruined. In fact, I was able to wear the new necklace on my birthday date with the husband!

 


Anyway, back to the project. The necklace is modeled after the original Anthropologie Stormy Seas necklace, which they don't sell anymore (unless you count ebay where it's selling for about $100).

I'm not going to write out the directions myself because I followed this blogger's tutorial and it worked perfectly. Check out her blog for specifics!

After spending some time painting the wooden beads on my other necklace with craft paint the day before, I wasn't too crazy about hand-painting these crystal beads. I decided to spray paint them instead, since I had the perfect color spray paint for the project: Krylon Catalina Mist.



It looks a lot like the original necklace from Anthropologie, right? 

DIY Version:


Original:



I liked my new necklace so much that I decided to do the evil eyebrow face. 
 

 

Because my BFF bought me the supplies as a present, this project was completely free for me. I love the word FREE, don't you?

If you're on the hunt for the supplies to make your own, you can find everything you need at your local Michael's or Hobby Lobby. She bought me a bunch of small packets of the crystal beads in the jewelry section, but I think you can also find them in the wedding section at Hobby Lobby. I know that's where I bought very similar beads (in garland form) when I made my DIY crystal chandelier for my closet. 

So what do you think– do you like this necklace? I plan to be wearing it a lot this summer! My favorite feature is the ribbon tie in the back. You can tie it short to create a bold choker look or leave it longer for a more casual vibe. I love the versatility!


* Expanding my jewelry collection, one craft at a time. *

Best Blog Tips

DIY Painted Curtains

I took my cue from some fantastic Pinterest curtains and decided to add some painted detail to my plain white Ikea Matilda curtains.


This project stemmed from my desire to fix a major curtain embarrassment we had going on in our living room. You see, my lovely husband hated how long the Ikea curtains were when we first hung them up. He has something against curtains that puddle on the floor. He took matters into his own hands, and this is what we ended up with:


Yep, it was a bad case of high water curtains. I love my husband dearly, but that was definitely a momentary lapse in judgment. The sad thing is, the curtains have remained that way for almost two years!

Anyway, I picked up the replacement curtains at Ikea a couple weeks ago and hadn't hung them up yet. When I finally got around to it this weekend, I thought it was a good opportunity to try this painted curtain idea I'd seen on Pinterest.

I went back and forth on how I wanted to paint them before finally making a decision. I considered doing an all-over stencil or painting horizontal stripes, but I wasn't sold on either one. I just wanted a look that was a little bit more tailored and custom-looking than the plain white curtains. In the end I decided to paint a large stripe across the top and bottom. The top stripe is 8 inches and the bottom stripe is 10 inches. The goal was to have the stripes line up with the top and bottom of the window. 

Do you hang your curtains floor to ceiling? The interior design experts say hanging them this way makes your ceilings look higher. Our 1970s house has pretty low ceilings, so we love to hang the curtains as high as possible.

We started by taping off the curtains with regular painter's tape. I used a smooth foam roller to apply the paint. I don't know if this would be recommended, but I used regular interior house paint. I had some leftover paint from when we repainted our interior walls, and I wanted the painted strip to be the same color as the wall. It's Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore, by the way. Is this the ideal paint for the job? Probably not. Was it free? YES. That's all that mattered to me. Haha!




I'll be honest, this was not a fun project. First of all, it was pretty hot outside. It was tiring and uncomfortable to crouch and kneel to paint the stripes. My knees and back were not happy with me, and my palms were raw and red from the ninja grip I had on the paint roller. Then the Texas mosquitoes joined the party, which just added to the fun. Miserable working conditions!

About four hours after I first lugged the curtains outside, I was finally finished. Thank goodness I really liked how the result or I would have been fed up with myself for spending that much time on this project!

The curtains aren't perfect, but they add that tailored detail I was looking for in our living room. The painted sections are a little crunchy to the touch, in case you're wondering. The thing is, who really goes up to your curtains and touches them? As long as they don't look crunchy, you're good to go. I think they look perfectly normal, and I don't think visitors would even know they are painted unless they examined them very closely. 

For reference, here's a before picture with the plain curtains:


Here's the living room today, with the new painted curtains:

 





The husband was pretty skeptical about this project, but he agrees with me that the new detail on the curtains adds a lot to the room. It's a great reminder that little details can make a huge difference.

So, what do you think of the painted curtains? Would you ever try it?

* Embracing crunchy curtains... *

Best Blog Tips