Wednesday, February 29, 2012

diy Confetti Tablecloth

A few weeks ago I spotted this DIY Confetti Tablecloth created by Jordan of Oh Happy Day! Given my major weakness for polka dots, I pretty much decided I needed one of my own, on the double! (Please read "on the double!" with a British accent. It's more fun that way.) Now there is only a slight problemo with this scenario. While I consider myself crafty and creative, those qualities don't really manifest themselves as "artsy." Meaning this whole undertaking could quickly go from cute-tablecloth-DIY to smudgy-acrylic-cotton-mess in a hot sec. Luckily my uber-artsy-graphic-designer-extraordinare-BFF was easily suckered into helping me. (She's got a thing for polka dots too.)  Not to worry though. It turns out this is a simple DIY even the non-artsy should be able to tackle with ease (but it's still fun to undertake with a buddy).

You will need, wax paper, masking tape, a cotton tablecloth, a circle punch, cardstock, assorted paints (I used acrylic) and paintbrushes. I had paintbrushes, acrylic paints and masking tape at home, so I picked up a piece of posterboard, a fresh roll of wax paper and a cotton tablecloth at Target. (I believe I bought this one.) Make sure you wash your tablecloth and tumble dry on low before you start. I shook mine out right from the dryer (yah! no wrinkles!) and got to work.

First, Roll out wax paper on an open flat surface and secure with tape. Spread your tablecloth over wax paper, smooth and secure.
(In a perfect world, I would have a clean, well-lit, open space like Jordan, where I could document this process. But alas, welcome to my poorly-lit and often-scary rental basement.)
At this point, it would be useful NOT to have your landlord come into your crafty-space to put in a new water heater...
...luckily we had not started painting, so we were able to (somewhat) easily untape the edges and slide everything around the corner.  

Use your circle punch to create some stencils from your poster board. We felt that the circle punch didn't leave enough room for comfort on the edge, (we didn't want any paint to run over) so we carefully taped some of the scraps to build out that side.

                                        
Mix your paint colors, carefully tape down your stencils and start painting. TIP: Be sure to paint from the outside towards the center. You'll decrease your risk for smudges. (And nothing will give you greater anxiety than the prospect of smudges when you're painting circles on a tablecloth. Trust me.)




PROGRESS! I highly suggest tackling one color at a time. There isn't a method to the maddness as to where to place the circles. Just scatter them around the edges and try to space circles of the same color somewhat evenly. 

If you want to see a really cool "progress" view, go here to see Jordan's. Sorry I'm not all wizard-like with photoshop business.


When you're all done, your tablecloth should look like such:




Ta-Da! (Kindly overlook the shadows. Poorly-lit basement. Remember?)


Now think of a reason to have some people over...like say an Oscar's viewing party...so you can put your pretty, crafty handywork to use! Thanks to Jordan at Oh Happy Day for sharing this fun project! 
      This project was fun + not too complicated + not too time intensive! Try it yourself!                                                     

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Got you covered

Ok, so this post is a little bit of a rug-rundown. All too often, I look at a beautifully styled room and zero in on details like fabric texture, furniture lines, artwork, light fixtures...I could go on. The point is that I frequently take a room's rug for granted, when really, the rug can anchor the room. Like such...


1. via 79 Ideas, original source not known
2. Emily A. Clark via Emily A. Clark
3. Knight Interiors via Knight Moves
4. Peter Dunham via House Beautiful, March 2012
5. Chris Lewis via Houzz
6. Originally featured in Nov/Dec issue of Lonny Mag via Elements of Style
Imagine those spaces without their rugs. Something would clearly be missing! Doh! How can I have been overlooking such a key element to these spaces!?  When shopping for rugs for my own space, I'm often overwhelmed by all the online sources for great floor coverings - not to mention the thousands of options from each site. Luckily, I've bookmarked a few great sources recommend by my fellow design bloggers for rug inspiration. 


Heidi from A Thousand Laughing Starfish Design and Bryn of Bryn Alexandra Interiors have both had much success with their eSaleRugs purchases. The variety of styles and types of rugs (old & new) is impressive. eSaleRugs is a great option for purchasing authentic, used Persian rugs for a fraction of the cost. Plus, I love the worn+warm feel of Bryn's rug so much more than if it were brand new!

Bryn's "new" antique rug making a statement in her entry way. 
Heidi's rug adding color to her neutral bath.
My eSaleRugs find: This beaut (click through for more detailed pics) has a beautiful pattern and really rich mustard, red and blue tones. It would be stunning in a casual den. Statement rug indeed!

Emily, from Emily A. Clark got her beautiful, orange ikat rug from RugsUSA. Love it! It really makes a statement in her newly completed dining-room-turned-home-office.


I love all these options from Rugs USA. 

Recently I saw this lovely French apartment featured by Kristen Krason of 6th Street Design School and was shocked to learn that the rug here is actually FLOR tiles! This is a super affordable and flexible option. I would be careful about selecting an option that pieces together naturally if you go this route though. The goal (in my opinion) is to create a rug that appears to be whole.  

Here are a few FLOR options that I think look pretty and could be a great option if you're working with an odd space or layout and need some flexibility. Wouldn't the fourth option be fun a kids play room? 


one                                  two
 
three                                four

Don't forget about other great online sources for rugs, like Overstock.com or One Kings Lane. Your local Home Goods store can also be a great source if you check regularly for new inventory. Here are few random rugs from around the internet that I'm loving right now.
The Zig Zag rug from Urban Outfitters is super affordable, stylish and comes in a great range of colors. It looks pretty thin and would definitley require some backing or a rug pad on a hardwood or tile surface. Still, it's overall look and price make it a great option!

One Kings Lane is having a Matt Cameron rugs sale through February 29th. There are some seriously gorgeous (and some seriously $$$) rugs. But at 8x11 and $659, this Kilim emerald, rose and sage option is a steal. How gorgeous is this!?
This wool trellis rug from Overstock.com in rich gold would be a great addition to any room.  For its size, style and price this is a winner in my book! (5x8 for $198.00!)
This ivory and blue medallion rug, also from Overstock.com would make a great statement against rich, dark hardwood, no? 
So, have you ever thought this much about floor coverings? What is your favorite rug source or tip for working a rug into a room's design
P.S. Yes, I did name this post "Got you covered" as in floor coverings, as in rugs, as in the topic of this post. And yes, I do think I'm clever. Thanks for asking.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

And the Oscar goes to...


Amidst the flurry of pre-Oscar talk last week, I briefly thought about having the girls over for a little Oscars viewing party. It's always better to be in good company while taking in all the glamour of the evening. Not to mention, it's much more fun to judge what everyone is wearing with others. Well like I said, I thought about it, but inviting, organizing, planning etc. seemed a little daunting.


Then this post from What I Wore on Friday gave me just the motivation I needed! I appreciated the reminder that it's actually not that hard to invite your friends over to eat snacks and lay around. Exhibit A: the invite. Not hard.


I immediately received a flurry of enthusiastic responses and it was on! I picked up some (super cheap!) party supplies and favors on a Saturday Target run and some goodies at Trader Joe's on Sunday. I put a tablecloth over my desk and spent less than a half hour transforming it into the food + beverage station. I snapped a few pics before my guests arrived and filled the table with chips, dip and treats! 





Popcorn + old time popcorn containers (Target dollar aisle), crazy straws, star sunglasses and fun plates (Target party aisles) added some fun to the party!

We loved the suggestion of using this form to vote on the awards before the show! It makes the announcement of each category (even the obscure) exciting. LaCroix and an assortment of teas we're our beverages of choice for the evening. (Isn't my handwriting so good!?)


 

 

We used these wine charms from Crate & Barrel (thanks, Santa!) to keep our crazy straws/drinks straight! 

Dress code: PJ's!
 

In the end, all the little touches made the evening fun, but I hardly needed them to enjoy myself with these lovely ladies! 

(obligatory Oscars post dissecting wardrobe choices not forthcoming. Giuliana said all the good stuff already. P.S. Can we talk about when "The Dictator" poured ashes all over Ryan Seacrest?! Awkward.)

Weekend Snapshots


...Miami University hockey game. seats on the glass. 3-0 victory over Ohio State!...
...post-game dinner + drinks with my beautiful sister on my old stomping grounds....
...Saturday lunch @ Terry's Turf Club...
...impulse bloom buy at Trader Joe's...
...prepping for an evening on the couch soaking up the glamour of the Academy Awards...

Not pictured: A big DIY undertaking (check back for a post this week!), a broken water heater (one of those times you're so thankful you're a renter), cleaning, errands, naps, laughs and cocktails. 

Hope everyone had a great weekend! 
xo, Jules

Friday, February 24, 2012

Casual Friday

1. women's Cropped trench coat (oh snap orange), Old Navy
3.Milly for Top-Sider Original Two-Eye (roses print canvas), Piperlime
4. windowpane scarf, j.crew

TGIF reader-friends! Allow me to present a special "in my dreams" edition of Casual Friday. This look was entirely inspired by the new Milly for Sperry Top-Sider Original Two-Eye, which Piperlime was nice enough to tell me about via email yesterday. They might not be everybody's jam, but it was love at first sight for me. If only I wasn't on a shopping ban. This ensemble is effortless, but chic. Pair your favorite white or gray v-neck with dark skinnies, a cute cropped jacket, simple earrings and a scarf with some statement flats and you're ready for a day about town!

What's everyone got going on this weekend? I've got a nice balance between fun + friends + productivity + relaxation going on this weekend. Here's to sleeping in, lazy mornings & a glass of red vino (or 3)! 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Suede Sensation

So guys, I recently bought these Steven by Steven Madden Pembrook booties off of Piperlime. Adorbs, no?


I was inspired to purchase said booties by one of mah fave girl crushes + fashion bloggers, Kendi, who starting sporting them last fall. At first, I wasn't sure I could pull them off or if suede booties were advisable for a girl who spills frequently and rarely checks the weather (rain + suede = bad). Add on a $129.00 price tag, and I put my Pembrook bootie dreams on hold.  I kept my eye on them, however, and they recently dropped to $79.00 on Piperlime. "I can swing $79.00 + 15% discount for signing up for emails from Piperlime + free shipping!" I said to myself. And so I became the proud owner of the suede beauts (hooray!). 

girl crush Kendi + bootie crush Pembrook
(all photos via Kendi Everyday)
(yes, I pinned (follow me on Pinterest) these images (all stalker-like) for style inspiration upon my purchase. so sue me.)

Now, the issue of ruining my suede booties remained at forefront of all my thoughts whilst I wore them, rather hindering the joy of my purchase. So the final step on my path to Pembrook perfection was to protect these fellas from the elements. I purchased some Kiwi Suede and Nubuck spray at Target, and despite outrageously simple instructions, contemplated calling my mother to talk me through this process. However, I overcame my fears (what if I sprayed too closely to the shoes and they got speckled stains from the aerosol!?), put on my big-girl pants and got to work! Turns out this actually is idiot-proof.

Take your suede protector, some old newspaper or packaging, and head to a well-venhilated spot. In my case, this was my front yard. Hold the canister about 6 to 8 inches away from shoes and spray thoroughly. 



Once you're done, set the shoes somewhere safe and allow them to dry. Repeat the process the next day (two coats required) for proper protection. As a bonus tip, I would recommend putting tissue paper inside of the shoe while spraying to keep any moisture from getting inside...whoops! Regardless, I'm now safely wearing my booties about town and will let you know how the suede holds up. Look for an outfit shot or two to show you how I'm styling these guys up soon.

Do you have any suede in your closet that could use protection?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Good Intentions

Today is Ash Wednesday - the official start of Lent - and lots of people are discussing what they are going to "give up" over the next forty days. Regardless of your spiritual orientation, I think most people can appreciate the spirit of living intentionally and working to better one's self. And so, it is with the very best of intentions that I lay my personal resolution for the Lenten season (accountability is a powerful thing, after all) before you.

Photo from my Pinterest board "quotable."
Background: I am a very lucky lady. I have, in excess, more than I could possibly deserve. And yet, I feel like I am always wanting more. More jeans. More shoes. More decor for my home. More stuff. Rather than focusing on all I have, all too often, I focus on what I don't have (like a giant walk-in closet full of my pinterest wardrobe in a pant size smaller than I'm sporting now). I focus on what others may have instead of me. Thief of joy, indeed!


Interpretation: Yep. That's right kids. I'm not buying anything for the next forty days. Well, anything I don't need. I need deodorant. I don't need new shoes from Piperlime (but dangit! I wish I did!). This is going to pret-ty difficult for me, especially with beautiful spring clothing appearing on every blog and street corner. So every time I want to buy something I don't need, I'm going to take a moment to be thankful for what I have. And (bonus!) I will hopefully rediscover some long-forgotten pieces of my wardrobe and put some much needed $ in the bank. Besides, doesn't mean a girl can't look. Here's to living with intention dolls!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hearty, Healthy Chicken Soup

As a young, workin' gal (read: poor and alone), I love to make different soups over the weekend to have on-hand for meals throughout the week. Soups are quick and easy to make, keep well and freeze well, so I'm always on the lookout for great new recipes. My go-to "soup" in years past has been my Mimi's chili, but this winter it has been firmly bumped to second (sorry Mimi) with my discovery of Hearty Healthy Chicken Soup

I found this recipe while in a link vortex* last month, and I have since made it three times. It is originally from Picky Palate, but due to the nature of link vortexes, I can't say what led me there. Irregardless, it's amazingly delicious, and as the name suggests, hearty and healthy too! 

Don't delay...make this soup for yourself, your friends, your family and people you want to be your friends and family. This a crowd-pleaser. Scouts Honor. 


Look! I'm totes like Pioneer Woman, taking pics of all my ingredients!
First, get yourself to your nearest grocer to buy:

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
½ Cup red bell pepper, finely diced
½ Cup white onion, finely diced
2 Tablespoons jalapeno, minced (seeded and membranes removed)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 14 oz cans chicken broth
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 can northern beans, undrained (white beans)
1 can drained corn kernels
2 Cups thinly sliced fresh spinach leaves, stems removed
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped or shredded
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 Tablespoons Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning Mix
Second: Sautee carrots, celery, onion, bell pepper, jalapeno and garlic in olive oil for 8-10 minutes on medium heat. Then stir in the remaining ingredients, turn heat down to low, simmer for 25 minutes. 
At this point, your kitchen will begin to smell like a restaurant and people will think you're quite the gourmet!
Third: Garnish with some fresh parmesan cheese and voila! Hearty Healthy Chicken Soup! 
You can thank me later.
Some notes: I'm pretty laid back when it comes to culinary endeavors like soup. The first time I made this, I didn't add corn, red bell pepper or spinach. In the batch photographed above, I also did not include spinach and added extra carrot and celery. In all instances I have used the entire packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning (it's slightly more than the 2T required). 
Bon Appetite! 
*Link Vortex: Occurs when one is reading various blogs/websites during a session of internet surfing and begins to click on hyperlinks within hyperlinks within hyperlinks until said individual ends up on a foreign web page, having no idea how they arrived there. This is called a link vortex. It's science, people.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Painted Furniture: The Trend Lives!

Some fancy "tastemakers" at Elle Decor recently dubbed "brightly lacquered Hollywood Regency furniture" one of the worst trends of 2011. Says decorator Mary MacDonald, “I think we all have seen enough garage-sale junk sprayed in high-gloss Skittles colors to last through the next century.” 

One of my favorite design bloggers, Emily A. Clark, did a great post addressing this comment last week. In Emily's words, "Oh dear.  Can I just tell you how much satisfaction it gives me to actually find a great piece of “garage-sale junk” and paint it a bright color?"

Bravo, Emily! While I've yet to attempt a "garage-sale junk" project of my own (...wait for it), I've certainly admired the handiwork of others. I mean, look at these beauts! 

House of Fifty via Emily A. Clark
Design Sponge
Natty by Design via Emily A. Clark
Southern Living via From the Right Bank
And so, without further adieu, may I present my very own (small + manageable first attempt) piece of garage-sale junk which I shall paint a bright and jazzy color - and no one at Elle Decor shall deter me! 


I really like the lines of this little end table, which was left in the Home-Alone-esque basement of my rental. I've lived here for well over a year, and this guy has been chillin' in the corner the whole time. I'm taking a whole "finders keepers" approach and transforming this table into a piece to love!

So now all the remains is 1) What color to paint him? (Yep, it's a him) and 2) How to do this? Luckily, I'm pretty internet savvy, (read: addicted to design & DIY blogs) so I'm already reading-up on all the how-to's I can get my hands on. Deciding on the color, however, is proving more difficult. I'm pulling inspiration from the photos below.

Domino via A Thousand Laughing Starfish 
Don't the stools at the foot of this bed remind you of him (my end table, that is)? This classic Domino photo of a Miles Redd room makes me think peacock blue is his destiny!

House Beautiful
But then the gorgeous (seriously, I die over this kitchen) cabinets in this delicious green kitchen (and just the entire green-themed March issue of House Beautiful) make me think, "green! it must be green!"

But then this stunning peacock blue table from Elle Decor and this cute pair of blue end tables from InStyle make me lean back to blue!


So, dear readers (people are reading this, right?) GREEN or BLUE?