Monday, January 31, 2011

Through the rabbit's hole...and into my house.

The other day I had a Kirby vaccum salesman stop by...dang kids, what have I said about opening doors to strangers!

Anywho, I invited the guy in and the first thing out of his mouth was..."wow, this place is like Alice in Wonderland".

I imagine most people would take offense to a comment like that and escort the verbal perpetrator straight out the front door.

I mean, really, who in their right mind wants their home compared to a place where grown men {in abnormally large hats} sit around a massive table sipping tea and twin brothers {who's roundness defy the laws of gravity} run amuck in disturbingly small pant suits?

Apparently, I would, because I took his remark as a compliment. BTW, he followed up his "Alice in Wonderland" comment with..."it is way cool in here", so that made me like him a little bit more...even though he was soliciting me.

It is no secret that I enjoy a bit of whimsy. But I always try to maintain the philosophy of {moderation} in all things. And, I have to say that I appreciated him for noticing all of the work I had put in to making my house my own. That doesn't mean that I'll be painting a harlequin pattern on the entry way wall anytime soon, even though I've considered it...refer to moderation comment.

Here's a little glimpse into my Wonderland.

Caution: bright colors and bold patterns ahead. May cause nausea and/or dizziness.

Front Living Room

My writing nook

The Family Room

The Dining Room {I think a Madhatter'd feel right at home here}

The Girls' Room

The {His&Her} Nursery {home to my own little tweedle dee and dum}

Just remember...make your Wonderland your own. It really doesn't matter what others think. But having your efforts recognized every one in a while doesn't hurt either.

P.S. I didn't end up buying a Kirby, just in case you were wondering.

Anthro Knock Off- Paper Mache Zebra Bust Mini Tutorial

I know the look is not for everyone, but if you like a little funk in your home, then this mini-tutorial is just for you.

Supplies needed:

*newspaper/lightweight paper

*painters tape


*paper mache clay {go here for the recipe}

*cardboard canister {from hot chocolate or powdered chocolate mix}

*And {perhaps} a some funk-i-licious music to get you in the mood.

First off, you have to create the foundation of your structure...and to do this you must channel your inner {Michaelangelo}. So quick, channel it.

I created the foundation of my zebra bust first, by cutting out a piece of cardboard in the shape of a zebra snout. Then I wadded up paper and used painters tape to tape it to the cardboard...both on the top and under side of it. After a few minutes of squooshing and taping, your snout will begin to emerge. I continued to wad up paper and tape it to the snout to create the head of the zebra. This is how it looked up to this point.

Ya, I know. It looks more like an alligator...but don't hate. This is my first time sculpting anything.

I contemplated how to create the neck of the zebra for some time. The only think I could think of was a carboard, hot cocoa canister, which you need to cut in two {otherwise you're zebra will begin to resemble a giraffe...with an alligator snout...a giralligator if you will}.

If you come up with a better idea, please feel free to share.

I filled the hollow end with paper

then taped it to the bottom of the head/snout structure...angling it slightly.

I know it looks like some strange, creature straight from the imagination of Dr. Seuss now, but I swear it gets better.

It happened by accident, but the top of the canister I used had a little lip on it, making it quite convenient for me to hang it on the wall. Double check to see if the canister you use has the same sort of lip. If not, you will have to devise another way to mount your bust.

I created the zebra ears using the same technique of smooshing and taping. Continue smooshing and taping until you get your zebra head shaped the way you want it. {I don't think I made it very clear, but be sure to cover all of the wadded up paper with the painters tape, so that you have a smooth surface to work with for the next step}.

Now it's time to {frost} your structure. I mixed up a batch of paper mache clay using the recipe above. It will be thicker than frosting, but not really thick enough to mold...hence the {frosting} technique.

Here's what my structure looked like with a coat of {clay}. It isn't completely smooth, but after it has had time to harden and dry you can take sandpaper to it and smooth it out to your liking.

I was concerned about the ears falling off, with the weight of the clay on them. So, I propped them up with whatever condiment bottle I could find.

After the clay has had time to dry, about 24 hours, I hot glued on a mane. I used leftover cardboard scraps that I cut into strips.

Then I covered it with old, book pages using mod podge.

Once the mod podge was dry, I painted on all of the details...snout, stripes, eyes etc.
I will be perfectly honest, this was probably the most challenging task of the whole project. Painting authentic, natural looking zebra stripes is a little tricky. I found a couple pictures on the net of zebras and used them as my reference. Here's how the final project turned out.
It isn't an exact replica of Anthro's version, but the resulting funkification is the same. Aaaand, Anthro's zebra bust cost $68 while mine came in at only $10...and that's with enough supplies left over to make another one.
So, if you are feeling the need to let your funky freshness fly, give the old zebra head a try.

Linking to:
The DIY Show Off

Pardon Me...

whilst I tidy up {the bloggy} a bit.

P.S. stay tuned for the funk-a-licious mini tute on how to make your own paper mache animal bust later on today.

C'mon you know you want one.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

{His&Her} Nursery Reveal...Finally

My room is done...finally. Can I just tell you the week I had. Whilst Studly was off galavanting {okay, he was really working, but I love the word galavanting and wanted to use it super bad in my post} in Orlando last week I was dealing with no hot water, no heat, a puking child, another child complaining of a sore throat and stomach ache and a tempermental cable satellite threatening to not tape my favorite shows...and that was just one day. To put it bluntly...I was on the brink of insanity. Thankfully, it was only an air-locked boiler causing the hot water and heating problem, so I didn't need to spend thousands on a new hot water heater. The kiddies spent most of the day resting, which frankly, is the only blessing that comes from illness. And, I was able to get the satellite fuctioning before any of my beloved shows aired. Phew!!! After a good nights rest my sanity cup was full again and I was able to get the last few things done for the room. I love the way it turned out. The {funk factor} is high, but that was the look I was going for. I think it has just the right amount of {quirk}. I didn't really have a vision for the room, I just sort of went with the flow. That pretty much translates into me ransacking the house and garage for crap to use. But first, let me remind you of the heinous-ness that was the {polka dot room}. Ya, I know. It's hard not to scratch out your eyeballs. And here is the new and improved {His&Her Freakishly Funkadelic Completely Quirktastic Bedroom} See, even the rugrat loves it. I ended up keeping the old crate for an end table. It was originally $10 from the thrift store and had been collecting dust in the garage. The lamp was one I already had. I spray painted the base white and recovered the shade in $6 fabric from IKEA. I was also able to make two throw pillows out of the same yard of fabric. I funkified it by adding some blue grosgrain ribbon, pom-pom fringe and a piece of old measuring tape. I saw this faux sheep skin rug at IKEA for $25 and had to have it. It totally kicks the funk factor up a notch. Oh, I decided to keep Mr. Nutter's too. I looks quite at home atop those old, coverless books. The {her} side: I used bedding that I already had on hand. The details are subtle, but the {her} sheets have a little ruffle on the edge of the pillow case and at the top of the flat sheet. The damask pattern on the duvet gives it a little more femininity too. Rather than utilizing a traditional dresser, I opted for a couple of vintage suitcases {I found the set for $5 at my local thrift store...HOLLA} at the foot of the bed. The room is too small for a full sized dresser. And the closet is full of toys, so I couldn't shove one in there. It may not seem practical, but it works for now. Above the bed on {her} side I mounted a funky little baby dress I made. Initially, I had planned on hanging {her} blessing dress, but it just didn't fit the vibe of the room. I still kept the picture on the left, which is my little one's blessing date. I am a sucker for silhouette's so I added a silhouette profile of a little girl. There the rugrat is again. I love that she loves the room, but skidaddle already so I can get a decent picture. The {his} side Instead of vintage suitcases, I used an old steamer trunk I picked up from the thrift store a few months ago for $25. I think it looks a little more masculine, and it also serves as a great seating area for a little person trying to get dressed. Dual purpose...loooooove it. I love this collection of ties. My little guy's worn each and every one of them and they all have special meaning. The little one on the top right was {his} very first tie. He wore it to church when he was only a few weeks old. The rest of them are for various Easter and Christmas pictures. I have a little obsession with ties. Guess I need to go buy more, cause they are all hanging on the wall now. This picture shows the board and batten style shutters I made. I was kinda over traditional curtains and wanted to try something different. I love these shutters. They are great for framing the window and adding color, but they almost stand on their own as artwork too. I know that I had mentioned making {his&her} headboards...and I did, actually, but they kinda competed with the shutters. So, I decided to save them for another project or future room redo. The shutters utilized the bulk of my budget. It cost about $50 for all of the lumber and supplies to make them. The accessories were a blast to come up with. First is Bob the zebra head. This is my favorite thing in the room. It's quirky, and possibly creepy. But, the little one's love it. I was inspired to make one after seeing some animal busts on Anthropologie's website. They were way to expensive for my taste, however, so I made my own. It ended up costing me about $10. I will be posting a mini tutorial soon to stay tuned. I made this light out of a pile of random, paper mache numbers and an old, metal plant hanger. I wanted it to resemble a mobile you might find in a nursery, but with a slightly more mature edge. It casts a really cool pattern on the ceiling when it's turned on. Finally, the alphabet border. I wanted the letters to have a collected over time look so I made sure nothing was too matchy-matchy. I used letters in all sorts of fonts and sizes. I tried to break up the monotony by throwing in a picture frame or 8x10 canvas here and there. I really like how it turned out. The room was beginning to feel a little bottom heavy and this border helps to draw the eye upward.
I love the "t" made out of old dominoes.
A letter covered in old book pages, of course. I used tinfoil to give this letter a metal look. I went over it with gray paint to make it look old and tarnished.
I know I had a goal of redecorating the room for under $100 and here's the breakdown: $50 on shutters, $25 for sheep skin rug, $6 yard of striped fabric, $0 bedding {I already had it}, $5 old suitcases, $0 crate {sitting in the garage}, $0 on numbers and plant basket {also sitting in the garage} $0 on letters {already had them}, $10 on supplies for the zebra head, $0 Mr. Nutter's {he's been hanging out for awhile} and finally, two new bed frames $60. That's a grand total of $156, BUT, that includes bedrames that I didn't factor into the equation. Otherwise, I only spent a total of $96. Either way, it was inexpensive.

What's the moral of this story

1) Never discount the value of another's junk...most of the accessories I used came from the thrift store. You can save yourself a chunk of change plus add a lot of character to a room if you repurpose/reuse things. Besides, {matchy-matchy} is so yesterday. It's all about a {collected over time look} today.

2) Don't be afraid to make things a zebra head bust for example. If you love something but can't afford it, make a good knock off. 3) Get creative about the things you feature...think outside the box. I love looking at old blessing/christening outfits, but for something new and fresh try featuring a collection of old baby shoes, or hats or ties instead.

All righty peeps. Now it's your turn. Let your funky freshness fly.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

That's so Tacky!

So, have any of you happened to check out Anthropologie lately? If so, you may have come across these...


Aren't they the tackiest thing you've ever seen? {Psst. I luh-huv them. I might even possibly have a little crush on them}.

Where in the flippin' crud could one put such a gaudy accessory without having it stick out like a sore...zebra head? {I don't care, I luv them. But, since you asked, how about in the his&her bedroom I'm finishing up?}

Surely something as tasteless as a rhinoceros bust could never find a home in any decent persons living quarters. {Wanna make a bet?}

I'm not sure how you all feel about adorning your house with paper mache animal heads, but I'm all over it.

Granted, you probably wouldn't want to mount it next to your collage of vintage ironstone platters...or maybe you would, but I think a little whimsy and a sense of humor while decorating is super classy.

Stay tuned to see how I incorporated them into the little dearies new bedroom. If they didn't have nightmares before, they will now.

P.S. I forgot to mention that these little preciouses fetch anywhere from $68-$128 a head.

And H{double hockey sticks} no I didn't pay retail. I did what any self proclaimed frugal fashonista would...I made my own. Stay tuned for the tutorial... I dare you try 'em. You just might like 'em.

P.P.S. I know I said that the his&her bedroom would be done days ago, but stud muffin up and left me for the week and I am in need of his assistance on a few things. Then it'll be ready to reveal...old crate, animal heads and all. Better grab your might need them either out of shock or {hopefully} out of excitement. Either way your bladder might not be ready for the funky freshness.

Peace out!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

{His & Her} Bedroom Sneak Peak

So, I am still working on the {his & her} nursery transformation...can I even call it a nursery anymore? The kiddos are one and four now.

Anywho, I am still working on the {his & her} bedroom and I am anxious for the end result.

So far I've only spent $50. I have one more substantial project to complete, so that total may increase a little bit, but I'm really going to try to keep the total at around $100. It's proving to be more difficult than I had initially planned, but I like a good challenge.

Here is a little sneak peak at a few of the components I'm thinking of putting in the room. Like I said before, I am a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type gal so what actually ends up staying in the room is as much of a mystery to me as it is for you.

An old {crate} might remember it from my makeshift mantle post.

Turquoise board and batten style {shutters}...that I made all by myself. No stud muffin required. Honestly, I nearly wet myself every cut I made. Those miter saws can be a little intimidating...but I rocked it out okay. I still have all my appendages to prove it.

A pile of random {numbers}

An old, metal {plant holder}

And {Mr. Nutter}. I found this precious a while ago at TJ Maxx. He's been hanging out at the pad just waiting for a permanent home. I hope we have finally found him one.

Stay tuned for the big {reveal} shouldn't be but a few more days if every thing goes as planned.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Get Your M-Stew On

All righty peeps. I don't how many of you are familiar with the CWTS (Crafting With The Stars) contest over at SewDangCuteCrafts. Season {1} ended just before the Christmas holiday and auditions are being held for season {2} NOW. The projects featured last season were {off the chain} and the contestants were {crazy} creative...sorry, I watched Step Up 3 last night and now I'm talking like I'm cool.
The movie must have affected more than just my {vocabulary} cause
I got a little caught up in all the excitement and somehow {accidentally} on {purpose} entered the contest...I submitted my {chunkalicious} thrift store mirror...woopsies!!!
Now, I know that a lot of you are super {talented}/crazy {creative} divas and I thought some of you might want to check it out. If so, click on the icon in my sidebar and get ready to get your {competitive} craft on. You feelin' me? Uh-hum...sorry.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Anthro Lamp Feature at Remodelaholic

Howdy my favorite peeps.

I just wanted to share that the lovely Cassity over at Remodelaholic is featuring my tutorial for making an {Anthropologie} knock off teacup lamp.

So, if you are interested in making one head on over and check it out.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Nursery Makeover...It's in the works.

I love the holidays, but for the past month I have been anxious to get them over with so that I could move onto my next big makeover project...the {nursery}.

Currently no one is sleeping in it. The babe has somehow conveniently taken up residence in my bed...okay, so I'm a little lazy and a lot sentimental {she is the last and I am savoring the fact that I still have a little one who will snuggle up with me at night}.

The plan is to get the babe completely weaned off me and into her own big girl bed. It's gonna be painful, but I need to do it. I'm hoping a new nursery will {motivate} us both.

The plan is to also transfer {the little dude} into the same bedroom. He's 4 and currently taking up residence with {the big dude} who's 12. {Big dude} has made it abundantly clear that he needs his own space.

So, now I am working with a {his&her} bedroom...and I am sore afeerd. There is a delicate balance when it comes to desiging a space that will work for both male and female. I'm not so sure I have the design finesse...I guess we'll find out.

Here is the space currently. Chew on it a moment...try not to gag.

{I realize that this is probably the worst picture ever the whole entire world, but you oughta try getting a decent shot with your iphone and with your eyes closed}

I'm not exactly sure what possesed me. Apparently it was the dark overlord of bad design. Polka dots... they seemed like a really good idea at the time {I should have known when I popped a blood vessel in my wrist painting them that I was being compelled by something evil...but I still kept going, throbbing wrist and all}.

Anywho, moving on...polka dots. They seemed a {brilliant} idea at the time, but I soon realized they were a little over the top...the {big top} that is. I can't really say I blame the darling for not wanting to sleep in there...the place gives me nightmares.

But alas, I finally have the time and presence of that the holidays have passed, to start working on redesigning the space. I'm still not sure what I want to do exactly. I'm more of a {fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants} type gal, so I will be as curious as you to see how it all turns out.

I do have a few ideas I've been {tossing} around in my head, like:

Custom {headboards} I want to make a set of headboards and the possibilites are endless. I think I've narrowed it down to a few possibilites.

I love the look of a tufted classic. But maybe a little too {sophisticated} for a kids room. Ooh, but I love them so much.

Picture from Urban Outfitters

I'm such a sucker for shutters. I love the idea of using them as headboards. They would work well for both "his" and "her".

Maybe I could do a combination of these two headboards for a "his" and "her" look. I don't like things matchy matchy anyway. Hmmm, I'll have to think about that one.

I am also loving the idea of using an old book shelf for a headboard. You can never have too much storage space.

Picture from

I've also toyed with the idea of using a set of {shutters} in place of standard draperies. I am really loving these board and batten style shutters. I like the novelty of using them on the interior rather than the exterior.

Ooh, turquoise...yes, please.

Paint is a great {and inexpensive} way to change the look of a room. I am hopeful that a coat of paint will help take this sad nursery from {over the big top} to {top notch}. I want to keep the paint neutral so that it doesn't compete with everything else in the room. I think I've narrowed it down to these two options.

Sandy Hook Gray by Benjamin Moore

And Blue Haze by Benjamin Moore.

I'm still a little on the fence about wall art. I think this idea of using flash cards is pretty {smart}...and better yet {cheap}.

Picture from sarah hartill @

I think I might have an idea for something fun and whimsical, but you'll have to wait to see what it is. Hopefully it will turn out how I see it in my head.

In the meantime, keep your fingers crossed that I get this room figured out.

Oh, I almost forgot the biggest challenge of complete the task without spending any money {or at least very little money}. My goal is to not spend any more that $100 {hopfully less}, which means I probably need you to cross your legs and toes too.