Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Framed Bulletin board

Over the years I have almost always had a bulletin board in my room and I always used them a lot. But when I moved into my condo, they didn't make it into the condo. I either tossed them or they are at my parents house. Well I had seen all these cute bulletin boards with old picture frames. So I did the same.

First, I went to Goodwill and found a great picture frame with a not so pretty photo. It was a modern photo from the 90s of a bird or something. But the frame was so nice I just had to buy it. I think it was $15.

I took out the photo (not fun, it was stapled in), took it outside and sprayed the base coat on it. I had originally purchased for my tray. Then I painted it with the oil paint I also used for my tray. When I was painted the first coat I realized how cute it was with just a single, thin coat. It's kind of shabby chic. The original color was a dark silver, so it really looks great. Here are some photos of the finished product!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Current events

This is my opinion on recent events. I do want to say that I don't think ill of anyone involved and I don't mean offense. But everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and here's mine!

I don't know if this is a photo pre-announcement or not, but I know I've seen a photo of her obviously pregnant recently before she announced her pregnancy today. Either way Jessica Simpson is preggers! She is the last person I ever thought would become pregnant out-of-wedlock. I remember in hs (I think?) when she married Nick, I read that she was a virgin. I'm not overly surprised she had sex before another marriage, but I am kinda surprised she got pregnant. Either way, she is beautiful and seems so sweet. I think she will be a wonderful mother and I am so excited for her!

Celebrities are the kings and queens of quickie weddings, one can only assume for the attention. I've seen the show a few times and I get the impression that the three girls are the only ones with good heads on their shoulders. But everyone has their quirks.
Either way, the beautiful Kim Kardashian has filed for a divorce today. Also today, her wedding special aired. I believe the special just began airing, it was filmed only 72 days ago. She sold the rights to her marriage photos for $79 million dollars. That adds to over $10,000 a day! On top of this, her husband was supposedly unaware of her intentions of divorce. So happy I'm not a celebrity!

First of all, I think it's very brave that they are standing up for what they believe in so strongly. To continue camping for so long, through this weather, it's truly amazing to me. And I love the way they have set up green energy when their gas generators were taken away, that have a library and a convenience store.
But I will admit that I don't completely agree with what they are doing. Now I will admit that all I know is what I have read in the first paragraph of a Wikipedia article, so please forgive me for my ignorance. But representatives have admitted that they don't have any real goals aside from recognition. They aren't asking for government assistance, tax changes, nothing. But I don't really know exactly what they can ask for. It's not really fair to ask those who worked hard (or who's grandparents worked hard) for a large amount of money. I like to believe hard work pays, but I know that unfortunately this doesn't always happen.

I come from a family of white-collar workers who went to college, but none of them ever did overly well. I don't believe any of my family has ever been impoverished, but definitely have never been living in the lap of luxury. I am currently unemployed and my parents are supporting me. They pay my bills and give me money for crafts to give me something to do, but I'm not making as much as I would if I were teaching. But I don't blame it on anyway, it's just the way the cards were dealt. I have no experience teaching elementary except for being a TA for a year. I have all the qualifications on paper, but there is always someone with better qualifications for the position. Since my parents are able to support me rather than getting money through the government, I'd rather it be me than someone with children to support and no financial support.
But I don't think they are going to get anywhere by sitting around with signs. They need to by out their hunting for jobs and going back to school like everyone else, becoming more qualified for jobs. They need to create a plan that the government can implement that will benefit the poor and the rich. They need to calmly speak to the 1% and the government, sharing their side, listening to the others side, and coming up with a solution together.
I agree that the money should be more evenly distributed based on work. Unfortunately it will never happen that way. Even in a communist civilization, someone must be in charge, and that power will often go to their heads, making society uneven again. Life will never be perfect, but with help from the government we may be able to persuade the wealthiest to donate money and the unemployed to do odd jobs, working on roads and construction, that may not be necessary but would benefit the public.

These are all just my opinions. I don't think any of the people I mentioned are bad people, but I believe I have every right to disagree.

DIY tray

I have been looking at home design photos online, and in all the elegant ones I saw a beautiful tray on nearly every table. Of course I have expensive and picky taste, and couldn't reasonably afford the one's I liked. So I purchased a tray and the paint to do it myself. It's not nearly perfect, but I love it and I'm proud of it.I started by purchasing an orange $20 tray for Tuesday Morning. It was really cute, but I didn't like the color. I decided to paintover it, but when I was buying the paint I found an unpainted one at A. C. Moore for $15 that had curves and was more elegant.

This photo is of my original orange tray. Wouldn't it be perfect if it was pink? But I love the one I ended up with!

This is a photo of the tray I ended up with. This is a photo on my back porch spray painting a base on it.

Now I'm doing the first layer of white paint. I spread it really thin, and put a lot of payers on and it did really well.

You can see slightly darker white in the middle, this is my stencil. I got some cardstock, traced the curved end, measured a certain length at each end and then traced the curve where I marked.
Bit of advice: Make a plan on placement ahead of time. For instance, do you want it up on the sides, do you want them symmetrical? If you want a line in the middle of the tray, do this line first. My mistake was to start from one side and go to the other. One line ended up going up the edge. I ended up using oil paint (great paint for coverage) to start with a clean white slate again.
Also: Don't use pen or pencil to draw boundaries, the paint doesn't cover it very easily. Next time I will make multiple stencils, place them where I want it to be white, and keep them there until I am done with the pink.

At this point I am painting along the lines. I found it easiest to use foam brushes and slowly paint a solid line along the line using the side of the brush. Also, the oil paint did a great job over covering mistakes, so I did all the pink and then touched up the lines using the white.

Finally almost done. As you can see the pink is drying, almost ready for another coat.

At this point I just got frustrated with it and stopped taking photos. I just wanted to be done. After this I did touch ups and painted gold along the edges. To do this I used a little foam brush and did a kinda sloppy job. Then I used the larger foam brush's side to make a solid line between the white and gold.
When it was dry I sprayed a top coat glaze on it to give it a sheen.

The next photo is the finished product. Keep in mind this took about a week of constant work. It isn't nearly perfect, but I'm proud of it.

Yay! So pretty! I think the pink lines are a little crooked, but they all are so it doesn't look very bad, I don't think. Also, I accidently painted some white on one of the finished lines. In order to fix it I would have had to remix the pink and waste a lot of it. I decided to just keep something on top of it instead.

This is what it looks like now. I have my twig pumpkins I bought from Target for $1 and $2.50 each. I also have my mom's book "Small and Container Gardening." To the left of the tray is a photo book of Audrey Hepburn, and a small book call "How to Live Like a Lady."

I hope you enjoyed this. This who project probably came to around $30 at the most. Some of the paint I already had, and all of the supplies I ended up with extra. I would say that it was worth it. One day I may try it again, once I have more experience.

I also really love book on my coffee table. This week I have three books coming in the mail: "Essentially Lilly," "The Official Preppy Handbook," and a decor book with bright colors. I can't wait to add them to my coffee table.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

No Shave November

One of the rivalries between men and women involves the ease of a certain type of grooming: controlling ones body hair. I may be slightly biased, but I think that men have it significantly easier. Men have a smaller area to shave, and can even be very attractive skipping a day. Women have the contours of their legs to get around (although I couldn't imagine the contours of the jaw and lips), and the sensitive skin of the underarms. And if we forget to shave a day and decide to wear a skirt and sleeveless top, or worse, go to the pool without trimming our nether regions, we are thought of as disgusting. Even a long time boyfriend, who is comfortable with us without make up on, when we have the flu, won't touch our unshaven legs.

Well next month begins "No Shave November." Men have the opportunity to show off their ability to grow hair, something they make out to be very difficult. Women have the opportunity to scare every man off with a forest on each legs. I have read tweets from both sides in reference to this event, and am unable to choose a side.

Women, of course are pro "No Shave November." We already have enough to deal with. Dressing nice for each other (would a guy really notice us wearing the latest style?), styling our hair as though we just rolled out of bed sexy for the gentlemen, and doing our makeup as though we don't have any on. It's a lot of work to be naturally beautiful. Plus the discomfort of heels, belts, chunky jewelry and headbands worn for 12+ hours straight. Must we really also shave our legs everyday?

Men are anti "No Shave November." Unless men are having a contest (which usually means some sort of activity, not just watching hairs grow), or it is related to a sporting event, generally men don't follow shaving events. If a man ants to shave, he's going to do it! If he doesn't want to, he won't! If he's told he can't for the month of November, we will have to put up with a whining, itchy boy who's facial hair has never been this itchy and must be shaved immediately. They are more concerned about how this may affect their love life. One man went so far as to say that a certain women's planned celebration of this holiday is why she is single. If a lady is single, there is no reason to. If she is a true lady, even on a first date (or first several), she has no reason to. She may decide to shave as a confidence boost, but no one will be touching her legs. And when someone does, it will be a planned event with hours of grooming and preparation.

So what are you going to do? Are you for or against this razor free month? I'm personally going to be a female taking male advice (hopefully I don't get lost) and do what I usually do. If I want to shave, I will shave. If I don't want to, I won't. Have a great hairy (or hairless) November!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Classy Wardrobe Without the Classy Price

The first thing many ladies say they would buy when they win the lottery is clothes. A full wardrobe. While its I advisable to base yourself on your appearance, it can boost confidence. Also, you can only make a first impression once. Which would make a better first impression of being a classy lady: worn, dirty sweatshirt and jeans or a clean, tailored dress? But which would cost more?

Depending on how you shop, you could easily get a nice tailored dress or less than a good sweatshirt. I have purchased a DVF silk wrap dress for about $30. And despite the fact that it is adult size, the fact that it's wrap makes it look tailored just for me on my petite frame. I purchased this several years ago from Plato's Closet, a consignment shop chain. But with the scare of bedbugs over the past few years, the idea of purchasing second hand may scare you. If you decide to go for it, here are some tips:

  • Before you even begin your search, do some research. There are websites where people can report bed bug sightings. Once you arrive ask an employee what actions they take against the pest. No one wants to be known as having bed bugs, and so it would be in their best interest to fight them.

  • Before you expose your belongings to something second hand, inspect it. Look in every seam. Bed bugs are similar to ticks, they are flat and can squeeze into any crevice.

  • Before you purchase the item do a closer inspection. If you find any evidence of a bed bug (little black spots (feces), eggs, or a bed bug), I would advice to carefully and discretely give the item to an employee, explain the situation, once again discretely. Before you enter your car make sure you don't have any bed bugs on you. I would suggest postponing any plans. Go home, change, and put all your clothes in the dryer. Heat kills bedbugs and their eggs. This is something done in NYC apartments. Rather than using expensive and dangerous chemicals, the thermostat is cranked up for a few days and this kills everything. Also once you get home I would suggest finding a website to report the bed bugs. Reporting it to a local news agency will also get the word out.

  • Once you find your perfect clothes and make your purchase, tie the bag tightly so nothing can escape. But the bugs won't suffocate, they can become dormant for up to a year and a half (I think, that seems excessive but I really think its true), without food or air. As soon as you get home carefully put your new purchases in the washing machine (or dryer if it's dry clean only), use hot water, and dry it with hot air. Consignment shops also don't clean the clothes before putting them on the rack so I would suggest washing the items anyway.

  • Anything can be purchased second hand if you are careful. Even if an item has no fabric, check every crevice. Also smell the item very carefully, who knows how the item was cared for before,

If purchasing second hand scare you, I don't blame you. Clearance racks at high end stores are great places to find items. Getting on email lists will tell you when things go on sale. If you know your size at a particular store, and/or the items are returnable, feel free to order online. This will give you a larger and more organized selection. This is how I would suggest purchasing your staple items.

I'd also suggest checking stores such as Target or Forever 21. Items purchased at these stores may not last very long (although I've had some items from both stores that have lasted a long time), but these stores are great for items that will out of style within a few seasons. Accessories can also be purchased at these stores. But once again, they will easily fall apart quickly. They also often look cheap, so either be picky or only wear them when those around you won't look very close.

Sample sale sites are another great resource for great items at a low price. Ruelala and GiltGroup are two of my favorites. Both sites will give me a credit with your first purchase. It will give you an option to insert a reference's email. Please enter ryann.warlick@gmail.com.

I hope this information helps you. Enjoy shopping and looking classier without spending as much!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Decorating to Make a Home

The first time we leave home, whether you are 18 or 40, it is often a difficult transition. Not only are we forced to take care of everything on our own for the first time, but we are struck with the way our new residence doesn't feel like home. Whether we move a fraction of a mile away or across the country, you live alone or with three other people, it can be lonely in the beginning. One big thing that will help is to make you new residence feel like home by adding your own personal touch. Unfortunately, this can be expensive. Here are some tips on make a house a home without breaking the bank.

First, make a plan. When I had my first apartment I had a new style idea every week. Of course I couldn't buy new decor every week, so when I decided to buy a home I had the chance to start over. I went the notebook route. I put a blank sheet of paper in a notebook for a every room. As each page filled up I taped a new piece of paper to the previous. I got most of my photos from Rate My Space. This is a site by HGTV in which real people post photos of their living spaces. Most are finished, some are blank slates asking for advice. It has been up for years and there are new posts everyday. There has to be something you like on there. I printed off photos from here, cut them up and tape them into my notebook. I then drew an arrow to the part I liked and jotted a note.

Other options include iPad apps and saving images. There is a great app called Moodboard that I have really enjoyed using. You can add photos, symbols and text, and a color palette. It is a lot of fun to play around with. To create my fall decor I actually printed out a board and took it to Joanne's. It is also possible to save photos to your computers photo app. This can get overwhelming though. As I have shared, I have really enjoyed Pinterest. I pin photos to various boards for each room I have. I also have a board called "craft don't spend." It's often cheaper to buy a few items and spend a few hours on making decor rather than shopping around all kinds of designer shops, spending a lot, and probably not get exactly what you want.

Websites are also great for novice designers. My mother is constantly telling me I should look into interior design. I am not a designer, I simply recognize what I like and copy it. Everything in my home was inspired by some part of a photo. I add things slowly because of budget, but it has proven to be beneficial because I can look around and see what needs to be added without being cluttered. I work on one thing at a time. Currently I'm working on a tray for my coffee table with a display of candles and bowls.

Overall, three things need to be done when you make a house a home:

  1. Plan ahead by looking at photos. Make sure you have the perfect idea planned out before you start anything.

  2. Add things slowly and look at the big picture. Make sure everything goes together and it doesn't look cluttered.

  3. Work on one project at a time. Don't have five incomplete design projects sitting around.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Upcoming Projects!

Lately I have been doing a bit of close out and second hand shopping. One of my favorite stores is Tuesday Morning. It is similar to TJ Maxx in that it's close out items, and a consignment shop in that it's a whole bunch of random stuff. At Tuesday Morning I purchased a wooden tray, and a large candle holder. Then today I went to Goodwill and found an amazing serving bowl, and a tin tray. Then when I was in line to pay I found the picture frames and picked up a fantastic frame with a large chip in the paint and a not so pretty picture in it. All of the following photos were found on Pinterest, then I followed them to their respective blog. Here's what I plan on doing coming up:

First are my little projects that will probably only take about a day. They mostly involve painting and other little upgrades.

This is something I may do to the tin tray, as shown by the Consignment Designer. It has etching in the center. I'm thinking of either hot glueing beads like these to it, or painting it gold. I'm leaning towards painting it gold, and getting a mirrored piece of glass (or making one with the Kylon mirrored product), and glueing beads on it. Does anyone know where to get fun cut glass or mirror?

Next up is the tray. This photo comes from Canadian House and Home. I haven't decided how I will decorate it, but I'm leaning towards chevron. I don't know if I will paint or use fabric, or maybe ribbon. I was originally thinking of using scrapbook paper and am so grateful I found this photo. Painting may be easier. What do you think, white and pink stripes?

In this photo Centsational has glued a glass plate to a wine and margarita glass. I already have the two pieces together, all I have to do is paint. Maybe a light pink? I am going to place it on the tray so maybe gold. What do you think?

This is what I plan to do with the picture frame I purchased. Here, Love Feast Table has painted a frame and is putting in a cork board. I plant on also putting fabric over the cork board or painting it.

This is a photo of one of my bigger projects. I'm going to begin my kitchen redo soon. The DIY Showoff has done a great job here of painting her cabinets. I'm painting my cabinets white. I'm also going to get some cute knobs and paint them white with little blue flowers. I'm very excited about the finished product!

I'm also going to paint the walls white. I may add these stencils just like in the photos. My kitchen is so small though, I'm not sure.