I just got back the photos from our “day in the life” shoot of my boys and me. Kelli from And Everywhere did an absolutely amazing job photographing us and I am IN LOVE with the photos!! I had to share a quick sneak peak but expect a full post soon!
Whenever I get an opportunity to do a project with Miss Muyly Miller I jump right on it. Muyly is one amazingly talented gal! Not only is she a fantastic wedding and event planner, but she also cooks, crafts, and is a momma to the cutest baby girl. As always, she didn’t disappoint when she came to me with this lovely DIY project and invited me to be on a Channel 2 Fresh Living segment with her. Heck Yeah!
I am big into repurposing items for decor. I am always revamping, painting, or moving things around to give my home a little pick me up. That is why I love Muyly’s idea to make a rope ladder out of some weathered 2×4’s she had lying around. Check out her site HERE for another DIY project where she used a 2×4 to make a darling photo ledge.
When doing this project we had DIY brides in mind. We wanted it to be something a couple could make, use in their wedding, and repurpose for their home. After all, when making your wedding decor you might as well make it so you can use it after the big day right? I had fun dreaming up ways a bride could make use of this little ladder. For a wedding, you could create a display of hanging photos, plants, or flowers, for guests to admire. Or make it a gorgeous seating chart by attaching table numbers and seating assignments to it. It could be used to hang a gifted quilt made by grandma for guest to see. You could even get crazy with it and hang the ladder horizontally above a table and drape flowers and candles from it. The options are endless!
Here I framed some photos and made some hanging terrariums (which are also easy to make and can be used at a wedding and in a home) and hung them from the ladder. This setup would look charming in a garden wedding propped under a tree or next to a guest sign in table. You could have your florist make a beautiful garland to drape over it. (I just took some vines from my yard just to give you the idea).
When decorating the home, the ladder makes for cute but functional decor piece. I decided to show it as a blanket holder, but it could be used to hang hats, coats, and scarves. It would also be a great towel hanger or magazine rack.
To make the ladder we only needed a few supplies. We used a drill and large drill bit, rope, 2- 2×4’s (whatever length you want), paint, and furniture feet (to help it not slip) and an additional piece of wood for supports.
First lightly sanded two 2×4’s, but not too much because we liked the weathered look. Then, we painted them with one coat of a semitransparent wood paint and sealer.
After they had dried, we measured and marked out where our rope holes would go. We then drilled large enough holes for our rope to fit through, but not too big that a knot would slip out. We decided on the ladder width and cut a 3rd piece of wood into two equal lengths for the top and bottom supports. (You may wish to add a middle support to make it extra sturdy). Laying the 2×4’s parallel we screwed the supports across the bottom and the top of the 2x4s.
Then, it was a simple as stringing the rope through the holes and tying off the ends. Sooo EASY!
I can’t even tell you how amazing it feels to make something that you can proudly display in your home. The best part is when you get sick of it just use your imagination and try it as something different. When decorating my house, I try always to remember that nothing is permanent. Having fun and trying new things has helped me develop my style over the years. I have things from my wedding that I have painted or refinished and changed a million times and use them to decorate my home to this day.
I am so excited to start this dress makeover series. Let me give you a little back story on this and why it is so important to me. My late grandmother has always been a huge part of my life and a main source of inspiration. She collected clothes from all the decades she was alive, from the 20’s util the 90’s. Looking through her wardrobe you would find hats, gloves, jewelry, all with a quirky uniqueness. When I was little most of my time was spent playing dress up at her house and not much has changed today. I still love going through her stuff and dressing up, wishing I could just wear a glitter dress and pearls to the grocery store and it would be perfectly normal. So, to make my dreams come true my mother and I decided to take a few of grandma’s dresses and turn them into modern versions. I love that this will give me a way to dress up in her clothes and have a little piece of her with me. So don’t be surprised if you actually do see me in the grocery store in a glittery pink dress.
Everybody might not have cool old dresses lying around, but I know when I have looked at thrift stores there are always a few gems on the racks. With a few tweaks, a thrifty find could be made into something awesome. Now, let’s talk about this dress. I do love me some pink, and the metallic pattern gets an A+. My favorite part is the keyhole neck that gives it some style. The problem… it was way to baggy and long, and just looked awkward on, like a tent, or how I like to call it, a mumu. To make it modern, all we did was chop off the bottom to make it into a mini dress. It was so Easy!!
First, I put the dress on and decided on a length. We went pretty short on the length because of the baggy arms and boxy structure, too long of a dress and we still would have been in the frumpy zone.
Lying the dress flat, we took a yard stick and measured from the bottom of the dress to the new hemline mark. For us it was 22 1/2″ from the bottom of the dress, then we added a 1/2″ to that measurement for the fold of the hem which gave us 23″. Once you have your final measurement, measure up from the bottom of the dress about every inch or so and make a mark all the way around the dress.
Next cut along your newly marked hemline all the way around. After cutting, we ran the raw edge through the sewing machine and did a zigzag stitch to keep it from fraying. We folded the raw edge under about a half inch and pinned. Using a blind stitch we secured the hem, and after stitching we ironed the hem to finish. Here is a great video tutorial from Tlcinspirtaitons that I found, it gives clear instructions on hemming and will show you how to do a blind stitch.
Here is the end result! Now I just need a place to wear it, so naturally a pink dress party is in the works!
What is so cool about this little dress makeover is I got a two for one. We used the fabric that we cut off the bottom and made it into an amazing pencil skirt. It is a little more complicated than just hemming a dress, but we followed this video tutorial and with a few tweaks got a custom fitted pencil skirt.
Another reason to alter some of grandma’s dresses is because they make great photo shoot pieces. I teamed up with model and fashion blogger Kat from poshbykat.com and fellow photog Kelli from And Everywhere to give this dress an opportunity to shine. Kat rocked the dress and we had so much fun just playing around and shooting. My favorite shoots are the ones that are just for fun and random and having amazing people to do them with is just the icing on the cake. You can see the full shoot on my photography site here.
In starting this blog, I wanted it to be a challenge for me to write and express my feelings. I am a horrible writer and I have been scared to put myself out there because the fear that I might write something bizarre, or I wouldn’t make sense to people. The fact that my spelling and grammar is especially horrible (so bear with me) has been a huge deterrent. I decided the perfect way to conquer my fear is to dive right in. Am I right? I promise that I won’t post stuff like this all the time, but every once in a while will do, just to give myself a kick in the pants and step outside my comfort zone. So here it goes… The first of my ramblings.
I feel like I have seen a million posts, pins, and articles touching on the subject of motherhood. What a good mom is and what a good mom isn’t. Or I find the categorizing of different mothers like; Pinterest mom, healthy mom, work from home mom, homemaker mom, tired mom, the list goes on and on. Then I ask myself, what if I fit into all of these categories but only a fraction of the time? It’s like I have multi-personality mother disorder. I can’t say that I fit into any one category all of the time. I don’t think I am the only mother who feels this way. At least I hope not.
Some days I wake up and make my kids a good breakfast, some days I make them a bowl of cereal and go back to bed because I stayed up way to late working. Or for a week I am the mother who always makes her kids bed in the morning, and the next week I’m the mom who doesn’t make the beds. Not only that but lets them go to bed with chocolate milk bottles, which leaves stained sheets and rotten teeth. Sometimes I read my kids books before bed and sometimes I just put on a movie. I can be the mom that spends time teaching her kid the ABC’s in English, Spanish and Japanese, or the mom that lets her kids learn everything from a kindle or tablet because it keeps them out of her hair for the day. The irony in all of this is that no matter what mom I am today there is always stress about the one I wasn’t. I question myself. It goes a little something like this.. What kind of mother spends all her time creating an elaborate birthday party for her 1-year-old? What kind of mother just lets her laundry pile up while she plays with her kids all day? What kind of mother lets her kids watch movies all day while she works or finishes up a project? What kind of mother spends the time making her kid a fancy breakfast, who has time for that? This mom that’s who!
For today, I am a mom that makes her kids a fun breakfast and lets them draw with chalk on the table and have sugar and sprinkles on their pancakes. Even if I didn’t have time to be all the other types of mothers I say it’s a win for the day. And there is one big category that I do fit into, it’s with the other mothers who worry about if they are being a good mom, which is the best kind of mom to be.
Nothing beats creating your own art to hang in your home, especially when you can do it for super cheap. Now don’t get me wrong, I am all about a beautiful professional print or piece of artwork, however, finding the right piece can take time and $$$. Why not create your own for a fraction of the cost?
I was doing a little revamp of my master bedroom and had some dead space above my bed between two windows. I wasn’t sure what to put there and my sister-in-law suggested I take a photo of a buffalo skull head that she had hanging on her wall. I thought this idea was brilliant, It was just what the room needed!
Now the dilemma. I wanted it big, and I didn’t want to spend a lot on print. I decided to try an engineering print because of their low price point and large scale. (I’m talking like $2 to $10 for a huge print!) Now mind you, these are basically just giant photocopies so the paper is super thin and it is not “oh my gosh!” amazing quality. But with a couple tricks you can get them to look pretty awesome.
First, you have to capture the photo for your art piece. I suggest looking around your house for any interesting items you might have. For example, a decor item, a heirloom that you are not sure how to display, or even things in your yard. Really, anything that has texture or interest and preferably overall mostly dark or mostly light.
Here are the things from around my house I decided to photograph.
When taking your photo, use either a white or black backdrop. This can be a piece of paper or fabric. Make sure you photograph light objects on black and dark object on white, the contrast will make your photo pop! I recommend using a DSLR ( a camera that you can set manually) to take your photo. If you are not sure how to set your camera manually, set it to the AV mode. This is where you can adjust your aperture or depth field and the camera will adjust the rest of the settings automatically. Next, set your aperture to the lowest number it will go, this will give you greater depth of field which will give your image more interest. Find a point of interest on your object and snap away. Try different angles and shooting close or far away, just have fun with it!
After your print is the way you want it, mount it on a 1/4″ foam board with a light layer of spray adhesive, smooth any bubbles with a credit card if needed. You can find foam boards at most craft stores or office supply stores. After the foam board has completely dried, cut the foam to fit your frame. Now pop your masterpiece into your frame and you are done, voila!