13.2.14

The Chair that Started it All

Guys. These chairs. I spotted them at Value Village months ago. They were priced at $24 each and I knew it was a bargain. Mr. Dixon was with me and he could not get over how hideous they were (can you even blame him?). I had to promise him for a straight 5 minutes, that yes, I would reupholster them.  He even went on to tell me that I wasn't "allowed" to start any more projects until these beasts were covered.




Yes. Completely heinous. But the potential was infinite.


Structurally, these chairs are impeccable! Quality furniture is definitely harder to find these days, so when I find something I can spruce up, I want to jump on the opportunity.

Did I mention when when we purchased the chairs there was a mishap with the "military discount button" and she charged us $20 for BOTH. When I questioned her she just didn't even care. Um, ok... thanks? Score!

But look at what they look like after! And by "they" I really mean one, because I still have to do the other one...


I immediately knew I wanted them to be a cream color, so that they would really pop. But I was so worried they would dirty quickly. I know they still will, I'm sure, but it was worth it. 



See how fantastic (and interesting) that wood detailing is? I love it and I am in love with these chairs. And now it has clearly sparked something even bigger, now that I've lugged an entire sofa home to reupholster.

9.2.14

Before

I am addicted to scouring Craigslist everyday. You never know what you're going to find. And on Saturday I found the most amazing project... for free. It's a vintage sofa with the perfect frame. Everything I have been looking for. With some love, of course.


It definitely needs some serious attention, but I can't wait! We're in need of another sofa, but with life as it is, it's something I don't feel comfortable adding to our budget for right now. Especially since the one I have my eye on is $3,000. But when I saw this I knew it was something I couldn't wait to tackle.



I can't wait to get this project started (among my growing list of activities). But for now my mission is finding the perfect fabric. I'm pretty positive my heart is set on a charcoal colored velvet.




This is my inspiration. I love the tufting (I won't commit to that many, though! Goodness!) But won't know if I can do that until I start the deconstruction process. The top sofa is from West Elm, but if you know the source of the second image, I'd love to know. I cannot find it.

Do any of you know a great place to order upholstery fabric from online? Maybe one that doesn't cost an arm & leg? Our local fabric store has it at about $60/yard, but I can use a 50% coupon, but I need a lot of yardage. If I order online, so far the shipping is $70+. I'd love to hear your ideas!


7.2.14

A Little Valentine Cheer

I miss my friend tremendously. When we both lived in the same city only 10 minutes from each other. We always had a photoshoot up our sleeves or craft projects or giving each other Patawon braids... I hate living so far away from each other. So this year, I decided to send her some Valentine Cheer in a box.


I started with a small box. I receive a Birchbox every month and I hoard those boxes like they're going out of style! They are the perfect size for sending a little something to someone afar. I painted over the logo as a cute writing space for addressing the box. 



I added fun little things. This gift isn't about the cost, or something particularly magnificent. It's about the excitement and theme.




I added fun cupcake liners, festive straws, wooden utensils tied with fun ribbon, some chapsticks, sprinkles, heart-shaped balloons.... anything I felt would be happy to open and feel festive.


Crepe streamers? I think yes! Did I mention this is also party in a box?


Little notepads and trinkets from the $1 section at Michael's and Target are great additives, too!


Heart shaped confetti is a must! 




And there you have it! A perfect gift idea for your long distant Valentine. A gift that can be done quickly, or with much thought- either way it is such a fun gift for you and the recipient. 



6.2.14

Valentine's Day

Valentine's day could easily be my favorite holiday. I have always loved the happiness it brings. I didn't care if I was single or in grade school. I love it. I love that it is in February. I have always found February to be difficult month- still winter, but always dragging on. But Valentine's day sneaks right in there with it's beautiful colors and makes the transition to Spring much smoother! The colors are always happy- how can you not love all the reds and pinks? I love the fun decorations, the flowers and the candy. I love it.

But this year I have not had any excitement about it. I cannot fathom why. My excitement has yet to really show up. Until today. Today I was swooning over the tulips and roses at the store, the candies, the fun sprinkles I put on my cupcake....


4.2.14

Inspired By:

Things I am going to work on



Part of my New Year's Resolution was to focus on creativity more. So far it's going great! This month I have some things up my sleeve for sure! Pinterest to me is both fantastic and also de-motivating at the same time. Sometimes I get carried away pinning and less doing. But right now, here are a few things I'm particularly inspired right now and hope to create something of sorts for myself.

1. This image is actually for alphabet necklace, but the comment was about getting alphabet magnets and spray painting them gold. Seriously. Why didn't I think of that?
2. I love these bottles and own several! I've been working on a little bar area in our house, and adding a cute label on it is just the right idea!
3. I am wanting to make a happy garland to celebrate Valentine's day. 
4. I am in the process of making a little office/craft area for myself. And this picture inspires me.
5. If you know me or have been to my house you know I am obsessed with globes and maps. My next ambition to to find an ugly globe (because I don't have the heart to do this to a lovely one) and paint it with chalkboard paint. It will add to my collection nicely. 

To see where these are from, or more of my inspiration... visit my Pinterest page.

12.1.14

French Macarons

These trendy, tasty little desserts aren't the easiest to make. They're sensitive and delicate but really are so worth it! My friend, Ashley, and I have both made them before. Both with successes and failures. This go round we had some luck and some failures! We've compiled a list of things we thought would be helpful.




It's really important you set your eggs out way earlier. Hours at least, but a full day is fantastic! This will really help your egg whites whip easily.



Our best recipe that we have found was actually from a book I purchased years ago for only $3 at TJ Maxx in a clearance bin! It is called "Macaroons 30 recipes for perfect bite-size treats". I like their basic recipe. But really, almost all macaron recipes are the same. Their differences are small. We liked how small of a batch it made. Just one baking sheet worth, this makes it more manageable. And if you mess it up- it's only a small amount!



Use parchment paper to line your baking sheet. That's what we found works best. If you are really uneasy about your piping skills, you can purchase a Silpat that is already marked with sizes. Or find something that is macaron-sized and trace on the parchment paper yourself. We chose to freehand it. If your sizes vary, you can always find a match.

If your freshly piped macarons have air bubbles, gently tap the entire baking sheet on your counter top. That should release the bubbles. Although this usually can be avoided if you pour the batter in the piping bag without air in it.

Once you have piped your macarons, it is so important for you to let them sit and rest. Let them rest for about 20 minutes. When you touch them, they should not be dried out, but dry enough that your finger doesn't stick to them.


We are working with a standard electric oven that keeps temperature well. If you are unsure about your oven, an oven thermometer is always great! Throughout our experience, and all the tutorials that people have written it is common that you may want to add moisture to your baking environment- but we didn't have to worry about anything like that!



See how these pictured above have little lumps? Hard to avoid, but this is why putting so much effort into grinding and sifting the almond flour is so important. If you don't, it's not the end of the world, but this is what they will look like.

When baking these bad boys, be so careful not to overcook them. Not even by a few seconds. They turn brown and lose their gorgeous color. They will also crack quite easily. Not pretty.


We are working with a standard electric oven that keeps temperature well. If you are unsure about your oven, an oven thermometer is always great! Throughout our experience, and all the tutorials that people have written it is common that you may want to add moisture to your baking environment- but we didn't have to worry about anything like that!







What have been the best things you've learned about Macaron making? Have you ever tried? We'd love to hear! Soon I'll be adding a post about what NOT to do when making Macarons... including pictures! ;)