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Thursday, February 27, 2014

INSPIRING DIY DEER HEAD

Coolest gold thumb tack project ever!


And not just because I did it, but because I always wanted an interesting pair of faux deer heads hanging somewhere in my home. By interesting I mean…not just a pair of simply wood or white deer heads. And now I've got a pair of (ok…actually only one so far) really cool gold ones.

So, here's how it started…



I was in Michaels getting ready to buy a completely different item to cover with gold thumbtacks (which I will save for a later DIY date) But then suddenly this baby caught my eye. It was only $12.99. I was pretty excited to see it. I knew it was going to be more than just a great DIY project. I was pretty sure it (they) would end up being the groovy deer heads I had hoped to one day find and hang in my own home.



All that's needed for this great DIY is …

 The paper mache deer head from Michaels. (sku # 311796) 
And gold thumb tacks.  
I called Michaels today and they said all Michaels stores carry this deer head, but if you cant find it in the store, it can be ordered in any Michaels using that SKU number. I purchased my gold thumb tacks from The Dollar Tree store because they were only $1 for 300 tacks. And you might not like to hear this, but you'll need about 1700 gold thumbtacks per deer head. Yes, I know…that's a lot of tacks… just ask my bruised thumb. If you're a master thumb puppeteer or twiddle your thumbs for a living…this may not be the project for you.



I started with the chin, and began overlapping each tack. 
The overlap is important to give it that great finished look. I tacked in rows.


I thumb-tacked one row up the right side and then again starting from the first thumb tack on the chin, I tacked a row up the left side and then back right again and so on. Doing it this way gives it that neat uniform look you want.



After the first box of 300 were finished…this is what it looked like. 



This is what it looked like on the inside. Yes, Ouch! To get those tacks pushed in around the sides of the head I needed to put my hand in that painful space. After trying a few unsuccessful methods, finally I put on the pot holder mitten which worked out great. 



After the head was completely covered, I sang the "this looks fabulous" song and then took a break! My thumb was feeling the pain of pushing in 800 thumb tacks, and it had been a 2 hour long process. 
Later that night while sitting in front of the television, I moved on to the right ear. I wanted to get it finished and I was afraid that if I waited too long my thumb would not be willing to push in another thumb tack.



After the right ear, I began the right antler, which I again tacked in rows. 
Another 2 hours had passed by and I still had the left ear and antler to do. Oy!
It was late. I hung it up to admire my work and almost convinced myself that it looked kind of cool with only one gold ear and antler. 
I told my thumb to get over it and after a good nights sleep I finished the other ear and antler watching television the next day. Now I just need to do the other one.



What a transformation. I think the finished product is very cool…don't you?
When they're both done I think I may put them here…


 (seen through the magic of photoshop) In my living room.

I guess it's time to start working on the next one. The only thing is that I'll have to convince this guy…



C'mon thumb…
After 1700 more tacks we'll have buns thumbs-of-steel. 
We'll even be able to take up thumb wrestling.


UPDATE



A few weeks have passed and I… 
#1) I actually did hang my first deer head (see it in the left photo above).
And... 
#2) I finally started working on the second one. This time my thumb is just fine because I haven't been rushing to get the whole thing finished asap. I'm tacking a little bit here and a little bit more there (later). It's worth it …this deer head thumb-tacking project, because they look great.  They're pretty heavy when all those tacks are on, but it's very cool…I love my gold deer heads.




Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A FABULOUS MIX OF CHIC

Today, I will be using the word "Chic" instead of cool. 
Mostly because the great decor that I have to share with you today is totally chic, but also because I've been told that I use the word "cool" a bit too much.



I checked out the Dallas Mecox store on Monday. 
I always get inspired when I go there. It's a very cool chic home, antiques,and design shop. If you look up the word "chic" you'll find that it refers to a stylish, elegant and sophisticated look. This store fits that description well. 
I can't stop looking at this particular vignette photo. 
I want that great credenza, the bench and those beautiful lamps too.



I love the way they layer art and mirrors. The eclectic mix isn't the only part of this store that inspires me. I'm also always inspired by the creative way that they put each fabulous vignette together. Hmmm…it looks like I need to get me some spheres. Those silver ones look pretty great.



By the way, if your wondering what "Mecox" means, it's an indian word that means "flat or plain country". But I can tell you that there's absolutely nothing flat or plain about this chic store. No, I don't speak the Native American language, while I consider myself somewhat talented, I'm not quite that advanced. I looked it up on the Mecox Gardens website of course (I am that smart).



These ottomans are pretty coo…    
You can figure out the word I really want to use here.



On the Mecox website I read that each of their stores have a similar Mecox look, but also have their own style and local flare…hence the Texas flare in this scene. 



I wish you could see the scale of the objects in all of these photos…
 As we might say in Texas, "they got some big ole stuff",and it seems to me that bigger is better.



I'll take that pendant light and that great zebra art as well. 
Someone needs that photo of those fabulous leopard Louboutin pumps on egg shells hanging in their extravagant closet.


While taking these great photos I was told that they were about to complete a new re-do…(re-arrange the shop). Apparently they have a warehouse filled with more great merchandise. I can't wait to go back and check it out again. 
And... YES, I will share.



Would't that be a great desk to have in your home? 



Purple lamps with green shade…inspiring.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

INSPIRING GREEN

I thought I might throw a little love to GREEN today.
Emerald green to be more specific.



I love the way this plate arrangement looks. 
Check out the way they cut those plates to fit into a perfect rectangle.


WOW! Would you have ever thought to put fuchsia with emerald green?
Are you feeling "green" with envy? With a couple different tables I might be.


Ikea seems to have a love for green right now.
Green is a good color (hmm...maybe I should have saved this post for March 17…Oh well)  Green means wealth, but it also represents generosity, new life and/or new beginnings, rest, and spring of course. 
For today…since we're kind of celebrating green we'll just skip the pride, 
envy and jealousy parts.


I have a bit of green in my house, like this chair for example.
That's my dog "Snowy". I love snowy, husky's are beautiful dogs, but I really don't love vacuuming my house e-v-e-r-y day. 

My boys (including the husband) love green as well…


Specifically this green.

Guess who else loves green?


LOL :-) I just noticed that I 'm wearing an emerald green shirt today. It wasn't planned, but I guess it was meant to be.

Monday, February 24, 2014

MAKING SOME DIY LOVE

 Spent all weekend making "LOVE".
I mean making "LOVE " art of course.




Remember that DIY diamond project made out of paint chips a few posts back? If not you can see it here. It looked lonely on the wall. It wasn't quite big enough to hang by itself. It clearly needed to be a part of a group…so I added a few friends. I knew just what to do...I gave it some LOVE. 



I had the perfect wrapping paper for the job. Whenever I'm shopping, and see great wrapping paper, I grab it. This particular paper I found at The Container Store. I grabbed all 3 because they looked so good together and I knew there would be some future art project for them.



I pulled all my supplies together and began my masterpiece. 
I used same size, but different color (2 white, 2 black) frames. You could use matching or all completely different frames. Either choice would look great. For the "L" and the "E" I first cut out and attached the wrapping paper to a backing (I just used double stick tape, but a spray mount glue would probably give it the smoothest finish.) I then printed the letters on card stock in giant size different fonts. I cut those letters out and used them as templates on the black paper. I then played with and added some white cut outs on top of the black letters. 


I wanted the "O" design to be similar to the diamond shaped "V". I also thought it would be cool to incorporate one of those great blind-spot-convex-mirrors like the one I used in my plate project several posts back. I played with, arranged,  and then rearranged those darn paint chips over and over until I finally came up with the winning design. I wanted it to be cool and definitely not "crafty". 
"Artsy" yes…"crafty" never. If someone comes into my house and says, "Did you make that?" ….the "that" goes straight into the trash. 
Well, maybe I exaggerate a bit, but the point is…I don't want anything to look like I made it. I would much rather someone say, "That's the coolest thing I've ever seen. You must have paid a fortune for it.." Okay, maybe that's also a bit of an exaggeration, but I would at least like to hear a simple...
"That's cool. Where did you get it?"


When I had all four frames complete, I laid them out on the floor to admire the final product. …
Then I put them up on the wall above my reading corner. I'm such an expert at hanging art…I only put about 10 holes in the wall before I had them all lined up perfectly.


I hope you liked it. 
I have some other (not-crafty) DIY's coming up very soon so stay tuned. 
See you tomorrow.

Friday, February 21, 2014

DECORATING WITH VIBRANT COLOR

Let's check out a designer showroom filled with color.


I took some great photo's at IBB Design showroom in Frisco, Texas this week. They don't only do bright colors, they work in beiges and grays, and whatever else you might like, but I was enjoying all the color so much that that's what I  focused on. This photo above, which I'll call "Laurie's rug" since I kind of dig it, speaks to me. It says, "I make blue and yellow look pretty good." 


Orange with shades of purple…I like it.
This is a sitting area in a bedroom arrangement and I believe I'll call it "Texas sunset." If I knew how to cut an image out on photoshop (haven't figured that one out yet) I would put a nice cowboy hat on the corner of that bed. And to complete the Texas sunset look, we would need a couple of cool antler sconces (instead of the art on either side of the sunset painting) of course. 












Hmmm…
I don't have a name for this one yet, but I really like a lot of what I see here.
The bench, the tray,that great mirrored piece, and even that little box…I'm liking very much.




















This is the beach to me. It's the colors of sand, sky, and ocean. Great table, and I like the stools. I'll call it "Ocean Grove" because it brings back memories of spending summers on the beach in Ocean Grove, New Jersey when I was very young. I don't know what it's like there now, but back in those days (70's) we would fly kites in the park, feed peanuts to the very friendly squirrels by the cathedral, spend hours in the shell shop, rock in rocking chairs on the porches, and go gambling with grandma on the boardwalk. I miss grandma.



I'll call this one "Katie" because it reminds me of my niece who's a Glam girl. 



You can find a lot of colorful accessories at the IBB Design showroom. I especially like that long green malachite box.



Pillows, pillows, and more pillows. I love a great pillow.











 Yes, this one is...

"Sipping sparkling water in the Bahamas"

No, I don't have a Bahamas story because I haven't been there yet.

But…
maybe soon. 
A girl can dream.

Lovin' the orange lamps
and that great console













Well, I'll leave you with a few more photo's. 
I hope you enjoyed our visit to this fun colorful showroom. 
On Monday I'll have another great DIY project. Have a fabulous weekend.








Thursday, February 20, 2014

DIY CONCRETE DIAMONDS AND SUCH

Who knew there were so many cool concrete home decor 
items out there? Here are just a few I found.


We've all seen great concrete floors, counter tops, and maybe even a few bowls, but did you know there are concrete office supplies? Fmcdesign makes those cool concrete pens, the chair (which looks a bit painful) is a Stefan Zwicky design, the lamp is by Regina Andrew, and those interesting concrete and leather candle holders are by EKDesign. Believe it or not, you can even wear concrete jewelry, like those cool rings from 22Design Studio.

But what caught my eye was some fabulous concrete diamonds that I found on  Life's Little Jems  blog which she in turn had found on A Merry Mishap. So today I'll share my attempt at making these cool concrete diamonds. I do suggest you check out those two blog sites if you want more detailed DIY info.



They turned out pretty good I think.
I had most of the needed supplies (card stock/foam core, scissors, tape, gloves, mixing bucket, mixing utensil plastic cup etc…) at home, but had to go purchase the cement mix at Home Depot. I got and copied my diamond template here.



It was a bit of a process. The suggested DIY template material is card stock with clear tape over it (to keep the mix from destroying the card stock before it hardens), but my card stock seemed too flimsy so I ripped off and used the cover of a spiral notebook. It is a bit sturdier and already has a finish on it that would make it easy to peel off of the dried cement. I also made a larger template and used foam core for that mold. I folded and taped my template/mold together and then took it into the garage where I thought it was safer to mix and pour the cement.

I didn't want to have to clean a bucket afterward, so I just used a big empty goldfish box that was in the recycle bin. I hate having to clean up messy messes…if I can throw it out after…I'm happy. Disposable pots and pans would be a great invention in my opinion. Anyway, the cement mix dries very quickly so i was sure to have everything ready. But then…just as I put the mix and water together into the gold fish box/bucket...
Suddenly, Ahh! It's time to mix and I can't find my wooden spoon. The cement is speed drying and I have nothing to mix it with. I jump up and run to the kitchen to quickly grab another spoon which I know we have more of because it's an annual christmas gift from dad. 

Yes, wooden spoons, a source of laughter and tradition in this family. Dad likes to cook and always manages to make enough to feed an army. Wooden spoons have always been his utensil of choice. So, once all of his 4 children became adults, a pack of wooden spoons for each of us have always been under the Christmas tree. Not Martha Stewart spoons…oh no…they will not do. They must be dollar store spoons or the tradition will be broken. We joke about it, but every one of us manage to use our wooden spoons. We love you dad! 


So, where was I? 
Oh yes, running back to the garage with my wooden spoon.
I pulled my T-shirt over my nose because I didn't want to breath in any quick-drying-cement that may turn my lungs into stone. Don't laugh…it could happen I think…I was just being cautious. I whipped up the cement like a cake batter and then quickly poured into my 2 molds. Yikes…it was just enough for both.
This morning, I woke up fed my boys their breakfast and ran to check on my diamond project. Both molds pulled right off with no problems. I think they turned out great. I used a bit of sand paper to smooth out any rough edges. 



Unfortunately, the very tip of my bigger cement diamond fell off, but I'm pretty sure that I know why that happened. I was suppose to mix out all the lumps, but noticed a couple lumps spill into my bigger mold. I hoped it wouldn't effect anything, but now I'm sure those pesky lumps sank to the bottom (the diamond tip) and that's the reason why it crumbled off. But it was just the tippiest top of the tip so you can't really tell. 





I like them just as they are, but you can also paint them if you prefer. Jessica, from Life's Little Jems, sprayed hers gold, which is also a great idea. I still had all those bright colors in cups from my Rocking Rocks project, so I decided to use it.

I have some other interesting concrete diamond ideas, but they're not yet concrete (pun intended). I'll show them if they turn out well…or else I'll just pretend it never happened.