Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pinterest Challenge: DIY Seed Bead Necklace

I love it when Young House Love (project post here) and Bower Power  (project post here) plus 2 lucky guests host the Pinterest Challenge. If you haven't checked it out before, you definitely should - it's all about actually making something that you have pinned. This time around, they are hosting with Decor & the Dog (project post here) and The Remodeled Life (project post here). We haven't been doing much in the way of diy home projects lately, so my post is a bit of a diversion from the norm. Though, if you know me... I have made jewelry before but it's pretty finicky work so I lose interest fairly quickly. Here is what got me excited:

My inspiration pins (seen here and here) were by Andrea from For The Love Of.... I loved both as soon as I saw them and decided to head to Michael's to scope out supplies. I had a rude awakening (although, I don't know why I was surprised) when I saw the tiny little containers of seed beads for not so little prices. As I started collecting supplies, I realized this was going to be a ridiculous bill so I put it all back. Yes, I did. I came home and started googling, and found a Canadian company called BeadFX that was way more reasonable. In the end, my money saving technique backfired because they had so many choices that I bought way more than I should have... funny how that works!!

When my order arrived (super quick and free shipping too!), I started sorting the colour schemes I had picked. I had shades of green, shades of blue, and shades of red/corals/golds. I decided to do the coral colours for this necklace because I really loved Andrea's necklace - so not much creativity involved!! Mine literally turned out as almost a complete carbon copy... that wasn't my intent, so I'll get more creative with my next one!! I'm going to be honest - it probably took me 5-6 hours of time in total, spread over at least a month to finish.

I won't delve into a tutorial- Andrea has done two very good tutorials, here and here, which I used. I'll just note what I did differently. You can see below that I decided to go with split rings instead of the smaller jump rings because I was worried about the monofilament (aka fishing line) slipping through where the jump ring meets. I skipped using the chain for this necklace. Other than that, I used crimp rings and lobster clasps like Andrea did. I already owned the red jewelry pliers so didn't have to purchase the tools.

One thing that was really nice about the beads I ordered was that they came on "hanks" - prestrung! You can't leave them on the string, but it was a lot easier for me to feed the monofilament straight through the strung beads in small sections and then transfer them onto the monofilament and off of the string (as opposed to individually).
Bead colours are peach, coral, gold, pinky-bronze, light red and dark red
And here's where I may have gone a bit overboard... oops? Clearly I'll be making several more necklaces!
There are 15 strands of beads, with 4 split rings on each jump ring... which are then hooked to clasps. I mixed some gold beads in on one of the peach strands, you can see them if you look close.

I plan to make a bracelet too - I don't really wear matching sets but I think it'll be nice to have the option to wear one or the other. Eventually, I'll attempt a green ombre necklace too! So, have you ever tried your hand at making some jewelry? I'm jealous if you have more patience than I do!

Check out the link up at one of the blogs (linked at the top), because there are always aaaaaamaaazing projects shared!!

xo,
Andrea

ps. hope you are wearing pink to support anti-bullying day today... i am!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Shopping with Restraint (not really)

I just wanted to pop in with a bit of eye candy... I browsed through Chapters/Indigo yesterday and once again, was shocked by all of  the awesome housewares goods. SO many things I wanted/loved. But I didn't buy anything. At all. Impressive, right? I might have to go back. I've posted about Indigo before (here), and I still think they have great stuff. A few things I loved...

Like these adorable herb markers (set of 6):
Birch wrapped pots:
Everything in this shot... the vases were so cute (there was even a honeycomb vase, hard to see the textures in this photo), the lacquered boxes and the coffee table?! I think it was just a display item but I loved it all the same:
The PILLOWS. That burlap chevron? So cute. And the sequinned pillow beneath it? Ahhhhhhh.
This pillow.... I die. I want. This was the only one and it was missing a section of it's sequins. I'm going to have to check out the store by me and see if they have it - everything was 25% off.
Pretty, pretty, PRETTY.
These baskets were awesome.
I am a scarf addict so it was a real challenge to walk away from this section. But I did. I feel like I deserve some kind of special reward. A scarf, maybe.
They often have really nice houseware  so the next time you are looking for something - check Chapters! Prices are reasonable and things go on sale quickly. I might find myself back there before the weekend is over.

On a fun note, I'm so happy to see the beautiful sunshine today... we are off to see two friends tie the knot, so excited!! I always think about the whole process of wedding days - I bet they are getting their hair done right now!! Can't wait. 

xo,
Andrea

Friday, February 15, 2013

Evolution of a Bedroom

It's been awhile since I have posted pictures of our master bedroom, and I have actually made quite a few changes! Let's do a little time lapse now, shall we?

This is in 2009, right after I moved into my new place (see the post about it here):
This is in January, 2011 - we had painted, made the headboard, built the bedside tables and had new bedding (previous to this bedding there were at least 2 other duvets that weren't caught in photos... what can I say, I get bored!)
This is in September/October, 2012 - by then I had replaced the lampshades, added the shelf with our wedding tree, replaced the light fixture, and added some funky pillow shams.

Aaaaaaand, here's how it looks today (although the lighting is off due to the rainy skies/lack of light):

I have:
  • Changed the lampshades
  • Added new ikat-ish pillow shams (West Elm)
  • Changed the art arrangement above the bed (it's all DIY!). The wedding tree never did grow on me. It just didn't work in that spot, as much as I wanted it to. I don't know where it will end up. It kills me after spending so much money having it custom framed. Argh.
  • Added the cutest deer head ever (West Elm)
As for the DIY art, I got the idea for the ombre art from Danielle Oakey's awesome project, seen here. I decided to try it with gray/silver, white and gold, and the small canvas with just gold and white. The ikat was something that just happened... I was going for ikat and that's how it turned out. The confetti art inspiration came from here. I love Lulu and Drew, but it's not in my budget these days, so I tried to diy my own. One day, I will get one of her pieces... LOVE her work.

Here's the wall directly across from the bed... otherwise known as the wall-o'-closets.

I would really like to try and diy something like this:

Next up, we are planning to put up some curtains. I'm planning to stencil some plain curtains so stay tuned for a post on that... and one of these days I will put some stuff on the other walls!

I was kind of amazed to look back at the old pictures and see how much the room had changed, but also how much my style has evolved! Kinda crazy when you see it all at once...

xo,
Andrea

TDC Before and After

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Little Cupboard Organizing

So, on Monday I posted about how we did a little shopping at Storables. 
See how excited Kris is??

Here's what we picked up:

Here's how we put it all to use! Before shot on the left (I'd already started emptying it out though) and after shot on the right. It doesn't look a whole lot different, but it is! We cleared out a ton of stuff we don't use, replaced all of our wine glasses. We already had the wine glasses, but didn't have room for them. The dishwasher soap we used to use had etched all of our current glasses making them look cloudy so we decided to get rid of them. I don't know what to do with them though - I'm sure a thrift store wouldn't want them but it seems wasteful to throw them away. Ideas?

So, if you look closely, you can see we added a little shelf on the bottom for our mugs so we didn't have to double stack them on top of eachother.

I used some of the clear containers in my kitchen drawers. I've always had a bit of utensil overflow in my linens drawer... this just keeps in contained now.
This is what one of my drawers looked like before:
And after... not a whole lot of difference, but definitely tidier.
Utensil drawer - too full and sloppy.
 Much better!!
 
We also picked up this over the door towel hanger - I thought it would be helpful to have right at the sink instead of dripping across the floors to reach to the oven handle.
Of course, I got on a roll with the kitchen drawers... I emptied every drawer, vacuumed and washed them out and organized and condensed the fridge.

We also put some of the shelves into our bathroom cupboard. Here's our main bathroom (the acrylic organizer is a drawer organizer that I had but didn't work anywhere... so I used it for guest toiletries and things people might need when they visit.

Here's Kris' side in our ensuite. No photos of my side because I figured that no one would care to see my lady products on display ;) But my side looks very similar. We already had all of the drawers and baskets but the little shelf helps to create more usable space.

So it's not exactly a vision of beauty, but it's certainly more functional and space saving!! I'm thinking of putting some shoe organizers on the insides of the bathroom cupboard doors to hold more things (like my hair tools?!)... but not sure if that will work out.

xo,
Andrea

Monday, February 11, 2013

Impromptu Weekend Away

I just made it back to my blog and then Kris and I decided to take off for a few days... and I had no posts ready to go! Eeep. Well, I'm back with a little recap of our weekend. We took off to the States for some shopping and relaxation. I don't go shopping down there too often, so it's a treat to hit up all the awesome stores that we don't have here at home. 

For starters... 
AHHHHH!!! I had way too much fun in here. You'll see my goods later this week ;) Clearly, Kris was not quite as enthused as I was.

We hit up World Market next and I'm pretty sure I audibly oooohed and ahhhhhed a few too many times. Here are some of the things I liked:
I loved these - thought they could double as vases or candleholders, plus the price was right ($2.99-$7.99)
I reeeeeally wanted to take home some of these glass candleholders for some pillar candles, but Kris noticed that they were hollow and made a good point - if candle wax spilled down, how would we get it out? Ugh, Kris- 1, Andrea- 0. Oh, and towel heaven.

Obesessed with these fabrics... so wish I had another bathroom to decorate.
Poufs!
Loved these baskets....
Kris was in love - craft beer from all over the world.
Next up, Target. I was hoping to snag some Nate Berkus goodies, but they didn't have what I was looking for. It was a sad moment.
Fun martini tables:
We also picked up a few things at Trader Joes... like this tangelo (soooo good!! It's a cross between a tangerine and a pomelo).
The most delicious pink grapefruit juice I've ever had:
Got some tea towels on clearance at Target - $2 each:
My Storables spoils... stay tuned for how we put them to use.
And I couldn't resist a few of those World Market lanterns.
Shopping in Target only made me more excited for Target to open up at home... I really hope we get the same product lines/price points and not a dulled down version. Check back this week... I'll show you how we used our Storables purchases to organize in the kitchen and bathrooms!

Happy 1st Family Day to my BC peeps!! Enjoy your extra Monday :)

xo,
Andrea