Friday, August 31, 2012

Pinterest #32

I don't know about you, but after yesterday's bummer of a post I'm ready for something lighthearted! And what better way to start that off than with some lavender hot chocolate? (Mmmm, think of this with some lemon cookies.).

This art display is fabulous, and I love the pop of yellow coming out of the back bedroom.

This is a metal prosthetic hand, circa 1580! I didn't know they had these back then! Look at it, it's like armor but more awesome. I want one! For display purposes, though, not because I lost a limb. If I lose an arm I'm getting a robot or finding a scientist who will give me superpowers.

On a more normal note, this sweater-scarf combination is adorable.

And finally, I think I need to get my own drafting table. I need something adjustable, and World Market (which might be my new favorite place) released this handsome gentleman a few months ago:

Wanna be Pinterest pals? You can check out my boards right here.

So what awesome stuff did you find online this week? Feel free to drop a link in the comments. And what are you up to this weekend? We're doing a lot of what we did last week: dinner at our new favorite hangout, grocery shopping, tackling assorted small house projects, having a friend over, etc.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Why Handmade Items Cost More

I had another post all planned out for today, but abandoned that idea when I got a message sent to me through my Oh Nostalgia shop.

The item in question was this, my silver-plated Sea Monster (hello!):

Somebody convo'd me and asked why I charge $25 for this necklace when they can get "the same thing" from China for $3.99. They even included a picture to prove their point:

Sigh. Here we go again.

First of all, making jewelry is my job and I will be paid for my time. So there's that.

There's also the issue of the charms themselves. Maybe it's the jewelry designer in me, but I can tell just by looking at the second octopus that, yeah, that thing is mass produced. The metal (which, based on the price, is obviously not real silver) is thick and clunky, there's a giant ring on top of its head, and the "oxidizing" to make it look aged is actually black paint. I've seen it before.

My sea monster charm, on the other hand, is purchased from another Etsy seller who casts them in brass first, then plates them in silver. A real handmade charm. No factory orphans were used in the making of this creature. That's not to say that I never buy any materials that come from overseas, I do, but when there's an alternative, I like to take it. Yes, it makes my prices higher, but I feel like it's worth the extra money.

Not everyone will agree with that--and that's fine, I don't know your life--but you don't need to go around leaving accusatory messages because you disagree with my price point.

End of rant.

I know this happens to other people, too, so feel free to share your stories in the comments.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

House Update: Good and Bad

I've been getting a lot of requests to see more of the house and how things are going. I think we're moving along pretty well, considering we both work and are still getting used to the idea of having literally twice as much space as we did before. None of the rooms are officially "done" (and won't be for a long time, knowing me) but that's okay. Without further ado...

Dining Room, you're my favorite. You still don't have any chairs--now we're eyeballing these babies--but at least there's stuff on top of the piano and eucalyptus on the table. Progress!

This is the eating half of the kitchen, which I also dig. That dining set is $199 on clearance at Target right now if anybody else is in the market for one. The color is a smidge off (something we didn't realize until we got it in there) but that's easy enough to fix. I'll keep you posted.

Here's Beatrice #1, lookin' pretty fly for a white guy lamp. Not so fly? Having to re-wire her before we could stick her up there. Yay...

I just want to rip those mirrored doors OFF.

Out in the sunroom, I used a hand-me-down shelf from my mother-in-law to corral my garden stuff. It used to be in a pile on the floor. More progress!

Now, before you go thinking I'm totally on my game, let me show you some other stuff:

HELLO. This is my little secret. We're technically calling this the library/future nursery, but at the moment it's a dumping ground.

And this is my office, featuring a shipment that came in about 10 days ago that I still haven't unpacked. Look at that excellent time management.

So there's some good and some bad, but overall I think we're moving right along. Our new couch for the family room arrives on Friday and I'm PUMPED. It'll be the first real update for that room, which is lookin' pretty crazytown, if you recall.

What have you been doing around the house lately?

P.S. I'm writing over on Kanelstrand today! Pop by and see the new way I discovered to curl my hair... with a headband.

Monday, August 27, 2012

August Small Sponsors

I'm excited for you guys to meet my small sponsors for August! You might have noticed these three Etsy shops hanging out in the right sidebar, but today it's time to take a closer look. I could yammer on about how fun their items are, but I think I'll just let the pieces speak for themselves:

Posies and Petals - Hair accessories for adults and children.

PeeGee Jewelry - Nature-inspired pieces.

Eyelah - Bright and colorful purses.

Be sure you check out their shops to see even more! They'll love it. Sponsors like these help me grow this blog and I appreciate their support. I personally enjoy all of their products (the ones here are my favorites!) and think you will, too.

Interested in sponsorship information? Check out my advertising page.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Pinterest #31

Happy Friday! I apologize for the general lack of bloggy participation I've had this week. It always takes me a minute to readjust after classes start again. I'll do an update on that in the next couple of weeks when I actually have something to show you--other than me half-assedly drawing chairs until I find a pen/ink combination I like. In the meantime, I offer you this week's Pinterest Picks! (Yep, still found plenty of time to creep on there...)

How to make your own votives in little terra cotta planters. Some people in my life might be getting these for Christmas, just a heads up.

It's getting hot outside again, which makes me sad because I'm ready to wear outfits like this:

I love it when simple projects make a big impact. Put some decals on a canvas and spray paint it. Peel the decals off and hang lights on the back. Instant focal piece!

Honeycrisp apple sangria with cinnamon sugar around the glass. Be still my heart:

And finally, Roald Dahl is just so delightful. I have this quote pinned in various designs, but I think the little giraffe family is the cutest thing ever:

What are you up to this weekend? Hubsey and I are eating dinner at a bar tonight and then doing several boring homeowner things, like buying a water softener. Yay... Please tell me you're doing something more awesome.

Yo--Wanna follow me on Pinterest? You can do that here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Halloween Costume!

It beckoned to me from the very front of Forever 21. It said, "Hello, Paige. You're going to wear me on Halloween." And inspiration hit like a bolt of lightning.

Any guesses? Hint: it's not Cruella DeVille. I went as her six years ago (dyed my real hair and everything!), and I feel like it hasn't quite been long enough yet for a repeat.

Have you picked your costume? Who/what are you being?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Nifty Thrifty Under 50!

I think I've finally reached that tipping point where I enjoy going to thrift stores for house stuff more than I like "regular" stores. It's totally the thrill of the hunt. The mystery of what I'll find that day. The anticipation.

Not to mention all the money I'm saving. It just bugs me to pay more when I know I can get the same thing for less elsewhere. Look at all of this stuff I bought on Friday:

Hello, new friends! Welcome home.

Under 50 smackeroos! Specifically, the tray and silver dish were both $3, the wood bowl was $1, Mr. Mirror was $5, the little light was $3.50, and the bigger, fancier fixture was $30. (Yep, over half the money on one thing. But--worth it!) That's a total of $45.50 for everything.

Let's start with the stuff I got from GoodWill. I went in to get containers for wrangling clutter. Hubsey tends to leave little piles of things all over the house, like a squirrel hiding nuts for the winter. At least his stuff will be in bowls now. And the tray! It's Bears colors without being too theme-y, so it'll get a lot of use this football season.

I also hit up the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. I'm not normally a gold/brass person, but I really love the thin little frame on this mirror. I might just leave it alone.

This thing is my pride and joy. I may have stroked it lovingly as I stood in line. And named it. (Hello, Beatrice.) There were actually two Beatrices at the ReStore, and as soon as I got home I regretted not buying the other one because I wandered upstairs and remembered there was a second hallway fixture that needs to change. Whoops.

Isn't she purdy? She's going in the entryway. STAT.

The other fixture is pretty basic, brass with a white dome, and it's perfect for above the kitchen sink. It will probably get a coat of spray paint before I install it, because, you know, brass.

So that's my latest thrifting adventure! What have you found thrifting lately? Named any light fixtures? Are you also addicted to the thrill of the hunt? What's your favorite reason for shopping secondhand?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Pinterest #30

Happy Almost Weekend! It didn't occur to me until yesterday, but this was my last full week of freedom before my classes start up again. I haven't really taken advantage of that yet, so I guess I'd better make the most of my last few days. (And also go buy my art history textbook. Man did this school thing sneak up on me.)

Anyway, Pinterest! Let's have a look.

This is a cute way to wrangle your fabric. Mine's stacked in a basket right now, and I have to dig through everything to find what I want. This would be an obvious improvement:

Chocolate coconut smoothies, anyone? It looks deceptively like a chocolate shake made with ice cream, but its main ingredient is bananas. Sneaky!

Haaaaaa! Bone:

Remember when I wanted to be Beetlejuice for Halloween? No? Okay, well, I did, but I couldn't find adequately fantastic stripes. Here's my solution (it would also be cute for wearing on regular days):

And finally, I haven't done a cross-stitch in many moons, but if anything can get me back into it, it's Batman. (Seen the movie? Your thoughts?) Edited to add: as soon as Hubsey saw this post, he busted out the Bane voice again. It's been over 10 minutes. I think I need to be rescued, Mr. Wayne.

So what are you up to this weekend? Anybody else savoring their last bits of extra time? Or spending all of it on Pinterest, not that I would judge you? Have you tried anything from Pinterest lately? I might bust out one of those smoothies...

Wanna connect on Pinterest? I'm right here.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sit on it, Potsie.

Now that we've changed the curtains in the dining room, it's time to focus on the other big thing(s) we're missing in there. Chairs!

Since the table was an impulse purchase (but a great one) at the Crate & Barrel outlet, it didn't come with any. I didn't think tracking some down would be a big deal--there are SO many kinds of dining chairs out there--but we're totally stumped. It's like watching me do a math problem over here.

And actually, numbers are part of the problem. Because we need to buy eight chairs, the price per item can't be too high. At all. There's also the minor issue of style. I'm a little more eclectic and vintage-inspired, whereas Hubsey is a total fun hater leaning toward something a little more quiet. So, naturally, it's time to talk it through with you guys! Here's a pretty solid mock-up of where we're going with the room:

Dining Room Idea Board

You're already familiar with the table and white curtains. We want some kind of bold rug (since we'll eventually rip out the carpet) and this striped one is only $300 for an 8'x10'. An industrial light fixture will go above the table, and some sort of travel posters will hit the walls. I included those flowers because I bought a vase last week and I'm actually using it. Boo ya.

Keep that room in mind while you look at these chairs:

Chair Options

I can actually make a case for all of them, but some tickle my fancy more than others. Hubsey likes the two options in the middle, and I like the other four. Can I tell you a secret? I really love the classroom chair. This specific example is kinda pricey, but I found a similar version from a school supply company for only $52. Although, something dark would look good in that room, too.

I'm torn! I'm betting it will eventually come down to our budget, since all of these would be cool in their own way. What are your thoughts? Any tips on things to avoid? Do you have a favorite from these? What's your dining room like?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dorothy Perkins: New Dresses!

I can't stay off of the Dorothy Perkins website! Every time I get onto Pinterest or Twitter, somebody has a link to something fabulous and then BOOM! I lose half an hour seeing what else is new. I'm supposed to be productive during daylight hours, Dorothy, stop tempting me with your sparkly ways!

I mean it.

(But let's take a look anyway, since you guys are already here and everything.)

1. I love dresses that can be fancy or casual. This one will also work for business-y things, which is what I struggle with the most. I keep telling myself that I need to curate a more professional wardrobe, so maybe I should actually do it. ($49)

2. This is a gorgeous cobalt blue. The little red belt is cute, but what really caught my eye was the pleating around the collar. It's such an interesting detail. ($89)

3. A beaded flapper-inspired dress is, sadly, not something I get to wear often, but should I ever need one, I know where to go. ($69)

4. Yellow! Birds! Yes! This is more likely for me. ($55)

5. I'm kind of sad that blush was so trendy because now that means it will be un-trendy soon, and therefore harder to find in a flattering shade. I need to strike while the iron is hot. ($69)

What site distracts you when you should be working? Any other D.P. fans in the house? Which of these is your fave?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Dining Room: Inching Forward

Guys, I was on the BALL this weekend. Not only did I do all of my normal shop/blog work, but I also found stools for the kitchen, got a spectacular deal on some deck furniture (more on that in a second), and did a curtain switcheroo in the dining room.

Behold, my lovely white drapes!

And yeah, the massive table still doesn't have any chair buddies. We'll get there. You can ignore the pile of crap on it, too. Focus on the curtains! Ooooh, aaaah!

Here's how the room looked before:

Red! Now, I have nothing against red. I love red nail polish, and red lipstick, and red shoes--but I just don't want red curtains in my house. Plus, they were hung too low for the room, riiiight above the window trim. Hanging curtains higher on the wall will make the room feel taller, which is great when you have standard 8-foot ceilings like we do.

Let's have a look at the magic in action. Here's a side-by-side:

Big difference, right? The white curtains draw your eye up toward the ceiling, bringing on the height illusion we talked about, and making the window feel bigger, too. It's totally my favorite room now.

Now, as for that deck furniture...

...I scored the table and BOTH chairs for $86! They're from Lowes, and the original price for the set was $400, which, honestly, I would have never paid. They were already on clearance for about 75% off, and then I used a $20 gift card on top of it. Boom! The benefits of shopping around, y'all.

What have you been doing around the house lately? Anybody else feel a complete room transformation justs by changing one thing?

Linking up with:

Friday, August 10, 2012

Virtual Shopping Trip: IKEA

Is it bad that I've been to the blue and yellow palace three times in three weeks? My knee jerk reaction is to say, "Grab another bag!" but denial is always the first symptom. In my defense, I have tried to get house stuff elsewhere (Target, West Elm, Crate & Barrel) but aside from a handful of goodies, nothing has been right.

Except at IKEA.

So I wandered through again yesterday, this time with my camera so I could show you how some of their new items look in person. Check out these awesome plaid scarves!

Ha, they're just blankets. Could you imagine if IKEA started selling clothes!? My god, I would never need another store again. But in all seriousness, one of these would be a nice touch if you wanted to keep a room from looking too girly.

This coffee table set is new, and very beautiful. I thought about getting it a few weeks ago, but Hubsey pointed out that either of us would ever want to clean the glass. Good call.

The table also has a cousin, Mr. Fancy Shelf. It's just gorgeous in person.

Look at this beast! I was so dumbstruck in the store that I a) forgot to see what kind of shelving this is and b) didn't notice the ladder on the right. If you happen to have 15 foot ceilings, this could be your reality:

We need a little shade to put over our kitchen window, mainly because I stumble down there looking a hot mess in the morning and I don't want to scare any small children. This flower motif is adorable:

White cabinets are my all-time fave. They just make a space feel so much bigger.

There were a handful of new industrial-inspired lights including this one on an accordion arm, which would look mighty fine in my office:

Remember my desire to have some kind of schoolhouse lighting? Boom. Thanks, IKEA.

As for what I did buy, it was a lot of little things, like curtain rods, a dish rack, a vase... You'll see them soon, grasshopper. Have you been to IKEA lately? Are you digging their new designs? Trying to figure out how you can use them in your own house?

Don't forget to enter the Posies and Petals giveaway! A $10 shop credit for some cute hair accessories could be yours!