The time to return back to school is upon us – and Darby Smart has some fun back-to-school DIY kits that will get you set for another year of academic success. How about a:
Top row: Leather Tassel Keychain / Scrabble Tile Mousepad / Leather Infinity Scarf
Middle row: Cross Stitch Tote / Build a Clock
Bottom row: Gold Statement Stack of Bracelets / Studded Cobalt Clutch / Painted Bamboo Phone Case
And my DIY Agate Keepsake Box Kit is also still available!
And Happy Back to School!!
Cool Sites, DIY, DIY Materials
Darby Smart, DIY Kits
Sharp-shouldered short-sleeve jacket: Forever 21 (similar here
). Chain choker with rhinestones: Forever 21 (similar here
). Hashtag t-shirt: 2KUHL. Silver cube ring: Karmaloop (similar here
). Gray Watch with pink chevron face: Modify Watches. Silver wrapped quartz bangle: DIY
). Foldover stone leather handbag: Gorjana (sold out, similar here
, use DEALS
for an extra 20% off; and here
). Laser cut pencil skirt: Re:Named
. Suede Laney wrap heels: Joe’s Jeans
I’ve been applying to jobs lately. Full-time, part-time, whatever seems a good match for me. Still working on my blog, still working on making videos, but do need to supplement out of necessity now. So I’ve been applying since May, and finally, finally got a call about coming in on an interview. (more…)
Craftsy is an online destination for craft-based classes and video tutorials that teach you real-world skills…all in the comfort of your own home and at your own pace. Ranging in price from $14.99 – $39.99, these classes cover sewing, knitting, cake decorating, quilting, gardening, and much, much more.
If you’re not ready to sign up for the full Craftsy experience, you can watch a mini-class, totally FREE. Here are a couple that I’d recommend for those essential DIY skills:
Sew Ready: Machine Basics / Bag-Making Basics: Reversible Tote & Zipper Pouch / Micro Torch Basics
Amazing Crochet Textures / Mastering Zipper Techniques / Bag-Making Basics: Drawstring Bag & Bucket Bag
Watch any of the above for free, with no obligation.
Cool Sites, DIY, How-To
Craftsy, sewing classes
I apologize for my absence from posting (a lot of things have been going on lately), but I wanted to share with you this video that we just produced for the Portland-based bicycle company, Circa Cycles.
Though my fledgling video and media production company, Uncommon Era, can produce fashion-oriented commercials and promotional videos, we can also make crowdfunding videos showcasing new and innovative products. Which the bikes from Circa Cycles definitely are!
Check out the video above – and then see how they’re doing with their Crowd Supply funding campaign (which still has 38 days to go). I have my fingers crossed that they will be fully funded by campaign’s close!
Live local and Ride Circa!
Circa Cycles, Uncommon Era projects, videos
For the past couple months, I’ve turned my attention from clothing and accessory DIY’s to home DIY’s. I’ve felt like I was entering a new phase stylistically, and some areas of our house were still frozen in time – almost exactly the same as they were when we first moved in (now 6 years ago!!). One area was our downstairs bathroom.
Straight off of the kitchen and next to the garage door, this is the bathroom that is one of the first things you see when you come in from the garage – and that people visiting our home will always use. It was a pastel mint color with a mid-90′s-style pastel lavender-and-mint wallpaper border. The previous owners of this house LOVED lavender and pastel mint – the entire outside of the house and the master bath were lavender, and the kitchen, downstairs bathroom, and bedroom were pastel mint. Though I don’t mind either of those colors in clothing (some clothing), the color scheme felt a little dated – and completely NOT us. However, after buying the house in February 2008, I went through a phase of painting Lil Tot’s room…then the kitchen…and then I think Hub got tired of constantly living amongst plastic dropcloths and paint cans and told me to stop.So this bathroom lingered for a long time, untouched. I purchased a Monet poster and a faux orchid thingy from Target to deck it out, for the sole reason that both items matched the color scheme. But I HATED this bathroom, and vowed to eventually do something about it.
In January of this year I finally decided: I was going to go modern, with gray and white and stark, raving mad bright orange. I wanted to go bold and cool and mix patterns and push myself out of my comfort zone. And after much browsing on Pinterest and design/home decor blogs, I finally took the plunge.
First, I painted the main wall facing the door white (Miller – straight out of the can eggshell-finish white!!). Once dry, I taped off my stripes, and added a contrasting gray stripe down with the help of this tutorial. (Thanks, Jen!) Then I painted 3 walls the same gray (Glidden Pebble, in case anyone is wondering) in a satin finish (for easy cleaning – important in a bathroom!). One afternoon I handed Lil Tot 4 colors of coordinating gray and orange paint (ignoring his pleas for “Blue! Blue!”) and asked him to paint me a picture on a 24″ x 24″ canvas I’d gotten from Michael’s. At first he was grumpy, but then got into it. After about 30 minutes or so, he was upset that his painting was awful. I said leave it for a day, and the next day try again. And lo and behold, the next day we got out the paints again, and I encouraged him to add more layers of paint over top the parts he didn’t like. And what do you know? He ended up creating a beautiful, personal piece of art that I just love, and am so proud to hang in our house. Plus, he was so proud of himself for painting something he really liked and not giving up the first time around. (To me, it looks like a police car spinning its wheels in the snow…but it could be anything, really.) Seriously, who needs Monet??!Then I found the perfect mirror to replace that hideous mirror at Target. A friend and I pried the builders’ mirror off following this tutorial, with the help of a short crowbar from Home Depot ($11!) it came off easily.
Inspired by this pin, I decided to make some washi tape gemstones on the wall. I bought some orange and grey-striped tape from Michael’s (the white was actually mat-mounting art tape from Dick Blick’s), and made some faceted shapes on the walls. (I really wanted to buy these wall decals – but just couldn’t afford them.:-(
We had the soap and lotion dispensers (Molton Brown White Mulberry, a Christmas gift from years ago…and if you can find this scent on Ebay I highly, highly recommend it!!), so I placed them on a little striped tray from Target. (Tray was bought around Christmas-time, and I haven’t seen it since the Spring at Target, sorry.)The ugly dust-collecting orchid got the boot, and was replaced with what was actually the Ace ceramic hurricane from ZGallerie. (Now on sale for $7.99, folks!) Inside I placed a clear glass vase I had for filling with flowers. Since the hurricane is open, I could also use a colored vase inside and have it peek through!
The books are Hub’s manga. I absolutely loathe having books in the bathroom – I think it ruins the books due to moisture and ugh! other bacteria floating around – plus, it looks super-tacky. But he loves reading them while doing his business (and leaving them all over the counter), so I just became the willow, bent, and covered his favorites in handmade Nepalese Lokta Bean paper and orange book cloth, both purchased from The Paper Source. Book-covering tutorial is here.
I added a lattice-pattern candle from HomeGoods that I just love – smells like lemongrass! – and a homemade baking soda deodorizer in a jar.
I created that following this tutorial, using baking soda and a couple drops of essential oils (about 2/3 what I put in was Eternal Essence Clean Cotton, and the remaining 1/3 Tangerine essential oil). I can’t recommend the Clean Cotton scent enough – it’s just amaaaazing!!!I used an old jam jar, and replaced the lid with a piece of orange cardstock I painted a pattern on with white paint, then punched holes into. If you feel the bathroom is stinky, just shake thejar from side to side holding it above where the smell is originating – and poof! Gone. No nasty chemicals, no cloying, overpowering scents. Beautiful.
The toilet paper holder got moved to the right utilizing a pivoting design…the previous owners must have been left-handed since all the toilet paper holders in our house are on the left side of the toilets! (With hastily-patched screw holes in the walls to the right of the toilets. I also got a matching towel ring for the wall next to the sink so Lil Tot stops dripping water all over the floor after washing his hands. And I replaced the cabinet pulls with silver hexagonal ones from the Home Depot.
And finally, towels: picked these two grey-and-white patterned ones at TJ Maxx, and I just love the geometric pattern on them. Perfect for our little sanctuary!
Every time I look at this room, I can’t help but smile. It’s so perfect. I want to spend all day in there. Well, not quite all day…. (Maybe that’s weird to share with the Internet…?)
But at least it’s not an eyesore and I’m no longer embarrassed when any guest visiting our house asks to use the bathroom. Yay for small comforts!
And one last time, BEFORE (above) and AFTER (below)…
What do you think? Would you have been able to go with a pop of bold color in such a small space? Or stick to muted pastels?
Home Decor, My DIYs, Of House and Home
home decor, makeover, My DIY Tutorials
Welcome to another installment of Chic for the Week
, where I share a couple shopping picks that have been on my mind lately.
Did everyone have a good weekend?
I wrapped a video shoot for Coveroo, this cool custom iPhone/iPad case company from San Francisco. After an 11-and-a-half hour shoot on Sunday, I was pretty much wiped out yesterday! We got some awesome shots, though, and the edit is coming together nicely. Couldn’t have done it without my amazing team!
In other news, the grass in my yard is practically all dead (so is everyone else’s nearby, so it doesn’t make me feel so bad) due to this long-lasting hot and dry weather, I keep finding baby ladybugs inside my house, my backyard tomato plant is going crazy and just put out about 7,835,611 tomatoes, and I caught a glimpse of the Supermoon while heading back from the shoot Sunday but have so far missed the Perseid meteor shower. All of them, really. Maybe tonight’s the night! (One can only hope…)
Here are a couple items on my wishlist for the week:
1.When it’s over 100 degrees daily, a cute little bodysuit will keep you cool (while keeping everything tucked in and pristine. This Backless Neon Pink Bodysuit is just the ticket (and great for a hot date too!)
2.Ah, Baublebar. You are my shameful addiction. No matter how many times I go back to your site, every time I find something new that is a must-have. And these Monochrome Galactic Drops Earrings? The price is so reasonable ($18!) and they have so many different color combos to go with that I really can’t help myself. I guarantee you won’t be able to resist either.
3.I lied. I actually bought this Re:Named Lasercut Skirt already. And it is just amazing – so uniquely chic and ladylike! And very cool in sticky-hot weather. Once the temps cool down I’ll be adding on a bit of fabric to the lining as I feel it’s just a little too short for year-round wear.
4. These Black Suede Peep Toe Tie Up Sandals show the perfect amount of sexy skin and yet still would look gorgeous paired with slim trousers or a shirt dress for a more demure look.
Hope everyone’s having a great start to the week!
Chic For the Week, Wishlist Items
FTC Disclosure: This post is part of a paid campaign with Stayfree and BlogHer. All opinions are my own. To read my full Disclosure Policy, click here.
Ladies: who’s with me when I say I need a little extra comfort during that time of the month? We all know how it is during our periods: the cramping, aching, irritability, exhaustion, bloating, and general annoyance. I tend to fall into a routine during this time: wearing loose, comfortable, non-restrictive clothing, indulging by curling up with an escapist book and a mug of my favorite Aveda Thé tea (with hints of peppermint and licorice root, yum!), and spending more time than usual just sitting on my bed to ease my aching back. I found also that doing a fun DIY project takes my mind of the general icky feeling that time of the month brings…and if it’s something that can also bring a little relief to my symptoms, so much the better!
My kitty mug: a gift my grandmother Baba – the only grandparent I ever knew – gave me for my 11th birthday (now more than 25 years ago!). I treasure it and only save it for when I’m feeling really down.
I’ve had this long lumbar pillow for a while (originally found at IKEA), and since I’ve been redoing my bedroom to add feminine pops of pink here and there, I felt like creating a brand-new pillowcase for it. Something beautiful. Something inspirational, that would motivate me beyond the blahs and get me to a better place mentally. Or just help prop me up when I feel like indulging in my tea + book combination. So why not a handwritten quote that I can look at and find motivation when I’m blue? It’s pretty easy to make your own, too. Here’s how: You Need:
piece of pink cotton fabric / white cotton fabric / pillow insert / invisible white zipper / sewing machine / matching thread / pins / fabric scissors / measuring tape / marking chalk / black Sharpie laundry marker
How To: 1. Measure your pillow and cut two pieces of fabric that are the measurements + 0.5″ all around for a seam allowance. I chose to use a patterned fabric for the back so my pillow would be reversible.
2. Cut a slightly smaller piece of the pink fabric.
3. Sketch the words on it with marking chalk. (It helps to place the fabric on something hard, like a cutting board, and use a piece of cut fabric as a guide to keep your words straight.) I just freehanded the words, using this picture as inspiration.)
4. Use a Sharpie to write the words and make it permanent. (I should have used a laundry marker, I realized, rather than a regular Sharpie.) 5. Pin the pink fabric to one piece of white fabric, centering it and folding under the raw edge.
6. Sew around the edge of the pink fabric to secure.
7. Make the two larger fabric pieces into a pillowcase by sewing the zipper to each piece with a 0.5″ seam allowance.
8. Open the zipper a small amount. Flatten the piece right sides together with the zipper at the top, and sew all the way around the remaining 3 sides of the fabric. 9. Turn right-side-out and stuff with your pillow insert. And that’s it! I could seriously stare at this quote all day: it helps snap me out of that “period funk” and gets me DOING things! When someone says “Comfort” this is what comes to mind: my bedroom, filled with soothing tones of lush green with gorgeous pink accents, a downy comforter on my memory foam mattress, and my beautiful Quote Pillow, that reminds me that we women can do anything we set our minds to. And can never be stopped by our periods.
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Home Decor, My DIYs, Of House and Home, Thoughts & Wisdom
Which is why I’ve neglected to post here this week, since we’ve (and by we’ve I mean my company Uncommon Era and I) have been in intense pre-production up until now for a commercial video shoot for this really cool company on Sunday. Fingers crossed that the shoot will go smoothly and we’ll knock this project out of the park…and then I’ll be able to get back to more regular posting here once we’re wrapped. Can’t wait to share with you all once it’s live!
See you guys again soon!
P.S. And yup, for all you cameraphiles out there we do indeed have a RED Scarlet we’re using tomorrow…super excited to get this camera and be shooting at 48 fps again – which looks amaaaaazing in post-production, gotta say. Woohoo!