Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Don't Throw Your Old Pillow Cases Away! Another Easy Pillow Project.

We recently bought a new bed that was a different size than our old one.  I was getting all of the old sheets together to give away when I found a set in the back of the linen closet that was made of cotton and cream colored.  Hmmm, I am always on the lookout for fabrics to make pillows with and love that a pillow case has a tight weave to take an iron on transfer really well.

I started by ironing the end of the pillow case really well.  (yes, the picture above is before I ironed it!)  :)  I then put a board inside of the pillow case so both sides weren't touching.

I printed off this cute bike graphic that I purchased for $1 from Graphique on etsy.com.


**** Please note that if you are trying to transfer a graphic with writing on it, be sure to FLIP the image in Picnik or other program before copying it.  (In Picnik, it's in the ROTATE tab).

I used my trusty Jolee's Easy Image Transfer sheets (purchased at Michael's)  and my inkjet printer. 

I cut pretty close to the image so there wasn't a lot of white edging showing.  I ironed it on and let it cool completely before peeling off the backing.


I used an Ikea pillow insert (the long, skinny one that's about 20"x14") that I had on hand.  I think the inserts are about $6 at Ikea.

I cut the open edge of the pillowcase to the size of the pillow insert and only had to sew one side.  

And here's the finished project:

This was such an easy project and cost me almost nothing!

I am excited to use the other pillow cases and the fabric from the sheets to make some more things.

Thanks so much for coming by!


 I am linking up to the following parties:

 French Country Cottage's Feathered Nest Friday
Savvy Southern Style's Wow Us Wednesday
You Are Talking Too Much's First Link Party
My Romantic Home's Show & Tell Friday
Unexpected Elegance's Transfer Link Party


Thanks for the Hug

I laughed out loud when I read my friend Linda's (at Lime in the Coconut) comment about the "group hug" I'd received though the comments to yesterday's post.  She's so right.  Thank you all so much for the kindness.  When I wrote the post yesterday, I was feeling as close to tears as I've felt in a really long time (I joked with my assistant Meghan that I was going to jump in her lap for a good cry.)  I honestly didn't write it looking for anything... In a way I use this blog as a journal, usually keeping off the drama/ boring / too personal stuff, but there are times when it comes out anyway.  (After I hit "publish" I thought I sounded like a whiny complainer.)  But I did end up getting something.  So many of you are in the same boat and somehow knowing that we're not alone-  faaaaar from it it- makes me feel better. 

Thanks for the hug.
{pic via pinterest via piccsy}

And there are so many different sides to it.  Many commenters are in completely different careers and it seems they still struggle with the same issues.  There are those moms who do decide to stay home and love it although can't help wondering "what if" just the way moms who go to work wonder "what if?  There are stay-at-home moms who feel like people think they are on easy street.  (Can I just say I can' disagree with this more??  Staying at home with children to me is the toughest job.  (I'm sure it's very rewarding but it is exhausting and those parents deserve a LOT of credit.)  Then there's the guilt that seems to be associated with all sides of motherhood.  One commenter raised a really interesting issue that in her workplace history, there has always been a "mommy" who she felt used her children as an excuse to get out of things and put more work on others.  Another mother commenting mentioned that she realized she had judged those decorators without children. thinking about what would happen to their careers once they did have kids.  I also realized I was judging the people who judged the "mommy" decorators.  (And just to clarify for any of those who asked, this isn't something imagined, I've actually heard of specific decorators using these terms in reference to others in a very negative way.)  My mom (who was a single parent for most of my childhood) said that childcare was always one of the toughest part about raising kids. 

When it comes down to it, I think we all have insecurities and questions ourselves sometimes.  I find that when I get really frazzled/ upset about something with my kids (such as the daycare situation yesterday morning) I start to question myself.  On normal days, things roll off my back & I'm even able to laugh or roll my eyes when I hear about haters, but when I'm emotionally charged like that, it all seems like it's tumbling down.

With Justin's case yesterday, I took him back to his existing daycare, which had turned over most of its teachers & its director over the summer.  We were less than thrilled to be taking him back to the center as we didn't love it last year & were planning on using it temporarily until we could find Mary Poppins, but when I got back to the daycare yesterday, it was worse than it had been the previous year.  The two ladies we looved -who had taken such good care of Justin- happened to be coming in later that day and those that were left seemed unconcerned that Justin was crying for so long.  I'd fully expected him to cry, I just expected he'd be picked up and comforted. 

Anyway, I have two kidinkies up right now so we're off for breakfast, but thanks for the shoulders yesterday.  I promise I'll get back to good stuff later this week.

{NOT a picture of our breakfast - i wish!!- image from the Awkward Bird}

On another note, we are installing a new project tomorrow.  (Thank goodness for my mom babysitting!!) My clients' house underwent a major renovation and all of the pretties are going in tomorrow!!

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact us about our design services.

Monday, August 29, 2011

"Mommy" Decorators

This morning we planned to have our kids start back up at daycare & a new school.  As you might remember from last year, it's kind of a tough time.  Our boys are 4 years old and 20 months old and finding the right kind of care that's best for us all has been tough, both emotionally and on the wallet.  This morning I went to drop Justin off (our 20 month old) at his old daycare and after I left the room I watched as he stood there and wailed for 5-10 minutes.  The caregiver had set him down the second I left the room and as I waited to fill out forms in the main office I could hear my baby crying his lungs out.  I peeked in and still no one was holding him...  I watched as a woman picked him up for a minute or so and then I came back again and he was standing there, balling alone.  They were crazy busy and I could see that there was so much going on, but still, it just felt wrong in my gut.  I told the director as much and left.  They tried to be nice but it just didn't feel right. 

...SO now I'm at home with Justin and no childcare, the day off, and a search for Mary Poppins. 

{Oh Mary...  we need you!!}

Being a working parent & having your own business has its own set of challenges.  I've actually heard people (without kids) talk down about working-designing-moms as if their businesses are somewhat of a joke.  I'm sure you're familiar with the terms "mommy decorators" or "mommy bloggers."  Does being a parent truly take away some sort of credibility in the design world?  Or does also being a blogger in addition to being a decorator mean that you don't deserve to be where you are?  (Clearly I don't think so, but sadly I've heard about people making this implication in general...  )

It's at times like this though- when I'm dealing with childcare issues and sit typing with a toddler on my lap- that I honestly start to wonder if these people are right???  I feel lucky to have gotten a shower in & to be dressed in normal clothes.  It's sometimes hard not to lose all confidence and wonder what in the world I'm doing or trying to do.  Am I just a "mommy" decorator faking it in the real world of suited interior designers? 

I'm clearly in a low spot right now to be even going on this rant, but I wish anyone thinking this way knew & understood all of the effort it takes to be where they are at 9 AM.  They might show up fresh & ready to rock, whereas the parent has been up for hours, having fed, bathed & dressed her kids for school and dropped them off and that's if everything went smoothly.  What exactly am I asking for? No it's not sympathy, but maybe a little understanding.  Because anyone who has to have someone else look after his or her children so he or she can go to work, is very serious about his or her career.  I think it's easy to quick-judge people and put them in a box.    (it's CLEAR that  I am ranting.. running from one working parent issue to the next.  please forgive me...  But I have to say, it is making me feel better ;)

Anyway, I'm off to go pick up Christian from his new school.  Fingers crossed all went well.   Sorry about the sort of down & out post. 
I'd love to hear your thoughts though as bloggers & readers on the "mommy blogger" / "mommy decorator issue."  Has anyone experienced what I'm talking about?

xoxo, Lauren

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Keep These Drop Cloths Off the Floor

I've seen so many great projects in blogland using drop cloths.  I found this one at Lowe's.  I think I paid $6 for it. 

I had my sewing machine out today and thought I'd try to make something.  Let me tell you, my sewing skills are very, very basic!  My 7th grade Home Ec teacher probably wouldn't be too happy, but really, all I am good at with the sewing machine is sewing simple straight lines!  

I cut out a piece of fabric and made sure I kept the side with the finished edge.  I used this for the top.  

I folded it in half, turned it wrong side out and sewed the bottom and side.  When I finished it, it was way too long for a bottle, so I sewed another seam about 5" up and cut it off there.  It fit the bottle nicely.  (of course I could've measured first to make it easier...)  :)

I added a piece of ribbon and it was done!  What an inexpensive and simple project. 

Here's another project I made.

I sewed three sides of the fabric and left the top alone.  On this one, I did not use the part of the fabric with the finished edge.

I then used a stencil and black craft paint.

Be sure to put foil or something between the layers of the fabric so the paint doesn't bleed through to the back.

 Spray it with a clear sealer and it's good to go.

I'm not sure how long it'll last outside, but I'm going to enjoy while it does.

I used less than half of the drop cloth to make both projects.

Thanks for visiting!


I am linking to the following parties:

Friday, August 26, 2011

Made to Measure Blinds

For anyone redecorating your home, one of the major things to take into consideration is the finish of the room and how you intend to dress your windows to complement your new interior.

Unfortunately, this also happens to be one of the most expensive items, as you can easily change your colour scheme and decor by changing the colour of the paint and opting to accessorise with a variety of throws or pillows, but changing your window dressing is more complicated and costly.
Since this is a more considered purchase, making sure you choose the right product, fabric and colour is paramount, along with choosing a reputable company that not only delivers on price, but also on quality and fit. 

Fortunately, Made to Measure Blinds come highly recommended by past customers of their products, giving you peace of mind and as important, they deliver on price and quality, providing affordable blinds in a fabric of you’re choosing.

On their website they have an extensive range available from roman, venetian, pleated and roller blinds. There are also many videos like the one above where you can view how to fit your favourite blind with step by step instructions.

But if it's not blinds you are looking for and you would prefer a set of curtains, there are many companies trading online today that stock various types of curtains along with designer curtain poles.

Keep an eye out for my next post which will be all about different types of curtain poles and curtains available online.

Top Tips For Autumn in Your Home

Adding seasonal elements to interiors makes homes feel more in touch with nature, offering an organic connection to the outdoors. While colours play an important roles in decorating for the season, other elements come into play as well. The most effective autumn d├ęcor will capture the mood of the season. Here are some useful tips for bringing the feeling of autumn into your home.

 Set the Mood

While spring is a time for renewed energy, autumn is associated with rest, relaxation and reflection. Furnishings that provide a sense of self-indulgence, pampering and luxury can establish an autumn mood. Choose rich textures in fabrics – velour, velvet, velveteen, silk – and materials with depth, sheen, and textured finishes – metals like gold, brass and copper are especially effective in fall.

Colour It Rich

Decorators and designers often recommend bright colours for fall, such as yellow, orange and red. While these bright tones do occur naturally in autumn, remember that outside, the effect of those bright colours are muted by the natural elements around them. In a home, clear bright shocks of colour can be overwhelming for many decorative styles. Instead, choose deep, rich, saturated shades. 

Outdoors In

A simple and effective way to bring the autumn season into a home is to decorate with fall leaves and flowers. It’s hard to beat the impact of masses of vibrant colour displayed in a vase or bowl. For a longer-lasting display, consider branches of autumn-coloured silk leaves. Natural fall leaves and flowers are perfect for autumn entertaining. Group them for centerpieces or artfully scatter them down the center of the table for an effective display.

 Focus on Fall

When it’s not feasible to redecorate an entire home for the season, create fall focal points throughout the home. It’s easy to establish an autumn vignette by arranging a throw blanket over the arm of chair, adding a jewel-toned cushion, and setting a bowl of pine cones on a nearby table. Changing the linens to fall patterns and colours adds a reflective mood to bedrooms. Add a fall wreath to the front door, leaf-patterned draperies to a window, or a set of gold-painted plates to a mantelpiece – a few simple touches can add up to a big impact when it comes to decorating a home for autumn.