Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Next Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model

Our puppy Sage thinks she's a model.
Anytime I pull out the camera, she starts posing.
She's such a ham.
Struting and stretching for the camera.
Turning away at just the right moment with a far off look in her eye.

Getting in the perfect position for that "swimsuit model on the beach" pose.
And there it is.
Nailed it.
Are you kidding me?
Until the wave hit. 
Whoops.
But Sage is smart, she know that sandy and wet is sexy, so back in position.
Is that a body or what?
And because she looks so damn adorable from all positions, here's the gratuitous butt shot.
You're welcome.
You gotta admit, it's a cute butt.  :)

I'm expecting that call from Sports Illustrated any day now.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I Heart Faces - Pet Week

It's Pet Week over at I Heart Faces!  I know you've all seen this photo on here before, but I just couldn't help but post it again.  Here's our baby Sage when she was super teeny tiny, had puppy breath and super sharp teeth.  Now she just smells like rawhide and wet dog all the time. :)  But we still love her.


Make sure to head over to I Heart Faces and check out all the other entries.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

DIY Upholstered Headboard

Oh, thank you all so much for the lovely comments on our master bedroom make-over.  I absolutely loved having design help from Kristin at Bien Living Designs.  I highly recommend hiring her for a Long Distance Design if you have any questions about decorating, shopping, color combos, accessories, furniture, etc.  She was so easy to work with and has great taste.  She was also very encouraging when I told her I was thinking about making a headboard myself, instead of buying one.  So I went for it.  

This was my inspiration headboard.  I had been drooling over this headboard for.ev.er.  It's from Restoration Hardware and costs $1,500.  Yikes.  I'm not super stingy, but even I couldn't come close to justifying spending that kind of money on a headboard.  Geez.


So, I did what any good crafter would do.  I searched blogs for someone that had made their own heardboard and copied them.  Easy enough!  My favorite DIY headboard tutorial was from a blog called Southern Exposure.  She did a great job walking me through the process.  And hopefully I can do the same for you.  

Step 1 - Go to Home Depot and buy a GIANT piece of plywood. 


Or if you're like me, you can make your husband go get it because there's no way in hell I can lift that shit.  I had no idea plywood was so heavy.


Since this is for a king-sized bed, I had Ryan pick up the biggest piece of 3/4 inch plywood they had, which was 4' x 8' - I think it cost around $20.  I thought he was going to laugh me out of the house when he dropped this off with a snide "good luck with your giant piece of plywood...I'm going to the baseball game."  And out the door he went, giggling at his silly little wife and her big ideas and power tools.  You'd think the man would realize that I have a Super Woman complex and think I can do anything I set my mind to. (I blame my parents for always believing in me.  Sheesh.  They created this monster. Terrible parenting.)    Oh boy, was he in for a surprise.

Step 2 - Cut the plywood to size 

So, the super giant piece was a little bigger/longer than I needed, so I pulled out my trusty circular saw and took a few inches off the side.  I ended up cutting that long piece into 2 pieces for the legs, but wait, I'm getting ahead of myself already.  If don't have a circular saw, have Home Depot cut the plywood for you.  They'll do it right there in the store and you don't have to even worry about it.  I think it costs like $2.00 or something.  

Step 3 - Choose the shape of your headboard.

There are so many really great headboard shapes out there, it was hard to decide what would look best in our space.  Ultimately, I went with the "Belgrave" shape, which was the same as my original Restoration Hardware inspiration headboard above and the same shape from the Southern Exposure blog.  I also really like the "Grosvenor" below, which was similar to the Belgrave, but with a curved top.  However, I thought it would be difficult to pull off cutting the plywood in a curve like that, so I scrapped that idea.  In my opinion, the simpler the better. 


In order to get the classic curved Belgrave shape, the Southern Exposure blogger used a compass to draw the curves.  Great idea.  Well, I tried that, but my compass was way too small.  Err.  So I improvised.  I took the lid of the trash can in the garage and traced it on the edge of the plywood.  Viola!  I did a couple different lines to see how much I wanted to take out.  It was a perfect circular edge.  Quite genius, if I do say so myself.




Step 4 - Cut out your headboard shape


Cutting along the curved lines requires a jigsaw.  Can I just say that I absolutely freaking love my jigsaw!  It may be the best $50 I've ever spent.  It's the coolest little, most adorable power tool ever.  I'd use it cut vegetables and paper and everything, if I could.  Seriously, it's amazing.  Sara + Jigsaw = love FOREVER.


Time to cut...better put on my safety goggles.  Don't want to lose an eye.
And that was it!
Once I had the cut-out portion of one side, I took that piece of plywood and used it as my template for the other side.  That was I'd be sure that they were exactly the same size.
And then do the other side.

Step 5 - Make the headboard legs.

While Ryan was at Home Depot, I also had him pick up a large sheet of MDF (medium density fiberboard), which cost about $15.  Why MDF?  I don't know, but Southern Exposure told me to, so I did.  I'm such a follower.  So, I cut (using my AWESOME jigsaw again) 2 large strips of MDF the same width as the plywood legs (remember, I told you about those above).  



I wanted a really tall "statement" headboard, so I made the legs pretty tall.  You can make them much shorter if you don't want such a tall headboard.  Or, if you're making a headboard for a small bed, you might not even need legs.  A lot of the headboards that I've looked at (the store-bought ones) just hang on the wall behind the bed.  However, my giant headboard was ridiculously heavy, so there was no way it was hanging.  I could just imagine that thing falling on us in the middle of the night and crushing us to death.  Seriously, Ryan would never let me live that down (even if we were dead), so legs it was! 

I attached the MDF legs with wood screws directly into the plywood.  Around 8 screws.  And then I took the extra plywood (remember that!) and attached it to the other side of the MDF leg, making them twice as thick as the plywood.  I figured this would give it some extra stability.  I wasn't really trusting that MDF on its own.

Step 6 - Frame the rest of the headboard with MDF.  

I think this one is pretty self explanatory.  I took more MDF scrap, screwed them to the plywood and then cut them to match.  

So the entire headboard was framed with MDF, 
which is where the nailhead trim would go later.
There she is!
Not too shabby, huh?  

Step 7 - Add a layer of foam for padding.



Well, I accidentally bought the wrong size foam (it was a little thicker than it should have been), which didn't turn out to be a big deal, but I would do it differently next time.  I bought 1 inch thick foam, but only had 1/2 inch thick MDF.  This meant that my foam padding would stick up a little higher than my MDF, instead of it all being even.  It really wasn't a big deal, but just wanted you to know it'd be better if it was flush.

I cut the foam padding with an Exacto knife to fit snugly inside my MDF frame.  Then I applied a thick layer of spray-on adhesive and let the foam dry to the board.  It didn't work all that well, but again, not a big deal.

So now it's ready for the fabric!

Step 8 - Position the fabric.

You're going to want to lay out your fabric (washed, cleaned and ironed) on a large clean surface.  Put the fabric "right-side" facing down on the ground/table.  Then add a layer or two of quilting batting.  I only added one thin layer - I wish I would have used a lot more to give it a much more "padded" look, but again, lesson learned and not a big deal.  Then position your headboard (also face-down or pad-side down) on the batting and fabric.  




At this point we made sure (again) that the fabric fit all the way around the headboard.  I think I purchased 4 yards of fabric for the project and cut it down to size.  I found a really pretty off-white quilted-looking fabric at Hancock Fabrics for about $20/yard.  We pulled the fabric tight on both sides around the edges and put in 1 staple (just to hold it in place) on each side.  Then we stood the headboard up, so we could make sure that the the fabric wasn't wrinked or bunching or lopsided or anything.  


Step 9 - Staple the fabric to the back of the plywood


You might need a little help on this part.  My mom was in town for the weekend, so I had her help me with the fabric wrapping.  Two sets of hands were crucial.  One person pulled and smoothed the fabric, while the other person stapled.  

My staple gun sucked-ass, so every third staple or so, it jammed and I had to unplug it and stick a screwdriver in to yank out the staples.  The staple gun needs a lesson in being awesome from my jigsaw.


We did a few staples on one side, then moved over and did a few on the other side.  Back and forth making sure everything was pulled tight and looked good in front.


We had to cut the corners of the fabric quite a bit in order for us to be able to stretch it tight over the curves.  The fabric I picked had a slightly quilted look and was not stretchy at all - a jersey-type fabric would have been much easier to stretch.  I really wanted that curve to be well defined and the points to be dramatic.   If I had more batting in between the fabric and the plywood, I probably couldn't have achieved this as well, so maybe it was better that I only used a thin piece.  Whatever, I'm sure you could care less. 


So here's what the back looks like.  And then I added about 600 more staples to make sure it stayed.


Step 10 - Cut fabric for the legs.


If your headboard legs won't be showing you can skip this step.  However, I wanted the headboard to be slightly larger (length-wise) than the bed, so it would stick out a little on both ends.  Why?  No idea, I just did.  So that meant that I had to wrap the legs too.  I cut a couple scrap pieces of the fabric, ironed the top hem so it would line up with the quilting on the other fabric, and wrapped the legs.
Again, it was nice having another pair of hands to help with the wrapping (and also to take a ton of terrible pictures of you while you look like total shit that you intend to plaster all over the internet.  Seriously, why didn't I put on some make up? Ugh.)
Ta da!
Step 11 - Apply nailhead trim


That awesome blogger over at Southern Exposure bought upholstery tacks and hammered in every single nail all the way around her entire headboard.  It looks amazing.  And I'm impressed.  And I'm also WAY too lazy to do that.  So, I went online and bought this "nailhead trim" - which is basically a length of ribbon-like nailhead trim that has a hole every 5 tacks where you attach it to your upholstery project.  1/5 of the amount of work!  Bingo!  You can buy a roll just like this (10 yards) for around $20 on Amazon.
So I started at the bottom and worked my way up and over and back down the other side.  WARNING: This shit is sharp and will cut the hell out of you.  You will cry.  And you will bleed all over your pretty white fabric.  Which will make you cry even harder.


Other than the bleeding and crying, the trim was pretty easy to work with.   I gave myself a 2 inch edge around the entire headboard.  The only thing I was not thrilled about was the difference in color between the actual "nailhead trim" and the so-called matching nails.  The trim was silver and bright.  The nails were pewter and dark.  So, every 5 nails on my trim is a slightly different color.  

At first I was kind of pissed off about this, but now I don't mind it at all.  You can't really tell (well, you can now since I pointed it out, duh.).  Maybe it's grown on me or maybe I'm just too lazy to care.


And that's it!  It's ready to be carried in and stuffed behind the bed. 

Step 12 - Put the head board in place behind the bed and force your husband to eat his words.

I didn't do anything with the headboard other than just stick it behind the bed.  It's not attached to the wall or the bed.  It stays just fine and I haven't had any issues with it.  If you want, you can attach it to the bed frame, to keep the mattress/frame from moving away from it.  Or attach it to the wall behind the bed.  Or do nothing.  

And here's the final result.
I love it!


My husband spent quite a lot of time apologizing profusely for doubting my headboard making abilities.  Oh, how he had to eat his words.  I think he should have known better, but he's quite impressed with me about this project.  I like that.


So, the whole cost of the project was about $160.  

Plywood = $20
MDF = $20
Fabric = $80
Batting and foam = $20


Compared to the Restoration Hardware headboard that was $1,500...this is a STEAL!
And I think it looks just as good!

What do you guys think?

Anyone considering making their own headboard?  


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I Heart Faces - Beautiful Eyes

I know it's been a while since I did one of these, but this week's theme over at I Heart Faces is "Beautiful Eyes" and I just couldn't resist this one.  I knew exactly which photo I wanted to enter.  This is my gorgeous friend Stephanie.  I seriously think she has some of the most incredible eyes ever.  




Make sure to head over to I Heart Faces to check out all the other entries.



Monday, August 15, 2011

Master Bedroom Makeover - Before & After

A year ago, I won a a giveaway on OMG I'm a Mom blog for a long-distance remodel from the amazing Kristin at Bien Living Designs.  Remember that?  (Post is here.)  Man, that feels like a long time ago. I decided to use Kristin's service to redecorate our master bedroom.  The way Kristin's service works is that I gave her pictures and info on the room, then gave her all the details about my taste, my color ideas, my budget, etc. and she gives me a presentation with her ideas for furniture, artwork, floor plan, colors, accessories, etc. with links to all the items and prices.   Then it was up to me to buy what I want/like and implement her plan on my own time frame.   It was perfect for me.


So, let's get right into the BEFORE pictures.  It almost makes me cringe to look at these photos and think that we lived with this horrible room for so long.  This make-over was WAY overdue.  As you walk into the bedroom, this is what you saw...

Yeah, I know.  It's bad.  


The room is white (and very bright), which can make sleeping in hard on weekends.  The furniture is temporarily borrowed from Ryan's parents, just until we could find something else that we loved.  The TV is old and giant and sitting on a printer stand from my office set, the rest of which is downstairs in the actual office.  And the end tables are mix-matched cheap tables that came from who the hell knows.  


The bones of the bedroom are really great though.  It’s a large room, with good natural light, big windows, white wooden plantation shades and hardwood floors. The previous owners had two of the most hideous gold wall-mounted bedside lights that I’ve ever seen next to the bed and they had to go first thing.


The room also didn't have any overhead light – just a really ugly white ceiling fan.  I hate ceiling fans, but my husband loves having a fan in the bedroom while he sleeps, so we decided to stick with a fan.  However, I wanted a ceiling fan upgrade, if we could find something prettier (and with a light).  


Kristin's first question to me was, "What is your style and what do you want your space to feel like when entering?"  I told her I’d like our bedroom to feel fresh, clean, romantic and classic.  I’m pretty conservative when it comes to decorating - I like traditional pieces, dark wood, rich colors, clean lines.  But I also wanted to mix things up a bit.  I want to find a happy medium between too matchy-matchy and too random/hodge-podge.  I want to walk into the bedroom and feel relaxed and cool and peaceful (dare I even say, sexy?).  The bedroom may be clean every now and then (when we have company coming over), but usually it was a disaster with clothes everywhere and piles of junk and it just completely stressed me out.  I want peace.



Question #2 was about a color scheme.  This one was hard for me.  I was all over the place.  My whole house is pretty "warm" with browns and greens and tans.  I love those colors, but I wanted something different.  I loved the idea of doing something with grey.  That just sounded romantic and cool and calm.  And with the grey, I wasn't sure about an accent color, but I loved the idea of doing metallics (silver, gold, pewter, etc.).  Crazy?  Maybe.


Kristin also asked if there was anything in the room that we wanted to keep.  The only thing I wanted to keep were our white bedding and linens.  Our plain white/cream linens and sheets were wedding gifts, so I wanted to keep those.  I just love white linens.  They always feel so fresh and clean and crisp.  We use a white quilt in the summer months and a big down comforter with a white duvet for the colder months.  


I also mentioned to Kristin that I'd finally (after years of searching) found the bedroom set that I wanted and it was ordered and being made in the Ethan Allen processing plant as we spoke.  This was August and it wasn't going to be delivered until at least December, so we had time to work on getting everything else in place.  I had purchased two dressers from Ethan Allen's American Artisan collection, both in chocolate with brushed nickel knobs.  One was a long and short chest of drawers and the other was a tall combination dresser/media cabinet.  I also ordered a large round silver mirror to go over the long dresser.  Ryan’s job would be to find a new flatscreen TV for the media armoire.  That boy loves his flatscreens. 

These are the dressers in another color.

I also told Kristin that I wanted to mix some modern elements in with the traditional furniture I bought.  I loved the dark wooden headboard and nightstands that went with the dressers, but I thought that might be overkill – too much dark and heavy wood.  So I bought the bright round silver (almost retro looking) mirror (also from Ethan Allen).  And I was was thinking about glass/silver/mirrored end tables, but I didn't really know.  And finally, I wanted an upholstered headboard, if possible.  Something big and dramatic and pretty.  I found one at Restoration Hardware that I loved, but it was way out of my budget.

So, with all that, Kristin was ready to go.  I figured that she really had her work cut out for her with this one, but she turned the project around in no time.   The very first thing we did was pick a wall color.  Kristin suggested Benjamin Moore's Amherst Grey, which I instantly fell in love with.  It's a gorgeous rich grey shade with a slight hint of brown that would match the furniture.  She said that the dark walls would add in instant glamour to the space and it definitely did.

I bought the paint that day and immediately called in my recruits to help with the painting.  




So we had a color.  Perfect.  Next step would be accessories and decor.  This is what I needed the most help with.  So here is the visual presentation of accessories that Kristin gave me.  

Awesome, no?
I loved it.

Kristin said she went back and forth on an accent color to go with the grey and finally settled on this deep turquoise/jewel tones.  It looks great together!  She said that she found a lot of inspiration and products at West Elm, which would add the  perfect modern touch to my more traditional furniture.  She gave me links to all the items presented and explained how to best incorporate them in to the room.  

Now it was just up to me to implement the design and make the space my own.  I loved having a starting point for all of this and an idea board for inspiration.  It helped so much!  Of course, our tastes are a little different and I changed my mind about a couple things here and there, but the main concept of the room held. 

Sooooooooooooooo....are you ready for the AFTER pictures?

Here's the finished product!

Do you love it?!!!  I do.

Kristin suggested this Jill Rosenwald Rug (Fallon) for the room in turquoise.  I loved the idea, but I just couldn't pull the trigger on buying a turquoise rug.  I'm such a decorating wimp!  I have such a hard time being daring!  So, I went with the same run in gray.  I just thought I might be able to use the rug again somewhere else, should I decide to redecorate in the future.  Gray is neutral...turquoise was just too scary for this girl.


I went to Lowe's to pick up the ceiling fan that Kristin suggested, but I couldn't find it.  And then I saw this silver one and loved it, so I bought it instead.  It's the only ceiling fan I've ever liked.  

Kristin gave me the link to these gorgeous sheer linen window panels from West Elm.  I went with the plain ivory ones, long enough for them to slightly pool on the ground.  This added great height to the room and fills the room with a romatic gauzy diffused light.   The mirrored nightstands were perfection.  Exactly what I was looking for.  They're from Pier One Imports.  The pillows are from all over.  Although I did get the Deconstructed Rose pillow from West Elm that she suggested.  Love it!  Kristin also picked these stacked ball glass lamps with white shades from Pier One.  I found the same lamps at Home Goods for a fraction of the cost!  Score!
    
The headboard.is one of my favorite parts of the room.
It's DIY, y'all!  
Yes, I made it!
  And I'm pretty proud of it!
I'm so happy with the result.  
Tutorial HERE!
The chair in the corner is velvet with a beautiful sheen of pewter/gold.  It looks brown in the pictures, but it's not really that brown.  It was a find from The Foundary.  I need to get a white/grey pillow to put in the chair.
The two smaller hanging mirrors are from Pottery Barn.  I thought they pulled the silver and gold elements of the room together nicely.  The silver jewelry box was a gift from my parents.  And the vase is something I found at Target on the clearance shelf for $5.  And yes, that's a doily!  My grandmother made it.
 
Ryan also did his job and got us all set up in the audio/visual department.
Wall mounted flat screen that pulls out and rotates.
Not too shabby.
And there you have it.
It's not completely finished, but close enough.  And since it's been a full year since I last blogged about this, I figured it was finally time to give you an update.
I definitely think it has the fresh, clean, romantic, classic look I was going for.
It no longer stresses me out.
I'm at peace in this room.

So, remember what it looked like before?  No?  Me either, I've been trying to forget.  
I love before and after shots, here they are.






I can't even believe it's the same room.  

What do you think?  Do you like?




Rug: Jill Rosenwald (Fallon in Gray)
Ceiling Fan: Allen & Roth
Headboard: DIY
Pillows: Desconstructed Rose Pillow
Lamps: Pier One
Nightstands: Hayworth from Pier One
Furniture: Ethan Allen American Collection
Large Round Mirror: Ethan Allen
Small Mirrors: Pottery Barn
Curtains: Sheer Panels from West Elm
Chair: The Foundary
Paint Color: Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray