1.30.2012

It's Curtains for the Gauze

There are a few things that have been bugging me about our guest room for a while. One, I still haven't done anything about that big, blank wall on the south side of the room, and two: those totally sheer, totally cheap-looking, totally gauze-like curtains that were left there by the previous owners. In a room with such light colors throughout, these curtains just made the room look too cutesy, too much like a nursery.... which this room will not be turned into for quite some time. We needed some curtains that would add a more structure, mature look.


After a quiet few weeks on the home-decorating front, Eric and I deemed last weekend "Get S*&#! Done" weekend, and the top priority on my list? Call it curtains on those curtains.

I headed out to Jo-Ann Fabric on Saturday, bringing along one of the pillow shams from the guest room bed. I wanted to find a fabric close enough to the purplish/magenta color found on the comforter. The stars were aligned, because I managed to find some thick, drape-quality home decor fabric that matched the color almost perfectly - and I found it in the "as is" discounted section of the store! When I brought the bolt up to the cutting desk, I asked the woman why it was being sold "as is." She unrolled the bolt and we noticed there was some adhesive residue near the end of the roll. As I knew I'd be making curtains, I said I'd work to get the adhesive off with rubbing alcohol, and if it didn't all come off, I'd do my best to ensure the less-than-perfect portion of the fabric was used on the inside of the pocket rod, once sewn. I ended up getting five yards of this durable, thick, perfectly-matching fabric for $32. 

I planned to make these curtains in the same no-sew style as I did for all the rest of the curtains I'd made for the house. But because these necessitated a pocket rod, I needed to pull out the sewing machine to make the pocket. I happily stitched away on my first panel until I noticed I am a complete jackass and forgot to change the color of the thread to match my fabric - bright white stitching on maroon fabric does not look classy, you guys. Now, remember, although I love keeping myself busy with projects around the house, I'm incredibly lazy, and didn't want to spend any time ripping out the long stitch I'd just made to my soon-to-be curtain panel. So I dug through the craft room, opened up my "grab bag" of ribbon I'd purchased from a Value Village thrift store weeks earlier, and found some old rick-rack a shade of sky blue that matched the color of the guest room comforter perfectly. Fantastic! I would cover up my tacky white stitch with some pretty blue rick rack, adding visual interest to the top of the curtains.

You guys, this rick-rack was old vintage. Check out what I found on the inside of its wrapper.
Teenage glamour, indeed.

After realizing I had no idea how to attach rick-rack to anything, I called my mom and she said I should just try stitching a straight line right down the middle.
Not perfect, but too shabby for a first timer! 


After sewing the pocket rod pocket, I simply hemmed up the additional sides by my no-sew method - good ol' Stitch Witchery and an iron. I repeated the process three more times, and was elated when I discovered I had JUST enough blue rick-rack for all four panels - with just four inches left over!

The final result:



Before, with the cheesy, gauze-y curtains:

And after, with the much better-looking, matching, handmade curtains.

Ahhh... You guys, I feel so much better. Those sheer curtains not only looked tacky, but they provided absolutely no barrier from sunshine pouring into the room, which I'm sure our overnight guests have not appreciated when woken up by the sun at 6 a.m. They also just fit so much better in the room - they match, they're more "mature"-looking, and they drape perfectly to pool on the floor for about half an inch. And my little "oops" moment when sewing them, with the ensuing recruitment for a strip of rick-rack, turned into a great opportunity to add detail and interest to the curtains - talk about turning lemons into lemonade!

Total cost of our new curtains? $32 for the fabric, and probably about 20 cents for the rick rack, which came in a grab-bag of about 15 different spools of vintage ribbon that I paid $3 total for at Value Village. 

I'll keep the gauzey curtains stashed away for a while to see if I can somehow use the fabric in the wedding - creating fabric flowers or table skirting or ribbon or something - never let scrap fabric go to waste! 



What "oops" moment have you taken advantage of to create an even-better-than-planned outcome? All it takes the the ability not to freak out, and some creative thinking!





1.27.2012

Your Weekly Pins

Another Friday, another week of pins! Here's what caught my eye on Pinterest this week...




HOME DECOR
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[Sigh... how sweet and breezy is this front entryway? That adorable butter-yellow door just looks so friendly and bright. How could you not feel happy when walking in to this house?] 


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[I'm a big fan of of those industrial-looking cage-light pendants you've undoubtedly been seeing all over the Web (that's right, I said it - THE WEB. Apparently it is 1998). But I LOVE this spin on them - pendant lamps using mason jars! How rusticly perfect.]




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[I'm a fan of big graphic letters. It's my dream to stumble across some big, old, standalone letters from an old gas station or retail store... and them somehow find a place for them in our house. But until then, here's a great tutorial for simple faux-metal letters perfect for making a statement (literally) in any room.]


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[How adorable are these tea towels? I love their bright colors - not to mention they'd match out kitchen decor perfectly! So pretty.]






BAKED GOODS
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[Winter sure took its time to get to Milwaukee, but now that it's here, I can't think of anything more comforting than a nice, warm mug of hot chocolate... oh, except this insane-looking BAKED hot chocolate... Now I need a snowstorm for an excuse to gobble this up.] 


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[We've got a bag of almond flour that's been chillin' in the fridge (see what I did there?) for a while now, unsure of exactly what to use it for. The answer? Chocolate-chip cookies, of course! I'm definitely going to try out this recipe for almond-flour chocolate-chip cookies this weekend... if all goes well, I'll share it with you all!]






I CAN HAZ STYLE?
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[Umm.. how pretty is this outfit?? It would be impossibly not to feel like a dainty, classy lady (even while chowing down on ribs, I'm hoping...) while wearing this outfit. Love the ultra-light pastels.]




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[Oh, Anthropologie, how do you know me so well? It's time to push my other 25 cardigans a bit farther back into the closet, because if I owned this baby, it'd be my new favorite, hands down.]




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[Oh J.Crew, you're only slightly behind Anthropologie for winner of my fashion heart. This gorgeous purple skirt could be dressed up or dressed down - how would I wear it? With a tucked-in, heather-gray v-neck t-shirt and long, chunky necklace. Of course, while wearing a messy bun.] 


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[This outfit just screams "me," and not because I definitely already own those boots. But I love that dress and the gray cardigan with bow-detailed pockets - how sweet!A great mix of soft and rugged touches.] 




GETTIN' HITCHED
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[I am head-over-heels in love with this numbered fabric flag to use as a table numbers. They bring such a fun touch of color and personality. So much more fun than a simple number, printed on cardstock, held up by a wire picture holder.]


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[This bouquet is absolutely perfect - not fussy, but romantic and full of interest. The best part? The bride made it herself using flowers ordered from FiftyFlowers.com! It's good to see such a beautiful hand-crafter bouquet... because I'm fairly certain I'll be making my own, as well!]




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[At our wedding, people WILL CERTAINLY be breaking it down. Breaking it down hard. So hard it will be physically impossible to continue wearing heels. Therefore, having an adorable option of dancing shoes like these cloth Mary Janes would be perfect - the ladies could protect their feet while still looking cute, without rubber flip flops. I love this idea.]


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[First of all, I love this color palette. It looks like an ice-cream stand from a Rockwell painting. Secondly, how cute is the pure look of elation on these girls' faces? I absolutely love how happy this picture is.] 


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[I know, I know... I said I wasn't going to share any of the dresses I pin (ladies, if you're curious, you can find them on my "Gettin' Hitched - Dresses" board), but I can honestly say I won't be wearing a short dress, so this is an exception. It's sort of a shame I won't be a short-dress bride, because how freaking cute is this one by BHLDN? Those layered lace ruffles are just the sweetest.]


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[Do you remember, all the way last summer, when we went to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and I fell in love with this wooden mail-sorter... but had no idea what to do with it? Well... here is your answer. The perfect idea for either a card holder or a guestbook, where your guests leave notes in envelopes! Ugh, I'm kicking myself for not buying that when I had the chance. Such a great idea!] 






I WANT TO GO TO THERE
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[This one I pinned for sheer nostalgia's sake. The good ol' Maid-Rite, possibly the most famous building in my hometown of Greenville, Ohio. People crave these loose-meat sandwiches like a drug (notice the line of care on the street? The line for the drive-thru is rarely less than five cars deep at any time of day). And their peanut-butter milkshakes are probably the best I've ever had (and I'm not just being a homer when I claim this). Best of all (though, depending on who you ask, possibly grossest of all)? Those little speckles around the building? That's gum. Thousands and thousands of pieces of gum have been affixed to the Maid-Rite's famous "gum wall." If you've been in Greenville and haven't put gum on the wall, well.... then you really haven't been to Greenville at all.]




There are plenty more where these came from! To see everything I pin, all week long, follow me on Pinterest.







1.23.2012

Vegan Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas

I've often said if pigs didn't exist, I could easily go vegetarian. I'm sorry, I know that sounds horrible and I'm totally missing the point of vegetarianism (it's not just about not eating meat, it's about the cruelty behind it), but forgive me - pork is my kryptonite and I just can't get past that beautiful hoggy flavor. However, let's say all pigs got wiped off the face of the Earth (this is not an Earth I ever want to exist in) - I'd be armed with a hoard of amazing vegetarian recipes that would keep me happy, satisfied and possibly not thinking about pork ribs for a few months.

This is one of them.

I'd been craving Mexican food for a while, but not enough to put on real human pants and go out to a real human restaurant where I would have to interact with real humans. I also wanted something a bit healthy this weekend, so I looked over to my fail-proof blog, Oh She Glows, for some inspiration. Angela over at Oh She Glows has never posted a recipe that I've tried and haven't loved. She's got a way with making amazing vegetarian, and often vegan or gluten-free, recipes that are filled with flavor and well-balanced nutrition. I'd remembered I'd seen her recipe for black bean and sweet potato enchiladas a while back, so I searched for it and knew just from the list of ingredients it would be a winner.

I'm not going to post the recipe here, because, aside from adding a few different spices, I followed hers almost exactly as she wrote it. There's no need to deviate.

It was a little labor-intensive with a lot of chopping (and wiping your eyes from onion tears), but just look at the amazing color of the enchilada filling as it's simmering on the stove!

The real kicker in these enchiladas is the amazingly creamy avocado-cilantro sauce. Avocado and cilantro are two of my favorite flavors, and all mixed together in a rich, vegan sauce, it's to die for when slathered over the rolled and cooked enchiladas.



The recipe makes four large enchiladas, with plenty of stuffing left over (I recommend dipping tortilla chips in the leftover mix). Eric and I started out with two on our plates, but after we each ate just one, we were stuffed!

This is one of the best meat-free recipes I've made in recent memory - the enchiladas were perfectly spiced and seasoned, and they were so filling. Simply delicious. If you'd like to make these yourself, as I highly suggest you do, check out the recipe over on Oh She Glows, and look around the rest of her blog for more amazing vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free recipes. To die for!




1.20.2012

Your Weekly Pins

Another Friday, another weeks of pins! Here's what caught my eye on Pinterest this week...




HOME DECOR
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[When I saw this home's Sneak Peek on DesignSponge this week, I went crazy for it instantly. Every room is filled with so much character, personality and is so well balanced. The gallery above is filled with the perfect amount of kitsch, and I just love the juxtaposition of the gun to the "NO GUNS" sign.]  


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[Believe it or not, this ultra-girly vanity station is in the same house as the above picture! Those pink stripes are so cute in this space - how could you not feel pretty applying your makeup at that vanity?]


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[These chandeliers seriously knock my socks off. There's something somewhat steam-punkish about them (maybe it's their likeness to hot-air balloons?), while they could easily be classed up in any room.]


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[What a sweet little room this is - from the wall color to those great drapes framing the window behind that amazing headboard, this room is so well put together.]




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[Y'all know I'm quite a fan of chevron, so when I saw this pattern for a woven rug, I flipped! We desperately need a new rug in our living room (our current cream-colored one has just gotten too dirty beyond repair), and this one would look beautiful!]




FOOD
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[These s'mores truffles not only look delicious, but they would be a perfect treat at our wedding, considering our proposal story...]




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[Being an avid consumer of Asian slaw, I was incredibly intrigued upon seeing a recipe for a spicy Mexican slaw... I've got to try this!]




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[My friend Megan knows of my obsession with peanut butter and chocolate, so when she sent me the recipe for this Peanut-Butter-Cup Popcorn, she had to know she hit a home run! I mean, popcorn is one of my top-three foods, and peanut butter cups aren't far down the list, either. I will be making this THIS WEEKEND.]


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[I was gifted some great cast-iron skillets this Christmas and have been itching to put them to use! I can't possibly think of a better way to christen those skillets than with this ridiculous-looking Deep Dish Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie. You read that right. Now you may want to dry that drool from your chin....] 




I CAN HAZ STYLE?


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[I've become a big supporter in this mismatched patterns trend. Mixing stripes and polka dots hooks me in just about every time, and although there's no way I could pull off those skin-tight mint jeans, I'm glad someone else can, because they're just too adorable.]




great green
[A color that's been growing on my lately is this gorgeous kelly green. I love the pleating on this beautiful dress - I have a feeling it'd be flattering on almost anyone (especially you lucky green-eyed girls!]


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[Oh, do you think I'd get away with a week where I don't pin a yellow dress? Do you not know me by now at all??? This one SCREAMS "me!" - I love the bright stripes and belt. Can it please be summer so I can wear this NOW (preferably on a boardwalk somewhere??)]






I WANT
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[While not exactly the most practical piece of electronics, this keyboard is absolutely fantastic. It's marketed as The Keyboard for Happy People - my thoughts exactly!]




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[Speaking of happy products, how adorable are these vintage Pyrex casserole dishes? I love the colors and old-school patterns. These would give life to any potluck!]






CRAFTS
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[Yes, yes, mason jars are all the rage - and those blue-tinted ones? Especially popular. The thing is, colored mason jars are somewhat hard to come by - except if you magically tint your own! I am SO excited to try this project out - and to use the finished products at our wedding!


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[I've made a few fabric flowers before, but I really love this style - they're perfect for shoe clips, headbands and embellishments for shirts, belts and purses!]






GETTIN' HITCHED


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[Weddings are expensive. Paper marketed for use at weddings is marked up to asinine levels. But, with a little work and a handy paper cutter, it's possible to DIY your invites and envelopes and still make them look great. This tutorial for DIY pocketfold invitations is easy-to-follow and gives me hope that, yes, I can do this myself.] 




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[Obviously I'm pro bunting, here (as illustrated by the banner of this blog), but I don't limit my love to only triangle-shapes flags. Oh no, these DIY paper doily garlands are so, so pretty and look very easy to make.]




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[As our venue is a park building, its one drawback is its bathrooms are still open to the public during our reception. I really don't mind too much, and if anyone turns their nose up at our wedding because they have to share bathrooms with happy kids who've just toddled in from the playground, that's their issue. However, I'm going to try to "cuteify" the bathrooms as much as possible - and I love this idea of putting childhood photos of Eric and I under the signs to our respective bathrooms.]




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[I know I said I wouldn't post dresses on the blog any longer, but I just had to share this photo. The back of this dress is stunning - SO incredibly beautiful and delicate.]


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[Another beautiful photo - how amazing did this one turn out with the shadow of her lace parasol draping across her shoulders? Gorgeous.]




There's more where these came from! To see all my pins, all throughout the week, follow me on Pinterest. I'd love to follow you back!





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