Archive | October, 2010

I’ll get you my pretty!

29 Oct

I’ll get you my pretty!

She wanted to be a witch.

I said no.

She said please.

I still said no.

She said I can be a cute witch?

I said fine.

She said we can make me a hot pink tutu?

I said you are my child, aren’t you?

And we made a hot pink and black tutu with sparkly fabric underneath…but you can’t see it because I sewed the sparkly fabric backwards.  But don’t tell her because she thinks, because I told her, it was supposed to be like that.

And we found fabulous hot pink and black tights at Target.  And the hat.  And the broom which she picked out because it looked ‘vintage.’  Don’t you love her?

The entire costume cost about $10 and only about 5 minutes to make the skirt.  (tutorial alert!)

And definitely her most favorite…which is priceless.

Happy Halloween!

Canon XS, 50mm f1.8, ISO 200, 1/250

Inspiration: Burlap and Muslin Project Ideas

29 Oct

Inspiration: Burlap and Muslin Project Ideas

You know I love burlap!!  It’s become an obsession lately. Here are some new inspirational items made with burlap and other vintage type material found the flea market.

They are all newly made creations…some are actually made with vintage fabric and others are made to look like vintage fabric.

The above muslin printed pillows are printed to look antique.

Mixed fabric types used on the pic below – the crown gives it a Juicy Couture type effect.

Mixed prints and colors.  I love the bright green combination.

Here are several chairs made with antique fabric.  The last one with the light red stripe is my favorite!

To see more items with burlap, click here.

The one that got away

28 Oct

The one that got away

I pondered over these legs forever at the flea market so confused about them.  There had to be something GENIUS they would make?!?

But no genius thoughts came.  Genius was now where in sight.

I couldn’t justify buying them.  I walked away defeated and didn’t bother asking how much they cost.

And then Carrie made her bench.  The two hour, looks so darn easy to make bench.   And then it hit me….I could have made my own bench.

Those legs would have made a killer small bench for the vanity I’m restoring!

The vanity even has claw feet!

I could have had a vanity and bench both with claw feet!!

I hate it when I miss out.  But it’s not possible to buy everything.   I guess it’s either become a hoarder or miss out on a few things. :)

Is it cold? No…it’s hot

26 Oct

Is it cold?  No…it’s hot

That’s the weather here in Texas right now.  Wake up…its chilly.  By lunch time…you’re sweatin’.

It’s sad when your children wake up in the morning, step outside to feel the 60 degree air and scream in terror “IS IT CHRISTMAS?”  Like Santa is really ready for Christmas??

And yes, that is a true story.  They thought it was Christmas…in September because the temperature dropped below 90 degrees.

We really never know how to dress but I do know:

I have alot of tank tops.

I own a boyfriend cardigan in every color under the sun.

I wear flip flops year ’round.

I love my 7 jeans.

And I go crazy over cheap jewelry.

Here is what my go-to outfit consists of:

Comfy casual

My favorite jeans…a plain tank top…bright scarf…fun cardi…great, cheap jewelry…and flip flops.

I carry a big bag that holds only 2 of my things, my phone and wallet…the rest of the space belongs to a 2 year old’s goldfish, trucks, and Buzz Lightyear and 8 year old’s gum, Justice magazine, and fancy water bottle.  Can you feel my pain?

You can find a super cute cardigan like the one above at Target.  Who doesn’t love Target?

A bright hot pink scarf and these fabulous ankle boots at Forever 21 for your date night with your hubby.

I think you deserve to buy yourself something fun today…because it’s Tuesday and you’re fabulous.

And there are only 60 days left til Christmas.

Love ya friends!

Artisanal LA – Highlights for the Foodies!

25 Oct

Artisanal LA – Highlights for the Foodies!

Don’t read this post if you are hungry.  The sights on this page will surely intensify your pain!

Overwhelming amounts of yummy food were at the Artisanal LA event.  I’ll be honest.  I ate so much I was miserable.  The vendors all served these teeny tiny little tasters which seemed harmless…  yeah harmless until you eat about 200 of them.   There was just so much to sample.  Most of the bakers made sweets which didn’t help!

Here are some of my favorites I wanted to share with you.

The first is Tartist.  Just look at their presentation and their tarts.  Perfection.

Even their name and logo is flawless.  I had to take a picture of their logo.  I am sucker for good marketing.  What can I say, I love design…even if it is business related.


Chocovivo is stone ground chocolate.  And molded by hand.

Plush Puffs are marshmallows.  Homemade delicious marshmallows.  The special feature at Plush Puff’s booth was a small fire that allowed you to toast your marshmallow.  I toasted a caramel marshmallow and was in heaven! I don’t think I can ever eat store bought marshmallows again after tasting these homemade goodies.

Olive Revolution had a huge assortment of olive spreads and olive oils.  They were all wonderful and I tried just about everything they offered.  I love olives!!  They are located in Santa Barbara.  Olive Revolution encourages visits to their general store and they also offer tastings.  Santa Barbara isn’t that far from where I live so next time I am in the area, I will check them out.

Olive Revolution also had something I have never experienced before – Walnut Oil.  It was a huge surprise. I expected it to taste heavy and strong but it was just the opposite.  Very light with just the perfect hint of walnut.  I really loved this oil and was kicking myself later for not picking some up.

Good chocolate from Ococoa.  I liked the pistachio with chocolate and the peanut butter with chocolate.

Grass fed beef by Open Space Meats.  Perfect meat – natural good flavor without a lot of seasoning or marinade.

Salami by Fancifull.  This was incredible and I took some home.

Perishable Pickle Shop from Chicks with Knives.  Don’t you just love their name?

I also like their packaging, logo and label. Very good design.   They didn’t have any samples out when I went by so unfortunately I didn’t get to try these.

Seasonings from Cast Iron Gourmet.  I LOVE this seasoning organizer. I have something similar that goes on my wall.  Well it’s not a box like this but I use small metal containers very similar to these.  It’s a colored metal wall sheet purchased at iKea.   It allows me to stick my seasoning containers to it (the containers have magnets on the back).  I love it because all my seasonings are in sight and easy accessible on my wall.

But not all my seasonings can fit on the wall sheet so something like this box would be ideal to store the remainder. And it would look pretty on the counter.  This seasoning box was not for sale at Cast Iron Gourmet.  It was something they were using to display and sell their seasonings.  Hmmm…I may need to try to make something like this soon.

OK – I think this just might be my favorite new thing.  Coconut brittle.  Wow.  Butterfly Brittle made this delicious new invention.  What I love most is they sprinkled the coconut on top while the brittle was still setting.  The coconut is attached but not buried inside the brittle.

There were plenty of food vendors but only a few drink vendors.  Luckily I came across Bonadea’s aguas frescas to wash it all down.   I used to drink beverages like these everyday when we lived in Mexico.  I was glad to finally find some here.   Aguas frescas is Spanish for fresh cold waters and are a combination of fruits, cereals or seeds with sugar and water blended to make a beverage.

Bonadea makes their aguas frescas all natural and they do not use sugar.  They are instead sweetened with organic agave.

I don’t care for tamarind too much so I tried their Guava Berry flavor.  It was great!

Bakelab.  Yet another name and logo I love.  And they had great baked items.

Bakelab cookies.

And Bakelab coconut clouds.

Akasha had a huge assortment of spreads.  My favorite was the apricot barbecue sauce.

These Akasha rosemary parmesan crackers are absolutely the best crackers I have ever tasted in my life.

I just found out that Akasha has a restaurant.  I need to check this place out!

There was a lot of chocolate at Artisanal LA but Compartes was the prettiest.   They are so pretty you feel guilty messing them up.  I ate a homemade peanut butter nugget. They not only look pretty, they taste just as amazing.

Hell Fire Pepper Jelly from Jenkins Jellies.  They served it with cream cheese over crackers.  Wonderful flavor and not really hot.  Just a great blend of heat and sweet together.

Pretty sugar shapes made by Gourmet Sugar Co.   Organic sugar shaped into little figures perfect for tea or coffee lovers.  Gift ideas!  I have a cake and heart shapes shown here but they offer plenty of others like seashells and fleur de lys.

The end to a perfect day.  Coffee from Cafe de Leche.

Stumptown roasters was there as the supplier to Cafe de Leche.

It was one of the best cups of coffee I’ve had in a long time!

Artisanal LA – Highlights on Home and Garden

25 Oct

Artisanal LA – Highlights on Home and Garden

Artisanal LA is an event that covers a wide variety of arts:  foods, gardening and crafts.

Here is a highlight of some of the home and garden items that were presented at the event.

Farmscape had an interesting concept.  They come to your house and install a large huge planter in your yard.  Weekly service is also available if you want them to maintain the garden.  Convenient!  Almost made me reconsider my goal of planting my own garden.

The benefit is that they use better quality soil than what is probably in your yard plus the soil isn’t contaminated with things that might be lurking in your old soil: bugs, bacteria and chemicals.  Another plus is the planters are raised off the ground which helps resist pest control issues and the planters have filtration systems.

I love modern design and this planter is right up my alley.

Here’s a closer look.  These are the type of house plants I need!  The bowl would fit right in with my decor.

Here are more pictures from Artisanal LA.

These are items produced by Silverlake Farms.

And there was a large variety of seeds available.

And more of my type of house plants! I love these small boxy planters.

Artisanal LA – Highlight on Crafts

25 Oct

Artisanal LA – Highlight on Crafts

The Artisanal LA event this weekend was a blast.  There were some good finds and discoveries.

The best craft discovery was Common Thread.  Common Thread is a studio that allows you to rent their equipment. Inexpensive rentals!!  $10 an hour. Or $50 for the day.   They have a wide variety of sewing and craft machinery including equipment for silkscreening.

Grrrrr….I would never have bought my sewing machine and serger last year had I known Common Thread existed!  I don’t sew often so it would have been more practical to rent the equipment.

I have always wanted to try silkscreening.  Silkscreening equipment is expensive and Common Thread makes it possible to test it out for a low fee.

Here is a picture of Common Thread’s booth at the Artisanal LA event.

Common Thread also offers classes and private lessons.  You can find out more about them by going to their website at

I am going to have to make a trip to their studio in Pasadena soon and check it out.

Do you have a studio similar to this in your city?  If so, please share this information.  This is something I am sure others would love to know about!

I also happened to come across this cork bulletin board on display.  I’ve been saving up my wine corks and wanted to do something interesting with them.  This just might be the thing!  It’s small and easy to make. I also love how they have it standing up like a picture frame instead of hanging on a wall. That would be so helpful and look great on a desk.

Here are some more interesting craft works that were on display at Artisanal LA.  The pattern mixes and color combinations are fun and inspiring!

Black and White Stripes – Classic Now Contemporary

24 Oct

Black and White Stripes – Classic Now Contemporary

Sometimes classic and timeless looks aren’t just safe.  They can be made “new” again and produce a bold exciting effect.

So is the case with black and white stripes.

I originally noticed these stripes transformed in a hip and unique way on this chair at Juxtaposition.

Then Carrie transformed these same stripes into a gorgeous work of art on her new DIY Ballard Designs bench.

( To see more on this bench or a demo on how to make one yourself it click here)

This classic look is so trendy right now.  I’ve starting seeing it quite a bit in well designed modern places.  I noticed chairs upholstered with this fabric at a restaurant in Hollywood (Sorry I didn’t have my camera!) and saw it everywhere at the Artisanal LA event yesterday. Here are a few pics from Artisanal LA:

I have to have some of this.  I can’t wait to use it and make a bench like Carrie’s. (–And special thanks to our reader, Rose, who informed us that you can buy the large black and white striped fabric at iKea!)

I am on a mission now to finish up all my other projects so I can justify starting this new bench project!

Bad Weather Bonus

24 Oct

Bad Weather Bonus

When we first moved to Los Angeles, people told us that we would get sick of the good weather. That we would eventually yearn for icy days to could curl up with a blanket, drink hot cocoa and snuggle up with this furry guy. (This little thing puts out a lot of warmth.  And gives sweet licks.) I had just moved from Texas where the weather drastically changes. Freezing one day, then scorching hot the next with humidity that makes you feel like you have a perpetual film growing on your skin. So I pretty much thought these Angelenos were bonkers. They “warned” me that the weather was amazing and perfect. Can you believe? Who needs to be warned about great weather?

The weather is usually nice. But that 1% of the time when it isn’t really throws everything off kilter.

Take for example last Saturday. I woke up exited to go to the Affaire in the Garden.

And then to my surprise. Rain. Not just a little rain.  A mini monsoon.

Rain = no Affaire in the Garden. The event was located outside which meant getting drenched. And the main reason I wanted to go, practicing photography, would have been fruitless.

It never rains here. I was so unprepared for what was unfolding. Not only was I going to miss the event but I had left a lot of my furniture projects outside which was the worst tragedy.   Since we don’t have much garage space, I usually work on all my painting and restoration projects outside. After days of working hard on my vanity, I looked outside and it was soaked.  It couldn’t be moved because there was nowhere else available to place it.  I kept thinking it would stop any minute so I never covered it.

Well…for a city that never gets rain or bad weather, it rained for 5 days straight.

I looked outside and the drawers on my vanity appeared ruined.

But after close inspection I realized the rain had done me a big favor. Even though I spent several days sanding three layers of paint off these rounded drawers, I did not realize that there was a cheap molded plywood layer glued on the front of each drawer. The rain had softened the glue and the unwanted layer was rippling up.

After quickly peeling off this gunk, beautiful solid wood was revealed. The wood appears to have grooves but the lines are actually flat and the wood is smooth and perfect.

I only wish it had rained several days before I wasted days painstakingly sanding all the paint off!

Ahhhhh…. now everything is back to normal.  The sun is shining and my furniture is drying out ready to be painted soon.

The moral of this story? It may rain on your parade but it also might save you some sanding time.

if you’re happy & you know it…

22 Oct

if you’re happy & you know it…

Eat Ice Cream. Cotton Candy Ice Cream.

And that is what we did. Before dinner. On a Tuesday. And it was good.

You see…Sweet P and I are very close. She is experiencing separation anxiety at school. And she cries. And I cry. And it is awful.

And I think 3rd grade might just kill me.

I want her to feel better. We have never gone through this before and I would seriously homeschool if my husband would let me. But that is a different story on a different day.

We have set up goals and she has done so much better this week. So we went for ice cream and it was perfect. And this weekend we are having special time together…just her and I.

I am so thankful for her best friend and another friend who is a boy that are so unbelievably supportive to her. They wink at each other when her eyes get teary and tell the other kids she is suffering from ‘pollen’ aka allergies. What a blessing their sweet hearts are to our family.

And I pray for another little girl to stop calling her a baby. This is especially hurtful because she has known her for a long time. But we will pray…and move along. And be thankful this is making her stronger.

I now understand how my mother felt when I was hurting.

I would take it all away from my child in an instant if I could…and I would. Without thinking twice.

Being a parent changes your perspective on life, how you should be treated, and how you should treat others.

“Be kind and compassionate to one another.” Ephesians 4:32

DIY – Ballard Designs bench

21 Oct

DIY – Ballard Designs bench

I love Ballard Designs.  I get giddy when I open the mailbox and find a clean, crisp Ballard Designs magazine waiting for me.  I love the simplicity mixed with some vintage and mixed a little more with modern…unbelievable inspiration is found on every page.

Sweet P loves Ballard Designs too…taking an old magazine and designing a house for her ZhuZhu pets with cut out pictures of tables, chairs, mirrors and accessories.  I think we have a budding designer on our hands.

So this bench has been on my radar for years.  I love the honeycomb fabric that is all the rage and that was always how I envisioned the bench in my entry.  We definitely cannot nor would I ever pay the big price tag for the bench but I really, really wanted it.  So I was on a mission and searched the internet for ‘how to’ projects and tutorials but found nothing that looked like the Ballard Designs style bench.

And then my partner in crime, Angie, posted this and changed everything…for the good.  I fell in love with that chair!

After looking in a 10 mile radius of my house ended in utter failure, I drove clear across Houston to mother of all fabric stores, Glick’s.  I walked in and sweetly asked if they had a ‘large black and white stripe’ fabric.  She smiles and says ‘I don’t think so but let’s go look’.  My heart sank but I followed her to the back…it was like slow motion in a crazy dream where Javier Bardem is waiting for me in a dark alley.  Oh, sorry…did I just say that?

Ok, so I followed her, she points and says ‘something like this?’  I screamed YES!  Jumped up and down and I think I might have hugged her too….

$10 bucks later and I walked out with the most perfect black and white stripe fabric ever.

So…my wheels starting turning.  I couldn’t find a tutorial on a bench like I wanted…so the next best thing was to make it myself.  And I drove to Lowe’s…and this is how it all went down:

72″ MDF, cut down at Lowe’s to 60″:  $2.14

4 pine legs, 15″ tall: $6 each on sale

Valspar Black spray paint, satin finish:  $3.97

Foam padding from Hobby Lobby:  $16 after 25% off coupon

Quilt batting for softness:  $4.99 at Hobby Lobby

Fabric: $10

Dowel Screws: $3

My neighbor’s drill because ours was dead:  FREE

ballard designs bench

I measured the center of the pre-drilled hole in the table leg and marked the same spot on the corner of the MDF board.

do it yourself bench

I found old spindles in Round Top for $1 each…kept going back and eventually couldn’t figure out what I would do with them so left them behind.  Got home the next day and cried a river because I could have used them for my bench legs…live and learn.

Laid the legs in the driveway on painter’s plastic which has been used over…and over…and over….

do it yourself bench legs

This is 1 coat…I eventually used 4 coats of paint…did not take long at all.

do it yourself bench legs black

My thought was to use the below screws, drill them in the board from the top and after the board was covered, screw the legs up into them.  That is WRONG! HA!  Didn’t work at all….

Another trip to Lowe’s and learned “Dowel Screws” are just what I needed.  They are double ended…one end screws up into the board underneath and the legs screw onto the other end.  Simple.  Who knew??  Now you do too!

dowel screws

Laid the foam on top of the board.  It was pretty wide and I was able to cut 3 layers of foam:

do it yourself bench foam

Using my kitchen serrated knife…don’t hate me because I am inventive…or crazy…or weird for using my knife.

Covered the 3 layers with quilt batting to give a more softer look and feel…

Stapled the quilt batting underneath to help stabilize the foam….and you can see one end of the dowel screw underneath.

dowel screw

Tightened it up with pliers…those are pliers, right??

Okay…this is interesting….the fabric I bought was only 54″ wide which is pretty much the standard.

Since I am making a ‘custom’ bench, I had to make custom fabric to fit the 60″ length.

So I laid the fabric on the bench, cut a piece to fit the remaining 12 inches.  I choose to match up the black stripe.  I flipped it so right sides were facing eachother, and pinned the pieces together…

Borrowed my neighbor’s sewing machine…because mine bit the dust and I haven’t had time to buy another one.  But I am completely in love with her machine, which she admits she never uses.

Sewed a straight line…and there you go…62″ fabric created..and no seams Mom!

Laid the new 62″ fabric on the bench (notice my little helper…she keeps me company)

Flipped the entire bench over.

Got out the staple gun which I did NOT borrow….and went to town.

Screwed the legs into the dowel screws once all the fabric was pulled tightly and stapled.  I did trim all the fabric underneath too.

There she is…standing on her legs for the first time.  I feel so proud…sniff, sniff.

And here she is…her new home in my entry.  The pillows are not staying…that is another tutorial coming your way.

black and white stripe bench fabric

Making this bench was my first ever ‘made from scratch’ piece I have ever done. I can paint the heck out of anything but was completely intimidated by drilling, cutting, tools, and stapling.

It was definitely a learning process and had I not made the second trip to Lowe’s for the dowel screws, the entire project probably took less than 2 hours to make.

$599 for a ready made bench OR 2 hours of creating and learning and about $65 of my pennies saved?

I’d do it again in heartbeat and it was so much fun.

Now I don’t know if I would sit on the bench but it sure does look pretty in my house!

Now go build something!

I {heart} coffee…

19 Oct

I {heart} coffee…

…coffee bags that is. Angie writes about her love for coffee bags here.  Take special note of that fabulous striped chair…

I found these coffee bags while in Round Top:

and I am kicking myself for not buying at least one to bring back to land of Sugar.

Burlap and coffee bags are everywhere….from chairs and pillows, to handbags and shoes.  But as with anything, a little goes along way.  I would definitely not outfit an entire room in burlap but maybe sprinkle in a pillow or two with vintage numbers and some distressed iron.  And I am in love with garden stools used as end tables…love!

Check out my mood board…and tell me, how do you like your coffee?

Notice the chair in Angie’s post from juxtapositionhome?

Notice the bench in my mood board?

Someone might have a little tutorial for you this week…

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