Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pinterest Challenge 01

I am a big fan of Young House Love, along with half the universe, it seems. This week Sherry is hosting a Pinterest Challenge: take something you have pinned and actually make it, or your own version of it. This should be a monthly challenge for me because I have so many great ideas pinned on my boards but if I never get around to actually making them myself - what's the point?
I love all the DIY jewelry pins and wanted to post about a project I did lately. When it was my turn to host my monthly craft group, I chose painted bead necklaces. I made one for myself, then one for my sister's birthday and one for my neice for Christmas. I loved this for my craft group because everyone could personalize their necklace how they liked: different lengths, different sized beads, different color schemes: monochromatic, ombre, multi-colored.

I was inspired by Kristina Klarin necklaces, which she sold on Big Cartel and then through Anthropologie. She now has her own site, House of Kami. The necklaces are amazing - hand-crafted, original, fabulous pieces and I would buy several if my budget allowed. Colored bead necklaces are no new thing, but I love Klarin's color mixes and how she makes multi-layer pieces. Click on each piece to go to the best source. (As I said, Klarin no longer sells thru Big Cartel and Anthro.)

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Then I found these other pins to add to my inspiration board, and some of these blogs have tutorials too - not that you need much help to paint and string. Click on each image to go to the original source.

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So for our craft night we used waxed cotton cording and hand-painted all our beads with craft paint and small brushes. Spray-painting also seems to work well, especially if you are going with all one color. I bought lots of sizes of wooden craft beads, up to 3/4" inch. Most of us with longer necklaces just tied them off so they can slip over the head, but if you have a shorter length you would need some kind of clasp - lots to choose from at craft stores. And most of my craft group chose to spray glossy acrylic over the top to protect and add a nice shine. Here are some of the (mostly) finished products.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A New Project

I love our "formal" living room. I never thought we needed or wanted one, but now that we have one we use it so much. I think much of our successful use of the room stems from it's location and our floorplan. We have a continuous loop from foyer to family room to eat-in-kitchen to dining room to living room. And the boys run that loop often. We use it for reading, playing games, spreading out large sets of toys that need floor space, entertaining, and just relaxing. We have a couch and a loveseat and that works perfectly for our family but anytime someone else is over I always wish we had more seating. The dining room is part of the same room, so we have all those chairs, and we use the piano bench when we have to but I have been keeping my eye out for a couple of matching chairs to add to the mix. And recently at Saver's I found them.

Perfect wingback lines, classic legs, and comfy cushions - still in good shape despite the dirty exterior. Truth be told: I love the flame stitch pattern! And I don't completely hate the color. It matches our rug perfectly, which is unfortunate since I'm not fond of the rug & would like to get rid of it. But it also matches the pink in our artwork, which matches the green in the couches. But eventually I'd like to replace those couches too so we have a lot of scheming to do.

I have convinced myself that I can recover these chairs at home, after reading a bunch of posts like this, this, and this. I certainly can't afford to have them professionally done, so we'll be on the hunt for fabric soon. When my Mom asked what my husband wanted for his last birthday, I convinced him that his fondest wish was for new chair fabric. And the next month I asked my Mom for the same thing for my birthday so between her contributions and a little scrimping of our own we will start shopping soon. And I told Aaron that what I wanted for my birthday is for him to go fabric shopping with me. (I'm sure that gift will be coming along soon - 5 months later!) I have no idea what we're looking for... but I know I want a pattern, and probably a bolder color choice. Now if we can only figure out what that color might be.

We need to come up with some overall design decisions for our living room; things like color and style. I started Pinterest boards for ideas for the chairs and the entire room. Any suggestions?