Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My Someday Project To-Do List

I love scoping out Pinterest and dreaming about a new place to decorate with new DIY opportunities. So, here's some projects that I hope will inspire you too the way they've inspired me...

This is a Thanksgiving idea that I came across and I thought the idea was pretty awesome. Take a tablecloth and have your family and friends write what they're thankful for on Thanksgiving. Just keep adding to it every Thanksgiving. I thought it was a beautiful idea because you can take a trip down memory lane every Thanksgiving and reflect on what you're thankful for. 
I really want to make these collar tags for Ian and Zelda. I think they're pretty and I still have yet to get them name tags for the move anyway... Just requires a printer and some 'Shrinky Dink' plastic that shrinks in the oven. 

via Martha Stewart
I love maps and sentimental art so this project pinned from Kayla Danelle is right up my alley. I think it's such a cute idea and I can't wait to cut out Arizona, Virginia, and Washington to hang up on my future gallery wall!

I've been known to make a sock monkey or two and think this little bear is so adorable and looks pretty easy now that I've tackled a sock monkey. 

Via The Meta Picture
Oh and this bunny from Martha Stewart...

I really want to make a gorgeous yarn wreath for Halloween and Christmas... and the rest of the year. I think they're adorable. 

Pinned from Etsy

I'll tackle some of these someday... it's fun to always have another project on the horizon though. :) 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Easy Dramatic DIY Painting

Hello!  Yeah, it's been a week since I've been on here... I know. :( There's just some things going on right now and I've been working on finding out stuff about the upcoming move and such (which is a huge job!). 

But I was cleaning out my front closet, which had gotten crazy-messy ever since I introduced our beach equipment to it, and I found a canvas that I had worked on and forgot about. Annnd, I was kinda over the picture I was making for it. I originally wanted to make an urban-type painting with buildings and fire escapes after a picture I saw on the wall at McDonald's (haha, don't laugh, it was a cool picture for a burger joint). 

I stumbled upon this project from the Young House Love Pinterest Challenge and thought it was wonderful and interesting. It's very dramatic and different from everything else I have in the house. Sooo.... I have painted over the canvas for the third time now! 

via Dans le Townhouse
Here's my canvas' evolution...

He started off purple...

Then painted over and drawn on...

And then painted white again...

So I just painted about 3/4 of the picture white and left the rest for the black paint. Dipping the brush in water before the black paint (as suggested by the above blog) really helped achieve the grainy, black-washed effect. 

I painted a few strokes, let it dry and just kept adding on until I was satisfied with the look. I even painted around the corners of the canvas (as suggested by the blog) and it really gave it a finished look.

And I'm totally in love with it!

It's dramatic, gorgeous and cheap! And if you've got next to no artistic talent, this project is probably the easiest canvas project you can do. 

So, go forth and experiment with these colors or try some of your own combinations!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Out and About Browsing

But before our segment, here's some adorable pictures of my babies.

I think this last picture would be adorable framed on my gallery wall that I plan to have in my house someday. Such a sweet Ian...

And now... here's some awesome things I've seen around shopping lately.

I would have loved to have gotten this really unique candle holder that looked like a suspension bridge, loved it! From what I've been seeing of the apartments and homes in Washington, I would have a fireplace and how great would this have looked on a mantle!

For some reason I thought this lamp was really cool and interesting. I guess because all my lamps I have in my house are either black, white, or brushed nickel. 

This blue box was at Ross for $8 and reminded me of my white box I found in the clearance section at TJ Maxx. It was actually a pretty huge box for how cheap it was. 

I thought this elephant statue was really adorable.

Bonsai! And not just a bonsai but  a flowery bonsai, so cute! I'd really like to have one in my home someday.

And is this some kind of trend now, huge and over-sized fruit? Just weird. 

I thought these owl plate were so fun and adorable!

And... I didn't buy anything, haha. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Design Friday: Home Office Edition

One of these days I will have a beautiful home office... so today I daydreamed and made a little design board of what it could possibly look like based around an awesome Seattle poster I stumbled upon on Pinterest. There's a lot of stuff from Ikea (of course) because that's mainly what's in my price range and an item or two from West Elm and Z Gallerie that I could probably not afford. Oh well, it was fun! 

1.) Ikea, 2.) Random Google search for "globe," ha, 3.) Ikea, 4.) Pinterest: originally, 5.) West Elm, 6.) Ikea, 7.) Ikea, 8.) Z Gallerie, 9.) Ikea, 10.) Ikea, 11.) Target, 12.) Ikea

Have a great weekend! :D

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pinterest Recipe: Toffee-Bottomed Brownies

I've been waiting to make these for a while. I mean, toffee? Brownies? A marriage of two of the yummiest things!? I'm so there. 

Unfortunately... I was a tad disappointed in these. They weren't bad and they came out fine but... there was something lacking. 

Toffee-Bottomed Brownies

Toffee bottom:

8 oz (226g) butter (2 sticks), room temperature
1 cup (200g) packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks, room temperature 
2 cups (250g) flour


11oz (312g) butter (2 3/4 sticks), room temperature
1 1/2 cups (300g) sugar
1 1/4 cup (250g) packed brown sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup (170g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/3 cup (168g) flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
1 cup chopped semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
Line a 13"x9" pan with parchment.  I had no parchment, so I used foil and buttered it.
Toast pecans and chop chocolate. (I forgot to buy pecans so I missed this step.)

Toffee Bottom:
This toffee bottom is more of a rich, caramelized cookie than a traditional bricklel toffee.  It makes a firm dough that needs to be pressed into the pan.
Chop butter into pieces and mix with sugar.
Add egg yolks and combine, one at a time.
Gradually fold in flour until just mixed.
Press dough into prepared pan.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until set and golden brown.
Let cool completely while you make the brownie top!
Chop butter into pieces and mix with sugar and brown sugar.
Add eggs and combine, one at a time.  Stir in vanilla.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt and cocoa powder.
Gradually stir dry ingredients into wet until mixed.
Add pecans and chocolate and stir to combine.
Pour onto top of cooled toffee bottom.
Bake for 45-50 minutes until set.
Let cool slightly, and remove from pan.

Questionable crumbs on the surface... oven dust? Yuuuuck. 

The brownie part was really really good. It had a good fudge-y texture and the chopped up chocolate made it pretty rich. The "toffee" part was less impressive. If you're going to talk toffee and say it's like a caramelized cookie, it better taste like it. It was pretty sub-par, to the point that I mostly picked off the brownie layer and left the "toffee" part in the pan. If I were to do it over I would add some toffee pieces or something or just make the brownie part. 

Needless to say I probably won't take the trouble to make these again. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Around the Web: Cool Sites 2

Every once and a while I come across some neat sites worth sharing. Here's my latest site obsessions that you should check out!

1.) Design Seeds

This website displays a vast array of amazing color palettes that make my eyes extremely happy. They're great to just look at, they're great for design or art inspiration... I would absolutely love to be able to design a room around some of these beautiful palettes. You can pick random ones or choose a color to search for coordinating palettes. Here's some of my favorites (but they're all so gorgeous, it's hard to pick favorites): 

I stumbled upon this and had to bookmark it because it's such an ingenious idea! I haven't used it yet because I'm working my way through some library books (I'm actually reading this because it's about an orange tabby and because I teared up just reading the book cover. Verdict: it's pretty adorable and I'm about halfway through:)

This site allows you to put in an author or book you like and it recommends similar books! 

This site (found via is basically just a time-waster but it's fun seeing what interesting designs you can come up with. It creates a web around any line or shapes you make with the mouse. The drawings start off simple and become rather intricate. I thought it might be cool to print out one of these and frame them. Here's what I came up with: 

Have a fun Wednesday! 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Because Russ has started his "C" School and needs space and time to study, I offered to move my desk into our bedroom so he can have a special place for studying. While I was in college, having my own space to study and work was invaluable so I knew he could benefit from a workspace. 

I wasn't quite sure if it was going to fit that well into the room and luckily, the first place I tried worked out well. 

Ian and I are enjoying the new placement as well. It's rather nice to be able to be able to look out of the window while I'm at my desk writing or doing whatever. And Ian hops up to visit me and gaze out at some pretty red cardinals I've seen inhabiting the trees. 

"What's in place of the desk?" you may ask... well.

I moved my little dining room table over and cleaned it out and it now houses some of my old desk items. 

At first I was thinking, "Oooh! An open space, time to go find an awesome bookshelf or console or chair!" But then... my wallet slapped me in the face as well as my good sense and I realized that we've got (at the time of this writing) 114 days until we are out of here...

So, I need to save money and not accumulate more stuff! Though, I'm absolutely positive that  we don't have over the 8,000 lbs that the Navy will move but I don't need anything else. 

Also, I'm bored to tears decorating this apartment. I'm ready for a new place with new challenges. 

Tomorrow: Around the Web!