Spotted and Hearted – special Friday edition

February 27, 2009

Since I was kind of m.i.a. from the blog world this week, S & H is a little light this week but worth a long looky look. Because I love it all. That’s why it’s hearted.

My new motto spotted on Dream Every Day (seriously, how many times have you made mixtapes for your significant other?)

Lovely handmade bird mobile spotted on Say Yes to Hoboken

More flowery hair do-dads that I want to buy spotted on Oh Happy Day

Pretty pops of red spotted on Design Sponge

An absolute perfect name for a flower shop spotted on Black Eiffel

A scalloped coat straight from my dreams spotted on Feather
(trust me, this blog is deadly if you are trying to save money)

Also, I better clarify what I meant by blog camp. My brother-in-law knows more about computers than me so he invited to help me out with a few blog things if I helped decorate their house and play with their kids for a week. Sounds like a good deal to me. And it is, it is. Lot’s of exciting things next week which may include: AN AWESOME GIVEAWAY, some before and afters and some babbling about why I’m having nightmares from this week’s episode of Lost.

Daily inspiration is my fave

February 26, 2009

Do you recall any of your inspiration turning points? When I was in school studying graphic design I was given the assignment to choose one word from the dictionary and create a poster describing that word in images. For some reason I choose “life” as my word to convey. In my research for the perfect images I was totally inspired by the fact that everything around us represents the very essence of life. I suppose that is something I had always known but it wasn’t until that particular assignment I was able to draw such inspiration out the everyday. Even our name as a species is inspiring; we are HUMAN BEINGS or HUMANS BE-ING.

This whole life concept as inspiration is why I really love the Photographic Dictionary website. I am sure you have seen it mentioned on various blogs but I thought it was worth another mention just in case you overlooked it…or perhaps as a little reminder. Here’s a little sampling from the letters, L, I, F, and E that I find inspiring.





Thank you Melanie for letting me share some of my random thought here on your blog and thanks to those who have continued to read even through Melanie’s absence!

Editor’s note: No, thank you Natalia. Next time will you give lessons on how to be cool? I’m thinking those could come in handy.

Impromptu photo shoots are my fave

February 25, 2009

Hello ‘you are my fave’-fans! When Mel asked me if I would be up for a little guesting I said, “hip-hip-hooray,” which is the equivalent to a yes followed by at least 3 exclamation points.

So today I thought I would share with you the outcome to a little quandary I have been having but first the preface:

Sometimes when we take vacations we like to be touristy and take pics in front of the Statue of Liberty, Golden Gate Bridge etc). These pics display our pearly whites with a giant (inset national landmark here), in the background. The pics are lovely for recalling some of our favorite places we have been but I have found I actually prefer reminiscing over the pics from the impromptu photo shoots we had along the way. The ones in airport when our flight was delayed by 4 hours for example, or the ones we took over breakfast at the Magic Grill Café in San Francisco.

This state of affairs presents a dilemma when it comes to choosing photos to print for displaying in our home. I really just want to print the results from repetitive games of Americas Next Top Model but I feel somewhat obligated to print the landmark shots—see the predicament? After mulling over this thought for months on end a cute little light bulb appeared above my head; maybe I could get away with exhibiting the goofy shots if I explore beyond the realm of a 50 cent Ikeas frame.

What I came up with is a photo transfer technique that you will see in the tutorial below which I hope you will try after your own photo shoot parties!

Laser or copy machine print outs of your fave random photos
Omni-gel (transfer medium)
Rolling pin
Sponge brush
Very damp washcloth or sponge
Wood or some other surface you’d like to see your photos on
Optional-sandpaper, paint, finishing spray

1. First things first, print out your favorite random photos on a laser printer or on a copy machine—these days you can email a file to your local copy center and then schedule a pick up. (As a side note, I don’t recommend the ink jet for this particular project—trust me, I tried it.) Oh yes, and remember to REVERSE YOUR IMAGE if you don’t want a mirror effect, my assumption is you won’t if you happen to included any type.

2. Next you will apply a few generous coats of the omni-gel transfer medium allowing a drying period in between coats. Once this is completely dry you can cut out your image to fit on the surface you will be transferring to.

3. Now with the same transfer gel, you will adhere the image face down to the surface you are transferring to, in this case, a slap of wood. Once applied give it a good roll with the rolling pin to really flatten out the image.

4. The glue will have dried after a few minutes and you can move on to wetting the blank side of the image with a very damp towel or sponge. Once very moist, you can begin to briskly rub away the paper layer with your towel. It sounds scary but soon your image will start to show and you will get happy inside thinking that this project might actually turn out!

5. Next you will jump up and down a little because your whole image will have appeared. After it has dried you may see you have not quite eliminated the paper layer and so will have to repeat step 4. For mine, (a little series I am calling The Breakfast Trio), I sanded over the image a bit so the wood could show through, and I also added a light coat of watered down brown acrylic paint over the image. I finished it off with a simple coat of matt wood finishing spray just to protect the image.

You can use this same method from magazine cutouts, or even artwork you have created …the possibilities are endless!

Well, that’s it…I hope you found this enjoyable and are inspired to try this technique yourself. I am sure Melanie would love to see the results if you do try this out for yourself and so would I, so please do share!

I told you Natalia is awesome. Check out more of her projects here.

Blog Camp is my fave

Just peeking in to say hello. I’m officially at blog camp this week courtesy of my sister and brother in law. So you may have noticed a few changes that have already taken place.

#1 I’m officially the owner of the web address Yep, I paid $10 for this little puppy and it might just be worth it. I can’t believe nobody had bought it yet. It’s not obscure or anything.

#2 I’m experimenting with some different ad options. Please don’t abandon me and call me a sell out. The crappy economy is hitting me just as bad as everybody else. Good news is, I already earned $.77 today so I’m well on my way to buying something in the dollar bin at Target. I love me some cheapy lip gloss kits.


Makeovers are my fave: home edition

February 24, 2009

So, guess what is the best thing ever? Nope not chocolate. No, not that either (wow, you guys have dirty minds!) The best thing ever is when you complete a home improvement project. Because it’s annoying to have 20-minute convos about metal finishes for door hardware, or having to cook everything in a microwave b/c you don’t have a kitchen, but the end product is PURE BLISS.

I’m an interior designer in ‘real life’ (I’m a Veronica-Mars-obsessed, Facebook-stalking, final-sale-shopper in my virtual life, if you’re taking notes) and recently a friend came to me asking about product recommendations for a bathroom renovation. The bathroom is going to keep an accessible, traditional look for re-sale value. They have money saved for this project, but are naturally thrifty. So let’s use this example to chat about home makeovers! (Sans the megaphones or moving buses.)

Here’s the thing, you guys: who doesn’t drool over $10,000 fixtures?! It’s easy to make a fab vanity for that price tag. But Lowe’s is the perfect resource for certain items! A toilet is a toilet, especially if you have a budget. If you’re looking to cut corners on your bathroom renovation, and have ugly 1950’s tile on your walls, consider installing some fresh wallpaper above it. What was gag-inducing suddenly looks retro kitsch with the right pattern. See this example?

If you are installing new wall tile, you can’t go wrong with white subway tile. It’s the epitome of vintage modern, and available at your local Home Depot! This is also true for kitchen backsplashes, in fact, subway tile is all-around perfect.

On the flipside, there are certain elements that are worth splurging on. I would put the faucet set at the top of this list. This is a detail people will notice if it is something special. And they will admire it, and tell you that you have good taste. Also, light fixtures are really important; light can make your guests feel like Daniel Craig from Bond, or Tom Hanks from Joe Vs. the Volcano.

One last tip: take Kenny Roger’s advice, and know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em. Some tasks are super DIY friendly (painting, making your own roman shades). Others are best left to professionals (installing tile, especially on imperfect subfloors/walls). Honestly assess your skill level and dedication to craft before tackling projects.

If you, too, are looking to freshen up your bathroom in a classic way, here are some of my faves:
A designer vanity – from Home Depot(?!!!!) Perfect with a Corian top.
A to-die-for faucet set from Restoration Hardware
A typical medicine cabinet gets dressed up with caning! (On sale, holla)
Sleek but classic wall sconces are a must…
Make your own Roman shade for that your bathroom window

Happy makeovers, kids!

Editors note: I’d just like to tell Karen that she is my hero. She’s everything I would like to be. Read more words of wisdom from Karen here.

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