Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkin Carving and a Halloween Fail

Happy Halloween everybody!
Alex and I just barely fit in our Annual Pumpkin Carving challenge for this year (click to see 2010 and 2011).  I can't believe it is our 7th one!  I know it's kind of a cheesy post but it's special to Alex and I and it's been fun to look back on since we've done it every year since our blog started. Hope you find it kind of fun too!?!?  (If not, you scroll to the end to see my Halloween Fail at least)
Now, I have to say I'm glad pumpkin carving only comes around once a year, I hate the gross pumpkin guts part....
 We've done this contest each year to see who carves the better pumpkin and not to brag or anything, but I have been victorious for the last two :)  

Regardless of the contest, I look forward to sitting across from my hubby and carving pumpkins every year! 
It was still fun this time, but Alex and I both struggled a little bit with our pumpkins and got a little less competitive with the whole contest thing -but- I still think my "Hee-Haw" pumpkin was a little more sassy than Alex's "Sparky" pumpkin.
Alex definitely wins though for the most creepy photo bomb...Did you notice him in that photo?!?!

Last on the Halloween topics is my big FAIL over the weekend.  Alex and I were invited to a costume party by a co-worker.  Since we didn't dress up at all last year I thought it'd be fun to go and I REALLY wanted to dress up 60's disco style complete with a big blonde Afro.  Yes, believe it or not there is a DIY tutorial out there for a "Big Blonde Afro" and I was dying to try it!  Sadly the night of the party this happened instead....
The Afro of my dreams didn't work :(

In it's place was Jessie Spano's hair from 1992 or depending on how you look at it, Kenny G's (shutter).
Yep, it was a total bummer.  I had to tame my hair and pull together a new costume an hour before the party.  Oh well though, there's always next year right?!?

Did anyone else have a Halloween costume fail too?  What was it?
Well, we're getting ready to pass out some candy.  We ran out early last year but I feel well armed with 160 pieces this time!  Hope everyone has a safe and fun Halloween! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Vestibule Update & Flying Saucers That Fix Tilework

If you caught my DIY Friday post you already know that we started to add beadboard in the Vestibule

Alex and I weighed out all the options, and decided it would make sense to add beadboard trim to the walls in this small space.  We've been very happy with the beadboard we added in the back entryway as well as our upstairs bathroom.  The look/finish really does fit the character of our home nicely and compliments the existing woodwork.
  Why not add it here and build upon the consistent look throughout the house?

Thankfully, we only had to add the panels to two bare walls!
You might know the drill by now from our other beadboard posts, but here's the Alex action shots anyway...
Beadboard panel along with a piece of trim along the top.
 We wanted a taller height for the beadboard in this space.  I asked Alex how tall it measured out to be and he laughed and said, "Go stand next to it, you'll figure it out."  I shot him a dirty look but quickly realized that it was about 5 feet tall.  Such a smart ass. 
 So man task #1 is done, man task #2 is up next- adding the new light fixture.
Then, the remaining tasks are a little more my style- and skill level!

One of our to-do's is painting the front door.  Upon closer inspection we realized that it is going to take a WHOLE LOTTA of sanding.  I wonder how many gloppy layers of paint have been slathered on this door over time?
  I guess that's it as far as the current update goes.

Now, there is one question I have for you out there...
We plan on keeping the tile in the vestibule since it is the original from 1924.  Sadly, it isn't perfect but we will absolutely NOT tear it out, I still think it is beautiful as is with the cracks. I just keep wondering if anyone knows a way to fix cracked tile without ripping it all out?
  The only solution I can think of are those little flying saucer things from the movie Batteries Not Included, they did some nice tile work in the closing scene...
Sadly it's not a realistic option, but you know that movie right? 
 The little saucer robots come in and save the old apartment building which includes tile flooring that the character Harry spends most of his time trying to fix throughout the movie.  Oh plus saving the lives and livelyhood of the residents... bigger plot line than the tiles.

Our tile floor always makes me think of that movie for some reason.  I know that's kind of weird to mention here but boy, its still a cute movie and I LOVE me some Jessica Tandy :)
Did you know that's her real husband in the movie? They were married 1942-1994 when she passed away, ahhh real life love stories.

Whoops, I got real sidetracked! Sorry!
 Anyway let us know if you have ideas on our little cracked tiles!  I'll have more photos of the vestibule by next week.  Hope we get some painting done then!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Head Over Heels DIY Friday: Spooky Edition (Sort Of)

It's the last Friday of the month which means it's the final 'spooky' DIY post!  But I have to be honest, I kind of slacked on creating anything spooky this week. I know, lame, but I am hoping this sort of silly/fun DIY makes up for it :)

Rocco told us that he wanted to be an Ewok.  Not just for Halloween either - he wanted to join the Ewoks in Rebel Alliance....
 Well okay, it was just for Halloween.  But the Photoshop comparison is pretty funny right?

A lot of folks tell us that our mild mannered Shih Tzu Rocco looks like an Ewok. 
We've heard it ever since he was a puppy and still to this day I haven't seen ANY Star Wars movie.  Yep, all six, haven't seen a one (I know a lot of people think that is crazy, so I have to add that Alex hasn't seen Titanic- I think that is CRAZY). 

So, I didn't know what an Ewok was. After Google searching the info I agreed and boy Ewoks are CUTE!  Did you know that there is a "Wookieepedia" about them? LOL!
Rocco was really excited about his Ewok costume, can't you tell?  We only took a few photos, he totally earned a few treats and did his famously cute Milkbone ritual :) 

Past experiences taught us that the pups usually lack expression when we dress them up. 

That's their 2010 Halloween photo followed by 2011.  We can't blame them, but it's just so cute!


Like I said, I slacked on the true 'spooky' DIY this week due to the crazy busy week at my "9-5" and at home.  In the evenings I was slaving away at my amazing $3.00 chair project (yes, I had to sand the wood)....
 ... and my hubby got moving on our Vestibule Project.
Stay tuned for more on those projects!

I feel like I might just want to sit my buns on the couch and watch a silly Lifetime movie marathon this weekend, I feel POOPED! We'll see though, that chair is within eyesight of our living room so I know I'm going to keep messing with it this weekend, ugh! It's funny how that works, right?
What did you think of my little DIY Rocco costume?
Did Rocco make an acceptable Ewok?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

$3.00! Are You Kidding Me?

I had to run a few errands last night after work and ended up seeing a Goodwill just off the highway so I decided to stop in. You never know what you'll find right?  Well I certainly didn't expect to find this beautiful antique chair....
 I could hardly believe it, it was in perfect condition and heck it is even upholstered in white fabric. 

How is that possible and for just $3.00?  I looked around for a minute at all the other shoppers thinking, "hello, how has everyone else passed this up, what's wrong with everyone?" But that quickly ended as the rush of the deal ran through my body and I dragged the chair up to the cashier for purchase!
Every detail of this chair was just gorgeous!  It was such a great find! 

Even though love the chair as is, I know I am going to have to give it a little update before I can incorporate it somewhere in our house.
 As is, it kind feels like something "from grandma's house" right?  I can't help but think if I incorporate a wee redo on it, the chair will have a more chic updated appeal. 

Since the fabric on the chair is in great condition I am going to leave it as is.  Additionally, I imagine a reupholstery job on this style of chair (especially the chair back) would be really complicated and I didn't really enjoy my last experience doing that.  The nailhead trim will also stay as is- I love nailhead, especially when I don't have to hammer it on! 

For this redo I'd like to zero in on the wood and perhaps a contrast trim of some sort.  Here are some of the looks I gathered up...
Armchairs via One Kings Lane

In a nutshell I like the juxtaposition of the old and new in those chairs above.  We'll see what magic I can whip up for this ol' gal!

Which chair look did you like the most?
Do you have any other suggestions for updating the chair?
We're getting started on the Vegetable Vestibule Project tonight!  More to come on that soon and the last of our Spooky DIY's!  Be sure to let me know what you think for my chair!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Quite Possibly the Worst Part of Home Ownership

Fall yard clean up.

Seriously, I have dreaded fall yard clean up every year we have owned our home.  There is nothing fun about raking leaves into piles.  Actually, raking wouldn't be that bad but right now it feels like my hands are going to start bleeding even with working gloves on... to which Alex always says "Well that's what happens when you avoid manual labor your whole life."  And I then remind him that my dad always told me I was a princess...
 Sadly, every princess probably has to rake leaves once she becomes the queen of her own castle and it hurts.  But far worse than the raking is getting all the leaves into yard waste bags, ugh!!!  I took a little break to blog, but I have to go back outside to do that part next.  Again, UGH!!!  I can only imagine my back is about to hurt along with my hands :(
Anyway, today seemed like the perfect day to complete this nagging task.  Our trees have lost most of their leaves and it is a beautiful, sunny, 70 degree late October day here in Minneapolis!
 At least one of us enjoys all the yard work and that's Sadie.  Being a German Shorthair Pointer, Sadie is in her element when she is outside and LOVES running circles in the yard.  She gets even more amped up when someone is outside to run circles around or in this case big leaf piles!
 Our other pup Rocco doesn't feel as at home in the outdoors.  He prefers the outdoor scenery from the safe cushy comforts inside our home.  It's a stubborn Shih Tzu thing probably, we let him out and then he paws at the door to get back in. He's a goofy dude.
 At least both my pups put a smile on my face while I suffered through the yard work.
Okay, thanks for letting me whine about fall yard clean up.  Maybe once we're done I can turn this whining into a well deserved glass of wine later? HA!

Do you hate fall yard clean up as much as I do?
Were you out doing yard work today too?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Head Over Heels DIY Friday: Spooky Edition

Can you believe Halloween is in 11 days?!?  Where did this month go?  This week's DIY 'Spooky' Edition is a gruesome but simple project to share!

Blood Dripped Candles
I found a very simple tutorial for these when I found a few fun Halloween party decorations.
Image via Live Laugh Celebrate

I couldn't get a good action shot of dripping the red wax on the candles considering it was hot... and on fire The red wax looked lighter pink when it first landed on the candle, then got darker as it dried. I had to lay the candle at an angle to get the red wax to land flat and be thicker than skinny small drips.
Once I finished making them I added them to our fireplace decor...
... and over on our Dining Room buffet. 
Simple, fun and a nice addition to the decor I already started with for Halloween!

Click to see Spooky DIY Yard Headstones or my Spooky DIY Grim Reaper (which wasn't so spooky according to my hubby- you have to see that video!).

Hope everyone has a great fall weekend!  We have fall clean up on our list, YUCK!

What are you up to?!?
Do you have a spooky DIY to share?!? I'd love to see ideas!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

No-Sew Fall Blazer Elbow & Lapel DIY Updates

One of my favorite things about fall fashion is all the layering and what better layering piece than a fashionable blazer!  And no, it doesn't have to be a brand new one.  Let's DIY-it instead of buying it! 

I always feel perfectly polished in a nice fitting blazer and with all the fun fall trends it is easy to do a little DIY-ing to make a plain blazer the main attraction of an emsemble- which is what I did to a couple plain solid colored blazers sitting in my closet...
 I added elbow patches to one blazer and contrast felt fabric on the underside lapel to the other. Both looks are kind of menswear inspired details and I love them!  They were so simple and required NO sewing- even more reason to love!

Let's start with the contrast lapel DIY!
 For the contrast underside lapel, I got the idea from jackets I have seen at J Crew.  Under normal circumstances I would never, ever, ever 'pop my collar' but this type of popped collar has more to do with showcasing the lovely menswear-inspired detail than being dressed up like Pauly D.  This is a chic tailored look for every lady that loves classic style!
School boy blazers via J Crew

All you need is a blazer, Heat and Bond Iron-On Adhesive (I got mine at JoAnne's), and a wool felt fabric to add under the lapel.  It is important to choose a fabric for the underside lapel that can withstand high heat from the iron-on adhesive!
I have to highlight that the blazer I used for this project I got for $7.00 at a vintage shop!  I think it was a boys uniform type jacket?  Who knows, but I chose the red wool felt because it complimented the red piping surrounding the jacking lining.
Here's a closer look at the underside of the lapel.  My blazer already had a wool felt fabric underneath, lots of blazers do.  The purpose of the felt is to double as outerwear when it is cold and rainy and it helps the suit jacket to hold it's shape around the neck.
So, I started by laying the lapel flat to measure the size//shape of wool felt and iron-on adhesive I had to cut.
Once I had the felt and adhesive cut, I laid it carefully in place on the underside lapel to begin adhereing.  The directions were really simple and I ended up with exactly what I wanted, although it was hard to get a nice photo of it.  The underside of a lapel is hard to capture!

Now for the elbow patch DIY! 
This idea is kind of a trend from last fall.  I actually did this DIY last year and never thought to do a post about it until a friend told me it was a fantastic idea so I had to share!  Here are a couple blazers with the elbow patches from J Crew again, but I think you can find them at a lot of stores now.

Hacking blazers via J Crew

I started with an older Forever 21 blazer that I hadn't worn in a long time which always means it's time to spruce it up.
I picked up these twill iron-on patches from JoAnne's.  The patches are square shaped so you have to cut them into the patch shape you'd like.  I used the bottom of a gravy boat to get the right oval shape, random but true :)
After cutting the shape, I put the jacket on and marked where I wanted to place the patches.  I made sure to choose the placement with my elbows straight and bent.  Then, I carefully laid them in place and ironed each patch onto the blazer.
Polished perfection!  I love that the patches added a special touch to what was my bland blend-in blazer.
Either blazer paired with a tee or blouse, jeans and tall boots has made for a flawless look and I LOVE that it is easy to put together in those "what do I wear today?" moments.

What do you think of these no-sew DIY Blazer updates?
Are you going to try one?
Have you done a different one?  Please share!

If you'd like to see another simple fall fashion DIY check out my guest post over at Champagne Lifestyle on a Beer Budget.  You'll love Hannah's blog too!