3/31/14

RH Bromptom Leather Chair-- for less :)

Since Chesterfield (here) arrived in our house, I have been looking for a complimentary piece of furniture. Nothing 'too matchy' but something that would go nicely with Chesterfield's tufts and curvy arms. I searched high and low (here) until I found this beauty.



We live about 15 minutes from The Dump and after two weekends of visiting and making sure, we decided to get this chair. Only problem was the one on the showroom floor had a big scratch on the side.



Luckily we were able to place an order for a new, direct from the factory. Sometimes, The Dump is a 'what you see is what you get' experience, but on some items, they are able to order things for you. And although they don't come right out and say where the items are from, with a little detective work (along with an item number and product description) I was able to find out this piece was VERY similar to a Restoration Hardware chair, but with a much lower price tag ;)

Restoration Hardware "Maxwell Leather Chair"-- my leather color is called "Glove" 
Within 4 weeks, our RH chair arrived. The leather is so soft and the 'chair and half' size is so comfy. Jeff and both girls fit in the chair comfortably. The leather ottoman makes a great place to stretch your legs or it can be moved aside for extra seating when needed.

Here is a look at our family room with the sectional (BEFORE details here) 

The sectional took up a lot of space in our family room
Our sleeper sectional had lots of seating, but was loosing its shape after 7 years
The large sectional from behind
And here it is now (AFTER details here)

Our first week with Chesterfield-- while we searching for another piece

And now we are done! Both pieces together
Another view of the room
Decorating takes time. Finding just the right pieces means doing a lot of searching. But when it all comes together, it is worth the wait.


* PS- I was not compensated or sponsored for this post, I just love The Dump and Restoration Hardware :)

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3/28/14

Slumber Party Invite

Eeeek! Tonight is the big party-- we are hosting our first sleepover. To celebrate my daughter's 8th birthday, she is having three little friends over for a slumber party. She is SO excited and I am hopeful that this sleepover will include some actual 'sleeping' :) :)


For her invites, we wanted to do something special. Since we only needed to make three invitations, I put a little more effort into them than I would usually do.


Together, my girl and I sewed and stuffed little pillows, made mini sleeping masks with ribbon straps, and then tied them together. In the back, we tucked a card with the party information.


The mini goodies are just the right size for the guests to use with a doll or stuffed animal. One friend said her 'stuffed Elf' has been wearing the sleeping mask at night. Another said the mini pillow is in her Barbie house. We were excited to hear the invitation was not only cute, but also fun to 'use'!



Wish me luck and keep your fingers crossed that I get to sleep tonight! I will post more about the party next week. For more Slumber Party ideas, see my 'Sleepover Party Post' by clicking here.


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3/26/14

Moss Monogram Wreath for Spring

New season, new wreath! This time I was itching to make something with moss.


I wandered around Hobby Lobby on a Saturday afternoon and found this thick grapevine wreath. Since my door is black, the white chippy paint caught my eye. I decided to pair it with a moss covered 'c' for our last name and then use some yellow chevron burlap ribbon I had at home for a bow. When I went to pay for my supplies, the clerk at HL said- 'your wreath looks like a big white tire'. Ha! I couldn't help but laugh out loud. Eeerr- not sure a 'white tire' was the look I was going for, but to each their own?!

To begin, I wrapped the wooden 'c' with moss ribbon and secured it with hot glue. This was messy, so I worked in the garage.





Then I made a simple bow with the yellow chevron burlap ribbon. I hot glued that to the top of the wreath.


Finally, I hung the 'c' with some jute twine. Since the wreath already came painted white, this was a pretty easy craft.


Now I need to plant something bright and green in those urns. Maybe fox tail ferns again?


And I can't get the words of that Hobby Lobby clerk out of my head! Will people drive by my house and think I make a wreath from a white tire? To each their own...:)

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3/24/14

Getting People to Read Your Blog

Blogging is such an interesting hobby. When I started, back in 2010, I had no big plans for my blog. I hoped people would come visit. I hoped that maybe, somehow, I could make a little money from it, but mostly I just wanted to write about things I was passionate about. There was no Pinterest or Hometalk. I didn't know about Facebook pages for blogs, Twitter, Craftgawker, I just wrote about projects I did and made collections of ideas I liked.

Source
Now just four years later, things have changed SO much in the blogging world. Blogs have turned into mini-magazines. Bloggers are taking amazing photos, editing, writing, and promoting like professionals. They are creating amazing videos for YouTube and working with commercial brands and media consultants. They are getting books deals, television shows, and more. The idea of a 'mom blogger' just doing something at home, randomly snapping pics, posting them to a little blog and becoming famous is a fairytale-- if not an outward lie.

Me!! Click here to see how I made this necklace!
Now, not only does a successful blogger need to create great content accompanied by professional photography, they need to know how to get it out there. It's kind of like the 'if you build it, they will come' idea. But with the internet-- they won't just come, you have to lead the readers to you. Highly successful blogs spend more time promoting their work than actually creating it. Bloggers are scheduling posts, pins, and tweets (and the big blogs hire others to do this for them or work in a network of friends who consistantly promote each others work.) Social media sites have become a major part of a blogger's life.

Me-- blogging :) See my tips on "How to Start A Blog" by clicking here
Maybe that is part of the reason blogging can be so frustrating. You make a great project, take the best possible photos and you send it into the world. And sometimes, that's as far as it goes. The best case scenario, it goes viral on Pinterest and you get a ton of traffic. But even after a few days, that high quiets down and you need more. You need another post, a more unique idea.

More likes, more followers, more pins... It really is quite crazy! There are SO many people that do it so well and so many who are inspired by those ideas. After awhile, it all starts to look the same. And the part that makes me sad, is those who are doing the hard, creative work get very little compensation in return. Can you imagine doing a job that takes up hours of time and so much room in your heart-- for a few free products or a small amount of ad revenue? Can you imagine calculating your worth by the number of people who click that 'thumbs up' icon on facebook? As someone who has done it--- I can tell you, it's ridiculous!
Can anyone relate to this feeling? LOL. 
But if you love sharing your passion, you are determined, and have free time-- there are a lot of fun parts to blogging ;) I have met amazing people, gotten some really cool free stuff, and felt the joy that comes from others appreciating and admiring your work. I have also learned that the best way for me to keep my mind in a 'rationale state' is not worry about the other parts. I just focus on doing the creative parts and let the rest (like the promoting and linking up at a million parties) go. I try to keep it light, keep it easy.

Get this printable for FREE- just click here
With that said, if you are blogging and loving it-- run with it! Success isn't always measured in dollars or page views. Write, create, and do your thing. And if you want to share your posts, below you can find my favorite sources for great traffic. Because if you write it, you want someone to read it! (And if you read blogs, make sure to 'like', 'share' or 'pin' your favorite bloggers work. That's the ONLY way they ever get compensated!)


Are you a blogger? What has been the best part of blogging? And what has been the worst?

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3/21/14

Decorating Ideas for a Neutral Family Room

I love, love, love when I hear from a reader. A few weeks ago I got an email from a new reader that had found my blog via Pinterest. She has a beautiful new home, but felt her family room was 'missing something'. Even better she sent me several photos and then asked for some decorating advice. As I have told you many times, I am not an interior decorator. I have had a lot of fun working on my own home, but I have never taken on any design projects. But I was happy to share a few ideas with her that have worked in my home.

1. Curtains | 2. Rug  | 3. Accessories
1. Hang printed curtain panels on windows. (CLICK here to see how to hang curtains)

2. Add a rug. Break up the flooring and add contrast to the room with a geometric rung. (CLICK here to see my tips on choosing a rug)

3. Include some contrast on the mantle. Every room needs a bit of shine and some black. (CLICK here to see my mantle)
----------------
UPDATE: With those few tips, my Pinterest reader got right to work! She even was so sweet as to send me some 'in progress' photos. I love what she has done with the windows, rug and mantle. I think she is a decorator at heart. Sometimes you just need a little direction to get started!


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3/19/14

Lace Patch for Jeans (DIY)

I really like distressed jeans. My Dad always teases me and asks "Can't you afford pants that don't have holes in them?!" But the truth is, I like to buy them with a few holes :)


With distressed jeans comes great responsibility.  Holes are the knees are good:) Holes on the crotch or behind are not good :(
This is another pair of jeans in my 'distressed denim' collection. And....maybe this pair is ready for retirement.
With holey jeans- you gotta know 'when to say when'! 
My very favorite pair of distressed jeans had a great 'frayed' piece on my thigh. But after lots of washing, that became a hole. The hole was high up on my thigh and it made me feel a little exposed! So instead of getting rid of a perfectly great pair of jeans, I decided to patch them. When I think of patched jeans, I conjure up an image of a big rainbow or smiley face patch, you know, something a child of the 80's would proudly wear on the knees of their corduroy pants.

But the 80's are gone. So I decided to make my own patch, a more modern version :) I placed a piece of ivory lace over a denim patch (you can find denim patches at a craft store or even in the sewing department at Walmart). The lace is from my stash-- it came on a roll in the ribbon section at Hobby Lobby.


Instead of layering the patch on the top of my jeans, I placed it on the inside of my pants. This way, the lace and denim show through the hole. (Important: Don't just use lace! You need the denim patch behind it, otherwise your skin will show through!)

Here is the hole after I patched it. I cut down the patch and lace to fit.
It still leaves the jeans looking distressed, without the 'peep show' of my thigh! 
I used my sewing machine to straight stitch around the hole with white thread. I made sure the stitch went through both the lace, the patch, and the pants. Make sure everything is held in place so it will hold up to the washing machine.


And voila! My distressed jeans will live to see another day. This tutorial would be great for adults or kids. Think how cute a pair of little girl jeans would look with lace patches on the knees? The lace adds a vintage touch- don't you agree?


Are you a fan of distressed jeans? How many holes is too many?

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3/17/14

Charming Southern Homes in Georgia

Last week was our Spring Break. So we packed our bags and headed to Georgia to visit family and do some sight-seeing. (If you follow me on Instagram @craftytexasgirl- you saw some of our adventure!) We stayed at Fort Benning, Peachtree City, downtown Atlanta, and in Greensboro. It was fun seeing so many different parts of Georgia. And even though I have visited before, I have to say that this time I fell in love with that state. One of my favorite things was the architecture of the homes. So much Southern Charm.

While I was out on a run one morning, I snapped a few photos. Such lovely scenery and amazing architecture made for an entertaining run!







I think I am drawn to Southern homes. I love a big front porch, columns, and shutters. What is your favorite style home?

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