30 September 2011

Happy Friday

We are off to a wedding tomorrow. 
Then having friends over Sunday for the Dexter premier.
I'll be back Monday with a great Anthro-inspired lamp re-do.
Have a great weekend!

29 September 2011

The Look For Less Challenge: Anthropologie

I love, love Anthropologie's home collection probably as much as everyone else out there. In fact I was there just yesterday picking up a few inspiration pieces for the dining room.

While at the mall, I also checked out Target for a few things, and I was surprised when I saw some similar items to what I saw and bought from Anthropologie. It's not that far-fetched to think that if you fall in love with something pricy at a store like Anthropologie, you can usually find a more reasonably priced alternative somewhere else. I often see things at Homegoods that I saw for two or three times the price at Pier One.

I decided to do a little research and find some more Anthropologie items for less at other stores. 


These latte bowls from Anthro have become pretty popular. I have a few myself in different sizes/colors. 

Anthropologie - $5.00 

Target - $3.99

 Winner: Anthropologie 
It's only a dollar difference per bowl and Anthro has a better range of color choices. 
The Target at my mall had three colors available. The above colors are only half of what the Anthro at my mall offers (coral, teal, chartreuse, etc). Plus they offer smaller bowls in the same colors for $2.50 each.


Anthropologie - $48.00 - 4 piece set (1 setting)

Target - $59.99 - 16 piece set (4 settings)

Winner: Target
For obvious reasons - the price. You can get four settings from Target for close to the price of 1 setting from Anthropologie.  


Anthropologie - $268.00 (Queen)

West Elm - $99.00 (Queen)

Winner: West Elm
Less expensive. Plus I like that the bedding is white, where the Anthropologie version is an off-white, ivory color. I will say that the Anthropologie bedding looks softer.
Side note: I remember Target offering a similar comforter in white, too. It seems it's no longer available online. They do have two shades of blue, but both are listed out of stock.


Anthropologie is pretty well known for their hardware. Knobs, draw pulls, hooks, switch plates - they have it all. I even bought a set of knobs for Lucy's room. I've seen knobs at other places such as Home Depot and TJ Maxx, but never quite the quality or taste of Anthro. We don't have a Hobby Lobby around here, but I've heard other bloggers rave about it so I decided to check out their online store. Sure enough, they have some very similar knobs to Anthropologie.

(L) Anthropologie - $8.00 
(R) Hobby Lobby - $3.99

(L) Anthropologie - $8.00
(R) Hobby Lobby - $2.99

(L) Anthropologie - $8.00
(R) Hobby Lobby - $2.99

Winner: Toss Up
While Hobby Lobby has some similar items for half (or less) the price of Anthropologie, Anthro still has a greater and more unique selection in my opinion. But if you aren't as picky as me, I would say Hobby Lobby is the clear winner.

There you have it. If you search hard enough you can usually find a less expensive version of what you might love from a store like Anthropologie. Remember my nursery mirror dilemma? I scored one almost identical for half the price!

What bargains have you found lately?

28 September 2011


Talk about a dream come true. Lucy's room is being featured today on Ohdeedoh!

If you are a parent or parent-to-be and haven't heard of Ohdeedoh, it is a must see website. A branch off everyone's favorite Apartment Therapy, Ohdeedoh features children's rooms tours, real birthday parties, and tons of ideas and tips for parents. This was my go-to website for inspiration when planning Lucy's nursery.

Thanks Ohdeedoh!! 
Check out the post here.

More Sentimental Art

Still on my personal art kick, I did another mini project this week. 

I mentioned that for my birthday Lucy (with the help of daddy, of course) gave me the Pottery Barn jewelry box I had been wanting for some time. When the box was wrapped by the nice folks at PB, they added this cute house shaped gift tag and miniature skeleton key. I kept both as a reminder of Lucy's first present to me, knowing I would one day want to display them since they are sentimental. 

I took some supplies I already had lying around the house and got to work.

The frame was a cheapie wooden $1.00 frame from Christmas Tree Shop. I painted it silver a few months back with leftover paint from my faux zinc letters tutorial. It has been sitting empty on our living room shelves since.
The paper was leftover from the shadow box in the nursery I used to frame our hospital bracelets.

I simply discarded the glass and cut the paper down to size to frame.

I then took another frame I had lying around the house along with some scrap fabric. 

I cut the fabric an inch or so longer on each side of the glass, then wrapped it and secured with masking tape. I was sure to line up the geometric shapes carefully when I cut the fabric so that the design looked centered once in the frame.

Using my trusty glue gun, I attached the tag and key to the frames.

The key frame found it's home back on the shelves in the living room.

I'm thinking of putting the brown frame in our bedroom somewhere.
But for now the room is covered in water bottles, pacifiers, pump supplies, burp cloths, swaddles blankets along with the other miscellaneous baby things and dog toys strewn around. One of these days I'm going to reclaim our room. Lucy and Lyla have taken over.

Note: Since I chose to discard the glass from the small silver frame, I made sure to use masking tape to cover the sharp edges before tossing it in the trash. 

Another quick and easy DIY personal project using supplies I already had. 

27 September 2011

Floating Photo Booth Frames Tutorial

As promised, I'm going to give you the 411 of how I turned old art from this:

into this:

I found these old art pieces on my grandparents' basement probably two years ago.

I loved the shape of the frames and thought the prints were neat so I asked my Pop if I could take them since they were just hanging in the back of the basement with the rest of his 'junk.'  He said yes so I took them home with no real plan for them, and for the past two years or so they have been sitting in my basement.

Well I finally got to putting these to good use. Like I mentioned yesterday I was originally planning to frame some of the cards Jordan has given me over the years. Even though I would hang them in the master bathroom where really only Jordan and I would see, the cards still seemed to personal to put on display. I moved onto Plan B which was enlarging and framing the photo booth pictures from the wedding we attended last weekend.

This past weekend I got to work.
First things first, the frames desperately needed a good cleaning.

I just took a wet rag and wiped the frames down with water, collecting half a pound of dust. Gross.

Next I needed to take apart the frames. As you can see, the backs of them were a little rough. Several of the staples were bent or crooked. Some staples were actually under the pictures somehow. There was really no nice way to bend them back to be reused so they were all pulled out. 

The pictures popped out easily once the staples were removed, which is when I realized there was no back to the frames. My original plan was to mount the photos on the back piece of the frame and pop the frame back together. One I saw how poorly the pictures were framed and the fact that there was no back to the frames, I changed my plan to the 'floating' frames.

Not quite sure what I'm going to do with the art. Toss them? Donate them?

Now my frames were ready to paint. 
The wood was already pretty rough with no finish so sanding wasn't necessary. 

I liked the thin black border on the inside of the frame. I decided to tape it off and keep it black rather than painting it with the rest of the frame. 

Here is where I once again praise Frog Tape. Seriously, I love this stuff. 
I made the switch from the ol' blue tape to this great green roll when I was painting stripes in Lucy's room and haven't looked back since. 

The paint I picked was Martha Stewart's craft paint in "Gray Wolf." I had never used this paint before but I saw it in Michael's and wanted to give it a try. I really liked the color and it came in a high gloss which was perfect to paint a frame.

 I got to work painting. It took me three coats with an hour drying between each. After the third coat I let the frames dry overnight to ensure that the color was set. 

Then I simply peeled off the painter's tape to reveal the black border on the side of the frames.

TIP: I actually learned this from watching my mom paint when I was younger. To avoid constantly washing brushes between coats, stick your wet brush in a zip lock back and toss it in the freezer. When you are ready to paint your next coat, just take it out and give it a few minutes to defrost and you are good to go. This works for both sponge brushed and regular paint brushed. 

Once the frames were finished I was ready to attached the photos.
Here is what I used:
- frames
- photos
- measuring tape
- marker
- masking tape
- duct tape
- fishing wire

I lucked out that the company that did the photo booth at the wedding offered all the pictures in high quality for download on their website. I simply downloaded the photos and burned them to a disc. (If you wanted to do the same photo booth effect, you could easily replicate this by setting up a curtain to emulate a photo booth a take pictures in front of.) Then I brought them to Walgreens to print, adding a white border to each photo for more of a photo booth effect.

I lined up my photos in the frames in the order I wanted them to get an idea of how things would look. 

Using masking tape, I taped the back of the photos to form one long picture like a photo strip. 

When the pictures are flipped back over, they lined up perfectly at the seams.

Next was attaching the photos to the frame, which was the trickiest part. 

The frames were 11.50" wide, so I marked the middle of the frame on each end (5.75"). This is where the wire will be attached.

I then cut a piece of fishing wire about an inch or two longer than the the length of the frame. At the bottom end of the frame I lined the fishing wire with the mark and secured it with a piece of duct tape. I repeated this on the top end of the frame, pulling the wire tight as I taped it down with the duct tape (hence the extra inch or two for leverage).

Once the wire was securely in place, it looked like this.

(EDIT: After hanging the pictures for 24 hours I noticed that the weight of the photos caused the fishing wire to start to droop a little and slip out of the top piece of duct tape. In order to make sure it was attached tightly, I added a dot of hot glue and replaced the duct tape. Another option would be to use two pieces of the fishing wire on the outer edges of the photos to evenly distribute the weight. If my hot glue trick doesn't work then I will be switching to this one.)

Next I marked a few dots along the center of the photo strip where the wire would be run. 

I also marked the center of the piece of wire so that I could line it up with the center of the strip (also where the two middle photos attached.)

Once my marks were in place I could line the pictures up with the wire and the marks and put a few guider pieces of masking tape along the wire to hold it in place. 

Once the wire and markers were lined up, I put one long piece of masking tape down the length of the photos to secure the pictures to the fishing wire.

Here is how it looked from the front. You can see the wire in this picture in the sunlight, but that wouldn't be the case once the picture was mounted on the wall.

I decided to hang the frames on either side of the big dining room windows. 
As of now we usually only use the dining room when we entertain and have parties, so I figured it would be a nice piece to showcase when we had friends over. Plus the whole black, white and gray color scheme seemed to fit with the walls and trim in the dining room.

Next up for the dining room will be swapping out the antique honey colored wood furniture for a darker more modern set. And finding a great bright rug to add a pop of color.

As you can see, the string barely shows against the wall.

There you have it. How I made my floating frames, using easy supplies that I already had at home (fishing wire, duct tape and masking tape). Like I mentioned above, if this method doesn't seem to work over time I will look into alternate ways to frame the photos. Another option could be sandwiched between two pieces of plexiglass. Let me know if any of you give it a try and what method you used.