Monday, January 14, 2013

Sketchy Changes...


It's been difficult getting back to writing blog posts. All my projects have really halted except cooking (hosting dinners/parties).

Honestly though, I pretty much SKETCHED out of here and did not post a thing. I didn't even think about our current unfinished projects.

Sorry I'm not sorry, particularly, because I actually followed my own advice and paid attention to what really matters over the holidays. I am really happy I took that time to focus on family, but I did miss blogging and posting.

SO there was some art accomplished. I did a couple paintings and sketches for Christmas presents this year.

I also produced this sketch for the blog ...

I call it, "Le plateau de table est malheureux"

Just kidding it's called, "My Bright Pets".

So there really isn't a name, I don't name my artwork. I mean- unless there's some sort of inside joke. 

In all seriousness...I'm hoping to post some of my art like this from time to time.

What do you think my 'lil missy? I just love it and now want to do some renditions of it like with my favorite chairs or picture frames. Do you have any other suggestions for a 10 block sketch?

Monday, December 3, 2012

How to have a perfectly beautiful and not a really really "Fast-mas" Christmas

SIDE NOTE**I love all my readers, you are all friends and family here... this blog is a true reflection of me and my interests and I can only hope that the below interests you too! Sincerely, C

It really really bothers me when people call Christmas, X-mas.  I was just brought up that way, we were never allowed to call it that.

 But for today's post I'm doing just that...  taking the Christ out and calling it "Fast-mas".  That's honestly how its feeling and has felt for the past 2 years.  (The year before that we were on our honeymoon and had the most amazing laid back Christmas ever!)

Anyhow, Christmas this year is coming**Fetching** FAST.

All I want is for the Earth to take maybe 3 more weeks to complete it's yearly cycle around the sun between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Is that so much to ask?

Hurrying to get every Christmas project done, every light up, every gift by Dec 1st.  I do it because I love this time of year and in hopes that if I get everything done early I can truly enjoy every moment.

Like these sweet moments trying to take our Christmas card photo:

Usually though, it just ends up me being burnt out and disappointed because of my unreasonably high expectations. Not just tangled in lights.

I have a plan on how to keep the Christ IN and slow things down...

This is me trying to take a step back and breath in my Slatkin & Co Winter candle and take some time for inner reflection. (by the way: YOU MUST BUY THIS CANDLE)

My AMAZING friend and co-worker Anna invited me to a Christmas tea at her church. Tea parties were always soooo my thing with my American Girl doll.

Blair Linne was the key note speaker and she talked to us about beauty.

I've always tried so hard during the holidays to make everything beautiful, including myself. Hair, makeup up, outfit, and everything- you know, the works! We see so many people at parties and celebrations, I've always felt pressure to look my absolute best and to ensure that I received compliments that I did indeed looked beautiful.

My focus for Christmas this season is to focus on the beauty of my heart instead.  This was Blair's message and it is perfect timing to regain focus before that lost/tired/burnt out feeling overcomes me.

While working to make my house Christmas ready, I am working on me too because I know that's what will bring me true joy and happiness at not only at Christmastime but eternally.

If you'd like to know more about her or see her perform please watch this link below:

LOVE her to pieces!  I tweeted at her after the tea and was SO EXCITED to get a tweet back from her.

 Praise God!


Thursday, November 1, 2012


So you've seen the bad and the ugly (here).

Now lets get to the good and the are some Insta-gram shots from the other rooms in my house.  I am constantly changing things around (so even these are kinda of old) it's nice to capture how things were and how they have evolved.

The Dressing Room

Formal Living Room

1950's Ice cream Advertisements/Warhol Style Art against our DIYed metallic/matte stenciled wall.

AND A THIRD ONE (ignore the plugs and wires to the right, everyone knows that in real design photos people don't ACTUALLY USE their appliances, well we do)

More Ice cream theme... this time it's a framed Shel Silverstein poem.

The office wall ( cannot show a real time photo because this room is a my craft/junk room right now.

The Man Cave and Bar (I was once told that all great marriages have a man cave)

Leave some love below!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Inspiration and help for friends!

It has been very helpful to make design concepts to get husband "buy-in" for re-design. I have been asked by some friends to make some inspiration boards for their spaces as well.

Below are 5 designs I did for them. I wanted to share some of my ideas with you, and show you how some pieces you love can be translated from a bedroom to a living room.

I'm quite proud of them. Design should reflect the person and never be too serious. Yes, these are right on trend, but they are designs that will last and can be changed/altered due to some of the staples used.

My favorite here is the hello kitty alarm clock.

I was inspired particularly by this piece of artwork from IKEA. It's young, fun and colorful! 

The key here is to make it your own with some modern Mickey art.  Add somethings that are feminine with a faux fur throw and pink flowers balancing the masculine with a brass skull paperweight and heavy vintage gold gilded frames.

To temper the modernness add classic/traditional furniture like the headboard, couch and side tables.


Lamps (139.91 each)White Stool: ($140.00)Faux Brown Throw: ($99)Tufted Headboard:|dept20000011|cat100240019|cat100240021|RICHREL&grView=&eventRootCatId=&currentTabCatId=&regId= ($400)Side Tables: ($99 Each)Art work above bed: ($99)Aqua Zebra Pillow: ($142)Hello Kitty Alarm Clock: ($13)Green and Blue Pillow: (price unknown, wayfair may have similar)Golden Retriever Pillow: ($55)Chanel book set:{keyword}&adtype=pla&gclid=CIjBqvqU_7ICFYyZ4AodMigA4A ($75)Milk glass vase: Good willGold Skull: ($98)

White Stool:$140.00)
Faux Brown Throw: ($99)
Side Tables: ($99 Each)
Art work above bed: ($99)
Aqua Zebra Pillow: ($142)
Green and Blue Pillow: (price unknown, wayfair may have similar)
Golden Retriever Pillow: ($55)
Chanel book set:{keyword}&adtype=pla&gclid=CIjBqvqU_7ICFYyZ4AodMigA4A ($75)
Milk glass vase: Good will
Gold Skull: ($98)
Sofa: ($400)
Mickey Art: Custom
Gold frames: vintage/goodwill finds


1:Mickey Art: CustomGold frames: vintage/goodwill findsBlack Frame: ($29.99)Dresser: (with custom dipped pink legs)Flower Pot similar here: ($14)Brass Display case: (Sold) Chair: (sold out)Gold Lamp: (over $400)Vintage Books brown and blue: ($40)Murcury glass candles: DIY : Pillow: ($60)2: Dresser: custom dipped pink legs)Flower Pot similar here: ($14)
Brass Display case: (Sold)
Blue Chair: (sold out)
Gold Lamp: (over $400)
Vintage Books brown and blue: ($40)
Murcury glass candles: DIY :
Ikat Pillow: ($60)
Brass Display case: (Sold) Chair: (sold out)Gold Lamp: (over $400)Vintage Books brown and blue: ($40)Murcury glass candles: DIY : Pillow: ($60)

Putting it together:

I like to use PowerPoint...  it is just what I have on my computer.

Start with a color combo.

Make squares for wall color and play around with the "send to back" function to stack pieces.

On newer versions there is a way you can make the background of a picture "transparent". This helps  to make everything come together even more.


Caitlin Wilson PillowNeedlepoint  Coral Pillow:
Art  in Confetti

**Sorry I don't have more of the links, this was done for a friend to DIY pieces she already owns!


Switching notes...

Not only do I like to help out my friends with design, but today I'd like to ask you to help me help out a friend in another way.

My friend's family was devastated by this recent hurricane. Their town of Manasquan, NJ was torn apart!

Please keep all the survivors/ victims etc... in your prayers.

I know Christmas is just around the corner.... consider this as part of your giving for the year! Just $10.00 would help them out so much!!!


Thank you for your kindness, we are just heartbroken for them.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Airplane Wing Desk Part 1

WE STARTED. That is progress enough for me!

I think we will be done before winter gets here.  I THINK, being the operative word here.

If you don't remember or have just started following me, I entered THIS  contest and an airplane wing desk was something we really wanted help with.

Watch my entry video HERE if you would like to learn more on the back story of the Airplane wing.

Bottom line, I didn't win. I am OK, we are moving forward.

I bought an airplane wing for $125.00 from a place called, Preferred Airparts. This is not something they usually stock, but they just so happened to have an unusable wing off a small Piper plane.

Below is our inspiration for this project, Restoration Hardware 's Aviator Desk that retails for $2195.00.

 Here is what ours looks like....

Not exactly the same thing.... but it is still super cool.

From these pictures you can see that it's huge.

See that "worn spot" on the part that sticks out? We were testing our paint stripper to see how the metal looks underneath and to see if we have the right product. We used a brand called "Klean-Strip"paint stripper, it was just what we had on hand. It worked but the paint is tough!

Bottom line, the aluminum is pretty but stripping the wing will be a giant task (not to mention buffing the thing). We will get a nice metallic look. It has now been out there for 2 months like this and the spot has only darkened a little.

Note: This is aircraft grade aluminum resistant to weathering/corrosion (obviously). Not all metals/aluminum will act this way and we suggest you do not leave it outside if you are trying to recreate this. We will still need to seal the metal once stripped completely. More on this when we start to strip the entire thing.

Here was my initial concept for the desk:

I like to make these pictures to clearly explain what I am seeing in my head ("the plan") to my husband. He likes visuals.

Visuals are plus if you have a blog :-)

My first thought was to cut it in half and use one cut piece as the table top and the other cut piece as a leg support like in the Restoration Hardware one. The other side would have to be supported by legs instead of a shelf (too hard and time consuming for an already difficult project)

I would like the wing desk to look like this:

 We are not sold on this concept, we may use 4 legs instead of Piece #2, as support.  What do you think?

Okay so now for the progress:

Our #1 issue has been, HOW TO CUT IT DOWN TO SIZE?!

 There are supports in the interior that run vertically in both directions. These apparently are called "ribs".  Makes sense right? I learned that from Nick. It has been a huge help that I am married to an Aerospace Engineer.  He knows a lot about airplane wings!

Here are the supplies that we started with. I will try and put things we had to purchase in RED. That way we can track the total cost of this thing!

 I forgot to add our craftsman multi-tool (already owned) for the picture, it looks like this:

Hope you are still reading because HERE WE GO, here is the progress we have made. It is in tutorial format but we are still learning as we go and wanted you to be involved "real time" and learn with us. I will do a summary of "best practices" at the end.




We did not want to be breathing in metal shavings.
We also have never cut metal before, so protect eyes and hands, check!

Pearls are optional.

STEP 2.  Use the stud finder to find the ribs. We were lucky to have a hole to see into. Then use your laser on the laser level to find a straight line. Use duct tape to tape off that line.

STEP 3. Tape off a second line, like the first, leaving room for your blade to cut down the line.  This will help you to cut straight.

STEP 4. Put a blade into your jigsaw according to the instructions, the blade needs to be for cutting aluminum/ metal. 
HOLY *($%(*)@$^@$)(&@$ THIS WAS SCARY AT FIRST but the jig cut like butter like this YOUTUBE GUY SAID! Awesome. You just have to go really slow and let the tool do the work.

Where are your gloves mister?!


We got stuck and could only go so far with the jig. It looked like it was hitting something internally and was jumping up. Then we broke a blade.

We got frustrated and started from the other side:

 This worked until we got stuck again! We got frustrated and decided to give it a rest until the next weekend. We took the week to do some more research


We remembered we had the Craftsman multi-tool the following weekend and we went out to find a blade for it.

We bought this Bosch Titanium Blade: for $22

 and an adapter piece $8 (VERY IMPORTANT TO READ THE PACKAGING FOR COMPATIBILITY). Thankfully we saw the asterisk * on the packaging, indicating we needed an adapter for Bosch to work with Craftsman:
STEP 7. We then started to cut again with the multi-tool. We were able to make a clean cut through the skin (official name for the aluminum) all the way around the wing in two spots. The Craftsman worked great, the teeth barely wore down at all, she's hardcore. We did have to pause to recharge the battery. Other than that, we did not have problems cutting the skin.

** Notice there are now two taped sections, we decided to cut along another rib as well.

The problem now: how to cut through some very difficult vertical structures on the interior?

We made two cuts that will now allow us to take off the skin in squares between the two cuts. The vertical structures run perpendicular to the cuts we are making (vice parallel like the ribs). 

Hopefully we will be inside this thing and able to cut it in half by next week.


PAUSE: Ikea trip for frames ENTER: the clearance section. 

Two perfect chrome legs $2.99 ea

Even if they don't work it won't be a big loss. They are adjustable in height and have angled attachments. 

Good news is they have more/similar legs at cost, however, they are $30, so I hope I don't have to buy more.


Stay tuned for Part 2 in the coming weeks! 

Wish us luck.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pottery Barn Candle Agarwood Tabac Dupe

I love thrifty finds.

I also love very expensive candles. They burn longer and have a better scent payoff that tend to be complex and luxurious.

My all time favorite scent is a Jo Malone candle in the scent, White Jasmine and Mint
AT $65 PER CANDLE I can live without

For the fall I LOVE the homey scent of Agarwood Tabac from Pottery Barn.

The scent is described on the website as "Agarwood Tabac Fragrance Notes: calabrian bergamot, black peppercorn, amber, jasmine, tonka bean, agarwood, tabac, Bourbon vanilla, dry cedar and teak wood."

To me it smells like a fancy house with a fireplace burning with herb, pine needles,  and sweet perfume (probably the vanilla and jasmine). This is the kind of house that has a butter and herb roasted chicken cooking and apple pie with vanilla ice cream ready for dessert. 

I am hungry now. SORRY if you are too.

At $39.99 this candle is still  pricey. I bought the diffuser for $35, but I had a gift card and extra 20% coupon. 

Now for the DUPE that smells BETTER than Agarwood Tabac.

The candle Winter, by Bath and Body Works. It isn't an exact match but pretty close.

The scent is described online '"Invite the wintry essence of glittering icicles and sparkling snowflakes indoors with notes of pine needles, fir balsam and winter woods."

I first came across this candle at a friend's house. I was familiar with the Slatkin & Co Candles but not this one. This scent is actually a stronger pay off than the Pottery Barn one.

They are $19.95 but Bath and Body Works runs two for $20 deals all the time, so I always wait until the sale and get two three wick candles for $10 a piece!

Neither candle is overly wintery/fall by any means and I plan to use both scents year round. 

Other Slatkin & Co candles I love: Leaves (a blogger/vlogger fall favorite) and Brandied Pear.

Now get out there and smell them!


Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekend Progress!

Last week I was browsing Marshall's with a good friend and we stumbled upon one of the best finds EVER.

YES that says $ 252.00 and it is for a whole freakin' couch.

The problem was it was 8PM at night and we had no way to get it to my house. My husband was also on work travel and I didn't know if he would approve.

So I let it go...


I thought about it for 18 hours STRAIGHT and decided to rush home from work  the next day to buy it.

Then, guess what happened?


Do you ever get a little psycho the second you find a HUGE DEAL?!?! I know I do. For some reason I just thought someone was going to come in and sweep that couch out from under me. Literally (I was sitting on it claiming it).  I sat on it for about 10 minutes "testing it out". 

Actually that is a fib, I sat on it for 10 minutes hoping that a salesperson would come over to me so that I wouldn't have to go find someone. I was so afraid that someone was going to take it!

With no salesperson in sight and potential buyers swarming (not really).

What is a girl to do? I made this sign so that I could go find a salesperson so that NO ONE else would think they could have it.  

Now I know you weren't thinking I was psycho the first time I said it BUT I know you are thinking it now.

It's okay I still love you.

It is so so perfect! I think it will look great with the airplane wing. The fabric has some "shimmer" silver in it.

We also made some progress with the AIRPLANE WING this weekend after dealing with getting the couch to our house. 

I will post about that later this week.