Monday, December 31, 2012

Adieu, 2012

2012, you were truly wonderful. Usually I am ready to leave the old year behind and start a new, but the truth is, this year was great to me, and to my family.

We spent a lot of the year stressed and overwhelmed with the process of buying our house, but once we cinched the deal in July, we were able to enjoy what we'd been waiting for. We also celebrated my mom's wedding, my promotion, I spoke at WMC Fest among amazing company, and left our apartment behind for a new chapter. It was a wild ride, but it will be a tough act to follow.

I'm never one for resolutions, but I'm hoping to bring many more DIY projects, design posts, and a daily feature to the blog this year. Stay tuned tomorrow for details — and happy celebrating!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

DIY: Bold Striped Curtains

As I mentioned in my DIY Ombre Curtains post — window coverings can get pretty pricey. What's even more frustrating is when you just can't find what you want out there in the market. I had a vision for striped curtains, but they had to be BOLD — the bigger the stripes, the better.

I couldn't find them anywhere, until my old friend Pinterest led me to this post with instructions on how to make exactly what I wanted.

This was strikingly easy, but took some time. I also made four panels, since we used these on our living room window and our dining room window. They are the two windows in the front of the house, and we felt they had to match.

What you'll need to make 2 curtains (for one window):

2 cream grommet curtain panels (mine were from Pottery Barn)
5 yards black cotton twill fabric
4+ rolls of Stitch Witchery or other fusible web adhesive
4+ spools of 3/8" black grosgrain ribbon
White pencil or chalk
Rotary cutter or fabric scissors

Start by cutting your strips of black fabric. Depending on the size of your drapes, you'll want to do some math to figure out how long the stripes need to be. Mine were 84" long, and I wanted 4 black stripes, so I subtracted the grommet tab from the total length, then divided that by 7 (total stripes). Phew - this is boggling my math-inept brain. Each stripe ended up being 11"The length will be the same for all of the stripes except for the bottom one — it will have to be a couple inches longer, so it can be folded under for a finished look. For the rest, you will just leave the edges raw.

As for the width, you'll want to add at least an inch on each side, so they can also be folded around and secured on the back of the panel.

Disclaimer: this is our fugly attic carpet. But hey...we have a finished attic at least, right?

Lay your curtain panel out and place your stripes down, measure the spaces to make sure they're even, and get to ironing. Use a strip of Stitch Witchery at the edges of each stripe, and iron carefully to adhere the stripes to the panel. Don't worry about folding the raw edges over to create a seam - you'll just cover the raw edge with grosgrain ribbon, also attached with the Stitch Witchery. 

Once you're finished attaching the stripes and ribbon, flip the panel to the other side, and fold extra stripe fabric over and secure with more iron-on adhesive. Also do this with the ribbon - it will give you a seamless, finished edge.

Here's a good shot of how the edges should look.

Repeat for the second panel, and you're done! Each panel took me about two hours, but by the time I was on my fourth I flew through it. I'm so happy with the process and how bold they look in our house. Our dining room totally pops, and the stripes also compliment the cozy neutral scheme we have in our living room. They work perfectly in both spaces.

Now that I've got a whole bag full of Stitch Witchery, I'm looking for more projects like this. If you have any ideas, send them my way!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Holiday Weekend with Stella & Dot

My Stella & Dot trunk show was Friday night and it was a total blast! I have admired a lot of their pieces online, but hadn't seen any in person until attending a friend's trunk show. After that I was smitten, and had my own show this weekend. With a great group of girls, and my awesome Stella stylist Jenna, we had a night of holiday sweets and Christmas ale. 

It was hard to choose which things to snatch up, but I ended up with a big gold statement necklace that had my name all over it.

Trays and displays of sparkles...

Gingerbread bites with white chocolate to go with all that Christmas ale!

My favorite bracelet that I got at a previous show, with a link bracelet my sister bought me in Italy

I rounded out the weekend with some more DIY projects around the house (posts coming up this week!) and had a delicious dinner out at Momocho with Jim. I could eat there every weekend — we had this crazy JalapeƱo gingersnap bread pudding for dessert — how does something that sounds so weird taste SO amazing? 

Huge thanks to all of my pals who made it out on Friday — and to anyone who is interested in shopping some Stella for holiday gifts (or yourself!) you can shop through my trunk show link. They have great stuff and half of their line is under $50. 

Hope you had a great weekend too — hello, December!