Wednesday, August 21, 2013

DIY Room Redecorating

This last semester of school I had the opportunity to study abroad in London where I made many memories that will last a lifetime. I wanted to be able to show that through my room so I decided what better way to do that then to make a collage. I had saved everything from ticket stubs to train tickets, even my room key to get into my flat; whatever tangible items I collected were able to be used for this project Anne and I had done. With my room colors being black, white, and red it was easy to incorporate a London theme into our redecorating. Below I have shown the before pictures of what my room had first looked like when I moved into my new house just last year:

In order to allow this idea to come to life Anne had given me excess photo frames she was not using and with her crafting abilities took some inspiration and brought it to life. We have seen a lot of picture clusters on walls scattered throughout the internet and drew an idea from that. By moving my bed to be positioned underneath my window it allowed us to have a blank wall to work with. We used large pieces of tracing paper to trace out our frames to give us the availability to order our frames on the wall without having to move each one off if we did not like its position. It was even easier to also draw on the paper where the nail hole was positioned on the frame so that we could hammer the nail into the paper and simply rip it off the wall once its purpose had been served.

Each frame represents a different leg of my journey abroad. While overseas I was able to not only visit the United Kingdom, but had the chance to explore Italy and Germany as well. From castles to fountains and bridges I was able to explore these three countries during my school semester. In each place I visited I kept not only souvenirs, but every stub I had received while on these adventures and saved them. I was unsure of how I wanted to present them, but Anne and I had decided to make picture collages to document each place.

To give my bedroom the illusion of having more space we simply moved the dresser drawers vertical and stuck it in the corner, allowing myself to maneuver around my room with more ease. But with so many changes some things were able to remain the same. My butterfly wall remained as well as the position of my desk, however the clutter was quickly removed. I find that when school starts, it will be easier to concentrate on a clean workspace rather then a messy surface. And having that clean polished look makes my room look organized and manageable.

All in all the changes have been small, but allowed my room to look different. The best part about this was that no spending was involved in order to make this change happen. We used excess items we had in our house, along with my tokens I had while abroad to make this bedroom renovation happen. This just goes to show that you do not always need to spend a lot to make a drastic change; instead just use some of your creativity to reinvent and alter your desired space and make it into something that you can be proud of.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Ethen's 1st Birthday Bash

Today is a huge milestone in our family...Ethen turned 1!!! We can't believe a whole year has already passed in this little man's life, but we have absolutely loved every second of it and wanted to do him justice in throwing him a fun birthday bash (although we knew he wouldn't remember).

Anne decided the theme was going to be all things fish. Our first idea was to go to our local party store and see what kind of goodies we could get there. we were able to find plastic table cloths and plates with napkins that suited the theme very well. From there we took it into our crafty hands and designed it to be our own.

The dollar store played a big help in our execution as well. We needed containers to hold a variety of items but we did not want to spend a ton of money. We found colored cups, serving bowls, and dishes that helped keep the same color palette throughout the room. We filled them with various types of goldfish (we had no idea how many there actually were) so guests could munch on our friendly fish before the barbecue that was to happen later in the day.

Along with our original table cloths we bought basic colored ones as well. This allowed for us to double layer on the extra tables to give some variety and cut shapes with the excess ones we had to keep our underwater theme afloat. Fishes, octopuses, sandollars, starfish, and seaweed displayed in a variety of colors were cut and stuck on with the help of our trusty friend spray glue.

We have seen many pins on people doing photo booth photos for parties and weddings and thought it could be a fun memorabilia for our guests to be able to do this as well. We pinned a table cloth to one of our walls that displayed our sprayed on fishes. We also included some blow up toys (which were also used later when we went swimming), leis and giant sunglasses that people could hold or wear during their photo session.

The outside we put sticky fishes on the windows for some decoration to be displayed to be seen both inside and out. On our gate in our backyard we thought it could be fun to put a net with some treasures tangled through it. This kept our theme going no matter where are guests were located.

One of our favorite things about the party was seeing Ethen get messy with his cake. His ocean themed cake was actually made with cupcakes. This made it very easy for our guests because instead of waiting for a slice they were able to pull off a cupcake from underneath the frosting and eat them straight away.

As the children were leaving the party we were able to give them little party favors to help them remember the day. Little jars were decorated with stickers and filled with nerds and swedish fish filled them to look like tiny aquariums. We also thought bubbles would be appropriate to have because fish blow bubbles and the kids could as well. Anne also made special jello cups with blue jello to be the water and yellow and blue jello that she had formed to look like fish thanks to some ice cube trays that we had found.

All in all we had a blast celebrating Ethen's first birthday and look forward to celebrating many more! We are glad we were able to post about his special day and hope it gives you some party ideas for your little ones.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

DIY Shoulder Cutout Shirt

We are opening our blog once again after what seems like a long hiatus and displaying our adventures to the public once again. We traveled up north to visit friends and family, taking the time to truly appreciate our loved ones, but now we are back and ready to remain on track, attempting to maintain constant blogs and various crafty creations.

Cutouts have become a hot trend for all seasons, being shown on both dresses and blouses of different shapes, sizes, and variety. Anne and I have decided that we would join the trend and make one for our own.

Shoulder cutouts have been popular lately and so we decided this would be our way of showing some skin. Inspired by Lily Melrose's shirt that she had bought from Forever 21 I decided to take one of my thrift shop shirts and change it to a similar fashion.

 As women, most of us are indecisive. We never know what we like. When it comes to clothes projects the most helpful advice that I have to share is start off smaller then what you intend when making a cut. That way you can decide if you like it or if it needs to be bigger. Cutting off too much at once is only going to cause an unworn shirt and an unhappy seamstress. We went ahead and put this polka dot shirt on myself, deciding what kind of cutout I wanted for my shirt while Anne went ahead and made the incision.

Then, once I had decided I liked the amount that was taken off of the sleeves I tried the shirt back on. We noticed that because of the cuts that were made it made the remaining pieces of fabric that rested on my shoulders too loose, making them look unflattering. Anne pinned the sleeves to fit my body, making them tight enough to lay on my arms without looking awkward.

She used the sewing machine to tighten the remaining arm fabric to secure the sides. Once they remained firmly on my upper arms it was time to hem the areas where the cuts had been made. This allows the shirt to look as though it had been boughten with cutout sleeves, giving it a flawless, even finish.

Cutout shirts are very versatile, adding lots of jewelry and accessories to create the perfect day time outfit, or pairing it with some heels and transforming it into the perfect night out attire. Either way I will be living in this shirt throughout the seasons, keeping this trend as a staple in my growing attire.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Shopping and Clothing and Shoes Oh My!

It has come to both of our attention that we are shopping addicts. We like not only to shop for ourselves, but to encourage the other to get items that both flatter and enhance our already growing closets. This trip to our California mall was no exception.

We intended only to go to get inspiration, but sometimes when you get inspired, you tend to want to get those pieces that are just too good to resist. For Anne, this came in the form of shoes. She had been looking for flats for a while, but had never really found any that she liked, or were willing to pay for. It was in our first store (Sears) though that she found some that she really liked. Not being too expensive, because knowing us we always look for good deals, she decided this purchase was well worth it.

We then ventured into Famous Footwear to have a good look around the sales rack. There she discovered some black wedges. These are classy enough to wear to work, yet sleek enough for a girls night out. Also a good steal she found were some string textured flats, bearing multiple colors to wear with versatile outfits. This trip had us venturing into stores that we normally do not browse through, but I encourage you do the same. It allowed Anne to find shoes that she lacked in her staple attire that will be used for multiple occasions.

It was then my turn to do some damage as well. At first I had looked through some stores and had not really found anything that had really caught my eye. We were just about to leave to mall when a shirt on one of the mannequins had caught my eye. I had fallen victim to American Eagle and their 40% off sale that they were featuring in there store, but be warned, even though the clothes are cheaper then the usual retail price you need to know that it can cause you to be sucked into a deep hole, causing you to spend more money then you imagined you would.

Even though I ended up going a little over budget, I was able to find some good pieces that are going to help enhance my wardrobe. The first being the oversized purple shirt. This garment helps to hide my unflattering areas while accentuating my assets. It was the first thing I saw and although it does not look pleasant on the hanger it look fantastic on my figure. I then followed the purple theme and found this gorgeous lace bodycon skirt, that although I do not have the smallest waist, does a good job of averting from my trouble areas by giving it texture and depth with the detailing of the skirt. I liked tucking in the grey tunic I found and having the perfect day to night time outfit.

Our best advice to give a thrifty shopper is to go straight to the sale racks. It is easy to get lost in the new designs and products that appear in one of your favorite stores, but the best details always need to be sifted through to find. Another idea is to try something different, go to a new or rarely shopped at store and explore! It may surprise you the great deals and styles you may find. Finally it is important to try things on, things that look dull and plain on the hanger can look amazing and flattering on your body. So find your favorite shopping buddy and hit the sales ladies, you might be surprised at what you find!