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Monday, January 31, 2011

{Weekend Re-Hash} Red Carpets & Brick Roads

Happy Monday everyone! I took a break from the computer this weekend and was shocked to see all the new followers when I logged on last night. Thank you Kirsten for introducing me to so many new readers, and welcome everyone...I'll try to be on my best behavior at least for today!

I haven't done a Weekend Re-Hash in awhile, but I had so much fun the last few days I thought I'd share. As all you football fans and football widows know, this weekend is the Super Bowl...and it's being hosted here in Dallas! There are countless parties, events and concerts leading up to the big game, and we were lucky enough to attend one Friday night.


slant 45 red carpet shot
credit unknown

My rockstar print vendor (for my day-job!) Travis Stein and his adorable wife, Megan, invited us to the Slant 45 Premiere and After-Party. Slant 45 is a service organization sponsored by the North Texas XLV Superbowl Committee, and chaired by President & Mrs. George W. Bush. More than 45,000 local children participated in service projects to better our community...the premiere was a documentary of some of the more heart-wrenching touching stories. Travis was involved because his stellar company, The Odee Company, printed many of the materials used for the event.

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We saw many football legends, but I was most excited about meeting Larry Brown. He was a star player for my Alma Mater, TCU (Rose Bowl Champs, woot woot!); but most people know him for his 3 Super Bowl rings with the Dallas Cowboys, and as the MVP of Super Bowl XXX (against the Steelers too, might be a good omen for the Packers this year!)

It was a fun night, so needless to say, Saturday morning came quick! After an early birthday party, we decided to spend the afternoon in downtown McKinney. One of the things I love about Texas is all the small towns, and their well-preserved downtown Squares. There's always a gorgeous old courthouse in the middle, and the streets surrounding are lined with unique shops and restaurants.

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Since starting this blog, I tend to use these excursions as inspiration and ideas, instead of just shopping. (Hear that honey?!?)
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This shop reminded me of Kristen's house, and had great ideas for using burlap.

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These downtowns are always full of sidewalk benches to sit and watch the people walk by. Saturday was an unseasonable 70-degrees, so we enjoyed every second of the outdoor time.
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This store was full of so many interesting and colorful things...I was drooling over the piles of Suzanis and Ikat pillow covers.

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And let's be real, the main reason for going is to eat!

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I hope your weekend was full of fun, good friends and sunshine. Do you have big plans for the Super Bowl? Are you coming to Dallas...got an extra ticket?!

You can also catch me today over on Aubrey's new blog, All Things Bright & Beautiful. She's kicking off a series about how to create your home's unique look.

Friday, January 28, 2011

{Valentine DIY} Burlap Placemats

Valentine's Day is one of those holidays I love, but one for which I have never done much decorating (sorry for the awkward formal sentence, but I'm incapable of ending a sentence in a preposition). Until I became a blogger....and found myself spray painting pumpkins and sticks?! Now I'm all fired-up and hosing my house down in red and pink! (Not really.) But it is fun to create a few projects with the kids, and having homemade decor around certainly makes my Valentines feel special.

I decided to try and redeem myself after my hideous Christmas Snowflake Placemats, and make a new set using burlap in a simple, attainable shape!

Gather your supplies...burlap (I needed a little more than a half-yard for 4 placemats), large darning needle, and yarn or ribbon of choice.

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I decided on a square shape instead of the traditional rectangle, and used a very scientific method of laying my square Greek Islands calendar down and cutting around it. You'll be fringing the edges about an inch all the way around, so keep that in mind when determining your size.

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If you like big messes and lots of fabric hairs all over the place, you'll love the fringing step. Simply pull out strings until the fringe is at your desired length. One edge of your burlap may have a thick binding, just trim that off before fringing.

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Now, this may come as a shocker to those of you who are used to me and my best friend Stitch Witchery, but I actually threaded a needle and did a bit of sewing...of sorts! I took the fattest needle with the largest hole I could find (mine are called Yarn Darners), and threaded a piece of ribbon the length of all four sides of my mat combined. (I went with thin grosgrain instead of yarn, just my personal preference.)

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Then I just made a running stitch around the perimeter, trying to keep the spacing consistent. The back has a small knot where the ribbon started and ended. At first I worried that I'd crossed the Crazy Crafter line, but now I love the nubby texture and punch of red they bring to the breakfast table.

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Oh, and I finally learned the trick to getting the creases and wrinkles out of burlap....mist with water before running a hot iron over it (worked great to smooth out the fringe too). Wish I'd known that when I made these.

And since I never pass up a chance to set a cute table:

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Saturday morning breakfast becomes a little more special with the addition of these placemats and muffin toppers.

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Those muffins are totally distracting you from the placemats, aren't they? I used this Ikea muffin tin and muffin cups...ridiculous how smitten I am with this thing!??!!

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(The yellow blob is scrambled eggs, and I only sprinkled them with parsley for photo purposes...certainly not a common occurrence around here!)

Did I redeem myself in the placemat-making department? Are you working on any Valentine's Day projects, or do you leave it to the saps and bloggers?

And I'm super flattered to be the Feature Friday on Kirsten's amazing blog, 6th Street Design School today. She put together a great post full of house pics...certainly fun to see them all in one spot! Thanks Kirsten!!! {heart}

Thursday, January 27, 2011

{Valentine Printables} Freebie Fun

You guys seemed to like the Freebie Fun I posted for Christmas, so I thought I'd round up my favorites for Valentine's Day too. I know it's a bit early, but we've already started at the Sugarplum House. In the past, we've been forced to choose from the picked-over supply of Valentines at the grocery, but I think this year we'll go for some of these more unique and cute ones....all generously shared by talented bloggers!

Simply click on the link below each picture and it will take you directly to the post with the free download and printing instructions.

Cupcake Toppers:

Paper Glitter

Rock Scissor Paper


Tip Junkie

Gift Labels and Cards:

Rubber Punkin

Secret Agent Josephine



This and loads more at Vintage Holiday Crafts


Paper Glitter

Secret Agent Josephine

Download free cards: Bunny Cakes
Or buy personalized cards here


Maquette


Living Locurto




A Fanciful Twist


Style Crush


Paper Glitter



Gift Packaging:


'U Da Man' Chocolate Wrappers from Jeanne Winters
  

Bookmarks from Living Locurto


Print directly on your Treat Bag from Twig & Thistle
(Don't even get me started on that milk bottle!!)

Love Coupons from Hotcakes

Blog Land has made it virtually impossible to not have a sweet and stylish Valentine's Day! If you have more links you'd like to share, leave them in the comments section for us. Will you be printing any of these for yourself? How about the 'Love Coupon'? Care to share what you'd do for your Valentine? Scratch that.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Follow the Party to Decor Chick!

A lot of the lucky duck bloggers are in Nashville for Blissdom (which honestly, I'm not even sure what that is!) this week. I can't wait to hear all about it...I think it'd be pretty cool to meet people in person that I stalk follow online every day!

I had some big shoes to fill, but Emily asked me to step in while she's gone over at Decor Chick today. We've got quite the party started, so pop a top and come on over!



And big thanks to Kyra at Racks and Mooby! I won her last giveaway...an autographed copy of Clinton Kelly's new book, Oh No She Didn't. I've been home with sick kids and this funny read has been a nice break from 'The Crud.'

I think Kyra went to school with him! {heart}

Monday, January 24, 2011

{DIY} Nailhead Trim Art

Hello, Loves! Hope you had a grand weekend. We stayed close the fire, and worked on some fun Valentine crafts. I'll be sure to share them with you soon (can you believe we're already gearing up for another holiday?!?)

Last week I showed you the inspiration behind Babygirl's New Room, with these two pics being the main sources.
aqua red - domino
(domino)

aqua hot pink - live like you
(marmalade interiors)

Besides the amazing color palette of aqua, radish and yellow...I was drawn to the black frames, nailhead trim and metallic accents. One thing I love about using black frames is they help to cut some of the sweetness in a room. And a blue and pink room could easily be too sweet....even though I'm creating the room for a little girl, I still want it to have a touch of sophistication and glamour.

Here's a few pictures to illustrate the power of a black frame or accent:

black frames - inspired design
(inspired design)

white pelmet box - elle decor
(elle decor -- can you guess why I really posted this pic?)

turq and black - decorpad
(decor pad)

black accents - elements of style
(elements of style)

(the inspired room)

What do you suppose this room would look like without the dark frames and metallic headboard? I know it's stunningly glamorous with them!

aqua red - julian schnabel
(julian schnabel)

My goal was to find an inexpensive way to combine black frames, metallic shine and nailhead trim. Ikea black frames are my go-to, and since her bed (a gem I found for a steal on Craigslist!) isn't upholstered, I needed another place to use nailhead trim. Or in my case, thumb tacks pretending to be trim! (I'm too cheap to use real nailhead trim in my kid's rooms, like this burlap board I made my son.)

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The silver thumb tacks give the impression of nailhead trim, and provide a bit of metallic flash too...Win/Win! I simply taped the picture in place on the back of the matte, then pushed the thumb tacks directly through the front of the matte and picture, creating a border of trim around the inside of the frame.

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The Ribba frames work great for this project because there is plenty of room between the glass, and the back of the frame for the stem of the tacks to poke through.


Slip the whole thing behind the glass and voila!

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Have you guessed her room will have a Parisian flair? I actually found these prints in the stationary section at Ikea ages ago. It is sheer luck they contain the exact colors of her room....I love when you get that spark of excitement when a project starts to come together!

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I'm a big fan of painting switch plates, vents and intakes the same color as the wall to make them disappear. Here's a peek at the gallery wall I'm working on:


Remember the gorgeous Parisian calendar prints I framed for the other art in her room? They have similar frames as the Nailhead Pictures, adding to a sense of cohesiveness.


The colors are blending perfectly with the rest of the room, and the black frames are just the thing to keep it from looking sickly sweet.

 

So what do you think? Do you love black frames in a colorful room as much as I do? Oh, and a little tip if you decide to take on a Feux Nailhead-Trim project...make sure you have enough before you start. And I've found Home Depot to be the best resource for large boxes of thumb tacks in multiple colors.

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