Thursday, January 30, 2014

How to Make a Reversible Table Runner on Teal & Lime

2014 is an exciting year for many reasons, one of which is that I'm now a contributor on Teal & Lime, an awesome blog about interior decorating and DIY design.  Every month, I'll be writing a series called Sew Your Decor, and will share a home decor project you can sew.

My first post went live today, and is a tutorial on making a reversible table runner.  This was a quick, inexpensive, and easy project (great for beginners!), and I'm so happy with the results.  Please go check out the full post!
How to Make a Reversible Table Runner |

Want to see the rest of the dining room?  I just posted the full reveal earlier this week!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Dining Room Reveal

It's finally done!!!  Back in August we started working on the dining room, and now I can finally say it's complete :)

Relaxed and happy modern dining room |

Remember how it started off?  Dark, dated, and messy.  We had already updated the chandelier from the brass one left by the previous homeowners, but the paint wasn't meshing with our other rooms, there was nowhere to put stuff, and the space simply didn't have personality.

Ugly dining room gets a modern makeover |

I'll give you the rest of the tour, then explain how we got from A to B!

Relaxed and happy modern dining room |

Relaxed and happy modern dining room |

Relaxed and happy modern dining room |

Relaxed and happy modern dining room |

Relaxed and happy modern dining room |

Relaxed and happy modern dining room |

Relaxed and happy modern dining room |

We were so lost with how to approach this room that we hired Jackie of Teal & Lime Interiors to make a mood board and source list for us to get us started.  She gave us lots of inspiration and some great ideas.  This room wouldn't be like it is without her help.

Mood board by Teal & Lime Interiors for Bonnie Project |

I painted the walls a cool neutral called Kestrel White.  It's more interesting than flat white, and meshes really well with the other colors on this level.  I also gave the baseboards a fresh coat of white paint.

Calm and cool neutral wall colors |

Next I painted the built-in cabinets white.  I was worried the tile on top would clash, but it actually looks pretty good!

With Jackie's suggestions, I bought a small "buffet" to hold laptops, magazines, and the other stuff that was littering the dining room.  I also got those great lamps (so affordable!), the round mirror, the brass duck bookends, and the striped rug from her source list.  The rug was too long, so I came up with an easy way to shorten it.

I found the low-profile wine rack while shopping in Capitol Hill.  It holds the bottles sideways, so it hardly takes up any room at all.

We brought our family to dinner by getting a large print framed - it's a photo of both our extended families, taken a few days before our wedding.  Everyone is wearing coral and navy, and this was the inspiration for the room.

To complete the look, I made a reversible table runner for the dining table.  Check back later this week for the tutorial!

We are so happy with how this room turned out!  It's light, bright, and offers the functionality we needed.  It goes great with the adjacent kitchen and living room, and finally feels like "us".

You might also be interested in these posts:
We hired a designer
Painting the dining room
Painting the built-ins
A shoe cabinet as a buffet
How to shorten a flat-weave rug
How to make a reversible table runner (coming soon!)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

American Girl Hula Outfit - Free Pattern

Today's post comes from my Mom.  After her trip to Hawaii and Kauai this year, she was inspired to make Hawaiian outfits for her nieces American Girl dolls.

Hawaiian doll dress with free pattern |

She's not a fan of the fabric body of the dolls showing, so instead of a sundress, she opted for an outfit with a little more coverage.  She developed an easy-to-make pattern for a short-sleeve sundress with ruffled hem!  I've posted the pattern for free!

Hawaiian doll dress with free pattern |
Traditional Hawaiian print fabrics feature patterns that are too large for doll clothes, so instead she used a fun hibiscus batik.  Half a yard of fabric was enough for two dresses.

Hawaiian doll dress with free pattern |

Of course no American Girl outfit is complete without the accessories!  She ordered hula kits from Oriental Trading Company, that come with a grass skirt, necklace lei, and two bracelet leis.  She cut the kid-sized grass skirt in half, trimmed it to 7" long, and added velcro to make hula skirts for the dolls.  The bracelets became doll leis.  She also ordered an extra kit for each kid, so they could have a skirt and lei just like their doll!

Hawaiian doll dress with free pattern  |

Between half a yard of fabric and three hula kits, the total cost for two doll outfits (plus matching skirt and leis for the nieces) came to $23.  Not bad!  She also added that they were very quick and easy to put together.


You might also be interested in these posts:

American Girl Doll Dress to Match the Flower Girls

Friday, January 17, 2014

We're having a girl!!!

I have such fun news to share: we are having a little girl!

We found out the week before Christmas, and did a fun reveal for our families.  It's the tradition to read The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve, so we volunteered to read it.  Instead of the book, we had composed a little poem that ended with revealing the gender of our little one.  It was really fun and special.

We confirmed the gender at our recent 20-week anatomy ultrasound, so we figured it was time to go public!

As for how this affects my projects...let's just say I have a lot of ideas on how to reuse all the Bonnie Pink fabric left over from our wedding.  Stay tuned!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Don't trash those Christmas cards!

I love sending and receiving Christmas cards!  I especially love the ones with photos of the family - it's so fun to see families grow and change throughout the years.

So of course I have trouble throwing them away after Christmas.  They're pictures!  Memories!

Instead, I found a way that I can keep them around.  Make little books!

I took a regular three-hole punch, and centered two of the holes on the long side of the card.  Punch!

Then I corralled all the cards onto one-inch book rings (Staples had them in pretty colors, which I couldn't pass up).

I used my Silhouette to cut a cute cover out of some scrapbooking cardstock, so we'd be able to remember which year they came from.

And that was it!  All the punching and organizing took about 15 minutes.  The book rings were 12 for $4.39, so my grand total came to about 75 cents per year.  Next Christmas, I'll display these in a basket somewhere so people can look through them.

You might also be interested in these posts:

Christmas Card Display
Wine cork fire starters
Christmas Cocktails

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 Resolutions

I think 2013 ended up being sort of a "resting year" for us.  We traveled a good bit, but nowhere super exotic.  We worked on the house a bit.  Aside from getting pregnant, it was a pretty low-key year (in a good way).  I'm thankful to be wrapping up the year with healthy and happy friends and family, and I'm really excited about what all might happen in 2014!

I had five resolutions for 2013, and did good on 2.5 of them.  I volunteered 50 hours.  We traveled out of the country twice (BVI and Canada), and within the country a few times ton (Orlando, Houston, Los Angeles, Captiva FL, Alabama, South Carolina, rural PA, Ocean City MD, and NYC).  I was doing well being healthy and active until I got pregnant and felt horrible for months.  I didn't do so well on maintaining our home as a refuge or keeping up with friends.

So on that note, here are my 2014 resolutions!

1. Maintain health: I plan to get in 15 minutes of exercise (even walking the dog) every day, and focus on eating nutritious foods.

2. Finish the big projects in our house: Namely, the nursery and the basement.  Both are indescribably awful at the moment, and are causing undue stress in our lives.  Right now I'm staring at mountains of stuff from the bedrooms (piled all over the dining and living room) because we're getting new carpet upstairs.  I really want for stuff like this to not happen anymore, especially once the baby is here!

3. Make our home our refuge: Same as last year, I want our home to be inviting and relaxing, not a source of stress.  Maybe we'll hire a housekeeper, or make a chore list, but something needs to give! 

4. Maintain relationships: This includes visiting my family at least once after the baby arrives, seeing our local family in person at least once a month, and connecting with friends at least once a month.  I think one thing that would really help this is getting decent bluetooth in my car.  I have a long commute, and being able to catch up on the way home would make it easier to keep in touch with people.

5. Start a business:  I have the idea, I just need to get rolling on testing and implementation!