Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tom Binns-Inspired Necklace

A couple weeks back a great blog Coco+Kelly had a post about combining pastels with fluorescents. The post featured the Tom Binns necklace shown below. For me, it was love at first sight. That was, until I saw the price--$1860.

After looking at Tom Binns' website a bit, I found several necklaces that I'd love to have in my collection, except for their price tag. I decided I might have to hit up Forever 21 and other similar stores with low priced trendy jewelry to get something similar when I remembered a DIY project I had seen on the blog Fab Finds Under $50.
Kimberly took a plain rhinestone necklace she found at Burlington Coat Factory for $10 and added some nail polish. Her finished product is quite excellent:

It took me a couple days to find a suitable starting necklace, but I finally found one--on clearance even--at Claire's in my local mall. It was originally $25 or so, but was only $5 that day. 

Like Kimberly, I collected my bright nail polish and purchased a couple cheap new colors that I didn't have. I then set out to paint the stones. I tried to not paint the prongs originally, but eventually gave up. This is my final product

My partner in coming up with these projects, also named Allison, made her own Tom Binns inspired piece, based on the second necklace above. She started with a necklace that she found for $25 (came with matching earrings, of course)

Then she painted some random areas on the necklace with neon yellow nail polish. Her finished project is below.

In addition, I've found another Tom Binns inspired necklace DIY, at Love Maegan

What projects have you done that were inspired by an item way out of your price range? And doesn't doing it yourself feel great, better than doling out the cash?


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Small updates= big impact

Below is my guest post as it appeared on The Ivy Cottage!


Hello! My name is Allison, and I my blog is called "Welcome to My Home." The name came from the first line of Brenda Dickson's home tour from the 80's. If you've never seen that video, now is the time! It is usually available on Youtube, but is taken down from time to time. The OFFICIAL trailer is here.
Anyway, as you can tell, I have a sense of humor. I'm a statistician (yup, you read correctly) in my mid-twenties and originally started my blog as a way to let me family who lives far away see my projects.
I write about sewing, crafting and updates I am doing to my newly (end of October, 2011) purchased Condo. You can see my whole blog at www.aburlock.blogspot.com!

When I bought  my condo, I inherited all the outdated fixtures you can imagine. There is more brass and almond color in this condo than you can shake a stick at. I decided along with fresh coats of paint on the ceilings, walls and trim I would update the switches, outlets and doorknobs.

Probably time to paint that door. It's supposed to be white but look at it next to the trim! 

Ugly Carpet! Good thing that's gone. Read more about my new floors here.

I've slowly but surely been replacing these fixtures, and what a difference it makes! 
Turns out door knobs really aren't that expensive--about $10 each, and aren't hard at all to install.
The results really are impressive.

See those closet door knobs in the back? Also brass. I'm in the process of spray painting those nickel to make them match. I tried to find new knobs, out of laziness, but I was unable to find any I liked that were large enough. One can of spray paint will take care of all 3 of them in the condo and I can update them later if I find something I love!

The second thing I've been tackling is outlets and light switches. All of the outlets and switches and corresponding covers were that bisque color that never looks clean, in my opinion. And they don't look clean especially when they AREN'T clean:

The good news is new switches and outlets are extremely inexpensive to buy, and rather easy to install yourself. It requires turning off your electricity, unscrewing some wires from the old fixture and putting them back on the new fixture in the same place. I'm not going into anymore detail than that because I'm not an electrician. But this is a really simple task that can be done without an electrician (but at your own risk!).

The result is clean, beautiful outlets and switches! It is really amazing how much these little tweaks change the feel of a house. And I personally think that having consistent fixtures throughout helps keep your house calm. Paying attention to the details makes your house look well taken care of, which we all want, right?

What small changes have you made in your house that have had a big impact?

If you want to see more, check out my blog at www.aburlock.blogspot.com. In particular, check out my new flooring and my kitchen updates!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Built-in Shelving?

Just today I was browsing Apartment Therapy when I came across this post about putting shelving over your door when I was struck with an idea.

What if I were to make built-in shelving on the wall that I currently have my TV on? It could go on that wall, over the door, and down the other side of the doorway. 
Unfortunately this is a new idea and I don't have a good picture of that wall at the moment. But here is a sort of angled view of the wall just after my floors were installed.

And here's an awesome mock-up of what it might look like with my TV on the middle.

What do you think?? Should I go for it?


Friday, January 20, 2012

Guest Post!

Just a note that today I am guest posting at The Ivy Cottage! Go check it out to see what I've been up to around my condo lately.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January Punch List

Here is my room by room punch list. It's still growing.

Throughout whole house:
  • Replace lightswitches and outlets with new, white ones- Done about 4 of them!
  • Replace lightswitch covers and outlet covers
  • Have GCI outlets installed in bathroom, kitchen;- scheduled for Dec. 22
  • Purchase and install programmable thermostat
  • Purchase and install new smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detector
  • Paint Cabinets (in progress)
  • replace counter tops?
  • replace floor- purchased! Installed!
  • Decide on color and paint walls
  • paint trim
  • Install under-cabinet lights
  • Replace Fridge, Dishwasher, Range

Living Room
  • Paint Walls "Wild Aster"
  • Pick out, buy and Install baseboards
  • Paint Trim
  • Replace carpet with laminate!?? <- Purchased! Waiting to get installed!
  • Hang Curtains
  • Get new Couch
  • Hang Art, mirrors- Still some work to do here
  • Hang blinds?

  • Decide on color and paint walls
  • Paint trim
  • Paint Closet
  • Redo Closet system
  • Hnng Curtains
  • Hang art, mirrors
  • Replace carpet
  • Remove shower doors
  • Hang shower curtain
  • paint vanity
  • paint trim
  • Replace or Frame mirror
  • Remove Wallpaper
  • Decide on color and Paint walls
  • Clean grout or regrout?
  • Replace Faucet AND sink!
Second Bedroom
  • Decide on color and paint walls
  • Paint trim
  • Redo closet?
  • Replace carpet
  • Paint paneling white <-!! Details coming!
  • fix water damaged walls (probably a contractor will do this)
  • replace carpet
  • Finish basement bathroom (what a nutty set up!)
  • organize and set up sewing area
  • replace washer and dryer? Ordered! Delivery Dec. 6th!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Years Eve Dress

I'm nothing if not a rule breaker, but one rule I won't break is the one that says you must wear sparkily or shiny things on New Years Eve. This year, in order to not break the rule I made a dress for myself out of a lovely bronze-gold stretchy fabric I got at Joanns.
I had a hard time deciding what pattern to use, but ultimately decided on Vogue 8631, a wrap dress. It was a snap to put together.

I'm actually proud to say that now I can basically look over the directions quickly but then I really don't need to refer to them word for word anymore! I used to hang on every word, now I'm doing my own thing. I guess I'm actually becoming more experienced!

I'm quite happy with the outcome, and think the pattern looks much like the picture on the envelope, minus any fitting issues which are my fault. I'm still perfecting fit and don't always want to make a muslin. I maybe paid $4/yard for this fabric so I wasn't too concerned. Plus its so shiny it basically blinds anyone who looks at it. Can't see the flaws anyway!

And now onto the awkward self portraits in the mirror:

This is ultimately how I wore the dress, minus the shoes. Those boots seem to cut my legs off at the worst place possible! I ended up wearing black flats!

The pattern directions say to finish the edges with bias tape. I didn't do that with this non-fraying fabric, but I think it will be a nice touch if this was made with a patterned fabric and contrasting bias tape.

Now, do I fix some fit issues and wear it to work?? I love day sparkle.