Saturday, April 30, 2011

The House

The paint is going up on the walls. The flooring is planned for later this week. We've been shopping for lighting. This is happening, friends. We're nearly done with this massive project!

Our weekends have been planned around sales and excursions to specialty stores both near and far. In fact, we were up with the birds this morning so that we could hit a sale... and, score!! We picked up the most beautiful cast stone mantle and hearth. Truth be told, I never considered stone until I saw this gorgeous piece just begging to become a part of my living room... and for a fraction of what we had budgeted for.

Don't you love it when things come together?

As I've mentioned in past posts, the room that I'm most excited about is the playroom/sewing room. I love the challenge of coming up with ideas to combine the boys' playroom decor with girly things that inspire me on my side.

Here's what I've come up with so far.

My couch. I love this couch. It is so me. It resided in the keeping room in our last house. It will now live on my side of the room. I'm going to put it in the middle of the room, facing my side. It will serve as a room divider.



Because the couch is a must-have {as is the lil' cutie, who is now 6 years old!}, I've been using it as my anchor for color and fabric.

The wall color is "Latte." It's already up and I love it.


And here's the perfect fabric that I found for both sides of the room. It goes with my couch and looks playful/masculine enough to outfit the boys' side of the room.


I plan to incorporate more of the green on their side and more of the robin's egg blue on mine.

Here's another piece that is going on the boys' side.


I worked with a carpenter to design this piece for the nursery in our last house. There is a window in the new room that is the perfect size to accommodate this set. The bench is toy storage and the side pieces can hold games and books. I designed the cushions so they can be used as floor pillows. I think I may incorporate the green into cushion covers.

And, let us not forget the blue jean rug. A true labor of love.

On my wish list for the room.

This desk from IKEA. One end for sewing and one end for cutting. Sort of industrial-looking, which is not really my style, but I think it will work.


I plan to use two of these cubes behind the sofa to serve as a sofa table and storage for the boys' books and toy baskets.


Also on my project list for the room, tee-pees for the boys! I have this Butterick pattern already in my arsenal:


Any suggestions on the fabric for the tee-pees?

Unfortunately, I can't purchase the furniture until I have a place to put it. The fabric is on backorder until May 25. So, my first project to attack for this room will be the tee-pees.

But not until I finish what I'm working on right now. Any guesses? It's totally different than anything I've blogged about thus far. Stay tuned for tomorrow's post and find out!

Have a lovely evening and I'll see you tomorrow!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Throwback!

I am a faithful subscriber of Country Living magazine. I want to live inside of every page in every issue - inspiration from cover to cover.

A few issues back, I read about this great DIY project and it immediately grabbed my interest.

I was blown away when I discovered it was made from Shrinky Dinks! Are you kidding me? I hadn't thought about Shrinky Dinks even once in the past 2 decades.

Did you play with Shrinky Dinks as a kid? I sure did. I remember how awesome it was to peer through the oven window and watch as the plastic twisted and bubbled and shrank down to a tiny portion of the size it was.

It's still just as magical.

And now, you can invite your computer to the party!

I started researching about the new ink-jet printable product and discovered Cathe Holden of justsomethingimade.com. She actually designed the project for Country Living. She's nothing short of amazing. I want to make everything on her site.

I followed her tutorial for making Shrinky Dink jewelry. It was great. Not only was it easy to follow, she's ever so generous to provide her own artwork for free download. Thanks, Cathe!

So, rather than providing the play-by-play here, let me provide you with some tips and tricks that I picked up along the way.
  1. Don't buy your Shrinky Dinks online! Unless, you live in a very remote area and have no access to a craft supply store. I was so excited about getting started with this project that I ordered my material directly from the Shrinky Dink website - one pack {with shipping} cost me $15. Afterward, I discovered that several of my local stores sell them {no shipping!} and I can use a coupon {bonus!}.
     
  2. The directions included in the package indicate that you should use a TRANSPARENCY setting on your printer. I do graphic design for a living so "transparency" can have any number of meanings. I didn't understand that these instructions were referring to a paper setting for the clear sheets that you use with a projector. I wasted more than half of my $15 pack before I finally understood. **sigh**





  1. Rings. I love rings. Here's a great tutorial for those. I had this really great idea that I'd make stackable bands. No such luck. The thin ribbons of plastic were very hard to work with and wound up breaking every time I tried to bend them into shape. The wider bands were easier to manipulate, but the technique was tricky for me. After breaking a few of those, too, I finally started working directly from the oven. I'd pull the tray out just enough to allow me to reach the pieces without burning myself.

    I used a highlighter as my ring sizer. It is wider on one end than the other so I was able to make a few different sizes. Start by wrapping one end around the highlighter and rolling toward the other, like rolling a "pig in a blanket" for my fellow southerners.
    I've included some graphic files below that you are welcome to download and use. If you need a pdf, please message me at rachelhgarza{at}gmail{dot}com. I'll be happy to send them your way! They are already screened at 50% transparency {not to be confused with the printer setting you should select!} so all you need to do is print, cut, punch your holes, and bake away!


    You can take these into any photo editing software to overlay text. Check out some of the photos that I've included in my previous posts for more ideas.

    Have fun and send me your photos! I'd love to see what you come up with.

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    Things are coming together!

    I know. I owe you a tutorial. It's coming, I promise!

    I've been drowning in lighting catalogs this week. Yet another overwhelming, yet somewhat immediate, decision to make. But look at this beauty that I found in a local store.


    I really love this light. I can't think of anything more perfect for my sewing room. It's quirky and creative and polished! Sort of "out there" for me, but I'm so drawn to it.

    We're heading back to Atlanta on Friday to look at flooring again. We're actually meeting someone there who knows what they are doing {and who will be holding my hand}.

    Just had to share! Hope your week is going great!

    Saturday, April 16, 2011

    Overwhelmed!

    It's been 2 weeks! Eek! My first thought... where did the time go? My second thought... it seems like ages since I've posted!

    So, I've mentioned that we're building a house, right? Well, we're to the point where completion is so close, but there are so many decisions to make! I spent last weekend running around Atlanta, looking at flooring and cabinets. Paint colors had to be selected by last Sunday. Oh my gosh! There are so many options for everything. It's overwhelming, and this is the third house we've built!

    {Confession} I actually had a meltdown in the flooring store. I sound like a brat, right? I don't mean to. Really. I just hit my breaking point.

    A friend of mine sent me this diagram. Pretty self-explanitory and right on target.


    Then, I had to travel to Orlando for a conference this week. Nothing but technical talk from 9-5! This little guy kept me company in my condo.

    I finally made it back home last night. And, I swear, my baby aged 3 months during the 5 days I was gone!

    So, on to the creative talk... after all, that's what you stopped by for, right?

    We have our second Modish workshop tomorrow afternoon and it promises to be a great time! We're making Shrinky Dink jewelry... my latest obsession. Here are a few of the new pieces that I've made.



    I'll be posting a tutorial for these little gems tomorrow. The rings were somewhat tricky to figure out. Once I got the technique down, it was easy.

    On to my next experiment for the weekend... finger-weaving jersey knit bracelets! Not only is it a new creative outlet, but also a great use of the scraps I had left over from my scarf project. Check out the tutorial by following the link above. And, if you have a few moments, watch Vanessa's how-to video. It will give you a good laugh.

    Here's my pile of scraps, errr... future accessories. So cool!!!


    I've made one bracelet so far, but it is the essence of a first attempt - a good effort, not something to show off! Isn't it a great feeling to squeeze another project out of left-over materials?

    I'll be channeling most of my creative energy into home decor projects during the coming weeks. My husband has been dropping major hints about getting started on window treatments now that our paint colors have been selected. Isn't that sweet? I'm ready to get started!!

    I'll have some Shrinky Dink printables available for you tomorrow, along with the tutorial. Please stop back by!

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

    Yeah... someone I work with always says that.

    But... I do have a winner for one of my little pendant creations... selected in a random drawing...

    Miss Rebecca Pierce! Yay! Please send your mailing address to rachelhgarza{at}gmail{dot}com, along with a few recommendations - colors you like, any design details or ideas that I can incorporate into your necklace.

    Ironically enough, Rebecca also guessed the material correctly - Shrinky Dinks! The stuff you had so much fun with as a kid is all grown up!

    We'll be doing this super fun project at our next Modish creative workshop on April 17, so for our local gals (and others), please sign up to attend! It will be such a good time.

    And you can make more than necklaces. Make whatever inspires you. I've made up some really cool band rings this week.

    Really, I have one million and five ideas for designs that I want to create with this stuff. The tutorial will be coming before the end of the month so stay tuned, friends!

    Sunday, April 3, 2011

    Oh, Those Boys

    Those Garza Boys. They sure do keep me on my toes.

    Individually, today, they ruined the canvases that I had been working on for my sewing room.

    It's funny, really. I heard "Ball!" and turned around just in time to see Ryder ripping off one of the little yarn balls that I'd created for 3-D effect. Then, Dylan decided that he would occupy the chair that I had my finished dress canvas sitting on and tore off the roses that I was so proud of.

    He-he... "Ball!" Rip! He was so proud of his discovery. I may be able to salvage them. Maybe not.

    I did successfully finish an Easter wreath and I love it!!


    But, good lawd! If you ever see a wreath, covered {I mean, covered} with yarn-wrapped eggs, and it has a $100 price tag attached, buy it! It's worth every penny.

    Do you know how long it took me to wrap these 3 eggs? FOR-EV-ER!


    I quickly decided that the play of different textures would be much more effective in my design here. I know what you're thinking...

    Lazy, lazy, lazy...

    Guilty as charged. But I like it.

    Saturday, April 2, 2011

    Fun, Fun, Fun!!

    Oh, my go-sh! {Make "gosh" two syllables and you'll get my gist.}

    I had sooo much fun with my project this week! I made jewelry for the first time ever, unless you count the macaroni necklaces and friendship bracelets from yonder year.

    I made these little pendants for a few friends of mine. Aren't they cute?

    There was certainly a technique to follow and I got of to rough start. I wasted nearly half of my materials! But, I finally worked it out and now I've got a laundry list of other creations to make today! I'm so inspired!

    I'll be sharing a tutorial for this project in the coming weeks. It's actually going to be our project for this month's Modish workshop. But don't just think necklaces... bracelets, rings, earrings, whatever inspires you! And your creation can be any design, shape, color you can dream up - not a duplicate of what I've done here.

    Any guesses about what these made out of? I'm not telling {yet} but I am so curious to hear your thoughts.

    Post your comments and I'll pick a winner at random to receive one of these necklaces - with your initial, not mine. :)
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