Sunday, June 27, 2010

my lamp shade tutorial.

for a while now, i have been on an endless, fruitless search for a floor lamp for my new place. just when i had almost given up hope and resolved to go to target for a brand new one -- i stumbled upon Carmel, Indiana's best kept secret: Favorite Finds.

this adorable treasure trove is just a couple miles from my house. who knew? it's a consignment / antique shop full of rooms galore, stuffed full of fantastic old stuff from floor to ceiling. the owner is a funny older lady who has owned the shop for 17 years and can rattle off facts about everything in the place. i loved it!

i found this old floor lamp for a measley $15. small price to pay for what i could tell was a good quality lamp. here it is in its original state:

clearly the shade needed some love, and i had a little to give. here's a little tutorial in case you ever find yourself in a similar situation: 

first: choose your favorite fabric. (i bought one yard of clearance upholstery fabric for $3.50.) cut a piece to wrap around the shade, including a couple extra inches of in length that will fold over the top and bottom of the shade. 
(because most lamp shades are smaller at the top than they are at the bottom, your fabric won't lie straight as you wrap it around. because of that, i wouldn't suggest anything with stripes or a pattern that needs to be arranged in a certain direction.)

 after you cut your strip, wrap your piece of fabric around the shade. using hot glue, glue one edge of the fabric to the shade as an anchor, and after wrapping the rest of the fabric around (pulled tight), glue the other edge to the lamp. 
(make your outside edge clean by folding it under and gluing it before you secure it to the shade.) you will have extra fabric around the top and bottom of the shade in varying amounts after you finish this step.

next: cut the extra fabric from around the top and bottom of the shade so that you leave about 2 to 3 inches of fold-over fabric. using hot glue, glue the excess fabric to the inside of the shade.

this is what will really keep the shade in place, so put the glue around the brim and make sure the fabric is pulled tight. (also: if your shade is like mine, you will need to cut some slits where the "support beams" are.)

now for the inside: i used plain white poster board, and it worked out pretty well, but it was kind of a pain. again, because of the shape of most shades, a straight strip of poster board won't work. notice how i had to arrange mine so that i could roll the shade from one end to the other and trace the shape. 
unfortunately, i forgot to photograph the piece i cut, but it will look like a "U" shape with a very wide curve. (you will probably have to trim the piece you cut so that the poster board doesn't peak out from the inside. i found this process to be more difficult than i had originally anticipated, but it worked.)

the end result should look something like this. i had to cut a couple extra pieces because my two poster boards ended up being a little too short. but after piecing them together, the inside is covered, and all of the rough edges of the fabric are covered.

that's all for the shade! i hope my tutorial made sense and that you will be confident if you ever stumble upon your own town's best kept secret. 

here's the finished product (all for less than $20) : 

this project was a fun process and one that i plan to duplicate in the near future with another lamp. my original plan was to spray paint the lamp post, but after some consideration, i decided to keep it in its original form -- the oldtimey bronze-ish color. it goes well with the shade. i like it, and i can't wait to put it in my new abode!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

jara's wedding photos.

a couple weeks ago i posted about jara's wedding collection. it was so fun to create pieces for her bridesmaids, flower girl, and (of course) the bride herself! through the magic of facebook, i already have my hands on some beautiful photos from jara's wedding that i am excited to share.

jara wore her bridal piece so well! it looked so elegant with her veil and went perfectly with her gorgeous dress.

can you spot the treasures? (some girls wore them down low, so they're a bit hidden in the photos.)

i love this!

(and this.)

diva hair treasures models.

the boys' suits are so perfect with the girls' golden-tan shoes and hair accessories.

my beautiful, dear friend ashley nacke rocking her treasure like a champ. go check out her photography!

the adorable allie (another TU pal!) and the beautiful bride.


it looks like everyone had a really great time at jara's wedding. i am so thrilled that she and her bridesmaids were happy with their pieces, and i love the way they looked on all the girls! i am looking forward to doing more wedding treasures, now that i am finishing up my third batch.

if you know anyone who might be interested in a hair treasures bridal party wedding collection, let me know. i welcome any and all requests!

Monday, June 21, 2010

some things that i like right now.

i'm about to go to bed, but i just wanted to share a few of my current favorite things:

i got bored last night and made this little guy.
 (vintage linen with a yarn-embroidered heart, filled in with hand-sewn buttons -- framed in a wooden treat from goodwill)

can't wait to hang him in my new abode!

also! i got some new nail polish today. i just started painting my nails (finger and toe!) last summer. how did i live 25 years without expressing my femininity through nail polish? beats me. but here's what i'm currently sporting:

the green doesn't have a name, so i will call it "green tic-tac." the toes are "purple passion." rarr. 
(i am aware that i have strange monkey toes. sorry about that. and if you click on this for a close-up, you will see how terrible i am at staying in the lines. yikes.)

and! last but not least, my VEGAS GOLD backpack from american apparel arrived today. it looks less like gold and more like tan canvas, which i am pleasantly pleased with. one of my new fabrics came today, too. three things in the mail were for me! (but one was my target credit card bill, so that was a bummer.)

(i'm mega superior gold.)
(and i am able to do as i'm told, babe.)

i have half-completed my week's mission already. hooray!

ok night night. there's a thunderstorm outside. 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

brides and backpacks.

this is my mission for the week:

i am finished with all of piper's nine bridesmaids' and three flower girls' wedding treasures, and now i am getting ready to make hers! she has requested a piece to be modeled after this beautiful purple, black, and white one -- and i can't wait to get started. i have never done anything like it, so it will be a challenge, but i am excited for the end result!

(i'll post pictures of everything as soon as i am finished with the whole collection.)

on a side note, i ordered this backpack from american apparel:

the color is "vegas gold." it could either be a disaster or the best thing ever. all i know right now is that i've spent way too many hours shopping online for a backpack, and i'm just glad it's over. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

crystal's baby shower and handmade gifts.

last weekend i traveled to my southern home-away-from-home for a little nashville weekend visit. i lived in nashville, tennessee for three years, and during my time there i made a wonderful friend named crystal. 

crystal and i taught together at sycamore middle school, where she is the choir director / music teacher, and i was an english teacher. she is one of my closest friends, so you can imagine my excitement when i found out she was pregnant! 

she is due in just a couple weeks when she will welcome her adorable baby girl, lilly, into the family. i can say she is adorable already because of this crazy ultrasound photo: 

(it just never ceases to amaze me that it's possible to see such a clear picture of an unborn baby. i am borderline obsessed with pregnancy anyway, so this just put me over the edge!)

i visited with some friends in the city and then headed to crystal's baby shower on saturday. it was so fun to see her (and her big belly!) and spend some time talking with her about this new chapter in her life. lilly's nursery is adorable, and she really hit the jackpot at her shower. 

i made some burp rags for baby lilly. they were really easy and fun to make, and, according to my mom, burp rags get lost all the time at daycares / nurseries, so hopefully the L will help them to stay put! :

(Gerber cloth diapers with a different L pattern on each one)

(close up)

(even closer up)

(the whole shebang)

and, of course, i had to shower baby lilly with hair treasures! crystal has so many cute clothes for her already, so we are hoping she comes out with at least a little hair so she can wear her little hair accessories, too! either way, four of the five treasures i gave are headbands, so she'll be good to go! 

here is my favorite one. it just makes me think of crystal and her girly diva ways when i look at it! : 

i had a blast in nashville, especially at crystal's baby shower, and now i am just waiting for baby lilly to arrive and puke in the rags i made and become my newest baby treasures model! eee!

a few more pictures from the shower:

(crystal's first sight of lilly's baby treasures)

(i helped to assemble the stroller and a floor playpen thing. they don't call me "handy" bender for nothing. ps. no one calls me that.)

(crystal taking a look at lilly's designer burp rags)

babies. i love 'em.

Monday, June 14, 2010

fabrics (my weakness).

just bought these cute fabrics! i'm getting excited about decorating my new apartment. i'm planning to use these fabrics to cover canvases and make a little collage on my living room wall.

mustard yellow, trees, and birds. be still my beating heart:

owlies! eee! :

dandelions, of course:

i'm still searching for the perfect curtain fabric for the living room and bedroom. i'm not sure of the window measurements, so i have to put that project off for a little bit. 

also, my bedroom has big white closet doors that i am planning to remove (just for the duration of my stay) and put up long drapes instead. i did the same thing in my college apartment and first nashville apartment, and i loved it! it really makes life easier. 

if you have any suggestions for online fabric stores or etsy shops, please let me know! 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

jara's wedding collection.

hi, world! i have so many fun things to share -- recent projects, trips, and overall goodtimes. but for today, i want to post some pictures of a wedding collection that i created for jara.

my dear friend ashley nacke sent jara my way, and i was so excited about creating pieces for each of her six bridesmaids and flower girl, as well as a bridal piece for her! i had inspiration: the bridesmaids' shoes and jewelry, and the elegance of jara's dress. here's what i came up with:

the whole set:
three headbands and three clips for the bridesmaids. (i made the tiny flower girl clip later.)

 the largest of the twisty-style design, beaded with large pearls:
(each piece is slightly different in size, beading, and design.)

the largest of the flower-style design, beaded in a triangle design:
the bridesmaids' pieces are made from a textured vinyl-style fabric, similar to the texture of the shoes.

a smaller twisty-style headband, beaded with two large & two small pearls:

a mid-sized flower-style clip, beaded with small pearls in a pea-pod design:
(backed with felt and attached to a metal alligator clip)

the smallest of the twisty-style design, beaded with three small pearls:
(this one might be my favorite!)

the smallest of the flower-style design, beaded with a single small pearl:
(the flower girl's clip was the same style, just smaller.)

jara's bridal piece:
(an ivory satin rosette topped with an earring that jara provided)

a side view:
we had originally talked about attaching feathers to the rosette to make it a little more fabulous, but jara decided on this piece by itself. it definitely worked with the elegance of her dress!

jara just got married yesterday (congrats!), so i can't wait to see pictures. i'll post some as soon as i can. i have one more wedding collection to finish this summer, and i hope to do more in the future! if you know anyone who could use some wedding treasures, send them my way!