Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Broken Glass Hanging Planter DIY

This broken glass was too pretty to throw away and has therefore been sitting idly by as I brainstormed ways to use it. During my hanging succulent project last weekend, I had an extra little guy left over that would fit perfectly in the glass. The only thing standing in the way was a solution to hang or suspend the glass in some way. 

My first effort to tie together or weave twine into a sort of basket failed, so I grabbed some jewelry wire and started twisting with the same end goal in mind. Once I had enough twisted wires that the glass felt secure, I hot glued a circle of felt over the bottom to cover the broken part as well as hold the wire in place.

Lastly, I strung some wire from the "basket" part, tapped a nail into our kitchen window pane and hung  my little guy for all to see.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hanging Succulents

Getting some succulents in this apartment has been a long time coming. We've talked about them, dreamed about them and even physically picked them up at stores up until now, but just never made the commitment. Simultaneously, there has been an empty space in the living room that needs some love, so it seemed everything came together harmoniously when I found some hanging planters at Anthro (on sale!) this weekend.

My roommate and I had previously seen these in stores, but the color selection wasn't our favorite. Afterwards, we considered buying miscellaneous ceramic planters and vases and drilling holes ourselves, but decided against it since they wouldn't have the flat back side that makes them hang correctly. This way is much easier.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Watercolor Words

I've been practicing my watercolor lettering lately and made these two pieces: one for our apartment, a Marina and the Diamonds lyric, and one for my niece's bedroom, a Dr. Seuss quote. The canvases are watercolor-friendly and I really wish I had bought more. I still have a ways to go (ahem, my spacing could use some attention - the Marina piece is killing me), but practice makes perfect, right?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Good Food: Nashville Edition

It wouldn't be fair to say that I happened upon Jeni's on my own. In actuality, Ryan handed me an envelope on the eve of our girls' trip in which he gifted us girls a Chick-fil-A gift card for our drive (bless you, RF), a brief history of Nashville, printed directions to our hotel and several pages of suggestions of where we might spend (and eat our way through) our weekend in Music City.

At the top of the list was Jeni's, an ice cream parlor and, furthermore, evidence that Ryan knows exactly what I'm in the market for when I travel: sweets. We made it a point to visit Nashville's #1 recommended ice cream spot and we weren't the only ones. It was a hot summer Saturday and locals and visitors alike had the same idea - the line was out the door. And I get it; it was deliciously unique and just what we needed to tide us over until dinner at Whiskey Kitchen later that night.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Weekend in Nashville

This past weekend, two friends and I hopped in the car and made the four-hour trek from Atlanta to Music City, Tennessee for the sake of a girls' trip. While I think it's safe to say our let's-not-really-plan-ahead travel style meant we didn't totally maximize our time or in fact experience "classic" Nashville, we were still able to hit up a few must-see's and must-eat's in the 24 or so hours we were on the road. And at the end of the day, as long as a girls' trip has some fried food, ice cream and lots of car talk, hotel talk and general girl talk...I'd say that's all you need for a good time.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Un-Broken Zipper

This past weekend, I tested my self restraint in the most dangerous of fashions: I went to Anthropologie with ever-so-innocent intentions "just to look." Amazingly enough, I walked out with just two things: a peplum shirt and a skirt with a broken zipper.

I don't know about you, but when I see a skirt for $14.95 at Anthro, I sort of have to buy it, you know? Sure, I've never replaced a zipper - and actually, I ruled that option out immediately because I knew it was near impossible with the little fabric I had to work with - but I really liked the skirt and figured at worst, I'd have some pretty green lace to make something with if I couldn't wear it.

This might seem like a lot of work for a skirt, but I only spent about $5 on supplies (50% off button sale + a few coupons at JoAnns!), so in total I paid about $20 for this originally $88 skirt.

What you'll need:
An article of clothing with a broken zipper
A handful of pretty buttons (enough to cover the length of the zipper)
Thin elastic cord (I used white and colored it green to match the skirt because my only options were white or black)
Small piece of fabric that matches the inside of your garment
Needle + thread to match the garment
Hot glue gun
Measuring tape
Seam ripper
To start, measure your zipper from the inside of the garment. Based on how many buttons you have, decide how far apart they need to be and mark the skirt where each one should sit. My zipper was 24cm and I had 6 buttons, so I started 2cm from the top and marked at every 3cm. Do this on both sides of the skirt since you will do buttons on one side and elastic hooks on the other.1. Using a seam ripper, make a tiny hole between the layers of fabric where the button will go through.2. Push the button through.3. Sew the button in place to the inside of the skirt. Make sure it is sewn tightly.4. Repeat steps 1-3 for all buttons.
5. This will sound ridiculous, but I colored my elastic with a green Sharpie because I didn't like how plain black or white looked. You won't be able to see much of the elastic, but I wanted it to match.

6. Measure and cut 2in of elastic for each button. The actual hook will be pretty short, but it's easier to sew the elastic if it has a long base.

7. Place the elastic in a loop where you marked on the garment. You may want to test the length before sewing, as it can't be too loose.

8. Sew the elastic in place, again making sure it is tight so it doesn't pull out when you put it around the button.
At this point, I was pretty over sewing, but I wanted to cover the buttons so I hot glued a strip of the matching fabric over them.
As a final touch, I did the same thing on the hook side, but made it a bit longer to act as a panel of sorts just in case I needed the extra coverage. This piece ensures I am not over-exposed since the buttons are not as forgiving as a zipper.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Painted Table Runner DIY

Suddenly it became the white elephant in the apartment: the dining room table needed a change. Don't get me wrong - it wasn't that my roommate and I didn't still love the placemats I made last year (they match the bench cushion, after all). In fact, I like the placemats and welcome the protection they offer to our ever-so-scratchable wooden table. But alas, we had gotten a bit desperate for a fresh dining room table look.

We reviewed our options. A tablecloth seemed too big of a commitment, what with its full coverage and bold statement, and more placemats were ruled out. And so I got it in my mind that what we needed was a table runner. But not just any table runner. I specifically wanted a painted one.

After many half-hearted attempts and subsequent failures to buy fabric or even a tablecloth I could cut down to size, sew up and paint to my liking, I came home Friday after work and began rummaging in my collection of remnant shreds.

To my surprise, I found a large Oklahoma-shaped piece leftover from the placements. I cut it up into three large rectangles and two narrow rectangles to piece together for a runner almost long enough for the table. To get the extra length I needed, I used two more scraps I had that were a dark tan. I wasn't too worried about the mismatch because I knew I would be painting this bad boy.

Did I measure anything? No. Is it a little crooked? Yes. Fortunately, most people aren't as keenly aware of things like this as I am, and I decided I can live with that. Once the runner was sewn, I used painters' tape to mark off where I would paint my stripes using - not surprisingly - my Martha Stewart gold and silver paints. I have gotten more use out of those paints than anything in my life, I'll tell you what. (See hereherehere and here for just a few examples.)

I painted the stripes at varying widths and then started painting some with a messy look for added depth  (depth: I'm so artsy). The best part? I had everything but the tape, so this table runner cost no more than $3.50 to make.

And now the placemats may rest.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summer Plans

For some people, publicly professing their plans to do something means they're really committing to doing it. As we saw here on Flowers are Lovely with the marathon I had full intentions of doing quit last year, that isn't exactly the case for me.

But in the spirit of guilting myself into getting things done, here's a list of a few things I'd like to do and some projects I plan to accomplish at some point this summer (or year - let's go with year).

Have a picnic at the park with friends

Go to White Water (stop judging me - it's fun and I won't swallow the water) *Update: check!
Shoot the Hooch (edit: this is rained out basically every weekend)
Do something (anything!) on the BeltLine
Buy a bike!
Laser show at Stone Mountain *Update: booked!

Make a T-shirt quilt (daunting)
Sew a table runner *Update: see completed project here
Help my mom redo a bathroom (here's my bathroom redo)
Hang something in the large blank space on my bedroom wall
Hang lots of things on the hallway in our apartment
Finish the gallery wall of all gallery walls, which has taken over a year so far
Necklace hanger DIY - I've done this before so it really shouldn't be too hard *Update: see completed project here

Happy summer, friends. If you're up for any of the above, you know where to find me.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Meal (Not)Planning

What I failed to mention last week when talking about my weakness for cheese was the other dilemma I face when out and about at the farmers' market, which is buying things in excess, unnecessarily. I tend to steer away from lists when grocery shopping unless I have specific meal ideas in mind (unlikely), a practice that proves challenging time and time again, never working in my favor. I'll walk in bright-eyed and busy-tailed with plans to "shop light" and "only buy the things I need," of course those things unbeknownst to me because I didn't make a list.

This results in an array of emotions among the aisles and aisles of produce. This time specifically, it went a little like this: Corn is in season! Fresh herbs will do! And of course I need these Brussels sprouts even though I've never made them! Plus I always buy lemons and limes (why?) or various citrus fruits. An hour later I'll walk out, bags overflowing with produce and dreams of full course meals throughout the week.

And this is just where I found myself this week: somewhere in between some fresh sprigs of thyme, leftover basil and Brussels sprouts enough for one (not to mention about eight pounds of grapefruit, six oranges and two mushy ears of corn, a handful of green beans and a head of broccoli). In the window of opportunity before everything went bad, I was able to pull together some quick dishes:

Baked chicken with lemon, olive oil and and thyme on top of pasta with Parmesan cheese
Brussels sprouts baked on a stone with olive oil, garlic powder and sea salt
Lemonade with fresh basil

In the end, at least some of my loot was salvaged, but seriously, how do people meal plan and shop accordingly? I'd love to know.