Friday, June 25, 2010

Hair Comb Tutorial

Start with a comb and some wire. I buy my combs at Hobby Lobby on 50% off day, so it's $1 for 2. The wire I bought at Wal-Mart, it's the floral wire from the craft section. It was for my butterfly bouquets, and I just have a ton left over so I never bought jewelry wire. And I'm here to tell you that it's fine. Start by making a loop around one of the tines.

Load up your wire with beads, I used pearls from HL, again at half off. I make the first row by wrapping one bead at a time per tine. Then I just keep wrapping in rows, alternating sizes. One thing to keep in mind is that you're not adding beads to the back, so it lays flat.

See what I mean? The back should just be wire. I cover it with hot glue so that it seals everything in and won't stab anyone in the head.

You can make it straight lines, or you can make a mounded shape like mine. Basically you just keep going until you're happy with the shape. There's no rhyme or reason to it. I added flowers to the one I'll wear to the wedding by smushing them into the hot glue.

You could add anything, peacock feathers, flower petals, whatever! On this one I mixed in crystal beads along with the pearls, I like this look better. But really, just have fun with it. You could make them with buttons, beads, rocks, gems, whatever! Just make it yours.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Letting Go

Today was a sad day at Casa B. We're purging and packing a lot to get ready for the big move to LJ next month. I decided to list the extra items on Craigslist thinking it would take a few weeks to get 'em gone, since honestly it's all "college" furniture and nothing I found too desirable. Boy was I wrong! I listed them late last night and had them all spoken for by a sweet woman who is redesigning her photo studio. And now I'd like to give a fond farewell to all those things that served me so well. Goodbye, gorgeous royal purple IKEA rug! You protected the area below you from puppy stains and accidents. For some reason my pooches were afraid to step foot on it.

So long, ancient Target craft desk! You've been through so many different looks, and given me five good years of hard labor. I'll miss ya.

Farewell chrome IKEA stools! I really did love these suckers, but we barely used 'em. Nobody seems to want to sit on a bar stool nowadays.

See ya powder blue night stand. We had a good run together. Your buddy will have a good home in Bestie C's house.

I'm so ready to get this move over with and be in the house for good. No more tiny kitchen, no more limited space. Five weeks left!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

WIWOT: InSwimwear Summer Sale!

InSwimwear is kicking off the official start of summer by offering a site-wide sale of 20% off and free shipping! And what better way to celebrate it than with bright beachy colors. I love the orange, teal and pink all together. Makes me want to design a room in my house with 'em!

Here's a closer view of the main ad. I love this font, it's a free download from DaFont, You Are Loved. I use it on practically everything.

Plus, who doesn't love free shipping? And special orders for no extra charge? You can't beat it, so hop on over to InSwimwear and pick yourself out a hot bikini today!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

DIY Bridesmaid Letters

Being the broke-ass bride that I am, all my bridesmaid gifts are going to have to be handmade. But handmade doesn't have to mean ugly or lame! I came up with the idea of making these letters after Bestie C's birthday, inspired by the Anthropologie upholstered letters I saw in stores.

Can you believe I have three J bridesmaids? Crazy. I still have to finish the N, but I ran out of staples. Overall I'm really happy with how they look! They even have a hole on the back so you can hang them on the wall if you want. They're at Michael's for $4 each, so not too shabby I say!

The S was by far the most difficult. I cut it a little to short, so I had to staple on the side instead of the back. My quick fix was to cover the worst of it with ribbon. I'd say it's not too bad. The rest look so cute that I'll have to just apologize to Bridesmaid S and buy her a daquiri ;)

Coupled with the headbands I'd say that I'm almost good on presents. I thought it would be cute to include everyone's favorite candy with each gift and package them up all fancy. What do you think?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Modern Menu

There are days when you work on super important fancy design work. And then there are days when you get to do all the fun fluffy stuff. A friend asked me to design a monogram and menu for her mother's 60th birthday dinner at the Hilton Bella Harbor. It's still one of my favorite layouts to date. There's just something so graceful about perfectly paired typography. Fonts are like crack to me. I love making interesting combos and playing with unusual partners. And I loathe Papyrus like Pepsi. It's a pretender I tell you! Down with Papyrus!

Okay. Back to the matter at hand. It's your typical mullet project. Business in the front (menu choices), party in the back!
While the front of the menu was basic info, the back was where all the fun was at. These six life lessons were drilled into Mrs. Hadley's two daughters. At dinner we celebrated them all. Along with the monogram it was an outstanding addition to making a basic menu something glamorous. I'd love to be able to design something this fun again. Maybe I'll throw a dinner party just for this purpose!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

On the Build List

I've mentioned Knock Off Wood about a dozen times in my blog. It's pretty much the best website ever. You get free plans so you can build your own furniture, and she posts all kinds of awesome brag photos from readers who have built their own creations from the site. Here's what's on the queue for us this summer...

The Outdoor Table and Benches

The Outdoor Coffee Table

The Adult Size Picnic Table

The Simple Daybed (which is actually the next up)

We've got a long list of tasks to accomplish! As soon as I get paid I'm out to buy me some lumber ;) Go check out the website and pick out a few projects of your own!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Spotlight: CL Gifts

Back in my early days of freelance, I used an online bidding forum to find extra work, It was alright while I was just starting out, but I found the process of creating a profile and competing against other designers tiring. Plus being consistently underbid by foreign companies made it impossible to make any money whatsoever. Sorry, rant over. One project I won was for an online company needing a logo design for a sticker to attach on a hang tag for products. I made about six different variations of this design, and here we had a winner. I love the icy winter color scheme, and the filigree of the border. This was during my pattern phase. And of course, I always like to liven things up with a cute font! Looking at this inspires me to get moving on some more logo design. I think it may be time to get moving on the revamp of my blog...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Imma Be, Imma Be, Imma Imma I'M A BEE!

(personal photo, and yes, that's my dad's backhoe)

Hiya Hive! It's so exciting to be writing my intro post as an official bee! I never thought this day would come. Of course I immediately called everyone I knew and told them all the good news ;) It's not every day you're accepted to blog for the best wedding website in the world! I've been a subscriber since I found the 'bee back in '07, so I'm over the moon to be the newest addition.

 (personal photo)

So who am I? I'm a fiery red-headed graphic designer who loves DIY, good chips and salsa, my sweet pooches and of course Mr. Sand Dollar. I grew up in the Texas Hill Country with delicious Mexican food, tubing rivers, and riding horses. Nothing speaks to my soul like good design or a fabulous font. I spend all my free time reading home and garden magazines and blogs so I can brainstorm even more craft ideas!

 (personal photo)

Mr. Sand Dollar spent his time on the Gulf Coast, where we'll be moving once he's finished with school this August. He was sent to school by his company to study up on Electrical Power & Control (a fancy-pants way of saying he does testing and maintenance on power plants). For now, he's a ranch hand breaking horses and mowing grass on a John Deere, taking breaks to go hunting and fishing.

  (personal photo)

It's been a lot of hard work to get to this point, and I'm so excited to share this labor of love with all of you. We're planning an outdoor party with lots of barbecue, Texas Country music, friendship and handmade details.  We're pure Texas at heart, and can't wait to throw a country shindig his town will never forget!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

You Can Call Me Dolla

For Miss Sand Dollar! I've been accepted to be a wedding blogger on the best wedding blog on the internet, WeddingBee! Holy Cannoli am I excited. If you're unfamiliar with the concept, brides are selected to blog about their wedding plans from 4-6 months out all the way to the big day and beyond. Dozens of brides apply each month, and only 1 to 2 get selected. And I'm thrilled to be chosen! As it's my third time to apply, I had almost given up. It seems persistence pays off in the end. 

That means the tone of my wedding posting is going to change a bit, I'll be more descriptive in projects and engage my audience more. In the past, I've used it more as a journal of projects and inspiration to give a quick taste of the content. Now I won't be able to keep the excitement out! I can't wait to show the world the DIY heart and soul of our wedding, and that you can achieve beauty on a budget. So get ready for this jelly! It all starts tomorrow with my official Hive welcome post! 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

DIY: Daybed Pillows

After sewing my own duvet for the daybed we'll be building sometime in the near future, I decided to use the remnants to make a few pillows to match. And of course I couldn't resist getting a little fancy, so I added some contrast piping (which was a PITA to sew in!)

Cute no? And I have shams to match the duvet!

I didn't have enough fabric to make two pillows out of each fabric. So I came up with a simple solution of making them reversible. This way, if I have the stripe side up and want two shams of deer fabric, I can have it! They were pretty easy to make, though I didn't take my time in order to make them perfect. Oh, well. You can only tell if you look close, and if you're that close to them you're probably sleeping anyway! That's what I think about it. Maybe someday I'll prioritize perfection. For now I prefer to race through one project in order to start the next!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


We finally bought our sofa! Our one major household furniture purchase is our living room couch. Believe me, I begged the Boy to let me build one. Alas, he said no. And I understand. There comes a point where you have to stop somewhere on the whole do-it-yourself thing. So we shopped around, and fell in love with the Jamison sectional in saddle from Ashley Furniture. And we knew it was the one when it went on sale for $800 down from $1000! That's cheaper than the IKEA alternative! And way comfier. Here it is.

I love love love this couch. The colors, the shape, the comfortable squish of the cushions, it's all amazing. And also wonderful is that all the cushions are separate, so we can always recover them somewhere down the road. Awesome. Can't wait to get this baby down to LJ and put our home together!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Knocked Off: Lack Bookcases

Back when I was decorating my apartment on a starving artist's budget, I fell in love with the IKEA Lack bookcase. But the $130 pricetag had me shaking in my boots. So I thought, why not just build it myself? It's so basic and simple. In fact, it was pretty easy, considering I had to enlist the help of a coworker to use his chop saw. Here's the original.

I can still see why I fell in love. So sleek and modern. Off to Lowe's we went, and spent $80 on 2x12's and screws to build two, yes two, bookcases. I spent one third of what IKEA would have cost me, and that's a rare thing to say!

I sprayed them chrome to match the rest of my IKEA finds, and I absolutely love them. They reflect light so beautifully, and as my contractor friend joked, I can store truck engines on them if I wanted to! Given my inexperience and lack of tools, I didn't sand, putty holes, or prime it. So I'm sure there are better possible renditions of these. For now, I can't wait to move into our house and rescue them from my parents' place since my current apartment is way too small (plus they weigh a ton!) I'm getting the carpentry itch again, hopefully soon I'll get to build something beautiful.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ain't No Party Like an Abbey Glenn Party!

I did a stint as a leasing agent at the apartment complex I'm living in here in Waco. I was asked to do quite a bit of marketing and design work, and the t-shirts were my favorites to do. We needed to come up with one for last year's leasing season and kick-off party. What do you think?

I like my little disco people. There's probably four of these in my closet. When the manager came up with an idea to partner with local sororities and fraternities for marketing t-shirts, I designed and printed those too. We have the Gammas...

The Phiotas...

And the Sigmas.

I think this was the turning point in my screenprinting career. I had over 200 shirts to print, and I hated every second of it. I had to print front and back on each, burn what felt like a million screens, and visit all the local Michaels to find all the ink. The shirts turned out well, but from what I hear they didn't bring in any leads. At least now I've got a steady rotation of work-out gear!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

IKEA Kitchen

Who knew one store could hold so much awesomeness? When the Boy and I first started dreaming about renovating the kitchen at G-ma's house, we figured it would be a few years down the road. Then we discovered the IKEA kitchen. Be still my beating heart.
I have wanted a farmhouse sink since the day I laid eyes on one. Yet the thousand dollar price tag on most models kept my dreams at bay. When we were breezing through IKEA one day, we discovered this gem. It's gorgeous, enormous, and best of all, three hundred bucks. I can't wait to take her home.

Our next big-ticket item are the Lagan butcher block counter tops. Another thing we thought it would take years to afford is readily available at IKEA for $60 for 8 feet. So for under $150, we'll have new counter tops in our kitchen. Hooray!

This is not my kitchen. But, after I paint the cabinets cream, it'll look pretty similar to this one. Light, airy, and delicious. Maybe someday we'll splurge on the glass-front doors too. But for now, here's a refresher of what we're starting with.

Blah all around. But envision a few coats of paint, new counter tops, a sink to die for, and newer appliances and we're in business!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Carribbean Here We Come!

Well today we booked our honeymoon! One week aboard the lovely Carnival Conquest for the Western Carribbean cruise. We'll snorkel, ride horses, zipline, and most importantly, eat to our heart's content! I've never been on a cruise myself, but the Boy has, and assures me it's loads of fun. I cannot wait to go. We'll stop at Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Montego Bay. I'm hoping we get to see some Mayan ruins and do a bit of shopping along the way.

For me, the best part is you don't lose much in travel time. Whereas flying to Europe or Hawaii would have cost us two days, the cruise starts right up at boarding. We can take a walk, lounge around, hit up the pool, and visit the shops. I'm excited for the shows and nightlife too. Basically I love the lack of thought process that a cruise provides. After all this hyper-speed about budget and planning and fixing up our house I'll just need a break. I'm already counting down the days.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Flashback to Lake Whitney

A few months after I started dating the Boy, we went to Lake Whitney for our first camping trip. We keep going back since it's pretty much the best camping destination around. We can go fishing...

Take a ride in the canoe...

And keep our canine counterparts busy!

Wasn't little baby Juno a cutie pie? The Boy had picked her up the week before, and already she was a camping champ.

We took all these with my dad's old school Canon SLR he gave me back in high school after he had bought it in the 80's. I still love that camera. Film is such a fun medium to work with. It'll make sure you pay attention to your exposure all right! Now I can't wait to go to Lake Whitney again, our last time all together in Waco.