Saturday, November 13, 2010

Moving on Up

I decided it was time to make the switch. Blogger has been great to me, but I just couldn't find my groove design-wise. I wanted the larger functionality of wordpress, and also wanted to reinvent things a little. Sprout Graphics is my graphic design business, and my blog has outgrown that immensely. So, I came up with a new name for my reinvented blog.

Killer b. Design. If you're a follower (and that means I love you!), please switch your readers over to I'm still hashing out the look, but at least now the name isn't quite so confusing. It's all about design, whether it's graphics, decor, furniture, or the million other DIY projects I have going on. So, a big thank you for following me this far, and I hope you make the switch with me!

Friday, November 12, 2010

See You Around

Well, hive, it's about that time. I had a blast planning my wedding with you, reliving the big day with the best photos ever, and sharing a few good projects that every bride can pull off post wedding. I'm not going to say this is my final goodbye, since I plan to pop in every now and then with the Bee Series that are going on, and perhaps an anniversary post or two. I want to thank all of you for all the great advice, support, and bee love you've shared with me over the past six months. It's been wonderful, absolutely wonderful.

For those of you who love nesting, more DIY projects, and taking on a building project (or 10), come take a peek at my revamped blog, Killer b. I'd love to see you around!

All my love, Sand Dollar.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

You Guys, I'm Famous!!

Holy Cannoli, it's like Christmas on cocaine! My home was just featured on Knock Off Wood's website, Words cannot express just how effin' excited I am right now. I'm practically shaking! It's euphoric enough to build these projects anyway, but to be featured on the main site by the goddess herself, be still my beating heart. Check out the post here for all the DIY love.

I'll just be swooning in the corner.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Making a Gallery

I don't know about you, but I love me a good gallery. I fell in love with the willy-nilly variety from design blogs and magazines, and knew I had to have one of my own. Here's a little sneak peek of the one I made just above my piano.

So how do you get an entire gallery wall for less than 100 bucks?

Step 1: If you got a disk of images from your photog, go ahead and print them out. I chose Walgreens, because had a great coupon offering $10 off your order. So, I received six 8x10's and eight 5x7's for $25. Plus, they were ready in 30 minutes, and I even placed my order online! Score! You need to be sure to check your image resolution, you never want to go below 250 dpi for a printed image. I'm able to enlarge mine up to 16x20, but most print places have to order out for poster sizes (usually anything 11x14 and up) and I didn't want to wait.

Step 2: Buy frames on a 50% off sale at Hobby Lobby. Each 8x10 was $3 with the discount, and my 11x14's were $5. So if you're keeping count, that brings the frame total to $54. I chose to size up the frames so I could add matting.

Step 3: Add your mats. Again, I waited for a 50% off day for pre-cut mats. Seriously, I am devoted to Hobby Lobby because of all these deals. It's the bomb! The 5x7's were $1 each, and 8x10's $2 each. So that's $20 for mats.

Step 4: This one's optional. I had one can of white spraypaint at home already, and picked up another at Wal-Mart for about a buck. I wanted to spray the black metal frames white to match the mats and put the emphasis on the photos. Here's how each one looks.

Pretty nifty, eh? Very professional, I think. I mentioned I was a fan of the random arrangements, so here's how I set mine up.

That's a Halloween mummy bowl sitting on a console behind our couch, not a UFO. Promise!

I cut out computer paper to match each frame size, and taped them to the wall until I was happy with the arrangement. Then, I nailed through each sheet of paper, pulled it off the wall and added the frame. Voila! Instant gallery goodness. This way you can play around with your setup without having a million nail holes in your wall. I hung them all before we were able to move my piano back to my house, and luckily it barely fit beneath all the photos. Whew! Moving them all up would have been a PITA.

So there you have it, an easy way to assemble and set up your very own gallery of wedding photos, all for under a hundred dollars.

How do you plan to display your wedding photos? Will you frame them, or come up with something else?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Canvas Pop

About a million years ago, I won a prize from Apartment Therapy for a Canvas Pop $25 coupon. The one and only time I won a blog prize, hooray! Maybe someday I'll win some more. But I digress.

Once I figured out a size I could afford, 8x10 (I needed to pay an additional $16 for taxes and S&H), the hard part was deciding on an image. I played around with a few, and finally decided on a ring shot I took at the inn we stayed at just after he proposed. Now, 8 months after I received my canvas, I mounted it on a spare piece of MDF.

I think I've decided to dedicate my gallery ledges to a wedding display. I got carried away putting things up on them, and now it just looks all jumbled. So it's time to edit and see what I come up with!

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Pleasant Surprise

Getting an album made can be one of the most daunting tasks post-planning. Which company do I choose? What layout? Paper quality, finish, cover stock? It's overwhelming! As quickly as I wanted to wrap up the whole wedding process (as is evident from my recap schedule, I like to wrap things up in a very neat package as soon as they're done) but I didn't want to become overwhelmed with dedicating so much time to an album. Especially after I had spent so much time editing and creating a wedding DVD. So, I decided to create a brag book, with blurb.

In short, a brag book is a small bound book printed with most of your wedding pictures, in a single-photo-per-page layout. It's normally also given as a gift to parents so they can easily tote it around and show the photos to all their friends, hence the name Brag Book. I chose the 7x7 square from Blurb, and for just under $35 (after finding a free shipping coupon) I received a 165 page book with the premium paper upgrade. I chose Blurb simply because I had used it before, and have always been really happy with the results. About a week later, I received my book.




I used their software, Bookify, to layout my pages. I love that you can use custom fonts on your covers and spine, I was able to use the ones from all of our stationery! They also give you a ton of layout options. I know I mentioned that most are a single photo on each page, but for a few pages I had 2-4 photos that covered the same kind of theme. Here's a couple of snapshots of the interior.

The color and quality is amazing. And as I alluded to the title of this post, I had a pleasant surprise once I looked through it. Seeing this cute little book, I no longer wanted an album! I thought I had perfectly summed up our wedding in the pages provided, from the getting-ready photos to the exit. I got my fix for larger images through printing photos to frame (which is what my next post is all about), so I don't feel like this one is lacking in any way. I have my wedding album!

Have you chosen what kind of album you'll have post-wedding? Did your photographer include it in your package, or did you choose an online company?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Piano Day

My piano has been in storage at my parents' home since June of last year. Yeah, it's been a loooong time. I've missed it a lot, sometimes you just need the old rustic resonance, over an electronic keyboard. So today, the mister and I rented a UHaul trailer to take my massive beast of an upright piano, as well as a giant jukebox my father is giving us, from San Marcos to Lake Jackson. This will be an undertaking.

The piano in question in my Dallas apartment

See? It's a stout piece of furniture. I just hope we can figure out how to unload the thing once we get there...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Family Pictures

My mom really loves to take family photos every year in November, so she can make Christmas cards. So this year, we packed up our pups and drove down to San Marcos, to fill a weekend with deer hunting, furniture moving, furniture building, and picture taking. The mister was really just concerned that the photos ended with enough time for him to hit up his deer blind.

 Getting us all organized.

 Dogs not paying attention...

 Would be good, if pups weren't cut out!

 Almost there...

As good as it's gonna get!

We took them on my parents' land, on a patch of driveway (it's about 1/4 mile long!). We used my Canon Rebel, and had a friend snap the shot. Only in Texas will you find 70+ degree temperatures in November. At least it's getting a bit brisk in the mornings!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Another Yudu Test

Like many other crafty bloggers out there, I bought the Yudu screenprinting machine. After quite a few t-shirt runs (I sold about 500+, so more than enough to cover the cost of the machine and supplies) I was burnt out on 200 shirt runs per screen. Burning the screens was particularly difficult for me, I never got the hang of it. I would constantly bubble, chip, or ruin the emulsion. Dozens of prints were ruined. So, I gave up. That is, until I read online about using cardstock and spray adhesive to create an "emulsion" on a screen. So, I gave it a shot.

Step 1: Print your image out on cardstock. Cut out with a craft knife. Spray adhesive on the back, and adhere it to your screen.

(The red is a stain from my wedding Save the Dates. Luckily I'll never have this problem again! ;)

Step 2: Use packing or scotch tape (or any kind of tape, really) and tape around your edges. This keeps the ink from spreading onto unprotected areas. Ink your screen, and squegee the ink across the image.

(things are looking good so far!)

Step 3: Lift up the top of the press, and reveal your print!

(woohoo! A perfect print! I rarely had these before with Yudu emulsions)

I tested out a few prints with the screen I made, to ensure that I can get a few passes with cardstock. I chose cardstock over other papers because I thought it would be thick enough not to bleed through with a lot of ink. Luckily, I was right! I'm so crazy excited about this, it opens up a whole new world of screenprinting to me. Now, I can't get intricate details like small text with this method, but I can get large words and images to print clearly, which was extremely difficult before. And another plus? No special cleanup! I no longer need the special emulsion remover to get that nasty green screen off, which would leave residue and block up my screens most of the time anyway. I have three screens, and I can maybe use about 20% of each of them due to blockages. 

Here's what I was greeted with once I peeled off the cardstock.

A perfect selection of ink. Gorgeous. I cleaned the ink off with water, then used my steel wool that was already slightly soapy to get the rest of the spray adhesive off. In about 15 seconds of cleanup, I have a perfectly reusable screen! HOORAY! Now just to get to the projects when I get to use my new method. My first idea up is on some painted wooden boards, I'll be sure to post it once I do it!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sneak Peek

I've got a few new tricks up my sleeve. With my new found love of carpentry, I've decided to combine it with my long-lived love of crafting and DIY. Here's what I've been working on all morning:

Waiting for paint to dry really is the worst thing ever. It's been raining for days, and the humidity is awful. It's taking over an hour for each layer to dry to the touch, so this really has been a day-long project. I can't wait to get to the fun part and post the finished product!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Knocked Off: Simple Daybed

It's been months since I posted my teaser pictures from the Simple Daybed I built with my brand new sister-in-law (who insists it's just "sister", isn't that sweet?!). We had a lot of difficulty building it, mostly because it was the first thing I was building without the mister, who does a lot of the grunt work. It turns out, building with heavy lumber like this is really hard without the right tools. We broke about 5 drill bits, had to deal with the creepy Lowe's dude who cut our pieces all off, and had to call her dad at least 3 times to help us out with stripped screws (which meant the grinder had to come to our rescue!). But girl power prevailed, and we came out with this:

The 1x6 facing boards were the only new wood on the bed, everything else was salvaged, including the rails (not shown in this image). I think this is the last "nice" furniture build I'll do with salvaged wood. A lot of it is warped, beat-up, and cracks really easily, even when pre-drilled. I think I'll just have to save the salvage for projects that are supposed to look weathered. Though the price has been right, and I can't complain. I finally sanded, painted, and put on all the bedding. I think it came out quite nice, as good as it could get given the circumstances! My boxer Rory was snoozing on it, and generally can't be moved once she gets into sack-of-potatoes mode.

See? Warped 2x4's left gaps. As did the too-short cuts on the facings. But you can't really see it unless you're really looking over the bed.

It cost $60 for the new lumber, and the screws. I think I kind of got the shaft on this one, I'm not really sure how it came out to be so much. Maybe I bought other stuff with it at the time? I can't remember, only how much I paid on that day. The bedding was all handmade as well, I'm smitten with Free Spirit's Deer Valley fabric. It complements the color on the walls so well. It's also reversible, the bottom has the striped fabric from the pillows, and the pillows have the deer fabric on the back, should I ever want to switch things up.

So there it is, my first lone build. I had to have the mister come in and make it more sturdy, we added cross bracing, tightened some screws and added a few more. Now it's solid as a rock!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's All in the Framing

While stumbling around on some wedding blogs, I came across the cutest image. It was a framed wedding invitation, but there was something new added to it. The invite was matted, and written on the mat were words used from the ceremony. I was so inspired, I had to do it myself the week I got back from our honeymoon! I headed straight over to Hobby Lobby to take advantage of their half price frames, and found a couple of mats (I needed to do one for myself and one as a gift to Bridesmaid Stacie, who's invites I designed and then spent a harrowing weekend making and assembling pocket folds with her) and bought a handful of colored pens. Here's my quite lovely result.

Instead of words used from the ceremony, I chose the songs we walked down the aisle to (The Day Before You, for Stacie, and Bring It on Home, for me). She loved her gift, and I love displaying mine in my home. I built myself some gallery shelves for 10 bucks each (I built the desk too, for about 20 bucks) to display a few wedding photos and my invite. I also tossed a couple of the bridesmaid bouquets inside some of my centerpiece cans.

Love it! Now to just build myself a new chair ;)

Do you plan to display your wedding invitation? How did you do it?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Somewhere Down in Texas: Video Stars

I mentioned before that we would be DIYing our wedding video. Bridesmaid Stacie's sweet husband Kurt was awesome enough to volunteer to be our videographer. We had a tripod, an HD camera my mom gifted me (for her baby Sand Dollars she is convinced will be along asap) and a Macbook to get it done. I used iMovieHD to edit everything, and burned a super cute DVD using iDVD. Seriously, it's awesome! We have chapters and music and menus, and it's mega cool!

I was a little worried that it would turn out to be super cheesy, but it really is pretty cute! Yes, it looks like a home video. No, it doesn't make it any less awesome in my eyes. My mom was right when she said I'd want to see those little moments again. I love that I literally bounced up and down to dance with my friend Christian during the dollar dance. I love hearing our ceremony, watching us cut cake, the whole shebang. I edited a "full-length" video that's 30 minutes long, and includes the entire aisle walking, ceremony, dances and tosses. For some reason we didn't get any of us driving away, but that's ok. Here I'm going to share my 7 minute highlight video, so you can see just how country-chic we cowboys kick it down here. Enjoy!