Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pinterest Art Challenge - Circle Painting

For some reason, whenever I see something I like that is DIY-able, I'm always tempted to try to make it rather than purchase it.  I'm not sure why that is as I know that I am not a very good DIY-er -- I have very little patience and am an instant gratification kind of person which means that I tend to cut corners to get to the finished product and that typically doesn't work well towards making a DIY project not look DIY.  Nonetheless, it's in my character to at least attempt to make/create instead of buy.  So, when I saw a post from Amanda at Our Humble A{Bowe}d announcing a Pinterest-inspired art challenge, I immediately knew I wanted to participate.  Art inspiration abounds on Pinterest, but I had been considering attempting a confetti circle painting ever since seeing Lulu & Drew's version on Etsy, and especially after seeing (and learning that it was DIY) Danielle Moss's.

Seems simple enough, no?  So I gathered my supplies - three shades of basic (craft) acrylic paint, a paint brush and a canvas, all from either Michael's or Joann's.  I picked a shade of grey (Dolphin Gray), green (Caterpiller) and beige (Sandstone) so that I could use the piece to help transition between the living/dining room (which is grey) and the kitchen (which is green).  In the final product, I also added some touches of Pure Silver for a few metallic circles.

I started by making rows of circles in grey.

And then added some green circles.

And then some beige circles.

And then I decided I hated it and painted over it.

LOL.  This is what usually happens when I try to paint.  It's the thought that counts, right?  But I wanted to try again (because I am a glutton for punishment), so I picked up another canvas I had laying around (I do this a lot).  This time, I penciled in some circles to get a general feel of the direction - that's probably cheating but that's how I roll.

And then I painted all the little circles, going color by color instead of each color at once.  And here is the finished product:

I'm not totally convinced that I love it - it looks a little tornado-ey to me.  But it actually doesn't look that bad propped on a bookcase.  I'll have to live with it for a few days and see how I like it then.  I do love that the colors echo colors found throughout the first floor of the house so that's a plus!  Maybe in the end I'll just bite the bullet and purchase one from Lulu & Drew.

Head on over the The Humble A{Bowe}d to check out the other projects!  Tanya from Dans le Townhouse has a fabulous abstract one that may be my next painting inspiration!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Loving Lately - Neon

Have you all caught wind of the latest spring trend - NEON?  I've seen it everywhere from clothing to accessories to home goods.  I was a little slow catching on, but the more I've seen of it the more I'm coming around to the idea of adding a few choice pieces to my wardrobe for the spring and summer months.  I'm not sure I could get away with full-on neon, but a bright necklace here or a fun belt there, or a pair of neon and neutral cap toe flats like the ones below may be just appropriate to bring some cheer.  Even in the home, a pop of neon can really brighten a space.  Are you loving the neon trend?
1 // 2 // 3 // 4
5 // 6 // 7 // 8
9 // 10 // 11 // 12
13 // 14 // 15 // 16

Monday, February 27, 2012

My Weekend in Pictures & My Favorite Oscar Look

I had a great weekend filled with quality time with a lot of old friends. Although I hate not leaving downtime during the weekend, because I'm just that much more tired come Monday, I also hate not having anything to do. I think Ifinally  struck a good balance with weekend, spending Friday night at home working on some house projects and then Saturday and Sunday at various events with friends. Here's a quick look at what my weekend consisted of (all pictures from my Instagram - connect with me @wendisiya!)
Coloring a Picnik-created pencil sketch of our house (I think I'm going to frame an unpainted version, though!)
Dolled up for my friend's daughter's Baptism on Saturday morning

Dahlia, my friend's daughter, was not too happy about the Baptism proceedings

Dahlia again, such a cutie pie
Esposito setting up for his poker game on Saturday night - yes, we own a poker table that we use all of about once every 2 years!)

Esposito and I at Dahlia's first birthday party/baptism celebration on Sunday.  I was too busy catching up with old friends to take any more pictures!
Sunday night, we watched the Oscars.  While I wasn't wowed by any of the red carpet looks (I think everyone looked lovely, I just wasn't amazed by any particular look), I do want to say that haters love to hate on Angelina Jolie, but I think she (and her leg) looked great last night, and I especially loved to see her smiling so much since she often looks so pained at these events!

Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie at 2012 Oscars

How was your weekend?  Did you watch the Oscars?  Any favorite looks?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

It's the Weekend!

This weekend
2 // 3 // 4
  1. One of my best friend’s little princess, Dahlia, is getting baptized and having her 1st birthday party
  2. Esposito is hosting a poker game chez nous, so I will be preparing the house for guests and then leaving the boys to it while I enjoy a much needed night with the girls
  3. I'll be pretending to be an artist while I work on a blog-inspired project for a link party next week, based on this image (come back Wednesday to see the finished product!)
  4. I'll watch the Oscars - for both the fashion and the actual awards!  I’m way behind on movies, having only seen Midnight in Paris, Moneyball and The Help of the Best Picture nominees (I like to watch them al1), but I’m looking forward to seeing who wins so I can watch the movie next week (hopefully The Artist because there is no other way I’ll be able to convince Esposito to watch it otherwise)!
Do you have any special plans for the weekend?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday's Fancies - Hollywood Glam

I repinned this dress on Pinterest a few months ago because I loved how glamorous but at the same time natural the model looked in it, and I could only imagine how amazing that flowy dress feels on.  So when, in honor of the upcoming Academy Awards, the Friday's Fancies theme was announced to be Hollywood Glam, I immediately thought of this dress.  I don't know if it's Oscars appropriate per se, but definitely something I would wear to a banquet or ball if I had the chance.  Of course, I couldn't find the original dress since the pin didn't lead anywhere, but this Halston Heritage number is quite similar (if not as breezy), no?  Paired with (minimal) rose gold accessories, I think the look lends the same effortless yet glam vibe I loved so much about the original picture. 

Friday's Fancies - Hollywood Glam

Head on over to Long Distance Loving to see the other Hollywood Glam looks!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wearing Black & Gold

Following yesterday's post on black and gold, I wanted to style three outfits in the combination, in the spirit of my (sometimes regular) Work It Wednesday posts.  Wearing black and gold is so easy because everyone has something black in their wardrobe - pair it with some gold (real or fake) accessories, and you're good to go.  If you want to get really fancy, there are a plethora of black and gold options on the market - from shoes (how fabulous are those wedges?) to basic black handbags featuring gold hardware to printed clothing options.  How would you wear Black & Gold?
Work It Wednesday - Black and Gold

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Loving Lately - Black and Gold

Most of the fixtures in my house are silver-based - chrome or polished nickel, but all in silver tones as I always felt that silver lended a more modern feeling.  Lately, however, I've been impressed with how modern gold/brass can come across.  Clearly, gold/brass accents are popping up everywhere and seem to be a major design trend right now.  When paired with black, I am constantly impressed by just how modern they look. 

From L to R:
Row 1 : 1 // 2 // 3 // 4
Row 2 : 1 // 2 // 3 // 4
Row 3 : 1 // 2 // 3 // 4
Row 4 : 1 // 2 // 3 // 4
Are you digging the gold/brass trend?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

It's the Weekend!

Woohoo!  And a long one at that!  This weekend I plan to...

1. Get a head start on my spring cleaning, beginning with my closet

2. Enjoy mother/daughter bonding time while shopping with my mom and sisters in NYC

3. Visit two potential wedding venues (and enjoy a fabulous brunch at one of them!)

4. Attend my first babyshower of 2012
Source: via Alli on Pinterest

Do you have any plans for the weekend?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday's Fancies - Let's Fly Away

This week's Friday's Fancies is travel-oriented - we are picking a dream destination and styling an outfit to wear there.  Though my favorite place in the world is Paris, my vacations are normally to the Dominican Republic (where my family is from) or, at the very minimum, beach-related.  So it seemed most apropos to pick a beach theme to style. 

I like to lounge beach- or pool-side all day and work on my tan, and then enjoy the beautiful evenings over dinner (and drinks) with Esposito while I'm on vacation, so I styled two looks reflecting that itinerary.  I LOVE a white bikini (and searched high and low for one last summer, finally buying one at the Gap which, though I only wore once during my vacation, will most definitely be making the rounds this year)!  A see through caftan makes a great coverup, especially in a bright color, and beach essentials always include a floppy hat, big sunnies, Havaianas and a nice, big and stylish beach bag.  I don't typically wear jewelry while on the beach (because I actually do go in the water) but if the plan is to just sit beach/pool-side, a pair of fabulous earrings helps elevate the outfit.

For the evenings, heels and a pretty sundress are my mainstays (so easy and foolproof) while a straw clutch keeps the beachy vibe.
Friday's Fancies

Head on over to Long Distance Loving to see the other Friday's Fancies looks!  What is your dream vacation?  What would you wear?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Key Organizer DIY

I've been on a bit of an organizing kick lately, preparing the house for some bigger projects we're hoping to get done over the next few months.  One thing that I knew needed to be addressed was all the keys we have for the house.  A few weeks ago I lost my front door keys (actually left them at my mom's house when I went to visit) and, since we don't have spares, had to use one of the side entrances to get in and out of the house.  Of course, finding the key for the side entrance was an ordeal.  That got me thinking about setting up  a pretty system to have all the keys in one place, in case we ever need them.  We have a lot of doors in the house that we don't frequently use and those keys tend to be scattered all over the place.  A quick google search gave me the idea of a shadowbox key organizer - I set out for Michael's for supplies and got to work.

I purchased a shadowbox (7.50 after a 25% off coupon), little wooden plaques ($0.20 each) and some pretty paper (on clearance for $0.29).  I already had some green acrylic paint, spray adhesive and corkboard on hand.

I used to back of the shadowbox as a template to size my corkboard square (these can also be bought at Michaels - a pack of four is around $5 and, if you clip the coupon in their Sunday circulars, you can typically get either 40% or 50% off).

Since I did it right on the couch (yes this is how I do things, and then I wonder how I manage to break my couch), I just used a box cutter to lightly score the corkboard, and then snapped the piece right off.

I then used the cut corkboard as a template to cut the decorative paper to size (don't mind the dried glue strips on the corkboard - I had originally glued fabric onto it for another project I did, but didn't end up liking it.  Thankfully I didn't throw it out and was able to use it for this project)!

I used spray adhesive to attach the paper to the corkboard to the shadowbox back.  Here's how it looks from the side:

Once I put the shadowbox back together, I quickly painted the wooden plaques, which dried in less than 30 minutes.  A bead of hot glue allowed me to attach the plaques to the paper.  I probably should have measured it to make sure they were evenly spaced, but I just used the squiggly lines on the paper as a guide.

I used a regular pen to label the wooden plaques, so I know which key was for what.  I had also originally planned to use cuphooks to hang the keys from, but it was too much work to screw them into the flimsy box back, and since I had already put corkboard in there, I just went with push pins!  Finding 6 matching pushpins in the house was a problem though, and I know they look slightly utilitarian, so I am on the hunt for prettier pushpins to replace them with.  Does anyone know if they make cup hook push pins?

Finally, I located all (but one set) of our keys, and hung them in the box.  Some of the keys are corroded because they go to the gates of our fence and have been hanging off the gates since we got the fence put in 2 years ago!  At some point, I'll try to clean them up or cover them with those rubber key cover things (maybe)!

And here it is hung up on one of our kitchen walls, near the garage and side entrance and adorned by a mask a colleague brought me from Indonesia. 

I love it so much more than the basic key organizers you find at big box stores, and all for less than $10!  What do you think?

Today's Creative Blog

Home Stories A2Z

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

So much to do, so little time!  I haven't had much time to blog over the past few days as I am swamped at work (and here I thought February would be a slow month!).  I had hoped to do an outfit post to participate in all the Valentine's Day inspired linky parties going on, but alas I had no time.  I do hope to be back in full force by the end of the week with some DIY projects I've been working on, though! 

In the meantime, I hope you all have a Happy Valentine's Day, whether you are celebrating or not.  Like many, Valentine's Day isn't ever a big holiday for Esposito and I - I have a firm belief that it is a woman's holiday (meaning I don't give gifts on Valentine's Day, but I do expect to receive them ;)) and though we had a pre-Valentine's Valentine's "dinner and a movie" date yesterday, tonight we'll likely be staying home and enjoying each other's company.  Do you have special plans tonight?

I'll leave you with some pretty pictures the reminded me of Valentine's Day.  All of these images are from the Classy-in-the-City Tumblr account.  I have a tumblr but rarely use it, other than to look at other tumblr's, because I haven't quite figured out the purpose (I'm still working on that too with Twitter, LOL) but I absolutely love Classy-in-the-city -- every last image just speaks to me!  Enjoy!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday's Fancies - Red & Pink

Drawing inspiration from Valentine's Day being just around the corner, the theme of this week's Friday's Fancies is Red & Pink.  These are two colors that don't at all make sense to me together, except in the context of Valentine's Day.  The combination seems to be everywhere these days, though, and I'm actually trying to create a look in Red & Pink to participate in the next Bloggers Do It Better and Everybody, Everywear link parties, so check back next week to see what I came up with!

Since Valentine's Day falls on a weekday (and I will be working), I decided to come up with a work appropriate Red & Pink look that could transition to an after work dinner and drinks date with my beau!  I'm not quite sure yet what we are actually doing on Valentine's Day (Esposito is in charge of gifts and planning because I have a strong belief that Valentine's Day is a woman's holiday!), but it was fun to think of this outfit as something I might wear come next week!

Friday's Fancies - Red & Pink

Head on over to Long Distance Loving to see the other Friday's Fancies looks!  Do you have any special plans for Valentine's Day?  What will you be wearing?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What Do You Do?...with Greeting Cards

Yesterday, my friend Tina posted about her love of greeting cards.  Now, I may be in the minority on this one but I’m not a fan of the greeting card.  Sure, I can appreciate a pretty card when I see one, and the accompanying handwritten notes and thoughts are (usually) lovely to read, but after that’s done what are you supposed to do with it?  I have piles of cards from Esposito (one accompanies every single gift and holiday!) that I don’t want to throw away, since he did go through the trouble of finding the “perfect” card and writing me a note, but really they are just sitting somewhere in the house collecting dust!  I am also guilty of hardly ever getting cards for people, unless its to hold a monetary gift – more times than I can count have I gone to a baby shower or other event and the giftee has no idea which gift is mine because I didn’t bother to attach a card with my name!  Reading Tina’s post got me thinking that there has to be a better way of keeping and collecting the cards given to us throughout the year, and maybe then I will appreciate receiving them more!  An obvious solution is a pretty box or basket to hold them.  Placed in a bookcase or on a desk these functional storage pieces can also serve as a decor element.
Mainstay Lidded Storage Box from Walmart

White Greeting Card Organizer from The Container Store

Kasset Magazine Box with Lid from IKEA
I love the idea of creating a photo album or scrapbook with greeting cards, though that's more work than I would probably put into it!

Greeting Cards Stapled to Photo Album pages here

Greeting Cards Bound Together with Rings here
But my favorite idea is displaying your favorite cards throughout your home.  Whether it be framed, on a clipboard, or hanging off a wire, it seems so nice to give yourself the opportunity to constantly see a card which meant so much to you that you had to keep it.  Of course, you can't display all of them at once (although a gallery wall of all framed greeting cards would be pretty cool!) but establishing a dedicated "greeting card display space" would allow you to switch cards out as you get them as well.  I've seen many people use this technique for just pretty cards that they find, but I think it would even have more meaning when it is a card(s) that means something adorning your home.

A chunky frame, and asymmetrical mat perfectly sets off a simple and appropriate message in an entryway here

A set of similar cards (actually an innovative product that is a card intended to be displayed as art) here
A card artfully displayed on an easel clipboard here

A gallery grouping of framed cards here

A frame repurposed as a greeting card holder here

These are actually magazines strung over wire as a functional display, but I love this idea for greeting cards as well!
What’s your greeting card “policy” and how do you store special ones given to you?