5/29/12

sawyer's room

Our bedroom switch is mostly complete, with the exception of extra lamps, shelves, etc. that no longer have a home. I don't want to get rid of them because they could come in handy, but for now we don't have anywhere to put them. I am working at a snail's pace on our room mostly because I have reached the point where I have to sew. More specifically, sew curtains. I have sewn one set and I am dreading sewing the other set because I pretty much hated making the first set. I'll get there, but I have to drag my feet first. It's just how I work. If you want to see a sneak peek of what is going on in the master bedroom, click here. Or you can check out my bed skirt and jewelry display. It's all I've got for now. You can also keep an eye on my instagram account for other peeks into what I am working on.  My handle is allisonmaestri.

Onto Sawyer's room. You may remember that it used to look like this back when it was our room. Crazy crowded.


We cleared out our huge bed and all of our junk and began transforming it into Sawyer's room. I didn't repaint, change the curtains, or do any other projects in here. He is at an age where an investment in room decor/design is kind of pointless. In a couple of years he might care more, so a bedroom makeover for him in way on the back burner. As long as there is a home for his trains/cars/monster trucks he is happy.




 It's really hard to get a picture of the whole space due to the room's teeny tiny size, so I broke out my fish eye lens so you can better see what everything looks like. 



It is the perfect space for him. He has a few toys in his room, but most of them are kept in his downstairs playroom. I know I say this with every single post I write about our room switch, but I am so happy we did it. It's been so good for all of us. 

In June I am going to be attempting to finish our room. Still on the agenda: finish the curtains (ugh), make a headboard, finish our bedding, add accessories and pretty storage, and get some art up on the walls. Have you ever made a headboard? I'd love for you to share pictures or tips or the tutorial you used. Leave a link in the comments - I'd love to check it out. 

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5/21/12

as of late

1. We are teaching Sawyer English and Portuguese, so it is always a proud moment when some of the Portuguese comes out. During bath, he held up two "0's" and said, "Óculos, mamãe!" (Glasses, mommy!) Not only is he genius enough to make glasses out of 0's, he also made the announcement in Portuguese. Yes, totally bragging on my smart kid. 

2. Bedroom in progress. I still have two big projects to do - a headboard and curtains. I have a few smaller things I'd like to do, but I am waiting for just the right inspiration to strike. 

3. I've started working out, trying to make it a habit. I'll let you know how that goes. I have some pretty big goals that I'm not ready to announce for fear of failing miserably. Who wants to make grand statements and fall flat on their face? Not I. 

4. We set up Sawyer's little pool this weekend and loaded him up with frozen sugar water. I can't believe summer is almost here.

Since I have slowed down things on the blog, I am really seeing a change in my creativity. I find myself full of ideas, appreciating the time I have with my son, and focusing on being healthy. When I'm not busy editing, writing, proofing and promoting, my mind has time to be inspired. I can really see how women make blogging a full time job. There is so much back work that goes into all this. Since I already have a full time job, I am just working on finding the right pace and balance for me. The time and effort I am willing to put into my blog might change over time, but I don't think my desire to create ever will, so I think this blog will be around for a long time. There really isn't any point to any of this. Just checking in to say hi, share some cute pictures of Sawyer, and let you know that I'm here. Hope you all have a great week!

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5/16/12

simple jewelry display idea


 When I saw this idea on A Beautiful Mess, I knew I had a solution for my necklaces. I went and picked out some paint chips that matched my duvet the same day I saw the idea on Elsie's blog.

I pared down my jewelry to the few pieces I actually wear, leaving only the necklaces you are seeing here. It's nice to see everything out and easily accessible, and believe it or not, it is nice to have less. I have learned a lot in the past couple weeks cleaning out our room, mostly that we have too much stuff and there is peace in having less. It's a really good feeling.
 
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5/14/12

tutorial: easy DIY bed skirt

When it comes to designing a room, one of my biggest challenges is finding what I want in stores without paying an arm and a leg. This weekend I went to about 4 stores looking for curtains and didn't find anything I liked. The same goes for bed skirts. They are all either too plain, too frilly, too lacy, or too long. It doesn't help that I had black and white stripes in mind for our bed skirt. You know where this is going. 

I made my own bed skirt - the cheater way.


I am loving the floral with the stripes. Of course I am still missing the obligatory mound of pillows, curtains, and wall art, but we are getting there. By the way, did you see my brass lamps I got at Goodwill? I bought them with the intent to paint them, but when I saw them in the room I loved them paired with my mid-century inspired side tables. While researching the best way to paint brass I read post after post of people reviewing the HORROR of brass and how ugly it is and outdated and did I mention UGLY? Well, I rather like brass. So there. There is more brass toned decor coming, so brass haters beware!

Onto the bed skirt. If you like to do things "right", you might not like my cheater's version of a bed skirt. For me, any way I can get out of being behind the sewing machine is the way to go. I don't like sewing and avoid it when I can. (Sorry.) There is some sewing involved here but only what I had to do to make it work. 


 I found the perfect striped fabric at a local quilting shop after a fruitless search of Hobby Lobby and JoAnn's. J's had zero black and white striped fabric (come back during Halloween, they said), and HL only had 1 kind and the stripes were teeny tiny, making the fabric look grey from far away. Off to the quilting shop I went, where I paid the full price $11.99/yd for this lovely goodness. Could I have paid less by searching on line and couponing and all that? Maybe, but when I have a project in my head I want it done five minutes ago. Patience is not my strong suit. In fact, I came home with this and had the bed skirt made in less than 2 hours. 

 Since the stripes ran vertically down the whole length of the 3 1/2 yards I bought, I had to tear the fabric into strips and sew it to make one long piece. To figure out how long my strips needed to be, I measured from the top of my box spring to the floor - 15". I then added a generous 2 inches for the hem and four inches to be pinned on top of the box spring (you'll see what I mean a little later). That works out to 21" strips. With me?


Now that I had all those strips, I had to match up the stripes and piece them all together into one looong piece of fabric. If you have a non-patterned fabric, you wouldn't need to do all the piecing. You'll just need one long piece of fabric to wrap around the bottom of your bed. 


Hem one side of your long piece of fabric. This is by far the best hem work I have ever done. Usually my hems are beyond terrible, but I had an easier time keeping things straight using the stripes as a guide. 

Now you have one very long, half-hemmed strip. That's all the sewing we are going to do.


I took the mattress off my bed and started laying down the strip at the front of my bed. The pretty hemmed edge will be hanging and the un-hemmed edge is what will get tucked under your mattress never to be seen again. After carefully laying out my fabric on the front of the bed, I secured it with safety pins. 


 I super cheated and didn't even fasten them. They are just wedged down into the box spring. Whatever material that covers my box spring is really thick and the pins stuck in there quite well. Place a pin every few inches. 


For the corners loosely drape and pin the fabric in the same way. Don't pull your fabric too tight or you won't be able to get things out from under the bed. 


Keep laying and pinning all the way around your bed. (You can see where I had one longer strip of fabric. I didn't bother to cut it because no one will ever know except for the hundreds (thousands?) of people I am telling right now.) 

Carefully move your mattress back onto your bed. Between the excessive pinning and the weight of the mattress, our bed skirt hasn't moved an inch. It fits perfectly and it is exactly what I wanted.





I am really trying to pace myself and wait for just the right inspiration, material, and ideas. So far, the major pieces of the room like the duvet, side tables, lamps, and bed skirt have come together perfectly. I would still like to DIY a headboard, curtains, and throw pillows, but I am really trying to live in the space and get a feel for what we really want before I make any decisions. Have a mentioned that I'm impatient? It's an internal battle of wills, but waiting to do things the right way always pays off in the end, so that's where we're at. The creative process is such a fun one!

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linking:

homeworkTip Junkie handmade projects 
 

5/13/12

bedroom design sneak peeks





Here are a couple of sneak peeks of what is going on in our new bedroom. Brass, floral, black and white stripes. Crazy? Maybe, but in a good way.

Coming up this week, I'll share a tutorial for the easiest bed skirt ever as well as a simple jewelry display idea. I have quite a few projects left to do, but the whole time/money thing is slowing me down. Don't you hate that?

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5/9/12

the big bad move

We have been hard at work switching our bedrooms. If you have no idea what I am talking about, click here for waaay too much back story on why we are switching our bedroom with Sawyer's. (You can also check out the best Craigslist nightstands ever.)

Sunday afternoon while Sawyer was napping, I decided that there is no time like the present and we were just going to dig in. So we did. We thought we would empty our tiny little bedroom into the living room, then when Sawyer got up from his nap, we'd move his stuff into our old room. Confused? How about I just share some pictures? First up, emptying out our room:






 It's amazing how big that room looks without anything in it.

Meanwhile, our living room was being turned into our bedroom's dumping ground:






Cozy! 

Moving all of that stuff took most of the day, so we called it a night and slept in the living room. It was kind of fun, actually. Like a sleepover.

I'll share pictures of Sawyer's room and our freshly painted room later on this week or weekend. I am having so much fun arranging and organizing and designing our new space (I even have a pinboard to keep track of ideas and inspiration). Sawyer loves his new room, too, so I think this has been a great decision for us. All the work is going to be so worth it.


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5/4/12

i found nightstands.

One of the best parts of making over a room is deciding on what new-to-you things you are going to bring in. We aren't made of money, so bringing in new furniture and decor has to be done on the cheapity-cheap. It's not always fun when you can't afford exactly what you want, but I actually enjoy the challenge of making a lot out of a little. 

These are the night stands we have now: 


They're not the worst looking thing in the world, but they have seen better days. Since they are made from that wicker material, they shed and are starting to show wear in the spots where the drawers pull in and out. They have a really small, uneven surface so it's not ideal for an alarm clock or drink of water. We've had them for over 6 years, so I would say we have gotten our money's worth out of them.

One thing we have decided to do in our new room is get rid of our bed frame. Those extra inches that the headboard and foot board add take up space that we'd rather have for being able to comfortably walk around our room. The bed with the frame we have is kind of tall, so these nightstands worked great. Their height matched the height of our bed. Now that the bed is going to be lower, the nightstands need to be lower as well. 

As my husband knows all too well, I have expensive taste. I can walk into any store and pick out the things that cost the most. Whether it be a dress, a piece of furniture, makeup, or electronics - I go straight for the things we can't afford. So neither of us were surprised when the style of furniture I have been wishing for lately is on the pricey side (for us, anyways.) 



I love the clean lines, tapered legs, and the drawers of these nightstands, but if I had $362 laying around I wouldn't be spending it on ONE nightstand. The ones from Urban Outfitters were the cheapest I could find to buy from a retailer. Even the lowest priced one at $149 is just not doable for us. That would put us at $300 just for side tables and there is no way that was going to happen. 

Once I figured out I wasn't going to find what I want from a retailer, I turned to Craigslist. I have such a love/hate relationship with CL. With a bit of searching and luck, you can find some really nice stuff. Without any luck, you can find a ton of overpriced black lacquer and gold 80's furniture. Plus, all the Craigslist serial killer/theft/predator stories always scare me. That's why I make my manly man husband go pick up stuff I buy.

The first thing I did was buy a Craigslist app for my phone that lets you set up alerts when new items matching your search criteria are listed. I think it was $.99 or $1.99 in the app store. I set up quite a few search alerts - "side tables" "end tables" "nightstands" "night stands" - anything that I thought people might list a nightstand under. I found a few sets that I liked, but when I contacted the sellers, they had already sold their items but had not taken their listing down. That's annoying. 

Wednesday night Anderson and I were watching Survivor (does anyone else still watch that show?) and I got an alert for a new listing. When I looked at it, I knew it was exactly what I wanted, but the listing was for a king bed frame and two nightstands. The seller specified that he wanted to sell it as a set and the price was $90 firm. We have no need for a king bed frame (plus it was really hideous), so I knew I was going to have to make a good offer to get only the tables. I emailed him right away to offer $60 for only the nightstands. Could I have got away with less? Maybe, but I didn't want to take the chance of him getting a better offer. Plus $60 for 2 night stands seemed like a steal after looking at those expensive $362 ones. After a bit of back and forth, he agreed to sell them to me. Anderson picked them up the next day and they await their new home in our room.


Eeeeeee! They are really similar to the ones I had been looking at, and they are in almost perfect condition. No scratches or water stains, wobbly legs, or weird smells. They even match the dresser we already have. I am so excited to have real, grown up night stands. 

Moral of the story: If you are willing to wait, search, haggle a bit, and risk your husband's life in making him go pick up random furniture from potential serial killers, you can find something you love that will work for you.

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