1/24/13

i finished a nook!

I feel like I might start every post I've written for the last 6 months with some variation of "Life has been crazy." Guess what? Still crazy. For variety's sake I'll rephrase: It's been cray cray. Yes, I do actually say cray cray when I am talking. Out loud, to other people.

Do people actually want to know the everyday happenings in my life? I don't know. I'm pretty sure you don't want to read about another sick family. This is our first winter with a kid in school and he is bringing home everything. I'll leave it at that. I've been working hard at my job. I've always worked hard but things have been extra challenging lately, mostly in a good way. After a big old scary speech given by the legal department regarding social media and written word and how everything you write can come back to get you, I am hardly going to breath (type) a word more about my job. I work. That's it. No litigation for this lady. 

Somehow among all of the simple chaos of life, I managed to put together one more little area of our home. Remember like 9 months ago when I started our bedroom? Yeah. Things don't move too fast around here, because I am still working on it. Click here to read through all the posts about our bedroom makeover. 

There's this weird little nook off of our bedroom and I think I've finally figured out what to do with it.


 I tried to find a picture of what this little area was. This is the best picture I could find:


See that little area to the left? When we moved back into this room, I thought I would like to have a desk in that area. I don't know why I thought I would like to come home after sitting at a desk for 8+ hours a day just to sit at another desk. It ended up being a collecting area for junk and clutter. 


When I came across this chair at the thrift store for $15, I knew it would be perfect for this little corner of our room. I have a pretty strict "no used upholstered furniture" rule when thrift shopping, but I couldn't resist. It's gold velvet! It's really clean and doesn't smell and GOLD VELVET. 

I added in the rest of the decor in this area piece by piece over the course of a couple months. 





I am generally impatient when it comes to wanting a project done. Like I want it done five minutes ago. With our bedroom I've really tried to pace myself, wait for the right thing, search out unique items, and just. be. patient. Also, don't spend a lot of money. The table is the most expensive thing in the space and it's the most I've ever spent for an accent table. I can't think about it too much or I regret spending so much on a cheaply made Target table. ok. Done thinking about it.


Chair - thrifted ($15)
Pillow - Target
Lamp - thrifted ($8)
Magazine rack - thrifted ($4)
Table - Target
Gold birds - thrifted ($5)
Fox - Target (after Christmas sale, no longer available)($5)
Succulent plant - Target
Books - Barnes and Noble
Art - thrifted, handmade (about $15)

Our bedroom is mostly complete. I would still like some art up on the walls, but I'm still waiting for the right thing. 

Since I am a restless soul and can't ever stop, Anderson and I just spent the evening clearing out our living room, dusting the base boards, and pulling out nails to get ready for the painter to come tomorrow and paint our living room. Yay! I've been wanting to paint our living room since we painted our bedroom. I kept saying I'd spend a weekend painting and it would be done. Six months later and the living room was still beigey khaki. So when I came across a Groupon for a cheap painter, I bought it. Oh yeah, and then the couch I have been eyeing for like a year went on sale so I just hopped over to Macy's on my lunch break and bought a couch. This one to be exact. I'm just slightly giddy. Lest you think I throw money around like a cray cray person, I have been contemplating that couch and setting aside money for a very long time for just the right thing. That thing will be delivered next week and I will hug it for two hours straight when it gets here. I'll share pictures. Of the couch. Not of me hugging it.

Hooray for house progress!

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1/17/13

currently working on...

Anderson has been sick since Tuesday with a stomach bug, which means he is quarantined to the spare room. On one hand, being on full time Sawyer duty has been great. Dinner, bath, bedtime, nighttime duty, breakfast, school drop off, work, school pick up, repeat. I’ve done it all. I am Mommy, hear me roar! 
On the other hand, ANDERSONPLEASEGETBETTERYOURCHILDISCRAZYIMSOTIRED. So there’s that. One day playing “single” mommy and I am begging for mercy.
Needless to say (and yet here I am saying it) not much time for anything else like the awesomely huge new cross stitch project I started. For the last cross stitch project I worked on, I kept track of my progress in Instagram. It was/is really fun to see how it progresses each day. I’m doing the same for this project, so if you’d like to follow along find me on instagram. My handle is allisonmaestri.





This one is going to take a while. I’m guessing 30 days or so of work. When I say "day" I mean an hour or two before I go to bed at night, 4 or 5 hours on a Saturday or Sunday. We'll see.
p.s. The pattern is from Anna Maria Horner’s book, Needleworks Notebook. I will be doing a book review once I am done with this project, but for now I will say I have a few issues with this pattern. It’s beautiful but hard to decipher which color is which when there are no color symbols in the pattern. That's fine when there are only 5 colors in a pattern, but this one has over 20, including like 5 shades of pink/red. With no symbols it makes it really hard to tell which pink is which. Maybe that's being nit-picky, but it is something that will make me think twice before buying a book or pattern that does not have symbols. 
 Ok, whining over. I figured you'd like to know the good and the bad in case you are considering making this project. 
 I can't wait to get back to work on this piece. It's one of the more challenging stitching pieces I've worked on and I'm so excited to see the finished project. 
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1/9/13

craft book review: you are awesome

I've been mentioning for about a year that I'd like to start reviewing some craft books. I also made it a 2013 goal of mine to make at least one project a month from my craft books. Guess what this post does? Hint: it includes two birds and one stone.


When I saw the book You Are Awesome: 21 Crafts to Make You Happy by Abbey Hendrickson reviewed on another blog, I knew I had to have it. You know that whole "don't judge a book by it's cover" thing? Well, I'm the book cover judging queen of the world when it comes to craft books. If the cover is ugly or poorly styled or has lame fonts I don't buy it. Most times I don't even look at it. I know it's probably not always wise or fair or whatever, but I do it. In the case of You Are Awesome, I saw it and wanted it based solely on my book judginess.

In this case, the inside matched the greatness of the cover. I really enjoyed thumbing through and looking at all of the projects. They are simple and beautiful and modern. None of the supplies are especially hard to find or expensive, which is nice. If you look at here at the Amazon page you can see a few projects from the book. There are even a couple of kid friendly crafts included.



I chose to do a geometric looking string art project. It reminds me of one of my favorite toys as a kid, the spirograph. You know you are a cool kid when the spirograph was your favorite toy. Whatever, I would still play with one now.

It was a simple project, required minimal supplies, and it is modern and not very “crafty” looking. Someday if I ever hang stuff on my walls, it will look great. Ha. I have a spot planned for it, but I’m terrible about actually hanging stuff. I have some great wall art piles propped up against walls if you ever want to see.



Craft books with lots of pretty projects are a good thing, but when a craft book can just inspire you to create even outside of the projects featured, that's really cool. I felt inspired and motivated after looking through all the lovely pictures and ideas. I'd definitely recommend grabbing this book if you can.

If you are interested in buying You Are Awesome: 21 Crafts to Make You Happy, it would be totally, well, awesome if you’d buy it through my Amazon affiliate link (just click the link above or the link at the beginning of this post). You don’t pay any extra for the book, but I get a small portion of the book’s price for referring you. Full disclosure: Any money I earn will go towards improving site content (read: buying craft supplies/Diet Coke).

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