Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Follow by Email!

Did you know that you can follow my posts by email?  I know right, another email!  But, it's a good way to stay up-to-date on your B.Cheniful!  :)  Check it out on the right! -------------------------------->

A big thanks goes out to all my FB fans and my sweet Followers!  I really appreciate your support--you keep me posting, that's for sure.  Now if you could keep me from overeating candy/ice cream/cookies/other fat kid items/etc......But that's another blog......

Big Smile,

Thrift-Tastic Tuesday

Every month I look forward to the last Tuesday; that's when my local thrift shop does a customer appreciation day.  Everything 50% off.  Everything.  Squeal!  It's a great day.

So, I've decided that I'd like to share with you my killer finds and the inspiration behind them.

Here's my inspiration for what went down today:
I've been starting to research photo/frame galleries.  I'd love to do one in both my living room and upstairs hallway.

Here's my Start:
an array of vintage mirrors, large and medium frames, a REAL BIG one (for $7.50, thx), and well, whatever else I thought would be awesome once spray-painted.

Total Dollas:  $25 for the lot!

I love a bunch of different looks:
One-Color Frames

White & Bright

This would be perfect for our room--same color walls

The Classics

Wonderfully Whimsy

I think I'm off to a pretty good start!!!  And once I sell J Chen on a vision above, it will BE ON!  Common area revamps require consultations ;)

My Next Find
Ever since I've started the long process of a mini revamp (oxymoron?) for our guest room I've been on the lookout for lamps.  I could have bought lots of them, but for some reason I keep looking.  WELL, guess what I found on this last Tuesday of April?  MmmmmmmHmmmmmmm.  Not one, but two matching lamp posts AND lamp shades.

Check it!
Dollas Spent:  $6 TOTAL.  Yup.

Don't let these shades fool ya, underneath that snazzy fabric is a bright white beauty!
Post Inspiration

Shade Inspiration (if I don't stick to white that is....)

Some craft supplies
I picked up some straw wreaths (50 cents ea.), a big bag of zippers ($1.50), paper-twist-rope-stuff (50 cents), and really nice REAL-Wood, wooden box ($2.50).  

Bacon, checking it out.
Ok!  Well I can't wait to show you what I'll actually do with all of this--stay tuned my friends.  :)

Big Smile,

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A couple more things....

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Did I mention that all I did all weekend was craft?  On top of my Mini Bath Revamp, I also worked on more decorative balls--this time using yarn instead of hemp, and sure to be a new favorite, anthro inspired blooms, found at Homemade Ginger.

First things first, I loved the way the Decorative Twine Balls turned out last week.  I started thinking that I'd really like some in color, without having to spray paint--dude, it's so messy!  So, I figured that I would just use yarn in the color I wanted.  This time, it turned out to be yellow.

A couple tips:
Warning, do not use synthetic yarn unless you're going to be hardcore adhesive mixing!  It just didn't hold its shape, even 24 hours later.

What I did have great luck with was Lily Sugar n Cream, a more thread-like based yarn that really held it's shape perfectly.

Check Check, Check it Out!
Find the tutorial here!

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The process.....

The outcome!

Sunny and perfect for spring!

Keeping with the theme of awesomeness, on to the Anthro Inspired Blooms from Homemade Ginger! I fell in love with these the second I saw them and literally ran upstairs for Q-Tips.  Seriously.

These were super easy but a little messy.  No bigs compared to the results though.

You can make these in any color or size.  I used three sizes of styro balls, small/medium/large, two in turquoise and one in green.
See the tutorial here.

Since I was on a roll, and I'm super in love with buttons, I also did a couple button flowers.  All I did was hot glue buttons on to a styro ball and stuck it with a skewer stick.  Damn they're handy!

Here's a closer (kinda) look at the Button Flower:

So there you have it, almost everything I did over the Easter weekend :)

Big Smile,
B. Chen

Mini Bath Revamp!

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Oh heeeeyyyyyy!

So this weekend I worked on a little of this and a little of that.  I didn't really have a room in mind per say, but I was just fresh off a visit to the dollar store, plus had bought some new yarn the other night, so I went to it.  

Yarn Wreath
I started working on this yarn wreath over a week ago, and finally finished it last night, once I decided that I wanted to go with grays and yellows (oh, and a little turquoise) in our bath off the basement living room:
click picture for a larger view!
Branches with Flowers
I gathered up some branches from my dead bush landscaping the other day in hopes of prettying them up.  Again, days later, I finally finished them (today).  I just hot glued on some existing yellow flowers I bought earlier in the year from the Hobbit Lobbit.  
click picture for a larger view!
Fabric Wrapped Pots
Today, at Easter, my Mom sent me home with 4 ugly little flower pots that I didn't really need, but figured that I could wrap in fabric using Mod Podge.  So that's exactly what I did when I got home, see:
click picture for a larger view!
Yarn Flowers
Now, about those yarn flowers you see above.  They are super cute and beyond easy to make!  I picked up a little bag of styro balls at the dollar store (they came in an assortment of 3 sizes, about 8 to a bag) and simply wrapped yarn around them until they were totally covered.  Then I stuck the sharp end of a skewer stick up them (ha!), tied the arrangement how I wanted, and placed those babies in the pot.  Done.
click picture for a larger view!
The Big Reveal!
So....yarn wreath + branches with flowers + fabric wrapped pots + yarn flowers = a mini bath revamp!
Total Dollas Spent:  Maybe $10, with lots of supplies left over.

click picture for a larger view!

click picture for a larger view!

click picture for a larger view!
So there you have it.  I didn't do anything but add the pretties above; no priming, no painting, nothing!  It just goes to show you that a little accessorizing can go a LONG way!

Big Smile,
B. Chen

Friday, April 22, 2011

Tutorial Roundup--Cute as a Button!


I LOVE buttons.  I straight up adore them.
They're simple.
They're complicated.
They're the perfect craft companion.

Basically anytime I run across a button project I save it, hoping to gather enough buttons to actually create them all one day!

That being said, here are a few of my favs:

These button paperclips by Bella Dia are pretty self explainatory as far as a tutorial would go...

You'll need:
Hot Glue

and you'll get this.......

Try the same approach with bobby pins and get this:

How bout this cutie from American Crafts Studio!

Check out this next button wall art project from 3 Punk Mom:

Here's some button art on the cheap from Mod Podge Rocks:

Another love of mine?  Mirrors.  And mirrors + buttons = true love!  Check this out from Better Homes & Gardens:

Here's a fun and way easy button bracelet from Lillyella:

Another thing I love?  Fabric buttons!  Here's a great tutorial from Paper and Stitch!

And now, to round up this roundup, here's an awesome button bouquet from Blue Velvet Chair:

Alright,  now get your button in gear and start creating!!!

Big Smile,
B. Chen

Tutorial Roundup--Think Spring!

Just because it was SNOWING here on Monday doesn't mean that I'm not running around in open-toed wedges and sunglasses, dammit.  I'm beyond ready for spring, and so is my house.  I've been driving myself crazy lately trying new things and thinking of new ideas on how to brighten up our rooms.....I'm still a little stuck on my sitting room, but I do have some ideas to punch up the color....

This one in particular from Makes and Takes in bright yellow.  Very similar to my last post, just with yarn.

Here are some others that I'd like to try....

Hanging yarn balls from Juicy Bits:

The cutest Cocktail Lamp EVER from Craft Tutorials:

Or if you don't want the lamp, how bout this cocktail wreath instead from Family Chic?

I don't know about you, but the brights are inspiring me to get busy!!!!

Big Smile,
B. Chen

Friday, April 15, 2011

How-To: Decorative Twine Balls

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Ok, confession:  I LOVE big bowls.  I have them all over our house.  Most of them are filled some some-sort of decorative somethings, from CB2 Glass Balls to Cinnamon Pinecones.  Something I've always liked, but stayed away from due to price, are what I like to call "twine nest" balls.  They can be super expensive!  So, when I stumbled upon this tutorial on how to make them, well, it was ON!

It's cost me, oh, about $2 to make 7 of these, and I still have supplies left over.  I was even able to use up that huge ball of hemp from 8th grade.  And the result was AWESOME!  I'd like to make more to spray paint at some point.  I mean, they are super easy, the hardest part is waiting for them to dry.  ;)

Here's what I came up with using this tutorial:

I was beyond delighted when J Chen saw them and said, "those look like those things you get at Pottery Barn for $100!"  Why yes, yes they do.  :)

Thanks for stopping by!!!!

Big Smile,
B. Chen

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pom-Pom Flowers

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So, I'm mega MEGA in love with Pinterest--a site that lets you "pin" all the awesomeness you find on the information highway.  Or whatever.  Henyways, there are a TON of craft-loving peeps out there that pin tutorial, after turorial, after....you get the point.  Today, I ran into this one from Eskimimi Knits, on how to make yarn pom-pom with a dinner fork.  Too effing cool.  So the second I got home, I grabbed a fork and got to work!

I decided to use the poms to make a whimsy floral arrangement.  For the "stems" I used kabob skewers I've had sitting in the kitchen drawer for years.

This is what I came up with:

These would also be great on a yarn wreath or hairband!  So, try it out and make your own yarn poms!

Thanks for stopping by!

Big Smile,
B Chen

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ruffle Fabric Flowers--How To

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Well, we're back from the cruise (ok, for 7 days now) and I've FINALLY unpacked.  Seriously.  My room looked worse than the messiest 15-year-olds you could imagine.  My husband chooses his battle.  ;-)

My last post before we left was about these awesome bunchy fabric flowers and all the cute hairbands I made with them.  I've been crazy obsessed about making lots of versions of these and applying them to different projects.  They make me so happy, I thought I would share!

So hold on littles, let's create these awesome bunchy fabric flowers.

Supply time:

Fabric Strips--any color/pattern you see fit.  Here I used a 20" x 3" strip and it made a smallish-medium flower.  It's totally up to you on the dimensions you use, depends on the size you're looking for.
Needle & Thread--use a tougher thread so it won't break when you pull on it (you'll see what I'm talking about later)

Step 1:  Fold your fabric strip in half so you have 20" x 1.5" (in this example) strip.  Iron down the fold to hold in place.

folded fabric
iron down the fold

Step 2:  Ok, let's get sewing.  Now, this is super easy, I promise.  You're going to weave in and out of fabric with your needle and thread, bunching the fabric as you go, making a flower.  I'm going to show a bunch of photos to show you how to do this, no worries!
Weave your needle and tread through the fabric as shown.

This is what the weave stitch should look like.
Pull the thread and then push down on the fabric to form the bunch.

Keep weaving!
Here's what the flower should look like towards the end of the fabric.  (You may have to  trim excess fabric at the end)
 Step 3:  Finish up!  Now that your flower is made, you need to sew it together.  Check it out!
Sew down into the fabric, just to the side of the center

Keep adding stitches until the flower is secure.

That's it!  Now you have your flower and you can do a ton of fun things with them--check out a few ideas here.

This is what I ended up doing with my flower--a spring green yarn wreath.  Make one too!
I'm IN LOVE with this, btw.

I hope you enjoyed!  Now go make some bunchy fabric flowers!

Big Smile,
B Chen