Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Moving Tips from the Middle of the Insanity

So I'm failing with the blogging. But! Before I get scolded, I do want to say that we are in the process of moving. Everyone keeps telling us that we are so lucky because we are getting 2 weeks to move from one place to another. I don't know how lucky it is. Living between two places is not the easiest thing ever. (Also, living without internet and attempting to blog is not easy.)

I thought I'd share some of the hints I'm finding out along the way....

1. As hard as it is, do not get overwhelmed.

2. While you are living in one place and moving stuff over to the new place, keep a pad of paper on hand and write down what you use everyday. Such as a toothbrush, hairbrush, soap, shampoo, tweezers, etc. Then on the day that you are going to move over, put all of this stuff in ONE BOX so that you know you have everything you need when you get to the new place. It sucks getting there and then realizing right before bed that you are missing something (I know from experience). The advantage of the one box is that you know right where to go to find it.

3. Move everything to the room it's suppose to be in. I know that's kind of obvious, but when you're upgrading (like we are) you some times end up with stuff that use to be in one room and is now in a different room. It's nice to sit down before hand and think about what will go in the new room so you don't pack stuff that's going in different rooms in the same box.

4. When you're unpacking, unpack one room at a time. This may not be for everyone, but for me it's HUGE. I started unpacking and organizing Z's room first. It's been done for a couple of days now. I hate walking through all the unpacked boxes in the living room and dining room to get there, but once I get to her room I feel like I'm actually getting stuff done. Our room's almost done now so I have two sanctuaries!

5. That brings me to my next point. Unpack and organize at the same time. Things may not stay where you initially put them, but if you don't find a place for everything you'll end up with piles of junk that don't have a place.

6. If it doesn't have a place, THROW IT OUT! Where was it in your old place? Put it there. What's that you say? "But it doesn't belong there!!" Well then put it where it belongs or throw it out!

Ok, that's all for now as I have been stealing free interents from the coffee shop and should probably return to my regularly scheduled insanity.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

In my attempt to hone into my lack of Irish heritage I have decided to make Irish Potato Candies. Potato Candies you ask. Yes - POTATO - b/c they look like potatoes!!!

I was first introduced to Irish Potato Candies when I moved out to Philadelphia. It was store bought little bundles of yummy goodness. Coconut covered in cinnamon. See no potato incorporated in the candy, just the shape.

Over the past week, everyone has been going Irish crazy in preparation for St. Patty's Day, and I came across the recipe here.

It was messy and fun to make. Plus they look like little potatoes, or um... *cough* ... little bricks :)

Still a yummy treat for a Happy Saint Patrick's Day!



Friday, March 16, 2012

So much to do, So little time

Ok, so I know that I have promised striped bins, but they are taking FOREVER. I don't think I'm going to like stripes after this whole ordeal. Or maybe I'll come to appreciate them more.

In any case, we closed on our new place! So all the ideas that are buzzing around in my head now get to start becoming a reality. Striped bins are just the beginning, sis. Just you wait.

Since I'm going to be pretty busy with getting the condo ready and moving, I thought I'd share some inspiration that I'm having for Z's room. I don't have much, as most if it is coming from the space itself (yay inspiring space!) But I'll share what I do have.

1. I love the purples. Like I've said before, I think the purples are great for a little girl. It gives her room to grow. 
2a&b. There's a great built in bookcase in her room and I can't wait to make it a dream library for her. She's just starting to get into books and I want her to be able to organize the bookcase with her toys and a bunch of books for her to enjoy. (And I love bin organization)
3a&b. I absolutely love, love, love Shel Silverstein. I want to have Z experience the fun and whimsy that he brings to poems every day. Also I love the look of vinyl wall art. I really want to comine the two, but I'm on a budget here. I've got some ideas... 
4. I don't want to stifle her creativity. With the magnets on our filing cabinet I can let her draw on alternative surfaces. I want to bring this into her bedroom too. 
5. Every little girl should have her own place to be able to get away too. I want to be able to give her that. 

The pictures are kind of all over the place, I wasn't quite looking for inspirational looks as inspirational things that I want to put my spin on. Sometimes it's easy to see a picture of a great design or look and say "I want that exact look in my kitchen!" and then when you try to make it happen you fall miserably short. I hate that. I'd rather find images like this that don't look anything like what I actually want and take the idea and put my spin on it. Then I'm usually pretty pleased with the result. 

So hopefully, when I finally get done with this crazy experiment I won't look back and say "WTF WAS I THINKING?!" I'm pretty scared of that, and I think that's part of what stops me from undertaking projects like this one. I'm glad to have you and this outlet so that I have a reason to keep going with it through the scary part. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Ok, so I can't just sit here and work on stuff and not share it with you. So here's the beginning of Z's new room.

Bins! I love bins for organizing. Mostly 'cause it's so easy to keep everything in one place. We have bins in every closet. The one's in Z's closet are the most fun. I was so happy when I found the blue and green striped bins at Bed Bath and Beyond. They matched the blue and green striped clock I found in Cali, so it was perfect for her current room. In the new place I want to make something that she can grow into. I really feel like pink in a little girl's room is SO over done, so I decided to find a purple that would grow with her. I picked out Showcase from Ace, but I think it may be too much for her walls. It's perfect for these bins though. 
Thank you so much for telling me I could paint fabric! I was so scared even after asking you. I didn't know how it would turn out, but it was so easy. And what a difference it makes! The best part: chalkboard paint on the tags. Basically, I am lazy and I never change the tags in the bins. This means that we have a bin that says "18 months" which is currently holding blankets. The chalkboard paint is perfect! Now I can update the tags as I change the contents of the bins. Win-win!

All you need is paint and a paint brush! I got 2 quarts - one of the light purple and one of the dark purple. I haven't even used the 1/2 cup of chalkboard paint I made from the dark purple yet. (For directions for the chalkboard paint check out Martha Stewarts recipe, don't get me started on chalkboard paint recipes...). And I still have half a quart left of the light purple. I did paint the bins with a white base coat. I think this helped keep the purple from soaking in to the fabric. Also, I thought I was just going to paint them white at the beginning, so it was a good starting point. I don't know if I would do the white base coat if I did them again.  
Ok, so happy bins means happy Carin. Most of them are done, now I just have to finish the striped ones and then put them all together. I wanted to do a big before/after reveal for her room, but this is even better. Now you can see how everything evolves as I go. 

Now if only I didn't have to go to work so I could craft my way to closing... 


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Quilter's Dream


Check this out.


That's right - I just blew your mind. No comics, no superheros, no trekkies. Just fabric, beautiful fabric, and more glorious fabric!!! A whole convention devoted to the modern quilting. I love quilting and the modern patterns that designers are coming out with now are striking. They play with color, pattern, and even dimension, in the case of some artists. (Side note - check out the Tokyo Quilt Show if you ever have 3 hours to waste staring at your computer - talking about feeling like your wasting your life away, these quilts are magnificent).

Anywho.... QuiltCon would be a dream come true to walk around and dream about the beautiful blankets you can wrap yourself in. I love the simple patterns that accentuate the patterns of the fabric themselves - which is what I always end up doing myself. This weekend when I was organizing I just kept moving fabric from one pile to another coming up with different combos of patterns that compliment each other.

Ahhh beautiful example


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Q and A - Painting Fabric Answers

Love the idea of painting fabric. Helloooo - Textile Designer!! Painted your own fabric would be step one! If you can't screenprint (which you totally can do at home too) painting would be great.

Polka dots that are wispy would be great and easy to do with a wide and bristly brush and no care about the exact pattern - or could do a quick half drop.

Beware of too many stripes in one room. Make sure they become either all the same (maybe) or have a lot of diversity so they dont visually compete.

The bold stripes on Pintrest are great, a large stripe that could mix with the smaller stripes of the room, but yes STIFF, especially depending on the paint you use. If you are going to do wide stripes - just sew them. Its still super easy and you don't have to concern yourself with the large panel to have to paint on. Large panels could end up becoming costly or have to be pieced together, and then your stuck with a seam.

In Conclusion - sew wide stripes.

The Littlest.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Dazzle me, Textile Design Guru Sister!

Ok, I really wanted to start this with one of the awesome crafts for the new place, but I think I'm going to have to hold off on those right now. Because I have been seeing multiple mentions of "painting your own curtains" on Pinterest lately, and I need to know how well this really works.

Luckily I have the best sister ever. I thought I'd get your opinion on painting my own curtains. I was thinking of doing polka dots on white fabric to hide Z's little play cubby that I'm planning on making, but after seeing all the striped curtains (and realizing that everything else in her room is striped). I'm thinking painting stripes will work better. What I really want to do is paint using the left over paint from her room, so that the curtain matches. (Um, duh.)

**Side note: In a couple of weeks when we talk and I'm right in the middle painting and moving, remind me that I also want to re-paint her clock and all of the storage bins we have in her room, as they're all stripped to match her current room. I ask this of you because I am extremely forgetful, and you are awesome.**

So Miss Textile Design Guru, is painting my own curtains a good idea? I know the fabric is going to be stiff after I paint it, do you think it will ever get less stiff? Are you ready? Go ahead, dazzle me with your textile-y experiences!

Still thinking of a sign off....