Dressing the nursery.

When we purchased our new home two years ago, I had the pleasure of a few solid months of decorating, followed by a long stretch of just enjoying the results (with the occasional update here and there!). It was extraordinarily satisfying and gratifying to make a space that really suited my husband and me.

22weeksnurserycrib

Above: IKEA LERBERG shelf in dark grey; Union 4-in-1 Convertible Crib; assorted DiY frames & prints.

 

Now, with baby boy on the way, we’re finishing up one last major room… the nursery. We began choosing colors and major pieces before we knew the sex, wanting to go with a neutral color set that focused more on design and less on gender. We purchased Valspar’s Low-VOC paint in three colors: a pretty delicate grey called Owlet, and accent colors of dark navy Gentlemen’s Grey and a sunshine yellow (this was actually another manufacturer’s, the name of which I can’t recall!). The walls were completed with the Owlet light grey, and the yellow and navy accents show up elsewhere in the room, in addition to similar colors.

Furniture and fixtures, when they can’t be matched exactly, are at least in the color families, with accents of metals like the shelf above. As is our way, we’ve purchased a lot of items from Ikea, including the above mentioned standing shelf and the yellow metal wall shelf and star wall sconce below. We’ve felt really lucky to have access to Ikea for modern-look products at a really reasonable cost, even for baby!

22weeksnurserywall

Above: IKEA BOTKYRKA wall shelf; IKEA SMILA STJÄRNA wall sconce; metal basket on clearance at King Soopers; art print from artist Mike Maydak, purchased at Denver Comic Con.

 

We also love unique and fun art – the rainbow house print from Mike Maydak was a purchase we made several years before we were even planning on having a child, but the whimsy and brilliant colors lent a brightness to the room we really loved.

Of course being a nursery, everything in the room is safely secured to the walls (such as the Lerberg shelf, which includes pre-drilled holes for securing to walls), including loose cords (the original Smila lamps were actually recalled previously due to a strangle risk with the cord). Though this little one won’t be mobile for some time, getting the safety taken care of immediately is reassuring, and was made easy with cord kits also from Ikea.

 

New jewelry pieces – frame your world!

These new wordspell pieces are just what you need if you’re looking to change your outlook… just gaze through them!

Both are available for purchase and immediate FREE US shipping at our Etsy store!  And don’t forget – you can always request a custom piece if you’re inspired by another word, phrase, or metal.  Custom piece prices run the same as our retail prices!

Sterling new friends!

You know what they say… new friends are silver… but what kind of silver?  Typically I like to think of them as sterling.

Sterling silver is an alloy (a mix of metals) of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% of another metal, usually copper, although other metals can be used, too.  Why do we do this?  Like gold, silver in its pure form is very soft and not suitable for jewelry or other hard-wearing accessories.  Just that little bit of other metal will make for a harder substance, and thus a more durable piece.  That 925 you see stamped or otherwise marked on silver jewelry?  That denotes it as sterling silver – 925 is just short for the 92.5% of silver metal in the alloy.

Sterling silver stamping blanks available for purchase on Etsy.

Sterling silver stamping blanks available for purchase on Etsy.

Fine silver is 99.9%, and can be seen in jewelry usually as a final plate (a thin layer chemically or electrically bonded to the outside of a piece) around sterling silver.  Like gold, it can eventually wear off and need to be re-plated.  Almost any jeweler can do this for you.

I love working with sterling silver.  Silver has the unique quality of being a very bright, white-color metal.  Other metals that mimic silver just don’t have that bright white shine and the true depth of silver.  It’s a great material for heirloom pieces, because silver retains value in the same way as gold and platinum (if not as MUCH value).

A sterling silver necklace from Charmedseed Studios available for purchase on Etsy.

A sterling silver necklace from Charmedseed Studios available for purchase on Etsy.

Silver will absolutely tarnish!  All metals will tarnish or oxidize because of normal chemical processes.  Sterling silver will tarnish a little more if the alloy is made with copper.  Fortunately said tarnish can be cleaned easily with a polishing cloth, chemical cleanser, or abrasive physical polishing – that’s right, the old elbow grease.

Do you have a metal allergy?  Sterling silver will probably be okay for you to wear, as long as the other metal in the alloy isn’t your allergy-metal (such as nickel, a common allergy-inducing metal.  Fortunately since most sterling silver is made with copper, you’re okay).

Got questions about sterling silver jewelry or other metals?  Ask me!

Shiny!

Apartment Therapy reminded me this morning how much I looooove the shine and luster of lacquered furniture.  They featured a post about lacquered walls, but I thought to add a few pieces of furniture.  But seriously, isn’t this gorgeous?

source: apartment therapy

I like my lacquer to have a nice modern finish, like this bedroom set from Scandinavian Designs.  With very clean lines, solid colors, and that bright shine, it becomes the focal point of a room without taking away from anything else.

source: Scandinavian Designs

Shiny lacquered kitchens make me just shiver with delight.

source: apartment therapy

Lacquer accessories have always been popular staples in the bathroom, because of their brightness and ease of cleaning, but they can go anywhere!  Check out these from Nina Campbell!

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On a budget?  Try some resin options from Walmart!

Totally in Love!

With Nick, of course, but I recently found a new clothing store that I’m totally enamored of… Ruche!  They held a Polyvore contest last week, and here’s what I came up with:

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Based on their “Unending Love” collection, I used Polyvore to put together a fun collection of my favorites!  The new "remember darling" dress is one of my absolute FAVORITES! I wanted to highlight the delicate, romantic feel of it with warm, sweet accessories and colors, and make it suitable for any occasion, professional or personal. The focus is on warm peach and gold to accent the warm white of the dress’ lace, but with a cool surprise in the shoe color. With your hair up, the earrings would really sparkle, but no necklace to interrupt the cute buttons and high neckline. All the focus here is onwards and upwards!

What’s your recent favorite shopping find?

Pretty Floaty Serenity Wings

I’ve gotten several questions about the process of making the wings that I wore along with my Neo-Queen Serenity costume, so I wanted to come out with a tutorial on how to get the look.  It was one of my favorites, and the wings were a super simple part of the project!  They’re fun not just for this costume, but any costume that has large, floating style wings.  I used the same structure for my wings that went along with Flutterina, too.

imageHere’s what you need:

Wing fabric
Double-sided tape
12 gauge steel wire
Wire cutters 
Garment wings will go with
Bias tape
Serger (optional)

Start out with designing the size and shape of wing that you want.  Serenity has a sort of softly rounded traditional open wing shape, but butterfly, fairy wings, or teardrop shapes will work, too.  This won’t work as well for shapes with a lot of small offshoots; all of the support is coming from the top, so a solid shape is best.

Once you have your wing shape, cut your fabric according to your pattern and finish the edges.  I’ve finished the edges of mine using the rolled hem on my serger, but you can use a blanket stitch or another finishing method.  Now, cut a section of wire twice as long as the top edges of your wing (or the span of both wings) PLUS about a 18-20 inches.  Starting at the tip of one wing, create a general shape for the wire – it doesn’t have to be exact – of your wing.  Before you move on to the second one, create an upside-down U shape; basically, two prongs pointing down:

wingframe

Next, install some channels on the back of your garment.  Important note: the garment pretty much needs to be fitted close and structured, like a boned bodice or corset.  If you can wear a structured garment underneath somewhere, that will still work, more on that in a moment.  There are two ways to go about this.  The Easy Way is to simply install the channels the same distance apart as the prongs on your wing frame on the outside back of the garment.  The Slightly Less Easy Way is to install the channels on the inside of the garment – effectively hiding them – and create buttonhole openings through the garment so you still have access to them.  Referring back to having your structured garment underneath, this works the same way: add your channels to the structured garment, and put buttonholes on the outside garment to provide access to the channels.  Make these channels about 4-5 inches long running vertically, and leave the tops open:

backofdress

Finally, take the double sided tape and run it along the length of the wire, from the base of the U to the tip (don’t cover any of the part that goes into the channels).  Then, just carefully apply the very upper edge of your wings to the wire frame, slightly wrapping the top hem around the wire and tape.  Insert the base into the channels and ta-da, you’re done!  Your wings are fully adjustable at this point, if you want them to stick out to the sides or straight to the back, just bend your wire accordingly.  For safety, apply just a little dab of hot glue to the tips to keep the sharp wire from poking anything.

You can add additional touches to your wings if you like; for example, with the Flutterina wings, I used Wonder Under to add some colored spots to the butterfly style wings.  Just don’t add anything too heavy!  Enjoy!