Thursday, May 31, 2012

Random Act of Kindness #36

Show of hands...whose heart goes pidder padder when you see a sign like this?
Today you'll have a chance to share that exact same feeling of excitement and it won't cost you a cent!

RAK Challenge #36: Put something you no longer need on Craigslist's 'Free' spot.

Helpful hints:
*Shop your house for something worthy of the challenge
*Take a picture and post it.
*Place the item on your curb so your RAK recipient can come claim their prize!

It's a win/win situation, friends. You'll clear your house of a little clutter and a stranger will gain a treasure for free.

You know the drill...go out and be kind!

Don't forget to catch up on many other Random Act of Kindness Challenges. Here are a few to getcha going: Share a smile RAK and Dog love RAK.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Secret Weapon Stink Fighter

I have a new secret weapon that I'm loving these days! With 2 kids and 2 dogs, sometimes areas of our house can get a bit smelly. Oh come on now, don't act like you don't know exactly what I'm talking that are 'so not cool' to wear socks with, the sweaty shorts that have lived in the back of the closet for too long to recall, etc. Are you shaking your head yes yet?

If so, feast your eyes on these...
My nose's new best friends...Scentportables!
Just slip one of the many yummy fragrances into the little opening and it's instant goodness.

A few of these hopped into Bryn and Reed's Easter baskets this year and I must say, it was one of the smartest things the Easter Bunny has ever left behind!

Who wouldn't want to walk into their room and smell the sweet aroma of frosted cupcakes?! Much better than smelly shoes, right?

A side view so you can see the versatility of spaces the scentportable can call home.

Most of the covers are girly, but thank goodness I found the Easter bunny found one that was cool enough to make Reed's closet bearable home.

We've used several fragrances and so far Island Colada is our favorite. It's just enough scent to fight the funk without being overbearing.

So there ya have secret's not so secret anymore, but it was totally worth sharing so your nose can get the little break it deserves!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Giraffe Decor

Hello, friends! Doesn't it kinda feel like we got to skip Monday this week since it was a holiday?! Love it when that happens. 

Let's talk giraffes today. I've been working on a gender neutral nursery moodboard and was able to incorporate a little giraffe love. 

Here's a little peek at how things are coming along...
It's a rarity these days to have a gender neutral nursery, but I think it's fun. I went this route with my own nursery since we didn't find out the gender. 

Since we're talking giraffes, I had to share this amazing home... 
Isn't the art fabulous?! Nothing like a double dose of oversized art. Yes, please.

And, is this wall decal not just the funniest thing?
It'd be hilarious to put him in a bathroom..."Ummm, hello in there. Do you need any help?!"

I spied this next little fella at Z Gallerie and fell in love. He's really adorable in person.
What a great statement piece that would instantly add a little quirk to your space!

Anyone else sharing my love for giraffe these days? Better yet, does anyone own Mr. Z Gallerie giraffe head? 

**Interested in a moodboard for your own home? Click here to learn more.**

Friday, May 25, 2012

Blogging made me do it! Featuring Kristen Davis

So glad we get to continue the series today! Janell Beals started us off last week and look who's sharing the love this week?

Oh, yes!'s Kristen from Kristen F. Davis Designs. I always look forward to Kristen's posts and of course, the reveals of her commissioned pieces are my favorite. How about several of you hop on over and commission her so we'll have some guaranteed eye candy in the near future?!

Kristen did not disappoint when tackling the topic "Blogging made me do it!" She kept it real and shared this hilarious story...

Ohhh, the things "Blogging has made me do!" I started my blog as a sort of artistic outlet; something to fill my spare time, and to "let out" a bit of artsy-craftiness. It has become, however, a main component of my job, and I am really grateful for it. I am a decorative painter, and I work solo. My blog is my only form of advertising, and I use it as my portfolio for design clients.
In thinking about some of the funnier things that blogging has made me do, a story about a traveling desk came to mind. It's a story about what blogging made not only myself do, but about 5 other people do, too. Hah!
In 2010, about two years ago, I painted this desk:
Eventually, it looked like this:
Well, I ended up selling the desk to a friend-of-a-friend who lived in Washington, D.C. I'm not sure if you guys are aware of shipping costs of furniture (I'm sure you are!), but it is not cheap! Something like this desk could be well over $250, and that's more than my client even paid for the desk. It just so happened, that summer (right after I sold it to her), my husband and I were going to be driving to D.C. to visit my brother, who lives there. We decided the best thing to do would be to drive it up there with us. So, we hauled it in my car (which was a tiny Nissan Versa).
This is a photo I took of us driving up barely fit!
So, the desk made it to D.C. Buuuuut, once we got there, we realized that the parking at my brother's apartment was not so great for moving a desk. It was only parallel parking on the street, so as soon as we found a spot, we parked and had to haul it down about 3 blocks, before we made it to his apartment. He lived in the underground part of the row house, so we took it down 2 flights of stairs, and around a corner, finally to sit in my brother's room.
My client (who lived in DC, remember?) ended up having a family emergency, and so the desk sat in my brother's room for 3 months or so, while she was out of town. I kept getting random texts, phone calls, etc., from him saying things like, "Hey, uhhh, so there's this desk sitting in my room..." (Shout out to Andy, my brother, for patiently enduring a pink floral desk in his room)
Anyway, eventually my client's friends volunteered to pick the desk up for her, since she couldn't. We all had to make plans for her friends (who I didn't know) to go over to my brother's house to pick up a desk that their friend bought. Andy said when they came over, they asked him how he knew their friend, and he said "I don't even know whose desk this is!" It was just a crazy turn of events, and if not for the ol' World Wide Web and blog-land, it never would've happened. Whenever I see pictures of that desk, I laugh. It made it through a lot, and blogging made it do it! :)

Leave it to Kristen to come with something unique and creative to share! Aren't you glad she shared her time with us today? See more of her greatness on her blog, stop by and say hello.

Hope you all have a fun weekend!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Random Act of Kindness #35

Today's RAK is all about chocolate and fun...does it get any better?! I ran across this idea on Pinterest and traced it back to Poppies at Play. It's such a cute idea that it definitely needs to be passed on.

RAK Challenge #35: Ding dong ditch a neighbor with a sweet treat!

On your next trip to the grocery store, pick up a box of Ding Dongs. Go home and print a's Andy's printable. Notice we doubled up and added a RAK card too?! Hopefully, this will help the fun to go on and on!

Pick your victim. Check out the blurry legs of Reed as he slithers up the steps!

Leave the treat on the porch, ring the doorbell and RUN, RUN, RUN!!!

Even through the blurriness of this picture you can still see the giant smiles on their faces!

We're no strangers to these types of activities. Remember the Easter version and Halloween, too?!

So much fun...I promise it's instant giggles!

It's your turn friends, go out and be kind!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Birthday Candy Jars

This year Bryn went unconventional with her birthday cake desires. She decided it'd be fun to take her friends to visit Hey Cupcake! instead of celebrating with a cake at home. If you've ever visited Austin you know this is a must see/visit/do type thing. Isn't this a fun little vibe they've created?

Well, eating cupcakes out meant a major component was missing from the decorations at home. It didn't feel like a birthday party without having a cake sitting in the middle of the island! 

I wanted to have something a little special so we set up a tiny candy bar...

A quick trip to Walmart (is that an oxymoron? Is anything quick at Walmart?!) and I picked up 3 of these little cuties. They come in various sizes but I went with the smallest. So glad I would have cost a fortune trying to fill the larger ones up with candy.

Candies of choice...
Double Bubble

Swedish Fish


I printed "Bryn's Birthday Treats" from the computer, cut it out, glued each word on some card stock and wallah, instant fun. The girls loved grabbing a treat here and there throughout the night. Some may have even had swedish fish for breakfast...I'm not tellin'!

Want to know the sad truth?...We went to 2 different Hey Cupcake! locations and both were closed early because they had sold out of cupcakes. Poor Bryn...she settled for Sonic's shakes. Lesson learned...go to Hey Cupcake! at the beginning of the party and not the end!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Transparent Tuesday: Art (take 2)

Hello, friends! Let's dive right into things today.

Today's transparent topic: Risk Taking

Are you a risk taker by nature? Do you know your comfort zone? What does it take to push you beyond your limits?

I've always been able to appreciate art but never known it from an artist's perspective. As I'm beginning to put the brush to the canvas and make my own strokes, I'm realizing there's a lot of vulnerability involved in putting your art in front of an audience.

Is this a risk I'm willing to take? Sure, I'll put it on my blog and say "Look what I did!" But, what about taking the next step and offering it to be purchased?

That's the risk I'm staring in the face right now. 

What if I 'open' an etsy shop and don't sell a single piece?!

What if beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder and my vision isn't shared?

What if the criticism is harsh?

What if my creativity runs dry and I'm a one hit wonder? What if I don't even make it with one hit?

What if a "real artist" sees my paintings and scoffs?

I'm not going to lie...these are actual thoughts that float around in my brain, but I'll also tell you that these thoughts are the fuel to my fire. I can't stand excuses! And, that's exactly what all these yucky words are...excuses. If I choose to let the 'what if' rule my life then I'm sure to miss out on some crazy good opportunities. There's no doubt I'll experience some hardships too, but you know what?...I'll use them to grow!

Do you have a risk you're scared to take? Do you find yourself making excuses? What's it going to take to get you past that point? I have the answer...prayer. I'd be honored to lift your concerns up and pray for the courage and confidence you need to push through your fears and concerns. Leave me a comment or send me an email: 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Black and White Art Pieces

The art bug has bitten big recently and can I just tell you how much fun I'm having with my new hobby?!

Now, don't be too harsh when you're taking a gander...these are literally my first attempts at anything other than painting an abstract. I've edited in a mat and frame to get an idea of what the finished product will look like. I'm hoping to buy a few frames soon and possibly adorn our entryway.

Ready for a trip to the zoo? I'm on an animal kick for some reason!

Meet Mr. Giraffe...
He likes taking long walks with his short-legged friends and snatching yummy leaves from the finest trees in town! His medium is black acrylic paint on white paper.

Next up, Mr. Ed...
Mr. Ed resides at a nearby stable and is a lady-killer with his smilin' eyes and spiky do. Watch out, friends, he's one fast dude! His medium: black acrylic paint on brown craft paper.

Oh yes... it's Dumbo!
Dumbo's supersonic hearing is his best asset. He's currently in training to be a therapy animal who assists the hard of hearing! His portrait conveyed via black acrylic paint on white paper.

Let's call our next friend, B.D. aka Big Dreams
B.D. looks fierce but that's just the look of fear coming through because he knows there's a couple Frieling males who have him in their sites. Mr. B.D. needs some major neck work via the plastic surgeon, aka me, the painter!

Last, but not least, meet Mr. Gazelle...
Mr. Gazelle is very playful and will bring any party to the next level. Fun is his middle name! His overall effect is very reminiscent of a popular ikat trend currently happening in the design world. 

So what's next, you ask? Minimalist animals meet abstract backgrounds. Stay tuned for the next round of zoo fun.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Blogging Made Me Do It! Featuring Janell Beals

As a blogger I often find myself looking for things that are "post worthy" or try to think of projects that would be fun and unique. With this perspective in mind, I began wondering what other bloggers have done simply because of their blog. Did they tackle a huge project because of an expectant audience? Did they find a new hobby or even a  new career perhaps? Did they make a gutsy purchase? Or did they do something that ended up terribly wrong?!

I threw out these questions to a handful of bloggers and I can't wait to see (and share with you) their interpretations of...

What better way to kick off this series than to take a peek into the projects of Janell Beals, House of Fifty founding editor?! 

Here's what Janell had to share:

Thank goodness "Blogging Made Me Do It!" As I look around my home and see the results of projects shared on my blog, I sometimes can't believe I went to all the trouble and worked so hard to see results I could be proud of and enjoy. Having an audience and knowing people would scrutinize the outcome had me trying just that much harder! Thank goodness, because I now get to enjoy the benefits.

Here are a couple of the projects that have me shaking my head however, wondering if I would attempt them again.

First up, the Upholstered Wall Becomes a Headboard in the Master Bedroom. This was a beast made a lot more challenging by the fabric I selected. It was time consuming and tricky to get the pattern to run exactly straight across the width and up the height of the frame. And then to get the fabric taunt enough so it wouldn't sag over time! I called in a friend to help build the frame and install it on the wall. Cumbersome and very heavy, the plan was to glue it to the wall with industrial strength glue and it worked perfectly...though some did raise their eyebrows about that! It was the only way to get it flush up to the tray ceiling and be completely secure. I figure if the day ever comes that I get tired of it, I'll simply have to do a little drywall repair (or call back the friend to help!) But after all the work, it's probably here until the day I sell the house a long time from now.

Click here to read all the posts on this project.

The second project is small in comparison, but it was quite time consuming and again tricky with the need to run a stencil pattern flush up to the inside corners of a tray - to get the project looking fab rather than bad. After stenciling up to the edges as closely as possible I then completed the pattern with a small paint brush by hand. I did the project over a few days as it was a tedious job and I suspect I won't be doing this project again anytime soon. Unless I were to select one large motif stencil pattern that would fit in the center of a tray, that wouldn't require running the pattern up to the edges. Now that would have been smarter. But again, now I have a beautiful tray I get to enjoy!

Click here for the tutorial written for HGTV.

The last project I'd seriously have to think long and hard before trying again was the recovering of a pair of chairs when working on my son's room. The initial plan was to simply make slipcovers, but I didn't like the "sloppy" look and ended up doing a "hybrid" of a slipcover and reupholsery job. It took days and days and hours and hours. However, I adore the outcome of the chairs, and my son loves the room, so in the end the project was worth it. It also provided content for a lot of posts...always a good thing when looking for what to post on one's blog!

Lots of posts written about this one, click here to read them all.

Is it safe to say when Janell tackles a project she does it in a BIG way?! These are only a few of her amazing projects. You could spend hours devouring her blog. And just in case you've been living under a rock and haven't read the Anniversary edition of House of Fifty, then you're in luck because it's full of goodness and inspiration.

Janell's husband, John, shares the story of how the publication came to be (pg.90). It's a must read!

I'm very humbled that Janell shared her time with me and contributed to this series. She's a very classy lady and I can honestly say I spoke the words, to my John, "That's the type of person I want to be like."

I hope you all have a great weekend, friends. It our last free Saturday before swim meets begin. We plan to take full advantage of our sleeping in...those 6am warm-ups are brutal!
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