DIY Yarn Wall Hanging

I recently came across a yarn wall hanging on Pinterest, and absolutely fell in love.  As with many things that I believe sort of cosmically cross my path, I became instantly obsessed with the idea of creating one of these works of art.  I know obsession seems like a strong word, but that really is the only way to describe it.  It’s all very quick, you know.  And it’s not crazy to think that it’s all kind of serendipitous.  It was the same type of scenario that fueled me to make the Shakshuka.  These wall hangings are clearly not some type of trendy new decoration, and while they never go out of style for bohemian interiors, I imagine that after the 70’s their popularity waned a bit.  But I think it’s a safe bet to say they are resurfacing.  Online retailer One Kings Lane introduced an artisnal line last summer, and they have profiled several weavers, also offering their works for sale.  Anthropologie also recently sold wall hangings such as these.  All Roads Design, a husband/wife creative team, has an amazing Tumblr showcasing many of their gorgeous creations, which are some of the very weavings sold at Anthropologie.  Yarn wall hangings add such lovely texture to a space, and with cute shops like Purl Soho selling such gorgeous yarn- it’s hard to exercise restraint.  I started an entire Pinterest board dedicated to yarn wall hangings to gather inspiration before I set out to make my own.  I searched high and low for a tutorial, and after many exhuasted attempts not being able to find what I was looking for, I decided I was going to have to figure this one out myself.  The only problem is…I don’t know how to mother effin weave.  While I do want to attempt weaving at some point, (my husband just bought me a loom to try!) this DIY takes a much more simple route.  Two words…rag rug.  First let me show you a few of my favorites from Pinterest. (For source, click image)

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When I got the wild hair up my ass that I absolutely had to have one of these, a rag rug was the first thing that came to mind.  Luckily I had one lying around that had never been used, so I started with that. The rug I used is 2’x3′, though I folded it in half to make a smaller wall hanging.  Originally I wanted to make a design directly on top of the rug, weaving my yarn through it, but I wasn’t thrilled with the way it was turning out.  So, I made long tassels out of cream colored yarn, and fed them through to the back of the rug and tied it.  I did this all along the bottom.  Next I used Fabri-tac to glue on some hot pink, and black yarn strips directly to the rug.  Then the most fun part of all.  SEQUINS.  I glued on an entire row of sequins, and then glued some  “here” and “there”.  I love the final look, it’s my Ode’ to a Moroccan wedding blanket.  We just used a strip of wood in between the folded rug and nailed it directly into the wall, But you could hang it on a decorative dowel/hanger for the ease of moving it.

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What I didn’t tell you, is that these photos were taken in my dining room!  No more purple Ikat walls.  Remember when I talked here about our dining room revamp?  Well, It turned into a complete do-over.  It’s not 100% finished, but I’m going to share the progress with you next week.  It’s pretty delicious!  

*I bought, and Love the Charles Bukowski print from Etsy shop Alphonsinne.  

XO-Tara

Glittering Sea Urchins

Hiya! I hope everyone had a wonderful, and relaxing weekend.  I did a few craft projects, talked about philosophical life questions with my husband, read, drank copious amounts of coffee, and watched two great movies (Blue Jasmine & In A World).  

I know I generally don’t divulge a lot about my life here, and I had no intentions of this being/becoming a “personal” blog, but I do fancy myself a creative writer-and coincidentally an over sharer.  Long ago during the hazy days of Myspace (if you think really hard, you’ll remember when it used to be cool) I kept an online journal, and it was my pride and joy.  I shared everything.  Poetry, mothering woes, decorating projects, art, relationship issues, issues I had with myself, nothing was off limits.  It was this cathartic swirling vortex of my neuroses, and for some reason people read it, and moreover, people liked it.  In an effort to get back to that pour my heart out kind of writing, I’m going to start a new tab on this blog called “ramblings”, because well, that’s exactly what it will be.  Maybe a few people will read it, maybe not.  It’s more for me, it’s an effort to be authentic and share the “real” bits of life, the sometimes not so pretty bits that many of us keep locked up inside, until they bubble over into a massive nervous breakdown.  That might be a slight over exaggeration  but you get the point.   

Now, as a reward for sitting and listening to me (and trust me you haven’t heard the half of it) I’m going to show you how to make something pretty, and sparkly.  It’s kinda sorta DIY.  It does involve an electrical cord/socket-so try to not to electrocute yourself.  This DIY was a gift from my dad a couple years ago, but it’s something everyone loves, and people always ask where I got it.  I just recently updated it with glitter—ooooohhaaahhhh.  My mom has had a sea urchin night light for as long as I can remember, but large urchins are not easy to come by like they used to be.  The larger Urchins are not able to be harvested anymore, so nowadays when you buy urchins individually they are on the small side.  If you search Ebay you can find a few lights with a large shell-like this, but they run about $25-30 bucks.  (search sea urchin night light) An individual urchin like the one I have will cost you about $3, so obviously it’s much more cost effective to make your own.  Basically you just drill a hole in the bottom of a piece of wood (big enough for a night light socket to fit in) You can find a socket/cord set like this on Amazon, or probably at your local hardware store.  You could stain/varnish your base, paint it, decoupage it, the options are endless!  That’s basically it.  Get a piece of wood-make it pretty, drill a hole in it, insert your socket , put in a light bulb, and Voila!!  So the next time your on vacation, grab a sea urchin and create one of these magical lights.

urchin bottom   This is the bottom of the light, where the socket goes. 

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Xo-Tara

Ohhh, deer…

Hello Lovelies!

Its time for me to over-share pictures of my Holiday Mantle!  I typically am not one for themes, but this years holiday mantle definitely has one.  Can you guess what it is?

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That’s right guys, this holiday mantle is deertastic!

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Deer antlers, and faux deer heads are everywhere, and have been “trending” for quite some time, so it’s only natural that I (or anyone) would want to cover their mantle with these charming little deer figurines.  This magical holiday season is the perfect time to try and add some whimsy to our lives with a deer-centric holiday mantle.  The mantle is quite simply comprised of tiny deer (new & vintage), bottle brush trees, the same paper fans I used in the Christmas tree, and white string lights.  Some of the trees are just the cheapie ones that you can literally get anywhere, but I added sequins and little embellishments to jazz them up.  The green deer are from Target, the felt deer are from Khols, and the chrome deer head is from Meijer.

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mantlelike We’ve lived in our house for three years, prior to that we had a small apartment in which neither a full size tree would fit, and also one lacking a mantle with which to hang stockings on.  I made our mismatched stockings the year we bought our house.  They mean as much to me now, as they did then.  Finally I have a home where traditions can weave their delicate threads through the heart of our growing family.  I love how the stockings are all representative of each of our personalities, well, except my husbands! I suppose you could say the polka dots represent the fun kitchy-ness of 50’s culture, but that’s a crock of shit! My stocking is vintage chintz, Ava’s is a crazy floral pattern called Larkspur In Bloom from Michael Miller Fabrics, and Sadie’s is a newly sewn velvet leopard one .

http://instagr.am/p/XIjF0/Now lets talk about all the shiny baubles on this years holiday wreath.  I’m sure you’ve seen those vintage ornament wreaths on Pinterest.  There are other ornament wreaths that just use cheapo ornaments, but I’ve had my heart set on a vintage one for a while.  However, I was unwilling to throw down a lot of cash for one, so mine is a thrifty compromise.  

I had to run out for some “filler” ornaments, but honestly everything I needed to make this wreath I had on hand already.  It’s not all vintage because frankly, my collection isn’t that large (yet)-but its beautiful and suits my magpie sensibilities.  Making the wreath is simple, really.  You just hot glue the ornaments onto a wreath form.  Some DIY versions have a specific method for gluing them on, but per my usual cluster fuck fashion,  I hot glued them on rather willy nilly!  I did manage to take a series of photos to show you the progression, so all is not lost.

IMG_2070Ohh, make sure you have lots of iced coffee too!  It helps with the tediousness of this process.

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Your not limited to ornaments either.  As you can see I added vintage jewelry to my wreath, as well as some beaded garland, and cute little buttons from an old issue of Mollie Makes.  Go wild!

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I hope this gives you lots of holiday inspiration!

XO-Tara

Ikat Dining Room

Bonjour!

It’s a gloomy day in my neck of the woods, so I thought it would be fun to show you some photos of my vibrant dining room! 

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When we bought our house the dining room was a big white box.  A blank slate is great except that the whole “possibilities are endless” thing can really wear on a person over time.  I had concrete ideas about what I wanted for our dining room.  A dining room/library combo, a huge  table, a window seat, and stenciled walls.  I had the idea to stencil the walls right from the beginning. A stencil is the perfect option for someone who loves wallpaper but either cannot afford it, or is afraid of the commitment. Why purple ikat? I have always adored everything from Madeline Weinrib, especially this purple ikat fabric, and I wanted something that replicated that rich design.  I used the Samarkand stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils, and the paint color is byzantine purple by Olympic.  My husband has a B.F.A. with a concentration in printmaking so naturally I made him do the stencil.  It took roughly two days to complete, and it was absolutely worth it, because it really couldn’t have turned out more perfect.

Once the window seat was built, I had the idea to “frame” the little nook with all of our books.  We used sets of L brackets to construct the towers of books.  In each column there are four sets of L brackets.  The books are piled on top of the brackets to create the illusion that they are just casually stacked from the floor up. A shelf painted the same color of the walls (to blend in) spans from one column of books to the other and helps finish that “library” feel we were going for.  I love me some inspiration boards, so the inside of the walls have photos and magazine clippings taped up with washi tape.  I do have to say that I’m ready for a change of pillows, the zebra Waverly print on the euro shams might stay, but the other pillows which are outdoor by Waverly, are too childish for the space.  Also the window seat cushion needs to visit an upholsterer for a snazzy new cover-so I’ve started brainstorming, and fabric searching.  I am also on the hunt for dining room chairs, something much more comfortable than the old things we have now.  I’ve been contemplating benches with thick cushions, but anything with an upholstered seat would be better than what we have now.  So stay tuned for another installment of Tara’s incessant need to change things! 

The photo lampshades were a fun way to personalize the space.  They are Instagram prints (printed using PostalPix) that we covered in adhesive and attached to the lampshades.  F.U.N.

A quick word about our dining table.  It’s this one from Ikea, although ours is the larger one that seats up to 14 people. It comes in three colors- black, brown, and birch.  No Bueno.  I did not want a big honkin black table in this space, but I did want the largest table I could find, and for cheap! So I purchased said table.  Then one nice summer day I proceeded to carry the big honkin table outside and sand the veneer right off of it.  It. took. forever.  Then I stained it, and polyurethaned it.  It’s not exactly rustic, but I don’t mind.  It is extremely sturdy, and for the cost of the table ($300) plus $20 for stain & polyurethane- I have the sort of table I had always dreamed of having, all with a very low price tag.  

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Vintage Hamper & A Funky Light Fixture

Hello!

Today I’m going to share a couple of FUN projects with you.

One is a vintage hamper that we found at our local Salvation Army for $12.  I spotted it from across the room.  It was one of those divine moments, the kind where everything around you is out of focus except one item which seems surrounded in a glowing orb of light.  In this case it was a vintage hamper.

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It was the perfect size, in amazing condition, and had a style that makes me swoon.  It.was.perfect.  Except for the fact that it was horribly ugly.  Good thing I love projects that require a trip to the fabric store! I scored a couple yards of lime green marine vinyl for less than $15.  Then the Hubs began the painstaking process of disassembly.  The handles and feet were removed, and all the old vinyl was removed and used as a template to cut the new vinyl.  We scrubbed the hardware down with a wire brush to remove as much rust as possible, and then spray painted everything gold.

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Isn’t it delicious?!

It’s even more fun paired with the ceiling fixture that we made from an old skirt! Say what?

We originally had a generic dome type ceiling light in the bathroom, until that is, I had a light bulb moment (pun intended) to fashion this one made from an old pink hippy skirt.  It literally took 5 mins to make.  All we did was cut the bottom off of a ruffled skirt until it was the right length/size, and then we used Fabri-tac to glue part of it around the top of a lampshade.  It is attached to the existing bolt of the fixture using the same cap that held the old one on.  The bottom is open, exposing the light bulbs and underside of the fixture.  I have plans to cover the bottom of the opening with another piece of fabric to hide all the ugly bits! I did manage to get a cool photo of the underside, and have included a few photos of the bathroom also so you can see the two pieces together in their natural habitat.

XO-Tara 

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Indifference & Glitter Pumpkins

Good Morning!

I hope it’s OK if I share a few Instagrams of our Halloween mantle last year.  I would like to say I have new, and never seen before images of spectacular Halloween décor, but the truth is my mantle still looks just like this.  Do you ever get in a slump around certain Holidays?  I usually go overboard with all of them, but this year something is off.  My family experienced a profound loss last year, just as Fall was beginning to settle herself around us.  I cannot say for certain that this is the sole reason that I feel rather indifferent towards Halloween this year, all I know is something has changed.  I am longing for the Holidays that mean huge family gatherings, laughter that makes you feel absolutely buoyant, and the warmth and solace that comes inherent in my crazy family.  So, for now I will share a Halloween past, and hope that next year there is shift, and I am once again able to enjoy the familiarness of a Holiday I truly adore.

Without further ado here are a few images of our glittery pink pumpkins.  My husband made the crow screen-print that is in the Baroque frame.  I kind of love it.

XO-Tara

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