Thursday, January 30, 2014

DIY Lace Mason Jars

Somehow I've accumulated a lot of mason jars. Like "wow this girl hoards jars" a lot. But whenever the jam runs out or the flowers die or you see a really unique one in a vintage store you just have to save them...right? Either way, mason jars have started to take over the small amount of kitchen cabinet space we have so I decided that I needed to use some in different ways. For the first step of my mason jar purging process, I decided to dress some up with a little lace trim. This was super easy - just add a couple dabs of hot glue and some tea lights and you've got yourself some pretty shabby chic candles to add to your nightstand, dresser, mantle, or fridge!
^instantly makes jam and tomatoes look MUCH prettier :)

The options are really endless when it comes to mason jars and I have some bigger ideas in store for the rest! I'm thinking of making some cinnamon & sugar shakers, some terrariums (possibly in our mason jar wall planters), mason jar candles in some fun colors, and maybe some hanging mason jar sconces or string lights for our patio once it starts to get warmer. Josh is also really into making a mason jar light fixture like this one and I looooove their vintage look, so I'm totally on board. I'm not sure where we'd put it, but it could be a fun project down the road.

Any other cool mason jar ideas you've seen? Please share!

Monday, January 20, 2014

3 New Home Additions

A few new additions to Marlborough that I love so much I had to share.

1. Paper Mache Giraffe
I had been eyeing this little guy ever since Wayfair acquired DwellStudio back in August, and it was actually my first purchase for our new place when I moved in September. With all the moving and decorating I actually completely forgot about it, so I was too excited to care when it finally came last week after being back-ordered for months. The paper mache animals in this collection are handmade in Haiti from French book pages as part of a collaboration with a non-profit. And this weekend I finally welcomed our Haitian giraffe home and hung him in our office, I'm so glad he's finally here!

2. Firefly String Lights 
Our bedroom is by far the coldest room in our home, so if we can add things to make it feel a little bit warmer, then we're on board (we also plastic wrapped our window this weekend and are in the process of shopping for a cozy rug). You can't tell from the photos, but these copper wire lights are actually super bright and really flexible so they are easy to hang. Now we can lie in bed at night and at least pretend it's a hot summer night under the stars.

3. Eames Rocking Chair 
I've been loving the clean lines and simple look of mid-century modern furniture lately, and have especially had my eye on chairs from Herman Miller's Eames collection. I'd happily surround our whole dining room table with these ones or these ones or all these ones if I could. Herman Miller is just one of those manufacturers who's designs were cool in the 1950s and are still cool now and will be still be cool for the rest of your life. Their pieces are timeless and amazing, but their high price point kept my obsession at bay.

UNTIL NOW. When I was browsing Ebay for a cheap chair for our living room and came across an Eames rocker reproduction for only $90. We've needed another chair for our living room for a while - you can fit 4 people comfortably on our couch but once we have 5 (which seems to be often), it starts to get awkward. So I was able to solve this problem and feed my obsession without completely breaking the bank. I've started my Eames collection (sort of) and the rocker is officially my new favorite chair (or Mac's new favorite bed) depending on who you ask. One day maybe I'll splurge and get something real, but for the time being I'm OK with our lookalike.
 ^ Eames Rocking Chair (real), $500
Ebay Eames Reproduction, less than $100

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

DIY Animal Bookends

Elephants never forget. So who better than some elephants to help me remember by New Year's resolution to read more? No but seriously, I saw these little guys at Michael's this past weekend and had no idea what I would do with them, but really just couldn't resist bringing them home. Here's how they transformed into my favorite new bookends to support my growing collection!

What you need:
- Wood blocks (I used 2x4 scraps from our bar)
- Animals (I chose elephants, $4/each at Michaels)
- Spray Paint (I chose mint, obviously)
- Sharpie or paint (I chose gold)
- Wood plaques (optional, they sell all different shapes for 50 cents at Michaels)
- Tools: glue gun, hammer & nails

Total cost for the project: ~ $12
^ Mac was a fan of these guys too

Step 1: Mark where your animal's feet will go and then nail your wood plaque to your wood block to give it some detail. It's OK if they aren't really the same size. Mine weren't and I think it just adds to the character! If it's an option, be sure to drill a hole for the nail before hammering them together. We neglected to do that for our first bookend and the wood plaque cracked (see below). I guess that's what you can expect from a 50 cent piece of wood from Michael's though, right? I'm telling myself that adds more character, too.
 Step 2: Use a glue gun to adhere the animal figurine to the wood base, using the animals feet to cover the nail holes. Let dry.

Step 3: Spray! Luckily the warm Boston weather on Sunday allowed us to spend some time outside on our back patio spraying these. Funny story - Josh and I actually locked ourselves out while doing this with no keys, phones, or the best Luckily by the time we had run around to the front of our apartment barefoot, our upstairs neighbors (who have a key) were just getting home! Even luckier was that Mac had not devoured the food we had just made by the time we got back inside.
^ Josh's crazy puzzling going on in the background

Step 4: Embellish. I used a gold Sharpie to accent the elephant's tusks and add some detailing to the base. You could have way more fun with this step if you wanted to!
Step 5: Add books! Create a fun focal point while holding your favorite books together.
^ Tested out a crazy cat lady arrangement but then went with my fave coffee table books
I love how they turned out and they are actually surprisingly strong! So bring it on, books. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My New Year’s Resolution

This year I've made a resolution to read more books. 2013 was an incredible (but busy!) year and between a job change, a move and lots of travel, I admittedly only got around to reading 2 or 3 good books. The majority of my reading in 2013 was done online, which DID, however, help me discover some pretty amazing websites & blogs that I truly love and revisit every week for ideas & inspiration.

Towards the end of this year, I started seeing a lot of really cool & stylish bookcases across the web and now….well, I’m pretty smitten. And not just with the bookcases, but with the fact that these people had acquired such a collection of books over the years that allowed them to create such a beautiful focal point with them in their homes. To create one of these bookcases, you need books. And with the Internet and Kindles and iPads, it’s not exactly the norm to have shelves and shelves of books nowadays…I know that I personally have very few.  Josh and I do have one awesome bookcase in our bedroom, but between the two of us we've only managed to fill one of its shelves with actual books. My goal before our next move (whenever that may be) is to have enough books to build our own bookcase masterpiece full of literary memories, archives and good reads. It’s officially added to my future home bucket list.

So whether it was my major bookcase envy that led to my resolution to read or whether it was my love for reading that led to my eye for bookcases…I’m not 100% sure. But either way, this year I've decided to read more. And I think if josh and I can pry ourselves away from HGTV for a couple nights a week, it's totally doable. :) Here are some of the home libraries I've been coveting!
^ via Pinterest
^ via Pinterest 
^ via Fresh Home
^ via Fresh Home
^ via Dezeen
^via Pinterest
^ via Pinterest
^ via Fresh Home
^ via Fresh Home
^ via Pinterest

On my bedside table right now = A Beautiful Mess’ "Photo Idea Book", Julie Carlson’s "Remodelista", Jodi Picoult’s “The Storyteller” and Sue Monk Kidd’s “The Invention of Wings.”

Any other great reads lately? Please send recommendations my way. I've got a lot of reading to do!