Hand Painted Floral Ring Dish

hand-painted-floral-ring-dish-air-dry-clay-tutorial-Brave-New-HomeIf you’ve been around here for a while, you may remember last summer when I teamed up with a few fellow bloggers to create some home decor inspired by some of our favorite stores.  Well, we’re at it again!

Today we are kicking off the first of four projects for our Knock Out Knock Offs series.Knock Out Knock Offs 2015

Delineate Your Dwelling / Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body / Upcyled Treasure / The Gathered Home / Bigger Than the Three of Us

This month’s inspiration store was Anthropologie and I was inspired by these monogrammed ring dishes.  I don’t know about you but once spring hits I’m suddenly all about bright colors and florals which is totally the opposite of my usual aesthetic.

I thought these little dishes were sweet and I had all the materials I needed on hand.materials-for-monogram-ring-dishFor this project I used air dry clay, craft paints and sprayable polyurethane. air-dry-clay-circles-for-ring-dishI started my taking little circle cutouts of air dry clay and rolling them flat.  air-drying-clay-ring-dishThen I placed them in little tea cups to allow them to dry.  You can dab your finger in some water to smooth out the edges.drawing-floral-pattern-on-air-dry-clay-ring-dishI sketched on some flowers and the initials of each of my son’s preschool teachers.  I knew these would make great end-of-the-year gifts!  I love giving personalized presents.painting-floral-pattern-on-ring-dishThen I painted on my designs.  When working in small areas especially I always emphasize painting in layers and allowing each layer of color to dry completely before moving on to the next to avoid mixing colors.

Once the paint was dried, I sprayed them with a coat of polyurethane.  Since the clay is white and porous, the polyuerthane will seal everything in and keep jewelery from scratching and discoloring your dish.DIY-flower-ring-dishI’m thinking it might be fun to include some fashion jewelry with the dishes when I present them as gifts.hand-made-jewelry-dish-gold-earringsjewelry-dish-from-clayMy fellow blogging friends have come up with some pretty original inspired by designs, too.Inspired DIYs By Anthro

Modern Rustic Wall Hanging / Geometric Pendant Lamp / Jute Wrapped Vanity (yes, it’s covered in jute!) / Stacked Wood Lamp / Knife Block

Next month we’re tackling The Land of Nod and I’ll have another personalized home decor tutorial to share with you guys.

One Room Challenge – Wk 4

We’re about a month into Calling it Home‘s One Room Challenge.  I’m tackling this room we call the bonus room built on as an addition by the previous owners.

My ten-month-old just started waking up almost two hours earlier than usual and I just haven’t had the same energy to pour into this challenge.  So this week’s progress is minimal.ORC-LP-250x183I started to focus on some of the details.  I’ve been spending a good amount of time looking for themes amongst my playroom pins and one of them is wool ball garland.Wool-Ball-Garland-by-Brave-New-HomeI have yet to meet a garland I didn’t like.  I just love this stuff!materials for felt ball garlandYou can buy a string of wool ball garland but it’s super easy to make yourself and then you get to play around with the colors and spacing more.  I tried finding wool rove to make my own wool balls but it was pricey and since I wanted a ton of different colors, it made more sense buying them pre-made.arranging felt ball patternStart by lining up your balls in the order you will string them.  Keep in mind what colors compliment and contrast one another for a most visually interesting arrangement.knocking felt balls out of placeTry to avoid knocking into your wool balls cause (spoiler!) those things roll.threading felt balls on embroidery flossI doubled up on my embroidery floss and threaded the wool balls onto my floss using a needle.  felt balls on embroidery floss without spacesDon’t worry about the spacing just yet.  Just focus on getting your wool balls onto the floss and in the order you want.tying knot at end of felt ball garlandNow you can tie a knot on one side of your embroidery floss and start adjusting the spacing.felt ball garland draped on mapI love the fun mix of colors.  I thought the size of the wool balls would be sufficient but they sort of get lost in the space.closeup felt ball garland on map cornerAren’t they pretty though?  Color makes me so happy.  It’s one of the reasons I can’t go full Scandi.  I just love so many different colors!colorful felt garland on mapThey worked okay on the map but I tried them over on the curtains, too.colorful felt garland on white curtainSee what I mean about them getting visually lost?  There’s so much white space and these just don’t have enough visual weight the way bigger balls or pom poms might.multi colored felt garland on curtainsI’m not sure where they’ll stay or if they’ll stay on the curtains or on the map or in this room at all.

And if you’re thinking this tutorial is pretty self-explanatory (take some wool balls, thread them, done) well, yeah but there were a good handful of questions I was having that I couldn’t find the answers to in the tutorials I was reading.  Such as,

What kind of needle do you need to use?  Pretty much any kind will work so long as it’s longer than the diameter of your ball.  The balls are surprisingly not dense and you won’t even need a thimble to push the needle through.

How do you get the ball to stay on the string?  Do you glue them in place?  Place knots on either side?  None of the above.  They just stay put!

What kind of string do you use?  I used embroidery floss but pretty much anything that you can get through the socket of a needle will work.

In other One Room Challenge news, I’ve begun eying my fabric collection to see what kind of pillows I can make.  fabric-for-pillowsThese are all beautiful fabrics but I just don’t know if they’re necessarily what I’m going for.  I may try taking some white fabric or plain white pillow cases and painting them.  Or having my son paint them!hanging-plantI also bought this hanging plant that I’d like to create some yarn hanger for. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep it alive until the final reveal!  I reason that even if I can’t keep my houseplants alive indefinitely, they typically last longer than a bouquet of flowers and usually cost about the same if not less.  So in terms of enjoyment and use (since houseplants purify the air) they’re still worth buying.

Running Bonus Room Expenses:

– Curtains and curtain rods – $40

– Kids table set – $110

– Wool ball garland – $16

– Foliage $11

P.S. One Room Challenge – Week 1, Week 2, Week 3

DIYing Just Got Easier


apps-on-Lenovo-YOGA-Tablet-2-ProYou haven’t just been Punk’d.  I really am writing a post about technology today.  Yes, me who still has a stupid phone (that’s the opposite of a smart phone, har har) so you know this has to be worth sharing.

My husband has his own tablet that I’ve grown accustomed to using.  The thing is, when he deploys he takes it with him.  I’ve become so dependent on it I feel myself fumbling through my day once it’s gone.  Well, the Lenovo YOGA Tablet 2 Pro handles all the daily tasks I count on a tablet for and then some.  It’s kind of a DIYer’s dream!

I’ll start with some of my favorite features that the other guys don’t seem to have.  If you’re here, you’re probably already the creative type so just imagine all the possibilities with me.Lenovo-YOGA-Tablet-2-Pro-kickstandThe Lenovo YOGA Tablet 2 Pro has a sturdy kickstand.  You have way more range than you would using a traditional tablet with a case that comes with a built in stand.  Read, you don’t need some fancy stand to bring your tablet into the kitchen with you when you’re referring to a recipe!  It’s so handy.battery-analysis-Lenovo-YOGA-Tablet-2-ProThe battery lasts for 15 hours (!) and you can actually analyze how the battery is being spent and how long it will last with different uses.  Pinterest is using 5% of my battery?  Yeah, that’s my tablet alright!subwoofer-Lenovo-YOGA-Tablet-2 ProThe integrated 8W sound system includes a subwoofer for a richer audio experience when you watch… kickstand-for-Lenovo-YOGA-Tablet-2 Prot-projector…movies from the projector!  Shut the front door.  This has to be my favorite feature of this tablet.  It can project an image or video up to 50″ on any wall or screen.  When the weather warms up (and I finally finish landscaping the backyard) I cannot wait to have an outdoor movie night.

Back to how the Lenovo YOGA Tablet 2 Pro makes DIYing even easier.  Again, I can think of endless possibilities here but since I’m currently working on our bedroom let’s start there.empty-bedroom-wall-dresser-tv-lampWe have this big empty wall above our dresser.  I’ve been meaning to add a gallery wall of sorts and do you know what’s even easier than cutting out paper the size of frames and taping them up?sketchpad-mock-up-gallery-wall-Lenovo-YOGA-Tablet-2-ProUsing the Lenovo sketchpad to quickly mock up and project your gallery wall directly onto the wall.  Way easier than taking a picture and using a photo editing program.projecting-gallery-wall-onto-blank-wall-using-Lenovo-YOGA-Tablet-2-ProAnd you can even take it a step further.beginnings-of-gallery-wallOnce you have your frames or canvases hung up (I know it looks a bit awkward, I’m still working on extending the layout out to the sides) you can project art right into the blank frames to test it out.using-Lenovo-YOGA-Tablet-2-Pro-projector-for-gallery-wall-artI know the approach of hanging the frames first and art second has gotten some flack as the whole point of a gallery wall is to feature a collection but since I will be creating most if not all of my own art with my own two hands I have total control on what goes where.

Another great way to use the projector is when you’re hands are tied up (and covered with wallpaper glue) to quickly glance at directions.  hanging-marimekko-unniko-wallpaperI don’t know about you but when I do a project that’s a bit out of my comfort level, I am constantly checking back on the computer to compare tutorials and glance at step-by-step instructions.using-Lenovo-YOGA-Tablet-2-Pro-projector-for-wallpaper-instructionsAnd if I’m way up on a ladder and my hands are too dirty to jiggle a mouse to wake up the computer, it’s so much more convenient to have a quick glance at a giant wall of instructions (key word “giant” because my vision is not so great).

Another one of the projects I’ve mentioned that I’m working on behind-the-scenes is our backyard landscaping. planting-blue-chalk-stick-clippingsLike I said, the Internet has sort of become my DIY crutch and I find myself wanting to look things up even when I’m outside.  Like these blue chalk sticks.  How far down am I supposed to plant them again?  I’m always hesitant to bring electronics outside especially with kids around but there’s a solution.Lenovo-YOGA-Tablet-2-Pro-hung-on-nail-on-fenceJust hang it up!  So easy and all I have to do is look up when I’m busy on the ground.

My final verdict?  thumbs-up-to-the-Lenovo-YOGA-Tablet-2-ProI give it a cheesy open mouth smile and a big thumbs up!

And, if you were wondering about my earlier reference to a certain hidden camera-practical joke reality MTV show that had its heyday in the early 2000s, well turns out Ashton Kutcher designed the Lenovo YOGA Tablet 2 Pro!  He was Lenovo’s product engineer and hands on in the concept and development the device.  Guess he has more in common with Steve Jobs than just his (good) looks!

For more information, check out Lenovo‘s Trend Hub (if it isn’t live already it will be very soon).

P.S.  I finally created an Instagram account.  Where would I have been without Lenovo?  Answer: Still pre-2010.  Please be my friend.  Er, follower?  I only have one so far!  Sad face.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

One Room Challenge – Wk 3

It’s week three of Calling it Home‘s One Room Challenge.  Week 3!  That means I’m supposed to be halfway done with this room by now and (eek!) I don’t know that I am.ORC-LP-250x183First off, I really want to say thank you to all of your for your super supportive and super thoughtful comments on how to design around the fridge.  You guys have my wheels spinning!

This week, I think the name of the game is borrowing.  I haven’t really bought too much but just pulled in a bunch of items from different rooms.book-towerThis tower bookshelf was initially assembled in the entry way and left haphazardly in the nearest adjoining space, the living room.wall-above-book-towerI think I want to add something hanging above the books.  A plant?  Some sort of mobile maybe?  I just want something hangy.

I really do like this bookshelf.  It’s very sturdy and I feel safe having it around the kids which I wasn’t sure would be the case.  I bought this bookshelf because I wanted to create the optical illusion of a tall stack of books and the ironic thing about it is that I purged so many books during our last move I don’t even have enough books to fill the dividers!  Friends and family are always gifting me books so I’m sure it will be filled in no time.modern-natural-kids-table-setMost excitingly, our kids table came in!  It was super simple to assemble.  One of the biggest features I wanted from a table was something that could easily be wiped down.  A handful of reviews I read online came from teachers who touted how easy this table was to keep clean.  I was sold.  It was affordable and reminiscent of the Artek set (you know the one) I covet.

The seats are supposed to hold up to 60 lbs. but all us adults have been using the seats without any issues (so far).  I knew I wanted stools as opposed to chairs with backs specifically because they’re more versatile and kids and adults seem to use this space alike.birch-kids-table-book-towerEven though the table was exactly the finish I was going for, it looked so uninteresting (even spider-like) sitting on a wood floor of the same finish.natural-wood-kids-table-black-white-cowhide-rugSo I pulled in the cowhide rug that was being used in our living room (and moved the rug from our bedroom into the living room) to visually break the woods apart.modern-kids-table-black-white-cowhide-playroomThere are very few rugs I would be comfortable placing beneath a kid’s arts and crafts table but this is one of them.  You can pretty easily wipe cowhides clean and the spots are good about masking stains.map-cubby-shelvesI tried hanging up this faux pull down world map I created next to the fridge.  The map was also hanging out in the living room just because that was where I initially photographed it for my blog.  I think the map is okay here but missing the mark a bit.  The map just doesn’t seem to make sense anywhere in our new house.

I also borrowed (there’s that word again!) these cubbies from my son’s room just to play around with furniture.bookshelf-in-bonus-roomThen I borrowed his bookshelf, too.empty-shelves-in-bonus-roomI don’t have intentions of keeping both pieces of shelving but am just trying them out for now.  I am leaning toward the tall bookshelf to balance out the height of the tower bookshelf on the opposite side of the couch.

My husband threw me for a bit of a curve ball and asked if I could fit in a desk for him on the wall with the fridge (where the cubbies are sitting in the above photo).  I really hadn’t planned on incorporating a desk into the design of the room but I think it could work!   And my husband has been mentioning sourcing him a desk for some time now so it’s a good possible solution.

I feel like this room could use a side table of sorts.  Somewhere to put down a cup of coffee or something.  I tried updating this TV tray I had previously worked on and it just looked tacky.painted-tv-stand-failFurniture that screams “I got painted!” really irks me.  It’s totally fine and acceptable to paint furniture but sometimes it’s just offensive.  This was one of those times.  So I scraped off the green and tried again.painted-black-tv-standI had come across a glossy black TV type tray in a Scandinavian interior and thought I would give it a try.  Definitely an improvement!  But it still feels like just a TV tray and I want something with more design.jonathan-adler-happy-chic-side-tableI tried pulling in this Jonathan Adler Happy Chic side table from the living room but with the round shape of the kids table it just felt like too much repetition.  And the table in that spots doesn’t do the best job at enhancing the overall flow (maybe it should be moved to the other side of the couch?).

Ideally, I would love one of those West Elm brightly colored lacquered martini tables but the price tag is a little steep for me right now.  So back to the drawing board for side tables.modern-brushed-nickel-hardware-storage-cabinetsI also made a template and installed some modern hardware to the storage cabinets.  I was originally planning on using the same hardware as I would on the kitchen cabinets (which I haven’t bought yet) but decided the no-frills storage cabinets just needed something simple and sturdy looking.  These fit the bill!

The decor is starting to add up.  Here are the expenses to date:

Curtains and curtain rods – $40

Kids table set – $110

Hardware – $17

I think next week I need to work on some bookshelf styling of some sort (depending on which bookshelves, if any, stay), maybe the couch pillows and maybe some lighting of some sort.  I’m hoping to squeeze in some thrifting (which I probably haven’t done since our daughter was born so like at least 10 months now?) and am crossing my fingers that something special comes my way specifically to include in this room.

P.S. One Room Challenge – Week 1, Week 2