8.31.2010


I was supposed to announce the winner of the Silhouette giveaway today, but I've had a family emergency. John (aka The Hubby) was in a terrible car accident yesterday. One that they say he should not have walked away from. Due to blessings from Heaven, he survived. But he is seriously injured. He underwent 6 hours of surgery last night, and will require weeks if not months of healing. Needless to say, I needed to be with my family yesterday. I know that you all understand.


I hope to announce the winner tomorrow, after I get my bearings. It's amazing and scary how quickly things in this life can change. And it's amazing how something like this puts my love for my husband and children into sharp focus.


Thank you for being wonderful readers, and friends. I want to ask a favor of you because I know that our little corner of the www is amazing and loving...please remember John in your prayers...and please remember my children as well.


Much love,

Wendy


8.30.2010

Where I Blog: Home Office Plans~

My home office has been in a sad state of neglect since we moved into this home 8 months ago. Since I spend a good portion of my day in the room, working and creating my blog.... I've finally had enough! So I've put my design thinking cap on, and I've come up with a plan. And I wanted to join in the Where I Blog party over at Centsational Girl, so I hope you all will be interested in my plans for this room.

First I wanted to show you my inspiration room.


This is actually a craft room designed by Lulu Pom Interiors. I've had this room in my memory ever since I saw it in Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion magazine (may it rest in peace) two years ago. So I decided that I was going to use it as a jumping off point for my home office design.


But first, let me tell you about my constraints. We rent this house. That means that the paint color and carpet remain. Next, my office is in the lower level of our house, and has no windows...that makes it a little dark...something I need to find a solution for. Last, I have little to no budget. That means that I have to be extra creative as I attempt to make the space a happy place to work.

That said, I had to come up with a work surface. Well, two actually, since we have two computers.

I will be using this desk, which is the companion piece to my rehabbed console. It has gorgeous lines and lots of storage, but a HORRIBLE finish.



Next, I'll be using the little table that we used in our last house, pictured here in my built in desk cubby (This is where I used to blog...oh, how I miss my pretty little built in) with a fabric skirting.


In keeping with the finishes in my inspiration room, I am going to paint both pieces white. I am also planning on skirting the small table with a linen skirt to hide ugly hard drives etc. from view. And I might possibly skirt the larger desk for the same reason...if I can do it without making it look silly...that remains to be seen.

For seating, I'm actually planning on going modern.

What I'd really love are 2 of these lucite chairs from IKEA. But they are $99 each, and I have no budget, remember? So I'm going to have to find something else.




But I *am* going to pick up a few of these cute IKEA stools for the kiddos. $5.99 each is a steal! I really like the pink (maybe I'll get one in pink for the Princess...and maybe even one for me) but I think the boys would prefer the black.


And finally, to add some light, I'd really love a chandelier. I like this one from IKEA...although it would have to be converted to a plug-in. It's a great price at $39.99, but maybe I can find a great vintage chandy for less. That remains to be seen.

I'll keep you posted on my progress as I go. Right now, both the desk and the table have coats of white primer. Hopefully, they'll have their final coats of paint by tomorrow! Keep your fingers crossed.

And one last reminder...you have until midnight tonight to enter the Silhouette giveaway. The winner will be announced tomorrow.
Have a great Monday~

8.26.2010

Frugal Friday~

Hello All! Welcome to this week's edition of Frugal Friday!

Today I'm sharing a project that I've wanted to get done for a long time now. Time zone clocks for Mr. One's Tween Room!

The thing that has been holding me back is the actual expense of wall clocks. I know there are less expensive clocks to be found...but when you have to buy 3 of them, it adds up. So I kept looking. Then the other day, I found myself in IKEA and I ran across these wall clocks for only $1.99 each. Yup! You heard me right. $1.99 each.




Trouble is, they were white. And I really wanted black clocks.

Hello, spraypaint. (Am I a DIY blogger, or am I a DIY blogger?) The answer was obvious.

I taped up the clock faces so that they wouldn't end up black. This was a little time consuming, but needed, of course.


Then I used Krylon Fusion spraypaint since the clock rims were plastic.



It took about 4 light coats to cover completely, but that stuff dries fast...and I mean fast! So it didn't take long. (I was not compensated in any way for mentioning Krylon.)






Then I used my Silhouette Digital Cutter to cut out the names of three cities (by the way, there's still time to enter my giveaway for a Silhouette of your own...just click here). We chose large cities in states where we have family - and our own state, of course. I like the fact that it's a bit more personal than just choosing random cities.



After all the prep work was complete, I just measured, marked, and hung the clocks. Then I used a level to make sure I got the city names straight underneath each clock. That's it. Easy-peasy. And So Ca-uute.


Okay, looking at this photo...it looks like the Boston clock is set for 2:00...that's due to a reflection cutting off the end of the long hand....yeah, we lived in Massachusetts for the last 7 years...I *do* know what time zone it's in, I promise. ;-)



Now it's your turn.

You know "da rules"!

1. Please link directly to your post and not just to your blog.
2. Please link back to The Shabby Nest so that your readers can have a chance to join in the fun.
3. Please comment on the entries you visit. Help our participants feel appreciated!!




Looking at my Home Through a Different Set of Eyes~

Have you ever wondered what it is that other people "see" when they visit your home? What are the things that they notice? We, especially those of us who write and frequent home decor blogs, take such pains to decorate our homes. We spend hours (if not days or months) agonizing over the smallest details. Does all of our careful planning and preening get noticed or ignored?

Well, I had the chance to find out a few weeks back, when my sister posted some photos of my house on her blog. The things that she thought were pretty. The things that intrigued her.

So I did what any other home-decor-obsessed-blogging-sister would do, I lifted borrowed some of the photos she took right off her blog, and posted them here for you to see.

A detail from my main bath...a corner medallion I found at the Brimfield Antique Fair and an apothecary jar filled to the brim with pretty soaps.


And I have actually been meaning to blog this for a while, so I'm glad she did. I repurposed this pretty key holder which I received from my dear friend Kasey, into a necklace holder in my master bath....it's useful art now! (Oh, and in the background....my well-read wreath holds court above la toilette.


I just love this photo....these are the hubby's shoes, complete with wooden shoe trees, lined up on the floor in front of our closet.



My stash of catalogs on the side of my linen cupboard.




A still life from my mantel.



Another still life from the buffet in my kitchen.



Of course, if you'd like to see the entire post, you could always visit her here.

Thanks for the peek at my own home, Holls....you're a peach!

And just a reminder that Frugal Friday goes up at 10:00 EST tonight...that's 2 hours earlier than normal! See you there!

8.25.2010

Stylin'~

I've been having way too much fun with my Silhouette digital cutter! So today I just *had* to share these darling shirts I made for the kiddos!

I used some flocked heat transfer paper and chose a couple of fun designs to cut out. The process was super easy...I just followed the directions printed right on the package. Once I cut out the designs...all I had to do was iron them onto the shirts...I can handle that. (Of course, I couldn't leave well enough alone - you'll see.)



For the Princess, I chose a sweet little bird and a birdcage. Although it was cute by itself, I thought the little bird could use some embellishment, so I made her a tutu out of some ribbon. Simply adorable!



For Mr. One, I decided on a rockin' guitar! I wanted to make it a little different, so I adhered the guitar to some jersey from an old tee that the boys had outgrown, and then cut it out and sewed it onto another t-shirt. I love the result.



I envision my children out frolicking in the autumn leaves looking sylin' in their new tees! In the mean time, I'll have to settle for these cute outfits frolicking on the floor of the living room, while the hubby smiles one of those "yeah, I married a crazy woman" smiles as he watches me take photos while standing on a dining chair. ;-)


If you haven't had the chance yet, there is still time to enter my giveaway for a Silhouette cutter of your very own. Just click here.

Have a great day~

8.24.2010

Linky Love~

Welcome to this week's edition of Linky Love!

As always, last week's Frugal Friday linky had plenty of inspiration to go around.

Here are a few of my favorites.

Tinsel & Co. shared her fabulous Anthro-inspired bathroom makeover. I loved just about everything in that little room!



Jennifer Rizzo shared a lovely caned headboard makeover. So pretty!!


And I had to share this little monster cake by Views from my Window because it is quite possibly the cutest cake I've ever seen.



Finally, Little Blue Prints shared a darling way to display her boys' silhouettes. Love, love, love this!



And speaking of silhouettes (this just happens to be coincidental...I promise) my Silhouette digital cutter giveaway is still open. If you haven't had a chance to enter, scroll down to yesterday's post. You'll be glad you did.


Starting next week, I'll be moving the Linky Love post to Thursday to give you all a couple of extra days to enjoy the Frugal Friday links (or to link up to the party yourself.) I'm also changing the name from Linky Love to Frugal Round-up. Just like it better. And finally, I'm toying with the idea of posting the Frugal Friday post a couple of hours earlier on Thursday night...say 10 pm EST? So keep your eye out for that as well.


And one last thing...I'm guest posting today over at Lemon Tree Creations! Come by and see how to make a no-sew bedskirt.

Have a great day~

8.23.2010

A Super Fantabulous Product Giveaway

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED
Happy Monday Everybody!! And it's just about to get even happier!!

I have the most fantastic little machine to share with you all today! It's called a Silhouette... and it's just amazing (and pretty, no?)




Silhouette pictured with a computer monitor

A few weeks ago, the good people at Silhouette shipped me one of their fancy little machines to see if I liked it...well, after I saw everything this little beauty could do, I was so excited I just had to try it for myself. And I LOVE it!!

"What does it do?" you ask.

Where do I begin?!

This little machine will help you create all kinds of fabulous things!

The Silhouette is essentially a digital cutter...but get this, rather than using cartridges, this little machine hooks up to your computer!! Because of this innovative approach, it allows you to create all sorts of shapes and letters...basically anything your heart desires...and it will cut them out for you.

It comes with a library of shapes at no charge. AND (and this is one of my favorite things) it can cut out words in ANY FONT that you have on your computer!


What if you don't see the shape you need? No worries!! You can create your own with the drawing tools in the program OR you can go online to the Silhouette shop and purchase a design from their shop! They have what seems like thousands of options and you can purchase them each individually (no buying what you don't need or want). But the more you purchase, the more money you save!


And you can also purchase fonts...and get this...the fonts will not only be available for your Silhouette to use...you can also use them in any program on your computer that uses fonts. Ohhhh yeah.

Check out all the great things you can do with these cutouts...

You can create cut outs for scrapbooking.

You can create cards or other paper goods.








You can create fabric transfers.



And of course, you can create vinyl lettering.



Do you remember a few weeks back when I was swooning over vinyl lettering on mirrors?(Can you see it coming?) Well...I used my Silhouette to create a vinyl-lettered-mirror of my own!!
I just cut out the phrase I wanted,



Got myself a mirror,



And followed the easy-to-follow instructions to adhere it to my mirror.


L.O.V.E. (Now I have to frame and hang the mirror, but you get the idea!)



There are many more projects I've been working on, and I'm so excited about them, that I'll share more throughout the week!




But here's the good news for you...
Silhouette wants to give one reader of the Shabby Nest




A Silhouette Machine(a $299.99 value)



And it includes...

  • Silhouette machine
  • Software for Windows XP/Vista

  • Power cable, USB cable

  • 2 Cutting mats (one for thick media, one for thin media)

  • One cutting blade

  • $10 gift card to the Silhouette Online Store


How you can win.
1. Leave a comment!
2. Go over to Silhouette’s site and check things out. Then, come back and leave a comment to tell me how you’d use the Silhouette if you had one.
3. Blog about it with a link back to this post, then come back and leave a second comment with the link.
4. Mention it on Twitter or Facebook (with a link to this post) and leave another comment letting me know...make sure to leave an additional comment for each thing that you do.

Must be a resident of the USA to win. Silhouette cannot ship outside of the USA.

The winner will be announced on August 31st.




And finally, you can purchase your own Silhouette with one of these great deals....just use the code SHABBYNEST as your discount code...



1) AWESOME PROMO (running from August 23rd through September 1st at midnight)


Buy a machine and receive the following:
- $50 off the Silhouette Craft Cutter
-fuzzy white vinyl (Valued at $7.99)
-light blue smooth heat transfer (Valued at 14.99)
yellow flocked heat transfer (Valued at $14.99)
- Home D├ęcor CD (Valued at $50)
- $10 Gift Card to the Silhouette Download Store (Comes in the box)
- Cutting Blade (Comes in the box)
- 2 Cutting Mats (Comes in the box)



All for $249.99
A Savings of $137.97
Just think of how much you’ll save on gift giving this year!



2) GOOD PROMO (running from September 2nd through September 4th at midnight)


Buy a machine and receive the following:
$50 off (receive for $249.99)
2 rolls of Heat transfer ($29.89 value)
$10 Gift Card to the Silhouette Download Store(Comes in the Box)
Cutting Blade (Comes in the Box)
2 Cutting Mats(Comes in the Box)



All for $249.99
A savings of $79.98

8.19.2010

Frugal Friday~

This is the last week of summer for the kiddos. So rather than spending my week working on projects (which I have a million of), I spent the week playing with the kids. We've done a whole lot of nothing important. But all of it was fun.

This has been my week. And well worth it, I might add. But, I have a whole load of projects coming up. And yes, since my kids will be back in school, I promise that you will see more decorating and DIY projects than you've seen in a while...so I hope you'll all join me.

Oh, and I want to make sure and thank all of you who weighed in on my little pillow dilemma in yesterday's post. If you didn't get a chance, and feel so inclined, I love to hear your opinion on my little living room facelift. So scroll down and take a look.
And another thing...those million projects I mentioned above? Some of them have to do with a fabulous giveaway that I'll be hosting on Monday. ooooooh!! You really don't want to miss this one...so make sure and drop by!

Now on to your projects...you talented folks!!

I wanted to reiterate a couple of things about the rules today...


1. Please link only to your post and not just to your blog. You all are pretty good about doing this.
2. Please link back to the Shabby Nest. I'm so happy that you all link up to this party, and I hope that it brings new traffic to your sites, but I would really appreciate the favor in return. After all, others would love to come see all the creativity that links up to Frugal Friday, so please link back to this site...even if it is just a text link. I'd really appreciate it!!
3. PLEASE comment on the posts you visit...nothing makes a blogger's day like great comments!


M'kay I'm off my soapbox!! ENJOY!!!





A Little Living Room Facelift~

This is the story of how a series of unfortunate delivery events ended up benefitting both my living room and my pocket book.

Clear back in April I blogged about the sweet chair below, with which I was completely and totally smitten. Well, I ordered said chair...two of them actually.






And I waited, and waited, and waited. And they didn't come. So I ended up cancelling my order.

Sigh.


And so I thought, and thunked, and thinked about what to do because this is how my living room looked at the time. YIKES. The mismatched chairs had. to. go.




And the more I thought about my dilemma, the more my mind returned to my pretty TJMaxx beauties that sat on either side of my rehabbed console.

And I finally decided to bite the bullet, and see how they would look in place of my mismatched chairs.



And I loved it!! Loved. it. Because I am actually a neutral girl at heart, and my desire to infuse color by adding the yellow chairs, may have been a little bold for me. They probably wouldn't have lasted anyway, even though they are adorable, because I'm afraid they were just too bright for the space.


So my neutral beauties shall remain. But, they are much smaller in scale than the two chairs that were previously there...and although I wanted a coffee table before, the living room actually SCREAMS for a coffee table now. So I am on a red-alert look out for a pretty square table to rehab....or perhaps to construct. And...I've decided to make two smallish ottomans that will fit under the console and provide additional seating to replace the two lost chairs.


And while I've got you all emotionally invested in my living room (ha ha), I wanted to ask your opinion...I'm thinking about making a couple of chocolate-colored throw pillows for the two chairs that will blend with the pillows currently on the sofa [pictured above]. To see what it will look like I borrowed some from the boys' bedroom. What do you all think? Do you like them with brown pillows? (the ones I make would be slightly smaller in scale.) Because I value your opinions, my dear readers, I'm begging asking you to please weigh-in with your opinion in the comments.




And so, in the end, the delivery mishap really was a good thing after all. There's always a silver lining, isn't there?


And I'm sure you're dying to know what I did with the mismatched chairs...well, the overstuffed tan chair is now in the downstairs family room, and the leather chair (the hubby's favorite) found its rightful place as part of a reading nook in the little boys' room. ...And they all lived happily ever after. (Until I decide to tweak things again anyway.)

Awesome artwork above the chair...from Modern Bird Studios.

Have a great day~

8.18.2010

A is for Apricot~

One of the best things about this house is that it is surrounded by fruit trees. And when I say surrounded by them, I really mean it.



In our yard we have a cherry tree, an apple tree, a peach tree, a plum tree and right next door (with branches hanging over the fence into our yard) is an apricot tree. No lie. Oh, and there are some grape vines in our yard too. Boy, if I were any kind of a cook, I'd be making jam 24/7. As it is, I'm content just to eat the fruit. And seeing as how each tree ripens at a different time, we've got fresh fruit all summer long - and right into fall as well.



A few weeks back, the apricot tree that hangs into our yard hit its peak. Apricots weighed every branch on that little tree down heavily with their soft orange-y skins whispering that it was time to pick them. Luckily, our neighbors begged us to pick any fruit that happened to be growing on our side of the tree, and naturally, I was happy to oblige.


Let me tell you, there is nothing like fresh-from-the-tree fruit. My kids devoured those apricots with a greediness I didn't know they had in them! Luckily, however, I was able to save a few for my amazing apricot chicken salad.




Now, as I said, I'm not a fabulous cook. I cook because my family thinks they have to eat. ;-) But I make a mean salad. And this one is no exception.


Wendy's Famous Apricot Chicken Salad

  • I always start with bagged salad mix - mostly because I just hate chopping and washing lettuce- usually of the romaine variety.

  • Then I add chopped summer squash, diced tomatoes, and sliced avocado.

  • I add a generous amount of baked chicken which I season with my secret blend of seasonings. (aka Lawry's seasoning salt)

  • And finally, a generous amount of sliced apricots.

  • I serve this salad with a Sweet Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette.

It's so easy, and simply perfect for summer entertaining. And seeing as how my peach tree is just now filling up with plump, ripe peaches...this salad can be easily switched from apricots to peaches in a pinch. You get the same sweet surprise from either fruit.

Mmmmmm. I'm off to check that tree!

Have a great day~

8.17.2010

Linky Love~

Welcome to another edition of Linky Love. As I was pouring over last week's Frugal Friday links, I noticed a bit of a theme. And what theme is that, Wendy? You ask.

Well, I noticed that many of my amazingly creative readers were using unexpected materials in their projects this last week. So today, I wanted to share a few of these...

First up, Cottage Hill made a super-fabulous, custom headboard out of plywood. Yep, plywood. But it sure doesn't look like plywood. Check it out for yourself.





Next, Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss shared her thrift-store coffee table remake using sheet metal! I just love a metal table, so I'm putting this one on my list of honey-do's.



This next project is one of those you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it projects from An Oregon Cottage. It's a floor treatment made with Kraft paper. Yep. Kraft paper. And she swears it wears well. I think it's unexpectedly fabulous.



In My Own Style shared her creative version of the ultra popular subway art craze...using shopping bags. This one should appeal to the fashionista in all of us!




And finally, Twice Lovely used a vintage flight poster to inspire this super darling dresser redo. An aviator bedroom set perfect for the little guy in your life. This was just too fabulous. You know how I love to decorate children's rooms! There's some serious dresser envy going on at The Shabby Nest right now.





If you missed last week's Frugal Friday, you better hurry over. The inspiration is flowing as usual!!

Have a great day~