Archive for February 23, 2012

Computer ‘desk’ for small spaces

When I moved into our heritage home in December 2010 it was perfect. All my things fit neatly and every space was filled perfectly. This made me very nervous for when mister fiance would be returning from Australia in March.

Yup. Problem.

We had far too many things between the two of us and no place to put his computer. After ruling out a computer desk (as there was no way we could fit one in) and realizing the only free space was in the dining area/hallway, we opted for something a little unusual – a computer shelf.

We made a trip to IKEA and purchased the Ekby Amund shelf with two Ekby Bjärnum brackets, for a whopping total of $26.99. Try and tell me your computer desk cost less bought brand new.


The shelf worked fantastically. He didn’t mind resting the keyboard on his lap to type which removed some of the awkwardness of the shelf’s narrowness, and he didn’t need much surface space for anything other than the shelf.

But having a computer shelf in the middle of a hallway wasn’t enough to keep me satisfied. It seemed too out of place. And so, we turned an otherwise ordinary hallway into an office space via our magnetic chalkboard.

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We taped off the area and after sanding and cleaning the wall, layered on 5 coats of magnetic primer followed by 4 coats of the chalkboard paint.
A lot.
To be honest, we could have used more magnetic primer as it’s pretty weak, but the result is still fantastic.

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We now use the magnetic chalkboard as a place to write quick reminders or messages to each other, as well as a space for friends to write messages to us. The wall is pretty fun to read the morning after a party.
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So there’s our solution to a computer desk for small spaces! I can’t lie and say the shelf worked out perfectly. After a while (a year or so) the space got a little too cramped and uncomfortable to use for long stretches. We have since sorted out our furniture situation and were able to fit in another computer desk (and my crafting dresser if you remember from my Nood post). I think this would still be a great use for a small space with a laptop rather than a 24″ mac desktop.


What space saving alternatives have you come up with?

Ceremony Inspiration

Our wedding will be held on a heritage orchard, where nuns and nun students (I’m sure there’s a term for that) would pick apples during harvest time. Being fruit tree geeks and one day farmers, this location is perfect.

Pinterest has been a lovely inspiration for when it comes to decor ideas. You don’t need much when you have such a spectacular venue, but it’s always great to dress it up a little to suit your style.

Here is some of our ceremony inspiration:


Wedding Chicks: Mason jars filled with flowers hanging on the aisle chairs


Adrienne and Colin: Picnic blankets for seating


Pinterest: Ribbons hanging from trees (Uploaded by User – if you know original source please let me know)


Style Me Pretty: Flower petal aisle


This Modern Romance: Ribbon Altar

To see more of my wedding inspiration check out my Pinterest

DIY Burlap & Lace Jars

Before we go on to the actual post, in case you’re wondering then why yes! The site does look a little different! I’ve changed the font (I was never happy with the original) and a few other typography bits and pieces. You can expect to see some more tweaks over the week :)

I saw a picture of these darling jars a while back on pinterest and knew they would be a perfect fit for our wedding. The great thing about this project is you can make several jars for a very reasonable price.

Lace: I scoured thrift stores and found lace curtains for $8. SO much fabric for so cheap!
Burlap: I lucked out. From his tree nursery days, my dad had a whole bunch of burlap lying around and gave it to me to make the banner for our engagement photos. There was plenty left over for the jars (and there still is plenty left for future projects).
Jars: I used old canning jars of mine and even washed out peanut butter and sauce jars, all of different heights and sizes for a unique look.

With the help of one of my dear bridesmaids, we made 18 of these lovely burlap & lace jars to use as part of the centerpieces for our wedding to use as vases for either flowers or candles.

My total cost of the project: $8.
That’s a win.

After posting the above picture on facebook I had requests for a DIY of these adorable little jars. Here’s a little tutorial for your crafty little hands to get a hold of. Enjoy this easy and fun project!

Burlap & Lace Jars DIY

Materials

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Steps

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Step #1: Warning, I’m lazy when it comes to measuring and do everything by eye (bad Tanya). Line up your burlap to your jar, leaving about a 1/2 inch space on the top and bottom and cut into the burlap. Cut the length of the jar circumference.
Step #2: Cut lace the same length as the burlap and approximately a 1/2 inch narrower.

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Step #3: Squeeze out a couple lines of hot glue directly onto the jar the width of the burlap. Firmly press the burlap down, but be careful not to burn yourself as burlap has holes and the glue is very hot! Repeat this step every inch until the two ends meet. Make sure you line up the two ends of burlap.
Step #4: Repeat step #4 with the lace, making sure the ends of the lace line up with the seam of the burlap so they both start and end at the same place.

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Step #5: Cut off any straggly bits of burlap for a clean finish.
And voila! There you have your beautiful burlap & lace jar!

What part of your home will you decorate with these dolled up jars?

Monday Artist Feature: Crystal Smith


4th Floor, from 10 Stories High

I am beyond excited to begin this new Monday series with you to feature the work of a
very dear friend of mine Crystal Smith

Since I met her in 2007 Crystal has been such a source of incredible inspiration. Every time I visit her home I want to venture out into thrift stores to fill my own home with unique items. Whenever I look through her art pieces and photography I want to get out my own paints and camera and create beautiful pieces like hers (yet fail miserably). Simply put:

Crystal makes me want to create.


Bamboo, from Ami’s Kimono

I’ve had the immense pleasure of witnessing her creative process by being a part her beautiful, other-worldly photo shoots. Whenever she asks for volunteers I jump at the chance to be one of her models.
And so, every Monday for the next few weeks, I will exhibit Crystal’s work.
Today we start with my favourite art pieces, and starting next week I will feature each of her photo shoots, including the ones I have been lucky enough to model in.


Interview & Artwork


Abandoned 01

Cookie monster or snuffaluffagus?
Cookie Monster because he’s blue, but not….blue like snuffaluffagus. If you know what I mean.

Paint brush or oil pastel?
Hate oil pastels. Always have. Love brushes and paint!

Ice cream or chocolate?
Chocolate. For sure. Lots of chocolate.

Now on to the real questions:

The Elephant in the Room

Do you remember at what age you went from scribbles to art? Were you a child prodigy or did you have to work at it?
I definitely remember making a lot of really awful drawings and paintings as child, but I knew that they were really awful. Which was very frustrating. Other people would say they were good, but I wanted to do better. I remember the first time I drew a face that looked right. (Looking back at them now they were pretty bad) It was just after the Commonwealth Games and I was 13. I drew about fifty faces, and hung them on clotheslines above my desk. That was a really good time. It wasn’t until I was 20 that I started to actually like some of the pieces I did. Or be able to do photo-realistic drawings. I think that it’s the drive to get better that really decides how good of an artist you become. If you don’t have the drive to practice all the time, then your skills don’t improve. I know that in 10 years I’ll be better than I am now, because I still have a ways to go.

When are you at your most creative?
It comes and it goes. Some days I feel like all the creativity has gone on vacation, and other days it can’t be contained. Mornings are good for me, to get up and go, before the rest of the day distracts me. But sometimes I’ll get an idea and have to spend all night working on it too.

Ghost Dreams

Where do you find your inspiration?
I find my inspiration from the things around me. I think beauty is everywhere, from the scaffolding at the building site down the street, to the funky packaging on Japanese candy. I especially find inspiration in contrasts, things that don’t seem to go together but really compliment each other. Things that seem to suggest a conversation. The bleached skull of a bird perched beside a wedding cake. I kind of collect beautiful odd things (which explains my decorating sense) and they inspire me as well.

What do you hope to achieve through your art, either personally or globally?
One of my fav quotes is “To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts – such is the duty of the artist.” by Schumann. I take that as a great responsibility and challenge. I want to make beautiful art, that brings something new to this world that wouldn’t have been around if I hadn’t made it. However, I also want my art to have an impact. Many themes I work with, or would like to explore, have to do with raising awareness or starting conversations about social and world issues or problems. Although art may not solve the problem, I believe it can communicate to people in a very intense and unique way. However, on a less serious note, I also like to have fun with art and create wild and colorful pieces just cause. Being able to make a living through my art, in one way of another, is a personal goal and would be fulfilling.


Water Color From 10 Stories High

Who are your favourite artists?
Currently? Let’s see. I love Dave Mckean, and his sketches and collages. Daniel Egneus is an amazing painter. Yoshitaka Amano does mostly intaglio, and creates his own worlds! Eric Carle, of course. Adam Rex for his awesome children’s book illustrations. And hmmm that’s all I can think of right now.

If you could accomplish one single thing in life, what would it be.
Only one? To have the courage to live the life I want. I think that covers it.


Queen of the Shore

Thank you so much Crystal for taking the time to do this interview and for showing us your beautiful art pieces!
To see more visit her portfolio at www.crystalsmith.net and be sure to come back next Monday to see photos from her Nomads photo shoot. You won’t want to miss seeing these costumes. Trust me.

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