Sunday, December 15, 2013

EEEK!! The search is over: velvet DIY tufted headboard

I am so excited I can barely breathe.  After the LOOONG search and lots of swatches for the perfect green velvet upholstery fabric for my DIY velvet tufted headboard, I found her!!!!

Here she is, grass green velvet upholstery fabric:

{you can find her here}

I have been on the search for months and months... Every swatch was too bright, too dark, too cheap feeling, and just...not right.  I thought I wanted Kelly green, but even after contacting the designer behind this look, Palmer Weiss which we all loved, we could not find the exact same fabric.  

And, the grass green is actually a better fit color-wise for the room than kelly green would have been.  She was NOT a cheap date, which freaks me out, meaning, I have to be the queen of execution for this DIY headboard - no room for error.  SCARY!  

The inspiration, Sarah Richardson's bedroom:

And, other tufted headboards that I fancy:

I was considering doing one similar to the white headboard above including the nailhead detail but straight across for a more clean-line, modern feel but, I'm now thinking of one similar to the slight curve on each end.... Hmmmm........ we shall see.  Stay tuned.  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The ultimate DIY party - Troup S'mores! Iris's 7th Bday Party!!

I know friends.  It's been a while.  A long while.  I've been standing with Texas women, as many of you know.  When the fight is hard, and the cause is important, it is sometimes worth the sacrifice.

But....I am a mostly mushy Mommy (still a "Mommy" although I'm sure I'll graduate to "Mom" soon), and when Iris came home from 1st grade with Girl Scout flyers, she insisted, "I don't want to be in the Girl Scouts and sell cookies.  I want to start my OWN girl and boys club!"

As her 7th birthday drew nearer, she could only think of getting together with her pals and having a real club.  Voila - The S'mores!!!  
This is at the finale after they'd created their sashes (faux suede and iron on banding from Joann's Fabrics), earned their badges (iron on, of course!), had a contest to pick their name (Troup S'mores), roasted weenies and hamburgers and veggie burgers (you know me!) and made and enjoyed their very own s'mores!  Plus, camp fire stories in the tent by John Hewlett, you remember him.  There's video of that for those who would like it later....
The party invite photo from Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom.
The inspiration.  Minus the injuries.  Okay, Miss Kitty did scrap with 9 month old Sabine --- :(
The cake.  I did my own recipe, and we grabbed the "log" and "fire" idea from pinterest here - basically, smash up jolly ranchers, and melt them on parchment paper on low in the oven for 10 minutes, then cool in the fridge and break them up for the fire.  The "logs" are those yummy pepperidge farm chocolate cookies.
The sashes.  Thank goodness my Mom saved me in a pinch.  I got the fabric out 3 hours early, and realized.... I need a home economist.  Elaine to the rescue!  We used a faux suede material and the fabric tape you iron on - I recommend sewing before if you want them to last - might take a day of prep, but well worth it.  I'm going to have our Marmie sew up Iris and Sam's.  

The name nominations for interested parties:  007 (Ryder's nomination),  BFF's (Coco's nomination), Ranger 99 (Orion's nomination), Hot Dogs (Scout's nomination), S'mores (Iris's nomination), and Cheese Burgers (Sully's nomination). 

The styrofoam board is Iris's creation for a name nomination board. 

Iris's welcome sign to the Troop!
My 7 year old!  Iris T. Nicholson, working on Pinwheels for Peace to earn her Peace badge!  Print outs & directions here. 

And, below the butterfly bracelet project for the butterfly badge.  Project print outs & directions here. When you move your arm, they REALLY do fly up and down like a butterfly.  We did Blue Swallowtail and Monarch butterflies which are migrating through our yard and TX on the way to Mexico right now.  

If you are interested in some Daisy, Brownie, or Girl Scout ideas for a party or troop, this is a nice little site. 

Our faux fire for camp fire stories and hangin' out

And, making s'mores!  

After the party, we updated their sashes with their names.  We are excited to see fun S'mores adventures ensue with the new troup after the party.
Her Daddy is so awesome, he even made smores pancakes Sunday morning for the kiddos!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Coveted...seeking design objects I'm obsessing over

There are those things you discover on a journey to redesign your space, covet like nothing else, and cannot imagine not having.....

For me, those are these gorgeous sconces; the Antony and Eye sconces from French designer Serge Mouille.

I saw them, pinned them, and couldn't get them out of my head.  You can see why....I mean, it's perfectly clear, right?

As this bedroom design comes together bit by little bit, I thought....these are modern perfection, bringing black into the white white space and perfect to go above the white built in side tables to perch on either side of the deep kelly green velvet tufted headboard that I'm closer and closer to deciding I will make, the perfect focal feature of the space.  Only today, did I actually realize they are (choke me - $2050 each!).

Damn middle age design angst!!  If only I were a rich, gay guy and not a middle class mom, I would just do it.

I originally was thinking a pair of the Robert Abbey pharmacy style brushed bronze lamps on either side of the bed ala this:

But, now, I've just got the Mouille Eye on the brain.  Nothing else seems to compare (ahem)...

So, we remember what we are dealing with: blank canvass bedroom freshly painted Benjamin Moore's Chantilly Lace (taped space represents side table/storage/bench built in):

Here is my color inspiration for the headboard:

Pretty with the Phillip Jeffries raffia I'm obsessed with for the bottom 1/3 of my white, white walls, right?

I'm also on the hunt for the perfect pairing of vintage botanicals to go above my black with gold painted butterfly armoire like these below I spotted on One King's Lane a few weeks back, but not $800.  Naturally, I'm drawn to the irises most....

Design wanderlust for my dreamland bedroom....

Friday, April 12, 2013

My Bedroom Makeover...Green? Yellow? Brass? Black?

A few more images that inspire me for this room - LOVE them both.

This green bedroom has just the amount of black and green touches I'm looking for.  I love the bed skirt which I hadn't considered.  I was going to go with a diamond matelasse box spring cover like the one below and lower my bed to the floor (about 2 1/2 inches lower) to meet the built-ins bed stands/benches with storage I envision on either side:

So, you remember my Missy Elliott reno work.  Here are the seventy year old uglies I was dealing with and learning how to repair and camouflage to work on my DIY budget.

See here and here to catch up cause this momma is too tired to replay ;)

So, terrified, I started painting... Chantilly Lace, here we go!  That pit at the bottom of my stomach looking at white on white on my pretty (although who knows how old) warm yellow that somehow always seemed neutral to me was making me seriously wonder about my choice.

So, here is the before.  Ignore junk on floor on the left (not part of the room!)  Notice tape where built-in benches/side tables are meant to go.  Yes, I am standing in the closet. 

The curtains now look dingy!  We were planning on replacing them with similar white, white gauzy curtains (hopefully from Ikea) and are going to raise the rods (which were handmade by the former owner customized for the window) to make the room look larger.  This, with lowering the bed a few inches, and adding 26X26 Euro shams ($30 including tax for 2 online!) - which came in and I am thrilled with, will work with the effect. After the photo below, I spent 5 hours painting the ceiling.  I have to say it was TOTALLY worth it.  Makes the room look like painted perfection and now, makes me want to paint all of the ceilings.

Behind the bed, I am considering either making a tufted green headboard or great artwork like these from Wisteria.  They would match my black armoire with gold painted butterflies and work well.

This mirror would move to the dresser area on the right.  My childhood dresser will be Craig's Listed and something similar to this in it's place.  Something warm and with a history.

Above is the photo of the base boards and doors painted Chantilly Lace and bottom is the walls as well.  Makes my off white frame look dingy, eh?  I have a matching frame that I'm about to put photos in for the other side and am either going to spray paint both flat white or black.  Haven't decided.  The grasscloth wallpaper will be on the bottom third of the room.

Since these photos, the bed has been lowered so it will fit in to the same height as the built in end tables/benches and the ceiling has been painted.  Next step for the weekend = raise the curtain rods.

Lowered bed + raised curtains + euro shame + chantilly white walls = larger, more peaceful bedroom.

Okay, okay....I know it is very blank canvas right now.  Layers, layers, layers....Next big step...hire the carpentar, build the tape lined side tables/benches/storage spaces.  

Now, off to the yard and planting with Everything Boy!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Two kid tested veggie recipes! Sweet potato beans with greens & veggie enchiladas

So, this week I kid and family tested two recipes.  Ones I've tripped over on Pinterest.  Here is the recipe for sweet potato beans with greens.  I had it once, loved it.  Tried it twice, and now it is officially Sam approved.  And, although my husband is not a fan of sweet potatoes, the beans and greens are so tasty, he loved it as an entree for lunch.  SUCCESS = I do not have to cook 3 different meals for 4 people so, this is a big success for me!

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Beans and Greens

Serves 4
4 sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (4-inch) sprig fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups (or 1 can) cooked and drained white beans
6 cups kale, trimmed and sliced into ribbons
Juice of 1/4 lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Scrub the sweet potatoes and prick them in a few places with a fork. Place them on a baking sheet and bake until soft all the way through, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Start the beans and greens about 15 to 20 minutes before the sweet potatoes are done.
In a wide, deep saucepan with a cover, heat the olive oil over low-moderate heat. Add the shallots and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary sprig, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for about a minute. Add the beans and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the kale, cover the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until the kale is soft. Remove the rosemary sprig, stir in the lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve, slice each sweet potato lengthwise and push on the ends to open up the middle. Spoon the beans and greens into the center.
I was feeling so good that I tried for two and found these stacked roasted veggie enchiladas.  LOVE them!!!  And the 3 pickies in my family loved them too!  See evidence below.  Mike ate every last bite. I made it exactly as is but added carrots and tomatillos to the mix and used less cheese.  Also, I used Ana's Salsa which I love!  If you live in Texas, you can pick it up at HEB in the produce section (because the ingredients are natural).  They are my radio client, the sweetest couple, and live right here in Austin.  Anna worked in the school district and used to make salsas for Christmas presents.  It's one of those once in a million success stories, and the salsa is delish!  
Here's a photo pre-bake and before the last cheese spread:

Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas


1 poblano chile, cut into matchsticks
2 red bell peppers, cut into matchsticks
1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium onion, halved and slivered
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
3 T heat-safe oil like grapeseed or coconut
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups homemade or store bought salsa/pico de gallo
2 ounces baby spinach leaves (about 2 big handfuls)
9-10 corn tortillas, halved (try making homemade tortillas!)
2 cups shredded cheese (I used a cheddar-Monterey Jack blend)
sour cream and thinly sliced scallions (green onions) for garnish, if desired


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a large shallow roasting pan or rimmed cookie sheet.
Place poblanos, red bell peppers, cauliflower, sweet potato, onion, and corn kernels onto cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle the cumin and minced garlic over top. Add a generous pinch or two of salt and black pepper, then use your hands to mix everything together. After everything is coated well, spread the vegetables evenly in the pan. Roast for 30-40 minutes until vegetables are tender and begin to brown in spots. Stir or shake the pan every 10 minutes for even roasting. Remove pan from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
Prepare an 8x8x2 or 9x9x2-inch square baking pan with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, stir the cilantro into the salsa. Spread 1/4 cup of salsa into the bottom of the baking pan. Add a layer of tortilla pieces, to completely cover the salsa. Top with 1/3 of the vegetables, a handful of spinach, and 1/3 of the cheese. Make a second layer of tortilla, salsa, vegetables, spinach, and cheese. Top with with a layer of tortillas, salsa, vegetables, and cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and everything is heated through.
Let it sit for 5 minutes and cut into squares. Serve with sour cream and a sprinkle of sliced scallions.