Posts Tagged ‘home decor’

Sponsored: Learning How to Contain Calligraphy



This post is brought to you by The Container Store. It’s like meth. Or what I would assume meth would be like because I can’t seem to get enough. Now that we have a store nearby I seem to find myself there a few times a month picking up new shelving, boxes, organizers, gift cards, etc. Also, did I mention this is a calligrapher’s paradise?! There’s a container for everything. Basically.

Right now, The Container store is offering a 30% discount on all Elfa® shelving until February 11th.

We love to take advantage of this sale, and now that we don’t have to pay for shipping it’s hands-down my favorite sale of the year! Since we moved in over 2 1/2 years ago, we’ve been slowly working on transitioning all of our closets over to the Elfa® system. If you’re not familiar with it, you screw a top track into the wall near the ceiling, insert the hang standards and click everything in from there. You don’t have to mess up your walls in order to have amazing storage and you can change it up as your heart desires. No need to go into construction mode after hanging the top track. If you’re not sure where to start? Get in touch with a designer to help you plan your space!

If you’ve been in my house, it’s likely I’ve shown you my closet with my eyes glossed over with hearts. I’m that much in love with all things Elfa®.


AAAAnyway. . . My studio has been a complete disaster. If you follow me on instagram, I gave you a sneak peek at how awful it’s been lately. I can’t be productive when my space is that disastrous.

When we first moved in, I spent a weekend transforming the yellow room into a blank white canvas. It was alright, but the furniture I used to store all of my supplies was bulky and I didn’t have nearly the desk space I needed, either. Oh, and I hated that wobbly old desk. Chris bought it in his bachelor days, so it had seen a fair amount of use. And it had been moved about 9 times.

Two Christmases ago, Chris bought me a new desk, with slightly smaller real-estate, but a much more stable surface. He got it on super-duper-uper sale at Copenhagen Furniture while visiting Phoenix. Mega win, but I was collecting more and more calligraphy supplies so the desk was feeling cramped and less than effective.


Turns out Chris and I were both experiencing the same crowded ineffective space. So we upgraded in a major way with help from The container store!

The minimalist in me would have bought white opaque boxes to store everything, but I’ve learned that I need to see all of my supplies so I’ll be able to quickly find them and put them away. I went for a white and acrylic scheme here and it works amazingly.


The utility board keeps the scissors at hand, but off the precious desktop. The acrylic drawers keep my glitter glue on hand and I can see the lovely rainbow collection from my chair. Without much effort I can grab for my favorite brush markers and switch up colors and keep tidy as I work.

The boxes on the pegboard hold extra tape, glitter, gum (an essential resource for late-night calligraphy work) and iphoneography equipment.

I have the pliers easily accessible so I can change out nibs quickly. My favorite inks are safe in their own shelf above so I won’t tip them over. And Felix won’t get tempted by them when he sits at my desk with me.


I originally had a pegboard behind my computer screen (which is wall-mounted now, thus saving even more desktop space!), but it was wobbly and cluttered. I switched that out for a metal magnet strip. It was advertised to be mounted horizontally, but it fits perfectly in the space between my shelves and the door.


Did you know that toothbrush holders make for amazing pen holders? Which reminds me, I could probably get rid of a few of those old plastic pens.


Now the only things that stay on my desk top are my bare essentials (water jar, keyboard, mouse, graphics pen). My goal in 2015 is to maintain this level of cleanliness!


Let’s keep it real: with all this vertical storage, I’ve opened up 8 square feet of space in my office (that’s a lot considering my room is 10×10). Which has opened the floor up to more ink stains. :( The one pictured below my desk happened last night. Still left on my things to do in this room:

  • Switch up the art
  • Tame those cables (aka: another trip to the container store)
  • Get new flooring

*This post is sponsored but all opinions and thoughts are my own. I love the container store this much!

Sponsored: Nesting with The Honest Company


This post is sponsored by the Honest Company. They’re a fabulous resource for safer home products such as cleaning supplies, personal care and baby essentials. They’ll even deliver all that awesomeness to your doorstep through their bundle and save subscriptions.

Also, how cute are their diapers?


Has anyone ever asked you the question: Would you rather have a cleaning service or a landscaper?

I was thinking about this the other day, I’d much rather have a landscaper. I can’t stand all the weeds in our yard and I have no idea what to do to make our yard look pretty. It’s been a source of internal contention for some time. I can’t seem to keep the real plants alive and the morning glory seems to love whatever it is I’m doing wrong.

And the truth is, I don’t mind cleaning. Doing the floors and dishes aren’t my cup of tea (Chris does those, thank heavens), but I get strange satisfaction out of cleaning bathrooms.


After some reflection, I think I know why:

  • The bathroom is a small finite space (unlike floors which go on FOREVER).
  • You know when it’s clean because of how it smells when you walk in.
  • A clean bathroom seems like a much brighter, open space.
  • It’s easier to keep a bathroom relatively clean/tidy for a longer period of time than to keep the kitchen sink tidy (unless you just never cook).

I’ve slacked off in my bathroom duties with this pregnancy because of the tight spaces, little air circulation and how those two play into basically suffocating me when cleaning out the toilet with bleach. I’m sure What to Expect When You’re Expecting has some warning about cleaning agents alongside with germophobic warnings as well. Let it go on the record that I absolutely hate that worthless book. I read it once while I was pregnant with Penelope. It induced moderate to severe paranoia about everything I came into contact. Worthless.  I digress.


See my slacking duties? You can see smears on the mirror and all of my junk out with no particular purpose. Honest Company sent me a bunch of cleaning supplies which were just the motivation I needed to get cleaning and jazz up my bathroom a little bit.

Did I mention these cleaning supplies didn’t send my lungs into a panic? The eucalyptis mint bathroom cleaner works as nicely to remove bathroom grime as it smells. And it smells soooo good.


Taaa Daaaa!!! Look at that transformation!! This is no amazing before and after. Quite pathetic really, but Chris noted a very dramatic change when he first stepped foot into my bathroom.

At some point, we’re going to demolish this bathroom and give it the finish it deserves (or should I say I deserve?). We want to replace the vanity with double sinks (so Chris can actually use this bathroom, he’s currently stuck with the one down the hall). I want to tear down the wall to the “toilet closet”, who needs a 3′ x 8′ closet for a toilet? Open that floor up, baby!! I also want to tear down the wall to the linen closet and have open teak shelving there. Add subway tiles along the floor and walls and a giant soaking tub and I’ll be a happy woman.

Until that happens (cough, $$, cough), I’ll be happy with my minute upgrades. :)


I started out by designing and cutting out vinyl decals of random geometric outlines to add some fun texture to the wall. I organized my nail polishes on the little rack to keep them away from Penelope and around for frequent use. This is a spice rack I scored from Ikea for $4. Chris originally put one in his bathroom so I copied the idea. It’s perfect for storing bathroom stuff up high.


I end up taking my cosmetics around the corner to the bedroom mirror and work on applying my face while sitting on the floor. It’s much easier than trying to manage my giant belly around the counter top to get close enough to the mirror to curl my eyelashes. I was previously using a wire basket, which would frequently lose pencils because of the wire-y-ness of the basket. Switching to a real tray made a difference. It’s prettier, too.


I decanted my hand soap to a pretty dispenser and bought mis-matched containers for my toothbrush, tumbler and plant.

The light in this bathroom really stinks, so the plant is now happily living in our bright master bedroom instead. I miss the greenery in my bathroom, though.


I got a new curtain that allows a little more light in and has more of a neutral spin to it. The geometric pattern plays well with all of the different textures.

A while back we were using regular towel rods, my towels never seemed to migrate off the floor. Chris cut out some wood, stained it and added hooks to the wall instead. It’s much easier to hang towels when in a rush to get kids out the door in the morning.


I created a little piece of artwork that reads, “Hello Gorgeous”. I already feel gross with this pregnancy and I know it’ll only get magnified when the postpartum body comes into play. I need a little reminder that I’m gorgeous no matter what my body may look like. It’s sad how media distorts perceptions of how our bodies are supposed to look like after a baby. I’m a believer in trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but a healthy outlook is also important.

Other than that, I haven’t done as much nesting as I would have liked. Next up is organizing artwork; making sure it’s all framed and hanging it on our bare walls. I’ve got 2 boxes and a pile about 5 inches tall of art that’s waiting to find a home on our walls. My mom will be in town next week to help with the baby, so maybe she’ll be able to help. :)

This post is sponsored, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

DIY Color-Blocked Frame Tutorial


Today I’m over at Make & Takes sharing how to make a color-blocked frame without using paint. And if you decide you want to switch it up, it’s temporary!

Click here for the full tutorial. 


For other color-blocking tutorials: color block wiggle skirt • color block leather pillow • color block v-neck tee • color block bib necklace • color block maternity/nursing top • color block shirt dress • color block earrings

Oh yeah, and you can download your very own leafy drawing right here.



Speaking of elsewhere, I’m also over at It’s Always Autumn talking about how I share my love of crafting with Penelope.


ZBP: Penelope & Felix’s Room


I had grandiose plans for working steadily on Penelope and Felix’s room through out the week, but it really boiled down to me working feverishly to get everything hung and set yesterday afternoon while Felix played in his crib. I don’t even know what Penelope was up to. Definitely not twiddling her thumbs by the look of my studio.

I’m thrilled to bits to have competed their space. Now on to the next! It sure feels good to cross this one off the list. Remember the before:

It makes my skin crawl just looking at that. It’s not that I’m a neat freak, it’s just here nothing even had a place to go to. Not to mention, I found three enormous spiders in the process of cleaning up all this mess. Like the size of a silver dollar. Creepy.

This is a happy spider-free place now. I hung these colorful banners as backdrops for each bed. They’re from my senior show back in college, but I hadn’t really thought about using them as decorations until just recently, when I found Penelope’s bedding at Ikea. I immediately thought of how cute it would be with that particular piece, then it all clicked. I’ve been trying to think of different ways to incorporate masculine and feminine with each other, and these pieces were the key! At least I think so. They’re so bright and cheery in the space.

I took one look at this plaid bedding at Ikea and had to buy it. She had been using an uncovered white duvet, so it was time to get something that looked a bit more polished. Even Chris welcomes this little addition

Vintage pillow from MoxieMandie, chevron pillow by me.

Above is the Dachshund lamp from Clever Tomato and love print from Made By Girl that we’ve had for ages. The dresser we’ve had since we moved to Utah, too.

I tried to keep everything relatively simple, but colorful. I made it a point not to hang artwork directly above Felix’s crib. I know he will get to the age (and height) where he will pull the artwork down, which makes the space ideal for a decal. I would just hate for a heavy piece of wood to come crashing down on his poor little noggin.

I designed and printed the herringbone blanket last winter as part of a groupon with Ink Garden. Instead of uploading a photo, I uploaded a repeat pattern and had the blanket made. Originally it was floating in the living room, but it works so much better here.

Penelope actually contributed a lot to this space, artistically. She made the above cloud and popsicle sculpture in her art class. She was thrilled to pieces to see that I wanted to hang up her art. I was actually worried that she wouldn’t be okay with me hanging it above Felix’s bed, but she was so proud that they could both look at her decorations. Bullet dodged.

The butterfly chair, rug and boppy pillow we’ve all had on hand forever. I’m just lucky that yellow is a recurring theme through out this bedroom. Say hello to Earl Ledbetter!

On the left you can see bits of the debris from hanging and fixing up artwork. From left, Painting by me, F cut by me and elephant piece by A Vintage Poster

Here’s the doorway and closet area. We have a little bookshelf that I bought while at our old house, but we’re not using it as a bookshelf anymore. Our books are almost all in the den which has two enormous closets with wall to wall shelves. More on that later. The balancing cactus toppled over a few minutes after I snapped this.

The piece up top is one of a circle/square series I did in college. It adds a nice texture to the graphic bedroom. The piece below is another piece Penelope made in art class.

Here’s a glimpse of the closet all neatly organized. Mostly. This system works really well for me and costs a fraction of what an actual cute dresser would cost. At some point, I’ll be putting in a shelf above the rod to store boxes of outgrown or seasonal clothing.

There were no pulls on the closet, so I cut two strips of leather and screwed them onto the doors. Chris prefers the blank doors, but I thought they were rather annoying to open and close. This little remedy was free and looks cool to me. If we decide to put actual handles on the doors at some point, the existing holes will be used or hidden.

Next to the closet, over on Penelope’s side of the door I put in a little gallery wall. It’s a mixture of art: dinosaur by Ashmae (and fellow painter friend from college), peacock by A Vintage Poster (with the addition of vinyl hand-lettering by me), P by AnnilyGreen, Chromatography pieces by Penelope, hand cut design by me and a framed chalkboard.  The chairs I’ve had for a few houses, I bought them from Ikea.

I bought some chalkboard contact paper for a future project, but I know I will have loads left over so I applied a small piece to the wall and covered it with a frame I’ve had for ages. I showed Penelope the chalk board and she was thrilled beyond the moon. I should find a better way to store the chalk than in an ugly baggie on the chair.

There you have it. I’m quite proud of this cheap space for Penelope and Felix. I spent $30 on the bedding at Ikea, but that was before I decided to do the Zero budget project. Maybe it counts, maybe it doesn’t? Everything we either had on hand or repurposed from elsewhere in the house. I would have hit my goal on the head if I hadn’t purchased the bedding, but I’m definitely not regretting that decision.

If money were no object, I would do something like this: Pen & Felix Bedroom Pinboard.

I hope you have a great weekend! I will be hanging out with my husband, celebrating our sixth anniversary and scheming the next room for the Zero Budget Project. What are your plans?

As Good As It’s Gonna Get: The Studio


We’re moving. Chris took a job in Provo last week!

I was so looking forward to a quiet winter without the stress of a newborn or a new place, but apparently that wasn’t in the cards for us. I’m both excited & stressed about our relocation, but I’m convinced it’ll be for the best.

Before the madness of boxing & packing happens, I thought I’d clean up & take some pictures (and video) of my studio. I’m mostly doing this so that when I’m packing & going crazy with the stress of moving, I can look at these pictures & remember how clean things once were. I’ll do my best to cite sources, but if there’s something I’ve left out, let me know. I’ll do my best to respond in the comments.

We’ll start with the studio-side of the room. This is my craft desk where I take my table top shots.

  • chair, $7
  • table legs & top, $30 from Ikea
  • bookshelf, $3 thrifted
  • bookcase & boxes purchased at Ikea by my mom for last year’s b-day gift
  • dachshund, won from a giveaway
  • cork boards, $3 thrifted
  • clipboard, $5 Urban Outfitters
  • posters, c/o A Vintage Poster
  • wreath, $30 knock knocking
  • globe, hand-me-down from parents
  • elephant, $12 Urban Outfitters
  • yellow & white vases, $1 thrifted

I attached paper to the wall with bulldog clips for my photography backdrop & added plexiglass atop the lower paper. It’s the perfect permanent backdrop. I can always wipe up my spills & messes off the plexi & snap away. Also I like the Apple-esque reflective effect it gives to my photos.

Lunch box stores my calligraphy supplies.

  • lamp, Ikea ages ago
  • calligraphy box, part of swag at Alt
  • painting, gift from sis-in-law from France
  • line drawing, $5 from Colt Bowden

I love that this globe has markers indicating how old it is. The USSR & other colonies are on here. I believe this globe is circa 1979-ish.

Here’s my sewing space. I just bought the thread rack right before we found out we were moving, so that’s just hanging out there. I plan on wall-mounting it at our new place (wherever that new place may be!).

  • shelf, $5 Ikea
  • frame & print, $50 Paul Ferney + Michaels
  • bucket, $4 Michaels
  • tins, dunno
  • scissor bucket, $.50
  • machine, 1970s BERNINA record from Mother-in-Law
  • chair, $7
  • thread rack, $9 Walmart

  • dress form, $119 Amazon
  • cutting board & stash storage, $44 Ikea
  • cutting board, $15 JoAnn’s



I love having my fabric stash organized by color palette. Each basket is as follows: warms, cools, greyscale, browns. The other side is separated out by large cuts & projects needing to get done.

Here’s my desk. I’ve got the 27″ solid state iMac (SO FAST!), Wacom tablet stacking robots & a stash basket on the actual desk. I mounted two shelves with a break between them right behind the computer. This allows us to store & have easy access to all of our hard drives & for me to easily move the Silhouette cutter onto the desk when it’s in use.

I’ve got a few treasures on the shelves themselves.

  • vintage clock, $10 etsy
  • book: It Must Be Hard To Be A Mother, gift from a friend
  • pencil holder, formula can covered with wallpaper
  • ceramic bucket for misc cords, $2 thrifted

This might be my favorite corner of the whole room. It’s my Christopher shrine. On the left is a painting done of him when he was a baby. The middle two paintings are mine and the right is a stenciled self-portrait on a suitcase. He used this suitcase in college & made it long before we ever met. I love this stencil of him.


Like the goiter on the side of the ironing board? Yeah, turns out our ironing board is not a full-sized ironing board. Maybe one day I’ll upgrade to a full-sized ironing board.

I love baby Chris’s striped shirt & chubby cheeks. The yellow border is adorable, too.

This explains Chris perfectly when we met. This is a stencil of him rocking out to music. I love everything about what this suitcase says. Perhaps we could collect more suitcases & stencil the entire family!

Here’s a little video tour of the room. Please excuse my awkward pauses. I can’t seem to operate a video camera & talk at the same time.

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