Archive for May, 2009

Decorating Tips

May 29, 2009

This past Memorial Day weekend, Alex and I helped my mom and dad repaint their living room/kitchen area.  My mom has struggled over the past few years trying to accomplish a warm and inviting living area while maintaining a clean, fresh looking household of four children.  Well this past weekend consisted of getting inspired, finding the vision, grasping the concepts, picking the colors, pick the items and execution:

1. Get inspired- What do you want the room to look like?  Find pictures, color swatches, and put together a collage. You could always use Polyvore!


2. Find the vision  – Take pictures of every item in the room(s).  Anything from the couch to the ceiling fan.  Use the photos as part of your collage.  Assess everything you have and try the pieces out in your “virtual room”.


3. Grasp the concept – Empty everything out of the room (everything!). Starting with a blank slate is the best way to grasp the concept of what you’re trying to accomplish.


4. Pick the colors – Along with your collage, pick colors that support your vision.  A splash of color here balanced with a nice neutral really makes a statement and can change the focus of a room.


5. Pick the items – Using your virtual room, assess what is missing.  Look on-line to find items that will accent your vision and complete the room.


6. Execute – Start with the paint, move in the big furniture, and minimize your accesories to those that fit within the vision.


What room will you choose to get inspired in?


Movin’ & Shakin’

May 29, 2009

Brickabrack is moving!

Don’t worry, all my posts will still be available we’re just changing names and locations.  You might have not noticed yet, but some of the styles around here have been changing and what better way to celebrate that than with a new website design by Ander Creative (the hubs) inspired by Jonna Issac’s watercolor of me.

Keep checking back for updates on the changes going on here. 

Oh, and I’m on twitter now.  If you’d like a sneak peek at how the new website is going to look, then come check me out at twitter.

See ya’ll later!

Jonna + Design

May 28, 2009

Have I told you about my amazingly talented friend Jonna? Well, she’s amazingly talented!  You might recognize her as the main author of Jonna + Design, AnthroLove and GuysWhereAreWe.  She does some amazing work with all different kinds of medium (photoshop, fabric, watercolor).  If you haven’t seen some of her stuff then #1 you should check out her blog, #2 you should check out her portfolio, and #3 you should check out one of her new pieces below.

This is a watercolor that Jonna did of well, me.


The whole “top of the cherry” thing was something I said when she painted this.  What I meant to say was, “cherry on top.”  Eh, whatever.  Thanks Jonna.

Apartment Living

May 27, 2009

While Alex and I don’t live in our cozy little apartment anymore, we are living with a roomate in a small condo, so I think some of these guidelines for apartments can still apply.

Source: (paraphrased). Click Pictures for Image Source.

1. Curtain call! Why use those standard issue blinds?  put up some ceiling to floor curtains for a dramatic effect.


2. I can see clearly now. Put in a clear table top or clear chairs.  It gives the illusion of more space.  Not into that? Try white.  It’s clean and bright.


3. Light it up! Add a lot of light source.  It’s inviting.  But don’t stop there, put everything on a dimmer.  You can go from day to night club in a few seconds.


4. Slim Down. Keep the furniture to a comfortable size.  Oversized furniture in a small space creates a stuffy feeling for you and your guests.  A little trick?  Rooms that are furnished actualy look larger then rooms that aren’t.


5. Curvacious. Rooms can often be box-shaped.  Mix it up with a curvy chair, rug, or oddly shaped art piece.


6. Cut a rug! Adding a rug makes the space look larger, but contrast people.  If the floor is dark, got with a light rug and vice versa.


7.  Where are your priorities?  Get it straight peeps.  Think about the space you have and what you need.  Desk space? Reading Space? Where is it going to go? If you don’t want your desk in the dining room, compromise. Maybe a fold away bed will be just the trick.  Overall, make sure the space relfects you.


8. Layered Luxury.  Layers and lots of pillows can actually make a space seems airier while providing deepth.  Think a luxurious hotel room.


9. Stow Away.  Work the murphy bed if your space is over the top small.


10. Float it.  Sleek floating shelves can provide tons of storage space while looking clean and modern.  Is your space really small?  You still can find room for the desk and the bed? Float it!  Get a bunk and store your desk underneath.


Now, go get inspired!

New Blogs

May 26, 2009

Happy Tuesday Readers!

I hope you all had a wonderful and relaxing Memorial Day.  I apologize for not posting yesterday, but it was full of studying, laundry, chores and then a smashing BBQ with and old friend.  I love making new memories with old friends.

And speaking of new, I thought I’d share a few new blogs I’ve found (or have been introduced to) this past week:

First, The Mamalogues.  This is a witty little blog about the adventures of mommyhood.  It’s purely opinion driven and quite funny.  Some of the content might be a bit PG-13, though there are some really cute stories.  One in particular titled Big Giant Penelope; a story about well… just read it.


Secondly, The Pioneer Woman.  Also a witty little blog without a filter. Her recipes are amazing, right up there with Paula Deen. She’s a homeschooling mom with a passion for photography, cooking, house and garden who makes her home in the country.  If you aren’t interested in her confessions, at least check out her recipes!


And last but not least, Betz White.  I gorgeous and adorable 3 year old blog that I’ve just recently stumbled upon and not sure how I lived without! She’s an author who;s into fashion and green crafting.  She has quite a few tutorials and a new book that’s out.  If you haven’t added her to your daily reads, you are missing out.  She quite recourceful and an inspiration. I’ll most definitely be using some of her tutorials for future posts!


& then some cakes and tea.

May 22, 2009

Happy Friday Readers!

I’m not sure if you’re aware, but Anthropologie is having a major sale! 


Some of us over at AnthroLove went there this past Wednesday night (mostly to keep our minds off the fact that we won’t be seeing another LOST episode for 8 months) and we were pretty much blown away.  While everything isn’t on sale, there are at least some items in every section of the store that are.  Kitchen, living room, bathroom, closet, you name it, something is on sale.  I got a pair of pants for $9.95 and a shirt for $19.95.  Jonna made out like a bandit, spending only $60 but coming away with close to fifteen items (not all clothing).  Crisa got an entire outfit for under $180!  Fabulous. 

And in good Mary Poppins fashion.  After the supercalifragilistic sale, we headed home for some cakes and tea.

This cake is a secret family recipe from Crisa so I’m not permitted to share, but it’s fabulous in many forms (cake, donuts, waffles).  We made an amazing cream cheese frosting with Irish butter and lemon zest and decorated the cake with fresh deep red strawberries.  You may wipe the drool off your face now.

And just so I can torture you more.  Here are a few pictures (I apologize for the lighting):



DIY: Picnic Blanket

May 21, 2009

Remember the D*S double sided picnic blanket?  blanketdiyI finally got the chance to make one!  Here’s a little background:

My roommate Crisa is taking her hubby on a picnic this weekend.  Her hubby is away, and has been for almost a year now, in officer’s training for the Marines.  They both are some of the bravest most God fearing people I know.  Crisa has been so fantastically supportive of TJ.  Imagine only being able to talk to your husband over the phone everyday (if you’re lucky) and she him every six weeks.  I know that some have it worse, but I just know that the Lord has completely been with them through it all.  So, all that being said… they deserve a weekend to enjoy each other, the wonderful weather, and a fun picnic (with a blanket made by yours truly).

The design*sponge pattern is so easy to follow!  It literally took me and hour to make the whole thing and I think it only took that long becuase it was 10:00 pm when I started.  I also read a few of the comments and decided to make a few embelishments of my own.  I had some left over fabric so I made a few pillows (I attached some felt rosettes too) and I made a cute felt strap with a white button for the blanket to fold up nice and neat with.

Here’s the result.


I’m truly pleased with the result.  If you are interested in owning one of these cute sets, leave me comment or shoot me and email for pricing and colors.

Get inspired!

Economic Survival

May 20, 2009

Let’s talk economics.  And no, I’m not going to talk about the housing market or what to invest in.  I’m going to talk to you about some small changes you can make to your lifestyle or spending habits that will truly save you time, money, and stress (let’s hope). 

While perusing Martha Stewart this morning, I came across some of her money saving tips which inspired my post for today.  Here we go:

  • Make your clothes last longer, by closing up zippers, fastening hooks, washing with like colors.  The tendency is to throw the whole load in and maybe separate out the whites (don’t do it!). Wash darks in cold water and hang them dry.  You’ll save on the cost of running the dryer and your darks won’t fade as quickly.
  • Have a San Pelligrino bottle lying around? or a Trader Joe’s limeaide glass bottle?  Don’t throw them away!  Spruce them up with enamel paint and create a new vase for flowers.
  • glass

  • Do you have a party this weekend but no money for the wrapping? Use that scrap fabric left over from the table runner you made or some old newspapers and make some new fun wrapping papers.
  • bd102572_1106_eco_gftwrp1_xl

  • A little known trick is to stick to the outer edges of the supermarket.  The food there is less processed, healthier, and less expensive.
  • Set up automatic withdrawls from your checking to a savings or retirement fund.  It’s a no hassle way to think about saving.
  • Need a place to organize your magazines or books, but can’t afford the fancy organizers?  Use an old cereal box!
  • 0206_kids_gtcerealbox_xl

    • You don’t have to buy fresh! Sometimes the frozen ingredients are just as good as the fresh one.  Buy veggies and fruits that are in season.
    • See all your movies?  Organize a movie swap.  Don’t pay $9.00 a person to see a movie when you can call up a friend to switch movies with.
    • Getting tired of the same look, but can’t afford a new couch?  Recover the pillows with scrap fabric, old hankies, or sheets.
    • I love this one!!!! – transform your old (or hit up a local thrift store)pillow cases  into a fun summer tote! 
    • mla102472_0607_bag_l

    I think I made need to dedicate a whole post to this last one!  Get inspired!

    DIY: Table Runner

    May 19, 2009

    Thank you so much for the kind comments regarding the chairs… Today’s post is about scraps.  I have tons of scrap fabric lying around from all of my projects.  Scraps can be used for so many different things; scrapbooks, wrapping presents, ties back for curtains, napkins, patchwork.  Given the length of my scrap fabric and at the urging of my roommate I made a table runner.  If you’re interested in a scrap project or just a fun and easy project in general, try this out.

    Here’s what you’ll need (you might not actually need all these scissors, but I just like to have them):


    Step 1: Wrong side facing up fold your fabric to the desired width.  Remember to leave about an inch extra on each side.


    Step 2: Begin to cut along the fold.


    Step 3: Fold the finished piece in half and fold one edge back.  Press.


    Step 4: Fold the other side back and press. 


    Step 5: When unfolded the fabric should look like this:


    Step 6: Cut off the triangles.  Keep them for “garnish” later.


    Step 7: Cut a small (1 inch) slit into both ends.


    Step 8:  Fold over all the edges about a half and inch.  Pin and press.


    Step 9: Fold over the edges again, pin and press.


    Step 10: Sew a 1/2 inch seam along both sides.  Removing the pins as you sew. Press again.


    Step 11: Choose the placement and attach your coordinating buttons to both sides of the runner.


    Step 12: Place your runner and set the table!  You’re done!


    Remember those triangles?  Use them and garnish in your glasses, or fold them into napkins. 


    Don’t mind my foot…


    Now, go get inspired!

    Coming Soon: DIY Table Runner

    May 18, 2009

    Don’t forget to check back tomorrow to see what I did with the left over fabric from the chairs… See you then!DSC_1054