Mar 22, 2013

Model For a Day - Styled Photoshoot With Southern Charm Photography

Let me just start by saying, I am GUSHING over these images!! Katelyn Mizell, from Southern Charm Photography, is a gem and a genius! About a month ago Katelyn was in need of models for a dramatic/moody photoshoot, I of course, jumped at the opportunity...who wouldn't want to be a model for the day and get to wear their wedding dress for a second time?! Not to mention some amazingly awesome photos to keep! Sign me up! The Hubby and I spent the day romping around Katelyn's land in Normangee, TX, and boy, the weather couldn't have been more fabulous for a moody photoshoot! Just look how gloomy that sky looks, not many people would be excited for that during their bridals/romantics photos, but man was it perfect for these photos! We had so much fun shooting with Katelyn AND she even accomplished her goal for this shoot, which was to have them picked up and featured on the fabulous wedding website, Style Me Pretty! Here is the link to the featured post along with the full gallery of images! I'm so proud of Katelyn! I didn't doubt her for a second though, she's been featured on Style Me Pretty's site a few times! If you are ever in need of one spectacular photographer be sure to consider Katelyn, even if you don't live in Texas, I'm sure she's willing to travel! Visit her on Facebook and tell her I sent you! Here are a few, a bunch, okay...pretty much all of my faves from the photoshoot, enjoy!!

Mar 16, 2013

Painting a Gender Neutral Nursery

I am beyond excited to share this post with you today, but before you get too excited…I’m not pregnant. Not to say that I won’t be soon! *wink!* But, this is a staged post that I have been working on for the past two weekends for The Home Depot and Procter & Gamble, who recently contacted me requesting that I do a post on a home painting project. Exciting, right?! I thought so! I, of course, jumped at the opportunity because I love painting, but thought for a while about what I wanted to do. I didn't have any painting projects on the back burner, and all the rooms in my house have been recently painted, so what the heck was I supposed to do?! Then, eureka! I stumbled across this painting on Pinterest and absolutely loved it. I wanted to do something similar on a wall, but for what? And then it hit me, unisex nursery! I knew that I would eventually have to paint this room for our future baby, so this was the perfect opportunity. Not to mention, it saves me the hassle of having to hire painters when I'm pregnant, since you shouldn't be around all of those fumes, and I would get the satisfaction of knowing I did it myself! The only problem is, as I’m sure you’re thinking, I’m not pregnant, nor can I predict the future to know what the gender of our first child will be. Problem? Nope! I decided to go with a gender neutral color palette, including hues of greens, blues, peaches, and yellows. When we do find out the gender of our first born I can always add pink accents for a girl or emphasize the blues and greens if its a boy. It's win win either way! When decorating any nursery, especially unisex, I find that choosing a color palette first is the best way to start your design process. Choosing colors that don’t exclusively identify with either gender like yellows, whites, oranges, greens, browns, grays, etc. is the best way to go. Sorry pink and purple! 

Something I learned while narrowing down my color options is that you shouldn't use red as one of your focal colors in the nursery. Sounds weird, right? Well, apparently red is the first color most babies recognize and this can either create excitement or confusion for your little one if it is the only color they can identify. It could even interfere with sleeping! Don’t quote me on that, but I sure wouldn't want to take that chance if I was a new mother getting only a few hours of sleep at a time!

After selecting a color palette, you can begin to build on your theme. Go for themes that are again gender neutral such as animals, beach or sea creatures, shapes and colors, bumble bees, Disney, or vintage shabby chic to name a few. Your options are limitless! If you can’t decide on a theme, but you have your colors selected, try painting first and then decide. Inspiration may come to you once you see the colors on the wall!

While there are hundreds of blogs filled with tips and tricks for DIY painting projects, most of us seem to overlook the importance of two key steps: prep and cleanup. It makes your project a heck of a lot easier with proper painting prep and cleanup, trust me. Procter & Gamble and The Home Depot are teaming up to offer some great products and tips to make each stage of your project go a little more smoothly. Here are some great tips they've come up with:

  • Before painting, make sure to remove dust from walls. A Swiffer® Sweeper with a dry sweeping cloth works really well – it attracts dirt and dust from virtually any surface, including walls. The head swivels a full 360 degrees, making it easy to move around corners and the pole allows for easy floor to ceiling reach. Don’t forget the baseboards, windows and doorways, too.
  • Mask the room with painter’s tape. Paint the areas that are likely to get dripped on last. Paint the ceiling first, walls second, and trim last.

The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser will be your best friend in the prep and cleanup process, too! I used it to clean scuff marks on the wall and baseboards before and after painting. And great news, P&G and The Home Depot want to offer you these amazing products to help you with your next project! Be sure to enter at the bottom of this post for your chance to win the DIY Painting #ReadyDoneClean Prize Pack including a Swiffer Sweeper, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Original, and a $50 Home Depot gift card! For more tips on how to paint like a pro visit The Home Depot website and read more!

Materials needed for this project include:
- flat acrylic paint
- paint trays
- acrylic paintbrushes
- drop cloth
- stencil
- paint roller
- painter's tape

After cleaning the wall with my Swiffer® Sweeper, with the help of my fabulous co-painter, Katherine, we started the accent wall by painting streaks of  blue, Valspar - Fresh Mist, letting that dry and then moving on to my next color, Valspar - Peach Frenzy, then Valspar - Lush Meadow, and finishing with my Valspar - Toasted Oat. I would allow each color to dry before moving on to the next and layering them as I went. You will see the wall build below as I added each color. Continue adding colors until you are satisfied. I purchased 1 quart of each color and had quite a bit left of each. I did use all of my White and needed to purchase more.
After your wall has completely dried, you can begin stenciling. My favorite stencils to use are those from Cutting Edge Stencils. This one in particular is the Ikat Zig-Zag Stencil, love it! If you've never stenciled before, I would highly suggest checking out their website and watching their how-to'll be stenciling up a storm in no time!

This is definitely the most time consuming portion of this painting project. Be patient and take your time when lining up the stencil or you could run into some major problems! Allow the each section to dry a few minutes before applying additional coats and before moving on to a new section.

Once you have finished stenciling, remove any painter's tape and use your Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to clean up any stray scuff marks and paint. To put the final touches on my wall I went back with a thin paintbrush and touched up any section where the white paint ran together. 

I had so much fun designing and working on this project! I only wish that I could keep decorating the nursery, but that will have to wait. This is a wonderful project for anyone who is eager to get started on their nursery and does not know or wants to be surprised by the gender of their baby! Don't forget to enter the giveaway below!

Enter for your chance to win the #ReadyDoneClean prize pack (shown below)! The prize pack includes a Swiffer Sweeper, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and a $50 Home Depot gift card! Must be 18 and over to win. Contest ends March 30th. Winner will be contacted by email and has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Good luck!

This is a paid post brought to you by Procter & Gamble and The Home Depot. Procter & Gamble provided and paid for my materials and the prize pack used in the Giveaway.
All opinions are my own.

Mar 3, 2013

DIY T-Shirt Dress

I've been overcome with the sewing bug, and I love it! A few weekends ago, I introduced you to my very first sewing project, a DIY Maxi Dress, which I think was a smash hit! I can't wait to wear it when it finally warms up here in Texas. I had so much fun making it that I wanted to make another t-shirt dress to share with you! This one was a little more challenging because I needed to add a lining so that the skirt was not see through. The same concept I used for the maxi dress applies. Using a t-shirt for the top portion of the dress and jersey fabric for the skirt.

For this project, you'll need one t-shirt, enough fabric to wrap around your body 1.5 times (I used jersey knit), dress lining (the same amount you bought for the fabric), elastic thread, cotton thread, ball point needle, walking foot (for the sewing machine), pins, and scissors.

First, cut your t-shirt where you want the skirt to attach… In my case, it was right under my chest, to create a high-waisted dress. Leave a little room to sew the t-shirt to the skirt.

Wrap the fabric 1.5 times around your waist where you want the skirt part of the dress to start. Cut off any remaining fabric. You can save this fabric for a sash or just belt the the dress like I've done in the picture. Next, cut your lining to match the size of your skirt fabric. Using pins, secure the lining to the WRONG side of the fabric to hold in place, and sew all four sides using the cotton thread.

Fold the fabric in half so that the pretty side is visible on both sides and the lining is now on the inside. Now, to begin creating the skirt, place the edges together creating a rectangle, and sew up the side using the cotton thread. The skirt will now look like a rectangle with two open ends. I had already put a hem in as you can see below, but in hindsight, I would wait until the end.

Flip the skirt inside out so you no longer see the hem edges. Next, we add the elastic thread around the top of the skirt. In this step, we will use the elastic thread, but only for the bobbin thread. The top thread will remain the regular cotton thread. Below is the kind you should get, I found mine at Jo-Ann's Fabric Store.

Wind the bobbin by hand, but make sure not to do it too tightly. With the dress right side out, sew all the way around the top of your skirt with the elastic thread on the inside, the side that would be touching your skin. It should begin to gather like you see below. You want it to gather!

Before the next step, turn the skirt inside out so the lining is on the outside.

Next, slide the t-shirt into the skirt, making sure the t-shirt is right side out. Slide it in the skirt, shoulders first, as pictured below:

Pin the cut edge of the t-shirt to the ruffled skirt edge, making sure that the seam on your skirt is in the middle of the back of your t-shirt. The seam will run down the back of your dress. I would suggest pinning it in that spot first and then working your way around, spacing out the ruffles.

While your dress is turned inside out, carefully trim the excess fabric at the waistband. Flip your dress right side out and inspect your work. At this point, you can try on your dress and pin the hem at the length you want it. Sew in your hem and voila! Grab some heels, add a belt, and go look fabulous! PS this dress only cost me $13!!