Thursday, September 30, 2010

My bad...

I've been a bad blogger. Promising posts, then not coming thru.
Things have been busy around casa Cordova. I seriously have no idea how I managed to hold down a 9-5 job AND do all that I am doing now.

I don't have any great crafts posts, but next week I'm working on my Halloween costume, so I'll post about that. Also this weekend I'm getting one last camping trip in before it gets too cold.
Stay tuned for pics!

Love, Tina Marie

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Designing on a Dime

Yeah, I stole the title from the name of a show on HGTV...

Last week I was reading through the comments section of one of my posts and I came across this:
Becky said...

Since I haven't been into a craft store since 1992 (don't hate me, Tina!), can you tell me how much something like this costs? Just curious... not planning on making any window furnishing any time soon, but you have to know that your stuff always looks like a million bucks :)

First of all, thank you. Second of all, I'm not really sure which Becky made the comment (I know 2 of you!) but regardless, it got me thinking. I don't think I have stressed enough what a cheapskate I am. I really reuse things until they are falling apart. It's really hard for me to throw things away. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a hoarder by any means, but I always like to make sure I have gotten as many uses out of a product as I can.

I am going to start posting how much projects cost me so that you all will know that you can be crafty without spending a million bucks.

Also, some easy ways to save money on crafts are to not wait till you have a project to do until you buy materials and supplies. For example I replace my crayons every year right during "back to school" time. I choose this time because Walmart sells crayola crayons (the only brand I'll use) for TWENTY CENTS! They have similar deals on markers, water colors, color pencils, etc etc etc. I end up spending $10 at Walmart where I would have spent $40 any other time of the year.
I also try to use coupons as much as possible. If you sign up online for the JoAnn Fabrics mailing list they will send you coupons in the mail. Lots of times these coupons are for 50% off of one item. Fabric, however much you buy, is considered one item. This means I can get more for my money. I always wait to reupholter things till I have one of these coupons in hand. Likewise everytime you shop at Michael's they print a coupon on your receipt for 40% off of any one item. These saving really add up, especially when you craft as much as I do. By slowly buying on sale items I have really built up my craft arsenal. Sure, I sometimes splurge on an expensive item, but for the most part I keep my costs low.

So stay tuned in for later on this week when I give a tutorial on re purposing sheets.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tina's Favorite Things: Vintage Gloves

I wish I lived in the 50's... only not really.

I want to walk around in lovely dresses, and heels, and pearls 24/7. Sure, I do that now, but I want it to be the norm. This is part of the reason I LOVE vintage gloves.

Vintage gloves completely class up my look with very little effort.
I bought these three pairs in a resale shop for less that $5 each!

I'm not normally a huge fan of fall, but I'm excited to break out my trench so I can wear these gloves!

This is the shortest pair I own. I love the detailing on the upperside.

This pink pair was too adorable to pass up. I especially love the bunching on the sides.

These are my most favorite. Long cream colored gloves. They just scream 1950. LOVE.

Thursday: A Rant

I try to stay fairly upbeat on this blog. I really want it to be about crafts, and fun, and being awesome (which I am), however, every once in awhile I must rant.

It's no secret that I'm a small government person.
It's just my opinion, and respect those who disagree with me.

However, this week I have been completely anti-government.

Let me explain.

I am in the process of procuring a small business license.
There are about 10 million hoops to jump through.
I need three different licenses to start my business, and I need to pay a myriad of fees.
Not to mention that no one in government is capable of giving me straight answers when I ask them questions. It's absolutely the most frustrating process ever.

I'm really excited to get things up and running, but I would be a lot more excited if government wasn't trying to take an extra large bite of my apple. Did you know it cost $500 to get a small business license in Virginia?!
I find that reprehensible.
The government is making it HARDER to become self sufficient.


There is my rant for today.

And to end on a happy note, here is a picture of puppies:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Upcycling to a New Ottoman

I try to reuse items as much as I possibly can. I live on a budget, so as much as I want expensive chic furniture, I have to make to due with cheaper items a lot of the time. I'm okay with this because it gives me a chance to make a standard item my own, with just a bit of paint, or some glue and give it a whole new look.

When I was living with Annie we "invested" in some cheap end tables for our living room. We purchased them from IKEA. The Lack table from IKEA is the most simple standard table you can get. I think they run less than $10 each, and come in a variety of colors. I had the one below in black.

This table has been through quite a bit. First it was a TV stand for me. Then I used it as a stepping stool while I was painting my apartment. Then, after I couldn't remove the paint stains I decided to modge podge over the top of it. I glued pictures of my friends on with the modge podge. When I moved it moved with me, and then when I moved again, it moved back with me.
By this time it was peeling badly, so I scraped off the modge podge and trust me when I say the table had seen far better days. I still didn't want to get rid of it, because I knew it was structurally sound. Then it hit me. I would make a small ottoman out of it!

The first thing I did was spray paint the table legs. They went from black to white.

It takes awhile to spray paint because you want the paint to fully dry before you turn the leg over to get the other side. Also I had to give the legs quite a few coats of paint.

This was the table top. Yeah, you see what I mean when I say it had seen better days...

When I decided I wanted to make the ottoman one of the first things I did was go to JoAnn's to buy for the top. This is when I realized foam is insanely expensive! I had no idea. A yard of 5inch thick foam runs about $35! And I needed 2 yards!
There was no way I was going to pay $70 to do a craft project (remember that budget I was talking about!). Instead I started trolling craigslist for someone who was getting rid of their sofa! Lots of times people post a sofa "curb alert". I just waited till I found one in my area and took all the sofa cushions in order to reuse the foam!

This is the foam from the sofa cushion not in its cover. I spray adhesived it to the top of the table (you can see it peeking out from underneath). Then I cut off the excess using an exacto knife.
After I made sure the glue dried I covered the entire thing the same way i reupholstered my chairs! Using just a staple gun and some staples I made this:

I just screwed the legs back in and I think it makes a fine ottoman.

I especially love it's new place as a side table! Do you recognize the other items on that table?
The silver platter is the same one from earlier this week, and the ladder where the quilts are hanging is the other half of this one!

The best part about this is that not only do I have a fun new side table, I can also pull it out of the corner and use it as extra seating!
I LOVE duel functionality!

If anyone in the DC area wants to try this craft themselves I have 3 more couch cushions that I don't know what to do with!

Let me know!

Follow Friday: Catalog Living

If you're like me you love flipping through catalogs.
It pleases me to no end, it's where a lot of my inspiration come from.

However my inspiration is usually craft, decor, or cooking based.

This woman from England has very different, and very hysterical ideas when she flips through a catalog. She gives hysterical captions for all the pictures she posts.

I enjoy.

Gary Jr. was getting a little tired of his parents none-too-subtle digs at his recent bed-wetting phase.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

NYC Yeah You Know Me

Over Labor Day weekend Tamsin and I trekked back up to see Theodora and do a little more NYC sightseeing. Unlike last time we opted for the train versus the bus. Our train out of Union Station left at 3am, it was worth it thought. The comforts of the train outweighed the comforts on the bus, even with the early start time. When we got to Theo's we both took 5 hour naps, so that also helped. By the time we hit the streets we decided to make it a day of shopping.
We walked in and out of upscale, funky, and retro shops, we stopped to look at Street vendors, and we had a great time. We called it an early night because Tamsin and Theo needed to be up early for their 5K!

I definitely didn't run in the race, I'm not a runner by any means. But the gals did wonderfully, all Tamsin set a new personal record! Yay Tamsin!

After the race we wandered around some more and I decided I really wanted to see the carosel in Central Park. Little did I know it was harder to find than Waldo.
We finally stumbled upon it (thanks to the Google) and I think I got some really neat action shots.

The next day Tamsin and I ventured out on our own. We desperately wanted to see the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In addition to all the wonderful art on display in the museum the MET has a rooftop terrace. On the roof there is a new interactive art piece. It reminded me of a huge birds nest. You can actually walk under, up, in and through all the bamboo. Tamsin and I hung out on the roof for awhile.

The roof had great views of the city skyline...

Inside the MET I was a bit overwhelmed, so we decided to narrow our ventures to the Egyptian section, classical art, and the instruments room. The picture above is a temple that the museum transported from Egypt all the way to NYC! They have a ginormous room just for this one amazing piece. It was quite an experience.

My favorite classical artist is Degas, and more specifically his dancer series. I love the way he captured the movement both in paint and in sculpture.

Of course being the seasoned violin player that I am I had to take a picture of the Stradivariuses? Stradivari? What's the plural of "Stradivarius"?

And I'll leave you with this pic of Tamsin and Theo post run on Governor's Island. They are holding up the sign I so expertly crafted for them. It reads: "Run Tamsin and Theo, Run Like Someone is Chasing You!"

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tina's Favorite Things: Serving Dishes

Some of my favorite items are kitchen items. I especially love serving dishes. I'm a big fan of an eclectic grouping of dishes. None of my dishes match and I love it. I mostly find things at Marshall's or Ross, though sometimes I'll pick up an item in an antique shop, or at Goodwill.

This past Saturday I decided to go "antiquing" around the U street corridor of Eastern Market.
I was there a few weeks ago with some girlfriends and we stumbled across the most wonderful junk shop: Ruff and Ready. The place is a mess, piles and piles of just stuff. It's definitely not a place for someone who isn't ready to dig around and get dirty. If you're willing to put in the effort though it can me worth it. I found the two serving dishes below in a bow full of kitchen things.

As you can see they are more than diamonds in the rough. They were both filthy and disgusting.
I had a feeling they were silver though. I haggled with the shop keeper and got both pieces for $15. I took them home and gave them a good scrubbing with some silver polish, and now...

Just lovely!

I looked up the serial numbers of the plates online and I was only half right. One of the dishes is stainless steel, and resells for about $40. The other piece however is antique silver from 1949. It definitely made my money back on that investment! Not to mention it's my first piece of silver!
I'm really excited to add something so old to my serving collection. I intend to get a lot of use out of both of these items, and at $15 they were both quite the steal!

Stay tuned in tomorrow for another post!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Follow Friday: Twitter Edition

I haven't done a follow Friday in awhile, but this is worth it.
As you can see in my sidebar I have a twitter account. I highly recommend you start by following me on twitter. After you follow me you must start following 50Cent. Yeah, you heard me 50Cent, and let me explain why. The third person you should follow is English50cent.

Someone out there has taken it upon him or herself to translate 50Cent's tweets into proper English.

Need more convincing? An example of the hilarity:

50cent: Soulja and fab kicked it they cool now aint no more beef you cock suckers have a nice day lol

English50cent: Soulja and Fab have reconciled their differences, but have run out of meat. Warm regards to my homosexual followers. *laughs*


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Curtains are Called "Window Treatments" When You're a Grown-up

I have no idea why. But that's what I'll call this little project to make it seem more legit.
First thing I did was make a standard curtain from some fabric. My fabric was a heavy kind of canvas. I cut it to the specific dimensions of my window. I sewed a "tube" on top for the curtain rod to go through:

What I did different, was I also sewed "tubes" on the sides of the curtain. I pulled a thin piece of ribbon through the side tubes and scrunched up the fabric, seen here:

I tied the ends of the ribbon on the side tubes so that the fabric would stay bunched. Then I cut 2 pieces of ribbon from my ribbon stash, and used them to hold up the curtain. After a little fluffing and rearranging I think my curtain turned out rather well.

Simple, adorable, fun, decorative. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I Was Going to Write About Window Treatments...

But then I realized the article I was interviewed for came out and I am totally quoted!
A few weeks ago a reporter from the AP contacted me because of something I tweeted.
I don't remember exactly what it was, but something about looking forward to Jersey Shore.

Now, I'm famous.


More on window treatments tomorrow.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I'm a Wiz with Paint

No new craft to post today. Stay tuned next week though as I have something exciting coming up.
In the mean time please enjoy my new banner!
I figure I'll post a new banner every season, and in my mind September=football=fall.

I created my banner in plain old "Paint".

Yeah, I'm awesome, I know.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Search for the Perfect Rug

I have this old rag rug in my kitchen. It completely clashes with every color scheme I have going. I think I've had it since college. It cost me $2.50 at Walmart, 7 years ago.

Instead of tossing it out, I decided to repurpose it. A few weeks ago I saw a rug tutorial on KoJo Designs.
I wanted to try it and this seemed like the perfect opportunity, though I didn't follow all of her instructions.
I had wanted a new rug for in the kitchen for awhile. I knew that I wanted to incorporate the orange I already had going, but I also wanted to bring in more yellows to soften up the orange.
I found the perfect fabric at JoAnn's, and I KNEW I had to use it for this project.

First thing I did was spray adhesive a thick black piece of fabric to the rug. I did this so that the pattern in the rug wouldn't show through my fabric, and also to make it that much sturdier.
After spray adhesiving the black fabric to the rug I spray adhesived my fabric that I wanted to show to the black fabric. It worked fairly well, though if I were doing it again I would try to find a canvas material that I liked. I just fell in love with my lemon design material, and no other would do.

The I sewed around the edges of the rug to make sure everything stayed right in place. After that you want to scotchguard your rug like scotchguarding is going out of style.

Ta-da! Finished rug!

Finished rug in the new kitchen! I think I may try this again with a bigger rug. Maybe something to go in my bedroom. Next time I'll definitely use canvas material or maybe duckcloth instead of plain cotton.

Let me know if any of you try this!