Saturday, July 31, 2010

Haiku Saturday

Brushes rollers paint
Patching sanding priming whew
No spills splatters drips

Friday, July 30, 2010

Fab Friday Favorites

Welcome to another week of Fab Friday Favorites. This is where I show off great ideas I've found around blogland.

Sunny at Live in Rehab made this colorful mail / paper / bill sorter. Practical and yet pretty to have sitting about.

Eileen at The Missing Piece created this 1/2 window covering to as a stylish way to block light when guests were using the bedroom. I love this idea and wish I had thought about it years ago when my son had the same set up. The sunlight and warmth were great in the winter but in the summer the room got soo hot! What a creative solution to the problem.

Kasia at Dream Home created this cute flowered tshirt. These are so popular right now, both in the stores and in the blog world. I really want to make one. I think I've even shown you one or two in previous Fab Friday Favorites. I just LOVE how feminine these are!

Sammy at Scraps N' Strings made this adorable fabric covered baby wipes case. She has great instructions on how to make your own. I really like this idea. Really. I wish I needed to carry wipes with me so I could have one. Maybe I could keep one in the car for spills?

Over at Al McLeary is this potted plant pot with a string of pearls (at least that's what I think it's called) plant.  I WANT one. This really appeals to my whimsical side.

Jamie over at The Blackberry Vine made this wonderful confetti photo frame. It looks like a lot of work, but what a unique way to display a large quantity of photos!

Over at A Little of This, A Little of That, Sarah redid a boring brass chandelier to a little girls delight with some spray paint and crystals. Check out her blog for the steps.

This updated and personalized market tote is fabulous over at Little Monkeys. I have a pink one I use at the Farmers Market. It would be so easy to add some ribbon. I don't have an embroidery sewing machine, but I can make some of the wonderful fabric flowers shown around the blog and add them. Cute!

I hope you enjoyed this weeks Fab Friday Favorites. When you go visit the sites (and I know you will!) spread a little comment love and tell them you came from Black Kats Design.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Goodwill Scores!

I spent a few days in my old hometown of Indianapolis visiting friends some time ago. Part of our ritual activities is thrift shopping at Goodwill. They have much better thrift stores there then I've been able to find in Evanston. Here are some of the great things I purchased! Most of them I was looking for the specific item, so it was definitely a score to find it.

Glass cake plates. One smaller one ($1.99) with a swirl design and one large more modern, minimal looking one ($2.99). I've been wanting a cake plate and am happy to have found 2. Actually I found 3 and my friend Alison purchased the 3rd one.

The coolest, modern orange candle holders. Orange is my accent color in my home. They take both a pillar and a taper. They are Mikasa Karim Rashid Design and retail for $30. I scored them for $4.99.

A Brita water pitcher for $1.99. My son is going to college in the fall and this is a necessity because we only drink water and tons of it a day. And he can't take mine. Retail $30.

I found a wooden caddy for $1.99. I've been wanting something handy to keep pens, paper, coasters and other misc. stuff next to "my" seat in the living room. It's ugly now but I envision it painted and possibly Mod Podged with pretty scrapbook papers. The problem is that it is a little bigger now that it's sitting on my end table than I thought it would be. This might be a do-over project.

Some great clothes: a pink t-shirt for my tote project, a pretty brown/mink colored t-shirt, a sleeveless green floaty blouse, a striking black cotton with small white flower/starburst designs jacket with 3/4 length sleeves, a turquoise linen tunic with stunning silver thread embroidery and a beautiful green wool short blazer with big black buttons.

Things I passed up that I now wish I had purchased: an old technical drawing of a sail boat about 18"x24" in a nice wooden frame for $5.99. My son sails and this would have looked good in his bedroom. A pair of brown jeans. I currently have a pair but these fit much nicer. A pair of maroon/purple jeans. I thought what would I wear with them? Now after looking in my closet I would have been able to build several outfits around them. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut instinct and forget about those pesky questions. Darn it.

What are your latest scores?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My dining room: rug or no rug?

My dining room is connected and open to the living room. It has a thick ceiling beam (painted brown) which gives nice definition between the two rooms and has a long wall for the buffet. But the long wall is chopped up 2/3 the way down by the door to the kitchen and the back stairway (you can't see it, it's on the other side of the buffet). The other side of the room has the hall leading to the bedrooms 1/3 of the way down to the bathroom (it's turquoise and you can see the zebra shower curtain). So usable actual dining space is very small. And in order to have a functional walkway into the kitchen the table is pushed into the rear right corner. The table is centered on a cute leopard with a black border 5x8 rug, which is also pushed off center and to the rear of the room. I have a great 50's period light fixture which is in the center of the room.

When I have guests over I put in leaves and move the table and chairs more toward the center of the room so both sides of the table are usable (although it is still off center). It leaves just enough room for chairs to be pulled out and for people to squeeze into their seats. My chair pulls out into the kitchen doorway so I can get up and serve. It's a tight fit for everyone.

The room has been bugging me. I don't like that I can't center the table in the room under the light fixture in the traditional dining room set-up.  I don't like how the rug accentuates the fact that the table isn't centered and just appears to be shoved into the corner.

I know traditional decorating wisdom usually has the dining table anchored by a rug, but it just doesn't work in this space. I'm breaking a rule! Without the rug the table now floats in the room, instead of being anchored off center. The lack of rug reduces the perceived off-centeredness (yes, I make up words). I like it better without the rug. It also seems to lighten up the room. The dining room feels more spacious now. You see a little into the living room on the left side. And did you notice? The dining table is now more toward the center of the room. When it was centered on the rug and pulled toward the center of the room the walk way into the kitchen felt narrow. Now it is more narrow but feels bigger without the rug. Funny.

Our dog Sebastian hates not having a rug. It allowed him traction (instead of slippery wood floors) on his figure-eight race around the condo. My son hates that the dog hates it. I'm not convinced that I have to decorate around the dog's pleasure over my design atheistic in this instance.

We already know how my son and the dog votes. What do you think - follow tradition but have an off-centered rug or float the table in the space with no rug? Does it look naked? Let me know your thoughts.

Oh and just to be honest about things, this is how my dining room looked prior to starting this little adventure. The table is a dumping ground for all things entering the house. It's my crafting and ironing area. The packages on the floor were yesterday's Ikea purchases for my son's dorm room. My son's art work from high school is still leaning against the wall waiting to be put away (for the last 2 months). I'm not sure how/why my sewing machine is on the floor. It's usually not this bad.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Quotation

We are not held back by the love we didn't receive in the past but by the love we aren't extending in the present. - Marianne Williamson

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Haiku Saturday

 Clean, clean, clean, oh my
dishes, laundry, dust and mop
vacuum, pick up sigh

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fab Friday Favorites

Welcome to Fab Friday Favorites where I cruise blogs looking for creative ideas to share.

Shannon Makes Stuff has a tutorial for these cute zipper ballet flats. I love all things decorated with zippers!

Joy Beadworks created this great caste cement leaf to be used as a bird bath. How pretty to have nestled amongst flowers.

Smidgens of Piffle updated a leather briefcase by gluing fabric to it. Doesn't it look cute?

Katie at Impatiently praying for Patience via Living with Lindsay created some floor candlesticks to coordinate with ones she already had. I think they turned out great.

This mod filing cabinet over at Potholes and Pantyhose uses wood grain contact paper to make this super cool design. It looks like it took forever but I just love it. I've got an ugly black filing cabinet in my son's room ready for some pretty.

Frugal with a Flourish gets creative with Mod Podge and turns an ordinary poster into a work of art by adding "brush strokes". Go check out her pictures to see the fine details.

Simpsonized Crafts created this beautiful decor item out of egg crates! LOVE.

Over at Mod Podge Rocks was this great screen printed t-shirt. They used Mod Podge as the resist. Great tutorial and it really makes me want to try this technique.

I hope you enjoyed this weeks Fab Friday Favorites!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Big Art Work

Have you seen these? You can make any size wall poster from any size image at Block Poster. Just upload your image, choose your size and download a pdf image which you can then print or take to a copy shop and have them print it.

I had to show you this example by "emil" in the gallery even though I had to edit it wonky. I love Roy Lichtenstein's work.

But how cool (and cheap) would it be to make a super large family photo? Mount it to some MDF or Masonite with Mod Podge and you've got a statement piece. Or your kids favorite superhero or teen star? Just watch for copyright infringement issues.

Something similar is available at the naughty sounding site which in essence converts a picture to large pixels.  Don't ask me what the difference is between the two sites. I can't explain very well what rasterisation is. This site gives you a more graphic, easily seen pixels look I think. Picture by marco e lula in the gallery section.

I've used the rasterbator (blush) site to convert small pictures into large pattern pieces for applique wall hangings. I've then taped the pattern to a large window so I can see through the papers and then traced the pattern onto fusible web.

Have you used these before? Do tell!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Style Quiz

Here is a fun decorating style quiz.  Mine was only 3/4 accurate. I have a whole vintage side not described here with my love of mid-century / danish modern furniture and design. I'd also say my design challenge is not adding warmth but to keep things sleek. Learning not to over decorate a minimal space is hard. Remember in the last four years or so I went from French Country, the more accessories the better with lots of oak family antiques and china, to Mid-Century Modern / Vintage. A big decorating style change.

What did your quiz say about you?


Your style is Modern and Sleek.

                You strive for clean lines, smooth surfaces and up-to-date looks. You prefer high contrast such as black and white. You buy quality furniture but slightly out of the ordinary. You read up-to-date fashion magazines. You like to look current but not too trendy. You do not like clutter; everything has a place in your home. You have very few knick-knacks but what you display is fine art and sculptures. You strive to be the best at work and at home. When you entertain you invite a mixture of well-traveled people. You like new things and don’t see the appeal of most antiques. You will try new colors and different furniture placements.

                You grew up in a home where nothing ever changed so now you seek and strive to not be stuck in an old decade. Your decorating challenge is to add warmth and comfort to your living spaces.

                To further develop this style, The Home Stylist specifically recommends the following resources:


Get YOUR style quiz at The Home Stylist! 


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Haiku Saturday

The birds in the air
Don't seem to have a worldly care
hot weather abounds

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Jonathan Adler Inspired Cat Statue

I just love Jonathan Adler and his designs. It all started for me with his book, "Jonathan Adler My Perscription for Anti-Depressive Living" where he touts "Maximus" living instead of minimal and has the designs to prove it. Funny because I always think I'm a minimalist but his happy chic style can change my mind!

Anyway there is no way I can afford any of his designs available here. But I have found an Adler inspired cat (in one of the most unexpected places) for my house that I just love.

 Adler's version at $120, 15.5" tall

My $19.99 (+20% off), 19" tall.

Granted, there is a big difference in texture and detail. But mine gives me a feeling and look I'm happy with, and it's even a little taller which works well for me. Best of all the price tag didn't break the bank. So guess where I got it? It's so funny. It's a bathroom toilet brush holder from Bed Bath & Beyond (in stores only). Yep, the back is hollow to stick a brush in. But viewed from the front and sides you'd never be able to tell. My kitty sits in a corner guarding my front door. Love it!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Feeling Blue

I've been feeling blue and out of sorts the last couple days. While whining discussing it with my 18 year old son, he suggested I rearrange furniture and swap out some accessories in order to feel better. I have a son wise beyond his years. Its wonderful to have someone know and love me so much.