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While looking for a how-to for rug painting (coming soon!) I stumbled across a little gem called curbly.com. Curbly is a DIY design community where members post their own blogs and pictures of their homes, designs or whatever they love about where they live. In fact, that pretty much sums up the theme of the website…”love where you live.”

Member Blogs

Members treat Curbly as their own blog and post anything and everything that has to do with interior design. Some just post pictures of things they like. The pictures could be from their own homes or other designs. Also, members can  post links back to their own personal blogs. Many members who are professionals, use Curbly as an additional channel for their blogs.

This member posted pictures of a Malibu Barbie Dream House designed by acclaimed designer Jonathan Adler.

Malibu Barbie Dream House

Design by Jonathan Adler-picture provided by apartmenttherapy.com

Her post doesn’t cite Mr. Adler as the creator, but it does reference the site where she found it. Not sure that was a great move, because at first, I thought it was her design.

Others post articles they’ve found interesting and want to share. This member posted about the house where serial killer Lizzie Borden lived and how it is now a bed and breakfast…creepy. His perspective was on whether or not the owner should have to disclose the histories of the house. He made some great points. I know I’d want to know if I was staying in a house where a serial killer lived and committed her crimes. YIKES!

My personal fav:

Many members post their own do-it-yourself pages. This one is about painting floor mats. Since my blog is all about easy do-it-yourself, this post was right up my alley.

This laundry room looks so cool! I probably wouldn’t go that far with designing a laundry room, although that’s hard to say seeing as how I don’t actually have one yet. Nonetheless, it looks awesome. I wonder how functional it is.

Now this member also has her own blog called The Exchange. Her blog has over 300 followers and her recent post on Curbly already has over 65 views. Not too shabby.

Clippings

The “clippings” page my just be the coolest thing yet. I have all of these new projects I want to try and they all started with a picture. I have books and files everywhere of pictures I love. I mentioned in my first post about finding your style by collecting images of things you loved. I like to do it in a three-ring binder, but I also said the internet was a fabulous place to find pictures and Curbly is a great place to keep them organized.

How to:

to collect the images you simply add the “Curbly It” tab to your Bookmarks and whenever you come across an image you like, you can Bookmark it with the “Curbly It” and it adds it to your clippings. It also adds the website where you found it. I like this because I don’t feel like I’m stealing it. Check out my beginning clippings collection here.

So Much More

These were just two of my favorite highlights of the website. There’s so much more to check out and do. What was your favorite section?

As much as I want to learn to do everything and make everything by hand, I have to admit that I can’t do it all in the next six months. So, some of my decorations will have to be bought. While I love nearby stores like Target and Bed Bath & Beyond, sometimes their selections can be a bit limiting and well, manufactured looking.

I come from a family of crafters, who’ve created handmade Christmas items for as long as I’ve been alive. They used to do half a dozen craft shows a year, mostly at local schools, churches and convention centers. Not exactly a broad audience. But now, crafters can sell to all over the world on a site designed specifically for them. It’s called etsy.com.

About Etsy

According to the website, etsy’s mission is to create a world where people live handmade. It hopes to accomplish this by reconnecting makers with buyers. It’s reach spreads to over 150 countries and a team of bloggers help keep viewers and handmade enthusiasts engaged.

The site sells everything from clothes and accessories to furniture and art work. The awesome part is that EVERYTHING is made by hand. The price range is enormous and will run anywhere from $6 for a vase to thousands of dollars for art and furniture.

Each seller receives comments and ratings about their products and services. This is helpful so you don’t get scammed with crap items. Also, many designers will do custom work, often for free or a few extra dollars. So no more owning the same rugs and pillows as your neighbor.

The Blog

The blog is separated into different sections, such as how-to, a section specifically for sellers and “This Handmade Life.” This section spotlights different handmade items it thinks the readers would enjoy.With comments numbering in the hundreds per post, clearly they’ve found an active and interested audience.

Shopping

The coolest part: Crafters now have a new outlet to sell besides locally or their own websites. A quick scan of the pottery section revealed to me that beauty is still in the eye of the beholder with some of the wares, but I did find some beautiful pieces.

I’ve become obsessed with the pottery, ceramics and the furniture section.

Yellow Shelf that Fits Vase

Item by ACOUNTRYWAY $40

This shelf is so adorable and not badly priced. That would go great in an entryway. This is something I could probably learn to make myself, but it would require knowing how to use a saw for the mason jar hole. While I have mastered the power drill, I don’t think I’m quite ready for saws. Buy in this color or others for $40.

My Obsession

As previously confessed, I am totally in love with all things shabby chic. So this designers furniture is right up my alley. The pieces are mostly white, which is standard for shabby chic styles and they have just the right amount of distressing. (I hope to learn how to distress furniture soon.)

Shabby Chic Furniture

Piece by autmnrollick $245

The designer, who goes by autumnrollick, has many similar pieces to fill an entire shabby chic household. And the prices aren’t bad either.

Pieces from Shabby Chic pioneer Rachel Ashwell can run into the thousands of dollars, making $245 a pretty sweet deal.

Buy this piece or view autumnrollick’s other peices here.

I was trolling through Country Living and found this:

Two Day Apartment Makeover

See how these girls decorated an apartment in two days.

Photo Credit: Laura Moss

 

Three women joined forces and creative talents to re-do a small city apartment. The photos are truly inspirational and the designs are beautiful.

I was slightly disappointed when they didn’t go into deeper detail about how they accomplished some of the design jobs. For instance, they did a wonderful job with the wall stencils, but I have no idea how to stencil a wall. Maybe I’ll have to do some digging for a stenciling how-to of my own.

Also, many of the other stories on the website tell you how much any  new additions cost. Normally, all items are listed with prices and links to the stores. I was sad this post didn’t include those because I LOVED the dresser knobs. Even though it says they were purchased at Restoration Hardware, most people (including yours truly) don’t feel like digging for it.

Nonetheless, the post was inspirational in all of the projects you can accomplish quickly. Also, I adored how they re-purposed vintage accessories.

Happy Weekend All!

Sometimes the easiest way to update a room is to hang pictures, artwork or even some cool shelving units on the walls. They instantly add more visual appeal and/or handy storage. There are quick, easy ways to hang items on walls and there are a few slightly trickier ways. We’ll start with the easiest and work our way to the hardest.

Option 1: MonkeyHook® EZ Drywall Hanger

Monkey Hooks for wall hangings

Picture provided by Target.com

These handy hooks are inexpensive (about $10 for 30 hooks) and they are super easy to use on drywall. All you have to do is push the hook into the wall where you want it, twisting back and forth while you do, until the hook looks into place, securing it to the wall.

One of the benefits is that you don’t need to mess around with hammers and nails or power drills. The rounded design allows the hook to lock into the drywall. By doing this, the hook can hold more weight than a hammer and nail, because it’s more evenly distributed.

Pretty simple, right? They’re designed to hang items on drywall, but eventually you’re going to hit a wall stud somewhere. You’ll have to avoid these by using a stud finder or choose option two.

Option 2: Hammer and Nail

This option requires more tools and more care with your thumbs. A tip is to tilt the nail upwards so it’s easier to hang items. Directions are pretty self-explanatory. You place the tip of the nail to the wall and tap it with the hammer until it’s in place.

The trouble comes when you smack a thumb (been there done that) or have to remove the nail. This is when walls get torn apart and the MonkeyHooks are a bit better.

Option 3: Power Drill

Now comes the fun part! I’ve watched do-it-yourself shows for years and always wanted to learn how to use the power tools. Well, finally I got my chance.

I got a coat/scarf/hat rack that could hang and the safest way to keep it secure was to screw it into the wall. Normally, this is a task I call on my dad for, but for once I’m going to learn to do this myself.

I was pretty nervous, because my dad and the people on the designer shows always make it look so easy. You see the drill flying in and out of the wall like nothing happened. But hey folks, that’s a pretty powerful tool.

Here’s how I did it:

Setting up the drill:

Creating a hole:

Screw time:

Here’s another good video to watch. He’s not exactly entertaining, but he has some good, extra tips on using an electric drill.

I stumbled a bit when using the drill to put the screw in the wall. Professionals can do that in one fluid motion. But I’m not a professional and that wasn’t too bad for a first time.

Using the drill was actually easier than I thought and a whole lot of fun! Now I’m ready for the big guys. Bring on the table saws and rotary sanders! Okay, maybe not quite yet.

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