Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Before & After : Fresh New Study

When we moved into our home, almost every wall was painted builder's beige. That is SO not me! I think color adds so much to any home, regardless of style, and best of all, paint is cheap! I've been struggling with my study for a while now. In addition to the beige wall paint, the built-in cabinetry was brown wood. My chairs were also brown. Just a blah, brown room altogether.

So, I decided that a room makeover was in order! First order of business was brightening up the room. I painted the cabinetry a nice off-white (an oil-based paint for good coverage), and the walls Wedgewood Grey by Benjamin Moore. As you can see, it took several attempts to find the right blue:

My best tip when it comes to paint color is to simply buy lots of little samples and paint straight onto the wall! The lighting in the paint store is not your lighting. Therefore, be brave, and paint little sample boxes directly on your wall. And then, most importantly, live with it for a few days! It's amazing how some colors really change with the time of day, or just grow on you after a while.

Now here's the most dramatic change -- the white cabinetry:

I wish I had a before photo of these cabinets before they were painted. The transformation is amazing! I absolutely adore it being white -- it adds a fresh, beachy feel to the room!

I love the soothing color of the room. However, my traditional brown chairs looked out of place in my new, more casual home. Thus, the room sat empty for several months with just the two chairs and our piano. A very uninspired space, if I do say so myself.

Then, a few weeks ago, with the impending start of the school year, inspiration hit! I decided we really must have a usable space! This room was sitting empty, yet would be the perfect "command central" for school work, office work, and home organization. So without spending much money at all, I transformed the study in one weekend. I visited World Market, Home Goods and TJ Maxx, with my boys complaining every step of the way. My husband and I started going through our attic, and moved things all around. (Keep in mind that the piano has to stay -- my son loves it!) We moved in an Ikea desk that had been upstairs unused, and moved out the brown armchairs that have seen better days. We brought in these fun new chevron side chairs and the room came to life! We are thoroughly enjoying this fun -- and functional -- space! Now I just need a rug... :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

So How Do I Print All These Cool Instagram Photos...?

Ever since I got my iPhone, I've been in love with Instagram! I love the way you can edit your photos and give them that "old school" feel, or take a very current photo and add that hipster edge! I have about 80-90 Instagram photos on my phone and every now and then I'd ask myself, "So how do I print all these cool photos?" I'd think about it a while, remember how I don't do well at resizing things on my editing software, then get tired of pondering this mystery..., and start taking more pictures!

A few weeks ago I was looking at my photos from our recent NYC trip and realized how much I really needed those Instagram photos from the trip. I sat down and googled "How to Print Instagram Photos." There were lots of DIY tutorials that involved resizing, home printing, etc. That's so not me! (For those of you who do this, I applaud you!) Finally, I came across Prinstagram (http://printstagr.am/) and I was hooked! You log in with your Instagram account, and the rest is easy-peasy! They offer square prints in multiple sizes, little Instagram photo books, and even little stickers of your photos! (A scrapbooker's delight!) I instantly ordered all the prints I had been needing, and then some.

My package arrived this week from Prinstagram, and I couldn't be more pleased! The cardstock is a very nice weight and the photos are definitely art quality. I love them! (They even arrived in a cute, very sturdy mailer!) Here some of my photos:

Also, last but definitely not least, my other find of the week! The photo below shows my NYC Instagram photos enclosed in one of the brand new Becky Higgins Project Life page protector designed specifically for Instagram photos (beckyhiggins.com) - Genius! It's the perfect addition to your standard 12 x 12 layout, and is pre-punched for a 3-ring album. Love it!

I hope this has inspired you to take that first step and print out your Instagram photos!

Friday, August 3, 2012

NYC Simple Stories Album: Progress is Being Made!

My NYC vacation album is coming along! I'm really enjoying working with these little mini canvas size openings in the Simple Stories album. Lots of little pockets to fit memorabilia in, yet the versatility of having traditional pages as well! I've really had fun using washi tape and especially the fabric strips from Studio Calico. (I discovered you can easily stamp on the fabric strips! See the "Bon Voyage" close up below.)

As promised earlier, here are some layouts from my album:
More layouts will follow. I've been so busy trying to enjoy these fleeting days of summer with my kids that it's hard to find time to work on my album. However, that's what's really important, right? So, remember to enjoy the journey and know that there will be plenty of time to scrapbook it all later! :)