Getting in the Holi-DIY Spirit

Christmas is around the corner and we couldn’t wait to get our decorations up this year. It’s always been the tradition in my family to throw the Christmas tree and the rest of the decorations up the day after Thanksgiving – ours were up the week before Thanksgiving this year (laughs out loud).

I wanted to do a smidge more this year with the decor without doing too much and decided to check out Michaels for inspiration. “Stairs, lights, this, and that.” I had an idea of what I wanted to accomplish in our space that I love so much, but it would be easy to go overboard if I didn’t control myself.

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Garland and lights were on my mind prior to walking through those doors, so I went straight to the faux-pine section of the store. Naturally, there were way too many choices. I spent quite a bit of time pulling the long strands of garland down to check out the various detail that had been added. In the end settled for four strands – running $8.99 per strand – and left the store with twenty-four feet of christmas garland and lights.

Did you notice how I said I settled? I knew I was going to check out Target’s holiday selection before I reached my car. The Target near our place is usually hit or miss when it comes to any item you may  need. I had to chance it because the garland in the craft store bags weren’t going to help me achieve the look I was going for in our living space. Sure, I can drape my ass off, but I didn’t want that.

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I was pleasantly surprised to find that Target had bundles of garland on sale – $10 for fifty feet! I placed two bundles in my cart and knew right then the garland from Michaels would not be leaving the glitter-sprayed bags in which they rested.

The garland from Target was plain and did not have any of the extra bells and whistles – fake snow, acorns, berries, etc – but I own a hot glue gun! Any extra pizazz I could surely add. My original thought was to wrap the garland and lights on the banisters so this ended up working out for the better.

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In the end I spent about $30 on Christmas decor this year. Last year I raided the dollar stores and Walmart and put my glue gun to work. I preserved those projects and will continue to use them in the years to come. Our tree is from one of S’s first apartments out of college and it works and looks just fine. Our stockings are from the dollar store and look just as  joyous above our fireplace as the over-priced products that fill most store shelves today.

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The point is to work with what you’ve got and don’t be afraid to get creative. I have this ritual before I decorate a space. I scan the internet for ideas, walk every square inch of the space I wish to transform, and hit the stores for supplies to recreate the looks I stumble upon for about 60% less of what you’d end up spending on more expensive decorations.

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So what do you think?! I think I’ll go ahead and wrap up this post so I can get back to Christmas shopping online and this zinfandel.

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The Budget Queens Strike Again

So I went to Michael’s to get a couple posters framed over the weekend. The customer service rep at the counter was extremely nice, but there was no way I was paying $110, each, to get both of our Radiohead posters framed.

S and I plan on painting our loft a gray that is slightly lighter than the seal-toned color we had in our first apartment. I have a tendency to lean towards dark colors. Knowing this and the fact that our office/music/yoga space would be painted gray with pops of color throughout the space, getting white frames for these posters was my only goal at the popular craft store.

After learning the price to frame just one of the posters, and confirming the second would be the same or more because it was an odd size, I asked “…so where can I find your standard stock frames and white chalk paint?”

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Praise be to my mother, for blessing me with creativity and the gift of decor, and for a good sale on craft supplies. I was able to get two frames for $30 a piece and scored an additional 40% off one of those and my paint. I got out of the store for just over sixty bucks; NOT two-hundred and twenty plus. Go me.

S has always been a huge Radiohead fan. I had no idea who they were until they released In Rainbows – making a huge statement across the music industry, instructing fans to buy the album directly from their website for however much they wanted – no label involvement. I paid five euros and I can’t get enough of opening track, 15 Step.

We knew how we’d decorate the loft area in our condo from the moment we saw the space in person. “This space needs to be productive and filled with music” I thought now a little over three years ago. Keep this picture in mind as I describe how the loft space will look – things are rearranged in the living room now, but keep the color scheme in mind:

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The space will be gray-walled and trimmed in white. With a funky floral chair, resting on a spicy red rug, bookshelves (filled to capacity) and music art will surround what will be the funkiest corner of a library you’ve ever seen in a person’s home.

Our condo is open and the loft area is exposed, so picture the colors we have going on downstairs, suddenly shifting from chic, shady tones, to a color-punched and bold workspace. I do yoga in this space, S works in this space, and we hangout with friends, the most, in this space. Wait… I’m writing in this space.

The gray walls, paired with bright art and white trim, will make every piece stand out. Eventually I’ll have my trumpet hanging above one of the windows – serving as art and a reminder that I should pull it down and practice more – and my guitar and bass guitar on stands in the corner by the bookshelves.

Our Pinterest Palace is well on its way, I’d say, and finally having these posters framed will kick off the upstairs transformation.