Wednesday, December 29, 2010

ahhhhh the headboard....

it's done! the headboard of LIFE (as I lovingly call it, is done!)
I am making it sound like it was some huge thing to wasn't! but it sounds more interesting, non? (that's french, not a typo).
You got a quick lookie here,
and I know that you thought, "hmmmm, what's she going to do with that?"...
Voila :

 and here was more or less the process...(minus a few steps because I forgot to stop and snap a photo...I swear I am getting better at this documenting-each-step-of-way thing, but it is taking me longer than I thought to get used to doing it)

I started with a gorgeous frame...I am pretty sure there had been a mirror in it originally, as there was some left over silicone on the inside edge...Let me just take a moment here to tell you this...because I'll bet some of you are thinking "I really really REALLY want to make a cool headboard like Nadine, but I don't have the time or patience or budget to go looking for a fabulously ornate frame to use!" (I'm like a psychic right?)
Listen up, you do not NEED an ornate frame to make an amazing headboard!
Here are some ideas; use a simple rectangular frame, paint it in a high gloss fabulous color (like black or white or red or tiffany box turquoise-ish robins egg) and choose some great fabric...upholster the inside, as I did and presto, just as beautiful! Hate high gloss? no probs, choose matte, REALLY matte! it's stunning.
And, I see it like this, if the frame is plain-ish, go a little more over the top with the fabric colors/pattern or paint...if the frame is a statement piece in itself, you can go a little simpler in the paint or fabric because the shape is making a statement's sort of like fashion, if you are going to wear statement shoes, you might opt for a simple black dress...if you are going for the statement dress, you might opt for a simpler might also just freaking GO FOR which case I say AMEN, heck, we only live once right?...just make sure to take photos and share please! (Share...don't Scare!)
Another idea is to use a plainer frame and instead of painting it, why not upholster it too?! you can use a different fabric or the same fabric that you will use in the puffy headboard part...(I say use a different fabric...but what do I know?)...again, take photos and please share!
I chose to use the same paint color as my walls, A: because I love it, B: because I had leftover wall paint, C: because I have no budget.
I chose a fabric from...wait now...IKEA!!!!!! you are thinking, "oh NO you dint!!!!"
...yes I did!!!! Listen, I am going to tell you something here, for $6.00 how the heck can I possibly go wrong????...I actually blew the budget a little and bought 3 different fabrics before deciding to use the black and white. I chose a stripe first, because that was really what my original idea was. I even had a magazine photo, which I can't FOR THE LIFE of me find that I had seen and saved from years ago...oh well...something else will turn out stripey...I found it a little juvenile looking.
then I saw this little number and took pause...I wasn't nuts about the white background, however, I liked the drawing feel to it and the hints of pink and just the overall look of it...of course, when I got it home and held it up, (although I still really like it), I started getting all Feng Shui-ey about it and thought, "birdbrain, living in a bird house, up in a tree, tweet tweet, not much to say..." I don't know, I could free associate on this fabric till the cows come home, but I realized, NOPE...don't want birds watching my back, that's kind of for the birds...
and that is how I chose the black and white floral-ish/geyser-ish Wooshy type design...
As a last little Ikea fabric shopping point, may I also just say that many of the fabrics at Ikea have very large scale patterns...this might suck when making a skirt...but it ROCKS when making a headboard! I actually did not even go with the pattern, I chose a piece off the roll that was even in between the repeat and did not center it either...just adds something extra and super cool...dont you think?
From the collage photo above, you can see that this whole process only took a few steps...(minus the trips out to get all the supplies and schlepping La perfect baby with me to do all the schlepping...).
Once the frame has a few coats of paint on it, I place a large piece of gatorboard underneath it and traced the frame shape on it in chalk.
What's gatorboard? It's like plastic currogated cardboard
Why gatorboard? I did NOT want to start with heavy wood and saws and blah blah I decided to go with something light weight, easy to transport, relatively sturdy and most of all cuttable with a box cutter or xacto type blade.
Could you use hard cardboard? YES
Could you use wood or MDF? of course!
Was I being a little lazy? NO! I was being practical...leave me alone and stop judging...jeeeeeeze.
When the shape of the frame was traced onto the gatorboard I cut it out with my xacto to fit into the back of the frame. I will state the obvious here, when you put the board behind the frame you do NOT want it to fall out the front, you (really) want it to stay in the back, as though you have framed the board...
Ok, I then played around for a few hours with the best possible way to use the foam padding I bought. Let me just say, not the cheapest stuff around! I did not go to town and get the super thick stuff, I did not even go to the little town and get the kind of thick stuff...I went to like, the suburbs and bought 2 packages of the thin stuff...(remember my non budget)...turns out, it's great!
What also worked best for my piece was to cut the foam to fit through the FRONT of the frame...when I cut it bigger to really stuff it in and make it super pouffy, it just didn't look again, I cut to to fit the front of the frame perfectly and then figured out where I wanted my fabric/pattern to line up.
When all this was done, I flipped it over (front of the frame facing down on the table), followed by the fabric (pattern facing down on the table), followed by the 2 layers of my thin-ish foam padding, followed by the piece of gatorboard cut to fit into the back. I now had a headboard sandwich...all there was left to do was staple gun the gatorboard onto the backside (lip) of the frame. I shot in a few staples and then really made sure that the fabric was not puckering or doing funky stuff on the front side by flipping in over a few times and checking. I also pulled the fabric to make sure it was smooth before stapling. It worked!
There is a bit of POUF to the board, but not too too much and the fabric is nice and smooth.
I also decided to hang the headboard about 8 inches higher than the mattress top to give it a little more grandeur...(needless to say, I used some good picture mounting slide-in heavy duty brackets to attach the headboard to the wall...hello?????...I mean c'mon right?!...couldn't resist some headboard joke! ;-P)
the headboard of LIFE!
my total costs? about $45
for good petite kid!
comments? would LOVE you to post them right HERE!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

bathroom Avec Art!

amazing how such a small bathroom can get so many to sum this all up...I needed to put some of "me", "my career" into my bathroom as my career area (in Feng Shui) of this loft happens to be situated right in the bathroom...yes, we went through some of the pros and cons of the situation...but I have been thinking and working on what to do here...Here it is:
I played with some of my patterns, drawings and designs and came up with a collage.
I sewed bits and pieces together and created something that I felt really represented my design work.
I have so many interests and I felt that I was able to represent a lot right here in this one piece.
It might even inspire a new little'll have to stay tuned.Below is a shot of the stitching that is throughout the piece and brings together all the different aspects into one large image. What do you think?
I had such a great time making it!

Bathroom (Part 2) kind of done.

So, it's done!
The bathroom is charcoal gray, (very very very matte) and very cavish and fabulous and en-suite-ish, like the Cave de Snooze.
I would show you a photo...but, I want to make some art to go on the wall, since it is my career area, according to Feng Shui and the fabulous Katie. So I feel like I should be a good blogger, documentor of my life and projects and get them totally done before I really present them to you...then again, fuck want to see? here you go! (kind of done)
i had bought this little chrome fixture years ago at a flea market and never used it
...using it now!
Surprisingly, I had another little moment at Home Depot when I needed more paint...nope, wasn't La Cage (as it was his day off), it was Stuart this time. My mother asked me the other day how it is that I know all their names...their aprons have that little spot where they have to write it in...(She actually thought I was really close with all of them?)
So I grab my dark gray paint chip and tell Stuart that I need it in a matte finish...he starts in on me...
"what are you painting?"
me: "my bathroom"
stuart: "oh, well then, I will give you semi gloss..."
me: "I asked you for matte, I am not buying semi gloss"
stuart: "you can't paint your bathroom in matte"
me: "watch me"
stuart: "you won't be able to clean it" (in a more aggressive voice and with some added eye rolling and pacing)..."I will give you eggshell finish"
me: "MATTE"
Helene, his boss shows up... "Stuart, give her what she wants! all the paints are treated for anti mold and she wants what she wants, GIVE IT TO HER".
stuart: big shrug, big eye roll, big sigh...very perturbed.
At this point, for informational purposes only, as I am NOT a diagnostition, Stuart is what I would describe as definitely falling somewhere on the Autism spectrum...a teeny bit Rainman-ish but possibly without the savant part...I think you understand.
I got my paint, he was pissed, to say the least.
me: "well, thank you, and for what it's worth, thanks for your advice..."
stuart: under his breath walking away "yeah, sure, anytime".
phew, made it out of the Depot again...

Friday, December 24, 2010

the soon to be headboard of LIFE!

My friend Lynn, the one who takes all the beautiful photos of Tess, is, well, how can I say this?...a bit of a collector. She recently moved in with her man and is in a bit of a purging phase right now. Being the great friend that I am...check out what I scored, helped her purge!
It's a big old frame with lots of detail and specialness and it is going to make the very best headboard EVER!
Katie told me that I should consider a headboard, that it is like "back up", "support", "got your back-ness" in Feng Shui...I was planning on drawing one on the wall, since the walls are like a giant chalkboard, but I still hadn't decided on what I wanted to draw. Then this beauty showed up!
I plan to paint it (probably the same color as the walls, that tone on tone thing, je Love), then, I would like to slightly pad the inside and upholster it in a fabulous fabric...I am thinking a stripe. I know that I have a photo in one of my magazines that I love (just have to find it!) that was similar to this...they used a striped fabric and it looked amazing...I will keep you posted on this project...I am VERY excited about it!
oh, and before I forget, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Feng Shui-ing my bathroom (Part 1)

So as you likely know, if you have been reading about this whole feng shui-ing process...seems my bathroom is where my career area is down the toilet? well, a little...silver lining? Water is the element for this area and let's face it, there is no shortage of water in my bathroom!
My idea, after creating and totally loving our Cave de Snooze was to continue with the cave-ish, cozy, den-like feel of that area, since the bathroom is right there!
You know, just as an aside here, it's funny, I have never, in all my years of apartments, houses, places I have lived, North America, Europe, city, burbs (UGH YES, don't get me started) have I  EVER painted walls in a dark color...I have always gone for the airy, white, clean look of white! (NOT BEIGE, I did say WHITE! or close to it) but I am loving loving LOVING the charcoal gray of the bedroom might want to give it a try...I am not trying to push you or influence you, but it's only paint right? might be pleasantly surprised!...which leads me right on back to the bathroom...

I had this high drama idea of very very high gloss navy blue...wouldn't it look great? the dark wood doors, the charcoal gray walls the navy blue curtains leading into the...TA DUH....high gloss drama bathroom...
Well, unfortunately the only drama was my kid, insisting on hanging out in the small bathroom with me, while I painted and basically placed herself in between my legs the whole time! (that includes when I was standing on the toilet seat to reach high places or on the edge of the bathtub)...yes, therein lay the drama!...the navy paint? not so much.
Let me also take you back one step...Home Depot.
My local Home Depot has this "fabulous" and I mean "FABULOUS" paint department guy...I call him "Cage aux Folles"(and up until this moment, only to myself) (need I say more? oh really?, ok, if you insist).
He's hilarious and flamboyant, skinny and fierce, black and wonderfully gay and a breath of fresh air in the very orange and big box Home Depot...I love that he's there, that he is oh so comfortable about being himself in a very power toolish kind of place...I love it!
Plus, no matter what I need there, I know that I will get a little wink/comment or maybe a finger snap as I give him my "hey you fierce guy, I get and appreciate you look".
So there I was with my deep dark navy paint color swatch and as I handed it to him he gave me one of those "oh jesUS, what is she up to NOW" looks...I grinned and simply and confidently announced
He raised an eyebrow, gave me a little grin and then said, (a little under his breath)..."oh LOOK, I can see myself in my walls!!!!" then he snickered, ok...Cage Aux Folles, 1 point for you...damn, I hadn't thought about seeing my reflection in my walls, in the bathroom, OY...I was deeply ensconced in the whole drama thing, not the reflection thing.
I explained in my sarcastic and smart ass-ish way (which he APPRECIATES!) that this was pure and utter glamour, it was high drama, something HE should understand, and it is going to look fabulous...I told him that I was going to take some photos and that I could guarantee he would be running home to do the same thing in his bathroom. OK..."well, here's your can of drama darling" he muttered as he handed me the can of paint in his fabulous way...
I got home, cleared out the bathroom and got to work.
Hey, have you ever painted with high gloss?, Woah, kind of a drag (so to speak)...very liquidy!
That combined with putting navy over white?...Meh, not so enjoyable.
One and a half coats later, Tess knocking over the paint TWICE...Tess wanting desperately to be IN BETWEEN my legs the entire time (what's that about?)...I wasn't loving it...I REALLY wasn't loving it..the color I mean!
 (you should know that these photos make the navy look MUCH better than it actually looked!)
And you know what? All I could think of was La Cage! He would ridicule me! Sheeee-it!!!
I slept on it, I looked at it in the evening, in the morning, mid morning...I decided it wasn't horrible, but basically, the state of the walls was not smooth enough or good enough to really pull off high gloss...of course it was after the fact that my very BFF (who also happens to be an interior designer extraordinaire) messaged me that high gloss can look cheap if the walls are not absolutely perfect...great, a little late Kir!
Back to the ridicule of La Cage Aux Folles...
Then I had this genius idea...I still had leftover charcoal gray paint, how about if I went right over the navy with it? I flip flopped a little about painting the bathroom the same color as the bedroom, even though they ARE connected, but I wondered to myself whether it might look like I was just too lazy to pick another color or make another trip to the Depot, you know?
Screw it, I went for it...I kept thinking, "En suite" yeah, which really means nothing in the grand scheme of things, but whatever, "En suite" was my twisted rationale for painting it the same color.
I started, and yes, it looked lovely! (thank god!)
Unfortunately, I quickly ran out of paint...FUCK!
I mustered up my courage and went back to the paint department of my local Depot, after all, I could deal with Cage right? I am a grown woman, his ribbing is fine, he's hilarious actually...I can do this...
IT WAS HIS DAY OFF!!!!! 1 point for ME!
(and let me just say, he will NEVER know about this whole high gloss flop!)
stay tuned for the charcoal En Suite!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

me and INStyle Mag...BFF's Forevs!

This adorable associate market editor from InStyle Magazine came into my booth at this past NY Gift Fair in August. I am always excited to see magazines that I LOVE in the booth, (same goes for stores I LOVE...of course, I love all the stores, but I just don't personally know all the stores, so when one comes in that I really know and is SO exciting...even more so when they buy!) Anywhoo...
There she was, all sweet and nice and not even trying to be incognito, just a friendly nice gal!
She loved our CC boxes and our Be boxes and told me that she was scouting product for the InStyle December issue.
Now, it's not that I am blasé, apathetic or jaded, I AM SO know that famous little sentence - You can't buy this kind of publicity!!! well, I really CAN'T!!!! so having a fabulous market editor from a fabulously favorite magazine like InStyle who wants to feature anything that is remotely connected to BlueDogz Design is A OK with me!!!
However, as with many style editors, one can never be sure that just because they came into your booth and loved your stuff, that alas, it will be featured on their glossy pages.
The next day, her assistant came in and asked for a whole boatload of samples...since we were packing up and closing about an hour later, I said SURE! take them NOW! She did.
Again, not any kind of a guarantee that the product would show up on the pages of the Mag.
After the show, they did what was expected and still totally exciting, they emailed for product info, pricing, inventory status etc, etc..I gave it all to them, gladly!
Yet again, a little while later, another email with more questions...may I also say, just because I really like polite, always polite! (not all mags are!) but...yadda yadda, still with no guarantees that BlueDogz Design products would be featured...hmmmmm
Low and behold, last week, earlier than expected, the phone rang...since it was pretty early, I ignored and stayed right where I was, in La Cave de Snooze. A while later, I got up and saw that my had been the early caller...(insert eye roll and UGH).
I didn't listen to her voicemail message (she tends towards to be a tad long winded...hmmm, now that I just typed that...oh nevermind...:-)) So, I just called her back.."yeah Mom, wassup?...kinda early no?"... "early?" she replied, "you are just lucky that I didn't call at 4am! because that was the exact time I was sitting on the lou (well, she said toilet) reading my new InStyle Mag and there on the glossy pages, WAY at the back (yes, she said WAY, just like that)...were your CC boxes!" and then, she said, they are $11, but if I want to buy them, how much would they be?..."$22 for you" I replied!
And that is how I found out that InStyle and me are BFF's forevs!...and...seems I am like only 1 degree of separation from CARRIE UNDERWOOD! (HA!)

Friday, December 3, 2010

before and after...the sleep cave...aka "La Cave de Snooze"

Coincidentally, before my whole Feng Shui overhaul began...I was really spending an unhealthy amount of time thinking about wall painting...Jenna Lyon's home (yes, her fabulousness, of J Crew-ness) , featured in every fabulous magazine imagineable was etched in my brain and frankly, driving me a little curazy! (specifically her bedroom, since mine was driving me nuts)
Here's a peek at my inspiration: (via )
Interestingly, I learned on that in fact her bedroom is NOT this gorgeous deep charcoal gray, but rather, this:
Black chalkboard, I happen to LOVE black chalkboard paint, but I prefer the charcoal gray version! (plus, if you use matte finish paint, guess what?  you can chalk it up all you want!)
Now, getting back to my you likely know by now, it's a loft (just about 1000 sq feet), it has brick walls on both the east and west walls, windows on the north wall and the only actual wall walls are in the alcove/(slash)bedroom and leads to the small wall that is the front side of the open kitchen.
The alcove, is not anything other than a is the bedroom, and up until now, other than brick walls, the few walls we have were white...I kept feeling like I needed more color here, more warmth, honestly? (and this hopefully won't come back to bite me in the ass but), a little more interior drama!
Here is the before:
let's face it, do we EVER really make an effort in our BEFORE photos...nope!
(laundry basket, baby on bed, stool as bedside table...oy!)
and now...(drum roll please...) here is the AFTER!
...but you didn't think I was going to stop there did you?
heck no...
(notice that my lovely friends chalked a "happy birthday"
message onto my newly painted charcoal walls above the pillows...)

now it's becoming a true Cave de Snooze!

ok, so I didn't just paint...because once I had painted, I thought, hmmm how to go even further????
I had been thinking about separating La Cave de Snooze from the rest of the loft somehow and it all came to me, at once, in a moment of dramatic navy blue Ikea curtained brilliance (if I must say so myself)...
Ta Da! the curtains of LIFE! (as I lovingly refer to them) I am loving them!
(and you can imagine that napping is great for Tess in this plush, dark and cozy Cave de Snooze!)
I also switched out the old circa. 1993 big puffy pillow/santa fe-ish style covers for some simple gray velvet ones (yep, it's all about the velvet this week!) (perhaps my many years in the theatre?...hmmm will delve deeper when I have a minute...)
Anyhoo, gotta say, Snoozing in La Cave has been bliss...(and yes, maybe one day the crib won't be part of La Cave's decor, but for now, sorry Elle Decor, it's my reality!
So, what do you think?
Je L O V E it!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

mi casa es Chi's casa...

Next on the list in my Feng Shui- ing overhaul was my front door...yeah, as you can probably guess, the post-it-note with the door number sharpie-d on was likely NOT going to cut didn't!
Katie and I had a nice chuckle about that one!
yeah, pretty bad!
So, I decided, after searching high and low for the very cute modern plastic 3-d sticky white numbers that most of the other lofts had (and that my loft door did NOT have) and that I could not find anywhere!? and that the owner's couldn't seem to get their hands on either...I would use some clean white sticker numbers in the same place that the other doors on the floor had their numbers stuck...
Ok, so my numbers are not 3 dimensional, or plastic, but they are darn sticky, white, the same size, very
pretty and utilitarian to boot! (ahh door numbers are so useful!).
While I was at it, I tightened all the door screws (which miraculously stopped the horrid squeaking...who knew?!) and gave the whole thing a quick wipe down with a damp cloth and some sweet smelling soap...Listen, this all might sound a little wacky, but I want CHi to make MY Casa Her feel free to flow in with all her gifts and surprises and goodness!
better...(and no more squeaking!)

Shui-status update:
front door- Check
red ribbons- Check
crystals- Check
Old unnecessary stuff OUT- Check
upside down ladies gone- Check
suddenly....Money is starting to flow in....
listen, I am just as surprised as you are!!!