Chevron Accent Wall

Last night I was beyond hyper and spontaneously decided to tackle my faux backsplash/accent wall in my laundry room. I think my spontaneity was key in the project, otherwise I would have over thought everything from the design to the colors.

I have seen so many designs online lately for accent walls: quatrefoil, shell, stripes, chevron… you name it, it’s been done. In my cracked out state, I went with a segmented chevron pattern and I LOVE IT. Also, it was way easy. Way.

I was too into groovin’ to my sweet tunes last night to take a ton of photos (imagine a quality mix of Bohemian rhapsody, Baby got back and Beloved)  but here’s the gist of what I did: I wanted the wall color to show through my pattern so it tied the accent wall into the rest of the space, so using 1″ tape I taped vertical stripes on my wall with no intention of filling them in. I spaced my lines out using a small level as my measurement. Honestly, I did this to avoid doing math. It’s about 9″ wide and was a perfect spacer. It also doubled as a level — go figure. I made sure my lines were pretty darn straight. They weren’t perfect, but they were mostly straight.

Then, I started to create my chevron pattern. I grabbed a pen and started marking my tape where other pieces of tape needed to intersect. Again, I used my level as a spacer. I placed it at the top of my cabinet and marked at the bottom, continuing until it wouldn’t fit anymore. I did this for all of the tape, then connected the dots.

Here’s a fun tip — if and when you run out of your painter’s tape, and if you just so happen to have masking tape or washi tape in the same width, you can use it as a substitute for painter’s tape. Yes, this happened. I was sad to paint over my mint tape, but didn’t want to lost my awesome energy and stamina with the project so I made the sacrifice.

{A Smith of All Trades} Chevron wall taped up

With my pattern taped and ready to paint, I started to apply my paint colors: metallic gold (Thanks, Martha!) and ivory/manilla. I originally was going to do something with bolder pops of color, but went for the metallic paint as my bold choice. I also was going to add a third color, but my pattern only took up so much room and the third color probably wouldn’t have added anything to it.

{A Smith of All Trades} Chevron wall taped up and painted

I painted two coats of each color onto the stripes before removing all of the tape.

*Drumroll*

{A Smith of All Trades} Chevron wall

Love love love love love love love. Love. Had I thought this project out more, I probably would have gone with a mint or teal chevron stripe, but I am so glad I didn’t. I think the gold tones play off the countertop wonderfully, and make the gray cabinets pop even more.

I started this project after dinner at 5:30(ish) and was cleaning up at 7:30 p.m. — not to bad for the fabulous result!

BEFORE:

{A Smith of All Trades} Laundry Room

AFTER:{A Smith of All Trades} Chevron wall again

No-Sew Tablecloth

No-Sew Tablecloth

We needed a new tablecloth in the Smith household BIG TIME. I only have one tablecloth that I like, and therefore only one that I use. So I am always always always washing the darn thing. But I love it! Too bad no one sells any cute tablecloths anymore. Target let me down. Amazon let me down. WalMart let me down. Everything else is either way expensive (and still ugly) or some plain color (boring).

So my neighbor and I went fabric shopping and we found an awesome fabric that picks up the blues I love and the green in the kitchen. Perfecto!

No-Sew Tablecloth hem tape

We also found some SUPER hem tape that is able to be washed — totally necessary for a tablecloth.

Here are your directions to make your own tablecloth. Buy fabric. Buy hem tape. Iron a hem. Iron in hem tape. DONE!

Make sure you are hemming the nice part of the fabric onto the underneath of the fabric.

No-Sew Tablecloth iron

For real, it is that easy, although it does take about an hour. I got two yards of fabric that was 54″ wide — I didn’t trim any off for my rectangular tablecloth. Then, I started ironing a hem onto one edge. Don’t hate me for being the world’s best eyeballer, but I didn’t measure a single thing. I simply eyeballed all the way down the edge. It is freakishly straight.

No-Sew Tablecloth corner

The only tricky part about the tablecloth is the corner. Well, really all four of them. When you get to a corner, fold one edge over the other and cut at an angle. Put your hem tape and iron. Let it cool, then add more (if there are un-hemmed spots) and iron again.

Once your edges are all hemmed, iron the whole cloth and throw it onto your table!

No-Sew Tablecloth 1

Isn’t this fabric great?! I love how it pulls in the color of my kitchen.

No-Sew Tablecloth 2
Well, I bought four rolls of hem tape and only used one…. guess who is totally making another tablecloth…. if I can actually find another fabric I like. I am sooooo picky.

Have a great weekend!!!

Ravens Win the SUPER BOWL! … and another set of earrings, too.

What a SUPER weekend (pun intended)!

If you follow my blog, you know my husband and I are really big Ravens fans. Now we are Super Bowl champs!!! So exciting. We spent all weekend getting ready to host  a few friends and mentally preparing for what was an awesome game. We are even going to the Super Bowl homecoming parade tomorrow in Baltimore!!!!

Even Remmy had a great time during the game. He scored lots of delicious treats and got to pretend he was a person, which is pretty much his favorite pastime.

Remmy Ravens Jersey

While not in football mode, we also helped my mother-in-law paint her textured ceiling in a room she is redoing. The ceiling was dingy from years of fireplace soot hitting it, and now it is bright and white as snow. I much preferred painting her ceiling than ours — the texture really hides any imperfections.

Textured Ceiling

OK, let’s talk about this room. 1. The ceiling is beautifully white, right? And isn’t the texture awesome?! I really like this kind of ceiling versus the popcorn ceilings. I’m not a fan of those. 2. Look at that fireplace. It is gorgeous. And, my MIL just had a gas fireplace retrofit into her existing fireplace that is absolutely stunning. I have fireplace envy. I wish we could flip ours on with a switch, especially since our family room is so darn chilly.

We’re going to help paint the walls soon, too. This room is going to be so pretty when it is finished! BTW — it used to be covered in dark paneling! You’d never know.

To round out this completely all-over-the-place post, I wanted to update you on the earrings post I did on Friday. I am totally ecstatic about making my own stud earrings now — I should have made them forever ago!

Anyway, I wanted to show you all another fun way to make these button stud earrings. As I was making a bunch of new pairs this weekend, I found that you can take  buttons with the attachment on the back (I swear I used to know the name of these) and use it with a button with holes to make a combo button earring.

Find two sets of buttons you’d like to combine…

Button earrings

… then cut the loop off the back of the button that will go on top.

Button earrings

Put some E6000 onto the button on top, then line up the two prongs of the top button with the holes in the lower button. Then, press them together and let the glue harden.

Button earrings

Attach a stud with the same glue and let it dry overnight.

Button earrings

OHMYGOSH Are these cute or what!? I made them for my friend Amy. Love love love them.

Button earrings

I also made a set of sister earrings :) Mine are on the left, Em’s are in the middle, and Allie’s are on the right. So cute!

Button earrings

I’ll post pictures from the parade tomorrow!!!!

Museum Admission Earrings

Museum Earrings Cover

On our trip to Philly this weekend my little sister took us to the Philadelphia Museum of Art where we got the coolest admission tags ever. OK, I’m not a huge museum goer, so maybe all museums give this cool little things out. Either way, I thought they were super neat. Depending on the day you go to the museum, you get a different colored tag to fold over your collar. Basically, it let’s the guards know you paid to get in and are allowed to be there. Some obnoxious, snobby people like to give the guards a hard time about wearing these on their collars, but I thought they were freakin’ awesome. Pretty much as soon as we got them I called dibs on them for crafting.

Museum tags

After we got home last night, I dug these bad boys out of my purse and quickly made an awesome pair of souvenir earrings.

First thing I needed to do was to cut off the tabs. The tin was thin, so I snipped the tabs off with scissors.

Museum earrings cut

Next, I pierced a hole in the top using a rubber mallet and a nail.

Museum Earrings hole

I flattened the sharp edges with some flat jewelry pliers, then added a jump ring and ear hooks to complete my set of souvenir earrings.

How easy was that?!

Museum Earrings

Adorable, yes? I love that when I wear them I’ll be able to remember our fun trip to Philly with Em.

Love statue

Me and Em

My older sister just moved to Chicago, so I guess that is next on our list :)

Love Birds

Red love bird

I love birds and I love Valentine’s Day, so naturally I would do a bird-themed craft project for the Feb. 14 holiday. While Valentine’s Day is still a month away (a month to the day today!), I wanted to get started early on the few projects I have planned so the decorations can be out an about for a bit. I only have one Valentine’s Day decoration — a cute wreath my step mom made me — so I need just a few more things around the house.

As I sat down to watch the football game last night, I got out my sewing kit and a few pieces of felt. To start on my love birds, I cut out two pieces to make the body.

Love bird project

Then, I starting stitching around the outside of the body.

Love bird project2

I doubled up the thread so it would show more on the stitching.

Love bird project3

I kept stitching all the way around the body until there was a small slit open by the tail. I stuffed the body using some leftover batting.

Love bird project4

Love bird project5

Once it was all stuffed, I sewed the remainder of the body closed.

Love bird project6

Time to add the rest of the pieces! I cut out a beak, wing and feet, and sewed each piece to the bird.

Love bird project7For the wing, I used a heart!!!

Love bird project8

Lastly, I added an eye using thread.

The red bird is for my hubby. Then I made a white one for me! For the second bird, I sewed all of the extra pieces on first. … the beak, the wing, the feet and the eye. That was a lot easier.

Love birds

We have the cutest love birds. <3

All in all, it took me less than two hours to make these two love birds. Now they are sitting on our mantel — the first of the Valentine’s decor for our house.

Love bird project Mantel

L.O.V.E.

Door decorating contest

We are doing a door decorating contest at work and I think I am finally finished with my creation (maybe… I keep saying that and adding more). Judging is tomorrow and the winners are revealed at our holiday party on Friday! Woo!

What do you think? It’s all made out of construction paper (thanks, Alissa!) and folded, cut, strung, etc., to make the pretty tree and holiday garland.

Too fun!

Do you have any fun traditions at your work?

Christmas tree

Thank to Alyssa at Clever Nest for the star-folding tutorial (I made all of the mini stars this way).

And here’s my hubby’s and his officemate Jill’s door. So festive and hilarious. Love it.

IMG_9478

Spicy Taco Soup

What I’m about to share with you is possibly one of the yummiest recipes of all time. That’s right, folks… it’s Spicy Taco Soup time.

I discovered this recipe years ago online and have since altered it to perfection. It is a staple in our house during the colder months and a staple at my mom’s house at Christmas time. It’s also way easy to make and not terribly bad for you. #Winning!

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs Ground beef/chicken/turkey: Use whichever meat you’d like and however much meat you like. I usually use 1.5 lbs because I like my soup to have a lot of meat in it.
  • 32 oz. Beef stock/chicken stock: Depending on whether you choose to make your soup with ground beef or ground bird, grab the corresponding broth to go with it. Also, I liked to get low sodium broth. It doesn’t affect the taste and it is way better for you.
  • 2 cans of petite diced tomatoes: Feel free to use petite diced tomatoes with green chillies or onions in it. Tomatoes must be petite!
  • 1 can of pinto/black beans: I use black beans in my soup and only one can. The original recipe I found online called for two cans of pinto and two cans of black beans. That was way too much for us. Grab low sodium beans if you can.
  • 1 can of sweet yellow corn
  • 1 cup chopped onion: Frozen or fresh works. You can add more if you’d like.
  • 1 cup chopped green/red/yellow peppers: Frozen or fresh works, and any color works! You can add more if you’d like.
  • 2 tbsp Red Pepper flakes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • HOT SAUCE!!!: Add as much as you can handle :)

Directions:

In a frying pan, cook up the meat of your choice with the onions. Drain the grease.

In a large soup pot on medium to high heat, combine tomatoes (do not drain), corn (drain & rinse), beans (drain & rinse), peppers, red pepper flakes, and meat. Add in your broth (Note: I add a whole “box” of broth, but you can add however much you’d like. It will change the consistency of the soup. So, if you like chunky soup, don’t add too much. If you like a soupier soup, add all of it.)

Add hot sauce to taste.

Heat until hot! Serve with shredded cheese and sour cream on top — maybe even a few crushed up tortilla chips! Enjoy!

The best part about this soup is it is easily customizable without totally altering the taste. If you want more meat, add more. If you want less broth, add less. If you love green peppers but hate corn, the recipe will still turn out. I made it last night with three cans of petite tomatoes (total rebel, right?) and no green pepper (I forgot to buy them… oops!), and it was still delicious.

What are your favorite soup recipes? I also make a mean rustic tomato soup. Yummo. No soup beats my parents’ homemade chicken noodle, but Spicy Taco Soup is definitely my next favorite.

“Beautiful” printable

Because… well, just because.

Print it out, hang it up and, most importantly, smile.

Fonts: MTF I Heart Sketches, Clementine Sketch, Sketch Block

 

Low-sew pillows

I’ve seen a lot of post lately on no-sew pillows that look really cute. I needed a pillow or two for my painted yellow chairs, so I decided to try my own version of the no-sew pillow. I’m calling it a low-sew pillow because I hand-stitched them a little so they’d be more permanent. I used the same ideas though, and stayed far away from my sewing machine!

Low-Sew Pillow No. 1

Years ago I made a bunch of pillow to match my Paris-themed bedroom at my dad’s house. My step mom made me cute pillows and a matching bed skirt, too. On the way home yesterday, I stopped by and grabbed the old pillows to give them a new look so they’d match our yellow chairs perfectly. The first pillow I tackled was this long, cylindrical pillow.

First, I ironed out all of the creases in the fabric and laid the pillow on top. I cut off the excess fabric, leaving enough to wrap around the pillow and then bunch at the edges.

Once I had the fabric cut down to size, I ironed flat the ragged edge that would be exposed on the pillow.

With the edge ironed flat, I pulled the remaining raw edge up over the pillow and stitched a few stitches directly into the pillow to hold it in place.

Then, I folded the nicely ironed side up and over the pillow and did a stitch all the way down the seam. Since I have no plans of this pillow sitting anywhere but on my yellow chairs and I don’t anticipate the chairs themselves getting too much use, I was fine doing a raw stich on the underside of the pillow. If I were to make this pillow for my couch and it was to be tossed around all of the time, I would have stitched this part on a machine so it looked cleaner. Like I said, I am going for a low-sew pillow, so this worked just fine for me. I also really like seeing stitches in some things. I think they look neat.

With the pillow covered lengthwise, it was time to finish the edges. I flipped the pillow vertically so the white pillow underneath the fabric was showing. I placed a stitch in the center of the top of the pillow then started folding the fabric down onto the needle. This gave the pillow a bunched look at both ends. When the fabric had all been bunched, I folded down the top of the last flap of fabric so no raw edges were exposed. I then did a quick stitch to keep that part down. I did this for both ends of the pillow.

Now comes the fun part. I wanted to add an accent to my pillow, so I created a teal flower out of fabric. To do this, I cut eight circles out of my teal fabric and folded each circle into eighths.

Once all of the circles were folded, I stitched them together joining each folded circle at the pointy base. Once all eight were threaded together, I looped back around and put one last stitch into the first circle. That left me with a ring of fabric petals. I started to stitch that onto my pillow, spreading out each petal to give the flower dimension. Once I was happy with how that looked, I sewed a navy button onto the center of my flower. With that, my pillow was complete!

 

So cute, right? I was excited to pop it onto the yellow chair to see how it looked.

Cute, but something was definitely missing. With that, I started on my second low-sew pillow.

Low-Sew Pillow No. 2

For my second pillow, I picked a gray polka-dotted fabric. I also decided to go with a square pillow. I ripped off the cover of an old pillow and got to work.

I did a similar technique as I did with the first pillow, folding the raw fabric up to the center of the pillow and stitching the fabric to the pillow.

Once that was tacked into place, I folded one of the remaining tides and tacked onto the pillow as well.

Looks really nice, huh? For the final flap, I folded all of the raw edges under before folding the flap onto the pillow. I then did a stitch around all of the exposed seams. Once the pillow was all low-sewn into place, I added a big ol’ yellow flower to the top corner using the same technique as on the first pillow.

LOVE IT! Back to the chair!

Adorable, right? I like it so much better with two pillows!

Two pillows down, two to go.

Low-Sew Pillow No. 3

This was the last pillow I made last night — I got all tuckered out after three of them. This one is way different!

I started with a small rectangular pillow.

Like the other pillows, I folded up the long sides and stitched them together.

Now comes the fun part! With the excess fabric, I took up each end of the fabric and tied it into a knot in the center of the pillow.

If the fabric I was using didn’t fray, I could have simply cut off the white edges and went on my merry way. But I chose a fabric that would fray if I left it cut, so I trimmed off the white edges and tucked one half of the bow underneath the left side of the pillow, and the other part of the bow under the right side of the pillow. Then, I tacked down the corners underneath so the stitches were hidden and the edges od the bow wouldn’t pop back out accidentally.

Super cute! But it was missing an accent color. No flower for this pillow — I sewed a yellow buttons on top of the polka dots. Then I decided that was ugly, so I removed all but one little accent button. So cute.

Low-Sew pillow No. 3, complete!

I love my yellow chairs even more with the accent pillows — the pillows do a nice job of toning down the crazy yellow of the chairs.

I also think I’m going to move them chairs upstairs into our gray living room. They look nicer against the gray than they do against the greenish-blue.

Thanks for stopping by!