Monday, February 28, 2011

Another Piece Done for the Gallery Wall

I just got the call that my special order fabrics are in!!  While I am incredibly excited for the sewing bonanza to begin, this of course happens when I am being sent out of town for a couple days - ahhhh the agony of waiting.  My poor little orphaned special orders, just sitting in a store room until I can rescue them and take them to their "forever home" (and by forever home, I mean they'll probably last a couple years before I redo the room again) 

Well until the rescue mission, its more art for the gallery wall (which despite my best efforts didn't get finished this weekend) and since I stayed away from the wine it was safe to use an exacto knife which means...drum roll please....Kate Spade ampersand knockoff!

Here's the finished product

So here's how to start - use google image search to find the Herb Lubalin Ampersand, edit it in paint or picasa or whatever your photo editor of choice is until it fits your canvas, and print that puppy out

After you have your printout, cut out clear contact paper to the same size and tape it down on some cardboard over the top of your ampersand - if you use clear contact paper you should be able to see the lines through. 

Trace around the ampersand with your exacto knife, starting in the middle and working your way towards the edges until you have cut out the ampersand

Once you've made your ampersand "sticker" stick it onto your canvas (these are for directions if you want the ampersand to be white, like the color of your canvas, you can also use the other part of the contact paper and make the ampersand the colored portion you paint)

Use a big stencil brush at 90 degrees to your canvas, with a very minimal amount of paint on your brush and move around starting on the outside

Keep moving around until the entire canvas is covered

While the paint is still wet, gently and carefully remove the ampersand "sticker"

Smooth out any edges with a small paintbrush, then hang on the wall!


Its Monday...Back to the Salt Mines

Unfortunately i'm not independently wealthy and I actually have to work for a living...sigh...
But, remember when you would start off the school year with a new box of crayons?  Well, to help coax myself back into the mine, I bought the adult equivalent, the fabulous multicolor pack of Paper Mate Flair felt tip pens!!  

Now only if they smelled like a new box of crayons - someone should really make that a candle scent! 

What do you do to bribe yourself back to work on Monday?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

and the Oscar goes to...Prime Rib!

I could have done Steak Oscar, but that's just a little bit obvious and it has been so dreary outside that a little comfort food is in order, and nothing is as comforting to your Oscar party guests as a big prime rib roast with some roasted red baby potaoes and portobello mushrooms.  So if you're having a crew over, Oscars or otherwise, here is my favorite recipe for making a big batch of food in one giant pan that knocks out your main course and a side in one fell swoop.  Just add a salad, some desert, and a great bottle of wine and you're all set! 

Meg's Prime Rib

Equipment Needed:
- Roasting Pan with Removable rack
- Food Processor (I use a mini - its a small batch)
- Digital Meat Thermometer
- Paring Knife to Cut Mushrooms and Potatoes
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Spatula for Spreading
- Carving Knife
- Large Serving Dish

- Boneless Prime Rib Roast (Anywhere from 4-6 lbs) Trimmed of Fat that is in Excess of 1 Inch
- 2 Packages of Portobello Mushrooms, Sliced about 1/4 in Thick
- 2 lbs of Scrubbed Baby Red Potatoes, Eyes Removed and Quartered
- 8 Sprigs of Rosemary Stripped off the Stem or 1 T Dried Rosemary
- 4 to 6 Cloves of Garlic, Peeled (Adjust to Your Liking, You Can Add or Remove)
- 2T Coarse Kosher Salt
- 1/2 Cup of Olive Oil

Set roast out on the counter a couple hours before you plan on putting it in the oven to let it warm up to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees

While oven is preheating, put the rosemary,garlic, salt and olive oil in the food processor and pulse until the mixture has the consistency of a thin paste.  Spread the paste mixture all over the roast with the spatula, put the thermometer probe into the meat and place it in the rack in the roasting pan.  Pour the remaining paste mixture into a large ziploc bag and add the mushrooms and potatoes, seal the bag, and shake until coated.  Put the potatoes and mushrooms at the bottom of the roasting pan under the roast so that they can absorb all of those delicious drippings.

Place the roasting pan into the 500 degree oven for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes, turn the oven down to 325 degrees.  As a rule of thumb it takes about 17 minutes per pound to get to rare and 22 minutes per pound to get to medium but you will want to rely on your themometer.  I like mine rare so I take it out when the thermometer reads 120 degrees and let it sit tented with foil for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil, place it in the serving dish and surround with the potatoes and mushrooms. 

The roast just placed in the oven - waiting to become delicious

The roast and potatoes after being released from its foil tent

Look at that gorgeous color, Yum!

Well, it's 30 minutes until the Oscars kick off, time to eat this wonderful meal!  I'm guessing from the tight dresses on the red carpet that I may be the only one serving prime rib and potatoes tonight! 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Hello Weekend Projects...

I have such a fun weekend ahead of me - I just can't wait! 

Fabulous online stationery from - I'm so excited that Mr Big Sunglasses got me a subscription to their digital stationery!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Easiest Piece of Artwork You'll Ever Make...

So the plan for this evening was to cut a stencil and paint a knock-off of the Kate Spade ampersand canvas, BUT today was downright crummy and the only solution was a couple of glasses of wine (today's winner was The Show Malbec, $12 at Target) Which means whipping out the exacto knives to cut stencils after a couple (ok, it was 3) glasses of red didn't seem like a great idea, so it was on to safer and easier pastures.  Its a reinterpretation of the shopping bag gallery wall - I have saved all of the little special snippets from Mr Big Sunglasses over the years and this Tiffany box was dying to escape its plastic bin.  If you have $10, 10 minutes, and a special snippet that you need to display - you can make your own version of this piece.  Please forgive the night photos - I will try to be better about getting daylight photos because the colors look so much better without the flash.

Here's the finished product!

Things you will need:
  • Ribba Frame from Ikea or other suitably deep photo frame with mat
  • Coordinating scrapbook paper
  • Adhesive of your choice - I used a combo of double sided tape and glue stick
  • Paper cutter (or scissors if you have steadier hands than I do)
  • Jewelry box lid or other meaningful snippet you want to display

Take the back off of the frame and use the backing as a template to cut your scrapbook paper to fit.  After you cut your paper, center the jewelry box lid on the scrapbook paper and run the glue stick around the edges and also run the double sided tape around the edge as well for double adhesion and stick the lid down

Now that the jewelry box lid is secured to the scrapbook paper run the glue stick around the back of the matting, and center the scrapbook paper inside the mat.

All that is left to do is put the back of the frame back on and enjoy!

The entire project took less than 10 minutes - so don't keep those memories in a box, throw them up on the wall! 


Monday, February 21, 2011

A Gallery of Gallery Walls...

Nothing draws me in more than a gallery wall, there's something beautiful about how the little pieces, when combined, are so much more when they are put together.  I think my snarky teenaged side gets excited about gallery walls because my Mom never let me hang posters in my room because nail holes in the walls were her mortal enemy.

Since I'm waiting for the rest of my fabric to arrive, I'm starting on the artwork first, so I started digging through my style files and here are my absolute favorite gallery walls

I love the idea of saving shopping bags and beautiful packaging from your favorite gifts and trips and framing them as a reminder of all of those wonderful memories

Image from Australian Better Homes & Gardens

I not only love the mixture of frames with the round mirror and silhouette, but placing it on the striped wall is just beautiful! 

Image from Domino Magazine

No other store does the gallery wall better than Kate Spade - the last Kate Spade store I was in had the cutest story up on the wall with the occasional prop glued where the words are (Why I didn't think of pulling out my camera and snapping a pic is beyond me - ARGHH) I am particularly drawn to the ampersand, I want to kick the mannequins out and make that store my house!

Image of Kate Spade Boutique from Lonny Magazine

I love this gallery wall - its a mix of typography and wonderful graphic elements and it is perfectly symmetrical
Image from West Elm

This gallery wall is from Anna Spiro who is an interior designer who authors the wonderfully inpiring blog, Absolutely Beautiful Things, if you haven't been to her blog, visit it now - you won't be disappointed

Image from Absolutely Beautiful Things

The image below isn't a "gallery wall" per se, but I love how Lilly Pulitzer groups multiple like items to make a gorgeous display, I am particularly fond of the paintbrushes - with the cheapies from Ikea, you could fill a wall with paintbrushes for less than $50
Image of Lilly Pulitzer Boutique from Lonny Magazine

hmmm...wonder what Mr Big Sunglasses would say if he came home to an entry hall with 100+ paintbrushes hanging on the wall? 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lets talk wearable neutrals...

So now that its spring and everyone will be painting their nails every shade of coral, red, and hot pink - I'm just getting around to test drive all of the new neutral shades. I work in a pretty conservative office environment and I can't walk in with the blacks, blues, greens or other beautiful colors on my pinkies. So it was off to Target where I found the four beauties below - both budget friendly, gorgeously wearable, and available everywhere. From left to right, For a khaki gray try Sally Hansen Salon Manicure - Commander in Chic - $5 at Target
For almost the exact same color as the Sally Hansen, but $3 more try Essie - Merino Cool - $8 at Target
For a lighter warm gray try Essie - Chinchilly - $8 at Target
For a more brownish gray try Essie - Mink Muffs - $8 at Target

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

I need one too!

It seems that every decorating show has done a segment on man caves or mom caves lately - I may not be a man or a mom (I hope not anyway!) but I am standing up for all of us non-man, non-moms that we can have caves too! Here's my makeover victim!

Now i'm off to assemble some shelving...

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What a difference a day makes...

Yesterday I was packing swimsuits and dreaming of 90 degree weather and beachy goodness, then I got the dreaded call, my fabulous trip to Australia is cancelled.  To say i'm disappointed would be an understatement, but such is the unglamourous life of the wife of an IT consultant.  Its like being married to a spy, but without the weapons cache.  So, sadly there will be no live blogging from Australia next week, but in good news, a very sorry hubby has promised a better vacation and that I can plan whatever I want and that I should plan a shopping trip with the girls to go buy a little happy since it looks like he'll be on the road for a little while, so now the hunt is ON!

a picture from my last vacation - Puerto Morelos Mexico
every good vacation has at least some sand in your suitcase when you get home

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Truer words have never been spoken...

When I read this, I had to take a pic - I want this stitched on a pillow!

When I get stressed, and things get out of control - my first instinct is to make a list, it brings calm to the chaos.

To-Do List Tuesday

This week's to-do list is a LOT more fun than usual because I am packing up my big ole sunglasses and heading to Australia on Saturday!  Sundresses...Check!  Swimsuit...Check!  Enormous Floppy Hat...Check!  All that is left is a little bit of tidying up at home and a few errands and then its time to fly!  Stay tuned because I will be blogging the sights from down under...G'day Mates!

Gorgeous To-do list Stationery from the iPad app Post that is produced by GADABOUT

Monday, February 14, 2011

Magazine Monday - Valentine's Day Edition

Happy Valentine's Day!!  Since Mr Big Sunglasses is in Kentucky for work tonight...

Will you be my Valentine?  Aww...You know you want to be my Valentine! 

I couldn't think of a more fitting magazine to review than House Beautiful's Spring Color Issue dedicated to PINK!  After a couple of shaky months (you know you let us all down with the Before & After issue without the Before & Afters)  this issue didn't disappoint, tons of gorgeous pink images.  My favorite room is the one on the cover, I want to live there!

 The second room that I loved was this beautifully serene Master Suite in the Bee Cottage article.  I am lusting after that beautiful pillow - I need one!

 And this beautiful tablescape from the gorgeous and fabulous Dylan Lauren - this would be perfect for everything from a baby shower to a birthday party.

And in trendspotting news , cherries are the new black!  Both Diane Von Furstenberg Home and Kate Spade New York featured cherries front and center in their ads.  I'm going to have to give the edge to Kate Spade, because I need those bracelets...

So go pick yourself up a copy of House Beautiful - run yourself a bubble bath and flip through the completely covetable pink rooms and objects they have featured! 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I went for the meat balls...

Ikea has this weird effect on me, part flea market, part clearance sale, with a dash of crazy because I only go about once a year since the closest one is 3 hours away.  After 3 hours and Mr BigSunglasses last nerve, I walked away with a ton of new frames for a gallery wall, some pretty vases and candle sticks for my girl cave redo, some lanterns, pillows, throws, and all kinds of other good stuff.  I'm so excited to start working on my Expedit bookshelf hack. 

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Hello Sunshine!

Ok JCrew, even though I had sworn off color and have been sticking to the blacks and grays in silent protest against the never ending winter, you made me break down - How can you not come home with rain slicker yellow jelly ballet flats? I hope that buying yellow jelly flats has the same effect as the Groundhog not seeing his shadow - Come on Spring!

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