Cacti… the only plants I can keep alive

So… I’ve killed A LOT of succulents.  I have over watered, under watered, and planted them in containers with poor drainage systems.  Every time I killed off a succulent, I learned something new about what I should have done.  The last time I planted them, I really thought I finally got it right.  But they died.  I am now a firm believer in fake succulents.  Some fake succulents look very… well, FAKE.  But I’ve found a few great little fakes that look very real.  They always look amazing and healthy and are completely mess free.

I didn’t want to give up completely on growing things, so I turned to cacti.  I really love the southwest feel of cacti.  I’m so over real succulents… It’s all about the cacti for me now.  I purchased some great little cacti at Home Depot,  they have a pretty good cacti selection.  I planted them in the same glass containers that I purchased about two years ago from Target. The same containers all my succulents died in.   I placed small rocks in the bottom for good drainage (purchased at Home Depot).  My cacti are thriving!!  So if you struggle keeping succulents looking healthy and attractive, or simply struggle keeping them alive (like me), try planting a cactus.  You will love it!

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DIY Throw Pillows with Nate Berkus Fabric

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Ask anyone and they will tell you I’m a little throw pillow crazy.  I firmly believe throw pillows are necessary in every room with couches, armchairs, and/or beds in order to complete the room.  One of my favorite places to buy throw pillows is Target because they are reasonably priced and hello THRESHOLD.  Need I say more??  I seem to tire of my throw pillows fairly often, but it can be expensive to buy new ones all the time.  The moment I saw Nate Berkus’s fabric line at JoAnn Craft I knew it was meant to be.  I made one throw pillow in the Linea fabric about a year ago for my couch and loved it.  Recently I decided to sew two more for my accent chairs in the Rivington fabric.
 Sometimes sewing new throw pillows can cost more than just buying them, so make sure to utilize coupon discounts, etc.  I purchased this 18X18 inch pillow form at Hobby Lobby.  Full price is $9.99, which is pretty cheap compared to other craft stores I’ve checked.  But of course I used the online Hobby Lobby coupon for 40% off- making it REALLY CHEAP.  The Nate Berkus fabric was already on sale for 40% off at JoAnn’s.
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Supplies Needed:
1. pillow form
2. fabric
3. thread
4. Sewing machine
5. cutting mat and rotary roller OR dress maker scissors (the cutting mat and roller just the make the job easier)
6. iron for pressing fabric
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How To:
I sew all of my throw pillows using a simple envelope design that my mom taught me from way back.  It’s easy and I love how I can remove the cover and re-use the pillow form if I get tired of the print.  First, lie the pillow form on the fabric to measure.  I honestly just eye it and then cut with my rotary roller.  I don’t measure anything exactly when I sew pillow covers.
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 I’ve learned over the years of sewing pillow covers that the fabric needed for the pillow is always less than you would think.  You want the pillow to be snug inside the cover.  Cut the front piece of the pillow cover close to the size of the pillow.  But when cutting the back, make sure to get the width the same, but the length about 1 1/2 longer in order for the pillow to completely hide inside the envelope cover when inserted.  The last thing you want is a big gap on the back exposing the pillow form!

 

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Next, double fold the inner seams of the envelope part and press into place.  I folded in about half an inch.  Then sew a topstitch across this edge.
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Once the topstich is finished, place all pieces together and pin.  Then sew around the entire perimeter of the pillow cover.  I align the fabric at the edge of the presser foot.
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Then turn right side out and place pillow form in the cover.  SO EASY.  I love the way these pillows turned out!
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DIY Framed Vintage Map & Ikea Frame Hack

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So who doesn’t love vintage maps???  I absolutely love vintage maps and globes, it’s like holding a piece of history in your hands.  When I was browsing a yard sale facebook page one day I found an ad selling vintage maps.  The seller had stacks of maps, all of different parts of the world and different eras.  She was only asking about $10 per map– what a steal!!  So I messaged her and jumped in my car (luckily the seller lived only about 5 minutes away from me) and ended up buying two maps.  I bought an old US map as well as an old world map.  Now what to do with the maps besides just tack them on the wall?  The world map was from a National Geographic Magazine from 1957- pretty fun!  I wanted to display the world map in my living room and after brainstorming, I decided to cut the map up and frame it.
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Supplies needed to re-create your own version:
1. Vintage map
2. White Ikea Ribba frames
3. Gold spray paint
4. Cutting mat and rotary roller
How to:
First measure what you need for each frame.  You will most likely waste some of the map.  The world map I used was wide enough but not tall enough to completely fill the frames, so I ended up cutting some off of another map and connecting it to the top of this map (see above).  Even though it is different I still feel like it flows pretty well
My map was BIG.  Too big to use a scrapbooking paper cutter.  So I ended up using my sewing cutting mat and rotary roller and just measured and cut up the map.  It was defiantly the easiest option.  I then place heavy books on the map for a few days to attempt to get the creases out of it.  It worked somewhat but in the end I decided the creases didn’t really bother me and so I went ahead and used them as is.
Next, spray paint the Ikea frames.  There are so many different gold spray paints out there that it can be overwhelming to know what to buy.  Some are way too metallic or just not right.  This is the BEST gold spray pain I have found.  Design Master antique gold.  I purchased this at Micheal’s Craft.
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Once the frames are sprayed and dried, you can frame your map!  And the masterpiece is complete!  All you need to do now is just measure and make sure your frames are level and equal distances from each other on the wall, and then hang.  I hope this inspires those who need ideas of what to do with old maps!  Let me know if you have any questions!
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My Love of Design

I have had a love of art and design since I was a little girl.  I was constantly changing the look and design of my bedroom.  I would beg my mom for a new bedspread or funky lamp and then bring the room to life with whatever resources I could find, including crafting my own decor.  I drew house plans and dreamed of becoming an architect or interior designer.  

I’ve been through many design “phases” in my life.  I’m not the kind of person who can decorate or design a room and then keep it that way for years.  A room is like a canvas.  I believe that a true love of design includes a constantly changing palette, painting new details on the canvas a little at a time, always striving for some form of perfection.  Sometimes the fun is in wiping the canvas clean and starting over.  But one thing is for certain: the painting is never finished.  And that’s the beauty of it all.

I’m new to blogging, and may not be the best at it, but I hope you will follow my journey of design.  I will be sharing my ideas of design, my own home designs, projects, renovations, thrifting finds, etc. 

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“Our homes should tell the stories of who we are.”
– Nate Berkus

With Love,

Kemley