Tag Archive | decor

Clawfoot Tub Dreams

Hello, readers,

I have always wanted to have a clawfoot tub. Something about how such a heavy tub can be perched on such dainty feet has always inspired me, and I’ve imagined that taking a bath in one would feel like floating. Of course, the really spacious surroundings most freestanding tubs get in pictures certainly doesn’t hurt that idea.

Since my bathroom is atrocious and needs to be completely remodeled (as in torn-back-to-the-studs-and-subfloor remodeled), I thought it would be the perfect time to try and get the clawfoot tub of my dreams.

My house was built in 1951 America, so it does not really have many of the thoughtful details and flourishes that marked 19th and 18th century home architecture. Those embellishments really make my heart sing, but it’s been challenging to try and add them to my house without overwhelming its petite size/proportions. Stylistically, a clawfoot tub would not make much sense in the house, but I wanted one anyway.

My bathroom is far too horrible to post any real pictures, so here’s a floor plan.

5 ft x 6.75 ft

There are a few challenges of putting in a clawfoot tub into this space.

  1. The room is very small, and most clawfoot tubs are not designed for saving space. I need the tub to fit in the space of the old alcove tub.
  2. The tub MUST double as a shower. This is the house’s only bathroom, and we need a shower for daily life.
  3. The tub — a luxury item — needs to be budget-friendly. In practical terms, this means that the tub we buy would need to be made of acrylic, which I don’t find to be the most inspiring material.

An option that some people might have to stay budget-friendly is to find a salvage clawfoot tub. For a few reasons (like relying on pretty inefficient public transportation), I decided that this was not a viable option for me. Plus, most antique tubs are longer than the five feet of space I have.

The pros of having a clawfoot tub are obvious to me: aesthetics, Victorian charm, and a sense of easy/relaxing luxury. These three things are really important to me, but a tub needs to be practical, too.

Here are some frustrations people reported having with using clawfoot tubs. I’ve seen these sorts of comments in various threads around the internet, so they’re generalizations, not quotes.

See the strange shower curtain situation? [Public Domain — Historic American Buildings Survey]

  • The shower curtains need to completely surround the tub, which makes people feel like they’re being suffocated and encroached on by the curtains.
  • It’s tricky for some people to get the curtains to close completely and overlap one another, so shower water still gets everywhere outside the tub.
  • People have to reach out of the shower curtains to get to their toiletries. (The viability of a shower caddy seems to depend a lot on the individual plumbing/piping of the shower head.)
  • Cleaning around and under the tub is apparently difficult and awful. I think this would be especially awful in my bathroom since I would be dealing with a tub in an alcove and wouldn’t be able to approach from the sides.
  • If you don’t clean thoroughly around and under the tub, mold situations can develop in hard-to-see areas.
  • Lots of people feel very unstable when they step out of the shower/tub. Some people report that their shower curtains have been ripped down/off more than once when people grab them in a panic. Lots of people also showed concern at the thought of an older person getting in and out of their shower/tub.

None of that is very compatible with my hyper-romantic ideas of having a lovely bathtub, but I thought I could persevere.

* * *

The way I see things, most of these difficulties come from trying to shower while standing up in a clawfoot tub. I was so pleased to find that some clawfoot tub manufacturers are trying to solve the issue in a way that still shows off the old-fashioned vibes of a clawfoot tub.

Oasis 65′ – 65″ Vintage Extra Wide Clawfoot Tub with Tempered Glass Shower Enclosure Package — Image from Baths of Distinction

Because of all the chrome fittings, this tub gives me more Art Deco vibes than the Victorian ones I love so much, but I think it would do a good job of keeping shower water contained. The tub and shower enclosure above does come in a five-foot length that would fit my space, but the price is still close to 4000 USD. That’s simply not possible for me.

I got really excited when I saw this style of tub, however.

Burlington Hampton Traditional Shower Bath — image from UK Bathrooms

Appleby 1700 RH Roll Top Shower Bath with Screen + Chrome Leg Set — image from Victorian Plumbing UK

Do you see how this tub could solve so many of the problems of putting a freestanding tub into an alcove tub’s space? The “faucet wall” side and one of the long sides of this bathtub are designed to meet the wall in the corner. Not only does the “faucet wall” side of the tub provide a small ledge for things like razors or other small items, but I could caulk the gap along the two corner walls and not worry about moisture sneaking down there. Success! Also, providing a glass screen might eliminate the need for a shower curtain altogether if we managed to place our shower head vertically as in the images above. The bathroom’s only window is in the tub alcove, and getting one of these tubs without a shower curtain would let in all the natural light from the window in the alcove into the rest of the bathroom. Neither of these two tubs have pre-drilled for the tap/faucet, which is great since our plumbing comes out of the wall in the alcove and does not need to come out of the tub. Both models come in right-hand and left-hand configurations, so we wouldn’t need to move our plumbing. All in all, I really felt for a little bit like I’d found my perfect solution.

Then I noticed the complications.

The Appleby 1700 is 1700 mm long, which is about 6 inches too long for my space. Even though I like the curved glass screen and its cheaper price more, it simply won’t fit in my bathroom. That leaves the Burlington Hampton, which comes in 1700 and 1500 mm lengths (1500 mm is just a little bit smaller than the maximum tub length I can accommodate at 59 inches). For the 1500 mm Burlington Hampton, getting it with a glass screen will cost me around 1000 USD with today’s exchange rate. (There’s a 100 GBP difference between getting the regular glass screen and getting the screen with access panel.) That does not include shipping from the UK, where the only two corner tubs with glass screens (that I’ve found) are sold. While certainly more attainable than a 4000 USD solution, it still feels like an irresponsible amount of money, especially since I would need to request a shipping quote for US shipping. I cannot imagine it will be cheap, since these tubs are a trifecta of shipping complications: large, heavy, and with delicate parts.

Plus, the tub is acrylic. I could not find out how much weight the Burlington Hampton tub supports, so I am going to assume it’s the same as the figure I saw for a different acrylic clawfoot tub: 370 lbs. Truthfully, that’s just not enough. If that’s the weight limit, then my partner and I would not be able to be in the shower at the same time. I cannot spend over 1000 USD to have a tub that’s less functional than our current alcove tub. Plus, I wouldn’t buy acrylic if I was shopping for alcove tubs, and I worry that settling for cheaper materials would leave a sour taste in my mouth and ruin the fun of the bathtub.

* * *

Since I won’t really be able to get a new clawfoot tub in this house, I’ve got to look at trying to get a better bath experience out of a normal alcove tub.

The first step in doing that is to get a deep tub. I’ve always been so annoyed when the water in a tub doesn’t cover me, and I won’t have that in my new tub if I can help it. Looking at the prices around me, a metal tub covered in porcelain will cost me around 600-700 USD with a deep-soaking drain.

The second thing is that the tub needs to be comfortable to lie down in. I plan on taking many baths in it, and I want to be able to recline. I’ve never found a normal tub to be very relaxing to lie down in, but I think that might be because I can’t lay my head back if the tub’s alcove is exactly as long as the tub.

Sally Schneider on Improvised Life solved this problem for herself by cutting out a niche for her head where the tub and wall meet.

Sally Schneider – Improvised Life

She goes over the process in her post “How To Make A 5-Foot Alcove Tub FEEL Like A Vintage One.” It’s a really helpful post, and I know I’ll be referring to it again once all the walls in the bathroom are removed.

It’s a shame that I won’t have a darling clawfoot tub in my house, but it’s probably for the best. A clawfoot tub would look really anachronistic in my house, and I think I can come to accept that the vibe would be too different from the rest of the space. I’m still disappointed, but I’ll get over it as long as I can have nice baths in a new tub eventually.

My next task is to find a 5-foot alcove tub that’s deep and has a good reclining angle. And also is not acrylic. Wish me luck.

Stay relaxing,

Raven

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Lifestyle Lolita Finds: IKEA

Hello, readers,

The house renovations are going so slowly that I needed a motivational pick-me-up. Therefore, I went to IKEA and picked up some pretty and functional furniture to put in my still-very-unpretty house. It’s hard for me to find things I like at IKEA, since lots of their products are minimalist with clean lines, and I want everything in my life to be covered in decadent swirls. Still, I found some things that I think will work nicely in the house, and I also saw plenty of little things that would be great for any lifestyle lolita looking for home-wares.

First things, first, let’s start with what I think is the single most popular IKEA item for goths and lolitas: the glorious UNG DRILL mirror/frame. Jayne Jezebel already did a post on The Dark Victorian (from 2010!) about how popular this mirror/frame was. She even included several lolita brand ads that feature the frame, which is just neat to see. A little over six years later, and this frame is still the best and most reliable source for cheap Baroque/Rococo goodness. (Talk about an oxymoron…)

The mirror only comes in black, and the picture frame only comes in off-white. To me, that’s not really a big deal as both versions look better spray painted. The frames are both made of plastic, so they give off a (somewhat plasticky) satin sheen if left alone. It doesn’t look bad, but my two frames looked so much better after I spray painted them a matte black. You could even spray paint them both gold to look more period appropriate if that’s your style.

I also found two other frames at my local IKEA I haven’t see people talking about before, the KVILL frames.

They’re fairly big frames for how small an image they’ll display (5 x 7″). You can mount these on the wall, and they also have a little kick-out foot so you can stand them up on a desk or table. These only come in the same off-white color that the UNG DRILL frame comes in, which is not my style at all. Even if you like the color, I would recommend spray painting these. I’m not really sure if it’s the mold or the scale, but these frames definitely look much more plasticky than the larger UNG DRILL frames, despite being made of the same material. I think the round version is my favorite, but I may end up picking up the rectangular version as well.

The last frame on my little list is actually a segway into an entire line, the SKURAR.

skurar-frame-white__0371534_pe551591_s4

This lacy frame is also a 5 x 7″, and it also has a little stand/foot so you can set it on a table. The color is a nice off-white that isn’t beige-y at all, unlike the other two styles of frame I talked about above. The really cool thing about this frame and the whole SKURAR line is that it’s made of steel.

Metal lace! I think that is just so fantastic. The rest of the line has some really neat things, too, which is great since the UNG DRILL and KVILL lines are just frames.

SKURAR has a magnetic notice board with hooks, hanging planters, plant pots, a picture ledge (i.e., lacy shelf), a clock, and various “candle holders” and “candle dishes.”

I really adore this series. My impulse is normally to paint most everything black, but I actually love how these look in white. I got the large lantern/candle holder, but I’m using it to hold all my large/cooking utensils in my kitchen.

SKURAR

Just imagine that my cooking utensils are any color other than this hideous yellow-green…

I’m really tempted to get the whole set. I know I’m going to get the smaller lantern to hold my makeup brushes.

Most of the items in this line seem so easy to re-purpose, too. Various people on the internet have done cool things with SKURAR. This person on IKEA Hackers made a tiered cake stand out of the two candle dishes, which I think looks fantastic.

This other person made a regular cake stand out of one of the candle dishes and an IKEA candlestick holder and wrote a little tutorial on her blog.

I think these would make nice little serving trays without any modification needed.

Speaking of serving trays, I’ll just end this post by mentioning a couple of dinnerware options IKEA has.

The pink set of these dishes isn’t for me, but I thought I would mention it as I don’t know how hard/easy it is to find pastel dinnerware. The black dishes, however, look so cool to me. I wish that the DINERA line was glossy instead of a satin sheen, but that’s only so they would coordinate better with my existing all-white dishes.

I don’t need to buy more dishes, but these are black… and I want them… and they’re black.

Readers, did I miss anything from IKEA that looks lifestyle-appropriate? How many copies of the UNG DRILL frame or mirror do you own? I have one of each, but I want so many more.

Stay lacy,

Raven

My Lolita Room: Part 2

Hello, readers,

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed that I haven’t been very active on this blog lately. I’ve gone through a lot of big life changes recently, including buying a house. I’m starting a very big, new adventure with renovating it. As of this writing, I have officially moved out of the little rental house I lived in for the past three years. As much as I wanted change, I was still a little sad to leave it.

In the middle of packing, I stopped to tidy my bedroom to show you the final iteration of my lolita room at my old apartment. If you didn’t see the work-in-progress blog post from a year and a half ago, just try to picture the old walls being a poorly painted buttercream color.

* * *

The major change in the room was the wall color. I ended up buying the paint online because it is too much of a hassle to get to a hardware store without a car, and I was swayed by it’s fun name. I bought a paint called Purple Potion, and it was a lot more purple than I had thought it would be. If you keep up with my blog, you’d have seen it in the background of lots of my pictures. I don’t know what it is about this color, but it refuses to photograph nicely.

Anyway, here is my little room tour. This is the view of the room when I’d walk in the door.

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Behind the door is my poster of British sheep breeds.

P1080628

Best thrift store art find yet!

This is a view of the full wall. The bookshelf on the left is filled completely with my books and things. My poor boyfriend had to squeeze his books on the the top two shelves of the right bookshelf because I took over the bottom three shelves of that unit as well.

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Bookshelf Wall

Here’s a closer look at my dolls and our Squishables.

P1080652

My Lunatic Queen Pullip is being saucy and scandalizing my other Pullips. The giant Elissabat Monster High doll is faceless at the moment. Sorry!

Underneath, I put my dollhouse. It’s still not finished completely on the inside, but it’s still adorable.

P1080650

The box to the left is a kit to make a 1/12 scale grandfather clock.

I didn’t get a close-up shot of our Nightmare Before Christmas vinyl figures, but you can still see them in some of the following photos.

The door next to our bookshelves was the closet door.

P1080621

My clothes took up 3/4 of the space…

On the wall next to the closet door, I put my collection of mini-prints from the etsy shop Magical Tea Time. These particular prints (they come in larger sizes) are not always in stock on etsy, but I would just send her a message if you’re interested in any.

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I don’t know why the glare is so weird on some of these.

The sunlight was giving me some problems when I was trying to take pictures of this wall, so here’s a slightly split view of the window wall. When we actually lived in this room, the blinds were always down. The bedroom was way too close to a street with lots of foot traffic for me to be comfortable with the windows open.

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I painted my boyfriend’s computer case pink for him.

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My tiny computer station in the corner where I wrote most of the posts on this blog…

Next, we have the bed corner.

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My lovely Princess Bed

I no longer have this bed. It was my roommate’s, and we gave it back to her since my parents gave me a new queen-sized mattress and bedframe. I will do my best to princess-ify the new bed to make it as pretty as the old one.

As a bonus, here’s the view of my room from bed.

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The Andrew Lang Fairy Books were on the reverse side of the shelf for easy bedtime story access.

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Here’s the view on the way out of the room. P1080657

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Boyfriend’s comics

And that’s it! I’m still a little sad to see it go, but at least the people moving in said that they’re going to keep the room purple.

* * *

Now that my boyfriend and I have a whole house to spread out in, I plan on making it as cute as I can. I hope you like home improvement posts, because there will be a lot of those coming as we finish renovating the new house into a mildly lolified one.

Stay cozy,

Raven

In case you didn’t see their posts before, here are the links to the other Lolita Blog Carnival members that responded to this post over a year ago.

Seraphine & The Striped BoxLittle Coffee ShopArt du noir

Candied Dreams

Also, check out one of my favorite blogger’s room journey. I’m not sure if I’m missing posts in the process or if there are newer pictures anywhere. She’s the artist who made those prints I showcased.

2011: The Dark Victorian, 2012: The Dark Victorian, 2014: Jayne Jezebelle

Dollhouse Diaries: Reveal

Hello, readers,

I hope you had fun reading through my blog as I assembled and painted my very first dollhouse. I’ll confess, I definitely caught the miniature bug. I’ve already begun looking for the next house I want to build, but I probably won’t buy anything new until I move into a new place.

My three roommates also enjoyed watching me put this little house together, even though I completely overtook the coffee table and couch for two weeks. My dollhouse building may have infected them as well. One of my roommates for sure is going to buy her own dollhouse kit once she finds one that’s tiny enough, and my boyfriend’s thinking about getting a model kit of some kind.

Without further ado, let me introduce you to my “finished” little house.

Day 13

There is a woman who lives alone in a little house on 13th Street. Her neighbors sometimes hear faint strains of piano music or singing coming from her house. She has a lovely voice.

No one ever sees anyone besides this woman go in or out of the house, but passersby often swear that they hear voices within, talking and laughing. Sometimes, if you’re looking, you can see shadows moving in the upstairs window while the woman is out shopping for groceries. Sometimes the rocking chair on her porch starts to move on its own. That’s not unusual, surely it’s the wind moving the chair. The whistling is the wind, too. Even the sound of foot-tapping must just be your own footsteps echoing back. Still, you can’t quite explain why the woman acts like she’s holding the door open for someone, even though there’s no one there.

And she has such a pretty voice whenever she wishes you a “Good evening.” You can almost forget that you clearly hear someone playing the piano the next room over as she closes and locks the front door.

Let’s take a look at this woman’s little house on 13th Street, shall we?

Here’s her bedroom.

And here’s a better look at her bookshelf.

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She has Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Crime and Punishment, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Scarlet Letter, Dracula, Frankenstein, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Through the Looking-Glass, and three copies of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, plus a few sketchbooks, journals, and photo albums.

(As you can probably tell from the photos above, these little books do not have pages. Their covers are 1 cm tall!)

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Here is the mysterious woman’s ordinary bathroom.

This is her living room, which has more than enough seating for someone who supposedly lives alone and never has visitors.

Lastly, here’s her little music room. Though her neighbors don’t know this, she spends more of her time sitting in the chair against the wall, listening or singing along as others play the piano, rather than sitting on the piano bench.

Hopefully some of you were able to tell from the pictures above, but the two types of lace I used for the bed skirt and the area rug in the conservatory are taken off of a Bodyline dress. This makes the dollhouse a little bit lolita. It also makes it match some of my wardrobe. I’m absurdly happy about this.

Here are some photos of how I have it set up in my room.

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You can also see some of my books in this photo, along with some of my boyfriend’s books.

I would like to get a lazy Susan to display the house on, but I’d rather hold off on that until after I decide if I want to add some landscaping or not.

Here are some more pictures of the 13th Street house, just because I’m so proud of it and I love how it turned out.

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I like to picture this house being on a hill, so that it can look a little imposing, despite its small size.

Obviously, I didn’t add any interior trim. I was unable to find a replacement in time to do anything during the break, and my semester starts tomorrow. I also want to make a little mattress and a blanket for the bed, make some cushions for the seating in the living room, and upholster the two chairs in the conservatory. After that, I probably want to print out and assemble more books to put around the house.

The only thing I’m still debating is whether or not to dress up the cut-away wall.

(Thanks go to my boyfriend for holding up the lace against the house.) While I know the lace against the floor/ceiling divide looks a little weird, I also think it looks darling. I’m just not sure if I should commit to the look and glue it on or not. I may have to ignore the problem for a while and decide when I go back in to add baseboards and crown molding, whenever that may be.

Stay spooky,

Raven

If you missed any part of the construction, you can read all about it by following the links below.

Day 0 and Day 1Day 2Day 3

Day 4Day 5

Day 6Day 7Day 8 and Day 9

Day 10Day 11 and 12

DIY Projects I Can’t Wait to Try

Hello, readers,

Right now, I live in a little rental house with my boyfriend and two other roommates. While our living situation worked fine for the last two years of undergrad and this transitional year, I’m getting antsy to just live with fewer people and have more of a say in how the whole house/apartment is furnished and organized. Part of the reason I’m a little impatient about moving is that I keep finding all these wonderful DIY projects online that I want to try out but can’t until I have more space (and free time).

So, here’s a little post of projects from around the internet that I’m excited about.

Dollhouse

What I want is to buy a kit and assemble it, which may or may not mean “DIY” to you. I am not interested in designing and building my own little dollhouse from scratch, and I want it more for display purposes than for actively playing. The mother of one of my friends in elementary school had a beautiful dollhouse that she displayed in their living room. No one was allowed to touch it, but I fell in love with how tiny all the furniture was and how much detail she put into it. Since then, I’ve wanted my own dollhouse, and I finally have some disposable income to get started. Plus, I’ve found a ton of blogs devoted to miniatures that have made me fall in love all over again.

If I’m being honest with myself, I want something like this dollhouse:

Queen Anne Dollhouse Kit – Real Good Toys

It’s a beautiful Victorian house with a turret! The first problem is that this is a very nice, highly detailed house that I would need to furnish similarly. The dollhouse itself is over 1000USD, but miniature furniture is expensive, and I would end up spending at least twice the purchase price to furnish its 13 rooms. Of course, you can always make the tiny furniture using whatever tools you have (or investing in beautiful craft tools), but I do have limited free time and that is not how I want to spend it.

The other major problem is that this is a 1:12 scale house (where one inch of the dollhouse corresponds to one foot of a life-sized house), and that makes it absolutely massive.

Queen Anne Dollhouse Kit – Real Good Toys

I don’t even know if I could get that thing through a doorway, and I don’t think I’ll have space to display it even after a move. It’s huge!

I still want a dollhouse, though, and I’m currently investigating my options. The plan right now is to purchase a kit and assembling everything over my two-week winter break. I will be putting the building and decorating saga up on this blog, so keep your eyes peeled if you’re interested in that.

Tea Cup Clock

Image and tutorial from Fresh Style.

Image and tutorial from Vintage Revivals.

Image and tutorial from Retropolitan Hip.

(I really like the one in the frame. That would also eliminate the need for cutting a circle out of plywood…)

The two bottom tutorials mention how heavy this clock gets. Maybe a solution to that would be to just use colored cups without saucers, but I like how the saucers look. Anyway, this is going to be one of the first things I make when I find a new place. This looks like it would be a nightmare to try and pack up and move, and I would hate to unpack everything just to find that 8 o’clock shattered.

Tea Cup Candles

I can’t find the original source for this.

Image and tutorial from Meg Perotti.

I love candles, and I just love how these two ideas turned out. While it’s tempting to try and make them now, since they’re small, we just don’t have any free surfaces for me to put them. Once we move, I’ll probably stick to the candle holder idea for my own home. I think that the actual tea cup candles would be fantastic gifts, though, and all the supplies and prep work would be a lot less hassle if you were making multiple candles.

Tea Set Lamp

Designed by Sarah Goodwin. Image and tutorial from Design Sponge.

Image and tutorial from Vintage Revivals.

Image and tutorial from Retropolitan Hip.

Image and tutorial from DIY Ready.

Oh, how I love this. I actually don’t like table lamps in general, but I’ll make an exception for this beauty. As you can probably tell by now, I really love tea cups and tea sets. I’ve always dreamed of having a full-service set, maybe even with its own display case, but I rarely have company and there’s really no point in spending that much money for a whim. Still, with all the tea set projects I want to do, I will be scouring thrift stores for ages to try and come up with the perfect coordinating china. This project definitely has to wait until I move and get settled in a new place, because I would be too nervous packing and moving this lamp.

Book Purse

I adore the look of the book bags that have been popular in lolita for the past couple of years. I’ve wanted to make my own for a while since I tend to doubt the stability of pleather purses. I think I like the “cut-out” method of making a book purse more than the “completely take out the book block” version.

I plan on making my eventual book purse by following a combination of these two Youtube tutorials.

Like the tea cup candles, I probably could make this purse now since it’s small. The main concern is that I don’t really have the time to look around for all the supplies and then take an afternoon to assemble it. Perhaps this is something I could squeeze into my winter break alongside the dollhouse.

After all those tea cup DIY projects, I should probably make my purse out of an Alice book for consistency…

* * *

Well, that’s is for this collection. I have a bunch of other projects I want to do, but they either don’t really lend themselves to picture lists (like painting our dressers black or making a simple shadow box) or they’re sewing projects that I don’t know when I’ll get done.

Have you found any amazing DIY tutorials in your travels around the internet? Have you actually tried them out? Please share cool projects in the comments below!

Stay excited,

Raven