Window Shopping: Cute or Kitschy?

Do you ever see an item that is so ugly it’s cute?  Or wonder if something is cute and endeering or kitschy and ugly?  I know I do.  I think a few personal kitschy/cute items are fine, so long as it is only a few.  I’ve gathered some of the items I can’t quite decide which way I lean toward more. 

These little guys could be cute in the right setting, especially becuase they are made to look like your family. 

I would like to buy a plain set to make my own, but you get the idea…

This print is simply adorable, not even a hint of kitsch. 

It’s similar to my Love Tree print, too. 

Maybe that’s why I like it?

If only I had a place to put something like this

Which reminds me, I still need to figure out how to make a terrarium (or two or three) for my house.  Of course, with my love of all things miniature, I would need something like these and these.

I have been loving faux bois lately, so these coasters would be a great fix.

Although, so wood (ha!) these.  In the right setting, of course.  Maybe the boys’ room?  Hmmm…  Of course, I would have to make my own.  You know I’m too cheap to spend $45.00 on pillows!

I actually made a pillow for my boys becuase I was inspired by this little monkey.

So, that’s that.  What are your opinions?  Cute or kitsch?

IKEA Finds

Every time I visit my family in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area of Minnesota, I get a much-needed IKEA trip!  Unfortunately, my camera battery died, so I couldn’t take any photos in the store.  Instead, here is what I went home with.

I bought two Lack Side Tables with hopes I can make minor adjustments to the tables to make something perfect for the boys’ room. 

We need to join the two tables together from the under side, but they are a great place for V to sit to look out the window.

IKEA definitely has a great selection of picture frames and even better prices, so I picked up two 20 inch square Ribba frames (with mats!) for our hallway.  I need to update the family trees (the brown canvases in the hall) I made a few years ago, but I want to recreate it in Photoshop, to make the text neat and clean. 

I opted to buy the silver frames for $10.99 and add a few coats of spray paint, and not buy the white frames for $19.99 each.  In fact, all the silver Ribba frames were on sale, so I picked up a few other sizes, just to have some extra cheap frames on hand. 

I’ll post pictures of the redesigned family trees once they’re framed and ready.

I don’t need more vases, but I couldn’t resist the clean lines of the Persika vase

The $3.99 price tag wasn’t too bad, either.  The Farm vase is cute too, so I got one of those.

The smaller vase was actually a reed diffuser from Target I picked up around the holidays.  And, because everything looks better in an odd grouping, I placed a small ceramic bird to keep the vases company.

I really like IKEA’s selection of rugs.  So much in fact, that I bought a new rug for our front door. 

The natural fibers seem durable, but if it’s not, I only lost $10.00.  I do love the neutral colors and the herringbone pattern.

Throw a few white cloth napkins, plastic cutting boards, hanging shoe organizers, mousepads and Kassett storage boxes in my big blue tarp bag and that’s what I picked up on my latest IKEA trip.

Gettin’ Thrifty With It

When I was in Minnesota visiting my family, my sister and I went to a local thrift store.  I didn’t find much, but I did get a small lidded apothecary style jar for $1.49.  Last week, I went to one of our thrift stores and found a larger version for $2.99 but received 25% off, making it $2.25.  Not too shabby.

I also snagged a solid marble covered jar.  The price was originally $11.99, but was 50% off, making the final price $6.00. 

Here they are after reuniting with a long-lost brother from Minnesota:

One big happy family again.  The jars look great and add some interest, but I didn’t think they were great deals.  I bought 13 books in the same trip.  Again, not great deals, but definitely better than Barnes and Noble.  I am most proud of the deal I received for a new rug.

This is a 6 foot by 9 foot jute rug with rubber backing.  It originally was sold at Pier 1, so I should try to find what it sold for.  I didn’t see a price on the rug, but there was a $49.99 sticker on the floor, near the rug.  I saw there was some damage to an area and decided to ask for a price. 

The thrift store worker checked and came back to me with a good price of $25.00.  I asked if I could get a discount because of the damage.  She asked if I meant it was stained and said they couldn’t discount for that.  I explained the wear and she left to get her manager.  In the mean time, I brought the rug up and un rolled it to show the damaged area.

The manager saw it and agreed that the damage was worth a discount.  So, I got a 50% discount, making the price for my 6 by 9 rug $12.50!  I would say that is a great deal.

Baby Shower Power

My sisters and I recently planned and threw a fiesta themed baby shower for the fourth sister we never had and her baby boy.  I really love some of the details we added and wanted to share. 

The first details are these cute and convenient napkin and utensil holders.

To make these, I printed two cute logos of a B with a baby bird perched on top per page.  I printed these on plain ol’ white printer paper.  Then I cut the printed pages at 5 1/2 inches.  I folded the sides in to make a 5 1/2 inch tall by 3 inch wide pouch, securing with scotch tape.  Then I folded the bottom up 1/2 inch and added another piece of tape.  I folded our color coördinated  napkins in half to fit the pouch.  Add colorful utensils and pop into colorful metal buckets to make a cute accessory and a user-friendly buffet piece. 

I also made cute, coordinating favor boxes filled with Jolly Rancher and Starburst candies.  I printed simple 1 1/2 inch square stickers.  Then we tied lime green, bright blue and dark blue ribbon to add more color. 

We wanted to use decorations that were also useful, so we made a clothes line filled with adorable baby clothes.  We bought miniature clothespins from Michael’s and they worked perfectly. 

We also hung the handmade bird mobile as a party decoration. 

My sister made a taco bar, including ground beef, spiced chicken, sautéed peppers, olives, lettuce, diced tomatoes, and cheese.  We also had home-made guacamole, salsa and taco dip with chips.  I saw an edible arrangements commercial and decided I would try to make a fruit bouquet.  Two hours later, we had a beautiful arrangement:

We used cantaloupe, honey-dew, grapes, blueberries, pineapple, strawberries, and kiwi.  We weighted down our bucket with rocks covered in aluminum foil (to keep things sanitary) then added a few bags of rice.  We pushed our fruit onto wooden skewers and arranged them just like real flowers.

Do you have any tips to turn a good party into a great one?  Or unique decoration ideas?  Do tell, please!

Etsy Inspiration

I love Etsy.com.  I sell prints and stationery on it, but I also love to peruse to get inspiration.  I thought I’d share some of my favorite finds today. 

I love these pillows!  So creative, but could be easy to create a custom design for your own home.  It’s as simple as finding a background fabric, fabric paint and sewing the cover. 

I love a whimsical touch, and these pillows fit the bill.  Many other states are available, too.

These leather totes seem so versatile.  I wonder if another fabric or material would work.  I’m sure a pattern could be created to make a similar effect…

On to some unique artwork.  I’m sure something like this could be created using paper punches.  Simply punch your designs and glue in the shape of your choice. 

Punches would also work great to create a custom art piece similar to this:

Here are some other favorites:

I create custom silhouettes, but this is just amazing!  The black is all cut from one sheet of paper!

Amy Ruppel’s prints are adorable, and this print is no exception.

Talk about adorable; I LOVE these measuring spoons!  The price is just a little steep for my budget, though.

I’m still trying to find some great hooks or a way to make them .  I want 3D cast metal bird heads, similar to taxidermy deer heads, but birds.  Hmm…what to do! 

How about you?   Have you found inspirational pieces to customize for your home?

All images found via the featured Etsy seller’s listing as linked above.