Sunday, February 27, 2011

Chargers, Table Setting and Dinner with Friends

While shopping for a gift at Bed Bath and Beyond, I spotted a Christmas clearance section. Yes, in February, I was surprised. As you can image, prices were marked waaaay down. To the tune of 75% off. There were stacks of chargers in silver, gold and red. It was my lucky day! I don't know how many times I have contemplated getting a set of chargers but didn't want to spend the money. Well, the price was right! 

Originally $1.99 each, marked down to .49 cents! And yes, I had a coupon, which saved me an additional .10 cents. That's how cheap I am. But I went home with 8 beautiful silver chargers for under $4.

Perfect timing for our post-Valentine's Day ladies dinner. I used pieces I had around the house to assemble a red and white themed candle centerpiece.

You may recognize the burlap table runner, red tray and red glass vase from my Christmas center pieces

I was inspired by an episode of the Nate Berkus Show which showed how to create budget table settings that look like a million bucks. I love this all red themed setting.
From Nate Berkus Show
This is my interpretation. I used varying size candles and vessels to created different heights.
I even put a tealight in a red glass goblet which made a very pretty glow.

The best part was sharing an evening with good friends over dinner and dessert! BA made  delicious chocolate pudding layer dessert cups with strawberries and whipped topping!

And Maddie joined us for the first time! Don't worry Maddie, girls night tires me out too!
It's always such a wonderful time when I get to see these ladies. I am so blessed!

Closet of Many Colors

Does anyone else occasionally organize their closet by color? Oh, it's just me? Looks like I have plenty of white, black and tan. And only 4 printed pieces. I do love color but I usually stick with solids. I'm pretty sure this organization method will last a total of five minutes.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


"'s fun to print with C-M-Y-K..." sing along....
No, this isn't a bad version of the Village People. This is me (yellow) and some of my coworkers, modeling how much we love to wear what we do. For those of you who don't know, CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (K is black), also known as 4 color process printing. Our process color clothing was pure coincidence, but was too funny not to take a couple photos.    
I don't have the time or patience at the moment to share a full lesson in four color printing, but Wickipedia has done a pretty good job of explaining the basics here, if you'd like to learn more. Then you get into halftoning and color separations, and that's probably more than you care to know. But we care, because we're designers and we deal with printing and colors every single day. We live and breathe color! Sometimes I have to stop myself from wondering how much cyan is in the sky. Kidding!

Here's proof that we do have fun at work!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Blogs I Like

Photo from Marcel Media

Did you know, according to Wikipedia, as of February 16, 2011, there were over 156 million public blogs in existence. 156 million. That's a lot of blogs and people and blogging! I feel like my blog list of favorites grows on a daily basis. One blog leads to another, which leads to another, and before you know it, you have 283 bookmarks. Like me. 

Since February is the month for love, I'm going to show some blog love and share a few favorites with you. Some of them are already listed in my "Favorite Places to Visit" sidebar, but they deserve another shout out. Some you may already know and love, and some may be new to you. So here are the ones I love clicking on, in no particular order. They feel like friends to me. Who knows what I mean?

Young House Love This is one of the very best blogs, hands down, in my opinion, and I know I'm not alone. Jon, Sherry, Clara and Burger and their DIY home renovations mesmerize and inspire me. 

The Pioneer Woman Ree is an amazing cook, photographer and story teller, among other things. Is there anything she doesn't do? Her writing style just plain cracks me up. Her Photoshop brushes and tips are awesome. Her recipes are divine. If you don't love her already, you will.

How About Orange I check Jessica Jones blog just about every day. She's a very cool designer and always seems to be in the know on the latest goings on in the design world. And also designs fabric and has a shop! As well as great links and cool how-to projects.  

Mablel's House There's something so charming and honest about Liz's entries. Everyday happenings, family stories, home decor projects, and she's a fantastic writer. A book writer in fact. And I love the old photos she bravely shares with the world.

Clover Lane Sarah (great name) is a wife and mother of 5 kids, who shares such wise advise and family experiences. She also shares delicious and practical recipes. I don't have kids yet, but I've been soaking up all of her motherly advise and tucking it away for future use.

Twig and Thistle Kathleen is a graphic designer who knows print and packaging (like me) and I love her work. Her posts are full of so much style, beauty and things that make me say, "That is so cute!" "How clever!" and "I wish I could do that!"

Style Me Pretty Is, as stated, the ultimate wedding blog. One gorgeous wedding after the next. Each time I go there, it makes me what to get married all over again and plan it in a different theme and color palette. 

Little Green Notebook If you want some serious style and home decor inspiration, Jenny is your gal. She has such an eye for making any space look like a room out of a magazine. And she's awesome at furniture refurbishing. 

Fly Through Our Window Darby is a mom who dabbles in a lot of things - photography, recipes, renovations, tutorials, and her shop Honey Bee Tee's is adorable. 

Bower Power Katie Bower cracks me up. She is a new mom, home decorator, DIY maven, photographer and Jersey girl turned southern girl. She and her husband Jeremy take on tons of great projects and she never ceases to surprise me and make me laugh. 

Remodelaholic Just like it sounds, this blog is about repurposing, remodeling, and sharing great before and afters. Cassity features fabulous projects that her readers submit. I was even featured a couple of times! It's also one of my favorite blogs for recipe and project link-ups. 

JPM Design I like Mary's style. She is an interior designer and event stylist (two things I would love to do!) in Northern California (great location!). Her images and inspiration are truly inspiring.

Cartwheel Soup Bethany is a friend of mine and I adore her photography style. She is a wife and mom and professional photographer and a beautiful writer. Her posts are heartfelt and real.

Domestic Ease This site is a smorgasbord of cool topics - home, kitchen, family, moment, heart. Broken down by each day of the month. And they have giveaways.   

Picky Palate Jenny is always cooking up something fantastic. Many times involving chocolate or some dessert I have to try. You will find great recipes here. 

There you have it. 15 of my favorite blogs. That should keep you busy for a while. It keeps me busy. I'm always interested in new blogs, so feel free to send your recommendations. There's 156 million blogs out there!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Valentines Day Date 2011

My Sweetie and I spent a wonderful valentines day together. It was his idea to take the day off. Since it fell on a Monday, that would give us a 3 day weekend. You don't have to tell me twice! Not waking up at 6:30am for work was a gift in itself. 

We started our valentines day date by heading to Starbucks. We ordered two caramel macchiato's and actually sat down and enjoyed them while chatting. Something we hardly ever do. It was really nice. There were a few other people hanging out at Starbucks. It was kind of intriguing to see what other people are up to on a Monday, during the day, while we're normally at work. Lucky ducks. 

Next, we headed to the place where we had our first real date. The place that started it all. The bowling alley. Yup. The Ohl's love to bowl. Didn't see that one coming did ya? It's been quite a while. Our bowling balls and shoes were sitting neglected in the closet for months. Not only does our last name rhyme with bowl, we have our own equipment. Soon after we got married, my darling husband took me to pick out my first pair of bowling shoes and a ball, engraved with my name. Commence laughter. And jealousy. 

The lanes were practically desolate. If you want to beat the crowds, bowling on a Monday afternoon, around 2:30pm, on Valentines Day, is where it's at. 

Andrew is the skilled bowler in the relationship. That's why I fell in love with him. He puts a mean spin on the ball and gets a lot of strikes. And spares. My man. 

Apparently I have a much stranger release than I thought. Looks like I'm winding up for a triple toe loop. Wrong sport. What is my left hand doing? I am embarrassed to admit that my arms and the muscles in my sides were sore the next day. What a wimp! Guess I need to do some serious stretching next time.

Our bowling scores may have shown that we were a little rusty, but we had a great time!  

That evening, we traded our bowling shoes for some fancier threads to go out to dinner. Andrew wore his pink tie especially for me. I am wearing a headband with feathers on it in case you're wondering what's on my head. 

Photos from
We dined at Black & Blue, a fantastic steak and crab restaurant. We were seated upstairs, which for some reason is more fun, we both agreed. Every time I've been there the food is excellent. I had the sea scallops over vegetable risoto. Amazing. It's my favorite. Andrew had the lobster with mac and cheese on the side. This was no ordinary mac and cheese. The stuff melts in your mouth with panko breadcrumbs on top. 

They gave us chocolate truffles with the check and a little bundle of chocolate hearts for me. Because I'm a lady and it was Valentine's Day. Isn't that sweet? 

Doesn't that sound like the perfect day? It really was. As if spending the day together, sipping coffee, bowling and enjoying an amazing meal together wasn't special enough, my husband got me a gift. A really wonderful incredibly thoughtful gift that I am SO excited about. You have no idea. He gave me a gift card to the Del Monte Spa. I wanted to pinch myself! I've only set foot in the lobby once and it was beautiful. Anyone who's ever been there says it's the best. I plan on scheduling a massage in the near future. For my birthday perhaps...I love being pampered and getting a massage is such a treat. I can almost feel it. My back and shoulders are shouting with glee! My husband is too good to me.

So that's how I spent Valentine's Day 2011. With my very best friend, the love of my life, who won my heart at a bowling alley 7 years ago on our first date. We were engaged 6 years ago, on February 12, just a couple days before Valentine's Day. Now I have a valentine for life! It is a wonderful feeling. Being married to the one you love, who loves you back. And you never have to wonder if you'll have a date on February 14th again.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Slipper Chair Slip Covers

My re-upholstery skills and leftover love seat fabric were put to use again. This time my goal was to re-cover two slipper chairs in our living room.

We purchased them online from about a year ago. I did quite a bit of shopping around, looking for a pair of neutral colored chairs of this shape and size that were affordable. The on-line images sold me. I couldn't wait for these chairs to arrive! They were stylish, would be a great addition to our decor and would provide additional flexible seating.
This is the close up online image of the fabric, which I had to make a decision based on. It was hard to tell exactly what it would be like. 
Looking back, I wish I had seen the chairs in person before purchasing. They were a hassle to assemble, I wasn't crazy about the fabric and they could use some more padding. But, lesson learned. I still like the look of them. 

Photo from Young House Love
They're actually the same chairs Jon and Sherry from Young House Love have. I didn't realize this until after I got them. I must have good taste :)

Unfortunately, our cats loved them too. By love them, I mean they clawed them to the point of ruining them. I was furious! It was literally a daily battle of trying to keep the furballs off of the chairs. They couldn't get enough of the beige polyester blend! I was beginning to think the chairs were stuffed with catnip. Seriously, some kind of cruel joke! Here's a look at the damage. Chancho owes me $300. I'm still waiting for a check.
When it got so bad that I had to do something about it, I got out the tan fabric  I used to cover the love seat and went to work.

I cut and pinned fabric to the entire chair, inside out, using the current shapes and seams as a guide. Many, many pins along every seam. I made sure the pins were pretty snug so that I could sew a little inside the pins to have a great fit.

I left a generous amount of extra fabric to be trimmed off later and allow for adjustments.

I made sure the bottom edge was even all the way around and would hang down a little lower than the original upholstery to cover everything. The tricky part was sewing each edge carefully on my sewing machine. It felt like a puzzle. The rounded tops of the chairs were the most difficult part. When I was done sewing, I turned it right-side out, and slipped it on the chair (with some tugging and tucking).

I did not sew the "crack" of the chair where the seat back meets the seat (I don't know else to describe that). I left enough fabric to tuck down into the seat crack. That meant I couldn't sew completely down the sides. I'm a pretty good guesser, so it worked out, thankfully. Sometimes my lack of measuring doesn't always work out in my favor. This time it did. 

Here's a look at the before:
And the new cover after:
I like the darker tan fabric a lot better. Especially the fact that it's smooth and the cats don't sink their claws into it! 

I feel like I have my new chairs back! Even if this new fabric doesn't hold up forever, I can always re-cover them again with something else, now that I know how to do it. It took about 2.5 hours for each chair. Not bad. What do you think? I'm pretty proud of myself for covering them. I like the way the look now ever better! 

How about you? Saved any furniture lately? Any pets ruined your stuff? I want to hear your stories!