Archive for August, 2010

Countdown to Dragon*Con: Fantasy Make-Up

So I’m still trying to decide what to pack… but these pics have me totally inspired to do some serious fantasy make-up while I’m there!

Image Source Unknown

Image Source Unknown

Image Source Unknown


August 31, 2010 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Countdown to Dragon*Con: Costume Inspiration

What is Dragon*Con you ask?

Officially the peeps at Dragon*Con say:  Dragon*Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the US.

However a more accurate description is listed here courtesy of DataVortex:  It’s the biggest annual nerd party in the Southeastern United States. About 40,000 gamers, otaku, mad scientists, skeptics, paranormalists, sci fi fans, trekkies, vampires all gather in Atlanta’s major downtown hotels and their convention centers, totally own all the entire place, and have a booze and caffeine fueled 80 hour nerdgasm.

The interest spectrum represented at DragonCon is wide and best described as anything geeky. There are several tracks of programming, which includes the big name celebrities (Shatner, Patrick Stewart, Mythbusters, etc) and large performances, usually music (MC Chris, Cruxshadows, etc). Other tracks may define a broad interest or be confined to material from a particular universe. The tracks for 2009 were: Alternate History Track (SteamPunk), American Sci-fi Classics, American Sci-fi Media, Anime/Manga, Animation, Anne McCaffrey’s Pern, Apocalyse Rising, Art Show, Forums & Workshops, British Sci-fi Media, Comics and Pop Art, Costuming, Dark Fantasy, Electronic Frontiers Forum, Filk, Gaming Panels, Independent Film Track, MMORPGs, Podcasting, Readings, Robotics, Science, Sci-fi and Fantasy Literature, Silk Road: Asian Cinema & Culture, Skeptic Track, Space, Star Gate: Multiverse, Star Trek: TrekTrak, SWat DC, Tolkien’s Middle Earth, Whedonverse, Wheel of Time, Writer’s Track, X Track, and Young Adult Literature.

One of the best and most interesting parts of Dragon*Con are the Cosplayers, that is, people who dress up in costume.  Although I do not dress up in costume (fairy wings just aren’t for me), I like to use their looks as inspiration for what I do wear.  This year I am going to try to do 2 looks a day (one for daytime, one for evening).  As we get closer to the annual event I’ve been scouring the internet to decide what kinds of looks I’d like to take with me… enjoy!

Live Creatively!

Who doesn’t love a SteamPunk look:

X-Men’s Pheonix… I may or may not have been obsessed as a kid:

For all you Dr. Who Fans:

W – O – W:

Wigs anyone?

Over the top make-up, so cool!

Aeon Flux:

Anything Alice in Wonderland will always be awesome to me!

Yeah, I have no idea… but you have admit, its interesting!

August 30, 2010 at 9:00 am 2 comments

Apartment 216 – Before & After Recap!

So I have to start this post by saying thank you to my mom for the opportunity to do this fun project, and to all of the people who helped me along the way… especially my friend Eddie who was doing some serious last-minute manual labor on the big reveal day. Let’s have a look back at the space before:

So now lets get to the good stuff!  Here’s a look at the before and after’s of the furniture elements:

Before: Couch & Loveseat Combo – $150.00 from Craigslist

After: A more modern update with accent pillows

Before: 1970s Media Stand – $10.00 @ Habitat for Humanity Restore

After: A chic aqua blue media stand

Before: Yellow Parsons Chair – $10.00 @ Habitat for Humanity Restore

After: Zebra Print Desk Chair

Before: A gifted floral settee

After: A romantic fuchsia and houndstooth dog bed

Antique Dresser – $40.00 from Craigslist

A soft Tiffany blue and updated drawer pulls give this old dresser a soft romantic feel.

So those are all the updated pieces.  There were also some really cool new pieces added to the room and although I didn’t get to finish all of my objectives for the space, I’m happy with the overall results.  Here’s a look at the final after photos… Enjoy!

Have a great weekend!  Live Creatively!

August 27, 2010 at 12:01 pm Leave a comment

Apt. 216 – The Home Office

For this room, I really shot from the hip.  I knew that function was of the upmost importance in this room.  She didn’t really need a whole lot of storage in the room itself since the room had a large closet she could utilize.  However, she did need some great lighting and since she would be spending quite a bit of time in there working on large cases; it had to be a comfortable, welcoming space.

I started in the room with the loveseat that came with couch (see Living & Dining Room).  I liked the warm ivory color on the seat, and decided to use warm neutral tones on the walls to compliment it.  I also picked up a desk chair at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store… it was a steal for $10.00; although it was in desperate need of new upholstery.  Unfortunately, in my hurry to cover the ugly yellow up, I forgot to get a good before pic!  Here’s the one I took halfway through the project.

Then while at the fabric store, I found these 2 great printed fabrics:

Ribert Fabrics – Candy

Tunisia Fabric in Chartruese (Not available from Fabric Resource online)

I decided to use the floral print to make a large window valance , and as an accent on the back side of the desk chair.  I wanted the Zebra print on the chair to give some room a whimsical punch.

Then I was in need of a desk.  I decided to check out Ikea since they have a ton of office furniture and desks tend to be expensive.  I fell in love with these table legs:

They showed it with glass top options, but they were on the very high side of my budget. With a little more searching though, I did find a more affordable option and it was perfect for the room.

To decorate, I wanted to use the gallery of prints my mom and I got while on a trip to Paris.  She is a huge Francophile so I knew she’d like having them displayed.  Then, I found this really cool dry erase board at Office Max.

On sale, it was $45.00 and super heavy, but anything functional and pretty deserves a place in this office!  I found a few other accessories, and I headed back to put the room together.  Here’s how it turned out…

The budget for this room was super small… but I did manage to find everything I wanted for the space.  Here’s where the money went:

Office: Cost: Notes:
Chair $33.00 Restore, Interior Fabrics
Desk $65.00 Ikea
Loveseat $85.00 Craigslist, Ikea
Valance $42.00 Home Depot, Interior Fabrics, Jo-Anns
Lamp $30.00 Ikea
Accessories $70.00 Office Max
Paint $25.00 Home Depot
TOTAL $350.00

Live Creatively!

August 26, 2010 at 9:00 am 2 comments

Apt. 216 – The Bedroom

Well its Day 3 of Extreme Home Makeover: Black Gardenia Edition!  So the bedroom… this room didn’t feel as near a big a challenge as the living/dining rooms did, but there definitely a few challenging moments!  In case you forgot, here are the before shots:

As I thought about the space and my mom’s personality, I knew the room needed to be in a darker tone, romantic yet sophisticated, and most of all, it needed to feel restful.  I flipped through some photos and found this beauty from Apartment Therapy:

I started out with a bed, and an antique writing desk.  Both functional, but those alone do not a bedroom make.  My first stop once again: Craigslist.  I can’t get enough of that site.  There I picked up this beauty for $40.00.

Okay, so not so awesome looking right now.  It had a slightly broken leg and was in dire need of some refinishing, but hey, it had potential.  I also was gifted this gorgeous wonder:

Gotta love that grandma print!  Now that guy was no easy task to re-upholster.  Especially when upholstery is NOT what you do for a living(curved arms are Evil).  I make hats, not settees.  However, it looked like perfect dog bed to me, so I was gonna make it work somehow!

After working more hours than I can count on the dresser and the settee, I still needed to make that headboard.  Thank God that project was pretty easy.  For more on that click here.

Last, all I had to do was paint the walls, find some much needed accessories, and oh yeah, put something on the bed. I hit up my favorite stores to find the accessories – Homegoods and Ikea.  I decided on this GORGEOUS lamp for the dresser.

A bit pricey at $90.00, but in the room it was totally worth it.   Ikea had some great finds- an elegant nightstand, fun oversized art, & this bed set.

It was super affordable for only $50.00, and it perfectly fit into my romantic, yet relaxing theme.   All in all, this is BY FAR my favorite room in the house.  It didn’t come out exactly like the super luxe inspiration photo, but I thought for my tiny budget, it came out damn good!  Here’s the reveal:

No, I did not buy the Fraggle… but she sure does look cute there!  I love the little turquoise accent pillow.  I sewed it up at the last minute to add some blue to that side of the room.

I love the oversized print.  Its size makes it modern but the image makes it so vintage chic!  Best of all, only $45.00 in the as-is section at Ikea!

There you have it!  I hope you guys love the room as much as I do… oh, and here’s how it hit the bank:

Bedroom: Cost: Notes:
Bed Frame $98.00 Mattress Firm
Headboard $65.00 Home Depot, High Fashion Fabrics, Sunny Road
Bedding $100.00 Ikea, Target
Settee $40.00 High Fashion Fabrics
Nightstand $21.00 Ikea
Lamps $95.00 Homegoods, Ikea
Dresser $70.00 Craigslist, Home Depot
Curtain & Rod $55.00 Lowes, Ikea
Paint $25.00 Home Depot
Décor $85.00 Homegoods, Target, Ikea
TOTAL $654.00

Live Creatively!

August 25, 2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Check out Cafe Handmade… and vote!

Black Gardenia Design is participating in the Virtual Craft Show on Cafe Handmade’s website.  It’s is a great resource for independent artisans, designers and buyers!   Plus, we’re featuring all our latest hats and hair accessories.  Click on the link below to vote for Black Gardenia Design as Best in Show and enjoy the craft show!

August 24, 2010 at 9:30 am Leave a comment

Apt. 216 – The Living & Dining Room

The living & dining areas of my mom’s place were really important to me.  I wanted to make sure it was a fun space, but also functional, and most of all, pretty!  With a tight budget 3 and no furniture, (except an antique sewing cabinet and a TV) I knew I had my work cut out for me.  I decided on a great color pallette based on the cover of one of my favorite magazines:

My next stop was Craigslist.  I was blessed to find a great deal right away… a couch and loveseat set for only $150.00.  I immediately sent an email and was lucky enough to be the first responder… little did I realize, the set was all the way in the Woodlands!  I was in the Galleria area (its about an hour trip) but hey, a deal’s a deal!  I loaded up my mom and the dog (because he goes everywhere), and we were off to couch shop!  It actually took us more like an hour and a half by the time we mazed through the suburb’s neighborhood but we finally made it, and the set was perfect.  It needed a litle work but they were sturdy and best of all, my mother thought they were comfy. Here’s a before pic:

Next, I needed to get rid of that God awful yellow on the walls.  It was everywhere!  I woke up early the next day and made may way to Home Depot.  I love Home Depot… I love it even more at 6am where the only people there are contractors and serious DIYers. Here’s what my cart looked like… I was only about half way through my shopping trip!

I chose a beautiful color palette of pale blue in the kitchen & dining room, & a super soft grey for the walls in the living room.

Next, I decided to hit up the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store.  I find FABULOUS stuff at our location here in Nashville, so thought I’d find some pretty good stuff at the Houston location.  Boy was I right!  I picked up lots of good finds including this TV stand for only $10.00!

It was in rough shape, but with a little love, I knew it could be a beauty!

Then I made another great find on Craigslist from an Antiques dealer who was trying to liquidate some of her inventory.  She sold me an amazing glass & brass coffee table for just $40.00.  I gave it a good spray of metallic silver spray paint and it fit perfectly into the room.

Then another lucky discovery…  The frame and shelves of an old bookcase just left on the side of the road – hey one man’s trash is TOTALLY my treasure.  I re-built the back, added some fabric, and voila… one perfect bookshelf!

Next, I hit up fabric stores for upholstery and accent fabric, as well as Homegoods and Ikea for some much needed accessories.  If your in the Houston area, you have to check out these 2 shops:

Interior Fabrics

High Fashion Home

Homegoods & Ikea had all the accessories a girl on a budget could ask for… and what I didn’t find there, I found at Target.  Bless that store, but damn my camera… my battery died while I was doing all the accessory shopping!  So, most of my living & dining room decorating was complete… one small problem, I had no dining room table or chairs.

My mother had requested a bar height set, but as I researched I found that those things are not cheap!  Randomly, I drove by a Hobby Lobby and decided to stop in just to take a look around their massive home dec section.  I walked in to find the perfect 5 piece set… and it was on sale for $140.00! In my excitement, I of course, forgot to take a picture!  Then when speaking with the manager, it turned out the floor sample was the only one left.  He gave me an extra $20.00 off and I loaded it up, very happy with my new purchase!

After a few late nights of painting, building, & re-uphostrying (is that a word), I am proud to present the mostly finished space (in case you missed them, click here for the before photos) :-).   There were a few things that I just couldn’t get to in my 10 day timeline but, rest assure when they do make it into the space, an update will be posted!   Here are the things I’d like to add: an art piece behind the couch, an accent chair & ottoman and a rug… anyone have any other suggestions?

Here’s the re-upholstered couch with accent pillows Target & long green curtains from Ikea!  My mom’s favorite piece: the pink lamp!

Remember that $10.00 TV cabinet?  Also, you have to check out the “art” behind the TV- they’re plastic room dividers from The Container Store for only  $10.00!

Every room needs a Buddha… especially if its Turquoise!

Did I mention I’m a sucker for obnoxious statues of animals?

My mom was really happy with the end result, and I came in under budget!  Here’s a look at where all the funds went:

Living Room: Cost: Notes:
Couch $135.00 Craigslist, Interior Fabrics
Pillows $60.00 Target, Jo-Anns
Coffee Table $45.00 Craigslist, Home Depot
TV Console $37.00 ReStore, Home Depot
Lamps $60.00 Ikea, Homegoods
Bookshelf $35.00 Free, High Fashion Fabrics
Curtains & Rod $70.00 Lowes, Ikea
Décor $177.00 Target, Homegoods, Ikea
Paint $60.00 Home Depot
Misc. $15.00 n/a
TOTAL $694.00
Dining & Kitchen: Cost: Notes:
Dining Set $140.00 Hobby Lobby
Paint $25.00 Home Depot
Microwave $39.00 Target
Coffee Pot $18.00 Target
Rug $19.00 Home Depot
Chandelier $60.00 Ikea
Accessories $90.00 Homegoods, Target
Décor $20.00 Target
TOTAL $411.00

Tomorrow I’ll feature more of the bedroom that you got the sneak peek at last week!

Live Creatively!

August 24, 2010 at 9:00 am 2 comments

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