Why I buy fabric online, and other fabric-y thoughts.

Yesterday, when I shared this glamorous bedroom makeover by Randi, it reminded me that I had asked her once about the fabric she used on the chair in the room and the pillow on the bed. As you can see, it’s a cheetah print with a very specific, authentic look. Because not all cheetah print fabrics are created equal. Some are really cheesy and fake, but this one looks like the real deal. You aren’t going to find this print just anywhere. Except I did! I found it on Amazon!

I was excited about that little discovery, so I thought I’d share, along with a few other fabric selections that I’ve rounded up from the blogosphere. I don’t know about you, but it’s always so much easier to make a decision on fabric when you can see it how it looks ‘in use’ vs. a teeny sample square on a screen.

However, if you’ve never considered buying fabric online, don’t be scared! There are some great advantages to doing it this way. For one, the selection is unmatched. There is no way your local fabric store can possibly stock a fraction of the variety you can find online.

Another advantage is that the prices you’ll find are much lower. Since online retailers don’t have the overhead of a maintaining a regular storefront, they pass significant savings on to you.

Plus, I’ve found that most online fabric companies have great return policies. Regular craft and fabric stores on the other hand? Not so much. Once they’ve cut it for you, there’s no going back, cupcake.

Randi’s fabric is called Jamil, and you can see where she used it in the photo above. It’s dreeeeamy.

 

Here’s a graphic print that I love from the HGTV fabric line, called Jigsaw Malachite.

Check out how Becky at Infarrantly Creative used it in her son’s ridiculously awesome bedroom makeover.

infarrantly creative fabric

 

We all know that black and white striped anything is a winner in my book.  Ikea has a couple of striped fabrics that I’ve used several times, and they’re great quality at a great price. I believe they still cost $7.99 a yard, but bummer alert: you can’t order their fabric online.

source

But luckily there are plenty of online options if a trip to Ikea isn’t in your near future. I like this vertical stripe by Fabric.com. It’s 100% cotton, and the stripes are nice and chunky at nearly 3 inches wide.

This next one illustrates why it’s so helpful to see a ‘real life’ example of the fabric you’re considering.  Here’s how this Tommy Bahama fabric shows up in the sample image:

And here’s that same fabric on a reupholstered chair.

source

Whoa, big difference right?? But again, don’t let that scare you off. Just google the name of the fabric you’re interested in, and you’re very likely to find photos of projects other people have done, which will help you get a more realistic idea of what it looks like.

 

This fabric is called Srilanka Indigo, and it’s gorgeous.


And here it is as a ‘no sew’ curtain panel from Artsy Chicks Rule.
ikat fabric diy curtains

Much easier to get a sense of the scale of the pattern when you’re looking at something other than a 2×2″ square, knowwhatImean?

 

I really, really love the fabric that Sita Montgomery used on her curtains as well. Neutral and elegant but still playful and graphic. It’s a winner.

duralee loop de loop fabric

It’s called Loop De Loop Smoke, from Duralee.

 

Chris at Driven by Decor is another gal who has a great knack for choosing fabric. Basically anything she buys, sign me up too. I love what she did with this Nate Berkus fabric, called San Lucia.

fabric over a chair

She simply draped it over the back of a chair and added tassels to dress it up. That’s it! What an easy way to make a statement.

san lucia fabric by nate berkus

 

 

 

 

This next fabric has been around for a while, but I see it popping up all over the internetz all the time, so people clearly still dig it.

dwellstudio fabricsource

What’s not to love? It’s called Bella Porte, and it comes in charcoal and yellow, and I know I’ve used it myself on some pillows in my lifetime, but I’ll be darned if I can find the pictures to prove it.

 

 

Love this one from Carosel called Navy and Gray Geometric. (What they lack in creative fabric names, they make up for in design, haha!)

rocking chair cover source

Ahhh, am I the only one who could look at fabric all day? I could seriously go on, but I’ll stop.

Right after I show you some more of my favorite fabrics. Then I’ll stop.

favorite fabric choices

Arrows || Flamingos || Gold Dot and Stripe

Aztec || Cacti Field || Aztec Stripe

Pineapples || Heni Bay Green || Swiss Cross

 

Hey, wouldn’t it be fun if we each sent a favorite piece of fabric from our stash (because we all have a stash) to someone else and they had to make something with it? We should do that sometime.

 

***post contains some affiliate links


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Super Cute Food

I’m sorry. I’m not sharing a typical post like you’re used to seeing on Better After today. I’m sharing something else that has absolutely nothing to do with DIY or before and afters. And I have no real reason to share it, but I simply cannot help myself. I just can’t hold it in any longer:

LOOK AT MY FREAKING CUTE EGGS!

eggs step 18

OMG OMG OMG OMG, THEY ARE SO CUTE I MIGHT LITERALLY THROW UP.

 

Whew. I’m glad I got that off my chest.  Yes, those are hard-boiled eggs shaped like a bunny and a teddy bear, and they are so outrageously cute I can hardly stand it.

So here’s the deal. I was minding my own business just browsing around on Amazon one night, and these egg molds popped up under ‘items you may be interested in.’ Amazon apparently knows me so well it knows part of me that I didn’t even know existed: the part that hyperventilates with excitement at the sight of animal-shaped food. I really did have a physical reaction.

They were only $3 for the pair, and I bought them without delay. And now I make adorable eggs all the time, and the kids love them so much, just kidding, the kids have never even seen them because I only make adorable eggs for myself because I CAN’T EVEN STAND IT, just kidding again, I really do make these for my kids, and they love them too, because WHO WOULDN’T???

eggs step 19

The process is super easy. Hard boil your eggs. Remove the shell while the eggs are still hot. (Be careful!)

 

eggs step 9

Squeeze the egg into the egg mold and snap it shut.

 

eggs step 13

Submerge in ice water for 10 minutes.

 

 

eggs step 16

Remove the egg and pass out from cuteness.

bunny bear egg mold

 

You can find the bunny and bear pair of egg molds here, and the larger set of six egg molds below. <–affiliate links

egg moldsCute food is nothing new, the Japanese have perfected the art with their creative and colorful bento boxes for years, easily putting a typical American “sandwich in a paper bag” lunch to shame. But now that the tools are so easily accessible, why, there’s no reason we can’t have outrageously cute food too! There is a treasure trove of adorable animal-shaped food possibilities that I have only just begun to mine.

 

I think this panda sandwich maker is most likely my next purchase.

bear sandwich mold

Or this panda sandwich maker.

panda sandwiches

I can’t decide!!!

 

Or this panda rice mold:

panda rice mold 2

 

Or THIS panda rice mold.

panda rice mold

Or THIS PENGUIN rice mold! I’m so slack-jawed from the cuteness here, I’m literally drooling all over my keyboard.  I’m surprised it hasn’t malfunc

penguin rice mold

No but seriously, maybe these things seems a little pointless to some people, but they make me so aggressively happy. Why not spread a little unexpected joy wherever we can, right?

penguin rice molds

RICE PENGUINS WEARING NOODLE HEADBANDS STOP IT RIGHT NOW.

 

Thanks for letting me veer off-topic for the day, I hope you thought it was as fun as I did!

Happy Weekend!

 

cute-egg-animation

 

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Popping In

Hi gang!

I’m taking a small blogging break this week, but I might pop in with a few Christmasy things to share if I get a chance.

But for now, since you’re here, why not take a quick stroll through the archives with a few of my past posts and projects you may have missed?  What could possibly be more fun!?

Computer Nook Makeover

My Dining Room Makeover

Magnetic Paint Gallery Wall

How to Paint Polka-Dot Upholstery

2015 Gift Guide: My Favorite Things


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These are a Few of My Favorite Things

Today I am getting all Oprah on you and sharing some of my favorite things.  YOU get a gift guide, and YOU get a gift guide! EVERYBODY is getting a gift guide!!!

I was supposed to do this a few weeks ago, but I have a feeling many of you are last minute shoppers just like me. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. These items are truly some of my favorite things and great for gift giving (or treating yourself) and range from $10 to $200, so there’s something for every budget.  Unless you are a quadrillionare. Or Oprah.

 

My Favorite Things Gift Guide copyLet’s go!

#1 Makala Ukulelemakala ukulele

I bought myself this ukulele a while ago, even though at the time I had absolutely zero musical experience or training.  It’s a great little instrument for learning on, and had the highest reviews of all the beginner ukuleles I saw.  It has a really nice sound and stays in tune well, (once the strings get worn in), and there are SO many tutorials online that soon I was playing like a freaking ukulele virtuoso.  Ok, not really, but I have taught myself a few songs, from groups like the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Sublime to the Beatles and more, and it’s just a super fun way to pass the time or work on a new talent. Plus it comes in a range of colors too, and just looks pretty displayed on the shelf.

 

#2 KYNSA Chalk Markers

kynsa chalk markers

 

Oh man, this is a great set.  I LOVE using liquid chalk markers so much more than regular chalk.  The colors are so vibrant and really opaque, and once it dries, it won’t wipe off. But it’s not permanent, you can wipe if off with a damp towel, and they are safe to use on just about any surface.  I use these all the time, most recently I labeled some jars in my pantry (it comes with a free set of chalkboard labels shown here) and for Thanksgiving last month, I used the brown and green markers to draw a big tree on my glass doors, then I had the kids tape paper leaves to it with things they were thankful for written on them.  Maybe I’ll draw some snowflakes on my doors this month. THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS. Oh, and one more awesome thing, the tips are reversible! One side is rounded, then you can just pull it out and flip it around, and it’s a chisel tip on the other.  Genius.

 

#3 White Barn Candles

white barn candles

Everybody knows that Bath and Body Works candles are the best candles in the land. At least they are in my land.  But now they are even better with their their new spin-off line, White Barn. (It’s not really a spin-off, but it kinda is, they used to be in business once before. It’s complicated). BUT, the point is, if you are looking for candles that are affordable and will make your home smell fabulous, these are your winners.  Pick a scent, any scent. I’m currently burning Winter, and I love it. You can’t go wrong. But if you do, (scents can be hard to choose for other people) they have a pretty great return policy that lets you trade. Plus you can usually find coupons online and get them for a steal.

 

#4 JBL Wireless SpeakerJBL wireless speaker

 

Wireless speakers are so prolific these days.  I was just in Target and they had like 57 different varieties. How to choose? Which one sounds best at which size for how much? Let me save you the hassle.  This JBL unit has fantastic sound, is big enough to be powerful but small enough to be easily portable, with a super long battery life, and links up effortlessly (more than I can say about my Dre Beatbox, which cost twice as much and acts like a hormonal teenager 90% of the time). I use this every single day. Plus lots of color options!

 

 

#5 Gold Toastergold toasterFull disclosure: I don’t own this toaster. I just wish I did. I mean, it’s a gold toaster.

 

 

#6 The Cure

the cure best selling exfoliator in Japan

OH MY GOSH. If you can only get one thing for Christmas, get this stuff.  Give it to your husband. Give it to your neighbors. Everyone needs to know of the wonder and miracles contained in this product. It’s the #1 best selling exfoliator in Japan, and I know what you’re thinking. ‘Exfoliator?! Um, lame!” No. NOT lame. This stuff has completely changed my skin. I am very prone to breakouts, I usually am nursing some huge cystic undergrounder or painful acne clusters on my chin or cheeks, but ever since I’ve been using this, they have virtually stopped. People have actually come up to me to ask me what I’ve been doing with my skin. That was a huge testimonial to me, because that has NEVER happened before.

It’s crazy how this stuff works. It’s a gel that you spread on your clean, dry face, then let it sit for a few seconds.  Then you just gently rub it in with your fingertips, and as you do, all your dead skin starts to shed off into little balls of grossy grossness. It’s weird, but awesome. It’s not harsh at all, it doesn’t even feel like it will do anything when you first start rubbing it in, but it DOES. My face feels super smooth and firm when I’m done, like Barbie skin. I use it about every three days or so. You must buy it and use it and tell me if it changes your life too!

 

#7 The Wet Brush the wet brush

 

Speaking of life-changing, if you haven’t tried the Wet Brush yet, get on this train. It truly lives up to the hype. We have replaced all other hair brushes in our house with this one. It works on wet hair and dry hair, and I couldn’t live without it.  Ok, I could, but I wouldn’t want to. Stick one in your daughter’s stocking and you’ll be thanking yourself the next time you have to brush her hair, and then you will be so amazed that you’ll get yourself one too.

 

#8 VIP Car Wash

car wash program

So this one is a little different and might not be available in all areas, but if you want to step outside the box of typical gift-giving, why not consider a car wash subscription?  Our local car wash has a program that gives you unlimited trips through the car-wash for $14 a month. The gift of a consistently clean car, who wouldn’t want that? I always feel like I really have my life together when my car is clean, anyone else? Just me? Ok then.

 

#9 Magazine Subscription

magazine subscriptions

I love magazines, always have. I find the best deals on Groupon, where you can get year-long subscriptions to popular magazines for as little as $5. At that price, you can buy a ton! I have to stop myself from ordering all the ones I want because I know I will never have time to read them all.  But they’re such a great deal, it’s hard to resist! Send someone you love a stack of their favorite magazines and you’ll be their favorite person all year long.

 

#10 Pom Pom Duvet Cover  pom pom blanket

File this under: Things I Don’t Actually Have, But Really Want. Ugh, I love this so much. How fun are those pom poms? I love the size too, all the other pom pom blankets I’ve looked at have far less substantial pom poms, and are scientifically proven to be way less fun.

 

 

#11 Amazon Firestick

firestick

I admit, I had no idea what this thing was when my husband bought it earlier this year. And then we didn’t use it for a long time because we thought the baby flushed it down the toilet.  But then we found it behind the couch, and it’s been great ever since! The Firestick, not the baby. The baby is insane. Anyway, in basic terms, it connects your HDTV to endless entertainment options. You can instantly stream movies, TV shows, music, use all your apps like Netflix and Hulu, and the best part is you can just take it with you wherever you go, plug it into any HDTV and pick up on your Revenge binge wherever you left off! I’m pretty sure we will be canceling cable soon, because this little thing does it all.

 

That’s my list! I hope you found some good options to consider here! Happy shopping and happy weekend, friend.

My Favorite Things Gift Guide copy

 

 

#1 Makala Ukulele

#2 KYNSA Chalk Markers

#3 White Barn Candles

#4 JBL Wireless Speaker

#5 Gold Toaster

#6 The Cure

#7 The Wet Brush

#8 Unlimited Car Wash Program

#9 Magazine Subscription

#10 Pom Pom Duvet Cover

#11 Amazon Firestick

 

*this post contains affiliate links


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