Bohemian Velvet Floor Pillows

I am on a DIY kick.  Like most artists, I go through my highs and my lows.  Sometimes I find myself overwhelmed with inspirations and other times I am grasping for creativity.  Aren't we all a little mad here?  I have been wanting to make these velvet floor pillows for awhile.  I guess this is about as Fall as I will get.

You know I love velvet anything.  I love it even more when they are faded jewel tones.  These are super easy to make and trust me, I am an amateur sewer.  In about one hour, I sewed three of these bad boys.  I added these pretty tassels for more boho vibe.

These pillows will be in Aurora's new room as her tea party floor pillows.

They look gorgeous on her bed too.

I made this huge wall art out of an old painting I found at Goodwill for $10.  Every sassy pants need her own anthem.  So this is what you will need for these velvety floor pillows.

-a yard of cotton velvet
-four tassels
-the same color thread as your fabric
-sewing machine <optional but it makes life easier>
-24 inches by 24 inches pillow form < I got these at Joann's fabric for 40% off>

First I cut two squares of 26 inches by 26 inches.  Put the right sides together with the tassel in each corner as such.

Sew three sides and leave one side opens to insert your pillow form.  Once you finish sewing the three sides, turn the case the right side out.  Insert your pillow form and hand stitch the last opening.  Now if I were a better sewer, I am sure there are better ways to sew these floor pillows but this was just a lazy girl's way of doing it.

And if you are going to have a tea party, you might as well do it on velvet pillows.  Crowns are optional but always preferred.


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Step by Step Tutorial On Creating A Faux Gilded Antique French Mirror

Hello Fall, how I adore you.  Something about cool crisp air always awaken my creativity and you know once I start something, I can't stop.  For the last few weeks, I have been slowly working on Aurora's new big girl room.  The biggest project for her room probably have to be the plank wall.  Up to this point, I have painted or cut up pieces of furniture but never actually done anything BIG.  Now that I got that part out of the way, I am working on lots of little creative projects for the room.  If you know me then you will know how much I suck at making tutorials.  Well, here is my attempt at showing you how to transform a plain old thrift store mirror to your own antique gilded French mirror.

Here is a little sneak peek of Aurora's new room.  Would you believe me if I told you this gilded mirror started out like this?

I found it at my favorite antique shop, The Trading Post, over the weekend.  It has the shape I was looking for and already has beautiful details on top.  So find yourself a mirror with the shape and size you want.

Next, you will need appliques.  I love Efex appliques for their amazing details.  I can cut them and stretch them and change them into any shapes I want.  I wasn't very picky about how I wanted the mirror to look like so I just used whatever I had left over from other projects.

Next is the fun part of playing around with patterns.  You can use double sided tape to put the appliques on the frame.  That way you can change it as you go.

I rarely stick to the plan and always end up changing it anyway.  You will see in a bit what I mean.

Once you decided how you want the mirror to look like, you will need Contact Cement to adhere the appliques to the frame.  Simply follow the direction on the bottle and go to town.

So...like I was saying I never stick to the plan.  I end up changing the wreath in the middle with this simple applique.

After you finish adhering the appliques to the frame, paint the whole frame with whatever paint you have.  I don't even know if this part is really necessary since you are going to be gilding the whole frame anyway but this is just how I do it.

Once the paint is completely dry, use any kind of gilding wax to gild the frame.  I LOVE Rub 'n Buff.  For this piece I used their Antique Gold.

Here is the thing.  I find that without dark wax, any kind of gilding wax looks plastic.  You really need dark wax to bring out the details and to add depth to the piece.

Here I used Annie Sloan Dark Wax and be generous with it.  After you let the mirror sits for a day, you are golden.  With a little creativity, it can go from this...

  to this.

Details are everything.

Roses add a little romance.

Faded pink velvet chair adds a little character.

If you ask me, I think this girl got it good.

Now I am just waiting for B to finish creating a custom portrait for Aurora.  We have something really cool in mind for the room.  I really hope this tutorial will inspire you to create your own faux gilded French mirror.  Here is yours truly in the process of making the mirror.  I don't think I have ever shown you my workroom either.

Happy Creating, my friends.


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Home: A Picture less Essay

Death has a way of waking my senses and clearing my blurred vision.  You are probably wondering why my post about Burma would start with death.  Well, it is because death was on my mind as I packed our clothes, as we flew across the continents, and as I stepped out of the plane and inhaled the sweet smell of home.  Two days before we left for Burma, I got the news that my eldest aunt, my mother's oldest sister, has passed away unexpectedly.  I found myself in a dark moment of deja vu.  It has been eight years since I have been back home and how much I have missed out on people's lives.  I have missed out on their laughter, their tears of joy, their moments of sadness.  It has always been my fear that one day I would wake up and they would just be gone.  I would no longer be able to give them my bear hugs and to smell their skins and to truly look at their faces and to breathe them in.

Once many moons ago, I flew across the oceans with death on my mind.  It was the first time I came home since I had left a few years before.  I was a lost child.  I breathed but wasn't living.  I looked but wasn't seeing.  Home sickness had taken over my sixteen years old self and I was filled with so much sadness and resentment.  As I inched closer and closer to home, the realization that my dear aunt was dying with cancer kept getting bigger and bigger.  The only image I had of her was beautiful.  She was one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen and she was proud.  I will always remember the first time I walked into her hospital room.  There she was...asleep on her hospital bed...so tiny and just bones and skin.  She was not my aunt.  I stood by the door...not moving but just staring.  The clock in the room ticked too loudly.  I could hear a faint sound of a lizard somewhere in the room.  This was not my aunt.  Not my beautiful and proud aunt.  She opened her eyes and reached out to me.  She smiled like she wasn't dying...the kind of smile that make you dizzy with happiness.  She called my name...a faint sound.  She kissed my hand and put it against her hollow cheek.  I cried then...deep sobbing cries.  I cried for a very long time.  I cried for her.  I cried for me.  There we were.  One's living and one's dying.  I was alive yet I wasn't truly living.  I was fading...I was letting go.  There she was..dying yet truly living.  She was smiling and her eyes were as bright as the sunniest of days.  She said she wasn't afraid of dying because she lived.  She loved and was loved.  She told me to come home.  I told her there is nothing in the world I want more than to be home...to feel like I belonged somewhere.  Then she did something that would changed the course of my life.  She lifted up her fragile hand, covered with tubes, and placed it on my heart.  She said, come home.  If you are home, here, no matter where you are or how far away you are from your people, you will always be home.  Home is the blood that run through you.  Home is the history of your people that made you who you are.  Home is every piece of memory that you hold onto to create the story of your life.  You belonged no matter where you are.  My beautiful aunt wasn't afraid of death because she was home..truly home.  It mattered not how short her life was or who was surrounding her at her death bed.  It mattered that she was so content with how she lived her life and she was one with herself.

So as I made my journey back to Burma with death on my mind, I didn't question whether I belonged anywhere or where home was.  I simply thought about how these strong women of mine lived their lives so fully and so contently.  I thought about how death has a way of showing you light.  I thought about no matter how long or short my aunts were in my life, the love they had for me and I had for them is constant.  It is never ending and simply exist without time restraints.  I was reminded to truly live by being back in the place where so many pieces of my life were created.  I was reminded to come home.