June 30, 2013

and the winner is.....

Congratulations to Leigh who is the winner of the Royal Designs Stencil Contest! She said she would like to use the Casbah Trellis Stencil in the back of her dining room built-in hutch. I hope she sends us pictures of her finished product!

Thank you to all those who entered the contest. My curtain stencil project turned out so well that I've already got another stencil project brewing in my head. Mwahaaaaa....

June 12, 2013

Royal Design Studios Stencil GIVEAWAY!

In celebration of my stenciled curtains project being a success, I'm doing a GIVEAWAY!

Royal Designs Studio has graciously offered one stencil valued at $50 to a Happy Habitat reader. Which one will you choose? Here are my top two favorites:
To enter, visit Royal Design Studio Stencils and leave a comment here telling which stencil you would choose and where you'd use it. Bonus entries are given for:

Just leave an extra comment for each bonus entry.

The giveaway ends on Thursday, June 20 at midnight. The random winner will be posted here on Friday, June 21.

The Fine Print-- offer includes free shipping but is limited to the continental US only.

June 11, 2013

My Stenciled Curtains

Check it out... I finished a project-- and during summer! 

 If you've ever wanted to know how to stencil on fabric... here's the low-down:

I used the Indian Paisley Damask Stencil from Royal Design Studio Stencils. I knew I wanted to use this one and talked about that here. The stencil is pretty huge and the mylar that it's made from is super thick which makes it easy to move from place to place. (A thin stencil that large would have been difficult to line up the pattern correctly.)

I got lucky and scored these curtains from a friend who didn't want them anymore. They are 100% cotton and I believe cotton twill. They are pretty thick, which I think it's important. I had planned on using a drop cloth, (as seen here, here and here), but the drop cloth that I bought was a beige color, and I couldn't find a white or off-white one at Lowes or Home Depot.

I just used matte latex paint from Sherwin Williams. I think you can get special fabric paint that washes, but let's face it, I'm not going to wash my curtains. NOTE: the colors appear darker on the fabric. For reference, I chose Seaworthy, and you can see it looks almost dark navy. The paint is a bit stiff, but I don't plan on snuggling my curtains, so no problem.

Let's just start by saying read the instructions. Don't lose the instructions. Instructions are good. And helpful. And can save you a lot of time. In my case approximately 2 1/2 hours. 

I did a practice run with a roller (a thick fluffy one), a foam flat bottom round 'brush' (not really a brush at all.) When I used the thick fluffy roller, it bled through the stencil and made the image all puffy and distorted, so instead I used the flat bottom foam thing. Which worked fine, but took FOREVER. 3 1/2 hours to be exact-- that was just for one panel. It was tedious and boring, and I'm impatient, so seemed extra horrible. The next day I got smart, and went to the store to look for different tools. I found a small foam roller, and that made all the difference. I flew through the other panel in less than one hour!

Couple things to note: it can be messy. I got paint under the stencil, and when I went to move the stencil around, it left trails of paint. Also, where the hem is, the design got globby. I also didn't do a perfect job of keeping the fabric taut, so sometimes the pattern didn't match up. Did any of this matter in the end? Absolutely not. I thought I was screwed at first when I got paint smeared all over the second time I laid the stencil down, but as I kept going you just didn't even notice it. And I am one to notice these things. When people say "you don't even notice it, I'm usually thinking-- I see it. I notice it. But there's some kind of magic that happens with the pattern, and you don't notice the mistakes. 

The day after I finished, I found the instructions and sure enough, it says very clearly-- FOAM ROLLER. And all kinds of other helpful hints. 

In the end, YES-- this was a good and successful DIY and would have been even better had I read the instructions and saved some time (and my back!) I will definitely be stenciling something again, and think doing walls will be even easier than fabric.

Oh--- and if you want to try a stencil project on your own, stay tuned! A GIVEAWAY is coming!

June 07, 2013

Emily Henderson's Living Room

I am drooling over Emily Henderson's living room. It is everything I would hope to have in a room. Fun, interesting, colorful, quirky and personal items, old, new, streamlined, cozy, but modern, approachable, and cool. Every single bit is killer. First thing I noticed was the sexy sofa.

Next thing I noticed were all those bright textiles... the pillows, that wall hanging. Oh, and the ART. All so good, and so noticeable against the white. 

Those bookshelves are perfectly styled. Just the right amount of brass, collections and weird odds and ends. 

The fireplace mantle is has a great mix of art:
Seems like arrows are hot right now in design-- I love how she brought in real ones-- colorful and cool.

And my favorite part....

I'm over the moon that she used the Triangles Happy Habitat Eco Throw! She mentioned my Eco Throws a while back, but I wasn't sure that she was going to use it in her room. I love seeing how a truly gifted stylist and one of my all time favorite designers incorporated a Happy Habitat Throw into a room, my triangle throw is right at home in Emily's living room. 

June 05, 2013

happy habitat happenings

Hello Friends!

I'm still alive, but in summer mode (if only it were summer weather!) Kids are home, so I'm not working quite as much, and the first thing to give is the Happy Habitat blog. I didn't ever want blogging to be a thing of stress for me, so I have never made any obligations to myself or the public on how often I would post, or what topics I would cover, and I would never make apologies for not posting (does anyone out there really read this anyway!)

In addition to hanging with my kids, I've been knee-deep in yucky business stuff. This is the kind of crappy stuff that owning your own business involves:
  • MANY phone calls to the Kansas Department of Revenue to find out how to file Kansas Retail Sales Tax. Did you know that for EVERY sale in Kansas, I have to list that individual sale, with it's separate city's tax code (there are codes that have to be looked up, as they couldn't just call it the city), with it's separate tax percentage, in addition to the total quarterly sales, then deduct out internet sales that do not require sales tax. Did I lose you? Me too. I'm seriously thinking about not selling items in Kansas to avoid this ridiculousness. 
  • MORE phone calls to the Kansas Department of Revenue to figure out why they want me to file for employee's tax withholding when I don't have employees. 
  • Fees and Forms to become an LLC (allright, that was surprisingly easy, but still had to weed out all the extra stuff on the internet that companies try to get you to pay for). I'm officially an LLC now though-- apparently that's important.
  • Business Insurance. Yep, I guess I had to get that too. I've been in business for almost 2 years without it, but found that some companies wouldn't partner with me without insurance. So had to take care of that fun item too. 
  • And back to the Kansas Department of Revenue for quarterly taxes. I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to be paying my income tax every quarter (not to be confused with 'withholding tax' or 'retail sales tax'). 
Gross, right? I suppose it's the stuff you have to deal with to get on to the good part--- designing new patterns! Taking care of those odds and ends makes the fun part that much better. 

Speaking of fun parts, check out Latina Magazine's April issue! The XO Pillows were featured in their "The Good Life: Go Green" section. WOOHOO!