Thursday, July 3, 2014

Closet Letters

I had some extra wall space in my closet and since this room is Junk Gypsy inspired, I couldn't resist some old letters.  I had one of the letters already which I stole from Gage's room (Actually, I had to trade my Hamilton world series jersey for it.) but I purchased the I and o's at Hobby Lobby. The red ones were $1.99 each, (90% off) and the black o was 60% off. I was going to just wait on this picture for the closet reveal but since the sale is going on now, I thought I would go ahead and post this part in case anyone is looking for letters for something. The s and the heart are from Forge Imports. The B is also Hobby Lobby ~ not on sale but you can always use the 40% off coupon. I did.

It was funny because when I finished hanging this yesterday, I pulled my husband into the closet to show him and his only comment was, "You need another B." I guess men do only have one thing on their mind. Hmmm.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Jewelry, Belt and Scarf Storage

I figured out this easy way to make long necklace storage. I just used basic hooks from Target and spray painted them a gold to match this old frame that I had lying around. I knew that I would use it someday for something. I just hung the hook first and then hung the frame over it. I also used the same hooks for belt and scarf storage...

Here I used two together and just added a metal flower in between to look like they're joined. The metal flower has a magnet glued to the back. I also used beads at the end to cover up the screw holes. They kind of blend in so it's hard to see in this picture. You can buy the magnets at Hobby Lobby. They are around $8 for 20 of them. This reminds me of my next project where things weren't as easy at first.

I already showed you my long necklace storage but I also needed something for short necklaces...

I already had this small magnetic bulletin board and I thought that since it was magnetic that I could take some knobs and just use a magnet to attach the knob to the board. Two problems came up.

Make sure that the knobs that you buy and/or find are flat on the back. I assumed that the screw on the pink knob didn't. So then I had to go around my house to see if I had any left over knobs that I could use because I really wanted to finish this. Luckily, I always save old hardware and found what I needed.

 Funny thing about magnets...they aren't as strong as you think. Once I added a necklace on top, the magnet slid all the way down. UGH!!!

So, long story short, I pulled out my trusty glue gun. It never fails me. Next to my drill, it is one of my most important tools.

 I did end up using at least one magnet to embellish the center knob with yet another metal flower. I just love these things!

The finished product after way to much time.

Now here's an oldie. Remember way back seven months ago when I said I was going to do my closet...

I just took one of those jewelry organizers that you can buy at places like Stein Mart and used another frame that I had lying around. I used a staple gun to attach it to the back. You can see that it wasn't the perfect size so I just made sure that it lined up at the bottom.

Only a few more projects to go before the final reveal. I'm excited to show you what you can do with a little paint, a little time and a few things from around the house.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Touring Through Blogland

Hi ya'll! Welcome to the Decorating Duchess. My name is Alyssa. Whether you are an old friend and follower or are just visiting for the first time, I'm so happy you're here.

With my boys Jackson and Gage
 I don't usually do tours so I'm new at this, but I couldn't say no when my friend Christine at Little Brags Blog invited me to join in. She is by far the most friendly blogger I have "met" and has been very encouraging to me. Her blog always makes me smile especially when she adds in that cute little bunny of hers. She has a very warm rustic style in her design which I, of course, appreciate. Be sure to stop by there too on your tour!

So let's get started. As a part of the tour I am supposed to answer a few questions. Here goes...

1. What am I working on?

More like what am I not working on. My entire house is always being tweaked and is constantly a work in progress... as well as my brother's house and my mother's house and the occasional friend's house. Right now ,though, my focus is on my bedroom and my closet. So you'll see a lot of posts coming referring to those areas of the house.

Master Bedroom in progress
Closet in progress

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I know there are a lot of decorating blogs out there but there are also just as many different design styles. My style is a mixture of rustic warm elements. I like to call it Tex-Mex. Because I live in South/Central Texas, I am influenced by all of the cultures around me from Spanish Missions to rustic ranches and everything in between. I even mix in some more modern influences from Austin and Houston.


Laundry Room Remodel
 I tend to do a lot of DIY and often it's a project that I'm just making up that I've never done before. Therefore, I am able to share the mistakes as well as the things that work. I'm assuming if you're looking at my blog to learn a DIY that you haven't done it before either. So, maybe I'll spare you some headaches that I had when doing it!

Pantry Remodel
3. Why do I write/create what I do?

As with many other things that I do, I literally woke up one morning and thought, "I'm going to start a blog today." So I "googled" blogging and just got started. Oddly enough, I had never even read a blog before that, but had an idea of what they were all about.  I used to decorate professionally and once my kids were born, I decided that I wanted to be home with the them full time. What I didn't realize is that you just can't hold back a passion to do something that you love. So, of course, I still continued to decorate for myself and close friends and family here and there. Sharing the projects that I do is really just a fun hobby for me. It allows me to unite with like minded people and helps keep me connected to the world while still being home with the kids.

4. How does your writing/creating process work?

Basically, I would be doing all of the projects that I do , with or without the blog. With it, I just need to make sure that I document everything and take pictures during my progress. (Which sometimes I forget to do because I get so wrapped up in something!) Once I complete a project, most of the work is already done in writing the blog. I know more professional bloggers take the time to "plan out" future posts but I pretty much wing it. I have found that you just can't force writing. It has to be something natural for me, something that I'm "ready" to talk about for it to work.

Gage's room

Port Aransas House (Cowabungalow)

As a part of the tour, I wanted to share three other bloggers that you may not know.

First of all, visit Kelly @ She shares great DIY's, recipes and the decorating of her charming lake house.

Secondly, Tricia @ This is a direct link to her cottage house tour. You won't be disappointed if you love a warm neutral cottage look.

Lastly, I like to visit Becky @ when I want to get my virtual flea market fix. She is in to junkin', fixing up and repurposing old treasures.

 Thank you again for visiting. If you think you might enjoy some of my future posts, you can have them sent right to your email for free and I promise that your address won't be used for anything else!  For more information on my blog, you can check out the search bar above or my tabs section at the top. Thanks!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Closet Project ~ Pretty Rods

The details in a room can be very important, I think. One detail that has always bothered me in my closet is my clothes hanging / rod situation. First of all, the rods went all the way across the room on both sides of the closet. Who needs that much hanging room? I'm not Mariah Carey! Builders tend to think that a closet should consist of a couple of rods and a few shelves. Does this really work for anyone?  Where do you put folded clothes? A hamper? Hang belts and scarves? I know, there shouldn't be any complaining on the yacht, so to speak. I'm lucky to have my own closet. There is still always room for improvement.

So, my first project was to cut down the rods so that I had some wall space for furniture and other things. I'll show you this in a later post when I reveal the entire closet. I don't want to give too much away. Then I painted the rods an antique gold and made sure to put a couple of coats of  polyurethane to make them durable.

The ends looked like they needed a little something so I added these metal rosettes. I bought them at Forge Imports for $8 a piece. They put on screws for me, but in hindsight, I think just using hot glue would have been fine.

I used different colors only because they didn't have all of any one color.

One thing I should mention, they came with leaves but when I tried to screw the top ones in, the shelf was in the way, so I had to remove them. (which was easy by just moving them back and forth) They eventually just popped off. It was a happy accident as I actually like them better without the leaves anyway! It is a very rare occasion that I try something new and it works out perfectly without having to make any changes. This also occurred with one of the jewelry hanging projects that I will be sharing with you later. Today nothing was easy!

It's funny, but this project has been the first one that I have taken on where my husband told me, "Maybe you do need to get a job?!" He thinks that I have run out of things to do but he should know better. This is actually one of the most fun things that I have done. I am well on my way to having my WoMAN cave!...Anyway, I know some of you out there "get" me.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Closet Progress ~ Sugar Skull Stencil

Day of the Dead sugar skull stencil for walls, pink and gold paint with stencil.

I knew that I wanted to do some type of stencil on the back wall of my closet but I wasn't sure at first what it would look like. You might have read previously that I was doing a Junk Gypsy inspired room and they actually had a show where they installed skeleton stickers in a closet. Then I thought, "Skeletons in a closet, how cute is that?" I have always loved the sugar skulls from The Day of the Dead and being from San Antonio, I thought these were perfect! It was a little tricky making the stencil but I'll show you how I did it.

First I drew out a pattern on poster board. If you fold over the poster board, you will have the matching pattern on the other side.

What I didn't realize at first is that the part that is cut out will be the part that is painted. Therefore, you would only see the shapes and not the skull itself. Then I realized that I could first paint the stencil on the left in gold and then paint over with the wall color with the stencil on the right to get the effect that I wanted.

I started the pattern by placing the first two skulls near the ceiling but so the pattern would end up going between the windows and then measured out from there.

Next, I used the other stencil over the top of the first one for the face details using the wall color.

I felt like the teeth needed to be filled in so I added a few lines at the mouth. Also, I wanted the cheeks to look more like flowers so I added a circle to the center. Even though this ended up being a three step process, it went pretty quickly.

The gold gives a really neat effect as it changes as you move around the room, where some skulls show up more than others as you move around. Now I literally have skeletons in my closet!