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DIY Vivienne Westwood Union Jack Rug

So I swear the online magazine Lonny will be the death of me! 
Every single page of that thing is ridiculously stylish, filled with items I want and items I want to recreate.
When I was perusing its pages early this morning while drinking my Skinny Latte (it's what Starbucks has recently deemed my favorite drink.  Which I resent because it makes me feel like I should be on a diet which I definitely am not. . .)
I stumbled upon this gorgeous Vivienne Westwood Union Jack rug.
I love old Mr. Union Jack but am often deterred from letting him in my home because of his bold use of primary colors. I don't want my house looking like a classroom project. Granted this could be a completely unwarranted concern, but still it's my unwarranted concern.
What I love about this Vivienne Westwood version is its wonderfully muted colors. No bright child like colors here! I  love how it looks like its been in battle. 
So it got me thinking, hmm how can I have this without wasting spending too much money? Then I remember Martha Stewart's tutorial on how to make canvas rugs. . . perfection!
So my newest DIY, which I'm sure will give the bf a heart attack since all my DIYs involve mess and chaos, will be to recreate this Vivienne Westwood rug using Martha Stewarts canvas rug tutorial.
I think it will work out amazingly precisely because the original looks like it has been in battle. The style leaves room for some DIY errors to look as though they are purposeful!
And the base of it all is a drop cloth! Which some of you may already have laying around. This is a pretty cool project for any room in the house, I'm thinking it could be really fun to design a cute rug for a kids room for all the mommies out there! And I also love how you don't have to sew anything :)
For those type A's out there, its probably a good idea to create a template mapping out the proportions of the Union Jack design. I'm more of a fly-by-the-seat of my pants lady so we will see how my freehand looks

Prepping the Canvas
Tools and Materials
drop cloth
hollow-core door, or 1/2-inch plywood cut to size
number 10 canvas duck, cut to dimensions of door or board plus a 6-inch margin
staple gun
paper cups
paint roller on broomstick
roller tray and liner white acrylic gesso
medium-grit sandpaper
It's easiest to stretch the canvas over a hollow-core door, which is lightweight and just the right size for a rug. For other dimensions, you can also use plywood cut to size. We primed both sides for added durability.
1. Working on a large table or on a drop cloth on the floor, center door or board on canvas. Smooth the fabric around to the back, stapling it at each side's midpoint. Continue stapling from the center points outward, about every 3 inches. Fold one side neatly under the other; staple at each corner (far left).
2. Flip the door, and support it on upside-down paper cups. Using a roller, prime the surface and edges with gesso (if using plywood, prime 1 inch border of underside, too). Let dry. Lightly sand.
3. Remove staples, and flip the canvas. Reposition canvas on door, matching up fold lines; staple again.
4. Prime surface and edges with gesso. Let dry; sand surface and edges. Add another coat. Let dry; sand.

Painting Tips
Use liquid acrylics (if you use heavy-body acrylics, which come in tubes, thin with water to the consistency of cream) and flat brushes in a variety of sizes. To match hues in your room's decor, you can mix tints: Combine titanium white with other colors for lighter shades, or add a dab of burnt umber to give an earthy tint. If you would like a warm, neutral background, paint the canvas with a wash of titanium buff (1 tablespoon paint mixed with 4 cups water). When customizing a shade of paint, you won't be able to reproduce it exactly once you've used it up, so don't skimp on amounts; to paint a solid color on a door-size canvas, you'll need about 2 cups. Use airtight jars to store the colors you've blended.

Finishing Your Rug 
Tools and Materials
 polyacrylic varnish
wide paintbrush
drop cloth
1 roll double-sided carpet tape
bone folder or butter knife
1. Apply two coats of varnish to painted surface, according to label instructions. Let final coat dry overnight. Turn the door over, and lay it on a drop cloth on the floor; then unstaple the canvas.
2. The door's edges create two fold lines that delineate the hem. Trim excess canvas just outside outer fold line (if plywood was used, mark and trim to 1 inch outside the fold line).
3. To miter the corners, fold in the hem on both sides of a corner so their edges meet; mark that point on each.
4. Lay the fabric flat again, and draw a line between the two points; it should intersect the corner of the inner fold line. Trim just outside the line that you've marked. Repeat with remaining corners.
5. Affix carpet tape to underside of hem on each side of canvas; press hem flat, and burnish with bone folder or the handle of a butter knife. Carefully turn over rug without bending it; let dry 4 days, or according to varnish directions, before using it. Lay it on the floor over a nonslip pad of the same size.

yay for martha stewart!
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The Vodka Drinker

They call her, the vodka drinker.
Which is funny because that's my nickname!
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Bright Beautiful Bunches

  I love Jane Austen. In my fantasies I am one of her heroines; the kind of girl who plays piano, carries on a conversation in French one moment and German the next, holds dances & dinners. All while being fabulously witty and clever.
  It's this absurd idea that is in the back of my mind as I browse blogs, maneuver through magazines, peruse the paper. Searching for chic hairstyles, new recipes, entertaining and etiquette tips, books to read, and places to see.. It's with this lofty goal that I'm always attempting to make my life a prettier place
  I know. Weird.

And so I am posting on flower arranging. I hate how I see all these pretty arrangements that look like someone just ran out and picked some wildflowers and they fell effortlessly into place inside of a rustic glass jar. It doesn't  just happen that way, because believe me I've tried it!
So I'm bringing together some interesting tips I've come across on how to replicate that "I didn't try hard at this I just naturally rock at everything I do" look when it comes to flowers.

1. Apparently there's an art to choosing the flowers. I read you should choose your "star flower" or the flower you want to highlight in the arrangement (such as roses) There should be a "supporting actress" another flower that is a different shape or size that accents the star flower (maybe some lilies).
Then there is the "behind-the-scenes" aspect of the bouquet which is the foliage. This helps create a fuller bouquet but doesn't take away from your main focus.
You can obviously have as many main, supporting and behind the scenes aspects as you like, but once you have these three roles in your head its pretty easy to spot them (and hopefully recreate them) in pretty arrangements.

Some even suggest collecting branches & foliage from your yard to use as filler.
2. Try out interesting "non-vases" such as varying sized jars, vintage cans, teapots, gourds, egg cups etc. These often make the arrangement all the more charming and give you a chance to bring in more color in the decor or coordinate with a theme.
3. No flower food? A few drops of bleach will discourage the growth of any bacteria in the water ( I know this sounds the opposite of good for flowers right?)
3. Another odd trick is to spray PAM (cooking spray) on tropical blooms such as Birds of Paradise. Apparently it seals the pores and prevents the flowers from drying out quickly. It also makes them shiny!
4. For an easier arrangement just pop the heads off of some pretty flowers and float them in an cute container (I'm imagining teacups here)

5 Use a clear ponytail holder to hold the stems together. Place it just about 4 inches below the blossoms and right at the water line so it will go unnoticed.
6. Bouquets from the grocery store can be more affordable but aren't always arranged nicely. Buy one and reconstruct it into something beautiful! Or if the wrapping looks tacky (aka the clear or colored plastic stuff!) re-wrap it in nice brown butcher paper. Or just tie a color coordinated ribbon around it with no wrapping.
Hopefully this was helpful. Thanks to Country Living & Yum Sugar for the inspiration & tips