Monday, September 22, 2014

DIY Tutorial // Personalized Dotted Name Lamp


DIY Personalized Dotted Name Lamp Shade // Bubby and Bean


Almost nine months after our daughter Essley was born, I am finally getting around to finishing up her nursery. I still need to hem the curtains, but other than that, the only final detail missing has been a table lamp. Her room is gray, white, and black with pops of vibrant primary colors, and I wanted something simple that would still be fun without being over-the-top. I already had a dark grey lamp shade, and I thought about decorating it with her name, but I didn't want to use paint or stencils. The other day, while looking through all of the attachments of my Dremel® Micro™ 8050, I came up with the idea to use it to create cut-out style dots to form the letters of her name. I thought it would look so pretty to see the hints of light shining through when her room was dark, and it would be a sweet, subtle way to personalize it just for her. My husband and I worked on this project together, and we loved the way it turned out, so I'm sharing it with you guys. Obviously, this doesn't have to be for a nursery or kid's room either - you could use any name (or any word) you wanted.

  • Dremel® Micro™ 8050
  • Lamp base
  • Lamp shade (cylinder or drum shape)
  • Light bulb
  • A measuring tape
  • Masking tape
  • A fine point marker
  • Two copies of your name template (see details below)


1. Begin by creating your name template. To do this, measure around the circumference of your shade with a measuring tape, in order to get an idea of the width that you'll need your name to be. You're going to be "punching out" the name on two sides of your shade, so you'll want the width of the name to measure 4-5 inches inches less than half of the circumference of the shade. Our shade measured 27.5 inches around, and half of that is 13.75 inches, so we made our name template 9 inches wide. Once you know the width you'll need, create the template by choosing a dotted font, then typing out the text in the program of your choice. (I used Photoshop, and the font I used is called National First Font Dotted, which can be downloaded here. Another option is to create dotted text using a handwriting worksheet like this one.) After you've finished creating your template, print two copies and trim them down.


2. Next, attach the templates to the inside of the shade with tape. To do this in a way that is centered properly, start from the seam of your shade, measure a quarter way around in both directions along the bottom, and make a tiny mark on each side (on the inside at the bottom of the shade).  Repeat this along the top. Then measure halfway from the top mark to the bottom mark on each side, and make another small mark on the inside of the shade at the halfway point for each side.  Center your name templates on top of these marks (the middle mark on each side) on the inside of the shade, then attach with masking tape.


3. Use a fine tip marker to mark each dot on the outside of the shade. If you're in a dark room, it may be difficult to see through to the templates, so make sure you're in a well lit space. Although our shade was very dark grey, I did this sitting by a window and was able to see the template dots with no problem.


4. Now comes the fun part. Using your Dremel® Micro™ 8050 and the 105 attachment (carving/engraving), create small holes on each of the dots you drew in step 3. To do this, make sure you choose the highest speed (28), then set the tip on top of each dot to "drill out" your holes. Be gentle and let the tool do the work; the Dremel® Micro™ 8050 is the most powerful and precise cordless rotary tool that Dremel has ever produced, and will create perfect, uniformly sized holes with very little effort. Continue this with each dot until the names on each side are completed.


5. Put your shade on your lamp base, insert your lightbulb, turn on the lamp, and watch your name light up!


This project was a lot of fun, and I absolutely love the finished product. And best of all, it was easy - in large part thanks to the Dremel® Micro™8050. Most piercing tools would have caused the inside of the lamp shade to crack, but the Micro's fluid movements prevented this and allowed for perfectly uniformed holes. This little tool is no joke. It's super lightweight and easy to handle in tight spaces, but it's packed with features that are heaven to a DIYer: a soft grip, LED front-end lighting to illuminate projects, a docking station that continually charges, and an 8V Max Lithium-ion battery. It can cut, carve, engrave, sand, grind, sharpen, clean and polish. It's also fully compatible with all Dremel rotary tool accessories. We've already made a list of projects we plan to create with it soon. If you are into DIYs like we are, you can purchase a Micro 8050 of your own online at Amazon.com and HomeDepot.com for $89 USD. For more information on Dremel products, project ideas and problem-solving tips, visit www.dremel.com.

And here's some great news before I go… Dremel wants to celebrate its fans' brilliant projects, work and ideas! Now through October 12, share, tweet or post photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that depict your brilliant ideas using the hashtag #MyBrilliantIdeaSweeps for the chance to win weekly prizes, including free tools and handmade gifts, or the grand prize: a custom-engraved Honda scooter and a Micro 8050. Visit www.facebook.com/dremel for rules and to learn more.

Have you ever done any craft projects involving lamps or lighting? Do you have any fun DIY projects or ideas involving a Dremel that you can share?


Thank you for supporting Bubby and Bean by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. Sponsored posts feature only products or services that I genuinely feel would be of interest to my readers. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. 

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Let's Talk Eco-Friendly Furniture (+ My Favorite Pieces)


1. Alex Nightstand (handmade from reclaimed demolition hardwoods), Tansu //  2. Zudu Asymmetrical Corner Sofa (made with recycled teak and recycled Sunbrella fabrics), Mamagreen  //  3. Aria 6-Drawer Dresser (handmade from eco-friendly bamboo), Tansu //  4. Great Wall Bookcase (handmade from eco-friendly plantation grown mahogany), Tansu  //  5. Eco-Natura Roma Dining Table (made from CARB compliant and VOC-free materials), Inmod  //  6. Eames Molded Plastic Side Chair (made from VOC-free, recyclable fiberglass), Herman Miller Store //  7. Mid-Century Modern Platform Bed (made from sustainable bamboo), Bambeco  //  8. Lotus Console (made from sustainable bamboo), Tansu //  9. Randy Nightstand (handmade from sustainable bamboo), Tanua  


I know, I know. It's gotten all home-themed post crazy up in here lately. Don't worry, there are plenty more style and food and DIY posts on the calendar too (I'm going a little DIY crazy next week, as a matter of fact). But as I mentioned in a recent post, this time of year just seems to get me in a home improvement sort of mood. As the weather and seasons shift into a period where we're spending more time indoors, all cozied up and stuff, I think it's natural (at least in my mind) to want to focus more on your living space. And lately, my focus has been on furniture that has sustainability in mind.

As many of you know, I designed for an eco-friendly clothing line for 15 years. And although we are (sadly) in the process of closing it down, I've learned so much over the past decade and a half about earth-conscious design, and the different industries in which it can be applied. When it comes to furniture, there is a lot of consider - from whether the materials are sustainable to how well a piece was made and how long it will last to if it was produced locally or via fair trade practices. I'll be the first to admit that I own my fair share of furniture from places (like the blue and yellow palace, ahem) that isn't exactly made to last decades - but if I'm actively looking for a furniture item, I always pay attention to what aspects of a piece may or may not be sustainable.

The pieces you see above as some of my recent favorite eco-friendly furniture finds, along with a brief note next to each link explaining what makes them earth conscious. I've been on the look-out for new nightstands, and I especially love #1 from Tansu. I'm all about the rustic vibe and the fact that it's made from reclaimed woods. So beautiful.

Which is your favorite? Do you consider sustainability when looking for furniture?

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My Style // Coffee and Kimonos


My Style: Coffee and Kimonos // Bubby and Bean
My Style: Coffee and Kimonos // Bubby and Bean

Hey look, an outfit post! You guys may (or may not) have noticed that the ol' 'My Style' posts are few and far between these days. I haven't given up on sharing my personal style in this space by any means, but the truth is, scheduling time for photo shoots of yourself when you have a baby is something I just can't seem to get the hang of, even when my husband or friends are here to help. I always thought that if these posts fell to the wayside after Essley was born, it would be the result of me no longer wearing anything other than tees and leggings, or like, pajamas all day, or something.  But that's not the case at all. I get dressed every single morning, I still love and care about fashion as much as I ever have, and I make a conscious effort not to let the fact that I'm a mother now get in the way of continuing to wear clothes that I love. It's really just a matter of time and logistics. This blog is part of my full-time job, and I have to be practical about scheduling for workdays that include a lot of office work and in house projects. Lugging a camera and lenses and a teething baby to pretty locations (because sorry, the back of a townhouse just doesn't make for a nice background) on days when the weather and lighting happen to agree, then standing in front of a camera trying pose without laughing (either at my own awkwardness or the hilariously loud screeching sounds coming from my child) can be a major ordeal. Add to that sorting through several dozen photos to find a handful where I don't look like a complete fool, then cropping and editing, and, well, it's just a lot of effort to showcase an outfit. I plan to continue to share style posts on occasion, but for the time being, they'll probably only be a monthly thing.

My Style: Coffee and Kimonos // Bubby and Bean
My Style: Coffee and Kimonos // Bubby and Bean
My Style: Coffee and Kimonos // Bubby and Bean
My Style: Coffee and Kimonos // Bubby and Bean

And now that I've gotten that lengthy explanation out of the way, on to what I wore this day. We'd actually just spent the afternoon at a child's birthday party, and we made an impromptu stop at our favorite forest preserve on the way to our dinner plans. I wasn't planning on doing outfit pictures this day, but we had the camera with us so we decided to snap some shots, mainly because I've been meaning to share this gorgeous jewelry here for weeks now (more on than in a minute). And also, I love this outfit you guys. I'm going to be honest and just admit that I've worn this exact outfit twice a week (or more) for the last couple of months. It has become my go-to summer outfit and I'm already bummed that it's going to be shoved in the back of my closet with the other warm weather duds any day now.

Each piece of this outfit is at the top of my list, if we're breaking things down. Anyone who knows me would vouch for the fact that "I Need Coffee" is pretty much my motto, and I bought this tee (which is now sold out, boooo) straight off the rack without trying it on or even stopping to look at anything else on my way to the register. It's my favorite shirt. I also love this kimono, more than I can put into words really. The current kimono trend is quite possibly the best trend of all time. Anything that combines major comfort, pretty prints, a boho vibe, and an oversized garment that covers all the areas I'd like to be covered these days is an automatic thumbs up in my book. The shorts aren't much to discuss. They're cut-off jeans. They're comfortable. They fit well. The end.

My Style: Coffee and Kimonos // Bubby and Bean
My Style: Coffee and Kimonos // Bubby and Bean
My Style: Coffee and Kimonos // Bubby and Bean
My Style: Coffee and Kimonos // Bubby and Bean

I've mainly worn this outfit/uniform with moccasins this summer, but over the past week, I've been pulling out the boots. This particular pair of boots is one of my very favorite pairs of shoes in general, and I'm an especially big fan of the way they look paired with shorts. I snagged the hat last summer and have worn it more than all my other hats combined since. But I think my favorite accessory here is the absolutely stunning necklace that the lovely Jade over at Jade Stone Jewelry made for me. The combination of the triangle and quartz is so me and I wear it almost everyday. I also adore the spiral copper rings she made me, and wear them almost daily as well. She is an incredibly talented jewelry maker and also a really wonderful person. I love sporting her stuff.

My Style: Coffee and Kimonos // Bubby and Bean
My Style: Coffee and Kimonos // Bubby and Bean
Boots: ℅ Minnetonka  //  Kimono: gift from my sister //  Shorts: Target  //  Tee: F21  //  Long Necklace: ℅ Jade Stone Jewelry  //  Essley Necklace:  Best Name Necklace  //  Copper Rings: ℅ Jade Stone Jewelry  //  Turquoise Ring: Picked up in Colorado 10+ years ago  //  Hat: Target  //  Watch: ℅ Watchco  //  Sunglasses: H&M  


So that's that. My favorite summer outfit, finally shared with you all, right as we say goodbye to the season. (And a cameo appearance by Essley, who decided at the end that she wanted in on the action.)

If you have any suggestions of places to get heavier weight, more fall/winter-patterned kimonos (particularly ones I can wear with this coffee shirt until it's hanging on me by a thread), please let me know!

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

GIVEAWAY // Win An Organic Bell Dress From Gaia Conceptions!


GIVEAWAY // Win An Organic Bell Dress From Gaia Conceptions and Bubby and Bean!

Last month, we teamed up with long time Bubby and Bean sponsor Gaia Conceptions for a giveaway featuring one of their stunning Moon Dresses. It received such an incredible response that we've decided to partner up again this month to give away an equally gorgeous piece, the Organic Bell Sleeve Dress! This dress is my current favorite from their line and is absolutely perfect for fall. Crafted by hand, it features a flattering A-line cut, fabulous bell sleeves, and luxurious, hand dyed eco-friendly fabric. And it's completely customizable - the winner will get to choose the length of the sleeve (above elbow, below elbow, or long), the fabric type (organic cotton knit, light or medium hemp/organic cotton blend, or organic tissue cotton), and the color (23 to choose from!). This beautiful dress is valued at $140, and one of you is going to own it very soon!




To enter, just use the entry form below.  There are several ways to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will run through September 23, 2014 and is open to Bubby and Bean readers worldwide.  The winner will be randomly chosen and announced here shortly after. 

Thanks again to Andrea and gang over at Gaia Conceptions for giving our readers the chance to win another of their beautiful dresses!  Good luck!

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Fall Favorites // Mama + Baby Outerwear


Fall Favorites: Mama + Baby Outerwear // Bubby and Bean

The official first day of fall is just a week away, and here in the Chicago area, the temperatures are starting to prove it. The last few days have been in the 60s, and we hosted a dinner party on Friday where the lows were in the 40s, which felt slightly unbearable when we tried to hang out on our deck. I may not be ready to say goodbye to summer, but like it or not, warmer threads are going to be necessary sooner than later. And the recent chilly weather made me realize that neither Essley nor I have any warm outerwear for this season. She has (obviously) outgrown last winter's clothing (and this is her first fall), and my only real coat/jacket lost several buttons and popped a seam last year, thanks to my at the time very pregnant belly. It is officially time to grab something new for both of us.

The adorable baby girl coats and gorgeous womens coats and jackets you see above all come from a wonderful brand called Joules that is based out of the UK. For three decades, they have been devoted to crafting the highest quality clothing designed to capture the true essence of British style. And recently, they've crossed the pond to become available here in the USA too. I really love their use of color and cute prints, and I appreciate their commitment to quality over the fast, poorly produced pieces that are so prevalent today. In addition to their outerwear, they make clothing, accessories, and footwear for women, men, children, and babe. I'm seriously crushing on all their little girl clothes and their women's rain boots.

Now I just have to decide which coats to buy. Which ones are your favorite? Have you gotten any new fall/winter outerwear yet this season?

This post is in collaboration with Joules.

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