Tag Archives: words of wisdom

Obsession: Family Values Subway Art

11 Jun

New obsession of the week: Subway art.

Technically speaking “subway art” refers to the graffiti movement — particularly in New York City. Today, this creative expression, traditionally done in spray paint, manifests itself in wall art displaying various sized lettering.

I’m a little bit obsessed with typography and canvas paintings (in separate but equal ways) and I recently stumbled across these refreshing works of art that combine my loves.

And what’s really cool is the way in which modern families are using subway art. This art form has popped up all over blogs as ways for families to create an identity for themselves, while reaffirming their special memories and important values.

So feel free to peruse the following subway art featuring different family values and mantras. Click the different blog links as some contain instructions on how to do it yourself. This is definitely on my crafting to do list.

Inspired by: Shabby Nest

Inspired by: RedLetterWords on Etsy

Inspired by: Cupcake Cuppy

Inspired by: Art & Artifact

Inspired by: The V Spot Blog

Inspired by: WallBling on Etsy

Inspired by: Sassy Sanctuary

Inspired by: The Inspired Room

Inspired by: How Does She

Inspired by: Thoughtful Expressions Vinyls

Inspired by: CellarDesigns on Etsy

Inspired by: TerriColtynBaker on Etsy

Inspired by: Tara H. Lowry


Spotlight On: For Like Ever

4 Mar

For all you loverrrs out there, here’s a post that would have been perfect for V-Day. Unfortunately, I was not on top of my love-themed posts in celebration of the holiday (Side Note: Contrary to popular belief among my friends, I actually think it is a dumb, dumb holiday even though I have a sweet boyfriend who always goes all out).

Inspired by: Table Tonic

Anyhoo…I have loved this poster since the first time I saw it a year ago on a blog. And I’ve seen it A LOT since then. I think literally ever decorating/design/fashionista blog has had a post about it just to go “Aw how sweet!” and now I’m jumping on that gravy train.

Honestly, this would be a perfect gift for a newly engaged or married couple, sweet to put in your child’s room, or to add to a neutral room for a funky deco feel.

You can buy the poster here but unfortunately, it says it is not in production right now. There is another version that is going to press soon so stay updated by checking back with their website or following them on Twitter @forlikeevs.


Inspired by: Other Pretty Things and Duskin

Inspired by: Princess Poochie on Flickr

Inspired by: bungalow8

Inspired by: Ish & Chi

Inspired by: For Like Ever Flickr Group

Inspired by: Bloesem

Inspired by: unplggd

Inspired by: Apartment Therapy

Inspired by: Table Tonic

Words of Wisdom

5 Sep

Hope everyone is making the best of the 3 day vacation weekend. I know I am working on it — I went to TCU’s opening football game in Dallas/Fort Worth and now I’m hanging out with my sister in Houston!

Tons of new Funky Bear material is coming your way but for tonight, I just have a few words of wisdom for you from that cray-cray, Katy Perry. Enjoy!

Words of Wisdom: I Freaking Love You

26 Aug


Can I have you?



Check out this and other funky posters, wall art and note cards on Etsy.com on Hillary Bird‘s (the artist’s) page.

Even her name is cute…

Real Readers: Caroline

18 Aug

Today is a special day when I allow my first guest blogger to have her say here on my blog. Nepotism is alive and well, people… and hard at work here at the Funky Bear. The guest blogger is my sister, Caroline! (Sidenote: If you’d like to be a guest blogger on the Funky Bear or feel you have something to share in this creative space, please email me at thefunkybear@gmail.com)

Name: Caroline

Age: 20

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Current Town: College Station, Texas

Fun Fact: Besides being my one and only little sister, Caroline was born with 2 stuck together toes! Yes, as in webbed, like a duck. The nurse who helped deliver her proudly proclaimed: “Oh don’t worry, good for swim!”  TMI? Perhaps…

Decorating Style: Classy. Colorful. Chic.

But Caroline is qualified to talk decorating in other ways than her blood relation to me. Out of the two of us, she is the one more inclined towards home design. In fact, when I told her I was starting the Funky Bear, I’m pretty sure she shunned me for no less than 3 days because it’s more her forte than mine. She probably couldn’t understand how or why I was dabbling in her world. Hmmf…but now she is helping me provide creative inspiration to all of my followers. She has always been interested in home decorating and design since the ripe age of 6 when she started her very own design notebook. She pulled scraps out of magazines and wrote on sticky notes things such as “Nice curtains” and “Good lamp” so she wouldn’t forget when she was all grown and had her own place.

Well, now she does at her first house at Texas A&M University and she would like to share her tips of the trade with YOU. Keep in mind, she has just moved in in the past few weeks and the walls are still very bare. But you can definitely get some great ideas looking through the decorating mecca that is her house. I’m OBSESSED and I know you will be to.

So without further ado, here is Caroline’s point of view:

Hello Funky Bear followers! I’m excited to be able to share with ya’ll my new love affair – my very first house, and it has a red door! Love at first sight. I’ve always loved design & decorating, but am in a whole new arena now that I have my own house (and all the fun stuff inside is coming out of my wallet! Yikes.)  My 3 lovely roommates and I just moved in this Summer and have been having a ball putting it together. I can tell they’re true friends because they have completely let me take the reins decorating wise.

Our little red door house is a work in progress! One thing I’ve learned so far is that decorating (the right way) takes time and patience. It doesn’t happen all at once, no matter how much you want it to, and it turns out a whole lot better that way. I’m going to share a few tid bits on what’s been going on in my house thus far…

Welcome to my room! I took this old wrought iron bed from my room at my parent’s house and threw my freshman dorm Pottery Barn bedding on it. I’m a big fan of color, and love that the red comforter incorporates lots of fun, bright ones. The white on the bed adds a clean crisp vibe to the loud colors. Then for finish, I added a few accent pillows (thanks to Marshall’s and Stein Mart — awesome throw pillows at a great price.)

The lamps beside my bed were a Target purchase! I love the lining of the shades with that fun design so that when you turn the light on, it adds a little somethin’ extra.

My mom and I found this great old pine desk at a resale shop in Austin for $70! I’d been looking for so long, and this was hands down the best deal. I leaned this old mirror (another Mom find) up against the wall. At first it was out of the laziness that came from trying to hang it all by myself, but I’m really starting to kind of like the lean, laid-back, chic look.

I set on top of the mirror this little sign (with some wise words from Cinderella) found at Marshall’s.

On top of my desk sits this classy little lamp. Believe it or not, it was a Target find! It’s got the silver candlestick look and the shade is this soft blue that I love.

The jewelry box was an Urban Outfitters find ($40) and the little bird-earring holder was $7 from Marshall’s. If you can’t tell by now, I’m a huge Marshall’s fan and bargain shopper extraordinaire.

Touches of leopard print here and there never get old. My mom found this chair for me a long time ago at a resale shop in Houston (The Guild – for any of you Houstonians). Again, the throw pillow was a recent buy at Target!

And here we have my first painting project! My mom had this funky old wood table. Since it was just a practice/starter piece, I decided to go bold and put a coat of this hummingbird turquoise on it. It was way easier to paint and distress than I thought! New hobby? Possibly.

Here are some quick instructions to Do It Yourself if you’re interested:

Step 1: Find old piece of furniture – Craigslist, around the house, resale shops…you name it!

Step 2: If it’s already got a coat of paint on it or a stain, you’ll need to sand it off so that the paint and finish will stick (which is all I did). Or you can do a combination of sanding and priming. Priming is easy as well and anyone at Home Depot can help you find the right primer depending on the piece. Make sure to wipe the piece down to get off all the dust particles etc. off before you start applying paint!

Step 3: Now you get to paint! Turn on some music, lay out a old sheet or tarp, and go to work. You don’t need fancy paint brushes, but cheapy ones will just make your piece look cheap. Quality is better, even if it’s a few bucks more. Worth it. Ask someone at your local hardware store and they’ll point you in the right direction.

Step 4: Re-apply another coat to make the color rich and non-streaky! Let it dry overnight.

Step 5: To give it an antique, distressed look – you’ll need some sandpaper! Go over all the edges where a piece of furniture is prone to wear over time. Corners, lines, etc. – you can distress it however much or little you’d like.

Step 6: Once you’re done with this, you’ll want to wipe down with a damp cloth to get off all the dust and anything left over on it. Now you’ll put a clear, glossy sealer over it to help it resist stains and give it a nice finished look! It’s like putting on clear nail polish, you can’t really mess it up, but if you do it right, it makes a big difference. And voila! You’re done.

An old vase from a flower delivery a while back and some one dollar colorful daisies from Michael’s serve as our “centerpiece” for our kitchen table.

This one gets props from Funky Bear herself and my momma, the one who taught me everything I know! My mom painted and distressed this fun piece and my sister gets credit for the artwork. She was going to throw that away! Someone’s trash is another’s treasure…

Our cozy living room! All pieces from our old house mixed and matched together.

A little home-made artwork around the house! Me and my friends had a girls night one evening consisting of canvases, an array of acrylic paints, Alanis Morrisette setting the mood, and a little bit of wine. Artistic inspiration in a nutshell.

Here are some little touches around my room. Everyone knows it’s the little touches that make a house a home…

Found this little silver tray at a resale shop for $4! Put a candle on it and it sits right on one of my bed side tables.

I like filling shelves with all my books – the bindings bring in color and a homey feel.

I love trays of perfume, gives it a feminine feel, even if most of the bottles are basically empty.  I found the white oval plate the perfumes are sitting on at Marshall’s.

More homemade stuff. Here is a fun card I found at a boutique in Austin! I found some scrapbooking paper and matted it on that and stuck it in a 8 x 10 black frame.

This is in my roommate (Kristin’s) room and I’ve always wanted to do this! She found an old window pane at an antique store for $12. She cleaned up the glass a little and stuck some pictures in! She recently bought another one for our house that I’m sure we’ll do something fun with.

As you can tell, our house is still kind of empty feeling – but we’re trying to pace ourselves! That only means we get to prolong the fun of getting to decorate and add to the house. But for now, I’d say it’s a pretty good start. When it starts coming together even more, maybe Claire will let me update you guys on how it’s looking. Thanks, hope you enjoyed!

Spotlight On: Marshalls and TJ Maxx

9 Jul

Let’s face it: Frugal is the new black.


Apparently they even made this saying into a t-shirt!

Or at least that’s what my intelligent mother keeps reminding me. And although I think she’s trying to teach me a valuable life lesson with this mantra (to not spend all of my money on clothes the minute I get it in my hot little hands), the woman’s got a point.

Besides being full of motherly life lessons and wisdom, my mom also has a GREAT eye for decorating a home to suit your personality. Our house is an eclectic mix of both traditional, modern, and even downright weird pieces (pineapple lamps?) — and somehow, they all come together in a beautiful mish-mash of our family’s unique charm.

That’s why, as I have been pursuing the best inspiration and ways to shop for decorating houses and rooms, she has continually brought up the wonders that are: Marshalls and TJ Maxx.

You’ve inevitably seen at least one of these stores in every large strip shopping center ever built… But now it’s time to make a trip there.

Both of these stores are essentially low-price department stores. These are the stores where many other stores send off brand name and designer inventory they couldn’t sell (either overstock or slightly irregular goodies). In turn, Marshalls and TJ Maxx sell the products for an extremely discounted price. It’s really a win-win-win situation: The department stores move inventory, Marshalls/TJ Maxx get inventory, and you get the best deal possible. To put it into perspective — If you’re a heavy and knowledge-savvy shopper, then this idea is the equivalent of heading to a Nordstrom Rack, Off-Saks 5th, or a DSW.

Like every type of bargain shopping, it’s more about the “treasure hunt” than mass buying just for the sake of it. However, my mom did admit when she was just starting out and had no disposable income to speak of, these were 2 of her fav places to shop just so she could randomly fill up her empty home. For a lot of us young-uns out there (myself included), this is an extremely viable option to do just that.

So without further ado, my mom has some valuable bargain-shopping words of wisdom for all of us decoristas out there. When it comes to shopping at TJ Maxx and Marshalls, here are her tips she has learned after years of practice:

1. Call ahead to find out when they get new inventory.

I know, for example, that the Marshalls near me in Austin receives deliveries on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Pick one day of the week right after one of the drops that works for you.

Friendly and helpful service -- just give them a call!

2. Location can make a big difference.

What’s that saying? “Location, location, location!” Like many consignment, vintage, and re-sale shops, the location of the store can change the type of merchandise found inside. If you are looking to spend a little bit more money or grab some upscale items, check out a TJ Maxx or Marshall’s in a more affluent area (ex: near the Galleria/River Oaks in Houston). A lot of times because the owners of the stores know the type of clientele that will shop there, they will tailor the goods accordingly.

Map out a plan of attack!

3. Items to look out for: Sheets.

Looking for sheets with a thread count of 300+? Look no further than Marshalls and TJ Maxx. Keep in mind that the higher the thread count, the softer the sheet. So really you do want 300, 400, even 500 thread count sheets if you’re a cuddle bunny like me. But instead of spending 3 figures on them ($200 sheets from Pottery Barn? No thanks!), how about $60? Even better, how about $40? That’s what you’ll find when you treasure hunt at discount stores.

Check out these ones I just found at TJ Maxx for my bed — only $35, thank you very much.

I love how FUNKY the pattern will look next to my traditional floral duvet cover.

4. Items to look out for: Towels.

You can find GREAT deals on designer towels and brand names from department stores. And they’re just towels, no one’s going to know if they’re $75 or $15 so long as they get you dry.

I'm so jealous of these leopard print towels my sister got from Marshalls! They go SO well with the dark brown ones under it, which make it a sophisticated (and not obnoxious) look.

5. Items to look out for: Lamps.

As Brick Tamland (Steve Carrell’s character) of Anchorman says, “I Love Lamp.”

Honestly, this is my mom’s motto in life (or it should be), and I’m finally starting to agree with her. The design of and light from lamps can really make or break a room. Really nice and interesting lamps can sell for 100’s of $$. But again, when you treasure hunt at places like Marshalls and TJ Maxx, you can secure great finds like the ones below for $30-$50!

This great leaf/branch lamp sits in my sister's room -- again, jealous!

I love this red textured lamp. It really becomes the focal point of this entry-way table. (But the little white bird is cute too)

I told you there were pineapple lamps in our house...

This one is mine, all mine baby...

6. Keep an open mind.

I say this last but certainly not least. Check out these awesome odds and ends my mom has stumbled upon over the last decade or so in a Marshalls or TJ Maxx.

This colorful cube/chair/thing is the very epitome of FUNKY.

These fun pillows are great finds. And they look so FAB on the white couch AH!

This gold standing mirror acts as a useful centerpiece in my sister's room.

These striped pillows are another discount store purchase.

This might be the most amazing of all - 10 years ago my mom found this REAL (not knockoff) Vietri Italian plates. She had to fill in some of the collection with real ones, but most are Marshalls' finds. They retailed for $78 per dinner plate, but my mom got them for $20 a plate.

Just because you shop at these stores doesn’t automatically mean you can’t afford $300 Pottery Barn sheets. But that’s just plain STOOPID when you can get the same darn things for $60 at Marshalls. It doesn’t make you “cheap” to shop at discount stores like these — it makes you smarter than the Average Jane (or Joe). And look at these famous (and rich) peeps who have been spotted shopping at Marshalls and TJ Maxx!

Jennifer Aniston in Marshall's. Must be cold in there for how bundled up she is...

Kim Kardashian chats on the phone as she peruses TJ Maxx.

Even vampires shop! Robert Pattinson spotted coming out of a TJ Maxx in California. No doubt buying some nice home goods for his gf Kristen Stewart.

Okay, just kidding. I photoshopped all these pics. But I’m SURE they’ve checked them out before — Like I’ve been trying to explain, NO ONE (not even R Patz) can resist a bargain.

So now it’s your turn!

Find your nearest TJ Maxx or Marshalls location, call ahead to see when their newest goodies are delivered, then shop until you drop!

Words of Wisdom

24 Jun

Just a little thought to get your morning started. I found this last night looking through some blogs. And if you, like me, live in a place where they have Hey Cupcake stands on almost every street corner, these words have a high possibility of coming to life today.

If you say so...

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