Matt and I have recently been adding to our personal bucket list, and it’s got me thinking about a DIY/decorating bucket list. Although some of these may be pie-in-the-sky dreams, as well as expensive, extravagant, and a loooong way off, I find that writing down my goals motivates me, so for what it’s worth, here’s the list (in no particular order), along with some eye candy.
Board and batten
Chandelier in a bedroom
Logs in a fireplace (although I think I’d prefer a working fireplace, if given the choice)
Dark window panes
World wall map
Bedroom wall sconces
Outdoor string lights
Finally, I would love to create a room using only second-hand items. While I don’t have an extra space to decorate at the moment, I plan to do this at some point in the future. It would basically involve scouring thrift stores, Craigslist, yard sales, and even our own basement storage. I would be restricted to used items, but I’d be able to update them with paint. Look at my rule-setting self. : ) I’ve even wondered if it would be possible to sell this type of creation as a “set” on Craigslist, but I have a feeling that it wouldn’t work well, since Craigslisters tend to be looking for cheapo stuff. Do you think it could work?
I realized once I started writing this list that there are a bazillion more projects that I could add on both a big and small level, but I think this is a good place to start, as these things tend to ebb and flow. I really don’t expect all of these to happen, but I’d be happy to work them into our living space, a friend’s, or even a house staging. Or perhaps just a blog post. : )
So what about you? What are your DIY dreams and schemes?
We’re nearly to February, so I thought it might be a good time for a photo dump, since I just downloaded photos from December and January. Yeesh!
Catchin’ up with the fam… I soooo wish I had taken more photos during Christmas. Will I never learn?!
One sick kiddo… I’m thankful I was with my mom during Liam’s first bout with the flu.
A Midwest boy at heart… Playing with all the cool toys at Grandpa Feller’s store—definitely a highlight.
LOVE this face…cracks me up every time.
A few photos from this afternoon. I’m determined to learn how take better manual shots this year!
And just to mix it up, here are a few recent photos of our table décor. I’m always a little stumped on how to decorate between the holidays and warmer weather, but I’m digging this simple arrangement—especially thanks to the cool wood serving board that my mother-in-law gifted me on my birthday.
I’ll end with a few shots of Matt’s birthday cake. Although we didn’t do a big shebang this year, I wanted to make a special cake for my mister. He tends to like peanut butter and chocolate combos, so I
slaved over whipped up this ditty. Check out Annie’s Eats for the recipe. By the way, Matt really enjoyed this cake, and I’d recommend it if you’re looking for something decadent. The fluffy peanut butter frosting is delicious and would be a great addition to your favorite chocolate cake recipe. You can totally see the imperfections in the photos, but I was happy with the overall turnout. Another goal…learn how to frost a cake!
How is your 2013 going so far?
Maybe it was the herringbone pattern. Maybe it was the $2.98 price tag (gotta love Target clearance tags). Or maybe I was just thrilled that two babies were sleeping at the same time. Either way, this happened.
In case you missed it, what I meant to say in my muddlings above is that I was wandering through Target the other day and spotted this super cool herringbone (love) wrapping paper marked down to $2.98 (love). Naturally, I scooped it up—the very last roll (whew!). Drawing from YHL’s inspirational DIY book, I decided to use the wrapping paper to back our built-in bookshelves. (And yes, I’ve been known to tack odd items to our walls. Check out this post about placemat art.) Oh, and somehow in the middle of my day, Liam and his buddy Adin (a kiddo who I babysit once a week) were both snoozing soundly, so I hitched up my britches and got some project on. Funny how backing bookshelves was probably the absolute last thing I should have spent time on, but yeah, it felt awesome. Hmmm…kind of like how I should totally not be blogging about this right now, being that it is 11:06 pm and I am totally wiped out from trying to get back into some semblance of routine after being gone for two weeks of Christmas break. I digress…
Anyhoo, the basic process I used was covering foam board with wrapping paper (just like you would wrap a super skinny present) and then wrangling the covered board into the bookshelf. I did use some double-sided tape to keep the board in place. And while I did measure, my cuts weren’t perfect, so don’t look too close. Even with some imperfections, I LOVE the look. It makes the white dishes pop; plus, it provides some nice coverage for some not-so-pretty shelves.
Take a gander at the original built-ins, doors and all…
Midway through the journey…
Pish posh polished…
Now the bookshelves sport some new décor that snuck into our abode after Christmas.
Some books swiped from my parent’s bookshelves, greenery, branch pencils, porcelain tree trunk servers (another Target clearance item), gold mercury candle holders resembling bee hives (also on clearance at Target), and my favorite—a coral cake plate that plays off some of the other orangey accents in our house (a complete Target splurge using a birthday gift card—I opted to forgo practical in the name of whimsical, which is actually pretty unusual for me—not to mention that I spent it within a month of my birthday, rather than hoarding it all year). Oh, and a little egg crate I snagged at Ross for $2.49. I’ve been hankering after an egg crate for several years now, and I fell hard for the square shape—and the price tag—of this sweet little guy. Of course all these random items were totally justified, because they could potentially be used for staging down the road (at least that’s what I tell myself : ). And if you’re wondering about the gold, I never thought I’d say this, but this year gold is the new black (or gray, if you look back at the color schemes of 2012). I have to say I’m pretty smitten with the added sparkle and you know I won’t hesitate to bring out the spray paint if the urge strikes.
And there you have it. A simple update requiring very little sweat and $—yet it packs a nice punch and simultaneously satisfied my desire for a creative DIY project. As always, I’m happy that it can be easily removed if I tire of the look or need to neutralize the space down the road.
Alrighty then…off to link my knockoff project to YHL’s book project page!
Can you tell that my students are in the thick of studying Shakespeare (although Hamlet isn’t part of our junior high curriculum)? Let me just say that my college classes on Shakespeare do not hold a candle to watching 7th graders perform The Comedy of Errors. If laughter is the best medicine, than I should be the healthiest teacher alive right now.
Anyway, this post is one where I think through life’s deep questions aloud…deep questions like whether I’ll “be or not.” Now when you hear what I’m pondering, you might think that “deep” is far too dramatic of an adjective to use when one is referring to home staging jitters. That’s right. Today I was asked to stage another house! More details on that in a minute. The point is…I get nervous! I wonder if I’ll freeze and have no decorating ideas. More than that, I get nervous telling other people what they need to change about their home. I mean, our homes are nothing if not personal—we live in them! In reality, I’m often afraid to use the gifts and passions that God has given me. When it boils right down to it, I will never be more ready to do this than now! I just need to plunge in and allow myself the awkward mistakes that come with new territory. The feeling of taking a step in the darkness when you’re not sure what lies ahead. The battle for making time to do one more thing. The willingness to fail and never be called again. And yes, some called me a drama queen when I was younger, although I like to think that I’ve outgrown it…hmm. Well, you see what I’m saying. Doing new things is hard. It’s exciting, too, but sometimes you have to plow through the hard and the murky in order to get to the exciting.
The house I’ll be staging this time around is actually a townhouse, and it’s in a completely different area of town from the previous home I staged, which was literally three doors down from us. The owners are also currently living in the home, so instead of starting with a blank slate, I’ll help them pare down, rearrange, and add items where necessary. This means I have to be honest, yet tactful. Although I’m good at speaking my mind when it comes to my own home, it’s a whole ‘nother ball game when you’re working with strangers. To top it all off, the realtor I’m working with—bless his heart—wants this finished by early next week. While that is totally doable and probably somewhat typical in the staging world, it feels like a close deadline for a planner like me. “They” say flexibility is key though, so here goes nothing.
I’ve never considered myself too much of a dreamer, as I tend to be a realist who often sees things in black or white. And yet this feels sort of a like a dream that’s beginning to take shape. I really have no qualifications, but someone is giving me a chance to do something I love—and to top it off, I now have a more flexible teaching schedule that allows me to do it! Who knows what will come of it—maybe nothing. But it’s go time. And I mean that quite literally, as there is a lot to be done in order to get this house ship shape by early next week! I’ll let ya know how it goes.
Oh, and since I’ve just been rambling, here’s a photo of the tulips my boy sweetly gave me for Valentine’s Day.
I am smitten—and I love that he picks out all different types of flowers, as I’m not one to be suckered in by roses (although I definitely appreciate them on occasion—it’s just nice to mix it up). Aren’t they cute in the oversized julep cup I found for a few bucks at a thrift store? For the record, we were pretty low key on V-Day. I made red velvet crepes for dinner and then we went to see the silent film, The Artist. Has anyone else seen it? We really liked it, even though I think one silent film a year is enough for me. What did you all do for Valentine’s Day? Is anyone else facing the “to be or not be” challenge? Has anyone taken a plunge recently? Was it refreshing? I hope so.
I know that the love of money is the root of all evil, but I have to be honest. In the world of home decorating, it wouldn’t hurt to have just a little more. There. I said it. Sometimes it’s hard being on a budget, especially when Pinterest offers so many tempting images of posh baby nurseries. All that said, I know it’s good for me to have to think outside the box when it comes to decorating. If it came too easy, it would be boring and I’m sure I’d take it for granted. Obviously it’s a treat to have a cute room—not a right. Can you tell I have to keep myself in line? We all need some checks and balances in our lives, true?
When we first moved into our little bungalow, the soon-to-be nursery looked like this…
I know…those curtains seriously give me the creeps. Then we converted it to a guest room, and it took on a slightly country look that I was never totally satisfied with, although it was a major step up from its humble beginnings (somehow we managed to paint the walls the same color as the original shag carpet…not our best move).
It currently looks like this…
Several weeks ago, our friends moved into a new house chock full of bedrooms, and since they needed some furniture to fill the empty space, and we needed to clear out for Baby Braham, we loaned them all the furniture that resided in the guest room. It was great to empty out the room so we could start fresh, but it was also a tad overwhelming. It really didn’t take long to begin filling the space though, as some friends from church gave us this great changing table/dresser. I’m considering either painting or changing the knobs, and I’ve also thought it might be fun to paint the top a bold contrasting color.
and a few days later we snagged this $20 glider on Craigslist. Pardon the wonky cushions—they’re air drying after a good sanitizing wash.
Yep, that chair is ugly as sin. I have plans to paint it and recover the cushions (I’m hoping my talented neighbor will help me out, since she sews—which, by the way, is one skill I
sew so totally wish I had under my belt). At $20, it’s hard to go wrong, folks. I’d love to add some sort of ottoman eventually—maybe one with storage inside.
I’ve also been debating color schemes for the room. Here are few of my favorites from the always inspiring Design Seeds website.
The neutral lover in me is struggling a bit over whether or not to paint the walls a color. I’m currently on the lookout for some fabric, a rug, or a lamp shade that will inspire me one way or the other. I really think every room needs something that pulls it all together, and I’m holding off on any major decisions until I find that something. Ultimately, though, I really want this room to be gender neutral. While I’d love to go all out, it’s really more prudent for us to make this a space that two kiddos could eventually share, and that means it has to be somewhat versatile.
Since there is not much storage in our house, we’re hoping to add it via a bookcase, a crib with a pull-out drawer underneath, and some floating shelves. Here’s what we’ve been eyeing.
Next time Matt drives to Denver, he plans to stop at IKEA to purchase the Expedit bookcase and Lack floating shelves. By the way, IKEA definitely has the best deal on these shelves that I’ve seen so far. They are white (although they offer several other color options), chunky, and only $15! Woot! The bookcase is more of a splurge, so of course I’ve been seeking used alternatives at local thrift store and Craigslist, but so far I’m loving this guy, especially since he fits perfectly into a little nook in the room.
Now that I’ve rambled on about random aspects of the nursery with very little to actually show for it, I thought I’d give you some real news. On Tuesday we had our 20 week ultrasound, and it turns out that Baby Braham is…
a healthy BOY!! We are so thankful and excited that our future kiddos will have an older brother to look out for them—here’s praying that he’s a great role model! During the ultrasound, our wonderful technician said, “I’ve been doing this for 26 years, and even though I can’t tell if it’s a boy or girl quite yet, its hand is between its legs, which almost always means it’s a boy.” We laughed so hard we almost cried. A few minutes later she confirmed that our very active baby was indeed male. And for the record, this kid can kick! Oh, the adventures that lie ahead…
While we’re on the topic of boys, we’re all ears when it comes to parenting wisdom. Any thoughts on bringing up boys?
Happy Monday! Matt and I just returned from a weekend getaway in Boulder, CO. It was a lovely time, although sadly we didn’t snap any pictures of the super cute town to share on the blog. Maybe next time? For the record though, we ate like kings and were able to top off our trip by sharing a dessert crepe loaded with berries, chocolate, and cream. Yum. And we definitely enjoyed exploring the locally owned shops and indulging in a street show where a comedian juggled fire, in addition to a knife and hatchet. Kind of creepy, but really cool. Good times.
For some reason, it feels a bit like there’s been a shift in seasons. I know it’s still winter—and will be for awhile—but it’s the second half of winter and it begs to be treated differently from the holiday half. And what better way to welcome winter’s other half—the long, dreary half (sorry for the pessimism…)—than by cheering up some bookshelves? My thoughts exactly.
Since we were gifted some new decorative items over Christmas, I thought it would be nice to put them on display, in addition to several items that I keep around in case of a rainy day.
I picked up the owl for “free” at Kohl’s after using their $10 off one item coupon—I think it might have cost me 25 cents in the end. (Ignore the fat paint drip behind Mr. Owl. The back of this built-in bookcase is crying out for some TLC…perhaps wallpaper, paint, wallpaper bead board…someday.) The domino boat was one of our Christmas gifts, and yes, it’s a real game of dominoes! If you’re wondering what’s in the background, I spray painted empty picture frames white with the intention of creating a gallery wall like this one from Style Handler.
That idea never came to fruition, so I used them on the shelves to add depth and texture.
The full effect.
We’ve since added a weekly Scripture verse to the empty corkboard, which we’ve been memorizing together. For those of you who love details, we’re currently memorizing Psalm 1, and this week we’re on verse 3. It just felt like an appropriate passage as we prepare for parenthood.
While I was at it, I made some makeshift moss balls by using star-shaped candle holders found at a garage sale, leftover sheets of moss, and my very favorite hot glue gun.
They may not look pretty at first glance, but when they’re covered in their mini-terrariums (which I plucked up for a song at a thrift store), no one is the wiser.
If I start itching for star-shaped candle holders next Christmas, I’ll just pull off the moss covering and give them a few coats of spray paint to chipper them up. For now, they’re the perfect size for makeshift moss balls.
Has anyone else been feeling the seasonal changes? How do you decorate for the other half of winter? The often agonizingly slow part…
That’s right. Baby nurseries. Any guesses why?
No, I am not writing about food made with pumpkin, although I have been craving pumpkin desserts like a nut lately! And yes, this weekend I did make the.most.delicious.pumpkin.cream.cheese.muffins.ever. I’ll even be nice (although I’m sure the calories are, um, not so nice) and share the recipe with you. Check out Annie’s Eats—which is rapidly becoming one of my favorite blogs—and give her muffins a try. Scrumptious, I tell you!
But if you’re looking for a cheap and easy fall craft, these homemade paper pumpkins are right up your alley.
Seriously, I was listening to a podcast and messing around with some scrapbook paper, and within ten minutes both of these pumpkins magically appeared!
Find the step by step instructions here. You might notice that I made my pumpkins more petite, which makes them more portable for decorating. I also used jute twine in place of ribbon, and I love how it stands up like a stem and has an organic feel to it (some of you know that I think the word “organic” is way overused, but it just seems to fit here…maybe that’s why it’s overused…people just think it fits everything…I digress). One more look at the cute couple.
Just for the record, I love Pinterest, and recently I’ve been trying to actually make some of the things I find on the site, as it’s so easy to pin and never do. Ya know? Speaking of, I think it’s time to get your Betty Crocker on and try your hand at those pumpkin cream cheese muffins—before you forget about them and move on to something else. They’re just too good to miss. Promise.
I totally ended up writing about food made with pumpkin. Such is blogging. (Did you know these little guys are called “emoticons”? What a crack up!)