28 November 2012

Build This: Open Shelving

I have been dying to redo my kitchen, I mean with all of the Pinterest inspiration who wouldnt?! But we aren't planning on staying in our house for much longer so it isnt really practical for us to put the money into a complete overhaul. Craig and I tend to be the king and queen of compromise, so we were able to come up with a pretty simple and inexpensive alternative. We took out one of our cabinets and put up some inexpensive shelving to show off our pretty dishes and vintage canisters. Here's the step by step on what we did....
Step 1: Take Off Existing Cabinet
One of the major differences between me and Craig is that he is the kind of person who so politely takes the cabinet off the wall with out damaging it just in case the next home owner wants to put it back up; and I showed up in the kitchen with a hammer and protective eye wear ready to demo this sucker. No go. 
Step 2: Spackel
You will more than likely have holes in the wall that you'll need to patch up when you remove your current cabinet. We had many.  We used the fancy kind of spackel that starts out purple and turns white when you're ready to paint  - Speaking of painting...we had to paint the wall where the cabinet was. You may or may not need to do this depending on if you've painted your kitchen already. 
Step 3: Measure
Before you do anything else you'll need to measure out where your brackets are going to be, and make sure that they'll be level. Look at those mad leveling skills up there! Craigy let me do this part. 
Step 4: Paint Shelves
I, luckily, had extra paint from when we painted our cabinets before. I was thinking about staining these, but wanted the kitchen to be uniform so we painted.  
*Tip: If you go to Home Depot you can pick out your wood and they'll cut it to the exact measurements for free. Whoop! That saved us a lot of time. 
Step 5: Hang those suckers
I usually put more holes in the wall than necessary when I try to hang things, and since we worked so hard on our spackeling already Craig thought it was best to take on this part. Okay, lets be honest...this is really a Craig DIY, its cool. We decided to use 3 brackets instead of 2 for extra support, and I am really happy with how it turned out.Next: Decorate
I used pretty bowls, vintage canisters, and some of my favorite cook books. I planted herbs in the canitsters - I can't wait for them to start growing!
I am so happy with how my shelving turned out - It is exactly what I wanted.

27 November 2012

Stocking Stuffers

I'm not sure if you can believe it or not, but Christmas is exactly a month away...4 weeks! eek! I have about 90% of my shopping done, with just a few items left to pick up. I usually have a hard time thinking of gifts for all of my family, but this year it was actually pretty easy. If you have any 20-somethings on your list and aren't sure what to pick up (or if you're my husband and you're reading this-hint! hint!) here are some of my favorite picks for a small exchange or stocking...

1 here / 2 here & here / 3 here / 4 here/ 5 here, here & here

26 November 2012

Music Monday: Jack Penate

Oh, four day weekend. How I loved you. 

Is it just me or did Thanksgiving go by super fast?? And now we're in full-on Christmas mode! I've been seeing all of the instagrams of people going to pick out a Christmas tree. Well not at our house...I have a mister with the flu so it will just have to wait. Honestly I haven't even really started listening to Christmas music yet. lame. 

So now its back to work, upholstery projects, blogging, and not eating 10,817 calories a day. also lame. Mostly just the not eating all day long part, and the working part. Can't I just stay home and work on fun projects all day? Husband says no. 

So now I leave you with a song. I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday as much as I did. Fingers crossed that we can all get into the swing of things quickly! 

24 November 2012

We start out every year by thinking "this is going to be the best one yet!"

This one was not.

It's been really tough. Probably one of the toughest ones that we've had. We have dealt with our fair share of personal and health issues, losing friends and finding out which ones to let go. It has been hard but I can honestly say that I feel like we have come out of all of these things so much stronger. Not in the stereotypical ''what doesn't kill you makes you stronger'' kind of way...but I feel like there was a very specific reason that God put so much on us this year. He's prepping us.

"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you can become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way." James 1:2-4

This year I'm thankful for the trials that we've been put through. Thankful that I can feel a stirring in my spirit that something big is coming. I'm thankful that I have the most perfect handpicked partner to walk by my side and to guide me along his journey as well. I am thankful that we have the best family around who rallies around us when we're in trouble and who knows when we need help.  I am thankful to the friends who have proven themselves to be true and who speak such wisdom into our lives.

I am excited for the future and where we're headed together...much stronger than before.

21 November 2012

I know them!

So today my favortie gal, bestie and bride-to-be, Rachel, was featured on Green Wedding Shoes with her fiance Mike. Yeah, for real. I can hardly contain my excitement - I can't wait to be a part of their wedding in March! Click here to see the full spread. Aren't they just BEAutiful?!

{still freaking out}

A festive tablescape

This Thanksgiving we are lucky enough to have some family come to visit us. With Craig's crazy retail schedule this time of year can be a bit unpredictable. Since we weren't flying solo this year I wanted to put up a few decorations around the house. Surprisingly, pumpkins are hard to find after Halloween! I was able to score a few small ones and some colorful squash to hide all around the house. Here's a little peek at how I made my dining room festive for the upcoming holiday...

I'm not one for overly dramatic tables or mantles, I like to keep it simple. Just one afternoon and it was done! No fuss :)

First I had my sweet husband chop down the perfect branch for me - I mean really, isn't he the absolute best?! I'm sure that part of it is that he loves to use his power tools (as I believe you saw in yesterday's post, and many more to come) and if I do say so myself, he's not too hard on the eyes while using them. Just saying.

I ended up painting the branch copper, which made it POP on top of my dark purple runner (from William-Sonoma if you're curious).

I hollowed out a few pumpkins and filled them with candle wax. I usually have this in bulk around my house because I tend to make lots and lots of candles BUT you can easily find this at Michael's or any other craft store. Just put some into a microwave safe container and melt. Make sure to do this in small intervals of time otherwise you might burn it. I usually start with :30 - 1:00 and see how it looks, stir and repeat. 
**Note: after having these on my table for a few days the pumpkin started to dry out and pulled away from the wax. These are perfect to do the day before, but no more than a day or two before having people over.

I really love purple and green together on Thanksgiving, I'm not really sure why but that's why I chose the green tapers here. I had some taper candle holders from Ikea that I lost (err.) so I just used some small glass votive holders filled with rice to hold up the candle and tied some twine around it. Can you say ''Easy''?! This is also useful if you want to have tapers at varying heights - you can just cut the bottom of the candle off and no one will ever see it. Perfect for visual interest! 

Did any of you set up something special for your guests? I just love the holidays...I hope you guys have the BEST time with your friends and family this week! xox

20 November 2012

Build This: Dining Room Table

Building a dining room table has been my dream for about 2 years now. We finally got rid of our hi-top dining room table/chairs (thank you Craigslist!) and within 10 minutes I had already ordered my new chairs online!

I had given Craig fair warning that this day would come...and to be honest it was a lot easier than we had anticipated! We didn't use any specific instructions. We really just played it by ear. All that I knew was that I wanted a thick plank table top and I didn't care too much about the rest.  We went to Home Depot and bought cedar planks and asked them to cut them all an even 7' long. Easy Peasy! We didn't even have to break out the saw at home. I'll give you a quick step-by-step on how we did the rest....

Step 1: Arrange the planks in the order that they look best. The specific type of wood that we used had lighter and darker areas, as well as, knots and defects. These are all good things! We tried to line up each one so that the best side was facing up....actually once you figure out exactly how you want it to look you'll need to flip it upside down. We used ratchet straps to make these as tight as possible. (note: learn from our mistake and put a tarp under the table to keep it from getting scratched!)
Step 2: Once your table top is all in place you'll need to put a healthy coat of Liquid Nail down. This is helpful when you put the piece of plywood down, just to keep it from shifting too much. Place your plywood down on top. We had this cut smaller than our table top to keep it from being seen too much. Use 2 additional ratchet straps to hold everything in place. Obviously you'll need to walk and/or jump on the table to make sure its sticking :)

 Step 3: Use the longest wood screws that you can find that will NOT go all the way through the top. You want them to be as long as possible but not TOO long! For example, if your wood is 3 inches long, you'll probably want to get 2 1/2'' screws. We made sure that each plank had about 4 screws in it.

Step 4: Assemble! There are lots of different ways that you can make the base of your table. You can buy wooden or metal legs, you can use an existing table base or you can build it from scratch. We bought these trestles at Ikea for about $30/piece and they took to the stain pretty well. They're real sturdy and visually appealing - to me, of course. There is an additional piece to these trestles that isn't shown which we screwed into the table top and it attaches straight to the trestle base.

Step 5: Sand & Clean. This part is really important. We didn't need a big fancy sander for this project so we just whipped out the good ol' Dremel. Once you sand everything and there are no splinters left (ouch!) you'll need to clean the table. Mostly I used the hand held attachment on my vacuum cleaner to get all the residue out from in between the planks and wiped it down really well.

Step 6: Stain & Seal. This part is fun! We used this stain (Early American) on our dressers and the color is completely different. Each type of wood takes stain differently. It turned out much darker than I expected, but its kind of fun to see how it turns out. (Note: We're more of a 'go with the flow' kind of couple so we were fine with it, however if you're really looking for a specific color make sure that you test out the stain on a scrap piece of wood so that you'll know how its going to turn out.) We used Varathane brand and thought at first that the Stain + Poly combo would work....it wont. You really need to put several coats of Polyurethane on the table after its stained. Each brand is different to be sure to read and follow the instructions on the back.  
Here's a little peek of the finished product. We also made some matching shelves to hang on the wall and found a fabulous over sized pendant light to hang above the table. There are still several things to do in this room, but its really coming together and I'm already loving it!

Tomorrow I'll give you a little peek at what my Thanksgiving table looks like :)

19 November 2012

Music Monday: Jack White

Happy Monday, guys!!

I hope that you all had a great weekend. Mine was full of DIY projects, grocery shopping and cleaning. We're getting ready for family to come into town this week for Thanksgiving and I couldn't be more excited! I have a few projects to try to wrap up before they come, but I have a SUPER busy day at work and lots of laundry to do when I get home so we'll see how much I can actually get done. ha!

So for now I'll leave you with a fun tune, that I really just can't.stop.playing. Enjoy!

16 November 2012

I want that room...


I'm redoing my guest bedroom over the next few weeks and there are a few things in this room that I plan on using as part of my inspiration. Especially those floral euro shams...I just purchased the fabric to make my own last night. Can't wait to show you the finished product!

15 November 2012

Before & After: Ikea Dressers

I love what a quick coat of paint and new hardware can do for a piece of furniture! We picked up these Tarva dressers from Ikea a few weekends ago (along with our new butterfly print!) and had a few swatches of green paint made into samples. We stained the sides to give it some warmth, and there you have it! It has completely transformed our bedroom and we so love it!

We also bought the tall dresser that matched and did the same ombre pattern with two additional colors added.

In case you're curious the colors that we used were (in order pictured below):
Queen Anne's Lace SW 6420
Celery SW 6421
Shagreen SW 6422
Ryegrass SW 6423
Tansy Green SW 6424
Stain: Varathane - Early American (semi-gloss)

also, the bedroom is painted Humble Gold SW 6380

13 November 2012

Make This: Burlap Runner

I had been on the hunt for a new runner for our kitchen table for a while. It was surprisingly hard to find the right size and color. None of the patterns that I saw matched the rest of the house and all of the solids were just too boring! So, obviously, the only thing to do was make my own...and a big mess :)

Here's how I did it....

Supplies: Light color burlap, Fabric dye, Liquid Stitch, Scissors (not shown), Iron (not shown)

Step 1: Soak!
I used my kitchen sink for this, however, it's probably a better idea to use some sort of large container.  If you do use your sink make sure to rinse it out with soap and water immediately afterwards. Simply follow the directions on the back of your dye box - I love how the color possibilities are endless! The longer you soak the deeper the color. I found that this burlap immediately latched on to the color and I didn't need to soak for more than 5 minutes.

Step 2. Cut
I made the mistake of putting my entire 2 yards of fabric in the sink...hello! So, if you're buying more fabric than you need for this specific project I would recommend that you cut your fabric first to ensure an even color.
Step 3. Fray
This step is slightly tedious. Make sure that you take your time to keep your fabric from looking too distressed. If you try this, you'll know what I mean. I measured out 10 inches for my fray.
Step 4. Iron
I definitely recommend this step to keep your ends looking crisp and even.
Step 5. "Stitch"
There are two ways that you can finish off your runner. The first is to use Liquid Stitch, which just so happens to be a little messy (and really, its not a complete DIY with out a little mess). If you choose to go this route make sure to put something 'disposable' under your project - I used a brown paper bag. -OR- you can get fancy and make the stitch with your sewing machine. I chose against this option because I didn't want to be able to see the seam. It is a total preference.

Step 6. Fringe
This was my favorite part. Basically you just tie your knot at the top of your fringe. I liked the chunky look, so I only made 6 strands. You can make as many as you please :)

It's so satisfying to make something yourself. There's really nothing better than someone complimenting something in your home and being able to say "Thanks, I made it" - am I right?!

12 November 2012

I'm Back!

I'm happy to say that I've jumped back into the blogging world!! It's been a rough couple of months, filled with health and personal issues, but I am doing so much better and can't wait to show you everything that I've been working on. I have posts set up for the rest of the year and they're FILLED with as many DIYs as I could come up with.

The details of why I've been gone aren't important, but what the time off has taught me is that this is my passion. Creating, designing and sharing all of my projects with you. I know that I will have to earn back most of my followers, but I hope that there are still a few of you out there that are excited to see what I've been working on.

I have a new blog design....If you remember the last one looked something like this:

I'll be adding a few new things to the blog, such as music and more design. I hope that you're as excited as I am!

And yes, I DID chop all my hair off :)
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