Archive for ‘diy’

September 19, 2011

How I Love Weekends.

These days I live for the weekend.  Monday through Friday is great and all, but the weekends are when I get to spend more time with my hubby and I get to spend some quality time at the house.  Cleaning is high on the list, but it doesn’t always happen.  Sporatic cleaning is my new tactic, that way cleaning doesn’t end up taking over a whole day where my hair gets pulled on the top of my head and I’m covered in dirt from head to toe at the end of five hours.  (Although, sometimes it’s necessary).  This weekend did not involve much cleaning, but it was a busy one!

The back door has needed some love for awhile.  It was off-white when we moved in, peeling paint on the outside, and it didn’t seal at all.  Levi put some weather stripping on it a few months ago, which helped in a huge way during our heat wave.  The dirty look of the door has been driving me crazy.  So this weekend, it got a face-lift!

It’s so happy now.  I just love it. 

The trim still needs some work, but that’s for another weekend.

Another new addition to the backyard is the shed that my husband, so graciously, put together.  We debated for awhile on building our own or buying a pre-fabricated shed.  After pricing everything, we decided to buy one and put it together.  One million pieces later . . . the shed is finally finished and organized!  Levi put everything in the shed yesterday.  The yard looks so much better (minus the dirt that is now our grass).  That man is a blessing.

Hagen is still growing, of course.  We think she’s around 90 lbs now.  It hurts when she steps on your feet.  But she’s a huge ball of love.

Weekends also bring time for gardening.  I’m starting out small this fall … and in containers. 

Weekend before last I planted herbs :: basil, cilantro, sage, parsley, and lavender.  Currently this pot is no longer stacked on blocks on the deck, because Hager beans still found a way to get to the plants.  We are down one parsley now.  I got two chains and hung the container from two existing hooks outside our office window.  The herbs like it there so far.  And it’s out of Hagen’s reach .. for now.

The front beds have two tomato plants, four red cabbage plants, and four cauliflower plants. I also planted lettuce, because I love it.  Bibb, Romaine, Arugula & Swiss Chard.  It sits on our stop sign table on the front porch.  The swiss chard has it’s own pot, because it’s large and in charge. The lettuce really took off this week with our spurts of rain. 

Last night we had our first salad.  It was delicious.

Some sort of baking or cooking frenzy normally happens during the weekend as well.  This weekend, the baking was for a coworker-turned-friend ..  Happy Birthday Matt!  He likes cookies.  He likes icing.  Hopefully the cookie cake will suffice! 

With that, I will leave you with my new favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe … for one of your upcoming weekends.
 

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September 6, 2011

Ryan :: Autumn Wreath

It’s COOL outside! This weather, although probably short-lived, is amazing. I’ve been waiting to make our autumn wreath until we had a cool streak. Yes, cool … meaning two consecutive days under 90 degrees. So that day is today!

I realize that I still haven’t posted before/after pictures of the house. It’s only been what, 5 months?! I’ll get to it. For now, the front door. It was originally a dark olive green – yuck. I appreciate that this color holds a special place in the heart of many people, but I just can’t handle it. We took the door a dark charcoal color with the tiniest hint of violet. We also added the giraffe doorknocker from Anthro. I couldn’t resist this little guy. He welcomes guests and makes quite a racket to let us know when someone knocks at the door.

I have been gathering pieces of autumn goodness to make a wreath for this fall. All of the pieces for this wreath were found on sale at Joann’s, Michael’s, and Anna’s Linens. The wooden wreath form itself was picked up on the side of the road by yours truly. I’m not ashamed. It originally had some ghastly pink ribbons and hot glue ridden flowers. After removing all of the unwanted pieces, the wreath form was ready for a new life. Here is the result.

The straw-like pieces are from Michael’s. Levi actually spotted the 60% bins on the sidewalk while we were leaving BB&B. He regretted mentioning it after I started digging through the florals. We also scored some nice tiki torches for a few bucks. The little berries and feathers were a JoAnn’s find, with a 50% coupon, of course. Never buy anything from JoAnn’s without a coupon. Seriously. The burgundy hair-like pieces surrounding the center of the wreath were on clearance at Anna’s. I found out why too. They dye your hands hot pink. I mean solid pink. After working with those pieces, I had to scrub my hands so much to get the dye off. It was worth it though – I like the richness that the burgundy adds.

Yay for fall days!

September 5, 2011

Paint Chip Wall Calendar :: DIY

So the original plan was to have this ready to post for the beginning of September … but now it can be a September project for you to have ready come October!  For those of you on Pinterest (and for those of you who aren’t, but should be), you have probably come across the myriad of crafts and designs using paint chips. Garland, bunting, framed, decoupaged, you name it.. I don’t completely condone all of the projects, because some take a ridiculous amount of paint chips and some of them don’t really have a purpose other than to use a ridiculous amount of paint chips. I felt a like a little kid grabbing 7 of each color I used, trying to make sure the paint man wasn’t going to “catch me.” Almost like I was stealing, even though they are free. The fact that we bought a lot of paint for the new house made me feel better – like I was bartering with Valspar. I think they probably came out on top.

Now that I have that confession out there, on to the actual project. Stevo had an old frame. in a horse trailer. parked beside a pile of trash. ready to go to the dump. When I saw it, I snatched it up he gave it to me for “this calendar I’ve been wanting to make.” So here goes.

:: What you will need ::

A frame – any size will do, but the bigger the better {this is Texas}

Cardboard for backing

Poster board {white or color of your choice}

28 Paint Chips {colors of your choice}

Double-sided Tape

:: Let’s get going ::

The frame had a trash bag duct taped around it and onto the glass when we found it. I’m not sure exactly how much good the trash bag would have done in protecting it, but the duct tape did it’s job – it was very nicely caked onto the frame and glass. After some windex and elbow grease, the frame was ready.

Here it is without the glass.

Since there was no backing to the frame, I got a box out of our recycling bin that just happened to be large enough for this sucker. I had to cut the piece to fit and duct tape an edge on; but it’s ok because this part won’t show at the end.

I should also mention that it helps to have an audience. (Even if they are sleeping).

Now that we have the frame and backing ready, it’s time to make the calendar itself.

I used 28 paint chips from Lowe’s in 4 different shades of orange.  You could do all different colors, but I like the monochromatic look.  Remember you will be writing on top of these, so lighter colors will work the best.

Cut the paint chips down to the size that will work for your frame.  I got the largest paint chips and just cut the name of the color off, because I wanted them as large as possible.  It may take a little rearranging to see what size you need.  I placed my chips 7 across and 4 down, realizing that I would have some days at the bottom of each month that would share a block.  If this bothers you, make a 5th row! 

After arranging the chips, secure them with 3 or four small pieces of double-sided tape.. or do it the old-school circle of tape way (which I had to do on about a fourth of the chips).

As you’re arranging, you will want to leave a space on one side of the frame for you to write the month.  I decided to make it on the side.

As you can see, the poster board wasn’t large enough to cover the whole frame.  So I used it to place the paint chips on, and made a space on the side with a piece of toulle wrapped around the edge to add a little texture.  The toulle is taped to the back of the frame.  You could use hot glue if you’d like, but I wanted the option to change it out later.

After securing the poster board to the cardboard backing, assemble behind the glass in the frame!

Then find a place for your new calendar!  Our’s is in the office, and adds a nice detail of brightness against the gray walls.  I need to get some stronger expo markers, but they do the trick for now! 

Happy Labor Day!

August 3, 2011

Chevron Canvas :: DIY

This is a project I did for the dining room over a month ago. I have been loving the chevron pattern everywhere lately, and I thought this would be an easy and cheap addition to bring some shine into the middle of the house.

All you need is a blank canvas (or three), acrylic paint or spray paint of your choice, a tape measure, and some painter’s tape — which I would highly suggest the frog tape. Blue painter’s tape is for those of you looking to make some sort of abstract blurred line. I was not going for that .. I want my tape to actually create a straight line. I’m a big fan of the green stuff.

To begin I took a pencil and made tiny markings where I wanted the points of the chevron to be for one line. I ended up making the points 6 inches apart vertically and horizontally. Next, cut pieces of tape the length you need between each marking. If you pre-cut them and have the pieces lined up, the process is much faster. I found it worked best to change the pieces of tape for the first line around until I liked the way it looked. Then, I used that line as a model to measure the rest. This is the hardest part.

Also, I taped off the edges of the canvases because I thought the white would leave a cleaner look. I like how they turned out, but you could easily paint the sides if you wanted.

Then tape off however many other canvases you are game for. I wanted a grouping of three, so this is what they looked like after taping them off.

I had the bright idea to use gold acrylic paint and brush it on like a real artist. For my patience level at the time, this was overrated. I completed one canvas with the gold acrylic and it wasn’t bold enough for what I was wanting.

I decided to do a second coat, which created the bright gold I was looking for.

At this point, I was tired of hand painting …. so I looked for another option. We had leftover metallic spray paint from some other projects around the house, so I decided to see how they looked on the canvas. Silver and bronze.

When I laid these two next to the gold, it just seemed like they were too bright in comparison. So I decided to paint over every other stripe of the silver and bronze metallic canvases to tie them together. Add a picture hanger on the back of the canvas and pick your spot to hang it up!

This is our dining room, complete with the chevron canvases. I think they add a nice contrast to the bread and wine picture that Levi’s father took in the 70’s. You basically have to walk through this room to get to any other room in the house, so I love that it has a warm, cheery feel now. It took me awhile to decide which way to hang them … “W” or “M” … I decided on “W” because Levi’s middle name is William.

July 13, 2011

Ryan :: Recent Happenings

This is what our living room looked like on Sunday afternoon.

Fabric bonanza.

Over a month ago, we bought 4 cane-backed chairs off of Craigslist to go with the beautiful dining table my parents gave us as a housewarming gift.  The table was my grandmothers and it’s gorgeous.  So, the chairs need to be something special too.  This is what the chairs looked like before.  They weren’t terrible, but I wasn’t digging the fabric.

Imagine this chair x 4 plus 2 chairs (one shown below) that were given to us by the previous owner of the house.  Four hours, hundreds of staples, and a swollen hand later … we had newly covered chairs.  They look pretty and they feel better too.  The fabric is so comfy on the hind legs.

The makeshift red curtains don’t do much to block light or heat … that’s the current project.  I’m sewing the rings on next!  Can’t wait to share them … think light blue, orange, circles, and texture.  The fabric was a gift from the amazing owner of Interior Fabrics, where I used to work over the summers.  I’m so excited for her to come see where the fabric is being used once they’re finally done!

On a more depressing note … I completely forgot my camera on our trip to Austin for Jen’s wedding!  I could have kicked myself!  You can believe me though, everything was gorgeous … down to every last detail.  Fabric Flowers.  Suspenders.  First Kiss.  BBQ.  Succulents.  Lemonade with crushed strawberries.  Photobooth.  Cake / Pie / Cupcakes.  Birdhouse.  Dancefest.  Spiced Pecans.  Sparklers.  It was beautiful.  Tim & Jenny are such a testament of God’s love, clearly shown throughout their day.  I. loved. every. minute.

On Saturday we took a detour to the lovely town of Fredericksburg.  We found this amazing little German antique store with hundreds of ski poles imported from Germany.  I don’t have any use for vintage ski poles, but if you do … head down South.  I agonized over this vintage dough bowl.  Vintage + Wood + Bowl + German = Something I had to pull myself away from … once I heard the price.  It was actually a good deal for a dough bowl, but I couldn’t justify the purchase when I didn’t know where I would put it.  The bowl was huge, which increased its awesomeness … but I will just have to enjoy it through this picture.

I also saw these chimes while we were there … I’ve been wanting to make a chime out of old silverware I bought at a garage sale awhile back, but haven’t taken the time yet.  I like the idea of hanging them from another dish – this platter was cute. 

These planters (with succulents!!! yes, I’m obsessed with succulents right now) were outside of a cool little shop.  Definitely want to recreate this idea for the backyard; maybe for some herbs.

Before the wedding, we spent the night in Round Rock with some family friends, Leland & Dana.  Dana is super talented … she is so crafty.  She has most recently been making her own metal jewlery.  Everything is unique and completely customized for the person.  She made me the cutest necklace with charms of different shapes and sizes that say different things.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of it — but I DO have a picture of the decanter tags she made for us!  Yes, our liquor has jewelry too.  Look how amazing these are.  We have 10 or 11 in total … my favorite isn’t pictured, but these are the pictures that turned out the best.  Let me know if you need a custom necklace/charm, etc.  Dana can hook you up!

I was so happy to get back home to our Hager Beans.  She’s growing so fast!  Can you find her?

June 9, 2011

Ryan :: Shoes

This is the latest *completed* project at the house. I didn’t come up with this idea on my own .. unfortunately. I saw this beauty on Pinterest. Obviously, I fell in love with the idea. This is such a great idea for many reasons.

(1) All the pretty shoes are at eye level. Easy to see, easy to grab, and easy to slip on when you’re still waking up.

(2) They’re art. Really, shoe art. Nothing better.

(3) Even when Hagen is full grown, she won’t be able to reach these beauties. She won’t be allowed to chew on shoes of any kind, but hey — we all know junk happens.

(4) It’s incredibly easy to execute. All you need is molding (at least 1” thick and cut to whatever size you want), some paint, and finishing nails! Easy peasy.

June 3, 2011

Life is a Party :: Anthology

Not to be confused with Anthropologie, Anthology is another obsession of mine. Along with Rue, High Gloss & Lonny. These online mags are just so fun to me. Not only are they creative and fresh, but they’re free and full of inspiration.

Here are a couple of my favorite pages from the third issue of Anthology.

Well, life is a party right?  I can’t even imagine how excited I’d be to come across a staircase covered in streamers and love notes weighted with oranges.  Brilliant.

On another, equally exciting note for me … the pantry project is done!!  (minus some backsplash that will be added in the near future..) This means that my kitchen is somewhat in order and I am much less of a crazy person!  Well at least in the i-can’t-stand-it-when-my-kitchen-is-out-of-control regard.  In other ways, I’m definitely still crazy.  But I think that’s a good thing.

The bathroom expansion/demolition extravanganza began this morning!  I had to dry my hair in the bedroom corner as a result … yeah, still locating the plugs and all that jazz.  Big hair in Texas is totally acceptable.  There is currently no door on our bathroom, so we’ll invite you to come visit later.  Sheet door installation commences asap!  I hope to get some pictures uploaded next week of our new digs!  Now, go put streamers on a staircase for someone … at least leave a random love note.  It’s the small things.

May 31, 2011

Vintage Fresh [ love & teacups ] :: Style Shoot

So … in case you’re getting tired of all of the Ryan posts, here’s something fresh for you .. some images from my lovely peeps, Brandy & Brandon of Bella Pop Photography.  Yeah, they’re pretty amazing peeps I must say.  This style shoot was back in April at Honeysuckle Gardens in Midlothian, TX.  We also collaborated with Shannon Caldwell of Something You who made our models — Stacy, Lisa & Matt — even more gorgeous … and handsome (Matt was such a great sport).  This style shoot was an opportunity for me to show my abilities, but also to give ideas to incorporate at a wedding reception, shower, etc. The day was perfect, minus a little wind, and it was great experience for me .. pulling all of the details together.  The overall vision was a fresh take on vintage with a smidge of french influence.

I incorporated lots of fresh flowers from The Connection (previously The Flower Market) in milk glass vases, also used in my wedding. Brandy contributed some of her doilies to accompany some my grandmother had made, which heightened the vintage feel. The place settings were borrowed from my mother … I almost lost it when I found them in her cabinets, because I had never seen them before! Way too pretty to be collecting dust on a shelf. The spoon napkin holders were borrowed from Levi’s aunt, who made them using rustic silverware that had been passed down. All of the teacups and saucers were graciously offered by some dear family friends. Brandy made the macarons, which were delicious! I made the scones and intended to bake the wedding cookies, but unfortunately they flopped … so Central Market lent a hand there!

Overall, the table, tablecloth, and chairs were the only pieces that were rented. The troops definitely rallied to help me gather the pieces for this event!

I took inspiration from Martha’s fringe focused designs for the paper pieces for our shoot. Using paper selected from Jo-Ann’s and the convenience of Brandy’s printer, with our’s on the blink, these pieces came together seamlessly. I really love them a lot.

I tried some different paper dahlia techniques, but was never satisfied with the result. So I created my own method for the paper dahlias.. cutting tissue paper into small squares, pinching the middle of the paper and twisting the edges, then pinning the twisted middle to a foam ball with sewing pins, until completely covered with paper. I used hot glue and a sewing pin to secure fishing line to the ball to hang in the trees. For a more permanent application, hot glue would be a good option to secure each pin down, I just didn’t take the time. Unfortunately, the wind was a little rough on the dahlias … so they flattened on one side as the day progressed!

Stacy .. this girl has some definite style. Loved the skirt.

Lisa and Matt .. working their stuff. This was around their anniversary; what a great time for some new photos!

Happy Tuesday!

May 18, 2011

Vintage Fresh Style Shoot :: Sneak Peek

So… remember that workshop back in April that I styled with BellaPop?? Well, I have a little sneak peek for you compliments of Vanessa of Del Pino Photography, who attended the workshop. We had such a great time that day and the weather was perfect (minus the minor gusts of wind)! Here’s a small taste of that day … many more pictures to come! Vanessa, girl, you’ve got some major talent. Thanks again for sharing your amazing shots!

April 13, 2011

Oh Dear! :: Rustic Wedding Shower

This wedding shower was a gift to one of my best friends, and his beautiful fiancé. At the end of this month, she will walk down the aisle, take his hand, and they will become husband and wife. They are full of life and ready to take on what this world throws at them! Stephen and Teresa both serve in the U.S. Marines and have a love for all things country .. as a lot of us do in Texas. For their shower, I wanted to incorporate their wedding colors and lots of rustic details.  The weather was perfect and we had lots of fun catching up with old friends and making new ones.

We had a biscuit bar, with all kinds of toppings … including the infamous jar of bacon!

My brother contributed some deer antlers he had, you know, just lying around … and even took the time to mount them for me! Like a pro!

What kind of Texan party would it be without some haybails?!

One of my favorite things about the food [other than the bacon, of course] was the Heart Cake that my mom and I made the night before.  I fell in love with this idea a few months ago … and just had to try it!  We were going for a more “peachy” color, but with the cocoa it turned out much deeper.  It was quite yummy, though!

A HUGE thanks to everyone who helped with this event, especially my husband — lugging those pallets around — and my mom, chef extraordinaire.  Also, to the wonderful Brandy & Brandon Frank of Bella Pop Photography!  They so graciously took pictures of the details before the guests arrived.  Hugs to all.