almost here...

it's almost that time! i am so excited to be having friends and family in town soon... now i just need to get the house in order. i would love to be living in that room above right now... found via the someday blog and house to home. i hope you all have a wonderful and safe holiday!!


diy ornaments.

after seeing this on design*sponge awhile back, i decided to try my hand at some terrarium ornaments. i even bought the little butterflies and tiny birds... but they were too big to fit in the whole at the top. with only a day before i wanted to hand them out to my friends, i didn't have a whole lot of options. so, i stuffed the glass orbs with two colors of moss, sticks and bark from our backyard, and some floral filler balls (for vases).

i really love the way they turned out. simple. (and green. i love green.) if you are wanting to try your hand at putting butterflies in ornaments though, i would suggest getting the largest ornaments you can find, or the plastic ones that come apart. these are really great for small, personalized gifts... tons of stuff you could put in them. small toys, glitter, bits of colored paper or fabric, candy...


christmas inspiration.

so much christmas inspiration and diy projects all around the internet. have i mentioned that we haven't put up a tree yet? right now one of my thrift store lamps is acting as a stand-in. i've even considered hanging ornaments off of it...

i guess i need to pull out one of our now 3 trees and get it decorated. we inherited a huge one that i don't think will even fit in our house right now. so... it will probably be living in the garage until we get a house with higher ceilings. we have another small one that i've been putting up the last couple of years, i think it's around 4 feet tall? i also have a goldish/silverish tinsel tree that's even smaller that i got on sale at the hodgepodge last year. it would be cute sitting on an old trunk or side table.

i thought i would post some of the projects i've found online that i'd really like to try out. it probably won't happen until next summer though! i don't have the extra time right now to be making wreaths and ornaments...

ruffly wreath from domestifluff

pompom wreath from bleubirdvintage

no-sew tree skirt from thepaperpony

ribbon garland from marthastewart

glittery candles from marthastewart

doily ornaments from marthastewart


it's been one of those weeks...

all i have to say is that i am glad things are calming down. at least for a day or two.

on top of all the normal stresses around xmas time, my computer decided to go bonkers on me last week. luckily, i was able to get the larger jobs saved to another computer and actually finish up two of them before i stopped touching my computer :) i thought all was well... until monday when it wouldn't even let me send an email... with no other programs open, the computer had been on for 2 minutes... i don't know.

lots of phone calls, fingers crossed and a call to applecare... i now have a new video card and we installed a larger hard drive. just how much larger, you ask? i have a whole terabyte on my computer now. i have over 800 gigs of available space...

thank-you, wonderful boss.... thank-you!


it's back to work...

we had a wonderful thanksgiving with both sides of the family (well, except scottie... he hates to travel!) but, we managed to get a little work done as well. remember last week, when i said i had photos of the tiled countertop?

here it is. this is what it looked like after we got done building a plywood and cement-board base, cutting out the hole for the sink and laying tile. then it has to set for awhile before you can grout.

the tile got grouted on saturday morning before we headed off to amarillo. i couldn't believe the transformation and i can't wait to get our sink and faucet in there! we still have a ton of work to do after this though. as you can see, our walls aren't exactly ready for the wallpaper and i still have to finish up painting the trim and cabinet.

the whole process wasn't as hard as i thought it would be, but we couldn't have done it without doug's parents. they have done quite a bit of tiling before this and they had all the tools already!


weekend update.

the weekend flew by and now we have a short work week to look forward to. my mind can't stay focused... and all i can think about is turkey and cranberry sauce. progress is being made in the downstairs bathroom though! we ripped out the old countertop, built a base for the new and tiled it. now we need to grout, drop in the sink and install the new faucet.
unfortunately, that won't be the end of the work to get the bathroom looking good again. i still need to get the rest of the old wallpaper off, along with the adhesive, finish painting the trim and cabinets, select and install new hardware, wallpaper and find a mirror.

i do have pictures of the tiled countertop... i just keep forgetting to pull them off my camera!

i have also been lusting over these shower curtains from anthropologie... but considering how much they are, i figure i won't ever own the real thing. i thought my steel blue curtain would still look okay, but i figure if i'm going to be matchy-matchy with the bathroom, i might as well go all the way.


design*sponge sneek peak

i really think these would be super easy to diy, possibly with some old white (bleached and washed in the hottest water possible, of course) sheets from the goodwill. AND i really would like to leave the edges raw and let them fray. but i can't decide if that would look chic or just like i am lazy. now... to make them white or gray??? any thoughts?

here's to hoping i can get this all done before any xmas holiday guests arrive... i'm guessing probably not, but if i could at least finish the painting and get the wallpaper up, it might not be so bad...


inspiration: black & white kitchens

i am beginning to notice a trend in my inspiration folder... i thought i would go through it the other day and i realized that pretty much every kitchen image i have saved is black (or gray) and white with a few pops of color thrown in. i have to say, i was a little surprised. i am usually a full-blown color kind of girl, and these serene, simple kitchens keep popping up and making me smile.

i know that i am using a similar combination in my own kitchen right now, though the green does kind of take over in a way no color does in any of these examples... but, i'm just storing these away in my memory for future use. we won't being staying in our current home forever and i am definitely going to keep these images in mind when we do start looking for a new place to call home...

source unknown

source unknown


yay for friday!

i am ready for the weekend again! today our bathroom sink is supposed to arrive (that's right, we finally decided on a tile countertop) and we're getting some more estimates on windows and even siding. instead of replacing all the windows, now we just want to replace the big one upstairs. we've already scraped, sanded, caulked, primed and painted the other 3 windows in the front, and they are looking mighty fine if i do say so myself! i need to finish planting my mass of daffodil bulbs (what was i thinking ordering 100 bulbs? i did get a great deal...) and i'd like to get a compost pile started since there are a ton of leaves gracing our yard right now.

no other huge plans... although i would like to get out and take some pictures before all the amazing color falls off the trees...


inspiration: type in the home

this is one amazing living room. style/swoon
the rest of the house is pretty sweet too.

couch recovered in used billboard vinyl. readymade

magazine monogram artwork. young house love
they have a great tutorial on this (and extensive how-to section)

graphic monogram pillowcases. can you say diy? design*sponge
this was actually from a before & after (the headboard)
but i saved this image for the pillowcases...


it's time to de-clutter.

i think i've been bitten by the cleaning and organizing bug recently. some clutter here and there used to not bug me (just ask my mom!), but right now i want to scream every time i look at our coffee table or closet. this must be what it's like to be a grown up. last weekend i spent some time in the garage sorting through boxes of stuff that i have been saving for a garage sale. i keep putting it off, because, i really just don't want to have a garage sale. i remember the last one we had right after we got married, and it was a big pain. and we didn't make that much moolah.

right now i have about 5 boxes that need to go to the goodwill, and i'm holding off because doug wants to clean this weekend. we've been talking about organizing solutions, and have done a few things that are helping. i got an under-bed storage thingy for my smaller shoes and some adjustable purse hangers for my collection of purses. these are great because we hung them on the inside wall of our bathroom hall, so they are out of the way, but they still display my purses. and it's freed up some space in our closets. i need to look into over the door storage more...

so... we are embarking on a new journey of de-cluttering and organizing our home. we've got to do something. it feels like the house is just getting smaller and smaller, but we're planning on living there for awhile. and though we are planning to add more space by converting the attic, that won't be happening for some time and i can't just store everything in hopes of seeing it again someday in a bigger house.

a few of my new favorite things are trays and baskets. you can pile a bunch of stuff on a tray and suddenly, the table looks nice! i plan on getting a bunch of baskets for in cabinet storage as well. it makes it so much easier to just pull the whole basket out to look for an item than to sort through the entire shelf looking for one thing.

what are your tips for organizing and keeping it simple? here are some links i found that have really helped...

(all images from here)


weekend update.

do you remember our 'front porch'? well, it is no more. we spent some time saturday tearing it apart and i can't believe what a difference it makes to the house.

ahhh, one more eyesore gone. now the hard part is building a new one...

we also did some work in the attic, repaired some of the mortar around the base of the house and got estimates on replacing the four windows in the front. it was a productive weekend...


tray before & after.

i have really come to appreciate a nice tray. you can put it on a table and pile a bunch of junk on it, and it still looks organized. it also makes it easier to clean the surface below, because you just have to move the tray and not all the stuff that's on top! i bought this old brass tray at the thriftstore for only $1 last friday. i loved the aged patina, but knew i wanted to use it in the downstairs bathroom after we get finished with it. so... i bit the bullet and painted it.

i washed it with soap and water first, then primered it and gave it a few thin coats of glossy black paint. my first thought was to find a mirror to fit inside, but couldn't find anything on the cheap that was 11.5" in diameter. so... i decided i would just make a bottom for it! i made a template from a dinner plate, which just happened to be the perfect size, and used spray adhesive to attach paper to each side. that's right, i made an insert that's double-sided. right now it's just the paper, but i plan on getting it laminated so that if any water gets spilled on it, it won't get ruined. i'd also like to find some glass to go on top to make it look a little more upscale, but that may have to be custom cut. and the best part? i can always make a new bottom insert for it if i get tired of these two options... you could also use contact paper in a pretty pattern, but i had some specific papers i wanted to use for this project.

i think it turned out pretty sweet for only costing me $1 and some spray paint and paper that i already had on hand. i'm also going to finish out the underside of the tray with some felt circles to keep from damaging any surface i might put this on.

weekend project.

i actually got a few things done this weekend, and one of them was this little project (above). i found the oval frame at a thrift store a few years ago and just knew it would be good for something. i've seen so many silhouette projects lately... but i think making these of your pets is just way too cute. i finally snapped a few photos of scottie that would work, and traced them in illustrator, sized it to fit in my frame and printed it out. i knew i wanted to put it in the downstairs bath (whenever it gets finished, that is) so i wanted to keep it really simple. some black spray paint, some pretty paper and black cardstock... a few minutes to cut it all out... and now we have a wonderful keepsake of our little dog.

did you all have a nice weekend?


type nerd.

i think it's a given that all us crazy graphic designers are in love with type. found these awesome notecards by afavorite via poppytalk this morning and had to check them out. the bonus? these are letterpressed. i love love love notecards, but i selfishly hoard them to myself unless i have more than one of a kind to spare. or a crazy fabulous person to give one to that i know won't toss it in the trash after enjoying it's splendor. but of course, i keep just about every card i receive... so feel free to send awesome cards my way :)


homegoods stylescope.

fun little quiz i took at the HomeGoods website (found the link on d*s). i'm sure the results would change, though, everytime i took it. i find that i like all sorts of things that don't always match. but that's the fun of decorating, right? now, if only we had a homegoods store nearby...


attic space.

i am feeling strangely refreshed for a monday. certainly not complaining! this weekend was spent with family on saturday and talking about future plans for the house on sunday. one of the main reasons we love this house so much is there is room to expand without building on to the house. oddly enough, we share the second floor of our home with a large, walk-in attic and have had plans to convert it to living space since the day we closed on the house. i found some inspiration images of what i am imagining the finished space to look like. the plan is to make it into a studio space/second living area. right now my office is occupying the spare bedroom (and some of doug's office) and we'd like to change that. i can imagine lots of storage, hardwood floors and a vintage chandelier hanging from the ceiling... image above from this old house

image above from sunset. i love how the desk is fit into the slope of the roof.

image above from design*sponge, originally from morewaystowastetime
where she explains the step-by-step process.

image from apartment therapy.
i love how they integrated bookshelves into otherwise unusable space.


anthropologie knobs.

i blame lindsey for this. anthropologie has a fun, interactive hardware store on their website where you can select a style and color of furniture similar to your own and play around with different knobs. it is addicting to say the least. they have some really unique pieces that would be great for smaller projects as well as some more simple knobs that would work great, in say... a bathroom. that's right friends, i'm turning this into a bathroom-related post. since i'm now thinking about painting the cabinets under the countertop a dark gray or even black, i'm reconsidering my first choice in hardware (glad i haven't bought any yet!) and any of these below would certainly complete the look. they are still a little on the high side when you're trying to get these things done on a budget... maybe i can find a set on ebay?

all images from anthropologie



i think perhaps we've found a solution to the countertop situation in our bathroom... cultured marble. i thought this option was going to be more expensive than the quotes that i got... which is a nice surprise. cultured marble is made from marble dust and resin, and can be created in a wide range of colors and 'swirls' can be added to give the look of marble and even granite. i think that for our purposes, i would like to stick with a nice, clean, simple white. another nice thing about cultured marble is that you can have it made with an integral sink...

now that i think we've got that figured out, i've been thinking about mirrors. right now, ours takes up most of the wall where the sink is. it's huge, and i think it actually makes the space look smaller instead of opening it up. i'd really like an antique mirror to hang over the countertop, but those can get pretty pricey... and while i've been keeping an eye out at the thrift stores... pretty framed mirrors just don't show up all the time. i've also been thinking about cutting down the original mirror and just putting it in a pretty frame. i doubt i'll actually purchase one until we get everything else done (so maybe a great deal will show up somewhere) but here are some of my favorites that are pretty affordable...

would it be weird to have it broken up like that in a bathroom?
i'm thinking probably yes, but i really like it...

there are also several at hobby lobby that i really like...
but i can't find any photos of them on the web...

i know i'm probably boring you with all this stuff,
but i think doug just tunes me out now when i start talking about this stuff...