Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Goodwill FIND

Here is the shower curtain we received for a wedding gift: I picked it out for our registry, but it never QUITE clicked. Especially with our towels. They are more of a slate blue than the blue in the stripes. Plus, it's springtime and I was ready for a change in the back of my mind. Behold, our new shower curtain:
I got it at the Goodwill for $4! I love the bold, cheerful print! I also really like crisp, white shower curtains, so maybe I'll just have a rotation. I'm excited to explore some accessory changes in the bathroom as well. And yes, the curtain IS wrinkled. I was too excited to put it up to wait until Ava was done with her nap to unfold our extremely squeaky ironing board. I figure the wrinkles will fall out with a couple hot showers. Right? Right guys? Guys?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Asters and Zinneas and Alyssum, oh my!

In addition to the paper pretties, I extended the garden theme of the baby shower to the centerpieces/prizes. First, Rach and I planted some seeds. I was actually very nervous about this part. You see, I kill most plants that I touch. Once I even killed a tree in my parents yard with a lawn mower. I ran over it. The upside is when I offered to mow the lawn from then on they politely declined. :0) So you can imagine my excitement when I passed the flower pots and saw this: They were sprouting! I freaked out to Mr. Wonderful, but he was distracted. So I told him to be more excited! He tried. He really did. Then I called Rach. She was excited like me!

I was wondering aloud to Mr. W about how to label the flowers (we planted three types) and he suggested writing right on the pot. Instantly I thought of the chalkboard projects I've seen in Blogland and decided it would be a great excuse to buy some chalkboard paint.

Here they are on my messy kitchen island!

They'll be so handy, because this size of pot is just for starting seeds out, so I will have to relabel them a lot. Now that I know I can sort of grow something. (yes, I kept some for myself!)

Here are the centerpieces. Ignore the big white barcoded label, mkay? The hydrangeas were a steal at Aldi and I got the garden gloves and trowel (also prizes) at Dollar Tree. The fabric is from my stash. The pots were 3/$1 and the seeds were $.25/pack at Dollar Tree. I had the soil and I got the chalkboard paint at Joanne's. It was a fun shower and I had a good time planning it! Now we're just waiting for the baby. Hang in there K, you'll do great!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Smooth Operator

Upon experience with our new kitchen island, we decided that we needed to retrofit the drawers with ball bearing drawer slides. The dresser had wooden rails, and one of them was broken. They were quite sticky. We got the new slides at Menards and they look like this: We had use L-brackets to fasten 3/4"x 1 1/2" boards from the back of the dresser to the front, making the tops of the boards flush to the front of the drawer opening. We had to use 3/8" screws so they wouldn't go through the back of the dresser. We couldn't avoid screwing through the bottom of the drawer though. Still trying to come up with a solution for that! Possibly some peg board organizers.
It was trial and error to try and fit the modern slides onto the antique dresser. It was a little of this:

And a little of this:
But in the end, we triumphed and the drawers work a TON better. Thanks to Mr. Wonderful, who figured most of this out, and let me use the power tools!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Paper pretties!

Hi friends,
I have been a bit mia, but it is due to so many projects getting done. So it's a good thing!

I threw a baby shower for a friend this past weekend. She's an avid gardener, so we made it a garden theme. When I saw the tissue pomanders at Martha's website I knew I had to make them: You may have seen these around the blogosphere. I think this version is probably the easiest. I can't imagine anything easier! They turned out so cute! I used paper lanterns from the Dollar Tree (much cheaper than a styrofoam sphere), Elmer's glue, and used tissue paper from wedding and baby gifts we have gotten. I actually think the crinkly used tissue paper looks the best.
I folded up the tissue into a small square, used a canning jar to trace around for a circle pattern and cut the circle out. This left me with a bunch of tissue paper circles. Wrap the tissue paper around a pen or pencil, elementary school style. Dot the end of the pencil in glue and press onto the lantern. Repeat a billion times. This is a great project to do while watching hulu or chatting with a friend. Kind of mindless and fun! Big shout out to Rach, who helped me out!

On March 25th Living With Lindsay is doing a $5 challenge. The challenge is to create a craft for $5 or less from items found at a dollar store (you can use some materials you already have on hand too.) At $1 a piece, these tissue pomanders should fit the criteria!

Monday, March 15, 2010

On March 15, 2008...

I had picked out the prettiest white dress I could find... And we had chosen two beautiful rings...
I spent the whole morning grinning...

While you were hanging out with the guys...

We said some special vows...

And praised our God...

All our friends and family were there to see...

You washed my feet and I washed yours....

And we sealed it with a kiss...

We are living happily ever after...

Thanks for two beautiful, full, exciting years, m'love! You are beyond the husband of my dreams!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Arranging our art wall, step by step.

Whew! This post has been awhile in the making. I'm learning that it's all about patience when it comes to frugal home decor. Well, two years ago (I told you it's been awhile!) I got married. Our anniversary is on the 15th! Aaaaand about a month-and-a-half ago, we got this in the mail: Its our wedding pictures! I picked out some pictures that I wanted to put in a collage on our bedroom wall. So I gathered up all the frames we received as wedding gifts. I noticed that most of them were a brushed or antiqued silver color. Except for this one:

I researched whether you could antique something like that and I found a website that described how you can get that effect on your silver dishes with one of these:

The frame said it was silver plated, so I thought what the heck? I mashed it up in a bag, so it looked like this:

I rubbed the egg all over the frame and guess what? Epic fail. All it accomplished is making me feel silly and making me crave egg salad. So eventually, I decided that frame would be best used for another project. :0)

But I had this frame already. And I thought to myself, "how on earth am I going to find pictures that small from our wedding?" And then I dug deep and realized that I could take the matting out and use a big picture!
I heard from Layla that you should lay out the pictures on the floor in front of the wall that you want to hang them on in order to figure out how to arrange them. Buuuut, we don't have floor space, so I used our bed. First, I tried an arrangement where all the pictures are arranged with a horizontal line inbetween. I think I saw it on Martha's website. It's kind of meh, for me.
Then I tried something a little more stair-steppy.
Then I tried putting the biggest frame in the middle (which I think I heard from the Nester) and flanking it with smaller ones. But there are a lot of larger frames in my collection....
Then I tried throwing out all the rules.
I added the new oval frame in. I tried to balance the black and whites with the colors and made sure the matching frames weren't next to each other.
Then I went for more of a "diamond" shape. Roughly. Which I think I saw on Layla's Houzz interview.
And that ended up to be the one I liked the best! Another trick I heard from Martha is that you should use newspaper templates to hang up on your wall before you put the frames up. It makes it easy to get the nails (or whatever you use) in the right spot.
I love having that be our art in our bedroom. It reminds us of that special day and helps me to drop my other concerns at the door. Our bedroom came together in a lot of soothing tones and this really highlights them for me.
Yay! It's finally done! *runs to find a checklist to cross it off of*

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Welcome Art

I have been drooling over these images for awhile now:

Look on the wall!
On.. Beadboard... I'm dying...

I thought it would be a good way to welcome-ify our entryway. So I went to Bethesda Thrift Store, which I find is the most crafty. I found some embroidery hoops on my first try! Two for $.59 and one for a hefty $.19. Yes! I just used my new fabric stash to fill them.

To try and get them flush with the wall, I gathered the fabric in the back and tried to sew it in. I think I've seen that done in the past.
Aren't they cheerful? I'm going to try and find a medium-sized one. And probably just buy every one that I find thrifting from now on and keep adding until it fills the whole wall because I love it so much. Or until it looks like the Apartment Therapy post.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

$.50 craft

I came across this when I was at the Goodwill the other day. Yep. It was the worst picture of a button covering kit ever. Just kidding. I took that horrible picture. But if I could've taken a good picture of the back I would. Because it said $.99 on a PINK tag. Which meant 50% off, yo. Yes! When I saw it, a craft I saw on a blog came to mind. If I could only remember which one...
So basically, you take the little metal wire insert-y things out of the buttons. (super easy) Cut out the pattern on the package and use it to cut out little fabric circles. Wrap the fabric around the button covers (easy, easy, easy) and pop the back in (easy.)

Then you hot glue a tack onto the button to make a super cute tack to dress up your bulletin board. I realized as I was at the Goodwill that we don't HAVE a bulletin board. Which I'm sad about, because I love these! Luckily I have a sister with a birthday coming up who is a teacher. Who surely has bulletin boards. Who hopefully doesn't read my blog. Jen, if you're out there, you never saw this...

I'm linking up!


Monday, March 1, 2010

A Special Gift

I met her at church. We were both sitting alone and she offered to share a hymnal with me. She introduced herself, but for the life of me I couldn't understand her thick Massachussetts accent. One Sunday, the pastor announced that Bud Larrabee had cancer. After service she told me that Bud was her husband. She took my arm tight almost as a shield from all the people offering best wishes and condolences on the bad news on our way out of church.

One Sunday I brought my friend Brian and we worked out a scheme. He would simply introduce himself to her and we presumed that she would introduce herself back.

B: Hi, I'm Brian
M: Nice to meet you, Brian. I'm Maaahhhge.
B: Excuse me, did you say Marge?
M: Yes, Mahhhge.

Marge! This was good because she invited me over for tea. It's not good to go to someone's house for tea when you don't know her name.

Marge and Bud's (who kicked cancer like a bad habit!) house was gorgeous. Like out of a magazine. But they built it themselves, a modern cape-style, decorated it with antiques, and insisted on comfort. Put your feet up kinda people. She told me they found the antiques in their younger days when it was the fashion to try and find junkyards from long ago. People would go and dig and not tell anyone else where they were finding their stuff. Marge and Bud had found the oldest junkyards. As I type this, it sounds outlandish. But they live in New England and anyway that's what she told me. They had beautiful stuff.

She would have me over for tea, and for supper and for frappes on the patio. It was almost as if she could anticipate what I needed. One night I walked in and she had set the rocking chair in front of the fire for me. It was enough to wash that college stress right outta my hair. They dine by candlelight every night. Being 2000 miles away from home and living on cafeteria food, it was pure heaven. They outfitted my first apartment with furniture from their beach cottage that they ended up selling. They came to my concerts. They sent me home with goodie bags.

I visited once after college and it was wonderful. We exchange letters sporatically. Fewer and fewer as the years go on. This week we got a package from them for Ava. The sweetest handmade items! She knit the sweater, and made the doll by hand. The doll (sleeping face on one side, awake face on the other) had a little tag attached that said "Hi! I'm Francine!" She is actually the first doll or lovie that Ava has shown much interest in. She already has a little stain on her face, which makes me cringe a little, but it makes me glad that Francine will be well loved.

Thanks, Marge, for everything.