Saturday, September 8, 2012

Stenciled Wall

I've been a commitment phob when it comes to making a decision about my master bedroom. Blaming it on the inability to find "just the right thing," I've hummed and hawed over style, colors, and just about everything. Finally...finally I settled on stenciling.  I know, nothing new to the decorating world, but it was a breakthrough for me. When I began to search online and found that the stencils I loved came with the modest price tag of $40.00-$60.00, I quickly rethought my POA (plan of action...military life has rubbed off on me...acronyms....sheesh!).

Sooooo, Pinterest came to the rescue. This Blogger gives an amazing tutorial on how to make your own stencil CHEAP! All you need is paper, cardboard, a level, brushes, and paint...and a blank wall.

At first, I chose my own shape and downloaded it but found it was not quite the right look I wanted.  So I used the one she suggested. Here it is:

I didn't follow her instructions to the letter, but pretty close.  I taped a piece of paper onto my computer screen and traced this shape.  Make sure you don't make the shape to small or you will be spending a lifetime on this project.  I had to use two 8 1/2x11 sheets of paper.

After cutting out the shape, I folded the shape in half just to make sure it was symmetrical, trimming off anything that wasn't even. Next, I traced the shape onto a piece of cardboard.  Cardboard is wonderful because it is pliable.  Great for bending and shaping around my windows. Again, I folded my shape in half to check that it was even on both sides.

This is where the "fun" part begins.  Patience, dear friend, patience.  I didn't have a small enough level, so I downloaded a level app on my phone, and it worked wonderfully. I taped my level to my stencil, making sure it was VERY secure.  I guesstimated where I should begin by trying to make sure I would end with a full shape instead of just a sliver of the shape.  I was pretty close.  My windows made it halfway impossible.

After tracing, and tracing, and tracing, and tracing, I was ready to paint.  We already had high gloss white exterior/interior paint so whoopee! no trips to the hardware store.  Plus, no cost.  I grabbed some art painted brushes from my craft room and went to work.  I had to trace everything freehand, but it actually wasn't that difficult. Just time-consuming. Loooooove how it turned out!!  My Darling Husband loves it as well.  His words exactly: "It's beautiful, Babe!" Success : )

So I still have some work to do, but I think it's a wonderful start. 

I also got to finally hang the curtains I sort of sewed.  I loved the bluish/green color, but they weren't long enough. So I bought the cream colored ones and sewed them together.  Perfect length now.

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Spirit of the {4th}

Doesn't July 4th just feel like summer?  Sweet tea, hotdogs, fireworks, John P. them all! Living in a country where we have freedom and knowing that many sacrificed all for me to enjoy it is something that I don't take lightly.  I thank God for the good ol' USA!!

Here are a few ideas I found to help boost that spirit of The 4th.

Amidst all the fanfare and celebration, don't forget to be thankful for living in the best country in all the world! 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Project {Challenge}

 The story of how this flower box came into existence.

While driving in our car on the way home:

Me: Babe, I really want to learn how to use our power tools.
Hubz: Why?
Me: Because there are some projects that I would like to get done.
Hubz: I could do them.
Me: No offense, but you won't.
Hubz: ~
Me: I mean, you don't have time...You work so much.... (digging a deeper hole than I can get out of)

My darling Other Half then pulls into Lowe's and buys all of the materials we need for a certain project that I had been talking about for some time now.  I think this was all just to prove me wrong.  He CAN and he WILL do this project.  I love my man!

So I learned how to use our power tools that night.

He bought me a cute little apron.

No chopped off fingers. Score!

Henry looks on sporting his Russian boots (AKA: wet feet)

A little sanding.

Some gorgeous stain that he chose himself.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Vacation of {Happy Memories}

Matthew and I just spent a week in what is probably my favorite place in the whole world...Washington State.  My favorite not just because of its gorgeousness and the many memories attached to it but because the two most awesome parents of all time live there.  I LOVE going home!  I can't help feeling like a little girl again when I wake up in the morning and the smell of breakfast comes weaseling its way up the stairwell.  Pure childishness creeps up within me, and I feel like I could probably get away with spilling my milk at the dinner table.  A week is too short a time to cram in everything that I always want to do when I go home, so I had to settle with a visit to Mt. Rainier, Pike Place Seattle, Ruston Way Tacoma, a few of our favorite restaurants, and antique and thrift store shopping with Mom. Okay, so maybe we did do quite a lot, but it never seems like we have enough time there. I always find myself wishing that we had booked a return flight just one day later!

I really can't complain.  We had a blast, and I have only happy, happy memories to tide me over until my next visit.  Love you, Mom and Dad! Thanks for allowing us to stretch your hosting muscles yet again.
And thank you, my Darling Love, for letting me visit home.  You're the best!

Mt. Rainier: No, it's not a backdrop : )

Our first official date was at this Coldstone.

Original Starbucks

Lovely Seattle

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Finding a Use for It: {Egg Cartons}

During Hubby's last business trip, I took on the task of cleaning out our pantry.  We have a HUGE pantry.  Way more room than we actually need.  With extra room comes the apparent need to try to fill all of that space, whether it be with actual pantry goods or...just whatever happens to end up in there. (like a leather shoe care kit???? not sure.)

I ended up with a large trash bag full of, well, trash. : )  Chip bags containing only crumbs, Bisquick with an ancient expiration date, multiples of the same product with meager remains in each container.  It was very interesting and showed me what I bought on an impulse.  

So after all of the trash was gone, I moved on to organizing.  Over the last year or so, I have clung onto my egg cartons, refusing to throw them away.  With all of the amazing ideas out there for repurposing egg cartons,  I though surely that I would apply one of them.  But there I was, staring at a half dozen or more un-repurposed cartons.  "Hmmmmm.....what could I use these for?" I asked myself. Then it came to me.

You know those nifty organizer shelves that lift the back row of cans into view making it easier to see what you actually have in your pantry?  Egg cartons do the same job beautifully!  They are steady and can hold a pretty good amount of weight.  I used ALL of my cartons for this purpose.  Here are a couple of pictures.

I was very proud of myself and expect Real Simple to be knocking at my door any day.  My pantry is gorgeously organized, and I can SEE everything.

Keep having a lovely summer and knock off some of those items on your to-do list : )

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Painting Project: {Terra Cotta}

Our living room is probably one of my favorite rooms in our entire house.  It is comfy, cozy, and casual.  We have cathedral ceilings and several large windows that let in a lot of light, so the room always feels open and airy.  But the walls are still the basic builder color that we chose when we built our home.  It a wonderful neutral, but it's just that...neutral.  I'm longing for the unexpected punch of color, and I think I have just the thing.  Terra-cotta!!! Here is the feature wall getting the makeover.

Our overall theme for the room is international travel.  Deep, rich colors; vintage travel posters; leather furniture;  interesting, detailed fabrics on pillows and accessories.  Terra-cotta has always reminded me of the Southwest (think Grand Canyon and clay pottery) where a very distinct history and culture is represented. Sort of international while still being national : )

I found this lovely room in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine.  It's an older issue, so when I tried searching for this room and the name of the paint color, I couldn't find it.  Bummer!

So I searched and found this very similar color: Valspar Autumn Russet.  It's not exact but it's pretty close. 

Designer Allison Smith gave some advice on using terra-cotta within a room.  She says, "Lighting is critical. Dark terra-cotta needs to be in a room with a lot of direct light or it will feel too heavy."  Well, we've got the "lots of light thing" down. She also says in order to get a light, but still rich tone, start with a dark terra-cotta you love.  Then add white to the formula (25 percent is a good place to start) to get a more livable color.  "If you start light on the paint chip, you'll just get a pinker color."  

So I'm trying to decide if I should just use this paint chip color or start darker and add white.  I've never played around with color like that before.  I've always just chosen a color off of the paint chip shelf.  I'm not even sure how to go about doing it! We shall see.  

I'm excited about it and can't wait to post pictures when I'm done.  

Hope you all are having a great summer!!!  I sure am.  I'm getting a lot accomplished.  

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Snack of the Month: {Sweet} Potato Chips

What do you think of when you hear the words "salty" and "crunchy"?  I know what I think of...a fat man in a 2 sizes too small t-shirt, sitting in front of a tv with a bowl of "salty" and "crunchy" Cheetos. Well, get ready for these bad boys! Sweet potato chips/crackers from Food Should Taste Good. Now there's a brand you can trust : )  Seriously though, these have been a life saver, or should I say an inch-around-the-waist saver.  Sometimes I need to just crunch on something salty.  Chips are usually my worst enemy but not anymore.  A handful of these delightfuls are always just what the doctor ordered. Dip them in hummus or doesn't get better. 

Serving Size10 chips
Total Fat6g
Saturated Fat.5g

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