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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring has Sprung!

     Spring is officially here, and even though its not as warm out as it was last week, it is still beautiful. You forget how pretty it can be when its brown as long as it has been this year. So I'm on to springing things up around here. I don't have a specific system for doing this and it changes every year but this year, this is what I'm up to.

     Bring in a fun color. My main living are is very open. In the living room I have varying shades of sage-y blue. I turned this color up a notch in my kitchen where I brought in more aqua tones. For spring I changed out my bird plate above the stove {which is still very spring-ish} with a really cute plate {believe it or not its plastic} that I found at Target. It looks great with the chevron painted fence above the cupboards and adds a bit of freshness.

     For my mantle I added a few spring branches, and some Easter eggs. I tried to cover the utilitarian boxes with some burlap but it didn't come out very well so I left it off. It is so hard to decorate around these things and have it look nice. If you have any suggestions, please let me know!

     I added a spring wreath to the front door. The tutorial is here.

    And added a few other touches around the house.

     So there you have it! Not earth shattering changes but just a few things here and there to help usher in the season. Changing things here and there with the seasons may seem like a waste of time to some but for me it helps me to appreciate the seasons throughout the year, shakes things up a bit and helps us to feel more content with what we have.

Happy Spring!


Monday, March 26, 2012

When the bomb goes off

          Have you ever had one of those weeks when it feels like, or better yet, looks like a bomb went off in your house? This past week was one of those weeks for us. I work part time out of the home as a social worker in a long term care facility. Once a year the state comes in for their annual survey to check everything you did for the past year and try to find all your flaws. Its a stressful week that means working lots of extra hours. The day they came in, my husbands truck choked and totally died. Then as he was picking up the kids for me the check engine light came on in my van. Really??? Any extra time we had last week was spent shopping for a new vehicle, and getting my van fixed. So where does this leave the house? In a state of chaos and mayhem!

          I don't know about you, but I like a clean house! When my house is messy, I'm grumpy, my brain doesn't function well, and I go into survival mode. How about you? How do you handle things when the bomb goes off. Where do you start?

          Here are my priorities when life throws you a curve and the house takes the hit:

1}     Keep up with the dishes! Its amazing how much mess I can handle when at least the dishes are
         loaded  up in the dishwasher and the counters are wiped clean.

2}      Just cycle the laundry through. Keep running the washer and the dryer so that at least you have clean clothes. I often have 4-5 clean loads waiting in baskets outside my dryer until life slows a little and I can bring them up to fold. I know this isn't ideal and we may be a little bit wrinkle-y but my daughter doesn't have to wear her brothers underwear and this I can live with!

3}     Keep meals simple! I have a list of super easy dinners made with ingredients I always have on hand like spaghetti, or sloppy joes. This way I don't even have to think about it. If you are one of those that make meals ahead of time this is a great opportunity to use one of them. {I'm not that kind, I wish I were though, it would have come in handy!}

4}     Get everybody involved! There's nothing like a trial in your life to bring everyone together and motivate them to pitch in and help! When the kids see mom and dad stressed and busy, it helps them to help you! Now it may require a bit of a sales pitch like, "we are all apart of the _______ family, and because we love eachother and life is a little crazy right now, we need your help, lets do it together!" Spend 10 minutes together at the end of the day, or when you all first get home to do a quick pick up! I showed you a few months ago how to motivate your kids to pick up after themselves. A trial can help get you back on track!

     I am happy to say that God is faithful! The state is gone {for now}, we bought a new vehicle, and order has been restored! This is by no means an exhaustive list, keep it simple! I hope this helps!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Chalk Paint Fun

     My husband was gone over the weekend enjoying some of the NCAA games. The kids and I have kept busy shopping, having a movie night {we watched 'Bedknobs and Broomsticks', remember that movie? They really liked it!}, we made green punch for St. Patricks day, and did lots of chalking. I came across a recipe for chalk paint. {I googled it}  My kids LOVE to chalk and spend hours with the neighbor kids drawing tracks to ride their scooters on. This was super simple and the kids were thrilled.

     To make the paint you mix:

          1/4 cup cornstarch
          1/4 cup water
          a few drops of food coloring

     Mix it up and you're ready to go!

     The kids had a great time painting everything from rocks and sticks to the sidewalk. They even made a welcome home sign for dad!

     I am sure we will be making this on many a summer day! This washes off just like regular chalk does when it rains. I'm not sure if it will stain clothes. Amazingly we only got one spot on my sons shirt. I haven't washed it yet so we'll see what happens. {It did come right out!}

Enjoy this fun project with your kiddos!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Garage Door Fun

     This spring I'm resolving to do some amazing things in my garage. And by amazing I mean organized and cleaned!

     To kick this project off I decided to paint the exterior door from the garage into the house a fun color. Now this is an amazing color that really could go on an interior door, but I'm not that brave....................yet. So outside it goes! Besides, how nice to be greeted home with an exciting color and a personal message. {Our dog died last year, we aren't replacing her and what a nice non-hairy greeting this is in her place!}

Here's the before:

     The color is Oregon Sky from our local Do It Best hardware store. Its a low VOC paint in a satin enamel. Because these doors from the builder come ready to go, no priming was needed. The only prep was the scrubbing of all those precious little hand prints from my kiddos, plus the covering of the door knob with tin foil.

     To keep the bugs, birds, {kids} and spiders out, I used thumb tacks to pin an old sheet over the doorway from the outside so I could keep this door open all day to dry. It took two coats of paint to cover well.

     To make it a little more personal and fun I decided to add the 'welcome home' message. We threw around a few other ideas like 'our homey home' or 'Est. 1995', but in the end the vote was for 'welcome home'.
This isn't the door that company uses so why not make it personal!

       To do the words for the door I followed the same sign making tutorial I showed you last fall. First print out your letters on a piece of paper. I used the 'pristine' font in a size 200.

     Flip your words over and shade the back of each letter with a pencil.

     Once they are shaded, tape them onto the door and trace the outline of the letter. This will leave a mark on the door so you know where to paint. I just eyeballed where to tape them but you can measure if you want accuracy.

     I filled the letters in with a small craft brush and some leftover gray wall paint I had on hand.

     To add a little more interest to my door I taped off a chevron design on the top. To get a nice crisp line I painted the door color over the edges of the tape. When that dried I added two coats of the gray. Its worth this extra step to get that clean line, with no touch ups!

     This is just the beginning. Although I don't have major plans for this space, we plan to move some things around and organize. I can't wait to get it all done!

     Happy Spring!

I'm sharing this here:
Its Overflowing
Skip to my Lou
Between naps on the porch
DIY by Design
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
The Shabby Creek Cottage
At the Picket Fence
Thrifty Decor Chick 
Too much time

Monday, March 12, 2012

Gallery Wall Update

      A long time ago {well it was probably only 6 months ago}, I showed you the start of my gallery wall. It was a dinky little gallery wall, but it had room for growth. That's what is so great about a gallery wall, it can grow! And you can include things other than just picture frames. I finally got it completed.

     Its a hard wall to photograph because its just a short little stairway wall. We live in a tri-level so there are only 7 steps up.

     To incorporate a piece of 'original' wall art, I gave my son paints in the colors that I knew would go with my decor and let him go at it.

     To help the color flow of my grouping, I cut out mine and my husbands initials and glued them onto scrapbook paper that matched.

     Years ago I found these pruning sheers at an antique store and I love the details on them. I tied them shut with raffia and hung them by the raffia onto a nail.

     I had a little bundle of sticks that got put on top of this frame. It wasn't my intention initially that they stay but I love the texture they provide.

     Adding more scrapbook paper again helps with the color flow.

     Have you tried a gallery wall yet? They are super easy, and there are so many inspirational ideas out there!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

An Easter Wreath

     We have had two days this week of 60 degree temps, and as a result I'm in major Spring mode! Today its in the low 40's but I don't care, those 60 degree days have me springing things up around here! Maybe next week I will give you my tips for "springing things" but today we're making a wreath. I love a good wreath project. Its crafty, and you have to think a little outside the box if you want to make your wreath unique. So if you want to follow along, here's what we're making!: 

     I have long loved yarn wrapped wreathes but never attempted one until now. Let me tell you, I learned a valuable lesson {and those of you who have worked with yarn can laugh at me, go ahead, I give you full permission! ;) } roll your yarn off the skein into a ball first! It took me an hour to do this with all the untangling that was necessary but it makes the rolling onto the wreath part easier.

     Now that you've got that part done, lets get started.

1)      First tie your yarn onto your wreath {picking any starting point you want} I used a foam wreath that is covered in burlap~ I bought it this way.

2)      Wrap your wreath with the yarn using this highly important method:

     If you can't quite tell, I have my leg through the wreath to keep it still and free up both hands. This part took me one full episode of "What not to wear".

3)      Once your wreath is wrapped, lay out all your stuff and hope that inspiration strikes! :) This is my favorite part. I knew I wanted to include a little nest and these cute speckled eggs I found at Jo-ann's. But that was as far as I had planned. So I got out my scrabble letters, fabric, and ribbon.

4)     Attach your cute stuff with hot glue. First, I glued on my nest, then added some drop cloth flowers and spanish moss around the nest. 

     Once I added these things I knew this wreath needed some rustic balance. So I used the drop cloth fabric, cut a long strip and just made some loops until I got the desired look I wanted.

     This still wasn't quite enough for me and I had this great ribbon that matched the yarn so I added some language to make this wreath reflect why Easter is so important to me. I love that the scrabble letters add that touch of rusticity too. 

10 points if you can see Hudson peeking out! ;)

Happy Spring!

I'm sharing this project here:

House of Hepworths
The Shabby Creek Cottage
At The Picket Fence
French Country Cottage
Tatertots and jello 
Too Much Time on My Hands
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