Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cork Board & Exciting News

I have been slacking in the blog posting department.  Mostly because I don't have anything exciting to blog about.  That will, hopefully, be changing very soon........we are buying a house!!  All the negotiations have been made, now it's just waiting for the bank to do their thing and then we will be closing on January 21st.  Once we move in, I will be in project mode!  We have started to plan out our rooms, we've done a little window shopping and picked up a few paint chips.  We can hardly contain our excitement and January can't come soon enough! 

I have done one project for the new house already.  I jazzed up our boaring cork board.  I didn't take a before picture, because I forgot, but you all know what a standard cork board looks like.  Here's what it looks like now:

I apologize for the poor picture quality, it is taken on my cell phone in bad lighting - the camera was dead. 

And here's a sneak-peak at what we are planning to do in our office:

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

I love Halloween and dressing up!  Even more so than that, I love creating my own costumes.  This year I sewed my cavewoman costume. 
And a close up of my attempt at making myself look dirty - excuse the facial expression, apparently I thought cavewomen can't possibly be happy and must be mad ;) 
Here's a group picture from the night out...I partied with Brett Farve, Winter, Spring, a bloody man, Fall, and a pimp!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pumpkin Fun!

My painted pumpkin as part of our fall decor!

Monday, September 27, 2010


After months of searching for the perfect fabric for a bedskirt, I finally settled on basic stripes.  They add enough interest without competing with pattern of the lamps and pillow.  I had one minor mishap when I sewed the foot of the bedskirt on backwards - oops - so I had to take the seam out and re-sew it the correct way.  Before, we had just a plain white bedskirt and now we have:

And because she is cute..and ALWAYS has to be on the bed when I try to make it....

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fall Decor

The temperature outside is telling me that it's Fall!  I love the crisp air of fall weather, I love waking up in the mornings and feeling the cool breeze blow through the window, I love being perfectly comfortable in jeans and sweaters, I love the changing trees - I love Fall!  Along with the change of seasons, comes some change in the decor.  Since we don't have a ton of space to decorate seasonly, change usually just means a different center piece on our dinning room table. 

A few months back, I bought some fabric to make some table runners.  I finally got around to making said table runners.  Instead of doing one runner of each fabric, I did 2 runners that were reversible.  Now, when we add the leaf in the table, if I want to use 2 runners, I can! 

So with the perfect Fall runner in place, I needed a new centerpiece.  And, as you guessed it, it had to be on a low budget.  After browsing a few blogs, I came across this idea and decided it would work perfect for our new centerpiece.  Off to Dollar Tree I went, to pick up 3 vases and 3 candle holders.  I forgot to take a before picture, but I ended up getting 2 different sized candle holders - one tall holder and 2 smaller holders. (The larger one is already attached)

With the help of a little glue, the vases were attached to the holders.  I decided to only attach 2 of the holders, so I could have 3 different height vases.  Once assembled, I filled the vases with Fall decor.  We have about 20 strands of leaves left over from our wedding decorations, so I cut leaves from one strand to fill one vase.  I also have plenty of candles sitting around, so that filled another vase.  The last vase had a little help from the clearance section at Target, where I picked up a pack of "fall like items".  I wasn't planning on using any pumpkins to decorate, but they came in the fall package and look nice in the arrangement...Here is the finished product, table runner and all. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's Been Awhile!

Wow, it's been awhile since I've posted.  I'm not very good at this blogging thing.  But, in my defense, I've been BUSY!  The summer came and went and I feel like I hardly had time to blink my eyes.  Here's a glimps of what we've been up to the past few months. 

Road Trip to Chicago to visit some good friends:
A couple Twins games at Target Field!

A Family Reunion

Many weekends at the lake

A Mom & Daughter vacation to Door County, WI

The Tour de Corn bike race with my mom and brother

And some time spent in Sioux Falls celebrating the upcoming arrivals of some sweet little babies

That was our summer in a nutshell, I can't believe it's nearly Fall!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Another Painting

One of my very best friends (and her awesome new boyfriend) was here visiting for the weekend and I wanted to make something special for her.  She recently graduated from grad school and moved in to her first "real world" apartment in Detroit, MI.  She has asked for decorating advice a few times, but since I can't be there to assist her in decorating their place, I wanted to send a little something along with them instead.  Here's the painting I created for their bedroom. 
I originally was going to plan one large painting, but then remembered they were coming by plane and needed to be able to easily transport the painting back to Detroit on the plane.  So, a 3 panel painting made much more sense.  Now, if only I had a nicer camera and sharpened up my photography skills a bit......

Sunday, July 11, 2010

From Drab to Fab!

When we first moved in to this apartment, I didn't put much thought in to decorating.  We have been known to move around a time or two, so I didn't want to put in efforts of making the place pretty and then have to take it all down a short time later.  Now that we've been here for almost a year and will likely be here another year, I've been putting more effort in to making this place feel like home.  I've hung up a few items here and there around our apartment.  But, the largest blank slate of a white wall that we have is the one behind the TV.   And, I hate apartment white walls - you know, the ones that are flat white paint and get dirty by just looking at them. 

My first attempt to decorate this space was to play around with a few wall hangings that we already own.  Problem was, this wall is large and the items we had just didn't fit the space well.  They were either too small, too tall, or not wide enough.  As always, I wanted to spruce up this space without going broke.  I contemplated doing a couple paintings, but canvas can be expensive, especially in the large sizes I had in mind.  That's when I decided on using fabric.  I set out Saturday morning and two hours and 20 dollars later, I was at home with all the supplies I needed.  I sketched up some simple plans and the project was under way. 

I got too excited about the wall hangings and didn't take any pictures of the steps or process. But it was pretty simple tasks of measuring, cutting and hemming to complete the look. The final finishing step was to insert wooden dowels in to the pockets at each end. 

The final product was about 5 feet tall and 20 inches wide.  I made two of them, so it only cost me $10 per hanging - pretty darn good deal if you ask me!  Add in a floating shelf with accessories we already owned and we no longer have a large blank white wall laughing in our faces everyday saying "you can't paint me, neener neener neener".  Who needs paint when they can use fabric to dress up a space?! 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Closet turned Office

I got the twitch......the twitch that wouldn't stop until I did some decorating and organizing!  The tricky part was that I didn't want to spend a single dime.  So in to the den I went to do some rearranging and decorating with things we already owned.  In my excitement to get started, I forgot to take before pictures, so below are "mid start" pictures. 

This is the closet after I had started sorting things out in to piles of keep, donate and trash.
This is the far wall in our den. Our den is tiny and acts as an office and hosts a queen bed for our guests. Since the bed is on the opposite wall and the closet is to the right, this wall was left packed full of furniture. Where the computer screen is, is where the desk was before I moved it. As you can see, all of the unexciting office supplies sat out in the open.

After hours of organizing and rearranging, this wall is still packed with furniture  ** sigh **  But, it's less cluttered and more inviting for any guests we may have.  Here is the after:

The decorations look a tad bit silly all lined up on one wall, but I think it turned out alright considering I had to work with what I had and I couldn't donate any of the furniture. 

Now for the exciting part (atleast I think so) of the room make-over.....the closet turned office! 

The closet has a built in half wall, that I covered with fun contact paper.  I still need to go back and cover the end of it.  When I originally put the contact paper on, the closet doors were still attached and it was too hard to get in such a small area to cover.  The half wall now bears the printer, paper and other office supplies.  The floating black shelf from back in my college days, worked perfect to hold additional supplies.  A few tacks in the wall worked perfectly to hold up my monthly budget sheets. 

The other half of the closet had a 2nd wood shelf and hanging rod, but with the removal of a few simple screws - I put that shelf into storage.   My desk now fits perfectly in the other half of the closet.

As you can see, there are no longer closet doors.  I wanted to add just a touch more interest to the room so I replaced the doors with some curtains that I had on hand.  I love that the make-over ended up making the room more organized and functional.  Without a seperate room that we can use as an office, it's great that I can simply close the curtains and our guests (we love guests - come visit!) don't have to see all of the office clutter!

So there you have it - the mini den makeover that didn't cost a dime!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

It's a stormy day today

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Desk Make-Over

Dan got a job (YAY!!), a job that will require him to work out of our apartment.  I also work from home sometimes and our small corner desk doesn't have room for two.  Craigslist saved the day - once again - when we found a cute little desk perfect for our living room corner.  There is always the option of buying a cheap desk from Walmart or Target, but what fun is that.  It'd cost about $100 for a cheap desk made of particle board and we got this solid wood desk and chair for only $40.  In addition to the cost factor, the desk also gave me the opportunity to try my hand at another project and we all know I love projects!

Here is the desk, in all its scratched up and looking rough glory:

After some sanding, black paint and new knobs - here is the desk now. 

And a close up of the knobs - purchased for "free" from Target - Thanks to my weekly gift cards from work! The only handles were pretty outdated looking.  I like the fresh modern look these new knobs give. 

And one more close-up of the inside of the drawers.  A splash of color!  And check out of the fun chair.  I debated painting the chair black as well, but we already have a lot of black furniture the way it is.  So I left it wood tone - which also ties in well to the other wood tones we have in the living room.  The original chair seat was black leather, but I wanted to add a punch of fun to this desk so I covered the seat in zebra print.  I love me some zebra print! :)

And, in case you want to know all the thoughts that went through my head in deciding how to make over this desk, I'll tell you now.  As I said earlier, we have a lot of black in our living room so I initially wanted to keep the desk in wood tones.  I also thought it would be cool to do the desk two tones, leaving the top wood and the base black.  But after bringing it home and looking it over more, I realized that it was going to take a LOT of sanding to get the desk down to the bare wood.  I dont have a round belt sander, nor do I know anyone close by that has one - so I had to scratch those ideas.  I guess all black it is!  The plus to all black is that I had all the supplies from the ottoman project, so the only costs for this desk were the desk itself and the $5 for the fabric (remember, the knobs were "free")!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Graduation Announcements

I have a good good friend making her way in to the photography business - and she just so happens to have a little sister graduating from high school this year.  She asked me to create a graduation announcement using her beautiful senior pictures.  This task proved to be incredibly easy because I had wonderful photos to work with, that inspired me instantly.  Check out the final product!  And, while you're at it - check out Brittany's work, too. 

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Coffee Table turns Ottoman

I got the DIY urge again!  For days on end, I looked at Craigslist hunting for that perfect coffee table - it had to have simple clean lines for legs, be made of real wood, measure in at 16 inches or shorter and be cheap!  It only took four days to find one that met my criteria, and to make it even better the seller lived just a hop skip and a jump away from my work!  I brought the table home on Tuesday and it was just a matter of days before it had a whole new look.  Here's how I did it:

Step 1: Take a before picture

Step 2: Sand, prime and paint the table legs - I painted them black to match our living room decor.

Step 3: Measure out where the buttons will be when tufting the ottoman and drill holes.  (Sorry no picture of this step)
Step 4: Using spray adhesive, adhere foam to the table top and sides

Step 5: Have your buddy test out your materials just to make sure they are comfortable

Step 6: Cover the entire tabletop in quilt batting. Use a staple gun to staple the batting on the inside/bottom of the table top

Step 7: Cover the table in the material, I used a tan vinyl.  To give the corners by the legs a finished look, I used a braided rope attached with upholstering tacks. 

Step 8: Attach the buttons (I used a DIY button making kit so the buttons matched the ottoman) using an upholstering needle and thread to give the ottoman a tufted look. In order for the buttons to stay tight, I used buttons on the under side of the table to hold the thread.

And here is the finished product:


This was certainly a learning experience.  The corners proved to be quite the challenge, but Dan assured me that they look good :)  If I ever tackle a project like this again I'd like to come up with a better solution for the corners.  Until then, I'll be proud of this finished product!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Splash of color

Spring is here - the sunshine outside tells me so! (though who am I kidding, its MN, it'll be snowing again next week I'm sure)  Along with spring comes the bright colors of flowers and sunshine and easter eggs.  I've been on the hunt for a table runner for years now.  The problem is I am picky and cheap - two things that make it nearly impossible to find a table runner that I actually like!  While at Joann Fabrics tonight looking for materials for a different DIY project, I decided I'd add my splash of spring color to my dinning room table with a homemade runner.  It took me nearly 45 minutes to decide on what material I wanted to use.  First I was going to go with the polka dots - turns out there wasn't enough fabric left on the bolt, then I was going to go with a modern funky pattern - but that material was awfully pricey, so I finally decided on some simple stripes.  Turns out the stripes were a smart idea!  I was planning on sewing the runner by hand and the stripes made it REALLY easy to sew a straight line!  I jazzed the runner up a bit with some beading on each end, which is my favorite part.  Pair the runner with some sunshiny tulips and my table is set for Spring!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Running Goal

I have made a goal for myself, a running goal.  And I'm typing it, so it's out there to be seen by whoever actually reads our blog (Hi Mom! ;) )

My goal is to run 275 miles before 2011.  That is a little over 6.75 miles a week.  To some that seems like nothing, but to me its a realistic goal as I'm not a runner at all! 

So if you're reading this, hold me accountable, ask me how many miles I've run every now and then. 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day! <3

Instead of going out to dinner tonight, to celebrate Valentine's Day and battle the masses of other people out celebrating as well, we stayed in and had a homemade dinner.  I've been wanting to try this recipe for quite some time now, but in my attempts to cook on the healthier side, I've been avoiding it.  But rumor has it that everything is calorie free on Valentine's Day, so we indulged in some creamy chicken lasagna.  Dan and I both gave it two thumbs up! 

I sent Dan to the grocery store to gather a few ingredients that I was missing for the recipe and he returned with a couple chocolate covered strawberries.  So we topped off our great meal with the perfect amount of sweetness, mm mm goooood!