Archives for April 2012

I Know the Plans I Have for You

I’d like to introduce you to Jill from I Know The Plans I Have For You.  She advertised on my blog during the month of April and writes a really fun blog.  Hop over to I Know The Plans I Have For You and check out some of her great projects!  And here is Jill…

Hey there!! I’m Jill, a SAHM of 3 {2 girls and a boy}, married to my husband for almost 5 years {together almost 12}, and the author of I Know the Plans I Have for You where I share the projects that I have refinished, crafts, things repurposed, DIY tutorials, family and anything else that goes on in the crazy world of Jill. I’m basically a silly, carefree, kinda gal that needs a creative outlet, and my “redo’s” and blog brings that outlet to my life! I began this blog last year because I was so inspired from the blogs I read. I wanted to share the things that I do to keep a “journal” of them and hope to inspire others the way that I have been inspired. In January, I decided I wanted to take my blogging journey to the next level. It has been a great learning venture and I have met so many great people along the way! I would love for you to come along with me on this ride at I Know the Plans I Have for You!!

Habitat for Humanity Restore

When I was up in Seattle for my dads surgery on Wednesday, I was hoping to stop by a salvage store nearby. But for the life of me, I couldn’t remember the stores name.  An Iphone can do a lot, but helping you find “salvage yard in seattle, wa” isn’t one of it’s strong suits.  I did find lots of AUTO salvage yards. Not what I wanted. Of course, once I was home, I remembered the name of the store.   Anyway, that got me thinking about our little gem of a salvage store near my home, Habitat for Humanity’s Restore.

Restore is both a great place to purchase AND donate.  When we added the playroom onto our house last year, I needed a place that would take things like our old doorknobs, hinges and light fixtures.  And of course, when you are looking for fun ‘junk’ for a project, Restore comes in handy too!!

I’m on the search for a new door for the shed in our backyard.  The door is worn and part of it is peeling back.  I’d really love a paned, glass door.  Something that let’s in a little light, but also gives the shed more character, like this door.

Unfortunately, this door wasn’t the right size.  It was too small, cost $55 and it weighed a ton.  Getting that baby home might prove to be a problem, so maybe I’m lucky it was too small.

Since I could’t find the exact door that I wanted, I tried to think out of the box a little.  This door could work.  Still fun and old. Still has a window.  But again, wrong size, which was a bummer because it was only $20!

This next door wasn’t at all what I was looking for, but I was so drawn to it and haven’t stopped thinking about it all day.  Here is the view from one side…

Now are you ready to see the other side?  For only $15, this door could have been mine….

Don’t you love that greenish-blue color? Or maybe I just love it’s $15 price tag! Dust it off, give it a good cleaning and it would make a great statement propped in the corner of a room.  Maybe with a pretty spring wreath hanging on it?  Oh why did’t I buy it?  But did I really need another door in my garage that didn’t serve a purpose?  The door didn’t match any of the colors in my house….so at the store it stays. I think I’m finally over it. Even after calling the store to put it on hold for me. I’m over it, I swear. Kind of…

Here are a few other gems I found today… Some old windows…

The lights below are kind of fun. They’re a bit disco, but in an updated kitchen, they might be interesting.

With a fresh coat of paint, this would make a great kitchen table….

Turn these doors on their sides and you could have a headboard. Or paint them a fun color and hang them on the wall.  Or maybe add some chalkboard paint on the recessed sections and hang in your kitchen for your grocery list or weekly menus.

And here is what I brought home with me….Three cabinet doors for a total of $17 ($5, $5 and $7).  I have a few projects in mind for these doors.  And I’ll be sure to blog about them too!

Thanks for following my journey to Restore today!
Jen

Forcing Cherry Blossom Branches

I recently came across some cherry blossom branches for sale at the grocery store.  I pondered the purchase over and over but decided not to purchase them.  Was it silly to buy branches?! Branches that could simply be cut off a tree in someone’s backyard!?  I didn’t do it.  Then I immediately regretted my decision when I remembered that I don’t HAVE a cherry blossom tree in my backyard!   After a friend sent me a picture of the branches she purchased, I went to the kitchen and added ‘branches’ to my Safeway shopping list.  The next day I ventured out and made my purchase.

I recommend smashing the base of the branches with a hammer.

This makes it easier for the branches to soak up the water.

Using the fun urn that I had my lit branches in at Christmas,  I arranged the branches. I added water and a few rocks to help support the branches.

And here are the branches today…

Aren’t they pretty?! And it was so easy!! If it’s too late for you to force branches in your part of the country, you can always ‘pin’ one of these pictures as a reminder for next spring!

And thank you for all of your prayers and concern for my dad.  His surgery went well on Wednesday and he was discharged and able to go home before lunch!  The next step is a PET scan and most likely radiation to his neck.

Jen

 

Vegas, Baby!

I’m back from my girls’ weekend.  There were eight of us that enjoyed some time away from husbands and kids.  Every day we sat in the sun and every night we got all gussied up to go out. We didn’t sleep much but we had a great weekend.

We all bring magazines and books, but no one ever reads.  Conversation is never lacking – I’m always amazed that after three days together, we still have something to say!

It was a weekend of laughter and unfortunately, a weekend of tears.   One of the gals came from the funeral of a four month old that died from SIDS. Each of us are moms and hearing the story of that sweet boy brought us to tears several times throughout the weekend.  Then on Sunday, I received a call that my dad had a recurrence of Melanoma.

He was diagnosed a year ago and went through an invasive surgery that left him with a 12 inch scar on his neck.  But he was deemed cancer free shortly after the surgery.  Unfortunately, a few weeks ago he found a lump in his neck and a biopsy showed that the Melanoma is back. So tomorrow he goes in for surgery…again.

Someone might argue that it was unfortunate that I found out about my dad while I was away from family.  But honestly, I didn’t mind.  Who better to cry with than girlfriends?!  And before the night was over, they had figured out who would watch Jack and Emmie so I could go be with my dad  on Wednesday for his surgery.

It’s been a lot of years since I’ve had girlfriends that I shared makeup, jewelry and clothing with.   And this weekend, a bit of everything was shared…even tears. I’m so thankful for these girls and for our weekend together.

Jen

 

 

 

A Day in Pictures…Accessories

I feel like I’m always running errands.  I know I create a lot of them – they aren’t always necessary.  People do indeed survive without going to Target EVERY day.   Target, as well as a few other stores, were on my list for today….look for a sunhat,  a watch,  a camo t-shirt for Jack’s school performance and so on.  When I got home, I sensed a theme as I unpacked my bags….. apparently today I was focused on accessories.

My first accessory purchase was to replace my watch.  When we were in Mexico, I swam laps a few mornings with my sister in law.  (We may have actually done more chatting than swimming, but it was a fun girl time without any kids in tow).  Those mornings submerged in the pool ruined my sports watch (which is supposed to be waterproof).  When we got home, I did the dry rice trick….you place the item with the water damage (watch, cell phone…) in dry rice for several days and it will (should!) clear up.

It’s worked for me before.  But this time, I was unlucky.  Here is my watch after several days…

Still water damaged.  So ‘new watch’ made it onto my Target shopping list.  I’ve done the black/gray watch color combo several times before. So today, I went for a new look…

Is it ok to have a white sports watch?! I hope so! Because now I own one!!

I also popped into Forever 21 to check out their jewelry. I have a love/hate relationship with that store.  There are so many deals there….but the layout and chaos gives me anxiety.  And let’s face it, I’m not 21…. I’m 39 (I have to say that as much as I can….In two short weeks I turn the big 4-0!).  And I don’t love the return policy at Forever 21.   But I do love their jewelry – and I love the price of their jewelry!   Look what I got today for a mere $15!  $3 for the earrings, $7 for the necklace…

…and only $5 for this cute bracelet!

And lastly….I’ve been on the hunt for a sun hat.  The past year, our family has had two cases of Melanoma.  So we are trying desperately to be careful in the sun!  I bought a hat at Target and dragged it to Mexico a few weeks ago. It was the floppiest of floppy hats.   When I took it out of my suitcase, it flopped in all the wrong places. I didn’t end up wearing it on our trip so I returned it when we got home.  Since then, I’ve been looking for a sun hat. I guess I have a big noggin as I can’t seem to find a fun sunhat that fits comfortably.  So…..back to Target I went for the floppy hat.  Apparently I didn’t learn the first time, but I’m giving it a second go.  What do you think?

We’ll see if the hat makes the cut.  It’ll be shoved into a suitcase this weekend while I head to Las Vegas for a girls weekend (along with my new sunglasses from Old Navy – also purchased today!).  It’s supposed to be 98 degrees there (Yikes!). If a hat is needed, at least I’ll be prepared!! And I think after today, I’ll be fully accessorized for my weekend away!

Jen

linking up to:

the pleated poppy, aka design, life rearranged

beds and more beds….

I want to make a bed.  I want to make a bed out of an old door.  I have wanted to do this for years…..years before Pinterest was around to show us how others were making things with doors.  I have even started making a bed, using a tutorial from Ana White. And for the past two years, it has been sitting in my garage, untouched and unfinished.  Emmie even started to draw on it, assuming it was scrap wood!

I know I have the ability to make a bed.  And I have the tools to make one.  But I just haven’t done it and I have no idea why. Maybe because there are kids to get to school, laundry to fold, a garage to clean out to make room for a large project like building a bed….

I found a door a few years ago for only $30.  It’s a solid wood, five panel door that would make a perfect headboard for our spare room.  The finish on the door is even perfect!

Here are my plans for the headboard…

Can’t you picture it as a headboard? It’s perfect!!  And there the door sits, in our garage. Collecting cobwebs.

When we did our addition last year, the wrong doors were ordered, so we got to keep the extra doors.

I tried to sell them at a garage sale for $20.  No takers.  I tried to donate them to Habitat for Humanity, but they wouldn’t take them since there was no door frame or hinges.  I was trying to be proactive with having a tidy garage, but couldn’t seem to get rid of them. So why not make a bed out of them!? It’s a great idea, in theory!  I have plans written out to cut one in half – using half for the headboard and the other half for the footboard.

Yet there the doors sit, untouched.

And my latest bed saga….I saw this bed on the side of the road the other day. For free.

I had some inner monologue as I drove down the street. “You do not need another bed project in the garage…You don’t even know if it’s a double or queen sized bed…Dan will think I’ve fallen off my rocker…But maybe it would be cute…And it IS free! Mmmmm….”  So I turned the car around to check it out (my kids were certain my detour would make them late to soccer! I assured them I would be quick).

I stood there on the side of the road and contemplated the potential project.   “If I don’t take it, someone else will…I can’t let something free slip through my fingers…It could be a cute bed for the spare room…Or maybe I could make a bench out of it?  But I don’t love the posts…Could I cut them off?”  Oh decisions, decisions.  I finally opened up the back of my SUV, lugged the bed over….and it would’t fit.  Those darn posts were the reason it would’t fit in my SUV.   I must confess I was a touch relieved that the decision was made for me. It wouldn’t fit so I couldn’t take it home.   Did I really need another unfinished bed project in my garage? Dan’s answer would be a quick “Absolutely not!”

So I still have my unfinished twin bed frame and my three doors….all waiting to become beds and headboards.  I just promised my kids that I will make them beds this summer too…I guess that means I’d better get to work!

Jen

linking up to:

between naps on the porch, the southern institute, making the world cuter, craft o maniac, home stories a to z, my uncommon slice of suburbia, todays creative blog, tip junkie, how to nest for less, blue cricket design, the shady porch, savvy southern style, romance on a dime, the 36th avenue, somewhat simple, house of hepworths, aka design

 

Redecorating for a New Client

This week I had the pleasure of heading to Seattle to help Jamie, a new client, with her family room.  Jamie and her family live in a fun, older home that has lots of charm.  She was overwhelmed with the placement of her furniture and the look of her shelves, so she invited me to help her out.  Nothing new was purchased for the transformation.  I just rearranged existing furniture and frames and created a shopping list for Jamie for filler items (such as end tables, a throw, and pillows to add some color to the couches…).  So the room isn’t complete yet…..but we sure made some progress.  Now let’s look at some pictures.

Lots of frames were displayed on the shelves…

And the narrow room made furniture placement a challenge.  The couches were facing each other, perpendicular to the fireplace and tv.

Before we started, I had Jamie walk me through her house so I could see if there was any home decor that we could ‘borrow’ from other rooms to decorate her shelves.  After I spotted some potential items,  I cleared off all of the shelves, creating a blank slate for decorating.

When the shelves were cleared,  I was able to easily assess the different sized pictures that I had to work with.  I created a gallery wall on the floor by arranging and rearranging the frames until I came up with a display that filled the wall space best.

 

By selecting which pictures would be hung on the walls, I then knew which ones were left to accessorize the shelves.  After raiding the kitchen for a few vases and cutting some fresh flowers from the front yard, I created simple vignette’s of frames, books and  vases.

Here are the new shelves…

The couches and lamps were moved too, giving the room better flow.  The love seat now faces the fireplace and tv….

And the longer couch is perpendicular to the fireplace, in front of the widows.

By moving the couches away from the shelves, it opened the corner up for another chair and side table.  For the time being (until a new chair and table are purchased), I put an extra dining room chair there as a place holder.

Jamie hopes to paint the room soon with a more basic color, like a light gray. And she will add in accent colors with pillows and throws to brighten up the brown leather furniture.

I feel like the walls and shelves clearly display what is important to them….family.  The room has a new, refreshing look – without having purchased a single thing! Doesn’t it look great?!

Let’s take one last look at the before and after…

Thank you, Jamie, for inviting me into your home to help out!

Jen

linking up to:

stylish once again, i heart naptime, the girl creative, nifty thrifty things, i should be mopping the floor, sisters of the wild west, the sweet talk shop, between naps on the porch, the southern institute, making the world cuter, craft o maniac, home stories a to z, my uncommon slice of suburbia, todays creative blog, tip junkie, how to nest for less, blue cricket designs, the shady porch, savvy southern style, romance on a dime, the 36th avenue, somewhat simple, house of hepworths, aka design

 

Garden Trellis Tutorial

Summer is on it’s way, so I’ve got gardening on my mind!!  I recently planted my sweet peas, and they need a trellis to climb up.  A trellis in your garden can be both functional AND fun! There is nothing saying it has to be a boring wire one from the hardware store.  Here are a few fun ways that others have used a trellis in their garden.

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My mom found a trellis at a gardening store for $40 and she was certain we could make one for less.  Turns out she was right!  For roughly $10, we constructed this trellis…

Here are my sweet peas today…  In a few months, they will be growing right up the trellis.

Here are the supplies needed to build your own trellis:

1x2s and 2x2s   *  nuts/bolts/washer  *  nail gun  *  drill

Two of the trellises were built using both 1x2s and 2x2s and the last two were constructed using just 1x2s.  I prefer using 1x2s for the entire trellis.

OK – time to start building!  First, decide how tall you want your trellis.  Mine were about 5 feet tall.  If you making the thicker trellis, cut 4 of your 2x2s to 5 feet tall. If you would prefer to make a thinner trellis (which is easier to work with, in my opinion), then use 1x2s.

Lay two of your support pieces on a table or saw horses.  Cut 10 pieces of 1×2 that are approximately 18″ long for the cross pieces.  You will use 5 pieces for each side of the trellis.  Lay 5 pieces, evenly spaced, across the support pieces that are laying on the saw horses.  Mine were approximately 8″ apart (leave a little space below the bottom rung in case you want to push the trellis down in the dirt a bit for more support.  In the picture above,  the three trellises on the right have a bit more space than the first trellis).

After you are comfortable with the spacing of the wood, use your nail gun to nail the wood down.  Repeat this step for the back side of the trellis.  Using your first section as a template, lay the second side on top of the first side.  This will ensure that the pieces are spaced the same.  Nail the pieces into place.

After your two sides are finished, you will want to stand them up and drill a hole through the top for the nuts and bolts.

Once this is done, your trellis is complete!  You can stain it, paint it, or simply leave it raw wood.  Place it in your garden and enjoy!

Jen

linking up to:

shabby creek cottage, the shabby nest , at the picket fence, my repurposed life, chic on a shoestring decorating, house of hepworths, funky junk interiors, tatertots and jello, be different act normal, six sisters stuff, stylish once again, i heart naptime, the girl creative, nifty thrifty things, i should be mopping the floor, sisters of the wild west, the sweet talk shop, between naps on the porch, the southern institute, making the world cuter, craft o maniac, home stories a to z, my uncommon slice of suburbia, todays creative blog, tip junkie, how to nest for less, blue cricket design, the shady porch, savvy southern style, romance on a dime, the 36th avenue, somewhat simple, house of hepworths, aka design

I’m back!!

We just got back from a wonderful, sun filled week in Mexico. My youngest sister was getting married so the entire family headed south.  Each and every day was 80 degrees with a clear blue sky….we couldn’t have asked for more!

We took a crazy boat ride out to a remote beach, and jumped for joy that we all arrived safely and in one piece….

The kids got to boogie board…

Dan got to swim with the dolphins….

And the kids’ poor white skin saw far too much sun, so we bought some zinc oxide to soften the blow.

Vacationing together allowed us to spend time with family members that we don’t typically see very often…

me with my brother and sisters....

And the real reason for the trip….the wedding!  Aren’t these the cutest flower girls and ring bearers that you’ve ever seen?!

And here is my dad with all his kids….

We had a great trip.  Eight days of doing nothing but sitting by the pool and playing on the beach.

Now it’s back to the ol’ routine!  So make sure you come back later this week for some new blog posts!

Jen

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