a little house project

We’ve been in our house for 7.5 years now, and I don’t think I’ve ever wished to go back to that first year of remodeling. Literally an entire year without a kitchen (we used a toaster oven, microwave, crockpot, and electric wok in our laundry room – the fridge was in our living room) and constant dust and mess and upheaval.

But enough time has passed that I’m starting to get itchy for little cosmetic changes. This weekend we tackled an area that has bothered me for a long time – the little entertainment center nook in our living room.

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{This photo is from back in 2010, but the walls are as blank now as they were then}

The back wall has always been empty (minus seasonal Christmas decorations) and just blah. It’s a kind of an odd space, and it just always felt lacking, but we didn’t really know what to do with it. Well, we finally decided to give the back wall a little facelift, and we love how it turned out!

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We got a couple sheets of 1/4″ birch plywood and had them rip 6″ planks right in the store. We used two different stains – a base coat of weathered gray, followed by a coat of dark walnut – to get them the color that we wanted. Then we cut those puppies down to size and nailed them up on the wall. A couple coats of polyurethane to seal the deal and the wall was done.

The whole family loves it when we have Christmas lights up in the nook, so we decided that we wanted to make little patio globe lights part of our new look. The lighting that it provides is perfect, and it’s just the cozy feel we were going for. If you come over, you can find out how we turn them on and off. 🙂

Next on the list is for Ian to build us a new entertainment center, as this 11-year old IKEA model is pretty worn out (and broken). After that, we’ll figure out what sort of decor we might add to the wall, but for now we’ll enjoy this simple look. It was fun to have a small project to work on – especially in the space where we spend most of our time. I love it!

 

 

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a big girl bed

It has been a few weeks now, but Gracie is officially in her “big girl bed.” We moved her about 6 months later than we did with Luke, but not intentionally. It mostly had to do with the fact that I wanted to make her quilt first, and I didn’t create space to do so until a few weeks ago. It turned out just as I hoped, and with minimal mistakes on my part (a rarity in my sewing endeavors). Sentimentally, it was hard for both Ian and I to see the crib come down (the one both our babies used) and finally be transformed into a toddler bed.

This almost-3-year-old was excited and proud, though at bedtime the first week she said she missed her crib. And bedtime has taken longer – she wants the security of my presence much more than she did with her crib. But overall, she is doing great. And when the two kids wake before it’s time to get up and want to snuggle, it’s a lot easier for Luke to move to her bed than when he had to haul all his blankets up into her crib!

a room for little ones

I’ve been meaning to post photos of the kiddos’ room since, oh… November of 2013? I figured I better take some photos since inevitably Gracie will move to a toddler bed in the next while.

I feel very sentimental towards their tiny little bedroom, and I know it will be a sad day to me when we move them to the slightly larger guest room. And while their room is never as tidy as it is in these photos, this is how I choose to picture it in my mind’s eye.

I love how the light floods in the window in the morning.

IMG_1199Luke’s corner, complete with the birth announcement that my mom made; Ian’s badges from his boy scout and eagle scout days; the quilt that I miraculously made for him when he moved into his bed; and the IKEA wall pockets that he has ignored or knocked off the wall since we got them. Yes, I could take them down… but then I’d have to fill in the holes in the wall. 🙂IMG_1200I love this cheerful little spot, and someday I will miss seeing the cloth diapers all stacked and ready.IMG_1203

IMG_1204Gracie’s corner is sweet – I made the little trio of woodland animals before Luke was even born, and I convinced my mom to embroider another lovely birth announcement for our girl.IMG_1206And the stork that I made – it has been plucked from the sky many times by curious little hands, yet still survives.  IMG_1210I love our IKEA Expedit systems (we have 3 throughout the house). IMG_1212And the room wouldn’t be complete without some amazing family photos from Evantide Photography.IMG_1213I still have the Noah’s ark hanging that my mom made for me – it was over my closet growing up, and now it’s over my kids’ closet. Next to it are two baby bibs that my oma embroidered – the bottom one was mine, and the top one was given to my mom’s best friend when she had a son. My mom’s friend was so kind to give it to me when I had Luke (and yes, I totally cried when she gave it to me). IMG_1225

So that’s their room at the moment. I know they won’t be little forever, but I sure am treasuring this time while they fit perfectly in this tiny little room together.

the last of luke’s nursery

Sigh. The day finally came when we decided to move Luke to his “big boy bed” (aka teeny toddler bed).

We had talked about doing it on a week when Ian was working an earlier shift, so we’d have a good amount of time for an extended bedtime routine if we encountered any difficulties. But when we looked at our calendar, we realized that most nights we had commitments that were going to push bedtime back anyways. So we made the switch kind of spur-of-the-moment on a Sunday morning. Which was for the best, since it didn’t leave me time to be overly sentimental about “his last night in his crib” and whatnot. Which I tend to do.

Anyways. We did it – Ian put together his toddler bed and we re-arranged all the furniture so that it fit. Luke and baby sister will be sharing a room, so we had to be creative about fitting everything in a small room. But it will be cozy and cute and Luke is really excited about sharing his room. Once we’ve settled everything in and decorated, I’ll share some photos. But don’t expect it before December!

I loved how Luke’s room was for the first couple years of his life. When he was born, we had a bare skeleton of a room – a crib with no mattress, and a couple dressers. Hey, when you have an adoption come through after the baby is already born, you don’t exactly have time to nest before bringing him home! So it took a couple months to come together, but it was a sweet room that worked well for us. And honestly, the style of the new shared room won’t be that much different. If there’s a theme to the room, it’s probably a woodland theme, which I still love. But I wanted to remember what Luke’s first room looked like.

I loved his little crib area. I designed his birth announcement, and my mom made it with her mad crewel embroidery skills (I’ve already given her baby girl’s design to work on!). My mother-in-law got those super cute animal prints from a local artist – Luke still loves to point out the animals and make up stories about them. The little collage area over his dresser is a modge podge of fun little crafted or thrifted goodies. Both the dresser and the lamp is from my childhood. The lamp also plays a lullaby and the crib figurine rocks when you wind it up (it totally freaks Ian out, but I love it).

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This room gets some nice light, and it was nice to have his changing table under the window. The stork always looked great there – I’m excited to be adding a new heart to it soon! To the left of the window is a photo of Luke’s first father’s day (only a couple weeks old) and a bib that my oma made for one of my mom’s best friends when she had a baby boy. When I had Luke, she was so sweet to pass it on to me. I absolutely love it. I don’t have a full photo of it, but my mom made the Noah’s ark hanging above the closet. She made it for me before I was born, and it always hung in my room growing up. That’s probably Luke’s favorite art in the room since he’s obsessed with Noah’s ark. 🙂

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This side of the room is fun – I made the trio of woodland animals before Luke was born. My BFFs made the little raccoons and twig tree for my baby shower. The good ol’ IKEA expedit has served us well, and will continue to do so!

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So that’s the grand tour – I did say his room was small. 🙂

And here’s a photo of the big boy in his new bed. I made the quilt for him – my first since the lap quilt I made in high school home ec! It was actually a remarkably smooth process, and Luke loves it. Overall, he’s adjusted well to his new bed – bedtimes are great, naptimes are usually fine, though he definitely uses his freedom to get up and play for a few more minutes before settling down. We are thankful for a kiddo who generally likes to sleep, so we try not to get too worked up when we have a shorter or skipped nap day.

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I’m excited to put together their new room… once that nesting instinct kicks in, I guess!

5 minute diy fall wreath and a shop giveaway

5 minute DIY fall wreathI have been all over the place with fall decorating this year. I wanted to bring fall into our house early, since I think we may decorate for Christmas earlier than usual (so we can take it down earlier than usual, before baby #2 makes her appearance). But the weather has been so bright and sunny and warm that I just didn’t feel ready to bust out all my fall decorations. So I’ve been adding autumn touches here and there over the last couple weeks, and on Sunday I decided to bust out a little autumn wreath. Sorry for the super lame lighting, but the urge to craft struck before there was any good natural light.

Step 1: grab your supplies – a wreath of whatever style/size you choose, some natural colored coffee filters, and some floral wire.

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Step 2: scrunch a coffee filter to form a flower-like shape, and secure the bottom/base of it by winding some floral wire around it and the wreath.

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Step 3: continue adding coffee filter flowers until you have desired amount (my wreath was small – about 5 inches, so I went with three).

5 minute DIY fall wreath

Step 4: depending on the size of your wreath, the flowers may seem kind of mammoth, like mine. So trim them down so they look right.

5 minute DIY fall wreath

Step 5: embellish! Use some colored twine or yarn to wrap around the top for hanging, and then add whatever little fall tidbits you have. I went with some sweet wooden beads my mother-in-law gave to me when she was cleaning out her closet (70s craft stash = my heaven), but you could do anything – more colored twine wrapped around the wreath, a little fabric bunting, a string of pine cones, some burlap bunting – it’s up to you!

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There you go – a quick little touch of autumn for your home!

Other fun news: Ashley over at Crazy.Simple.Love is hosting a giveaway for one of my mini buntings!

It warms my little heart to see my products used to create a cozy home for people, and Ashley came up with some super fun ways to decorate with my mini buntings. And not only does she do an awesome job at creating a great space for her family (she has 4 super cute kiddos!), but she loves Jesus and is all about sharing encouraging words with others. So check out her blog and be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a mini bunting garland of your choice!

diy cupcake liner flowers

DIY Cupcake Liner Flowers

I figured I’m really overdue in posting about my crafting endeavors, so I thought I’d share about these sweet little flowers I made last Saturday.

I love having fresh flowers in the house, but we’re still months away from any cutting flowers growing in our garden. When I came upon some cute yellow polka dot cupcake liners for $1, I decided I could make my own flowers to brighten up our dining room.

This whole project probably took about 15 minutes, and it was started and finished while Luke was coloring and playing with stickers, so I was kind of figuring it out on the fly and using what I could easily grab.

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Supplies:

  • cupcake liners
  • felt (or fabric/paper and drinking straws)
  • glue
  • floral wire
  • scissors

IMG_6391The first step is to take two liners. Flip one inside out – so the pretty part is on the inside – and stick it in the other one. It gives it a double-sided look and some fullness.

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Then just pinch the middle together to form a point.

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For the felt, I just used some triangle shaped scraps I had (like I said, I was working fast!). They were about 7 inches tall, and the bottom edge was about 3 inches wide. They made for pretty short flowers, so I’d cut a taller triangle if I was actually cutting out a piece – at least 10 inches. You could also use other fabric or scrapbook paper, you’d just need to wrap it around something like a drinking straw. The felt is thick enough that it forms a good stem simply by wrapping around itself.

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Okay, so take the narrow tip of your felt and wrap it around the point of your cupcake liners. It might be super helpful to have something like a glue gun, but I made it work. Make sure you grab enough of the liners to get a good hold on it, then tightly wrap the floral wire around both the felt and the liners. Don’t worry too much if your liners are getting a little wrinkled, because they’ll unfold and cover that part up.

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Once you’ve gotten it started, just keep twisting the wire around the stem, and keep twisting the felt around itself.

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The stem will get thicker as you work downwards, since it’s cut in a triangle shape. The wire makes it sturdy but bendable.

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Now it’s time for the center. Take another cupcake liner and squish it into another point.

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Unfold the base flower that’s already attached to the stem and add a dab of glue (again, hot glue would be super helpful). I just squished and pinched until it felt secure.

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Unfurl and primp and do what you need to do to make it look pretty! Make a few more and you have a sweet little bouquet that won’t go bad in a few days!

You could totally try making all kinds of flowers – I stuck with the one inner bloom because I thought they looked a bit like daffodils. But you could fill them out more and try all sorts of variations!

IMG_6403Makes me excited for spring.

Speaking of spring, I’ve added a few spring-y things to my etsy shop, like this fun mini bunting garland.

The bright colors just cheer me up.

Happy flower making!

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