Thursday, February 20, 2014

Stick a Branch In It.... You're Done.

After having my wooden box on our wooden table for several months, I've been itching to get something different going on in our dining room. After I decorated it for Christmas (sorry no pics on the blog to prove that ever happened- I swear it did though), I had little desire to do anything else with it.  I wanted something lighter that would give me some sort of hope that Spring is somewhere around the corner.  It's been a rough winter and although my pregnant self has actually enjoyed the colder temps and has been savoring the fresh air before the heat sets in, there's nothing like springtime and the elimination of cabin fever!
I like to keep my eye open for go-to items anywhere I am- from a flea market in Somerset to even the dollar store. One go-to item is glass of any kind. It just keeps things light and interesting, and if you have a lot of wood tones in your home it may just end up being your favorite accessory.  I've been looking for some glass demijohns and jars for quite a while but have come up empty handed. You can never find the things when you're looking for them! About to give up on my search, I finally ended up finding two nice size jars at a craft store and brought them home.
Now comes the difficult part…. or not. 
No need to spend a wopping $5 for the Kroger greenery special... I went to my backyard and snipped a few branches from some of our bushes and then just threw them in the jars. I then added a little water to the bottom and I finally had my wooden box replacement.
I really needed a third element, so I pulled out a large mason jar and grouped it with the others. It's simple. It's clean. It's light- and I like the look. What more can you ask for?
Looking forward to switching out the greenery for some flowers in the near future.
I like the look of the rope on this particular jar.
One day we will get new dining room chairs.... but today is not the day! In the fall, we actually made a purchase on some chairs via an irresistible deal from but sadly came to find out (after waiting for the chairs for weeks) that the deal was faulty and our order was cancelled. Probably for the best because they weren't really necessary, but I was disappointed to say the least.
If you look in in the lower right hand corner, you may notice a 'somewhat' new chair sticking out. I picked up two $30 Parsons chairs from Habitat Restore and am currently looking for a slipcover to cover up the red leaf motif... or making some if I can find the time! The chairs are great quality but need some freshening up. 


I know! Picture overload- but I've been really enjoying photographing the more I do it... and I like blogs with a lot of pictures. So here ya go.
And FYI- We have some major projects coming up which means more blogging. I was reminded this weekend (by my brother no less) that I have about 4 months til the baby comes and it kind of put me in panic mode. Projects include: Bathroom (we bought the toilet Wednesday night… It's actually happening, folks. It is actually happening), Master Bedroom, and of course the NURSERY which I am getting REALLY excited about.
This 'nesting' mode better hit me soon because I have lots to do!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

What's In a Frame....

One project that we've had completed for well over a year is our gallery wall in the hallway. The reason it's taken me so long to post anything about it is because it's the hardest space to photograph due to the narrow angles. And unless I can get some light from the guest room window during a bright, shiny day with snow on the ground- there is usually hardly any natural light to take a picture.
I lucked out the other day though so I made sure to snap some pictures and finally post something about it!
This hallway is right off the main living area, which leads to the bathroom, staircase, and guest room. It's long and narrow, but full of potential so I was itching to get something up here soon after we got married. After being inspired by the blog of all blogs, I chose all white frames and mats not only because I like the freshness of it, but I didn't want to overwhelm the wall with different colors and tones. There's already a ton of frames, and I didn't want it to bee chaotic.... Not to say that I don't love different color frames on walls if it's in an open space (I really do love it), but it would have been to much for this small area.
I collected the frames for quite a while- HomeGoods, Hobby Lobby, and even the Dollar Store (although I had to spray paint most of those). Once I felt like I had a good collection- and made myself a deadline- we started to hammer in some nails.
This is where my husband and I differ on execution... along with the hammer and nails, he pulled out his tape measure. I was quick to mention that it would make things more complicated than they had to be. Being an engineer, he couldn't understand the fact that I just wanted to 'eye' things and slap them on the wall. (I also don't have the patience for things like feet and inches). With this project, I started with the large frame somewhat in the middle and then worked my way out... and started nailing. Eventually the tape measure was thrown to the side and Nathan finally conceded. It worked out better for all of us.
I will say that while measuring is sometimes necessary, a lot of times it can really mess up the look of a wall. Just because a frame is placed exactly in the center of the wall and is exactly 36" away from the window frame on both sides, doesn't mean that it needs to be placed there. It could actually look much better and more interesting if it was a little off-center (it all depends on the space). My tip- just go with what looks right to you and don't worry so much about things matching and measuring....  AND please ignore things like light switches and thermostats. They blend in if you don't pay attention to them! If you try to measure off of things like that, you'll just accentuate that they are there.  I don't have a photo, but our security system panel is actually blended in with the frames on the wall... and it's hard to notice it's there. Easier said than done I guess.
Anyway- other than an abundant amount of wedding and family photos that we collected, I wanted to add some more interest to the wall. I'm definitely not a pack rat and actually really enjoy purging items, but I AM sentimental and will hold on to some random items that have some meaning to me.
One of the items I held onto was my key to my old apartment. If anyone knows me, they know how much I loved my old place affectionately called "The Robin". Moving out of there and starting in a new home was surprisingly emotional for me (but exciting of course), so I kept my key and made sure it was included somewhere in my new home... other than a junk drawer. I'm sure at some point it will be replaced by something even more sentimental, but for now I love that it's simply framed next to a picture of its front porch.
Another one of my favorite things I have framed are the place cards from our wedding. At some point during wedding planning, I made the ridiculous- but ambitious- decision to make things "personal" and draw caricatures of each of our wedding guests... yes all 300+ of them. I don't know what I was thinking at the time, but I was determined and somehow got them done. I don't know who it was (probably my mom), but someone was awesome enough to grab our place cards so they weren't thrown away after the reception. They are one of my favorite mementos we have from that day and were one of the first things framed in the house.
One very simple thing that I did, was type out some lyrics to our first dance song. I probably need to reprint it on cardstock now that I look at these pictures, but I still like the touch and made sure to place it under the picture of us during our first dance.
Finally- I ended up hanging our wedding shadow box and framed our plane tickets to Hawaii from our honeymoon (lower left). I think small touches like this can really break up all of the photos, and add some interest. Definitely brings back some awesome memories as well.  
Wow- this wall is really a mushy, sentimental wedding shrine isn't it? But that's the beauty of your own home- do what you like! And no fear- it will soon be a mushy, sentimental, baby shrine. You will certainly be updated with that!