Wednesday, March 31, 2010

changing the world, one ugly eyesore at a time

Yes, I do realize that "ugly eyesore" is redundant. But, it does get the point across, doesn't it?

Case in point:

Who would allow such a hideous black, plastic container to enter their home unchecked? And then sit in their dining room for three months? This person must be in dire need of an Interior Intervention.

Well, thankfully, the travesty has been remedied.

And this cute, French bucket is so fun that it just may wipe away all memories of past wrongs.

Bucket: $12.00, from Marshalls

on the fringe of fellowship

Colossians 3:12-14 (NIV)
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

When you ask God to work in your heart, you can bet that He will follow through. I think He loves to poke at my peaceful existence and gently nudge me closer to Holiness. Just when I start to feel comfortable, that’s when He reminds me of all I have to learn.

Most recently, I prayed that God would help Josh and I to really connect with our church family. To be an integral part of the church’s ministry mechanism, instead of just lingering on the fringe, darting between the gears.

I think God smiled when I asked that. I was unaware of the impending flood at the time, but looking back I must have sensed that those words did not fall on deaf ears. Instead, they set into motion one revelation after another, something like a domino effect.

I said, God, why do I feel like I’m being neglected? I walk into church and no one even talks to me! Even though I’ve been here for 9 years, I feel like I hardly know anyone anymore.

God asked, Why don’t you talk to them? I sheepishly twiddled my fingers and waited for the words to come, the excuses that would numb the twinge of regret. But all of my words felt dry and useless at the back of my tongue.

With one question, God turned the issue around. I began realizing that the lack of community wasn’t some evil plot against me, but rather it was partly due to my own attitude. Every Sunday, for about 2 months now, God has been gently pointing out people that I need to talk to. I’ve realized that I have been holding grudges, some big and some small, that have been affecting relationships with my Christian family. And slowly, as Christ whispers in my ear, I am seeking restoration.

It’s not easy. In fact, sometimes I balk at what He asks of me. Don’t you remember what that person said? Don’t you remember what they did? But it’s not about their heart. It’s about my heart. And so I go, trudging as faithfully as I can, on a mission of reconciliation. Because community, fellowship, loving just the way Christ does is not a natural occurance. It is one that comes through trial, through testing and through the turning of our hearts.

How is God working in your heart? In the midst of celebrating Christ’s most significant act of love, we have an opportunity to refresh our understanding of His sacrifice, and examine our own hearts as we draw closer to Him.

Monday, March 29, 2010

in honor of Spring

In honor of Spring, I decided to make something special. So, I whipped up this wreath (well, maybe whipped isn't the right word, because it did take about 5 hours), using only items that already had. I LOVE making things out of stuff that I have lying around the house, it just makes me so excited! It's like getting something for free!

Here's the list of supplies I used:

Brightly colored felt squares ($0.25 cents each at Joanne Fabrics)
My handy-dandy Scissors
Hot Glue Gun (a crafter's best weapon)
and an empty Cereal Box

I started by cutting out the petals- I experimented with several different kinds of flowers. Some ended up being hideous, and some worked well enough to repeat the pattern several times! I cut a circle out of felt for the base of each flower, and started gluing petals around the edges using the hot glue gun (note: I found it worked best to put a small line of glue around the edge and overlap the petals on it, saves lots of time!):

Once I had petals all around the edge, I did another layer or two inside (putting the petals in the center between the outer ones). You can finish it off by gluing a tiny round center on the flower, or by threading some beads through.

Here's some close-ups of the flowers so you can see the different patterns:

(I only used beads in the middle for one- it looked nice but I got lazy)

After I finished making all of the flowers (it seriously took me three evenings, and 5 hours total to do it! Yikes!), I laid them out in a pattern on the floor. Then, using a cereal box, I cut out a rough circle with a hollow center to glue the "wreath" on to.

I tried to make sure there weren't a lot of gaps, but even if some cardboard does show through it won't really matter (unless you are an extreme perfectionist, in which case you should stop reading my blog now, for your own sanity!).

And voila- a wreath that will last for ages and it cost me nary a penny. It's a little more time-consuming than some projects, but it was worth it!

I'm linking up to some great blog parties below, and I can't wait to see what everyone else is crafting this week!

things to come, and a makeover!

I have a fun project that I am just dying to share with you... but it's just not done yet! Hopefully I will get it all squared away tonight, but in the meantime I wanted to share a Super Cool Makeover done by a good friend of mine.
Inspired by the chair re-do that I recently featured, Emily and her Hubby decided to tackle a chair makeover of their own! I love how it turned out.. and I'm sure you will too! So click over here and get ready to be inspired too!

Friday, March 26, 2010

if you are on a diet... run away now!

(I realize the extreme irony of posting this recipe right after blathering on about being more healthy... but I've been waiting to post it and quite frankly, I just don't care!)

Parmesan French Fries
The world's most delectable french-fry recipe

1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp salt (more or less, to taste)
1 tbsp olive oil
4-6 medium sized potatoes
1/4-1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Using a handy-dandy french fry cutter (or a kitchen knife if you don't have one, but I warn you, you will want one after this), slice the freshly peeled potatoes into thin strips.

Combine fries with olive oil, mustard, and salt in a large bowl and mix until fries are fully coated. Spread the fries evenly on a baking pan (if they clump together too much, they don't bake as well!). Place in the oven and bake for approximately 20-30 minutes. The fries should look golden and crispy. Add the Parmesan at the last possible minute, and bake for 5 more minutes, or until the cheese is lightly toasted.

Serve with dijon mustard for a fun twist!

There's a lot of things you can do with this recipe- I have not tried using frozen fries, but I'm sure that would work as well! Also, you can experiment with the spices to find what tastes best for you, or even add different ones! Enjoy!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

sometimes life sneaks up on you...

I was at the doctor the other day, and decided to ask about my weird weight gain (no, it's not that, don't freak out). I've always been such a skinny shrimp, and most of my life doctors have told me to gain more weight. So, I was a little surprised when I suddenly gained 10 pounds (well, not suddenly, over the course of 6 months...).

You know what my doctor said? He said I need to watch what I put in my mouth.

And I thought, Well, of all the nerve!

But I nodded and smiled anyway.

So apparently, my speedy metabolism has decided to join with my fast accruing gray hairs in an effort to remind me of my humanity. Gone are the days of opening a (family-sized) bag of skittles and consuming half of it in one sitting. I must kiss my chocolate-chip-cookie-loving days goodbye and surrender my life to dreary glasses of water and measly amounts of (raw) almonds.

Goodbye, my wonderful Cheetos.

OK, so I'm being melodramatic. I won't be cutting out all of those foods completely, but I will be "watching what I put in my mouth." Because I am from the planet of not wanting to die from clogged arteries in my early twenties.

Ah, life. It sneaks up on you sometimes.

*Did anyone catch that movie quote hidden in there? If you know what movie it's from, you are awesome!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010



My mother taught me one of the best decorating tips while I was growing up, and I didn't even realize it until recently.

Growing up, our house was always changing. I would come home to a completely different living room, several times a year. My mom just loved to re-arrange things for a fresh perspective.

Now, I'm realizing what a valuable lesson that was. Recently, I've been hemming and hawing about our bedroom. I feel like it gets the least amount of attention, and I just wasn't happy with the color scheme/furniture/etc. So, I sweet-talked my hubby into helping me move the furniture around, and I'm so happy with the results!

It feels brighter, cleaner, and more inviting. Before, the bed kind of blocked the room because it was right in the center, now that it's by the windows the room seems to flow much better.

So there you have it, a new room for $0.00. Now, that is my kind of makeover! Do you have a room that could use a "free" makeover? Or, have you found this trick to be helpful in the past?

Monday, March 22, 2010

sister time

This weekend, my sister Elsie came over and we just had the best time ever! We made a trip to the Tea Garden (it's like a coffee-shop, but with tea, and it's amazing!), watched "Hobson's Choice," and spent an entire day embroidering.

It was just what we needed.

I think that one of the reasons I enjoy making things so much is because it captures moments. Now, whenever I look at this little bouquet I will remember a day filled with laughter, sunshine, tea, old movies, and time well spent with my little sister.

(love you, Muffin!)

Friday, March 19, 2010

inspiration for friday

For the longest time, I have been going back to this picture and gazing at the color combination. I just love yellow and gray together!

I'm trying to think of some new ideas for our bedroom- we painted the walls gray and have a bedspread that is aqua blue with gray and white stripes. But lately, I have been wanting to lighten up the color scheme in there, and these pictures are inspiring!

Also, we haven't been able to decide whether we will try to do some updates in the kitchen, or just save our remodeling for when we move into a bigger place. If we do update the kitchen, I have been eyeing subway tiles... I would love to paint the cabinets a creamy white and have a subway tile backspash. Maybe a new butcherblock countertop?

So that's what my brain is up to these days... do you notice the common theme of yellow? Perhaps I am longing for the summer sun?

(all images from apartment therapy)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

It's finally done!

Originally, I wanted to post a whole tutorial on the chair that I reupholstered. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how difficult that would be!

Because really, the process was more of a "let's just start doing it and see how it goes."

So, we started ripping off fabric and watching little rusty staples go flying all over our lovely living room.

And it was a lot of work.

Um, ew? Look at all that dust of the ages under there! While I was trying to vacuum this up, our vacuum decided to start smoking... Yes, you read that right! It started billowing smoke. Thankfully, my handy husband was able to fix it. But not before I had a glimpse into a vacuum-less life. And let me tell you, it was very bleak indeed.

Moving on...

I discovered that the best thing to do is to take LOTS of pictures- from every angle so you can remember how to piece it all back together.

Once all of the old fabric was off, it was time to paint the frame of the chair. Josh and I lightly sanded the wood so the paint would adhere better, and then I used Rustoleum's "Heirloom White" and did 4 coats of paint. I think I used a little over one can of paint on the whole chair.

The fabric was purchased from Jo-Anne's for $3.00 a yard, and I absolutely love it! I don't think it's really "upholstery quality," but I don't really care. It's Home Dec fabric so it is stronger than usual fabric, and I don't intend to be sitting in this chair 24/7.

And finally friends, here is the after!

So there you have it! It's not perfect, but I really love it. And I think I love reupholstering things... I asked Josh if he would mind if I tried this again sometime. He just gave me a nervous laugh, but I think he'll come around.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Things

It has been bright, beautiful, and over 60 degrees here for the past two days!


The birds are chirping, the snow is melting, my husband is vacuuming (!), and I am on the prowl for some fun new things for my wardrobe... What is it about Spring that makes me feel like I need to overhaul my entire closet?

Well, maybe not overhaul it completely. More like, add a few, bright, fun new things.

Like this scarf:

It's from Wal-Mart! It was $5.00. They also had them in a lovely shade of blue-green, and in white. I love the little "pom-pom" details, it almost looks like something you could find at Anthropologie. I don't usually look for those kinds of things at Wal-Mart, but I have noticed that their scarves are really cute and really cheap!

And also? Some dress shorts.

These were on clearance at Gap and my sister made me buy them! Well, maybe I let her talk me into it. I've been seeing these all over the place, and I think I am ready to give them a try.

I have long been an admirer of this girl's little on-the-side fashion blog, and I love how she is wearing them here:

What about you? Are you feeling the need to find some fun new things to spice up your wardrobe? What's the one thing you are looking for this Spring?

Monday, March 15, 2010

from plastic to fantastic

Last week I went thrifting with a friend, and we found a lot of fun treasures. One of my favorite finds of the day was this mirror:

Even though the plastic, gold-gilded frame was totally my style (sorry, that was sarcasm leaking through there), I saw an even better future for this piece. Can you guess what I'm going to say next? SPRAY PAINT!

It actually took me a while to get it right- I first tried using Rustoleum primer. For some reason, it just didn't work. The primer flaked up and started coming off the mirror. I really can't explain why, except that perhaps there was still residue on the plastic (even though I did give it a good scrub with some dishsoap and a nylon brush).

So, I scrubbed it again to get the flakes off, and then just went straight to the good stuff. Rustoleum's Heirloom White. I must say, I have heard so many people sing it's praises and I never truly understood. Until now.

I am now an advocate. Even though it is a little pricier than some brands, it just went on SO WELL. It even got in the little nooks and crannies of the designs for great coverage. I will warn you though, the only place I found this was at Jo Anne Fabrics. They didn't have it at Wal Mart, even though they carried the Rustoleum brand. Also, both times I went to buy it (I had to get another can for a different project... stay tuned!), there was only one can, and it was hidden behind all of the other cans of spray paint. Further proof that this is popular stuff!

Hm... now where will I put it?

*Edit- I am participating in some really fun blog parties. If you want to see lots of fun, creative projects just check out the links below, and browse to your heart's content!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Craigslist finds...

I found this couch on Craigslist a while ago, and fell in love! I was amazed at the detail, the beautiful fabric, and the pricetag. Someone was selling this beauty for only $400! It looks small, but it's actually 6 feet long.

For a moment, I thought about trying to overhaul my living rooms current decor so I could take this home, but it just would not have worked for us.

Still, I just wanted to mention this to say that Craigslist is a great place to find nice furniture for really great prices. Have you ever bought anything from Craigslist?


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