July 31, 2014

You're Invited!


July 28, 2014

Save the Date

August will be here in a few short days so that means there will be a celebration happening around here. My blog will be 4 this year! I will be hosting an Unpaper Swap again, so stay tuned for updates and a SUPER AWESOME giveaway starting on August 1st. 

July 24, 2014

Before & After Furniture Projects

I really enjoy seeing before and after pictures of other's furniture projects. It always amazing to me how a piece can be transformed. I've been working on a couple pieces over the last few weeks. One is a dresser that was sitting out for trash in someones driveway. Can you believe it? It's a solid piece of furniture with cedar lined drawers. Since we have a baby on the way I scooped this up fast. Once I put a changing pad on top it will make the perfect changing table. 
This piece was the very first time I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I can hear the gasps, since most creative types discovered this paint a long time ago. I added a little water to the paint since I wanted to do just a light wash. The color I used is Old White. I have to say this paint really is impressive and I'll admit worth the high price. Since I did a wash I hardly used any paint at all. 
Finding the perfect knobs or redoing the old ones is one of my favorite parts of the transformation. The impact is always huge. I went to Anthropologie first because they had knobs on sale, that's where I found the adorable fox. The yellow knobs I originally got did not work though so I went to the next best place to get hardware, Hobby Lobby. I love that these glass knobs look old. 
I suppose I might be becoming slightly obsessed with collecting furniture at the lowest price or preferably free and fixing it up. I frequently find things on the side of the road. It does my heart good to rescue these pieces.
I got the set above off Craigslist from a sweet older couple. My husband didn't understand why I would get such a thing. But I had a vision like usual and told him to trust me. We just painted our guest room orange. Our inspiration was the rock in Utah which is one of our favorite places. I didn't have a headboard for the guest bed or a side table because I moved it somewhere else in the house. I also wanted something I could use for books and that would break up the orange walls. 

This was my second time using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and this time I didn't want it too look quite as rustic. Although one reason I love this paint is because it's so easy to make it look naturally worn with it's matte finish. The process of painting with this stuff is so fun but doing one dark and light color had it's challenges. 
I chose whimsical fish knobs for the headboard since the guest room is also our gear/travel room where we keep our fishing, hiking and other adventuring things. I decided since the handle on the end table was metal I would keep it. The chalk paint easily adhered to the metal and made an awesome finish with just one coat. 

I used Old White and Aubusson Blue for these pieces. I still have over 1/2 a can of the white left and I used a small tester pot for the blue. This paint goes a long way. I can't wait to get these pieces in the house and see how they look. It will be a while though since we've got everything prepped to get carpet installed. Oh and my next quick project will be to paint those wood chairs you can see a little of in the picture above. They were another side of the road find. 
Have you used this kind of paint before? If you have any good advice I'd love to hear it since I'm still a chalk paint beginner.

July 17, 2014


Unless you're family or a close friend you've been unaware that what's been keeping me busy lately is the distraction of a baby being created inside me at this very moment. Our first baby is due in December. As you can guess from the title of the blog I love to create but this by far is the best thing I've ever been a part of creating. I've been debating for a while if I was going to share the news on the blog. It just seemed too special and sacred not to keep it all to myself but at the same time not shout it to the world. I also don't want to be the cause of hurt or struggle in people. Everything in our society seems to revolve around families and children. You can't get away from the commercials, exclusive church groups, conversations, articles and blogs. You can't even tell who your friends are on Facebook anymore because all their profile pictures are of babies.

After having a conversation with my husband I decided it was something I defiantly needed to share with you all. He reminded me how much of my life I've already shared on this space and that many people have prayed for me and sent well wishes my way when I was recovering from my surgeries. As always I write on this blog because I love to share and I hope to inspire others. Maybe by me sharing my experience it will encourage someone else.

When we were first married 7 years ago, having children was the last thing on our minds. We wanted to enjoy each other and life. I watched many people around me have children at a young age and it wasn't something I wanted.  I wanted to settle into life first. There definitely came a point when everyone around us was having children and we did start to feel left out of that "exclusive" club. It wasn't until I had a series of surgeries though and was diagnosed with endometriosis that I wondered if I could even have children of my own. There's nothing worse than getting regular ultrasounds because you're in pain and they need to see if any there are more cysts growing. You lay there thinking about when people normally get ultrasounds it's a joyful experience of them getting to see a little life for the first time. I spent a lot of time worrying about my health and wanting to control it. The doctor who performed my last surgery said the best thing I could do is get pregnant and he sent me to a fertility specialist. That fertility specialist discussed putting me through temporary menopause until I was ready to get pregnant then giving me some type of  injections to speed up the fertilization process after that. I left the appointment realizing that by putting myself through the medication and injections I was just trying to control things more. I decided to read some very helpful books, I literally got off all medications and focused more on what I was eating. I was told by doctors if I didn't at least take some type of birth control pill my endometriosis and cysts would get worse. Well slowly but surely days started going by and I felt more energized and healthy.

My husband and I decided that we weren't going to worry or obsess about having children. We thought it would be much more disappointing to try only to realize nothing was working. So we just let things happen naturally no plans, special potions, calendars, medications... If a year or so went by with no kids we were going to start pursuing adoption. It's so fascinating that once all control was given up how much better I felt. Everyday was and is a walk in faith.

Finding out I was pregnant was a surprise. We actually went on a backpacking trip and I was feeling a little strange. I was also extremely hungry. Sure enough shortly after we got back on April 1st of all days I found out I was pregnant. My husband actually didn't believe me because it was April Fools Day. I didn't even know it was that day and besides what a cruel joke. I've had a very blessed pregnancy so far. No real negative symptoms at all. The only real symptoms I've experienced are being tired and very very hungry. I actually feel healthier than I have in a long time. It's amazing!

Of course I'm dealing with a roller-coaster of emotions. I still don't feel settled in life. We just moved again recently and it seems like it takes forever to establish friendships. We found a church we like but it still doesn't feel like home. I really would have loved to be settled into a career. The week I found out I was pregnant I was actually offered a job and was looking into renting a pottery studio space. All that has been put on the back burner now and it hurts sometimes. I really don't want my identity to only be mom and my name not to be mine anymore but instead be _______'s mom. I guess I'm afraid I won't be able to have a career, throw pottery or develop friendships after I have a baby. These are all irrational fears right?

So if you don't see me writing as much here on the blog you know why. I'm busy preparing for the baby. I've been painting rooms, refinishing chairs and I have tons more I want to do. The nesting has hit me hard already. Not to mention I just haven't felt motivated to write lately I'm not sure why. I would love to hear what you think about all this. Do you have any advice? Would you like to read more about this whole baby thing or do you feel like there's too much baby overload out there already? 

The first thing I started working on for the baby is a tiny rocking chair. Because it was broken I got it for free. With some wood glue and lots of time, this little chair is as good as new. I wanted it to still look old though. So I just sanded it down smooth, cleaned it up real good and applied many coats of polyurethane. Here's the progression of the chair, pictures don't do it justice.

July 15, 2014

Scrappy Pom Pom Bunting

This bunting is perfect for using up fabric and yarn scraps. I have a TON of scraps that keep piling up. The rope can be time consuming so it's perfect to work on while on a road trip or while sitting in front of the TV. There is a really clear tutorial on how to make the rope at My Poppet
First make a whole bunch of rope. This is such a great way to use up fabric scraps. I found that smaller strips and thinner fabric work best. I did use some canvas that I had and it was more difficult to work with. The rope can be used in so many different ways. Use it to decorate presents, cards, to hang things...

After you've got a bunch of rope made, cut enough for your bunting, making sure to tie a knot in the ends. Next make some pom poms using yarn scraps. Attach the pom poms to the rope how you like and you've got a scrappy pom pom bunting. 
I love changing out the bunting on my mantle for seasons, holidays and sometimes just because. Fireworks on 4th of July inspired this one. I thought the pom poms looked like abstract fireworks. 

July 3, 2014

2 in 1 sewing jar

If you don't remember my sweet sewing machine Raven you can read about her HERE. I've been having a great time teaching myself to sew. Practice, practice, practice seems to be the key. There have been many mistakes along the way and some things that didn't turn out exactly like I intended but it's so satisfying to sew something up. I even made my first quilt!
By the way I thought doing a quilt in long strips might be easier but I was wrong. Is it just me? My next one will be smaller pieces then I'll be able to really compare.

One thing I've learned is the importance of keeping a tidy sewing area. I guess I'm a bit messy when I'm creative. I leave things out and all over the place. It's really annoying when you're sewing though and you've got those pesky strings sticking to everything and pins rolling all over the place. I accidentally stepped on a pin once and that was no fun. My SIL gave me a great idea. Maybe this isn't new to you sewing experts but it's new to me so I figured I would share just in case it would help anyone else out. She said to keep a jar beside your sewing machine to put your strings in as you sew. I thought that was brilliant but also realized I needed another place for my pins that's when the 2 in 1 sewing jar was created.
These  types of jars are all over Pinterest. They make the cutest way to package a mini sewing kit for a gift idea. I just never thought of making one to keep my sewing area tidy. I came up with two ways to keep the pins on top. One way is to make a pin cushion using a scrap piece of fabric, foam, and the lid of the jar. The other way is to simply add magnets. 
All I did was add magnets to the bottom of the lid then the pins stick right to the top. It seems like it's much quicker for me when sewing to just place the pins right on top of the magnetic version instead of sticking them in the cushion. Although that's another huge thing I've been learning through my sewing journey is to SLOW DOWN. I tend to get overly excited about new projects and find myself rushing. 

So if your sewing space is in need of a little tidying up consider putting together one of these jars. Do you have any other ideas on keeping your sewing space tidy? I'd love to hear them.