Wednesday, November 16, 2016

One Table - 4 Ways (For Thanksgiving)

I thought it would be fun to look back and do a little take on one table - four ways for Thanksgiving.  Each Table arrangement and decor is all created with things I already owned or found hunting around my house and yard!  You can create simple and pretty table arrangements by using a little creativity. 
Table number one was created using a piece of cut plaid fabric I had on hand, gathering a few fall items I owned and creating a super simple table arrangement with items I literally picked from my yard.  Branches, leaves and Twigs make a really pretty Thanksgiving table arrangement.

Next is the most recent Fall Table we have had; once again using clippings from the yard to create a table arrangement.  Using a white vase really helps make the colors pop and to dress it up a ton.  

Not only do we have a plethora of branches, leaves and sticks to make arrangements with - we also have a pecan tree.  So, why not use it.  I love filling jars with things like pecans and acorns for fall.  A simple burlap runner, a bowl of fresh cranberries and a few lighted twigs I owned finished it out.

And ,the most simple arrangement of all, a mason jar over flowing with flowers from the garden.  If you just can't seem to find anything in your yard to work then check out the grocery store selection.  There are some really great flowers to be found there.  Trimming the ends to fit your vase is crucial for making those florals work.

You guys, we have just a few days left to cherish and enjoy these fall colors and pretty Autumn decor.  I'm squeezing in every last second until Christmas takes over our house...that's not to say the Christmas music hasn't already made an appearance (can't help it, I love it so much).  

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

DIY Hanging Wall Art

I have probably the most simple of all projects to share with you simple it probably shouldn't even count as a blog post.  But - I put it together, its in my house and anyone can do it so that justifies it in my mind.  If you are struggling with what exactly to hang on your walls maybe this easy project will give you a little wall inspiration.  You can change it up to suit your style!  
Also, keep scrolling to the bottom to check out a great way to help support a sweet family.  

So this project is for those of you who may have a big blank wall and are wondering what to put on it or for that person who has run into a cool poster, map or pretty paper that you want to do something with but haven't figured out what yet.  

Here is what you will need to make a quick and easy piece of wall art - 
1.  Poster, Map or Pretty Craft Paper
2. Two Dowel Rods
3. A hand Saw
4. Hot Glue Gun
5. Twine/Scissors

The hardest part of this project is sawing the wooden dowel rods.  I found my wooden dowel rods in the hardware store near the lumber section, you can also find them at a craft store like Michael's or AC Moore.  First step to do -simply measure your poster and determine the length you want your rods to be and then measure and saw until you have two dowel rods of equal length.

Next, hot glue your poster onto the rods - just a little glue at the edge works.  Make sure not to glue the whole length and then try and apply the dowel rod - the glue will dry too fast and you will have a mess.  Just a little bit at a time as you work down the poster.  After you get the poster glued to the two rods then you can cut your twine and glue it as well around your rod at the top.  I just simply wrapped the twine around the edges until I reached the desired length and glued as I went.  

And my friends - that was it.  Simple and super cute!

I actually have two of these now in my house - this one in the bedroom and one of a map in our kitchen.  I love how colorful they both are and how its something a little different than just a framed poster.  This would also be a great project to create something simple and inexpensive for your Christmas decor.  It could be larger like a poster, or smaller like a print.

Yay for easy projects!  I see a new Christmas one in my near future.  

Thanks so much for joining me today!  I wanted to share with you an easy way to support a a great family.  The Gullett family is hosting an online auction to help raise support for their adoption. They have a ton of great items to bid can even find a few pieces of my handmade jewelry :). Go check out their auction site here. The date is extended to this Thursday!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Fall House Tour : Using What You Have

Do you sometimes feel like after Halloween is over everything just speeds towards Christmas?  The day after Halloween the stores are already converted over to showcase all of the new Christmas decor...which I'm not necessarily complaining about because I love everything Christmas, but I feel as though we are missing that time between.  Is it Christmas season? Is it fall?...I feel confused sometimes.  Around here we really don't move over to Christmas until after Thanksgiving - just seems right.  
So after a little hiatus from the blog I feel like it is as good of a time as any to come back and start again.  New beginnings are always a good thing.  Today I thought I'd share our current house status - which happens to be full of fall goodness.  Maybe you are needing some Thanksgiving inspiration or maybe some Fall ideas for next year or just need a break from the craziness of political season :) - whatever the case for joining me today, welcome and thank you!!

For fall I really love bringing the outdoors in and taking a cue from what is already available to me from our own yard.  I went out and snipped a few a lot of yard clippings to come up with a simple but very "fall" arrangement for out table.  I love it so much.  Also, white pumpkins are the best.  

You don't have spend money or be a florist to come up with a pretty arrangement for your house.  I love it when arrangements have a "loose" feeling about them anyway.  Try it out this week!  Have some fun gathering a little nature and making it into something beautiful for your home.  

Our sweet son also added some fall touches by drawing a fall mural for us on the Chalkboard door.  I love his artwork and I love that things don't have to be perfect to be enjoyed in your home.  I also kept trimming branches and things and added them all over the place in our house.  Little stems of leaves here and there.

Little pumpkins are also everywhere right now in our house and I let Silas find places for most.  I love the spots he chose.

This is an angle of our house I feel like has never really been shown on the blog.  One of the things that sold us on this house when we bought it was the fact that our living room and kitchen were all one open space.  For a smaller house, that is huge.  

I debated whether or not I wanted to use this wreath I made a couple of years ago in here for our fall decor because I was afraid it was too bold. I actually have really loved it and it brightens up this little spot for me. This is a super easy craft to make using leftover scarps and a fabric hoop.  I have a simple tutorial on how to make one, I use them for every season!

Also, I think people struggle with decorating shelves for some reason. Its always a good idea to start with odd numbers of things - it just always looks better.  Search around your house and try different things together.  It took me trying out a few variations until I landed on what I liked.  Here I used a christmas star tree topper that I maybe would have reserved just for christmas but I love it here.  I also reused a copper candle votive as a little vase for my clippings.  So trying using things you already have in a different way, it works!

I can never grow tired of chalkboards.  I will use them and enjoy them in every room for every occasion.

This is probably the coolest pumpkin I have ever seen, I wish I could keep it forever.

I love a little collection of items.  You don't have to go big all of the time when decorating.  Sometimes just gathering a few of your favorite things together works.

A little while ago I finally hung some things on the wall and it came together as a little gallery wall around our tv.  I have added things, taken things away and changed things out as seasons come and go.  I love this deer/antler print I recently found at Target for $8 - so much so I may never take it down. Oh, and here's my little tutorial on how to make a framed instagram collage.

When it comes to seasonal decorating I love using what I already have, repurposing items to work or adding in a little nature to bring it all together.  If you are looking for some more inspiration for decorating for thanksgiving on a budget you can check out my simple Thanksgiving Table Ideas, Ideas for Using What You Already Have, Making a Thankful Jar and DIY Boxwood Wreath.

Thanks for joining me today!  It feels good to be back!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Backyard Camp Birthday Party: DIY Ideas

Back in October our sweet son turned 5 - I'm still trying to process that. Just like we have done over the past several years we had a little DIY party for him.  This year he chose the theme - he wanted a backyard campsite, a fire with marshmallows and a tent.  That sounded super fun to us so we went with it and came up with several easy and fun DIY projects for the day!  Here is a little recap and some ideas for hosting your own backyard campsite party (or any diy party)...Welcome to Camp Silas!

For his parties I try and make several things, reuse other party items and purchase just a few new ones.  The DIY elements included some wood slices, a few chalkboard items, his pallet board campsite sign and a rustic tent.

Since I was making a lot of things for his party and reusing a bunch of things (like the striped banner and little crepe lanterns) I didn't mind splurging a little on this deer.  Now that I'm thinking about this, besides the food and paper products I didn't spend anything on decorations besides this deer.   I stalked it at Target for a while until it went on sale and now that the party is over it has found a permanent place in our spare room - so I felt ok with it.  

This was just a simple painted pallet board sign we made - so easy but so cute!  

The red buffalo check table covering is just a blanket I already had.  This was a last minute thought but I loved it.  I just walked around the house looking for things that might work (this is pretty much what I do every time I do any sort of party planning).  Always use what you already have first!

So probably our favorite thing was the simple tent Justin made.  How precious did this turn out?  Silas and Justin went on a hunt for the tree branches and he used a simple canvas painting tarp we already had.  Justin secured the tent with some heavy duty rope/twine.  I was not really involved in the making of the tent process so I really don't have a how-to for it.  But it came together fairly easily.

The kids loved it and was a great place to play, eat and laugh together!  We added a little lantern and a string of lights, oh and a little slice of wood turned chalkboard sign...such a fun spot!

So we had lots of different food options but we did this fun little make your own trail mix station inside.  I bought some blue paper bags and cut them almost in half for a cute little "grub" on the go snack.  It was nothing fancy and as you can see I used a various selection of bowls and jars - it didn't have to match or be perfect.  The kids loved choosing and making their trail mix (and the adults loved it too).
It was such a sweet and fun night celebrating Silas and as a family we had a blast planning and doing it together.  Silas has already picked a theme for next year and we have been talking about different ideas we could come up with.  Its so fun to get your kids involved and encouraging that creativity inside of them.  Thanks for visiting today!  If you are looking for more easy diy party ideas you can check out Silas' dinosaur party, race car party and safari party!   I also have some ideas for hosting a sweet 16 party , a "tweens" pirate party and global themed going away party.  Go grab some ideas!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Installing an Ikea Sink

 Lately I have been sharing about our current diy kitchen remodel project in steps, from demo to prep work to installing ikea butcher block counters and today I get to share about installing our farmhouse sink.  You guys, this sink is the - (and yes I was teenager in the 90s.)  But seriously, I really can't say anything bad about it.  If you are in the market for a farmhouse sink no doubt you have looked at this one - its the domsjo sink from ikea.  By far it is the best priced farmhouse sink for its size out there.  Its such a great deal that we had to wait on a list for months to get one.  So know up front your closet ikea may not have one in stock if you just randomly show up.  Call before you go!  Now to be clear, we have currently been using this sink for about 2 weeks so I can't speak on longevity - but still I love it.   

For a little background (if you are just joining in) we decided recently to upgrade the majority of our kitchen - pretty much everything has been replaced besides our cabinets.  This made installing counters and this sink a little different since they are from ikea and made to install really easily into their own (ikea) cabinets.  But it can easily be done and we are living proof.  It just took a little extra work.

The fist steps in this process was back in our demo days which involved removing the old plumbing and cutting out the area in our cabinets in which this sink was going to sit.  Next, we cut our counters to size and cut in the notches for the sink.  After that we secured our counters in place and we were ready for the sink to go in.  So that brings us to the picture below - the mini beams.

This sink is massive and heavy - no exaggeration- and needs really good support.  If you look at the instructions from ikea you can see that the cabinets you buy from ikea have this support already built in.  To make it work for us, Justin built two "mini beams" (one for each side of the sink) under the cabinet for it to rest on and to be secured to.  Honestly, this was the most complicated part of the whole process...besides maybe the plumbing portion..but this is all about the pretty stuff right now.  

After the sink was firmly in place the next thing we did was seal around it (not pictured).  We used a caulk gun and some silicone based sealer around the edges of the sink.  There are some great tutorials out there but basically we taped off the sink and counters with painters tape and ran the caulk down the crease, wiped with a damp cloth and removed the tape.  I'm not going to lie I was pretty sure I was going to ruin the counters at this point but it all worked out.  Just take my advice and have some damp cloths readily available. 

We still need to fix the bit underneath the sink - its on our immediate to do list.  I'm also seriously considering painting the lower cabinets a darker be continued.  

But look how far this little kitchen has come!  I just love this before and after.

Cool thing is, we still have a few more things to do and it already looks a bajillion times better.  

I am a believer that a little goes a long way and patience pays off.  We have slowly worked to get this thing to where we want it and have not broken the bank at all.  Everything we have done has been within a small working budget.  Remodeling a kitchen does not have to be the biggest deal ever and all those little things make a major difference.  I'll share more soon about some of the little details!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Installing Ikea Butcher Block Counters

I'm excited to continue sharing more of our little diy kitchen remodel today.  Last week I shared about the demo and prep process so today its getting into more of the fun stuff - installing the countertops! Since moving in to our home almost 5 years ago I have been researching different counter options.  I went back and forth with the whole butcher block idea but ultimately decided it was a great choice for us.  To keep the costs down we are not replacing our cabinets (just painted them) and we wanted to install the counters ourself - butcher block just made the right fit.  Ikea has some great options and really great prices so we went with the karlby counters in walnut.

The installation process was pretty straightforward for us.  We really just needed two cut pieces, plus the sink notches cut out (more on that later).  To keep things even more super simple we also chose the domjso farmhouse sink.  This sink sits on top of the counters so any cuts we made would be covered, kind of perfect for first time kitchen installers.

The countertops come in two sizes - we needed two of the larger size to make it work.  So we measured our cabinet length and got ready to cut.  I should say too that we also had the sink out and did a lot of measuring the sink and cabinet lengths - it is nerve racking to make a big cut on something you only have just enough of.  So when we felt confident we went for it.

It was a nasty weather week (so-much-rain) when we got into this so we had to do it all inside - this picture looks deceiving but we did have the countertop raised off the floor while Justin was cutting it (also pay no attention to the lack of safety going on here).  After making the big cut the moment of truth had arrived and we nervously placed the countertop in and held our breath - thank goodness it was correct!  We did another check on the level to make sure it was all coming together right.

Once we had the length cut we had to cut in notches for our sink (it won't fit without these).  So we measured the area (a billion times) and made the cut.  Here again, the sink will sit on top so no need for an absolute perfect cut.  We cut the notch on both sides and sat the sink in to make sure it was correct - not that there was any fixing anything at that point.  Oh and just a little tip - you need to measure both notches - the sink we had was not perfect and the notches were both a little different.  So don't do one and think you can just use that as a template for the other side.  I don't know why but that would not have worked for us.

It was actually fairly simple and only mildly stressful.  We really had an easy set up to work with.  

The final step in installation was fastening the cabinets underneath.  It was just a few screws and bolts and now everything is in place and not going anywhere.  I am so loving these counters. It fits the feel and look of our house so well.  Counters = Complete!!

The next step of this diy process was our sink - and man, do I love it.  I'll share with you tomorrow how we made it work in our existing cabinets!  Have a great Monday!

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