Thursday, May 29, 2014

Porch Pre-Makeover Preview

I'm being a total tease and sharing just Before pictures.
One of the summer projects I'm super excited about is turning our porch into our favorite spot.  It is kinda slow going, though. I've been shopping my house and getting creative and creativity takes time, yo! To sum up my approach to this project, my motto is "Use what you've got." My second motto for this project is "Do the parentals have what I want and and is it snatch-able?" Just kidding. Sorta...

Take this porch swing, for example. It was very convenient that the parentals had a spare in their barn and all we had to do was paint and assemble. And figure out how to hang it up. We had a bit of a scary moment when it ripped out of the porch ceiling. Followed by a whole lot of frustration. You see, there are a few layers of ceiling on our porch and what felt like a stud was NOT a stud. After failed attempts with a stud finder (aluminum ceiling) and a whole lot of exploratory drilling it was decided that we could, in fact, live with an un-centered porch swing.

 This is the face Keith makes when I gently suggest that the swing arm is not quite correct while trying to hold my laughter in.

This is me learning to use a caulk gun as I fill the exploratory drill holes. Caulk can be messy.

Happy tidbit! We got the four chairs at a yard sale for such a good deal it feels like highway robbery. Have you priced patio furniture? Let me tell you, it is salty. Since the chairs were $3 a piece I figured I would make an allowance on my "use what you've got" and "snatch it from the parentals" rule. Someday we would like to upgrade to a style that isn't so "pool" but beggars can't be choosers and we have a massive list of home repairs we would rather be putting our money towards.

So anyways, this is our beginning. Are you excited for the big After reveal because I totally am!
Also, if you are working on your outdoor spaces leave me a link! I am still brainstorming on a few things and would love to see how you are doing things :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Random snaps from an afternoon spent celebrating my mom. :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

DIY hand stamped fabric

My goal for this project was to create a print that was fresh and UNfussy. Something that could be created quickly and didn't require an elaborate grid system for pattern alignment. Fortunately, as I wandered around the house looking for inspiration I went to the bathroom and used the last square on the roll (probably the ONLY time I've been excited about being stranded without adequate TP).
TP roll = perfect, unfussy circle stamp
I then had the thought that q-tips would make cute little dots but decided they would be too small.
Make-up cap = second perfect circle stamp 

With stamps located, all you needed to get this pattern in place is acrylic paint, fabric medium, fabric and a drop cloth.

Read the directions on the fabric medium bottle and mix with the paint accordingly. If I'm remembering correctly, mine was 1 part medium, 2 parts paint.
Start stamping!

Paint and fabric medium - unmixed!

As you can see I left a lot of space between the circles at first. I alternated between laying down a "layer" of orange circles and a "layer" of pink dots.
REMEMBER! You can always add more pattern but you can't take it off once it's there.

 As you can see, I filled it in quite a bit.
PS - don't forget to heat set your pattern if that is what your fabric medium calls for!
Easy-peasy and perfect for a summer project! If you do a bit of hand stamping be sure to leave the link in the comments so we can all check it out :)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Bit of life lately

1_ Squeezing in some lettering on my lunch break with my favorite pup.
2_ If we are friends on Instagram then this pic is old news, but our porch is a home!
3_ When your front door is 3 inches taller than standard it allows door-makers to charge an astronomical amount of money. Since the door I want is about 3x what I had budgeted we decided to make the current eyesore work for a bit longer. Hence why Keith is stapling in a screen.
4_ The clay came out, jewelry making started, Toaster demanded attention, the clay got put away.
5_ Beautiful sprigs! Soon the whole expanse will be full of pretty green tufts and the Stench Hole will be a distant memory.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The West - part 1

The Stench Hole was in the East. This backyard battle is in the West.
We also have monstrosities in the North and South but we will get to them later. Hopefully this summer. Fingers crossed.

I suppose that Keith and I could have revived this limestone pathway to it's original glory but frankly, I just didn't like it. Rock pathways can ooze charm but this one just looked sloppy and out of place. I wanted it gone.
Happy for us, removal was fairly straightforward. We used a pry bar to lift the slabs and a sledgehammer to break them into small(er) pieces for easy transportation. If you are wondering, I used the pry bar, Keith used the sledgehammer. Since we didn't know what else to do with 3 truck loads of rock we dumped it at my parentals. Naturally.

Removing the limestone was the time consuming but simple. Removing fence post anchors, not so much. Since the posts had been cut off, the guys had to dig down far enough to expose enough concrete to be able to get some prying leverage. Then they used this red jack that John bought special for the occasion to lift it out.

After the fence posts were out of the ground we removed the little green plant tufts, dumped some dirt in the holes, and Keith went at the area with the roto tiller. We need to roto till again and add a lot more dirt but we are so close to the pretty part of this West Side makeover!  We have been in the ugly and tedious part of this backyard transformation for far too long.
Side note: Keith has finished the semester and I get to see him again! I am overjoyed to be able to hangout again and to (hopefully) be able to finish house projects a bit quicker.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Downton Tea

Mostly because we (meaning my mom and I) love Downton Abbey but also because it was Mother's Day weekend we participated in a little Downton themed ladies' tea that the library put on. Can you tell which characters we are? My mom gets really into costume creation. Our awesomeness is ALL because of her :)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Vintage Re-Vamp | retro planter

Thrifting begets thrifting. It's a slippery slope. 
Are you ever thrifting and see something you HAVE to have and you don't really know what you would do with it but you love it anyways? Me too.
Do you usually leave those things so as not to become a hoarder? Me too. Usually...
This time, though, I didn't. You see, I got this stool with the awesome hairpin legs (which I still need to recover) so when I saw this little stand thingy with similar legs I HAD to get it. The fact that Keith thought it was a fondue pot stand was completely irrelevant because I would get really clever and make it into something else: a plant stand.

To make this transformation happen I had to do a bit more thrifting... I bought a vintage bowl to act as the planter and a sweet little non-vintage succulent.

Something you need to know: between taking the pictures and writing this post I've done a bit of reading and learned a bit more about this little Burro Tail plant. One of the reasons I chose a plant off the succulent rack is because they don't need much water. OR SO I THOUGHT. Apparently this plant actually needs water. Who knew? What this means is that I will have to re-think this little set up because there are no drain holes in this planter. But for now, I will just tell you what I did and hopefully you will be inspired to do your own revamp.

1_ Put some gravel in the bottom for good measure.
2_  Pop in the plant, surround it with dirt and give it a little drink.
3_ Place the bowl planter in the stand and admire. 
The entire set up cost about $6.

casualties of Toaster

Disclaimer! This post is about something for you to TRY. A source of inspiration, if  you will. I could probably be a professional plant killer and didn't use special succulent soil (is there such a thing?) and, obviously, didn't do enough prior research about the watering needs.  Live and learn, right chick-a-dee?

Pssst.... if you liked this post and don't want to miss the next vintage revamp, follow along on Bloglovin' :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Hand lettering | FREE mother's day card download

If you are a procrastinator and still don't have you Mother's Day card then today is your lucky day because I am giving you one. All you have to do is print (and crop and fold and source a greeting card envelope).
I hand lettered this for my momma but thought maybe you would like to give it to yours. If you already have your Mother's Day card, well, gold star for you, Overachiever. Feel free to download it anyways and give it to her in 3 months so she knows you really love her.

Guess what!? I am even giving you COLOR OPTIONS!
Feel free to give me a gold star now ;)


Want to know a secret? I'll be giving away a handlettered father's day card too.
Follow along on Bloglovin' so you don't miss it!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Hand Lettering | May Desktop Calendar

You didn't think I'd forget your monthly dose if hand lettering did you? ;)
Download the full size version from my DropBox.