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An Animal Lamp Gets Me Every Time

lamp8One of the things I’d been planning to share is all the updates we made around our home over the summer. I’m not sure if I’ll get to those or not, but I did want to share one fun project Mr. GMET and I worked on together, this fun animal lamp.

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It had been in our basement unpainted for a while, but a fresh coat of white paint really brought it together. From almost any angle it’s a fun lamp that’s playful and functional all at the same time.

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Now, as I started thinking about a holiday pop-up shop for Toyidermy, I got to thinking that a series of similar lamps could be a fun addition to the standard business card holders I was planning on offering. Of course, no two would be alike. And they wouldn’t be limited to just white.

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It seems silly to be posting about this lamp when there’s many other thoughts on my mind but I would love to hear what you think. Hate it? Love it? Pop-up that holiday shop?

 

 

Wedding Memories Get Me Every Time

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Updates have been happening all around the house. Big and small alike. This is a small one. Something we were lacking was some art for our bedroom. Instead of buying something new, I wanted to keep things personal, so I decided to update some “art” I had made in the past. After our wedding, we had all these paper mementos that I wanted to keep. So a few years ago I framed up some of our guestbook “tags.”

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It worked fine, but it wasn’t quite the scale I had imagined. (I have this idea that “grown-up” art should be big.) Also, I wanted to feature some of the other fun elements from our big day, like the buttons—everyone at the wedding had a name tag button.

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So, I took the cards out of the frame and measured everything out to decide how big a frame the cards could fill. A trip to IKEA gave me the perfect frames to fill out. Two smaller square “shadow box” frames for the buttons. And one larger frame for all the guestbook notes.

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I used simple brown kraft paper as the background and double-sided tape to hold them in place. Yes, the “cheers” tag looks like it might have had one too many. Nothing a little tape can’t fix.

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The two smaller pieces hang on either side of our bed, and the guestbook tags hang on Mr. GMET’s side of the room. It’s one of the last things I look at before I fall asleep and I’m always reminded of our family and friends celebrating the day we started our family.

Other bedroom updates: Headboard (seen above) | Text art (seen in reflection) | Jewelry Box

Our Dining Room Gets Me Every Time

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We’ve been in our home more than a year, and, just now, we’ve finally started to feel settled throughout all our rooms. We’ve done a lot of work over the past year and today I’m excited to share the dining room updates with you.

Some details. On our mantle. (Maybe this year we’ll get around to using the fireplace.) The clock was a wedding gift. The photos are all old family photos from both me and the Mr. including his dad and grandparents and my grandparents. I had a friend help me with getting the resolution right after scanning them in, then printed them using MPix. There’s also one of Louise as we were trying to include the whole family in the room. Next to the front door we hung a wedding photo, though we plan to change that one out every year or so as our family grows and ages.  The new chandelier is from Overstock. And what did the old one look like? Here’s the room before we closed on our home.

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Oh hi, Mr. GMET.

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The walls were a very pale shade of green, which would have fine, except for two things. First, the previous owner didn’t leave any of this green paint behind. Meaning we couldn’t patch any of the holes they did leave behind in the wall. Two, this room had lead paint in the baseboards and the mantle, so we knew we were going to have to do some repainting anyway. We went with Benjamin Moore’s Athena, as we did in our family room and kitchen. We hired a great local company to take care of all the deleading and though it wasn’t cheap, we know it was worth the investment in the long run. We were out of the house for just over a week and came home to a painted, lead-free abode.DiningRoomGMET_InProgress

Over the course of the year, I’ve shared some of our updates with you. Left, our newly polished floors. We decided not to have them refinished because we were putting down an area rug anywhere. Our first Thanksgiving in the center there shows our in transition space, pre-painting, post-furniture shopping. And that rug. I just love our stripe rug (no longer available) from West Elm. (Table from Macy’s.)

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With all the photos going on throughout the room, we wanted to keep the wall opposite the windows pretty clean and simple, hence, just one simple shelf. When we think about needing more storage, we just think back to the previous owner’s furniture and how cumbersome it looked in the room. (Maybe we need a bigger wine rack though?)

DiningRoom_GMET3Finally, opposite the mantle, we enlarged three more old family photos. One of each of our mother’s with their mothers. And one of my grandparents with my dad. To the right, you can see our ode to our “first home”. And, we had the interior of our front door painted black, just to make it pop. (It was previously white.)

And that’s it. Now, who’s coming to dinner?

 

A First Home Gets Me Every Time

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It’s been a while, yet again, since I’ve posted any updates here. I mean, the last few were huge though, so I felt like they probably carried you for a while. But, the reason for the delay, is because we’ve been so busy readying our home for our baby’s arrival. So, there’s a lot to share, but first, I want to take a moment to share more about our first home—a small, one-bed apartment in Brookline, MA, right outside of Boston, and pictured above.

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It wasn’t a glamorous place. A walk-up. Hadn’t been remodeled in years. Pink tile bathroom. No parking. Smelled a little funny. Packages got stolen. So, it’d be easy to remember it for those cramped quarters, slanted walls and noisy neighbors. But I’d rather remember it for everything else it stands for in our lives.

It was the first apartment we “picked” together, even though I was living there alone. It was where Mr. GMET first lived together after we got married. It was where we made decisions about purchasing our first home. Where we spent so many firsts as Mr. & Mrs., from Christmas to birthdays, etc. It was where I got an order for, foolishly accepted and made 500 business card holders with eyebrows.newart1I’m excited to turn our old home into new art, but I’m even more excited for all the memories we’ll make in our new home. “Old home, new art” is tucked behind our front door with our spare keys and not to be needed again address stamp. It’s a great reminder of where our family started and just how far we’ve come.

PS. The shortened version of how I made this: 1) take picture. 2) print out. 3) tape to window & trace. 4) scan and print on card stock. 5) frame with accessories (spare keys & address stamp.) 

 

The Craft House (Part 3) Gets Me Every Time

CraftHouse30If you’ve seen part 1 and you’ve seen part 2, you’re probably wondering what we made while I enjoyed a weekend in the beautiful Craft House. As I mentioned, the house was inspiring as snippets of projects hung throughout the home.

CraftHouse31The stock of supplies also helped up dream up new ideas, even creating a need for a run to the local Wal*Mart. A “craft-run” if you will. It’s kinda like a beer-run, only you come home with a six pack of glitter or yarn. When you rent the Craft House, it’s a bring your own supplies type of weekend, but we still admired the display of gorgeous odds and ends.

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CraftHouse49To kick off the weekend, one friend put together these little treat bags with homemade trail mix inside. Which I happily snacked on over the weekend. Then, it was time to start on our first project—a homemade felt garland, inspired by this one, only with a patriotic twist.

CraftHouse45The first step was cutting felt. And LOTS of it. Some of the ladies also mixed some red, white and blue fabric pieces into theirs, while I kept mine true to felt. This is a super simple project that you can easily do while chatting nonstop and/or drinking a nice glass of wine.
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You simply take a piece of twine and tie your felt or fabric scraps around the twine. Bunch them together. Fluff them around. Voila! A felt garland perfect for every patriotic holiday that comes along this year.

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CraftHouse50I promise to share a full shot of mine all styled up in the house as soon as the Fourth inches closer. (Or maybe I’ll start a new thing with a little Memorial Day decor?)

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Here’s a craft-in-action shot. We made some smaller projects like yarn pom-poms that can be used to decorate baskets, garlands, gifts, or whatever. I’ll have some finished shots of that too soon, promise!

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Our crafty spread continued throughout the weekend as we created wreaths (below), bunting, burlapies and more. Stopping only to take breaks for eating, sleeping and some shopping (more on that some other time.)CraftHouse56

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Here’s all the different wreaths we made. Can you guess which one is mine? (Look below for the big reveal!)

crafthouse55I was so blessed to spend such a great weekend with good friends, food, crafts and shopping. I mean, if you had thrown a dance lesson in there we might have changed the hashtag of the weekend from #craftcation to #kellysfavoritethings. A huge thanks to my friends for finding the Craft House and organizing an amazing weekend. More pics of the crafts to come!

 

The Craft House (Part 1) Gets Me Every Time

CraftHouse13Growing up, I was sometimes jealous of friends who had lived in one home their whole lives. They’ve always had the same room, the same neighborhood, the same childhood best friends that they’ve known since they were born. After moving form Pennsylvania to Alabama and living in a few houses along the way, I longed what for what they had. But given the chance to move away for college, I jumped at it, and off to Oklahoma I went.

CraftHouse12Fast forward 4 years and I again shipped my things halfway across the country to move to Boston. Once here I fell in love with the city, and then a man, and here we are today—no longer envious of those friends who can still call their childhood house their home. It took a while for me to get here, but I wouldn’t have it, or all that moving around any other way.

CraftHouse15If not for all that jumping around, I would have missed out on so many of my favorite memories. The newest of which, is a weekend spent at The Craft House, in Newton, Kansas, with a handful of my closest college friends.

CraftHouse7So while I can’t say that I lived in one house growing up, I can say I spent one fabulous weekend in this house talking about growing up with some amazing women. And I can now realize how lucky I truly was to live in so many places and meet so many great people who I can still connect with today.

CraftHouse8When I started looking at all my photos from the weekend I realized this could be one terribly long post. Or three more digestible, big-bite-sized posts. So, this is the first of three of the latter. Take a tour around The Craft House, then come back for more tomorrow. And maybe even the day after. (For more info on The Craft House, renting it, or signing up to attend a hosted weekend there, check out Meg’s blog.)

CraftHouse5It’s worth noting that even though we planned a “craft weekend,” we spent as many hours in the kitchen as we did around the craft table. But look at it, why wouldn’t we?

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CraftHouse16The houses vivd colors and eclectic decor inspired us from the moment we walked into the door. I loved the maps and globes everywhere, especially consider all that moving and shaking I did in my earlier years.

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CraftHouse19I loved these cameras and am inspired to do a similar treatment in our home, though, perhaps a little less colorful, with a few older pieces we’ve collected over the years.

CraftHouse18See that second camera from the left? Well, Newton, Kansas also has a handful of wonderful antique stores filled with excellent prices on second-hand vintage items. And, in one of those stores, I saw a very similar camera. I’m kicking myself for not picking it up. (Note, anyone in Newton, KS reading this that wants to send it my way, let me know.)

CraftHouse11This is a crafty-gal’s dream. This room was equipped with two spacious tables for all your crafting needs plus a cutting table for all those fabric projects. Speaking of projects, there will be more on those soon, I promise.

CraftHouse41Come back again to see what’s up the stairs (beds for 16 people!). And, a special hello to all those readers who came over from my dear friend Emily’s blog.

A New Cabinet Gets Me Every Time

cabinet1Growing up my favorite color was purple. My clothes were purple. My nails were painted purple. Even the carpet in my bedroom was purple. (Yes, like I lived in a casino or something.) I could not get enough purple. Now, don’t get me wrong. I still like purple. But it was only my favorite color until green came into the picture. Probably somewhere around sixth grade. And I still love green. But now. Yellow is my color.

KitchenOriginal3Except, not on the kitchen walls, as seen here, prior to any of our painting. See that cabinet to the left of the sink. If you recall, we took it down.

KitchenRedo5And opened up that kitchen wall. But that cabinet. It was yearning for a second chance. And, much like me, wanted a chance to shine.

Cabinet_1pillowThe doors came off. This pillow from Target became the inspiration. And we hit the paint store for a pint of York Harbor Yellow by Benjamin Moore. Then, I got to work.

Cabinet_inprogressAnd I forgot to take many in-progress shots, so here’s the run down. Doors off. Cabinet cleaned. Prep work complete. (Same as we did for the kitchen.) I added these legs from Lowe’s. And this hardware to the doors. Drumroll please!

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Yes. And Louise likes it.

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And our games have a new home.

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The color. The plant. The games.

 

cabinet_3You guys. My name is Kelly and I’m in love with the color yellow and this yellow cabinet.

This Little Wreath Gets Me Every Time

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This is it. The Craft-Up success* I promised in follow-up to last week’s serious fail. It’s nothing to write home about. But from a distance, this DIY wreath doesn’t look too bad.

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I started with some foam leftover from the headboard project. I shimmied it on to a coat hanger and bent the whole thing into a loop.

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This is where things got interesting. Because the original plan was to wrap the whole thing in yarn. But, that didn’t work out too well. I devised a plan, first, I’d wrap it in gauze, and then in yarn. That was a no go as well. I decided to wrap it in some left over fabric instead.

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From there, The initial idea was that the wreath would be an ever-changing, all-season thing. So, I then wrapped some festive ribbons around the wreath and pinned them in place.

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Who knows, maybe in the spring, the red and green will come off and some nice pastel ribbons will turn this into an Easter wreath. Autumnal ribbons for fall? We’ll see.

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Louise is even enjoying the new holiday look. (Actually, she’s simple sitting on the radiator cover to stay warm. She could care less about the decorations.) The tree was on sale at Target last year after Christmas, so as much as I’d love to say I made it, I didn’t.

*success is a relative term. In this case, it means I successfully made something.

A Valancing Act Gets Me Every Time

So, this was our bathroom window before. A little sad, don’t you think?

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OK. Very sad.

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But now. Well, it’s better than it was. Let’s just say that. Note, this was an evening project, so the pictures are less than ideal. This was a no-sew project. So quickly, let’s review with Kelly’s “How-to make a no-sew modern valance in one evening.”

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First find a scrap piece of wood and cut it so it’s about 2 inches wider than the window frame. (It’s ok if there’s paint or imperfections, you’re going to cover it.)

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Speaking of, grab a scrap piece of some neutral fabric. Now, wrap your board in the fabric, just like a present, and staple it together. Make sure to staple it all on one side, so one side has staples, the other none. (The side with the staples faces the ceiling.)

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So, here, it’s worth mentioning that I used the bottom of an IKEA curtain that I had chopped off and hemmed from another project. I used one piece to wrap the board, and another piece for the next step.

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I measured how long I wanted the valance to hang and left enough to fold and staple to the top of the board. Then I carefully laid it out, making sure the bottom of the valance and the edge of the board were parallel. Then, staple in place, but not on the ends.

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Next, it’s time to carefully fold the corners, again like wrapping a present, to form a corner at the front edge of the board. Here’s where you staple the ends into place.

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Now, we’re ready to hang it. I got these fancy brackets at the hardware store and I used some highly scientific methods to mark those purple lines that needed to line up with the edge of the board. (Read: the Mr. held it up while I figured out how it would hang.) So, then, it was just a matter of screwing them into the board.

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And here’s a look from the ground, of the finished valance hanging over the window. An hour-long project that needs an extra set of hands for the last couple steps. Let’s take one last look at the window.

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We actually completed this project a few weeks back and have since hung some photos, a mirror and some small storage. I’ll give you guys the full tour (of this tiny half bath) soon, promise!

A New Headboard Gets Me Every Time

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Sweet dreams are made of these. And new headboards.
Because, guys, dreams are real.
OK. If you’re still with me, instead of sucked down that rabbit hole called YouTube, we’re talking about this new headboard. Because why go through your life knowing you can make a headboard, then never doing it again?

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So, first up, I gathered my supplies. No gonna lie, it took twice as long to get everything together than it did to make this headboard. I went to Jo-Ann’s for the fabric and some 1.5 inch foam. Then, after many careful measurements, I headed to lowe’s to have some wood cut and pick up some T-plates and corner braces (right). Then I went to another craft store (’cause I had a coupon, y’all) to grab some batting, and some foam core boards. Once home, I grabbed my tape measure, drill, screw box, staple gun and spray adhesive.

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So, disclaimer, this should be titled “how to build a headboard with as little construction as possible.” I carefully laid out all my wood. These are the pieces I had cut: two long pieces that will serve as the legs, two cross pieces the width of our bed, and  one middle beam for support and structure. This is where fancy, advanced people would drill fancy holes or make fancy cuts to make this all fit together. Me, I just used those handy corner braces and T brackets. Drill, baby, drill.

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You may remember from my last headboard, I used a solid piece of pegboard as my structure. But, that was for a full size bed. Since we upgraded to the king size, we needed an upgraded, yet lightweight headboard. Using pegboard or plywood as a base would have been heavier than I was looking for. That’s where the foam core came in. I calculated the total area of the headboard and bought enough pieces of foam core to act as the base. Then I just screwed them into the frame.

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From here, I cut up my foam to fit the headboard area—it was more than long enough, but not tall enough, so I snipped off the extra and placed it at the bottom to fill in the bottom. After everything was lined up, I picked up each piece and used a little bit of spray adhesive to hold the foam in place.Headboard7

Then, I laid down my batting and flipped the whole thing—frame, attached to foam core, attached to foam—so I could pull the batting taut and staple it to the back of the frame. Then it was another time to flip again. This time to line up the fabric. While the last go around I went with some tufting, this time, I settled on a print. And it was super important that these stripes were straight.

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To line up the fabric, I rested the headboard against the wall and played around with the placement until it was just right. Then I put a few staples in around the sides, flipped it back over and stapled all the way around. And, drumroll please…

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They look pretty straight to me. Don’t you think? If you’ve been following along on Instagram, stripes are becoming a theme around these parts. Just can’t get enough. I love them. Bring on the stripes and the sweet dreams.