About Me

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I’m a book-reading, craft-making newlywed living outside Chicago. I love my husband, cooking dinner and especially eating desserts! We love to ride bikes all over town and read books at coffee shops. I also enjoy shopping at JoAnns, drinking wine on the patio and playing with my bunny rabbit Penelope. Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog. Please leave a comment- they really make my day! :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Valentine's Day Shelves

Time to change out the Christmas decorations to Valentine's Day! (Does anyone actually do New Year's decorations?)


I didn't do too much for this look, but I like how light and springy it looks!  Even if we have about a foot of snow on the ground.

Button flowers I posted about last week.

ThatGuy gave me some beautiful flowers!  He's so sweet.  He said it was for doing such a good job taking care of him after his hernia surgery.  I almost feel like I shouldn't post the following picture, but I just have to! 

Ah, yes, that is my husband using the bedside remote as a telephone. And that was before the anesthesia set in...

OK, back to the decorations!  (Those might be the last flowers I ever receive from him.)

Sweet little pink birds from Hobby Lobby. 

I wrapped a pink ribbon around our wedding lanterns.

I hung the grapevine wreath using a pushpin strategically placed in the folds of a ribbon to complete the look.  In the words of my niece Emma when she was 3 and could do cool tricks like stand on one foot for a second "Ta da!"

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Valentine Button Flowers!

These button flowers are so cute!!  Seriously, ever time I look at them I smile.  AAAAANNNNDDD they were easy to make, which is my favorite kind of craft!

Cut about 12 inches of wire (I used silver floral wire). Thread buttons through the wire.  I think it looks best to have the smallest button on the top and larger buttons on the bottom.  Use 3, 4 or 5 buttons.  Twist the wire together to hold the buttons in place.  

So easy, right? 

Using hot pink vinyl, I cut out an X O X using my Silhouette and stuck them to some jars I got years ago from Hallmark. Stick the button flowers in the jar and wrap some cute ribbon on the top.    

They are so cheerful and bouncy!

ThatGuy thinks they are so good looking he wanted to eat them! But I reminded him they were plastic buttons. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Decorative Knob Hanging

Several of you have asked how I hung the Heart Art I made ThatGuy.  Okay, it was actually just one person... and it was my Dad.  But I'm going to tell you about it anyway!

Anytime you hang something heavy on the wall, use an anchor.  The anchor I used will hold up to 20 pounds, which has way more strength than I needed for the Heart Art.  Make a hole in the wall and screw the anchor in.

Meanwhile I used a 1/16 drill bit to make small holes in the frame.  Then I screwed the circle hooks into the frame. 

One the hooks were attached, wrap the ribbon through the hooks and tie a pretty bow at the top. 


Then take your decorative knob (I got mine from Hobby Lobby) and screw it into the anchor.  The anchor kind of explodes inside the wall to make practically impossible to ever take out.

 Now this is interesting... when I tried to unscrew the knob out of the anchor to take a picture the screw came off of the knob and stuck inside the anchor.  This could be really difficult (impossible?) to ever remove from the wall.  I hope ThatGuy doesn't read this post!

Hang your frame around the knob. So pretty!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Heart Art

For our one-year anniversary I made ThatGuy this present:  

I call it "Heart Art" because its a piece of art made using  hearts... I'm very creative. 

For this project you will need several pictures, a shadow box, cutting tool, ruler, paper and glue.  

Since this was an anniversary project I printed out pictures from our first year of marriage.  I also converted them to black and white to make a more cohesive look instead of having many different colors from regular pictures.  


First, I cut out hearts using my Silhouette.  The hearts were 1 inch by 1.5 inches, so I was able to get 6 hearts per pictures.  Some of the hearts turned out really cute, while other I just tossed into the garbage.  I used 60 hearts total to make this project.

ThatGuy in the bizzard of Feb. '11.  We had so much snow!!

Because I am HORRIBLE at measuring things straight and even, I made a paper outline of 1 inch by 1 inch and placed it over a piece of white 12x12 paper.  This acted as a guide to insure the hearts would start and stop with the same margins.  I also used a ruler to help make sure the lines were straight and the hearts were evenly placed.

Then I creased each heart down the center and used Elmers glue down the back fold.  Using a ruler as a guide, I glued a heart at every inch.


In hindsight I would recommend using hot glue.  I used Elmers glue, which means I had to wait between rows for the hearts to dry before moving on. In order to make the hearts stand straight up, I slid in pencils and let the hearts rest on them.

Continue gluing hearts, making sure your hearts line up.  Again, I used the ruler to help in making straight, evenly spaced lines of hearts.

Segway tour in Chicago!

4th of July fireworks!

When the 12x12 white paper is filled up with rows of hearts, just pop it into the shadow box frame! 

I used a cute red ribbon to hang the art up on the wall.  

ThatGuy was really touched and impressed with the heart art!  Not only is it a unique wall hanging, but it also had a lot of great memories for us!

Monday, January 9, 2012

What's Old is New

Our bedroom is finally finished!  This post really should be by ThatGuy, who did massive amounts of work while I watched TV and read children's books.  Behold, our before and after pictures!! 

After w/new furniture!
Before w/old furniture

(see this post about our gallery wall photo display) 

ThatGuy learned a lot during the course of this project.

First, he learned how to fill in the holes from the old hardware using wood filler.

Then, he learned how to sand down the surface of the furniture with his electric sander. 

Third, he learned this was a pretty big project that would not be finished in a weekend.

We used a faux finish paint from Martha Stewart called lighstrokes in the color "twig."  The biggest lesson we learned through this project is that faux finish is meant to have texture.  We bought the paint because we liked the color, not because we wanted to do a faux finish texture of swirls or plaid pattern.  This created many moments of frustration as ThatGuy carefully applied the paint and there were visible brush strokes.

Now many people would have just bought a new paint with the correct finish to complete this project.  But ThatGuy and I are stubborn.... and cheap.  We already spend like $40 on this paint and we were going to use it!!

Poor ThatGuy did like 4 to 5 carefully applied coats of paint to diminish the visible brush strokes.  In the end, the furniture looks really nice and the brush strokes are only visible to severe critics (i.e. ThatGuy and me) and not nice critics (like our moms).

Another thing we learned is use new hardware that fit inside the holes made by the old hardware.  A few of our handles are not completely level or in the center of the drawer. 

Overall, this was a HUGE learning project, but we are really happy with the results!  We achieved a new look for our old furniture and now our bedroom is a reflection of us!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Desk to Drawers

Growing up I used a nice set of bedroom furniture.  It's from my Grandmother and it's a little... well, it's a little dated and a lot girly.  When ThatGuy moved in he declared we needed new bedroom that was man-friendly.  I suppose my pink bedspread didn't help the situation.  So after some shopping and seeing the cost of new quality furniture, we decided to redo the furniture we already owned. 

Our piece of test furniture is a desk that I mostly used for storage.  While some people (named ThatGuy) like to be all organized sitting at a desk, I much prefer doing my lessons plans on the couch wearing sweatpants with my papers strewn about on the floor, thank you very much.   Therefore the desk itself wasn't needed, but the drawers were nice to store items in.  We asked my dad to cut off the desk part to save just the drawers and he was happy to oblige. 

Getting ready to cut the desk in half

A big circular saw!  Very scary indeed.

The first cut
Go Dad!  Go Dad!

There was a lot of sawdust.  And I was happy.

Tada!  A mini set of drawers
Just wait until you see what we did with all the furniture!!