Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Now Posting! B&A

 After spending many days pondering things like, "purposeful blogging" and "where do I fit in?" it was time I rejoined the blog.  Why not take what I love and use it to my personal benefit? My favorite type of blog post is a "before and after" or "B&A" (I just made that up). But before I show you my personal B&A photographs, I should warn you that I don't have one of those "fancy" cameras with special editing. I have a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P200 7.2 MP Digital Camera from the stone ages and a pretty shiny iPhone 4. Strangely-yet-not-surprisingly, the iPhone takes waaay better photos. One of these days I will get something awesome like the Nikon D5100. But, my husband and I believe $800+ to be out of our poor man's budget.
 Lets begin, shall we? First up I will show you the progress our kitchen has made. This lovely photograph was taken on our walk through. We were elated to be just married moving into a house rather than apartment, so we ooh-ed and ahh-ed on the cutesy-ness of our new abode. So cute. 
Then we realized that the orange and woodsy cabinetry wasn't quite our tang, so we changed it up a bit. We also added appliances, dishes, utensils, and pain paint.

 Pretty nice for a couple of newlyweds, right? Proud of our efforts, we kept it this way for over a year. Also, we felt too guilty to change anything because we got so much awesome help from the husbands family with painting/cleaning/etc. But alas, the hippopotamus we call a refrigerator was in the way ALL the time, the wall color was crowding the space, we needed a dishwasher, and the white cabinets were too...white. All that and a bag of chips -paint chips. Martha Stewart Okra and Talc to be exact. Scroll to see. 

 Much better! It looks more spacious, right? With our new approach, we also changed things like the light fixture (IKEA's Fado Pendant), the shelves (again, IKEA: Grundtal and Värde), and got us a dishwasher. My soft hands are thanking me for that last one. Also thanks to mom! We really hated wasting so much water for hand washing our dishes. The dishes never seemed very clean and we would always procrastinate so it was a gross mess when we finally got around to doing it. Ew. All that to say, we are pretty happy with our kitchen progress. But don't consider us finished. Baby steps will get us to the perfect home, but I like it already. Sigh. Oh, you should probably know we didn't get rid of our refrigerator. Its in the 'utility' room right next to where I was standing to take these photographs. We think it is much happier with the other big appliances like the washer, the dryer, the water heater, and the microwave. There is even room for a dry goods pantry out there too so the cold food doesn't get lonely. That is another post waiting to be written. Well there you have it for B&A post numero uno. Come back again to see our next post about the guest bathroom! 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Cleaning Is So Hard I Blogged About It

What Does It Take To Clean?
For me, it takes having someone else look at my progress. This isn't a post about my amazing house, no. I am simply posting this because it acts as a pictoral checklist. Its a, "Kitchen tidy? Yes, okay move on!" kind of thing. My husband does a lot of cleaning and he's really good at it. But its unfair to him since he is the house cook. (I bake). Well, here's to a cleaner house:
before I cleaned 
after I cleaned 
after (still looks pretty bad, lol)
before, obviously
after + dog
I think that's about it for now. The other pictures didn't live up to the "after" effect. Probably just need to get new stuff. : )

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Enjoy What You Eat

The Chocolate Moose
Yet another cupcake shop has opened in downtown Greenville. I couldn't be happier since I believe cupcakes should be a big part of your diet. My mom, almost-sister, brother, and friends went to Falls Park for a picnic today and I took a dozen "Death by Chocolate".

They were pretty good, which I expected since they were $2.50 a piece. My mom said to me, "what happened to your sugar/gluten/yeast/wheat free diet"? Well there is a new diet in town. It's called ENJOY WHAT YOU EAT. My friend Stephen O. loaned me the book The Gospel Of Food, a great read for anyone worried about what they eat.

There is science proving that your body absorbs more nutrients if you enjoy what you eat. I'm sold.

Monday, May 23, 2011

My new favorite blog of the moment


You'll find all sorts of things, like pictures of the past, pictures of the present, pictures of presents, items to have and hold, home goods, things of that nature. Basically, the person that runs this blog is a fantastic amasser of beautiful things. When I find myself overwhelmed with Pinterest, I click on my WTLTA bookmark and say things like, "wowie!" and "gee, that's swell!"

So, go take a looksy. (Mallory also has a Pinterest profile and multiple tumblrs!)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Busy Busy Busy

Busy as a Beaver
Have you ever been so preoccupied with life that it kind of runs past you? Yes, that is me at the moment. I have had some good changes at work that required an adjustment period. That and I haven't felt the greatest  in the past week. (Stomach flu anyone?) Very very soon I hope to be back in blogger-land. Until then, I leave you with this: 

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Crafter's Devotional: Days 39, 40, 41, & 42

Catalog Clippings
How many catalogs do you receive, peruse, and toss? I get at least 3 a month. That's a lot of wasted paper if you think about how many catalogs go to other homes and end up in the garbage. Imagine what you could do with all of that "waste". Perhaps try using some Mod Podge. Cut out your favorite images in the catalogs and make inspiration boards with them.
 Or maybe make a homemade birthday card.
 If you can't find anything else to use it for, recycle it, don't trash it...or simply unsubscribe.

The Sound of Horse's Hooves
"The horse symbolizes freedom and the power that comes with being free". Get inspired by them.

Playing Hooky: Crafty Field Trip
Simple: Take a day off and roadtrip to a new destination. Scour the local niches and let your creative mind take it all in.

Alex and I went to Waynesville, NC a few weekends ago. It wasn't a place we would have chosen, but there happened to be a great deal at a resort and we jumped on it. We stayed at the pictured above, Waynesville Inn and our room overlooked the green. It was fun to watch the golfers.
 There was a cute downtown in which we shopped wandered. Great deals in this town!
Why do people sell these fakittys?
Waynesville even had a fancy Walmart
All in all, the trip was inspirational if not utterly relaxing.
Entries taken from The Crafter's Devotional: 365 Days of Tips, Tricks, and Techniques for Unlocking Your Creative Spirit by Barbara R. Call

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Crafter's Devotional Days 36, 37, & 38

Vintage button collection via Etsy
Field Journals
If you know anything about journaling, you know that sometimes you find something super cool that won't fit into the pages. That is when you should invest in what is called a "field journal". The difference is that instead of words and pictures, you are collecting three-dimensional objects. Wouldn't you like to have one like the one pictured below? I have also seen people use type-cases as such as well.
Image from Oh Hello Friend

Retracting Your Steps
This activity is deep. I am asked to choose an image or subject matter and use it over and over again. "The Goal, over time, is to explore the inner workings of both your image and your creative output; The result might be an entire body of work or a study in light and shadow". The artist below, Nancy Jean Tobin  likes to use birds and farms in her work. You can see the different emotions in each.
Buttonwork, Part 2
I am going to share the "Tips for Attaching Buttons" from this entry:
  • Sew on buttons with strong craft and button thread going through the holes at least 5 or 6 times. Buttons receive a lot of handling, so attach them firmly. 
  • Never sew a button to a single layer of fabric. Add additional reinforcement such as batting or interfacing behind the decorative fabric layer to support the button. 
  • If the button will be used functionally, as in a buttonhole or other closure, add a thread shank or small additional button spacer between the button and the background fabric. 
  • Never iron buttons. They can melt, crack, or discolor from the heat, steam, or weight of the iron. 
There you have it. My collection has reached a measly FIVE buttons, so I have yet to use them. Oh, and sorry for the delay in postings! Come back real soon!
Entries taken from The Crafter's Devotional: 365 Days of Tips, Tricks, and Techniques for Unlocking Your Creative Spirit by Barbara R. Call

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Crafter's Devotional Days 33, 34, & 35

Tap Into Your Endorphins
I am going back in time here to make up for lost time. Instead of making up the week I missed from blogging, I am continuing my devotionals starting with this past weekend. The subject for this devotional is basically: Exercise, Eat right, Eliminate stress, and Engage in mental exercise. Along those lines I have decided to...
1. Take Dancing classes
2. Eat more GREENS

3. Practice deep breathing

4. Read one book a month

Your BFF's Stash
Okay, we all have at least one friend that is creative. Mine happens to be Meredith of Robin Red Vest. I am supposed to swap materials with my BFF and gain new inspiration from doing so. 
Instead of a physical swap (which will more than likely happen anyway) I will show you her Pinterest. This is our way of swapping inspiration. It happens on a daily basis. She pins a photo of something amazing and I pin one. We both comment on each other's pins and so on. Its a great site, try it!

Tomorrow I will continue with Monday along with Tuesday's devotional. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Literally Making a Difference In Disaster

My heart breaks for Japan
As yours does too, I imagine. This past weekend I have been on hiatus from blogging simply because I couldn't bring myself to it. But I do want to use my talents to help others. Website, Beautiful Idea does just that: "Giving artists the chance to create for a cause". Their current charity is of course directed toward relief efforts in Japan through World Vision. They have currently raised $909.42, a modest amount, but a start. Pictured above is a print up for sale through Design Crush. All proceeds go directly to relief. You can also donate to relief efforts directly through the American Red Cross

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Crafter's Devotional Day 32:

Reread a Childhood Favorite
One of my favorite children's books is George and Martha Round and Round by James Marshall. It is the story of two hippos who have married and live as humans. They pester each other constantly, which I loved. Hippos actually are aggressive toward each other in the wild. Watch the BBC-Wildlife documentary on nature's most unlikely predator. I say unlikely because hippos are just plain cute. But they are deadly. Hippos kill more people than lions, tigers, and crocs. Yikes!
But somehow hippos end up in children's books, as children's toys and in children's moving pictures. Go figure. 

What is your childhood favorite read?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Crafter's Devotional Day 31:

Upside Down or Laid Flat
"Sometimes turning a material upside down or laying it flat versus hanging it can take you in a creative direction". We've all seen it when someone comes up with an unconventional idea. Ingenuity can come simply through transforming a literal bearing. Here is some inspiration regarding the topic:
milk crates as shelving
window in floor
hanging spoons
ladder as display shelf
framed art as table top
table lamp as ceiling fixture

We have all see Anthropology make any object unprecedented and cool. You can do it too!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Crafter's Devotional Day 30:

Here's an idea: You can use formica, ceramic tile, and faux wood for whatever crafty purpose you wish. I almost ran out to Home Depot to get my crafting on, but I decided to peruse the web instead.
Tutorial Here
Tutorial Here
Available Here
Available Here
And if you are really crafty, you can use those samples to create something fantastic. Have fun!