Thursday, August 30, 2012

DIY: Overlapping Frame Wall

I've been thinking about this project for a while. Of all the new house projects it took the least "artistic ability" and the most "artistic eye." It mostly involved me finding random little pieces that I thought were cool (like wrought iron keys or a metal bicycle) and buying/refinishing old frames. I really love the finished look!

Here are the supplies I used:

  • Old frames from thrift stores
  • misc. decor items (smaller than the frames)
  • nails
  • optional: paint, finishing stain, sandpaper

Step 1) Find frames to hang. I got 5 or 6 at thrift stores for probably $5 and then refinished some of them to make them look vintage (painted them, sanded them down, used finishing stain to make it look old).

Step 2) Find objects you want to place inside the frames. I used wrought iron keys, clocks, poetry, misc. crafts I made.

Step 3) Decide where to hang the frames. Don't be too neat! It's meant to look hectic. I LOVE the look of the frames overlapping, dare you to try it! 
To make the frames overlap just place your background frame where you want it and nail plush to the wall. Then position your foreground frame that you want to float and put nails in as well, but make sure you don't nail them in very far so the frame can be hung an inch or so off the wall (I had to get longer nails for the floating frames).

Step 4) After you have placed all your frames start filling with random stuff! I only bought a couple items and then just tried to grab stuff from around my house that I already owned.


Friday, August 24, 2012

DIY: Reupholstered Chairs

Project: Reupholstered chairs

Here is a project that I thought would be way more complicated than it was. We inherited a beautiful dining room set from my grandparents but unfortunately the cushions were torn and stained in some spots. I had seen lots of tutorials on recovering chairs, but I had never done anything with fabric before and it was really intimidating. But alas, being poor finally forced my hand as buying new furniture was just not in the cards :)

Supplies needed:

  • Staple gun (I ordered one off of Amazon for $9.99, and it included staples and a case)
  • Fabric (I got mine from for like $7 a yard + free shipping!)
  • Drill

Here are my chairs before:

 and my chairs after!

Step 1) Use drill to remove screws from the bottom of chair and take off cushion
Step 2) Line up cushion on fabric and make sure you cut out enough to reach about 1-2 inches around the back so you have plenty of room to staple it to the bottom

 Step 3) Remember where your screw holes are!!! I took a marker and poked a hole then circled it so I would be able to find it again (don't worry, this will be covered up by the wood and you won't be able to see it.

Step 4) Pull fabric very tight (works best with one person holding fabric and one stapling) and staple one side to the cushion. Then do the same thing with the opposite side of the fabric. Make sure that if there is a pattern (mine was chevron) that it is lined up straight before stapling the second side.
Step 5) Staple the other two sides and staple the corners last. Since I am not a perfectionist my folded corners were pretty sloppy, but it didn't matter because no one sees the bottom of the cushion.



Thursday, August 23, 2012

DIY: Chipboard Canvas

Project: Chipboard Canvas

This project is SOOO easy! Seriously, anyone can do it whether you're artistic or not. I made it as a wedding present but I'm about to make a really huge one for our dining room.

Here are the supplies I used:

  • Two 17x20 canvases (got them in a 2 pack for $7.99 at Hobby Lobby)
  • Different sizes of wood or chipboard letters (I used chipboard, WAY cheaper)
  • Craft glue
  • Spray paint

I didn't take pictures of each step, only the finished product because it really doesn't need a photo explanation.

Step 1) Pick your quote and decide which words you want to be which size. Then buy the amount of chipboard letters needed in each size packet.

Step 2) Lay out the chipboard letters on your  canvases and make sure you like the flow.

Step 3) Glue down letters and press to canvas (I kept re-presssing mine every 10 minutes or so to make sure there were no corners left up. I even added a little extra corner glue to some letters). Let glue dry overnight.

Step 4) Take your spray paint (goes on much smoother over the letters than acrylic and doesn't leave clumps of paint in between letters) and spray 2-3 coats (until the canvas and chipboard are the same color)

Step 5) Enjoy the fruits of your labor!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

DIY: Mercury Glass

Lots of projects are in the works for our new house! I have been so excited to have a whole new crop of crafts to dive into since we moved. Here's a snapshot of a few that I've done in the past few weeks.

Project: Mercury Glass Vases

I wanted to do a collection of vases and flowers for a dining table centerpiece, but regular vases were too boring! So I looked up how to create your own mercury glass and voila! Something special.

Supplies Needed:

  • Lots of vases
  • Krylon Mirror spray paint
  • tape and paper

Step 1: Buy vases at a thrift store (I probably spent $6 for like 15 vases)

 Step 2: Wrap outside in paper (so paint won't drip down the outside)

  Step 3: Buy Krylon glass spray paint (chrome or silver spray paint is not the same)
Step 4: Spray the inside of the vase with a water bottle (this is what gives it the dirty/vintage look that is specific to mercury glass)
Step 5: Spray the paint on the INSIDE of the vases and then place upside down to spread out paint and dry. Repeat a bunch of times (I did it like 4-5 times)

Here is the end result!


Friday, August 17, 2012

Dust to Dust

Last night I started looking at pictures of Titus from when he was born and for the first time felt like I just wanted to freeze today and keep him as my little baby forever. He was already in bed for the night and it took everything that was in me not to go and pick him up out of his crib and hold him close in hopes that maybe we would just melt together and I could love him even more than I already do.

Thinking about how fast he has grown has really made me aware of all that my Postpartum Depression stole from me. When I look at Titus now I frequently hold back tears because I just feel so ridiculously blessed when he's in my arms. I never felt like that when he was born, if anything, I resented him and there was more than one dark moment where I vividly remember wishing (in secret) that I hadn't even had a baby. I would hold him and nurse him and instead of feeling lucky I felt burdened. All I wanted was for him to exist independent of me because if I could just not be responsible for him then my heart and mind would go back to normal. Of course, that was all the PPD talking and was completely irrational. 
As I looked through those first pictures of him when we came home from the hospital I wept from all the love I withheld from my sweet boy for those first 6-7 weeks. And it was never intentional, i just didn't even know how to foster that love; it seemed like all I was capable of feeling was the numbness. Titus will never remember whether I took care of him those first few weeks out of duty or adoration, but I will always remember the exact day the fog started to lift and I could not stop kissing his little cheeks. It was like I was swimming to the surface and finally got close enough for the sun to begin taking shape. From that moment on my heart started to carve out a space big enough for this tiny baby which has only continued to grow as the days go by.

I had to stop looking at pictures and pray to the Lord to remove my regret and sorrow. I know that you can't predict or prevent PPD, but I still felt horrible for ever having missed out on a single hour of joy with my son-hours that felt wasted because I could never go back to when he was that little and relish the moment when all he wanted was for his mommy to hold him all day long. As I prayed I was reminded that of course I felt brokenness and hurt over Titus changing and growing up. The things of this world never stay the same and we will always experience sorrow as long as we are here because the world is corrupt and we are mortal. Yet no matter how many days and years pass that we cannot retrieve, there is always one thing that stands alone in its ability to evade the passing of time, and that is the promise of an eternal joy through Christ.

There will come a day as I get older where I will begin to frequent more funerals than weddings. Morbid, I know, but truthful all the same. Still, I am reassured that this difficult life is only as long as a single breath of air compared to the time I will spend with my Savior when I leave this earth.
There is an old hymn that my mom used to sing to me when I was little, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus. Back then the words didn't make any sense to me, but now each line is filled with a bittersweet comfort that wraps around me; a warm sleepiness like cozying up in a favorite quilt on a cold winter night.

The chorus:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

So tonight I rest in Christ, knowing that heartache is inevitable and peace is only found in Him. My prayer is not that I would have an endless amount of moments on this earth with the ones I love, but that the ones I love would experience one grace-filled moment with the One who first loved them.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dear Photograph 2

Some of you may remember my original post about the website Dear Photograph which you can find here. For some reason this website is just really touching to me so I'm going to share with you another round of my favorites!

His memory has faded, and all because Alzheimer’s Disease came into his life and stole it away from him. He may not know who I am anymore, but one thing is certain….he will never forget how to love. Love You Grampy,

Dear Photograph,
Ten years of coming and going up those stairs and there you are, always waiting with so much tail wagging love for us to come home.  You are and will always be the best part of each and every day.

Dear Photograph,
He has changed his room over the past 20 years, but one thing remains the same… he is still the sweetest son a mother could ask for.
Love, Mom

Dear Photograph,
Please tell mom we are there with her in spirit, picking up seashells on her favorite beach.
Kari and Lyna

Dear Photograph,
When I was three years old, I took this picture with my very first camera. Fifteen years later, I crouched down on the same deck to look once again through the eyes of my three year old self and take another photo. Perspective can be magical…it just depends on how you choose to look at things.

Dear Photograph, 
My father can’t hold me anymore. Now I hold my son, and he has his grandfather’s name. Daddy, I hope there’s sea, wherever you are….Happy Father’s Day. Love Always, Marta

Dear Photograph,
I love my red keds…and my grandparents.


Monday, August 13, 2012

4 Months

Dear Titus,
At four months...

  • You are now fully on formula as of 2 weeks ago because my milk supply wasn't enough for you. You eat 5-7oz every 3-4 hours
  • You sleep from around 8:30-6:30
  • You have 1-2 dirty diapers a day and 5-6 more wet diapers
  • You wear size 2 diapers
  • Your hair is... RED?!?! How did this happen? (see photo below...)
  • You constantly chew on your hands (you don't take a paci)
  • Your eyes are a grayish blue (like mine) but sometimes look a little green (like daddy)
  • You have learned how to grab your toes and they are your new favorite toy! You also grab your toys and recognize them as something you can play with (before you just watched them)
  • You seriously giggle and smile every second you are awake
  • You finally take most naps not being held! Right now you will only nap in your swing but I'll take it. You still dont have a nap schedule; sometimes you take 30 minute catnaps, sometimes you take 2.5 hour marathon naps.
  • You weigh 15 lbs
  • You take Prevacid twice a day (15mg) for reflux
  • You transitioned to your crib last week (you were still sleeping in your Rock n Play because of reflux) and have done fine with it. Now to transition you out of the swaddle because you keep breaking free and trying to roll over!
  • You roll from tummy to back and and tummy to side, but not back to tummy
  • You always cuddle with your Lovie blanket during nap time and love to fall asleep by rubbing your Lovie on your face
  • You know who mommy and daddy are and you recognize their voices from across the room
  • You still fit in 3 month clothes but are mostly wearing 3-6 months (although the neck holes are too small for your head)
  • You still love ceiling fans
  • My favorite thing about you is that you have dimples in your knees an elbows because you're so chubby (see picture below)
  • You wake up happy and talking instead of crying from hunger
  • You like to watch the tv
  • You have THE MOST adorable laugh!
  • Your favorite toy is the activity gym with the toys hanging over your head. You will lay on the floor and play on it for 30-45 minutes without a single complaint
You are seriously one of the happiest babies I've ever seen. Now that you have adjusted to life in this big, scary world you seem right at home. We are dedicating you to the Lord in two weeks and I could not be more excited to see what he has in store for you. I pray every day that Jesus would call you to His irresistible grace and that you would fall in love with Him as your mommy and daddy have. We love you so much, Titus James! I feel more blessed every single day that I get to be your mommy.