Archives for March 2012

Please Pass The Peas

When Kelly of Eclectically Vintage invited us to be part of the “Pass It On” project we weren’t sure exactly what we’d be getting into. But when we received a manila envelope last week in the mail with these vintage gardening spoons, we couldn’t be more excited.

Not only were these spoons an exciting gift to receive, but we couldn’t believe how thoughtful the gift was. Kelly had read our post about spring gardening and made these spoons with a metal stamp kit.  She stamped each vegetable that we plan on growing this year.  Seriously, this is one of the most creative and fun gifts ever!
engraved spoons
The spoons are the perfect way to mark where we’ve planted our spring veggies.  The spoon stands proud as the budding peas emerge.
garden spoons
Now that we’ve received our gift in the Pass It On project, it’s our turn to create and mail off to couple of bloggers a homemade gift from us.
gardening spoons
The idea is to perpetuate the attitude of giving by sharing with others.  Hopefully the giving chain will continue, brightening the days of hard working bloggers everywhere.  In the end, it’ll be fun to track the chain backwards and forwards as it expands.
Pass it on project
We owe Kelly a big thanks for including us (she is after all one of the original founders of the project) and we look forward to passing on a couple of gifts in the coming weeks.

PS – If you’re interested, Kelly actually sells these on her Etsy store named…wait for it…Eclectically Vintage.

PSS – If you’re into gardening like we are, you’ll want to check out this What is Bokashi page from Bio Bokashi, full of ideas on how to Bokashi.  You’ll love it!

Dining Evolution and a Mood Board

The first house I purchased was brand new, direct from the builder. It was a tract home in a growing neighborhood with two-toned walls, modern construction, and that wonderful new house smell. While I got to pick out the lighting, flooring, and paint among other over-priced upgrades (I never did use that Christmas light switch I had requested) there were no walls to move or general improvements to be made other than decor. It wasn’t until after we were married that Whitney informed me how uneventful that little house was. It didn’t take me long to pick up on what she meant.

Her idea of fun was buying a house different from all the others around it that could be personalized to make your own – and get a little dirty doing it, never mind the back breaking work. Since I was anything but handy, our second house was a complete experiment to see if we could transform a run down and neglected shell of a building into one where we could bring home our new baby. We spent countless hours replacing flooring, looking for appliances, commissioning drywall work, working with cabinet builders and picking out colors. By the time we finished, the house was a completely different place. A passion had been born for Whitney while I learned a valuable lesson in self-renovations: don’t do this again.
Entry remodel
We only lived in that home for 1.5 years before we moved. We knew we wanted something that could keep us busy, but I wasn’t expecting anything too out of control. You know, just some place that was livable while we made tweaks here and there. When we walked into our house to be and I saw the wheels in Whitney’s head turning, I knew that if this ended up being ours, she would have some mighty big plans. I can’t quite recall if I fully appreciated how much renovation we did before moving in, but we promptly tackled redoing the entire main floor including the kitchen – so much for small fixes. I guess we figured that if we were going to do it anyway, we might as well do it while we had other living arrangements.
Entry remodel
Originally, when you came in, you’d notice the stairs are on the right and the living room on the left through an open doorway. We knew that we wanted more of an open floor plan and figured that the wall separating the living room from the stairs was unnecessary. Whitney also knew that with a family room downstairs and a living room just to the right of the stairs, this living space on the left could easily be converted into a dining room. So that’s what we did.
Wall demo
It took some work to tear down the wall, but my family was kind enough to lend a hand, and we had it down in short order.

Wall demo
I was always amazed at what the costs for demolition can run, so if you’ve got the guts to tear apart your newly purchased home, it’s a great way to save a buck or two…assuming you don’t remove something vital to the integrity or safety of the home.
Wall demo
Dining reno
Of course, tearing out a wall leaves the perfect situation for adding some lighting to brighten up the space and run some wires for security.
Wire ceiling
And just when you start to think the project will never look good again, the drywall experts come and start to reignite the vision.
remodel dining room
And then there’s flooring and paint…
Flooring reno
We added some crown moulding and baseboards and slapped a coat of white paint on the stair railings.
Dining decor
While furniture helps the space, we’ve really never done anything to spice up this room yet, which is a real tragedy since it’s the first room you seen when you come over to borrow a cup of sugar.
Dining Room
In fact, I’m sure some of our neighbors seriously wonder why in the world we even have a design blog based on this first impression. Well, all that is about to change.
Dining Mood Board
Whitney has been loving her some dark blue and mustard so she’s come up with this mood board to prepare us for our decking out the dining room. There’s a bunch on the menu this go around:

1 – The new rug will have to be larger than the current one which is way too small for the space. It’s got to hold up to having kids join us for dinner parties, but have design element that flows with the room.
2 – The table has got to go. It’s not flowing with this trendy style. Hopefully the sale of this piece will help fund some of the other projects that will cost more than our budget will allow.
3 – Painting this room is necessary, but we’re not too keen on ending a paint color with a rounded corner, so this might get tricky.
4 – Finding the right wall decor to fill in all the blank space is a must.
5 – The new table and chairs need to be light and bright, maybe with a little bit of funky.
6 – We’re using this space to bring in more geometric pattern and brighter colors than we’ve done in other areas of the house. This room is set a little off from the rest of the home, so hopefully it’s the right place to expand our style.
7 – Thank goodness garage sale season is upon us since we’ll have quite a few items we’ll need to keep our eyes open for.
8 – The black buffet table is overdue for a makeover. Maybe it’s finally time to try some ASCP?

We’ll be working on this project over the next little bit, but we’d love to hear what you think of the colors and the plan for the space, you diggin’ it?

The Key To Color Is Simplicity

We’ve all been there. A pillow, rug, or piece of furniture grabs your eye while you’re out shopping but you can’t quite commit to buying it because you’re not 100% sure it’ll match your decor. Sure, you could snag it and lug it home to see, but when you find yourself at an auction, yard sale, or thrift store, that’s not always a possibility. More times than I can count I’ve wished I’d have lugged my decorating binder, but it is so big and bulky that it’s nice to have something a bit smaller, lighter, and more convenient.
paint chip key ring
I’ve seen these color match keys around and decided I wanted to make one for myself using some of the paint colors and fabric swatches I most commonly want to match while I’m out. This is especially useful for us since we mix so many of our own paint colors, having a paint chip on hand isn’t always possible unless we make it ourselves.
Homemade paint chip
The biggest time commitment on this project was really taking photographs and getting out and sorting through all our paint – something that needed doing anyway.
Homemade paint chip
We started out by drilling small holes into 1.5” x 1.5” wood craft chips I picked up at Hobby Lobby. They’re so light and thin that we had to make sure to go nice and slow with the drill bit so they didn’t tear apart.
Homemade paint chip
Then I cut my fabric swatch down to size.
Homemade fabric chip
And glued it to the wood chip using spray adhesive.
Homemade fabric chip
It only takes a minute or so for the adhesive to dry, and once it was, I brushed on a bit of Mod Podge to help keep the fabric from fraying.
Homemade fabric chip
With the fabric samples done in the first 5-6 minutes, I moved onto the paint chips.
paint chip key ring
I opted to paint both the front and the back of the wood pieces just so it has a nice finished look on both sides, but it’s totally optional – you will get extra credit…
paint chip project
We labeled above each tile just to help keep straight which one was which while the paint dried. Once dried we wrote on the back of the chips the name of the color if it had one, the room it belonged in, and any other information we’d want to know, like size of the window for drapes, ideal rug size for a room, or ideas for accessories.
paint chip project
I then threaded it onto a ribbon using a large needle.
Homemade paint chip
And tied it up with a knot and attached it to the side of my purse. In all actuality, it’ll probably go inside my purse so as to not attract thieves who want my color swatches…
paint chip idea
Excluding dry time, the project was a cool 15 minutes, and I didn’t even break a sweat. We’ll be linking up to the linky party featuring easy peasy projects starting tomorrow. We can’t wait to see what other overwhelmingly easy ideas are out there, won’t you join us?

Eclectically Vintage
It All Started With Paint
The Cottage Market
The Space Between
Thistlewood Farm

We’ll also be linking up to fine parties here.

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