Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Our new family members

The Easter bunny brought quite the surprise this year! Maverick was hoping it was a furry brother...

But these babies are of the feathered type...

Let me officially introduce you to Kirby and Jace (any Duck Dynasty fans?).
 A little swim in the tub.

After a week of crate training, we finally introduced them to the pond. Um, apparently we're awesome crate trainers because these crazy little boogers are afraid of the pond. I kid you not! We've tried for 5 days to coerce them into the water with no success. 

Yesterday, two wild mallards showed up and tried all day to "show them the way." It was really neat to watch. But, we have strong-willed ducklings and they're still not enjoying the water. So, we've concluded that we're probably the only duck owners in the world who have ducks that are afraid of water (unless it's in a bathtub)! How ironic!

Duck training tips welcomed and appreciated. ;)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Repurposed art turned DIY "masterpiece"

The previous owners of our house left behind a huge framed poster of the Rat Pack. It sat in our garage forever and I was a little ticked that they hadn't taken it with them. It's BIG and the frame was busted which is, I'm sure, why they opted to leave it behind and make it our problem our treasure.

Fortunately, I had an "ah ha" moment the day I was dreaming of an oversized piece of art for our dining room but, unfortunately, didn't have an oversized budget.

This moment consisted of me ripping off the back of the framed art to see what lay beneath. Here's the front...

And, here's the back...a beautiful blank canvas in my eyes!
It's hard to tell in the pictures but this frame is HUGE and would cost a fortune to have made. Hence, why my brain kicked into overdrive trying to figure out a way to save it since it had seen happier days. 

While I problem-solved, I also began searching for the perfect art to fill my new canvas with. I did a google search for abstract line drawings and quickly ran across one that peaked my interest...
While I give absolute credit to the original artist, I figured this was a fairly simple piece that one (namely me) with limited art experience could pull off with minimal effort. I drew it in pencil initially then busted out the black paint and had at it. You should really give it a try, I'd put this DIY art project in the "beginner" level for sure.

So, back to that pesky busted frame...
Each corner was coming apart and needed special "V" staples to properly pull it back together. I didn't  have special "V" staples so I loaded this giant frame in the back of our SUV and walked it into Hobby Lobby only to find out they didn't have the special "V" staples either. Man, I knew I should've called first! It was no small task walking this piece of art that's about as big as I am into the store and all the way to framing department which, of course, was located in the back of the store.

I was super bummed when they told me they didn't do frame repair. What?! They must have felt really sorry for me as I stood there and looked at them with a complete blank stare, trying to figure out my next step, because they decided they'd "give it a try" and call me if it worked. I figured this was going to cost me a fortune but they tallied things up and said it'd be $37. I said "sold!" and ran back to my car to say a little prayer.

Obviously, things worked out in my favor and that's the story of how I scored my first piece of oversized art for a mere $37. One man's junk is another man's treasure!

By the way, if you haven't entered the Rugs Direct giveaway, make sure you do it today. The winner will be selected Friday!

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

$300 Rugs Direct Giveaway

Today's the day!! I'm excited that one of you has the opportunity to win a whopping $300 to Rugs Direct.

I can already hear some of you saying, "I'd never order a rug online. It's too risky!" That's what I used to think too. I'm not going to lie, I was very hesitant to order online even after being approached by Rugs Direct. I didn't have high hopes and I seriously thought I'd be sending back at least one, probably 2, rugs before finding one that worked. And, let's face it, sending back a big 'o honkin' rug would not be fun!

You probably share some of my concerns. Like...
*Color, color, color! 
Since my paint color was already selected and I was in l.o.v.e. with it, I didn't want to have to change things when the rug arrived and didn't quite work. I held my breath.
I kept thinking, "What if it gets here and looks cheap?" Once again, I held my breath.
I don't know about you, but I'm very tactile. I walk through stores and touch everything. It was hard, hard ordering a rug and not knowing what it felt like. Guess what I did? Yep, I held my breath.

Good thing the rug arrived quickly so I didn't die from all that holding my breath stuff. Much to my surprise the color was perfect. The appearance looked even better in person. And the softness, was awesome. What a relief! Would I do it again? Absolutely.

In case you need a little help shopping, here are a handful of fun picks...
                                                   1.                                                            2.

                                                    3.                                                           4.

Good Luck! 
This giveaway will end on Friday, April 25th.
Thank you, Rugs Direct, for my rugs and for the awesome giveaway!

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dining Room Reveal

What comes first, the chicken or the egg? When designing a room there's always a jumping off point, a.k.a. an inspiration source. More often than not, it's a rug or something colorful that dictates the overall plan. In the case of my dining room, it was a paint color. 

I found Benjamin Moore's Narrangansett Green (HC-15) and was immediately sold. I painted a very large, leftover canvas in this beautiful color and propped it against the wall so I could get a good feel for the color. I also wanted to make sure I wouldn't tire of it easily. It literally leaned against the wall for months while I waited patiently for the rest of the room to evolve.  Instead of tiring of it, I became even more convinced that things were heading in the right direction.

Remember this chandelier? I almost sold it on Craigslist for $250 then quickly realized, as people were chomping at the bit to gobble it up, that it currently retails for $1900 on Amazon. Wow, someone should do a little more research before they spontaneous list a piece they don't think they like!

I have to admit, seeing these crystals sparkle against the blue-green walls is one of my favorite elements in the room. Who would've guessed?! 

I was dead set that I wasn't going to have a DIY piece of art hanging in our dining room but the frugal side of me crept in and won that battle. It's a giant piece and only cost me $37. I'll share the details in a future post.

My father-in-law generously gifted me these lucite chairs from Wisteria. I love, love the way they look but I can't say that I'd tell someone to run out and buy them. They're not the most comfortable and they squeak every time you shift your weight. Ugh!

But the good thing about these chairs is they allow the live edge table to shine in its' glory. I purposefully searched for something low-profile and clear. I wanted your attention to go directly to the character of the table instead of being bossed around by a busy chair.

Now seems like the perfect time to show you where we started with this room. The previous owner adorned the walls with palm tree wallpaper and the windows with heavy drapery (I removed the panels before this shot).

After ripping down the wallpaper I had the walls retextured to a level 5 (super smooth) finish then used a high gloss paint. This helped give a super slick and shiny background that's not really obvious in the pictures but super cool in person.

The banquette was a total score from World Market. I literally bought the last one in Texas. We had to drive to Austin over spring break to pick it up. The store manager down there just shook her head when she looked at my raincheck and saw how much, or should I say how little, I paid for it!

I added a folded piece of fabric to spice things up a bit. I originally planned to attach it, but then I realized it looked fine draped and this way I'm not committed. Love the blue/green walls, not so sure I'll stay in love with the persimmon stripe! Commitment issues, anyone?

Last, but not least, let's talk about the rug! I searched, and searched, and searched some more for the perfect rug. I felt like I was banging my head against wall as nothing seemed right. Then, I was contacted by Rugs Direct and they generously offered to send me a rug. I was super excited and this opened up the door for me go a little outside of my comfort zone and pick something I may not normally choose if I were forking over my own pennies. And, I absolutely love it!

Want to know the best part? I'm partnering with Rugs Direct next week to offer a $300 giveaway to one of you lucky souls!! So, don't forget to check back and put your name in the hat. This was the first time I'd ordered a rug online. I wasn't necessarily a believer before this experience. More on that next week too!

{Legal mumbo jumbo...Rugs Direct provided the rug of my choice but the verbiage and opinions are mine all mine.}

Monday, April 14, 2014

Oh snap! (Literally)

Often God puts something on my heart and tells me to share. These are never my most popular posts and quite honestly they don't get much traffic at all. But, if it's on my heart, I believe there's a reason. And, if it touches the soul of only one individual then it's worth it.

Church buildings will be packed this weekend as people gather to celebrate Easter. Want to know something? This makes me mad. Sounds strange, right? Well, it's true. Why aren't these buildings packed every single week? I believe there's a shift in thinking going on right now and it appears that younger generations are seeing less of a need to "go" to church. I totally get this way of thinking, I do. Church isn't a place you "go" it's something you "do." Essentially, YOU are the body of Christ and your actions show others His love.

Let me give you an example. Our new church home has small groups that meet in people's homes once a week or so. The idea behind small groups is to grow deeper relationships with those you worship alongside every week. We've only attended small group once, 2 weeks ago. We were planning to attend last night's gathering but earlier in the day one of our HUGE trees came crashing down and was leaning on our house. It was the craziest thing...no storm, nothing...just a tree snapping in half in the middle of the day for no apparent reason.

Anyway, John and I got busy chopping it and trying to remove as much as possible. He sent a text to the couple hosting small group that night and told them we'd have to miss since we had to get the tree off our house.

Next thing you know, 4 people, whom we've only met once, were in our driveway chopping and lugging around tree branches! They had canceled small group and headed over to help the second they knew we were in need. We were blown away by their actions and so appreciative.

I told Reed, "Quick, get outside...I want you to see church in action." These men were "doing" church. Their selfless, Christ-like actions were exemplifying the call to love others the way God loves us.

So, it may seem like I'm validating the way of thinking that leans towards not "attending" church but actually I'm not. You see, if our family hadn't chosen to walk through the doors of that building and suffered through the weeks of being new and not knowing anyone, we wouldn't have received the blessing that was bestowed on us yesterday. We would have been left to carry the burden of removing that tree by ourselves. There is something to be said about surrounding yourself with a community of like-minded believers. You "go" to church to build that community, then you use those relationships to go forth and "do" church.

If you're one of those people that typically only attends church on Easter and Christmas weekends, I'd like to challenge you to open your heart and your mind to walking through those doors on other weekends as well. Allow yourself to be blessed, you deserve it!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Graphic Wall Treatment Before/After

It's done! This little, okay huge, project has been sitting unfinished for the longest time. High spots and funky angles (on the tall wall to the right) had me dragging my feet on wrapping things up, but last weekend I kicked it into high gear and got 'er done.

Pretty sure I said this in the first post about this wall, but John really outdid himself this time! Can I just take a minute to brag on him?! His patience and attention to detail are impeccable. Now, my patience when it came to waiting for the work to be done, is a whole other story. ;) 

Do you remember what things looked like when we moved in? One, big golden blank space...


You may also remember that our original plan was to leave the wall on the right blank then continue the diamond pattern onto the wall on the left. Well, John was concerned I wouldn't be happy with the transition (around the corner) and I started to get a little concerned that that much pattern might lend itself to being too busy, so the idea of stripes was born.

We simply followed the width of the existing piece and carried it on along the wall. I like how it looks like giant arrows pointing to the crazy cool graphic pattern as the main attraction.

Lots of interesting lines going on, right? Did you notice how the visual line carries from the far left wall on through to the stairs? It's details like this that others may never notice but they truly solidify the overall design in my mind.

I struggled with how to accessorize this space since I wanted your attention to be mainly on the wall. I searched high and low then finally ran across these old luggage racks at an Antique Mall in Austin and I was sold. They give the illusion of a bench but take up much less visual space yet they're still functional if someone needs to lay a purse or bag on them when they've just entered our house.

See how the wall on the right extends all the way to the second floor? Yeah, that was the booger wall that held up completion of this project. Scaffolding sure would have been nice!

And, one last look at the transition and dimension that this treatment brings to our entry. We used 3/4" MDF and I love the depth it adds to the walls.

I think it's safe to say, we're putting our stamp on this house one project at a time!

Linking up to: East Coast Creative

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Army Cot Love

You guys offered up tons of great advice earlier this week (you're the best, by the way) and I'm happy to report that I'm now the proud owner of a vintage army cot. It looks old and raggedy but that's just the way I like it! Well, kind of. The canvas is a tad bit too old and raggedy so it will have to be replaced, but the base is perfection.

 Are you wondering how much I paid for it? I guess it's only fair to share this information since I asked you what you would spend, right? I emailed the seller and asked if $35- $40 was in the range of what he was expecting to receive. He responded that $35 was great. Done. It was mine! I was so impressed that he didn't take advantage of me for the extra 5 bucks.

In this shot you can see the stairs curving over head. It's going to be a cozy little area when all is said and done.

 Here you get a better perspective of the space. The zebra bench will be exiting, as will the doggie bed that's trying to camouflage into the bottom stairs in this shot.

I got even more excited about our new cot when I saw how fun they look when covered with amazing textiles...

Then, I realized what a steal I got as I searched around Etsy and found out these babies sell for a pretty penny!
$130 (with shipping) from AntikaGarage Etsy Shop

$205 (with shipping) from etsy shop, wooddesignsby

Thanks again to those of you who offered up your two cents!
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