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Monday, June 27, 2011

A Fourth of July Banner

Hello lovely friends!
Tell me, how was your weekend? I really hope it was a wonderful one, and that today was a nice Monday for you, too! :)
I have something to show you, but before I do, I just wanted to say thank you. The comments you all left on both the bathroom and the kitchen post floored me. They are beyond kind and beyond encouraging, and I was so touched.
You see, I realized once again I have met some truly kind people. And that is such a blessing! So thank you for everything. I really, really mean that.
I wanted to do a banner for the fourth of July, something fun and patriotic. And although most of the colors I use in my decorating are really considered neutrals, I needed this banner to have a little red and blue! :)
And this is what I came up with:
{I just love the fourth of July!}
But even if you are not American, this banner idea would work for any holiday or season~ with or without letters! :)
To make this, I collected my supplies:
Decorative scrapbook paper
Matching neutral scrapbook paper
*Book pages {or make your own!}
Glitter letters
Glue stick
School glue, such as Elmer's
Glue gun, glue stick

To make the banner, I cut a piece of scrapbook paper in half.
I folded it accordian style, from top to bottom...
...and on one side of the folded paper, bring the two ends together, like so~
Using your hot glue gun {or other glue}, add a line of glue between the two ends that meet and close the ends.
Now, at this point, there are two different ways you can finish it. It all just depends how you want it to look. If you want wider spaces between the folds, you will need less folds; otherwise use more. I typically used between 24- 26 "folds" to make one.
Most times I had to use two halves of a piece of scrapbook paper {folded} for one to get the full look I wanted. But I will show you both ways, so you can do it whichever way you prefer! :)
If one half piece of paper is enough,
all you need to do is bring the other side together and glue it the same way you did the first.
If you are using two halves, fold the second half of paper accordian style as you did before. Repeat the process of gluing one side of the paper together.
You can play with it and decide if you want to keep all the folds or cut some off, all again depending on what you like!
Now when you have it ready to put together, take the end {unglued} fold of one half and place it over the other unglued end of the other half.
Does it look just how you want it? Yea! Now just glue them together and press until firmly adhered.
Next, put a dab of glue in the middle of each of the three center folds, like in the picture above, and press together.
And there you have it! Your base "accordian circle" (for lack of a better word!) for your banner.
Now I was putting letters on each piece, and I thought it would be fun to use a book page for a circle to glue the letter to. Something with words like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness on it. But I didn't have anything like that on hand, so...
I made my own "book" pages! I found a free copy of the Declaration of Independence text online and copied and pasted it into Word Document. Changed the font, and printed it.
I made a bowl of nice, strong black tea, and used a small paint brush to "paint" the paper with tea.
I did that a few times until it was the shade I wanted and let it dry, and cut it into the size of circles I wanted. {I used a can of kidney beans to trace around for my circle template, so anything will work!} ;)
{I glued these circles to neutral card stock for extra firmness.}
Then I used these circles for the center piece, gluing the glitter letters onto them. I glued those onto my "accordian circles". {Is there a real name for these things?}
I strung a piece of twine from one side of the mantel to the other, and clipped each "letter" up with a tea-stained clothespin.
{The tea-stained clothespins were a great idea I got from Nancy's Tidits.}
And now, my mind is spinning because whenever I do one craft it always leads to another. In this case, three! Here's what I am working on now:
{More on this to come!} ;)
Well, that is all for me tonight! Once again, it's a novel for you to read! I'm impressed if you made it this far! :)
I hope you have a restful night, and thank you very much for visiting! It was so nice of you to drop by. :)
Blessings to each of you~
I am linking this post to the following parties:

Saturday, June 25, 2011

{A Week In Review}

So...these photos were supposed to be a representation of life from this week and some of them are.  However, some of the photos were from last week.  Obviously I haven't taken enough photos recently. {Laughs}

 Taste: A little to eggy. Oh the joys of gluten-free baking...

No taste here.  Just the glory of cleaning up the mess. 

Taste: Um, interesting.  Not bad, not amazing either.

Taste: The BBQ chicken tasted good. The shrimp not so good.  It was my first attempt at BBQ without Dear Husband, so well, I am going to give myself grace here. 

 Browning the rice for Mexican rice.  Taste: Something went wrong this time.  Sadly, the rice was gooey and some of the rice wasn't fully cooked.  Not sure why, as I've always made a tasty dish of Mexican rice using the recipe I do.

Taste: Amazing.  Reason?  I didn't BBQ it.  
Dear Husband did.  Happy Father's Day!

Taste: Really good fresh out of the oven.  Really awful once cooled.
This loaf of bread did, however, rise beautifully.  Something this gluten-free bread baking mama was over-joyed to see.

So there you have it.  My week(s) in review.  

simply . living . life

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Kitchen Love

Sarah from Modern Country Style is hosting a wonderful link party today called Kitchen Favourites.

Have you met Sarah? If not, you simply must! Her blog is a blend of delightful writing and gorgeous photography. But the best part is she is a total sweetheart, and visiting her blog is like having a friend over for coffee...or tea! :)


The idea is to share a favorite spot in your kitchen, but I floundered a bit on this because I have more than one favorite.

Not because it is the hands down, most gorgeous kitchen ever, {it's not} but because every part of this room, every nook, took a tremendous amount of effort to get it there.

{And we are still working...Is a room ever really done?}

Some of this you may recognize, because I have shared much of it along the way as we have worked!

Ours was the ugly duckling of kitchens.


I wish I had a true before shot of this room to show you~ before as in when we first bought this home! But maybe it's good I don't or you'd be off running for sure! ;) {The halfway pictures are bad enough!} But in fairness, I will be showing a bit of those so you can see what we changed. :)

I love standing here at the sink, and looking out the window. But it wasn't always so...Here are a few "halfway house" pictures!

Old sink, old faucet, old counters...


A lot of paint!

The window was primed and painted, just like the bead board and cabinets!

The pantry doors have a bit of personality now with their chalkboard doors!

And when our kitchen was flooded, we removed the laminate down to the vinyl floor that was there when we moved in...

But it wasn't anything a little primer and paint couldn't handle!

To read more about this painted vinyl floor, click here.

But do you see a glaring problem?

Yep, one long wall of nothingness. Not good! But that was okay, because I had an idea. An "island" of sorts, since the room couldn't accommodate a true one, was set against that long wall...

The island was made from an vintage dresser found on Craigslist...

I am working on open shelving that will go on either side of the large chalkboard, but for now the chalkboard is a little lonely up there!

But this old house, especially this kitchen, has taught me something very valuable. You do the best you can with what you have. Some things could be replaced, others we had to get creative with until we could replace them! Hopefully next summer we will replace the flooring, and someday we will rip out the old cabinets...But I got to thinking that anything I did would be better than leaving it how it was! ;)

But guess what? This is not the only kitchen you can see! So do make sure and head on over to Modern Country Style, and see every beautiful kitchen that has linked up! :)

Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope you have a wonderful day and weekend, too!



Friday, June 17, 2011

Master Bath Reveal With Bead Board Ceiling

Hello sweet friends! I hope this Friday finds you well, and ready for the weekend! Isn't it about time for a break from the weekday rush? :)


Do you remember how I said that I would show you pictures of the whole master bathroom when we put the fan up? Well, having been so busy with the bedroom renovations, I just now finished most of the little touches I wanted to add to the bathroom before showing whole room photos!

{Now I still have the window treatments to make, however, and a couple of small decorations I want to make, but I'm declaring the room officially finished!}

The facts about this bathroom:

It is a 3/4 bath that I think is actually smaller than our walk-in closet.

We had already replaced all the fixtures with exception to the shower, which will be a future project. We also replaced the pocket door, old window, and flooring, as well as removed the baseboard heater. We'd added bead board and chair rail to the walls and trim around the door and window...This was the major renovation, and it looked much better than it had!

But what this bathroom still needed was some character~ and not the kind that included dry rot and grime! I knew just what this small space needed, too. I had seen a gorgeous bead board ceiling done in a bathroom at House of Smiths last year, and loved how it looked! So I set out to make our very own bead board ceiling! :)

We bought two 4x8 panels of bead board from Lowe's, for about 24 per panel. I made a paper template of our ceiling, and we put it up to the ceiling to test it and make any necessary adjustments. We also marked exactly where both the light fixture and fan cut outs were.

{Ceiling before}

We traced the template onto the bead board, and used both a jigsaw and a circular saw to cut it out. {Well, actually my husband used the circular saw, the one power tool that scares me to death! I had my first try at the jigsaw. But I have to admit, I was so nervous I'd mess it up that he did most all of the cutting.}

The next thing I did was find the rafters, using a stud finder, and mark where these were on the walls so we could see where to nail once the bead board was up.

Then came the exciting part of actually putting the bead board up, but it was work! We were using one entire panel, plus a small strip of another, so we nailed the smaller piece in first, and then the 4x3 sheet.

That was the tricky part. I hammered while David held the panel up, then he hammered while I held it up!

Then came the spackling and sanding...not fun, but it looked so much better afterward!

This is how it looked after trimming it out, but before replacing the strange light fixture and old fan. I used "quarter round" for the trim between the ceiling and walls, and cut it on our table saw.

I used "quarter round" for the trim between the ceiling and walls, and cut it on our table saw.

This is how it looks now, with the new chandelier and new fan. I rather wish the fan could be somewhere other than on our bead board ceiling, but that is where it needs to be, so oh well...But compared to how the ceiling looked before, I am so much happier with how it is now! :)

One thing I have realized is that just because your bathroom is small doesn't mean it cannot be a room you enjoy being in! I was determined to make it as pretty as I possibly could. :)

So we replaced the faucet {again} with one that was much better made:

I painted the walls a beautiful soft gray, a color Jami from Freckled Laundry came up with to paint her living room. It was just the right color!

And a vintage mirror replaced the wall cabinets.

{Sewed a linen sink skirt...}

And tied chalk paint tags onto baskets...

The towel bars were sprayed white~

{The waste basket even got a fresh coat of paint!} ;)

And I must admit, with all of the sawing, spackling, sanding, priming, and painting to redo this little room, it was just such a treat to fuss over it a little, and have fun actually decorating!

So this is the bathroom before all of this:

And this is after:

{I am linking this to the following parties: Tatertots and Jello, The Shabby Nest, Under the Table and Dreaming, French Country Cottage, Chic on a Shoestring Decorating, and Funky Junk Interiors.} :)

Well, that's all for me tonight! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and thank you so much for stopping by! :)