{our home} summer kitchen project

shortly after i returned from whatever craft weekend (which i promise to write about soon), i decided it was time to paint the red walls in our kitchen white.

kitchen 1

i asked my instagram friends what whites they have used, but was too impatient to wait for all of the suggestions and decided to go with the pot of cream from behr (the sample on the far left).

kitchen 2

reece was still in school, so lorelai and i got to work.

kitchen 3

it was an instant transformation on the walls, so i thought, “why not paint EVERYTHING white?!”

kitchen 9

soon, i was testing the paint on the cabinets and drawers…on the hallway walls…and in the playroom.

kitchen 10

and, i LOVE it!

kitchen 5

it has already made our kitchen seem bigger and brighter.

kitchen 6

it’s been A LOT of work, though. i will not be posting any kind of “how to” about this project because i am winging it…i’ve watched videos, read numerous how to’s on my own, but until i actually got into it i had no idea what i was getting into.

kitchen 4

the good news? the bases and drawers are all painted.

kitchen 7

the cabinet doors have been tricky for me to get a smooth finish on, but i’m working on it…one door at a time.

kitchen 8

i think we will be adding new floors to the first floor, too.

think oak laminate plank flooring.

this is one of those BIG projects that we didn’t have time or resources for that i wrote about in our home tour on life made lovely.

sometimes, you make the time and find the resources to get it done.

and, we are.

home is…hard work and patience.

easy christmas card photo books

One of my favorite parts about Christmas is receiving the cards from all of our friends and relatives. I especially like the photos.

They make me smile from the day I receive my first card until the day I finally take them down from their display…which is usually one of the last things to come down.

Over the years I have been saving the photos in a drawer in my desk. You see, my aunt had albums full of christmas card photos and every year I loved to sit down on Christmas day and look through them. Although I didn’t know all the people, I learned to recognize the familiar faces year after year and enjoyed seeing how families had grown, adult children had gotten married, etc. My plan was to eventually start some albums of my own.

Last year I found this photo on Pinterest

Source: eighteen25.blogspot.com via Maddy on Pinterest

I figured this would be easier and less expensive than photo albums, but I never got around to doing it.

As I was trying to find space in the drawer in my desk for our cards from Christmas 2012 I finally decided to just put the darn books together. I mean, for goodness sake, all I needed was a hole punch (I used a 3 hole punch and a single hole punch), some chipboard, some rings, and a glue stick!

easy christmas card photo books

All of my cards were organized by year, so I started punching holes.

easy christmas card photo books 6

{That’s my mom and dad in Italy}

easy christmas card photo books 7

easy christmas card photo books 8

I used two holes of a three hole punch so that I would eventually be able to line up the cards that were differing sizes and shapes.

easy christmas card photo books 2

Then I cut some chipboard that I had from the back of some thrifted frames that I won’t be using. I cut the chipboard a little larger than the largest card…three of the books ended up being 9″ x 6″ and one is 8″ x 6″.

easy christmas card photo books 5

easy christmas card photo books 3

I punched holes in the chipboard and glued our christmas card to the front.

easy christmas card photo books 4

I also made back covers for the books so the cards are protected on both sides of the book.

easy christmas card photo books 9

This year our card was a post card and I wanted to include the back of the card, so I put it on the inside of the back cover.

easy christmas card photo books 1

In less than an hour (it actually took 2 days, but I had to start and stop multiple times for various reasons…kids, dogs, cats, husbands, etc.) I had books from the last 4 years put together!

easy christmas card photo books 10

For now, they are in our basket of photo books in the family room. I think, eventually, I will put them in the attic with the rest of the Christmas decor so they will be a fun tradition to pull out of the bins each year.

easy christmas card photo books 11

Notice a change to the bookshelves? I’ll fill you in on that quick project this week!

Stay tuned…

{our home} mad for plaid

One of the things I love about living in the Pacific Northwest is that fall lingers.

The first signs start to show in September…apple farms, cooler nights, shorter days

October brings changing leaves, boot and sweater weather, and pumpkin patches.

Wait…it’s not over!

The leaves still change color well into November until the rain settles in and our thoughts change to winter on their own.

Given this fact, the quilts and afghans we used for picnics and outdoor movies during the summer have found their place in our home for use everyday…and I was inspired.

Specifically by the plaids in the quilts…probably somebody’s old ripped shirt that could no longer be worn.

I thought about making some pillow covers out of thrifted plaid shirts, but wasn’t having any luck. The shirts were too expensive (i.e. one shirt could cover one 20″ x 20″ pillow, but the shirts I liked were all $13-$19).

Then I searched the internet for pillows, but just couldn’t find something I liked.

Then, I went to Target yesterday. I found two large plaid pillows and thought, “Perfect,” but they were $30 each.

So, I wandered…thinking about my options…and stumbled onto some woven throws on clearance for $8 each. I figured that even if I could only make one pillow out of each throw that I would still get each pillow for only $8, but they weren’t plaid.

I bought five of them and was on my way home when I figured I should just stop in at the fabric store and see what they might have.

Plaid flannel was on sale for 50% off!

I found five patterns I liked and bought one yard of each.

We had 10 forms to cover.

I covered them all and have lots of scrap for more projects…

Our family room is ready to keep us warm through fall and winter.

In the end, I got 10 pillows for the price I would have paid for the two I saw at Target!

I have plenty of fabric for more projects…maybe something for colton+cadence!

home is…letting fall linger.

dr. suess inspired vintage school map

I recently found a vintage school map of Asia.

I love the look of the map, but have no particular attachment to Asia, so I thought I would get crafty.

I found this font online and downloaded it to my computer.

I typed out the phrase I wanted to use and enlarged it to 650, so there was one letter for each page.

I chose some pretty paper from a new scrapbooking pad I got at Michaels and printed the letters.

What do you think?

home is…inspirational words.

friends around the campfire

Summer is slowly fading to fall.

As I have said, it is my favorite time of year.

The sun retires earlier, the nights get cool, and a sweater in the morning is necessary.

One of my favorite spots in our yard is our firepit.

You can read more about our landscaping here, here, and here.

I have spent many quiet mornings around our firepit this summer, but my favorite times have been with friends around the campfire.

So, I did this…

I had old boards that the previous owners of our home used for a floor in a makeshift greenhouse. They had been sitting around for almost 5 years and I decided to do something other than use them for firewood.

I didn’t take photos for a tutorial, but here are the basics:

  • found a font I liked
  • printed it the size that would work (trial and error here)
  • traced over the edges with a ballpoint pen that left an indentation in the wood
  • penciled in the indentation
  • painted inside the lines

I’ll need to put another coat on the paint, but I was anxious to get it up on the fence. I just screwed the boards into the fence.

This is what I call “the best seat in the house”. It’s where I sit and share my coffee with Odyssey or watch the kids play (if I am not playing with them).

We’ve had lots of campfires this summer…on outdoor movie nights, just to have smores, or to enjoy and evening with friends and neighbors.

This goes to show that the unplanned, or unexpected, can sometimes be the best thing to ever happen.

I’m looking forward to a few more nights with friends around the campfire before the rain makes it way to the Pacific Northwest.

And, who doesn’t like a little Denver? John Denver.

{rocky mountain high}

He was born in the summer of his 27th year
Comin’ home to a place he’d never been before
He left yesterday behind him, you might say he was born again
You might say he found a key for every door

When he first came to the mountains his life was far away
On the road and hangin’ by a song
But the string’s already broken and he doesn’t really care
It keeps changin’ fast and it don’t last for long

But the Colorado rocky mountain high
I’ve seen it rainin’ fire in the sky
The shadow from the starlight is softer than a lullabye
Rocky mountain high

He climbed cathedral mountains, he saw silver clouds below
He saw everything as far as you can see
And they say that he got crazy once and he tried to touch the sun
And he lost a friend but kept his memory

Now he walks in quiet solitude the forest and the streams
Seeking grace in every step he takes
His sight has turned inside himself to try and understand
The serenity of a clear blue mountain lake

And the Colorado rocky mountain high
I’ve seen it rainin’ fire in the sky
You can talk to God and listen to the casual reply
Rocky mountain high

Now his life is full of wonder but his heart still knows some fear
Of a simple thing he cannot comprehend
Why they try to tear the mountains down to bring in a couple more
More people, more scars upon the land

And the Colorado rocky mountain high
I’ve seen it rainin’ fire in the sky
I know he’d be a poorer man if he never saw an eagle fly
Rocky mountain high

It’s Colorado rocky mountain high
I’ve seen it rainin’ fire in the sky
Friends around the campfire and everybody’s high
Rocky mountain high

This song reminds me of my roots and where Ryan and I met and spent almost 10 years together…Colorado.

home is…friends around the campfire.

*linking up with…

Home Stories A2Z

{diy} mason jar pendant light

Yesterday I took a photo of our clean kitchen and posted it on Instagram.

I was just happy to have it clean, but I had some questions about the mason jar pendants hanging above our counter.

So, here I am with my first {diy} post…I guess you could call it a tutorial, right?!

{I use the IKEA Hemma light kit, but you can find something similar in the lighting section at Lowes or Home Depot}

home is…personalizing your space.

UPDATE: I recently cleaned our mason jars and added some vent holes to the top by tapping extra holes in the lid with a hammer and nail.