I’m BAAAA-aaaack!

Woot!

I’m totally back!

And happy to be here!

We got a brand spankin’ new laptop last week and I couldn’t be more stoked to be typing, uploading, and saving at a normal, nay, dare I say… rapid rate thanks to this fine piece of machinery.

It’s been so long since I’ve blogged that I’m almost overwhelmed as to where to start to catch you guys up.    If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you probably have a good general idea of what’s been happening decor-wise, but for the sake of continuity, I decided to take some (waitforit) non-grainy shots with my trusty ole’ camera.  You have no idea how long I’ve waited to type those words.  Wait.  Yes you do.  Two months.  That’s how long since I’ve been able to UPLOAD PICTURES.  All caps really says it all regarding my excitement level here.

So, in organizing my thoughts here, I’ve decided to basically brain-dump all the decor stuff that’s gone on over here lately over the next few posts.   I’m gonna start with a project that I recently finished in the living room.  After that, in no particular order, I’ll be showing y’all some dining/foyer updates as well as our nearly finished breakfast nook.   I just took all the pictures I need and am SUPER excited to show you guys everything.  GIDDY, even.

So, let’s get started, shall we??

It actually took me quite a while to get to this project even though it wasn’t super difficult.   You may remember from my last post that I herniated a disk in my back a few months back, which was a huge reason for my recent break.   For a while, even the easiest of tasks felt insurmountable, but after a few months of physical therapy, I’ve had a pretty decent improvement.   I’m still not running or anything, and I occasionally have exacerbations if I’m not conscious of my movements, but for the most part I’m feeling WAY better.   So, you can say that getting started on this project was like a breath of fresh air (aka. normalcy).

Remember this blank wall over the TV??

blank tv wall

Well this wall stumped me for the longest time.   I had no idea what I wanted to do with it.

Then, one fateful day at Ikea, I spotted the Pugg wall clocks, and it was all over.

I had a plan.  I purchased my clocks and went on my merry way.  See, what I wanted was to hang four clocks to designate each of the time zones that mean something to us.  Oregon (where Joey’s from), Texas (where we live), New York (where I’m from), and Paris (one of the coolest trips we’ve taken).

Now, please excuse the next few progress shots.  They were taken in a rush (and many at dusk) with my phone.

Anyways, once I got started, the key was getting them lined up perfectly.   And I’m proud to say that I managed to do it without punching a single excess hole in the wall.   And here’s how…

First, I traced the clocks on wrapping paper, cut them out, and used these templates to determine roughly where I wanted them above the TV…

Then, I used a laser level and a yard stick to measure the exact center (at the location where the hanging holes in the clocks were).   This is where I would punch my holes.  It turns out that my holes were exactly 18″ apart from each other, so I simply measured and marked along the laser level line every 18″ and marked them on my templates…

Then, I hammered my nail in through the paper.   I tore off the paper and hung my clocks…

They turned out perfectly aligned and straight.   I couldn’t believe I’d actually succeeded in this the first time around.  That almost never happens.   See that blue painter’s tape in the pic above?  This would be the next part of my project.  And this was the part that I had to wait FOREVER to get to because of my back.   It was literally up there for about 6 weeks.  And weirdly enough, it started to grow on me.   Heehee!  So strange.

Anyways, once I felt well enough to go for it, I went to Home Depot and had a 1″ x 4″ cut to the length of my painter’s tape (73.5″).   I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out, then gave it 2 coats of white paint. I mounted the wood to the wall using 2 claw hangers.  Then, I waited.

Because this was the point where I needed to print, but we hadn’t replaced our computer yet.  Oy.  So many blogging barriers that I’m happy to have busted through lately.

So, basically that blank piece of white wood hung in place of the painters tape in a state of limbo for another 2 weeks.

But then, BAM….

And it was on.   I’ve seen this technique on many blogs before, and have always wanted to try it, so…

I chose a font that I liked ON MY NEW COMPUTER (:D) and printed my labels on plain computer paper in my preferred color, cut them out, then scribbled lead on the back using a pencil…

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I perfected placement of them on my wood with scotch tape, and chose the color of oil-based paint pen that I wanted (as seen in the scribbles above the wood)…

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I removed the wood from the wall, then traced the outline of my font with a ball-point pen, giving decent pressure…

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Which left this…

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Then, I used this navy blue paint pen to fill it in…

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And cleaned up the excess lead with a gummy eraser.  Once this was done, I rehung my wood, which left this…


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And as per usual, I can’t NOT put a before shot from when we gained possession…

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Gosh, I’m a fool for before and afters.   And here’s the other direction…

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You can see that I replaced the Fort Worth print above the chair with a vintage painting that I found for $7 at a thrift store.  It’s PERFECT there and helps tie in the hanging planters on the other side of the doorway.   Plus, I love that the vintage style contrasts with the more modern clocks.

A view of that entire side of the room….

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And a before…

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And a few closer-up shots of that newly revamped corner…

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I scored that plaid pouf at Target in clearance for $14.98.   That was a happy day for me. #andcheaposrejoice

Here are some more close-ups of the new clock wall….

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I LOVE that technique for transferring font.  Now, I want to monogram everything in my possession.

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Now, I just need to actually put batteries in the clocks and set the times.   Joey keeps joking that for a room with so many clocks, we never seem to know what time it is.  Haha!

Anyways, I am super thrilled with how this turned out.   It’s exactly what I wanted.   Something a little different that suits us and is actually meaningful to us.    I think finally deciding on this project as our wall decor was well worth the year long decision-making process.  Yes.  It took a YEAR.  And many, many ideas until this one came about and stole the show.

Oh!  And just to update y’all on the last issue from my last post… The roof patch worked!!!!!!   (fingers crossed that it continues)  AND we had a new drain system with industrial-strength sump pump installed in the backyard, which meant ZERO flash flooding with the last storms we experienced.   So, although our roof is old and will eventually need to be replaced, we’re now hoping that we can hold off for a while (please) and get to some other fun projects instead.  So, it’s good news all around!!!

So, anyways, I hope y’all have had a fabulous holiday weekend!  And thanks for not giving up on me.  🙂

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All Hail, Ikea!!!

Remember in this post, I complained that all of the boring stuff like rotting walls and termite treatments had stolen our money??  Well, I became girl-on-mission after that.  Because really, I needed to shop.  Bad.  Yes, I am that girl.   And really…  could I have logistically gone decor shopping at this point (on a budget, obvs)?? Probably.  But would the guilt have eaten away at me because we were *supposed* to be saving our pennies for new appliances?  Yep.  So, I started selling stuff that we had laying around on Craigslist (finally) to feed my decor shopping habit sans guilt.   Total win-win.  Joey had been asking me to clear out that stuff for a while anyways.  I just hadn’t gotten to it.  So, this selling-of-the-things really benefited all parties.

After 2 weeks, I had raked in $135 guilt-free dollars to spend on decor.  So, where did I go?? IKEA!! Clearly.  And just to brag on myself…  I spent that money like a champ.  AND even came home with $16 of my Craigslist dollars!!

So, what did I get??  Well… let’s check out the living room… Look closely at the below shot…

Notice anything different??

Hint:   I posted this shot on Instagram yesterday (If you missed my last post, I’ll be updating Instagram with home updates between posts from now on, so follow me there to stay up on the action)…

Here’s another shot:

That’s right!!  The rug (the Ikea Valby Ruta runner), large white planter, and plant (which sadly (though, not shockingly) isn’t doing too well)!

As soon as I put this rug down, it was all over.  This was THE ONE.   AND I couldn’t be happier with the quality of it.   It’s thick and plush.   I’m seriously impressed being that for the most part, in the past I’ve been somewhat underwhelmed by the quality of Ikea rugs

Now, honestly, I have to say that the above picture appears as if it’s in technicolor to me.   The red looks REALLY red and the blue in the poufs, REALLY blue.  Maybe it’s just my computer screen because, in person, this lovely runner is more of a muted red and the navy on the poufs is actually deep, dark navy (not royal like it looks to me here), so they go well really together.  The navy pulls from the blue-grey tones in the rug and those bluish-grey accents along with the khaki tones in the runner, coordinate with various tones all over the room.   The fact that it’s a more traditional pattern looks awesome with the more modern furnishings on the other side of the room.  It was EXACTLY what the room needed to make it feel well-rounded.   Plus, the busyness of the small pattern balances out with the busier Fort Worth print on the opposite side of the room.

I seriously cant get over how the rug really warms up the space.  Here’s a shot from the dining area…

Heart.

I also snagged that striped runner on the table on clearance (it was just over $2 and I bought two to extend the length of the table).

I love that I’m now at the “layering” stage of decorating this room.  Switching out my placeholder items that I happened to have on hand for ones that I really love.   Playing with different patterns to add depth.   I still have a ways to go before I call it done, but these little tweaks really go a long way to making it feel like home.

Here’s the opposite side of the living room as it stands now (Ignore that magazine rack beside the media stand… I’ve since moved it and will include an updated pic at the end of this post as to where it ended up (fornow))…

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So, anyways… There are a few changes in this view.   Namely the three basket planters.  And while I LOVE them, looking at this photo, I’m not a fan of how they’re displayed.   I think they’re too high.  And not cohesive enough.

I may try hanging them on a rod at differing heights or perhaps a rack or grid of some sort to make them feel more united.   They’re definitely staying on this wall for sure… just not in their current arrangement.  So, consider this stage one of multiple stages.

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I do love the dimension and life they bring to the wall, though.  Currently, I’m using three Young House Love hooks that I found on clearance a year or so ago at Target to hang them.  Though, like I just said… This will be changing.  It just feels a bit piecey…

You may have also noticed that the chair corner of the room looked a smidge cozier…

That’s because I snagged a copy of Young House Love’s new book, Loveable Liveable Home.  And I love it just as much as the first… maybe more!  That is also a new fake Ikea plant you see in a clearance pot from Ross.  Details make a difference, y’all.

Now the only blank wall that’s left is this guy…

I *think* I know what I want to do here, but it seems to change daily, so we’ll see where we end up.

And if you didn’t notice, there’s another little Ikea find chilling by the TV.  I just couldn’t say no to him..

I mean, could you say no??

As for that magazine rack beside the entertainment stand…

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It ended up here as a magazine/blanket holder.    I adore this little thing.  I found it at a thrift store for $6 and sprayed it gold.   I love how it plays against the more modern furnishings we have.   Here’s another shot with an equally adorable kiddo (who is *clearly* as enthused as I am about the magazine rack) 😉 …

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So that’s sort of where we are with the living room right now (minus one fabulous, pretty plaid find that I got on clearance at Target… I posted on Instagram about it if you wanna see).   I’m still trying to motivate myself to rehang those woven planters, and am currently on internet-stalking mode to find what I’m looking for for the TV wall.   (insert mischievous cackle)

Aside from that, I’ve made some changes in the master bedroom that I’m eager to post about and Lucas’s room has gotten a nice revamp that has me positively giddy.    Like for real.   Oh yeah, and the shed is almost done.   Finally.   We actually decided to just go all out and get a nicer shed (both for aesthetics and lifespan) thanks to another Craigslist selling spree and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have made that decision.   I’m slowly learning that there are some areas that you need to splurge… it’s a total departure for a cheapo like me, but a good lesson for sure.

So, anyways, have a wonderful, safe Halloween and I’ll be back soon!  🙂

TDC Before and After