A Combination of Inspiration

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Posted by Rebecca, October 31st, 2011

I mentioned last week how I wanted to make something for this season’s Pinterest Challenge with Sherry at Young House Love, Katie at Bower Power, Ana at Ana White and Erin from House of Earnest. I just wasn’t sure what to make! One of the projects I’ve been wanting to make was this washer monogram, but Michelle from Decor and the Dog tackled it during the last challenge…

(from Decor and the Dog)

So I looked through all of the things I’ve pinned the past few months to come up with something I could tackle in a few hours. I stumbled upon this pencil-eraser-used-as-stamp art from Li’l Magoolie

(from Li’l Magoolie via Pinterest)

And I had a light bulb moment… why don’t I make a monogram using pencil erasers as stamps? That way it’s entirely different, but bringing together two Pinterest projects! So that’s what I decided to do :)

I decided to stick with the color scheme of our house… various grays/greiges/blues.

I picked up a couple of extra bottles of 89 cent craft paint just to make my life easier. I basically bought all of the shades of gray they make and I already had the blue.

The rest of my materials were 100% free! I used some cardstock I already had, pencils that were laying around and a frame I already purchased. To get the monogram, I printed out our last initial, an S, in a very fancy font called… Times New Roman. I printed it in bold to give me thicker lines to follow. I eyeballed the size in print preview and figured it would look decent on a 5×7 piece of paper. I then traced my printed S onto my cardstock by holding it up against my sliding glass door.

I traced it ever so lightly, then also erased what I had just traced. Sounds crazy, but it left me with the most faint line ever so that it wouldn’t be noticeable under the paint but I could still follow it.

Then it was time for paint! I didn’t use stamps like the pinned image did, so I squirted a little of each paint onto a paper plate, then dipped some sponge brushes I already had in each color…

Then I dapped my pencil erasers on the sponge brush, not the paint itself. If I dapped too much I could use a cleaner part of the sponge to remove some. I had a pencil for each color (digging out a 4th one required some office scouring!)

I did some test dabs on a piece of scrap paper before starting. Then I just followed the lines and alternated colors along my S and tada! All done!

It took me about an hour or so, which was honestly longer than expected, but well worth it. I had to decide where to put my new work of art so I decided on the entryway table, which was filled with pumpkins and Halloween candy today.

The candy will be leaving tonight, so I just put my art in a matted frame and leaned my frame over by one of my beloved deer bookends. Ps- I’ve been searching for a white lampshade to replace that gray one for months.

I’m not sure if my monogram will be staying here, since we’re planning on adding a whole gallery wall(s) up and down our staircase. Ideally, I’d like to eventually hang it, especially since the frame I had on hand is meant for hanging :)

I strangely love that the mat that came with the frame is a little off-white. Since the chair rail, deer and cardstock are bright white, it mixes it up a bit. Maybe even a fun colored mat will look good until I hang it?

I’m very happy that I chose to do another art piece for this Pinterest challenge. I love making things for our house but I often don’t have the time to dedicate to making things anymore. Spending an hour making this completely made my day and I wish I had more creative time these days. I am also proud of myself for scaling down my always overambitious projects. I originally planned to do this monogram, plus two 8×10 more abstract pieces. Once I started eraser stamping I realized how time consuming it was and that an even larger piece of paper would take even longer! Maybe I’ll make them another day (since they were pretty cool ideas, I must say), but for now I am perfectly happy with my monogram :)

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Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.

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Posted by Michael, October 27th, 2011

Rebecca and I always find ourselves doing some kind of hiking or outdoorsy things once fall hits.  Probably because it’s relatively cool out and we can do things while not sweating our asses off and all the great autumn colors.

While Rebecca was in college, we use to frequent a local reservation to hike and take pictures in the fall.

These pictures date back to November 3rd of 2005.  Incredible.

Heck, we even got married in the fall!

And last year, we went apple picking.  On our way home, we took back roads which took us through an incredible forest full of amazing trees, leaves and overall landscape.  We pulled over when we discovered a small lake.  It was incredibly quiet and so peaceful.  We essentially had the entire place to ourselves.

So when Rebecca asked if I wanted to help pick up some acorns for her wreath, I jumped on it as an opportunity to hike and take pictures.   We ended up at, of all places, :gasp: her job.  Her campus sits on acres and acres of land and they have trail that runs throughout the campus.  When Rebecca mentioned this to me, I wasn’t expecting much.  Afterall, it’s where she works.  But once we started on the trail and saw a stream, we were incredibly happy with our decision.

I always love taking pictures looking up through branches with random leaves here and there.  The shapes the branches make against the sky with blots of color from the leaves; always amazing.

And I can’t leave out the friend we met and who we tried to talk into coming home with us…

So is fall/autumn your favorite season?  Anything you like to do during this time?

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Challenging

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Posted by Rebecca, October 26th, 2011

So Sherry at Young House Love, Katie at Bower Power, Ana at Ana White and Erin from House of Earnest are hosting another Pinterest Challenge. Remember the one back from August where I made those 4 landscape paintings? Well it was fun, and I want to do it again :)

Buuut, I have several obstacles in the way. First, I’m not sure what to make. This is partially impacted by my second obstacle, the ever existing lack of time. I have a week to make something and the difference between August and now is a giant thorn in my side called grad school. Plus Mike and I have a jam packed weekend complete with family gatherings and vet visits, so I’m really not sure where I will even find the time to make something along with the obligatory homework, cleaning and laundry. All of this said, I CANNOT FIGHT THE URGE TO PLAY! Pinterest + a bunch of amazing bloggers (not just those hosting, but the 100s sure to link up) = a party I want to attend.

So I’ve been thinking about this all day. I have several ideas, though some are admittedly over-ambitious given the time constraints. Some involve finishing projects I’ve already started. I’m ashamed to admit how many of these exist…

First, of course is the acorn wreath I blogged about last week. It’s the ideal choice, but I honestly don’t think I can pull it off this weekend.

(from Dana Made It via Pinterest)

Then there’s a project I never blogged about but I started, it’s this amazingly creative frosted window courtesy of my buddy Ashley at 7th House on the Left. But once again, very tedious and time consuming (and carpal tunnel inducing.. I can only trace so many a night!)

(from 7th House on the Left via Pinterest)

Then there’s finishing up our power room, which I am quite sure I have tons of inspiration pinned that I can use in that room! Like maybe painting the mirror, hanging some art, decorating the shelves….

Then there are the new projects that I can’t resist wanting to do. First is this DIY roman shade that our walk-in closet needs desperately. The glory of this is that it’s based off of an inexpensive mini-blind, but I’m worried I won’t find the awkward size we need off the shelf anywhere.

(from 365 Days to Simplicity via Pinterest)

Then there is the chevron. The amazing chevron painting that I want to make so badly. I tackled a painting (or 4) last time so I’m not sure I want to do another, though paintings are so fun to me and this one is totally different. I’m also not sure of where to put it? Hmm..

(from here via Pinterest, sorry the blog isn’t in English so I can’t credit the title!)

Then there is the washer art that I’ve mentioned making before. I definitely want to make it, but the lovely Michelle from Decor and the Dog made it during the last challenge (and we have the same last initial!)

(fromDecor and the Dog)

So there’s where I am at the moment (I’m sure I’m missing a bunch of things). Even though I tend to be hard on myself and make myself finish one thing before starting another, maybe I need a fresh new project to boost my confidence? I guess you can find me over at Pinterest for the rest of the night, scouting out some new inspiration on a short time frame :)

Anyone else planning on participating? What are you guys making? (or what would you make in a perfect world!)

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Rounding Out The Family Room

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Posted by Rebecca, October 24th, 2011

I’m very sad to report that I have no acorn wreath to show you today. I did collect a bunch of acorns, but I didn’t have time yesterday to assemble them. I’ll probably have to glue them on in stages over a few weekends, but I am determined to finish it for Thanksgiving!

Okay, Mike here totally post-bombing (it’s like photo-bombing, but yeah, you get it) Rebecca.  We spent most of our time Saturday following this guy…

We were out semi-hiking along a stream and every ten feet or so, we’d here ruffling noises in the leaves.  Sure enough, we kept seeing deer!  Or squirrels.  Either way, we kept getting excited. 

After we collected acorns on Saturday, Mike and I swung by a nearby Target to see of the Nolan ottoman that has been sold out of every Target was in stock. Turns out it was! Lucky for us, it was on sale for $139.99, plus I had a $5 off furniture coupon I got at the register during my last visit and I used my Target debit card for an additional 5% off. $169.99 online price? Pssh take that, Target :)

I wanted this particular ottoman because it was a) a storage ottoman, b) round, c) flipped to a wood top, d) inexpensive. My cats love wrecking ottomans and I knew the faux leather would be less appealing to them. The storage is key for us since we are those people that cannot lay on the couch without being wrapped in a blanket. I hate just laying blankets/throws on the couch because the cats will sleep on them and I will never get my blankey back. Sort of like how I let Darwin sleep on the cuddler portion of the couch once and I have never sat there again. It’s his spot and we dare not sit there….

Anyway, the pictures!

No, I didn’t stage the ottoman, that is my actual drink and laptop. I figured I’d keep the pictures realistic :)

I love how the round shape compliments all of the straight lines in the room….

…But yet provides some symmetry to the round, dark mirror over the fireplace.

The hard top was a selling point for us, since we always have drinks and need somewhere to put them. It’s hard to tell in pictures, but the wood top is a nice rich brown color.

I also like that the dark color of the ottoman balances all of the beige fabric in the room. I read a lot of designer’s blogs and magazines and I know that top pet peeve of designers is too much beige. And I still did it anyway. We are not easy on our furniture/carpets and we have 3 cats. Medium tones are necessary unless I want to vacuum and lint roll fabric all day long. So instead of having an impractical couch or flooring, we decided to balance everything with dark toned woods, textured pillows and colorful curtains (which we have to rewire some things to hang).

Now we just need some end tables since the couch is so huge that I can’t possibly reach my drink from the chaise or the cuddler. The hunt has been on, but I haven’t seen anything I like. Oh and incase you’re wondering, our previous storage ottoman is now living at the bottom of our bed. Here’s a picture from August, isn’t the family room looking way less cluttered already?

Though I can’t lie, I miss that old couch :( A couch that comfy comes only once in a lifetime. Just ask Macky, it’s now his personal couch in the formal living room, he sleeps on it every single day :)

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Acorny

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Posted by Rebecca, October 20th, 2011

While still mourning the loss of my favorite fall wreath, I’ve been trying to think of ways to replicate the simple repeating berries of it that I loved so much.

I always thought they kind of looked like cherry tomatoes :) obviously not a good choice to use for a wreath. But while I was at work today, the wind was hurling acorns at my head and I had a lightbulb moment, can I glue acorns on to a wreath?

If this were possible (okay, I knew it was physically possible but wanted to see some ideas), it would of course be found on Pinterest. So I headed over to what Mike calls a glorified google image search and typed in “acorn wreath”. I was not disappointed.

(from The Nest via Pinterest)

(from Dana Made It via Pinterest)

There were even some painted ones, which I am considering to get the bright tones of my former wreath….

(from Dana Made It via Pinterest)

…And an embellished one!

(from All You via Pinterest)

One thing I felt that all of these wreaths were missing though is the cute little hats that come with acorns. I feel like those are what defines an acorn for me and I really wanted to find a way for those to make it on to my wreath. I wasn’t sure if they were removed for a cleaner look (which is probably the case), but I finally managed to find one example of a full-acorn wreath!

(from Ashley Ann Photography via Pinterest)

And I love it. The only thing I may change is the color since my door is brown and I loved the pop of my old bright wreath. I’m not sure if I want to attempt multiple colors, though in theory I would like to. My problem these days is finding the time to do all of the above. Collecting acorns will be tedious, gluing them on will be tedious, so I’m not sure if I want to tackle painting them and giving them time to dry. I guess we shall see where the weekend brings me, but I’ve already planned a day to collect some of these bad boys :)

Too bad Macky can’t come with us, I could definitely train him to pick up acorns (as I watch him play fetch with Mike as I type…)

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