Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Valentine's Day Decor

I don't usually get into Valentine's Day, but for some reason this year, my house felt so empty once I took the Christmas decorations down.  AND someone gave me a hard time last year for having a "Christmas wreath" up in February - since when is an evergreen wreath with pines cones a "Christmas" wreath - it's a winter wreath!!!  But anyway, I got a small amount of inspiration this year and came up with some fun stuff...

Simple (a.k.a. cheap) centerpiece

Hobby Lobby purchase - I love that store!
JoAnn Fabrics purchase - another fav store

AND, for the DIY in my Valentine's decor... I wanted to make a wreath, but my door is a deep red so the pink/red/purple I was seeing everywhere was just not speaking to me.  But, I was inspired by a wreath that I found on Take Heart and had to make it.  It was so easy and I just love how it looks!!  

I was going to give my own directions, but her's are fantastic, so if you'd like to make your own, check her out!

Close up of the cute paper flowers!!
Do you decorate for Valentine's Day????

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

DIY Ottoman

My mom came down a couple weekends ago to help me get my house decorated.  Yes, we've lived here for a year and a half, and it's not like I didn't have anything on the walls, but there were a lot of rooms that were just incomplete.  I couldn't get myself motivated to get off the couch this morning and take pictures of our house (plus, not everything is done yet) so instead,I decided to share one of the other projects that my mom and i worked on... some ottomans for my craft room.

So this room is a work in progress.  It's the bonus room over our garage, so it's a big room.  We've got my craft table in one corner, a desk in another.  We also have a couch and a bunch of book shelves and a TV so it's a great multi-purpose room!

I've seen a bunch of DIY ottomans made out of IKEA side tables on Pinterest so I decided I'd give it a shot.  In case you want to try it, you can follow along.

What i used:
2 IKEA Lack side tables
2" foam squares (trimmed to be the same size at the table tops)
2 yards white muslin (54" wide)
2 yards home decor fabric (54" wide)
heavy duty staple gun with 1/4" staples

Make sure your fabrics have been ironed and cut them in half ( 1 yard x 54")

Put one square of muslin down on the floor and set the foam in the center of the fabric.

Set the table (top down without legs) on the foam.

Cut squares out of the corner of the fabric so eliminate bulk

Fold the muslin up and attach to table with staples - start with the middle of the fabric and then left and right.  Do this all the way around the bottom of the table until it looks like this:

You'll be able to see the foam and the table on the corner
edges, but this is ok!!
Use your scissors and poke holes in the muslin where the holes for the legs are located.

Next, lay out your home decor fabric (face down) and lay the table on to (face down).  If your fabric has a pattern, be sure you're centering the pattern as well as putting it on straight.

Fold the fabric up to ensure you have enough to staple (approximately 2 inches) and if you have more than that, you can trim it so it's easier to work with.

Fold up your first edge and attach with 5 staples across.  Do the same thin on the opposite side of the table.

On one of the edges that have not yet been attached, start by folding and attaching the corners so that they look like this:

My first instinct was to fold and wrap the rest of the fabric like a gift, which would have made it look like this:

Instead of using the more triangle like folds/angles, I used my fingers to slide the flaps folds wider and it squared the fabric off a little more.  Then I stapled in the middle first, and then along the rest of the fabric. 

Kind of hard to see, but the fold in the fabric is
very close to the corner edge of the table
Then i poked the hole again where the legs would go, and I reinforced the fabric between the hole and the edge of the table with an extra staple... it helps to hold the fabric in place while you're tightening the legs.

Be careful when putting the legs back on - you may have to hold the fabric down as the top of the legs get close to the bottom of the table, and you probably won't be able to tighten the legs all the way.

Here is the finished product:

I probably could have shortened the legs on the  tables just a little bit, but overall I think they look great and they are so comfortable!!  So, what do you think???

Coming soon - Valentine's decorations  : )

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

It is SOOOOO effing cold!!!

My first winter back in Indiana was SUPER mild.  We had a total of about 1 inch of snow that ever accumulated for more than a few hours, and one morning of ice on the roads that was gone by noon.

So far this year, we had an overnight accumulation of 14", which we only got to see the result of a week later when we got home to a full driveway and no snow shovels in the entire city.

NOW the weather is SUPER cold and I had to buy my first official COAT - I felt like Eddie Bauer would be my best option for a quality coat that was not going to cost me a billion dollars.  SO, this is what I got...

Essential Down Parka
I love it... there is really great fleece in the collar, cuffs and pockets that makes me feel like I've got a a teddy bear in my pocket  :)

While it's not as cold here as it is where J's family lives, where the high tomorrow is 0 degrees, this coat should be great for the rest of the Southern Indiana winter, and hopefully it will keep me warm during my trip to Chicago that starts tomorrow!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Where did January Go???

I can seriously not believe there are only 9 days left in January.  The spring semester always seems faster to me than the Fall (yes - I live my life in the college semester calendar, not the normal January-December), but this is outrageous!!

When we started the semester, I kept thinking that I wish we would have had one more week before the students came back, but now it seems like they've been back forever and January 6 seems like an eternity ago!

Since I didn't recap Christmas with my family, here's the short version...

  • It was so great to have my cousins and aunt home with us (it just wouldn't feel right with out them)
  • We had a great "Christmas morning" that was really the day after, but it still felt like Christmas morning to me!
  • After a few days in Indiana, we went up to Michigan to visit my other aunt and to go to my cousins' house for our family get together/ugly Christmas sweater party
  • We returned to my parents' house for New Year's Eve where it had snowed, so I made Simon...

  • New year's even with family, back home on New Year's Day and back to work on the 2nd

Since then, I've recovered from a cold, J has been in the ER with kidney stones and January has disappeared.  We've done some stuff around the house, I've been kind of crafty and I have lots to share, BUT I'm on my way to Chicago on Thursday, so it's going to have to wait until next week.

Just something to look forward to, I guess  :)

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Christmas in Minnesota

We had a great trip to Minnesota!

As soon as we got there, we went up to J's grandparents' house.  It was so great to see his grandma with more energy and spunk than this past summer. They live about 15 miles from Canada, which basically just equals COLD, but this year, it also meant that the snow had frozen on the trees so everything was BEAUTIFUL! 

I posted this on Facebook and no one thought it was real

We got back to his Mom's and I finished wrapping while I watched some Christmas cartoons and his sister and her family got there on Thursday night.  On Friday we went and worked out, relaxed a little and went out with his sister and brother-in-law on Friday night. We don't get to do this much and it was so much fun! Not having any siblings, it's hard for me to really get what it means to have a sister or brother, but I feel a little closer to them every time we hang out. 

On Saturday we did a little bit more shopping and then got ready for our Christmas. It was CRAZY and we ended up having to take a half-time to clean some stuff up so we had room for more gifts. I think next year, we should let the kids open the gifts, put them to bed after a while and then open our gifts, hehehe.

J and I only took a couple of small presents up there for each other because it seemed silly to drag them up there and back, but my favorite gift that I got from him this Christmas was this...

Infinity ring with our birth stones
I've also gotten tons of compliments on the scarf that J's sister bought me... I absolutely LOVE it!

Sorry for the kind of weird picture

Everyone else left on Sunday and we relaxed and read books and just hung out. J and I met some friends out for dinner and drinks and then Monday we relaxed some more (I woke up not feeling well) and went out to dinner before coming home to watch Elf (J's mom had never seen it before). 

On Tuesday, we headed for the airport.  I've never flown on Christmas Day and it was actually busier in the airport than I thought it would be.  We were really lucky to avoid any bad weather, and everything went really smoothly!

We got back to my mom and dad's house on Christmas night and got up the next day to have Christmas - Round 2 with them. 

What's your favorite thing that you got for Christmas?

Friday, January 04, 2013

Oh Crap... Christmas is over

Christmas is definitely my favorite time of year, and while it's still definitely winter in Indiana, it's time to put the Christmas decorations away (maybe this weekend?)

I was so busy leading up to Christmas that I didn't get to post anything that showed the new decorations that were incorporated to what we had last year, so before they go away for another year, here are some pictures of what our house looked like during the holidays...

A modest centerpiece - love the candle sticks!

My grandmother's nativity

Mistletoe  :)

A gift from my mom for our tree

What the nest means...
By the end of the weekend, everything will be back in boxes and back in the garage - I wish they were called "Winter Decorations" instead of "Christmas Decorations" because I'd like to leave them up until the end of February - the lights on our tree create such a great ambiance for our living room!