Thursday, January 26, 2012

Just Hangin' Around

After seeing this blog post on Pinterest, I decided to try my hand at something I considered actually "crafty" (meaning, it had more than 3 steps in the process).
This clothespin heart wreath caught my eye...
I decided I didn't like the decoupage approach (I don't have that much patience) and took the spray paint route (which ironically probably took longer in the end). To do this project, I needed: 2 wire hangers, 24 clothespins, 4 cans of spray paint, tooling, and a giant work space (aka our living room floor).

First I primed all the clothespins
Then I divided up the clothespins (unevenly on purpose) and
painted all 4 sides. That took three days to do because I had to
wait for them to dry in between. But spray painting sure is fun!

This is a wire hanger that I just bent into the shape of a heart.

I decided to wrap the wire hanger in tooling so that
you couldn't see the wire part.

It's not shown here, but we ended up using a second
wire hanger to create a "hook" to hang the wreath over
the edge of the mirror. Kyle handled that part of things
as it involved cutting wire, which I'm not keen on.

This was the fun part!
I'm glad I did the tooling because it gave the clothespins
something "more" to grab on to. 

(Sorry for the weird side angle...I was trying to avoid having
my reflection in the mirror showing. )
More on the heart frames next.
I don't consider the heart frames a "craft" because it involved three steps. Anything three steps or less I just consider "decor". Only I would differentiate, I know.
Step 1: Get a frame. I got this frame (originally a yucky wood
color) at Value Village for $1.09. This frame didn't even come
with glass, which was perfect for this decor project. 
Step 2: Prime and Paint white (the photo above is
showing the frame with primer on it).

Step 3: Hang heart bulbs inside the frame with tooling. I got the heart
bulbs at Ikea last year as a part of a Christmas ornament package.
The tooling was left over from our wedding.


Giving it grace: This isn't a earth-shaking revelation here, but it does involve Kyle and I working together to accomplish something. While I was "crafting" and "decoring" (and filling the living room with fumes from spray painting), Kyle was trying to catch up on some of his TV shows. The living room was so fummy that even the pizza delivery guy (don't judge us, we were both too tired to cook) said something, yet Kyle was patient while I worked on my project. When I was finally done a few days later and ready to hang the wreath, I encountered the issue that my "hanger" was too short. Kyle was able to help me cut another hanger and fashion a hook, and then helped me hang the wreath (several times until we got it justttttt right) on the mirror. I really appreciated that while crafting and decor (and breathing in paint fumes) really isn't his cup of tea, he was still eager to help me finish a project that was important to me. I think it's easy for men and women to take less interest in things that excite the opposite sex, and it shows a lot of grace when we're able to say to ourselves "ok, this might not interest me, but it interests him so I'm going to give this thing my attention". After we were done with the wreath project, I sat and watched some South Park with Kyle, and if anyone knows me well, they know just how much grace that took! Although, I have to admit, it was kind of funny...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Finally - the before and after photos!

I promised these a long, long time ago...and we're finally there!

Living room...
Living room: before
Living room: before

Living room: before

Living room: after 
Living room: after

I'm obsessed with this bookcase!
Ps. we're getting fish for the big empty vase (girl fish will be
named Margo and Rita, boy fish will be named Marty and Luther)

Living room (hallway): after

Kitchen and dining room:
Kitchen and dining room: before
Kitchen: after

Dining room: after (I love the country kitchen theme!)
Some other rooms that I didn't get before shots of (sorry), but here they are now:
Bedroom wardrobe (aka Kyle's closet)

Tropical themed bedroom (much needed during snomageddon 2012)

His and hers pillows (wasn't my intention but it does look like that!).
You can hardly see it in this photo, but the coral frame on the bedside table is
our wedding vows framed (he has mine framed, and I have his
framed), so we wont ever forget!

Kyle loves maps so we hung this in his bathroom. I've already caught him
staring longingly at it while he brushes his teeth...

And then I framed maps of our honeymoon and wedding
ceremony and reception sites to go with the map theme. The frame
on top of the unit is the vow Kyle took at church last Sunday, which you can watch here (I cried the entire time).
My "nod to University of Washington" bathroom - go Huskies!

The back wall of the combo room: my most significant
organizational accomplishment yet. This room also serves as our camping storage
room (in the closet) and my grad school thesis writing room
(on the wall not shown, because it's just too boring to show).
Giving it grace: Living together is difficult! This is a small space to live in and we both had to make compromises (I got rid of over half of my shoe collection; Kyle no longer knows where anything is in the kitchen). We're learning that it's "our space", not his space or my space. I'm learning that I'm a total control freak (just kidding, I already knew that), and Kyle is learning how much of a control freak I am (just kidding, he already knew that too). So basically, I'm struggling to find the right balance between taking pride in our home, and being prideful about our home. Kyle is learning how to pick his battles, and tell me lovingly that me "being fussy" more often than not actually really bums him out. God has poured out his blessings on us in the form of open communication, and we're actively talking through how to adjust to living together. It's been an exhausting, joyful, surprising process, and I can't wait to see what lies ahead!

The Epic Move

Good thing we had time away to rest, because we had no idea what was in store the following week. We didn't really think about anything past the wedding. Turns out "moving me into Kyle's house" was more like "5 days of physical labor and bodily punishment". Here are some pics of last week:

Back of the van filled with gifts

Combo room - more like disaster room...

Living room

More living room...

And still more living room...technically I guess it's not
"living" room when you can't walk through it...

Our investment in the future of Ikea employees...

The big red van got a lot of action last week.

The boxes were mating overnight and producing more boxes...

Gotta start somewhere...

At least there was a walkway!
 Giving it grace: Moving takes a TON of grace. I was organizing rooms as fast as Kyle could build the furniture for each room for five days straight. We made three trips to my dad's house to collect my stuff, one trip to Ikea, two significant trips to Target (the first trip involved three carts = obnoxious), one trip to Pete and MA's to pick up all the presents...we were exhausted, cramped, tired, frustrated - and yet we managed to get through the entire thing with hardly any disagreeing, raised voices, or fits of tears (me). We had a goal, and by God's grace, worked well together as a team to get things accomplished. I think the success came from being very aware of what the other person was doing and being sure to support them first before asking for support. Bottom line: we're never moving again. Ever. Sorry kids - you're getting bunk-beds!

The Honeymoon

No juicy details here :) Just some photo highlights from our quite get-away to La Conner, in no particular order:

Super cute little antique shop where I bought a little "K" and "S"
(photos of my project with these to come later)

Walk along the canal (Indian Reservation in the background)

Dinner at La Conner Brewing Co. (and watching some football!)

First day out window shopping

One of the main streets in La Conner

Kyle loves snow villages! This one was amazing.

We are trying to collect Christmas Ornaments for our first tree
next year, and we got an adorable one at this store.

The other main street in La Conner

Nell Thorn, where we had a romantic dinner (and I had
the biggest Cheeseburger of my life!)

Pre-giant Cheeseburger

On our way up to La Conner...Our first trip to Dick's as newly weds!

The Heron Inn Bed and Breakfast where we were
the only guests and treated like royalty! 

Giving it grace: Peace and quiet. No wedding details. Sleepy little town. Homemade breakfast every morning. It was NOT hard to give each other grace on the honeymoon. The conditions were perfect for just appreciating each other, our new marriage, and all the gifts God has given us lately (and always). We feel very fortunate for the time away to re-charge and just enjoy being married!