30 December 2011

Top 10 Projects of 2011

Is it really December 30th??

So much has happened this past year both personally and in the blog world. We have done a number of projects in the past 12 months that I'm truly proud of. This past year we took on several projects and crafts we've never done before - reupholstering furniture, making my own hand painted art, oh and having a baby.

I thought it would be a little fun Friday post to look back at some of the top projects we tackled in 2011. 


This was a fun little upgrade I did to a lamp and was completely impromptu (as most of my projects and DIY ideas tend to be). The idea of seeing something I like and being able to recreate it myself for a fraction of the price rather than purchasing it is certainly a motivator for future projects.


I had never tackled reupholstering any furniture before so this project itself was a little personal victory since it was my first. Even though the furniture itself was short-lived after the transformation, I was so pleased and satisfied with the results. I know that in the future this is a project I can tackle and hope to challenge myself with harder, more complex reupholstering tasks.


Sometimes my best ideas are completely unplanned, impromptu projects and this photo booth art is no exception. I had completely different plans for these frames, but as soon as I had the idea of framing our photo booth pictures from a wedding we went to, I ran with it.

As a result we have a little personal touch in our dining room that Jordan and I both love and acts as a bit of a conversation starter when we have guests over.

Read how to make one here.


I think I'm proud of this project mostly because it's one that I completely took on and taught myself. I did a lot of research and read up on a number of tutorials, but in the end I sort of made it up as I went along. The wall came out even better (and surprisingly easier) than I had imagined.

Read my tutorial of how to paint your own striped wall here.


For our anniversary, I made this wood stained art featuring the lyrics from our wedding song (Van Morrison's Crazy Love). This project is one of my personal favorites since I have a fondness for sentimental art. This was also my first time working with wood stain and I am very pleased with the results. Look for more stained wood projects in 2012!


Lucy's nursery was the first room that I tackled start to finish and was able to completely plan from scratch. I taught myself how to paint stripes on the wall, made my fabric poms poms, and added a ton of sentimental, DIY touches. I truly love how her room turned out and hope that when she grows older (and actually starts sleeping in her own room) Lucy will appreciate the hard work and attention to detail that went into designing her bedroom.




I think the pictures pretty much speak for themselves. 
I love this floor. Need I say more?


This was a time consuming, but very fun project to tackle. So much fun that I recently created another one for a friend of Jordan's. This is another project that I'm specifically proud because I created my own way of making this sign after reading up on how others have done this before. 

Read how to make your own subway sign here.


Based on Pinterest popularity, the #2 project of 2011 has to be the fabric pom poms I made for Lucy's nursery. I love these pom poms so much and am really proud of how they turned out. They added the perfect feminine, whimsical touch that I wanted in Lucy's room. Learn how to make them here

And for the number one project of 2011


By far the best and proudest DIY project we took on this year was a beautiful little girl.
Our life has been completely turned upside down and we wouldn't have it any other way.
Jordan and I are both so in love and smitten in a way that we never thought imaginable.

There is truly no better feeling than being a parent.

There you have it - my top 10 projects of 2011.
It's very satisfying to look back at all the progress we've had on the house in the past year, and even more exciting for the ones we plan to take on in 2012.

My hope for 2012 is to challenge myself with bigger, more complex projects than we have done before. 
I'd love to revamp a thrifted piece of furniture, build something from scratch, and learn to sew something from scratch.

Hope you all have a safe and Happy New Year.
Here's to a creative 2012!

29 December 2011

Trending: Pallets in Home Decor

I'm bringing one of these home from work.


I'm jumping on the bandwagon with the latest home decor trend that I keep seeing: shipping pallets.

I am seeing these everywhere on Pinterest with so many great, creative ideas.

As a coffee table,

repurposed into a headboard,

build a daybed,

and miscellaneous storage solutions.

This trend is everywhere!

I'm fortunate that my workplace has a warehouse and a warehouse manager who is totally cool with me taking a pallet or two home to work with.

What I plan to use my pallet for is something similar to this in our guest room:

via Pinterest

I like the idea of giving our guests practical storage solutions. Sure, we have a dresser in our guest room, but we hardly expect our guests to unpack their suitcases and use the drawers for one or two nights over. But offering them a place to hang their coat, keys, purse or small bag makes sense. I even like the idea of having some sort of bench or chair below for them to store their overnight bag and shoes.

Of course, we first need to get the walls repainted and a few other things knocked off my guest room to-do list (Post coming soon, I swear. I've been writing the guest room post for over a week now.) before we are ready to install. But I'm eager to get the ball rolling by priming and painting my new pallet.

Any trends your dying to try?

Find more great pallet ideas here, here, here and here.

22 December 2011

5 Month Milestones

I cannot believe our little girl is 5 months old already. Seriously, I feel like I just found out I was pregnant (and that was over a year ago!) I'm so excited for her first Christmas. I have two (yes, two) Christmas dresses. I'm already setting her up to be just like her mom when it comes to clothes.

5 Month Milestones:
  • Eating approximately 5oz every three hours (she is fed either by me or pumped milk when I am at work - no formula)
  • Sleeps approximately 9 straight hours a night and takes 2-3 naps/day
  • Talks so much! Squeals all day long - LOUD!
  • Sits up (sometimes needs assistance)
  • Rolls over back to belly and back again
  • Will push up on her belly for long periods of time - hasn't attempted crawling yet, but does kick feet a little
  • Grabs everything!
  • Has started to reach for people
  • Obsessed with her feet. Pulls socks off and tries to eat her feet
  • Has such a distinct personality
  • Recognizes voices over the phone and family members in pictures
  • Recognizes her own name
  • Smiles and laughs all day long
  • Loves her bouncer and will sit in it for up to 45 minutes playing with all the activites attached to it
  • When holding toys likes to 'whip' them around. We have make sure we hand her soft toys because she's hit herself once or twice with excitement.
We haven't started her on rice or any solids, yet. Her pediatrician basically told us she's gaining weight and she sleeps through the night, so she's getting all she needs. We could technically keep her on milk until she's a year old, but we will eventually start to experiment with a few solids. Like I've mentioned before, I'm making all her food which I'm very excited about.

It's incredible to notice all the changes not just physically, but developmentally, that Lucy has been going through. She has really become her own person who we already know is going to be hilarious once she can talk.

PS. Anyone else having trouble with Picnik?
I haven't been able to get it to work properly in days. Ugh..

21 December 2011

Guest Blogger: Danielle from Neat & Tangled

Today I have a special treat - my friend Danielle over at Neat & Tangled is guest blogging! You may remember I did a guest post for her last month with the owl silverware holders I DIY'ed. Danielle is a different kind of DIY-er than I am - she does paper crafting. Paper crafting has always amazed me because of how intricate the designs look. It's such a different type of DIY than I do and I love looking at Danielle's blog and seeing the variety of cards she creates. I never quite understood how she made them and they look so detailed, so I asked Danielle if she'd mind giving a tutorial of how to create a card from scratch. Check it out:

Hey there! Danielle here, doing a little guest blogging for Jess.  She was so kind to help me out back in November by doing a guest blog post for me while I spent time with my new baby.  I was so excited when she asked if I’d like to do a post for her – of course!

Now let me preface by saying I’m not so much of a home improvement DIY type (although I have done a few things), I’m more DIY on the paper crafting front.  I’m big into making cards, stationary, scrapbooks, etc.  The beauty of what I make is that it doesn’t have to be limited to those things. The cards and things I make can easily be transformed into wall art, or used as inspiration for other projects. For example, here is a picture of how I incorporated cards into a collage on my son’s bedroom wall.

I had a really hard time deciding what to make to share with you all, there were so many ways to go. First I made some stationary…

It was cute, but it seemed a little dull. So, I decided to show you 2 different approaches to card making. One is super simple, so if you just want to get your feet wet you can. The other is a little more in depth. All the supplies I used are listed at the bottom of this page. You can click the thumbnail and it will take you to a shop (Simon Says Stamp) where you can get everything.  Although most supplies can be found at your local Michael’s, JoAnn’s, or AC Moore.

Rather than do a photo step-by-step I shot a little video to show you how these cards came together. I tried to keep it short and just give you the basics. If you think you’re remotely interested in diving into this world of paper crafting I’m doing a  “getting started” video series starting the week after Christmas that will cover all the basics.  So be sure to swing by my blog and check it out.  Now onto the video:

And here are the finished products.

 I thought it would look lovely framed and hanging on a wall, so I did that too :o) 

Thank you Jess for letting me hang out on your blog today!