Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Jayhawk Art

In honor of the KU Jayhawks basketball season starting tonight, I thought I would share with you our favorite piece of art...

You will be amazed when I tell you that this was painted by someone using a paint brush... with her mouth! Jeanne is a quadriplegic and is one of the coolest people I know. She has made a difficult situation into an amazing hobby, and she makes incredible pieces of art. If you go to her website, you can see all the wonderful pieces she has done and order yourself an original masterpiece to add some character to your wall. If you are local, you can also swing by Bricks or Maxine's to look at originals in person, and pick yourself up a piece or art, print or greeting cards! The greeting cards are a great way to share the beauty of her work and she also has great holiday cards - everyone always needs new holiday cards to send out to their loved ones! I love when a piece of art has a great story behind it...

Lots of Love,

Monday, October 28, 2013

Our Little Haunted House!

Finally, the week of Halloween is here! We spent the weekend decorating our house and making it look like Pinterest ideas threw up all over it...we love it! To help you all out with some cheap, last minute decorating ideas I will share our favorites...

Drilled Pumpkins
I saw the idea on Pinterest to drill holes in pumpkins and loved it. Once the hard part of cleaning out the pumpkins is complete, all you have to do is take a drill (fully charged - my impatience killed me with this one) and drill your pattern into the pumpkin. It's that easy! Here are some of the pictures of Hailey and I making a mess:

The patterns I decided to go with are below - you can do anything your haunted heart desires. I personally love  the flowers! They look best with six circles around the center. Also liked the vertical lines with small holes between the big ones. To clear out the holes better, we used q-tips and poked them through. It also will help your pumpkins if you put two tea light candles inside, instead of one. Since the holes aren't very big, it helps to have more light.  We also made a few jack-o-lanterns that turned out really classic and cute!

Shadow Monsters
We have big windows on the front of our house, so we thought it would be fun to make the shadow monster silhouettes I have seen all over Pinterest. These turned out fun and are so cheap to make! All you need is black poster board, a pencil, tape and scissors. You just draw out the shapes, cut them out and tape them up in your windows. Remember to keep your lights on, so they show up. Tonight I was outside and heard someone say "Oh look at their monsters!" Made my Halloween spirit jump for joy! I think they make our house have great haunted character...

Other Spooky Decorations
We found the spider web light last year on sale, as well as the creepy "Mr. Jeeves" (Dustin came up with the name). He is so creepy and Teddy is going to lose his voice barking at him! On the other windows, we taped up a bunch of paper spiders from Martha Stewart's Halloween Craft Collection. To keep kids off the newly seeded yard (aka saving Dustin's hard work!), we taped it off with caution tape. Adds a scary feel to the house and last year we had a kid yell "Someone died!?" which made the tape totally worth it.

Well, hopefully you are able to add a little spooky Halloween character to your house this year, even if it is just a solo pumpkin. It is fun to enjoy the fall and have a little spirit! Before we decorated, Hailey and Jake convinced us to go get lost in a corn maze. It definitely got me into the fall mood! Shout out to my DIY partner in crime for making some awesome jack-o-lanterns!

Lots of Love,

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Striped Ceiling!

Like I said back in the sun room post, I got very ambitious with the ceiling and I wanted a "wow factor!" I looked around at different blogs for "how tos" and there are things I liked and didn't like when doing the project. I will walk you through the basic steps and give you pointers that really helped us conquer this work of art... OK, it's no Michelangelo, but it's still pretty amazing!

To start, you will need to paint your ceiling your base color; in our case it was white. Painting a ceiling can be exhausting, so be patient and make sure to have drop cloths below you. Getting the roller brush extensions definitely help and have a small ladder handy. Next, you need to measure the width of your ceiling. Think about how big you want the stripes - remember, the smaller they are, the more you have to do. We tried to find the width that would get us an even look with the stripes (The one on the end had a 1/2" extra, but nothing noticeable). Then you want to make marks on the ends of the ceiling in order to know where you'll start the tape. Do this on both sides of the ceiling and measure carefully, so they'll match up. Now the next part is very important...tape! Finding good tape was the hardest part of this project and almost ruined it. We got the Frog Tape because it was supposed to be easy to take off - wouldn't even stick. Blue tape would stick, but then would pucker as we painted (even tried painting on top of the tape to secure it - big mess). I tried calling Lowe's and the guy told me nothing would stick, so I should give up. Um....sir aren't you supposed to make DIY dreams come true! My mom told me to call Sherwin Williams instead. That guy told me about this magical lime green extra stick tape:

Stripe life saver!

If you are going to paint stripes - this stuff is the key to success! One thing to keep in mind, it is extra stick so make sure you are not planning on leaving it on the surface for more than the day. Now that you have your fabulous tape, you need to have a partner help you put the tape up. Decide whether you are taping on the inside or outside of the pencil marking - helps keep the fighting with each other to a minimum! Then with each of you on a side, pull the tape as tight as you can and stick it. If it's crooked, you'll be able to tell because the tape will bump. I suggest pressing the tape on with a credit card edge or something similar to make sure edges are stuck. We did two stripes at a time, especially the first time, when you want to make sure it works - no point in taping the whole thing if you have a last second change of heart.

Once the tape is on, you can start painting! Using a roller and an edger were the best painting tools. If you don't make the stripes wide enough for a normal roller, you can get the smaller kinds.  For the edges, make sure you tape across the wall below and we suggest using a paint brush to paint along those edges. Worst stripe is the one against the wall - avoid if possible! Be patient and take your time. If you go too quick, you'll slip up.

Important Note: If your paint drips, wipe it up towards that color. I won't mention names, but the other person who lives in this house dripped a little black paint on the white wall. Instead of wiping up towards the black, he wiped it down the white wall - no bueno!

Looking good - we approved!
You'll start to have more faith in your project once you get a couple stripes accomplished! You can remove the tape soon after painting (just make sure you don't want any other coats!) because then the lines will peel off cleaner. Don't worry if they aren't perfect; people will be too amazed of your ambition to notice!

What kicked our stripe ceiling up another level, was the chandelier I ordered. It added that touch of elegant character I so badly wanted. It was a find from PB Teen - which has good sales and Teen is more affordable, plus the designs are more fun! This particular one is no longer available, but they have other chandeliers I adore:http://www.pbteen.com/shop/lighting/chandeliers-pendant-lighting/?cm_sp=SupCatHero-_-lighting-Supercat-_-Chandliers

I truly think doing the stripe ceiling made my sun room and it makes me smile every time I go in there. We get compliments on it constantly, which makes the pain and frustration worth it. I would definitely suggest booking a massage appointment as a reward for all your hard work. Now go out and stripe something!

Lots of Love, 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Social Manor Visit!

If you haven't heard of Social Manor and you live in Wichita, you are missing out! Look at these character filled treasures I scored while shopping there this week:

Have I convinced you to go check them out?? If not, looking at their adorable blog will: www.socialmanor.com

Lots of Love,

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Once Upon a Lawn Mower

Out for a business trip today, so I thought it would be easier to share a funny story instead of a DIY:
When we first bought our house, there were new things we had to decide on and purchase. Since I was taking over the decorating inside, I said Dustin could be in charge of deciding on a lawn mower. I thought that meant going to the hardware store and picking one up... Little did I know it meant weeks of research!
The first idea Dustin came up with was a manual mower, you know the kind that are pushed and don't have any power. Yea, I killed that one quick and luckily his dad agreed. It would take him days to mow the front yard, let alone the back!
The next idea, an electric lawn mower that you had to plug in. This idea would not die. His dad didn't help as much this time because he said he didn't know how they would do. I was just imagining Dustin having to carry a cord (probably plugged in an outlet in our living room) through our big yard while trying to push the mower. He tried to argue the benefits, "it won't be loud, I won't have to buy gas for it, watch this video it looks great!" Why couldn't we just buy a normal lawn mower!!
I was worried he'd spend hundreds of dollars on this goofy one and then be sick of it after a few times messing with the cord. He wasn't going to give up because he wanted to prove me wrong. If it didn't do a good job cutting grass, he probably would have gone outside and cut it by hand in the dark. I gave up and said fine, but he had to promise he'd use it. He made the order and a few days later the lime green gem showed up. He was like a kid on Christmas, for a lawn mower! I had to go to a baby shower and he was pumped to go mow. At the shower my friend, Ashley, asked me if he ended up buying it. We got a good laugh because we had tried so hard to convince him it was a bad idea! Her husband had used one before and hated it.
Driving home, I called Dustin to check in. He sounded less than thrilled. I waited a little bit before asking about it. He gets mad and cries "It wouldn't even turn on!" I shouldn't have, but of course I asked if he had tried another outlet... He didn't find it amusing. I had won the battle and that silly thing was going back! He promised to ship it back and go get a normal lawn mower that weekend. Of course I walked in on him doing more research on the computer, but eventually he went to buy one. It has worked great ever since :)
I'm sure electric and manual mowers can work wonders for people, but when you have a large yard and an old house with limited outlets, not so much!

Lots of Love,

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sun Room Chairs

First DIY Explanation from the bright & sunny sun room!

Seating is a key factor to a fun sun room, and I had specific ideas in mind for what I was wanting...the problem was finding the ideas at a reasonable price! One day, my mom and I were playing around on Etsy and found fun, vintage chairs that were screaming for someone to love them! It came as a set of four and they were a score, even after shipping! I knew I would want some color and needed to spice up the old look. It may look hard to revamp some old chairs, but if they have screwed in cushions and you can spray paint, then it is possible!

Finding chairs: I suggest checking out Etsy, thrift stores, garage sales and antique stores for unique chairs that need some love. Better yet, maybe you or your parents have some in hiding!

Design: Think about where you want the chairs, what they will be used for and the look you are going for. I always love finding a fabric, pillow or painting for inspiration. Pinterest is a great outlet as well - you can always search for ideas as you start to get some inspiration.

Fabric: You can search around online or hit up your local fabric stores. I found this fun fabric at Hobby Lobby. I loved the two prints together, so I decided to do two of each. Make sure you measure to see how much fabric you will need. These chairs took a yard of each, but we had to be careful with the pattern.

Spray Paint: I read up on different spray paints and decided to go with the Rust-Oleum. I chose Meadow Green with a Glossy finish. You will need to remove the cushions from your chairs before spray painting. Old chairs can have some sketchy screws, so be careful! Another tip for chairs that have wheels, cover them with foil. Once the chairs are ready, make sure you wait for a day that isn't too windy (not very easy here in Kansas!). The plastic paint sheets are nice to put under the chairs as you spray, and make sure there is nothing around you that could be ruined. I suggest wearing a medical mask and rubber gloves. I had a green thumb for a couple days and it was not due to gardening! You also want to make sure you aren't wearing anything you don't want paint on - think about your jewelry ladies!
When spray painting, make sure you keep a smooth spray and don't get too close. It took me about a can for each chair to get them really covered. The spraying went pretty quickly, but I ended up doing two a day because my thumb started to get sore. Make sure you have some where you can keep them to dry - a garage is perfect!

Recovering the cushions: It definitely helps to have two people for this process. Luckily, Hailey was easily bribed by wine! Lay your cushions on the fabric and decide the best place to cut. Once you have them cut, you can start the stapling process. Make sure the pattern is lined up. I like to start in the middle of the front or back. Once you have a few staples in, make sure you start pulling really tightly on the fabric because you don't want it to stretch out on you. For the front corners that will be seen, make sure you take the time to fold in the fabric neatly. If there is too much excess fabric, you should trim it up so it doesn't hang down. 

Once you finish recovering, screw the cushions back in and viola! chairs with character!

Lots of Love,

Adding Sunshine to the Sun Room!

One of the first projects I decided to take on to add some character to our new house was updating the sun room. It was a blank canvas with a lot of potential and I wanted it to be fabUlous! Since it is full of windows, I decided white walls would be best. That meant I needed to add the touch of fun to the ceiling...what to do??? I started looking through Pinterest and my initial (and crazy) idea was to wallpaper the ceiling. I started the search for fun wallpaper, but was struggling to find one I loved. Then I saw a black & white stripe wall pin and I fell in love!

After deciding on what to do for the paint, I needed to find some great pieces to put into the room. I found great vintage chairs that I (with help from my amazing friend Hailey) vamped up. Then I started adding in fun pieces like the rug, table, lamp and shelf decorations. Eventually, it became the perfect little sun room for cocktails and gossip!

Here is a sneak peak of the before and after... I will breakdown all the DIYs in future posts this week!

Lots of Love,

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hello There!

My name is Mary Elizabeth and I am a recently married busy bee with a lot of home projects and party planning to do! On my blog I want to share with you some of the exciting DIY projects I have done and the future ones I have in store. I also love to throw a good party (especially with my new, fabulous wedding presents!), so I will be posting ideas for those as well.
When choosing our house, we wanted to pick a neighborhood and house with a lot of character. This house fit the bill and it is a 90 year old gem. We fell in love and have been working on making it our dream home ever since. Luckily, my handsome husband lets me take the reins on decorating, as long as he can take over the yard - fine by me! 

Hope you all enjoy and learn something new, or at least get a good laugh. Thank you for visiting!

Lots of Love,