Saturday, July 28, 2012

take a seat...

in an effort to keep making positive changes around the exterior of our house i mentioned here, i really wanted some chairs for our front porch.  i've been lusting after these adirondack chair kits at Home Depot but they were around $50 the last time i was looking at them and, as much and i LOVE adirondack chairs and REALLY wanted them for our front porch, i couldn't stand paying that much per unfinished, some-assembly-required, chair.  much to my amazement while i was buying flowers they were marked down to $23 each... less than $50 for TWO CHAIRS!  oh, sorry for shouting :)  

so, what's a girl to do? buy the chairs and rush home to assemble them of course!  jhubs wasn't up to the perceived work since he's usually the point person for assembling everything so we waited until the next day when we got a pleasant surprise... can you tell that they look mostly assembled coming out of the box? that's right, the seat and back slats came already assembled!!!

they're remarkably easy to finish.  you attach the seat supports/front legs to one cross support and then put the seat assembly in...

then attach the back side supports to the seat assembly

attach one cross/back support to the back side supports and screw down the back rest... then attach the arms

in about 20 minutes you can have one chair and in about 35 you get 2!

it took more debate to pick out the stain since i wanted them to coordinate with our front deck but the redwood was the front-runner, it was more about picking between transparent stain and paint

stain was definitely the way to go though and they look great.  we're going to give them one more coat before they hit the porch just to make sure they're good and sealed since they were completely unfinished and we plan to leave them out for most of the year.  once they have the final coat i'll be sure to post.

on a side note, we love these chairs so much i went back and bought 4 more for our back patio.  in case you were wondering, we bought the full gallon of stain (way more than necessary for this project) so that we can re-stain all of our outdoor furniture (two benches you can see on the patio in the initial sprucing up post) and the 8-person picnic table jhubs made for one of the first july 4th parties we had.  more on that to come!

Monday, July 23, 2012

going to the gallery...

another project co-inspired by YHL, our friends that love custom personal art and of course Pinterest that i've been meaning to finish lately is to turn the long wall in our living room into a gallery wall that holds more than just photos.  i love to take pictures of our friends and family and i love to be surrounded by photos old and new (which i mentioned a few posts back) but sometimes the best memories are held in mementos from the trip and those often get tossed in a box or drawer.  in an effort to declutter and not hold onto every bit of paper or postcard purchased i've been working on ways to display those things.  the gallery way is a great rotating display of these places and things.

i started by purchasing prints from some of the artists i've been lusting after on etsy.  from inkofme i bought their teal & white world map made from the name of each country, from StudioSRV  a colorful doberman print looked just like my silly girl, ParadaCreations was gracious enough to make a custom i-heart-chicago print even though that city hadn't been added to her collection yet.   

of course i've been getting some pinspiration for things i wanted to DIY for months too, like the number print containing our important dates, a photo-strip of sorts i created from our new year's photo outtakes and i had postcards and a few odds and ends i wanted to include with some photos taken at our church's fall festival (which i still hadn't put in the frame before snapping this pic.)  i had also purchased a vintage-looking travel poster while i was in A2, the poster from a band we went to see and then stumbled along this beautiful and bright windmill print from Laura Amiss to round out the collection.

as for hanging all of the frames i first layed them out on some brown kraft paper to make an arrangement i liked, started by hanging the large vertical frame and moved my way left and right from there and using the LAR (looks about right) method to figure out where each nail should go.  if you're nervous about that method you can definitely handle YHL's method.  

its funny to me how the wall still looks so empty in photos even though the majority of the prints are 8x10s & 5x7s.

i do have a few small frames to find things to fill that i found in the dollar bin at michaels, which will most likely get filled with the smaller momentos from our daily life like bottle caps and cigar bands.  

the jhubs has recently fallen back in like with smoking cigars on cool summer nights and the band artwork is a special bonus, i'm amazed at the work that goes into such a small detail.  i'll be back with a project showing  the main way we're displaying our growing collection of bands and other small reminders of big fun!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

sprucing it up...

even though we had a few weeks of 90+ degree temps outside i've actually gotten out and spruced up our yard, partially inspired on all of the deck and yard work going on at Young House Love, the way they've transformed their curb appeal over the last year has gotten me excited to make some changes here at home... do you remember when jhubs put in a cute patio for me on our anniversary? i don't think i ever posted the finished product so here's where we pretty much left it three years ago

then last year jhubs removed quite a bit of grass and put down mulch to give our yard a more finished look, and give me a place to plant flowers if i ever decided to... which would be now i guess, the yard is just starting to green back up after the days of 100 degree temps nearly killed it all. the bench is super shadowy in this photo but i'm really happy with how it's shaping up..

we bought five of these beauties, balloon flowers (also called Chinese moon flowers) which i love, they're supposed to come back every year, fill in and bloom for quite a long time.

the mulched area continues along the side of the house and to the front walkway where i've also planted quite a bit and added new solar walkway lights (thanks for having them on sale Target!) and put out two begonias for some color out front. 

all of the changes on this side of the house make me want to keep going and work on the look from the street but some of the big blank areas make me nervous... suggestions for that wall of white between the porch and the guest bedroom windows?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Snappin and Shootin...

... photos that is!  it's been a busy and trying few months around here including busy times at work, my father's passing and a vacation or two but the one thing that held true (other than still having a great family and an amazing group of friends) is that i find a lot of stability in taking photos of our life and times.  and yes, once i get caught up i'll share some photos of those times, i promise!  my memory isn't great and taking photos helps me remember what we've done and brings back the emotions of the day, in reality the photos help the times last a bit longer...

Shutterfly is a big part of how i make sure the memories get out of my camera and off of my laptop so i can share them with everyone.  i'm horribly addicted to photo books, prints, photo gifts and the like.  i've talked before about how i make a calendar every year for my mom & grandma of the year's photos, and photographs are my favorite way to decorate my walls.  my first experiece with Shutterfly was when my cousin's wife put together a photobook filled with my late grandmother's recipes, stories and pictures of the family cooking together.  since then i've made several books for friends weddings, my niece's 6th grade graduation and my vacations.  it's amazing how easy, fun and exciting creating the books has been and i recently got an email from them announcing something even more fun!
the Shutterfly Long Live Summer photo contest has started and there's still time to enter!  It started ten days ago but they have a different category for the contest every week and you can enter every single week.  the remaining week's categories are :

Week 3 (7/23): Water Fun
Week 4 (7/30): Sports & Activities
Week 5 (8/6): Parties & Celebrations

and the best part?  every single entry gets an instant prize!!!  there will be a few weekly featured photos on their facebook fan page (which gets you a copy of the new Lonely Planet travel photography book and a $500 Shutterfly giftcard) and the grand prize is a trip to the Bahamas with a professional family photo shoot... how cool is that!

so, what are you waiting for? go grab your camera or search through your memory cards to find a great photo you've taken of some fun at the beach or the pool or even the back yard sprinkler.  upload your pic to their facebook fan page and give it a great caption, it's that easy!

this is a post sponsored by Shutterfly and written by me!