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Nervous Energy

15 Aug

After we got home from Clara’s surgery and knew that she was ok, I think the rest of us didn’t know what to do with ourselves.  We had so much pent up nervous energy, that we couldn’t just sit around.  Clara just wanted to eat and drink, and play every now and then, but was pretty low key compared to a normal day.  So we took advantage of the energy and the time, and worked on a few little projects around the house.

Joel and I had taken a trip to IKEA on Tuesday to get a few extra bookshelves for the office.  We had 3 big ones from before, but with law school and Joel’s insatiable love for books (I love them too, but don’t have all that much time to read anymore), our book collection had outgrown the available shelf space.  So we figured out that 3 of the skinny Billy bookshelves with the corner hardware that allowed us to put one on a short wall, one in the corner at an angle, and the other on the long wall beside the 3 big shelves, we’d have more than enough room, and it made a complete bookshelf wall.  Here’s the after.  I forgot to take a before photo.  Whoops!


While my dad and Joel put together the bookshelves, I asked my mom to help me with my hallway art arrangement.  I’ve been planning this ever since we bought the house.  I knew I wanted a big arrangement of photos and other pieces, but I was having a hard time picturing it in my head.  I finally ordered some canvases that I knew I wanted to incorporate into the arrangement, and when they arrived a few weeks ago, I knew I finally had all the pieces I needed.

The stained glass was a christmas gift from my mom a few years ago – there is a great salvage shop near where they live.  I’ve been wanting to hang it ever since I got it, but never had the perfect spot.  I knew it had to be a part of the hallway.


Last year when we were home for Christmas, my mom and I went to an antique store/salvage shop and found a bunch of great pieces.  I knew at that point that I was going to work on this project, but that I didn’t have all the elements I needed.  So we spent a few hours walking around, picking out fun, different pieces.  Here’s what we got:  4 different shaped iron pieces, 5 old keys, a keyhole, an old drawer pull, and 2 old metal stencil letters.

Other items included: frames I already owned, blank canvases (already owned), an old map, thread, a knob ($1.50 at home depot), corrugated cardboard, some old keys we had, hot glue, and some chain we bought at home depot.  Who would have thought that all of these things could come together to make a cohesive arrangement?

So, after an afternoon of painting, glueing, sewing, and hanging, here is my hallway!  A couple of the frames still need new photos – I’m planning to print more family photos for those (the three across frame and the top right hand frame) and then it will really be done!



I love coming down the stairs and looking toward the front door and seeing this.  Makes me smile every time.  For those of you who will ask, my sister took the photo of the three of us in the snow, and the one of Clara alone is from her first week here on earth, and the other photo canvas is from our trip to Hawaii a few years ago.  I love the way it all turned out!

My dad also cut a piece of plywood for me to put on top of two shorter bookshelves that we had that I’m going to use as a sewing desk!  Woohoo!  Photos of that when I get the sewing room all put together.



Finishing Touches

5 May

I just ordered my rug.  Finally.  I did it.

So now all that’s left is to find a last few things to put on the walls and the living room will be done.

I really want to do something like this:

via That's Happy

It’ll be different photos, of course.  I need to start working on taking those photos.  Probably shades of blue instead of yellow.  But I love the concept, and that’s what inspiration is about, right?

I found the perfect frames.  Square, with mat, white, good price point… The only downside?  They’re only available from Ikea.  In store.  No online sales for these perfect frames.

So what’s the problem?  Well, I live about 3 hours from the nearest Ikea in Charlotte.  Sad day.

I haven’t found anything else that I like as well as these, and I don’t imagine I will.  So I guess I’ll have to make a road trip to Charlotte soon.  Too bad I didn’t find this before so that I could have done it the last time I was there for a shoot.

Think I can talk Joel into a small detour on the way to St. Louis?  Hmmm….

The Rug: Found!

24 Mar

Hello friends.

Today, Clara has decided that she doesn’t want to sleep.  I suspect that there’s another tooth on the way.  Makes for a fun afternoon.

I have been on a search.  The search for the perfect rug for my living room.  You might remember the color we chose for our wall – Determined Orange:

Well, I love the color.  It’s fun, bright, and not too much to overpower the room.  I also love the hardwood floors in here, but with a 6 month old who will be crawling and walking before I know it, it’s going to be necessary to have a rug.

I’ve looked and looked and looked.  There are some great rugs out there.  My problem is that the ones I love are too small for the room.  I need a rug that’s at least 8×10.  I actually thought I would need one bigger than that, but after doing some measuring, I think that will be good enough.

The other problem is that any rug that has orange in it seems to be mostly brown – which, paired with our brown sectional, sucks all the light out of my bright living room.  So, back to the drawing board.

Enter, Ballard Designs.  I don’t know why, but one day I randomly got their catalog in the mail.  Maybe because we moved and then our address was sold to the entire universe of companies that want to sell us something.  I don’t even know why I looked at it – I typically just throw those things out.  But, I flipped through it.  They actually have some really cool stuff, and I’d consider buying more stuff from them eventually.

But this is what really caught my attention:

I like the paisley design, the navy pulls in the color from the dining room walls, and there’s just a hint of orangey-red in there to tie in to the wall.

But since I’m not one to gamble on expensive things like rugs, so I checked out their website to find that they offer swatches of their rugs for you to check out.  Awesome.  And they’re free.  You just pay for the shipping, which wasn’t really that bad.  So I ordered the swatch, and it came today!  And… I love it!


And, so it is that the decision has finally been made!  Woohoo!

The Chair

8 Feb

So, an update on the chair… A lot of the fabrics that I liked were somehow out of stock when I went to order.  So I started my search over again.  And I found this.  A stripe that has the same colors as the polka dotted fabric, and an orange that just happens to match my wall almost exactly.  Not too much of it, but just enough to pull it in.  And it has blue.  Really, I think it was meant to be that everything else sold out.  I wasn’t sure about the scale of some of those other patterns as well.

Anyway, here’s what I went with.  I think I got enough that I can make a little throw pillow after I’m done reupholstering.  Yahoo!


Pardon the Tracer machine in the shot – I’ve been trying to get a little more artwork done for Clara’s nursery in my free time.  Oh, wait.  What free time?

But back to the important stuff – what do you think of the fabric???

Paint Colors

30 Oct

Ok, so I’m having an internal struggle with color. Of the walls.

I seem to get into a rut.  My rut used to be green.  I painted our downstairs green.  Then our master bath – a kind of seafoam.  Then I didn’t like that so I painted it an ocean blue.  Then we had a baby and we painted her room robin’s egg blue.  Then we put our house on the market and we painted the downstairs a barely-not-white color of blue.  So now, my rut is blue.

Now we are moving into a new house.  I don’t want to paint all the walls, just a few accent walls.  But I do want to use fun, bold colors.

Here’s the house….

Clara’s room will stay the same.  Blue.

There are only a couple other places I want to paint at this point.  The dining room and the fireplace wall in the living room.  Here’s the dining room:

And the color I want to paint it…

Blue.  Haha.  But I love it – LOVE it.  With the white trimwork, I love the way it pops!

By the way – if you want to try this out, I did it on, which allows you to upload a photo and mask off a wall, and drag any of their paint colors onto it to see what it would look like instantly.  Love that.

Here’s the other wall I want to paint:

The question is, what color do I paint it?  Our furniture is dark brown, but besides that I don’t have any other color restrictions.  I seem to be gravitating towards…. oh, you guessed it…

Blue.  But I don’t want the whole house to be blue.  So I am asking for your help.  Help me figure out what color to paint that wall.  Just the one wall.  Please?  I have to decide this week, because we close next Tuesday and move in next Friday!

If you suggest the winning color, you can have the satisfaction of knowing that you have amazing taste!


The cutest thing…

3 Aug

I was perusing my Google Reader today, feeling completely overwhelmed with the number of unread posts.  But, as often happens, I found something really cute!  This adorable little t-shirt was found on say YES! to hoboken.  I love it!  She gives a full tutorial for how to use any design you like, cut it out of printer paper, and stencil it onto a shirt.  I may have to use this idea and decorate some plain white onesies for the little one….

Oh the possibilities….

Weekend Update

1 Aug

This is just a quick one for you – it’s been a productive weekend!  We accomplished the following:

  • Had a lovely baby shower (thanks Diana, Emily, and Elizabeth!)
  • Joel was so excited about all the stuff that it actually got unpacked, sorted, and put away the same day
  • Dad repainted the guest/baby bathroom for us – it’s a lovely creamy yellow color
  • We hung our new polka dot and whale shower curtain
  • Rachel painted the shelf my dad made for us
  • Said shelf was hung on the wall
  • Curtains were finished, curtain rod put on wall, and curtains hung (!)
  • Artwork (most of it) was hung on the wall of the nursery
  • Streetside shrubs demolished (some would call it pruned, but I think it went beyond that)

Now for the rest of the week:

  • Clean out guest/baby bathroom cabinets and drawers
  • Tame the rest of the yard (mow, trim the rest of the shrubs, mulch)
  • Finish up artwork
  • Write thank you notes
  • Paint animals for top of shelf
  • Laundry
  • Shoot a wedding Saturday
  • And so much more!

I just realized today that several of my friends have delivered their babies at 37 weeks… which would be about 4 weeks from now… insanity.  It has kicked me into high gear.  Would be great if the weather would stay cool so I can do all the things I want to do…

The Massive To-Do List

25 Jun

You could say I’m nesting.

I don’t really know what this looks like for other people.  For me, it means wanting to have everything done.  Organized.  Clean.  Minimized. Complete.

I have made a giant to-do list with everything that I have to accomplish before the baby gets here.  It is ginormous.  There’s no other way to describe it.  Massive.  But I have it broken down by room, and tasks under each room to keep myself from getting overwhelmed.  Since it’s the beginning of July, and a new month is a good time for starting projects (right?), here’s a bit of it my list (keeping in mind, I know how completely ridiculous I am and how excessive this is…).  Some of the items have already been tackled since my dad was up here last weekend.  He did a lot of things that I couldn’t have tackled myself, which was awesome!  This is more for me to keep track of things, and to feel good about crossing things off when I get them done… I love that feeling.

Flower Bed by Street:

  • kill grass
  • remove grass
  • put down black garden paper
  • buy more mulch
  • put down mulch
  • plant gardenias
  • plant bulbs
  • edge with bricks


  • move concrete block (for some reason, we have this concrete parking stop in our garage… we inherited it when joel bought the house)
  • hang joel’s heavybag
  • move workbench
  • put away gym equipment
  • sweep and mop
  • paint pegboard
  • organize tools
  • put basic tools on pegboard (so i can find a screwdriver or a hammer when i need one. this is impossible right now)
  • move freezer
  • clean out freezer

Garden Tools

  • close in area under the deck
  • put in a work bench/potting bench
  • get containers for potting soil
  • put up hooks for tools


  • get one copy of everything onto one HDD
  • make cuts and delete them
  • backup to second HDD
  • online backup
  • delete all other copies of photos

Laundry Room

  • get small trash can
  • remove cabinet doors
  • organize cabinets
  • throw out trash
  • take all shoes upstairs


  • complete mileage log Jan-June
  • complete expenses spreadsheet for 2010
  • file papers and receipts
  • update website – so many amazing weddings to add to the site… gotta do this SOON!


  • fix door trim
  • choose fabric for bedding
  • make bedding
  • canvases
  • paint clock
  • paint shelf
  • paint bathroom?
  • figure out closet organization
  • get carpet cleaned
  • make curtains

Dining Room

  • organize bills
  • move shredder
  • clean up projects
  • file bills
  • clean out trunk
  • fix leg on trunk

Living Room

  • clean out baskets
  • find a spot for joel’s gym bag to live
  • get table for by front door
  • clean out shoe basket
  • clean out hooks by door


  • clean out tupperware drawer
  • clean/organize ziploc drawer
  • organize pantry
  • clean out inside frezer
  • clean out pantry


  • move dvd shelf down
  • hide cables
  • put new outlet in wall
  • clean out dresser (joel)
  • give away clothes
  • get carpet cleaned

Man Room

  • cover base of stadium seats with carpet (anyone know where i can get a scrap of carpet? maybe 6’x6′)
  • get carpet cleaned


  • put all contacts in
  • clean up laptop
  • memory for mac pro
  • organize files
  • online backup of personal files


  • sweep
  • clean wood
  • refinish

Twins and Fabric-Finding Amazingness!

26 May

The other day at work, someone asked me the strangest question. He’s one of my favorite people at work, so I was shocked.  The man approached me and asked, “Are you having twins?”

Ummm, what?  I just stared at him and said, “Really?” (channeling Amy Pohler from SNL during the Weekend Update sketch “REALLY?!?! With Seth and Amy).  For the record, I am NOT having twins.  There’s one baby in there, and one is plenty for me at this point.

I’m sorry, but people like that should just not speak to pregnant people.  Comments like that, and “Wow, you’re ready to pop aren’t you” or “Are you sure you have 2 more months??” And the worst of it all is that usually the people who say those things are women!  Seriously.  Women.  Ok ladies, we all know that most of us have issues with our bodies in the first place… not to mention when you have an ever-expanding belly… just do not say anything.

Ok, rant over.

In other news, I found this incredible website on a blog today… I would credit them, but I cannot remember for the life of me which one it was.  But this is the most incredible thing!  There is an online fabric store with a color grid tool…. You can select the color you want in your fabric, now dominant you’d like that color to be, and how close you want the color to be to what you choose… and it will return all of the fabrics the store has with that color.  Ummm, hello???  This is amazing! Check it out!  You will love it.

Adventures in Nursery Decorating

19 May

Perhaps this post would best be served by me giving you a little insight into our plan for the nursery. I have a vision.  It’s perhaps still developing, but it’s a vision nonetheless.  I happen to think if your vision gets stuck in one place, perhaps you are being a bit too stubborn.  But I digress.

I found the most amazing color for a nursery over on my friend and fellow photographer, Candice Lanning’s blog – The Beautiful Mess Photography.  She and her hubby did a session for some clients who had just had a baby, and the color of their nursery was GORGEOUS!  I loved the yellow combined with the blue.

This is my first point of inspiration.  I am going for a slightly bolder look – a bit brighter with the yellow and adding in some orange and maybe even some red as accents.

Amazingly, when I showed this to Joel, he liked it too!  Shocking, I know.  I asked Candice to find out the name of the paint color, because I am obsessive like that, and she, being the amazing person that she is, asked them.  Thank you, Candice!  So, here it is:

Because Joel was in hard core “nesting mode” far and long before I was (immediately after finding out we were pregnant, while I was still in a bit of shock), we chose this color before we knew the sex of our baby.  Because of that, I wanted to make sure it was something I could make masculine for a boy or feminine for a girl.  It needed to be a flexible color.  Is that even a thing?  Well, regardless… So Bird’s Egg seemed like a good choice.  A turquoise-ey blue with enough green to not look completely baby (or Carolina, ugh) blue.  Joel painted the nursery with one hand (and a significant amount of help from Brandon, his brother-in-law), and it looks amazing.

But that’s just a color, and one color does not a vision make.  So, here are some of the other things I’ve been thinking of for the little nursery…

The Furniture -in the darker color.  The crib converts to a toddler bed, then a twin, then a daybed, then a double.  Or full.  I can’t remember.  Either way, one bed – whole life.  Love that.  Waiting for it to come in the next few weeks.  I think it will help me visualize the room a little better.

Giraffe Shelf (originally seen on black eiffel) – which will be modified from this version and made by my dad.  Told you, he can do anything.  We’ll probably do a bunch of giraffes and/or other animals along a longer line in the back, and then put a small shelf cantilevered from the front.  Maybe I’ll double-decker it so there are two rows of animals and two shelves.

Canvases – here are a few of them… I love the elephants the most! Sorry for the bad iphone pictures – better ones when everything is done.

Curtains – not sure which fabric I’m going to choose.  I’m open to suggestions and opinions.  I just want 2  simple panels from the top of the window to the floor… or halfway between windowsill and floor.  I’m going to make these myself, with the sewing machine my sister willingly gave up for me to use.  Thanks, Rachel!

I found all of these fabrics on because the selection in the fabric store is less than desirable.  At least I think so.

Bedding – again, not sure which fabrics to choose.  Help?  These and/or any of the above… ack!

I’m having a hard time choosing, because I’ve already had one fabric mishap.  I ordered these curtains from urbanoutfitters:

They look white, yes?  Well, they came yesterday.  They are most certainly NOT white.  They are a weird shade of beige that just looks dirty next to that sweet cool blue wall and white trim.  So back they go.  Hence the making my own curtains thing.  I’m ok with that, though.  I like to make things.  It will be an adventure.  (Mom always used to say that when we were lost in the car.  Not to say that I’m lost at sewing… well, it has been years, so I suppose it’s possible.)

Anyway, that’s it for the first installment of Adventures in Nursery Decorating.  I would love to hear what you think about the fabrics… or if you have ever made crib bedding yourself… how hard is it?