Random Life Update

I'm finally finishing up some bigger projects and realize I haven't posted much on here since I moved into my new apartment.  Prepare for a randome update of the last couple months (limited amount of photos from facebook since my computer crashed)...  I'm still in love with the new place, but am working on rearranging pretty much every room of the apartment since I have some furniture additions and better thought out floor plans since I first moved in.
OU Homecoming - endzone seats

I spent a couple weekends out of town.  A weekend in October, my aunt was being honored as Alumna of the Year.  I had an awesome time hanging out with my family, going to the events for my aunt, and celebrating OU's homecoming.  Their band really is the best in the land.  Their halftime show was awesome!  It was cool to see how other schools celebrate their homecoming and football games.  I haven't been able to enjoy many UC games due to all of the traveling.

My Grandpaha passed away at the end of October, so we headed down to Savannah in early November for his funeral.  I am blessed with such a loving family and was able to celebrate my Grandpa's life that weekend with lots of memories and funny stories.  It's interesting to see the weird little things that make you think of someone, but you didn't realize it until they are gone.

black tie event at OU
A couple of weeks later Thanksgiving quickly arrived.  I enjoyed probably the best Thanksgiving food I've ever eaten and had a great time hanging out with my family.  Thanksgiving is a little taste of the holidays before the crazy Christmas marathon of family events comes, and I am more excited than ever for the holidays this year.

Lately, I have had quite the string of bad luck with my computer breaking down, needing new tires after one year of use, and then needing another unexpected costly car repair all on top of rent and the other normal expenses (enough complaining already).  Despite all of the 'bad luck', I have been learning a lot about appreciating everything in my life and realizing how truly blessed I am.  I've been making an effort to thank God for everything in my life and to 'count my blessings'.  I will share more on these thoughts at another time since I am still processing some things.

Anyways, look forward to updated apartment posts and some finished projects in the weeks coming up to Christmas.  Will also share a peek into some of my family's many Christmas traditions.


New Apartment

I got into the new apartment about a week late due to the previous tenant's move and cleaning, etc.  It took me about two weeks to unpack... personal record!  This is the first time in 5 years that I've been completely unpacked in my own place.

I haven't put up any artwork or pictures yet.  Also, I need to go through and organize everything and probably rearrange some of the furniture, but I wanted to post some pictures so you can at least get the general idea of the apartment.  It is in no way finished and there are a lot of things (decoration-wise) I don't like about it yet, but it's getting there.

Here are a bunch of pictures of everything in the initial stage of unpacking:
entrance.  not much to see yet.
There are a bunch of boxes of books in the living room I have plans of selling online/half price bookstore or giving them away (see corner behind the floral chair that needs to be redone).
There is a little dining room area, but I'm currently using it as a study/bedroom for the puppy until my sister returns my dining room table (December).  The desk is still unfinished, but I'm hoping to get it completed in the next week or two.

Half of kitchen the day I moved in and hadn't unpacked anything yet.  Ignore the huge mess.
I just got this kitchen shelving unit from Target.  So easy to assemble and was really affordable ($30-40 range).  I purchased it in stores and am unable to link to it online.  It is a nice alternative to a pantry
Small telephone shelf.  I want to come up with something a little cuter than this to display, but this is all I have for now. 
Old school bathroom.  Not much to see here.
The closets appear small, but they are incredibly deep so there is a lot of storage space.  There is one closet in the living room and this one in the hallway across from the bathroom.
I was originally using the closet as a dog cage
...and what it looks like now.  I still need to go through and make it a little more organized.
I finally bought a real bed instead of sleeping on a twin mattress on the floor for four years.  This is the only picture of the bedroom I'm going to show because there are clothes everywhere and it all needs to be rearranged.
I have a to-do list a mile long, but it already feels like home.  I'm pretty much in love with the place!


The Heart Finds Peace II

I loved my Here the Heart Finds Peace painting so much, that I decided to make my sister one.  I used the same colors we used in her giant three part painting we did a couple weeks ago.
I started out with a plain chevron pattern similar to the underlying pattern in my inspiration fabric (fabric also from Burkina Faso, Africa).  Next, I painted this gold arrow/chevron pattern on top.  Both patterns are so easy to do and the layering effect looks great.  Finally, I used a navy color to stencil in the words. 
Here is the end result:
 And both of them next to each other:


Wooden Chair

This wooden chair is one of my not-so recent finds, but it needed a little help.  As one always does when redoing furniture, I sanded and wiped down the chair.  It only took me 10 minutes and I did it while I was letting my candles dry.  It already looks better, but was a little rickety and the seat part was falling off.  I brought it to my dad and he worked his magic.
Clove watching my progress.
Five months later, I finally got around to doing something with it!  We were painting my new desk and decided to bring this out and paint it to match.  Primed, painted, added the wash, and it is a perfect match to the desk.
I'm not sure if I will use it at the desk or not, but it will be nice to have something else in the room that coordinates with the desk.


Desk :: Part I

On Saturday, my mom and I went down to St. Vincent de Paul looking for a desk, and I found the perfect one.  This was $65 if we took it home that day.  Unfortunately, we were unable to fit it in her car so we paid some guy $10 to follow us with the desk to my parent's house.
 We went through my furniture pinterest board and looked for some inspiration.  Here is the vanity inspiration piece we settled on:
The next day, I ran by Home Depot and picked up a bunch of painting materials and got to work with my mom.  We used some Kilz primer (no pics of that step) and then added a coat of Behr's Aqua Spray.
We only did one coat of the paint.  I then mixed a gray wash with acrylic paint and water.  I generously painted it over the desk and my mom did all of the wiping off. 
Here are a couple detail pictures after the glaze:

We are loving the result!  The glaze really brings out the little details.  There are still a couple of things that need to be done (clear coat, buy new knobs, etc) so stay tuned for some pics of the final.

On a side note: I'm moving to a new apartment this week.  Wood flooring, lots of windows, first floor, garage space... basically everything I was looking for.  I'm very excited about it and I will post some pictures when I get in there.


Pillow Envelope

Saturday, I went to IKEA and got two FJÄDRAR inner cushions for about $7 each.  I understood the concept for pillow envelopes and had a little plan, but I also found this great tutorial that gives better step by step instructions for pillow covers.  I grabbed my African fabric that I used for my fabric key chain and inspiration for this painting.
I made this for two pillow envelopes so I made a template the size of the pillow and cut two of those (left pieces).  Then I cut two pieces a little longer and cut those pieces in half to get the smaller pieces.  Hem a longer edge on the smaller pieces and then line up and sew all of the pieces together.
It probably took about 40 minutes total with all of the cutting, ironing, pinning and sewing.  The final pillows make a big impact for the small amount of time it took for me to make them.  I will be looking for some coordinating fabric to cover some of my other pillows.  This was so easy!
Of course, it passes the Clove inspection.


The Heart Finds Peace

I set out on creating a smaller piece using a 6"x6" canvas.  I drew inspiration from this fabric I got from Burkina Faso, Africa (left).  The same fabric I used for my fabric scrap keychain.  I love the colors and layers of patterns, so I wanted to use it as the background of this piece.
Months ago, I read the phrase "Here the heart finds peace" and it has been stuck in my head ever since, but I couldn't remember where I originally read it.  I googled the phrase and I found this quote "At this place abides happiness, here the heart finds peace." from Bavaria, 3rd, by Rodney Bolt.  I'm thinking I may have found this quote when I was reading a book that talks a little about the Neuschwanstein castle... who knows?!
I chose the font and layout I wanted using Adobe Illustrator and printed it out on some thick photo paper.  Exacto'ed out the black parts, taped it to the canvas, and 'stenciled' in the letters.
Once I pulled off the stencil, the letters were a little messy so I tidied them up a little, but I also like it a little rougher.

Sidenote: The low quality pics are from my computer since my camera batteries are dead and I'm too lazy to go buy new ones.  Anyways... Here is the final piece:

update:: I bought some batteries for the camera so here is a clearer picture:


Grandma's chair

I got this chair from my grandpa.  My grandma reupholstered it years ago (it even has a matching mirror).  Unfortunately, the chair has this huge rip in it and the padding was coming out.  My grandpa was getting rid of it and knew I was interested in free furniture and upholstery projects.
I'm not quite ready to tackle a full on wingback upholstering project because of the amount of time and space it takes up.  I decided to just cover the rip with a little strip of fabric.

I got this coordinating green fabric for about $6 a yard from Joanne fabrics.  I laid out the fabric and cut, pinned, and sewed it to fit perfectly to the chair.  I also painted the legs white with a primer paint I have left over from this side table redo.
My glue gun died, so I ended up using Gorilla glue to put the fabric in place.  In the future, I probably wouldn't use Gorilla glue for fabric because it bleeds through.
Here is a final-for-now picture:
I'm thinking it needs a little something else, but I'm not really sure what.  Any suggestions?

update:: I decided I'm not happy with the way this looks and it doesn't mesh well with everything else I have so I am looking for a fabric to redo it with.


Getting Artsy

My sister, Celia, wanted to make some original art for her new apartment.  I sent her a few ideas and she settled on a doing a piece inspired by this post on Young House Love. (side note: I recently stumbled on this blog and I have been obsessively reading it. Sooo good!)  We basically used the same approach that Sherry used on Young House Love so check out their blog for more details.
Once we finished the top part, I taped off the top and painted the edges yellow to add a little pop... and introduce a new color to Celia's life.
passes Clove's inspection
Here is the best picture I have of the final:
We've since gone through and tidied up some of the lines.  I'll update the picture when she is moved in and this is put up.


Pollock Inspired

A couple a weeks ago, I bought some blank canvases to make my own pieces.  I had a little design in mind, but it wasn't really turning out how I envisioned it.  I scrapped that idea and decided to do a piece inspired by Jackson Pollock.  Here are some Pollock and Pollock tribute pieces that I drew inspiration from:
Cathedral - Jackson Pollock
Pollock Tribute No. 2
Untitled No. 2
I painted the whole canvas with the leftover coral color from my balcony table project.  I settled on black and gold to drizzle on.  I mixed a little water with the paint so it was more liquidy and drizzled on the colors.  Make sure you put a big drop cloth down...  I only put a small one down but I still found little paint drips on the window, some stuff I had lying around the place, and even a couple of spots on Clove.

Here are some of the process pictures:

And the final (sorry, couldn't get the best picture):

This was so easy to make and only took about 1.5 hours.


Yellow & Turquoise

I have been obsessing with this color combo since I reorganized some filing drawers at work.  I used teal/turquoise and yellow hanging folders and it makes me so happy whenever I go to file one of my purchases... hey, the little things count.
I couldn't find a lot of looks with this color combo, but here are two very different looks that I like:
From the bold above to more of a subtle take on this color combo.
Florence Finds
And a Letterpress print from Urban:
Letterpress: Weathered Beach Numbers Art Print
Urban Outfitters
After jumping over to Pinterest, I just realized I used this color combo with my board covers on my Pinterest homepage.  Looks like I've liked it a little longer than I originally thought.

What do you think of this color combination?
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