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Headboard

So, after about two years of staring lovingly at my headboards and rugs board on pinterest, I bit the bullet and made one of my own. Huge thanks go to John and Sherry over at Young House Love for the final kick in the britches I needed. I realized that with great fabric, I wasn’t that into tufting, which was the most intimidating part. So, with a few hours to kill one evening, I grabbed a tape measure and figured out just how I wanted everything to sit. We’re tall people with a high bed frame, so I knew I wanted the headboard to be taller than I’d ever read about. Our final dimensions were 54 inches high and 76 inches long for our king sized bed.

I ventured out to Joann’s fabric and chose a beautiful, wild purple upholstery fabric

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She’s extreme, but the rest of our bedroom is very muted browns and deep reds (with the exception of the painted nightstands). It ties the room together, and since the headboard’s behind me when I sleep, I’m not too worried about how much she has going on. I also grabbed a roll of batting (40% off coupon, baby!) and walked out with 2.5 yards of fabric and 12 yards of batting for $37. Yeehaw!

The other issue is that the fabric was only 54 inches wide. That was the desired height of the headboard, so it was almost a deal breaker. Then, in an act of blatant stealing inspiration, I decided to make the headboard 36 inches wide and use a few 2×4 scraps to add 18 inch legs. I like round numbers, so 1/3 and 2/3 just felt right. A real decorator likely would have remeasured, but c’est la vie.

When we bought the house, one selling point was a large red dog house out back. I brought Moose over to see it before we moved in, and he scoffed. By the time Wes came home, seven months had passed and Moose had never set foot in the doghouse. We demolished the house but kept the wood, so our healthy pile of plywood is only too easy to steal from for projects like this.

Wes grabbed two pieces, cut them to fit, and attached them with two 2×4 scraps. Waste not, want not!

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We then brought the whole thing inside and wrapped it with two layers of batting, stapling tightly on opposite ends. For example, we did the right side, then the left side, then the top, then the bottom. Feel me? After the batting was secure, I lined up the fabric neurotically carefully and stapled it all the way around.

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Wes added the legs with several 2-inch screws and we popped that sucker into place. Here she is in all of her instagrammed glory.

headboard

Giant frame fail (?)

Y’all know about the frenzy of wedding photo projects since our sweet vow renewal in February. Now that school’s out (sort of, I’m still taking classes and teaching a little while Wes works as a proctor-ologist), I’ve had time to tackle the one I was most excited about: a HUGE framed photo.

I know, I know, not super ambitious, but I knew it would be beautiful, and I wanted to stare at our special day more than just while looking through the album.

I bought theses frames back in November while Wes was deployed, knowing that I’d love to swap out their insides one day, but that the classic designs would match our decor and tide me over until then.

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rookie blogger mistake

no before photo= rookie blogger mistake

In fact, I was so tided over that I initially planned to use this baby for my first big photo print.

Giant frame

Hilarity ensued. And by hilarity, I mean swearing and apologizing to my sweet cousin, Ashley.

Okay, cue dramatic music. I’ll montage you through this.

I read on pinterest, specifically in this post that print shops like FedEx office and Staples, etc. can print huge black and white photos for less than $5 (that’s my kind of price!!). I had my doubts, but I chose my photo, measured my frame, and created the proper dimensions in photoshop (where I totally didn’t erase any imperfections on our faces… okay, you caught me, but this baby is life sized. I don’t want to stare at a breakout for the rest of ever!!).

I headed on over to FedEx office, print release in hand, and asked for an engineer’s print. The employee pushed for the upsell and insisted that photos should be printed on their big fancy machine for “only” $7/square foot. Um, no thanks. I’ll take my engineer’s print please. After several more attempts to change my mind, I walked out of the store with my $4.50 36×24-inch wedding photo. Woo-hoo! I was POSITIVE that the hard part was over. Ha.

I turned the giant frame over and began working, tearing off the paper backing all around the sides.

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Then I ruined my nails forever bent back all of the staples with a butter knife and removed the cardboard backing.

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This thing was triple matted. That’s a level of fancy I can’t even comprehend at this stage of my life. So I started to peel apart the mats. I knew I wanted just the white mat since the photo is more black than white (NOTE: that also makes the photo quality look weirder than a more white than black photo, just an FYI), so I wasn’t too careful about pulling the colored mats apart. That was my second mistake.

After removing all the mats and the print, I was left with approximately 48978234 yards of old unsticky masking tape around the edges of the frame. Ashley jumped in to help me rip it up. Isn’t she grand?

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I put the photo behind the white frame and was too short on the height. I was so disappointed I didn’t even snap a pic. I swore (sorry, ma!) and ran to grab the black frame off of the wall. This time was much easier, since there was no glue on the back. I bent back the staples, taped the photo over the existing one, and popped it all back together.

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MUCH better.

I’m baaaaaaack

Sorry for my absence lately; I have been moving into our first home. Hubs and I have been renters for what feels like forever, so this slip into ownership is cuh-razy. There are so many nuances I didn’t know (but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post). The biggest thing is, I’m getting us settled, and there are some projects headed your way soon.

P.S. be the first to comment with the name of the movie I referenced in the title of this post for a neat surprise.

Monogram Wreath

My name is Jess, and I am a wreath addict. 

But seriously, I have one on every door of my home, and yet I still couldn’t pass up the chance to make this super cute monogram wreath in less than ten minutes. 

I bought this in an S for our last name. See?

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Then, I cut about two feet of burlap ribbon (I use this brand) and tied it around the S in a big bow, just like this.

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Then I made sure everything was even and hung it on the door to our bedroom.

Ta-da!!

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I think in the new house, it will hang in a big empty frame above our bed. I’m still working things out on that front.

Moroccan Table Re-do

Wes always fusses at me for decorating monochromatically, so I knew that when I chose his nightstand, it had a few requirements.

1. Masculine, angular lines.

2. Solid wood (we can’t afford to replace furniture every few years)

3. COLORS with an S. I had to commit to more than one color.

Suffice to say, I was intimidated by just the thought of this project. 

I started out looking at Ikea, but wasn’t happy with the sturdiness/uniqueness of any of their designs. I decided if I was going to paint something, it should NEED painting. So I headed out to scour the thrift stores in town.

I found this gem at the Goodwill Outlet Store for $5.99. (This photo is after I started sanding. Sorry, I’m new at this whole “blog” thing.)

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It was a little banged up, but it had a good shape, it was solid wood, and, for less than the cost of an appetizer at a sit-down restaurant, I couldn’t beat the price.

Next was the issue of color. Our bedroom is done in jewel tones, so I knew I wanted to pair something with plum. I found a great color by Behr that I wanted to match with a lighter, grayer version of the same color. Since the table is small, I was buying samples, which are about $3 each. As I was waiting to have my paint made, I noticed a sad little sample on the bottom shelf. He was a flat gold, and the sticker on his top said $0.50. I took it as a sign that this table would be polychromatic, just the way my man has been begging since we met. I had my purple mixed, grabbed a paintbrush, and headed on my way. Or I would have, but the salesman was very convincing that I’d want a satin finish (which they don’t have in samples) so that any marks would wipe off easier. I got a quart of purple, so expect to see more around our house– and this blog– soon.

I swung by Michael’s to grab a quatrefoil stencil. I was disappointed not to find one until I found this pack by Martha Stewart (my official idol). The Moroccan stencil was perfect. I snatched it up (don’t forget your 40 percent off coupon!)

Once home, I took off the gold-colored fittings, got out my orbital sander (it was less than $20 at the Harbor Freight Store and worth every penny) and got to work. Once the whole thing was sanded down, I wiped it all down with a damp cloth. It looked like this:

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I found the cardboard to a big frame we’d just bought and put it underneath the table so I didn’t get paint all over our kitchen floor. It is H-O-T outside this summer, and I was NOT going to spend the next three days outside painting. I pulled out my plum satin finish paint and got to work on the sides. As they dried, I painted the top gold. You can see the first coats right here:

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While the paint dried, I went for a quick run (check my cute footwear).

Then came the fun part. I taped the stencil down like so

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See the other cute options? SO. EXCITED.

With the stencil lined up at the edge, I figured it would be easy to tessellate (my elementary art teacher would be so proud) the design as I went. There were two problems with this idea.

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Stencils on wet paint pick up said paint. Whoops, live and learn.

2. starting in the middle meant a little more piecing together than would have been necessary. The next time I stencil, I’m starting in one corner and doing a complete row at a time.

SIDENOTE: the stencil is not exactly the same if you rotate it 180 degrees. Always keep the stencil facing the same direction.

From there, it was slow going. I painted a few, then took a break. This continued for the next three days (I could have finished faster, but I have a life, folks!). The pictures tell the story (and my next mistake, dun dun dun) better than I can with words.

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See how I moved the stencil around on the top, giving myself plenty of room to paint as the other parts dried? HUGE MISTAKE. Keeping in line, though it would have been slower, would have kept me from having to fudge the last corner of the table. It’s free-handed and looks it, ladies and gents. Now, not many people will be looking at hubs’ nightstand, but I know it’s there, and now you do too. May I present, the corner of shame:

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And slightly cleaned up, with the pattern finished, here it is:

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With stuff on it, it’s hard to tell that it’s imperfect. One day, when I’m less frantic– read after my death– I’ll go back with a small paintbrush and define the lines with the gold paint. 

With the reveal comes my final confession:

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With hubs gone and us still in our old house, I’ve got his nightstand out as an end table. I like it so much, it’s making me rethink the color scheme of the new living room…