Sunday, September 25, 2011

Handmade Gifts: A Special Touch


Suffice it to say, I'm extremely excited that it is "officially" autumn! Exuberant even. Life is better when the air is cooler. You can quote me on that.

Last week I dug out my needle and thread and got back to work. A friend at work had a bridal shower, and I knew she liked the shabby chic, thrifty style also. Seeing as we are on a tight budget (aren't we all), I decided to embroider a little something for her. 

I figured this would be easy enough for a noob like me: 

Except I have no idea what stitch that is...I thought it looked a bit like a chain stitch, but I tried that and it didn't work out so well for me. I went with the easy-peasy running stitch, and it ended up looking like this:

I'm no expert... this is only my fourth attempt at needlepoint. I'm really just winging it. 
I should get my mom and mother-in-law to teach me what they know. (Shout out! Hi moms)
I added their wedding date to the bottom. Nice touch, eh?

{Side note: Speaking of "eh?"... Josh went to Canada last week for a gig! He forgot to bring my maple syrup, but I'll make sure he remembers when they go back in November. Maybe I can get him to write a post about his adventure. End side note}

So I put it in a nice frame. A little cottage style touch. I'm happy to report that my friend (and her fiance) loved it. 

Here are two other projects I've completed...

This little guy, ahhh. He makes my heart happy. Unfortunately he still hasn't found a home.

And this guy was a birthday present for my friend and maid of honor Melanie. (Shout out)... It was actually quite big, but you can't tell by the picture.

Here is a site I found (via Pinterest, of course) with step-by-steps of all the embroidery stitches you can imagine. I found it very helpful.

In other news... I added a couple more autumn touches to the living room
Has anyone else noticed there is a lot of touching in this post?

I have really enjoyed this little pumpkin fillers that I got last year at Michael's.

And the two stuffed pumpkins from Hobby Lobby last year (placement subject to change)

And the autumn wreath I made last year (featuring the little pumpkin fillers). 
And yes, our door is purple.
I can't wait to get some mums and real pumpkins.

Oh, and while we were at Michael's, I looked for a matching basket for the one I got last year that just happened to be the perfect size for our coffee table cubbies. Success! (And on sale, so double-success!) I think maybe I should spray paint the baskets yellow instead of painting the coffee table yellow. Thoughts?

I have some more mini-projects in the works.
Stay tuned,

P.S. Here is another shout out to another one of my bridesmaids: Happy Birthday Dana!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I've been holding out: Mini-makeovers

There have been quite a few changes that I have failed to present to the blogosphere. I will remedy that now.

First off, has anyone noticed the sidebar and under-the-post advertisements? Yep, we have officially monetized the blog. This is a good thing. So please, when you check out the ads on the side, you support me and Josh. Theoretically the ads customize to the subject of my blog, so I hope that no inappropriate ads pop up.

Second, The coffee table has been updated. Got a bit of a facelift. Well, more like surgery. Here is the "before."

When we went home about a month ago, we utilized my father-in-law's miter saw. 

AKA ultimate man toy.
So Josh and his dad tore up my coffee table pallets. 

Making any sense yet? 

 Enter cedar planks...

Well this is the outcome...

Ta-dah! Cubbies! The basket on the left is the perfect size, simply my coincidence. I got it a year or two ago, so I hope Michael's still sells them. I think I'm going to spray paint them.

Also, did you notice I put the scraps of wood in the fireplace? hee-hee. (We won't burn them. They will come in handy some day, but they were in the way for now.) I can't wait til we get to have a real fire to cuddle up by.

Josh's mom and dad also gave us some patio furniture.
It has been so handy since it started cooling off.

We've also done a bit of rearranging. We put the record player on top of one of the wooden crates by my grandmother's chair. Now we can actually use it, and it also serves as a side table. 

So the other crate stands alone. Luckily my grandfather-in-law gave me this cool old shoe-polishing contraption. You would put your shoe on top and all your supplies go in the compartment. Which now holds some mason jars and poetry books. 

We also moved things around in the guest bedroom. 

And I made a little wine bottle decor.

It is really difficult for me to throw away glass bottles of any sort... So we had all these wine bottles sitting around.

I thought it looked a little too "college frat party," so I added a bit of brown butcher paper and lace to make it seem more intentional.

I wrap all my presents in this brown paper. (It is also very handy to put under canvas so you don't accidentally get paint on the carpet.)

All I did was cut it to size, use one little piece of tape to secure it (as you can see under that lace), and tie a ribbon of lace around it. I had these twig branches from a previous project and just stuck them in each bottle so it looks like a little wine bottle forest. 

I think it is very autumnal, which is kind of the theme of the "red room" as Josh calls it. 
Speaking of autumn, the mantle got a little mini fall makeover.

 I used the scrapbook paper leaf cutouts that made an appearance at our wedding (we asked out guests to "leave a message" on them) and used the tiny clothespins to clip them to the chicken wire. 

And because I love to include wedding pictures, here are the scrapbook paper leaves at our wedding:

So I used some of the leftovers for decoration.

Another change is in our kitchen. We have very limited counter space (and cabinet space for that matter... small kitchen in general) So we hung a shadow box type shelf thing. 
Here is the "before."

And the "after." We put lots of random things on it that just didn't have a home yet.

Such as our favorite coffee mugs, K-cups, salt n peppa, all our vitamins, an iron trivet, tiny teacup from my pretend tea set as a child, etc.  

Remember kids: always take your vitamins. We really do take these every day. Yay us!

 I don't think I've ever shown you my little side wall between the kitchen and living room. 
Can you spot the thermostat?
It's in the middle! Cute, huh?
By the way, that daisy yarn-embroidery picture is one of my favorites. 

I have also placed a little wooden folding chair (given to me by my sister) in the empty space behind the too-small side table.
I think it is adorable. It's just there to fill the space (and it fits perfectly) but it looks like a little desk.
Also, you can see that the ladder is currently the blanket holder.

Well that's all for now folks. 
Stay tuned,

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fair Frenzy

The fair is such a nostalgic event.

I remember when we were kids and my parents would take my sisters and me to the fair. We would always get wristbands, and I would ride the kiddie dragon "roller coaster" ride a dozen times in a row. 

I remember that the first time Josh and I met each other's families was because we were going to the Mississippi fair with my sisters and their husbands. 

I love the fair. Call me crazy.

But I love the giant squashes.

(That squash is over 1,000 lbs!)
And I love the ferris wheel.

I love the view from the top of the ferris wheel.

I love looking at this huge contraption and wondering how many trucks they use to transport it.

I love love love sliding down the big slide... 
Especially because you can't use a wristband for the one in MS, and in TN you can.

And because I always win.

I love that feeling in your stomach on rides like the Fire Ball.
And I love watching other people's faces on rides.

I know it is awful, but I love fair food.
{I'll recap for you: roasted corn, funnel cake, chicken on a stick, hot dog, nachos, candy apple, and hand made orangeade.}

I didn't get the red velvet funnel cake but please tell me you had the same "What the...?" reaction. 

I love people-watching as the sun goes down.

I love the petting zoo. Especially the alpacas.

...And the sleepy baby lamb

I love picking up carrot pieces that other people have dropped to feed to the animals.
And sleeping goats (because awake goats are jerks, in case you didn't know)

I love the swings (aka Yo-Yo for some reason)

...At sunset...

...and stretching my arms out like Peter Pan and pretending I'm flying

I especially loved this random bunny exhibit.
Look at that fluff!

And those ears!

And that face!

I love watching the moon come up and the lights turn on.

I love watching families race down the big slide

And I love doing it all with this guy!

Because he loves it too.

We stayed all afternoon and evening. We saw an incredibly entertaining band from Louisiana. We saw a bluegrass band of young ginger siblings. We made a few friends. We ate til our tummies ached. We smiled til our cheeks hurt. We rode rides til... well really til the lines got too long and we didn't want to stand in them. 

It was a huge success.

Also, we have been doing a lot of rearranging and tweaking to our apartment.
Stay tuned,
The Myers