Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The answer to my entryway problem?

I've been trying to come up with some sort of entryway in my house.  I think an entryway will really help to keep my things organized when I come in the door, as least that's what I keep telling myself.  I wrote a post with pictures of the type of entryway I might like.  Here are a few specific things I'm looking for.

1.  A few hooks to hang coats and/or bags

2.  A place to drop a bag that is too heavy to hang

3.  A place to put mail or keys

4.  A place to keep shoes

5.  It must be small.  We don't have a lot of space to work with.

6.  It must be affordable.

I researched benchs, tables, and hooks on Overstock, and I came up with a few ideas.  Then I happened to run across this. . .

I don't even remember where I saw this.  I don't think it was from the original source, A Beautiful Mess, and I know it wasn't Apartment Therapy, although they did feature it later.  When I saw this,  I  thought, "that's it!"  I'm going for a bohemian vibe in my kitchen, and this is perfect.  I've already picked up the crates using my 50% off coupons at AC Moore.  That brings the crates down to $5 a piece (affordable, check!).  Now I just need to get the boards, hooks, and stain.  I can't wait until it's finished!  I can't wait until I have the whole kitchen finished, and I can share the before and after pictures with you.  I still have a few more projects to complete.  I'm working on a roman shade right now.  I think I'm well on my way to a happy kitchen.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Syncopated Sundays

Hello!  Today I'm starting a new series called Syncopated Sundays.  I'll be featuring a few of my favorite finds and blog posts from around the web.

First up is this adorable nursery from The Hunted Interior.  This room floored me!  It's gorgeous!  I love that it's a space for mom and baby.

This easy-going outfit from What I Wore is great.  Have you discovered the maxi dress?  It's feels like going out in your pajamas, but looks put together. 

Dana from House *Tweaking showed us some updates she's made to her laundry nook.  I love the new mirror, and she looks cute too!

Hope you have a great start to the new week!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Watercolor Crush: Watercolor Curtains

A few weeks ago I started my series Watercolor Crush.  I've already shared with you my DIY Ombre Watercolor Art and my Watercolor Invitations.  Today I'm going to share my dining room curtains.

You might remember that I was looking for fabric for my new bedroom curtains when I spotted a fabric that I fell in love with.  It looked a little bit like a watercolor painting.  I took a swatch of the fabric home and held it up against my herbal green walls and loved the way it looked.  I made two sets of curtains: one for the bedroom and one for the dining room.  Normally that wouldn't be so bad except that our windows are very long.  You can get by with two panels on many windows, but our windows take four panels.  That means that between the two windows I made eight panels.  It was a lot of sewing.  Some people like to use the no-sew curtains, but I decided to use my sewing machine.  It's just a few long straight lines.

I decided that I wanted curtains that pool on the floor a little bit for this room.  It's a bit more dramatic.

Here's a close-up of the pattern.

I think they add some much-needed color to the room.

I hope you enjoyed this series.  If you've done a watercolor project recently or have a favorite from another blogger, leave a comment with a link!  I'd love to check it out!  Take a look at this post from one of my favorite blogs The Little Green Notebook.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Field Trip: Sandra McCracken in Lancaster!

Yesterday my husband and I went to Lancaster to attend a workshop and concert of my favorite singer/songwriter, Sandra McCracken.  The tickets were a present from my husband.  What a guy!

She's an independent artist who lives in Nashville, so it's not too often that she tours up in this area.  I was so excited when I found out she would be so close!  The event was sponsored by an organization called The Row House.  The first part of the afternoon was a workshop at The First Floor.

The workshop was a time for us to mingle with other people, engage in some conversations about art and faith, hear a little bit about Sandra and her journey, and of course eat some great food!  The  Row House did such a great job hosting this event.  The food was delicious!

After a time of food and fellowship, it was time to hear what Sandra had to say.  She talked about her songwriting process and how it's evolved over the years.  She talked about her love of hymns and why they are an important part of her life.

Sandra has been involved with the Indelible Grace project.  It's a group of people who have started to put new tunes to old hymns.  I used many of their arrangements when I worked as a worship leader.  One of my favorite parts of the day was when Sandra sang one of her songs from the project, "O Love That Will Not Let Me Go," and everyone in the room started singing along.  In a moment we were instantly connected to these new, old hymns and to everyone in the room.  It was such a powerful thing to be a part of.  

After the workshop, it was time to head over to the concert venue.  The concert was held at the Elks Club.

Again, The Row House did an amazing job coordinating everything.  They decorated the hall with candles and had snacks for people to eat.  They even had a guy spinning records to create some ambiance before the show.

Finally, it was time for Sandra's set.  She played a good variety from all of her albums.  She did a lot of story telling between the songs that added to the intimate feeling of the show.  She took a few requests from the audience.

Here's a video I took of one of the songs at the concert.  This song is a special one that we used to sing when I was working as a worship leader.  This goes out to all of the folks from Allison!

I brought along a copy of her latest album, and at the end of the night she signed it for me.  It really was a great night and one that I'll remember for a long time!  I hope you'll take the time to check out her music.  I have no doubt that you'll be inspired by her thoughtful lyrics like I am!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Watercolor Crush: Watercolor Invitations

A few weeks ago I first told you of my watercolor crush.  Last week I shared my DIY ombre watercolor art.  This week I'm sharing my DIY watercolor invitations.  A few years ago when I got engaged I couldn't find any invitations that I liked, in my budget, so I decided to make my own.  It was a really good decision.  Yes, it was a lot of work, but I got exactly what I wanted.  That process is what first got me interested in creating stationery.  I'll be sharing more about my wedding invitations in a series on my wedding in June.  There are so many great tools available to make your own stationary on the internet.  I got the fonts I used for free and bought some clip art from an Etsy seller.  In a few weeks I'll be hosting a Mother's Day Tea at my house for some family members.  I was excited to design my own invitations for another event.  I wanted the invitations to look light and springy, so I decided to incorporate my new-found love of all things watercolor!

I used Microsoft Word to make my invites.  The first thing you'll have to do is decide how big you want your invitations to be.  I decided this by first finding envelopes.  I bought envelopes from an office supply store that are big enough for greeting cards.  Then I created a text box in a word document that is about two tenths of an inch smaller than the envelope.  I gave my text box a dashed, light grey line so that I knew where to cut.  Since I was making a small number of invitations, I cut them with scissors.

I used some free fonts that I found at dafont.com.  "You're Invited" is one of my favorite fonts, "Windsong."  I wanted a typewriter script for the main body.  I like the contrast between the caligraphy and the rough type.  I chose "Traveling Typewriter."

In this picture you can see the light dotted line that I used as a guide.

I used 110 lb. cardstock to print the cards.  You can purchase watercolor paper at an art supply store.  I'm not sure if you can print on that type of paper from a standard printer.  I might try it next time.  It would probably give you a nicer effect from the watercolor paints.  Since this paper is not meant for watercolor, the paper did curl a bit when it got wet.  I fixed this by putting the finished, dry invitations under a stack of heavy books for a few days.

Before I started painting on the invitations, I practiced.  It's always a good idea to practice before trying something new.  I used an invitation that I found online as inspiration.

Source Unknown

At first I tried to copy this design, but I found that if I just did what felt right, it went much better.  I think the thing that gives the invitations a finished look is a little tap of the brush.  Dip your brush in whatever color you want, and then in the water, and then tap it over the paper.  You'll get a spray of color.

Another tip is to add the lighter colors first.  You can always go back and add more saturation, but it's difficult to make a color lighter.  If you get a little too much color, you can dip your brush in water and try to dilute the color quickly before it dries.

Yes, our home has an official name!  Kepner Memorial Parsonage, Kensington Palace, it's kind of the same thing.

Next week I'll be finishing up my Watercolor Crush series with a look at my other new set of curtains.  I hope you'll stop by to check it out!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Black Interior Doors

Today I've been thinking about black interior doors.  I love the look of a glossy black door.  Living in a parsonage, I wonder if it's worth all of the trouble to paint every door in our house.  (Speaking of living in a parsonage, check out the dialogue over at The Nesting Place.  Are there any other parsonage dwellers out there?  Let me know!) 

One of the nice things about living in a parsonage is that when I'm fixing things up, I'm really thinking about paying it forward.  We will not live in this house forever, but doesn't the next family deserve stylish black doors too?  I think so!

source unknown

This would work in our house.  We have white trim.  I like the contrast of the white trim with the black doors.  Currently our doors are an orangey brown color.  You can take a look at our bedroom doors here.

I love this shot from a recent Apartment Therapy House Tour.  This space looks so clean and open.  The black door really adds some interest to this space.  Maybe I'll start by painting the interior of the exterior doors.  Make sense?  What do you think?  What color are your interior doors?  Do you like the look of black doors?  Should I go for it?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Watercolor Crush: DIY Ombre Watercolor Art

Last week I shared my watercolor crush with you.  I told you that when I saw some fabric in a local fabric shop I was inspired to try a few watercolor projects of my own.  The first project I tried was a few simple pieces of artwork for my bathroom.  We have black and white tile work and recently painted the walls grey.  Previously there had been some black and white prints hanging on the walls.  I thought the room needed some color, and DIY artwork would be an easy way to create some.

You will only need a few things to try this project for yourself.  

1.  A set of watercolor paints 
2.  A brush 
3.  Paper   
4.  A cup of water 

I bought an inexpensive set of watercolor paints from Michael's.

This set is perfect for this project, because it comes with several shades of each color.  I decided to go with purple, because I like the shades of purple that are included in this set.  It came with a brush which I tried, but I like a brush that I already had on hand better.  I practiced on a few pieces of paper until I found what worked for me.  I started with the lightest shade and worked in a circular motion.  I worked my way to the darkest shade.  It doesn't get much easier than that.  What do you think?

I really like the way they turned out.  I might even try some bigger prints in the future.   Have you tried any DIY art lately?  What have you come up with?  Check out this post at The Little Green Notebook about watercolor wall coverings.

The Shabby Nest