Just Move the Furniture

Monday, April 30, 2012

Just like we have found ways to re-purpose artwork, we also have realized that some spaces just need to be redefined. For example, we first had our office space in the corner of our dining room which is connected to our living room. We thought this empty corner would be perfect for our lovely parson's desk, but instead the crunched corner was rarely used, not practical for use, and was hard to decorate.

First, the printer was stacked on top of the filing cabinet, which consumed half of the space underneath the desk. Needless to say, when the printer wasn't working properly it wasn't the easiest to access. As far as decorating, we purchased skinny shelves to hang above the desk, but we never could quite figure out what to do with them.  Since the rest of the room consists of a farmhouse table, chalkboard frame, and antique sideboard, it was hard to figure out how to make the slick and modern desk fit in (especially since in my head, I never intended on using the desk for a shabby chic theme!).

Over a year ago, we thought about moving the desk into the guest bedroom, but for some reason neither of us thought it would be a good fit (even though it certainly wasn't a good fit in the dining room!). Finally, a few months ago we decided to go for it! We moved the desk into this nook in the guest bedroom and everything fit perfectly. We even have space for the filing cabinet and printer to go beside the desk!  Even though the guest bedroom isn't super modern, we didn't struggle at all figuring how to decorate and accessorize the desk in the new space.  Plus, we now use the desk area way more than we ever had before.

In the end, sometimes the best solution is to just move the furniture.  :)

Cheap Solutions with Chalkboard Paint

Monday, April 23, 2012

Have you ever bought something you loved, but a year later you changed your mind? You may call us trendy or indecisive, but this has definitely happened to us. We bought a large piece of artwork (from Homegoods) to match two coordinating prints we had in our dining room. We loved the frame and linen matte that came with the print, but we wanted different artwork. As you know, finding artwork to match the size of a frame can be pretty challenging. Our solution? Flip the print over and paint a chalkboard on the back. We love it and now use it as a place to write messages to welcome guest or to keep track of a growing to-do list. It’s simple, matches the style of the room, and ultimately was a great way to save money by reusing our previous artwork and frame.
In case you’re wondering, you can buy the chalkboard paint at most home improvement stores. We just followed the instructions on the back and it works for us!

Best Caffe in Little Italy (San Diego)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Right out of college, I moved to San Diego, California. I had visited a couple of summers prior and realized that I LOVED San Diego. Living there for two years only confirmed my view of this wonderful city.

One of my favorite places in the city is Little Italy. At the time, it was the location for both of my favorite things: really good coffee and a wonderful paper store (the paper store has since moved to a different location).  If you ever go to San Diego, you have to check out Caffe Italia, a one of a kind espresso bar (cash only). Their menu includes coffee, espresso, gelato, and sandwiches. They also serve brunch on the weekend. Personally, I can only vouch for the coffee! My favorite drink:
Caffe Emmline -  2 shots of espresso blended with espresso bean gelato, with whipped creme.
I highly recommend any of their blended gelato drinks, but then again, my friends often tease me because when we would meet at coffee shops I was always known for ordering fancy coffee drinks. Of course, the fancy drinks are the ones with the best presentation!

Dancing in the Kitchen

Monday, April 16, 2012

Our kitchen has a new print on the wall that is quite possibly one of my favorites.  I first saw this print on Pinterest and immediately new it was only a matter of time before it would be hanging in our space.  I tried to resist ordering, but it was just so perfect! For some people the kitchen is just for cooking, but for me it has always been a fun place for dancing. Even as a kid, my mom and I would dance around the kitchen while she was cooking. Now, I have a new dance partner, although he probably wouldn't admit it in public! The print is definitely one of our favorites and is a fun addition to our kitchen.

In case you're wondering, the print came from here.

Stationery Aisle

Friday, April 13, 2012

The other week I was at our local Target and of course I just happened to browse the stationery aisle. To my surprise, there was a new line of stationery out by Mara Mi. The collection is just lovely and there is such a wide variety - notebooks, thank you cards, moving announcements, general notecards, and wedding invitations. When I got home, I looked at the company's website and the beautiful designs continued on each page. Plus, Mara Mi also has a store+studio+café in Stillwater, Minnesota. I love the fact they have a coffee and paper in one location! Now I just need to find a way to make a visit to Stillwater!

Front and Center

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

This past weekend, my husband and I took on several projects including this wooden box.  I have been seeing boxes with grass in magazines and blogs, so I decided to give it a try. Of course, that really means I checked with my husband to see if he thought it would work. He used scraps of wood from other projects so it was a really cheap project. In just a few hours, he had the wood cut, nailed, sanded, painted, and ready for use! We found the grass at Michael's and only needed three squares to fill the box. Fortunately, the grass worked perfectly and we now have a new centerpiece to enjoy.

Electrical Tape + Easter Eggs

Monday, April 9, 2012

I know Easter was yesterday, but I wanted to include one post about dyeing Easter eggs.  I had purchased a kit from the grocery store two years ago, so I finally decided to use it. I can't remember the last time I dyed eggs, but I knew I wanted to update my skills from using the stickers and wraps included in the box! I found some inspiration via Pinterest that led me to this post from Martha Stewart. The instructions involved wrapping eggs with strips of electrical tape and dyeing with one color, then reapplying the tape after shifting it slightly and then dyeing with a different color. I loved the layered look it created. I gathered the eggs, electrical tape, and dye kit and got started. My husband and I had a lot of fun making different designs. The only tip I would pass along is to pull/stretch the electrical tape to get a complete seal so you have clean lines when you take it off. Unfortunately, I was almost finished with my half of the eggs before realizing this.  Dyeing eggs is always fun and its also nice to have a colorful bowl of Easter eggs to put on display.  Hope you had a great Easter!

Designs for Easter

Friday, April 6, 2012

Since Easter is almost here I thought I would post a few designs I've been working on for work. Easter Eggstravaganza is an annual event for families and I helped create posters, yard signs, balloons, banners and flyers.

Farmhouse Table: Wrap Up

Monday, April 2, 2012

The final steps involved staining the table. We used a walnut stain followed by three coats of polyurethane. I won't go into the technical details since there are so many great resources on the web that will give you more information than you wanted. Of course, if something goes wrong at this stage you can ultimately sand everything down and try again. Not recommended, but it is an option.

In the end, we learned a lot, made some memories, and have a lovely table that we enjoy. Here are some pictures of the finished results:

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