Loving Woven Wall Hangings

My "wall carpet thingy" is finally validated, thanks to Decor8.

The first time I saw one of these wall hangings was over at The Brick House. I was instantly in love, so I filed it away in the back of my mind for future thrifting trips. You can bet I was pretty excited to come across one in the basement of one of my favorite flea markets here in Springfield. I was even more excited when I learned it was priced at $6.00 and everything in that booth was 50% off. 

So I hung it above my fireplace. 

I love this thing, and I'm feeling pretty satisfied after I came across this article on Decor8 and this article on The Design Files about artists who are currently making these kinds of lovely woven wall hangings. Here's a look at what they are talking about. I think they are insanely beautiful.

This past weekend, on our Thanksgiving trip to Warsaw, Missouri, I picked up this guy and gave him a dowel rod:


My husband sometimes appears to think I'm insane. But I'm going to keep buying any reasonably priced woven wall hangings (and paint-by-numbers, Rand!) I can, because I think they are lovely, and they can really amp up a room. Does anyone else out there agree?

Thrifty Finds // 7

This weekend we had Rand's side of the family's Thanksgiving celebration, and we all gathered together in Warsaw (Missouri, not Poland) for family time and flea market time. Here are the few little goodies I picked up while I was there:

Woven Wall Hanging, $15.00
This is on the upper end of what I would call a thrifty price. But I love these! In fact, I'm going to write another post about how much I love these.

Vintage Bullet Planter, $10.00
This thing needs a good cleaning and maybe some spray paint on those shabby legs. But I still like it!!

Records-Cat Stevens, Bing Crosby, and Rod Stewart, $1.00 each. We like to rock.

So this corner of my living room got some special treatment after this thrifty trip. I just stuck a pot of bamboo in the planter for now, but hopefully soon I will get time to plant something directly in it. Here's what this corner looks like now:

Have you had any good thrifty finds lately?

Lately I've been doing better than I can afford to be. I need to cut back, but it's tough when I keep finding good stuff! By the way, I passed up A LOT of paint by numbers while I was there. That took some restraint.

Do you think there will be any drainage issues when I put a plant into that bullet planter? 

Have you had any of your Thanksgivings yet?

Vintage DIY Books + My Crafty Story

I'm pretty sure my craftiness started because I watched Gone With The Wind in the sixth grade. I know I was too old to still be playing with Barbies at that time, but I was so in love with the clothing in that movie that I started buying fabric and sewing antebellum-style dresses and accessories for my dolls. It got really out of control when I discovered the remnants bin at Hobby Lobby.

Anyway, I got crafty, and at some point I developed enough crafty courage that when I came across my mom's set of Better Homes and Gardens DIY books, I bought a few supplies and taught myself to knit and crochet. Suddenly my Barbie dolls started getting scarves and beanie caps.

Next I moved on to embroidery and eventually to knitting human people-sized things, but it wasn't long until I had moved on and all those things I had created and learned were packed away somewhere.  It was only a couple of years ago that the box they were in finally resurfaced and my mom let me take them home. They've been with me ever since.

I've been crafting and thrifting it up real nice lately so I decided I better step up my photography game a little by building a light box. I took these photos this weekend during my first photo session with it and I love it! It makes things so pretty and bright. I thought my little collection (See? I've added two more books, so it's a collection!) would make a nice subject.

I haven't picked up knitting since that short time when I was a kid, but I did create my string art project recently using ideas from String Things You Can Create, and I want to make a rag rug at some point, like the happy lady in the picture. And even though I have no interest in appliqué or needlepoint at the moment, I am in love with the photographs inside of fifties and seventies interiors and crafty turtleneck-wearing friends gathering to braid a rug.

Where can I find friends who want to do that on a Friday night?


Jordan Valley Park + Downtown SGF

Today it has suddenly gotten very cold around here, which reminded me to post the photos I took this weekend, when the weather was beautiful. Rand and I decided to go out and walk around our city's downtown, and I took my new camera. We went to the top of a parking garage, and then we walked around Jordan Valley Park and the downtown area. The leaves on the trees were amazing shades of red and orange, and there were families and photo shoots happening everywhere. It was a great day to have a camera in my hands.

At first, carrying a big camera around was a little awkward, with people watching you and having to wait a few seconds longer for you to get out of their way. Eventually I got over it and started snapping happy, and it was a wonderful feeling. I'm taking it with me from now on.

See that weird half circle of light happening in a couple of shots? I'm trying to figure out why that happened in just some photos but not others and what I can do to fix it. Maybe I need to take it apart and clean it.  If you know anything about this, please share!

My Bedroom Makeover Reveal

Hello again!

The One Room Challenge is wrapping up this week, and I'm really excited to see all the reveals. My room is not quite done because there is one big, glaring thing not finished, but everything else about this room is complete, and I am so much more in love with my bedroom than I was six weeks ago.

A couple weeks into the challenge, my husband and I ripped up our bedroom carpet and made a plan to paint the hardwood floors underneath. This is definitely the most economical option, and we had planned for this to happen last week. As luck would have it, and as I mentioned a couple days ago, my car suddenly needed a new fuel pump last week, which seriously cut into my DIY budget. As a result, our floor project has been bumped back a couple weeks.

This project won't end up costing very much to complete, but it will cost more than zero dollars, which is what I have to spare at the moment.

But it's still okay! Aside from the floors, this room has had a dramatic makeover, which I am thrilled to show you today. Here is a little collage I made to remind you where we started and how not great my first bedroom makeover was:

So here's the tour!

We repainted the trim and the walls, and hung new Kvart lights from Ikea on either side of the bed. I hung up the wahoo board above the bed and switched out our old bedding for an Ikea duvet and floral sheets from Ross. The lamp is new from Kirkland's, and I repainted our old white dresser and chest of drawers and added leather drawer pulls. 

The saucer chair came from the living room, and I thrifted the little mid-century bookcase.  The bookcase makes me feel like I finally found a purpose for this little dormer space!

I painted the doors Benjamin Moore's Onyx. Now I want to repaint all my doors this color.

I also brought the impatiens inside and made a jute plant hanger for them.  They love their new home!

I couldn't get the right angle to photograph the stuff on the dresser, so I gave up and decided to be in the picture. Those are my grandparents on their wedding day. The E is thrifted, and the mirror came off of an old dressing table.

It was time to bring the plants in anyway, so I brought my citrus tree in here. I made those hanging lamp shades a couple years ago, although I'm not sure if they will stay in here. They looked a lot better hanging from the 9' ceilings downstairs.  But look at those impatiens!!

It needs its floor painted, but I'm so happy with this room!!  I'm kind of a minimalist with decorating and I'm in love with bright white, so this room is just right for me. Thank you so much to Linda for dreaming up and hosting the One Room Challenge! It was great motivation to get moving on this room, I've discovered several new blogs to follow, and I loved connecting with other bloggers!

Be sure to check out the rest of the participants' reveal posts here. And if you stopped by this little blog from the One Room Challenge, thank you! I'm so glad you did.

Blog Updates + Glittery Header Tutorial

Sad news.

This week all my DIYing and house projects came to an abrupt halt the moment the mechanic told me my car's problem was a bad fuel pump, and it would cost, well, definitely my whole monthly DIY budget to fix.

Shoot. Just like that, all my home decor dreams are on hold for this month.

Since I was sitting around with no extra money to spend (well, I had $12.99, we'll get to that in a second), but I still had an itch to do something creative, I decided to finally give my blog a facelift I had been considering.

So...what do you think?

First of all, you might notice up in the address bar a little change I finally got around to. (At least I hope you do! Let me know if you don't.)  I'm a .com! I'm not sure what purpose this really serves, but for $12.99, which I was able to part with, my heart fills with joy every time my new address appears in the address bar. I used GoDaddy.com, and they were super helpful. It is a little confusing at first, but they immediately call you after you register and ask you if you have any questions, and they got it all worked out for me. I would recommend them! (This sounds vaguely like a sponsored post, but trust me. No one's sponsoring little old me. I just used them and had a great experience.)

Now on to the aesthetic improvements around here. Want to know how I did it? I thought since this is a DIY blog, someone out there might be interested in reading about how to DIY a blog design.  Today I'll show you just one trick I used, and if anyone is interested, I could create tutorials for the other updates I made.

And this is serious DIY. No Photoshop required. If you have a computer, Flash, access to the internet, and a little patience, you can do this.

To make the letters in my header appear glittery, I used Pixlr.com. First I downloaded a font I liked (I used Yellowtail from Fontsquirrel) and typed out my header in a transparent image 920 pixels wide and 200 pixels high (These dimensions just depend on the width of your blog. Check your blog's width to be sure.).

Next, go to the Layer menu, and click Merge Down. This will merge your text into the background, so that it's part of the image and you can copy it.

Next, I created another image the same size, that was not transparent, and I filled it with the color I wanted, using the paint bucket tool. I used a yellowy-gold color, but note that the glitter effect will make the color appear lighter. I had to go back and select a darker gold after my first try. Click the largest color box on the left menu to select your color.

When you have your gold image (or whatever color your chose), go to Filter > Noise, and adjust the noise to somewhere between 130 and 150. Play around with it until you have the "glitter" look you like.

Click back to your text image. Click the Marquee tool and make sure you are using the rectangular selector. Select around your text, then click copy (Ctrl + C). Go back to your glittery image and click paste (Ctrl + V). Your text should appear on top of your glitter.  Now, using the Wand tool, click inside each of the letters. Hold the shift key down to select all of it. Only your text should become selected.

Go to Edit > Invert Selection, then click Edit > Clear (I clicked delete on my keyboard and that worked, too.). This will delete everything in that image that was surrounding your letters. Now go to over to the Layers window, and delete the background image and the text layer.

Finally, go to Edit > Deselect All to see your glittery words! Save it so you insert it into your blog. Be sure to save it as a PNG or you may end up with a shadow in the background of your header.

If you're using Blogger like me, just go into your Layout menu, click on the header, select your image and be sure to click "Instead of title and description."

If you view your blog and the header doesn't look centered, first try adjusting your widths under Template > Customize > Adjust Widths. If an easy adjustment there doesn't center it, you can try adding CSS by going to Template > Customize > Add CSS and inserting this in the CSS box:

#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto;}

Let me know if you have any questions! Feel free to comment about any blog update you would like to know about. I would love to share the other tricks I used, if anyone is interested!
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