Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spring Kitchen Updates

Hi friends!  Spring has sprung!  It is beautiful outside today and now that the sun is shining I had the opportunity to shoot some pictures of my Spring-ified kitchen! Yay!

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Michael recently had a birthday and he got this cool magnetic knife rack as a gift.  (Thanks Brandon!)  We installed it on the wall under the cabinet and were able to fit all our necessary knives on it.  The big Santoku in the middle is the one we use most of the time.  Those others are just for emergencies… and bread…. or the zombie apocalypse. :)

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The new knife rack cleared up the whole corner where the knife block used to live.  I moved the cookbooks over by the microwave.  Now there is so much room on the counter!

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Since Spring is finally here I decided to herald its arrival with a few new plants.  The planters and the little variegated plant came from Ikea.  I love how the planters match my white stripe canisters!

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My friend and I made a trip to Ikea a couple weeks ago and we had a great time looking at all the showrooms and then browsing the d├ęcor items.  I bought this beautiful white tray that I had filled with magazines for a while.  But I thought it deserved a more special presentation, so I put it on the kitchen table with a few Springtime accessories. :)

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Everything looks fresh and clean in here and I’m loving it! :)  Welcome Spring!  I’ll be back soon with a post on my Spring blooms in the yard!  Hope you’re enjoying this lovely weather!

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P.S.  For more updated content, check out my updated House Tour page!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Art for the Master

I’m a country girl at heart, even though I live near the “big city” now (not really!) and I’ve always wanted a painting of a barn to hang in my house.  I love barns.  Especially old, rustic, falling-down ones.  So, when my mother saw a raffle for a barn print by Ward Nichols at a local church bazaar, she decided to buy a bunch of tickets in hopes that we would win.  And lo and behold, the ticket she entered under my name was the winner!  Hooray!  I never win anything!  I think she was kind of expecting me to give her the print, since she bought the ticket.  I told her we could share custody… that is until I saw it hanging over my bed.  The end.  My barn print!  :)  Thanks Mama!

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It’s called “First Snowfall” by Ward Nichols and it is framed with a beautiful tan linen mat.  The tones in the print are just perfect in my bedroom, so serene and lovely.  :)

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The linen mat also ties in nicely with the embroidery on the drapes and the tan linen lampshade.

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The former bedroom art went to live over the mantel in my botanical inspired mantelscape.  I think this art is a much better complement to the blues and browns in the bedroom.  I also moved the family tree that was on the side wall to the hallway and put something else there that didn’t compete for attention with my new barn print.  I think it looks perfect!  :)

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Sunday, March 08, 2015

Simple DIY Drop Earrings

I am a newcomer to the earring world, since I just got my ears pierced last year when I turned 30.  Hard to believe, I know!  But now that I have passed that milestone (finally!) I am really getting into earrings!  I spend a lot of time browsing Etsy for neat-looking earrings that are small and dainty.  Since I have newly pierced ears, I am not quite ready for the big dangly ones, and the small dangly ones are hard to come by and they cost $14 a pair!  So I decided I would try making some earrings for myself!

After looking on Etsy for ideas and seeing other people’s earrings (never paid much attention before! haha!) I decided to try a simple crystal drop style earring.  I found lots of helpful tutorials since I was totally clueless as to how to begin. 

Diane from In My Own Style had a helpful tutorial for simple beaded earrings.  She also had a tip to use old jewelry that you get secondhand, take it apart and reuse the beads.  Great idea!  I actually had a beaded necklace that I had never worn, so I took that apart and garnered a few silver beads for my project as well as a bunch of miscellaneous beads that I might use later.  Then I went to Michael’s and bought a pair of jeweler’s pliers, headpins, eyepins, ear wires, and some crystals and beads.  The pliers are important because they have rounded points which allows you to make perfect loops to join your wires.  (Needless to say, mine are not perfect, but I am getting better!)  I also used another pair of needle-nose pliers and a pair of wire cutters that I already had.

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So after gathering my supplies I spent a little while designing my earrings on the headpin.  This tutorial from beadage.net shows how to use a headpin:

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I put some beads together on a pin to see if I liked the combination and rearranged them until I was happy.  Michael helped, too, he is surprisingly opinionated about earrings! :)  After I got my beads in a row, I followed this simple tutorial for making the top loop.   Don’t pretend you know what you are doing, just follow the rules! :)

After making my semi-perfect loop, I just strung them onto my ear wire and closed the loop.  Voila!  This kind of earring is super easy!  Here are the ones I made with just a few purple bicone crystals, some silver beads and a headpin.  This pair is 1 3/8” long from the top of the ear wire.  You can make them shorter or longer depending on how many beads are on the wire. 

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This pair looks really cute with both blue and purple! 

The next kind of earrings I wanted to make involved a chain of beads with loops.  I found these adorable light pink glass drops in a pendant kit at Michael’s.  The kit was an assortment of pink and purple beads (right down my alley!) and these drops matched the bicone crystals I picked out.  To make these into earrings, I had to thread a wire through the top of the teardrop and then form a loop.  That loop was joined to another crystal that I put on an eyepin (which already has a loop on one end) then cut and formed into a loop.  The whole chain then hangs on the ear wire.  Not as easy, but definitely more fun, since all the little loops in the chain make the earring swing around more!  These are also 1 3/8” from the top of the wire, just right for me!

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And for my third pair, I used the same technique except with two crystals.  Dark pink and light pink joined by loops.  These are so cute, they are just a bit over an inch from the top of the wire.  Dainty and sweet!

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Making the little crystal charms is really fun and rewarding once you get the hang of it.  I still have tons of beads and wires, so I’ll definitely be making more earrings in the future.  Hope you enjoyed my little “tutorial” on earrings.  Try it yourself, the supplies are inexpensive and next time someone compliments your earrings you can say you made them yourself! :)

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P.S. For more earring inspiration, check out my Pinterest Board: DIY Jewelry.