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Boxes make great toys.


And great forts, also.


It took me an entire week to decorate my tree.
But it eventually got done.


I was tired of the garland we’ve had for the past 3 years,
so I decided to do some bunting instead.
I used plaid flannel and fleece and hot glued it onto twine!


I like it much better.
And so does this little monkey:


Thankfully, the monkey has resisted swinging on the tree.
Both I and my decorations thank her.


It started like this: I had several free photos through Shutterfly,
and I wasn’t sure what to use them on.
So I ordered a bunch of prints from our wedding
and hoped I could figure something out.
On Monday (one day before our anniversary)
I was still scouring Pinterest for inspiration
and I came across this Photo Frame idea.
What could be a better way to transform boring 4×6 photos?
I found the frame at Goodwill for $12.97
It had a picture in it, so I removed the glass and matted artwork,
leaving me with just the frame.
I then used a staple gun to attach rows of twine to the back of the frame
and mounted each picture on cardstock using raised, foam stickies.
(what a technical description, I know)
I then hung the pictures using miniature clothespins.
And voila!
A framed photo collage in less than a day.


For less than $20, I’m quite happy with it 🙂

Mike and I don’t do gifts on our anniversary.
We do getaways 🙂
Our getaway is next week,
but for the actual day,
I wanted to do SOMEthing that expressed my love for him!
I did two things – the first was to use our wedding vows to create
his/her sides of the bed.
On my side: a picture of my dashing man along with my vows to him.
On his: a picture of me and his vows.

My side:



His side:


And eventually I will get my headboard made and get rid of those sconces!!
A little bit at a time 🙂

Sometimes I ask myself if it’s worth it.
To spend so much time making stuff rather than buying it.
What’s better?  Ease or accomplishment?
Having exactly what I want, or wanting what I can have?
And then I remember I don’t really have a choice.
It’s either make it or not have it.  😉
Or buy something cheap that I don’t really like at all.

I’m learning to make it work.
Rather than sulk and spend all my time wishing I could take a wagon through Pottery Barn and load it up, I need to work with what I have.
And it’s proving to be worth it!
Oh, and God is teaching me LOTS about contentment along the way.
I thought I was done with that lesson???
Apparently that’s a life-long one.

Anyways, here are the recent changes to our bedroom.
I am always amazed how simple things like curtains can dramatically change a room.
And new shades, too!
We had these blackout shades that were both hideous and impractical.
They didn’t look pretty, and it was nearly impossible to get up in the morning since they blocked out all the sunlight.



(hideous, right?)

and After:


I replaced the blackout shades with Bamboo Roman Shades.
They are light-filtering, which is exactly what I wanted.
Not to mention, MUCH prettier.

The fabric for the curtains is from JoAnn’s. 
I picked a subtle, flower print for the main portion.
I would have used it for the entire panel, but the store did not have enough fabric for me to make 4 panels.
So I improvised!
I added a block of muslin and a block of turquoise damask print,
both of which were leftover from my bed skirt.
Yet another example of learning to make it work 😉

And sewing them was relatively easy.
I had the fabric cut in 4, 2-yard portions at the store,
(saved me lots of measuring and cutting)
attached the two fabric blocks to the bottom,
and hemmed all sides.
I made a 3-inch pocket for the curtain rods at the top.
And that’s it!
It takes time (mostly for measuring), but it’s not too complicated.
Thankfully curtain panels are RECTANGLES! 😉



And now for the bed skirt.
As I said, it is the same fabric as the bottom of the curtains.
I picked these colors because they best matched those in my bedspread.
(please ignore the junk under the bed.)


Basically, I measured the length and height that I needed,
then divided it by how many panels I wanted in the skirt.
I did not want to mess with ruffles or frills,
so I made it hang flat.
I then just sewed the panels together and hemmed the raw edges.
I made three separate sides but did NOT sew them together:
to simplify my life even more,
I just safety pinned each side of the skirt to the box spring,
making sure they were well hidden under the mattress and met properly at the corners.
So much easier than attaching it to a sheet under the mattress,
plus it makes it easy to change out at any time.
(Just a note: you could sew the corners together if you wanted,
I just didn’t feel like figuring it out so I took the easy road.)

So here’s what I ended up spending:

$45 for four 84-inch curtain panels

$20 for a King sized bed skirt

$19.98 for two curtain rods from Target ($9.99 each)

$60 for two Bamboo Roman Shades from ($28 each + shipping)

$120 for the Quilt and Shams from Target
(this was my splurge.  However, it is machine washable, which means I don’t have to get it dry-cleaned AND it’s a quilt.  To make one would be almost as expensive.)

So, that’s been my most-recent project around here!
I am now on the hunt for a fun wooden door to use as a headboard.
I have some leads but not the time right now, so we’ll have to wait and see how that pans out.

Hope this encourages you all that you really can decorate on a budget!
It may take time, but it will be worth it. 🙂

Happy Wednesday!

I am so ready for Fall!
To get in the spirit, I made a wreath for our front door.
I found the inspiration on Pinterest (of course.)
You can see the original post here.


Yes I know – that door is hideous.  And broken.
It will be replaced shortly.
The new one will have more windows, which I am very excited about!
I told Mike I want our next house to have windows galore!
Oh how I do love sunlight.

one more room checked off!
the blank wall is blank no more.


pretty much everything is from Target.
the clock,
the shelves,
the photo collage,
and the frames.

the photographs are mine,
and the hydrangeas are from my garden.

it’s nothing elaborate,
but it feels a lot homier now.
now on to the master bedroom!


Target comes through again.
I now have the 2nd piece for my dining room wall.

Found this gem at Target today.


It’s the first piece for my gallery wall.
Other considerations:

– a fun, retro clock
– photographs
– shelves with ?? on them

And that’s all I got.
Please.  Help me out.
I’ll be scouring Pinterest the next several days
(ok…weeks.  let’s be more realistic.)
for more ideas.
If you have any, please send them my way.
The basic goal?
To make my dining room an inviting place to be.
I want to linger over good food with good friends.

Remember this chair?
It has a new look.


I would have posted a “tutorial” of sorts,
but trust me – it would have been helpful to NOBODY 🙂
My method was “let’s see if this works…” hahaha.
I just took the chair apart as much as I could,
pulled, stapled, and stretched the fabric as best I knew how.
And then I sewed slipcovers for the cushions.
It’s not a professional reupholstery job by any stretch of the imagination,
but I’m very happy with it.
I now have a chair that matches the rest of the decor in my loft. 🙂

Yesterday the hubby told me to get out of the house and go have some fun.
So I did something I’ve never really done before: I went thrifting.
It is a valuable skill that I do not currently possess but am trying to cultivate.
So I hit up the local Goodwill and had some fun.  (Though I must say, that part of Exton made a huge error when they tried to be like New Jersey with their idiotic interesting “exit right if you want to turn left” idea.  From the time I spotted the Goodwill to the time I actually got there a good ten minutes had passed as I desperately tried to figure out where to turn!)
Anyways, I found several treasures that I will be posting over the next few days.
First up – a fun serving dish.  I saw this tutorial for how to make your own cake stand, and when I found these fun pieces I just had to try it!

Isn’t this blue fun?


And then there was this green pedestal.  I have no idea what it is really for, but it works perfectly 🙂


Super glue them together and weight for several hours until dried… 



And voila!  Done.


Those are my very favorite kind of instructions:
Glue and stick together.
I think I can follow that…

And the final price tag?

Bowl:            $4.97
Stand:          $1.97
Super glue:  $1.00
Grand Total: $7.94

Collective Reminiscings

The Smittys

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