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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Entertaining in This Imperfect Life: Lessons We've Learned

We live an imperfect life. Pretty much not one thing in our lives is perfect. We have lived through four renovations in the last five years, and two of them are still ongoing, but even before that our lives were imperfect. It's true.

Our family loves to entertain. We love huge back yard cookouts, and intimate game nights and everything in between. For years I pressured myself to make every single party spectacular. Don't get me wrong -- I LOVE to create well-decorated events, but sometimes the pressure to create awesome parties can take away from your own enjoyment.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How to Make Embellished Fabric Beads

Making beads can be really addictive!  Here is a way to make a rolled bead that uses fabric instead of paper and is embellished with strings of beads.

Start by rolling a short length of paper onto a bead roller.  Learn how to make your own bead roller from this tutorial.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Remember When We Got That Energy Audit?

Last year we had an energy audit done at the beach house. Best. Idea. Ever! Around that same time we were buying another property and renovating it and dealing with the sudden loss of my husband's mother, so I didn't share too much about the improvements we made afterward. While I shared a little about the audit here...

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Vintage Style Spun Cotton Ornaments

About fifteen or so years ago I stopped making cookies to give away at Christmas. Instead, I began making Christmas ornaments to give as gifts. What I discovered was that people were actually grateful not to get yet another plate of sugar laden baked goods.

For a couple of years I made little vintage style spun cotton ornaments. I scoured Ebay, studying vintage spun cotton ornaments. Originally, spun cotton ornaments were made by wrapping an armature with cotton roving, but roving wasn't available where I lived, so I used pulled strips of cotton batting to create my ornaments.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

How to Convert Your Antique Double Bed to a Queen Bed

I recently posted about our antique bed makeover, but I forgot to share something really important -- how we convert our antique beds from double, or full-size, to queen size.

It can be very easy and affordable to convert most beds to queen, depending on the type of rails you have and how they are attached to your head board and foot board.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Make a Pretty Art Journal Guest Book

We've been saying we need guest book for the beach house. So many wonderful people have visited and it would be nice to have a record of their visits. Another reason we decided we needed a guest book is kind of embarrassing -- it's hard to remember everyone's name sometimes!

Often our guests are friends of family or friends of friends, or spouses and children of co-workers, so we are meeting them for the first time during a house party weekend. Try as I might, sometimes a name slips my mind. It's embarrassing. All our guests are important to us, and we would never want someone to think we didn't care enough to remember their name, so hopefully having a guestbook will act as a memory aid!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

An Antique Bed Makeover

Months ago I shared that I was preparing to paint our old antique bed..... and then never shared another thing about it!

We had this lovely old waterfall style bed that we loved, but it was looking kind of tired, and had some veneer damage.  In the condition it was in, it's value was largely sentimental, so refinishing didn't make sense. Besides, the bed lives in our beach cottage, and we were ready to lighten things up a bit with pretty paint!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Make Pretty Tube Beads With Vintage Paper!

Paper bead making is addictive! It's also an easy, inexpensive, and portable craft. It's a great way to use up scraps of pretty paper, and to divert magazines and books from the landfill, too!  Paper beads don't all have to look like the ones we made in Girls Scouts -- although I think those are pretty cool.

You can make pretty tube beads, too!  Here is how I make perfect tube beads using vintage book pages and re-purposed receipt tape.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Saddest Post I've Ever Written

We were having a wonderful weekend. Friends were visiting from Colorado, we had hosted an informal house concert for friends and neighbors, there was food and wine and good company -- and Life was Good!

On Sunday morning I was not prepared for the news that a dear friend, sister, and fellow blogger had gone to Jesus. Saturday evening, Tina Downey, who blogged over at Life is Good and co-hosted the popular April Blogging A to Z Challenge succumbed to complications from pulmonary hypertension. She was only forty-nine years old.

Tina adored sunflowers -- she even had a sunflower tattoo!  I bought some sunflowers in her honor this week and keep them on my mantel in remembrance of her sweet friendship and her optimistic outlook on life. Some days, the loss feels so great that to breathe is to weep. Seeing the sunflowers reminds me of Tina's smile and her delight in the beauty around her.

Tina leaves behind a husband and two teen boys, as well as extended family, and many many friends -- both from "real life" and from the blogging community.

I first met Tina in a Bible study when her oldest boy was just a toddler. We hit it off, and soon were planning women's events together, and serving on our church's Women's Ministries Team together. She was truly lovely. She always had something positive to say about everyone. She was kind, she was thoughtful, she was beautiful.

Those of us she left behind are devastated by her loss, but Heaven is richer for her presence.

May we all take a page from Tina's book and never forget:

Life is Good

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Juju Hat Wall Decor Tutorial

Earlier this year I shared a Juju hat inspired wall decor project made from vintage book pages. That project turned out pretty cute, but I wanted to try it again, using a technique that involved lots of scrunching of paper to give the project more texture and dimension.