A favorite xmas gift

My husband is the best.  Even when he’s being the worst, he’s the best.  We don’t really do Christmas gifts with each other — we’ve been together a long time, so there’s no need to go nuts, and we’d rather expend the energy, time and money on gifts for our friends and families. 

That said,  the guy is crafty and can still surprise me. I’ve been collecting silhouettes since we moved into the house,  and have a nice little wall collage going.  They’re not as easy to come across as you’d think! I haven’t added to the collection in a while. 

One of my most favorite things,  besides my new nephew,  is the ancient cat who has lived with us the past year and a half.  My dear friend couldn’t keep her,  we became her stewards.

I love this stupid cat so much it kind of makes me glad I never had children.  I think my heart would have burst a million times. 

Enter Creative Husband with an awesome silhouette of our awesome cat, and you had one giddy Larsen on Christmas!!

A photo, a piece of plywood, some craft paint… I  swoon.

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

We got soil and manure, you guys! But it’s been too hot to get the garden in.  We’re going to keep working on it through the week and get veggies going next weekend…

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The newlyweds came to visit! Jeremy,  too… but he escaped my lens…

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I bought a few more flowers

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Bought these "annuals" last year and they're blooming again!

The peony bloomed!

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And the table made its seasonal debut.

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I grew those weeds myself!

Here’s to #summer2016

Much to celebrate in the coming months.  And much to demo.

Planters Are Planted!

Over the past weekend,  I picked up some plants at the fantastic Hilltop Nursery and got them planted. Hooray! Then the temperature plummeted and I fretted, but today is Wednesday and things are still looking not-frozen. Double Hooray!

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Big planter!

I’m not sure of those little white flowers are gonna be the “spiller” I want them to be,  but here’s hoping…

And… drum roll, please… presenting, for the first time ever…

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BASKETS!! THAT HANG ON THE PORCH!!

(I’m disproportionately proud of my baskets, especially considering that they could each probably use another plant…)

The baskets are hung up and I think they look adorable. They also reeaaallly highlight how much paint scraping we need to do on the porch, which is fantastic. No, really,  it’s just awesome. Agh!

Oh, and for my own garden journaling purposes,  I am posting a photo of one of two peonies that are going on their third season with us.  They are cuttings from our brother-in-law, and his plants are cuttings from a peony from Chris’ father’s family farm in Jackson, MN.  They are healthy and green and getting big, and THERE IS A FLOWER BUDDING!! It’s our first peony. So. Excited. (Yes, disproportionately 😉)

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I'm a family heirloom!

So looking forward to a beautiful summer!

The Never Ending Story (of the dining room)

We took a few days off back in mid- February to get started on the dining room.  Which I thought would be done three years ago!  We got started on stripping trim,  but then we had to go back to life,  so the room is currently in a state of “kind of a disaster mess” but I swear we will get it done before the summer!

One of the best parts was when Chris found the original bathroom door (there’s a small bathroom off the dining room that needs a full gutting. That’s on the Getting Budgeted, Demo’d and Done Soon List,  too! Oy, there are a lot of things on that list!!). I started stripping it,  which is oddly slow going for an easy, flat piece of wood,  but I’m super duper excited about the doorknob! This is my life now!  I get really excited about doorknobs!

Stay tuned for what I promise will be very dramatic “after” pictures. Someday!

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The exciting doorknob! We're going to shine it up. Someday...

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Beautiful trim...

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Messy Before Photo

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The door!

Bedroom Curtain Project

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This is a project I have been super excited about,  and it’s now officially halfway done, so I think that’s an ok time to share.  It will also force me to finish it.  (Here is where you are all,  “Waitaminute… wasn’t  there some kind of jewelry station…” and I’m pretending not to hear that bc it’s basically done, but also not. But I will take photos of it soon! Photos make me finish things).

I recently acquired a lot of acrylic paint, which actually worked better than fabric paint, but I have no idea if I can wash it. That’s the only major oops part of the project. I have 7 or 8 different blues, and I’m using them all.

We painted the bedroom a dark, bright blue, and I’m working on making everything in the room a different shade of blue. There are a lot of different blues out there! (Note: That would be a good blues song).

I have 4 white tab-top curtain panels, purchased at Ikea over a year ago. I think they were $9.99 for a two-pack. They are well made and crisp, and they are very boring. Enter into my life so many shades of blue, an old stencil, some new stencil brushes and so I thought I’d give it a go.

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I’m really pleased with how they’re going so far! I will finish the other two, get them hung and post a photo. Motivation!

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Gathered my supplies

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Ironed this twice more after this photo and before paint

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With one row done, I knew I liked the way this was going!

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I'm going with "a little crooked is part of the charm"

Time flies when you’re living life…

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve been here!! I wish I could say I haven’t posted because all of our projects are complete and our house is immaculate, but as I type on my phone amid a pile of  unfolded laundry, I am realizing how badly I need a new laptop and a winning lottery ticket…

Since I last logged in, another summer has passed, full of barbecues and fairs, a beach visit and a camping weekend. The air is turning crisp and clear and it’s almost time to start raking leaves.  We have a cat. A dear friend moved nearby and two others moved out of state. Six of my friends had babies. Six! A friend passed away. I had a big surgery and I started a new job. Our vegetable garden was an epic failure, but my big planter of flowers is still blooming. My beautiful sister married her longtime boyfriend,  making him *officially* my brother-in-law, and it was a damn fun party.

The world goes round. We almost got most of the peeling paint on the front porch scraped off. We’re planning a better garden for next year.  Some days we’ve just slept in and done nothing at all.

So I’m welcoming myself back and taking things one step at a time.  Like the rest of life, working on this house is a joy and a challenge and I always wish there were more hours in the day.

But today was a great day.  With the help of my brother-in-law, I tackled the garden area on the side of the house, digging out tons and tons of bulbs that have been multiplying like crazy and getting rid of giant weeds.  I might buy a couple of shrubs to put in. I’m going to replant the bulbs so come spring we will have healthier daffodils, tulips and lilly-of-the-valley.

It’s now a pretty clean slate where I can attempt to grow whatever I choose.  I haven’t done much of this before,  so I’m learning as I go.

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Before

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After

A Crafty Tale: Jewelry Station, Part I

In the first of what I’m sure will be a captivating series about a project that has been forming in my mind for two years, but has been put on the back burner. . (oooh we need a kitchen, waaah we have to insulate the attic… It’s one thing after another and meanwhile, my accessories have been languishing!!) I now present the first post about my new jewelry station. I can hear you cheering from here!

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This is one of the least expensive, most DIY of my DIY experiments and so far so good! Don’t you.love it when that happens?! I fixed up a chair and table for my vanity. I’m halfway through with the jewelry storage parts. And I’m plotting the little mirror that will hang next to all of it.

So for Part I of the first part of the wall hangings around the vanity… I give you the rough draft of what will (I hope) be a very cute mirror.

The base is  a $1 wood frame from a craft store. I am going to paint it light blue with some leftover paint samples I have in the basement. Then, I’m going to glue a cheap piece of mirror to the back. Once that is all set, I will glue tiles to the front in some configuration like the layout I have here.

The tiles were taken from kitchen backsplash samples that I ordered when I was deciding on kitchen things. I painted some with craft paint, some with glue and glitter, and they all will look lovely in my blue bedroom! Oooh, and with the jewelry organizing things you haven’t even SEEN yet!! Well, stay tuned 🙂