Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today was our first Valentine's Day together as husband and wife :o)  We actually started dating around this time five years ago, time has gone by fast!  We have never been ones to go all out on Valentine's day, I may make a special dinner or dessert and Brian might find me a sweet card or something.  I had to work late today so we went for a quick dinner before I had to head back to work to finish things up.  Before dinner Brian surprised me with some pretty flowers.........and a pineapple!

He said he picked the pineapple because it said "Extra Sweet", like me :o)

We also read the notes we have been writing for each other the past couple weeks as mentioned in a previous post. I wrote things along the lines that I love Brian's sweetness, silliness, and handyman skills.  Brian was all creative and wrote three words on every slip of paper that had to be read together like a story............aaahhh, out done again!

Photo from our wedding by Kyana Taillon 

We wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Box of Light

I like having plenty of light when I work.  When Linda and I were out shopping at garage sales I found a box of three simple lamps for a couple dollars.  These lamps are pretty cheap and you can pick them up at Walmart or Home Depot for about $5 each.

Put 23 Watt CFLs (100 Watt equivalent), clip the lamps onto the box and plug them all into the same extension cord and now you have a Box of Light.  :-)

Our bedroom light isn't the brightest, so when Linda was painting I used them to brighten up the room. 

We have also used them before while working in the side yard at night.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Love Notes

I while back (in November) I read a blog post about decorating a jar with the word "Thanks" and adding daily notes about what you are thankful for and then reading them on Thanksgiving Day.  I thought it would be fun to do a similar thing where Brian and I write little love notes, collect them in a jar, and then read them together on Valentine's Day.  Yes, a little cheesy but fun and sweet you have to admit :o)

I found a neat looking apothecary jar at Michael's on sale for $6.99.  I had originally planned to etch the word "Love" on the jar, maybe a little heart in place of the "O" but I didn't get a chance to work on it.  I also wasn't sure about the feasibility since there isn't a large flat surface on the jar to work with.  So I ended up just tying leftover ribbon from the valentine garland on the knob on the jar top and placing slips of paper for the notes next to the jar.

Here's a picture of our jar all filled with notes! 

We will see how this goes, it may become a Valentine's tradition..........or the jar will make a cool candy dish :o)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Changing the electrical outlets and switches in the bedroom

When Linda was painting our bedroom, we had to pull all the furniture away from the wall.  I took advantage of the easy access to the outlets and switches and changed them from beige to white to match the trim.  In addition to changing the color, I also switched our outlets to being the tamper resistant type.  Since it was night when we got back from buying the replacement parts, I ran an extension cord into another part of the house and used my box of light to light up the bedroom.  Then I plugged an electronic device with a power indicator light in to all of the outlets and turned on all of the light switches (overhead and closet) that I wanted to change.  After that I had Linda inside on her cell phone while I switched off breakers until all of the devices turned off.  One interesting thing I learned is that all of our overhead lights are on the same circuit breaker.  :-)  Since Linda continued painting the room while I worked, there are no before or during pictures, only after.

Linda did take a picture of an old outlet in our guest bedroom for so you can compare it with the new ones.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Organizing under the bathroom sink

Whenever I get a chance, I will look at home handyman/diy style magazines and articles.  I recently saw one about how to manage the disorganized space under sinks by either adding open drawers or adding some swing out shelf.  I thought that was a good idea but I don't have time to put in the drawers now.  I decided to meet them half way.  I measured the space under the bathroom sink and when we went to discount stores I looked for something I could use.  Finally when we were at the Burlington Coat Factory, I found some metal organizers that were just the right size for $5 each.  They were a nice pink color but that was fixed by Linda using a little spray paint. 

I didn't take a before picture because I was too embarrassed of the mess under the sink, so I only have after pictures.  :-)

The cool thing about the metal "drawers" is that if I have time later, it shouldn't be too hard to attach drawer slides to them and turn them into real drawers.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Personalized Decorations

I love the look of letters as wall decorations.  In script or booktype, or a fancier font, any style of typeface really.  So I thought for my next project I would make personalized wall art using the letters of our first names!

I recently found some really cute scrapbooking paper in greens, blues, and brown that I thought would work perfectly in our newly painted bedroom.  Brian and I each chose a paper pattern we liked for the background and a contrasting sheet for the first letter of our names.  We also each found a font that we liked to use for our letters.  I was hoping that we would pick two completely different styles, like Brian would pick a more block style since he's a tech-y person and I would have a more flowing style, but no, when we compared our choices they almost looked like the same font.  Oh well, I guess great minds think alike :o)

So I printed out our letters and then enlarged them with the zoom feature on our printer to get them to the right size.  I also printed out an ampersand in a different font and picked a couple paper patterns that would complement our other paper choices.

I traced the letters in reverse on the back of the scrapbooking paper, again so the trace lines wouldn't show on the pretty side of the paper.

I then cut out the letters and pasted them on to a full sheet of scrapbooking paper.  We found some white album frames at Target that would perfectly fit the 12"x12" paper and then hung them on the wall above our bed.

We weren't really happy with how they looked above the bed because we need something a bit larger to fill more of the wall. We decided to move them to the opposite wall above our dresser which I think looks much better.

And there you have it, personalized wall decor.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Valentine Garland!

Tonight was craft night and my friend Genevieve and I thought it would be fun to make something for Valentine's Day.  I saw a cute heart garland in the February issue of Better Homes and Gardens and thought it would be fun to make.  We each bought some pretty paper at Michael's.  I found a book of scrapbooking paper on sale that had the customary pinks but also patterns incorporating some greens and browns.  Genevieve had chosen similar colors with a bit more red thrown in.  Just because typical Valentine's colors are red and pink you shouldn't feel restricted to using only those, at least we didn't :o)
Here's a picture of the scrapbooking paper pack I used with images of the patterns included.

First I got to work making a heart stencil.  I'm terrible at cutting shapes out of paper in one go.  I end up hacking away at the paper until I'm left with a tiny version of what I began with.  And the only way I know how to cut a heart is the old fold the paper in half trick and I didn't want all my hearts to have the nice (or not so nice) crease down the middle.  And Genevieve had the good idea to cut a smaller heart out of the middle of the larger heart to keep proportions/shape the same (you'll see).

Next I used my stencil to trace hearts onto the back of the scrapbooking paper.  I traced the heart on the back so I wouldn't have trace lines on the pretty side of the paper.

Then onto the cutting:

Once I had my hearts cut out in large and small sizes, I glued the small heart to the center of the larger heart in contrasting colors/patterns.  I next cut two little slits through the hearts with an exacto knife so I could string some ribbon through.

I struggled putting the ribbon through the slits on the first heart so I devised a shoe lace type end with some tape to make the threading much easier.

And with that little innovation I was able to thread all the hearts onto the ribbon in no time.

Brian then kindly helped me hang the finished garland over the doorway leading from the living room to the dining room.

And here you have the garland in all it's glory :o)

The green of the paper actually matches pretty nicely with the green of the dining room.  Here's a close up of the hearts, I just love the paper and how the ribbon looks woven through!

So cute!  I might just have to leave it up past Valentine's Day :o)