Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Front Door Decor - Burlap Bubble Wreath

The door to my apartment was lacking love. All it had was a colorful mat to wipe your feet on. So, I decided it was time to try my hand at wreath making. My friend Megan has a wreath business on Etsy called Burlap Belle and I actually had her make a wreath for my mom's Christmas present last year...which turned out awesome. Through her inspiration, I decided to give it a shot myself this time. I enjoy a good craft on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

To start this project you will need:

  • 1-2 yards of burlap
  • a styrofoam wreath ring
  • scissors
  • seamstress pins

The first step is to start cutting your burlap into squares. You want each square to be about 2-3 inches by 2-3 inches. The smaller the square, the smaller the burlap bubble. You get the picture. Then you take a square and put all four corners together and pin it to the wreath, so it looks like a bubble. You repeat this with each square until your entire wreath is covered, except for the back. You just pin, pin, pin the burlap bubbles right up next to each other to cover up the styrofoam.  

I actually cut the burlap as I go, so I don't get to the end and have tons of burlap squares leftover that are useless. I cut several squares, then I pin them to the wreath until I run out. Repeating the process until the whole wreath is covered.

For this wreath, I wanted something simple that I could add to for each season. So I chose a natural burlap instead of a color. For now, I have added a green burlap bow with some decor behind the bow. I already have my additions for fall. So come September, I will be changing up the decor on the wreath. I'll keep you updated on it's seasonal changes!

Here are some pictures of the process and finished product.

Lonely door.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Surprise Weekend Arrival

Friday on my way up to visit my sister, I received a call from my dad. He said that my sister-in-law was in labor. Two weeks early. So, I quickly turned my car around and headed right back to Columbia to get to the hospital. At 12:15 a.m. on Saturday morning, Tegan Olivia arrived. Happy and healthy weighing in at 6 pounds 2 ounces and 18.5 inches long. We all got to see her for the first time in the newborn nursery windows as my brother was with her. He saw us standing there, picked up his little brand new girl, and headed over to introduce us to her through the glass. I've never seen him smile so big.

From that moment on, we were all completely smitten for this tiny little baby girl. She is absolutely beautiful and has so many people that love her already. It's hard to remember life without her even though she's only been here a few days.

Meet my beautiful niece, Tegan Olivia...our newest addition.

Sweet baby girl.
Dad and Grandpa.
Family of five. 
Grandpa and Niece.
Proud aunts. 
In love with her already.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


I actually wrote this post several weeks ago and came across it today. Something I needed. A reminder of the great life I have and have had so far during This Life.

I've been thinking lately about just how blessed I am and I wanted to capture that feeling before it up and left me. You know, I'm pretty blessed. I have....

...fantastic, will do anything for you parents.
...siblings who are basically my best friends, who married people who are basically my best friends.
...two nephews, a niece, and two nieces on the way who I can't describe how much I love/adore/have the best time with.
...friends who are like family.
...friends who I can go months without seeing and it feels like not a day has gone by when I finally get to see/talk to them.
...two grandmothers who I have had the privilege of getting to know for 24 years now.
...a granddaddy who treated me like a princess.
...a great-grandmother (my nanny) who I was able to know, love, and adore.
...doggies who I love and who keep me company.
...a warm place to sleep at night.

Sometimes, when I get the shambles - a saying my friend came up with to describe a state of feeling down, lonely, sad, etc. - I need to remind myself of all of these things and the simple fact that I'm pretty blessed.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sunshine on My Table

I have been searching Craigslist and thrift stores for a cheap kitchen table that I could re-do myself for over 3 months while the table area in my apartment sits empty. Well, not quite empty. You may remember my kitchen chairs that I got through Craigslist a couple months ago. They have just been hanging out all alone in that area of my apartment. Just waiting for a table they could be pulled up to. Well, I finally found the perfect (and cheap) table I had been searching for a couple of weeks ago and I have since been working on sanding, priming, painting, and sealing it to create the perfect table for my home. 

The process began when I found the table on Craigslist. It originally came with 4 chairs and had an asking price of over $100. Of course, I didn't want the chairs as I already had 6 of them that I got for $45. So, I got the owner to agree to $40 for just the table. Once I got the table into my apartment I put a big tarp under it and put the table up on wooden blocks so I could paint the legs easily without getting paint all over the tarp. I went to Lowe's and got all my supplies...

  • paint
  • primer
  • brushes
  • stirrers
  • sandpaper
  • sanding block
  • polyurethane

Once I had everything my mom helped me to start the process. I had to sand and clean off the stain the previous owner had put on the table. He had failed in an attempt to re-stain the table which resulted in a sticky table top with uneven dark stain coloring. I cleaned it several times with Lysol spray and a rag. I then sanded the table with sand paper and a sanding block. This step also helped to get the sticky stain off of the table. Once I was done sanding, I wiped down the table one last time making sure all the reminiscence was gone leaving a clean table to start from.

Next, I took out my primer and primed the table. This was an easy step because you just want a thin coat of the primer and clearly your painting skills are not vital here as you will be painting over this layer. After 1 coat of primer I was ready to add my color paint. Looking back, I should have done 2 coats of the primer since my table was so dark to start. Priming is an easy step and dries quickly easily eliminating extra coats of paint. Lesson learned for next time!

Time to paint! I started the first coat of  paint a few hours after I put my primer on the table. My primer was completely dry and ready to go. For several nights I painted 1 coat on the table per night...I ended up doing 4 coats total. I wanted to make sure my coverage was perfect. After all 4 coats of paint I added 2 coats of polyurethane to seal the table. Since it is a kitchen table I wanted to be sure that if a drink is put down on it or food spills it can be easily cleaned up. I waited about 4 days before I pushed the table back together and considered it complete. I wanted to give the polyurethane plenty of time to dry.

So, after cleaning and sanding, 1 coat of primer, 4 coats of paint, 2 coats of polyurethane, and several days...I finally have a completed kitchen table. I'm so happy with the outcome...especially the color. Who would have thought a yellow kitchen table would look so great and really brighten up my apartment while flowing with the rest of the decor perfectly. It so great to see your vision come to life...after lots of hard work of course!

Here is the table from the beginning, through all 4 coats of paint, 2 coats of polyurethane, and complete with chairs and decor. What do you think? I'm in love.

The table before.
Close up before.
Coat 1.
Coat 2.
Coat 3.
Coat 4.
Close up of the table after coat 4.
All complete.