When Nick & I got in engaged we were blessed with so many supportive friends & family who generously gave us new & used treasures to fill our house. I had donated most of my possessions before I moved to Spain & Nick was a college guy who didn’t need real furniture.
One of those wedding gifts was a bed, which was really clutch considering the only bed either of us “owned” was my twin sized bed from childhood which is cute but not necessarily practical.
And then we got a king sized bed which is huge. For months it stared back at me with its giant stature & plain walls behind it. I looked into buying headboards but our newlywed budget doesn’t allow for large decorative purchases. Then I looked into making my own headboard but our apartment lifestyle doesn’t lend itself to circular saws & power tools to build a headboard from scratch.
Then the internet in its infinite wisdom brought me to The Shabby Creek Cottage blog where I learned that hollow core doors are conveniently the same size as king size beds. But Gina’s gorgeous headboard DIY still required some, while minimal, power tools. I couldn’t get this door idea out of my mind so I mentioned it to Nick.. often.
He has mostly resigned to trusting my crafting — he’s so brave.
On one of my many Home Depot trips I “accidentally” found myself in the door section only to discover hollow core doors are expensive!
I know, $26 is cheap compared to the cost of most headboards — let alone king sized — but I really didn’t want to spend much money on this project since I wasn’t exactly sure it would even work.
Then my crafting & thrifting worlds collided in the most beautiful way when I learned about Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore centers. Homeowners & construction companies alike donate their leftover, salvaged & used materials to ReStore who then sells them at a fraction of the cost to the community & uses them to build Habitat for Humanity homes as well. I don’t think I could dream up a more perfect combination.
So I waltzed over to our closest ReStore & bought myself a hollow core door for $5. We were officially in headboard production!
Bend has an amazing selection of local coffee shops (and breweries), I mean even after nine months of living here we’re still discovering new wonders in town.
One of the first coffee shops we went is still at the top of our list. They also have inspired one of our most ambitious framing ideas: turning an old window into a picture frame.
Once Nick came home with the idea of a picture frame window we started scouring Craigslist for cheap finds. We got ours for $20 but this was before I discovered ReStore & I’m certain you could find one there for a lot cheaper. Live & learn, eh?
So I drove to the boonies of Central Oregon to pick up the window, which is when I discovered it was huge & in rough shape.
But I’m really passive & I felt like I had already promised this woman my $20 so we shoved it in the back of the car & I drove home thinking I’d made a huge mistake. In fact, I was so intimidated by my mistake that we left in the car for days.
I wasn’t joking.
Just rollin’ around town with a window in the back, don’t worry about it.
Once we finally got it in the house we realized it was indeed huge. The coffee shop window is about 2′ x 2′ which is a very reasonable size; ours… is 4′ x 4′.
It’s pretty much a small human on our wall.
It leaned against the wall for weeks, haunting me every time I walked in the door until the day I finally decided to do something about the window in the room.
I’ve had my dreads for nearly three years now & in that time I’ve learned styling my hair can be a bit more difficult than my old straight hair. This is mostly because I’m paranoid about getting things stuck up there & because my hair is quite a bit thicker than it used to be… like a lot bit thicker.
So, going to the store & buying regular headbands rarely works for my hair mass. But headbands are cute & they keep my hair off my neck during hot high desert days.
Awhile back I was minding my own business on Pinterest when I stumbled upon Lula Louise’s tutorial for turban headbands — they were just what I’ve been searching for!
I promptly made one & got about a zillion (positive) comments about it at work the next day. They’re incredibly easy to make so I’m sharing the deets with all of y’all!
When we first got married I realized I was quickly being thrown into the grown-up world. You know, the time when you suddenly get your life together & own real plates.
In the beginning we owned next to nothing. I had some hand-me-down & abandoned kitchen supplies from my various college roommates, Nick had a TV & a dresser. We were high rollin’ folks.
In an effort to create the illusion of us being adults I decided we needed real napkins for fancy dinners. I was inspired by the ladies of A Beautiful Mess, they used various vintage fabrics which they ordered online to make their napkins. But I don’t have the patience to wait for mail ordered fabric & I don’t like cutting fabric into perfect squares if I don’t have to.
I’m lazy & cheap. Crafting is no exception to that rule.
So in one of my million wedding planning trips to Jo-Ann’s I realized “fabric quarters” are the perfect napkin size & cost $1. No cutting involved!
I mostly hated wedding planning.
There were just too many things I had to force myself to have an opinion about, or worse, too many things I knew I didn’t like but couldn’t articulate what I did like. But Nick & I realized early in the planning process that this was our wedding & we made the rules. So, when the thought of making the biggest commitment of our lives & immediately rushing to the biggest party of our lives continued to stress us out we knew we had to bag it.
We considered eloping — in Spain.
We considered eloping — in the US.
But not having our family there felt incomplete. And with us having so many friends who feel like family, we knew we had to have an actual ceremony with actual people.
So we decided on sunrise at the top of a peak in the Willamette Valley, which was followed by a big ol’ party a month later. For us, it was perfect.
But when you’re going to tell your family they have to wake up at 3am & drive to the top of a mountain to see you get married you better have something to sweeten the deal.
Solution: coffee & pancakes.
And the only thing I really enjoyed about wedding planning was getting to craft my summer days away.
One of my favorite crafts was making chalkboard signs to tell people about food, coffee & blankets. I made dozens & they looked awesome without me having to freehand a single thing.
One of the first things I noticed about being an adult is that lamps are expensive. Because of this the entire year I lived in Spain I never bought a shade for my night stand light. I just let a bulb light my room & told myself it was an “industrial” look.
When we needed lamps for our bed side tables (two lamps guys!) I went to ReStore & bought some brass beauties for $5 each. A little silver spray paint later & they look like big kid fancy lamps. But lamp shades are harder to spray paint & call “good,” trust me, I’ve tried & it doesn’t end well.
So I thrifted some cheap drum shades & covered them in matching fabric.
On one of these thrifting trips I also bought a cute, bubbly, little lamp for my desk. It’s boring white shade has sat on it for months now as I’ve avoided recovering it. But now that I’m starting school again soon I’m trying to clean & refresh my desk space (a monumental task). The first project on my list was my little lamp & on one of my many trips to Goodwill recently I found the perfect fabric for the job… an old bed sheet. It only cost me $2.99!
You learn a lot about someone when you decide to live with them, I think that’s part of what makes marriage so fun.
Growing up with two older brothers I’ve spent most of my life living with boys — I’m used to their antics — but Nick still finds ways to surprise me.
In the past 7 months of marriage/roommate times I’ve learned:
- Nick cannot commit to rejecting future “cyborg” technology
- I can poop faster than he can pee
- He is an extremely thorough pre-dishwasher-dish washer
Now this last lesson has been an important one. I hate cleaning dishes before I put them in the dishwasher, it seems redundant to me. But Nick hates even more when those little bits of leftovers get baked onto dishes in the dishwasher. Valid.
So, I’ve learned to at least rinse my dishes before I put them in. Baby steps, right?
The harder part has been figuring out when the dishwasher is clean & when it’s dirty because if Nick’s loading it.. it’s always “clean.” More than once I’ve unloaded the entire dishwasher only to discover a small fragment of peanut butter on the last utensil which screams, “I just put a whole load of dirty dishes away in the cupboards!”
I may have lower standards of dish cleanliness than Nick but even I know that putting dirty dishes in the cabinets with clean ones is not cool.
So for months I’ve been contemplating making dishwasher magnets to signify if the dishes inside are “clean” or “dirty.” I found a blog post about making your own salt + flour clay a few weeks back & was bored on the couch at the time so I gave it a try.
To my surprise they turned out okay, but I never fell in love with their floury outside & the way they puffed up in the middle. So I put them in the closet under the guise of waiting to buy the appropriate magnet backing for them. Nick has already figured out if I put a project in the dungeons of the craft closet, it’s never coming out again.
Weird, crumbly magnets
So I’m making newer, better, cleaner ones!