Wall Hanging – Filling Empty Space

Wall Hanging – Filling Empty Space

When we moved into our house we replaced carpet, put in a wood floor, demolition a whole wood paneled room & put up drywall & molding so our $ needed to go far when decorating. I had a vision when we bought our house, & since I’m a creative genius (I do have an art degree after all) I made it home.

After all this I didn’t have much wall art or things to hang because our apartment was small. So I got creative with what I was going to hang in our new house & fill walls that really needed a BIG something.

In our bedroom – above our dresser – we had a huge wall space. I wanted to keep this project affordable & about us. It was my husband & my first home together, & you can never have enough photos of great memories together – so I took that & ran with it.

I wanted this somewhat rustic something to hang pictures from a string. Essentially.
I found these three birch logs & they were THE perfect size, so I brought those suckers home and tied them together with twine. I had my dad hang them up on the wall so I could hang 5 ribbons. (odd numbers are more visually pleasing – so keep this in mind when you are doing, basically anything.) It should look something like this (below – excuse the mess). We put 2 nails in the wall about a foot from each end of the logs – tied twine around it, and hung the logs from a loop in the twine.

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I went to hobby lobby on 50% off ribbon day & bought 3 spools of a neutral grey ribbon with a touch of ruffle on the sides. (below – This is basically the actual ribbon size in the image) (you’ll want to measure for how much ribbon you need length wise, but this particular ribbon I needed 3 spools) Next, I wrapped the ribbon around the hanging birch logs & let it hang almost to the dresser. (I cut it to length after I hung the pictures.)

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I printed out a million of our favorite photos, and picked a few of the very best ones. I glued the favorites to black card stock & put a sticky pin back on each of them. I arranged & arranged until the colors looked nice (I didn’t put all the Christmas red ones on one side, or my husband’s favorite neon green Polo pictures all together.) I also arranged them so the vertical and horizontal ones fit nicely with the columns to the right & left of each other. Just play with the look, till you think its fab. (see image below)

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Then you’ll pin the photos on the ribbon & enjoy your master piece. The greatest thing about using pin backs instead of gluing them on, is that you can change them always. If you’re feeling really ambitious you can change them for each season, do a black and white theme, do all of your Christmas photos together. Do one of all your pets. Get creative. In the end you should have something like this!

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Supply list (purple items are optional. You can use scissors, but I cut straighter with an
X-acto & cutting mat.)

  • Black Card stock
  • Glue Stick
  • Sticky pin backs
  • Scissors to cut ribbon
  • Cutting mat to cut black card stock around pictures
  • X-acto knife
  • Ruler (to hold against picture while cutting black card stock on mat)
  • Ribbon color of your choice – (you’ll want it at least an inch thick.)
  • Twine to tie the wood together – & Tie to your wall hanging hooks
  • WOOD – birch logs, log from your backyard (mine were about an inch in diameter)
  • Hammer
  • Nails – or those screw on one end/loop on the other end work well.
  • Amazing photos of you & the fam

Let me know how it goes. Idk if I’m that great of a teacher over the internet – I’m a visual person, so if I think of something I can usually create it, if you need more directions or help, please comment and let me know! I want you to be successful!

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Crystal Clear

I’m a lover of vintage things, so I’m always cleaning things up  & making them crystal clear again. When we moved into our house, the previous owner was a cigar lover, & my (now home office) – living room – & entryway were, VERY yellow. We scrubbed the walls, & painted the ceiling. no problem. Yellow —> white. BRIGHT white. Wonders of a fresh coat of paint & some old fashioned elbow grease.

Some things however, needed a scrub down & a “professional” cleaning. Mainly, our light fixtures. Our entryway had this cute little light fixture I wanted to keep, but the crystals were so yellow and dirty that I didn’t know if it was salvageable. IT WAS. I found this little magic gem that I can’t wait to share with you, from Home Depot. (or probably any other home supply store) It’s called TSP. & you can find it —-> here.

I actually found that I prefer the liquid version more, but this stuff is NOT FOR KIDS. & you should probably wear gloves, & it has to be diluted. SO, FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS. but you can buy it on Amazon —-> here.

Here’s a little BEFORE & a little AFTER. Amazing right? Looks like new! I just diluted the TSP & dipped each crystal in the diluted mix, rinsed with water, laid to dry, & hung them back up. it’s not my #1 choice of light fixture, but it kinda goes with the shabby chic vibe of my house. Anyway. You can use TSP to clean walls, old crystals, yellowed wall paper & probably a million other things, but I used it when we moved into our house & it was the best cleaning product I’ve ever purchased. You’re Welcome.

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Cave Dweller – 2nd Tour

I won’t bore you, since you read about the entirety of this trip yesterday, but I had so many cool pictures, (at least I think so) I wanted to share some more. The pictures don’t do it justice – & its really something you should see for yourself.. If you’re into the great outdoors & exploring.

crystal1I actually think I liked this tour better because you really got into the cave, where you had to duck under stalactites and stalagmites.

Stalactites – formations from the ceiling.

Stalagmites – formations from the ground.

Column – when they form together.

Didn’t think you were going to get a science lesson today? Well, with my blog.. you’ll never know. I was wondering the whole time why they called it the crystal palace, because up until this point, all I ever saw were regular old formations.

BUT THESE WERE GLITTERY. & as you well know. I love glitter.

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Here’s a close up —-> crystal3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Its not really that glittery in the picture, but just use your imagination a little. It was incredible. This portion of the cave also had a waterfall, but not your typical waterfall. Essentially a hole in the ceiling, and water rapidly falling straight down into another hole to go somewhere down in the 3rd level.

I thought the cave would be wetter actually. There were some slippery spots (pro tip – wear tennis shoes) if you ever decide to take on this exploration. & buy yourself a great camera. As wonderful as the iPhone 6 is, I know I could do better. (but you get the idea, right?)

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Sometimes the stalactites would grow in rows, which I thought was amazing – but in an easy explanation, its water dripping from cracks in the cave, BUT ISN’T IT SO MUCH COOLER THEN THAT? In this image you can see the cement path that was throughout the cave. Congrats if you’re still reading & excited, because I saved the best for last.

The mirror lakes. The guide asked us to guess how far we were looking down, & its seriously and optical illusion, because I thought I was looking into a deep crevasse of the cave, & this whole time I was wondering how there wasn’t a fence for crazy tourists that get too close. WELL. because I was actually looking into WATER. & a reflection. I felt like an idiot. The water is anywhere from (go ahead and throw in a guess) 3-6 INCHES. I think I laughed out loud. So, if the tourists do get too close, they’ll just get wet. BUT SERIOUSLY.

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Looking in the picture, you’re like – yeah duh. its a minor. But when you’re actually THERE. Its DIFFERENT. You can’t tell me this image below doesn’t look like he’s standing on the edge of a deep cavern. Right? Anyway. In person, it was totally wild.

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Thanks for going on this trip with me. Love hard, travel often. Where have you traveled recently? Any plans to travel? Let me know!

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Just Call me a Cave Dweller

This weekend my husband & I spontaneously decided to travel to Indiana. Mind you, this trip is 6 long hours of corn fields & ZERO farm animals from our humble abode. (7.5 if you decide to go through Indianapolis in rush hour – I don’t advise it.) Our long lost friend was relocated to this wonderful place, called Bedford, IN for her job. So, we packed some essentials (what do you really pack anyway?) we jump in the car, & get a move on. We didn’t really know what we’d find there – but it was quite the adventure.

Our first night we explored the town, had a wonderful dinner at Uplander’s brewery & found a nice bar called The Tap for some drinks & dessert. (a WONDERFUL dessert.) I’m no Instagram junkie, so these pics are as good as it gets for iPhone in the night images. I thought this little town of Bloomington, IN was really cute. That’s also where Indiana University happens to be. (and a large population of homeless which was quite surprising given the clientele of the area.)

The next morning we started our journey to the Morengo Caves. I wasn’t really sure quite what we were getting ourselves into, but I like adventure – and the natural world is really interesting, so we went.

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dipstone4This part of the tour was about a mile & an hour long. I’m wondering all sorts of things – how dark is it going to be? Is this guide with one flashlight about to take us through? Will it be cold. YES. it will. Caves take on the average temperature of their geographic location. Since the average temp is 52 in southern Indiana – the cave is 52 degrees all year round. (pro tip – wear a jacket) & as soon as we step inside – I’m wondering, will there be bats? What is a natural cave really like – as far as my knowledge of caves go, is only in books. Well, here we go, about to step into my very first cave.

 
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Caves are made up of tons of formations — Did you know that every inch of a stalactite it takes 100 years to form? THATS INCREDIBLE. These caves are so old! Discovered in 1883 by two little kids exploring around, they went down a sinkhole and found this. Can you imagine? Exploring this little cave with one little candle? It’s miles big, and has several levels. Our guide is going to crawl for 6 hours on her hands & knees to explore the 3rd level. Count me out of that one. Can you say claustrophobic? Yikes. Pass. Hard pass.

It almost looks like the second image (above) is upside down… its a whole different world down there. Hundreds of feet below the surface.

You’re probably sick of pictures of caves. So I’ll spare you and post the rest of the images from our second tour tomorrow. Travel often. It’s good for the soul. Kisses.

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Adoption Day

My husband & I wanted to get a kitty. (Me, really) & he desperately wanted a pug, so obvs we started looking for a kitten. We went to several adoption places & didn’t really find the right fit. We had a small apartment & my husband was (about to be) a first time cat parent. So we needed a really friendly, loving, lap cat. (a cat-like dog apparently) I was like, lets try one more place (half hour away) & try the Humane Society there…..

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Entering the Humane Society there were so many cats, & VERY new baby kittens. I still didn’t think we found the one. I spoke to the handler about what we were looking for, & she introduced us to that little face. She was 8 months or so, & just finished her round of shots & was spayed. She looked pathetic. She was perfect. One (very long) trip to the pet store, with a baby kitty in my arms later, she was home.

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Chocolate Chip Goodness

Chocolate Chip Goodness

Everyone has their favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe – well, here’s mine.

  • 1 LB (aka 4 sticks) butter
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups PLUS 2 TBLSP all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 TBLSP salt
  • 2 TSP baking powder
  • 2 TSP baking soda
  • 1 TBLSP pure vanilla extract
  • Chocolate chips & pecans if you’re into nuts (which I am not)

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes – every oven is different and my oven bakes quick, so always go for less time.. You can always add, but you cannot take away the burn!

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Homemade MAC & CHEESE

Homemade MAC & CHEESE

I’m sorry for what I said when I was hungry. This is THE BEST mac recipe, EVER. But, I’m biased cause I made it up. I make this for rainy days, potlucks, Thanksgiving & when I need the comfort of massive amounts of dairy filled carbs – & home. There’s nothing like homemade mac. NOTHING.

I start boiling the noodles – whatever shape you want really, but I use traditional elbows. & turn my oven on to 350 degrees.

While noodles boil I’ll grate my cheese. YEP. The old fashion way. I try to get most of my cheese in blocks if I can, because shredded cheese (like the parmesan shown) usually has cellulose in it, which is basically sawdust, & gives me a stomach ache & I (dramatically) say I want to die when this occurs.

— I’ll use 1/3 of the brick of Philadelphia 8oz package of cream cheese.
— SPLASH or 2 – of good ole 2% Milk
— The whole brick of aged white cheddar (7oz)
— I estimate the Velveta portions, but it’s about the size of half of the cream cheese block
(cube your cream cheese & Velveta)
— 2 TABLESPOONS of butter
— Handful (aka) 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese (more or less based on preferance)
— & the grand finaleeeeeeeee Extra sharp Cheddar, I use about 1/2 of this 16oz block.

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