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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Look, We're Antiquing Again!

My beloved month of July has come to an end! This is a little sad, not going to lie. It feels like summer is ending soon! But August is still summer, right? Anywho, we went antiquing again. This time it was downtown Galesburg, at the antique mall. It's been a long time since we've been here, and it felt like a long lost friend! This is one of my favorite antique stores. I always find a few goodies here.

Including this milk glass vase that is exactly the size that I want to use for our wedding centerpieces! I'm just hoping I can gather enough similar ones to use for the wedding, a year from now.

Trent found this pretty pink flowery plate. Just kidding. :) This was actually my find! Along with these two, I also got a new wooden crate for the porch. Woot!

And here's a little close up of my two new beauties. 

I rearranged the contents in my hutch a little to make room for my new plate.

I'm getting quite the China collection. And I'm pretty sure my hutch is full now! Time to think of another way to display my plates. Wish I had more space.... See you in August everyone!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Hostas Part 2: Transplanting

Back with more hosta news - remember those new ones we picked up and planted? Well I got one more at the flea market a couple weeks ago (a pretty flowering one). And we've switched around a couple of them to group the "like" ones together.

Trent was actually the one who wanted to switch a couple around. I didn't really care about it at first, but I let him do it anyway. And I have to admit, it does look pretty good now!

You can tell which ones are still the young plants and which have been there a while, but I feel like it looks more finished and more uniform now that the similar hostas are right next to each other, all in a row. The flowering ones are mostly over on the other side of the basement, so I think once they get bigger, it will look pretty cool out here.

And my flowers on the porch are still doing pretty awesome. Even better as the summer goes on!

I even picked up a new wooden crate at the Galesburg Antique mall this past weekend. Yep, for 15 bucks, I got a second one to put on the other side of the door. I've been looking for another one to use as a "table" next to the bench. Our porch isn't the prettiest these still needs a good paint job and needs cleaned up a bit, but I tend to think it's still decorated pretty nicely.

Still need to post about the new bedroom shelving unit that Trent built! I'm so proud of him. It looks great. Maybe next time!

Monday, July 28, 2014

DIY Chalkboards

So pretty much anyone who hasn't been living under a rock over the last couple of years knows that chalkboards have become extremely popular recently - and they're not just for schools anymore. In fact, I think they've really taken off because of that classic, vintage look that's so "in" right now. You can see them used in homes, for weddings, parties, and photography. A couple of years ago, I wanted a chalkboard for our kitchen, and looked everywhere before finding one that I thought would work. I snatched that one up (it's the big one you see in the photo below), despite having a maroon-colored border that I figured I'd just paint eventually. Fast forward two or three years later, you can now find chalkboards pretty much everywhere, and it's even extremely easy to DIY one with chalkboard paint.

I took my hand at DIY'ing a few recently for my sister Haley's wedding. Of course, they'll most likely be used in ours too next year, and eventually be in our house as well.

Here's how I did it. I started with this lovely group:

On the left are two old picture frames (with the glass) I picked up at Trent's aunt's yard sale. The small blue frame is wooden, and the longer white one is a durable plastic. On the right is an actual chalkboard I picked up a few years ago (I believe at Marshall's), but it is a little too "country" looking for my style, so I decided to paint the border white. And you can see that some of the chalkboard paint had ripped off with the paper that was on there, so my plan was to paint over it with chalkboard paint once I was finished with the frame.

Here is the Chalkboard paint I finally got to break out - I've been waiting to use this stuff:

The first thing I did was paint the glass that came inside frames, with the chalkboard paint. It was a little difficult to get even, so I definitely needed a good 3 coats to get it all fully covered. This was after the first coat:

And this was after a few coats. Nice and even:

Then it was time to paint the frames. I taped off the inside of the large one. I had to use duct tape, since we didn't have any painter's tape on hand, but I didn't mind if it peeled the inside paint off, since I was planning to paint over it again with chalkboard paint.

I spray painted the largest and smallest frames white. This was after one coat (they needed a couple):

When it was all dry, I pulled the tape off of the large chalkboard. And as you can see, several small pieces peeled off of the edges, so I did end up painting over the whole thing with chalkboard paint.

I couldn't wait until they were all dry so I could assemble them again and write on them! I waited at least a full day to put them back together and get my chalk on. Saleen, Trent, and I all hung out outside on the patio while I worked my magic (ha - more like scribbled some words on the chalkboard):

Here were the two white framed ones all completed:

We used the smallest one for the Candy table and didn't really even change anything on it. It had a stand on the back already, so it worked perfectly. The largest one we had no idea what to use for, so I just scribbled down a short little menu for an idea. 

At Haley's wedding, we ended up standing it on the floor at the reception right at the entrance. I wrote something like, "Please choose a seat but your real place is on the dance floor". Trent had made a quick stand out of a 2x4 and a door hinge a couple of days before...kind of a last minute fix to make it stand up, but it worked: 

For the third and final chalkboard, I ended up picking up some gold spray paint and painting it a shiny gold color for more of a vintage look:

This was another one that we weren't sure what to use it for, but I just thought of a cute little wedding-related quote, and we ended up setting it on the gift table at the reception. 

I'm sure I'll be using them at our wedding next year, and I am still planning on hanging the big one up in the kitchen when we get it renovated. Another possible place was the hallway, but I'm thinking it might be too big for the space there. But anyway, I really liked this was actually pretty fun to do, and now I'm trying to figure out what else I can use my chalkboard paint for! Any ideas?!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Hosta Planting

There's no question that this summer has been a rainy one, but over the last few weeks, the weather has been nice enough that we've been able to get some work done outside (and enjoy a few summer nights outside). That includes planting some more hostas on the west side of the house. The hostas we planted last summer seem to do well here, since there is a ton of shade from the tree on this side of the house, and they are shade lovers.

We picked up three new small ones from Lowe's when we were getting materials for the basement (the current house project we've started working on this month). The two small ones in the below picture are new - the larger one on the right we planted last summer. (The large plant on the left side is the Bleeding hearts bush that blooms pink flowers in the spring).

The other new one we planted in between two of the larger ones on the other side of the basement door:

Below is a new hosta, a one-year old one, and in the upper right hand corner is my hydrangea we planted at the end of last summer. It actually came back this year after the harsh winter we had. Although there are no flowers on it yet and it's still pretty tiny. I recently gave it some plant food, and we've been getting tons of rain, which has really helped I think. I'm hoping it will bloom again someday!

Trent has started working on the basement - building a new door beneath the faux outside door we have, that you can see in the below picture. The door on the outside is actually a piece of a garage door. (We hope to update that someday). Under that is a tarp, then there are a few cement stairs, and a doorway which used to have an old wooden door that was falling apart and rotting. Trent ripped that out and is building a new doorway for our new steel door to fit in. Will share pics once it's done! Getting the basement ready is the next step in raising the living room and kitchen to where they are level, but it's a long process. After the door is done, Trent will clean up the dirt floor, mortar some of the brick wall, put down a gravel foundation on the floor, then pour concrete. We will then have a base for the new jacks to raise the living room the rest of the way. Sounds like fun, huh?

In other news, here's a pretty sunset we witnessed while driving down the road recently:
Google automatically made my photo all cool and stuff with Auto Awesome. I thought it looked pretty awesome myself.

We've enjoyed a couple small fires out back after Trent painted the firepit:

And he's currently working on painting the old grill, too:

Just needs one more coat or so, but it's looking good! Another small before and after to share when it's all done. Oh, and the bedroom shelf is pretty much finished! Super excited to share this one. Trent has worked hard on it off and on since April. He finally found time to finish it this week, and it's all moved into the bedroom. He just needs to finish filling it with clothes!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Newest Antique Finds...and a Chandelier Story

It's been a few weeks since I got them, but I'm finally sharing my newest antique finds on the ol' blog. I picked up 3 pretty plates and a milk glass bud vase at the Antique mall in Galesburg:

Whether I can use them in my wedding or not, I'm still going to collect my pretty plates. I have a feeling I am going to find a way to incorporate them no matter what. I would love to have them for dessert plates to serve cupcakes on. We shall see...

And another recent find I am particularly excited about - this was a team effort - we snagged these two matching vintage chandeliers at the antique flea market in Alpha a week or two ago: 

Awesome right?? They're porcelain and made in Italy! There was originally only one laying there - I spotted it, and thought - 'that would be perfect for the wedding!' I told Trent. He agreed, it would be amazing. I thought, hang it from a tree, rewire would look perfect with lights strung everywhere. But it was $40. I only had about $35 in cash (Trent had some too), but we asked the lady - would you take $35 for that? She then said, "Oh, did you want the other one, too?" (Umm...there's a SECOND one? Yes please!) And her husband went to the back and pulled out a matching chandy. She was actually really hesitant about letting them go at first, but we assured her they would be put to good use. And we ended up getting both for $65. A good deal, considering one was marked $40. I can't wait to hang them at our outdoor wedding!! My first major wedding decor purchase! Score! :)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Haley and Dan Tie the Knot!

So, it has taken me way too long to finally sit down and blog again after all of the wedding festivities over the weekend! That's right, these two lovebirds (my sister Haley and now brother-in-law Dan) tied the knot Saturday, July 19, 2014:

After all of the planning and preparation, everything went perfectly, and everything was gorgeous, from the dresses to the flowers, to the decor.

(Photo by Ashley Biess of Artistrie Co.)

The weather was also perfect. It was sunny but there was a light breeze. The wedding weekend was a busy one - we stayed in Moline at the hotel Friday and Saturday night. Friday we decorated the reception hall, later that night was the rehearsal at the church, then the rehearsal dinner at Cafe Fresh in Moline. Saturday was of course the wedding, and Sunday we cleaned up and watched Haley and Dan open their gifts.

(Photo by Ashley Biess of Artistrie Co.)

The ceremony was short and sweet and just as rehearsed. I was pretty nervous to walk down that aisle but made it through without a hitch!

The reception was at the University Club and it was a great time. Everyone had a blast, and we all danced the night away. I really think the dance floor was full the entire time!

The toasts were all awesome. Jess and Krista (Haley's maids of honor and her best friends) both gave really sweet, teary-eyed speeches, and Dan's brother Corbin gave a both sweet and hilarious, thoughtful speech that included an actual speedo. It was pretty hands-down the best Best Man speech ever.

 (Photo by Ashley Biess of Artistrie Co.)

I felt extremely lucky to be a part of my sister's special day, and cannot wait for Trent and I's wedding next year. I definitely have a lot to live up to. Of course we're going the more untraditional route, a smaller, outdoor wedding. (fingers crossed for good weather). 

We're getting more and more into the planning process, and things are starting to roll. I hope it turns out just as perfect as Haley and Dan's did.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bring in the Drama! Leo-Inspired Decor

This post was fun to put together! Leos (July 23 - Aug. 22) are the drama queens of the Zodiac. The symbol is the Lion, the element is Fire, and the ruling planet is the Sun. It doesn't get hotter than that! From - Leos are creative types that love being the center of attention. They are outgoing and born leaders who have ambition and a drive to succeed. 

It comes as no surprise that when choosing my decor picks for this sign, I went for drama. Purples and golds, animal prints, and elements inspired by lions, fire, and even the sun - Sunburst mirrors, anyone? Here are my decor picks, inspired by the Zodiac sign, Leo:


And just for fun, here's a room that fits the elaborate style and drama of a Leo:

What do you think? A little much for me, but there are several elements I would love to set against a more soothing, neutral backdrop as accent pieces!

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