I Love Friday!…and Mudrooms

My prerequisite for our next home is that it must have a mudroom. When the seasons change, the need for a mudroom is extraordinary! Our entryway is strewn with winter coats and boots as well as spring jackets and shoes — and don’t forget about the occasional playthings that traveled outdoors and made it back inside but need a thorough de-mudding. Living in the North, we ride a weather roller coaster when the seasons change. I’m always hesitant to put away the winter things right away, because you might need them again at the drop of a hat (or rather, a snowflake). And if you’re like us and have no entryway closet, it becomes incredibly hard to store the riff-raff.

Oh, how I long for any of these versions of a mudroom:

 

I love the layout and the cabin-feel the ceiling gives it.

 

Everything you could possibly need in a mudroom/entryway.

 

Perfect heights for kids and adults.

The combination of everything is just right.

 

Pops of color and organization for $324! (Ikea)

 

A unique color combination that includes my favorite shade of purple!

 

A cubby for each person in the family.

 

If we HAD an entry closet, you can bet it'd be transformed like this.

 

Duh! Put your bins on wheels!

 

Do you have a great entryway/mudroom? Or how about a storage idea for all that random riff-raff in a small space? Share your ideas in a comment below or email me pics at fairlycrafty@hotmail.com.

 

Wine Box Wedding Ceremony

A recent trend in wedding ceremonies is to incorporate a wine box and love letter ceremony. In the wedding blogging world, it’s rather popular and is actually being seen now as *gasp* OVERDONE. But in our area of the United States it seems to be rather new or even unheard of.

Here’s How it Works:

You and your spouse-to-be write a love letter that you do not share. We wrote about what made us fall in love with the other person, how we have grown since we’ve met, and what our hopes and dreams are for the future. You seal your letter in an envelope and at some point, give it to your officiant. During the actual wedding ceremony, our officiant said something like this:

“Erin and Jeff have chosen to perform a Love Letter & Wine Box ceremony. For those of you who have never seen this before, this box contains a bottle of wine and a love letter from each to the other. The letters describe the good qualities they find in one another, the reasons they fell in love, and their hopes for their future together. The letters are sealed in individual envelopes and they have not seen what the other has written. Should Erin and Jeff ever find their marriage facing hardships, they will open this box, sit and drink the wine together, then read the letters they wrote to one another to be reminded of the reasons why they are together. The hope is, however, that Erin and Jeff will never have a reason to open this box. And if this is the case, they are to open this box to share and enjoy on their 5th year wedding anniversary, replenish and open on their 10th anniversary, and so on.” (Some of this script borrowed from here. )

At this point, some brides and grooms actually nail the wine box shut as a symbol that you will not need to open it for many years.. In our case, we simply placed our letters into the box and closed the clasp! We did this as well as the lighting of the unity candle while Jeff’s talented brothers performed an acoustic Keith Urban song.

Now, onto the logistics….

The Wine

We are the “What’s Cheapest?” wine drinkers in our household. But there is one thing I do know even though I’m no wine aficionado: cheap wines are not meant to age –  they’re meant to be consumed soon. Which is why we buy the “What’s Cheapest?” brand.

Of course this is our wedding and marriage we’re talking about here, so we needed to splurge a little. I began some research on what wines are best for aging, and came across some recommendations and hesitated over the “Buy Now” button on a few websites. Instead, we went to Happy Harry’s and found that on some wines there is a handy description card that often includes how long it can be aged. I found a wine that would age through 7 years (because the ones with longer age ranges were more expensive!). We spent about $35 for this Feasting Wine:

Honestly, I have no idea what this will taste like, now or in 5 years. I guess we’ll see, and will know when we replenish our wine box on our anniversary what NOT to buy if it turns out bad.

The Wine Box

You could build your own wine box if you are handy with woodworking:

But we purchased a wine box from Hobby Lobby (found it in the basket area). It was originally $19.99 but with a 40% off coupon, it cost around $12. I had some Martha Stewart stencils that I used for our seating sign:

I traced the letters “LOVE” onto the front of the box. I thought about using paint to fill in the letters, but worried that it may scratch off easily. So I grabbed a permanent marker and simply colored them in. (PS. Wine is supposed to be stored on its side, and since we’re storing this for 5 years, it will sit on its side, not upright as the box is actually designed to do.)

We did the wine box ceremony as well as the unity candle tradition — although it was windy and cold so our unity candle didn’t work anyway!

I hope one day to find a prettier place to display our wine box, but right now it sits on a shelf with the photo book my sister made for us as well as our marriage certificate holder. 

What is an interesting and non-traditional wedding addition you’ve seen?

Turning an Old Dresser into a Console

I don’t like to post projects until they’re completely finished, but this time, I’m asking for some opinions!

Our family room/laundry room/craft room/computer room has been a work in progress. On a normal day, this room in our lower level is scattered with laundry (dirty pile by the machines, folded clean piles on the couch), kid’s toys and books, and the tools and supplies needed for whatever projects we are currently working on – both craft and household. On a good day (aka, when people are coming over), we clean it up to serve as the guest room.

The color scheme is currently reds and browns. We painted the walls a deep chocolate brown two years ago, and we have deep red curtains and a recently acquired a red leather recliner. It all seems to go together pretty well so far, including the light-tan sofa. I’ve contemplated adding a pop of color to this room besides the red. Here’s the red chair with the wall, so you get an idea:

 

We are currently using an entertainment stand that to me, is incredibly non-useful. The shelf that is meant for small electronics doesn’t even hold our DVD player, has no way to adjust, and the heights and lengths of the cubbies are odd. We’ve basically put whatever would fit in it….which means it has no organization and is just a jumbled mess of electronics and wires.

I considered repainting it and re-working it…but I don’t even like it to begin with, so I am going to put it for sale on Craigslist. Although it has sentimental value to my husband (he made it in high school — yes, this is that piece I was talking about in a previous blog!) – he agreed to let it go.

What we NEED in this room is STORAGE. We have no great place to store blankets and sheets in our house. Although I’ve tried downsizing in our closets, it’s so hard with 3 kids and we just don’t have a lot of storage space to begin with. And of course, we have lots of little odds and ends to hide away as you can tell.

When I saw this a few months ago…

…I thought it was the most clever idea I’d ever seen. I thought of the dresser that I used to have in college, just like this, that I never even THOUGHT about re-finishing. I sold it when I moved to Nashville instead of dragging the old thing with me. It seemed dated and old-ladyish. How often do we see these types of dressers at garage sales, on Craigslist, or in a relative’s home?? ALL. THE. TIME!!!

I began my hunt. It didn’t take long – maybe a week – before I found a beauty at the Dakota Boys and Girls’ Ranch Thrift Store (I think I’ve become a thriftaholic, by the way). Guess how much it was?

$15.99.

The actual frame and top is in decent shape, plus it’s REAL wood, not laminate. The only problem is that the drawers are in poor shape, but I’ll only have to fix a few of them because I think I’ll be taking the center ones out like in my inspiration photo. However, I absolutely love the “architecture” of the piece. It’s perfect.

Now, onto the color choice. I do love the distressed look, where you paint a layer in one color then the top coat in a different color and sand it a little bit so the 1st color shows through. I could go the safe route, and do red underneath a dark brown/black. This would be the most versatile color that could work in a different room in our house (or when we move) well.

But what about that pop of color I was thinking about?

What about TEAL on top of brown?

Or should I go for a dark RED on top of brown (this shade of red and not as ‘distressed’)?

OR what about TEAL on top of RED!!!! The possibilities are endless!!!

(I wouldn't do red knobs, and the teal would be darker, but you get the point)

 Or maybe I should just brighten things up and do a clean-looking cream like this?

I hesitate to use light-colored furniture with children in our household...

 Help me choose!

(Because if you know me, you know I’m itching to start this ASAP!)

 

Baby’s First Birthday

My baby turned one in February!

It is hard to believe how a tiny newborn who was so helpless at first is now my little boy with tons of personality. We made some special plans to celebrate his first birthday with a lot of family, so I wanted to do a few projects.

My inspiration for his t-shirt and birthday hat is from one of my favorite blogs, Crap I’ve Made:

I’ve already done a fun applique shirt for Valentine’s Day, so this was a breeze. I gathered my supplies….

Ironed my fusible web to the dinosaur fabric and cut it out:

Then ironed on my number 1 and my son’s name with iron-on letters. It’s an adorable, 5-minute project!

I also added some stitching to the edges.

I had extra dinosaur fabric so I made him a matching party hat by using spray adhesive and some hot glue to attach the fabric to a hat (bought from Target), then decorated it some more with ribbon and a pom. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t wear his hat for more than the time it took me to snap some blurry photos.

Since we were going with a dinosaur theme, I did a quick search on Amazon and found these adorable molds for just over $9:

Melting chips come in pre-made colors which resulted in adorable blue and red dinosaur chocolates to put on his cupcakes! Such an easy little project and they are the perfect mix of boy and cute.The mold is small so it will be easy to store away for a future boy party.

My mother-in-law made these cute candy bars and dinosaur cookies:

The results? A happy birthday boy!

I Love Friday!…and DIY Headboards

I tackled our own upholstered headboard 2 years ago, but I still love it and love seeing other versions! I’ll be putting up a tutorial here soon.   Until then, check out these amazing DIY (non-upholstered) headboards:

Shutters:

Rustic/Fresh:

Upholstered Squares 

Textured Wallpaper Applied to a Slab Door and Painted:

Salvaged Wood/Pallets:

Fabric-Covered Panels (or you could paint/stencil for a similar effect!):

Antique Fence:

A Unique Cut of Wallpaper:

An Old Vanity Mirror:

 

Have a great weekend, everyone!