Idle hands… don’t exist here

As you might be able to tell from my prolonged online absence, life has been busy! More to come on that, including a recap of last weekend’s trip to New York City that I hope to share before I forget all of the fun things we did in the Big Apple.

For now, I thought I’d make good on my promise to share a few more of our “new house” (which has been in our possession for nearly 6 months now — I can’t believe it!) projects. The whirlwind of moving into a new house, starting a stressful job, maintaining and building my freelance and small business, and continuing to make sure we are appreciating our friendships and our access to the beauty of our locale, all add up to many late nights, finishing up the day-to-day. And yet, as the to-do list grows incessantly, I still can’t help but tack on seemingly unnecessary projects on top of everything else. Anthony playfully points out the humor in my busy-body mentality, as I arrive home with more supplies or whip out my sewing machine on a “night off.”

There’s just something about creating something with my hands that serves as a breath of fresh air, forcing me away from the glowing screen of my laptop and ending with a finished product that provides our home with something new and special. I know I get this urge — both to craft as well as to keep busy constantly — from my mother, but I can only hope to aspire to her level of DIY perfection someday. In the meantime, here are my imperfect results from the last few projects:

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First up, some simple floor poufs to brighten our room and serve as extra seating when our friends come over for game nights and spread out on the floor. In addition, we have found that they are a huge hit with toddlers when we have the [very] occasional pint-sized visitor. Since taking these photos, I have actually stuffed them with additional filling and they’ve been used quite often and make a nice alternative to crouching around the coffee table when the “grown-up” seating is full.

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Next up, a finished product that I already showed in the house tour, but was such a simple project with a big impact.

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Our gallery wall consists of some of our favorite photos of family and friends — some of our favorite kids simply being cute, a sweet moment shared by my grandparents during the anniversary dance at our wedding, celebrating on mountain summits with friends, favorite views from our travels, a couple candids of Olive and Gizmo in their early years, sweet shots capturing visits with our parents, wedding shots, and many more reasons to smile as we walk up or down the stairs in our home.

We printed the photos in a combination of color, black and white, and sepia. I then gathered every frame we had ever used — mostly cheap and all mismatched. I took out the glass and backing from each one, and spraypainted them all in a soft brown matte. Then, I just started throwing them up on the wall all willnilly, and somehow it all came out looking like a deliberate jumble, just as I intended!

On the other wall, I used the same spray paint on 3 matching frames and hung our favorite three wedding photos in a much more organized fashion. I like to think the craziness of the stair wall compliments the careful order of the opposite wall.

IMG_6091I also “made” my own coffee table/ottoman. Of course, “made” is a loose term, as the actual coffee table came in pieces inside an Ikea box. So, technically, I put that together too, but it was not this feat that I count as a DIY project.

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After the coffee table was assembled within a matter of minutes, I got to work giving it the personal touch.

As you might have noticed (with our never-poofy-enough floor poufs and the fluffy shag rug you can see in the photos above), we like things to be soft. For years, we’ve been loving a beautiful hand-carved coffee table Anthony’s mom bought from the woodworker at a garage sale, but we’ve often found ourselves stacking pillows on top of it as we used it for a footrest while lounging on the couch. When I saw this tutorial, I knew I had to try it for myself. And so, with a few feet of foam, some batting and a heavy microsuede fabric, we now have a padded coffee table that serves as a quite comfy footrest.

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I still have a long list of projects I’d like to add to my to-do list, including some kind of decor for our embarassingly-bare bedroom and also creating some art with Anthony for the living room, but they are on the back burner for now as I focus on a few other priorities. My little assistant, meanwhile, is ready for more padding.

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