DIY Bulletin Board


Want to learn how to make this cute bulletin board in just a few easy steps, one which does not require a can of spray paint and costs less than $20?

Step one: Buy a really ugly large print on clearance at Michael's or some other craft mecca. This one is 24x36. Large. And freakishly ugly. Unless black and white abstract leaves are your thing. In that case, never mind. You go back to enjoying your colorless, boring life full of leaves. And I'll try to stop judging you.


Step two: Remove the offensive, abstract leaf artwork, the accompanying mat, and, ever so carefully, the glass. Discard all of these items.


Step three: Insert 12x12 squares of cork board, also purchased at craft mecca. My print was a multiple of 12, so my squares fit evenly without having to cut any of the cork squares. If your frame is odd sized, just cut the cork to fit.


Step four: Using the double-sided tape tabs that come with the cork, secure all of the cork pieces to each other on the edge.


Step five: Using the thick backing that came with the print, flip over the newly joined cork squares. Lay fabric of your choice on a flat surface, and flip cork and backing over the top, with the cork facing down.


Step six: Pull tightly and staple edges of fabric to thick backing. I used a regular stapler because I'm lazy klassy like that. You could use a more advanced stapler, but mine worked just fine.


Step seven: Cut off excess fabric, and put inside your frame.


Step eight: Hang the bulletin board on your daughter's wall, and feel like an extreme crafter. Refuse to succumb to your husband's taunts about your lack of proper staple usage. Know deep down that your improper usage is what makes you awesome and distinguishes you from other DIYers and their fancy equipment.


Step nine: Stand back to admire your handiwork. Reward yourself with some chocolate and a diet coke.


Any questions?

Hello Newman...

Remember the old Seinfeld episode with the Bubble Boy?

I kind of feel like I am living it. Only without Jerry, Elaine, and their utter hilarity.

Internets, I am the Bubble Boy.

And it's way less fun than it looked on TV:


The reason for the large bubble is because of the giant hole currently in my family room ceiling.


Never fear - it's all for a good cause. (Otherwise, I'm not sure I could stand the dust.)

We are at the early stages of a massive remodel upstairs. When we bought this home four-and-a-half years ago (has it really been that long? WOW.) it had four bedrooms, a guest bedroom and bath in the basement, and two offices. We quickly converted one of those offices into a bigger family room in the basement.

And by quickly, I mean, the Husband took a sledge hammer and knocked the wall down just minutes after we closed on the house.

We have plenty of room for our family and then some. The bedroom upstairs that we put our boys in also happens to be huge. It's literally as big as the master bedroom. Way too much space for just one kid.

We are of the mindset that if the two boys share a room, ensuring very little privacy, one or more of those boys are less likely to get into any trouble in said room, always fearing that the other could walk in at any moment. It's our hope anyway. So, much to McKay's chagrin, we make them share.

It's worked well for us, doubly so because of the size of their bedroom. This photo doesn't do it justice, as I didn't have a wide enough lens. It's ginormous.


BUT, this has left us with a spare bedroom that has really only been used once -- and that was at Thanksgiving last year when we had three families visiting. It collects dust and, quite frankly, is just one more place for me to vacuum.

With the help of a (very boring and slightly expensive) architect, we drew up plans to make use of that fourth bedroom. We decided to convert half of it into a bathroom for the boys, and the other half into a walk-in closet for Hannah. The current kids bathroom will become Hannah's and will all connect via her bedroom. And the boys' bathroom will now only be accessible through their bedroom.

Eliminating that mad dash in a towel that my children seem to be so fond of.

It's been pretty okay so far - though I say that rather delicately, seeing as how we are only on day two. But our contractor really is fantastic - he has had a crew here from sunup to sundown each day, working like mad. I am extremely impressed thus far. He seems much sharper than our deck guy from last summer. (Did I ever tell you those stories? Remind me. There are some doozies.)

Anyway, take a peek. And enjoy one last look at the classy brass fixtures and faucets. BUH-BYE.


Hannah's room:



The boys' room:


The spare bedroom/new bathroom/new closet:


Chase practicing getting caught unawares in his new shower:


And my favorite moment was the look on Hannah's face when she stepped inside her new closet for the first time. She, clearly, is not at all excited:


I am thrilled, but completely jealous. Her closet might be bigger than mine now.

My new favorite thing: Book flowers

While browsing one of my favorite furniture stores this weekend, I stumbled upon something so lovely and adorable that I instantly tried to purchase one or twelve. Tragically, they were not for sale, and I was told they were merely decorations.

(Why? Why put something on the showroom floor that you have no intention of selling? Mental.)

Behold the lovely, adorable, and not-for-sale book flowers:


No, I didn't steal them (though I was sorely tempted). I studied one for so long that the sales woman finally took pity on me and told me how to make one of my very own.

And because I love you, I am going to show you, too -- in nine easy steps (or five if you're less indecisive and crazy than me).


[Had I been in less of a hurry, I would have gone to the thrift store and bought a really old, yellowed book. I think it would look even better antiqued. And how cool to be made from a book that I love, like something Austin perhaps? But alas, impatience is my middle name.]




[Also, make sure and roll them all in the same direction.]






Pretty cool, eh? Took me all of 15 minutes to do one book. Do not be surprised if my entire house is filled with them by, oh, tomorrow.

Happy crafting. Send me any links or snapshots of your own book flowers. It'll be like a decorating party!

Home sweet home

When I saw this post over at the Nester, I knew I had to have one of my very own.

Only, I didn't want to pay big bucks for something I could create myself.

Because I'm crazy and controlling frugal and independent like that.

And since we've moved more times than most people in our 17 years together, this was the perfect accessory for our home. It took some time finding the old street names, but was a nostalgic walk down memory lane in the process.

Oh, the stories each street could tell you about me.

[Yeah. Me and my wild self. NOT.]


I mixed them all up order-wise and the kids had fun trying to assign each street name to its matching city and state.

I also put a photo of our current home behind the text and reduced the opacity, but it doesn't show up very well in the photos. I had the print mounted on a 3/4" standout with black edging, knowing that I wasn't going to put it in a frame. I wanted to hang the print in the basement, and that is a glass-free zone, so it works well as-is. Plus, I like the simplicity of the print all by itself.

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

And it seals the deal: We can't ever move again.

There's no room on there for any more street names.

Inviting you into our bedroom

As I've mentioned countless times before, the Husband's job has [sadly] put him on a first-name basis with the security people at the airport. We get personalized Christmas cards from the hotels he frequents. He's gone. A LOT. And even when he's working at the office in-town, he has very long hours.

Needless to say, his life contains a lot of stress.

Fortunately for me, he unwinds in a very productive manner, which I find I am highly encouraging of.

Internet, meet my new king-sized big girl bed:


Yes, the Husband made that bed. All for me (and I guess for him, too). Let me repeat that: HE MADE THE BED. Made it. Like a mountain man. Or the Amish.

[He does have that secret dream to go off the grid.]

I found a bed that I liked online, showed him the picture, and he drew up plans and worked on it during the weekends.

I could not be more thrilled. We had been sleeping on a ghetto bed since before Chase was born, and it is so nice to finally have a pretty, grown-up bed.

Bedding is the Hanna quilt from Pottery Barn, and is oh, so lovely. Look at that stitching. I just love it:


Pillows are a mash: Some from Target, some sewn together by yours truly with fabric from Joann's:


The Husband has also made me a set of nightstands (which he's not finished staining yet) and he's currently working on a large set of shelves for books/knick knacks that will double as a TV stand.

Here is a picture of the master plan to give you an idea:





(Do you like how I put myself in there? Hopefully, I will have two hands, legs, and most of my bottom when I'm sitting on the bed in real life. Though losing the bottom wouldn't exactly break my heart.)

What do you think?

I'm pretty excited about it all.

Thanks, baby. You are the best.

A question on a summer Monday


What happens when your boys decide to build a fort in the unfinished part of the basement near the air conditioners, and they shove the condensation hoses away from the drain and point them towards the finished part of the house, where carpet, drywall, and other such things reside?


A freakin' flood, that's what.

Be back soon, I promise. Just as soon as I finish dealing with the water, the pulled up carpet, the soaking wet drywall, and general clean-up of the area. Oh, and as soon as I decide to let the boys out of their cage again.

They're only still alive because they didn't know what those hoses were for and I can't legally kill them for their ignorance.

Believe me, I wanted to.