Room Tour: the Craft Room

We’ve been in our new house for five months, and are definitely feeling settled in. Most of the rooms are stuck in the same stage of setting up: things are mostly where they go, but we haven’t really started the decorating/walls/curtains stage. I’m not sure that my mind will really get to the decorating part of things for a while yet (it’s kind of occupied by a certain lettuce-sized belly occupant these days…), and I think Dan and I are both okay with that. I also like the idea of living in our house for a while before we start committing to nail holes (or another metric ton of Command strips). Still, it does mean that I don’t feel like any room is “finished” in a way that I want to share it, and that part isn’t as fun.

But! I think the craft room is pretty fantastic, so I figured I’d start there. We really did want this to end up being a craft room + guest room, and I’m glad we were able to make it happen that way.

craft room tour!
This is the view from the doorway, and it helps illustrate the problem that felt insurmountable just after we moved in (and before we upgraded our bed). No matter how many times we measured, it just didn’t seem possible to fit our old full-sized bed AND my desk in there. My old desk was my parents’ old kitchen table, butcher block and deep and amazing. But Dan brought up the idea of getting a new desk for me, and let’s face it, it wasn’t exactly difficult to get excited about the idea.

craft room tour!
We upgraded to a king-sized bed just before Thanksgiving, and it is amazing. People have been scoffing at me for years, making my 6’2″ husband sleep on such a tiny bed, but it was working just fine, partly because we planned to get a new one as soon as we moved anyway. And I’ll never, ever stop loving that bed frame (my first real furniture purchase back in 2007 when I was moving out of my parents’ house). Perhaps having it pushed up against the wall isn’t ideal, but the room doesn’t feel cramped to me, and we were so afraid that it would.

craft room tour!
And the new desk? Is working out wonderfully. It’s an IKEA Linmon table top and two Alex drawer units (which totally look like they match the rolling cabinet of drawers I had previously). I love that it’s long enough to fit an open Project Life binder, my paper trimmer AND normal work space, and that it’s shallow enough to take up less of the room. I’ve been using it for a few months now, and couldn’t be happier.

craft room tour!
craft room tour!
I’m still working with my pile/bowl/bin desktop storage method, although I have some new bins ordered that will hopefully help me be a little more organized. Having the bookshelf nearby is also really nice. Even if I filled it up REALLY quickly.

There are definitely a few projects I’d like to finish to make the room feel complete, like hanging curtains, getting another light fixture for right above my workspace, and hanging art on the walls. I also REALLY need to get a new desk chair; that infernal Jules chair is cool-looking but supremely uncomfortable. I definitely need to hang all of my Es but having more wall space has my gears turning. A big calendar? Some prints? A bulletin board or clipboards to hang art more temporarily? The possibilities are endless.

But even more than just as a craft space, I love that this room is really functioning as a guest room. We’ve had family and friends stay a few weekends here and there, and having a real room they can call their own while they’re here is so cool. Maybe we won’t always get to have a dedicated room for guests and crafts, but it’s pretty fantastic to have it for the years we will.

Currents

01.29.2014 :: so over it

02.03.2014 :: snow forever

bean boots forever

02.05.2014 :: iced over

01.22.2014 :: bright spot

It’s been a really … WINTERY winter this year. And as much as I’m admittedly very much a summer girl through and through, I don’t hate snow. But we’ve had so many small-to-medium sized storms this winter, with SO MANY days of record cold temperatures that I’m not sure we’ve seen the grass since 2013. Add in a few horrible snowy driving experiences, and I’m over it. If I ever needed to be sure that I do not want to move any further north, I think this winter has taken care of that.

However, this whole picture a day thing is forcing me to find the beauty in the wintery stillness, and I’m really glad for that. I’ve been using my real camera more than I have in months, and getting some photos I’m really proud of, and it feels fantastic.

I’m at 24 weeks pregnant (just barely into my sixth month) and I have been feeling mostly good, still, despite the snow-incuded stress. Other than the heartburn. Heartburn forever, waking me up at night, at random times during the day, first thing in the morning… It’s kind of awful. Don’t get me wrong – I’d take heartburn now over puking in the beginning forever, but … it’s still not fun. Figuring out what I can eat (that actually appeals to me) is feeling like work, and I am just kinda tired of it. I suppose I’m supposed to talk more about what a miracle it is and how magical it is, and how much I love my tiny little kicking nugget already, and how pretty my hair has been, and those things are true, for sure. But it’s also really heartburny.

Luna has been ours for exactly two months today, and we’re such nerds over her it’s ridiculous. Even when she’s being a menace, or choosing Dan’s lap over mine, or giving me the stink eye, she’s just so soft and small and cute. She has been a silent cat all along, and in the last few days, when she opens her mouth to protest when we take too long to feed her, tiny squeaks have emitted. It’s pretty much the cutest.

I hope you’re staying warm, and not resenting the weather as much as I am, and that it’s an awesome weekend all around.

Project Life: January

With just under a year and a half of Project Life under my belt, it wasn’t even a question that I’d keep it going in 2014. I’m sure, like every thing else, I’ll have to reimagine how I approach it once this baby arrives, but for now, full steam ahead.

I haven’t changed much about my approach for 2014, other than adding some new supplies. I’m now subscribing to the Studio Calico Project Life monthly kit, and definitely enjoyed my January kit. (Especially since I’m not normally much of an embellisher; having embellishments that not only coordinate with cards but are fun/cute has been an interesting adventure so far.) I now have three core kits: Seafoam, Honey, and Midnight. I’m especially obsessed with Midnight, which I’ve only been using since this year began, and am loving the simple, clean lines. I also bought Ali Edwards’s weekly title card overlays. Last year, I just used Photoshop to add text with the week number to a photo, but I’m loving how these overlays look so far this year.

Project Life 2014

I wanted to go simple but bold with this year’s title page, and I was super inspired by the triangles featured in both Elise Blaha’s 2014 title page and Trish Harrison’s 2014 title page. I probably could have used a template, but instead I created this in Photoshop myself, painstakingly dragging black rectangles around the canvas, erasing corners of my photo… even though it took over an hour and I nearly went cross-eyed in accomplishing it (self taught isn’t always the best way…), I just love how it turned out. Stripes, black and white, me being weird and Dan being awesome. It’s perfect.

week1.1

week 1.2

Week one was a short week, so I was glad to have such fun cards from Studio Calico to fill in the spots. I also used part of Elise Blaha’s 2014 photo calendar for the monthly calendar card on the left side. I tend to fill my 3×4 slots with journaling cards and photos, so when I’m planning my pages, I have to make a concentrated effort to leave space for “filler” cards or I’ll never end up using them. So far I’m liking it. (I also included the feather from one of Luna’s toys, since I had the photo of her with said toy, and the toy only lasted two days before she ripped the feather completely off anyway.) (Sidenote: I was putting this page together at our crafternoon last weekend, and could hardly stand how PINK it was. I don’t hate pink, but I really, really avoid it in my pages, for whatever reason.)

Project life: week 2

week 2.2

Lots of black, white and yellow this week – so the Midnight kit was perfect alongside the black and white cards from the Studio Calico kit. This was an instance in which I ended up converting the photos to black and white so they’d look nicer together. It was all over the place before I did that, for sure.

week 3.1

week 3.2

Week three was another simple week. Sometimes I look at pages like this, with so many of the “filler” cards, and feel like I phoned it in, but there’s really a ton of journaling in this week’s spread, so it’s just a matter of adjusting my thinking to be able to include some stuff just because it’s pretty.

Project life: week 4

week 4.2

week 4.3

week 4.4

Week four included our one year anniversary. We celebrated in a few different ways over a few days, so I included two inserts: one with photos from our celebrations (and some confetti) and one for our cards. This week also includes a photo that illustrates how my approach to Project Life is so inherently different than how I used to approach daily photo projects – the blurry, not “cute” photo of Luna on the right hand side with her neon green shoelace is simply not what I’d ever consider a “good” photo or one worth posting on flickr or instagram at ALL. But I didn’t hesitate to print it for my album, because someday she won’t be so small and so crazy, dragging her green shoelace up the stairs and onto our bed to roll around with and play.

week 5.1

week 5.2

Green is another color that I rarely gravitate toward, but it pulled the photos together in a way that I really loved, and I had so many green cards that worked so nicely.

16. Finally Own an Expedit Bookshelf from Ikea

I have wanted an Expedit bookshelf from Ikea for a LONG time. Something about the perfectly symmetrical squares is just so appealing to me. I haven’t had a legitimate need for a new bookcase in a long time, because the amazing, perfect ones I bought from Pottery Barn back in 2006 have been so amazing. I added this to my 33 before 33 list anyway, because I knew we wanted to buy a house, and how could we not find space for one new bookshelf in a new house??

11

But when we realized that those perfect bookshelves were about 3/4 of an inch too wide for their intended location in our new house (despite my careful measurements to account for the light switch, thermostat, and power outlet! turns out the baseboard was enough to bump them. sigh), I recognized my chance. We bought not one but TWO Expedits during our Ikea trip back in early fall, and then the waiting began. First, for the boxes to be delivered (because we bought more than we could fit in Dan’s car, naturally) and then for the time to assemble all of this furniture we bought.

1

The Expedit didn’t seem too bad, as Ikea assembly goes, but MAN did it require muscle to get some of those pesky screws in. Luckily, Dan’s not a weakling like his wife, so we did eventually get both shelves assembled. I gazed at the one in the living room, empty, for weeks before we mustered the energy to start going through books.

3

I didn’t really anticipate how many more books I could fit on my old shelves, so there was a lot of sifting and decision making as I unpacked (and re-color-coded, because OBVIOUSLY I’m never abandoning that). We ended up with 3-4 boxes of books left over (because I can’t get rid of books), which was really okay with me, because yes, I suppose I should still keep those random YA books I bought when I worked at Borders, or those classics that I read in high school… but do they need to be on display prominently? No, probably not. (Confession: some were definitely still on display only because the color filled in a section nicely.)

#16. Finally own an Expedit bookshelf from Ikea

But seeing the shelf finally full of our rainbow books, happily in view from my spot on the couch at night? Is pretty fantastic.

The second Expedit is a 1×5 unit that’s now living in the craft room. I was surprised at how quickly I filled it up. But I love how it captures my favorite things all individually: cameras, yarn, and scrapbooks.

#16. finally own an Expedit bookshelf from Ikea

So this list item is very happily complete.

One Year!

Although I can’t quite believe it, today is our first wedding anniversary. Somehow, it seems like it was just yesterday and also a million years ago. It was the happiest day I can remember, and I don’t know if Dan or I have ever felt quite so full of love (and so loved). I had spent so much time preparing myself for the things that might go wrong, for how it might not be perfect, that I really wasn’t prepared for it to be such an awesome day.

I really wish we could go back and relive it, but looking at the pictures is a pretty good way to come close. I posted some wedding photos here, and wrote a bit about how I documented our wedding in my Project Life album here. All of these (amazing) photos were taken by Liesl and Randy of Photo Pink NYC, who were pretty much the awesomest.

all put together and suddenly feeling like a "real bride"

I'm seriously SO glad we did a "first look" even if it's not traditional.

taking the edge off ;)

the bridal party

just married, and Van Halen's Dreams is playing :)
seriously… I heard Dreams in the car earlier this week and couldn’t stop crying. Playing that song as we walked back up the aisle was the BEST decision.

it was cold, but we really lucked out with our January weather
given how insane the weather has been this January (Polar Vortex, anyone?), I feel SO lucky that the weather on our wedding day was cold but otherwise perfect.

0516
I’m so glad they got photos of our table set up – I am still in love with the centerpieces, and proud of the photos I took of the different varieties of beer for the table names.

this was one of my favorite moments of the whole day

0663

going into the brewhouse was our favorite

inside the brewhouse!

this is one of my very favorite photos of the whole day

Currents

01.08.2014 :: late afternoon

01.09.2014 :: it took nine days

01.15.2014 :: frozen fog

froyo for lunch

01.16.2014 :: gilded

I was writing Friday Currents posts for a while there, but it’s been almost six months since my last one. And since I’m trying to make an effort to write more, now seems as good a time as any. It’s also a fun way to post some of my photos each week, since I appear to be doing another year of daily photos. It hasn’t been a very eventful week, but the new semester begins on Tuesday, which means work has been positively insane. I’m not sure I’ve needed a three day weekend this much in a long time.

I’m almost 22 weeks pregnant and finally feeling like I know what to wear to feel cute, and that’s a big thing. I am feeling the baby move with some regularity now, which never ceases to be a wonder. (And in case you were wondering: it doesn’t feel like butterflies at all. It feels like I swallowed a vibrating cell phone, or like rather than my eyelid, my entire belly is twitching.) Also: heartburn. All the time. The nurse at my last visit said I should pay attention to what I’m eating, but I’m pretty sure food isn’t causing my middle of the night heartburn. Or first thing in the morning heartburn. Or “I just drank a glass of water” heartburn.

I bought new binders and page protectors for my 2014 Project Life albums, and I can’t wait to get started. Actually, I’ve been treating myself to quite a few fun new supplies from the craft store, and I can’t wait to try out some new stuff.

We have some really fun stuff lined up this weekend, not the least of which is our one year anniversary. It doesn’t make sense that it’s here already. So much has happened since we got married, and yet it doesn’t seem like it was that long ago at all. We have a few days’ worth of celebrating to squeeze in, capped off by an anniversary dinner on Tuesday at Triumph, and I can’t wait. (Even if it will be WAY less fun to have to refrain from their beer. Sigh.)

Have an awesome weekend dudes. (And have an extra drink for me while you’re at it.)

Project Life 2013: Highlights

I haven’t posted about Project Life in a while, which is not to say that I abandoned the project. In reality, I was keeping up pretty steadily, right up until I packed up my craft room before we moved back in September. And then between unpacking a whole house, finding out I’m pregnant, being tired all the time, waiting for my new furniture… I didn’t touch it until almost halfway through December. I had a LOT of catching up to do.

But like I mentioned in this post, I planned each week’s pages during those three months in my little notebook. That’s the ONLY reason I was able to catch up without too big of a headache. I spent one long afternoon on my laptop editing photos, and then a few long afternoons at my new desk building the pages themselves. (Incidentally, I was amazed, sitting in that crafty space, working with photos and paper again, at how much it felt like a relief. Like I finally recognized myself after all of the upheaval of moving and impending motherhood and all that crap. It was a pretty cool moment, and one that really hammered home for me- even if it’s obvious to people who care about me- how important crafting is for my sense of self. And knowing how much my life will change all over again this spring, I’m going to hold onto it.)

Anyway! With a few afternoons of happy crafting (dodging a curious kitten) in December, I finished up my 2013 album. I’m not going to post all of my pages here, because honestly. So I am posting my favorite pages, instead. I’m absolutely continuing this project in 2014, and I can’t wait to get started.

Project Life 2013: 2nd title page

Continue reading