Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Beautiful Sunday

The light in the craft room on Sunday was to die for.  It was warm and refreshing and clean and just perfect.  It's been a few months since the last time I did a Charlie photo shoot, so I grabbed the camera!

Have you noticed that the light in the fall is different?  It feels cleaner and clearer.  I love it.

Charlie looks good in this light.  Every time I pick up my camera, I learn something new.  I love to learn and I love that something as simple as spending 3 minutes with my camera can teach me something new.

I've been trying something new lately.  I am not adding any effects to my photos.  Other than black and white, I don't do anything special.

It's actually been really wonderful.  I thought I would hate it, but (if the light is right) nothing is better than a "pure" photo.  I may slightly brighten the photo, but other than that these photos are untouched.

It's been really fun and it has pushed me to get my camera settings right.  When Charlie is in one spot I get to do a lot of experimenting because the subject doesn't change.

And then she gets wise to my plan...

At least it ends with doggie kisses.

In other news, I got a small rug for the craft room.  I got it for the usual reason - wanting something to cozy up the space and a place for Charlie to lay down.  It's this rug from Ikea.  Charlie loves it.  Did you know that light brown dog hair shows up perfectly on a navy blue rug? Oops!

ps. Tomorrow is halloween and for the first time ever - I'll have trick-or-treaters.  Totally excited.  I may not love this holiday, but I'm excited to get to interact with my neighbors!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Little Early Shopping

Say hello to my fall decorations.  Decorating for the holidays is not something I'm very good at or enjoy very much.  So all fall gets is a few pumpkins.

Christmas, on the other hand, is MY holiday.  I. LOVE. IT.

Now that I have an entire house to decorate, I need to stock up on decorations.

Yes, I am one of those people that buys decorations way before the holiday.  As a girl on a budget, I have to start buying early.  I can't afford one big shopping spree, so I buy a little at a time.

This plastic deer is going to look really nice with some Christmas lights behind it.

This little tree has such a nice color.  The burlap on the bottom isn't my thing, so I think I'll switch it out for some nice, colorful fabric.

These mini ornaments were purchased for this little tree.  I had originally picked a set of silver ornaments but my mom said it was "too tame" for me.  Which is so true, I do like bright and bold colors on my christmas trees.

For example, I bought a second set of these neon ornaments because they were my favorite ornaments on last year's tree.  I had been wanting more, so I was thrilled when the store (which had recently closed) reopened!

I have big plans for Christmas this year.  So many rooms to decorate and so many ideas.  Best. Season. Ever.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dining Room Update

Having a dining room is something new to me.  We had an eat in kitchen at my parent's house and, until I moved out, I have never had a separate dining room.  It really is so wonderful.  I love that I can make dinner, leave the mess in the kitchen and enjoy my meal in a (mostly) clean room.   Let's be honest, I'm not really super tidy.

As I was cleaning the upstairs closet, I found the bin full of curtains.  Then, after digging around the pile in the basement, I found the curtain rods for the dining room windows.  Natural light is my favorite, but I also value privacy.  I hate when people can see into my house.  I just do.

Boy was I excited to discover that my old curtains (seen here and here) fit perfectly in my dining room.

I was thrilled to see that they were the perfect length.  There's nothing better than a free project.  Plus, now I get natural light and privacy at the same time.

My mirror found a home above my side table.  I am hoping to put white frames around it so that this wall will have the effect of behind dark on the bottom and white on top.  For now, I'm just happy that it hasn't fallen off the wall.

Up until a few weeks ago, I was using borrowed folding chairs as dining room seating.  It wasn't what I preferred, but it was a free seating option.  Chairs are one of those expensive items that drives me crazy (like rugs).  Why do they have to be so expensive?

After a trip to Ikea and sitting in every chair there, I came home with four of these. They are resonably priced and are very comfortable.

Part of the reason for picking these chairs is that they don't have very high backs.  I don't want the first thing you see in my dining room to be the chairs.  The color options are limited (white, red or birch).  White can look cheep and scratch easily, red is never going to happen, so birch it was.

There are a few occasions when I eat on the couch (like the blind auditions of The Voice), but 99% of the time I eat at the table.  It's nice to sit on a real chair during meals.  It might not seem like a big deal, but it makes a big difference.

The hutch has been a wonderful piece of furniture.  It's where I keep large serving dishes and Cameron's toys.  It's the first place he goes when he comes over.  Bonus - It used to belong to my Texas Grandma.  I love family pieces (like my great-grandma's chair).

Random story - Texas Grandma was our affectionate nickname for her because she lived in Texas.  We needed the distinction because we called both our grandmas "Grandma".  Conversations always went like this:

Mom: "Grandma is coming to visit."
Kids: "Which Grandma?"
Mom: "Texas Grandma."

Mom: "I talked to Grandma today."
Kids: "Which Grandma?"
Mom: "Texas Grandma."

So the nickname sort of just came about.  She hasn't lived in Texas for many years, but she's still Texas Grandma to me.

I painted the hutch several years ago and it's been my favorite piece of furniture ever since.  It's great for storage and displaying some of my favorite things.

The middle, open section of the hutch is where I display tea cups that I've gathered.  You can see the other two in the first picture up above.  My favorite tea cup is the flowery one on the right.  I love it.  It's so girly and delicate.

These tea cups came from my family.  We aren't sure which is which, but at some point my maternal great-grandma, maternal grandma and paternal grandma owned one of these tea cups.  I wish we knew which is which, but it's just cool to know that these probably belonged to some amazing women.

Hey Auntie Karen, since you have a crazy-good memory for this type of thing, do you remember any of these?

There are just a few things left to do in this room.  I need to get around to printing a photo for this frame.

I'm also planning to repaint the hutch.  For some reason, the paint never really dried.  Everything sticks to the paint and the doors/drawers are hard to open.  I'd like to switch things up - paint the hutch white and paint the inside a bold color.  It's one of the things on my to-do list, but it is practically at the bottom.

Last but not least, I need to hang these photos.  Some are empty frames, but most are ready to hang.  I just can't commit!  Ah!  Why is hanging photos so hard?

Hi.  My name is Ginner and I have a problem with commitment. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Home Sweet Home

Have you ever had projects that just sit around waiting to be finished?  Of course, right?  We all do.  Last Sunday was the day I finally had the motivation to finish a few of my unfinished projects. 

It's pretty ridiculous that they haven't been finished early.  The materials have literally been sitting 5 feet from their final destination for weeks.   

Many moons ago, I spotted this hello over at Radical Possibility.  I loved it immediately and promised myself I would do this at my future home.   

So here's my version.  A few days after purchasing my home, I bought letters to spell out Home Sweet Home at Joann Fabrics (they are not at Michael's or AC Moore, at least not around here).  I painted them the same color as the wall and stuck them up using 3M strips.

This project is in my top 5.  I love that it's subtle, but makes a statement.  And since there is a lot of empty wall space in the living room, it's nice to have something that takes up a lot of space.

The letters are hung next to a textured wrapping paper that I framed.  The letters didn't seem to be enough on their own, which is why I hung them with a frame.  Thee two to fill the space nicely.

Update:  I've been getting a few questions about where I got the corner shelf.  It was a hand-me-down of sorts.  It belonged to a friend, then it belonged to Esther and then Esther gave it to me.  I repainted it a few years ago - you can see that post here.  Sorry, I have no idea where it's from. 

Randomly, my favorite view of this little project is from the top of the stairs.  It's so much more interesting than frames.

Charlie was unimpressed.  When I am taking photos, she normally watches me the whole time, but not today.  I think there must have been a dog outside.  She in fascinated by other dogs.  I always find her fascination with other dogs very strange considering that she doesn't like dogs.  She stands at the window like this until her legs get tired.

If I remember correctly, each letter costs $2.  Considering the size and impact in the room, this is a VERY cheap project, especially since I used leftover paint.

I'm already trying to figure out another place to do this in my house!  I'm also thinking of adding washi tape to the sides of the letters to change things up.  There's so many different things you can do with these letters.  I just love them!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Few Favorites from Applesauce Day

Between Emily, Annie and me, there were almost 500 photos from Applesauce Day.  Here are a few of my favorites.

photo by Emily/Annie
One of the things I love about this girly?  She is super girly.  Look at those eyelashes.

This is why this girl is my best friend - she loves Charlie as much as I do.

Current favorite photo of my sister and her baby, Hannah.  It's so fun to see Charlotte be a mother.  She's amazing at it.  Also, knuckle dimples. Knuckle. dimples. are. the. cutest.

I just love this little girl.  She's getting more talkative.  She can now say "uh oh" and she's halfway to saying "baby". Her little voice is so sweet.

photo by Emily/Annie
Emily or Annie took most of the photos in this post.  They are 15 and 13 year old sisters and their photos are wonderful.  I love the way they see the world.  It's wonderful.

I just wish I could figure out which girl took which photos.

photo by Emily/Annie

photo by Emily/Annie
Another one of my favorites.  This little boy had a wonderful day.  One of the reasons I love this photo is that he's smiling at me.  This smile makes my day.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Picking the Apples

Applesauce Day 2013 was a huge success.  We made 122 quarts of applesauce - that's 30 gallons of appleasuce.  You might be thinking "that's a lot of applesauce" and you would be right.  That amount of applesauce will last 4 families an entire year.  Which is good because Applesauce Day is exhausting and we only want to do it once a year.

I haven't quite had the time to write the full post, but here are a few photos from the orchard.

Our little group grows every year and we love it! We were just missing one kid for this photo.  Cam was feeling shy and didn't want to be in the photo.

We had a great day - can't wait to show you the photos!