Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I realized I haven't posted much about Diesel, our dog. Josh and I sit around all the time laughing at him because he has such a unique, strange personality. We often comment on not knowing what we did for entertainment before he came around. Here are a few pics of our boy:

I tried to do a little photoshoot with him in the yard a few weeks ago.

He was less than thrilled. This is his annoyed look. Notice his ear that stands up more than the other  :) We call it his special ear... lol. Yeah, we're dorks. 

I was trying to take pictures of him, and he thought he was in trouble for some reason.  Any time he thinks he's  done something wrong he puts his head down, his ears go back, and he rolls over on his back, usually on top of whatever he's done (like digging holes in the yard, or tearing up a piece of paper)

He often does this stupid stretch thing, where he puts his butt way up in the air. It's cute the first  few times, but it SO annoying when you're walking behind him in a confined space (like a hallway) and he decides to take a few minutes and stretch. It's like UGH just MOVE already!

Loves his Frisbee! Hands down the best $.99 I've ever spent at Petsmart!

Josh and his dad were planting our unity tree from the wedding, and Diesel thought he needed to lay right on top of the dirt pile so he could watch the action. He kept running through it and kicking dirt up onto us innocent bystanders :)
I never thought I was a dog person until Josh surprised me with him one Sunday morning. He's so much fun and we are so happy to have him!

Tell me about your pets! Or, are you a no-pet person?

Monday, September 26, 2011

DIY Duct Tape Flowers

The other day I was reading The Pioneer Woman, and I came across the cutest post/tutorial that was prompted by her daughter - Duct tape flower pencils! Have you seen all of the colors of duct tape they make now? It's insane. Even animal prints have made the cut - which makes me a little happy on the inside :)

I thought of putting together a few duct tape pens the other day (while I was bored) and I was pretty pleased with how they turned out. Seriously, if you have kids or students (or really anyone who appreciates decorative office supplies), these are a really fun project that hardly take any time at all. I suggest you follow Pioneer Woman's tutorial, because I didn't take step by step pictures. And she's really good at the step by step thing.

I assembled all of my supplies - each roll was on sale for $3.99, and the green sheets of tape were free with the purchase of a roll. Yes, that's tye dye duct tape. (and garlic hummus lurking in the background. be jealous)

The finished product! (Wasn't that quick!) It was actually really easy to do, too.  Just a lot of ripping and folding and sticking and repeating. Super simple!

A full body shot (I've been working on my camera skills, so if the pics seem a little weird, that would be why!)

Looking at the top of the pen.
What's your favorite office supply? Or am I the only nerd who loves the office supply aisle of the store?

Oh - and since it's Monday, be sure to stop by Meg's mingle and get a few new followers:
Mingle 240

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Current DIY Project - Paint Swatches

After seeing a bunch of craft projects and artwork using paint swatches on Pinterest and Young House Love, I decided to try some myself. My sister and I picked up a few stacks of paint chips at Lowe's this afternoon and decided to do some experimenting while Josh was working on the farm.

We ran the swatches through a paper shredder and got these fun little strips:

 Josh's cousin thought of weaving them together, so we started playing around with it. My sister Lindsey made this creation. She's thinking of folding the edges over, Mod-Podging it, attaching to a piece of cork, and making a coaster (or a series of them after awhile). I think it would look cool framed and put on the wall!

 I picked paint swatches that are the actual colors from our entryway (the green and tan, anyway) and threw in the blue for an accent. I wove them together and ended up with a big square. Here's a pic of the work in progress:

I'm thinking about folding the edges under and just framing it to put in the entryway, along with another similar one, for a pair of matching abstract art pieces. Pretty cheap considering I've already got the frames and mats, and the swatches are free! Gotta love free DIY!

What kind of crafts have you been up to lately? 

PS: If you're not on Pinterest yet, leave a comment with your email and I'll send you an invite!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's A Beautiful Night For ART!

Josh and I live about an hour away from Grand Rapids, MI, and it's often our choice destination when we want some "big city" fun. We're hopefully heading there tonight, because one of my favorite events started yesterday - ArtPrize! ArtPrize was created as a way to bring more tourism into Grand Rapids and allow artists from around the world to display their amazing work. The public gets to vote on their favorites, and the artist with the most votes wins $250K to take home :) It's the world's largest art competition, and one of the only ones where the public chooses the winner.

It's a lot of fun to get out and walk around Grand Rapids' already booming downtown area, and the pieces of art in and around all of the businesses makes it even more enjoyable. The artists aren't just creating 11x16 paintings here - we're talking HUGE sculptures, installations, even interactive exhibits (like a giant greeting card, a photobooth experiment, and a coloring book, to name a few from last year off the top of my head). Last year's winner was a gigantic (30 feet long by 8 feet tall) pencil drawing of a WWI combat troop. It was called Calvary, and it was amazing.
The 2009 winner, Open Water, no. 24, was just as impressive.
I have high hopes for this year. Grand Rapids and all of West Michigan is buzzing with excitement to see what artists from around the world have in store for us. I'm hoping for some more whimsy, along the lines of last year's SteamPig (another giant entry):

or maybe something unexpected and different, like last year's Vision, and Helping Mom One Penny at a Time (both images found here, where you can see all of last year's top 10 finalists).
 This was a large exhibit, and impressive, too. It was made of acrylic pieces that had been painted and layered on top of one another. It had a 3-dimensional quality and could been seen from all sides. This was probably my favorite out of the top 10 last year, only because it was completely innovative and unlike anything else there.

I LOVE the idea behind this penny. It's made up of a lot of smaller pennies with varying degrees of petina. It was large as well, and made a big statement in the entrance of the Gerald R. Ford Museum. I didn't get to see this in person, sadly. That's one of the drawbacks of living further away - there's not as many opportunities to see all of the different exhibits spread out through the town.

If you live close to Michigan, I would suggest making a road trip to see ArtPrize. It runs through October 9th, and more information can be found here, www.artprize.org. Even if you don't live close, consider taking a vacation to beautiful West Michigan next year for ArtPrize! You won't be disappointed.

What things are going on in your community/state that you're excited about this fall?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Brain Dump: Weekend, Blogs, TV, and more!

Since I don't have the time (or internet connection) to flesh out full posts for each of these things on my mind, here's a brain dump:

  • Josh and his friends/family re-did our roof over the weekend. We had perfect weather, and it was a great opportunity for me to break out my new Fiesta dishes since we had to feed our workers :) Another bonus from the roofing project? Lots of scrap plywood left over! That means I'm one step closer to making an upholstered headboard! If anyone has recommendations on awesome graphic patterned fabric, please let me know :)
  • I didn't get a teaching job this fall. Honestly, I wasn't surprised. I should have applied for more jobs over the summer, but I was SO busy with summer school and the wedding that I just didn't make it a priority. Well, student loans start getting paid back in about a month, and I'm unemployed. I'm subbing when I can, but let's face it: sub pay isn't that great. I'm looking ALL over for any form of teaching job, and I've even resigned to the fact that I may need to take a non-teaching job. I'll settle for just about anything at this point!
  • Because I've got nothing going on in my life, I'm super excited for fall TV to begin! I'm looking forward to How I Met Your Mother, Glee, Modern Family and Parenthood to return. Also, New Girl, Up All Night, and 2 Broke Girls look like they may be promising sitcoms. I never watched as much TV as I do now that I have DVR. Who's with me?
  • Speaking of TV, has anyone been watching Project Runway? Thoughts? Joshua McKinley is bugging me - he seems to have a sense of entitlement and a diva-ish quality about him that not even Gretchen had last season (I did not like her at all). Bert also bugs me. I've had enough of the rude comments and childlike behavior. I do like Laura, and I liked Becky. I'm interested to see how far Anya can make it before her sewing skills catch up with her. Girl always seems to pull it off at the last minute! Although, that could be fine editing from the reality TV folks, too. So, what do you think of this season so far? Predictions?
  • Here's a weird thing I keep thinking about regarding blogging: How often do you comment on other people's blogs? I read them religiously - my reader is full of subscriptions, and I know it's strange, but I feel like I know a lot about the people I read. The thing is, I rarely comment. Not because I don't want to, but because I usually can't get the site to open (another internet connection excuse), or I have limited time before my battery dies on my MiFi. Then, when I do comment, I feel like a stalker. Like the blogger is probably thinking "who is this person and why is she only commenting on this one post?" I feel especially guilty when I enter giveaways like this (and that's why I rarely enter giveaways). Anyone else out there with the same problems? No? I'm the only crazy one? Ok, then...
  • What blogs should I add to my reader? If you're reading this and we're not friends on Google Friend Connect, you better be leaving a comment so I know who you are! Who do you read frequently that I'm missing out on? Oh - and if you know of any good teacher blogs, please let me know. I'm looking to add more education oriented blogs to my reader.
  • Josh and I have gift cards to Target and Kohls that we received as wedding presents. Any suggestions on something we should buy? What's something you have that you can't live without? We're all set with kitchen things, but I'm looking for ideas for other areas of the house. Sometimes it's easier for me to picture it in my house when I see/hear about it from someone else rather than just look at it on a shelf at the store. 
That's it for now, I guess. What's been on your mind lately?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Little Details: The Table Numbers

I knew I wanted to incorporate Josh's and my love of wine somehow into the wedding, but not in an obvious way. I didn't want purple, or grape vines, or a Tuscan feel, but I wanted to be able to use all of the wine bottles we had collected over the course of a year or so. We decided to put the bottles on the tables to hold the table numbers. I loved this idea! 

We sorted through our bottles and pulled out all of the good ones (meaning they were blue, green, or clear, and in good condition).

I adore the blue of this glass!

Pretty pretty green :)

And clear - only used because we didn't have enough blue or green for all of our 34 tables. 
Josh's mom volunteered to take the labels off one day, which is why these are full of water and soaking in a cooler.

I did not have the foresight to keep the corks, unfortunately, so I had to buy some. I got a package of 50 on etsy for about $6 or something like that. Not too shabby! Josh's mom found the perfect paperclips to hold the table numbers, so all we did was unbend them a little bit and stick them in the cork:

Josh's sister and my sister cut out the table numbers and glued them back to back so guests could see the number from both sides. The finished table numbers in the corks:


The finished product:                            

You can probably see what we did next. Josh's mom had the perfect size of adhesive labels laying around, so we printed up a menu to put on one side of the bottle, and seven fun facts about Josh and I as a couple for the other side. It was important to me to keep all the typography the same throughout the entire wedding, and this was a fun way to incorporate some of my favorite fonts from the invitation suite.

Well... I think that's the end of the Little Details I wanted to show. My photographer will have my pics back soon, and then I can start recapping! I've got about a million other things to blog about, so cross your fingers that my internet connection will be nice to me :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Little Details: Guestbook

Argh. Another week goes by since I've made a blog post. It's frustrating, really, because I have plenty of time to do these posts. What I do not have, however, is an internet connection strong enough to sustain multiple uploads of pictures. It took me over an hour to upload these 5 pictures. Seriously. I have time, but not that kind of time.

Anyway, another small detail from the wedding was our guestbook. I absolutely adored our engagement pictures by Emily-Waid Photography, and wanted to do something special with them. Way before we were even engaged, I bought a Groupon for a photo album by Photobook America. It was only $35, and it was good for any product up to $115 - a complete steal! 

All you do is go to their website and download their software. It was really easy to use (and no, they're not sponsoring this post - I just like their product a lot!) and even kept track of which pictures have been used, and on which page(s). They have premade layouts, or you can go the route I did and design your own pages.

I was pleased with the result. We had the book on display at the wedding ceremony for people to sign, and then also at the reception next to the gift table. One regret I have is that we never announced where the guestbook was at the reception or reminded guests to sign. Oh well! I still love it.

 Some pages got a lot of attention:

While other pages got none:

My favorite page got a little bit of graffiti:

I got a mustache - Haha! I probably should be mad about it, but I think it's kind of funny.

I love how it looks on our bookshelf in the living room. Obviously, the shelf is nowhere near being completely styled, but it's a good start.

Have you found any good deals from Groupon? 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I'm Back! And Married!

Well, we did it! August 20th was hot, humid, and full of thunderstorms in Michigan, but it was beautiful nonetheless. The church was packed - literally standing room only - and the ceremony was quick (a little quicker than I had wanted, but that's another story), but in the end we were married. And that's all that mattered.

For a sneak peek at a wedding pic (a freakin' amazing one, at that), check out our photographer's blog: Emily Waid Photography

Excuse the lengthy delay in posting after the wedding. We came home to find out that, much to our disappointment, we were not visited by the Wedding Fairy who cleans, puts gifts away, and organizes your home. That was a bummer :) I'm still trying to dig out from new stuff, put old stuff in storage (to be sold!!), organize everything, find a teaching job, figure out this new laptop (since my old one decided to die after the wedding), and recover from an electrical storm that knocked out our new LED tv, Wii, and satellite receiver (bye bye alllll my DVRed TV that I thought I'd be able to watch after the wedding)

So far married life isn't much different than non-married-living-together life, but it's great. I'm BEYOND excited to get our professional pictures back, and to start recapping what was the best, most exhausting day of my life!!