The Eight Billionth Gallery Wall in the Universe

Congratulations are in order: our bedroom is now the official home of the eight billionth gallery wall in the universe.


But even if this is the eight billionth one in existence, none of the previous seven billion look exactly like mine, making each and every gallery wall unique in its non-uniqueness.


For instance, nobody else has our Sign and Sail cruise cards in a frame.


Nobody has the framed lyrics to the song that Rick wrote for me years ago, and nobody has framed copies of our baby pictures. Except our parents. If you have our baby pictures in a frame on your wall and you did not spawn one of us, there’s a 99% chance that you may need to seek psychiatric help.


The Corinthians print next to Rick’s baby picture is from the Etsy shop Printable Scripture, which I got via winnings from Katie and Jen. (Thanks, ladies!)


The red flower, the dragonfly, the vintage fan, and the heart anatomy are all from the Graphics Fairy. If you’ve never used that site, you’re missing out. Why? Because it’s FREE STUFF.


The Enchanted reference was practically a requirement for our bedroom, since Rick is my Prince Edward and all, minus the tights and endearing self-absorption.


I also made the “depths of my heart” print that quotes Laura Story’s “Indescribable.” (You can download it here in 6 different colors!)


Something in my projects always comes from a trash pile, and this one is no different: I found the wooden shape of New York State in a science teacher’s reject pile at the end of last school year. It used to be a plaque and announced the victories of some science club in the 80s. That was the first time I’ve ever garbage picked in my place of employment. It was slightly nerve-wracking. I have a certain reputation to uphold, after all.


This next piece of “art” is from an old Norman Rockwell address book. In the interest of not projecting my husband to be a selfish jerk (he’s not really like Prince Edward, after all), I should make clear that this is only on our wall because A) it fits with the color scheme, B) it was of a couple, C) I heart Norman Rockwell paintings, D) it fits with the color scheme, and E) it fits with the color scheme. Rick and I make it a point to eat dinner together and reading materials, electronics, cats, etc. are off-limits.

DSC_0466By the way, this fits with the color scheme.

Finally, in the event that you haven’t seen this trick elsewhere in blogland, I’ll share with you that I followed several other peoples’ good advice and hung newspaper cut to the size of the frames before we started shoving nails in the wall.


I also spent many minutes arranging and rearranging the frames on the floor before I found a layout that looked right.



Are you in Club Gallery? Are there any decorating trends that you wouldn’t mind having the eight billionth of? What are some unique things you’ve framed in the name of decor? I want to know for when I hang the ten billionth gallery wall elsewhere in our house. ;)

P.S. We’re back in business: our boiler is behaving once again. Yay hot water!

***Linking this up to Tater Tots & Jello!***


When your boiler decides that it no longer wants to be your friend…

When your boiler decides that it no longer wants to be your friend, you have a bag on the floor that looks like this because you have been traveling to your in-laws to take showers so that you don’t have to go to work wearing a hood and five gallons of perfume.


When your boiler decides it no longer wants to be your friend, you have a sink that looks like this because you haven’t been able to run the dishwasher for four days and you can’t muster the desire to boil some water on the stove because that feels far too Little House on the Prairie minus the modern luxury of a stove. (We ARE spoiled in America 2012, no?)


When your boiler decides it no longer wants to be your friend, other projects come to a grinding halt. When your boiler decides it no longer wants to be your friend, you remember that being a homeowner isn’t all about picking out chandeliers and painting walls and sewing pillows.


But when your boiler decides it no longer want to be your friend, it also gives you a time to be thankful: for in-laws that live only 10 minutes away, for having a grandfather who could assess the problem for free the day before he was scheduled to fly out to Phoenix, for this happening as temperatures reach 80 around here and we don’t need the heat on.

The Lord’s timing is perfect even in annoying situations like this.

What has been your biggest hiccup thus far as a homeowner? Have you ever gone without hot water for any period of time? Do you want to smell our pile of dishes? Rick and his dad are installing the new part as I type. Hopefully hot water and a clear sink are in my very near distant future.


The Quasi-Improved (But Mostly Just Chewed Up) Ottoman.

Somebody give me an F for bloggy follow-through. Accompany it with the report card comment “Long-term assignments have not been completed.” The long-term assignment I am referring to, of course, is our ottoman, which we were secretly working on when I posted this  elusive vlog in February. (Shame.) The good news is, it’s finally done.

DIY storage ottoman

The bad news is, it’s only quasi-improved.

But let’s rewind. The last time this little blog saw that ottoman, mullets were acceptable it looked like this:


But the last time we saw it like that, it also looked like this:


Thank you, smallish felines with sharp claws and an insatiable need to scratch on everything in the house except the perfectly scratchable scratching post.


So being perfectly smart owners of the aforementioned felines, we decided it was time to replace the fabric. I had only spent $3 a yard on it the old stuff in the first place, so I joyfully headed out to Joann Fabrics and purchased white marine vinyl for wipeability and because I was apparently on some drug that made me think that my clawed beasts wouldn’t like it. I draped it over the ottoman for several days to see if said clawed beasts would unleash their terror on it.

They snubbed it. Nary a claw was in sight. My psychotic faith in the goodness of cats was maintained. Hooray.

So we proceeded with the reupholster process, which we did following the same steps that we did the first time. This time, though, we also made buttons for the tufts to add a little more polish to the top.



At some point during this process, we realized that we liked our living room much better without a giant hulk of ottoman plunked in the middle of it. So we moved it to the foot of our bed.

DIY tufted storage ottoman

Rick also ingeniously added some scrap wood to the underside of the lid so that it can’t slide around anymore and fits snugly in place. The underside of the lid is also how we and the rest of the world know that we made it ourselves. We considered finishing it off somehow to make it look more professional, but, nope. My mindset of choice is delusion, remember, not professionalism.


Delusion Meter: 10/10

how to make your own storage ottoman

And everyone lived happily ever after with their shiny new ottoman. THE END!


At some point in these many months, our pet blur has developed a chewing habit.


We thought we were getting a kitten, but apparently we got a dog. Or a hamster. This is what Zoe did to a pristine paper bag in less than a week’s time:


This is what she did to the cardboard apartment that we made for them to play in:


Aaaaand this is what she has done to the corners of our poor, defeated ottoman.


Which is why our shiny new ottoman is only quasi-improved. Which is why I am probably totally lame for buying vinyl in the first place. Which is why I’m fairly certain we should just give up now and swath our home in tin foil.

Do your pets insist on placing their mark on your house? Have you ever left a project 90% completed for four entire months like we did? Do you ever make inappropriate decisions about appropriate purchases while under spells of delusion and insanity?


Mama Memories, As Told By My Kindergarten Journal

“I got new brown shoes.” “My brother is having a birthday party.” “I’m going to help decorate the Christmas tree.” This is the stuff of a kindergarten journal. More specifically, my kindergarten journal. But in addition to mundane daily reports of my young life, I also had quite a few entries devoted to my mama.

Her pungent perms…


Her help with clothing…



Her kitchen concoctions…


Her job, and the times I could see her.


I fully intend to hang some of these on a wall someday. Because even though I now know how to spell “cider” and my mom no longer has a perm or outfits that match mine…


…she will still help me whenever, wherever, and I continue to form sweet memories with her every time we are together.


And on occasion, she still does pour my milk.

What are some of your early mama memories? Who remembers having a daily journal in elementary school?

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mamas out there! :)


There’s a Monster in My Shrub! (and Other Garden Horrors)

I am ashamed to say that for approximately 8 months now, our front garden has resembled something out of a horror movie, the kind where the girl runs around in skimpy clothing before being dumb enough to go skipping down the dark hallway that says DO NOT ENTER, where she is promptly devoured by the nine-tentacled monster with bad breath/slaughtered by a machete-wielding maniac.



PLEASE NOTE: No scantily clad girls have been discovered running around our front yard.

Now, I don’t know the first thing about garden maintenance/enhancement. It’s on my to-learn list for this coming spring/summer. But in the meantime, we decided it was time to weed, trim, de-leaf, and yank.


You’ll notice I’ve taken 0.48 seconds to badly blur our house number out of these photos. This is obviously to ensure that those aforementioned nine-tentacled specimens suffering from halitosis don’t come here looking for girls to devour. Or mouthwash.


Who knew that under all of that mess we’d find a pretty flower?


By the way, this is what the front of our house looked like last spring:


Rick disposed of those gigantic shrubs and the decapitated wire couple that had obviously succumbed to the shrub monster. The wife does appear to be missing her top. No wonder the monster pursued her.


I would like to turn our front garden into something gorgeously beautiful with exotic plants and flowers that any respectable Enchanted princess would be proud of and invite her forest friends to, but I have no clue how to go about doing that, so for now I’m just content with no dead trees, no giant shrubs, and no scandalous wire people.

then and now

What have you done for the outside of your house so far this spring? Do you like to work outdoors, or are you like me and gravitate toward the inside? Have you ever met a nine-tentacled monster and lived to tell about it? Share your secrets.


DIY Lace Overlay Pillow

It’s been a while since I’ve made a pillow. Let’s correct that immediately. I think that this time, I’ll channel my inner granny and make a project using….lace.

DIY Lace Overlay Pillow


I was inspired by this pillow at Pier 1. My fancy supplies consist of an old window valance and a red t-shirt that had been relegated to the donation pile--and a cat who makes it her personal business to be in as many photos as possible.


The whole thing is quite simple if you don’t use a stretchy old t-shirt for your base fabric, in which case it becomes significantly more difficult because, well, it stretches. (Who knew?) And this is not what you want when trying to create something uniform-looking. Pillows, like most people, shouldn’t wear spandex-like attire. My pillow is a little wonky at spots because of the unevenly stretched fabric. I may have been aiming for perfection, but “good enough” is acceptable when it comes to this sort of thing.


Don’t be like me. Use real fabric.

I cut the lace larger than the pillow front itself so that there would be plenty of overlap and it wouldn’t separate from the base because of the holes in the lace.


Then you simply pin it all together inside out and sew around the edge. Leave a gap to stuff the pillow in, turn it inside out, stuff that pillow in, and sew it up by hand. Ta da! A new pillow.


Yes, the arrival of this pillow does mean that red is becoming the accent color in our bedroom. A nightstand and gallery wall that also incorporate red/blue/gray combos are in the works/75% complete. I’m surprised at my choice of red, because red has always been, along with orange, the most under-represented color in my wardrobe. It’s just not my go-to color. I’ve always wanted to say that: “my “go-to” color, my “go-to” pants, my “go-to” salami.

(Actually, I’ve never wanted to say that. I’ve never developed an unequivocal affinity for any one particular brand of salami, either.)

But I like the pairing of a warm color with the cool grays and blues that are already in the room, so red it is.


The first take of that same angle:


Cats these days.

All this talk of red has inspired Rick to drape his red clothing around the room in protest. (He pretends to see red bahaha have a severe aversion to every color except blue.) I’d say he’s getting the hang of this decorating thing. Next thing you know, he’ll be using words like “herringbone” and “patina.”

Have you ever started decorating with a color you never expected to? Did your husband come with a limited acceptable color palette? Who wants to come pet my cat while I try to take pictures?

Check out some of my other favorite DIY pillows here and here!

***I’m linking this up to the Tater Tots & Jello Weekend Wrap-Up Party!***

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