Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Moving Sale

Sorry for the total lack of posts these last couple of weeks. We haven't had a moment to spare; we've been busy preparing for one of these...

That's right, we're moving! Zach has been accepted to pharmacy school in Houston, which we are thrilled about, but at the same time we are sad to say goodbye to Austin.

If you live in the Austin area and would like to come check out our moving sale, it will be this Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 1 pm.

Image source

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Kristin's Baby Shower

My friend Kristin is eagerly waiting for her little girl to arrive in June, and I had the honoring of hosting a baby shower for her this past weekend.

Every great baby shower starts with cute invitations, right? I designed the invitations in Adobe Illustrator and printed them out at home on plain white cardstock.

Please excuse the censored text...but you get the idea. Then I added a special touch to the blank space at the top of the invite, bunting!

I cut out small triangles of scrapbook paper for the bunting, and attached them to the invite with a little bit of glue before using my sewing machine to sew them to the paper. Sewing through paper will dull your needle quite a bit, so be sure to replace it with a new one before you sew any fabric projects.

For decorations, I sewed a pink fabric bunting for the mantel and made crepe paper balls of roses (tutorial here), which I hung above the table. If you'd like to try your hand at making one, give yourself plenty of time, because they are very time consuming to make! The larger balls took two full rolls of crepe paper. I skipped a couple of steps in the tutorial to save some time, and found that it didn't really affect the appearance of the ball. First, I didn't crumple the crepe paper. I simply folded over the top edge of the crepe paper when rolling my flowers so they would look more natural. Second, I only used two drops of hot glue, one at the beginning, after a few rolls, and another at the end, to keep the flower from unraveling.

Her crib bedding is bird themed so I made a bib, burp cloth, and blanket using a black and pink bird print. Instead of using a gift bag or box, I packaged it all up in a metal bird cage.

I followed this tutorial to make the heart cut-out in the blanket. Here's a view of the back of the cut-out after it's been turned and pressed:

And here's the front before adding the lining fabric:

There were little flags for the cupcakes...

and bunting for the cake...

In lieu of a traditional guest book, I designed these little cards:

Guests wrote a special message then tied them to a vase of branches with ribbon. Later, I put them on a ring for the mom-to-be to take home with her.

Each guest got to take home some homemade beeswax lip balm.

Congratulations Kristin, we can't wait to meet your little girl!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Transformer box in disguise

We have an electric transformer box in in the corner of our back yard. Not the most attractive thing to gaze at when enjoying a meal on the patio. We planted some cast iron plants around it last year, but they haven't done much to hide it.

We had thought about building a small fence in front of it, like many of our neighbors had done. However, whatever we built could only cover the front of the box, since we had to leave at least 8 feet of clearance on the side for the electric company. So I thought, why not use an old headboard? Hours after this idea popped into my head, I was driving home for work and saw a twin headboard in the parking lot of our local thrift store. They always have good prices so I stopped in to take a look, and I'm glad I did, because it was just $7! Before sealing the deal I made sure it was made of solid wood, not particle board, which wouldn't last long outdoors.


Before putting it in the ground, we extended the bottom of the headboard with some scrap wood, then primed and sealed it with a coat of white paint.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Patio Steps

Since I failed to get a good before pic of this project, I'll have to make do with this old property listing photo. See that lattice that closes in the patio? And that teeny tiny opening to the backyard at the right?

At some point there was a hot tub out here, so we figure the lattice was there for privacy. Along with those red shades that you can just make out at the right of the picture. Steamy.

Here's a picture of Zach working on the sprinkler system, during which he got sidetracked and tore down one of the lattice panels. You can also see the edge of the flower bed, which had to be moved over a few feet.

Here's how it looked after we moved the flower bed and removed the second panel:

Next, we needed to extend the step so there wasn't such a sharp drop from the patio to the yard. We tore out the old step so we could build one solid step that extended all the way to the flower bed. We used pressure treated pine and secured it to the concrete patio slab using masonry screws. We also filled in around the step with gravel to improve drainage and prevent the boards from rotting.

You can spy the beginnings of our next project in the photo above...any guesses? It's got something to do with that white blob behind the bushes.