Weekend Wrap Up

Another weekend comes to a close, with so many neat projects to choose from!

I’m loving Stephanie’s impressionist painting, from her blog Stephanie At Home.

Brandi Jo from B. Large Designs made over a Goodwill find- you know I love GDubs!

Carolyn from Homework whipped up this awesome capiz-style luminary.

ShayLynn from Inspired Crafts wrapped up this little beauty (jute love).

And that’s a wrap folks! If you’ve been featured, grab a button from the sidebar and show off!

*****Psssst stay tuned for my very first GIVEAWAY from CUTTING EDGE STENCILS!*****

Weekend Wrap Up

Another weekend comes to a close, with so many neat projects to choose from!

I’m loving Stephanie’s impressionist painting, from her blog Stephanie At Home.

Brandi Jo from B. Large Designs made over a Goodwill find- you know I love GDubs!

Carolyn from Homework whipped up this awesome capiz-style luminary.

ShayLynn from Inspired Crafts wrapped up this little beauty (jute love).

And that’s a wrap folks! If you’ve been featured, grab a button from the sidebar and show off!

*****Psssst stay tuned for my very first GIVEAWAY from CUTTING EDGE STENCILS!*****

Lovely Crafty Weekend #5

Hello all you lovelies! Thanks so much for joining me for another weekend linky party! I really look forward to these every week. Sorry about my errrr absentee status this week, I went out of town for a few days and just haven’t had time to put hands to keyboard, if you will. But, don’t fret- I’ll be back in full swing next week!

Show me what you’ve been working on!

Felted Flowers

You may remember I recently featured The Modern Cottage Company for her felted flowers here after my first linky party.

Well I decided to attempt these super cute florals with my pal Amy from Good Day! (maybe you’ve seen me mention her here, here, and here). Following Alison from MCC’s tutorial, we boiled little yarn balls till they were good and soggy (using tongs to agitate both them and my brother who was skeptically watching).

After a little while in the dryer, they came out perfectly! I stuck them on the ends of paper wrapped wire (I found it in the floral section of A.C. Moore), and plopped them into a cute glass I picked up at GDubs..yeah that’s Goodwill.

Weekend Wrap Up, Letters Galore!

Thank you everyone for participating this weekend! As usual, you really brought the goodies. I love all the creativity here in blog-land, and I’m just so grateful to be a part of it. This weekend I also reached an awesome milestone: 100 GFC followers! It’s all because of YOU and your support.

Suzy at Suzy’s ArtsyCrafty Sitcom came up with this amazing mosaic letter (um, I’m obsessed with letters).

Katie from Eye Spy DIY refashioned a pair of flats, better than the original if you ask me!

Amanda at House Revivals showed us how to make faux tin letters, from scratch (clearly I have a legitimate problem now).

And Stacy from Not JUST A Housewife stenciled her bedroom ceiling with the help of Cutting Edge Stencils.

Ah-mazing ladies! Thanks so much for sharing. I look forward to seeing all your stuff every week :) If you’ve been featured, grab a feature button from the sidebar —>

Have a great week!

Lovely Crafty Weekend #4

Welcome to another edition of Lovely Crafty Weekend! I have been loving all the Valentine-y projects I’ve been seeing around lately-you guys are so creative! And the wreaths, oh the wreaths! They make my heart go pitter patter :)

So let’s see what you’ve been working on this week. Anyone busting out St. Patty’s day gear yet?

Guest Post: Installing a Dimmer Switch

One nice thing (among many) about having an electrical engineer for a husband is that he is quick to help me with projects involving electricity. Let’s face it, I barely made it out alive from the basic circuit class all mechanicals have to take…

We decided to install a dimmer switch for the chandelier above the dining room table. Our previous method of dimming the lights was to unscrew the bulbs (you know- 1 for a little mood lighting, 2 if things were getting really romantic). Finally, on one of our daily weekly trips to Home Depot, we picked up a switch on a whim.  I’ll let Mike take it from here with his very informative dimmer switch tutorial.

Dimmer Switch Tutorial

Adding a dimmer switch to a room is an easy way to vary the mood and save on your power bill.  For an investment of about $10 and 15 minutes you can put one in yourself.  It’s simple and you won’t need a degree in electrical engineering to get it done.  Before you start, there are a few considerations:

  • Know some basic electrical safety.  Electricity can kill so understand what you’re doing before you start.
  • Your local government bureaucrats may not like you doing electrical work without the help of a licensed electrician.  I once called our city office to inquire about installing some lights and receptacles in my workshop.  They wanted me to pull a permit and take a “homeowners’ electrical exam.”  I just said no thanks and headed down to Lowe’s.  They probably don’t know the difference.
  • Consider this tutorial just an overview.  You should review the datasheet that will come with your dimmer switch package for more detailed instructions.

Steps

Gather materials and tools for your switch replacement.  As shown below, I have the new dimmer switch, some yellow wire nuts, and instructions that all came in the dimmer switch package.  About the only tools you’ll need are a small flathead screwdriver, utility knife, wire stripper, and maybe needle nose pliers.

Turn the switch on to for lights that you want to dim. Kill the breaker switch that controls the circuit feeding our lights.  Have a partner flip the appropriate breaker switch as you verify your lights go out.  If the breakers are not labeled very well like ours, you’ll just need to try them one at a time until the correct one is switched. It would be wise to put some masking tape over the breaker switch that kills your light circuit.  Alternately, you can put a sign over the front of the box that says “Do not operate” to prevent someone from accidentally turning it back on while you’re working.  It can happen!

Now, with the power off, remove your existing switch.  With your flathead screwdriver, remove the wall plate cover.  Unscrew the actual switch from the box that it’s mounted in.  Finally, remove all 3 wires from the screw terminals of your switch.  You’ll probably have a bare copper wire (or maybe it’s green, this is ground), two black wires (hot), and 2 or 3 white ones (neutral) that are wire nutted together.

Connect the dimmer switch to your loose wires.  My particular dimmer switch came with wire leads hanging and their ends stripped. So, all I had to do was nut them to the wires shown in the previous step.  I connected them as follows:

  • One black wire (hot) on the switch to one black wire from the wall
  • Another black wire (hot) from the switch to another black wire from the wall.  (Doesn’t matter which black wire from the switch goes which black wire from the wall).
  • Green wire (ground) from the switch to bare wire from the wall.

Note that the white (neutral) wires are not touched.  Neutral will never be connected to any switch.

Your dimmer switch may come with screw terminals instead of the loose wire leads that were on mine.  That’s ok, just read the instructions that came with your switch so you connect the wires properly.

Pack your connected wires back into the switch box.  Then fasten dimmer switch to the box as shown below.

Install the wall plate cover over the switch.  We just reused the wall plate we had right then.  Slide the dimmer knob onto your new switch.

But then Lovely Crafty Rachael went and installed a new decorative wall plate. Turn the power back on and enjoy!

POST HIJACK! This is Lovely Crafty Rachael speaking, and I couldn’t leave you with a picture of our nasty wall plate showing 14 coats of paint. Here’s how our purdy new dimmer looks now:

New Year, New Organization

It’s not a resolution per say, but with all the organization buzz this month I decided to try and really improve my HMS. That’s Household Management System. Using an acronym makes me feel important, try to go with it.

After extensive research, my kitchen command center was born.

Since the kitchen is where papers pile up and where people tend to congregate, the counter was the perfect place. The command center consists of a pretty pink notebook for me (more on that in a bit), a file folder box, hanging folders, a calendar, and a pen/pencil cup.

Each one of us has our own folder, plus there is one for new unsorted mail. No more stacks on the counter! My notebook fits in neatly as well, and the calendar lets us know what’s going on at a glance!

In my notebook, I have a daily task and a weekly task sheet.

I downloaded these from Simple Mom, she has tons of useful forms here. Instead of printing them out every day or every week, I put them in sheet protectors and use wet erase markers to fill them out and erase them as needed.

Part of my organization goals includes meal planning 2 weeks at a time. Every day I write down what’s for dinner, so I don’t freak out at 5 wondering what to make.  I keep favorite recipes and coupons in the notebook as well.

The weekly task checklist helps me keep track of household chores. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all there is to do, but seeing it on a list and checking it off makes it more manageable.

What about you guys? Are you getting more organized this year? Have any tips and tricks to share?

*******Linked Up********

Pottery Barn Knock Off

Many bloggers out there have duplicated this numbers canvas from Pottery Barn.

Image courtesy of Pottery Barn

Fortunately that means I got plenty of info on how to make my own :) It’s discontinued now, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have it in my living room. I mostly used this super detailed and helpful tutorial from Simply Sarah. First I designed the canvas in Paint Shop Pro with our anniversary and birthdays.

I decided to just free hand the numbers instead of trying to blow up my design to the 30×40 canvas size. If you’re not artistically inclined, you can follow Sarah’s method of printing it on multiple 8 1/2×11 pages and piecing it together. It turns out that the free-handing allowed me to be a little more creative and I completely changed the arrangement from what I designed. *sigh*

Using unbleached titanium with accents of titanium white, I filled in the numbers.

Using raw umber, I filled in the background. I painted the edges as well, wrapping the numbers where they “fell off” the edge.

Once it was dry, I hung it over our couch.

It’s not perfect (freehand, remember?!), but I do really love it. It works perfectly with my new more neutral living room. I was so happy to get rid of that blue and green flower print that hung there for almost 4 years! Would you ever try one of these? If you have, do share!

Update: I’ve entered this in the Knock It Off Contest at Seven Thirty Three, please vote for me starting February 13th!

*****Linked Up******

Stylish Blogger Award!

I’d like to thank the  academy Laney sisters from Truly Lovely for presenting me with a Stylish Blogger Award!

Thank you Kassi!!

*blush*

I’m so honored because the Laney sisters rock, and I can’t believe they think I do too! So without further ado, I will carry out the duties attached to the award. First, 7 things about myself.

1) My husband and I got married at The Biltmore Estate 9/28/08

Image courtesy of Biltmore Estate

2) I used to be a Mechanical Engineer. I suppose I still technically I am one…but I’m no longer working in that field. Yay for layoffs!

3) I drive a 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee with 330,000+ miles on it. This was the car I drove in high school. Cars in between included an Audi A4 and a Honda Accord. Random, I know.

4) I never thought I would enjoy being house-wifely, but I do. When I was in college I wanted a job that required me to wear a power suit every day. It turns out that most engineers don’t wear power suits, so I got over it. It’s a good thing I did because it’s hard to keep a house clean while wearing a suit.

5) On more than one occasion, I have seriously considered going to culinary school.

6) The only video game I play is Super Mario 3.

7) I am left handed, but I use scissors with my right hand. I also bowl right-handed- to which I attribute my horrible skills.

Phew, that was harder than I thought. I’m kind of an open book person, so I tried to come up with things that most people wouldn’t know about me.

And now, as part of my official Stylish Blogger duties, I will pass my award along to 15 other deserving bloggers!

In no particular order:

1) Stacy at Not JUST A Housewife

2) Amy at Good Day!

3) Heather at Our Life In A Click

4) Melissa at Mason Bay

5) Lauren at The McBride House

6) Jo-Anna at A Pretty Life In The Suburbs

7) Deana at Country By Marriage

8 ) Lisa at Her Beautiful Mess

9) Sanditerese at I’m A Yarner

10) Jaime at I’m A Mom Not A Professional

11) Emily at LaForce Be With You

12) Shelly at Making The Moment Matter

13) Sherry at No Minimalist Here

14) Erin at In Between Laundry

15) Kindra at At Home With K

There are soooo many deserving bloggers out there, but I wanted to give the award to someone who (as far as I know) hasn’t received it yet! I hope you ladies will pass the award on and spread the love!