Sunday, April 22

confession:

I'm a wannabe. 

I wannabe Martha Stewart, on a budget.  I want to make a can of white spray paint and some ceramic animals my bitch like the Youngsters.  I wannabe homemade with fine Italian papers like Katie & Gadanke.  I wannabe down to earth and crazy in the kitchen like Darby, and Steph, and Amanda. I wannabe the hostess with the mostess like Shannon. I wannabe organized to the max like Shelley and Jen.  I wannabe BFF's with the Bowers and go thrifting with Rhoda and Layla.  I wanna be a glue-gun wielding craft maven like Ellie G and the gals of eighteen25.

But I'm not a crafty maven.  Most of my projects get halfway finished and then end up stashed in the office closet. It's been great to get back into crafting when I have time.  I try and I have fun.  I am slowly accepting that crafting isn't the field of perfection.  But it's great for taking yard sale/thrifty finds and making them work for our nest. 

I'm one of those people who loved arts and crafts growing up.  Many times, my parents would just stick me out on the deck with newspapers and a bucket of flour-glue and I would paper-machie my heart out.  I was one of the few kids in the family who (thanks to our linoleum floors) was allowed to finger-paint inside.  I made puppets, I learned to sew, I made my own GAK (anyone remember that?).  I come from a crafty, build-it, do-it yourself family.

This is why crafting has and always will be a part of my creative life.   I've let a lot of my skills slip into latency.  (Sorry sewing machine-- I'll get you a checkup soon.  My apologies knitting needles-- I'll find your mates one day!)  And now that I have a little more time,  I find myself always wanting to try new projects.

This is where my slight obsession with home decor/baking/craft blogs comes into play.  I am never without ideas now.  I have too many.  I have pages saved in my e-mail, entries flagged in my Reader, endless "Pins" and files of ideas added to my inspiration binder all the time.

However, recently crafty goodness and the ever-loved home improvement projects have taken a bit of a hit.  They're all on the back burner as my attention shifts between the two big W's... working and wedding.

So here's my confession...  I have been neglecting the nest a bit.  Okay, that's an understatement.. I haven't posted much of anything here at the nerdy nest.. but dear readers -- at least those who still are hanging around-- I also haven't let go of my overly high (sometimes to a comical degree) crafty ambitions.  Instead, I've been directing my "great ideas" and my "i could make thats" towards our nerdy nuptials.  But back to my two W's..

First, on the working -- I've been working like a fiend since things have been shifting even further into the corporate mindset of "do more with less" which to me means:
 "Let's work everyone like crazy but it's okay for Eva because she and the Man have a wedding to pay for so she doesn't mind the overtime and 50+ hour weeks for a while until she burns out and can't take it anymore, but damn those checks looked good, right?" 
 and for most everyone around me means
 "What the hell is up with Eva?  She hasn't been painting or building or decoupaging or wreath-a-rizing or speaking or smiling much lately? What a B!"

And now, for the other W -- the wedding.  Any creative energy, free time, or unnecessary obsessing that I would normally focus on certain areas of the nest in need of improvement, recipes that need testing, mantles that need to be seasonally decorated. or closets/cubbies/nooks that need organizing I've been directing at planning/dreaming/"pinning"/crafting/obsessing over our nerdy nuptials.

So.. if you're wondering where I've been.. or if I've finally given up the glue gun and painter's tape.. no worries.  I'm still crafting and dreaming.. and trying my damnedest to be just a teensy bit like Martha.  I've just vanished temporarily into a fog of future wedded bliss.. and tulle.. and tissue paper.

If you want to join us on the journey-- find me here at:
(I'm sure I'll paint a room/re-organize something around the nest eventually.. I can't go too long without re-arranging something! In the meantime, any of the bloggers listed in the first paragraph are simply ah-may-zing and totally deserving of adding to your reader.)

Saturday, February 18

milking it..

The Dad has been preparing to move and downsize. Part of that process is cleaning out 30+ years of treasures. 
A few weeks ago, when working on the office of his shop, we found this crate and I fell in love.  The Dad was kind enough to give it to me as long as I promised to give it a good home.
You know I can't resist a basket. This vintage milk crate is just too cool.
It has some rust and quite a few layers of gunk from years of sitting in the shop.
I don't want to damage the metal, and I'd prefer to avoid painting it.  Any suggestions for how to remove the gross and rust damage without messing up the patina?

Sunday, November 20

fall-ing a little behind..

It seems like every store I go in has Christmas music playing, Santa is at the mall, and I'm already feeling behind on my Holiday shopping.  Still, it's not even Thanksgiving yet!  And to make matters worse, I haven't even shared my autumn mantle-- what type of home blogger am I?  All the bloggers I read have their homes halfway (if not completely) decorated full-Martha for Christmas... and I am doing good to show you a few puny pics of our mantle for Fall.

I love fall colors, and used some leftovers from our recent Craft Night to make a new wreath for November.  I used felt and burlap to make a few different types of flowers.

I mixed that in with a few fabric pumpkins from years past, and a leafy garland I picked up at a yard sale.  It's a simple mantle, without many new additions but it'll do for this year.

So even though I've been slacking on posting project as of late...hopefully I can redeem myself over the next few posts with some Christmas crafts and one of my bigger projects that I am still not done with -- but am as close to finished as I will be until after the hustle and bustle of the Holidays.

Friday, November 18

you've been framed

I'm a bit behind on sharing some of the updates around our nest.  We tackled a few projects back to back, and I'm just now uploading the pictures and posting the results.  One of the rooms I was dying to attack was our guest bathroom.  It was just really blah and didn't have much going on.  We don't really have the budget or time to make any huge changes, so a fresh coat of paint and some small upgrades will have to do.

I've seen this all over the blogosphere, and I knew our builder basic bathroom could use the facelift that framing our giant blah mirror could provide.
It's just glued to the wall, and really seemed dated to me.  Nothing was particularly wrong with the setup, but I felt it was an area that we could have some fun with.

I picked up some moulding from Home Depot and had it cut close to the size I needed.  I just had to miter the corners, and thankfully the Man took over the sawing.  He's got a bit more upper arm strength than my wimpy self.. it took him about 1/8th of the time per cut than it was taking me.

After we cut everything, I had to figure out how to assemble it all.  It was a pretty trying process (which is why there are no pictures!)  I was a little frustrated and didn't have a good system in place.  After a series of staple gunning, wood gluing and general rigging, the frame was ready to be caulked and painted.

I did a first coat of white trim paint, but the finish wasn't as smooth as I wanted.  I sanded everything down, and then followed up with a few coats of gloss white spraypaint.
I love this stuff!  It coats so evenly and looks awesome!
I let it cure for a while (about 3 days) before attempting to hang the mirror.
I used one of my favorite tools -- command picture hooks-- to mount the frame onto the mirror.  They are so easy to use and don't damage any of the surfaces you stick them to. So far, they've been holding just fine and it's been about two months.
I think it made quite a change, and I really like how the white frame lightens up that corner of the tiny bathroom.

For a side by side comparison:
The frame makes a big difference.  A few other small changes, like the new outlet the Man installed, and a towel holder which was a $1 yard sale find. The hand towel I found on clearance at Target.. I love those little red clearance stickers. It makes me so happy!

We still have a few other changes to make, but for now--
this facelift makes me smile every time I pass our mini-bath.

Have you made any mini-updates lately?

Friday, November 11

retro-fit

One of the biggest challenges I run into, due to my sentimentality, is finding a way to fit a few family heirlooms into our mish-mosh style at the nest.  I would say our style is pretty casual, contemporary with a heavy dose of traditional.  This sounds ideal for incorporating ikea pieces with a few carefully chosen antiques.. but some family heirlooms I've recieved are a bit more on the quirky or dated side.

A recent acquisition is a lamp which has been in limbo for a few years.  My Sweet Grandma had the matching set in her "formal" living room.  Mother Dear made them for her during a ceramics phase.  When they were initially offered to me, I was hesitant. This lamp is a beast.  It's a huge piece, and we don't have the space.  Plus, burnt orange, avacado green, brown and gold don't exactly "go" with what I had at my (then) apartment.. so I declined.  The Dad took them, and recently offered them to me again. 

Although I was torn, I put them both for sale at my yard sale a few months back.  One found a new home, the other ended up in my "project pile."  I finally realized that I couldn't bear to get rid of it.  There was something about it I liked....
..but that color scheme had to go.
So I did what every newbie to DIY would do.  I spraypainted it white.
Gloss white to be exact.  And I love it.  It's modern, but reminds me of Sweet Grandma at the same time.

Now to find a shade that'll fit (the lamp, our decor, and my tight budget)...

Monday, October 31

1,215 treats later...

Happy Halloween!

This year, the Man and I were prepared.  We've been stockpiling all September and October long..
We had a blast with the trick-or-treaters last year.  But we ran out too soon.

This year, we were able to keep the porch light on for about 2 hours.

We gave out over 1,215 treats...
in two hours.
That's over 10 treats per minute. Whew!

Yeah, we're the awesome house on the hill...at least Iron Man/Thor/a random TMNT thought so.

Hope your Halloween was full of fun, stocked with spooks, and coated in chocolate!

Thankfully we remembered to save a few treats back for ourselves....
... beware Mr. Reese's cup.. your time is up!

Friday, October 28

spraypaint a thon

A few weeks back, I decided to have a little spray-paint party.  I had a collection of thrifted and yard sale frames and mirrors, as well as a lamp and light fixture that were all in need of a facelift.

After taping everything off with my favorite Frog tape,
I spread everything out on some cardboard in the garage.
And went to town with primer,white gloss, and brushed nickel paint.

One thing I need to remember, anytime you paint in a closed space-- even with ventilation-- overspray is always an issue.  Thankfully the Man was very forgiving when he saw the white "dust" all over everything in the garage.

very forgiving...

Next time, I'll spraypaint outside.  I promise.