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Sunday, September 8, 2013

{DIY} China Cabinet

Well, hello there. My name is Lori and I. am. a. bad. blogger! I apologize for the blogging hiatus. Mr H and I have had an extremely busy summer working on some personal "projects" that I promise to divulge when the timing is right (no mom, we are not pregnant :) ). With that being said, I've luckily had some time to get a few DIY projects completed which I promise to share with you in the next few days/weeks. 

Today's project evolved from Mr H and I not having anywhere to store and display our lovely wedding china and other dishes. I had specific dimensions and desires for a piece of furniture to house these dishes that I could not find after weeks of searching and scouring Craigslist. I became inpatient and really anxious to get our china out of their boxes, so I employed my secret little weapon I keep in my pocket . . .my dad!

My dad is an amazing craftsman and carpenter.  He has designed and built so many decorative and furniture pieces for me over the years.  After giving him the specific dimensions that I envisioned for the piece, he went to work and created and built a china cabinet that is more beautiful than I ever envisioned.  I wasn't with him when he constructed the piece so I can't show you the specifics and details of how he built it.  But Lord have mercy, he has done it again:


I decided early on that I wanted the shelves of the cabinet to be glass.  IKEA is a great source for glass shelves of different sizes.  Mr H and I made a trip to IKEA and picked up 3 of the Billy 30" x 10" glass shelves at $10 each.  Dad built the reinforced ledge for the glass shelf around the 2 sides and back of the cabinet.

Just look at the detail around the top:

I also knew that I wanted to paint the piece a darkish, moody gray.  After looking at lots and lots of images on the internet, I finally decided on "Down Pipe" by Farrow & Ball.  Here are some images of the paint color:

We hopped on over to Home Depot and had them color match the paint into Behr's primer + paint in one (such a great product!).  After 1 coat and some touch-ups I allowed the cabinet to dry for about 24 hours before inserting the glass shelves.

I absolutely love the paint color and the way it turned out.  Farrow & Ball carry many beautiful colors if you're in the market for paint.  If you order a paint fan from F&B you can have Home Depot or Lowes color match any hue for a lot less.  Here are some more photos of the styled cabinet:

The gold accents on the china look divine with the paint color.

The green, floral, cream and sugar containers in the photo above are part of my grandmother's china set.

Here are some more shots from our dining room.  The chandelier over the dining table is actually a DIY project from our wedding.  For months, I stalked Craigslist for old brass chandeliers.  These chandeliers were very popular in the 90's and as people have renovated and updated their homes, they have listed them on Craigslist for $10-$15 each.  I picked up 6 brass chandeliers of similar shapes and sizes and my dad and I painted them white, and adorned them with crystals.  At the wedding reception, we had a chandelier hanging above each reception table.

Photo by Kelli Baker of Simply Unique Photography

And the cake table:

Photo by Kelli Baker of Simply Unique Photography

I believe in filling your home with sentimental and meaningful things.  I love looking at the chandelier and remembering all of the time and effort we put into transforming each one and the emotion I felt when I saw them hanging in the reception tent for the first time.

Anyway, back to the dining room: 

My dad is brilliant and did an exceptional job on this china cabinet.  I am considering in the future possibly adding some gold hardware to the piece and maybe doing a treatment on the inside such as grasscloth wallpaper.  So stay tuned . . .

If you are ever in need of a very experienced and meticulous craftsman, don't hesitate to contact me at lori.craighazelwood@gmail.com.  My dad does professional quality at a reasonable price.

Hope everyone has had a restful and relaxing summer.  I am very excited for Fall and the new journey Mr H and I will be embarking on.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Pantry Organization

Hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend! Mr H and I spent the holiday with both of our families in the Great Smoky Mountains.  The weather was beautiful and we had a great time exploring the aquarium, playing miniature golf (I won!!!! Probably first and last time ever!!), eating caramel apples (well, I did) and just hanging out and telling stories. It was a lot of fun but boy are we excited to be spending this weekend at home . . .doing projects (well I am, Mr H not so much ha).

Today's project has been a long time in the making!  We have been collecting the supplies for this project for literally months. Finally, after months of collecting, I give you:

When I started this blog, I vowed to myself  and to the readers to show the process and the failures-the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.  To be faithful to this vow and completely transparent, here's the unfortunate "hot mess" that our pantry had become (please don't judge!):

WOOF!  What. A. Disaster!  This was an organizational nightmare.  Pudding was stacked on top of an almond container, quickbread mix intermingled with Mr H's protein stuff and literally no chance of finding what we needed in less than 2 minutes.  In addition to not being able to find anything, or knowing what we actually had, I couldn't stand all of the random packaging.  I realize that the pantry, for the most part, is purely functional-holds food and other supplies- and shouldn't be decorated.  But, I couldn't stand the way it looked and decided it needed to be streamlined with an overhaul of epic proportions!

To achieve this overhaul without running to the store and buying all the canisters I could find in a day, I took the more cost-efficient route.  Over the last few months we have been saving every spaghetti sauce and random food jars we could find.  We removed the labels, used "Goo Gone" on the pesky remaining adhesive, and painted all of the lids gold for uniformity (Rustoleum gold spray paint-the best gold).  I picked up some of the Martha Stewart line bookplates and removable adhesive stickers at Staples to pimp out the jars:

These removable stickers were on clearance for $1 a pack!  After cleaning out the entire section, Mr H used some chalkboard paint that we already  had to make some DIY chalboard labels.  The Martha Stewart line carries a chalkboard removable label but of course they weren't on clearance.  And at about $5 for a pack of 2 (if I remember correctly) we decided we could easily make them ourselves.

We ended up purchasing a few jars and canisters because the spaghetti sauce jars weren't appropriate for all of our food-storing needs.  After comparing prices, Home Goods and TJ Max seemed to have the best selection, quality and price.  Most of the canisters that we purchased were about $2 each.  A lot of the lids of the purchased canisters were silver so we spray painted them gold, as well.

I pulled everything out of the pantry and began filling jars and canisters.  I attached our DIY chalkboard labels and used a chalk pen to label our goodies.  Just remember, when organizing, part of the process is making a bigger mess than you already had!

The key is to personalize the area to be the most functional and efficient for your family needs.  Not everyone needs a canister for protein or brown rice.  Sitting down and thinking/documenting what your family uses most will help make the space more tailored to your needs.  Also, not every food item can be removed from it's original container and poured into a clear canister.  Can you imagine scooping peanut butter out of its jar and into a clear canister?  That's not an efficient use of time!  So, for all those items that need to be left in their original packaging, baskets come to the rescue.   I picked up some medium and small black, plastic baskets at Target and have been very pleased with their durability!  I attached the Martha Stewart line bookplates to the plastic baskets and labeled accordingly.  For our needs, it made sense to label a basket for drink mixes (crystal light, hot chocolate, cider, etc), cans of food, baking and snacks.

Here's the final product:

 So much better!  Organized and contained!

Everything is so much easier to find.  Don't feel that you have to use all of the same shape or size of canister.  I actually like the variation between the spaghetti sauce (green arrow below) and the purchased jars:

The best thing about the labels is that they are removable AND erasable!  Just erase and change the label if you run out of rotini and don't need anymore.

The baskets have really worked well, so far.  Choose something that's easy to wipe down like plastic and durable enough to hold heavier items.

 The bookplate and label help organize the baskets with similar items:

Again, the key is to make it as functional for YOUR family as possible.  Here's one more look at the before and after:

Do you have issues with the organization of your pantry or any other area of your home?  Sometimes the easiest first step is to sit down and decide how you want that space to work for you or your family.  I don't claim to be an expert organizer but if you'd like any suggestions or a second opinion on your organizational needs, feel free to email me at:  lori.craighazelwood@gmail.com.  I'd be happy to share my thoughts and opinions on your space!

I enjoy our pantry so much more now and can't wait to organize a new space . . .on to the next room :)



Monday, May 13, 2013

{DIY} Custom Monogrammed Tray

I hope that all of you had a great weekend and were able to spend it with family. We were fortunate to have Mr H's family come in from West Virginia so that we were able to spend Mother's Day with both sides of the family. The ladies had brunch at The Glitz restaurant in Irish Acres Antique store outside of Lexington. To the ladies out there, if you have not been to Irish Acres or The Glitz, you must go. The men kept themselves busy, as well. We had a delicious dinner at my parent's house and a fun time playing games.

For mother's day, I wanted to create a present for our amazing moms.  On the web, there are many versions of this DIY project such as this inspiration tray at A Thoughtful Place (www.athoughtfulplaceblog.com):


 I wanted to attempt this similar tray with a bit of a twist:

I popped into Hobby Lobby in search of a photo frame for this project.  I found this drift wood/farmhouse looking frame and knew that it would be perfect.  It was on sale for 50% off so I snagged a couple of these beauties for $15 each.

Next, I headed over to the hardware and drawer pull aisle at Hobby Lobby and found some silver/platinum pulls with a little crystal bling.  I thought that the contrast between the rustic frame and glamorous pulls would be perfect.  The pulls were also on sale for 50% off and rang in at about $3 each.

I love monogrammed decor and accessories so I decided that adding a custom monogram to each frame would be the finishing touch for this custom tray.  I headed to another aisle in Hobby Lobby and snagged some glass etching cream.  It was not on sale, but I downloaded a 40% off coupon from the Hobby Lobby website and ended up getting the etching cream for about $5.

Glass etching cream

I played around in Word with different fonts and sizes to make my monogram stencil for the glass etching.  I liked Times New Roman the best with a font size of 250.  After printing off the letters for the monogram, I gathered an exacto knife and contact paper to begin the glass etching process.

I removed the glass from the photo frames and cut a fairly large (about 1/2 the size of the glass) piece of contact paper to smooth over the center of the glass.  You want the piece of contact paper to be large enough so that when you apply the etching cream, it does not escape the edges of the contact paper and etch sections of the glass that you don't intend to etch!

After applying the contact paper to the glass, I centered my printed letter on top of the contact paper.  Using an exacto knife, I carefully traced the letter, making sure that the cuts went through the paper and through the contact paper, below.

After tracing out the letter, I used the exacto knife to lift a cut edge of the contact paper.

 I peeled off the entire letter in preparation to apply the etching cream.

Next, I used a foam paintbrush to apply the etching cream over the letter.  This was the first time that I have etched glass so I wasn't sure how much cream to apply.  Basically, I applied globs or dollops.

I let the cream sit for 15-20 minutes to ensure that there was adequate time for the etching magic.  I used a paper towel to wipe off the excess cream being careful not to spread the cream on any uncovered glass or my skin (read the warnings on the etching cream before use).  Then, I peeled off the contact paper and ran warm water over the monogrammed letter and gave it a good wipe-down.

After etching the glass, the next step was to attach the drawer pulls to the photo frame.  Since we were driving to Lexington for the day, I had my dad help me drill the pulls onto the frame.  If you want this type of placement of the pulls/handles, make sure that the frame that you choose has a wide enough edge for attaching the hardware.

After attaching the pulls/handles, we have a custom, monogrammed frame that looks like this:

 I love the way the handles work with the rustic frame:

 And now, a few styled shots of this custom tray:

For about $21 and 30 minutes of work, you too can have a custom monogrammed tray.  I love that there are so many options with this tray.  An easy change-up would be to replace the cardboard backing that comes with the frame and add a piece of pretty fabric between the glass and cardboard.  Or, a collage of photos would be a nice touch.

I enjoyed making these custom trays for our moms for mother's day.  I consider  my first experience with glass etching to be a success!  I love the monogrammed glass so much that I might monogram everything I can get my hands on . . .watch out Sugar (the kitty cat)!!



Tuesday, May 7, 2013

{DIY} Wedding Flower Shadowbox

Mr H and I celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago. Mr H planned all of the festivities and boy did he knock it out of the park! He surprised me with a trip to Lexington where we stayed in the very romantic, Gratz Park Inn. We walked around downtown and visited our wedding venue, the Headley Whitney Museum, where we reminisced on those vows we made, a year ago. As icing on the wedding cake, Mr H arranged for our wedding caterer to recreate the delicious southern meal that was served at our wedding reception, for our dinner. Completed with a trip to Keeneland, the weekend couldn't have been better.

There is quite possibly nothing that I am more sentimental about than our wedding. We spent so much time creating and pouring over every little detail for our big day. One of the biggest details that I planned and created was the wedding flowers. After ordering enough flowers to fill a garage, my mom and I tediously constructed the bridal and bridesmaid bouquets, the boutonniere and the reception arrangements. Luckily, for me, my mom saved as many of these arrangements as possible and dried them in her attic. After a year of not knowing what to do with the dried flowers, I finally had an idea. In celebration of our 1 year wedding anniversary, I give you:

This shadowbox contains Mr H's cotton boutonniere and flowers from my bouquet, the bridesmaid bouquets and the reception table arrangements. 

Bridal Bouquet
(photo by Kelli Baker of Simply Unique Photography)

Bridesmaid bouquets
(photo by Kelli Baker of Simply Unique Photography)

Mr H's boutonniere
(photo by Kelli Baker of Simply Unique Photography)

Reception table arrangements
(photo by Kelli Baker of Simply Unique Photography)

After drying the flowers, I disassembled the bouquets and cotton bol boutonniere.

I bought a shadowbox from Home Goods for about $12.00 for this project.  I pulled out my hot glue gun and started gluing and arranging the flowers and greenery in the center of the shadowbox.

I quickly realized that it was going to take a lot of flowers and greenery to get the full, completely covered, effect that I was going for.  I kept working my way out from the center, hot gluing each individual flower.

I may have burned my fingers a couple . . . or a few . . .times.

And finally, I filled all of the gaps:

While the colors of the dried flowers may not be great, I love the way it turned out!  While this project only cost $12.00 (shadowbox), it was not fast and easy.  It took at least 2 hours to delicately place and glue each individual flower. 

I'm not sure yet where this shadowbox will live in our home, but I'm positive that I'll enjoy looking at it and remembering our wedding and all of the love represented on that day.

Do you have dried flowers set aside?  Perhaps gifts from your significant other or from a loved one's funeral?  This shadowbox is a good way to memorialize those fragile flowers.

P.S-I've considered doing a few posts documenting all of the details that we created for our wedding.  Is this something that you readers would be interested in reading?


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