Brunch Bridal Shower

Today I got to celebrate one of my very best friends from high school at a brunch bridal shower. Katie is one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met. She and her husband-to-be met at Duke, so Scott and I really first got a chance to hang out during their downtown Roswell engagement session. I can truly say I couldn’t choose a better person for Katie than Scott.

Today was such a perfect day to celebrate all that is to come in their lives! With delicious food and great company, the shower was so wonderful! Plus, let’s be honest… brunch is one of my favorite things, so this was the ideal shower time! Here is a little look at some of the items we put together for the day.

This “I DO” door decoration was inspired by a pin we found on Pinterest. We absolutely love how ours turned out! I think I might have to make this project again in the future for baby showers and more. With some pre-cut letters, spray paint, burlap ribbon and blue satin ribbon, this project was the best “welcome” to the bridal shower! Plus, it was $10 total (with coupons) and reusable for future showers, so we were pretty excited about it.

Bridal decoration I do

Bridal Shower Door Decor

For centerpieces, the gorgeous hydrangeas were perfect! What is the most amazing part is that these came from the side of the house where the shower was held. One day I would kill to have hydrangeas like that growing in my yard!

Bridal shower flowers

We wanted to be able to distinguish Katie’s chair from the others, so added one of my handmade wire wedding dress hangers for the future Mrs. Anderson to it.

Bridal shower hanger and decor

Finally, it was such a treat to host the shower for Katie and to make amazing treats like these:

Bridal shower strawberries

Oh yum. It was surely a great day! And I can’t wait to celebrate even more at their wedding in July!

What is your favorite way to celebrate bridal showers? I’d love hear!

(Re)claimed Pallet Wine Racks

Our next woodworking project is officially checked off the list. Today we successfully finished and hung our rustic wine racks made out of reclaimed pallet wood!

Pallet wine rack

Our dining room walls were feeling a little bare and lonely. With Chip’s new deal of “You find what you want to make, and we’ll do it,” I quickly set to find something cheap but lovely to fill the space. We came across pallet wine racks on Etsy, which I loved! Fortunately, we live in a neighborhood where pallets can be found on a daily basis.

Now… “claiming” them for ourselves… Ready for a fun story?

We saw two great condition pallets in the garage of a house being built in our neighborhood on our way to lunch. We decided we would just grab them on our way back to the house, as one of the managers of the building company said we could take them if we ever saw them laying around. On our way back in, of course the garage was closed, as the builders were painting the garage door that day.

I thought I’d be brave and ask them politely if we could take them off their hands… you know… for “crafts.” They would totally understand my plea, right?

He said no… and I realized he wasn’t opposed to crafts, but really he hadn’t understood a word I just said. Super.

Now came in my Spanish skills… which are about as rustic as the pallets. I asked him if it would be easier for me to speak in rough Spanish than in perfect English. He nodded his head vigorously with a grin. Alright… here goes.

Even with my Spanish Spainglish, he understood and immediately opened the garage door for us and even offered to carry the pallets to the car! Success!

Looks like a bit of Spanish can get you a long way in the DIY world! Yeehaw!

Meet: the pallet (complete with a bit of spray paint from another project… stay tuned).

Pallet

With a couple broken boards on one side, we pried them off and replaced them and cut off each end of the pallet with a jigsaw.

Cutting

We sanded, sanded and sanded some more until the once dirty and splintery pallet looked like this:

Unstained pallet wine rack

We finished by staining with my favorite stain, which can be found here.

One thing I’ve realized is that my DIY habit is: “Let’s just go for it.” However, Chip’s is meticulous and detailed, which is ultimately a much better decision in the end, especially when you’re hanging large, heavy pieces of wood filled with glass bottles on the wall. Err?

Empty wall

After much measuring and leveling, we stepped back to enjoy this view!

Dining room

The pallet wine racks were the perfect addition to the big empty wall in the dining room! I did a little dance because I was so excited about these.

Wine racks

Now we just need to fill the rest of the racks up with empty bottles. Any takers? I’m thinking wine night at our house soon.

Great news is that we have a couple other pallets left over!

What pallet projects have you been eying? We’d love to put them to use in a great way!

The bench is finished!

Remember when I mentioned that Chip is following in his grandfather’s footsteps and beginning woodworking? Well, I’m a proud wifey, as his first project is officially complete!

Bench front

Doesn’t it look pretty darn awesome? I’d say for the first time with a jigsaw, he did a bang-up job. And in more ways than one. After it looked like this:

2012 Woodworking

He let me take a chain and hammer to it to beat it up. No offense to the perfect wood, but a little “distressed” is more my style.

I was having a hard time picking out fabric and paint colors, so we just followed the token Carnes’ colors and went with teal. It shows up in pretty much every room in our house, so we knew it would match anywhere. While at my home away from home (aka Hobby Lobby), we came across this lovely fabric, which matched oh so nicely with the teal and brown in our favorite living room chair.

Fabric with chair

After a fabric decision was made, we visited Home Depot for some friendly, neighborhood home store advice. Like I mentioned previously, decisions aren’t quite my thing, so getting help in the paint section is the way to go. Let’s be honest: too many color options for me.

We decided on a Glidden “Cappuccino White” color match to purchase a $3 color sample of the Behr Premium Plus Ultra paint. It didn’t seem like a lot of paint, but ended up being more than enough for our project!

We already had wood stain at home from this Christmas craft, so decided to save some moolah and use that as the undercoat before layering the paint.

Wood stain

After two coats of stain, the bench looked like this:

Stained bench

While the stain dried, I took to the seat of the bench for some upholstery. Now, the book I got for Chip for Christmas had details all about building the bench, but nothing about upholstering the top. I tried my hand at upholstering our dining room chairs, so figured I could do the bench without too much trouble. While it wasn’t terrible, the chairs were certainly much easier, as they already had all of the pieces, and I just had to recover them.

For the bench, I purchased foam & batting at Hobby Lobby (always use the 40% off coupon AND they recently created an app for it – oh happy day!!)

However, the foam wasn’t quite long enough, so after cutting it to size with an electric knife (who knew it had more use than just for carving turkey?!), we glued the two pieces together with… wood glue and hot glue. Not exactly what is suggested – spray adhesive is best – but when I get my mind set on a project, there’s nothing stopping me. Definitely not always the best thing.

Foam for bench

With extra batting, we created a sort of “band-aid” for the spot where the two pieces came together, and it worked pretty well. However, next time I’ll definitely be sure to have spray adhesive on hand.

Foam band aid

After cutting the layer of batting and fabric to size, Chip tried out the upholstery side of things and quickly decided he’d leave the finishing steps of the woodworking projects to me. His reaction was: “I’ve never been good at wrapping gifts…” That’s ok, Chipper, we understand.

Upholstering

After some tugging, staple-gunning and careful “wrapping” of the corners, the seat was finished!

Best suggestion: start with the corners and short ends – it will make your life a whole lot easier.

We beat the wood up some more with a chain and hammer and layered on a thin coat of the paint. It was a pretty good system. I’d paint, and Chip would follow with a rag and wipe down various spots to let the stain shine through. Finally, we both used sandpaper to sand the edges and other parts of the wood. We think the antiquey-ness worked out quite well!

Painted bench

After waiting a bit and screwing the piano hinges back onto the seat, we had a finished bench! Ta da!

Final Bench  Final Bench Side

I truly couldn’t be more proud of Chip. And now we have an awesome bench to store shoes, blankets, etc. The best thing (as cheesy as it may be) is that we made it together! I love to envision passing it down in our family one day. Yea, yea… cheeseball.

Here’s the real dilemma: now Chip needs a new woodworking job, as he’s already itching to make something else! Any easy suggestions? Do share!

Bench you’ll want one, too!

Watch out for sawdust, everyone, because we’ve got a master woodworker on our hands! Chip has been talking about woodworking for a while now, so for Christmas, Santa brought him quite an array of tools and woodworky things.

I got to be Santa’s helper and wrap most of his presents, so knew what he was going to open before we gathered around the tree for some fun. Needless to say, I think I was more giddy than him was while he opened! I kept envisioning incredible furniture and kitchen redesigns with his master carpentry!

Christmas gifts

To add to the fun, I gave him this book, which has already proven to be incredibly helpful! It’s full of easy woodworking projects that require minimal tools and experience. Sounds like a win to me!

We settled on a bench with an openable top to start. Seemed simple and useful enough, so off to Home Depot he went!

Hall bench

Pardon the terrible iPhone photo…

His grandfather was a carpenter and built their home with his own two hands, so Chip’s got some magic woodworking genes we think. One thing we know is that PawPaw is looking down on Chip and smiling while he begins this new hobby. Home Depot has become his new favorite place.

Here’s the man in all his glory!

Master Woodworker

We’ve decided that Chip will create the woodworking projects, and I’ll finish them. The problem I’m finding is that if you know me at all, you know I’m a terrible decision maker. Having to decide the location for the bench, the color of the wood, and upholstery for the top (that’s one decision I have made is that I want it to be upholstered on top so it’s comfy to sit on while putting shoes on), is woah tough for me.

It’s already pretty far along, as mentioned in my 2012 review, so decisions are a comin, people.

2012 Woodworking

First things first: location. But that’s not nearly as fun as colors and fabric!

Any thoughts on what fabric to use? Have you seen any benches on Pinterest lately that have really caught your eye? Do share!

Merry Christmas, y’all!

My father-in-law has been wanting to reinstate the Carnes family Christmas card for years. As my initiation into the Carnes family this year, he asked if I would be willing to design the card and write the update. Naturally, I said yes… and to make the job possible, Chipper got me Adobe Creative Suite for my birthday just in time!

Carnes Christmas Card Chalkboard

It was fun (and a little daunting) to get back into design from my Yearbook Editor and graphic design class days, but pretty quickly (and with some Google searching) I remembered how to put together a decent Christmas card! Can’t wait to see how it evolves over the years.

Do you guys deliver Christmas cards each year? Receiving them is one of my favorite parts of the season!

We’re debating when to start! Maybe a New Year’s card is more realistic… 😉

Chevron Print Chairs: finally finished!

Big news, people.

It may have taken over 3 months to accomplish, but the dining room chairs are officially finished. I absolutely love how they turned out and it’s much better than the before.

The chairs are finally finished!

I’ll be posting photos of the updated dining room soon! Thanks for hanging in there with me until they were complete. Thankful for Thanksgiving at our house that prompted us to tackle the last of 6!

Have you ever started a project and then (nearly) abandoned it half-way through? What kept you motivated to finish it?

DIY Chalkboard & Christmas Decor

Happy birthday to my best friend, Bethy! Not only are she and her husband some of our closest friends, but they also are kind of our “weekend roommates”. As huge UGA fans, they’ve come to almost every home game, which means we get to spend some QT with them in Athens! We love it!

Another thing I love is that she appreciates my crafting and creating and constantly encourages me to pursue it. We talked about some things that she would love for their new home, so I began searching on Pinterest and my favorite blogs for ideas. After coming across this awesome DIY chalkboard, I quickly decided that a DIY birthday gift was in store. Plus, I’d rather give a handmade gift 10 times more than a store bought gift.

I already had a plank of wood sitting in our garage from a previous project, so just took it to Lowe’s to have them cut it for me, got to staining, painting and adding a burlap flower in the corner. Wah-lah… a chalkboard!

Also, I’ve heard Beth say multiple times that her favorite word is “JOY”. It truly fits her, and she is absolutely in love with Christmas and Christmas decor. So to complement the chalkboard, I created this little number for their new mantle (that her dad is building her from scratch… amazing).

I am actually thinking I might make one for myself now too, I just love it so much. We can be twins:

The beauty of these boards is that it can be made into anything you like depending on what word you spell: Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, the opportunities are endless. Now, I’m ready to see it on their new mantle!

What is your favorite gift to give to friends?

Lovely wedding {and bridesmaid} dress hangers

Over the summer, one of my very best friends (and the person that I’ve lived the longest with other than my family members) got married! As her wedding day gift, I created a wedding hanger with her new last name scripted in wire.

My first attempt at bending wire into names was for our engagement shoot and my wedding dress.

Image

I love the look of the wire in photos and the elegance it brings to the wedding dress hanger. Who wants to find the perfect dress and then have it hanging on an ugly plastic hanger? No thanks.

Mrs. Hostetler’s dress was gorgeous, as you can see:

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Shortly after that wedding, a friend of her relative saw the hanger and asked if I’d be able to make them for her bridal party. Needless to say, I was pretty excited!

After getting the list of names and having nightly wire name critiques from the hubby, I crafted up this:

Image

I’m thrilled with how they turned out and think that the bride is so smart to give these as bridesmaids gifts! It especially helps when all of the dresses are the same and you can just look for your name instead of mixing up your dress with another. Love that.

After her group of hangers, I’ve been working on countless other wedding dress hangers, baby shower hangers, etc. and loving it!

If you or someone you know is getting married or having a little one soon, let me know and I’d be happy to chat about creating a hanger for them!

Stay tuned for a couple other wire creations I’ve got to show you!

Oh baby… bow tie onesies

With a bow tie wearing hubby, I’ve always loved the look of them. I think there is just something about bow ties that is sweet, southern and handsome. Anyone else agree?

Case in point – the hubby on our wedding day:

If you remember, I blogged earlier about our friends’ sweet little baby, Whit. Just days before he was born, we hosted a baby shower for the Fehrs and another couple in our small group who will be having a little boy in November.

Now, I’m decently well-versed in wedding showers, but baby showers are totally foreign territory for me, folks. I mean, I went to the baby aisle at Target for gifts ideas and was so lost it wasn’t even funny.

After thinking long and hard about what I’d like the decor and gifts to be for the shower and how I could put my own DIY spin on them, I came across this cute baby onesie garland! Inspired by the onesie on the right…

… I began hunting for some fun fabric and decided on leftover pear chevron fabric from our dining room chairs and this little polka dot pattern:

With sewing machine plugged in and scissors in hand, I set to town on making baby bow tie onesies! Let me just tell you, they are about the cutest little things.

Follow along on the play-by-play to create your own:

Needs:

  • For Bow Tie: 10″ x 5″ piece of fabric
  • For Center Piece of Bow Tie: 3″ x 2″ piece of coordinating fabric
  • Needle & thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Iron & ironing board
  • Onesie

1. Cut your fabric in a strip about 10″ x 5″. Fold the fabric in half hotdog style (yea, hotdog style…), with the right sides facing each other and sew a seam along three sides, leaving one end open to turn the fabric right side out.

2. Once the fabric is turned right side out, fold the edge of the unsewn end in about 1/4″ and sew closed.

3. Fold each end toward the center of the strip to meet at the middle and sew a seam to attach the ends of the fabric at the center of the rectangle.

4. Pinch the center of the rectangle where you just sewed the seams to create a “bow tie” shape.

5. Sew through the “pinch” with a needle and thread to secure the bow tie shape. You should be able to let go of the center at this point and still retain the shape of the bow tie. Don’t be frugal on the stitching for this. The more you stitch, the more study the shape will stay.

6. For the center piece, fold the edges of the 3″ x 2″ piece of fabric in hotdog style again, and press with the iron. Fold in again to hide the raw edge of the fabric. Fold each side of the short edges in a bit and sew a seam to secure on both ends.

7. Wrap the center piece around the pinched and stitched part of the bow tie and stitch with a needle and thread until the center piece is securely attached to the back of the bow tie.

8. Admire your work!

9. Finally, sew the back side of the bow tie at each corner to the baby onesies and hang with clothespins on twine to create your baby bow tie onesie garland!

Isn’t it oh so cute! Each mom got to take home one of each of the colors for their sweet little ones. I just can’t wait to see some photos of the boys in their dapper onesies!

What are your favorite baby shower gifts for new parents? I’m thinking I’ll be needing to stock up on ideas for future friends’ kids!