Thursday, July 21, 2011

State Art

  My amazing husband and me have been together since we were 17 years young. We met in St.Louis while attending a worldwide youth conference for our denomination. He was from Houston, Texas, and I was from Virginia Beach, Virginia, out of the thousands of teens there we met. Looking back I can't help but laugh, I didn't even want to go, but my Mom jokingly told me that I should go because I could meet my future husband. God really does have a sense of humor, my mother is careful with her jokes now :]
  Anyways I said all of that to get to state art. State art is popping up EVERYWHERE you look in blogland and on pintrest. I have this photo collage in our bedroom, and have been having a difficult time picking the pictures to fill them, I always have the hardest time picking pictures...I just have so many good ones!
I know this is a bad picture, but it's the only one of the college that I have.
  Now at the very top of the collage, is a frame with 3 pictures, two horizontal spots and a vertical one in the middle. I decided that frame was perfect for my state art. For this project I used scrapbook paper, cardstock, a picture {for the middle}, a glue stick, glitter, my cricut and the cartridge 50 states.  The hardest part of this project was finding the right scrapbook paper print, luckily my awesome Mom had just got some paper that matched my bedding for my home scrapbook, I love you Mom! I began by cutting my scrapbook paper into two 4x6 pieces, I cut them that size because that was the size my frame called for, you can cut to your desired size. Next, I took my cardstock and placed it on my mat.If you don't have a cricut, you can print out a map of your desired state, cut it and trace it onto your cardstock. I needed the states to fit on the 4x6 piece of paper so I began cutting at 3 3/4, which was perfect for Texas.  I had to enlarge Virginia to make it look decently proportional, I think it was 7 3/4 inches, and it's still vastly smaller than Texas! Then I took my glue and centered my state on my scrapbook paper. I let it dry for a few minutes and then got ready to use my glitter. I drew a small heart with my glue pen where Houston, and Virginia Beach were. Then I added some of my awesome glitter.
My state art.
I still need to add some pictures, but here's a full shot.

   I LOVE how it turned out, it looks so wonderful in our room. I'm thinking about changing the picture out for a B&W one, but I'm not sure. Let me know what you think! I love helpful opinions!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Over the TV Stand Swag

 I have been anxiously waiting for Joel to have the time to help me spruce up the wall behind our tv stand. At first I wanted to put floating shelves above the tv, I even bought them. But when we had trouble hanging my plate art in the kitchen, Joel told me to go back to the drawing board and save the floating shelves for Texas. This is the only before picture that I have, it was taken during the craziness of Christmas, so excuse everything.
 Essentially, it was just a big boring wall of beige. When Joel sent me back to the drawing board, I was stumped. I thought about doing vinyl, but decided that I wanted something more. In January I had made a set of three framed scrapbook pages for some of my sister's besties.
 So I thought about making some for me and Joel. Usually you can only find frames that are black and metal, I had been looking for some wooden ones, but the cheapest ones that I found were $42 bucks a pop! Way too much for me and my ever conscious budget. Then one day when I was in Michael's looking for some crimson paper I saw premade scrapbooking pages that came with wooden frames for only $20 bucks. Recollection's made them, and I only saw them in white, so I wasn't too excited and left the store without them. I went back about a week later to snag some extra metal scrapbook frames since they were on sale for $5 bucks, and I often give them as gifts. Well when I walked in I saw that the Recollection's frames where on sale for only $10 bucks,I also saw that they had received some dark wooden frames. I was beyond excited! I quickly put the last 3 dark stained frames that they had in my cart and continued my shopping spree. When I got home I realized that they did not have glass in between the frame and the page, I was disappointed. But I fixed the problem, I took the glass from the 3 metal frames I was planning on using. I was so pleased with the final product!
A shot of all three

A close up of one.

 I was so excited and loved how they turned out. The dark wood frame really complemented the pages that I had made. The pages purpose was to pull the soft green tones out of my rug, and it worked.
 I found a stash of Bed Bath & Beyond gift cards, a week and half ago. So I set off with Brittany to look for things that I could use around the apartment. I found a set of sconces on clearance for $10 bucks, but got them for $7 bucks and some change with a coupon! The store was sold out, but ordered two sets for me {yes, I bought an extra set for when we move...I know I'm crazy!} and they shipped them for free to my apartment! I was stalking the mail waiting for them, and they finally came on Friday! They came with a votive, but no hardware. So we waited until Sunday, in between services to go to the hardware store.  We went to Lowe's and they were wonderful with helping me find the perfect hardware, for our difficult walls.
  I am proud to say that the boring beige wall behind our now perfect tv stand is gone. It has been replaced with this adorable wall :]
I'm in LOVE

                 Here is a quick shot of the tv stand, and the wall :]
 I have some plans for the lampshade in this picture, and for it's matching partner that resides by the couch. But that's another project that's waiting on my to do list. You can also see my stash of vases that I shared with you here. I hope you guys like it! I'm still not sure if I want to add some vinyl under the frames and sconces, but right now I think I'm just going to wait and enjoy all of my new swag.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Perfect TV Stand

We have been rearranging anything and everything that moves in our apartment. It all started when I rearranged the bedroom one day by myself while Mr.Carman was in class. Sometimes when I get an idea I just have to do it immediately.
We got rid of our huge dinning room table, and purchased a new small high top table. I also had the brilliant idea to make a mini pantry under our bar area, since we only use it to put food on at meal time.

I have about five projects going on right now, and am hoping to have them all finished and blogged by the end of the week.
When we rearranged the living room, I decided that I really wanted to dress up the living room more. Now with the addition of my craft corner and Mr.Carman's desk area, I had to sacrifice some design for functionality. That's just part of the joys of living in a one bedroom apartment where there is only shared space. Anyway, the spruce up began with some new valances.

I snagged these for only $2.50 a piece. I was beyond excited when I found them. I love them so much! I got new treatments for both windows for only $5.00! I knew that Mr.Carman would have something to say, since these are the fourth set of window treatments that we have had in the living room, one set wound up in the bedroom, one is packed away for when we move, and the set we had before our new valances got donated to goodwill. To my surprise Mr.Carman, didn't joke me about changing the curtains yet again, he told me that I did a good job and was proud to have such a thrifty wife!
The living room is also home to my beautiful new tv stand that we got at Christmas.
Now, I love this tv stand, I mean I did pick it out. But, I really wanted to add even more charm to the living room since we were adding so much function with our new spaces. I had some extra red vinyl in craft stash and decided that the doors needed some color.  So I got my wonderful cricut out and began the search for the perfect design. I borrowed the cartridge paper lace from one of my scrapping buddies and fell in love. It was so hard to choose, but I finally decided on one.
This was an easy project. I began...well we began by taking the doors off the tv stand. Mr.Carman took both doors off, here is a quick before shot.

Then we had to adhere the vinyl. Mr.Carman thought we should apply it on the front of the door, but I convinced him to put it on the back. By putting the vinyl on the back of the doors I can still clean them off with ease. The first door we just placed down and smoothed the vinyl out with a squeegee, the second one we used transfer paper on. Sometimes I use transfer paper and sometimes I don't it all depends on the design and the surface that I'm adhering to. For this design I would advise the use of transfer paper, it's a vinyl addicts best friend :]
Mr.Carman using the squeegee to flatten the vinyl out.

Then we put the doors back on the tv stand. Simple I know, but I love the touch of red that it added to doors.
AHHHHH so cute, I decided not to do an all over pattern on the door, I was thinking I might add a C, but still haven't case you didn't know I can be kind of indecisive. 
Finished product. Please ignore the randomness on the tv stand. I now think that my tv stand is perfection. I love how it turned out. Later today Mr.Carman is going to help me hang some new swag above the tv stand. Stay tuned, more swag to come!

Saturday, July 2, 2011


    There's something about the sweetness that lingers in the summer air that leaves me with the desire for freshness. I decided to take advantage of the break in between summer classes that Joel has. The past week has been filled with sweet moments of enjoying each other, and enjoying being on the same schedule. I also decided that since he was home it was the perfect time to finish some old projects, respray my vases, and embark on a few new projects for our home. Joel thought that respraying the vases, would give me the opportunity to further explain my vase project.
   The vase project began when I needed a way to pull out the deep navy blue tones in our living room rug. I needed something that would add to the room, and not be overwhelming. I decided to look into purchasing some different blue vases, upon seeing the enormous price tag attached to them I knew that purchasing them was simply not an option. So I slept on it, and decided to go thrift storing for vases, and see what I could do with some spray paint and some vases. I decided that my investment would be low, so if I didn't like it, it wasn't a big deal. Now I did my vases long before I ever started my blog, or started reading them so I have no before pictures, sorry!
My collection with a fresh coat of paint.

I like the different textures, it really makes a difference when you put it all together .

Some of my favorite textured vases.

Non textured vases add interest with their shapes.

A textured and non textured vase, so you can get a good comparison.

You want to get vases with varying heights and depth as well.   

  When you go looking for vases, keep the color you want them to be in mind. It is easier to go darker for a vase, than to go lighter. However, if you find a dark green vases you adore but want it lighter don't worry. You should just apply a white base coat before you desired  color. Good luck, and happy hunting!
  I'm hoping to have a new post with some updates that we've done today and will be doing over this wonderful long weekend!

Friday, July 1, 2011


Summer time usually means endless craft and project time at our apartment. It also means that I have the time to look for good deals and change everything at the apartment!

This is my newest addition to our home...I'm in love with it
My beautiful NEW table was less than $200.00, that's as much as a USED table like this would have cost, I love sales and coupons!

It's a counter height table! Joel and I decided to stick it out at our apartment until May (when we move to HOUSTON!). This decision meant that we needed to create more space in the apartment, which lead to us getting rid of my BEAUTIFUL dinning room table, newly upholstered chairs, and my gorgeous china hutch. I was so sad to see it go, but we kept it in the family, so I can still go visit! We decided on this table because it was smaller and would give us more room in our dinning area. We have used that room to create a "pantry" under the counter, which allowed me to free up some cabinet space. When we got our new table, I really wanted to get a rug, to help better define the space. I've been trying NOT to buy things like rugs, since we're moving in a few months, and I have no clue what our house will look like or what decor I will want to use. I was doing fine until I stumbled upon this 
I know that it's simple, but I love it. I got this 60x84 rug for thirty dollars, meaning that even if we only use it for the next nine months, I'm paying roughly $3.33 to use it per month, not too bad! BUT I did buy gray for a certain reason and have plans for it when we move,but that's another story.

As I've stated in previous posts, and as most of you know, we're young and "just starting out". We also like having money, and don't believe in debt. I take pride in how beautiful our apartment is and how thrifty I've been in filling it and decorating it. This new table is the second piece of new furniture that we've bought. Being as obsessed as I am, I wanted our table to stay nice and new. So I began the search for place mats, since it is a rather small table a tablecloth would have been too overpowering. I was really disappointed with what I found. I love for my home to look nice, but I simply cannot justify spending $8-10 on a single place mat. Joel and me had decided to try and find ones we liked for under $5 a pop. Even then, I was having a hard time finding something that I liked, visually & texturally, and that would flow with our apartment. After searching stores, and scouring the internet, I finally found what I had been looking for. Not only did it meet all of my requirements, but these place mats were on final clearance markdown....I payed 19 cents for each one!
The best 19 cents I've ever spent!

I decided to use my leftover place mat budget for more table swag. I was able to get  the following with the money I saved. 
Nice ivory satin napkin for my new place mats!

This gorgeous pin-tuck table runner!

I was also able to get something for the bedroom.

This will go on my long dresser, and replace the one that I have there currently. Placing a table runner on a long dresser, gives you a pop of color and a little more style.
Needless to say I was glad that I waited and didn't settle for place mats that I didn't love. And I am so happy with the swag that I was able to get with the leftover place mat budget!

Our kitchen also got some new swag, thanks to giveaways! These kitchen towels, are made by Branch Handmade. The images are screen printed on white cotton flour sacks, so they are HUGE.
With Joel's obsession with bikes, I just had to get these.

I LOVE these owl towels, and know that I will love them even more in the fall!

This set of birdcage towels looks wonderful in our little kitchen!

If you've been around my family you know that we have an inside joke about Giraffes, I couldn't pass these up!

I love giveaways! Giveaways are a great way to spruce up your decor for free. Granted you have to win, but entering them is easy, and well worth the reward.

I feel like by now I've probably driven your crazy with all of this swag, so I'm going to go work on some more things for the apartment!