DIY roman shade

It’s not a new concept. Search Pinterest and you’ll find a hundred different tutorials on how to DIY your own roman shades. This post is how I used all those ideas and came up with what I think is the best combination. I also made mine blackout which means a few more hurdles. We’ve had them up and in use for a few months now so I’m finally ready to give all the details on what’s working and what’s not! 🙂 Continue reading DIY roman shade

Fencing in the garden (finally!)

It’s been a several weeks since we *finished fencing in the garden (and planting) but we left for vacation right **after so I’m finally getting a chance to post the rest of how we did it. For reference you can read about the first half of the project here and a little bit about the gravel and just a funny story here.

*It’s done for now but still a ways from truly finished. I’d like to fix the gate up and I still haven’t installed my watering system. For now, I’m hand watering twice daily.

**I was literally out planting at 6pm the night before a huge road trip!

What we did:

Continue reading Fencing in the garden (finally!)

There’s an app for that (art)

Original boat painting purchased at Alley Cat in Seattle

A few years ago while in Seattle on vacation I walked through an antique shop and saw a great little painting of boats with a blue frame. I picked it up and even showed my husband. The painting was $30 which to me seemed like a great deal but for whatever reason I felt rushed (I’m pretty sure it was to help locate a bathroom for a small child), put it down, and left without it. This all happened on the last day of our trip and my poor husband had to hear all about my regret on the drive home to Idaho. I hadn’t found any souvenirs and why didn’t I just buy it!? Skip ahead two weeks and we get a package in the mail from Alley Cat Antiques. I have no idea what it is but my husband runs over excitedly. And this is the great part. Even though I couldn’t remember the store’s name he tracked it down, called them, convinced a sales lady to search the massive and disorganized store, and then bought the painting for me over the phone. I have to say it is one of the most romantic things he’s ever done for  me! Now it’s hanging in our bedroom and I love it so much, not just for what it looks like but for the story it tells.

That’s the thing about art, it’s meant to evoke emotion, to tell a story. The story and feeling is different for everyone but if it makes you feel and remember the things you intended when you chose the art for your home then it’s doing it’s job.

Even beyond emotion, filling a home with art that works is tricky. When I say “works” I’m talking about everything from fitting your family’s style to matching the rooms ascetic and colors. And of course, if you’re like me, you don’t have much budget for the task.

One great way I’ve created original art for my home is using the app Waterlogue. It’s an inexpensive ($2.99) app that converts photos into watercolor look-alikes.

iphone photo of the beach in Florida processed through the Waterlogue app

My first big success with the app came soon after I bought it. I processed a picture I took on the beach near my parents house in Florida. When I got back to their place and showed my mom and sisters the reaction was overwhelmingly positive. Caroline even asked where the painting was, thinking I had taken a photo of an actual watercolor. I had it printed and it now hangs in my living room. It’s colors are perfect for the space, I love the feeling and memories from one of my favorite spots on the planet, and the price cannot be beat!

iphone photo of a tree taken by Kristine and processed through the Waterlogue app

I’d highly recommend the app but I cannot attribute it all to that. Between the boat oil painting the the snapshot in Florida the running theme is to keep your eyes open for art all the time. Whether it’s at a thrift store or in your backyard, the key is seize the opportunity.

My home is far from finished or polished in the art department but I do enjoy the things currently on my walls. I frame kids art and good quotes right along side original canvases. I’ve also purchased quite a few things from etsy and I love hanging family photos. It’s been said that we spend time on what we value but I’d submit we can also see what someone values by what they frame or hang in their home. If that’s really true then I value my family, my children, uplifting words, creativity, our history, and beautiful things.

May you also create and find beautiful things to look at!


Where We Live – Part 4

Welcome to the Primeiro House!

Hi, Kimberly here, coming to you from southeast Idaho. I’m the second sister and I’m excited to tell you about my house. I’ve named it the primeiro (Portuguese for first) house because my husband and I purchased it a month before getting married and just a couple years after he returned from living in Brazil. It was meant to be our starter home but here we remain over a decade later. We’ve spent our entire life as a couple here, brought three baby boys home from the hospital here, and even buried our dear dog in the yard. It’s very sentimental for sure!

The Primeiro House (taken in the first couple years)

In the process of looking for photos of the early days of the home I realized how much has changed since we first moved in. I often look around and see how much still needs attention (not to mention the list constantly grows as the house ages) but it’s always good to remember how far we’ve come too!

Since moving in we’ve completely finished the basement, painted a handful of rooms upstairs, added custom bookshelves, beds, and desks, tiled the living room, fenced in the yard, added some landscaping, replaced the furnace, and of course purchased furniture and decorations. The list could go on and on!

Wiring the basement in 2010

I’m by nature a homebody. I really thrive when I get enough time here but I also by nature love tidy, organized, clean, and beautiful spaces. When we first got married and moved in we had nothing; no furniture, nothing to cover walls or windows, and no good plan. So it’s been a journey to learn how to bring in things that work for our family and find our groove on home projects. In the meantime we made a lot of mistakes. We’ve randomly planted trees that later got cut down, we’ve brought in so many things to fill space that now we have a lot of parring down to do, and we’ve fought over how to hang curtains.

Installing fence in 2008

We have figured out so much but the main hurdle these days is time and energy. What an adult problem to have, right? My husband works long hours at his job as an engineer. He’s also currently getting a masters degree on the side. I’m the mom to three very active and energetic boys, two of them go to school and the third just turned one (and is into EVERYTHING). I’m the PTO secretary at my kid’s school and teach children at our church on Sundays. We also have a handful of health issues that keep us limited. All that to say, ideas aren’t the problem but I’m learning to be wise in planning the implementation. Sometimes picking and choosing which idea to follow is the hard part. Slow and purposeful wins the race.

Hopefully this blog can be a help to you as you pick and choose your own priorities. I also hope it encourages and uplifts. Making my home more functional and beautiful has been such an important part of my life and brings me so much satisfaction.

I’ll meet you back here Friday. TTFN.