it’s been awhile

Alas, I return. Work has become insane the past few weeks leaving me working very late each night with no time to attend to my blog.

When I’m not working, I’m obsessing over which dSLR to buy. Friends let me tell you that I am so confused. I finally settled on a specific brand and model, but I haven’t bought it yet because I keep pushing off dropping that much money. I’m finally ready and went into Best Buy this past weekend when I was home. The person there was recommending another brand for consideration. Then I go to the Best Buy in Chicago on Monday and they are clueless. Then last night I went to Ritz Camera and they threw out a totally new brand into the mix. Holy moly! Decisions decisions.

I’m also completely obsessing over super geeky things like building my website and dealing with attempting to privately buy a domain name from someone.

The worst part of being this busy? I haven’t had any time to devote to figuring out my next DIY project :) I was on a hot streak for awhile. I think my next feat will be putting together my gallery wall. I purchased my frames MONTHS ago but have been waiting for my wedding pictures and a few canvases from my photographer to be supplied. Much of my placement will surround those so I can’t begin until I get those. Right now I have standard black-brown frames of all different sizes. I’m trying to decide if I should keep them the original color to match my dark furniture or paint them white or go for color with them. The natural colors of this one are pretty, but idk if I want to go with B&W images…

The second project I want to do, which is smaller, is to give my pillows a new look. I would LOVE to make my own pillows however it’s so pricey to do that AND will the fabric you select be your fave forever? I’m a girl of changing style so here’s a solution…

{ via }

It’s a pillow cover that’s so easy to make it’s not funny. No sewing required :) You just need to know how to tie a know, which is outlined in the link below the photo. Super easy, super fun, super flexible, and hopefully super cost effective. You can use them on existing throw pillows or find super cheap pillows to use! LOVE!

What’s your next DIY?

Until next time
<3 jenna


DIY Cowl Scarf

Continuing on with my obsession for DIY…

I was in search for a cowl scarf / infinity scarf. Per the name, it’s circle scarf with no ends that wraps around your neck.

The one I really wanted was $75 (gross), BUT I found the pattern to make one pretty much just like it! I had done some crocheting years ago, but only on a very basic level (single crochet). This pattern called for crazy things that I didn’t understand. Terms that were so foreign. My sister is a crochet master and has her own shop on Etsy where she makes the cutest hats and scarves for kids – check it out! I turned immediately to her to help me. She gave me a quick tutorial, which was all I needed. Well… that and YouTube :)

I purchased the pattern off of Etsy for $4. I went to Michael’s and bought 3 skeins of yarn (I ended up using 4). Each was $4 (so $16 total). PLUS if you get a 50% off coupon, you’re set! The yarn I used was Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Oatmeal. It took me a bit of time to get started, BUT once I got the hang of it I was rolling so fast. I started on it Christmas Eve night (Saturday) and was finished by the following Tuesday night.

I noticed the scarf was pretty stiff and wouldn’t shape to my neck at all. It was like two metal rings laying on my shoulders. After blocking it, it softened up and is now perfect. Again, forgot to take pics along the way. If you have questions, let me know. Here’s the finished product:

{ the underside of the scarf – left – is flat; the topside of the scarf – right is more ridged }

{ worn as a regular scarf }

{ worn as scarf with hood/hat option }

Until next time
<3 jenna


DIY Cloth Napkins

Ah, finally life has slowed down a bit and I can finally get to all my DIY projects! If you recall, I had a growing list back in October. Over the Christmas holiday, I had 2+ weeks off work where I took advantage of my time! First project? DIY Cloth Napkins. Seems like an odd thing, BUT it’s the only way to get the right fabric to personalize your space for a low cost! Here’s the original fabric I bought at JoAnn Fabrics.

I bought a yard of each, which cost $15 total. My inspiration was drawn from Etsy. I saw so many cute napkins for our table, but they were so expensive. Our table seats a minimum of 6. To buy 4 napkins costs $35. To seat my table of 6, it’d cost $70.

I forgot to take pics as I was making them – sorry – but I can explain what I did.

I knew I wanted them to be 15″ x 15″ squares, so I cut them out to be 16″ x 16″ leaving an half inch on all sides for sewing. I cut my squares, then folded the edges over and ironed the fabric to hold the creases where I would sew. I then had to make another fold and iron again to make sure you wouldn’t be able to see any of my cut marks on the fabric.

Once cut and ironed, you just run it through the sewing machine. This was my first time really using a sewing machine, and it was awesome! My wonderful mother-in-law, Kim,  helped me out so much with ironing and teaching me tricks of how to use the machine! The project definitely took way more time and had more steps that I originally thought (i.e. having to iron everything), but it was well worth it. Here’s the final napkins:

{ two table settings of 6 napkins each = $15 total}

I LOVE making things myself. It’s so rewarding when someone compliments you on something! Now to go out and buy a sewing machine so my obsession can continue. Any suggestion of reasonably priced ones??

Until next time
<3 jenna

diy project: serving tray

While in my hometown for Thanksgiving, I FINALLY conquered one of my projects I’ve been wanting to do FOREVER – creating a DIY serving tray. Here’s my $6 tray before… It looked super cheap and unattractive.

Initially I hoped to find tons of colorful mosaic tiles to smash up for this. The design was similar to this but more colorful…

{ via }

After scouring the home improvement stores, I came to realize that I would have to go to a specialty store because Lowe’s doesn’t carry anything colorful. I didn’t have the time or patience, so I took a new direction. Instead I bought backsplash tiles that are matted together.

Not as colorful as I hoped, but I love it now! It has a mix of different colored glass tiles and then stone tiles. So pretty and classy!

I decided to stain the wood a dark brown to match the rest of our furniture. I used Rust-Oleum’s wood stain. Turned out a little darker, but provides a nice contrast.

{ via }

After staining it Wednesday afternoon, I let it sit overnight. Thanksgiving morning once I was sure it was dry, I applied the cement then the tile, then finished with grouting it. The biggest challenge with this project was the grouting. Typically you use grout on flat surfaces with no edges to work with. I kept running into my finished wood and getting grout all over it. It was a constant grout, then wipe clean, more grout, wipe more off, back and forth all day. Then wiping off the grout and cleaning the tiles was another thing :) I ended up having to touch up the wood again because the stain had worn away from all my wiping. Once all was said and done, this was my finished product :) ….

Love it <3 It looks great on our couch ottoman!

One project down, a million more to go!

Until next time
<3 jenna

new projects to come

When I was home the other weekend, I stopped by JoAnn Fabrics to buy some fabric. I have a number of projects that I want to do :)

Project #1 is making my own napkins for our dining table. I keep looking around for the right colors and right design, but everything is so expensive. On Etsy, the ones (like these) I want are $30 for 4 napkins. I have a 6 person dining set, which means it’d be $60. I picked up these two fabrics to create two sets :) Only cost me $15 :)

{ fabric from joann fabrics }

I don’t have a sewing machine, but Jake’s mom does. I’ll post pics soon once the project gets underway :)

Project #2 is creating a headboard for our bed. It’s super simple (see instructions here), just need to find the right fabric and find a place big enough to do it.

Project #3 is making pillows. We have some now (furry brown ones), but I really want ones with fun fabrics. I had actually went out and found fabric, but didn’t fully realize the cost to make your own. Definitely pricier than you think, especially because I want to make big and small pillows. Probably something I’ll save for later :)

Project #4 is my gallery wall. I want to hang a bunch of frames in our hallway, but I’ve been waiting on getting our wedding pictures from our photographer, as well as a canvas print. Once I get that, I can actually do something :) Until then, the frames shall sit in my hall against the wall.

There are tons other projects, BUT I should just start with one at a time.

Until next time
<3 jenna