Friday, June 17, 2011

Plate Hanging (How-To)

First, I would like to say a big "thank you!" for a the comments, "pins" and features on our new banquette seating!  We are excited that you all like it, it helps make all the hard work worth it :)  I tried to reply to the comments, but for some reason, blogger keeps signing me out and taking me to the sign-in screen every time!  Very frustrating! :-/  Anyway, since I couldn't comment, I wanted to share that really quick :)
I wanted to give a quick tutorial on hanging plates on the wall.  There are a few ways of doing it.  Last time I hung plates in our dining room, I used these brackets...

Not only are these a giant pain to get on the plate, I don't think they look very good.  I don't like the fact that you can see the prongs.

I wanted to figure out a way that I could hang them without anything showing.  I wanted to hang them just like a picture frame.  I decided I could use picture wire but I needed a strong adhesive to attach it to the ceramic plate.  It briefly crossed my mind to use hot glue, but I knew I needed something strong (I didn't want these plates crashing to the ground!)  So, I decided to use Epoxy adhesive.  (I later learned about the disk adhesive plate hangers, but they are a couple bucks each and since I was hanging several plates, the Epoxy was much more cost effective.)
I knew the Epoxy would be a good, strong adhesive that would stick well to the ceramic.  I couldn't find my picture wire so I decided to use some craft cord (you could use ribbon, picture wire would probably work well.)  The cords were actually a bit of a pain since they sort of had a mind of their own...
Anyway, I mixed up the Epoxy adhesive per instructions on the packaging.  I wore a mask since I am pregnant and this stuff puts off some fumes.  You would want the area you are working in to be well ventilated.  Also, I recommend using gloves because you don't want to get this stuff on your skin. 
I dabbed the Epoxy on the back of the plate and attached the cord like this:

It's hard to see where the adhesive is since it is clear but you need a dab on each end and then I made sure the cord was covered on the top just to make sure it wouldn't pull out.  You will want to place the cord/ribbon/wire right on that 'edge' so the plate will hang flat against the wall.
Let the adhesive set per instructions, I think mine said it was cured after an hour.

For hanging the plates, I would highly recommend using a template!  It makes hanging the plates so fast and easy.  It took me no more than 5 minutes start to finish to hang the plates using my template and I did not have to pull out any nails or re-position any plates!
Your template does not need to be perfect, just make sure the dimensions are correct.

Place your papers where you think you want the plates and step back to look.  Move them as needed till you have the perfect placement.
Then, just place a nail where each paper is hung, then remove the paper and hang your plate!

Yay, no ugly prongs sticking out! 

By the way, all my plates came from thrift stores and the dollar store and I paid no more than $1 each.  The Epoxy was just under $4 so for just over $10, I have awesome decor for our newly decorated space! 

All photos taken by Kristen (blog author) unless otherwise stated. Do not copy/save or print without permission. Thank you!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pregnancy...the Second Time Around.

It seems so long ago since I was pregnant with my first baby, although it was just a little over 2 years ago.  Things are so much different this time around.  I'm already a mommy.  I've "been there done that" as far as pregnancy and delivery goes.  Strangely, all that doesn't prevent nervous feelings, questions and worries from entering my mind just like they did the first time I was pregnant.  Some are different worries, like how will I love another child like I love my firstborn?  and some are the same worries and concerns I had with my first pregnancy like what if something goes wrong? 
I'm pretty much what you would call a "worry wart" and have also been known to have some hypochondriac tendencies.  Example:  Years ago, I had a dull, recurring pain in my side and I convinced myself if was cancer (go ahead, laugh it up...)  Even with my first pregnancy, I experienced ligament pain early on and was sure I had an ectopic pregnancy.  Obviously I didn't since I have a beautiful 2 year old boy but that's just an example of how I can let my thoughts run wild and play tricks on me.  I am really trying to be better this time and not read, research and worry so much. 
But besides the fears about the health of my baby and the pregnancy, I think about how a new baby will change our family.  I don't want Hayden to feel left out.  I want him to feel just as special and loved.  He has been the center of our world for two years and soon he will be sharing us with a sibling.  And then there's the new baby...  It's so hard for me to imagine loving another child like I love Hayden.  I know it will happen naturally just like it did with Hayden, but it's still something I worry about.   
And there is of course the question boy or girl?  I can honestly say, I will be perfectly happy with either one!  I would love another boy and I would love a little girl.  Whichever God chooses to bless our family with is fine with me!  I already can't wait to find out.  The suspense is killing me as it did with Hayden.  It seemed like an eternity till we were able to find out the sex when I was pregnant with him.  I'll be honest, I don't know how people who choose not to find out the sex do it, I'm just not that patient! 
This new pregnancy brings lots of questions and uncertainties but also the hope of new life.  New life that will bring untold joy and happiness to our family.  I'm excited for us to take this journey together, the second time around. :)

All photos taken by Kristen (blog author) unless otherwise stated. Do not copy/save or print without permission. Thank you!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Our New Banquette Seating!

Our dining room transformation is finally complete!  Since it has become apparent that moving is not really in our near future, I am working on ways to make this house work better for us.  I decided that I wanted to sell our square dining table, get a round one and build banquette seating in the corner.  Our dining area is small and I thought this configuration would work much better in the space (and look cute, too!)  I was tired of the dark, heavy color scheme I had as well so I planned to really brighten it up with the new decor!  I sold our table for $200 and planned for that to cover most of the cost of the banquette project (wishful thinking...)  Anyway, my awesome hubby beautifully built the banquette himself.  His experience working in a cabinet shop definitely came in handy for this DIY project!  I hope to eventually post a how-to about building it, although I may have to let Jeff write it since he was the builder ;)  Anyway, here is a before and after of what our dining room looks like.  It now has more of a 'breakfast room' feel to it but I wanted something more casual so it works perfect.  We don't really have a need for a 'formal' dining space right now, maybe in the next house.   So anyway, here goes!

Before: (I keep asking myself what was I thinking? with all the dark colors!)


The table is a craigslist find that is exactly what I wanted!  (The chair is from our former kitchen table that we had when we rented.)
Be watching for a little tutorial on the quick & easy way I hung these plates!

These Ralph Lauren pillows were a bit of a splurge but I used hard earned cash I made from 2nd shooting a wedding! ;)  To me, it was worth it.  I looooooove them and if I would have gotten cheap pillows, it would have looked chincy.  I wanted good, feather pillows and these are nice and durable which is important for this space since people will be sitting against/on them!

My hubby did such a great job on building the banquette!!  I will show more details later but they open up and have storage inside (which I desperately need!)  I made the cushions.  They aren't perfect but they will do!

Just for fun, a few more after pics (of the. same. thing.) 

I'm not really thrilled with how our chandelier looks in the space now, but I will leave it for now.  Maybe I will find a great deal on one sometime in the future.

I LOVE it!  The space is so much brighter and more casual. 

p.s. I am linking up!

Thrifty Decor Chick's Before and After party!


Somewhat Simple

Inspiration Friday at At The Picket Fence

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

All photos taken by Kristen (blog author) unless otherwise stated. Do not copy/save or print without permission. Thank you!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How I Told Him...

Well, if you're my 'friend' on Facebook, I'm sure you already know the news...We're expecting baby #2!  I was hoping to conceive last month for a few reasons, one of them being so that I would be able to surprise my hubby with the news on our 6th wedding anniversary.  I tested last Thursday (and got a positive!) but kept the news from Jeff until Saturday night when we went to dinner for our anniversary.  It was not easy keeping it a secret since I tell him literally everything but I really, really wanted to surprise him so I made myself keep quiet.   
Finally, I was able to give him my special gift!  We went to Ruth's Chris steakhouse for dinner and after we ordered, Jeff asked if I wanted to exchange cards.  Yes, of course!!! Mine first, mine first! I thought, but I acted cool ;)  We read our cards to each other and I handed him a jewelry box.  (We had agreed to not get each other gifts this year and that we would just go to a nice dinner.)  Jeff immediately felt guilty for not having a gift for me once he saw the box.  I assured him that it wasn't a big deal and encouraged him to open the box!  HE kept saying how bad he felt, I know he thought I got him a watch or something.  It was funny.  Anyway, I finally convinced him to open the box...

As he was opening the box, I started recording with my video camera.  I'm so glad I recorded his reaction.  I love the look on his face when he saw what was inside the box.  Priceless.  I tried to upload said video to this post, but I was having issues.  :(

What a great wedding anniversary!  I'm so thankful for the six years of marriage that God has blessed us with so far and I am especially thankful for the blessing of our growing family! 

All photos taken by Kristen (blog author) unless otherwise stated. Do not copy/save or print without permission. Thank you!