winter brightness + beauty

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When I began my 20’s, I always assumed once I graduated college, I’d be out of here. Guess it didn’t quite turn out that way, but in the words of Mumford & Sons, “I will learn to love the skies I’m under“. I’d like to think that I am where I need to be right now, but I hold on hope that a new adventure lies ahead of us soon. In the spirit of embracing where I am {and on a snow day, even! while listening to Sigur Ros, the perfect snowy music} I will share some pretty winter touches in our house.

Up above we have our Ikea-inspired winter forest art that Mr. M and I made. One of the perks of having a long, cold winter is that it gives us extra time for creative projects. I helped M sketch the design and cut out the template and he cut out and sanded the forest out of simple white-coated masonite. We even found two LED stick lights that go behind it to light up at night and bring out the shadows. I love it.

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One of my favorite estate sale finds last year was this linen snowflake embroidered dresser cloth. Each snowflake is so delicately sewn. I have realized that I honestly would miss winters without snow. Obviously it gets old and annoying eventually, but it’s so charming and sparkly some of the time. Having a puppy that adores playing in it is another plus. See, I am trying to make the most of this place, this climate. Makes it a little more bearable.

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Some more estate sale + flea market finds to brighten up our winter days. That flowered tray is actually a gift from my parents from a flea market adventure they had in Denmark. It’s my special little treasure. The tiny vintage cardinal print reminds me of my Grandpa–they were his most favorite birds. The blanket was handmade by M’s Grandma and it happens to be Ollie’s favorite cuddle blanket.

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The tiny wooden snowflakes were a Christmas gift from M’s parents. So pretty. That mini credenza has a story of its own that may involve a journey from the Jersey Shore (um, not the show!!) all the way to Wisconsin.

So there you have it. Our cozy winter home. And now I must admit I am ready for Spring…

finding a new use

chevron table, originally uploaded by ordinarymoment.
M used his skills to paint us this tiny table for our icy beverages while relaxing on the porch.
He took off the old tabletop from an Ikea table I had, bought an inexpensive table round from Menard’s, then used our leftover paint from the map project to paint a fun, bold pattern.
Can’t wait till next season when we can spend more time in our new hang out spot.

a great lakes solution

lakemichiganpainting, originally uploaded by ordinarymoment.

Our last challenge while finishing our porch remodel this past summer was figuring out a way to cover the large, dirty, paint-peeling window looking into our garage on that long stretch of white siding. We didn’t want to spend hours sprucing up a window to nowhere, so we decided a big piece of art was needed to break up all that white space. We went through a few ideas and settled on a huge depth painting of Lake Michigan, which is two blocks away from our house. Inspired by this etsy card by Crafterall on Pinterest, showing a papercut topography map of the lake, we went about beginning our giant masterpiece. M built a simple frame large enough to cover the window, then I helped him stretch some canvas we had over the frame. He used a projector to trace the outline and I chose monochromatic blues to paint a simplified version of the depths. We bought inexpensive paint samples from Lowe’s for the paint. After we let it dry it was hung over the window to hide the ugliness and bring a big pop of graphic color + design to our relaxation space.
Tomorrow I will share another little project we did using the leftover paint.

you are beautiful, my sweet, sweet song

music to my ears, originally uploaded by ordinarymoment.

Oh, how I love music. A constant in my life I could never be without. It has saved me, and comforted me, and carried me through trials. It’s brought me joy + bliss and given me goosebumps. I think of my very best memories, and there it was. How rich it makes our lives.
I am pretty sure I lived through my teenage years with headphones permanently attached to my head. Laying on the floor, finger on the record button just waiting for that amazing song to come on the radio. Mix tapes, staying up past my bedtime to listen to my favorite band being interviewed, secret late night taping sessions of music videos on mtv. The thrill of going to shows, seeing your adored music in person. In college, spending what little money I had on a new album at Atomic every week. Long walks, discman in hand, beautiful music to accompany me for hours as I thought + tried to figure out all the challenges of growing up. Road trips to hear the best music, my favorite past time. So many adventures, so much happiness. All from the simplicity of music.
How it has helped me through heartbreak + change + uncertainty. Just knowing someone else out there has felt the same way, turning their sorrows into beauty. Sharing the beautiful moments of life through a song, a melody. Taking that risk of putting yourself out there, hoping others will live better by your words, your notes. Music has healed me, helped me to understand, brought me through my difficulties. I have always appreciated genuine music, how it connects you to the person who wrote it, catching a glimpse into their lives. I love simple, beautiful music. Harmonies, strings, perfect words. It calms me after long + busy days, makes life so much fuller. Some of the most incredible days of my life were spent at shows, being blown away, having my soul filled + overwhelmed with the beauty of a song. So, to all the amazing musicians out there, thank you. Keep sharing your thoughts, your songs. It means so much to so many. It gives us hope, a way to go on. It brings joy + makes our days brighter. You are a blessing and you make life so much greater. Thank you.

simple inspirations

Once again, I decided to take on the Pinterest Winter Challenge over at Young House Love. It’s great to actually create something you were inspired by rather than merely collecting appealing images. I pinned this tutorial ages ago, detailing how to use fancy paper to pretty-up your light switch covers. I just used mod podge, scrapbook paper, an exacto knife, and foam brush to complete the transformation. It was super fast + easy and the perfect finishing touch for our newly remodeled bathroom. I like how the pattern on the light switch complements the leaves in the shower curtain without looking too matchy-matchy. Such a great almost-instant fix!
I’m going to post more photos of our complete bathroom transformation, skillfully crafted by the Mister himself (and some help from his Dad!).  It’s been finished since fall, but sometimes I still just stand and stare at all its’ awesomeness.

Fall Inspired Leaf Print

leaf print, originally uploaded by ordinarymoment.

Another Pinterest Challenge project, from younghouselove.com. Inspired by the colors + leaves of autumn, and this, this, and this image from Pinterest, I carved a simple leaf stamp and printed it onto cardstock with gradating ink in fall colors. The beauty of printmaking is you can make multiple copies, so I created four cards to give to some special family members whose birthdays were quickly approaching. I still get excited every time you first peel back your stamp from the paper. Simple, instant (well, after you’re done carving anyway), fun! I so enjoy sharing my creations with my nearest + dearest.
And I so adore this time of year…stay tuned for some more fall inspired photos.

vintage embroidery turned art

vintage embroidery, originally uploaded by ordinarymoment.

Indeed, I have a soft spot for vintage linens + embroidery. Imagining whose hands lovingly created the dresser scarf, tea towel, hankie to give to their dear ones. The time, the stitches, the joy. A beautiful, simple creation still living on for a new generation to discover + cherish. Handcrafted treasures lasting through the ages. And so I stretch these sweet bluebirds over a canvas, to be enjoyed anew as a work of art. It makes me smile.  A lot!

Time to create

pinterest challenge project phase 1, originally uploaded by ordinarymoment.                                                                                                                                                                                                            
One of my favorite parts of summer is the extra, uninterrupted time for creative pursuits. We needed some bright, large art to hang in our living room and when I came across this Pinterest challenge over at Young House Love, I decided to go for it. In case you were wondering, Pinterest is an amazing, addicting site where you “pin” inspiring images to virtual bulletin boards, where you can then browse through later for ideas + eye candy. It’s pretty fun! So after loving this abstract watercolor, I knew I wanted to do something with bold, flowy paint. I came across this beauty and went from there. Thanks to my Michael’s coupon, I got a three pack of 16×20 Arches watercolor paper for about $7.50. Used the watercolors I already had and spent a blissful afternoon painting away. The finished paintings are currently in the process of being flattened as we speak, then Mr. Matthew will help me build the frames to adhere the paintings to.  I will post another photo of the finished project hanging in our living room. So exciting! Don’t forget to check out the Young House Love project, pretty nifty!