Thursday, June 4, 2015

decorating with nature

I like moss.  So do my kids.  And we love to go on hikes in the woods.  It feeds our addiction of collecting different mosses.  At first, this is what we did with our humble moss collection:
Simple enough.

My daughter then found a large moss carpeted piece of bark and we did this:
And then our moss collection had suddenly grown to this:  

With four kids and a husband that loves rocks, outdoor elements are always making their way indoors!  My kids had this setting here one day: bark filled with acorns, twigs, and stones, so I put our bird S+P shakers into it.  It made them happy!  They like to decorate too!

 And this moss sprig was found at a store and I dressed up our simple dining room chandelier.  It makes me happy!

And if concrete is considered natural and outdoorsy, well we've got a lot of that going on too!  This is a little tea light candle 'votive' that I made.  My first diy concrete project!

So do you bring the outdoors in and use it in decorating your house?!  I hope I'm not the only one because it's a lot of fun and keeps the decor timeless!

Monday, May 11, 2015

room makeover in 5 simple steps

Are you STUCK in a RUT?  It happens to everyone... at least that's what I tell myself!  People ask me, 'How can I update my space without spending a lot of money but still create a change that I'm happy with'.  My answer usually consists of just 5 SIMPLE STEPS:

1.  PILLOWS!  New pillows can instantly excite a boring room.  Either buy a few or make some new covers with a favorite fabric if you're handy like that.  Watch for them to go on sale or sometimes ordering online gives you a discount and free shipping.

2.  ADD ACCESSORIES!  Above, I added a simple vase with flowers and placed it in a grouping.  It added height to the space and pulled together some of the other natural materials that I used in this space.  Watch the clearance racks for accessories, many times stores seem to change these out more regularly.  And just because something is clearanced or at the thrift store doesn't mean it's no longer attractive!

3.  NEW LAMPS!  I feel like many times when I go into a home, the lamps often catch my eye because they are outdated.  Since lamps are a source of light and volume, they are a focal point.  Which means if you don't love it, it should be replaced or redone!  If purchasing a new lamp base and shade is out of your budget, try repainting the base or wrapping it with twine, and replace only the shade.

4.  END TABLES!  Another item that is easily outdated in many of our homes.  Again, watch for sales of tables, search flea markets, and thrift stores, or build your own.  There are so many great websites for how to build tables.  Or the most frugal thing you can do: anchor a floating shelf on the wall (a corner would work great!) either with our without brackets (make sure it's done properly!)  But the very easiest solution: go to Target!

5.  A GALLERY WALL!  Haul out any/all picture frames and group them together on the wall.  They can be mismatched or painted to be uniform.  Research groupings and recreate the look that appeals to you most.  This gives a space a great focal point and is something that'll stay fresh as you can change it up as you please either with the photos or  non-photo items.

These 5 steps can easily be incorporated for $250 or less (much less if you're frugal and creative!) but give you a whole new atmosphere.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

This Girl's Carpenter

So initially this blog came to existence out of my passion for home design!  I love taking things to a whole new state of being and it has been so fun to see over time how our home has evolved, embarrassing at times, but so worth it!

My husband is an incredible, humble, mostly patient :), troubleshooting, design-loving, driven, creative, talented man who can accomplish anything he puts his mind to!  When I married him and we settled into our new home, I was inspired!  And encouraged!  And his newest student!  He taught me the difference between a phillips screwdriver and a flathead and the next thing I knew, I was hanging board and batten on the walls!  Home design is one of the things that has completely bonded and solidified our relationship!  And we have so much fun incorporating more of our ideas into our average ranch/rambler home.

So it only seemed natural for me to incorporate my carpenter husband into the name of my website: Girl Meets Carpenter.  But do you know what the irony is?  This isn't about us at all!

Allow me to introduce you to another carpenter that I'm desperately in love with:

Jesus Christ!!

Do you know Jesus?  Oh how I hope you do and pray you will!  Well, Jesus is the Son of God!  Seriously!!  He came to earth as a baby, born of a virgin (Luke 2).  He grew up in a poor household with two earthly parents and siblings but something set him apart from all the rest.  He was and is perfect, blameless, spotless.  And when he was of working age, do you know what he was?!  A Carpenter!!  He worked alongside his earthly father whom I assume taught him in the ways of carpentry.  And although it's only briefly mentioned in the Bible, I am pondering what it meant for Jesus to be a carpenter.

Something that I'm always trying to be mindful of is that I don't place too much value in material things.  Let's face it: designing is concrete: it's possessions, it's stuff.  Sometimes I really struggle with this love-affair of mine with design... is it vain?  Is it really that important to want and desire the things around me to be beautiful?

But then I read that Jesus was a carpenter.  What might that mean?  It means he had to pay attention to details, it means he had to work hard, it means he had to learn the ways of carpentry, it means that he took something ordinary and hammered, chiseled, sanded rough edges, polished, and created something beautiful.  It was an extremely skilled job.  But He was and is up for the task!

I've known Jesus all my life but only since high school have I really fallen in love with Him.  Jesus has taken this hard, selfish, impossible, wretched, sinful heart of mine and although He's got a lot of building to do yet, He is constantly inspiring, encouraging, teaching....  And it is a labor of His love.  Jesus owes me nothing.  But I owe Him everything.

When Jesus was about 30 years old, he shifted careers.  He began to minister, teach, and lead.  And some people hated him for it.  But he didn't give up on them then and he doesn't give up on us now.  Whether people hated him or even if they accepted Him, they/we are still sinners who fall desperately short of righteousness and therefore, there is no way we can enter the presence of a perfect Father God in Heaven.  Unless there is a bounty paid for the cost of our sin.  There was and is nothing we could do to save ourselves.

So Jesus sacrificed himself.  Jesus was brutally crucified for us (Luke 23.26).  The same hands that worked so hard, that healed many, that praised God were nailed to a cross.  Only for us.  While we were sinners.

Jesus died there on that cross.  For me.  For you.

But that wasn't the end.  In order for death and sin to be defeated, Jesus had to become master over it.  Jesus Christ rose from the dead 3 days later.  I know it sounds crazy but it is the truth.  This was over 2000 years ago and people are still talking about it.  Jesus appeared to many people after his resurrection.  And about 40 days later, Jesus was taken up to Heaven.

And there He remains.  He has left us with the Holy Spirit which is what inspires, encourages, and continually teaches us.

And do you know what Jesus is doing once more while He awaits our reunion with Him in Heaven?  He's doing carpentry work!  He's preparing a place for those of us who believe in Jesus, who admit that we are sinners, and commit our lives to Him!  And I believe that Jesus himself is putting the finishing touches on our heavenly home!

This is my Carpenter.  My first love.  My Savior and my God!  And as long as He is creating, beautifying, and working, I want to be doing the same, for his glory.  All the while, inspiring others, encouraging others, and teaching what I'm also learning.

When this Girl met this Carpenter, she was never going to be the same!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

paint markers, oil dispensers, spice jars... oh my!

Paint Markers!!!  Ever use one?  Well, you should!  The possibilities are endless!
I've used it before on coffee mugs. You draw on a mug and then bake it in the over to make the paint stay on.  This is a Harry Potter themed mug that I made for my husband for a stocking stuffer :) 
So lately, I've been trying to use more vinegars in my cooking and am trying to avoid packaged spices and instead, making my own.  So I had some bottles to put to use.  I polished off ;) a few of these wine bottles:
I cleaned them out real good, of course, and just tore off the label from the front.  Of course those labels don't usually come off nicely so I actually just jotted down the ingredient on the paper that was left stuck on!  I was actually kind of hopeful that all of the wrappers would stay on as well as the bottle shown in the picture below with the balsamic vinegar!  Then I shoved a pour spout on top and viola! - a slightly more attractive bottle.

Easy Peesy!  Although I'm actually thinking that I'll be doing this all over again with different wine bottles because I don't care for my handwriting AND for once in my life, I was ok with the label staying somewhat attached to the bottle but of course, just this once, two of them peeled off without much residue left behind!  

Then I hauled out these IKEA spice jars that I've been meaning to fill for far too long.  They're super cheap and I'll be back for fifty more because I love the look and ease of them!  I filled them with the spices I use most often, and put my paint marker to use once more.

Then I took a couple of these little spoons that come with the tea I occasionally buy: I strapped a couple of them onto the spice jars and tied some white twine to the lip where the lid sits and it actually stays put nicely!
It's the little things :)  And look at that salt!  Ok, maybe it's hard to tell but it's PINK!  It's Himalayan salt which is supposed to be better for you.  Anyway, it tastes better and it's so purdy!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

inspiration boards

Wow... my interior design course is keeping me busy and I was so hoping to stay on top of blogging.  So for now, here are some more moodboards that I've been submitting.  Hope they inspire you :)



Living Rooms:

Thursday, February 5, 2015

design styles

Mood-boards.... ever make them?  Well I never had but I'm taking a course in Interior Design and wow, I've been having to make a lot of these lately!!  Really excited to start another project either in my own home or in someone else's!  Here's a collection of some of my inspiration boards on different Design Styles:

'Classic Contemporary':

 'New York':
 'Shabby Chic':

 I am learning so much already... like, who knew that 'funky' is actually classified as a design style?!  As if I didn't already feel like I would burst if I didn't use any of this creative energy I have and am not always able to utilize, now with school taking up my {limited} free time, I just might explode!!  Getting way too many ideas! Do you have any favorite design styles?  Do any of these boards appeal to you?