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?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

I'm a guest blogger at Remodelaholic today!  Go check out this awesome blog!!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

our starter home

Our starter home:  The first home I ever lived in apart from my childhood home.  The home that my groom and I spent our first night in.  The home that we intended to live in for just a short time but eventually brought each of our four children home to.  The home that continues to grow and change with us and our needs.  It always comes through for us!  And after nine years, we are still in our starter home!!

We live in a ranch-style home, or a 'rambler'.  Check out this definition from Wikipedia:

The ranch house is noted for its long, close-to-the-ground profile, and minimal use of exterior and interior decoration. The houses fuse modernist ideas and styles with notions of the American Western period working ranches to create a very informal and casual living style.

Yuck, right?  That is NOT how we want our rambler home described!  So we have changed our typical 1950s ranch home into something unexpected.  Our favorite styles include touches of scandinavian, farmhouse, industrial, and modern.  We have made this ranch home of ours into something unique to what we love and who we are.

Some fixer-upper triumphs: my husband added a pergola, a craft room, remodeled our half bath to include a closet, a pantry with a rolling barn door, a remodeled full bathroom, a solution to an awkward greenhouse window in our kitchen, a more appealing and better-functioning laundry room, an updated front entry, walls removed to create more a more open layout, white floors (which included removing tile and sanding the brownish-orangish red-oak shorts, a kitchen island and a desktop of concrete, beams and paneling on the ceiling, plank walls in each bathroom... to name a few!

Everyone loves pictures, right?  Let me give you a mini-tour of what we have done with the place.

 50cent Ikea brackets

(before and after)

big boy and baby girl shared bedroom
(once upon a time... a chicken crate)

 Some ranch homes have an awkward 2nd entry way.  This is what we do with ours!  Play area!

 Behind the sofa is a very large map of Paris!

 The wreaths are seasonal:)
We have our tv tucked behind an old apothecary cabinet.

(before and after)

Some of the annoying quirks of ranch houses: Our home is limited in closet space. We've had to add closet systems to maximize the use of our closets.  And in our master bedroom, we actually bought a bed with storage below to make up for the lack of space in our closets.  Also notice the  rectangular rooms.  Especially in our living room, we are limited to where our furniture can be placed.  In a ranch, there are lots of walls but few corners which are always helpful for placing furniture. Another quirk is that our natural lighting is limited (restricted!) to a each room.  Each room has a window or two but because of all of the walls, the sunlight that sometimes fills the kitchen with light doesn't necessarily fill our living room (which is partially why we chose to paint the floors white).  As is typical with most other ranch homes, the entire house has low ceilings (upstairs and downstairs). We also have radiant heat which means that we have to work around that!  In our living room we installed an air conditioning system to cool the upstairs since central air would cost us almost 10 grand.  We continually have to think outside the box to make this house 'work'.

So how can you make your home your very own?!  Add character everywhere!  Be detailed, search flea markets for unique items (or buy up wherever your flare is).  Add pieces that are the best bang for your buck.  Be as frugal as you need to be.  If you can't buy whatever you want, then splurge on items that'll have the biggest impact.  And just improvise everywhere else.  Find things you love and display them.  Collect but don't hoard, showcase things but don't let spaces collect clutter.

If you're in your first home and it's the 'starter-home' type, chances are you need to design on the cheap and do-it-yourself....  Don't despair and don't rush.  It takes time but it will be even more gratifying and personalized than if you were able to hire it out (don't get me wrong, if you can afford that, it may also spare you some arguments and stress!)  But if you're like us, you will do it on your own and you will learn some tricks of the trade of DIY.  You will create memories, you will have successes and failures, and it will be so rewarding to make something your own.  We have worked on our house with the entire family, we get the kids involved wherever we can.  Our first home has become reflective of who I am and who our family is.  And your starter home will reflect you too.  And you will be happy!

This is our home!  Unique and ever-evolving to who we are and what we do.  We are always on the lookout for our 'forever home' or 'forever lot' to build on.  But until then, here we are and here we truly live.