Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Busy Busy Bees

Well, it seems as though 2011 has been busier than we ever expected it to be.  And, unfortunately, our lil 'ol blog has been quite neglected because of it.  Sadly, we haven't had much time to do any projects around the house, however, our "to-do" list is growing everyday.  

See, we are pretty good at starting projects and are really motivated and excited in the beginning, then, when it comes time to do all of the little tedious parts of the project to finish them up (i.e. caulking and painting trim), our project momentum comes to a screeching halt.  We literally got our pantry and closet project done in two days, and the trim has yet to be painted...months and months later (actually probably close to a year).   

So, before we can start any new projects, we agreed that all of our other "little things" needed to get finished. So, if we want to get started on the new deck we have planned to be built by Spring, we have a lot of tedious trim, baseboard, and crown molding painting to do. I guess we'll just have to suck it up and get it done, as much as it hurts.  

It's probably best to do it now, when the weather is ever so cold here in Georgia, and there's very little sunshine to enjoy!  

However, we are still really excited about our plans for our huge deck project that will be used as our outdoor living and dining room that we will be able to enjoy with friends and family during the spring,summer, and fall. We pretty much can't wait, because who doesn't love eating outside? Well, I know we do! 

Now, off to grab my paintbrush and recycled coffee jug (full of paint of course), and get back to painting.  I think I may still be painting a week from now (but, lets hope not).

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snail Mail

Well, it seems as though the new year has started off busy, and it doesn't look like it's letting up anytime soon.  We were prepared for that, though, since the Spring Semester is always hectic. Yep, I still break up my years into semesters.  Since Alan teaches, it's allowed right?  Ever since I left college, I have found it easier to just talk in semesters, it really makes most sense, and for that reason, even when Alan is out of school (one day a long time from now), or he is no longer teaching (another day very very long from now), we will still probably say Spring and Fall semesters, and then, of course, you can't forget Summer. Sorry winter, you're so short down here in South Georgia you no longer get counted as a time of year.

Anyways, Spring semester is a busy one for us in the Hurst Home.  Alan travels ALOT for school in the Spring. He takes his students to science fairs around the U.S.  Yep, last year they went to California.  Color me jealous.  Because I was. Lets just say our calendar is rather stacked in the spring. 

Anyways, this wasn't meant to be a post about how hectic our Spring is going to be, it is to show you a few little changes we have made since 2010 has ended. Once we took down our Christmas tree, I decided we needed to switch things up a bit.  So, I will refresh your memory as to how this corner of our house looked just a month ago

And, here's what it looks like now

We moved the writing desk that lived on the wall by our laundry room to it's new spot under the window.  I had this (sofa table) as my desk in college, then I used it as a dressing table in our bedroom, and finally, it was moved to our living room, where it functions as our bill station, as well as a letter writing desk, because, yes, I still write letters. More like notes really, but I put a stamp on them and drop them in the mailbox, because to me, there's nothing better than getting hand written letters in the mail from someone you love. 

Don't you just love that extension cord for the lamp?  Yep, among other things, our house has a lack of power outlets. Wouldn't it make sense to have one under the window? You would think, but no, the closest outlet is under the other window on the wall on the right.  So, for now, we have ugly cord syndrome that needs to be remedied. 

That little ottoman, which I found at TJ Maxx for $20 is actually a storage ottoman.  It has rods to hold hanging folders, and is where all of our important papers get filed away.

In addition to the desk drawers that house stamps, envelopes, and Thank You cards, the white boxes (from IKEA) hold our receipts and others things worth keeping like business cards and paint swatches we like. 

Did you like our red chair in this corner better?  Well, we found a new home for that too, which we'll share as soon as we get our new reading corner all squared away.  
Check back for some other things that got moved around as well! 
Oh yea, and as promised, the history of us (where we met, how we met, etc) - coming soon.  (Which might only being interesting for anyone who doesn't already know us - sorry friends and family, it might just be good for a laugh or two for you). [Wait, that's always worth it]!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Furry Ones

The other two members of the Hurst household.  Yep, it's not just us two holding down this fort. 
Meet Baxter
and Harley
We adopted sweet Baxter from the Humane Society last November 
and Harley came to live with us awhile back, after living with my parents while I was in college. She waits for me to put these on, so we can enjoy our walks together.
Baxter sleeps
while Harley works on her tan
and, together they keep watch over the neighborhood.
But most of all, they are the sweetest pets.  They make us smile everyday and our house would not be the same without them.
We both had pets growing up, so naturally, our home wouldn't be complete without a few paws running around, and we wouldn't have it any other way. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Recycle your 2010 Calendar

I always have calendars that have some really great pictures or artwork and there was no exception for 2010! Our 2010 calendar had beautiful images of New York City. So, in an effort to recycle some artwork from our old calendar, in this case, a map (I. simply. love. maps), I whipped up these coasters.  Why coasters?

Maybe it is because I am picky, but really, it's simply because we like to do things on the cheap around the Hurst house. I just can't justify spending $20 on coasters that I don't even like. I didn't have any luck finding coasters that actually looked good.  They all had monograms, or weird things that I just didn't care for.  I just wanted something simple to set our drinks on. That's all. Nothing fancy.

After coming across these tutorials and already having some artwork in mind (that aforementioned map) that I could recycle, I knew my best bet was to simply make my own. 

And, let me tell you, they are so easy, and even better, they can be personalized anyway you want. 

Here, you can see my map from the 2009 section of our calendar.

Then, I picked up a few plain white tiles from Lowe's.  I think they were about 18 cents each.  

Next, I did some measuring, and then some cutting.

Next, I glued my map to the tile with Modge Podge and then cut some cork to size (it's actually self adhesive drawer liner). 

After letting the glue dry, I peeled the cork, and placed it on the back of the tile.  Then, I applied a coat of modge podge on top of my map. Once they were good and dry, I then sprayed them with a clear coat of glossy sealer to help protect them.

Since I already had the calendar and modge podge, all I had to buy were the tiles and cork drawer liner. Both of which I found at Lowe's for a total of about $7 and I have enough drawer liner to make a ton (literally, an entire bathroom worth of tile coasters).

I let them dry for a day or so before using them and am really happy with the results.   

They are just what I wanted: simple and inexpensive! (and, I like the way they look much better than any coasters I came across in the stores). Win! Win! Win!

Happy New Year and Thank you for reading! I am thankful for your kind comments, and I hope that you find something here you can use to make your house a home! 

Cheers to 2011!