Friday, August 01, 2014

Tales of a Tract Home: Getting the Keys and Closing

I'm happy to announce that we have closed on our home and took possession of the keys yesterday. I'm excited to make this home our own. I thought you'd like to see a few of the "before" photos of our place. Below are the photos with some thoughts on how I can make it mine.

The faux finish on the walls MUST go. Lighter colors and new flooring. New lighting as well.

New flooring. New lighting. and eventually painting the cabinets white. Yep. Seriously.

Go with lighter colors. Take out the bathtub steps and enclose the very exposed toilet.

This one made me laugh. Eggplant paint colors on the wall (and ceiling). Again, lighter colors, but the rest of the bathroom looks great.

Remove ALL of the brown carpet. Yuck. And then paint over this sunny wall. I don't mind the neutral tan, however.

These are just a few photos of what the home looked like previously. Would you believe it used to have a salon and tanning bed in the basement at one point? I love seeing how one person transforms it to fit their personal style.

While I'm feeling overwhelmed at the thought of moving again, it's going to be an amazing experience. Looking forward to making it more "ours" over the next few years.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Ikea Summer Catalog Launch Party

There's nothing like going to the mailbox only to discover the brand spankin' new Ikea catalog inside. It's like a wish book for grown-ups, filled with inspiring room designs and products designed to help your home and family run more smoothly.

Imagine my excitement when I had the opportunity to attend my local Ikea for their "Summer Catalog Launch Party." Seeing as Ikea is one of my favorite inspiration field trips, I was totally on board and couldn't wait to check out their newest products.

We all arrived at Ikea bright and early with people waiting to enter as early as 8:45 a.m. I appreciated that Ikea offered tickets for families with children who wanted to attend. Always a great place for a family outing, I was happy to see that children were allowed and encouraged. The crowd began to grow after 9 a.m. and soon there were almost a hundred people waiting to get in.

Upon the doors opening, we were ushered into the main entry of the store where event hosts Tauni Everett and Ikea Ambassador Celeste welcomed us to the event. Each blogger received an Ikea gift card, and a coveted Ikea bag filled with some of Celeste's favorite Ikea products. Celeste shared the new catalog with us and told us to watch for some of their new products on the second floor of the store (including a few new rooms that were still in the process of being set up).

Before shopping we were served a delicious breakfast of sausage, eggs, bacon, french toast, pastries, and fruit. I had the opportunity to sit with Tauni from SNAP! who happens to be dating my cousin (small world), Jen Hadfield from Tater Tots and Jello, and Ruthie from a popular cooking blog (she laughed that the microwave is my favorite kitchen tool). It was interesting to hear how long the girls have been blogging and to take a few photos with them. It is always amazing to meet other people from the blogging community. They are kind and open and helpful. I guess it's just nice to be with people who "get it."

After breakfast I wandered the store to look for items for our new home. Honestly I was kind of overwhelmed with all the ideas and decided to just focus on a few items that I knew that I wanted. The boy has requested a "juicy blue" bedroom. It turns out that means a cobalt blue bedroom. Now that is a very strong color, and I'm trying to find a way to both incorporate it but also tone it down a bit so he doesn't tire of it too quickly. So we're compromising with a navy and cobalt bedroom. I found a few things that could work including this fun print of Hong Kong in just the "juicy blue" he's been wanting.

I also loved the new cover option on the popular EKTORP chair and sofa. A soft, greige linen finish, it looks both woodsy and natural. I would love to incorporate a few of these chairs into my design somehow:

I was more than a little worried when I heard Ikea was discontinuing the popular EXPEDIT shelving units. As a crafter, I own several of these; and I mourned the loss of these fantastic pieces when the announcement was made. However, not to worry! Ikea has created an entirely new shelving unit called KALLAX which has the same interior dimensions but uses slightly thinner pieces of wood on the exterior of the shelves. One trend this year is the introduction of bright and bold colors to this collection. If you're looking for a pop of color for your home, check out some of these options:

 (this shelving unit is a very light mint green)

While I only left with a few new pillows, including two "juicy blue" ones, I already have several concepts for updating areas in our new home. I can't wait to return with my husband's truck and fill up with some fabulous new furniture.

I want to thank Ikea and SNAP! for the amazing opportunity to see the new catalog and the new product releases up close. I feel inspired and can't wait to get decorating.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Diary of a Memory Keeper #7: To Crop or Not To Crop

In this week's scrapbooking vlog video, I'm discussing how I feel about attending crops. Are you someone that prefers to be in the company of other scrapbookers when documenting your memories? Or do you prefer to work alone at home? Or do you like it both ways?

You can watch my preferences in this video, which you can watch HERE on my Youtube channel or below:

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this subject in the comments section below. Do you have events that you attend that you'd recommend to others? How about sharing a link below.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Tales of a Tract Home: In Search of Craft Room Solutions!

Ok, blog readers and followers. I need your help. As we prepare to close on our home this month, I'm faced with an exciting new challenge: setting up a new craft space. The problem? It's a bonus room space with peaked roofs, and it's totally throwing off my design mojo.

I'd like to hear your suggestions on how to set up a space like this. Have you decorated a bonus room space before? How do you deal with the lower walls? How do you deal with no space to hang things on the wall? Where do you place your desk?

I've started a Pinterest board with scrapbook spaces HERE. But I've only found a few spaces with roof lines like this. That's where you come in. I'd love to hear what has worked for you or what you think will work.

We are most likely changing out the flooring and the paint. I'm thinking laminate for the flooring and a lighter color on the walls. But what would you do?

Leave your suggestions in the comments below, and help a girl out!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Save BIG on Some Very Cool Classes!

I've been reading several posts online about the desire to find something to help jump start your creativity. Nothing jump starts my creativity like inspiration from designers who "get it!" Today ONLY you can save 25% off almost every class in the Layout a Day store HERE. You'll find classes from popular teachers like Shimelle Laine, Nichol Magourik, and Jennifer McGuire.

Use the coupon code "HOHOHO" when checking out for the 25% off savings!

Click HERE to view this class.

Topics range from how to use washi tape, to stamping, to photography, to digital scrapbooking. There really is something for everyone.

Click HERE to view this class.

Click HERE to view this class.

With classes starting at $9.99, the additional savings allows you to pick more than one self-paced class to take at a time.

Here's a little video to introduce one of the classes that I created:

Click HERE to view this class.

Find more options HERE in the Layout a Day store. Use the coupon code "HOHOHO" when checking out for the 25% off savings!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Webster's Pages Scrapbook Guest Designer

I was thrilled to be asked to Guest Design for the beautiful Webster's Pages "Our Travels" collection. I requested this collection because I adore Adrienne Looman's beautiful designs and wanted to document some of my recent travels.

Here are the projects that I created for them using this gorgeous travel collection:

You can find additional Webster's Pages projects HERE on their blog and all of their lovely items HERE on their website.