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It is time to decorate for the spring and summer months and that makes me so incredibly happy. Its time for brighter colors and fresher textures!

Last year, I posted a tutorial on how I spray painted some fish tank coral toys and made it into faux Pottery Barn-style coral. Beth from Home Stories from A to Z was the one who started it all for me and I am so grateful for her original post! Check it out for a great way to spruce up your home for very little money.

(I would like to apologize in advance – my picture-taking and posting skills were lacking last year so please excuse those and instead, enjoy the ideas for your spring/summer decorating in 2012!)

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I am so excited about my first guest post! Emily at Main Street Chic asked me to contribute to her series, 5 Things I Love. I like this series because you get to see a little glimpse inside who the person is by showing just five favorite things from around the home. Families and friends are a given – these five things go a little further and are just for fun! Be sure to visit Emily’s site and show her some love. Thanks for asking me to do this Emily!

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Grass cloth wallpaper on a ceiling sounds so weird…until you see this amazing master bedroom that Emily Clark recently did!

Here is the master bedroom before. Not a whole lot of life or room to work with so the remaining furniture was rearranged, new pieces were brought in and a lot of color and texture was added!

Check it out – amazing, right? The bold ceiling with that pendant is definitely my favorite. My first thought? Bless the wallpaper installer’s heart! Painting a ceiling is bad enough, much less trying to wallpaper it.

I love that the bed is in the same place yet looks completely different! The upholstered headboard is a great choice – much softer and prettier to me.

Emily painted this piece and is perfect for more storage and a great console for the TV. You know I’m digging that orange too, aren’t you? 🙂

You have to go to Emily’s site to check it all out! I love following her blog and seeing the designs she has for her new house, as well as her clients’ homes. Her blog format is one of my favorites – a lot of home style with a little personal info as well (she’s pregnant with twins!).

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Holiday Linky Parties

Ruh, roh…it is almost that time where I forget to breathe and sleep. I’m completely consumed and 100% overwhelmed with everything Christmas and home, home and Christmas…

These four ladies are absolutely incredible bloggers and people (well…from what I can tell from their blogs/twitter pages at least – hah!). I respect them immensely and love what they post. Their decorations for holiday? Always awesome and jaw-dropping.

I really am so excited for another year of Christmas linky parties but I can already feel my heart beating faster and my mind racing too quickly! It is a fun challenge to see what new ideas I can create and helps me to think outside of the ‘what was displayed in the Pottery Barn catalog’ box. The stupid, ugly, green jealousy monster has a tendency to rear its ugly head though when I see what other bloggers have posted. Ridiculous, I know!

I want to be better, do better and just want to be liked. In the world of home blogs and the Internet in general, this just isn’t possible. My goal this year is to enjoy doing every project, putting up every strand of lights and to just live the Christmas season. I got too consumed with this ‘stuff’ last year to have fun and relax, so this year? Mix up another hot tottie Santa, Laura is ready to play!

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Design Sponge at Home

I added another item to my Christmas Wish List board on Pinterest! The Design Sponge at Home book looks so good with tons of inspiration and I would love to have this at home for reference and help with my design style.

I have seen previews for this book and the reviews all sound really great. I’ve been keeping tabs on Grace through Twitter, just hoping she’s coming to OKC for a signing! I would love to meet her and hear any advice she has for DIY and blogging.

If you already have a copy, I would love to hear your thoughts and reviews of the book! Also, if you haven’t visited the website yet, check out Design Sponge online here.

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A new online magazine came out yesterday and I love it! House of Fifty is the brainchild of Janell who also runs the blog Isabella & Max Rooms. This was the premiere issue and includes some serious eye candy!

I am so in love with the white tin ceiling and glass chandelier on the right!! Gorgeous. This was my favorite section because I am definitely feeling white right now. I love the bright white, muted white and gray white.

The design of this clothing store is unreal. It doesn’t even feel like your normal retail location. The bubble lights above the cashier table are so fun! I’m now looking for a spot in our house to mimic this look.

There is even a section about fashion and they feature my favorite – sandals in all styles and colors! Bring it, warm weather.

My pantry is driving me nuts right now and this gives me some serious inspiration and ideas! You have to go online and see these pages up close. I love the jars with the chalkboard labels for dry goods and the drawers with chalkboard fronts so you can easily access entertaining good. Brillant!

After only one issue, House of Fifty is my new favorite magazine!

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For our anniversary, I gave Conner two presents to represent the leather and metal aspects of the traditional anniversary gifts. I gave him a set of monogrammed cufflinks (metal) and a customized canvas (leather). This is the story of an almost craft fail turned DIY Subway Art.

My idea started when I saw Ashley from Lil Blue Boo and her New Year’s resolutions subway art. I loved it and immediately thought this would be perfect as a gift for Conner! I wanted to make this using the song that Conner played while proposing to me as well as our first dance after our wedding. It is Ben Harper’s, “Forever,” and now one of my favorite songs ever.

Ashley made the wood frame that she used but I wanted to shortcut that step and used a 30″ x 40″ canvas instead. I had a 40% off coupon to Hobby Lobby so this canvas was $46.99 but I paid $28.19! I wanted the thickest they had so it would look like her frame and wouldn’t be flimsy on the wall.

I followed all of her steps. I wrote out the song lyrics using PowerPoint, adjusting the text as necessary to fill the space from left to right evenly and then took it to Kinko’s to blow up to the size I needed. It was only $6 so I thought I was doing great for this project! I went home, used spray adhesive I already had and sprayed the paper to contact paper I also had on hand. I cut the large paper into strips and then marked off where I would need to line up the words.

In Ashley’s piece, she only had several lines with a lot less words and the letters were a lot thicker than mine. I cut only one line of text and it took me 25 minutes! I also had a nasty claw and couldn’t move my right hand for a minute because I had been gripping the scissors for so long, making such little cuts. I was exasperated and frustrated. I had 24 more lines of text to cut and then adhere to the canvas before spray painting it several times and pulling the letters back up to expose the white canvas underneath – no way was this going to be a feasible project! On to plan B…

Luckily I remembered the You Are My Sunshine painting that I had wanted to knock-off a long time ago. Perfect!! This is exactly what I needed to do with my supplies I had on hand.

I spray painted the canvas with two coats of Rustoleum’s Winter Grey spray paint.

I used a pen and with a light mark, measured down the length of the canvas and made marks to allow for each line of text. I held the yardstick on each of the lines and used my white paint pen to write each line of the song, making sure the words were straight thanks to the yardstick. The first line wasn’t my best. The last word is crowded together. I love Oprah and her ‘ah-ha’ moments…I had my own and started using my original pre-cut strips to help guide my words from left to right. It was perfect! I knew how much space I had and what I should be writing and where.

Love it! Once I was finished writing the words, I used some antiquing glaze and started just rubbing it on and rubbing it off at random. You can definitely see a line of glaze in this picture, that was not intentional at all. I think this will take some tweaking over time. Is anyone ever completely happy with how something like this turns out? Maybe I’m alone in the fact that I always go back and change ‘just one more thing.’

I had made this to put in our bedroom but after hanging it, hated it on the wall! The colors were way too similar so I went (again) to plan B and moved it to the hallway outside of our room.

So much better!! I really want to start a gallery wall of pictures, fabrics, etc so this piece will be a great starting-off point. (Please note the boob light will go, the ceilings will be painted white and crown molding will be added in due time. These three things are on my never-ending to-do list!)

Here is another close-up of our new artwork on the hallway wall. I love that we can see this as we go into our bedroom. It is so special to me and I was so happy to make it for Conner since he chose this song for us. I hope this art helps us remember how special the song is!

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