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Homemade, Sentimental Art

28 Dec

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! We spent ours with my family in Rockford. It was a great holiday other than Ben having the flu for the past week. He’s on the mend now but missed out on some yummy meals.

This blog post is about my favorite Christmas gift this year. Ben surprised me by converting a sign that we made for our wedding into a piece of sentimental art!

Here it is hung in our dining room:


The trees are a pair of Pohutukawas (Native New Zealand trees) that we used throughout the wedding on the invitations, programs, welcome bags, etc.

Here’s what the chalkboard sign used to look like, at the wedding:


We built it with cedar and chalkboard paint, and loved it so much we knew we would keep it and incorporate it into our home somehow.

I kind of forgot about it, so was pleasantly surprised when Ben showed it to me on Christmas. The white trees are actually a sticker that Ben had made from his t-shirt/sign guy. He made some similar ones, just smaller, for the bags set we had made for the wedding. So Ben just painted over the chalk and put on the sticker and viola! A gigantic piece of homemade and sentimental art.

I also like how it helps balance out our large, new light fixture, the Arturo 8 Light Chandelier from Ballard Designs that I wasn’t sold on before but now I love.


It makes me smile. What do you think?

Floors, Doors & More

9 Dec

Sorry for the delay in posts, I have been out of town every weekend for the past 5 weeks (Fiji for 2, Nashville, Miami for a bachelorette party, then Rockford this past weekend). I’m ready to spend some time at home and away from airports for a while.

Even though I’ve been traveling so much, lots has been going on at the house. The big thing being the floors are refinished upstairs! Not without a hiccup of course though. Our plan was to have them all done while we were on our honeymoon since you can’t walk on them for several days during the process. We came home hoping to finally move in upstairs, but they were messed up. There were bubbles throughout the top coat, so we had to wait another week until they were fixed. Meanwhile, we were sleeping in the dining room.

But alas, they are done and look great!

Here’s one of the bedrooms sans furniture.


The stairs:



Here’s a look at them when we moved in.


Stairs- Before

We still need to get new railings for the banister (several are missing), stain and paint them, and clean up the paint on the risers, but we’re almost done. We started hanging frames going up the stairs today too, so I will be back with an update later.

Here is the upstairs hallway now. Doc wanted to be in this photo.


Along with new floors, Ben installed new shoe molding. The old stuff matched the floors so we bought white stuff and painted all the baseboards and trim bright white.


You may notice the doors are missing. That’s because they are all in the basement in a makeshift spray booth getting sprayed with the paint sprayer. It looks pretty funny like a door graveyard.IMG_1989

Ben gave them their first coat today, so we should have them ready soon. Also still need to get new oil rubbed bronze door knobs to replace the shiny brass ones.

On the subject of doors, we scored this 1920’s exterior door yesterday at an architectural salvage yard in Rockford.


We’ll put this on the front of the house and haven’t decided if we will stain it or not. They just don’t make them like this any more. This was only $140 compared to if we tried to buy something like this new it would be $1,000 or more.

We also put the Christmas tree up this week. I love it. I like to switch up the color scheme every year (God bless Ben for letting me), and this year is purple and silver. You like?


IMG_1993And last but not least we welcomed a new family member this week! A new little Tuxedo kitten named Mia.

IMG_2008She is teeny tiny, just 2.5 lbs but were already fattening her up. She is SUPER cuddly and friendly and after a couple of days has warmed up to Doc. Here’s how I caught them in the kitchen today. I’d say they are going to be good friends.


Today we spent all day unpacking the rest of the boxes, hanging picture frames, moving furniture, laying down rugs and getting organized. It’s coming together. I’ll try to do an upstairs house tour soon!








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