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Geometric Canvas Print DIY


Happy Monday Everyone! Lately, I’ve been trying to figure out a simple but unique way to create wall art for our bedroom. I started looking online but only found things that were outside of my price range or were not really my style. This is usually how most DIYs start for me.

A couple of months ago I decided to pick up A Happy Handmade Home by the lovely ladies over at A Beautiful Mess.  If you like giving a personal touch to your projects this book is a great resource to have on hand. 

I do not consider myself to be artistically talented whatsoever so usually the simpler a project is, the better. One of the tutorials in the book – a DIY Picnic Blanket – caught my eye for that reason. With a few modifications to the steps laid out in the book I was able to use it as inspiration to DIY a geometric canvas print that would work for our space

You don’t need a lot of supplies for this project. Some of them you probably already have laying around your house and everything else can be picked up at any of your local craft stores.  The most expensive item will be your canvas.

Geometric Canvas Print DIY

Geometric Canvas Print DIY
Supplies 
  • 1 stretch canvas of any size – I used a 26 x 22
  • Acrylic paint in the color(s) of your choice – these can be the $1.99 ones
  • Small paintbrush
  • Craft foam
  • Scrap cardboard
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Ruler 

Based on the size of your canvas, determine how large you want each of your triangles to be. The canvas I used was 26 inches tall so I decided to make each triangle 2 inches tall and two inches wide.  This would give me 13 total triangles in each column.  

Use your ruler and scissors to measure and cut your triangle stamps out of the craft foam. I decided to cut out two triangles for each paint color to make it a little easier. Glue the stamps securely to the scrap cardboard and let it dry. 

Geometric Canvas Print DIY

Geometric Canvas Print DIY

Before you begin stamping, determine how many columns will fit on your canvas. With a 22 inch wide canvas, I was able to fit six columns with about 1 1/2 inches between each one. I decided to use three different colors so two columns of each color worked out well.

Using your paintbrush, apply a generous amount of paint to your foam stamp and begin applying it to the canvas. It might be helpful to move your ruler alongside the cardboard to keep it in a straight line. Keep reapplying the paint and stamp until you are happy with the design and the coverage on the canvas.

Geometric Canvas Print DIY

As you can see, the triangles didn’t transfer perfectly from the stamps to the canvas. I ended up liking the imperfections (sometimes I’m a little lazy), but if you want a cleaner look and have a steady hand, take your paint brush and fill in the triangles with a little extra paint.

Geometric Canvas Print DIY   Geometric Canvas Print DIY

This project only took about an hour to complete after collecting all of the supplies and could easily be done with different shapes. I love finding a good source of inspiration and putting my own spin on it.

What kind projects did you guys work on this weekend?

Have a great week, everyone! love, adrienne

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Before & After: Old Dresser gets a Modern Makeover


Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

There has always been this part of me that struggles with getting rid of stuff. Sometimes it can be a bad habit, but I will usually try to think of creative ways to bring new life to something that might otherwise be headed for the dumpster. 

So a few months ago, a friend at work told me she was getting rid of some old furniture and asked if I was interested in taking anything. Naturally, my wheels started turning. I started scanning my brain: what was our house missing? Were there any awkward spaces that needed to be filled?

The answer probably should have been no, but of course I came up with something. I mean, why not? She was giving it away – for free guys, come on! I quickly glanced at one of the photos she showed me – an old wooden dresser – and decided that with a little TLC it would make the perfect buffet table in our dining room. In hindsight, I should have looked at the picture a bit closer. This project turned out to be way more time consuming and labor intensive than I thought.  

Anyways, my co-worker and I made plans for her to drop off the old dresser that weekend.  I had conveniently forgotten to mention to Derek that a giant piece of furniture would soon be arriving and he would need to maneuver it up the stairs and into the house. I would be willing to bet that the word “HOARDERS” occasionally flashes across his mind in bright neon letters so I think its better to just surprise him sometimes.

Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

Well, the dresser arrived in all its glory.  And by that I mean, I definitely should have looked at the picture a lot closer because…

HOW WAS I GOING TO SAVE THIS, AGAIN?

Its weird how when you see things in real life they look completely different than how you remember them.  That seems to happen to me a lot. Let’s just pretend like I have a good imagination. In any case, it was too late to go back now and I had already promised Derek he wouldn’t have to lift a finger to help me restore it.

Oops.

As you can probably tell, this thing needed a lot of help.  There were dents and chips in the wood. The front legs looked like they were about to buckle and the decorative wood piece on the bottom was not my style.

For a while it just sat in our dining room. I couldn’t quite figure out where to start.

I usually lean towards the natural wood look, but there were so many chunks missing I finally decided a fresh coat of paint (or four if I’m being completely honest) would go a long way. Since we’re renting and probably won’t be buying a house for another couple years, I decided on a simple glossy white paint that would be easy to match in the future.

Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover   Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

But before we could paint, we had to sand.

And sand.

And sand some more. 

Or should I say, Derek had to sand.

And sand.

And sand some more.  

We filled in the holes from the old hardware with putty and decided to use a hand saw to chop off all four legs and the decorative piece on the bottom. At this point, I still hadn’t figured out how were were going to replace the feet but I was feeling better.

Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

Then came the three coats of Kilz Primer, and the four coats of Valspar Ultra Gloss White Paint. Even though the paint was also a primer, we chose to do the Kilz underneath and the white turned out very bright on the dresser. The whole painting process took a couple of weekends to complete while we waited for the dresser to dry between coats.

Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

At this point, I knew we were nearing the finish line but I wasn’t sure how to replace the legs we had chopped off. I liked the look of the dresser as it was but it was a little on the short side. We bought casters but returned them a couple weeks later. Fortunately, we found some simple legs that were the same size as the stubs sticking off of the dresser. I decided that painting the legs a different color might give the dresser a little more personality, but to keep it simple and clean I chose to do them in a glossy black. Priming and painting the legs only took an afternoon.

Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

Finally, we settled on some new hardware – these knobs for the smaller two drawers, and handles similar to these for the bottom, bigger drawers.

Voila!

Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover   Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

A few words of advice

If you’re  interested in upcycling old furniture, make sure you feel comfortable using an automatic sander or a power drill. It’s easy for these tools to get away from you if you’re not used to them. Make sure you work with someone more experienced who can show you the ropes a little bit. Don’t worry, power tools aren’t my thing either but I’m slowly learning. I would also recommend wearing a pair of safety goggles when working with the power drill and sander, just in case. Especially if you’re clumsy like me.

This was definitely a bigger project than I had in mind when I first said yes to taking the dresser, but I am really happy with how it turned out. There are still some imperfections, but I love the clean lines and classic look of the black and white. Its something different than I usually go for.

I’m on the hunt for my next project, but I think I’ll try to be a bit more selective this time around. I imagine upcycling old furniture is similar to having kids – you forget how painful the process was because what you made was just that AWESOME!

I’m 100% joking.

TOTALLY NOT THE SAME THING!

I hope this gave you guys a little inspiration if there’s a special piece of furniture just squatting around your house. Have a good week everyone! love, adrienne

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Budget Breakdown: November ’14


Budget Breakdown: November '14

Growing up I was always kinda taught that talking about money was a bit tacky. It was one of those topics you avoided on a first date or at a dinner party – right up there next to politics and religion. However, I’ve slowly been discovering this beautiful thing called the personal finance blogging community.  There are incredible stories of everyday people paying down their debt, building emergency funds and saving for a better way of life for themselves and their family. What surprised me most as I first started to visit these sites was how open each person was sharing their journey with the goal of helping others who were in the same situation.

It makes sense. Talking about money shouldn’t be tacky. Bills, budgets, saving for retirement, paying for college – these are things that a lot of us deal with on a daily basis…why shouldn’t we have conversations about them? I think it’s great there is an entire community dedicated to sharing their knowledge on what works, what doesn’t and how to be financially smarter so that bills and budgets don’t swallow us whole.

A good friend of mine is kicking butt over in the personal finance blogging space and was one of the driving factors that inspired me to start a blog of my own and begin tracking my goals, whether financially speaking or in other areas of my life. She and others are paving the way for millennials. The more financially savvy we become, the less time we spend stressing out about making ends meet and the more we can focus on the important things, i.e. family, friends, career development and hobbies we actually enjoy.

That sounds pretty awesome, but easier said than done, right? It usually is.

So while talking about personal budgets still may not be the hottest topic at a dinner party, today I want to start simple and talk about my basic monthly budget.

Background on my own financial history

I wasn’t always the greatest at saving money even from the time I was very young. My allowance always seemed to disappear quite a bit quicker than either of my siblings. As soon as I had six dollars saved up (that was a lot for a ten-year old), I was off to find the nearest Hallmark to pick up another beanie baby to add to my collection. I’m ashamed to say I probably could have paid for my college tuition with the money I spent on beanie babies. That might be a slight exaggeration, but you get the idea. 

Like most of the people I know, I grew up in a middle class family. I never felt like we were hurting for money. We always had everything we needed (and more! I just didn’t realize it when I was younger). If someone were to ask me today, I would say my dad is frugal, but ten years ago I probably would have used the term stingy.

We never had the newest clothes or electronics. We rarely went out to eat and NEVER ate fast food. My friends thought we were weird, and I remember hating going grocery shopping with my dad as a kid. Any junk food I tried to sneak in the cart was immediately put back on the shelf. We were the family that bought pop-tarts WITHOUT icing. Most people don’t even know those exist.

But there was always enough for the things that mattered.

We ate delicious home cooked food, my two siblings and I were always able to play on the sports teams we liked, and my dad was able to substantially help each of us with going to the college of our choice.

Now that I’m older I’ve realized all of decisions and sacrifices he made while I was growing up were the ones that gave me all opportunities I’ve had to be successful.

All of these little things added up to make a big difference.

A little closer to the present

I don’t have any credit card debt and I never have. I’m terrified of it. I probably get that from my dad. Actually, up until this point I’ve only had one credit card that I use two or three times a year just to avoid penalties for not using it. I get stressed and start to sweat a little just reading about other people buried in credit card debt. I recently applied for a travel rewards card to hopefully build up some points to use towards a bachelorette trip next year. I plan to will pay off my balance at the end of each month and refuse to pay a dime in interest. I realize using credit cards can have a lot of benefits if managed correctly so I guess its time to give them a try.

I don’t have any student loan debt. I realize how lucky I am to be able to say this. In the spirit of full disclosure, I worked hard to get a lot of my tuition paid for through scholarships but I also had help from my dad paying off what was leftover in loans. If I could go back I probably wouldn’t have chosen the expensive private university. You can get an equally good education somewhere else for a lot less, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that 18-year-old me was not the best decision maker. If you’re not sure what you want to do career wise, don’t be afraid to take a year or two before college to explore your options. Don’t feel like you have to go to college because that’s what all your friends are doing or because it seems like the next logical step. Sometimes I wish I would have considered this as an option.

My only debt right now is from the new car that I bought last summer. I held out as long as I could, but the 1999 Nissan Altima just wasn’t cutting it anymore. When you’re pouring money into something that’s slowly dying its time to cut your losses and move on. I put about a third of the cost down when I bought the car, and because I have a good credit score my interest rate on the remaining loan is fairly low. As it stands today, I have $11,826 left to pay off.

Expenses & Target Budget For Nov ’14:
Rent – $900/month

I’ve done my research and know that we could pay less monthly on a mortgage if we were to buy a house in this area. However, we’re just not ready to plant ourselves here. We’re working to save up a hefty down payment so when we’re ready that won’t be an issue.

Car – $300/month

I pay a little bit more than the required balance each month. Every penny counts!

Groceries for two humans & 1 kitty – $400/month

This is my target each month. Sometimes we’re over, sometimes under. I need to do a better job of tracking this and figure out more creative ways to stay within our goal.

Gas – $120/month

I have a car that gets pretty good gas mileage but sometimes weekend trips to see friends and family means filling up the gas tank more often.

Car Insurance – $0

I choose to make my payment every six months.

Cell Phone – $40

Thank god for nice parents who let you stay on their family plan even though you are a grown adult.

Television – $7.99/month

We refuse to pay for cable. I cannot believe how much it costs and prices are always going up. More and more people I know are choosing to go without it. If you are looking for ways to cut back on expenses, this seems like an obvious choice. We received Apple TV last year for Christmas and only pay the monthly fee for Netflix.

Home Improvements – $200/month
Entertainment – $200/month

This is how much I am giving myself for fun in November. This category includes eating out, booze, new clothes and anything else outside of the above expenses.

Total Spending Budget: $2,167.99

I should mention that Derek and I split the bills so that’s why you don’t see things here like gas, water and Internet. I’ll let him talk about that some other time.

Next Steps:
1.  Find an electronic tool that will help track my budget

Visiting 8,000 different websites to get a holistic view of your finances is not the most efficient thing in the world. Do you have any suggestions? I’d love to hear! Please leave a comment below!

2.  Talk about savings accounts and retirement funds

I already shared a lot in this post so I’ll save what I’m doing to prepare for our future and retirement for another day.

3.  Find ways to diversify our income stream

One thing I’ve learned from reading personal finance blogs is that one of the keys to building wealth is diversifying your income stream, and not being 100% dependent on a single source. Freelance writing is something I have a growing interest in so we’ll see where that goes, but I’d also like to explore other options as well. Now, I just need to remember to stop reading about what other people are doing and get out there for myself. I can’t help it, I just get sucked in sometimes. 🙂 What do you do to make extra income?

4.  Track the variance between my budget and actual spending each month

I have been doing horrible at this, but when I stick to it I turn into a huge nerd and get really excited about trying to stay under budget. It’s like a game! A really nerdy game!

Next time I’ll share some of my favorite personal finance blogs that have really motivated me to get my financial sh*t together. Hopefully they’ll do the same for you!

If you write a personal finance blog or have a favorite of your own please leave it in the comments, I’d love to check it out!

Cheers to a financially savvy November! love, adrienne