BECOMING WHITNEY |  a happy little-mustache bunting tutorialOf all the things to be trendy, I think mustaches crack me up the most.  A while back a sweet lady at our church threw a first birthday party for her son and decided to do a mustache theme.  She couldn’t find too many decorations that she loved, so she asked if I would help.  We did some buntings, tissue poms with mustaches, soup bowls with mustaches, a mustache photo booth, and chocolate mustaches.  If you could stick a ‘stache on it, we ‘stached it up.

Today I’m sharing an easy way to make your own buntings.  The options are endless with buntings, and they make such a big impact.

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For this particular bunting shape (I like to call it walrus tooth.  ha!), layer your fabric so you can cut several rectangles at a time.  I chose to do a 6-inch by 5-inch rectangle.  Then I marked a little dot 2 inches from the bottom and centered width-wise.  Hold several rectangles together, and then cut from the two bottom corners up to the dot to create a little triangle shape.

I sewed all the triangles together to make another bunting.  No good fabric goes unloved around here!

BECOMING-WHITNEY-_-mustache-bunting-4Now for the mustache part.  If you’re making a regular bunting, you can leave the ‘staches off.  Or you can do other shapes or letters – the options are endless!

You’ll need a sheet of craft foam, some fabric paint, a paint brush, and some scissors.  Oh, and some paper and tape.  Which aren’t pictured here because I’m a weirdo.

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BECOMING-WHITNEY-_-mustache-bunting-6Drive yourself crazy trying to draw an even mustache shape until you realize you can just draw half of one, fold the paper, and cut it out to reveal an even, lovely ‘stache.  Then trace and cut it out of the felt.

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BECOMING-WHITNEY-_-mustache-bunting-8Make a little loop out of the tape and stick it on the back of your freshly made stencil.  Now you can stick your finger in the loop and have more control of where you place the stencil.

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BECOMING-WHITNEY-_-mustache-bunting-10Brush the paint on with your paint brush, and then stamp it onto the fabric.  Push down all the sides and corners to make sure the paint adheres well.  You can also go back and use your brush to fill in some areas of the stamped mustache if need be.

BECOMING-WHITNEY-_-mustache-bunting-13After all the ‘staches are dry, it’s time to sew it up!  I used a really thin bias tape to sew everything together.  Since the bunting was only going to be used for one party, I didn’t worry too much about the fabric fraying.  But if you’re making a bunting that will be used a lot, you could use Fray Check along the edges.

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BECOMING-WHITNEY-_-mustache-bunting-15Sew the end of the bias tape into a little loop for hanging, and then start sewing the bunting pieces inside of the bias tape.  Just keep sewing and sewing until you reach your desired length.  Make sure to leave enough of the bias tape at the end to sew another loop, and you’re golden.

BECOMING-WHITNEY-_-mustache-bunting-17Buntings are pretty much my favorite.  I have one in nearly every room in our house.  Ha!

If you’re looking for more bunting ideas you can check out this flowery girly installation, this knotted fabric garland, this no-sew felt one, this colorful lace and fabric garland, or this fringe garland.

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So are any of you also bunting obsessed?  Do you have a better name for this shape of bunting than walrus tooth?  Does anyone have any idea how this mustache trend got started in the first place?  I think beards are inching their way into the mustachioed trend territory, but I think I draw my line at beard buntings.

~Whitney

 

 

On March 20, 2014 · 6 Comments · In DIY
 

It’s a pretty common thing to see a blogger compile a wish list of items she would like to have for her living room, or for her next baby, or for her husband to buy her for Christmas.  Well, this isn’t one of those wish lists.  (Although, Timothy, if you want to buy something for me, I can definitely make you a list.  ha!)

Nope, this is a wish list of projects.  A project wish list, if you will.  And I think you should.  These are the house-related things that I hope I can get my act together enough to accomplish in 2014.

 

paint-the-cabinets

Oh, I might as well get the scariest project out of the way first, right?  Painting cabinets isn’t difficult, it’s just a pain.  But I know firsthand how the pain just fizzles away in sight of your new freshly-painted cabinets.  I painted the cabinets in our first house and to this day I still miss those guys and that labor of love.

kitchen

I’m a little nervous about jumping into this project in our house because we have a billion cabinets.  Prepare your eyes for an onslaught of orange wood:

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This will be a several days long project.  But I know it will totally transform our kitchen.  The paint won’t be too expensive, but the hardware may take a chunk of change.  In our last house we just spray painted the existing hardware.  But these handles and hinges can’t be salvaged.  Ha!

 

paint-the-trimEmphasis on alllll.  As in, there’s a whole lot.  I painted the trim on our living room windows and it made a world of difference.  Just like the cabinets, this will be a long job.  And probably not that fun.  But I think it will definitely make our house more modern and feel more like us.  Not that I have anything against orange wood everywhere.  Ha!

hall

What?  This orange hallway doesn’t scream “Pinterest worthy?”  Shocker.  This project may not be completely finished this year.  My plan is to work on the trim room by room and see where that gets me.

 

attack-the-master-bedroomI have hardly touched our bedroom since we moved in.  In our old house, our bedroom was the very last thing on my list.  I just felt like it was more important to get the main areas of our house looking the way we wanted before I spent time on a room that guests don’t often see.  Well, I was wrong.  Way wrong.

Our house is for us – Timothy and I.  And I want to make sure my priorities are in the right place.  I mean, I could start rambling about how spending time creating a relaxing and beautiful bedroom is a metaphor for spending time making your marriage be the best it can be, but I won’t get all philosophical over here.  Ha!

anniversary2And I’ll leave you with a pic of our wedding rings instead of a picture of our current bedroom.  That loveliness deserves its own post.  Except not.

 

bedeck-the-wallsNot just with boughs of holly (although that definitely shall be done), but with art and pictures.  I’m skeeeeered to hang stuff up on our walls.  Our drywall is some sort of old school drywall – I think some repair man called it horsehair? – that is really thick.  It’s so thick that I actually had to hammer in thumbtacks when I hung a garland.  Weird.  When you take a nail out of the wall, it doesn’t just leave a hole.  It’s crumbles the surrounding area and you have to spackle it and go the whole nine yards.  But enough excuses.

I’m not afraid of a little spackle.  Bring it on.  And bring on *finally* hanging art on our walls.

building-5And I shall leave you this picture proving that I’m a pro at life (ha!) with my own tool belt and can handle some spackle, instead of a picture of our bare walls.  You’re welcome.

 

beautify-the-outsideLast summer was our first summer in the house and we didn’t do anything to the landscaping or outside of the house.  Well, we cut down a tree that was dying and starting to lean precariously.  But that was it.  It just took enough energy to figure out how to mow the mutant grass.  (Side note: I am PUMPED about mowing this year.  I’m eagerly awaiting the day we can bust out our beautiful orange mower of love.)

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This summer I want to spruce things up.  Trim the bushes some more.  Power wash the house/patio/garage.  Fix the shed door so it will open every time, not just every fifth time.  Maybe plant some flowers?  I’ve killed all plants I’ve ever come in contact with, but maybe 2014 is my year.  I also want to make new house numbers for the front of the house.  The current ones are on a plaque sporting blue ducks with a heart.  I’m sadly serious.

Timothy also wants to buy some patio furniture so we can hang out and eat outside.  We’ll be eyeing Craigslist, Goodwill, and spring yard sales with a vengeance.

 

So there are just a few things that I am hoping to cross off the list in 2014.  I have a lot more, but I do better when I can narrow my focus.  Otherwise I’ll get side tracked and start painting a mural and sewing curtains and building a bed for the guest room, all the while two ducks are hanging out next to our front door, quacking out our house numbers from their plaque perch.  Priorities.

What house-related things are you guys hoping to accomplish in 2014?

~Whitney

On March 18, 2014 · 2 Comments · In Home, Lovely Life
 

Let’s just cut right to it, shall we?  Introducing the makeover of the world’s tiniest and smallest and ittiest and bittiest bathroom of all time.

BECOMING WHITNEY | tiny bathroom makeoverGood-bye dingy white paint.  Good-bye barn wallpaper border.  Good-bye awkwardly placed towel bar.  Good-bye weird wicker cubby.

BECOMING WHITNEY | tiny bathroom makeoverThis makeover was kind of a superficial one.  (If you missed the post with all of the before pictures, you can read it here.)  Eventually we want to close in this teensy doorway, reconfigure the bathroom, and create a doorway along the wall to the left of the toilet.  Then it will open into a bedroom and make a little more sense.  But until we save up that money, I spent around $50 to make it less of an eyesore.

BECOMING-_-tiny-bathroom-makeover-15And before I go any further, let me just mention that this room was a bear to photograph.  I first used Timothy’s dslr, and quickly learned that there is no wide angle lens wide enough.  So my phone it had to be.  And I had to get preeeeetttty crafty so as not to get my face in the mirror shots.   You’re welcome!

BECOMING WHITNEY | tiny bathroom makeoverSo back to the makeover – I hung up a towel ring to replace the space-sucking towel bar, as well as some glass shelves.  Well, lemme be honest.  My Dad hung the shelves.  The day I hung all this stuff, I installed a total of two towel rings, one towel bar, one toilet paper holder, and one mirror (all in other rooms, obviously).  When I got to the glass shelves I had a crisis and literally could not screw another anchor into our old school drywall made of concrete.  Dad to the rescue!

BECOMING-_-tiny-bathroom-makeover-11The walls are a putty color – Frappe by Valspar.  I love this color!  The pictures don’t really do this complex color justice, but the color is a great shade of gray.

Usually I love to decorate with all the colors and all the patterns, but I decided to keep my color scheme small so as not to overwhelm the room.  Timothy feels like no man should be forced to use a restroom so small, so I took my liberty in picking pink as one of the main colors.  Ha!  I also used black, white, and gold.

BECOMING-_-tiny-bathroom-makeover-10These great vintage pink and white hand towels are from my Grandma.  The artwork in the black frame was handmade by me.  The frame came with a really boring off-white photo mat, so I traced the mat onto some polka dot scrapbook paper and cut it out.  I lettered the saying with a Sharpie pen and a metallic gold pen.  And who doesn’t want to hear/read a little pick-me-up when she’s looking in the mirror?

BECOMING WHITNEY | tiny bathroom makeoverOn the shelf below, I made some little flowers with yarn poms and paper straws.  This gold frame was one of the only shelf decorations I had to buy, but on clearance at Target for under a dollar, I figured it was worth the splurge.  Ha!  I used Rachel’s awesome tutorial for some free and easy art.

Side story about the cross in the artwork:  I originally wanted to create a stencil and paint swiss crosses all over the bathroom walls like faux wallpaper.  I thought it would be awesome.  Timothy thought it would be horrible.  The more work I did on the bathroom, the more I came to realize that he was correct.  I never like admitting that I’m wrong, so I made a little cross art to keep me humble.  Ha!

BECOMING-_-tiny-bathroom-makeover-12Fluffy and furry bathroom rugs make me feel icky, so I was glad to find this black and white rug in Target’s kitchen section.  And I’m pretty sure that I’ve been in airplane bathrooms larger than this one.  Ha!

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So there it is.  One of the first rooms in our house *nearly* completely done!  The only thing that’s left is the wood trim, but I’ll be painting it when I tackle the rest of this hall.  We don’t plan to knock down walls and rearrange this bathroom for a while, so I’m definitely glad to spend a little bit now to make it look a lot less hideous.

Have you all been up to any DIY or home projects lately?  Spring is such a great time to work on things around the house.  And besides, painting and making art is infinitely more fun than spring cleaning.

~Whitney

 

On March 14, 2014 · 4 Comments · In DIY, Home
 

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If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.

~C.S. Lewis

Quotes.  I love them.

I logged in to my old e-mail the other day and, after deleting all the years of spam and such that had built up, I found some e-mails from my high school and college days.  The fact that it’s been five years since I was in college is astounding.  I still don’t feel like a grown up.  Please tell me that will come some day.

I was so happy to find some e-mails from one of my best friends in college.  He and I met at a campus ministry meeting.  We were both passionate about ministry and were both at this very secular college in the very liberal arts program.  So we kind of naturally created a friendship and helped make sure we kept each other on track.  We would send each other these loooong e-mails with quotes from philosophers and generals and authors and leaders.  We would try to impress and outdo each other with the deepest quote and the biggest words.

Nerdy?  Very.  But awesome?  Totally.

(Side note.  One day I was on my way to meet him to hang out when I saw him talking to a girl from our campus ministry group.  I thought that they would make a great couple and that I should try to do some matchmaking.  Well, I’m a horrible matchmaker and never got them together.  But now, years later, they are happily married to each other.  Through no doing of my own.  Sooooo, maybe I’m better than I thought I was?  Ha!)

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I was in college for Sociology, but was taking more and more classes on literature and writing.  College is a crazy time in any young person’s life, but for me it was abundantly so.  I think I used these “deep” quotes and ideas to try and make sense of life.  I turned to words.  I started writing these complicated papers about life and meaning and God.  I got straight A’s, but I just wasn’t content.  I had no clue what I was doing or what I was supposed to be doing or what I was going to end up doing.

So, I took a break from college.  My grandfather had just died and I wanted to be home with my family.  I thought it would help me find my place.  And maybe it would help me answer the whole what-am-I-supposed-to-be-doing-in-life question.

To make a long story a bit less long, once I made the decision to leave college, the pieces all started to fall into place.  I immersed myself in my home church and stopped looking for deep quotes to direct and label me.  Once I stopped trying so hard to find myself, contentment came.  Oh, and I met my husband. (hooray!)  I was able to answer the whole doing question with a joyful and confident “I do.”  I do to ministry.  I do to who God says I am.  I do to a Godly marriage.  I do to contentment and peace and joy. 

Everyone’s path is different.  Mine just brought me back home.

Now I’m back to writing.  I write all the time about life and meaning and God and ugly bathrooms.  Ha!  And I’m still enamored with quotes.  But instead of trying to impress myself with how deep I am, I just write the quotes on my chalkboard with little swirls and flourishes and flowers.  My English professor would be so proud.

~Whitney

 

On March 11, 2014 · 2 Comments · In Lovely Life
 

Photo Feb 26, 9 58 20 PM

Sometimes love is exuberant and loud and extravagant.  It’s romance and roses and chocolates and Facebook PDA.  It’s big displays and surprise dates.  It’s glamorous and exciting and thrilling and unmistakable.

That kind of love is what is exalted in the movies and written about in novels and marketed as true love.

But sometimes love isn’t as glamorous.  Sometimes it’s compromising over budgets and taking care of business.  Sometimes love is arguing over things because you care about each other too much to avoid important issues.  It’s taking out the trash and spraying extra stain remover on his collars and pulling the covers over her feet when she kicks them out in the night.

Sometimes love is asking for help cleaning the house and walking in on him taking the chandelier apart and cleaning every inch until it looked as new as it did in 1982.

The awesome thing about marriage, and the thing I never understood or believed until I was married, is that you have to have both.  You have to have the exciting and the mundane.  When I walked in on my husband standing on the ladder dusting with Windex (??? ha! he’s cute), my heart melted and jumped around all at the same time.  He’s not just in this for the show and excitement and the romance.  He’s in this for the hard, the every day, the unglamorous, and the unseen.

(Yes, cleaning a chandelier isn’t the hardest thing we’ve been through.  Obviously.  Let’s just say the chandelier is a metaphor. ha!)

You need the romance and the big moments and the emotion to remind you of why you fell in love in the first place.  To keep the spark still a’sparkin’.  And you need the consistency and every day moments to remind you that love is deeper than just emotion.  That you’re in this together, forever.

Love is glamorous and it is hard.  And it is so much better than I ever imagined.

~Whitney

On March 7, 2014 · 5 Comments · In Mr. and Mrs.