Chalkboard Kitchen Labels

In my quest for attractive organization I bought some glass containers for the kitchen.  They are simple, square jars that I thought could be useful for day-to-day items I didn’t want to keep in the pantry since our pantry isn’t actually inside our kitchen.  We’re insanely short on counter space in the kitchen, so as tempted as I was to have pretty labelled jars on the counter, the tiny space left on the shelf beside the microwave won!

Truth be told – I did this weeks ago, but it didn’t turn out the way I had hoped, and that was entirely my fault.  I tried too hard to make the writing on the labels seem like my regular handwriting, and I don’t even like my own handwriting, so naturally I hated the way it looked.  Of course I’m going to share that with you!

chalkboard jar CollageSo that’s what the shelf looked like for the last few weeks.  It only really bothered me for a few days, but every time I thought about other people seeing them, I felt uneasy.  Yes, I know how silly that may seem, but in this life we have control over very, very few things.  I am someone who likes to control everything, and suddenly this blog post has turned into a therapy session?  Anyway, I can control this, so I did!  I changed it.  Want to see how much better it looks?

chalkboard labels 2If you guessed that this is not my handwriting, you are correct!  I cheated… I found a font I really liked (2 actually) and I printed out the words and transferred them onto the labels (step 1).  How?  I cut them all out, rubbed chalk on the back of the paper (step 2), grabbed my labels (step 3), taped them onto the labels (step 4), and transferred the words by tracing around them with a pen (step 5).  Ever done this before?  I used to do this as a kid all the time when tracing wasn’t an option, but with lead rubbed on the back of the paper instead.  Anyway, what I’m saying is this is a tried and true method here folks!  Check it out:

chalkboard jar 2 CollageThen I sat back for a second and admired how amazingly this had worked (step 6)!!  I went over the writing with a marker because I don’t want these to rub off easily since they will be handled often.  The Dry-Erase Crayons I used the first time were actually pretty fantastic as well, but I’d rather use them for other projects, plus I would have had to sharpen them about 15 times to get through these.

chalkboard labels 3And that’s what the shelf looks like now.  It’s so much better I actually WANT to look at it all the time!  And I’m super happy with how the marker looks too.  This is going to be a technique I’m sure I’ll use a lot once the chalkboard I have been working on for the living room is complete.

I do love The Nester’s motto “it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful”, and this is by no means perfect, but it’s much closer to it now the words are at least straight, right?? (That was for you Cheryl and Jon, if you get to read this!)

🙂

chalkboard labelsLinking up at these awesome places plus Cheerios and Lattes, The 36th Avenue, Skip To My Lou, The Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths, WhipperBerry, Savvy Southern Style, and My Repurposed Life.

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Master Bedroom Wish-list

It seems this week I am not actually doing anything around the house.  Wonder why that is?  Just take a look at this post about the new addition to our house, and it’s enough said – Luther takes up a lot of our time!  So rather than make something, or fix something (which believe me, I have plans and materials for), I am drawn to the computer, because that is much easier to put that down and tend to whiny/hungry/playful/badly behaved dog than a hot glue gun and some sticks!  Sounds like a thrilling craft project, by the way, doesn’t it?  Wait until I actually make it!  Today’s wishful thinking blog is around the Master Bedroom.  If I ever get around to it (which I eventually will, of course), I think it’s going to look fantastic!  Here’s what I’m considering:

This is what we currently have in the room.  That’s right… a bed and a dresser.  LITERALLY no other furniture.  There’s a collapsible hamper in the corner and an old pillow turned doggy bed resting beside me.  Fantastic, right?

Here’s an idea of what’s in the room:

Courtesy of Ikea

I have no idea about the wall colour yet.  I can’t decide on whether we should go with a warm grey, all white or possibly an off white.  Tough call… I have a very hard time deciding on wall colours.

I have big hopes for this room and lots of inspiration to go with them.  My favourite parts are: the textured wall in image 1, the sunburst mirror in image 2 and the knitted pouff in 3 (I would be happy with one of those in each room of the house!) Of course I love all of the white, but I also love what happens when you mix white and off-whites together.  It creates such a subtle and yet rich texture that makes me think of the foam on a perfect cappuccino.  It’s delicious looking!

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Here are the next contenders.  I love love love that window seat in the first image (and that view), along with the wall sconces that are so practical, simple and attractive.  I have to say the chandy and that crazy adorable ottoman are my faves in the second picture. The third one kind of has it all – the textures, the lamps, and the natural fiber rug.

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Here are my dreams for the dresser.  I would love for the mirror to just sit on top of the dresser rather than be up on the wall.  The big green monster came with a big green mirror, and if redone properly, it might just do the trick!  Also loving the lamps on the dresser.  Are they practical?  Maybe not… I could just have one on it and still get the look without taking up all the space that two would need.

12 & 34

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On the wishlist for the bedroom is also a bench of some sort.  I want to be able to put our pillows on something so they don’t end up on top of the dresser at night.  We can no longer drop them on the floor because Luther will make a doggy fort out of them!  Here are the options I’m considering:

1 & 234

I do want the room to be a bit romantic, and also modern.  Sounds impossible?  We’ll see!  I have a couple of DIY projects I want to get started on to get a bit of the look into the room.

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Check out the full series here.

DIY Daydreamin’

All of this writing has made me look around the house a lot.  I already look around the house a lot on a regular day, but since starting this series I’ve been pushed to really look at everything, almost critically.  Well, maybe that’s an inappropriate word choice… I don’t mean I’m critical of my house, I mean I look at objects more critically and ask more questions about them like: Do I need this?  What can I use it for? How can I turn this into something that brings purpose into my home?

With that being said, looking and questioning and thinking have me daydreaming of DYI projects all day long!  Here are some of my current faves.  Just click the photos to be taken to the original sites these came from.

We have some pallets currently sitting in our garage, just begging to be made into something awesome… like these shelves!  With 100’s of pallet projects out there, I could do a blog post about them alone (and I probably will!)

Too Much Time on My Hands

Chalkboard anything is almost an obsession these days.  Let’s face it, it’s just so convenient to have a surface you can write on over and over , and personally it takes me back to elementary school – all kids ever seemed to want was to write on the chalkboard.  Holding chalk had power somehow!  So, why not use trays to have these magical surfaces on?

Signature Style Blog – link will take you to the home page. I can’t find this particular project anywhere!

We have this huge walk-in pantry at our house.  It’s magical, but it’s also a mess – as you can imagine, it’s the black hole, where everything goes!  It badly needs to be organized and I have dreams that it will someday look a little something like this, oh and it brings my love of organizing together with my love of the dollar store.  YES!

I heart Organizing

Now that we’re on storage and organizing… How awesome would it be to have a linen closet like this?  Doors are overrated anyway, right?  I would just change the labels for towels, sheets, etc.

Sweet Pickins

This is a little wishful DYI project for the office, or master bedroom (for my jewelry), or even the bathroom.  I think it’s just so darn cute, and looks like it’d be fun to make!

aka Design

Lastly, I contemplated whether or not to even post this because if I post one picture with a glass container and label I love, I thought I’d have to post them all!  And I have lots.  But I love the labels.  I love labels, period!  This has such appeal to me because of the phonetic component and the dictionary look.  Maybe it’s the teacher in me, or the fact that these are just plain adorbs!

The Painted Hive

This is it for now.  It’s a lot to do, but I think slowly we can achieve some of these goals, right?  It’s these kind of details, this care and time put into a place that help me nest and help me build a home for us.  I think it could be pretty great!

Check the full 31 day series here.

I’m dreaming of a white… office!

Yes, I do realize I have not been doing well with this 31 day series because I haven’t actually posted every day.  I don’t want to place any blame on our beautiful new pup (whom I will also post about because he is so awesome!), but he does take up a lot of time and energy, you know?  And I hate to say this,  but I kind of like spending time with him right now a little bit more than writing!  I know… crazy right? 🙂
Anyway, I felt inspired to write about what I want my beautiful home office to look like because lately I have been looking in there, and it just looks like a random, bright yellow room – exactly what it is!

Here are some of my “I wish my office could look like this” pictures, and keep in mind these are also “one day soon my office WILL look like this” pictures!  You can find most of these on my Office Pinterest board, but the images are all linked to the original sites these came from as well so you can see in full detail how these masterpieces were made.

I would basically like an ombre anything in my office (curtains maybe?), but these colours are so delicious, I think I will just have to make it a piece of furniture.  This could be amazing on the back of a big bookshelf too!

House and Home Ikea Tarva makeover

This other Ikea hack really has me thinking.  I basically love the idea of dressers in just about every room of the house now, which is why I have the giant green one in the living room instead of a typical “media unit”.  You can never have enough drawers, especially if you can put your ugly printer inside them!  We do have an old (FREE) dresser int he office now, and I really want to make this happen to it:

PB&J Stories

Re-purposing old things is definitely a new passion of mine, and I love the idea of windows for several reasons but I’ll only give you two: 1. You also cannot ever have enough windows in a  home! 2. They come in all kinds of sizes and shapes.  I love the idea int he picture below, I would just change the pattered areas to something less busy so I can use the glass as a dry/erase area!

Button Bird Designs

As usual, The Nester is one of my main sources of inspiration.  I swear to you, I could just move into this woman’s home and I wouldn’t change a thing!  Her office is pretty much ideal, and what’s one of the main things in there?  You got it… a dresser!  My favourite things about this room?  The big white desk, the round white tray with that adorable little tree in it (because who doesn’t love a touch of nature?), the page-book wreath (!), the pink wreath (am I loving wreaths right now, or what?), the white board and batten and that chair!  I’m never ever going to have another typical desk chair again.  They are too ugly!  Isn’t that parsons chair just so much more pleasant to look at (and probably sit on)?

The Nester

The Nester

Though I love the current weird tan/brown carpet in the ‘office’, I’d love some wood floors and one of these in there.  Ohhhh chevron… such a lovely pattern, isn’t it?

Rugs USA Spectrum Chevron

I realize I just mentioned putting a large pattern on the floor, but I also love the idea of a large pattern on the wall.  Of course it would only be on one wall, and of course it would be totally classy and amazing like this one!

Good Girl Gone Glad

More patterns?  Yes please!  Look at these!  AHHHH!  Gorgeous!!!

Caitlin Wilson Textiles

Lights!  Shiny lights.  How appropriate!

August Empress

And of course the all white concept.  I think this is both luxurious and simple all at once, and it makes an office feel so much more special that way!

Susan Hopkins

Susan Hopkins

So there you have it.  This is how I picture my office looking so far.  Lets hope I can pull this off!

Check out the 31 day series here.

Nothing says home like… Ikea?

That’s right people… I said it.  Ikea!  I took a little trip on my own today for a few necessities around the house, and after a somewhat long drive with the husband to get something ELSE to make our place a home (it’s a surprise… you’ll have to wait to see what we got), my husband got to unpacking the car.  It only took 3 or 4 trips, so no big deal!  While I made dinner he got to work, and after a lovely steak and sweet potato supper, this is what our living room/entry looked like:

Pretty awesome, right?  So some of the new stuff is already in place at this point – the 2 wicker baskets are in their new homes.  I do love their look, and also that they are almost completely opaque – I figured if I’m going to have baskets down there, I don’t need people seeing what’s in them, and Ikea had some beautiful ones that were just too open for my liking.  This ought to be perfect for winter scarves and mittens in the next few months!

The drawer sets (which you can see Alex was dutifully putting together on the floor) are a really handy addition to the EXPEDIT units.  Seriously, these units have become quite customizable now!  The door was already put in by the time I got to taking pictures.  I didn’t want to go with 2 sets of drawers because I want the unit to be more “custom” – as if that’s really possible!  Customizable, yes.  Custom… well, it’s still Ikea, right?

Now, the project is not finished yet.  We still need some decorative items to complete the look, and I honestly have no clue what those things might be as of yet.  I added a couple of extras, but who knows if they’ll stay.


Obviously this needs a LOT of work and the “Moby Dick” print will be up around the house eventually. I did frame it, and found a crack in the frame… ugh!  Alex is the forever cool, calm and collected, saying “Babe, it’s fine.  You can’t even see it.”  I’m doing my best to let it go.  Plus, I don’t feel much like driving back to Ikea just to exchange a frame.

So here we have it.  Another work in progress, but in the end Alex and I sat on the couch, looking out at the new additions, and feeling awesome about how homey this place really is becoming.  What more can we ask for, right?  Thanks Ikea!

Check out the other posts about making our house a home here.

A change will do you good

It seems crazy to me that this little pile to the left even exists. Just a few months ago, I would come home to my parents’ house and possibly see an envelope or two on the kitchen table for me. Now mail comes to me at my house – our house – with our names on it. Receipts end up mixed in with this pile of “to dos”, and before I knew it I had a stack of paper I couldn’t make sense of. Anyone who knows me knows that I love to organize – though my own mother might disagree due to the constant state of my bedroom! This little area was no different, and when I got the tray I thought the catchall, the first spot we have to set something down when we walk into the house, I imagined something organized. It became a mess, and very quickly!

Solution: I stopped at Staples on my way home to browse at some of the new Martha Stewart pieces. I peeked in while wedding planning for some labels, but never got the chance to see anything else. Well, was I ever pleased! First of all look at this colour – amazing. And secondly, the little place on the table makes sense now! And I can say that honestly – it’s been there for a few days now and so far we have no madness of papers everywhere. Also, because it’s smaller than the tray, there is less room for things to get out of hand!

I know this is all about trial and error. Everything about making this house our home is about that, and I do love it (sometimes). I can’t help but struggle with something here though. It’s the pig! I don’t think he fits in. I like the spot there, but the piggy itself is a little out of place, no? Maybe it’s my inexperience with colour, which explains the big green dresser debate too! All about colour… But I need to be willing to take chances and make mistakes. Get ready to see a lot of my mistakes here! Is the pig a mistake?

Talk about over-thinking……. oh and yes, those are Home Sense receipts in there. Alex is very used to seeing those around the house these days!

Catch the other 31 days of over-thinking here.