Friday, January 23, 2009

Buffet Re-Do

**Updated to Add: If you are visiting from Life in Grace, welcome! If not, check out her beautiful painted kitchen makeover here. It's fabulous! She is hosting a linky party for painted wood projects, so head on over there for some painted inspiration!**

Back in the summer, I got a good deal on a buffet on Craigslist. It was in need of some TLC, but was the perfect size for the wall in front of our french doors, and much needed extra storage for some of my glassware and serving pieces. It is six feet long and I loved the shape and detailing. It just needed to be refinished, get new hardware, and have the hinges and some drawer slides replaced. I know we all love a good before & after!

Here is the Before photo:

And the After:

I wanted to give the buffet an aged character, so I base coated it in black and used crackle medium in strategic places of natural wear and tear before adding the topcoats of cream. After I painted it, I also distressed it. I am really happy with how it turned out!

This is 5th piece of furniture that I've refinished and I think it was the most challenging. I have used crackle medium before, but it was more difficult to use it only in spots versus covering an entire surface. I consulted with Jen for some advice mid-project and she was a fabulous help! (She does a beautiful job of furniture refinishing and painting! Visit her blog to see her unique work.) Thanks Jen! I love my wonderful blog friends.

Here are a couple of close-ups of the detailing:

This project took quite a bit of time and effort, but I think it was worth it. I absolutely love giving an old piece new life and a new look! The buffet filled a large empty spot in our main living area. I am already putting the extra storage to good use and am in the process of adding decorative displays on top. I will share more photos when it's all finished!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Viva Las Vegas!

We spent this past week in Las Vegas with Truman's parents on a family vacation. We had a great time checking out all of the hotels, seeing several shows, and eating...a lot! Buffets galore.

We also took a day trip to beautiful Zion National Park.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sew Easy Baby Gifts

A sweet friend of ours is expecting her first baby boy in March and I attended her baby shower last week. I wanted to make a handmade gift for her and remembered that I had bookmarked these cute swaddle sheet & burp cloth sets that I saw on Crystal's blog.

I found the cutest jungle print flannel that was perfect for a baby boy. I told my hubby that if we were expecting and knew it was a boy (which we aren' avoid any rumors!), I would sew my own bedding using this precious fabric! I absolutely adore the sweet faces on the cast of jungle characters. Don't they look friendly?

I made a set with a swaddle sheet and two matching burp cloths. In Crystal's words, they really were easy peasy! The trickiest part for me was sewing the circle accents onto the swaddle sheet. You can find Crystal's patterns and tutorials here and here.

I will definitely be using these patterns for gifts again in the future.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

That's a Wrap!

We finished day 3 of taping tonight, our shoot is wrapped, and I can't wait to crawl into my bed and sleep until I wake up tomorrow morning! It quickly became weirdly normal to be "on set" in our home and both Truman & I are sad that the crew won't be coming back tomorrow morning. They won't be setting up in our garage before we're awake, there won't be makeup while we have our morning coffee, there won't be experiences shared over meals in our backyard, and there won't be laughter and joking around with the crew between takes. I might even miss the lines for the bathroom and the chatting that took place while we waited our turn. All of the friendly faces that became so familiar over the last 3 days won't be back and it's actually really sad. There were even some misty eyes as we thanked them and said our goodbyes.

In the last 3 days, I learned a few more things. Our kitchen looks MUCH bigger on TV. Terms like B-Roll and OTF (On The Fly) are no longer mysterious lingo that produce puzzled looks. And, things are copyrighted that you would never imagine. But most importantly, I was reminded of how God surprises and blesses us in such unexpected ways.

We truly enjoyed every single person that was a part of our crew. We feel so blessed and so lucky to have the chance to work with such a phenomenal crew! This experience definitely rates high as one of my most memorable and I can't even think of adequate words to express how much fun we had. If you ever get the chance to be a part of a production like Home Made Simple, jump on it as fast as you can. Seriously. I loved the experience so much that a little part of me thinks that it would be a dream to be a part of a cast for a home show someday. I am so utterly exhausted, but it was worth every single minute.

We worked on some clever crafty projects that I know some of you are going to love! I can barely keep myself from typing out a little hint or two. But, I must wait!

Our episode is scheduled to air on TLC sometime this spring, probably in April. I'll be sure to let ya'll know when we find out the air date!

Meanwhile, I'm going to eat the tasty leftovers that are in my fridge, click through all the photos we took during the shoot & plan my scrapbook pages, and put my tired feet up and relax in my super functional and organized, yet beautiful, new space!

Monday, January 5, 2009

What I Learned on Day 1 of the Shoot!

Wow, I am SO completely exhausted after our first day of taping Home Made Simple for TLC! And, we still have two more days to go! But, can I even tell you how much fun we've had so far?!?!

I wish that I had some pictures to share with you, but unfortunately (though understandably), I can't post any pictures of the set or of us taping until after the show airs! I can't give you any sneak peaks of the fun projects we are working on around our house, the great hosts that we are working alongside, or the madness that is our house...full of crew, cameras & a ton of lights that I'm convinced could light a small football field!

But, what I can share with you, is my thoughts on the experience so far & the things I've learned after one day "on the set," otherwise known as our home. :)

1. The crew & hosts of Home Made Simple are simply fantastic! I can't say enough great things about them. They are so considerate and aware, they are incredibly on top of things and often think of things before we have a chance to, they like to have a lot of fun on the set in between tapings, and they are the kindest, friendliest, most down-to-earth people.

2. It is quite challenging to go to the bathroom wired with a mic!

3. A little part of me secretly wishes I had a make-up artist to follow me around for touch-ups every day! (wouldn't you?)

4. A theme of being on set is to hurry up and wait. It takes a lot of time and effort to get the mics and lights just right. And, you've got to be flexible.

5. They really do yell things like "quiet in the house" and "rolling....action!"

6. Craft services is awesome. Could I wake up to a made to order breakfast every morning, have a table of snacks at the ready, and delicious catered lunches every day? I guess if I did, I'd also need a personal trainer.

7. Speaking of personal service, I learned how to make a dish today from a personal chef to a very well-known Hollywood celeb! How cool is that?

I am so exhausted after one day on the set! I don't know how the hosts and crew do weeks and weeks of tapings! I am camped out on the couch with my laptop, a cozy blanket and the remote control. I'm pretty sure I'm not moving a muscle until it's time to climb into my bed. But, I can't wait to do it all again tomorrow!

I'll try to update again soon!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

FUN News! We're going to....


be on TV!!!!

Can you even believe it?!? Blog friends, I've been wanting to share this fun news with you for weeks now! Truman and I have been selected for an episode of the TLC show, Home Made Simple! If you haven't seen it, it airs on Saturdays at noon on TLC. Set your DVR to check it out! This coming Monday (just 2 days away!), Home Made Simple is invading our home with their crew for 3 full days to tackle some projects around our house. We can't wait!

Here's a bit of the story....
Back in late October or early November, Truman's sister, Carita, nominated us for the show online. She received an error message from the website after she hit submit, so she wasn't even sure her nomination form had gone through. But, she soon received an e-mail from a production coordinator at TLC. They were interested in our story and requested photos of Truman & me and our home. Carita shared with us that she had nominated us, and asked if we were interested in the opportunity. Of course we said yes!

A week after Carita submitted the photos, I received a call from an associate producer that they were going to be in Austin that week and wanted to schedule a time to come by, meet Truman & me, and see our home. Later that week, two of the producers came over to visit us and tape a casting video.

We received the call just before Christmas that we had been selected!

If you aren't familiar with the show, the hosts, the Mavens, teach simple do-it-yourself solutions for your every day life. From decorating to organization, they tackle projects with the help of family and friends that simplify your home and simplify your life. They will even spend some time in the kitchen with us, giving cooking lessons on some dishes & skills we'd love to learn. We can't wait to find out which projects we are going to work on together next week!

You can click here to check out the website and see some of their great ideas for everything from entertaining to meals, as well as highlights from some of the past episodes & families.

We are so excited and feel incredibly blessed to have this unique opportunity! Quite honestly, it's still a bit surreal that in just a few days, we'll be on "set" in our home, shooting our hour long episode. It feels even more surreal that people across the country are going to be watching us on TV later this year. I'm trying not to think too much about that part of the show until after we finish taping! ;) It's just a tiny bit intimidating! I have watched TLC for years and love their shows. It is still so crazy to me that we get to be a part of it.

They will be sharing some of our story when the episode airs, but I promise to sit down sometime soon to share with you some of the reasons that they have decided to come to our home and why we need their help!

Well, my break is over and I need to be a busy bee for the next day or so to get ready for the show!!! I just wanted to take a few minutes and share our fun news with you! I have a feeling I'm going to be exhausted each night after a 12 hour day of taping, but I'll try my best to post updates as we shoot this week!

We truly believe that God has blessed us with this opportunity and we can't wait to see what He has in store for us! What a fun way to kick off 2009!

Friday, January 2, 2009

December Whirlwind

December was a full month for us! It was a whirlwind of activity from decorating to traveling as we celebrated the season of our Savior's birth. I thought I would share just a few highlight photos of our month.

We hosted several parties...

A Christmas dessert party for my small group girls

Our staff team Christmas party

We traveled to Ohio to spend the week before Christmas with my family. We had fun visiting with family & friends and checking out holiday activities around Cincinnati.

One of my annual Christmas favorites in Cincinnati is the holiday display at Krohn Conservatory in Eden Park. They have a nativity and a grand floral display that captures the beauty of the holiday season. I want to share the colorful and magical sights with you.

We continued our tradition of creating a gingerbread house (or two or three!) My brother Evan cleverly crafted a gingerbread car, from the snowman pieces, that was parked just next to our house. Of course it had to have the traditional Christmas car commercial big bow on top!

Fountain Square, in downtown Cincinnati, hosted an over-the-top Christmas extravaganza. Bored with Santa's same old arrival year after year in a sleigh? Spice it up a bit with Santa rapelling down the side of a city skyscraper, joined by his favorite elf and reindeer! We were amazed at the huge fireworks display celebrating his arrival, right in the middle of all the city buildings! It was all quite a sight!

We jetted back to Texas on Christmas Eve, and arrived in Houston to spend Christmas day with Truman's family. We enjoyed a Christmas brunch followed by a large celebration with all of the extended family. (I don't have our group family photo yet, but will add it soon!) We took sweet time to reflect on the real gift of the season, and we had a fun time of laughter as we exchanged gifts from our Secret Santas.

It was a fun month full of family & friends and we are thankful for the memories shared with people we love!