Friday, August 19, 2011

Take THAT, Pottery Barn

I love Pottery Barn. 99% of the items sold at Pottery Barn could all be on my Oprah-esque favorite things list. However, I would never actually purchase 99% of the items sold at Pottery Barn because they are ridiculously expensive. Examples? This, these, this, and this. I could go on, really.

But my favorite thing I think I've ever seen at Pottery Barn was this light. And it's only a measly four-HUNDRED-dollars! (gulp) Or, that's how I tried to rationalize the cost to myself and my husband, but it was a no-go for this hobo. So sad too, because I knew it would look gorgeous in our dining room.

But then! I found THIS on PINTEREST (proof that something like this could be DIY'd):

link from Kara Paisley Designs

And a few great tutorials (here and here) on how to make your own pendant or chandelier lights with mason jars! I was sold. And I eventually convinced Aaron to be in on it too (it really was QUITE the project).

Here's what we ended up with. We are so happy. And tired (did I mention yet that it was a lot of work?) I've got all the details below for those whose hearts also ache for that much-too-expensive PB light.

Here's the cost breakdown:

$   6.97 - pint-sized mason jars (all the quart-sized ones were given to me!)
$   4.34 - mason jar lids with bands
$ 22.20 - lamp wire
$ 34.44 - sockets
$   3.98 - wire nuts
$ 11.88 - lightbulbs
$   8.48 - spray paint
$ 12.00 - wood for base
$   4.50 - clamps for wires

$ 108.79 TOTAL (WIN!!)

We are thrilled with the results. And thrilled to actually have LIGHT in our dining room. Now, we really have no excuse for eating dinner in the living room.

Anywho, for those who are interested in the "how-to", read on!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A DIY Victory

Three years ago, I bought these pictures for $5 each at an auction:

I don't even have to ask, I know some of you are giving semi-creepy, white Jesus & Mary a nervous, eye-brow-raised look. My husband gave me that same look when I showed him what I bought, "What in the world are you going to do with THOSE?!" To which I replied, "I have no idea! But I like them!"

I hung onto these and moved them from apartment to apartment to house for the past 3 years, and then I finally had an idea! I found this idea on Pinterest (WHAT-you're-not-on-Pinterest?!):

originally from Felt & Wire Shop.

Monday, August 8, 2011

New Home, New Fears

Last summer, when we first got Ellie (and she was the cutest. puppy. ever.), we quickly found out that she was afraid of going down stairs. She would go up them just fine, but if you wanted her to get down the stairs, you had to carry her. Since you HAD to go down the stairs in our old apartment to get outside, this meant a lot of Aaron & Heather carrying the puppy down the stairs so she could go potty. This was fine while she was a little thing, but by about 5 months we got more aggressive about getting her to go down the steps. By herself.

It didn't take long until she was running up and down, up and down, up and down the steps, using her newly-discovered skills.

And then her world got turned upside-down a little bit when we moved into this house. Among the hundreds of different things she's had to adjust to, the stairs in our new house (since they are over 100 years old!) are very different than the ones she was used to. The steps are very steep and the treads are pretty short. And to throw another curveball in there, they make a left turn at the very bottom, so it's not just a straight-shot anymore.

Eventually, she got over this too. But there were several instances where she found herself upstairs, unsure about how to get down them, and very panicked.

And then I realized this house doesn't just present new fears for the dog - for us too! After a few big storms recently brought trees down in our yard, I find myself terrified during thunderstorms now. In fact, there's a whole list of things that I never thought about before that now have me laying awake at night: carbon monoxide, lead paint, smoke detectors (& fire extinguishers), our home's stone foundation, etc etc! Some of these are mostly irrational (hey, we had a home inspection and they think the foundation is fine!) and some are just quick fixes (just go buy a fire extinguisher already!)

But I can't help but worry. This is my life now.
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