The Mid-Century Jackpot

Last weekend we hit the mid-century furniture jackpot and I’m so giddy with excitement, I couldn’t help but share the find with you!

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I’d been watching a posting on Craig’s List for about 3 months (apparently Abilene isn’t a hot bed of mid-century furniture lovers) and the seller had lowered the price from $350 to $225.

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We arranged to meet the seller and after looking at the furniture and seeing that it was in really rough shape, the Craig’s List King offered him $150 for the whole set. . . . . . and he took it!

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The set includes a chest of drawers, a night stand, a low dresser and this hutch will find a home in our Master bedroom renovation.

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I’m not sure where the rest of it will end up just yet but I just couldn’t pass up these beauties. Did you see the gold, color blocked, tapered feet? The top drawers with recessed pulls? The hardware? I’m pretty sure it’s original and what’s left is in great shape.

Mid Century 7You had me at tapered feet.. . . . .. .

Find any amazing Craig’s List deals lately?

 

Backyard Progress

Remember how I said I was going to work on my back yard last fall?? (And I didn’t) Remember how I also told you it was going to be my spring project? Well, the yard has made a TON of progress but still has a long way to go. Today I thought I’d pop in and share with you the progress so far.

I’ve planted a few herbs that have been alive for more than a week (victory!) Clockwise from the top left they are: Italian basil, red basil, sage, mint and chocolate mint.Backyard Progress 2

We planted a garden! It’s not much to look at but yet but I planted things that fare well in the hot, dry Texas summer. From the right we have: tomatillos and okra, Anaheim and bell peppers, and finally jalapenos.Backyard Progress 3

I also planted some garlic and onions. Leland, our ‘big orange cat’ is very curious about the garden but mainly the sprinkler. He is both intrigued and terrified.

Backyard Progress 4We’ve also gathered a few supplies for the yard most notably of which are some rolls of awesome cedar edging. . . .

Backyard Progress 5 . . . . .and this lovely hammock! (Yes, it’s the garage right now .  .. . I’m working on it!)

Backyard Progress 6Perhaps the greatest transformation in the back yard thus far has been my climbing rose bush. Just to refresh your memory, here’s a picture of it last fall, before we removed the brier bush that was entangled in it.

TFP Yard 4Yuck-o. Here it is today!

Backyard Progress 7If ever in my life I have wanted smell-o-vision it would be right now because man let me tell you, these roses smell great!

Backyard Progress 8How are your spring projects going?

DIY Screen Door Art

Today I have a super fun project to share with you, it’s simple and makes a BIG impact!DIY Pantry Door Art @ thefrontpoarch.com

A few months ago I shared with you how we swapped my pantry for this lovely screen door, which recently got a new coat of paint. Since then, I’ve been dreaming about adding some custom art to it so last week I whipped out my needle and yarn and set to work. Want to make some screen door art of your own??

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Yarn, in a color of your choice
  • Large sewing needle
  • Tape, I used painters tape because it’s what I had on hand
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Optional: needle threader
  • Optional: silver Sharpie

Pantry Door Art thefrontpoarch.com 1

Start by deciding on what you want your yarn art to say. Since my pantry is adjacent to my eat-in kitchen table, I chose Let’s Eat. Next you’ll want to think about the style and placement of your wording. I chose to use to different ‘fonts’ but wanted the words to be roughly the same width. To accomplish this, I gave my lettering a 2″ buffer on each side and then marked off 2 horizontal lines so that I could keep the text mostly level.

*If you use painters tape like I did, it probably won’t have enough sticky to stay on the entire time. I used my tape as more of a guideline to get started and then free handed it from there.Pantry Door Art thefrontpoarch.com 2

Thread your needle (I used a needle threader to help me since the yarn is so thick) and tie a strong knot in the end of your yarn. I found that a yard of yarn is about the right amount to work with (when you double it over it will be about 18″) because as you sew in and out of the screen the yarn closest to the needle will begin to fray. In other words, your yarn will likely fray before you can use the entire length of it.

Your first ‘stitch’ needs to start on the back side of your screen, meaning that you’ll pull in through to the front. This will allow you to ‘hide’ the knot on the back.Pantry Door Art thefrontpoarch.com 3

I recommend starting with your first letter, for me that was L. The first ‘font’ I chose was a block font so I started with the outer layer and then worked my way in, using the ‘rows’ of yarn to create a block effect.

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You may find that the tiny squares that make up your screen aren’t exactly what we would call level. Don’t be discouraged by this. Just do the best you can and know that in order for a letter to be straight, you might have to jump from row to row.

Once you’ve finished your fist letter I would suggest stitching your letter last letter, the one that will be furthest to the right. This way you will have 2 ‘bookends’ and will be able to fit your remaining letters in between. It also ensures that you won’t make your letters too big and run out of room at the end.

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It took me about an hour to complete the ‘Let’s’ portion and then I moved on to ‘Eat’.

See all those knots hanging over and looking tacky? Don’t worry, we’ll fix those in a little bit.

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Since I chose a scripted ‘font’ for the word Eat I chose to free hand a template onto the screen with a silver sharpie. This made the stitching process a lot quicker since I wasn’t having to stop and figure out what direction I needed to go next.
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In less than 30 minutes, this baby was done.Pantry Door Art thefrontpoarch.com 8

Now, back to the ugly knots. Heat your hot glue gun up and move to the back side of your screen.Pantry Door Art thefrontpoarch.com 9You want to place a small drop of hot glue on the actual knot of each piece of yarn. Immediately press the knot, glue side down, back in the direction of the yarn. This will keep the knot in place and ensure it isn’t visible form the front. Once all your knots have been glued, go back and trim the extra yarn.

This step will make a HUGE difference! Here are a few before and after shots.

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See what a difference it makes?Pantry Door Art thefrontpoarch.com 11

Finally, step back and admire your handy work, you’ve just created custom art for your screen door!Pantry Door Art thefrontpoarch.com 12

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Does your screen door have to be on your pantry to create custom art? No! You could easily do this on an exterior screen door with a welcome message.

DIY Pantry Door Art @ thefrontpoarch.com

 

An Unintended Collection

Have you ever started a collection. . . . without meaning to?Globe Collection thefrontpoarch.com 5

What I mean by that is, have you ever ‘shopped’ your house and found you have collected one particular item, without realizing it? I have. It’s globes.

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And now they’re on display in my guest room. And I love them.

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Since noticing my collection a few months ago, I’ve been on the hunt for a few more. 2 large globes are now the base of my collection. . .

Globe Collection thefrontpoarch.com 3. . . and these three smaller ones round it out. (See what I did there?)

My favorite? This little gem, with the signs of the Zodiac around the base.

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Globe Collection thefrontpoarch.com 6Have you ever accidentally collected anything?

 

Our Debt Free Journey

Our Debt Free journey began when we got married in 2009 and together brought just under $50,000 of student loans to the table. I’d heard Phillip talk for a long time about a guy named Dave Ramsey and his plan to help you pay off debt. I thought it couldn’t hurt so we gave it a try.

In our family, I am the free spirit . . . .

. . . .and Phillip is the nerd (are you surprised by either of those?).

We began to budget and slowly but surely, our debt snowball began to gain momentum and we started to make significant progress. In the spring of 2011 we taught our first Financial Peace University class which helped keep us accountable. If you’re going to teach people how to live on a budget, you have to do it yourself! We just finished our 4th course and get more and more excited each time we teach it.

Long before I started this blog, we lived our first few years of marriage in a tiny duplex and although I wouldn’t look back on those years and say they were “fun”, I would say that they were worth it.

TFP Living Room

In that little duplex on Minter Lane we learned to live on less than we made, to budget and most importantly, to communicate with each other.

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Last year we took a break from our debt snowball to purchase this house which we now call home.

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So, after 3 and a half years of hard work, giving up things we wanted for only the things we needed, we’re proud to say: WE’RE DEBT FREEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!

PS – If you’d like to read more about people who are winning you can read Alison’s story here or any of these stories from the Dave Ramsey website.

PSS – We threw an awesome story to celebrate, you can read more about it here.

 

How to Throw an Awesome Party

Last Saturday we celebrated being debt free and today I’m here to share 5 awesome party tips!

How to throw an awesome party - thefrontpoarch.com

1. Pick a theme!

Since we were celebrating being debt free we chose a money theme. From the decorations to the food – everything was green!

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2. Shop the dollar store.

The first place I go for party inspiration is the dollar store. I always end up purchasing cheap decor and gaining lots of ideas for my theme. For our debt free party I picked up these awesome shades for the kids to play with as well as several bags of coin rolls which I used as filler in large vases.

How to throw a party 43. Make your own decorations.

Use your creativity and get to work! I picked up a few poster boards at the dollar store and made these large, hanging spirals.

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4. Use things you already have.

If you’re anything like me, you have lots of items around your home that can be put to good use during a party. As usual, my Fiestaware served food and a few coffee cups doubled as utensil holders. I borrowed 2 large drink dispensers from my mom and reused my placecard holders as food labels.

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A few leftover wine bottles quickly became a centerpiece.How to throw a party 8

5. Simplify your menu.

This one is probably the hardest for me. When it comes to the menu, I tend to dream big. . .. wwaaayyyyy bigger than what I can actually accomplish. This time I went with a few simple items; green fruit, green veggies, grilled chicken and pork skewers, chips and green salsas.

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6. Have fun!

We tried our hand at a few outdoor games, and had a grand night!

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How to throw an awesome party - thefrontpoarch.com

 

DIY Paper Rosette Art

Paper rosettes have been popping up all over the place an I have to say. . . I’m in love!

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paper rosette tutorial

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I have been inspired and today I’m going to show you how to make your own Paper Rosette Art!
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Here are the supplies you’ll need:

  • 20 – 30 sheet of colorful paper or wallpaper samples
  • cardstock for backing
  • scissors
  • paper cutter
  • hot glue or tape

Paper Rosette Art 1

I used this tutorial for the rosettes, here’s a brief overview. Start with a large rosette so you’ll have an accent or focal point. Begin by cutting a 12″ square piece of paper in half so you have to 6×12″ pieces. Fold the short ends accordion style so you have the longest possible piece.Paper Rosette Art 2

Using your hot glue, attach the piece together in a row. . . .Paper Rosette Art 3. . . . until you have enough for a circle, probably 5-6.

Paper Rosette Art 4Fold the upper edge towards the center,

Paper Rosette Art 5and glue some of the inner folds together so you get a nice, round shape.

Paper Rosette Art 6After about an hour’s work you should have a pile ready to go!

Paper Rosette Art 8Flip them over and cut out the card stock to use as backing. I chose to use my circle cutter but since no one will see this side you could also just cut a square.Paper Rosette Art 7Now you’re ready to assemble this art! I grabbed an old cabinet door from my stash (the same one that made an appearance at Christmas) but you could use anything from a chalkboard to an old window, a dresser drawer or a mirror!

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I then grabbed my hot glue gun and just started placing and gluing the rosettes where they looked right. Don’t worry about making it symmetrical  just trust your gut!

Now, in case you were wondering I DID just say that I glued the rosettes to my wall with hot glue. I know, I know. . . .I’m crazy. It works for me and it’s never chipped my paint but it may not work for you. You could use pretty much anything to hang your rosettes, nails, thumb tacks, gaffers tape, etc.Paper Rosette Art 13

In order to create depth I rummaged through my recycle pile and came up with this, an old cap from a face-wash bottle. I glued the lid together and then to the back of my rosette. . . . .

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. . . . and then to the wall. See that layering?Paper Rosette Art 11Don’t have an old face-wash bottle lying around? No problem – you could also use the top from a soda or beer bottle, a cork or a piece of thick cardboard.

Paper Rosette Art 12Finish placing your rosettes and you’re done!

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Paper Rosette Art 17Paper Rosette Art 16Any trends you’re swooning over this spring?

The Small Project Series

Do you ever start a project but never finish it because it’s so small? I do. All. The. Time. I can tackle big projects like there’s no tomorrow. Paint a dresser? Colorblock my dining room? Done and done, but cut and stain a piece of trim for my kitchen desk? Not done. Not done at all.

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So today I’m starting a new series call the Small Project Series and first up is my front door. . . . the back of my front door to be exact. If you’ll remember I painted my front door and then it sat in the garage for a few months waiting to be fitted and hung. In the meantime we painted the living room and well, the colors were too blue – too close for my taste.

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We also replaced the locks so the old holes needed to be filled and sanded.Painted Door 2So this week, nearly 2 months later, I busted out the paint and got this small project done.

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Ahhhh.. . . . . .much better.
Painted Door 6Have you tackled any small projects lately? I’d love to hear about them and feature them here on the Small Project Series! To make a submission, email a link to your blog or photos with explanation to thefrontpoarch@gmail.com. Be sure to put SMS in the subject line.