August 28, 2013

DIY: Film Reel Decor

Earlier this summer, while we were in Fresno, cousin Alyssa gave us some old film reels. We were super excited! Alyssa had reels left over from ones she had cleaned up and hung in her home.  Since Husband is an animator we thought the film reels would be perfect decor for our home too.
Rusted film reels with melted film is no easy task to clean. Husband used a variety of different tools to remove the film. Because parts of the film were melted Husband had to pry pieces apart.
If the film was loose and not melted we could work together to pull the film off. I held the reel while husband would unwind the film. However if the film was melted, Husband would have to go back to other tools. Husband has more patience then me when working on projects like this. He works really hard to preserve pieces of film we might use later and maintain the integrity of the reel. I, however, have a tendency to just get in there and start banging on things... I should take some pointers from Husband.
It was a bit like a treasure hunt as we removed film. Every once in a while Husband would stop and start to inspect the film to see what images lay hidden.
By the end of the final film removal we had a trash bag full of film. We're saving it for another project down the road. We've been bouncing ideas off each other, but haven't settled on one yet. I'm so excited for whatever we come up with!

These two images are some of the treasures we found. The bottom one with the "damsel in distress," is my favorite.

The final step to prepare the film reel was to remove the rust. This was super tough too. We tried a variety of methods, but I think the one that worked best was comet, steel wool, and a lot of scrubbing. Husband filled the bath tub with some water, added the comet, and let it sit before he started scrubbing.

We were really happy with our final film reel. We love how it's rough with lots of character; you can tell it has a story to tell. We have one more film reel to work on, we're looking forward to adding it to our home.

Have you been working on any home decor DIY projects?
What is something in your home that has untapped decorative potential?
Anything can be made new, it's just needs a creative spark!

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August 27, 2013

The Shop: Women's Simple Wallet

My current obsession in the shop has been Women's Simple Wallets. It's all I have wanted to make lately. I'm a minimalist and I love things that are simple. I especially love these simple wallets, because they come with pops of character and vintage charm.  I have a tendency to not want to carry a lot of things, so these wallets work great, especially on the go. Throw in some cash, your credit card, drivers license, and even a key. It fits perfect in your back pocket, a purse, and it's super great for travel.

This Autumn Leaves wallet is my favorite. I'm often inspired my nature and warm rich colors, so this wallet draws my eye and adds to my personal style.
This vintage inspired peach wallet is also a favorite. I'm a sucker for anything vintage so this wallets right up my alley. This wallet would be so great for business cards.
I've also been pretty excited about these new sunnies cases! I kept finding myself hesitating as I put my sunglasses in my purse. I kept thinking, "the minute I throw these in here and they'll break." So I decided to make some sunglasses cases. Problem solved.

What's your favorite item that you carry in your purse? 
What's your favorite item in the shop?

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August 26, 2013

Life this Weekend: Nickelodeon Family Fun Day

Every year Nickelodeon has a family fun day. It's basically a family event, with food, games, live entertainment, and lots and lots of water guns. This year was super fun because our friends Sarah and Erin joined us.

I'm usually most excited about the food. I'm that way with most events, "will there be food?" Yes, okay, I'll go. And at these event there is always really really good food!
Every one receives water guns as they enter and there are "fill" stations set up everywhere. If you go to this event, you know you'll be shot with water guns... constantly, none-stop, and from every direction. I think it's a ploy to try to keep people cooled off, because the event is always outside.
Last year's live entertainment was hula dancers. This year they had this super crazy fire eater! Husband got this great shot, I was occupied with my pile of food.
We ended the afternoon playing Giant Jenga and we were joined by Dennis and Serena. Have you every played Giant Jenga? I think it's currently sweeping the states. 
One thing that we didn't document was the 45 minutes that Erin and I stood in line, waiting to have our hair done up all crazy like. There were these crazy wacky hair stations, where they would basically do whatever you wanted done to your hair, including making it huge and spiked up. I really wanted a huge beehive on my head. Unfortunately, we gave up because the wait was too long.  

How was your weekend?
 Don't forget to play some giant Jenga!

Did you miss anything last week?  
Check out Last Week's Reads:
Life this Weekend: Tending Poison Ivy
Headed to the beach this weekend with our LIFE Group. 

Be on the Look out for:
The Shop: Simple Women's Wallet. DIY: Film Reel Decor. Beyond Ourselves: Compassion International.

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August 22, 2013

Moving Across the Country: How I Coped

I had this post scheduled on my calendar. The whole, "moving across the country" had a pretty huge effect on me and I wanted to share my story and how I coped with all the changes. It was funny because when I was reviewing my editorial calendar I looked at today's post and thought, "huh, that's going to be interesting." I guess, because I'm still coping and the coping process for me was tough, really tough.
Here is the story. Husband was already living in California. Husband and I got married, May 26, 2012. We honeymooned for a week and then returned to Joplin. We spent two days packing our uhaul and saying our goodbyes and we were on the road by Sunday, June 3. I think I started crying in Oklahoma. All within little over a week my entire life changed. I hadn't even seen our apartment. I was going in site unseen.
Lots of people asked me about the transition, "this isn't your first time moving, you lived in Florida right after college." They were all right, after college I pulled one of my crazy, "I'm going to move without a job or place to live, it will be fine." And it was. But within that experience I knew, Florida was only temporary. I knew that if anything happened I could always go home. Joplin was home.

California was different. I knew it would be permanent. I knew I would be making a whole new life with my super amazing Husband. One conversation that I had with a friend made a lot of difference for me. Most people wondered why I was crying so much, he simply said, "You're mourning." And then expressed to me that it made sense that I would be mourning, I just left my entire life to start a new one. Within that conversation I gave myself the permission to mourn.

It seems like one thing to go from one Mid-West community to another. But going from the Mid-West to the West Coast. Well, for me it was crazy town. I was overwhelmed... I still get overwhelmed. Talk about culture shock. I feel like I should elaborate more. Joplin, population 50,000. Glendale, population almost 200,000. Glendale lies north east of L.A. and well, L.A. is the second most populated city in the U.S. "YAY." Let's, just say, Husband and I don't travel into L.A. unless it's for something specific. We spend a majority of our time in Burbank, which only has a population of about 100,000. Even such, everyone just pours over into everywhere.

So, have I actually talked about how I coped? I don't think so...
Let's start with the obvious. I cried A LOT. I cried every day for probably 4 months. There are still days when I want to come home and cry. There is a "pressure" in L.A., it doesn't go away, it's just a part of the city. I have had to learn to "breath," through the pressure. I have also learned to go slow and I'm very intentional about going slow. Everything moves fast here, so in order to cope I go slow. We have also learned to just be "different." We treat people like we would treat them in the Mid-West, which means saying hello to strangers, randomly show up at friends houses, and showing kindness and compassion. Two things that are lacking from a lot of places.

Without writing a novel right now, because I think I could, let me break it down.

How I coped:
1) I cried a lot and I gave myself permission to cry.
2) I slowed down and took a lot of deep breaths.
3) I talked a lot about what was going on with me, especially to Husband and mom.
4) I accepted what I was okay with handling and what was to much for me. I couldn't do things the same way I would have done things in Joplin and I was okay with that.
5) Hearing the experiences of others really helped. I learned that I wasn't the only one who felt this way after moving to this area. And I learned people who grew up in California, moved away and then come back to visit got overwhelmed and anxious too. I wasn't alone.
6) I did my best to work through my emotional struggles and sought professional help when I didn't understand. i.e. counselors are the best.
7) The more Husband and I were able to talk about my struggles the better. 

I feel like I'm cutting myself off mid-sentence, because I have so many stories... maybe I should right that novel. ha!

Moving is tough, changes are tough, and we're not along.
Have your experienced big crazy changes in your life?
How did you cope?

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August 16, 2013

Thankful Fridays: Family

Today, I wanted to reflect on how thankful I am for family. Before Husband and I become family, it was always my mom, my brother and I. I like to stay we are freakishly linked. And what better way to share about family and how thankful I am for them then some good old mid-west skeet shooting. When I was in Joplin for my good friend, Caitlin's wedding, my brother and my mom took me skeet shooting. It was my first time shooting skeet and it had probably been over 15 years since I had held a gun.
My mom and my brother try to go to the shooting range about once a week. One Sunday, my brother asked my  mom if she wanted to go and that started their weekly skeet shooting.
I love my brother so stinkin' much! Husband always tells me I am his biggest fan. I like to think I am. I am that sister who is always willing to jump up and cheer. He's my BIG brother, so it just makes sense that I would be his biggest fan.
My mom taught me how to throw the clay pigeons and during this first session of shooting I was more interested in throwing then shooting. My mom is really great too. She has been a great encourager in my life and is always full of wisdom.
I don't know anything about guns or skeet shooting. So I can't really talk about what kind of gun my brother has or anything like that. So we'll go with; it was super crazy fun, my brother is a great teacher, and he's a good shooter too.
The two shots above were really fun to get. It was fun being able to capture the pigeon in the air and then capture it breaking.
And then there was me... My first time loading a gun, my first time holding a gun of that size, and my first time experiencing the kick back. After the first shot I was pretty intimated to shoot again. I honestly thought I was going to fall backwards. Once, I got past the initial, "this is crazy, and I am going to fall on my butt," it become one of my favorite things!
I am so thankful for family! Skeet shooting is now one of my favorite past times. When Husband and I went to the Shiver's Family Reunion, I couldn't wait to go shooting. And yes, I got plenty of laughs because the kick back always makes it look like I'm going to fall down, but I promise I don't.

Truth: Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. - Proverbs 16:3

What are you thankful this week?
What is one of your favorite past times?

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August 14, 2013

DIY: Chicken Wire Frames

Two weekends ago Husband and I rearranged our living room. Rearranging our living room meant moving around some frames. In our wedding we used these wood frames as a part of our photo booth and decorations. I have had them hanging in out living room empty for over a year thinking I would do something with them. So when we were moving things around, Husband suggested putting some chicken wire in them and I was absolutely on board. I had been wanting something to display some old photos and this was it. 
This project was super easy. All you need is chicken wire, a staple gun, wire cutters, and a flat head screw driver.
1.) We laid the chicken wire over the frames and cut it to our specifications. 2.) Husband stapled the wire to the inside of the frame.
3.) Husband cut the excess wire. 4.) We bent down the extra wire over the staples with the flat head screw driver. (This adds extra structure and ensures the chicken wire won't slip out of the staples.) 5.) Husband stapled the remaining wire. Easy peazy!
I filled the frames with old baby pictures of Husband! They are my favorite. Hopefully when we venture to Joplin over Christmas I'll bring home baby pictures of me and add them to our frames.
Husband and I really enjoy items that are vintage inspired and a little rustic, so these fit perfectly in out little home.

What do you have laying around you house that you could turn into something new? 

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August 12, 2013

Life this Weekend: Cambria

This weekend Husband and I went to Cambria with family. If you've been an avid reader of Elah Tree for a while you know about our Fresno family. Our Fresno family invited us to join them in Cambria this weekend, and we couldn't be more grateful, it was absolutely beautiful. I'm pretty sure I kept saying, "this is magical." I have a new found appreciation for California thanks to Cambria.
It takes about 4 hours to get to Cambria from Burbank, that includes stopping for gas and dinner. We had about 30 minutes left on our drive when we come over a hill and saw the ocean. We had been anticipating a view like this and it was pretty amazing when we finally saw it.
This is the view from the balcony of the house. I had never been to a beach like the ones in Cambria. Most beaches Husband and I have ventured to, including ones in Florida, were all very touristy, and highly commercialized. Cambria is different; it's small, quiet, and slow. My favorite things.
Our fist morning in Cambria we got to do some bird watching and some whale watching. Husband spotted something way out in the ocean and after some anticipated viewing we all saw a whale. It was cool!
We spent time resting and playing.
On Saturday, we all went to San Semion and visited Hearst Memorial State Beach.
It was absolutely lovely. We saw "ottey."
We went hiking.
We took in the beauty of God's creation.
Down the road from Hearst Memorial State Beach is Elephant Seal viewing! I don't think I have ever seen as much marine life in any other place as I did while visiting Cambria.
Sunday morning, Husband got up early and walked down to the beach from the house. He was greeted by more beautiful marine life!
We did some more relaxing Sunday afternoon and went on one more walk.
The last walk we took was right against the shore. Husband and I climbed down some rocks to get closer and do some exploring. Everything was beautiful and breath taking. I kept thinking I was in a different part of the world. It was that amazing.
Cambria is now one of my favorite places in California. If you're ever near there you should absolutely stop and take in the sites. It is beautiful!

How was your weekend?
Did you do any exploring?

Did you miss anything last week?  
Check out Last Week's Reads:
Life this Weekend: A Little Spontaneity
Thankful Fridays: A Recent Read, A Special Spot, & Brother

Husband and I have some quiet weeks ahead.

Be on the Look out for:
A Giveaway. DIY: Chicken Wire Frames. Self-care tips.

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