Home Happenings – October ’14

OCTOBER // Both the 31 Days writing challenge (this is Nester‘s challenge of writing for 31 days on a single topic) and the One Room Challenge (re-doing an entire room in the span of six weeks) were on my radar for October.  However, the rarity of having The Hubs home for most of the month meant scaling back on the blog as much as possible.  While it would have been dandy to have an extra set of strong hands to help with the endless list of needed home improvements, sometimes improving connections does more to improve the quality of home than anything.stuffed animal in mobycandles on a window sillmother and daughter in mobyfall purse contentsplant growing taller than roofreading jerusalem cookbookcuties between fingersplaying memory card gamedigging in the mudlittle black dressbaby in pink bumboAnd can I just say that having a trick-or-treating aged kid is awesome in all sorts of ways?  And yes, one of those sorts includes raiding his stash for chocolates.

Jennifer singature - Pea Jenny Script

Felt Word Art

1 - DIY Felt Word Art by Brave New HomeI love working with felt.  It’s one of the unsung heroes of the crafting world.  The fact that it costs about ten cents a sheet may have something to do with it.2 - materials for felt word artFor this project I used a frame whose glass I accidentally busted trying to fit a bunch of frames from our move into a box.  I wanted to do something that would benefit from not being behind a sheet of glass.  I used my wood grain contact paper to recover my frame.3 - cutting letters out of feltI free-handed the letters backwards so the pen marks wouldn’t show up on the finished letters.4 - arranging felt lettersI chose this song lyric from an Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros song (side note: I have my guesses why Jade got kicked out of the band but who can replace that voice?).5 - arranging felt letters in frameAs you can see, I took some creative license with spelling and separating words.  It’s art, right?6 - gluing felt letters to posterboardThen I sparingly used some white glue to attach my felt letters to some white poster board. 7 - home is wherever im with you felt word art with cactusThis piece reads a lot better in person.  I have to figure out how to photograph it better.8 - home is wherever im with you felt word art side viewThe uncovered dimension of the felt helps add to the playfulness. 9 - home is wherever im with you felt word art side view cactus2The Hubs definitely was the inspiration for this piece though sometimes I feel like I should swap this piece out for one that says, Home is wherever I’m waiting for you, haha.10 - home is wherever im with you felt word artI haven’t found a permanent home for this piece yet but it makes me smile every time I pass by it.  And if the song gets stuck in my head, that’s okay, too.

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Jennifer singature - Pea Jenny Script

Does this Make Me A Pro Blogger?

sitting on bench with purse and mapI quit my day job.  It was that ambiguous decision I hinted at last month.

Did I do it to focus on the blog?  Does not working outside the home make me some sort of professional blogger?  Hardly.

I always had it in the back of my mind that maybe I could grow my blog to bring in enough income to replace the one generated by my job if need be.  Well, after two years of blogging (I still need to write up my blogiversary post!), I can safely say monetarily this blog still fits more into the category of “hobby” rather than “profession.”  And that’s okay with me.

It actually feels oddly liberating.  Like I have permission to try something new and refocus.  It’s why we try painting that dated side table that we’ve mentally marked for donation to see if it could work as some sort of plant stand.  We see the potential, we see things differently and in a last ditch attempt we try something new.

So what does this mean for the blog?  The short answer is, it’s hard to say but things will inevitably change.  Spending more time in your home invariably changes the way you live in it.

I’d like to really focus more on documenting the evolution of our home decor and less on crafts (I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again—except for Christmastime, I have a whole slew of holiday crafts coming your way!).  It’s what I originally set out to do when I first started the blog and somewhere along the way I got sidetracked.

In related news, I’m also gearing up to launch an Etsy store of prints of my photography and paintings this spring.  A blogger opens an Etsy store…I know, I’m a walking cliche!

Not having a traditional job has suddenly restored a latent creativity in me and I’ve resumed creating art for the sake of creating art.  I’m excited and equally nervous to share my store with you.TAKK TAKK TAKK coming soonThe store will be called // TAKK TAKK TAKK (which is the sound of art being nailed into a wall, get it?).  I’ll be sure to have some fun giveaway that coincides with the store launch so keep an eye out for it!

All this to say that I’m thankful for your readership, your comments and for this community.  I’m excited for what is to come next and because this blog is a modified reflection of my home life I’m excited for what I’ll have to share with you.  Cheers!

Jennifer singature - Pea Jenny Script

Making Our Backyard Bigger

How does one go about making their backyard bigger?  Well, you borrow from the front yard!side of the house with old fenceIt kinda creeped me out having the door to our bedroom exposed to the street.  My initial thought was to patch up the door (goodness knows we have more than enough of those!) but The Hubs suggested pushing out the backyard fence to extend beyond the door.  That made a lot of sense and by sense I mean it was significantly cheaper.installing metal postThe Hubs found this fence post for free on Craigslist.  So random.  Kudos to him for always trolling that Free section.knocking down fenceI was inside when I heard a loud thud so I quickly popped into our bedroom first to see what was going on and then to ask The Hubs to wait a second while I grabbed my camera.  I’m so glad I interrupted when I did because it seriously took two strong whacks with a mallet and the whole fence came crashing down.  Makes me wonder just how useful our fence would actually come in handy in case of a zombie apocalypse.

I just binged watched the last season of Walking Dead on Netflix, bare with me.   I feel like I eat, sleep and dream zombies.  I actually thought I saw one of the street corner but it turned out to be a pedestrian waiting to cross the road.putting the fence upI was amazed at how quickly this fence came together.  I remember when I was younger my parents hired people to build them a fence.  In my head, it had always been one of those tasks you hired out.laying out fenceThis was one of those projects that my husband somehow seemed to know a lot about so I learned a lot from asking questions, e.g. the spacing between posts, etc.attaching wood to postI think he learned some things in the process, too.adding gate to fenceLike you can buy these handy little kits to make a gate on your fence.gate kit for fenceAfter the fence was complete, I did feel a little more peaceful being in our bedroom.finished fence extensionIt somehow almost sounded quieter, too.finished gate on fence extensionI’m thinking this space could become some sort of attached patio in the warmer months to really round out the master bedroom suite concept.  Maybe put a little bistro table there or something sweet.lock on gateBecause of our house’s positioning, this area is typically shaded.  Might even be a good spot for a sandbox.  Okay, now I’m just getting ahead of myself.  I still need to get a handle on our dustbowl of a backyard!completed fence extensionAll that wood made our bedroom smell like a forest for a few weeks.  I just loved having the windows open even more than usual.  I think this project will snowball into a few more.  I like the look of the wood but the rest of our fence is all dark grey from years of being exposed to the elements.  Part of me wants to paint both the old and the new fence for the sake of cohesion and the other part of me wants to at least rebuild the fence on the other side of the house so at least it will look the same from the street.uneven fenceThe fence isn’t straight all the way around.  I mentioned this to my husband after the fact and he rightly concluded that the ground wasn’t even.  I think this is the part of the post where I’m supposed to direct you to my disclaimer and remind you of the fact that we’re not home improvement professionals (obviously), haha.

In the end, we learned something new and are one step closer to updating our home and making it a safer place to live (especially in the case of a zombie apocalypse).

Jennifer singature - Pea Jenny Script