Monday, June 30, 2014

DIY Framed New York Art

So, there's this sad thing about blogging when you are also a wife, mom, and full-time student. Sometimes it just doesn't happen. That's totally okay, though, because raising a family and getting my education is worth it! But that is the reason this project that I shared on instagram ages ago is only now making its debut on the pages of the blog. Anyway, here is an easy, cheap, and chic way to decorate your home. The best part is, you probably don't even need to leave home to do it! (Okay, you might need to leave to grab some spray paint. But other than that! ;) ) So without further ado, DIY framed New York art!

What you'll need:
Frames: I used old ones that weren't being used in our decor, but you could just use nice/new ones and skip the spray painting step!
Spray paint: optional
Paper: I just used regular printer paper, but cardstock would probably look extra great. I like the look of using the printer paper, though, because it helps it look like I printed on real, old book pages.
Computer and Printer: to search for old book pages and art, and then for printing.
Nails, Hammer, etc.: for hanging your pictures when you're done.

On to the how-to... Forgive me, I didn't take many pictures of the process. It's super easy and quick, though!

First, you will need to gather as many frames as you want for your (mini) gallery wall. This would also work well with a single photo. I used three frames, since the spot above our toilet was very narrow, tall, and empty. (Ideally, make sure your frames don't go any larger than a photo the same size as a normal sheet of paper--8.5"x11". This just makes it easier to print everything at home.)

Here are the three frames I chose. (I finished my art before I spray painted my frames, but in hindsight, that would have been a good project to do while I fretfully waited for them to dry. Haha I get so antsy for projects to be done sometimes.)

As you can see, they're all really different in color, shape, and style. That's okay! Everything goes for this project!

After you have your frames picked out, you need to take out the glass and backing from the frames and spray paint the frames to match. I went with a semi-gloss black spray paint for quick-and-easy application. (They're not perfect, so don't look too close!) Give your paint at least a few hours to dry completely.

While your paint is drying, go online. Search for images like "old book pages", "dictionary pages", things like that. There are millions of options. I didn't really care what the text said as long as there were not huge gaps and no pictures.

When you have your text images ready to go, print them out.

Next, find three images that match your theme. You can pick anything! Our shower curtain (which you may have occasionally seen in my bathroom-mirror selfies) has the New York skyline on it, so I went with a New York theme for my prints.

I think I found both of my pictures on desktop image databases. I didn't want anything too fancy--just black and white. I also had to carefully resize each image to fit in its frame. It is a good idea to do a test run on a scrap sheet of paper before you waste one of your pretty text pages.

Also, if you want one of the frames to hold words, pick a font, size, and print that out as well.

Once you're all printed, cut out your papers to just a little bigger than the size of the frame opening.

Insert pictures into dry frames, and voila! You're done! Just go hang your lovely work on the wall.

Here are some glare-y pictures of the final product all hung up on the wall!

Haha it's kind of awkward that you can see my reflection in the glass...anyway! This was a super fun, easy project, and I hope you try it! It only takes an afternoon, so it's my kind of craft. :)

Happy crafting!


Monday, June 16, 2014

2nd Anniversary

Forgive the lateness of this post... I have been so ridiculously busy with summer semester (15 credits, yes...I'm crazy) that it has been in the works for over a month now! Anyway, I still wanted to give some love to our anniversary, so enjoy!

I can hardly believe that it has been two whole years since I married my love. It's funny how it feels like ages on one hand, like we've known each other forever. On the other hand, it seems like it was just a few days ago. I have had a few people ask for our love story. I think our anniversary is the perfect day to share it. (Sorry if you've already heard it! I never get tired of telling it, though. :) )

We met at Good Earth Natural Foods (a local health food store) in the beginning of fall 2011. I had just graduated high school, and I was focused on school. I did not think I would be getting married anytime soon! Austin had just returned from an LDS mission in Nebraska. We were both starting our first semester of college at UVU. I was taking a swimming class, and all that wonderful exercise meant I was always starving. I hadn't tried protein shakes before, but I thought that might be a good way to give my body the nutrients and energy it seemed to need.

So I walked into work one day, specifically intending to ask one of the wellness counselors over in the supplements section about the different protein powders. Austin happened to be working that day, and I instantly knew his muscly self would know all about protein. (He was kind of a gym rat before we started dating. He still kind of is, but that's another story. ;) ) So I walked up to him and asked for his advice. He knew there were a few Syntha-6 protein samples sitting around, so he found some for me, and that was it. Our very first encounter. I can even remember the exact shirt he was wearing. Is that funny?

Anyway. As time went on, we grew to be flirty acquaintances. I thought he was so cute and funny, but I knew he flirted with pretty much all the girls at work, so I didn't think a whole lot of it. One day, while I was stocking the big fridges at work with some coworker girlfriends, Austin came up. We were talking about how cute and strong he was, and one of the girls said that they were dating. I felt kind of embarrassed and awkward for having a crush on him and essentially stopped thinking about him. I am so not the kind of girl who wants to get in the middle of that situation!

A few months down the road, Austin and I were working the same shift and happened to go on break at the same time. I don't know about the rest of the world, but at Good Earth, two employees going on break together is pretty much always referred to as a "break date." So, we were on a break date. It was the first time that I felt like I really started to get to know Austin, not just banter back and forth and blush, you know? We talked about his mission and things like that. Halfway through our break, he just turned to me and said, "Why don't I have your number?" I answered as dumbly as possible..."Um, because you never asked for it?" I swear I said it as a question. Hahaha what do you even say to that? To make it even more awkward, Austin didn't ask for my number right then! We both just kind of laughed it off and went on eating. I kind of knew by that point that we liked each other a little bit, but we definitely didn't know what to do about it.

Later in the shift, Austin gave me a little folded note. I believe he sent it to me through a messenger, but I'm not one hundred percent sure about that, now that I think about it. Anyway, I had the note. It simply asked for my number in a very cheesy, but cute, way. I filled in the blanks with my digits and sent the note back to Austin.

As our shift came to a close, Austin ended up leaving a little bit before I did. He had already sent me a text by the time I had clocked out and grabbed my stuff to leave. He asked me if I wanted to go see a movie that night, and I said yes.

Normally, when I'm telling this story to strangers or acquaintances, I end the story with, "And we've been together ever since." But you guys are my faithful readers. I will give you more than that. ;)

So, we got to the movie theater. We drove separately, since Austin only had a motorcycle at that point, and heaven knows I didn't want to ride on a motorcycle at 10 o'clock at night near the end of December. We met up in the parking lot and went inside together. Austin had made a quick stop to buy a couple chocolate chip cookies (my favorite), so we snacked on those during the movie. (I don't think I've ever said anything to him about this, but that made me both respect his choice of treats and his frugality for not spending a ton of money on movie theater treats. Haha)

The movie we watched was Real Steel. We really liked it. Afterwards, we stood out by our car/motorcycle and talked for as long as we could without shivering to death (not very long). We did the obligatory post-date hug thing and left.

Austin beat me home, and he had texted me again by the time I was up to my apartment. After talking for a minute, we decided we both weren't tired and should probably hang out some more. We rented a Redbox and ended up talking the whole night away. We held hands at some point, which we jokingly say happened on our second date. It was crazy, though, the way we just clicked. Everything about him was so fascinating and amazing and wonderful to me. I had so much respect for the wonderful brother he was, the way I could tell he really loved his family, and how hard he worked in all areas of his life. He had a passion for things I admired, and his very difficult life made me want to cry and hug him all at the same time. That's a story for him to tell, not me, but it is seriously a miracle that Austin turned out to be the amazing guy that he is. Anyway, I'm getting off subject.

We ended up talking that whole night away, and Austin didn't go home until around 7 am. The next night, I had already been set up on a blind date by a coworker that Austin and I were both good friends with. When she heard that Austin and I had really hit it off right before this blind date she was so excited about, she was jokingly mad at Austin for stealing me and ruining my chances with this other guy (who is now her brother-in-law, her husband's twin brother). Anyway, I went on that date, had a lot of fun, and knew I definitely was not interested in that guy romantically at all. Which I felt bad about. Austin had been texting me before the date, saying that we should hang out afterwards if things didn't pan out with the blind date. I ended up texting him, and we hung out again until 5 am or so that time. We had our first kiss that night, but we were good! Don't worry. Just lots more talking and getting to know each other.

And we have literally been together ever since. It's kind of funny that Austin wasn't my last first date, but I don't think it bothers him. It has been pretty clear to both of us from the very start that this was something special. We were together constantly from the end of December on. We got engaged about a month later and were married on May 16th in the Draper temple. It was a gorgeous day, and I love our pictures so much! Here are a few of my favorites.

Happy (late) anniversary, my love! I look forward to many more wonderful years with you. :)

Thanks for reading!