A Miscellany of Projects

I think I’ve mentioned that while I have not been the most faithful at blogging, I have done an okay job at taking pictures of various projects that I have worked on. However, as I was going through pictures, none of them seemed to quite merit their own blog post. Which brings us to our title: a miscellany of projects. It’s a real word, look it up. (I did..) I almost went with a GOULASH of projects, but I reeeally don’t like goulash, so here we are.

First, let’s take a journey to my pinterest-worthy craft room.

craft room (2)

Not what you were expecting? I take what I can get.
Someday that will all be livable space with real floors and walls and ceiling. Someday.

Do you spy the color wheel?

color wheel (1)

I got my inspiration AND the free cut file/pattern from here. Hers is super cute (and taken in much better lighting).

color wheel (2)

I made it on a piece of foam board and used fabric, paper, buttons, and stickers. I really liked the Picasso quote and so I stamped that out too. It was a fun little project to do to add some color to my “space” and it was very simple and non-time-consuming. (I told you..not enough to stand on it’s own as a blog post.)

Next, I have a wreath I made for Spring.

spring wreath (2)

I made the felt flowers, the nest if from Hobby Lobby, and the eggs are from an antique shop in Kalona, IA.

spring wreath (4)

A little more subdued than my usual choice of colors, but it worked really well for Spring.

spring wreath (1)

I painted our side tables. Our coffee table and two side tables were a GREAT DEAL from a friend’s garage sale soon after we were married. We slapped some black spray paint on them, but they were really starting to show some wear and tear.

table before (1)

So, as I was in the very early stages of labor with Benji, I painted (while taking precautions and staying in a very well ventilated area: aka the outdoors).

table after (2)

We used a grayish beige sort of color (greige, if you will) that we had lying around. Before the hubs and I had our kiddos we used to, you know, just go to stores together. We didn’t even have to bring along a snack or push two carts. Anywho, when we would go to a hardware store together I found it difficult, nay impossible, to pass by the “oops paint” without perusing the colors and probably buying a can or two. Present day me would give past me a slightly judgmental look. This was one of many colors that I probably had no real need to ever get and have consequently used, but only because it was there and I’m sure I gave some sort of promise about how I would definitely use the paint for all sorts of projects. hah.

If you follow me on instagram, you may have spotted my giant chalkboard where I was doing verses of the week and REALLY need to get back into the habit of doing again.

chalkboard (1)

So much about that picture has changed (mainly no more book shelves in our living room) that it makes me want to give a “house tour” and take pictures of every room. But then I think about how I would need to clean them all…

chalkboard (2)

Maybe I’ve done less chalkboard verses since I’ve been doing a lot more Bible journaling. I think I am going to take an entire post to share about that, but I’ll just share one page.

liz journals the Bible (23)

I also painted our side entrance leading down to the basement. This was before.

entryway before and after (2)

It was a dingy white that had yellow sealant sprayed on it (THAT’S a long story) from when we first moved in and just needed some TLC badly.

entryway before and after (3)

So I just continued the yellow from the kitchen.

entryway before and after (6)

We also added the baskets on the wall (from Walmart) and the hooks for the cleaning supplies. Not super glamorous, but the organization makes a huge difference.

entryway before and after (1)

And our pots and pans on our spraypainted pegboard also help with organization. We have a fairly small kitchen with not a lot of cabinets or counter space, so we have tried to be as creative as possible with where and how to store things.

Sooo….there you have it. What may have been my most random blog post ever. If you made it to the end, then I truly believe you are a dear, dear friend. I still have more to share (Bible journaling, a furniture redo, two room redos) but those should be enough to stand on their own. Thanks for sticking with me. Hopefully you learned a little more about me or felt a little inspired to go do one of those less-than-glamorous, but satisfying-to-finally-accomplish projects.


Simple Valentine’s Day Decorations

Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤

I don’t always decorate for today,
but when I do, it’s pretty simple and mostly from stuff I already have. 🙂

Here is the chalkboard in our living room.

valentines 2015 (2)

I used these super sweet mason jars with crocheted hearts from Raising Up Rubies to create a simple garland with mini clothespins. (Seriously her shop is the best and her blog is the best. Her Instagram is even the best. I just get so inspired by her.)

valentines 2015 (3)

The pom pom garland I had already made last year sometime and I decided to see if it would work if I hung both. And then the number of pom poms worked PERFECTLY with the spacing. Happy little surprise.

valentines 2015 (6)

The heart cross stitch design I actually copied from this tutorial for a cute memo board from East Coast Creative. Easy to recreate and super cute.

valentines 2015 (5)

And this is our mantle.

valentines 2015 (9)

The fabric scrap garland I actually made for Christmas (for my ‘booth’ at my first ever craft sale), but the colors worked really well for Valentine’s Day too. The embroidery hoop “O” with the flower was actually left over from the sale, too.

valentines 2015 (10)

The letters I made following this tutorial here. I had the straws and knew this would be a perfect, simple decoration. The tissue paper flowers are from Ellery’s baby shower that I have held onto and been able to use over and over.

valentines 2015 (8)

Pretty simple, but it makes me smile when I see it.

Hope you have a great day!



Fall Mantle for Free

Happy Fall!

First of all, is it “mantel” or “mantle”? I went back and forth with which one to use for the title, but it was mostly just eenie meenie miney moe.

Did you know that my AH-MAZING hubby built me a mantle/mantel/shelf for my birthday? Cuz he did and is one of my favorite things in our house. I went back and forth (indecisive much?) with painting it or staining it and decided on a dark stain and I am SO glad I did. Dark wood tones have really been growing on me as of late.

I didn’t really have a season or holiday to decorate for so I first just put some things on it to fill the space.

Oh, and p.s. there is an air vent on the wall right next to him. I’m trying to decide if this will bother be forever or if I’m okay with it. What do you think? There were a limited number of walls where we could put the shelf and both of them had an air vent. Should I paint it to blend in with the wall? Does it distract too much? Did you not really notice it until I pointed it out? Help me.

mantle (1)

You see how amazing it is, now don’t you? Wanna know a fun secret? The front is also a drawer that we keep our remotes in. LOVE it. Beauty and function.

Anyway, now autumn is upon us and I knew it was the perfect time to inaugurate that beautiful mantle with some decorating. Oh, and it was all for free.

fall mantel (2)

The books are Goodwill finds (from our wedding) that are wrapped in brown paper and turned around for the texture of the pages.

fall mantel (4)

The yellow lanterns I found at a barn sale a little while ago and this is the first time I have used them.

fall mantel (5)

The felt leaf garland I made last year by just cutting out several leaf shapes in autumnal colors and strung them together with some yellow yarn.

fall mantel (3)

I am especially fond of this wreath. It is made of pom poms! I was inspired by this wreath and spent a little time recently making all the pom poms, hot glued them to circle frame leftover from a clock, and hung it on an old frame with some Indian corn ribbon. I love how it kind of looks like a wreath of mums from farther away.

fall mantel (1)

I finished it off with some fake leaves I got from Michael’s several years ago. It’s amazing what you can pull together from stuff you already have.

fall mantel

Here is is on the wall with our two windows that I painted and distressed.

How are you decorating for fall?
What should I do about that vent?

Thanks for reading.

Rearrange-eosis and a Gallery Wall

Most people that know me even a little know that I like to change things up pretty often in my home. One of the comments I hear the most when people come to our house is “Oh, you rearranged again.” I’m pretty sure that I have a disease called rearrange-eosis. It’s a condition where I very regularly feel the need to rearrange decorations or furniture or perhaps the entire house. I’ve had it for just about as long as I can remember—I distinctly remember moving things around in my childhood home—and it definitely got worse in college.

Two roommates encouraged the habit and probably suffer from the same disease. In fact, I’m pretty sure my first roomie and I rearranged our room together almost once a month. You never knew when you were going to walk into the room and be faced with a maze of dorm room beds and dressers as we figured out how things would fit and if we had tried this thing in that place before. I also had one roommate who I drove a little crazy. Don’t worry, we worked through it without too much heartbreak. My current roommate (my wonderful husband) is very gracious as I often move things around, ask him to move things around, put more holes in the wall than you can count, patch up holes in the wall, etc.

Case in point, I’m about to show you my “new” gallery wall that I put up a little while ago which has now been completely replaced by something else. In my defense, my hubby made me a beautiful faux mantle/shelf for my birthday and I had to make room for it somewhere.

Almost everything I used in this gallery wall was either something that was handmade or that I’ve had for a while and just needed a new home. Here it is above the t.v. in our living room.

new gallery wall (3)

You can kind of see the “shelf” Mike built for the DVD player and remotes that rested on top of our old, BEAST of a t.v. We found a really good deal on a flat screen so that is another big change our living room went through recently.

new gallery wall (2)

The indoor barn quilt is something I made a little while ago and I am still extremely proud of it. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever made. The “choose to see the good stuff” picture is actually black construction paper and a chalk pen that I free-handed. It was a really good reminder in the midst of busy days at home and I am hoping to find another place for it or create something similar.

new gallery wall (4)

The cross I found on clearance at Hobby Lobby a long time ago, the mirror is something that I believe I was given by my rearranging-partner-in-crime-roomie, and the “love” sign is from a craft store that I painted.

new gallery wall (5)

Next up was the wall art I made based on Hillsong’s inspiration song “Oceans”. If you haven’t heard the song, you should really listen to it. It is one of my favorite new songs and whenever I hear it (or see the wall art) I am reminded that my growth as a follower of Christ comes in the PRESENCE of my Savior. Not in the best intentioned books or small groups with amazing friends or any other “good” thing. (Those are really good though). It comes when I am still before my God and get to know Him better in an intimate, personal way.

oceans artwork Collage

I used two old canvases that I repurposed, two vintage handkerchiefs (one was my grandmother’s), and cardstock that I cut out with my Silhouette. I love the floral fabric peeking out from the letters.

oceans art (3) oceans art (1)

The “O His Love Divine” canvas was a gift from one of my besties and was made with wooden letters glued to canvas and then painted over.

new gallery wall (6)

I really enjoyed the gallery wall while it lasted, but I can’t wait to show you what the wall looks like now!

new gallery wall  edited

I can’t see myself being cured from rearrange-eosis anytime soon.
Any one else suffer from this disorder?



The Changing of the Seasons: A Faux Mantle’s Story

So I have really been wanting to post more on this old bloggity blog. I’m amazed/thankful that I’ve been able to stay faithful with the Ellery updates, but for a while now that is all that I have posted and I kind of miss sharing some of my projects. I still make stuff as often as I can and I usually even take pictures to share, but then that’s as far as it goes.

I have updated our mantle several times, but then the season/holiday passes before I blog about it. So, I think I’ll share some of the different mantles I have had and then I’ll show you the one I decorated today. Keep in mind, we don’t really have a mantle, so I work with what we do have.

Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day Mantle 2013 (2)

I made the conversation heart specimen art the previous year for V-day, and the 3D flower heart art and alphabet I LOVE YOU this past year. (More tutorials that I never posted..). The tulips were from my love and are one of my favorite flowers. The red books are from our wedding and the pictures are obviously of the mister and I.

Valentine's Day mantle Collage

Easter mantle

easter mantle (2)

I also experimented with less eggs which made it look a lot simpler/cleaner.

easter mantle (4)

I cut out the Easter eggs from my paint chip collection, cut some triangles out of scrapbook paper for bunting, and glued on the letters that I cut out with my Silhouette. The Bible is turned to Isaiah 53 and the cross is from Hobby Lobby. I made the paper flowers a while ago and then just glued on some sticks for stems. The white vases are also leftover from our wedding. And the egg is an egg shaker!

Easter mantle Collage

Then I took away the eggs for spring (after Easter).

spring mantle Collage

Current mantle
(bright, fun, colorful, almost-summer mantle)

summer mantle (2)

I covered those red books with brown paper (from a paper bag and some brown wrapping paper) so I could use my new bicycle bookends from Design Atelier Article that I won from a giveaway on East Coast Creative. It took a little while for them to get to me (they had to come all the way from Ukraine!), but as soon as the package arrived I KNEW I had to display them.

I created a little felt flower bunting by clipping the flowers on some twine. The sunflower paper flowers are left over from some I made for a  baby shower this past Sunday (more to come from that soon I hope). The green fabric and Dream sign were just hanging around the craft room. I love challenging myself to decorate with things that I already have around the house. Saves money and forces me to be extra creative.

summer mantle Collage

And that, my friends, is the evolution of our mantle in the past several months. Thanks for sticking with me through sparse posts and catch-up.


Easy Fall Wreath

You know how there are those times that you are in a creative rut and you just wish you had some IDEAS? I am not in one of those times. ; )

I have a whole list of things to do/create, which is wonderful, but am only able to  carve time out of my busy days and weeks very slowly to do them.
Since doing a little fall decorating I have been really wanting to make a fall wreath.

fall wreath 2012 main pic

This project was FREE for me since I had all the materials on hand.
Yay for free (and easy)! : )

fall wreath 2012 (3)

All I needed was a grapevine wreath (you can get one from Hobby Lobby for about $4 with a coupon) and some fall faux leaves/flowers I got on clearance last year ( a couple bucks at most).

fall wreath 2012 (4)

I just stuck the leaves in among the grapevine and hot glued the flowers on.
That way if I decide to recreate the wreath later it won’t be a huge hassle.

But..I wasn’t quite content with it at this point…it needed something.

fall wreath 2012 (5)


It goes perfectly with my “mantle”.

welcome fall

It makes me happy every time I see it. : )

fall wreath 2012 (8)

THIS is why I have been looking for Scrabble games every time we go to Goodwill and why I was so stoked when my father-in-law found one for me.

fall wreath 2012

Hopefully it makes the mailman anyone that comes up to our house happy too.

Thanks for stopping by!

The 36th AVENUE

Easy Fall Mantel

Happy Fall!

Usually I am a little sadder at the departure of summer and so I don’t get as excited about Fall, but after the brutally hot summer (that I was super pregnant for) I have been really looking forward to Fall.

The other night there was a delightful autumnal crispness in the air and it smelled like leaves and cooler temperatures.
AND delicious pumpkiny and appley foods are starting to appear!

To celebrate I have been adding some autumnal touches to the house where I can. Last year I scored some clearance fall leaves and flowers from Michael’s and I have been looking forward to using them.

fall mantle 2012 collage

I don’t have a mantle, so I like to create a “fantle” (faux mantle) with our china cabinet.

fall mantle (9)

I just used things I had around the house to add some fall goodness like the wooden bowl, candlesticks, apples, and scrabble pieces.

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I think my embroidery hoop pumpkins fit right in.

welcome fall

I might add some more (I’m thinking the back still looks kind of bare), but for now I get a smile every time I pass by.

fall mantle (2)

What are you doing to celebrate the arrival of Fall??