Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Tonight we will be bundling up to pass out candy to all our little neighbors. I sure hope a lot of them still come out... we bought over 250 pieces of candy and I don't want it all in the house!

Here are our pumpkins we carved this year:

We also tried some fun pumpkin seed recipes, Sweet Cinnamon Roasted and Parmesan Garlic. Check out the yummy recipes below.

  Parmesan Garlic
 1 tbsp butter (melted)
 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
 1 tbsp garlic salt (or powder)
 1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 300. Melt butter, then combine all other ingredients in a bowl. Add about one pumpkin worth of seeds (about 2 cups) and mix until evenly coated. Lay out seeds on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake about 40 minutes, flipping seeds once.

Sweet Cinnamon Roasted  
1 tbsp butter (melted)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp brown sugar
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 300. Melt butter, then combine all other ingredients in a bowl. Add about one pumpkin worth of seeds (about 2 cups) and mix until evenly coated. Lay out seeds on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake about 40 minutes, flipping seeds once.

xo, Erin

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pinterest Challenge: DIY Pallet Art

It's Fall Pinterest Challenge time! Sherry and Katie came up with this idea over a year ago, and I loved joining in on the fun the past two seasons. I have created framed tickets with old tickets from football games and then we built bathroom storage in the summer.

This time I wanted to get a little crafty. I have seen a lot of use for pallets and wanted to create a custom piece of art. This was some of my inspiration:

pallet art }
 wooden pallet sign with quote "home is wherever i'm with you" LARGE
          { pallet art }

And this is what I ended up with.. love it!

Before I got started on the project, I decided to let Greg in on my idea and see if he had any ideas on how to complete it. We make such a great team. I research and find the ideas, then he helps me execute them with all of his knowledge and skills.

First things first, we needed a pallet. We found an old one at Greg's work and it needed a good rinse. It was dirty, dusty and oily. Friday night we used some car tire cleaner and a rough brush to scrub it down. We brought it in that night to dry off and we had a clean surface on Saturday. This is what it looked like before we started destruction:

We needed to get the top boards off the pallet. Greg used a hammer and crow bar to pry them off. Make sure you take your time on this part. Greg took the lazy way out on one board and tried hammering it from the back. That ended up in a split board (good thing I only needed 4).

We (Greg) successfully got 4 boards off the pallet and then needed to get the nails out. They were a little old and rusty so he first hammered them from the back to loosen it up.  Then he just needed to pry them out.

Next up was arranging the boards. We played around with the four boards to get them in an order we liked. We wanted to make sure the knots were in ok spots and that they fit together nicely. Then we flipped them over in that same order, and used brackets to secure them together. The brackets were placed on ends and in the middle for extra support.



Once the four boards were all together, we checked the size of the pallet to the space. Perfect.

Next up, the letters. I knew I wanted it to say 'home is wherever I'm with you'. I think this is a good quote for an entryway, but I also love this song by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. It is catchy and fun. I think it went well with the gallery wall on the opposite wall. I used my Cricut to get the letters to the size I wanted and they were used as a template.

Once I got the saying how I wanted it, it was time to paint. I first painted the entire pallet a flat white we already had. I used a foam brush to apply a thin layer. I let this dry overnight. 

While it was drying, I brainstormed ways to adhere the letters. I just wanted them as a template, so I had to use something that was temporary, but would stick well enough. I originally thought Mod Podge was the answer, until Greg chimed in that the paint probably wouldn't go on very smoothly on top of it. Duh. I was just worried about them sticking. So I grabbed a scrapbook dot tool and ran this along the back of each letter and pushed them on to the pallet.

All the letters were down on the pallet. I was worried there would be some paint that would bleed through, so I sealed the letters down with a thin layer of white paint. For this step, I used a small foam roller.

It didn't go as planned. The letters got wet and wrinkled a little and it also didn't seal them down very well. After it was dry, I went back and stuck some of the letters down a little more securely before painting it a different color. Then I grabbed the same paint that we used in our family room. It is a greenish gray color that changes at different angles and times of the day. I used a small foam roller for this step as well.

I left a little white peeking through for a more distressed look.

I let the top color dry for a few hours, then it was time to take the letters off. Again, didn't go exactly as planned. The dot tool adhered the letters to the pallet better than I thought. For certain letters, we needed to use a pocket knife to carefully peel them up. No big deal, just gave us a more worn look.

The second to last step was distressing it. I used some sand paper and a wire brush to achieve the look I wanted. I lightly roughed up all the edges and sections in the middle that looked a little too perfect.

Last up: hanging it. We used some extra picture hangers we had lying around along with Greg's favorite screws, (they hold everything).

I will try and get some better pictures in daylight, but I LOVE the result! Best part... all materials were free or already owned.

Sorry for the extremely long post. I hope this helps you with your pallet art :)

xo, Erin

Monday, October 29, 2012

A book and some off-roading

So I meant to post this last week, so bare with me. These adventures took place two weekends ago.

Saturday morning Young House Love was in Cincinnati for their book tour. I was beyond excited to meet them and get their book before it hit the store. I convinced Greg to tag along with me (mainly to be the photographer and so I wasn't that awkward girl by herself). The event started at 10 am and I made sure to arrive early to beat the crowd. We were there by 9:45 and there was already at least 20 people in front of me. I was so giddy and excited seeing them in person, I didn't even know what I was going to say.  When I got up to the table, everything went smoothly. I got a picture with them and Sherry told me I was cute. Then I signed their guest book, made small talk and was told 'Erin' was the most popular reader name.

It was awesome. I thought I was in a dream. We ended up staying for their author talk that went from 11:00-12:00. We sat in the front row and the room was packed, standing room only. It was so surreal to listen to them speak and see them. I snapped a few pictures, asked them if they liked Skyline and it was time to leave. They made an announcement that almost all their books were sold out and they would be signing book plates to place in a book once the orders came in. I was so thankful I got there early!

Now, to completely change topics... Sunday was spent here:

We took a trip to Badlands Off-Road Park in Indiana to celebrate Greg's birthday. This place was intense. It is over 800 acres with a variety of terrains: dirt, mud, gravel, sand, grass, forest, etc. We got lost multiple times and are convinced we didn't even drive around half of it. We spent the first half exploring and were dodging 4-wheelers and dirt bikes half the time. We finally found our way over to the 'truck/jeep' only section and it was a huge adrenaline rush. We were climbing rocks, driving through puddles two feet deep, and squeezing through trees that were inches away from our Jeep.

We began exploring the trails and were checking the depths of puddles with a stick, worried we would get stuck. We seemed to be the only one on the trails and I was so afraid we would be lost or stuck until someone found us. We made our way to a clearing where we found other Jeeps. We started following two others, and they said they would look out for us. It was crazy the things we were climbing through and over. The other two Jeeps had tires that were a little bigger than ours so were able to do almost everything. One time we got stuck on a rock, but it only took us tying a tow strap to another Jeep and them popping us off. We were thankful to find them because we were climbing things we would never have done by ourselves.

The place was awesome. If it was closer, I have a feeling we would be spending more time there.

aftermath, not too bad

We are now caught up to date. Tomorrow I will be sharing my Pinterest Challenge Project, make sure to check back!

xo, Erin