Thursday, September 30, 2010

Go Hubby!!

For those of you that come here for craft / home improvement / project type things only, please disregard this post!

For everyone else...I've got a bit of bragging to do!!!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, my hubby is the smartest guy in the whole wide world! He just found out today that in addition to graduating from UF in 11 weeks and 4 days (not that I'm counting or anything) with his Master's in Electrical Engineering (MSEE), he'll be adding a minor in Industrial Systems Engineering (ISE) to his transcript. Woo Hoo!

I'm actually semi confused because it's all Master's level courses...and it's his MSEE that has a minor in ISE, not his undergrad EE. So does that mean he's got a Master's in a Minor in ISE? Hmmm...confusing!! I'd better stop here before my dorky engineering side comes out any further...

Regardless, he's so smart, talented, and brilliant all at the same time. After these 11 weeks and 4 days are up, he's going up for total world domination!!!!!!!!!!

Or just returning to a normal life without having to come home from work every day and watch class, study, and do homework. He gets to do fun stuff like help cook, and clean the dishes, and paint the house!! Oh...the joys I have planned for him.......

Just Kidding!! Well...sort of! I'm so proud of all of the hard work that Chris has put into getting this Master's, so adding a Minor to it is just icing on the cake. Good job Babe!!!

T-minus 11 weeks, 4 days, 3 hours, 26 seconds and counting...ya know...if you're keeping track...

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Paver Colors : Part Two

Way back when, I did this whole long post on our paver color selection and the process of our decision making, and our final decision...

Weeelll...we canned our old paver guy (looong story - lets just say he thought minor price adjustments would go unnoticed or uncared when we were already under a fixed price contract. Thank goodness we figured all of that out up front though before we dished out any of our hard earned dough!). Which left us with another paver selection choice to decide on when we finally decided on our new and improved paver contract guy. (Whew, that's a mouthful, huh?)

We went back and forth on these two colors about a million times.

Island Palm

Oyster White Buff
We wanted something relatively neutral, but that would still pop and bring dimension to the pool deck.

Island Palm
 We went back and forth on whether the Island Palm was too busy or too dark...but we loved the depth and dimension it has to offer.

Oyster White Buff
The Oyster White Buff was a very neutral color, but we went back and forth on if it was too neutral.  We wound up deciding that the Oyster White Buff didn't have the dimension and interest that we wanted, so we're rolling the dice and going with the more bold, but still relatively neutral Island Palm.

I did poll around a few friends, and one of them pointed out that the Oyster White Buff might just blend in a little too much with the house color, or worse...the strict beige colors might clash with the beige color of the house.

Oyster White Buff
And while you can see that it doesn't really clash, the sea of beige just wasn't giving us enough of the 'wow' factor that we were looking for.  Enter Island Palm Stage Right.

Island Palm
Island Palm
It has color, depth, and dimension all in one.  Sure, it's a little bit bolder than we would normally go for, but we're excited to see what our pool deck winds up looking like.  There's absolutely no way it can look any worse than pretty in pink.  No way, no how!

So what do you think?  Do you think we made the wrong choice?  Would you have gone with the more neutral colors or are you one for the wow factor too?  We'd love to know!
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Monday, September 27, 2010

Napkin Pillows

My living room finally has all of its pillows back after this weekend. Which means yes, I finally got around to making my second set of napkin pillows.

I started, again, with my two napkins facing each other, and then used my fabri-tac to go around the seam.

You should wind up with an inside out looking pillow like this.  Unfortunately, I didn't have anymore extra pillow inserts left, so I had to shove this one with batting.  I think I over-shoved, or didn't break it up enough or something, because it turned out a little lumpy.  That's okay though, it'll wear down eventually, I'm sure.  And if it doesn't, well, I'm sure the 'kids' won't know the difference!

The Fabri Tac stuff is STRONG.  I beat and beat and pulled on these pillows to try to smooth it all out.  That's MY kinda no-sew job!

Here's the pillows in their new home with their fellow pillows.  They're so happy there...they don't even realize that they were once napkins!

And here's a last full room shot.  If you'd like more step-by-step instructions, check out my other post on how I made the first set of napkin pillows, which are the flowery ones on the right daybed.  Just a few more things left to do in this room to get it finished day!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  Mine wasn't as productive as I would've liked, but I did get a few smaller things done.  Stay tuned to see what else I finished up!

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I'm linking to the parties in my sidebar...go see what everyone else is crafting!


Friday, September 24, 2010

We have a Winner!! CSN $35 gift card

What a fun contest! I learned so much from what you guys like and what you guys think I could improve on. So many of you left such sweet comments too...thank you so much!! You guys really made my day!!

Allright, enough with the mushiness...onto the winner!!!

The result from is .................

The #9 comment leaver was : Rhiannon

Rhiannon, please email me with your email address to claim this prize!

Thanks again so much to everyone who participated...I really appreciate it!!  Hopefully I'll get to do another fun one soon!
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hey You!!!

Yeah, YOU!!! The 180 + followers I have over there ...

And you too feed readers and email subscribers...

Today is the LAST full day to enter the CSN $35 gift card giveaway.  So GO enter!

I really want your feedback on my blog, so I'm bribing you with a chance to win $35 for it!!

That is all...

Happy Thursday!  I hope YOU win!!!  Click here to enter!!  (Yes, I posted the link twice.  That's just in case you missed it the first go-round!)

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pool Deck Makeover Part 3 : Painting the House

For some reason, I really wanted to write painting the hiz-ouse instead of house. My ghetto thug side must be coming out. For me, that's old roommate in college once told me I was her most southern friend. Me and ghetto fabulous aren't really a combination...

ANYwho, perhaps I've been sniffing too much paint toxins lately with all of the exterior painting I've been doing to get ready for the paver installer guys to get here on Monday October 11th.  (I just checked my email, and the material won't be ready for Monday...I guess that means we can breathe the next few weekends and not go crazy with trying to get everything ready!)  I seriously can NOT wait! Please forgive me if my post is overly air-heady. It's the paint, I swear.

In Part 2 of 8 trillion million the Pool Deck Makeover, I showed you how much painting the trim white really made our blue painted ceiling pop.  Next up on the list, painting the house.  We wanted a similar color family as the existing color, just lighter.  We really wanted to freshen up the space, and keep things light and airy (and relaxing!) out there.

We're not the best with picking out paint colors from a chip swatch, so we got a few samples from the big orange, and tested them out on our wall with our trim and ceiling color to see what we liked the best.

The left one was too yellow-ie, the middle one was too orange-ie, and the right one (and bottom) was just perfect!  So back to Home Depot we went and got a big 'ol 5 gallon bucket of Behr exterior paint in Sandstone Cove.

I spent the ENTIRE day on Saturday doing the trim work for painting.  I had to trim out around all of the screens, doors, windows, and the ceiling.  I spent 5 1/2 hours doing this before I took a two hour 'break' to ride my exercise bike while watching the Gator game (Go Gators!!).  My hubs was actually really sweet and set up a TV outside for me so I could watch College Game Day while trimming before the game.'s the little things!

Chris came outside and helped while the Gator game was on, and then I spent about another 30 minutes finishing it all up.  Up and down the  Yep, I'm most definitely sore!

But oh my was all so worth it.

We spent most of the day Sunday rolling the house.  This week, I patched up the stucco holes and did the final coat to give it that extra pop.

I love all of the light and airy colors together.  It feels so relaxing out there now!

We've still got a ways to go, but we're really loving the progress we've made so far!

And because everyone loves a good before and's we we started:

Before - white ceiling, trim not painted, darker house color
And here's where we're at now:

After : Blue ceiling, white bright trim, new house paint
We've still got a ton more work to do out here, so stay tuned to see the progress!

Oh...and if you haven't entered the CSN giftcard give away yet, please do!  I'll be picking a winner on Friday!

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I'm linking to the parties in my sidebar...go see what everyone else is transforming!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pool Deck Makeover Part 2 : Painting the Trim

"Paint, paint, paint...all day long. Paint paint paint while I'm singing this song."  That was my theme song all.weekend.long.

Step two in getting the pool deck ready for paver installation (which is next week...woo hoo!!) was to paint all of the trim after we finished painting the ceiling blue.  We wanted the blue to pop, and the dull, grayish white color that existed previously just wasn't doing it for us.

Chris used a small roller last weekend to roll as much as he could of the trim.  Last week, I went around every night after work, until there was no longer daylight, with my paint brush, and slowly but surely worked my way around it all.  The difference that a fresh coat of white paint makes is amazing.

I have a standing Wednesday evening phone date with my Dad, so he got tucked into my sports bra and we chatted while I painted.  Who has time to take a phone break while doing house projects?!

My goodness...I did not realize exactly HOW much trim we had around the pool area, but we FINALLY finished it up on Friday (which means you'll have to stay tuned to see what else I was busy painting!).  We had three different layers of trim, and the poles to paint...and paint...and paint.  If you look back to part 1 of this makeover, you'll notice that the poles were chipped all over the place.

Ready to see how much the white makes our freshly painted blue ceiling pop?!

We had removed the eyeball covers of the lights when we painted the ceiling blue.  We gave it a good coat of primer, and a few good coats of exterior white gloss spray paint to freshen those up too.

 I think the worst part about doing the trim painting was the ladder.  I do have monkey arms, but I would have preferred about a 9 foot wingspan so I didn't have to make so many trips up and down my ladder to get this trim work done. 

The white against the blue really makes the blue stand out so much more.  There's absolutely no question that the ceiling is painted blue now, and everything just feels so crisp, fresh, and airy out there.

So, what do you think?  Do you think my hours upon hours of painting the massive amount of trim white was well worth it?  And you know we're not going to leave that caulk line that you see above on the exterior of our house way, no how!  Stay tuned for another post this week to see what else we've got up our sleeves!

Happy Monday!  If you haven't already, don't forget to check out this past Friday's post and leave a comment for a chance to win a $35 CSN gift card!
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Friday, September 17, 2010

Fun Friday Giveaway : CSN Stores - CLOSED!

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!!!  The winner is Rhiannon!!!

When Caitlin from CSN Stores contacted me to ask if I'd like to do a review on one of their products or a giveaway for my readers, I was beyond excited.  Literally, picture me doing a happy happy joy joy dance.  Of course I chose to do a giveaway for you guys!

CSN Stores is a compilation of over 250 online stores that carry anything you could possibly want in the home goods category.  Whether you're looking for a coffee table, kitchenware, home decor, or tools, you are sure to find it on their website.

One lucky reader of Kara's Korner will receive a $35 gift card.  All for just reading my blog! (Wait?  You're not a follower or email subscriber?  Really?!  Why not?!?!  Go sign up...see the Please Follow Along or Email section right to the right on my sidebar!!)  So tell your Mom, Sisters, Aunts, and all of your friends to get their bootay's over here to try to win.  And then tell them what you'd like for them to buy you with the gift card they won.  Hey, they wouldn't have found it without you!

Onto the details...

  • PRIZE: A $35 gift card to any CSN store.
  • TO ENTER: Comment on this post with the words “I FOLLOW” and…
  • BONUS QUESTION: …since I love feedback on what I can do to better my blog, or what you want to see more of, or even just how amazing I am :-), please tell me what it is that you like/dislike, or would like to see more of on my blog, or why it is that you do follow my weekly ramblings and crazy ideas.  Or if you have any questions about anything, please ask them here (more about me, a certain project, anything!!)  I love me some constructive criticism! 
  • GIVEAWAY CLOSES: Friday, September 24th at 12pm EST
  • PRIZE IS EMAILED TO: US and Canada only.  For Canadian residents, please know that there may be international shipping charges when you use your gift card!
  • NOT SO FINE PRINT: One entry per e-mail address is permitted.  You must be a follower (google or email) of Kara's Korner to enter this contest. The winner will be selected using and announced on Friday. Good luck…

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Making Pillows

I don't really toot my own horn all that much, but I have to on this post. I'm a genius. Seriously.

A little while back I did my placemat pillows, and I thought I was so smart. I received a bunch of comments telling me I was, and a few saying they had done the same thing. I'm not so original, even when I think I am. And I'm probably not the first one to come up with this next ingenious idea, but I refuse to google around to see if anyone else has done the same thing just yet. I'm basking in the awesomeness of being so smart.

So what is it already?! Well, the placemat pillows were great, but they had one downside. They're pretty small. It's hard to find large enough placemats to stuff for bigger accent pillows.  While I was pondering this in the placemat isle in Target, I couldn't help but notice the napkins section.  The napkins were exactly the colors I was looking for.  I took them out of the packaging, and a light bulb in my head went off.  Napkin Pillows!!

Those of you that have been following my blog for sometime know about my love of Fabri-tac.  From my bench cushion, key  art, placemat pillows, mini planter makover, and most recently the Nursery Monogram...anytime I need to sew something, I fake it with the magical stuff.  I think in fabri-tac.  Sad?!  Perhaps... convenient, most definitely!

Enough already...onto the tutorial!

Start with two napkins of the same size (mine were 20 x 20).  I used a brown napkin for the back, and the floral napkin for the front.

Place both napkins with the part you want showing towards each other.  Run a bead of fabri-tac along the hem / seam of the napkin and press together.  Repeat for three sides, making sure to keep your hem lines straight.

You should wind up with something looking like this.  Flip your new pillowcase right side out.

Then shove a pillow inside.  I actually had an old pillow that I haven't used for quite some time in a closet, so I shoved it in my pillow cover.

I did the last part two different ways to see which one I'd like better for future pillows.  You can either  run a bead of fabri-tac on the hem line and press it together to finish it off with a more crisp look like the pillow above...

Or you can fold over both hems and glue them together like you did the rest of the pillow.  Whichever you like better!

Here they are in their new home!

One last full room shot.  (Like what you see?  Check out my posts on painting the floors, building a daybed, building the second daybed, refinishing a sewing machine cabinet (one day I'll learn how to sew), and making over shelves I found at Goodwill.)  Next up on the pillow list is putting the two white pillows on the left side back into my living room.  I've already got the napkins ready!

The best part of all of this was the cost.  For the florally four pack of napkins, I paid $10, and for the brown I paid $8.  That'll make me four pillows, and these colors go perfectly with the rest of my house, so everything is interchangeable.  I already had the pillow inserts, so those cost me nothing!

Cost per pillow = $4.50.  Oh yeah!

Stay tuned for Friday's post...I'm hosting my very first giveaway for followers of Kara's Korner!

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