20 November 2013

Thirteen in 2013, update!

I know everyone’s got Thanksgiving on their minds right now. Here at Team P, the dry erase board by the front door has a countdown to our Thanksgiving travels, so, yes. I’m right there with you.

But. I am also thinking ahead – or back? – to New Year’s. Because here it is, nearing the last part of 2013, and I’ve got a few intentions to revisit. Oh yeah, I’m bringing back the New Year’s resolutions in November. Because I am stubborn about follow-through!

One of the resolutions intentions I set was to complete thirteen projects from my YHL book in 2013. Remember that?

Although I haven’t exactly pointed it out along the way, I’ve been going back to that book throughout the year, partly for inspiration and partly because I wanted to meet my goal, dang it, and I needed to check my progress. So now my copy looks more like this:

I’ve got the same hairstyle and I’m fairly certain I’m wearing the same shirt, but my book is now full of post-it bookmarks and lists stuck to the front. I’ve indeed consulted it throughout the year!

So before we get super into the holiday season, I thought I’d point out those Young House Love-inspired projects (YHL projects, for short) that I’ve already written about throughout the year. And – spoiler alert – I met my goal of thirteen! Here’s some YHL projects I’ve already written about:

#27: Don’t fill space – add meaningful things

I mean, come on. I’ve been harping about meaningful art all year, and added quite a few new pieces of “art” that have special meaning. It’s really, really helped to personalize our rented home throughout the year. Sure, some of it is quirky... you all may think my framed baby bonnet is a little ridiculous, but I still think it’s fab.

There’s too many meaningful art projects to round up here, because basically every art project I did this year was meaningful. Still, let us not forget the best thrifted art of all time!

#31: Add one unexpected thing

I think Mr. GIANT OWL qualifies.

At least, I was surprised by how much I liked it.

#32: Make instant curtains

I thought making curtains with hem tape was like playing the home décor game with a cheat code. Now I know that ring clips and tablecloths are about as easy as it gets!

With major bonus points for scoring a tablecloth that mimics my favorite fabric!

#42: Refresh old kitchen cabinets with new hardware

Obviously, I wasn’t going to replace all the knobs and pulls in our rental kitchen – believe me, the hardware is the least of my concerns in that GREEN GREEN GREEN kitchen. But I did my own version of this project by simply replacing the old wooden knobs on my family’s antique china cabinet with snazzy gold drop-rings:

My mom grew up around this china cabinet and gladly passed it along to me (it’d been living in her storage shed). But when she saw what a dramatic difference it made just to update the hardware, she nearly asked for it back. Nope! Sorry! And I bet she’ll want it even more after I finally paint it.

#63: Add lights you can reach from bed

These IKEA wall sconces were purchased for our office in the old house, but I was thrilled when they perfectly fit in the bump-out in the guest room:

There’s not really room for a nightstand and lamp on the other side of the bed (it would crowd the desk), so I’m glad this solution allowed guests on either side of the bed to have their own lamp.

Of course, adding those lamps was part of a guest room re-do that also featured another project in that very same photo...

#64: Slipcover your existing headboard (which itself is a #61: Make an upholstered headboard)

Back in the day, I made my own upholstered headboard out of a canvas, some fabric and batting, and a staple gun. But in our new place, I’ve spiffed it up further by adding another Vintage-Blossom-knockoff tablecloth around it.

And these two projects together worked toward a larger project...

#209 Prep a spare bedroom for guests

As you know, I dithered quite a bit about the guest room re-do (figuring other rooms should be higher priority). But in the end, I’m glad I went for it. We’ve had family come to visit SO MUCH in the last year, as we’re the halfway point between our parents in Tennessee and our siblings up north. And being able to offer them a nice place to stay and break up their trip is one of my favorite things about our home.

Not to mention, a great excuse to buy fresh flowers!

#101: Pimp your closet

I actually made a few improvements by cleaning out my tiny closet and trying command hooks:

And I added a light to Mr. P’s closet, so he’d no longer have to get dressed in the dark:

But I really pimped out my coat closet the most, both when I added the bar for scarves...

... as well as:

#102: Lose those mismatched hangers

For now, we only have beautiful matching hangers in the coat closet.

But it’s a start!

#103: Add an instant mudroom

Although I have bigger “someday” plans, this wall-mounted version suits us pretty well.

And really, this was three projects in one, as I was also able to check off my list:

#99: Tame your mail

This fabric-pocket frame for holding paper that needs to come in and out of our house makes me so happy.

We haven’t totally abolished mail-on-the-kitchen-table, but at least I feel better about important items not getting lost in the shuffle.

Our “mudroom wall” also features:

#105: Think beyond the whiteboard

Sure, I’ve turned lots of photo frames into dry erase boards over the years. But I made this one in 2013, so it counts!

I believe this brings my photo-frame-as-whiteboard count to four in our house alone. I can’t help it! I love my whiteboard lists!

#128: Float an empty frame around something 3D

As I’m chronically terrified of hanging things on our walls, I instead went for the shadowbox route for my 3D art.

For the longest time, I did plan to put this family doorknocker on our walls somewhere, but I’m glad I went this route instead. And it also fits perfectly in the “meaningful art” category as well!

#164: Make napkin pillow covers

Oh, how could we forget. My long standoff with my sewing machine ended right before my thirtieth birthday (thirty by thirty, CHECK) just so I could make pillows out of cloth napkins from HomeGoods.

I don’t think I ever mentioned it, but I actually made several more. The one throw pillow on our guest bed in the photo above is another napkin pillow cover.

Honestly, I never finished some of them (they’re open on one end). Even more honestly, I haven’t touched my sewing machine since the bobbin ran out of thread and trying to re-thread my bobbin (did I say that right?) made me say “da fuh?” and wander off to do something easier. But! Napkin pillow covers! Project complete(ish)!

Total YHL project count: 14

Fourteen! One more than thirteen! Way to set it up for 2014!

Of course, skeptics among us (it’s ok, I appreciate you anyway, dear skeptic reader) might suggest that I did those projects on my own, then later flipped through the book and realized I could count them towards my total. For some, sure. Clearly, I didn’t read “Add something unexpected” and think to myself, “I know what’s unexpected, A GIANT OWL.” For other projects, the influence was more direct than you may think.

I snapped that photo one morning a month or so ago when I noticed I’d scribbled the “door knocker” idea on that post-it bookmark back in the spring. By then I’d done the doorknocker shadowbox project, and was happy to have proof that it was inspired by this YHL project! It just took a little time for the idea to percolate and adapt it for me.

Other skeptics might be thinking that I’m counting single projects as multiple items on the YHL projects list – like the guest room, the closets, and the mudroom. That’s cool too. I’ve actually done more little YHL projects that I have yet to tell you about, and they could surely count! I’ll tell you about those soon. Not to mention, there’s even more YHL projects that I’d like to do, in 2014 if not this year.

So, high five for intentions becoming reality, right, dear readers? I may not have been successful at all my goals for this year, but at least I can check this one off my list. Here’s to project-ing for the rest of 2013 and into the new year!


Tina said...

My question was "When can I borrow that book?" By the end of the post, I pretty much knew the answer involves obtaining a copy of my own. And that's okay...
I showed Grandma your Owl Art - she couldn't remember the trivet until she saw the picture - and she loved it, too!!!