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abusing the hymnal for the sake of design

hymn wall closeup

well, i guess it was a couple of weeks ago now… i posted this photo on instagram:


I have a little wallpapering helper 😉 #yesimgluinghymnstomywall… #idhtbptbb #decidedtowaittillnaptimetofinish

View on Instagram

needless to say, it took me a little longer then naptime to finish… but it really wasn’t that hard of a project! and once i convinced the husbuddy that it would look cool, and that it’s ok that i’m putting glue on our walls…because well, they are OUR walls… we moved forward! haha.

so i took apart a hymn book and glued it to my wall.

yup. all you book-ophiles. or if you’re like my sister and you’re horrified i’d actaully rip pages from a book. um, i do it all the time for art. so why not? this book was headed for storage or trash. so why not?

yup. all you design-nerds-who’d-yell-at-me-for-doing-this-the-wrong-way. you’re horrified that i used tacky glue. that i used book pages. it won’t last. it won’t keep. it won’t have a nice finish…yaddyaya… well, i think it looks cool, i know it won’t last forever…so WHY NOT?

yup. all you perfectionists… sorry, avert your eyes…cause this is NOT perfect. the pages don’t line up exact. some the rips show the paint through the side of the sheet…um, i’ve allowed myself to not be a perfectionist for multiple reasons and i’m still working on letting that BE OK… so ya. it’s ok. IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT TO BE BEAUTIFUL {#idhtbptbb}


ok, now that i’ve got that out of my system…

want to see more pictures of my new wall?

hymn wall

i kind of LOVE it.


1. it was CHEAP. i had the book already. and i had the glue. i didn’t have to spend a dime.

2. it was easy. although it took a little longer then i expected(um, what doesn’t these days with a 9 month old?) all i had to do was line up paper and glue.’s pretty! i love having music on my wall! and i love that it’s hymns. i didn’t plan it, but there are a couple of our favorites up there and they make me smile.

hymn wall2

now, once Husbuddy gets over the shock that i got out his cello without telling him{during naptime, i promise!!}… i wanted to mention that this is not how this wall normally looks. some day down the road, we’re hoping to have a little sitting area here. it won’t always be just an empty wall with a music stand and a couple of musical instruments leaning(IN THEIR CASES!!) against it…. some day we’ll have a little side table, a light, a cozy little reading chair… someday! ha.

hymn wall detail wall detail

ha. so, there ya go. this blog was started in the name of art and design and for the first time in months i finally posted about design and art. hee hee.

oh well.

so what do you think? am i crazy because i glued old book pages to a wall? or do you love it like i do?

go ahead and vote… crazy or brilliant?

hee hee. there’s a fine line between the two, isn’t there?

xoxo-kimberly renee

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why we’re working on our master bedroom

engineer screwing it in

there are a few things that i’ve learned in my experiences in design that i’ve been trying to incorporate into our house. i think it was in one of my interior design classes at school, someone said that it’s important to put the money where it will do the most good/be the most visible. like, don’t put a super expensive tile installation in the janitor’s closet. ha. like anyone would do that really…but you get what i mean. in a couple of my previous jobs, we used this as common sense. one of my bosses even laughed at me for my “expensive taste” and suggested we may need to pick something a little less pricey for the kid’s bathroom sink faucet. so i’m still learning. hee hee.

but right now, when we don’t really have the money to be doing a lot on our house {you know… new job, new house, new baby all in a year kinda sucks ya dry…lol} i guess we’ve discussed the importance of where we’ve spent our money pennies. and it’s really pennies because that’s how our diy’s work around here! lol.

cabinet inside

but with just pennies to spend, we’ve had to be picky about where we spend it. it’s made me think about, why are we spending money at all in our master bedroom? i mean, no one sees it except us. in our previous apartments we’ve never done anything too fancy in there because we couldn’t afford to and didn’t really need to. i mean, it’s just a place to sleep… right?

well, i’m here today to prove otherwise.

it is very important that thought and care is put into the safe places in our homes. it is important that there are places of “sanctuary” or peace away from the rest of the house or the public areas. we want our home to open and inviting and welcoming to everyone who comes into our home but we need those places that are just ours.  i think it is most important that we make an effort for our master bedroom so that we give honor and intention to our marriage.

if we left the master bedroom as boring/thrown together/barely functional but put a lot of effort and function into the rest of the house, what is that saying about the state of our marriage? are we lifting up the significance of our marriage in such a way that deem it valuable? worthy to work on? worthy to have a space in our home that is comforting, peaceful and functioning well?  cabinets puppy approves

a lot of counselors will tell you to never have an office space or desk in the bedroom. to me, this is because the master bedroom needs to be about the marriage and shouldn’t be competing for attention in the bedroom. it needs to be a safe space that is both of ours as a couple, where we spend time together, spend time with God, have alone time away from kids, where we can have conversations, etc.  i’d even go so far as to say it’s not necessarily wise to have a tv in the bedroom. at least for us. if we’re just watching tv in the bedroom that means that we’re not even connecting, we’re just staring at a screen next to each other. {granted, we do still bring the laptop in for a cozy movie night once in a while but it’s not the norm!…as husbuddy proves me wrong in this photo on his ipad lol…}

i so desire for our marriage to be intentional. for us to BE PRESENT. to be available for each other. if my bedroom was just barely functioning as a space to hold laundry and put a comforter on a bed it would not be an intentional space to me. and it wouldn’t feel safe.

cabinets after

to me, decorating and design is not just about the aesthetic. i had a friend say to me once, “well, neither of us really care about decorating so we’re not going to do anything.” that made me sad because it’s not about the decorating. it’s one thing to just throw a couple pictures on a wall and call it “decorated” and quite another to create a space that works for you.  to create a functional space that is safe and inviting.

upholster legs

it’s about creating a space that functions the best that it can and doing that beautifully.

it’s about creating a space that evokes the feelings that you want to have in that space.

2014-04-21 14.45.22

we’re going for that by putting together beautiful elements that allow the master bedroom to work for both of us… every little square inch of it! we’re using color and materials to bring feelings of peace and coziness that are our own personal taste. we’re taking time to do projects together as well as spending time dreaming together.  and we’re doing it one little tuft and paint brush at a time. hee hee.

masterbedroom2 masterbedroom

it’s going to take a while. especially while we’re just putting pennies in the jar, and sometimes it’s going to look worse before it looks better. but already, we have a space that functions way better then it did when we first bought the house!  right now we’re in the middle of painting another little corner, hanging a mirror, wishing away that ceiling fan, and figuring out how to organize everything in the tiny space! so far my only regret so far is not painting the room before we moved in… lol. we’re just going to wait on that a while i guess!

but someday soon, i’ll give ya more of a full room tour… until then, i’d best be going and being intentional with my MR…

headboard complete

not that one. hee hee. that little mr. may think it’s his room too. oh well. some battles you just can’t win.

xoxo-kimberly renee

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the adventure of side tables

this is about the longest post ever written on bedside tables. who knew i could find so much to say about the process of finding side tables! well. i just did.

you may have noticed, during the super-long post on our headboard, that we don’t really have much room for side tables. we have 18″ max on each side of the bed. and i thought this was ok, because we could just wait and find some antique tables. antiques are always smaller than the side tables on the market today anyway, so i thought it would work out. i was just going to wait and see…

but that was before i realized that i was literally killing husbuddy slowly by making him wait for it.

i was willing to be patient, but to him, i was messing with his system…every. single. day. oi.

don’t judge the man too harshly. we all have the things in our life that we just need to be just right to be able to function at a respectable level of stress.

that’s what i get for having a totally type A spouse. don’t get me wrong, i LOVE IT so much- most of the time- like when he gets us places on time, and when he organizes our to-do lists with spreadsheets, and how he works hard so he can schedule time to spend with me and i think it’s super cute that he writes everything he does on a calendar so he can keep track of his day… but then there are these times.

so what’s a gal to do? we headed off to the used furniture store in Ephrata.

i was *hoping* that we’d find the perfect set of side tables that fit perfectly and we could end all the moaning… {ha. ok he really wasn’t complaining that much… i may be exaggerating for the sake of the story…}

i was *hoping* that they could be some pretty antique wood tables.

or even if the wood was bad, it could be something that i could paint.

i was searching for something that was narrow.

we needed something with drawers–> not open shelves.

and i was armed with about 80$ left from my birthday money. which, i reminded him, i could be spending on clothes or something just for me, but nope, i was willing to spend it on something we needed…lol. haha, let’s be honest, i’m having way too much fun using it for house stuff …but anyway… that was our limit. we knew we didn’t have anything else to spend!

so after searching through the hundreds of pieces of furniture on two levels…we came up empty.

until, right before we were going to give up, i saw these:

cabinets -efore

now i know what you’re thinking, “oooo, you found metal filing cabinets…whoopdedooo.”

but hear me out.

they were in great condition. they were 30$ each.

they were only 15″ wide {WHICH FIT WITHIN OUR 18″ max!}

and i turned to him and said, what if we spray painted them? and what if we added a wood top? they would be plenty of storage, and they’re the perfect size…and they could be “temporary” until we can find the perfect ‘antique-ish’ bedside tables!

he was game. either that or he just REALLY wanted something today.

but i love that he was able to trust me to try out this little adventure!

we got them.

cab during2 cab during

and started priming them that day.

cab during1

the spray painting took longer than we’d hoped. mostly because nap-times didn’t quite lend to perfect timing.

cabinets after closeup

we completed them and we love them. i’m not so sure they’re really “temporary”. we’ll see in a few years!

2014-04-21 14.45.22

we are going for a green/blue/ocean theme in the bedroom, so we painted them a dark blue. it’s going to take a while to pull it all together, but i think the palette will work. it’s just going to be slow. for now, we have a headboard, curtains and side tables!

cabinets after

they fit perfectly! actually, 18″ probably would have been too tight!

cabinet other side cabinet drawers

we spray painted the handles with polished nickle color and we painted the inside of the drawers white to make them feel clean. as you can see, we also really upped our game by using cardboard boxes as space dividers until we can afford baskets. aren’t we fancy? hey, it works! and i don’t know why i haven’t thought of that sooner! no cardboard box is safe in this house!

cabinet top

for the tops we used leftover plywood from making our headboard. we stained it a dark walnut color. it’s really hard to tell with the lighting going on here, but they are actually really pretty…not the weird yellowish brown… more of a dark dirty brown.

and  i kind of love that it looks like poor-mans-version of zebra wood. lol. ok, maybe not really. oh, interior design friends are rolling their eyes at me…but i think it’s fun!

cabinet inside

“it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful” THANK YOU NESTER! i talked about her book over in this post last week. i know, you’re already sick of me talking about it…but  let’s just say, it’s really inspired me lately!

cabinets puppy approves

puppycakes approves of our new side tables. husbuddy does too. phew! what do you think? i’d love to hear!

xoxo-kimberly renee

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3 months with Sophia

3 mos close up

3 months

yesterday the little miss Sophia turned 3 months old!

i no longer have a new born! i can’t believe it!

3 months face 3 mos laughing

3 months laugh

she weighs 11 lbs 3 oz.

wears 3-6 month size

loves to giggle

is starting to be ticklish

she adores her daddy, even when she hears him come home but he is downstairs she perks up and looks down the hallway

still has blue eyes {eek!!}

hair is starting to curl around her ears

does not like tummy time

her favorite song is “come thou font” when momma sings it before naps. she gives me super smiles when i sing it.

has been sleeping 8 hours consistently for 1 week {eekkk!!!}

likes to look at what is going on everywhere else except at you when you hold her

3 months chair2     3 mos looking at daddy

she starts to laugh at daddy trying to beat box… i can’t tell if she’s enjoying the funny noises or just laughing at how ridiculous Husbuddy is…

3 mos giggle

hee hee. oh man am i in love with this little girl!

xoxo-kimberly renee

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nursery tour

i know, i know, you’ve all been waiting for a tour of the nursery. you’ve just been on pins and needles waiting!  ha. ok, maybe not. but i’m excited to show you the “completed” nursery.

{i’m calling it completed, but it will be a changing room over time as Sophia grows, obviously. for now, i’m loving that it’s the one room of the house that’s not in chaos.}

remember this is what i started with:

nursery before

please notice how there are ZERO plugs in these pictures. that would be because there’s only one outlet in this whole room!  nursery before2

then do you remember my inspiration post? you can click here for it. before baby girl arrived we worked on painting the room and getting the essentials. a lot of things didn’t come together until after she was here though!

but now, the room is filled to the brim. the colors that i was working from came from this image:

you saw the preview here. now you get to see the full room. and i think little miss loves it:

s in nursery2

this is my living room at the moment. we spend so much time here, nursing, playing, giggling… i’ve put so much love into it

{husbuddy thinks maybe i’ve put too much! you all will have to let me know}

s in nursery3

ok, now for pictures of the room. this is what you see right when you walk in:

toy bookshelf

the bright big window, the little bookshelf with her toys and my nursing supplies.

nursery-chair view

my rocker came from my grandmother, there are the bookshelves that you saw in this post. as well as the sweet little shelf you saw in the preview with a few vintage outfits hanging.


the bookshelves are perfect because they fit behind the closet door. {that closet serves as half baby girl’s and half linen}

nursery-bookshelf close up

we are already reading some of the little books together. she laughs when the horse says “neigh” or the cow says “moo” but her favorite is when daddy reads to her. i don’t know what it is, she LOVES his voice!


here’s the other side of the room:

nursery- dresser view


the dresser/changing table that i showed you how i painted in this post. {with one darn drawer open! ack! seriously, there is something wrong with me, i don’t even notice it! husbuddy is ALWAYS closing doors and drawers after me because i am ALWAYS leaving them open…he laughs at me…sometimes i think he’s just annoyed at me. lol}

you can also see the vintage dress that i framed in detail in this post. she smiles at the ruffles when she notices them while i change her. i think she’s going to take after her momma and love dresses. hee hee.

we are using cloth diapers, so you can see the wet bags hanging by the trash can. we have a few hooks hanging which have come in really handy. the other closet doesn’t have a door on it, so for now we’ve hung a sheer curtain. it’s filled with boxes of baby toys/supplies/future clothes at the moment. we hope to create a little reading nook/play area in there in the future.

nursery-bird cages

and how much do you love my bird cages?! i actually had originally wanted to hang these over her bed instead of the mobile i made.  but then we were nervous about having something metal and heavy hanging over our daughter… they aren’t heavy, but i was still nervous. so they hang over by the lamp and they hold a couple of the birds that we made. i think they will be fun to play with when she’s older! and if she doesn’t like them, i’ll take them back thankyouverymuch. ha. i was inspired by hanging bird cages over at YHL and this cute little nursery.

nuresry-crib view


and the crib with a little gallery wall. my mom made the dust ruffle, little hanging pocket caddy and some bumpers. we were informed that you shouldn’t use the bumpers until they are 6 months old because of SIDS, but they are super cute in the pink and teal fabric. i’ll be attaching them as soon as i can!


of course you’ve seen the mobile already.

nursery gallery wall

but behind it is my little art gallery wall. we have a piece made by Sophie’s grandma Pam, a spanish dancer from a visit in college to Barcelona, {the colors are perfect! who knew that i was thinking that far ahead?! haha} a cross made by the sweetest elderly gentleman at our church, a mirror from a friend that i then painted, and the sweetest little owl from one of husbuddy’s neighbors growing up, Susan Baker. {you can see the owl up close on her website here} i’m hoping to add my own art piece to the wall someday too.

mobile from below   

needless to say, there’s a lot for little girl to look at. ha. like husbuddy said, maybe it’s too much. but i can always change it… because that’s been known to happen bi-yearly. ha.

s on floor        

really though, she is the main attraction.

s in nursery   

i love that every day there seem to be new expressions and new giggles and more newness. it’s so fun to watch her discover her world!

Sophia in nursery

thanks for taking the tour! let me know what y’all think!!

xoxo-kimberly renee

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Put a Bird on it: DIY mobile

my sister, Amy, helped with this project for baby girl’s room as well as yesterday’s post about the bookshelves.
let’s be honest… she made most of it because i kept getting distracted by a certain little miss. if left by myself, i never would have finished all of it! so THANK YOU sweet sista!

diy mobile

my guide for making this mobile came from THIS POST. look how cute theirs is::

What you need:

  • fabric {multiple colors that coordinate}
  • scissors
  • embroidery hoops
  • embroidery thread
  • stuffing
  • ribbon
  • the pattern for the birds came from the tutorial above, just click on the link in her post to print it.

first we made the birds by tracing the pattern with chalk and cutting out coordinating patterns. we just made the tummies of the birds a different fabric than the bodies.

cutting out birds
then we got out pretty thick thread and started sewing the pieces together.  we just used a simple hand stitch because we liked to see the stitches on the birds. you just follow the pattern and line up the matching colors.

sewing birds

doesn’t she look super excited to be helping me out?!

well, she was. lol. we made ten little birdies!


when you’re almost done sewing you just stuff the little buggers. that’s the fun part because then they come to life and we started talking with them… {what can i say, we were really into it} for the eyes, i just made a pile of knots. not the best way to make them, i’m sure. the tutorial says to use french knots…but i don’t know how to do that.

then we wrapped the hoops with some of the millions of pink ribbon I got with the gifts from buybuybaby! i knew it would come in handy saving all of those pink and yellow ribbons!

i used two different sized hoops but i think in the tutorial she uses the same size. or maybe they are just bigger than mine were. mine actually look pretty small when they’re hung up. they could be bigger now that i’m thinking about it. then we Amy just sewed the  birds on the hoops!

and then i hung it with fishing line! this picture kind of makes it look like it’s hanging wonky, but it’s not, don’t worry.

it’s up high so that when she starts grabbing for things she can’t reach it. i also read that if you make your own mobile you don’t want any of the strings or ribbons to be longer than 7″ just in case she pulls it down somehow. good to know.

i love the little birds watching over her as she is sleeping. after naps sometimes i catch her just staring at them! i also LOVE that auntie Amy helped to make them. such a fun little memory for the two of us!

mobile from below

and here’s the view from below. i think it’s pretty cute! have any of you made your own baby mobile? what did you make it of?

{for those of you who want a more comprehensive tutorial, click over to the one i used here}

coming soon: finished nursery tour!

xoxo-kimberly renee

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i really DO want this blog to have more design and art posts, i promise. i’ve just been a little distracted by a little miss lately! when the house had it’s rebellion a few weeks ago, we made a disaster of our dining room with all the things that were in the office space… SO instead of dealing with THAT like a normal person, i rearranged the living room.

there are few things this little designer enjoys more than rearranging a space. i don’t know if it’s just that i like change or that my mind is always thinking up new ways to lay out a room. and now that we have a house, it’s a hay-day of rearranging around here! ha! {now if only we could afford the ideas in my head…we’ll get to that i suppose hee hee}

We don’t have very much “grown up” furniture…but I’m making what we have work. take these ikea expedit bookcases, we’ve had two of them since our very first apartment in Spokane WA! I’ve always used them to store lots of random things – and usually had one act as a tv stand. so that’s what we did we moved in.  it just looks tiny against this wall by itself so I kept thinking I needed more bookshelves on either side, or some sort of built ins… when I thought, why not put both down here and create one long bookshelf? i thought it might fill the room better. that and I knew I needed to cover that corner where the plant is in the before pic because it bends… there is no support for the floor in that corner!

so… we did it. just moved it downstairs from the office and replaced all the random stuff i had in the single one back for now.
in progress
here’s the mess that is my “in progress” shot. i still need to organize the shelves, it’s my plan to get 8 matching baskets to replace those three so we can store the movies and future toys in them.

here’s a quick sketch MESSY of what i’m thinking:



i need to clean up this place! ha.

and i want to get baskets to for storage as i just mentioned.

i am hoping husbuddy can make some pretty shelves. wood ones. probably with pretty brackets or something.

and we’re thinking about doing something like THIS from YHL to finish the top of the shelves with wood to make it one continuous surface. and to add wood.

i kind of want the wall to have a built in feel like some of these inspiration images:

just so you know why i started this crazy rearranging idea… we were given another couch this last week, so i had to figure out how it would fit.


here is our lazy boy store living room that has moved with us for years. we’ve been very blessed with nice leather furniture. i really can’t complain! {i just wish it wasn’t so dark…and i wish it wasn’t leather…i don’t know why, i just look at it and it’s not my favorite… but oh well! we’re so lucky to have such comfortable furniture! plus, i hear it’s easy to clean when Husbuddy  Sophie spills on it… ha we all know i’m the klutz around here, so really, i KNOW it’s easy to clean when i SPILL on it...} ANYWAY. it’s nice. but when we have people over for dinner, we really only have seats for 3. we can squeeze three people on that couch but it’s cozy…

so it’s SO nice that someone generously gave us their old leather couch!

living room2

this photo should say “in progress” as well. right now it’s just that. it’s lots of comfy seating! it’s so nice to both be able to stretch out on a couch when it’s just the two of us, and when we have company, we have plenty of seating!  but it’s in progress because we need side tables {that aren’t the 7.99 ikea LACK table… but i have an idea to hack those to spruce them up a bit!} and i am on the lookout for a rustic wood coffee table… it has to be the perfect one though, so i think it might be a while.  

anyway, you want to know where that extra expedit came from, right? oh i know you do.

guest room2

it came from our guest room. see, this is where i work:

guest room3

{alongside with my coworkers who are so graciously being good at posing for the shot…ha! puppycakes always insists on sitting in the chair behind me. and of course, little sweet pea is over there laughing on her little seat…that’s not going to keep her entertained for long, is it… ha}

the extra expedit used to store all of my art and craft supplies, as well as my scanner and printer… now it’s feeling a lot more open in this room because, well,

guest room4

i just stuffed all my supplies in the tiny little closet.


just being real, folks. ha. obviously! all of these “in progress” photos will have you doubting whether our house is EVER CLEAN OR ORGANIZED. bawhaha. {i’m laughing but crying on the inside… lol}

we’ll have to work on that too. for now though, this is what i’m living with. and besides, now it’s a nice open room for my guest that’s coming today!

guest room

my sweet little sister Amy is coming to visit!! YAY! i am SO excited!   so at least she’ll have plenty of room and the rearranging has been accomplished just in time.

{psst, you like my pile of blankets in the corner?! that would be half of my “linen closet” at the moment… ha. ack, this house does not have enough storage! laugh/cry} 

xoxo-kimberly renee 

{ps- i’m sharing this with you all because i want to be real about my life. to me, design and space planning are so fun and as i learn how to do it better, i’m sharing it on the blog… these are not “put together” images at all but i hope one day my house will be a little more “put together” like the ideas in my head. thanks for hanging around while i learn how to do that! xo!}

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