Chilly air is invading my cozy blanket pile on the couch and I’m getting up hours earlier than usual in the mornings. I’d say these are two signs that summer is definitely over! Now between lessons and tutoring, I’m doing lots of thinking, studying, laughing, piano-playing, singing, crock-potting, and generally ignoring piles of unfolded laundry. (I suppose that last part was true even in days of relative underemployment.) I like being busy and I’m looking forward to keeping this pace for the rest of fall! But I knew this active season would come, so I tried to make the most of my final days of relaxation earlier.
So, knowing I would be juggling “real” work now, I spent a little time working on some projects while Aaron was busy in Japan this summer. Oh yeah… He just got to visit another side of the world. While I did crafts in Iowa. No biggie! He can make it up to me later.
The biggest project I tackled was taking care of beautifying the dining room rug. I mentioned before that I basically hate how it looked, but after this makeover I’m very happy with what we have. it’s amazing what cool things come from a small budget and lots of creativity!
I started with this:
I was going for this inspiration look:
A tutorial convinced me I could do it. And watching Jack Bauer‘s American super-hero stunts powered me through four hours of work. By the end, I was exhausted and telling myself things like, “I can’t stop and go to bed. I have to secure the perimeter! We can’t wait for back-up – GO, GO, NOW! Someone get me the President on a secure line!!” to keep my spirits up. And finally, after six episodes of 24, I had a beautiful rug!
I will confess: I made lots of rookie mistakes. I mean it! Lots of them! If you come over and move my table… well, just don’t do that. You’ve seen enough here. Most of the crookedness happened because I didn’t realize the sides of my stencil weren’t square. Even though I started out carefully, my uneven edges and inadvertent rotations ended up really messing up the pattern even though I was following my guidelines. And I should have spaced out my repeats more for the look I was going for, but overall it’s totally fine. I should stop thinking about the mistakes. It is still pretty cool, and I think the diamond pattern actually makes it feel really connected with the kitchen tile backsplash, too.
I really enjoyed this project and I would absolutely do it over again. Now I’m looking for an excuse to do this somewhere else in the house!
And I’ll mention this here because I put it on my 30-before-30 list: Now that we’ve been married over four years, I am 90% done with my wedding scrapbook. This book goes from the proposal to our honeymoon… just missing a few random bridal shower pictures in the middle.
And yes, that is the same stencil from the rug on the coffee table. It isn’t that I’m so decoratingly coordinated or anything; I just worked with the supplies I had available when rug inspiration struck.
The final bonus of our summer? Several sets of company (but not enough pictures to document their visits), and now I can’t help thinking we have the absolute best cousins and niece ever.
I’m almost tired just remembering all we stuffed into the summer. It’s definitely over now! And between hunting and teaching, I’m thinking the big projects and vacations may have to slow down for a bit now, too.