Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Master Bedroom Makeover vol. 1 - Dresser Revamp




Y'all, this is the longest Reed and I have lived in a single home. I mean it's only our second house together and it still isn't "ours" but we've been here almost two years so it's like time to make this thing "finished". And by finished I mean all of those "we just moved in half done projects" need to be checked off. And don't judge me, yes we have been here over a year and a half and I still have a couple of those projects laying around...

Our "master" bedroom (just one of the two bedrooms in the house, nothing "master" about it) was never finished. We kinda just threw our furniture and clothes in and said TA DA a bedroom!



I had a big list of things I wanted to do to this room and the first one was make our furniture "match". We still have our hand me downs cheap or free furniture and we love it. I'm not the type of person that wants to go buy a bedroom suit. I would rather find a really cool bed, a rad dresser, and whatever else just slowly collect to make my space perfect. So I didn't really mind the mismatch but at the same time it was just not put together. We had like 5 different wood stains going on and I just couldn't handle it any more! 

So for Vol. 1 of our bedroom makeover was to get our furniture to look like it at least belongs in the same space! That meant I needed to refinish the dresser to match the bed. (Love the bed. It was a gift and so we decided to center the room after its name sake, the bed.)



Luckily the mirror I had matched the finish of our bed so seriously it was just refinishing this super simple dresser. The stain I used was Red Mahogany by Minwax and painted the frame with Ivory Dust by Valspar. Seriously, like the simplest thing ever. I lightly sanded and applied the stain or paint and DONE. But as you can tell in the before and after it made a HUGE difference. No more orangey wood that didn't fit with anything I had, at all. 

Basically I'm pretty happy with it and am excited about how easy and life changing (yes, I know so dramatic but hey it's January) Vol. 1 of our makeover has been. 


I keep saying Vol. 1 so maybe if you are like real interested in my life you may be wondering what the other Volumes will be. Well, in the pictures above you can see part of Vol. 2! One of our biggest struggles with this house is lack of storage and we basically had stuff falling all over the place. So we have built a shelving unit along one of our bedroom walls. It's a slow process because we are kinda making it up as we go. Basically I didn't realize how many shelves Reed was gonna need for t-shirts and hats so it's taking longer than I thought ha. 


I wanted to throw in this picture because I felt like I was lying to you in some of my pictures of my dresser. Our room looked so uncluttered and fresh. Well if I turned to capture the other half of the room this is what it looked like.... all my clothes on the floor cause I didn't put them back in the dresser yet, 2 dog beds, and a boot dryer. Perfect blog material :) What are some of your undone projects you are hoping to check off the list this year?? 

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Making Monday #72

Lori is back!!

Guys, Lori has decided to join the party again after a long 3 month break! I know I am stoked to have her back and thankful for all her sweet help making you guys feel special. So please join me in making this party the best yet as  we welcome back our totally rad co-host Lori!!

Welcome to Making Monday #72. We have some great features this week. Take a look...
This is a party where you can find fun new creative ideas and tasty recipes shared by amazingly talented people. Every Monday bloggers stop by to link up their posts and share with all you party goers. By joining in {both bloggers and non-bloggers} you will discover new blogs, be inspired to make something new, try a yummy new recipe, and most importantly make new friends!
This party is hosted by Gracie and me, and your projects will be shared on both of our blogs.We love that you're here and we love featuring you on our social media so be sure to follow us so you can see if your post gets shared!
 
We also pin to our Making Monday Pinterest board and we'd love to have you follow along! This is a place you can find projects from all the previous parties, too, so it is like a party every day!
 

This is what your hostesses have been up to lately:

Reese's Fudge

This week we have an amazingly delicious, 3-ingredient, no-bake Reese's Fudge recipe from Lori.
 
layeringwatercolor1

Gracie is giving us another super fun watercolor lesson.
 

These are the fabulous features for this week, chosen by Lori:

Feature72-StreetMap
#1. DIY Custom Street Map Wall Art ~ by Colleen at Lemon Thistle
 
Feature72-SkirtRefashion
#2. Skirt Refashion ~ Becca at Halfway to Hipster
 
Feature72-PeanutButterBrownieCookies

#3. Peanut Butter Brownie Cookies ~ Emilie at Oh My! Sugar High
 
Feature72-Hummus

#4. The Everything Hummus ~ Robyn at Robyn's View
 
Feature72-BathFizzies

#5. Homemade Bath Fizzies ~ Living Chic on the Cheap
 
Feature72-AlohaPineappleSmoothie

#6. Copycat Aloha Pineapple Smoothie ~ Janel at A Mom's Take
 
We hope that all of you are loving this party as much as we are! We can't get over all the awesome stuff that gets shared week after week!

If you were one of the features PLEASE grab a button and share it with some friends.
A Bright and Beautiful Life
 
If you didn't make it as a feature this week keep linking up because next week could be you!
A Bright and Beautiful Life
 
 
Don't forget to check out our Pinterest board where we pin plenty of projects from each party!
MakingMondayGuidelines-1

Thanks for joining us again this week. We're eager to see what you share.


 photo gracie-sig_zps2d86285f.jpg

Friday, January 16, 2015

Layering with Watercolor



Remember like forever ago when I said I was gonna do "art lessons" on the blog? Then I did like 4 and forgot about the blog for a while...Well I'm sorry about that and I'm back with another "lesson" :)

If you follow my shop on Insta (@gracelangdonart) you've seen a good amount of new watercolors flooding the feed. I've been trying to branch my shop out to more "artistic" endeavors and watercolor is one of those love affairs I thought I would take to the next level. SO why not share some of my techniques I've been using with y'all!


I've been doing a good pit of animals, started with a portrait of a friends dog and then moved on to animals I just thought where cute. I wanted to take it in a direction that wasn't photorealistic but wasn't abstract either. So most of my pieces have a real fluid layering technique going on. 
Watercolor is great for layering because it can be very transparent while also very opaque. That may make no sense but I promise you, if you practice some you will see what I'm talking about. 

The best way to start any watercolor is with plenty of pale washes. Use a light (and I mean extremely light) sketch to help you with your bearings on the page but then add in your general washes. In my first picture you can see my first wash was a pale pink. I chose pink because I wanted the bunny to have a warm hue all over. Then I slowly added in other washes where I wanted the color to change on the bunny. These first 2 washes are great ways to fill space while making sure the subject remains loose and fluid.



Then I wanted to add in more details so I started adding small brush strokes as fur with similar tons to the first washes. Everything is still pretty light at this stage but it builds up over time so you can start seeing more definition in the bunny. You can change colors depending on the space you are working on. Look at the ears, the tops have a blue tint to them so I chose to use cooler colors up there and warmer colors in the face. This starts adding dimension. 


And for more dimension you need to start adding in your darks. With out some "dark darks" you will never feel like your piece is finished. For this piece the nose, tips of the ears, eyes, and mouth area had some real deep colors. With watercolor the best way to get a deep color is to NOT use much water. I usually mix a really saturated puddle (more color less water) or try and use paint straight from the tube. Just be sparing with this stage. It can get overwhelming really fast. Layer on your darks S L O W L Y!

Watercolor layering is a slow process. You will go through stages that look horrible. For a minute my bunny looked like he had some weird witch hairs growing but they eventually blended in to be variation in the fur coat. Just remember to go slow, and start off with very pale colors, remember, you get the pale colors by using very water downed color. The more water the less saturated your color will be. The less water the more saturated your colors will be and that comes in handy at the very end of your piece. 
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Monday, January 12, 2015

Making Monday 71

Y'all, I'm so not good at scheduling things. Someone remind me that Monday comes after Sunday so I stop forgetting to post the party! Geeeezzzz!! Well, I made it and there are some pretty awesome things to share this week :) 



This is a party where you can find fun new creative ideas and tasty recipes shared by amazingly talented people. Every Monday bloggers stop by to link up their posts and share with all you party goers. By joining in {both bloggers and non-bloggers} you will discover new blogs, be inspired to make something new, try a yummy new recipe, and most importantly make new friends!
This party is hosted by Gracie and me, and your projects will be shared on both of our blogs. We love that you're here and we love featuring you on our social media so be sure to follow us so you can see if your post gets shared!
I also pin to our Making Monday Pinterest board and I'd love to have you follow along! This is a place you can find projects from all the previous parties, too, so it is like a party every day!

For 2015 I have some big plans but first I thought I would share some warm memories from my holiday trip to Nicaragua



Now for some awesome inspiration from YOU! 

1. For all your guests coming in this new year check out this awesome Guest Basket Idea



2.I'm doing this soon a DIY Framed Fabric Shoe Organizer 


3. And everyone loves jerky. I mean its just suuuchh a good snack. Here is a Tutorial on Making Deer Jerky, if you haven't tried it before. DO IT :) 



I hope that you guys are loving this party as much as I am! Can't get over all the awesome stuff that gets shared week after week!

   And don't forget if you didn't make it as a feature this week to check out the Pin board and to keep linking up, next week could be you!
Kitchen Table Art

Don't forget to check out our Pinterest board where we pin plenty of projects from each party!



 photo gracie-sig_zps2d86285f.jpg

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Christmas in Nicaragua!!




This year for Christmas Reed and I went to visit family in Nicaragua. 
Yes you read that right, Reed and I have family in Nicaragua. Here is a quick explanation why.  Reeds family are full time missionaries that own a pineapple farm (PiƱas de Paz) right outside of Managua Nicaragua. They have been there for about 10 years and it has been a HUGE part of Reed and I's relationship. If you've read any of "our story" you know I've know him almost my entire life and that we started dating while I was visiting his family in Nicaragua. So this country has a special place in our heats, not just because of the people or family but because it has some fun history for Reed and I :) 


I thought I would share some of our trip with you. And maybe some of you will find this country as beautiful as I do and think about visiting my family and their ministry :) 

Basically we had an awesome trip. This was our 3rd visit for Christmas (and my 7th trip in general) but the first where we stayed at the farm for the entire trip. It is a stunning place and was such a delight to stay for the holidays. We didn't plan a lot other than spending time with family. Reeds siblings where all able to come down too so it made the holidays extra special!  

Our first day Reed and his dad got to go on 2 dove hunts and it was a dream come true for Reed. So much so that he came back and picked me up asking me to come along and document the day. This picture shows the field we were hunting and you can see one of the local volcanoes on the sky line. 

Also, check out that view! Thats what we woke up to each morning & yes, where I brushed my teeth :) 


One of the excursions we got to take was to see the Christmas lights in down town Managua. It was CRAAAZY like seriously that Christmas tree was massive! (if you look closely you can see people in the bottom left corner of the second picture.) Our nephew was so cute while checking out the lights! 











Reed and I took some time to recap some of our best memories in Nicaragua. It was really fun to go back and do a few things that we did when we first started dating 7 years ago. The photo on the left was where we had our "first date". We went on a boat tour around some of the islands in Lake Nicaragua. We toured it again this year with our family. The other two photos, with the water fall, are from where we had our first kiss! Reed and I took the tripod and hiked back to the water fall this trip and took some really fun photos. I could have easily overloaded you with cheesy not so great quality pictures but instead I picked two of my favorite :)


One of the things I had never done in all of my 7 visits was take a "real" hike through the jungle around my in-laws farm. Reed goes every year with Juan Carlos and hikes around looking for iguanas and doves. So this year I told Reed I wanted him to take me, just on a beginner level hike. Non of that scaling mountains type junk. As you can see Reed didn't hear my request other than I wanted to hike in the jungle. We hiked 2 hours in to the jungle and 2 hours back out. It doesn't seem like thats too far but just look at what I had to climb through.... The picture on the left doesn't look so bad but basically I'm walking up stairs constantly, thats how steep it was. Do you see the blue and white dot in front of me?? Thats Juan Carlos, he was a beast and I totally couldn't keep up...


To explain the other 3 "hiking" pictures. We came to a spot in the canyon that was nothing but a stone wall with some branches leaned up it. I thought for sure we would turn around... Nope those branches are there to function as a ladder!!! So inventive. The first picture shows that not only did we scale a rock wall with sticks for help, but we also had to make sure we didn't fall back in to that black hole of nasty, nasty, water. The second and third are of me being super unsure of myself while watching Juan Carlos scurry up in rubber boots. But I did it and Reed was so proud he documented it :) 


Basically our Christmas was spent sipping rum and coke, eating fresh pineapple, soaking up the sun, creating exciting memories, and enjoying the company of family in our favorite place! Those 10 days where so fun and relaxing, Reed and I are so grateful for the opportunity we have every other year to travel down to Nicaragua. Now that we are back in the States and trying to get back in the groove of "ever day life" writing this post was a good break. How was your holiday with the family, any new and fun memories made???

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