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Our Travel Wall Update
My husband and I love to travel, and you may remember the post I did a while ago about our travel wall.  We've collected different artworks, prints and maps, some during our travels and some purchased later, and created a gallery wall in our living room.  Back in April 2013, my husband and I went back to Europe and collected pieces from Belgium and France, and then purchased a piece off Etsy to represent the Netherlands.



I finally updated the wall---nine months later.  Sometimes I just take my time...

Anyway, here it is!  We added three new pieces.








1.  This painting was purchased directly from the artist in the Montmartre neighborhood in Paris.  When I decided to buy it, I actually didn't have enough cash on me, and the artist was going to leave soon.  So my husband and I went on a mad dash searching and asking around for an ATM.  For future reference, there are NOT many cash machines in Montmartre. But we made it back in time.  Barely.  Lesson learned.








2.  I saw this piece on Etsy and had to have it for the wall.  Tulips are my favorite flowers, and windmills are so iconic for the Netherlands (that's even where the artist lives!).  Plus, it has felt details sewn onto the canvas.  This Etsy artist has prints for so many different cities--check her out!






3.  Different kinds of lace have originated from Belgium, so I thought a pretty piece of lace would be a perfect addition to our travel wall. This is a piece of handmade lace that we purchased in Brussels from the cutest little old couple.  It took me a while to find just the right one,  but I did, and I love it.


(Kitty apparently cannot be bothered by all this photographing.)




We aren't planning any trips to Europe this year, but we will be going to Florida to celebrate my 30th birthday in the Spring.  We could use some recommendations for places to visit or stay or where to eat.  We'll be driving and town hopping our way down to the Keys.  xoxo
Front Door Face Lift
I've really been wanting to paint my front door.  The inside of my house is full of bright colors, but the outside is just a light blueish gray with white brick and trim.  We have lots of landscaping and flowers, but it needed some more color.  So I bought some purple paint! 


The before shot leaves a lot to be desired for a front door.  Pfff. White. Who needs that? Not me, I say.



I gathered some painting supplies: roller, small brush, paint tray, sandpaper, towels.  I gave the door a quick rub down with the sand paper and then made sure it was squeaky clean.  The worst part about painting anything is taping.  I hate taping.  But I did it anyway, like a good little painter.


 This is what one coat looks like.  Terrifying, right?



Two coats on the door looks a touch better, but not much.



Woohoo! Three coats! It finally looks good! 
(Like my doormat?  You can make your own with my DIY found here.  I did give it a little bit of a touch up this weekend.  The coir material was finally starting to wear out. You know, because we step on it and stuff.)


Here's the before and after shot together.  LOVE!



Is your front door a crazy color too?
Danidiy, home decor, home Comments
My Craft FAIL and Paint Your Own Pillow Cover DIY
So, this is an unplanned blog post.  Maybe you're asking, "but, Dani, how do you not plan a DIY project?" Good question.  And the answer involves an embarassing admission.  I had a major craft FAIL.  I mentioned in this post, that I was going to make my own (less profrane) version of this pillow.  Well I did.  And it turned out great.  I was super proud of my new pillow. But, you know when you look at a particular word or two for a really long time, the words start to look funny. Well, I blame that for my craft fail: I spelled DIEM wrong, and I didn't even realize it until the pillow was sitting on my couch for a few days:

Awesome.

But I really wanted that pillow.  So, I made another one, and decided to turn it into a tutorial for you guys.  So, if you want to make your own pillow cover (and obviously, you can choose any phrase or words your little heart desires), this is what you'll need:

Supplies:
Fabric*
Print out of your chosen words
Scissors
Chalk or Erasable Fabric Marker
Pins
Tape Measure or Ruler
Permanent Fabric Marker
Permanent Fabric Paint
Paint brush
Cardboard and clips
Sewing machine

*My pillow cover is for a 15 inch square pillow, so my fabric is 15 x 36 inches.  With this size, I have a half inch seam allowance for the width to make my pillow cover slightly smaller (14 inches wide) to make the pillow nice and full.  The length of the fabric is not set in stone, but you want at least six inches more than double your pillow cover width. (So in this case I want 14 x 2 + 6 = 34.  Since I had a yard of fabric, I just went with 36.)



Step 1: Cut out your letters. (Mine look funny because my printer is apparently low on ink...)



Step 2: Mark the center of your fabric for reference.  Also mark where the top and bottom edge of your pillow will be. (So now I have marks at 11 inches, 18 inches, and 25 inches.)



Step 3: Using your reference marks, pin the letters onto your fabric.  It's also a good idea to clip your fabric to your cardboard at this point, so you have a steady backing for pinning and keeping your letters straight. Um, it's also at this point that you want to double check your spelling *ahem*.


Step 4: Trace your letters with the permanent fabric marker.  Then remove the paper.



Step 5: Paint your letters.



Step 6: After my letters were filled in, I used chalk to write out the handwritten letters, then the permanent fabric marker, then I made it bolder with paint.  Let your paint dry completely--a few hours will probably suffice.



Step 7:  Sew seams on the short ends of the fabric.  I chose half inch seams.



Step 8:  Place your cover right side up, and fold the ends as close to the top and bottom reference marks from step 2.  These folds will overlap.  Pin the sides together.



Step 9:  Sew the sides with a half inch seam allowance.



Step 10: Turn your pillow cover inside out and stuff it!



You're all done! (And hopefully yours is spelled correctly!!)  Enjoy!





Home Decor - Travel Wall
Last month, I mentioned I was redecorating my living room. We got a new sofa after not having one for at least six months--we sat in office chairs in our living room, because I could NOT find what I wanted. I wanted a lightish gray sofa, and something that could be easily cleaned. I searched for a while and nearly settled on outdoor furniture. Then we found two sectional pieces, in light gray leather, on SALE even, that worked really well for our space. SCORE!

But I digress. I don't really want to talk about my sofa today. I want to talk about what's on the wall above my sofa. I call it our Travel Wall. The Travel Wall includes items that we have picked up from our trips or represent a place we have been somehow.



I am enamored with traveling. I love each part of the process: deciding where to go, reading travel books, planning the trip, the butterflies in the weeks before we leave, experiencing new cultures, foods and languages, getting lost, meeting new people, returning home, going through mementos and pictures, and telling our stories, the good and ugly.  Since our 2008 honeymoon in St. Lucia, we have been fortunate enough to travel somewhere new every year.  We've been to London (and a few surrounding areas in England), Paris, all over Italy, Ireland and Scotland.  And we stayed stateside one year and went to Las Vegas, then to the Grand Canyon and a bit through Arizona.
























So here is part of our new living space (and that's Kitty)! 



So, let me tell you a bit about what we have on the Travel Wall (because the best part is being able to share the stories)...
























1. This is a print that we picked up in Northern Ireland at The Giant's Causeway.  Seriously, this was my favorite place to visit in Ireland.  It's a UNESCO World Heritage Sight and part of Northern Ireland's National Trust.  It is a piece of the coast that has naturally formed basalt stone columns that are beautiful. The place feels magical.

2. This is a print from this Etsy seller. It features a the streets of London as a map. I love getting up close and reading through it, remembering the places we visited.

3. Love this little cat.  It's an original watercolor that we purchased from a street artist in Siena, Italy.

4. This is a print from this Etsy shop. I have been lusting after Lucile's watercolors for some time now.  It's a map of Italy, on which Lucile has painted different regional Italian foods.  Needless to say, the food we had in Italy was ridiculously good.  And the wine....so much wine!

5. I love to have a map of the world in the house.  I love to use it for reference...and daydreaming...

6. This is a fun, stylized sheep on a tiny canvas that we picked up in Scotland at a handmade craft show!  I was so excited to find this little show--there were so many cute things.

7.  I used to have a larger world map, and these two pieces are sections cut from that map (the Caribbean and Europe.)

8. This used to be a reusable bag.  We went to the Grand Canyon in  2011 and have been using this bag ever since, until just recently when the handle started to tear.  So, I decided to cut out the panel and frame it!

We also picked up some fun coasters in Ireland, and I like to display one or two of my favorite photos from our trips.  Below you can see a photo of the gargoyle's view of Paris from Notre Dame Cathedral. 

Oh, and do you see the books on the table?  We may or may not be planning another trip....(EXCITED!)

How do you like to remember the places where you've been?