Simply Mrs. Edwards

{just the life of a new wife}


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Son of a Nutcracker!

Since we’re only about 1 day from Christmas, I figured it was high time that I shared about our Christmas decorations! The past few years we’ve had a tree, some garland, and wreath on the door. I’d say my efforts were a mediocre 3 on the scale of Christmas cheer. But this year, gosh. This year is a solid 8.  We upped our game and brought the Christmas cheer in full force this year!

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Thanks to Josh’s awesome handiwork, we added this amazing backlit star this year. We were inspired by this one on Beyond The Picket Fence and couldn’t wait to create our own. Because we had a big open space to work with, we made ours a bit larger and added some sweet backlighting. The wood is from a reclaimed picket fence that Josh found and cleaned up. After Christmas, we’re thinking of repurposing the boards into another art project. Promise I’ll share those details when it’s time!

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

The star is a simple square that Josh fastened onto 2″ x 2″ pieces behind. It’s backlit with a strand of leftover Christmas lights. The only thing we purchased for this project was a $3 spool of ribbon! A pretty great project if you ask me! :)

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. EdwardsI’ve been seeing a ton of fun chalkboard ideas all over, but since my chalk hand writing leaves a lot to be desired, I cheated a bit and used this transfer trick to write the Christmassy message below. If you doubt your writing skills, I highly recommend this transfer technique! The only thing I did differently was use a chalk pen to fill in my lines instead of regular chalk. My finished product may not look as rustic as it could, but I was lacking the patience and steady hand necessary to trace over the whole thing in smear-able chalk. I may re-do this again with real chalk someday, but I’m perfectly happy with the way this version turned out!

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Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Last year I made this fun Christmas card wreath out of a pack of Dollar Tree clothes pins, a little green spray paint, some red beads, some bailing wire, and red ribbon. One of the easiest projects ever! I’m happy to say that since this photo was taken we’ve filled up the entire wreath with fun cards from family and friends!

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Among other fine qualities, our house has a really odd living room with multiple doors on each wall. The only place that our TV fits is right in front of a coat closet that we don’t really use. I got tired of people asking why our TV was in front of a door, so earlier this year I made a curtain to hang in front of the door. This was also the point in which I got fed up with our dark redwood walls and decided to cover 2 walls in burlap. Thankfully both projects turned out great and we no longer receive weird comments or looks when someone comes into our house!

Thanks to some scissor wielding friends who were over one night, we ended up with a stack of beautiful paper snowflakes that were just begging to be displayed. It only made sense to hang them in front of the curtain that’s in front of the coat closet door. Duh, right? Thankfully, that experiment turned out great too!

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

If  you’re on Pinterest, it’s very likely that you’ve seen tutorials on how to replicate mercury glass with mirrored spray paint and a spray bottle of vinegar/water. Well, I took a stab at it with some vases and candle holders and kind of failed. When they say that you MUST use the Krylon mirrored spray paint for it to turn out, they’re not kidding. I used some Rustoleum silver spray paint and my pieces turned out lacking some pizzaz (I’m pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve ever used the word pizzaz…) I honestly really like how these vases and candle holders turned out, but they’re nothing like real or faux mercury glass. I think it has to do with the air temperature I was spray painting in and that I used the wrong type of spray paint. Oh well, ya win some, ya fail some.

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

I really like the arrangement and that I get to display it on some antique doilies from my Mom. The view below is my absolute favorite this year! It’s what I see every night sitting on the couch :)

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Here are a few photos of the living room as a whole (this room is hard to photograph!)…

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards
Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Although we spend the majority of our time in the living room, a little bit of Christmas cheer spilled over into the dining room too. On the china hutch I simply hung some paper garland that I made last year…

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All it is is circle punches of scrap booking paper and Trader Joe’s bags sewed together…seriously, so simple.

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

The other thing I added is a Merry Christmas banner that we got at Target a few years back hanging on an old window from my parent’s house. Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards IMG_3266

My favorite Christmas tradition so far has been buying a Christmas ornament from our travels throughout the year. Hopefully someday our tree will be filled with ornaments from around the country and world! These three are from our trips in 2012:

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

These ornaments and many others were placed on our tree with love and care while we donned our antler headbands and turned on a Christmas movie. Ahh, I love tradition!

So, did you up your decorating game in 2012? What is your favorite Christmas tradition? Can you believe that Christmas is TOMORROW?!

Singing loud for all to hear,
Mrs. Edwards

P.S. Here’s our 2012 Christmas Card! Designed by the one and only, Josh Edwards :)

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards


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Sponsored by the Letter “E”

Our house is literally 15 feet off of a semi-busy road and has a bright red front door. I try to keep something hanging on the front door all the time to be festive and cheery, but mostly to draw people’s eyes away from peering into our front windows. It probably doesn’t work, but I like to think it does!

Ever since I started seeing these jute wrapped letters popping up on Pinterest, I’ve been dying to get one put up on our front door! A Joann’s coupon and ball of twine later, I have this:

Jute Wrapped Monogram // Simply Mrs. Edwards

Supplies Needed:

  • Paper mache letter
  • Hot glue gun
  • Jute
  • Fabric for rosettes
  • Grosgrain ribbon

Jute Wrapped Monogram // Simply Mrs. EdwardsFlip your letter over, glue down the end of your jute and begin wrapping vertically. When you get to the edges, use a dollop of glue to keep the jute from slipping off the end. 

Jute Wrapped Monogram // Simply Mrs. Edwards

Jute Wrapped Monogram // Simply Mrs. EdwardsOnce you finish wrapping the entire thing vertically, wrap it again horizontally to cover all the exposed edges.

Jute Wrapped Monogram // Simply Mrs. Edwards

Jute Wrapped Monogram // Simply Mrs. EdwardsAdd your ribbon to the back and embellish with whatever you’d like. Stelabird has a great tutorial on how to make fabric rosettes over here

Jute Wrapped Monogram // Simply Mrs. EdwardsHang on your front door, step back and take a look!

Jute Wrapped Monogram // Simply Mrs. EdwardsI think it looks great on our front door! Don’t mind the left over 4th of July flags and my hubby’s work boots :)

Jute Wrapped Monogram // Simply Mrs. EdwardsLooks good, huh? A quick project to bring some cheer to our front door and distract people from looking in my windows :) 

The crafty one,
Mrs. Edwards


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Mrs. Edwards, How Does Your Garden Grow?

An Afternoon in my Bed 4.1.12 {via Instagram}

How did the flower bed above come from something looking like the one in the next picture?

A ridiculous amount of sheer determination and brute force, that’s how.

This flower bed is one of the only areas around our house that gets enough sun to grow much of anything. Living in the redwood forest has pros and cons…cons include the cave-like sunlight. Sunny flower beds are a rare gem in Mount Hermon and finding one that can grow anything is like finding gold. For the past 10+ years, this flower bed has done a wonderful job of growing ivy. Lots and LOTS of ivy. The kind that has roots to Timbuktu and back again. I’ve been mildly successful with potted flowers on our deck, but I’ve been dying to get this bed cleaned out and ready for planting. A few weeks ago, my mom and I spent a day and a half starting the job and last weekend, Josh and I spent another day finishing up clearing half of it. Yep, that’s right…it took us 2 and a half days to clear out only half of the flower bed! Its about 40 ft. long and 5-6 ft. deep, so clearing half of it was quite the undertaking.

Once we pulled the ivy, sticks, leaves, bottles, rusty metal, and old junk out of the area, we planted some boxwoods and golden euonymus along the newly discovered/uncovered fence. I love the look of the uneven old fence and I think it’ll look even better once the bushes grow up just a bit!

Just in front of the bushes we put in some lily and dahlia bulbs and to the right, some iris and clematis. I can hardly wait to see what they look like in a few weeks!

Because I’m really a bit impatient and wanted a splash of color sooner than the bulbs will provide, Josh took me on a date and spoiled me a bit. Home Depot was having a sale on marigolds- $.99 for a six pack! Hard to beat that- so we got 6 packs :) Josh was feeling generous so we threw in some ranaculas and an azalea bush for another project. This was the first time in history that we left Home Depot with a cart full of stuff for me, and nothing for Josh…crazy, right?! I’m pretty sure that won’t happen ever again.

I planted the marigolds the next day and gave my tired gardening hands a rest.

Our goal is to clear out the rest of the bed and continue the planting party down the street. We’re thinking something pretty hardy that won’t need too much tending- maybe some lavender or something. This corner is seen by tons of cars and pedestrians every single day, so its been really fun to hear from neighbors how much they love it!

If the other half of the planting bed is anything like what we’ve cleared out so far, we’ve definitely got our work cut out for us, that’s for sure!

It’s been fun to get my hands dirty through this project. I think that I may be on to a new hobby! We have another sliver of sunshine on the side of our house that is just begging for a raised vegetable garden. Maybe our next date to Home Depot will include some lumber for a raised garden bed?? :)

The Gardener,
Mrs. Edwards


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Free Turned Fab

Before Josh and I got married, neither of us had much to offer in the furniture department. I had a bed, a desk and a dining set. Josh had a desk, a camping chair and not much else in the way of home furnishings. We were super blessed by friends who let us use their furniture while they were out of the country (yay Kit!) or while they were living in furnished staff housing (yay Callan!). For about a year, we were able to use these items ( a couch, chair and dresser), all the while knowing that at some point we would need to become adults and buy our own furniture. Well, that point came just a couple of weeks ago and I needed to find a dresser ASAP. This is where Abbott’s Thrift Store comes in. This place is quickly becoming my favorite place ever! Some friends of mine (hi Megan and Jean! :) ) were taking a trip to Abbott’s so I asked them to see if they had any inexpensive dressers. Megan texted me 3 or 4 pictures of different items, but none of them seemed to catch my eye- and their price tags didn’t either. And then, she sent a picture of this beauty:

A little rough, right? Looks like it was teleported from the 70’s, right? Looks like it’s been neglected, right?

FREE! My heart did a little pitter patter when Megan told me it was free. Ahh…a match made in thrifting heaven.

Admittedly, this thing was kind of gross. THICK lacquer, missing hardware, random stickers, mis-matched drawers, thrift-store-smelly drawer liners. Gross…but free.

Along with all of the visible stuff, there was quite a bit of damage to the guts of the dresser. Most of the bottoms of the drawers had moisture damage and were bowed and/or falling out. Along with that, the drawer rails and tracks were loose or missing completely. We definitely had our work cut out for us! Thankfully, Josh was up for the challenge! :)

Josh took charge of fixing the mechanics of the piece while I was in charge of the appearance. First, he started by fixing the loose rails by nailing, gluing and clamping them back in place:

If you notice in the pictures above, the center top drawer doesn’t match the others whatsoever. We think the original might have gotten damaged so the previous owner replaced it with something that was similar. It was super wonky so we put our thinking caps on to figure out what to do. I can’t remember where I’ve seen it done before, but my idea was to take the drawer out completely, build a shelf to replace it and place a basket or two for storage in the space. Josh happily obliged and built one out for me using some leftover wood from our bathroom shelf (seen over here)!

After he finished that up, he went and bought a $10 sheet of 1/8″ mahogany plywood to replace the bottoms of the drawers. A friend and co-worker gave Josh great a tip on how to make the drawer bottoms extra sturdy: make sure that the grain of the wood runs perpendicular in the bottom of the drawer (basically, make sure it runs left to right, not front to back in the bottom drawer.) This adds extra strength and will help the replacement bottoms last even longer!

After the bottoms were replaced, J replaced the drawer tracks as well. He was able to use some scrap wood and used a table saw to do a dado cut (don’t worry, I had no idea what that was either).

Because the lacquer was so thick, we thought we might need to strip it off. Oh BTW, Josh had some funny interactions while asking the clerks at the local hardware store, “Where do you keep your strippers?”…haha, oh husband. We found that the stripper didn’t do much to the finish, so we resorted to sanding the whole thing. It took some time and made a bit of a mess, but in the end did the trick.

After we finished our sanding adventure, it was time to paint! I did quite a bit of research on how to best paint over a sanded lacquer finish. Turns out, the best solution is to use an oil based primer and then a latex paint on top. We picked up a gallon of Kilz Oil Based Primer, Sealer and Stain Blocker (I just found out that they make an odorless version of this. I wish we had known that earlier!). This stuff REAKS. No matter how much ventilation we had, the smell was enough to knock you over. BUT, it covered well and that’s all that matters! Here’s my handsome hubby working away on priming the dresser:

For the finish color, I decided that I wanted to do a robin egg blue color with white hardware. I got my inspiration over here on Pinterest. P.S… my name is Terra and I’m addicted to Pinterest. For realsies, it’s bad. I cannot get enough of it! It is the best/worst distraction ever, but offers so much inspiration! Anyways…back to paint colors. We went with Eucalyptus Leaf by Behr from Home Depot. I loooove it! It’s calm and cheery at the same time. Too bad the dresser has to live in our closet…maybe someday in a future home it’ll be a featured piece. Here’s to dreaming! :)

For the hardware I wanted to keep our cost as inexpensive as possible, so I chose to keep the original brass drawer pulls and spray paint them. Spray paint is quickly becoming one of my favorite things ever! It is the quickest way to make something look new and is so affordable! We picked up some Rustoleum Universal White Gloss Paint & Primer in 1 at Home Depot for $6.50ish (not bad for paint and primer!). First off, I soaked and scrubbed the heck out of those drawer pulls! I soaked them in Dawn soap and warm water for 30ish minutes and attacked them with a Scotch-Brite pad. Boy, oh boy…those things were nasty! The top is after scrubbing and the bottom is before:

I learned a fun trick before I started spray-painting the pulls (thanks to the helpful interwebs): To reach all parts of the pull, wedge a toothpick in the hinge:

That trick saved so much time and potential messy screw ups!

If you’re going to try painting brass hardware, or any type of metal for that matter, make sure you do multiple light, even layers and be sure to keep your can moving the ENTIRE time you’re spraying to avoid drips (thanks hubby for the painting tips :) )

After I got the first coat on the drawer pulls, we pried open the can of Eucalyptus Leaf in semi-gloss and ahhh….so relaxing. We poured some of that soothing color into a paint tray and I got started on the drawer fronts!

I tried something new on this dresser; I used a small foam roller like this one from Home Depot. SUCH a good purchase! The density of the foam helped the paint go on in thin, smooth layers. Again, I cannot stress this enough…do multiple THIN coats to achieve the best finish!

Are you ready for some fantastically-amazing-blow-your-mind after photos? Ok!

Ta-da!!

(The color in these photos is a little more vivid than it is in real life because we shot them outside as the sun was going down. The closest to accurate color would be the last photo, the close up of the drawer.)

Pretty amazing, right? I’m super proud of our accomplishment and so happy to call this dresser mine! Again, Josh amazed me with his carpentry skills and is so helpful to me as I’m learning the ins and outs of painting and furniture re-dos. For a free dresser, this thing sure cleaned up nicely!

Budget breakdown:

  • Dresser: FREE! (from Abbott’s)
  • Mahogany plywood: $10
  • Wood for drawer tracks: Free (already owned)
  • Wood for drawer-turned-shelf: Free (already owned)
  • Kilz Oil Based Primer: $20
  • Rustoleum Paint and Primer in 1: $6.50
  • Behr Eucalyptus Leaf semi-gloss paint: $24
  • Ultra-dense foam mini roller: $5
  • Total: $65.50

Not bad, right?! We really only used about a quart of both the primer and paint, but we’ll count the entire gallon into the cost of this project. I still need to buy a few baskets for the shelf to hold scarves, jewelry, accessories, etc. But that’ll come later. Right now, I’m just giddy to have an awesome dresser holding my clothing! :)

Happily,
Mrs. Edwards



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Bathroom Remodel Reveal: The Spaceship Has Landed!

Remember a long time ago when we first tackled our bathroom remodel? Remember when we had a run in with some crazy house invading ants? Remember when I gave you a sneak peak and said I would be revealing the finished product soon? Well, long story short, I’m lame. Summer started and all of my hopes and dreams of getting that post finished went out the door. Part of it was that I literally couldn’t find any spare moments to work on a post (we work at a Camp, a very very busy Camp); another part was that because of the busyness of summer our bathroom was hardly ever tidy. And there was no way in heck that I was going to share pictures of our messy bathroom!

Well, the time has come to unveil the masterpiece! What better way to showcase a reveal than to remind you of the bathroom purgatory we were recovering from. Our previous space can be recapped in just a few words: spaceship gone wrong. Let me remind you with a few awesomely terrible photos:Praise the Lord, these pictures are now just a distant memory. Although we ran into problems like ants (read about that over here), disconnected vent pipes, doors in the wrong place and plumbing issues (all over here), in the end we were victorious! Lots of work went into this project and it was a huge learning experience for both of us. My husband is seriously amazing. He worked his tail off on this remodel! From re-tiling the floor to learning how to re-route plumbing and electrical to building an awesomesauce shelf for our bathroom stuff! I’ve got a keeper! (p.s. Mr. Edwards has some blogging tricks up his sleeve…I’ll keep you updated!)

Here’s a look at the NEW and IMPROVED view to the left as you walk into our bathroom:Josh built that shelf from scratch! He got his inspiration over here on Ana White’s blog (where we also got our inspiration for our outdoor patio set…more on that in another post). It’s perfectly sized for the space and holds all of the essentials that wouldn’t fit under the sink. The baskets are courtesy of my Mother-in-law’s garage and the items on the top shelf are things I’ve collected in the past few years. I love the simple look of the shelf and how it looks like it’s leaning against the wall. The best part is that because of the tiered design it doesn’t feel crowded when you walk in the door. Way to go husband!Ok, side note…take a look at these hydrangeas! They’re from our friend/neighbor/co-worker Carol Ann’s yard. She was super sweet and let me cut a few from her hydrangea bush. Nothing like having some fresh blooms to cheer you up!You’ll also notice a brand spankin’ new toilet! We got that ivory beauty at Home Depot for just $99! It’s a dual flush, low flow toilet (I’ll let you figure out the dual flush part…) and is awesome. Is that weird to say a toilet is awesome? Oh well…I just did.

One of the biggest improvements in our new bathroom is the increase of leg room between the toilet and the vanity. I never thought I would say this, but goodness gracious, its nice to not feel cramped while on the throne. (TMI?)

Remember how much leg space the old one had?  Never good when your knees touch the vanity while you’re gettin’ business done…And look at the new leg room…(oh, and we now have a toilet paper holder! Seriously, the Edwards’ are movin’ up in the world!):Next up, our new vanity!!

A little closer look…
The color is absolutely amazing. It’s a warm chocolatey brown that makes a bold statement in the room! It’s a great size and is the perfect height for both of us (as opposed to the too low version in our old bathroom). The sink is fairly narrow and pretty shallow, but is fantastic! I wasn’t too sure about the depth at first, but I’m definitely sold on it now. It adds a cool modern(ish) element to the space. The total cost for the vanity: $120…yep! That’s right. Originally priced at close to $200, we were able to get this pre-assembled floor model at an unbelievable discount. We are definitely pleased with our purchase!

Now let’s chat about the floor: I’m in love with the tile! It is, (a) new and clean & (b) not spaceship silver. We decided to put 12×12 tiles in place of the 16×16’s that were in there. The smaller size makes the floor space look bigger. It’s super easy to keep clean and is so so nice.

The mirror came from Target for about $25. I was having a really hard time finding something that didn’t look too heavy or gaudy. It works for now, but the jury is still out. I’m not completely sold on the stark white, smooth finish. I’d love to thrift or craigslist an older mirror with an interesting frame and maybe paint it or something. We’ll see…

I was also on the hunt for a new shower curtain, so I took one of our towels with me shopping. I searched Bed, Bath & Beyond, Kohls and HomeGoods and wasn’t able to find anything I liked for under $25. Not willing to spend anywhere near that, I wandered into Ross crossing my fingers hoping to find something. Well, the shower curtain gods were on my side…I found this one for $7.99! Best part, the blue is an EXACT match to our towels! Double score!

We also installed a curved shower curtain rod. It’s fantastic! It gives us almost an extra foot of space in our shower without sticking out into the room too much. At around $32 (with coupon), we think it was a worthwhile investment

We found this light fixture at Home Depot and figured it fit our space really well! Unlike the old nasty bare bulbs that were on our previous fixture, this one has really nice creamy glass shades. We hesitated buying it because it was a little more than we wanted to spend (around $60), but after some deliberating we figured it would be a good investment for the space. Welp, we were right!Previously, we had two towel bars straight out of a hotel that were attached to the back of our door. I had quite a few close calls with those things, they seemed to be right at head level, but somehow I narrowly escaped any gouges in my forehead. We picked up a double towel rack  and some over-the-door hooks at Ikea to solve the problem. So far, so good!(sorry for the wonky lighting in this picture)So, our Spaceship Bathroom has finally touched down. It has come back into this atmosphere and boy, oh boy is it better. We’re so thankful for being able to do the work ourselves (with the help of my fantastic Dad) and that we were able to do it within a very decent budget!Budget breakdown. We actually lost the receipts, so these are educated guesses (whoops!):

  • Vanity: $120
  • Toilet: $100
  • Materials to patch doorway: $30
  • Tile and materials: $80
  • Paint and primer: $50
  • Light fixture: $60
  • Mirror: $25
  • Shelf supplies: $35
  • Towel holders: $11
  • Shower curtain: $8
  • Curved curtain rod: $32
  • Miscellaneous accessories: $30
  • Total: $581

A total bathroom makeover for less than $600? Yeppers. Goes to show what you can do with some savvy shopping and a little do-it-yourself work! We still have yet to install the last puzzle piece…the bathroom fan. We’re working with some crazy old-house wiring so it’ll be a little while before we can get that in. But, other than that, we are in l-o-v-e with our new loo! It is such a nice feeling to wake up and spend your morning getting ready in a well lit, clean and comfortable space!

Loving the simple things,
Mrs. Edwards