Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

DIY Rustic Pumpkins October 29, 2014

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 9:25 am
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Last fall I spotted these adorable rustic pumpkins on DIY Swank and immediately pinned them to my “fall” board on Pinterest. A few months ago, Matt and I were talking about getting back into the habit of making things. We did so much for our wedding and fell in love with finding something on Pinterest and then adding our own special touches. I thought the rustic pumpkins would be the perfect project for us to get back on the DIY track!

We decided we would make three pumpkins: 1 large, 1 medium and 1 small. We followed the directions on DIY Swank with a few adaptations. We stopped by our local ACE hardware and picked up two 2X4X10 foot pieces, white spray paint and orange spray paint. Here how we “carved up” the wood.

Large Pumpkin

(1) 7″, (2) 9″, (2), 10″, (2) 11″, (1) 12″

Medium Pumpkin

(1) 7″, (2) 9″, (2), 10″, (1) 11″

Small Pumpkin

(1) 4″, (2) 5″, (1) 6″

Matt got to work cutting the wood while we were still up north. He had a gorgeous background and didn’t mind working one bit!

Rustic Pumpkin Carving


We brought the wood home and did the first round of sanding on the cut pieces. Then Matt spray painted the large and small one orange and the medium sized one white. On the stems we used green spray paint that I had leftover from another project for a pop of color.

After the spray paint dried (we waited a day) we sanded all of the spray painted pieces once again to achieve a more distressed/rustic look. Happy with the results, we began the assembly process.

wooden pumpkins


Instead of using wood glue and clamps we decided to use wood screws. Very carefully starting at the stop and working our way down, we screwed each piece to each other.

Rustic Pumpkins

I think they turned out pretty cute! Now onto the next holiday DIY project…I’m thinking snowmen but you’ll have to wait and see.


My New Love: Terrariums April 1, 2014

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 11:25 pm
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This past weekend I finally got to visit a little store in the Ravenswood neighborhood called Alapash.  I’ve wanted to make it out there since this past summer when I saw their booth at the Renegade Craft Fair.  The owner, Marco, sells terrariums, succulents, air plants, and other lovely home items.  I found this quote from him on Yelp for why he named his store Alapash.  I just think this idea is beautiful:

Some time ago, back home in Peru, a friend and I used to go through wonderful magazines filled with amazing pictures of places all around the world. These pictures were like little windows, escapes from the everyday routine, which would transport us to places of pure tranquility, and luxury. We called these places and moments “alapash”


I started following Alapash on Instagram (@alapash) and every time a pretty terrarium was posted, I would think, ‘I need to get to that store and buy one for myself!’  I want plants in my apartment, but it is difficult with the kitties around.  They usually sniff them out and take them down {unfortunately I mean that literally}!  I figured a terrarium might be safer since it’s mostly encased in the glass sphere.  Hopefully I haven’t jinxed myself and Harlo & Stella won’t discover my favorite new purchase.

alapash 2

Anyway, on Saturday I lured Karla and Lei there after we had brunch at the Birchwood Kitchen in Wicker Park.  Birchwood is super mini inside, but it was obviously popular because it was packed!  We gave them a phone number and skipped across the street to the little bakery there, Oak Wood.  We shared some coffee cake which was delightful and by the time we were done we got the call to go back to Birchwood.  We enjoyed fresh juice, teas, mochas, steak & eggs, and breakfast sandwiches.  We all agreed the food was great and the people there were super nice even though it was crazy in there, which I appreciated.


After we were finished we drove 3 miles North to Alapash.  Lei was with me at Renagade so when I mentioned going she was all over it and Karla was happy to oblige us.  I got both a small succulent planter and a terrarium and Lei picked out a terrarium for herself too (I think Karla was behaving herself that day).  Marco was very accommodating and switched out a rock I didn’t quite like and made sure I was happy before packaging everything up.   I couldn’t wait to get home and find the perfect spot for my terrarium.  It was actually the push I needed to restyle all my shelves in my living room.  There were still some winter items out and this was the perfect opportunity to change over to spring décor.  It took me forever, but I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out.


Marco explained to me that the terrarium only needs to be watered once per month and gave me a little dropper to help out.  I marked my calendar on the 15th of every month so as not to forget.  {PS- If you wait until March to buy a calendar from Paper Source, you’ll get 75% off.  I love their calendars and besides this chalkboard one pictured, I also have the big craft paper one in my office.  I refuse to pay the original price of $30 for a calendar! However, $7.50 is much more manageable.}  I’m already wanting to go back and get another terrarium.  I guess there are worse things I could go crazy over…right?




Valentine Heart Boxes February 4, 2014

decorA couple years ago my sister started creating these pretty heart boxes to house the treats she made her family and friends.  After awhile she started creating them just for decoration, and now I have picked up on it too.  I wondered where she came up with the idea, so I asked her and here is what she had to say:

‘I saved my first heart shaped candy box simply because it had a really pretty design on it. There was no ugly brand name – just a beautiful two toned red floral pattern. The next year, when I needed a nice box to put homemade treats in for my boyfriend, I found a tutorial from Martha Stewart on how to make your own. Here’s a link to a similar tutorial.

Honestly though, the instructions looked too complicated. It was one of those things Martha makes look easy but no one can actually recreate as perfectly. Plus, I had just slaved over making my own truffles and I didn’t have the energy to craft my own box too! My solution: grab that pretty box I had held onto and pack it with goodies. All my problems weren’t solved though. I had more treats to give out but no other pretty boxes. That’s when I decided to recover a much less appealing heart box that I had received just a few days before with scrapbook paper. Why make one when you can just reuse old ones?

 That was about 5 years ago and every year since I’ve saved candy boxes and recovered them. They aren’t always used to dole out treats though. I perch them on their sides around my home to use as decoration. I always use paper scraps I already have on hand. Wrapping paper, for example, is a great alternative to scrapbook paper. As of this year, I have seven uniquely decorated heart shaped boxes around my apartment. You can count on there being even more next February!’

 I couldn’t agree more and I’m so glad she came up with this decoration because they are super simple to make and the cost is pretty low too.  All you need to create your own is:


Candy heart box
Pretty scrapbook paper/wrapping paper

Step 1– Use the heart box as a template. Trace the outline twice onto the scrapbook paper with your pencil.

Step 2– Cut out the heart shapes you just traced.

Step 3– Take the adhesive of your choice and apply it to the heart box.

Step 4– Line up the heart cut outs onto the top of the boxes and press down to secure them.

Step 5– Find a place to put your new Valentine décor!


Restyling in the Bathroom November 26, 2013

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 8:07 pm
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Fom Lombard to Libertyville to Lincoln Park to Lockport, I was all over the Chicagoland area this weekend.  And for some reason all the towns I traveled to started with an ‘L.’ Not to worry, it was all for fun things, but it did tire me out and I can’t wait for the two days off at Thanksgiving so I can get some extra sleep.   Tonight I thought I’d show you the last project I wanted to do in my bathroom before I showed you the completed space:

old cab

My Cluttered Bathroom Cabinet

I have this little cabinet in my new bathroom, but I just hate how all this stuff looks here.  It’s just so cluttered and unattractive!  I decided it needed some styling and in order to get some inspiration I headed over to Pinterest.  I found this photo and the link said it was from readit.com.  I wasn’t able to find the original source there, but whoever you are, thank you for posting!

makeupbrushes inspa

I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on this so I looked around my apartment for ways to get a similar look.

The Tray:  Right away I thought about a white ceramic tray I had in my kitchen that could be used on this shelf.  It was originally a tray to hold cream and sugar, but since I don’t have much space to entertain anyways, I thought I’d borrow it for the bathroom.  I crossed my fingers as I placed it on the shelf and what do you know, it fit perfectly!

Brush Container:  A couple years ago for my birthday my sister gave me some lovely succulent plants.  When I moved, the last one died and I saved the little glass vase she used.  I had it in with craft stuff just waiting to be used for a project.  Again it was the perfect size.  All the brushes would still fit in the shelf even when standing up.

Container Filler: I needed something to hold the brushes in place.  This I needed a bit of help with so I made my way to Michaels.  Although the inspiration picture had clear glass beads, I knew I wanted a darker material so it would stand out in the clear vase.  I had a bag of black mini river rocks in my hand when I spotted a bag of sparkly black sand!  I knew immediately that is what I wanted to use.  The bag cost $2.99 and with my 25% off coupon I got it for $2.25.

Styling:  I came home and poured the sand in the vase and arranged my brushes and mascara in the vase.  I don’t wear much perfume or use Q-tips so I decided to go the functional route.  I added my face lotion, tinted moisturizer, and night cream on one side and my face powder and brush to the other.  I moved a plant that was in the dark and dying to the top shelf so it would get some sun way up high and moved some candles that were in my living room to the top shelf as well.  I was starting to get sick of these, but in the new space they don’t bother me so much.

after cab

What do you think?  It really makes the bathroom look classier and cleaner don’t you think?


On the Lookout October 9, 2013

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 12:15 am
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Unpacking is coming along pretty well.  Sunday I finally got through the two biggest boxes.  I was pretty impressed with myself (it’s the little things).  Now I’ve moved my concentration onto decorating.  Since the living room is probably where most my time is spent that is the first room I’m concentrating on.  My new living room came with a black leather couch and a black TV stand.  I was able to also fit one of my grey leather chairs along with it’s ottoman and my bamboo chair in the room.  Does anyone remember the bamboo chair I had reupholstered a few years back?  You can refresh your memory here, but the fabric I chose had a pretty yellow and grey floral pattern on it.  This is the inspiration for the décor in the room!  The colors will be black, grey, and yellow. 

There really isn’t any furniture I need to purchase for the room other than a coffee table.  The main thing I feel I’m missing is a rug.  I keep seeing pillows and accents that I like, but I’m afraid that whatever rug I end up with won’t match these.  A rug is much more expensive so I am holding off on the other items until I have that settled.  I measured the space in the middle of the room and determined I should buy a 7 x 9 foot rug.  My sister and I attended a talk with a professional decorator earlier this year and he made the suggestion that a rug never reaches all the way to the edge of the room and that it should be anchored by the largest piece of furniture in the room.  Now that I decided on a black/grey/yellow color theme, I feel like I can’t find anything that fits the bill!  On top of the color scheme and size restriction I’ve put on myself, I can’t decide if I want a plush rug or if a woven one would be okay.

Here are a few choices I’ve found so far.  Thoughts?  Have you seen any yellow rugs I might like? 

Morocann Trellis

From RugsUSA- Comes in 7×9
Is currently 55% off!


From RugsUSA- Sold out in 7×9
Currently 55% off!


From Ikea- 5’7″ x 7’10”
Reasonable price, but woven


Nautical Theme Bridal Shower July 23, 2013

What do you do when you are in charge of decorations for a Bridal Shower that isn’t at your house and your partner in crime lives across the country?  Just ask Sarah and me!  We made it happen and completed it with plenty of style…if I do say so myself!


Karla had told us she wanted a nautical theme for her bridal shower.  All of us involved {Karla’s bridesmaids and family members} created a spreadsheet with assignments for all.  This ensured that no one person was overloaded with too many tasks.  It also was good to have a list so we could make sure we didn’t forget any details.  Google Drive was very helpful for this because we were able to maintain one version the whole way through.  If there is a change, everyone sees it real time.


Before the shower Sarah and I started off with emails back and forth with plans.  She already had a life preserver buoy and cute decorative fishers net.  Then we planned to have white paper poms for the ceiling, flag garland, and tablescape décor.


Sarah has experience making the Poms and she had some time once she got in from Denver so she was able to whip those right up.  She also said she would put together a flag garland. I was amazed when I saw the final product!  I was imagining American flags, but she stuck to the theme much better than that.  She looked up actual nautical flags, like what would be on a boat and put them together with paper, a hole punch, and twine.  It really made a strong impact hanging in between the two main rooms we ate and opened presents in.


I already had red and blue tablecloths from Fourth of July so all we needed was a tablescape plan.  Karla’s aunt and uncle informed us how many tables and what sizes we’d be working with.  Right away we knew we wanted the fishers net on the two longest tables as a base.  Then we decided to use white metal lanterns from IKEA.  I had one white lantern at home already which gave me the inspiration, so we just bought 5 more {thanks sister for running that errand for us}.  They are super cute and just perfect for the nautical theme because they have little start cut outs in them.  At $3.99 a piece it wasn’t too bad of a price tag.  Sarah found a pin on Pinterest of votives wrapped in twine and I found red and blue twine at the dollar store that was perfect for the occasion.  Those were $2.00 for each roll {hey not everything at the Dollar Store can be a dollar}!  Then I had the idea to use the same twine around jars and make little vases we could place bunches of red and white carnations in.  I collected all the materials and Sarah crafted her little heart out when she got into town.Closeup with lantern

The instructions are simple.  Get a glue gun, twine, and glassware.  Place a vertical line of the hot glue on the glassware {whatever it might be} and start wrapping the twine around until you are happy with the amount on there.  Then cut the twine and WahLa!  Another find at the dollar store were the little glass star votives.  By the way it really helps to hold a nautical themed party right after the Fourth of July.  Another perk was the lovely bunting her Aunt and Uncle left up on their front porch which added to the theme.  Her aunt also added some shell artwork and sprinkled actual shells around the tables.  All in all I think we were able to really give the party the nautical theme we were aiming for.  Besides the decor, everything from the invitations, to the food, party favors and even the name tags worked together to create the nautical theme we all were aiming for.  Here are some pictures so you can see it all put together:




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