25 April 2013


I've finally made the decision to migrate this here blog to WordPress. Why? Oh, about a hundred different reasons, least of which is the fact that I have one too many Google accounts and getting into and out of Blogger can be a bit challenging at times. Regardless, you'll be pleased to know I'm beginning to write again, which is good. It means you'll occasionally have something to read.

You'll just have to read it at akatereynolds.wordpress.com instead!

17 February 2013

Small (Vague) Update

Hi everyone. I know I've been incredibly absent lately. The beginning of the year rolled in like nothing I've ever seen, and now Christopher and I are processing some things that have happened in the last week. Essentially, we could really just use a lot of prayer. We want God to be glorified in all we do, particularly in the attitudes we hold in our hearts.

Anyway, I know that's terribly vague. Maybe someday I'll feel up to writing about what's going on, but today is certainly not that day.

Thanks for loving us! We are grateful for the people God has placed in our lives.

12 January 2013

Weekend Workroom: Simple wall art

For a long while, we've still been trying to figure out how to fill those empty walls we tend to find throughout our home. We're getting there, but it has been a slow process because we haven't wanted to put things up just because we have them. We wanted to put things up that were meaningful or actually might qualify as grown-up art.

And, yes, I know grown-ups rarely refer to themselves as "grown-ups."

I came across this project, however, and figured that if it worked it could be a really awesome way to make our own "art" pieces for both our bedroom and for the living room (which, aside from the Christmas season when stockings are hung on the wall, can be pretty barren). If it didn't work, I realized I wouldn't be out a ton of money and I would have at least spent an afternoon trying something new.

A quote Christopher has really come to love lately (that I'm trying to work into my own heart and mentality, as well) is from G. K. Chesterton: "Anything worth doing is worth doing badly."

So, I set out to try this project. I bought most of my supplies at Michael's, but I shift my supplier (that sounds so much more official than it actually is) based on what is on sale. Michael's happened to have the better deals on large (I think they were 18x20-inch canvas packs), as well as a coupon for the Helvetica packs that I used for the lettering. I think I bought the paint there, too.

The project was initially supposed to be a secret but, as most people who know and Christopher and I well, we don't do particularly well with secrets. We maybe keep them for two days. Then it's all over. The main reason this project didn't stay a secret was because I wanted something that would be meaningful for Chris and I wanted his input. We finally (after much debate) settled on short bits of one of the verses from "Be Thou My Vision," which is one of Christopher's favorite hymns (if not his favorite).

And, since the process takes a while, we're still trying to figure out what to put on the other set, which is why they haven't been put together yet...

Regardless, I liked how the panels turned out, particularly because I took the time to draw the necessary grids and to space letters for each panel, knowing that I am not capable of making anything straight on my own. We decided to keep this set (for our bedroom) really simple, only doing one color per panel. Some colors needed more coats of paint than others (particularly the deep red), but I just kept at it - I did laundry and cleaned the house bit by bit between coats. The paint did bleed in a bit (like the one from A Beautiful Mess), but from any distance it's not too bad. It adds a bit of texture and gives the Helvetica a bit of a distressed look, which is kind of cool (in my opinion).

Anyway, it was a fun, simple way to do wall art. I'm looking forward to completing some more in the coming year and continuing to make our home both beautiful and meaningful.

07 January 2013

Stash-busting V: Gift-wrapping, Round 2

So, seriously, like EPIC FAIL.

I realized after arriving at my parents' house for the holidays that I forgot to upload pictures I had already taken to Blogger, thus disabling my ability to update  this particular series of posts, which is what I had planned...

I'm very, very sorry for that, but it was good in other ways... like had-a-lot-of-time-to-be-quiet-and-think ways. It was really good to have more than a full week off, to not feel the need to always be somewhere. Times like that really force you to be honest with your own heart.

But more on that some other time.

I wrapped a lot of gifts before we left, continuing to whittle down my stash of gift-wrap supplies. The result? I barely made a dent in what I have left. Sure, I got rid of a few rolls of paper that were nearing their ends and a few rolls of ribbon, but I still have plenty to wrap next year's gifts and possibly more.

Just another lesson for me that I need to use what I have because I have been given so much, even when you're just counting my wrapping paper stash.

Regardless, I still feel like I wrapped some pretty gifts. For gift cards, I taped the same tags I used for everything else onto small white (thank-you card) envelopes, which ended up looking clean but still kind of neat. Here are some images from the second round:

I think the last gift was my favorite in terms of wrapping... The paper was thick enough to not tear easily, but still made good creases and wasn't too glossy to keep tape on. In my view, this is essentially a perfect wrapping paper. I still have plenty left to wrap some things next year, and that makes me look forward to next Christmas!

19 December 2012

Stash-busting IV: Gift-wrapping, Round 1

As a continuance of my stash-busting mentality for this Christmas, I decided I needed to bust my gift-wrap stash. Every year, I go out and methodically select wrapping paper and ribbon so that all of my efforts are coordinated and beautiful. I love wrapping gifts, and I love making them pretty.

That being said, I have a lot of half-finished rolls of wrapping paper and spools of ribbon that I've picked up on clearance just sitting in my wrapping paper storage bag (yes, I'm that person). I decided that, this year, I needed to finish off what I already had before I could be justified in purchasing anything new. Should all go as planned, I should be cleaned out and ready to start looking for new paper for next year right as everything goes on post-Christmas clearance (which is the best time to buy anything that you needed before Christmas!).

I'm taking gift-wrapping in chunks this year so that papers are similar in the same families. My first set of gifts to wrap was for my brother-in-law, his wife, and their two boys. I chose two similar papers, both with snowflakes, and wrapped as many as I could in one paper before moving on to the next. For tags, I chose monogram letters this year, printed on card stock that I had left over from last year (stash-busting all over the place). I used this font (Apex Lake), which is available for free at dafont.com.

Thus, I give you a glimpse at my first round of wrapped gifts: