Friday, September 30, 2011

#639 Buying the Farm.

Well, it's definitely not a farm but I like the saying so it's the title today.

We bought the house. The George F. Haynes Craftsman Cottage is legally ours as of today.
On the way out the door with our down payment. 

Signing the papers. You know, just buyin' a dang house.

Woah.

And not to trump the big news, but mama made us some pillow shams tonight that are EXACT replicas of the linen shams in that Restoration Hardware bedding I love. She's the bomb.com. My hero!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

#638 Comforter.

Tonight we found this comforter:
At Dirt Cheap for $8.

It will be going in a duvet just like this one in a matter of days. Except we're taking this Simply Shabby Chic linen duvet (ignore those ruffly shams):

and slapping some stripes on it and some homemade linen shams. Cause it'll only cost $80 vs. $339.

Few things give you the satisfaction of making something cool from something ho-hum. Try it!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

#637 Subway Tile.

We've been planning on installing a glossy white subway tile backsplash and butcherblock countertops once we get the house since the kitchen is a little outdated.
Dreamy kitchen via Pinterest
I Googled until my eyes crossed but couldn't find a better price than right here at my own Lowe's, for .25 cents per tile. That would mean $125 + grout, etc. to do our kitchen. Which sounded good to me.

Well.

We went to Hattiesburg today on the hunt for Benjamin Moore paint swatches and fabric dye, but we happened upon the exact same tile for .12 cents each at Anderson Carpet One. Sadly, they didn't have nearly enough for us to do the whole kitchen, but they told us Lowe's does price matching. Away we went, and as a matter of fact they DO price match, and since it's the exact same product we got 62 square feet of tile for just $60. I hate we couldn't buy it from Anderson since they were so very helpful and the place is a wonderland of home design, but we'll definitely be back for anything else we might need for the house.

It pays to be patient. I almost bought the .25 cent tile weeks ago, but decided to wait. Boom.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

#636 Crafty.

I've been lusting for the grain sack pillows and upholstery that are popping up everywhere lately, but I'm not loving the price tag.

I think the fancy shmancy term is 'provencal,' for this French-inspired look, but tonight I gave the ole Restoration Hardware a run for the money and made my own grain sack striped fabric for future pillows.

I went to Walmart and bought 1 yard of heavy linen/muslin in a natural color for $3.57. I also bought a little jar of custom mixed satin latex paint from Lowe's in Almost Charcoal (which is actually a gray/navy). I used packing tape to make the lines, and put on a thin wash of paint.

I let each stripe dry before pulling off the tape and making the next stripes. After about 30 minutes total, I had grain sack fabric to make my pillows. Yay!

Saturday at Loblolly, we'll be setting up a Lucky Luxe booth to sell our collegiate posters (State and Ole Miss), concert posters and letterpress Christmas stationery, so I needed some sort of signage for our tent. I bought 10 feet of the linen/muslin and painted a banner using the same paint. 
I'm loving it. Pretty legit, I think. Legit and on the cheap.

Monday, September 26, 2011

#635 Ben on TV. Again.

Mitter was on the early show again (that's the 3rd time on the blog) and he told us all about the Loblolly Festival that's coming up on Saturday.

You should really come.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

#634 Happy Birthday, Mr. Ted.

Hope's daddy, Ted, had a birthday today and we had a big lunch with their family at Mi Casita. I'm proud I was there to see them smear fried ice cream on his face. Happy birthday!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

#633 28.

My sweet Benny Boy turned 28 years old today. We woke up around 8:30. I made buttermilk biscuits, he made ham and scrambled eggs and we had breakfast with Tom, Allison and Jesse while Ben opened presents.
He's real shy.

Gift #1: Extra Dessert Delights apple pie gum. Very hard to find, so I ordered a bunch of it online because he's in love with it.

Gift #2: A coach's whistle for Wednesday nights in youth. 45 kids talk REAL loud.


Gift #3: Stationery so he can finally send notes on his own personal notecards to youth parents and Josh Nowell. I drew a little silhouette of Ben's hair and beard. It looks just like him! Friendly.

Then gift #4: He's been wanting one since he was a little boy...
A 1969 Chevelle SS. I couldn't afford the real thing, so I got him one in miniature. I totally copycatted on the gift he gave me for my birthday!
This year's gifts weren't expensive since we're making the biggest purchase of our lives next week, but with the surprise party + Ben's brothers, it was just right.

I love you, Mitter Ben. Happy birthday!

Friday, September 23, 2011

#632 Surprise!

Mitter Ben is turning 28 tomorrow, and our friend Dave is turning 38 tomorrow.

So for the first time ever, I decided to throw a surprise party. Thank goodness Jim and Mal co-hosted because there's no WAY I could've figured this out on my own.

Surprise! He just kept saying, "Everyone is here! EVERYONE!"

Daddy came to a nighttime function, so you know it was a big deal.

The birthday boys:
Lies I told in order to make this happen:

1. Don't look at my computer! I'm ordering one of your birthday presents! (Checking the private facebook party page.)

2. We need to be back from your grandparents in time for me to mail a sample to a client. (We have to be back in time for the surprise party).

3. I guess I will mail Allison's baby gift since we won't see them before Harper comes. (They're staying with us tonight, so I'll leave the gift in the guest room for her.)

4. I've got to go to Mallorie's to wrap your gifts. (To bake your birthday cake.)

There were so many, I can't think of them all.

Now, we've got a house full of family spending the night so I'm going to visit! Happy early birthday, love!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

#631 Farm table. Finished.

Look what Ben finished up today!

At first I wanted real working drawers but we quickly learned that it would be a painstaking ordeal. The more I thought about it, I realized the only reason I wanted the drawers was for the extra touch that hardware gives, so he made me 8 faux drawerfronts, and I think it looks amazing. We've been waiting on the hardware for several days now, and I'm so glad we did. I almost used some that were okay—but they were twice as expensive as these and not nearly as effective for the look of it. We used wood from my daddy's junk stash (deck boards and front porch columns), and only had to buy varnish, crackle glaze, paint, 2 boards for the drawer fronts, and the brass hardware. Whatchoo think?
To test its strength, I stood up in the middle of the table and bounced a little. It didn't budge.

Who wants to help us move?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

#630 Healthbreak.

Early this morning I got a phone call from Brooke, the sweet gal from PR at South Central Regional Medical Center. I contributed a painting of Lauren Rogers Museum of Art to The Art of Healing auction in March,
and they asked me to speak on the Healthbreak episode coming up in January featuring the art auction. She also told me the filming would be today at 3:00. I understand what it's like to scramble for help at the last minute, so I knew I had to ignore my nervousness about being on TV to help her get it done. I was really anxious about what I would say, but ultimately the questions they asked pertained to getting local artists involved for next year's auction, which was pretty easy to talk about.

I basically said this:

I think that if you have this God-given talent, then it's your responsibility to use it to better your community however you can. If you can meet a need by simply giving your time and talent, you're essentially saving someone's life by helping raise the funds for free public health screenings. Why would you not do it? It's a rewarding experience any way you look at it.
The episode will air in January, but I'll keep you posted if I hear more details.

And if anyone besides my mama and grandmother would like to see it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

#629 Keep Love Alive.

A few days ago, our friend Dawn of Hello Dearie invited us to be a part of her Keep Love Alive series. We were so flattered and had the best time talking about what we should say. You can visit her blog to read more, and I'll post it here as well so I can always know where it is. :)

For Ben and I, keeping love alive is one of the easiest parts of our life because we have unusual circumstances. I work from home and so does he, most of the day. We wake up, have breakfast together and come into the office where I design letterpress stationery for Lucky Luxe, and he does most of his work at home because he's a youth minister with no wireless internet at his church office. We don't have any kids yet, so the stress that entails isn't in our life. We have a ton of alone time, and he's really involved with my work and I in his. We share so much, and I think maybe that's why it's such an easy relationship for us.

Even more unusual, we said "I love you" six days after hanging out for the first time in 2004. We said we would marry each other after a couple weeks. We agreed it was important to finish our college degrees before tying the knot so we could be financially independent. It was 2007 when he formally proposed in the last semester of college, but we never wavered in our love and our decision from the very beginning. Being married to each other for the last 3 years has been as natural as breathing in and out, but I'm thankful to God for it everyday. You can never take something so sweet for granted. So! These are things that we believe help keep the love alive:

1. Be gentle with each other. Think carefully about every word before saying something critical. My friend Annalee once told me about a sermon she heard where the preacher asked, "are you kinder with your words to the guy who bags your groceries at the store than you are to your spouse?" Surprisingly, it's easy when things get so comfortable. You can't let it happen! If you lift each other up day in and day out, you'll find there's very little to fuss about.


2. If you go to bed angry, rub your feet together under the covers. It's the best peace offering.

3. Be "same team." We say this phrase every time we make a decision, every time we agree on something no one else does, every time he gets out the milk and I get out the Mini Wheats. We are in this together, no matter what happens, forever and ever. We have a serious friendship and camaraderie about our marriage, which is much stronger than romance alone.

4. If your spouse is having a rough day, it's your duty to double up on the love and kindness to help them get through it. If you don't do it, who will?

5. Pray together. This sounds trite, but it's so true. Ben is the leader of our house, and when we have a worry or fear, he takes my hand and we pray about it in silence and that's all we can do with it then. We let it go and it's out of our hands.


6. Tithe. 2 spiritual-related things, but they're so utterly important. We began tithing after we were married and while Ben had no anxiety about it at all, I was nervous about giving away 10% of my income at the time. It was a scary thought. "We might need that money! We're newlywed! We're poor! What if I lost my job?" But by tithing, we found that our financial situation continuously improved every single week, every single month. My business took off, I left my day job and now we can give even more to the church. When you trust God with such a human obsession, money, he takes care of you. It's a tough lesson to learn, but you have to do this. Trust me on that. When you're not worried about money, your marriage is going to be so much happier.

7. Be silly together. The more you laugh, the better everything is.

8. Be proud of each other. I love how when he walks he carries himself so tall and straight, his overwhelmingly friendly personality, that he's so handy he can fix just about anything on his own. He loves that I'm an artist and a musician, that I've learned how to successfully run a business on my own, that I've learned how to (and want to) work on my 1971 Beetle here and there. When your relationship feels stale, remember why you fell in love with them in the first place. Remember it every day. And think of all the things your spouse can do that no one else in this big wide world can.



It's easy to keep the love alive in this house. I woke up to find this waiting on my desk this morning:

Love him.

Monday, September 19, 2011

#628 Loblolly's comin.

Worked on this all afternoon, because it's coming soon!

If you come, you might even get to meet Mr. Loblolly the lumberjack. I can pull some strings. I know people.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

#627 Daddy's Birthday & Josh & Em.

Today, my daddy turned 58 and we brought lunch after church with a homemade (sort of) carrot layer cake. I wish I had brought a better gift, but he ate a slice of the cake in less than 7 seconds which tells me he was okay with it. Happy birthday, daddy!

Josh and Emily are home for a few days, too so we had our usual Sunday night dinner at Sweet Peppers. I love when they're home. The block gets lonesome without them.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

#626 Radiator.

I know I've beat this dead horse... to death, but in case you didn't know, Mitter Ben is so handy.

Clark's Jeep has been leaking fluid for a while and it got to the point where he couldn't drive it because it would run hot. I told him it was probably the J bolt or his flux capacitor going out. Ben told him it was the radiator. What does he know?

So today he spent about an hour replacing the radiator while Clark, his friend Danny and I just watched and scratched our heads.

When he was finished, Clark took it for a spin and there was no leak, no running hot. Voila! Great success.

P.S.,
Don't you worry, because the paint is O.K.

Friday, September 16, 2011

#625 Erin & Christy at the Loft.

For the first time since 2006 I played a show. Christy sang more songs than I did, so I should say I played at her show probably, but it was fun and I'm just relieved that I've not forgotten how to do it. Whew. Now I can relax and focus on buying the house, pumpkin patch, work (Martha drops October 3!), Tom and Allison's baby, then Boston. When I write it out it doesn't look relaxing at all, but at least I can cross one thing off the list, right?

For the sake of posterity, these are the songs I played:
1. Many the Miles
2. Vegas
3. Everybody
4. Who Will Save Your Soul
5. Uncharted
6. Turn Out the Lights
7. My Favorite Mistake
8. Jackson
9. Hey Ya
10. Dock of the Bay
11. You Are the Best Thing
12. Bobby McGee

Thursday, September 15, 2011

#623 Fall on the back porch.

Though we know fall is still not here for real, tonight as we watched the last of the LSU vs. MSU game at my parents', the temperature lingered down in the low 60s. I put on my favorite old, ragged Ole Miss hoodie from my first semester and wrapped my legs in the wooly red and white plaid blanket that's always in the living room. Ben drank hot chocolate and I had apple cider (thanks to mama's Keurig). Daddy was wearing his favorite old red jacket with the pup bundled up under the zipper. I swear I could smell a fire. I imagined it was late October. I was so cozy and so cold. And so very thankful for it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

#622 Door & Farm Table part 3.

Door, DONE. It went from this to this:

Farm table braces, DONE.

Tomorrow, we start the finish on the table top. That's what I've been most excited about. Woohoo! Maybe when it's finished we'll post how to build one? If anyone's a cheapskate and interested like us?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

#621 The house.

First of all, as if there's a soul left in Jones County who doesn't know which house we're buying, I finally feel like it's safe to share it with the free world. The house appraised today for what we were hoping, and we close on September 30. Eeeeeeeeek! We're so excited!
You might remember it from one of my favorite old posts from last spring. This is how it happened. We told Mrs. Mary Lynn, the sweet lady from our church, that we loved her house so much. That if she ever decided to move, to please call us because we would love to buy it. It's been one of my dream houses since junior high school, even though I had never seen the inside. She walked us through it and I fell even more in love. We made dream plans for our 5 -10 year future which always included hopefully living in the perfect yellow craftsman cottage on 7th Street. Not 2 weeks later, Mrs. Mary Lynn's daughter called to ask if we would seriously like to buy it because she's tired of keeping up a yard and is thinking of moving into a condo where she won't have to worry about a thing.

Then we were in a bind. You KNOW how we love this loft. We couldn't imagine leaving this, our first home. We prayed about it. We cried about it. We knew that if we didn't buy the yellow cottage now, we might never have the chance again (we've heard lots of folks have wanted to lay claim to it, just like us). We imagined someone else buying it, and that was heartbreaking too. We can afford it now and interest rates are lower than they've ever been right now. So. We've decided we'll skimp on eating out and shopping and keep the loft for Lucky Luxe. It might be scary keeping up 2 houses, but we can do it. Who else loves old buildings enough to do it? If anyone can, it's the Napiers.

So, we're about to start this new journey as homeowners and we'll need all the prayers you can send our way. We're utterly thankful because we know exactly how tough it is to find your dream home (you can ask Annalee and Chad who've been shopping for almost 2 years). We know this was a God thing, him handing us such an opportunity, so now we're just listening for what's next. It's a scary step, but an important one. We can't wait to sign the papers. I can't wait to share breakfast with Mitter Ben each morning sitting right here:
Then I'll put on real clothes, and leave the house to go to work for the first time in nearly 2 years. It's going to seriously shake up our routine, but hopefully in a good way!

In other news, because we're buying a house which requires real furniture, table progress was made today. We got all the old columns cut down, the framing cut, and it's all painted and drying now:
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