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September 28, 2016

collective | part 2

Woah buddy. Fall is finally here & I have no shame in saying that I have been anxiously awaiting its arrival. Let's face it - the best of everything happens in cooler weather. The best fashion (layers), the best beer (e.g. pumpkin ales), the best outdoor activities (everything is better when you're not sweating just by being outside). The leaves are a'changin' & I feel great about it. Goodbye tank tops, hello sweaters.

Speaking of sweaters, my fall/winter look consists basically of just that: comfy sweater paired with skinny jeans & a nice boot. That's literally what I look like every day after the temperatures dip below 60ยบ. I (gleefully) got all my knitted tops out of storage this past weekend & was a bit blown away by how many I have. They're not all pictured here, mainly because I couldn't get the pile that high without it toppling over. I have no shame in my sweater-collecting game. I like to think of it as being well-prepared in this midwest climate.

Halloween is coming up so soon! That's another reason I love fall because Halloween is one of the best holidays ever hands down. Do you have a costume idea yet? Leave a comment letting me know! I'm thinking maybe I'll just wear my whole sweater collection at once & go as Joey from Friends in that one episode.

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. Part one of this series features buttons on buttons!

September 26, 2016

how to | propagate succulents

How to propagate succulents
What's better than one sweet succulent plant on your windowsill? Two succulents, duh! Or three, or four. I'm going to be honest - now that I've figured out how to propagate succulents, I'm not gonna stop. I'm just going to have a house full of plants (#plantladyisthenewcatlady). This plant here was my first attempt at propagating succulents, & I've already got a second one underway & showing adorable little roots. It's seriously exciting, especially after undergoing a streak of killing every succulent I purchased (like all of these poor babies). Propagating is my new favorite thing, & I had no idea it was even an option before I found out about it. I came across a post via Pinterest & was like, "Whaa? No way." But yes way. You can grow lots of little baby plants with your big mama plant. I'm convinced it's magic. 
If you have one succulent, you can have lots of succulents! Make more at home by propagating your plant.
First you'll need to collect leaves from your original succulent plant. The best leaves are the ones that easily give way as you pull them from the plant. Their stems should come off cleanly, like the ones in the above picture. Next, let the stems callous over. Place your leaves on a paper towel in good light (like a windowsill) for a few days to a week, until the ends of the stems are callous. 
Tiny baby roots from cut succulent leaves
Once your leaves are ready, lay them in damp soil. Choose soil that is made for succulents & cacti (i.e. quick-draining soil). Keep the soil damp as the roots take root. It will take days or weeks for the leaves to begin to sprout mini-leaves of their own. 
From old succulent leaves come new plants - learn how to propagate succulents at home
Over time the original leaves will wither away, letting the new plants take root. 
How to grow succulents
Ta da! New plants! Plus the pride of being a new plant mama.

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. Jazz up your new succulent with some cleverly painted clay pots

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September 16, 2016

life | links

Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything

Hey gang. Guess what? It's Friday. I'm so tired pumped. I've got lots of projects I want to tackle this weekend, along with some adult-y chore type things, & drink dates with friends. What's on your docket?

HAPPY THOUGHTS

Pumpkin is back on the menu so I can make mini pumpkin cheesecakes without regret (yeah, I'm running full force into fall). The pup turned 10 yesterday, so we showered her with treats & a new toy which she immediately ripped to shreds with glee. Plus we got to see Heather's all-time favorite band Tegan & Sara perform this week! 

HAPPY LINKS

xoxo,
-m.e.

September 12, 2016

before & after | dining nook chairs

Before & After | Dining Nook Chairs
Short-backed dining chairs with contrasting buttons. See the before & after!
Happy Monday, internet friends!

If you're following me on Instagram you may have seen my Stories about this makeover project. There are two major things that I learned in the process of recovering these little cuties. #1: I learned how to remove & replace wood furniture plugs (more on that below). #2: I learned that under no circumstances should I ever try to operate a staple gun inside a two-bedroom apartment. Ever. It was raining the day I wanted to work on these chairs, & I got impatient so I tried to work inside. You guys - it was so loud. SO. LOUD. I'm really surprised my neighbors didn't call the cops because it sounded like a gun going off. Lesson learned. I also learned that if you have to work outside but don't have a yard or a balcony that you can use the back of your car. This whole project was truly a growing experience. 
Before and After - A pair of chairs gets revamped
Heather & I picked up these chairs at our favorite vintage furniture store while they were having a clear-out-the-warehouse sale. We've been keeping an eye out for little chairs to go with our little table that serves as our little dining area. I say "little" because our apartment is small & the only space to set up a dining nook was along a wall in our living room. These chairs were perfect, affordable, & adorable. The wood is in beautiful condition, but neither Heather nor I was feeling the worn black vinyl action happening on the cushions. 
When reupholstering furniture, use the old fabric to a pattern
Here's what we did:

The seats of the chairs were screwed to the frame, so we removed those. Then we pried all the old staples from the bottom of the seat cushion, cut new fabric to match the size of the old fabric, & re-stapled the new fabric in place (basically the exact same process we used when recovering Heather's desk chair). The cushions & the underlining fabric on these chairs were in really good shape, so we reused those materials. The seats were easy, it was the seat backs that required some finagling. They were screwed to the frame of the chair behind wood plugs.
How to remove wood plugs in furniture
Removing these plugs (or buttons as they're sometimes called) wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it'd be. Here's how we did it:
  1. Grab your power drill & use a drill bit that is smaller than the plug.
  2. Drill directly in the center of the wood plug until you hit the screw behind it.
  3. Reverse the direction of your power drill, pulling the wood plug out as you go. 
  4. If any remnants of the plug remain, you can pry them out with a flathead screwdriver, using a hammer at the backend of the screwdriver to chisel the pieces away. 
Before & after dining chairs
With the plugs removed, we were able to unscrew the seat backs from the frame & recover them like we did the seats. Rather than stain new plugs to match the original wood color, we're trying out the natural look. I kind of like how the wood buttons pop - it's funky.
Refinished chairs for our dining area
It's nice having a dining table in the home again, even if it is little. I think it's adorably tiny. Plus I feel way more adult not eating every single meal on the couch.

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. See another before & after when this vinyl chair gets a new paint job!

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