Generous Bloggers

There are a lot of generous bloggers hosting giveaways at the moment that I think you should enter!

  1. Stencil Giveaway – In celebration of their newest sponsor, Olive Leaf Stencils, the blog House on the Way is hosting a stencil giveaway.  All of the stencils are fantastic, and some of my favorites include damasks, flowers, and an octopus.
  2. KOHLER Sensate Touchless Kitchen Faucet – The people at Young House Love are giving away an amazing faucet perfect for germaphobes and clean freaks everywhere!  Seriously though, who wouldn’t love this sleek, easy-to-install kitchen add-in?  It’s gorgeous!aab53058_sensate_story_741x381
  3. Hair ties and a headband from 6 Degrees Hair Ties – Okay, so this one has nothing to do with the home, but come on, how cute are these hair ties from 6 Degrees?  Written in Fashion is giving away a bunch of handy yet adorable hair ties in honor of Jaclyn’s birthday.  Wouldn’t you love to win them!?

  4. Dream catcher – Design Love Fest and Torchlight Jewelry are teaming up to give away a gorgeous dream catcher.  Aren’t these the best things you’ve ever seen??  Hurry and enter before it closes later today!

Seen any other giveaways you’d love to share with me and the Makeshift Living readers?  Please share in the comments below so we can all have a happy humpday! :-)



Spicing Things Up

The kitchen may still need some organizing, but the spices are all set!  Tucked away safe in this metal card catalog, they are as good as gold.

(Please ignore the ugly brown kitchen cabinets. They definitely need a coat of paint… we’re just waiting on the landlord’s approval!)

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How’d I fit all them spices in, you ask?  Good question!

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I bought a twelve-pack of 4-oz. quilted canning jars and just dumped the contents of one spice container in a jar, screwed on the lid, and then wrote on the top in permanent marker.  I ended up with a beautiful array of colorful spices!

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In retrospect, permanent marker was definitely not the best idea, since they don’t wash off easily.  So when a spice runs out (probably in about 6 months to a year, except for essentials like curry and garlic powder), I’ll just have to replace it with the same thing, OR put on one of these snazzy Avery labels I found in my collection of office products.

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No, I’m not proud of the fact that I bought so many office supplies at the start of grad school last year that I have no recollection of what I even purchased.

The best thing about these card catalogs is that the back is expandable.  That means I can buy another 12 pack of mini jars and almost all of the jars will fit in the drawers.  At the moment, I’ve shortened the drawer depth so that the spice jars fit nice and snug without shifting around.

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The entire card catalog also fits pretty perfectly on top of the microwave and underneath the kitchen cabinets.  It’s like it was meant to be.  All the spices I need available whenever I want them!

A few notes about this project… I had a LOT of help.  First, I didn’t come up with this idea on my own.  I saw the exact same type of metal-card-cabinet-used-as-spice-holder on Young House Love, and oooh boy do I love organizational projects!    So I started scouring craigslist for the perfect one, and was just over the moon excited when Joe from Play-Haus Design offered to help me out!  He has the most amazing studio in Cleveland where he takes wood and metal and turns the combo into the sleekest home furnishings imaginable!

I’d love to poke around his studio and see what else I can find – everything he makes and sells maintains the perfect balance of industrial qualities while still being warm, homey, and inviting!   You can follow his blog here or find him on Twitter here.



Hang Ten!

This week we finally got some stuff hung on the living room walls… ten things, in fact!

1, 2, & 3. In the left corner of the living room, I’ve hung three things that I’m calling mirror bursts.  I bought them over a year ago at Value City Furniture for about $20 a pop, and they add a nice burst of reflective light to the darkest corner in the room.  Here a closeup:


4, 5, 6, 7, & 8. On the other side of the couch on the same wall, I’ve hung a fun little collection of frames.

The green frame was purchased at Target around Christmas for $7, and the rest came from Ikea.  Everything in this quintuplet has meaning.  The two lovebirds, as well as the blue picture to its left are from a Charley Harper 2013 calendar that I bought on  vacation in the Keweenaw Peninsula for $4.  It was on clearance for 50% off!


The two pieces of copper were discovered in the gift shop of the Delaware Copper Mine, when we took a tour.  They were two separate pieces of copper that together looked totally like lower and upper Michigan.

Both of them together set us back $10, but I think it was worth it!  P.S. Here’s Mike’s selfie before our tour…


…and a shot of me down in the cavernous mine.


P.P.S. after the tour we discovered that the mine owners keep skunks as pets (don’t worry, they’ve had their stinkers removed!).  Someone else discovered this in 2008:

And I got to hold one in 2013 (please ignore the lack of focus in the first one and the lack of balance in the second one… skunk-holding was an exciting time for everyone):

Alright, back to the frames.  The beautiful vintage blue flower pattern is actually contact paper that I ripped out of the kitchen cabinets.  I thought that framing it would be a sweet way to remember this house after we’ve moved to another one.

Contact paper

Contact paper

And lastly in the quintuplet hanging, the old-timey building is actually a postcard that we got during our overnight stay at Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio.  Ghost hunting with my man made the best birthday ever!

Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio

Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio

9. Opposite the couch, at the foot of the stairs, I stuck up a map that I made for Mike.  I pretty much stole the idea from Young House Love, except that the map I chose was from 1912, and was purchased on Etsy for $13.50 including shipping.  I’ve marked out with blue pins the places we’ve traveled together, and the green pin shows where we live now.


10. On the stair landing (that still counts as the living room, right?), I hung a little heart thing I made back in May.  I’m not too crazy about it anymore, so am thinking I might re-vamp it in some way.  But until I figure out what to do, here it will stay!

And just like before, I used 3M strips (either cut in quarters for the little frames or halves for the two bigger frames).  You can read more about my hanging method here.

My favorite is the cluster of frames above the couch.  What about you?



Inspirational Ideas: My Favorite Blogs

I have been spending a lot of my free time (waiting in grocery store check-out lines, while making dinner, when a TV show is boring me…) checking up on what other people are doing online.  And I’ve come to a conclusion; there are so many great blogs out there right now!  So many, in face, that I wanted to share a few of my favorites with you.  These are the blogs, posts, and projects that have been inspiring me lately:

  1. Sugar & Cloth.  I have just recently discovered this one, and I am just absolutely in love.  Look at how adorable (and easily doable!) this Stump Side Table is!

    Photo by Sugar & Cloth

    Photo by Sugar & Cloth

  2. Camille Styles.  I must be on a wood kick today!  I think these DIY wood and leather suspended shelves would be perfect for Mike’s office.

    Photo by Camille Styles

    Photo by Camille Styles

  3. Paper & Stitch.  I think we all know how much I love succulents, as evidenced by this post.  So it might come as no surprise that I adore this craft idea from Paper & Stitch.  Check it out here and fall in love for yourself!

    Photo by Paper & Stitch

    Photo by Paper & Stitch

  4. Young House Love.  This has been my favorite blog for just about forever.  Lately, their focus has shifted toward major remodeling jobs (AKA less doable DIY projects), which I can’t really use in my everyday life.  But I do still draw inspiration from their site, most recently in their recommendation to check out Workbench Magazine’s free builder plans.  There are so many awesome DIY furniture diagrams, and they make everything easy to figure out on your own.  After spending forever trying to buy a headboard for cheap, I can’t believe how easy it would be to just make one on my own!  You can browse all of the builder plans yourself here.  And you should also check out the YHL blog when you have a chance, since they have some awesome ideas in their archives.

What are some of your favorite blogs?  Do you have your own?  If so, leave the URL in the comments section, please!  I need some more reading! :-)