DIY Todd Nest : Hymnal Banner {Come Thou Fount}

After we took down our Christmas decorations, the front entryway seemed so bland. 

Solution: Banner across the glass block wall (can you tell I'm really embracing it these days?)

I wanted to make a banner that would fill the entire wall so it needed to be a phrase with either three words of similar length or three phrases that could be made into one. 

Micah 6:8 stuck out to me. I could have one banner with "act justly", one with "love mercy" and one with "walk humbly with your God". I got super attached to this idea but it wouldn't work out the way I had planned. 

Next idea. Mama E sent us home with a box of old books and hymnals when we came back from our Christmas visit. "Come Thou Fount" had just about the same number of letters, it's one of our favorite hymns and it was the first hymn in sight when I opened up the book. It's a song of redemption and Christ seeking us out while we were but strangers.

It was the obvious choice. 

My original plan was to feed the hymnal pages through the printer but they looked like this (two examples on the left) when they came out. The color didn't hold well and the printer devoured the top of the page (see the wrinkled ink-blotted top). Instead, I decided to print each letter off on cardstock and trace the letters onto the hymn. Time-consuming, yes. But so worth it.

Supplies:

Hymnal Pages (I used 14 pages since I made a flower for one)

Pencil

Black Marker (or whatever color your heart desires)

Hole Punch

Jute

This is the pen and pencil I used...

I printed two letters to one page since the hymnal page is about half of an 8.5" x 11".

Then I went old school and traced the letter silhouette using a sunlit window.

After you have traced your letters, fill them in with a brush pen or marker.

I like to put a decorative paper on the back for more support and to give the banner a finished design. Hole punch the tops and string jute through. If you use only the hymn, be very gentle in stringing the jute!

The banner is a lovely complement to the three palette frames my dad made us!! I still need to put some photos in them but I'm also kind of okay with them being empty for now. 

I used the actual "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" hymn for the first flag and added a paper flower onto it.

What is your favorite hymn?

Christmas Decor at the Todd Nest : Staircase Edition

I really love our house. 

Maybe that's a little vain sounding, but I feel like it should be a good thing too, right? We should be happy and content with what we have -- and we really could not be happier. This house is perfect for us. 

Decorating for Christmas has only made me more excited about this house, the house in which God has graciously made our home. We'll start out posting about our decor with the entrance to our home, which we have yet to reveal on our blog. Our house is a split level, so as soon as you walk in, you have the choice of either going up or going down. This was one of the "negative" features of the house, according to our real estate agent but we haven't found any fault in it. 

JD and I finished putting up the barnwood wall Tuesday night. This project has been on our list for a while. I hate bare walls, especially this one above the lower staircase. I realize there is a potential beauty in bare walls - and some people can really make them work - but that just won't do in the Todd Nest. Our plan is to put up a few large photos and interchange handwritten signs that correlate to the seasons. My vision for it is totally there, now it's just a matter of making it happen.


Color inspiration for this season: golds and browns


As soon as you walk in, you're greeted by this lovely arrangement. Basically, I went to Hobby Lobby's floral section, started piecing things together that appealed to my eye and topped it off with a neutral peacock feather. That's the main statement piece when you walk into the tiny foyer. 


We draped the handrail with garland and put a burlap bow at each break. Three ornaments are draped from each bow. One of the ornaments is a rustic jingle bell. You may recognize the larger white "ornament"from our Thanksgiving table centerpiece jar. It's actually a larger decor ball I found sitting beside the smaller box of decor balls in the home decor section at HL. I made it into an ornament by twisting in a metal hook (I had to hot glue the hook into the other two balls because they are a little different from this one) and then hanging it from string. Super easy homemade ornament. ;)


How amazing is this glass block wall? It's one of those statement pieces in the house that you decide to either hate or embrace. Surprisingly, I have very-much-so embraced it. As Mama E says, "This house will have no style (categorically) because it will be made up of sooo many different styles, which will then be created into a style of its own." With the barnwood wall perpendicular to this glass wall, we're combining modern and cottage chic. Hopefully my vision will turn out as great as I'm thinking.... 

Anyway, we draped garland from this wall as well and hung a burlap bow with three smaller ornaments hanging from the bows. 


What is your color / material(s) inspiration for this season?

PS: We'll try to post about the barnwood wall steps after Christmas. :) 

The Todd Nest : Dining Room & Fall Premiere

Welcome to our Dining Room! 

I've spent the last two weeks or so painting the walls and reupholstering our dining room chairs in preparation for a fall dinner and game night with some friends from JD's office.

You really can't tell in these photos but we painted the upper half of the room in the same gray (jogging path gray) as we used for the Jitney's Journeys studio. We painted the lower part a stark white. We considered using beadboard on the bottom half but we would eventually like to cover the old school popcorn ceiling with beadboard... you know, after we tear down two walls and renovate our kitchen in like seven years. ;) It'll all happen someday, right?


{sidenote: we are currently in the process of brainstorming for barnwood picture frames to cover that entire bare wall to the left of the built-in and looking for a super unique, rustic yet charming chandelier. we will update you via blogosphere as soon as we make this stuff happen.}

We've had so much fun (and probably way too much stress) with decorating both sides of the built-in between our dining room and living room. I've got to hand it to Mama E - she pretty much designed this side of the built-in too. Isn't it lovely! I honestly don't know what I would do without her. 

Below you will see the before and after shots of our reupholstered chairs. JD was such a champ for taking 300+ staples out of the six chair cushions. Gosh, I love that man. :)


The gorgeous fabric we used was from Hobby Lobby...

Here's another close-up:


At Shop with a Purpose, a new friend ordered a table runner from us with a monogram like the one above. I fell in love with the design. It just so happened that the table runner I made for the Todd Nest originally fit our old table but wasn't long enough for the new table (above) when it had the leaf insert. Obviously, I had no other choice but to make another table runner for the new table with the same monogram style I had made a few days before for a client, right?


The fall theme in our home this year is pretty simplistic. I bought a bundle of pumpkins from Hobby Lobby at 50% off. Half were the distressed orange and the other half were brown glitter-beaded pumpkins with gold glitter stems. 

But I was really set on having off-white pumpkins this year so I spray painted the orange ones with Valspar (Churchill Hotel Vanilla ) spray paint and covered the stem in a dark bronze glitter. Just what I had envisioned. 


For the centerpiece, I layered buckeyes from our yard on the bottom followed by baby acorns our neighbors helped us pick up and a tiny bronze pumpkin propped on top. 


Come back tomorrow to see the recipe my amazing chef-of-a-friend, Leah, helped me make!


What has been your fall decor inspiration this year?


The Todd Nest : Jitney's Journeys Studio

We have almost completed the arduous but super thrilling task of designing and decorating my studio. Be prepared for when we reveal it. The sight of it may just blow your mind. ;) We have many people to thank for helping us paint, construct, lift and design my dream studio. It's perfectly practical and yet still stunningly charming.

As excited as I am to show you the full tour of the studio, we have decided to only give you a glimpse into the details for this week...


We will be working overtime this weekend to have everything perfectly placed to show y'all photos next week.

In the meantime...

The Todd Nest : Composing the Built-Ins with Color & Themes


We were so excited to walk up the stairs in our new split-foyer home and see these lovely built-ins just waiting for a special touch of lovely.

Here is a "way before" photo from the first time we looked at the house with our realtor. Beside it, you will see a simple "before" photo of what the built-ins looked like as I unloaded our boxes and tried to gain a little inspiration.


As I was procrastinating from packing at the apartment one day doing research, I saw this post from Young House Love and decided we MUST paint the backs of these built-ins. 

I gathered a few vintage inspiration pieces and decided on the color "Cooled Blue" from Sherwin Williams. 


I turned on some awesome jams and began painting away. 

Then they sat there for a few days. Some shelves were empty, some lined with bottles. It was a mess. In between dealing with plumbing issues, utility transfers and all of the other luxuries of home ownership, I kind of gave up on decorating for a few days.


{notice there is no logo on this photo. that's how embarrassing it is.}

Fortunately, my mom would be making a special trip up to Huntsville for a few days to help rescue us from the overwhelming stress of unpacking, organizing and cleaning up the messes we had already made.

First priority? 

Unpack the boxes in the living room, store the painting supplies and decorate the built-ins.

One of mine and JD's favorite things about moving has been to unpack boxes and find things we had completely forgotten about, such as all of our vintage cameras we bought for crazy cheap at a yard sale.

 

Mom and I pulled those babies out, cleaned 'em up and used them as one of our themes. 


My awesome mom was the megamind behind the themes and most of the setting up process. Could I have done this all myself? Probably. But would it have looked nearly as amazing? Absolutely not. At least, not in the state of mind I was in. 

Not sure if this happens to anyone else, but I get stuck in the same decorating process as I was when we lived at the apartment. I want everything to be placed the same way and have the same themes. It's so annoying. When you move, you have all of the freedom in the world to redecorate how you'd like but I was really stuck. 

The world needs great momma's and I'm so thankful for mine!!

She helped to get my out of that rut pretty quickly when she swiped my bottles off the decorating list (except two wonderful milk vases).

But back to the built-ins....


Here, we used a vintage Westclox, a chalkboard I repurposed, the TODD letters Chase and Jackie gave us as a wedding gift, an old Polaroid, a Mason jar with an old camera lamp sitting in it, and (to the far left) a mixed media piece I made. 


We carried the theme of the vintage clock, Mason jar / camera lamp, and mixed media piece to the third shelf for cohesiveness. 


The top shelf has a small, vintage chandelier piece and my two favorite birds plates on display. 


The bottom shelf displays a couple of pieces from our wedding - the chalkboard and the rice jar from our rice ceremony. Of course, we carried the theme of the nest and birds throughout, as this is, after all, the Todd Nest. :) Both of those pieces are stacked on vintage greeting card boxes and Reader's Digest books. 

[photo by Kike Morales] 

[photo by Kike Morales]

If you haven't stopped by our wedding page, check it out here.

We are still getting our annual Jitney CDs ready so be on the lookout for a giveaway on that in the very near future. 

In the meantime, head on over to Ruthy's giveaway at Discovery Street. You can enter to win a $60 gift card to one of our favorite stores, Target!! If you follow Jitney's Journeys on Bloglovin' or any of the other amazing bloggers sponsoring the giveaway, you will automatically get 3 entries for each blog you follow. Oh yeah!!!

So do the happy dance and go enter!

The Anniversary : Rose Petals, Flooding & a New Home

We have finally moved into our new house! 

We were planning on staying our first night the weekend after we signed the contract. Unfortunately, I began washing our sheets for the bed and quickly found out that the washing machine drain was clogged.

Yeah.
First day of move-in: The laundry room floods. 
Good thing it has tile flooring down there.

So we called Roto Rooter out to unclog the drain and decided to wait it out a few more days until our anniversary.

Ends up, the first night was more than perfect. Way more perfect than it would have been if we stayed there the originally-planned evening. JD had a few wonderful surprises waiting for me on our screened-in back porch (candles, bouquet of flowers and scattered rose petals surrounding our tiny chairs). 


My sweet husband is so brilliantly romantic that he scattered rose petals on the bedroom floor - on top of bubble wrap so that our floors wouldn't get stained. 

That's love, right there, y'all.

We prepared the popcorn, got cozy in our completely unorganized living room and watched "Up", the first movie we watched together on our first date four years ago. I cry more and more during that movie as each year passes. Only now I don't need 3D glasses to hide my tears. ;)

In the past week, adventures in home ownership have thrown us for a few surprises and left us with several moments of frustration. 

{we'll tell you more about that later}

Yet, we are truly having the time of our lives. After our first shock of an old-house issue (laundry room flood), we laugh about all of the other huge and tiny problems that arise.

It's our house now.

Our home.

No maintenance guys to call or leases to let run out. It's our responsibility - and challenge - to take care of.

And it's awesome. 

For now, we will share at least one small victory from our first week: a freshly mowed lawn. 


Whoop whoop!


House Search Update

It's official. We have found a house!!

We signed the contract for it Monday and are having our home inspection TODAY!

I can't believe how quickly everything is going now that we have found a house we love.

The last few weeks have been uber stressful since our apartment lease is up at the beginning of July but we had to notify the apartment complex 60 days before moving out (beginning of May). Time was running out. We were at the point of either finding a house reallll quick or staying in the apartment for another year.

We looked at eight houses in one day. Not gonna lie, that day transpired from complete excitement to a major headache by the end of the home tour. Only one house blew us away though.

It was an older home, vacant, freshly painted in neutral colors, move-in ready, super amazing accents, a huge master bedroom suite and had a FABULOUS garden. Those were merely the small bonuses though. (Yes, an old home was a bonus for us.)

We're waiting to actually close on the house before we show photos or write much about it, as we're still trying to guard against loving it too much (sometimes things don't go as smoothly as hoped). Granted, I have already designed the "We've Moved" postcards with the new address so I guess we're not guarding our hopes too much.

Whoops!

We are so ready to move into the house and transform it into a home. The Pinterest boards have been filled, revamping lists have been created / prioritized and our minds have been racing with tons of ideas.  But it will all have to wait until the final documents have been signed.

With the crazy and stressful month we've had, I haven't had hardly any time to read about my bloggin' buddies lives. Please know that I miss y'all and can't wait to catch up soon!!

Obviously the next few weeks will be crazy still because of the house goings-on as well as another big adventure we'll be embarking on (we'll discuss later), but no worries. A few of my favorite bloggers will be taking over Jitney's Journeys in our absence to keep y'all entertained and challenged.


Do you have any suggestions for new homeowners / people who are buying their first home? What was your biggest joy and challenge in the process?


Free Printable!! Finding Our First Home with a House Searching Score Sheet


If you follow me on Pinterest, you have probably noticed a lengthy feed of house renovation inspirations. We haven't bought our first home yet but we are looking heavily.

It all started when I was searching on Trulia and Zillow for houses in our price range. We were debating between buying an old house and putting some elbow grease into it or just breaking down and buying a new home (aka: the cookie cutter). 

Everything we looked at in our range looked cheap (granted, our price range is super, super low). It was hard to imagine that we would ever move out of our spacious apartment into a home that we could really call home.

Then my mom sent me an email of one that we fell in love with

Borderline obsession.

It was an older home (1960s) but the family renovated it in such a perfect way. 
Barnwood accent wall.
Butcher block countertops with double oven and green accent cabinets.
Real brick and mortar backsplash.
Bathroom cabinets were made out of repurposed vintage dressers with amazing sinks.
BEAUTIFUL hardwood flooring throughout and true tile (not laminate) in the wet areas.
Awesome backyard and patio.
Lovely full brick exterior with heavy barnwood shutters.
Best of all? They converted the garage into 3/4 of a large sunroom and 1/4 of it as a laundry room.
The sunroom would be my new studio.

AND - we had the exact 20% down payment stashed away. On the dot.

I could picture it all... until we put in our offer and the agent said someone else had offered the full listing price. 

Devastation.

After a number of shed tears, JD gave me the sweetest pep talk. He reminded me that God didn't intend for it to be our first home, but rather our inspiration. We would find an older home and give it the same love and care as that couple did for the home we fell in love with. We could do that too. We just needed to find a home with a nice floor plan, a bedroom that our queen-sized bed could actually fit in (not a whole lot of those in our price range), a couple of bathrooms, a room for my studio, and a great backyard for gardening. 

We pulled our bootstraps up, found a great real estate agent and have been searching ever since.

Houses seem to get a little redundant after you've seen a few, so I decided to make a scoring sheet for each house. If you work with a realtor, she / he will normally give you an MLS sheet on the house. This describes the specifics: square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, size of rooms, appliances included, etc.

You can write notes on these sheets but I prefer charts and checklists. After looking at a couple of houses, I decided to design the survey below. It's a free printable and we would love for you to use it if you think it would help in your house search too!

Today, we continue in our adventure for buying our first home with clipboard in hand:


Lovely clipboard from the dollar bins at Michael's

How to Use the Printable:
Write the house address at the top. When you're finished looking at houses for the day, rank them in the top right-hand corner. (example: 1/6)

Basically, I created a scale from 1 - 10 for the appearance of the neighborhood, exterior of house, bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen and backyard. For closet space, I rate it on how much space there is, the appearance of the closet, etc. For elbow grease, I rate it from 1 (being not a whole lot of work needs to be put into it on our part) or 10 (may need to demolish the whole thing and rebuild it from the ground up). There should be enough space between the lines for you to write notes on each topic.

At the bottom, you'll find a Notes box and places to check off if there is a garage and laundry room, as well as the types of flooring in the house (carpet, hardwoods, tile, laminate).

Most importantly, the question of if you can make it a home... 
Yes, you can make any house a home
but think about if it's worth it.
Is it worth investing into?
Does it have charm / character or can you add that yourself?

**If you choose to share this free printable on your blog or website, please give credit where credit is due and link it back to our blog, Jitney's Journeys. 


Right-click, save image, then print. May be printed on a 5" x 8" index card.

We hope this helps in your search of a home! 

Don't forget to check out our other printables in our Etsy shop here.








Vintage Greetings : Easter Inspiration

Snow flurries have been dancing around the past two days here in Huntsville. 

What?!

It may not look like Spring outside - or even feel like it - but the Todd Nest is ready for blooming flowers and the Easter bunny.


The birds are taking over, but that probably doesn't surprise anyone who has seen our home.

Bird nests, bird houses, bird cards, and birds (not real ones, of course).


When I was spending time with my family in Georgia, my grandmother gave my mom and me a huge bag of old greeting cards and postcards (along with the vintage scarves). We sat down at the dining room table and distributed those beauties amongst ourselves. Her and I are very similar but our tastes in vintage greeting cards couldn't be more different. 

We would've been in trouble otherwise.

The first greeting card ("HELLO" with the birds) quickly became my Spring decorating inspiration. I taped the back to 8.5" x 11" kraft paper and framed it with an antique white frame. 

The second greeting card has a vase of seven small flowers you can pull out.
"A Seven Day Cheer Card for You"
Each flower has a sweet quote hidden hidden its petals.
They don't make cards like this anymore, people...
I displayed it in a vintage flower frog. It's just one bonus element of our Easter display in the kitchen (main photo on top collage).

You probably can't tell from the picture but I slid one of the old card boxes between white books to give the glass jar (holding tiny nests) a boost. It has a nice aged tint to it with purple flowers lining the side. The perfect accent.

Vintage spring-themed cards would look breathtaking on a cute indoor Easter wreath or held up by vintage forks in a vase for your Easter dinner centerpiece.


What is your inspiration theme this spring?




Etsy Product Release!! "Home Is the Nest You Build" Series


We are super excited to announce a few of our new products that arrived in our Etsy shop yesterday!!

These products were created by the one and only Mama E. We have entitled this series: 
Home Is the Nest You Build


"Our Flourishing Home"
We pondered over this piece for quite sometime. Then, all of the sudden, it just came together. A flourishing home is difficult to build, but wonderfully satisfying to attain. 



"Our Wild Nest"
Home is the nest you build for your family... And it just so happens that our nest is a WILD one!! Isn't family more enjoyable that way? If your home is filled with an overwhelming amount of laughter and joy, this may just be the perfect piece for you to place in your home. Take pride in that Wild Nest of yours!


...And my personal favorite... 


"Our Sweet Nest"
Since we've had a place to call our own as a married couple, we have always called our home, "Our Sweet Nest" in the same way I call JD, "My Sweet Husband". The word "sweet" just fits our lifestyle to a tee. I'll be honest, this is a tough piece for me to let go of. If you're an avid reader of our blog, you know that birds and nests have a lot of symbolism in our marriage. But, I am willing to let this piece go as long as someone will cherish it as much as we do. :)


Hope to see you in our Etsy shop!!
More products to come throughout the next few weeks!