Friday, January 4, 2013

Homemade Guest Room

My husband and I live in a roomy, open floor plan apartment, but it only has one bedroom. No guest room! This is difficult since we live at least 2 hours from most of our friends! He's lived here for over 2 years, and I have for over 7 months. Since our wedding, we've had a few overnight guests, and a few guests decline because of our lack of guest room options. This past week, a friend of mine told me about her interest in a studio-style apartment and that got me would she have overnight guests in her apartment? It inspired me to consider room separation from that perspective, and I decided to "build" my own guest room. I love crafts--anything handmade, really--so it was exciting to try something totally different from what I'm used to doing!

First, this is the view from the living room, our current guest space. We have an inflatable mattress that can be used as a bed for our guests, and when they're lying in bed, this is what they see. The kitchen. the bathroom door, and right by that bathroom door is our room. So when we get up for breakfast, coffee, bathroom breaks, etc., there they are, there we are, and it's awkwardness for everyone.

Well, you can see what I made, because the homemade curtains are already hanging in this picture. We actually like the way they look, so we're keeping them up now.

The creation of this room divider was so easy, and if I'd been more confident in my sewing skills beforehand, I would definitely have made this more creative. But for a first time, pretty good. 

The door curtain on the left was the easiest. We used a tension shower curtain rod to hold it up (Lowe's for $12) and miraculously found that curtain for $8 at WalMart, and it already matched the measurements I needed to the inch!

The bar curtains were not so simple as that, but the solution was easy enough. We happened to find that extra long rod at Hobby Lobby where we'd gotten all our other living room curtain rods, and it was only $21. 

The curtains were a little more expensive at about $10 a set (also from Lowe's) and their measurement was originally twice the length I needed. I decided to grab one set of striped and one of red, for the added colors. I cut the curtains in half and stitched up a simple hem, and voila! Brand new curtains for the bar. 

As you can see, it's much more private now. Our friends who came to visit for New Years' were here from December 30 to January 1 and I had to work on the morning of the 31st. My husband and I were able to get our morning coffee and breakfast without disturbing them and work in our room until they were up. I have to admit, I can't wait to have guests again! 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Thirteen Goals for 2013

New Years' Resolutions are a big thing. I hear them mentioned every time a new year rolls around, and then I never seem to hear them mentioned again afterwards (at least not until December regret rolls in), but of course that's a different concern. Everyone has their own way.

Last year my New Years' resolution involved working out, writing a novel, and traveling, and since then, I achieved with flying colors!

  • I entered a body building competition last winter and shed inches from all of my "fatty deposits." (Ladies, you know what I mean.) I also succeeded in lifting some really high numbers! I purchased a wedding dress that fit and ended up having the whole thing altered to fit my new slimmer and trimmer self. Very exciting. 
  • I not only wrote a novel in 2012, but I wrote 3. They are unfinished, scattered first drafts that need lots of polish and revision, but they're novels. And I wrote them. 
  • I traveled to Hawaii for 2 weeks on my honeymoon in June and went on a long weekend trip to Seattle and the Olympic National Park with my husband in November. Not quite as many trips as we took in 2011, but we definitely traveled farther!
  • I didn't mention "reading" in my New Years' goals, but I did participate in the 2013 Reading Challenge on Goodreads. I said I could read 20 books in one year (didn't want to be too daring with a wedding, full time job, and all those other resolutions) and I rolled out of 2012 with a grand total of 21 books. 
  • Another unofficial New Years' goal last year was to make amazing cupcakes, because my husband bought me a cupcake baker last year for my birthday. I haven't baked as much as I would have liked, but my cupcakes have been a hit wherever I've brought them! 
This year, I have a few other goals I'd like to throw in since I'm so excited with the way the last ones turned out!

New Years' Resolutions for 2013

1. This year my #1 most important goal is to complete the novels that I strove so hard to write in the first place. I have never yet successfully revised a novel to completion, but I dream of it, and that which you dream of you ought to achieve, lest your life be wasted. So when all else fails, this dream must be my main focus. That's why it's #1. 

2. Next, I want to learn to sew and do it well. My husband bought me a sewing machine for Christmas and I've already done a few silly, pattern-less projects on it and they've turned out all right for a first-timer. I want to be able to make myself an article of clothing, and to create gifts for my friends and family this year. 

3. I hope to work extra hard on promoting TreasuredDetails. I love my little shop, and it's been a source of joy for me since I started it in June 2010. I just love creating beautiful designs for people who appreciate them and can't wait to be called upon to do more. This goal involves me trying to enter a craft or bridal show this year as well! 

4. Keep a journal. I've already been working on this one and made a post about it a few weeks ago. See that post here.

5. Travel outside the U.S. I want to make it my goal to visit England this year, but I'm not sure if that one's in the cards this time. If not, Canada will do :)

6. Spend some time visiting friends. I have a lot of friends around the country, and since I moved away from home in 2012, I learned the value of friends who want to visit (as well as their actual visits!) and I want to do the same for my faraway friends. 

7. Make new friends! I am determined to be less antisocial in my new city, to get involved in things, and to meet new people. And that means more people than my friendly neighborhood Starbucks baristas!

8. Join a Bible study group. 

9. Organize and downsize my life! Moving has taught me that I own too much stuff. I want to store the stuff I need and lose the stuff I don't. I want to make my house neat and organized, with a minimum of clutter and knickknacks. 

10. Eat healthy. My husband and I try not to eat UNhealthy, but our efforts to eat healthy come in spurts. I'd like to include more fresh vegetables and meats into our diet and remove more sugars and artificial ingredients. 

11. Resume winter workout. I started a body bulking workout before Christmas, but time is not in my favor over the holidays. I haven't decided whether my body is ready for weights or if I'd rather venture into something like yoga, because I do truly need some flexibility! But I will be doing something this year. 

12. Write more letters. I feel like the lost art of letter writing has really gotten lost. I used to write letters non-stop, and it's just tapered off over the years. Friends, I've just bought some new stationary. You'll hear from me soon :)

13. Relax more. I really need to learn to relax, and I don't mean sleep. I mean de-stress! I haven't felt anything less than all keyed up since I started college, and that was almost a decade ago. I remember what they say about stress levels and early death (remember, but can't think about it because it stresses me out. Figures!)

What are YOUR New Years' resolutions for 2013? Please share!