African...& American Pinwheels {tutorial}

Every now and then we get glimpses into Ezekiel's life in Ethiopia 

Some are scary: like when our old pipes were knocking & he thought it was machine gun fire 
Some are sad: talking about his dad who passed away 
And some are all-out ridiculous: climbing mango trees and going to the bathroom...really?
{I don't care what country they're from...boys are weird}

A few days ago it was quite windy so he decided to show Anton how to make 
"African Pinwheels" - as he calls them

After they went to bed for the night, I sneakily grabbed one of the pinwheels and deconstructed it

What a simple concept. Roll up the paper halfway, tear through the unrolled portion & make holes.
Ezekiel had never seen a hole punch before today so they must have just poked sticks through

One ripped section goes one way, one goes the other

Add some sticks...

And voila! An African Pinwheel

Simply hold onto the center stick & run!

They had a blast racing back and forth

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

On another note...

A few years ago I had gotten a bit addicted to making pinwheels, myself.
We had done a "vintage toy" birthday party for Laith when he turned 2.

And I literally made about 50 of them

They were everywhere...

{love you, sweet little Luke...miss you!}

I couldn't resist putting a few of these pics in. 
Strangely, I couldn't find any of Laith with Ben! 
Sorry Benny.

{so what do you do with 50+ pinwheels after the party is over? We still have some around}

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

Have you ever made pinwheels before? 
They're actually ridiculously easy {and like I said before, addictive}

I used scrapbook paper rather than origami paper as my instructions recommended. 
Just remember that your paper needs to be double-sided.

I got the above pictures from this blog since I don't have any step-by-step photos of my making them.

{"american" pinwheels}

.  what you will need .

. double sided paper
. push pins
. wooden dowels
. scissors or paper cutter
. ruler

. directions . 

{step 1} cut paper to desired size, but make sure it's square
{step 2} fold in half diagonally
{step 3} then fold diagonally again
{step 4}unfold
{step 5} cut just over half way up each fold
{step 6} soak your wooden dowel or skewer {got mine at Hobby Lobby but found this place online} in a glass of warm water for awhile so it's easier to poke your pin through.
{step 7} gather every other corner together and place a pin through all four
{step 8} the above photo shows a brad being used, but this will not allow the pinwheel to spin. Instead, I used a cute push pins {map pins also work}, such as these, these or these. 
{step 9} attach skewer or dowel to pinwheel
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

Whether it's African or American pinwheels you seek, have fun getting addicted!



Our New House! {& construction}

Before I let you see the lovely hideousness of our new fixer-upper, I wanted to post a few pretty pictures.

{as soon as the weather warms up and no more snows are in our future, we'll get started on the exterior} 

And painting the house numbers on the front door just has to be done.

This house was across the street from my good friend Brandi's house {hugs, Bran...I miss you}.
I fell in love with the color combination.

In my opinion, yellow door is a must. 
And hopefully a stormy grayish blue {?} on the exterior. 

This is my sweet friend & college roommate Lissy in front of their new home right before Christmas. 
I'm in love with it. We obviously have such similar tastes!
Can you see those matching yellow adirondack chairs on the right? Darling.

She was kind enough to send me the colors {similar to anyway}:

{Sherwin Williams Paint}

We've got a lot of work cut out for us, don't we? 
Just wait until you look inside.

I cannot believe that we're only 3 houses away from our new house. 
It's so fun to be able to walk back and forth with the kids. 

{can you see Imani's grumpy face? She did not want to hold Ben's hand. So independent.}

Now, onto the inside.

It's gloriously ugly, right? Ohhhh so much potential, I can't wait!

This is what the stairs will look like. 
Currently they're all taken apart, awaiting new...well, new everything.

We will however, have a runner {of carpet} down the stairs, partially covering the wood. 

Why, you ask?

...have you met this kid? Considering even Laith calls himself "Crash," 
I don't think further explanation is needed.

This is the color that we're doing almost the entire house.
It's Benjamin Moore's Coventry Gray {HC-169} and is absolutely gorgeous.

I'm so tired of beige beige beige. Oh...with a little brown. Ugh. I apologize if that's what you have in your house, I had it in mine since we got married & loved it for years.

But I've fallen out of love and CANNOT wait for this amazing blue-gray.

It's actually a West Elm color. Go ahead and check it out here.
In our house it looks quite blue. This sample though looks almost greenish.

In our house it looks more like what this sample shows:

{West Elm's Benjamin Moore, Shadow Gray 2125-40}

Oh my beautiful dining room. The photo makes it look almost decent. 

...don't be deceived, it's actually really bad.

{Ben is sweet enough to have agreed to build me box moulding. I can't wait to see how it looks!}

{I'm going to make this beautiful chandelier for above the dining table. I'll post a tutorial when I'm done}

The kitchen!

The room where we've spent our most time brainstorming & designing.

I'm v.e.r.y much over stained cabinets & granite so we're going in a different direction. 
I want happy, bright, cheerful. So that's our goal.

Originally we wanted cabinets similar to this color {but a little more grey} from a company called Holiday Kitchens. Ooh it would have been gorgeous. 

However, our budget for the entire house is only $30K so they were out of our price range. 
I think we're still going to have our Master Bath cabinets designed using them, though.

This is similar to how it will look instead. Using...IKEA cabinets. Yes, that's right, IKEA. 

Ben had used them in his condo when he lived right above the Pike Place Market in Seattle & thought they were great. My sweet cousin and her fantastically talented architect husband just used them in their new home, as well. We've been impressed.

Also, have you ever been on houzz.com? Ben & I have spent waaaaay too many hours on there. 
It's fun to see how designers have used IKEA to look so designer. Totally inspired.

And it cut our cabinet cost in half. 

{we're trying to decide between these quartz samples}

{our flooring, cabinet, backsplash, drawer pulls, & 2 favorite quarts colors...we think}

These photos are using the IKEA home designer. Ben had a blast figuring out the layout. 
This is basically our finished design:

{they are the lidingo style cabinets}

Yes, can you believe it? A built-in Viking fridge. Thank you, Craigslist. 
I would never. ever. spend $6K on a fridge. But $1,500? Sure!!

this is the hood we've ordered}

{these are the drawer pulls, from Martha Stewart's home collection}

{I'm in love with this style kitchen faucet...if not this one, then one similar. Haven't ordered it yet.}

{we really want a farmhouse table for the kitchen since currently we can't all fit around our little 4-top}

{the boys were supposed to be helping clean up. instead they decided to be ninjas}

{why is anton wearing his helmet & laith his pajamas? they're crazy...who knows}

Truthfully, I don't have much vision in the family room yet. The paneling is already gone {as is the popcorn ceiling, yay!} and the floor will be carpet. 

{see that window seat on the right of the photo? I'll get back to that in a second}

{this is what it looks like now}

Possibly carpet like this

I'm excited about having a window seat. 
I see myself cuddling there with my many kids, surrounded by pillows and books.

{mine isn't shaped like this, but I love the overall feel of it...& the sun streaming in}

Thinking about using this indoor/outdoor fabric for the actual window seat {with gray piping}.
Outdoor fabric you ask? 


I got the idea from my friend Natalie, who recovered the most beautiful chair in her living room using it. She has 3 kids and understands the mess that goes along with it. So I took her idea and did our dining room chairs last spring. So fantastically easy to keep clean. Just wipe it off! 

Goodness, if needed...you can hose it down!

 Love this pillow. Bet I could make it.
{pretty sure it's from here}

Here are more pillow & fabric ideas:


And of course some things we already have...

{I'm convinced this yellow flowered pillow is the best Target find ever}

{don't even know where to start on this powder room. yuck.}

Laundry Room:

We've ordered these cabinets for the laundry room. So sleek and cool. Still trying to figure out the walls. Cool wallpaper? Paint? We'll see.

I really like how they used this old ladder to hang-dry clothes. Maybe I'll add one to our design, too?

Lets go upstairs, shall we?

Careful, the tiles shift around beneath your feet as you walk.

Oh and {though you can't see in the photo} sorry about the hand-rail.
It came off in Ben's hand one of the times we toured the house. The banister rails fell like dominos. We were slightly glad...made the house look even worse & were hoping no one else would put an offer in.

...they didn't. 

The kids bathroom: 

{I bought the shower curtain at west elm}

{bought the yellow bath mat there, as well}

Anton & Laith's Room:

{even when faux paint was in, I wasn't a fan}

How awesome is this??
We're going to attempt it, anyway.

{the stripe on the ceiling will be Ablaze SW 6870, the wall will be Coventry Gray, see above.}

Ezekiel's Room:

He is very opinionated & wants his room to be a mix of this:

And this:

I found this map {which I like better than the one the original photo} at ikea.
It's huge & will take up most of one of his walls.

I also found a bunch of these. Um, not at Restoration Hardware, though. There is no way on God's green earth I am spending $299 on a bin. A bin?! Seriously? Instead, I got a bunch at Home Goods for like $30 each {which in my opinion was plenty for a bin}.

{still on the hunt for vintage basketballs, etc...anyone? can't find any that aren't crazy expensive}

Oh and he really wants Green walls.
My brother & sister-in-law have an awesome green in their house and in her studio.
So that's what he wants {by the way, it's not the color in the sample in the pic of his room}.

this is it!

{Behr, Grasshopper Wing 400F-6}

And sweet Imani's room:

I'm sorry for bashing the folks that lived here before us...I'm sure they thought it was lovely.
I just think it's hideous.

I'd take a pic of Imani's room currently but she's sleeping. We're basically doing it the same because I love it so much. Think eclectic vintage.

This is the color on her walls {just barely lavender in real life}:

{Sherwin Williams, Lite Lavendar SW 6554}

{this is her crib. I wanted one exactly like what I had as a baby}

{instead of a mobile, I have a similar arrangement of poufs & chinese lanterns above her crib}

I had made Imani this quilt before she came home to be a part of our family.
You can't really see in this photo but the middle rectangle with the flowers, I had embroidered a shape of Africa & hand-stitched a felt heart over Ethiopia. It's darling.

{this pic is from when we lived in San Antonio.
her room was actually a big closet because our house was so small}

I'll leave you with another pretty picture. Our backyard is graded and has a great covered deck with potential like this one. I can't wait to get moved in and start having friends over for bbq's.

ok ok...last picture, I swear. but I just realized Ezekiel wasn't in any of the pictures & I had just taken this one of him on his way to soccer practice. I couldn't resist putting it in.


well, there are many more rooms I didn't include on the post
{master & bath, office/sewing room, playroom/basement, etc} so stay tuned for the progress through the next month or so!

Thanks for taking a tour, wish us luck!