This is a big week in Creating Krista history: for starters, we have the conclusion of our very first giveaway: a $50 credit to Minted.com! I’ll announce the winner at the end of today’s post. In addition to the giveaway, this is officially the one year blogiversary of Creating Krista! My very first post was written on May 12, 2014 when I decided to turn my blogging adventure into an official DIY zone. Since then, I’ve written over 50 posts, showcased some amazing guest bloggers, and learned A LOT about crafting, DIY, confidence, and… marriage. Our top three most popular blog posts to date are about some really fun projects: building a bench from scratch, Christmas decorating, and our guest bathroom reveal.
While statistics can tell you a lot about Creating Krista on this one year blogiversary, I thought that it would be more fun if Dan and I shared our favorite projects and our hardest projects with our loyal readers. It’s been a long road, and we’re still trying to balance all of our responsibilities while managing to keep up with projects and other fun challenges. The most important thing I’ve gained from the blogging experience so far? It’s not about comparing our work to others; it’s about the journey and embracing the (literal) messiness, while still taking time to be proud of what we’ve accomplished. And now, we reflect!
Dan’s Hardest Project: The Guest Bathroom
The hardest project for me was the guest bathroom renovation. Nothing was really that difficult in hindsight, but it was just a lot of things that I didn’t know how to do – and things that didn’t go as planned, like taking down the mirror. What I learned from my mirror removal research is that you have to cover the mirror with tape to keep the glass together if it shatters, and using a blow dryer, heat up the mirror so that the adhesive on the back softens and you can remove it from the wall. To save time, I borrowed a heat gun from work which goes up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, thinking that the mirror removal would go quickly and smoothly. Not knowing where the adhesive was placed on the back of the mirror, we ended up melting the duct tape before the adhesive softened. The bathroom vent was on while we worked, but after a half hour or so the smoke detector went off. After that we decided to remove the mirror with a hammer, which was a lot of fun, but it didn’t go exactly the way that I wanted. The original plan was to remove the mirror intact, and then cut it to size to fit a picture frame. Now that I think about it, this wouldn’t have worked anyway, because I would have had to remove all of that duct tape residue.
The light fixture replacement was actually very simple, but having never done it before, it was a challenge in that I was scared I was going to mess something up and burn the house down. I’m glad I went through with it because now I know how easy it is to replace any other light fixture, when the time comes.
Dan’s Favorite Project: Adding Curb Appeal
I think my favorite project was re-landscaping the front of our house. It was something that, until we decided to just do ourselves, we felt was out of our control. Our original landscaping was builder basic ( installed in the early 90’s, most likely cheap and easy) and the re-landscaping should have been paid for by the townhouse association to match the other four units. We didn’t have enough money to pay for it in our association budget, so Krista and I, along with our neighbors, all decided to get a chainsaw and cut out the bushes ourselves. It was a lot of fun getting to hang our with the neighbors, which ended in us all getting together at night for a little backyard barbecue.
Building the rock garden wall was a really fun experience because I had never done anything like that before. It turns out that it wasn’t really that difficult, just stacking rocks on top of each other. For something that could potentially cost a lot of money, it was very easy. It helped that it was a short wall, because at a certain height, you have to worry about supporting the wall with mortar. We didn’t have to worry about drainage which saved a lot of work. We also got to choose plants, which was fun. We chose roses, one biden plant (given as a gift, based on Krista’s love for a certain Vice President), salvia, and low bush blueberries (three of the four blueberry bushes died pretty quickly). This year, we got to continue with the landscaping, and we are replacing the dead blueberry bushes with high bushes, which we’ll have to prune every year since they can grow up to six feet tall. We got more biden plants, and we still have some time to figure out what else to plant, which is one of my favorite parts.
Krista’s Hardest Project: The Floating Shelves
UGH. If I could choose one word to describe the floating shelves debacle of 2014, it would be UGH. In fact, to be completely real with you, this project is still not done. A reader once asked me when we could expect Part 2 of the floating shelves project, and I still don’t know – though I think we’re getting closer. The reason that this project was so challenging for me (aside from the fact that it’s an unfinished thorn in my side) is because it was so tedious for something that seemed so simple. Dan spent a lot of time working on the postcard shelves and customizing them to our specific needs for the office.
I spent a lot of time painting the shelves in the basement (a few coats on each shelf piece). This project was weeks in the making, until we finally got to hang them – and realized that our office walls are curved, thus preventing the shelves from being completely flush against the wall. I really don’t think I will feel like our office is complete until these floating shelves finally make their appearance. Not to mention that I have plenty of art and postcards that I’m just itching to display on them.
Krista’s Favorite Project: Foyer Freshness
Choosing a favorite project is definitely a tough task for me. There have been so many fun experiences over the past year, but I think my favorite has to be the foyer makeover. While it wasn’t the most challenging, it was probably the project that needed the most work from the very beginning. We started at the bottom.
At first, the foyer was filled with one lonely ottoman from Crate and Barrel and one desperately solitary Parks and Recreation art print. I loved how everything came together in the end, especially picking out all of the various art pieces from Ron Swanson quotes to a vintage framed cat doorknocker to a group of postcards we got on our honeymoon in Hawaii. It was such a fun and creative process, and we ended up taking a week off from work in the summer to do ittogether, which was probably the most fun part.
I’ve enjoyed taking this trip down memory lane, but of course, it’s almost time to start moving forward with quite a few other projects we have lingering out there (maybe those shelves? A girl can dream…). It’s been a busy weekend, with Dan celebrating at a bachelor party and me visiting my parents near the Jersey Shore, so next weekend we’ll be digging in to some meatier projects. Not to mention that pesky kitchen renovation that’s still in the works.
Last but not least, I’d like to congratulate our Minted.com giveaway winner, Ashley LeBrun! Congratulations, Ashley! You’ll have to let me know what you end up purchasing with that fancy $50 credit. For those of you who didn’t win, don’t worry – we definitely have more giveaways in the making!