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Merry Christmas, happy holidays and a fun, restful, holly jolly Christmakuh to you! We wish you a day of fun, family and friends (or at least 2 of the 3, depending on your idea of fun, right?), and at the very least, we hope you load up your dessert plate.

We’re looking forward to spending the day with our Chicago friends (family, more like it), eating tacos, drinking Christmas coladas and catching up on the most recent chapters of Trapped In a Closet (yes, really). How very non-Christmas-y of us, but we couldn’t be happier – or feel luckier – to spend our day with the best-ests. xo.

  • Anestazia - December 25, 2012 - 10:03 AM

    Too cute! I wish we could dress our puppy up! He’d go crazy though :(ReplyCancel

  • Kim - December 25, 2012 - 11:17 AM

    Anestazia, one word: TREATS. Lots and lots of them!ReplyCancel

  • Emily @ Our Waldo Bungie - December 25, 2012 - 11:47 AM

    Sounds like a wonderful Christmas!! :) Have a wonderful day!ReplyCancel

  • Mom and Dad - December 25, 2012 - 1:30 PM

    Jack, you look great. One thing, are the lights suppose to be on you, or did you help yourself?
    Merry Christmas Everyone.ReplyCancel

  • Opa - December 25, 2012 - 6:11 PM

    Sorry Jack all your street cred is gone….ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 25, 2012 - 9:27 PM

      M & D, he totally helped himself.ReplyCancel

  • dave - December 26, 2012 - 6:57 AM

    Kimbo,
    You have humiliated our grandson! Look at his face! He is begging mommy to make it go away.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - December 26, 2012 - 11:46 AM

    Dave, this is partially true, but he loved his Santa-neck-adornment so much, he wouldn’t let us take it off! And he’s rewarded with belly rubs and treats :)ReplyCancel

  • Helen from Cali - December 26, 2012 - 7:06 PM

    Oh jack.. Did mommy get you a Santa outfit for a chihuahua instead? Jk, you are the best looking pit mix ever! Love you sweety pieReplyCancel

  • Kim - December 26, 2012 - 10:35 PM

    Haha, Helen! It’s actually a baby girl’s dress, and we cut off the sleeves and put them on his front paws. TOO cute.ReplyCancel

  • Rebelwerewolf - December 27, 2012 - 4:28 AM

    What’s in your Christmas coladas?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 27, 2012 - 11:00 AM

      Rebelwerewolf, it’s basically a pina colada shaken and served in a martini glass. We add a drop of green food coloring before we shake it, and we garnish with grenadine (for the red) and add a lime rim. YUM.ReplyCancel

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Way back in July, Scott and I very innocently began purging our home for the annual summer yard sale. We thought we’d have a few items to fill a tabletop on our tree lawn, but by the time we finished our to sell, to donate and to keep piles, our living room was looking… sparse. This brought on Tweakfest 2000 (aka, 2012), since we’d now have spaces to fill and new ideas to try – while being very mindful of any items we bring in.

If you remember us geeking out over our recent Apartment Therapy tour, you’ve probably already seen the evolution over the last 5 months, but we realized that we never shared the ta-da! moment here. So, before throwing up the tree and hanging the stockings, I took some time to grab snaps of our room how it is now – many, many months after confessing, hey! We’re nuts!

Here’s where we were in July, after nixing a handful of items for the yard sale, but before really getting into it – sans curtains, no more Otto and a (at the time) recently snagged $2 chair:

Soon after, we moved on to our wall of art, deciding that we wanted a more streamlined look (and eventually landing on our big, bad picture ledge). Less shelves to dust (I’ve got enough of those in the studio!) make my OCD heart happy, and Scott’s never one to complain when it comes to taking out his power tools. For a few weeks – because in real time, we all know life happens, some afternoons are meant to be lazy and one more trip to Home Depot is the last thing on your mind – the room was looking sad:

But! Finally, we slowly whipped the room back into shape, often times working on many tweaks at the same time. Our original to-tackle-list has been crossed off (yes, 5 months later), all with the exception of one pesky item, see?

Makeover our $2 chair. (Done!)
Re-work our current art display. (Done!)
Swap our venetian blinds for easy, breezy cellular shades. (Done!)
Layer in curtains to hide speakers and add warmth, texture and height. (Done!)
Replace our shaggy rug with something that fits our oddly shaped room. (Done!)
Re-upholster the lovely chair. (Done!)
• Reassess the end table situation – or lack thereof.

Damn those end tables! We just can’t settle on something we love, and we’ve set restrictions that have turned into the impossible task – must fit over our apple crate, must be deep enough to make sense with our couch, must be super awesome (obviously). Regardless, we’re calling this room done, because despite our lack of end tables, we managed to squeeze in a few other accomplishments:

• We added an additional light fixture.
• We trimmed our curtains for extra credit.
• We re-worked our terrarium. For the fourth time.

Hey, every bit counts.

And now? Although we have an additional chair in the room (you know, the $2 guy), more art on display and more rug covering the floor, the space feels lighter, cleaner and brighter. Here’s how things look now:

Toning down our shaggy rug to a softer gray FLOR and reupholstering our two chairs are obvious room-brighteners, but swapping the wood-toned Venetian blinds to honeycomb shades and layering in curtains (that repeat the color in our hallway) have been one of the biggest game changers for us.

By somewhat white-washing the majority of the room, our art collection becomes the star, which as you can imagine, makes our hearts sing. You can’t go wrong with a big pink donut, Paris people watching and a rapping armadillo, right? (See the full art rundown here.)

Phew. This room here, it’s been tweaked. Tweaked! As we’ve said before, items in our home never feel permanent; we enjoy change. And isn’t that the fun part of loving your home? Because goodness, remember years ago when our living room looked like this? And this?

As for Tweakfest 2.0, we’re thinking the bathroom’s next. For a whole room the size of most folks’ modest closets, that should be easy, yeah? We have a handful of ideas, and we’ll wait until the new year rolls around, but we’re excited already! (Surprise, surprise!) How about you? Are your to-dos-next-year already swirling through your minds? Making it hard to fall asleep? (Oh, is that just me?)

  • Shannon - December 20, 2012 - 8:08 AM

    So awesome how little tweaks can amount to such a big difference! I absolutely love how it looks now! :) :)

    ShannonReplyCancel

  • catherine - December 20, 2012 - 9:01 AM

    Be honest. Have you gained weight with that doughnut picture in the room? ;-)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 20, 2012 - 9:13 AM

      Thanks, Shannon!

      Catherine, interesting… I have had a major sweet tooth lately (more so than normal). Is it the donut? Or the holidays?! No weight gained, but time will tell.ReplyCancel

  • Emma - December 20, 2012 - 9:40 AM

    Looks wonderful! Well done you two (:ReplyCancel

  • Jillian - December 20, 2012 - 10:06 AM

    The only thing that’s lacking is no more eff the dumb s@#$! :(ReplyCancel

  • Kim - December 20, 2012 - 10:29 AM

    Jill! It’s there, it’s there! It’s on the media wall now, closest shelf to the hall (behind the plant). It got a new frame and mat :) I’d never get rid of that!ReplyCancel

  • Jill - December 20, 2012 - 11:48 AM
  • Jane @ The Borrowed Abode - December 21, 2012 - 3:50 PM

    I love it! Wonderful job, as always!ReplyCancel

  • marian - January 3, 2013 - 8:45 PM

    Hi!

    I just came across your blog. Love it! I especially love that piece of furniture holding up your t.v. Did you make that yourselves? If so, do you have a tutorial or something similar? I have an idea for a credenza that I want to make and I LOVE the legs on your piece. Would love to snag some of those for my project and get ideas from you.

    THANKS!ReplyCancel

  • Making Made - January 4, 2013 - 1:38 PM

    Wow, I really love your decor. The piece of furniture under your TV stand is amazing and I love your chairs. Very well put together.

    Jeanne
    http://makingmade.com

    p.s. Penina is one of my co-workers! Yay!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 4, 2013 - 1:59 PM

      Hi Jeanne, thank you! And so fun that you work with Penina! :)ReplyCancel

  • […] and Scott, of Yellow Brick Home, are currently renovating their new home. That doesn’t mean we can’t all still be […]ReplyCancel

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Since first seeing this pillowin a catalog mailer over a month ago, I’ve been blabbing my mouth to Scott about the pillow I’ll make for us – it’ll be just like it! It’ll be Christmas-y and cheery, and it’ll hang in our living room all season long. This make believe pillow fit in with my idyllic holiday decor, and we’ll lounge our nights away surrounded by twinkling lights, wearing fluffy slippers and sipping on eggnog. Oh, my. So for reference, here’s the inspiration:

But forget buying that pillow. Ha! I’ll make the pillow! Sure, the real deal is less than $20, but DIY is more fun, more personal.

In any case, we’re not lounging away our evenings or drinking eggnog, but the pillow has been birthed. And it is Christmas-y and cheery. But all season long? Well, it was DIY-ed just yesterday:

For the last month, I’d been collecting the bits I’d need since first seeing my inspiration item, and if I’d just sat down and made it, it could’ve been done a long, long time ago. (Ah, well!) The good news is that it’s super easy, I didn’t sew a lick (we all know by now that is not something I do), and it only took an hour from start to finish – with the text taking the longest. It’s much more minimal than the source, but it’s much more Kim & Scott, too.

Supplies needed:
iron & ironing board
neutral fabric for the front
an old flannel shirt, preferably size XL and up
pillow form
alphabet stencil
Stitch Witchery / iron-on hem tape
fabric marker
scissors
ruler
pencil

After obnoxiously talking to Scott about my really simple idea (and believe me, he was thrilled to be discussing pillows for nights on end!), we agreed that a classic flannel/plaid fabric would look timeless, yet still feel cheery and holiday-like. And broken in, super soft flannel would be even better! So we picked up the comfiest, coziest XL shirt at our local thrift store for $1, and the buttons would act as our envelope enclosure. Less “sewing” for me, and it’s certainly more interesting.

For our front fabric, I used a 1/2 yard of a neutral, khaki linen I had on hand. Of course this led to the next never-ending round of conversation – what should it say? For simplicity’s sake, we agreed on “be merry & bright,” that is, after throwing around “all I want for Christmas is you” (too obvious, although ILU, Mariah!) or “I’ve got my love to keep me warm” (too long).

There are a dozen other phrases we would’ve been happy with, so that just means there’ll be more pillows down the road. Pillows for every room! (Oh, wait, we already do that.)

I Pinterest-ed and Googled around for ways to get our text on the pillow, and this tutorial was not only the easiest, but it was the cheapest. Win-win! Using a pencil, I traced my words carefully in the middle of my fabric, and I used an ironed-in crease for my line to keep things straight:

Then I filled it in, carefully, with a fabric marker. Afterwards, I measured out from the text on all sides to get the size of my pillow form. I used an 18″ form, and I kept my fabric the same size, which would keep the finished case nice and full once I hemmed all the sides. By measuring out from the text, I was able to keep it centered.

Next, I measured an 18″ square from the front of my thrifted shirt, since the buttons would act as the envelope enclosure.

To “stitch” it all together, I laid my two pieces of fabric face-to-face, so that the text side touched the button side. Using Stitch Witchery, I cut a strip for all 4 sides and laid it between my fabric, using a damp cloth between my hot iron and the fabric itself. (These instructions came straight from the hem tape package. No news here!)

After 15-30 seconds on each section of my hem tape, everything was secured, and I turned the case right side out and put my pillow form inside. Done! For those that worry the hem tape might come loose, well, almost everything that’s been hemmed in our home has been done so with Stitch Witchery. (Er, everything but my jeans; those go to my alterations pal across the street.)

Here’s how the back turned out, and while it’s not meant to sit this way, it could still be cute if we get a little lazy with Operation Holiday Pack-Up.

Naturally, everything looks better with a kitty next to it. (Hi, Maddie Baby!)

We love that you can see the cozy, flannel back from the front and sides (just a peek!) – and it even balances out our red floor lamp across the room. Happy accident!

And with that, we’re d-o-n-e with our holiday decorations. Our silver and gold tree, stockings for each fuzzy kiddo, and this easy pillow keeps things – wait for it! – merry and bright. Oh!

Any last minute decorating on your end?

  • Lindsey d. - December 18, 2012 - 8:23 AM

    Love this! I’m envisioning a fabulous Hawaiian print version for summer (with “Stay Cool” or similar)…ReplyCancel

  • Kim - December 18, 2012 - 9:06 AM

    Lindsey, great idea! I should make a few to rotate out for the different seasons…ReplyCancel

  • Two PItties in the City - December 18, 2012 - 10:16 AM

    I love that it still has the pocket on it, and Lindsey’s idea for the Hawaiian shirt. E does a lot with Stitch Witchery (did you know he was the crafty one in our home?), but I never thought about making pillows. I think we could use some more for the pups this winter.ReplyCancel

  • Rebelwerewolf - December 18, 2012 - 2:55 PM

    I never knew about Stitch Witchery. Technology these days!

    And you can definitely leave that pillow out past the holidays, since it’s not too specific.ReplyCancel

  • Caitlin @ Desert Domicile - December 18, 2012 - 4:50 PM

    Oh I love this! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t sew :)ReplyCancel

  • Trude - December 18, 2012 - 5:40 PM

    It turned out soooo cute! Love that you kept the pocket. :) Ditto what Caitlin said, it appeals to my non-sewer’s heart.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - December 18, 2012 - 5:49 PM

      Glad to know I’m in the company of other non-sewers :)ReplyCancel

  • Jimmy - December 18, 2012 - 7:56 PM

    Love it. Absolutely love it. We have to steal this for our farmhouse. My wife’s words: “shut.up.” We are pumped to try this.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - December 18, 2012 - 8:17 PM

    Jimmy, even better – Shut. Up. would make a pretty great text-y pillow!ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - December 20, 2012 - 8:28 AM

    You!! So creative. I want to hug that pillow hard.ReplyCancel

  • kirsten - December 21, 2012 - 12:57 AM

    For real?!? DARLING! Putting this on my “to try” list!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Lepak @ Dandelion Patina - November 10, 2014 - 5:36 PM

    Hi there! Stopping by to say congratulations on being featured on Midwest Living, favorite holiday blogger projects! Have a great week! ~MichelleReplyCancel

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