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Our first vlog! California trip, 6 videos in 7 days

Hey guys! We did our first vlog! If you follow us on Instagram you know that we went to California and hung out with William Osman, Chris Salomone from Foureyes Furniture, and Matterhackers. We had a blast and filmed 6 videos in 7 days – and we’re spilling the behind-the-scenes beans in this vlog! Let us know what you guys think of this format – it was fun kinda virtually chatting with you guys and sharing some of the thoughts and processes behind the videos. Cheers!

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Abstract Painting Tutorial

We both grew up with art as an important part in our lives and love that when we want to change up our walls we can grab a canvas, brush some paint on it, and have instant new art. But if you’re not super comfortable with a paintbrush in your hand, that can be kind of intimidating. So we set out to create an abstract painting tutorial that you can do even if you don’t consider yourself a painter. As proof, we convinced my mom (who doesn’t paint) to give it a try and see if she could follow along. Results = success!

Abstract Art Painting Tutorial - evanandkatelyn.com

We used acrylic paint (which we think is the easiest paint to work with) in just two colors, and topped it off with shiny copper tape that adds an instant geometric punch. We are super excited for you guys to try your hand at painting too!

This video covers everything step by step (it really helps to watch Evan’s brush in motion), and we’ll go into even more detail below.

[Before we keep going, I want to pause and say if you have a second it would mean SO much to us if you’d like our video or subscribe to our channel. Since we’re brand new to YouTube, every view, like, and subscription makes a huge difference for us. Click here to see the whole channel. Thank youuuuu! We’re doing a big goofy happy dance right now!]

Materials needed:

Step 1: Wet your canvas

The first step (that might not be an obvious one) is to brush water across your canvas. The water is going to help the paint blend. If the canvas is try, it tries to grip onto the paint and makes everything less smooth. You just want a very thin layer of water (the canvas should glisten but there shouldn’t be any pooling).

Abstract Art Painting Tutorial - evanandkatelyn.com

Step 2: Add background

We’re going to use just two colors in this tutorial: Titanium White and Payne’s Gray. You could easily swap these around (white and blush would be really pretty too, or white and teal)

Abstract Art Painting Tutorial - evanandkatelyn.com Get mostly white on your brush and just a little bit of gray. You don’t want to mix them too much because you’ll just end up with a really light gray. Instead, you want white with streaks of grayish blue to end up on your canvas. So get both on the brush without mixing them.

Abstract Art Painting Tutorial - evanandkatelyn.com Abstract Art Painting Tutorial - evanandkatelyn.com At this point, do all vertical up and down strokes until everything looks smooth and you have some nice blue striation mixed into the white.

Abstract Art Painting Tutorial - evanandkatelyn.com Abstract Art Painting Tutorial - evanandkatelyn.com

Step 3: Add variation

Next we are going to add some variation in the form of left and right strokes, stronger concentrations of gray, and stronger concentrations of white. We like an asymmetrical look, so we are going to add some darker gray areas in the bottom right, top left, and bottom left.

Abstract Art Painting Tutorial - evanandkatelyn.com Abstract Art Painting Tutorial - evanandkatelyn.com We mix in some horizontal strokes with our vertical strokes by cross-hatching them so that not all the brush strokes are going in the same direction.

Abstract Art Painting Tutorial - evanandkatelyn.com And then we blend these additional marks so there aren’t hard edges (this is personal preference, you can leave it less blended if you prefer it that way). When you apply color you should hold your brush at about a 45 degree angle, but when you blend you should hold it much lower, about a 20-30 degree angle. Make your brush strokes very light handed, letting the weight of the brush pull the paint but not really applying too much extra force on top of that.

Abstract Art Painting Tutorial - evanandkatelyn.com The blending step is much easier to understand in video form. The good news is, there’s really no right or wrong way to do it. If you look at Evan’s painting and my mom’s painting, they both look a little different and it’s totally ok.

Abstract Art Painting Tutorial - evanandkatelyn.com

Step 4: Add copper tape

After letting it fully dry (we wait a couple hours), you’re going to add the copper tape. First we drew out a few different patterns that we could lay our tape in. We recommend doing this to decide on your tape pattern before you actually place your tape.

Abstract Art Painting Tutorial - evanandkatelyn.com Again, there’s not really a wrong way to do this. I tried like 20 options and I think any of them would have worked. We will say for this more minimalist look, 3-5 lines probably works best.

Abstract Art Painting Tutorial - evanandkatelyn.com Abstract Art Painting Tutorial - evanandkatelyn.com To apply the copper tape, first unroll and cut off the amount you need, leaving a little extra on each end to wrap around the edges of your canvas. The cut off piece wants to curl, so we straightened it by bending it agains the direction it wanted to curl. Remove the backing carefully so that it does not stick to itself, and pull tightly (but not so tight you break it!) across your canvas. Press down onto your canvas and wrap the tape around the edges.

Abstract Art Painting Tutorial - evanandkatelyn.com Abstract Art Painting Tutorial - evanandkatelyn.com Abstract Art Painting Tutorial - evanandkatelyn.com And you’re done!

So the reason this works so well as abstract art, even for beginners, is that the copper tape is what your eye focuses on and the painting acts as a backdrop for that. So even if you’re not super confident in your painting skills, don’t worry, it won’t be the main focus. Heck, you could even just do a solid color backdrop.

Abstract Art Painting Tutorial - evanandkatelyn.com Abstract Art Painting Tutorial - evanandkatelyn.com So please give this a try and let us know how it goes! We’d love to see how it turns out, so tag us on Instagram @evanandkatelyn if you end up posting pics!

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We’re on Instagram!

Ok ok. We are probably the LAST home DIY bloggers to get an Instagram account. Blame our day jobs haha! After being an Insta-addict myself for years, I’m pretty excited to get this thing going.

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We’ll try to stick to home stuff and refrain from posting lovey dovey selfies and photos of our cat. Ok so the first photo we posted WAS of our cat, but our awesome Persian rug was in the background so it’s ok. But seriously, we plan to post project previews, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and overall more content for our readers (all two of ‘em… hi moms!).

You can follow us at @evanandkatelyn. We’d love to hear your comments, questions, and suggestions, or to just say hi! We try to reply to everyone who comments on the blog and we aim to do the same on Instagram, so don’t be shy.

Now to figure out Snapchat… ha!

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New projects, old projects, in progress projects.

I grabbed my Yeti, a big red blanket from the husband’s college days, and my laptop to sit outside and write a little. I don’t know exactly what I’m going to write about… a lot has been going on, so much so that months can go by before we realize we made some change or started some project that probably should have been considered blog-worthy.

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I think sometimes writing a blog is like reaching out to a friend. Like, if it’s someone you talk to all the time it’s totally not weird to text them out of the blue saying “Think I can pull off balayage highlights?” or “I just re-watched that video of us singing and can’t stop laughing” or “Look at this fluffy picture of Mochi!”

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But if it’s someone you haven’t talked to in months or years, it feels weird to open up with something little. You feel like if you’re going to text them after so long, it should be something big, like “Congrats on the new baby!” or “I’m moving to your city! We should catch up!” or “Zombies are attacking get out while you still can RUN WOMAN!”

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For the blog, it feels similar. I feel like if we posted every day or even once a week, it’d be ok to have little updates like “bought these new West Elm pillows and LURVE them” or “started organizing a closet, here’s where we are so far”. But because our posts have been months apart (sad!) I feel like if I’m gonna start writing again it’s gotta be big. Ironically, this has made the posts even farther apart because big things don’t happen over night. So I’m writing this post to officially say I’m going to try to break the cycle.

To do that, I’m going to write about all the stuff we are planning on doing, the stuff we already did but didn’t think to blog about, and the stuff we started but haven’t blogged about yet because it’s still unfinished. Things like…

KonMari-ing our house (in progress)
Updating our patio (in progress)
Splitting up our offices (one office done, one office in progress)
Making a tree trunk side table (in progress)
Painting a big-ass piece of art (done)
Painting another big-ass piece of art (in progress)
Getting a Persian rug for the kitchen (haven’t started)
Updating our coffee table (done)
Cleaning / organizing our garage (haven’t started)

That’s just a handful of stuff off the top of my head. Hopefully putting it online for the internet to see (or at least for our mom’s to see… hi mom!) will motivate us to set aside our awkwardness and just post already about the little things, the unfinished things, and the upcoming things.

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We’re Back!

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And married!

Stay tuned for lots of posts- we have some house updates to fill you guys in on and a TON of wedding DIY projects to write about (as soon as we unpack our honeymoon bags and reclaim our house, there is still wedding stuff everywhere!).

Thank you everyone for being understanding about our lack of posts while we planned our wedding, said our “I do’s,” and jetted off to the other side of the world for a couple weeks!

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2014

It’s a new year, and as a new year’s present WordPress sent us this “annual report” that displays a bunch of our stats and figures in a really cool infographic (psst- check it out by clicking the image below!)

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Seeing all those stats made us all warm and fuzzy knowing our blog baby has done as well as it has (seriously, we thought only our moms would read this thing). But it also made us feel guilty about neglecting the blog for so long, so we wanted to touch base with you guys, let you know we’re still alive, and tell you that we have LOTS of stuff planned for 2014!

Item number one on the to-do list is to get our butts married already! Ok now I’m picturing just our butts united in holy matrimony. “Do you Katelyn’s butt take Evan’s butt to be your lawfully wedded butt-husband for as long as you both shall butt?” Ok I’m taking this butt thing too far. What a nice way to start a post. Sorry guys, I have the humor of a 13 year old boy.

-51 copy Item number two is to catch you guys up on the projects we’ve been completing! I’ll be honest, posts will probably still be few and far between until after the wedding this April, but we’ll have a butt load to share with you when we get our free time back (there I go with butts again…). A few things you can look forward too are:

-Fixing a door we used to have to body-check to close
-Moving a derpy off-center ceiling light (and replacing it with a new badass one!)
-Making an easy modern solid wood side table that’s way cheaper than you could buy in stores

IMG_4781 Item number three is to share our DIY wedding projects! We decided to keep them secret until after the wedding because we don’t want them to seem like old news by the time the big day gets here. But post-wedding, you’ll be seeing things like:

-Centerpieces we upcycled from free stuff
-A big still-in-progress backdrop we’re making
-An artsy guestbook alternative that we can display in our house forever

IMG_4309 copy Item number four is sharing all the projects we want to do this year! We are both super excited to have the time to tackle more house projects, like:

-Painting more rooms
-Painting the cream trim white (gulp!)
-Updating the lights/fans in all our rooms
-Painting our kitchen cabinets (if I grow the balls to do so)
-Giving our master bathroom a nice makeover (I still think it’s super awkward)
-Replacing our siding and giving our exterior a new paint job (might hire this one out though)

We are so happy that we still get views and comments from our readers and we’re really sorry the posts have been so slow lately! Cross my heart, as soon as we catch our breath after the wedding craziness we’ll be jumping headfirst into house stuff again and the consistent-blogging will commence!

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Wedding Mode: Activated

I’ve been a terrible blog-mother. I have shoved our little creation into the closet under the stairs and neglected it for almost two weeks!

Things have been 100% wedding and work over here. I’m almost at my 6-months-til-the-wedding mark so I am getting. sh*t. done. Unfortunately, that means house projects have been put on hold for a while until I feel like I get a handle on things.

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After all the vendors and logistics are in order, I’ll be tackling lots and lots of wedding DIY projects. But I’ve decided not to share a most of them on the blog until after the wedding because I realized I don’t want to give all the surprises away before the big day. But after the I do’s are exchanged, get ready for an all out wedding project EXPLOSION.

Also we decided to use this time to get stuff done on the house that we were planning to hire out anyway. So it’s still productive, just not 100% DIY. First on the list is… our patio!!!

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We are thinking about going with concrete for a more modern and geometric feel, kinda like this. Also, we thought pavers would be more expensive and time consuming. You guys have any thoughts on the concrete vs pavers debate? Most of what I’ve found online compares pavers to stamped concrete, which isn’t what we want, but it’s hard to find opinions on straight up concrete. Thanks!!

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We’re Experiencing Technical Awesomeness

Hey guys, Evan’s back! I recently noticed that I’ve been lacking a bit on my technical duties around the website and thought it was about time for some technical upgrades. Hopefully the changes will make reading, searching, sharing, etc, a more pleasant experience. Being the observant reader you are I’m sure you’ve notices some of them already…

Old way to share share:

We're Experiencing Technical Awesomeness

New way to share (and yes, I did pick the most popular of our posts to screenshot hehe):

We're Experiencing Technical Awesomeness

We’ve long been annoyed about how our search performs. Honestly we’ve gone to Google search before using our own search. NO MORE! I’ve upgraded the search algorithms and settings and now they work great. Go ahead, try it. Wait, wait, then come back here, I still got more cool things coming!

Having our archives in a little drop down box is not that exciting…

We're Experiencing Technical Awesomeness

But having it in picture form all pretty like is hopefully much more enjoyable…

We're Experiencing Technical Awesomeness

Hopefully that little upgrade will make going back and finding your favorite post much easier and enjoyable! We’ve also moved the access to the archive from the sidebar where it was hidden to the top menu where we can show it off with pride ^_^. Also that smiley face I really like (^_^) looks like he has a mole when you put a period after it hehe.

We’re also trying out a feature that shows up at the end of each post and suggests others you might like. Seeing this makes Katelyn realize she needs to work on making her titles shorter… haha!

We're Experiencing Technical Awesomeness

Katelyn also worked her coding magic to make our comments look prettier! The nice light teal is so much easier on the eyes than the default yellow/tan yeckhhh!

We're Experiencing Technical Awesomeness

And Katelyn gave us a new picture on the top of the sidebar from our L.O.V.E. post yesterday. Still obsessing over how cool the finished product is!

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I also did some more technical upgrades that are totally boring. Upgrading the behind the scenes framework and automating our sitemap submissions, etc aren’t flashy. But hopefully it will drive some more traffic here which would be good news for everyone. Growing our little community will encourage more comments and more posts from us! We for sure aren’t going to stop here though so expect more little surprises as things go on! Thanks for sticking with us as we figure this all out!

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We’re Starting a Blog!

Between planning a DIY wedding and buying our first house (lots of DIY to ideas for that too), we are crazy busy these days. So the only logical thing to do was add another item to our plate- starting a blog! Our goal is to keep family and friends posted on all the house and wedding stuff going on around here, and mildly entertain any random strangers who got lost on the interwebs and stumbled upon our little piece of the blogosphere.

So I guess we’ll jump right in! After months of looking at houses, losing one to a cash offer, losing another because the sellers wouldn’t come down on their price, and walking through some pretty nasty someone-was-definitely-murdered-here foreclosures… we found our perfect house!!! Eeeeeep!!! Check it out!

Our First House- evanandkatelyn.com

IT’S SO AWESOME!!! Ok, we might be a little biased. We are SUPER excited about this house. Currently we’re under contract- fingers crossed everything goes smoothly! We don’t want to jinx it though, so until we actually close on it we’re holding off on busting out the celebratory champagne Bailey’s (mmmm… creamy. Soft, creamy beige).

We already have tons of DIY plans for this place, and having a house will make it easier to work on our wedding DIY too. We’ll keep y’all posted on things! Cheers to displaying our lives on the internet!! *glass clink* *sip of Baileys* *ok ok we broke it out early, so sue us!*

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