from june 2010
archive for the ‘around the house’ category
i found some girl scout badges from the 1980′s! (i’ve been in purge mode lately, digging deep into nooks & crannies.) i was probably at the end of my scouting career when i earned them, since they weren’t sewn onto my sash (i hated sewing patches onto my sash). love that i still have these badges… wish the sash was still around…
wouldn’t it be fun to have grown-up badges? you turned 21: here’s your booze badge! you made it thru college: here’s your financial aid statement badge! you had a baby: here’s your diaper badge! on second thought, maybe this isn’t a such a good idea…
while cleaning the basement last weekend i found lots of uninteresting things that need to be recycled or tossed. but i also found:
- lisa frank stickers, circa 1984 (they are so ugly!)
- a fold-out poster/interview with robert smith of the cure, from sassy magazine,
i had no idea these treasures were still in my possession!
every spring i make myself crazy with a big list of chores that i tackle once a year, and i am in the throes of that list. my yard work is 90% done, the windows are 50% washed, the basement is 40% clean… there’s more, but i won’t bore you. and i won’t be doing much creating until i am done with my list. the month of may is for spring chores so i can play in june.
i did one tiny creative thing this week: i found a gold terra cotta marker in my craft drawer, and used it to spruce up some really small pots i found in the garage (used for seedlings once?). and then i popped votives into them. they’ll be perfect for summer nights on the deck.
it’s nice to get a card like this on a day when you’re feeling not-so-great. thanks, c!
it’s time to compost the tulips.
i want to make a bunch of little spiral bound notebooks this weekend.
loving my new valentine’s day dish towel from m.
i need to figure out where to hang this garland that i made featuring paper beads from s.
i love working at home and hanging with this kitty.
it’s march! how did that happen?!
when i posted bookcloth is better in a bucket last week, a few commenters were curious about what was happening on the door. here’s a better look:
most of the polaroids are from 2009. it was a good year for polaroid-taking, and i wasn’t stingy with my stash.
i’ve got an extra room on my first floor, which i call the dog room, as it’s the only room that the dogs are allowed to sit on the furniture (the futon has a great view of the street). technically, i can no longer call it a bedroom, as i removed the door frame and 1-foot deep closet during the remodeling project of 2005 (bathroom + kitchen + dog room). when i remodeled my living room in 2009, i got rid of my bookcases so all the books that were in that room ended up being stored in boxes and random tower shelves in the dog room. where they sat and sat.
in spring 2010, my ex took the IKEA entertainment center i had in the room (which matched the random tower shelves), and he took me to IKEA to pick up a new bookcase. which sat and sat in its boxes. here’s what the room looked like, for over a year:
why did it take me so long to put up the bookcase?! it’s because i wanted to repaint the wall the bookcase would sit in front of. and that wall led into the hallway, which meant i’d have to repaint the hallway, too. and i had absolutely no desire to spend a weekend repainting. i could have skipped the paint job, but the walls were scuffed up and looked like crap, so things sat and sat. i finally forced myself to paint last september while i could still keep the windows open. see in the first photo, where i’ve removed the outlight/light switch covers, have patched some spots on the wall, i even have a can of paint and rollers ready? i took that photo last january. it took me 9 months to get my shit together and paint. good grief.
in the last few weeks i’ve put a thing or two on the walls, and found some boxes to store stuff in, and i consider this project done — after 2 years. i still have empty walls. and the rug doesn’t really match, but it was the cheapest one IKEA had, and i am not spending more than $60 on rugs until my 12 year old lab goes to that place in the sky where someone is throwing a ball constantly and his legs work like he’s a puppy again (a bout of the barfs last spring ruined most of my rugs, and a bout of the shits 2 months later finished off the rest). but i’m calling it done!
i recently noticed the little collections i have around the house: groups of 5-10 “somethings” that sit on a shelf, or in a bowl…
some collections are grouped by color:
some are grouped by type:
and some are just random:
while they’re a pain in the ass to dust, they bring me comfort and good memories.
glittery, gaudy halloween goodness. $2.50 at target.
i know they don’t work, but they help me feel pretty.
even though i’m still not feeling super-chrismtasy, i’ve gone a good job of trying:
my santa bobblehead has been hanging around since thanksgiving weekend. he originally belonged to my grandparents. i don’t know what happened to his head, but i imagine it was my grampa that put him back together.
no tree this year, but my favorite ornaments are out in a bowl in the living room.
kristin and i went for a run yesterday morning and afterward she gave me one of her fish ornaments. eeeee! as i jumped up and down, the frost in my hair fell like snow.
cookie cutters from my childhood… weeks ago i bought a big package of white sculpey clay, intending on making garland or a mobile but i haven’t had time for that project yet.
there’s lots of good mail waiting for me, including a package from jackie. i haven’t been able to open it yet — i think i’ll wait until christmas morning.
i only eat one of these yummy treats a day. can you believe it? i know, it’s a christmas miracle!
and of course, there’s santa. i bought him last year, and he lights up my house around 4pm every day, and stays up with me until midnight.
see remodel reveal : dining room for a little more history.
my living room, last summer:
again, going for the craftsman bungalow/library feel. i was really beginning to hate it.
i wanted color, and more light. i replaced the front door with a glass door, and all windows are bigger. it’s much better now:
this room wasn’t as cheap furniture-wise as the dining room. i eventually got over my fear of investing in furntiture (seriously, i always felt it was silly to spend more than a fresh-college-graduate’s budget on furniture, for fear that i’d hate my choice a year later and still be paying for it.). the original idea was to go with ikea, but what would a sofa from ikea feel like 2 years from now? so the furniture budget changed quite a bit. the couch, chair, and ottoman are from room & board. the console is from bludot: i agonized over the price, but in the end i couldn’t find anything i liked more. i still was frugal, though, and purchased the coffee table, cabinet, shelf unit, light, rug, and throw from ikea. grid cushions by my friend alex, ikea fabric cushions by jenn.
the green wall was inspired by pantone 612 u, which i matched to behr 380d-6 leapfrog. i don’t have anything on that wall yet. i imagine 1 giant something, or 2 big somethings will reside on the wall, but i am not in a hurry. they will come. the rest of the walls/ceiling are the same off-white in the dining room.
after i took these pictures, the wall above really does seem busy. but i love my segments made by cynthia, and they are staying where they are. the frames above the sofa contain an etching from patricia, a photo of my mom, aunt, grandmother, great grandmother from 1967, and another etching from an german artist monika meiser, whom my sister lived with as an exchange student in berlin. i still adore the ceramic houses by vicki hartman, and the red/blue etching by dutch artist marjan smit i brought home from amsterdam a few years ago.
even with my savings drained, i am happy that i took on this project. i look forward to the time i can spend in my living room to relax, and i do most of my work on my dining room table. having more natural light is so wonderful, and i see myself staying in my little house for a few more years to fully enjoy the new rooms.
last summer i decided it was time to remodel my living and dining rooms. i had lived in my little house (under 800 sq feet) for 11 years at that point, and i was ready for an update. and ready for new windows! my windows were ancient, and no amount of silicon caulk would keep out the drafts. so i prepared for 2-3 months of dust and upheaval, said goodbye to savings, sold my furniture, and found a contractor.
but first, a couple of before shots:
in my twenties i was going for a craftsman bungalow/earth tone/dark wood vibe (even though i did not live in a craftsman bungalow). and i hated spending money on furniture, so i did a lot of my shopping at pier one and world market.
the drabness was really starting getting me down, i hated all of my furniture, and i needed color…
and here we are after:
color! and light woods! the pendant lamp, chairs, table, sideboard, bookshelf, rug are all from ikea. lucky me — i came across ikea’s cybermonday deal last november, so i ordered most of the big items online and got free delivery. the green chairs are not from ikea, they are a little eames splurge: i couldn’t help it! the wine “rack” was found at ROAM.
the walls are painted an off-white, with the exception of the north wall of the dining room, which is a dark grey. i picked my wall colors using pantone color chips, and i matched pantone 404 u with behr’s amazon stone (but i really wasn’t impressed with the quality of the behr paint). the big painting above the sideboard is one that i did many summers ago — it was one of my first attempts at oils, and while very amateur, i still like it. the smaller painting to the left is one i purchased from artist gineke zikken in the last time i was in amsterdam.
i was eligible for the energy tax credits based on the work i had done, which helped ease the pain of the overall bill of the project. and it was really nice to have a draft-free dining room over the winter! i did use less gas to heat my house: my energy company provides the average temperature for the billed month of the current year with the average temperature of the previous year, along with energy usage for both time periods. so i didn’t need to figure out if i saved money with the fluctuating price of natural gas — i was actually able to see that i used fewer gas therms over the course of the winter. nice!
tomorrow, the living room!
a few weeks ago i decided that the only xmas decoration i wanted to put up was a plastic santa: a big one, that lights up. and he would hang out in my house. i found this one at menards, and i plugged him into a timer so when i get home from work he’s already lit up and warming up the house. i’ll miss him when he goes into storage.
so… this is my last post of the year: i’m taking some time off to rest and recharge and read, and to start making things for me. and i’m going to take a quick trip to the west coast to be somewhere new. hope you’re able to find some time for yourself in the holiday madness.
happy holidays, see you in 2010!
the construction is done, the contractor has been paid, and i’m still working on a few finishing touches: stripping layers and layers of paint from the heat register covers (i hadn’t planned on keeping them, but a miscommunication with the contractor resulted in me needing to keep the duct-work as-is, and i cannot find new replacements); installing dimmer switches and a new thermostat; replacing the pendant light i bought for the dining room that you see above: the shade doesn’t hang straight and the light output is too poor for me to work under at night.
but it’s almost finished! now i just need to furnish it. and find the money for the furnishings… the final reveal may be a month away…
living room, october 31
dining room, october 31
soooo… the construction project was going to be done this week. but once the contractor started putting up the trim, we realized that the base board and base shoe were not going to be wide enough to conceal the icky, unfinished flooring that sat under the original trim. it didn’t occur to previous owners to remove said trim before sanding the floors down, so there’s a nice 1-inch hump of unfinished floor, bordered with a line of thick, old paint where the 1/2-inch base shoe should go.
now in order to finish, i need to have the floors refinished. the edges cannot be fixed without sanding and re-coating the entire floor.
but the end is in sight. floors will be started next monday, and will hopefully be done in 3 days. then the trim will be finished up, and i’ll do one last coat of paint. and i’m hoping the contractor is done walking into my house daily (at 7:30am and chatting my ear off for 30 minutes while i stand there in my bathrobe and wet hair wishing he’d shut up [yes! i'm getting tired of it!]) after next week. then i’m reserving thanksgiving weekend for putting ikea furniture together. until then, bear with me, i’m a little stressed…
living room, september 29
living room, october 10
dining room, september 29
dining room, october 10
(i’m not sure why gus is in every picture. he does tend to follow me around…)
i decided this was the fall i’m going to remodel my living room and dining room. i’ve been writing a post in my head about all of the reasons why i sold all my furniture and ripped apart a third of my little house… but i’ve decided to just keep this short and show some pictures for now.
(i think needing to walk my dogs, try to go for a run, shower, and be fully dressed before the contractor walks into my house at 7:30am every weekday morning for the last 2 weeks is starting to get to me.)
top: blockprint, drawing by me; fish by alex of the sunday project
bottom: art piece by evalynn of margins; paper cut & leaf by jackie of smoothpebble; painted circles by marie louise of artstudio
all the art is hanging straight, it’s the photo that makes them look wonky & crooked!
…i cleaned and painted my office/art supply room. it’s been on my to-do list for years, and it feels so good to have it done. it was a mess: boxes on the floor, paper everywhere, books stacked. i tossed, recycled, and donated stuff i didn’t need anymore, and put a lot of my art supplies in an extra dresser that sits at the top of my stairs just outside of the office. hopefully i can remember where i put everything!
i painted the walls with martha stewart’s new bamboo. i picked the color 5 years ago, and i wasn’t going to second guess that choice, other wise i’d never get started. so far, i like it. but the best part? hanging art from my friends on the walls!
left: kitty susan loves sitting in front of a collage by jen of scissors.paper.glue
right: a crappy painting (by me) that i found in my closet, polaroids on the closet door