Sunday, March 4, 2012

My favorite color is.....


Thursday, March 1, 2012

March 1st

Here it is, March 1st.

I did not get everything done that was on my list. I skipped the pillows. There's a reason the fabric was "forgotten" in the craft closet. I just don't want to deal with them. I need pillow forms and zippers, and I am just not motivated to go to buy them.

The dining room ceiling is done though, and I made a lot of progress on the gallery wall. I still have empty frames, but I have filled several more since I hung the frames.

And now, the basement. Round 2? 3? who knows.


Those seams on the ledge there DROVE ME CRAZY. I caulked them shut. 


John painted the upper walls for me and didn't break his neck. He painted the ceiling way up there too. That's his painted shoe print there on the second step down. It's okay though. I've got plans for the stairs.

I had a little fun with John's office door.

This door was previously unfinished. Unfinished fake wood. It was nasty. 

Other side of the room.

I didn't get a before of this wall. John worked on it while the girls and I were out of town for the day. So this is the best I have. Imagine it without cabinets and rotting baseboards, and that's the before. For reference, I'm standing on the bottom step. John's office door is to the left of this picture.


There was nothing there before. It was a completely wasted space. The wall is about 58 inches wide. I want to add an open shelf below the cabinets. It's on "the list" if you know what I mean.

December 2006

The power of paint!

It was daytime in the before picture, and yet no light was coming in from the sliding doors. I just took the after picture at about 1:30pm on a cloudy day. 

Laundry room standing by the sliding doors, 12/2006


Check out the beam in the middle of the ceiling. I swear I am going to paint that sucker some day. And the cinder blocks? We used them to make our compost bin.

From the front , 2/2010


That last picture shows how the end looks now that it's paneled. So much better. The curtains are made from drop cloths. They could be fuller, but they aren't. They are good enough to hide my stuff.

There is still a bit more to do if we can keep our momentum going. I want John to build some toy storage, hang that mirror that's propped up on the end of the shelving unit, and put a shelf under the new cabinets.  Then I'll paint whatever needs painted. Maybe even that huge beam. But I doubt it:)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I didn't spray paint it!

My Mom gave me this painting last spring:

I keep an eye out for original art when I am out thrifting. I like this painting, but the frame wasn't working for me. I considered spray painting it, but I never got around to it. I think it's been in the basement for a year.

Then I decided to change some stuff out in the dining room for spring. I wanted new art, but didn't have anything in my hiding spot that was catching my eye. Then I remembered this painting. I emailed Mom to see if I could modify it.

My idea was to make it into a chalkboard. I was all set to get something to make into a chalkboard and paint it. Then I found this piece of poster board that was already painted. And it fit. Maybe I DO have too much stuff! I was going to do a quote or something, but I decided to just go with a doodle. I hung it up, but there was a nail hold showing above it. I stole this little plate from my plate wall, hot glued a pop can tab to the back, and hung it up.

I am so ready to decorate for spring. I've got a couple other crafty ideas for the dining room. Here's one that's almost done:

Felted nest.

I made this nest by holding one strand of wool yarn with one piece of novelty yarn on every other row. Some is cotton, and some is eyelash yarn. There's some twine in there too, but I didn't like the look of it after it felted so I cut most of it off. I still need to paint a little egg and put it inside.

I put it in my huge ironstone bowl, and it will be our dining room centerpiece until I get sick of looking at it.

The basement is so close to being done! I just need to put one more coat of paint on the cabinet doors and the hand rail. I took it down to paint it, so I'll need to hang it back up again. I'm still hoping to get it done by March 1st.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, February 20, 2012

What comes down....

Can go back up!

Use #319 for dining room paneling.

I wanted the basement shelves to have built in look when John made them. But since the actual shelves were the last step of a 6 month project, we just decided not to do it. When I recently decided to paint the paneling going down the stairwell and put up cabinets in there, I asked John to go ahead and work on the shelving unit again. For some crazy reason, he agreed. He faced the front of the shelves too and added trim to the top. He's still working on the side. He ran out of trim and is at Lowes right now.

Front view.

Two years ago.

It's not the same view, but that's what it looked like before John started working on it this weekend. It's hard to believe it's been two years.I can't wait to get it painted and get the new curtains (which aren't even made yet) hung up across them. I should be able to start priming that tonight after the girls are in bed. I'll start working on the stairwell too. The paneling is impossible to paint white. It will take several coats.

Look at the ceiling, not the laundry!

I am so glad to finally have the hole in the ceiling patched. I have no idea why I didn't do it sooner.

I have a feeling my spring pillows are not going to get made this month. But if we get the basement done (again), I will be happy.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Which came first?

The art or the gallery wall? I've got a mix of both going on here.


Turns out that John had some really cool art down in his office. I stole that from him. I also bought some small prints from Ikea when I got frames a few weeks ago. There's a couple photos already framed too. Oh, and my rooster thingy way down on the end. There are still two paper templates left on the wall, and one template that has fallen to the floor. I need to build that frame and then I can hang it up. Hopefully I won't let all the empty frames hang like this for months. I want to do a combination of pictures of the girls and maybe some of their art. I'm sure I can dig up a few more things around the house too. I'm just happy this isn't all piled up in the laundry room anymore.

more progress

John said that he doesn't think I can get all of my list done this month. We'll see. I told him if I start all the projects, surely I will finish them too.  I need to sand the ceiling and put one more coat of mud on it tonight. Then I can prime and paint it.

I went this morning and bought cabinets for the basement project. I also have my material washed for the curtains. I hope to iron that tonight and get them cut out. I'm not sure when I will sew them. Soon!

But first, I have to get Ellie from school. Maybe she'll nap today, and I can make more progress.

Monday, February 13, 2012

It must be that time of year.

Last year, I made a huge list of things to do before March 1st. I've made another one this year. Maybe it is because I know spring is coming, and I will be outside more. Or maybe I've recovered from Christmas and Mary's birthday. Either way, I am ready to dig back in on the house.

First up is another round of DIY on the basement. We'll be adding some cabinets to a little alcove at the bottom of the stairs. Our house is so small, and we have very little storage space. This will help a lot. This weekend John will be doing a bit of repair work to that space, and installing the cabinets. Then I'll be on painting duty. It will also solve this issue:

Looking into the basement

When we removed the divider door to the hallway, this became our view into the basement. Previously, when the door was open, it just blocked the doorway to the basement. Now I look down there every time I walk to or from the bedrooms. I know it would look better if that paneling were painted white. So I will be painting that all white. The stairs are just boards with no backing. I'm not sure what I am going to do with them. Maybe just clean the heck out of them. I'd love to paint them, but that would mean locking the cats in the laundry room for a couple days so they could get to the litter box. So I need to think about that. I also want to paint the walls (and ceiling) above the paneling, but that won't be soon. I'm terrified of trying to reach up there. I asked my Dad how he did it at his house. He said it built a little platform and then put the ladder on it. I think he's crazy. We may possibly hire someone to do it so that I don't break my neck. So, painting that little room is project number one.

I also want to finish my gallery wall. Or at least get the frames hung up. I don't have art for all of them yet. 

I discovered some fabric I was going to use to make pillow covers for the living room. I totally forgot I had it. Oops. It's spring/summer fabric, so I want to get on that.

I bought drop cloths to make curtains to cover the storage shelves in the laundry room. I need to sew those up, and find curtain rods. I think we have some spares around here somewhere. I don't really care what they look like as long as they are long enough.

I want to fix the hole in the dining room ceiling. I bought the patch for it last week.

Of course I also have to do my regular stuff too. I think I can get it all done IF we stay healthy. Plus it is a leap year, so I have an extra day.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

All you need is......


All you need is 1. a free piece of art from your Mom's yard sale pile (broken glass optional), 2. red spray paint, and 3. chalkboard spray paint. Oh and chalk borrowed from the kids.

I got rid of the broken glass. I spray painted over the boat print which was actually a nice, heavy cardstock. I just shoved it back in the frame with the two pieces of cardboard that were behind the picture. It's not even secured. 

I  made this last night:

Book page wreath #2.

I never was overly satisfied with the first book page wreath I made. I needed something to hang on the dining room door since I moved the stick wreath to our bedroom. I have a good supply of vintage books right now thanks to my Dad. He bought two boxes of them at the auction he frequents. I think he paid a dollar or two per BOX and there were 12-15 books per box.

I'm starting to see a pattern here. I get a lot of free "junk" from my parents.

Stolen from Dad's yard sale pile. Didn't even give him 50 cents.

I've tried many times to pay Dad from the stuff I take from him. He buys it super cheap though, so he never wants money for it. He has a couple booths at an indoor flea market where he resells stuff. Anyway, I thought this was a good shaped frame when I stole it. I actually plan to cut the picture in two and keep the horse and buggy. That's a project for another day. 

Mystery art.

I actually forgot I had the frame. It was down in my hoarding spot in the basement. John and I had talked about framing this little piece of mystery art for our gallery wall. It was warm enough to spray a paint yesterday, so I painted the frame to match the others I'll be using.
As for the mystery art, John's Grandma painted it. When her estate was settled, all of her artwork was distributed. We got several beautiful pieces. Then it came down to this sort of strange scrap pile. John and I both loved this one piece. The back is almost just as pretty, though I don't think it is a painting. It it just brush strokes in yellows, blues, and oranges. Like maybe she was cleaning her brushes or testing colors. As for the barn on the front, I'll always wonder where the other half is. Or why someone would paint something so beautiful and then cut it in half. Maybe she was unhappy with it or just doodling. Or maybe she spilled her coffee on it. We will never know, but I do love it anyway.

Monday, January 30, 2012


I'm trying to find the motivation to work on a project. Any project. I did clean the basement. It had sort of exploded again. Neither one of us wants to work on the living room. Or clean out the closets. I'm ready for spring.

I did get a new light for Christmas. We've now changed out or modified every light in the house.

Hello, 1965!

 The new one matches the other hallway and the girls' bathroom.

We also trimmed out the other doorway in the short hallway.

Note I painted the baseboard in anger.And slopped white paint all over the door trim.

 This piece of baseboard had been missing since Sept 2010.

 Much better.

When I was painting the walls, I got some paint on the (old) baseboard. I ended up just painting the entire thing to match the wall. It looked awful. I also slopped some white touch up paint on the door trim so I'd get sick of looking at it and rip it out sooner rather than later. I'm not even sure when John put the new trim up. Maybe New Year's Eve? 

I guess I am working on a project, but it is slow going. 

 Items for my gallery wall.

I'm piling it up in the dining room as I work. I'm hoping that will keep me from putting it off for another 10 months. I've had most of the frames down in the basement since last spring. I have a few items I really want to add to the wall, but they need custom sized frames. There's a chance I'll be asking John to make them for me. How hard can it be?

I didn't get one decent picture of Mary on her birthday. We had a great party and she got several gifts that she loves. I think that six is going to be a great year for her.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hey girl.

I can check "center rug under bed" off my list. I got a new rug last weekend. The bedroom is one step closer to being done. I really want a new light fixture, but haven't found the perfect one in my price range. I was nice enough to take down the rooster picture (turns out John hated it) over the bed. I replaced it with my stick wreath (which John ran into every time he walked through the dining room). I'm so thoughtful!

Ellie started preschool. I've been cleaning, organizing, shrinking the living room curtains, and fixing them. Just the same old stuff. We aren't doing any home improvement right now. Hopefully we'll start up again soon. I really want to get the living room painted before spring as we have some major exterior projects coming up.

I'm in a hurry yet again. There's never enough time in the morning when I have the house to myself.

Keeping it real.