How about something cheery, to match the beautiful weather we’re having? I managed to iron a dress and skirt last night (because there’s no way I’ll ever have time to iron something before work in the morning), and am wearing a sundress today! OK, I have a sweater on over it, but still. It’s that beautiful (or so I hear – I’m stuck inside for another three hours, but then I plan on enjoying it).
and were in town this weekend, so and I spent a good chunk of Saturday with them, along with and and the boys. I don’t have very many photos, but do have a few to share with you.
Wasn't it nice of Joey to share his birthday present with Grant? There were some difficulties convincing Grant that the toys didn't actually belong to him, as is appropriate for a 3 year old. Bubbles in a travel case, some squishy balls, and rubber stacking blocks that are completely washable - what more can a one year old want?
On "kids and pets" mode, it's possible to get a non-blurry photo of the boys - I still had to toss about half of them because of blurriness, but this one turned out well.
That’s it for Wednesday! I feel like I have lots of time today, since there is no Homework Hub tonight (it’s Spring Break for Minneapolis). I’ll get home two hours early! Whatever will I do with myself?
How did that happen? I’m glad, though, because it means there are only 5 weeks of the semester left (only 3 weeks left of my Tuesday night class, after tonight)! Just in time for the summer semester to start (I need to have a talk with whoever it is at Metro that thinks a weekend between Spring and Summer semesters is sufficient, because it totally leads to burnout). I have one class this summer, my Social Studies Capstone, but so far there are only three of us signed up, so who knows if it will actually happen. I promise I won’t complain if I have to take the summer off.
I have a goal for this coming weekend. I want to finally finish my nightstand. This requires finally settling on a white paint color. Why, oh why, are there so many colors of white? Maybe I should clarify that by finish, I actually mean paint. I plan on putting some paper on the front of the drawer (and maybe the top, too – it’s a bit beat up), and I haven’t picked that out yet. And I don’t have drawer pulls. Paper requires a trip to Paper Source (a short drive now that we live in a Minneapolis suburb), and drawer pulls mean a trip to Menards (their selection is so much bigger than Home Depot’s! oh, how I wish it weren’t!).
It’s good to have a goal, right? My lesson plans are coming along nicely, so I don’t need to spend much time on that project. My strategy log is nearly done (just 6 more left, I think, out of 25). I have a paper on bilingualism that I need to research, outline, and write, but it’s only a 4 page paper, so I think I’ll be OK once I figure out what it is I’m writing about. There’s a teacher interview to schedule, but my district is on Spring Break this week, so I’ll reserve that for next week. There will need to be some baking or cooking on Saturday or Sunday (to bring to Easter dinner), but that’s hardly a big deal. The house is basically clean, no need to dedicate much time to that. That leaves me plenty of time, right?
Question – since I plan on putting paper on the drawer front on my nightstand, and also on the top drawer front on my two dressers (partially to hide the carved design that I’m filling in), and those pieces will all live in the same room, and I plan on having the hardware (pulls) match, should the paper match too, or just coordinate? If it helps, here are some of my ideas for paper: Empress, Flora & Fauna, Birdies, Lokta Lotus, and Kraft White Flourish (it all depends on whether or not I can find a blue that matches the curtains, or if I need to stick to brown and white).
Oh, and for further help, here are some examples of what I’m thinking of (though some are much busier than I want): desk (infarrantly creative), nightstand (modpodgerocks), chest (thecozygreencoccoon), dresser (odilafreire), dresser (odilafreire), dresser (thewaythingsgo), mini dresser (~Gaile), and nightstand (poyzindrink).
On Friday, I posted a list of things that I “should” have done over the weekend. Let’s see how that went, OK?
- Take down and put away leftover winter decorations, including all the Christmas mugs, the “let it snow” signs, and the snowman pillow. It’s getting to be embarrassing. Untouched. Guess we’re still feeling wintery at our house. I’d like to switch out the outdoor wreath before Easter. I know, I know, big goals.
- Sew up the sheers and curtains for the patio door,
and sheers for the transom window, and install all of it including the curtain tiebacks. Sheers for the transom window are 95% completed. (Actually, they’re 100% complete and hung up, but my method was flawed, and they sag a bit, so we need to figure something else out.) Patio door sheers are pinned for hemming, which is the hard part. They’re hanging up right now, so they look done, but I’ve got an hour or two of work on them. Curtains weren’t even thought about.
Go to the bookstore (Half Price is preferable) and get the next book after Two Shall Become One and try to find the remaining four books in the Pern series. I have nothing to read before going to bed. And by nothing, I mean I don’t have the books I just listed. Our house is full of books. We didn’t make it to Half Price, but stopped by Borders on Friday night and I found three out of the four books on my Pern list, and Loving Mr. Darcy too. Win!
- To satisfy my own creativity, sketch out (on paper, not in my head) what I’d like the built-in bookshelves in the basement to look like. We’ve got quite some time until this needs to be for real sketched out (like with measurements and stuff), but all the ideas I have keep jumping about in my head, and I’m afraid one might fall out. Nope.
- Re-acquaint myself with the gym. Not a chance.
- Buy plane tickets. Suggested several times that this get done, but it did not. Would prefer to not nag. Enough said.
- Drink lots of water. I think I’ve kicked the sore throat, but I’m not totally un-sick, and I think drinking water and consuming some Vitamin C won’t hurt. Apparently, I didn’t drink enough, because my sore throat is worse now than it was on Friday.
Watch the latest Netflix that came to our house. Netflix watched and returned.
- Make serious forward-progress on the rest of the semester’s homework. I’m caught up, but I’ve been doing the bare minimum since Spring Break (and Spring fever). There are some big projects that are pretty much on track, but finishing them early wouldn’t be bad. I found a new assignment for my Monday night class that I didn’t even know about, so I kind of took a backwards step here. It should be noted, however, that I am still completely caught up, just not ahead of the game.
- Clean. Houses always need to be cleaned. Apartments too, really. Especially if you live with two cats who shed a lot even when it’s not Spring. Nope. No cleaning. Well, that’s not true. I washed two windows. I may have wiped down my bathroom.
- Attempt to clear off a significant portion of my cutting table. All of the ironing has been done, and most is put away. How have I managed to fill up a 36×72 table with stuff? Hah! I wish.
- Do something with all the magazines that are stacking up on the coffee table. Didn’t even notice the pile.
- Photograph the stuff in the “to sell on Etsy” box. Not even sure where the box is.
- Call or otherwise speak to my friends. Hi, how are you? I have several gift certificates to restaurants I want to share with you. Spent Saturday with family and Sunday doing homework and working on the house. Fail.
- Purchase and install handles on the doors of the cabinet in my office. (Have I mentioned that earlier this week, Ikea changed the status of the out-of-stock door from “we don’t know when to expect this” to “you can’t buy this at this store?” Grr. I don’t have any trips planned to another Ikea store anytime soon (especially since we live 5 minutes from this one). Nope. Still using the awkward method of trying to get those open. It’s so not a priority right now.
- Finish/start/make progress on any number of painting projects that are in my head or around the house in various stages of completion. Again, no progress here. Did I mention I was busy all day Saturday?
So, that went about how I expected it to. Like I said on Friday, it was a completely unrealistic list. Regardless, I feel good about the weekend. I spent most of Saturday with and , as well as and and the boys. I feel good about where my lesson plans are, and am caught up on my strategy log. The bedroom looks much more finished, even if it isn’t. And the house, while not officially cleaned, isn’t looking too shabby.
- Take down and put away leftover winter decorations, including all the Christmas mugs, the “let it snow” signs, and the snowman pillow. It’s getting to be embarrassing.
- Sew up the sheers and curtains for the patio door, and sheers for the transom window, and install all of it including the curtain tiebacks.
- Go to the bookstore (Half Price is preferable) and get the next book after Two Shall Become One and try to find the remaining four books in the Pern series. I have nothing to read before going to bed. And by nothing, I mean I don’t have the books I just listed. Our house is full of books.
- To satisfy my own creativity, sketch out (on paper, not in my head) what I’d like the built-in bookshelves in the basement to look like. We’ve got quite some time until this needs to be for real sketched out (like with measurements and stuff), but all the ideas I have keep jumping about in my head, and I’m afraid one might fall out.
- Re-acquaint myself with the gym.
- Buy plane tickets.
- Drink lots of water. I think I’ve kicked the sore throat, but I’m not totally un-sick, and I think drinking water and consuming some Vitamin C won’t hurt.
- Watch the latest Netflix that came to our house.
- Make serious forward-progress on the rest of the semester’s homework. I’m caught up, but I’ve been doing the bare minimum since Spring Break (and Spring fever). There are some big projects that are pretty much on track, but finishing them early wouldn’t be bad.
- Clean. Houses always need to be cleaned. Apartments too, really. Especially if you live with two cats who shed a lot even when it’s not Spring.
- Attempt to clear off a significant portion of my cutting table. All of the ironing has been done, and most is put away. How have I managed to fill up a 36×72 table with stuff?
- Do something with all the magazines that are stacking up on the coffee table.
- Photograph the stuff in the “to sell on Etsy” box.
- Call or otherwise speak to my friends. Hi, how are you? I have several gift certificates to restaurants I want to share with you.
- Purchase and install handles on the doors of the cabinet in my office. (Have I mentioned that earlier this week, Ikea changed the status of the out-of-stock door from “we don’t know when to expect this” to “you can’t buy this at this store?” Grr. I don’t have any trips planned to another Ikea store anytime soon (especially since we live 5 minutes from this one).
- Finish/start/make progress on any number of painting projects that are in my head or around the house in various stages of completion.
*By should, I mean that it is highly unlikely that more than one or two of these things will get done. There’s no actual list for the weekend. That would ruin the lovely weekend-y feel of it. Have you noticed it stays light out until 7:30 these days? I’ve been feeling much more productive (but that doesn’t mean that I won’t sleep in past 9 on Saturday).
What are your shoulds?
- The right word usually comes to me four hours too late.
- Come into my office and and shut the door quietly, please.
- Up was a great movie – did you see it?
- Where troubles melt like lemon drops away above the chimney tops is where you’ll find me. (Somewhere Over the Rainbow)
- Ooh! What is that smell?
- Chocolate is a good idea.
- And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to acquiring the remaining necessary supplies to make curtains for the bedroom (aka, trip to JoAnn), tomorrow my plans include getting together with and , who are in town for the weekend and Sunday, I want to be in the right frame of mind to rewrite my lesson plans, which need lots of editing (in a good way)!
I just ate plain celery for lunch. Blah. I would have added peanut butter, but I told myself that if I didn’t, I could have some chocolate later. Oh, the things we do. I need to wash it down with some yogurt, though. And an apple. Good thing I ate it first, huh?
There have been contractors working on the house next door since Saturday morning. Overall, they’re not too noisy, so there’s nothing to complain about. While I was driving by today, I made sure to check and see if the “For Sale” sign was gone, and indeed, it is, which means that their house was on the market for just a few months. And it is ug-ly inside (completely vacant, too, so it’s not like the previous owners had no decorating skills – its just an ugly house). And strange – there are two garages, one attached and one not. Someone obviously saw potential in it, though I can hardly see how. The point I was trying to make (before I got sidetracked by the ugliness of the house) is that I am incredibly jealous that they sold their house so fast. Their ugly house. Almost to the point of anger.
So, let’s talk ourselves down from that ledge, shall we?
One, I love our house. Love, love, love it. It’s ours and I don’t plan on leaving, ever. (Of course, you never know what life may throw your way, but if I had my way….) I’ve never lived anywhere else that I have loved so much,
Two, (courtesy of ), the time we lived in the townhouse taught us valuable lessons and skills, some of which I’ve been able to share with others.
Three, when I look back at the other two houses on our short list, I am so glad that we ended up where we did. I love the neighborhood, I love the style, and I love its potential (aka, the basement).
Four, have I mentioned that we live one block from the high school, and a five minute drive from the middle school? I drove to the middle school on Monday, and will go again tomorrow, and I cannot tell you how happy that commute would make me, if I could ever get a job there (you know, when I graduate, and then all the teachers’ retirement portfolios are built back up and they can retire, and miraculously none of my classmates find themselves wanting to work in Richfield – hey, a girl can dream).
So, it’s just a matter of not dwelling on certain things, like the $6,000 gutter quote we got last week (we’ll be delaying that project), or the fact that we missed the window for the homebuyer tax credit by just a few months, or all the rocks that we’ll be digging out of the gardens for the next decade.
Perhaps I can bribe myself to not think about those things. What can I use as leverage? Maybe more chocolate. It’s amazing how powerful chocolate can be.
I’m seriously considering un-friending some people on Facebook if they don’t stop talking about healthcare. It’s not just one post, or even one post a day, but several a day (per person).
There’s a time and place to talk about politics. Let me tell you that, from experience, Facebook is not one of those. I once made a rather innocuous (it wasn’t meant to be hurtful) comment on Facebook and my, oh my, did people want to add their 2-cents.
Just so we’re clear…
I grew up in a relatively conservative community (as in, slightly to the right of middle – it’s all relative), and when I went to college it was the same. Even my first few churches. And to be honest, I always considered myself “progressive,” as in conservative with a few liberal beliefs thrown in. I always tested middle of the road. I’ve voted for Republican and Democrats for president. And I really don’t care that much about or for politics (which is one of the reasons they’re almost never discussed here).
However, I did have a few life experiences that loosened up my conservative roots. When reading through each party’s agendas (available on their websites, which you should look up if you’re interested, and get it right from the horse’s mouth), I disagreed with nearly everything the Republican party stood for and agreed with almost everything the Democratic party stood for. So, I guess I changed a bit.
But, I don’t hold any negative feelings towards Republicans or their ideologies. I understand them. Lots of my family and non-Minnesota friends are quite conservative. I married a Republican (we like to go to the polls together to cancel out each other’s votes). I also happen to be friends with some people who consider the Democratic party to be a wee bit conservative. I really don’t care. You believe what you believe, and I’ll believe what I believe, and that’s just fine. And as long as you don’t try to shove it down my throat, I will give you the same respect.
I just so happens that some of my most conservative friends are quite vocal, on Facebook, about their beliefs. I’m pretty sure one person posted at least a dozen messages since Sunday night on the topic of health care. (A topic about which, I am sorry to say, I really don’t care about. Yes, I think it’s important. But no, I don’t really care how it gets done and would rather not talk about it, at all, because blah. I probably should care, but I don’t. So there. I have good health care via my job/union, and so I’m quite apathetic about it – how very… bourgeois of me.)
And really, it’s just not appropriate. I may have to un-friend, or at least hide this person from my news feed. It’s almost amusing when links are posted to articles that are factually inaccurate, completely out of context, or straight up rant. Almost. It would be funnier if I didn’t feel like someone was trying to shove their conservative agenda down my throat.
I’ve held my tongue (or, rather, restrained my fingers), because I know that getting involved, especially via Facebook, would in no way be constructive, especially considering who these people are. So I just take a deep breath and try to smile.
Could someone explain to people on Facebook that there are appropriate things to talk about and inappropriate things? Maybe there could just be a switch and I could filter for appropriateness? How awesome would that be?
When I woke up on Saturday morning (oh so gloriously late, with the sun shining in, sigh), I had a slight sore throat, which I thought nothing of, because that sometimes happens, and it goes away, and all is fine. And that’s what happened – it went away.
But then it came back, and at the most inopportune time. When, exactly? 4 a.m. I was so very, very tired, and lying awake in bed in so much pain – if you’ve roamed the internet today (blogs, Facebook, whatever), it seems like many others have this severe throat pain. The two kinds of cough drops we had in the house didn’t work (did you know it takes almost 15 minutes to finish one of those off?), but by 4:30 I was still ridiculously tired and I just forced myself to fall asleep before having to swallow again. (I liken this particular feeling of tiredness to what it feels like to be a parent, forced to wake up out of a really good sleep, to deal with an ailing child. Only, in this case, I was the child and the parent. Oh, and I didn’t cry. And if worse came to worse, I could drive myself to the store. But I digress.)
hopped out of bed on Sunday morning and got himself all ready for the day. He wanted to go to a computer store. He came and told me his plans (I was lying in bed, trying to be asleep, but not really being successful because of all the pain), and I said that I was going to get up and go to Walgreens. (Surely, they must have something there that will make this go away.) Well, unfortunately, his computer store wasn’t open yet, but he did volunteer to go to Walgreens for me. So very nice. Chloraseptic spray and three types of throat lozenges later, I was feeling better. The pain had subsided enough for me to know that things were swollen – they felt wrong, you know?
But, life goes on, right? I got myself dressed and we headed out to Home Depot and Lowe’s (we had three coupons for Lowe’s, so it was worth the 30 minute drive). Friday night we had gone to Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, Bed Bath and Beyond, and West Elm to look at curtain rods. I honestly did not think this was going to be the difficult part of the project. Alas, it was. Saturday morning I went to Home Depot, since a friend had mentioned they had exactly what she wanted (originally I was unimpressed with their website selection, but thought I’d give the store a chance) – they had absolutely nothing longer than 84″ wide, and since our patio door is 100″ wide, that just wasn’t going to work.
Home Depot matched our Lowe’s coupon (they do that you know, match each other’s coupons – handy to know), so bought his much coveted air compressor – nail gun set. Lovely. I had wanted some paintable caulk, which the internet had told me was the thing to use to make the paint job in the bedroom look professional (filling in the gaps between trim and wall/ceiling is where us amateurs usually fall short). There were two (!) staff persons in the caulk aisle, and they were very helpful. (Note to self: the best time to go to Home Depot is Sunday morning, when no one else is there, and the staff is more than willing to talk to you – we had multiple salespersons talk to us and offer assistance throughout the store.) I hoping that this small success would be repeated again at Lowe’s.
I was not disappointed. Their selection of curtain rods was potentially bigger than any other store we went to. Perhaps not by brand (only 2 main brands, with maybe a third brand of the really cheap crappy stuff), but by style and sizes, they beat out everyone. After much debate, we made a decision and used another coupon. Yay for coupons! We still have a $10 off $50 or more, after spending the 10% off and the $25 off $250 or more (the latter was spent on the air compressor, the former on the curtain rods). We actually decided on a hack, since they didn’t have exactly what I wanted (but, for half the price of something comparable at Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware, which would have also been a compromise on style, I was willing to be creative). We bought a double rod set and a single rod set (both 72″-144″ wide! so luxurious!), as well as some tiebacks. We planned on replacing the finials on the front rod of the double rod set with the ones from the single rod (they only had one or two style options for double rod sets, and both were kind of boring).
Image courtesy Lowes
Image courtesy Lowes
(The color match in person is much closer.)
One small hiccup here – though both curtain rods were from the same company, they used different size screws to attach the finials, so boo on that. Unfortunately, allen + roth does not seem to have a website, so I cannot let them know that this small inconvenience could be easily fixed and then I would love them more. says we can fix it, so we’ll get around to doing that later. He worked hard at measuring everything precisely, and we got the hardware installed with relative ease (it’s always difficult to get the screwdriver at just the right angle in that small space they allow you), and the rods went up easily (when they get that big, they’re in three pieces instead of two, which is a lot easier for installation, trust me). The tiebacks are waiting for curtains to be made, so I can see exactly where I want to put them and what it will look like. (But I’m very excited about these tiebacks. Aren’t they lovely?)
Image courtesy Lowes
I had been wildly successful on my SR Harris trip on Saturday afternoon, having found the perfect curtain fabric. I’m going to keep it a surprise for now, so you’ll just have to trust me. Everything is washed and pressed, so I just have to buy some matching thread and we’re in business. (Actually, there are some logistics as far as adding a ruffle that I haven’t exactly figured out, but I think one of my sewing books may have the answer.) Hopefully there will be curtains up by the weekend (at least sheers – those just have to be hemmed). The sheers are actually hanging up right now, draped over the rod just shy of “in half,” because I wanted to make sure that the colors were going to look good. And yes, they do. (Here’s my inspiration photo from Better Homes & Gardens. Their instructions on adding a ruffle are severely lacking.)
While installing the curtain rods, I decided that though Valspar said it cured in one week, I am not going to trust that. I’ll wait a full month before putting tape on those beautiful walls (so I can paint the trim). I’d rather wait than end up pulling paint off with the tape. I can be patient. (You’ll have to too, since I won’t have any more pictures to post of the room until I make progress on these projects.)
So back where we started… my sore throat got much better throughout the day, but it wasn’t gone. I woke up this morning in the same state I had on Sunday, great pain, but I was happy that I’d slept through the night (I had planned ahead, though, and put some cough drops near the bed so I wouldn’t have to blunder about in the hallway looking through the medicine cabinet). More cough drops, Chloraseptic spray, and some Advil, and I was feeling OK by 9ish (I went to work – there’s nothing else wrong with me). The warm cup of Teeccino felt good too.
However, my head is starting to hurt, and the sore throat is not easily mitigated with cough drops. Alas. I think it’s time for more Advil, and a whole lot of water / Crystal Light. I am glad that I’m not stuffed up, nor do I have any other symptoms of a cold, nor am I nauseous (thank goodness). I should probably take my temp – it’s the only other real symptom of strep that I can test for at home. I find it unlikely that I have either strep or a fever, but if this goes on for another day or two, I may have to go to the doctor. (Edit: WebMD says that strep goes away by itself in 3-7 days, and while a doctor may give you antibiotics, it’s totally unnecessary. Perhaps we’ll just wait this out.) I have turned in so many leave slips lately that I’m hesitant to ask for more unless necessary (and I have to turn in yet another one for Thursday morning, so I can meet with the teacher who is reviewing my lesson plan – I also rescheduled Orkin to come out that morning, so I’m killing two birds with one stone, but it’s still time off work).
All that said, I am in a surprisingly decent mood, what with it being Monday and my being sick. Oh, and I have class tonight, and still have a paper left to write for tomorrow night’s class. Still not grumpy. Life could definitely be worse.
(Editor’s note: WebMD also told me to not share toothbrushes with anyone. Ew! Who does that? Well of course you’re sick if you’re using someone else’s toothbrush. You totally deserve that for being gross. Also, I’m glad I don’t have a red rash – that could mean I have scarlet fever. WebMD is a dangerous site and I think I’ll go somewhere else now, like perhaps cuteoverload.com.)
To be honest, I almost always read and follow the directions. However, there are certain situations which require… straying from the printed page. For instance, recipes. The number of recipes I have followed to the letter on first try is incredibly small. My most recent stitching project was one such situation.
If we backtrack, you might remember that in 2009 I promised to not pick up any new hobbies. I was incredibly successful at this on paper. However, in February (only the second month of the year!), I discovered crewel. I wanted to try it. I must. I loved it. I could have rationalized that it’s really the same thing as embroidery, but I did not (fyi, crewel is really a subgenre of embroidery, since the same stitches are used, but the work is done with wool thread on linen, whereas embroidery is not picky about materials). I stuck to my guns and drooled over pictures on Flickr, watched eBay auctions (without bidding), and dreamed.
Well, it’s no longer 2009, is it? No, it’s not. So you can be sure that in January, to eBay I went, buying some crewel projects. I had learned that it is nearly impossible to buy crewel wool in stores, so I picked out some complete projects that included the stamped picture on linen and the necessary thread.
The first one I won was a lovely floral motif.
I paid $1.99 plus shipping for this baby. Love the eBay.
The picture on the auction was terrible (very pale and washed out), so I wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting. Here’s a better view of the photo from the packaging:
Hrm. Purple, creams, and pale greens don't exactly match any decor in our house. It should be noted that the fabric that this came printed on looks nothing like what they used for this pillow.
What was a girl to do?
Well, this girl decided to hop online, find a store that sold crewel wool, and make some substitutions of her own. It was a bit tricky, figuring out what the colors actually looked like, since two of the stores I browsed had very different photos of the same exact colors, so I bought several versions of the colors I was looking for, and ended up with one of each that would work.
I had decided that the crewel needed to coordinate with the color scheme I’ve been using in the living room. It’s based on Joel Dewberry’s Deer Valley fabric line, and while lovely, I will be honest that these colors are ridiculously hard to find outside of these prints. That red? It’s just a bit more orangey than you might think. And that turquoise? No, it’s actually quite green. (The tans, creams and browns I have no complaints about. They’re lovely.) Sidenote: while shopping at Hancock Fabrics a few weeks ago, I found two lovely remnants of dupioni silk (again! the first time I found a 3-yard piece in chocolate) in this exact shade of turquoise/green. I guess that room can have curtains afterall. (Also to note: you can get dupioni silk for $3-7/yard on the Hancock remnants table. Since it retails for $14-$30+/yard, this is an exceptional deal. Don’t pass it up if you find it.)
Fronts on tops, with the corresponding backs below them. You've seen these before, but I thought a photo was necessary to remind you. My favorite one is the front of small one in the upper right corner, even though it's upside-down in this picture. I worked really hard to make that deer appear just as I wanted it to.
After figuring out what colors should be substituted in the pattern, I started working. I did follow the directions as printed, color substitutions aside. Let me tell you that the stamens, all those French knots, that was awful. It took me forever, partly because the wool was rough on my hands and I could only do so much at a time. But, I did finally finish it on Spring Break.
These colors are much better, don't you think?
Yes, that is two different colors I used on the "blooms," or whatever they are. It was an oops, but I stuck with it. I'm pretending that the sun is shining down on the flower from the right, and that's what's causing the color disparity. Seriously, there are a bajillion French knots here, and once they were done, I wasn't ripping them out for anything. The centers are done in cream embroidery floss, and the outsides in crewel wool, just like the pattern dictated (just slightly different colors - the original pattern has the centers of the smaller ones green, and the centers of the larger ones cream).
Satin stitch, in red crewel wool, on cream linen, is not very pretty. I had to outline it so that it would be tolerable. I think it turned out well, all things considered.
For some reason, I had no difficulties whatsoever with the satin stitch in the pale green. However, I was not too fond of those gigantic French knots. They are not my favorite. The leaves in general, though, I do like. Very artistic, and yet still leafy.
I love the cream falling leaves in the background. I wasn't sure that I liked it (they are in the original color) as I was doing it, but once I saw the overall effect, it was a nice touch.
I haven’t decided what to do with it yet. Originally I was thinking it could be used as a chair cover, but all those French knots seem incredibly impractical (and perhaps uncomfortable) for that (it should be noted that crewel is considered to be much hardier than standard embroidery because of the materials used). So now I’m thinking I should just stretch it over a canvas and hang it on the wall. The instructions note that it is not to be washed under any circumstances, but you can take it to the drycleaners. Well, I have no plans to take my embroidery to be dry cleaned, so it will just have to stay as-is. Forever. (Really, who takes embroidery to be dry cleaned? This seems highly impractical. I didn’t want to do the washer-dryer thing, just run it under cold water and let it dry, and then iron the non-stitched parts, just like I do all my other embroidery pieces. Fussy, fussy.)
- Today I will be better at not eating food I shouldn’t.
- You know that saying, some people say why and I say why not? I have no idea which type of person I am. Don’t you think that at 31 years old I should know?
- What do you think of dining room lighting? I’m leaning toward pendant (not chandelier). The room is small and so is the table (which will be replaced someday with something equally small). We don’t seem like chandelier people.
- At long last, it’s free Pastry Day til 1030 Friday! Don’t I wish. And while we’re at it, let’s make Free Pastry Day include calorie-free pastries. Hey, a girl can dream.
- People say that what we’re all seeking is the truth, and I don’t think that’s true – lots of people don’t want to know the truth.
- The image I cherish most is [I'm coming up blank here].
- And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to taking the night off from homework, tomorrow my plans include writing several papers and maybe going to SR Harris for curtain fabric and Sunday, I want to enjoy some sunshine, though I don’t think that’s in the forecast!
… for gorgeous weather, sunlight, and good moods that go along with it.
… for professors who have Spring Fever just as bad (if not worse) as students.
… for the awesome kids who go to the Homework Hub at the Lake Street library. They make Wednesdays awesome (despite the fact that volunteering means three days in a row where I don’t get home until 7 or later).
… that, from what I can surmise from the internet, Valspar interior paints have a cure time of one week, instead of one month like Behr. Howe awesome is that?
… for all the help I had getting our bedroom painted, and how awesome it looks. (Now, if I can only find a non-hideous curtain rod….)
… for finally being able to make my mind up about certain insignificant things, like what kind of light fixture I want in the dining room.
…that the snow is almost entirely gone from our yard (last night we had a chunk or two hiding under some leaves, still holding out hope that it would get cold again – you could almost hear it coughing its last breath).
… for the end of hibernation mode!
… for today, because it is ‘s first birthday! Suppose I should finally get around to making that name graphic for him?
How about you?
I spent part of Spring Break trying to bring some calm into my office. I didn’t really take before photos, but there are these two on Flickr of the two bookshelves, here and here. The tall bookshelf was next to my desk, and the short one on the wall between the door and the closet (both shelves are 47 1/4″ wide, which just fits in that space, allowing me to open the door almost all the way). They had been in that location ever since we installed the cutting table, and quite frankly there are very few furniture arrangements that are possible in that room. But, after thinking about it, doing some math (I only learned afterward that Ikea has a build-your-own function on their website that would have made it so much easier – I linked to it on Tumblr), I had a plan. This plan was brilliant because it used both frames, all four drawers, and both doors that we already owned, and only required the purchase of five more doors and a rail (and, as later discovered, some handles for the doors).
The short bookshelf and the tall bookshelf traded spots, which has been a lovely change. It totally makes the part of the room I spent the most time in feel more open.
Most of my time is spent sitting in that chair, facing either the computer or the sewing machine. Sometimes, I'm standing up in front of the bookshelf ironing. Glamorous, I know.
The four drawers that were previously on the short bookshelf were moved to the tall bookshelf, and the doors were moved up to accommodate them. Four more doors were required to completely cover the height, which means that all the “clutter” (organized clutter, but clutter nonetheless) is now hidden, and I can breathe a bit deeper.
Ah, much better. Also, obligatory cat in photo.
The fifth door is a sliding door that goes on the shorter bookshelf, and while I was able to purchase the mounting rails, the door itself is out of stock, with no estimated delivery date. It will be the beech/frosted glass like the top ones on the tall bookshelf.
I also got around to hanging up some of the mini quilts I’ve received in swaps. I had been stalling because hanging them on the walls felt like it would only add to the clutter and claustrophobic feel of the room.
The closet door seemed like the perfect place to hang these two primary color-themed ones, since they don't exactly match the room but I love them so much.
I also hung the first quilt I made in the hallway outside my office, across from my bathroom.
I have another pink quilt to hang above the circle one, but I ran out of clips. (Target didn't have any either! Walgreens to the rescue!)
I have several more mini quilts to hang up as well, including this one that has both the turquoise and the green in it, so it might get placed somewhere prominent. This one is going on the door above the pink circles, and don’t know what to do with these two yet.
While we were picking up paint samples for the master bedroom, I picked some up for my office.
The one on the left is Glidden, and I picked it up on a whim. The other two are Behr. The far right one was shown in a photo on ApartmentTherapy and I loved it, but was afraid it might be too dark. I was right. The middle one, just a step paler, is what I've decided to go with. I'm also going to paint the trim in this room white - a hideous task, but it's all so beat up and dirty and gross, and I think the white will really freshen/brighten up the room. My backpack hangs on that hook when I'm not getting ready for class.
(You can see the Behr paint “in action” in this post on ApartmentTherapy.)
On Sunday while I was at Michael’s, I picked up some trinkets to decorate with, all at 40-50% off.
Gorgeous, no? So cute! I'm thinking that I'll paint the wall behind these guys (on the short bookshelf) a lime-asparagus-avocado-ish color (somewhere in that broad range) as an accent wall, since Prince Charming despises accent walls and it's probably the only room I can have one in without too much argument.
Just a little votive holder. It reminded me of the green color I was thinking of using as an accent, and it was so springy that I just had to take it home. (I think it was $3, which is hard to argue with.)
I’m feeling better about the room now, and having a plan, even if I don’t have time to execute it, helps me hate it less. Conveniently, I don’t have nearly as much homework the second half of the semester, so I have a bit more free time. My professors like to front-load courses (plus one of my classes ended, so that helps), and with only 4-6 weeks of the semester left, it’s almost over! I have virtually no homework the last two weeks of classes (assuming I don’t procrastinate on big projects, which I don’t really do anymore – all nighters ceased being fun a long time ago).
I took this picture yesterday after work before running out the door to class. If anything, this proves how tall the snow piles had built up in these areas, because it has been warm and sunny for nearly a week now. It might all be gone by today – I didn’t check as I was leaving the house, partly because it was still dark out (bummer about Daylight Saving, for at least another few weeks it will be dark in the mornings).
Suppose this means yard work starts soon? Or that I should rake up all those leaves? I swear we had everything nice and clean before all the snow.
For the record, it is 47* right now according to weather.com, which is on the cooler side, considering the weather of the past few days. And it stays light out until almost 7pm these days. I do love that. So much.
Well, today I was smart enough to bring the memory card with me. Fancy that.
When we bought this house – no, wait, before we bought this house – I knew the first thing I wanted to paint was the bedroom. It was dark red. Now then, the room is 21′ x 15′, so it can totally handle a dark color. But red? Um, no. Blech. Unfortunately, it took us a really long time to make up our minds and decide on a color scheme. In the meantime, we have painted both offices, and picked out paint colors for several other rooms (at least, I’ve picked out the paint colors, and I’m assuming that my choices won’t be vetoed).
A few weeks ago, I stopped in at Hancock Fabrics on a Friday night and discovered they were having a sale on decorator fabrics. This is a fantastic thing, since decorator fabrics are pricey. I grabbed a sample (love the samples! whoever had this idea was a genius!), brought it home, and got the OK from . I showed him my example pictures of orange and blue rooms, and we were a go. The next day I promptly went back to Hancock and bought 6 yards of lovely 108″ wide sheer blueish greenish fabric (I really need to come up with a name for that color), and then hung it up with the curtain clips already holding up the existing sheers (which were hideous and felt horrid). We lived like that for about two weeks until it was time to paint, and then the new fabric was removed from the room.
In the meantime, we went round and round over color. As you can see in the picture below, we painted several swatches in three different places in the room. If you look in that far right photo, the top right was my first choice, and it looked lovely on my computer screen. Far too orange in person, though. The next step over was, unfortunately, too brown (seen right below it). Those two are Behr, Iced Tea and Earth Tone. Then we went to Menards, which had one or two good options in the Pittsburgh Paints line, but no samples, so no go. Then we took the long drive to Lowes (seriously, it’s a good half hour drive), and looked at the hundreds of Valspar colors. It’s really hard to find a decent orange paint! The three on the left are what we took home (again in that far right picture). We finally settled on the bottom one, Mesabi Copper, about ten minutes before left to buy the paint. Sidenote: both Valspar calculators said we would need 2 gallons per coat, so we bought 4, and ended up using one and a third gallons total. We’re trying to decide what other rooms in the house can be painted Mesabi Copper. The downstairs bedroom, perhaps? Serious boo on that calculation.
L to R: next to the trim, the sunny spot, and the dark spot which is also next to the fireplace
I had taken Thursday and Friday off of work to get this project started. On Thursday, it took me four and a half hours (!) to do all the cutting in with primer. Three of the walls are painted wood paneling, and all the grooves between the fake panels have to be done with a brush. Boo. Friday, the same task took me two and a half hours.
Saturday morning, and came over and helped paint. came over for lunch and provided the entertainment (her children). It took quite a long time to get the first coat of paint done, but the second time we didn’t cut-in on the grooves in the paneling, so we were done by 4. Sidenote: Valspar thinks that one coat of this paint might be sufficient. They are seriously wrong. I was thinking for a bit that we might have to do a third coat. Thankfully, we did not.
So, step by step, I took pictures from the four corners of the room so you can “watch” the transformation. The order, in case you can’t tell, is primer cut in coat one, primer cut in coat two, primer rolled, and completed paint job. (If the pictures are too small to see clearly, clicking on them will take you to Flickr where you can see much larger versions.)
South-west corner (Poang corner)
South-east corner (fireplace corner)
North-west corner (doorway to master bath)
North-east corner (Prince Charming's dresser)
I thought I’d also do up some before and afters. The befores aren’t particularly fair, since they were taken shortly after moving in, many of them in the dark, and the afters were taken with a clean (freshly washed floor) room on a sunny day. Oh well. You know how color is on computer monitors anyway – some of these before and afters don’t look that different, but really, the color change is amazing. The orange brightened and lightened up the room so much.
South-east corner (fireplace corner). I still haven't re-arranged the stuff on the fireplace ledge, and need to do so.
South-west corner (Poang corner). The color doesn't look that different in this one, but if you compare the quilt, which is the same, you can see that the exposure is quite a bit different. I love this little corner, and sometimes do homework here. I didn't hang the curtain rod back up because the one that came with the house is insufficient and looks silly (it's less than 1/2" in diameter, which for a patio door that is 100" wide is ridiculous), and I refuse to install it only to have to patch and paint holes when we get a new rod. Obviously, getting a new rod is a priority right now. Unfortunately, so very many curtain rods are hideous.
North-east corner (Prince Charming's dresser). I have finally figured out a window treatment option for that weird wide window, which I'll make out of the leftover fabric from the sheers, hopefully.
North-west corner (door to the master bath). I'm thinking that matching dresser scarves (and I use those words in a non-grandmotherly doily-like way) are a good idea. Embroidered or quilted - thoughts?
My next project is to paint the trim white (even though the ceiling is cream, I’ve decided to not care about that). I was thinking Polar Bear or Swan White by Behr, but we still have some Lowes coupons, so it might be Valspar again.
Then, it’s time to finally take care of these embarrassing dressers. For the record, I am incredibly grateful for these dressers, as picked them up at a garage sale back when I lived in Michigan, the pair for $40, I think. (For quite a while, I was really living the high life, with three dressers and all of the closet space to myself. Ah, memories. The one dresser is on permanent loan to .) However, they’ve been abused quite a bit over the last few years. The tops in particular are in bad shape, since the fish tank lived atop one dresser, and the veneer is chipping/peeling away.
Three different styles of drawer pulls in three different finishes (I did that, btw). The design on the right one has been filled in (it is going away), but not on the left one. The right dresser also has several large screw holes on the exterior from trying to fix the drawer conversion I tried, and those need to be filled.
I have been meaning to paint these dressers white since… and I lived together, which was 2005-ish. I finally have space that lends itself well to this project (though I’m not blaming my inability to complete this on that), and the motivation. I’ve got the nightstand that I bought at a garage sale (for less than $10 I think) that is already primed, and it will coordinate with these two nicely. Hopefully ‘s dresser, which is remaining wood, won’t stick out too bad. I think it will be OK, since the bed, the other nightstand, and the Poang (chair from Ikea) are all very dark wood.
If you’re tired just reading about it all, think of how we feel!
Alison sent these pictures Saturday night of Joey at 6:45 pm.
And to think, he didn't even paint!
Monday seems like a good day for why questions.
Why, for instance, has it taken me this long to change an aspect of my blog that I find incredibly annoying in other blogs? Archives are no longer showing excerpts, but full posts. My apologies if that annoys you as much as it annoys me.
Why don’t I have any photos posted of the gorgeous paint job we did over the weekend? Quite simply, I forgot the memory card at home. Whoops.
Why haven’t I shown you pictures of the other projects I’ve completed (or started) lately? Worse than forgetting the memory card, I haven’t actually taken photos of some of them. Conveniently, the sun now hangs around much later, so it’s possible again to get good photos on weekdays.
Why haven’t I blogged since last Wednesday? I had Thursday and Friday off of work to paint our bedroom, as previously mentioned, and I had plenty of things keeping me busy. I didn’t even check my email (beyond what popped into the inbox on my iPhone, which is just a fraction of the emails I actually get), or look at Google Reader (1000+ in the Flickr category alone!).
Why did I have a Cinderella moment (and not in the good way) on Sunday morning? I was on my hands and knees scrubbing the bedroom floor with a sponge and some Murphy’s Oil Soap in warm water. Not exactly fun, but the floor does look great now (and all the paint drips have been cleaned up) – you’ll have to take my word on that until I get pictures posted.
Why, oh why, did both Valspar paint calculators (the square footage on the can and the one on their website) tell us we would need two gallons per coat? For the record, we used one and a third gallons of paint for the whole room, two coats. We’re saving the partial gallon to paint the spare bedroom potentially (the one in the basement that will get drywall in 2012).
Why would someone paint perfectly good ceiling tiles cream? Yes, technically they match the trim, also painted cream, but when I paint the trim in April (allowing plenty of time for the paint on the walls to cure so I can tape everything up), the ceiling will look stupid, and I have no desire whatsoever to paint the ceiling. Ever. I’ve never painted a ceiling, except for the tiny ceilings in closets, which hardly count.
Why is it not possible to keep the floors in our house clean? Three minutes after vacuuming, cat hair is clearly visible on the hardwood floors. It’s a lesson in futility.
Why is it that insists on eating weird things like plastic bags, leaves on plants, etc? I saw plenty of pretty things at Michael’s yesterday that would have made lovely decor in the bedroom (fake eucalyptus, other dried or plastic flower-like things, etc), but I’m quite sure they would have all ended up with little kitty teeth marks on them, and if they weren’t too big, he’d probably swat them all to the floor too. (Watching things fall off of surfaces is another past time of his.)
Why did I have to come back to work today? I was having such a lovely time. And why do I have to go to class tonight? I feel sufficiently learned (that’s learn-ed). Also, I was enjoying not doing homework, not being stressed out, and having time at home to spend doing non-homework things and being with .
Why is it that people ask me questions I have no business knowing the answer to or making one up for, and then get frustrated when I don’t give them an answer? I don’t have any follow-up on this, except to say that, again, I am not all-knowing, and for the fortieth time, I didn’t take the training on Outlook, and you will have to ask So-and-So.
Why does the combination of peanuts, caramel and chocolate taste so good? I don’t even like peanuts.
Why is it that the decorative stitch I attempted to use to hem ‘s pajama pants (her Christmas present) turned out so terribly? So hideous, in fact, that after just a few inches, I had to stop and rip it all out (which took half an hour). , they’re still unhemmed, though the hem is ironed and all ready to be stitched, once my machine decides to cooperate.
Why does it upset me when people think I’m Irish? I have no idea. I have nothing against the Irish. It just happens that I’m not. I must remember to not wear green on Wednesday (shouldn’t be that hard, I have very little work clothing that is green).
Why am I inside, far from a window, when it is so gorgeous outside? I think I need to take my afternoon break outside today.
What are your whys?