Sunday, July 14, 2013

Project a phone in

My project today wasn't really a project - I cleaned the bedroom, did a ton of shredding, and some laundry.  Just every-day stuff.  On a positive note, I also washed half the my great-grandmother's china which my mom brought to me today (thanks, mom!).  Based on wash time, I would estimate I now have formal dinner service for about 100 of my closest friends...

In unrelated news, we saw Man of Steel today.  Ladies, run, don't walk, to the movie theaters. 

Trust me on this.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Project #5: Magnavox

For project #5 I cleaned and polished the Magnavox, cleaned the glass, and cleared off the top. 

Check, and I'm out for Saturday.

Mirror, mirror

When we moved in, I put my silver mirror above the fireplace.  I bought this mirror at Hobby Lobby to hang over the sofa in my first apartment, and I love it.  It is beveled, heavy, and has travelled with me for the last ten years from that first place, to the apartment Shawn and I lived in after we were married, to the new house.    Here it is with last year's Halloween decorations:

I was hoping to get a fun, heavy, geometric white mirror for this space, to play off of the white trim.  I am in love with the Casbah mirror several people have blogged about, but had to give up after searching on Amazon, Ebay, and calling the manufacturer with no luck.

So I kept looking, and not finding anything, when my Mom sent me a picture of an gold mirror and a question mark.  It was meant to be - we were heading back to my hometown to a BBQ the next day, the mirror was at least $100 less what it would cost to buy something that was a similar size new, and after we bought it we discovered it fit perfectly across the back seat.  It rode with us to the BBQ, then home. 

My problem was how to best hang it on my old plaster - it weighs a ton! - and I needed to add hardware to hang it vertically  But here it is, in its new place:

I thought about painting it to play off the trim, but I rearranged the mantle to have some gold accents and now I think it blends in better.   If I change my mind, I may just go back on the hunt for a white mirror and put this one in the spare bedroom - it is so pretty in gold. 



Friday, July 12, 2013

Project #5: Christmas in July

This Christmas my grandmother gifted Shawn and I with a fire pit.  My mom ordered it online (stars and moons, as requested), stored it, and delivered it in January. 

It has been sitting in our basement ever since, next to the treadmill.  Both mock me each time I go into the basement...until tonight. 

As always, Max assisted.

There were no directions, but luckily you can't get too far off base given that there were fewer than 20 parts, and they were helpfully labled. 

Seriously - no one thought this was kind of a no-brainer?  I really think if you can't figure out that this is the fire poker...maybe you shouldn't have a fire pit.  Or handle matches without adult supervision.

What would have been helpful, though, would be if I had remembered that my kitchen doorways are both unusually narrow and hard to move things through.  And that I needed to go through them to get out to the deck.

I took the fire pit out the front door and and carried it around the house to the back. 

I blame it on the s'mores. 


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Project #4: In which we make a neglected pig's ear...into a pleather purse

This is the shelf just inside the door of our bedroom, to the right of my closet:

It looks to me like someone had a really beautiful idea in their head that just didn't quite translate to reality. It is oddly shaped, oddly placed, and bright, glossy white.  This shelf has spent most of its life with me as the magical place where dry cleaning tickets, safety pins, thread, and random photos sit.  It has also done an admirable stint as a home for things the cat tried to eat that could kill him - tacks, hair bands, nails, and the odd chunk of plaster dust.  (You offer Max a piece of banana, and he stares at it like it is poison.  Thumb tacks, on the other hand, are like fresh tuna...)

The people before us used it to store books, and while it didn't exactly make the set up into the "built ins" promised in the listing, it did make it look like someone was trying. 

So, I decided to dig out some of my favorite books and fix it up for project #4.  The dust was intense. 

It turned out pretty, I think.   Although when I told Shawn that Jane Austen was now in our bedroom, he started belting out "Somewhere" (There's a place for me).  He says his ice flow is melting, but he still has an ice flow.  And that I need to get my stuff out of his basement.  : P

I also discovered more painting. Somewhere, some genius painted all the shelves white...but the top one.  No, you can't see the dingy off-white paint, but the part of my brain with selective OCD is really bugged by that (The empty cups I leave all over the house, though - totally fine with those.  They could stay there for weeks.)

At least Max will be glad we're painting again.

Yours in dust,

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Project #3: Because there was a traffic jam after Home Depot...

I did not intend to finish painting the teal bedroom today - I was thinking of a smaller project to go with book club.  But book club was cancelled due to our host's illness, and the traffic was snarled up right after the turn to Home Depot. So I had no choice but to go in in my work dress and 3-inch heels and order paint.

Four hours and way too many fumes later, the bedroom wall went from this:

To this:

The color is Behr Delicate Mist in Flat.  True color is much closer to the top picture, with natural light, than the bottom.

Unfortunately, the cat snuck in while I was painting and is now way too mellow.  I threw him out of the room at one point, and he just kept crying to get back in. 

I hope he isn't developing a problem. There are only a few things left that need paint!

Anyone know if there is a cat AA group?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Project # 2: Why yes, I am cutting ivy in 90 degree heat...

So my second project was going to be to straighten up the desk next to our door, but I was sidetracked by the yard.  This has happened all summer - which is why my entire front yard is covered with flowers, but my two spare bedrooms look like a flea market exploded.  I have been glaring at the ivy ground cover that sits in a semi-circle behind the driveway for a few weeks now.  Everything has been growing like crazy, and it had completely overtaken the little stone wall it is supposed to sit on top of.  So it got a little trim today around the wall.  I still need to cut and weed the top of it, but at least it isn't trailing down the drive like it is trying to make a run with the yard....

No pictures - it's really only slightly better looking immediately after a trim than it is overgrown.  I started out doing light trims, and after two years I've realized that if you don't hack it back it is overgrown again the next morning. 

My next project of the night has to be reading Plainsong for book club - it's tomorrow, and I haven't even cracked the book.

Currently doubling as a mosquito smorgasbord,

Monday, July 8, 2013

The 364 Project Challenge

You can make new year's resolutions in July, right?

I was looking around the house yesterday (with the help of my husband, who pointed out that everything was a mess/he was the only one who cleans.  Silly boy.  He claims I need to help.  I think we should accept the reality that this will not happen and budget for a maid.  Stay tuned as the debate rages on...) 


I was looking around my house, and realized that too many of my good intentions had ended up as half-done projects.  The guest bedroom that still has one purple wall and a yellow window, while the rest is light teal and white.  The bathroom with the pale purple walls and the dark teal (ironic, isn't it?) patch in the corner where it is hard to paint.  The baseboards float above the flooring because I never bought moulding, and there is a patch of carpet I cut around because I gave up trying to yank it up.  Then there is the blog that never quite got written...

It paints a lovely picture, doesn't it?

So I am starting the 364 Project Challenge - a project a day, to fix, improve, organize, and just FINISH some of these things. 

I gave up on self-displine after my dissertation, so this ought to be interesting.  Today's project - the yellow window. 

There were originally two yellow windows and two yellow doors.  The trim was only spared because the previous owners, while enthusiastic, where not completely delusional. The doors and one window are almost complete - just a few yellow patches that will be another day's project.  Today's project is this window - the most yellow.  An hour and a fifteen minutes and probably way too many paint fumes later:

Day 1, Project 1 - Completed.
(On seeing the picture above, I should really add photography as a project...)