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Random Ramblings

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Posted by Rebecca, September 25th, 2012

The last time we had a bunch of little things projects/thoughts floating around, I threw them in one post and called them my random ramblings. Since I feel like I have a lot to ramble about at the moment, I figured it’s time for another installment!

Last time I numbered them, so why not aim for consistency?

1. We finally hung some shades in the new office.

Please excuse the night time photo I took just a few minutes ago. They’re nothing special, just some Allen + Roth white roman shades from Lowe’s. We obviously didn’t get around to caulking and painting all of the trimwork yet, but at least we ditched the white trash sheet we had hanging as a window treatment.

2. Three years after our wedding, we have an album

Okay so long story short, I started making this book on Shutterfly right after we got married. I made two small books for our parents for Christmas right after we got married (about 2 months after). I started making this and would work on it on and off, when I received a 40% off Shutterfly coupon. Then I forgot about it for probably a year. Shutterfly recently emailed me to say that if I wanted my book, I had to order it by next monday. So I did, I just need an impending deadline to get stuff done. It came in this awesome box which I want to save to frame or something…

I’ve never met an orange cat I didn’t like. Or love. Or wasn’t the sweetest most lovable, laid back animal in the world.

Anyway, the book ended up being 100 pages, each of which I chose photos, layouts and backgrounds for (as well as cropped or hunted down any pictures). Here’s one of my favorite pages…

The pages are glossy so they all have glare in these pictures, but you get the idea. It’s a 12″x12″ book with hundreds and hundreds of pictures.

I was able to fit in a bunch of pictures that most people wouldn’t include in their limited space albums, like this two page spread of the action on the dance floor…

We have every single photo the photographer took on a CD. Best investment ever, and it was included with the price of our photographer. While our photobook ended up not being as cheap as I intented, it was still hundreds less than what the photographer was charging. Plus I saved all of those hours of hard work from being deleted, worth every penny.

3. I’ve been getting a lot of requests for my alphabet print, so I’m thinking of opening an Etsy shop.

Since I’ve always wanted to open an Etsy shop, why not start with that! I would like to make it in girly shades as well as some gender neutral ones. Maybe I can whip up some other sort of prints as well, who would be interested? Anyone have any color scheme or art suggestions?

4. Easton went to the doctor today and he weighs over 18lbs. We need to retire the infant car seat since I can hardly lift it.

5. We’re getting a facelift.

I’ve been nagging Mike for a new blog design for well over a year now. I haven’t added any features or really updated much on the stationary pages because I figured we’d be fixing them up anyway. We looked into hiring someone to do it, but I’m spoiled with custom designs. Turns out they are super expensive even for basic designs, so Mike decided to do it on his own. I can’t tell you when it will be done and up and running, but it’s in the works and he’s doing a fabulous job so far (that entire design was done without a single suggestion from me).

Okay I nodded off 3 times. When number 3 hits it means I have to wrap it up. Third time’s a charm?

Random Ramblings

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Posted by Rebecca, November 30th, 2011

I managed to write 35+ pages of papers since Thanksgiving, so needless to say I’ve been a little busy. However, we do have a few minor things to report on, so why I figured why not throw them all in one post? So here you have it, our random ramblings…

1. It gets dark before we get home from work now and the 3 spare bedrooms do not have lights in them. Taking pictures of the new floors all cleaned up has been difficult. Even more difficult when I finally got a spare minute to take pictures and the camera died on me… and the battery charger was missing… as was the extra camera. Here are the lone pictures of the new floors. This happens to be the new office.

2. The future office will soon be getting more action because this weekend we decided to paint it! We picked out paint then proceeded to run a bunch more errands and by the time we got home, we only had an hour before darkness. The color we chose is Olympic’s Denim. Unfortunately I could only find this tiny thumbnail of the color on Olympic’s site…

Hopefully this weekend when we’re a little less chaotic we’ll get some paint on the walls before the sun goes down. We really need to get a light in that room.

3. Speaking of lights! (you like that segue?) We went to Ikea last weekend to pick up a light I wanted for the playroom (the old office). You know, this room with the stripes…

No we didn’t clear the room out yet, but I chose this picture because you can see that we currently have a ceiling fan in there. We need the fan for whatever room the office is in because all of the hardware we have produces some major heat. We decided to take the ceiling fan from the stripey room and put it upstairs in the new office. To replace the ceiling fan, I wanted something fun, but that would still look classy as it will be seen from the entryway. We picked up this guy…

Of course, he still has to be put together and hung.

4. Speaking of lights! Does that work twice? Anyway our Jonathan Adler giraffe sconces arrived early!

I think I have an idea of what I want to do with the nursery and I’m planning to write something up in the next few days. Right now I’m leaning towards giving the baby the room with 1 window, as it’s known around here. This one…

Bedroom 2 is still a consideration. At first I always imagined using bedroom 2 since it has 2 windows and a walk-in closet. I imagined the pretty window treatments I could have, but I think that bedroom 1 has more wall space for a better furniture arrangement. Decisions decisions.

5. While we’re on the topic of window treatments, the 6 white roman shades that we ordered for our master bedroom came last week. We’ll throw those on the weekend to-do list too since they won’t take very long to install.

I think that pretty much catches you up with what’s been going on around here. Thanks for hanging around through the chaos. I’m looking forward to December 21st when I can finally put my feet up. But then we’re hosting Christmas events on the 22nd and 24th… so maybe I’ll put my feet up on the 26th 🙂

Crossing Disciplines

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Posted by Rebecca, September 14th, 2011

You already know that we unexpectedly painted our powder room a bold charcoal gray. I knew I wanted some bright white floating shelves, so we picked up some inexpensive ones from Target and we’re currently in the midst of hanging them.


Since the gray was a complete compulsive move, I didn’t have much else planned. The room is dark and needs pops of white (which we plan to add more of with the shelves, frames and some crown molding), but I also feel like it needs a fun accent color.

My initial instinct was to go yellow. Gray and yellow are about as hot as brown and blue were 5 years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I like the combo and I’m planning to add some yellow to our living/dining rooms, but it seemed a little not me. I’m just not a warm color person and for the amount of bold I want in this bathroom, it would be a little too much yellow for me. Maybe elsewhere yellow, maybe elsewhere.

Last week, I realized how much charcoal colored clothing I own. It has become my standard neutral over the past year or so. You already know about my sweats and flip flops, but I also have a few other pieces, such as my sneakers (from Target)…

A scarf (also from Target)…

A dress (from Loft)…


As well as a pair of cargo pants and numerous shirts.

As I got dressed one morning last week, I started to browse my color-coded shirt selections for something to go with my sneakers and scarf (please excuse the iPhone quality on this one)


I then remembered this outfit I have pinned on Pinterest and have always loved for the aqua scarf and gray tank.

(via Polyvore on Pinterest)

Does Pinterest make anyone else think outside of their normal wardrobe? I’m suddenly more bold in my clothing choices. Such an unexpected perk of joining that site 🙂

So I went for a pale blue shirt to go with my gray scarf.


Then a little light went off in my head. Why don’t I use my Pinterest outfit to inspire my bathroom?

I love the aqua and gray and I even love my take of the light blue and gray, though this other shirt I have is probably more accurate to the Pinterest scarf. 

It has more of a minty green tone to it compared to the light blue shirt, though it’s subtle. 


And so that’s how it began. I figured going with a refreshing, but bright blue tone would incorporate the powder room into the color scheme of the remainder of the house. Otherwise it would scream “hey I’m completely bold and randomly dropped here!”, but I believe it will still be way more dramatic than the rest of the downstairs rooms.I attempted to buy a mirror and some paint this past weekend, but Lowe’s was out of what I had in mind. Hopefully the upcoming weekend will be good to me and I can put this little vision of mine together and show you what I have planned 🙂 

ps- I inititally planned to photograph myself in all of these outfits while standing in the bathroom for some comedic effect, but the thought of changing all of those times before it gets dark out in 20 minutes was just draining. If anyone else would like to stand in their bathroom, in outfits that match their walls, please do so for my entertainment 🙂 And if you’ve ever decided on a color palette while standing in your closet, please share that too!

Oh Deer

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Posted by Rebecca, August 30th, 2011

Yesterday, Mike spotted this in our backyard…

I love our random deer sightings. It’s amazing how well they camouflage themselves and I’m sure they’re out there more than we realize. Mike and I grew up in a more congested area (we’re from the same town) and deer sightings were rare and always exciting. I love having furry, speckled butt neighbors 🙂

I love them so much that when my mother in law was getting rid of these bookends, I decided to take them.

They belonged to Mike’s grandmother and are apparently decades old. But you know what? The oldies are coming back. I figured with a little white, high gloss spray paint these would look like they came straight out of West Elm.

But first, I couldn’t resist doing this.

Yes, I tried to recreate the live deer scene. However, the bookend version was way smaller than I anticipated. But maybe Deer can be our version of the Travelocity gnome and just pop up in random places?

If my neighbors didn’t already know about this blog (yes, secret’s out… hey guys!), then I would have felt weird. But I obviously have no shame and put inanimate objects in my weeds for entertainment purposes.

After I was done gnoming, it was time to get down to business.

I often spray paint in the garage, but all of our outdoor furniture (including a table, 6 chairs, a bench, 2 umbrellas and a fire pit) are still taking hurricane shelter in there. So I decided to use this old Pottery Barn box and spray them in the grass.

I used the short and quick spray method. I confess that I am normally rather impatient and just hold the trigger down, 3 inches away from the object (12 is the recommended) and generally succeed. I didn’t want to mess these up, so I was more cautious.

They look a little more worn when spray painted (they have some cracks) but it doesn’t bother me. Here are the two of them after a first coat.

I went back outside a half hour or so later for a second coat. Even after that, this strange mark keeps popping back up. Chemical reaction or something?

I eventually lost my patience and just sprayed the hell out of it, but it kept reappearing after a minute. Weird.

I have no pictures of my second coat because after the first one, I noticed that this happened…

That is my camera. With a light dusting of spray paint. Ugh. Thankfully, the lens was spared and it just looks stupid. The wind was blowing lightly and I didn’t realize that my camera was laying in the grass, in the line of fire. Therefore, it stayed inside for the rest of the night.

However, my bookends will not be staying inside tonight. I went to pick up the Pottery Barn box to move it inside and the bookends fell over. While soaked. Then I had to use my hands to stand them back up, which not only got me messy but required touch up work. I’m hoping the tacky surface that was left isn’t noticeable, considering I just sprayed right over it. So I ended up leaving the entire box outside for the night. Don’t worry, it’s not supposed to rain. I’m actually more concered with bugs getting stuck to them…

The one time I try to spray paint properly. The one time! ::shakes fist in air:: Hopefully I’ll have true after pictures later this week…

 

ps- The Office wedding episode was just on and that dance scene gets me every time! Couldn’t help but stop to watch 🙂

Today marks guest post number two in the whole history of The Lil House That Could! Cait did a fabulous job yesterday and today we have :::drumroll::: Tabatha from Turn Right At Lake Michigan!

I could not be more thankful for this post today. If any of you follow me on Twitter, you probably saw my frantic tweets about how we struggled to give Darwin his fluids and pills last night. Quite possibly the hardest night of my life, in terms of frustration and helplessness. It ended with a trip to the vet after midnight to have them give him his pills. But! I am very happy to report that our second night as nurses was a grand success, we got him to take his pills and administered his fluids with ease tonight. There was clearly a learning curve no one told us about.

Anyway, back to Tabatha and how I should be fanning her with palm leaves for posting for me. I first found Tabatha when I saw her glorious bold purple nursery on A Brooklyn Limestone. And the nursery started as a room for her cats. Cats? Sold! Loved her immediately. She will also be sharing her entryway plans with us today!

 

Hello Lil House readers, I’m Tabatha from Turn Right At Lake Michigan, and I’m here today to help out Rebecca this week. A little about me – I’m 27, and I have five cats, two kids under three, a super-sized Chihuahua, and a husband all crammed into a 113 year old Folk Victorian home (with a whopping 1250 square feet) in Dayton, Ohio, that we’ve been renovating for the past four years. Yes, while we live in it. Yes, I take donations for therapy. 🙂

Anyway, as I understand it, we’re talking entryways this week since Rebecca has been working hard on hers, so let’s talk about my itty bitty foyer, yes?

A little background on my home – it survived the 1913 Great Flood of Dayton and was moved further up the hill afterwards (along with several other houses in our neighborhood) to create a flood plain (which later became a parking lot) to where it now resides. Somewhere in the 1960s, it was bought by a Korean war veteran and his Korean wife, and they raised four(!) daughters here, spending over 40 years in the house we now call ours. So our house had seen a whole lot of the same people for a long time.

Now our foyer is a grand 7.5 feet by 5.5 feet, and is not only the first place you enter once you come through our front door, but it’s also the gateway to the living room, the dining room, and the stairs that lead, well, upstairs, to the two bedrooms and full bath that chill up there. It’s also our shoe repository, mail sorting area, leash and key wrangler, purse/baby bag drop-off, and open-plan coat closet. This tiny space does a lot for us. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s start back at the beginning to show what we started with:

This was the front door when we moved in:

front door before
And this was the entryway “tile” put down for a yet really discernable reason:

tile in foyer before
I can be a bit of a perfectionist, so what first bothered me about the tile was that it didn’t match up with the door properly. That, and it was ugly. So the easy solution was to remove all signs of the previous occupants, paint, and cover that tile up with a rug:

foyer redux one
Which, admittedly, I was less than thrilled about. The wall color was supposed to be more grey than green, but once that happened we committed to it (even though I HATED it) and found accessories, like that indoor/outdoor mat on clearance at TJMaxx for $10, that at least coordinated.

But as time passed on, the foyer bugged me more and more. We had an unfinished wood bench I never got around to painting. The walls made me angsty. (They continued up the stairs and throughout the upstairs hall area, for reference. That’s a lot of space to hate the color of, especially in our little house.) The coat hooks we installed started to fall out of the plaster walls. The cats climbed the curtains on the door. It was all just too much.

So one day, fed up with it all (and nesting while pregnant with my now 2 ½ year old son) I unloaded the space, got out a crowbar, and tore up the tile and terrible cheap parquet flooring – to find HARDWOODS underneath:

hardwoods underneath
You cannot imagine my excitement. They were under the parquet throughout the dining room and under some vinyl tile in the downstairs bedroom as well. When we refinished those floors we did the foyer too, a nice dark chocolate almost black color, but that’s temporary – and we’ll get to that.

I ended up selling the bench on Craigslist as it was more of a dumping grounds than somewhere to put on your shoes, and I purged a great deal of our coats to keep the clutter to a minimum – or at least make more room for the baby-related clutter. The curtains have moved to the scrap pile of fabric in the basement and have been replaced with this:

front door window decal
A window decal that lets far more light in than the curtains ever did, while still allowing us some privacy. It almost looks like it should be there, right? I also frosted the windows on our tiny decorative dormer window, seen here:

foyer wall and frosted dormer
After our next door neighbor informed us he could see into our house from his upstairs window. Not awesome. But now we have a ton more natural light for such a small space, which helps it feel less cramped.

However, obviously we’re nowhere near what I hope the space can become. So I whipped this little inspiration board up for you:

foyer inspiration board
Let’s go over it, shall we?

#1: This is my inspiration photo, found on Pinterest. All of the components are Ikea, which I’m a huge fan of. However, I think I would want to add doors on the shelving units (or switch them out with shallow wardrobe units) so I could hide the mess that will inevitably form. I’m not so fond of the colors, but I can work that out later. Basically this sort of system would wrap around my dormer window, utilizing the height of our ceiling to maximize storage.
#2: I have this thing where I try to work stars into each of my rooms, however subtly. I also have a thing for mirrored surfaces. I’ve long since wanted a Moravian pendant for the foyer, and this one just takes my breath away. So does the price, for the record.
#3: Wherever the cases don’t cover, I really want to use paintable wallpaper to give more texture to the greater foyer/stairs/upstairs hall space. I also plan on adding decorative wainscoting, but that’s for another time. I’m still leaning towards a really great grey color, but I still haven’t really made up my mind. I love this damask pattern though – just the right mixture of traditional and fun, especially if I pick the right paint for it.
#4: I was shopping for tile for my bathroom (which we’re currently building) when I stumbled upon this beauty. I was considering a white-and-black combo similar to this for the foyer – the wood there isn’t in the best shape, and I think tile would not only be more practical, but more beautiful in such a small space. I love that it’s black on black.
#5: I actually own this! We picked it up at Ikea when the old mat had worn out its welcome, and I love it. Even if we did tile, we’d need something at the front door to catch all the gross that comes in on shoes. Again, love the black on black, and the pattern is subtle yet fun in a modern way.
#6: Lastly, I don’t remember how I came across this piece of carved wooden art, but it made me crack up. We’re lacking in art around here (I’ve been kind of busy making babies since 2008) and I think this would just be hilarious by the front door. Double entendres and all that. I’m not sure on the yellow (or the price) but I’m pretty sure I could make something similar in whatever shade would coordinate with what the walls end up.

Sources:
1) http://www.bhg.com/decorating/storage/mudroom/mudroom/?sssdmh=dm17.507987&esrc=nwhi021711&email=2114809685
2) http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280626072722&category=103438&_trksid=p5197.c0.m619#ht_3468wt_905
3) http://www.grahambrown.com/us/product/18628/Empire+Damask+Paintable+wallpaper
4) http://www.glasstileoasis.com/item.asp?item=15669&utm_source=Amazon%2BCSE&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Amazon
5) http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/90121823#/40122561/
6) http://www.etsy.com/listing/60873299/shut-the-front-door-18×22-handmade-sign?ref=af_you_favitem

Of course, I would love any feedback you have – the foyer’s a little low on the priority list these days (have I mentioned we’re building a bathroom?) but it’s something I hope to tackle soon.

I’d like to thank Rebecca for letting me guest post for her, and my family and I send out our deepest heartfelt good vibes to her family, especially Darwin. Tell him Bailey, Max, Roxy, Nubbs, Antonia and Cheech give him all cuddles and licks and purrs (well, Cheech doesn’t purr, but you catch my drift …) and we all hope he gets better soon. And thanks to you Lil House Readers for hanging out with me today!

 

Okay seriously, my guest posters are killing me with the inspiration boards. I have never done one of those. Teach me your tricks please? My readers are getting used to this 🙂

I love the shut the front door sign (it obviously inspired this post title) and that wonderful star fixture. I’m also happy to hear that I don’t have the only cat that climbs curtains, as Macky recently pulled our dining room rod out of the wall (that’s what happens when you’re 20 lbs of cat…)

Thank you again Tabatha, isn’t it amazing how she managed to write a guest post with 2 kids and 5 cats AND a dog? I haven’t even found the time to put on makeup this week! Stop by her blog for some more from her!

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