Thursday, December 30, 2010

Kitchen inspiration


We're working on the kitchen again this weekend and hope to get the back splash started. We're going with the classic, white subway tile. It'll be easy to work around when I feel the need to change up the colors.

The island in the mood board is just for inspiration sake but it's similar in tone to the one that I have. It's a large vintage cabinet with a zinc top and is on small casters. I was told it came out of an old home in Pittsburgh. I need to buy large casters to get it to counter top height. Because it was a wall piece, I just need to add bead board to the back so it will look like the front.

We're going with open shelving on one wall to open up the space and make it feel more airy. I wish we had more space for lower cabinets so we could do away with the upper ones all together.
The lower cabinets, sink, faucet and chopping block counter top were put in a while back so we only have a little more to go.

There is light at the end of the tunnel!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Big decision for a little wall

How does one obsess over a small wall? My problem - I can make decisions for others but when it comes to my space, I wait to move until I can get what I really want. Oh well. I think I've found the solution to my, do-I-paint-or-wallpaper, make-my-own-stencil-or-search-for-one-that-I can-buy dilemma.

I think I found it. Reusable wall stencils by
Cutting Edge Stencils. I've always liked the Acacia leaf so I am leaning toward this but there are others. And after I run it by Jon, we'll see what we choose. I like for him to like the space as well so his opinion is important. And with as much work as this could be, we both need to agree.
But I am excited at this possibility.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

High/Low office components


I have been working on the office/studio. You could say my taste is all over the place. I like a little of everything although I think that helps me from getting too theme-y which can happen with any of the styles that I like.

After a thorough steam cleaning of the carpet, I am ready to get things back together. The mood board shows a few similar items that are going into the space. I call those the "High cost" which are higher price-points. Mine are the "low cost," Lower, more reasonable price points to me.

The semi flush-mount light adds to the contemporary look of the space as does the wallpaper that will highlight one wall. I am still deciding if I should wallpaper or paint a design. Their wallpaper is $189.00 per roll and mine is $20 per roll. The one I like is not metallic but a tone-on-tone Spanish tile design. However, I think I'll need about 7 rolls. The paint is only $20 per gallon but I'll need a ton of time to prep and paint a design. In the end I don't know which will be the better deal. Sometimes for the sake of time and ease, the higher option works out better.

For a similar style to their $150.00 light, I found one for $59.00. Jon and I decided that one of the best ways to update our house is to change out all of the lighting. So this style of light will also be going into the upstairs hall as well.

The chair in the mood board is similar to a pair that I purchased off of Craigslist a while ago. I wish they had simpler lines but theirs is $799.00 and mine, with a rounded high back, were just $17.50 each. A coat of paint is just dollars. So I couldn't pass them up. They are comfy too.

While I am trying to work with what I have, I did purchase a desk/shelf combination. It was an inexpensive choice ($130.00) that gave me enough workspace as well as extra storage. Although I like West Elm, their parson's desk in the mood board is $299.00.

And any of the decorative items for the walls are already in the house. I just need to shop the other rooms or the garage for those. I consider that free. So the transformation of this space will be budget friendly and I'll still get the style I like.

But first, I have to tackle the wallpaper/paint issue...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Anthro and my two cents

I think my cooking skills would improve if I made a trip to Anthropologie. The same way my backhand in tennis would if I had a diamond bracelet. I've been telling my husband that for years but he hasn't fallen for it.

I have been wanting those Matryoshka measuring cups for ever. When I went to order them one day, they were no longer available. So I hit ebay and found some, but of course, a hundred other people had the same idea and the price went too high. I didn't want them that much.

My husband was a Russian linguist in the Army. When he went to Russia, my only request was that he bring back some nesting dolls and that he stay safe of course. He wasn't able to get any but did bring home some Lomonosov, which little Belen promptly broke. I remember hearing the crash and looking over to see Belen standing next to the buffet and saying "Uh oh" in her little voice.

I still have it in its pieced-back-together state. And when the subject comes up of how it broke or something else around the house that mysteriously met its demise, we talk about how sweet she was about it and the memory warms my heart.

So in a long answer to a question about this photo of my glass vase and if I'm ever worried about things breaking with toddlers around, my answer is no. Well yes, but no.

Of course there will be mishaps. They happen everyday around here. Have you seen Tornado Trae?? But, I'd rather be using my things and enjoying them. Some items are a little safer and out of the way, like my great-grandmother's candy dish. But if I wait to get something nice when the kids are out of the house, they might not learn how to treat something with respect and care. It's a risk, but my advice? If you love it, use it. If it breaks, stains, rips or tears, at least it was serving it's purpose. If it is highly valuable, either monetarily or sentimentally, just display it out of arms reach but allow it to be visible enough for all to enjoy.

And that's my two cents.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Project update

I really am working on projects for the house. This past weekend we painted the living room and hallway which needs another coat of paint but that will have to wait until sometime this weekend. I have had a photo shoot every weekend for over a month with another scheduled, which is great, no complaints here! It just keeps me in the office working on editing so I haven't been able to squeeze in any other projects. But it's the kind of busy that I want!

Except I wish I had the studio/office finished so it would be more comfortable working there. It's hard not to recognize what needs to be done when you spend hours sitting in one place.

The only thing that has changed since this picture is that I got rid of the black bench and the wire shelves were moved to a more useful location, the garage.

And in their place is the antique armoire and you can see the reflection of my new desk/shelving unit in the mirror. It will definitely be a mix of old and new. I have to go through all of the craft items and purge what I don't use any more so it can fit nicely into one cabinet.

But it will have to wait another day. We're off to run errands!

Have a good Wednesday!

Monday, October 4, 2010

A more welcoming entry

Beginning the work

Almost done with the trim

Starting all over and ripping out more than before.
Ay yay yay...

I think I posted on my other blog about the progress that we made on the front entrance of our house. Well scratch that progress. Some of it anyway. We live in a bi-level home and those entrances can be tricky.
So, we ripped out the railing to the right of the stairs which kept people from falling off of the living room and down to the entrance. It was safe but not attractive. In its place we put up a half wall. We tore up the hunter green carpet on the stairs thinking I could refinish the wood underneath. There was so much paint on them though that we just decided to buy new treads.

After staining, putting on a clear sealer and installing them, Jon decided to rip them out again. We never could find the right size board to install on the right of the stairs and couldn't match the existing trim to the left. So...the only solution was to tear out. Luckily, we had drywall and more lumber in the garage. Jon just has to install a couple more risers and cut a few more treads to fit and he'll be finished with installing. And then I'll be able to finish the rest...finally! Until it's time to replace the railing...

linking to

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Art wall

I've been gathering inspiration to decorate a large wall in my home. It's actually the only large wall that we have. I like the look of a collage with white frames to showcase all of our family photos and maybe a few other types for interest. I stumbled upon this photo from I'm-not-sure where and it's similar to what I am thinking. I even have an "M" like that. Must be fate.
How do you deal with a large wall?
Do you go for large artwork or a gathered over time effect to make a statement?
If anyone knows where this picture is from, please let me know so I can give a proper credit source. Thank you!
It's been kind of busy around these parts lately but I do have some craft and DIY projects on the docket. I hope to post those in the following week.

One project has sent me to the hardware store, oh let's say, 42 times now - literally, I have 42 items for one project. Curious? Me too - I'm curious as to how I am going to make it work.

But anyway, today I am heading back out to the produce auction and I am a little excited about it. I'll be sans children so I may hit a garage sale or flea market on the way home so I can revive my Thrifty finds for you all.

Have a great Friday!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Light duty

There are many things that we still need to tackle in this house. Lighting is one of them.

All of the light fixtures, what little there are of them, need to be replaced. I guess they don't need to but I want them to. Bringing them into this century would be good.

But, the problem is that the standard light is not what I am looking for. And, the ones that I like are often priced at what I don't.

Looking through the Anthropologie catalogue last year, I saved an image of this light. I loved it but thought I could make my own. I want it to go right over the kitchen sink. After I told Jon my plan, he said, "Why don't we just buy it?" I told him to let me see how close I can get to duplicating it and if I failed, then we'd buy it.


So, I searched for vintage cage lights and found some but I lost bids on E-bay that were too high, which defeated the purpose of making it. I actually found some that were exactly like the other ones at Anthropologie but again, I lost out on those. So I kept trying. Enter Etsy and a nice seller who listed this vintage cage light just for me.

Hmmm...although it's not quite the shape and the hook is larger than I thought, we'll see what I can do. Now I am just waiting for an Edison bulb and a light kit. If I can't do it, I have plan B on standby which will involve my round, wire basket taking one for the team.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Just remembering

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The studio organization project

I'm taking the studio in a new direction. I say that as if it had one before, maybe I'm just-finally getting-around-to-organizing it is more like it.

Although we loved the black bench, it had to go.
And say good-bye to the open shelves.
In their place we brought out the antique armoire my mom gave me.
I like its period hardware. Luckily, it also has the skeleton key to go with it. I'll need that as I have already found little kids using it as a hiding place. Good thing it is well built.

Although it doesn't boast many shelves, it has a few that I can work with and on the other side, I can create more by installing grid shelving since that side was used for hanging items. Having fewer spaces to put things will also be good for me to pare down on some items.

So this is what will keep me busy for a few days.
And then I'll be ready to
gear up for the fall craft/homemade/holiday season
once again.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Garage thrifting

Since it's not in the plan to get to any flea markets or thrift shops in the next little while, I thought I'd shop the garage. After all, it's free, sort of.

(Although, I am making plans to go a big flea with a friend soon so I'll document that journey later! Maybe I'll even shoot a video... I can't stay away for too long.)

Jon and I have made it a point to go through all of the boxes in the garage and either use what we have, sell or give-away what we don't need. I've already set out 5 boxes of items that were picked up by freecyclers. Love that. Two people came by from Craigslist today and a few other items are heading to Etsy.

It was a tough competition but something had to go. I'm the Paula Abdul of the garage storage and thinks everything has a chance. Jon is more like Randy. "Yo dog, you're cool and all but you're better suited for someone else."

The following items are what made the cut.

This vintage tool carrier was from my mom. I'm a sucker for these but they can be pricey. This was found at an antique mall and it was such a bargain, we couldn't pass it up. It held big jars of spices in her kitchen and I may do the same. Flowers would look so good in here too. Or herbs... any thoughts?

Although I don't buy linens as much as I used to, I still like them, especially vintage tablecloths. They are always just a little more fun to use.

I thought the price on these napkins was funny. $12.60 for a dozen of Damask Irish linen. I like it when the original price tags are left on items.

Even though I don't use doilies much, I do think they are small pieces of artwork and I hate to part with any that were made by my family members. I've often wondered how I could modernize them a bit since I lean toward contemporary design with a vintage mix.

Then one day I was reading an old Country Living article and came across this and my question was answered. Stitch together the doilies and make a table runner. It would look great on a big table, like a large graphic design. I have plenty to work with so we'll see how that turns out.

Last but not least, the Jadeite. I bought 12 of these older cups in North Dakota for $12.00 at an antique shop. I thought I heard the store owner wrong when she told me. Without hesitation, other than being shocked for a brief moment, I took them and added to the collection.

It will make drinking hot chocolate with a {huge} dollop of whipped cream this winter so enjoyable. Can't wait.

** You know how there are "crossover" artists in music?
Well, I am going to be a crossover blogger.

In addition to this new blog, I also write another blog called "Enjoying the simple things". There I post about everyday life, funny adventures, (to me anyway)like the time the gas attendant lady yelled at me or about the crazy guy in Japan. There will also be family activities and just thoughts and experiences. You will see a lot of photos, letters to family members, and more photos. I may have the same post at both if I am having a case of writer's block, though, so don't be surprised. Like right now I am writing over here when I just posted this there.

But I hope you'll stop by there too.

Thanks friends!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Testing page layout...

Coming soon @Home Again

Wednesday, September 1, 2010