Monday, February 22, 2010

Not house related but cute nonetheless

I've been knitting tiny things lately.

I love teeny-tiny "man clothes" for babies. 
Raveled for those of you in my knitting community...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Nursery peek

Here is a little peek at the nursery which is slowly but surely taking shape.  I mentioned that we chose the 2nd bedroom for the nursery.  So here it was when we first saw the house:

Pink (as is the WHOLE HOUSE) and replete with pink Victorian Home wallpaper runner.

We decided to go with a pale green... I considered a pale warm yellow, but then my friend Ashley pointed out that she read somewhere that green makes babies smarter.  So we went with that.  :)
(But truly, green was always in the running.)

So here we are now!

Very subtle no?  and what's that one piece of furniture?

It's a lovely upholstered rocking chair with a footstool which I love and which will rock the baby and I and Drake to sleep most nights this Spring.  

We'll give you a more full picture of the room as it continues to evolve.  I just found out there are a few key pieces which Drake's parents have gifted us and are on their way from Texas!  Which means full nursery reveal could happen sooner than we thought.  Combine that with this loveliness which was gifted to me at a lovely baby shower this weekend from Amy and Melissa (who must read this blog or something.... ;)

See how big it is?? I can't WAIT to put it up on the wall.  After consulting some local experts (did your mom tell you I called her and Michael to discuss, Ash?) I have decided to have it put on canvas stretchers.  oooooo I can't wait.  

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Perhaps you've heard this one before....
When we moved to Michigan from NYC the ONLY thing that I knew I wanted in our new apartment was a dishwasher.  Oh how the realtors laughed! "Where do you live now that you don't have a dishwasher?  Every place here has one, so don't worry."

The dishwasher in our apartment did not work and was not fixed until November, then we bought our house in December, where after running the dishwasher the first day, we discovered that it didn't work.

But now!!  now we have one!  It's the first of many new appliances that will someday adorn our little kitchen.  

After much deliberation and considering your many thoughtful comments,  I went with stainless, though I didn't get the model from that post.  The appliances will match in that they will all be stainless, but they will  not all be the same maker.  I don't think it will be a problem.  

Here it is!

It's a Frigidaire tall tub 5 cycle washer, and it was a present from my Mom.  My mom who loves me a lot, and thinks of my poor dishpan hands. :)  It is running right now in the other room, many thanks to the hard work (harder than anticipated) of a friend's very handy husband who swooped in and dealt with the many surprises that old houses often have in store, such as: 
  • The old dishwasher was "floored in." The flooring is elevated about 3/4" from where the dishwasher sat on the subfloor.  He had to remove the old dishwasher at great personal peril, with many tools and after removing the countertop.  Above and Beyond.  That's all I have to say. That and that I can now refer any Michiganders to a very great handyman.  
So, here is the hole where the old dishwasher was-- do you get the whole "floored in" concept?  

And now with DISHES!!!

I put some clean ones in there just to fill it out.  See how the door doesn't even touch the floor? (The old one was broken, as I mentioned...)

And here it is, running in all it's glory:

Ahhhhhhhh.... sweet mystery of life at last I've found yooouuuuuu

Kitchen remodel step one: COMPLETE!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wait, which one?


I just found the green one... I think I'm leaning toward the blue/red, but can't tell if it's just because I saw it first.

The nursery is going to be a very pale warm green, if that matters to you

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Things on the wall

Lots of art on the blog lately, huh?  That's because I can't paint or stand on ladders.  So we do what we can.  

These are three pieces of vintage sheet music from my collection.  We had put a few pieces on each of the tables at our wedding, and these are three of my favorites.  We'll probably frame more of them and bring them to the wall on the other side of the doorway-- perhaps a group of 9.

Our wedding portrait.


You've seen the circus print, but what's that?  Over by the curtain?

Why yes, yes that is my Honorary Texan Certification! Recently framed and now adorning our living room.   I wrote to the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, to request it last year, and received it shortly thereafter.  This way, if Chuck Norris ever becomes Governor and Texas secedes from the Union, we'll be able to travel across the borders with less hassle. :)

Next items to be hung?  The longhorns and antique telephone, and a new print of one of my photos.  

Monday, February 8, 2010

Marimekko loveliness

Marimekko is a lovely Finnish fabric design company, and on a recent visit to Haberman's, I found this. 

It is about 4 feet square, and perhaps will be stretched across a canvas and hung in the nursery.... 
I love that the elephant and the zebra are wearing cowboy boots.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Nursery Art

ooooo it's getting close!  And I've been visiting some local baby stores and have drummed up MAJOR inspiration for the art in baby R's room.  Yes, his name starts with an R, but we're not telling!  It's become a bit like the story of Rumpelstiltskin around here with our parents all calling to guess :)  hee.

Couldn't help but log on and show you some of the ridiculously cute things I've picked up recently.

Pictorial Webster's Wall Cards from Elements, Lake Orion
(which is not at strictly a baby store, but has some really adorable things)

I'm imagining these on a wall in many rows held up with clothespins on a line.  

Wee Gallery Art Cards Farm Collection from Green Baby, Rochester

These will most likely find their way to a mobile a-la:

Just thought I'd give you a little sneak peek since you've all been so patient about the nursery... 

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Kitchen Counter and Tiles

Inspired by this post over at Young House Love, I decided to measure out the kitchen to see just how much tile we will need, and price out a couple options.

This all needs backsplash, clearly.  And the opposite wall above the counter as well (these pictures are all from our first walk through with the Realtor- pre-purchase)


should we do this whole wall? 


the wall behind the door?

I sized out the walls between the counter and the upper cabinets: 
Square Footage: 34.87 (Length x Height) 

and then the two half-walls-- (where the blue gingham is now)
Square Footage: 34

TOTAL Square Footage: 68.87 (let's just say 70)

If we were to go with the Stainless Steel peel and stick tiles in the post I linked to above, then we would only need 8 packs-- which totals $80.  Very reasonable!  And this would be a very good option if we decided to go with white appliances instead of the stainless steel ones in last week's post.  But if we go with stainless appliances, it's right out.  It might be right out anyway since when I showed Drake he said "I don't like that at all." 
Case closed, I guess.

I would only seriously consider tiling the walls with the peel and stick stainless, because if we go with a glass or porcelain mosaic tile, it would be in constant peril of breaking because of the door and the trash/recycling area.  So the options below are for above the counters only.

So let's look at some other options, shall we?

First, color schemes.  I see two options-- reds and oranges (bright and sunny!) or blues and greens (peaceful and serene!)
Of course much depends on the counters that we choose as well.  Corian? Granite?  We'll get there.

Estimate: $288

Estimate: $252

Estimate: $908

Estimate: $292

Many lovely options!  And I guess that I rather love the idea of round backsplash tiles.  I didn't know that about myself.... 

Let's assume that we're going with stainless appliances, and lets assume that we have light wood floors (which we do underneath the linoleum)  I like wood floors in the kitchen.  I know it is debated on design shows-- but we are what we are: a 100+ year old home, and that's what floors were made of then.  

I think I'm leaning toward the Blue Cloud Porcelain.... the Penny Tiles are so lovely and classic, though.  
What do you think?  

Also, in the spirit of the eternal "Which came first the chicken or egg" question.  Should I choose the Countertops first, or the tiles? 

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pink Chair-vs-Alta, Round One.

I don't get to do very many projects since I am approximately 9 weeks away from motherhood, but reupholstering the chair seems manageable.  One needn't employ a ladder, after all, or really pick anything up.  I won't be doing the whole living room set, mind you.  I cannot think that big right now! just the chair.

So here we are:
I made this date a long time ago.  I had even thought about fabrics before.  I've had my eyes on this chair for years now, actually.  It is my great-grandmothers, and I inherited it vis-a-vis my mom, from my Great Aunt Evelyn who I believe had it reupholstered in pink long before our pink house was even a twinkle in our eye.  But enough is enough.  It can remain pink no longer--especially in light of surprise wallpaper

Surprise wallpaper also means none of the fabrics pictured above.  Basically, it means that I have no idea what fabric I'll use.  none whatsover.  I would like for this to be a pretty glamorous looking room in the end, so I'm thinking something simple and rich-- we have enough going on in the wallpaper, right?  Gone are my bold graphic ideas, and in are my velvet ideas.  But we are NO WHERE NEAR READY to choose fabric.  Miles to go, my friends.  Miles to go.  

Having never really reupholstered anything before (except these which hardly count)  I decided that I need to take it apart.  Thoroughly and carefully, step-by-step, so that I can reconstruct it.  

Fabric, batting and burlap--from what I read, this is quite standard. BUT in between all of these layers was the DUST OF A MILLION YEARS. (sorry for all the shouting, but it really was a lot of dust)

Here's the view from the bottom.  I flipped the chair on it's front so that I could remove the fabric entirely. 

I managed to get all of the fabric off of the back of the chair today, and some of the front:
Busted, right?  It looks so awful!!!!!  I got overwhelmed once I got to this point and I revealed this, which discouraged me:
By this point I was sitting in a pile of nails and tacks, peril all around me, and I couldn't take it anymore.  What particularly bothers me about this is that whomever reupholstered it nailed and tacked into decorative portions of the mahoganny.  The Springs and the front bar (covered in burlap) are too bouncy, and I think the bar extends too far front (past the wood.) 

After sneezing and picking nails out of my slippers for a while, I brainstormed with Drake about how to fix this, and we're thinking that we'll remove the bottom springs (keep the back ones) and build a wooden base to insert into the chair base.  We'll then top it with (2) 6-inch layers of high-density foam-- The first will appear to be part of the chair structure, and the second will be made into a cushion. 

Or perhaps I will read a book about how to *actually* do this, instead of just un-doing it and starting over.  

I will also acquire a pneumatic staple/nail gun (!) because I saw how many nails and staples went into this thing, and have decided that power tools are definitely the way to go.  

Up Next: 
  • Finish the deconstruction (I still have SOOO many nails to remove, and must do it carefully so that I don't damage the wood any further. ) 
  • Clean the chair-- dust out all of the crevices, find all the nickles
  • Putty and refinish the wood. 
  • Read a book.  Can't hurt. 
I want to do this all correctly!  I want these pieces to be glorious and beautiful heirlooms. So I will keep you updated until such a time that I decide I'm in over my head and turn them over to a professional (NEVER!)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Don't you love it when you find lovely things?

I hunt around every now and again at Goodwill and Salvation Army and the like because you never know what you're going to find there, and sometimes-- every now and again you find something really lovely and unusual like this:

$5!  It had a really awful lampshade, but I replaced it with that lovely one in a very lightly metallic champagne color (also $5).

Slightly gaudy?  yes.  Anything with gold, glitter frost, and a large crystal base is bound to be.  But it is just a table lamp after all.  If it were 7 feet tall it might be too much, but as it is it's just right.  It's golden and sparkly and just right.

This has lived in the front room so far, but when we were scraping and painting in there, I brought it into the dining room and put it on the end of the sideboard.  Magic ensued.  We don't really need a light there, but it looks so lovely with the butterflies from the circus print!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Front room is underway

I know, I know, Still not the nursery! Still not the nursery, which won the vote by an overwhelming majority in our little poll.  And still not the nursery even though we are now only 9 weeks away from D-Day.

The problem still remains of where exactly to put ourselves and the baby.

As of now, we occupy the front (first) bedroom.  It remains pink, as does the rest of our house.  Have I mentioned that the house is pink to it's core and under every layer of floral pink wallpaper is an even pink-er wall?  My Uncle Pinky should have lived here-- the Pink House. He used to be a security guard. His security service was called "Think Pink Security: Mellow, but not Yellow."

But on to the front room.  When we first saw it it looked like this.   It has already over the course of several weeks gone through many changes.  I took down the window treatments right away-- we have great wooden blinds that add a bit more insulation to our already insulated windows (not the house, mind you, which has NO insulation argh) and Drake attacked the wallpaper, which when peeled back revealed this:
(see? we weren't lying about the pink)

But do you see that lovely paisley?  We thought to ourselves, "Hmmm... I wonder why anyone covered that up?  I wonder if it will stay in tact and maybe we can consider keeping some of it as an accent on the   three-window-wall..."

And so as we peeled further, we became more excited at the prospect of beautifully in tact wallpaper of unknown age and origin that was unique and fun.  And while we wouldn't have chosen it in a million years, it chose our house at some point, and it did capture us.  We don't have enough inspiration for the whole entire house just stewing around in our minds, after all!

So tween-er front room looked like this:
This is the tri-window wall that we would keep papered but, as you can see, the tiniest little bits came off! What to do?

Try to salvage enough pattern repeats from this wall, and work some ninja-decoupage-magic on the accent wall, of course!

Drake tried in vain to scrape that wall using the handy-dandy squirt bottle and scraper technique that worked in the dining room, but to no avail.  And so we rented this tool:
It's a wallpaper steamer (in a cake pan) and for our purposes on Saturday, it was magical. 

Do you see that enormous continuous sheet of wallpaper?  It WORKED!  ha ha!!! it worked!  

Now, we just have to de-pink the furniture and reupholster it.  You saw it up there in the pictures, and you thought:

 "Gaw! That room looks AWFUL!  I hate the wallpaper, and the furniture just does not go at all!" 

You didn't think we'd leave the furniture like that, did you?  Finally!  A project for me (Alta)

To Be Continued....