Back in the Saddle

26 Oct

I officially suck.  I haven’t published a post since June.  JUNE!  Obviously I’ve had better things to do…just kidding.  But I have been doing a lot of work on the house…here’s proof!!

First, I started on the bathroom, basically gutting it.  I didn’t take any photos of the heinous wallpaper that was underneath the paint, but I did save a piece…and I’m going to frame it for my hallway frame gallery.  Whoops, let that cat out of the bag a bit early.  More on that later.  But for now,  here’s the bathroom mid-project:

As you can see, I’ve re-done the floor with white marble tile…AKA stick tile, which is much more durable than the ceramic tile that was there previously (sorry Rob!) and no grout = super easy to clean.  Another plus, is that it’s not freezing cold on feetsies in the mornings!  Don’t let these photos fool you, we’re much farther along than this, but I’ve got 12,350,956,209 jobs going right now and haven’t had a spare moment to take photos/write a post.  It’s actually 98% done, and the sink will be installed this weekend.  Yeah, I’m pumped.  THOSE photos will come when it’s allllll done. 

I’ve also:

-painted kitchen
-painted hallway
-painted master bedroom
-closed up a coat closet door in the living room
-created a “makes more sense” coat closet door in the living room
-uphostered new dining table chairs
-replaced living room fan
-put new light fixtures in all rooms
-painted one wall in living room…because I knocked a hole in it…

Anywhooooo, more pictures as I get them uploaded, they’re all on my ph-ancy new phone, and it’s way smarter than I am…sad to admit. 

Wellps, back to work!

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So, guess what?

23 Jun

I’m a homeowner.  

That’s right. I dropped some major dough and bought me a house.  Here’s the lovely photo from forsalebyowner.com of my beautiful abode with it’s cute little “under contract” banner:

 Now, I’m used to a small 900ish square foot apartment.  Now I’m living in this 1363 square foot, 1/3 acre mansion.  Well, not a mansion to most, but to me and Mu, it’s enormous.    I’ve been in the house just shy of two weeks, and I’ve already ripped out doors (open storage = forced cleanliness), brought in a brand new vanity/sink combo, upgraded the security system to Fort Knox standards, and even weeded my own flower beds.

I’ve also had a few visitors, including a little black and white cat who seems to think he lives there.  No lie, he just busted up in my front door the other night like he owned the place.  He even seemed to know where things were (like bathrooms–and faucets) so I’m relatively sure he’s been in the house before.  News flash little kitty, there’s a new cat in town, and she doesn’t share.  Not even with me. 

Speaking of animals in the ‘hood, Malibu spends her entire day lounging on the windowsills staring at birds and beetles, squirrels and dogs, etc.  She even barked a little bit at a small gecko looking thing on the ledge.  Cute.

Now, I would post some pictures, BUT the house is currently in a state of paint-flux.  Perhaps you’re unfamiliar with the term.  I will explain.  Paint-flux is when the house’s paint scheme, as lovely as it may be, clashes horridly with your furnishings.  It’s pretty common and not a big deal, but the taupe/pink walls aren’t jiving to well with my green furniture…it’s a little Easter-y for me.  So, moral of the story?   Photos to come soon : ).

>Holy Rabbits and Bats…man!

22 May

>Scene 1:

So when the power went out at the beginning of the month due to the crazy tornadoes, it seems that it was not only people who got displaced from the effects of the storm – so were some Red Ear Slider turtles.  After the storm it appears they were blown in from the nearby wetlands and ended up on the concrete in front of my apartment!  Jackpot.  Free turtles.  They’ve got their own little habitat (thanks James and Mom!) and are enchanting to watch when they fight over little freeze-dried shrimp (scrimps) and while sunning themselves on their shell-on-a-rock.

Scene 2:

So I’m at work, sitting at my desk, minding my own business…when SMACK – it sounded like someone throws a rotten vegetable at the back floor to ceiling wall of glass, or so I thought.  When I ran over to see what the heck had happened, I saw a full-on bird print on the window pane, and a very discombobulated robin standing on the ground woozily wobbling around with his mouth open.  My first instinct was to make sure the little sucker was OK (he was) but then I of course called everyone into the office to make fun of the tarded bird.

Scene 3: 

So I’m at my apartment sitting on the couch minding my own business (sensing a theme here?) when Malibu starts going crazy on the porch, jumping and slapping the screen and making all kinds of racket.  I went out to check out the crazy bugs she was harassing when I noticed that there was a BAT hanging out and harassing my cat right back!  Crazy.

Scene 4:

So I’m at work, sitting at my desk, minding my own business (I had to – sue me!) when this little rabbit guy hops up to the front windows and we enter into a staring contest of epic proportions.  I win, because of course rabbits don’t follow the rules, but he continues to chill on the front porch for a good 20 minutes.  He’s still there as we speak just boppin’ around and sunning himself.  We’ve got a colony of rabbits who live under the pool deck here, and it’s so charming to see them running around playing leap-rabbit (I swear to you they do this.  Whomever coined the phrase “leap-frog” had a serious animal identification issue) all over the property. 

After these four incidents in ONE MONTH [three in a week] I have concluded that I am so incredibly pale that animals of all varieties think I’m Snow White and as a result are stalking me for reasons unbeknownst to me. Weird. 

>Just an FYI.

22 May

>In an effort to keep me from being all whiny and to prevent me from literally pitching my laptop out the window…James went and got us a MacBook Pro.  1.  Best boyfriend ever.  2.  Best computer ever.  Just sayin’.

New housing situation post coming soon, promise!

>And now we wait.

8 May

>

So I’ve done a ton of projects that I’m itching to blog about and I realize that I’m weeks behind the times, but I’ve been busy and more-than-slightly-hindered by the fact that my computer has lovingly decided to go on strike.  Oh yeah, and I’m buying a house.  Let me rephrase.  I’m attempting to buy a house.  The offer is made and now I’m sitting here twiddling my thumbs for what-seems-like-forever waiting to hear back…
Though I’ve never written a check for over five digits (pre-decimal point) I’m surprisingly calm about the whole thing.  And weirdly, I’m not scared that he’ll decline my offer, because I assume he will counter, but I’m scared to death that he’ll accept.  I will own a house.  My own house.  I can knock down walls.  I can change windows.  I can mow my own lawn have someone mow my own lawn!
However…if he doesn’t accept my offer[s]…I’m homeless June 21st.  My apartment is already pre-leased to someone else!!!  So, if you’ve got a comfy couch for me, Mu and her turtles (more on that later) hit me up.
Peace sign up, A-town down.

>Naked no more!

13 Apr

>…that is, my living room wall is no longer bare.  And you got all hot and bothered…  That’s right.  I’ve lived here for 10 months now, and I literally JUST came up with something to put on the biggest wall in the space.  I’ve been looking for quite some time for some art to grace the large space over Sophie.  (yes I named the couch)  I just couldn’t find something perfect, and all the paintings I create are way to modern to fit with the rest of the furnishings…and then I stumbled upon this genius idea from YHL.  They “wallpapered a wall with frames.”  Now, I’m not quite that ambitious, but I do have a slight hoarding problem when it comes to picture frames.  So here’s what I did.  I gathered up all the ones that I had, traced their shapes onto some newsprint paper, and then taped them up on the wall where I wanted them to go.

 There’s my sorority Afghan making a non-matching appearance…

This took longer than the actual hanging of the frames.  So once I had an idea of where the frames were going to go, I realized..whoopsie, I don’t have anything to go in these frames!  Then I remembered that I’m an artistic savant and can create my own.  JK.  I stole most of my ideas from elsewhere, but I changed and quirked them a bit to match my style.  I knew I wanted some silhouettes, but I didn’t want to drop a lot of coin on them, so I decided to make them myself.  I took semi-serious semi-profile photos of me, boyfrand, Moobz and Dylan.  The first batch (seen below) didn’t look quite like I wanted, in fact when I was finished with the first draft of me, CLR pointed out that since my hair is so short, my silhouette looked like a “baby skull.”  We can’t be having that.

Since I am the funniest person I know, and because I knew these wouldn’t look professional anyway, I decided to go with some humorous photos of us.  For example, James is never without that headband/sunglasses combo and I’ve always got on giant earrings, I decided to incorporate some things that make us “us” in the second batch.  More on that later.  Anyway, back to the process. So I printed the photos and then traced and cut them out of black poster board.  I used a cutting tool instead of scissors because of the delicate features of the face, and miraculously didn’t even cut myself.  Since poster board is only black on the front and back, I took a Sharpie to the edges to make sure that it was black 360 degrees around.Then just scrapbook-taped them to some think white paper and slipped them in my frames. 

Mulligan.

**A few days after this I got down to it and re-did mine and James’ heads.  They turned out pretty legit, if I do say so myself.  Here’s the final results of the silhouette project.  Be amazed.

Hanging things on the wall has never been my forte.  I’m so particular and nervous about hanging things crooked or off center or making a million holes in the walls a la oops moments…so I called in one of my co-workers who happens to be our maintenance technician to help.  He brought extra nails and a level and some snide comments about my inability to eyeball things.  I was measuring out every little nail hole and still getting them wrong.  He estimated every one and every one was perfect.  Yeah yeah yeah, whatever.  He’s a pro, he’s supposed to get things like that right the first time.  Well anyway, here’s the finished placement-project product…and there’s Lance laughing at me. 

Don’t freak out that all the frames don’t quite match.  That was the point – eclectic elegance, as I like to call it.  The two silver ones at the top containing art that I made are silver.  They will be black soon.  The shelf that is currently white with blue polka dots is being sanded and painted black.  THEN it will be done!

                    So about this art.

From top left clockwise:  James’ original silhouette, a painting I did of a hand holding a .38 revolver, silver glitter key with my address on it that my mom made me for Christmas, footprint art from Malibu and Dylan (that was a nightmare that left my porch with cute little gigantic paw prints…), “baby skull” me, two pictures of my college sorority, empty shadowbox (it’s not finished sheesh!) currently containing a picture of Courtney from 10th grade with an Atlanta Bread Company cup suctioned to her face, Malibu’s silhouette (she’s so classy), a map of the US held up currently by stud earrings, three pictures that will be changed out asap, bottom frame has a ‘J’ initial for me and James, shelf, Dylan, currently empty frame (the gold color is to balance the brown of the cork board) and 512 – my apartment number.

I like it.  You?  Got any ideas about what I should put in the empty frames or the shadowbox?  HELP me here.  I’ve only got so much inspiration in me in one sitting.  IMPATIENT.  That’s me.

>DISCLAIMER: Long Post – Be Prepared!

26 Mar

>

My apartment.  I love it.  It is an extension of myself.  I’ve put blood, sweat and tears into it.  I intended to live here for years.  I’m moving out in 2.5 months.  As heartbreaking as this is, I’ve finally come to terms with it enough to talk about it without weeping uncontrollably, but I’m not quite ready to let it go.  SO here is my living memorial to my in-no-way-humble abode.
When I moved into this nine-hundred-some-odd square foot apartment, I had a complete blank slate.  That’s the nice way of saying I moved into a chalk white box. I inherited white walls, white doors, white appliances, white countertops, white cabinets…white white white.  To me, actually a good thing.  It let me see the bones of the space, and what I really fell in love with about this apartment were the quirky little architectural situations that it has going on, even from the exterior. 
Here’s my screened porch.  Notice that gentle arch at the top?  That is my biggest inspiration for my design theme.  Arches.  Curves.  It’s continued inside the apartment with a hallway entrance arch, and I milked it for all it was worth.  I decided to go with fabrics that employed swirls and circles, and organic plant like scenes to go along with the arches, and then throw in some sharp lines for contrast.  Great plan in my opinion.
So here’s the furniture I chose.  Thanks to awesome people at Haverty’s, I scored this awesome 40’s inspired sofa and gi-freaking-normous chair in this great pistachio color. 

 

Notice the soft arches on the backrests {and Malibu already asleep on the sofa}!!  LOVE the low stuffed arms on both…so I can sleep on them without breaking my neck in half!  Now, I love me some Haverty’s, but they had included those Golden Girls-esque pillows in this heinous tropical/floral/Miami-vomit style throw pillows…which I quickly threw out donated.  Replaced them with some super cool geometric down pillows and a couple smaller pillows peppered with concentric circles in all my main decorating colors.  Can you say upgrade?  My mom found that bamf ottoman from Burlington of all places.  It opens up super wide and stores my blankets (that don’t quite compliment the furniture) safely out of sight…not to mention it matches the green almost perfectly, has the swirlies AND is pretty freaking comfy to sit on when my friends jack all my seating (in my own darn house!)  Love.  It. 
This heavy-duty, round, drop leaf kitchen table has followed me from my Junior year of college…and as such had some interesting dents (in the shapes of quarters…and shot glasses) so it took seven sheets of sandpaper and a legit belt sander that’s older than me to get it smooth; so worth it though.  The black looks really spectacular in here.  What about the chairs?  They were still under construction when I was in the process of moving in.  As for the MIA chairs, those were mom & dad’s.   When I realized that they were hoarding 12 arched back chairs in their attic I begged and begged and finally it paid off.  WIN! We found this great fabric with the greens and yellow and blacks and upholstered them ourselves.  When we do upholstery, we add memory foam mattress pads.  They’re more than comfy.   They’re beyond.  Galactic, even.  Here’s Moobles agreeing with me on the comf-tastic chairs upholstery job:
My favorite antique place here in Madison is Hartlex Antique Mall.  They’ve always got the most amazing pieces and are always willing to make concessions.  They don’t deliver, but they will hold the item until you are able to pick it up, and they’re always super nice.  Go there.  Spend $$$.  I did, and I have never spent $400 better.  That buffet up there with my table?  That’s my pride and joy.  It’s circa 1935 (aka my favorite time for fashion, furniture, music, art, movies, EVERYTHING) so it was right up my alley, and it has the curvy arches not only in the shape but also in the hardware. Not to mention that it is in perfect condition.  Fell in love.  Wrote a check.  Took it home.
I had my eye peeled in search of a huge stuffed headboard, but all the ones I found weren’t exactly what I was looking for AND they were like a bajillion dollars.  What to do when you can’t find something perfect?  Build it.  This particular one my mom made for me and it weighs a ton. It’s triple padded with cotton batting, a memory foam mattress pad and then covered with a down comforter.  You don’t even need pillows to prop up on this bad boy.  She also made the slip cover which is on there super securely with Velcro…and also can be removed and washed dry-cleaned. Or changed for some other color if I’m feeling froggy…or if I ever buy a sewing machine. Whichever. The nightstands in this picture were built in 1984 by my grandfather, and my mom and I sanded and repainted them in black.  Fun little story about these cute little guys.  When sanding them, I flipped one over and on the bottom was a little note written in pencil: “TO: Lloyd and Darlene FROM: Papa”  These were a gift for their first home, and then were passed down to me for my first home.  How’s that for friggin’ adorable?!   My dressing table was also passed down to me from my mother, and to her from her best friend Vicki many years past.  Vicki got it on England and shipped it back, moved it all over the country and then traded it to my mom for a dresser…and now it’s mine.  I am so full of win it is not even funny.
I drew inspiration for the paint colors from my furniture, because I decided long ago that it is easier to pick paint colors to match furniture than vice versa.  So I raided Home Depot, Lowes, Sherwin Williams, etc. for paint samples.  From allllllllll these paint swatches (those are front and back people!) I chose these four: Basketry from Behr, Briquette from Behr, Beach Grass from Martha Stewart and Ozone from Behr.  *I love Behr paint*  Once everything was all together, it finally was looking like a finished product…but not until I got some more final pieces to make it one cohesive design. 
So…the icing on the cake – extras.
My grandmother passed a few months back, and though I didn’t know her well she left me some beautiful antique jewelry and some 1930’s furniture.  She must’ve known me better than I thought, because those things basically sum up my whole life.  This secretary’s desk is smaller than a men’s desk, and is absolutely perfect for me.  Now I have somewhere to pay my bills and hide unruly papers, write thank you notes and display this cute little lion letter holder that mommy made me in college.  It was killing me to find a chair that was of the same style and era as the desk (notice here I’m using my bar stool) when finally it dawned on me…why not get a fab modern white desk chair {photos soon!} to balance out the antique-ness of the desk?!  I’m a genius.  It looks fantastic.
 Also in the new addition category are my mirrored tables.  Anyone who has known me for at least five minutes knows that I have a vain obsession with mirrors; exceptionally reflective window?  I’m staring in it.  Car sideviews = reckless driving for me.  Throw them on a wall and I’m constantly looking in them.  Throw them on furniture and I’m in heaven. My first mirrored table experience was whey my bffffff Courtney gifted me a four legged mirrored table from Tar-Jay as a moving gift [months before I actually moved].
It was eventually replaced with this fabulous little round mirror table that I found also at Burlington.  But never fear, Courtney’s table has found it’s home in my bedroom as a bedside table.  I intend to purchase another to place on the other side of the bed…where right now is my third mirror-table-obsession purchase.  Also found at Burlington was this ridiculously cool mirrored chest of drawers.  Right now it is acting as a bedside table, but it is about six inches taller than Courtney’s Table…which makes my lamps askew and drives me insane.  Don’t worry, it’ll be remedied soon when I will duplicate one or both of these two little guys.
So, you’ve made it this far, and we’re so close to done!  Here are some picture of my final product.  Starting with the entry area I took photos of it all finished (ha.  finished.  right.)  But anyway, I love it.  You’d better love it, too.  Or at least humor me.
You know you’re impressed.