Thursday, November 10, 2011

Breaking the Silence.

Let's not even talk about how long it has been. I have tons of stuff to share (If anyone still reads this), but for today I am going to break the silence with something that is dying to live in my house.

So if anyone wants to donate this to a worthy cause (napping) or let me know where I can find one for 20 dollars let me know. Normally it can be found here. Oh, and look at that, it's on sale. Haha.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bandwagon: Chalkboard Paint

Did you know that new refrigerator's that are counter depth and not ugly are expensive? Well, I am here to tell you, they are. Our house came with a fridge and while it is not the most beautiful thing, it keeps stuff cold (knock on wood). So it's sticking around. But after living through the gut renovation of the house it wasn't looking so hot. It actually stayed in the downstairs, uncovered and unplugged during the whole renovation (while we were out of the house) and we would keep things that we didn't want to disappear in the freezer...geniuses we are. Anyway, so I decided a couple of weeks ago to try and spruce this beauty up. And of course, what better way to jazz up a fridge than with chalkboard paint...or so the design blogs told me.
Here it is in all its glory.

First I removed the handles. I decided they didn't need to stay because you can open the fridge by grabbing the door, and they were ugly.

Then I lightly sanded the whole thing with 80 grit sand paper to rough things up and put on one coat of primer. I just used the primer that was recommended on the chalkboard paint can for metals and plastics, but I read other places that some people used metallic primer or none at all...but I don't care about magnets. Oh and at this point we moved it out of the tiny cramped addition into the future kitchen space so that the final coats didn't get banged up when we squeezed it out of there.

After one coat of chalkboard paint.

And after two! I'm debating doing a third coat. I don't know why. It looks fine, and the can didn't specify, but maybe I read on some other blog that three coats was recommended?

That's it! I opted not to paint the parts behind the doors (see the white strip below?) because that would have involved opening the doors to paint and then leaving them open to dry...and, well, we have food in our fridge. A very small amount of food. But still, I didn't feel like moving it to a cooler, which was my only idea and sounded kind of sketchy. But it's not so bad. Kind of looks like the fridge has a pinstripe. Ohhhhh, fancyyy.

Now we just have to "season" it after a couple days and then write away. Or after I put a third coat on. Whatever.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Flooring Update.

The last coat of poly was put on the floors today. In a mere 48 hours our living room furniture will be set up! Exciting stuff. We decided to go with a pickling stain to keep everything nice white and bright. After the initial meeting with the flooring guy, Jim, we weren't sure if the floor color would even out after sanding because of what he said was water damage in the past...but it did. So the pickling was officially a go.
These are some before pictures of the floor. We thought the original floors were pine, but Jim told us they were vertical grain fir.
P patched in the areas where walls and chimneys used to be with cherry and birch. The dark stripes on the floor are the areas that Jim said was water damage from the past.
Busy enjoyed those dirty old floors.
And here is the after. Now we just have to paint those stairs!
It definitely did not get quite as white as we were expecting, but we like the light but warm and clean look.
P analyzing. I love the variation and imperfections that show up in the old wood. Now if I can just walk on it without looking down to see if I messed anything up.

There are a couple of spots that I think we are going to get Jim to come and buff out, but overall I am loving it!

Monday, August 15, 2011

It's Go Time.

This is happening at my house right now! So excited.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Getting some privacy.

I finally got tired of feeling nervous that someone was going to be walking by our house at 7am at the exact moment I was coming down the stairs in my pj shorts and tshirt to go to the bathroom. So I went all crazy with privacy film.
I had actually tried to do our front doors a couple of weeks ago, but got frustrated with the process and didn't like the way the end result looked, so I pulled the film off.
So this was try #2.
Our previous privacy situation looked something like this. We really like to class it up around here.

So after a thorough scrubbing I started applying the film. One.


Three. This last one was aw-ful. I was doing it by myself, and that may not look like a big window...but it kind of is. There may have been some wrestling involved, and there may or may not be some air bubbles/dirt that got under that one. I don't really want to talk about it.

So there you go. I also redid the doors. I failed to get a good straight pic of those, but here they are in the background. Porkchop approves. I have a weird plan for getting that building permit out of the window and classing it up a bit. Blue painters tape isn't very cute.

We are in full prep mode getting things set up for a floor refinishing guy to come on Monday. I am so so so excited about this I can not even tell you. Cross your fingers that we get everything done before then and that he is able to stain the floors the color we are hoping! Eeeeeek!

Quick DIY: Lap tables.

About five years ago, when we were still in college, P showed up at my newly moved into apartment with a gift. He picked up three of these small tables/stools from Target for my roomie and I to use as a flexible coffee table. They were great. You could pull one up to eat off of on taco/Grey's anatomy night, or they provided additional seating when the living room was packed and they looked all nice in the rare event that the room was cleaned and they were all nicely lined up next to each other.
They followed us up to Boston and have been serving us well for the past three years. But. They've seen better days. And I really want a nice long low coffee table that I know exists out there somewhere. So I decided that these should be re-purposed. Don't you hate how your lap practically catches fire when you are sitting in bed and working on the computer? I do.

So after seeing something similar somewhere I suggested we lop the legs off of these little tables and make them into lap tables.
Ok, the price sticker is still on there. Class all the way.

P graciously cut them down on his super cool table saw that I'm mildly afraid of. It's loud. We put some painters tape on the cut line the minimize splintering of the plywood.

And I was left with these cute little things. I love them, but they maybe don't quite so comfortably fit over P's legs. Whoops. I mean, they work, it's just a bit of a squeeze. :) I'm considering painting them, but just gave them a good cleaning for now. And removed those dumb price stickers.


Ramblings: Dresser Edition

Hey, I'm getting pretty good at this posting once a month thing. Ha. Ok, so I'm way behind, but here we go. I had been whining to P about how I needed more storage. Now. No, I can't wait until we one day install a closet. Now. And then I found this little IKEA hack. Because of this little IKEA hack. And I was all...well, now I wanna do that too. But P wasn't buying it. So instead I hunted around for two small matching vintage dressers to paint a fun color. Maybe something like this...

Image from Little Green Notebook
But I couldn't find anything that we both liked and that was within our budget. So I got impatient and grumpy (two of my best features) and I mentioned this again. And again, and again, you get the point. I wore P down until he gave in. Nice, right? I'm a lovely person.
So after he gave in, we picked up two of these little beauties. You may remember this picture from my last post...ONE MONTH AGO. Anyway.

So I pretty much followed the directions on Kate and Lindsay's posts and this is what I came up with...

I used Minwax dark walnut stain, which went way darker than it looks on the can. I may have had a mini freakout causing a session of trying to strip the stain from one. I do not recommend this. It not only did not work, but it kind of blurred one of the dressers if that makes sense. But after a couple of months living with them I'm kind of liking the dark now. So all is well. Oh, and we went with simple brass knobs from the HD for a more simple look. They really are great little dressers for by the bed for keeping your books, magazines, candy, whatever you keep by the bed...I don't know your life. Look at that sad little orchid. Pathetic.

Soooo, fast forward a month. one day my neighbor puts this massive solid wood dresser on the sidewalk. The hoarder in me immediately thinks, hmmm, I wonder if he's throwing that away. Imagine my delight when P mentions the dresser. I'm all "oh, you noticed the dresser too, does that mean I can have it?!". My mind works weird ways like that. Luckily he didn't hate the dresser and said to see if it got moved to the curb the next morning for trash day. So the next morning I trotted to the window and peered out. Hm. It was still pushed up against his house. Weird. The garbage men came, then left without the dresser. The recycling man came and took the metal knobs...but left the dresser! What was going on here? Ok, so I force myself to get dressed and go to work and we bump into neighbor man (dresser owner) on the way out. He is standing there, puzzled, wondering where his knobs went and mumbling something about how "the guy" won't want it without the knobs. Boo. Obviously this dresser had a new home. So I mentioned the recycling guy knob thief and went on my way. Don't worry, he chased down the recycling guy and got his knobs back. Weird. Anyway, so the next day the dresser hasn't moved. And the next and the next and on and on. A whole week later...I kid you not that dresser is just hanging city lawn furniture.

This is just a long drawn out story to tell you that I finally saw my neighbor again (he disappears for days at a time) and I finally said "ummmm, dude, is that guy not coming for that dresser". And he was all "yeah, he never showed up, you want it". And I was all "hellz yeah, I love free furniture". I got home from work that night and P had drug it inside for me right before a big rainstorm. Yay.

This thing is a beast. And it needs a paint job.

Seriously, ewww.

I've sanded it, but haven't gotten to the paint part. We are considering purple. Yes. Purple!

Monday, July 18, 2011

One Month in Photos.

Inexpensive Furniture.
Mr. Lizard. One of many.
Favorite place in the world.
Door reconstruction.
Tiling. Still.


Hoping next month is just as much fun...maybe with a smidge more house work thrown in. :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

May Brimfield and Other Fleas.

In the days leading up to the May 2011 Brimfield Antiques Market I was super excited, but I was also a little worried. We had decided that since we didn't need anything terribly bad that we would go on Sunday, which is the last day of the event. In the past we'd had good luck that day because typically the dealers just want to clear out what is left. So, not a great selection, but great prices. Back to why I was worried. The week before then the weather forecast was showing a steady prediction of 60-70% chance of rain. Boooo rain. But we figured that it'd still be fine with umbrellas and maybe the rain would be light. By the day before the prediction was up to 100%, but scattered showers. Scattered, fine. We were committed. I love Brimfield.

The prediction came true, but scattered showers actually turned into scattered thunderstorms. In general we were not really bothered by them. When the rain got heavy we would just seek refuge under a tent. Hanging out with a young couple from Brooklyn and checking out their cool wooden folding chairs, hearing stories about quilts made in Virginia or dodging a surly grandpa and his cane.

Most of the morning went on like that. We had heard from tent to tent that there was a bigger storm coming...and it seemed to be causing a mass exit from many of the vendors. But we just kept on shopping. And then it came.

We popped under this tent when our umbrellas weren't cutting it anymore. After a while we realized how hungry we were and popped into a random pizzeria (see sign on the left) that was in a building that more resembled an insurance office. Like I said, we were hungry.

This guy was carrying it out by the armfuls.

After a sort of kind of tasty pizza lunch we wandered a little more, but in the end nothing came home with us. It was still a surprisingly good time picking through what was left while small rivers of water began to run through the tents and wandering through the rain. Maybe next time we will get lucky...cause you know I'll be going!

There are actually many many flea markets around the Boston area...another one of my favorites is Todd Farm. We've been a handful of times and scored some pretty sweet stuff (which I thought I'd blogged about before, but can't seem to find it?). Anyway, here's what we got there recently...

These super sweet educational flashcards from the '60s. They are pretty big, about 24"x12" each? And double sided! So the picture below shows all four, one side, then the other. I luff them, not sure what they were meant to teach, but they are hilarious. We just need to get some frames and we will have four pieces of interchangeable art. This find totally goes to P, I think we paid like 2 or 3 bucks for them.

These were my find of the day. I thought these old wooden hangers were so cool. I think one was stamped with a hotel name (the one you can see) and the other was stamped with some local company in Boston. I think they will be great on a hook on the wall next to the closet, kind of like a valet hook.

After Todd Farm we drove around and made our way out to Plum Island and decided to check it out. It was super cute, no pics, just drove through, but I'd love to go stay there some time. On the way there we passed by a Garage Sale and decided to stop. It was pretty lame, but for some reason I got drawn into this huge box of old old old children's books. It seriously looked like this lady had robbed a library. We picked out three random books that had cool illustrations. My favorite is the Nothing Ever Happens on My Block in the middle below. Hilarious. And yes, I do realize it's a little strange for a couple that has no children to be buying children's books...maybe if they'd add cool illustrations to grown up books I'd buy those instead. :)

New Bedding.

Way way way back earlier this year I heard from a very good source about Molly Mutt dog duvets. So I started looking at them. And looking at them. And going back and forth over the endless color possibilities for my pups new beds (as if they cared). After some crazy long deliberation over doggie beds I chose two matching simple rust colored covers. I'm boring.

Unfortunately, we did not have any old doggie beds laying around so I rummaged around on the internet some more and came up with this solution:

I bought a full or queen size (can't remember which) 2" thick memory foam mattress topper to cut up and make the inserts for the duvets.

After measuring and cutting/hacking them to the right size you end up with four pieces of foam and a small strip left over.

Then I just stacked two foam pieces on top of each other and used the handy little mesh insert to hold them together. No foam glue needed. Nope.

Then I just shimmied the cover onto the new cushion and bam! Dog bed.

They approve.
More Molly Mutt action here. These things are popular!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

When life hands you lemons...

Ok, so life totally didn't hand us lemons...but sometimes our house does feel a little like a lemon. Like this car my dad once bought (hi dad!) that never really seemed to want to start. A little like that. I will elaborate more on this very whiney point later. I promise.

Back to the lemons. I've been wanting a little lemon tree for a while. I think the selling point was when I read that they bloom and produce fruit throughout the year and that they smell really nice. Can you think of anything better in the middle of a dreary Boston winter than the smell of lemons? I can't.

So, after reading this post on Little Green Notebook today, I thought to myself..."hmmmm, self, I think I'm going to order one of those little trees". So I did!

So cute right? I ordered a Dwarf Meyer Lemon Tree. It promises to be small, produce fruit that is sweeter than normal lemons and be hardy and adaptable...which I chose to take as "not as easy to kill". So keep your fingers crossed on that one. Purchased from here. Can't wait!

Image found here.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mirror, mirror on the wall: aka Half-bath Mirror.

I really hope the fact that I'm just getting around to hanging this mirror isn't any indication for neglect of what might be found at Brimfield 2011.1.
That sucker is pretty old and heavy, and I didn't trust those old wood pieces holding the mirror into it's frame. So I bought some of these metal thingys that you push into the wood to hold the mirror in. They have a real name and are not called thingys, but I don't remember it right now. I found them at the HD along with the picture hanging kit I installed on the back of the frame.

After cleaning off the back and making all my little hardware modifications I flipped it over and polished the crap out of the frame with Howard Feed-N-Wax, which is awesome.

Then we hung it. Ta-da! Ok, you can't really tell. But it's clean, and shiny, and I think it's kind of the perfect size for the mini bathroom. Oh, and we hung up a towel hook. So now we are civilized. No more paper towel roll and Ikea mirror propped up on top of the sink.

Like that lopsided pic? P's got mad picture taking skillz.

Now we just need to find a tp holder that we both like that doesn't cost $300 or $30 for shipping from Europe.