Thursday, May 31, 2012

The William Morris Project: Knock, Knock

This week's project was a happy accident.  
A fortuitous occurrence.
A most welcome happenstance.  

It started out as a mistake, and ended with another little piece of my heart filled with happiness. 

We went to Lowe's on Monday to buy paint for our new beehive. 
First mistake: Lowe's on a holiday. 
Second: Buying paint from Lowe's on a holiday. 

The paint lady was completely not paying attention when my husband told her what he wanted. 
So, we ended up buying 2 quarts of the same color: one flat, the other semi-gloss. 
Fortunately, we love us some blue. 

Now, instead of basic white:


Our door is the color of a ripe blueberry!


3 coats with a brush/ roller + 36 hours of drying time.


We didn't even take the door down - just taped off the edge. 


I think it really brightens the whole exterior. 


I love the color. 
It 'pops' against the white storm door & red brick.


The white door was too bland. 
A red door?  Not with red brick.
Black?  Are you on crack? 

Blue, you are juuuuust right.  

This post is part of The William Project, brought to you by Pancakes and French Fries.  


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

End of School

I feel like putting on my Oprah voice for this. 

"It's the End of Schooooooooooooooool!!"

End Oprah voice.  

So of course we had to put together a little Thank You gift for her teacher.  

I will disclose that I stole this idea from A Turtle's Life for Me.  She does really cute, easy crafts, and has yummy recipes to share.  

It's a gift card book!  
I cut everything using the Cricut (so handy!)
Gift cards are $5 each.  


Front Cover
"What will Mrs. XXXX do this summer?"
(all ideas came from what I imagine was a not-so-subtle conversation with Mrs. XXXX)


Plant a garden


Eat yummy ice cream


Get a snack on the road


Go swimming


Back Cover


At 3:30 today she will be a 3rd grader!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

William Morris Project: Backyard Shenanigans + Bonus!

 Of all the areas in/ around our house, the backyard gets the least amount of love.  We've done a few minor things since moving in: cutting down a sad little Charlie Brown tree next to the shed, building a firepit, mowing regularly... but mostly, we have turned a blind eye.  

Blind though we were, I was always frustrated by the view out the kitchen window.  

This would greet me each day: 



You can't tell from here, but this is a giant steel frame designed to hold a porch swing (which was both splintery and rickety, and which we took down the day we moved in & cut up for fire wood).  Sadly, the 7' frame remained immovably in place.  

Standing here usually means I am doing dishes - not my favorite chore.  But I do enjoy gazing at the green grass in Spring, and watching for errant snowflakes in Winter, yet I hated the harsh vertical line that interrupted my line of sight.  

Thankfully, Husband & his welding tank changed all that for me.  
I'm so happy that I'm considering it a belated Mother's Day gift.  

This is my view now: 


A man of MANY talents.  


After cutting the frame, he dug out the 18" concrete plugs that were embedded in the yard. 


Good-bye rusted steel frame!


I can't wait to till up the area under the window & plant a kitchen garden!
(I know, a little late for this year, but whatevs)



And this little bonus falls under the category of "Useful" (forgive the rambling):

When we bought this house, the kitchen appliances were included.  They are not my first choice, but they were free, and we are broke.  The freezer portion of my side-by-side refrigerator has been leaking off and on for several months.  I thought it had something to do with the ice maker, and shut it off in March.  Then, earlier this week, another leak appeared under the fridge side.  When I stopped hyperventilating, I pulled it away from the wall, and realized the laminate flooring under the area was buckled ever so slightly - indicating that it had been leaking for some time.  Yesterday I moaned on Facebook about the problem, saying it was probably time to shop for a new fridge (which we absolutely can't afford, but we also can't afford to live out of an ice chest either, so you know, the lesser of two evils).  Multiple friends suggested I check to see if the drain was plugged.  

Drain? 

I pulled it away from the wall, and poked around the back.  No drain, and no way to even access the drip pan (which was bone dry).  

I stared inside my freezer for a while, and then started emptying it out.  I unscrewed the inside back panels, and was greeted with this: 


I am no expert on the inner workings of modern kitchen appliances, but even I thought that might be just a scoch too much ice build up.  
An hour with the hairdryer on full blast thawed the ice, and then I was able to unclog the frozen drain using hot water, a straw, and a final flush of baking soda & vinegar.  

AND GUESS WHAT? 
No more leaking (so far, so good) and the water & ice dispenser in the door is even working!
It hasn't worked since, well, ever.  
I don't think this is a permanent solution, but I am hopeful that I bought us another 6 months!

I think William Morris would approve. 





PS: Why don't we use the word shenanigans more often?  Is it just a touch too old-fashioned?  Like saying "automobile" or "grocery" or "inoculation"?  Making a mental note to add more archaic vocabulary to my daily conversations.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Gratuitous Update

School Carnival Fun


kitty face


bouncy house


acrobat & strongman


Backyard Karaoke


 twinkle, twinkle little star (with big sis on back up)

End of Spring Soccer 2012 


Team Yellow!


Super Star!

And finally........


This little beauty is 1 of 2 syringes of fluid removed from my husband's knee. 
He says it feels 15 years younger! I was grossed out x15!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The William Morris Project: Cosmetic Update

This week's William Morris Project is brought to you by my husband, who thankfully was not harmed during the completion of this task.  All I did was hold the ladder as it sank slowly into the lava rock and shriek when the wasps came looking for their now vanished nests.  It was a tough job, but I was lucky to have it. 

Before:


After:


I know, at first glance it may appear that we are uglifying the house instead of making it more beautiful.  
I disagree. 

I hated the thorny, poky bushes. 
The shutters were shedding strips of white latex paint into the lava rocks below, and with each windstorm little bits of plastic slat would flutter into the backyard.  I had considered replacing them, but at $60 EACH, that's not going to happen anytime soon.  Or, now that they are off, EVER.

I am hopeful that 3 months of brutal summer sun will even out the coloration of the siding.  I'll still take a little uneven shading in preference to peeling paint and missing slats.  

And I promise that we're going to put in some new bushes.  
Some day.  

Oh, and in case you think I am feeling smug for getting stuff done after not posting for two weeks (insert earth-shaking eye roll here), let me share with you my House To-Do list, which is 9 months old: 

House To-Do
  1. Rip out old carpet
  2. Clean house
  3. Clean existing carpet
  4. Bolt down guest toilet
  5. Install new carpet
  6. Prime guest room
  7. Paint guest room
  8. New MBA floor
  9. Strip wallpaper in Kitchen/ Dining Room
  10. Prime & paint MBR
  11. New shades for MBR ceiling fan
  12. Paint trim white throughout house
  13. Prime & paint MBA
  14. Prime & paint Family room
  15. Strip wallpaper border in M’s room
  16. Prime & paint M’s room
  17. Paint ceiling fan in M’s room
  18. Prime & paint J’s room
  19. Paint ceiling fan in J’s room
  20. Replace floor in Kid’s bath
  21. Prime & paint Kid’s bath
  22. Kid bath: new mirror, light, faucet
  23. New shower curtain for Kid’s bath
  24. Prime & paint Kitchen/ Dining Room
  25. Strip wallpaper border from Living Room
  26. Prime & paint Living Room
  27. Prime & paint hallway to BR
  28. Replace floor in guest bath
  29. Prime & paint guest bath
  30. Replace light switches through house
  31. Paint back doors (inside).
  32. New dining room light
  33. New entry light
  34. Paint or replace ceiling fan in kitchen
  35. Paint kitchen cabinets
  36. Replace hardware on kitchen cabinets
  37. Replace kitchen sink & faucet
  38. Replace kitchen countertops
  39. Tile backsplash in kitchen
  40. MBA
  41. paint cabinet
  42. new light
  43. update fixtures
  44. Paint cabinet in Kid’s bath
  45. Paint cabinet in Guest bath
  46. Laundry room
    1. Motion sensor for light switch
    2. Finish right wall & paint
    3. Shelving for storage
  47. Paint front door
  48. Add potted flowers flanking door
  49. Pull out juniper bushes
  50. Pull out lava rock
  51. Re-landscape in front of porch; add 6 pavers next to spigot
  52. Landscaping in back (TBD)

I was feeling OK about things until I tallied up the numbers and realized that I still have more than half the list to go.  HALF.  And we've been here almost a year!  We're getting to the point that many of the projects will make a big dent in our bank account, and we're just not there yet.  Until then, I'll be scraping wallpaper and painting trim all summer, enjoying my dirt patch and hunting for bargains wherever I can find them (tell me again why lighting is so expensive?).  


Thursday, May 3, 2012

The William Morris Project: Bedroom Update

Yes, we finally did Big Sis' room, and I am utterly MEH about the results. 

I'm glad it's painted, and the trim is done, and all the door hardware is painted, and the fan is painted, and the outlets & switches have been updated.......but I'm just not feelin' it. I didn't get to do an accent stencil in the closet like I wanted, there are no pictures hung yet, and we haven't even put up the mirror we've been keeping for a year.  I'm also severely bothered by the clashing pink of the table & dresser.  I feel like they either need to be a brighter pink or white.  And I don't love the fan.  It feels lifeless.   

I'm hoping that doing the above - and really finishing the room will change my mind.


Before


After


Before


After


Before


After



Before


After




Close-up of bedding



Close-up of fan

I do love the curtains, the new bedding, and how the lamp ties in with the duvet.  Maybe I actually do need to paint an accent wall..... or hang a lot of artwork .....or something. It just feels BLAH right now.  Is it better than the purple?  YES.  But I don't think it's quite in the "Beautiful" category yet.  

This post is part of the link-up at Pancakes and French Fries.  Go check it out!