Monday, January 31, 2011

Monkey Love

That's a happy face.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Week #4: 111 Things in 1/11

It's the 4th (and final) week of 111 Things in 1/11, hosted by Jenny at Words on Wendhurst! I missed last week, cause I'm lazy... So let's see if I reached the goal of 111 items, as of Week #2, I had 69 items.

2 lampshades
1 drawstring bag that held lime green jersey sheets, which we no longer have
1 printer cord for a printer we also no longer have
1 pair of headphones
1 empty shoebox for shoes I no longer own (I'm sensing a pattern here)
36 red, white, and blue jelly bracelets
6 silver toned bangles
3 plastic bangles
1 blue faux-snakeskin bangles with rhinestones
1 red Lucite bangle
1 stainless Guess watch
2 belt buckles, again for belts we no longer have
2 sets of lace drapes and tiebacks I removed from our rented house and forgot to put back up (why did these even get packed?)
1 lace valance with geese and hearts (also removed from the windows at our rented house)
1 tourist-ey picture frame from Cozumel
2 crappy clear plastic hangers
1 pair of shorts from AE that I will never again fit into
1 crappy kitchen mandolin (my parents got me a new one for my birthday)
1 VHS copy of What Dreams May Come (Have you seen it? If not, you totally should, it's amazing.)
1 winter beenie with skulls on it
1 bottle Aldo synthetic leather protectant
1 pair of gray dress pants from The Limited
3 wine bottles I was saving for Halloween and didn't utilize
4 random Christmas cards from years past
2 awesome rubber dragon/gargoyle toys (unfortunately the rubber dry rotted and is sticking to everything and the stuffing is exploding from them or I would keep them cause they rock)
1 unused composition book that has water damage

147 Items!

Yay! I didn't think I'd make it since I skipped last week, but that just meant I had to break down and get rid of more crap this week...

What have you been editing out of your life?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Master Bedroom Progress: Art!

This is what our MB looked like for over a year... Well, it wasn't gray for a year, but this is what it's looked since I painted it in June. It basically looked the same before that, only with lilac walls, courtesy of the previous owner.

I found a bedside dresser for the Mister in July, made drapes in August, found lamps in October, and finally got around to hanging the art that's been sitting on our dresser for 4 months last weekend. And here it is now.

Since our walls are not normal plaster, but some kind of mortar/concrete mix, I hate to drill holes wily-nily.  And I can't just tap in a nail and move it if it's not right. Hanging things in our house involves a big process, lots of measuring, and a concrete drill bit in our DeWalt Hammer Drill. So I decided to try out the kraft paper pattern concept, which worked pleasingly well. I cut out two pieces of kraft paper the same size as my framed pieces. I eyeballed it a little on where I wanted them hung, then decided on an exact height from the ceiling to work with so they'd both be identical. I taped them up, marked the center where the hole needed to be and stepped back.

I decided they were too far apart, so instead of taking them down and rehanging them, I just moved the spot for my hole a little in on each one. I marked the correct mark with an arrow, so as not to confuse myself, and then I drilled straight through the paper and into the wall.

I pulled off the paper, malleted in my anchors, drilled in my screws, and TA DA!

We have art. Excellent. It's finally started to look "decorated". I still have a triptych I need to frame for the wall to the right and I need to figure out what to do with the walls next to the window, but it's definite progress.

Interesting story behind these pieces, too. I found this one, The Dreamer, years ago at an art fair. The artist, Randal Spangler, told me it was an old print that he didn't produce anymore and it was the last of it's kind. His style had changed to a more colorful Fantasy style and he was no longer doing the pen ad ink drawings. It was matted in navy and I never found the perfect place for him. 

Fast forward 6(?) years. My mother and I were at the same art fair looking through Mr. Spangler's pieces. I don't even really know why, since his newer stuff doesn't really speak to me in the same way. But low and behold, we find a mate for the Dreamer, titled Dreams. Dreams features a couple instead of a single man and I just love the huge window detail above the bed.

I have a small tattoo on my left wrist of a heart with wings that a friend of mine drew for me a decade ago, so the headboard detail in the drawing is especially fitting.

I re-matted both in black 16 x 20 mats and stuck them in Hobby Lobby MDF frames. I got the mat, the mat cutter, and the frames all on sale, 50% off. Can't beat that.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Master Bedroom Progress: A Bedside Dresser!

In our old house there was only enough room for one bedside table and it was (still is) very small. It lived on my side of the bed (still does) and Mr. just stacked his books, glasses, gun, etc. on a small stool on his side. When we moved into this house I knew we would need a more permanent solution for all his goodies and I started looking for an antique dresser for him. I knew a normal nighstand wasn't going to cut it, since our bed sits up really high and our existing nightstand is tall. It took me a year to find the perfect piece and in the meantime his nightstand was composed of two black Ikea Kassett boxes stacked atop each other.

Good lord, look at that mess! Isn't it amazing how once a space starts to come together and you feel good about your surroundings then you start to clean up after yourself more? I will never win Housewife of the Year, but at least our house doesn't (normally) look like a tornado hit it anymore.

In July I found this gem when we happened to be in Kentucky for my cousin's college graduation:

It was $80. Maybe this seems like a lot, but this is the style we are always on the hunt for and it tends to be pricey in the Midwest. Plus I didn't want to paint it, so I needed something in fairly decent shape. When we got home and had the Mister unload it he got upset because he thought we had paid hundreds of dollars for it.

The top needed some sanding and refinishing:

We sanded it down, plopped on two coats of Minwax Water-Based Stain in Coffee:

I actually took one of the drawers with me into Home Depot and it was a lifesaver! Both of the colors I initially thought would work were WAY off and this stuffs non-refundable, as they blatantly point out on the label.

The directions tell you not to sand between coats and to only do two coats of stain. This is what happens when your overzealous domestic partner butts in on your project and throws caution (and the instructions) to the wind:

Ugh. It looked like someone painted it with melted chocolate... I had to wait two days for the whole thing to dry completely and thoroughly and then buff it out. Ridiculous.

Here's the final product. Lovely. You can still see the grain, but the stains are completely gone, and it matches the original finish perfectly.

It's by no means perfect, but I wasn't about to sand down the entire thing and re-stain it. I'm lazy.

I hated the original, boring wooden knobs, so I replaced them with these fun drop pulls.

I was also not a fan of their shiny brass finish and I did not want to pay nearly double for the "antique-by-hand" finish, so I ordered up some Brass & Bronze Aging Solution and did it my ownself.

Get your supplies together, drop your hardware in the solution.

And watch that baby tarnish.


I'm linking up at The Shabby Chic Cottage!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Birthday Dinner

Friday (January 14th) was my 28th birthday! Only two years until I hit the big 3-0, although I really couldn't care less. If I haven't already mentioned it, the Mister is significantly older than I am and every single last person we associate with is probably at least 40. I am used to being the baby, my brother is 9 years older than me, and I always looked forward to growing up. The funniest thing is: I don't really feel like a grown up. I kinda still feel like I'm playing house. Oh, and I got carded today at lunch! (I didn't work today and the Mr. and I went antiquing.)

Anyway, my parents take us out to dinner for our birthdays every year and this year I decided we should check out Sanctuaria. Joi blogged about it months ago and I've been wanting to check it out.

When you first walk in the door these awesome chandeliers hang above the waiting/lounge area:

Pardon the terrible pics, please.
These guys hung out above the doorway near our table:

I am in love with them and I want them. They would be just perfect for above the bookshelves in our bedroom. Do you think I can call the manager and ask where they got them? Can you see their precious little angel wings?

This guy hung above the doorway to one of the bathrooms:

There is a store in Saint Louis called Gringo Jones and they have all kinds of awesome Mexican paraphernalia. I have a little pink pig from there that is in the same style as this guy.

I could live in this place. Seriously. The decor totally reminded me of my ex's house, which I desperately wish I had pictures of.

These masks are awesome:

It was REALLY dark in there.  

I have masks like these, which I brought back from Puerto Rico years ago,  but mine aren't as "fun". We had them up in our last house, but I wasn't really "feeling" them in this house.

Our old dining room, see them in the background? Mine have hair.

However, I am now rethinking and maybe they will go in the dining room where I thought I was going to put the china dishes. But I think I would need a third one to make them more aesthetically pleasing... Anybody know where to get Puerta Rican / Mexican / South American tribal masks in the Midwest?

The bathrooms were unisex and both had murals painted on the ceilings:

The freakin' Sistine Chapel ONLY WITH SKELETONS! I. Die. Seriously. I know this is a side of me you guys rarely see, but I could live in this place.

Okay, brace yourselves. After 18 months here is the first official picture of me.

 Bad pic, I know. I kept trying to be cute and clever by waving and it was too dark in there.

 Better? Not really. But my mother bought me a tripod for my Kodak Z1015, so maybe I can get some better shots... Someday. But I love this mirror - etched and carved metal - tin probably.

 Really bad pic of the tile floor, but it was amazing! Teeeeeennnny little shiny black tiles with some white striations and black grout. SO. FUN.

I asked the waitress if the bathrooms had similar themes and she said "no", so obviously I had to check out the other bathroom:

Smaller, no ornate mirror, but I am loving the wings on the skeletons. And the chandelier. Whoever designed this place needs to be my new BFF.

I loved this painting and wanted to steal her off the wall:
I know it's ridiculously fuzzy, but does anyone know who painted her? She has black angel wings... Beautiful.

There were two of these mirrors and three sconces along this wall. They reflected the dia de las muertas themed diorama behind me. 

Okay, here is the 2nd "official" shot of me:

Halloween of 2005.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Week #2: 111 Things in 1/11

I went through a few more boxes in the attic that never got unpacked when we moved and unearthed quite a bit of crap.

1 pair plaid pajama pants
1 J. Crew shirt (with a hole *sniff*)
1 freebie Jaegermeister shirt
1 pack razor refills that don't fit the Mr's razor
1 plaid sweatshirt
2 fishnet tights
1 fishnet shirt
1 pack polka dot chalk
1 white satin purse with marabou trim
1 vintage poncho-shirt found in the attic of our old house
1 roll marble patterned contact paper
1 bottle Fresh Clover scented room spray
1 sunglass bag
1 mini Maglight
2 patent belts
1 empty ring box
1 ugly bronze purse
1 large unused journal
1 pkg. SMELLY Purple Haze incense
1 rusted paint can opener
1 college issued Debit card
1 purple Q20 game
1 blue white-out tape-thingie
4 key chains
1 butane lighter
1 True Turquoise paint tester
1 pair Limited pin-stripe pants
1 bag balloons
1 Goldie pin
1 pair ruffled (unworn) underpants
1 self-tie belt from a shirt I no longer wear (or own)
3 pairs old underpants (ew)
1 empty travel laundry spray
1 Glade plug-in
1 pair safety glasses

42 items this week!! Much smaller items, but all completely useless.

69 items so far! Check out everybody else's crap at Words on Wendhurst and join in the purging fun!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bye Bye Black Thumb

I told you guys one of my goals for the new year is to "Keep some plants alive". I figure I should give you a little background and some pics to base progress on, right?

We did not have a single plant inside our old house. In two-and-a-half years. Hell, the only plants we had outside were shrubs and the Hostas that were so hardy even I couldn't kill them. Not that I tried. I did nothing to anything on the exterior of the house. We were renting and I figured there was no point. The house sat back off the road and the only neighbors had their backs to us, so I figured why waste my money... I did trim some of the bushes, but that was it.

When we looked at this house it was May and everything was verdant and beautiful and I figured how hard could it be to keep up with? When the paperwork finally came through and we closed in June, a lot of the plants were gone. Apparently the kids had come and taken whatever they wanted. Classy. So I was left with a few bushes and enough ferns that I felt like we were living in Land of the Lost. I finally dug up all the ferns, planted some Hostas, Creeping Jenny, and Mums, and mulched in late August, or maybe it was September, of this year.

So I have no idea how the exterior of the house is going to look come Spring, beyond knowing I'll probably have to re-mulch. I do plan on trying my damndest to keep the outside plants thriving as well. But I'm really more focused on indoor plants.

I had a fun tree-like plant with a braided trunk and leaves that look like marijuana. ("Marijuana is bad, m'kay?") I loved it and it was super cute.

But it died.

I also still have a fun little Elephant Palm Tree.

But it's looking a little worse for wear.
It had mites! I sprayed it down with soapy water and I think it's slowly coming back to life... Slowly. Maybe. 

My mom gave me this cute little rubber plant. It lived outside all summer long and into the fall. Then there was a freak snow in October and it died too.
I brought it inside hoping it would be okay, but alas... 
I have managed to keep this ugly cactus alive. I water it once a week, just a little, and ignore it the rest of the time. Too bad it's not very pleasing to the eye...

So here's my first attempt in the new year at keeping a non-cactus alive. He lives on top of my bookcase in the office/craft room, where he will hopefully get the "medium light" the tag says is required. I bought him on Friday, January 7th, we'll check in on him in February...

I also planted some clearance Paperwhites in the Beast's Feast Bowl my mom got me for Christmas. And I just realized these shots are all fuzzy. Hopefully she'll get me the tripod I requested for my birthday!

We shall see if I can keep our new friends alive. Stay tuned...