26 Jun

Meet Me on IG?

In May, I was lamenting my lack of blog posts. Since then, I’ve blogged a couple times, but not really picked up the pace. I’ve been paying attention to my social media use though, and invited readers to follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

I’m now thinking the answer is a shift in focus. For over ten years, my blog has been my main story and then Facebook, and more recently Instagram, have played supporting roles. But I’m finding that I like the immediacy and accessibility of Instagram. I can take photos of whatever I’m doing and post it right away, all from my phone. I find that things are much more current on my Instagram feed, and I’m happy with the balance of personal and professional inspiration. I won’t be ditching my blog altogether, but I think that Instagram will now be my main story, and the blog will play a supporting role when I need something that can be more verbose, or contain links, or do whatever it is that blogs do best. My professional Facebook page has it’s merits, as does my personal page, so those will live, but I’m trying not to spend too much time there. (By the way, if you’ve friend requested me and I haven’t responded it’s probably because we’ve never met in person, which is pretty much my criteria for my personal Facebook page. However, please like my professional Facebook page — that’s where all the arty stuff is anyway.)

So, please follow me on Instagram, because I think that’s where it’s at for me right now.

IG Feed

22 Jun

Fun Stairs

We’ve owned our house for just over a year now, and have actually lived in it just under a year. It is looking cleaner, fresher, and a lot more modern these days. In the two and a half months before we moved in, my mom and step dad removed what seemed like a metric-tonne of wallpaper, and painted the bedrooms and a few other high use rooms. That made a huge difference in the house right away. Adding our furniture and stuff made it “ours.” Since then, we’ve been moving from project to project, hopefully improving the house, and definitely updating it. The deck (two posts previous) has proven to be well worth the money spent. We’ve been enjoying the warm weather and entertaining friends and family on it. The interim kitchen/dining room is comfortable (though not optimal for large groups — I think we’ll need a big table option). I love the upstairs bathroom (scroll past the “before” to see it’s bright “after”), and the colorful doors have continued downstairs. Of course, the girl’s room is still awesome. The downstairs bathroom, which we identified as a “right away” project is nearly done, but stalled out until I get around to tiling the baseboard. Guests report that it functions very nicely though! The other urgent project was to waterproof the basement storage area from the outside so it doesn’t leak. That’s now done, but things pretty much look the same. And we won’t really know if it’s fixed until torrential winter rains.

So, my most recent finish to share is the stairwell from upstairs to downstairs. It started out with wallpaper and worn grey carpet which we all agreed was just sad. A few months ago, my mom and step dad came over and we got rid of all the wallpaper. Then I did nothing (well, nothing on the stairwell. I was tiling the shower and freshening up the man cave instead).

Stairs wallpaper

Finally, a couple weeks ago, I realized that we were going to have a slew of houseguests and I probably needed to at least get the handrail back up. That meant I needed to paint the walls. with white walls and a fun orange handrail (to match the bathroom door and accent wall), I was compelled to rip up the carpet. The stairs underneath were a big mess and I spent a day with my heat gun, scraper, and sander getting rid of residual glue from rubber tread mats and smoothing out splintery edges.

Stairs WIP

I uncovered a bit of confetti patterned linoleum original to the house on the upper landing. It’s pretty dingy and crackled, but I think it will inspire the next flooring when we update the kitchen in a few years.

A few coats of primer and blue floor paint left over from the man cave update and the stairwell is looking almost inviting!

Stairs down

I’d like to add a runner, but for now, this will do.

Stairs up

04 Jun

Chipmunks!

I work in a quilt shop, and while I think I exercise great restraint, sometimes there are fabrics that I absolutely MUST have. Chipper by Tula Pink was one such fabric. It’s basically a collection of florals and coordinates, but in and amongst the blooms are foxes and chipmunks in psychedelic colors. Fun, but not something that the average not too Modern but not too Traditional quilter can easily imagine in a quilt.Chipmunk WIP 1

I could envision the chipmunks though in a kind of groovy, Modern take on Broderie Perse, the traditional appliqué method of taking motifs from a (usually) chintz fabric and re-arranging them to create a new and unique scene. I thought that a sample of this might get customers’ creative juices flowing too. So, I took it upon myself to buy some chipmunks and get to work.Chipmunk WIP 2

I combined several of the Chipper fabrics with other florals I had in my stash — Kaffe Fasset, some Amy Butler, and a few non-designer prints. I wanted the chipmunks to be circling something, so I made a floral poesie. It’s not as wildly weird as I had hoped, but I think it has a nice balance of Modern because of the colors, and Traditional because of the bouquet and needle turn appliqué.Chipmunk WIP 4

After finishing the Broderie Perse part, I added two scrappy borders in the same prints plus more from my stash. I had to include the ochre nuts which were part of a popular collection quite a few years ago. I plan on adding more borders Medallion style, and I think I may need another round of chipmunks, but that will have to wait. I have some other projects which need to take precedence, and this can probably go hang out at work while we still have bolts of the fabric to sell.

02 Jun

Our Deck!

Woo hoo, another finished home improvement project!

Actually, this one’s been done for a little while. We can report that this new deck is a success as we’ve been enjoying the evenings relaxing with the great view and an adult beverage.

Deck 1

 

The view was a big selling point for this house. The house is on a busy street, and is a bit odd inside, but the rooms are large and we can see Mt. St. Helen’s most days and the tip of Mt. Hood when the trees cooperate. When we bought the house, it had a large deck, but it was about 30 years old, rotting in many places, and didn’t have stairs to the yard.Deck 2

 

So, we had it torn down and started over with an upper deck to enjoy the view, and stairs down to the back yard. Because of the horizontal siding on the house, I really, really wanted horizontal cable railing. The compromise to be able to afford it was to use mahogany uprights instead of steel, and to forego a lower deck for the immediate future. I’m so happy we made that choice — I love the look of the deck, and all the neighbors who can see it from their yards have complimented it as well (no hiding the construction as the neighbors were subjected to the roar of power tools for several months!).Deck 3

 

The lower transition from the stairs to the concrete patio is larger than I expected, so it’s kind of a lower deck. Eventually, it will be the transition to a deck over the grass large enough for a big picnic table. Eventually, I’ll also paint the under structure to match the eventual color of the house, and do some tidy gravel area under the deck.Deck 4

We’ve now owned our house for one year and it’s feeling more like “our” home than something in transition. The deck is done, the garden is filling in, most of the rooms are freshly painted and decorated, we’re pretty sure the basement leak is fixed, and a bathroom renovation is nearly complete! It’s pretty nice.