I know its seriously early to start thinking about kid or even toddler rooms, but I just love this idea from BHG – chalk board painted walls. The perfect (and manageable) response to a kid who says ” I want to paint my room black.” This would work particularly well for us, because we already have a chair rail along the walls in our soon-to-be nursery. And in the case of a younger child, you could always paint the lower wall instead. According to BHG, the trick is to pair the black paint with brighter hues to bring in color and light, and to add some black accessories. Love it. Via Ohdeehoh.
Archive for the 'Home' Category
Tags: Art, decals, decor, wall
I am really loving the new look of wall decals. They add an artistic touch with such a minimal amount of work, and are often customizable in colors to match your existing decor. David and I have talked about getting one for the living room, but I’m almost sure I’ll get one for the nursery. Here are just a few of my faves:
Tags: butterfly, flowers, Garden, weekend
ceanothus ‘victoria’ & heather ‘c.d. eason’
lithodora ‘grace ward’ & yellow swallowtail butterfly on wallflowers
It feels like it has been a while since we’ve enjoyed an entirely sunny weekend. On Saturday we took a ride out to our favorite nursery (again!) to pick up some color for the two bare spots still left. We decided on shade tolerant impatients for under our front yard japanese maple, and a contrasting mix of spreading blue lithodora and rich magenta heather to add color to the back border of our “round” garden. The only spur-of-the-moment purchase was a lovely blue flowering evergreen called ceanothus victoria. We just couldn’t pass it up, and used David’s 30% off coupon on it. No idea where it’s final resting place will be just yet, but it needs full sun
On Sunday morning we woke up early and decided to head out to Ikea. We weren’t looking for much – a couple replacement 365+ square plates that mysteriously got chipped, a cushion for my office chair, two small vases and a couple of other kitchen and house gadgets. It was also a good opportunity for us to look at the nursery furniture. I thought I’d pick up some fabric, too, but nothing really appealed to me this time around. And if you ever find yourself at Ikea in the morning, their $1.99 breakfast is a tasty value (scrambled eggs, bacon, sticks of crispy french toast and breakfast potatoes).
The butterfly photo was shot moments after we pulled into our driveway. With our side garden in bloom, we always take a moment to admire the flowers when we get in or out of the car. This butterfly was taking a quick dip into our wallflowers and I was able to snap just a few pics before it fluttered away. The rest of the day was spent reading, helping David briefly while he installed irrigation to our vegetable garden, and a quick run to the grocery store for some Ben & Jerry’s and other staples. A sweet way to end the weekend.
Tags: Home, houses, wishful thinking
While on a walk with Barkley last night I noticed that one of our favorite houses in the neighborhood was going up for sale. The previous owner was walking to his car just as I approached, so I was able to introduce myself and ask a couple of questions. Sadly, the house is smaller than I’d hoped, only a bit larger than ours, with 2 bedrooms, one bath, and a one car garage. Plus they are asking one of the highest $ per sqft in the neighborhood. Sigh. I guess when you know your house is this cute, there is no need to start pricing at the bottom.
What I love about this house is its mid-century modern lines. To some people, this building is probably no better than a track house, but to me it is so elegant, with a charming simplicity. There is such potential with regard to our style of living and sense of aesthetics. I love its flat roof, high vaulted ceilings and huge picture windows facing the sunny, landscaped backyard. If only it was bigger (and if only we could afford it)! As it is, I only hope that the next owners appreciate it and care for it as well as the previous owner did. He said it was perfect for when he was a bachelor, but now that he’s married, they decided to find somewhere with more space. I can’t blame them. With our growing little family, I already wish for the same thing.
Photos taken from the rmls website.
Tags: dc, frank lloyd wright, vacation, vintage toys, virginia, washington
David and I returned on Monday from a 10-day trip to see my parents and sister in the Washington, DC/Northern Virginia area. We didn’t do as much during this visit as I have in the past, and sadly I hardly took any pictures, even though I meant to.
Mostly we just hung out, eating my mom’s delicious meals and chatting with my dad. David helped around the house, fixing a lamp, laying insulation above the remodeled bathroom, replacing lightbulbs, mowing the lawn. He also helped me go through countless boxes in my parents’ attic of junk I forgot I ever owned – mugs and glassware, books, old magazines, clothes, and other miscellaneous from my past lives. By the end the curb was littered with trash bags, not including the carload we took to Goodwill. Everything I decided to keep (photos, yearbooks, costume jewelry, awards, etc.) fit into a single plastic bin which we replaced in the attic.
There were a few very interesting finds, like my old jewelry box with several pieces of valuables, my old My Little Pony Stable and dolls, and an almost complete (now vintage) Fisher Price Farm and Silo set still in it’s original box. For some reason we had two barns, but only a few duplicate animals. We also found a less well kept Fisher Price Hospital and my old warming plate from when I was a baby, complete with tiny remnants of my last meal. That was really cool. The only thing missing was the sippy cup.
We did go on a couple outings, including a visit to the nearby Woodlawn Plantation, a gift from George Washington to “Nelly” Custis, granddaughter of Martha Washington, and her husband, Major Lawrence Lewis. Washington hired William Thornton, the first architect of the US Capitol, to design the house and provided 2000 acres from his Mount Vernon estate. But the real reason I wanted to visit was because Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House is now located on the same grounds. I think it was moved here in 1964, from its original location, because it was scheduled to be torn down to make way for the Route 66 Interstate. It was definitely the smallest FLW Usonian I have ever toured, at about 1200 square feet, but its design and layout were unmistakeable.
Other outings included a fun evening playing miniature golf with David and Dad, where we each scored a hole-in-one (on different greens) and then enjoyed frozen custard from the Frozen Dairy Bar, where we used to stop as kids. We also took a trip into DC with Mom where we perused the fancy jewels (Hope Diamond, anyone?) and other famous rocks and gems at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum. Afterwards we strolled along a gorgeous public garden (I don’t remember the name), and now we’re really looking forward to working on our own garden, now that we’ve returned.
Tags: ATCs, Life, pressed flowers
Happy Easter everyone! I’m sorry I’ve been such a blog slacker this week.
David and I had a pretty mellow day at home today. It was rainy and grey, so we mostly stayed in. This morning I made a special breakfast of Eggs Benedict and later we ate fresh from the oven Swedish cinnamon rolls from a package mix that I got the last time we were at Ikea. Very yum! Otherwise, we bought more dirt/compost to fill our new raised garden bed and went for a nice walk to our neighborhood lake with the dog. Pretty relaxing.
Earlier this week, I made my first artist trading cards for a swap. Actually, I wasn’t even sure what ATCs were, but from what I could glean from the good ‘ole internet, they can be whatever as long as they are (a mostly flat) 2.5 by 3.5 inches. This particular swap was for 2 pressed flower ATCs which gave me the perfect excuse to open my press from late last summer. Some real beauties in that batch. The background images are from an American Express booklet I found in our recycling bin, and I just added a couple lines of thread and hole punch dots. Will these count? I hope so.
Sweet pink plum blossoms from our neigbor’s tree
Last night we went and saw Cirque du Soliel’s Corteo with our friends Alex and Marcy. I don’t know how Portland ended up on the North American tour, but I am so glad because it was AWESOME. One of the best traveling shows since Allegria. If you have an opportunity to buy tickets – DO IT! You’ll be glad you did.
In other news, spring is really beginning to show her face around here. Our yard has multiple spots of color and blooms – bright pink primroses, purple hyacinths, mixed anemones, pale pink daphne, and even our rhubarb has burst upon the scene. Yesterday we even picked up several pots of primula to fill near the front steps and two gardenias (for where, I have no idea). The thing I can’t figure out is why my spinach seeds haven’t sprouted in the garden yet. Am I just being impatient? Maybe something has eaten them or the seeds were no longer viable? I guess only time will tell.
The first anemones of spring
Yesterday, as I was outside taking the photograph for the previous post, I noticed a large blue pick-up slowly driving by. The two men inside were eyeing our house and talking quietly.
When we first moved in, it made me uneasy how often people would walk by, and sometimes stop, to look at our house. Not to mention the women who walked right into our yard, supposedly to admire the flowers. I once caught a man taking pictures from his car and then quickly drove away when he caught me looking back at him. I’m not saying our house is without charm, but it’s mostly just a small grey rectangle box. It’s distinctive saving grace is in the petite front porch with white railing. That little bit of architectural detail makes a big difference, especially accented by the beautiful maple tree, rhododendrons, and rose bushes.
Anyway, these guys in the blue truck also stopped, and one of the men called out to me. At first, I thought they might be lost and just need directions, but it turns out that the driver, Mike White, actually grew up in the same house as a kid. He was in the neighborhood and thought he’d drive by. Apparently he hadn’t see the house in maybe 30 years, and was amazed at the changes.
For example, the little porch wasn’t there when he was a boy. He slept in the back bedroom, while his brother slept in what is now our office. Which means that the garage had been converted over 30 years ago. He remembered the cracked driveway (from the decaying roots of an old tree), how the house used to have old windows and cedar shake siding (the back still does), and how the patio used to be a cement slab, before we built our wooden deck. It was neat to hear him reminisce, and how he remembered many of our older neighbors, including some gossip (which would be inappropriate for me to repeat here). It was really something. I only wish I had been more prepared, with maybe a coat (I was freezing) and shoes other than house slippers.
That is the second inhabitant of our house that we’ve met. The first being the previous owners, a couple with their young baby, dog and cat, who didn’t do much to upkeep the house. We also know from a neighbor that the little porch was added by two very nice “lesbian ladies” that used to live here. And that at one time four young girls used to play in the attic above the garage. They wrote their names in pencil on a rafter: 1. Carol 2. Sandra 3. Hester and 4. Judy (last names not as legible), with the corresponding numbers surrounded by a hand-drawn four leaf clover.
So many stories in this one little house, some that we’ll never know. It makes me smile to think that now we’re a part of it’s history, too.
Tags: crocus, flowers, Garden, Photos, spring
The weather has reverted to its normal cloudy grey self today. Right now all their little heads are tightly closed against the cold, but this weekend several little blooms peeked out to say hello. David and I both snapped several pictures, hoping to preserve the feeling of joy at these first little signs of spring. Neither the snowdrop or the yellow crocus shown above are ones that we’d planted, so their arrival is that much more pleasantly unexpected.
Tags: Life, motivation, Relationships, tasks, work
A couple days ago David announced during breakfast that he was “scheduling a meeting” at 11 o’clock for us to take care of some lingering tax documents and business paperwork. As I’ve mentioned before, these are things we procrastinate on every year. I reluctantly agreed, and then (typically) put it out of my mind. I was in the backyard when David stepped outside onto the deck at 11:05am to tell me that the meeting has already started and would I please join him? And get this… he was completely showered, shaved and fully dressed in his best suit and tie! A dramatic difference from our daily uniform of jeans and tee shirts. To see him make such an effort (for humor? or motivation?) really cracked me up. But, I did follow him into the office and we proceeded to take care of every related task on our list.
Tags: Home, Ikea, organization, shelving
We’ve been to Ikea twice in the last week. We went to buy shelving for our laundry room, a narrow 6×12′ section in the back corner of the house that holds our washer and dryer, the hot water heater, and anything else that we can possibly fit into it, including all of our extra dinnerware (which is considerable – see this post), electrical appliances (bread maker, pasta maker, 3 coffee makers, ice cream maker, panini press, kitchen aid mixer, blender, food processer… the list goes on), linens, vases, dog food and supplies, boxes of candles and holders, bulk items, etc. It doesn’t sound like a lot upon reading mere words, but trust me, we’ve got A LOT.
David has been wanting to re-organize this room for some time now. Before, the storage mostly consisted of salvaged cabinets from our kitchen remodel and some metal shelves (we’re still keeping one set of wall cabinets and the metal shelving). Decidedly unglamourous, but at least partially utilitarian. Except that there still wasn’t enough nooks and crannies to hide it all.
And so, with a happily accepted birthday donation from my wonderful in-laws, we were able to purchase this new IVAR shelving and two ANTONIUS wire baskets from Ikea. However, when we got there on sunday, we were stunned to find that they were all out of the size we needed. Thus our second trip a couple days later (after calling to confirm there was indeed a new shipment of IVAR parts). And now look, it is all organized! Things aren’t crammed together and hidden within the dark recesses of our old cabinets. Now everything has a place, easy to locate and easy to access. All that’s left to do is to paint the old wall cabinet (not shown) white and for David to hang a sliding door in front of our new shelves. What a difference!
Click here for a detailed explanation of what is on each shelf.
P.S. This room isn’t as blue as it looks in the photo. Only two walls are blue, and the other two are white.