Archive for the ‘Project Home’ Category

  1. Prison Break.  The TV show.  All seasons are on Netflix instant watch and my good friend Teri had recommended the show to me a while ago so I tried it…and can’t stop watching it.  I am on the final season now so soon I will have my life back.
  2. Vivid dreams.  Lately I have had a rash of them.  I suspect it has something to do with number 1.  Last night Lincoln from the show stopped by my dream which was lovely.  Characters from the show are welcome just as long as T-bag stays away.
  3. A small bowl of Multi-grain Cherrios when I get home from work or the gym.  For whatever reason, with it staying light so much later right now I just don’t feel like cooking dinner.  So right now, at 7pm, nothing sounds better than a bowl of this particular cereal.
  4. Cup hooks.  My brother-in-law Adam came by a couple weeks ago to help me with some stuff around my house.  One thing we did was install cup hooks in the kitchen and every time I look at them they make me happy.  It is the little things folks.
  5. Karaoke Revolution.  When Kara and I were roomies we had much more of an opportunity to break out the game and sing our little hearts out, often with lil sis Bri in tow.  Fun times I tell you.  I don’t ever do it on my own so it has been a while but lately I have had some occasions to karaoke again.  By far my favorite experience was when my nephew Ryan decided to give it a go.  He was fearless…even when booed of the stage by computer generated concert goers.
  6. My view.  In particular my across the street neighbors.  They do a fantastic job with their flowers and lawn and every time I open my curtains I am greeted with the sights of a beautifully designed and maintained garden.  I love it so much I think I am going to send them a thank you note in the mail.  Just trying to decide if it will come off as creepy or not.
  7. My office space heater.  Holy cow I love this thing.  A co-worker had a spare and gave it to me when I mentioned the sub zero temperatures I have been working in now that summer time air conditioning is in full effect.  Admittedly, I am a wee bit addicted to the heat but I can’t begin to express how happy it makes me.
  8. Drinking my homemade light chocolate soy milk/banana/peanut butter smoothie with a straw.  Especially the bendy kind.
  9. Listening to Pandora radio on my iPhone while working out or while getting ready in the mornings.  I never know what little gem is going to pop up on the playlist.  Love it.

So there you go, nothing like a good itemized list to break me out of my no-blog slump.

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I have wanted to put up an inspiration board for years–ever since I had a designated craft room in my Denver apartment–but just never got around to doing it…until now.  In my new place I knew exactly where the inspiration board should go but couldn’t find a big enough bulletin board for the space so I ended up buying 4 smaller ones, initially thinking I would cover each in a different kind of fabric.  None of the fabrics I picked were working for me AND with the color of the walls.  Some were perfect individually but none really went all together.  So I sat on it while I thought, and thought, and finally one day I was talking it out with Kara and the idea came to us…why not use all one fabric?   So I did.

Fabric is Anna Maria Horner’s Branching Out.

I love it!  Almost enough to not tack anything on it.  But then I did.

And I loved it even more.  I had a hard time getting a good close up shot but there are some pictures of outfits I ripped from magazines and catalogs, some of my favorite photos (one of my all time favorite Halloween costume, Wonder Woman, sewn my my Mom and a casual shot of my Mom and Dad when they were dating), my old passport (idea stolen from Kara), postcards, a take out menu from a great restaurant in Denver, my MS walk medal…

It is a work in progress, but the studio/craft room is well on its way.

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Many months ago, right around the time I was under contract for my new condome (condo + home, not sure if it works but I am trying it out for now), and while driving by a consignment store downtown, I spied two well-loved chairs placed in the lawn by the store front.  The chairs were perfect…at least they had the makings of perfect.  Upon closer inspection the chairs needed a little love but I felt confident that I could give them the help they needed and the price was right so I bought them.

Visions of me stripping and staining the wood and then learning how to re-upholster filled my mind and my google searches.  I was excited to take the project on until I started looking at the chairs more closely and realized the chairs needed a LOT more work than I thought.  They needed to be completely taken apart and put back together again with wood glue and using clamps and let’s not even talk about the state I found the seat padding in when I peeled off the first layer.  I quickly became overwhelmed.  The project would be labor intensive and require either expertise or a LOT of learning on my part.  I am all for learning, but the truth is, I am not in a position right now to learn how to completely restore furniture.  So what to do?  Pay someone else to do it of course.

So, I kept the chairs in my parent’s garage for several months while I saved some money and in the mean time I have been hunting for the perfect fabric.  Picking fabric was a real trial.  There are tons of fabrics out there but I was trying to find something that really worked in the decor and with the colors I had already established in my front room AND something that didn’t cost $50 a yard.   The style of what I was looking for was such that I had to focus my efforts online as the local places that sell home dec weight fabric are either too traditional for my taste or way too expensive.  Finally, about a month ago I stumbled upon the perfect fabric and finally took my chairs in to a local shop anxiously waiting to see if my vision of the chairs would become a reality.

Perhaps you should judge for yourself.



So although these chairs are not at all a result of my craftsman skills, I still take credit for having a vision and my style choices.  I am so, so happy with them.

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Project Home: Living Room

Okay, I have been putting off posting pictures of my new home because, well, I am not done decorating.  But really, when are you ever done?  And why would you want to be?  A huge part of the fun is taking your time and to find that perfect deal or unique piece.  So I decided that I should just post pictures when I feel a room is done enough and I can update you with any big changes in the future.  So first room…the living room.

This was the first room to come together for me.  When I was in Hong Kong last summer I bought an oil painting I love and knew I wanted to use it as a starting point for my room.  I already owned a fair amount of furniture and was lucky that a lot of it worked into the vision of what I wanted to do.  Ever since I knew I was buying this place I started searching for the right pieces I needed and began stalking my favorite websites and stores for deals.  Here is the result…so far.

So, here is the before:

And after:


And after:

I am currently using folding chairs as side chairs (cute folding chairs, but folding chairs all the same.) To come soon are a pair of living room chairs I bought at a consignment store that I need to repair and recover.  Initially I had grand thoughts of doing this myself but of late I am more persuaded to pay someone to do it for me.  I’ll be sure to show you the finished result.

So there it is, my living room so far.  I wish you could all come over for some hot chocolate, knitting, and a great TV show on DVD.

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Holiday Housewarming

I am not ready to post “finished” pictures of my living room yet but I thought I would give you a few sneak peeks so I could show off my holiday decorations. Sound fun? Okay.

First up is the hand-carved Nativity my Mom brought me back from China. Thanks to a suggestion from Kara, I decided to put this up on the middle shelf of my bookcase.

Pretty right? I love the little sheep.

Then of course, I had to get a tree.

I’m not a huge fan of fake trees…I know they are cheaper and cleaner and easier and better for the environment but I just can’t let go of real trees yet.

I am a total sucker for Christmas lights. Light anything up with little fairy lights and I am pretty much in heaven. So it is not surprising that I liberally use lights when I decorate for Christmas. Going through my old decorations I found this berry garland. The perfect size for my entry way.

Of course I had to wrap it in lights.

And then there is the window in my kitchen. I bought these lights on the streets of Thailand years ago but hadn’t ever used them before.

Washing dishes has never been so festive.

And finally, what do I see when I look out to my balcony?

I am just waiting for it to snow again so I can sit, knit, stare at pretty lights, drink hot chocolate, and watch the snow light up the night. Like I said, heaven.

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So what is the last thing you want to hear one morning as you are getting ready in the bathroom,  just one week after you move in to your newly purchased home?  That would be a loud crash followed by glass shattering.


I walked into my craft room and there on the floor was the glass light fixture in many, many pieces on the floor.

My light fixture after plummeting to its death.

I have decided to see this as an opportunity.  I didn’t really like the light fixture and was thinking down the road I would replace it anyway.  I wasn’t wanting to spend the money now but now that I have to, it is fun to think about all the possibilities of what I could do.

Speaking of the craft room, want to see how the color turned out?

I LOVE it.  It is called Vintage Yellow by Glidden and it turned out perfectly.  It is bright and cheery without being either too pastel or overpowering.  I really do feel more creative every time I walk in the room.  Now on to the putting away, organizing, and decorating.  I have great plans for this room…

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So it is official, I have the keys to my new home. Yay!

I love when other people document their creative and decorating process, and so I am going to do the same.  Over the next months I will update the blog and show “before”, “during” and “after” pictures as I go along.  Taking pictures of an empty space is a challenge but I needed to get some before shots completed before I move all my things in.   So, here is my attempt at the “before” tour.

The living room:

The kitchen:

The entry way:

The bathroom:

The workroom:

The master bedroom:

I know it all looks pretty plain at this point but it is a great canvas and a space I am excited to fill.  I move my stuff in Saturday so I have basically spent every night this week hanging out at the empty place, cleaning, patching walls, and painting.  I have never painted walls before and had a very ambitious plan to paint the accent wall (hallway and kitchen wall), bathroom, and spare bedroom this week but when I finally got in and gave the walls another look I realized that I don’t yet know what (if anything at all) I want to do with most of the walls so I am leaving them as is for now.  The exception to this is the spare bedroom.  Or as I will be calling it, the workroom.  Yes, this is my craft/office/storage/creative space.  And I am painting it yellow. Stay tuned…

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