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I am still alive.  This winter has made me want to hibernate.  I’ve been useless around the house other than for cleaning at the end of the weekend when I have no more time left to procrastinate. And I have not been in the mood to share.

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It’s been snowy.  The basement is a mess.  The project we started (here) a few months ago has come to a complete halt.

The only thing I have accomplished is finally finding a new rug for the family room.

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It is one step towards getting a new couch. But we have an extra chair cluttering the space due to the basement project and my buttercream couch matches the gold tones in the rug a bit better.

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And I love this rug. Enough to roll around on it like a fool.

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I splurged a bit on a high quality Nourison New Zealand Wool rug (here).  I bought it from Home Depot because they had free shipping and it’s easy to return.  And, the price was much less than any other place. I almost suspected the price was an error – and I think I was right because it’s gone up since!

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After a lot of research I learned that a New Zealand Wool rug was a superior choice for us because they are naturally stain resistant and flame resistant.  I’ve already been lucky with the flame resistant part – see the wood stove over there? Yikes. I was ready for a disaster. But we survived.

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The room is more functional due to a cute little Ballard Design marble side table from my mother in law. I love to use it for my coffee…and err… leftover Christmas cookies in the morning.

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The room is also extra awesome now because my sister gave me the best Pottery Barn throw (here) for Christmas!

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It’s funny how sometimes I just pet the faux fur. It’s so soft but so heavy and warm.

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So that’s a wrap for this month. I have a bazillion snow photos that I might post next week.  But seeing them is sort of depressing so maybe I’ll need to find something else to share.  Have a good weekend!

 

Snow Update

Since I have exactly 84 snow related photos on my phone I thought I should share a few.  If you haven’t already heard, the Boston area has been clobbered by two storms over the past week. It’s been real. At least we didn’t lose power this year like we did here and here…  oh, that would probably be because we finally purchased a generator. Figures, right?

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20150128_090702Let’s not forget about the Cape House either…

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Typically a few snowed in days would mean some projects were stirring in the house. But we were in a much sunnier place for a week’s vacation and then when I got home I just wanted to cook homemade food and watch tv. We’ve been hunkered down with a fire and counting our blessings that these storms were only an inconvenience.  Here’s hoping to an early spring!

PS. WordPress is doing something funky with my photos because of their new editor but I have no clue how to fix it.  Let me know if you do!

I know I started talking about redoing the basement ages ago. And even put it on our New Year’s to do list for 2014 (here).  Sadly nothing happened.

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The basement is used for the treadmill and beyond that, storage, or a dumping ground for things that need to be off the main living floor. It’s also the main area for wrapping and hiding Christmas presents.

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We did buy a weight rack which helped the gym area stay functional.  But otherwise it needs an upgrade.

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The brown poopy color palette is not working. Yes, I said poopy. The walls are a textured Ralph Lauren suede paint. It probably cost a fortune. Never ever use suede paint in your home. It is disgusting.  It does not look like suede and why would you want suede walls anyways?

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Besides the main tv and gym area we have a second guest room. Although it is far from anywhere I would like to put guests. It is reserved for those that stick around after my late night dance parties and are not planning to drive home. 
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The guest room is also dumping grounds for all of the guitar and golf equipment.  And there is a foosball table just in case the dance party didn’t tire out our guests.

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Finally taking the plunge into the basement project meant ripping up the carpet. Actually it meant HHH (Headless Husband Howard) needed to rip up the carpet.

DSC_0651Underneath was a painted floor that matched the walls in the upstairs bathroom before I painted them (here). Oh how I loathe that pinkish tan foundation color!

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Once the carpets were up we were pleasantly surprised to see no signs of water or other set backs. Our goal to move forward with laminate or engineered hardwood is moving forward. We know we need to level the floor and that is going to take some time but we couldn’t stop ourselves from bringing home some samples to try out.

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As of now we are leaning towards using Pergo laminate flooring since they get such good reviews and we have no fears of water damage.  It is half the price of using engineered hardwood.  Only I have not been too fond of any of the in-stock colors at Lowe’s and Home Depot. I keep reminding myself that at the end of the day this is only a basement. And we have a long way to go before the floors can be installed.  Stay tuned!

It felt good to take a break from the blog. Blogging was not feeling fun anymore and at the end of the day I have to remind myself that this is a hobby.  I do not make any money by blogging. In fact, I pay for my domain and media storage so this site falls into the hobby category and not a business.  Hobbies are fun.

Putting used tiles in the garden is ridiculous and fun.

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A few things led to the time off and moving forward I need to fix them.  They include:

  • Feeling pressure to post. I have a full time job that, at times, can be very demanding. While I don’t work until the wee hours of the morning, work does come home with me a lot even if it’s just in my head and eating my creative juices. Adding pressure to post regularly was making the blog feel like a chore. Not fun.
  • Feeling like the content isn’t good enough.  I’m not trying to impress anyone but I sometimes feel like photos aren’t good enough, or the content is too boring. Or it’s taking too long to get the bathroom done. I had to reset and remember that this blog is an online diary of our photos, our progress, our successes and failures, and most importantly an inventory of all our paint colors!  The blog comes in very handy when we are out shopping and wonder, if something will look good with the colors or space we have.
  • Creating projects. I am very blessed to have two houses that do not need any real work. They are completely livable and do not require any major work other than regular maintenance. I am very lucky that our projects are typically cosmetic.  Often times to create material for the blog I’ll start dreaming up the next big project which ultimately was adding to my husband’s stress. He was interpreting my posts as projects that I thought needed to happen.  I sometimes use the blog as my wish list and use it to get the ideas that clutter up my head onto paper.  So while my big dreams were a fun creation for me, they were hard for my husband to see when he tries so hard to give me everything I want in this life.
  • Negative comments. I can’t believe that I could let a few rude comments impact anything I am doing. At the end of the day we are never going to have a million dollar house.  If you want to see million dollar houses with designer fabrics and custom built carpentry please look elsewhere. We are not perfect and neither is the blog.

And I can’t forget just overall lack of time.  Having two houses means a lot of upkeep. There is cleaning, dishes, yard work, and the travel time in between.

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DSC_1013At the end of the day it feels like home and that’s all the matters here.  And no, I still haven’t gotten around to painting the front door in a new glossy red… But it is still on my list!

Happy New Year my blog world friends! It’s been a while and I think I’ll write more about my little break later.  But for now, it is time for an update on the office.

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Let’s start by remembering where we left off (here).  Howard had just installed new base boards. But it was still not a place we wanted to spend any time.

The office had come a long way from the pink where it started. Check out those curtains!

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While we still have a lot of pink paint drops all over the floor from the prior owner, the room is far from pink now.  It went down like this:

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The walls are now Benjamin Moore’s Balboa Mist and the trim is Cotton Ball. Balboa Mist is a soft grey color. I was careful not to use something that felt cool. I wanted the room to feel warm.

I decided to leave the gold hardware for now because I don’t really find it offensive but HHH (Headless Husband Howard) did switch out all the electrical fixtures.

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The new rug was a Win it Wednesday score from Surya rugs!! (Thanks Surya Social!) We already have a couple Surya rugs in the house and were lucky to win this colorful 5 x 8 wool rug to add some color to the room.

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Howard also bought me the Poang chair from Ikea.  I think you all know how I despise Ikea furniture since it has such a short lifespan and ends up in a landfill before most furniture.  But this chair is just so comfy.  I also added a little Ikea faux fur.  They also have the real sheepskin deal but the vegetarian in me just couldn’t do it.  Plus this faux fur can be washed while the real deal cannot.

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I always wanted to enjoy this room and now I do.  The addition of some new art from our generous uncle really helped to make the room feel more modern.  And I added my own touch with a framed mouse that once belonged to Mishu.

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We now have a comfortable place to curl up with a book or whatever when the afternoon sun streams in the back window. I just need to make to a pouf that slips under the chair for a full lounging affect.

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Tell me, what projects have you started in the New Year?

We have more up our sleeves so keep checking back. HHH even said he might show his face this year on the blog! Could it really happen?! Stay tuned.

A few coats of paint, and bam!, the nook is done!  Easy peasy.

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I can say that because I didn’t participate in any of the construction, painting, or clean up.  But I did sew those curtains (here).

Let’s get a little closer.

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There was only one little snafu in the whole project that included having to match the wall paint color. The gentlemen at Snow’s Hardware in Harwich Port were awesome and patient and helped us make a match. They deserve a huge thank you. Note to readers: never ever pick a custom paint color.

Now let’s take a walk down memory lane one more time. And if you are craving more details you check out these posts: here, here, and here.

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As you may have noticed, the chairs that we refinished (here) didn’t make it into the kitchen. They are currently with the other round table in the ‘light room’ (here).  We ended up painting two of the hand-me-down chairs from our neighbors to match the bench and the table from the Mill Store.

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Now I just need to surrender some of my couch pillows to add to the bench for comfort and to fill in some of the white.

This past weekend was a rainy weekend on the Cape and I somehow found the motivation to spend half the day sewing away to get our kitchen curtains done. Most of the day was really spent measuring, cutting, and ironing.  The sewing part was easy.  And then there was the long drive in rainy day mall traffic to get to Home Depot for some window hardware.  But it got us out of the house.  And for once, I finished a project in a day!

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I already shared the fabric from OnlineFabricStore here. Luckily they sent me just a little extra fabric which made this whole project possible!

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I cut the fabric to size and then folded over the edges, ironed, and then folded the fabric again.  Since the fabric is a thick linen-like fabric it wasn’t so easy to get a straight line so I used a metal yard stick to help during the ironing process for a precise seam. I repeated this process for three of the sides leaving the top of the curtain unfinished.

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Then I did the same thing with the curtain lining fabric that I bought from Joann Fabric.  Only, they shorted me an inch on the two yards I purchased when I really needed two yards plus one inch.  Bummer. But not the end of the world.

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When I finished the three edges of the curtains I pinned them together finished sides touching.  You can see that the lining ended up a little short but because of the window frames I knew this would not be visible from outside.

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The next step was to sew the tops of the curtain together and then turn them right side out. I left the three finished sides loose so it would fall like a slip under a skirt. I feared that sewing the backing to the curtains would make them pucker in places.

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The hardest part was figuring out how to hand the finished curtains.  I decided that I did not was to sew a pocket for the curtain rod.  So I tacked pockets at the ends for the rods.

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The heavier fabric wanted to pull the longer of the two curtains forward on the rod but a center support for the rod allowed me to anchor the middle of the curtain to stop it from drooping.

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Overall, I am happy with the finished product.  I had doubts about the wild print at first but it’s growing on me.  The kitchen is much darker with the curtains but it should help keep out the morning sun on those hot summer days. I’ll have to take some better photos with my camera and not my camera phone.

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Oh, and did you notice the bench? It is installed! I’ll be back with an update on that soon!

 

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