15 January 2012

Updates, or, Everything We Have Done in the Past Four Months.

Another two months have gone by ... and so many things have changed around here!  At first, I was overwhelmed with how much I needed to update on here.  But then the idea came to me: fewer words, more pictures.  So here it is.  Updates on the holidays, new paint and outlets, our dining room, some new artwork, a tree felling, new shelves (made by yours truly!), and a new (four-legged) addition to the family.  Fifty-one pictures, nineteen hundred fifty-seven words total (wait, didn’t I say fewer words? Crap). So grab a cup of hot chocolate (or something stronger, if you prefer) and a blanket and settle in for the long haul.  Or just browse the pictures.  Whichever you prefer.

I'll start with the holidays.

Thanksgiving was at our house this year, and my grandmother (Neenie) was able to come.  It was so much fun having her here! Here are my favorites from the weekend.

The prep - me and my mommy! (Also note: new paint color.)
The table (note: new, much larger table).
The placecards (and a little dessert!).
The obligatory "Dad sleeping" picture.  He claims it's the only time we take a picture of him (and it's kind of true).  But you'll see in a bit that he did much, much more that weekend!

My brother, during No Shave November.

My beautiful grandmother.
Snickers, my parents' incredibly spoiled YorkiePoo (like we can talk, though).
Like I said, Dad didn't sleep the whole weekend. They felled a tree. Yep.  Our dead tree.  Here's a(n old) before picture.

This makes me miss summer so bad it hurts.  Also, the dead tree is in the middle.
Dad tying it off so they could direct the fall away from the house (but not away from a fence post, which was the one casualty of the afternoon).
It's down!  And Dad and Isaac quickly fixed the mangled post.

Now to take care of all that wood.  Look at him go!  Maybe I should put down the camera and help ... or maybe not.

Yay Thanksgiving!  Good food, even better times.  Now, on to Christmas.  Here are my favorites from our whirlwind tour of West Virginia.

First, Morgantown with the Wises on Christmas Eve.

Mom and Dad (he's awake!).
Neenie, with her new digital frame full of family pictures, especially of my grandfather.  She kept it on and in her lap all evening.
Someone else was watching a screen all evening too (sorry, Kid, I had to tease you a little bit!).
My uncle and aunt, Alan and Mary Beth.
I love this picture of Isaac.  The gift was from him; seasons of a show I really like (I'm not telling you which one; it's a bit embarrassing).

Christmas Day with the Burnses and Tates in Trout.

The four of us kids got Mom and Dad Burns a new flat-screen TV.  The were tickled.
Garry and his new firewood carrier (from Judy).
T is for Tate (said in the Cookie Veggie Monster voice).  We got a big B.
It was the year for power tools. 
And watches.
Judy, with a gift card for Barnes & Noble to fill up her Nook.
Whew!  It was wonderful to spend time with everyone over Thanksgiving and Christmas. We have a wonderful family!

Speaking of family, up next is our new addition.  He was a Christmas present to Isaac; the last thing we needed was another fur ball running around, but I couldn't pass him up.  Introducing Marbles!
He stayed with our friends Meg and Will for a few days, then flew up with me from Raleigh to Pittsburgh, then drove down to Morgantown with the whole fam (parents, brother, grandmother).  I managed to keep him a secret the whole time!
He's already getting so much bigger!
And this picture pretty much sums him up.
Which is why this is necessary.
He and the puppy have so much fun! They play pretty much constantly (unless they are sleeping, and then they do that together). Isaac and I joke that he was more of a present for the puppy than Isaac.  They've been keeping me up at night, though, which is less fun. 

Ok, now I'm going to try to walk through the house updates in chronological order.  So starting in October (yikes!), we had one of the biggest changes yet: new wall color in the entire downstairs.  When we moved in, we have four different colors downstairs, none of which we liked.  So we conned Isaac's parents into coming down to help (they're master painters), and over the course of three days, primed and painted the whole downstairs. We didn't take many pictures, but here's an action shot to prove it happened.  The color changes a whole lot depending on the light, so you'll see the different variations in the other pictures.  It's Martha Stewart's Parchment Paper (it looks tan online, but it's most definitely green!), color matched by Home Depot to Behr.

Look at that old color in the kitchen.  *Shudder*  Thanks again, Mom and Dad Burns!

Next, outlets.  All of the outlets in our house were mismatched, and it drove my slightly-OCD husband crazy (and me crazy too, even though I'm slightly less OCD about things like that). A before and after will cover this one, I think.



Crazy picture, I know.  But a beautiful outlet!
We definitely splurged on these; they are "screwless;" by that, they mean that there are screws, but then a faceplate that snaps on and covers them.  They really are awesome.  And here's an action shot of the project:
He's handy to have around. :)
Up next would be the dining room; we got a new rug, a new table and new curtains (new art too, but that comes later).  Silly me didn't take great before and after pics, but here's what I got.
 The curtains are from Bed, Bath & Beyond (they are Reina curtains, length 95").  The rod is actually electrical conduit pipe that I spray painted oil-rubbed bronze; the brackets are generic ones from Lowe's.  Curtain rods are so expensive!  Rods of the same length seemed to average $40-50 each; we paid less than $5 for both of them (the other rod is in the library, on the other side of the front door). We haven't figured out finials yet; standard ones don't work with the conduit.  But I'm willing to get creative to save $100!

Here's the table, or at least the legs.  At first, I wasn't a fan; they felt too formal for our house.  But the more time I spend looking at them, the more I love them. We bought the table and chairs on Craigslist (from a super sweet family - they even delivered it for us) for $350.  It came with six chairs, and the table extends to 108" with two leaves (you can see the fully extended table up in the Thanksgiving pictures). The tablecloth is from Williams-Sonoma on super clearance (I couldn't find it on the website, so no link).  The rug is from Overstock.  I *love* it.  I originally found it through this post from Copy Cat Chic (love her blog!).

Next up.  Umm.  Let's go with artwork.  I will start with the pièce de résistance: the house portrait that Isaac's father did for us.  Yep, he drew this.  We got it as a gift from his parents for Christmas.  Isaac's sister and her husband got one too (they bought a house in 2011). Here they both are.

I will try to get a closer picture later, but he even included the animals in the portraits.  In ours, Milano is out front, Whitman Hobo is next to the garage, and Mustard is up in the guest room window.  So wonderful!

More art we got for Christmas.
This Morgantown print is from the Bird Ave Etsy shop; it's a drawing of High Street, for those of you familiar. Isaac's sister and brother-in-law got it for me.

I had to include this one too, because Marbles was being so adorable.  Can you see him?

Another WV print, also from the Tates.  I believe it is also from an Etsy shop.  The picture I took isn't great, but there are different towns in WV are written on it; Morgantown is in yellow and Trout is in blue.  So fun!
Now on to what I call "the wall of Ashley."  This artwork is all from Etsy, and each print has some sort of personal significance.

It's in the dining room, obviously.
Here's a run down:

The feather is from Satchel & Sage.  This one has the least significance (I really just liked it, and it's where the colors for the rest of the pictures came from [they were all customizable]), but my high school mascot was the Mohigans, so I say it symbolizes that. 

The papillion silhouette is from Mod Dog. The significance is ... obvious.

The hot air balloon is from Neve Designs.  I grew up going to the Balloon Festival in Morgantown (since my dad was in charge of a lot of it and practically lived there the whole week), and I've been up in a balloon a couple of times.  I would do it again in a heartbeat - I love it! 

The sunshine lyrics print is from Apple Bottom Print. This was the lullaby my mom used to sing to me; she even still calls me Sunshine!  It makes me smile every time I see it.

Whew.  Ok.  Moving on (though there will be more art momentarily). This isn't art, but it's hanging up in our house ... well ... outside our house.  Here, let me just show you (I'm getting too wordy!).
It's a bird feeder!  Also, Marbles's butt.
It's from Born in Sweden.  It attaches to the window by a heavy-duty suction cup.  Sadly, no birds yet, but I'm still hoping!
Ok, next up, my first carpentry project.  I built shelves! Floating shelves for our living room, actually.  I made plans in Google SketchUp, adapted from Ana White's awesome plans she made for Young House Love (post here).

First, my plans. This is a sample of what they looked like.
And some in-process pictures.
The materials

The work (ok, I'll admit it: Isaac helped.  A lot).

Ready for the top and bottom and painting.
And then you get the finished product.  Because I got lazy and didn't take any more process pictures.

Ta da!

The full living room.
Ok, so the bottom shelf is about 3" too long.  Bad planning on my part (from the very beginning, too!).  But otherwise, I'm *really* happy with them ... mainly because I we made them. And now, a little more about the art on them.  The WV you have already seen.  I don't have a closeup of the shadow box on the bottom shelf, but it's a set of pillow cases that belonged to my great-grandmother.  They have an embroidered "B" on them (their last name was Beall, pronounced "bell").  But it works perfectly for the Burnses too. :)

I made this!  Inspired by a couple things I've seen on Pinterest and Etsy.  The little hearts have an I and A on them.  You can't really tell, but it's a shadow box, and the tree is floating in the middle. 
I made this too! Out of foam board and yarn. 
This painting was done by Isaac' grandfather.  Isn't it beautiful?  So many artists in his family!
Wow.  What an update, right? That's 51 pictures, in case you forgot.  How crazy!  And There has been one other major change in the kitchen, but the change was completed at 6:00 tonight, which meant it was too late to take good pictures.  So that gives me incentive to blog again soon!!

1 comment:

  1. 1. This is maybe the longest blog post I've ever read.
    2. I loved it!
    3. That picture of your brother makes him look so different. He looks like a famous band member or something in that picture. NSN doesn't usually treat men well... It think it treated him well.
    4. But I hope he has shaved by now.
    5. I want to know what embarrassing TV show you like. How bad can it really be?
    6. I can't believe/am so proud of all of your house updates! Esp. the outlets. I know that was crazy time (and $) consuming. Good job.
    7. Amazing curtain rod cheat... seriously. Way to go.
    8. I can't believe all of the artists in Isaac's family -- wow!
    9. I love all of your prints.
    10. I also love the tree you made with the hearts -- so creative!
    11. Those shelves are really amazing. You should be so proud of them.
    12. You should blog more often so I don't have to leave such long comments.
    13. I'd like to have
    14. Fifteen
    15. Points -- ok, I'm done now! :) Hooray for blogging!


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