04 July 2012

Happy 4th!

Happy Independence Day!

We are having our first rainstorm in a long, long time, and I'm enjoying it by hanging out on the couch with my husband and a nice afternoon cup of coffee. I've been a bad blogger recently. This summer, for various reasons (money and time, mainly, plus a little excess heat that's made us lazy), we decided not to tackle any huge projects and instead tidy up some of the smaller ones we've been putting off. So my to-do list I talked about here hasn't exactly panned out ... though I did knock a couple things off the list.

The banister, for example. Remember when it looked like this?

Now, it looks like this.

SO much better, right? The coffee table is also bright white now, but the pictures don't really show the difference very well. Just trust me when I say it's better too.  Another item from the summer to-do list was the root balls from the old bushes ... that is half done.  Isaac also took out one side, but we still need to do the other side.

Speaking of the front, we also added this.

Remember how our porch railing was uneven?  We got this planter to try to balance that out.  We found the urn at Home Goods and the tall pine at Lowe's.  I made a stencil for the numbers and spray painted them on.   Here's a view from the front yard.

See how the railing is uneven?  And how the urn makes it kind of make sense?  To us, anyway.

There was one other addition to the front.  The former-jungle-now-grass (grass that's turning brown, given our super dry weather - so thankful for the rain today!) has a new addition.

It's a magnolia tree!  I know, I know, it looks more like a bush.  But it will grow!  I would have loved to have a shot of one of the pretty blooms on it, but the last one wilted before I got my camera out.  So this is all I have to share.

I'll try to get a shot of it this week ... maybe in time for Wordless Wednesday next week?

There was work in the back yard too.

When we took the second half of the porch out last summer, we found that the stairs that rested on the edge of this part of the deck had rotted out the last three boards along the length of the porch.  So Isaac used some of the leftover lumber from the deck demo (free + already has the correct screw holes = yes!!) and replaced all of them.

This is his "haven't-you-taken-enough-pictures-already?" face.  I get it a lot.

Let's move inside.

Behold!  Our new TV stand!  Isn't she pretty?  We found this buffet in a thrift store when we visited Isaac's parents.  It's a buffet table, so the two open shelves you see were drawers.  The whole thing was originally cherry that someone painted black.  We decided to change that to white. You can't really see it, but there's a pattern on the doors and drawers.  What you see behind it, by the way, isn't wires, but the shadow of the wires.  I tried to hide all the cords by hanging them from the back.  It's working, kind of, but I still need to tinker.  And add some zip ties.

Oh, and do you see the pillow on the free craigslist chair above?  That was a Christmas present from my husband ... a year and a half ago.  I just added stuffing.  Whoops.  And yes, I've heard about it from him.  For a year and a half.  But isn't it cute?  That gets said a lot in our house (by me - Isaac hates hugs).

Oh, and one more thing to notice in the TV stand picture above: paint chips.  They are for this.

 Can't figure out what it is?  Let me help.

My mantle!  The 150-year-old mantle from the farm house.  It is in fairly good shape, but it needs a good deep cleaning.  My aunt and uncle, Alan and Mary Beth, were kind enough to bring it down with them when they visited last weekend, and since Alan is a paint professional (literally), I picked his brain to see what we should do with it.  We ran through all the options: sanding, stripping, sealing the current color, new color.  It's not a hard wood, and painting would be more true to the style, so stripping and keeping it wood toned was out of the question.  The current color, as much as I would like to keep it true to form, is problematic for two reasons: one, gray wouldn't work in the space, and two, it's lead-based paint.  So painting it was the final decision.

But what color?  There is already a lot of white in the small room: TV stand, coffee table, banister, trim.  And  other neutrals like black, brown and gray would be too dark.  So that left a color.  After a lot of deliberation, we narrowed down the choices to golds and rusts.  They draw from the rest of the room, including the rays picture right above.  So here are our choices.

Which Isaac and I have already narrowed down to four.

I'll keep you updated.

Oh, and I'll end this update with a completely anti-climactic - and crooked! - update.

Our new dining room light!  Yes, it's crooked.  It's also facing the wrong direction and about two feet away from being centered.  Baby steps, folks.

I will say that Marbles the Mischievous One thought that the light looked a little too much like a cardboard box and tried to jump in it not five minutes after we finished installing it.  I have never (ever) heard Isaac yell that loudly.  It was, in a word, hilarious.  (Isaac doesn't think so.)

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