Sunday, May 19, 2013

Picture, picture on the wall

I got rid of my decision paralysis and finally bit the bullet on the size and the frame (from Amazon) for our wedding picture!  My dear husband hung it up for me on my birthday (although I think the real reason we finally did it that day was because we were getting company that evening!)

Let's pretend that my photography skills are half-way decent.  Here's the living room these days (from the kitchen doorway).  As a point of reference, the front door is to the left of the window you see straight ahead in this shot.

I can't say that it looks 100% as I would like it, but when I compare it to our "before," I feel pretty great about the progress!  If nothing else, it smells nicer than that smoke-ridden carpet!

 We went on quite a picture-hanging spree the day of the wedding photo.  Here's another of my favorites, in the den.  It's a print from Hobby Lobby.  St. Joseph is in his workshop, and  Jesus is playing on the floor with three nails.  The symbolism and foreshadowing blows me away every time I look at it.  I have to give credit to Justin, who makes it a point to encourage me to look for meaningful art for our walls.  If I weren't for him, I'd probably have settled for a lot of silly pictures.

We still need to work on the pictures on top of the bookshelf - we affectionately call it our "Justin & Emily shrine."  The problem is that (aside from the big wedding picture, which is 98% landscape and 2% us) I feel awkward hanging pictures of us up on the walls.  So they've all gotten exiled to the top of this bookshelf.  In mass quantity.  I think adding some shots of our favorite little lady might help.  If nothing else, it will become a "Justin, Emily AND Anna shrine."  Progress, right?

While I'm in the mood for before and afters, here's that corner of the room when we bought the house.  Again, it's now decisively less smokey, and in this case also less neon.  Both make me happy.

Once again, blogging has served as a happy reminder of our progress, and of the importance of patience.  When I get frustrated about little projects I still want to get done, I have to remember how much two-and-a-half years have allowed us to accomplish.  It also causes me to feel pretty sentimental for this old house.  Fair warning, the next year (spanning Justin's graduation and our plans to move out of state - and thus sell the house) could get pretty sappy around here on the blog.  If you stick with me through that, though, we'll hopefully be able to find the former glory in another "new" old house!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Quick takes: Edition 3

I have a random variety of things I've been meaning to post about, and a very limited amount of time (it's already way past my bedtime!)  Linking up to Jen for Quick Takes - the perfect blogging solution for a time like this!  I'm going to try to stick to the "quick," which might be a first for a wordy gal like me :)

1) We decided to start a tradition of taking Mother's/Father's Day pictures with Mom/Dad and kids.  I'm particularly fond of this one from last weekend

2) Speaking of last weekend, Saturday was a fantastic day.  I love when days filled with ordinary things turn out to be extraordinary - for no other reason than enjoying said simple activities together.  We visited a local Greek church for their festival for lunch, headed to an Amish farm to get all the plants for our garden, stopped by to visit two sets of friends (and Anna met a 2-day old baby goat!), went to a carseat safety check, and generally enjoyed being together.

{Public service announcement based on Saturday's experience: get your kids' carseats checked - there are things we literally could not have known from our car & carseat manuals that we learned and I'm so glad that we did!}

3) I love (love love love) how excited Justin gets about our vegetable garden.  He (sort of) shares my enthusiasm for (completed) home renovations, but the garden is one of those things for which we have mutual and unbridled excitement, and that makes it fun.

I'm sure he'd want me to clarify that he's watering the USEFUL plants (read, edible).  The flowers are mine.

4) I'm kinda famous!  Not really, but the consignment store where I bought the table for my mini ironing board makeover featured it on their blog.  Also, they gave me $5 in store credit for submitting my photos - and since I paid $5 for the table, it basically means my project was free :)  Check it out:

5) I had a big "ah ha" moment recently about my decorating style.  I think I was trying too hard to make things perfect, and not embracing the fact that my style is a bit more whimsical/cottage/vintage than I had cared to admit.  I'll have to write a longer post explaining a little better what I mean, and (I hope) that realizing and implementing this new style will help me achieve the "homey-ness" that I crave.

6) We hosted our first yard sale a few weekends ago, and plan to put our remaining items out this weekend. It turned out to be a fun chance to soak up the sunshine, talk to neighbors and passerbys, and - oh yeah - have people hand you cash for things that were taking up space in the basement.  Win - win - win!  We convinced some friends to bring their extra stuff tomorrow and hang out with us tomorrow, too, so there's another win :)

7) One non-win to the whole yard sale thing - it will be an earlier morning than I'm accustomed to, and since it's already late, I'll see you next time!  xoxo until then, my friends!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I'm back...without any pressing problems!

Guys.  It's been a long time since I posted.

This was supposed to be the opening to some Quick Takes on Friday...but you can see how far I got!  After I've neglected the blog for a few days weeks, I always feel like I need to have something spectacular to make it worth your wait, which - of course - makes me procrastinate even longer since nothin' on this old blog is really in the "spectacular" category!  (Well, except maybe Anna ;) but I'm biased!)  So today I finally decided something is better than nothing....

A little "renovation" project from a find from a local consignment shop:

Here's what I started with - a $5 (but free to me, because I had store credit from consigning some things!) seen-better-days TV tray table.

And, today, my solution to my annoyance at my large, in-the-way, screechy ironing board that I usually set up to sew.  (Credit for the idea to this project from The Crafty Cupboard on Pinterest).

It took less than an hour, and I used some extra batting & cotton fabric I had and pulled them tight and stapled them to the underside of the table.  Voila!  A much less annoying ironing solution.  It's too small (and a tiny bit wobbly) to do significant ironing, but since I typically just need to press some seams while sewing, it works perfectly.  Or - I imagine it will work perfectly.  Headed upstairs to try it out now!