January 24, 2012

Paint, The Miracle Worker

Aside from the gorgeous weather, trail running, eating/drinking and beach-going, this past weekend was mainly about helping my sister-in-laws paint. The previous owner painted their house a horrendous color orange and since Brian was a painter in college, they asked us to come down and help. I always hear people complaining about painting, but I honestly think it's fun! The whole process is very methodical and 'cutting in' really appeals to my OCD. Wait until you see this transformation:

You can pick your chin up off the floor now. And no, I cannot explain what drugs that previous owner was on that would compel her to paint almost the entire house ORANGE. Did you catch the faux-paint job on the kitchen pantry? Bad...

The transformation took all day Friday, with the help of four people. Here we are hard at work:

I don't really have good action shots of Linds and Linds, but they did almost ALL the main wall rolling!

Of course we snuck in some fun too:

Running on the Upper Tampa Bay Trail, which is know one of my favorite paved trails.

My favorite part of the trip, Ybor City! In two hours I saw three people on horseback, a man walking around with an enormous yellow boa on his shoulders, men with giant signs telling us we were going to hell and a Church of Scientology. If that doesn't make for an interesting time, I don't know what does! I cannot wait to go back.

January 18, 2012

Hello Sunshine!

This weekend we are off to Tampa, Florida to help my sister-in-laws paint their new house. Of course the weather might have had something to do with our generous donation of manual labor...

I can't tell you how excited I was to pull out my 'summer' clothes when I was packing. Projects on the homefront have been rather slow-going, but hopefully I will be back in full swing next week.

January 12, 2012

I Heart Giftcards

Some people think gift cards are impersonal, but I love them. Of course it helps if the card is for a store that you happen to talk about all the time...hello, Pottery Barn! It's no secret that I want everything from the PB catalog, but I'm just way to cheap to actually buy it. Cue in my awesome sister-in-law(s). For Christmas they got me a gift card to Pottery Barn. At first, I thought I would use it toward purchasing the Seagrass Headboard that I have been obsessing over:

Buuut, once I realized that it was going to cost well over $500 bucks after taxes and shipping, I just couldn't justify such a frivolous purchase, even with free money. There was one other small thing I had been coveting from PB - the Pocket Watch Clock.

I could just picture it on the nightstand in the guest room. Well, now I don't have to imagine anymore because I bought it! Check out how perfect it looks:

Thanks so much Linds + Linds!

January 9, 2012

Rope Mirror Tutorial (Finally)

No, it's not April Fool's, the rope mirror is actually DONE! I suppose we can thank my birthday for that, since all I asked for was help finishing it. Like the great husband that he is, Brian finished up his part Saturday and I worked on the rest Sunday. You're probably wondering why I couldn't just glue the rope on myself? Well, after the train-wreck that was my first attempt, I got a little gun-shy. Remember as a kid when you had that bad scrape on your knee and you turn your head as your mom bandaged your wound? Yea, it was kinda like that. So, do you want to learn how to make your own?

Just to recap, the mirror is the KOLJA from Ikea and the rope is from Web Rigging Supply (great service). After trying out different gluing methods, we decided on Gorilla Glue

First, we laid out the rope and cut the first piece to fit:

You need to wrap the rope ends to prevent fraying. We used green painters tape, but don't listen to us. Use the brown duct tape like Nate says. Next, it's on to gluing. If you didn't know, Gorilla Glue expands. A lot. Our tactic was to apply a thin line as close to the edge as possible. Make sure you don't glue the edges of the rope and leave enough wiggle room to wrap them with twine (this comes later).

Brian came up with the brilliant idea of using water glasses to keep the rope in place while the glue set.
Here is a close-up of the edge:
The glue will ooze over, but remember that you are going to cover that space with the second rope.
When applying the glue for the next rope, you have to be a bit more careful. I wasn't there when Brian did the second rope, but it looked beautiful.

Nothing is ever perfect, so we do have a tiny bit of glue showing, but I am confident that we can take of that with a razor blade. Another trick good trick - wait until the glue is semi-permanent and then take a dry cloth and push back the glue under the rope. This prevents the bigger 'ooze puddles' from showing.

For the third (and final) rope, I decided to use the glue gun. No science behind this step - just glue and place the rope around the base (remember, leave the edges).

Now that the hard part is over, it's on to twine. I used some natural jute that I bought at Hobby Lobby:

First I had to figure out how to tackle this craziness:

Obviously, those crazy ends made it really hard to get the twine to wrap around. I ended up wrapping the entire bundle in one piece of painters tape, thereby creating an even surface for my twine. This was the end product:

Once you wrap the ends, just glue the whole section down to the mirror and you're done! Now you can do a happy-dance around the house for ten minutes like I did. We haven't had a chance to hang it yet, but here it is leaning aginst the wall we want to hang it on:

I cannot wait to have it hung and I think it already looks amazing in the space. 


January 4, 2012

Happy New Year - Cabin Style

This year we decided to join our friends Amber and Matt on their annual New Years Cabin Trip. We got to spend three relaxing days at Lake Nantahala in North Carolina. Check out these views:

Along with relaxation, there was some hiking, lots of food and of course, drinking. Did I say lots of food?

Love this one:

As I was standing on the dock taking photos of the lake, I looked down and saw this:

Remind you of anything? How about this guy:

Only Pottery Barn can take a cheapo marine store item, polish up and charge quadruple the amount. Guess where I am going to look for curtain tie-backs?

On our last day I was walking around the house cleaning up and came across this lamp:

No, it's not really my style, but I kept thinking 'man, those oars are the perfect size for my guest room ideas'. Enter foreshadowing, because I found two identical wooden oars in an antique mall on the way home for $12 each. (Picture and ideas coming!)