Monday, August 24, 2015

Picture This: Week 34, 2015.

Obligatory prelude: I've done a picture-a-day project for the past couple years. I debate its continuation annually, but I like it as a part of posting the ordinary and capturing daily life. Check out past posts through the picture-a-day tag.

August 17, 2015

Most dinner parties end with book rentals and checking up with overdue customers.

August 18, 2015

An unexpected benefit of finally installing hooks in the bedroom: the dramatic shadows.

August 19, 2015

I figured out what's been stripping my tomato leaves and eating bits of the fruit: the tomato hornworm.  He's a nasty, meaty guy that really had to be pulled off the stem, and I hope his removal means a more productive crop.

August 20, 2015

Nashville! Night one consisted of craft cocktails and late-night pizza at Two Boots. 

August 21, 2015

We did a lot of touring on the second day, to include the Ryman Auditorium. It was awesome, and we really need to see a show here.

August 22, 2015

Wine, cheese and live music.

August 23, 2015

Home, and a bit of furniture rearranging.  I think this might be it. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Laundry basket.

This post feels very weird, but I am really into my laundry basket. I remember debating a laundry basket when we were registering for our wedding, but ultimately deferred because I don't like having stuff.  I also didn't see any options that weren't woven (which I love, but the cats also love).  At the time, we were waking up to the cats scratching our bed every night (this was before we built a bed), so I wasn't about to add another prime scratching location.

It was perfectly practical to use a plastic basket, which was hidden behind the door the majority of the time. That was, until Copper confused it for a litter box. Cringe. 

I still wasn't about to provide a scratching option to allow the furbs to wake us up in the middle of the night (hiding the mattress in the bed frame has be a GAME CHANGER).  I searched for months before I saw this fabric option at West Elm.  I had coupons, the size was ample to appropriately procrastinate laundry, and it was made from recycled materials. It easily won me over. 

Adding the snake plant in the room (the one plant that may be able to survive the low natural light), and this corner just became a whole lot more environmentally friendly. 

Opposite the laundry basket and next to the closet, we hung two hooks I'd been eyeing for a long time.  The picture is terrible in the nighttime light, and I can't hide the fact that we don't have closet doors, but the added functionality, the brass accents, are quite welcome.

All of this makes me feel like we've neglected our bedroom and should maybe focus on it before narrowing in on either the basement, kitchen, guest, room, or second bathroom. That, or I'm trying to overwhelm myself. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Picture This: Week 33, 2015.

Obligatory prelude: I've done a picture-a-day project for the past couple years. I debate its continuation annually, but I like it as a part of posting the ordinary and capturing daily life. Check out past posts through the picture-a-day tag.

August 10, 2015

I have a lot of phone space tied up in pictures.  Like going through someone's medicine closet, I love creeping through pictures.  This is a lot of what I have: screenshots of cool floors. I want to do a patter on the navy wall in our living room one day.

August 11, 2015

Tree, probably stuck by lightning, maybe 40 feet from the house. I'm very bad at estimations. Human for scale.

August 12, 2015

Nightcaps with friends.

August 13, 2015

My sisters treated us to the Browns preseason game.  They played Washington, my former city. Unrelated, my neck is normally not the size of my head.

August 14, 2015

Henry takes her beauty sleep very seriously and is less than pleased when it is interrupted.

August 15, 2015

We took a beekeeping class on Saturday.  I LOVED it. I hope to start my own apiary next year!

August 16, 2015

After a successful coffee table build, I'm entrusted with more projects!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Patio progress.

When we bought our house, there was a stamped patio in the back.  That was awesome, but since the addition of the garden, we knew we wanted to expand and connect the space.  Mostly, I didn't want to have to step on the ground when going to grab a tomato.  Had we known these updates would be relatively quick and inexpensive, we would have made them ages ago. 

We salvaged many flat rocks from our friend's backyard in his excavation process.  At first, I used them to create a path between the patio and garden.  We thought that might work, but trimming the grass between was difficult, so we went with pea gravel.  We dug out the area, which was a lot of manual work - yes - but we're not ones to shy from that.  Our biggest obstacle was the June rain, which was seemingly every day.  

While we were digging, Zach took the opportunity to install a legitimate fire pit.  We picked up a kit at Lowe's, which included the bricks and the ring, along with some larger gravel for the base and lava rock for the interior.  It was quite the process, but the key is for everything to be level throughout the build - the ground, the rock, the brick.  We found this tutorial to be very helpful.

These pictures look crazy, but evening light is my only option.

Another addition were these string lights.  We picked up two packs of string lights at Costco.  At first, we strung them with hooks between the house and hammock trees.  They last two days before a mild wind took them down.  We were at a loss as to how to fix until we stopped at one our favorite bars and saw that they had the same exact lights, strung on a wire. We picked up about 100 feet of 1/8 gauge wire, strung it through the loops above each socket, then wired between the house and trees with the carabiners, hooks, and fasteners we grabbed at Lowe's.

I'm happy to report the wire has kept the lights holding strong for weeks.  We've had a couple of significant storms and all's been well.  Beyond the rock path and in between the garden and house, we filled in the area with mulch.  I want that to be an overgrown oasis with a little path to the neighbors.  Clearly we're in the very beginning phases and I might have killed on of my favorite plants accidentally with weed spray.

This is my favorite view, from the hammock.  We're working on encouraging the moss to pick up and coat the path in a lush carpet.  It's been struggling through the summer, underwater through much of June.  Our outdoor space has become one of our favorite areas, especially when the mosquitoes are away. If you have any tricks, please share!

I'll work on getting pictures in better lighting - these shadows are crazy.  A tour might be in order, too, before it's all covered in snow again.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Picture This: Week 32, 2015.

Obligatory prelude: I've done a picture-a-day project for the past couple years. I debate its continuation annually, but I like it as a part of posting the ordinary and capturing daily life. Check out past posts through the picture-a-day tag.

August 3, 2015

I love the tranquility of living at the end of a street.

August 4, 2015

After a night of patio drinking, the furbs were attention deprived.  Veronica has saved our lives with these treat balls, where they have to work to get the the food. Henry mostly stalks.

August 5, 2015

I didn't intend for this to be so cat-focused, but here we are: Henry, spending hours in boxes, tapping out what can only be morse code to her demon friends.

August 6, 2015

It was a joke before, but now I believe Copper really enjoys The Bachelor series.

August 7, 2015

It's ready! I spend weeks working on this coffee table for Veronica (complete with a removable top for storage), and finally delivered on Friday.  Her excitement totally validated my pride and sweat.  I'm so, so happy about this and that she loves it!

August 8, 2015

I spent the weekend camping with my sisters, dad, and dogs.  We got a good hike in, played cards, and fixed flat tires.  Great success.

Important update! This creature: 

August 9, 2015

Car trips with the noodle and the bean.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Picture This: Week 31, 2015.

Obligatory prelude: I've done a picture-a-day project for the past couple years. I debate its continuation annually, but I like it as a part of posting the ordinary and capturing daily life. Check out past posts through the picture-a-day tag.

July 27, 2015

Copper loves drama, so I should have suspected he'd love The Bachelorette.

July 28, 2015

Macy's has potentially turned into my registry nightmare after this shipping and subsequent return debacle.

July 29, 2015

My old journal confirms that Fluffy was born in 1995 and supposed to be named "Flufy."

July 30, 2015

All of the weights and I still can't figure out how to do a pushup with weights.

July 31, 2015

My dog loves car rides until he figures out where we're going. I took this at a stoplight, not while driving.

August 1, 2015

The best wedding welcome bag in the history of welcome bags included blueberry doughnuts.

August 2, 2015

First attempt at floral crown making and I'm not sure what I'm doing.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


When we last left this area, the baskets were waiting for a bench to cover their contents.  This was four months ago.  That's embarrassing. 


Last week, I finally corrected this issue and made the whole space much more effective.  And obviously the door was painted and casing was installed.

I can't say what took so long because we had this concept for months: a bench wide enough to span the baskets. Finally, using the Ana White book I got for Christmas, I modified bench plants to fit both the baskets and to use as much of the thicker lumber as possible. 

Those thicker pieces are from my grandpa.  I always pick through his barn when I'm visiting and he offered this raw slice of lumber with the cool knots and bumps.  I wanted to use it as a showcase, either as a table or this bench, and it happened that I could squeeze three pieces for the bench.

It wasn't a perfectly straight board, thus the gaps.  Those really bothered me at first, but in the week that we've lived with the bench, I've thought less of it.  That's incredibly unusual - I'm a dweller. The legs are angled.  They're cut at an angle (it's not a mistake), and I think that gives it something a little special.

The bench frame got the same treatment as the towel hooks in the guest room but in a different order because it was originally a huge mistake. I painted the frame thoroughly - primer, two coats of paint.  Obviously I was painting it to last.  Then I sanded with the intention of just hitting the corners and applying a bit of stain in those areas.  I messed up and covered everything in dark walnut stain and really liked the result.  It's the aged look I wanted and didn't know how to achieve.  The top was sanded and a light coat of Ipswich pine stain was applied to the filler boards.  I was trying to match those pieces to the larger board pieces.  I used teak oil on the larger boards which I think protects and enhances the wood without changing its color.  I used the same stuff on the coat rack boards and our pallet doorI opted not to poly because I don't love the shinyness all the time.

I'm really happy with it. That's a weird feeling because I rarely feel like something is completely done, especially when I was solely my responsibility.  Zach was finishing the firepit this day - another post for another day.  It's a good feeling.

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