Monday, February 28, 2011

Photobooth folies

So I took a little break from the blog. Truth be told, we've been a little busy around here. And not with anything house related--which would certainly explain my abscense. We spent the better half of almost 2 weeks doggy sitting for my in-law's two dogs. Which, for anyone who's watched someone else's dogs before, you know it involves a lot of "don't do that", "where are you going", "stay out of the garbage" nonsense. At that point, I'm way too exhausted to think about anything house related. So let's not discuss what's gonna happen when I birth a child. Anyhoo! Moving along...

Awhile ago I mentioned I was working on a little project. A project that finally involved developing some wedding pictures from the big day that was nearly a year ago. With our first anniversary less than 3 months away (where did time go?!), I figured it's about time to get on it once & for all. That goes for our photobooth pictures. Which most of our guests never thought would see the light of day....

Yes, that would be the husband & his very boring (can't you tell?!) groomsmen in the second photo. And no, these particular friends & family didn't sign waivers to be featured on the 'ol blog. When you step inside the photobooth (ahem, some too many at once) you waive any rights to be outed here. Even if you're picking your nose, grabbing a boob, or have something in your teeth. Just sayin' folks.

Anyhoo! Back to the task at hand. The first order of business was developing the photos:

Step two...find a frame! In this case I went with a standard white frame from Target. I ended up altering the matting to fit more pictures than the 8x10 opening would allow. I realized I had way too many fun photos (we hang out with a lot of comedians).

The end result was an epic disaster. My exacto knife had enough! The matting had ripped & was uneven...ugh, a total mess!

So, goodbye Target frame...hello, $8.97 sale frame from Joann's! The original matting was a multi-picture, so I tossed that. The frame was a mess--think lots of scratches & dents, as well as some mysterious dirty fingerprints that wouldn't go away. Eww! No wonder this thing was on sale! So out came the white spray paint...

And the end result was this....

The husband thinks it looks like a collage I made in college & hung on the 'ol dorm room wall. And I sort of agree with him (shhhh, let's hope he won't read this post!). For now this little project hangs over the wine fridge in our dining room, and is the best way I know how to display these photos for now. Anyone else have a better idea how to display something of this nature?

Hope you all had a great weekend! Now that the doggies are gone, we'll be getting back to work & I'll be posting a bit more. Afterall, I won't need to stop 18 times to tell someone to stop eating the cat's food!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Heat wave

Today we're getting a new furnace. For anyone who knows us, they can tell you that this is our second furnace purchase in less than 4 months. Oh, the joys of owning a 2-family home! They don't call it two family for's 2 furnaces, 2 hot water tanks, 2 electrical boxes, and 2 times the fun & expenses! The groundhog predicted an early spring, but did he predict whether money trees would be growing this year?

So while I put aside the misery of such a big purchase (not to mention wondering how in the heck I'm typing with such cold finger tips!), I'll share with you a little change I made to the 'ol entertainment unit this weekend. This is what things looked like before:

Nothing exciting...just your average, run-of-the-mill standard knobs. In hindsight, I wished we would have purchased a unit with a bit more character. But this seems to fit the bill for the time being. Ah, well. Maybe in another life or house. So to change things up without altering the piece too much, I changed out the existing knobs with some inexpensive ones from Hobby Lobby. The result was this:

It took me some time to warm up to the new knobs. Afterall, they were significantly different than the old boring knobs of yore! But they're slowly growing on me. They are not slowly (or quickly for that matter) growing on the husband. I'm hoping he'll come around. In the meantime, I'm avoiding the issue of having to make a trip back to Hobby Lobby to return these babies. It's my hope that he'll just forget this change ever happened in the first place...

Hope you all had a great weekend! Now can someone pass me a blanket?!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Before & After

I love a good before & after. Maybe it's just that I'm nosey & I like to see where people live and what they do with their space. I think that's why I'm so addicted to HGTV too. Come on, tell me you don't love seeing what House Hunter folks do with their new place?!

Which is why I created a Before & After tab on the 'ol blog. Because maybe people out there are just as nosey as I am. Or maybe I just like seeing our own space as it evolves. But before you get too excited, the only transformation you'll currently see there is 'Project Hallway'. I'll be posting more before & afters in good time my friends, all in good time...

So I got to work un-earthing some photos of the house when it was purchased in 2007. I can't recall if I initially took these photos on my first visit, or after I found out the house was officially mine (it was a solo mission at the time..first came the house, then came the husband). But I can assure you the photos were very much taken prior to the previous owners moving out. So without further ado, I give you the living room BEFORE...

Ack! I know the picture is rather dark, but let me tell you...the place was dark & dingy to begin with, so the photo is a pretty accurate portrayal of what this place looked like at the time. Do you think the weird candelabra in the window was their attempt to class up the joint? Because it just looks like a fire hazard to me. At any rate, the hardwood floors were in horrible shape & covered with weird remnants and area rugs throughout the house--like this beauty you see here (having the floors professionally refinished was the first major work done to the house).

And for those of you who don't remember what the space looks like now, I present to you the AFTER:

Much better right? What a difference an owner makes! Of course, everyone's taste is individual so I'm not tooting my own design horn or anything. It's just interesting to see how a space can change from one person to the next! Not only are before & after pictures so interesting, what about documenting a space during a renovation or update? Especially in the case of a major overhaul (i.e. our kitchen). It's interesting to see what your space looked like, how it changes, and what it turns out to be!

I'll be posted more before & after shots in the near future. So if you're feeling particularly sure to check back soon!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Feelin' the love

Happy Monday & happy valentine's day! The husband & I aren't huge valentine's day fans, so as usual, we'll skip the crowds & dinner out. I do however, secretly love the cards, flowers & crafts that go along with this "holiday". Remember how much fun it was to make your own card box in elementary school?

We had friends over for dinner this weekend. The guest list also included their two little ones (well, one who's baby little...but little none-the-less). We made things simple & fun with an "indoor" bbq theme--complete with hot dogs, chips, salads & a whole lotta chocolate thrown in for good measure (if that doesn't help get over the winter blues, I don't know what does!). I couldn't resist playing up the valentine's day theme for our little dinner party...

I free-handed the hearts with my stash of cardstock & attached them to baker's twine. I believe the husband's exact words were, "those hearts look like a second grader made them". Hmmm...I would have described them as more whimsical & fun. But since one of our guests was 3 years old, I wasn't too worried about my supposed lack of artistic abilities. The black vases were leftovers from our wedding & look great with some packed carnations, wouldn't you say? It's funny that carnations get such a bad name, but if you know how to arrange them, they become an affordable chic centerpiece!

Hope it was a good weekend for all!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

And then we got stuff done around here

Seriously, I'm starting to think there aren't enough hours in the day. This house has seen it's fair share of projects that get started. But at times they never quite get off the ground & running...let alone see the finish line for awhile. Maybe that's why I feel so overwhelmed sometimes?

Now that the contents of our kitchen are no longer spewed all over our house (and yes, spewed is a least by my standards today), and things are almost finished in there, the rest of the house is very slowly taking shape. Well, at least until I decide to change or update something again. Which, with the amount of blogs I read & inspiration that comes from's happening a lot these days!

We have friends coming over for dinner this weekend & in a rush to get things ready for their arrival (ie, actually cleaning the house), I FINALLY finished project hallway! There are a few elements I'll add or change in the future, but for now it's complete & I'm quite happy with the results!

Okay, first let's take a trip down memory lane, shall we? Here's the very shocking before:

As you may recall, the top of the landing was ONE BIG HOT MESS. It was a collection of everything we were too lazy to deal with. So we cleared out the space & put everything up into the attic (where hoarding is completely acceptable). And here is the lovely after:

The desk was a hand me down from my mom that I got the a-okay to paint. I debated about switching out the hardware, but kept the existing ones & spray painted them a coat of silver. I love them now! Which makes me wonder why I debated changing them out in the first place!? The mirror was a HomeGoods find that occupied every last minute of my time to get it to the way it looks now (note taken, next time I'll spray paint something this intricate). The "K" is also a HomeGoods find that I spray painted yellow & attached brackets to the back so that it stands upright. Which means it's secure enough that if a tipsy guest happens to fall into the desk while leaving our house (hey, it could happen!), it's not going anywhere. The random white cup is a Goodwill find, and the vase was my grandmother's. And then of course, there was my Salvation Army lamp that I scored for $5...

In the end, this lamp was all sorts of trouble. I couldn't find a shade to suit it, and after 2 attempts to cover the one I had...I surrendered and replaced it with the current Homegoods lamp that now sits on top of the desk. It made me a little sad to replace my $5 find. But I'm hoarding it in the attic, with the hopes that it will find another home one of these days.

The frames were the last element of the space. They were all purchased from random antique & thrift stores (I think the largest one was $35, the rest were less than that--not bad!) & spray painted black. The ceramic birds are a gift from the husband from a local home interiors boutique (Nest--for all you Buffalo folks). So let me just say, I pretty much avoided hanging these for the longest time, since the plaster walls in our old home can be pretty tricky. Imagine if you will--lots of dust, nails that hit studs (and not the cute kind), and holes that inevitably have to be patched before starting over. But the decorating gods must have been looking over me because hanging these were a cinch. If you're keeping score...that's one point for Katie, zero points for the wall.

And one more picture for good measure...a view into the living area as you enter from the stairwell...

Excuse the pillows...our living room is going through a bit of an identity crisis, as I'm not totally sure my latest Etsy purchase is fitting in so well. The orange pillow cover turned out to be a bit too orange, so I might give it a home in the spare bedroom. So much for not being afraid of color in 2011...

And with that, I'm off to admire my work...hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Weekend recap

Another weekend behind us & it's back to the grind! From now on, I think it's time to insist that weekends become 3 days long...2 days are not enough! Ah well, let's get to a recap shall we?

...I've entered into a somewhat human state again (a heavy emphasis on the "somewhat" as I'm just not quite there yet). Although, I did manage to pass whatever this is along to the husband, who isn't fairing so well today. Colds be damned--we can't seem to win around here!

...I finally received my House Beautiful subscription this weekend! For those of you who've already perused the March issue, can you believe all the pink goodness? Flipping through the pages has me itching for an all pink house! Okay, maybe not the whole house, but at least one room. Which would require the husband to move out, as I'm sure he wouldn't be as jazzed about all that pink. I'm sure you can't tell from the picture, but ironically, my subscription comes addressed to the husband. Well, if that doesn't give our mailman cause for question, I don't know what does...

...Our 7 year-old niece stopped by for a craft day on Sunday. Which is just the kick in the rear I needed to get on that 2011 resolution of 'scrapping once a month' (along with 'go to church more', 'develop wedding pics', 'finish the kitchen' and 'practice staying calm'...all of which have yet to be accomplished, thank you very much). Although, I must say, we don't get much crafting done when she comes over. She spends a lot of time perusing through my endless supplies, she talks (a lot!), plus we took a pretty significant pizza & Disney Channel break at one point in the day. I did however finish up two shadow boxes--one from our wedding, the other from our honeymoon--that have since found a new home in our kitchen.

...which brings me to the final piece of the puzzle--we (meaning me) painted! We're not totally done yet, as I only accomplished the pantry (on a Friday night, no less...yes, we lead a pretty exciting existence around these parts). Since I painted at night, it was hard to decide whether or not I liked the color. I went back & forth several times, all the while interjecting phrases to the husband such as--"so...would you say this color is 'retro chic' or does it look more like baby food?" and "if I don't like this in the morning it's all your fault for choosing this stupid color". I'm happy to report that we both woke up the next morning & liked what we saw. It's not a color I would have normally chosen (well, at least without a push from the husband), but I applaud myself for stepping outside my beige box for once!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

High Gloss love

So what's the best way to bide your time when you're down, out, really sick, stuck in bed, have watched all the bad reality t.v. that you can, and read every last gossip mag at your disposal? Why you move on to digital magazines, that's what you do!

image via Rock Paper Scissor blog

High Gloss Magazine recently went live. I'm a fan of Erin Rauter, who is one of the editors behind this fabulous online magazine. She's the owner of Rock Paper Scissor, a stationary store in Franklin, TN & I'm a regular reader of her blog--which is a daily dose of all things fun and fabulous. I'd like to think that if I didn't have a real job, I'd for sure be living my life as an interior designer or stationary store owner. For the time being, I'm living vicariously through her & her website!

Time to do some online reading!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The sick den

After being holed up indoors for a full 4 days, I finally ventured out of the house and went back to work today. I can't say it was pretty, but it beats being trapped in the sick den for another day.

On my way home (a half day was all I could muster...but a productive half day it was!) I stopped for some groceries & picked up some flowers. It's just your average grocery store bouquet, but it has me already dreaming of spring. I suppose now that it's officially February--we're almost there? Or maybe that's just me being optimistic with this impending snowstorm looming over our heads...

So! Remember when I started Project Hallway, hmmmm...about 8 years ago? Okay, that's a complete exaggeration. But it was honestly eons ago that I started and (almost) finished the project, that I know I have all 4 of you on the edge of your seats waiting for some sort of reveal. So without further ado, I give you a sneak peek...

My apologies for the dark photo. It seems that with this snowstorm, comes a little doom & gloom outside. Our last bit of Project Hallway is hanging the thrift/antique store frames. Which, somewhere between cooking me a fabulous dinner & watching the Biggest Loser...I hope to get the husband's assistance tonight.

So stay tuned? But not on the edge of your seats. You'll likely fall off while waiting...

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