Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bear with me...

To say that we are having technical difficulties around here would be a LARGE understatement.  I had to turn in my work laptop for the summer, and I am left to choose between 2 other home laptops (neither of which are reliable/work efficiently).  I'm sort of going crazy.  You should see the wacky screen I am looking at right now to blog--the page won't even load correctly to let me see all of my toolbar.  Ridiculous!  Oh, and it won't let me center my text or change the font, so now I'm left with a wonky post--great.  Andy and I are already discussing the need for a better "home computer" for me, but we sort of just made a LARGE purchase recently that is slowing the card swiping for the computer upgrade...

Yep, we got a new ride.  No, we weren't planning on this.  You decide to purchase a new vehicle when you are going approximately 75 MPH on the interstate for a family joy-ride in your older Honda Accord (the car you really want to put the miles on) and your transmission blows...and so you ride for the next 7 miles along the shoulder of that same interstate at a speed of 25 MPH because that's just about as fast as your car can go...and that same transmission will cost you 3200 buckaroos to replace...and you already have a salvage title on the car making it worth no more than maybe $1,000...you get the picture.  We were really left with no choice in the matter.  We knew we were ready for a larger vehicle--we had been driving a sedan and a 2-door coupe for a while now.  We researched a lot of different options in the foreign car realm (we only buy foreign--sorry if that offends anyone), and we narrowed it down to the Honda Pilot and the Toyota Highlander.  I think other than the deal we scored, the driving factor (no pun intended!) in getting the Highlander was that we felt a bit burned (to say the least) by our latest Honda (the one that left us stranded on the interstate).  We have been really pleased with our choice so far, and we are both hoping that it lasts somewhere around...well, forever. :)

In case anyone wonders, the Honda was "put down."   It was slowly driven to a scrap yard and we were written a check for it.  Yep, my flashy little red coupe will be torn limb from limb.  I still tear up when I think too much about it--pathetic, I know.

And, yes, I am getting my exercise in the new car.  This is me parked in the VERY LAST spot at Home Goods the other day.  Trying to put off the first good ding, you might say.

So now you know why I haven't been posting...and you know why I may not post often until I get a computer replacement.  Hopefully we will be able to justify the purchase just a moment before I lose my mind.  Bear with me!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Working on Guest Bedroom #2...

A little change took place recently...

Anyone want to guess what it was?

Yep, you got it.  The master bedroom bedding moved on up to the east side (or upstairs).

Why would I move this beloved bedding to a guest bedroom when I absolutely LOVE it?  See the picture below for the answer...

This bedding is easily one of the hardest to pair with a paint color (look at all of those swatches!).  I was really ready to bite the bullet and paint our bedroom and bathroom this summer, but I was completely and totally stuck on a color.  And when I thought one might work, I realized I didn't really like it in the bathroom or I wasn't sure if it worked color-wise off of the accent wall in the living room (because the bedroom is visible from the living room).  It was an endless cycle of paint swatches and second-guessing.  Why did I fight it so long?  Because I LOVE this bedding and had spent moo-lah on it.  Duh. 

But then the IKEA bed became...well...a real bed, and I began to wonder about the possibility of this bedding in that room.  I took my chance to see how things looked when Andy was out of town a week or so ago.  I knew better than to move stuff around with him home--too many questions I couldn't yet answer.  Long story short (er), I really liked the casual feel of the bedding with the uber-casual feel of the bed, so a change was made. 

Do I now magically know what paint color should go on the walls in this room with the bedding?  Nope.  But the very fact that this room is not the master, makes me feel a lot more laid back about the decision.

What have I done in the master about bedding?  Never fear, my tutoring money came to my rescue (as did West Elm...again), and we already have replacement bedding.  You might be a bit surprised at my choice.  More to come on that later.

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In other news, the Boze-inator has been busy in his workshop (AKA--the garage) creating a set of nightstands for either side of the IKEA bed.  I have to tell you, this whole "let me just build you something" option is working out very nicely for me.  I am so excited about his latest creation...

The end table is laying on it's side, but I think you get the idea.  It has paneled sides and a paneled top--very cute.  It's a copy of a Restoration Hardware plan.  I'm thinking about a dark walnut-ish stain.  Hopefully I won't mess up his work!

As of tonight, he was sanding the boards that would make up the top, so he is nearing the end.  However, as soon as he finishes, he will be working hard on a twin.  A girl just has to have a pair if possible!  Build, Andy, build!

Hopefully updates on this room to come!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Around here...

Well, between TCAP testing, Andy traveling for work, and various other odds and ends going on over the last week or two, blogging just hasn't been high on the priority list.  But never fear, we have been working on things around here!

First off, my mom and I visited the flea market last Saturday.  One of the reasons being the unframed crab paintings I purchased there the last time were...well...still unframed.  Trying to be thrifty, I left the flea market with those paintings the last time just knowing I could find a steal of a deal on ready-made, open-back framing at Michael's or Hobby Lobby, but I was dead wrong.  What they had in the size I needed was typically hideous--and good luck finding a pair.  So, I brought my paintings back to the same vendor to have them framed after the fact.  I ended up choosing a fairly reasonable frame that I really liked.  Lesson learned:  Get flea market paintings framed the first time.

I really liked how the black frames made the darker parts of the painting pop.  The brassy-gold is really weathered-looking and it just seemed to really work with the colors in the painting.

The pair will be stacked over the toilet, but first I have to remove the hideous towel bar.  Why builders?  Why?  Does anyone really want a towel bar hanging that high over the toilet?  I'm sure I will have a lot of fun spackling those holes.

As you can see, one is already hanging, and you can just imagine how the other will hang above it.  I really like the striped curtain paired with these guys!

My mom and I have consulted about paint colors in this bathroom.  I am planning to go two to three steps down from the attached bedroom color (SW Gray Screen) for the walls in here.  I think the deeper blue-gray will work really well with the shower curtain and paintings.  Updates in here to come!

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Back to the flea market...

While getting my paintings framed, I spotted a large framed chalkboard for only 45 buckaroos.  I even went as far as to ask about the price because I thought surely they weren't selling one so large for that price.  But they were, and I was smitten. 

Here she is!

I attempted to use Duncan for scale to show how large it really is.  But, in typical Duncan style, he can't stand still for a picture.

Do I love the happy green color on the frame?  No.  But I am very open to changing that myself.  It is set to go in the laundry room very soon.  I figure it will be a good spot to quickly jot reminders down since I go in and out of that door to the garage each day.  I can also leave Duncan a few sight words on the board to practice reading from his cage in there each day.  Let's just say he hasn't yet joined the 220 Club (teacher joke--I apologize).

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Last but not least, one more piece of artwork around here got a much needed change.  Not too long ago, I moved some artwork around to account for the newly painted living room wall.  When I made the change, the old framed oil painting that had been over the fireplace went to rest above the black piece in the foyer.  Anywho, this change was really working for the living room, and really NOT working for the foyer.  The "umbrella painting" as I often call it, basically curled up and died on the builder beige wall in the foyer.

What's a girl to do with a large oil painting that she loves that just won't work where she needs it to?  She improvises!  I got to looking at the painting, and noticed there was an awful lot of blue and yellow in it.  Which made me think of the front guest bedroom, which was just begging for artwork on a large scale.  I hired my local handyman (Andy) to tote the painting upstairs to check the size...and it was just right.  Meant to be, I tell you.

See the blues, grays, and yellows working together here???

The scale of the painting was just right.  No dinky-mcdinkster here.

I love how this room is sort of combining old-school, traditional (the painting, vintage bird print fabric) and new, contemporary (lamps, geometric prints).  It has all been trial and error, but it is seeming to come together!

The plan from here is to purchase/build a set of smaller roundish side tables for either side of the bed (no, the mismatched end tables are not my style).  Purchase a white coverlet for the bed.  Adjust the mirror situation above the IKEA dresser and actually hang whatever mirror works best.  And on down the road, we'd like to add crown moulding.  But we have progress, people!