Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Kitchen - (un)Styled

A few days ago, I mentioned on Twitter, that I was hoping we'd have some lovely, sunny day soon so I could take official pictures of the kitchen progress so far. I never really got good after shots when we finished up the first stage of our work in there last fall.

Of course, there have been a number of sunny days already this spring, but I also wanted the kitchen to be really clean for the pictures. (And we cook 3 full meals in here each day). A bonus would be I could also style the kitchen for the photos. You know, buy a pile of artichokes to spread out on a wooden cutting board. Place fresh flowers beside the sink, ready to be cut and vased. Lemons in a pretty little bowl. Things like that. (And we cook 3 full meals in here each day - and watercolor paint, and draw with markers, and...) Hmmm... it might not happen. Or if it were going to, it was going to take some serious effort. I have enough on my plate that requires serious effort ;)

So, I let that idea go.

But, then, we were making pancakes on Saturday morning. Apple pecan pancakes before we started in on the rest of the caulking, priming, and painting in Bedroom 3. SweetP was doing most of the work, but I was cooking some apples in butter and cinnamon for her to use.


While we were making breakfast that morning, I looked around the kitchen and really liked the way it looked. It looked useful, and happy, and it looked like family. So, I fiddled with a towel and moved a pitcher of orange-pineapple juice around, and took some shots.

Our kitchen as it looks today.

Lived in. Loved in.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Rise Above It

Look at this man.

Defying the pain.

Laughing in its face.

Gritty. Tough as nails. Big nails.

Awwww, yee-uh.

note: this saturday marked day 7 of sam's shoulder injury. he was, at all times, very careful and sensible while caulking. he speaks with a physical therapist tomorrow. in the meantime, he got the job done and i'm free to paint. might have this room down by friday after all. he's a rock :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Dislocated Shoulder

Sam plays on an indoor soccer team.

Well, he used to play on an indoor soccer team - until this week, anyway.

This picture and post title tell pretty much everything else about the story.

Poor dude.

Guess I might be learning to caulk :[

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bedroom 3 Progress (cont'd)

So, hopefully Blogger will cooperate and let me upload photos in less than 10 minutes a piece tonight. I'm picking right up where I left off with our recent progress in Bedroom 3... just after the Navy Blue Carpet Surprise :)

Sam has been the cutting, nailing, caulking man for this room. That pretty much leaves me to do the priming and the painting. Since there isn't another set of little feet in the picture at this point and since the weather was bee-u-tee-ful last week, that worked out great! Sam finished the new trim inside the closet once I had the closet system out, and I got to work priming and painting that trim after he caulked it. I was able to work in small segments of time and get everything but the wall with the closet on it painted. Yeah, you read that right. I said I got everything but that wall painted.

Hmmmmm..... what's she up to?

Remember back when we painted this room last August? Remember how we painted it Restoration Hardware's "Silver Sage"? But we hadn't really swatched the room, instead we had painted one of those large pieces of cardstock and tried to get a good reading from that? And remember that then we painted the room and realized we should've swatched it after all? Because it didn't really look like we had envisioned? It was too blue-green? And too saturated? Remember that I'm kind of obsessive about color? The right color? And remember how I tried to convince myself that I wasn't really all that obsessive and the color was fine?

Well, I am that obsessive.

And it wasn't really fine.

Since I was painting all this trim anyway, and also painting the inside of the closet, why not go ahead and make the most of the room being empty and totally ready to paint, and just - repaint it? You know, seven months after I painted it "Silver Sage". You know, because I have nothing else to do.

My husband loves me.

You can see the new, lighter, less saturated color in the photo above, and - a little less clearly - in the photo below. It's Sherwin William's "Passive". Much grayer, with blue, but only very, very little green. I like it :) Sam says I'd better ;)

The closet trim was a little tricksy to decide on. I mentioned in the last post that we're using curtains on this closet and that the room really only lends itself to that option or sliding doors (which we didn't want). We had to decide where to end the basecap moulding. It was really six of one half dozen of the other. So, we just picked what we thought would look good. I like that it's a little different - like it doesn't quite fit in a way you'd expect, but it still looks good. The curtains will totally hide this part anyway. Someday, if we want doors on this closet, these little end pieces will have to come off. For now, though, I think it looks fun... and has a little character.

You can see the white walls in the closet there. The white feels sooooo fresh and clean.

So, now the walls (except the wall the closet is on) are all "Passive" and all the trim is done except for the area around the main door. Sam needs to remove the door and caulk the entire jam and the trim around it before I can prime and paint it. That's next up on the agenda... hopefully this weekend?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bedroom 3 Progress

I was looking through some recent posts tonight, and was surprised to find that our last real "progress" post was the chalkboard door... in early December! Yikes. I knew that we had been laying low for a little while in terms of projects, but I didn't realize it had been quite that long. Really, though, Sam continued to work on the trim from then until mid-January or thereabouts, so he took a smaller project vacation than I did. Still!

I think it's been good to take a break, though... in lots of ways. We had been going like crazy since March 2009, and we knew we'd be gearing up for some significant projects here in a few weeks, so I think we subconsciously called a halt. The fridge sucking up all of our money was a definite factor, too. Really, our wintertime breather was helpful in getting us rested up and ready to get back at it this spring. I'm not sure if we'll plan on doing the same thing after the holidays this coming winter or not - sure seems like a nice way to prevent burnout, though.

Besides giving us time to rest up, our few months of little-to-no-projects also gave us a renewed perspective. We had parts of the house all torn up, trim still missing for weeks, piles waiting to be returned to their proper homes as to-do lists went undone, and - guess what. We were still happy. The children still smiled. They still slept soundly. We were just fine. Revelation. We tore through our first year living here at breakneck speed with a loooong list of goals and hopes. It really was encouraging to see something change, and to realize that our ideas were going to be more than ideas. But, it has also been encouraging to see that things don't have to happen at that pace in order to get done. We still have goals and plans, of course, but we're not afraid now to call it quits for a little while when more important things need our time. The lists will get done... but sometimes they have to give way to bigger priorities.

So, enough of all that. What you really care about is seeing what we've been up to housewise, right? Well, if you've paid attention to my newly revamped sidebar, you would've seen that we've been working in Bedroom 3...

You might remember from waaaaay back in the day, that we had started putting in the baseboards in this room. A search for the proper basecap ensued, and months later, it finally went in. At first, we started to prime and paint the baseboards before we (Sam) installed them, but when we realized that we'd be caulking everything and filling nail holes after installation, we decided to prime and paint after they were on the wall. Here's a peek.

And here is a shot of the baseboard and basecap all painted :) I just looooove the way these look once they're finished. I thought I had a pretty good visual of what they would wind up looking like painted, but they turned out even better than I had imagined. Yay!

Sam and I decided to put curtains on the closet door in this bedroom instead of replacing the sliding doors. The layout of the room pretty much requires sliding doors on this closet, but neither of us liked that option much. So, we hung these curtains up last August. (They don't usually have tiebacks - that was for the photo). The closet system, although useful for a time, was of cheap quality and not what we were needing most in this closet, so it had to go.

You know me well enough by now to know that I ripped it out one Friday afternoon during naptime :)

Tah dah! The closet system is removed. But, wait. What's that?

Navy. Blue. Carpet.

Or should I say... Navy? Blue? Carpet?

Didn't see that one coming. Apparently, the closet system was installed when the room had navy carpet. Oh, well. No harm done, really. Next month's project has an answer for this little snafoo.

I had a few more photos for you, but Blogger is taking a small eternity to load photos tonight, so I'll show them to you in the next post. See you soon :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Where I Am Right Now

Can I tell you how many times I've logged into the blog, thinking I was finally going to post something? And didn't? I announced my little break on February 7th - six full weeks ago. That's a pretty long break for a blog, and honestly, I was having some serious trouble getting back into things. Lacking oomph. Not even really wanting to.

Life has been FULL around here... a good kind of full, but also a kind of full that doesn't really leave much room for splurgey perks like blogging time. Birthdays, and anniversaries, and time with friends and family. Teaching Punkin to read (!), teaching Little Dude to pee (!), studying the Vikings, and - yes - house projects. Too, there have been some extremely heavy days here in the past two months. Haiti continues to be on my heart... several, sometimes many, times a day I think about that land and the precious souls who call it home. Trim and curtains don't really seem worth much when you realize that hundreds of thousands are still living in less than tents in PAP.

Still, we have this house kind of torn up ;) We can't very well just up and decide to quit the work we've been doing. Even if we could, would we really want to? Why are we doing everything we're doing to this house, anyway? I mean really. Not just some surfacey answer will cut it. In our hearts - Why are we going this far with things? Is it a wise use of our time? Our money? Our energy? Are we hogging all that God has so graciously given us just to benefit ourselves? Where do these house projects rank in our list of priorities for daily life... a godly daily life? Are we really seeking to honor God with all this? And if we can say that we're still moving ahead as planned, what about the blog? All the above questions pertain all over again to that.

I know this is kind of a disappointing "back from break" post, but I had to type it all. These are the thoughts that have been wrestling one another around in my mind for the past 6 weeks. They're the reasons I just haven't been able to jump right in and show you the little bit of progress we have made. With all this on my heart, posting about polka dot lined dresser drawers just seemed so pointless. I believe that beauty, homemaking, art, and hard work all have their place in the kingdom of God. Life has just been really raw lately, and when life is raw, you re-evaluate. It's good.

I almost bunked the blog. Seriously. I almost called it quits. But, I didn't. I'm here, I'm posting. I'm caulking and painting and planning. But, I'm also asking the Lord to keep my heart seeking after the treasure, the riches, that will never rot or rust away. I'm asking Him to give me a heart that consistently looks outward, out of these four walls and into a world that is hurting, broken, and in need of the Savior that I know and the resources that I can so often give. I'm asking Him to keep this blog, these projects, this house in perspective. Eternal perspective. I'm asking Him for wisdom to guard me and keep me and use me. I'm asking Him to make sure that I don't waste my life.

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