Monday, September 11, 2017

Years of Living in During

It's funny to think back.

Buzz and Jessie-9

We bought this house in the fall of 2013.  The kids were three and a half with another couple years of preschool/child care ahead of them.  Mike had over an hour commute to and from work each day.  My dad was the only one of our kids' grandparents who had retired at that point.  I started this blog that winter.

So little has changed, and yet so much.

The kids are in second grade now, riding bikes with two wheels and reading every chapter book they encounter.  Mike took a job five minutes from home not too long after we moved here, and all four of the kids' grandparents retired.  The most heartbreaking new reality, of course, is that Mike's mom Gail passed away last October. 

Amid all the ups and downs...and way, way downs...our home projects have been right here with us, nagging at Mike to put in more evening hours, urging me to plan vacations and other time and financial commitments around one project after another.  Thankfully Mike and I are very proud of what our ideas (mostly mine) and hard work (mostly his) have produced.  These projects have provided a creative outlet for me and an opportunity for Mike to hone his skills, retreat to his workshop, and make our home more beautiful, bit by sawdusty bit.  Swinging a hammer through life's way, way downs is a healthy way to grieve, right?  I sure hope so.

As we round the corner of this fourth year in this house, we are excited to see our main floor looking like we envisioned back in the fall '13, maybe even better.  Mike is putting most of his project time now into building kitchen cabinet doors, a new direction in our kitchen update that we decided to take this summer.  Once that job is thoroughly complete and a few smaller but tedious tasks are finished (touching up trim,  replacing some light switches and covers...that kind of stuff), I think we'll be able to check that big ol' box: Main Floor Updates.  We're already researching basement and second floor projects for 2018, though, of course!

Mainly as a little motivation for the two of us at this four-year mark, I wish to take a good look at much of what we have done here.  Who doesn't love some before and afters?


Family Room - Fireplace, Photo Ledges, Floor

Sophie's Room - Blackout Curtains, Spray Painted Butterflies

Michael's Room  - Gear Wall, Poster Frames

This blog's readership has always been smallish, it's never really generated much of an income (one little check and some AirStone supplies, to be exact), and to be honest, being a blogger feels a little embarrassing at times.  It's a very 2005 kind of hobby, right?  

However, while taking the last year off from the blog (not in some grand life decision--just what my heart led me to do), I found I that missed the joy that comes from sharing our projects.  I'm not making any major commitments here, but I do intend to blog regularly again because it just makes me happy.  It's not going to be a daily or weekly endeavor, but at least one post a month, I think.

Here are some projects from the last year or so that are potential for upcoming posts:

Kitchen - This space is the epitome of living in during, that's for sure!  It's been in the works for over a year and a half now with many projects within it.

Powder Room



I'm pleased with how far we've come and look forward to sharing more details!  We'll certainly be living in that during stage for a while yet.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Transform Old Dishes Into Mercury Glass

Transform old dishes into mercury glass.

After giving a pair of glass lamps a mercury glass makeover some years back, I now have a hard time looking at any clear glass decorative item without fantasizing about tackling it with some Krylon Looking Glass paint.   It's such a quick, easy, and fun project!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Decorate for Four Holidays with Two Pillows

Throw pillows are typically a quick and affordable way to transition the look of a space from one season to the next.  However, the cost and storage space for a year's worth of them can add up quickly, so DIY pillow covers are always my preference.  The ones I made recently using $7 IKEA pillow covers, printable iron-on transfer paper, and digital vintage holiday images that I purchased for pocket change on Etsy are my new favorites.  I designed them so I can simply flip them to display the next holiday's image when the other passes.  Talk about an easy transition!

I probably shouldn't admit this, but having a couple of new throw pillows ready for each of the next four holidays has given me a little peace of mind.  Creating them could not have been much easier, and now I know my home will feel a little cozier...

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Large Scale Wall Art: Patent Drawing Engineering Prints

Large scale wall art tends to come with a large scale price tag, so I was pleased to find an affordable and visually satisfying solution for our two-story living room.  .ngineering prints of patent drawings have an industrial and graphic quality and are easy on the wallet!

DIY Engineering Print Patent Drawing Wall Art

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Four Chairs Sitting Room Arrangement

Since we have a somewhat traditional family room with a sectional couch, fireplace, and our TV, our living room inspired me as a space where we could have a little fun.  We could determine how we wanted it to function and forego the standard couch and chair or couch and loveseat type arrangements.  We could get a couple of settees, or a chaise lounge, or...what else?

With other projects taking priority, I had time to consider our living room over the last couple of years and ultimately determined that an arrangement of four chairs circling a round coffee table would be best. 

Four Chairs Sitting Room Arrangement

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

DIY Custom Photo Ledges

With backsplash, shoe molding, and other projects dragging on a bit, Mike and I felt ready for some quick wins, some improvements that would provide significant impact and satisfaction with relatively small time and financial commitments.

The main one we chose to veer toward for a bit recently was DIY photo ledges for our family room.

DIY Photo Ledges

Monday, February 15, 2016

Why We Bought Our Quartz Countertops From IKEA

In our kitchen we have new countertops!  However, I can't decide on a backsplash, so it's still not much to look at out there.  In case you are curious, though, the counter is quartz, London Grey by Caesarstone.  We bought it from Ikea for a couple of reasons.