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“No Soliciting” Door Sign Printable

Welcome friend, we'd love to talk, but if you're a stranger, please don't knock. No soliciting.

Do you get a lot of door-to-door sales people in your neighborhood? We get one occasionally, and I am never happy about it. Somehow they always seem to choose naptime, and inevitably wake the kids by ringing the doorbell (which also makes the dog bark). Grr!

For the past few years we’ve had up a small, laminated “no soliciting” sign right underneath the doorbell. It has definitely cut down on the disturbance, and we’ve actually seen people come up the porch steps and then leave immediately. Hooray! But then there are those people who just don’t care, or say that they didn’t see it (really?!). Which makes me wonder if a bigger sign might be in order.

Welcome friend, we'd love to talk, but if you're a stranger, please don't knock. No soliciting.

I saw a cute one on Pinterest a while back (which I’m still looking for), which made me wonder if I could come up with a clever phrase of my own.  It is surprisingly challenging – if you sound too rude, you can put off those that you want to greet, yet the wording needs to be clear enough that the people you want to stay away understand your intention. You know what I mean?

The rhyme above is one that I thought up in the car the other day. It lets friends know they’re welcome, but tells strangers that we are not interested. What do you think? Is the message is clear?

Would you like your own copy to print? Because if so, you can download a printable copy of this same sign by clicking HERE or by clicking on the image at the top of this post.

Original doorway image taken from here.


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Wall Decor: Laser Cut Vinyl Record Clocks

 Vinyl Records made into laser-cut recycled repurposed clock art

For a long time, one of the more popular posts here on Paperseed was Melting a Vinyl Record into a Bowl. This was one of the first projects I shared (6 years ago!), and it was actually an experiment by my husband. Its funny to go back and read the comments, too. Some people had, um, strong opinions about “doing something so stupid as this.” But you know, it was truly an interesting project. Since then I’m reasonably sure that many more records have been altered into something other than their original intent, and I’m glad to know that sharing our results helped someone else.

Anyhow, one of my favorite shops on the Oregon Coast, Unfurl, recently posted these neat laser-cut vinyl record clocks ($40ea). Pretty cool, huh? I am not sure who makes them, but after a little research I think it was an Etsy shop that made it big.

If I was going to pick, I’d probably go with the elephant one. You can see more options here. Looking at them also makes me wonder if something similar can be done with a dremel, but don’t worry, I don’t plan on trying that any time soon.

Which one is your favorite? Do you feel strongly about re-using things that you feel still have value? Or are you inspired by seeing items turned into something completely different as long as they are still useful?


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Wall Decor: Chalkboard Birds on a String

This morning I noticed some incoming links that led to a very cute Chalkboard Birds on a String wall decor project from the blog Confessions of a Plate Addict. I was so thrilled to read that she used my bird silhouette stencils (originally from this project) for her pattern! How cool is that!! Seeing how other people use the elements from this blog, especially to make their own creations, gives me the best feeling. I’m glad to know that my effort here is meaningful beyond my own enjoyment. Big smile here!

P.S. Reading the name Confessions of a Plate Addict cracks me up, because back in 2007 (pre-kids!) I wrote a post called My New Favorite Mug and Other Dinnerware Confessions. Re-reading it I am half-amused and half-horrified to find I still have almost all that stuff I mentioned, including the Thanksgiving ceramic butter dish with the little turkey handle on the lid (that has never been used and is still in its original box)! O.M.G.

I still like that mug, though. 🙂


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Plum Blossoms

plum_blossoms

Did you know it will officially be spring next week? I’m so glad! We’re seeing signs of it throughout our neighborhood, little splashes of brightness here and there – daffodils, crocus, candy tufts – and our daphne smells divine! But most of all, I love seeing the plum blossoms start to open. Every year about this time, I take a moment to bust out the good camera and document the opening of their tiny pink buds. So sweet and serene and lovely.

This plum tree is actually in our neighbor’s yard. A few years ago she allowed us to dig up a runner that we placed it in a pot. It hasn’t gotten much bigger, but just last week David planted it in the back corner of our yard. Someday we’ll have plums! I’m looking forward to it.


Taken with a Canon T4i, 50mm 1.4

 

 


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Picking up the pieces of a real life mess

This is what I caught the kids doing earlier this morning. Actually, it was Chloe who came to me to let me know something was up. Turns out Leo climbed into Chloe’s closet, pulled down the jar of Pyssla beads, unscrewed the lid, and dumped handfuls out all over the floor.

A pretty big mess, as you can see.

This son of mine… don’t let that innocent looking face fool you. Only a year and a half old, but he gets into EVERYTHING. He is his father’s son, for sure. A real problem solver, always trying to figure out how things work and what they do. Right now he loves things that have moving parts or pieces that work together  – latches, drawers, door knobs, lids… I’m sure throwing all those colorful beads around must have been quite a reward for a job well done.

I’ve known for a while now that I need to find a way to lock that closet. The last time he was in there he drew on the walls with marker. Just this week I installed latches for the hallway drawers after the internal latches failed to keep out little hands. How can such a little boy, who barely talks, be this capable? And why do I continue to underestimate him?

For now, I guess I need to install more locks!


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Better

Things are gradually getting back to normal around here. The kids are feeling better, and so far, David and I have stayed healthy despite the wealth of germs that I am sure were floating around our house. My hands are raw and chapped from over-washing. I have wiped all doorknobs, sinks, tables and counter tops, plus all areas of floor where the kids threw up with antibacterial spray or disinfecting wipes. David mopped the floor in Chloe’s room. I washed all the bed sheets, sick clothes and towels in an extra long hot cycle with an extra rinse. Our house has never seen a week like this and I hope it never does again.

I am not exactly a germaphobe, but I do take precautions, especially with the kids. We’ve all had our seasonal flu shots (except David), and I carry two kinds of hand wipes in the diaper bag and in the car. We also teach the kids to wash their hands, especially before meals and after playing outside. Okay, maybe I am a germaphobe, but I can tell you caring for two very sick kids is exhausting and stressful. This year seems to be particularly bad, all around the country. I am a firm believer in the old saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

One of the few highlights of my week was laying down the new rug in Leo’s room (after all vomiting had ceased, of course). It arrived while I was away. Our house has mostly wood floors, so the kids love having this cozy new place to sit and play. The image above shows a photo of it, and of Chloe concentrating on building an extra tall Mega Blok tower, which she was very proud of. Yep, things are finally getting back to normal. Phew!

 

 


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Nursery Thoughts

I’ve been wanting to spruce up Leo’s nursery for a while now. Currently his room consists of his sister’s hand-me-down white Ikea furniture (2 malm dressers, a billy bookcase, and a crib), a rocking chair, and two Isak prints, which I still love (you can see them in Chloe’s old nursery from a few years ago). The only things I’ve bought specifically for him were a grey minky changing pad cover, a colored bin set we found at a yard sale, and a set of shelves that we just installed.

It looks nice enough, but now that he’s a year and a half, his room is transitioning from a baby’s room to a toddler room – a comfortable and safe play area and toy storage are necessities. There is also the concern that Leo’s room is the coldest in the house, while Chloe’s gets the hottest. When we turn the heat up for Leo, Chloe’s room turns into an oven. Also, Leo’s room cools off quickly, especially at night. Room heaters seem to be either too hot or too loud, or a safety hazard.

Eventually we’ll put in replacement windows, which should cut the draft, but until then, David suggested an area rug as a layer of insulation. As long as it wasn’t white or light colored (which would just get dirty from the kids and dog) I could pretty much choose. I scoured the internet, including Ikea and Target, but nothing in the right size or for under $100. Finally, I saw a decent one on Craigslist, but it had sold. She told me it was purchased from rugsusa. I saw it on sale for the same price, including shipping, so I decided to go for it. I really hope it looks good.

The other thing I’ve been considering is a wall decal. I had one of David’s canvas paintings hanging above the changing pad, but Leo thinks its great fun to knock it down. A decal would solve this problem. I particularly love this one from LittleMooseDecals. I imagined it including Leo’s name and a slight tweak of the moon and asked if a customization was possible. Then Michelle sent me the image above as a sample. Awesome! Have I mentioned Leo’s walls are the same pale blue? And that I like clouds?

So, the question is, will these things go together, do you think? One thing I’ve learned about myself is that being a graphic designer doesn’t always translate well to home decor for me. However, I notice I gravitate to the same kind of nursery images on Pinterest, so maybe I should just go with my gut on this?


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Christmas (Yuletide) Camellia

20121208-163043.jpg

Our christmas camellia is beginning to bloom! Must mean we’re getting closer to the big day! This is our first winter with this little bush – we bought it at a local nursery this summer for its glossy evergreen leaves. But seeing the little red beauties with their bright gold stamens pop open at this unexpected time of year is really a treat! Now I wish I had chosen one twice as big! Wouldn’t it be nice to someday dress a holiday table with fresh cuttings straight from the yard? Such a neat way to add to the holiday magic. 🙂

 


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Food Storage Organization + Free Kitchen Label Printable

Somedays I’ll imagine what it might be like years from now, when the baby and preschooler cease to create havoc and destruction wherever they go. I imagine actually being able to “style” the rooms, instead of keeping all surfaces kid-friendly (or kid-cluttered). For now, I get my kicks occasionally sneaking peaks at I heart organizing (I did this with our DVDs right away!) and Centsational Girl. They’re great for inspiration and little boosts of motivation.

A while ago I noticed how ridiculous the base corner unit in our kitchen was getting. Its an Ikea Rationell lazy susan that holds mostly canned and some bulk dry goods, plus odds and ends like coffee and reusable containers. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I cleaned it out. There was spilled salt (did we really need the 10lb Costco bag?) crusting in leaked cooking oil, and speaking of oil – every single bottle down there was expired. Hmm. Guess it was time for a cleaning!

I was surprised how quick it went. Like any good anti-clutter/cleaning project I pulled everything out and wiped everything down. I sealed up the salt, tossed all the oil and expired items, then divided items by category. I found 10 main categories – Veggies, Fruits, Beans, Tomatoes (diced, paste, etc.), Soups, Meats, Sauces, Condiments, Dry Goods and Plasticware. Everything was placed back on the racks in its designated spot. To make future sorting even easier, I spent some of the kids’ naptime making kitchen labels. What is it about a label that makes everything seem so neat and official?

Do you have a Rationell unit or need some handy labels? Feel free to download this pdf. The first page is pre-labeled and the second page is blank so you can personalize as you need. Enjoy!

Kitchen Label Download (53kb)

 

 


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How to Paint a Craigslist Dresser in 4 Easy Steps

I finally had it one day with our cluttered hallway. It was full of plastic bins, boxes of diapers, items destined for Goodwill, and all sorts of odds and ends stacked precariously. We knew that some day in the future we would make built-in cabinets, but for now it was screaming for some TLC. So I began looking on Craigslist for some possibilities.

Tip: Use a Craigslist mobile app – so helpful when you’re not at a computer.

Step 1: Choose your dresser
Using the app, I found several that suited my needs both aesthetically and size-wise. I was looking for something kid-friendly and streamlined, no knobs or funky carvings. Just basic. One in particular was priced just right at $20, and solid oak to boot! No particle board for me, thanks. Ironically, there were two of the same model of dresser for sale (see above photo). The other was selling for $195 (and in much better condition)!

Step 2: Clean & Sand
After bringing the dresser home and taking out all the drawers, we noticed some mouse droppings in a few of them. Alarming, but not a deal-breaker. I looked on the CDC website how to properly clean and disinfect the dresser, including making a homemade bleach solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. It sucked, but I wasn’t going to take any chances. Then came the sanding. I was expecting to do the work myself, since my husband wasn’t crazy about my plan, but he kindly offered to do the remaining work for me. He used a palm sander and gave it a good once-over. I recommend using a mask and eye protection. A benefit of this dresser’s flat, no frills style is that there aren’t any details that require special sanding.

Step 3: Prime
We have a huge 5 gallon container of primer left over from when we did our home addition last year. Some people skip this step, and that might be okay on rarely used pieces, but this will be a working dresser. If you don’t want to see chips in the paint the first time you use it, or anytime soon, then you need to prime. Tape off any areas you don’t want to paint, or when a crisp line is desired. Use a roller for ease of coverage, but have a paintbrush handy to swipe corners and other details. We decided to not paint the inner drawers, but I plan to use drawer liners. Once the primer is dry, give it a once over by hand with fine sandpaper (and maybe a sanding block).

Step 4: Paint
Because we were looking for a small budget solution, we decided to use the leftover paint from our bathroom – a medium gray semi-gloss with a bit of blue called “Still Creek”. Make sure to roll it on smooth and constantly check for drips. You can see from the photo that David had a little helper. I thought this might leave streaks on the drawer fronts, but it doesn’t as long as you roll over it while it is still wet. Chloe loved “helping” daddy.

Now that the painting is done, don’t rush to use the dresser until the paint is fully cured. The longer you wait, the harder the finish will be – up to two weeks. Otherwise you risk smudges and marks. I asked at Home Depot about a top coat, but he assured us that one wasn’t needed as long as we waited for it to fully cure.

Ta da! Here’s our dresser sitting in its new hallway spot. Soon it will have a framed wall display to go above it, but that project is still in the works. I hope to be able to share it soon. Until then, good luck and happy painting!


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Ribba Wall Display: Frame Layout Process

As I mentioned, the last time we went to Ikea we bought a bunch of Ribba frames. David finally agreed to let me put up a family photo wall, in the hallway, and I am in the process of laying out the frames to best fit the space. If I had my way completely, I’d be putting up a display wall in the greatroom, where these photos might actually be seen. However, the hallway is as far as the husband is willing to concede. (Wives out there, if your husband is the kind that gives you free rein with the decor, count your blessings).

Now, about our hallway – it is short, dark and narrow. Did I mention dark? Yes, there are hall lights, but we don’t use them during the day, and at night only if we’re looking for something. I’d love to install a sky tube (mentioned here), but I have my work cut out for me if I want to wear the husband down enough for that.

Arranging the frames was trickier than I thought it would be. I knew I wanted a somewhat symmetrical grid, and the same amount of space between each frame, but the sizes that the Ribbas come in make that difficult. I now know Ribba frames are best for those who prefer a random or asymmetrical approach (this one is a nice example).

With all the frames on the floor, and a measuring tape handy, I began to shuffle them around, sort of like puzzle pieces. This was the first layout I was happy with, but it was too long for the wall space.

This is the best possibility so far, and what I’m probably going to use. It is much more linear than I initially wanted, but again, if I want a certain amount of symmetry (and equal space between frames) this is probably my best bet. It is also fewer frames, and therefore photos, than I had wanted to use.

And now the hardest part – picking the photos. So many to choose from. Wish me luck!

 


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Tackling the Toys

I FINALLY organized the toy drawers in our living room. I think its been about 2 years since the last time, and that was just to pull some of the infant toys Chloe no longer touched. Talk about procrastination! And honestly, once I finally sat down to do it, it went pretty fast.

The dresser is a Malm that we use as a console table (not the bins shown above). Of the dresser’s 6 drawers, the 4 lower ones were dedicated to Chloe’s things. One drawer is for Chloe’s jackets and hats, so she can put them away by herself when she comes in the door. The other three were full of toys and random junk. I wish I had taken a “before” photo, just to prove what a mess it all was, but the energy to do it came on suddenly. I mean, I had thought about doing it a million times, but this is the first time I sat down to do it. That is the hardest part, in my opinion, just setting down to the task.

Getting Started
I started with 2 large empty bins and one paper bag for junk. Junk equaled anything broken, useless, missing pieces, or not worth giving away. The first bin was for donations and the second for holding items to keep, so I could fully empty a drawer and vacuum out the accumulated dust. After a short time I brought over one of Chloe’s little play chairs, to help my back. Once I saw a pattern emerge, I began to group items in organized piles on the floor, a lot of which needed to go somewhere else. In our house this means:

Bathroom
Bath toys

Chloe’s Room
Books to the bookshelf
Play clothes to the dress-up bin
Play jewelry in a play purse
Finger puppets bagged together (closet)
Games (closet)
Play doh/ Art supplies to the art shelf (closet)

2nd Bedroom (soon to be Leo’s!)
All Legos and blocks

Great Room (aka kitchen/dining/family area)
Baby toys for Leo in the baby toy bins (more about this later)
Play food and utencils to the play kitchen

Living Room
After sorting and putting toys away that belonged to the above areas, the remaining toys that stayed in the Malm drawers now fit into just two drawers. One drawer is for all stuffed animals, dolls, and doll clothes. The second drawer is divided into musical instruments on one side and tiny figurines, knick-knacks, cars, wind-up toys, small balls, bean bags, and anything that Leo (now 8 months) shouldn’t play with. Also, any very small toy that was worth keeping, but that I didn’t care about losing, were put away into a separate grab bag for taking on trips.

The remaining empty drawer will be used for Leo’s jackets and hats, and to help ease Chloe’s jacket drawer for now, which is completely stuffed thanks to generous hand-me-downs. Through the winter she mostly rotates between only one coat and a jacket, but once spring comes she’ll be using her lighter-weight ones, too.

The biggest accomplishment in all this, at least for me, is that now everything has a place. No, I don’t like that things are spread over four rooms, but the fact is that Chloe would rather be where we are than playing by herself in her room. Right now her room is for sleeping, getting dressed, and reading. Otherwise, she spends most of her time in the great room or the office where she is allowed to watch occasional shows on the computer (via Netflix or PBSkids.org).

Leo, being the baby, is also, naturally, wherever we are. Thus there are 2 of the large Target bins (shown above) of baby toys in the great room. And honestly, Chloe plays with them, too. Someday I’d like to add structure and storage to the great room (maybe with some Besta?), but that won’t be anytime soon.

The hardest part of this whole experience was keeping Chloe from undoing the work while I was trying to cull and organize. She would want to play with some newly uncovered toys and then walk away with them, or scatter my piles before I had a chance to put them were they belonged. I also had to take breaks to entertain or feed Leo. So I would suggest doing this while the kids were elsewhere, if possible. Even if, by some miracle, both my kids napped at the same time, our house is too small and the noise of shifting toys would certainly wake them.

So there you have it. I feel I should add that I am by no means naturally tidy, and I don’t expect everything to stay put, because it won’t. But, when I occasionally attempt to maintain it, it is much easier to do now. Chloe is able to find things easier and enjoy her toys more. It is a really good starting point for an organized (if not tidy) future.

If only I could organize my office as easily…


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Flower pinwheels

When we added the third bedroom to our two-bedroom house, the middle bedroom did not fare well. Not only did it lose a window (and lots of natural light), but the remaining window looks out at a blank fence that partially obscures the house next door. Someday, I’d like to do some landscaping on that side of the house, but until then these pinwheels spruce up the view nicely. And Chloe likes them. A lot.

Total cost: $7 at the dollar store. (And a special thanks to the cable guy who left his u-shaped staple gun here).


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Before & After: Spray painted rocking chair DIY

I am often amazed at the spray painted transformations that you find among DIYers on the internet. So many inspiring projects! I wanted to give it a try, and this was my first painting effort – a wooden rocking chair that Chloe’s grandparents found for her. It looked to be well-used by the time we got it, with stains and pencil marks and a replaced dowel on the back. But Chloe loved it and so did I. It just needed a little freshening up.

Since there are plenty of “how-tos” on spray painting, here are a few things I learned from this project:

1. Keep a large cardboard box for a ground cover. It doesn’t blow around like plastic.

2. Don’t use primer unless you have to. I wanted to do this project “right,” including primer for best adhesion and coverage. However, the primer was rough and somewhat gritty, which required more sanding. I realized too late that the original chair would have been fine un-primed, and would have saved a lot of work.

3. One can of spray paint was not enough. This meant that I had to make a second trip to the store, and with a new baby and toddler, it took a while until I could get back there. Also, the first can of paint didn’t spray very well. I thought it was my technique, but it turned out there was just something off about that particular can.

4. In the case of this chair, it was better to start with it turned upside down, giving it a good coat(s), letting it dry, and then finishing it right side up.

5. Try not to let weeks (or months) go by from start to finish. Because I left it with a coat of rough primer for a long stretch of time, Chloe kind of got out of the habit of sitting in it (that or because the cold set in, she now prefers her little upholstered rocking chair instead). However, we have another kid who will love it once he gets a little older (and a big reason we didn’t choose the color pink!).

 


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Who me? Organized?

I’ve been on an organizational kick lately. I had just begun with some preliminary things (like my desk) when I came across a Go Paperless post at Styleberry Blog. The timing was perfect as motivation to keep going.

So far the biggest thing I’ve tackled is our office closet. The best way I could describe it was train wreck. It was a horrible, frustrating, dark hole made up of piles of stuff. One culprit was paper, especially design samples we kept as “inspiration” from our student and early designer days. Another culprit was boxes, including packaging we had designed and were keeping as portfolio pieces… all that stuff we paired down, tossed, or put up in the attic space. Then there were random items to go to Goodwill – a beautiful red leather Franklin Covey binder I don’t use but had trouble parting with for years, holiday ceramic jars that I’ve kept meaning to re-gift with holiday goodies, my ten-year old Toshiba laptop… you get the picture.

Bye-bye stuff, hello space!

Here are two excellent pieces of advice I’ve read recently:

  1. Put things where they belong. If something isn’t used where it is, then it needs to be stored somewhere else – kitchen stuff in the kitchen, office stuff in the office, etc. This may be obvious, but it was handy in helping me make decisions.
  2. “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Ah. Right. I was reminded of this William Morris quote thanks to Pinterest.

One thing I’ve moved from the office is fabric. It is now in the bedroom where the sewing machine is (soon to be Leo’s room, but oh well). On a photo tour of Melissa’s studio, I noticed she keeps her fabric in an Ikea Antonius frame with wire baskets. A lightbulb went off in my head – I have one of these! I emptied the top two shelves (full of clothes I hardly wear, which I moved to my closet) and replaced them with my fabric piles. Now, instead of digging down into a box, I can see at a glance all of the fabric I have on hand. Brilliant! (And yes, I agree, that is an awful lot of fabric for a person who hardly sews. Must do something about that.)

Isn’t that one of the greatest things about blogs? The way they can inspire us? Maybe you’re ready to tackle a project of your own now. Best of luck!

 

 


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Halloween Pumpkins

Years ago, before we bought our house, we lived in a townhouse complex that had a pumpkin carving contest every year. David made an AWESOME pumpkin (like the one above in the lower right corner) by drilling holes and filling them with a string of electric lights (a la Martha Stewart “celestial” pumpkins). That year he won a $15 Starbucks gift card.

Just like last year, Chloe loves to spot pumpkins, and this year she knows what a jack o’lantern is, too. We are actually going to carve our pumpkins tonight, after dinner. Here are some images that I find inspirational this year:


Pretty Pumpkin


Lantern pumpkins


Skull jack-o’-lantern

 


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Before & After: Cubbie Storage Bench + Greatroom Update


There has been a little sewing going on around here. We purchased this Martha Stewart cubbie-storage bench from Home Depot to put right inside the french doors in the great room. It came with a plain cushion so I bought some home dec fabric during the labor day sale at Joanns. What I really wanted to do was a whole entry-style unit including wall hooks for hanging jackets and such, and use the cubbie for shoes, dog items and other outdoor paraphenalia. David didn’t agree, saying that it would just accumulate junk, so we comprimised. We got the cubbie, but instead of hooks we hung our new tree of life print above it.

Do you remember this photo of our under-construction great room? Well, besides the cubbie bench we’ve finally started furnishing it to a point it is somewhat livable. We’ve been really budget conscious, so it remains on the bare side as we decide over time how best to use the space. The sofa was a happy hand-me-down from David’s parents. Otherwise the most expensive item in the room was the Ikea Bjursta dining table and bench (which we keep in the bedroom unless we have company for dinner). This is a bit of an older photo, but you can get an idea of the layout (a rare moment not toy strewn). I’ve since changed that stretch-frame fabric for a different print in an actual frame (see below). That wall is so big, I’m not sure what we’re going to do there. Shelving? A collage of frames? One huge piece of art (that we likely can’t afford)?

The only other purchases I haven’t mentioned are the 8×10 rug we bought for $100 at HomeGoods and that coffee table ottoman that we bought on sale at Fred Meyer for $50 (which I love because it is soft – no bumped heads and such). Everything else we’ve had.

P.S. After re-reading this I realized I wanted to mention that quilt above the sofa. My mother-in-law made it for us from  an old Pottery Barn sample book of discontinuted (mostly) velvet swatches of upholstery fabric. For the backing and sides she used an old deep burgundy velvet table cloth we were getting rid of. Its very heavy and very cozy. 🙂

 


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Closet Makeover

My closet was a disaster. If you promise not to judge me, you can see a “before” photo here.

Pretty awful, right? And yes, that is all my stuff. When we moved in to our original house, David kindly used the closet in the other bedroom (which is now Chloe’s nursery) and let me have this one all to myself. It wasn’t always this messy, but it got worse during the pregnancy weight gain transition. I’m still 20lbs heavy, so it will be some time before I can give up my pregnancy/nursing clothes for good.

Thankfully, moving into our new bedroom forced me to take stock of all that was in there. I purged, gave away, and re-organized. In our new bedroom closets (separate his and hers in the same room!), David and I both chose to use a ClosetMaid T3 custom shelf and rod system from Home Depot (plus one drawer for me), and we were finally able to make the switch.

Here is what it looks like now:

Amazing, right? I had to show it in two photos, because now there are sliding doors and not two swing doors that open at the same time like the old closet. Can you believe the new closet is actually smaller? The new organization makes it much more usable. Now everything has a space (and you can’t see it, but at the very top is a shelf that hold all my purses and shoulder bags, as well as a box of “skinny” clothes that I may or may not wear again. Also, those pink boxes are Ikea Drona boxes ($5) which happen to fit perfectly if set in sideways, much cheaper than adding drawers ($36).

Now the question is what color to paint the doors?


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More home addition progress

Things are still happening here on the house. Most notably, our master bath is close to complete! I wanted to wait and do a big reveal, but I’m too excited not to share. Everything works – our new dual-flush toilet, rain shower, and sink faucets – but there are still a few finishing touches left, like putting up the wood trim/moulding around the door, window, and floor, priming and painting the pocket door and adjusting the drawers on the sink cabinet to open and close properly. We’re talking about painting the bathroom door a fun color, but that is still undecided. Right now we’re just using a shower curtain, but eventually I’d love to have a frameless glass shower door put in. Unfortunately it costs big $$$, and there is still so much left to do yet in the rest of the house. And see that curtain? I made it from some Ikea fabric I had on hand, and I’m quite proud of how it turned out (simple as it is).

Two other notable occurrences include the professional installation of our ultra-high efficiency heat pump and the installation of our new bamboo floor. Being extra sensitive to sounds, our new heating system is taking a little getting used to, especially that only-noticeable-to-me “newly-installed” smell. I understand it is very quiet compared to most systems. Previously we had baseboards, which were almost noiseless except for occasional ticking. We used Pyramid Heating and Cooling, so if you’re in the Portland area, we would highly recommend them.

The bamboo floor was purchased from Costco, and David installed it himself over a couple of weekends. It’s noisy and repetitive work with all the pounding and sawing.   I had to take Chloe and get out of the house several times to save our sanity. It looks awesome, though. Makes me think of a ballet studio, so smooth and satiny. The above photo also shows a new-to-us Crate & Barrel sofa. My in-laws got a new sectional and drove this one out with them (from Colorado!) when they came to visit in April. It’s SO much more comfortable and better looking than our old Pottery Barn Basic sofa..

Things are really shaping up around here. Today David painted and installed lighting in our his-and-her closets. He wants us to move into the master bedroom before the baby comes, but for some reason I want to wait. It’s such a big change. I think I want to keep some sense of familiarity, plus I want to stay close to Chloe during this transitional time. Maybe I’m just silly. 🙂


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Quick, Free Art

Free printable art to download
Poor Chloe is sick right now. She’s got it all – fever, horrible cough, puffy eyes, altered voice, runny nose, vomitting… It’s been pretty rough, especially at night. David took the first two nights sleeping in her room and then I took last night. She wakes up a lot, usually due to coughing fits that seem to work her in a frenzy of frantic crying and more coughing, which just makes everything worse. We’re pretty much taking it easy right now.

On a happier note, while at home this weekend I decided to finally re-fresh the art in our set of living room picture frames. For almost a year they’ve held abstract finger-paintings done in one of Chloe’s baby art classes. They were nice for a while, but I was feeling ready for something new.

Since getting pregnant this time around I haven’t felt at all creative, so I started looking on Etsy for possibilities. However, I didn’t want to spend very much or wait very long to get them. Then I remembered the web site Feed Your Soul: The Free Art Project. Basically, every month an artist provides a free, downloadable print. Isn’t that nice? I chose four (actually five, since I couldn’t decide between two), re-sized them to fit 8 x 10″ and then sent them off via internet to get printed at my local Target by one-hour photo processing. If I had a decent printer it would have been instant gratification, but I wasn’t even willing to wait for shipping (even though I prefer matte paper – Target only does one-hour processing in glossy). Each print was a bargain $2.89. Gotta love free art!

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