Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Come, sit on my porch

My street is part of a Conservation District -- among other things that means that I cannot make changes to the front of my house that are inconsistent with it's original design. e.g. I cannot enclose my porch. My house is the only house on the street that still has a porch! Because the houses here are small, most folks have enclosed theirs to make more living space indoors. Even though I am prohibited from enclosing mine, it's still awesome living space and I would never WANT to enclose it! I mean, just look at it! Lots of problems get solved sitting out here.

I have the big rag rug from mom and dad's family room on the floor. I have a vivid memory of flying from Minneapolis to Dallas, and this rug was my carry on. Yes, I carried on a 9 x 12 foot rug. The joy in the trip is that I was late for my flight and I had to run with this rug around my neck and over my shoulders through the MSP terminal. Let me tell you, if you want people to part a path for you, just run with an area rug through an airport. I have had this rug for over 10 years! I have used it in various places over the years, but sometimes it has just been folded up and stored under my sofa, because I couldn't bear to part with it. I knew that someday I would have a place that it would be perfect for.

Then I have the four big floor pillows. I made these years ago because I love sitting on the floor. The fabrics have a little bit of everything in them, so they always match something.

Then, recall from a earlier post the Smith & Hawken store closing sale? Enter the three copper "I Dream of Jeannie" citronella oil candles! Perfect for chasing off the mosquitos and giving a little bit of hazy light.

And then there is the wrought iron glider for those who don't want to sit on the floor.

I love to sit out here and read, sip coffee or wine, and watch the neighborhood go by. I'm trying to teach Greta to enjoy it too, but so far she insists on being on full alert when she's out there. You can imagine that isn't terribly restful -- but I'm hoping an old dog can learn a new trick.

Living by Lists

Everyone who knows me knows that I love lists. When things are really hectic, I actually have a list of my lists. I know, I'm a geek. But I am an organized geek! And since I am living in a perpetual project (happily) it will come as no surprise that I have a list of projects. Well, two lists: The Short List (mildly urgent) and The Long List (longer range.) The lists get re-written regularly -- partly because they get messy with things being crossed off, but mostly because the font needs to be smaller so that there is room to add things to the lists. This sheet of paper lives on the swinging door between the dining room and the kitchen. And if I ever wonder how I will spend my day, I just lean on the counter and contemplate the lists. Usually that leads to a trip to Home Depot. (Sometimes it leads to "Date Night" which can ALSO mean a trip to Home Depot. -- That's a little joke for Peggy!)

No need to point out to me that The Short List is longer than The Long List. Many have come before you. :::laughing:::

This would probably be a good place to add the "PayPal" link that BlogSpot offers. KIDDING.

Until next time,
Project Girl


Those of you who have been paying attention may have noticed that I haven't posted anything about my master bedroom. There is a reason for that... and don't get excited, I am not posting any photos of it today, either.

But! This is a pillow I bought with Shannon in the Bishop Arts District on our day of shopping for things we didn't need while she was in Dallas. I got 2that are identical in this dreamy store called Bishop Arts Market. I have been trying to figure out how I want to decorate my bedroom, and this set of pillows is going to be the centerpiece for the inspiration. You can't tell by the photo, but the dark brown areas are velvet! It begs to be touched.

I am going for a organic spa feel. Here are some of my current ideas:

Paint one wall that caramel color and the other three walls one of the lighter colors. My bed head board would be on the dark wall.

Or, use 2 lighter colors and paint 2 walls each color. Curtains would be the caramel color.

Another thing I am doing for sure is making leaves the same shape as on the pillow out of wood, and paint them to look the same, and hang them on the wall. I'm thinking various sizes... probably without the branch.

And then I saw this wall in a store that is pieces of wood cut to look wavy, and painted. I'm thinking that could be really fun on some area... either painted or stained... The photo is sort of blurry -- sorry.

AND, I have a natural wood bamboo room divider that I could use in there somewhere.

I have no idea what color my duvet would be... perhaps a stripe in similar colors?

I'm going to do the built in wardrobe from IKEA along on wall.

If you have any ideas or suggestions, bring 'em on! And I'll report back how the project is progressing.

If they don't sell it in a store...

My livingroom isn't the largest room you have ever been in, it's true. You may recall it got a little larger when we took out the circa 1950's entertainment center. Not wanting to refill that same space with another television, I bought a flat panel to hang on the wall. Deluxe!

That left some space below the TV that was crying for a multi-purpose bench that you could sit on (duh!) with a shelf below the seat to put the TV components on. Great space saving idea, right? I thought so! But does anyone manufacture and sell such a thing? Apparently not. At least not that I could find. And so... faced with no other choice to complete my vision, we (Tom and I) built one.

I found a book called "2x4 Furniture," at Half Priced Books. It's full of fun little projects. The bench I selected is actually meant to be a garden bench, but with some cushions added and the nails/screws hidden away (pattern modification, thankyouverymuch) I think it looks just fine in my living room! I was worried it would be too "heavy" but so far I am pleased with it. And wonder of wonders, if some day I decide I don't want it in my livingroom, I can put it.... where? In my garden!

I still need to figure out how to hide those unsightly cables dangling down, but I'll get there. What do you think? Do you love it?

Front Door; Complete! (Philly Find #4)

Don't you find it fulfilling when you can cross a project off your list? My front door area has been "in progress" for a while... but I can cross it off the list now. First, there was the Norwegian welcome sign from my sister that was hung above the door. (Some family discussion ensued -- were we REALLY Norwegian?? Um, yes. Okay, are we more Norwegian than Finn? No. Ultimately I had to promise to hang up a Finnish welcome sign if one was found.)

Then, I found the stained glass in Philadelphia during that totally glorious girly weekend. I discovered when I got it home, however, that shockingly (not) the window opening in my door and the stained glass piece were not the same size. I stewed about the various ways to affix the glass to my door (rather daunting) and got several opinions. Then I happened to find myself with the piece on my person while in a stained glass gallery and the professionals directed me on what needed to be done. And then they told me how much they would charge me to do it for me... Literally -- they came to my house and installed it! Who knew?? They also added a bit of glass around the perimeter to size it up to the door window. The total bonus with that part was that they were able to add amber colored glass like the other pieces have -- and I totally love love love that color -- and it downplays the blue. Win! Win! (Win -- for the store...!)

And then, while I was very sad to learn that Smith & Hawken was going out of business, I was giddy at the really great blue pots I got for a song at their clearance sale. Okay, maybe not a total "song" -- but a sweet melody for sure. And, you know some realy great pots have the stamp inset on the terra cotta of where they were made and the year? These have that -- and included on the front is the year 2009 -- the year I bought my house! I'm enough of a geek that I think that is cool. Mine say, "G. Wolffe & Co. 2009."

My neighor saw the pots and immediately told me they would be stolen. She said she had some great pots and they were stolen. Hmmm... I emailed our Dallas Police neighborhood officer and asked if he agreed? He said I should "secure them the best I can." So, okay -- how do you secure pots to your porch? I mentioned this to the stained glass installation guy and he told me to get some epoxy and GLUE the pots to the porch. Really? Glue them? TO the porch? Interesting.

Fortunately for me, my partner in project crimes was flying in that same day! She truly did not bat an eye when I told her on the way home from the airport that we needed to swing by Ace Hardware to buy epoxy to glue pots to my porch. As if it was the most normal thing in the world to do on a beautiful afternoon when you haven't seen your dear friend in months. And let me tell you... you wouldn't think there was all that much to that project... until you see that the glue comes with a "mixing paddle" (the equivelant of those shoestring potatoes that come in a can -- not anything you could, say, power your kayak with) and that you must consider the logical order of things:

There is the pot. There is the 3 clay feet that support the pot. And then, obviously, the porch to which all that is affixed. Not to mention... I had already planted plants IN the pots -- so we could not flip them upside down. AND, because I have a bad case of OCD, everything needed to be centered against the columns around my door -- the pots, the writing ON the pots, and the 3 little feet. Yes... I will say it was good that there was two of us to muddle through the details! But you can see that we did a spectacular job! And I am pleased to say that it's now been 6 days -- 3 days of which I was out of town -- and the pots are still there. (I will not admit to you how many times I have gone to look to see if they are still there.) My neighbors say they are going to buy epoxy.