Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I Scoff at Five!

And move on to six!  I think I am liking the really dark green, which sort of scares me.  But my livingroom does sport very bright sunlight -- especially in the morning.  And I think a dark color could complement my brown dining room well.  My (ugly) painted window trim would certainly pop!

The lighting in these photos is terrible -- it wasn't the height of the sunshine-y day when I took them.

Ah, yes, the poor painted mirror frame.  That will change!
Here we have "soothing green tea" then "buttercream" and then "truly olive."

I've thought briefly about picking up the more turquoise-y color in the fabric instead of the green, but I don't think there is enough of it to work. Maybe turqoise will be seven... I'm becoming good friends with several Home Depot paint department employees. Maybe they will give me my own orange apron...

If you dare to form opinions from poorly lit photos, I would love to hear your thoughts!  I am in a quandry.  And I really want to finish this project over the coming long holiday weekend.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Butterflies on Christmas Eve

I just read Dominique Browning's post -- amazing. 

If you have time...


The Cutest Thing!

Have you seen anything cuter than this?  It's like a little pumpkin! 

Santa brought me this compressor and a set of three nail guns (among a couple of other projects that I will post when they are done...)  I am positively over the MOON.

When my steps are installed, and I can figure out where my outdoor dining table will go, and then I can build some of these platforms:

(Do you watch Jamie Durie?  I love his stuff!)  I want to build a handful of those platforms that you see in the center of the photo.  I can use them for yoga, lounging areas... places to sit and pot plants... I can walk on them to avoid mud when it's raining... not to mention they are much better than grass.  Anyway.  Can.  Not.  Wait.  And the nail gun will make them go in SO much faster!

What's in my head today?

I haven't gotten a telephone call from my steel fabricator yet, calling to schedule my back steps installation.  I am antsy.   My head is full of backyard project dreams.  I have tried staring at various telephones, willing them to ring.  Alas.  The holes for the recessed footings are filling up with leaves.  They are like backyard booby traps:  if you didn't know they were there you could easily step in and break an ankle ...  although really they are knee deep not ankle deep.  Can you break a knee?

I do still need to clean off the tops of the steel plates; they have a little concrete residue on them.  I'm told it will scrape off with a putty knife, and then to use the garden hose and a dish scrubber.  But it's too cold to do that task these days.  For me, anyway.  Now if installation was scheduled, you can bet that I'd be out there in rubber gloves.

The colder weather has made the wild birds that I feed a little demanding.  They are plowing through the seed in my feeder.  I have chickadees, a pair of tufted titmouse, a female cardinal and sparrows.  Yesterday I had a huge ladderback woodpecker on my squirrel-proof seed feeder.  He could sit on one perch, and crane his neck around to the other side where his weapon-like beak would spear a nut.  Sort of a feeder hog.  I put out my spiral in-the-shell peanut feeder for him, but as long as I watched he didn't see it and figure it out.  I forgot about it this morning -- the squirrels will have a field day with it today! 

The water in my birdbath was frozen this morning.  As I waited for the dog to come in I saw a little sparrow sitting on the rim -- pecking at the ice.  Suddenly cold wasn't an issue for me.  I got a pitcher of water and went out without a coat to pour in the fresh water.  Scampered back in the house and watched and waited.  It didn't take the little guy even 2 minutes and he was back, drinking thirstily.

From the pouring of the footings, I have a large area of exposed dirt in my yard -- of course, right outside my back door -- that is where back steps go -- that has become a mud slide.  Yes, we had rain this weekend.  We needed it, and I am grateful for it.  But oh the mud.  And the large mud loving dog.  And the hardwood floors.  La la la la la!  I have had to just close the virtual door to my kitchen in my mind.  Until the mud dries, there's no point in mopping.

I did spread out my last bale of straw over the mud yesterday, in an attempt to contain it.  Wouldn't that have been a smart thing to do the day before it rained??  It's not as though I didn't know rain was coming.

And because all conversations about rain turn to rain barrels... of my five rain barrels, two of the backyard ones are currently not even under downspouts!  Oh the horror!  They have been cast aside... waiting for their fabulous steel supports.  The hose on the front barrel had come loose but I have repaired it -- so theoretically it should have caught rain.  I haven't checked it.  And the two huge blue barrels from the Earth Day workshop are steadfastly working.  It will be okay.  There will be more rain.  :::grin:::  Seriously, if these are the worst of my worries...

Monday Morning Sun

Poor lighting, but you get the idea...
In the bright Monday morning sun, I can see clearly:

I am headed to  f i v e.

Christmas Cactus

It only blooms once a year.  How does it know?

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Four.  Which could be counted as five if you really wanted to be pessimistic, which I choose not to be.  So, four.

This morning, in my fleece pants, luxuriously sipping a soy latte on my newly available* window seat, I decided it was finally time to paint my livingroom.  My motivation?  A party I am hosting here January 29th.  I am worthless without a deadline -- so I am grateful to have one.

And now, at 5:15 on Sunday evening, f o u r  is the number of paint colors I have tried on my walls.  Alternated with coats of Kilz.  That is one trip to Sherwin Williams.  Two trips to Home Depot.  Nine test spots on my walls -- you know how light plays -- testing one color in one spot is inadequate...

I think that I am trying to coordinate too many items, those items being fireplace brick color, mirror frame color, wood floor hues (see how artful I've become?  I'm speaking in hues) and my sofa.  Today through my trials and errors ("failures" seems too harsh) I was reminded that the color palette has warm tones and cool tones.  They do not necessarily play well together.

I even painted the mirror frame (FAIL) using one of the colors that didn't work on the wall.  "Oh!  It matches the brick so nicely but doesn't look good on the wall -- I'll paint the mirror frame!  I am brilliant!  Artsy!"  Yes, I will be repainting that.  Color TBD.  But in a fit of optimism, I did buy a can of satin spray on polyeurathane:  evidence that I believe I'll find a color for the frame worthy of sealing.

I started with a taupe-y gray.  Gray is trendy now, I hear.  Apparently I am not trendy enough, because I didn't like it.  (And neither does my mirror.)

Then I tried Buttercream yellow.  And a Humble Gold.  The buttercream was brutally boring, and the humble gold?  OH!  Talk about an elementary school days flash back to when mom let me choose my own bedroom paint color.  Let's not have that make an encore appearance in my 40's shall we?  I did leave a patch of the buttercream up for further evaluation...  A testament to my... what?  Boringness? 

So now, I am in the sage-y greens.  The current swath painted on my wall (in four places of course -- soon I'll have painted my entire livingroom with a coat of Kilz) is called Soothing Green Tea.  I could use some soothing about now... It's possible that I have a winner, but now it's too dark outside to have proper light indoors, so I cannot tell for sure.  I remain optimistic, but strongly reminded of why I prefer outdoor projects.  (I need an on-call interior decorator.  Why don't they offer 60 minute single project consults?)

* previously occupied by my Christmas tree, which made it's final Hallelujah Chorus into the backyard last night.