Author Archive: kooby


I have no idea what my face is even doing right now. This morning when I woke up my left lower eyelid was sore. I eschewed my contact lenses and wore my glasses today; I’m glad I did, because I’m starting to look like I’ve been punched in the face. For the record, I have NOT been punched in the face. So that’s fun. Maybe the swelling and the red and purple are just there to accessorize the massive cold sore on the top left corner of my lip and coordinate with my still-gimpy left ankle. Tomorrow I’ll wake up and my left ear will fall off. Regardless, today has not been all mysterious medical gloom and doom.

I’ve been discouraged that the kind of lamps I really want for my bedroom re-do would cost anywhere from $250 – $400 for a pair, even if I DIY them from the (expensive) vintage demijohn bottles I love but don’t yet own. I’ve been pinning bottle lamps forever but because they’re trendy now, they’re financially out of my reach. I’ve been browsing for more inspiration and thought I should get out there to see what I could find offline. After work I hit the shops, came across these two vases, and thought they would be really interesting as lamps:

Put a bird on it.

I gave serious consideration to using the ones on the far left as my bases, but ultimately decided they were too tall and not quite colorful enough.







Eventually I ended up browsing vases at Hobby Lobby and walked out of the store with a matched pair of navy blue bottle style vases, with a very similar shape to these lamp bases at Pottery Barn: pblamp

The vases are more opaque then the PB lamps and I’m hoping they’re not too dark for what I have in mind, and that they’ll also be tall enough. I think they’ll be okay but will need to wait for the lamp adapter kits I’ve ordered online to arrive to put everything together.

Good things about today: Getting up to the register at Hobby Lobby expecting to pay $80+ and only being charged $43. I know they always have something on sale but I don’t pay much attention; when I’m determined to get something, and I know I may not see it again later, and the price isn’t completely unreasonable, I just go ahead and get it, but paying half price for anything is always a welcome surprise. Also walked out of the store at the same time as a very nice man and his daughters. If I’d been thinking about it I would have put the vases in a cart to get them out to my truck, but I didn’t, so the man graciously held the store’s door for me, and as I was about to put the vases down on the ground so I could open my truck door, he came over to help me get my truck’s door open so I could just put the vases inside. There are a lot of ways that could have gone sideways; maybe I felt safer because he was with his young daughters. Never let it be said I am not impressed by the little things, y’all.


Well, January 2015 decided to have the last word. On the 29th, I fell off the steps at work as I was leaving for the day and hurt myself bad enough to have a trained medical professional check it out. Much swelling ensued, as did an uncomfortable boot, but the good news is after almost two weeks I seem to be on the mend, finally, as I can hobble short distances around the house with no boot and no crutches. I don’t put the weight on my entire foot, as my heel still has some complaints when I put any weight down on it, but we’re getting there.

It has, unfortunately, put the kibosh on any further attempts to finish those last few tasks needed to get us moved back into the master bedroom. My husband’s been too busy waiting on me hand and sore foot to get in there and knock them out himself. There’s a bit more cleaning to do, still some outlets and light switches to swap out, and reinstalling the ceiling fan and light fixtures, as well as the curtain situation. The money for new curtains is not available at the moment, and we don’t have our old ones anymore since I packed them up and sent them to Goodwill after we moved everything out of the room. Oops. I priced out some fabric, thinking maybe it would be less expensive to make them, but the fabric I chose, coupled with the liner and all the yardage I’d need, comes out about the same to a few things I’ve found at JCPenney that will do the trick, so…guess I’ll just wait until I can go shopping.

It’s been one thing after another here, and here’s hoping I don’t jinx anything but…maybe things are finally starting to look up. (Shhh.)

Master Bedroom Progress

Now that 2015 has – hopefully – slightly less gloom and doom on the table, let’s get back to business. Here’s a peek at what’s been happening in my bedroom:

Master BedroomThis was right before Christmas and ended up being my present. As mentioned at the bottom of this post, my husband intended to have all of the sheetrock completely replaced and to start from scratch. After getting a few quotes and speaking to the pros, he was convinced to leave the current walls in place. The pro we hired – the significant other of a co-worker – skim coated portions of the walls and fixed all the lumps, bumps, holes, crumbly corners, and bad patch jobs by the previous owners, as well as priming and painting the walls and touching up the ceiling for me. After I removed the popcorn ceiling, my paint job was a bit globby and stripey in a couple of areas, but I thought overall I didn’t do too bad for my first ever DIY project beyond wallpaper removal.

I wasn’t in the house when our pro started painting on the second day, but I was SO HAPPY to come home and come around the corner and see this paint color drying on the walls. It’s Ocean Air by Benjamin Moore and I was a bit nervous about it because so far, my paint choices for other rooms in the house have been pretty, um, BOLD, and will end up being painted over with something less in-your-face. I hoped this color wasn’t too pale but it’s just right. Between this color and the smooth, white ceiling, I’ve achieved the lighter, brighter, prettier feel I was going for. Buh-bye, dull and dark sage green!

Since this pic was taken, we’ve been doing a lot of dusting, vacuuming, wiping things down with a wet rag, more vacuuming, again with the vacuum, and finally, this past Sunday, I was able to run a steam cleaner over the carpet. Blech. I gave the whole room one pass and an additional two passes over the toughest spots, which are where my dirt-loving dog prefers to lay when he’s in the room. Didn’t get the spots completely out but for a 20-30 year old carpet it’s not too bad, and eventually we’ll be replacing it with hardwood, so it’s good enough for now.

Just a couple of things left to do to get the “Phase 1” finished on this room. Clean the light fixture and ceiling fan and get them reinstalled, as well as swapping out the almond colored outlets and light switches for white ones. New curtains with maybe something like this on the wall with the sliding door, and when we move back in I’d like to try a new furniture arrangement. I don’t think my husband will like it but maybe he’ll be so happy to be back to living like a grown up instead of a college kid he won’t grumble too much.

Undecided as to what I will eventually do with the trim/doors (apart from replacing the hollow core with solid wood doors) so I’m going to leave it alone for now. I think a wood finish would be interesting, and pretty in a lighter color, but white is easy and pretty much no-fail. That’s a project for another time.

Small Victories

In spite of my best attempts, I am not always able to be positive and remember that the world has a lot of beauty and good things to offer. 2015, so far, has in fact been an absolute shit show and I demand a reboot. I’m not going to get it but sometimes it helps just to voice the sentiment. Last night was tough and I feel like the universe realized we needed a little bit of a break in our household, so my son scored a victory today in the form of a new job and we are celebrating with a pumpkin spice cake. Store bought, but he likes it, and that’s good enough for me. He also may be receiving some help with a personal crisis, fingers crossed because we need that more than anything. My husband has a few leads on career advancement, particularly about a job that he has wanted for quite some time, and a potential raise has been mentioned in my direction so…insert extremely cautious optimism on the family front <here>.

There’s A Reason For Everything

Back when I first started working on our master bedroom, my husband was worried I’d lose steam or get sidetracked and we’d unnecessarily spend three months camped out on our mattress in one of our downstairs bedrooms instead of being more comfortably ensconced in our own room. I don’t know what he was so worried about; we’ve only been camped out downstairs for FIVE months now.

But he was right that I’d get sidetracked or lose steam, and in fact both things happened. In July my brain went all “Yay, making the bedroom pretty, yay, making the bedroom pretty, yay, making the…OOOH, SHINY.” Kind of. I was all of a sudden OBSESSED with determining the paint color for the rest of the upstairs, but decided I couldn’t figure THAT out until I’d found the perfect backsplash tile for my kitchen. Bedroom be damned; I could NOT focus on that AT ALL until I had that backsplash situation figured out. Luckily it took me far less time to find a tile than I thought it would; only two sample orders of tile and I’ve found something I love.

I was surfing Pinterest and came across this image of The Project Girl’s kitchen backsplash:


So pretty! I ordered a sample of that one – Borage Crackle from Status Ceramics – plus a few other samples, and while all of the samples were lovely, none of them were as pretty in my kitchen as they were in The Project Girls’. Not long after that small disappointment I was flipping through the Fall 2014 issue of Kitchen + Bath Ideas Magazine and was instantly hooked by this:

artistic-sanctuary-4(The magazine has more photos of the kitchen and a better view of the tile.) Long story short, I did my research and found the tile was made by Wizard Enterprise, which does not seem to sell samples online, and the nearest tile showroom was a two hour drive away, in Missouri. Road trip! I bought several samples – some of which look absolutely NOTHING like the catalog images – but they do have a fantastic selection of blue, green, and aqua ceramic tile. I’m pretty happy with the Tranquility tile (which I am fairly certain is not the tile shown in the photo but I think it will work for me), and keep the sample of it propped up in my kitchen all the time.

So, Mission: Backsplash Tile accomplished, have I figured out what the main paint color upstairs is going to be? Meh. I have three paint swatches on the wall, any of which will probably work. And…that’s that. I was happy enough after finding the tile to get back to work on my bedroom, except that I didn’t. I’ve been puttering here and there, and cleaned up most of the popcorn debris and plastic sheets from the floor, but haven’t really made any progress, so my husband’s threatening to move back into the bedroom just the way it is, which is not a good idea because when I get that wild hair up my butt to carry on with the home improvement in there you’re just going to be in my way, dude, please do not get in my way. I did drag myself back into the bedroom, did a little more puttering and cleaning and refreshed my memory about how to skim coat the walls, went out and bought the supplies I needed, and THEN my husband says “We really need to replace all the sheetrock in that room.”


*Blink blink*

Oh, really? Ya couldn’t have mentioned that back in July? You were going to let me waste all that time and money skim coating, sanding, and painting walls you intended to replace? We could’ve moved back into our bedroom by now, you know!

The handyman’s coming by to give an estimate on Monday morning.