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.

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.

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.

And Then I Shoved My Paint Roller Into His Ear

Slow progress on my bedroom redo, no one to blame but my personal Demon of Laziness. I blame boredom as well. I have all kinds of ideas and am all gung-ho when I first set out to do something, but I lack patience sometimes so when progress isn’t made with a quickness I get bored easily. I do realize that procrastination by way of dedicating one and a half weekends to remodeling the houses in my Sims game instead of my own bedroom was not necessarily helpful, but I did a nice job on all of them. Maybe I should post pics of THOSE up instead of my own real life house, ha.

This past weekend I slept in really late on Saturday for no apparent reason. I didn’t haul myself out of bed until after noon and it seems when I got dressed for the day I put my grump on as well, so more Sims playing for me. Sunday I resolved to do something in my room and was out of bed and dressed by 8:30. I did some more spackling and sanding on the ceiling above my bathroom sink, and painted the ceiling in my master closet. I also touched up the paint along the edge of the entire ceiling in the bedroom and closet. That didn’t take me long; I think I put in a solid three hours of work before I stopped for lunch and marathoned Supernatural for the rest of the day, but every little bit counts! I may need another coat of paint in the closet but that won’t take long, either; I’ll do that the same time I sand down the spackled bits over the bathroom sink, that way I can finally get the ceiling painting DONE in those two places. I am aiming to accomplish these tasks before I go to bed on Wednesday evening but so far I’m REALLY not good at doing any DIY tasks on weeknights, after work. The sooner I finish them, though, the sooner I can move on to skim coating the walls.

As I was on the ladder touching up the edge of the ceiling, my husband poked his head into the room, took a look around and asked “Did you paint the ceiling?”


*Blink blink.*

Did I paint the ceiling? Did he really just ask me that? Does he not read my blog? Does he not live here? Does he not realize the difference between glitter speckled popcorn ceiling texture and flat white paint?



MBR Progress Report

mbrThis is what I started with Friday morning. After some effort on Friday and Sunday, it looks a little different; I managed to give almost the entire space two full coats of Behr’s Ultra Pure White flat ceiling paint over the weekend. Painting the ceiling a flat white paint is not as fun or as thrilling as slapping teal paint on the walls but is rewarding nonetheless, particularly when paint splatters down into your eye and is easily taken care of by removing your contact lens. I know, I should be wearing safety glasses or something, but the paint fumes were awfully strong so I opened the windows and sliding glass door and the humidity and sweat on my head turned any glasses on my face into a San Francisco-worthy fog bank. Anyway, the whole space feels brighter and even a bit larger. There’s still a bit to finish: the ceiling in the closet, in the enclosed portion of the bathroom, and the part over the vanity. There’s a bit of drywall tape and a few holes that need patching up, once I get those taken care of I can finally finish the ceiling paint.

It is slow progress but it is progress nonetheless. I’m reminded, every time I pick up the scraper or the paint roller, that I am woefully out of shape and should have better endurance than I do. I’m going to get on that one of these days, right after I find a cure for my laziness.

Saturday was devoted to finishing up The Silkworm, and next weekend we’ll be out of state for the husband’s family reunion, but I’m hoping to get the ceiling painting finished up this week in the evenings after work and maybe get a start on slapping some drywall mud on the walls where needed. I’d like to think I’ll finally be painting the walls during the weekend of July 19th, but since that was meant to be happening this past weekend, we’ll see what actually happens!


Somewhat-but-not-entirely related, I find this entire project incredibly inspiring. Not because that’s what I want my kitchen to look like, but because she’s doing it pretty much all by herself and is almost to the finish line. I can’t wait to see how it looks when she’s done; what a badass!