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Jun 30, 2012

built-ins become shoe storage

we have these old, wonderful built-ins flanking the entrance to the front room. however, we don't really have anything to put in them -- curse the age of the digital book!!

i absolutely don't want to get rid of them though because (a) they're charming and (b) they serve as quasi-separation between the entry area and the front room.

since we needed a place near the front door to put our shoes -- so we wouldn't be clonking all through the house on the wooden floors -- the built-ins were called into service as our shoe storage.

Jun 29, 2012

fish made a porch table!

fish's first ever serious project was our master bed.
then he made himself a workbench.

and to continue the Backwards Journey of Complexity:
he's now gone and made us a porch table...from an old bar stool!


see how he did it after the jump!


Jun 28, 2012

adding to K's art collection

do you remember the old picture of my mom i found and hung on K's wall
she was inexplicably standing in an excavator scoop.

K's art collection has grown a bit since then.

Jun 27, 2012

more window shopping

we finally scheduled a second estimate for windows.
(( you can see the post about the first estimate here. ))


this time, we chose a very reputable company that makes its own windows and trains their own people to install them. apparently that's worth a lot.

they quoted us OVER TWICE what the first estimate was.

maybe we should have told them to take a hike.

the giant ruler growth chart
has finally been hung!

see our giant ruler growth chart featured on disney's spoonful.com

the giant ruler growth chart finally has a home. we decided to hang it in the hallway ((vs K's room)) in case we have more children.

Jun 26, 2012

pretty storage for a few craft supplies

if you have an old vase laying around...or find one at goodwill for a measly fifty cents...why not use it as a charming storage vessel for craft supplies?

this vase is the perfect size to hold my washi tape collection...
...which keeps me from buying more.

Jun 25, 2012

presenting...
the polka-squared dining room!

i am ECSTATIC with how our bright yellow polka-squared dining room turned out!! 

this is what it looked like on the day we closed:

there was absolutely nothing wrong with it...but the walls were dirty and scuffed -- they definitely needed freshening up. however, we couldn't find the color the previous owners used in the paint collection in the basement.

Jun 24, 2012

new shades in the kitchen

if we can't afford new windows yet, i at least want them to look as good as they can. we started with removing the heavy drapes in the front room. now, we've taken out the blinds in the kitchen and replaced them with light-filtering roller shades.

Jun 23, 2012

new house numbers

our original house numbers were embarrassing:

they were old, pitted brass...
...too small of a scale...
...and hung on a piece of rotting wood.

our NEW numbers are black, modern, and floating on the brickwork!

Jun 22, 2012

before and after craigslist dresser


i love it, but...it's been sitting in our garage for over a month slowly...slo-o-o-owly...getting a makeover. it had to be cleaned...then sanded...then primed...then painted...then minds changed so it had to be REpainted.

painting an interior door black

see the beautiful horizontal five-panel door that leads into our garage?

i decided to paint it black. 

i love the sophistication of black interior doors and i wanted to see how one would look in real life, in our home. it was kind of a test for our other interior doors. i reasoned that if it turned out horribly, it was in a semi-hidden spot until it could be repainted.

Jun 21, 2012

progress on the powder room

no matter how near or far from chicago we live, fish will remain a loyal cubs fan...and because i want our house to reflect the whole family, i'm planning to display a smattering of understated cubs decor throughout our home.

...like the cubs win flag in our powder room:

Jun 20, 2012

progress on the entry area

i scored a bunch of picture frames at goodwill for super-cheap...and one of them was the perfect size to display the survey of our house we received at closing!

maybe it's just because we're new homeowners, but we both immediately thought of framing the survey when we saw it.

here it is -- over two months later -- and finally hung!

Jun 18, 2012

fish made a work bench!

after the huge success of our master bed, fish is preparing to build a fort-bed for lil' archer. but, this time around, we wanted fish to have a proper space to work...instead of the makeshift station he cobbled together to build the master bedframe.

SO, using plans from ana white,
he made a work bench for himself in one afternoon!

we went to good ol' home depot to get the lumber and fish immediately started making cuts...

...with his new miter saw!
oooohhh....

Jun 16, 2012

paint touch-ups made easy

there's a rambunctious toddler in our house, so i know it's inevitable that our freshly painted walls are going to get scuffed up. but, who wants to lug up a gallon of paint from the basement just to cover a relatively teeny tiny mark?

solution: four-ounce mason jars.

Jun 15, 2012

DIY: fabric photo mat

<<< psst! you can see a full list of my diy projects here! >>>

fish, being a rabid avid chicago cubs fan, is pretty easy to buy for when his birthday or father's day rolls around. for his last birthday, i gave him a photographic print of wrigley field, back when all the men wore jackets and summer hats to the games.

it's been in storage for a few months now, but we finally bought a frame for it:

only one thing: the photo mat looks positively yellow next to our bright white sunroom panelling.

so i covered the mat with white burlap.

Jun 14, 2012

we can finally be nosy neighbors in comfort!

now that we have a front porch, i have every intention of taking full advantage of it. with the beautiful weather lately, lil' archer K and i enjoy many a snack out there. we watch squirrels run across the lawn, birds chase each other through the trees, and cars drive down the street.

it may sound mundane, but it's one of the highlights of both of our days. lil' archer laughs at the animals and gets excited about every. single. vehicle. that passes by. meanwhile, i get to relax...and enjoy his toddler prattle.

"that's a white pick-up truck!! right, mommy? right??!"

an added bonus is that various neighbors often amble over to have a chat while we're on the porch. i definitely feel more a part of the neighborhood than if we were to hole up in the house during snacktime.

so...after all this leave-it-to-beaver rambling, you would agree that we definitely need a couple of chairs on our front stoop, right? right??!

i agree.

Jun 13, 2012

a fluffy rug for my delicate feet

there's no definite plan for our master bedroom yet...but i knew i wanted something soft and fluffy on either side of our bed.

well...i initially wanted a large, soft area rug for the whole room. rugs that large and that soft are expensive. and we are...not rich.

so i revised what i wanted to:
a small rug for each side of our bed.

i've had two of these in my overstock shopping cart for weeks.
...but i just couldn't spend $198 on two smallish bedroom rugs.

((i mean, i totally could, but fish would kill me.))

Jun 10, 2012

more painting!
staircase & upstairs hallway


we are finally...FINALLY! getting around to painting the stairway and upstairs hallway. i'm so happy because that means i will finally...FINALLY! be able to hang the giant ruler growth chart!

Jun 9, 2012

new life for an old dresser

do you recall the sunroom dresser redo i started AGES ago? other projects kept popping up, i had to wait for fish to get off nights so i could learn how to use the sander, i was waiting for knobs and handles...the excuses go on and on.

...but it's finally finished!

Jun 7, 2012

window shopping

our whole house needs new windows badly -- most are the originals from 1947. all are single pane, many of the wooden frames are rotting, some have cracked glass, and one is completely painted shut. only the sunroom addition does not need windows and we are very thankful for that because there's ELEVEN in that room alone.
rotting wood frame

Jun 6, 2012

painted front porch fence
...and future plans

i finally finished painting the front porch fence from white to black --

HALLELUJAH!

the rusty before:

Jun 5, 2012

the painting continues:
main floor bathroom

i can't believe there was a time when we were delusional enough to think we could repaint all the rooms in our house in a WEEK. we've been in our new home for nearly TWO MONTHS and i finally tackled...

the main floor bathroom:

Jun 4, 2012

more backyard progress...
and flowers from fish!

our backyard jungle is quickly becoming a blank slate,
thanks to a lot of hard work on fish's part!

remember the before?

look at it now!