A long, long time ago,
I can still remember, how that music used to make me smile we bought a tractor seat stool at Home Goods. It was an impromptu purchase while on a Vermont road trip because when you see a tractor seat stool, you buy it. Those are the rules. No exceptions. But alas, the tractor seat stool was red which isn’t necessarily my favorite color…not even close…I’m more of a blue girl. But I left it red until the Etsy work space evolved a little bit more. But now…that tractor seat stool is sporting a brand new turquoise coat.
After a bit of color debate, I opted to paint the stool the same turquoise color as the cage light fixture that we made last week, which happens to be leftover paint from our media cabinet in the living room. Nothing like a little color synergy in the space. But my favorite part of the stool’s new paint color, is how cute it looks with the coral curtains. I’m a sucker for coral/turquoise color combos. It gets my insides all tingly ever time.
But remember where we were just a few-ish weeks ago? Red stool with green/yellow curtains. Oh my. Not so great.
Painting the stool was one of those super quick and super easy projects that provides a big impact. As for the how we did it portion of this program, it was our regular old spray painting song and dance. The stool was metal with a super glossy finish. So I prepped the stool by wiping it down with a liquid deglosser, which magically scuffs up the finish without sanding AND cleans the surface all in one step. Then prepped our paint sprayer for painting.
We’ve hit the one year mark on our paint sprayer (a Graco 2900 purchased from Lowes…you can read our review on it back here) and I have to admit, we’ve been having words. Strong words. Like the kind you yell at the dog after he ate an entire plate of freshly grilled bbq chicken (been there). Fightin’ words. I’m kind of wishing we had upgraded the paint sprayer to the next model up, the one where you don’t have to water down your paint. And it’s been a clog monster lately. Live and learn. At least a clog saved Colby from being spray painted a lovely turquoise color.
Next step, spray time. After I worked by Goldilocks skills with the water to paint ratio until I got the perfect consistency of not too runny but not too thick to clog the sprayer, I layered on about four thin and even coats of paint. Three coats almost covered up the red, but not quite so a fourth was needed.
I’m a big fan of spray painting outside by putting down a scrap piece of plywood or some cardboard in the lawn and plopping my spray painting piece down on top of it. It’s so much easier to tackle these kind of projects outside. Then you can leave them out there to fully dry and harden before taking them in. Sadly, our spray painting days are numbered. See the leaves in the yard? Spray painting season is drawing to a close as the temps are dropping and winter is looming. My spray painting trigger finger is officially un-itchy…and gloved.
After a couple days of dry time, the stool returned to the Etsy office space and I happily plopped by butt into the turquoise seat. Such a happy tushy!
As for what’s next in the Etsy office? I’ve got a few decorating/organizing projects up my sleeve. My favorite kinds of projects, the little ones that add some depth, layer, and texture to the room. The kind that really make a space unique and give it some character. Stay tuned.
Pssst…While we were spray painting away this weekend, what were you guys up to? Any painting projects? Organizing? Halloween prep work? Man…Halloween is sooooo soon. I’m officially not ready!
“First you must find… another shrubbery! Then, when you have found the shrubbery, you must place it here, beside this shrubbery…” What?! We’re talking about shrubbery tonight on the blog so isn’t it a given that we whip out Monty Python quotes?! Anyway…we owe you an update, or two, or three about the progress we’ve been making on our front porch ever since we ripped out the windows (with intentions of repairing them). Since we snapped these pics of our shrubs back in late August, I think it’s time we got around to posting about them…and more importantly what we did to them. So let’s talk shrubbery, and the overgrown shrubbery around our front porch.
We had a bit of an overgrown shrub situation going on beside our porch. The shrubs have been a bit on the overgrown side since we bought our home. Fast forward three years and they’re even more overgrown than before. So much overgrown that they’re growing into the house. Case in point…the burning bush growing into our porch windows. Why hello shrubbery!
That right there is one of the major reasons why we have so much rot and damage going on with the windows out here (learn more about our porch problems back here). You see, when it rains the water drips down through the leaves of the bush. That water then drips down behind the sill stop, pooling at the base of the sash, and the sun never hits the sill to help dry it out. The bush had to go. So out came the loppers and down went the bush…one branch at a time under Goose’s careful observation.
One bush down. Which left us with two more to go, one evergreen and another burning brush. The burning brush on the right wasn’t as big as the first one I took down, the one on the other side of the porch, but it was also planted too close to the house. Same with the evergreen….just a bit inside (my favorite Major League quote).
So I chopped down bush number two while Colby took the chain saw to the evergreen. Apparently tonight is movie quote night…
It didn’t take Colby long to take down the tree. A few minutes and swipes of the chainsaw to take off all the low hanging branches, which exposed the trunk.
Then a few more minutes to chop down the tree at the base. Again, under careful Goose supervision.
And maybe, just maybe a bit of heckling from the pooch.
This left us with a few stumps to take care of. Colby did his best to chop them down with the chainsaw, but we still have a little bit more work to do on getting rid of them in their entirety. For now we’re left with some small, nubby stumps that we’re hoping will soften up and maybe rot a little over the winter and in the spring we can get rid of them for good. Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but mostly it’s shear laziness combined with flat out just not wanting to deal with it right now.
It was when I snapped the following pic that I had that “whoa….what did we just do?!” moment. You know, that moment when you do something kind of permanent, you can’t go back, and it’s kind of major. Like chopping down all your trees/bushes around your house. All of our sudden, we can see the front of our house and it’s amazing! Who knew our front porch was so large?!
And stump chopping round two. Go baby, go! For some reason, that stump scared me. Maybe because I was painting the side of the house while straddling it and imagining myself tripping and impaling myself on it. Great visual, huh?! I’ve been watching too much Grey’s Anatomy.
With that, our house is officially exposed. As much as I hate to chop down plants, in particular trees, it had to be done. The bushes were damaging not only our windows but also our siding. It’s really not good to have your plants growing right up the side of your house. They really shouldn’t even be touching your house since the water damage they can do just isn’t good. So alas, down came the trees.
Since we’re approaching winter, yeah I said it, and our first frost is looming, it’s doubtful that we’ll be planting anything this year to replace the old shrubs. But our game plan is to try and finish buttoning up the porch windows and maybe, just maybe, refinish the porch floor and ceiling while we’re at it. But gardening wise, I’m already scheming of planting a few more hydrangeas and surrounding the house with them. The trio in the front of the house have done really well this year and they’re just so pretty. But who knows. I have
three six months of winter to change my mind.
Pssst…Any plant choppings going on in your neck of the woods? Or dog supervision/heckling?
I kid you not, a mortar and pestle has lived on the back of our toilet since since early August. See:
And a closeup for the cheap seats in the back:
I told you so. For the record, mostly so you don’t think I’m the weirdo with a mortar and pestle on the back of her toilet, I picked it up and the tissue cover at Home Goods shortly after returning from Haven in early August. I came back from the blogger/DIYer conference inspired to accessorize our home more. I’m a chronic under-accessorizer and was bound and determined to course correct and rectify the situation, starting with our bathroom. I thought the mortar part of the combo would make a cute little succulent pot for the back of our toilet. It just took me three months to get around to it. Truth be told, I really had no motivation to plant the succulents and accessorize our bathroom until I came across these beauties at the flea market.
They’re old trivets that were made by a shop here in Maine, Screen Craft in Yarmouth. They went into business back in 1952 and are still in business making beautiful trivets. You can find Screen Craft online here. The going rate on their new trivets is $69 each but we scored our stack of four for a whopping ten dollars (holla!). We found them at our favorite flea market during an end-of-season coastal shopping trip extraordinaire on Labor Day weekend and knew immediately. From the moment I clutched them to my chest and vowed to adopt them, I knew they should hang in our bathroom. And after careful consideration (aka…Colby holding them up in various blank bathroom wall locations while I yay-ed and nay-ed), decided for the nook above the toilet.
As for hanging the trivets, we went the super cheap and easy route by using some Velcro command strips.
And just tacked them onto the back of the trivets, pressing down firmly for optimal adhesion.
And hung the trivets in a four square grid above the toilet.
Being a card carrying member of the under-accessorizing club (we even have secret handshakes), I thought the trivets-as-art addition was a bit on the crazy town side. I wasn’t quite sure it worked. So naturally, I decided to dive deeper into crazy town (and way outside my comfort zone) and added more art, since the trivets seemed a little off balance with the big, blank space above the laundry basket on the right. I dove into our stash of misfit
toys decor and came up with a Vermont waterfall framed pic, which was a freebie from Colby’s mom, and added it to the wall.
Now we’re balanced. The waterfall art really helps balance out that empty space above the laundry basket and makes everything make a little more sense. And after actually putting tissues in the tissue box cover and planting the succulents, our toilet nook was looking a bit less naked and a lot more interesting.
Although, every time I come into the bathroom to go take care of business-es (the term we use when it’s time to let Goose outside), I get spooked when I turn the corner and see the art and accessories. Every time. Good thing there’s a toilet nearby for those pee my pants out of scared-ie-ness moments.
My favorite “moment” of the accessorized nook is the addition of the succulents in the mortar. Now that’s an appropriate way to utilize a mortar in the bathroom.
The added bathroom accessories definitely add a bit more interest to an otherwise boring nook. Our bathroom is pretty much the most finished space in our home. It is oh-so-close to done. It just needs a little bit of noodling around and a little bit of editing. Maybe I’ll lock myself in the bathroom until it’s done. Although, that might be weird. You know, when guests come over to visit and need to go pee and I’m locked in the bathroom until after I choose just the right accessories and finish painting those open shelves (which I shamelessly still have yet to do). I’m not certain our guests would ever come over again. Awkward!
Until then, I’m reveling in my small accessorizing VICTORY! Any Entourage fans out there? Do you also channel your inner Johnny Drama and shout “VICTORY” in your strongest viking voice?! And maybe throw up your hands and your head back in dramatic fashion as you yell it out for all the Viking Quest fans out there at Comic-Con?! And maybe even sport that horned hat?! Just me? Okay. I believe the term you are searching for is……anyway…one final shot of our bathroom accessories.
Pssst…So what odd object have you had sitting around your bathroom? Any mortar and pestles? Or anyone else want to join our under-accessorizers club? We’re not terribly exclusive. We meet on Thursdays. Bring wine.
This is a slacker blogger alert from your local public address station. It is October, I repeat, October, but yet we are recapping August’s projects in a little monthly roundup. At least with a month plus delay in recapping the month in projects and general shenanigans, they all seem a little new and exciting. You know, like when you’re in your early thirties looking through your old high school yearbooks and start poking fun of the sweet perm you were sporting. Good times, good times, delicious dish (please tell me you fellow high school perm sporters remember “Delicious Dish” from SNL circa 1998?!).
Etsy Success Tips: We had some crazy early success with our Etsy shop when we opened up in May. So we recapped what we learned about Etsy in the first few months of opening our shop. Everything from packaging tips, dealing with damages, and my favorite the three P’s of Etsy (product, price and photography).
Inspired Design Challenge Anthropologie: Our bedroom lamp shades were a tad on the boring white side. So we used the Anthropologie rosette lamp shades for inspiration and performed an Anthropologie-esque lamp shade makeover. It only took about four Red Sox games and twelve beers…definitely not a one (hour) and done kind of project.
Holy Haven Mavens: I went to my first blog conference in early August, the Haven Conference. Not only did I learn so much about the blog world and how to make my blog absolutely amazeballs (although…following through with that blog plan is a whole other story), but also had a blast! Here’s to Haven 2014!
In This Corner: We did a little water based vs oil based stain trial. In my book, oil based stain pulled through for the win but it was a squeaker! But the ease of use and color of the oil based stain trumped its pain of cleanup.
Fly Like An Eagle: For the final installment of our Inspired Design Challenge, I painted an old switch plate cover that we originally removed from our house and even distressed it a bit using a candle wax trick.
Pillow Panache: Yeah, our couch has it now. Pillow panache. After a day of “playing Pillows” and trying out all possible combinations of my favorite pillows, we picked a combo and upgraded our couch pillow situation.
Shears And Shades: The couch couldn’t have all the fun, we also upgraded the living room window treatments with some cheap shears from Target and some budget friendly bamboo blinds from Lowes.
Inspired Design Challenge Recap: We came, we saw, we inspired design conquered. And recapped the entire Inspired Design Challenge in all its highlight glory. Some of my favorite projects from the challenge included Lindsey’s light fixture, Sara’s jewelry organizer, Jennifer’s pillows, and Kristin’s art. Seriously talented and amazing women! Then there was my awkward self thrown in the mix. Who invited this girl?!
The Cheap Basket: I love a good basket. Better yet, I love a good CHEAP basket. I picked up a $5 basket from a local antiques store and gave the green basket a white spray painting makeover. SO much improved.
The One That Got Away: We had ourselves one of those moments. You know, the one where you find your dream home, it’s amazing, you want to buy it on the spot, but your house is by no means ready for sale…wop, wop, wop. Although, even if we were ready for sale, we still probably wouldn’t have pulled the trigger on dream home. Oh…and it was affordable too! AFFORDABLE dream home. It was just on the wrong side of town. But now we’re invigorated to finish up our current home so when dream home part deux comes around, we’re ready for it.
Ship Shape: I bought a ship art print from Etsy back in December. Yes, December. And finally framed and hung said ship art. Why?! Why do I wait so long to do such simple projects yet I’m the first to volunteer to start ripping apart and fixing all eleven of our porch windows?! Which we still haven’t finished!
So there you have it. August in projects. Maybe I’ll come back tomorrow and recap September?! Cough cough…slacker…cough cough.
Pssst…What did you guys all tackle back in August? Or does your memory fail you like it does mine since it was sooooo long ago!
Yes, that’s right folks, that’s OUR old house featured in the September 2013 issue of This Old House magazine. Boom! I’m still on cloud nine in that can’t-stop-smiling kind of way and don’t intend to ever come down from this high! So stinking proud of our little feature!
Okay, so I kind of have to tell you all about how this all went down because it was a crazy turn of events. For the record, they found me through the blog (or possibly Pinterest…gotta love Pinterest). So way back in November 2012 I was contacted by sweet Megan, assistant editor at This Old House magazine. She emailed me introducing herself and mentioning wanting to feature our staircase in an issue of the magazine. Fwap! That’s the sound of me hitting the floor after falling out of my seat. I couldn’t believe it. After pinching myself a few times and asking Colby if this is real life, I collected some composure and emailed her back “are you sure?!”. No, not really. It was more like “OH EM GEE I’M SO EXCITED SIGN ME UP I’LL DO WHATEVER BECAUSE IT’S THIS OLD HOUSE AND I LOOOOOVE THIS OLD HOUSE”. Subtle emotions just aren’t my thing. So after many emails, a couple phone calls and ridiculous number of photos (I took the photos but was coached by their production team as to what they wanted), we finally made the oh-so-fitting September “Color Issue” of This Old House.
How fitting is it that the cover is blue? Especially where soooo much of our house AND the staircase is blue. And as if the magazine feature wasn’t enough, we were also lucky enough to be featured on the home page of thisoldhouse.com.
The craziest part of the web feature was that I never would have known we were up on the HOME PAGE if it wasn’t for one of my blog buddies, Emily from Two Purple Couches. She sent me a note on Facebook to tell me. So a HUGE thank you shout out goes out to Emily!
The weirdest part of the whole feature was seeing the magazine containing our precious staircase article in stores. I just about flipped the first time I noticed it in our local Home Depot. I actually I one upped from flipped and documented it via iPhone…appropriately while we were on an impromptu supplies run amidst our window project, with unwashed hair, makeup free face, and sawdust in my bra. #totallynormal
I call this look the “Home Alone”….not to be confused with “Blue Steel”.
Then I thought we were going to get kicked out when I started taking every…single…copy. But then I realized how much money that would cost me and settled for three copies of the issue. That’s one copy for the fridge (obvi), one to be tucked away in a safe place, and one to replace the one tucked away in a safe place when said safe place becomes not so safe.
Of course I profusely explained to anybody who would listen (poor checkout girl) about why I was buying so many copies and quickly flipped to page 20 to show off our project.
So a HUGE thank you to everyone’s sweet comments about the feature. And one last story before you can continue on with your evening. One of my favorite comments was a message I received on Facebook from one of my best friends in high school. It went something like this, “I was reading This Old House and came across a staircase feature and thought ‘that looks like my friend’s staircase, they ripped off her project’ and then I realized it really WAS your staircase! Congrats!” Awesome! Thanks again for the sweet comment Melissa! And finally a super huge thank you to Megan and the This Old Team for featuring our project and making our national magazine dreams come true! Hopefully it’s not the last feature!