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!
A few weeks ago myself and a few other blog buddies were approached by Coupons.com to do a little sponsor post. Don’t go running away because I said “sponsor”…this is a doozy of a post! You’re gonna want to stick around for this one. They provided us with Sears gift cards and challenged us to purchase something from Sears with our gift cards, use one of their coupon codes since you know, us bloggers like to save money, and create either some fall or Halloween themed decor that could transition into everyday decor. Not one to turn up a good DIY challenge, I whipped up my first Halloween display of the season, it’s not too early, right?!
How about a few more shots for creepiness sake?
So let’s get back to the little coupons.com challenge. So remember, amidst my ramblings, that part of the challenge was to buy something to use for fall/Halloween decor that could be transitioned into other seasons. Well, here’s my game plan for transitioning the glass creepy crawlie jars into everyday life.
- Open shelves with a glass jar display found here
- Labeled glass jars from The Painted Hive here
- Counter jar display from Better Homes and Gardens found here
I almost started demoing our kitchen after ogling all the glass jar goodness! I love the idea of using the glass jars as Halloween displays in the fall, then later cleaning them out real good and using them to store things that we use pretty regularly like cereal, pasta or rice.
And now for a giveaway for you my lovely readers! Because what sponsored post would be complete without a giveway?! Coupons.com is giving away one Sears e-giftcard for $200 to one of you. Yes you. Go ahead and enter if you dare (note…giveaway is open to U.S. residents only):
This giveaway does span 11 lovely blogs. So be sure to go check out some of the other amazing projects, posts and general shenanigans. Below is a list of all the participating bloggers. Go nuts, show them some love and enter to win!
Pssst…The other participating bloggers include Brave New Home, Embrace My Space, Fancy Free Me, Inside-Out Design, Thinking Closet, Two Live Colorfully, Charming Zebra, Whats Ur Home Story, Dogs Don’t Eat Pizza, and Our Humble Abode.
My current obsession these days has been all about the industrial look. Who would have thunk it?! Especially since I work full time in industrial distribution. What I’ve REALLY been jonesing after have been all those gorgeous cage lights. I love an old school looking, exposed light bulb, and those colorful trouble-light-esque cages surrounding the bulb. But the prices?! Have I mentioned that I’m cheap? Like a Ramen noodles every night kind of cheap?! Okay, maybe not that cheap, maybe more like thrifty. So when it came time to light fixture up in the Etsy office, I jumped on the cage light band wagon and DIY-ed my own version which cost a whopping $11.
And before you can truly appreciate the after of our gorgeous cage light, here’s the before.
We call those lights “pig tail lights” and we tend to install them as a temporary light fixture while we’re working on ceilings (sheet rocking, mudding, or painting them) since they stay out of the way. But temporary in this space has turned into a seven-month long lighting solution that had to go.
So when I came across a wire basket for $1 at our local thrift store, I absolutely couldn’t resist. From the moment my eyes fell upon it, I couldn’t help but think, “CAGE LIGHT”!
I had precisely zero point zero idea of how I was going to do it, but was adamant that it was going to turn into one sick light fixture! So I dragged the hubs to Home Depot for an all out search and
destroy purchase mission for a lighting kit of some sort that we could attach the wire basket to. We almost came home with pendant kit until we came across this perfect little shade holder kit for a whopping $6.
So home we came to get to work. The first order of business was attacking the basket. We had to cut the bottom of the basket out to make room for the light bulb and light kit to stick through it. Nothing a pair of wire snips couldn’t handle. We just traced the light socket onto the basket and cut away, making sure the opening we cut out was centered on the basket.
And took the light fixture for a little test run before painting up.
Then out came some left over oil rubbed bronze spray paint leftover from painting a slew of doorknobs in our house. I wasn’t totally digging the white, flush mount part of the light fixture so it had to go. My original intention was to paint it a a silvery color, but alas, I didn’t have any. And since there was plenty of ORB (oil rubbed bronze) to go around we gave the light a little ORB-ing.
And while we were at it, three a little turquoise paint into our paint sprayer and sprayed the cage as well. After both light fixture pieces were spray painted and thoroughly dry, our next step was assembly. Since we were fully on board with the work-with-what-ya-got train and were plum out of plain old wire, we used some flux (typically used for soldering) to attach the light base to the cage shade.
There were three holes in the light fixture base that was meant for attaching the light shade to. So we just snipped off a piece of flux, looped it through the whole, and twisted it around the wire cage using a pair of needle nosed pliers.
And voila…a somewhat assembled, DIY cage light fixture.
That was the easy part. The hard part…installation. After a short battle that I coined “Battle Royale: Colby vs. Light Fixture” (super creative, I know), Colby installed the light fixture. For some reason, the screws that were provided with the fixture weren’t the right size. I guess that’s what you get with a cheap light fixture. But after a couple beers, a few swear words, some new to me, the light fixture was in.
Since the light bulb was totally exposed, I couldn’t just throw any ol’ light bulb in it. I really wanted one of those Edison bulbs but since Home Depot didn’t have any Edison bulbs I settled for the next best thing, a cabinet display bulb.
And done. One DIY cage light fixture for our Etsy office space.
I know it’s hard to tell in these pics since the sun was setting and I was trying to squeak out these pics before losing all light, not just the good light, but I’m loving how the turquoise in the light fixture goes so well with the turquoise in the recently installed shelves. I’m loving the turquoise/green/coral color combo so much that I’m seriously debating spray painting the tractor seat stool the same turquoise color. Thoughts? Good idea? Too much turquoise? Is there such thing as too much turquoise?
Pssst…So I know that’s I’ve been totally MIA these days, but I swear there are good reasons. BIG announcement coming soon along those lines. I can’t wait to share it with you!
Do you ever have one of those weekends where you should do something in particular? You put it on the list, have every intention of tackling “said something” and yet it never gets done? You know, something like utilize the most perfect, rain free weekend to finish painting your porch windows because it’s (look for the blue moon) not raining? But somehow you find yourself installing shelving in the Etsy office? That was my weekend. Obligatory before and after:
Did you also notice the return of the coral curtains?
I couldn’t help it. I needed some shelving. It was one of those if-only-I-was-organized-I-would-get-soooooo-much-done kind of things. Which I totally believe in. I feel I finish ten times as many iPad stands when I can see my go-to stain and don’t have to dig through piles of old t-shirts to turn into rags before getting to it. Of course, it didn’t help that I had recently picked up a mess of these beauties during a trek to the flea market. We got 17 of them for $25. I couldn’t resist. They were cheap and had flaky bits…and in my world flaky bits equals purchase.
Because I knew I wanted to store quarts of stain on the shelves we made damn sure that the brackets would attach to studs. Colby copping an attitude…I mean…finding a stud.
And screwing the brackets into the stud.
When it came to installing/placing the brackets, we used a very sophisticated method of eyeballing it height wise. Width spacing wise, the studs were equidistant apart so we just picked three studs that spanned the area that we wanted the shelves to go.
We decided that it would be best to first hang the brackets to help us decide the length of the pine board shelf. We opted to give the shelf about a 2″ overhang on each end (meaning the shelf is a total of 4″ longer than the space between each end bracket). Colby quickly cut down the pine board to the right size, 8-1/4″ x 68″ total size.
Then I quickly slapped some white paint on the board, not bothering to prime it beforehand. I was going for a ‘white washed” look in theory but in reality it was just shear laziness. Like a I-don’t-want-to-spend-more-than-20-minutes-on-this kind of laziness.
After letting the painted
lady shelf dry overnight, it was just a matter of screwing the brackets to the shelves, ironically using some brass screws that we use to assemble our iPad stands.
And scene…shelves installed. The entire shelf building, finishing and installing process took a whopping twenty minutes (minus the dry time). But that was the quick part of the project.
The longer part of the project…organizing what goes on the shelf!
Lining up my water based wood stains in ROY G BIV order is totally my idea of a good time on a Sunday evening.
My favorite part of the shelf organizing was utilizing a trio of green, metal storage bins that I picked up from Home Goods a month or so ago. They were only $9.99 each, so about $30 for the set. I organized them by task…for the most part. So when it’s time to stain, I grab the bin in the middle which has rags, my staining brush, drop cloth and stir sticks. No more rummaging through a box under the desk looking for that gosh darn staining rag! Which usually ends up me empty handed and running to our closet contemplating cutting up Colby’s Patriots tee (I’m a Giants fan…can you blame me?), but that could never end well.
I even spent a little bit of time organizing the green bookcase underneath the shelves.
I picked up a few old, wood drawers at a local antique store for about $4 each and used them to store like items. Like extra rolls of twine which I use assembling the iPad stands or stamping supplies for product tag making.
The beauty of the whole shelf building/reorganization is that it freed up soooo much space underneath the desk for product storage. The old, wood boxes used to hold stains and iPad manufacturing supplies mixed in with the stands. But now…all that space is dedicated to product.
Pssst…What have you guys been organizing lately? Craft supplies? Paints in ROY G BIV order?
August was Instagram insane folks! We’re talking Cypress Hill “Insane In The Membrane” kind of insane. And by insane I really mean ridiculously awesome and full of firsts. For instance I Instagrammed up my first blogger conference, the first time I met my bloggy buddy Lindsay from Life Of Splendor, the first time I traveled to Atlanta, and oh yeah…the first time we had our house featured in a national glossy magazine (but I’ll get to that in a moment). I’m not gonna lie, this Instagram roundup is officially my favorite.
Oh, I believe it’s also the first time that I posted a pic of myself on Instagram! Look for the blue moon folks! And Colby even joined Instagram this month! Seriously…where is that blue moon? It has to be out there somewhere. You can follow him @campcolby but he’s not terribly active now that I’ve returned from galavanting around Hotlanta. We’re talking a solo picture kind of not active. I’ll work on him. He’ll be a social media fiend before you know it.
August also marked the first time we played golf all summer (shameful), the first time I used chalk paint, the first time we used fun beachy colors on our iPad stands, and the first time we looked at another house since we bought our current home three years ago. We just so happened to fall in love with that house and the only thing that kept us from not trying to purchase it was that it’s on the wrong side of town making for an extra long work commute for both of us.
As per our usual routine, every Instagram roundup time Colby and I each pick our favorite picture for the month. Sometimes we cheat and pick a couple faves. We make the rules so we can make them, right?! This time around Colby picked out this snap shot.
With a caption of “The boys and their babies”. Colby with our dog child Goose, and one of our best friends Aaron and his son who is oh so adorable. Notice who the better behaved child is? And notice who’s child is trying to lick the other child. We’re never having kids if they act like our dog!
And then there’s my favorite pic which was an obvious choice for me:
How could I resist the picture of our staircase in This Old House magazine? I kid you not, our home is featured in the September issue. There’s still time to go pick it up so go grab your copy. And if you’re a Maine-ah, come see us as we’ll be signing copies at our local Rite Aid this weekend. #kidding I’m still pinching myself that our home is really in a national, glossy magazine. Is this real life? And I owe you guys a big ol’ blog post about this adventure because it really was quite the experience and we’re definitely wanting to document this in our blog diary of sorts.
Pssst…So what have you guys been Instagram-ing these days? Pooch pics? Painting work? Obligatory thrifty finds? And as always, you can follow us @angiesroost on Instagram.