Paint is Awesome

S on SnowdoniaMost of the walls in our new house are renter beige, since we’re renters. The third floor, where the teacher lives, is bright lavender, which is pretty awesome. But we had permission from our landlords to paint, so we decided to do it.

We aren’t painting every room. The living room is bright enough with the purple doors and grass green rug (I guess we should give a little tour of the house one of these days, but it will have to wait until after the paint). I don’t think it’s worth the work to paint the bathrooms or the hallways or the mudroom, and K and the Artist don’t want to paint their bedroom because it’s too big. So we’re painting the dining room, the kitchen, the Architect’s and my bedroom, and K and the Artist’s insanely awesome bathroom.

The first room to get a new paint job was the dining room. It had a chair rail, so to save ourselves some work, we decided to just paint the wall under the chair rail and leave the top. That would also make it a nicer transition to the hallway since there isn’t a doorway. Here are a couple of shots of the dining room before paint. 

The first one shows the china cabinet into the hallway up the stairs. You can see our giant purple doors in the living room through the hallway.

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The second picture shows our library. The dining room had this little nook that I can only assume was supposed to house the china cabinet, but it fit our big awesome new bookcases so well that we had to go with it being a cozy library nook. The Architect’s office recently moved, and their new space didn’t need these, so he brought them home with him. They’re huge! They’re eight feet tall! (Good thing our house doesn’t have low ceilings).

dining room before library

So we bought some red paint and got our paint on. And it looks so good now! Like a room that someone put some thought into rather than a renter space with some furniture thrown in. (You’ll have to forgive the haziness with the light in some of these. It was raining out, so I had to turn on the chandelier even though it was too bright). 

The china cabinet view again:

dining room painted 4The library:

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The window with the Ti Amos in view:

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And finally, the wall with the awesome art we commissioned from Kyle Fisher:

dining room painted 3Oh, and I should definitely point out the Architect’s tablescape. He’s famous for his tablescapes. A few new friends of ours are moving onto a boat, so they are getting rid of some of their belongings, including this Aalto vase that they gave to us. The Architect has a sense of humor though, so he put a silicone chicken pot holder eating a sprig in it. I love him. He’s awesome.

dining room after vase

The room is so bright and cheery now. Paint is such a good thing for making a space seem like yours.

I said no haterating

K on treeThe Artist and I like to hang out. Really, hanging out with each other is quite a lot of fun. We’re both sort of artistic and like to make things.

So, when I took off for Valentine’s Day to spend the day with him (we’ve made it a tradition to take off Valentine’s Day to be together), we decided we’d have a really awesome time together. We planned to go to the art museums in town, but unfortunately there had been a snowstorm and everything was closed 😦

So instead we walked to a neighborhood coffee shop and drank some coffee while playing Zombie Flux, which is totally a fun game. Then I got a great idea. We would make art together!

We went to the thrift store and bought this really bad piece of art.

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Ok, so it’s maybe not the WORST art, but it’s pretty bad. However, we thought it would be a great canvas for an art project we’ve been planning on doing for a while.

First step: take it home, wash the frame and the painting and get started painting over the sun-bleached mat.

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While I was doing this, the Artist was working diligently on his computer making the design for our art. The plan was for him to make a vinyl decal in the shape of his design. Luckily, he has a vinyl cutter, so this was made fairly straightforward. Without such a tool, you’d be limited to the many awesome decals for sale on etsy and elsewhere on the internet.

So, once the decal was cut, we just had to lay it out on the artwork. Easy enough.

Laying decals

The Artist only had a little bit of brown vinyl left, so we used it up and finished with black. Once the decal was in place, we just painted over the whole thing with some paint that goes with our decor.

Painting!

Then we just peeled off the decal. In some places we had to use an exacto knife to peel off the letters.

Peeling!

And then we were left with this awesome piece of art! When it gets warmer outside we’re going to spray paint over the frame, which is just such an awful shade of gold. We’re going to paint it chrome, which will go better with our decor.

Awesome love art!

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Ti Amo: Pictures of a Love Story

S on SnowdoniaIn honor of Valentine’s this Friday, I thought I would tell a little love story about a piece of art in our house.

The Architect and I were in a long distance relationship for a very long time. Five years to be precise. One semester, he went to Rome, and it was awful and we were both sad and lonely. But that sadness and loneliness gave us some art that has traveled to every place we’ve lived together. The Ti Amos.

When he was in Rome, the city’s romance made him feel very lonely and left out. (Or antsy to be with me? Maybe it was the Rome Ants?) It seemed that every where he went, the walls and streets were covered in the words “Ti Amo,” which is Italian for “I love you.” The sidewalks filled with couples in love. And in the midst of all that love, he was without me, his love. So he started a photograph project to document the city and its love-filled walls and streets. Here are a few of my favorites:

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And, as the culmination of that project, he made these two pieces to hang in our home:

Ti Amos

Here they are in our last apartment:

loft ti amosHe made them by putting masking tape down on the paper on the black one, coloring it in with pastels, and then peeling the tape off and rebuilding the drawing on the white one.  He used the same technique to make art as a souvenir for his brother and his parents. Here’s a closeup of the one for his parents that gives a hint about the technique:

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And finally, here are the full pieces he gave his parents and his brother. The one for his brother is a picture of Mario because that was his brother’s nickname in high school:

Final until broken 088And his parents is a picture of the Colosseum after dark.

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Anyway, have I mentioned I have a talented husband? The art he makes fills me with such joy, and the Ti Amos remind me of the very tough, lonely times we got through together. And then how wonderful it is now that we can be together every day as we had always dreamed.

Refashion Friday: Green Space Dress

S on SnowdoniaThis week’s Refashion Friday is a little late because I had a date with my husband. We went to see a showing of The Fountainhead. He felt like he should see it because people are always mentioning it when he says he’s an architect. We’ve never seen it because we don’t like Ayn Rand.  I’ve mentioned before that I don’t like her, but this movie was AWFUL. Almost every line was some kind of ideological diatribe. Gross.

Anyway, I wore my newest refashion, which started out as this weird green space dress:

IMG_20140107_223143Yikes. It looks like I’m going to live on a space colony or turn into a superhero or something. So I had other plans for it.

Fortunately, it was originally kind of expensive, so it was fully lined, which gave me all kinds of freedom and extra fabric. And this ended up being a no waste refashion. But also kind of complicated, since this wasn’t really just a matter of changing the fit.

First thing I did was to take out most of the seams:

piecesAs you can see, I took the lining out, separated the bodice from the skirt, removed those awful straps, took out the zipper, and took some of the piping out of the bodice. I did that because I am going to turn the bodice kind of sideways and the piping from the middle stripe didn’t go all the way around the back, so if I left it, it would have just ended in a weird spot on the front.

The next thing I did was to sew the bodice back together and hem the edges that I’d had to undo to remove the lining. Then, I pinned along the bodice to change its shape since I decided to make it the waist section instead of the bust.

bodice2I sewed along that line. Then I fudged around a bit until I made it fit nice.

Now, I didn’t have the bodice. I decided to make the lining bodice into the new bodice so that I didn’t have to make a whole new one. So I sewed that to the new waist section.

bodice and waistAs you can see, I changed the circle and half circle into a kind of chain. As you can also see, my edges don’t line up since I’m rotating the decorations.

After that point, I forgot to take pictures. Once I got that attached, I attached the skirt. I took the original skirt and attached it to the bodice starting from the circle part, and left it open under the yellow half circle.

Then I took the lining skirt and folded it until I liked how it laid and sewed it on and attached it to the rest of the skirt. Finally, I cut down the side and then put the zipper back in and attached the straps. And then when I was done, it looked a little funny because of the seam down the front that used to be on the side. So I decided to wear the dress with a jacket, and then it looked awesome and kind of twenties-ish.

photo (4)I wore it out on my date to The Fountainhead showing at an art museum. Here’s me drinking some beer in front of an Andy Warhol, which is slightly more influential than our wonderful art that I’m always posing in front of. (Did I ever tell you guys about that piece? The Architect and I commissioned it from Kyle Fisher, an artist whose work the Architect has admired since he first laid eyes on it. We simply adore it. It looked a bit better in our old apartment where it was on a big giant brick wall. But I think it also looks awesome here, where it fits so well on that wall between our bedroom and bathroom that it looks like it was made for it.)

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And that completes this week’s group of Terrible to Wearable! This isn’t one of my favorite ever, but it’s now something that I will wear sometimes, whereas before it just made me laugh at it. So I think this refashion went to infinity and beyond!

Green Dress

 

 

 

 

Couch pillows, part 1

S on SnowdoniaI’m splitting this couch pillow project into two posts because I have a mad cold right now, and I just want to sleep instead of sewing throw pillows. You will have to forgive me.

Anyway, something has been bothering me about our living room, which is that it is much too brown/ beige. “But everything in your house is so colorful; how can this be!?” I know that’s what you’re thinking right now. I’m psychic.

But, our couches are brown, the carpet that came with the apartment is beige, the walls our beige, our throw pillows are all beige, the coffee table is wood, the shades that came with the apartment are brown…you get the picture. Here, allow me to demonstrate with two before pictures. You can see that if you are actually sitting on the couch, you don’t get any color. There is color in the room behind the couch, as you can see in this picture:

Couch wall before

But here is the view if you are actually sitting on the couch, which is actually something we do sometimes, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have a whole room decorated around the view of the couch.

short couch beforeSee? Brown, brown, brown, brown, and more brown.

We’ve hated our throw pillows since we got our couches. They came with the couches, and are just the most boring. That striped pillow is actually a sham that used to live in my bedroom, but came out to the living room just to get some kind of color in there. Our couches actually originally also came with four more throw pillows (because apparently there are supposed to be so many pillows on a couch that you can’t actually sit there?). Those four pillows were even uglier because they had GIRAFFE PRINT on them. Like, the splotches on the skin of a giraffe. Apparently we want our upholstery to look like we went on safari and killed endangered species to get it. So those went to the thrift store.

But, back to the pillow project. We’re starting out with that striped one. The color just wasn’t vibrant enough to combat that much brown, so away goes the sham, and hello comes this size 22 blouse acquired at the local thrift store.

tee shirt beforeThe pillow was 22″ across, so we had to shop in the larger sizes for something that would go with the pillow. This shirt was a clear winner because we liked the ruffles and the color goes with the little purple frame on the wall behind the couch. This pillow will now live on the couch under the wall, so we wanted it to look pretty with the art. Now, all I had to do was make the shirt into a pillow.

First step, close the neckline at the first place I could get 20″ across. It would have been better if this was underneath the armpits, but the shirt was too short for that, so our pillow will have arms. (just kidding. My sicky brain is now picturing a project that is actually a pillow with arms that will hug you while you are watching tv, until you watch a scary movie because the pillow hates scary movies, and then it brandishes a fork at you that it stole off the plate of food that you forgot you were eating because the movie was too scary.)

closing the neckline

Pin and sew!

Next step, pin down the sides, and sew. This picture makes it look like the pins aren’t straight but I promise those are two straight lines 20″ apart.

pinning the sidesI decided not to cut off the excess on this project because I am sick and lazy, and also because the ruffles will hide a multitude of sins. So when I put the pillow in my new pillowcase, I just folded all the excess so it would lay flat, and then hand stitched the bottom. That didn’t photograph well at all, so you just have to trust me.

And now there’s slightly more color in our living room!

AfterStay tuned next time for the exciting conclusion! That brown pillow in the foreground of this picture will be brown no longer!)

Two half makeovers (Kitchen is Finished! Jacket is Short!)

S on Snowdonia

Happy New Year! What a ride it’s been since last year at this time. K and I had just returned home from Christmas festivities with the family, but the next day instead of going to work, we had to fly to the midwest to see our grandmother on her death bed. She was born in 1919, so she had lived to see so much.

2013 was a year of big changes for your resident egg halves. K got her MBA and moved in with her long distance boyfriend of five years. The Architect and I moved here to be with her. I got my worm bin and started growing plants for the first time ever. I sewed through my finger with my sewing machine. And now this week the Architect is starting his new job here. I am looking to 2014 to find a new career and explore. Now that he has a job, it isn’t so critical that I find one right away, so I’m planning to take my time and make sure I find a job I truly want.

And now I’ll jump back into Two 1/2 Eggs land. Here’s a reminder of some of our favorite posts from this, our first year blogging.

Posts by me:

First Wedding Anniversary

Refashions and more refashions

A Goodbye Apartment Dance

Posts by K:

Making Bath Salts for Relaxation and Gifts

Ren Faire Fun

Table Surgery

And now, without further ado, we move to this weeks’ projects. Back home visiting my mother, I made her a Christmas present of a refashioned jacket out of a too-large denim jacket I found at a thrift store:

Mom jacket beforeAs you can see, it isn’t the most flattering thing you’ve ever seen. This refashion was a bit more involved than most of them I do. I took out the seam at the hem of the lining, took in the jacket through the shoulders and back, cropped the jacket, and then rehemmed the bottom. It came out looking rather lovely, if I do say so myself:

TuMama1

Ahhh. That’s better.

You can also see our other project in the background of that photo. Yes, the Architect and I finished the kitchen makeover that K and the Artist started at Thanksgiving. When we arrived at my parent’s house for Christmas, this is the state of the kitchen. Exhibit A: missing wallpaper.

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Exhibit B: The cabinet pulls don’t go with the light switch covers.

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For problem A with the wallpaper, we simply installed it along the chair rails around the room. It was pretty simple. The wallpaper was pre-glued, so all we had to do was wet the backs and then smooth it over. We used a razor and a putty knife to get it tight in the corners. Here’s the Architect being awesome.

IMG_20131224_110408 (1)As you can see, the wallpaper is little coffee cups. We decided to go with a little French cafe look for the kitchen, so little coffee cups was step one.  The next thing to do was to fix the cabinet pull situation. Mom had these ugly beige pulls that had come with the house, and the Architect decided they were just the thing.

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The metal tabs on the end went with the outlet covers, but the beige was just so drab looking. So we acquired some spray paint that’s formulated to stick on enamel, and dismantled the handles, leaving this big pile. The drab color is washed out in this photo, but you can see how dirty they were.

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We cleaned them off, and then the Architect put some nails in some boards and then spray painted the hands with nice, even coats.

IMG_20131227_113800Then we put them back together. You can see what a difference the spray paint made for the color in this photograph:

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We installed those, changed out the big painting on the wall to something that definitely looks more French cafe, and did a little styling. And the kitchen makeover is complete! Before I show you the beautiful after photos, though, I thought I would go ahead and remind you what the whole thing looked like before K and the Artist painted at Thanksgiving.

BeforeAlright, here goes!  The suspense is killing you, right?

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Oven after

Our kitchen’s cutesy details

S on SnowdoniaOur kitchen floor is big enough, beautiful enough, and wooden enough that it makes a successful replacement for a dance studio. This is incredibly convenient, considering I am a professional dancer. To have rehearsal, we simply move the table out of the way.

I was having rehearsal a few days ago with a choreographer and another dancer for a show we’re preparing for. I had never met this other dancer, and she had never been in my house. Over the course of the rehearsal, she fell in love with our kitchen. It was so much fun to see it through new eyes as she noticed the cutesy and fun details we put into it. Most of them were put in by the Architect. I thought I would share with you her process of discovery in our kitchen.

First she noticed la mouton from La Petit Prince. The Architect made it. He has this hobby where he cuts pictures out of thick paper, then puts them over a dark background.

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La mouton has a companion piece on the other side of the house. But she noticed and recognized the little guy, and got really excited. The other piece is from another part of the book, with the phrase “S’il vous plait, dessine-moi un mouton!” For those of you who don’t speak French, that means “Please, draw me a sheep!” It’s from a part of the book where the prince is lost in the desert and needs a sheep. We like to picture the prince watching over his sheep who is chewing on baobab trees in our kitchen.

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Then, she noticed our flour.

SAM_2158And then she noticed our tea. We keep our tea in little numbered jars to keep track of which tea is which flavor. We’re loose leaf tea fans.

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And on one of the wooden pillars in the room, we have hung a piece of slate where we have our tea menu.

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The other thing about our kitchen is that a lot of the decorations are from our wedding, which was in October. In the picture below, you can see our seating arrangements and a few signs from the bar.

namesBut my favorite detail about the kitchen is the “to get” list. It brings back very happy memories. See how there’s a chunk missing out of the bottom corner of the piece of slate?

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That happened during our wedding ceremony. We had our wedding ceremony out in the forest, and right in the middle of my vows, a black walnut fell out of the sky, and landed on this piece of slate, which was holding our marriage license. It left a stamp mark on the witness line. So every time I see that little missing corner, I remember how blessed our wedding day was. Which, seriously, was so very blessed and happy.

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