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.

dining room before 2

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:

library

The window with the Ti Amos in view:

dining room painted 2

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.

Advertisements

New House and New Bathroom Curtain

S on SnowdoniaWe moved to a new house over the weekend. Pardon the dust, it’s piles of stuff everywhere that hasn’t been put away yet and things. But it’s so much bigger and better than our apartment, and there’s room for the Teacher, who’s arriving on Saturday. Yay! We are so excited for her arrival.

So, as you have probably guessed already, you are in for weeks of house project related posts as we get settled in our new space. Today’s project was quick and easy. During the move, our beloved elephant shower curtain got a pull and a hole on it, and was ruined. Sad face.

elephant before

So we went and got a new shower curtain with raindrops on it. We wanted to make sure the colors were similar, since we have a matching elephant soap dispenser. Look how pretty! (Don’t mind the towel on the floor. We have yet to find our bath mats.)

new shower curtainThen, we were left with the problem of the tiny bathroom window. It had an eensy weensy tension rod on it, but no curtains or blinds. Actually, our entire house doesn’t have any blinds. Alas, we needed a curtain because even though the view out the bathroom window is of a roof and some bamboo, I still need some curtains for after-dark showering.

bathroom window

And so I came up with a brilliant and money-saving plan for this window. I made it a new curtain out of the elephant shower curtain! Just a snip and a hem. Done! Except this picture is weird and washed out because cameras don’t like looking at windows that have light streaming in. I did what I could.

new curtain

 

Wee! New house projects! More to come, I’m sure. This house has a lot of firsts for us, so we’re figuring out how to work with them. It has: our first working fireplace, our first third floor, our first half-bath, our first bathroom on the main floor of a two-story house, our first whirlpool tub, our first mudroom, and our first place with FIVE residents. Five people. The Architect’s best friend said we are really starting a commune. Perhaps we are, but I say that old saying about the more the merrier knew what it was talking out. Having lots of people in your house is the best.

In other news, our half bath is pretty ridiculously big, especially for the overall size of the house. I have never seen a bigger half bath, even in houses that are much larger than this one. It’s so big, we had to put a table in there for it to make any sense at all. Look at that pretty table the Architect made. And some reading material. The book is called “All My Friends are Dead.” It’s pretty good. The Architect thinks we should replace it with “Everybody Poops.” I’m not sure how I feel about that. Thoughts?

half bath

Refashion Friday: Scrappin’

S on SnowdoniaAll these refashions I do leave me with a lot of leftover fabric bits. I try not to throw away too much spare fabric, so I keep it around for when I have little projects I might need it for.

So, today I’m going to show you three little scrap projects I’ve completed lately where the leftover fabric lying around has come in handy.

First off, I made a sunglasses case out of the leftover shoulder pads from my Valentine’s dress. I got the idea for this one from Refashionista. What I did was take the two shoulder pads and sew the long sides together:

sunglasses case in progress

Then I stitched together the tops of the arches, and I was done.

finished sunglasses case

Another scrappy project I did was repairing my ballet slippers. I’m only teaching ballet these days, not performing, so what my shoes look like doesn’t really matter all that much. And ballet slippers get holes in them all the time. We had some upholstery fabric lying around from when we reupholstered our kitchen chairs, so I used a little bit to patch up my shoes.

ballet slipper repair

And finally, the Architect and I have a hamper with four sections, so that we can sort clothes as we put them in the hamper. Unfortunately, the four sections look identical and we kept getting confused and mixing all the clothes together anyway, thus making it a pointless hamper. So I used some scraps I have to color-code the fronts of the hampers. Now we know where to put our whites, darks, colors, and reds.

hamper

The end! Today’s lesson: scraps are handy.

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.

CAM00049

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.

Gray

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!

CAM00062

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:

vicenza=venezia 132

268

Florence 017

IMG_2896

IMG_2961

Rome-outside 277

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:

Final until broken 003

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.

Final until broken 090

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.

Couch pillows, part 2

S on SnowdoniaBefore I get to the couch pillows, I feel like I should take a moment and say something sad about my mom (and the Architect’s mom). Our parents live in Alabama, a part of the South that is getting the crazy snowstorm, and our mothers can’t get home tonight. The Architect’s mom is stuck spending the night at her office. My mom spent four hours to go less than five miles trying to come home, and is ending up spending the night at the Botanical Gardens. It’s pretty scary how something as little as 1″ of snow can completely dismantle everything down there, and the fact that people are practically refugees over something so small. But the streets were not salted or sanded because the South isn’t used to preparing for something like this.

http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2014/01/what_you_need_to_know_about_me.html

So keep our mothers and everyone else down there in your thoughts tonight. One of my dad’s coworker’s has spent the last four hours trying to get to pick up his kids from school. It’s nuts.

Okay, so back to our regularly scheduled programming.

I finished the second set of pillows, which were formerly these ugly brown ones that came with the couches.

CAM00049

So, when we went and bought the purple shirt that I used to make the other couch pillow, we also bought this cool teal and purple silk shirt that i wanted to use for the two brown pillows. But I decided not to just cover them, but to cover only the brown side, leaving the side that matches the couch so that they would still look like they came with the couch and like we bought the coolest couch ever.

CAM00075So the first thing I did was to separate the front of the shirt from the back, so I could use each side for a pillow. I also took the pillows apart. This was easy. First I found the side of the pillow that was top-stitched (all pillows have a top-stitched side, that’s how they get the stuffing in.)

CAM00073I unpicked that seam, then I pulled out the filling, which turned out to be green!

CAM00074Then, I flipped the pillows inside out and went over the seams with some pink chalk so I wouldn’t loose track of where the seams go.

CAM00076After that, I took out the rest of the seams around the pillows. It was pretty easy since the upholstery thread was pretty thick and the stitches were pretty long. I did it by hand.

CAM00077After that, I pinned the new shirt pieces to the front of the brown fabric. I used the brown fabric as a backing on the silk. Since the silk is such a thin fabric, the pillow would have come out lumpy feeling if I hadn’t backed it with the thicker brown fabric.

CAM00080I cut the excess off, and then I pinned the brown/silk combo to the other side, right sides facing. I also made sure that the decorative piping was on the right side of my seams (in this case since it was inside-out, the piping went inside of my seams). I stitched all the way around the three sides that weren’t top-stitched before. I did it by hand because I don’t have a big industrial machine and I couldn’t fit the piping under my machine’s foot. If you did this with a pillow that didn’t have piping, this would be quick and easy on a machine. As it was, I just stitched while we watched The Lord of the Rings. I didn’t get a picture of this part because it wasn’t easy to photograph. Then I flipped the pillow right side out again, put the stuffing back in, and pinned it like so:

CAM00081The pillow didn’t have piping on this fourth side, so I made sure when I pinned it that the beige side folded higher than the silk to give the appearance of piping. Then, I sewed this side with my sewing machine. I had to get the Architect’s help to smush the filling a bit while I sewed.

sewing machineThen, I hand stitched the last two corners, and voila! The view from our couch area is much less brown!

after verticalAnd here’s the view that includes our art:

after overallAnd then, the Artist and I just happened to find another pillow in our house that just pulled the color scheme together, don’t you think?

tostitosHah. Anyway, that’s it for the couch pillows. I wish I could send them and the throw blankets to my mom at the Botanical Gardens, but alas, she is hundreds of miles from me.

(P.S. There won’t be a refashion Friday this week because I will be getting a root canal instead. Apparently it’s a bad luck kinda week around here.)

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.

IMG_20131224_104949

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

IMG_20131227_101522

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.

IMG_20131227_101228

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.

IMG_20131227_102745

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:

IMG_20131227_164750

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?

IMG_20131225_133246

IMG_20131225_133336

IMG-20131231-00159

Oven after

An Egg Reunited!

S on Snowdonia The Architect and I arrived at our new apartment on Sunday night! We live with K and the Artist again! Hooray!

Except, in case you can’t tell from the photo, I’m sick. The Architect has been sick, too. We spent Thanksgiving with a sick baby, so of course we both have colds now. But he was cute even though he wouldn’t stop screaming! It was my first Thanksgiving with my in-laws, and I think it was really nice.

photo (1)

I’m so happy about getting back together with my other half. But I’m sick, and, to be honest, we’ve been much too busy to really enjoy or appreciate the soulmate reunification. We’ve got unpacking to do! The movers dropped off all of our stuff yesterday, and since then, our house has seen a veritable explosion of things with no home yet, empty cardboard boxes, and crumpled paper. I think we’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, though.

I noticed that some of our things are magic at making it seem like we live here. Those purple doors we’re standing in front of were like that. As soon as they were unpacked, K, the Architect, and I all kind of breathed and said it suddenly felt like our real house. And today, we accomplished our very first everyone-FINALLY-living-in-the-same-house DIY.

We had this mail sorter thingy in our old apartment, but never really found a good way to use it. Junk mail doesn’t even make it into the house. And I don’t understand why bills don’t go in the IN box? It’s not like we get a lot of real mail that isn’t junk or bills.

photo 1Also, p.s., see how much of a mess it’s been in here?

photo 2Anyway, I suggested that we assign each person their own box, since there are four of us. The Architect suggested putting letters on them in chalk pen, and the Artist took care of the rest. He’s fancy. First, he picked out pretty fonts to use. Then he printed out stencils using his fancy vinyl cutter. While it’s cutting, it totally sounds like a 1980s robot toy. Here he is working hard.

photo 3He used his fancy stencils to trace and then he filled them in by hand. We decided to use chalk pens so that the whole thing would be reversible in case we decided we don’t like it. Turns out we do like it, though. So we probably won’t wash it off.

IMG_20131203_144553And the final product! So pretty.

photoWe have named it Sbills Duh-junk Kin Dout.

A Vacation Decorating Project & Firefighting

K on treeWhile S and the Architect are driving across country with a stop in the middle at the Architect’s brother’s house for Thanksgiving, the Artist and I came back to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving. It’s always fun to come back home, and has been particularly exciting this time. Not only do we get to spend a whole week with my family, we have gotten to do some pretty awesome stuff. And eat lobster. Yummmm……

My parents have lived in the same house since i was in middle school, and have been remodeling their kitchen lately, but we hadn’t seen it or any pictures of what the actual kitchen looks like. We kept getting intriguing hints, like photos of countertops, or questions about which type of sink would look better, but no pictures of the whole thing. So when the Artist and I got here on Saturday, the first thing we did was go into the kitchen to see. And man, is it looking beautiful, even though it is a work in progress. Check out this counter and backsplash they put in!

O.M.G. That backsplash!That picture was for the backsplash. I am completely in love. It is white, but the bluish color of the glass shows through, and it just looks so clean and modern. It is amazing. Here is a picture from farther away, but the backsplash is washed out, which is why I didn’t show this one first. Because look at that backsplash again. Swoon.

Counters!The next thing I did after falling in love with the counters and backsplash was turn around to see that the rest of the kitchen was unchanged. It was still the same paint and wallpaper trim as when I was in middle school. Which, while not bad, did not go with the awesome new backsplash.

Before(The paint chips in the corner are anachronistic. I took this picture after we started on the project.) I thought we could paint the walls to bring out the beautiful icy blue undertones in the backsplash (my heart is all twitterpated over that backsplash). So we washed down the walls, took off the wallpaper and painted the trim bright white.

Big difference alreadyIn process. But looking goooooood. Painting the trim made a big difference. As a side story, my parents got that money tree when S and I were born. It’s been around a while.

Then we got to painting the walls in the colors they were meant to be.

Corner corner corner cornerYeah, icy blue! The top is Benjamin Moore Sea Foam and the bottom is Spectra Blue. The reason for posting late and it not being done is that when we were painting with the Sea Foam it was almost white, and there was no contrast between it and the trim. This photo was taken last night while we were still very unsure.

Then this morning we woke up, and look how beautiful it looks!

Daytime. Definitely blue.What’s great is that the subtle blue color is a perfect match for the tile in the backsplash (be still, my heart). So now we just have to finish painting and pick out a new wallpaper for the chair rail. Since we have to order it, we’ll be pawning the work of hanging it off to S and the Architect when they come for Christmas. Muahahahahahahaha!!

In other news, we got to be firefighters. My brother, Ole Redneck, is in the volunteer fire department in his town. When we were over visiting him on Monday, he got a call to a brush fire. We drove over and got the fire truck, put on the sirens, and drove over to the fire. We were the only ones to show up, so the Artist & I became volunteer firefighters on the spot. Ole Redneck told us which hose to pull out and which parts of the fire to spray, and we got that fire put out. We even saved a house (though that was really Ole Redneck since he did the part of the fire by the house). And after all the fighting, it looked like this:

ScaryLuckily, no one was hurt.

So, I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. Be sure not to start any brush fires.