Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Do You Do It?

Do it yourself, that is!

In this house, we're all about DIY projects.  There is an immense sense of satisfaction for us in taking something and turning it into something else.  Or starting from scratch and ending up with something you've visualized.

A few years ago, we found this door at our local Habitat for Humanity store.  It was dirty and beat up, but it had its original hardware (love, love, love original hardware) and it was the perfect size for our office.  

We had two pieces of leaded glass that were given to us by one of Mr. W's friends, and we wanted to use one in this door.  We had a little retrofitting and some painting to do, but  here's what that door looks like now:

As you can see in the picture, our office is a pretty narrow room.  There was no way we were going to be able to use pre made furniture and get a good fit, so the window seat and the bookcases were also DIY projects.

For the bookcases, we purchased unfinished wall cabinets (base cabinets would have been too deep) and mounted them on a base to lift them up high enough to use the same baseboard trim we used in the rest of the room.  We built the shelves separately and then installed them on top of the cabinets.  After that, we primed and painted and then added trim and hardware.  They give us a lot of storage for such a small room.

The window seat doubles as a guest bed.  Underneath the cushion, we installed the top of the frame from a cot (the kind you would take camping).  It acts like a box spring would in a bed.  There is more "give" to the cushion/mattress than there would be if it were sitting on a solid piece of wood.  It's very comfortable.  We ordered the foam and had it cut to our specs at a local shop.  I made the slip cover.   The niches underneath have storage bins.

Most of the decorating in the room is DIY, too.  The art on the back wall, above, is a collection of artwork my kids have done over the years, as well as some photos my son and I have taken.  Most of the frames are from the thrift store.  They were all different colors.  I spray painted them all black.

The desk is more a matter of repurposing.  It's an antique sideboard that belonged to my grandma.  I've thought about refinishing it, but I kind of like the flaws it has.  The pictures on the desk, all but the heart shaped frame, are thrift store frames spray painted black.  The doorknob?  We found it laying around somewhere in the house when we moved here.  I just like it.

On the wall next to the door, I have a really special piece of DIY artwork.  It was given to me by a fellow blogger, Joanna at The Fifty Factor.  She's from the real town of Willoughby and picked up this poster for me (along with some other goodies) at a festival.  I matted and framed it in, you guessed it, a spray painted frame from the thrift store.

I didn't want to display my collection of paperbacks in the bookcases, so those are in an old suitcase (I heart old suitcases) on top of the armoire in our bedroom.

There are quite a few more painted frames around the house with family pictures and photographs Mr. W. and I have taken.

Painting frames and accessories black is a simple way to create a cohesive look.  I found a pair of bookends (um, yeah, thrift store, again) that were shiny gold.  I loved the shape and the weight, but the gold wasn't my taste.  I sprayed them with black spray paint, but intentionally left a little gold peeking through.

You would think I had gone through dozens of cans of spray paint, but I only used three or four to paint everything I've shown, plus a half dozen more things that I haven't shown.  I really like the kind that is primer and paint in one.

When I can't spray paint something, I can screenprint it.  This was a leftover piece of deck board.  I white washed it and then Mr. W. and I screenprinted it.

We've done lots of projects around here and I have ideas for lots more.  How about you?  Do you do it yourself?


You can now follow me through Bloglovin.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Less Thinking Yet More Productive And Oddly More Punctual

We haven't had a home phone for almost ten years.  That's not entirely true, we do have a phone line that plugs into our cable modem (I think that's how it works, you'd have to ask Mr. W), but we don't use it.  I couldn't even tell you the phone number without looking it up.  The only reason that we have it is because we got a better package deal from our cable provider if the phone was included.  It would cost more to get rid of it than to keep it.  How much sense does that make?  In any case, it's not even plugged in.  You can still leave a message for us because the voice mail system works regardless of whether the phone is plugged in.  We don't check the messages, though, because anyone we would actually want to talk to would call our cell phones.   The only calls we get on that line are from telemarketers and political candidates.  Small wonder we never bother listening to the messages, right?

For a long time, we had flip style cell phones.  I loved my bright red Razor.  You couldn't do anything but make and accept calls on it (we didn't have texting in our plan back then), but it was cute.  I had a Breaking Benjamin tune as my ringtone.  We were happy with those phones until they became dinosaurs that dropped calls because Sprint didn't support them anymore.

Next up, we got sliding phones with the text and data plan.  The guy at the store told us they were a great, affordable step toward smart phones because you could access the internet with them.  We thought that would be a handy benefit.  Ha!  We got lost on a bike ride one day and tried to pull up Google maps.  After nearly twenty minutes of "thinking", the information finally loaded, but you couldn't enlarge the screen and I didn't have a magnifying glass in my saddlebag so the whole internet thing was worthless.  The camera worked pretty well, though, so I was able to take a picture of our surroundings and send it to the search party.

About six months ago, we finally caved and got smart phones.  As soon as I figured out how to turn it on and do a little bit of navigating, I heard the sound of angels singing.  Where had this tiny wonder been all my life?  I could go on and on about all the fun gadgets (I used the built in flashlight when we lost power last month), or gush about being able to wax poetic in my texts with no character limit.  I could also tell you how much I love reading ebooks or watching Netflix while I'm sitting in the school parking lot waiting for my daughter or tell you how invaluable this phone has been for managing our shop and staying in touch with our customers when we're out and about.  But the thing I love most is Siri.

Siri is the automated navigation app you can access by voice.  She is my best friend, my personal assistant, my secretary and my alarm clock.  She organizes my notes, finds information on the internet and reminds me when I need to do things.  It's like having an external brain, so much so that I've been considering not using my real brain at all anymore.

Truth is, I still have to think because I have to tell Siri what information I want her to find or what tasks/appointments/deadlines I need to be reminded of.  The down side is that now I have no excuse for being late.  I also can't say "I forgot" when it comes to important things like getting out of bed in the morning or cooking dinner.

Gotta go!  Siri just reminded me I have something to do....


You can now follow me through Bloglovin.