Monday, April 14, 2014

Show your work!

There's something about a chalkboard.  As a child, I remember both the fear and trepidation of working out a math problem or diagramming a sentence and the triumphant success of doing it correctly.  All in front of the whole class.
There are also memories of banging erasers after school or washing the chalkboard.  I liked being helpful!

As of late, I've developed a new affinity for chalkboards.  I've even told my inner circle to watch for overuse of chalk surfaces since I'm so enamored by the flexibility of the chalkboard.  I'd hate for half of my house to be a chalkboard surface.  I'd never sleep at night thinking about all the things I could write, draw, and erase.  It would be a problem

I can start an idea, mess up, and erase it.  I can start again.  I can do it again and again until I get it the way I like it.  This constant reinvention makes it the perfect project for a home that's a constant reinvention for us. 

There are so many ways to use a chalkboard finish (I've been using them in a lot of different ways lately!).  The first one is the pantry door.  The interior doors in this house are not all that pretty.  Some we'll replace, and some we'll, well, reinvent.  The pantry door was a perfect candidate.

Depending on the project you have in mind, there is a chalkboard paint that will work.  For the door, I got a quart of chalkboard paint and a little roller.  A couple of coats does the trick.  Once it's good and dry, the chalkboard needs to be primed.  Just take a piece of chalk sideways over the whole surface then erase.

A touch of whimsy never hurt anybody either...

As a new feature, kiddos are automatically attracted to it and want their own go at some creativity. So as a word to the wise, give 'em the bottom of the door for a little bit of fun.

Especially when the first thing on the board is "The best people are Mommy and Daddy YAY!"

A chalkboard door is the perfect way to start a countdown to a birthday or any event or holiday.
I find myself wondering what to write on the door next.  There are so many things I could draw, so many words to celebrate and showcase.  I have ideas for my next chalk-scape, but let me know if there's something you think would be awesome on this door!  Between song lyrics, iconic quotes, and limitless graphics it's so hard to nail down the next pantry door feature...

Monday, April 7, 2014

Hello, there!

 Time to come out of hibernation!

On a lot of levels.  Ready to see what we've been up to? 

 A quick catch-up--
Still in the same enchanted house on the same enchanted street.  I wouldn't have it any other way! I've said it before, and I stand by it.  This house, as wonky and hard-headed as it continues to be, is more than our project. It's our home.  And I love hearing the house speak up every now and then, letting me know what it needs. 

 The more I love this place, the more it loves us. 

Being back at work full-time has taken a lot of time and energy away from our little abode.  But that will never be a reason to not press on.  This darling is still talking to me and evolving as we change how we live in it. 

I really look forward to writing again about how we do things in our circle...henceforth known as The Vortex (this lovely little corner of our town, because of such great neighbors, friends and family, is understandably hard to leave because the fun and love take over immediately).  More to come!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Sneakers

Oh, these sneakers. They've learned a lot of things.  They know things.
 They have been brand new...this is the weekend we got them in anticipation of first grade.  She broke them in at the Greenville Drive game for the Summer Reader Parade.  Shiny and super purple.
 She wore them to heft the giant pumpkin up the front steps to welcome Fall.  She's an ant.  That pumpkin was at least half a ton.
She wore them when her training wheels came off.  
We staged the 1st grade Sock Hop poodle skirt around those sneakers (no matter how crooked that poor skirt actually turned out.  I don't sew.  Want to, but it's not my gig).
 And those sneakers have gone all summer to day camp for a ton of adventures.  
Even Meg hates to see them go.  Or she's hoping I'll get distracted so she can eat them too.  Oh Megsy.
 Time for new year, new shoes...


...never know where those shoes will take you.

The one thing those shoes do know is GO TIGERS!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Summer Passport

I love summer.  I love surprises.  I love making plans (even indefinite ones. They may be the best kind!).  So when my super cool sister-in-law pinned  this on Pinterest, with the idea to make it a summer passport for kiddos, I was all over it.
The link appears to be broken, so I was just able to show y'all the image of the original idea. 
This is such a brilliant and super quick way to get excited about something.  Summer, the Christmas season, a big trip.  It was the perfect start to our summer though because we knew we'd be doing smaller outings and long weekend getaways instead of a full week away this year.
So about a week before the last day of school, I got a little blank book and started making a list of fun summery things to do.  Go on a picnic for dinner, go out for ice cream, movie matinee, dinner at the pool, etc.  The one fancy idea was a weekend at the beach (we had booked it months ago, but chose to keep that little tidbit of information from Homey).  Such a cool start to her summer!
The last day of school arrived, and Homey's parents of the year sprung into action.  We do that sometimes, when we can pry ourselves away from daily Porch Down time.  I had secretly packed Homey's things by keeping them in folded piles in the laundry room.  I had groceries ready and bagged, and we stole into the night (to the garage) to collect beach toys, chairs, and coolers.  I mean, we even packed our coffee pot because this little guy would never do.
Have Cuisinart, will travel!
 Since I had to put a few hours of work in that morning, the Mr. packed the car and got us ready to hit the road.  The greatest part of the plan was picking Homey up and just driving East without telling her where she was going.  So far, her biggest excitement was being a car-rider as opposed to going to after school camp.
Hello!  I am now a 2nd Grader!
So she hops in the car (filled to the gills with bags, road trip activities, boogie boards, etc.)  She didn't seem to notice.  I gave her the Summer Passport, and we read through all the fun things we'd try to stamp through this summer.
She still didn't really notice that we'd been on the highway for a while.  We asked if she wondered where she was going.  "Nah, *yawn*.  I'm just glad to be going somewhere."  Ha!!
Well, go somewhere we shall!  We got all the way through the "All Beaches This Way" signs, still nothing really phasing her (and we were 4 hours in!)  FINALLY, we go over a hill and see the beach in front of us.  Her response?  "Is that the beach?  Can we stop and see it?"  Um.  Yes.  We can.
After being thrilled about getting to stay in a hotel (add to list of Homey's favorite things.  "It even has hangers and an ironing board!"  Impressive, I suppose), she got to geek out about the sugar cereal that we never have at home. 
And other than a little tropical storm named Andrea, we had a blast!  Just a few shots of our quick beach weekend:
The sea was angry that day, my friends.

       More stories about our Passport fun to come!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The hall--another "room" checked off the list

It's hard to make something like a hallway priority when making DIY plans for the house.  However, it's hard to have a hallway as ridiculously bad as ours was.  Since the fix was purely cosmetic, I'm rather shocked that it good me this long to get it done.

This poor hallway didn't have a lot going for it.  Blue paneling with a wallpaper border (I tried to see if I could get the border off to avoid having to buy new such luck). 

Plastic wood-look trim that was so carefully cut out to accomodate various thermostats and ornate switch plates.
 A wall of vents (baseboard and wall!) that didn't actually work anymore (not pictured). I wish I had a photo since those awful vents were the first thing you saw from the front door.  Ugh. 
This is better:
 New paneling, new trim, new paint!  New light fixture (not pictured) more weird shadows thrown all over the place.

A place for photos and miscellany.

It's not perfect...we still need to get 4 new doors.  And we won't even talk about the floors.  We'll have to leave that fiasco for later and just be glad for two new runners to help cover them :).
It's amazing what a little updating can do to really liven up a hallway...I love it! 

Off to say goodbye to the last of the mauve carpet...stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bathroom reveal!

Three things we're not going to talk about...

Time Flies.  Life happens.  And I'm not going to talk about how I haven't had the means (mentally, physically, financially, etc) to blog.  The space-time continuum completely won for a little while. But I'm breaking back in (and totally picturing myself surfing on that ol' continuum and making it work!)  Because I love this blog! I've missed it like a childhood friend...

I love this blog.  I love writing. I love pictures.  I love my home and my life.  Gonna bring it back via the blog!

Excuses.  I don't love reading about them, even less...writing about them.

SO...let's catch up.

Let's remember that we had completely demolished the old bathroom.  It was original to the house...

Had carpet in it when we moved in...Eww.

It was rather ugly.  Pink "tile" (yeah, plastic.)  Blue bathtub.  Bulky vanity with blue marbled tile.  Blue potty??  Takes the cake all day long. 

So we tore it down.  All of it.  Because there was a plan. (And I love it when a plan comes together!)
Then in a true DIY kind of way, we kinda busted the budget, hit more economic bubble-type issues, but trudged on. 

It took longer than expected.

But it's better than I ever hoped.  Take a look:

 New walls, tile floors!

Pretty new mirror/medicine cabinet with Mr. Seahorse posted up.  (And the super awesome shower curtain matches him wonderfully).

Sea turtle watercolor.  Thank you Kindergarten art class!  

 Ah, Miss Mermaid.  I love you, so!  Great cast iron Fair find that was an inspiration to this room well before the walls came tumblin' down.  

Storage is essential!  I was totally going to buy this: .  Storage seemed adequate and size seemed to fit. A little pricey for my budget, but I loved the look of it! 

In a weird twist of providence, the Mr. comes home with this little gem:
 Nasty, greasy, rusty, restaurant cart from a closed down restaurant he came across.  I'm pretty sure he was hoping to use it in the garage but it fit the corner and offered the industrial look I was going for.  So I had a vision!  Clean it up, and paint it.  Cleaning it up took a bit of elbow grease, and a little Rustoleum Aged Bronze Hammered Finish.  For $Free.99 vs. $179, I'll take it!

What do you think??

More small improvements, ideas, and general life to come.  We're doin' things around here!


Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Sometimes there's a moment when you look around at the talent around you. The talent proper might not still be in the house with you...but you look and think "How awesome is this?!" I have several (and many!) favorite people but the two that take the top of that list consistently just shine when I look at this wall right now:

What a wonderful start to kick of Valentine's season! (There can be a season, right?? A season of looooove...) JMom brought over this Valentine's countdown for Homey. Little treats and surprises in each enchanting! It's just lovely...

Look! Look at the little birds on the paper! Precious. Along with the precious envelopes of treats.

Answer me this...when is it not fun to buy surprises for children. NEVER. Never is the answer. It is always fun and beneficial and enchanting to buy children surprises!

But what's funny about this one is that it made me take notice of the hook we hung it on...Scroll back up...Mr. B made me this ledge with hooks modeled after a page in my "Keep this page out of a magazine because I love it" binder. Made it from scratch.

Painted it.

Wrapped that bad boy up and put it under the tree on Christmas eve a couple of years ago.

I love this part of my house. It's one that doesn't need changin' (I change and move everything regularly. It's annoying even to me.)

I change the hooks out for seasons (and if your coat or hat matches my living room you can hang it there!). But the shelf on top...I'm used to it being there, so I don't study it so often anymore...holds delightful images. Awesome sepia images that make my heart happy:

This picture just makes me want to squeeze those chunky legs. And I am SO not consigning that bubble from Gymboree. This is classic Homey...survey the situation before you barrel in and play hard.

Then there's this:

Sweet picture...Hubby with coffee at the cabin on Homey's 2nd Thanksgiving. I love this shot. It's just the essence of the day ("Hey what are you doin'?, "Chillin' and full, you?")

What started out as an overexposed moment between Daddy and Daughter became priceless to me in sepia.

And the newest:

It came in the form of a Christmas card. My niece and nephew continue to be some of the cutest kids on the planet. No's the honest truth! This picture looks right at home with the Homey in Sepia homage (it's absolutely pronounced "oh-modge"! Makes me think of the "endive commercial".)


Seeing the start of my Valentine's display with JMom's craftiness on my homemade, better than I could find in a store, hooks just warms my heart! Favorite people=happy thoughts, and that's what i want my house to be. A place where Happy Thoughts live and thrive. Enchantment is a staple here.