Maya @ Maya Made has selected me to win a copy of the book “Markets of New England!”
I’ve been reading Maya’s blog for a long time now, and I love it. She’s super talented and has some great photos too. She’s got the life I covet… lives in an 1850′s farmhouse with creeks forests and meadows surrounding for lots of adventure with her kids. She’s got her own book coming out soon and I can’t wait to get my hands on that as well!! Check her out if you’ve got the chance! She also has an Etsy shop, which, after the wedding, I can’t wait to sink my teeth into!
Thanks again, Maya! We can’t wait to pour through Markets of New England and then go on treasure hunts for local artists and food vendors! Woot woot!
“Hiatus?! HIATUS?!” you exclaim. “But… you’ve already been missing for quite some time, Kerry! What gives?!”
Well, what gives is, our wedding is in 16 days.
Prior to this post, the hope was that I’d find the time to post all the good stuff we’ve been doing. But, though we did the stuff (WAIT until you see the color of the living room… ungh I love it!), and I DID photograph everything (well mostly everything), the time to upload and post has not been found. Between wedding preparations (we’re making a home-made wedding…this takes up A LOT of time), house preparations for out of town guests for said wedding (yup, spoiler alert! we now have 2 furnished guest rooms), and trying to make it to as many social events as we can so we’re not the jerks who throw a wedding and ask people to come when we don’t come to anything…(breath)…there just hasn’t been time.
After the honeymoon? LOOK OUT. I have BIG plans for this blog and they WILL happen. This blog will be chock full of all the stuff you want to see on a very regular basis. That is a promise and a guarantee. So, please allow us to
get through enjoy these next 16 days, followed by our 2 week honeymoon, and then we’ll be back with avengence.
Till then, please share any stories of your own about your recent home projects/etc.
Can’t wait to dive back into this!
Ok, well, we already had a dresser but, it’s in another bedroom because we knew we’d be getting a new one for our room. And, though there are certainly people with far worse troubles out there in the world, I am much happier without running into another room to grab some underwear in the AM. So, yes, finally, we have a dresser. But at first, we just had a crap-ton (yes that’s a technical measurement) of parts:
And more parts….
And more parts….
As you can see, we’ve laid everything out so parts that are similar to one another are grouped together. This is so we can make sure the box came with every piece it was supposed to before we get halfway through the job to find out we can’t go on with out a snarflat (reference anyone?). So, take this advice from skilled Ikea-put-together’er’s (yes!): pile all your like-like parts together, then, most importantly, group all your screws, nails, and little bits and bobs together. Mike and I decided to use our BFRC’s (Big Effing Red Cups) that we’ve had leftover from a party about a year ago (we’re not plastic users so even at other parties they’ve just sat at the top of the cupboard. Not to worry though, we’ll keep reusing them throughout life) to keep everything separate. We were sure to count each grouping to make sure they matched up with the amounts given in the instructions.
There were lots of bits and bobs for this big project.
So here’s where we started out. Ignore all the paper running amok in the background; that was what was inside the box.
If you look closely, the two long thin planks in the photo above don’t match the ones on the bottom in the photo below… Mike and I made a mistake and had to go back after many largely obnoxious steps and fix it. Instead of getting frustrated though, we just smiled through it and moved on. But seriously, trying to allen-wrench something while it’s on the floor is a B*tch and having to do it twice, realize your mistake, undo it, then have to do it again… that was intense. But we did it and soon thereafter, the dresser had some good sturdy bones.
Then we added the top part (not photo’d… whoops) and after that, the loud hammering started. We had to hammer about 40 nails into the back of the dresser. If you look along the edge, you can see my handiwork. Mike and I each took half and it was loud. The cats were not amused.
It was so great having Mike to help me… after all the furniture I’d been putting together alone lately, I was ready for a partner in crime. And I like this partner in particular… I get to check him out when he’s not looking.
Once we were done hammerin’ in the mo-o-o-ornin’, the dresser was ready to stand on its own five feet. We were pretty proud of how far we’d come. Mattie, however, did not seem too impressed. I guess she figures it ain’t over till the thang has drawers.
So we got to work on the drawers. Each working on our own set, I went flying through all the tasks like a cocky Ikea pro, and Mike checked each and every instruction before making any moves. …Then he gently showed me that I had done the first step completely backwards and I had to take apart all that I’d done and start all over again. Hahaha. Remember kids: slow and steady wins the race!
Check out the inside of the drawers! LOVE the yellow stripes!
And then, IT WAS DONE! It took us almost four hours (longest put-together yet!) but we did it! And I was instantly thrilled and brimming with pride! Hooray for something other than just our bed in our room! Hooray for accomplishing this huge task! And hooray for having it put together after a week of it sitting on the floor in its boxes!
Immediately after, we had some lunch, and then I set to work on completing the look. The stuff on top of the dresser is far from permanent, but it’ll do for now. From the left: 1: A jewelry box I bought in Chinatown when I lived in NY. It was like, six dollars and it’s awesome. I keep my Mac makeup in it. 2: A willow tree statue we got as an engagement present. Once more shelves go up in other rooms, it will get relocated. 3: A fantastic jewelry box that fits and organizes everything. I have no idea where my mother got it, but I love that thing. 4: A small light I bought from Ikea years ago that I threw on there so we can flip the light switch you can see on the left when we enter the room at night, and have some ability to see, whereas before we had to walk across the room to a lamp on a bedside table. Again, not a big deal but, I’m accident prone. I was sure I’d break a toe or something. 5: My Really Rosie doll. My sister somehow found this rare treasure a few Christmas’s back and I love her. She will definitely be moved to a better spot but for now, at least she’s out of a box. Nobody puts Rosie in a box!
From anther angle. I think we finally impressed Mattie.
Our art hanging above the dresser is a series of three covers from The Saturday Evening Post by Norman Rockwell. When I vacationed in Vermont, I went to their Norman Rockwell Museum and found these treasures. I’ve always had a love for all things nautical and sailor-related and so these were right up my alley. Luckily, Mike was an officer in the Navy so, it’s up his alley too! The first two prints starting from the left are special; the first is the only print Rockwell signed with his signature and his rank in the Navy (not many people knew he was ever in the military). In the middle, Rockwell depicts a sailor leaning on a building in NY while he hits on a young woman. This cover was really about the building he’s leaning on as it was changing or being taken down (I forget the name of it) but I loved the scene of the sailor hitting on the young woman. What makes this one special is, he drew characters from other stories in that issue of the Post along the bottom left-hand corner… and one of the faces is his own. It was the only Post that had his face on it; the only one in which he drew himself. The third doesn’t have anything particularly special about it; I just thought it was an awesome one and, framed the middle one nicely (both ends have 2 sailor characters centered in the middle with the same style title up top). I like when things are balanced.
So there ya have it! One more part of the room feeling more complete! Also, as you can see, we made an less-than-obvious choice when it came to the color of the dresser. Our choices were white, black, or brown-grey. The walls were grey… a dark grey… people often assumed we’d get white furniture to balance that out. But with a white bed, white trim on all the windows and doors, and lots of light (love it), the room was bright enough and, would’ve been TOO much if we went with the white. So, we went with the brown-grey. And I love it. I think it gives the room a bit of a maturity which is nice because it’s the master bedroom. It’s where we go to be calm and restful and I like that the bedroom exudes those ideas.
Whaddaya think? Would you have gone with a white dresser? Do you think having Norman Rockwell art in our bedroom makes us old farts? Did you figure out what a snarflat is?
I’m off to watch Grey’s Anatomy.
Here are some photos to show our progress from “empty house” to “move-in-day house.” As you’ll see, there isn’t too much different, and we kept out the photos you’ve already seen (for example, the bedroom, the linen closet, and the kitchen), but since this blog is all about making progress in a new home, we thought it was a good idea to chronicle this moment. (remember to click on each photo for a larger version and more info!)
Many of these rooms already look so different! You’ve already seen our new couch, and you’ll soon see the new paint job in the dining room. It’s coming along, folks! We are working at warp speed to get this place to where we’d like it. We know homeownership is a constant process and some changes (most changes) don’t happen overnight, but we’d like to have the majority of it done before our wedding (I know, we’re nuts) because, A: we have guests staying with us and B: we want to return from our honeymoon with as little to be concerned about as possible. And while a lot of what we’re planning for this house will be hugely in the future (the bathroom redo, finishing the basement, adding my photography studio), we still want to get the easy stuff (painting, decorating with what we have, making it livable for everyday life and entertaining guests) done as soon as we can.
Here’s to the next step in our progress!
What are your big homeowner projects on your “honey-do” list? Do you have any you could try to conquer in a weekend? Maybe try it this weekend and share your results!
Here’s a quick reminder of what the kitchen looked like on the day we bought the house…
And here’s what it looked like after we painted it a light blue.
Those window inlets will be painted white; that yellow was the color of the dining room and they brought that color into the inlets as well. We will be painting the dining room green and the inlets white. I think the white will separate both spaces better, make for a cleaner look, and also brighten up both sides a bit. That yellow is just… soooo yellow.
Another “before” angle… (ignore the packing boxes and bags)
And then after the paint… Don’t you agree it makes everything pop really well?! I had no idea the color was going to be as baby-blue (I thought we’d find it to be a light grey with blue tones to it) but I LOVE the way it came out. And, though I know we have lovely cabinetry, I didn’t like it before because it was all just too much beige. But now I feel like the cabinetry looks 10 times better and so different! I love it now!
A wider angle…
Here’s what it looked like when you first walked in. See what I mean about the beige-on-beige? The walls were exactly the same color as the cabinets. Too much for me. Too much beige for this colorful couple.
Here’s that side of the kitchen from a different angle…
And then the hallway. I love that the color goes all the way down to the end. Mike and I were really happy with how the kitchen turned out.
We painted the kitchen before moving in. We moved in on a Saturday and then on Sunday… our fridge was delivered!!!! And what a big honkin’ fridge it is!
But O.M.G. do we love it. We will definitely use up every ounce of space once we really get settled in. And yes, this fridge will be an OCD nightmare when it comes to fingerprints, but I already bought a special stainless steel cleaner for it so I won’t go too far out of my mind and can wipe it down any time I want!
What’s left to do in the kitchen:
- sand, repaint, and replace all the switch covers (more on that later).
- get a kitchen table.
- put up art.
And, though technically it’s its own little room:
- paint/fix up and reorganize the pantry.
As for now though, we are loving our kitchen now that it truly feels like ours.
Thoughts? Would you have preferred the all-beige look or are you a big fan of those baby-blues?
Mike and I came home from work this evening to find a gift bag in front of our door.
….It was a gift from our neighbors!
And what a gift they gave…
HOMEMADE IRISH SODA BREAD. Not just Irish Soda Bread, HOMEMADE. And not just any homemade bread, HOMEMADE IRISH SODA BREAD. aaahhhh!!!! Be still my stomach!
And let me tell you, this snobby Irish food lover (and baker of breads herself), LOVED IT. It was delicious. It wasn’t incredibly dry like many soda breads. It was perfect. I cannot believe how good this was. Mike could barely wait to get his hands on it. I can’t wait to toast some up for breakfast tomorrow!
I probably should’ve taken a photo of it without the Saran Wrap on it but, I ran the risk of Mike stealing it out of frame and running and hiding while he gobbled it all down before I could have any! Believe me though… it looked amazing.
We are so in love with our house and our ‘hood.
…Step into the parrr-lor… there’s a welcome there for you!
I thought this would be a fun post for St. Paddy’s Day! For those of you that don’t know, I’m about as Irish as it gets and Mike has got some Irish blood too. So, today, on Saint Paddy’s Day, I hung this sign…
The story here is, I grew up in a great house in South Boston, MA (basically, a bit of Ireland fell off and attached itself to Boston). When I was 16, my parents sold it to some hooligans. Then, about 3 years or so ago, the hooligans sold it to my childhood friend. I was elated to find out the new owner of my house (if it couldn’t be me) was this friend of mine. And she has totally made that place her own. (Perhaps she’ll let us do a house tour sometime.)
Anyway. There was a little part of the house that had a screen door in front, 2 steps, and a main door. Inside this little doorway there was enough wall for this little sign to hang. And it hung in that entryway from the time my family owned the house, through the hooligans, and then for much of the time my friend owned the house. Until… she found out we were buying our own place and, graciously gifted it to us. How awesome is that?!
It looks pretty lonely on its own but, soon enough there’ll be more on that little porch to keep it company. For now though, I love that it has a special place, near our entryway, just like back home.
(If you look at the reflection in the window, you can see me! ) And, if you look hard through the window, there’s the dining room…. we just painted it a brand new color and it looks great! Can’t wait to share! You’ll also sort of be able to tell the window was open… spring is just around the corner. Finally!
Well, Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, folks. Let us know what amazing shenanigans you got up to on this fine day to celebrate living, laughter, and love!
p.s. anyone care to guess what “Erin Go Bragh” means? No cheating and Google’ing… I know some of you know it!