Thursday, January 7, 2016

And once more: Happy New Year

Frankly, I just cannot believe it has been a year since I last posted here.
A whole year.
Time really does fly.

Life at  this little old house is buzzing along happily amidst bees and chicken and cats and dogs. While 2015 has not been the grandest of years, we were blessed for the most part. Little Man went off to middle school and is now taller than his mom. His mom did a whole lot of other, non-house crafts, and the Best husband got some much needed quality time in lazying about on the weekends reading and smoking a pipe on the porch rather than checking off items on the honey-do list.

After all this time just doing house and house blog stuff, we apparently needed a year off, both from house projects and blogging about it. And looking at my blog reading list we were in good company. Great company even, seeing that YHL pulled the plug on theirs.
Anyways, long story short, a day before Christmas the Best Husband and I whipped together a small project in the kitchen that we'd been stewing over for -years-. It came together great, we love it, and it has made a -huge- difference in how we use our kitchen. You know, the kind of little update that makes you go "Why the heck didn't we do this sooner?!"

So, I guess we got the bug again. There will be projects again. A few, every now and then, and, thanks to a new camera that arrived today, even blog posts with pictures.

I promise you at least DOUBLE what I posted last year.
Make that triple.

Much love,

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Almost There!

Just a day before my parents arrived for their vacation with us we had reached the following stage (of completion):

Also known as "AD" / "Almost Done" we were almost done with painting. Both body colors were up, and all that is left to do is fine-tuning, trim work, and the porch floor.

That will most likely have to wait until after the holidays provided the weather plays along with days that are nice and sunny and not too cold.

The color?
We love it!
We are ecstatic that it turned out almost better than imagined and envisioned here.

Almost there!

After the holidays we will be back with more exterior goodness, but for now, this will have to do (and it does because, omigod, it's so much better than the flaky peeling blue and grey mess from before).

Monday, December 15, 2014

Color Going Up!

With my parents' impending arrival we were buckling down for good on the last free weekend.
Nothing, absolutely nothing is as inspiring and motivating as your parents coming for a visit. After all, you want to show them a little bit of progress, and we'd been talking long enough about painting the exterior so we wanted that baby done (or as much done as the weather allowed).

While it rained on and off on several days throughout the past couple of weeks, that last weekend was just brilliant, despite a weather forecast that stated the complete opposite.

So we decided to get at least the front painted.
No kidding.
In the beginning we had vowed not to start with the front because we had seen the occasional house where -just- the front had been painted while the rest lingered unfinished and forgotten. It's so easy to get sidetracked, so easy to be swept away by Life. We didn't want to risk that. Since we had hired help (Thanks, Mark!) coming to our rescue, however, we thought we were pretty safe in that we would get all the house painted at some point this year.

So here we go, starting with the front.
We had
and now, finally, we got to apply paint!

Here's yours truly atop the front porch roof getting started on painting the upstair's Sherwin-Williams' Oakmoss, a dark, sage-y green, color matched in Benjamin Moore paint.

Yes, I'm crazy excited about painting and seeing how lovely the color is turning out. The husband was mighty proud of me of braving the heights - I usually refuse to work on anything higher than 10ft up, but I felt pretty safe on the big ol' porch roof; it was almost like working on solid ground.

While I was up there, the husband and Little Man were down below.

Since you are supposed to paint 'top down' here's what it looked like after the first of two coats of Oak Moss upstairs:

Isn't it lovely?
Isn't the crisp contrast between the green and the creamy antique white just absolutely delicious?
No, the window frames weren't yet painted - good catch!

The order of painting is
1. Top down (start at the top and work your way down)
2. Details and trim last

While upstairs was drying and putting to use every bit of daylight we tackled the downstairs, first painting the ceiling Antique White, then rolling on the first coat of "Bosc Pear" onto the walls.

The change is drastic, almost more so downstairs than upstairs because Bosc Pear is such a warm, rich color - a huge change from the cool pale grey-blue we used to see.

And then the sun went down and night made it hard to see what we were painting so we called it a day!

The next day we would return for Coat II, paying no mind to our aching arms and backs and feet!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Elfing Around

December arrived, and with it our Elf on the Shelf, "Barrigade." This is our third year celebrating the holiday season with the daily antics of our silly elf, and just as last year I'm wondering if this will be our last. Little Man is now 11 years old and will be headed for Middle School in the summer, and well, how long can you actually keep on believing in a world that bares it all all the time?

So far, so good. There was some empirical testing (he secretly touched the elf only to find out he was still moving through the house and committing his silly pranks at night - results of this test are, as of yet, inconclusive ... heh. Besides, we 'believe' that if you stop believing in Santa or, in my German case, the Christkind, you will only receive socks and underwear as presents) but he was and is still pretty excited to find the elf in the morning.

Husband and I enjoy coming up with crazy ideas to make finding our little elf fun to start off the day. Mind you, we have never used him as a parenting tool and/or in-house creepy stalker secret agent - we have fun with it, and leave the rest to Little Man's imagination.

So here are a few shots of our elf from this year - more to follow! Enjoy!

Rough trip back from the North Pole 
or feeling sympathetic to Little Man's minor foot surgery?

Playing Little Man's least favorite game with Enderman

Worst cookies ever - Do not feed (milkbones) to Santa!

Catching up on the chocolate advent calendar for Little Man - yes, he stole a piece of chocolate when Little Man wasn't up-to-date on opening his advent calendar. Bad elf!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

White going up!

Much to this short person's frustration, you star painting from the top down. That's the part I cannot reach and where I need the help of strong men who aren't afraid to, you know, wield paint sprayers and rollers at a lofty 20-something feet height and can physically maneuver that beast of a ladder I bought for this purpose.
I max out at 12' which is a whopping 10' higher now than before we bought our little old house.
I don't do heights very well.
At least not on ladders.

Anyways, since we decided to get rid of the ugly dark trim, Sherwin Williams' "Antique White" colormatched to Ben Moore Exterior paint was the first color to go up.

It's a sweet, soft creamy white - almost beige looking against a bright decorator's white - but it goes on beautifully and will provide just the right amount of clean contrast between our two body colors. Trust me, I know.
I tried.
The first white I'd chosen was just too bright so I mixed my own personal 'right' kind of color which turned out to be a dead match for "Antique White."

Nice and creamy.

It even looked kind of cute with the pale blue-grey that was already on the house ... and for a teeny tiny moment I was torn between continuing with our planned color scheme and just keeping the blue grey. I could see it working with a sea-glass colored porch ceiling, for example.
Very beachy.
Then the sun came out and we went blind.
It was so bright, we felt like vampires skittering into the shelter of the shadows cast by the trees, hiding from the searing burn of the sunlight reflecting off the house.

That made the decision really easy: Oakmoss and Bosc Pear it is!

Monday, December 8, 2014


Slowly but surely we are getting closer to color photos! I know this is a rather slo-mo type of reveal but it was a slo-mo kind of project, and that's not even counting the time it took us to figure out the color scheme in the first place (read about it here, and here, and here ...oh, and here).

Unbelievable but true, it took us two whole years to really decide on our exterior paint project (so massive KUDOS to you if you can make it happen faster than that).

After two years of waffling over the 'right' color, squirreling money away, doing research first on professional painters and how much it would cost to have the house painted by someone else, then how to paint it ourselves to save money, and then, finally, buckling down and getting started FOR REAL, we and our little old house were finally (three weeks ago, to be honest) more than ready for


I know. How exciting!
Well, it was for us.
Seeing the white (for downstairs) and dark grey (for upstairs) primer go up finally made things real for us. We were actually going to get our house painted.
This year!
No more peeling paint.
No more sad dingy blue grey.

Even with just the white primer it looked SO MUCH better already.

I realize I'm an evil tease dragging this process out over so many short posts but this comes preeeeetty close to how 'fast' we progressed, and I knew we wouldn't get anything done during my parents' visit over Thanksgiving.
Bear with me - it'll be worth it (at least that's what we think - we loooove the end product)!