Monday, August 31, 2009

Why Living in the Country is Cool, Part I.

So one of the many awesome things about living out here vs. living in Madison is that there are a lot more cool things to be found...for cheap.

Like this old wooden military box:

It's pretty solid and quite bulky. Probably the best $10 find to date. I found it at an Estate Remnant sale at a church about half a mile from our house. Everything there was super cheap...and they had A LOT. I bought a few other small things, but I only had 15 minutes before heading to work to shuffle through aisles and aisles of treasures.

I'm thinking about putting it on some casters and using it as a coffee table or something like that. We'll see how it looks with
the couch that I want to order from CB2. I have no idea when we'll find time to get to Chicago to test the couch out, so I'm pretty close to just ordering it and hoping for the best. Which is generally not my style, but with excellent reviews and my craving for a cool sectional, I just might take a leap. I mean, anything is going to be better looking than what we currently have. Our couches right now aren't that bad, but we don't like them and they are too big for our long and narrow living room (12'x22').

For now I am off to the paint store. My parents are coming this weekend and my mom was wondering if we wanted them to paint at all...then she said "well, you'll probably want to do that yourself though, right?". Haha, yeah right. I'm all for painting but I'll take any help I can get when it comes to large spaces and little time to do it myself.

PS- does anybody know what they used these big wooden boxes for? I always like to know the story behind my cool finds, but in this case, there was nobody to ask.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Heh. So Joe found a carpool, did I tell you that? I don't remember. Anyway, he commutes with 3 women from Mazo to Middleton Monday-Thursday and then on Friday he's on his own. Pretty sweet deal.

Anyway, one of the women is having this thing at her house featuring 7 or 8 artisans from the area on Saturday.

Since Joe is SO very thoughtful...ahem...he said something like "OH! Erin used to make things, blah blah blah, and she has lots of left over stuff since she's not actively selling right now."

Yes. I do have lots left over...all packed away in boxes...all in need of hooks or brackets or matte finish or something.

After much hesitation (mainly because I just don't have time for this sort of thing right now) and some persuasion from the other side ("oh, well I'll help you with things"...) I finished getting a little over half of my leftover stock ready.

I got up this morning to build a super quick display stand that holds 5 racks.

And all the other stuff laying around the stand are items that I quickly tagged this morning before heading off to work.

One thing that I do not miss about the handmade life is the stress that comes along with preparing for shows. Luckily Joe was able to help me quite a bit with this last minute shindig. He made most of my price tags and he also went to her house tonight to set everything up for me because I didn't get home from work till about 9.

Hopefully some of it sells. It would be nice to have a little extra money that I could do whatever I wanted to with and not feel guilty about it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

And So It Begins

Our basement is considered half-finished.

I'm assuming that this area qualified for the "unfinished" part.

I knew it definitely had potential from the minute I saw it.

It's going to be my potting area.

I wish I could call it a potting shed, but since it's attached to the house, I suppose that's not really too accurate. I'll have to come up with a better name.

Anyway, after raking the grass clippings from the yard, I decided to rip out the carpet in this room. There is this NASTY dusty powder stuff all over underneath the carpet. Most of it is stuck to the cement...but as soon as that's done, I can move onto the next part. I can't wait till this area is's the only super-dingy area in the house and to be honest, it kind of creeps me out in there!

Monday, August 24, 2009


Today was my first day off after the move.

I left the house at about 8 this morning to get an early start on the errands that have stacked up over the length of the week. I went just about everywhere from the hardware store to the grocery store to the shoe store and then about 7 other places. I finally got back home around 3. Then I washed our car. That took about an hour and a half, but it was really nice to be able to wash it by hand and then vacuum it afterward. Can't really do that in an apartment.

After that I watered our flowers for the first time. The rain took care of them (me?) for the first few days, which was a huge help when settling in. It took an entire hour to water all of them, which was about what I'd expected.

I bought 150 feet of hose today. Of course I had to have an orange hose, so I paid extra for it. I am collecting things that are orange and blue for garage and yard accessories. I mentioned that awhile ago, I think. Joe likes the idea of those colors because they match the Chicago Bears. Yeah...that's what I was going for. And now that I'm sitting here typing away, I see that blogger claimed those colors as well.

Anyway, getting back on track here. While I was out, I stopped at the greenhouse and picked up these peculiar little plants called Living Stones, or "Lithops". Their story intrigued me just as much as their appearance. So I bought 3 of them. I figured I was on a mad spending spree anyway, so why not.

After I watered the flowers, I took a walk to the back of the yard near the monkey bars. We have grapevines tangled around them, which is really cool. I can't wait to try them.

Then on my way in, I decided to check on our new friend. The previous homeowners mentioned that sometimes there would be tree frogs that got into the hot tub. I figured they were just talking about leopard frogs or something like that, until a few days ago when Joe said that we had a frog. I ran over and saw that it was in fact a tree frog! So yeah. It's been there for awhile, in the same spot, just hanging out. I had to lift the cover to see it, he usually hangs off the side.

Tomorrow has a lot in store as well, so I'm heading to bed. Joe found a carpool, so now we get up at like 5:30 rather than 6:30. It's okay though, being up early is nice.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Entrance Area on Porch

So I hope you are ready for what this blog is going to turn into...

House projects galore.

I'm hoping to do a few DIY tutorials as well.

The first (very small) project that I did was rip out what the previous owners had in this area of the front porch:

I replaced it with my small bird house collection...

It's only temporary. We'd like to put a wall fountain here, but it will probably wait till the spring.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Home at Last

So we finally closed on Friday.

We couldn't be happier. Actually, to say that we are absolutely smitten almost feels like an understatement.

The previous owners had such an appreciation for their home and it really shows. They were very detail-oriented and certainly clever. Joe and I keep noticing all these small details that just make sense. It's really neat.

Our weekend has been very busy, cleaning and packing and unpacking and cleaning again. But living out here, where it's quiet and peaceful, has a very calming effect.

We are so very lucky to have families who were so proud to help us move. They really made everything easier and it was nice to have everybody in our home right away.

I have lots of things to say but I should really get going. We spent the morning taking it easy, sipping our coffee on the front porch and watching the rain fall.

I'll leave you with a photo but if you want to view the set I have it posted on flickr.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


It isn't often that I buy things from my Wists.

And it really hasn't been a frequent occurrence for my to buy anything at all over the past few years (i didn't end up buying the chopper thing i blogged about a few posts back). I did go through a short stint where I was buying lots of stuff last fall, but that's because I could for once, since I had a good paying job and extra cash.

Anyway, I added these shoes to my Wists some time ago:

The Commerce shoe by Naturalizer, via Zappos.

Today I went to check on them, just to be sure they were still there. And I realized they only had one more pair in a 6.5. And none in a 7, so I didn't have a backup-with-thick-socks option. Eek!

I decided that I should buy them, for various reasons:

1. They are yellow. I've been wanting yellow shoes for a long time.
2. They can be worn to my fall/winter job.
3. They can be worn to my spring/summer job (although i probably wont do that much).
4. They can be dressed up or down.
5. They were the last pair available, and I couldn't find them for sale anywhere else online.
6. I need new shoes, as soon as sandal season is over.
7. They would go good with my new house. Or at least that's what I am going to tell Joe when he finds out.

I had them shipped to my parent's, on the off chance that they didn't make it here before we skip a few towns over. My mom will bring them on Saturday when they come to help us shimmy on over to Mazo.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Yellow Guy

I saw this guy when I was downtown last week and it made me smile.

We only have 123 hours to go...but who's counting?

Joe woke me up at 6:45 this morning and one of the first things he said was "Is it okay if I start taking down the decorations today?" I told him no, but that he could clean his bathroom if he wanted. I'm sure that when I get home from work tonight at least 1 thing will be taken down, because it's probably eating at him that I haven't begun to do this part yet. Actually, I know it is. Maybe I should take a few things down before I leave for work, just so he doesn't go into busy-bee mode and take down the wrong things.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


217 hours to go.

My excitement is slowly turning into an assortment of emotions...mostly all of them being good ones...but of course there is a sense of nervousness, among other things. My biggest hangup right now is that almost everyone is asking me WHY we would choose to move where we are moving, while they look at me like I have 3 heads or something.

I can understand where they are coming from. But I feel like they don't understand (nor care to understand) where I'm coming from. It's not the curious "why" that people's more of the demanding sort.

I don't have any regrets, because I know we are doing what we need to do to be happy. But you know how it goes when people rain on your parade.