Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Found a Few Minutes

I know I announced a blog break earlier in the week, but I found a few minutes (with daylight for photos!) to write a bit.

Joe & I are still working on our media console project, and although it's pretty much finished, there is blue painters tape in the way and I don't really want that in my photo. So it looks like it will have to wait until I have daylight again before I can share. (I'm really bad at this break thing, I guess...) But I will say that it looks 20 times better than it did before and I love it and can't wait to show it to you.

For now I wanted to share this winter wreath that I made last year:
I made it using vines that I found in our yard. The birds & other pieces are from a craft store & the total cost of the project was about $13 because I also had to buy a new hot glue gun since I couldn't find mine.

I got the wreath hanger from Lowes when I was in Illinois a few weeks ago. We don't have a Lowes by us, which is such a bummer because I feel like their stuff is way better than Menards & a they offer more items that fall into my personal style range than Home Depot does. Although now that Home Depot has a Martha Stewart line, they may end up balancing out. 

As much as I want to love color in my home, I'm more of a neutral grey-white-brown-slate girl. Although I do love yellow and pink as accents. But coming home to neutrals after a mentally busy work day is what I need. Speaking of work- I am scheduled until midnight tonight. I am so very thankful that this only happens once in a great while...

Before I go, here's a quick story about Clem. Yesterday I heard him making a ruckus in the kitchen and I figured he was trying to steal bread (again). So I went in there to pull him off the counter for the 37293th time and couldn't find him. I figured he ran to the basement. Joe finally found him on the top shelf of our cabinets. He had snuck in, closed the door behind him and found his very own cat walk. Our cabinets span about 12' across and he can tunnel all the way through, as he (and we) learned yesterday. He refused to come down and claimed one of the corners as his new chillin' spot. 

So I had to climb up on the counter and pull him down. He's only gone up times...since then. And he found our cheese danish in the middle of the night and ate the topping off it. Yeah, he's a pain in the ass. Into everything, all the time. Did I tell you that we woke up to a bag of marshmallows and graham crackers on the floor a few weeks ago? He was trying to make smores. Maybe I mentioned that, I don't remember. Either way, we need to cat-proof our damn cabinets now. Ugh. He must have known I was typing about him because now he's throwing himself at me, so I have to go. Damn cats...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


My brain has been feeling a little toasted on the edges...although now that I think about it, there are no edges on that I guess raw on the inside would be a better description.

The last thing I want to do when I get home from work is go on the computer since I stare at one and "maneuver websites" for 8 hours at work. The other last thing I want to do is work on projects. I mean, part of me wants to. But the other part of me just wants to chill.

And so I've been chillin'.

Oh...and I have been doing one other thing, which is loving this poster:

Found via Creature Comforts

So consider this a blog break until early January....I know. Ugh.

Don't worry, I'll check in. But don't look forward to content any more interesting than tomorrow's weather.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Project

I should really be getting my Thanksgiving plans in order, but that would surely put a halt to my good mood. And when I'm in a good mood I hang onto it pretty tightly. Luckily I've been in a good mood more often than not for the better part of the past 2 years. Owning a house and having jobs that you like makes all the difference in the world.

So anyway, I decided to bust out the table saw instead of planning turkey day. It's the first time I've used it since I got it a year and a half ago. I could I go that long? It's because I never have any wood to cut, even though I always have ideas for what I want. But when you (er...your parents and husband) tear out shelving and a closet, you (i) end up with lots of perfectly good wood to cut up and make into other things.


Just an elementary quick-fix project for now. Of course I'm only in the first stage right now, but I haven't been able to blog for so long that I had to show you what I have so far.

I'm making this because I can't have the media consoles that I want so badly. I want two. And two would cost close to $1000 with shipping. Who the hell has that kind of money? NOT me. So instead I will spend $0 and make my own. I don't need drawer storage anyway, since we have no DVDs to hide.

Oh, and PS- I can't post this without saying that I have a super huge crush on the girl in the photo. It looks way better in the paper catalogue. Trust me. I know because I tore it out and it's hanging next to my design-y men crushes. You can't even see what I'm talking about by this picture, so no need to wonder. I'll just tell you that it's the socks, folded pants, sweater, glasses, hair and sweet tattoo. But it's mostly the socks.

Okay. Off to listen to Sonic Youth and sand and paint.

Monday, November 15, 2010


I'm not really sure where I've been over the past couple of weeks. For awhile I couldn't stop blogging, and now I don't have anything to talk about. 

I went thrifting for 4 hours yesterday. Nothin. That's okay though, because now I feel like I can put that $17 in a piggy bank and save it for something fun! I'm totally into that idea...the other day Joe and I were going to go to a movie (I was going to just so it wasn't another thing I said "no" to...) but we didn't end up going and we were supposed to throw that $25 in a jar, but I don't know what happened with that. Hmm. 

Anyway, I'm hoping to come up with SOMETHING that I can write about today, but it's not looking so promising. We'll see.

In other news, operation basement upgrade has begun. Stay tuned! Of course, it wont be finished for quite some time because the fireplace insert that I want is like $1900 or something. Damn that's a lot! I was thinking it would be like $900. I mean, we already have the (ugly) fireplace. But nope. It's way more. 

Okay, back soon!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Trying to Fill the House

Now that the weather is dipping, I'm beginning to notice more and more that our house is very stark-feeling. I long for the day that we have more furniture so that each room feels warm and inviting. It's slowly getting there.

Tonight I was painting the 70's-gold sliding closet door trim in our guest room and it occurred to me that I had a blue cart in the garage that I could use as a nightstand. I picked it up at the 127 corridor sale a couple of years ago. Initially it was going to be used as a table saw stand, but then I didn't need it for that so it's been sitting in the garage collecting dust (and spiders!) for the past year. I had some ambition tonight for the first time in over a week- today was the first day I've felt good in for awhile. No motion sickness, no headache, no neck pain...all totally gone! I didn't get all that much accomplished, but I did manage to drag this blue cart onto the back deck and wash it.

I'm sure the weather helped. It was like summer! In November! In Wisconsin! 

Anyway, I got that washed off and it's currently drying on the back deck. We'll see how it goes. When I was dragging it out there I saw a tag on it and realized that it's an old medical cart. Awesome! I have a love for all things vintage medical. And it's that perfect blue I talked about a few posts back. Bliss.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Ramble Ramble Blah Blah Blah

I think Renee pretty much summed it up in the paragraph under the image in this post. She put it way better than I did in the post that I've had sitting in my blogger edit section for the past week and a half. But fact of the matter is, reading blog after blog by people who are moving right along with house updates and buying beautiful new things for their home and their everyday life like it's nothing has been wearing on me. Hard. It pretty much grates my brain some days.

I would *love* to have some chairs for our dining room table. Maybe some window treatments for our living room windows which have been bare for months (yeah, we're on display at all times. I'm mostly okay with it only because I love driving by people's homes and looking in their windows at night to see how they decorate. So I figured I'd let the 4 people who use our road see inside our house, too...). If we had lighting in the kitchen that I could read a cookbook without straining, that would be grand. It would also prevent me from adding paprika or cumin to my oatmeal thinking it's cinnamon. (the cumin i caught right away. the paprika took a bite or so before i realized it.) And if I owned more than one pair of work pants or maybe a winter jacket, that would be nice too. It would be really, really cool if I didn't have to rely on thrift stores to get the things I need. Don't get me wrong- I love thrifting. But when I need new pants and can't find any that fit and spend all that time rubbing other peoples leg skin particles on my own legs after trying 8 pairs on, it gets kind of discouraging. And it feels kind of icky. I could go on, but you get the idea.

Anyway. Before I complain too much, I should say that the things that Joe and I have are nice things. It's not like we're poor- we have a roof over our heads and are able to do things with friends from time to time. But we'd love a vacation. And it would be awesome to just buy some damn window treatments already. And if the bank lady didn't condescendingly ask me "so, do you want this deposited into the account that you have 32 cents in?" that would be super.

But then after all these thoughts flurry around in my head, I stop and think. I could have a mind that didn't submerge itself in creative visions all day long. I meet a lot of people who don't have that. Sometimes I am envious because I know if I didn't wish and wonder about anything and everything, I wouldn't want everything I wouldn't even care about dumb wall colors or wonder if I can find an old funnel to turn into a hangy light or hoard files upon files of inspiration photos so I could rely on them to lend me a smile before heading to work. But most times, I am thankful to have a mind that doesn't stop.

Because then I can make things like this. And when I make things like this, I feel a great sense of gratification. And, to me, feeling gratified is like nothing else.

Don't Stop Till You Get Enough:

Okay, well that's all. I am listening to the Wild game on internet radio. It's 2-2. This is the time of year I wished we had cable, but I can't complain about these sweet accents that the announcers have. Dear to my heart. Oh. Especially because they are playing the Blue Jackets tonight and the Blue Jackets have Tyutin and I love hearing the announcers say "Tootin". Darn Tootin. So fitting. Even though I think it's supposed to be Tyoo-tin, but I like the way they say it better. YAY! Go Clutterbuck. 3-2 Wild lead. Okay, off I go. Enough Ramblin.

Friday, November 05, 2010

The Latest Addition. Haha. Get it? Not Yet? Read on.

Today we went to the Odana Antique Mall while our Toyota was getting serviced for a recall. Joe had the day off.

On our way to Madison, I asked Joe what he wanted to do while we waited. He said something lame like "what can we do that doesn't cost money..." Well that was not what I wanted to hear. I had planned on stopping in at St. Vinnie's on Odana and look for some dining room chairs and that was the main reason I tagged along. Anyway, after the rain left my parade, I finally said "Okay. We can either go to the Antique Mall or to the Arboretum." 

And so the Antique Mall it was. It's easy for me to go to there and not spend money since everything is out of my price range. This store is's like a museum. I have been known to stay there for three hours at a time, easily. And I spied a really great chandelier for $175, which really isn't bad for lighting, so if I happen to sell like 2 or 3 things on Etsy and win a few scratch off tickets, then I'll buy it. Although I don't play scratch off tickets, so I guess I won't be buying it. Damn it.

Well I found this sweet little stack of flash cards for $1.50 and scooped them up. I'm going to lay them all out in a grid pattern and frame them. They will end up being in a 24"x36" frame, which is pretty substantial and exactly what I wanted.

When I got home and began arranging them, I realized that they are all hand stamped which made me love them even more. 

Oh. And that plate thing. I got that at St. Vinnie's on Odana like 6 weeks ago for $4. I thought it would be a good way to add a little color to the house and it's cool because the blue and the grey match the colors of some of our walls. At $4, it was a little more than I wanted to spend but I was having terrible thrifting luck that day and I knew it would do a lot for our space. And so I bought it. It was the only way to feel like I didn't completely waste my 3 hours and 85% of my patience.

Well that's all for now. See you soon.
Dang it! I just realized it's Friday and I'm supposed to do My Friday Fix and I missed it AGAIN. Fridays must not be good blog days for me. I need to do better. Sorry. :(

Thursday, November 04, 2010

New Rule

So I have a new rule in my house:

To buy returned paint for $5 whenever I can. I'm one of those people who obsesses over paint colors for weeks and weeks before I can choose one. But I'm also one of those people who thinks that $50 is a lot of money (like, tons of money) which is about what new paint costs by the time you get the primer and the paint for one room. Or it could be $60 or even $70. I like nice paint (edit: decent paint. you won't find farrow & ball in my house. is that considered nice? i've never used it so i don't know. i've used sherwin williams and benjamin moore...oh, and yeah, decent) But at this rate, we're never going to get anywhere with the house if we have to save and save for something like paint.

SO the cool part about Home Depot is that they have the $5 screw up section, where they put the returned paint and the mismixed paint. Don't get me wrong- most of the colors are horrendous. And I won't buy it if it's Behr (sorry, personal thing...I don't like the way it coats). But I can't help but to wonder what these people were thinking when they picked that shade of brown, green or orange. It's not going to look good on the wall if it's the color of a post-it note or a hangover! But some of the colors are really good. Last week there was a really great blue. I almost bought it but I couldn't figure out were I would use it and I didn't want to go overboard with blue in the house. Then yesterday they had this lovely grey by Martha Stewart. They wrote what color it was on top which was helpful, so I went to look find the color swatch "Chinchilla". I also found the color swatch for the grey we used in the living room (Glidden Canyon Echo) so I'd have a general idea of what it would look like in my house in comparison and so I could get a better feel for the undertones. Greys are so hard. But I think this one is a winner. It was a huge help to have these resources at hand- you should try it!

So I wrote this post up but didn't have time to proof read or publish it before I had to leave for a bit. On my way home, I stopped in at a thrift store in search of some dining room chairs. I didn't find any, but I did find this cute little thing...

The coolest plant stand in the world:

Or at least what I'm using as a plant stand.

Isn't it so sweet? I was initially drawn to the color (the old enameled blues that tend to show up on old things are my favorite) but when I got closer I saw one of my favorite patterns:

I've always been a sucker for that circle pattern for some reason. I don't know why. I collect little things with that pattern so of course I had to bring it home. I originally thought about using it in the dining room, but it doesn't go as well as it does with the grey living room walls. But then when I was sitting here typing this post, I realized that I needed something for the corner in the hallway to hold one of my vintage fans. So that's where it ended up after I took the photo. Now it's the world's coolest fan stand, I guess. Either way- it's awesome. $9 wasn't too bad, I thought for sure it would be like $18 in which case I would have had to cry and walk away and then I'd be here telling you about it and eating massive amounts of chocolate. But at $9 I was totally smitten.

But anyway, that's all. I hope your day is going well. See you soon.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Still Laying Around

Well damn it I think I might be getting the flu. My knees feel like they have a migraine and my head feels like somebody shook it. And my neck is creeky and stiff. These are the exact same early symptoms I had in July when I got sick sick sick, but I got some shot so I shouldn't get that again. Although it still feels like it hasn't fully gone away. I call it wheezy lung. I'm hoping that exercise will fix it but I need new shoes for running and I have for a year which is why I haven't ran in a year. And finding shoes is like shaving with a dull razor in cold water. With no soap. Left handed. With broken fingers. In the dark. Because apparently I have oddly shaped feet and they don't fit the shape of most shoes. To make matters worse, I have thick feet. Not wide feet. Just deep feet. And small feet. They say I measure at a 6 but who the HECK wears a 6? Not me. Unless they are Chaco sandals, but that's something else. What a pain in the ass. I always wondered why shoes weren't comfortable for me, and last week when I was shoe shopping the fitter lady told me yeah, you don't have normal feet. That's good, I'll just add it to the list of Erin Wonkfactor. It's funny because before that day the only 2 parts of my body that I liked were my feet and my ears. And now it's just my ears. And even my damn ears don't work right. I did one in with the iPod I think. Uugh. That's okay, I make it work. For now. Anyway, so yeah- the shoe thing...that's why I live in flip flops from March till November. Because I HATE SHOES. But I love shoes. That's the problem. Zzzzz.

Okay, so I got a little bit off topic there, sorry about that.

It's 9:56 am. I've been laying here since 6:20 when I moved from my concrete bed to my couch. Okay it's not really a concrete bed but it might as well be. One day when I'm rich I will get a new one- I figure that will be in about 4 years, as long as we can remain kid-less. I just want ONE year (okay, two years) that I can actually buy things that I need and want! Like new running shoes and more than one pair of pants for work and maybe even a decent winter jacket. Winter, stay away for a little longer, okay? After all that happens I will think about kids. Maybe. Probably not though because I will have fun things then, like a bike. Although Joe doesn't want a bike, so then he can just stay with the kid, right? WOAH wait a minute, when did I start talking about kids....I just looked at the screen and saw that. Yikes.

Anyway, all I really logged on to blog about was that I'm laying here listening to Moby and looking at the new West Elm catalogue. I haven't been a West Elm fan in about 3 or 4 years. I don't know what happened to that brand, it used to be great. Now it's kind of bland. But there are a couple of things that I want. I'll show you.

Klismos Bar Stool, Counter Height, in Barley. $89. I'll probably just get a $6 thrift version if I can ever find one that's not lame:

Winter Tree Box, Medium, $24:

Mercury Votive Holders, $5 each. I'll take the four on the right. The two on the left look severely dated:

Okay that's all. I'm going to eat mashed potatoes and snuggle with Clementine (again...). He doesn't let up. Ever. He likes when I lay on him, actually. He's more like a dog than a cat. Except when he does his stupid whiny cat voice. Ugh. That's annoying.