finding delight in the mundane since 1936


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bloggin Blues

Can someone please tell me what the key is to publishing a successful blog?
Do I need to be a better photographer, a better decorator, figure out how to do 'giveaways', take a daily picture of my dog wearing a wig,  make a masterpiece out of popsicle sticks and paint, rant about the challenges of motherhood even though I'm not one?????

What's the secret? 
I have 10 followers and most blogs that I read have at least 500 (some have thousands)!
I thought I did a pretty thorough job of chronicling my bathroom renovation and I'm incredibly pleased with how it turned out, yet I have ZERO comments on that post! I've even posted it on other sites and I think they've been deleted!!!! Is it the shiny brass, the white grout on the subway tile, the lack of wallpaper, the commonplace choice of color? WHAT?! Maybe I need to provide a service, like selling a product on an Etsy page? 
Anybody need some flower pots made from recycled coffee cans?

I'm starting to doubt my creative abilities. Yesterday I re-arranged my den because I thought the Feng Shui was off...well, I don't really study that philosophy, I really shoot directly from the hip. I needed a change based on how I feel and what I know. My experience comes from the hundreds of homes that I've seen over the years, good and bad energy and my education in the creative field for color, texture, hierarchy, design, and layout.

Many years ago, when I was looking for a home to buy, my realtor showed me some real duds! 
One victorian house could have been a spectacular showing except for the combination of dark colors, heavy closed drapes, and large boxes of Depends and brown Lysol in the bathroom... 
I became soberly aware that first Impressions make a huge difference, but so does vision!
Another house was absolutely pristine and I could envision changing out colors and fixtures to make it just what I wanted but the owner had built a funky addition that didn't fit with the architecture of the house. It had really low ceilings and didn't seem structurally sound. Huff! 

Have you ever been on a home tour or decorator show house and just been blown away by every detail? 
Those homes were often way out of my price range but I got so much inspiration from them. I tucked those ideas away in my inspiration pile for just the right time.
I know my home is Far less than a matter of fact, if I had to sell it tomorrow I shutter to think of all the things an inspector would find, all the painting of trim that I would need to do, and the current state of my basement would ruin any kind of a deal!
But the first time that I saw it I fell in love with it and it wasn't even for sale! 
I happened to be trolling the neighborhood after a contract on another house a few blocks away fell through. As I was leaving the neighborhood I saw a painting crew working on a little bungalow...It looked vacant so I stopped and asked the painters if it was for sale, they said the owner was thinking of doing a FSBO and allowed me to go inside and look around. 
It was LOVE at first site!
I took notes of all the things I loved about it, including the baby grand piano in the living room (which didn't stay). I looked in a closet and lifted up the nasty hunter green carpet to see beautiful red oak floors. A four sided brick home in a historic neighborhood with gorgeous plaster walls and molding, a fireplace, huge attic and stained glass window in the bathroom. It was exactly what I had asked God for in my prayers! I contacted the owner and made him an offer (10k less than the appraisal) and the rest is history!
Back then my vision enabled me to move past some of the obvious flaws to see the potential. 
Have I lost that vision? 
Yes, my little blog has flaws, my ignorance of the blog-o-sphere being the biggest, but I hope that I (and others) can move past that to see the potential in it.

Is anybody out there?! Is this blog a dud or does it just need some polishing?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Modern Home Tour

I was a docent at this house for the 2011 Modern Home Tour. The owners bought the back area of a church lot and in the process had to take down several white oak trees, which were later planed into the flooring for the entire house!
I really enjoyed my experience, and the homeowners and architects were extremely interesting. 
I made it to all of the houses on the tour except for one.
This might have to be something I do every year to keep my design eyes open and as a way to meet people.
Here are some of my pictures:

I always want to ask a modern home owner this very important question,
"where do you hide your clutter!?"


btw, For me, this is the perfect mix of contemporary and vintage! I feel like expanding my attic just so that I can have a room that looks like this!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Look Familiar?

 on the Modern Home Tour 2011

Modern Home Tour 2011

A few posts ago I showed you my living room, which has two comfy chairs and a cowhide too!

Next, I have to work on the side tables... 
I'm thinking either one of these:

But I still have to work on a lighting solution...which may have to come much later, so for now, I'm just admiring the cow!

Modern Home Tour 2011

Cowhides are so soft to the feet, low maintenance and stylish. and Ikea have really good prices. I will post more on the Modern Home Tour as soon as I load the photos up onto Flickr.

Please don't judge me for liking this, especially if you wear leather soled shoes or eat hamburger.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I'll make this short...

...since the last post was long enough to be it's own blog!
Little red (my Canon Power Shot) is starting to ebb into electronics heaven. She looses focus every other shot. After just getting her back after loosing the battery for several months, I so depend on her to capture things, just the way I see it. I tweaked these a bit in iphoto, but I end up deleting many of my shots because they are just no good. She's been my faithful pocket pal for almost a decade so I suppose she's due for early retirement...

What am I gonna do without her?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

DONE! Check that one off the list!

For years I've tried to fix up this bathroom on my own so I could at least have guests over without cringing. 
When I really needed a roommate I couldn't do it because I didn't have the funds to complete it.
So I've been saving since last August and I FINALLY finished it! Most of what you see I have hoarded for close to 7 years so I really didn't have to buy anything new, I just needed the physical labor to do the hard stuff and an impossible deadline to motivate me. (I almost made the deadline: my college friend came to visit 3 weeks ago but the final sink wasn't completed yet, so we used a temporary one until the final one was delivered).

Forgive me for this post being so dis-jointed! I've jumped the gun and posted pics during my process and now there's so many that should sit side-by-side, from my research, inspiration, before and after that I haven't had time to organize them all. So if you have some time to kill, click on the links and catch a glimpse of the cob webs in my mind!

Just so you know, I had NOTHING to do with the BEFORE...I bought the house that way and just added towels.

Besides that,
I am very pleased with the final results but it's been a long hard road to get here!

click on the photo to make it larger


mirror from Ballards Back Room, given to me by a friend!

I've literally had this sink base since 2001 when a store, that is no longer in business, liquidated everything. It was the perfect depth for the space but I didn't like the sink top because I thought I could have something unique made out of marble...duh!! It took me years to be convinced that I couldn't find a cheaper solution and then more time to scour the internet for that original sink top!

This faucet started the whole process many years ago when I wanted to add a shower attachment to my claw foot tub. It's been sitting in a box for all that time while I figured out how to cover the wallpapered walls behind it and the wood floor up under it. In addition to sitting in the cradle, it can also be placed on  a hook, higher up on the wall for an over head shower.
(for money's sake I decided to keep with the brass finish of all of the towel bars and toilet hardware. I know I can perform some tricks on it to get rid of the 'shiny brass' look of the 80's but I kinda like it's warmth. Besides, I'm not trying to keep up with the Joneses!)

toilet pull and sink faucet purchased from Ebay and stored away until the perfect time!

mirror over sink: Lowe's (hoarded for a little over a year)
shower curtains: Home Good's (hoarded for 8 months)
shower curtain rings: Target
light fixtures: a store that is no longer in business (purchased in 2001)


2 layers of wall paper later...

mangy dog: priceless

click here for More of the Process

 right after a good priming (notice my shot list on the door!)
so simple, clean and serene...

little red is starting to loose focus...
love the light in this one.

air duct before and after! (so many details)

Bath Fan 

 found a square shade at Home Goods that wasn't attached to a lamp. Got it for $6 and secured it to the bath fan vents so that the light and vapors can pass through. Thinking about adding black runching around the edge to mimic the curtains or something similar to the shades on the sconces.

More of my Inspiration:

These shots above are from my buddy Troy's house that recently sold

also from Pinterest

And let's not forget some extensive research that I've been doing with my little red camera:



I think I went with Behr 'Tide Pools' for the walls...
it was the closest match to my vase.

Many thanks to Eric the plumber, my buddies Troy and Ann for keeping me motivated and of course, 
Many thanks God for His provision and mercy!