OMG, I PAINTED Something!

If you're not a recent Picardy visitor, you have likely NEVER seen this room. And that's because, in all honesty, besides re-wiring some outlets I don't think we have done ONE THING to this room since moving in 6 years ago. But it was about time. Well, not really. I just apparently like to start new projects when I'm 7+ months pregnant. It's very productive. At least that's what I tell myself. So naturally I decided that the office needed to be painted, and the first task was painting these bookshelf nooks

Like the front room I wanted these nooks to be white, while the rest of the room would be another color. I like the pop of white behind the books and the contrast between the wall color.

Everything needed to get cleared off, and then the nooks needed to get cleaned. Surprisingly this task took nearly 45 minutes. Who'da thought?

Then it was time to prime. I have to admit, I wasn't really looking forward to this task - the painting of these nooks in general - because I knew it would take a lot of time with those 6 shelves and all the cut-ins. But I knew it would also make a big difference and feel good to get it done. So, whatever.

The universe was on my side though to not get this project done because I couldn't find any brushes (the few we keep at home are now in another place in the garage because Chris keeps many of them on his truck for work). Then I couldn't find any of our small roller cages (also on Chris' truck). And then because I'm pregnant, 2 strikes were enough for me and I was annoyed and put the project off for longer than I should have :) It was only 2 days, but I finally got to priming. Yaayyyy cut-ins

Then the full coat of primer

I of course didn't really need to use primer, but because white was going over this super vibrant green, I thought it would help. I used our Kelly Moore stain blocking primer, and while I wasn't needing to block stains, I wasn't super impressed by it. The closest contractor grade paint store to us is Kelly Moore, so if we go with a higher end paint, it's usually KM out of convenience. But I have to say, after having purchased several of their more "specific" paints (water-oil hybrid, this one, and a couple others I can't remember to save the life of me) I am not super impressed by Kelly Moore. I wish a Sherwin or Benjamin Moore was closer, but c'est a vie.

Once the primer was on I put two coats of whatever Glidden's Ultra Pure White is called. We already had it on hand from another project, and although it was semi-gloss and I wouldn't normally use that on room walls (save for a bathroom or kitchen) we opted to use it here to make cleaning around books easier as dust tends to settle a lot in this area.

We tried to keep Zoe out of this room for the 4 or so days the project was going on because the girl LOVES books, and well, there were books everywhere. But, when she discovered a step ladder was in there as well it was hard to keep her away

And once the nooks were all painted (Chris helped on the last coat) we spent a Zoe nap organizing all the books and magazines

Chris saves a lot of his magazines for reference, but opted to get rid of some of them now. He purchased a few of them on DVD and went through the ones he doesn't reference so much and only kept the dog eared ones. Some people might think saving these is ridiculous, but he does go back to them for work related projects, so it really is helpful for us. We also went though and got rid of old catalogs, books we haven't read in forever, duplicates of things (how many thesaurus', dictionaries and almanacs does one really need...) We donated a bunch of the books and recycled a ton of magazines. And when we were all done the nooks looked like this

On the left we've got the giant books at the top. Then we've got work related reference books (various trades, general renovation, codes, etc.), reference books (Photoshop, Quickbooks, almanacs, etc.), magazines and catalogs and then my design, color and organizing reference books

On the right we've got Chris' old collection of MAD books, books from when we were both little that we loved and didn't want to get rid of, and then Zoe's paper page books. She used to be able to keep these in her room, but then she developed a habit of liking to rip out their pages to entertain her... so those got removed. Now they have a good home in here where she can read them when she wants, but with us around so we can make sure she doesn't destroy them

AND I picked up the paint for this room too!

I have been having a love affair with darker colors lately, so we got Glidden's Gray Tweed

Grey Tweed
from here

We've got some patching and cleaning of the walls we need to do before we start painting. But I'm definitely excited to get a new color on the wall. I mean, I love me some kelly green on my favorite sports team's uniforms, but it's a little much for me in an office...


The Cabinets are Here!

You may be wondering what the hell cabinets I'm talking about. Yes, you have a right to be confused because it's been a while since we've done something actually productive on the house. But I'm talking about cabinets for the....laundry room!

We measured for these cabinets a loooonnggg time ago. Well, many months. But, that's still a long time. And then we never bought them. We were thinking about getting them from Ikea, but based on the measurements we had and the desire to have 2 tall pantry style cabinets the bill rang up to almost $2,000. And that just seems a lot for utility cabinets.

So we shopped around. We went to Cabinets-to-go, checked out HD and Lowes, went to random home improvement and home supple stores around the area. We finally settled on a kind of random home supply place across the street from HD that didn't have white cabinets like we wanted, but they would spray them for us at not too much extra. For 2 pantry style cabinets and one counter height one the total rang in to about $1,200 with tax.

And I was very excited to finally be picking these up because the laundry room is in slight disarray...

The amazing thing is that I actually attempted to "organize" things a week ago. Clearly we need space to store shit. Because everyone always accumulates too much crap. Oh, like the cabinet above the washer and dryer you mean?

Oy. I really want this room to be done. We actually go in and out of here a lot and we just never let Zoe in here because there is much too much destruction that can be done. Once things are more organized we'll probably still not really let Zoe in here too much because there's still a fair amount of terror that can happen, but it will be nice to have a proper place for the Bona, vacuum and other cleaning products that have just been floating around the house for the last, ohhhhh 6 years we've been here.

This corner is really jonesing for those cabinets to get put in

Oh, you like my dirty laundry there? Yup, just trying to keep it real :)


Exterior Paint, Week 2: Ummmm, That's Not the Right Color

So, last time I filled you in, the scaffolding at my parents was up, and now, there is paint on the house! But as this post might indicate: it's the wrong color, and that's a total bummer. Here's where we are

Now, that's just primer over the body of the house. The body color is a rich beige-y color (I'm really good at describing colors, obviously). So don't worry about TWO colors being wrong. The color that is for sure incorrect is the trim. Blehhhhhhh. This is a combination of my and Home Depot's fault.

While I like the trim color and wouldn't mind using it on another project, it's a little more washed out than the color we thought it was

There's more gray to it (which is something I tend to like), and the color we thought it was had more brown in it

Here's what we think happened: as you all may know we got about 50 samples for the outside of the house. I'm not really exaggerating much because I think the final total was 46 or 47. All along the way when we've been getting samples I go to HD with my binder that has all the colors we've picked and get samples. I've done this for all the interior colors and all the exterior colors. And in total there were well over 200 for this house. After I get the samples I test them in the space and label them on the wall with a number that I also write down next to the color list in my binder so we can keep track of what every color is inside and outside the house. One thing I don't do however is take a little dot from the sample pot and put it on my paint deck to make sure the color is 100% correct in that HD mixed it properly according to the number and name from my paint decks. I figure - they have the color code, I gave them the color and manufacturer's paint name and number, it should be correct. So we've done that for all the colors in the house: given the chosen paint's name and number to our painter when he goes to buy the paint and then he puts it up on the walls. It's gone according to plan for this house and all the other projects I've done.

Until now.

We thought we were buying Benjamin Moore's Cape May Cobblestone. That's what was written down in my notebook, the name and number I gave to HD, the color they supposedly mixed, the color I painted on the column in the courtyard (it's the darker line between the lighter samples)...

...and the color name and number we gave to our painter to purchase the paint.

So last week he got the south side's trim alllllll painted. And it's a lot of work. Every single window has a shit ton of divided lights. So there was a lot of taping off. He sprayed it all on, and on Friday when it was done he was super nice and took all the paper down so that my parent's could enjoy their view over the weekend. That's when Wendy went outside and asked if the color on the trim (in addition to the body) was just primer. He said that it was the color they chose and Wendy said it didn't look correct. So they got the little sample pot we saved (I save all the final color sample pots) and painted a sample of the sample pot color against the color he purchased at Ben Moore based on the name and color number I gave him. They DEFINITELY are not the same color

You can see that the sample pot color has A LOT more brown in it and isn't nearly as gray. Oy, fucking, vey.

I felt SO BAD for our painter. What we think happened is that HD didn't have the color formula correct in their computer or that it got mixed wrong because the paint for the house was purchased at Benjamin Moore and when you look at their own sample chip of the color the one that our painter purchased looks like the sample chip. I know sometimes HD changes the formulas in their system and from time to time they haven't had the colors I was looking for. I should have taken a little dot from the pot and put it on my paint deck to make sure it was the right color, but I didn't.

So now, we actually don't know what this color is. It's a color inspired by Benjamin Moore's Cape May Cobblestone. Sigh. It's alright though, the correct color will go on the house because our painter will take our sample pot (the color we don't know the name of because it's not the correct mix) and get it color matched at the Benjamin Moore store.

The thing that sucks the most is that our painter has to go back and tape everything off again and repaint all the trim on the south side of the house. I feel SO FUCKING AWFUL. It sucks. Our painter has the best attitude in life, so he is being very understanding of the mistake and so damn nice. So that is wonderful. But it is a total bummer.

I'm still fucking pissed and upset though. I feel awful.

After that sob fest, want to see something that looks great? Mirrors! The glass company installed them about 2 weeks ago and I completely forgot to take photos. Then Chris went last week to build the simple frames for them (they still need some sanding and painting, but they're mostly done).

Here's the second bath upstairs

And the master

Look at that 8 ft. of gloriousness

The mirrors definitely make a huge impact. I'm really glad we decided on one giant one for each bathroom, instead of smaller ones at each sink station. It makes things look so giant and open with one mirror. I love it.

So what still needs to be done on the inside? The first floor main bath still needs tile backsplash and Wendy has samples for the runners going upstairs and downstairs. They've been hanging things on the walls which always make things feel like home. It's a slower process now, but hopefully the B&A photos come soon, don't worry, I won't leave you hanging! :)


The Green Thumb Strikes Again

I told you, this Spring we're completely green thumbing it. Mostly because it's the easiest thing to do with Zoe in tow :) I mean, we have to get SOMETHING done around here. So when we were working on the veggie garden I started to weed this area

Yeah, mess.

I decided it was really smart to do this on a Tuesday morning instead of working out before I had work at the A's later that afternoon/evening. The only thing I forgot to remind myself was that most of these plants have been in here for years and there is a shit ton of bermuda grass that has infested the area, and that bird bath is really heavy, and running after Zoe myself also while Chris was at work probably made me more tired than running 3 miles at this point.... Whoopsie.

The good news is that after about 90 minutes I finally got it all cleared out

Zoe wasn't quite as helpful this time, though she did throw away the weeds a little. I guess I can't blame a nearly 2 year old for wanting to play in the water on such a pretty day

The good news is that with Zoe occupied by water, I got the "weed block" laid out (and I put "weed block" in quotations because none of this shit actually works)

The bad news is right about at that point Zoe started to go insane and I ran out of mulch. Zoe the project had to sit on hold for, ohhhh, 5 days till we could finish it. Green container left on the grass, miscellaneous large rocks everywhere, plant containers strewn about the lawn: cranky kid = leave everything where it is and clean the sunscreen out of her eyes that she keeps rubbing in them. Sigh. So over the weekend before a day game at the A's we headed to HD to pick up some more mulch and while I was at work Chris and Zoe got things a little prettier

It's not my best work of picking plants, spacing them out, having a good ratio...

And certainly there still could use MORE mulch

But it looks a lot better than it used to. Before


Clearly I still need to mow the lawn...

But it's nice to have another green project checked off my list. We still have the side of the house to weed and the sidewalk strip to clean up. We've only filled up FOUR green containers already full of weeds from all over the yards. That's actually slightly embarrassing. But at least we're getting it done at some point, right?


Original Art for Little Football

I'm the second kid in my family, so naturally, I need to make sure our second kid gets a lot of the same stuff for herself that Zoe got. I'm also a libra. So I'm sure I will seriously be tallying on some spreadsheet as the girls are 10 and 12 to make sure that we have gone to an equal amount of school events for each one. Yes, I'm that crazy.

I've already accepted the fact that Little Football will not be getting her own mobile and there aren't nearly as many art projects going on the second time around, but the one thing I REALLY wanted to make sure to do was to create an original piece of artwork for Little Football like I did for Zoe. Chris and I came up with a silly and meaningful painting that I did for Zoe while I was pregnant. And it's still probably the thing I love the most of all the things I made for her

I tried to think of something to make for Little Football that was meaningful, and also different. 

Then I thought of it. 

I was scared to have a girl the first time and the thought of having two girls when we found out Little Football was a girl as well was scary too. I feel a lot of responsibility as a woman to make sure that I raise capable, confident, smart women. I don't know if I would necessarily feel so much pressure if I was having a boy, or if our kids were two boys. Is that terrible? I know a lot of it probably has to do with being a woman myself, and feeling like I have a lot to live up to the expectations I have of myself. I want my girls to know that they can be and can do anything. And I really want them to know that there really are SO MANY different kinds of strength, different kinds of people, different things people value. There will of course be the things that Chris and I try our hardest to instill in them, but it really does take a village, and I want them to know that.

So I reached out via email to women who are my friends and family and asked them: what is an image, word, message or symbol that reminds you or makes you proud to be a woman? It doesn't have to be life changing, or amazingly detailed - just a small thought.

I told them that I would use their images and words and put together a collage of all of their thoughts. I wanted Little Football to have a message from a bunch of awesome women that shows her all sorts of different ways to be strong, beautiful, smart, thoughtful, compassionate...because, you know, we're awesome :)

I must say, I sent that email last week and it's been so much fun getting everyone's responses. I am SO EXCITED to start working on it. Here are just some of the fun thoughts and images people have shared

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." — Eleanor Roosevelt

“And though she be but little, she is fierce.”

Well-behaved women seldom make history.

“unconditional love.”

"Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary" -Oscar Wilde

Find Your Own Path—Only Your Way is Right for You

I started compiling all the artwork yesterday. I was itching and itching to get started and so I couldn't help myself. I've still got a couple pieces of inspiration that will be coming my way from folks, but I was so eager to start. Originally I thought I would make a painting or mixed media collage. But then I decided to make a digital collage and get it printed. I will of course share when I'm all done. It's been slow going (in the ONE day I've worked on it, ha!) but that's definitely how my creative mind works: slow to really, really think about how to compose things, and once I've tried every option and exhausted my mind, it all comes together and BOOM, it's done. I can't wait to see it done myself :)


Scaffolding is Up!

The exterior paint project has officially begun at my parent's house, yay! We got some rare rain here at the beginning of last week, so the scaffolding didn't go up until the middle of the week, which meant power washing didn't happen till the end of the week. But that at least means progress is starting, yay! So what does a house with a bunch of scaffolding look like? Behold

Needless to say, when my dad and Wendy were loading up the car on Saturday morning for tailgating at the A's game it took a little longer. Oh, and hey, at that game me and my dad ran in a 5k with the Zoe girl in tow

But back to scaffolding...

It's definitely a challenge moving around things and the painters certainly have a challenge navigating things. The west side of the house cleaned up fairly well

But the rest of the house didn't really get cleaned up as nicely. Those weirdo stucco bumps are like velcro for dirt

The finish of the paint appears to be satin which would allow the dirt to roll off, but I honestly don't know if in the 20 years the previous owners lived here that they ever cleaned the exterior. As a result the painters will have more prep work than anticipated to get things more clean. If we leave the dirt on and just paint over it, even with great primer, the dirt doesn't allow for a great surface to be painted over and over time the paint will fail, causing it to peel up.

I know this stage of paint isn't very exciting, woo-hoo, power washing! :) But maybe next week I'll have some peeled paint and cleaned up weirdo stucco bumps to share :)