There Will be Refinishing and Staining

Yesterday afternoon I promptly took Heather's advice (that Jessica echoed later) after I posted about what we needed to accomplish to finish the bedroom in the morning: I went out looking for a table, bookcase, something to go under the TV on this wall

I went to two thrift stores and found the perfect one at the second. However, driving my car (a small Ford Fiesta) I knew it was going to be a challenge to load WITH Zoe and her carset in tow. The two fellas who helped me seemed very skeptical about the whole operation. Obviously they were unaware of my supreme packing skills. That baby got loaded in fine, though it was a snug fit with Zoe back there, though she didn't seem too bothered

Nice, right?

And after we got home from thrift store shopping and pumpkin patch visiting...

...there was a wonderful pile of deliveries on our porch. Wanna know what they were? Oh, just all of our drawer fronts for the bed. Only 12 days after we ordered them! How fucking awesome is that!? Both the table and drawer fronts got loaded into the house and I oogled my items.

The table has a great shape. I love the glass top and I love the body and legs of the frame, but I'm not digging the gold

I think I'll be refinishing it and painting it a fun color. Maybe yellow, turquoise?

And the drawer fronts got all unpacked and they look AWESOME


My goal for this weekend will be to get the table refinished and the drawer fronts stained

I'll make them look even MORE gorgeous than they all already are. Happy weekend projects :)


To Get the Bedroom Done

Please excuse my complete lack of productivity lately. Zoe has decided that she hates naps (and sleeping at night) and only takes tiny catnaps lately. That means by the time I get caught up on emails she wakes right back up. Damnit. Those babies

So frustrating. But so damn cute :)

Anyway, back to trying to be productive.

I'm making a statement: it's my goal to get the bedroom done by the end of the year. There. I said it.

Really I think this is entirely possible. With the exception of the bed. We've been really busy lately - Chris had jury duty for 5 days (booooo), we've had a ton of handyman jobs, Chris has a little bit of a cold/sore throat thing, although baseball season is done 2 new jobs jumped on my plate, and Zoe's not sleeping. So the last 2 or so weeks have definitely been lacking in terms of the house productivity department. But I'm hoping to finally jump on things and check some shit off. And it always helps to have a goal :) Here's what needs to get done:

1. Finish the bed. Duh

Things are looking very pretty. But they've stalled at the moment. Maybe this weekend we'll start back at it again.

2. Make the headboard

No productivity there since I talked about the plan, but the fabric samples came on Saturday, which is always exciting. These 3 samples were immediately out

So it was between these two (Chris' favorite on the left, mine on the right)

I really liked the geometric print, but I also knew there was a chance I might get sick of a print, and I really don't like going with chance-y things on items that are more permanent (who wants to re-upholster a headboard 4 years later?) Plus, I was still scared about using a geometric print and making things look straight and even. I love the blue velvet, and even though it doesn't show up in photos, it has some color variation in it when the light hits it, and I really loved that. Luckily, Chris wasn't broken up about going with the blue and said, "Sure," so we're going with that. I was excited to get started on the headboard, but I thought it would be better to work on when more of the bed is done so I can get a better idea of the scale.

3. That painting...Remember when I posted that something needed to go on this wall

I really liked the idea of a pixel painting and wanted to do a tryptic, but eventually thought a diptych would work better on the wall. I finally came up with a plan, it's a little like this

pixel gradient
found here
I'm excited to get it done and hang it on the wall. That wall is so lonely.

4. Jewelry storage. A long time ago I made a cool wire frame to hang my earrings on

I always had the intention of making storage for my headbands and necklaces

But that hasn't happened at all. And they're all still sitting in their bin

I'm thinking of making necklace storage like this

Necklace Organizer / Accessories Rack in by AuntDedesBasement, $32.00
found here
And headband storage like this

Hair Bow, Clip and Headband Organizer Board
found here
Eventually I'd like the earring, necklace and headband organizers to be on this wall

Right now the earrings are sitting on top of my dresser

Come to think about it, once there isn't anything on the dresser, maybe something should go on that wall...

5. And lastly, should something go here?

Obviously there's a dresser there now, but once the bed gets made we're hoping to eliminate this dresser. There will be very little space here with the bed built and in place, but I wonder if just having a TV float on the wall looks weird? Chris says we shouldn't have anything there, and I agree mostly, I'm just afraid it's going to look strange.

Alright, there you have it: all the things that need to get done to call this room FINISHED by the end of the year. Hopefully I stick to the plan!


Learning About our Home's History

If you follow us on Facebook you'd know that last week Zoe and I went to the city of Oakland to learn about our house. It's been on our to do list for several years and now that baseball season is over and Zoe is still immobile I figured I should take advantage of these last couple months of being able to cart Zoe wherever I please without her being able to protest much. Off to the city of Oakland it was! :)

We spent about 2 hours there in both the Building Permits section and the Department of Planning, Building and Neighborhood Preservation. I even got to spend a little over an hour with the Historic Preservation Planner. So cool!

Chris and I were pretty sure the city would have cool information about our street (and hopefully our house) because it's a very well known street in Oakland. We get many visitors on Halloween, a TON during Christmas and all the houses were designed by WW Dixon and built by RC Hillen as Storybook homes (so all the houses on the street look like little fairy tale castles, all with their own cool features). In fact, as I went through talking to various people at the city of Oakland, many were excited about the street we lived on and chatted with us about it, "Oh I've visited that street on Christmas every year since I was a kid!" It made me feel very lucky once again to live on such a great street.

But anyway, on to what we learned!

When I was first downstairs in the permit department they easily found some files on microfiche from the 50s and 60s. Most were pretty boring (pest inspections) but I did find a hilarious note addressed to the building inspector in 1959 (you can click all photos to make them bigger)

I found this note hilarious for 2 reasons. 1) that you could actually write a note addressed to the building inspector expecting a response and 2) that someone was complaining about all the noise coming from our house and that someone must be renovating. Bahahahaha :)

Then the building inspector actually went out to see what was going on

Hilarious. They came to see what was happening and found that they were just putting drawer fronts on cabinets and installing panel doors. Then he asked that the homeowners keep the noise down after 10pm. Bah! Awesome.

After a little bit the man behind the desk couldn't find much more, but he knew because our street was well known that there must be more info so he referred me to a young man in the Historic Department who then took me upstairs to talk with the Historic Preservation Planner. And that was fucking AWESOME.

I spent an hour+ up there talking with Betty Marvin and she was an amazing wealth of knowledge. By the time I got upstairs she had pulled out the file on our street, several maps, newspaper clippings and so many other awesome things for me to look at. I had so much fun talking to her and she was just so cool. It was amazing getting to look through all the goodies she had set out for me to look through. She even let me start a copy pile so that I could take home stuff with me (I tried not to be too greedy).

In the end, these were my favorites that we copied:

An article written by RC Hillen in 1919 about Oakland and why it's great to live here (duh!)

A photo from the paper when RC Hillen purchased the land for our homes to all be built on

Another newspaper clipping advertising some of the homes being completed and a street wide open house

That clipping especially was really interesting to read because it explained the houses in such detail and it was just so interesting to read about how they advertised them, the original features in each house, the place settings you got with the purchase of a home (so cool!), and so many other awesome things.

There were also some clippings of floor plans from some of the homes on the street that were in a magazine that RC Hillen and WW Dixon started publishing

Unfortunately they didn't have a clipping of our home (booo), but it was really cool to see all the other ones.

There was also a 20 page report done by the city of Oakland in the 1980s. It was done in conjunction with the State of California Resources Agency Department of Parks and Recreation and was a Historic Resources Inventory. Most of the other areas of Oakland that were studied during this time were downtown or in West Oakland (the oldest residentially developed area), so it was really cool to see that our neighborhood was specifically selected when so few other residential areas were.

And lastly, Betty found the original map of our street and neighborhood with the permit listings for every house on our street. She gave me instructions where to look downstairs in the permit department for our original building permit and we found it!

Isn't that so fucking cool!!!???

This is the best part

The cost to build our house in 1926 was $8,000. Adjusted for inflation that's $105,707.12! And the permit for construction was $16. Adjusted for inflation that's $211.41! That is LESS than the permit for our front window! Oh man.

I was so happy to come home and share all the clippings with Chris. We went through all of them together and read all the articles and talked about how awesome Betty was to go through everything with me and spend so much time talking with me. She is a gem and is just invaluable. I'm sure there are few people in the city who know as much as her and it was just so awesome that she spent so much time with me (and Zoe of course). And she seemed to happy to do it.

I also felt so thankful to live on such a great street. We already thought our street, and house, were awesome, and this just completely cemented its awesome-ness. We love all of our neighbors, our community and getting to be part of such a great street that does so much for each other. We have street wide yard sales, an explosion of lights on the holidays, summer social parties, neighborhood watch meetings and so much more. It's wonderful to live on a street with so many great neighbors and such a love for where you live.


Zoe Can Finally Wear Those Onesies

Remember that first onesie I made?

And then I just couldn't help myself and I made a bunch more?

You'll probably also remember that we never made them fasten on the bottom and in fact fucked up the only one we tried to


Well, because I used a 6-9 month onesie as the template, and Zoe now wears that onesie, I figured it was about time to make them fasten so that she can wear them before she outgrows them. Genius over here.

Me and the snaps just weren't jiving so I decided to just go with velcro that we already had on hand

Chris and I never snap the middle snap on Zoe's onesies, so I thought using 2 pieces of velcro like only using the two snaps would be sufficient enough. I cut the velcro into small pieces

They're adhesive on the back side, so I pressed it onto the shirt

Then I set the opposite side against it

And then folded the shirt up against it and pressed down

And presto! A brand new onesie!

Then I just repeated the process for the rest of them

The Obama one is a lost cause though because we fastened the snap backwards and those rivets have a fucking death grip on the fabric

Oh well.

Ready for a Zoe fashion show?

Social statement Zoe

World Peace Zoe (the graphic is earth being held up by a little kid)

Self-promotion Zoe (or, actually, parent promotion as she's wearing a onesie with our handyman biz name on the front and contact info on the back, bahahahahaha)

Rapper Zoe (a shirt from a show by the same artist who is featured on the CD of Zoe's mobile)

And Local Love Zoe

Here's her breakdancing pose

It's nice to actually be able to use these onesies, especially now that she fits in them already.

Happy Friday!


The Headboard Plan

Of course with bed progress comes more thinking about our headboard. Chris is not a super big fan of headboards, and I was a little unsure if our bed should get a headboard because of the size of it, but I just think a bed without a headboard looks so sad and plain. Headboard planning we go!

After I posted about the headboards that were currently percolating in my brain, I thought and thought and thought about whether I wanted a wood one or an upholstered one. Ultimately while I think a wood one might look awesome, crisp, clean and fresh, it also wouldn't feel very comfortable to me. If I sit up in bed and read or play with Zoe it would be nice to have something soft to lean against, instead of something hard.

Then I started brainstorming about exactly what I wanted in the upholstered headboard. I think tufted headboards look awesome, but I'm always sort of afraid I'll rip off one of the buttons somehow. Especially now with Zoe around with her grabby little hands, button ripping seems entirely possible. So buttons were out.

These two from my first post were still fresh in my mind

Fabric Headboard Arrow by TheIndianJetty on Etsy
found here

Fabric headboard
found here

I like their simplicity, but that there's also a little piece of special to them with the wing and tacks.

The idea of wings really appealed to me. The headboard in the second image has wings that taper from top to bottom, and I thought it might be a really cool idea to flip it around and have them come out further at the top and then get smaller and smaller as it goes down. With small taper it would really frame the bed, but not stick out too much. And on the sides of the two wings I wanted to have upholstery tacks like these

Upholstery Nails
found here

I tried to explain my idea to Chris with these excellent drawings

He was a little confused. I have no idea why. This wasn't clear?

My little stick figures don't depict an accurate rendering of laying on a beautiful bed with an amazing upholstered headboard?

It took a little while to explain my idea to Chris, but once I was able to make sense of it he was on board. Reluctantly. He's still anti-headboard, but he promised to give it a try. Plus, I just asked for about 2 hours of his time to help construct it and I would do the rest, so he found that acceptable.

Then came the fabric hunt. Normally I'm drawn to geometric patterns, but I'm not kidding myself: upholstering a headboard with wings on the side would be really difficult to do with a geometric pattern. It would be super hard to make sure the pattern met correctly in the corners, was pulled evenly, etc. Most of the fabrics I selected were solids, except the last one. Mostly though I was drawn to more soft feeling fabrics like velvet, suede and the like

Doux Cotton Velvet Green Lily
found here

Antique Velvet Sky Blue
found here

Doux Cotton Velvet Smoke
found here

Doux Cotton Velvet Silver Grey
found here

Antique Velvet Grey
found here

Marcovaldo Versailles Chenille Jacquard Sky
found here

We ordered the swatches last weekend, so they should be arriving soon. Once they come we'll have a better idea of what will go with the stain of the bed and what color we like best. Chris' favorite is the last one. I'm personally terrified to try that one, but I do like it. I think the first and second are my favorites, but we shall see when they arrive.