Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Complete Report

A few days ago, I did a post about the beginning stages of my room. Today, I will continue talking a bit about the process and proceed to show off a 98% completed room.

So, after I finished the white, I taped it off. I used this tape called Frog Tape. We used it in my brother's room in the last house to get nice clean lines, so I used it again. 

Freshly taped walls.

It was a tad tedious taping all of the peaks on the walls, but it didn't take too long. This time, I think I handled the tape a bit too much, because I didn't get nice sharp lines. Aw well. It still looks mighty cool.

Notice the bits of purple that crept in.
Because I knew this would bug me over time, I embarked on the journey of touching up the white with an art paint brush. It hasn't been too hard, it's just slow. I plan on finishing up this part today.

The tidied up peaks. Much better!
So, there it is. My new room. I really love how it turned out! A special thank you goes out to my brother, who rolled the purple for me. My dad, who I talked into painting my ceiling. And my mom, for all her sage advice and expertise! Thanks, Y'all! 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Progress Report

The plan for my new room is fully in motion. It's going to be multiple steps, but at least it's finally started.

First, I should probably reveal a little more about my vision for my room.

The Color
For my main color, I chose this brilliant purple by Valspar.

And white is my secondary color.

The Design

At first, I was going to do a chair rail, painting underneath white and above purple. But after looking at moldings at Lowe's and Home Depot, I changed my mind. I'm not sure if it's because there were too many to choose from or because I didn't really love any of them. But, in any case, I did change my mind, AGAIN, regarding my room.

That was the last time, thankfully!

So, instead of a chair rail dividing the purple from the white, I decided to do a jagged line, as if the purple and the white were separating from each other. On Monday, I finished this part.

The Process
Before pulling the white paint out, I did the usual wall prep (filing in holes, sanding ,wiping the moldings, taping, ect.) but I also marked in pencil my peaks (I forgot to take a picture before beginning the white). By doing this, I had a border for cutting in the white. The pictures above are of the completed white. I cut in 3 coats and rolled on 2. I'm letting this cure for a couple of days before beginning the next part, which I will write another post about when I finish.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

First Hand Account of Sunset Photography

Disclaimer: I've attempted to photograph a sunset once - I am by no means an expert...

I am, however, very excited with my results. So, naturally, I feel I must write a blog post about it.

I didn't find too many how-to articles on photographing sunsets. I guess sunsets aren't as popular as waterfalls, dogs, babies, or insects. I find this funny because it certainly seems like pictures of sunsets populate most searches... Anyway, the article above is pretty good.

There are three things I think are necessary to capturing a good photo of a sunset:
  • A low ISO. I used ISO 100, but if your camera goes lower, go for it. Since you're  photographing the sun, any "noise" will be more evident if you use a higher ISO. Of course, using a low ISO will mean you need a longer shutter speed or higher aperture.
  • The Rule of Thirds. I really like it. It tends to add another level of interest to the photo.
  • A tripod. You want the clearest, crispiest photo you can.

At any rate, since the area we moved to has gorgeous scenery, you can bet this will not be the last time I take photos of sunsets! Speaking of which, I need to find a good camera bag for my DSLR and gear so that it's more natural to just grab it on my way out the door.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

'O Ketchup

Dear Ketchup,

You're a magical condiment, aren't you? You perfectly complement almost everything under the sun. From eggs to hot dogs, you're always a welcome addition.
I personally think it's the perfect mix of tomatoes, vinegar and sugar that makes you an all-star, but I'm sure it's that little extra something that has almost the entire world wrapped around your little finger.  
Sure, other condiments have tried to steal your thunder. They creep up onto the scene, steal your spotlight for a little minute, but they can never erase or replace you in the hearts of millions. You are truly an irreplaceable American Classic. 
Thank you.

A Huge Fan

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

New House, New Rooms

This move, my brother and I have had a little bit of difficulty pinning down the way we want to paint each of our rooms. It's not because we aren't seeing and dreaming up ideas that we like, but it's because there are so many ideas and so little time. 

I think part of my problem also was that for the first time ever, I was designing my walls around two things... These curtains, which I can't wait to get. And my furniture. Before we knew we were moving, I redid the furniture in my bedroom. With the help of my brother, they all got lugged out to the garage. Then they got sanded, I painted them a deep purple, lightly sanded them again to make the purple paint look weathered, applied black stain on them, wiped it off, and then I applied polyurethane... THREE coats each! The end result was absolutely worth it!

So, that was what I was planning my room around. 

I think my parents can testify that I could not decide what I wanted to do. When I first began looking at paint chips, I was looking for lime green. Then I started looking at tuquoise. Then I looked at oranges, which I have a soft spot for. (My room in the old house was orange.) Then, by Mom's guidance, I started looking at light purples.

Anyways, I have a plan now. I'm 99% certain (the 1% is reserved for if the color paint chips look bad in my new room.) We are supposed to close tomorrow, so then we can come and go as we please and I can see how they look in the actual space with the actual light.

You can bet there will be a blog post about it after we do it!

P.S. My apologies for the lack of blog posts lately. Things finally started moving along with our relocation. But I'm back ;-)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Notes On Moving

I guess you could call my family and me Nomads. It seems like someway or another, every four years, or so, we end up moving.

Sure, we get sick of it sometimes. But generally it keeps our lives lively and entertaining. And after countless relocating, I'd say we have a good amount of expertise on the subject. So, I thought I'd share a bit, from my prospective. 

I guess I'll start with what I know of the selling part. Before the house is actually listed, you de-clutter. BOO! I say to this part. It's annoyingly tedious, but it really does help. There is an extremely fine balance between helping a buyer envision your house as their own and depersonalizing so much that they can't envision anything and it doesn't feel like your home. It won't be a perfect balance, but, whatever. Just you do what you can. 

After decluttering, you choose a realtor and the fun begins. The For Sale sign goes up, your listing is written up and you stage your house. In most cases (at least for us) staging is constant. Staging basically means get up early, vacuum before you absolutely have to and always clean up your mess because as soon as the realty office opens, you're on call for a showing. You will always have at least one showing that only gives you 10 minutes notice, leaving you scrambling to get out of your house, so it's better to be prepared. Of course, you are in charge of when you have showings, so you could say no, but if you really want to sell your house, you will say yes to as many showings as you can!

This latest time around, as soon as our house was officially listed on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) we were plunged into it. We had a showing after being "live" for only an hour. In less than a week, we had like eight showings! And of those 8 showings, we managed to get 3 offers and were able to say "come back with your best offer." Which was crazy, loco, bananas, and any other word for crazy you can think of! It was mainly crazy for us because of our pets. For every showing, 4 dogs and 3 cats had to be wrangled and taken for a car ride. As you can probably guess, the cats hated it, but the dogs loved it. In fact, the dogs became geniuses at figuring out when we were preparing for a showing.

Anyway, that's the main part about selling. Now lets talk about buying.

To me, the buying process is tied with actually moving. They're both pretty fun. The part about buying that I like is house hunting. There's a little thrill in hunting for the house that is just so! Much like treasure hunting. Or like Goldilocks and the Three Bears... this house is very nice, but it isn't me, this house is just terrible, and this house is just right!

I suppose there's two different ways you could go about house hunting. You could tell the realtor what you want in the house (price, how many beds, baths, square feet, acreage, etc) or you could use websites that specialize in MLS listings (there are three big ones:, Trulia, or Zillow) and plug in your criteria and weed thru the listings yourself and you forward those to your realtor. Either way you do it, you will have houses that look completely different than the pictures in the listing, which can be good or bad. You'll also have some fun stories about house hunting. It could be anything from looking at the house while the sellers are there (which is just weird, don't do it!) Or the house could be a total mess or you may even get lost and never see the house. One house stunk so bad of cigarette smoke that my mom couldn't go in because of her allergies. She stood on the threshold for less than a minute and needed an allergy pill asap.  Anyway, if you're doing house hunting right, there should never be a dull moment! And having the right realtor for buying a house is just as important, if not more so, than for selling. We were fortunate and my dad found one that was perfect for us.

Now, moving is fun whichever way you do it, though it's probably more fun if a moving company does it. When a moving company does the packing, each box will NEVER  be labeled precisely, the writing will be hard to read, and it'll probably be vague. You might think you know what's in the box, but open it up to find your guess was nowhere near correct. But if you rent a truck and do it yourself, you have to lug everything to the truck, you have to drive it wherever you're going, you have to unload it, and you have to pack the moving truck up just so...  That's actually one of the cool things. When a moving company moves you, they can pack everything you own, your clothes, furniture, etc. and fit it all in one trailer or even half. It's amazing, like a giant Jenga game.

Between the time of closing at the house you're buying and when the movers bring you your things, we usually take that opportunity to paint a couple rooms (usually the bedrooms). It's easier to paint when you don't have any furniture to worry about. We also steam clean the carpets and we usually bring the things that the movers couldn't pack (such as leftover paints or stains, cleaners, charcoal, candles, plants, that sorta stuff). This time around, my brother and I kept changing our minds about what colors we wanted and our closing was pushed back a week because of hail damage.

Any-who, hopefully that was informative and a little "behind the scenes" glimpse at buying, selling and moving. These are the things the house hunting shows don't tell ya! LOL! They also don't tell you how much juggling you do... or should I say my parents had to do. From schedules, to actually doing stuff, and all of the paperwork and keeping our regular activities going, etc, etc. It got a  little crazy.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Something I Realized...

I finished my mosaic house numbers, but I never mentioned how it went. I didn't even post a picture of the final product!

I think it turned out great! I really enjoyed doing this... I can't wait to do another one after we move! So, my mom was right, it was  a lot of fun and I really appreciate her letting me use her tools and glass. She may regret it, I think I may have another hobby that could get expensive.

For this mosaic, I cut some left-over cement board from a tiling project to shape, drilled two screw holes and gave it a nice even, light coating of mortar. That gave the cement board extra protection since it'll be outside. It also gave the very dry cement board something to soak up (that way it didn't soak up the glue I was using for the glass.) 

Then I traced the shape of the numbers out with pencil, so it would be easier to follow my plan. Then I glued the glass down. I used  a really nice glue called Weldbond. It's easier to follow your plans if you do sections. For example, I glued the black glass of the numbers first. Then I did the white, followed by the red border and the gray edge pieces. I just found it easier that way.

After all of the pieces were glued down, I grouted. Since the spacing between each piece of glass was so small, I could use un-sanded grout, which is finer than sanded grout. I went with a gray that we had left over from a bathroom tiling project. Grouting went pretty easy, the hardest part being the waiting!

I love the way it looks... It really pops against the house! :-) And I've gotten many compliments!

Monday, January 16, 2017

It's me again.

Hello! I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving, a magically merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I have a few things of note for you...

  • CC is starting the new year off right, with a family of her own! I couldn't dream up a better fit for her. She gets 5 humans all to herself and they just adore her!
  • Torched marshmallow fluff should be added exactly before the dish is going to be served, not overnight. (It slides off and makes a colossal mess!)
  • Ikea is an awesome store! (We recently had the grand opening of a store near us.) 
  • Christmas lights aren't as hard to photograph as I originally thought.
  • I may be doing a series of posts at some point this year called 30 Day Photography Challenge.