July 31, 2012

The Living Room Floor

Hello friends. Matt and I have been living here at our new (old) house for nearly two weeks now, so I think it's time to show you a few pictures! Unfortunately, although we've been working hard every day, there hasn't been much in the way of visual progress, so I only have a glimpse of one room to share with you today. Rest assured, everything behind the camera is a total mess.

Living Room Floors

This is a shot I took of our living room before we moved in. We knew immediately that the blue carpet needed to go, so we ripped it out the first chance we got. Of course, the previous owners had lots of cats, so the carpet left a potent stench in its wake. Still, what we were able to uncover was well worth the torture.

Living Room Floors Living Room Floors

These are a couple shots showing the floorboards covered in a thick layer of sticky brown stuff that took hours to sand down. Luckily, the wood underneath was really promising.

Finding the perfect stain was a little rough for us at first. On impulse, I picked out the American Walnut color (Minwax) from Home Depot, but discovered it was way too red for my taste. Thankfully, we were able to take it back and exchange it for something else.

Living Room Floors
Living Room Floor

After doing a little research, I decided I wanted to go with a dark stain that didn't have as much red or yellow; something that looked a little rustic. We chose to go with a light coat of Jacobean (again, Minwax), and to finish it off with a few coats of satin polyurethane. I'll admit that I had a little freak-out moment wherein I thought the stain might be a touch too dark, but it didn't last long. After we added our clear coats, the wood-grain detail popped right out, and the boards began to show more pronounced variations in color. In other words, perfect.

Living Room Floors

After waiting the obligatory 3 days, I went over the baseboards, window frames, and doors with an almost-white color called Tailor's Chalk (Martha Stewart interior) to help brighten up the space and make the existing wall color pop. After the paint dries tonight, we can finally hang our curtains and move in some furniture.

This makes three rooms in the house we can use! Next up: the bedroom. Peach walls and all.

July 25, 2012

In Bloom

Flowers Flowers
Flowers
Flowers Flowers
Hydrangeas

Flowers
?

Flowers Flowers
Butterfly Bushes

Flowers
Flowers Flowers
Roses

Flowers
Flowers Flowers
?

Aside from the kitchen and the master bedroom, we're still largely packed up and living out of boxes over here in our new home, and will likely remain as such until we can complete some of the projects we couldn't finish last weekend. Still, despite the tight accommodations, I'm falling more and more in love with this house every day. There's a lot to share, but today I want show you some photos I took this morning of all the flowers in bloom that were left by the previous owners.

While I do have some experience with vegetable gardening, flowers are still a mystery to me, so I'm looking forward to adding some of my own touches to the existing plant life. Next year, I'll probably do some rearranging and experimenting, but I'm content to enjoy what we've got for now, and to give myself some time to figure it all out.

If any of you know anything about these plants - name of, pruning, general care, etc. - I'd love any input you'd care to offer.

July 16, 2012

Moving On

Berger

It's been a long, excruciating wait, but we're finally scheduled to sign the papers and get the keys to our house this week. We were originally supposed to close on the 11th, but one thing led to the next, and the date was pushed back. All I can say is that I'm glad Matt and I gave ourselves plenty of time to vacate our unit. We wanted to use that extra time for painting the walls and staining the floors before we moved everything in, but we'll just have to find a way to maneuver around our stuff.

Berger

Right now, Matt and I are living amongst boxes. And while it stresses me out a little, Berger doesn't seem to mind.

July 11, 2012

Grapefruit Soda

homemade grapefruit soda

So, funny story. I went to the store last week for a giant bag of oranges so I could try this recipe for creamsicle jelly. Except that when I got home, I realized I had a giant bag of grapefruits in my hand.

Duh.

I like grapefruit just fine, but I knew I wasn't going to be able to eat a whole bag's worth, so I decided to juice them anyway. When I was done, I had about 4 cups of grapefruit juice, so I poured the juice into a saucepan with some sugar, and brought the whole mixture to a boil.

I didn't know how long I needed to boil the mixture to make it syrupy, so I just let it go for five-ten minutes before removing from heat. I poured it into a bottle after it was cool, and stored it in the refrigerator. When I was brave enough to try it, I poured it over ice with soda water.

homemade grapefruit soda

It was delicious.

July 2, 2012

Color Affection Accomplished

Color Affection Color Affection
Color Affection

Here's the promised photos of my blocked Color Affection. I'm so happy with it! I can't tell you how good it feels to spend hours and hours on a project, and still love it after all is said and done. I honestly never planned to make knitting a full-time hobby, but the act of creating something beautiful and wearable is incredibly addictive. When I'm not knitting, I'm pouring over patterns on Ravelry, planning for my future handmade wardrobe.

Anyway, June was a crazy knit/crochet month for me, but I'm starting to slow down now. I've got my Mojave Shawl on the needles right now, and a week left before we close on our house, so I wouldn't be surprised if I need to take a break from yarn for the rest of the summer to work on house projects. I'm getting excited just thinking about it.