187: camo

The living room isn't quite ready to be shown off yet, but I did want to show you something cool.

I am painting the radiators like I did in the bathroom - from a dull uneven silver to glossy bright white. Look at what we found behind one of them (after spending 45 minutes poking through the slots with the handles of wooden spoons):


We'll probably frame some of this stuff and hang it in here. 

This little bit of wallpaper reminds me of some we had in the house I grew up in, same colors.


Did I ever squeal when I pulled these out:


A hoodsie spoon wrapper! Someone's life insurance policy bill: One dollar a month!



( Did you notice that I am experimenting with  my backgrounds ?)

A few more bits:


The crucifix pouch was empty, unfortunately. 

But check this out:


A scrap of a girlie mag!



Got ready for work yesterday, and when I walked into the living room, I realized that my sweater was the exact shade of the new paint color.


Sorry for the blur, but it was the only picture I liked enough to show you. (Yeah honey, I know, it's a little forehead-y.) Sweater hoodie from Old Navy - gift from my Honey for Valentine's Day. 

I am a little self-conscious about showing pictures of myself, so be gentle.


Listening to:
Priscilla Ahn

Melody Gardot 


Ok, show of hands: who is going to Quilt Market?

xo, mba 

186: cheery

We finally decided on a new color for the living room. Yes, we have been living with the walls just primered for a month or more!

When we moved in, (after scraping off the seventies wallpaper and repairing the walls) we painted it a warm mocha brown which we loved. But this room gets very little light, and it was just too dark and gloomy during the day. Cozy and warm at night, but still really dark. And kinda, well, serious and traditional.

At first we thought we would go super-light. Like maybe even (gasp!) white or ivory. But we wanted something that would contrast more with the white trim. We live in an old old house and the window casings are really nice, so we wanted to highlight them. So then we thought  we would do something that was very light with some color in it, for the contrast. Of course the problem with that is that  very light+some color= pastel. And that wasn't gonna do it for us. 

We finally realized that it was  the boring-ness that bothered us more than the dark-ness of the room. So then we thought we would do more of a deep color, just not dark. The only color that I could imagine painting it was pink! I was open to other suggestions, but nothing was really thrilling me.

My honey said he didn't want a pink living room but after looking at our mountain of paint chips, he agreed that it would look good and we settled on a brownish pink. You know, good contrast, not too "pink!"

As we were about to leave for the Depot, he grabbed another chip out of the pile.

Him :How about this one?

Me: Really?!

Him: Yeah, what do you think?

Me: Are you kidding?! I love it. It's perfect! Are you sure?

Him:  Yeah, why not? It has a good name. "Cheery."

I love that guy. 

So, what color is it?
Well, let's just say that it makes the kitchen look tame.


At the depot, getting the paint mixed:

Me: Honey, I thought you didn't want a pink living room.

Him: Well, it's more of a red.

Me: Ok, honey. If it helps you sleep at night, it's red.

Befores, Way Befores and Afters to come. 

155: cantaloupe kitchen

It's not completely finished, but I am dying to show off the before and after of our kitchen.

This is what the kitchen looked like when we bought the house in 2003:



We had originally hoped to do a thorough remodel and kept trying little things to perk it up a little until then: a coat of  paint on the walls, a coat of paint on the warped and water-stained wood floor, little rugs on the painted wood floor. We painted the cabinets. It still sucked. Yucky floor, dead space, that damned forest green counter top.

Eventually, we realized that a professional renovation is still a few years away. Cooking up our own homespun version of a  remodel was our only way to make the kitchen a pleasant place to be in the meantime.

Luckily, my honey is quite handy. He built a box around the perimeter of the ceiling so we could have recessed lighting. I have never had that - it feels so fancy!  Bought a new fridge. It's the side-by-side kind with filtered water in the door.  I never had a new fridge before either- what a difference. I feel like a princess. We covered the ceiling in textured tiles. We put down faux-marble self stick linoleum in a checkerboard pattern. Repainted the cabinets and replaced the hardware. Repainted the walls in a bright cantaloupe.  Added some overhead cabinets and a shelf where before there was just unusable space. 

And finally- the fun part: decorating! 



Oh yeah, forgot to mention the crown moulding. 


I love my kitchen  now!

I hope you will appreciate that I didn't clear off the counter for these shots. It's not perfect around here, but it's perfect for us.

You may recognize a bunch of this stuff:


See that little  jar next to the mugs? That is a bottle of M.S.G. from the spice rack my mom received as a wedding gift a million years ago!

Today we ordered a new countertop - just formica from the Depot. But it's in a deep blue faux marble which is going to look so awesome with the paint color. For the cabinets, I wanted faceted blue glass knobs- which my honey found super-cheap on ebay. What a difference it made when we put those on. Once we get that countertop, it's really gonna pop!

Here are the blue knobs and new cabinets:


Those lanterns are just hanging out there until I figure out where I want  them to go. The bowl and covered pitcher were made by my dear friend Madelyn Macedo. You can get one for yourself at her etsy shop.

Oh yeah, I forgot to tell  you: see the edges of the doors on the new cabinets? Well, my honey routered our old cabinets to look like that!


We picked up the red clock at a secondhand shop. My honey removed the cord and replaced  the mechanism but it still isn't working right, obviously. He set the date to Feb 14 because we like to say 'Every Day is Valentine's Day.' Please don't vomit. It's sweet.

Above the stove, the bird shelf:


All thrifted. I wasn't even trying to collect bird things specifically. As I was decorating the kitchen, I realized I had so many that I should group them together.


In the bottom right corner you can see our fez monkey salt and pepper shakers(we have a thing for fez monkeys):


Even the shelf thing is secondhand! We saw it at a yard sale for 2 bucks- it had a yucky blue paint job.

And it finally gave me a place to display my plates! These were  thrown and painted by me in Madelyn's studio, maybe 5 years ago?


Frida-inspired eyebrows and antlers, clearly. But anyone who knows me will tell you these are my eyes. 

Our awesome new fridge! 


If you look closely, on the butcherblock  you will see a purple-covered sugar bowl that I commissioned from Madelyn. It has a fez monkey on it. Lucky for you, she added this motif to her line of ceramics! Yep, it's another one of her bowls  on top of the fridge. ( I have lots of her mugs, too, but those are in the pantry.)

That cake stand I told you about last week, freshly cleaned and piled with vintage ribbons:


Prepare to be amazed:


Set of vintage ceramic chickeny canisters, yard sale.
Fifty. Cents. For the set. Yes.

We still have some work ahead, but we did what we set out to do: make the kitchen feel like us.

Wow, it took  me an hour and a half to write this post. I hope you enjoy it!