Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Before/After: Kitchen part 1

Before. This is actually WAY before. This is a midway-through-unpacking image of our lovely mid-70s kitchen.

After. I got sick of the doors. They were a hazard...and inconvenient. No bueno. (And yes, we are that anal. I didn't have to straighten up much for the shelves to look like that.)

But notice something odd about that image? If you look at the stile on the left hand side...about where the hinge would be...

You see it. When they stained our cabinets this *lovely* color, they stained the hinges. I had to chip through stain just to get to the screws.

This makes me stabby.

Deep even breaths and repeat after me:

"Not my house...
Not my house...
Not my house...."

Phenomenal Cosmic Power...

Itty Bitty Living Space!

Yes, that's the guest room with a bed in it. I moved the ottoman under the console table so there would be room for it. The red/black/white color scheme is accidental. In fact, the original bed we wanted:

was going to be orange. And the black chair ended up in the guest room because we keep the door closed and I wanted to protect it from the cats. We chose red linens so that we would know which ones were for the guest room so they could always be cat-dander free. We have a lot of important guests who are allergic to cats. Such as the one who arrives in 4 hours!

Here's what the bed looks like without the linens:

Yes, it's a blow-up bed. I'll give you a review after it's been slept on for a week.

This room will be the nursery, which I've started planning. Because apparently once you get into the match process your match could happen while the mother is three or four months along or it could happen when she's three or four hours into labor. I'm not going to go crazy: one of the benefits of not carrying the child and going through labor is that you're not recovering after the baby comes home. So I can do a lot as the personality of our child develops. However, some things have to be waiting: car seat, bassinet, clothing, bottles, formula. Also I like to have a plan. I'll keep you posted.

And if you want to follow my insanity as we go through the process (and just my insanity in general) follow this link.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


It's hard to see, but I walked out this morning and the fig tree has kicked it into gear. Yummy. you know what's good? Fig spread, chevre, and pita/naan.

This is the same angle as this (the first image) and you can see the difference. Note the little red buds in there? I can't WAIT to see what those are going to be. Yay free (fresh) food!

Now I'm going to do something about some ivy. And spiders. Lots of spiders.

Monday, March 16, 2009

These Walls



Inspiration here. The good thing about this little setup is that I can add/replace/rearrange with little effort. And repaint, as soon as I get my head around what color I want it to be. Because I'm so very much Not and Oatmeal Person.

This is in the office. To my left is my desk, to my right is Husband's, and at my tooshie is his 88 Key Synthesizer setup. So I put all of our music-related images there. All 4 of them. He had more posters but I'm not sure where they are....On the left is a sketch of Rogue that he got at a comic convention when he was in Middle School (I think.) The artist passed away a year or so ago so I had it framed for him. I actually really like it.

Still to come:

And this has just come onto my rader:

Our mail slot. It was brought to my attention today that when the owner was rolling oatmeal onto the walls he didn't so much as pull out the nails...and as you can see from the chipping - he just rolled over the mail slot and then pried it open after the paint dried. I want the paint removed from it. Going to have to figure that one out. Any tips on getting paint off metal? Thanks.

Big (not design related) News

Follow it here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Jumping In

A few weeks ago I read a book called The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible. By A.J. Jacobs (my full review here) In the intro is this little story from Rabbi Andy Bachman, who heads up Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn. It's a Midrash (a story not in the bible but which deals with biblical events:

"We all think of the scene in The Ten Commandments movie with Charlton Heston, where Moses lifted up his rod and the waters rolled back. But this Midrash says that's not how it happened. Moses lifted up his rod and the sea did not part. The Egyptians were closing in and the sea wasn't moving. So a Hebrew named Nachson just walked into the water. He waded up to his ankles, then his knees, then his waist, then his shoulders. And right when the water was about to go up his nostrils, the sea parted.
The point is, sometimes miracles occur only when you jump in."

And to quote Jacobs: "So I did."

I've been researching freelance resources here for some articles. I've been trying to wade through the details of interstate business law to get Embrita Design transferred to California. I've also been working on my latest complete novel - gutting the b-plot and reworking details of the a-plot. Husband is supportive enough to realize that the combination of moving us across the country and the weak economy is the perfect situation for me to pursue my dream of being published 100%.

However, that won't pay the bills so I've set up an account on art.com to sell prints of my photography. I'm scanning negatives and giving my photoshop the biggest workout of its life to get up a good spread. As soon as they're approved there will, of course, be a link in case your room needs a poster.

In between that my goal this week is to put something up on our walls. I'm thinking some vignettes to give it character. And since Husband has also said that he doesn't want to move anytime soon I'm going to just commit. I think I was holding out to make sure that we're staying here longer than a few months. If, by August, he doesn't mind not having central air (apparently that's rare in this neck of the woods) I might even un-beige the walls. That would make me a happy, happy girl.

PS - Our "official" "Welcome to CA" photo was taken this weekend on a tour of the city with a good friend of Husbands:

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Apricot. Identified here.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Dining Area Before/After

I know what you're thinking. Last time we looked into the dining area it looked like this. And now the table is functional!?! That happened yesterday. I threw my hands in the air, gave up trying to find the perfect storage spot for the extra glassware, and stuck it in the guest room.

The glass bowls were a wedding gift - the table and chairs belong to our landlord. The far left (empty) bowl usually has lemons in it, but we used all of ours and the ones on the tree still look like limes.

The facing wall:

And then this inspiration...leads to...

Clearly a work in progress, since that shelf is empty. No idea what's going to go up there.

The wall behind the table, though, got some treatment:

(Those are green coffee bean bags.)

And there are the small things:

This chair was one of my first DIY projects, so that the paint is chipping off is no surprise. It sits there so that whoever is not cooking can chat with the cook.

And now my aprons hang there, in easy reach. (Anthropologie)

Sorry about the weird lighting in the photos. It's bright but overcast and the lights in the kitchen turn everything yellow. So the white balance completely freaked out.

And now for lunch. And then maybe more art hanging???

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The good thing about all of this rain

Is that it's making my trees explode...well, that's good and bad.

Plum? Cherry? In the front - loads of bright pink blooms. Also the twisted peach trees are starting to bloom, so that's one less potentially dead-tree that we have.

Cherry Plums? Apple? In the back. From three blossoms to three million practically overnight.

And the bad:

At one point it literally rained oranges.

We got a couple of porch chairs (yay Target!) that I'll take pictures of when the sun comes out. Husband celebrated by sitting out in the Wind and Orange Rain and smoking a cigar.

Also I think I'm going to be able to salvage one of the picnic table benches...assuming the weight of our cats doesn't do it in completely. The other one is toast. It will be offered up in a picnic table bench ceremony as soon as it stops raining on us. Which, according to the National Weather Service, is NEVER. (ok, Thursday. Maybe.)