Last time I posted about the living room, I reserved the right to walk down there and change my mind about the set-up. In several small fits of nesting I did just that. After re-covering the chairs, I decided to put some curtains in the alcove they sit in. (That makes it sound so easy!! But store-bought curtains are never long enough so they always have to be lengthened at home. Throw in a harrowing trip to Ikea where I had a close encounter with a poorly loaded fridge in the back of a truck on the freeway, plus a 30 minute stop at the customer service desk trying to explain the difference between an exchange and a return to a new employee which ended in asking to see her supervisor — something I never do — and you get a better idea of how much trouble it took to get those dang curtains even before sewing on the bottoms, cutting down the curtain rods to the right length, and installing them.)
We're in negotiations about putting similar curtains up on the other bank of windows. I don't know if I have it in me!!
Meanwhile, here's how my living room has progressed over the year we've been here:
The other side of the room...
It's starting to feel finished in there to me. There's a few things I want to swap out, and a few things that I would change if I could (I lost the battle for putting a rug and/or an angled chair in to break up the open floor space), but over all, I think it's just about done.
We've also been doing some demolition and painting in the family room. I'll get those pictures up soon. The cavernous black hole of a built-in entertainment center is no more!!
There are so many creative, crafty, and fanciful ideas on Pinterest. I've learned a lot. It is impressive, the lengths people will go to celebrate every holiday to the fullest.
I applaud them for their creativity. I even thought of doing a few Pinterest projects myself this year. Teacher gifts:
All this project required were some labels from Staples and a bag of Hershey's Kisses.
But in the end, even that proved to be too much effort. I decided to go the easy route and just do simple store-bought valentines. I let the children have at their own boxes for school this year too, with little input from me. Mostly because I put it off until the last minute and then ate too much, which resulted in me spending the evening glued to the couch as my abdomen tried to find room that just wasn't there. And the baby needed some practice kicking my bladder. But I also stayed out of it because it's probably good for the kids to enjoy the creative/destructive process on their own terms.
My daughter had already finished her container at school, so she helped her little brother create his.
He made a robot face with a hole for the mouth.
I'm not sure what's going on inside the box. My guess is that these are the robot's innards:
I'm not gonna lie, some of the Valentine's Day boxes I saw going into school today were fantastic and I felt like I could have done more. The children carrying these boxes were proud and excited. Those kids loved their boxes. Even though the fanciful containers put my little Kindergartner's offering to shame, you'd never know it. He was so excited about his box! It was just what he wanted, and I'm okay staying out of the creative process as long as it's just what he wants. (Disclaimer — I'm sure that if I had made him a cool box, he would have been very happy with that as well!)
The teachers requested that the valentines be generic, with only the "from" portion filled out. Someone was kind enough to point out to us that by taping the lollipop in this particular location, all of my son's valentines basically say "to: Dum Dum." :)
I've been fighting the battle against time and tiredness the past couple of weeks. Time and tiredness have been kicking my trash. But this week I was able to eek out a little door painting project.
We decided to paint the front door black for now. I wasn't originally planning on painting it a high gloss, but when we changed our minds about the fireplace and made it white instead of black, I had this little can of paint left over. So, on the door it went.
Here's what the door looked like before:
And here it is now (in poor evening lighting; sorry!!)
I ended up painting the light fixtures next to the garage as well, to tie the black door into something. They were all that dark tan color before:
The paint I used was this new kind that is super thick and promises to dramatically decrease the appearance of brush strokes.
I was excited to try it, to see how it would work.
-It's really thick and doesn't drip.
-The brush strokes are greatly diminished.
-Because of the viscosity, it can't be mixed. You have to buy one of the pre-set colors, and there's not a lot of choices.
-The thick paint made me think that I could get away with one coat. That was not the case; this definitely needs a second coat once it's dry.
-It takes a long time to dry.
-Ten minutes into the project, I got some on my fingers. I wiped it off on a paper towel and realized that it was an oil-based paint. Which is fine, if you're expecting that, and you buy the appropriate chemicals to get it off. I, however, had no such chemicals on hand. I've still got black marks on my hands and arm. And I had to toss the brushes I used.
-It doesn't cover as much square footage as it's thinner equivalent.
-It's more expensive.
In all, I don't think I'll be buying this particular paint again. It served it's purpose. And it would go unused if I didn't put it on the door. However, in the end I think it was more trouble than it was worth.
Well, painting the door black wasn't a dramatic change, but we're happy with the results.
And hey, I'm just proud of myself for getting up and doing something — anything — productive this week! It's been a long one. Glad it's almost over. And now I can't get Paint It Black out of my head. Time to break out Rock Band and do it justice... at least, attempt to. You know, with all the extra time and energy I have. ;)