Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Little Spray Paint Goes a Long Way

Many times, I've purchased things with the intent of painting them. 
Sometimes I do, if I'm very desperate. For instance, the "etc" sign below and the blue frame, originally wooden and baby pink, respectively. But I used what I had, which was always acrylic craft paint - great, but not really great for the task.
It wasn't that I was scared of spray paint, but that I forgot to buy it and then didn't want to go back to the store. 

So when I made my gallery wall, I wanted the majority of the frames to be the same color, and decided on black. It seemed like a basic first color of spray paint, so I went to the store with one thing in mind: spray paint. I spent forever picking one out, because while I was there, I remembered a lamp base I bought three years ago with the intention to paint it, and three years was long enough.

So I got these - a basic matte black and a glossy light blue that was said to work on glass, which I needed for my lamp base.

Since it was my first time spray painting (on my own - I've helped people before), I took pictures.

While at the store, I didn't think to purchase painter's tape, or anything that would work, so I used what I had (see a pattern?) and taped off my lamp with scotch tape.

 I sprayed mostly even coats, but it looks drippy in the picture. It was difficult to get the paint even, because of the shape. the frames were a no-brainer and done really quickly but I didn't take their picture since they weren't a pretty blue.

Here's the finished product, which lives on my nighttable with this happy Target clearance lampshade. I didn't notice when I took this picture, but yep, the lampshade is lopsided.

I would say that my first spray painting adventure was a success, however I learned two things:
1- I didn't know that spray painting was a fever and that I'd want to paint everything in sight. I began to size up my dining room chairs and the rocking chair in the living room after this.

2 - my hand and forearm were strained because of painting! I don't know how I did it, but I feel like I pulled something or hit a nerve or something doing this - I was in so much pain for five days after this! (but I would still do it again)

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Lowcountry

One morning while we were visiting my hometown, I went out with the camera and tried to capture the Lowcountry. Oh, I couldn't photograph the smell of saltwater or the eggy yet nostalgic smell of pluff mud. Or, it turned out, a fiddler crab. They kept running away from me. But Daisy and I went for a little stroll on the property early one morning and I love so many of these pictures. I'm hoping to get one enlarged for my living room for a little taste of the South in our home.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A GRAND (Rapids) Old Time

Carson doesn't appear in this post at all, though he was around. 
Recently, Carson had a conference in Grand Rapids. He's gone to this particular conference several times, including Valentine's Day of this year and around Halloween last year. He always talks about how I'd like Grand Rapids, but since he's in meetings for the event from 9-9 every day, I've never really wanted to join him. I mean, sure, there's the free hotel thing, but even my deep love for watching random TV in hotels has a limit, and four days of that and only that is just past that point. 

But this spring and summer, not one but THREE close friends of mine from college moved to the Grand Rapids area. Two college roommates and one Reilly Building housemate. 
Now I want to go to Grand Rapids. Obviously. 
So we drove over there (it took us 4.5 hours. Not bad.), I dropped Carson off at his hotel, and drove to where Rachel and John are living, about 30 minutes away from the city. I spent Thursday evening-Saturday morning with them. During that time, Rachel and I had our first Pumpkin Spice Lattes of the season (sure, we both make 800 of them a day, but we didn't want to taste them until it felt like fall). We shopped a little, caught up, had a little Lindsay-feels-sorry-for-herself-because-she-has-poison-oak Blizzard pick-me-up, and had a grand time. Get it? GRAND Rapids? Nevermind. 
Forgive the double chin. That's why more sorry-for-myself Blizzards aren't in my near future.

The morning I left Rachel and John to go back to the city, I had to scrape the car for ice. Just when I think Cleveland weather is the worst... 
I went to Carson's hotel, threw my stuff in the room, and rested until it was time to meet Erica and Molly for a day of exploration. We meandered, walking around the streets before we remembered that we aren't very good at meandering without a plan. So then we had lunch and drove around. 

We ended up at the mall, because Molly had decided that her hair was too long and due for a cut. Here's a before picture of us. In the spirit of full disclosure, this was taken just outside of a public restroom. We ooze class. 

The before and after shots. Yes we returned to the bathroom just for a picture. Yes, we got funny looks. Yes, her hair is adorable and YES, I was tempted to cut mine a few inches shorter when I saw how cute her cut was. 

Hair chopped off, we decided that a drive around the city was a good idea.

"The Joke" - you know how "A blonde, a brunette and a redhead walked into a bar?" Well, look at us, we're basically THAT joke. So we sometimes call ourselves that (mostly me). 

We ended up exploring the hotel. Here's the link.

We concluded our day together with dinner. Unlike the dinners we had in college, this one did not consist of canned peas, fried eggs and popcorn. It was also considerably more expensive. 

I spent the evening watching the random TV I enjoy so much until Carson came back at 11 or so. After he met up with John for breakfast the next morning, we jumped in the car and went back to Cleveland, where we still haven't had to scrape ice off our car. Yet. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Switch

So we've been sleeping on the couch or the air mattress downstairs a lot this summer. I love warm weather but I can't sleep well when I'm sweaty. The upstairs has one vent for the air, and it was right next to the bed, so it basically blew air away from us at night. The box fan we used just wasn't powerful enough for the large upstairs room. 
In the winter, we were shivering and a space heater wasn't enough (same vent problem/big room problem). 
It wasn't working out for us, so months ago, we discussed switching the rooms. That way, the downstairs room wouldn't be such a junky catch-all room, we'd be cooler/warmer no matter the season (the downstairs room also has a fan) and we could use the upstairs as a den/office/community group small group room. We didn't do anything about it at the time. One night, I couldn't sleep (I was too hot) so I made a proposal to switch the guest bedroom (downstairs) with the master bedroom (upstairs). Carson agreed and we set my plan to motion the next morning, which was Labor Day.

This was my "master plan". Good thing I'm not an architect. These things aren't remotely to scale. 

Ugh. It was not so fun and seemed like a bad idea at this point - oh, forgot to mention that we started this an hour and a half before I had to go to work. It wasn't pretty. Those weird apple light-pulls are there for the long haul. I hate them, Carson loves them, and we aren't going to be here long enough for me to actually spend money or time replacing them. 

And the upstairs:

This, by the way, is a comparison:

Already, this is much, much more functional. Why did we not do this months ago?! Still trying to figure out something for over the bed and curtains for the downstairs room. Know of any fabric sales? Art sales? I want to add orange, coral, red and yellow to compliment the blue and brown.
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