Monday, August 29, 2011

Tea cart explosion

So, I found this cool brassy cart at Goodwill for $3 about a month ago.  I had to get it because I've always wanted a little cart to put booze and stuff on for parties.  Booze accessories get me every time. 
I decided to spray it with the same shade I used on my hott lamps in the porch.  I like!
I know, a spray painting post is hardly groundbreaking.  And although it does look really nice....
I thought it would be funny to instead tell you how I decided to hoard tea carts.  I saw one this on CL about a week after I bought the metal one, and made it mine.
After a quick once-over with Howard Restor-A-Finish and Feed-N-Wax, I was able to get it all stocked for a party we were having THAT DAY.
I know it would look amazing painted, with the bamboo-like styling, but I don't think I could paint it.  I intend to give it more "Howard love" to see what it can look like when I really put some effort into it.  What would you do? 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Doing the fish

This post is dedicated to my new 8mm fish eye lens I scored on Amazon. 
I still don't think I've totally gotten the hang of the manual focus, so I fear some of my interior shots are pretty soft and slightly blurry.  I hope I get better at it, and I also hope my lens isn't defective because I know sometimes that can happen.  I love that it's not a 'bubble' fish eye, but a rectangular distortion.  Look at the width of this shot! 
The outside ones turned out pretty cool.  I played in the grass with the cats and just had fun with the camera for awhile.  I'm sure my neighbors thought I was crazy laying on my stomach taking pictures of my cat.  Oh well.
I love how this one makes the railing look.
Caution: the distortion can *ahem* make things look larger than they are.  
Shaun hung around for a hot minute so I could test my focusing skills.
That was actually the most enthusiastic shot.  Check out my marigold plant stands - I found some ugly green ones and sprayed them for the perfect place to stash a drink.  And they even match the zinnias!   
Naughty cat got a closeup after he got caught eating grass.  Again. 
I like that you can see our trash on the curb in this one.  Awesome!  I really need to take more photos of the front of the house, it gets no photo love.  Hello house.
Hello sky. 
So....if you have any manual focus advice for me, I'm all ears! 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Party in our porch's 11:55pm, I've had two too many iced coffees today (that means 2) and while I'm on a mad cleaning spree waiting for the laundry to be done washing, I decided to do a long post about a porch you haven't seen yet.  It's the one you can see in all my patio shots:
I haven't shown it to you, because it usually looks like this:
Except add about 10 times more crap and put Shaun's big orange kayak on the ground.  Quite embarrassing.  Before our summer party on Saturday, we wanted a nice clean porch to enjoy with our guests.  We were pretty far from that. 
The structure of the porch was obviously an add-on sometime after the house was built, and I don't think it's been maintained since is a series of wood grids that (33!) removeable glass panels fit into. 
The wood and glass inserts were hopelessly dirty.  We had to remove all the glass, number the (33!) panels, and set them aside for a good cleaning.  Of course, each opening is a different size!  And there are 33!  Did I mention that?
BAH!  That is what I say to moving all these heavy things about a million times.  The ceiling also hadn't been painted since we moved in. 
Dingy!  The chandelier I actually put up when we moved in, there was a weird recessed light in here, the medallion is covering the hole and the light is swagged to center on the table without blocking the french doors.  The ivory paint I used on the chandy looks yellow now.  Of course.  
So...Shaun shopvacced (yeah, it's a word now)
We cleaned/sanded everything, caulked around the bottom, and then we both painted - even though there is no photographic evidence of me painting, I assure you I still have it under my nails. 
I spent an exorbitant amount of time trying to mix up the perfect light blue/aqua for the ceiling using old blue paint Boozie left behind, the green in our guest room, the teal I have throughout our house, and white.  I must've gone up and down the stairs 35 times trying to get it right!  I will never work for Benjamin Moore.
I did end up getting it right, and the rest of the room came together after I re-sprayed the chandy and all the glass was Windexed - yep, also a word.  It looks much more blog-worthy now, don't you think?
The only things I bought were the four new pillows from Home Depot, on clearance for $5 each....and the 6x9 jute rug from Pier 1 for $140.  Considering the old ugly rug was free, I was willing to spend a little coin for one I loved.  Coincidentally, the big red lantern and dining table set are from Pier 1 also.  I got that table used for $150 when we moved in.  Curtains are $15 Ikea specials that I already had.  Here's another before:
And after:
I know what you're thinking...does this girl bleed aqua and red?  Why yes, I do. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Our dirty secret

Awhile ago, Shaun and I got a wild idea to rip out the indoor/outdoor carpeting that is in our back hallway going down the stairs.  Our cat box lives on this small landing, for lack of a better place.  That door behind it leads to our driveway, we never use it.
With a cat that likes to periodically pee outside the box, the carpeting was stinky and gross, I couldn't wait to get rid of it. 
Yeah, this is really hard for me to share with everyone.  I know I wasn't as diligent about cleaning the box as I should be.  I do have three (!) litter boxes in the basement as well...and this one really should be moved upstairs, but I'm terrified of Max peeing on our newly refinished floors.  The carpet around this area was also a convenient scratching post for my cats, who have all their claws. DOH!
Once we started ripping it up, I was pretty amused by what we found.  Old linoleum (at least I think it's actual lineoleum, based on the age) in a funky pattern. 
Once that carpeting was removed, I was able to scrub the heck out of the flooring, baseboards, and put down some 'urine off.' 
The stairs also looked better minus the scraggly carpeting. 
However, we are at a loss about what to do with them.  Do we try to rip the flooring up and refinish the wood?  Rip off all the treads and buy new ones?  Paint what's there until we feel like dealing with it?  We have no idea.  So it's sitting like this until I make up my mind. 
Stupid litter box.  Please tell me your litter box/cat potty problems, I need to know I"m not alone!

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Just when I thought I was done pulling huge flagstones out of the ground, I put my shovel down to plant a new grouping of coneflowers yesterday and heard that familiar 'chink.'  I am immediately disgusted that my quick planting is now going to take an hour while I dig this thing out.  And it did take forever, it was huge and also partly under the neighbor's fence. 
I cleared out as much dirt as possible and wedged the shovel under the edge to pull up with all my might.  Embarrassingly enough, I fell when the shovel slipped off while I was pulling up, I darn near broke my dappled willow and hit the grass flat on my back so hard my glasses flew off.  I'm pretty sure I heard the giggle of a fat ass squirrel, too...
Finally, without any more 'America's Funniest Videos' moments, I had it loosened enough to wiggle and pull it out with my hands.  And, poor flagstone was freed from it's earthy prison. 
Thanks, Boozie Susie for burying 100's of flagstones in our yard and planting grass over them! 
Who knows how many more we will find....but all of the stones in our mini retaining wall were once underground, so I'm quite sure there are still more in there.  Oh happy day.