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1  Pennsylvania / Pennsylvania: Northeast / Lehigh Valley Crafty People on: August 27, 2011 07:08:56 AM
Hi there peoples,

I just moved to the Allentown/South Whitehall Area a couple of weeks ago and I am finally starting to get settled.  We have been setting up my Craft room and that has reminded me that I wanted to try to locate crafty people/goings on/doings in the area.   Are there any crafty groups around here that I should know about?

When I'm not caring for my 1 year old, I'm knitting, crocheting, sewing, sculpting, embroidering, cross stitching, or decorating.  If you want proof, check my other posts - we really enjoyed re-doing our house in Pittsburgh and now I have a new house to focus on.

I'm looking for friends that enjoy similar activities and either don't mind my baby being around or have babies of their own. 

You know we'd get along if the idea of a warehouse of vintage fabric for cheap actually makes you hyperventilate a little. 
2  California / California: North / Re: Crafter Coming for a Visit! on: November 12, 2009 06:56:48 AM
Thank you so much for the suggestion.  That sounds right up my alley - but it's disappointing that we'll literally miss it by ONE DAY!  Ridiculous.  Maybe I can lobby for switching up the itinerary!
3  California / California: North / Crafter Coming for a Visit! on: October 05, 2009 07:49:08 AM
I'm from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and I am coming for a week long trip to Northern California with my husband.  This will probably be our last Vacation, just the two of us, for many years!

I LOVE to craft.  I do everything from sewing and quilting to jewelry to sculpting, etc.  We're still planning out our trip itinerary and I'm in charge of finding out if there are any specific crafty events or craft shops/stores/thrift places that we should make a point of visiting.  I'd love to peruse some Japanese fabrics (Kawaii stuff). 

Does any one have suggestions?  We're flying into Eureka and heading down to San Francisco. 

4  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Re: Bedroom on: July 27, 2009 08:21:26 AM
I got the idea for the color coded books from various photos I found around flickr.  As far as the orange shelves - they currently reside in the attic.  We're thinking of putting them up, up there for more storage.  But we'll see.

5  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Re: Bedroom on: July 09, 2009 06:30:58 AM
Okay - To answer all the questions:

1) The bookshelves and Globe Lights are from Ikea
2) The Chandeliers are from Urban Outfitters, they were recently on major sale online.
3) The Bedspread is Martha Stewart
4) I'm going to have to look up the paint color for you, but the trim was Swiss Coffee (We couldn't stop saying it to each other while painting)
5) The Floor underneath it all was SOFT wood (or Sub-flooring), not hardwood.  I lust after hardwood floors and if we'd had them, we would have refinished them.
6) For better for for worse, the Bird had disappeared by the end of the day leaving no trace.
7)  We had expected to find tile because every room of the house had a fireplace, but several were patched up - extremely poorly.  We did NOT want to get into opening up what we know is a non-working fireplace.  We did not just want to leave random tile showing on the floor.  We'd dealt with this tile before (see the dining room remodel), and although we tried prying it up to save it, it was impossible. We ended up smashing it and cementing over it.  In our bedroom we didn't have the time or inclination.  We didn't smash it up, but we didn't leave it visible or do anything special to it.

6  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Re: Bedroom on: July 08, 2009 12:26:25 PM
It looks really great. Love the colour.

Two questions: Where did you get that bookshelf? and Any idea what happened to the bird?

The bookshelf is from Ikea, and the bird is a mystery.  It left without a trace.  We never saw it again.  I take that as good news as I assume there would have been evidence of foul play.
7  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Bedroom on: July 08, 2009 12:05:32 PM
This is a long one.
Three years ago, Greg and I moved into our home, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.

The above is a photo of the bed room that we took when we were first looking at the house.  
When we very first moved in, we set up the room like this:

This photo was taken a month later; it shows you where the bedroom door WAS when we moved in.

I dressed as a southern belle for Halloween that year.  I found that dress in a thrift store for $2.
While we worked on other projects throughout the house, the bedroom morphed also.  It went from this:

and the closet of this:

To a different orientation of the bed, and the addition of some (on sale) orange curtains.

The different orientation of the bed kept the bed away from the door way.  Before, one of our nightstands was right next to the door, so that when you walked in, the very first thing in front of you was the night stand.
The night stands have drawers.
We keep private married-people stuff in those drawers.
I won't get graphic here, but it is a colorful, eye-catching sort of drawer when it's open.
We moved the bed on a Monday after a weekend visit from Greg's grandparents.  I had mentioned to Greg's Grandmother that I had a really cool Halloween costume (see above).  So despite the fact that we had carefully put all of our energy into cleaning and straightening the REST of the house and mutually agreed to leave the bedroom door firmly shut, I invited her in, left her at the entrance to the bedroom, and scurried to the closet to grab the costume to bring it out to show her.
When I brought it out she seemed distracted.  I put the costume away, and we left the room.  She went out first.  As I turned to close the bedroom door behind me - I caught a glimpse of the WIDE open married persons drawer, on display for my grandmother-in-law.
I think I blushed  for a solid hour.
SO we MOVED the bed.
The previous purchase of the bright orange curtains made it mentally possible for us to whole heartedly embrace these $2 shelves we found at Pottery Barn Clearance in their Teen section.

That is one of our many love seats, the scuzzy carpet, AND the broken blinds all in one photo.  That's talent people.  
That's also my fish tank.  I used to have fish in college.  I liked taking care of them.  Unfortunately, they died alot.  And when the few I brought to Pittsburgh died, Greg strongly encouraged me not to get anymore.  
But I know Eevee misses them.

The broken blinds happened in the middle of the night when I awoke to seeing a cat IN the blinds above the headboard, and then falling out of the blinds.

That was my effort to be artistic.
We collected all of those ledges and boxes from thrift stores and we painted them black and hung them on the wall.   The only result was that Greg would regularly smack his head into them while getting out of bed and walking out of the room.

This was our closet "revamped".

I spent a lot of energy ignoring the shortcomings of what should be a relaxing and welcoming and private space.   This year it became a source of pain for us.  Both of us were unsatisfied with it.  Both of us longed for something finished, beautiful.
The first thing we truly redid was the ceiling fan.
Somewhere in there, he got the brilliant idea that by putting up a garbage bag AROUND the hole (and himself) there would be significantly less mess.

On May 15th my husband told me that for my birthday, on June 12th, he would complete our bedroom.  He would spackle, sand, rip up carpet, replace carpet, paint, and put the finishing touches on.
SO, we moved stuff out.

And we moved the vast majority of it into the craft room.

Then Greg spent weeks spackling and sanding.

Then we started to rip up the carpet.  A big carpet store was having a sale, so we got an estimate from them and after getting them to drop their price over $1000, we accepted the deal.  We scheduled it and then worked hard to get everything (painting) done in advance for it.
Because of Greg's perfectionism, we would also be tearing out the carpet ourselves, even though that was included in the deal.  He just couldn't handle the idea that they'd tear the carpet out and do nothing about the floor board squeaks.
We started to take the carpet up in the closet.  There were different kinds of carpet in the closet vs. the bedroom, vs. the hallway, vs. the stairs up to the attic.
Underneath the closet carpet we found this red carpet:

Underneath that we found newspaper.

I did save one or two clips.  There were surprising and important things to remember in some of those papers.
Such as, did you know?:

Then there was the bedroom itself, first with its beige carpet, then with red carpet.

Then tapestry carpet.

Then newspaper.

Then laminate flooring - JUST ON THE EDGES:

And of course we found tile.

After all that was ripped out, there were still thousands of staples.

This was Sunday, three days before the carpet was to be installed.  We called in as much back up as possible - but there was limited availability, and there were some set backs.
We had a friend edge the bedroom ceiling,

while another friend quashed the creaks and squeaks in the floorboard and stairs, while Greg sanded the door frames,

While I painted the banister and all the trim I could get my hands on.  This is for another post, but we also carpeted the stairwell/hallway and so that needed to be painted before it all went in also - in addition to everything we were doing for the bedroom.
On Tuesday, I convinced Greg that we should postpone the carpet installation.  The stubborn man agreed to postpone it... 24 hours.  We were able to put in one extra night of work.
That night there was a terrible thunderstorm.  I love thunderstorms so I was happy to hear the pouring rain and the cracking thunder.  I was painting trim, and Greg was scraping, and two of our friends came over for an hour while we were tirelessly edging, and painting, and scraping and sanding...

Then Greg decided he needed a different scraper, so he ran down to the basement and all of a sudden I hear "HOLY CRAP".

Water was pouring into our basement, not from under our walk-out basement door, but UP from a drain in the middle of the floor.  It was almost a fountain in the middle of the basement floor - and after racing down to see what the problem was, we all froze on the stairs, COMPLETELY unsure of what to do.
I ran upstairs, called an emergency Roto Rooter appointment, grabbed whatever towels I could get my hands on and ran back downstairs.   Greg had disconnected the extension cord that had been hanging and half submerged in the water - plugged in - and was now lining up paint cans to get out to the fountain.

And then he took this big canvas drop cloth and shoved it on the hole, put a cement block on it, and stood on it.  Eventually, it slowed and stopped, and then we packed it up and went back up to our painting.  It was very surreal.
Apparently it flooded a second time - but we were more "live and let live" with the water then.
I fell into a dead sleep at about 1 a.m.
Greg stayed up all night working.  He swore he would finish everything - painting every room.

He didn't.
But I love him for trying.

Greg stayed home the next day so that someone else was in the house.  I was feeling relieved - the day had FINALLY come... until I caught a glimpse of these two standing at attention in the front office.

It didn't take very long to figure out they were staring at a bird.  

I discovered the bird at approximately 7:55 a.m.  I had to leave for work.  The carpet guy was going to be there any second.  The cats were having a blast stalking and watching the bird.
I made a conscious decision NOT to think about the bird.  Or what the cats might do to the bird.
So we left for work, and the carpeting commenced:

When I got home, I discovered this:

Sweet carpet.
It was beautiful.
My only complaint we had was that they underestimated the amount of carpet needed, so about 12 steps were left UNcarpeted.

But all was well, the carpet guy came back the next day to finish the job, and it was good.
Dexter also liked the carpet.
But he liked the leftover padding even more.

And despite minor setbacks like that, the carpeting brought us closer together as a family.

So, Greg spent another week and painted the bedroom.  Then we started moving everything back in.
First to the closet:

And the other complication about the closet was that we wanted doors .  Two separate doors.  We called 12 door places in Pittsburgh - and NOBODY sold doors like that.
Now, between you and me, Greg latches on to things sometimes.  When he latches on, he becomes minorly obsessive...  He found a place in Ohio - an hour and a half away - that made these doors.  At this point I was like, why don't we just get one door and be done? please?  And he was like, No.

So we drove an hour and a half, there and back, to get new closet doors .
We moved in the bureaus:

And the bed:

And then we put the finishing touches in the room... including curtains, new blinds, lights, a new bookcase (NO MORE ORANGE SHELVES!) and a new comforter.
Now, I invite you to enter my sanctuary --- My Bedroom.

As you walk in, the bed is immediately on your left and the low bureau is immediately on your right.

This is a reverse look at the doorway into and out of the bedroom along the bureau wall.  The Bureau is the same one we started with but we took the chunky hutch up to the attic.

On top of the bureau we have a table runner, two globe lights and an iridescent glass dish.  Before the renovations, I used to throw jewelry on the bureau where it would accumulate till it resembled a nightmarish jewelry monster.  While there will definitely still be casual placement of jewelry on the bureau - now I can aim for that pretty glass dish.

And continuing along that wall with the bureau is the doorway to our closet!
The door on the adjacent wall is to my mini-shoe closet.  This closet is approximately 1 foot deep - not even deep enough for hangers.  

Continuing on, you can catch another glimpse of what is probably my favorite bedroom feature.

Oh my pretty pretty book shelves.  I loves them.  They are wonderfuls.  And the books are organized by color.  YES color.  

And front and center is my favorite childhood book.  The tilted books just happen to be a few of my absolute favorites.
Moving onward to the far corner of the room is the second bureau.

This one also features two globe lights and a table runner.
The globe lights have cherry blossoms etched on them.

Continuing -- Next is the window that looks out onto our neighbor's beautiful brick wall.  We decided it was safe to put the air conditioner there.  Unfortunately, that means that the air conditioner, whilst conditioning, gently blows the gauzy curtains around.  After 2 hours of watching cat after cat zip out from under the bed to attack the offending curtain - they were banned from the room.

And now the bed.

On the left side of the bed, which is Greg's side, we have a charger station that we got on clearance.
On the right side of the bed, we have the sexy new alarm:
A particular CD alarm clock has been with me for as long as I can remember.  It has two alarms. It can play cds.  It is amazing.  Aside from my computer, it is the only stereo system I ever owned.   But Greg has had some complaints about it over the years.  He claims that sometimes, the alarm does not go off.  Sometimes, after he sets the alarm, it will turn the alarm off by itself.  And sometimes, during the day when he's sitting in silence, he can hear the beep beep BEEP BEEP of its increasingly urgent siren-song of GET UP NOW.
So I went searching for - and found - the PERFECT alarm system for us.  And yes, it is sexy.

I may have gone a little nutty with the pillows.

But I love it anyway.
8  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Baby Booties: Evolution of Skillz, Successes and Failures (14 Different Pairs!) on: January 21, 2009 11:01:53 AM

A while back, I discovered Heather Bailey's Baby Booties pattern online: http://www.heatherbailey.typepad.com/heather_bailey/2006/06/bitty_booties.html

I thought they were absolutely adorable, so I had to try my hand at them.  In this post I'd like to share with you the journey I took, tweaking the pattern, trying my hand at different techniques, and learning about lining, embroidery, shaping, appliques, hand stitching, machine stitching, and fabrics.

At first, of course, I thought I was all that.  So I decided to drastically tweak the pattern for my very first pair of baby booties.  I had seen another pair somewhere on flickr that used a lime green/cream color scheme and I loved it.  So I whipped out a pair and used two holographic buttons as closures.  Boy did they come out badly.

I knew they didn't look right, and it was the first time I'd ever tried a Blanket stitch.  I'm pretty hard on myself when it comes to my crafts, and it was hard for me to even show you those.  Surprisingly, it didn't take long for me to try again.  I decided one of the major problems was the way I stitched the top and the bottom together - so I decided to do the next one so that you stitch the outside of the top to the outside of the bottom - And I decided to line both the top piece and the bottom piece.  Unfortunately, I decided to use a particularly pretty brocade and cotton fabric for the top, and it ended up fraying a bunch while I was trying to hand stitch it.

You can see the fraying around the top edges.  Also, because the brocade was unruly, it didn't come out nicely shaped - it was all wonky.  These pictures look okay because I stuffed them hard with tissue paper to make them a little more stretched out/normal shaped.

I was disappointed with my work again, but learned that if I'm going to be sewing a brocade fabric, I should either machine stitch it, or I should interface it first.  At the time I was still a little wary of my sewing machine, and I hadn't ever interfaced something, so I decided to go back to felt as my fabric.

The next pair I attempted I decided to really buckle down and do everything absolutely perfectly.  I heard about a Michael Miller baby bootie contest, and I got really excited.  So I first designed a pair of baby booties and then went about doing all the things that needed to be done for them.  These are pink felt with hand embroidered watermelon seeds.  The bottom rind is made of two shades of green felt, machine stitched together.  The bottom of the booties are micro suede with machine stitching.  The bottom inside of the booties is lined with super soft fleece.  The inside of the booties is lined with watermelon fabric.  The bow is pink satin.  Almost everything was hand stitched together.

Unfortunately, despite these taking MANY hours to make, they didn't even come close to winning. Sad

Regardless, they're probably my favorites and I'll be holding on to them for possible future baby girls.

While I was making those booties, I decided to do double the work and make a second pair in a slightly different style, so instead of putting the "rind" at the bottom of the booties, I lined the top edge with it and set it up "kimono style".

Another view: http://www.flickr.com/photos/craftyintentions/2530258301/in/set-72157606310779498/

Encouraged by my success, I decided to try out another design idea I'd been toying with, a bootie made to look like a pea pod.  Unfortunately, I didn't line it, and in order to get the effect I wanted I had to alter the Bootie design in such a way that I'm pretty sure these babies would NEVER stay on wiggly toes.  It's a good concept, but I am disappointed in the execution.

Another photo of these: http://www.flickr.com/photos/craftyintentions/3215360306/in/set-72157606310779498/

A friend of mine at work was having a baby girl and I decided to try to make a really girly pair of baby booties as part of her gift.  I did pink felt with plenty of lace, lined with felt and cotton (with a butterfly print).  I masked any top fraying with a little extra lace and finished it off with a tiny little bow.  They are very sweet looking and she was very excited to get them. 

Another photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/craftyintentions/2692713788/in/set-72157606310779498/

Next, because I LOVE rainbows, I decided to do bright blue rainbow baby booties.  This time I machine stitched the edges together, and I hand stitched to the top and the bottom of each bootie together.  I also hand stitched all of the decoration except for the soles - that is machine stitching. 

Another View: http://www.flickr.com/photos/craftyintentions/3214539623/in/set-72157606310779498/

The only thing I regret with those was not originally cutting the micro suede for the soles a little bit larger.  This microsuede was softer and more pliable than the stuff I had used before, and consequently it stretched in funny ways and made the booties' shape a little less regular than I desired.  Overall, I'm happy with the way they turned out.

The next pair I tried were based on a lady bug inspiration - I wanted to try to convey little black polka lady bugs.  I lined it with a flannel and the bottoms are a very dark brown micro suede.

Top view: http://www.flickr.com/photos/craftyintentions/2531074624/in/set-72157606310779498/

I wish I had been able to find a real black micro suede before embarking on those - but I couldn't.  And now they're adorable and everything, but I think I may leave them as a "One-of-a-kind".

Then I languished in my baby bootie making for a while.  I wasn't inspired because the only ones that came out perfect took me weeks to finish.  However, my sister-in-law (My husband's brother's wife) is pregnant with her 3rd boy and I hadn't been making baby booties when her other two were born, and she had told me that she admired the booties I made.  I got to work making these:

Another view: http://www.flickr.com/photos/craftyintentions/3193316321/in/set-72157606310779498/

This time I tried to hand embroider on the micro suede sole, but other than that, they were fairly simple.  I made an accompanying baby onesy, with little gold wings on the back.   They remind me of that Greek God... the messenger dude with the wings on his sandals.

Then, because those were so much fun to make, I decided to start trying again recreationally.  I lined this next pair with fleece on the bottom and flannel on the top.  The outside fabrics are micro suede and felt.  The bears are vintage patches that I found at a Pennsylvania treasure trove of craftiness, and the balloons are also felt.  Everything was hand stitched together.

Another View: http://www.flickr.com/photos/craftyintentions/3181330071/in/set-72157606310779498/

Because THOSE were so much fun to make, I decided to keep going and try my hand a little baby wing tips.  I felt like I'd spent a lot of energy making booties that were appropriate for girls or were unisex - I wanted to make a pair that was pretty much all-boy.

That was the first time I'd ever really used a French Knot.  It turned out to be pretty easy, and definitely worked.  The little bows were made from puff shapes that I got for Christmas - so I'm not exactly sure of their particular company origin, but I didn't make them myself, i just scrunched them in the middle to make them look more like bow ties.

Because THOSE were successful, and I really loved using the puff shapes and I have a bunch of trim floating around that I don't use enough of - I decided to go for a Dutch baby look with Heart trim and Heart puffs.  The embroidery stitch I used on the bottom was a little more complex than the blanket stitch and I basically just did what looked right and then repeated it a million times along the bottom:

I don't think I'll ever be able to part with those, but I have a few more puff hearts so I will probably be making another pair.

I loved using applique's and patches so much, that I decided to do a polka dot version.  Here's a rare in process photo:

They turned out a bit more "royal" looking than I intended... probably something to do with the purple and the gold.  My husband really likes them.

Another view: http://www.flickr.com/photos/craftyintentions/3201480404/in/set-72157606310779498/

I used Gold embroidery thread to stitch on the patches and I used a blue embroidery thread to stitch the edges.  The top edge of the bootie has gold ric rac and a crazy purple ribbon trim. 

The next (and most recent/last) pair I tried, I decided to use these little metal studs, and woven ric rac, and patches, and a pink and green color scheme (similar to the watermelon booties).  I decided that rather than making them identical, I would go for abstract.  I'm still not quite sure how I feel about them.

And that's where I'm at.  I can feel my inspiration languishing, so it'll probably be a while before I work on more baby booties, but we'll see.  I wanted to share these with you and I hope you enjoyed!  Here is a link to my flickr baby booties set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/craftyintentions/sets/72157606310779498/

Have a crafty day!

9  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Apple Green Living Room (Drowning in Pictures) on: January 19, 2009 08:27:37 AM
In the spirit of having a new camera, and therefore taking all the photos I've always wanted to take... I've decided to embark on yet another journey with you. I will lead you through our Living room renovations. Let me preface this with the following:

This is my first house, and I don't yet have kids. That means I can be as crazy as I want to be without the crazy rubbing off on spawn of mine. (One of) My type(s) of crazy translates into trying vastly different color schemes in each room of the house that we re-do. So far our bathroom is PURPLE (really. In caps.), my craft room is turquoise with red, my dining room is dark teal, my foyer/hall is on its way to being a burnt red, and my living room is Apple Green (or that's what the paint says). As with every room we redo, I start out with a pretty clear gut-feeling vision of what I want. At some point, about half way through, when the dust has coated everything I own, and the paint is half way up... I crack and start to seriously doubt what I'm doing. I start to convince myself that it's probably going to look really, really dumb. What was I thinking? Purple? For a bathroom? Green? BRIGHT Green? What?

But I have to be honest with you -- And shhh, don't tell the other rooms --- but the green living room is definitely my favorite. It's cozy and inviting and I LOVE it. I can only hope that somehow the magic will repeat itself when we move and I want to do the same thing to our next living room.

Let the Journey Begin:

This is our how our living room looked before we moved in:

Mrs. Blur-face is our Realtor. She was very kind and very helpful. She was barely phased by the fact that we were so young and we wanted to buy a house for cheap.

That window there looks out of the front of the house over the front porch and out at the street.

The shelves you see were partially built in to the space, but mostly (to fasten them in place?) they were painted to the wall. The carpet was the same dark green icky carpet that covered the whole first floor and the living room had a total of 2 outlets - one in the wall behind the table you see in the above picture, and one nearby it in the floor. Oh, and yes. That's a drop ceiling - Dentist office style.

The first thing we did upon moving in was the floor, if you want a better look at how that went check out my post about my dining room renovation. After ripping up carpet and evil looking nails and staples, we laid down Luann and I am proud to say that I (pretty much single handedly!) screwed in the Luann to the ENTIRE living room floor. Everyone else was occupied elsewhere, so I busied myself with a drill and had a grand old time!

The thing that got in our way, almost immediately, were the "built in shelves". We tore those out in order to do the floor completely. I'm glad we did take them out because they weren't really even and they definitely weren't well supported.

In this photo you can see where we patched the walls where the built in shelves had been and you can see the blue in the bottom left hand corner of the picture. Before you lay laminate flooring, you must lay this squishy stuff down..... I guess it makes the laminate flooring more comfortable?

At this point, we had a bunch of lovely gift certificates for various stores from our wedding, and after having laid down the laminate floor we ventured out in the world to feather our nest.

It turns out that nest feathers are expensive, and so we ended up being able to afford a new rug and a new love seat cover and that's it - I couldn't believe how expensive rugs and seat covers are. Regardless of the expense, those two things helped this room to be more homey to us and it was worth it. I'll lead you through our living room. Every once in a while I'm going to show you a photo and then - because I'm a little obsessed with flickr's picnik photo editor - I'll use the same photo to highlight key points.

Now... With Labels:

If this repetition of photos gets annoying, just let me know - seriously. It's okay? Alright, good. I probably wouldn't have stopped anyway.

Okay, I won't label that one.... except to say that that Green glass is the very beginning of our collection - and that shop vac was probably the very best house warming gift... EVER.

Now you can really see the scars where we patched the wall from the "built in" shelves.

I guess this photo doesn't really need labels either... just a solid "Gilmore Girls Rocks!", and I think we can move along...

Our next step was to really settle in. We got matching lamps (a donation from my parents) and a brand new curtain. We used a bookshelf my father had made me when I was a child for our VHS movies. We found a second endtable in a thrift store... they're different heights, but it was okay.

Our white cat, eevee, is probably hiding under that chair in this photo.

Ironically, we were playing a game of Settlers when this photo was taken.

This photo shows a second tiny hutch that we rescued from a thrift store... and it shows the thing I made for the fire place (which I'll show you later).

We also kept the computer in the Living room for a very long time. For a while it happily resided in its own corner... and then our love seats started dividing exponentially. My parents gave us the one you saw us put our new love seat cover on, then Greg had an old one from college. Then the parents of a friend of ours from college who live in Pittsburgh gave us another old love seat, so we had three love seats residing in our living room. Three love seats and no couches. Let me tell you what a good approximation of torture is: Provide a room with great entertainment, and lots of seating that's long enough for you to lay down all scrunched up, but never to stretch out. That's torture, my friends.

Then one magical day, we were browsing a near by Goodwill and Greg fell head over heels in love. With an Ethan Allen Couch and Love seat. While we're both appalled at the idea of these babies being donated to a thrift store because someone didn't care about them, I would rather imagine the scenario as follows: Someone cared treMENdously about these soft, barely worn leather couches. They cared SO much about them and had such good memories with them, that they needed to pass that good karma onto someone else. We just happen to be those lucky people. We moved one of the loveseats up to our bedroom and two into what (at some point) became my craft room. We now had 4 loveseats and one couch in a two bedroom house. Eventually we got rid of one of them, but we still have 1 in our bedroom, 1 in my craftroom, and the good-karma set that we bought from Goodwill.

And now with labels!

That was fun, wasn't it?

Here's a different view:

After this photo was taken, we did two things: we made the most expensive purchase for our house yet - Ikea shelving for either side of the fireplace, AND Greg tiled in front of the fireplace. There had not been tile there before (or at least if there was it was covered with 18 layers of paint, some tar, and some liquid evil, so we decided to leave it alone). We got the tile from a local Pittsburgh place called Construction Junction. Since we've moved here they've really notched up their organization and their website, so feel free to go take a look. They stock this giant warehouse with all manner of used and unused construction supplies from toilets to windows to doors to random things like diner booths, glass store displays, church pews, and stair cases. It's a treasure trove, and whether or not you're looking for anything specific, it's always fun to browse. Greg and I had quite the experience there in a terrential downpour while trying to get a 30 inch kitchen cabinet into a 28 inch space. Incase you're not good with the numbers, that just doesn't work and we ended up getting very wet and giving our car a nice soaking as well. Construction junction is also where we found out that the possibly-badly-stained tile that we had been uncovering on our fireplace is actually vintage tile. We came across a couple of boxes of tile that looked almost identicle to what we have and it was priced at $3 a tile. That was the first time we had heard of vintage tile... so we decided to keep it as is.

From the Dining room door way:

The next step was finishing the ceiling by spackling, sanding and painting.

*note* You may notice that the fan light is in pictures before this point - it went up slightly before we embarked on finishing the ceiling.

First, we moved everything out (with help from the in-laws):

And then Delilah and I were tired.

When we moved in, this room had a drop ceiling. The drop ceiling was one of the first things to go. The actual plaster ceiling is delightfully high and I much preferred a crack-ridden plaster ceiling to a perfectly aligned drop ceiling. One of the problems with the plaster ceiling was that it had big chunks out of it in a particular formation that indicated it had once (but no longer) had ceiling lights. We DEFINITELY wanted to put in a fan light, so we began work rewiring and patching the ceiling:

The ceiling needed a lot of work, but it was worth it:

We did find, while we were rewiring, that above where we wanted to install this central fixture was the end of a gas pipe. Our house definitely used to have all gas fixtures. About 2 months prior to re-doing the ceiling here, we had a series of gas leaks. Greg would come home from work, I'd be sitting on the couch with a bad headache and he'd say "Gee, it really smells like gas in here. I'm calling the home warranty people". I'd say "I have a headache."

There were a few very cold winter nights without heat, and eventually ( I think after the 6th leak) the gas-leak-fixer-guy that they sent out decided to put an end to the madness by recommending a complete system replacement. He wanted to sever all the lines to the house and install one line that would go out to all of the appliances in our house that use it. It would also be easy for us to install future lines out to things like an outdoor grill if we wanted. We were thrilled. The home warranty company was not. But the repair happened anyway. As it turns out, there were live gas lines running to every floor of the house through the walls. A lot of them were leaky. Great. By the time we got to install this light fixture it was a relief knowing that there was DEFINITELY no gas supply running to it.

We selected paint from Lowes. We settled on an apple green color for the room, and (not really knowing what I was doing) I selected a "Chocolate" Brown for the walls on either side of the fireplace:

When we moved all of our stuff back in, it looked like this:

And, our slow growing glass collection brought to you by TJ Maxx and local Thrift stores:

Our Fireplace languished at 80% refinished for a LONG time. I spent an entire 8 hour period carefully scraping paint out of ONE of the wooden scrolls and then I spent about 4 days in pain paying for my dedication. Then I carefully ignored the project for a long time. We had plenty of excuses. In November of this year we decided that for Christmas we would DEFINITELY finish the mantle. It took my husband about One week of solid nightly dedication. Hopefully we kept the place well-ventilated, but I think both Greg and I were a little loopy that week from all the stripping chemicals. Here's how it turned out:

It came out a touch shinier than I might have wanted, but overall - very much what I wanted.

Now, as for that thing inside the fireplace... This fireplace is unusable. Apparently it would suck up many thousands of dollars in repair costs before we could light a fire in there so very early on we were resigned to the fact that we wouldn't be roasting marshmallows indoors or anything.

Also very early on in the timeline of our lives in Pittsburgh, I became somewhat romantically despondant about being so far from friends and family. One of my favorite childhood books was "East of the Sun and West of the Moon" and the last line of the book has to do with - the path to the kingdom may be long and far, but if you find your way there you will find welcome within. I loved that sentiment, and in the hopes that more of our friends and family would find their way to us to visit, I did this little fireplace tealight holder.


Greg took leftover laminate flooring and some luann and constructed a staired tealight holder. It's not as stable as a chair, but it does its job. Then I went to work with copper wire. I did 4 scenes - The very bottom is merely decorative. The next up is the sun on the left on the moon on the right. The next up is the salamander at the center of the earth in the story talking to the heroine. The next up is the north wind carrying the heroine to the city. And on the very top level I did a teensy tiny itty bitty city on a hill.

Here's a close up:

After finishing the mantle, we moved everything back to where it was supposed to be and we decorated for Christmas!!! Here are the results:

(I dyed these with coffee to match each other when lit)

And that brings us to the end of the Living room (R)evolution. If you'd like to see more photos of the living room in use (aka messy) or the photos in this topic in larger versions, visit Here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/craftyintentions/sets/72157612283914606/

10  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Re: Teal Dining Room (with a side of silver Christmas and a motherload of photos) on: January 14, 2009 07:25:57 AM
Hello All!!!

I'm so flattered by the response here!!! It certainly was a journey to finish this space, and sharing it with other people makes it a little sweeter.

I thought I'd respond to the questions that have been coming up:

1) The remodel itself was not what I would term "expensive".  We did all the work ourselves.  The laminate floor was cheap and donated to us by Greg's parents.  The drywall was the cost of the ceiling.  The recessed lights were the cheapest we could find. The shelves we built ourselves.  The piano was a gift. The table was a gift. The chairs were $15 each. The corner cabinet was already in the house. The "china" cabinet was from a thrift store and we painted it.  The shelves that hold music were from a thrift store.  The wreath that you see, I made.  The "Gifts" decorating the shelves are the wrapped boxes of the twinkle lights we used.  The Chandelier cost approximately $100 (and we bought it, I did not make it.)

2) The chandelier came that way.  I looked for about a month online for a modern looking acrylic chandelier.  There are a handful of them out there, but the vast majority are depressingly expensive.  This one was downright cheap considering.  And it came with all of those hanging crystals so I knew it would bring the sparkle that I wanted.  It only has one light bulb, but with the recessed lighting it's not a problem.

3)  Right now it does seem as though the room is super suited to Christmas time.  But, I have strong faith that it'll look and feel spectacular in the summer too.  It still has one finishing touch left - curtains.  The curtains will be iridescent silk.  I already have the fabric, I just have to sew them up.  I also intend to begin scouring thrift stores for interesting pieces of silver to more permanently stock those decorative shelves. 

4) I totally agree with the comments and remarks on the table not quite fitting anymore.  The problem with changing it at this point is that we'll probably only be in this house for another year or so.  Then we'll be moving, so I'm strongly resisting buying larger nicer pieces of furniture for the decoration of THIS house.  I'd rather wait till we get where we're going and make sure that whatever we buy new is going to fit there perfectly.   If I had an unlimited budget, I'd be looking for a very geometric black finish table with some black finish geometric chairs to match. 

5) The shelving is attached to the wall with these little metal things you can buy at loews.  Basically you carve out a little area on whatever it is you want to hang, and then you screw the metal plate to it.  The metal plate has one of those holes in it in to which you can slide the head of a screw (that's already in the wall) and then settle down on to it.  I'm sorry if that's not a good enough explanation - but they do have the parts at Loews!

Any other questions feel free to ask or message me Smiley Thanks so much for looking! Smiley
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