Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Craft Talkin'

These past few days I've been slaving away on my wedding invites.  I started addressing all of them today with my new found calligraphy skills and now have early onset arthritis.  I finally understand why my teacher told me to only do five per night and start early.  I just cranked out 48 and feel like my hand is in permanent grip position.

I so wish I could share them with you, but you'll just have to wait until after the wedding!

I figured I'd update everyone on my craft room progress since I've been in here the past 4 days straight...10am to 1am (not kidding).  We're BFFs at this point.

I was spacing a bit before we started on this room and totally forgot to snap a few before picks.  Luckily I have Chris's mother who actually remembers to take pictures.  She sent me this one from the last time she came to visit.

Pre Craft Room it was Chris's "Archive" Room (???)

Chris had actually cleaned up this room a few months before I made the big move, so it wasn't this crazy looking.  He knew I'd need a room for my future Etsy work and took the initiative to clear it out ahead of time.  He even threw a few puzzles on my Billy bookshelves because he's the best fiance ever and knows I love them in my spare time.

I figured that as soon as I got this room all unpacked it would be a gigantic mess of wedding stuff, so if I wanted to paint, I better do it before everything went in.  I loved the yellow so much in the kitchen that I decided I would paint this room the same color.  Nice bright color to enhance creativity.  After sifting through a few magazines and reading some blogs I noticed the trend of wall patterns going on right now.  What better room than this one to have some fun, right?  I decided to make the alternating color the same as another room we are doing in the house to not spend more money and I knew it would look great anyway.

Here is the craft room pre all the furniture and my junk moved in.

Same corner as above

Love a freshly trimmed closet

Stripey goodness

Amazing, right?  I LOVE IT.

As soon as this place is actually cleaned up and not a wedding invite spoiler, I will post picks showing how I organized everything.  Hoping to get a few things up on the walls too.

In the meantime, what was your most daring wall paint decision?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Table for Two

As you may have noticed from the pictures posted yesterday, the kitchen has a very large open space that just begs to be filled.

Wide open

While the cabinet definitely helped fill in a little bit of that, there was still something missing.  The light fixture just seemed so sad and lonely over there in the corner.  I figured the most obvious thing to throw in there would be a nice little table for two.  I could turn it into a cozy little nook for Chris and I to eat our breakfast and sip espressos at while having extremely intelligent conversations about cryogenic carbon capture and sequestration.   Well...he would have them while I smiled and nodded at appropriate moments.

So I set out on my quest to find the perfect little bistro table for an affordable price.  Since I'm working on a pretty tight budget here, I figured the most reasonable thing to do would be to search for a second-hand one.  The first places to check were online sites Craigslist and KSL classifieds (Chris filled me in on this one).  The most efficient way would be finding it online and only having to drive one place and pick it up.  No dice.  There were very few bar height tables even listed on the sites and none that were small enough and cheap enough.  This search was one of my first wake up calls that I wasn't in Portland anymore.  Try typing in anything with the word "bar" and you don't get many results here.

Next step was to look up thrift shops.  There was one in Springville and two in Provo.  "B" is actually a mobile home park.  I know this for sure because I actually drove there thinking I was headed to "A".  Fail.

Let's compare that to Portland.

Oh I was so spoiled and I didn't even know it.

First stop was to the place in Springville called Wandering Wardrobe.  The lady was extremely friendly, but informed me that she hadn't had a bistro/bar/pub table come through the shop in about two years.  She got my phone number just in case though.  They actually had some really cool other furniture, but I figured I should be good and hold off.

Next place was called Pak Rat's up in Provo.  I annoyed many people driving there because the speed limit was 50mph and I was going about 35mph trying to squint at signs in the glaring sun.  If you've ever driven in Utah you know that it is absolutely insane.  Flow of traffic typically runs about 10mph over the limit.  And to actually slow down for a yellow light...people will think you are crazy.

While I did not find a bar table at Pak Rat's, I did find an end table that matches very closely to the dining table set that Mary and Steve donated to Chris's cause a few years back when he first moved.  The color on the legs wasn't what I wanted, but since I'm planning on eventually repainting the dining table, I figured I could paint this baby too and it would be well worth the $20 price tag.  Still in darn good shape, just needs a little sanding and color love.

New end table for the living room

Last stop for thrift stores was Deseret Industries.  It is Utah's version of Goodwill.  Giant.  And very well organized.  That place was absolutely packed with people.  But alas, no bar table.  Just kitchen tables built for six.

At this point I was ready to give up hope that I would find what I wanted.  I was about to settle on a regular dining table height, four person round when I passed my first furniture store on the way back to the freeway.  Quickly swooped in to check it out.  No luck, but it refreshed my spirit enough to check out other furniture stores on the way home.

Next hit was Pier 1.  They had the perfect one...but it was $250.  Whomp, whomp.

Pier 1 find *sigh*

Last stop on my trip is RC Willey.  As soon as I set foot in there I knew I wouldn't be able to afford anything, but for some reason my feet kept propelling me towards the dining area.  Turned the corner and there she was...my new kitchen bistro table.


 It is slightly shorter than my ideal, but since I'm short I think it worked out better this way.  This baby was originally $150, but on clearance for only $50 for the 3 piece set.  Yahoo!  I was so proud of myself for not giving up.  The only disappointing thing was that I had to wait until the next day to pick it up.  LAME.  Good thing Chris works only 5 minutes away.

All in all, it was a very successful day.  Two needed pieces of furniture for only $70.  While they may not be lifetime pieces, they'll certainly do for now!

Here is the exciting site I saw the next day when Chris brought home my new table.  Apparently it barely squeezed into his car.  Phew.  Didn't even think about that one!

Boxed goodness

This is me assembling the table.  I had to shoo Papa John away as he thought I couldn't do it on my own.  Ten whole screws.  Real tough.


And finally the finished table in it's new home.

Deco 1

Since I'm refraining from buying new decor for awhile, I have to make due with what I already own.  Which temporary look do you like better?  The above or below?

Deco 2

Any other super cheap ideas to spruce up the kitchen?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Kitchen Facelift

Apologies for no posting yesterday...I was in invitation zone until 1:00 a.m.  My right arm is going to be ripped when I'm done cranking all these things through my BIGkick machine.  I'm sure that will look great in all the wedding photos.

To back track a bit in time, I'll update everyone on the first project we decided to tackle.  We opted for the kitchen based on how many boxes I had labeled for it versus other rooms in the house.  The "clothing" label was a very close second, but I figured healthy eating was more important than wearing dresses around the house while unpacking.

We opted to start with picking a paint color rather than finding the curtains due to time limitations.  Since I am an extreme beginner when it comes to home improvements, I needed my father's insane (but wonderful) perfectionism here to teach me the basics.  We picked our color from the handy paint swatches that Chris's mother, Mary, gave me when I told her a few months ago I was enlisting her as my trendy paint color picker.  These colors are great and most of the other rooms in the house were selected from this palette as well.

Devine Color Palette w/ color match from Sherwin Williams

I decided to go with a nice, cheerful yellow to really brighten up the room.  Devine Butter was the chosen color.  Not too bright that it would be overwhelming, but enough that it stands out.  Since Sherwin Williams was having a 30% off paint sale, we decided to take it there and get a color match done.  Not exactly the quality of Devine, but certainly still decent.  They did an amazing job with the color matching too, btw, it's perfect.

The reason for all the painting is because the entire house (minus two upstairs rooms Chris painted already) are the below tan color of this before picture.  All the walls.  All the doors.  All the trim.


First step was to prime the walls to make sure the yellow turned out exactly as we wanted.  No sneaky tan muddling into the yellow.  Then we applied a flat white finish to the ceiling and a glossy finish on the trim.

Papa John slaving away on the ceiling
I clearly got the easier job working on the trim

And then finally the butter was slathered on the walls.  Chris made it home just in time to help us finish and get some credit.  After his initial skepticism of a yellow kitchen, he even admits it looks nice and cheery.  Finished with paint below.

So fresh!

So clean!

The first addition to the space we made was a new cabinet purchased at Home Depot.  We figured we wouldn't try to match the wood cabinets because there is no way we could and it would end up looking awful.  Instead we opted for the white multipurpose ones below.  I made a trip to Ikea and purchased a slab of their beech butcher block to give us a cheap counter space.  With the extra piece that we cut off the edge, papa John made us a nice, little back splash.

Added cabinets because I have too much tupperware

You also get a shot of our awesome, new espresso machine.  Chris and I attempted to make our first cups today.  We need a little more practice to achieve the perfect cup, but we'll get there.

So I'm thinking further down the road I just may want to paint the other cabinets white to match and throw on some handles.  I'm just feeling the light, bright living spaces these days.  It's time to leave my years of mourning with everything black behind and venture into a fresh new world of color.  Here is my I'm too tired/lazy to remove the knots and add more contrast Photoshopped version below.

Photoshopped white cabinets

What are your thoughts on painting these white later on?  Do you think I should match the cabinets or leave them contrasting?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Welcome to Utah!

So after a one day delay I finally made my way to Springville, Utah.  On the road with me was my best friend, Kristen, my cat fluff, Farrah, and my parents driving the Budget truck.   We stopped overnight in Boise and ate at a delicious restaurant called Flatbread Community Oven.  They have delicious pizzas as well as amazing Mac' N' Cheese.  Highly recommended for anyone vacationing, stopping through, or moving there (*cough* Katie).

Almost there!

The next day we saw this fabulous sign as we made our way through some extremely boring, flat landscape.  Since we had gotten on the road at a decent hour, we got into Springville around 4:00pm on Saturday, June 9th.  One perk about getting in on Saturday was that Chris was there to greet us!

Old pic that Chris took, I'll get an updated one soon!

We managed to get everything unpacked that night from the truck so dad and Chris returned it that night.  This left us with one disastrous living room.  Sadly, I failed to take a picture of the chaos.  No chance to wow you with the makeover once we are done.

Kristen and my mother stayed with us for one night before taking off Sunday evening.  We opted to do some exploring around the area rather than bother with any unpacking.  We drove through the small town of Springville and noticed a few new restaurants that Chris and I hadn't been to yet.  We also found out where the closest golf course is, so we can hopefully get over there a few times this summer.  Perhaps take some much needed lessons!

Next stop was BYU campus.  I had actually not toured it myself even.  Amazing since Chris lived in an apartment just across the street for one year.  Lots of people were dressed up in their Sunday best...not us...we stuck out like sore thumbs.   Kristen and I agreed that Oregon campus was WAY prettier.  There were no old fashioned buildings and grand oaks and cedars on display.  Although, they do have a magnificent underground library that puts Knight library to shame.  We took a few pictures with the statues on campus.  Here's one of my favorites courtesy of Kristen:

BYU Campus

Later that day it was very tough to say goodbye.  I've never lived anywhere outside of Oregon for more than 4 months.   Luckily I get to keep my dad with me for another 5 days.  He was kind enough take some time off from his busy schedule at home (that whole retired thing helps a bit) to hang out here and help out with home improvements.  Of course it started out as helping us build a patio.  That quickly turned into redoing the master closet when we realized I have too many clothes and we would never fit everything in the way it was set up.  Then of course I needed another cabinet in the kitchen because I have too much tupperware.  And then I wanted to paint the kitchen.  And then paint my craft room. And then the closet. And then the living room.  SOOOO needless to say, the patio is on the backburner at the moment.  We'll probably get to it later in the fall after the wedding or perhaps next year.

I'll slowly get you guys caught up on the improvements we've done thus far.  It's time for me to put down my paintbrush for awhile and get cracking on my wedding invites.  My new letterpress starter kit has been calling my name since before I moved.  I finally busted it open tonight and can't stop staring...just thinking about all there is to do.  Wedding in less than 3 months! Eeks.  I swear I'll get organized here soon and get my to dos all done/delegated.

Looking forward to filling you all in more tomorrow on the home updates!