Saturday, July 7, 2012

One of the magical things about this house

I grew up in an old house, and I believed that the house could love you and protect you. The house I grew up in happened to be loud, and creaky. This house is much more reserved, but I do still believe in the safety it provides in a nothing but loving way - If you care for it, that is. I also happen to believe that a house is a house until you can navigate around it in complete darkness safely. It is then and only then, your home. I don't know why I think that, I just do.

I have noticed this house "talking back" to us. First of all, when I look back at the old pictures of the rooms when we had just moved in. They all looked so sad to me, and I remember it being cold in here. Depressed even. Now, it seems to stand a little taller, work a little harder and perhaps stay a little cooler for us in this blazing North Carolina heat.

One thing that it seems to offer us, is the natural spotlight on our Ansel Adams print. I just think this is so cool (for lack of a better term). I wanted to share this because it touches my heart. Maybe it's the hormones, but nonetheless,it's phenomenal. I am thankful...

 Here it is:

Blue, Blue my World is Blue...

I have been dreaming of this day. It was Christmas in July, as far as I am concerned. The back porch is covered!  I am pretty sure it was 100 degrees today, and I am 35 weeks pregnant, but I was determined. Before you judge, Nate did offer to help, but he needed to lend a hand later than I had in mind. I started without him, against his wishes.

Take a look:

A mess of metal. Will I succeed?

The framework is up!

We did it! It wasn't too bad.

I scrubbed the cheap plastic table down along with the weathered chairs

Put the finishing touches on

Added some amiance. Okay, okay, I threw some unused candles and a pot base together for a little decoration.

We plan on picking up some ferns for the planters. Maybe tomorrow. .

And done!
 NOTE: We originally got pricing for a fixed awning on this existing slab. It would have cost $4,200.00. No thanks! This was from IKEA, and cost $130.00

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Let's hear it for the boy...

Finally, finally, I have started Gil's bed room. The evidence of a guest room is waning and kid art, bright colors and a lower bed is now on the radar. All it took was a little push with my mom coming to town and a little push on the gas pedal to IKEA. Where else? 
I need one more weekend to paint the rocking chair in the nursery, buy a dresser for Gil and probably paint that too. I can't forget to lower Gil's bed, raise the crib matress, lay down to take a nap and bring home baby!


Here's what we have so far... 

Hand in hand. A Guided Tour.

My mother came to visit this week, and she brought an old photo album of her family, ancestors to serve as a pictorial diagram of all that Nate has uncovered in his lineal research obsessions. Now, as a kid, my grubby hands have flipped, ripped and pointed though all of these ancient pages with ancient glue and ancient faces looking back at me.
I only knew who I knew. My grandmother, mother, aunt and grandfather. I remember as a young one, having a hard time believing that my parents weren't smaller carbon copies of who they were now (or rather, then). I literally remember thing that my father had a mustache as a baby. Now, that's funny. 

After hearing, reading and seeing all the history unfolding on Nate's laptop, it's especially powerful to pick up the delicate images, cradle the torn paper in my steady palm and see my family, what they did and how they did it, for the camera at least. It was as best I could do so many years ahead, to hold their face in my hand and gaze.  So, as we sat down and got my mother's orientation on the pages, the people and the locations, I proverbially took my hubby's hand and walked with him. He knew of these people, and now they had a face. We explored the expressions and the poses and the Hungarian scrawl on the back of some pictures. It is as if my mother and I were puzzle pieces, and the album was a key. Nate could float above my mom and I and look back at the steps we both took through 71 years of living in the shadows of the figures on the pages. It's very magical to share a portion of our newly combined life that we weren't actually present for. 

The back side of a photo of my Great-Grandfather. This is in Hungarian. It's a note to someone. Not me, but I get to peek, even though I cannot understand it, I see the personal arches, dotted letters and message for him, or from him.

My huge hope for the near future, is that I can take him to Hudson. NY, where my mother grew up. I spent multiple summers with my Aunt in Columbia County, tramped around auction houses, mountain mansions and orchards. I heard stories of years past. It was all my aunt had at that point in her life. I feel like I can show him where I start, way before I was here on Earth. I can show him the houses in which they lived, the towns they roamed and of course now, their final resting place. 

The funniest thing about looking the past in the eye as we did, is that you can see other people in there. My mom looks like her mom, who looks like her dad. My Aunt looked like her father, who didn't look like his brother, but resembled his cousin. It's all so binding, and a very nice journey to a time and a place that we will not see, we will not smell nor will we hear. It's all we have at this time in our lives, but it keeps us going. "Us" as in the family. All of us. The lot. 

My mother thought the girl on the right was her mother. Ship records show that is her sister with their mother. The picture is stamped for passage.
One of these boys is my Great-Grandfather in Hungary. This would have been taken before 1900. (probably ca. 1880)
Our living room will soon enough be a museum and a home for them all. We'll scan, enhance, frame and hang them up for a daily reunion of our hearts and our souls. 

"Fabric"ating Art

One of the 203 objectives of this Blog is to design on a budget. This little project can cost $10.00 or $1,000.00 depending on your materials, but it is a good one, I promise. Now, we ALMOST have our bedroom to a point that I can consider "done" (if you ignore the fact that we have an open electrical box hanging from our ceiling...I totally do). 

If you are in the room looking toward the door, you see this:

With that new state-of-the art television, what more could you need there, right? After staring at the stack of framed artwork on the floor in that very room for 2 weeks 5 months, I couldn't help but notice we have an old black poster frame that needed a home, and a portion of our wall that was crying for some companionship. For the artwork in our bedroom, we have a good amount of landscape scenes, pretty framed abstracts, and shelving on the wall for me. for now. 

Now, I admittedly do not use enough movement in my rooms. I use a lot of solids and stripes, and most florals can be burned in effigy for all I care about them. In my head, I really wanted a 3" chocolate and ivory chevron print. I am sure there is one out there, and not just in the "online shop" in my mind, right? 

Well, since I got the poster frame hung one mid afternoon Gil nap, I need something to fill that void. It just looks silly. I don't have the time to trek to Mary Jo's and seek out the exact non existent fabric that I want, so I took a step back. What in that chevron pattern do I like? 

1. The movement - Pattern, pattern pattern. I need more of it. 

2. The colors - the ivory especially. I am typically adverse to whites overwhelming a room. You'll never see white walls in my house. Not to say they don't and can't work. They are just difficult because there is no starting color theme. It's just not how I (paint) roll, and I could blog one day about all the Pinterest rooms I see that DON'T work, even though people act like Le Corbu himself gave it his Five Pillars approval. 

3. The modernity - or shall I say, simplicity? 

I heard that IKEA has stocked their shelves with limited availability fabrics starting today (oh my). I checked it out online. I didn't see anything but I did find this. 

Yep, this'll work. For $7.99/yd, it'll definitely work. I know, it's floral. What overwhelms me about this is the white. It's what the room needs, for sure. For sure. The best part about this is, once I find the fake chevron print that I can actually see and hold, I can take this out and (have my mom) make pillows with it. Waste not, want not, right? 

So, here's the end result....

Wait! What? As with most projects, I couldn't get my hands on the one I thought was available. I like the outcome still. It reminds me of my older post about letters and words seen here. This one was $4.99/yd at IKEA, and I am not so sure I'll be quick to change it out. The room could use the light ivory background. 

You could get a more substantial frame and upgraded fabric as well. Also remember, fabric isn't bought just in bolts. There are pillow cases, shower curtains, duvets, sheets and even place mats that can all serve as a sewing starter. Yes, those can be more expensive because they are a manufactured "something", but take a look at clearance sales and outlet stores. If the fabric is to die for, I say go for it. It always makes for a good story. 

And never, never never forget that wrapping paper can be quite stylish as a backdrop to a room, object or for art!