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Weekend Uploader at RR

The uploader is on over at Retro Renovation!  Stop on over and see the fabulousness.

RIP George

George Jones died today.  It’s made me profoundly sad because he was, by far, my dad’s favorite singer.  I have many warm memories of riding home from church, alone with my dad, listening to George on the 8-track.  One time I asked my dad about George’s song, “He Stopped Loving Her Today” – why did the man stop loving “her”?  My dad said it was because the man had died and that death had been the only thing strong enough to break his bonds of love for “her”.  After that, I cried every time I heard that song.  Once we were watching “Hee Haw” (how old am I??) and George Jones came on to sing that song.  I sat there with tears streaming down my face and my mother immediately asked me what was wrong. My dad just laughed and said “she always cries when that song comes on”.  My mother thought I was weird, but then my mother never ‘cared for’ George Jones, bless her.

Today when I saw the news that he had died, I think my heart broke a little.  It probably has to do as much with those silent car rides with my dad, and the passing of time, as it does the man himself.  I found this video on Youtube and listened to that song, once again, with tears streaming down my face.   Goodbye,  George.  I’m going to miss you.

So this happened last night

It’s so beautiful and quiet out there.  Sadly, it’s already starting to melt.  Hopefully, though, this is Old Man Winter’s last hurrah for the season because I really am ready for spring.

January Cure 2013 Recap


I know it’s mid-February now but I want to do a recap of The January Cure 2013. I didn’t get every single thing done that I would have liked to, but I’m still very pleased with my overall progress.  I wish Apartment Therapy would do a Cure every month because it really gave me motivation.  I’m not sure why other than the “in it together” feeling and reading everyone’s comments about the progress they were making gave me the oomph I needed to work on my own projects.

The first day started with making a list of projects that I wish to accomplish this year.  Most of the items on my list involve our basement but a few are upstairs, such as finally painting the rest of the cracks in the kitchen cabinets.  I’ve been working on that project for over a year and still have one more section of doors to go.  There is also a scary cabinet that needs cleaned-out.  It is stuffed with stuff and the door has to be shut quickly to avoid an avalanche.

The second day we started an “outbox” which is a temporary holding place for items that you may or may not want to get rid of.  Our box mostly consisted of items out of N’s room and he ended-up giving everything in it away, along with a few items that I got rid of myself.DSC01589

Skipping ahead to the seventh day, our task was to select one project from our list that we wanted to accomplish during The Cure.  I chose re-caulking my bathtub since it was in a pretty dire situation.DSC01615

However, it ended-up being a complete fail.


Apparently when the directions say to dry for 36 hours before letting the caulk make contact with water or moisture, they really mean 36 hours, not 12, which is about how long we let it dry.  It was fine for about a week and then it starting peeling off.  So, that’s going to have to be re-done.  Yeah.

Day 8 had us choosing a piece of artwork to frame and Day 28 had us hanging it, which we did.DSC01698

Day 13 had us creating a landing strip.DSC01580

Day 21 was all about exercising a little cord control.  We’re still working on that but at least some ideas are in place on how to minimize the presence of J’s studio in our living room.1_13

Day 22 was a bathroom medicine cabinet clean-out day.  I didn’t really need to clean-out my medicine cabinet but I did need to clean-out the linen cupboard which is now neat and tidy.DSC01680

Day 23 took a look at living room lighting.  We needed some sort of light near the fireplace so after thinking about it for a hot minute, I retrieved a currently unused IKEA lamp from the basement and plopped it on the plant stand.DSC01700

I like the light there even though I’m not really thrilled with the plant stand, so we’ll definitely be re-addressing the lighting there at some point. For now, this is a free and easy solution.

I completed some other projects, too, such as re-configuring several of my kitchen drawers to make them more functional.  Some projects we still haven’t started, like this nightmare.DSC01655

And some projects I didn’t do period, like purchase fresh flowers.  I just couldn’t do it. I even looked at them in the store on more than one occasion but I just couldn’t spend the money on something that was going to die.  I compromised and bought this cactus, which is still living at the moment.DSC01612

Mostly it was fun and I enjoyed working on these little projects around the house.  Did any of you participate in The January Cure 2013?  Did you accomplish what you’d hoped?  Share!

Marimekko (I was coerced)

There is some bedding that I’d secretly been wanting for a long time but hadn’t mentioned to any single living soul because of my “problem“.  I mean, seriously, how many quilts, comforters and duvets can one person justify?  This time it wasn’t me, though.  Well, it was me, but I only showed it to J and merely said I was thinking about ordering the shams, which are still on sale for $9.99 (quantities limited).  That’s all I said, I swear.  It’s not my fault that he really liked them and told me to order the quilt, too.  I replied (honest I did) that we have enough bedding already and I only wanted the shams to change things up with the solid white quilt.  He countered that:

1.  we really like our bedroom;

2.  we do not plan on changing the wall colors any time soon;

3.  when we first decided to do a black and white bedroom 7 years ago it was hard to find black and white bedding.  Right now it’s popular and we should buy enough to keep in rotation so what we have doesn’t wear out and we’ll have plenty when it becomes unpopular again, as it most likely will; and

4.  he just really, genuinely likes it and wants it for our room.

I couldn’t argue with that logic, especially when you’re already looking for justification, so I said okay and scampered off to do his bidding, er buying.  I was using Christmas money I’d received so it wasn’t an added expense and, really, I was probably just looking for an excuse which J so aptly provided.


This design was created for Marimekko by Kristina Isola, who used prints created by her mother, famed designer Maija Isola, and is Marimekko’s 60th anniversary pattern.  I think that’s probably what appealed to J and the designer in him.  It’s sort of freeform, but linear at the same time, blending abstract and composed design.  It was interesting to learn the history of the women behind the design and I’m glad I took the time to read about them.

Screen shot 2013-02-07 at 7.17.59 PM

I took a look at Marimekko’s website and this fabric is currently selling for $161.65 for 3.05 yards.  In that case, I definitely think the $106.97 I paid for the quilt and shams (with a flash sale free shipping code) was a good deal, especially if you’re already looking for a  Marimekko Yhadessa print quilt.  The quilt is very nice and keeping us toasty during the cold winter nights.  Overall I’m pleased with it, although I haven’t washed anything yet, so you never know.  I’ll keep you posted on that should anything arise.  Otherwise I’m thrilled with my Marimekko quilt and have the tag on my side of the bed so I can look at it now and then.  Yes, I’m nuts.

Anyway, that’s my latest confession.  Do you have anything you’d like to confess regarding recent purchases that make no sense to anyone other than to yourself?  As they say, confession is good for the soul.

Charley Harper

J and I went to a modern show in Cincinnati a couple of years ago where we introduced to the art of Charley Harper.  We were both immediately drawn to his work but the prices were really steep on the pieces at the show. We admired the work, drooled at little and then went home.  Later that year, Pam from Retro Renovation ran a story about Charley Harper posters still available from the US Printing Office, no tax, no shipping.  I showed the story to J and we both liked the art, but still not enough to buy it, mainly because we didn’t think we had anywhere to put more art.  Fast forward to a week ago when we were discussing J’s studio dilemma.  Jennifer from Brave New Home suggested integrating the studio,  rather than trying to hide it, by adding art, etc.  We had been thinking along those lines ourselves, so we finally made a Charley Harper purchase.  J chose “Canyon Country”, which is really nice.


This poster is huge – 29 x 39 – and only cost $17.00 from the US Printing Office.  The paper is very thick, not like regular poster paper.  It’s an extremely nice print, especially for the price.  I’m seeing this exact same poster selling online for between $40 and $50 for the print alone, so if you are interested in some Charley Harper art, check Pam’s story on Retro Renovation first for all the links.  If I had more room, I’d buy more prints, that’s for sure.

Charley Harper’s work pops-up in the most amazing mid-century modern homes, like this one featured in the new “Atomic Ranch Midcentury Interiors” book, which I managed to snag from the library (serious eye candy!!). In addition to loving his work, it seems that our house really wants Harper’s work hanging on its walls and we are happy to oblige.  He described his work as “minimal realism”, which I think is apt.  Charley Harper said “When I look at a wildlife or nature subject, I don’t see the feathers in the wings, I just count the wings. I see exciting shapes, color combinations,patterns, textures, fascinating behavior and endless possibilities for making interesting pictures. I regard the picture as an ecosystem in which all the elements are interrelated, interdependent, perfectly balanced, without trimming or unutilized parts; and herein lies the lure of painting; in a world of chaos, the picture is one small rectangle in which the artist can create an ordered universe.”  Maybe I like his work because I like the idea of an ordered universe, which is so far from reality.  J probably likes it because of it’s graphic orderliness.  I find that the things he likes the most tend to be graphically balanced, partly because of his schooling, I’m sure, and partly because of his ordered sensibilities.

We’ve made a lot of art purchases over the last couple of months and I love each piece.  They have been carefully selected and are pieces that we both like, although our art buying is coming to a close because we really are running out of space now.

We found a spot for our Shag art.DSC01572

As part of the January Cure 2013, I’ve also hung the Norman Rockwell print we purchased at the DAI last year during a traveling exhibit.DSC01657

Admittedly, this one is more me than J, but it makes me ridiculously happy every time I look at it.

Going and Coming 2

Now we need to procure a very large frame for our Harper print.  I’m thinking of going with a satin gold finish, since this piece is going to balance the large orange bird painting we have hanging near our table.DSC00992

drawImage  Or, possibly black? drawImage

I’ll have to think about that some more and let you know what I come up with.  In the meantime, I feel satisfied to know that I have completed at least step one of “Operation Integrate the Studio”.

What about you?  What artists have you been crushing on lately?

Cord Control

That was Tuesday’s task for the January Cure 2013.  Personally, I’m not one of those people that freaks out if their cords are showing.  It’s just part of life.  I cart my laptop all over the house and I don’t bother to hide the cord every time.  I do try to tuck lamp cords away so they’re not super obvious.  Otherwise, I’ve made my peace with cords.  I’ve had to.

So far, I’ve only posted pictures of three sides of my living room.  I’ve never shown you the fourth side because that’s where J’s “studio” resides. He finally got a new computer last weekend which he’s been saving-up for a long time.  He also sold some of his equipment to partially fund the new computer and to thin-out his gear.  This required taking everything apart and putting it all back together again.  He still has more to put away sitting in the middle of the living room, so you’re seeing the cleaned-up version.  After he got all of his gear back into their mounts, etc., he took this picture of his set-up and asked me to post it.   He said “ask them if they think this is an eyesore”.


I will say there is a valid reason it’s in the living room.  We do have a full basement but it’s had some water/humidity issues that could seriously harm this equipment.  J has spent years collecting these pieces and building his studio bit-by-bit.  It could not easily be replaced.  Also, my “office” is in our living room and we spend a lot of time here.  It might not be a traditional living room, but it’s how we live, so the use is appropriate.  However, that brings me back to J’s original question – is it an eyesore?  I’ve lived with it since we moved-in and I know there’s a good reason for it to be here, so I haven’t given it much “design” consideration.  He’s asking me a serious question because we’ve worked really hard to make everything else look nice and he wants his studio to look as nice as possible, too.  What could we do to make this as visually pleasing as possible?  Do you have any ideas?  Do any of you have rooms that aren’t exactly “traditional” in function?  Let us know because we’re a little stumped on this one.

P.S.  In a moment of over sharing, let me say that J normally keeps dust covers on all of his equipment that he made out of his old cut-up boxer shorts and crappy t-shirts.  Now, that is an eyesore.  We take those off when we have company, though, because we’re classy like that.

PPS.  Here are a few pictures of the other sides of the living room for reference. The equipment is the left, just out of view.


In this picture, the equipment is now to the right.DSC01430


If  you’ve been here for a while, you may remember way last year in February when I revealed the pendant lights we are going to hang over the dining room table.  If you don’t remember, they look like this:



and we’re going to install them like this:

pendant light mock-up


Well, tomorrow is finally the day!!  Now I really can’t wait.  I also can’t believe it’s taken us an entire year to have this done, but that’s how long it’s taken.  I’ll be sure to post pictures as soon as I can.  It’s kind of like Christmas all over again.  I wonder if I’ll have trouble sleeping tonight, tee hee.

Shag is Up!

If you recall, I had purchased these postcard prints on ebay and framed them with IKEA Ribba frames.




The Ribba frames look very nice and substantial, more than the $1.99 price for sure (although I got them during Black Friday weekend for $.99, woot).  The only real problem I find with them is the lack of appropriate hanging hardware.  I searched online for solutions and found quite a few.  In the end I just cut a small strip of that grippy stuff you line your cabinets with and glued it to the center of the back of the frame.


See how far recessed the hanging hook is on the back of the frame?  You’d have to have really long, skinny nails which we don’t have and which J said were not appropriate to the application.  (He also uses appropriate tools for the job, too.  For instance, he never uses a screwdriver handle as a hammer.  Can you believe that?  Sheesh.)  After doing a little research, I decided this was the easiest route for me .  Plus, I already had grippy stuff on hand, so no added expense.  So far, it’s worked great.  The stuff really is grippy and the frames haven’t moved in nearly two weeks.  As far as actual hanging is concerned, I taped two regular 8 1/2″ x 11″ pieces of paper  together  at the short ends to make an 8 1/2″ x 22″ piece of paper.  I laid the frames out end-to-end and then measured everything, marking where the nails needed to go.  I positioned the paper on the wall, lightly taping it to stay put and drove the nails into wall where I’d marked  them on the paper.  I pulled the paper off and hung the frames, making sure the grippy part was over the nail.  Voila!




I really like them.  J really likes them.  The kids really like them.  I even think the cats like them but maybe not. They don’t always appreciate art the way they should.  Shag’s art may not be everyone’s cup of tea, that’s true.  However, it connects with us and is representative of something we feel, so these are perfect for our home.   That’s part of making a house your home.  If you love something, hang it on the wall and look at it every day.  That’s my advice.

Now, on an unrelated note, here’s another look at the basement.


It’s not that bright in real life.  There aren’t any windows in that room so I have to use a flash to get a picture.  I like it in person although I might not have picked it if it hadn’t been $5.00.  For $5.00, I love it.  What does that say about me?

Anyway, it doesn’t look like much progress but that’s two full days worth of work between the painting, the floor cleaning, the junk removing, etc.  Here’s where I started last week.


It’s slow but I guess I have time and the basement is not going anywhere (I hope).  I’ll keep you updated on my progress.  So, you know, maybe in another three months or so…

On another unrelated note, is anyone else doing the January Cure 2013 over on Apartment Therapy?  We’re on day 3 and so far I’m keeping on track.