Oct 30, 2014

One Room Challenge: Week Five

Welcome One Room Challenge participants and followers! If you are just joining me, I am working to transform our former guest room turned home office into our son's nursery. All while 27 weeks pregnant! Catch up on Week One, Week Two, Week Three, and Week Four

Hard to believe we are already five weeks in to this challenge! Next week is the reveal! Yikes!

The name of the game this week was PROGRESS! I feel like I'm in such a better place than I was this time last week. What a relief!

First up I made the crib skirt. All by myself.

I used the duct tape method. Ha.

I literally spent hours thinking and researching making crib skirts. Many suggested using ties to make them adjustable by tying to the mattress springs. This is all well and good, but my crib does not have springs. It's a flat board. To make it fully adjustable, I used duct tape to the board. The sides and hem are edged with bonding tape.

With the rush of completing this project and my issues with seeing the big picture last week I pushed the furniture around (thank goodness for old wood floors!) to where I thought the final resting place might be.

Why didn't I do this earlier?! I immediately felt a rush of confidence knowing where I was headed and where things fit in.

My sweet mother came over two days to help me prime and paint.

We used a grey tinted primer and one really thick coat of paint. I had some touch ups to do Tuesday morning and it's definitely not perfect, but hallelujah, we have painted walls!

On Saturday we went down to the River Arts Festival, my favorite local art festival in Memphis, and we purchased two pieces for the nursery. Originally I was not planning on purchasing any additional pieces for this room, but when you see something you love, you just gotta pounce. New art for Charlie!

Towards the end of last week I got a call that the carpet was ready. I told them great, but I would come get it when I was finished painting. Tuesday morning we were out in the burbs and picked up the carpet.

Here's just a peek at the room. I don't want to give too much away.

Please note: I did not take the rug into account when I positioned the skirt. Thank goodness for adjustable!

The room is really coming together now! On Friday the curtains will be installed and then I'll start hanging art. We still need to get the bookcase from my mom's house. The glider cushions are still in the works and I'm praying that she will be able to finish them early next week, although I doubt it.

One task still to accomplish is the mirror. I need to spray paint it to go with the room. I'm thinking gold. Any other ideas?

To Do: 
- Prime and paint walls
- Select rug
- Make a decision on window treatment and order

- Get potential chair, ottoman, and bookcase from my mom's house and storage unit
Set up crib and changing table
- Choose, purchase, make crib bedding
- Spray paint mirror I already have
- Hang/Make Art
- Add baby stuff

Oct 28, 2014

Snuggly Girls

Last week Bryan was out of town and it was just us girls at home. Both the girls, Motley cat and Roux, our dog, love to snuggle.  Motley cat is usually the instigator of snuggling with Roux.  With Bryan gone they both seemed extra snuggly. I snapped numerous pictures of them throughout the week and didn't even bother getting a photo at every instance. 

On Tuesday. 

Wednesday night. 


Thursday night


Besides all the snuggling with Motley, Roux was up to more shenanigans. I found her several times throughout the week like so...

I mean, really. It's a good thing they are both so cute. 

I apologize for all the pet pictures. 

Oct 24, 2014

Feeling Fall-ish

The air has turned cooler and crisp. Leaves are starting to fall and gather in my back yard. Hot beverages are snuggled and cherished.  It's fall, ya'll!

Around this time every year Bryan and I play this game. You probably play it at your house too - please tell me we aren't alone! It's the "how long can we go before turning on the heat" game. I know we caved early last year due to a cold snap, but this year we are still going strong.

Socks and sweaters have been a mainstay around here for the mornings and evenings. During the afternoons we are seeing highs in the 70s still so it's hard to justify turning on the heat when later in the day we are shedding layers to t-shirts.

But it's that magic hour (or three) in the mornings. When you first wake up, snuggle back down under the covers and fight for the last few minutes of warmth before getting up. You put on your favorite sweatshirt and socks and drink your coffee.  This feeling makes me want to camp out on the couch with warm drinks, design magazines, and holiday food magazines scheming of elaborate holiday meals and gorgeous Thanksgiving tablescapes.

Happy Friday and weekend, folks. Hope ya'll do something fun and fall-ish this weekend.

Oct 23, 2014

One Room Challenge: Week Four

Welcome One Room Challenge participants and followers! If you are just joining me, I am working to transform our former guest room turned home office into our son's nursery. All while 26 weeks pregnant! 

Another week, another post. I swear time is moving faster during this six week process. It's not even funny. On one hand I'm kind of mad that I'm not making as much progress as I'd like, but on the other hand, I don't mind the time going faster as this pregnancy progresses. I'm sure there are a few mothers out there that can sympathize.

Last week I made much progress in terms of furniture, carpet, and placing orders for window treatments. I had hoped to have some paint progress happening this last week, but it just hasn't happened. Shouldn't that be the first thing one does, and yet, here I am four weeks in without priming or painting.

I'll be honest, I'm super frustrated about it myself. We got some unexpected, life changing news - which I can not discuss just yet - but that has had to take priority.  Basically, my painter helper husband has been too busy to help me and I have not been eager to start alone.

Last week I mentioned that I had picked out some fabric at a local store.  Fabric shopping was such a headache. I think part of my problem was envisioning the whole picture. Without the room painted it was hard to envision how the room, crib, furniture, and fabric would all work together... or if it would at all.  I was still rattled with indecision regarding the bumper. Picture texts were flying between me and my design assistants mom and friends.

Here's one.

I ended up buying nearly 12 yards of fabric for just under $40 from the remnant section. I really liked the fabric and loved the price, but wasn't sure how I was going to use it. Originally I thought crib skirt and that I'd find something else for the glider since there was no way I could sew stripes straight enough. But then my mom pointed out that since I was saving so much on the fabric, maybe I could afford to hire out someone to cover the glider for me.  I immediately took to this idea. I think it will look fantastic on the glider, giving it a bit of a masculine edge. Masculine glider? Oxymoron? Maybe.

I was still not sure about the whole crib situation. How would the fabric look with the white? What about bumper?

Mom and I went to a local baby store on Saturday to look around see what they had. They offered custom crib set ups with a variety of fabrics. So we started looking. The fabric selections, while cute, was just not my style and was not in the direction we were headed, so I just had them price out a simple white bumper in a textured fabric. $295 seemed a bit high. Especially when I am fairly certain I could pull off a bumper myself... granted with a lot of time, cursing, and probably blood and tears. We walked out empty handed.

Monday I took the glider cushions to a local seamstress.  I feel pretty confident in this decision, so at least there's that. However she said she would try to get it back to me by November 15th. Doh. Spoiler alert: by the sixth week of this challenge I will not have a finished nursery. But at least we'll be closer. I plan to upholster the glider ottoman myself once I get the cushions back. I'll have to line up the stripes to the cushions, but I've recovered several benches and things and this should not be an issue.

Feeling like maybe the nesting instinct has started to kick in, I rode an energy wave and started cutting fabric for the crib skirt. I wanted to visualize what the striped fabric would look like on the crib before I went any further. Sometimes you just have to cut the fabric and hold it up to see. I like it well enough that I'm moving forward with the skirt myself.  The bumper situation is still to be determined. I'm leaning towards finding or making an all white bumper and doing the ties in one of the fabrics. If I end up hating the skirt with the crib, I've only invested a couple dollars and a couple of hours.

To Do: 
- Prime and paint walls
- Select rug
- Make a decision on window treatment and order

- Get potential chair, ottoman, and bookcase from my mom's house and storage unit
- Set up crib and changing table
- Choose, purchase, make crib bedding
- Spray paint mirror I already have
- Access further needs
- Accessorize!

So there you have it. Too many words about fabric indecision and my decorating neurosis.

Oct 22, 2014

Hotel Chisca Tour

Last week we were able to tour the old Hotel Chisca with our AIA LuniTects group.

Bryan has long been obsessed with this building. A couple of years ago plans were announced to turn it into apartments and they have been doing steady work over the last couple of months. This is a huge building that is on Main St connecting the core downtown to the South Main area. It will be great to have it be functional and busy again.

It was from the Hotel Chisca that Elvis was first broadcast on a local radio show. They didn't point out that area to us, but there is nothing remaining from the studio regardless.

I didn't get a good picture of the building from the street, but above you can see the building from the courtyard area on the 2nd floor. This area used to be a ballroom, but will soon be an open common space for the tenants.

The inside of the original hotel (built around 1910, I think) is not in the best shape, but it was cool to see some features, like wallpaper and flooring.

The modern addition, added in 1960, is already well under way in the construction process. On the second floor the apartments were already framed out and we were able to get  sense of what the layouts would be.  I'm sure the original building apartments will be interesting to see once they are finished. The architect said they were going to try to preserve what was remaining, such as the wallpaper on the columns.

The building should be finished by next summer. I'm hoping that we get to go back and see the finished work!

Oct 21, 2014

My Closet

One of the selling points of our house is my closet. It's a small (about 8'x10') room in the back of the house. Too small to be a bedroom, but the perfect size for wardrobe overflow or office.

When we looked at the house the previous owner had a large free standing hanging rack in the room and I was instantly in love. With the room and the house. Sold!

We've lived in this house nearly six years in December (yikes!) and it has functioned as my closet ever since. Here are some previous closet blog posts:

Cheap hanging racks are cheap for a reason.

Bryan built me an up-cycled wardrobe last year.

Last October when I started the 31 Day Challenge and organized the closet.

As of July this year it looked like this:

We jokingly called it Rachel Land. I loved this room, but it was busy and cluttered.

After we met with the designer about making our house my function better for us and making room for baby, we worked with Incognito Closets on a custom closet solution. We knew we would have to keep Bryan's samples in this room as well, so we left one wall open to him and utilized two other walls for my things.

Here we are after:

I'm utilizing the top of the system to house craft supplies, items I sell on eBay, and shipping supplies. Because of how functional the system is I was able to move everything in to the drawers and shelves that was previously in a dresser in our bedroom. Everything I need to get dressed is all in one location!

I even carved out a little space to put on makeup. Granted, I still need a mirror in order for that to happen in here!

I'm so pleased with the space, but it's not done yet! I want an area rug to soften the space. I'd really love an oriental or kilm, but for now we are going with a carpet remnant until I can find just the right thing.  I've also ordered a valence for the window that will tie into the treatment in Charlie's room. Some art might be nice as well.

Just a few little things to do, but it makes a huge difference. Plus, it will add value to the home should we ever decide to move.

Have you ever worked with a professional closet solution company? What do you think?

Oct 20, 2014

Monday Garden Update

This post is going up late because cold. It's gotten colder here, especially in the mornings and I procrastinated going outside!

Things are still moving along in the garden. I skipped a fall seed planting a couple of weeks ago because of traveling and lots of rain. But I planted three rows of carrots and beets last week to help make up the difference. So far scheduling out the tasks seems to be really working for me.

What's not working for me are my seeds. I have approximately 3 beet seedlings so far.

My carrots are doing slightly better.

I pulled out half the basil that was overgrown last week. I left about three or four basil plants that hadn't gone to seed yet. In the blank space to the front of that middle bed I planted some spinach seed last week.

Do you see this? This is the work of a very naughty dog. I think my broccoli, which you can barely see to the left side of this bed, is going to make it.

Here's the other side of the garden. I pulled up the "pepper" plant a week or so ago and put it in a pot. It's a very attractive potted plant for fall. I've also been slowly picking the carrots as I need them for meals. There aren't too many left. The tomatoes are still going strong over there.

And now for the back bed:

The tomato plants are growing like weeds. While we were out of town we had some storms and knocked them over. We temporarily have them supported to the fence with twine.  Our first frost date is coming up in two weeks so I didn't want to invest too much time salvaging them.  They are still producing and I want to get every last tomato while I can.

Today's harvest. Lots of peppers. There are still tons of baby peppers on my two or three producing plants, but I picked everything I thought needed to come off the plant.

It's hard to believe the summer is over and pretty soon - two weeks! - I'll be pulling nearly everything up. It's especially bittersweet since I'm not sure what our next year's garden will look like given the presence of an infant in our lives.