Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Two Views, One Tower

Some more old pictures, this time from my one weekend in Paris.

Chair Project Update

Work has officially begun on updating my sidewalk find chair. Boyfriend has taken it all apart and started stripping off the crappy old finish, and I've begun thinking about what fabric I want to reupholster it in. I was still stumped, so I thought I would turn to my favorite resource, Apartment Therapy, and see what they had to say. Most commenters gave me grief about painting it white, but it needed to be done. I do agree with them though that the darker color gave a nice contrast to the bathroom, so I may rethink the paint color a bit, and go with something darker. As far as fabric choices, there were a variety of options, with my favorite being some sort of textured, solid-colored fabric, as I don't want it to get too crazy in there. Terry cloth is a good option, if I want it to stay solely in the realm of the bathroom, but I also liked linen or raw silk as an option. I will have to make a trip down to Georgetown sometime soon to visit my favorite fabric store and see what I come up with. Any suggestions for me before I go?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Hair Poll Update

So here is a summary of the voting so far:

One for cutting it all off
One for keeping it long
One for covering it with a sox hat
One extremely non-committal vote that says I look good both ways
One that says the blond is cute

Hmmm....so somehow I'm back where I started. I think I might just keep growing it, as that way I don't have to decide just yet. Maybe I'll get a trim though. Or maybe I'll just get it all cut off....geeze, I'm so indecisive.

Old Pictures: Bridge Edition

Cologne, Germany

Tower Bridge, London

Friday, March 27, 2009

Apartment Therapy's Smallest Coolest Contest

Apartment Therapy's Smallest Coolest contest is open! So now I have until April 12th to revamp my apartment. :) I have my list ready to go...

To Cut or Not To Cut?

I've always thought that longer hair makes me look younger. Seeing as how I'm still young, and not quite to the point where I need to look younger, I'm debating cutting it all off. I've actually managed to grow my hair out pretty long for me, but I'm getting sick of it, not to mention it pretty much ends up in pig tails every day . Here's where you come in. I've actually learned how to add a survey to my blog, so I'm using my new-found technological skills to ask for your feedback.

Current Long Hair (for me at least)

Current Long Hair in Pig Tails (typical hairdo)

The Short Version (note - I've decided never to go blond again, just in case you were wondering)


Edit: So my new-found technological skills don't extend to showing the survey results in the post, so here goes. I've had two responses so far, and despite the fact it doesn't tell me who said what, it's quite obvious.

Huisj - cover with a sox hat
Boyfriend - You look lovely both ways!

I knew I shouldn't have put the "other" option on there...not helpful guys! :)

A Walk Down Memory Lane

I don't have a lot of pictures of my apartments prior to DC, seeing as how my computer got stolen twice and all of my pictures went bye-bye. I have since learned the value of Flickr and an external hard drive, but that's another story. When I scanned some old pictures last week, I did run across this picture of my first studio apartment, in Austin. It came pretty much furnished, so I didn't have a lot of choice in that, but I did manage to put some of my own touches on the place, canopy and all. This was definitely the smallest place I've ever lived, as a few feet to the right of the bed was my kitchen along the wall.

I also got a little sad, as if you will notice on the second wall shelf on the left there is a little shopping cart with a plant in it. I loved that little guy...I think I got it in high school. He unfortunately had an untimely end shortly after I moved to DC, as I thought it would be a good idea to put it on top of the toaster oven, but didn't think about the fact that the toaster oven is hot and the wheels were plastic. You live, you learn.

Take A Seat

I think one of my latest things is liking stools. I was looking through some inspirational pictures I have on my computer, and I ran across this one, and I am still majorly in love with the stool. I think I like them so much because they are a good way to add stylish furniture in a small way, and they can be multifunctional, filling in as an end table as needed.

Speaking of stools/end tables, this one is from a house tour from a while ago on Apartment Therapy, and I was really impressed. The guy took a drum stool, took off the top, and made a laminated wood top for it. I wanted to try it myself for a while, but that has been put towards the bottom of the project list....maybe in like 5 years.

I know, I know, I live in a tiny apartment and don't have room to collect stools, not to mention I have a beautiful one of my own. But I can dream...


(Top 2 photos courtesy of Apartment Therapy)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

San Antonio

So, rather than actually post pictures from my recent vacation (which I've actually put on the computer now), I'm going to go back to the pictures I scanned last week. These two are from San Antonio. I went on a river cruise, and I just had to laugh at the traffic light over the river. The transportation geek in me just loves it.

Back to the daily grind...

So I figured I should actually let people know that I made it back alive from Honduras, but I'm too lazy to actually go through my pictures yet. It was a great trip, despite the fact my epidermis is now shedding everywhere. My face and shoulders are peeling ridiculously, even though I gave in and actually wore sunscreen. Oh well. I will just tell one story for now. On Sunday, boyfriend, boyfriend's dad, and I were driving down to Tegucigalpa, the capitol city, where boyfriend's dad lives. It was like an 8 hour drive, which boyfriend had previously told me was 4 hours, so needless to say, I was zoning out after a while. All of the sudden, I see The Chairs.

To give you a little background, back in October I ran across this post on Apartment Therapy, about these chairs. I tried to convince boyfriend he should build me two of them, but he insisted he needed a table saw, so I would have to wait a while. I gave it up, and filed them away in the back of my head. That is, until I happened to see them for sale on the side of the road in Honduras! So I yelled out, "Boyfriend! The chairs!" very loudly, nearly giving boyfriend's dad a heart attack, as he tried to figure out what was going on. After explaining about the chairs, he said, oh we should turn around and go back. I said, oh, I don't know how we will get them back, maybe there will be more, etc, etc.

So then it turned into a mission. Unfortunately, we kept driving and kept not seeing any more chairs. Meanwhile, I'm kicking myself for not saying that we should go back. We stopped at a real furniture store, but then didn't have any. After going up and down the whole mountain, I finally found them again! You better believe I wasn't letting them get away from me this time. I was able to get two of the chairs for $17, and then the fun part was trying to fit them in boyfriend's dad's small car which was full of our luggage. We finally got them in and I was a happy girl. We still hadn't quite figured out how to get them home though, but we eventually decided it would be best to take them apart completely, as they are only held together by 4 wires, and just bundle up all of the wood. So now I have yet another project, as I have a stack of wood sitting in my living room that I have to sand, stain, and put back together, but I thrive on projects.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I'm off! (almost)

So I'm just about off on my Honduran adventure! Too bad I haven't even started packing, as I was feeling pretty sick last night, so hopefully I will be all packed and back to my healthy self by the time the Supershuttle picks me up at 3 am tomorrow morning. I obviously will not be posting for a few days, and will get back late Monday night, so expect me back on Tuesday.

This is where I will be either Friday or Saturday....ahhhhhh

(Photos courtesy of www.about.com)

Silver Crosses

I was playing with my camera the other day and seeing how well I could fake taking macro photos with my non-macro lens. These are all of my silver crosses that I got in San Antonio. Two of them are actually ceramic that I spray painted silver and antiqued with black paint, but I like them better that way.





Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Green with Envy (I know it's a lame title, but I'm lazy)

In the spirit of St. Patrick's day, I'm thinking about green. More specifically, I'm thinking I miss my old green apartment.

Case in point
AdMo Apt-17

I can never make up my mind as to what I want. Today, my brilliant ideas have been to reupholster my currently rusty-orange chesterfield so it is more neutral, stain all of my wood furniture dark, and go back to the green color scheme. I told boyfriend this, and he tells me I have to stop fighting my apartment. I thought about that for a bit, and it's true. I am always trying to change something about it, so I think I'm going to take a deep breath, relax, and learn to enjoy what I have (for the time being at least). And while I do that, I'm going to soak in the lovely greenness of the photo below.

(Photo courtesy of Domino by way of http://mywhiteshirt.blogspot.com/)


Seeing as how I lived a good chunk of my life in County Clare (ok, Clare County in Michigan, but still highly Irish), I am no stranger to the festivities that surround St. Patrick's Day. Unfortunately, this year I will have to abstain and pack for my trip to Honduras tonight. Instead, I celebrated Saturday night. I went over to a friend's house for a delicious meal of corned beef and cabbage. Mmmmmm.

Ready to dig in

Irish soda bread

Brian made enough to feed an army


And I will conclude with every gaelic word/saying I can remember, based on my time working at the Leprechaun Shop:

Sláinte - Cheers
Erin go braugh - Ireland forever
Pog mo thoin - Kiss my ass
Inis - Island

Dutch Sand Dunes #2

This is another favorite picture of mine from the sand dunes in the Netherlands. I'm the really enthusiastic one right behind the leader guy.

Monday, March 16, 2009


I got my fisheye lens adaptor! It's not nearly as good as an actual fisheye lens, but a heckofa lot cheaper, and better than my fisheye film camera. Of course I got right to work playing with it.



I'm famous!

I didn't actually find this myself, but several people told me that I made the Washington Post Express! I had to get a hard copy for myself, and sure enough, I was quoted in the Blog Log. How cool is that? I still haven't decided about the phone number thing, though.

On Top of the World

This one goes back even further, to when I was in the Netherlands in 2002. This was my favorite fieldtrip of the class, as we basically just got to run around on the sand dunes. Oh, and learn how Amsterdam's water supply was filtered through the dunes, etc, etc, but that was all just a side benefit.

Beauty Before Function

I was going through some pictures from back in the day when I only had a film camera, or was in between digital cameras, and it brought back some good memories, so I thought I would scan some. This was a really cool drainpipe that I saw in Seattle when I went there in 2006 for a friend's wedding.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Flowers are popping up everywhere...

I was reading a new favorite blog of mine, Threadbangers, which is all about being crafty without looking like you're 80, and I came across these pictures of the Fendi Spring 2009 collection, with the flowers. I am in love! Boyfriend isn't quite as enthused about it, but he just has to accept that I have weird taste.

The funny thing is that I was actually already planning on doing something similar. I had come across this post on Design*Sponge, and thought the lamp shades looked really cool, especially the one on the left. There just happened to be instructions, so I thought I might try something similar, but on a shirt. I went to my favorite fabric store a few days later and picked up some felt in varying shades of blue, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Yet another thing to add to the list of projects.

(Top photos: Fendi, Bottom photo: Design*Sponge)

Food: Ray's Hell-Burger Edition

So boyfriend has been talking about this burger place in Rosslyn for months now, but I'm always reluctant to leave my haven of DC and enter the Commonwealth of Virigina. Last week, I finally did though, and went down to meet him after work for a wine tasting at Domasoteca (free wine tastings every Thursday). Afterwards, we walked over to Ray's Hell-Burger for dinner. It's definitely not a swanky place, but the burgers are good. It's the kind of place where you order your food, get a number, and then have to wait for people to leave so you can actually sit. I highly recommend it if you need to get you month's worth of cholesterol in one sitting, it was delicious.

Boyfriend had a burger with mushrooms,
grilled onions and peppers, bacon, and mozzarella.

I had a burger with pepperjack cheese, grilled peppers and onions, and guacomole.

We also had these delicious little balls of goodness - they were called tater tots, but they were essentially cheesy balls of mashed potatoes deep fried. I was in heaven. We washed it all down with Old Dominion root beer, which they have on tap. Ray's Hell-burger gets one and half thumbs up, but only doesn't get the extra half a thumb because it's in Virgina. :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My New Baby Has Arrived!

Unfortunately, Mom, this is the only grandbaby you will be getting out of me. But yes, my beautiful new camera came in the mail yesterday, and I had oodles of fun playing with it.

Boyfriend actually took the picture of the seedlings, but it shows that I can almost do macro with my lens! I now have to start saving all of my dollar bills for a new lens - I can't decide if I want a wide angle lens or a macro...oh well, I have plenty of time, as either of those will be more expensive than my camera and current lens combined.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Going Over to the Dark Side

I've been debating for a while now as to whether or not to go over to the dark side. And by that I mean succumb to the need for a fancy phone that can check the internet, pay my bills, wash my dishes, you name it. Well, the last one is wishful thinking, but you get the picture. I think I've pretty much made up my mind to take the plunge and get the Samsung Omnia.

So here comes the even trickier bit. Do I give up the only cell phone number I've ever had, and switch over to a phone number that actually makes geographical sense? It's not likely that I will move back to Grand Rapids any time in the near future, but I will miss the 616, it's true. Not only that, it's a huge pain in the butt to tell everyone I know that I've switched my phone number. It would make my life a little easier in that I could actually buzz people into my building, as it's not possible with a long-distance number. What do you think?

Monday, March 9, 2009

DC Design House 2009 - Odds and Ends

So there were a few things that I saw at the DC Design House that didn't really have anything to do with the design projects themselves, so I thought they deserved their own post. There was a little passageway in between the master sitting room and the master bedroom, with a closet off of it. I peaked in the closet, but from the looks of it, I wasn't supposed to. On the other side of the passageway though, were these really cool hooks. I didn't know what they were, but boyfriend in his vast pastor's kid knowledge said that they were organ stops. I know they will probably get rid of them in the redo, but I hope they keep them, as it's a cool thing to have in a rectory.



Another cool little doo-dad that boyfriend filled me in on was the peephole on the front door. I had never seen one that looked like that and I thought it was odd looking, but then I looked through it and I was amazed. It's essentially a tiny fisheye lens, and is so awesome. That's what I want on my door now.



I Can't Escape the Travel Bug

So, I told myself I wasn't going on any trips this year, as Botswana totally blew my budget last year. That is, until boyfriend tells me he found tickets to Honduras for $250 roundtrip. So now we are going in a week and a half down to visit his dad for 5 days. Once we bought our tickets though, boyfriend realizes his passport will be expiring soon. Sure enough, they won't let you in within six months of the expiration date. Mild rant - I think that's stupid. Essentially that makes your passport invalid for 6 months that they tell you it's really supposed to be valid. You really should get a six month grace period after your passport expires, is what I think. Anyway, so boyfriend had 2 options. One was to send it away for expedited service and hope they returned it within 2 weeks (we bought the tickets 3 weeks ahead of time). Option number two was just to wait until the 2 week window hit, where he could just go to the passport office and have them do it immediately. Since the passport office is downtown, he went with that option and will get his renewed passport on Wednesday, and will pay less than sending it away.

Second exciting news. I've been saving all my ones and the occasional five dollar bill for a while now, so that I can buy a digital SLR camera. It's been taking a while, but I was about $75 away from my goal when boyfriend mentioned this weekend that maybe I could get the camera. Hmmm....the wheels turn in my head. If I keep saving my dollars and fives, I won't be able to buy it until June. But what's the point of going on a tropical vacation if I can't fully capture it in photographs? So I bit the bullet and ordered my Nikon D40, which will be arriving on Wednesday. :) I'm so excited. It was a bit hard for me to give up my Canon loyalty, but it's pretty much universally accepted by the camera reviewing world that the D40 is the best bang for the buck, and is a great camera. I also like the fact it's not ginormous, like boyfriend's D80. Also, there is the added advantage that I can now steal boyfriend's lenses, since we will both have Nikons.

Funny story about that though. So I ordered the camera Saturday, so Sunday I thought I would go practice with boyfriend's old film SLR camera, so I know what I'm doing once I get my camera. I thought I was doing really well, writing down the settings for each picture, so I would know what they were once I got them developed. After about 3 pictures though, I realized that the film wasn't advancing, and it appeared to be staying on 4. Oh, I realized, that's actually the apeture number. Hmm....so where is the film number? I'm looking all over the camera and then realize that there is no actual film in the camera. Seriously, sometimes I'm a moron.

Friday, March 6, 2009

DC Design House 2009 - Bare Bones Tour, Part 2

As promised, I've continued the DC Design House tour, and here is the second floor, with their planned designs. I wasn't quite as impressed with the designs overall on the second floor as with the first, but primarily because it wasn't really my style. But, given that it is a church rectory with a traditional architecture, it makes sense.

Second Floor Plan

Going up the back stairs, the first room we came to was the Children's room. As the rectory doesn't actually have an inhabitants, this room was designed with a little girl who is at the Children's Hospital in mind, and will incorporate her artwork. The designer wasn't in the room, so I don't know all the details of the room, but I love the large floral fabric. It's interesting as well that the paint colors were almost identical to colors used in the Dining Room. It will look really nice in this room though, as it had 3 large windows and lots of light.

Children's Room

The next room along the hallway was a Sitting Room/Den. The design here was nice and classic, with a greek key theme. I want to steal the stool pictured bottom center though. In my old apartment building, people would frequently leave stuff they no longer wanted in the hallway, and it would invariably be gone in 24 hours. One night, I was walking up to my apartment with boyfriend, and there was a stool just like that, except not painted and gorgeous, a floor below me. I immediately said I had to have it, but boyfriend, always the voice of reason, said that I wasn't allowed because I already had way too much furniture for my studio apartment. I held my piece and thought I would just go get it in the morning. Alas, someone else saw how beautiful it was, and had snatched it up in the night. i'm still sad to this day, and boyfriend is no longer allowed to talk me out of things that I love. Rather, he's allowed to try, but I just don't listen. :)

Sitting Room Design Board

Connected to the Sitting Room was a Guest Bedroom. It currently has some crazy shelves all along one wall (the wall with the bed on the design board), so it will look quite different once it's all redone. It has a similar design sensibility to the Sitting Room and should flow well, but there were some elements I wasn't a huge fan of on the design board. Primarily it involved the bench at the foot of the bed being covered in some sort of white furriness, which I didn't like at all. I'm also not partial to sisal rugs, especially in a bedroom, but that was what was proposed for the room.

Guest Bedroom Design Board

Back out in the hallway, the next room is the Master Bathroom. It's a small room, as to be expected in an old house, and the design was fairly safe, mainly just updating the look of the room with brown colors, which I tend to stay away from.

Master Bathroom Design Board

Connected to the Master Bath is the Master Sitting Room, which was being designed by the same firm. I thought the proposed layout was a little strange for a private room such as a master sitting room, having two loveseats facing each other. I think though that they were already in there and are being reupholstered, as there were two loveseats that look very similar to the ones on the board already in the room. The one piece that I loved in this room was the end table, two of which will form a coffee table arrangement. The bright pop of lime green and shape of them will help add a more modern element to a house where the design is getting increasingly fuddy-duddy.

Master Sitting Room Design Board

And the final room of the house tour - the Master Bedroom! I really should have done the tour in the opposite direction, as this was my least favorite design concept of the house, but we'll see when it's done. I love peacocks incorporated into design (see my old bathroom for example), but I think they need to be done in rich jewel tones, more like art deco, rather than the toned-down watercolor look below. I think this room will end up looking more like a museum, rather than a functional room.

Master Bedroom Design Board

And so wraps up the 2009 DC Design House Bare Bones Tour. I am volunteering as a docent on May 2 (get in for free and get the inside scoop), so stayed tuned for the finished project!

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