Friday, September 12, 2014

Shed a Little Light on the Subject

When we moved, we left our dining room chairs behind, and have plans on buying a table, chairs, a buffet, light fixture, and a piano.  Currently the dining room holds our old table (which is a piece of crap), one folding chair, a stool, and a side table with all our frogs on it.  We've been searching for all of these things since we've moved, and haven't hit upon anything that's a complete slam dunk.  It's tricky, because I don't want everything to be all matchy-matchy, John and I have very different tastes, and those things all add up to a decent chunk of change.

When we looked at the house, I immediately knew the dining room light fixture had to change.  I don't have a picture, but it's a generic boob light, you know the kind of flush-mount fixture that looks like a boob and is in every rental ever.  I want some kind of chandelier or pendant, but haven't really narrowed it down much yet, that is, until I looked on Craigslist today and found an amazing light fixture:



My awesome paint rendition of what it would look like in the dining room.

It's a little out of our price range, but it's just so unique and the art-deco-ness of it would fit really well with our house I think.  Now I just have to convince John that he likes it too, which may be a bit of a challenge.  What do you think, is it amazing, or just too much?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Welcome to my New Home!

So since it's taking a while to get our house all set up, I figured I would give a tour using the listing photos.  These were taken why the previous owners lived there, so it will look different when I'm done, don't you worry.




The yard is just waiting for my new dog. :)

Moving inside, this is the living room, and the first of our three stained glass windows.  In the little nook by the stairs is the coat closet, and across from the stairs is the front door.

I love the columns going into the dining room.  The woodwork in the house is beautiful.

View from the dining room back into the living room.

The previous owners redid the kitchen about 10 years ago.  It's not the colors I would have picked and it's a bit smaller than I would like, but it's workable.  


We haven't figured out yet what we want to do with the breakfast nook yet - I want to figure out how to make it into a more working space for the kitchen.

The mudroom.

The upstairs hallway, looking into the back bedroom (John's office).

The back bedroom, which is John's office / frog room.

The middle bedroom, which is our bedroom.  I'm not a fan of the carpet, but it's in good shape, so we're leaving it alone for now.

Front bedroom, aka guest bedroom, aka Laura's closet/dressing room.  Picture it without any furniture and the floor covered in my clothes and that's about what it looks like right now.

Our only bathroom.  It's really awkwardly laid out (literally no horizontal surfaces except for the window ledge) and the tub plumbing is not in good shape, so we might redo it at some point in the nearish future.  Also, stained glass window #2.

And the final room, the attic which will be my sewing studio!  A lot of work needs to be done here, though, so it will be a while.

 And there you have it - my new home!  What do you think?  Any suggestions for me?











Monday, September 8, 2014

Taking a snooze...

So we've been in our new house for about a month now, and things are slowly starting to look a little settled downstairs, but upstairs is a wreck.  I really want to get our bedroom set up, but there are a few problems in the way.  One, we have these big white cupboards from our old house that I want to retrofit into a wardrobe system, but it will take a bit of work and John has been having back problems off and on since we've moved, so they are literally sitting in pieces around our room.  The second big problem is our bed.  Unfortunately, our stairs are super steep, and the box spring just never made it upstairs, despite removing trim and gouging holes in the plaster (oops!).  That means we have been sleeping on our mattress on the floor in the middle of our room for a month.  Not exactly my cup of tea.

I've been thinking about what I want the room to look like overall, and ran across these photos on Apartment 34 today, and now I want a low simple white bed, but we'll see if I can convince John on that one. :)  What do think, soothing or too simple?



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Random Tidbits

So by now you may have noticed I've actually started a new blog:

LaurasDailyLookbook.blogspot.com

I wanted to have a more focused place to keep track of my style and daily outfits and sewing and stuff, so that's what that is all about.  I'm still debating what to do about this one, considering I never really liked the URL (I was mostly just annoyed that there is another LMcWethy in the world), and I will no longer be rambling around DC, since I'm moving to New Jersey in 2.5 weeks!  I think I might as well keep it up though, for all my random thoughts that don't fit in with the theme of my new blog, but who knows.  I'll let you know what I decide. :)

And since I titled this post tidbits, I figure I have to include more than one tidbit, so here is my story of the day.  I've had a bit of a love/hate relationship with my phone for a little while now.  It's about 1.5 years old, and I paid full price for it (ouch) because I didn't want to sign a new contract with Verizon, so I want it to last as long as possible.  Unfortunately, it's been showing signs that that is not going to happen.  Twice in the past month it has factory reset itself.  Twice.  Yeah, not cool, Motorola Razr M.  Anyway, I've successfully demonstrated that it isn't the end of the world, despite the fact I lost about a years worth of progress on Mystery Manor (level 104!!!!).  Anyway, this morning my alarm goes off on my phone like it does every morning.  Unlike every morning, the lock screen is frozen and I'm unable to turn off the alarm.  And, oh yeah, my phone is the one phone that happens to not have an external battery.  Not cool, Motorola Razr M.  So it goes off for 20 minutes or so, and it's really loud.  Due to my amorous neighbors, I happen to know the walls are not really soundproof, so I hid the phone in my workout clothes drawer.  When it had finally decided to stop, I was like, ok, I will take it to work with me I guess and see if it ever fixes itself (still frozen at this point).  That is, until the alarm starts going off a second time.  Back into the workout clothes drawer it goes.  When I left for work it had just started it's third cycle of the alarm.  My hope is that it will eventually use up the battery (battery life is not great anymore, another indicator it's on its way out), and will magically be all better when I start it back up.  Here's hoping!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Time for a change?

When the lady at Corner Bakery asks me if I've changed my hair, that means one of two things:

A) I change my hair too often
B) I drink too much coffee

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sewing Away...

So last summer I ordered some fabric to make a dress to wear to my friend's wedding.  Unfortunately, it arrived too late, and I didn't even attempt to make the dress, so it's been sitting in my stash for a year now.  Since I had a Saturday to myself last weekend and another wedding coming up next weekend, I decided to give it a go.  Per usual, I decided to make things hard on myself and come up with the pattern on my own, despite spending two hours at JoAnn's looking at patterns (and buying the lining fabric).  After spending about 12 or 13 hours straight on Saturday, it is definitely starting to look like a dress, surprisingly, but I still have to finish putting in the zipper and hem a flowy silk chiffon skirt.  It may or may not be done by Friday, we'll see.  Anyways, here's a sneak peak at the fabric:


It's a little psychedelic and I'm not sure how much I like it anymore, but I'm bound and determined to finish this bad boy up.  Also, I really want to wear my 5" heels, and they will look fabulous with the dress, don't you think?  :)


Stay tuned for the full reveal next week!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Signs of Spring

Our trip to the cabin this past weekend was a success - it is still there and standing, and I even did a bit of work, raking up the leaves in the yard.  One of the things I love about going out the cabin in the springtime is the beautiful little blue flowers that pop up around the front door.  I have no idea what they are called but they are so pretty.




Monday, April 21, 2014

Walking on air...or laminate flooring, depending on your perspective

So as I mentioned last time, John and I spontaneously purchased 400 sq. ft of laminate flooring for the cabin back in 2010, and it was probably the second best purchase we've made, in my opinion.  Prior to this, I never removed my shoes in the cabin, because in the kitchen, "bathroom" (aka room with a mirror and a sink hooked up to nothing), and the bedroom the flooring was cracked and dirty tile, and in the living room it was an assortment of various carpets nailed down that looked as though they hadn't been cleaned in several decades.

After removing everything except the carpets - all masked up and ready to go.

Moving the wood stove which was hooked up to that chimney pipe was an amazing feat.

After ripping up the carpet, John caulked all the cracks in the plywood subfloor, in an attempt to keep nature out.

Unfortunately, I don't have any in-progress shots, but it was super easy to install.  While obviously a cheap laminate, it works perfectly for the cabin and is a breeze to keep clean.


The wood stove ready to be moved back into place.  A little ottoman on wheels was definitely our friend, as it weighs a bazillion pounds, approximately.  Unfortunately the kitchen is still to this day covered in stick-on tiles, but eventually that will get taken care of as well.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Feeling Spotty

I've never been big on animal prints, but lately I've been coming around.  Last year I got these leopard loafers, which I've actually worn a decent amount.

I try to think of them as a neutral, but I'm not going to lie, I mostly wear them with black and camel.  I am thinking about working my way up to larger doses, but in a more abstract way, perhaps.  I love how this skirt is like a polka dot with a nod to leopard.


What do you think - is animal print too intense?  Should I stick to my loafers, or are you like my husband, who thinks even they are way too much? :)

New Fridge!

One of the first projects we undertook at the cabin, aside from just cleaning and cleaning and cleaning, was to replace the fridge, because the original fridge was old and gross and dead.  Because the electricity was all shut off in between visits, mice found the fridge to be a lovely home and ate through a lot of the external bits which caused lots of problems.  So back in 2010, we headed off to Lowes to find the cheapest small fridge we could find, that wasn't a dorm fridge.  We found a great deal on a fridge, but we also found an amazing deal on laminate flooring.  We weren't intending to do anything about the floor any time soon, but it was too good to pass up.  We loaded up the explorer (there literally wasn't a square inch left over) with our new fridge and 400 sq. ft. of flooring and away we went.

After removing the fridge, this was the grossness that remained.  I won't show the close-up shot, but trust me, it was not fun cleaning that out.  

 The old fridge just barely fit out the front door.

John proudly showing off the new fridge.  We now leave the fridge breaker on when we leave, to avoid having more mice colonizing the fridge.  The $2/month electric bill is worth it.

Next up - a beautiful new floor!


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Off to the Woods

This weekend we are heading out to our cabin the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania for the first time this year, which is always a bit of a nervous time, as who knows when the cabin may eventually fall down the mountain.  I've realized I've only discussed the cabin tangentially on the blog here, so I figured I would give a bit of a background.

What the cabin looked like the first time I visited, back in 2008

John's Grandpop built the cabin about 40 years ago, and he grew up going out to the cabin for family vacations.  The owners of the adjoining 160 acres use the cabin during hunting season as well, and we have free range of their property when we go out, so it is a good relationship.  Family members stopped going out there regularly about 15 years ago or so, and the neighbors only went out a couple of times a year, so the cabin slowly was going downhill (both literally and physically).  While Grandpop did a good job building the cabin, he was a minister, not a carpenter, and it was built slowly out of scraps over time, so it was not in the best shape when John and I started going out regularly about 5 or 6 years ago.  After Grandpop passed away, Grandmom gave the cabin to John, since he was trying to fix it up.  We've been slowly trying to get it back in shape, and it's doing much better these days.

A few of the specifics - it is situated on a very small mountain, and we have about 4.5 acres of land, which is pretty secluded.  The cabin has electricity, but no running water (stay tuned for massive improvements in that department this year), and is about 20' x 20', with a loft over half of the first floor.  I've also realized I haven't been great about documenting everything, so I don't have any good pictures of what the inside looked like before we got started, but trust me, it was a little scary.  Because it's at the bottom of a hill which requires 4wd, and no one in the family had a 4wd vehicle until Hubby, everything that came and left the cabin had to be hauled by hand up and down a very steep hill (including all water).  Needless to say, not a lot has left the cabin in the past 40 years, so it was a bit full, both of stuff and wildlife.  Regular trips to both the cabin and the dump have been taking care of that, so it's much better these days.  Over the next few days I will get you all caught up to where we are now!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Tetherball Bear

I've been obsessed with bears for some reason lately (finger monkeys, move over), but Hubby won't let me get one for some reason. :)  So I guess I just have get my kicks via youtube.



Spring has sprung!




Friday, April 11, 2014

Enough Said

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again

A couple of days a week I buy coffee on my way into work, because the brown colored water and cream colored powder at work are not worthy of being ingested by humans, and I usually don't have time to make my own before I leave in the morning.  Several months ago Corner Bakery got rid of their large coffee size, making the medium the biggest coffee size.  I persisted in ordering a large, because my brain isn't super functional first thing in the morning and I forgot they no longer had it, and also, it just doesn't seem right to still call the medium a medium if it's not in the middle of anything.  At first, every now and then I actually did get a large, which gave me hope that they ran out of large cups or something, but for at least four months straight now I have had to settle for the medium.  I almost gave in this week and actually start ordering mediums, but wonder upon wonder, I got a large this morning!  I know this is probably way more information about my coffee consumption than you ever need, but it's the little things that make me happy, and I need little things these days.  Oh, and one big thing called a house, but that's not happening anytime soon, so I'll just settle for a large coffee instead.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Take A Seat

It's been a weirdly long time since I've done anything interior designy, pretty much since I moved in with Husband and somewhat rearranged things, but it's been static since then.  Mostly because our place is small and there aren't a lot of options, and I've just gotten super busy with the rest of my life, including sewing a lot more.  But back when I was all about being crafty, I had this dream of making a couch, which Husband proceeded to scoff at, and I subsequently abandoned my dream, seeing as how he's the one in the relationship who actually knows how to build things.  I came across a picture of the Nelson Swing Sofa today on the interwebs, and my creative juices started flowing once again (side note: that expressing grosses me out a bit - I'm not going to use it anymore).


While it's not quite my usual style (seeing as how I'm a sucker for a good chesterfield), I'm envisioning it as a chair, and while it might not be strong enough, I'm thinking I can at least do a prototype using the copper pipe I still have leftover from my shelving projects.  Thoughts?  Am I crazy?


Friday, April 4, 2014

Now you see me, now you don't!

So while I keep trying to convince Husband that we can totally handle a 3000 sq. ft. house (who seriously doesn't want a ballroom?), I occasionally think about going back to my roots of small spaces.  Unfortunately, Husband is even less likely to look at a small house, given that one of the main reasons we want to move is that we have majorly outgrown our current place.  Anyway, Apartment Therapy keeps me entertained with creative solutions, one of which is this awesome sliding drawer bed thing.  I'm not going to lie, I think the part I like best about it is that you wouldn't have to make your bed every day, just slide it out of view!




Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A "Serge" of Productivity - Part 2

The second serging project I completed this weekend was the dress below.  It started out as a super simple project which should have taken no time at all, but as usual morphed into a frustrating project where I kept changing things over and over and over.  You may recognize the fabric as being one of the items from my sewing plan from a few weeks ago, so I am attempting to keep somewhat to the plan. :)

I did my usual self-drafting technique - find something in my closet I like to get the basic shape right and then modify it.  I originally drafted this as a simple shift dress with kimono sleeves with the top half having a one-piece facing to make the neck and sleeve hems simple. After I got it all sewed together though, it was too big and just looked funky to me.  So I proceeded to hack away at the sleeves several times, which was super annoying because of the facing, and I'm still not happy with how the straps came out, but they are functional and don't look terrible.  My first attempt at sizing was overall too big, including the neckline, so I both took in the sides, and added a little gather in the center of the neck.  The one thing I am proud of is the side seam - check out the matching stripes!  

Overall, I think it came out decently, but it wasn't quite what I had in mind originally.  I think it makes me look a little too much like a second grader, especially with the shirt under it.  I'm thinking I might see if there is enough fabric to turn it into a maxi skirt instead, what do you think?



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A "Serge" of Productivity - Part 1

First things first - a hilarious post about inappropriate usage of quotation marks:
http://distractify.com/people/the-30-most-unnecessary-uses-of-quotation-marks-in-history/
My personal favorite is the one about the artificial trees, but they are all really good.

Secondly, my delightful pun alludes to the fact I actually learned how to use my serger this weekend, and finished not one, but two projects!  The first was actually just a test t-shirt I made out of leftover fabric, so I didn't ruin anything good figuring it all out.  I just traced one of my favorite tees to get the shape, and sewed it all up!  It actually came out pretty well, despite the fact the neckline got screwed up because I had to take it apart and redo it, but for the first time I've every put on sleeves (I've been avoiding them for a while now), I think I did pretty good.  Check out the stripe-matching in the back, which for some reason did not work on the front, but I'll take halfsies.  Also, if you look closely, you will see it's not hemmed properly, just serged, but since it was a test, I didn't feel like breaking out the other sewing machine to hem it.

Without further ado, I give you the red and white striped tee:





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