Crafty Time!

This is a good example of the before color – I didn’t take a before picture. Naughty blogger!

Lamps are expensive.  My dearest friend Sarah always comments that they are something that seems to cost more than it should.  I get that – lamps are pricey.  But, unless you happy to fall into one while playing football in your family room, they don’t wear out.  They can last decades.  They can certainly outlast their trendiness!  Case in point: the brass lamps my friend Cheryl gifted me with some awesome stuff when she cleaned her mom’s beach house out.

Upon first impression, the lamps were, how do you say, not precisely my cup of tea.  They were that bright yellow brassy color that was in fashion in the 80s.  My mom says it’s coming back in, but I don’t much care.  But after that first thought passed, I remembered the power of spray paint.  DUH!  I happily skittered away with these previously loved brass wunder-lamps, ready to take them home and work my magic on them.  I didn’t actually get to work much magic until more recently, however, since I had cleaning, organizing, packing, and unpacking to do.  I still do, really, but that’s neither here nor there.

The silhouettes are lovely, classical, timeless.  I’m so happy with how this guy turned out.

Here is the sad part: this is the only daylight photo I took.  But you can see that I rocked the oil rubbed bronze spray paint out.  Here it is siting next to its favorite new book from my friends* the Petersiks over at Young House Love.  And you can see another lamp that is waiting to be given the spray paint treatment sitting next to it.  Classic lines, right?  Just the one on the left feels right now, and the one on the right feels like 25 years ago.

*The Petersiks don’t actually know me.  Calling us friends might be a stretch.

Makes me happy.  Ooh, you know what else makes me happy?  That snazzy rectangular shade.  Picked that puppy up from Target.  The lamps came with shades that are a little more like the one in the first picture.  I’m not wild about them, but I am going to see if I can breathe some new life into them by using fabric spray paint and finding them homes in the bedrooms.  Anywho, a few more pics.

This gives you a better idea of the color and shows you a spot I need to touch up. I might go back and ORB the white plastic, I don’t know yet.

Isn’t this shade great? Feels a bit mod to me, nice contrast to the classic lines of the lamp.

In conclusion, I love lamp.  🙂  Actually, I lied.  That wasn’t my conclusion.  I showed my rejuvenated lamp to my mother, and she liked it so much she is going to do some spray painting of her own.  She has been very skeptical about my spray painting adventures, but now she is on team oil rubbed bronze!  I talked to her this afternoon and she told me she was eyeing up some brass candle holders she’s had forever.  That’s the ticket! Viva la revolucion de spray paint!


A great and tragic loss

I’ve wrecked the carpet on the lower floor of my house.  I had it for 16 days before I ruined it.  It was lovely while it lasted.

It’s end wasn’t pretty.

I can’t show you a picture because, how funny, my real camera is broken, and my cell phone camera is so cruddy that it can’t capture the difference in color between the carpet as God intended it to be and the carpet after it was BLEACHED.

Foster Kitty James Bond, available at the Wake County Animal Center

That’s right, bleached.  Here’s how it happened.  I was in the 4th bedroom, which I was using as a temporary home for foster kitten James Bond.  There were a couple of empty boxes in there and several pieces of art leaning against the walls, and a big Ikea bag that had a gallon of bleach, a gallon of vinegar, and a gallon of windex in it.  That bag never should have been in that room.  That stuff belongs in the laundry room.  But you know how it is when you are moving and directing traffic, right?  So it ended up in the 4th bedroom.  Last Saturday I decided to move it out, but when I went to rearrange the bag, I knocked over one of the bottles.  I picked it right back up, but not before it spilled EVERYWHERE.

An unopened bottle of bleach opened up just because it got knocked over.  Yikes!

The bleach ate through the bag it was in and permeated the floor underneath.  I grabbed the bag up and whisked it out the back door as quickly as I could, but didn’t realize I was leaking bleach the whole way outside.  The result?  The bleach stripped the color from the carpet.  Wherever it landed, what was Driftwood Grey is now a flourescent lilac.  Never heard of that color? Take some acid, maybe you’ll see it on your trip.

I realize, in the grand scheme of things, that bleaching your carpet in the house that you have lived in for 16 days (at that point in time) is not a big problem.  it is, in fact, a total first-world problem.  But you know what?  It is my problem.  And it made me so angry and so sad.  I love having my little house, and I want so very much for it to be pretty.  Not making do pretty, like every rental house I’ve lived in for the last 14 years has been, but just plain pretty.

I’ll live with it.  I’ll make do.  Eventually, I’ll replace the carpet.  The big stain in the 4th bedroom is probably patchable; it’s near a seam anyway and it’s a manageable size.  I have a guy coming on Tuesday to check it out.  The pattern of drips in the den, however, that go out the 4th bedroom door, across the seating area, and then hang a right to go out the back door, and probably cover about 20 feet of carpet is not patchable.  You can’t dye an area like that either because the carpet is very new, making dying it difficult, and because dye doesn’t work over such a big expanse.  I can’t add area rugs because of where it is.  I get to live with it.  And I’m not happy about it.  I’m not crying over it, but I’m not going to pretend I like it either, because it is my very own first-world problem.

Love Affects Curb Appeal

Elephant Culo as she appeared on Zillow when she was for sale.

I haven’t done a ton to the outside of my house.  I really haven’t.  I spent $60 on plants (azaleas and pansies), I had the gate added to the left, painted the front door, painted the house numbers, lights and mailbox, and had the window trim wrapped in vinyl and the soffits painted.  Not a lot in the way of updates.  But look at how different the house looks.

The pile of unpacked but not put away tchotchkes in the bay window doesn’t add much.  I think the difference is just that someone lives here now and loves the place.

Last night’s activities

I’ve been so busy with moving in, making the last few decisions about the renovation, and going back to work, that I haven’t spent much time updating this blog.  No fear, I’m still a narcissistic blogger who thinks everyone wants to know about where I place my lamps.  😉  

For the last few years, I haven’t entertained much.  I love, love, love to feed people.  I love having folks at my house.  I did it all the time in college, and again in law school, but I didn’t feel comfortable doing it very much after law school.  My place didn’t feel right and it didn’t lend itself to big gatherings.  Also, I had no table to eat at!  So I invited a few friends over Monday night, knowing that it would be helpful to get my ktichen squared away enough to entertain and also knowing that I don’t have the kind of friends who expect the house to be neat as a pin.  Real life happens here.  I whipped up a roast turkey and a little pumpkin cake, my friends brought sides and wine, and a good time was had by all.

Image  She’s a beaut, right?  It was so wonderful to have friends around my table.  🙂

And I guess you can see from that picture that my long-awaited appliances have arrived.  My dishwasher gets dishes so clean, they sparkle!  And my washing machine is very very quiet.  It’s so quiet I assume it’s hunting rabbits!  

And remember when I told you that I made a headboard out of a door that I took down?  I suckered asked my mom to come over and help me hang it.  It was a little dicey because the door is hollow.  I used wall anchors in the door itself, and held my breath a bit.  Then I used wall anchors in the wall, too.  Oh, but I should point out I used this little doo-hickey to hang the door.


It’s called a z-bar.  It is 18″ long and according tot he package, can hold up to 200 pounds.  I have the same type of hanger holding up an oval mirror in my entry way, so I knew how it worked.  The directions were great and we made a go of it.  i wish I had taken pictures, but I didn’t!  I decided I wanted the hanger to sit 4″ fromt he top of my headboard, so I measured and marked an 18″ line 4″ below the edge of my door.  Then I measured up from the floor to where I wanted the top of the headboard to be and used my trusty level to mark and 18″ line at the center of the wall.  I used my new drill — THANKS KNITTING FRIENDS! — and put in a few screws, et voila!  Behold, my headboard installed!


I need a better picture.  Where *is* my camera?  I don’t know.  But back to my drill!  My darling friends that I knit with every Sunday gave me a very generous gift card for home improvement projects.  I promptly used it to buy a serious drill for my serious projects!


Ain’t that a good lookin’ drill?  🙂


Speaking of my drill, here’s the mirror I was telling you about in the entryway.  If you overlook the empty box and the watering can (which I adore, but which probably doesn’t belong there), this part of the house is really starting to come together.  🙂


Photobomb by Goose.  I hung up my Nighthawks at the Diner print from the Hopper exhibit at the Smithsonian a few years ago across the way from here.


I think it’s going to stay there, but you never know – sometimes when you live with these things for a while, they ask to migrate.  The rest of the living room still has a long way to go.


Photobomb by Maverick.  Alright, that’s enough putzing ont he intertubes for now.  Off to get something accomplished in this house!

Breaking Things In

Did you know that you have to run a new dryer for 30 minutes or so, because it has an odor to it?  You do.  I did that today.  For the same reason, you are to break in a new oven by heating it up to 400 degrees and leaving it there for a half an hour or so.  I didn’t get any breaking in instructions for my dishwasher, though, so I just loaded it with a small load and let her rip.  

I’ve never seen dishes so clean!

Later on, I backed a cake, admiring how my shiny red mixer looks on the granite counters.  The cake’s layers browned up beautifully in the oven, so now it is not only broken in, but christened.  I’m almost ready to run another load in the dishwasher.  And the fridge has also taken a brave step forward.  I have tomorrow’s turkey brining in it right now – turns out the shelves can accommodate my big canning pot, which, in turn, can accommodate a 13 pound turkey.  

This kitchen is really mine.  Far out.

Welcome Newest Member of Elephant Culo

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a KITTEN!


Meet Smooch, now known as James Bond.  I met him at the Wake County Animal Center this morning, where I took the foster training.  James Bond is a 5 month old kitten and he has been in the shelter for two months.  He was super playful when I was getting the tour of the cat rooms, batting at me as I walked by – apparently, he didn’t know the rule that I wasn’t supposed to touch any cats.  When it came time to grab my first foster, I picked him.  

Bless his furry paws, he came home to my house full of boxes, two nosy dogs, an electrician installing the microwave, my mom knocking on the door, and then the Uverse installation man.  It was a lot for James Bond to handle.  He stayed in his carrier until I moved him to the fourth bedroom, a little room just off of the living room.  Once in there, he retreated to the inside of the closet, where he could hide behind a pile of picture frames.

I checked in on him and sat with him for awhile, and he peaked out at me and my neighbor, Sarah. I think it was because she was wielding a bottle of Kitty Bliss, but you never know.  But then, later tonight, I laid down in there and shut my eyes.  I was just going to take a little nap, but I heard James Bond skittering along the wall.  Before I knew it, he was at my head, purring like a madman (madcat?).  He headbumped me and let me pet him quite a bit, and then got down to the business of being a kitten.  He ran all over, jumped great leaps into the air, attacked invisible threats, wrestled with a toy, batted at the door to his carrier, and was, in general, utterly charming.

He was also really hard to photograph.  Crappy cell phone camera + dim light + mostly black cat is not a recipe for success!  Plus, my phone doesn’t have a flash, and the little guy moves really quickly.  I took a lot of very blurry photos.

ImageJust his tiny paws are clear here – I love it.  

ImageGazing at something only he can see on the ceiling.  


Showing off the white bathing suit – he has a top and a bottom on.  🙂


Tomorrow when it is sunny I will try to get better pictures of my little model.  In the meantime, please share this post with anyone you know who is looking for a feline companion.  James Bond is an excellent kitten and deserves a loving home.