Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Use It or Lose It: Round 2

In that same Closet of Doom, I had 4 mirrors that I'd meant to do something with for, well, awhile. But they were buried deep.

Last weekend I decided to work on spiffing up our front entryway. It's nice enough, but kind of dark. Some of that is the paint color, some of that is that it doesn't get much natural light except in the morning.

I figured that a mirror over the dresser would look good, and I had the perfect one for the job.

I found it last fall in an antique-y flea market kind of place and fell in love with the shape and the detailing at the top.

Here's where I decided to put it:

Some eye-balling (by me) and measuring (by Steve) later, it was up.

Ah, perfect.

I also had another mirror that I wanted to hang. Originally I only wanted the frame and was going to re-use the mirror somewhere else, because together they are REALLY heavy. I forgot to take a picture of the mirror itself, and the wall before, but here's where it ended up:

It's the long wall in the middle of the house. It'd be perfect for a gallery wall, but everytime I see a bunch of frames together on a wall I think how cool it looks, yes, but also, "Yeah. Soooo don't want to dust all those..." which makes it perfect for this mirror.

I had to have Steve hang it because I couldn't lift it that high without toppling over.

Then he checked to see if was level and all that:

Here it is, waiting for other things to be put up around it so it doesn't look like a random mirror on a random wall:

Here's a closer view of some of the detailing:

And just like that, two more things used. The other 2 mirrors are just awaiting their call to be useful. I know where I'm probably going to use them too. No, not back in the closet.

Running score: USE IT=2, LOSE IT=0

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Use It or Lose It: Round 1

Buried in the side of the Closet of Doom were a couple of curtain rods that I'd originally bought last July to put in my husband's home office.

I could only find 2 at the time, but then he decided that he didn't want curtain rods (he has a sort of set of 3 windows in there), but wanted something like what I'd done in the laundry room instead.

I thought maybe I'd use them in my office instead, but hadn't gotten around to it yet. The more I looked at them, though, the more I thought they'd be too dark against the lighter colors.

Then one day I was walking down the hall and looked at the living room curtains and thought, "I really should take those down and wash...HEY! Those curtain rods would be PERFECTLY PERFECT IN HERE!!!!!" And, even better yet, the curtain rods that were currently in the living room would be PERFECTLY PERFECT in my office.

Here's where we started:

Living Room

Living Room

My Office

My Office

It should have been easy enough...but there were a couple of things I didn't forsee. Like the fact that to get the curtains back on the window in the living room that faces the driveway would be near impossible without taking down the brackets and threading the rod through first. Or the whole measuring thing (that always gets me, though).

In the end I perserved, and now have nifty looking curtain rods in the living room and actual curtains/curtain rods in my office.

Yes, I know the center bracket is off-center. It's where Steve's brother had originally put in the rod that's now in my office. We figured it'd be easier to re-use as many holes as we could. I can live with it...for now.

This is probably why Steve hates doing any home improvement projects with me. They tend to snowball. 'Install 2 curtain rods' became 'take down the living room curtains and curtain rods, then install 2 curtain rods, then install the 2 rods that were just taken down in another room, oh and add curtains'. And yes, it took about 3 hours. I don't think it would've normally taken that long had I not had to go back and re-do the shorter living room wall in order to thread the rod through the bracket BEFORE attaching said bracket to the wall.


It's DONE! And I like the darker rods in the living room against the red curtains. And I LOVE that I have curtains in my office. That helps finish a room.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Use It or Lose It

Once upon a time, I cleared out and repainted the upstairs storage closet (also known around here as 'The Storage Closet of Doom' for good reason).

It was all organized and pretty. I could walk in and out without fear I'd be buried in crap treasures:

Sadly, it doesn't look like that anymore. No, now it's even worse than it was before I re-painted it in 2010. The level of stuff is waist-deep on me (I'm only 5'0", so yes, it's not SUPER deep, but it's deep enough, thanks).


Now, this has been bothering me for a couple of months, but I rationalized it by saying, "Eh, either the space that I want to put (insert item name here) in isn't ready for it, or I can't paint it yet. No big deal. It can wait."

Well, that was super great...until I actually needed something out of the closet. The BACK of the closet. And to get to it, I had to make a path. As I was taking yet another armload of treasures out, I realized 1) How much stuff was actually IN that closet, and 2) What a great job I'd done getting it all to fit. (Or something like that. Work with me here.)

In January, one of my favorite blogs, Young House Love had a post talking about the same issue: A Strange Self-Imposed Challenge. They said the same thing I said: Stop hoarding things, start using them (I'm paraphrasing here). They're doing a "Dude, Get On That Already" series with their treasures. It inspired me to get cracking on my hoard
treasures too.

It's time to go through the piles and make a decision on each thing. If I wait for the perfect place/time to use these things, well, that's never going to get here. A home is always a work in progress...well, at least for me. Steve is a trooper for putting up with my always changing things, and I know he's secretly relieved when Home Improvement Season is done for the year.

So, with that, it's Use It or Lose It time.

Let the Games begin.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

New Icons!

Yep. Over on the top right side, there are new icons to get to some of my other hangouts.

I found them over at the C.W. Frosting Design Lab. This is only one of 3 sets available. I think they all look FABULOUS! Best thing? They are free. Free? FREE!

Head over to see what other resources are available for bloggers. It's always nice to not have to reinvent the wheel when updating a blog.

New Look Around Here

I've been messing around with my blog template and layout and all that. Obviously.

So, excuse the mess for now. It kind of like when I'm painting. When I'm done, it will look much better. But in the middle, not so much.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

101 in 1001 The February I'm Still Not Making Any Big Leaps and Bounds But At Least I'm Making SOME Progress Edition

Some of the things that I really want to do have to wait for spring/summer. Things like finishing painting, or putting in flower beds. Apparently snow/frozen ground isn't really conducive to that kind of thing. That's OK, though. (Not really, but well, there you go.)

And so, I present February's (non)accomplishments:

Finished: 41
In Process: 11
Percent finished: 40.59%
Left to go: 59.41%

Finances/Giving (6/12) [in Process: 0]
1. Get Emergency Fund up to $1000 [Done 15 March 2011]
2. Pay off and close Chase Visa
3. Pay off and close Target Visa
4. Get Emergency Fund up to 3 months (~12,000)
5. Get a used truck
6. Put a $50 bill in the second collection basket [Done 5 November 2011]
7. Put a $100 bill in the second collection basket
8. Donate to the Food Shelf 10 times ($25 or equivalent) (10/10) [Done 28 October 2011]
9. Leave a 100% tip 5 times (5/5) [Done 15 October 2011]
10. Choose 2 kids from the Jesse Tree during Christmas & get them presents [Done 29 November 2011]
11. Give to a family in need during the holidays
12. Buy a scratch-off lottery ticket & donate 25% of the winnings to charity [Done 18 September 2010]

House Inside (7/12) [In Process: 2]
13. Hang up 5 pictures (5/5) [Done 17 November 2010]
14. Frame Tree picture [Done 9 September 2010]
15. Paint back room and closet [Done 13 October 2010]
16. Paint hall storage closet & set up shelves [Done 17 August 2010]
17. Spruce up front door area (outside: welcome mat, flower pots/ inside: bench, mirror, lamp)
18. Finish basement
19. Back door/entryway re-do
20. Repaint & redo my office
21. Hang curtains or blinds in master bedroom & the Kid’s room [Done 18 October 2010]
22. Get dining room chairs
23. Repaint Laundry Room [Done 19 October 2011]
24. Repaint/redo master bathroom/closet [Done 5 October 2010]

House Outside (2/12) [In Process: 1]
25. Plant 5 trees in yard (4/5) [4 Blue Spruce planted 7 August 2010]
26. Put in back flower bed
27. Paint Storage Shed same color as house
28. Back entryway outside re-do (transition between steps and red rock)
29. Build garage
30. Put in front flower bed
31. Put in front tower flower bed
32. Put in side flower bed
33. Level out north side of house & put down the decorative rock
34. Get covers for grill & fireplace
35. Get rid of stumps in back yard [Done 28 August 2010]
36. Get a flag for front porch (and install said flag) [Done 3 July 2011]

To Do/Watch/Read (4/12)
[In Process: 5]
37. Watch 101 movies (49/101)
February 2011
• Moneyball
• Bad Teacher
• Brothers at War

38. Read 101 books (172/101) [ The 101 was done 2 May 2011]
39. Go to a Cowboys-Vikings game
40. See 5 Minnesota Tourist Attractions (0/5)
41. Visit 5 art galleries in Minnesota (1/5)
42. Watch all seasons of “24” (0/8)
43. Watch all seasons of “MI-5” (6/9)
44. Complete a crossword puzzle book
45. Watch 5 documentaries (5/5) [done 10 February 2011]
46. Read 5 Non-fiction books (5/5) [Done 3 November 2011]
47. Donate 100, 000 grains of rice on (76,000/100,000)
48. Do 5 things from the “365 Things to do in the Twin Cities” (5/5) [Done 17 December 2011]

Health (2/12) [In Process: 0]
49. Walk to work 30 times (30/30) [Done 14 March 2011]
50. Bike around the lake
51. 175
52. 165
53. 155
54. 145
55. 135
56. Get eyes checked
57. Get new glasses or contacts
58. Get annual physical [Done 16 September 2010]
59. Do the 200 sit-ups challenge
60. Track my progress with Wii Fit for 28 consecutive days.

Grown-up/Family stuff (3/12) [In Process: 1]
61. Change life insurance beneficiaries
62. Write wills
63. Write living wills
64. Get family picture taken
65. Send out Christmas cards with aforementioned family picture on it
66. Host Brother/Sister Christmas party [Done 18 December 2010]
67. Have a family board/card game night 5 times (2/5)
68. Buy a new “grown-up” outfit (shirt/pants) [Done 23 July 2011]
69. Take a family vacation
70. Make a picture family tree
71. Get first aid certified
72. Get the Kid a car safety kit for her car [Done 28 December 2010]

Spiritual/Church (4/12) [In Process: 2]
73. Learn the Rosary Prayers
74. Go to a Latin Mass
75. Go to daily Mass for a week
76. Donate time, talent, or treasure for the CCW Bazaar [Done 1 October 2010]
77. Read the Tao te Ching [Done 18 September 2010]
78. Get a new St Christopher Medal
79. Do the Advent readings and wreath one year [Done 7 January 2011]
80. Do the Lenten readings one year
81. Do the Rice Bowl project one year [Done 17 April 2011]
82. Light an intention candle 10 times (6/10)
83. Attend Mass in the Basilica
84. Attend 2 Lenten dinners

Food (10/11) [In Process: 0]
85. Make a cake & icing (or cupcakes) from scratch [Done 24 July 2010]
86. Try 3 new restaurants (3/3) [Done 17 June 2011]
87. Do one week of meal planning [Done 31 December 2010]
88. Do one month of meal planning [Done 3 July 2011]
89. Eat 1 serving of fruit a day for a week (7/7) [Done 12 July 2010]
90. Try a new recipe [Done 1 October 2010]
91. Make cookies from scratch [Done 23 September 2010]
92. Try a different flavor ice cream (no vanilla/chocolate) [Done 12 August 2010]
93. Limit Diet Coke to 2 servings per day for 1 consecutive week (0/7 days)
94. No fast food for a month [Done 9 April 2011]
95. Try 5 different kinds of apples (5/5) [Done July 2010]

Just Because (6/6) [In Process: 1]
96. Donate hair to Locks of Love one more time (Almost done growing it out)
97. Take part in a pub quiz [Done 16 January 2011]
98. Complete a 500+ piece puzzle
99. Fly first class
100. Start a Tumblr [Done 8 July 2010]:
101. Do a 365 day photo challenge [Done 31 December 2011]