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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Steamy Sunday!

   It's been a pretty hot and humid day here - the first of many - and luckily, we still have another day off tomorrow = Memorial Day. So we still have a chance to get a lot more done around the house.
   We did manage to get a few things done today - and ventured outside into the steamy yard to take care of a few things out there too...

- slept in until 8:30am (well Elisa did, Kevin was up earlier...)
- hung new art in the kitchen:
The artwork we ordered this week from Society6 arrived and we promptly hung up  "Let's All Go And Have Breakfast" by Teo Zirinis and added the little watercolor of Finch from Kevin's mom right below :) 
- and in honor of our new kitchen artwork, Kevin made me a yummy breakfast!
cheesy eyebrows, and mini pepperoni eyeballs! Yum!!
- Elisa = cut peonies and irises from out back to bring inside!
- Kevin = picked up paint from Home Depot and stretched some carpet with the "carpet kicker"
- Laundry
- Elisa = Kitchen Cleaning
- Finch = laying around on his beach towel

- Kevin = Mowed the backyard and sprayed the yard for bugs
- Elisa = planted flowers in the big pots in the front and back yard
- Kevin = Pressure washed the deck
We purchased a pressure washer a few weeks ago, and had a chance to test it out! Man! What a difference it makes! Our cedar deck has grayed over the years - which looks fine - but it's gotten grimy and green in some places. Time to make it look brand new!
- Elisa = made spice rub for beer can chicken
- Kevin = made beer can chicken ( the recipe ACTUALLY says "dump out 1/3 of the can of beer" - Kevin was appalled! He changed it to "drink 1/3 of the can of beer and have an additional can on hand to consume immediately..."
Here the little chicken all rubbed up and ready to cook! It was SO tender and juicy!
Cooks for an hour and a half on the grill, but is super easy.
- Kevin - cleaned out the downstairs bedroom
- Spackling and sanding downstairs - ready to paint!
- Cleaned up the house in preparation for family over for grilling tomorrow evening!

   With 90 degree weather, and SO much humidity, there was bound to be some storms. Kevin got his new car in the garage just in time - although we didn't end up with any hail, other's got it who are pretty close by. It's been storming for hours now, but most of the super severe weather headed north of us.
   As my family says "THUNDER BOOMIES!!"

Did you have a productive weekend?
Have a fun and safe Memorial Day!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Deck the Walls...with SOMETHING! Please!

   Kevin had informed me that he had grown tired of our lonely, bare walls. I admit, I'm still having some wall-space-commitment-issues, but I'm starting to get over it. Even though we've been in the new house for a year now (is it still 'new' after one year? It still feels 'new'...), we haven't purchased new furnishings for the whole house. We've been up to our eyeballs in renovations and remodeling, 'new couches' hasn't been checked off the 'to do' list.
   THIS is the reason I hesitate: without finished room and furniture placement, I have a hard time committing to hanging things on the walls.
- Front Entryway: Complete - so there's stuff on the walls
- Master Bathroom: Complete - stuff on walls
- Kitchen: Complete - a few things up...
- Master Bedroom: Complete - also stuff...
- Downstairs Family Room: Incomplete
- Office/Studio: Incomplete
- Mud Room: Incomplete
- Living Room: as complete as we can get without the new couches as previously mentioned. Walls are painted and furniture placement is really determined, what's to stop me from adding wall decor? (besides a clock...) THAT is what Kevin wants to know!

   So! I took the first step: I've thought about it! What shall we hang? Framed photos? Artwork? My artwork? Other's people's art? Shelving to sit all my little dust-collectors? (that's what my mom calls 'em)
  All of the nice photos we have are either already hanging up in the Front Entryway or their all wedding photos/pictures of Finch. While a few photos from the wedding are okay here and there, and picture of my boy Finch are the cutest pics in town: we need some variety....
   Well have I got news for you! I got myself lost amongst all the amazing artist prints available on Society6 - a site that sells printed artwork (and even frames) the sweet artwork submitted by independent artists from all over. Have a peek! I stumbled across some really great artwork that I think will work really well at our place!

   Here's what we've ordered!
We ordered "Perch" by Eric Fan in a walnut frame to go in our living room to hang alongside a few other pieces I've collected - including the two vintage tin tile squares I purchased at the Mother's Day Market
We LOVE this artwork called "Let's All Go And Have Breakfast" by Teo Zirinis.
The PERFECT wall spot in the kitchen eagerly awaits this yummy print in a white frame.
"Lost In Stripes" by Bianca Green in a walnut frame is the sweetest pen drawing style print featuring a lovely little cluster of birch tree trunks. This piece shall be displayed in the downstairs family room when it's done - on the wall or up on the fireplace mantle - We think it will look sweet!
Okay - perhaps I've begun a nesting phase.... I couldn't pass up this AWESOME Alphabet print, appropriately titled "Muppet Alphabet" by Mike Boon. We chose a natural wood frame thinking that it will go...eventually....into the cutest nursery in town.
   Okay, these last prints are JUST for Kevin and I think we'll have a perfect place for them in the new office/studio space by Kevin's desk once the room is done.
   We ordered 4 prints from the same artist, Danny Haas, without frame = free shipping, 8" x 10" will fit into IKEA frames for cheaper.
"Logan" by Danny Haas
"Banner" by Danny Haas
"Stark" by Danny Haas
"Parker" by Danny Haas
   I think these four double-identity prints of some of Kevin's favorite Marvel characters will look sweet framed and hung all together - kind of like this:

   So maybe I got a little carried away with purchasing from Society6, but there were just SO many cool artist prints to choose from! It was hard to decide!
   Our new artwork should arrive any day and maybe Kevin will finally be satisfied with our 'wall status' :) We'll be sure to show you how it all turns out!

  What do you think of our new artwork?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Mother's Day Market

   Last Sunday - Mother's Day - My mom, Bonnie, and I went to visit the Mother's Day Market after brunch. The market was at the same location (the historic Smith Douglas More house in Eden Prairie) and contributors as the Be Mine Market I posted about back in Feb.
   Here's a look a the Mother's Day Market :)

some the displays were a little over the top and overwhelming - like photo on the left, and other areas were more focused and easier to take in - like the photo on the right. How much would I LOVE to get my hands on that metal shelving - treated as a hutch - to maximize display space at Finch's Boutique?!

right - I liked these little tin boxes used to hang herbs - I could make that right?
Because of the great weather, they were able to expand out onto the front porch and yard of this historic home.  Hanging baskets, flowers and herbs were perfect for Mother's Day :)

And here's what I left with!
My mom and I found these great, old tin tiles - there was a stack of them - and picked out these two with different embossed tile designs - the old, cracked paint adds some warm texture - NOT sure where these will go yet - but I'll let you know. It's funny: this purchase isn't SO VERY difference from my purchase at the Be Mine Market in Feb!
Remember the vintage wooden door I bought last time that ended up hanging above our new bed?
   Apparently I have a thing for ornate, white, vintage stuff? I think maybe I like them for their architectural-ness? Who knows...
Later on that day....
   We celebrated Mother's Day with Kevin's Mom and family by picking up Taco Bell - as per usual :) -  drinking wine/beer and playing games around the kitchen table - so much fun!
   Kevin's mom, Deb, has a wildlife/bird sanctuary just beyond her yard - so she has no shortage of bird, deer, turkey, fox, and other wild visitors....
We were do pleased to see this Goldfinch couple - my favorite! - at the feeders. They must have been distracted when they both flew into the glass door and were pretty disoriented. Deb scooped them right up, kept them warm and made sure they would be okay. They flew off in no time. Whew! LUCKILY They weren't snatched up by the HUGE owl that was peeping at us from the woods! yikes!
It was a great day with both of our moms!
We love you!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Downstairs Progress Report #2

We're still making progress downstairs!
  - Drywall is up!
  - prepping floors for tile
  - ready to repair the ceiling from all of the new wiring...

2 views of our new office with a snoopy onlooker lurking in the soon-to-be mud room
On the left: Because this spaced used to be a garage, there was a pretty drastic slope on the concrete floor - a gradual 2" decline that would have Kevin's office chair rolling away with him on it! So we've poured a self leveling floor to make up most of the difference - the rest can be made up when tiling.
On the right: in order to get the new lighting all wired in, we had to take a few sections out of the ceiling - but we plan to patch them right back in and respray. A lot of people get upset about popcorn ceiling, but whatev - we don't mind.
On the left: we've added a little inset cubby in the office to sit a bookshelf into.
On the right: our new hallway closet is coming together.
Finch the Foreman is inspecting the work. So far so good.
Next steps =
  - adding the heating coil element and thermostat to heat the office floor
  - start laying tile
  - get the dry wall taped and mudded
  - respray the ceiling

More to come!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Have a Colorful Mother's Day!

We made little Mother's Day coloring sheets for our niece and nephew, Brooke and Owen, and some of our friends! So I figured why not shared it with you too!

  Print out the image below and bust out the crayons and markers! I left a space at the bottom to sign in a name :) The image fits an 8.5" x 11" piece of paper - please let us know if it's not behaving!

  + if you or your little ones have fun coloring our Mother's Day coloring sheet, scan it in, or snap a picture, and send to us with your child's name and age - we'd LOVE to see their creativity and share it on the blog very soon!

  + perhaps you'll see a Father's Day coloring sheet next month! oh man, the possibilities.....

Have Fun!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Downstairs Progress Report

We've been back at it again this past weekend! Here's the progress report! 
   - carpet gone
   - walls framed up
   - wall of cabinets removed
   - starting on wiring
   - planning for recess can lights

this is where the whole wall of cabinets lived previously...
our new little hallway closet...
What a mess! So glamorous isn't it?
More to come!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Master Bathroom Finishing Touches!

  Back in July of last year, we shared the progress on our master bathroom project (see that post here!) - and we thought we'd share the results!
Our wall color is Behr "Sea Salt" - a warm aqua color, the color of water :)
We added our finishing touches on the wall above the toilet
Blue and aqua glass bottles and candle holders collected over the years tie in our wall color.
My favorites are the two ornate perfume style bottles that I collected from a garage sale last year, the light blue marbled glass candle globe that I purchased in Germany when I was 14 (I actually WATCHED the glass blower make it just for me!) + just love the framed illustration by Mary Kazura (purchased at the MCAD Art Sale many years ago + Mary and I used to work together in the MCAD admissions office) We call the print "Dancing Teeth"! - just some teeth out frolicking in a meadow. You know, the usual.
Four photos taken by Kevin, from the balcony of our Honeymoon cruise stateroom, of churning water near Honduras :) Its nice to add a little something personal to such a personal room...
Our metal rack (purchased a set at IKEA in Denmark - my very first IKEA visit EVER!) holds some of our everyday items: Tooth Brush, Q-Tips, a vintage blue Ball jar holds our cotton puffs, + Kevin's razor, nail clippers, and essential oils (my favorite natural scent: Jasmine).
We found this long blue laminate tray at IKEA - the perfect size to sit atop our toilet tank!
+ with a cute tissue box pattern from Up & Up at Target :)
We went simple with a brushed nickel framed mirror: kind of masculine, but not too chunky,
+ a simple three-bulb  lighting with white frosted glass bell shades.
We didn't have ANYWHERE to hang a hand towel, so Kevin suggested a hook right around the little 'corner' to the right of the sink. I really like how simple it is, and it's right where you need it.
And lastly, here is our shower - We love our big gray tile and our tiny gray tile, our big shower head,
inset wall cubbies to hold our shampoo and conditioner, and corner seat :)
The frameless glass with towel bar handle = adds no visual weight to the room. We love it!
Thanks for visiting our master bathroom!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Going on a Tile Hunt!

   It's time for tile hunting again! And much like ALL of our hunting, the price tag = a pretty important purchase factor. We are looking for tile to go into our new office/studio (in progress) and the new mud room (also in progress) The two tiles WILL meet each other, so its important that the tile are a pretty significantly different size and color/texture.
  So it's off to Building Materials Outlet (BMO) in Eagan. "The Handyman's Candy Store" We were previously pretty successful when we scored our new kitchen/front entry way tile on the cheap last year (and love it so much, that we used more of the SAME tile in our master bathroom...)

What do you have to offer today BMO?
Got Cabinets? Finished, Unfinished - a really good deal on oak cabinets going on...
Got tubs and vanities? I think BMO will be our first stop when it's time to tackle the downstairs bathroom re-do.
Got decorative corbels? What about windows and carpet squares?
Got sinks? This stainless steel single basin tub *might just work out in our mud room when we're ready for it...
Oh yea. This is why we came. Got tile?
Oh la la. We have a winner! These tiles are a lovely color: It's hard to tell in the photo, but there are gold/rust colored flecks on a warm gray.  Not too slick, and no deep ridges to collect dirt - at $0.99/sq ft - sign us up!
  Thanks BMO! We found our tile for the mud room, but will need to look elsewhere for our office/studio tile. It will be easy to pick out a smaller size tile (like a 12"sq or so) to contrast with these big 18"sq tiles.

...To be continued next weekend!