Tabs - pages

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Project: Birth Announcement Artwork

  We are less than a month away from welcoming our new, baby nephew into the world. Until he arrives, and his name is revealed, Kevin and I have been referring to him as Baby Francis. We can't wait to finally meet him - and in preparation, I've been working on few different layouts of Birth Announcement style artwork.

   Here's a few of the text graphics that I was inspired by - suitable for framing, hanging in a nursery, or to be sent out as a birth announcement:

  After a few versions - some of which got a little too busy - I scaled back simplified, and stuck with an easy, casual aesthetic: not too modern, not super traditional - along the lines of what I've been doing with Yellow Finch.Gray Day and the "2013 To-Do List"

  Here's what I came up with so far using Brooke and Owen as sample names and info :)

  I've been thinking about preparing a few customizable options to have available for sale at Yellow Finch.Gray Day on Etsy - what do you think?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Oh Rigby

  Rigby sure loves his brother Finch - like on bath day: Rigby went first, and then Kevin took Finch into the bathroom for his turn.

   Here is Rigby waiting ever so patiently for big bro to come out...

  And all Little Riggs wanted to do was snuggle when he came home, after his "fix'n surgery", sporting his lovely new cone (which he broke by day 4, and we had to buy a new one...).

Sunday, January 20, 2013

McBrides Gots Leaks

  That's right, the house is leaking...still...  Back when we FIRST moved in, we had leaking {see post} which was "repaired" by the warranty the previous owners had purchased for the house. Then LAST year = more leaking, and after some super severe weather we filed an insurance claim. This time, $9k was paid out from insurance and we had an entirely new roof put on, some insulation replaced, and the venting done properly for a roof with a pitch as low as ours. Deal. Great - no more SUPER severe weather for the year, and no more leaking.
  Fast forward to two days before Christmas - just this past December = leaking. New leaks, leaks in the same places as before, all around leakiness. Perfect. So now we have bowls and paper towels pieces scattered around the house to catch the drops. If we didn't have place mats AND a tablecloth on the table, it would have been ruined when we came from being gone for Christmas. Just lovely.

  "Hey Joey Rooftops, your new roof isn't working out so well" (the guy from the roofing company's name really is Joey, so "Joey Rooftops" is how he is listed in my phone. Like an Italian mob kind of name...)

  "Hey Elisa, the roof we put on is perfect. This "new" leaking is being caused by ______ "<- insert 4 different reasons here:
  Could be...
- need new, foam insulation in there...
- need to replace soffit vents...
- your house is being kept too humid, turn off your humidifier (which we did: still leaking and a few scratchy, sore throats later)...
- the exhaust from your furnace on the side of your house is pointing too much up at the soffit vents,  making moisture up in the 5 inches of "attic" space....

  All of the leaks have a lovely brown, dirty tint - so it's easy to spot when and where new leaks occur...
Lovely. Leaking in right above the front door - waiting to welcome you to our leaky home. 
Coming down the wall right onto to our framed photos. Nice.
What have we here? Oh, that's just the ceiling to the master bathroom we remodeled last year. Not a big deal...
Our main, hallway bathroom now featured these lovely folded paper towels shoved in between the light fixture and mirror - the poopy colored drips have been coming in at the light, running down the wall behind the mirror and show up on the vanity counter top. Sweet.
Rigby let us use some of his puppy training pads to keep in the closet...otherwise, this gross spot would be on the carpet waiting to greet us every time we need clothes...
Leaks not featured:
- onto the kitchen counter
- from the center beam in the living room
- onto the tile in the front entryway
- onto the dining room table
- from the light fixture above the stairs
- and a few more little drops here and there....

And the official verdict is: need to replace soffit vents...but can we get it in writing that this will be the fix? We will see...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Silent Auction items for Addy's Benefit

  Coming up this Saturday, Jan. 19th, is a benefit for my cousin Joe's little girl Addy (3 years old). She is one sick girl: diagnosed last year with Aplastic Anemia- but is on the mend. COTA (Children's Organ Transplant Association) is raising money to help cover costs for the bone marrow transplant Addy received in December - her little brother Cayden (1 year old), was the donor. It was a pretty rough holiday season spent in the hospital, recovering, and going through chemo, but Addy is one tough little girl. I can't even imagine how exhausted Joe, and his lovely wife April, must be: going through all of this with both of their children and living at the hospital.
  Click here to see details about the benefit event and how you can help:
Addy with little bro Cayden + always smiling and making the best of her home away from home
  My Mother-In-Law, Deb, and I both created items that we've donated for the Silent Auction at the benefit - we just couldn't pass up this opportunity to help out little Addy and her family - and what better way than by making things - it's what we love to do! Hopefully our stuff goes for BIG BUCKS! So here is pre-benefit peek:

  Deb created this AMAZING ceramic Fairy House - all built and glazed by hand - all of the little details take so much time and patience + I LOVE the color. THIS Fairy House is already headed to the benefit next weekend (complete with little LED candle to glow-through the little windows), but more stunning ceramic work from Deb can be found in her Enchanted Houses etsy shop.

Deb really achieved these great copper, bronze and teal tones.  So nice. + Love the little snail hidden on the back side next to the little windows with shutters :)
  And I donated a Jimmy Doll with "Jimmy's Tree" book - This stuffed, plush Jimmy Doll is hand-made (with help from my mom - she's the best stuffer and arm-sewer-on-er in all the lands) out of speckled gray plush fabric. "Jimmy's Tree" is a little 8-page story I wrote and illustrated back in school featuring Jimmy, who decides at the end, that things always get better no matter how rough things are.

I hand-covered + hand-bound this hard cover, hinged story book + added a little fun with beads the strings
+ here's a peek at a few of the illustrations inside:
   + My parents have been doing a little fundraising of their own to help Addy. They donated all of the earnings from their homemade Caramel & Cinnamon Popcorn that they sold at Finch's Holiday Boutique last month. Now that is the most delicious way to raise money ever!

Looking forward to next week's benefit + sending prayers to Addy and family.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Red Pepper Eggs = Yum

  ...or more like "Eggs IN Red Pepper"...  This simple, little breakfast is just too tasty not to share and at only 190 calories, we had it with juice and coffee/chai tea, and thought it was a lovely Sunday morning meal :)

Wheat toast, Egg, Red Pepper Ring, Fresh Mozzerlla - Yum!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

McBrides All Fired Up!

   Not that our house isn't warm, its our fireplaces that are lacking in the warmth department - and that just doesn't make any sense right?
   Back when we came across our house during the house hunt, we thought the two wood burning fireplaces were a major bonus. Kevin was even pumped about chopping wood! Our home inspection didn't turn up any issues with either fireplace, so we were pretty bummed when we tried our first fire upstairs last winter to find that the downstairs smelled like smoke - REALLY bad. So we tried to master the cross-ventilation and ensure that all the smoke was sucked up the chimney where it belonged and had a guy out to clean the chimney and inspect the flue, etc.
   It was discovered that our downstairs fire-box was cracked and would not be suitable for a fire unless fixed, which would be SUPER costly, and that there was something else going on that would make it pretty near impossible not to have a smokey-smelling basement when using the fireplace upstairs. Lame!
   SO! It's was decided! Gas inserts it is! We shopped around at a few fireplace retailers and were really impressed with Fireside Hearth & Home - not far from our place in Minnetonka, MN.

BEFORE = all that brass!
Left: Upstairs Fireplace with stone ledge hearth, Right: with solid brick hearth
- both complete with big brass surround and good old Chicago Brick
Ripped out!
Installed....kind of...doesn't look the greatest, but it sat this way for a week so the inspector could
come by - he barely glanced at it and said "looks good"
And now!!!
The ALL NEW upstairs fireplace along side our recently hung artwork wall
a look at our mantel - as holiday as it got after the boutique was over
And here is how downstairs turned out. We rehung the mantel - after it fell off and hit me in the head last year... Is my head okay? You can decide.
We hung this great framed print from Society6 called "Lost In Stripes" by Bianca Green + added this fun orange, tin clock I picked up at General Store of Minnetonka, along with a little white ceramic luminary, with 'punched' holes that allow the candlelight to glow through, that we nabbed from Crabtree Ceramics @ Finch's Boutique in Dec.
We went with a black surround for downstairs with a nice double-line frame with curved top.
What do you think of the fireplaces Finch & Rigby?
We're all warm and cozy here at the McBride's now!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Officially: Yellow Finch.Gray Day on Etsy

   Well we've officially done it - and so soon! "Launch Etsy Shop" just graced our new To Do: 2013 list last week, and we've already crossed it off! Sure, there was a lot of pre-work that I had started last year - thinking about shop name, shop 'policies' and the oh so important shop "banner." Of course "launching" the shop is really only the first step...

The Shop:
etsy banner
Name: Yellow Finch.Gray Day

Link to Shop: click here! (might want to add it to your favorites! wink!)

The Plan:
   Yellow Finch for Littles: Fun items + gifts for kids & baby
   - Items like: Plush Jimmy Dolls, Nuggets, Tooth Fairy Nuggets + Finger Puppets + Tea For Two Sets + Wash Mitts + Magic Sponge Sets + Artwork, etc.
   Gray Day for your Home: Cute Decor & Art for everyday.
   - Items like: Pot Holders + Towels + Wash Mitts + Handmade Books + Cards + Artwork, etc.

Product listed so far: 5 Tooth Fairy Nuggets! Hooray!  I have a bunch of stuff leftover from Finch's Boutique, so expect to see lots more very soon!

Blog: - I figured that a fun way to feature and share some of my new projects, ideas, and items for Yellow Finch.Gray Day could live in its own blog - but wait! there's nothing up there yet except for a blog title banner I made (see below) - you'll have to check back later...

blog banner
Have a look!
Now we just need to get people to visit our shop....

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Deck the Walls - Part 2 - Finally....

  Hey - so remember our post from last May titled "Deck the Walls...with SOMETHING! Please!" {see post}? If not: long story short = tired of blank, boring walls - especially in the common area spaces, like the living room - we ordered artwork from Society6 to layer in with some of our other collected items in order to Deck Our Walls.
  Well we are very pleased to share that we finally - literally, just last week - addressed the 'tall wall' in our living room. Have a look!

  We hung two vintage ceiling tiles (that I picked up at a boutique last May - see post )

  + along with one of the Society6 prints we purchased: "Perch" by Eric Fan. We really like the little birdie and nice golden color that we've begun to carry throughout the room.

  + We scored this sweet M - made from a variety of tin ceiling tiles (picked it up at Junk Bonanza - see post). We thought it tied back to the two white tiles nicely, + pushed those same golden tones as the "Perch" print

  + a cute white frame from IKEA - so we can add something more personal - there WILL be a cute picture of Finch & Rigby in there sometime soon

  + and lastly, the wooden gold finch I got from Anthropologie years ago made it's way from the Mpls house and *finally* found a home here. He's one of my favorites.

Our "Tall Wall" is right in between our fireplace and deck doors - 
it reaches up to the point of our vaulted ceiling - so we had plenty of room to play.

+ To finish up the wall, we have the mid-century-mod buffet that I talked about in the guest
blog post I did over at Hammers & High Heels - see that post here.

+ I collected the old chair from a yard sale in Mpls - probably about 7 years ago, 

+ we topped it off with the pillow we had made out of the vintage Bemis grain sacks we picked up also at Junk Bonanza - see post. It's so great to have a little piece of Kevin's family history here as a cushy pillow with brown corded piping.

+ Oh last but not least! The space just wouldn't be complete without the basket of Finch & Rigby Toys - If only we could get them to put them back in the basket themselves next time...

  There's something pretty rewarding about several of our past blog posts come back around full circle and shaking hands :) Next on the list: the new gas insert fireplaces will be finished and then the living room will be SUPER cozy! See you then!

P.S. - Here is how much the pups helped out with the wall.
We wouldn't get anything done if these two weren't supervising....

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Looking Forward to 2013!

We are all looking forward to what 2013 might have in store for us,
Best wishes to you and yours in the new year.

  Like so many people, we've been chatting about what we want to tackle in 2013 - some make resolutions, but I just feel bad when I fail. "Resolution" sounds so serious. Keeping with our my love of list making, we've prepared a "To Do: 2013 List." Have a look!

  I think we'll print this out - maybe a few of them - and post them where we can see them: in the kitchen, in the closet, at the office(s)

  Do you have a To-Do: 2013 List? If you would like a fancy-schmancy list, like the one we made, let me know!
1: E-mail me: with YOUR list of 6-10 to-dos + color preference
2: A special, customized list will be sent back!
* That way you can print your list to stay on top of your to-dos Hooray!

   So! If we achieve our "keep up with blog" goal, we'll keep you in the loop on how we're doing with our To-Do: 2013 List along the way!