Friday, September 12, 2014

The Perfect Gray

With the new drywall in our family room finished, it was time to start considering paint colors. I had decided a long time ago that I wanted our entire first floor to feel like a very open space, although it's not quite an open floor plan. Because of this, I knew that painting meant painting the entire main floor, and that was going to be a massive undertaking.

Additionally, I wanted to make sure well ahead of time that I was choosing a color that I loved, and that was going to work for me for a looooong time. I do have to admit, the color scheme I had originally planned on when we bought our home completely changed pretty quickly. Our home was built in the late sixties and had a fairly seventies, earthy palette. I'm a big fan, actually, but sometimes things just happen differently. I quickly found myself leaning towards a more modern look, with retro sixties and fifties touches.

I think I knew pretty early on that I wanted gray walls, but I wasn't very confident about it. Pinterest (stupid Pinterest) is full of photos of beautiful homes with gray walls, but it seemed NONE of them had natural wood trim. Everywhere I looked there was white trim, and no one is laying a finger on my precious Golden Oak wood. NO ONE. But gray walls with wood trim? That was scary. I was really worried that the color would either clash, or be so light that I'd hate it.

I went to Lowe's and came home with dozens and dozens of swatches of gray to compare, tape up, tear apart, cross off, pull out of the trash, and start over again. I held them up the walls for people and then scowled at their suggestions. I got irritated by my husband's response of, "They all look nice." NO THEY DON'T!

My mom and I finally agreed on the "best" shade and that week I went to Lowe's and had three gallons mixed (so much painting). Three gallons on a paint color that I hadn't tried seemed really risky, but I needed to make the decision and I also wanted to make sure they all came out the same.
Spoiler alert: I love it! I'm actually pretty shocked at how warm the house feels with the new color. One of my favorite things about the gray is the pop of yellow you get from the kitchen when you pass by.

My goal is to (at some point) widen the doorway to the kitchen quite a bit and add a breakfast bar or an island. I haven't quite decided on that! Our kitchen is quite large and the space is really under-utilized. In fact there are a handful of projects that I'm holding out on for the kitchen. One thing at a time though!

**You may have noticed that despite the painting being triggered by the completion of the family room drywall, the family room is not actually pictured. That's because I'm still working on it. Curse ye, indecision! 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Gwen Stacy Jacket

It. Is. Finally. Finished.

It's not that it took a horribly long time to sew, although it's definitely not the quickest thing I've made. It's just that I've been making this jacket in my brain since seeing the Amazing Spider-Man 2. It was just so gorgeous.. the colors, the white trim. I completely fell in love and I had to have it.

And I couldn't find it anywhere. That definitely wasn't going to stop me though.

After a few months of searching for mint green wool fabric, I kept turning up empty. I'd finally find something that was close to what I was looking for, but it'd either be incredibly expensive or on some shady website that I couldn't trust.
About two months ago, while I was strolling through Joann Fabrics I decided maybe I'd just try fleece. They had the perfect shade of green, and it was inexpensive, but it was also so thin and flimsy. I carried it around with me while continuing to shop and happened upon some patterned satin that I knew needed to be the lining for the jacket. I decided the fleece was cheap enough to take the chance and bought twice as much as I needed so I could double it up with fusible webbing.
I altered an early 1990's vogue jacket pattern I found on eBay to create the jacket. I specifically bought it because it had a similar shape to the Gwen Stacy jacket, but I think it could also come in handy for cardigans or cropped jackets. It also comes with a pattern for pants that I would definitely never make for leaving the house, but could work for pajama bottoms.
I stepped way out of my comfort zone making this jacket for a few reasons: the excessive amount of bias tape, adding the lining (not included in the original pattern), and making buttonholes. I really took my time with this, giving myself lots of breaks from working on it when I started feeling stressed or burned out because I didn't want it to turn out like crap.

Aside from just being happy that I'm finished with it and liking the finished result (although if I were to do it over again I think it'd turn out a little more polished), I walked away from it feeling super confident with bias tape and finding that making buttonholes is weirdly fun. I think it's mostly the enjoyment of ripping the fabric when you're done.

So the jacket is finally finished, and the Ohio weather is hotter than it has been yet this year. Not that I'm trying to rush the end of summer, but I am looking forward to getting to wear this jacket this Autumn.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Dual Mid-Century Coffee Tables

I'm not dead!

And I haven't been as unproductive as this neglected blog may lead you to believe. In fact, I've been quite busy... just not with blogging. Working entirely from home has been a pretty big transition for me, I feel like I'm still settling into my new routine and trying to branch out in different ways then before. It can make a girl feel pretty isolated!

Mr. B and I have been spending a lot of time this summer hiking and camping, and it's been a blast. I mentioned in my last post (which may or may not have been months ago) that I didn't want to just get on hear and ramble about junk I don't really care about. I didn't think at the time that it would translate into me not getting on here for weeks at a time, but so it goes.

Aside from the typical fun summer activities, I've also been worked hard on my home (and also my day job). I have gotten A LOT done around here lately. I've also been intermittently working on some sewing projects that have taken me quite a bit longer than I anticipated. But let's focus on some finished things shall we?
After having new drywall hung in the family room, I started re-evaluating the furnishing of said room. Prior to the big paneling project, I was using an old steamer trunk as a coffee table. I love the trunk, and also the general idea of trunks as coffee tables because of the great storage. This just wasn't working. This particular trunk (which I found on Craigslist for a steal and lovely restored in my old apartment - p.s. don't EVER stain wood in a one bedroom apartment with little ventilation PLEASE) is quite a bit taller than you'd like for a table, and Mr. B just couldn't with how big and in the way it always was. For now, it has been moved to the basement until I find a new place for it.

So, I was now faced with a coffee table dilemma. I knew two things: I wanted it to have a mid-century look, and I wanted it to be inexpensive. The next few days were spent casually scrolling through Google and Pinterest for ideas. I have to say, over this passed year I've really wished that my woodworking muscles were bigger (or existent) so I could create the furniture of my dreams, but until then... About five days into Pinterest overload, from somewhere deep within my brain, I thought, "Well, who says coffee tables have to be one long piece of wood anyway?"

I quickly realized that the unconventional option of using two small tables would actually work much better for us. Not only that, but my mind started wandering down to the basement (which is quickly becoming a sort of furniture warehouse), where I was storing the two mid-century end tables I scored at the Goodwill months ago. I knew I was never going to use them (I may be a hoarder), so I headed to the basement to poke and prod them. After taking a screw driver to them, I had the bases for my coffee tables.

I ordered eight 16in tapered legs from Home Depot online. They don't carry them in stores, so you do need to use the Ship to Store option. Once they arrived I stained them a dark brown to match the table tops, and that was that! About $41 dollars later, I had dual coffee tables that I LOVE.