Tuesday, September 28, 2010

SC layouts

It's time again to share my Studio Calico layouts.

I loved the kit this month, even though it wasn't traditional fall colors for a kit. The pages I made just jumped together for me.

Made using the ON THE EASEL main kit + STILL LIFE add-on. This page was made possible by the word "punch" and the shape "circle." heehee.

To make the circles at the bottom, I used 4 different circle punches.
  • 3/4"
  • 1"
  • 1.5"
  • 2.5"
And it would have been helpful to have my 2" punch as well, but it was down at the barn and these swollen feet decided they didn't need a walk.

I first punched using the smaller of the two punches I had chosen for each circle onto the October Afternoon newsprint paper. Then, turning the larger punch upside down, so the smaller circle hole was visible, I centered and punched, creating the window or frame. Then, I chose my patterned paper and punched it using the larger of the two punches and glued together. I repeated this process with all shapes and sizes of circle punches until I had achieved the mass array of circles I wanted.

For the decorative corners at the top of the page on my journaling block, I used my 3/4" circle punch to make those.

The instant I saw the Basic Grey doily paper, I knew I wanted to mist over it using Mister Huey's Calico Cream. So, without a plan in mind, I misted away. It took about 5 sprays to achieve this look, but don't you love how opaque it is on the colored cardstock?

The rest of the layout is pretty self-explanatory, I just needed a second to swoon over Mr. Huey again :)

This layout was made entirely from the DRAFTING TABLE add-on plus a couple sheets of cardstock.

And, last is my favorite layout this month. It's about our dogs and how they are constantly given treats. Not by me....I'm the meanie who wants them to be skinny. In addition to the STILL LIFE add-on, I used the following supplies:
Hope you got everything you wanted at StudioCalico this month!

Friday, September 24, 2010

foyer & dining room

Onto the foyer and dining room.

Just to add to the fun of these posts, I'll show you what the house looked like before along with the after photos. I want you to believe in how much we accomplished after telling you the length of time the remodel took in my last post.

Looking from the dining room into the foyer.

The foyer originally had a grass-weave wallpaper on it that was coming apart and sconces to the left of the double doors. We removed both and replaced the front door with one that would allow more light in.

I've posted about the flooring before. It's reclaimed beech barnwood from Horse Cave, KY. The planks are varied in width from 7-11" and are stained Early American. They are not tongue-and-groove, so they were glued and face-nailed.

Those glass doors lead into the office/scrapbook room which I'll save for a later post.

The print is custom from Bleu de Toi, an etsy shop. We're just now starting to add thumbprints as guest come to our new home. Because it's a work in progress, it was framed without glass. It's just been applied to foam board and framed with a ready-made frame I got on sale at Hobby Lobby for $35.

Now a few before photos of the dining room:

The wall to the right was knocked out. We didn't like this long skinny hallway and we wanted the room to be more open.

Back wall. When we expanded the laundry room we lost that window there. I'm usually not in favor of losing a window, but in this situation, it balanced the room and looked much better.

Artwork: Bomobob - Found his photography on etsy and corresponded with him to get a larger print made. This one is 50x60"
Canisters: Restoration Hardware (which don't appear to be available now)
Table/Chairs/Buffet: Bought at market several years ago, don't remember the supplier.
Slipcovers: Pottery Barn Loose-Fit Slipcover in Cream - They didn't fit my chairs too well and were a pain to iron, but after tacking them with a pleat in the back, they look really nice.
Windows: Found item - they're my mom's so they won't be remaining.
Dough Bowl: Found in Amish country and paid twice as much as I should have for it. Didn't realize it at the time, but now I know better. For a large bowl like this, if you find it at an antique mall, expect to pay what I did $200, but if you can find it at a flea market, $100 should be the price. I should mention that mine is in perfect condition, no cracks and that is difficult to find at a flea market.
Lighting: Schoolhouse Electric (fixture & shade)

Another view of the dining room. Remember I told you we had stuff to move out before we could even begin renovation? Now do you believe me?

Left wall of the dining room, which is the wall that is now gone, exposing this:

Rug: Pottery Barn - Heathered Chenille Jute Rug in Natural 9x12'

Window Treatment: Curtains from Anthropologie now discontinued and blinds from Lowe's San Mateo Pecan.

Then to tie, we used rope bought at Lowe's as well.

I will say that I'm not a dining room person at all. After having one at my last house, I was convinced I would never have a house with a dining room again, just because it so rarely is used. But, since it was unavoidable in a remodel situation, we went with it and made this room as informal as possible while still using our old furniture. Let's see if it is used now.....

Thursday, September 23, 2010

mudroom and bathroom

Over the next few days and weeks, I'll be posting some house updates.

I'm so glad to finally have some photos ready to show. 2 years ago in the fall of 2008, we heard about this property being available for sale. When Greg and I drove out to look at it, there were deer in the east field and even though there were tons of weeds, mold on the fencing, and the house was barely discernable behind the overgrown bushes and weeds, I knew we had found the right place.

To this day, Greg is thankful for those deer being there that night.

In order to get the property and run a farm, we knew we couldn't do it alone. Luckily, mom and dad were looking to downsize and invest their money in land at the same time. So, a plan was born. Greg and I put our house on the market first and sold it right away. Around that time, we made an offer on the farm, which was accepted. Thinking it wouldn't be long until we were ready to move in, we decided to store our furniture and boxes in the garage on the property and move in with mom and dad. So, they put their house up for sale. And in less than 60 days from us moving in with them, they had sold their house.

The only problem was, we hadn't closed on the farm and there was no date in sight since we had learned the property was divided into 3 tracts, and was part of a divorce settlement that hadn't been finalized. So, there we were in April 2009 with two sold houses and no place to live. Also, the house wasn't livable in the condition we would be purchasing it, so we knew we'd have to get an apartment.

We signed a 6-month lease, thinking that was plenty of time and we would live together with mom & dad in a 2 bedroom apartment. After all, mine and Greg's belongings were packed up except for our winter clothes....smart, huh?
And, I should insert here that in January of 2009, Greg and I began infertility treatment, which lasted until January of 2010.

By the summer of 2009, we had closed on the farm and had begun remodeling plans. Part of those plans were emptying the house of all the contents that were left behind. We decided to build a barn on site, which truly we couldn't have lived without since it was our source of electricity and a bathroom for about 9 months while we worked the cows, which were delivered that summer. The cabinets from the house, a toilet, and the fridge made their way to the barn which was completed quickly by July 2009.

Then, the slow work of the house began. Slow, as in watching paint dry would have been faster. It took months to finalize the remodeling plans and to find out glitches along the way not to mention having a couple of yard sales to get rid of all the junk that was left behind. But, by April 2010, we had moved in. We were here, but definitely not in showable condition. Oh, and mom and dad came along too. They had begun construction of their house on the same property, which is more like a guest house than a residence, in January 2010, but construction wasn't complete for them.

You can see now why I'm happy to have photos to share with you. finally.

I'll begin my posts with the mudroom and bathroom because they are the only real addition to the house that we had to pour a foundation for. Originally the plan was to include a pool with the house, but we ran out of time this year, so that's on the agenda for next fall. But, this mudroom and bathroom have been nice for dirty guys coming in from the outdoors anyway.

The mudroom was inspired by this photo from Martha Stewart Living (not sure which issue). I loved the concrete walls, exposed plumbing, and pavers on the floor. It seemed so practical to have pavers on the floor since they're porous and would prevent slipping from wet feet coming in from the pool.

I'll try to be as descriptive as I can about the sources for the items in my photos. On some, I will have no idea where they came from, and others I've forgotten. So, if it's not listed and you know the source, feel free to add it in the comments section.

Sink: 1929 antique bought and shipped from California. This thing weighed a TON!
Faucet: unknown, but it was a cheapy. $65 that we bought from the guy in California who sold us the sink. The faucet is not antique.
Mirror: Antique, Jenni Bowlin found it and saved it for me knowing I was looking for one.
Lighting: Schoolhouse Electric (shade & fixture in oil-rubbed bronze purchased separately)
Towel Bar: Delta
Towel: Dillard's
Toilet: Kohler
Pavers: Boral

The concrete wall is not as thick as it appears. We jetted the wall out to give it dimension and the concrete technique was skim-coated over top of a waterproof backer the same way a tile shower is backed.

The shower head is Kohler, but the copper is just regular fitting. The faucet knobs are from an outdoor fixture that was cheap. It came in a set with the knobs, shower head, and piping, but we threw everything away except the knobs.

Bench: bought it with the property and scrubbed it down.
Pail: unknown
Hooks: Delta
White Towels: Vera Wang for Kohl's (on sale)

Magazine holder: Pottery Barn from ages ago.

There were so many challenges in this bathroom, I can't even begin to tell you. First, we were putting non-waterproof material (pavers & concrete) in an interior space. That could create problems if water leaked to the subfloor. Mold could happen, or worse, the floor could cave in if it rotted. Also, the weight of the pavers was a problem because they're much heavier than tile. Not to mention, the pavers would be difficult to slope to the drain since they are so thick, and we couldn't find a soul who wanted to apply concrete to the wall. Oh, and at first we had no idea on sourcing the faucet for the shower or the sink/faucet.

To solve these problems, we first got a weight approval by an engineer so we knew we were safe to lay the thinnest pavers we had sourced. Then, a waterproof layer was applied to the entire floor of the mudroom and bathroom and the pavers were laid and grouted with mortar. We then found the sink (for more than I intended to pay, but saved money on the faucet), and found a guy willing to try the concrete walls. Last, we convinced the plumbers that this idea of mixing all type of fittings would work and that we had confidence they could do it. At this point, I know all the construction workers thought I was crazy with a capital "C." But the end result is gorgeous.

Looking from the bathroom into the mudroom.

Shelf: Pottery Barn Cubby Organizer
Mat: Pottery Barn (no longer available)
Chalkboard: Pottery Barn (no longer available)
Door: Found at a flea market

Baskets: The Basket Lady in Natural Finish
Poster: Found at an antique store in Paducah, KY

Looking into the bathroom from the mudroom. The door on the right leads to the backyard. There's a door where I'm standing that leads to the garage. Plus, the flea market door and bathroom door, add up to 4 doors in a small space which is why two of them are pocket-doors.

That's it for now. I'll have more to post in the next few days.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

remember the alamo

One last post about our Texas trip.

It's impossible to visit San Antonio without visiting the Alamo.

The sad thing is that I don't know history very well at all. It's not that I don't find it interesting, I just don't retain that sort of information. Not only am I horrible with history, but Greg is too.

As we were walking through the Alamo, Greg leaned over and asked me, "Who were we fighting here?"

"Mexicans," I replied.

"No way! Why would we fight them?"

Then, I really started questioning myself. How sad is that?

But, to sum up the importance of the Alamo for others like myself here's the low-down:
  • Davy Crockett moved here after losing his run for the presidency of the United States. Of course, he was wonderful with his gun and was valuable in bringing other "volunteers" from Tennessee at the time.
  • Texas was still a part of Mexico, but the settlers from the US wanted to gain their independence.
  • Santa Ana's army (yes, a Mexican army) sent about 5000 soldiers to take San Antonio. The battleground was the Alamo, the fort there.
  • Even though there were only a few fighters in comparison to Santa Ana's army, the men decided it was better to fight for the cause than to surrender.
  • The battle was a short one, and ended in the death of Davy Crockett and the other men, but not without a valiant fight.
  • Later in the battle of San Jacinto led by Sam Houston fighting Santa Ana and his massive army, the battle cry, "Remember the Alamo!" helped the soldiers to win the battle and eventually the war in gaining independence from Mexico.
Now, let's see how long I can remember this information....

One more thing, Greg got to see the Bowie knife exhibit and learn all about this famous Kentuckian. I don't know a thing about that, but it was interesting to him.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

missing this

Am I the only crazy person who misses my dogs while on vacation?

Almost as soon as I leave, I'm ready to come home.

Monday, September 20, 2010

ever had a manske?

San Marcos holds a special place in my heart.

My parents met while going to school at Southwest Texas State University, now known as Texas State University.

Despite the pouring rain, Greg and I decided we should drive through the campus.

Saw Old Main as mom had told me about.

Then went to Gil's as dad had told me about.

To get a manske.

Yep, all 410 calories of it.

And that was after my OB recommended this place

Yep, all the way in Kentucky my doctor is a graduate of the same college. Doctor's orders were to eat here, so I did. Now it'll be his fault if I gain 10 lbs in a week!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

tgm #562 - Nside Magazine Party

Starting this post with a picture I took for Celine while in San Antonio, just because a post without a photo bothers me.

So, for the Typical Greg Moment, here's the story:

We lucked out an got to stay in a pretty swanky hotel here in San Antonio. I like to look for local hotels or something unique to the region. It just so happened this one was running a special and so I hopped on it. The service has been impeccable (unbelieveably so), the breakfast has been superb, and we have a great view. Like I said, pretty swanky.

Last night, the hotel hosted a party for Nside Magazine. We looked over our balcony from the 5th floor and could tell it was a nice affair (as my grandfather would say). The girls all had on cocktail dresses, guys were in suits and ties, and the whole downstairs restaurant level was packed...elbow to elbow with the who's-who of San Antonio (not that I knew any of them by name, but they certainly knew who each-other was).

To get to the Riverwalk for dinner, we normally took the path straight through that lobby area of the restaurant and out the back doors onto the sidewalk. Tonight was no different. I was bound and determined that no high-class party would stop us from taking our normal path outside, so we headed downstairs and straight into the middle of the party. I was in front trying to push through the crowd to the back doors (of course, looking extremely out of place in my blouse and jeans). On one side of me a waiter was passing a tray, the other side, another waiter was delivering some drinks, and in front and everywhere else was the mass of socialites. The crowd was so thick, I didn't even know G was not behind me.

So, as I exited the back door, I looked around. No Greg to my left, no Greg behind me, then all of a sudden I see him to my right. Standing there in his jeans and t-shirt, he held a plate with some hors d'oeuvres, munching away.

I'm convinced if I hadn't been there, he would have settled right in with the who's who and made 20 new best friends and filled his belly full.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Teaching at CKC San Marcos was a great excuse for a little vacation for Greg and I. After landing in San Antonio, we headed straight to our hotel on the Riverwalk. I had traveled here just a few years ago for a company trip and loved it. I knew Greg would enjoy the scenery at the Riverwalk and just vegging out for a couple of days. Plus, with me being pregnant, a vacation where we had packed schedules or a long plane flight, was out of the question.

So for two days, we walked up and down the Riverwalk. We didn't buy a thing (except bandages at CVS for my toe) and food....lots of good food here.

And, I was right about G loving the scenery. This is just one photo of a million that he took of the large cypress trees along the banks. Not to mention all the other flowers that caught his eye. So, for 3 days I've been listening to, "They can grow so much more here than we can" and "They have so many different types of plants here, like spikey ones and all kinds of shapes."

Included with our room was the little boat tour:

If you look closely, you can see me with the camera in his left lens, and my swollen feet in the right.

PS-ALWAYS ask for a free room upgrade....I've gotten two in a row and this one was for 3 nights! suh-weet.

Friday, September 17, 2010

30 weeks

At 30 weeks.....
  • I literally feel like Claire is doing gymnastics in my belly. I've read she's about 17 inches long and I believe it when she presses on one side of my belly and on the complete opposite side at the same time. She must think that's the way out of the uterus: to stretch open a doorway.
  • I've gained 23 lbs, and know where every pound is. I'm thinking at least 3 are in my left foot and 4 in my right. I mean, at least if I've got to be swollen, could they not match?
  • I am still not having to pee as often as I thought I would. Holding on to my immense pride in bladder control as long as I can.
  • I don't have a single stretch mark (knocking on wood as I type this).
  • I just bought my second jar of belly balm.
  • My iron is at an all-time low, but my glucose and blood pressure are normal so I'm thrilled with that.
  • I gashed open my little toe (needed stitches, but instead got steristrips) and now I'm even more waddley when I walk.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

photo walls

I've been promising to show you my photo gallery walls for quite some time, so I suppose I should be a lady of my word and share.

On two of my downstairs walls, I knew I wanted to display lots of photos, both old and new. Also, part of my project on the entry hallway was to choose photos that were seasonal. I'm really not a seasonal/holiday decorator, but I do love the idea of having the house feel like "fall" or "Christmas" or whatever season it is. I thought the best way to accomplish this in my house was to have a photo wall where I could exchange photos with relative ease and not have a lot of bulky decorations to store. My plan is to replace my fall photos with winter photos, but still leave the fall ones in the frames in case I want to use them again next fall. There's no doubt I'll want to change some, but I like having the option of keeping the more generic ones as well.

So, I began by choosing my frames. The easiest for me was to choose Pottery Barn's gallery frames because I liked the size of the matting and they gave specific dimensions online for both the frame and the size photo it held. Also, the frames were available in a variety of colors and materials.

For the first wall, I chose the white and black wood frames and sprinkled in some chrome frames as well.

I measured my wall space (95") and used PowerPoint to arrange my rectangles in a way that suited me.
Notice, I color-coded my frames and listed out to the side what photos I would need to fill the frames, and whether the photos needed to be horizontal or vertical in orientation.

I should also mention that Stephen, our graphic designer at Studio Calico makes fun of me because of the way I clearly misuse PowerPoint and don't use PhotoShop, but this is just so much easier for me.

So, after arranging my color-coded rectangles and listing the photos I would need, I went in search of photos on my computer to fill these holes. As I found each photo, I edited it and saved it in a file named "Gallery Frames" so that I could upload the photos all at once and print them on the same type of photo paper.

Once, I received my photos in the mail (ordered from mpix.com on metallic paper, and they're beautiful!), I put them in frames and laid them out on the floor to make sure my schematic worked.

To hang these photos, we used regular picture hangers designed to work in drywall (sheetrock) and hold up to 20lbs since we knew the likelihood of hitting a stud in this arrangement would be close to impossible. Although, I came very close to hitting my stud after he lost the pencil for the 1000th time!

In between laying these on the floor and hanging them on the wall, both my dad and Greg were naysayers. They almost had me convinced that hanging my pictured like this would be impossible, but I stood firm. I was confident in my math skills (even while pregnant) that this project was not beyond my skill set. So, I wrangled Greg and we went to measuring, marking and hanging. Let me give you a few pointers from our experience:
  • Start in the middle. Human reasoning might say to start from the left and work to the right, but you'd be making a mistake because it's much easier to put the middle photos up first exactly where you want them and work from them as your foundation.
  • Measure, then measure again. You'll want to measure the distance of the hook on the back of your frame from the edge of the frame in both directions, then mark that on the wall. In some cases, we drew an x and y axis of sorts and placed the hanger at the intersection.
  • Use a level. That one is self-explanatory.
  • Use the angled hangers that I linked. Those are easiest to nail directly at the mark you want. Also, if you mess up, you will have enough room to use this type of hook without having to repair your wall (we only messed up once!)
  • To hang these photos, you have to hang bottom first. So, if you want to change out the photos, like I will be doing, you'll need to remove a whole row from the wall to rehang the bottom picture. Make sense?
  • Don't think that you need to glue all the frames together and hang as one. That was Greg's idea and I almost had the baby right then and there I was so upset about that idea!
I wasn't able to really photograph this wall to do it justice. The photos really are so pretty and vibrant and make our entry hallway just gorgeous. I promise. We've gotten lots of compliments on them already.

On to the next wall, which was a bit easier.

For this wall, I planned to use Pottery Barn's Wall Easel system, which comes in 4' or 18" lengths for the horizontal bar. I measured my wall (125") and decided I'd need two 4' sections.

From there, I used my same weirdo way of laying out my frames and photos in PowerPoint, keeping in mind that the wall easel has vertical bars that each column of frames would be affixed to.

To hang this, I got my handy-dandy husband, who didn't complain at all about hanging these compared to the others. Then, we set out to affix the clasps to the rods. Word to the wise: again this is a project you have to work in order, except this time is top - down. I thought I'd be able to slide the frames in and out for easy photo replacement, but that's just not the case, so I don't see these photos being changed out all that often.

But, all in all, it's a great way to fill a large wall.

More house photos to come in the next few days & weeks!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


  • Not to fall in love with this little guy
  • Not to feed him my left-over cereal milk in the morning (hence the milk-mustache)
  • Not to hold him and kiss him and squeeze him
  • To get him to pose for a photo. When the camera is up, his ears go down.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I usually have some sort of creative personal goal for myself each month as I assemble my kit layouts. Sometimes I push myself to use mist in creative ways, or to use my typewriter, or sewing machine. Sometimes I try to use a sketch or other form of inspiration.

My mission for my October gallery was this: Spend no longer than 30 minutes per layout and elevate & ice feet in between.

So, my Labor Day holiday was spent working on the computer with my feet up, then running to my scrap-room for 30 minutes at a time. In that time, I would complete 1 layout and decide my photo for the next layout so I could devise my plan after my rest period.

Luckily the plan worked and even though my feet aren't any less swollen, I have 3 layouts to show for it.

Made using the main kit + Still Life add-on. I loved how this one turned out. I used a large photo I had left over from my gallery frames (more on that later, I promise) of my grandfather and some of his navy buds. This sneak doesn't look all that interesting, but I promise, it's a cool layout :)

This was actually the first layout I completed using the Drafting Table add-on and a sheet of cardstock from the More Color add-on. I also added some Mister Huey's cream mist, which isn't available in the SC shop, but is available at lots of online retailers and several LSS's as well.

And my favorite layout of the bunch used the Still Life add-on plus some vanilla cardstock and the Gothic Arches punch. And, I'm as surprised as you that I actually used a glittered paper on my layout.

Best of luck on reveal night getting the add-on(s) you want!