creating a guest room

our current guest room is the same room in which we have our working desk and our computers.  it also is currently stowing my (as of yet unused) sewing machine, a cedar chest with what i can't remember in it, and the drying rack.  while it's a nice enough room, it's on the road side of the house, so it's noisier and gets more direct sun (not a good thing at 7 am) and headlights at night.

we have another bedroom on the first floor that is currently a catch-all and a great room for the boy to romp.  our vision (my vision?) is that the romper room be turned into the guest bedroom (with minimal cosmetic changes), and the current guest room be reinvented as a computer/craft/media/music room for the mostly-adult set.  i want my sewing machine set up with table space for fabric and other crafty notions, and i would love to see a cool drafting area for the hubs so he can work out all his architectural ideas.

as everything in house renovation, it's a shell game.  gotta work the guest room first so the behemoth bed can be moved so that the craftyfun room can be realized.

first step, demo!  i love the demo portion of any project.  this is minor stuff.  just have to rip off some old silly wallpaper borders.  the room used to be a kid's room, and the mural is nicely done, just not our style.  so down it must come.

it was actually quite easy.  took two parts hot water, one part white vinegar.  use a sponge to soak the paper, wait a few minutes (or as long as you can - i generally am impatient to rip paper off - oooooh, the satisfaction!), then use a nice wide spackle knife to pull up the paper.  don't push too hard, as you don't want to ding up the drywall.  and if it tears, just resoak, rewait, restrip.  i was going back and forth between two sides which worked nicely, so i didn't have to wait to do something.

before with borders

the equipment

yes, it's better without.

and voila - a wall i can work with!  i will probably have to lightly sand the wall because the mural paint is heavy in places.  then prime and paint.

felt good to make some progress on something today.


quick photo project

we have a large living room that needs a ton of design/redecorating tlc.  in the meantime between now and when we're ready to do a large renovation, we decided that one of the large, white walls had to go.  so i gathered up a collection of quasi-abstract photos i've taken, framed them up, and voila, we have a better looking wall!

i am, by no means a hardcore photographer.  i have a point-and-shoot that i love for its small size and ease of use.  eventually i'd love to have the time, money and patience to use a better camera.  but for now, an inexpensive camera that i take everywhere works great for me.

i fiddle with the original photos a teeny bit in photoshop elements.  i crop, convert to black and white, fuzz things out a bit.  then i upload all of my photos to snapfish.com for developing.  these are all 8X10 size.  i like how some of them are matted and some aren't.

the hardest part of this project was the measuring.  because they are not all the same frame, and the spacing is more what looked good to my eye than any sort of round number, it was hard to know where to pound in the nail.  make sure that you have lots of coffee humming in your system before attempting the measuring and math.  or have as your helper, a kind, patient, willing husband who is superfreekinhandy.  that's what i did.

ahh, that's better.

later this year (???) there will hopefully be paint on the walls, a fireplace in the room, and a piano.  yeah.


dig it!

i should have, first of all, maybe told all my avid readers (thanks, hubs) why i'm doing this blog.  i want to document the shenanigans at our homestead.  the stuff inside, the stuff out.  mostly to feel like i'm actually getting something done, as this is not a regular occurrence for a stay at home mom with a toddler about.  it will be nice to look back in a few months or years and see where we came from and that something did actually get accomplished.  it's so hard to see that in the dailies, isn't it?

i'm inspired by the lovely blogger dig this chick.  if you don't already follow her, please get there quickly.  http://www.digthischickmt.com/  she's so inspirational.  her pictures are beautiful, her kids are sweet, and she has a rockin etsy shop as well.

anyway, she is the force behind virgin harvest (see button to right), and i thought it was such a cool idea, that i wanted to fully participate.  thus the blog.

now to stop fiddling with the blog and sleep...

getting giddy

no, not gettin' jiggy.  getting giddy.  i'm getting giddy for spring to spring already so i can put my/our plans into action.   i have been dreaming, planning, scheming our front yard transformation for years now.  we moved into our current house in 2005, and have already accomplished so much inside and out.  but the front yard still beckons.  last year our project was the addition of a totally rockin patio and sitting/retaining wall.  while hubs and i collaborated on the design, he was the department of execution, while i was on toddler patrol most of the spring/summer/fall.  needless to say, my envisioned perennial garden got exactly nowhere.  that's all good, as i'm amazed with the way the wall and patio turned out.  but next spring is mine.

our front yard...in progress

the almost finished wall

i've got plans for my perennial garden that i sketched up based largely on the tenants of the excellent book
"The Ever-Blooming Flower Garden: A Blueprint for Continuous Color" by Lee Schneller. this book is especially insightful if you live in northern new england, as she gives a nice, manageable list of plants that grow well in our area. the plans of course will change as soon as the excavator shows up, but it's nice to have a bit of focus.
yes, i said excavator.  wah - nervous for that!  we have some grading "issues" in our yard.  we also have essentially zero topsoil.  so one of the first items on the spring to-do list is to hire an excavator to do lots of scooping.  next on the list will be to move some existing perennials back into the space, but in a much nicer fashion.  my hubs insists that this will be easy, what with all the new topsoil.  here's hoping.

in addition to the perennial garden that i hope to get started in april/may, along with some transplanting of blueberry bushes, apple trees, some pear trees, and the kitchen sink, we have high hopes for some raised-bed veggie gardening.  my goals are to establish some strawberries (the boy can't get enough), get some tomatoes rockin (mostly roma for sauces), and like, all of the cole crops.  that's all i can allow my pea brain to get latched onto at this point, but if things are going well, then i'd love to add snap peas, leafy greens, cucumbers, winter squash, and melons.  yeah.  dream big or go home.

i think my mantra throughout this process will be that a garden is never really "done" and therefore anything can be changed.  sigh.  that makes me feel better even now.

but for now, we are still buried under multiple feet of snow.  so i have to remain patient for a few more months.  i think i'll go paint the guest room...