…I think our living room would look like this:
I love the soft pink in this modern but slightly masculine room. Ah…if only. It’s going to be a wet and cold weekend, so I guess I will have to settle for the fireplace in our grey and yellow bedroom.
If you have a male significant other, would he be OK with a splash of pink THIS big?
So, remember our stool dilemma? We had this:
So we took your advice and tried painting them red.
I know, they look a little magenta in the picture, but they are actually a bright red. I think it’s the flash. So, what do you think? We like it enough to not march out and buy a new set. I think it will be one of those things we replace in a few years when we have a little extra money in our pocket or sooner if we see a screaming deal we can’t pass up. That said I probably won’t be actively looking for new stools for a while.
I was thinking of embellishing the stools a little. Maybe painting a pattern on the seat part or sewing some seat cushions to attach to them. We could also put another coat of red on them to make them a little darker. What do you think? Add a little something or leave them alone?
…to get a wedding picture printed and hung. Seriously, we’ve been married 14 months and until last night did not have one single wedding picture up. We had things from the wedding displayed, but no pictures. I don’t know why that is. It’s not that we don’t like our wedding pictures, it’s more we feel funny having pictures up of ourselves. I don’t think I’m particularly photogenic and Micah claims to have a creepy smile. Actually, come to think of it, I think there may be like one or two pictures of us in the entire house.
After seeing Anne in Zambia, I decided it was high time that we got a wedding print of some kind put up. Anne had a photography exhibit in Seattle this last summer and one of here pictures, the elephant we having hanging in our master bathroom, had been printed on aluminum. Yes, like the stuff they use to make cans. I loved it instantly. The glossy finish, the colors popping off the metal, the no frame look. I asked her about the print and she said that Bay Photo, a company in California did it and considering the process, it was a pretty good deal. I had carried over a few other metal prints to her in Zambia and when I saw the finish up close, I knew I wanted a wedding print done on metal.
Last week, I sat down (after many months) and looked at our wedding pictures again. I pulled out a few from our first dances and some portraits taken by the water. For the print to really pop, I knew it had to be larger than an 8x10. Can you see the problem? Two people who don’t really like having pictures of themselves displayed with a large print of their two mugs on display. Not happening. So we went with an image from our first dance.
Our choice is a little unconventional. Sorry, I thought I had the original image handy but I don’t. Anyway, here’s what we got in the mail:
Original Image by Persimmon Images
I’m pretty sure that my shoes were the talk of the wedding. People still talk about them. This picture doesn’t really do the metal print justice but we are both loving the way it came out. We realized that there was a lot of empty space at the bottom, but we actually love it too. I loved how old the floors were at Lake Union Cafe. The place was so vintage and our wedding so modern.
The nice thing about this print is that for $5 you can have them add a little hanging thing to the back and you never have worry about framing. Also, I’m told this bad boy can be exposed to the elements and still come out looking great. Here’s the back.
Altogether including shipping, tax, extra for rounded corners and the hanging thing, it came to $57.00 for a 10x20 print on metal. We love it and have it up already.
I think it really ties our wedding color bedroom together. The entire room is here.
This isn’t going to be the last time we use Bay Photo. I see more metal prints in our future. I think we may eventually get a picture of us from the wedding that show our faces put up, but now that we have this hanging, we’re in no real rush. We do need to get the darn wedding album/book put together though. So, what do you think of the metal print? Would you consider a metal print?
So I think I did it. I think the craft room is finally done. OK, not done, but done enough. I think the craft room is one of those places that will never be done and I’m perfectly OK with that – in this room only.
I can’t find our SD card reader but I did snap a few peeks of the couch and my fabric storage creation last night.
In both cases, I “up-cycled” something. The fabric is on a file storage rack and the fabric is hanging on old file folders that were destined for the recycling bin. The circle patches are leftover from a dress I had made in Malawi then altered and the pillow covering is actually a messenger bag that was made/woven from plastic grocery bags. I’ll tell and show more soon. I just need to find that pesky card reader!
Also, to brighten your Monday, here’s a shot of Izzy in her rain gear which was a birthday present from her cousin Giacoma (really my sister). We aren’t sure we’ll make her wear it but she doesn’t really seem to mind too much.
I’ve been thinking about Christmas a lot lately. It seems like the year has flown by and holidays are just around the corner. In anticipation of all the holiday cards we WILL be sending this year, I decided it was about time we got ourselves a nice return address stamp.
I can’t decide which one I like. I’m inching towards the tree one (the address and last names are fake). I think it looks really good in green but then maybe I’d like the top one better in blue?
While I was at it, I came up with a few (or 7) everyday use designs.
So what do you think, holiday stamp? No holiday stamp? If holiday stamp, which one? And which regular stamp?
Micah and I have different opinions on Sunday. Sunday is usually my favorite day of the week. Micah dislikes Sundays. To him, Sunday is the last day of the weekend and day before Monday. To me, Sunday means a later wake-up time, breakfast and the paper, a few errands, a walk, a craft or museum visit or movie, dinner, Sunday Night Football, a sleepy dog and few chapters from a good book before bed. Lately, my Sundays haven’t been as relaxing. It’s taken me longer than usual to recover from my last trip so Sundays end up being the day I try to get all the chores, errands and paperwork done before Monday. This last Sunday was a better balance between work and play. Here is part of our Sunday in pictures.
Top Row: 1. I finally re-hung the wedding guestbook/invitation in our room. 2. Micah enjoying Green Eggs and Ham at Dahlia’s Lounge. 3. Riding back on Lightrail after breakfast. 4. A clean room including a freshly made bed. 5. Izzy breaking the rules by sitting on the couch.
Middle Row: 1. The cat neighbors really messy and gross entry. 2. Giacoma behind bars. 3. The Entry area that doesn’t really match the house. 4. $5 bouquet of flowers from Pike Place Market.
Bottom Row: 1. RAILING!!! It’s not done yet but the progress is encouraging. 2. A few chapters before bed. 3. The Peg board in the craft room with few more things hung. 4. Tired doggie cousins who won’t share an ottoman.
The goal for this week is to get a little more cleaning done before Sunday including a little yard work. I am also absolutely dedicated to getting the craft room finished by the end of the week since Izzy and her crate have moved in.
What do you have planned for the week?
Earlier this month (about 2 weeks ago) Izzy turned 1 year old. I know what you are wondering, are we the type of people to throw her a doggy birthday party. Well, the answer is no. I think the idea is cute but it’s not us. I don’t even like having birthday parties for myself and the thought of more than 2 or 3 dogs running through our house gives me the hives. Plus, I was in Zambia when she hit her milestone. Instead of a party, I think this weekend, weather permitting, we’re going to go to her favorite dog park with the off-leash walking trail, let her lay in our bed Sunday morning (after which we will be washing all the sheets) and maybe treat her to some specially baked dog goods. Amy over at the Nifty Foodie just posted a recipe for Peanut Butter and Pumpkin dog treats I’m dying to try.
Now that we got all the birthday business out of the way, we need to ask for you help. Izzy been exhibiting some behavior over the last 2-3 weeks that is new and not liked by us.
1. She barks. She barks at us particularly when we’re cooking or eating. She barks at people walking by. She barks at nothing. The barking isn’t consistent. She doesn’t bark every time we eat or every time someone walks by the house. Last night we were getting ready for bed and she jumped up on the bed and just started barking at me. I tried to get her off but she just ran around the bed barking. The funny thing is she doesn’t really bark at dogs when she sees them unless they are playing together.
2. She won’t walk. Every morning before work I set aside 35-40 minutes to take her on a walk before I crate her. At first she was happy to go on the walk but now all she wants to do is walk around the block, relieve herself and head back to the house. I thought it was because she doesn’t like the rain but she’ll do it on sunny warm days too. I do notice she acts this way only on days I go into work. On the days where I telecommute or on a weekend morning, she’s happy to walk the 1.5 miles. I hate to put her in the crate without the exercise but I’m not sure what to do. I thought about playing with her in the morning but she’s super sleepy.
3. Speaking of super sleepy – she is. It used to be that she’d get up with Micah at 5:45am, go potty, have some breakfast and nap until I got up 45 minutes later. Now she won’t get up with Micah. You can’t even entice her out of bed with a treat. I’m fine with her sleeping in if it doesn’t hurt her.
4. Counter Surfing. I don’t know where she learned this (Dadtractor) but she tries to counter surf. We were told after 5 or 6 failed attempts, she’d give up doing it. She tries everyday and is never successful but hasn’t stopped and it’s been 3 weeks. How do we stop this? Someone told us to lightly hit her nose when she does that but I’m not sure that’s the best idea. We give her positive verbal reinforcement when she does get off the counter.
5. The car. She used to be OK in the car and now she’s not. She wants to be in the front seat sitting on your lap all the time. If she’s the only passenger in the car, she’ll paw at the driver for attention. She NEVER used to do this before. We’ve tried kongs and toys in the car and it’s doesn’t really work. She plays for a while and then remembers no one is paying attention to her.
These are the biggies I can think of right now. Last night, we were trying to think of what has changed in the last 3 weeks that might have brought on these behaviors. Here’s what we came up with.
1. I went out of town for 10 days or so. I know she missed the attention and Micah tried keep up with her normal schedule. He even let her spend one weekend at Dadtractor’s house while I was away because she loves it there.
2. A different peanut butter. I don’t know if it makes a difference. It’s got no sugar or salt in it now.
3. Graduation. For the first 2 months we had Izzy, she was enrolled in obedience classes. Every Wednesday we’d head to class for an hour and we’d spend 2-3 hours a week learning and practicing tricks. We still practice the tricks she does know but we haven’t taught her any new ones.
4. Workers During the Day. There have been guys working on the decks and the outside stairs during the day for the last 5 weeks. They used to come in the house (while she was in her crate) but they don’t anymore. Sometimes they have to come into the garage though. She knows them by sight and doesn’t bark at them but maybe she so busy listening for them that she doesn’t sleep during the day?
5. Change of location. We moved Izzy’s crate from our bedroom to the craft room where she likes to sleep when we’re working in the office, cooking or eating dinner. We put her dog bed in the place where her crate used to be, so she still sleeps in our room.
6. The cousin. My sister and brother-in-law are back from Italy and have brought their little Italian Fox dog Giacoma home with them. Giacoma has hung out with Izzy 2 or 3 times in the last 10 days. Izzy really wants to be friends and Giacoma isn’t entirely convinced. They play but Giacoma is also very jealous and protective of her owners. Giacoma doesn’t have any of the bad habits Izzy has been exhibiting, so I doubt Izzy learned them from her. Giacoma is about 6 months older than Izzy and about 8-10 lbs lighter. Here they are being “dominated” by my brother-in-law.
Here they are after playing all afternoon
So dear friends, any advice for us? Books or articles we should read that addresses these behaviors? Techniques you’ve found useful? Help!
We have a pretty big house, much too big for us right now. There are actually rooms that can go weeks without ever having a single person step foot in them. Come to think of it, I can’t remember the last time either of us used the upstairs guest bathroom. The last people to stay in our guest bedroom were Micah’s parents in April when I was in Malawi. Well, we need to change that. This year, instead of traveling to see Micah’s family, his parents are coming to us. On top of that, my sister and brother-in-law are back from Italy (and Afghanistan) and will be visiting often now that they are posted in the Southwest for awhile.
We have a problem though. Our guest rooms are in need of major decorating and we don’t know what we want or where to start. The guestrooms are the places where everything else in the house lives. It’s filled with random furniture, spare linens, all the luggage, lots of posters and all our Christmas decorations. See for yourself.
So this is Guestroom A where guests have actually stayed. This is the room with all the random stuff. Even Izzy isn’t sure what to make of it. Here’s some of the random pieces of furniture we have to work with in the room now.
Guestroom A probably needs the most attention as it will get used the soonest and the most. In the beginning, we thought this would be the room that housed a lot of our travel mementos. It seemed like a good idea at the time but for some reason it never happened. Now I think I’d rather it not be the “travel room” but a room with few travel pieces here and there. One of the great things about this room is that it’s really light. I’d love to keep it that way but that’s all I have so far.
So this is Guestroom B. It’s a little more put together but looks more like a living room than guestroom. The couch is a futon so we’d have room for more guests. Right now, the room’s color scheme consists of navy, grey and white. I’m thinking a bright splash of color like tangerine, lime green or hot pink might be nice. I think this room just needs some curtains, a rug and few other accessories. But then I can’t help but wonder if it’s weird to have “sitting room” upstairs. We already have a living room, office, craft room and family room. Is it overkill? Should I lay the futon out and make the room look more like a bedroom?
I don’t know what we are asking here. I guess we’re looking for inspiration. If you could decorate either or both of these rooms, how would you go about it? We’d love to see links to your inspirations for these rooms in the comments below. We’re hoping not to spend too much more on furniture but we’re open to painting what we have and investing in accessories like rugs or lamps.
We here at Forty20Four have a thanksgiving tradition.
It’s a bit odd, but really, does anyone want to eat the same Thanksgiving food year after year? Not us. We’ve had all kinds of weird stuff for T dinner.
This year, we’ve tentatively decided to go to Cuba for Thanksgiving…gastronomically of course. If only we could actually go there; that whole embargo thing keeps getting in the way.
Turkey with Mojo Sauce
Mojitos (which were Hemingway’s favorite drink, not daiquiris)
Plantains (of some kind—maybe like these from three guys from Miami?)
That’s all we have right now. Just in the planning stages. What we’re asking, dear readers is any good Cuban recipes that might work for us in a loosely Thanksgiving type of way.
Bread of some kind?
And although we have some good ideas for music—(Benny More, Cachao, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Buena Vista Social Club) we always need good suggestions.
What’s your favorite Cuban recipe/drink/music?
To answer the question you’re all asking? Yes, we will be watching Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights
and not I Am Cuba
We’ve been talking about stools since we moved in. We sort of have some plain ones from Ikea that used to be our bedside tables. We’ve been using them because we can’t find anything else we like that we can afford.
We don’t know what to do. Should we just paint them red or white or stain them the color of the cabinets? Or should we buy new stools?
We really like these from CB2. They are about $90-100 each.
I also really like this one which reminds me of science class in high school (probably because it’s from a school outfitter). It roughly the same price as the CB2 one but it has a back.
We’ve talked about these before from Overstock.com. The price is right at $111 for 2 stools but for some reason we just can’t commit. I did just find them in white and red.
I WANT these but at $275 each, they are a little out of our reach. SO cool though and they come in red and white!
I also really love the bungie stools but can’t find anywhere that will just sell two of them in white. Also, I’m not sure about the chrome finish as all the metal in the kitchen has a brushed finish.
I just spent a little over a week in Zambia where my team had our work retreat. It was one of the few times I been on the road and felt relatively rested and not crazed.
We took over the Protea Safari Lodge outside Lusaka where most of us stayed in individual hut type accommodation with straw roofs.
I loved my room even though it didn’t have air-conditioning. I mean check out the interior.
My room looked out on to the bush – literally!
This is the resident Kudu that was hanging outside my room. We saw monkeys and zebras around the property along with various species of birds.
We had hoped to go on a real safari but just didn’t have time. Each day consisted of 8-9 hours of meetings and workshops and evening left us dead tired.
I thought about staying on a few days but knew Micah and Izzy were waiting for me back home so instead just decided to spend a day with my friends Anne and Todd and their two boys in Lusaka. I’ve mentioned Anne and her blog before.
Anne is a graphic designer in Lusaka and super cool mom. Check out the cute bed area Anne designed.
She designed and painted the headboard without a stencil and had the bednet frame made.
Hanging in my room was the most AMAZING fabric print. I was in love with it.
Also on the wall was this take on a classic that Anne redesigned. I want one for our house.
I was really happy that I got to spend some time with Anne, Todd and the boys by the pool. I can’t wait to see them again and check out art project Anne has up her sleeve.
I’m off to Heathrow to pick up a few British design magazines, a few bars of chocolate and board my plane for home. Anne gave me a few South African design magazines that I am still drooling over. I’ve been marking pages to share with everyone.