Crayon Art

So I saw this on Pinterest, and it looked like it could be fun.  The basic idea is to glue crayons to a canvas, and then melt them so that they drip.  I chose to do a rainbow pattern, and used hot glue to attach the crayons to the canvas.

Once I had all of the crayons attached to the canvas, I used a hair dryer to melt them.  You can also put them outside in the sun on a hot day, but it's not supposed to get above 80 all week, and I am impatient. 

I started the heating process in the band room, but Matt kicked me out for fear that the wax would get on his equipment and make his gear pretty.  So I moved into the family room, where we don't care about getting anything messy.  Which is good, because now the wall is pretty.  If you try this at home and don't want a crayon splattered wall, make sure you have protection!

Overall, I love how it turned out.  I like the rainbow effect, and the contrast between the color and white.  I also like the texture that was created when the wax dried.  Now I just need to convince Matt to let me hang it somewhere :)

Cost Breakdown:
Canvas (on sale!): $4.50
Crayons (2 boxes): $5.00

Total Cost: $9.50

Not so bad for a cool project that kept me entertained for 45 minutes!


We Survived Irene!

We are fairly inland, but we still had several hours worth of rain and wind.  The power was out for a couple of hours during the night, but not when we were awake.  We did lose a big branch, but luckily it didn't fall on anything.  Here's a look at our yard as of this morning:

So besides some debris, we fared well.  And since we had electricity all day, we were able to get a lot of things done today.

It occurred to me today that I haven't posted any photos of the guest room since we moved in.  We are currently sleeping in the guest room, because we haven't finished (or started) the master bedroom yet.  Here are some photos of where we are with the guest room:

We used "Minty Fresh" by Valspar in the guest room.

I've had this furniture since I was 2!  I'm thinking of trying to refinish it, because it has some water marks.

No trim or closet doors... story of my life!

Thank gosh for temporary shades.

We obviously still have a lot of work to do here.  Some things to do:
- install closet doors
- install trim
- window treatments
- lamps for the bedside tables
- chair for the desk
- hang painting
- upholster and install headboard

Last weekend, I brought over a painting from my mom's house.  It's a watercolor that my mom bought for me when we redid my room when I was 12. It's bright and colorful, and goes with the bright paint in the guest room.
I love the colors.  I'm not sure if you can tell in the picture, but the painting also has great texture to it.  As you probably can tell from the photo, the painting has kind of fallen in the frame.  Also, the frame itself is painted blue, which matched my room at my mom's house.  For our guest room, we wanted the frame to be more subtle, so the picture can stand out.

I painted the frame, and fixed the picture so it was straight in the frame.  I also cleaned the glass, which probably hadn't been cleaned in 10 years.  Then Matt helped me hang it in the guest room, above the desk. 

I really like how it turned out, and I love it with the green paint.  We really need to start hanging more art, but I have such a hard time making a decision on where to hang it...  Hopefully it will all come together soon!

Aside from hanging the painting, we started some other things.  Matt worked on putting up more trim, and I started some new projects (upholstering the headboard and making crayon art).  I also cleaned and did some laundry.  All in all, it was a really good day, even though we don't have too much to show for it.  We also got stuck in the next town due to flooding, but more on that later.


New Chairs!

Good news: Matt and I finally agreed on chairs for the living room! 

Bad news: They are special order and won't be delievered for 10-12 weeks. 

But they're pretty.  And blue.

We decided on the Tulip chair from West Elm.  Since our sofa is beige and our walls are gray, we really wanted the chairs to be bold and colorful.  We ended up choosing a blue called Lagoon. 

Tulip Chair, Performance Velvet, Lagoon
In addition to the chairs being awesome, they were also 15% off.  That, coupled with our 10% off coupon, dropped the price from $499 each to $381 each, so we saved $236. 

On the schedule for this weekend:  I want to finish the built-in bookcase in the kitchen, and the base cabinet.  I'm hoping that we won't lose power (we are in Irene's path, and the fun is supposed to start tomorrow and last until Monday morning).  I hope everyone has a good weekend and if you're on the east coast keep safe! 


Organizational Update

So it's day 3 of planned activities, and I think it's going better than expected!  I have been finding that not only am I getting the things on my list done, but I'm doing additional tasks that I wasn't even planning for!  Before I tell you what I've been up to, let me give you a little picture of the sad rut that Matt and I have gotten into. 

We usually both get home between 5:00 and 5:15 (yay for living within 5 miles of work!).  We go to the office, turn on our computers, and turn on the tv.  We'll usually both get snacks and eat them with our computers on our laps and the TV on in the background. At around 7 I'll start talking about dinner, and we'll probably start making it at 7:30-8.  Dinner on nights like this is usually something quick and unhealthy because neither of us feel like making anything else.  Then after dinner I might read a little and Matt might go practice guitar, and then we'll go to sleep around 11-12. 

What a huge waste of time!  There are 6 hours between 5 and 11, and we have been wasting them!  So far, the chore schedule has been hugely beneficial in holding us accountable for how we're spending our time.  Here is how the past 2 days have gone:

Tuesday 8/16:

I got home from work, and started filling the holes in the bathroom trim.  I got them all filled, and noticed that the bathtub was looking a little dirty, so even though cleaning day wasn't for 2 whole days, I decided to clean the bathtub!  When Matt got home he told me that he had been meaning to add some extra nails to the bathroom trim, so he added those.  Then something unexpected happened... As I was waiting for Matt to finish nailing the trim, I noticed that we had a lot of laundry piling up, so I started a load!  Even though I could have waiting a few more days!  Miracle of miracles!  And at this point it was still only 6:15!  I was actually shocked at how much I had accomplished after being home only an hour! 

Matt and I went to the gym after that, and we got a really good workout in.  We got home around 8:00, and we cooked dinner - a light and healthy made from scratch Asian pasta dish.  After dinner I painted the bathroom trim, and it looks so much better!  Since I already had the paint out I decided to paint some other trim that had been cut and was waiting to be installed in the dining room.  After showering, washing the dishes and folding the laundry I still had time to watch the finale of Master Chef (so happy that Christian didn't win!).  I am actually completely shocked that I accomplished so much on a weeknight! 

Wednesday 8/17:

I had my company softball game after work (we won and I got 2 runs!).  I got home around 7 and started making dinner.  Matt had spent the 2 uninterrupted hours he was home installing trim in the kitchen and around the window in the dining room.  This means that all I have to do is fill, caulk and paint the trim, and then we can install the dining room curtains! 

After dinner, Matt cut down the living room closet doors, so we're one step closer to having them finished.  I gave the kitchen base cabinet another coat of paint and cleaned up from dinner. 

I have to admit I'm loving this home-made dinner thing that's been happening.  We had done meal planning at our apartment, but had stopped after buying the house for several reasons.  For the first 2 months we were at the house every night working on it, and we did not have a working kitchen.  For the second month we were rushing to finish everything before the party, and didn't have time to cook.  For the past 2 months we've been really lazy.  Now that we're back to meal planning, trips to the grocery store are so much easier, and we're not wasting as much food, since we only buy what we know we're going to eat.  Plus, we both like cooking, and it's nice to be eating healthier.

Overall, I'm really happy with how the scheduling is going.  Hopefully we'll be able to continue like this!


Getting Organized

Have you ever felt like everything was getting out of control?  That's kind of how I've been feeling lately.  I've been super busy at work, and I've had some things going on with my family that have made it difficult to focus on the house. 

But that's going to change.  I've had several projects on the back burner for too long, and I'm going to get them done!  Here are the half finished projects that I (and Matt, too) have been procrastinating on:

1) The bookcase in the kitchen.  Oh my gosh.  It's been partially finished for almost 3 months now!  I still need to close in the bottom, re-paint the interior (I think I'm going to make it white, even though I originally thought grey like the rest of the kitchen) and paint the shelves.  Estimated time: 6 hours

2) The base shelves in the kitchen.  All it needs is another coat of paint and a shelf installed.  Estimated time: 2 hours.

3) Finishing the trim in the living room, kitchen and dining room.  We still need to do the window in the dining room, base in the dining room, 1 wall of base in the living room, and around the bookcase in the kitchen (see item 1, lol).  Estimated time: 5 hours

4) Installing curtains in the dining room.  Once the window trim is up we can install the curtains.  Estimated time: 1.5 hours

5) Installing closet doors in the living room.  Step 1: buy the doors, check!  We still need to trim the bottoms, paint them, and install them.  Estimated time: 4 hours

6) Paint the bathroom trim.  Once I finish this the bathroom will be done!  Estimated time: 1 hour

7) Bind the carpet remnant.  My grandparents recently had new carpet installed, and were nice enough to give us a remnant.  We're going to bind it to make an area rug for the guest room.  Estimated time: honestly I have no idea how long this is going to take... maybe 1/2 a Saturday?

So those are the main things that are bothering me at the moment.  With that in mind, here's a rough schedule for the rest of the week, factoring in other commitments. 

Tuesday 8/16: fill holes in bathroom trim, gym, paint bathroom trim
Wednesday 8/17: softball game, paint kitchen cabinet
Thursday 8/18: cleaning night! (seriously, I love having cleaning night on Thursday, because I don't have to worry about cleaning over the weekend)
Friday 8/19: gym, cut drywall for built-in, install studs in built-in
Saturday 8/20: laundry, yard work, visit mom
Sunday 8/21: install drywall in built-in, spackle/sand, 1st anniversary dinner :)


Already August?

Where is the summer going?  It seems like we just bought our house, but it's already been 2 1/2 months since we moved!  

With summer activities being in full gear, it can be hard to get motivated to work around the house.  While we’ve still been working, our pace has been a lot slower than it was when we originally bought the house. 

Matt and I are both on our respective company softball teams, so we each have games once a week.  We try to get to the gym 2-3 times a week.  Matt had band practice.  We spend time with friends and family.  We do chores.  When is there time for putting up more trim or clearing out the master bedroom?

While we were never expecting to have the house finished too quickly, it’s a little bit depressing to be living in an unfinished house.  At this point, we don’t have any room 100% completed. 

So how do you get motivated to keep up with your projects?  Do you have a system?  A list?  Do you just jump in and get to work?  How do you get out of a rut and start getting things done?  I’d really like to know.