Sunday, June 30, 2013

The closet continued

The next section of the closet was the section of shelving for all of hubby's clothes, which have been living on the guest room bed. He cut all the boards and then it was time to stain. Oh. Joy. 

So staining required an entire weekend. I'm pretty sure the three of us remained high on staining fumes allllll weekend. But! It was so worth it. The closet is starting to look amazing =). 

Here are a couple of shots. Unfortunately, the room is small, and I can't get a full shot of all its glory. 
So here's the wall of shelves to your right with hubby's short-hanging clothes. 

And from that corner, the left side of the closet with my short hanging stuff. 

And the straight ahead view. 

The last wall to the left will hold my long hanging stuff. We have the boards but they have to be cut and stained...

To be continued!

Gotta roof over my head, someone to love me in a 4 poster bed...

One of my favorite Jimmy Buffett songs!  I've always wanted a 4 poster bed. I love modern clean lines and hubby didn't want a footboard nor did he want a modern bed. Quite the conundrum right?  We looked in every furniture store we visited. We found a compromise, but it was pricey and not something either of us couldn't live without. Then, the weekend Jared and Jordan graduated, a furniture maker in High Point had a sale. We went, checking it out for them, and there it was. A replica of Princess Diana's bed. It was beautiful. Breathtaking really. And both of us loved it. It had my clean lines and hubby's traditional sensibility. And it was like 80% off. A quick consultation with my mom sealed the deal. All goals of not spending money while holding 2 houses went out the window. 
It was delivered the day we left for Jared and Jordan's wedding. We moved our old headboard (after it fell and landed directly on my head. Ow. That d&$* thing was heavy!!!). We put the bed together and discovered it was missing a few key pieces. What do you expect for 80% off?  So, when we got back from Charleston, hubby's first stop was Lowe's. and by that night, we were collapsing into our new 4 poster bed.  Since then, other renovations have prevented me from being able to post a proper picture. So here is is, in all its glory.  

And from another angle...

And a close up of my favorite part. This headboard is solid mahogany. I need to find a way to show off that headboard better!!!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

It's a bittersweet symphony, this life

Lawndale hasn't smelled like "our" house in over a year and a half.  But walking out of the empty rooms for the last time was still difficult.  And then, holding my breath until I heard the new owners had signed on the dotted line was still more challenging.

Yet, saying goodbye is so bittersweet.  Lawndale was a home of many firsts.  It was my first home.  My first project I owned.  I - we - learned a LOT in that house.  I proved to myself that I could be my own woman, that I was officially a "grown up," and that life continues on despite any challenges laid ahead. I also learned more practical things, like one most seal stone tile BEFORE grouting it, pretty bathroom vanities with the bowl as a sink aren't meant to be used as your main vanity, old houses have strange quirks like light switches for the A/C.

We got to host dinner parties...

We got engaged, and we did lots of wedding planning (like showing off bridesmaid dressing choices)...

We left our wedding reception as husband and wife and went "home"... (sorry, couldn't get the image flipped for some reason)

It was a warm home...

That invited you in after a long day's work...

Sent out lots of full tummies...

And hosted lots of celebrations...

And fostered lots of creativity...

We celebrated holidays, our first Christmas together, new jobs, graduations, a new girlfriend (who later became my sister-in-law!), a cake lit on fire by the number of candles, quiet birthdays, our wedding, friends' weddings, friends' puppies then babies...  I taught piano, hubby worked...

And most importantly, it provided a warm safe-haven in which we grew.  We learned how to work together, how to be husband and wife, how to be caregivers.  We learned how to make joint decisions.  And, before we left Lawndale, we learned how to live with my parents in a limited space, with lots of laughs.  

Even though we said goodbye a year a half ago, saying goodbye today was a little tough.  No more quirks, no longer able to pop in and say "hi" to Mr. Conrad (the previous and deceased owner), who I (and Winston) swore still stopped by for an afternoon pipe occasionally.  Thank you Lawndale for giving us a solid foundation from which to launch into adulthood, for allowing me to make a house my, and then our, home.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A long overdue update

You know it's been too long when your mom says she thinks the automatic email subscription is broken.  Well, we've been incredibly busy.  Building out a closet yourself is no small task.  Also, we've been getting the old house ready to turn over to new owners AND working outside our own house!  So, on to the closet...

Trav set up his own workshop under the umbrella outside.  After lots of cutting and hammering, I took over with staining efforts.  

For the stain, we decided on a base of mahogany with a top coat of walnut.  I used a stain and poly in one.  The product has its advantages and disadvantages.  Main advantage?  Two coats and you're done.  We brought them all in and let them cure in the front hallway.

 And later that week (2 weeks ago...), we got to install the first wall!  We love the dark wood with navy walls.

And, at like 11pm one work-night, you could find me hanging all my clothes up in the new space :)

So, we set out to get more boards for the next wall, which will be all shelves.

Those are 8 foot long boards, running from the front of the Benz to the trunk!  It was an interesting ride home =)

Hubby got all the boards for that wall cut last weekend, and we stayed really  busy.  The lawn had to be mowed at the old house, there was trash to haul away, we tore down the rotted enclosure next to our house that used to house the trash cans, we played moving people and picked up my brother and sister-in-law's new couch, we moved additional furniture out of the old house and into various peoples' houses... so the boards were set up to stain this past week.  However, staining is pretty labor intensive, and I just simply ran out of time.  Monday was yoga, Tuesday was piano lesson, Wednesday was celebrations of my awesome mom's birthday (out to lunch, fabric shopping, and a gourmet meal prepared by her fave daughter, I hear!), Thursday was trying to get some work stuff done... and suddenly, we had hit the weekend again!  I'll see what I can do to share our weekend update a little earlier than this one!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

A closeted matter.

We decided to start in on our closet remodel because we gave the newlyweds hubby's former clothing storage. In preparation, hubby installed double rods in the guest room. Last Sunday, I moved all our clothes out of our closet. Monday, I went to pick out clothes, and both rods had fallen off the wall...  So, our guest room is now our closet. So. Not. Fun. 

 So, hubby started in removing the rods and patching the walls of our closet...

...and before you know it, it was an empty room ready for paint. 
 And by Friday, hubby had the starless night out and was making our closet super designer style. 
The design has shelves straight ahead of you when you walk in, so the baseboard had to go. As hubby had his inappropriate saw out, he said he'd been saving his birthday gift card for a saw that was perfect for this job. So, 30 minutes later, hubby had his new toy. 
And, even better, 2 minutes and no injuries or curse words later, the job was done. 
Lots more to do, but we are off to a great start!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

So, how does it end?

Well, the quilt went to the beach with us.  I'm pretty sure they knew what they were getting before they got it.  We brought it in when we dropped Grampa off after dinner our first real night in Charleston.  As a side note, if you ever are in Charleston, you must have dinner at Magnolia's.  YUM.

Anyway, I had folded the quilt and tied it with a bow.  So began the unwrapping process.

And they unfolded...

And unfolded...

And unfolded some more, with multiple family members holding it up so they could see it.  (Isn't it ironic how sometimes you also need a family member holding up another view of your marriage to show you how blessed you are to have your partner?)

I about lost it but held it together, making sure they saw their rogue R square...

And before I could even say "wait, life, slow down just a bit, let us savor this time together!!!" they were practicing the walk down the aisle...

And showing their true joy to be husband and wife...

And, I think if you look really close, you'll see the love.

The End.  And only just the beginning.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Basting and finishing... the last act of love.

I spent an entire weekend crawling around on my hands and knees, basting together the quilt.  I gotta be honest.  It was my least favorite task.

But, once that was finished, and I was finished panicking that it was time to actually quilt, the quilting process began.  Just don't look at the quilt from the backside.  The lines are more than a little wonky.  But, I figure they're like the path of life - you always intend to start out straight to your destination.  It's never a straight shot.

And, it is so important to remember to take a moment and savor whatever task you're in the middle of.  You'll be sad you didn't when you're done.  There's no savoring the moment once it's gone.  Commit it to memory, live fully in that moment.

Once the quilt was actually quilted, I had to pull all the basting out.  Winston helped.  He's a big fan of the quilt.

And after my final freak-out session, recruiting my mother in law one last time to help me with the final measurements, cutting, and pinning, suddenly, it was time.  All this work of love was almost ready to be launched.  Three weeks before my baby brother started his own family, I had to let the quilt go.  And so, I sewed up the final sides, taking care, taking it slow, savoring this last act of love encompassed in this project.

And, I'm not going to lie.  My hubby came home from the gym to find me alone, in the dining room, finishing the last foot of the edge, crying.  It suddenly hit me - I was done.  I had worked for 6 months, wondering whether I knew what I was doing, whether it would turn out square, whether Jared and Jordan would like it.  I was done, which meant that in 3 weeks, I would be witnessing my brother say "I do."  All the emotions of our wedding came rushing in and hit me like a ton of bricks.  So, Jared and Jordan, your quilt was blessed with salty tears.

One more thing, before I end my adventure in quilting story for now: there were imperfections.  There were places where the fabric had come apart at the seam from the stress of getting attached to other squares.  I carefully blind-stitched them back together.  There will be more frays, but all you ever have to do is come to me, and I'll do all I can to patch it back up for you.  It's meant to be used and loved, and it can always be repaired.  Kind of like marriage - one last parallel.  There will be times that pieces become frayed and need a little extra love, but if you always return to your friendship and to love, your quilt will be more beautiful and tell a little extra story special to just you two.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What became of the one square short of a full quilt?

Well, you might have caught a glimpse of the rogue square.  I decided to make an "R", for the newlyweds' last name.  I decided WFU colors would be most appropriate, since that's how they came together.  So, I started out.  Freehand.  I know, insane, but I wanted it to look fun.

Since their family was established on their wedding day, I added that to the bottom right of the "R."

And so anyone who ever sees this quilt will never be in doubt, I made sure everyone knows it was made with love.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Putting it all together

No matter what they say, you don't just marry your husband or wife - you marry the family somehow.  Whether it's that your spouse's family is actively involved in your life or whether it's just that the quirks of that family make your spouse who he or she is.  Lucky for me (and for you, Jared and Jordan), I married and gained a very talented mother-in-law.  After the quilt top was together, it was time to lay it out on the floor.  There are things in life that you have to reach out for others for.  Learn to use your families as a resource - they're always willing to help.

And sometimes, after all that work, it's important to just take a moment and enjoy what you've accomplished so far, finding comfort in all that love...

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Save the last dance for me

Well, folks, a month before the wedding, I was cutting the last of the squares...

Sewing the last of the hugs and kisses...

Accompanied by (wo)man's best friend...

And realizing I was one square short of a queen sized quilt (hey!  that's a new intelligence insult, right?)...

Ah, but I was almost done...

You know the other really cool thing about being married?  You get to celebrate your spouse's triumphs as your own.