February 26, 2017

Lisa: Deliver the letter, the sooner the better

If you follow me on Twitter, you've undoubtedly noticed that added to the old mix of quotes from my kids and my thoughts on various snack foods are a lot of retweets of political posts and feminist statements. I'm pretty unhappy about the direction our government is moving, and I'm worried that Trump and his compatriots are bombarding us with a ton of terrible things up front so that we'll get tired and stop resisting. I'm also worried about the general level of stress and anxiety floating around, and I know it's not a sustainable situation. I read this article, "How to Stay Outraged Without Losing Your Mind," which is full of good advice on focusing your energy, making activism fun, and self-care.

I'm not sure if my mom read the same article, but she shared with me her idea of how to keep resisting without being angry, anxious, and sad every single day. Her plan is to 1) not read the news first thing in the morning, and 2) calmly make three calls to her legislators every day as part of her routine after lunch. I wanted to figure out a way to incorporate resistance into my daily routine too, but I knew that making daily calls wasn't going to be the answer. I'm a weird hermit and it takes me days to gear up to making a call or two, even with the awesome directions from 5 calls, and then I'm weirdly relieved when I get sent to voicemail--or even when voicemail boxes are full.

Inspiration hit with the indomitable Zina Bennion's Jason Chaffetz Mail Campaign (which is Monday, February 27, and something any of you from Utah should absolutely participate in). Her idea is a deluge of postcards, showing Chaffetz what real Utah voters actually want. Postcards can be processed more quickly and efficiently than letters in envelopes, and as far as I know a snail-mailbox can't be too full to accept new messages. I'm going to start with this campaign, and then keep on writing two or three postcards each day to different legislators about whatever issues I'm currently worried about.

On the Facebook page for the Chaffetz mail campaign, Zina posted a link to a Design Crush post full of fun, printable, artist-designed postcards especially for this purpose. There's also a PDF there for a universal postcard back. I also wanted some retro, Utah-specific postcards to underscore where my comments are coming from, so I dropped some scans of old postcards into the same template for easy printing. As far as I can tell these are old enough to be public domain images, so I'm posting the files here if anyone wants to download them.

There's a Utah map, one with illustrated letters spelling 'Salt Lake City,' the old Lagoon roller coaster, and two of Salt Lake's Main Street from different time periods. I had a scan of the back of one of the Main Street postcards, so I dropped that into the template too and printed it on the back of both of those two.






I knew it was going to take me weeks to get around to going to the office supply store, so I ordered some 110-lb. cardstock on Amazon Prime and a roll of postcard stamps from the USPS website. I was exercising self-care by not giving myself more errands to run, okay?

If you care a lot about professional-quality printing, and cards you print yourself are going to bug you because the fronts and backs are slightly off or the cutting isn't perfect, I recommend buying some cool postcards like these from Anderson Design Group to make the task more pleasurable. I would love to hear what postcards you think I should write, or what you're doing to take care of yourself while also trying to take care of our social programs and our country.

September 14, 2014

Lisa: Degrossification

My laundry room was disgusting. There were dusty, sticky pipes everywhere of all shapes and sizes, half of the ceiling was open to the floorboards of the bathroom above (for pipe/cord access), and the drywall had never been finished, so there were gaps and cracks all over the place. Don't even talk to me about the spiders that came in through all those cracks and built webs in the corners around the pipes where I couldn't reach. The cement floor had been haphazardly covered with vinyl self-stick tile in a nauseating yellow-with-brown-smudges fake ceramic tile pattern, and then patched with a different vinyl self-stick tile in a beige fake ceramic tile pattern. Plus, the whole thing was super dirty because I spent as little time in there as possible, and because it looked bad even when it was clean, so why bother?

I didn't have the budget to gut what was there, reconfigure plumbing, and install beautiful tile. Plus, I knew we would probably be totally redoing the basement in a few years, so I needed more of a "phase one" fix. My main goal was to end up with a laundry room that was not gross. After putting in some quality time on Pinterest, I got started, getting my color scheme from a cute ironing board cover and deciding to embrace the biggest of the pipes instead of trying to hide them. The other pipes and all the mess of the open ceiling area just got vacuumed and dusted and then sprayed a uniform white, which I think helps them fade into the background a bit. Prying up the old floor tiles revealed a sea of old (but still very sticky) adhesive that would never have come off, even with the strongest of solvents, so I scrapped the idea of a painted cement floor in favor of new vinyl tiles.


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Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

Cost/Detail Breakdown

  • Ironing board cover: I bought it in January from compelledtocraft on Etsy for $24 ($28 with shipping).
  • Mesh self-stick drywall tape: from Home Depot, $5
  • Pre-mixed joint compound: from Home Depot, $4
  • Ceiling and pipe primer Ė 6 cans of KILZ (Either Complete or Premium, whichever one says it works on iron) spray primer from Home Depot at $6/can = $36. I had to go back once for more cans, because that always happens.
  • Wall paint: 1 gallon of interior flat Glidden from Home Depot, tinted to match Benjamin Moore's Jamaican Aqua. A gallon was $21 with my discount, but I think I could have done it with just a quart. I used more of the paint in the downstairs hallway, and still have a bunch left over. A quart would have been $9.
  • Pipe paint: 1 quart of high gloss interior Glidden Premium from Home Depot, tinted to match Benjamin Moore's Tawny Day Lily. $14, but I got a 15% discount on both paint cans for "being the most patient customer," so $12.
  • Black/white vinyl self-stick floor tiles: These are confusingly difficult to find. All the self-stick tiles I could find in stores were made to look like fake ceramic tile, fake stone, fake wood, etc. (Dear vinyl tile users: you are not fooling anyone! But this is a rant for another time.) The ones I bought are by Stylistik, and I ordered them online from Home Depot at $30 for each box, one black, one white. I used less than half of each box, so you could say under $30 total, if you can find them in person somewhere. These were really easy to install, look great, and seem to be staying stuck down around the edges just fine. I cut the ones for the edges with my paper cutter, rather than springing for the special vinyl tile-cutting tool.
  • Black vase filler rocks: from Target, $5-7. You can't really see these in the after pictures, but they are covering the drain in the floor under the green table.
  • VIRSERUM frames: $13 and $25, from IKEA. I sprayed the mat of the smaller frame yellow with some leftover spray paint I had on hand.
  • EKBY MOSSBY shelf: $20 from IKEA
  • EKBY ROBERT shelf brackets: 2 @ $7.50 = $15, from IKEA
  • GRUNDTAL swing-out towel holder: $15 from IKEA
  • Rug: from Target, $15-20
  • Heat-resistant iron/ironing board holder: from Amazon for $20 back in January. The bummer is it sat on the laundry room shelf for eight months. The bonus is that I don't even remember spending that $20.
  • Metal garbage can: from TJ Maxx for around $30. Maybe $35.
  • Leaf-shaped bowl for collecting little items that fall out of pockets in the laundry: Already had it upstairs, unused, in the china cabinet, but I think I got it from TJ Maxx last year for $5-8.
  • Glass jar labeled "family fund": BURKEN, from IKEA, $5. We are so totally going to Disneyland in 100 years with the change I find in the dryer.
  • Total: Somewhere in the range of $320-$350

    August 07, 2014

    Lisa: also, they're British

    Me: "I was watching this show, The Bletchley Circle. It's everything that I like."
    Blake: "Women power, solving crimes, and...books?"
    Me: "...and the 1950s. How did you DO that?"

    May 30, 2014

    Lisa: who says mermaids can't dance?

    I dare you not to smile during this performance. Here's to being awesome and hilarious instead of perfect!

    April 15, 2014

    Lisa: Cool Girl

    I'm putting the "Cool Girl" pages of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl here so I can find them any time. It's a little long (and maybe a little aggressive), but I think it's worth a read for any young woman. I'm not saying it's gospel truth--Amy Dunne is a sociopath, after all--but at a minimum it's thought-provoking. I hope I can figure out who Real Lisa is and be that person, or at least pretend to be the person I want to be, not someone else's ideal.


    That night at the Brooklyn party, I was playing the girl who was in style, the girl a man like Nick wants: the Cool Girl. Men always say that as the defining compliment, donít they? She's a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she's hosting the world's biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don't mind, I'm the Cool Girl.


    December 06, 2013

    Lisa: hashing it out

    Lisa: Is Lion King the first Disney with explicitly premeditated murder? Or do, like, the oysters on Alice In Wonderland count?
    Jeannie: Snow White? I mean - she didn't die, but the witch tried.
    Lisa: She just tried to put her to sleep, though, right? It's not the Grimm version.
    Lisa: Hmm. Also, Gaston does purposely incite a mob to try to kill the Beast.
    Jeannie: That too. What about Bambi?
    Lisa: I think hunters would argue they aren't murdering animals.
    Jeannie: Right, but Disney gave it personality. And based a movie around an animal. Where do we draw the line? Because...the lions are animals too.
    Lisa: Also Maleficent tried to murder Aurora, but Merryweather softened the spell.
    Lisa: But in Lion King it's animal-on-animal violence. I think it's another level.
    Jeannie: Some gnarly shit going down.
    Lisa: Truth.
    Lisa: Maleficent's was arguably a crime of passion.
    Jeannie: I think either way you have to go with some assumptions. They're animals so it's all good, or they're characters so you have feelings about deaths. No matter who commits them.
    Lisa: No, because the humans in Bambi are like unseen, all-powerful, dangerous gods. It's like being killed by a tornado. I mean, obviously you have feelings about Bambi's mom's death. It's a tragic truth of the wild, though.
    Jeannie: One could say the same thing then about lions killing each other.
    Lisa: You don't see them evilly plotting to kill Bambi's mom specifically, like Scar.
    Jeannie: That is true. I still cry when I watch that.
    Lisa: The humans in Bambi are at worst like the rainforest-clearing developers in FernGully.
    Jeannie: I guess the end result is still the same. But you're arguing intent affects how you feel about this.
    Lisa: Yes. I guess I'm arguing am I encouraging my child to plot the murder of a sibling who gets in the way of her ambitions? Which I consider worse than encouraging her to become a hunter.
    Jeannie: Okay. That's another story, right? Have you read Cain and Abel to her? (Joke)
    Lisa: Hee. And no. Have you read Robin the one where Gaia kills the wiccans?
    Lisa: I've literally got nothing.
    Jeannie: Hahahahaha. I have a bible, okay? It is fascinating. And the basis for a lot of amazing literature. Pertinent: one of my all-time faves, East of Eden.
    Lisa: Well, don't read it to Robin. That shit is violent
    Lisa: -ly boring.

    June 01, 2013

    Lisa: Blake, the Mad Scientist

    Guys, look at my adorable husband.

    May 11, 2013

    Lisa: education > ignorance

    I recently read an unusually thoughtful and calm Facebook thread started by someone sharing an article about Elizabeth Smart's controversial talk at the Johns Hopkins human trafficking forum. I don't really want to argue about whether Elizabethís remarks indicate if she is or is not against abstinence-only education. I will say that as a fully active Mormon who practiced abstinence until marriage, I strongly believe our schools should present a balanced, fact-based sex education program that includes abstinence as one valid (and very effective) form of protection against STDs and pregnancy. I personally think a lack of education doesnít necessarily keep teenagers sexually unawakened. It just breeds the kind of ignorance that results in a pregnant teen saying to her dad, "But I donít understand how this happened. We didn't even have sex!"

    Even if Elizabeth Smart did not say the words "abstinence-only education," she certainly mentioned a specific object lesson she had been given, comparing a girl who had engaged in sex before marriage to a "chewed-up piece of gum" that no future abstinence-minded spouse would want to put in his mouth. This version of The Tainted Muffin (which Iíve railed against before here) had the particularly heartbreaking effect of making an innocent victim of kidnapping and repeated rape feel so worthless she wasnít even sure it was worth trying to escape.

    The Facebook thread I mentioned above was discussing how to successfully teach our children the practical and moral value of abstinence, without using shame or describing sex (and the associated feelings and body parts) as dirty or evil. These techniques may be effective in the short term for some young people, but can have long-lasting and very damaging effects on their sexual attitudes as adults who are suddenly allowed to have sex within the bonds of holy matrimony.

    I thought one comment in the thread was particularly thought provoking. I would like to give the commenter credit here, but I donít know her and I donít know if she would like her anonymity preserved. Here's what she said:

    You have to eliminate "sin next to murder" rhetoric, stop teaching that sexual arousal is problematic, talk openly and directly about sexual power and agency (waiting for marriage becomes a proactive, empowered choice, instead of a reactive, fear-based one), openly and explicitly teach grace for those who choose not to wait instead of shame and condemnation, stop including masturbation and "necking and petting" as part of the law of chastity, and eliminate any teaching that implies that girls and women are responsible for the sexual feelings and responses of boys and men. For starters.

    I think thereís a lot of good stuff here, and the response from the subsequent commenters was largely positive. One commenter, who I will also leave anonymous, politely offered a slight amendment:

    I am grateful that I was advised to avoid necking and petting before marriage. It made it unique and special to share with it with my husband and comforting to know I wasn't xteenth experience for him either.

    I am glad this was true for this woman and that she is happy with her choices, but I would like to state emphatically that I know this does not have to be true for everyone. How? I know because it is not true for me. Petting aside (because none of your business), "necking" with the boys I dated before I met my husband is a happy memory for me. Those experiences were fun, and exciting, and a little silly and ridiculous, and part of being close to someone I cared about. They were part of being a teenager and growing up and figuring out how to be an adult. They helped me decide how I wanted to be treated by a romantic partner. They are a kind of physical interaction that isn't focused on as much when you're allowed to "go all the way." And finally, they are part of what makes me know that what I have with my husband now is lasting and truly special.

    I hope when my girls are teenagers they have all the information. I hope they see how beautiful and smart and amazing they are. I hope they know their intrinsic worth is not determined by how others see or treat them. I hope their health teachers scare the crap out of them with banana/condom demonstrations and the Miracle of Life video, and give them practical information on what exactly could get them pregnant. I hope they have fun and feel free to be teenagers (within reason). I hope they understand why I felt abstinence was important for me. I hope they are thoughtfully taught why our church puts a high value on chastity, fidelity, and the sanctity of the power of procreation. I hope they are comfortable coming to me with questions about this stuff. Most of all I hope they know that if they make different choices than I did, that I--and God, and their future spouse--will still love them just as much.

    March 24, 2013

    Lisa: mom nest

    Since we can't afford to move to a bigger house, in February I embarked on a crusade to make some of the less-used areas of our house into places we wanted to spend time. My theory was that our house would suddenly seem twice as big if we had all this newly-useful space to hang out in during the day. The family room in the basement was at the crux of this plan. I wanted to take it from a dark, low-ceilinged hodgepodge with prickly industrial carpet to a light, bright, fun place the kids could play in while I worked. I was hoping we could work around Blake's TV and keep it a functional place for him to play games, but make it feel basically like the opposite of a man cave.

    You can see the before pictures in this old entry from 2007, but here they are a bit bigger. I wish you could really see the silly-putty beige walls AND ceiling, and feel the gray plastic berber carpet.


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    Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of the in-between phases of the family room, when the slightly newer couch was moved down there, or when we handed the elliptical machine down to E and made a (less awesome) play area in there for the kids.


    Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

    E helped me so much with this project, guys. She came up with a bunch of great furniture arrangements on the Make Room Urban Barn room planner (including the layout we finally went with), and she put in many backbreaking hours painting walls in our poorly-ventilated basement and awkwardly leaning over bookcases in our freezing garage. I would never have gotten past the intimidation factor of what seemed like such a big project without her. Thanks, E!

    We ended up moving Blake's computer desk and chair into the sewing room/guest bedroom to make more space for kid stuff, which I think was a great idea on Blake's part. It is snuggled up next to the carved chest in there, and it's not bugging anybody. I'm rarely sewing at the times he needs to use his computer, so we don't even get in each other's business.

    The new light blue paint on the walls is Behr's Snowdrop (530A-1). I made myself go one shade lighter than I wanted to, and I'm so glad I did. It definitely comes across as blue, not bluish-white, and a darker color might have gotten oppressive in a basement with minimal windows. The ceiling and bookshelves are just the basic white Behr sells already in the can. I think the ceiling is flat and the bookshelves are semigloss. Even if we had just painted the ceiling white and left everything else, it would have been an improvement--why did the previous owners paint the ceiling beige in the first place?? Anyway. We primed the bookcases with Zinsser Bull's Eye Water-Based Primer/Sealer, in hopes that we could get the paint to stick without sanding. So far everything seems to be holding up, with no bleed-through from the pine stain.

    The play kitchen is from Amazon, purchased for Nora's 2nd birthday. We got the easel from IKEA in 2009, and I supplemented it with a magazine rack and gallery wire, also from IKEA. The dollhouse was a hand-me-down from KC and Shannon, spruced up with a little scrapbook paper and Mod Podge, and given to Nora for Christmas in 2010. I have pictures of that, but I'm so behind on the girls' website that they aren't online yet. Maybe someday? The fun canopy was an IKEA find that just happened to match and fit perfectly.

    The family photos over the couch are more of the sitting from Busath you saw in the living room upstairs. Since Hazel was but a fluttering in my uterus when we took those photos (gross, sorry), I cut out a silhouette of her cute face so she would be represented on the wall, too.

    The area rug is a solid dark brown shag from Target. I looked at so many shag rugs and bound remnants, and the price range was huge. I finally threw up my hands and just bought a cheap version from the Target website, and to my surprise I completely love it! It's soft enough that it's pleasant for the kids to sit and play on, and the color is exactly what I had in mind. It sits on top of low-pile carpet, and it isn't a high traffic area, so I'm not too worried about the quality concerns of the commenters on the Target site. It's a great option to hold us over until we can get new wall-to-wall carpeting in the whole basement.

    Inside those closet doors is my upgraded closet office, which you can see here. The brown and green actually work well with the new light blue and white palette in the family room, and I'm using my office a lot more than the kitchen table now that the kids like hanging out down there. Mission accomplished!

    November 23, 2012

    Lisa: Skating in New York City

    Since I just had my 34th birthday, I've been working on my 35 x 35 list, crossing off things I've done and gearing up for things I want to try to accomplish this year. In doing so, I realized that (like most of what I've done in the last few years) I never blogged about visiting New York over New Year's at the end of 2009. I did hastily throw up some photos on Facebook. Anyway, I'm not going to blog about the trip today, either--but I AM going to post about crossing something off my list while we were there.

    12. Ice skate at Rockefeller Center.

    Because my family is adorably supportive, they didn't tell me right away that trying to skate at Rockefeller Center was a terrible idea. On our third day there, after standing in line for the ticket lottery for In the Heights, Dave and Angie took me, Blake, Nora, and Sarah to see the giant Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. That's when I saw this:

    Yep, all those people packed in at the side of the rink there are waiting to skate. Now, I love skating, but I hate crowds. And it was freezing cold. And we had a little two-year-old Nora with us, who refused to wear gloves. It was time to modify the goal. Dave heard there was a skating rink at Bryant Park, so after Sarah and I were finished with the play we met up with the rest of our group there. Guys, the wait was two hours minimum, it was even colder than it had been when the sun was out, and we still had a toddler in tow. We gave her a ride on the carousel, and then ran for the warmth of the New York Public Library to reassess.

    Dave and Angie knew of one more skating rink, this time in Central Park--walking distance from their neighborhood. Sarah and I decided to wake up early and hit the rink first thing, without dragging Nora along. Even when we looked out the window and saw this, we stayed strong:

    We couldn't figure out the park signage, and blundered around the completely deserted park in the snowstorm for an hour before we happened upon the Wollman Rink, which was miraculously open and staffed in spite of the weather (and the fact that it was New Year's Eve). We ignored the naysayers, rented our skates, and clomped through the empty (but still smelly) locker room and out onto the ice. The snow stopped, the clouds parted, and we skated for an hour in front of the New York City skyline. Mission accomplished, and back in time for brunch.

    November 22, 2012

    Sarah: Ornament Swap 2012: IT'S ALIIIIIVE

    Whoa, is this thing on? Thanks to Lisa for keeping the blog alive while I did weird stuff like quitting my job, moving to New York, finding another job, and forgetting to blog about all of it. The short version is that life is incredible, but I still cry sometimes.

    But remember how once upon a time, we had an annual Ornament Exchange? Want to do that again? I like getting stuff in the mail and I've already decided what to make, so I say we do it. Can you handle that? Then check out the details and send me an email, yo.


    October 01, 2012

    Lisa: Drugstore Dirt

    Almay Liquid Eyeliner Pen

    This is everything I've always wanted in an eyeliner--it's dark, lasts but isn't too hard to take off, and goes on precisely like a liquid but with the ease of a felt-tip pen. It's perfect for retro/cat-eye stuff. Unfortunately the lid fits so tightly that I have to pry it off with my teeth every morning.

    Revlon Photoready Eye Primer + Brightener

    The applicator/delivery method for this product is so terrible that I can't even tell if I like the primer itself. You turn the base a few clicks and supposedly a bead of primer gets dispensed into the tiny brush, which you can then brush right onto your lids. WRONG. It takes like ten clicks to get any product to come out, and then it's a huge mess, dripping everywhere. The brush is way too narrow to be useful as an applicator, so I just brush a swipe over each eye and then use a larger concealer/foundation brush to even things out. I liked my old L'Oreal De-Crease lipgloss-style applicator a lot better, but that product was kind of...meh. Maybe it's time to pony up for the NARS.

    Maybelline XXL Pro 24HR Bold

    This product may be the best thing to happen to mascara since Maybelline XXL Volume+Length. Bonus points to Maybelline for finally making the primer coat black instead of white, solving the problem of accidentally gray upper lashes. In a serendipitous twist, the shorter double wands are easier than a long single wand for those of us with suboptimal hand-eye coordination, and I get less mascara in my hair.

    Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain

    I clearly haven't given up my quest for the perfect lip stain, because this rave review on On the Rag Mag totally convinced me to make an extra trip to the drug store. At first, I was completely sold on the Kissable Balm Stain's texture and staying power, and I swear the first day I wore it, it was amazing. Unfortunately, this product has one major problem: as soon as you leave the house or get in a position where you're not walking past a mirror every so often and can sneak a quick quality-control peek, the color brightens from a nice dark rose (I chose "Crush") to a bright purply-pink, something like how the Smitten color looks on Tracy in that review. Now, if you choose the bright pink on purpose, fine--but if you're not expecting it, and it doesn't match whatever else you have going on, it's annoying. Now the question is if it's worth trying the Honey version instead, or if I should just go back to my not-quite-perfect-but-best-so-far Tarte LipSurgence.

    September 23, 2012

    Lisa: lateral movement

    We decided at long last to paint our dingy mustard-yellow brick a classy warm grey (more to come on that decision later), and I started to get excited about prepping the house for that process. Since I knew we eventually wanted to put on some kind of new porch overhang, I worked really hard to convince Blake we should just rip off this old aluminum one before we paint. That way, we wouldn't have to do touch-ups later if removing it uncovered some still-yellow brick that didn't get covered up again by the new and improved porch. That...was a no-go. I made a good case that the old overhang would be easy to remove, but Blake (rightly) asserted that we'd lose a lot of functionality for our guests who might be arriving mid-rainstorm. So, as a compromise, we decided to give the awning a good washing and then paint it with a layer of black to match our wrought iron in the back of the house. Here's the before:

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    And here's the after:

    Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

    Here's the thing. I like the black paint (Behr exterior semi-gloss primer/paint in Black Suede) a lot in theory. I like that it matches the other wrought iron we have, and I like that it ties in with the new lamp post, the mailbox, and the house numbers. I think it might look good with the gray paint when that gets done, and I like the idea of having a black accent on the house since we don't have shutters. I also think that no matter how white we paint it, our current overhang will never trick the eye into believing it's beautiful white wooden trim--I guess I like that the wrought iron isn't pretending to be something else. And above all, no matter what color the overhang is, at least it now looks clean and well-maintained. That's got to be an improvement, right?

    In practice...I don't know that it's that great-looking. With the dark front door, I think it makes sort of a dark hole at the front, rather than letting either the door or the overhang make a dramatic statement. We haven't lost anything, since it was already ugly before and we can still replace it eventually like we planned (and paint is cheap). I guess we'll wait and see once we get the rest of the paint on. Stay tuned!

    August 17, 2012

    Lisa: 10+ Years

    Am I going to see Channing Tatum's new movie, 10 Years? Absolutely. You know I can't resist a big, charming meathead who can dance. Is it just going to make me a little more disappointed in my own ten year high school reunion experience? Absolutely. Let's see how the two stack up:

    1. Friends who actually haven't seen each other in ten years coming in from out of town and joyfully meeting up in advance
    Channing: 1, Lisa: 0

    2. Pre-gaming/illicit booze
    Channing: 1, Lisa: 0

    3. Dancing
    Channing: 1, Lisa: 0

    4. Old flames turning up unexpectedly and declaring they still have feelings for me
    Channing: 1, Lisa: 0

    5. Former classmates who morphed into surprisingly down-to-earth rock stars
    Channing: 1, Lisa: 0

    6. Toilet-papering
    Channing: 1, Lisa: 0

    7. Crazy revelations, regrettable decisions, or life-changing coincidences
    Channing: at least 1, Lisa: 0

    8. Karaoke
    Channing: 1, Lisa: 0

    9. Presence of Channing Tatum (or for that matter, Ron Livingston)
    Channing: 2, Lisa: 0

    Total score:
    Movies: 10+, Real life: 0

    See you there?

    August 06, 2012

    Lisa: sew much better

    After redoing the downstairs bathroom, there were two days left before Sarah's arrival in Salt Lake City. The only thing to be done was to give the guest bedroom (also known as my sewing room) a makeover as well! Kill your guests with kindness paint fumes, right? I have been planning on painting this bedroom for years anyway, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to go with the Sarah-induced momentum.

    I don't have many before photos of this room, because it was sort of a catch-all of my furniture when I was little and my bedding from college, topped off with a nice pinky-beige paint slathered over everything. Somehow it didn't occur to me to immortalize it. I did just dig up one photo of the old bedding (in its natural habitat at the Alpha Chi house) and one that shows the old paint color, taken when I hung the first thread rack on the wall behind my sewing machine. Lucky you!

    Since I was still working with the paneling on the walls, I decided to go for a sort of beach house feel. I thought I could use some of my favorite yellows, blues, and greens, and also hang some art I already had kicking around. Here are the after photos, so you can judge its beachiness for yourself:

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    Since this was a definite redo-on-a budget, the furniture is all the same as it was before. That's some pretty sweet 25-year-old Danish Modern shit up in there. Back by the bed, you can see the typewriter (and typewriter cart) I bought at the surplus sale, in its oilcloth cover. Most of the glass apothecary jars with craft supplies inside that you can see on the shelving above the bed are also from the county surplus sale.

    I love the carved chest, which was an impulse purchase made the ONLY TIME I have ever been to The Quilted Bear.

    My sewing table is a folding table from Costco, which is functional if not pretty. I have some plans to replace the folding chair with a carved wooden chair (found languishing in my parents' basement) with a newly-recovered seat, and I'll post a photo if I end up finishing that project in the next ten years.

    But why are we here? The new stuff. The paint was purchased six years ago with the downstairs bathroom in mind, but I thought better of that choice (thank goodness) and went with dusky purple in there instead. At the same time, I had actually bought paint (in coral pink) for the sewing room, but I had that re-tinted brown and used it in my closet office two years ago. Anyway, I'm counting the paint as free since it's been sitting unused for so long.

    The pictures on the wall above the chest are prints of watercolors of some iconic spots on Balboa Island done by Diane Moon and Jim Krogle that Blake and I bought on one of our first trips there right after we were married. I found some medium-brown frames for them at Target to match the other furniture.

    The striped bedspread and new fluffy pillows are from HomeGoods, and the sheets and pillowcases are from Target. The crewelwork throw pillow and the new ceiling fixture above the bed (replacing some gross and overly-bright track lighting) are from IKEA. The helping with minimal eye-rolling and swearing was from Blake.