Friday, May 31, 2013

My Staining Assistant

Behr was helping to assist me in a staining project... he so gladly posed for a few photos...

Thursday, May 30, 2013

MCM Wall Candle Sconces

A few weeks ago, FindFurnish was having a warehouse sale. Bill and I went and checked it out. There are still a few things that we are looking for to finish off the living room and were hoping we would find something.

There were a couple of hutches of interest, but they were both too large for where we want to put one. But we did find some wall sconces that I may have been looking for on the internets... I actually spotted a pair through a seller of mid century goodies based on facebook for $25. The ones at FindFurnish were marked as $30. I figured it was worth the extra $5 because I wouldn't have to drive far away to pick the other ones up. Then I found out everything was on sale. And we got an amazing price on them. Win!

So, for a couple of weeks, they've been sitting in the living room, waiting to be hung. It was one of those situations again where I was waiting to get the new curtain rods hung and I was sort of putting that off because of the possibility of new windows. After the new curtain rods went up, I knew I would be fine putting them up now.

And there they now hang. I still need to pick up candles which I think might help liven them up a little.  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mid Century Curtain / DraperyRods: Installed

Despite having an insanely busy Memorial Day weekend, we got a couple things done around the house! Yay!

Over the span of a couple days we got the new curtain rods from Restoration Hardware up. It only took a little more than forever to finally find something we liked, that was somewhat fitting for mid century style, and for BOTH to finally arrive at our house. They were on back order for about 2 months. The second one finally arrived the day before we left for vacation, so they got put on the back burner for awhile. Plus, with the possibility of new windows, I wasn't sure if I should wait or not with putting them up because I had planned to raise them a little higher than where they were before.

Well, they're up! And I think they look fantastic!

It was all a fairly easy process... but it wasn't without it's problems (as usual). I pulled down the old hardware. After holding up the new hardware, I figured that I could just use the same bottom hole and drill for the new top hole. Easy right?

Check out that paint all over the trim...

New windows will also equal new trim, so that will hopefully be replaced soon as well. And in the photo below you can see the other lovely non-painted wood I'm dealing with. It would be easily fixable, but like I said, it will hopefully be gone very soon.

Bill enlarging the original bottom hole.

Lurking beneath our dry wall is a fancy layer of plywood. At this point it's for sure in both bedrooms and the living room. One might think this would be nice to have... a little extra something for everything to grab on to. Right? Nope. The plywood makes using anchors extremely difficult and on one of the wall brackets, tightening it down all the way like you probably should made the bracket turn so it wasn't straight, making it not work. And we went through a lot of anchors.... I'm not really sure why but someone *cough* Bill *cough* was having some issues with smushing them while trying to "gently" tap them into the wall with a hammer...

But it's done! And they look great! I even fake hemmed the curtains with pins so they're not falling all over the place. I need to do a good wash and dry before I make it permanent first.

And just for your viewing pleasure, a before and after...

Much better.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Great "Mid Century" Links / Resources

For many reason (aren't there always many), I have not been getting a whole lot done lately in terms of house updates. There has been a lot of cleaning and general maintenance. There have actually been a few nice days here and there between all the rain showers we've been getting almost daily, so they've been devoted to things like changing the oil in the car, cleaning up the dreaded dog poo (super yuck), and cleaning up leaves and plant stuffs.

Acurio Latticeworks | Mid Century Style Lattice
There are all sorts of funky designs, but the Geometric--Moorish Circle design is my favorite. We've been mulling over adding lattice to the bottom of our deck for a few years now to keep the dog from going under there and to cover up the ugly below. This has now definitely become an option.

Therma-Tru Doors | Pulse Line
Hopefully we will be getting some major work done on the house in the near future, so I've been trying to find a new front door option that won't break the bank. While I love the Crestview doors, they are wood (which I would automatically paint) and they're not energy star certified for our Minnesota winters. The Therma-Tru doors are and there is actually a decent Federal Tax Credit available this year. Check out the Retro Renovation post on them if you're interested.

Box Design USA Mailboxes
These mailboxes are awesome. We're in a neighborhood with the mailboxes on the side of the house. Sadly our original slot on the house has long since been covered and replaced with your typical hardware store mailbox. I don't think these are for our house because they are a little bit too modern, but I still think they're awesome.

House of Antique Hardware | Solid Steel Mid-Century Style Floor Register
When we get to the point of swapping out our very beat up registers, this place is definitely on my list of options. I like that simplicity and the finish options.

Rejuvenation | Mid-Century Modern Hardware
I've blogged about this company before, I test bought a knob with star backplate that I used in the bathroom. So far, I still love the knob and plan on doing some shopping there for some other projects. Some of my favorite things though are their house numbers and especially the outdoor door knob hardware. They have star backplates, as well as an awesome ornate one.

Hip Haven
Hip Haven is a great option for the bullet planters that are usually hard to find and fairly pricey. These are priced well and come in a wide range of colors. The also sell a great screen door insert, lots of funky lights, and a few other things.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Catamaran & Snorkeling in Cap Cana : Punta Cana

The one thing we did this year outside of the resort was going on a Catamaran & Snorkeling trip in Cap Cana. The one thing I wanted to do this year, was go out on the water. Last year's efforts to do so in Mexico were unsuccessful. It ended up being a fantastic choice of all the on the water things we could have done. We ended up in a smaller than normal group with a bunch of people that worked for the travel agency, which was probably a good thing.

We got picked up and taken out to Cap Cana, which is a gated community type area with crazy expensive condos. They started building it at the height of the market around 2004/2005 (?) and construction mostly halted when everything crashed. So, half of this place is done and looking fantastic and the other half looks like an abandoned construction zone. It was fairly busy and looked like construction was picking back up but it was so strange to see.

First, we just sailed up the shore a ways and then came back about half way. Only Bill, myself and one other couple actually went snorkeling. I was not too thrilled about it after snorkeling in a cave last year and learning that I was in fact claustrophobic. The lady of the other couple got out right away and so it was just Bill, another guy, me, and two guides. After about 10 minutes, I finally stopped hyperventilating and became more normal. We saw tons of stuff.... fish, coral, crabs, sea urchins. So many sea urchins.

After that, we got to eat and drink. They sailed further back from where we came from and we went swimming with a floating bar. The swimming didn't last too long because the air was cool and windy.

Additionally, we had an awesome main guide. I cannot remember her name, but she was originally from Germany. She moved to the Dominican Republic to be a SCUBA instructor, but ended up doing what she's doing now because she needed some time out of the water. She's a great example of making moving to another country work.

Overall, this side trip was fantastic and I would definitely recommend it. I would even do the same trip again because the people were so great and it was a nice, relaxing day.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Nasty, old carpet... GONE.

Today our Bagster is officially gone. It may have taken just over a month but the sudden fantastic weather pushed us to get it filled up and out of here. It's super easy to use and in the end, it's probably cheaper than to have our normal garbage company pick up all of the stuff we were trying to get rid of.

We bought the bag about a month and a half ago from Home Depot. Then we just started filling it up. We had lots of stuff left from projects we have already completed, like the big pieces of plywood with tile still on them from ripping up the bathroom floor. We also rolled up all the carpet that I'm guessing used to be in the living room and was just set on top of the concrete downstairs. It was definitely nasty...

Actually, this morning, I went down into the basement and it smells SO much better... Nasty carpet GONE.

We also had some old light fixtures and an abundance of weird up in the garage rafters from the previous owners.

Anyways, Waste Management was here bright and early this morning to pick up the Bagster. There were here for maybe 5 to 10 minutes. Easy. The only thing thing that actually took a minute, besides filling it up was requesting the pick up online. I just picked the date that the bag would be ready by. They give a three day window, I'm guessing in case they're crazy busy. Then you just pay and you're done.

We will definitely use the Bagster again if we need it. And now we get to address this...

Friday, May 17, 2013


These are from a couple weeks ago, after we got back from vacation. I was taking some in-progress photos of a project I'm working on (coming soon!) and he decided to sit still and look at the camera.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Beach & Pool at Paradisus : Punta Cana

The beach at our resort, Paradisus, in Punta Cana was by far the best beach we have ever had the pleasure of enjoying while on vacation. While it really may not look like much, I think that might be the key.

Growing up, I spent a ton of time swimming in the good ole Lake Minnetonka... As I grew up there was a lot less playing in the water with my imagination and more just relaxing either on floating rafts, in a canoe, or a friend's boat. Being on shore lost its edge over time and until this trip, never really spent more than 5 minutes in the water along the shore in the past 10+ years.

Here the sand was perfect. The water was a bit cold at first, until you make the full body plunge. The waves were fantastic. Bill and I haven't spend much time at all actually in water during our relationship, but I think he would have played in the waves for hours if allowed to. The shore was shallow very far out and the waves ranged from fairly small to fairly large, at least to those of us used to lakes. We both had a great time jumping through the waves and trying not to get rolled under by the big ones.

Even just laying out was great. It was usually fairly quiet even though there were a lot of people. We quickly figured out when we needed to be out to get chairs. I got some reading done and really enjoyed the nice, warm sun which had been absent in our extra, super long winter.

The pool was nice too, but it was always busy. It was harder to find chairs, but it did have the swim up bar and a 'burger stand'. There was also usually a fairly entertaining group of people playing volleyball in the water at the one end as well.

Going through our photos and editing the few here, I want to go back already. Vacations are usually very love hate for me because I like the comforts of my home so much, I hate being away. At the same time, this place was so fantastic that I felt that less than usual.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Spring is Showing!

Spring is finally showing...



Lilac Bush Buds

A bulb we have out front, I can never remember the name. They're extra tiny this year.

Tree Out Front

Let's just say I have a lot of yard work on my never ending to do list....

I've also been working on a project involving stain and it is not going well... This is a partial reason for the lack of posting as of late. And an extremely busy schedule...

Friday, May 10, 2013

Nap Time.

Behr usually prefers to sleep on the couch, our bed, or a couple of select chairs throughout the house... Yesterday, he actually napped on his Molly Mutt bed and I was able to take a couple of decent shots of him.

Unfortunately Behr's awesome black & white chevron print is no more, but they have quite a few other equally stylish options.