Monthly Archives: March 2012

Baby, baby, baby (baby), think of me sometimes…*

*Lyrics from Aretha Franklin’s Baby, Baby, Baby from her album I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You. Classic. Though in this case the baby I’m talking about is an actual baby. You know, of the 6 month old variety.

Beauty shot: I wish I could paint this image.

Firstly, let’s talk about spring. It’s been a crazy weather year (past 12 months, not calendar year) up here in New England, and spring has been no different. After a snow-less winter (practically) I was really looking forward to the slow discovery that is springtime. First, you notice little changes – trees start to look like they’re greening up, buds emerge from the branches on bushes, crocuses and daffodils and tulips push up from the soil, all teasing warmer weather on the horizon. We wait (usually) for that one warm spring day where you can fling open your windows, where you can finally be outside with only a light jacket, where the cool air is scented with bulbs and warming earth. However, this year spring decided not to tease us burlesque-style, but instead to head straight for the goods, flashing us like a drunken college girl on spring break. We were plunged into 80 degree weather for almost a week making the daffodils pop up and begin to wilt within a day of opening. My normal excitement for the possibility of wearing shoes with no socks, of wondering when (if) the new bulbs we planted in the fall will push through was crushed by heading straight to using the air conditioning in the car to avoid sweating through my short-sleeved shirt (which probably should have been a tank top), and wondering if I’ll fit into my summer clothes yet. Not cool, spring. Not cool.

read on…

If I were a season I’d surely be spring…*

*Lyrics from “If I Were a Bell” as sung by Beverly Kenney which can be found on her album Come Swing With Me. I know this song from Guys and Dolls (the movie), but this version is decidedly sweeter, and somehow fresher than the version I know so well. Maybe it’s because I have Mad Men on the brain, or maybe it’s because I’ve been listening to the Ella Fitzgerald station on Pandora. Either way, this song, combined with the crazy-beautiful weather we’ve been having, has been lingering in my mind.

Ok, so, remember how at the end of last summer I teamed up with Dave, Jonas and Pappy to help some clients renovate their kitchen and powder room? Of course you do. But, in case you may have forgotten, allow me to refresh your memory.

Remember this?

BEFORE: As if I had to tell you that. (Note the framed poster - it's likely one of the few design elements that re-emerged in the kitchen after it was finished.)

Well, now it looks like this:

AFTER: Talk about dramatic changes.

read on…

Ooo, it feels good to be free…*

*Lyrics from Rilo Kiley‘s song Breakin’ Up from their album Under the Blacklight. Jenny Lewis has a beautiful voice. Listen to her, either solo or with her former band. Reminds me of Texas, and makes me think of Erin from Design-Crisis every time.

Goodbye carpet! Jeff was unable to help with brute force since he accidentally chopped a bit of his finger off (he's fine, just bandaged), so I heaved and he hoed. Well, I tore out the carpet and he hauled it to the garage.

Basement! Here it is, the long promised, long awaited update on the state of affairs in the dreaded basement. When we started our journey, the basement was a sad place to be. Wallpaper from the late 80s that had seen better days (the actual paper wasn’t the issue – it just hadn’t held up well), carpet that was stained, and just generally gross, and gobs of knotty pine woodwork just screaming ‘hey, I’m old and grungy, look at me!’ all over the place. Something had to be done.

read on…

You make it so good, you turn a woman around…*

*Lyrics from Aretha Franklin’s version of Something He Can Feel. I am in need of a little soul, and who better to sing it for me than Aretha. We’re on a first-name basis, have been since I was a child. Though, I suppose, every woman is (or should be). Sing it, Aretha. Ladies, let me see your hips swaying to the music. 

AFTER: The latest view from my kitchen. Vast improvement.

Well, first, I had planned on updating you with the status of the basement. But, well, the basement has more transformations to come, and the exterior, well, that’s pretty much complete. Of course there are more stages of finish to complete – filling holes, more staining, sealing, painting, caulking, etc. – but the overall effect is one of completion. Which is thrilling.

read on…

Time and light, I guess you are afraid of what everyone is made of…*

*Lyrics from St. Vincent‘s The Apocalypse Song from their album, Marry Me. I just love them, and since we’ve just lost an hour of darkness (or gained one in the morning) the refrain of this song was particularly poignant. And the Pandora station for her/them is amazing. If you’re into that sort of thing. Which obviously I am.

When we last met, this was how my kitchen entryway was looking.

Since I last updated you on the state of affairs at the ol’ (so happy) homestead soooo much has happened. And yet nothing has really changed. Sort of. Ok, so we changed our entryway decking and stairs, but the overall effect is the same. They’re still just stairs to get inside. I suppose it’s like wearing a grungy pair of pants to paint/stain/joint compound/generally be disgusting in and then changing into a nice pair of slacks. Still pants, but soooo much nicer to look at.

Ta-dah! Look at that! Red cedar decking, stained Burnt Hickory in Cabot exterior oil-based semi-solid stain.

read on…

I used to love it, it used to be pretty…*

*Lyrics from Neptune City by Nicole Atkins. I heard this song on Pandora the other day and really liked her voice. Not sure how I feel about her more recent album yet, but I can confirm that her voice is attractive to me. Have a listen and let me know what you think.

DURING: Our plan is to redo the railings to match the other side of the house, use cedar to wrap all the pressure treated (i.e., ugly) lumber, and to replace the storm door that pretty much failed after our kitchen renovation.

Yeah, so, yeah. I’m a crap blogger. I mean, I hope you like what I post when I get around to it. But, I’ve been pretty unable to keep up lately. I have (what must be) a hundred half-finished projects sitting around the house, ones that I’m hopeful will be worth posting (I’m taking pictures as I go, but nothing is ready to share), but for now you’ll have to settle for some progress pictures of half done-i-tude.

read on…