Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

From our tree to yours.

It's the most wonderful time of the year! I hope all of your holidays are filled with happiness, good food, and family.

More on our Christmas later. We love all y'alls!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

DIY: (My First Ever!) Chair

As some of you might know, the hubs and I had several yard sales before we moved out of BV, at which most of our belongings were sold (we had to fit everything in one storage unit, OK?). So, we were lacking in a few big furniture items (read: a dining room table, chairs, nightstands, end tables, etc.). A few days after we moved here, we spotted four of these chairs and a mysteriously legless table next to a neighbor's trashcans. Providence! We waited until nightfall, and then we drove our car over and sneakily loaded all of it into the back.

Clearly, the chairs were in need of some TLC, and by that I mean, who in their right mind would have chosen to cover the cushions of honey-colored chairs with vinyl the color of sand? Blech. I was so excited to get to work! The table and chairs had good bones, solid wood and sturdy, but they needed a good sprucing (and in the table's case, some legs).

First, I removed the seats and pulled out the staples...all 194,000 of them.
Then I laid out my 40%-off-at-Jo-Ann's outdoor-approved fabric, and cut out pieces using the sand vinyl as a rough template.
I wanted a little extra cush for the tush, so I bought extra padding at Walmart and put it underneath the original padding.
Then we stapled...and stapled...and stapled some more. (Olive really enjoyed the loud staple gun, let me tell you...)
When the cushions were done, I took the chairs to the garage and sanded every inch of those babies.
Then I put on a few coats of black spray paint (primer/paint 2-in-1, booyah).
I wanted shiny chairs, so when the black was dry I added some clear coat.
When they were dry, I screwed the cushions back into place, and voila! They look good, right?? It's an improvement, that's for sure. I was proud of myself! But really, it wasn't even that hard.

chairs - $0
spray paint - $15
fabric - $25
extra padding - $12

TOOLS NEEDED: screwdriver, staple gun, staples, sandpaper, pliers

Not bad for a noob, eh? What do you think?

Now for that table...

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Most Anticipated Post of the Year

(Please withhold your judgments about our lack of decorations and also poor photo quality. We are working on at least one of the two, and possibly both.)

So here is our lovely estate from the outside. I'll probably post more pictures later (of the lot and such), but this is the actual house.

And now. Are you ready? The inner workings of the Virginia Blackwelder household are about to be revealed!


Wait for iiiit...


SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! Impressive, I know. In fact, this is the actual view from the front door, looking slightly left. This is the room I have no idea what to do with, so all of our unused stuff generally gets crammed in here.

No judging allowed here, remember. (I said no judging!) Here is a cute puppy:

View from the kitchen doorway

I just don't want this to be one of those rooms that never gets used, you know? One of those fancy sitting rooms with the stiff furniture that's only there to look good through the window. It's a waste! Like an front door that people don't actually use. So, ideas, peeps? I eventually want to knock out most of the wall behind the piano and really open up the space...perhaps leave columns or something. But until then...what do I do?

Moving on, this here's the office:

Still no judging!!
Ehhh. It was meant to be used as the dining room, but it is closed in and small and I don't like it at all. Except for the grape border at the top (which you can't actually see in this picture. Shame, that.). That's a nice touch. We are thinking of closing this room completely off someday and adding more cabinets in the kitchen which you can see here...

View from the office

View from the living room doorway

Aaaand welcome to the half of the house we actually live in! (Read: the half I actually keep clean.)

Ridiculously cavernous, right? I LOVE it; there is so much potential. I want to add an island for sure, to break up that space, and also a dishwasher would be nice. Also, if you'll notice the vinyl flooring throughout...obviously someday I want tile in the kitchen and wood floor in the rest of the house. But until then, our floors will continue resembling those of a hospital.

And now for my favorite room of all time...the sunroom!

Things are a little different in there now, meaning the picture is now centered over the TV and we have a Christmas tree; I'll post updated photos at the end (or see the one in the post before this). OK so here is the hallway...
Like I've mentioned before, the doorways and hall in this house are all extra wide to accomodate a wheelchair. I love it! (And someday when we have wood floors it will be beautiful!)

Here is our guest bathroom:
You know you are loving the faux marble countertop and grape border near the ceiling. (Someday this bathroom will be grey with white trim.)

And this is our bedroom and bathroom:
Things look a little different now...we actually have a headboard. But we still only have stools for nightstands. Hah.

Our bedroom has the door where the corner of the room should be:

And our bathroom has one of those rolling doors, which I hate. It's a pretty big bathroom and the shower is HUGE. Someday I'd like a Jacuzzi tub put in and a smaller corner shower or something.

Now for some panoramas...

This is actually the first one Christian took with his phone...such skills, that hubby of mine! (Don't mind my face.)

Here's the front room again, clean this time.

Aaaand sort of a failure pano of the kitchen. You get the gist. It's really big.

What changes am I wanting to make, you ask? Well, take a look at this beautiful open kitchen/dining room/family room from Better Homes & Gardens; I want something very similar.
(Nice stitching job, me.)

The layout is basically the same, except our family room is where their deck is. I LOVE the idea of knocking a window out from the kitchen into the sunroom. That way you can be in the kitchen and still be interacting with people in the sunroom. So basically we are thinking of closing off our office entirely from the kitchen, and putting cabinets against that wall, moving the fridge and stove over there, etc. We need more cabinets, regardless. But don't you LOVE the openness of that house?

Anyway, there you have it. I'll do a separate post later expounding upon our outdoor endeavors. Cha!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


OK, I know I promised a peek at our living conditions, but that daggone post is taking an eternity to finish. So, tonight you will have to settle for a panorama taken with Christian's fancy new phone. (Pay no attention to the bang-up stitching job. That was my panorama-taking novicehood showing.)

This here is our lovely sunroom, easily my favorite room in the entire house:

(Click to enlarge, yo.)

Also, I will definitely be posting the house photos tomorrow. Be on the lookout. And if not...well, it's your loss.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Don't worry! Here's a post! I'm still true to my word you guys!

LET IT BE KNOWN that a post about our house WITH PICTURES is in the works, but let's be honest here Joe, it's late and it is becoming physically painful to keep my eyes open. So instead, enjoy these pictures of our jack-o-lanterns circa Halloween, 2011.

Christian's Emile pumpkin

Morgan's from-a-pattern-but-still-pimptight pumpkin

My cannibal pumpkin