Wintery Mix

I’d like to start this post by reiterating what I posted yesterday: I am not particularly thrilled with any of the Christmas set up I’ve got going on.   However, I haven’t actually purchased anything for Christmas so I guess if I’m just working with what I’ve inherited it looks pretty good.

Ok disclaimer over… let’s dive in:

The simplest set up by far is in the sunroom. The runner was handmade by my grandmother and  I stuffed the metal rooster with red and green colored paper. Voila!

 

The next room over, the kitchen, I struggled with a bit. This is the third centerpiece I’ve created in the past 24 hours, and it’s definitely starting to show some promise:

This is another table runner made by my grandmother, the clear rocks were part of a centerpiece from a wedding I went to over the summer, and the rest is just candles and Christmas ornaments. I admit, I tried to incorporate the pearls I love so much but they were eliminated in centerpiece version 2.

Let’s see it at a closer look:

It’s not so bad… still not quite right but it could be worse.

 

Today I’ll be working more on the living room set up, but here it is as a wide shot very subject to change: 

I think the reason I’m struggling so much with the set up is because I don’t particularly care for Christmas. I like Halloween and Fall best, so those were just so easy to do. As I walk around today I’ll move things here and there and see what I end up with… so on that note, more from the living room tomorrow!

 

 

Thanks and Merry

Yesterday Matt & I hoted his family for Thanksgiving for the second year in a row, and we had a ball. Lots of turkey, potatoes, drinks, and movies. We also all stayed in our pajamas all day, which was the best part in my opinion.

Today while Matt had to brave his retail job on the worst day of the year, I packed up all the Fall decorations and got the house Christmas-ified. I’m not particularly pleased with any of my arrangements yet , but they’re getting there. I have bought absolutely no Christmas decorations so all I had to work with was what had been passed down to me. I’ll post some pictures tomorrow with what I’ve got so far and what I plan to do.

 

Frankly, it’s hard to get things done these days. Matt’s very involved with the new Xbox Batman game and I can’t get motivated when there’s a dog as cute as ours running around.

We’ve been doing awesome on the dog front, though. The cats have accepted it and are attempting to tolerate him and we’ve had minimal accidents in the house. Big milestones so far: yesterday he learned to walk up stairs and today he learned how to follow me from the yard back into the house while on a leash. I feel like such a proud mama, tomorrow we’re going to work on learning how to sit on command. It’ll be a tough one, but I’ve got bacon flavored training treats and I’m hoping for the best!

 

Busy, busy, busy

Things here at Sandpaper and Glue house have been turned upside down, in a good way. Before I get into the big big change, let me finish up where I started with the lighting- it is installed and it is looking good!! The holes where the old lights used to be are just drywalled for now, but they’ll be evened off,  spackled and painted this weekend.

I took this picture while the electricians were still doing their thing. They were very neat and efficient, and the lights came out excellent. We ended up with nine lights instead of ten because it just lined up better when it was all measured out. And since I bought the materials myself, I can return the extra light fixture and baffle and get refunded about $30. Yeah! Overall the kitchen is so bright, it’s a world of difference. I’m really glad we decided to do it!

 

They did their best to cover up the holes for us, but it really isn’t their job so we’ll finish it up this weekend and then I post lots more pictures.

 

And now on to the best part of our weekend…. we adopted a puppy! He is a lab mix from Lucky Lab Rescue. He’s 10 weeks old and weighs just 14 pounds, to us he looks more like a weimaraner then a lab and he’ll probably end up around 50 pounds.

He is absolutely precious and we are instantly in love with him. The cats are even taking it pretty well. How could they not- just look at those ears! Lucky lab was an awesome rescue to work with too. They’re located in Indiana and on Saturday night they brought a giant van with 31 dogs (11 puppies, 20 young-adult dogs) all to be adopted to families throughout our state. It was a really interesting and exciting experience and we’re so glad we have him now.

His name is Dutch and he is keeping us super busy, so I may go down to just one post a week. It’s hard to get anything done around the house when all I want to do is snuggle with my pup (and make sure he doesn’t pee on my floor).

Bonus!

Two posts in one night… wow, you know what that means…..it must be something good! Or, Matt’s working a closing shift and I’m home alone with the cats.

Anyway, I wanted to share this awesome piece of art I snagged for the living room:

How cute is this?! It says HOME…. in architecture! The artist is named Dawne and she’s a photographer of what she calls “architectural art.” Last year I had her make a piece that was my brother and sister-in-law’s last name, and now I’ve just picked this up for myself for $11 (frame included!). I dream of making a whole wall of framed art in the living room, all in black and white, and I think this will be the centerpiece. I can’t wait to pick it up this weekend!

Anyways, the reason I decided to post this tonight is that Christmas time is crazy busy for Dawne, and she’s got an order cutoff time of December 5th. So if you want to check out more of her work and perhaps order something snazzy for yourself or as a gift take a look at her Facebook business page  here. She’s got a couple photo albums showing her work and all order and contact info. When I got the piece from her last year we emailed back and forth at least three times because she made sure I approved every letter she used because she has multiple options for each letter, and she was awesomely patient and accommodating. (*I must add here that she did not ask me to endorse her, and unless she reads this blog she doesn’t even know I have*).

And while you’re perusing around Facebook, don’t forget to like Sandpaper and Glue!

You light up my life

So did you guess what we’re doing this weekend? Our kitchen will never looks as gorgeous as those, but our kitchen lighting sure will! We are getting rid of our ugly, dim, 1962 kitchen lights and moving on up to the world of recessed lighting! Can I get a woot woo?! It’s sad the things that excite me these days….

Please excuse the poor angle here- but I fit all 3 lights into one picture!

 

Admittedly, our lighting could be much worse looking. However, what really does me in is the flickering and sizzling that happens when we turn them on. Those babies are working hard to light up our kitchen, and they are not doing that great a job. The glow is mustardy, the metal trim is hideous, and the space they cover is just not sufficient for my sunny, cheerful room. The walls are yellow enough, I don’t need to add a yellow glow to it all too!

 

 

 

 

At a closer look, you can also see the very obvious flaw in this lighting…. it is hanging off the ceiling. This over the sink light is permanently broken and dangling, just waiting to smash down on some poor unsuspecting victim. Say goodbye, you death trap- come Saturday night it’ll be long gone!

 

 

 

Matt and I are so fortunate to know a sibling-of-a-friend that is an electrician apprentice willing to install recessed lighting for us at a discounted fee. Yesterday Matt & I ventured to Home Depot to get all the materials and Saturday morning he’ll be here to add in the new lights and seal up the old ones. All this for under $700! If we had hired a licensed electrician, and not gone to get the parts ourselves, this job would cost around $1500.

We will be installing ten 5-inch recessed lights throughout the kitchen. The above are the “remodel lights” (which are different from “new home lights”) and the “baffles,” which are the light trims you will see in the ceiling. Home Depot lets you buy lights buy the box and individually so we were able to buy a box of six and then add four more to the order.

Nine of the ten lights will work on a main switch and the one over the sink will be a stand alone. I’ve gone back and forth as to whether or not I want them on a dimmer, but the whole point of doing this is because I hate how dim things are now so I’m opting out of it. Plus, the over the sink light will provide a little illumination if we need to leave something on at night.

In addition to the lights and trim above we also bought the following:

  • 14-2 Romex wire to wire the recessed lights
  • 12 pack of 65 watt BR30 bulbs (which is 2 extra, but we’ll need them eventually)
  • Wire nuts… which I assume have something to with the new wiring
  • Four 1/2 inch thick 2×2 sheets of drywall because a full sheet of drywall wouldn’t fit in my car and Home Depot refused to cut it in half for me (buying precut slabs added about $12 extra to our total)
  • A bundle of 3/4 inch thick strapping, which does something alongside the drywall. We only need about 3 of those sticks, but Home Depot didn’t have a scrap bin and didn’t have any small packs (this added about $10 extra to our total)
  • Some sort of net tape for the drywall

I can’t wait to see how it all turns out

Moving on up.

After work today Matt & I are going out to buy some supplies for our big kitchen upgrade this weekend… I got my inspiration from the photos below, can you tell what we’re doing:

 

 

 

I can’t wait to see how things turn out…. tomorrow I’ll share how our adventures at Home Depot went. I can only assume though, based on my track record there, that it will not go well.

_________

Also, have you “liked” Sandpaper and Glue on Facebook yet? 

Nice and Level

After work today I set about hanging suspended shelves on the master bedroom wall- and it was a success! I was shocked at how easy this project went, because normally it takes me at least 57 tries to get something level up against a wall. It seems after my living room shutter project though, that the level and I have become a great team. Also, since I’ve come to the realization that I need to replace the screw requirement in any project with nails I saved myself a lot of trial and failure.

I measured twice to drill once, and I tested to make sure things stayed level at each and every step. First, I had to measure out and drill two holes into the wall for each shelf. The holes allowed me to attach a small wooden beam to the wall, which the actual stained and pretty shelf fit into. Then I nailed the top of the shelf into the beam (the instructions call for screws, ha!). Once it was secured I just organized my frames. Easy peasey!

To the left is shelf number one up and rockin’.

I put the shelves pretty high up on the wall because I want to make sure the cats aren't tempted to try and sit on them. For this same reason, the dresser is kept pretty bare.

 

My main issue with decorating the house so far is that most of the frames and art I had at our old apartment just don't fit right here. The shelves let me mix and match my frames instead of buying all new ones.

 

I also hung up a piece of art we got at a horror movie convention last year. I think for now, that's all we need on the walls in here. Eventually I'd like something on the other side of the bed, but I'm in no rush to find it.

 

It’s getting pretty cozy in this bedroom, and while there’s still more work to do I’m happy to leave it as so for a while. Once the rest of my large scale projects are done (painting the landing and both bathrooms), I’ll set to work on finishing up the bedroom. One day I’d like to sand and repaint our bureau and get new closet doors.

 

Great Success

Papa’s birthday party was a great success today! On the left is my little pennant banner, which I made from strips of scrap fabric and construction paper. It was a nice easy project, but the green strips matched the sunroom and the yellow pennants match the kitchen so it looked pretty good up on the wall.

Now that the party is over I have no idea where I’m going to put the clunky cake stands I made, I’m thinking that I may let them live on the bottom shelf of my living room coffee table since I made them to match that room anyways. We’ll see how the cats feel about that….

Dad brought a drill bit up yesterday so hopefully after work today I will be able to hang the suspended shelves I bought. Pictures of that to come tonight…pending I don’t accidentally smash up the wall on a drill bit frenzy.

Check!

I had today off because of Veteran’s day, so I tried to sharpen up as much as I could in preparation for my family coming over on Sunday. I must say I’m pretty pleased with all I accomplished:

  • created a pennant “happy birthday” banner for the kitchen (pictures to come on Sunday)
  • ordered a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting from the most delicious bakery in town
  • baked delicious pumpkin spice cookies and I am displaying them on one of my home made cake stands
  • 2 loads of laundry (woot woo)
  • swept floors, cleaned countertops
  • hung some sort work in the bedroom
  • bought shelves to install in the bedroom so we can put up more pictures (need to get a drill bit tomorrow so we can actually hang the shelves
Whew! I am feeling good!
While I was at Home Depot buying the shelves, I also picked up a sample size paint jar to test out something I saw on Pinterest:
I notoriously save glass bottles and jars of all kinds, because you just never know when you need a glass bottle. 
What I meant to do was pour just enough paint in so that I could swirl it around and create a design on the inside of the bottle, but I poured way to much paint in so I just ended up coating the whole thing. I created a funnel with some printer paper and just poured it on in. I swirled it all around, then pour the extra paint right back in the container to use for something later.
I chose green so I can use it in a Christmas centerpiece I’m planning, and I think I’ll go back and get red so I can try it one more time and get the swirl effect right. The samples are just $3!