Friday, 28 November 2014

Getting Ready For Christmas

I only have one goal this Christmas, and that is to find the joy that I lost along the way.

I really just wanted one perfect spot to start decorating for Christmas. And I'm so pleased with the way this came out. The tree is about 2 feet tall and sitting on my nightstand. I got tiny decorations from Hobby Lobby and the .99 Store. And I got tiny candy canes from the .99 store as well. So the tree was $10 at the Lucerne Market and the decorations cost me about $5.00. The tiny trees under the tree are blown glass and cost .99 each. The lace tree skirt it just a scrap of lace I thrifted.  And the tiny battery operated tree lights used to belong to my boyfriend's mom before she passed last April.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

A Houseful of Furniture

It's not like it makes me happy to profit from an unexpected death in the family, but we just inherited all the items we've been lacking in our home and then some. We now have a functional refrigerator, a microwave, a flat screen TV, and the right size of box springs for my bed.

So now I'm happy to be able to get on with converting my ordinary bedroom to a boho style bedroom. I just took out the primary colored set of drawers to use next to my computer in the other room, and I'm replacing it with a wooden table. I'm doing my best to get all the plastic out of my decor.

We still need a couch. We inherited two but neither one suited our needs so we gave them away. I wanted to keep the smaller one but it was hard on our backs. We were always slumping down and dozing off.

In the same month as the death in the family our landlady told us to get ready to move since she was consulting a realtor about selling all her houses. So I started shoving things in boxes, so our house is in the worst shape ever! Now I have to start over again now that she's decided not to sell ours. (She sold two other ones though).

We sold many items from the other house, and gave a lot to thrift stores. It was a mobile home park and they didn't allow yard sales or estate sales. In the end the only option was to rent a storage unit until we have time to rearrange everything and sell off the rest.  Keep in mind we are also both working full time and we had a full life before all this happened. At least the mobile home is sold. It took us a month and a half to clean out the 2 bedroom, 2 bath home with 2 walk-in closets and 2 yard sheds.  I thought we'd never be done! My back is still mad at me.

Anyway, in my bedroom I have to clean up the clutter, move the current box springs out and get rid of it somehow, put the new one in the house, move it against the wall, and by some miracle make the whole thing look good.  Believe me this does not come easily to me. I'm not one of those women that rearranges her furniture twice a month. So I'm going to finish here for now and get busy in the kitchen so I can get the old fridge out and the new one in.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Bed and Washing Machine Time

Through the help of a generous friend, my boyfriend got a 'new to us' bedframe and box springs and headboard for his bed. His bed is a queen and mine is a full. His friend helped him carry the old frame and box springs outside where we covered it with a drop cloth in case of rain. I don't think they realized that I wanted to use the old stuff in my bedroom so I could get my mattress off the ground. Not only is it hard on my back, but this is scorpion season. But my room wasn't clean enough to move all that big stuff in there.

Today when I heard there was a 70% chance of rain, I didn't want to wait.  So I moved lots of stuff and went to help him carry the frame in. I had the metal frame almost in the door when he asked me to shake the sand off. I'm not sure what happened next but the thing swung around and the sharp corner crashed into my forehead, leaving a bleeding cut about 3/4 inch long. Ouch! Tears!

After my boyfriend mopped up blood and tears and I got a adhesive strip on the cut, and enough of a breather to go back to work, we got the whole shebang put together in my room.  Unfortunately my bed is a full size and the frame and box springs is a queen size, so eventually I'll have to get a queen sized mattress, but for now I'm happy to be off the ground.  I'm looking forward to sleeping in it tonight.

Also, another pair of friends went to a huge effort to find us a free washer.  They drove it out here last night, and as soon as we clear out the space the old washer used to sit in, we'll be able to wash clothes at home again. So this has been a very fruitful week. I have amazing friends!

Monday, 10 June 2013

Bedroom Lighting Issues

Lately I've had bad luck with lighting fixtures. When we moved here I had two lights in my bedroom. The overhead ceiling bulb and a bedside reading lamp. Not long after we moved in, the bulb in the ceiling light went out. Since my bed blocks the space under the light and is sitting on the floor, and the moving boxes filled everywhere else, we couldn't change the bulb. Then the reading lamp died. About two weeks later we got the bulb replaced, only to find out it was the light that was dead, not the bulb. So my boyfriend gave me his desk lamp.  No sooner than I plugged it in, it literally fell apart. The light still works, but the base is broken so it falls over all the time! Ugh.

Finally I'd had enough but I didn't want to spend any money. I had 2 Japanese lanterns from the old apartment, but no hooks to hang them from.

Then because of this blog, I started emptying two boxes a day. Remember when I put all the blankets in a box in the closet a few days ago? That made space for me to get the step ladder into my room, and my boyfriend swapped out the bulbs in the ceiling lamp! Yay, light again.

Then I remembered I have a floor lamp in the 'art studio/storage container'. I put it out there so I could have light in the far back area, but at this point, I can't even work in the back for all the boxes and I don't have an electric cord that reaches that far.  So I grabbed the floor lamp this morning and put it back in my bedroom.  It is even blue, the color my room is supposed to be when I get it all finished.

As far as hanging the paper lanterns, I have hooks that are too small and hooks that are too big, so now I need to buy some that are just right.

But joy of joys, I don't have to spend any more money on buying a lamp. Excellent!

Now I need to replace the damaged window screens so the bugs stay out! All of these things are things the landlady should be fixing. Aren't houses supposed to come with curtain rods after all? But we don't want to trouble her. We want a good relationship with her and she lives next door. When we signed our rental agreement, I wanted to mention all these issues but my boyfriend stopped me. I just wish she'd fixed the ceiling fan in the living room. It wobbles and ticks and can only be on 'low' or it feels like a helicopter is about to behead us in our living room.

Curtain Rod Tips and Paper Towel Holder

I don't know if this blog is inspiring you but it is inspiring me. I can't wait to do the next project so I can tell you how it went.

Since we are renting, and on a budget, we are limited in the types of changes we can make. But a lot of you are in the same boat, so hopefully my tips will help you.

Today my boyfriend put the paper towel holder under the new wood shelf, which is a place we often need a paper towel. Cost: $1.00. You can also make use of the space under a shelf by adding cup hooks or key holders.

Then I got out the curtain rods for my bedroom. Planning to save money we took a short cut and bought a double curtain rod set-up, planning to use one rod on each window. However, that didn't work out. There is only one set of brackets. It turned out to be a happy mistake though. Now that we've lived here for 8 months, I'm realizing a double set of curtains on each window is a great idea. In the summer I can have the lace curtain to block the light but the other curtains can be tied back.  In winter I'll have two layers of curtains so when it snows here and the cold air seeps in, I'll stay warmer. So now we need to buy another set of double curtain rods, but if I remember correctly it is only about $5.

Use the wasted space under a shelf for a paper towel holder.
Double curtain rods fit on one bracket set.

Two bedroom windows.

Double Curtain Rod

Friday, 7 June 2013

Sorting Boxes

We moved here in Oct. and we still have boxes everywhere. So my goal right now is to deal with one box a day. So today I emptied 2 boxes, and then used one of them for all the blankets that were making a big mess in my room and have been in the way since winter. It was 104 degrees today. I don’t think I’ll need them until October. So I took the box of gift wrap, my guitar, and a bolt of fabric out of my closet to make room for the blanket box. Then I nested my guitar back in there. The other stuff is going out of the house into my storage container/art studio. I also consolidated two boxes of Halloween decorations and those will go in the container as well. Sadly I didn’t have any empty boxes to throw out, but at least I got them out of the living room and all those blankets out of my bedroom area. I still have lots to do in both the living room and the bedroom, but that’s progress. 

I also found two oil lamps in colorful bottles to add to my bottle collection that I mentioned in my last post.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Kitchen Fix-Up

This is a very old house built in several parts, so the lay out is whacky. The kitchen/dining room is long and narrow and leads right into the bathroom. If the backdoor is open and the bathroom door is open, you can see all the way through the house.

So there is almost no counter space. Not good news since my boyfriend is big on using knives and cutting boards. So the first thing he did was he found a kitchen island on Craig's List.  We drove a really long way to pick it up at night in the rain, and they'd forgotten to disclose a few things.  Like the missing door, and missing shelf supports. But we didn't want to have used all that gas money only to come home empty handed so we got it. So word to the wise, if something is far away, perhaps pass on it, just in case it's not in good shape.
Anyway, it works out fine snuggled up against the stove. Our kitchen isn't wide enough to use it as an island anyway, and it makes a handy storage spot for rolls of foil and plastic wrap. And the top of it is a chopping block. On the end we hang potholders and oven mitts.

When I was out of town visiting my grandbaby back on Easter, I came back to a greatly improved kitchen.He had taken the unfinished wood shelves and used a white pickling stain on them.  And then he put them up to hold all those jars of spices and sauces that you need nearby for cooking. Before they were just kicking around on the floor or buried deep in cabinets where we had to send search and rescue to find them.  Nothing like burning dinner while you are on your hands and knees looking for the ground cumin.
So here are photos of the shelves he painted and also of the baker's rack someone abandoned in the alley at our old apartment, as well as the kitchen island.  All these things help us stay organized in the kitchen. We are still unpacking boxes from the big move though.

I'm itching to stencil designs on all these white surfaces though. Not sure he'll go for that idea, but I can ask.

Baker's Rack for cookbooks and appliances and pans.

End of island for storing oven mitts and potholders.

Kitchen island with the new shelf over it.

Shelf finished with pickling stain.

Other shelf nested against the baker's rack.

Shelves for extra storage.